Saturday, March 26, 2005

Getting on my Soap Box

I'd like to take this time to halt my entirely self serving semi-hiatus from commenting on political affairs to focus on my studies, to tell the various people whom are freaking out across the blog sphere about various aspects of the conservative policy platform to a) stop whining b) chill out.

Not being a hardcore social liberal, or a social conservative but vacilating somewhere in between those poles I thought the convention went pretty well and took a middle of the road approach. On the other hand I'm seeing some blogs issuing angry harrangues about how the CPC has "joined the culture of death". No, no we haven't. If private members want to work towards putting forward a bill on abortion that's still their thing. There are more pro-life members of the CPC than any other party. Harper just said what he's always said before, the party has no policy, its a matter of individual conscience.

Seriously though, pro-life people need to take their rhetoric and tone it down a few notches. Now this comes from someone whose often accused of issuing forth Cross Fire like responses to various comments. I'm not immune to falling into partisan and somewhat condescending rhetoric, but "babykillers" is probably not something that you want to throw out there to begin with. It may feel good but its not goin to change anyone's mind. But I digress, what I'm saying is that essentially your pretty much where you were before, a supportive caucus but its not any part of party policy, so calm down eh? Not wanting to make anti-abortion part of party policy and to thereafter have to try and defend everyone who starts waving pictures of mutilated fetuses and shouting "baby killer", isn't exactly all the stern a rebuke. Its some basic political self-preservation, where we get to have our cake and eat it too.

As for the social liberals who are kicking up a fuss over the party reaffirming its opposition to gay marriage - seriously this is a "conservative party" what the hell were you expecting? Honestly, when a "conservative party" take a more left wing approach to an issue than arch liberal John Kerry, its to the left of the issue of Tony Blair, and is basically copying the solution of the socialist government of France - where do you people get off complaining about this? How much less conservative could we really be with out position supporting civil unions?

The "ooh but its a question of human rights and the courts said so, its about treating citizens equally" response is essentially a heaping pile of dung. Marriage is a human right? Says who? The gay rights lobby, and a bunch of liberal partisans who are looking for some trendy cause. The rest of the world save two silly European countries disagrees, I don't happen to see any UN Convenant of how "gay marriage is really a human right" being drafted. The majority of Canadians don't think gay marriage is a human right, although they don't really have anything in particular against gays so they're willing to allow them the tax and pension benifets of a civil union.

Quite frankly I'm sick and tired of hearing how everything is a right. My response at this point is "f*ck you, its a bloody privelege not a right". The whiny, irresponsible nature of so many people who graspe and things that exist and trumpent their entitlement to it has gotten out of control. At this point I wouldn't be entirely opposed to shipping each and every one of you whiny hardcore social liberals off to a third world dictatorship and thereafter let you all argue with them about your "human rights". Their a polite fiction based on what society deems appropriate, nothing more, nothing less.

I don't find various Courts of Appeal stacked with Liberal partisans to be the supreme arbitrators of what is or is not right. I'll leave social consensus to society itself rather than in the hands of an olijarchy. As a law student, I'm personally repulsed at how section 7 with its "fundamental principles of justice" and "equality rights" seem to be interpreted in whatever arbitrary and fanciful notions a judge seems to deem fitting at any point in time. Its the fundamental problem with our legal system today - entirely too much judicial discretion. The British system with its traditional role of having parliament as the final arbirator of the law by simply overriding the courts with a new statute, allow it clean up any of the messes the courts make with abuse of that discretion is highly preferable to the nonsensical mess the Charter has made of Canada. To all of you lefties - the Charter isn't even a Canadian invention. Its a knock off of the American Bill of Rights, and like most things we copy from the Americans we didn't do nearly as good a job with it.

Social change shouldn't be being imposed top down by elites in any case, it should come from the ground up. It should be a choice made by people. And if the people disagree with you, well then that's just the way democracy work - too bad.

