Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why Motion 103 Must Be Defeated ...

... and completely obliterated and the ground upon which it stood salted.


Liberal MP Iqra Khalid (Mississauga-Erin Mills) has put forth for discussion Motion 103, a private member's motion that purports to tackle racism and religious discrimination.


The motion thusly:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Principally, the motion wants to stamp out Islamophobia, the fuzzy-defined so-called phobia that emerges whenever criticism of Islam comes up.


The motion as it is written above does not detail what constitutes Islamophobia, what other religions might benefit from this motion or what might happen if someone is guilty of this vague fear or hatred that exists only after someone criticises Islam.


It does promise it will violate Canadians' privacy, however. For a vague notion, it is this the road to take - to establish a blasphemy law for one religion and then stamp out anything deemed offensive?


The road to this motion is already proving far more problematic than its instigator realises.


Most people are appalled that "feelings" are somehow a legitimate basis on which to mount campaigns of censorship and punitive legal proceedings that tie up one's life (mostly financial). Post-modern Western academic institutions have failed to educate their students in the culture-changing concepts of free exchange of ideas can educate, inform and enlighten, things that, when they were written, were earth-shattering. Because John Stuart Mill is not required reading, students will possibly never read this:

If the arguments of the present chapter are of any validity, there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered." ; "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

A man can speak and either inform his audience of a sound idea or be proved to be in error.


One will not know until he tries.


Nor are students likely to read John Locke's thoughts on religious toleration and it is even less likely that they will crawl through Saint Thomas Aquinas' labyrinthine thoughts on morality, public good and their places in natural law:

The absolute goodness of a thing (secundum se) is what is proper to it, and so if something is lacking some good which is proper to it, it has an evil since evil is simply the lack of a good that is due it. The absolute goodness of a thing is it's perfection, i.e. it having all the being it is supposed to have.

What can be good in shutting down thought, speech and congress for the benefit of a socio-political system that supports none of those things, no matter how many times people are guilted into thinking that way?


To the motion's instigator, Iqra Khalid ...


Iqra Khalid is the daughter of Dr. Hafiz Khalid, a long-time associate of the ISNA and a one-time supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami, the former having had revoked its charitable registration because of its link with the latter.  While a student at York University, Miss Khalid was the president of the Muslim Student Association which handed out a book condoning wife abuse:

The Muslim Student Association at York University handed out a book at Islam Awareness Week with the title “Women in Islam & Refutation of some Common Misconceptions.”  The chapter on WIFE DISCIPLINING (page 99 of the online version) makes the following observation:  Submissive or subdued women. These women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of love and concern.

This embarrassing fact appears to be missing from the current debate on Motion 103 and it could remain that way should the motion pass and evolve into something else.


The motion itself is not a law but prepares the groundwork for it.


A letter from a concerned citizen to his MP, thusly:

The motion has yet to come before the House of Commons for debate. Its current status is that it has been introduced and placed on the Order of Precedence. It is a Private Members’ Motion and would not become law if passed. Although it does not obligate Parliament, it would still be concerning if supported by the government as they may use it as reference to bring forward actual legislation at a later date.
(emphasis mine)

So - where will this motion based on a vague notion lead the rest of the country? Further blasphemy laws placating other faiths? Section 13? Human rights tribunals? What will the penalties of offending one particular religion be? Penalties in other countries tend to be barbaric but - as a coiffed representative once pointed out - words like that are not neutral.


What can or cannot be discussed if this motion is passed? That an imam at Masjid Toronto advocated the slaying of perceived enemies of Islam? That a mosque in Quebec City has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Trudeau's troubling ties to the ISNA and how it uses the Liberal Party as a vehicle? Or why Trudeau said nothing when an imam in Quebec prayed to destroy the Jews? That members of the Liberal Party are emotionally blackmailing the Canadian public with absurd statements such as the Tories and the PQ are responsible for the shootings in Quebec City, or Kellie Leitch is the boogey-man responsible for derailing electoral reform, or that Canadians really, really support this motion after a series of unvetted nasty comments were made about Iqra Khalid (spoiler alert: no, they still don't)?


Wow. This motion can cover a lot of political sins.


