Thursday, May 21, 2015

But Wait! There's More!

There often is...

Ten would-be jihadis were prevented from joining ISIS:

Canadian police arrested 10 young people from Montreal suspected of wanting to leave the country to join militant Islamist groups in the Middle East, officials said on Wednesday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the 10 were detained last weekend at Montreal's international airport. No charges have been laid, and police declined to give details.

"We have reason to believe that the young Montrealers wanted to travel abroad to join jihadist groups," RCMP spokesman Constable Erique Gasse said.

Police said the passports of all 10 people were confiscated. Four of the 10 were attending College de Maisonneuve, a Montreal college that came under scrutiny earlier this year when another four of its students disappeared from Quebec and are believed to have travelled to join Islamic State.
Once more and with feeling: culture matters and Islamism is a very real and prevalent threat, despite what some wags think.

If you were Stephen Harper, would you waste an hour of your life listening to some CBC hack verbally massage Justin Trudeau?

The opposition parties might have agreed to a national English debate broadcast by the major TV networks, but the Conservatives aren't budging on their decision to skip it.

The NDP, Liberals and Green party reached an agreement in principle Thursday with the television consortium that has traditionally organized the election debates, for two national broadcasts with simultaneous translation.

The consortium includes CBC's French and English channels, Global News and CTV. ...

The Tories had emphasized the need for the debates to be available on different broadcasting platforms. The consortium responded to that by announcing a partnership with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube.

Yes, Liberals and NDP. Why not get with the twenty-first century? Are you afraid that Twitter will be most unkind to your idiocy?

Obama has declared that the American strategy against ISIS has been a success:

On the day that ISIS captured Iraq’s tenth-largest city, President Obama said it was a “tactical setback” for the U.S. war and “I don’t think we’re losing.” Obama was speaking to The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg in a wide-ranging interview about the Middle East. (Palmyra, Syria fell to ISIS the next day.) Obama explained that “Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced.”

Yes, about that:

Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defences east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier.

Islamic State militants have killed at least 17 people including members of the Syrian security forces and pro-government civilians in the city of Palmyra which it seized from the army this week, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

One could conclude one of two things about this. First: that like Kanye West, Obama is a mentally unstable eight year old boy trapped in a man's boy. Second: that Obama has no intention of ever defeating ISIS.

I would say it is the second thing. After all, he loves the sound of the Islamic call to prayer and doesn't believe anyone has the right to slander Mohammad, a prophet of some note in some circles.

Yes, about that:

The United States vowed on Thursday to keep up air and sea patrols in international waters after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a U.S. surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea.

The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the crew of a U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which was aboard the U.S. aircraft.

When the American pilots responded by saying the plane was flying through international airspace, a Chinese radio operator said with exasperation: "This is the Chinese navy ... You go!"

The Poseidon flew as low as 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), CNN said, and video provided by the Pentagon appeared to have been taken from directly above one artificial island.

The incident, along with recent Chinese warnings to Philippine military aircraft to leave areas around the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, suggested Beijing is trying to enforce a military exclusion zone above its new islands there.

Map of Spratly Islands (none)

 Spratly Is since NalGeoMaps.png

Curious how China's territorial waters extend to Vietnamese and Filipino coastlines. Just as curious that China always seems to have historical reasons for owning not only the Spratly Islands but even what is in the Korean Peninsula. And let's not contest Vietnam's claims unless it hurts the "integrity" of China.

Japanese historians decry the white-washing of Japanese atrocities during the Second World War:

A group of Japanese historians plans to issue a statement in Tokyo next week to voice their opposition to their government's attempts to whitewash Japan's World War II atrocities.

The historians in a press release Wednesday said they prepared for almost six months to deliver their view on the Abe administration's attempts to deny Japan's responsibility of forcing women, mostly Korean, to serve as sex slaves for its troops during World War II.

They plan to stress that Japan's imperial army was deeply involved in abducting and trafficking women to serve as sex slaves.

The historians said they hope that their efforts will prevent Japanese officials from making further irresponsible comments that are not based on historical fact and hopefully ease misunderstanding between Korea and Japan. 

