Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mid-Week Mellow

Time for some animal antics....

Oh my God! Edgar Allan Poe was right!

A Manitoba wildlife centre has an unusual bird on its hands – a talking crow named Jet.
The crow came to Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile Des Chenes, Man., as an injured fledgling about four years ago.

Staff determined he couldn't be released due to a damaged wing, which hadn't healed right.
They started spending more time with him, to socialize him in the hopes he could be one of their ambassador animals.

Those animals are used in education in the community, travelling to places such as schools and seniors homes. But while working to see if they might be able to crate train him, something amazing happened:  Jet started to talk.

Shauna Hewson co-ordinates educational programs for the centre. She said last winter, a volunteer was alone with Jet in the barn when she heard someone say, "Who's outside?" 

The volunteer was amazed to realize it was Jet, mimicking a phrase the volunteer often used.
Hewson said Jet can also say "hello" and he laughs.

happened or existed never more the raven src the raven

Is she making a snow-tiger?

Keepers at Kaliningrad Zoo were stumped: who was heaving giant snowballs into the tiger enclosure after hours?

Turns out, the impressive snowballs were the work of Tanya the tiger herself. 

Security cameras caught the cat in the act

"One morning, zoologists came to work and found snowballs in Tanya’s cage. Naturally, no one thought that the tigress was able to make them by herself. Zoologists decided that someone joked and threw large snowballs into the cage, but one evening she was caught," zoo spokesperson Ekaterina Mikhailova told the Siberian Times. 

"Our staff noticed it three years ago. They say that she doesn’t like making snowballs in the daylight, prefers doing this at night," added zoo director Svetlana Sokolova.

When no one is around, the tigress diligently goes to work gathering snow, rolling it from one side of her enclosure to another until it forms a large ball. She then starts work on another. 

If only she knew how to pile her snowballs into a snowman.

An Interview With Justin Trudeau

What would he do if he was elected to be prime minister?


That was deep.

But Wait! There's Even More!

Lots more...

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim Jong-Un to Russia for the anniversary celebrations of the end of the Second World War:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Moscow next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, the Kremlin’s spokesman said on Friday.

It would be Kim’s first foreign visit since taking the helm of the reclusive east Asian state in 2011. His personal envoy came to Moscow last month in the framework of efforts by the two Cold War-era allies to improve relations. ...
Moscow needs North Korean co-operation in boosting natural gas exports to South Korea as Gazprom wants to build a gas pipeline through North Korea to reach its southern neighbour.

(Sidebar: we'll give you the g-d- gas, South Korea.)

I wonder if the portly lad will broach this delicate historical subject:

A North Korean who tried to bring a drunk Soviet lieutenant to justice said, “I cannot forgive the Soviet soldier who raped my wife. Many such perpetrators went unpunished. Though another lieutenant colonel urged the Soviet military police to punish the perpetrators to maintain military discipline several times, his words went unheeded, the report said.
The 25th Primorsky Krai unit commander of the Soviet Far East Army arrived at Pyongyang Airport on Aug. 26, 1945, and described the Soviet army as liberators. “Remember fellow Koreans! Your happiness is up to you. You have achieved freedom and independence. Everything is up to you now,” he said. The report, however, quoted the commander as threatening to hang half of the Koreans” if they rise up against the Soviet army in protest of their abuses.
The commander held a party with his subordinates for 22 hours in a row in downtown Haeju on Nov. 16, 1945. A fire broke out and burned houses, but he said the fire was an act of arson committed by dissidents and received 300,000 yen as compensation.
The report quoted another Soviet colonel as saying privately, “The Korean people were enslaved for the past 35 years. It’s okay for them be enslaved a little longer.

In the words of the very mortal and eternally damned Stalin:

" ... Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometers through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?"


Visitors to North Korea's Rason special economic zone soon learn of company managers' desire to resume business with Japan and South Korea, which have slapped sanctions on Pyongyang. This is clear evidence of supreme leader Kim Jong Un's drive to reduce North Korea's reliance on China and find new trade partners.

Yeah, that's not going to work.

 North Korea is a pariah, one which China and Russia will still deal with, but a pariah nonetheless.

The Kaesong free zone has been a financial black hole and China has already divided up Rason for itself.

Only the basest companies might entertain doing business with North Korea and might be willing to lose money over it.


