Life is Belief & Struggle - Ahmed Shawqi

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Economic Traitors

I voted against NAFTA. I thought it was a bad idea then, and nothing I have learned since, has made me change my mind. The innate inequalities between US and Canada were too vast. A higher standard of taxation, differing minimum wages, pollution controls, health and safety, costs of operating, standard benefits were literally worlds apart. I do not have enough hands to count all the people I knew who lost their decent jobs to companies relocating their manufacturing to the United States. Furniture, cabinetry makers, small appliances, electronics, shoes, clothing, food and auto industries were either decimated or hit hard in Canada. Then came, the expansion of NAFTA with the entry of Mexico, and the nightmare just rolled on.

Many of those workers never found replacement jobs that provided even close to the same standard of living. Many of those workers did ‘retrain’ but their age and educational level often worked against them. It’s amazing what the impact 3-4 years of low wage retail sector employment and accumulative debt will do to your financial future. The 90’s was all about being turning Canada into a technical tech hub so we trained our young to be techies since we had destroyed our manufacturing sector. Then came 2000’s and so began the rapid outsourcing of white collar and technical professionals. 

Everyone tells you globalization is here to stay. You cannot turn back the tide. It’s a lie but I understand whose interest it is in to prompt this myth and let me give you a hint; it is not ‘we the people’.

Rarely do we get a glimpse inside the modern day robber barons, but this video originally posted on Facebook gives us a glimpse of life behind the corporate veil. The video begins with a Carrier official addressing their workers. “It became clear that the best way to stay competitive, and protect the business for the long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterey, Mexico.” No doubt notice was given in order for the company to be in compliance with the WARN ACT.

The Carrier official entreats the crowd to understand, it’s not personal, but the business, the thing must be protected at all costs. Their lives and fate are meaningless outside this Borg. This thing is what must be protected at all costs.



Carrier indianapolis plant is closing 2017
Posted by LaKeisha Austin on Wednesday, February 10, 2016


There is an act of irony here. Carrier is relocating to Mexico to produce a product for re-sale in the United States, a product, a thing, that these very American workers may not be able to purchase in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, Carrier was granted a US$5.1 million 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit in order to expend its Indianapolis operations. In a just state, this should be repaid in full with interest before it leaves the US. Instead, it’s ‘we the people’ who have underwritten the profit and shareholder value for this crony capitalist. Frankly, I would lose no sleep if the Carrier workers started to tar and feather these economic traders. Why any economic traitor should be allowed the safety and security of the Nation state at the expense of ‘we the people’. I never thought I would quote Pat Buchanan but he put it most succinctly, "Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name."

There is a solution. A system of tariffs based on the equalization of wages, workers and human rights, subsidizations, health care, pensions, environment and health and safety standards for the importation of products made in countries who have no or lower standards than our own would go a long way to protect ‘we the people’. The only role for the nation state in the modern era is to protect and promote the well-being of ‘we, the people’. If the nation state does not protect ‘we the people’ then the Nation betrayed the social contract.

As for me, since adding shareholder value has become an all-encompassing pre-occupation with our business leaders, I am waiting for the day wherein, Boards all over the corporate world, recognize CEO’s can be outsourced to China, and a Chinese CEO can be had for USD$270,000 instead of millions.

Now that’s real shareholder value.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Give a Vegan a leaf and and he'll demand a human right, give a vegan a human right, and he'll want to take yours; 'cause you are wearing a leather belt.....

Some of the most joyless soul suckers have to be modern VEGANS.  

There is no way faster to ruin a party or a good time than to have just one of these joy suckers into a room. Quickest way to ruin a Shabat dinner? Invite just one vegan. Just one.  The moral preening and exaggerated sense of entitlement beggars belief. 

I don't care what dietary choices you make, but why do vegans insist on preening and being preachy to the rest of us?Just keep it to yourself and get on with it.  But no, they couldn't do that.

Now they want to be a protected 'creed'. Toronto Star.

Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, has been fighting for veganism to be recognized by the Human Rights Code since she was a law student in 2011.“I wouldn’t call it an epidemic, but I do hear cases regularly of people who feel they have faced discrimination for their beliefs about animals,” she said.

 Animal Justice believes the updates could assist vegans in cases where students refuse to dissect animals, wear a work uniform with an animal-based component such as a leather belt or even ensure vegans aren’t excluded at work events held at steakhouses. “This is a really big step forward for human rights in Ontario,” said Labchuk. “It protects people like ethical vegans for whom not doing harm is more important than anything.”

Ethical veganism refers to people who not only follow a vegan diet but also extend the philosophy to the rest of their life and oppose harming animals or using any animal by-products.But some critics say ethical vegans may have bitten off more than they can chew.“The Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Code were put into place to combat real persecution based on a person’s cultural, ethnic or religious affiliation,” wrote Amanda Hohmann, of B’Nai Brith’s League For Human Rights, in an email to the Star. “Should the interpretation of what constitutes creed be broadened to the point where any meaningful protection becomes difficult, this would weaken the effectiveness of existing legislative protections.”

Dominique Clement, a sociology professor at the University of Alberta, said he suspects the Ontario human rights tribunal won’t ever actually recognize veganism, but if it does, it will come down to whether or not accommodating their “creed” is reasonable.“If the person works in a restaurant, for example, and doesn’t have to wear leather, then that is absolutely a legitimate objection,” he said. “On the other hand, if you want to work at Danier, then you can’t ask your employer not to be around leather.”

However, he added it’s crucial for human rights law to evolve over time, so there is a chance ethical vegans will one day be recognized.“The idea of veganism as a creed sounds crazy.” he said. “But keep in mind there was a time when the idea that gay people and lesbians have a right to not be discriminated against was equally absurd.”

The other joyless soul suckers news; the Temperance movement philosophy just refuses to lay down and die a well-deserved death. Ever since the Toronto Star turned off comments the paper seems to have become more 'nanny' than news.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

There is no human right to throw rocks at (or stone) Jews.




First this, from the Jerusalem Post: 
Customs workers in Haifa thwarted an attempt to smuggle 4,000 anti-Israel stuffed dolls to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank Tuesday, according to the Jerusalem Post's sister paper Maariv. The dolls, which were dressed in the Palestinian colors of red, green, black, and white, and in face-covering keffiyehs which had the slogans "Jerusalem is ours," and "Jerusalem, here we come" inscribed on them, were found in a container which was labeled by the importer as having had contained articles of clothing, rugs, and plastic products. 

The dolls, which originated in the United Arab Emirates and were en route to the Palestinian Authority, were meant to be used as tools of incitement for Palestinian youth. With rocks in their hands, the dolls encouraged the long-time phenomenon of assailing Jews with rock-throwing. 

 
The container's contents were spotted by workers at Haifa customs and held-back from dispatch in order to undergo further investigation.  "These dolls were making their way to the Palestinian Authority with one clear purpose," Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Tuesday. "And that was to poison the minds of innocent children." "The Palestinians are continuing to incite their youth, using any means necessary to educate them about violence and hatred. Here, it's in the form of a doll," she said.




York University Mural and Dr. Dawg's position. 
I might be more sympathy for Dr. Dawg’s position, if the artist had not painted the rocks into the hands of a young Palestinian man.

The minute the rocks were in play – it verges into the glorification of Anti-Semitic violence which has no place in any Canadian university.

One last thing I want to add. I kept looking at this mural, and something registered with unease, I cannot say for sure the rocks in the hand, and then, it came to me. The eye draws you to the rocks in hand, and above the rocks a flag of Palestinian, and above the flag of Palestine, the outline of the entire state of Israel. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Take back the food supply



I went to the grocery store this week. The papers have been fill of articles like this CBC report but the price of everything floored me and that’s saying something since I keep a kosher kitchen. 


