Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tennis Grand Slams

I agree that men and women should earn the same prize money for the Grand Slams in tennis but then they should also play the same number of sets - best of five not three - these are the Slams after all. One must run the gauntlet to win.

911 Remembered

It has been over thirteen years since jihadists brought down the Twin Towers in New York. It's important that we in the West continue our fight against the Islamist barbarism in its many insidious forms. This includes being vigilant not only against the more obvious Jihadists (ISIL/ISIS, AL Q, Hezbollah, Hamas, the various Salafist groups, Boko Haram, the Brotherhood and others) but also those operate by stealth such as CAIR, ISNA and the MSA.The radical left and many so-called progressives have helped empower some of these groups by muzzling free speech criticism and this has been extremely unfortunate. Obama appears to be waking up but his naivety on this front has cost America dearly. With Europe in the wake of demographic suicide the US is still the best hope for those who champion liberal democracy (although India may carry this mantra in the future)...but after six years of second rate leadership I just hope that it has not lost the belief that overall it is a force of good.

The Race for Mayor in Hogtown

Olivia Chow is polling at 19%, a full 22 percentage points behind John Tory in the Toronto mayorial race. She claims that she can move past Doug Ford, who sits at 34%, but I doubt it. Besides even if she does there are no second place medals here for the picking. The Toronto Star will muckrack to elevate her upwards but her campaign has been lousy so far. On another note its amusing how Tory has been re-branded as a centrist the nattering classes..I remember seven or eight years ago when he ran for the Premiership of Ontario my leftist collegues were likening him to Mike Harris and urging us teachers to vote for the duplicitious Dalton McGuinty (who did more to damage teacher collective bargaining rights than any other premier in recent history...). Ah, how times have changed.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Hot Zone News

We are starting to see David Cameron adopting a tougher stance on Islamic Fundamentalism. Obama appears to have set his targets on ISIS/ISIL but he is so inconsistent in his Middle East policy that I am not sure where he is actually headed. It seems that both leaders want to re-focus NATO to deal with the threat, which must bring a smile on the face of Vladimir Putin as he extends further Russian influence westward into the Eastern Ukraine.

Joan Rivers - R.I.P

My thoughts go out to the family of Joan Rivers. She added much zip to the comedy world and although she ruffled a few feathers was always a strong supporter of Israel. We will miss her.

Plans for Worldohistory

My sister blog Worldohistory has been in suspended animation for the best part of four and a half years...However I have plans to re-ignite this blog which will serve a resource for my posts specifically dealing with our collective history. I am excited about this as I have spent a considerable amount of time reading about the Great War over the last two months and have much to share.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Thoughts on World War I

From my blog....Its been one hundred years since the beginning of the 'War to End All Wars' and the outcome of this great conflict is still very relevant today, While the war ended the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and German Empires it was also responsible for the rise of Fascism, Marxist-Leninism and Islamism. Vladimir Putin is an extension of the KGB apparatus that originated with Lenin's Cheka (during WWI) and ISIS - gains its intellectual capital (if you can call it such a thing) from the Wahhabism that challenged Turkish superiority in the Arabian Peninsula. As well American Intervensionism, which has critics on both the left and the right, can take as its champion Woodrow Wilson, who rejected the isolation of old to thrust America into the global theatre as never before. One would not be mistaken to conclude that the genesis of the US as a superpower has its origin in WWI not necessarily in a military capacity (where it swung the war against the Central Pact in 1918) but in its ability to finance the allied war machine. The American economic power house grew to adulthood in the Great War.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Secret to New Zealand All Black Success: Passion and an incredible feeder system