It can also quell criticism of Islamist misogyny or disgust over the series of sexual assaults at a mall in Alberta. Why call that indignation when that can be characterised as "Islamaphobia" and never talked about again?


Why let criticism run it course and force the Islamic community to reflect on its nature and role in the twenty-first century? If revision or reform is possible in Islam, it can never be realised until afforded the opportunity, something that can't happen if one can't even point out the bleeding obvious and mention the daily bloodbath and cultural dissonance that occurs in the Islamic world.


Motion 103 has its roots in some rather mired connections and offers to do what people would rather not: it would elevate one religion over another, give it prominence over all other groups, under its vague definitions, silence any and all criticism and stunt a country to the point where it resembles dictatorships most fear.


It is not hyperbolic to call this motion a path to censorship. One has seen in history where things like this go.


It is better that we never repeat history.




(Merci beaucoup to all)


Sunday Post

 



Another arrest has been made in the murder of Kim Jong-Nam:

Malaysian police said on Saturday they had arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as a diplomatic spat over his body escalated.

Kim Jong Nam died this week after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport with what was thought to be a fast-acting poison. South Korean and U.S. officials have said he was assassinated by North Korean agents.

Malaysian police said the latest arrest connected with the murder was made on Friday night, and the suspect was identified as Ri Jong Chol, born on May 6, 1970. He was in possession of a Malaysian i-Kad, which is an identification card given to foreign workers, they added.


Also - the gong show portion of this murder:

The Indonesian woman arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean leader’s half brother in Malaysia was duped into thinking she was part of a comedy show prank, Indonesia’s national police chief said Friday, citing information received from Malaysian authorities.


 

 
I'm sure it's nothing to worry about:

A Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul was evacuated Saturday after a suspicious note was discovered in one of its bathrooms.

The Turkish Airlines cabin crew found the words "BOMB TO TORONTO" on the bathroom's wall on Flight TK-17 during its pushback from the gate, a Turkish Airlines press official told The Associated Press. The plane was leaving Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport for Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The plane returned to its parking spot and was evacuated. The airline said the plane and its passengers underwent security procedures, but the official said nothing suspicious was found.



Douglas Garland, who was convicted for the monstrous murders of an elderly couple and their grandson, was attacked while in custody:

Garland's defence lawyer Kim Ross said he wasn't aware of the specific circumstances surrounding the assault, but said he found the news disappointing, as Garland has been in custody for 2½ years without incident.

"I fully understand that Mr. Garland is not going to win any Mr. Popularity contests, but the system still has a duty and is mandated to make sure that he is protected, that his physical safety, his mental safety are being looked after," Ross said.

Ian Savage, the president of the Calgary-based Criminal Defence Lawyers Association, said his organization is calling upon the Remand Centre to explain exactly how the assault happened.

"Obviously a child murder is one of the most horrific things that we as a society would abhor, and while he [was] awaiting trial on that matter he [needed] to be protected from potential assault from other inmates, that's just obvious," Savage said.

For some reason, I cannot share Mr. Savage's passion for this.



 
Suckers:

But according to Canadian lawyers and American taxi operators, the refugees remain vulnerable to exploitation even after landing in the United States. Montreal immigration lawyer Stéphane Handfield refers to the smugglers who arrange transport to the border as “bandits,” charging $1,000 a head to drive people from New York City.

And the final leg is usually left to taxi drivers who in some cases will charge another $300 to drop people within walking distance of the border. Cabbies tell stories of refugees abandoned by the road, kilometres from the border, after they refused to pay an unscrupulous driver an extra sum.

“These people are fleeing, they are ready to do anything to avoid being returned to their countries because they are afraid, and they are charged $300 for a 30-minute ride,” Handfield said.

Stop being so melodramatic.  These willfully gouged masses were refused asylum because they did not have any papers proving who they were. They certainly don't have the necessary documents to seek asylum in Canada. They were in safe country that refused their status on legitimate grounds and played the pity card in order to remain in a second safe country.

I recommend that they be bussed back to the border and walk back.

Or catch a cab back.




Never ask a trustifarian how things get paid for:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that international economic policymakers should place more focus on creating economic growth which benefits a wider range of global society.


