14 December 2015

Canadian Citizenship Here We Come

Well, I've been here in Canada for almost 7 years. I am what you call a "permanent resident", which basically means that I can do everything (like work) but I don't have the right to vote. Of course, I could maintain that status, but I feel that if I live in a country, I should do my best to be a part of that society. I also don't want to have to redo the paperwork maintaining the status of being a permanent resident every five years.

I just took and thankfully passed my citizenship exam - 19 out of 20, not too bad. The exam wasn't terrible, everything was in the booklet that we are supposed to study from. It was really interesting studying from the booklet. It's fun to see what a country feels a new citizen should know coming into the society - distilled down, the "Discover Canada" booklet still covers 51 pages of information. Everything from the economy to the national sport of hockey. I should probably go find a study booklet for US citizenship and see what we find most important to impart to our new citizens.

As I checked out of the testing area, I spoke to the officer at the front desk- he congratulated me on a job well done and even gave me tiny Canadian flag for my efforts. He also said that I would be called to participate in the Canadian citizenship ceremony in about 2-4 months time.

At that point I'll be taking the Oath of Citizenship:
I swear (or affirm)
That I will be faithful
And bear true allegiance
To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second
Queen of Canada
Her Heirs and Successors
And that I will faithfully observe
The laws of Canada
And fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
Interestingly enough, the booklet gives an understanding of the oath:
In Canada, we profess our loyalty to a person who represents all Canadians and not to a document such as a constitution, a banner such as a flag, or a geopolitical entity such as a country. In our constitutional monarchy, these elements are encompassed by the Sovereign (Queen or King). It is a remarkably simple yet powerful principle. Canada is personified by the Sovereign just as the Sovereign is personified by Canada.
All nice and good, but for the proud American that I am, I admit that I cringe when I read the oath and the explanation. I'm pretty okay with pledging allegiance to Canada. In truth, it makes my life easier and I really do want to vote if I'm planning on living the rest of my life here... but to the Queen, not so much.

Funny enough, I came across an article this weekend dealing with this exact dilemma. I'll quote the whole article here.
An Israeli math professor took his oath of Canadian citizenship in Toronto last week, then immediately recanted the part about swearing allegiance to the Queen, calling it "repulsive". He pledged his loyalty to Canada and its people instead. Dror Bar-Natan, 49, was one of three residents who were part of a failed constitutional challenge to the oath that was dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeals in 2014. But the court said new citizens are free to publicly renounce the royalty portion of the oath if they disagree with it. The University of Toronto professor, who has been in Canada for 13 years, told the citizenship judge in advance of his plans. The judge thanked him for his honesty. - Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 10, 2015
Will I renounce that part of the oath? Probably not. But it's nice to have the option. Now we just wait to get my notice to show up to get sworn in. Definitely something to look forward to.

09 September 2015

It's the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Sick

I really have to stop watching the news. It amazes me that the world is falling apart and no one has noticed.  I feel like I'm a Chicken Little crying out that 'the sky is falling' and it's of no consequence to anyone.

Muslim refugees from Syria are being welcomed with open arms, sometimes with applause (like they've accomplished something). Are these people going back to the Middle East anytime soon? Of course not. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are invading Europe, being hailed almost like conquerers. Charles Martel must be spinning in his grave. Today they are refugees... in five years or even fewer, they will be comfortable in their new host countries, demanding civil rights and social services. Perhaps they will go to the free European universities and wave Hezbollah and Hamas flags, fitting right in with the Boycott Israel crowd.  Modern Europe is dead.  The demographics don't favor the Europeans with their less than replacement birthrate.

The Pope himself has called on parishes across Europe to take in these refugees. Where has he been this past year? Has he brought attention to the destruction of the ancient Christian communities in Syria and across the Middle East? No. It's a disgrace. Christians are being beheaded wholesale, women and children are being sold into sexual slavery and he doesn't say anything worth mentioning. Ah, but the Syrian Muslim refugee crises... and we get a response. I do not understand and I am not impressed.

Of course this is all aside from the Iran deal, giving them billions of dollars to allow them to continue their terrorist activities around the world (the Obama administration expects that they will) - removing sanctions and allowing them to join the nuclear family in 15 years (that's a joke, they'll have it sooner).

