Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8 Mosqueteria Protest

Bear with me for a bit. Trying a different format and posting of images so things may look a little wonky for a little bit. So yesterday evening there was another protest in front of the Toronto District School Board headquarters on Yonge street. This is the second one and there will probably be a few more to come. So far they are sticking by their decision to allow a cafeteria in a public school to be turned into a mosque and have an iman lead prayers during school hours. Since this story was broken by Blazing Cat Fur in the beginning of July, more information has come forward. He's been following it and updating on it as he gets new information. He was there last night as well taping the speeches of most of the speakers that showed up. There was a good crowd of people against the TDSB policy, a very diverse crowd as well. Sometimes I hate using the word diverse, since the left has co-opted it for their own means. In this case though it was a good mixed crowd of all cultures that are against the TDSB's decision to give one religion preferential treatment over others.
G. J. Rancourt
Rev. Tony Costa
Raheel Raza
Meir Weinstein
Ron Banerjee

Protesters Against Prayer in School
There were some good speakers and there were some bad ones.  Trust me, some people shouldn't be given a mike.  Blazing Cat Fur, has some good video of some people that were there in support from different organizations.  Worth the watch if you have the time.  I won't focus much more on the protest itself.  Similar signs from last time, so no need to cover them again.  A petition was out for people to sign to show their displeasure to TDSB.

The counter protestors though is where the real story is this time I think.
Counter Protesters

Counter Protesters
There were more counter protesters out this time as well. Before there were only four or five, this time there at least three times the amount. All young, and from what I gleaned in hearing in conversations most were from York University. A university that seems to spout anti-semitism on a regular basis and has been the subject of many news stories and articles on other blogs over the past three years.

There were a few other men there as well.  Two were at the previous protest.  One is a teacher in the TDSB and is supporting the TDSB's prayer policy.  There were a lot of heated words exchanged between these men and other protesters.  A lot of lies being said about the JDL, for example they are a terrorist group.  Not to mention that prayer IS allowed in school.  Technically they are right in one aspect.  There is no prohibition against praying in schools.  There is a prohibition of the school organizing and supporting one religion over another.  Trouble is that any other religion that wants to set up prayers or other such religious meetings don't get the okay.

"I hate zionsim"

Things were going okay, the turn out was good and fairly respectful.  There were a few heated discussions with the above three and a few other people.  About a little ways in a few of the counter protesters started crossing lines to wave their signs.  It was two girls at first that got into the midst of the protest crowd.  Some of the JDL got in front of them and tried blocking their signs with flags, which meant the two girls moved further forward and tried to get around the blockers.

Well this kept going on until there were about three or four in there really causing a roucus and a police officer stepped in and told her to get back to her own side.

This seemed to be the breaking point for the counter protesters.  They moved in closer waving their signs. moving left, moving right.  Trying to get into the crowd of the protesters to show their signs. The Anti-TDSB protesters helped by holding any of their banners in the way, and other people assisted in blocking.  I had noticed that the police presence had grown from two originally when I had arrived at around 6:30 to almost eight.  I couldn't see things getting that out of hand.  You never know though.

Well that's all for now.  The protest was interesting and the speakers had a lot to say.  Like I said the number of counter protesters were in larger numbers this time.  There are further protests planned and it should be interesting to see how many will show up next time.  If they are York University students, probably and probably from the MSA, then when the end of the month comes there will probably be more.

We can't just sit back and do nothing though.  A secular system is a secular system.  No matter who wants it to change. 

Keep watching.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Global Warming? Not Really.

Well today is an interesting day on the "Global Warming" "Climate Change" "Climate Catastrophe" what ever it's being called this week.  Why is that?  Well two articles have come out about two different things.  First off, fraud has been suggested for a earlier study about drowning polar bears and how they may be endangered about the global warming.

APNewsBreak: Arctic scientist under investigation:

By BECKY BOHRER - Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.

