Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Quickly now...


B!#ch:


Premier Kathleen Wynne says she’s going ahead with a one-week trade mission to China on October 25 despite growing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

“We support the ability of people to express freely their opinions,” Wynne told reporters Wednesday when asked about the timing of her trip with representatives from about 60 companies.

The premier said she raised the issue in a meeting with the Chinese consul-general in Toronto on Monday but wouldn’t commit to pressing officials for a speedier pace on voting reforms.
“I am going to work in the context of the federal government’s relations with China,” she added before heading outside to help raise the People’s Republic of China flag in front of Queen’s Park to mark the 65th anniversary of the country founded in 1949.

Typical Liberal. 


And people expected something different?

A GIF of a police officer pepper-spraying a non-violent man during the Hong Kong protests is going viral. 

The clip comes from a live-stream video of the protests. In it, a police officer reaches over a barricade and grabs an elderly protestor by the shoulder, turning him around so he can pepper-spray him at point-blank range.

Sure, Jimmy. Sure:

Jimmy Carter attempts to kick Glenn Beck around. Former President Jimmy Carter marked his 90th birthday Wednesday with a lengthy interview on CNBC Meets where he discussed his one term in office and the one thing he would have handled differently — the Iran Hostage Crisis. 

Carter suggested Operation Eagle Claw, a failed 1980 attempt to rescue the hostages taken by Iranian revolutionaries at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, could have been successful if he committed one more helicopter to the mission. 

"I think I would have been re-elected easily if I had been able to rescue our hostages from the Iranians," Carter said. "And everybody asks me what would do more, I would say I would send one more helicopter because if I had one more helicopter, we could have brought out not only the 52 hostages, but also brought out the rescue team, and when that failed, then I think that was the main factor that brought about my failure to be re-elected. So that's one thing I would change."

Operation Eagle Claw was aborted after three of the helicopters taking part in the mission experienced mechanical problems. 

Carter also said he believed he would have been re-elected if he took military action against Iran in response to the taking of the hostages. Though he argued he "could have wiped Iran off the map," Carter said he thought avoiding war was the "right decision."

"I could've been re-elected if I'd taken military action against Iran, shown that I was strong and resolute and, um, manly and so forth," said Carter, adding: "I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed, probably including the hostages, and so I stood up against all that, er, all that advice, and then eventually my prayers were answered and every hostage came home safe and free. And so I think I made the right decision in retrospect, but it was not easy at the time."
 

The shipwreck found in the Arctic has been identified as HMS Erebus, the vessel on which Sir John Franklin himself sailed — and may even have perished — in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who took obvious delight last month in delivering news of the discovery of the ship from Franklin’s doomed voyage, revealed Wednesday just which of the two it is.

“I’m delighted to confirm that we have identified which ship from the Franklin expedition has been found,” Harper told the House of Commons.

“It is, in fact, the HMS Erebus.”

The discovery of the wreck, found some 11 metres below the surface in the Queen Maud Gulf, was confirmed Sept. 7, but was not identified until now.

The two ships of the Franklin Expedition and their crews, 129 members in all, disappeared during an 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage. So far, the location of the other ship, HMS Terror, remains a mystery.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

Animals terrified of being at the vet's:

funny pet animals at the vet photos10 Funny Pet At The Vet (17 Photos)
Don't worry there, fella. It won't be so bad.

The Gathering Storm

Even with an estimated larger turnout of protesters, the West has yet to make China account for anything it has done. It would not surprise me if the mainland Chinese repeat Tienanmen Square and the West still trades with them:

On the eve of what could be the biggest turnout yet in Hong Kong’s continuing protests, and a crucial test of wills on both sides, a demonstration that began with physical confrontation between authorities and pro-democracy demonstrators shifted Tuesday into a public relations duel aimed at the mass of undecided residents here.

Three days into protests that have brought large parts of the city to a standstill, both sides appeared to be carefully plotting their next move. Some pro-democracy leaders demanded a meeting with Hong Kong’s chief executive and threatened new acts of civil disobedience if the demand is not met.

