Landing on the Beaches of Normandy (Paris 2009, Day 09c)

Today, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy, France, I am reposting my original travel blog of Paris,¬†and specifically, of the bus tour I took to visit the Normandy region, including all 3 major landing beaches for Omaha (America), Gold (UK) and Juno (Canada) beaches. The article’s wording has not been edited¬†since my original Blogger posting in 2009.

 For the events of Saturday, September 5, 2009


1:00 PM – As we departed the Caen Memorial, our tour guide told us the museum is made out of the local stones of Normandy and built on top of an old Nazi bunker! The Germans actually flooded all the roads we are driving on today just before D-Day, to try to slow any potential successful Allies landing, which obviously didn’t work.

AMERICAN SECTOR (OMAHA BEACH)

1:04 PM – We are now on a 45-minute drive to the Coast. As we moved along, I noticed that the houses were all out of a movie set – everything is primarily the same as it was before or during the D-Day landing. I liked this particular house because it had all the historic charm of the French coast, seen for hundreds of years – but with a satellite dish stuck right in front . Also went by a church that had served the community for centuries . Apologies for the blurry pictures at times – I was taking them out of a bus window traveling at a good clip down the little roads.

Our first stop on this historic trip for me is the American Sector codenamed Omaha Sector – it’s not actually known only as Omaha Beach as many know it today, because some parts of it don’t have beaches at all. So far this has been a very high-end trip – the guide talks a lot (15-20 min) of background which is good. She kept saying we’d be a bit rushed in places this AM but I didn’t feel that way. Really impressed so far.

If it weren’t for the heroic efforts of the tens of thousands that died on D-Day, the beaches of Normandy would not have been cleared for more than 2.5 million other Allied soldiers that flooded France by the end of September, halting the German invasion and slowly liberating country after country from the Nazi death grip.

D-Day was without a doubt the greatest military invasion in human history, and the largest amphibious landing of troops of all time. Operation Overlord (as the invasion was codenamed) began just midnight on June 6, 1944 first with an aerial assault of tens of thousands of American, British and Canadian troops behind the enemy lines. What followed at 6 AM was later described by the Germans as a total horizon of ships – more than 5,000 in fact, carrying over 175,000 soldiers to 50 miles of beaches. Operation Overlord continued until the advance to the outskirts of Paris on August 19, and the Battle of Paris began.

The German defenses used an interlocking firing style, so they could protect areas that were receiving heavy fire. They had large bunkers, sometimes intricate concrete ones containing machine guns and high caliber weapons. Their defense also integrated the cliffs and hills overlooking the beautiful view. The defenses were all built and honed over a four year period and were extremely complex. It was like a city made out of concrete, and included guns so huge they ran on rail cars. Those who landed on those beaches faced what was later described as the greatest concentration of firepower in world history.

My Uncle Clayton was one of those young boys that jumped off a boat and faced that horror on Juno Beach. Having seen how open some of these beaches were to enemy fire, I’m actually amazed anyone survived. The Allies were to bomb the smithereens out of the German guns before the landed, but in some cases,the bombs never hit a single target, especially at Juno Beach, and it caused an unknowing Allied landing party to come under tremendous attack.

PM – Our first stop of the tour, situated between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east was a little jutted-out place called Pointe Du Hoc (see map – the tip of which is the Pointe), where many American soldiers first landed. This is an original map from the invasion, and the Americans erroneously called it Point du Hoe on this map until later corrected.

Pointe Du Hoc is not a beach, but sheer cliffs rising from the water, making it very difficult to storm. The German guns, housed in 6 concrete bunkers, some with living quarters built into them, were able to reach as far as Utah Beach to the left (west) and Omaha Beach to the right (east), so it was imperative that the Americans successfully neutralize this area.

Though they literally bombed the heck out of the area first, they realized that they would still need to land troops there to ensure all guns were neutralized, and the 2nd Ranger Battalion was ordered to take the Pointe. However, before they could get there, the Germans, alerted by the continuous bombings, moved all the big guns about 1 mile away for safety. Before the Rangers attacked, their leadership knew the guns were moved, but the soldiers didn’t.

Regardless of the big guns being gone, the concrete fortifications were intact, and would still present a major threat to the landings if they were occupied by artillery forward observers. On these cliffs, 75 American troops were shot trying to climb the 100-foot cliffs with ropes, ladders, and grapples, and the troops had no ammunition reinforced to them for two full days after finally taking the Pointe – an eternity when you are being shot at constantly. Because of the price America paid to take this Pointe and ensure the success of D-Day itself, and the future liberation of France, the French gave this particular piece of land to America, and it is now permanent American soil.

1:55 PM – The first thing I noticed when I got to the Pointe, beyond the German bunkers, was how many bomb craters there were – it was like looking being on the surface of the moon. The second thing you notice is that literally nothing had been

touched since the landing – except for the guns, etc. removed. The broken concrete of the bombed-out German bunkers was left completely untouched.

The bunkers themselves were amazing (see photo for the German’s viewpoint), and completely available for you to crawl and wander through, which in hindsight seemed so crazy from a liability perspective, but then, who would you sue? They had open-ended concrete tunnels to connect them and were extremely dangerous to crawl through in places, with concrete half-bombed out and left dangling, etc., crawlspaces made half as big because they had collapsed, etc.

It was neat to see the track where the huge battery gun had been placed and ordered removed by General Rommel before the Americans attacked. It was huge – looked like it could turn 360 degrees on something like a gear set, and about 40-50 feet across, with about 6 stairs leading down on 4 sides.

I guess it was felt that the horror of war should not be put behind glass or barricades, but touched and felt. The blood of German and American soldiers had soaked the concrete in places, and it was left as it had been shed. It was both fantastic to see and horrifying to be near at the same time.

2:27 PM – Had to run to catch the bus back and did exactly on time – I was the last one. Oops! Felt rushed there but I understand there’s lots to see! I literally could have spent hours walking through those bunkers. It was beyond amazing. Definitely would like to come back and wander around more someday.

At this point, the roads are only one lane and very windy – they haven’t been changed since they were first constructed for humans and horses, with big trees on both sides – as it was in 1944. Beautiful old stone houses. And I just saw… a furry pig!

2:45 PM – We stopped for a 5 minute look at Omaha Beach itself, which wasn’t much to see – just a huge flat beach that seemed to go for miles, and some hills overlooking it that now had houses built up. Would be amazing real estate now and a very popular beach in summer time, but horrific on that June day. In that picture, there’s a little memorial at the bottom right hand corner. That is the marker of the first American cemetery in France, right on the beach – a mass grave where they just had to dump bodies for days to get them out of the way. They were later moved to the American Cemetery at Omaha Sector, our next stop.

3,700 Americans and 1,200 Germans died at Omaha Beach from 6:30 AM to noon. That’s 1 soldier every 4 seconds – and it went on for 5.5 hours.

3:00 PM – After a short drive we arrived at the American Cemetery at Omaha Sector, officially named the Colleville/Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer Cemetery. The cemetery was inaugurated in 1956 after four years work, overlooking the beaches of Omaha. Emotion overwhelms the visitor facing the large central viewpoint, the Memorial decorated with a huge Battle map, the Garden of the missing, where are carved the names of 1 557 missing soldiers. At the entrance to the Cemetery, a capsule is dedicated to General Eisenhower which contains his hand-written report of the D-Day fighting, sealed there on June 6, 1969 (the 25th anniversary of the landing).

But it’s the number of crosses that cover over 10 acres of land (and official American territory) that literally brings tears to your eyes and a lump to your throat. 9,386 American men (and 4 women) are laid to rest in this unbelievably beautiful and peaceful place.

I have seem video of this cemetery before (it was shown at the beginning and end of Saving Private Ryan), and thought I was prepared. Had a picture in my mind of my visit to Arlington National Cemetery as well but so wrong. This was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life.

There are 50 people time staff that do nothing but cut the grass here. Of course they use electric equipment for the most part, but around each grave, the grass is always trimmed by nothing but hand clippers only. The graves are located at random, but are in sections of the alphabet from A-Z, and numbered rows in each section. There are four big sections in four quadrants, which have a central Chapel in the middle of them. While the majority of the Cemetery is filled with crosses, there are 300 Stars of David for Jewish soldiers as well.

As much as this was a nice place, we spent far too much time here. Why we had to be so rushed at the Beach and then spend an hour almost here is beyond me – I thought it was pretty stupid. I strongly recommend not doing a tour of the Normandy region in a bus – take a car from Paris and go on your own.