(Sidebar: if you're not getting your info on North Korea from One Free Korea, you're doing it wrong.)

Just a reminder: Obama did not attend the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz because he had to go to Saudi Arabia.

"Hitler did not win."

In an effort to appear smug and uninformed vigilant, a Maclean's reporter beclowns herself:

"One thing that you failed to mention is that the man who was saying these things was also Aboriginal."


Ezra Levant's sterling work on Nancy Macdonald's appalling lack of journalistic effort and integrity:

While stroking her ego, Miss Macdonald has shot a hole in her credibility, ignored real issues and has made it possible for real incidents of racism to be ignored in the future (SEE: the boy who cried wolf).


Mid-Week Post

It's the mid-weekiest!

Jordan has agreed to a prisoner swap leaving the fate of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto unresolved:

The Islamic State group released a message late Wednesday purportedly by Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, extending the deadline for Jordan's release of an Iraqi would-be hotel bomber linked to al-Qaida.

The audio was released as Jordan had offered a precedent-setting prisoner swap to the Islamic State group in a desperate attempt to save a Jordanian air force pilot the militants purportedly threatened to kill, along with Goto.

The audio recording, in English, says the Jordanians must present Sajida al-Rishawi at the Turkish border by sunset Thursday, or Jordanian pilot Mu'as al-Kasaseabeh will be killed. ...

King Abdullah II faces growing domestic pressure to bring the pilot home. However, meeting the Islamic State's demand for the release of a would-be hotel bomber linked to al-Qaida would run counter to the kingdom's hardline approach to the extremists.

Efforts to release al-Kaseasbeh and Goto gained urgency with the release late Tuesday of a purported online ultimatum claiming the Islamic State group would kill both hostages within 24 hours if the al-Qaida-linked prisoner was not freed.

Unless the Jordanians have a trick up their sleeves, this does set a bad precedent and will possibly open up the Islamist floodgates in a country that is barely keeping Islamism out.

Israel fires back at Syria after a rocket attack:

Israeli airforce jets struck Syrian army artillery positions near the Israel-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday, the military said, in retaliation for rockets launched in the area the previous day.

Tensions have escalated in the border region in the 10 days since an Israeli air strike on territory under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed an Iranian general and several Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

On Tuesday, at least two rockets from Syria hit the Golan Heights and Israel responded with artillery fire, the army said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire and no casualties were reported.

"We will not tolerate any firing towards Israeli territory or violation of our sovereignty and we will respond forcefully and with determination," Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement.

Well, this must be embarrassing:

One of the country's largest Muslim organizations gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Hamas-linked charity, and vocally supported an Egyptian Islamist group, QMI Agency has learned.

The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), based in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ont., owns or operates at least 20 Islamic schools and 15 mosques in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

MAC's website says the group is centred around "holistic educational and spiritual development" and "has no organizational link or affiliation with other organizations."

However, QMI obtained an RCMP search warrant linking the group to IRFAN-Canada, a banned charity group and a listed terrorist organization also based in Mississauga.

The Mounties, citing Canada Revenue Agency disclosure, say: "The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) provided $296,514 between 2001 and 2010" to IRFAN-Canada.

The Conservative government declared IRFAN-Canada a terrorist group on April 29, 2014 -- one day after the Mounties raided the charity.

The government said "between 2005 and 2009, IRFAN-Canada transferred approximately $14.6-million worth of resources to various organizations associated with Hamas."

Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

First World problems:

University of Saskatchewan students were given the chance to walk in the shoes, or rather, the headcovering of their Muslim classmates. 

The U of S Muslim Students' Association hosted the Hijab Day Challenge. Organizers of the event, which was part of Islam Awareness Week, gave non-Muslim students the chance to learn about the hijab and wear one for the day. 

"There are women out there who have people come up to them and they might say something to them offensive, like 'go back to your country' or 'you're oppressed' or 'you're forced to wear this,'" said Amna Khizer, one of the organizers. 

"Those misunderstandings, they develop just as a result of people not knowing. When they come and they learn about it, why we practice our faith, why we do all of this, why we wear hijab and all this stuff, it just generally increases that understanding."

Third-year sociology student Michelle MacDonald was one of the students who donned a hijab for the day. 

"As a white woman in Canada, if I want to talk about another culture, I have to learn about the other culture," she said.

