Israeli court hands life sentence to killer of Palestinian teen — National Post – Top Stories


JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem court on Tuesday handed a life sentence to the main attacker in the killing of a Palestinian teenager in 2014 whose death helped spark a chain of events that led to that year’s Gaza war. The court sentenced Yosef Haim Ben David, 30, to life plus 20 years. The state prosecutor…

I couldn’t help but want to share this story, not to make light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, but really to try to shed some light on where these countries differ so starkly.

In Iran, Iraq, Syria and in the West Bank, when an Israeli is killed, there is always footage of the people in the streets celebrating while candy is being thrown to the children.

In Israel, a 30-year-old Israeli man killed a Palestinian teenager, was arrested, had his day in court and was sentenced to life in prison plus 20-years.

The message to Israeli’s… Murder is murder, and if you commit it you will be caught and punished.

The message to Israel’s neighbours… Kill and Israeli and we will celebrate.

It disgusting.

But it’s reality Israeli’s face on a daily basis.  If the “politicians” who want to create a Palestinian state are serious about having their own country that they can run, they should stop spending money on tunnels under Israel, they should wonder why neither Israel, Egypt or Lebanon want their citizens there and they should establish laws to teach their citizens right from wrong.

 

Link to original article is below.

 

via Israeli court hands life sentence to killer of Palestinian teen — National Post – Top Stories

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‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military came under increased pressure Tuesday to rescue more than 20 foreign hostages after their Muslim extremist captors beheaded a Canadian man, but troops face a dilemma in how to succeed without endangering the remaining captives. Abu Sayyaf gunmen beheaded John Ridsdel on Monday in the southern province of Sulu.…

via ‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories.

This is huge news not only because of the stance that then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau took regarding these terrorists (lets hug them and find out why they’re so pissed off) when he was criticizing then Prime Minister Stephen Harper but also because a Canadian was taken hostage 6-months ago and we’re just learning now that he’s been murdered.

Shame on these murderers for kidnapping innocent people – especially Canadians – and killing them when they don’t get their money.  I think in the same way that these thugs think it’s okay to force people to trade lives for money, the Philippines needs to get their act together and fast to find each and everyone of these criminals, and bring them to justice… alive!  This way the message will be send to anyone who thinks this is okay that it’s really not.

This way the family of the poor Canadian who was killed can look at his murderers in the face and spit in their face if they want knowing they won’t be getting money to buy more weapons, buy influence and continue to live outside the law.

This way PM JT will be able to save face by having taken clear actions to try to save this mans’ life plus the life of the other Canadian held hostage instead of just saying that the bad guys are going to pay for this when nothing can be done.

I think as global citizens, we’re all getting pretty pissed off and annoyed with these thugs and their weapons trying to spread fear and violence wherever and whenever they wanted.  Don’t the governments of these areas realize the drop in tourism and the reputational damage that they suffer from after this lawlessness?!?  Do they even care, or are they being bought off??

Enough already.  These people are not a group, they’re not a gang, I don’t care who they support, what they stand for or what they hope to accomplish.  They’re murderers and they need to be caught and brought to justice… NOW!

 

Where you were on 9/11 and when did you realize the world was changing forever?


I’ve had this post sitting in my draft folder for a couple of years.  Each year I look at it, tweak it, then don’t post it.  Probably because out of all the tributes and sorrow that are focussed on, my pales in comparison.  Having recently been to New York City with my family and seeing the site of the old twin towers in addition to the new twin towers, I thought I would take a stab at cleaning up this post and publishing it.

I remember where I was on 9/11 and can recall that day as if it were yesterday.   Sometimes you just know that you are experiencing an event that will change the world forever, and September 11th, 2001 was one of those days.  Much like when John Lennon was shot, or the space shuttle Challenger disaster (watched that live on TV) but to a MUCH greater extent.  From this day, nothing would remain the same.

I had arrived at work around 7:30am at the Canadian government’s taxation department and was going about my business when a colleague called me and asked me if I had heard about an airplane colliding with the World Trade Center in New York.  Intrigued, yet mortified (we have family out there), I asked her for the information they were relaying on CNN.

As she was trying to determine if it was an accident or on purpose, I managed to get a radio from a colleagues desk and turn on 680NEWS, our all-news radio station in Toronto.  I called my wife and left her a message at her work and called my mother at home (who else do you call, lol).  While we were all listening, and the second plane hit and by now, there was a large crown around the TV that I had arranged for from the training unit.  We were watching the events live and the room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. 