4:00 PM – We departed from the Cemetery and made our way out of the American Sector to the neighboring British Sector. Here, the roads so narrow and houses right up to the road, so it was difficult to take many pictures from the bus. At some points, you literally could have reached out the window from your seat and touched the walls of the buildings – a large charter bus such as ours could only go at a crawl, and no other vehicles could be coming from the other direction. In a few places some of the buildings were a bit farther off the road, allowing for a good shot, like this beautiful historic church.

The tour guide told us that the best dairy products in France, including Colbert and Camembert cheeses, come from here. There are also a lot of farms here with sheep and cows on them.

BRITISH SECTOR (GOLD BEACH)
4:15 PM – stopped at the British sector (Gold Beach) at Arromanches-les-Bains (or Arromanches as it’s known mostly), at low tide. I fell in love with this adorable little town at first sight – it reminds me of the Rock of Gibraltar on south tip of Spain, where I spent my 16th birthday in 1983. I just told myself I’ll be back here for summer vacation someday. I imagine it would be insanely busy- would like to rent a house or apartment and stay in the area for a week or two. Cute as a postcard with little souvenir shops, restaurants and B&Bs.

The town lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings, one of the beaches used by British troops in the Allied invasion. Arromanches was selected as one of the sites for two Mulberry Harbours built on the Normandy coast, the other one built further West at Omaha Beach. Sections of the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches still remain today with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand, and more can be seen further out at sea.

At a meeting following the disastrous Dieppe Raid, Winston Churchill told his generals he remembered that in World War I, they had sunk old ships for a bridgehead for an invasion in the Danish Islands during World War I. The concept of Mulberry Harbours began to take shape quickly, to build an artificial harbour at Arromanches to make it easier to ship supplies in, etc without rough seas at the landing spots.

By June 9, just 3 days after D-Day, two harbours codenamed Mulberry “A” and “B” were constructed at Omaha Beach and Arromanches, respectively. However, a large storm destroyed the American harbour just 10 days later, leaving “Port Winston” at Arromanches with heavy duty for 8 months‚ÄĒ despite being designed to last only 3 months. It was used to land over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies providing much-needed reinforcements in France.

 

Today Arromanches is mainly a tourist town. Situated in a good location for visiting all of the battle sites and War Cemeteries, there is also a museum at Arromanches with information about Operation Overlord and in particular, the Mulberry harbours.

My second biggest regret on this tour was how much time we wasted at the Cemetery, and how little we spent here. I could spend a week here, however, so another trip is a must!

Got a great coffee-flavored Italian gelato for about 1‚ā¨ from a street vendor across from the bus.

CANADIAN SECTOR (JUNO BEACH)

5:05 PM – We got back on the bus and again, after only a few minutes were at what I waited for all day – a moment (it seemed, almost literally a moment only) at Juno Beach, where my Uncle Clayton landed and lost so many friends. Canada had the second largest losses at Normandy behind the US – and we were such a little country then. I think that’s when the whole world sat up and took notice of us – and watched as we liberated country after country. People celebrating by the thousands in the streets and throwing flowers on Canadian tanks in Holland, Belgium, and France.

The biggest regret on this tour was that we were only to spend 15 minutes there. Screw that, I thought – there are 8 Canadians out of 23 on this bus, and we’ll hold it up as long as we want. The Americans got hours, we’ll get a few more minutes – and I talked to the other Canadians and we agreed to just drag it out a few minutes longer. The Americans understood later and didn’t complain at all. They all agreed the Museum there is the nicest of them all today.

Juno at the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer was the second most heavily defended (the British Gold beach was the least defended) of the five landing sites chosen. The Germans had 11 heavy batteries of 155 mm guns and 9 medium batteries of 75 mm guns at their disposal, plus pillboxes and other fortifications were present all along the beach, most heavily concentrated in the Courseulles-sur-Mer region. The seawall was twice the height of Omaha Beach’s, and the sea was heavily mined. German troop strength numbered under 8,000 soldiers and was one of the weakest divisions in Normandy. Thankfully, or the Canadian casualties, the second worst of the D-Day invasion, would have been much larger.

In the first day of the invasion alone, Canadian casualties numbered nearly 1,000 killed and wounded, but it was such an unbelievably chaotic day that no accurate record is possible to indicate how many were killed on the beach and how many became casualties inland. Once the Canadians cleared the seawall (about an hour after leaving the transports) they were able to advance towards their objectives farther inland.

Having seen how completely open this beach was, I’ve never been so proud of my country in my life. There were several completely intact bunkers at this beach, that had full living quarters built into them underground. Quite amazing. I didn’t get pictures, but have a bit of video and will show upon request.

The Centre Juno Beach, paid for with individual Canadian donations, was beautiful. Sorry folks, it was so dismal outside, and I had so little time, that I didn’t get great frontal shots of the building. It was a very impressive looking centre, designed to look from the air like a stylized maple-leaf, made with polished copper to shine in the sun. And it had these little posts that had little nameplates of donors from coast-to-coast in Canada, who had given more than $6 million total. Only Canadians would rally together for something like that. I encourage everyone to visit http://www.junobeach.org to learn more about the Centre, and the price Canada paid to free Europe.

5:30 PM – could have spent much more time here, but maybe this would be a great second trip. Beautiful place. But finally we had to get ready to leave. As we left the region, I saw that Juno is right by a pretty little harbor that looked a bit like False Creek. Would be a great place to live, so close to the ocean. They also had an oyster farm there, which was interesting.

 

7:00 PM – we stopped at a truck stop on the way called Total. It was the most unique thing I’ve seen all day, as it seemed to look best on a Canadian freeway – really different than anywhere else I’ve been to in France. They had a bank of coffee machines against one wall that made expressos, chocolate cappucinos, anything you wanted practically. Really neat. Got a ham and Emmental cheese (which I’ve never had before in my life) sandwich, a Lion chocolate bar (which was really amazing – had Rice Krispies, caramel and covered with chocolate), and a Fanta Tropical juice for the road back. But was so tired I fell asleep right away and didn’t eat any of it!

8:00 PM – Woke up in time to see a high-speed “bullet” train that takes you from Paris to Normandy. I swear it was the fastest thing I’ve ever seen with my own eyes run on land. Amazing – must have been going a few hundred kms/hour.

9:00 PM – we made great timing back, and were back around 9:00 (supposed to be 9:30) back at the station. Before I hopped on the train, however, I ran over to the Louvre (just a block away from the Cityrama office0 to get a great night shot. It’s so beautiful at night, and it was a great night in Paris, so I couldn’t resist. A bit creepy at night there, mind you.

9:45 PM – I quickly took the train back, and got back to the hotel. Found a really nice fruit basket at the hotel that they had left as a thank you gift – nice touch. Going to head to bed around 9:45 PM so I can get up and pack and finish some of my blog in the morning. Good night – loooooooong day, but really amazing.

Was exhausted so ate the supper I bought at the truck stop, some of the fruit, and went to sleep.

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By Shawn Jorgensen,  Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Original Post:  September 5, 2009.  Reposted:  June 6, 2019
[God’s Got A Plan For You!]

The Magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and Louvre (Paris 2009, Day 08b)

Tonight, in honor of the great Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, heavily damaged in a tragic accidental fire, I am reposting my original travel blog of Paris,¬† specifically of the day I visited this landmark Cathedral. The article’s wording has not been edited, since its original Blogger posting in 2009.

 For the events of Friday, September 4, 2009


10:15 AM – After going down to breakfast, I came back to the room to see that the rain clouds had seemingly weakened, and the sun was starting to come out. I quickly finalized my final plans for a big a day of travelling. Today I plan to see all of the biggest icons of Paris in one day – it’s a bit of a stretch whether I can actually make it happen or not, but will definitely try!

I took the RER C train to the Saint Michel-Notre Dame station. As I exited, I could see a big crowd was starting to already gather about a block away. I had to cross a small bridge over the Seine river, which was frankly unmemorable, and as I crossed the far end of the bridge, I was actually on √éle de la Cit√© or “Island of the City”.

This little area is actually the first site of the 2,000-year-old city of Paris, and right in front of me, in all of its 840-year-old glory, was Notre Dame (“Our Lady”) Cathedral – the seat of the Archbishop of Paris (see picture left, click for larger). This beautiful cathedral, which took over 200 years to build, was just opened a few minutes before, and already seems to have busloads of tourists in its big open courtyard in the front of the building.