This is a remarkable and long overdue sea change in the culture and modern Japanese identity. What the Germans have been made to own up to, so, too, might the Japanese.

And now, a real Captain America:

Captain Steve Voglezon, US Army, was in Chatham County, North Carolina on Sunday when he saw a horrible head-on car collision. The cars caught on fire while two people remained inside, trapped and unable to escape.

Most people run away from fires, but Captain Voglezon ran toward the burning cars. He didn’t have a vibranium shield, or even a firefighter’s protective clothing—just a Captain America shirt. He used a fire extinguisher to smash open a car window, then dragged the two occupants to safety.

Mid-Week Post

Inside specially-marked packages...

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is ruining Ontario but what else is new?

Kathleen Wynne went to Washington and gave a speech. Right off the bat she started attacking have-provinces and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline doesn't even  have anything to do with Ontario.

The worst part? She actually said she doesn't care about the economy.

Is this her way of saying she's given up on Ontario's economy?

Thank Ontario Liberal voters for helping to ruin Ontario. If there is anyone who deserves to have their power go out and no heat in the middle of January, it's them.

Hillary Clinton bravely runs away from the popular press:

However, Clinton apparently wasn't willing to take questions from reporters who were not members of the group. After the event, Business Insider attempted to ask Clinton for her thoughts on Secretary of State John Kerry's comments warning Israel could become an "apartheid" state. She said she had a "deal" not to take questions. 

"I'm not answering questions. That was the deal that I made, I'm sorry," Clinton said.

As part of the rollout, Clinton is appearing at events, holding book signings, and giving interviews to broadcast networks and major radio stations. However, media access was also limited at Clinton's first book signing Wednesday, which led to griping among reporters that some termed a "media mutiny."

Business Insider reached out to Team Clinton Thursday to ask whether they made deals to restrict media appearances at events and whether or not Clinton had an event with open press access or a media briefing on her schedule. Spokespeople for Clinton did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

I've never felt that Clinton ever had a chance to be president and now, given the Clinton Foundation scandal and that she knew damn well that al Qaeda had organised the Benghazi embassy attack, she may be sunk for good.

This must be embarrassing:

MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010. That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN’s national headquarters. President Obama used to work for ACORN and he represented it in court as a lawyer.

The unpaid rent-a-mob operatives complain that MORE stiffed them the same way ACORN did to hired protesters throughout its 40 years of radical left-wing rabble-rousing. The ACORN network’s leadership was always predominantly white while its foot soldiers were mostly non-white, a fact that caused tension within the criminal community organizing outfit.

 As always, follow the money.

Oh, dear. How embarrassing for Putin:

The groom is approaching 50, a silverhaired boss in the Chechen strongman's feared police force. The bride is 17, a shy beauty reportedly devastated at the idea of wedding a man nearly three times her age.

Many Russians expressed outrage over the nuptials, causing a firestorm in the media and putting Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov - a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin - on the defensive. 
The wedding went forward over the weekend anyway, the bride deathly pale and her voice barely audible as she agreed to marry Nazhud Guchigov, who reportedly was taking her as his second wife as allowed by Islamic, but not Russian, law.

Kadyrov's chief of staff played the best man, clutching the bride by the elbow to control her every step, and Kadyrov himself danced a folk dance at the wedding reception.

The scandal comes amid a tug of war between Kadyrov and Russian federal law enforcement, which escalated after the slaying of charismatic Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Kadyrov's defiance in shielding Chechen suspects in the killing has aggravated longstanding tensions between him and Russian security agencies. That creates a headache for Putin, left with the delicate task of moderating the conflict to avoid destabilizing the region. The tensions are unlikely to spark open hostilities or lead to Kadyrov's removal. But they reflect an apparent effort by the Kremlin to cut the 38-year-old Chechen leader down to size and make him obey the rules - even as Putin continues to stand by Kadyrov.

 And he thought he could control Kadyrov.

And now,  a sad tale has a happy ending:

Two weeks ago, David and Brenda Tapley were killed when a tornado hit their home in Van, Texas.