The actors in Wednesday’s drama will be the protesters and authorities of Hong Kong, but the mainland Chinese leadership will be following events closely. Huge public protest is anathema to Beijing, and what happens in Hong Kong over the next day or two could shape the Chinese response.
The demonstrators have called for a large showing on the first day of a big two-day holiday and say they’re not backing down. ...

By protesting, activists are trying to force Beijing’s Communist Party leaders to abandon newly declared powers to weed out any candidates in the upcoming Hong Kong election for Leung’s successor. And the cordial nature of the protests over the past three days has perhaps been their most distinctive quality.

In putting a strong emphasis on the “civil” part of their civil disobedience, protesters are trying to sway large portions of the public that until recently have remained on the fence about an occupation of Hong Kong’s all-important financial district.


(Kamsahamnida)


Oh, Look! Hypocrisy!

The same Israel-hating White House that attacked Israel's defensive campaign against Hamas now won't hold itself to account for its indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Syria:

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq. 

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.”


Workplace Violence

Alton Nolen stands accused of beheading a co-worker and will face first-degree murder charges:

An Oklahoma man who had been suspended from his job was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the gruesome beheading of a co-worker, who was attacked from behind as the man sought revenge, a prosecutor said Tuesday. 

Alton Nolen, 30, could face the death penalty for Thursday's deadly attack on Colleen Hufford, 54, at the Vaughan Foods plan in Moore. He also faces two assault charges.

The FBI is also investigating, given Nolen's interest in beheadings and a recent surge in Middle East violence. Nolen had recently converted to Islam but Cleveland County Prosecutor Greg Mashburn said it appeared Nolen's assault was tied more to his suspension.

Despite his conversion to Islam, attending a mosque with links to terrorism and trying to convert others, this has nothing to do with Islamist terrorism.

Nope.

The First Diagnosed Ebola Case Now on US Soil

I'm sure the very people who didn't restrict flights or even issue advisories against going to hot zones will have this under control:

 U.S. health officials said on Tuesday the first patient infected with the deadly Ebola virus had been diagnosed in the country after flying from Liberia to Texas, in a new sign of how the outbreak ravaging West Africa can spread globally.

The patient sought treatment six days after arriving in Texas on Sept. 20, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters on Tuesday. He was admitted two days later to an isolation room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

This Is An Ex-Parrot

No, really:

A Quebec judge sided with a woman who paid for a parrot autopsy and demanded to be reimbursed nearly $4,000 from the pet store that sold her the sick bird that died three months after bringing it home.




Don't Mention the War



Even though the word "jihad" translated means "holy war", is mentioned one hundred and sixty-four times in the Koran, is clearly a martial philosophy and has been uttered and implemented time and time again by Islamist terrorists, it is not to be said, referred to or hinted at when speaking of obviously Islamist terrorist activities or acts:

The RCMP says it doesn't support an anti-radicalization handbook being distributed throughout Muslim communities in Winnipeg, despite contributing a chapter of its material.

The 38-page booklet, United Against Terrorism, is described as "a collaborative effort towards a secure, inclusive and just Canada" and aimed at a Muslim audience with the goal of dispelling what it says are myths about Islam.

Shahina Siddiqui, the president of the Islamic Social Services Association, the group distributing the handbook, said the handbook was born out of a "necessity" to counter the violent narrative being put forth by extremists.

"Be cautious of Web-based sites that seem Islamic oriented but can be either Islamophobic or extremist sites," it advises.

The handbook also focuses on Islamophobia, which Siddiqui called a form of racism and said is a contributing factor in radicalization.

"Islamophobes also reinforce hatred against Muslims and demonize Islam," it says.




Nothing New Here

Two years prior to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th, 2013 that killed three people and injured two hundred and sixty-four others, Russian authorities repeatedly warned American authorities about one of the culprits,  Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

During an interview on 60 Minutes, Obama blamed intelligence services for their alleged inadequate ability to inform him of threats like ISIS even though Obama does not attend most intelligence briefings and was warned of ISIS during the 2012 elections.