The building itself is amazing – you are immediately drawn to all of the incredible statues of saints and sinners that adorn it’s walls and buttresses (see picture right, click for larger). A man close to me said “it looks like the rain is gone” and his wife said “hallelujah”, and for some reason, I thought I could trust them to take my picture with my camera, so came up and introduced myself. They were really friendly, and we got a few good shots for each other in front of the massive Cathedral.

A minute or two later, a lady came up and asked if I spoke English, and when I said yes, she held up a weird sign talking about how she was from Bosnia and had all these kids to take care of blah blah. She looked like a stereotypical image of a gypsy and I was immediately on guard. I knew something was up here – why not just talk to me if you spoke English too? And if not, how did you write the sign in English? She kept getting closer, and I laughed and said “sorry honey, my pockets are zippered closed” and walked away – she looked a little stunned at being found out, but quickly scurried on to the next sucker. And to think she was trying to pickpocket me in front of a Church!

I followed a big group of what sounded like Italian-speaking people into the church, and heard the massive bass of the pipe organ playing as my eyes adjusted to the darkness for about a minute or two before it stopped – it was really amazing to hear it! And for the next hour, that was the only time it was played, so it was a real treat. I caught some of it on video to capture the sound.

I spent about the next hour walking around and looking at statues of Archbishops and others who were buried within the walls, and spent a bit of time at the front altar of the church. I have to admit, not being Catholic, that the Cathedral, beyond its architecture, wasn’t of much interest to me anymore, and it was unbelievably crowded. Big tour groups of Italians (not sure why there were so many) were literally filling all of the corridors to the point you couldn’t walk around them. I was starting to feel claustrophobic, so decided to get back outside.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris – September 2009 (Credit; Shawn Jorgensen)

11:30 AM – I crossed back over the bridge and away from the crowds, to get a few pictures of the backside of the Cathedral (see picture left, click for larger), and got some nice shots. The rain clouds seemed to be getting darker and closer as time went on, and I was getting concerned that my whole day was going to be wrecked. It was by no means hot outside, but whatever, I wasn’t going to quit unless it literally was pouring.

I made a call to the tour group I was going on tomorrow, and I’m glad I did – found out that the Metro stop they had stated in the brochure was best to go to (Palais Royal/Louvre) was in fact a 10 minute walk. I needed to go to Tuileries station, and it was only a 2-minute walk. I was to look for a courtyard with a gold statue, and the Cityrama office was apparently right there. I found out I was confirmed for tomorrow morning and was to be there at 6:45 AM. I’m getting excited now – hope the weather improves!

11:45 AM – Found a great little souvenir shop and spent about 20 minutes finding some Eiffel Towers, keychains, etc. for folks, friends and work colleagues back home. In hindsight, it wasn’t the smartest thing I did all day, but stuff was cheap. Now I have to haul it all around with me! I have a schedule to keep and I don’t want to go all the way back to the hotel to drop stuff off, but was tempted to after I carried everything out.

I was walking up the street, parallel to the Seine River, and saw a few little booksellers (see picture right, click for larger) that I’d read about that were open and selling things. Apparently, they have been doing this exact same thing for over 400 years in this area. The booths almost look like big green garbage bins – they flip open a lid that’s locked down to the street and up pops a bunch of tables with books, etc. on them.

In case you are tempted to bypass this area of the city as being cheap tourist junk, think again. These are real genuine antique bookstore owners who sell some amazing nostalgic stuff – I bought a bunch of litho copies of a painting of the Eiffel Tower for people back home, and continued to head down the street back to the Metro.

1:15 PM – To get the to the Louvre, I had to first transfer to the Ch√Ętelat Metro station. I got on the RER B train and was there in just a few minutes. I was stunned at how enormous this place was – it is clearly the Grand Central Station of Paris. It’s named after Grand Ch√Ętelet – a castle destroyed by Napoleon in 1802 after the Revolution. It was so big it had about 6 or 7 stores in the main atrium area, which was like the spoke of a wheel, with all the corridors leading down to the various trains branching from it. This particular station is the connector for 7 Metro stations and 4 RER stations, and was already incredibly busy.

I had to walk all the way down from one end of the station to another, which according to Wikipedia – is more than 1 kilometre long! In fact, I had to go down two different moving sidewalks (see picture right, click for larger) to get to the last platform for Line 7 – which was to take me to the Louvre Metro station. It took nearly 15 minutes to walk all the way through the station, getting lost a few times and finally getting on Line 7 train, which is again one of the little LRT style trains that are so old and over-used.

2:00 PM – after about a 20 minute ride, I was at the Louvre station, and exited to a beautiful art deco exterior which I had to stop and take a picture of (see picture left, click for larger). I was clearly in the artsy section of the city. It was located in a little park, that had a comedy theatre beside it.

When you exit the station, you come up into a little square, with the Hotel du Louvre behind you, something like looked like an embassy to the left, an antique mall across a little courtyard, and to the right, the magnificent, several-block-long Musee du Louvre.

2:50 PM – I spent a bit of time wandering around the neighbourhood, which seemed to be full of people but empty of sights, so I walked back to the courtyard, walked up to the Louvre. There was a walkway that went through the outer ring of the Louvre to the inner courtyard and main entrance. As I did, I walked by huge floor to ceiling windows that were showcasing some beautiful sculptures and statues inside. I wasn’t planning to go inside the Louvre at all, because I had a lot I wanted to do today, and I wasn’t really into art to that degree. But this was a neat little treat (see picture right, click for larger).

Mus√©e du Louvre or officially the Grand Louvre ‚ÄĒ in English, the Louvre Museum or Great Louvre – or simply “the Louvre” ‚ÄĒ is the largest national museum of France, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris, located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (neighbourhood). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 652,300 square feet.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which was a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II – and parts of the fortress are still visible. In 1672, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being confiscated church and royal property. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon when the museum was renamed the Mus√©e Napol√©on. After his defeat at Waterloo, many works seized by Napoleon’s armies were returned to their original owners. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings.

3:00 PM – I exited into the inner courtyard of the Louvre, which features the Pyramid. Suddenly the sky’s opened up and it just started pouring rain. The courtyard had been just full of people and they scurried to all sides of the courtyard to escape the rain, including myself. I hadn’t brought an umbrella because I didn’t really think it was going to rain in the afternoon – this sucked. I thought it would last forever, but a major wind came up out of nowhere all of a sudden, and within minutes the sky’s temporarily cleared – long enough for me to a get a few dismal shots in front of the Museum. Sigh.

3:30 PM – soon it started to rain again, and I lost patience. I was tired, had been hauling the souvenir bag around for hours and was ready now to get back to the hotel. I had actually had seen most of the sights today on my list. I crossed the street back to the courtyard, and walked down a block-long area with souvenirs, restaurants, etc. It was crowded, noisy and irritating.

I came up to a restaurant called Rivoli Cafe and bought a quiche that looked like a pizza (see picture left, click for larger). It was really quite awful – very greasy, but it was only about 2,50‚ā¨ so I couldn’t resist. I was pretty irritated to see a McDonald’s a block away, however – I should have eaten there instead. I was already feeling a bit upset before I even left the area.

Then I had an extremely irritating follow-up trying to find a bank or currency exchange that would break my 50‚ā¨ bills, because they were sticking up outside my wallet, advertising to everyone who wanted to see, and made me nervous. First I went to two different currency exchange places, and asked where a bank was at both. Both said they didn’t know where one was. Turned the corner, there was a bank. Good lord.

I waited in line at the bank for over 20 minutes and they wouldn’t break my bill, and the currency exchange places wouldn’t either. One actually told me to go to a supermarket and buy something. I told him to drop dread and stormed out.

4:04 PM – This was the Paris that sadly many warned me about – ignorant, unhelpful, rude barbarians. But I do not believe these are true Parisians, just as I don’t believe this tourist nightmare is a real cross-section of the wonderful city. I admit I was starting to get really sick of the city at this point, and wanted to go home, but knew I was just overreacting and tired, so headed back to the hotel to relax before heading out tonight.

As I left the area of the Louvre, it was really starting to rain again by now, so I was getting discouraged that I wouldn’t get to go out tonight, but I was going to go on the boat cruise whether it was nice out or not.

More adventure to follow!

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By Shawn Jorgensen,  Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Original Post:  September 5, 2009.  Reposted April 15, 2019
[God’s Got A Plan For You!]

President Hollande: DECLARE WAR Already!