"In a setting that's as culturally diverse as the university, I think it's something really nice to see and I think it's nice that women feel they can express themselves however we want, not just the ways Canadians would always like them to."

If the padded females of Canada wish to really know what it's like to be a Muslima then wearing a head scarf for one day simply will not do.

Anyone can go on a Slut Walk or whip off one's top and nurse one's baby (except in the Islamic world). What good is making-believe for twenty-four hours when there is no compulsion to wear an identity-covering garment lest this happen:

About 1,000 people demonstrated in Isfahan in central Iran where the women were maimed in the past week, attacked by assailants on motorbikes. ...

The protest came as Iran's health minister Hassan Hashemi visited one victim at a city hospital.
The woman, covered in bandages, gave a harrowing account of how she has lost sight in her right eye.

She pleaded with Mr Hashemi, an ophthalmologist, for an operation.

"I was a student, I am educated, I was behind the wheel of my car and then the attacker took my life away from me," the woman, named as Soheila Jorkesh, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

"Nobody knew how to help me at the time. It took 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

"I am the only daughter of this family. My left eye still has sight. Please help me so that I can see."

What good is protecting your loose virtue when you still have your external reproductive organs intact and/or haven't been gang-raped?

Figures from Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital reveal that staff see six patients who have been subjected to the barbaric procedure every week.
No. That just won't do.

I know one is never supposed to go full Muslima but in this case, make the exception.

There are no-go zones in Europe if Iraq is too hot.

The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte told in a recent interview that in Holland, you can now see examples of young, unveiled Moroccan women with a so-called "smiley". It means that the girl gets one side of her face cut up from mouth to ear, serving as a warning to other Muslim girls who should refuse to wear the veil. In the Muslim suburb of Courneuve, France, 77 per cent of the veiled women carry veils reportedly because of fear of being harassed or molested by Islamic moral patrols.

How about it, "brave" Canadian students? Would you like to "express" yourselves when you've got everything to lose in places nowhere nearly as tolerant as Canada?

And now, in the snow storm that wasn't, it was clear enough to find a lost dog:

A whippet named Burt that vanished on the streets of New York City five months ago has finally made it home.

The Fire Department of New York said Burt's incredible journey came to end early Tuesday at the height of the winter storm when he was rescued at a training facility on Randall's Island.

"As soon as he saw his owner, the dog started wagging his tail, licking her," said David Kelly, a firefighter who reunited the pair.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

But Wait! There's More!

But... but... snow!

On Monday morning, forecasts warned of a “crippling” and “historic” storm due to blanket New York City and northern New Jersey with up to 36 inches (91cm) of snow. 

By early Tuesday morning, just 6.3 inches (16cm) of snow covered Central Park, with only about 2 more inches on the way, the National Weather Service reported. In New Jersey, where meteorologists predicted an 18-inch (45cm) dump of snow, only 3 inches (7.5cm) of snow had fallen. 

Gary Szatkowski, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s office in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, was quick to apologize for the “big forecast miss” on Twitter.

Even if Prime Minister Harper did sent military personnel to fight ISIS, I can't see why that would be a bad thing:

We probably shouldn’t have been surprised that Canadian soldiers would end up exchanging fire with Islamic State fighters in Iraq.

The question is, was the government being naive or disingenuous when it said last fall that Canada’s mission there would not put them in danger on the front line (except, of course, the pilots flying CF-18s on bombing missions)? ...

Canadian snipers in the first instance apparently “neutralized” ISIS mortar and machine-gun fire on Canadian troops working with Iraqi soldiers, it was revealed last week. A fresh briefing Monday disclosed two more incidents where Canadians fired back after being fired upon.

The military and the government explained the soldiers’ presence on the front line as an evolution, but opposition critics quickly denounced it as “mission creep,” accusing the Tories of misleading Parliament and Canadians.

Military experts say the development should come as no surprise, given the uncertain nature of the Iraqi situation.

The popular press has completely ignored some rather pertinent bits of information once more.

I believe I've said something like this before:

According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing makes up around 11% of Canada's economy. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction combined make up about 8.5% of the economy. The biggest chunk of the economy is real estate, rental and leasing, weighing in at an impressive 13% of GDP. ...

But Justin's analysis falls down in an even more fundamental way than that. He fails to understand that the government doesn't direct the oil and gas industry. Individual business people do that within a regulatory environment established by the government. They risk their own money, build companies and employ hundreds of thousands of people at wages well above the national average.