There is a man who just doesn't care to lead, let alone be fit to do so.



Monday, September 29, 2014

A Monday Post

Quickly now...


How much would not fighting ISIS cost?

U.S. military efforts against Islamic State have cost nearly $1 billion so far and are likely to run between $2.4 billion and $3.8 billion per year if air and ground operations continue at the current pace, according to a think tank analysis.

But a ramp-up, including more air strikes and a significant boost in ground forces, could send costs soaring to between $13 billion and $22 billion annually, said the analysis released on Monday by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

How interesting that the most wasteful administration is now considering frugality.


“Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Mr. Obama said on “60 Minutes,” the CBS News program, referring to James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. Mr. Obama added that the agencies had overestimated the ability and will of the Iraqi Army to fight such Sunni extremists. “That’s true. That’s absolutely true,” he said.

Whatever you say, Mr. Khorasan.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN with some powerful words:

The Israeli leader compared the spread of Islamic terrorism to a “cancer” that starts small, but left unchecked grows to cover a wider area. “To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late,” Netanyahu told the crowd of leaders and diplomats.

Referring to Israel’s deadly war in Gaza that ended last month, Netanyahu accused Hamas of committing "the real war crimes" by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. He showed a photograph he described as Palestinian kids playing near rocket launchers in Gaza. “Israel’s defense knocked rockets out of the sky. Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles,” Netanyahu said.  

Israel "was doing everything to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize civilian casualties," he added.

It was an angry response to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. last week in which he accused Israel of conducting a "war of genocide" in Gaza. Abbas stopped short of saying he would pursue war crimes charges against Israel but said he would ask the U.N. Security Council to dictate the ground rules for any talks with Israel, including setting a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

With memories of the Nazi Holocaust still fresh in Israel, use of the word "genocide" is regarded as particularly provocative both to Netanyahu and Israelis in general.

And turning to another regional rival, Netanyahu said Iran's concern about the spread of terrorism is "one of history's greatest displays of double-talk." He criticized the efforts of six world powers to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, saying, "to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a potential nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war."

“Don't be fooled by Iran's manipulative charm offensive. It's designed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb.” Netanyahu insisted.

Netanyahu closed his speech with words of hope for peace with the Palestinians and suggested support from leaders of all Middle Eastern countries could help in those efforts.  


As long as there is a one-party communist state in China, Hong Kong will never have the Western-style democracy it craves:




Words of snark from Three-point-Three-Three Cubits of Rage:

Commission blames homeschooling for Sandy Hook massacre

When obviously all those children would be alive today if they’d been homeschooled.

Go to the new and improved Blazing Cat Fur site. It's sleek, efficient, high in taste and low in calories.


And now, firefighters saved little hamsters.

Yes, that happened.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Freakout

Let it all hang out-ish...


Would that traffic jams be this fun:




The physics of space battles:

 


Control the clutter in your house like this.


Make Indian food tonight.

A Post For It Is Friday

The week-end is here....


"Workplace violence":

A man fired from a food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.

Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says police are waiting until the 30-year-old man is conscious to arrest him in Thursday's attack and have asked the FBI to help investigate after co-workers at Vaughan Foods told authorities that he recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam.

The man, whom The Associated Press is not naming because he has not been charged, stabbed Colleen Hufford, 54, severing her head, Lewis said.

Lewis said the man then stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, a number of times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff's deputy and the company's chief operating officer.


Coalition of the unwilling:

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali, a Muslim member of Ed Miliband's frontbench team, has resigned as a shadow minister because she was unwilling to vote for British involvement in air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq.

 **
Paul Calandra was unapologetic about his performance during Question Period Tuesday. “That’s what Parliament’s about,” he said, in reference to a bizarre exchange with Tom Mulcair, in which the NDP leader asked about the Canadian deployment in Iraq and the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary responded with a non-sequitur about an NDP employee’s social media statements on Israel. ...
You would have been hard-pressed to discern that from his potty-mouthed performance the previous day. But there’s something in it. There is a faction in the NDP that is dragging the party ever leftward. Mr. Mulcair resisted that gravitational pull on Israel, but he appears to be powerless on Iraq.