103335143_restricted-nice-suspect-news_(1)-large_trans++eo_i_u9APj8RuoebjoAHt0k9u7HhRJvuo-ZLenGRumAOn the evening of July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France, deliberately drove a 19-tonne cargo truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, killing 84 people and injuring more than 300. He was shot and killed by police.

The incident has been described as the third major terrorist attack in France since January 2015, following the Île-de-France attacks on January 7-9, 2015 and the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015.


Normandy
The near-10,000 American soldiers who died on D-Day, American Cemetary, Normandy, France

I was privileged to have walked the ancient streets of Paris, and the blood-soaked beaches of Normandy on the first week of September, 2009 – as the world marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.

That period was a time for heroes and villains in France, great betrayal and a massive final victory. I recognize it was a different time in a lot of ways, but the people of France – the very soul of the country – hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.

index
Lady Liberty, 1876 

The French believed in liberty enough to send thousands of troops, their navy and spent over $1 billion livres on the American Revolutionary War – which was nearly twice as much as the government made in a year! It was this debt that caused them to start their own Revolution. In 1876, they even gifted the Statue of Liberty to America on her 100tht birthday!

They have been ruled by Kings, an Emperor… even dictator Adolf Hitler, after the Nazi conquest of France. France has been conquered by and repelled several invading armies over the centuries, and nearly conquered the world themselves under Napoleon. But they are not known as a warrior people today – in fact, just the opposite.

French President Francois Hollande hugs German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives at the Elysee Palace before the giant Unity rally in Paris after the 2nd major attack (Credit: CNN)
French President Francois Hollande hugs German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives at the Elysee Palace before the giant Unity rally in Paris after the 2nd major attack (Credit: CNN) 

ISIS is something no one was prepared for. ISIS is full of cowards, mowing down kids in semi trucks and shooting grandmas with machine guns. And by the time French police and troops could be mustered each time, the carnage was already set. Yet they have a wimped out socialist President Francois Hollande that somehow still thinks, even after three attacks by ISIS on France in less than a year, that it’s best not to declare war on them or risk riling them up.

That ship has sailed ages ago, and it seems the world is up to its eyeballs in liberal idiots when we need strong leadership the most. As a member of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), any nation under attack by a foreign power can call upon the other member nations of NATO to come to their aid. Highlights of Article 5 of the Charter include:

– 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.

Yet all that, and he still has not yet done so, and that’s unfortunate – our combined power could have destroyed ISIS by now and spared the horror of Nice.

French Reserve Army forces 

Then, the BBC reported early on Sunday morning, July 17 that France had called up 12,000 reservists to help them with security at home. Oh Lord, he just either doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to – if ISIS is already in the country, you can post a million troops around the borders of the country and that will just give ISIS a million fewer people to worry about as they carry out attacks inside the country.

As French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called up the reservists, he stated that the operational reserve is currently made up of 12,000 volunteers, 9,000 of whom are within the paramilitary police and 3,000 in the regular police force. “We are going to reinforce the presence of security forces across the country,” he added. Cazeneuve added that the number of security forces deployed to protect the population was nearly 100,000, including 53,000 police, 36,000 para-military police and 10,000 soldiers.

But that’s never going to be enough. France needs to hit them WHERE THEY LIVE. They need to destroy the ISIS oilfields, which U.S. President Obama wouldn’t do, I guess thinking that hurting the ozone for a few weeks was more important than destroying a terrorist army that can do all THIS in just one city alone. These socialists will be the death of us all.

The body of a little girl lies covered in the street in Nice, just one of 84 victims of this senseless barbarianism
The body of a little girl lies covered in the street in Nice, just one of 84 victims of this senseless barbarianism. (Credit: Daily Mail) 

So I decided to do something different, and tweeted the people of France, in French and English, a plea for them to wake their govenrment up for their own sakes. It was well received but I’m just a little nobody. Maybe it’s already too late for France – they already have the largest Muslim population in the Western world. You’d think that would actually keep them safe but as a rule, Islam has no soul and Muslims have no loyalty to other Muslims. This is just the beginning of true horrors to come.

I close with my notes to the people of France. I can at least go to sleep knowing I tried all I could. But this will take the combined will of all of France – I just hope it’s not too late for her to realize she still has it inside.

An Open Letter To The People of France

14 juillet 2016

Citoyens bien-aim√©s de la France: il y a 227 ans aujour’dhui, vous lev√®rent contre la tyrannie et ¬ępouvoir du peuple¬Ľ a chang√© pour toujours la France. Aujourd’hui, les forces du mal sont √† l’Ňďuvre pour amener la R√©publique √† genoux. L√®ve-toi, √™tre courageux et d√©clarer la guerre √† ISIS. Les Canadiens se tiendront avec vous pour essuyer ce mal de la terre.

January 2016 Unity Rally in Paris, attended by more than 1.5 million people.
Unity Rally in Paris, attended by more than 1.5 million people.

July 14, 2016

Beloved citizens of France: 227 years ago today you rose up against tyranny and “people power” forever changed France. Today evil forces are at work to bring the Republic to its knees. Rise up, be brave and declare war on ISIS. Canadians will stand with you to wipe this evil from the earth.

Vive la France. Vive la République!

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By Shawn J., Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted July 14, 2016

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Yale University Closes Climate Change And Energy Institute

By Calling Out Community, posted March 2, 2016.

Kroon Hall, Home of the Yale Climate Institute. (Credit: Sage Ross ‚Äď Own work)
Kroon Hall, Home of the Yale Climate Institute. (Credit: Sage Ross ‚Äď Own work)

After years of ‘feeling the heat’, Yale University’s Climate & Energy Institute¬†(YCEI) is finally facing ‘an inconvenient truth’: it was announced¬† on March 2, 2016 that the program will close at the end of June, following¬†three consecutive years of budget cuts for the program, which was established eight years ago to conduct climate change research.

The impending closure was announced Monday afternoon, February 29, in an email from the institute‚Äôs co-directors, geology and geophysics professors David Bercovici and Jay Ague: ‚ÄúWhile not all good things have to come to an end, sometimes they just do,‚ÄĚ the email said.¬† According to the Yale Daily News:

 Richard Levin President, Yale University (1993 to 2013)
Richard Levin, President, Yale University (1993 to 2013)

The YCEI was founded in 2008 with the backing of then-University President Richard Levin. Since then, the institute has hosted conferences, fostered collaborations across science departments and between universities outside of Yale, as well as supported scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships that address the changing climate. The institute also supplied undergraduates with a database of energy-related internships. Bercovici and Ague wrote that the YCEI was founded with ‚Äúoverwhelming enthusiasm from faculty and students across campus.‚ÄĚ Bercovici and Ague declined to comment Monday night, citing time constraints.

The institute’s purpose was to analyze how climate change interacts with modern energy use. However, some of the research arguably sounded a wee bit whacky, with student research project including:

Warning signs that the end was near had been on the horizon for years, as budget cuts reportedly gutted the program.¬† ‚ÄúThey eventually cut funding so much that it just became buying food,‚ÄĚ student James Barile told The Daily News.

The YCEI had an extensive budget under Levin’s administration, YCEI New Haven Energy Scholar Intern Matthew Goldklang stated. Although Goldklang did not provide specific figures, he said the YCEI had enough money to pay its student fellows, fund research and create new classes in the Energy Studies Program.  Goldklang and several other students involved with the institute expressed shock and frustration with the decision:

“It¬†can‚Äôt be a budget thing. It can‚Äôt be. I¬†don‚Äôt want to say that Yale doesn‚Äôt support [the YCEI], but‚ĶI think it‚Äôs the administration‚Äôs lack of interest. I had no idea we were going to be completely cut. It‚Äôs really sad.‚ÄĚ

logo-cop21-enThe timing of this announcement is highly suspect.¬† Recently, much has been said in the media about a global warming “pause”, whereby the Earth has not registered any significant increase in temperature in now¬†18 years, 9 months.¬†This information was known before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change began on November 30, 2015 and it seems the media all chose to bury the story until well after the event was over.

In fact, in a September 25, 2013 New York Times op-ed, , Richard A. Muller stated that:

cartoon - GW DollarsTHE global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet’s average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years.

As you might guess, skeptics of warming were in full attack mode as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered in Sweden this week to approve its latest findings about our warming planet. The skeptics argue that this recent plateau illustrates what they always knew ‚ÄĒ that complex global climate models have no predictive capability and that, therefore, there is no proof of global warming, human-caused or not.

