Stories by Peter Worthington
As 2011 draws to a close, the issue of Wikileaks disclosures remains to be resolved – a breach of trust to some, the right to know to others.
However, if one examines the record, it’s pretty hard to see much of a threat to American (or intentional) security, in the disclosures by Wikileaks that has embarrassed allied governments.
It was the noted atheist Christopher Hitchens who remarked in a debate before his untimely death last week, that if indeed there was “all-seeing god” watching over us, “it would be like living in North Korea.”
And now the latest in the family of hereditary dictators of North Korea has died at age about 69 – Kim Jong-il, leaving his third and youngest (known) son , Kim Jong-un, as heir to impoverished country at age 28.
In recent days, bullying in schools has been a hot topic for condemnation, with little in the way of solutions being offered.
While everyone deplores bullying, a sorry reality is that many people who oppose it are bullies themselves, without realizing it. And bullying takes many forms.
With the race for the Republican Presidential nomination now seemingly down to two candidates – Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney – suddenly Romney is in the uncharacteristic role of underdog.
Astonishingly (to me), polls show Gingrich some 10 points ahead of Romney in the upcoming Iowa primary; 8.6 points ahead in South Carolina; 16.5 ahead in Florida. In New Hampshire. Romney leads by 16.5 points. Nationally, Real Clear Politics has Gingrich leading Romney by 6.2 points.
A virtue of minority governments in Canada is that the ruling party has got to pay attention to its Parliamentary opposition, and must negotiate compromises. A negative is that legislation can get mired in debate and nothing happens.
A virtue of majority governments is that worthwhile legislation that couldn’t be passed in minority days, can get whistled through with neither fuss not fanfare.
According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the reaction to the Paris fire-bombing of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is another example of how fearful Western society is of offending Islamic extremists.
Hirsi Ali is the Somali woman who fled to Europe to escape an arranged marriage with someone in Toronto. She went to university and was elected to the Dutch Parliament. She migrated to the U.S. after collaborating on a documentary about the oppression of Muslim women (Submission) that resulted in filmmaker Theo Van Gogh being murdered and death threats against her.
It’s understandable why Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou wants to hold a referendum before implementing draconian financial restraints that will cause riots, clashes with police, car burnings, acts of vandalism, and anarchy.
He knows what has to be done, but undoubtedly supposes that if a majority of Greeks support austerity measures, that will neutralize hostility on the streets whenever the government takes unpopular but necessary action.
I’ve not read reviews of Conrad Black’s new book, A Matter of Principle, but it’s a remarkable work — unlike any of its kind that I’ve ever read. It tells the story of his Chicago trial and subsequent conviction.
The most noteworthy aspect of the rebellion in Libya and today’s death of Muammar Gaddafi is that it took so long.
When the rebellion started last February — catching the world by surprise, since it was spontaneous and without advance planning — it was initially expected to be quick and decisive.
Here we go again!
Another conspiracy theory – this time by a woman who has written a 600-page book (Me and Lee) claiming she and Lee Harvey Oswald were lovers and that instead of assassinating President John Kennedy in 1963, he was trying to save him. That might seem a stretch to some, but Judyth Vary Baker, now pushing 70 years old, was in Toronto on October 18to push her book and attend what would have been Oswald’s 72nd birthday party, held appropriately at the Conspiracy Culture Shop on Queen St. West.