The world has woken up to the threat of allowing the Islamic State to establish its caliphate. Even Arab nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia have joined the coalition to stop it.

If the NDP votes against Canadian participation in such a patently justified intervention, it will, in the eyes of many voters, disqualify itself as a serious contender for government.


When this guy finally does die, who will miss him aside from a handful of perverts and murderers?

A Calgary man who was rumoured to be dead after travelling to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria appears to be alive and has conducted a video interview with media outlet Vice.

Farah Mohamed Shirdon, of Calgary, first came to attention in an ISIS video released earlier this year in which he tears up his passport and makes threats against the enemies of ISIS — naming both Canada and the U.S.

In August, CBC reported that social media postings were saying that Shirdon had been killed in Iraq. 
But after seeing reports that Shirdon may in fact still be alive, Vice used social media to track him down and arranged a video interview that Vice says took place on Sept. 23.

Vice says the interview, conducted by founder Shane Smith, was done on Sept. 23. Vice notes that the man Smith is speaking with is thought to be Shirdon. CBC producer Nazim Baksh, who has followed the story closely, says that the man in the video is in fact Shirdon, a former Calgary resident who studied at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

In the video released by Vice, the man said that nobody recruited him, and that he is just one of thousands of foreign fighters who have travelled to Iraq.

"No one spoke a single word to me," he said. "I opened the newspaper, I read the Qur'an – very easy."


Prime Minister Harper's address to the UN emphasised the need to economically boost people in order to combat extremism. Ideology does not recognise class. The nineteen hijackers who murdered three thousand people on September 11th, 2001 came from affluence. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding terrorism. The purchasing power the one-party state of China has not increased democratisation. In short, Harper's words are folly.


Russia mulls a law that would seize foreign assets:

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk on Aug. 27. In another dark twist to the West's standoff with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, a pro-Kremlin deputy has submitted a draft law that would allow the government to seize foreign assets in the country in response to Western economic sanctions. 

The law, submitted after Italian authorities seized €30m worth of shares and bank accounts belonging to the Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg, would also allow for oligarchs to get compensation from the state in the case of an "unjust judicial act of a foreign court." The full (Russian language) text of the draft law can be found here.

Given Russia's parlous economic position — GDP grew only 0.8% this year — the concept of using state funds to bail out multimillionaire businessmen may be received poorly in the country. Already opposition leaders are rounding on the government with Boris Nemtsov, co-chair of the RPR-PARNAS political party and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, writing on Facebook:

What is [the benefit of] a strongman's friendship? It's when you have 4 villas, apartments and a hotel seized in Italy and your accomplice in the Kremlin immediately introduces a bill for damages from the Russian budget.


Kim Jong-Un is reportedly in bad health:

Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is suffering from "discomfort," state media has said in the first official acknowledgement of ill health after a prolonged period out of the public eye.

Kim, 31, who is frequently the centrepiece of the isolated country's propaganda, has not been photographed by state media since appearing at a concert alongside his wife on Sept. 3, fuelling speculation he is suffering from bad health.

He had been seen walking with a limp since an event with key officials in July and in a pre-recorded documentary broadcast by state media on Thursday appeared to have difficulty walking.

"The wealth and prosperity of our socialism is thanks to the painstaking efforts of our marshal, who keeps lighting the path for the people, like the flicker of a flame, despite suffering discomfort," a voice over for the hour-long documentary said. ...

North Korea observers speculate Kim's weight and family background may have contributed to his condition.

"Based on his gait, it appears he has gout - something (due to) diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Kim family," said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North website.

How do North Korean doctors treat lifestyle-related problems?


(Paws up)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mid-Week Post

The crease of the week...


A happy Rosh Hashana to all y'all.