Economic policy should be more concentrated on helping the middle classes and those striving to join it, he said in a speech in the German port city of Hamburg during a dinner for civic and business leaders.

**

Canada’s indifference to the ever-present push for more NATO spending was laid bare Friday in Germany as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all but shrugged off Donald Trump’s push to squeeze alliance members for more money.

It is not a squeeze when Canada is only spending 0.99 % as opposed to the 2% it is supposed to pay.




Yeah, good luck getting that to happen:

The Ontario court has ordered the government of Iran to pay the legal costs of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks, dismissing the Islamic Republic’s claim to immunity.

Justice Glenn Hainey ruled that Iran would have to pay the $300,000 legal bills of the victims, who had sought compensation in the Ontario court under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

The ruling is the latest loss in civil court for Iran, which was ordered last June to hand over millions worth of non-diplomatic assets in Canada to three groups of victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.

In that case, Iran ignored the legal proceedings until the victims had already won judgments. It then tried to have the judgments set aside on the grounds it enjoyed state and diplomatic immunity.



 Perhaps Mr. Trump was referring to these:

Recently, Swedish public television broadcast "The Occupation of the American Mind", a conspiracy film about the "Israeli Lobby" supposedly controlling in the United States. During the Second Intifada, in a Stockholm Museum, a photograph was reprinted of a smiling Palestinian suicide bomber, who had killed dozens of Israelis at a restaurant in Haifa. In the photograph, he was on a white boat in a bathtub full of blood-red liquid. Aftonbladet, Sweden's largest daily newspaper, then ran an article by Donald Bostrom where, without any evidence, he charged the Israeli army of harvesting the organs of Palestinians. ...

After Trump's election, the daily Dagens Nyheter ran an anti-Semitic cartoon, in which the Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President-elect were being carried by an Orthodox Jew, a Ku Klux Klan member and a gun-carrying man branded with the Israeli flag. ...
**

One of the worst cases occurred in 2012, when a 30-year old woman was raped by eight men in a housing project for asylum seekers, in the small town of Mariannelund. The woman was an acquaintance of a man from Afghanistan who had lived in Sweden for a number of years. He invited her to go out with him. She obliged. The Afghan man took her to a refugee housing project and left her defenseless. During the night, she was raped repeatedly by the asylum seekers and when her "friend" returned, he raped her too. The following morning she managed to call the police. Sweden's public prosecutor has called the incident "the worst crime of rape in Swedish criminal history." ...

One striking incident occurred in 2013, in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta. A 15-year-old girl was locked up while six men of foreign extraction had sex with her. The lower court convicted the six men but the court of appeals acquitted them because no violence had occurred, and because the court determined that the girl "had not been in a defenseless position."
Yeah, Trump is in left field with this one.




Norma McCorvey, who later regretted her role in the catastrophic Roe vs Wade decision, has passed away:

Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died Saturday. She was 69.

McCorvey died at an assisted living centre in Katy, Texas, said journalist Joshua Prager, who is working on a book about McCorvey and was with her and her family when she died. He said she died of heart failure and had been ill for some time.

McCorvey was 22, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time in 1969 when she sought to have an abortion in Texas, where the procedure was illegal except to save a woman's life. The subsequent lawsuit, known as Roe v. Wade, led to the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that established abortion rights, though by that time, McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption.

Decades later, McCorvey underwent a conversion, becoming an evangelical Christian and joining the anti-abortion movement. A short time later, she underwent another religious conversion and became a Roman Catholic.



Today in "inconsistently blaming Russia for stuff" news:

Russia plotted to assassinate the prime minister of a European nation and overthrow its government last year, according to senior Whitehall sources.

An election-day coup plot to attack Montenegro’s parliament and kill the pro-Western leader was directed by Russian intelligence officers with the support and blessing of Moscow, to sabotage the country’s plan to join Nato.

The plot was foiled only hours before it was due to be carried out, but would have caused heavy bloodshed and plunged the tiny country into turmoil on the eve of becoming Nato’s 29th member.

The allegation came as Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, criticised Nato as a “Cold War institution” whose expansion had led to unprecedented tensions in Europe over the past thirty years.

