Posts Tagged ‘Canada’
Think that “it can’t happen here?” So did Canadian Christians.
The government of Quebec is forcing Catholic schools to replace the Christian religion with the state’s “neutral” alternative based on moral relativism. That’s how defenders of religious freedom have responded to last week’s court ruling that a private Catholic high school must teach the state’s “secular” Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) course.
Barbara Kay slammed the judges’ decision in the National Post on Wednesday, arguing that it empowers a government to “compel a faith community to jettison its driving beliefs in order to promote the state’s secular religion of multiculturalism; or indeed, in the future, to compel promotion of any other theory or belief the state may wish to substitute for a faith community’s convictions.”
Kay said that the ruling treats religion merely as a “cultural preference, not a deeply held core belief.”
“For Catholics, on the other hand, everyone who is a Catholic or a member of another religious faith —or even atheistic — is respected as a spiritual pilgrim on a profound journey in pursuit of truth,” she said.
Marie Bourque, vice president of the Association of Catholic Parents of Quebec, told the Catholic Register that the mandated ERC program will make children skeptical of any kind of religion or faith.
“It sort of vaccinates children against all faiths by teaching them you can fabricate your own religion,” she said.
The ERC course purports to take a “neutral” stance on world religions, giving equal spiritual standing to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Raëlism, aboriginal animism, and even a student’s own invented religion.
“If you say that, you are rejecting the divinity of Jesus Christ and the whole of Christianity,” Bourque said.
[...] Fr. Raymond de Souza called it “totalitarian” to “compel a private Jesuit high school to teach that, as between Christianity and say, witchcraft, there can be no considered judgment as to which view is to be proposed.”
The reaction of these “tolerant” gay pride event attendees to a Christian exercising his right to share the gospel is disturbingly similar to the radical Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan (language alert):
I know a lot of gay people (many conservative) who are not on board with the militant gay agenda to force religious people to comply with their demands, cower in silence or go out of business. Conservative and Libertarian gays understand that rights for one cannot be won at the expense of another.
The people who organize “pride” events like this, however, are typically leftists who respect no one’s right to express a point of view that differs from their militant orthodoxy (a leftist trait exhibited by many other groups, including radical feminists and pro-abortion activists). They will do whatever it takes to censor, intimidate, and shame any dissenters into silence and submission.
So it’s rather naive of this preacher to be “surprised” at the level of intolerance and hate his message encountered. Saying “Jesus loves you” to a hurting individual with whom you have established a friendship may be kindly received, but in a crowd of anti-religious leftists being fed by the herd mentality all around them, those words can be like waving a red flag to a bull.
Still, it’s the police’s job to keep law and order. A man who is breaking no laws has a right to speak openly and respectfully, and be protected in doing so. His audience may respond angrily, but not unlawfully, and they certainly have no right to silence him or force him to move. If they cannot control themselves, THEY are the ones disturbing the peace – not the person they are unleashing their rage towards.
The police in this case rewarded the leftists’ temper tantrum – as if they have a right to never hear anything that offends them – by suppressing the 1st Amendment rights of a law-abiding citizen. It’s the kind of thing you see in Muslim countries to religious minorities who dare to express their beliefs in public (and all in the name of “tolerance”).
This is what happens when mob rule takes the place of the rule of law.
Radical leftist gay activists, like all leftists, aren’t interested in “tolerance.” They’re interested in suppressing and controlling anybody who gets in the way or dares to criticize their agenda. This is what Americans have to look forward to if we cow to their demands here in the US.
A considered and empathetic opposition to same-sex marriage has nothing to do with phobia or hatred, but that doesn’t stop Christians, conservatives, and anybody else who doesn’t take the fashionable line from being condemned as Neanderthals and bigots. This is a lesson that Canadians have learned from painful experience.
Same-sex marriage became law in Canada in the summer of 2005, making the country the fourth nation to pass such legislation, and the first in the English-speaking world. In the few debates leading up to the decision, it became almost impossible to argue in defense of marriage as a child-centered institution, in defense of the procreative norm of marriage, in defense of the superiority of two-gender parenthood, without being thrown into the waste bin as a hater. What we’ve also discovered in Canada is that it can get even worse than mere abuse, and that once gay marriage becomes law, critics are often silenced by the force of the law.
Although precise figures about gay marriages in Canada are elusive, there are thought to be fewer than 30,000, after an initial surge of around 10,000 as soon as the law was passed. But if large numbers of gay people failed to take advantage of the law, the law certainly took advantage of its critics. Again, definitive figures are almost impossible to state, but it’s estimated that, in less than five years, there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings — in courts, human-rights commissions, and employment boards — against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage. And this estimate doesn’t take into account the casual dismissals that surely have occurred.
In 2011, for example, a well-known television anchor on a major sports show was fired just hours after he tweeted his support for “the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” He had merely been defending a hockey player’s agent who was receiving numerous death threats and other abuse for refusing to support a pro-gay-marriage campaign. The case is still under appeal, in human-rights commissions and, potentially, the courts.
The Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, Alberta, Fred Henry, was threatened with litigation and charged with a human-rights violation after he wrote a letter to local churches outlining standard Catholic teaching on marriage. He is hardly a reactionary — he used to be known as “Red Fred” because of his support for the labor movement — but the archdiocese eventually had to settle with the complainants to avoid an embarrassing and expensive trial.
In the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, another case illustrates the intolerance that has become so regular since 2005. A number of marriage commissioners (state bureaucrats who administer civil ceremonies) were contacted by a gay man eager to marry his partner under the new legislation. Some officials he telephoned were away from town or already engaged, and the first one to take his call happened to be an evangelical Christian, who explained that he had religious objections to carrying out the ceremony but would find someone who would. He did so, gave the name to the man wanting to get married, and assumed that this would be the end of the story.
But no. Even though the gay couple had had their marriage, they decided to make an official complaint and demand that the commissioner be reprimanded and punished. The provincial government argued that, as a servant of the state, he had a duty to conduct state policy, but that any civilized public entity could accept that such a fundamentally radical change in marriage policy was likely to cause division, and that as long as alternative and reasonable arrangements could be made and nobody was inconvenienced, they would not discipline their employee for declining to marry same-sex couples. Anybody hired after 2004 would have to agree to conduct such marriages, they continued, but to insist on universal approval so soon after the change would lead to a large number of dismissals, often of people who had given decades of public service. This seemed an intelligent and balanced compromise. Yet the provincial courts disagreed, and commissioners with theological objections are now facing the loss of their jobs, with the situation replicated in other provinces and also at the federal level.
How can you tell when a re-election campaign is in serious trouble?
In a theater of the absurd, Obama is trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth on oil and gas prices as his approval rating plummets.
He’s so desperate that he staged a photo-op in Oklahoma to take credit for a part of the the Keystone pipeline that he had nothing to do with, and cannot be finished as long as he continues to block it:
President Barack Obama took credit for “directing” his administration to move on the southern half of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, a portion the federal government has little involvement in and which will not connect to the northern end of the pipeline unless the administration gives the okay, which it has twice refused to do.
Republicans in Congress were quick to point out that the portion the president talked about does not require federal approval, while Obama has blocked the portion that does.
The president traveled to Cushing, Okla., on Thursday as part of his energy tour, touting what he called an “all of the above” energy policy, although he blocked the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline – to run oil from Canada down through the United States to the Gulf Coast – in January and which would have created at least 20,000 American jobs.
The White House has confirmed that Obama lobbied Senate Democrats to vote against legislation to expedite the pipeline.
Even more bizarre, Obama claimed that he’s added pipeline “to encircle Earth and then some.” He went on to vow that he would “drill everywhere we can” before reiterating his claim that drilling won’t help to lower the price of gas:
“We are drilling all over the place,” Obama added, reading from a speech on his podium on a windy afternoon. “That’s the reason we have been able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil every year since I took office.”
While Obama has repeated in recent days that there’s no “silver bullet” that can currently ease the price at the pumps, he vowed that his administration will make oil-and-gas development a continued priority as part of a wider strategy focused on traditional and alternative energy.
“You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can and we will do it while protecting the health and safety of the American people,” Obama said, speaking with no jacket or tie. “That’s a commitment that I make.”
Obama also said that the problem is that we’re producing TOO MUCH oil and gas.
It’s like we’re living in an SNL sketch.
Like many others, The Daily Oklahoman is not amused. An editorial there questioned why in a time of out-of-control federal spending, is our opportunistic president burning up thousands of gallons of jet fuel and spending millions of taxpayer dollars for nothing more than phony photo ops to further his re-election campaign. Actually, the photo ops proved to be unbelievably phony. No? You decide.
Check out this series of pics, taken in Southeast New Mexico. Gee, is that a pump jack there just behind The Petro President? Could that be an oil tanker trailer in the background, freshly painted bright red so even the most obtuse, except for color-blind, voters won’t miss the subtle message? Oh, and is that a flagpole topped by Old Glory next to the pump jack? Having spent many years in and around the oil patch, I assure you that the only things less likely to be seen in that oilfield than flagpoles or bright red tanker trailers is dunes sagebrush lizards; or, well, maybe liberal Democrats.
The prez owes somebody big time for rounding up that crowd in the foreground. Seeing’s how there aren’t that many people living in or around Maljamar, NM, and knowing that Obama and his minions aren’t the most popular folks in the county, I’d guess the audience to be either bussed-in SEIU union members or the entire Democratic Party of Lea County. Of course they could be ordinary locals which would explain why we only see their backs. If locals, they probably all have their tongues sticking out prominently, blowing raspberries of disbelief at Beloved Leader.
All Obama has to go on is obfuscation, propaganda and smear tactics. It’s going to be a long way to November.
A 4-year-old draws a picture of her dad holding a gun and tells her teacher that it’s her dad shooting “monsters and bad guys.”
In the upside-down world of liberal insanity, this is considered enough of a threat to arrest the father, strip-search him, search his house, take the entire family for questioning, and have his children interrogated by social workers, who are most likely trying to determine whether or not to take the children away from the parents.
This is what happens when political correctness and anti-gun hysteria become public policy.
Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter’s school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.
Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.
“This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he said.
Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family’s home. They also said comments by Sansone’s daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and “he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” was concerning.
Police also searched Sansone’s home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.
Sansone’s wife, Stephanie Squires, told the newspaper no one told them why her husband had been arrested.
“He had absolutely no idea what this was even about. I just kept telling them, ‘You’re making a mistake.’”
If you’re thinking, “this could never happen in America,” think again.
Under the United Nations “Conventions On The Rights Of The Child” treaty, which Canada has signed, private gun ownership is considered a danger to children and a justifiable reason for the state to remove children from a parent’s custody:
UN child’s rights advocates believe, teach, and promote the idea that all private gun-ownership is dangerous for children, and that children have the right to grow up in a community that is free from all guns.
As the campaign to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child intensifies, it is important for all Americans to understand the application of this children’s rights treaty to the issue of private gun ownership by American citizens.
If the United States ratifies the UN Convention we will be willing parties in a regime that obligates us to disarm our citizens, keep guns from children, and indoctrinate American children to believe in the utopia of world disarmament.
Across the globe, leftists are united in their belief that the state is better equipped to determine what is best for children than the parents. In their minds, it is the state which has delegated parental responsibility to the children, not the parents who have a primary, unalienable right to raise their child as they see fit.
Government schools are an essential tool for the Nanny State to entrench themselves in a supervisory role over the child’s upbringing and home environment. In this case, all it took was a teacher’s “concern” over a child’s drawing for the parents to discover how illusory their parental rights – not to mention their rights to privacy and self defense – have become. In the minds of Canadian officials, they have none that cannot be instantly stripped away at the whim of the state.
Boehner slams Obama for rejecting Keystone pipeline after fast tracking Solyndra
View at Breitbart.tv
Insolvent “green” energy companies on the verge of bankruptcy? Not only does Obama want them, he’s willing to flush billions in taxpayer dollars into them!
An oil pipeline offered by a friendly neighbor that would create 20,000 jobs and pave the way towards energy independence? Heck no!
Since Obama doesn’t want their oil, Canada is already preparing to sell it to China instead. Way to kill thousands of jobs, empower competitors at our expense, and put us more at the mercy of Radical Islamic regimes in the Middle East, Obama!
Supposedly the State Department might still be willing to entertain an alternative route for the pipeline… but of course they’d dither forever, the President would repair to the golf course, and the “alternative route” will end up leading to Beijing.
President Obama wanted to keep his fingerprints off this by “delaying his decision” until 2013 or so, but in December, Congress forced his hand by requiring a decision within 60 days. Politico reports on the comical political scrambling by Democrats who realize they won’t be able to pin this disaster on George W. Bush, as energy prices are climbing, and $4 gas is right around the corner:
“There’s a good argument to be made to politically take it off the table earlier if the assumption is that the decision is going to be no,” one House Democratic aide said. “You take a contentious issue off the table before the State of the Union … and you’re allowed the room for the president to give his positive vision.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said if Obama did break the news during his speech it would send a big political signal. “I think it will be a clear sign that the president is willing to take on the Republicans,” she said. “That’s sort of setting the tone of how he’s going to be proceeding forward.”
Lord knows the Obama 2012 campaign is far more important than securing affordable energy for America. We sure wouldn’t want any of the wrong “big political signals” being sent during that State of the Union address – which, by the way, will be held on Day 1000 of the Democrat Party’s appalling failure to pass a budget for the bloated and dying government they love so much.
Maybe the Chinese Communist Party could send someone to appear at the State of the Union and thank Obama for all that lovely Canadian oil. Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is available to perform translations, if necessary.
The Republican-dominated House has passed the payroll tax extension that Obama demanded, with one caveat: approval of the Keystone Pipeline which would create 20,000 American jobs and make us less dependent on oil-rich state sponsors of terror.
But that’s simply too much for Obama and his Envirostatist cronies. He is threatening to veto the bill if it gets through the Senate (which is doubtful), and to shut down the government if they don’t pass the job-killing budget he demands. It’s his way or the highway. Now if you’ll excuse him, he’s got a very important Hawaiian vacation he’s already late for.
Whose letting ideology and blatant partisanship trump the country’s best interests, again?
Practicing the very kind of political gamesmanship it accuses Republicans of playing, the White House today indicated President Obama would shut down the government if Republican have not agreed to an extension of the payroll tax cut he supports.
“What the president is not willing to do is leave town or allow Congress to leave town without ensuring that 160 million Americans do not see their taxes go up next year, on average $1,000,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “They should pass a payroll tax cut extension, extension of unemployment insurance, and they can finish the spending bill all before leaving on their vacation.”
The government runs out of money Friday, and Congress must pass either a budget or agree to another “continuing resolution” that keep things afloat while work on the budget continues.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to various reports, is signed on the strategy and is intentionally slow-walking a nearly-completed bipartisan budget deal to try to prevent Congress from acting on it until Republicans agree to a payroll tax cut extension Obama supports.
House Republicans are currently trying to move a payroll tax and unemployment insurance extension bill, but Obama opposes it because it would force him to speed up a decision on whether to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada into the United States. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline, but Republicans and some unions say it will created jobs.