So if social liberals are mad that alot of us don't buy the whole gay marriage as a human right thing - tough. If your going to run off, cry, not vote, quit the party, join the liberal party or whatever - to be blunt I really didn't like you much to begin with so don't let the door hit you on the way out.

As for some of the 16 year olds running to the media to cry and saying how they are going to take out liberal memberships because they don't have a formal youthwing in the conservative party - I hate you too. Yea, I didn't forget about you guys. While I'm directing my angst against various factions that are currently aggrivating me, I will now publically state that if your allegiance to the Conservative policy is so shallow that whether or not you get some sort of council or are able to set up clubs to flood conventions with automatic delegates a la Mulroney in '83 with charm schools and driving schools suddenly having Conservative Campus clubs - then you don't belong here in the first place. Come back when your finished with puberty and have an actual interest in conservative ideas.

That really applies to all the single issue whiners. If your allegiance is that shallow - I sincerely dislike you and wish bad things to happen to you. If you can't shallow your pride, and take a little water in your wine and see that while there might be a few things in our policy you disagree with there are a tremendous number of proposals that will be good not only for you but for Canada and Canadians - then your a petty, small person. No one gets everything they want, everything that came out of the conference is sure as hell better than what the red light district Liberals seem to be advocating, and only a child believes they get everything they want. If you haven't figured that out from the last decade of Liberal rule..perhaps you should now.

And that concludes my denounciations for this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Who would you be in 1400 AD?

(via Curt at North Western Winds)

The Usurper
You scored 63% Cardinal, 20% Monk, 32% Lady, and 54% Knight!
You have both the lust for war of the Knight and the wicked morals of the Cardinal. You are truly a dangerous one who likes power and will stop at nothing to get it. If the king dares stand in the way of your ambitions you will have no qualms about removing him from the throne and placing yourself there instead.

You scored high as both the Knight and the Cardinal. You can try again to get a more precise description of either the Cardinal or the Knight, or you can be happy that you're an individual.

Apparantly I'd be a bit of an self-interested rogue, well I am in law schoo...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Convention

There was alot of hype going into this event about how the party would gel or whether it would implode due to its own internal ideological divisions, quite frankly I was never worried. I wrote a paper in 2002 in a poli sci class where I pointed to the leadership of the two conservative parties as being the principal dividing force between them, and indicated that they were fairly close on alot of issues. I also noted that Stockwell Day and Joe Clark were unlikely to bring the parties together, however, that there were factions in both parties acknowledging the need to work together and resolve their differences to defeat the liberals.

To be a touch smug I reiterated this opinion a year later after my Canadian Political Parties professor suggested the ideological divide was too deep to be bridged. I noted in turn that people like Peter MacKay didn't seem to have any problem working with Canadian Alliance Mps such as Chuck Strahl during the DRC evident, and that there was a certain amount of concilliatory sentiment that existed between suporters of each party. I also argued broad areas of agreement and a desire for victory and for the proverbial "half a loaf rather than none" could overcome areas of disagreement between members of the former parties. My professor has had to rewrite his lectures on the Conservative party, while I get to stand by all my previous comments.

I didn't attend the Conservative convention in Montreal (I was an alternate), but I know alot of people who did. From that alone I felt that the votes to be cast were in extremely good hands. I wasn't particularly worried about the outcome for a moment.

I'm a Conservative who believes that the government is taking too much money from my pocket to pay for non-sensical and inefficient shcemes of dubious value.

I also feel I'm more likely to take a keen interest in arranging my own affairs than a bureaucrat in far off Ottawa, and I'll likely do a far better job in seeing such things attended too.

I think that the government stiffles business with punitive taxation measures, excessive red tape and a potpurri of other regulatory hurtles.

I think the gun registry isn't accomplishing anything, and a crazy drug dealer in a small town north of Edmonton here just proved that with a machine gun tragically killing four brave Mounties.

I think our military deserves the equipement it needs to complete the tasks we set for them and should be an institution in which Canadians can take pride in.