(Sidebar: ... says the lackey whose country crushed most of eastern Europe underfoot.)


Putin has been attempting to re-establish a new Russian empire in formerly Russian/Soviet regions and Europe has been usually impotent about that. Indeed, I don't remember people getting all huffy when Obama was caught promising "flexibility" to Putin after his re-election or strong-arming the Russians after shooting down MH 17.




The "Blind Sheik" who master-minded the first attack on the World Trade Centre has died:

Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim cleric known as "the blind sheikh" who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a broader "war of urban terrorism" in the United States, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison, authorities said.

Good riddance.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

But Wait! There's More!

Nine times out of ten, there is...




The story so far:


Malaysian police have arrested a third person in connection with the murder (or assassination) of Kim Jong-Un's elder half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam.


How it all might have gone down:

One of the women grabbed the man as the other sprayed liquid on his face and held a cloth over it for about 10 seconds.

In the hullaballoo of the check-in area, no one even seemed to notice. This account of the attack and its aftermath was pieced together from interviews with staff at the airport, police and other official statements, and leaks to the local media.

The women left swiftly, but not that swiftly. They went down three sets of escalators, past an H&M and a Baskin-Robbins, and out of the terminal to a taxi stand, where they needed to buy a voucher for their journey before lining up for a cab. They got in and told the driver to take them to the Empire Hotel, some 40 minutes from the airport.

Where are you from, the driver asked. Vietnam, the women responded.

Inside the terminal, Kim Jong Nam, feeling dizzy and apparently unable to see, stumbled to one of the counters to seek help. He was taken to a medical clinic inside the terminal, where he had a mild seizure, then was loaded into an ambulance.

He died on the way to the hospital, after telling medical workers at the airport that he had been sprayed with a chemical, said two senior Malaysian government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive diplomatic issues involved.

Malaysian authorities on Thursday announced the second and third arrests in the death of the North Korean leader’s half brother, whose apparent assassination this week unleashed tales of spectacular intrigue.

The three suspects — two women and a man — were picked up separately Wednesday and early Thursday. The women were identified using closed-circuit TV footage.

Just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, one of the women was arrested at the airport – in the same terminal where the attack took place – and positively identified as one of the suspects. She was traveling on a Vietnamese passport identifying her as 29-year-old Doan Thi Hoang, police said.

North Koreans have been caught traveling on Southeast Asian passports before, making it entirely possible that the woman is, in fact, North Korean.

Police said that she was traveling alone and had told them she was tricked into the attack, which she had been told was just a prank. 

The other woman held an Indonesian passport and was arrested early Thursday.

Apparently, the North Koreans tried stopping the autopsy. Perhaps they were worried that the truth would upset a fictional narrative that Kim Jong-Nam committed suicide in a public place by spraying poison on his face the way he always talked about doing.




Another day in Pakistan:

A suicide bomber attacked a crowded Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 72 people and wounding dozens more in the deadliest of a wave of bombings across the South Asian nation this week.

A spokesman for medical charity Edhi said the attacker appeared to have targeted the women's wing of the shrine, and around 30 children accompanying their mothers were dead.



If Somalians are crawling through the porous segments of the Canada-US border and clueless leftists clamour for "sanctuary cities", then this is a particularly expensive bit of smoke and mirrors that no one in his or her right mind would believe given how many unvetted Syrian and Mexican migrants have already poured into the country:

According to supplementary estimates tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons, the federal government is giving the Canada Border Services Agency an additional $85.5 million.

"The agency is facing operational pressures due to changing volumes across business lines, growth in international commerce and the threats of terrorism and organized crime," the government wrote in the documents.

"This funding will be used to maintain service levels for wait times and inspection rates at major points of entry and to improve the capacity for export control over high-risk goods leaving Canada."

The CBSA will also get another $32.4 million in funding "for integrity of Canada's border operations."

News of the federal government's additional border-related spending comes as the election of Trump is focusing more attention on the fight against terrorism and border security.




PM Hair-Boy asked to change the name of Langevin Block:

The federal government is facing mounting pressure, including from within the Liberal caucus, to change the name of the building that houses the Prime Minister's Office — the Langevin Block, located across the street from Parliament Hill.