The White House in recent days has repeatedly bemoaned Republican efforts to tie the Keystone pipeline to the payroll tax bill, charging the GOP with cynically mixing unrelated issues.
Now the White House itself is playing the same type of game – though on a far larger scale – by holding the entire budget hostage to the payroll tax.
For Obama, ideology trumps jobs and economic prosperity. Every. Single. Time.
In the president’s view, extending the payroll tax cuts is more important than adding more people to the payrolls, unless they are making electric cars that catch fire or work for solar-panel makers that go bankrupt.
Any attempt to link the pipeline to a payroll tax cut extension will be vetoed, Obama said Wednesday as he stood next to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
President Obama has dropped any pretense that delaying the pipeline that would bring Canadian tar-sands oil to American refineries is really related to environmental safety concerns.
He knows it would create jobs, at least 20,000 directly and many more indirectly thanks to the multiplier effect he dismisses now but touted when he still believed in “shovel-ready” jobs that needed federal funding.
“However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline,” he said, “they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.”
He forget the stimulus effect of food stamps, something touted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
When it comes to payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and food stamps, Democrats and liberals believe in the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
You get back much more than you spend. In their skewed view, joblessness can create jobs.
While adding $250 billion to the deficit, according to Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute, extending the payroll tax holiday would provide up to $1,500 per family.
But, Brill notes, researchers Matt Shapiro and Joel Slemrod found that among recipients of tax rebates in 2001, only 22% spent the rebate, while the rest saved it or used it to pay off debt. A similar study of 2008 tax rebate recipients found only 20% spent it.
Contrast this with the 20,000 paychecks that would be added if the $7 billion Keystone XL project is completed. These workers would pay federal taxes. States along the route are projected to receive an additional $5.2 billion in property tax revenue.
Yet the administration that was happy to help Brazil with its deep sea drilling to be their best customer tells Canada, a secure and friendly source, no thank you.
It’s estimated Keystone XL will also create 118,000 spinoff and support jobs. We saw how Gulf Coast communities suffered after the administration imposed its drilling moratorium, which continues to this day in the form of a glacial and restrictive permitting process.
But, the administration contends, only food stamps and unemployment checks create spinoff jobs.
Amazingly, Barack Obama would rather his appease base than create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Over the past six months, the Keystone XL Pipeline’s prospects have oscillated between probable and unlikely. Now, Obama is bowing to the insatiable wing of his Party, the Greens, and delaying the Keystone pipeline until after the 2012 election.
This is a huge mistake.
TransCanada has said they will scrap the desperately needed construction project if it is delayed another year—the pipeline has already been pending for three years. With unemployment lingering around nine percent, the country can ill afford to scuttle this economic stimulus.
Drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, environmentalists threatened to Al Gore (support a third party candidate or sit out the election) Obama if he doesn’t kill this project. Bucking the facts and the American public, preliminary reports suggest that Obama has caved to pressure from the far Left.
The three false claims environmentalists are making about the Keystone Pipeline are easily refuted.
Claim 1: Building the pipeline will increase global emissions and harm the environment. The State Department has said that constructing the Keystone pipeline will result in “no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed Project corridor.” Furthermore, it is now possible that TransCanada will simply build a different pipeline to the Canadian coast and ship the crude Alberta oil to be refined in China. Whether or not Obama allows this pipeline to be built, the Canadian oil will be extracted, transported, and used.
Claim 2: The pipeline endangers the public. America is literally covered in pipelines. The easiest way to transport the enormous amount of oil needed to power our economy is through an infrastructure of pipelines. Trucks and boats, while utilized, cannot carry nearly as much oil or gasoline and are also susceptible to accidents. Until America has moved to a fully electric fleet (don’t hold your breath), pipelines are here to stay.
Claim 3: Keystone codifies the U.S. “addiction to oil.” Killing the Keystone Pipeline will do nothing to supplant the amount of oil Americans consume. EIA has predicted that U.S. daily consumption will increase to 21.9 million barrels of liquid fuels (nearly all of which are oil based) by 2035, a rise from about 19 million barrels per day in 2009. With the Keystone Pipeline now gone, the U.S. will have to import more foreign oil.
And here, by the way, are all the economic gains Obama is needlessly jeopardizing.
Nevermind all that, though: Obama’s fear of the environmental extremists is too great so onnce again, this President has put his re-election ahead of the country.
Muslim Man “Honor” Kills Wife, 3 Daughters After Canadian Gov’t Ignores Repeated Warnings, Cries For Help
“Honor killing” is a growing problem in the West, as Muslim Immigrants bring their barbaric traditions with them and Western governments prefer to focus on “tolerance” rather than taking the problem seriously and defending basic human rights.
It’s the Canadian Maple Leaf that flies high over the picturesque locks at Kingston Mills near this historic city, but on the night of June 30, 2009, it might just as well have been the black-red-and-green flag of Afghanistan, with its sacred line proclaiming the greatness of Allah.
What happened at the locks that night, Crown prosecutors alleged in Ontario Superior Court Thursday, was a so-called “honour killing,” the culmination of a violent misogynist Afghan culture that had been transplanted holus-bolus years earlier into the heart of central Canada.