A 14-year-old neighbour found the couple in their collapsed home the next morning. David Tapley, a retired police officer, had one arm stretched towards his wife, his other wrapped around their beloved dog.

The dog, an eight-year-old Great White Pyrenees, was still alive.

The dog was taken to Nicholas’ Pet Haven where she quickly found a new home with Michelle Shockley, a zoo supervisor and shelter volunteer who helped with the dog’s rescue.

“I was sitting in the back of the pick-up and she came out on my lap,” Shockley recalled. “She was just exhausted and very traumatized.”

She decided that day to adopt the dog.

Monday, May 18, 2015

On A Monday

For a relaxing long week-end...

How is that "degrading" thing going?

The Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to Islamic State (IS) after government forces abandoned their positions, officials say.


Militants seized part of the town of Tadmur on Saturday, which is located on a strategic east-west route next to Palmyra's World Heritage-listed ruins. 

Nearly 300 have reportedly died in four days of fighting.

 Taking a break from the pointless destruction of priceless history.

Racism is alright when other people do it:

A couple and an 11-year-old boy were driven out of their home on a Quebec reserve by people protesting the presence of the woman's non-native boyfriend.

There are mixed opinions as to why residents of the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal are protesting the relationship between Amanda Deer and her non-native boyfriend. 

Protesters gathered outside Deer's home Sunday and demanded the family leave. She said she's not sure whether protesters were there because her boyfriend has a criminal record, or if it's because they were trying to enforce a territory law that says any Mohawk who marries or lives with a non-native must move away.

(Sidebar: yeah, that must be it.)

"Two people in the pro-eviction [group] and they were trying to break my front door down. They started handling the handle, banging on the door, banging on the porch, Deer said.

"People were on the side of my porch in the back where the pool is. I had the back door gate locked by the pool, they're trying to kick it in. 'Get the f--k out of here, get the hell out of here. We want him out!' And the police are standing there doing nothing."
Whatever one does, do not point out the vile bigotry that keeps that reservation's engine running.

Sore losers:

Russia will be sanctioned after their players showed a lack of respect to Canada following a 6-1 loss in the final of the world championships in Prague, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Monday.

Most of Russia's players left the ice straight after Sunday's defeat and headed for the dressing rooms without waiting for the national anthem of Canada to be played, which goes against the etiquette of the sport.

Scientists get a chance to study life on a newly-formed island:

The new Nishinoshima, a respectable 2.46 square kilometres (0.95 square miles), the Japan Coast Guard said in February -- roughly the size of 345 football pitches -- is currently almost all bare rock, formed from cooling lava.

But scientists say it will one day be humming with plant -- and possibly animal -- life, as nature moves in to what is being called a "natural laboratory" on one of the latest bits of real estate in the Pacific Ocean.

"We biologists are very much focusing on the new island because we'll be able to observe the starting point of evolutionary processes," said Naoki Kachi, professor and leader of Tokyo Metropolitan University's Ogasawara Research Committee.

After the volcanic activity calms down, "what will probably happen first will be the arrival of plants brought by ocean currents and attached to birds' feet," he said.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Post

Just in time for the long week-end...

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death:

Two years after the horrific bombing of this city’s famed marathon, a federal jury on Friday sentenced to death one of the young men responsible for the attack, turning away appeals for mercy from his lawyers and even some victims.

The jury of seven women and five men rendered its decision after deliberating for more than 14 hours. As the verdict was read, the bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, displayed no sign of emotion.

The outcome was a victory for prosecutors, who said the former college student worked in tandem with his older brother and carried out the attack in a “heinous, cruel and depraved manner.” Jurors rejected arguments that Tsarnaev had fallen under the sway of his brother, Tamerlan, and was remorseful over the suffering he caused.

North of the border, a convicted and unrepentant terrorist has been deemed a child offender by unelected judges:

One week after a judge set him free, former teen terrorist Omar Khadr has won yet another legal battle with the Conservative government, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that he was sentenced as a juvenile, not an adult.

While the ruling doesn’t affect the 28-year-old’s freedom, it means that if he is returned to jail, it would be to a provincial reformatory, rather than a federal prison.

