Tag Archives: Hot Topics

Cartoonists on Khashoggi’s Disappearance

EMAD HAJJAJ, ALARABY ALJADEED NEWSPAPER , LONDON Emad Hajjaj, Alaraby Aljadeed newspaper, London

On Oct. 2, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. A Turkish official claimed they have evidence that Khashoggi was assassinated inside.

Khashoggi, who in recent years resided in the United States and worked as a columnist for the Washington Post, is one of the Western world’s most prominent critics of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS,) a man known to have little tolerance for dissent but often hailed as a modernist by Western media.

According to an anonymous Turkish official, a Saudi assassin squad flew into Istanbul on private jets and waited for Khashoggi inside the consulate. The squad included a physician who specialises in autopsies. They also took a bone saw.

The disappearance sparked an international diplomatic incident.

On the other hand Trump said he believes the king of Saudi Arabia because he denied any involvement. Obviously nobody is surprised about Trump’s position, they had business together. He did the same defending Putin and not the FBI, or Kavanaugh.

Political cartoonists from all over the world have responded to Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder. Some below:

JOHN COLE, THE SCRANTON TIMES-TRIBUNE, PA John Cole, the Scranton Times-Tribune, Pa.

Morten Morland. UK

OSAMA HAJJAJ, JORDAN Osama Hajjaj, Jordan

Benjamin Slyngstad

ARCADIO ESQUIVEL, COSTA RICA Arcadio Esquivel, Costa Rica

PAT BAGLEY, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, UT-16102018-0004 Pat Bagley, the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah

Nick_Anderson. The Washington Post Writers Group.

Sabaaneh. Palestina

There are no words for such horror, but it’s a reality we can’t pretend it’s not happening.

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Weed Is Officially Legal In Canada

As a Canadian person, I can confidently assure outsiders who look upon Canada as this always-smiling apologetic utopia. It’s cold for about 11 months of the year. Near every pond lurks a pack of Canada Geese that will either try to bite you or will laugh as you slip on their poo.

But at least we can now legally smoke all our problems away, because today marks the first day  that cannabis is 100% legal in Canada.

There were a couple times parliament tried to pass decriminalisation bills, but they didn’t take until 2017, when the Cannabis Act was passed.

The bill officially went into effect today, thus making Canada the second country in the world, behind Uruguay, to legalise it for recreation, medical use, and cultivation.

CBC notes that the rules will vary from province to province. All but two provinces require you to be 19 years old (Alberta and Quebec are going with 18). You can smoke at home and in public (depending on the city), and bring 30 grams of weed on a plane, but you can’t get high and get behind the wheel of a car.

You can also buy weed online and have it shipped to your house.

Forget what I said about the geese, this country is obviously great. But you can’t sell it, you have to buy it from the government or an approved source.

Canada is also considering releasing people in jail for weed-related offences.

On the other hand, stoners started to line up at 3:30 am in front of our government-run legal pot shops here in Montreal.

I don’t smoke, but will always support its legalisation, so blaze it bitches!

Happy Legalisation day to all my fellow Canadians!

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Just Be best

“You always have the best taste in fascists, uh, fashion,” says Randy Rainbow to Melania Trump in a new “interview” before launching into a Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” take on the First Lady’s new anti-bullying slogan.

Another perfect parody!

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The Execution Of Mata Hari

On Oct. 15, 1917, famed female spy Mata Hari is executed for espionage by a French firing squad.

Most of us have seen those wonderful vintage postcards with Mata Hari’s photograph on them, but most of us know little about her.

Few years ago I bought this book about Mat Hari, it wasn’t only a biography but a research since she’s still somehow an urban legend. By that I mean there’s plenty of fantasy about her but not proven facts.

Mata Hari gained fame for her dances which consisted of her stripping nude, packing dance houses.

Men adored her, and her list of lovers grew to include high-ranking military officials from different countries.

During World War I she was accused of revealing details about the Allies’ new weapon, the tank, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers.

Mata Hari was convicted of espionage without much evidence.

Many historians believe her conviction was a way to distract the public from the huge losses the French army was suffering in the war.

According to an eyewitness account by British reporter Henry Wales, she was not bound and refused a blindfold. Mata Hari only crime was possibly her weakness for men.

A victim, rather than a victimizer.

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BOY ERASED Poster Released

Who benefits from gay conversion therapy? Do the parents, who send their queer and questioning kids to be “cured” of their same-sex attractions? Do the young people who are brainwashed into denying the urges they believe to be sinful? Does “God?”

The answer, at least according to Joel Edgerton’s earnestly anti-heteronormative drama Boy Erased, appears to be that only the charlatans who run such camps seem to thrive, while everyone else winds up hating themselves.