I think spurning our allies on Ballistic Missile Defense to score some cheap political points, hurts our trade interests, our diplomatic credibility, and our relationship with the united states - especially when its not clear what if anything we would have actually had to do other than say "great go ahead we're with you on this one".

I think the definition of marriage is a social issue, not a legal issue. I'm also fairly ambivalent about abortion - not a huge fan but its probably for the best for some people in certain circumstances.

I think the senate has become a relic which needs to be rethought and re-energized to bring it into line with a modern, democratic tradition.

These are things I believe to be true, and they are believes that are shared by the broad cross section of conservatives. They are also beliefs which were confirmed by the party and became party policy. Dare I even suggest that these beliefs are those of Canadians in general?

Stephen Harper recieved a sound endorsement, recieving the support of 84% of the delegates at the convention. I personally found some of the media attention trying to play up some sort of leadership jockeying running up the convention extremely distasteful. I do not think there was ever any question that Stephen had the competence of the party's membership, and if there was it show not be put to rest. However much Chantal Hebert protests that Stephen Harper will never win , and however much The Globe and Mail's Brain Laghi may be dreaming of some form of the PetLinda entity to sieze control of the party - its not where conservatives are and its not where most of us are looking to go.

Despite Peter MacKay making an ass of himself on Friday, and playing into the hands of a media looking desperately for a conflict the convention was about Conservatives comming together and affirming their similarities. It was about burying the hatchet that has been taken up in intermural warfare since..well Diefenbaker. The leader (click on the media link), members of our caucus, delegates and yes..even the media! (Gasp! find it here , here and here) have reported the general good will and positive feelings that have come out of the convention. The party has come together, moved beyond PC or Alliance, our agenda is out there in the open, its moderate, its centre-right and it speaks to the concerns of Canadians. (Question Period and Politics with Don Newman seemed to latch onto the terms moderate, mainstream and clear policies with Scott Reid predictably sounding like a complete hack trying to disagree)

And to the Liberals - we're coming for you, the gloves are off.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm alive really..just a lot of stuff going on

School, other commitments, trying to catch up on readings from school, and me generally feeling kind of weary and ready for the summer at the moment have contributed to some apathetic blogging which will probably prevail for another month or so. Noting up law textbooks is not conduscive to indepth political analysis..although you do learn alot of things.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Weekly Standard - The Not so Great White North

The weekly standard has in its own rather tongue in cheek fashion rather thoroughly chastised Canada as a nation. The entire article tends to rather fondly poke fun at our country mostly for well deserved conciets and silly Canadianisms. But really do give it all a read as I burst out laughing several times along the way. After all any article that starts like this:

WHENEVER I THINK OF CANADA . . . strike that. I'm an American, therefore I tend not to think of Canada. On the rare occasion when I have considered the country that Fleet Streeters call "The Great White Waste of Time," I've regarded it, as most Americans do, as North America's attic, a mildewy recess that adds little value to the house, but serves as an excellent dead space for stashing Nazi war criminals, drawing-room socialists, and hockey goons.

And hits a high point here:

Equal outrage was caused when Conan O'Brien showed up to help boost tourism after the SARS crisis. Along for the ride came a Conan staple, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who in dog-on-the-street interviews relentlessly mocked French Canadians. When one pudgy Quebecer admitted he was a separatist, Triumph suggested he might want to "separate himself from doughnuts for a while."

Canadians seethed--though polls show they pride themselves on being much funnier than Americans (don't ask me why, when they're responsible for Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Alan Thicke). One MP from the socialist New Democratic party called the show "vile and vicious," and said it was tantamount to hatemongering. Historians believe this to be the first time a member of parliament has so categorically denounced a hand puppet.

I've never heard everything that's wrong with the NDP aside from being socialist elucidated so succictly - ah we all know who the 'Silly Party' is in Canada. Although I'm still waiting on the Jack Layton and Kermit the Frog debate where they can both discuss how "its not easy being green".