The oil and gas they produce fuels our cars, warms our homes and produces enormous revenues for the government which it uses to pay for things like pensions and health care. Isn't that a good thing?

The last time the government directed oil and gas development was under his father Pierre, who nationalized an oil company and who gave us the National Energy Program. That in turn led to record bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment, but look at me being all negative.

Read the whole thing.

Trudeau does not get it, nor does he want to. Any carbon tax is a drain on the very classes he says he will defend.

Ukraine has intercepted conversations that prove that Russian-backed militants are responsible for civilian deaths:

Ukraine's president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone conversations prove that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for firing the rockets that pounded the southeastern city of Mariupol and killed at least 30 people. ...

Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko initially announced that his forces had begun an offensive on the government-controlled city of Mariupol. But after the extent of civilian casualties became known, he backtracked and blamed Ukrainian forces for Saturday's carnage.

No, women of South Korea, you can't have it all:

A shortage of dependable childcare is derailing the careers of hundreds of thousands of women in South Korea, where management ranks are dominated by men and a patriarchal society idealizes stay-at-home moms.

(Sidebar: this is a country that has a female president. Carry on.)

The low rate of female participation in the workforce - just 56 percent of working-age women as of 2013 - is an increasingly urgent problem in the world's fastest-aging developed country, where working-age population is set to decline from next year.

Japan also has a graying population.

Speaking of Japan:

South Korea and China warned Japan on Tuesday not to backtrack on its apology issued 20 years ago over its wartime past when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

I have no idea why Japan persists in this immoral and fruitless refusal to apologise for once and for all. When Chinese-backed North Korea really goes off the rails, it will need the support of South Korea and other Asian nations it has pi$$ed off in the past.

Dammit, Abe! Don't screw this up for everybody!

Speaking of North Korea:

One sports a Christian Dior handbag and favors Western clothes. The other carries a notebook and wears dark uniforms. These fashion opposites are the two most influential women in North Korea. 

While Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju and younger sister Kim Yo Jong are currently allies in sustaining one of the world’s most reclusive leaders, their overlapping influence makes them potential rivals in a regime where family ties aren’t strong enough to protect against Kim’s penchant for purges.

(Sidebar: note the shallow way in which this article initially starts.Why bring up Kim's barbarity at all?)

In a country that has a one-child policy it brutally enforces, sex education is the last thing it needs:

Health authorities say that 62% of the 13 million abortions carried out each year are performed on women aged between 20 and 29, most of whom are single, the China Daily reports.

The report adds that almost 20% of these women have had more than one abortion. ...

Guo Min, a health expert from a non-governmental organisation, tells the paper that most of these women are not well educated and have never received any sex education.

Echoing similar views, the China Youth Daily observes that the younger generation is more open, but the lack of sex education leads them to "display risky behaviour". ...

Experts are also concerned about the "misleading" advertisements that play down risks of abortions.

The Tianjin Daily criticises the "irresponsible advertisements" for claiming that such medical procedures are "quick, painless and risk-free", leading to reckless decision-making.

(Sidebar: wait- does one mean to say that abortions are not at all safe?)

Speaking of grooming sex education:

Ontario’s new sex curriculum will provide students starting in Grade 1 with the basic building blocks of consent, Premier Kathleen Wynne says.

Perhaps Premier Wynne would like to illuminate what consent was allegedly given by the youngsters to her friend, colleague and collaborator Benjamin Levin (who will plead guilty to some of the charges against him)?

Reminder: Ontario Liberal voters put her in office.

Monday, January 26, 2015

On A Monday

Snow-mageddon... or something.

ISIS threatens more attacks in Canada similar to the attacks in Ottawa and in Quebec last year:

The ISIS spokesman renewed his calls for terrorist attacks in Canada on Monday in a fiery speech that referred to the Oct. 22 attack on Parliament Hill and warned that “what lies ahead will be worse — with Allah’s permission.” ...
 "We will argue, before Allah, against any Muslim who has the ability to shed a single drop of crusader blood but does not do so, whether with an explosive device, a bullet, a knife, a car, a rock, or even a boot or a fist,” he said.

(Sidebar: this has nothing to do with Islam.)

How is that "degrading ISIS" thing going?