The building is named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a politician and father of Confederation who also happens to have expressed strong support for establishing what would become the infamous, government-run residential school program.

That particular detail is a problem for indigenous leaders including Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who raised his concerns in a letter to the government obtained by The Canadian Press.

Bellegarde wants the government to find a new name for the building in consultation with indigenous peoples, something he says aboriginal communities would take as a sign of good faith.


In that case, I would like an enormous plaque indicating that Pierre Elliot Trudeau admired both the Nazis and the communists.

I would also like an enormous statue depicting how the Iroquois nearly wiped out the Huron. Maybe throw in another one of a man letting his daughters freeze to death.

As a sign of good faith...





Millions of dollars worth of tomatoes rotted in Southwestern Ontario fields last year when a Maidstone canning company — with plans to build a new state-of-the-art plant — didn’t take all the tomatoes it had contracted growers to deliver.

“The helpless feeling of watching a good crop rot, just rot, is hard to put into words,” Leamington farmer David Epp said Wednesday of what looked in late summer like it would be a bumper tomato harvest.

Thomas Canning (Maidstone) Ltd., ended up not taking about 75 per cent of the tomatoes it contracted farmers to grow because it wouldn’t schedule enough deliveries of the crop, according to the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers.

A lot of the crop ripened at once and there were delays in installing new equipment to process the tomatoes into a more concentrated paste at the current Thomas Canning plant, CEO Bill Thomas said.
The new equipment was finally in place in October, near the end of the tomato season. Once the plant fell behind it was difficult to catch up, Thomas said.

“We had some equipment challenges, too, with some new installations which caused some delays and we take responsibility for that,” he said. “All I can say beyond that is we’re taking care of the growers and that is currently being resolved.”

Thomas said he’s arranging a meeting with the growers next week on compensating them for the tomatoes that the plant couldn’t process.





Unhappy with an anti-Islamophobia motion proposed by a Liberal MP, the federal Conservatives tabled their own motion Thursday which, while referencing the “senseless violent attacks” on the Quebec mosque last month, avoids any reference of Islamophobia even as it condemns all forms of religious intolerance and racism.

The Conservative motion, tabled Thursday morning in the House of Commons by Saskatchewan MP David Anderson, is the latest in what has escalated into a political culture war between Conservatives and Liberals.

On the one hand, Liberals, with the support of many New Democrats, accused some Conservatives, particularly several running for that party’s leadership, of intolerance and bigotry.

The Conservatives, for their part, argue that while anti-Muslim sentiment is a problem, so, too is it a problem that other faith communities, including Christians and Jews, are under threat.

Thursday’s debate comes the night after a separate debate on what is known as M-103, a parliamentary motion put forward by Liberal MP Iqrad Khalid which, among other things, called on the House to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”

Anderson’s motion, on the other hand, asks the House to “condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities.”

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, speaking ahead of the parliamentary debate Thursday morning, rejected the Conservative motion, saying that Liberals will oppose it.

“The Conservatives have brought this motion forward in a cynical attempt to serve their political purposes and avoid addressing the real issue concerning Islamophobia,” Joly said.

Joly, for example, noted that attacks in Canada against Muslims have doubled in recent years.

(Sidebar: yes, about that...)

 
Table nothing. We already have laws against murder. We don't need to elevate Islam over all other religions and then forbid criticising it because it hurts their hair-trigger feelings.





Trudeau declares that the world needs the EU:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the European Union on Thursday as an unprecedented model for peaceful cooperation, in a speech to EU lawmakers that contrasted sharply with the critical stance of U.S. President Donald Trump.

(Sidebar: yes, everything boils down to Trump these days.) 
 

Yes, Mr. Alleged Voice of Reason, about that:

Brussels simply went too far. They crossed the line after moving from an economic union to a political subordinate of Europe. Now, six more countries want to hold referendums to exit the EU; France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Finland, and Hungary all could leave.




But... but... I thought there was brotherhood!

Turkey has increased scrutiny of Russian-speaking Muslim communities in the past few months following a series of attacks blamed on Islamic State, a concrete example of the renewed relationship between the two countries.