Geeti Shafia, 13
“May the devil s— on their graves,” Mohammad Shafia told his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 20 days after the bodies of the couple’s three teenage daughters and Mr. Shafia’s first wife were recovered from a car in the water at the locks.
Found dead by drowning in a black Nissan Mr. Shafia had bought just eight days earlier – the suggestion implicit that he got it for that very purpose — were Rona Amir Mohammad, the barren wife who had been presented to the children and outsiders both as an “auntie,” and rebellious daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti.
Charged with four counts each of first-degree murder are Mr. Shafia, Ms. Yahya and their oldest son Hamed, who was 18 at the time. All are pleading not guilty.
The ghastly conversation was captured on a Kingston Police wiretap, prosecutor Laurie Lacelle told Judge Robert Maranger and a jury.
In another snippet recorded by the device police had placed in a family car, Mr. Shafia told Ms. Yahya, “They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion…they betrayed everything.”
He said whenever he saw the pictures taken by Zainab and Sahar on their cell phones – these were goofy shots of them posing in bras and panties, or with their forbidden boyfriends — “I am consoled.
“I say to myself, ‘You did well.’ Were they to come to life, I would do it again.”
In a detailed opening address of 90 minutes, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors they would hear from a variety of witnesses, including those to whom Rona Mohammad and the children had confided their fear of Mr. Shafia and Hamed.
In fact, what was most galling about the prosecutor’s overview of the evidence to come was how very openly the teenagers had rebelled against their parents — once, from a street corner in Montreal where the family lived, they begged a stranger to call 911 for them because they were so afraid to go home — and how little Canadian authorities and Canadian law helped them.
In fact, Quebec child protection authorities twice investigated complaints from Sahar’s school, once little more than three weeks before the four bodies were found.
In the first instance, Ms. Lacelle said, the social worker deemed the complaint to be “founded” – true, in other words – but closed the file anyway when Sahar wouldn’t talk to her once she learned that the worker would be obligated to tell her parents what she’d told her.
The next time she interviewed the girl two days later, “Sahar was wearing the hijab” and claimed things had improved at home.
In the second instance, though police in Montreal interviewed the children separately and had them open up about their maltreatment – including the fact that Mr. Shafia allegedly “often threatened to kill them” – the child protection worker interviewed the girls in the presence of their parents.
Zainab Shafia, 17
Unsurprisingly, they clammed up or recanted their earlier allegations, and the worker closed the file.
Though the family – Mr. Shafia, two wives and a total of seven children – left Afghanistan in 1992, they didn’t emigrate to Canada until June of 2007, with Rona Mohammad following six months later on a visitor’s visa.
She left a diary, found by police, which detailed the alleged beatings she suffered at her husband’s hands and the cruelty dished out to her by her fertile replacement, Ms. Yahya, who allegedly told her, “Your life is in my hands” and, “You are not his wife; you are my servant.”
Though Mr. Shafia and Hamed may have appeared the picture of successful and Westernized men – the father was wealthy, owned a shopping mall in Laval and had contracted to build an upscale home, and the family had lived in Pakistan, Australia and Dubai – behind closed doors, they might as well have been back in Afghanistan.
The oldest son Hamed was the head of the household when Mr. Shafia was away. He had a driver’s licence and his own cell phone, used his father’s silver Lexus, and helped him in business.
The daughters, meanwhile, had phones registered to either father or son, and Zainab was kept out of school for a full year after the family discovered she had a boyfriend.
It was her running away, in the spring of 2009, to a women’s shelter which sparked the family’s downward spiral, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors.
But Sahar, too, was rebelling. She had a boyfriend. She loved makeup and clothes, like her big sister. She wanted to be a gynecologist, and was moved by the plight of her native sisters in Afghanistan.
Once, miserable at facing the prospect of having to wear a hijab, she tried to kill herself. According to Rona Mohammad’s diary, Ms. Yahya snapped, “She can go to hell; let her kill herself.”
But it was the little girl, Geeti, who fought her parents most ferociously and who begged most blatantly for help.
Rona Amir Mohammad, Mohammad Shafia’s first wife
“She told her school,” Ms. Lacelle said. “She told the police. She told youth protection.”
What she told them was that she wanted to be out of her family home, to be placed with a foster family.
The teen was failing at school, late coming home, was caught shoplifting and was even sent from school for wearing revealing clothing.
Just weeks before she died, the school vice-principal phoned and told Ms. Yahya why she was being sent home.
It was Ms. Yahya who convinced Zainab to leave the shelter, who promised she could marry her boyfriend.
On May 18, she did get married, a ceremony witnessed, of course, only by the male members of the family.
At a later family dinner, her husband’s family refused to attend, and the marriage was annulled the same day. Plans were put in place for her to marry a cousin.
By the first of June that year, Hamed was in Dubai, and there, on his father’s laptop, began conducting Google searches. The key words the first time were, “Can a prisoner have control over their real estate?” Another, on June 20, had the following key words: “Where to commit a murder?”
Prosecutors allege that after a brief family vacation in Niagara Falls, the plan was put into action. An OPP expert witness will testify that in his opinion, the Nissan got “hung up” on the locks and Mr. Shafia’s silver Lexus “was used to push the Nissan” into the water.