This coming week brings us the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. It's a solemn two day holiday, where we recognize the King of Kings, the Ruler of the Universe. It's the beginning of a time of judgement, not only for the Jewish People, but also for the entire world. We hope and pray that this craziness will end, that there will be true peace for everyone.

It's my prayer that the coming year be full of good news, good health, clarity, and success for everyone out there. Shana Tova U'Mituka! Wishing a Sweet New Year to you all!

09 August 2015

Republican Debate and Canadian Leader's Debate Reviewed

The debates were fun.

I saw part of the 5 o'clock Republican debate -- boring! I'm glad I caught some of it, but wish it would have been just Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry. Lindsey Graham didn't do himself any favors, I'm sure he's a smart guy, but he didn't present well. He kinda just droned on whenever it was his turn. I thought Fiorina was the best of the crowd.

The 8 o'clock Canadian Leaders Debate, on the other hand, was fun to watch. Mclean's Magazine put it on - the moderator asked a question, then basically stepped back and let the four of them fight it out. Fantastic. That was a real debate. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party, did decently, and tried to stake out a middle ground. Thomas Mulcair, NDP (Socialists), who is a smart guy, came off kind of out of it the first hour, topped off with a strange smile. Someone must have told him to look friendly and speak slowly. Elizabeth May of the Green Party is also quite smart. She attacked Mulcair and came off sounding like she knew what she was talking about. Stephan Harper, Conservative Prime Minister, was attacked by all three and didn't seem at all shaken. I just wish he wouldn't use the phrase, "Let me be clear" so much!

The 9 o'clock Republican debate was a whole lot better than the 5 o'clock version, and it certainly helped to have an audience. Donald Trump imploded within the first five minutes by saying that he wouldn't guarantee that he'd support the Republican nominee if it weren't him. How obnoxious. Overall, there weren't so many standouts - Marco Rubio surprised me by being better than I thought. Dr. Carson did a fair job, but he's going to need to talk faster. Scott Walker, disappointed me with his stance that he didn't think abortion was a viable option even when the mother's life was in danger. Jeb Bush, was boring.

I thought the moderators from Fox News did a good job. I liked their pointed questions specific to each of the candidates. For those complaining that Trump was ambushed, that is a joke. Trump announced to everyone that he was going to be himself and not prepare... therefore, he rambled, he insulted, he did exactly like he said he would - he was himself. In other words, he was a disaster, and it's his own fault.

I had a good time Thursday night, hope you did too!

04 August 2015

So Many Debates, So Little Time

It's true. Thursday is going to be a busy night.

Fox News is hosting the first Republican debate... and here in Canada that same night we'll be having the Leaders Debate in the oh so long, 11 week campaign for Prime Minister. Yes, you read that correctly, 11 weeks. The media here is so excited - 11 weeks of what to discuss, debate, bore us all with instead of... a whole 5 weeks! Incredible.

As soon as the kids are in bed, you'll know where I'll be... flipping the channels back and forth. Although I'd love to take a watch at 5 o'clock with the candidates who didn't make the top ten cutoff for the 9pm debate - Henry Hugglemonster, Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Princess Sophia - may be playing instead. Oh well, such is a happy life with little kids.

Enjoy the debates!

30 July 2015

Show Us the Planned Parenthood Videos!

Jimmy Kimmel gets choked up talking about the killing of a famous lion - and I should feel bad. I don't. I'm not a hunter, nor do I care about it. I do care about the videos about Planned Parenthood - let them come out. If they have nothing to hide, and they stand by everything they do - let those videos come out.

Kimmel gets choked up about a lion - I'd like to see him get choked up about the real war on women. Women get to be the next best thing to G-d... a creator of life. I don't say that lightly. Dr. Ben Carson made an interesting point a few nights ago (I apologize, I can't remember where and I'm paraphrasing): Women have been convinced that rather than being G-dlike, being the protector of the potential and growing life, rather, we are being attacked by that invader... it may even have to be destroyed in order to live our own lives. A mistake being erased. What a backward way of thinking.