Prime Minister Harper's forthcoming legislation promising to  "criminalise the promotion of terrorism" should really give way to the complete obliteration of ISIS, even if Trudeau does not like our odds and the popular press demands an exact location of Canadian military personnel. If Canadian armed forces cannot protect themselves, we are truly at the mercy of savages like ISIS or Boko Haram.


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expresses sorrow for Hungary's part in the Holocaust:

Prime Minister Viktor Orban overcame unease within his government to acknowledge Hungary's role in the Holocaust on Monday, saying many people in the central European country acted "shamefully" in World War Two.

Speaking at a memorial for Jewish soldiers who died defending Hungary's borders during World War One, Orban said Hungary also owed respect to the Jews whose deportation it helped to organize 30 years later.

About 430,000 of the 1.3 million people killed in Auschwitz were Hungarian Jews, according to the website of the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation, whose commemorations will take place on Tuesday.

Hungarians helped ferry its Jews to the death camps in just two months in 1944 after German troops had occupied the country.

"Tomorrow the Hungarian government, expressing the pain and loss of the Hungarian people, will participate in Auschwitz to remember the victims of the Holocaust," Orban said.

"It is the tragedy of the Hungarian nation and the irredeemable loss of the Hungarian Jewish community."

"(During World War Two), we were love-less and indifferent when we should have helped, and there were many, very many Hungarians who chose evil over good, who chose shameful acts instead of honest ones."

Obama, who will not attend the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, is meeting with the new Saudi king instead:

Cutting short a visit to India, Obama is leading a U.S. delegation to the Saudi capital to offer condolences after the death of King Abdullah, Salman's brother and a close ally of the United States.

The French are absolutely right about this:

A recently-born baby named Nutella was renamed by a court in the French city of Valenciennes after a judge ruled that the parents’ decision to the name the child after a food was against the child’s interest, according to a new report in the newspaper La Voix Du Nord.

“The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread,” the court’s decision read, according to a translation. “And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

The judge renamed the child Ella after the parents failed to show up at a court appointed day in November. The baby was born in September.
Why would anyone punish a child with a name like that? It's as bad as giving a girl a boy's name or calling someone Jayden.

It's cruel.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Post

Lots to talk about...

It is believed that one of two Japanese hostages taken by ISIS has been killed:

A video was posted online Saturday night showing a still image of journalist Kenji Goto, one of two Japanese hostages held by the Islamic State group, holding a picture of what appeared to be the body of fellow captive Haruna Yukawa, a private security contractor who was believed abducted in Syria in August.

In the photo, Goto is holding a composite of two images. In one of them, Yukawa is kneeling on the ground. The other image appears to show his decapitated body. The photo, if authentic, suggests Yukawa was executed after a 72-hour ransom deadline imposed by the terrorist group expired at 2:50 p.m. Friday Japan time. ...
The video released Saturday night was accompanied by the voice of a man who identified himself as Goto.

“I am Kenji Goto Jogo. You have seen the photo of my cellmate Haruna slaughtered in the land of the Islamic caliphate,” the voice said in accented English in the video.

“You were warned,” the voice said. “You were given a deadline and so my captors acted upon their words.

“Abe, you killed Haruna. You did not take the threat of my captors seriously. And you did not act within that 72 hours.

“Their demand is easier. They are being fair. They no longer want money. So you do not need to worry about funding terrorists. They are just demanding the release of their imprisoned sister, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi,” the voice said.

If Japan has any external means to recover the remaining hostage or obliterate ISIS, it should avail itself of them. That or re-militarise. Also, deliver to ISIS the corpse of this woman, preferably wrapped in the skin of a hog.

An alleged Canadian terrorist accused of killing five Americans has been extradited:

An alleged Canadian terrorist charged with murdering five Americans in a 2009 bombing in Iraq has been extradited to the U.S., the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.

Edmonton native Sayfildin Tahir Sharif is scheduled to appear at the Brooklyn federal courthouse Saturday to face criminal charges that he conspired to kill Americans abroad and provided material support to terrorists, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sharif -- also known as Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa -- was ordered extradited Oct. 19, 2012, after a Court of Queen's Bench hearing. The federal justice minister approved the extradition in February 2013.

(Sidebar: what took so long?)

A feel-good story.

Leftists' favourite little piggy wants bail:

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr wants bail pending a decision on the appeal of his convictions in the U.S.

A bail hearing is scheduled for March 24 and 25 in Edmonton.

