Visiting Largest Mosque in Canada

Sunday, 5 February, 2017

In light of the Quebec City tragedy (“Six dead men. Six widows. Seventeen fatherless children. Five people in hospital.“),  I decided to take time to visit the Baitun Nur Mosque (the largest mosque in Canada which happens to be in Calgary) yesterday afternoon to stand shoulder and shoulder with my Muslim brothers and sisters in this sad time.

I ended up getting a personal tour of the mosque by a very nice Mr. Sultan Mahmood (who sits on the executive council of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at). Sultan took time to talk to me even as he had to leave a scheduled meeting early where President of the executive council and other members were meeting with a representative from the Alberta Premier’s Office.

The way I see it, we need no permission from anyone to do the decent thing. And you can do what is within your power (big or small) to try to help and show support. Visiting a local mosque in your area is a good start just to say hi and to tell our fellow Muslim Canadian brothers and sisters that you care and will stand up and speak for them.

Here are some photos (with captions) from yesterday. I asked a question about the carpet markings and Sultan explained that they are designed so that people stand shoulder to shoulder with others. And of course, the direction of the halls of worship are all facing Mecca. A quick research in Wikipedia taught me the word Qibla which is “the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah prayers. It is fixed as the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.

Sultan and I agreed that it would be a tragedy if we Canadians did not learn from the painful pages of history of the Internment of Japanese Americans, Chinese head tax. And I will add our shameful history of the Rejection of the Komagata Maru, can still teach us lessons today in the Trump presidency.

P.S. By the way, I saw a Facebook post by Kent Hehr (Calgary MP and Minister of Veterans Affairs) tonight and I left the following comment:

I’m saddened to see the vile and heartless comments left in this post at a time when 6 of our fellow Canadians got murdered, leaving their wives and 17 orphan children behind. Why people feel they can dispose common courtesy when sit behind the keyword?

I had some free time yesterday so I did a quick Google to find the address of the Baitun Nur Mosque, the largest mosque in Canada which happens to be in Calgary. I got a wonderful personal tour of the mosque by a nice gentleman who took time to show me around leaving a meeting he was attending.

Whatever religion you believe in or not, one can choose to be a candle of light to fight the onslaught of darkness from the US and around us in some parts of Canada.

I decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with my Muslim brothers and sisters yesterday by paying a personal visit to the mosque. I need no permission from anyone to do the decent thing. And you can do whatever you can to help and show support too.

For those who don’t know how to behave decently in face of deaths and orphan children, I mourn for the lost of your basic humanity in face of partisan attacks of those you disagree with politically.


George Orwell: A Life in Pictures Full Documentary

Saturday, 28 January, 2017

George Orwell (Eric Blair) is the amazing author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, a book that has become an Amazon best seller agains since the “Alternative Facts” //a phrase used by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway during a Meet the Press interview, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer‘s false statements about the attendance at Donald Trump‘s inauguration as President of the United States.//

George Orwell: A Life in Pictures Full Documentary (according to BBC, no audio or video exist but all quotes are by Orwell played by an actor)

This looks like a good informal watch too. “LITERATURE – George Orwell


PM Justin Trudeau surprised Canada is a bilingual country

Wednesday, 18 January, 2017

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20170221 update: CBC News, “Trudeau apologizes to anglophone woman for answering in French at Sherbrooke town hall

CTV News, “PM apologizes for answering English speaker in French at Quebec town hall

====

As a former teacher, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sure acted like he needs a few quick lessons. Here are two free lessons from a Canadian to his PM that is facing heat over his decision to speak French only at town hall (CBC News with video).

Lesson 1: Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as official languages. This FB comment elegantly captured what I think. (emphasis added)

Canada is a bilingual country regardless of what province you’re in.

If a Canadian citizen asks the prime minister a question in one of the two official languages the polite thing is to answer in that language.

Otherwise the person asking the question has no idea what’s being said.

Lesson 2: Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all Canadians our “Mobility Rights“. S.6(2)a of our Charter states,

“Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right to move to and take up residence in any province

It is surprising that the Prime minister was so easily ‘surprised‘ to be “asked so many questions in English in Quebec’s Eastern Townships”. Has the PM repealed our “Mobility Rights” and now we need his permission to move? Are English speakings Canadians not allowed to live in Quebec’s Eastern Townships? How about French speaking Canadians living in Calgary, Alberta? Puzzling.

P.S. On a serious note. Bilingual Canadians don’t need to be lectured by the PM. The PM can choose to answer the question in BOTH English (language preferred/decided by the questioner) and then repeat in French (if he wishes)! I expect no less if a French question is asked in Alberta. Answer the question in BOTH French and then English! #PMisOurPublicServant #PMisNOTaboveFederalPublicServant

I don’t expect my PM to never make mistake but I expect him to correct his mistakes quickly. Hopefully he has learned his lessons from this.

P.P.S. I don’t mind my last PM (Mr. Harper) has little charisma but I know he would never dare to face Canadians like this, not after Mr. Harper gained absolute power and showed his disdain of the press (who were there to ask questions on behalf of all Canadians).

Jan 19, 2017 Update: Read the rest of this entry »


Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds & Blake Lively

Monday, 16 January, 2017

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RyanDeadpoolReynolds (twitter) & Blake Lively are the coolest couple. (ref: “The Shallows is a 2016 American survival thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Anthony Jaswinski and starring Blake Lively.”)