An animal life is something important. Killing an animal illegally is wrong. Period. But a human life is something completely different - something special. There's something really wrong with our society when there is this disconnect between seeing the death of an animal as something that warrants death threats against the hunter and videos of fetal body parts getting a yawn.

Supposedly there are nine videos made in this Planned Parenthood series - let us see them all. The media should cover this story - which they aren't. If Planned Parenthood has nothing to hide, then let Planned Parenthood announce to the world that THEY want to see the videos come out. Otherwise, I will assume that they have everything to hide.

This is the real war on women.

29 July 2015

Character Matters

The Daily Beast has joined in the fray against Donald Trump, bringing in marital rape allegations from 20 years ago. Is this relevant to the current presidential campaign, sure - it points to his character and other personal flaws which I'm sure are not a huge surprise to anyone.

What I'd like to see is the same scrutiny of other Democratic presidential candidates - like Bernie Sanders, who is drawing huge crowds of admirers. If we're going to dig back decades - let's see him defend an article he wrote back in 1972, about how women fantasize how they'd like to be gang raped. Is this relevant to the campaign today? Sure - it points to his character and other personal flaws which we should know about in our potential candidates.

I am happy to notice that the Daily Beast wrote a short article detailing the missing emails months prior to the attack on the US embassy in Libya (along with some other issues).
Among the approximately 2,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has released from her private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. There are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. 
A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that’s true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate.
Considering the myriad scandals (aka "distractions") that have plagued the Obama Administration over last almost 8 years, I'm surprised and pleased to see that at least one has landed on the liberal radar screen - especially since Hillary Clinton is the Democratic front runner - and especially surprised since this points to her lack of action where Americans were in danger.

Remember that 3am phone call? It seems that Hillary Clinton took the phone off the hook. But 'what difference does it really make' anyway? Is this important to our campaign? Yes. Again, this lack of action points to character.

Character is important, and knowing where our candidates are lacking is also very important. Let's hope that the mainstream media digs up more relevant information on both parties that helps us choose our next president.

28 July 2015

Guns are NEVER the Solution, Right?

Neal Falls, the alleged serial killer who was killed by a Charleston, West Virginia, sex worker last week, was carrying a list of six other women's names in his pocket when he died.  
Falls, 45, was shot to death by a woman he met in the escort section of Backpage.com, authorities say. She says he showed up at her door on July 18 armed with a gun. "Live or die?" he allegedly asked when she opened the door. Then he began choking her, according to police "When he strangled me, I grabbed my rake, and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him," the woman, who asked to be identified only as Heather, told CBS News of the encounter. 
This is a great story. I'm happy that woman had the sense to shoot the guy -- but, I thought guns didn't solve anything?

Read the whole article here.

27 July 2015

Putting the Holocaust on a Pedestal

It seems that Mike Huckabee has started a hoop and a lah by stating his opposition to the Iran deal by alluding to the Holocaust, where at least 6 million Jews were massacred.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, told the Breitbart News Saturday show on SiriusXM Patriot. "He's so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiot thing.”
This of course was followed with a response by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC head, whose feelings were hurt.
“This rhetoric, while commonplace in today’s Republican presidential primary, has no place in American politics,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable. Mike Huckabee must apologize to the Jewish community and to the American people for this grossly irresponsible statement.”
Huckabee isn't backing down - and nor should he. I want no apology. Is the Holocaust an event to put on a pedestal as something to be venerated, but not to be learned from? I want my potential President to understand the devastation that Iran could unleash on the Jewish state. There are over 8 million people in Israel, about 75% of them Jews -- a nuclear bomb wiping out the population isn't a "Holocaust"?

Oh, but all that current (like everyday) rhetoric still talking about the destruction of Israel isn't really all that serious. And you know, this deal is going to stop Iran from building their bombs... at least for 10 years... and we trust them because we get to spot check them... oh wait, no we don't. The Iranians are going to self-check and report back... what? Really?! Whatever, don't confuse me. I'm a Democrat and I trust my President.

10 years? Reminds me of another treaty... right, the one that Muhammed made with the Quraysh tribe. Why do we care about this treaty? Because history, like the Holocaust, is there to be learned from.