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Power Corp, oil for food and a lack of degrees of separation

This story hasn't recieved alot of play in the mainstream media, but it was originally broken by the Western Standard. It linked to by some bloggers then, but there are those of us whom are too cheap to for that sort of access. Thus its also come up on the Toronto Free Press site and you can acess it here. Just to give you all a taste

Just a month before the Canada Free Press revealed that Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, is a member of Power Corp.’s international advisory board–and a close friend and personal adviser to Power’s owner, Paul Desmarais Sr.–a U.S. congressional investigation into the UN scandal discovered that Power Corp. had extensive connections to BNP Paribas, a French bank that had been handpicked by the UN in 1996 to broker the Oil-for-Food program. In fact, Power actually once owned a stake in Paribas through its subsidiary, Pargesa Holding SA. The bank also purchased a stake in Power Corp. in the mid-seventies and, as recently as 2003, BNP Paribas had a 14.7 per cent equity and 21.3 per cent voting stake in Pargesa, company records show. John Rae, a director and former executive at Power (brother of former Ontario premier Bob Rae), was president and a director of the Paribas Bank of Canada until 2000. And Power Corp. director Michel François-Poncet, who was, in 2001, the vice-chairman of Pargesa, also sat on Paribas’s board, though he died Feb. 10, at the age of 70. A former chair of Paribas’s management board, André Levy-Lang, is currently a member of Power’s international advisory council. And Amaury-Daniel de Seze, a member of BNP Paribas’s executive council, also sat on Pargesa’s administrative council in 2002.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lloyd Axworthy speaks out on missile defence to confirm he's still an idiot

(via Babbling Brooks )

Now I missed Lloyd Axworthy's comments on missile defense last week because, I was worried far more about my birthday and all the alcohol consumption related to that event. However, the Babbler has brought the former foreign affairs minister's little open letter to Condi to my attention. The Babbler gives me an opporunity to do something I haven't done since I left Winnipeg - bash Llyod Axworthy. As a result I have my own open letter to Lloyd.

Dear Lloyd,

Apparantly you've taken time out of your busy schedual overseeing the University of Winnipeg's administration and organizing its "radical speaker series", its "no blood for oil protests" and all the other things that pass for an education there to comment on ballistic missile defense. While I'm surprised that you've noticed any current event c,onsidering intellectually you seem stuck in the 1970s its also nice to see that you remain just as useless in commenting on diplomacy, as our foreign minister Pierre Pettigrew is at practicing it. However, I will grant that Pierre does have much better hair.

I realize it might be highly inconvient for you to deal with such petty things as facts Lloyd, after all that does tend to get in the way of all that bashing of your oppenents as religious zealots and wasteful spenders. It seems to me that this was the last test of the Missile Defense program and it was...sucessful. So Lloyd you might want to get your facts straight before you start pointing fingers. As for wasteful spending - where the hell were you on the gun registry Lloyd? Where are your editorials and letters to the editor condemning a system that works zero percent of the time and has cost billions of dollars?

Lloyd perhaps it might also be worth pointing out that the US probably wouldn't be wracking up those multibillion dollar decifits if it didn't have allies, whom thought the US should have to always do all the heavy lifting in foreign policy. While they of course would stay aloof before they rushed in to try and claim some credit towards the end. Between Canada and Europe security mooching seems the order of the day, essentially relying on the Americans to protect us and essentially subsidizing our bloated welfare states with their commitment to the free world and their military. Indeed, if we all took a more active roll in protecting ourselves and liberty as opposed to looking down our nose at those who did and scorning the expense they go to to protect not only themselves but us as well, I seriously doubt the US would be running deficits at all in fighting the war on terror. But while we're speaking of decifits Lloyd where was your concern when your good buddy Pierre Trudeau was saddling my entire generation with a huge debt load and high taxes? Apparantly debt it a-okay when it goes to fund selfish and unsustainable social programs but bad when it frees people from the yoke of tyranny - you leftist hypocrit.