Coffee was absolutely outrageous.  One of the items on my list was garlic. California garlic was $2.99 for 3 small bulbs. Chinese garlic was $.99 for six. Then there is ‘Organic’ but grown in Mexico for $5.99 for 3 bulbs. Organically grown seems like a bit of misnomer since all vegetables grown in the ground or from trees and vines are ‘organic’.  I guess this means without pesticides and/or non-chemically made fertilizer...of course, just what kind of fertilizer used could be rather problematic from a health perspective.....but hey, its’ organic.

I think to myself how is this possible that garlic which is grown half a world away and have to be freighted via ship and then road to Canadian supermarkets can be cheaper than garlic grown in California? There is no ocean to cross, and yet, it is decidedly cheaper. I looked for Canadian grown garlic, and there was none.  Potatoes were the only Canadian vegetable I could find.  

I went looking for canned tomatoes and could not find one can of Canadian grown tomatoes. I am not saying there aren’t any, just none in the grocery store I was in. Some of the cans will fool you. Packaged in Canada, but a product of China, this makes me wonder about the so-called ‘packaged’ in Canada really means.  Is it just the bilingual label? How do we really know? And just how has it come to be that the shelves in our grocery stores are not teeming with food made, processed and packaged in Canada? But they are not.

There is nothing that cannot be grown in Canada. It could be expensive, at least initially, although $8 dollars for a head of cauliflower isn’t exactly ‘cheap’ but I digress. There is nothing we cannot grow. This country has space, access to water, and the technology to grow everything here. There is no reason why we could not have large scale greenhouse orange groves but we don’t. We became world leaders in growing hydroponic marijuana; so why can't we do this for oranges, lemons, grapes and limes?

It seems ridiculous and foolish, in a modern first world like nation like Canada, that our entire food supply is dependent almost entirely on foreign sources and often subject to huge price fluctuations owing to international currency volatility. Part of the blame is a lazy media with poor math skills and limited cognitive reasoning that is all too willing to blindly accept any explanation given by someone uttering it authoritatively...and don’t get me started on how voodoo economics shapes and influences commodity markets.

Just think about this, our dollar has dived (around 12%) against the US dollar but it has grown 10% stronger against the Mexican peso but produce from Mexico has risen dramatically in price – meanwhile the price of gasoline keeps plummeting...so why isn’t the higher purchasing power from the Canadian dollar and lowered transportation costs reflected in lower prices in produce from Mexico?  Even the offset the weak Canadian dollar with the lowered price of gasoline and then there is no reason but the greed to explain $8 cauliflower. 

But really, the less said about health consequences for foreign farming/processingstandards, the better. And, if you really must eat pre-package breakfast cereals and snacks, do you really need to eat Corn Flakes, Special K or Pop Tarts made and processed in Thailand? 


We need to take back our food supply.



As for me, I am taking one of those California bulbs of garlic and planting it. For less than a $5 initial investment, I will have approximately a year’s supply of garlic growing in my home come July/August. At the end of the summer, when Ontario grown tomato harvest comes in, I will take off two days and start canning for the year.

I watched Occupied so you won't have to.


The daughter and I have an allergy to the cold so our post-shabat ritual is to watch television together. I just watched the most ridiculous show television series on Netflix; Occupied. She picked it. I asked her what it was about. Norway turns off its gas and oil production in the ultimate greenie move so the EU asks Russia to invade.
I started to laugh, I mean really? Why didn’t the EU ask Britain or even Germany?

I am told this show was a hit in Norway, and it is also apparent from watching that Norwegians have a really exaggerated sense of their own importance. I mean, why would the Russians even bother? It would be easy enough for the Russian to just sell oil and gas to the EU. It’s a win-win for everyone - the Russians make money and the EU gets its gas and oil. Besides, invasions are expensive and after watching half the series it really was much of an invasion. No soldiers or tanks in the street but the Russian patronage did save a restaurant across the embassy from bankruptcy.

Of course, the Norwegians are outraged against the non-visible Russian occupation and lack of tanks and soldiers in the street occupation. A group of resistance fighters called the Free Norway movement manages to rise. A group is a bit of an overstatement. The entire membership of Free Norway movement consists of 2 freedom fighters. A former soldier who attempted to assassinate the Russian Ambassador but somehow manages to be released to lead the resistance (we never learn how exactly he pulled that off) and the teenage son of a former political refugee from Chechnya.