Charles Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or BOEMRE, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into "integrity issues." But he has not yet been informed by the inspector general's office of specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

There's complaints of persecution, talk about improper studies. The whole nine yards. It was the results of the paper published by Mr. Monnett that led to the polar bears being placed on the threatened species list. Humorous actually considering that polar bears have been increasing in population.

It's going to be interesting to see the out come of the investigation on Mr. Monnett. Not looking good so far.

Now the next story out on the wire today....

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism:

By James Taylor | Forbes

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA's Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

"The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show," Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

Read the whole article. The big take aways I read were that actual observation beats computer modelling. There were a whole lot of assumptions being made about carbon dioxide being a green house gas that absorbed and held a lot of heat. Well it's not happening.

So what's going to happen next? There have been numerous stories out about the IPCC using false data, misconstrued data, faulty data, and so on. Remember all those "Carbon Markets"? Most of them have collapsed, in fact the one in Chicago closed a year ago due to poor trading.

I will be glad when all this foolishness is over and done and we can all move on to actual problems that need fixing. Of course all the environmentalists will gin something else up and make a mountain out of a mole hill. We have seen it before and will see it again. I will leave this exit question for everyone. How many remember the scare stories of "the coming ice age", "ozone holes", "acid rain"? For some reason those stories and problems have slipped under the radar. In fact I wonder how big a problem they really were if they could disappear that fast.

We shall see whether AGW goes the same way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On City of Toronto Budget Cuts

This is just me talking and discussing a few observations.  No news articles to link or talk over.  Just me, talking, opinionated on a few things I have read and observed from different sources.  Both media and friends. 

This past October, Rob Ford was elected mayor of our fair city in what was termed a landslide.  He ran on the concept of stopping the gravy train down at city hall.  For the past 8 years, and longer, the city has had the yearly budget deficit get worse and worse and worse.  We have had unions ask for, and get more, in their negotiations.  Usually after some of them have gone on strike.  The garbage strikes of 2001, and 2008 come to mind.  Not mention the TTC wildcat strike in 2006 and threats of one a couple of years ago as well.

The unions have always been up there with their hands out looking for more cash for their pockets.  City Hall has usually obliged and hit up the tax payers for more money to fund these deals.  Now there are a lot of areas that get funding from the city.  Where do we cut?

Cutting is simple.  You don't cut just one area and trim it to the bone.  You cut from EVERYWHERE!  spread the pain around.  You cut from areas and look for ways to get by with less.  The problem is that there are too many people out there that don't want to get by with less.  Some of them actually say that they need more.

Sorry folks, we are spending more then we have already.  Everybody needs to feel the pain.  Governments of all stripes for some reason are the only group that can run a continous deficit and not get their "credit card" cut off and cut up.

We finally have a mayor in Toronto that gets this and is trying to do something about it.  This brings me to what I am hearing from my friends.  Rob Ford is not a small guy, in fact you can call him obese.  One group of people I hang out with not only attack him for his ideology, (conservatism is evil), they also deride him for his weight and constantly make slurs about that (one acquaintance has a bad case of pot/kettle).

Now lets look at what Ford has done so far.  He has cancelled bike lanes from a couple of major through fares in downtown Toronto.  Good for him.  All the bicyclists however got incensed that he had the audacity to hurt their sacred cow.  They are looking at closing some library branches in the city.  Out of 98 branches I am sure they could find a few that aren't really doing anything and are really not that important.  Of course all the people are screaming that Ford is harming the people of the city.  Rob's brother, Doug, made a comment about Margaret Atwood and said that if she thinks she could do a better job then she should run for council.  Put her money where her mouth is.  Of course he then said that he wouldn't know her if he ran across her on the street. 

HERESY!!! Another reason for all the socialists to lambast this knuckle dragging neanderthal council.  They don't know who Margaret Atwood is?  Personally I wish I didn't know who she was either.  Her opinions tend to get my ire up. 

So what do we do?  The unions have told the mayor and city council that they won't cut, all other departments have said the same thing.  So what do we do?  Unfortunately the mayor is only one voice in city council.  No matter what we think of him and hopes we had, he's still only one voice in the whole budget battle.  All the leftists and socialists that survived this past municipal election will fight tooth and nail for all their sacred cows, perks, and members.