Twenty-three thousand people showed up in front of the House of Commons as they do every year:

The March for Life wouldn't be the March for Life without the miniscule presence of pathetic douchebags and their "counter-arguments":

There weren't as many pro-abortion counter-protesters at yesterday's March For Life as the media would have you believe. That said, one man I talked to turned out to be pretty interesting.

He's brought along a hand made sign with a curse word, and he's memorized a bunch of talking points.

But when I challenge him with some pretty basic questions, he fumbles for a moment.

However, he regains his composure and doubles down on his memorized opinions, going so far as to agreeing to "post-natal abortion," then quickly adding, "But I'm not advocating murder of any kind."

Later he sent us an email begging us not to air the interview.

I think I know why...

Just watch the video.

The RCMP is charged with four violations of the labour code in connection with last year's shootings of three of their officers in New Brunswick:

The Employment and Social Development Canada investigation alleges there were violations of the code relating to the force's equipment, training and supervision in the June 4 case that terrorized the New Brunswick city.

Justin Bourque murdered constables Doug Larche, Fabrice Gevaudan and Dave Ross, and constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded in the young man's rampage through the city's north end.

Bourque was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 75 years in October after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

An RCMP review of the shootings said officers responding to the shootings faced a litany of problems that included communicating accurate information, accessing high-powered weaponry and securing protective equipment.

Bourque used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot the five officers in the city, and set off a 30-hour manhunt that drew in officers from around the region.

Commissioner Bob Paulson says the police force is considering the substance of the labour code charges and reviewing what actions it will take.

How is that "degrading" thing going?

Islamic State militants seized the main government headquarters in Ramadi, raising their black flag over the compound and setting it ablaze hours after a series of suicide car bombings heralded the start of a major new offensive by the extremists on the strategic city.

Why would someone do this? Because he's a sick b@$#@rd, that's why:

Morning is the most difficult time for Marlene Bird — she just wants to climb out of bed and make a pot of coffee.

But the 48-year-old struggles with every-day tasks since she was attacked and set on fire in northern Saskatchewan nearly one year ago.

Bird, who had been homeless for several years, was burned so badly that doctors had to amputate both her legs. She has also had several surgeries for skin grafts and there are more surgeries to come.

A cut to Bird's face stretches from her eyelid to her shattered nose. An operation is set for next month on one of her eyes that will hopefully improve the double-vision that leaves her feeling dizzy.

"Why would a man do this to a woman?" Bird says in an interview with radio station CKBI.

Leslie Black, 29, pleaded guilty last month to the attempted murder of Bird.

I'm sure the governments of Thailand and Indonesia will act in the best interests of these refugees, using the practice of dana paramita and the third pillar of charity as their guides:

More than 1,000 people fleeing persecution in Myanmar and poverty in Bangladesh came ashore around Southeast Asia, describing killings, extortion and near-starvation after surviving a harrowing journey at sea.

An increasingly alarmed United Nations warned against "floating coffins" and urged regional leaders to put human lives first. The United States urged governments not to push back new boat arrivals.

The waves of weak, hungry and dehydrated migrants who arrived Friday were the latest to slip into countries that have made it clear they're not welcome. But thousands more are still believed stranded at sea in what has become a humanitarian crisis no one in the region is rushing to solve.

Most of the migrants were crammed onto three boats that Indonesian fishermen towed ashore, while a group of 106 people were found on a Thai island known for its world-class scuba diving and brought to the mainland. ...

Southeast Asia for years tried to quietly ignore the plight of Myanmar's 1.3 million Rohingya but is now being confronted with a dilemma that in many ways it helped create. In the last three years, more than 120,000 Rohingya have boarded ships to flee to other countries, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

No countries want them, fearing that accepting a few would result in an unstoppable flow of poor, uneducated migrants. But Southeast Asian governments at the same time respected the wishes of Myanmar at regional gatherings, avoiding discussions of state-sponsored discrimination against the Rohingya.

Myanmar, in its first official comments as the crisis escalated in the past two weeks, indicated it won't take back migrants who claim to be Rohingya, who are denied citizenship in Myanmar and are effectively stateless.