The teenager’s Dad kills himself in a Norwegian jail after receiving a 2 year prison sentence for vehicle manslaughter when he accidentally ran over and killed a Russian embassy worker. Instead, the Dad should have tried to kill the Russian Ambassador. Apparently, that kind of thing isn’t jail worthy...The two get their ideological talking points from a university professor. My bad, I forgot one. A young university law student clerking at a court gets caught trying to steal information on security warrants. She doesn’t go to jail but has to face the university justice...uhm.

There is an utterly strange and pacifist vibe to the entire show. At one point my daughter asked how these people were the descendants of Vikings. I pointed out that the Norsemen who went Viking didn’t stay there. Now I get why. I would have gone Viking too.

This has got to be the strangest show I have watched. Ironically, the acting isn’t bad and obviously the production values are very high. The interior design makes the entire country look like one giant Ikea display which is kind of bizarre in its own way. Imagine an entire country having only one design style or a MacDonald’s that is totally Ikea-ized. Anyway, I won’t finish it. I only watched as much as I do owing to the train wreck phenomena, I just couldn’t believe it was happening. The plot is ridiculous and not in a humorous good way. Now Lillyhammer was hysterically funny show set in Norway. Netflix canceled it last summer but I get it. Liberals don’t like being made funny of, and in light of the ongoing asylum crisis in Europe the show put on display everything wrong with the culture of multi-cult. Anyway, 3 seasons are still available to watch.





Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Scent of Women



Much has been written, (well not at first, but in the last two weeks) about the events on New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Finland. Apparently, the number of women attacked in Cologne, stands at 821, and as horrific as that is, the reality is much darker.

A bombshell dossier lifted the lid on the shocking failures of officers to protect women being groped and raped by rampaging refugees during the horrific attacks on New Year's Eve.  

It reveals how police waited more than four hours to take action against the migrants perpetrating the horrific sexual assaults - by which time more than 200 attacks including gang rapes had already taken place.The damning report, compiled by Germany's Interior Minister Ralf J├Ąger, will fuel growing anger over authorities' handling of the Cologne sex attacks amid suspicions politically correct authorities wanted to cover up the crimes to protect Angela Merkel's open door immigration policy. 

Shockingly it reveals how weeping women ran to officers for sanctuary as early as 8.30pm on the night to tell them they had been sexually assaulted by gangs of migrants. Express UK
Such multitudes will inevitably contain criminals and psychopaths, as in every human population. It is equally inevitable that the behaviour of the latter will be amplified by regular and social media. But we cannot so easily dismiss the gross misbehaviour of migrants and asylum-seekers in Germany and elsewhere a few weeks ago. The sheer scale of these incidents, the organized nature of them, the demonstration of male entitlement conveyed, served to inflame an always-festering stereotype—the perennial bugaboo of the Other as sexual monster. We think of the Southern American preoccupation with supposed Black threats to the “purity” of white women. And we are reminded of Hitler’s own racial obsessions:
“The dark-haired Jewboy lurks in ambush for hours, satanic joy upon his face, for the unsuspecting girl, whom he poisons with his blood, thus stealing her from her people.” Then again he tells of the “rape of hundreds of thousands of girls by bow-legged repulsive Jew-bastards.” And another time: “These dark parasites on our people deliberately rape our inexperienced young blonde girls and thus destroy something which cannot be replaced in this world.”

This sort of thing never lies far beneath the surface, and the New Year’s events were more than sufficient to permit them to burst forth once again. The defensive posture of the police and some media did not help matters, feeding fears of conspiracy among the tinfoil helmet set. It seems almost naive simply to insist that the law be applied, and that the wrongdoers be prosecuted no matter what their ethnicity or citizenship status might be. It is also obvious that the vast majority of asylum-seekers and migrants were likely as appalled by this loutishness as you and I are.

Gross misbehaviour? Loutishness? What happened New Years Eve in Cologne and other European cities wasn’t a question of being ill-mannered and can be easily remedied with a few sensitivity sessions run by the state. 