It’s pretty sad how religion makes people so ignorant, hurting other human beings in the name of dumb doctrines.

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CANADA: One Week Away From Legalised Marijuana

The Associated Press reports:

Mat Beren and his friends used to drive by the vast greenhouses of southern British Columbia and joke about how much weed they could grow there. Years later, it’s no joke. The tomato and pepper plants that once filled some of those greenhouses have been replaced with a new cash crop: marijuana. Beren and other formerly illicit growers are helping cultivate it. The buyers no longer are unlawful dealers or dubious medical dispensaries; it’s the Canadian government.

On Oct. 17, Canada becomes the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. Uruguay launched legal sales last year, after several years of planning. It’s a profound social shift promised by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and fuelled by a desire to bring the black market into a regulated, taxed system after nearly a century of prohibition.

Personally, I don’t smoke. And the smell of weed is awful in my opinion. But I don’t judge those who love it. In fact smoking weed is as common as drinking wine, or eat poutine here in Montreal. Again, Canada is a very progressive country.

We have free healthcare, abortion is legal since 1969, same-sex marriage is legal since 2005, and now marijuana.

Meanwhile in Trumpistan (formerly the United States) Trump is now hating Taylor Swift… because his only job is to divide that country.

Oh Canada! What a wonderful civilisation we have.

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If Kavanaugh Were A Nominee In Canada…

As everyone knows, the socio-political system between The United States and Canada are very different. We are basically two different worlds. While we have our own issues, nothing is as outrageous because our system won’t allow it.

This weekend the U.S. Senate confirmed accused sexual predator and right-wing operative Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a lifetime appointment. And perhaps, the only thing more horrifying is the process by which this scandal has unfolded.

The sickening Republican reaction to Dr Christine Ford’s testimony, social media battles, and divisive rhetoric have highlighted severe flaws in the American political system.

Legislation and the current political climate in Canada, by contrast, ensure that a similar situation would almost certainly not reach the height it has in the United States.

1. The stakes would have been lower

In the United States, Supreme Court decisions and appointments are highly politicised. Court decisions usually, but not always, fall along party lines. Currently, the court is comprised of four liberal members, four conservative members, and one “swing” member. It is that swing member, the seat that Kavanaugh will fill.

American Supreme Court judges are appointed for lifetime terms, meaning Kavanaugh’s could solidify the Republican grip on the court for decades. That likely means that the Court will agree with conservative perspectives on abortion, workers’ rights, affirmative action, and same-sex marriage.

If Kavanaugh were a nominee for the Supreme Court of Canada, such debates would be quiet, if they existed at all. Canada has already largely settled the issues listed above.

Decisions made by the Supreme Court of Canada are also seen less as political assessments of presidential decisions. The loyalties of Canadian Supreme Court Judges are also less determined by party than they are by region.

According to the Supreme Court Act, three of its nine seats must go to judges or lawyers from Quebec. By convention, the remaining six seats are divided as follows: three from Ontario, two from the Prairies, one from British Columbia, and one from the Maritimes.

Justices in Canada must also retire at age 75 and may be removed for indecent behaviour by Parliament. There is a lot more oversight.

2. There would automatically have been an investigation

In the U.S., the FBI only launched an investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh at the order of Trump, who, in turn, only ordered an investigation at the behest of the Senate.

In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would have begun an investigation on their own.

3. Members of Parliament would not have waged political war

MPs in Canada, outside the Cabinet, have almost NO SAY in Supreme Court appointments. A committee recommends a nominee to the prime minister, who then forwards the name of the nominee to the Governor General, who, along with the Queen, makes the appointment official.

In the U.S., a majority of the Senate must approve the president’s Supreme Court nominees. Senators have made the Kavanaugh nomination an all-out political war because they can capitalise on the situation.

4. There would have been no public spectacle

Because MPs don’t need to ratify Court appointments, there would be no need in Canada for the televised hearings that dominated American screens. 

Those hearings were almost entirely a public spectacle. Senators from both parties used the televised performance as a political platform. That was unfair to Ford, who bravely recounted her trauma in front of the whole country. Watching Ford fend off the belligerent, all-white male Republican contingent of the Judiciary Committee was especially infuriating.

Canada would have the decency to minimise the spectacle out of respect for Kavanaugh’s accusers.

5. Kavanaugh would disappear and maybe go to prison

After the withdrawal of his nomination, Kavanaugh would also likely be forced out of his current judicial position pending the conclusion of the RCMP investigation. From there, he would either disappear or be charged and convicted. If he were to go to prison, he would likely undergo a restorative justice program and rehabilitation.

In Canada Kavanaugh would have never ascended to the Supreme Court. The end!

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