I hope the budget battle is won by the good guys.  I also hope that the cuts will be fair and balanced and spread out over all the city departments.  The city can't function for long on a huge credit card.  Eventually some one will come and cut it up by not giving us anymore money.

We are told constantly to live within our means, and keep personal debt down.  Why can't we hold our governments to the same standard? 

Now personally, I don't like the ideas of some of the closures that would happen.  I liked libraries and was a big fan of them when I couldn't afford to buy many books.  They were a refuge from cares and the hustle and bustle of the city.  Some of the park zoos, like High Park and Riverdale, are great places to visit and look at the animals.  If they have to be cut, I will mourn the loses. 

Things have to be done now or there won't be anything to salvage later. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TDSB Protest Media Roundup

T.V. round up....

CTV News video and text.

City TV video and text.

Okay three television news stations and their reporting on the TDSB protest. The City TV one was focused more on Mr. Bannerjee of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy and trying to discredit him.

The coverage was rather tame to be honest.

Things get a little more interesting when you look to print editions of the protest. The Toronto sun was fairly balanced and covered both sides it seems. Not bad for a right wing newspaper.

Group protests prayers in school

Only thing I have issue with are the numbers he counted. He says 50 while there were at least 100 people there protesting, waving signs and listening to what the organizers had to say.

Now the Toronto Star piece was different altogether....

Protesters oppose Muslim prayer in public schools:

I will cut and paste a few tidbits here and then make my comments.

Standing at the back of the crowds, far from the megaphone-wielding speakers, York University students Mariam Hamaoui and Sarah Zubaira had their own signs espousing their right to pray in school.

They came to thank the school board for providing a place for the Valley Park students to pray. Previously those students had left their school to attend prayers at a nearby mosque on Fridays. [snip]...

Hamaoui, 18, said she had to go to the basement to pray when she attended Etobicoke Collegiate Institute because “there was no other place.”

“I think people should be open minded. I don’t see the problem to go pray. Praying is helping everybody,” she told reporters and the protesters who aggressively confronted her.

“Universities let anybody pray. I don’t see the problem with having middle schools,” she told one woman.

To a man who told her that prayer belonged at home, she said, “Is our school not a second home?”

“It’s our constitutional right,” said Zubaira, who wore a hijab for the first time on Monday.[snip]...

Outside on the board steps, Toronto grandmother Frances Flynt said she came to the protest to “oppose having a mosque in a school.”

She said her grandchildren are only permitted to sing secular songs like Jingle Bells at Christmas. “They’re not allowed to sing hymns in school,” she said.

Artist and atheist Ryan Browne came alone to the protest.

“I felt so strongly about it I decided I’d come down and do something about it,” he said, adding that he fears “our public institutions can be apprehended by certain interest groups.

“I work for the TDSB, I try to teach in an environment of equity. I just find this kind of rhetoric intolerant,” said Omar Qayum, a Muslim math teacher at Agincourt Collegiate.

For the past five years, he says, he’s been taking time on Fridays to pray with his students and there have been no problems.

“We have a Catholic school system. It is publicly funded. My tax dollars go to Catholic schools. I don’t have a problem so long as other religious groups have that same right but that’s not the case . . . When they talk about gender segregation, we have Catholic schools that are all girls and all boys. It’s just that Muslims are an easy target. We are a minority. Islamophobia is an industry these days,” said Qayum.

Okay, a few points here. I will only point out a few obvious inconsistencies, especially with what Mr. Qayum said. He says that his tax dollars go to Catholic schools. Is that his choice? I know that when I voted in the municipal election I asked if I funded public or catholic education. Catholics property taxes go to Catholic schools, all others go to public schools. Then he talks about the segregation issue of separate boys and girls schools. That may be a form of segregation but it's not like the segregation shown in the pictures of the prayers in the cafeteria at Valley Park public school.