"We cannot say that the migrants are from Myanmar unless we can identify them," said government spokesman Ye Htut. "Most victims of human trafficking claim they are from Myanmar is it is very easy and convenient for them."

Put money on this: these snowflakes will wear Islamic dress if told to on a dime:

A high school in Guelph, Ont., plans to create a focus group made up of students, parents, staff and administrators to review its dress code after public backlash to the principal's use of the word "skanky" to describe the style of dress students should avoid.

Scot Bishop, the principal of Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute, reportedly used the word during an address over the school's P.A. system last week.

The school said the group will be formed by the end of the school year. If changes are recommended, they likely won't be in place for the beginning of the next school year.

Meanwhile, students at the school protested on Friday by wearing T-shirts with messages of gender equality. Some are breaking the school's dress code by dressing up "skanky" themselves.

(Sidebar: yeah, that's why teen-agers dressed like that on a Friday. Trust those who get pushed through the puppy mills of Ontario high schools to know what they are doing and why they are doing it) 

During a press conference at Camp David, President Obama said that chlorine isn’t ‘historically’ a chemical weapon.

Hello, this is Senator Barack Obama and today is Wednesday, March 29, 2006. ...

The 9/11 Commission focused specifically on the dangers of our chemical plants, how exposed they are. Industrial chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, phosgene, methyl bromide, hydrochloric and various other acids are routinely stored near cities in multi-ton quantities. These chemicals are extraordinarily hazardous. Several are identical to those that were used as weapons during the First World War. Today they are 111 facilities in the country where a catastrophic chemical release could threaten more than one million people. 


Ladies and gentlemen, the late B.B. King.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mid-Week Post

The intermission of the work-week...

Virtually fresh from a devastating earthquake,  Nepal experiences another one:

A second powerful earthquake in less than three weeks spread panic in Nepal on Tuesday, bringing down buildings weakened by the first disaster and killing at least 66 people, including 17 in neighbouring India and one in Chinese Tibet.

Most of the reported fatalities were in villages and towns east of Kathmandu, only just beginning to pick up the pieces from the April 25 quake that left more than 8,000 dead.

So, what happens when disaster strikes? Who is responsible for getting them home?
A new poll says more than half of Canadians believe the federal government has all or most of the responsibility for getting citizens out of a disaster zone.

But 38 per cent – almost one in five – felt the rescued should have to pay a portion of the cost, says a report by the Angus Reid Institute.

And only 16 per cent of survey respondents felt government is responsible for helping Canadians who have travelled to countries considered high-risk.
Who should pay? Perhaps the people who went to global hotbeds of civil unrest and/or natural disasters? The government- funded by the people of Canada- should not responsible for ferrying people to and fro whenever things hit the fan.

It turns out that a publicly-funded Amtrak train in Pennsylvania crashed because it was going too fast on aging infrastructure:

Using its verified Twitter account, the National Transportation Safety Board reported Wednesday afternoon that the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia was moving at 100 miles per hour just prior to the derailment and crash that killed 7 and injured more than 200.

Two charges of sexual assault have been dropped against disgraced CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi:

Two sexual assault charges have been dropped against disgraced former broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, who was ordered Tuesday to face the remaining five charges of sexual assault and one count of choking in two separate trials.

The former host of CBC Radio's cultural affairs show "Q" was originally charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.

Crown prosecutor Mike Callaghan said Tuesday that two sexual assault charges were being withdrawn because there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

But Palestine isn't a state!

The Holy See and the State of Palestine have agreed on the text of a treaty regarding the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, which is expected to be signed soon by both parties.


These are the same people who used the Church of the Nativity as a toilet. There will be no respect for Christians or anyone else in that Jordanian colony.

And to remind one of what is at stake:

Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions – families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It's making us stronger,” she said.

“We were displaced, yet we feel that the hand of God is still with us…In the midst of this darkness, this suffering, we see that God is holding us,” she explained, adding that it is a “gift of the Holy Spirit” to be able to stay and have faith through hardship.