Let me assure you, and I am speaking as a woman; women don’t want to be raped or molested in the public square because we fear potentially ‘diluting’ our race.  

Funny how it’s only 'rape culture'  when the perpetrators are white western males.

Two Hundred sexual assaults lodged by 8:30pm and the German police did not think to put out a public announcing warning women of an imminent threat to their person? Of course, to do so might have been seen 'to inflame an always-festering stereotype - the perennial bugaboo of the Other as sexual monster'. 

And I really have to question just how obvious it is that the vast majority of asylum seekers were appalled by this. Where is the proof? I would like to believe Dawg is right but I see scant evidence of this. We have the Imam of a Cologne mosque stating the victims brought it on themselves by the way the women dressed and the fact they wore perfume in public. 

Then there is the very progressive mayor of Cologne saying women need to be sensitive to the culture of the asylum seekers and watch our dress and keep men at least one arm’s length away. What's next? We cover up in the chador in public, ride women only trains, taxis and buses? Not leave home without a male relative to escort us? 

That Cologne crowd numbered in the thousands, and yet, men did not overwhelming come to the aid of the women trying to run the gauntlet between the Cathedral and the train station. The few men, and I do mean few men, who tried were beaten by the mob. 

The vast majority of asylum seekers come from some of the most misogynistic, homophobic and racist cultures. The vast majority of asylum seekers are not fleeing to escape the misogyny, racism or homophobic elements of their culture. And if the Imam of Cologne is typical, well then, I suspect, the vast majority are quite okay with those bits of their culture. 

A Women of the World article puts the PC culture in perspective. 

Any discussion of the collective sexual assaults as ethnically, racially and ideologically motivated is off limits. “I am sad but not surprised,” Alice Schwarzer, the leading second-wave German feminist, and editor of Emma.de magazine told Women in the World.

“Many feminists have remained silent from the outset regarding the problem of Islamist agitation, out of fear they will be accused of racism. It’s the old hierarchy of victims, that we already knew in [the student protests of] 1968. Then it was called class struggle before the battle of the sexes. Today it is called anti-racism against feminism.

“It is unfortunately a fact that many of the so called ‘post-feminist’ Internet feminists who are for pornography and prostitution are in favor of the head scarf and even the burqa. They say this is all about the free choice of women But this individualistic reasoning ignores the importance of underlying political structures.”

Schwarzer, who works in Cologne, became a lightning rod for feminist and anti-racist anger after New Year’s Eve when she condemned the attacks on women as a “gang bang” designed to terrorize women. In self-defense, however, Schwarzer says she never sought to ignore the fact that there is “a problem with epidemic, structural violence against women in Germany, as anywhere in the world”. 

“Violence is always the dark core of domination, whether it is between ethnic groups, or between different peoples or between the sexes. We feminists have successfully fought this violence over the past 40 years. Today the victims know it is not them but the perpetrators who must be ashamed. However the crime scene on New Year’s Eve seems very strange, because in Germany we have never seen this before: mass sexual violence in public with a powerless police looking on. This is a whole new dimension. “I think this explosion of sexual violence on the same night in five countries and in a dozen cities is no coincidence. This is organized.”

Her unflinching approach has nothing to do with scapegoating a religion, and everything to do with ideology, the feminist insists. “I’m not talking about Muslims, or Islam as a faith. I’m talking about the politicization of Islam, the right-wing Islamism, whose banner is the veiling of women. This started in Iran in 1979 with Khomeini, and (elsewhere) it has been financed by Saudi Arabia. The Islamists firmly established themselves in Afghanistan and Chechnya (with introduction of Sharia law in 1994), Algeria (200,000 dead in the 1990s) and are now are arriving triumphant in the heart of Europe.

So yeah, Dr. Dawg, we are entering the Camp of the Saints territory, and you were warned.

But progressives were too busy singing Imagine and picturing the world without borders to care about anything other than the "Other".   

But oh me, oh my, 'What is to be done?", barks the Dawg.

What a farce of a question.