It was unreal…

Watching the replay of both planes hitting – from all angles – and from people’s video cameras was riveting, and the footage of people jumping off the tower rather than getting burned alive was disturbing.  The floor was silent.  There were about 65 of us, mouthes wide open looking in horror at what was happening on TV, while reports of other planes flying around looking for targets was still suggested by CNN.

Planes from New York were being diverted to Toronto too…

The Pentagon was hit, a plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania…

I asked our director to please let us all go home – it was unsafe – there was speculation – massive loss of lives and planes with potential terrorists were coming to Toronto.

She would have no such part of it.

I begged her to let us go.

She laughed me off.

10 minutes later she evacuated the building and asked us to decide if we wanted to stay and wait out the happenings in NY, or if we wanted to just  go home. 

It turns out her sudden change of heart was the result of some half-wit called in a terrorist threat to our building (we were in a 21 story building), saying that a plane was going to be flown into all tax buildings, so the police were on their way to secure the ground and watch for airplanes.  I remember as I was leaving the building that the police were dusting a phone booth across the street for finger prints.  I asked an officer and he said it appears that someone called in a threat to our Barrie office (a small 2-storey office about 1 1/2 hours north of Toronto) and upon hearing that, someone – possibly a current employee – was caught on camera calling in the threat to our office and the other 4 GTA offices.  Nice.

So I went home and watched CNN over and over again.  I could not comprehend what was happening a mere 8 hours from Toronto.  The more I saw, the harder it was to understand why.  Sure the perpetrators find the west to be terrorists and I’m sure they felt justified, but seeing the kids in the street in some Arab countries and in the Gaza Strip celebrating the loss of innocent lives made me angry.  When I heard that the US was dropping bombs in Afghanistan, I was over joyed, figuring US intelligence knew something and was getting revenge.

So fast forward 10 years…

Osama Bin Laden is dead and his body dumped in the ocean.

Nothing has changed in Afghanistan.

Terrorist threats are still a real possibility on a daily basis.

Iran wants nuclear weapons.

Radical Islamists in England burned the US flag.

Man are we in for another rocky 10 years.  The US has to realize it has few real friends out there aside from Canada.

Terrorism in the Skies. My solution.


So Al Qaeda has decided to claim responsibility for the failed terrorist attack on Christmas day in Detroit.  Convenient.  Not sure why they are so proud that their specially trained mercenary almost burned himself to death instead of blowing up the plane, but then again, at this point in order to keep up appearances, if my toilet over-flowed, Al Qaeda would claim responsibility.

As a result of this near-disaster, CNN news and other stations have been buzzing with experts and eye-witnesses giving trade secrets and showing how terrorists have managed to circumvent the security of these airports and how easy it would be for this to occur on a daily basis. 

You’d think they were wide open for these attacks on a daily basis – like allowing wacko’s with bombs strapped to their backs to board planes, but security has been tight – not as tight as say El Al (Israeli airlines) but it’s tight.  

After 9/11, airlines responded swiftly by barring boxcutters and other sharp items like scissors and knives.  Smart move.  Hard to cut my food, so they removed the food to save money.

Then that idiot Brit they called the “Shoe Bomber” tried to set off explosives in his shoes, so now we have to remove our shoes as we pass through security.

Seeing the pattern now?

So no knives, blades, shoes, food, liquids, long waits and lots of searches to make sure families like mine are not carrying bombs and what results have been achieved?

None.

Some piece of shit from Kenya decides he wants to create more flying terror for the civilised world – he fails to do what he intended to do – but the airline industry has responded loudly.  No more than one carry on, unable to leave your seat during the flight, no blankets, no pillows. 

Way to react.

But I’ve given this some thought and I have a solution.

The way I see it from up here in Canada, there are some countries really pissed off with the US.  They tend to come from some very radical counties like Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, Afghanistan and a bunch of other countries who hate democracy.

So here is my thought.

Do not allow anyone from these countries to fly over International airspace.

The way I see it is like this.  If I’m playing street hockey with my neighbours and one neighbour keeps hurting all of us, he’s no longer allowed to play.  Now it may take some time and some more injuries before someone has the balls to speak up, but it will happen.  Guaranteed.