Sister Diana was part of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, originally from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Islamist militants bombed their convent in 2009, and after the prioress sought protection from the local government and found none, Sister Diana and the community moved to Qaraqosh.

The ISIS onslaught caught up to them last summer. As the Islamic State swept through parts of Iraq and Syria, establishing a strict caliphate, more than 120,000 Iraqis were displaced on the Nineveh Plain, faced with the decision to convert to Islam, stay and pay a jizya tax to ISIS, or leave immediately.

The religious community moved again, this time to Kurdistan. “We were driven out of our homes in a couple of hours,” the nun described, “without any warning.”

Almost no Christians are left in Mosul, Sister Diana said, except for about 100 Christian hostages of ISIS.

Slated to testify before a congressional committee as part of an Iraqi delegation, Sister Diana’s application for a visa was initially denied by the local U.S. Consulate because of her status as an internally-displaced person.

Amid mounting pressure, she was later able to enter the United States and testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee May 13 regarding “ISIS's war on religious minorities.”

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un reportedly had his own aunt poisoned and executed his chief of the armed forces by shooting him to pieces:

Hyon Yong-chol, the chief of North Korea’s People’s Armed Forces, was executed by firing squad using an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in Pyongyang around April 30, the National Intelligence Service said. …

Hyon was named as the armed forces chief in June 2014, the No. 2 man within the North’s military after Hwang pyong-so, director of the general political department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA). North Korea has not announced its purge of Hyon yet.

The NIS said that given available information, Hyon seemed to be purged not because he sought a rebellion but because he was “disrespectful” to the young leader.

Once the North Korean military leadership gets over this, Kim Jong-Un is up for an assassination.


Wasn't I saying this?

Home Secretary Theresa May has suggested three British schoolgirls believed to have escaped the clutches of ISIS may not be allowed back into the UK even if they manage to return.

Reports from Iraq suggest three teenagers who had been married off to ISIS fighters have now gone on the run near the city of Mosul.

It has been suggested the trio may be Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, who disappeared from their homes in east London earlier this year.

The newly-reappointed Mrs May today declined to say whether the girls would be allowed back into Britain even if they managed to escape the war-torn region.
Leave. Them. There.


Anti-abortion activists are hitting the pavement to spread a very graphic and political pro-life message targeting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

Flyers showing Trudeau next to a graphic image of an aborted fetus are being spread around the GTA and across Canada.
(Sidebar: note that the wags have Mohammaded the image.)

I hope it is humiliating for the Boy Wonder. Like his father before him, Trudeau doesn't just support abortion, he enforces the belief in it in his own party.

And let's not forget what goes on in the "basic dictatorship" of China and its buffer-state, North Korea:

According to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China report, released on October 10, 2010, violators of China’s One Child Policy continue to be victims of “forced sterilization, forced abortion, arbitrary detention, and other abuses.”   


North Korea forces women to undergo abortions and young mothers to drown their newborn babies, and has starved and executed hundreds of thousands of detainees at secret prison camps — atrocities that the chairman of a U.N. panel that documented the abuses compares to those of Nazi Germany.

And now, even though his life was drastically short, his existence was miraculous:

His life was brief. Only 80 short minutes. There was nothing we could do to save him. No procedures could fix the missing parts of his skull or brain (a condition known as anencephaly). We could only love him, celebrate his existence, and embrace the time we had with him.

We did everything we could to make the most of his life, but since we could not prevent his death, we wanted to embrace that as well. To do this, we chose to allow our son to give back by participating in organ, tissue and whole body donation.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Post

Let's begin...

Go home, Elizabeth. You're drunk (viewer discretion is advised):

Just... wow...

She actually wrote some of this down so I guess alcohol isn't completely to blame.

That she would try excusing her drunken yet heartfelt rant on lack of sleep is either a total lack of imagination or some residual spirits.

Sister Helen Prejean believes that convicted murderer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has repented for his crimes and, therefore, does not deserve the death penalty:

Since testimony began in Boston federal court in early March, the jury has heard from about 150 witness, including parents who lost children in the attack, first responders who attended to victims who had lost limbs, and Tsarnaev's Russian relatives who remembered him as a loving young boy.

