Monday, October 25, 2010

After eight minutes...

...Rob Ford is elected mayor of Toronto.  See CP24 news for more coverage.

Oh dear, boycotting Israel really hurts the Palestinians

Sooner or later, I knew someone would raise the argument that boycotting Israel will really hurt the Palestinians.  I remember during apartheid South Africa era, a similar argument was promoted by white South Africans stating that a boycott of South Africa would mainly hurt the non-white South Africans.

Gil Troy, author of a Montreal Gazette commentary, states that a boycott of Israel would really hurt the Palestinian cause.  Israelis would be less inclined to support a two-state solution.  I argue that they may support a two-state solution.  However, how much of the territory would these Israelis propose that the Palestinians rule?  If we were to fully support Israel, would the Israelis be more inclined to accept a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 line of control boundaries?  I doubt it.  The Israelis would have no need to accept a two-state solution of the world fully supported Israel.

Mr. Troy gives the usually argument that we should devote a boycott of truly repressive dictatorships of Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.  I will agree that we can call out these particular countries for their human rights abuses.  That does not mean that Israel should be let off the hook.  As a consumer, I very rarely see goods on store shelves that come from Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.  It's difficult to boycott something that is already absent.  The last time I bought something from North Korea was in 1991 in the former Czechoslovakia.  It was a cheap towel that I needed.  There wasn't a great selection of towels back then.  All the Czech towels at a particular store came from North Korea.  There wasn't a great selection of anything.  This was just after the Iron Curtain came down.

Back to Canada and Saudi gas.  It's difficult for me to go to my local Petro-Canada station and ask the attendant what percentage of oil comes from Saudi Arabia.  I could drive to the local Esso and Shell stations and ask the same question of where their oil comes from.  Those attendants wouldn't know either.

A boycott by Canadians against Israeli products and services such as travel will probably have little effect on Israel.  However, if the Europeans and Americans support a boycott, the combined effect will put a lot of pressure on the poor Israelis to get their government to support a mutually agreed peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My choice for the next mayor of Toronto: I will not be voting

The City of Toronto uses the undemocratic and antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system for choosing the mayor and councillors.  Since no major mayoral candidate nor my council candidates support changing the voting system to something that is proportional and democratic, I will not be voting in the Toronto municipal elections.

I will not participate in an election that is not democratic, nor advances in the direction toward democracy.

To Officer Tiny Bubbles: It's a cartoon. It's a piece of fiction!

[A comment I posted on Dawg's Blawg:]

Officer Tiny Bubbles claims that the cartoon videos and some of the YouTube comments are defamatory. [According to] Tiny, the video is slanderous, and the comments are libelous.  I can't comment about the comments because the cartoon videos and related comments are no longer posted on YouTube.  I will comment about the cartoon videos which are posted elsewhere on the internet [but are also being deleted].

The person who created and posted the cartoons is a brilliant cartoonist who has definitely insulted Officer Bubbles.  This cartoonist is much like political cartoonists who sometimes post insulting cartoons at political leaders.  One example is by cartoonist Theo Moudakis of the Toronto Star who drew a picture of Stephen Harper at the UN General Assembly trying to get a seat for Canada on the Security Council.  Behind Harper was a row of G20 riot squad officers.  Were these officers really with Harper when he actually spoke to the Assembly?  No.  Was it insulting to Harper?  Probably.  Was it actually Stephen Harper in the cartoon?  I don't know.  The same ideas hold true for the A. Josephs "Officer Bubbles" video cartoon.  Is that actually Adam Josephs in the cartoon?  No.  It's a cartoon.  It's a piece of fiction.  Is Wile E. Coyote actually Adam Josephs?  Should we ban "The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote?"

Have people threatened his family because of the cartoon and some of the comments?  I did not see anything in the cartoon that told people to attack his family.  I hope none of the commenters said that his family should be attacked.  If people threaten to attack Adam Josephs' family, then he and his family should go after the people who actually make those threats.

Finally, I am wondering why Officer Bubbles is just going after the commenters who posted possible defamatory comments on the cartoons and not the live video of Adam Josephs.  I'm guessing that the live video comments would be as nasty as the ones posted under the cartoon videos.



Remixed cartoon and video for those who want to see the cartoon version.