Turkish police have raided the homes of Russian-speaking immigrants in Istanbul, detained many and expelled others, according to interviews with Russian Muslims living in the city. At least some of those targeted by Turkish authorities are known to be sympathetic to radical Islamist movements.

The security activity indicates that Russia and Turkey are sharing intelligence, part of a newly-forged alliance that has also seen Moscow and Ankara work together on a peace deal for Syria.

The cooperation comes as a resurgent Russia, already active in Ukraine and keen to boost its diplomatic influence in the Middle East, has been playing a greater role in Syria in the vacuum left by the United States under Barack Obama.


(Sidebar: oh, that mess he made. That one.)




Speaking of Russia's meddling in the Middle East:


With its show of military force, Russia changed the tide of the Syrian civil war. It is finding the next phase -- brokering an end to the fighting -- a tougher proposition.

A round of Syria peace talks sponsored by Russia ended on Thursday with no joint communique, usually the minimum outcome of any diplomatic negotiation, and saw opposing Syrian groups exchanging angry tirades at each other and the brokers.

With no concrete progress to report, media representatives at the talks venue in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, were so hungry for a scrap of news that at one point a crowd formed around an Arabic speaker who they thought was a participant in the talks. He turned out to be another journalist.

Western diplomats, who say Russian President Vladimir Putin's campaign of air strikes has worsened the conflict, have, in private, reacted to Russia's tribulations as a peacemaker with variations on the phrase: "We told you so."

  

... says a region of the world that let incompetent people like Obama and their red lines make things worse. 

Putin wanted a pipeline. How did the deaths of Syrians benefit Obama?






The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A court in Washington state has ruled that not giving a couple of fatties flowers for their wedding does not violated a florist's First Amendment rights:

The Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that a florist who refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding broke the state's anti-discrimination law, even though she claimed doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

A lower court had fined Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Richland, Washington, for denying service to a gay couple in 2013, and ordered her to pay a $1,000 fine.

Stutzman argued that she was exercising her First Amendment rights. But the court held that her floral arrangements do not constitute protected free speech, and that providing flowers to a same-sex wedding would not serve as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.

"As Stutzman acknowledged at deposition, providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism," the opinion said.
 
Stutzman's lawyers immediately said they would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.

Is the court's decision an endorsement for frivolous though lucrative lawsuits?

Common sense says yes.




What if one does not want their company advertised on Breitbart?

“My reaction was surprise,” Graham says of learning that the ads had appeared. “We want our display ads and our ad dollars go to sites that are compatible with our values, and we feel that’s not a site that’s compatible with our values.

“Our customers know what our values are, and it was great to get that alert so we could move quickly,” he says. “We’re a data- and fact-driven company. About one third of employees were not born in Canada. We’re a diverse and inclusive company.”

That last statement presumes that others are not "diverse". It's the sort of hypocritical, virtue-signalling hypocrisy that would not stand up to scrutiny.

So remove one's company from the site if one wishes. I'm sure it won't be missed by the diverse readership you claim does not exist.





And now, a documentary on cats:

Call it Byzantium, Constantinople or modern Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis has always been a city of cats. “Cats have lived in what is now Istanbul for thousands of years,” according to the opening titles of the documentary Kedi (Turkish for cat). “They have seen empires rise and fall, and the city shrink and grow.”

And they’re decidedly unruffled by it all. In Ceyda Torun’s beautifully shot, feline-friendly film, most of the city’s cats live to eat, sleep and occasionally beg. And while there must be some hard-hearted types who dislike their presence, every Turk the director finds has something nice to say about them.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mid-Week Post

 



Your post-Love Day entry...



Kim Jong-Nam, the elder half-brother of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un, has been killed in an apparent assassination in Malaysia. One woman - a suspected North Korean spy - is in custody.

And what could be the motive for such a killing?



As to the regime’s apparent intent, its motives must have been political. Kim Jong-nam had criticized his brother’s regime and predicted that it wouldn’t last. As Dennis Halpin explained, he was the best alternative successor to the family bloodline if China needed a North Korean Pu Yi, a possibility Kim Jong-un couldn’t allow. The most important reason to kill Kim Jong-nam was to warn Thae Yong-ho and others like him, who have been defecting in greater numbers. Pyongyang sees that surge of defections as a threat to its survival. It must want to send a message to Thae Yong-ho and others that they aren’t safe anywhere, even if they’re under government protection (in Kim Jong-nam’s case, China’s).