The corpse of New Brunswick has been found floating lifelessly in the Bay of Fundy Tuesday morning. Foul play is suspected (and I do mean foul):

Amid a bizarre vote-counting snafu, rookie politician Brian Gallant led his Liberal party to a majority election victory in New Brunswick, as voters rejected the Progressive Conservatives’ bid to jump-start a moribund economy by expanding its shale gas industry. ...

Before the count was stopped, Gallant’s Liberals and the Tories under David Alward were locked in a tight contest. That changed once the results were updated with the Liberals winning 27 ridings compared to the Progressive Conservatives with 21.

I'll never forget you, New Brunswick.

Justin Trudeau's feelings were hurt... or something:

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he will continue to snub English-language Sun Media reporters in protest of an opinion piece broadcast by Ezra Levant on his Sun News Network program, The Source.

And Trudeau has filed a complaint with Quebecor Inc., the Montreal-based company that owns Sun Media and Sun News Network.

Sun News Network is a news and opinion cable channel while Sun Media owns dozens of newspapers across the country including the largest French-language newspaper in the country, Le Journal de Montreal, the tabloid Sun newspapers, and several broadsheet daily papers such as the London Free Press and the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Trudeau's office said Levant, in a segment broadcast on Sept. 15, engaged in a personal attack that "was offensive and breached any reasonable measure of editorial integrity" and vowed that until Quebecor resolves the matter, Trudeau will "continue to not engage" with English-language Sun Media reporters or outlets.

For the last several months, Sun Media reporters have literally had to chase after Trudeau if they wanted to get the Liberal leader's thoughts on everything from climate change to fighting terrorists - and, in any event, Trudeau would often ignore them.

Glenn Garnett, Sun Media's editorial vice-president, says his organization is just the latest to be shut out by politicians who don't like the line of questioning from their reporters or the positions taken by their commentators.

Levant is not a reporter but writes an opinion column for the newspaper chain in addition to hosting a one-hour television show Monday-to-Friday.

The Fils had better man up. The prime minister's job is for big boys, not for arrogant trust-fund kids who snub reporters because their questions are too hard.


Why, exactly, do we need the UN?



Canada has received a request from the United States to increase its contribution to the military mission in Iraq and Stephen Harper said cabinet will soon decide on the government’s next steps.
The Prime Minister made the comments in New York during an event prior to speaking at the United Nations on security issues. Mr. Harper also said Canadian forces have been working in Iraq for several weeks and are currently the second-largest force, after the United States, working in support of Iraqi troops. ...

The meeting came amid escalating U.S.-led attacks against Islamic State militants, who are fighting to establish a Sunni Islamic state and already control large parts of Iraq and Syria. U.S. officials estimate some 15,000 foreign fighters from around the world have travelled to the region, fuelling concern that some may return to their home countries to launch domestic attacks. More than 130 Canadian citizens have left the country to join or fund extremist activities, Canadian officials say, including dozens who may have joined the Islamic State group.

The Security Council is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, but its capacity to address major crises has frequently been limited by disagreements among the five veto-wielding permanent members. The resolution could be difficult to enforce, particularly in countries like Canada and the U.S., which don’t conduct exit checks and have constitutional protections, including freedom to enter and leave, for citizens not convicted of a crime.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister said Canada’s anti-terror laws are under review, amid growing concern about threats against Canadians. And Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has indicated that the government is already revoking passports from suspected militants who have travelled abroad and is invalidating travel documents in some cases.

Mr. Harper’s participation in the Security Council meeting came four years after Canada’s failed attempt to win one of the Security Council’s rotating temporary seats in 2010. The rejection was an embarrassment for the government and Mr. Harper has skipped annual opportunities to speak at the United Nations General Assembly since that year.

This is the same UN that has done nothing to prevent or stop any war or massacre since its inception. It has China and Russia permanently sit on its security council. It gives a platform not only to the worst human rights abusers on the planet to any celebrity whose opinions should never be taken seriously.

It's time for Canada to withdraw from this toothless organisation and take our money with us.