Oh and the world's oldest democracy is going to learn something from Canada's parliamentary tradition of a corrupt one party state where power is centralized in the hands of the PMO, and where Supreme Court and Senate appointments are made solely at the discretion of the prime minister - heck our Senate isn't even elected. The notion that America can learn anything except perhaps what not to do is a ridiculous assertation. Your calling America a one party state Lloyd - that's the pot calling the kettle black or more likely the pot calling the white china set black.

You assertation that somehow the fact a Republican ambassador doesn't find the Liberal party's drivel all that compelling is due to the influence of think tanks in Calgary and neo-cons seems to be nothing but a way to slide in the anti-Alberta bigotry for no apparant and or logical reason. You would think a Republican Ambassador just may have been right wing without any help from us, and had the silly idea that the Canadian government would behave reasonably instead of like the spoiled children that Liberals for the most part are.

Oh and certainly what we need Lloyd rather than a government that's willing to actually stop tyranny and implement democracy is "more international agreements". So Lloyd how have those international agreements been doing at stopping the hundreds of thousands of people living in the Sudan from dying? Why don't you ask those African Christians whether they would prefer some soldiers to protect them from dying, or for you to host a conference and sign an agreement saying how concerned you are about their situation?

And Kyoto is such a stellar example of an international agreement isn't it Lloyd.?A bunch of dithering socialist bureaucrats got together and figured out how they could essentially waste billions of dollars, hold a bunch of meetings and accomplish absolutely nothing - clearly paving the way for more studies, meetings and conferences right? Tell me what other motivation could anyone possibly have for an accord that completely exempts the world's fastest growing economies, has wildly inaccurate economic projections, is based upon shaky science and EVEN if it worked it would only delay 0.5 degree celcius climate change for 6 years. We get all that for billions of dollars, you know what Lloyd you keep your international agreement I'll buy an air conditioner if this global warmer thing ever happens.

As for providing leadership on disease, disasters and that ilk Lloyd, maybe you haven't realized it but the war on terror and the larger war for the continuation of western civilization happens to be keeping the Americans just a little bit busy. While your sitting with your other champange socialists soaking up a government pension I'm not convinced you ever did anything to actually merit, the Bush Administration happens to be engaged in reforming the Middle East and ending the threat of Islamist terror. Strangely that somehow misses your list of priorities, nor do you seem to think that putting up defenses when unreliable countries like China, North Korea and Iran have or seek nuclear weapons might just be a reasonable idea.

As ever you remain a tawdry, tedious and complete fool with ideas so "soft" you might want to seriously look into those internet pharmacy adds for viagra and see if they come in an intellectual form.

Yours in complete hostility,


Thursday, March 10, 2005

David Frum dinner in Edmonton to support Laurie Hawn

Laurie Hawn who has a wonderful blog called Strong and Free , is the candidate of record for Edmonton - Centre and got within a whisker of inflicting Anne McClellan upon me as a professor at the Faculty of Law - in that respect I'm one of the casulties of Laurie's potential sucess. However, he's working hard right now to see that Landslide Annie, is buried by a landslide of Conservative support and I wish him all the best in that regard. We need more strong voices to speak up for the importance of Canada's military and our role in the world and Laurie's background as a colonel in the airforce gives him the background, experience and inclination to do just that. I'd also like to thank him for hosting an entertaining and informative evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

As I mentioned in the title David Frum was the keynote speaker for the evening. As one might expect from someone whose wrote speaches for the president in the past Frum was an engaging speaker. He spoke primarily on the role of Canada in the world, and stressed our relations with the US as being our most important relationship diplomatically. He rather accurately stated that our relationship with the US is "Very good, but its very good at a time when very good isn't good enough", and stressed the fact that the restrictions on the border are costing both the American and Canadian economies money although more so the Canadian economy. The delays at the borders are costing millions upon millions of dollars and the fact we haven't been working on the problems presented by American security concerns has been hurting our trade. Frum pointed to the rather different notions of the Canadian - American relationship on opposite sides of the border. He stated that to Americans there were a list of problems where action needed to be taken and a desire to work towards a solution. While in Canada it isn't a problem solving exercise its a opera or a theatrical production where all sorts of irrelevant considerations are entertained which really aren't pertinent to the issue, missile defence being a prime example of that sort of behaviour where some strange assertion of differentness seems to have overridden good public policy, and good diplomacy.