There is no more dominant teams perhaps in all of international sports than the New Zealand All-Blacks. Not only do the Kiwis have winning records against all competitors, their win percentage across all games is a colossal seventy-five percent (or so). This of course is no reflection on the quality of opposition. Each of the Australian Wallabies, South African Springboks as well as England and France, to name a few, play high intense rugby and boast admirable records on their own but it is the All-Blacks who steal the show. While the New Zealanders boast a proud history of great players - Jonah Lomu, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Colin Meads – it is the level of teamwork, all round commitment, position play and the pride of following in a tradition that borders on the excellent that have elevated the All-Blacks to legendary status. They never seem to field a weak team and are always a force to be reckoned with. In fact it would not be out of line to say that the All Blacks are rugby union’s default champions. So what is the basis for this success? I believe that it is a consequence of the various tiers of competition that colour the panorama of the kiwi rugby world. Take the Canterbury Rugby Union, who are 11 time winners of the ITM Cup (New Zealand’s premier national competition). Amazingly, 48 Club teams feed into this particular union from three sub-unions, yet Canterbury is only one of 26 unions. The elite from Canterbury then play at the next level in the Super 15 Competition tier together with top players from the various other regional unions in an odyssey of rugby that pits the best of New Zealand against their counterparts in South Africa and Australia. The best of the best from these rarefied Super 15 teams are then selected to represent the All-Blacks on the international front. No other nation boasts such a multi-levelled structure that guarantees consistent competition on a yearlong basis (South Africa comes closest), but clearly it does the trick and is a key component in All Black success.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Selective Condemnation

The actions of terror groups as ISIS/ISIL, Hamas and others make it easier to deride Islam as a religion. However one must be aware of the tendency to stigmatize. Yes, the Sunni and Shi’ite worlds have been contaminated by the extremist views of Wahhabism and the Mullah driven Twelver belief respectively, but this does not mean that all Muslims are radicals. The reality is that there are many muslims who are opposed to these Islamo-fascists but unfortunately live in a world where freedom of speech does not enjoy the sanctity that it traditionally does in the West (albeit that these freedoms are now under threat in the West as well due to the politics of political correctness). While we should continue to be vigilant against the actions of all evil we should refrain from painting innocents with the same brush stroke that we reserve for the guilty.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jumping to Conclusions

I am always troubled by the logic of unnecessary extrapolation based on single phenomena. Take the Ferguson shooting. I don’t know whether the police officer, Darren Wilson was a racist. Many thought George Zimmerman was, but there was no evidence for that (in fact if anything Zimmerman had openly opposed racism in his personal life history). What I do know is that Wilson had no prior record of racist activity, he did feel threatened, was injured in the confrontation, shot Brown four times in the right arm and twice in the head. We also know that Brown was not ‘just visiting his grandmother’ but had robbed a convenience store. What we also know is that a 292lb man charging towards you with the intention of attacking you is a fearsome sight. Unarmed attackers can kill especially if they carry with them the full punch of such a weight. Wilson does owe the public and the family an explanation. He is an officer of the law. What he doesn’t deserve is to be convicted and sentenced without a trial and due process consideration of the facts. The great Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said ‘You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts’. Unfortunately too many have forgotten the central theme of common law that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and have condemned Wilson with a visceral response bordering on a modern day lynching.There may or may not be racism involved in this altercation but poisoning the well from the get go does nobody any favours, least of all the necessity for fair and colour blind justice.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Remember what you stand for

It is my experience that if you wish to live a life of meaning that you also have beliefs that are well thought out, clear, non-intentionally hurtful and are based as best as possible on sound reasoning and logic. Now I can’t say that you should divorce emotion from your beliefs, as we are human after all, but this emotion should not override the judgement that is formed along rational lines. In the day-to-day chaos of life, we often sideline our conscious realization of these beliefs, even if we act sub-consciously with the same ideals in mind. This promotes somewhat of a sleepwalking approach to life that we should eschew. To escape such a pathology (and on one level it is such a phenomenon) I would suggest a daily cataloguing and listing of both one’s primary and secondary beliefs. This does not have to span volumes, but should be both succinct and encompassing in such a manner that it brings to mind the core of what we are as agents of free will (one of my key beliefs). I have followed such a course of action for sometime now and find it to be both refreshing and re-affirming of my role as an active player in life.