Autopsies later revealed that only Sahar didn’t have, on the crown of her head, fresh bruising, which had occurred when the women were alive.
Rona Mohammad once told a friend overseas, who will testify here, that she was afraid to leave – afraid Mr. Shafia would kill her, and hurt the children.
The friend told her, Ms. Lacelle said, “She was not in Afghanistan. She was in Canada, and not to be afraid.”
How wrong that woman was.
This is what we’ve become?
When a society devalues life at ANY stage, this is the mentality you get. A baby’s unalienable right to life is subject to his mother’s whims, and the horror of a mother murdering her own child is downplayed and dismissed.
A woman who strangled and killed her newborn baby has been released and will face no jail time thanks to a judge who cited support for legalized abortion in Canada, where abortions are legal and paid for at taxpayer expense.
Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in the downstairs level of her parents’ home and then killed her baby son by throwing his body over the fence of their yard. Effert, 19 at the time of the infanticide, told the court she worried about what her parents would think of having to listen to the cries of a newborn baby in the house. Effert’s parents were not aware of the pregnancy and she initially told police she had not had sexual intercourse.
The boy was named Rodney and Effert reportedly used a pair of her own underwear to strangle him and take his life before tossing his body into her parents’ neighbor’s yard.
On Friday, Effert received a three-year suspended sentence from Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and, because of the ruling, she was able to go free on probation and face no time in prison for killing her child. Judge Veit issued the verdict in part because she heard testimony from witnesses that Effert faced sever persecution in prison, where fellow inmates called her “baby killer.”
But part of the ruling that also has pro-life advocates troubled is Judge Veit’s decision that Canada’s acceptance of legalized abortion entitled Effert to kill her child. Judge Veit ruled, according to multiple media reports, that because Canada allows abortions it reflects how “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”
“Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother,” said Veit, who said that, while what Effert did was “very grave,” there were no aggravating factors. Prosecutors said the aggravating factors included how Effert initially lied to police about whether she was a virgin and how she initially tried to blame the father of the child for her actions.
“I am of the view that those actions, along with the action of throwing her baby’s body over her back fence, are painful evidence of Ms. Effert’s irrational behavior as a result of her disturbed mind,”the judge said, according to the Sun News Network. “In summary, this is a classic infanticide case – the killing of a newborn or a justborn after a hidden pregnancy by a mother who was alone and unsupported.”
Ultimately, the judge rejected prosecutors’ call for a four-year prison term, saying the suspended sentence is “just” in the case.
Effert, who is now 25, saw her sentence put on hold thanks to a technicality over the 90-day jail term she served and she faces an additional charge of unlawfully disposing of a body. Effert must take counseling, perform 100 hours of community service, and must inform the court if she is pregnant again.
Effert was previously given life in prison in 2009 after a jury convicted her of second-degree murder but an appeal found the verdict was “unreasonable.” Effert was also convicted of murder by a Wetaskiwin jury in 2006 but a new trial was ordered in that case because of errors.
Because they’d prefer we continue to buy from radical Islamic regimes in the Middle East?
I was on Fox Business Tuesday night discussing Transcanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline which was proposed in 2008 as a1,600 mile extension of an existing network. Its purpose would be to tap into oil supply currently being extracted from Alberta’s controversial tar sands and ship it south to the storage facility at Cushing, OK and again to the Gulf Coast for distribution. Because it enters the US from a foreign country, in order for the project to proceed, the White House must first approve its construction. As such the Department of State must deem it in the national interest. A cursory Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has met DOS satisfaction so a potentially favorable ruling for Transcanada could be imminent.
The prospect of an Obama White House approving the Keystone XL is drawing heated protests from left-wing environmental groups who would see its green light as a betrayal by an administration they counted on being more eco-friendly. Ostensibly their concerns are the potential hazards of a spill somewhere along the massive trunk line. They point to last summer’s 800,000 gallon spillage in Kalamazoo, MI as an illustration of the risks. But really the issue is about a broader opposition to the tar sands extraction itself and the process’ rather large carbon imprint that results. There is little debate that the planet is warming, but rather how much/little human activity plays a role. But even if, for sake or argument, it was proven that human activity was having some effect, the greater debate remains: what to do about it. If so where and how?
Any new policy shifts that will have a significant impact on economic activity/viability need to be made only after exhaustive cost/benefit analysis. When it comes to climate change, the burning question is how much should we alter (read: restrict) economic activity now to head off possible issues relating to carbon emissions down the road? What price are we in the USA willing to pay for clean air and water? And how aggressive should we be if we inevitably find ourselves acting in a unilateral fashion vis-a-vis the developing world that has chosen economic growth over protecting its environment? The same questions pertain to the Keystone extension.
I could understand and respect the protesters’ concerns more if the issue was a proposed strip mining excavation within our borders in say Utah where our own tar sands reside. The process of extracting heavy crude oil from the sands is messy and inefficient. For example two tons of sands will yield a barrel of crude and it takes two gallons of water to extract a gallon of oil. The greenhouse emissions from the entire process from mining to burning the refined fuels in one’s tank is anywhere from 5% to 20% more than traditional drilling methods.