(Sidebar: why, again, did Trump not stand up to China?) 



This isn't the first time that North Korea has done things like this:

North Korea has a long history of using female operatives, not just as honey traps but also as fanatical assassins who often prove tougher than men.

One was Won Jeong-hwa, an agent who came to South Korea posing as a defector and was arrested in July of 2008, having wheedled military secrets out of a number of officials here.

She came from a good family and was chosen to join the elite Socialist Youth League and later joined a special commando unit to be trained as a secret agent. There she learned to use lethal weapons like poison-tipped needles, trained in martial arts and mountain warfare, and received ideological indoctrination. 

Once in South Korea, Won approached senior military officers and stole sensitive information. ...
In the 1970s, female agents were widely used in the North's bizarre campaign to adapt Japanese and other foreign nationals. 

And the only surviving bomber who blew up a Korean Air passenger plane in 1987 was a female agent, Kim Hyon-hui.


Speaking of sneaky and under-handed:

Organizing for Action is drowning in money, by nonprofit standards.

By the end of 2014, OfA, which was formally incorporated only the year before, had taken in $40.4 million, $26 million of which was raised in 2014, according to the organization’s IRS filings. OfA’s big donors are members of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance, a donors’ consortium for left-wing billionaires devoted to radical political change. Among the DA members donating to OfA are: Ryan Smith ($476,260); Marcy Carsey ($250,000); Jon Stryker ($200,000); Paul Boskind ($105,000); Paul Egerman ($100,000); and Nick Hanauer ($50,000). ...

Obama is “intimately involved” in OfA’s operations and issues tweets from the group’s account, Sperry writes. “In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump’s upset victory.”

**

Judicial Watch today released 54 pages of new State Department documents, including a transcript of a September 12 2012, telephone conference call with congressional staffers in which then-Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy admitted that the deadly terrorist assault on the Benghazi Consulate was not “under cover of protest,” but was, in fact, “a direct breaching attack.” ...

he transcript was contained in an email from Julie K. Bulgrin, the State Department Bureau of Legislative Affairs director for Global and Functional Affairs:
From: Bulgrin, Julie K.
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 7:55 PM
To: H_Egypt; Canedo, Denese; Lang, Alan; ‘Rodriguez Miguel’; ‘Arguelles, Adam’; ‘Lundebergy, Greta’; ‘Ortiz, Michael’; ‘Lee Collin’; Pitkin, Douglas A; Maier, Christina A
Subject: Write up of U/S Kennedy Call with Hill re Libya
The call ended up starting around 6:30. Here are the raw notes.
***
  • Rob Carter – was this an attack under the cover of a protest?
  • No, this was a direct breaching attack.
  • Do we have any ideas of who launched? Leads?
  • Some claims from someone who has never made threat before, but everyone is looking at this closely.
  • Do we believe coordinated w/Cairo?
  • Attack in Cairo was a demonstration. There were no weapons shown or used. A few cans of spray paint.
The call notes also detail that Amb. Stevens got of the compound, but “collapsed” and was taken to the hospital.  Kennedy also said that it was his personal opinion that the attack “was semi-complex.”

When asked why no Americans troops were inserted, Kennedy responded that “the entire thing lasted approximately 4.5 hours. No US forces within time to get there.”  (This was false, troops were available and could have arrived in time to provide support during the second attack on the CIA annex, which according to Kennedy, was assaulted by 100 attackers.)

Again - where was Obama during the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi?




Today in "wasting money" and "investing in an election" news:

The federal government for the second year in a row is writing off millions in student loans it will never collect, this time to the tune of $178.4 million.

The money represents 32,554 loans that federal officials believe they will never be able to collect, either because a debtor may have filed for bankruptcy, the debt itself has passed a six-year legal limit on collection, or the debtor can’t be found.

Last year, the government wrote off 33,967 loans totalling $176 million.