But the closest they came to hearing from Tsarnaev himself was Monday's testimony from the nun, Sister Helen Prejean, 76, who described meeting him five times over the past year at the request of defense lawyers. Prejean, whose story inspired the 1993 book and 1995 film "Dead Man Walking," said she believed Tsarnaev was remorseful.

"He said it emphatically. He said no one deserves to suffer like they did," said Prejean, the public face of the New Orleans-based Ministry Against the Death Penalty and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. "I had every reason to think that he was taking it in and that he was genuinely sorry for what he did."
The defense rested its case after her testimony.

Dzhokhar Ysarnaev is as repentant as Omar Khadr is.

Oh, wait....

Omar Khadr is an angry and "highly dangerous" terrorist who shows no remorse for the killing of a U.S. soldier and other crimes, a psychiatrist speaking on behalf of prosecutors told a Guantanamo Bay court Tuesday. 

Khadr, who pleaded guilty to five war-crimes charges on Monday, still has strong ties to his "al Qaeda family" and has made no effort to distance himself from extremist views, Dr. Michael Welner told Khadr's sentencing hearing. 

"He's highly dangerous," Welner said. "It is his belief that he should not have been here for a day ... and that it is everybody else's fault that he is." ...

According to the statement of facts, Khadr threw a Russian-made F1 grenade from behind the wall of a compound in Afghanistan that was under siege from American forces in July 2002. Khadr was in the compound with other members of a terrorist cell with whom he had a pact to die rather than surrender. 

"Khadr threw the grenade with the specific intent of killing or injuring as many Americans as he could," prosecutor Jeff Groharing told the court. 

The grenade killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Groharing told the court Khadr was "happy" to have killed a soldier, a fact that would bring him comfort during his time in custody at the Bagram Air Base near Kabul. 

"Khadr indicated that when he would get 'pissed off' with the guards at Bagram, he would recall his killing of the U.S. soldier and it would make him feel good," Groharing said, reading from the statement of facts.

Once more, Pamela Gellar is vindicated:

Fox News analyst Sean Hannity and Muslim hate preacher Anjem Choudary got into a shouting match Wednesday, along with cartoonist and free speech advocate Pamela Geller, over Geller’s cartoon contest last weekend that sparked a shooting ...
Choudray has spoken in the past in favor of killing people who draw Mohammed. Speaking after the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, Choudray said that people who would draw Mohammed “know the consequences” and should expect death.

I don't recall other religions putting bounties on peoples' heads for some perceived slight.

Being afraid to anger the perpetually enraged Islamists is like an abused wife being warned by her wimpy neighbours to have supper on the table lest her abusive husband smack her again.

King Salman did not attend a summit at Camp David may indicate that not even the Saudis have any confidence in Obama:

Last month, Obama invited GCC leaders to Washington after his administration secured a framework agreement with Iran to limit Tehran’s nuclear program. Gulf states worry that the potential deal — offering Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program — will provide Iran with an influx of cash to fund proxies and expand its regional ambitions in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.

This week’s summit aimed to let the U.S. settle those nerves about the emerging deal and discuss regional security issues, including the takeover of Yemen by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced that the country’s monarch, King Salman, would not attend the summit, even though White House officials told reporters on Friday that he would be there.

Saudi officials denied that his absence amounts to a snub, and said the last-minute decision by King Salman to stay in Riyadh reflected his desire to monitor the cease-fire scheduled to begin Tuesday between the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes in the country.

Curious because they were such friends.

George Zimmerman, acquitted of shooting Trayvon Martin, was injured when someone tried shooting him:

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida, suffered a minor wound after being shot at in his vehicle on Monday, police said.

Zimmerman did not fire a gun in the Monday incident, his latest brush with law enforcement since his 2013 trial, according to police. 

No charges were immediately filed in the shooting, which took place on a roadway in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.

The other man involved was Matthew Apperson, police said. Apperson previously accused Zimmerman of threatening to kill him during a September 2014 roadside dispute, but declined to press charges.

Given the recent riots and spate of attacks on police officers, I expect the situation will get worse.