Frum was asked what he thought the Conservative Party needed to do to bring itself to government, and his chief advice was to talk about the problems Canadians were facing rather than talking out our own internal problems. He said that we all needed to move beyond factionalism and talk about lowering taxes because real income has stagnated in Canada over the past 15 years, while following well below the purchasing power of our American counterparts. He also stressed the need for the Conservative party to pursue some private involvement in health care as its not right to seek to stop people from paying for an operation if they can afford it and it will shorten the line.

I also through happy coninsidence was seated right next to Vitor Marciano, you really ought to check out his blog What it takes to win. He's currently running to be a national councilor for the Conservative Party. If your a voting delegate at the conference in Montreal and your from Alberta, I'd encourage you to vote for Vitor. Few people I've met have shown his kind of dedication and commitment to furthering the conservative cause, he ardently believe both Canada and the party can do better and he's infectiously affable, you really can't help but like the guy if you meet him. At any rate it's always great to be in good company to discuss blogging and politics, and Vitor was at a table with myself some members of our U of A campus conservative club and from his own EDA so it was entertaining dinner conversation. Although I must insist that I'm not seriously hoping that any of the delegates to the Montreal convention from my EDA have anything bad happen to them as the first alternative delegate - I'd send them a very nice get well card while I started packing my bags.

While speaking of people seeking election and throwing out endorsements like my personal cudos carry much in the way of weight, I had to chance to speak to Ted Morton at the dinner as well. He was in attendance and he's fairly opennly letting it be known now that when Ralph decides to step down as premier he means to run. I had the opporunity to speak with him for a few moments and he's working at building an organization and thought that as Conservatives we've all invested alot of time and effort into the federal party but we can't afford to put all our eggs in one basket and there is alot we can do right here in Alberta. He also mentioned that he's sure if we simply send the right signals to the people who voted Alberta Alliance in the last provincial election they will all come back home to the PC party.

All in all an exceptional evening.

Retrospective Link - Rick Mercer on the Liberal and Conservative Conventions

Rick Mercer may be a shill for the mother corp and try to tell us all to drive our car less and meet that "One Ton Challenge", but that does not preclude him from being funny. He does tend to take shots at every target which presents itself to some degree and his take on the Liberal and Conservative conventions is (click on the clip labelled Conservative convention) bound to make you laugh no matter which side of the fence your sitting on. As a taste "the only principle that the Liberal Party has is that they would sell their own mothers in order to stay in power. Somewhere in a dusty room they have a plaque with it written in Latin "we will sell out mothers to stay in power." "

Birthday and Various Social Obligations

I turned 22 on March 6, and in the days leading up to that and the days following I've had too much to drink, too little rest and studied less than I should. Unfortunately blogging really didn't get done in that time period either. Its difficult to find the inspiration to form a coherent political opinion while hung over and or exhausted. However, starting now I'll get back to my usual repetoire of commentary, links and good old fashioned liberal bashing. - Chris

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bobby Clarke still remembers he's from Flin Flon

Bobby Clarke has stated that Bob Goodenow is ruining the game of hockey.

"He's done nothing but take from the game and now he's fighting for power," Clarke told The Canadian Press.

"He doesn't want to lose power, he doesn't want to lose his control over the players and he doesn't want to lose as much of the control he's had over the game over the last 10-12 years. But when he had that power, he ruined it."

"Someone has to grab Goodenow by the throat and tell him, 'Look after the Canadian cities, the majority of the players still come from Canada,'" Clarke said. "It's our sport and, to me, Goodenow has shown no interest in helping build the game and helping sell the game. "

Its unfair and wrong to lay all the blame at Bob Goodenow's feet. Gary Bettmen and the ownership of the NHL developed a plan where they were going to expand and develop a viewing audience in the American television market which never materialized, while the salaries spiked as if they had. In that sense the owners are at fault for the precarious state of the Canadian franchises as much as the union.