**

As reported by the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy, documents obtained by the Sun indicate the model, two-year contract extension Wynne is offering teachers to ensure labour peace safely beyond the spring, 2018 Ontario election, include a 4% pay hike, a 4% annual hike in benefits and a 0.5% lump sum payment for “supplies”.

Levy reported specifically on the hush hush, tentative deal reached between the Liberals and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, in which teachers appear to be getting a 1.5% pay hike this September, a 0.5% lump sum payment for “supplies” in November, a 1% pay hike in September, 2018, a 1% pay hike in February 2019, a 0.5% pay hike in August, 2019 and a 4% annual increase in benefits.

That’s compared to their previous three-year deal in which their compensation was supposed to be “net zero” in terms of the overall contract, although those agreements also included raises, albeit less generous ones.

None of this is surprising given that the teacher unions have been staunch political allies of the Liberals ever since the 2003 election that began their ongoing 14-year dynasty.

This in a province that under the Liberals, is now the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign borrower, with a $300 billion provincial debt.

**

Under the Liberals, Ontario today has one of the world’s most expensive health care systems, costing taxpayers $51.8 billion annually — 42.4% of all government program spending — that delivers mediocre health care outcomes compared to international norms.

We have fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita than countries with less expensive health care systems that produce better medical results.

Hundreds of thousands of Ontarians don’t have a family doctor, emergency rooms are crowded and wait times for treatment are longer than international norms.

**

Oh, that’s original. The New Brunswick Liberals, under what the CBC breathlessly describes as “the first budget delivered by a female finance minister in provincial history,” intend to deal with their fiscal crisis by continuing to spend recklessly. It’s enough to make one weep. ...

The plan, if that’s not too kind a word, is to spend $9.4 billion dollars, an increase of nearly four per cent, in the process running a $192 million deficit while somehow adding $1 billion to last year’s projected net debt of $13.4 billion, partly to take advantage of matching funds from the feds’ infrastructure/stimulus program. And yet the Finance Minister chirpily insisted they are on track to balance the budget … in 2020-21. Free beer the day after tomorrow.

Well, not completely free. Provincial government debt amounts to around $19,000 per resident or $76,000 for a family of four. And the government increased the HST combined rate to 15 per cent last year, allegedly to deal with the deficit, then blew the extra cash and more. (On top of increasing property, fuel and personal income taxes since taking office in 2014.)

(Sidebar: why isn't the headline: "Hey! Women are Stupid!"?)



**

Ontario plans to use only 15 per cent of its cap-and-trade revenue to reduce the cost of electricity and heating, leaving households and businesses on the hook for the rest. Alberta is using one-third of its carbon revenues for income-tested rebates for some residents, but most revenues are earmarked for green subsidies.

Keep telling one's self that it's just money.




That's not what she said before:

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid is considering softening the language in her so-called anti-Islamophobia motion,  ...

**

In an exclusive interview Tuesday with the National Post, Khalid, a Pakistan-born first-time MP from Mississauga, Ont., said she is not willing to alter her  motion, which has been given the parliamentary designation M-103, even though some Conservative MPs have suggested she do so and even though she says she has been subjected to “a lot of hatred” and abuse since she first proposed the motion last December.

What this liar is trying to say - if I have her double-speak correct - is that her motion, which presents a vaguely defined bogey-man as a reason for elevating Islam above all other religions and, therefore, exempt from criticism, should not be modified in any way, shape or form, no matter how barmy, draconian, antediluvian or antithetical to Western democracy it is.

And if she has to present herself as a victim of "Islamophobia" to press on with this proposed blasphemy law, then by Thor, she'll do it!

No wonder Canadians have had it with their elites.





And now, one of the best employees on the planet:

Two years ago, Sabrina Plannerer and her partner purchased a Shell gas station under construction in the town of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil. It was around this time that she discovered the adult dog roaming around the site, after he'd been abandoned there by his former owner and was too frightened to leave.

So, rather than try to shoo Negão away, they stepped in to help him

"We adopted him immediately and got him all the care animals need," Plannerer tells The Dodo. "We took him to the vet to get vaccinated and de-wormed. We bought him food, a dog house, and a leash to take him on walks." 

And when the gas station finally opened, Negão even got a job ...

He cares about customer service ... and tummy scratches.



(Kamsahamnida)