I have been out for a good part of the day and am back now. A wonderful sunny day. I hope my American friends are enjoying a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:33 (average 5:29). To do it, click here. How did you do?
The Nation — After 9/11, French President Jacques Chirac rejected the “war on terror” proposed by George W. Bush, urging the United States to treat terrorism as a form of criminality. His refusal to go along with Bush adviser Karl Rove’s Orwellian use of language is perhaps the only thing that Chirac will be remembered for, but in some ways it’s legacy enough. In contrast, after the November terrorist attacks on Paris, President François Hollande, a Socialist, made the grave error of announcing that France is now at war. Actual states should not grant such legitimacy to small bands of violent criminals, and the deployment of the language and techniques of war is the best way to lose a campaign against them.
The language of war elevates terrorists to the very status to which they aspire: that of legitimate combatants. The fevered hothouses of extremism, whether in Belgian slums or Saudi Wahhabi mosques, generate a narrative that serves as the pretext for violent action. A country like France is depicted as engaging in monstrous acts, killing defenseless children and women from the air. Gullible teenagers are challenged by a jihadi recruiter with the need to do something to halt the atrocities. They are groomed as heroes, as soldiers saving their people. War is, after all, the one social context in which heinous actions are permitted.
Jacques Chirac has a point. Daesh is nothing more than a criminal syndicate, so why are the US, the French and their allies giving Daesh legitimacy by calling it a 'state' and declaring war? Continue reading.
Truthout — Instead of following the White House tradition and "pardoning" a turkey destined for a holiday dinner table, Obama should extend that courtesy to some of the thousands of human beings caged up in America's federal prisons.
Leonard Peltier should be one of them.
Peltier was a Native American activist on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970s. On June 26, 1975, two FBI agents went to Pine Ridge to look for a young man named Jimmy Eagle, who was wanted for robbery. Soon after they spotted his car, a shootout ensued.
Presidents have been pardoning turkeys yearly . . . it's a longstanding tradition. So why can't POTUS pardon Leonard Pelltier? Despite new evidence, Pelltier still sits in Florida, incarcerated for murders he did not commit. Click through for the remainder.
CBC — Canada has so far issued 928 permanent resident visas to Syrian refugees — but there is still no timeline for when they could start arriving.
Immigration Minister John McCallum blames red tape overseas for the delays.
"Not all of them yet have exit visas from Lebanon, and we are working really, really hard to expedite that so they can get those exit visas as soon as possible," McCallum said an interview with Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio's The House.
McCallum also said the first group of new refugees will be flown to Canada on a military plane — although the date for that flight has yet to be set because of the lack of exit visas.
Click through for the rest of the story. It has started. The Metro Vancouver South Asian community is lining up its ducks — 1 year free tuition at the Khalsa school for Syrian refugee children with the availability of Islamic teaching as well; clothing; household items; and many more things. Teachers in the provincial school districts are taking courses to assist with integration and how to recognise and deal with potential mental health issues. Here is another piece about a Syrian refugee family told Canada is next destination. The trauma that the refugee families endure, the choices they have to make. This is huge and we must ensure that we are prepared.
In gratitude for having found refuge and for the assistance they received from the Native Americans after landing at Plymouth Rock, the Puritans we call Pilgrims held what we know as the first Thanksgiving.
Just a thought on Thanksgiving from a modern refugee. Click through.
My Universe — h/t John Gray, Care2
I'm not buying one of these! It does not pick up the cat hair, it just moves it about!