So I challenge the international community to not allow citizens from these countries to fly.  If they must come, they can use their own planes, full of their own citizens once and only once the flight is full, and all the people and all the bags have been thoroughly searched.  Kind of like they do for transporting prisoners.

Then land the plane at the nearest airport to water, away from anything and anyone, and put them on another plane to their location.

Better to inconvenience a few than jeopardize the lives of the innocent, no?

If someone has been coming over to the US from Nigeria often, then allow them to fly.  If not and it seems odd, it usually is.  When a guy buys a one way ticket and travels with very little luggage, even I get suspicious. 

If you want the privilege of travelling to the US (and Canada) then you have to go through proper authorities.  Geez, if it was legal, the safest way for people to travel is nude, no?

So I forsee a bunch of really rich sheiks from the middle east flying in their own jets anyways and tourists come with their families, so question the single travellers who are making their first trips to the US, possibly the ones coming from the UK who may or may not have been hanging out in radical mosques and whose parents may or may not have been trying to tip-off US authorities as to the lack of common sense their child has been exhibiting.  That might be a good place to start.

Then if all goes well, the sale of picture books of US tourist sites should sky-rocket as less and less people will be flying to the US in order to cause shit.

I just feel that closing off airways to Nigeria right away might send a strong message to terrorists.  Keep your terrorist views to yourself or your country will suffer.

You never know…

Update: Someone was listening!!!

Announced Monday January 4th.  U.S.-bound air travellers from 14 countries considered either state sponsors of terrorism or “countries of interest” now face tougher screening measures.

2004 Year in Review


2004 is coming to an end and here are the stories which will remain with me for years to come.
Besides the upcoming birth of my first child (due any day now).
So while there were many winners and losers in 2004 — most notably in the USA, President Bush and John Kerry, respectively — but many more found themselves in muddy middle ground.  Coalition forces had success and failure in Iraq, and terrorists struck in Spain and Russia.  Debate raged over same-sex marriage, media standards and other “moral values” issues. The 9/11 Commission hearings and reports; Yasser Arafat, Ronald Reagan and others’ deaths; and court cases involving Kobe Bryant, Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson left uneasiness as a new year dawned. 2004’s final days were dominated by an earthquake and tsunamis that left more than 150,000 dead from Thailand to Somalia.

1. The US Presidential election – An intense race for the American presidency led to the unfortunate re-election of President George W. Bush over Democratic challenger John Kerry.  As in 2000, the election came down to one state. This time, it was Ohio’s 20 electoral votes that put Bush over the top.  Unlike 2000, Bush also won the popular vote with 51 percent to Kerry’s 48 percent.  The election further tipped the balance of power decisively into the Republican corner in Washington as the party won larger advantages in the Senate and House.  Nationwide, voters turned out in droves, with a turnout rate approaching 60 percent, the highest since 1968.

2.  Iraqi war – Insurgents in Iraq used car, suicide and roadside bombings to chip away at U.S. and coalition efforts to reconstruct the country and institute the nation’s first democratic government since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.  Terrorist and insurgent groups took up the grisly practice of kidnapping and beheading foreign hostages (which always found their way onto the Internet… UGH, bidding to compel countries to leave the U.S.-led coalition. Public sentiment towards this war changed forever, when in April, 2004, a series of graphic photographs of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners was revealed.  At least five detainees died in U.S. custody in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

3. Terrorism – Terror attacks killed hundreds in 2004.  Nearly 200 people died in explosions that struck train stations in Madrid in March, attacks later blamed on al Qaeda.  In Russia, Chechen rebels seized control of an elementary school and took hostages. After two days, the siege ended bloodily with more than 300 adults and children dead.  In the United States, there were no attacks but the U.S. Supreme Court dealt the Bush administration a setback by ruling that U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike seized as potential terrorists can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts.