Khadr, 28, is currently serving an eight-year federal prison sentence in Bowden Institution, located north of Calgary, as part of an international transfer agreement with the U.S.

But defence lawyer Nate Whitling said he wants Khadr released during the appeal process.

The Liberal government Ontario voters wanted and got is not ruling out tax increases:

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was not ruling out tax increases as he headed into pre-budget consultations.

"I would prefer to talk about the budget on budget day," Sousa said. "I recognize the importance of revenue as well as controlling expenses."

Sousa said he will deliver a budget this spring that keeps the government on track to eliminate its deficit by 2017-18, currently pegged at $12.5 billion.

Further violence in Ukraine goes virtually unnoticed:

Pro-Russian rebels announced a major new offensive in Ukraine on Saturday after missiles killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic city linking rebel territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

The local mayor’s office said 97 people were also wounded in the attack, which struck a crowded residential district early in the morning and then again shortly after midday.

Obama has not only refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but has also refused to attend the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Tuesday. He is sending instead his token Jew Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

To be clear: Obama, who left for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and a golf game after terrorists murdered American nationals, will not meet with a major American ally (one he does not like) "because of the proximity to the Israeli election...".

Obama will also not visit the death camp he can't be sure some uncle of his liberated or something.

The recent death of King Abdullah, to whom he will be paying his respects, must be occupying his thoughts.

He is, instead, sending his treasury secretary.

French President Fran├žois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will be attending the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet liberation of one of the most infamous death camps (Putin will not attend this year citing his busy schedule and his unjust war in Ukraine).

There one has it.


When Abe visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, this week, he said, “Today, I have learned how merciless humans can be by singling out a group of people and making that people the object of discrimination and hatred. … We must continue to work toward the realization of a world free of discrimination and war, where human rights are protected.”

Oddly enough, Abe refrained from mentioning Japan’s wartime aggression and colonial rule in the past, or the frequent hate speech against Korean residents in Japan today. If Japan does not open its eyes to the negative aspects of its modern history and turn the lessons it draws from them into meaningful actions, it will not be able to achieve true reconciliation with its neighbors.

First-World problems:

A Colorado bakery is under investigation for religious discrimination after a baker refused to write anti-gay words on a cake.


A Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple has been given an ultimatum by a judge; serve gay weddings or face fines.

These are obscene images. They depict two men thrown from the roof of a building as a crowd watches them fall to their deaths, and they purport to show the Islamic State (or ISIS) carrying out public executions before an audience in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

The two victims’ alleged crimes? They are believed to be gay. In another photo, woman accused of being an adulterer is stoned to death, and two men charged with thievery are bound to crucifixes.

Guess which one got more ire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mid-Week Post

The median point of the work-week...

Justin Trudeau has gotten many things wrong since being handed assuming leadership of the federal Liberal party. He has made several embarrassing gaffes, he has projected American middle-class woes on the Canadian middle-class, he cannot define what is the middle-class, he assumes budgets balance themselves, he has taken soft stances on terrorism, he admires "the basic dictatorship" of China and he has no grasp on the situation in the Middle East and Canada's peripheral involvement in it.

Justin Trudeau has made it clear on a number of occasions how vaguely involved Canada should be in the fight against ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). In his haste to appeal to the vulgar millennial crowd, he forgot how much in aid Canada had given prior to committing very limited military aid which included CF-18s and military advisors.

It's not warm jackets but hey.

When this small armed contingent came under fire this week-end, both Trudeau and Thomas Muclair took the opportunity to attack Harper, accusing him of misstating Canada's mission abroad.

Apparently, it is too much to expect armed personnel to defend themselves against child-rapists and journalist-murderers. This firefight has since exploded into a full-on war and is perfect political hay for those who would see Canada once more take a backseat on the international stage.

Here is Justin Trudeau "bravely" facing the media:

With this kind of "courage", why worry about Putin?

This is the rotten state of the Union:

- the US debts stands at over $18 trillion dollars (as of this writing) which averages out to $56, 931 per person

-the actual unemployment rate is higher that the listed 5.6% due to seasonal factors and "discouraged workers" or those who have been unable to find any work, much of which is part-time

-Iran is STILL enriching uranium

Cambodia and social media:

Soaring use of Internet-connected smart phones has allowed Cambodians to sidestep government-controlled television, radio and newspapers.