And now, things you might not know about the Pieta:

Michelangelo carved it from a single slab of marble. 

Specifically, he used Carrara marble, a white and blue stone named for the Italian region where it is mined. It's been a favorite medium of sculptors since the days of Ancient Rome.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Post

For all the times we've gnawed on our mothers' faces...
Russian soldiers resigning from the army put a dent into the fabrication that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine:

Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin's continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.

Evidence for Russians fighting in Ukraine – Russian army equipment found in the country, testimony from soldiers' families and from Ukrainians who say they were captured by Russian paratroopers – is abundant. Associates of Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Kremlin critic killed in February, will soon publish a report which they say will contain new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.

Until now, however, it has been extremely rare to find Russian soldiers who have fought there and are willing to talk. It is even rarer to find soldiers who have quit the army. Five soldiers who recently quit, including two who said they left rather than serve in Ukraine, have told Reuters of their experiences. 

One of the five, from Moscow, said he was sent on exercises in southern Russia last year but ended up going into Ukraine in an armored convoy.

"After we crossed the border, a lieutenant colonel said we could be sent to jail if we didn't fulfil orders. Some soldiers refused to stay there," said the soldier, who served with the elite Russian Kantemirovskaya tank division. He gave Reuters his full name but spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he feared reprisals.

He said he knew two soldiers who refused to stay. "They were taken somewhere. The lieutenant colonel said criminal cases were opened against them but in reality – we called them afterwards – they were at home. They just quit."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Moscow has sent any military forces to help rebels in eastern Ukraine, where clashes and casualties persist despite a ceasefire struck in February. Putin's spokesman has derided such allegations by NATO, Western governments and Kiev. 

Officials say that any Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine are "volunteers," helping the rebels of their own free will.

Eight Macedonian police officers were killed by Albanian extremists:

Macedonia said on Sunday its police had wiped out a group of ethnic Albanian "terrorists" in a day-long gun battle that left at least 22 people dead at a moment of deep political crisis in the former Yugoslav republic.

NATO, which dragged Macedonia from the brink of civil war in 2001, called for a "transparent investigation" of what went on when heavily armed police entered a mainly Albanian neighborhood in the northern town of Kumanovo before dawn on Saturday.

The government said eight police and 14 members of an "armed group" had been killed in the ensuing gun battle, describing the gunmen as former rebel commanders from neighboring Kosovo, which broke from Serbia in war in 1999 and inspired an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia two years later.

Kim Jong-Un reportedly had a missile fired:

North Korea said on Saturday it had successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, a step that would mark significant progress in the secretive state's military capabilities. 

It could pose a new threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States, which have tried to contain North Korea's growing nuclear and missile strength, military experts said.

I suppose that is preferable to hearing re-heated anti-Western propaganda.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: another part of history Putin would rather people remember differently.

There's no liar like an old liar:

Cuban President Raul Castro paid a call Sunday on Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for Cuban-U.S. detente — and said he was so impressed by the pontiff he is considering a return to the Catholic church's fold.

Damn you, global warming!

South Dakota was the centre of weather extremes Sunday, with a tornado hitting a small town on the eastern side of the state and more than a foot (30 centimetres) of snow blanketing the Black Hills to the west.

It was among several Great Plains and Midwest states in the path of expected severe weather. At the same time, a tropical storm came ashore in the Carolinas and wintry weather also affected parts of Colorado.

Convicted and unrepentant terrorist Omar Khadr was freed on bail and all the popular press has for him are Justin Trudeau soft-ball questions:

Patrick Brown, not the anointed favourite Christine Elliott was,  has won the PC leadership:

After a long, hard winter of campaigning, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives have selected Patrick Brown as the man to lead the party’s renewal.

The MP for Barrie beat out Christine Elliott on her own turf, winning the 5,292 votes necessary in ridings across Ontario. Of the 10,583 electoral votes available, Brown took 6,543 to Elliott’s 4,040, or nearly 62 per cent.

He said he wants to lead “the party Ontario deserves: a progressive conservative party” and the province “can’t afford another decade of this Ontario Liberal government.”

And now, Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers. You've earned your brunch!