4. Natural Disasters – The year ended with one of the most horrific natural disasters in recorded history: a 9.0 earthquake in the Indian Ocean that spawned devastating tsunamis that killed at least 150,000 people from Thailand to Somalia. Tsunamis left hundreds of thousands more without homes, food, fresh water or power and struck both impoverished villages and rich tourist sites, sparing few areas in the waves’ path. The United Nations urged donor countries to contribute materials and money, saying this could be the costliest disaster ever. The tsunamis came several weeks after the close of one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons in recent years. By late summer, several major storms had hit Florida, the U.S. East Coast and the Caribbean.
5. The 9/11 Commission – The independent commission investigating the September 11 attacks cited a “failure of imagination” that kept U.S. officials from understanding the al Qaeda threat before the attacks that killed nearly 3,000. The 570-page report recommended changes to the U.S. intelligence community, including establishing a Cabinet-level intelligence director. An intelligence overhaul bill based on the commission’s findings was passed late in the year, but not before many House Republicans insisted on changes they said would prevent gaps in the military’s use of intelligence, and address immigration and border security issues.
6. Yasser Arafat (finally) dies – For decades, he was the symbol of the Palestinian cause.  At times, the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize winner (no laughing please… He really did win it) was viewed as a figure intent on promoting peace with Israel; at other times, he was seen as leader of the violent struggle that used suicide bombings against Israelis in hopes of establishing an independent Palestinian state.  Arafat died in a Paris hospital on November 11, after months of health problems.  While many mourned his passing, others saw his death as an opportunity for Palestinians and Israelis to start anew their attempts to forge a lasting peace.
7.  Crossing a line – Exit polls from the 2004 election suggested voters who cited “moral values” as most important to them may have assured President Bush a second term.  If so, they did so in a year rife with debate on ethical issues — starting with an outcry over media decency after Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl halftime show (where Justin Timberlake ripped her shirt open exposing her left breast by “accident”)  “The Passion of the Christ,” a el Gibson anti-semitic film portraying Jews in a bad light as having killed Jesus, grossed almost $90 million in it’s first three days in theaters, while Michael Moore’s anti-Bush diatribe “Fahrenheit 911” became the most profitable documentary ever.  Months after Massachusetts’ first legal same-sex marriages, voters in 11 states stupidly backed referendums making it illegal.  In June, the Supreme Court reversed a lower-court decision that teacher-led recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional, ruling that the California father who filed the case did not have the legal standing to do so.
8. Former US President Ronald Reagan dies – Former President Ronald Reagan died at his California home on June 5, nearly 10 years after announcing that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The nation spent a week saying farewell to the former president, who led a conservative revolution and helped bring about the end of the Cold War during his two terms in office. He was laid to rest at his presidential library in California after a state funeral in Washington, D.C.
9. Crisis in the Sudan finally gets the world’s attention – Civil war continued to ravage Sudan in 2004, with some international leaders — including U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell — accusing the Sudanese government of committing genocide against black villagers. Critics singled out the government-backed Janjaweed Arab militia, which is accused of widespread murder, rape and arson.  Human rights groups estimate up to 30,000 civilians have been killed in clashes between black rebels and government forces, with more than 1.2 million people left homeless.
10. The Boston Red Sox win the World Series –  For 86 years, and especially since the club traded then-pitcher and future slugger Babe Ruth, Boston Red Sox fans have watched their team fall short of a championship only to watch their bitter rivals, the New York Yankees, rack up 26 titles. Finally, this fall, generations of Red Sox Nation had very good reason to celebrate.  The club became the first in baseball history to rally from a 3-0 series deficit to win the American League pennant, the comeback made that much sweeter given they steamrolled the Yankees to do it.  Boston rolled into the World Series and swept the St. Louis Cardinals, who had ended the regular season with the best record in Major League Baseball.
These stories, no doubt, will be remembered by the world for years come come.
From a Canadian point of view, 2004 brought the following newsstories to the forefront…
2004 brought the avian flu – and panic –  to Canada and confirmed that one case of BSE originated here, forcing the slaughter of millions of birds in B.C. and closing the country’s borders to beef sales.
Paul Martin’s Liberals were (sadly) given a minority government.
A fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi on its first voyage as a Canadian ship brought the entire submarine fleet into question, not surprising, considering the fleet would lose a war against a bunch of 4 year olds, with it being old and run down.

The continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq saw the deaths of more than 1,000 American troops and thousands of Iraqis. Images of prisoner abuse prompted apologies from American leaders.

A bitter election year in the U.S. ended with the re-election of George W. Bush as president.

Hundreds died after Chechen rebels took children hostage in a school in Beslan, Russia.

The death of Yasser Arafat marked a turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The election in Ukraine give us two Viktors, but no winner, and a revote on Boxing Day, bringing the Ukraine into the world spot light and introducing the Orange Revolution to the world.

On Mars, NASA’s rovers took stunning pictures of the alien landscape and made startling discoveries about the planet’s past, including the possibility that liquid water once flowed there.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2005.