Now he says that he has no problem if other religious groups have the same rights. I heard several stories from people that said students they knew tried to have Christian prayer meetings set up during school hours like the muslims have. By the way, it's not just Valley Park that is letting muslim students out of class for Friday prayers. Some reports of investigations say that it may be 14 or more schools in the GTA alone. Anyway when the Christian students approached principles they were asked to meet a few requirements. All requirements being met the principles then put off a decision, delaying, obfuscating and so on until the end of the school year. So much for equity and religious accommodation for everyone.

Now for the statement from one of the members of the Toronto District School Board:

“We are the most diverse school board in the country and we have a duty to provide religious accommodation and that’s what we’re doing,” Spence said. “But accommodation is fluid – it’s not written in stone, so we’re going to continue to have conversations to meet the needs of our students."

I don't know about any of you people out there, but I am smelling a rat. There has been many a statement made in support of the Friday afternoon prayers, saying that other religions get the same type of concessions. From what I have been hearing though that isn't the case.

I am just covering this a little late to the game. Be sure to check out Blazing Cat Fur who investigated and broke this story wide open. There is plenty more to come on this subject, and probably more protests as well.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Protest at the TDSB Steps

Okay, I got busy after work and headed up to the HQ of the TDSB for a protest.  Oh, TDSB is the Toronto District School Board for those of you just checking in now.  Okay, we were protesting at a school board.  Why?  Well lots of reasons.  The cause d'jour is the coming to light of the turning a cafeteria into a mosque for afternoon prayers.  During school hours, with the permission of the school board and the school.  I know some people say "What's the big deal?"   Lots of reasons why it's a big deal actually.  Mainly it's a separation of church and state, pandering to one specific religion over others, time away from class, and so on. Trust me, my last post touched on this a bit and Blazing Cat Fur has been tracking this story down and finding out even more cases then the one school.  Check out his blog for updates, and I will be providing links to some of the jucier bits of story.

TDSB Protest

So, a protest.  Who was all there?  Well the JDL (Jewish Defence League), CHP (Christian Heritage Party), and the Canadian Hindu Advocacy .  A very diverse group of organizations.

So I got there just as things were starting up.  People were on the steps with signs against prayer, and muslim prayer in schools.  There was even an atheist affiliated with no one.  I wandered the crowd and took pictures as I saw fit.
TDSB Protest
TDSB ProtestTDSB Protest
TDSB Protest
TDSB ProtestTDSB Protest

The media presence was huge.  I mean all the national and local T.V. stations had reporters and trucks there.

TDSB Protest
TDSB Protest

I also saw a few media photographers and what appeared to be print journalists in the crowd as well.

There were also a few people there protesting for the prayers in school.  Two young girls with several signs showing their support. 
TDSB Protest
TDSB ProtestTDSB Protest
TDSB Protest

They were very vocal at one point and got into a long running argument with some of the other protesters.  Needless to say a scrum was formed around them and the police presence moved in just in case, along with the media sensing a possible altercation for their broadcast.
TDSB Protest
TDSB ProtestTDSB Protest
TDSB Protest

Me Cynical?   Nah....

there were a few others around as well.  One guy got into a heated debate and called the JDL a terrorist organization according to the F.B.I. in the United States.  News flash buddy, this is Canada.  I do remember hearing him call one of his "debate" opponents a Kufir (arabic for unbeliever).  Of course he got interviewed as well.  The media must have both sides after all.
TDSB Protest
TDSB ProtestTDSB Protest
TDSB Protest

Lots of stuff going on and a lot of speeches were made. It was a good turn out with about 100 people showing up against the TDSB. From my count there were about 5 or 6 people that were counter protesting us. Oh, and one good natured moonbat hippy with her banner of blessing and healing. Harmless and good natured.

TDSB Protest
TDSB Protest

Meir Weinstein got interviewed as well. I hope his message gets out there. All the other groups as well made a good appearance. I just hope that the TDSB listens to us the people. I am not counting on it though.

TDSB Protest

TDSB Protest

Remember, check out Blazing Cat Fur for more details and his take of the protest. He was shooting video and interviews of protesters and counter protesters.