A word on Khorasan, that mysterious group that is just now a danger to American national security:

On Tuesday, that campaign expanded for the first time into Syria, where a coalition led by the US, but also including five Arab states, has since launched aerial and naval missile attacks on over 16 ISIS positions at the time of writing. In a surprise additional move, the US also carried out 8 strikes on what the military called the “Khorasan Group,” a shadowy entity said to be an external Al-Qaeda cell embedded among units of Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian subsidiary, Jabhat al-Nusra. Despite the US’s implied distinction between so-called “Khorasan” members and regular Nusra Front fighters, it’s unclear to what extent that has held up on the ground, with some reports citing Syrian rebels and activists to the effect that the sites hit were well-known Nusra bases. ...

The general perception of ISIS as the world’s most dangerous jihadist outfit has been complicated recently by US intelligence claims of the existence of an external, elite Al-Qaeda cell sent personally by Zawahiri to join Nusra militants inside Syria, not to fight the Bashar al-Assad regime, but to plot spectacular, mass-casualty attacks on civilian targets in the West. This cell, dubbed the “Khorasan Group” in reference to the antiquated name used by Al-Qaeda for the region in which its members were previously based (including Iran, where the cell’s Kuwaiti leader, Muhsin al-Fadhli, was quietly hosted by the ruling regime) was said by Washington to pose a more “direct” threat to the West than ISIS. Or, rather, it was, until the “individuals plotting and planning” the attacks were “eliminated” Tuesday by US air strikes, in the words of Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.

While American claims about the “Khorasan Group” are impossible to verify independently, Gartenstein-Ross told NOW they tallied with previous activities undertaken elsewhere by Al-Qaeda, such as in Yemen, where the Saudi bomb maker and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) member Ibrahim al-Asiri is believed to have developed the explosives used in numerous operations, such as the attempted Christmas Day 2009 blowing up of a passenger jet in Detroit.

At the same time, there is skepticism about the veracity of the US’s claims regarding “Khorasan” among some within the Syrian opposition, who see them as a pretext to weaken Nusra itself, which was designated a “terrorist” entity by the US in 2012.

“We have no idea who these people are,” said Qurai Zakarya, an opposition activist and survivor of the Assad regime’s August 2013 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. “Throughout all my work in Syria, I never heard about them. And other activists are saying the same.”

“Ever since we heard about them in the news, we’ve been trying to find out who they are and so far we have no answer. Nobody knows anything about them.”

Strangely enough, Khorasan, that threat to us all, was not mentioned once in Obama's address to the nation, itself given after months of ISIS' butchery.


A look inside life under ISIS:

A Syrian woman carried a hidden camera around the streets of Raqqa, a city controlled by ISIL. Somehow she smuggled her video out of Syria, and it was broadcast on French television. It has been on YouTube for a couple of days, but I didn’t learn about it until today. It doesn’t seem to have been too widely viewed, so you likely haven’t seen it either. There are guns everywhere, and a frightening moment when an armed stranger stops the woman as she is secretly filming and tells her she needs to “behave better”–he can see her face through her niqab. ...


What Putin wants:

There’s nothing really secret about Putin’s ambitions. In national security concept papers published in 2008 and 2009 the Kremlin makes clear, notes Janusz Bugajski, that Russia does not share Western interests. In these documents, the Kremlin sees American influence and NATO as a threat, pledges to defend the interests of Russians whenever they live, and claims privileged interests and rights in regions adjacent to Russia. Bugajski also brings our attention to a January 2012 Nezavisimaya Gazeta article authored by Putin, wherein the Russian president lays out a broad and ambitious vision for a new, multi-ethnic Russian empire based on “Russian values.”

Even if a number of his methods differ from Soviet methods of the past, Putin wants to reclaim parts of the Soviet empire. He understands that success abroad will strengthen his authoritarian hold at home. This was likely a large part of his angst at seeing Ukraine tilt toward Europe. Alternative liberal models so close to home cannot be tolerated, as they would naturally threaten Putin’s vision for Russia, his legitimacy and rule.