On the flip side Canada’s fields are vast. EIA estimates reserves at 178 billion barrels but Shell Canada estimates it to be as high as 2 trillion bbls…eight times Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves. The Keystone XL if built will transport 500,000 bbls/day. Oil we very much need access to if we are serious about weaning ourselves from Arab oil. Given such economic pros versus environmental cons we can and should have a substantive and rational discussion about whether it is wise to tap into our own vast oil tar sands reserves. But, alas, the most vocal in this climate change debate seem to be the proponents of either manic hyperbole or stubborn denial.
In the case of the Canadian product, I think the economic and national security benefits of permitting Transcanada to lay their Keystone extension to tap into Canada’s huge oil reservoir outweigh the potential risks of environmental impact. In this case, I believe the protesters of the new pipeline are being ideologically rigid, economically foolish, hypocritical and disingenuous. They are also taking a stand that is detrimental to national security.
First of all, the tar sands in question do not rest in the USA so even if the pipeline is not approved, the fields will still be mined, oil will still be extracted from the slurry and the end product will still be pumped in trunk lines over hundreds of miles of North America, ultimately to be shipped in dangerous oil tankers destined for more than eager buyers in Asia. To resist the pipeline in the name of eco-friendship is irrational. The Canadians will develop this product and sell it with or without us as trading partners. So 500k of bbl/day of oil will be lost to us from a stable and friendly supplier, right on our peaceful border.
So what is going on here? Is the issue for the environmentalists the inherent dangers in the operation of this 1,600 miles of new trunk lines? There are over 2.3 million miles of lines in the US network that transport hazardous materials including natural gas and crude oil every minute of every day. Why protest this one? When placed up against such numbers, their trunk line concerns ring hollow. The clarion calls of “We don’t want your dirty oil” is really what they are all about. They simply are opposed to tar sands on principle. This is self-defeating and a bit irrational. The oil is already there, it will not go away, so we best take it before one of our competitors jumps on the offer.
I view it this way. As of this writing we still have no power in my neighborhood due to Irene’s pop-in visit. Some of us have generators, others don’t. To not take Canada’s offer is tantamount to someone turning down my offer of an extension chord from my generator to their house because he opposes the carbon imprint of my gasoline-powered internal combustion engine that drives my generator. It matters little to me of course. I’ll just offer it to the guy in the next house over while you wait for the advent of solar powered generators that may or may not be developed in the next decade or so. It doesn’t help you now though…nor does it compel me to shut down my generator so the carbon foot print remains. But such is ideological rigidity when it trumps common sense.
The USA currently imports 50% of its oil. Fortunately much comes from friendly nations on our border like Canada and Mexico. But nearly 20% comes from OPEC nations. If the OPEC nations are not openly hostile, they are either unstable or certainly no friends of ours like Canada. The history of many wars in the 20th century is that of a quest for resources…Russia and Africa had it, Germany needed it. Indochina had it, Japan needed it. And it serves as a stark lesson to us that those two nations were eventually brought to their knees as much by the cutting off of their raw materials—energy especially—as by combat in the field. The extent to which a nation cedes control of its own energy infrastructure to a foreign source is directly correlated to its vulnerability. Therefore, the more energy we provide domestically, the more secure we will be. And the less need for costly and endless wars that make us many enemies and few if any friends.
Today where the USA is concerned, the unstable Middle East has much of the oil we need. Hence our endless adventures in this region and the cost in lives and treasure and international good will as a result. (Honestly, what makes an Iraqi’s life more valuable to us than a Sudanese’s?). The upside of a peace dividend windfall from no longer maintaining a military presence in a region whose resources we no longer need defend and secure is self-evident. Such a windfall could even be steered towards green technology R&D if we so choose it. Ironically I’ll wager that same self-righteous crew out on the streets protesting domestic energy initiatives will also be the first to scream “No Blood For Oil!” when we’re compelled to enter into yet another Mideast conflict to protect our energy and economy. You cannot have it both ways…not today at least.
There are two congruent paths that our national energy policy must follow. Short term: take advantage of resources on this continent in the form of sands, shale, coal, natural gas and biomass to wean us at least off those 4mm/bbl every day we import from OPEC. Long term: create a healthy economic environment free of draconian regulations that lowers barrier to entry and will lay the proper foundations of profit incentives to be had in green technology. China (who will gladly take the 500k barrels off Canada’s hands if the White House passes) burns a lot of oil for today’s economy; they are also the global leaders in developing solar and wind power for the future hydrocarbon free world we all want. Why is it that we cannot do both as well?
Last Friday on a conference call with reporters about the Obama Administration’s long-term energy proposals, Energy Secretary Steven Chu responded to a question about the situation in Egypt, saying: “Certainly any disruption in the Middle East means a partial disruption in the oil we import. It’s a world market and [a disruption] could actually have real harm of the price. The best way America can protect itself against these incidents is to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, in fact to diversify our supply.” This is a nice sentiment. Unfortunately, everything the Obama Administration is doing is only increasing our dependence on foreign sources of oil.