Cartoon-Temperature-Rising-600I think it is possible that current leadership at Yale, possessing equally brilliant minds to these “climate change” scientists, perhaps has been looking at this nonsense in the media of late and saying – this is just another Y2K situation all over again, and we’re jumping ship now before we start to look actually stupid.¬† Scientists of course have tried to play intellect into this debate, stating that they are way smarter than us, and since they all agree on this topic, the conclusion must be accurate.

Hogwash. Millions of Germans agreed with Hitler too – in fact you could barely find a German alive at that time who would admit anything but loyalty.¬† Well, here’s one University with a huge, global reputation for brilliance, and they certainly cannot be argued as being driven by some “right wing agenda”.¬† ¬†This is of course just speculation, but this “global warming pause” was announced last week, at the same time as the Institute was being swiftly closed.¬† Surely if this issue was actually growing in seriousness, an academic institution like Yale with such an international reputation would actually be adding to the budget of this Institute, not cutting its funding entirely.

Yale College and the College Chapel by Daniel Bowen (1786)
Yale College and the College Chapel by Daniel Bowen (1786)

And what a reputation this institution has to protect.  Yale University was initially founded in 1701 and incorporated as the Collegiate School Р75 years before the American Revolution.  It traces its roots to 17th-century Christian leaders who sought to establish a college to train clergy and politicians.

Located in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, the private Ivy League research University was renamed after Elihu Yale in 1718,¬†a former¬†governor of the British East India Company and¬†the University’s¬†largest benefactor.¬† In 1861, it’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ¬†became the first U.S.¬†school to award a Ph.D. degree.

YaleBowl_crop_northToday, at age 315, Yale is the third oldest institution in the United States, and boasts approx. 12,300 students from 117 countries, as well as 4,400 Faculty (2014).  Recognized as having the 2nd highest infrastructure assets in the entire world (worth over $35 billion), classes are held in buildings covering 260 acres on central campus.  The University also boasts 35 varsity sports teams playing on over 500 acres of athletic fields, including this 71,000 seat Yale Bowl.

The glorious 100-year old Woolsey Hall, complete with 2,600 seats and the Newberry Memorial Organ, one of the world’s largest and most renowned pipe organs.
The glorious 100-year old Woolsey Hall, complete with 2,600 seats and the Newberry Memorial Organ, one of the world’s largest and most renowned pipe organs.

The University also holds over 15 million books  in its Libraries, and scholarships and endowments today top over $23 billion.  This is an incredible wealth of resources and assets to protect and at the end of the day, money talked louder than adherence to some nonsensical worldview with no evidence in reality.

 

Yale is also widely recognized as one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world, accepting only 6.3% of applicants in 2014.¬† I wonder how many of them were climate change researchers?¬† Hmmmm….

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Jews Didn’t Attack Paris

At least twice in the last 24 hours, as I discussed the ISIS attacks in Paris (and my latest article on same) with some of my nearly 1,300 Twitter followers and a few on Facebook, I was amazed to hear people actually blame the State of Israel for the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and 352 injured.

First up was Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, who irresponsibly blamed Israel for the Paris attacks.

The French have been already releasing the names of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists who masterminded and carried out the plots at various locations in Paris.  CNN reports:

imagesV1YHHC3AAbdelhamid Abaaoud, probably in his late 20s, isEdit believed to be close to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and is likely the link between the senior ISIS leadership and ISIS operatives in Europe, European counterterrorism officials have said.

Clearly the Swedish government is playing a classic game of deflection. According to the Swedish edition of The Local, the largest English-language news network in Europe with more than 4.5 million readers, Sweden may indirectly be to blame for the attacks itself!

Young men from Gothenburg head to Iraq and Syria to join up with Islamic extremist groups such as Isis. (Credit: AP/TT)
Young men from Gothenburg head to Iraq and Syria to join up with Islamic extremist groups such as Isis. (Credit: AP/TT)


Gothenburg, in western Sweden is, per capita, the European city from which most people have joined Islamic extremist groups, according to Swedish integration police chief, Ulf Boström.

The largest of these groups is Islamic State (Isis), which claims to have carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday that killed 129 people.

Sweden has very little to say constructively in this regard.  It is no secret that Islamic fundamentalism is now drowning their country in a violent crime wave against their citizens, and the government seems to be doing little about it.

Perhaps to appease this group, the Swedish Foreign Minister stated:

‚ÄúTo counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,‚ÄĚ Margot Wallstr√∂m told Swedish television network SVT2T (link in Swedish) a short while after the November 13 attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Palestinian incitement went a step further than Wallstrom; an op-ed in an official PA daily paper claimed Israel actually carried out the attacks. 

Palestinian Media Watch flagged al-Hayat al-Jadida:

It is not a coincidence that human blood was exploded in Paris at the same time that certain European sanctions are beginning to be implemented against settlement products, and while France leads Europe in advising the security council that will implement the two-state solution, Palestine and Israel ‚Äď which the Israelis see as a warning of sudden danger coming from the direction of Europe, where the Zionist, occupying, settling endeavor was born . . .

The wise and correct thing is to look for who benefits. In short: They need to search the last place reached by the octopus arms of the Mossad‚Ķ It is clear that its ‚ÄėMossad‚Äô will burn Beirut and Paris in order to achieve [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu‚Äôs goals. He, who challenged the master of the White House, hides in his soul enough evil to burn the world.

uuu800And here’s an ugly cartoon posted on Fatah’s Facebook page (via Elder of Ziyon).  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sighting a target for an ISIS fighter to take aim, in view of the Eiffel Tower:

 

Not only is this incredibly anti-Semitic as well as an outright lie, it is not helpful in assisting the French legal community, seeking out for punishment those responsible.  It also ironically dilutes the messages that ISIS is trying to deliver Рwhich is a positive outcome.

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Friday the 13th “Acts of War”

Islamic IslamRising: Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted November 15, 2015.

A body, draped with a white cloth, lies outside the Bataclan restaurant, one of several sites that ISIS fighters attacked on Friday the 13th. (Credit: CNN)
A body, draped with a white cloth, lies outside the Bataclan restaurant, attacked by ISIS November 13. (Credit: CNN)

Once again, radical Islamic terrorists have struck at the heart of France – the city of Paris – and with devastating results.

The scenes were heartbreaking, as France faced its most deadly assault since the Second World War on Friday the 13th (November 2015).  With 129 dead and over 350 injured, it follows only ten months after three terrorist attacks in the French capital took the lives of 17 people.

images2ZPARCV8French President Francois Hollande ¬†condemned the attack as an “act of war” and vowed that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”

An emergency security meeting was called to plan the French government’s response, and upon completion, Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised France’s security to its highest level. In a very blunt statement, the French¬†President declared:

“ISIS is a terrorist army … a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”

He vowed to show “no mercy” to ISIS militants – and earlier today (Sunday, November 15), CNN broke the news at 1:23 PM that in fact he had already kept his word:

The French Ministry of Defense has announced what it called a major bombardment of Raqqa, Syria, an ISIS stronghold.

In one hour Sunday there were at least 20 airstrikes on the city, according to both a pro-ISIS news agency and the activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

1086023_630x354The French have not backed down from the war rhetoric Рthey have in fact launched a large-scale military operation in response.  Which brings me to a very important point regarding the North American response to this tragedy.

Article 5 of the Charter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, ratified on April 4, 1949 states:

Article 5

NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator - Tuesday October 7, 2014 ISIS mission reveals Liberal divide When Justin Trudeau leads the Liberal Party of Canada Monday in opposing a Canadian military mission against ISIS in Iraq, he will do so against the better judgment of many of his party√ēs grandees, who between them have influenced Canada√ēs military response to global conflicts, from Rwanda and Kosovo to Afghanistan and previous wars in Iraq. The genocidal jihadists, including Canadians and other Westerners, who fight under the banner of ISIS √íhave to be whacked, and whacked good,√ď Lloyd Axworthy, a former Liberal foreign affairs minister who aimed to put √íhuman security√ď at the heart of foreign affairs, said on CTV last week. √íIf you really want to stop them, you√ēre going to have to give a full-court press.√ď He was not alone in supporting the action Mr. Trudeau has vowed to reject, or in undermining the leader√ēs rhetoric before he used it. Former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, for example, rejected the comparison, later made by Mr. Trudeau, to the √ífiasco√ď of the 2003 Iraq War. Former Liberal Senator Rom¬éo Dallaire dismissed a campaign of air strikes without ground troops as pointless, and former Liberal cabinet minister Ujjal Dosanjh calling for √írobust√ď Canadian military action. All these comments were made before Mr. Trudeau vowed to oppose the government motion for the ISIS mission. But by accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of using √íoverheated and moralistic rhetoric √Č to justify a war,√ď Mr. Trudeau has chosen a strategy that is likely to colour his political fortunes for months to come. And by favouring purely humanitarian action over military force, Mr. Trudeau seems to have broken with many of the party√ēs eminences √Ď if such a rift is already apparent, it could well go deeper. (Source: National Post) http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/05/isis-mission-reveals-liberal-divide-partys-grandees-express-support-for-robust-canadian-mission/ Earlier
Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday October 7, 2014

In one of his first official acts as Prime Minister, Prime Minister Trudeau called his American counterpart and philosophical ally, President Barack Obama.¬†¬†Trudeau advised the media that, during the October 23¬†phone call, he iterated Canada’s intent to pull our CF-18s out of the airstrike program against ISIS.¬† At the time, the leftwing patted its own back in self-congratulation.