In case one still thought Putin wasn't an autocrat.



An interesting article on Russians in Estonia:

Nevertheless, as surveys show, local Russians largely disagree with Russian troops going into Estonia under the label of “protection of their compatriots.” Regardless of our different social and ideological backgrounds, we know how little Russia actually cares about Russians. Most of us are convinced that instead of “helping” compatriots outside the motherland borders, Russian authorities should deal with numerous human rights issues inside their own country. Here in Estonia, we do not need to be saved

Read the whole thing.


And now, enjoy some autumn foliage.

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Post

It's time...


ISIS hates Stephen Harper, blahblahblah:

In an audio recording distributed widely on social media Sunday, Islamic extremist group ISIS urged attacks on civilians in member countries of the U.S.-led coalition opposed to their violent spread through areas of Syria and Iraq. 

In the nearly 42-minute long meandering propaganda speech uploaded to Twitter, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani encourages Muslims to kill “disbelievers” in countries, including Canada, currently supporting American and French-backed military action against the group in Iraq “in any manner.”

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State … kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” said Adnani.

In a statement released Sunday evening, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman condemned the recording and said Canada will continue to support efforts to defeat ISIS.

"ISIS represents a threat not just to stability in the Middle East, but to global security," said Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's director of communications.

"We will continue to work with allies to push back against this threat. Like our allies we will not be cowed by threats while innocent children, women, men and religious minorities live in fear of these terrorists."

The Canadian government has not said whether it views the recording as authentic, but the French government appeared to be treating it as authentic, as did SITE, a Washington based think tank that analyzes terrorist groups.

The Harper government has taken a hardline against ISIS. Last week Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird compared the fight against ISIS to the struggles against communism and fascism.

(Sidebar: that's nice. Has ISIS been vaporised yet?)



OECTA locals send at least $3,222 more to BC (according to their recent tweets), even though the strike is over. 

Ontario teachers, aren't you tired of having this mafia union take your money and use it this way?


For every Russian fighter jet that skirts Canadian air space, offer Ukraine some more weapons:

Two Russian Tupolev bombers got within 100 km of Canadian airspace in the Arctic northwest at about 1:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday morning. They were met by Canadian CF-18 fighter jets, which had scrambled out of Inuvik, N.W.T.

After a period of time, the Russians changed their course and headed home without further incident.
 
Does Putin know what flag would look good at a NATO summit? Ukraine's.


Uh-oh:

Tokyo has rejected Pyongyang’s proposed initial report on its reinvestigation into its abductions of Japanese nationals, on the grounds that no fresh information is contained on 12 Japanese nationals officially recognized by Japan as having been abducted to North Korea, a source said Saturday.

Where is Megumi Yakota?

(Kamsahamnida)


The Fur: it's what's going on.


And now, prepare for fall baking.


An Important Message

To Islamists the world over:

Before you embark on a career of rape, pillage and child murdering, know this:

you're not going to Heaven.

I'll repeat that: the vain assumption made by an irritable, irrational war-monger who married a child is a very, very erroneous one. Whatever one's beliefs may be, it defies reason that if you wilfully murder people you will find yourself in some kind of paradise for all eternity or be accepted by the majority of the people on this planet, most of whom will settle for mere civility which seems to be another stumbling block of yours. Seriously. Haven't you ever thought that through? Study any religion and you'll find that the more wicked you are, the less likely it is that you will merit a peaceful afterlife.

And look at the "heaven on earth" you're creating now. Do you think people are fleeing because they believe you will bring prosperity, enlightening and cultural pluralism? It's no accident that whenever you embrace a culture that forces women to wear body coverings, blames Jews and Americans for things you did to yourselves and even bans music that one's economy goes down the crapper. Who wants to trade with a mad theocratic state? Someone who had his or her entire brain removed, that's who. You're not even pleasant to be around. Nobody likes an intolerant grumpy-pants.

In conclusion, your quest for eternal happiness is a failed one. You're going to hell. Stop being a social reject if you can. Nobody likes you.