On the other hand Goodenow and the union have been completely unreasonable and didn't even bother to engage in serious negotiations until the 11th hour. They don't have anything resembling a realistic outlook on the finances of the NHL and they seem to be hell bent on creating a league where the Canadian teams will fold and teams in Miami with empty stands will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year. In that respect I feel quite comfortable standing shoulder to shoulder with Bobby Clarke and saying "j'accuse". If you still hockey's beating heart the rest of the body is not far from death.

Horror Stories from the Failure of Multiculturalism

(via Freedominion)

"The Whore lived like a German"

The article linked to above discusses honour killings among fundamentalist muslim families in Germany. Apparantly there have been at least six documented cases in the last year. By "honour killings" essentially it means the Muslim kills a female family member who attempts to assimilate into German culture. Often they employ a younger son whose a minor whose sentencing will be more lenient because he's under 18.

I really can't stand to see the free will of anyone being so casually raped in this manner. People have a right to live their own lives and for whatever harping the left does about right wing Christian fundamentalists, they seem to be rather defeaningly silent on the fundamentalism which is not simply mildly silly but violent, virulent, hateful and deadly. Admittedly there are a few exceptions Christopher Hitchens and a few like him have managed to prove that a few on the left are not so blinded by the pieties of multiculturalism that they will not condemn this sort of behaviour.

Furthermore the statistics this article cites are simply depressing - no one should experience this sort of coercion in their life regardless of ethnicity or nationality.

The Turkish women's organization Papatya has documented 40 instances of honor killings in Germany since 1996. Examples include a Darmstadt girl whose two brothers pummelled her to death with a hockey stick in April 2004 after they learned she had slept with her boyfriend. In Augsburg in April, a man stabbed his wife and 7-year-old daughter because the wife was having an affair. In December 2003, a Tuebingen father strangled his 16-year-old daughter and threw her body into a lake because she had a boyfriend. Bullets, knives, even axes and gasoline are the weapons of choice.
Astonishingly, the first extensive data the German government collected about the lives of Turkish women was published last summer, as part of a study done by the Ministry for Family Affairs. The study showed that 49 percent of Turkish women said they had experienced physical or sexual violence in their marriage. One fourth of those married to Turkish husbands said they met their grooms on their wedding day. Half said they were pressured to marry partners selected by relatives and 17 percent felt forced into such partnerships.

Or simply people relating antedotes like this

One of the unsettling truths about Hatin's death and the plight of many Muslim women is that it took the comments of three Turkish boys and the outrage of a male school director to get people to notice. When the murder first happened, it sent no shock waves through the mainstream German press. It only became big news when a group of 14-year-old Turkish boys mocked Hatin during a class discussion at a school near the crime scene. One boy said, "She only had herself to blame," while another insisted, "She deserved what she got. The whore lived like a German." The enraged school director not only sent a letter home to parents, but also to teachers across Germany. The letter ignited a media fury. Less known, however, is that the letter also hit a nerve among educators. "Teachers from across the country wrote back saying they had had similar experiences," Boehmecke said. They reported Turkish boys taunting Turkish girls who don't wear headscarves as "German sluts." "That's the part no one has written about. Clearly there is huge potential for similar violence across Germany," Boehmecke said. "Not just in the big cities, but all over. It's a problem many politicians haven't been willing to face."

If this is multiculturalism, my vote is cast in favour of cultural imperialism and assimilation. I'm reminded of the British constable's reaction to the intent of some Indiansintention to throw a man's wife on his funeral pyre. They stated it was "their custom" and he replied "its our custom to hang people for doing that." All cultures aren't equal, we should not condone barbarity.

Insert Lame Excuses for Low Blog Productivity here

I've been rather busy with attempting to buckle down for school and I read a couple of books I got for my birthday. (reviews are forthcoming) The next couple weeks will be busy for me however, I'll endeavour to keep updating the blog every day or two.

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