Zombie Royals, a rare intersection of tax law and exotic dancing and what’s a guy got to do to spend time in prison in this country? What, no Republicans? Here’s a look back at some of the weirder stories from last week.
For most Canadians, the Canadian government’s decision to cut off diplomatic relations with Iran is a no-brainer. Iran does, after all, have a long record of abusing the human rights of its own citizens and sponsoring terrorism internationally. It steadfastly refuses to comply with its treaty obligations in respect of its nuclear program and is widely (and credibly) believed to be trying to build nuclear weapons. It has repeatedly and publicly called for a genocidal war against Israel, famously threatening to “wipe” it “off the map” and has recently supported the odious Assad regime in the ongoing murder of Syrian civilians. And, of course, as I reminded readers earlier, members of its security apparatus tortured, raped and murdered a Canada citizen – Zahra Kazemi – an atrocity for which no one has ever been brought to justice. Need I go on?
Apparently, though, that isn’t enough for Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of the CBC News and now a professor of journalism at Rye-high. No, in his mind the only possible explanation for Canada’s “abrupt action” against Iran is the “Harper government’s outsourcing of Canada’s Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete.” Yes, that’s right folks, our government works for Israel, at least in the fevered mind of Tony Burman.
I’ve told people for years that Canada should break off diplomatic relations with Iran. Well, it looks like the powers-that-be have finally come to the same conclusion. Earlier today, the Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, announced that Canada was breaking-off diplomatic relations with Iran. Canada has pulled its diplomats from Iran and has given Iranian diplomats 5 days to leave the country. In addition Canada announced that it was naming Iran as state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, stripping Iran of sovereign immunity from lawsuits in Canadian courts. It’s about time.
Chris Rock once said about being a father that his only job in life is to keep his daughter off the strip pole: “I mean they don’t grade fathers, but if your daughter is a stripper you fucked up!”
The contrast between two stories recent news stories about the Public Service Alliance of Canada (“PSAC”), the union that represents most federal civil servants, struck me as a perfect illustration of the obliviousness of modern public sector labour unions (though by no means a solitary one).
“The rich are different than you and me” F. Scott Fitzgerald is purported to have told Ernest Hemingway, to which he is purported to have replied “Yes, they have more money.” (In fact, that exchange never took place, but was a (favourable) reworking by Hemingway of a different exchange , but I digress)
I was thinking about this quote as I was reading Heather Mallick’s column about “Toddlers & Tiaras”, it’s spin-off “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and other “reality” shows which portray the, frankly, appalling behaviour of the North American “poor” (poor, in this case, being a decidedly relative context). I doubt Mallick and I agree agree on much of anything, other than a common dislike for those shows. But I suspect we dislike them for very different reasons which, I think, reflects the difference in thinking between the right (or at least the less retrograde elements of the right) and the left on the subject of the North American poor.
More Republicans, Harvard and, oh my god, Bob’s got something good to say about the Muslim Brotherhood and the UN! At the same time!! Here’s a look back at some of the more interesting stories from last week (yeah, I’m late, hey it’s a long weekend).