That decision was meant to be ideological, and to show that Canada doesn’t get pushed around by the U.S.¬† Well, at least we’ll assume those were the goals, because frankly it just came across as stupid as hell.¬† ISIS is a known threat to Canada, has even stated previously that they will kill Canadians in their own bedrooms.¬† This incredibly immature Prime Minister, and equally pacifist Cabinet and party, honestly believes that if they just back off of ISIS, they will stop threatening us.¬† Again, stupid as hell.

Even more astounding than the government’s outrageous backtrack on international commitments and the security of Canadians is the Canadian news media’s response to it, in light of France’s current nightmare scenario. They seem incredulous – even openly stating their opposition – to Trudeau’s announced decision to continue with his plans to resettle refugees and pull our jet fighters from the fight with ISIS.¬† Some comments include:

  • Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, a Liberal, reiterated his opposition to Trudeau‚Äôs position to shut down the combat mission even as he told reporters that Canada should not step back from its commitment to accept Syrian refugees.¬† ‚ÄúThe democratic world is at war,‚ÄĚ Couillard told reporters. ‚ÄúIt is naive to think that we are not facing a state of war, different from the wars we have known but equally threatening.‚ÄĚ
  • Rona Ambrose visits a memorial in Paris to the terrorist victims from the Friday the 13th attacks.
    Rona Ambrose visits a memorial in Paris to the terrorist victims from the Friday the 13th attacks.

    “The fight against ISIS requires a strong humanitarian response, but also a¬†military response,”¬†Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Opposition, told reporters¬†Saturday. “It’s important that we remain resolute and support our allies.” Ambrose said Prime¬†Minister¬†Justin¬†Trudeau¬†will have the full support of the Official Opposition if he chooses to¬†reverse his position on Canada’s role in the¬†airstrikes.(CBC

  • Trudeau and ISIS: Is the bombing still a bad idea?¬† (CBC, Nov. 14)
  • After Paris attacks, Trudeau‚Äôs soft power already under fire (Globe¬†& Mail, Nov. 14)
  • ‘Canada ran away‚Äô: Online jihadists celebrate Trudeau‚Äôs win as they anticipate end to¬†airstrikes (National Post, Oct. 29)
Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson signs the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. (Credit: NATO)
Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson signs the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. (Credit: NATO)

Canada’s current government, under Prime Minister Trudeau, has absolutely no right to unilaterally ¬†pull out of NATO obligations – the organization has protected the nations of the North Atlantic for 67 years.

The Friday the 13th attacks by ISIS/ISIL, unlike any other terrorist attacks seen on a large scale in recent history, were a coordinated effort by a Sunni Muslim jihadist terrorist group that is in fact an army Рwith tanks, armed personnel carriers, rocket launchers and many other sophisticated weapons, as well as an estimated 20,000 troops, according to the Telegraph.

How do they afford to arm themselves?  The Foreign Policy site reported:

ISIS captured many tanks from the Iraqi army, including the relatively modern Soviet T-72, of which it may have as many as 10.
ISIS captured many tanks from the Iraqi army, including the relatively modern Soviet T-72, of which it may have as many as 10.

Much of the Islamic State’s arms and ammunition were captured on the battlefield, but intelligence reports have suggested that the group’s income from oil sales and other sources is high enough to finance purchases of additional weapons directly from the companies and dealers that routinely profit from strife in the Middle East. 

While the complete list of countries is unknown, Newsweek stated on September 16 that the United States, Russia, France, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Iran are all fighting ISIS.¬† Canada wasn’t mentioned I guess in error.

ISIS territory mapped (The Economist, June 2015)
ISIS territory mapped (The Economist, June 2015)

Unlike Al Qaeda, Boko Haram or any other previously seen terrorist group, ISIS has a set geographic area of the world in which they are headquartered and operate – or more appropriately to state, which they have majority “control” over.

Territory is both being conquered and lost by ISIS on an almost daily basis. In fact, the venerable New York Times reported, on the morning of Friday the 13th, that several factions of Kurdish and Yazidi fighters had just retaken the city of Sinjar from ISIS fighters.

Satellite map showing the first day of fighting over the city of Sinjar, which Kurdish forces retook from ISIS on November 13. (Credit: Planet Labs)

They have a “capital city” of sorts – in Raqqa, Syria – which is exactly where French fighter pilots have attacked just today.

I’ve had it with President Obama and his pacifist BS. I’ve had it with “Prime Minister” Trudeau and his weak, emasculated, pathetic (I’m trying not to swear so this’ll have to do) world philosophy.

As my beloved home-away-from-home Paris was burned, bombed and blown up, over 350 hundred were rushed to hospitals, and 129 were driven to the morgue, in a series of coordinated attacks on Friday the 13th (not likely a coincidental date) I grew angry enough watching the news clips to fly over there, grab a gun and start defending her.

What did the two pathetic leftwing pantywaists have to say? Obama called it an “attack on humanity” – which basically dismissed it from being an attack on a sovereign nation like France, so he could cover his bases possibly if the NATO Charter was invoked; or an attack on a Western power, because frankly this socialist doesn’t give a damn about the West, including his own country.¬† But at least the US is still fighting ISIS regardless.

Justin-TrudeauPrime Minister Justin Trudeau offered ‚Äúall of Canada‚Äôs support‚ÄĚ to France on Friday night in the wake of ‚Äúdeeply worrying‚ÄĚ terrorist attacks.

ALL of our support? That doesn’t include our military obviously, as he just ordered them out of the fight against ISIS, and confirmed 24 hours ago that, regardless of the horror played out Paris, that the stupidity would continue.

Trudeau is giving lip service to mass murder. We should be ashamed of this asshole. I know I am.¬† It wasn’t an attack on humanity – it was an attack on a Western power, the second in France alone in 10 months. Both were horrific events that brought the world to a standstill.

I’m sorry to remind both of you pantywaists this, but France is a member of NATO. French President Hollande has declared the Friday the 13th terrorist attacks an ACT OF WAR. Under the NATO Charter,¬† both Canada and the United States may¬†have a legal responsibility to come to the aid of a member nation when attacked in an act of war.

The Jerusalem Post has asked the question – will France invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter, as NATO did after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.¬† The Post doesn’t think France will actually do it, however.

Regardless, how dare¬†you violate a 67-year old international accord for your own ideological purposes? This must be discussed by the people and/or the Parliament of Canada.¬† Canada deserves better leadership than this.¬† We are pulling out of Syria only because air strikes were started under the Conservatives.¬† Would you have pulled out of D-Day for the same reasons?¬† The Korean War?¬† We think you would –¬†which is why we will never trust you, nor acknowledge you as our Prime Minister.¬† You are a coward, a sham leader, and the global village idiot.

690774366-miracle-solar-system-worship-procedure-crescent-moon

Michigan City Bans Mosque 

Islamic IslamRising: Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted September 12, 2015.  Updated January 28, 2016

Sterling Heights City Council
A Michigan city’s planning commission turned down a request to build a large new mosque project on September 10, 2015, according to Arabic news agency Al-Jazeera.

And as an evangelical conservative Christian, it may surprise you to know – I actually initially didn’t agree with that decision at all.

The final verdict came down on September 10, the eve of the 14th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, which, though perpetrated by Islamic extremists, has absolutely nothing to do with law-abiding American citizens that wanted to have a new house of worship.