Secretary Chu is right: Oil does sell on a world market. But transportation and other distribution factors do segment oil markets somewhat. In fact, the United States is currently paying about $10 less for a barrel of oil than European and Asian nations are. Why? Because of U.S. access to oil refined from Canadian oil sands. Access to these vast natural resources is a great diversification of our oil supply. But now the Obama Administration is trying to make it harder for American consumers to get Canadian oil. The Obama Environmental Protection Agency is stonewalling approval for the Keystone pipeline, which would increase the amount of oil the U.S. receives from Canada by over a million barrels per day. And that is not the only oil the Obama Administration is trying to keep out of American consumers’ hands.
Offshore, the Obama Interior Department has blocked access to 19 billion barrels of oil in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico—and another 10 billion barrels estimated in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast. Onshore, federal leasing of oil and gas exploration in the western United States has dropped significantly in the past two years. According to data compiled by the Western Energy Alliance, the Bureau of Land Management offered 79 percent fewer leases for oil and natural gas development in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming in 2010 than in 2005. And then there is the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil lie beneath a few thousand acres that can be accessed with minimal environmental impact.
Allowing Americans to develop these resources could easily produce at least 1 million new barrels of oil a day. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis estimates that, if the United States managed to increase its domestic oil production by 1 million barrels a day, it would create an additional 128,000 jobs and generate $7.7 billion in economic activity.
As bad as these existing energy policies are, President Obama’s planned energy policies are even worse. Today, the President is meeting with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D–NM) to plot passage of a clean energy standard (CES) bill. CES is just another cap-and-trade, energy-tax-like policy, except it’s all cap and no trade. A CES would mandate that all electricity providers generate a certain percentage of energy from carbon-free sources. Just like cap and trade, this policy is fundamentally just an energy tax that would drive up everyone’s electricity prices. Ironically, this would make electric vehicles even more expensive to operate, but we’re sure the Obama Administration would offer another round of taxpayer-funded subsidies to fix that problem.
Government policies that ban economically feasible energy development while subsidizing economically unsustainable ones only raise energy costs rather than lowering them. What the U.S. economy really needs is a truly free-market energy approach, one that includes (1) real nuclear energy reform, not more loan guarantees; (2) predictable and sensible coal regulations; (3) reduced regulation on renewable energy; (4) an end to all energy subsidies; and (5) common-sense limits to environmental litigation.
Congress should not let unrest in the Middle East scare them into energy policies that would make all our energy only more expensive. More bans on energy development, more subsidies for economically unproven technologies, and expensive new alternative energy production mandates are not the answer. America needs a true free-market approach to energy, and we need it now.
Canadian airport security personnel do not ask veiled Muslims women to lift their veils, show and ID, and prove their identity; the veiled women do not even interact with security personnel: rather, a man traveling with the women typically hands in all the passports and is the only one to communicate with airline staff while the veiled women simply walk through, unchecked and unidentified; a video showing two veiled women walking unchecked through security at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport causes outrage in Canada.
Frequent flyers know the drill well: take off your shoes, surrender your tweezers, and pack your shampoo in those little plastic baggies before lining up for the naked body scanners. How about lifting your niqab? Apparently not.
The Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley and Bryn Weese write that neither airlines nor security services are asking Muslim women to lift their veils and prove that the face beneath matches their photo ID.
The issue came to light through a video taken by Mick Flynn of Bradford, England. Flynn was boarding a flight at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport when he witnessed two women with their faces covered board an Air Canada Heathrow-bound flight without being asked to remove their veils.
In fact, in the video that Flynn has posted online, a man traveling with the women hands in all the passports and is the only one to interact with airline staff while two veiled women simply walk through.
“I complained at the desk — and again as I boarded the plane — asking if the pilot was happy that two women boarded without being identified,” Flynn told QMI News Agency. “Both members of staff whom I spoke to were flustered and clearly embarrassed.”
Lilley and Bryn Weese write that Flynn’s communication with Air Canada and his video posting have resulted in a threatened lawsuit from the airline. As for answers from the company about security procedures, their response reveals holes in Canada’s air security.
“Airline passengers have already undergone multiple security checks before arriving at the boarding gate,” Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told QMI. “A final check is made at the gate prior to boarding in order to confirm passengers on the flight.”
Air Canada says it is capable of checking identification in a private room away from the check-in counter, but said the real responsibility for security measures lies with CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency.
CATSA. disagrees. Greg MacDougall, a spokesman for CATSA, told QMI that their guards are primarily looking for metal, weapons, or other banned material, not ensuring that veiled faces match passport photos. “We don’t have concerns with that. We have concerns with the fact if the person has any metal under their clothing,” MacDougall said.
A former CATSA employee, who, until recently worked as a frontline screener, tells QMI: “We were never allowed to ask anyone with a veil to lift it. It is their religion.”
Frontline workers for several airlines say that any checks, if they happen at all, would likely happen at the check-in desk, not at boarding or security.
Most airports, however, have wide gaps between where baggage is checked and the secure portions of the airport.
Transport Canada says there should be no confusion: “The airline must be able to verify the identity of all passengers before they are allowed to board,” the department said in a written statement.