In 2008, only about 70,000 people had access to the Internet, according to government statistics. Today, the figure is 3.8 million and most of them are young: about 70 percent of the country's 14 million people are under 30.

There are now more cellphones used in Cambodia - 20 million - than there are Cambodians.
Many government ministers have Facebook or Twitter accounts, and Everett said the Ministry of Interior planned to increase its use of social media.

Although a late adopter, Hun Sen's Facebook page has more than 640,000 "likes." The page of his arch-rival, the CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy, boasts over a million.

A gender imbalance? Really?

Chinese health authorities on Wednesday described the gender imbalance among newborns as "the most serious and prolonged" in the world, a direct ramification of the country's strict one-child policy.

The statement will add to growing calls for the government to scrap all family planning restrictions in the world's most populous nation, which many scholars say faces a demographic crisis.

Like most Asian nations, China has a traditional bias for sons. Many families abort female fetuses and abandon baby girls to ensure their one child is a son, so about 118 boys are born for every 100 girls, against a global average of 103 to 107.

"Our country has the most serious gender imbalance that is most prolonged and affecting the most number of people," the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement on its website.

The agency said it would step up supervision on fetal sex determination, which is banned in China. It acknowledged that women were transferring blood samples overseas to determine the genders of their babies as part of an "underground chain for profit".

"This has further exacerbated the gender imbalance in our country's birth structure," the agency said.
Researchers have warned that large sex-ratio imbalances could lead to instability as more men remain unmarried, raising the risks of anti-social and violent behavior.

Many analysts say the one-child policy has shrunk China's labor pool, hurting economic growth. The working age population fell again in 2013, the government said on Wednesday.

And now, crashing a North Korean wedding.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday, Monday

Much to do...

Two RCMP officers were shot in Alberta. The suspect later killed himself. What should be jaw-dropping but is not is the criminal record of the deceased gunman:

RCMP Constable David Matthew Wynn, 42, a beloved community leader and hockey dad whose lifelong dream was to be a Mountie, remained in grave condition in hospital Sunday, a day after he was shot in the head at close range while investigating a report of a stolen vehicle.

An RCMP auxiliary officer, a civilian volunteer, was also shot in the same attack inside an Alberta casino and survived despite being hit in the arm and torso. He has been released from hospital. Constable Wynn, who has a wife and three children, is being treated moment to moment. ...

It’s not known why the confrontation inside the casino turned violent so quickly. The RCMP did not detail Mr. Rehn’s criminal record, but he had been accused of various crimes involving firearms in the past. In 2005, he was accused of forcing his way into a home in Edmonton with a gun and is alleged to have driven the victim to an ATM and robbed him of money, according to a story in the local newspaper. He was also accused in a theft of hockey memorabilia, and of possessing guns and a crossbow in other cases.

A child who refused chemotherapy for "alternative treatments" has died:

Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old girl who refused chemotherapy to pursue traditional indigenous medicine and other alternative treatments, has died.

She died Monday after suffering a stroke Sunday.

The girl’s case made national headlines and ignited a debate about the validity of indigenous medicine and the rights of children to choose their own treatment.

Makayla was given a 75 per cent chance of survival when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March. She underwent 11 weeks of chemotherapy at McMaster Children’s hospital in Hamilton. ...

In an interview with CBC News, her mother said, “This was not a frivolous decision I made. Before I took her off chemo, I made sure that I had a comprehensive health-care plan that I was very confident that was going to achieve ridding cancer of her body before I left the hospital. This is not something I think may work, this is something I know will work.”

Judge Gethin Edward rejected the application from the Hamilton hospital that would have seen the Children’s Aid Society intervene in this case.

(insert own statement of blame here)

A proposal to put up an aboriginal  stop sign has been put on hold:

A councillor for Kamloops, B.C., has been forced to put the brakes on a proposal to add a First Nation's language to stop signs in the city. 

Stop signs on the Tk'emlups First Nation, which borders Kamloops to the north east, are already bilingual, with the Secepemc word for stop, estil, on each stop sign.

City Councillor Donovan Cavers thought it would be nice to include both languages on city signs as well.

"I thought it would be interesting to pursue the idea of doing that in our community as well just to see and express and bring more awareness of the First Nations culture to everyone in the community," he told CBC.

Cavers brought the idea to city council late last year, asking staff to do a report on the feasibility.