 An overflow crowd of hundreds chanted ‚ÄúNo more mosques!‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúGod bless America‚ÄĚ outside the Sterling Heights City Hall that day, as the inner chamber was filled to its 240-seat capacity, according to Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ Channel 7 News.

At issue was the proposed mosque‚Äôs size ‚ÄĒ 20,500 square feet ‚ÄĒ to be built within a residential area. That is an unrealistically large religious building of any faith for a residential neighbourhood.

That being said, the Muslim delegation that were seeking to build the Islamic House of Worship in that area would have happily redesigned the facility to meet with local approval, but citizens and the Planning Committee would have none of it.

WXYZ reported:

Those against the mosque say it would cause too much traffic and congestion. A small group hinted at linking the house of worship to extremism.

Mosque leaders say they offered to revise and downsize the plan, changing the dome and towers, but that didn’t work.

untitledWhen the decision was announced, the crowd both inside and out loudly cheered.  The imam requesting the project wasn‚Äôt cheering, though.  ‚ÄúI think it is more about ignorance,‚ÄĚ Mohammad Ali Elah, of the Islamic House of Wisdom, told FOX 2.

And there’s where the Muslims lost me.  I have to say that it’s hard to believe there could be that much “ignorance” about a mosque in a town like Sterling Heights.  Perhaps it’s the fact the general population has seen TOO MUCH information about Islam in the papers in the last few years, very little of which has been to Muslims’ benefit.

The “ignorance” argument is also hard to swallow, considering the city is in the southeast corner of Michigan‚Äôs lower peninsula, close to Dearborn, which has the second-largest Muslim population in the Western world.

Only Paris, the site of two Islamic extremist terrorist attacks, including the January 7, 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre and the November 13, 2015 “Friday the 13th” Massacre, has a larger Muslim population in the Western world.

According to the BBC, of approximately 15 million Muslims who currently live in the European Union, France is home to the largest number, equal to around one third of the total (5 million) – and the city of Paris alone has nearly 1.5 million of those.

Also, the proposed mosque in Sterling Heights would be the third in that small city alone, and the second built since 2011, emblematic of the area‚Äôs surge in Muslim residents.

IMG_1383
Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America
Nearby Dearborn is also the home of the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America and the oldest Shia mosque in the United States.  The local Muslim community raised the $14 million needed to develop the Islamic Centre from their own pockets.  The centre includes a gym, a cafe, a car park for 700, a banquet hall, and, at its heart, the mosque with room for 700 men at prayer, and, upstairs, 300 women. Attached to the mosque is a Muslim American Youth Academy, which teaches children from nursery school up to the age of 14.

northridge+auditoriumIn all fairness, in terms of religious houses of worship, it’s hardly the largest in Michigan.  In fact, Northridge Church, pastored by Brad Powell, is listed as the 15th largest church in America, with attendance of over 15,000 per week.  The two-story building holds over 3,000 worshippers.

But what this Muslim group failed to realize – and what likely was the cause of this decision –  is growing irritation with worldwide newscasts of Islamic terrorism around the world.

While Islamic groups in America have done nothing to speak out against such radicals, this particular group in Sterling Heights, and this particular imam, are NOT those type of Muslims.

One quick look at their Facebook page alone would quickly reveal that Imam Elahi is a good man – preaching a form of Islamic moderation that this writer has frankly never seen before:  hosting interfaith prayer services with Christians, participating in media-sponsored dialogues on the subject of Islam and/or religion as a whole in America, etc.

10157353_1049825821735194_89339785643658310_nHowever, all of that good will was lost when he had the gall to chalk this up to “ignorance” – and this tired nonsense from so-called “moderate” Muslim populations has done no them no favors in America.  Rather than understand the fear and mistrust that Americans have because of the unrelenting negative news that Islam has created, this imam sought instead to make American feel bad, even insulted Americans for it.

Start speaking out against the ignorance of Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS and other crazies and then we’ll talk about your mosques.  Until you can prove you are “for us, not against us”…

… your loyalties are questionable, and your mosques are not welcome in our neighbourhoods.

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Islam… Is LAME

Islamic IslamRising: Special feature to the Calling Out Community,
Posted January 12, 2015.

BrickArms, which specialises in making
BrickArms, which specialises in making “custom moulded weapons and custom mini-figures” from basic Lego, sells this Osama Bin Laden figurine with miniature pistol, machine gun, rocket launcher and grenades for ¬£9.50 (about $14.00CA)

After reading the horrific headlines screaming at us all week, the average¬†John and Jane Citizen could be forgiven for becoming sick and tired of hearing the word “Islamic”, and all the negativity¬†the word¬†conveys.¬†This centuries-old faith group¬†has¬†quickly¬†become the greatest threat to our peace and safety in the world today and we frankly no longer care whether or not Islam is being¬†“hijacked” by radical groups or not. ¬†That excuse is as weak and lame as Islam’s image in the world today.

Let’s look at the news headlines from this PAST¬†WEEK ONLY, and you’ll¬†sense some¬†of the horrific blood-pouring going on around the world at the hands of these “followers” of Islam. ¬†WARNING: these images are graphic FOR A REASON. These devils should not be allowed to hide their horrific deeds behind stupid smokescreens¬†like:

– “Racist“. ¬†As they say down South, “this dog don’t hunt”. ¬†Racism¬†is defined as¬†“the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to¬†dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the¬†others.” ¬†Race is defined as “a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.” ¬†

According to a¬†Pew Research Center report,¬†The Future of the Global Muslim Population, as of January 27, 2011 there were approx. 1.6 billion Muslims¬†living¬†in each of the world’s¬†232 countries¬†– in fact, one can even find the Islamic prayer schedule online for 6 different research bases…on Antarctica!¬† Islam is the second-largest religion by number of adherents and the fastest-growing religion in the world. ¬†(Christianity’s 2.38 billion adherents¬†are also located in every country on earth, representing 33% of the world’s population). ¬†Therefore, as¬†Islam is not a singular race, but a global religion with reaches into every fabric of society ¬†– then you cannot logically be considered a racist if you¬†oppose this religious group’s belief systems and/or violent practices, you cannot be defined as a racist.

ISIS Threatens Canada
ISIS released a video on September 21, 2014 showing a masked gunman standing before captured Syrian troops digging their own graves. After speaking in what sounded like North American – possibly Canadian – English, he appeared to help execute the kneeling prisoners with a handgun.

– “Islamophobic” -Liberal media pundits love to throw around invented¬†“phobias” to explain away opposing¬†view points regarding the behaviours of certain segments of society. ¬†According to the Indexed Phobia List, there are approx. 530¬†diagnosable phobias plaguing humankind¬†that can be found in medical, psychiatric and other scholarly works – everything from¬†Ablutophobia¬†(fear of washing or bathing) to¬†Zoophobia¬†(fear of animals). ¬†Apologies ¬†to the¬†Toronto Star, CNN and the¬†New York Times, but¬†Islamophobia isn’t on the list.

Let’s get real for a moment. ¬†By definition, an Islamophobic is someone “afraid of Islam“. ¬†That¬†is absolutely¬†true in some parts of the world, and¬†not in the¬†philosophical sense. ¬†There are Christians around the world who fear for their very lives because of murderous¬†Islamic terrorists. ¬†In fact, a website was created after 9/11 to document each and every attack on the Christian community by Muslims worldwide, and they note that¬†so far in¬†2015 alone, there have already been 23 documented attacks in which 195 Christians were killed and 365 injured, mostly while at church services. ¬†The biggest source of these attacks has been in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram.

When one stands back and reviews the entire list documented by this one website alone, however, the truth becomes hard to hold on to.  Many of these crimes would not even be reported in some areas, as the Muslim-dominated authorities would bury the information along with the Christians killed. However, beginning with an October 1, 2001 attack on a Christian church in Tomata, Indonesia, when 3 people were killed, to the most recent incident on March 27, 2015 when al-Shabaab released a video showing the brutal execution of six young Christians:  1,242 documented attacks have taken place, killing 9,161 Christians, and injuring 12,002 more.  As the site points out:

This is a list of targeted acts of terrorism on Christian civilians and church workers by religious Muslims since September 11th, 2001.  These attacks have nothing to do with war, combat or insurgency.  The victims are innocent Christians who were specifically targeted and abused solely on account of their faith by those who claim their own religion as a motive.

Slogan for the 21st Century
Slogan for the 21st Century

So while Islamic terrorists in dozens of countries are killing Christians simply because of their faith, we in the West¬†can’t oppose their viewpoints, their religious intolerance, and the violence and murder perpetrated in the name of Allah and Mohammed even¬†verbally, without being name called, threatened or worse?