Muhammed originated from the city of Mecca, which was being controlled by the tribe of Quraysh. But in 622 A.D. Muhammed fled to Medina after being forced from Mecca by the Quraysh tribe for preaching a monotheistic message.

While in Medina, Muhammed signed a peace treaty with the tribe of Quraysh that "agreed to remove war from the people for 10 years. During this time...no one is to lay hands on another...evil [is] to be abstained from, and there is to be no raiding or spoliation."

During the next eight years Muhammed concentrated on building his power base and was soon much stronger than the Quraysh tribe. The treaty quickly fell to pieces and Muhammed attacked the Quraysh tribe in 630 A.D. and took the city. The peace treaty was only a tactical tool against the Quraysh tribe. Otherwise known as a "hudna".

Could this be a hudna rather than a peace treaty? Do we really trust Iran to hold up their side of the bargain? Do we trust the international community to make sure that Iran holds up their side of the bargain - that they won't have hidden centrifuges that can't be checked on? Or are the Jews (and non-Jews) living in Israel on their own, again, waiting on the best wishes of the world to save them.

Never Again.

23 July 2015

Quick News Rundown: Iran and Planned Parenthood

Lots to unload about...

Iran. Fantastic deal. Our "peace partners" are still talking about the destruction of the State of Israel. No problem. I suppose that wasn't part of the negotiations - murdering the Jews. Hey, Obama never liked Bibi anyway.

Chuck Schumer. Democrat. Big friend of Israel. Looks like he is going to support the Iran deal. Must be a Democrat before being a friend of a democratic ally. Too bad, I might've almost respected him.

Planned Parenthood. What a disgrace. We don't sell baby body parts, oh wait, yes we do - in the name of science. "Doctor" Mengele, I assume, did his work in the name of science. At what point do we give a potential life some respect? At what point does a woman have some personal responsibility to keep her legs shut instead of hoping her pill works and doesn't have to resort to killing the life growing inside? I used to be pro-choice, until I realized that medicine today can save babies earlier and earlier -- at what point is this whole thing a farce? "My body - my choice" is a joke. A woman makes a poor decision, gets pregnant... kill the unwanted pregnancy. No problem. No personal responsibility either. That child might have been the next scientist to find the cure to cancer or MS. No worries, "my body - my choice". Tough luck kid.

Couple dozen Republicans running for President. This'll be fun to watch. I'd take just about every single one of them over President Obama or Hillary Clinton (or any other Democrat out there). I had no idea it was even remotely possible to do as much damage to the country as Obama has done in the last 8 years. Incredible and painful.

That's enough for now. Time for bed. Good night all.

14 January 2015

If It Looks Like a Duck

I think that the President of the United States and his mouthpiece Josh Earnest, could use a refresher course on how to identify ducks given by my three year old daughter. In other words, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck… it may be… a duck.

Even after the dual massacres in Paris this week, the President could not commit himself to uttering two simple words - “radical Islam” – and could not show his face to march with other world leaders to protest against it.

It’s not a big surprise. In 2009, Major Nidal Hassan murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers, and wounded 28 more, while yelling “Allahu Akbar”. The government classified the shooting as an act of “workplace violence”.

Rather than focus on “radical Islam”, the Obama Administration will be hosting a summit on countering violent extremism. In Josh Earnest’s words, the summit is “made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottowa, Sydney and Paris.”

What do those attacks in Ottowa, Sydney and Paris have in common? Let us try and figure it out. Perhaps the Parisian Buddists are rioting again over the cartoons depicting the Dalai Lama, by murdering magazine staff and people shopping at Kosher grocery stores. Or the Mormon extremists who took over a coffee shop in Sydney and threatened their hostages’ lives. Or, the Amish have had enough of those “Amish jokes” and attacked Canadian Parliament to let everyone know that they are not happy. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what Earnest must have been talking about when he was talking about the summit countering “violent extremism”.

It’s almost comical if this denial of reality were not so deadly. Radical Islam has declared war on anyone and everyone who disagrees with their worldview. Whether attacks are orchestrated by Al-Qeada or by ‘lone wolves’, the results are the same.

Perhaps a review would help. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ as it shoots up a room full of political cartoonists, it may very well be radical Islam at work.