That report will be presented at Tuesday's city council meeting — showing it legally can't be done.

According to the staff report, the design of stop signs falls under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act, so the city has no jurisdiction to change them.

What percentage of Canada speaks any aboriginal language? About .6%.

What percentage speaks English? Sixty-seven-point-one percent.

So the purpose of putting up an aboriginal sign in an era where English is language of commerce is because...?

"I thought it would be interesting to pursue the idea of doing that in our community as well just to see and express and bring more awareness of the First Nations culture to everyone in the community," he told CBC.


Boko Haram now controls huge swaths of Nigeria and, in like fashion, is making Nigeria into another failed Islamic state:

Boko Haram says it is building an Islamic state that will revive the glory days of northern Nigeria's medieval Muslim empires, but for those in its territory life is a litany of killings, kidnappings, hunger and economic collapse.

The Islamist group's five-year-old campaign has become one of the deadliest in the world, with around 10,000 people killed last year, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Hundreds, mostly women and children, have been kidnapped. ...

Unlike its Middle East counterparts wooing locals with a semblance of administration, villagers trapped by Boko Haram face food shortages, slavery, killing and a lock down on economic activity, those who escaped say.

Michael Moore, the fat, washed-up director, is awfully sore that "American Sniper" is doing well at the box office.


Moore's fifteen minutes of fame reclamation are over.

And now, coloured photos of the Russian Revolution.

Friday, January 16, 2015

For A Friday

All the news that fits like print...

More on the Charlie Hebdo front -

Apparently, this has nothing to do with Islam:

Muslim anger flared over a French satirical weekly's latest caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, with four people reported killed and dozens injured at a protest Friday in the West African country of Niger, and violent clashes between demonstrators and police in Pakistan, Jordan and Algeria.

But, really, this is not dissimilar from the Danish cartoon rampages and, yes, it has to do with Islam.

A Malian immigrant to France will acquire citizenship due to his bravery:
Lassana Bathily, the 24-year-old Muslim immigrant from Mali who hid Jewish hostages during last week’s bloody drama at a kosher grocery, will become a French citizen.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that he will preside over the ceremony on Jan. 20 after he ordered that Bathily’s July 7 citizenship application be accepted.

Why aren't the Americans embarrassed?

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris after the White House apologized for not sending a high-ranking official to a massive unity rally after the terrorist attacks there.

And he brought a friend by the name of James Taylor.

Without France's help, the United States would not have been a republic. The favour was repaid when the Americans liberated Paris during the Second World War.

So how does the Secretary of State assist France in its darkest hour?

With an aging hippy.

Mon Dieu...

Sixty-four recommendations have been made following a shooting rampage that took the lives of three RCMP officers:

A review exploring the RCMP response to Justin Bourque's deadly shooting spree in June in New Brunswick calls for the force to take immediate action to better arm Mounties — one of 64 recommendations that have all been accepted by the RCMP.

The 180-page report, led by retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, was released in Moncton on Friday morning, with nine pages redacted for officer safety, including details about the amount of equipment officers have.

The report urges the RCMP to expedite the deployment of patrol carbines across the force, including improved training.

A carbine is a short-barrelled rifle that has a longer accurate range than a sidearm or shotgun.
MacNeil's report says officers were outgunned during the incident, having to rely on shotguns and pistols, while Bourque was armed with a high-powered rifle.

Patrol carbines would have made a difference at several key stages of the shooting that claimed the lives of three Mounties, he said.

It's unthinkable to know how slow and inept the police could have been at that time.

This is the government Ontario Liberal voters wanted:

Gerry 2:10 – 3:01 “So I come to you, on behalf of the premier, and on behalf of, yes, Thibeault, more indirectly, to ask you if you would consider stepping down, even more than that Andrew, nominating him. In the course of that deliberation, the Premier wants to talk to you. They would like to present to you options in terms of appointments, jobs, whatever, that you and her and Pat Sorbara could talk about it. Having said that, and I made it very clear to Premier Wynne ...

Wynne, of course, denies it.

Speaking of Kathleen Wynne, her friend, Benjamin Levin, will plead guilty:

Dr. Benjamin Levin will plead guilty on March 3 to some of the child pornography-related charges, court heard Friday.

Levin will plead guilty to some offences, but not all of the seven charges that were laid against the renowned educator.