But folks, all the murder and mayhem we read about in the newspapers could soon come to a street near you.  As the National Post reported on September 21, 2014:

“In a 42-minute audio speech, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani urged ISIS supporters to kill Canadians, Americans, Australians, French and other Europeans, regardless of whether they were civilians or members of the military.

‘Rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone‚Äôs advice and do not seek anyone‚Äôs verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling,’ he said.”

Well, I have news for you, ISIS thugs – this “Islamophobia” I just referred to doesn’t carry over very well in Canada. ¬†We¬†know you want us to be scared of you, but you apparently don’t know Canadian resolve or our history very well. ¬†That’s understandable, as you’re used to dealing with grade 3 educated sheep herders. ¬†Here’s a little history lesson:

  • During the War of 1812 against the U.S., our British troops¬†invaded Washington, DC¬†on August 24, 1814 and we set fire to¬†the US Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the chambers of the House and Senate – and then we burned the White House to the ground.
  • During World War I, out of a¬†nation of 8 million, Canada sent 650,000 men and women to the front lines, and over 66,000 gave their lives.
  • During World War II, out of 11 million residents, we amassed an army of over 1 million troops, the world’s third largest navy, the fourth largest air force and an army of six divisions. ¬†We were the only country¬†to successfully meet our targets¬†on D-Day in 1944, and our Canadian troops single-handedly liberated the Netherlands from the Nazis¬†by¬†May 5, 1945.
  • Today, we have¬†CF-18 fighter jets, and soon, we’ll be buying 65 more F-35s. ¬†We also have nearly 200 Leopard C2 and Leopard 2A4 tanks, over 100 Howitzer 105mm guns, and 50,000 troops. ¬†If you dare, come on over and show us what you got. ¬†But be prepared for a welcoming party like you’ve never seen before. ¬†We defeated the United States, Germany (twice) and Iraq in war – we’ll be happy to send as many of you to Hell as you want to go.

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, once said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. Muslims use idiotically weak lies all the time about how their religion speaks about peace and brotherhood and other related blah blah blah, all to mask the real¬†truth – they are infiltrating our cities in order to someday overthrow our governments and bring in Islamic states. That’s what the Koran teaches them to do. The rest is all CRAP.

Let these pictures and headlines from the last week tell the story, and then ask yourself – when was the last time a CHRISTIAN organization was accused of such things? Buddhists beheading? Jews mass-murdering thousands? People will pull out weak nonsense about abortion clinics being bombed in the 1980s by some right-wing nut – as if that in any way is comparable to the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Muslim terrorists around the world today. In fact, Al Qaeda has over 7,000 members just in Somalia alone

Shocking: The chilling image from the Charlie Hebdo office shows blood-stained wooden floors, papers strewn across the corridor. Photo courtesy: Ents Images/London Daily Mail
Shocking: The chilling image from the Charlie Hebdo office shows blood-stained wooden floors, papers strewn across the corridor. Photo courtesy: Ents Images/London Daily Mail

JANUARY 7, 2014: French leader declares ‚Äėwar‚Äô on radical Islam after attacks (The Washington Post)
PARIS ‚ÄĒ Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared Saturday that France was at ‚Äúwar‚ÄĚ with radical Islam after three days of bloody attacks around Paris that sparked fears of a tide of violence by militants living in Europe.

The aftermath: 12 dead, 10 injured at Charlie Hebdo, including a policeman shot execution-style in the head; 4 others killed at a Jewish grocery store the next day. Now Muslims are complaining about retribution attacks. Are you @#$)&#% kidding us? Sow to the wind, reap the whirlwind. If you’re surprised by worldwide disgust with this ongoing bullshit from Islam, then you are either stupid as hell or so indoctrinated into the hate of Islam, that you can’t see anything clearly.

According to Amnesy International, nearly 2,000 people were massacred on January 10 alone by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. Photo courtesy: Elombah.com
According to Amnesy International, nearly 2,000 people were massacred on January 10 alone by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. Photo courtesy: Elombah.com

JANUARY 10, 2014: Boko Haram’s ‘deadliest massacre’: 2,000 feared dead in Nigeria. Photo courtesy: Elombah.com (The Guardian)
“Hundreds of bodies ‚Äď too many to count ‚Äď remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the ‚Äúdeadliest massacre‚ÄĚ in the history of Boko Haram.”

The aftermath: An Amnesty International statement said there are reports the town was razed and as many as 2,000 people killed.

10-year old girl used by Islamic terorists as a suicide bomber, likely without her knowledge.
10-year old girl used by Islamic terorists as a suicide bomber, likely without her knowledge. Photo courtesy: Daily Mail

JANUARY 12, 2014: Militants force a girl, 10, to become a suicide bomber in sickening market attack in Nigeria (News Corp Australia)
“THREE female suicide bombers, including one aged around 10, have blown themselves up in separate attacks in busy Nigerian markets, killing dozens. Officials say the spate of attacks suggests terrorist groups are embarking on a new strategy: using harmless-looking girls and women in veils as suicide bombers. Four people were killed on Sunday when bombs strapped to two females, one a teenager, exploded in a crowded mobile phone market in Potiskum, northeast Nigeria.

The aftermath: The girl, likely completely innocent of what was strapped around her waist, was killed, along with at least 16 other people, and 20 more injured. This was at least 3rd time Islamic terrorists have hit this same marketplace – to the degree that bomb-detecting equipment had been installed. However, it failed to go off as likely the bomb was detonated remotely by these Islamic cowards.

This is why I firmly believe that BURKAS SHOULD BE OUTLAWED IN CANADA. When your terrorist thugs hide behind veils and use anonymity to blow up innocent citizens, don’t you DARE tell me that freedom of religion is behind it. Freedom of your religion to spread hate and murder perhaps, but that’s something we should be crushing with an iron fist.

This newspaper, from August 2014, was already touting the ISIS threat to North America. ISIS repeated those threats in a video released January 12, 2015.
This newspaper, from August 2014, was already touting the ISIS threat to North America. ISIS repeated those threats in a video released January 12, 2015.

JANUARY 11, 2014: ISIS repeats a threat; NYPD, other law enforcement on high alert (CNN.com)
“New York City Police Department officials and other law enforcement personnel across the United States were alerted to a new threat from ISIS after the terror group released a video message Saturday calling for its followers to “rise up.” An ISIS spokesman, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, is seen saying that followers should “rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers, and civilians,” specifically naming the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets, according to a memo that CNN obtained.

The aftermath: As we stated before, this time, WE write the final page on this chapter. Bring the battle to our Canadian cities, and you’ll see what the REAL full wrath of God and “holy war” looks like. If you’re stupid enough to awaken the sleeping giant that is the Dominion of Canada – be prepared for the unleashing of Hell in return. We won’t roll over and play dead – we will defend ourselves at all costs, and to protect our families and our way of life, we will think nothing of wiping all of you off the face of the earth if you¬†dare attack our peaceful shores.

ISIS releases a horrific video of a mass execution of over 250 Syrian soldiers today. Photo courtesy: AP
ISIS releases a horrific video of a mass execution of over 250 Syrian soldiers today. Photo courtesy: AP

JANUARY 12, 2014: Marched to their deaths: Sickening ISIS slaughter continues as 250 soldiers captured at Syrian airbase are stripped then led to the desert for mass execution (Daily Mail)
“Sickening footage appears to show Islamic State [ISIS] militants parading around 250 captured soldiers through the desert in their underwear before they are killed and their bodies piled on the bare earth. An Islamic State fighter claimed the men were from the Syrian government’s Tabqa air base which extremists seized on Sunday, potentially handing them warplanes, tanks, artillery and ammunition.
The video, which has not been independently verified, is too graphic to be published in full.
It begins by showing dozens of men being marched through the desert wearing only their underwear. It then fades to black, resuming with a pile of bloodied bodies stacked on top of one another.”

This is the true bloodthirsty face of Islam. If we can’t peacefully overthrown a government by democratic means to set up an Islamic State, let’s just stage a coup and start a civil war. The end goal for this bloodthirsty murderers is the same – conquer and control.

Could Canada or the US be next? You scoff – they were probably laughing at the prospects in Paris and Sydney until recently as well. We need to be ready, we need to be vigilant, and we need to put Islam back where it belongs – in a mosque, not in our streets with handsguns.

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