* I LOVE this GQ profile of Ryan that spotlights his fun and determination to get Deadpool made and his relationship with Blake: “Ryan Reynolds on his Deadpool Obsession, Meeting Blake Lively, and His New Film, Life
* Just Google Image search “deadpool nicholas sparks billboard”
* THR, “How ‘Deadpool’s’ Marketing Won Over Fanboys (and Everyone Else)
* There are SO MANY references in Deadpool, read & enjoy what people said here!

Ryan Reynolds: “Deadpool” | Talks at Google

Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool and worshipping his daughter | The Jess Cagle Interview | PEOPLE (extremely good interview, many quotables!)

Deadpool Cast Interview with Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller and Ed Skrein

Ryan Reynolds Gets Roasted By His Twin Brother | GQ (very funny!)

Blake Lively: The Age of Adaline Interview (27 minutes) Read the rest of this entry »


Fox News defends CNN against Trump – Press should adapt NATO Article 5 Collective Defence

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

It is surprising to see Fox News defending CNN against Trump (with video). I think the Press should adopt a principle similar to NATO Article 5 Collective Defence. Attack One = Attack All!

Let me quote the following from NATO Article 5 Collective Defence,

Highlights

  • Collective defence means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.
  • The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
  • NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
  • NATO has standing forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance’s collective defence efforts on a permanent basis.

Of course, we are not talking about real war here but it won’t be too surprising that sooner or later, all fact-checking press can and may be seen as “fake news” by Trump except his own Twitter AC and his propaganda machines.

Jan 13, 2017 update:

(Highly recommended) CBC Radio, The Current, Friday January 13, 2017 “Donald Trump news conference ‘clear attack on the free press’” (note: 13:45 mark for Canadian PM Harper experience)

CJR, Jan 11, 2017, “Trump berated a CNN reporter, and fellow journalists missed an opportunity” (source: FB)


Fact Check re Syrian children

Friday, 23 December, 2016

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(This is a post I shared on Facebook.)

My dear FB Friends, I had enough today. I refuse to stay silent seeing suffering children in Syrian or anywhere around the world being further insulted. I’m absolutely #BeggingYouToFactCheck your posts before you share anything (claims of photos of suffering Syrian children are fakes, radiation in our food in Canada or US, etc). Stop sharing things so quickly from a random “non-trusted” site. (It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?)

My last straw was seeing a long time friend sharing a post that claims photos of suffering children of Syria are fakes! Accusing they were photos of the same child in three photos.

I LOVE children as they are our future. Defenceless & suffering little children in Syrian or anywhere around the world don’t need some baseless accusations!

Against my own earlier post in stating I won’t spend my time to fact check my friends anymore. They are adults and should really do their own damn fact check! I decided to do one *last* simple #FactCheck. How long did this simple check take me to confirm my friend was dead wrong? Well, precisely less than 60 seconds! Typing a few words into Facebook search of all places! (Some checks take longer but this one is less than 60 seconds) I was able to confirm my friend’s shared accusation was untrue thus sickening.

I don’t have infinite time to fact check my friends’ posts but when I see things that are fishy, for those friends that I care enough, I may leave a tag comment #BeggingYouToFactCheck

I know I may risk pissing some friends off as some friends had told me they enjoy sharing stuff, including unproven medical claims with neither proper nor reputable sources or references.

Sorry my Facebook friends in advance. If you need to unfriend me after seeing one of my #BeggingYouToFactCheck tags, I don’t mean to insult you in anyway. But in our post-truth world, we are in danger of being drowned with fake news and lies that were reshared endlessly in social media like Facebook.

P.S. A few words about references and good sources, when you want to make an astonishing or extreme accusation, please make sure you have sourced the share from creditable media or double or triple sources things and not simply from a single FB page or .com sources that are align to your own political views.

Repeating what I wrote above: It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?


Uncensored Madonna Woman of The Year Speech & Billboard Censored/Edited out of sequence version

Wednesday, 21 December, 2016

In our post-truth world, I am so disappointed with Billboard for posting Censored/Edited  out of sequence version of Madonna Woman of The Year Speech. For the record, someone shared this Uncensored Madonna Woman of The Year Speech (16:28 vs Billboard’s 10:29) Here are some text transcript but neither are full transcripts as they haven’t included some part of her speech.

The Full uncensored Madonna speech  (16m28s) [HT Lola Larassa]

(Censored & heavily edited) Madonna Woman of The Year Full Speech | Billboard Women in Music 2016 (10m29s)

NOTE: I thought Billboard behaved badly and left this comment.

@Billboard While I appreciate the chance to watch this partial speech video, I am very disappointed re your misleading (frankly, I was going to say deceitful) claim this is a Full Speech. You should really have more respect for your own Billboard Woman of The Year! Or you don’t really give a flying beep because Madonna is a Woman (and not a MAN) after all.
The site Digital Music News has an article entitled, “I’m Madonna. And This Is the Blatant Sexism, Misogyny, and Constant Bullying That I’ve Faced…” which others have claimed is a full transcript of Madonna’s speech. I have no way to tell thanks to you!!! (update: After watching Lola’s version, the transcripts miss things too so they are not full transcript.)
@Billboard Has our post-truth world arrived early before January 20, 2017 and facts and truth really don’t matter to you anymore?!
P.S. Other commentator has written “beggars can’t be choosers” in thanking you for the video. Sure, having something to watch is great but I am not willing to give up “facts” for that yet?! I would rather watch a cell phone video of Madonna’s FULL & Unedited speech than your mangled version (which I suspect, given others’ transcript, you might have edited things out of sequence)! What the beep is wrong with you @Billboard?! Please don’t suck!

Bonus: RARE Madonna 1/2 hour Vogue B-Roll Footage [HT Lola]


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