Friday, May 26, 2017

For a Friday

 


The last week-end of May ...

(sigh)




Just in time for Ramadan:

Masked militants riding in three SUVs opened fire Friday on a bus packed with Coptic Christians, including children, south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people and wounding 22, the Interior Ministry said.

(Sidebar: in 2016, over three hundred people were killed in Islamist attacks.)


In retaliation, the Egyptians launched air strikes against camps in Libya where terrorists are believed to be hiding:

Egyptian air force planes on Friday carried out strikes directed at camps in Libya where Cairo believes militants responsible for a deadly attack on Christians earlier in the day were trained, Egyptian military sources said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he had ordered strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished.

The sources said six strikes took place near Derna in eastern Libya at around sundown, hours after masked gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in central Egypt, killing 28.

The Egyptian military said the operation was ongoing and had been undertaken once it had been ascertained that the camps had produced the gunmen behind the attack on the Coptic Christians in Minya, central Egypt, on Friday morning.

Al-Sisi finds himself in the position of putting the Islamist genie back in the bottle. Where Morsi was happy to let the Muslim Brotherhood run amok, Al-Sisi at least recognises the optics of children getting blown up and shot at.

If he truly wanted resolution, he would let Coptic women arm themselves.

 
Also - western Europe may be plagued by spineless, platitude-spewing horses'-@$$es but eastern Europe has the intestinal fortitude of a steel ox:  

Speaking in the Polish Parliament on Wednesday, Beata Szydło seized the moment to launch an excoriating attack on European Union leaders following the Manchester attack which, among others, claimed the lives of a Polish couple, leaving their two daughters as orphans.

“We are not going to take part in the madness of the Brussels elite,” she railed. “We want to help people, not the political elites.

“Where are you headed Europe?” she demanded. “Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day.

“If you can’t see this – if you can’t see that terrorism currently has the potential to hurt every country in Europe, and you think that Poland should not defend itself, you are going hand in hand with those who point this weapon against Europe, against all of us.

“It needs to be said clearly and directly: This is an attack on Europe, on our culture, on our traditions.”

If one put Angela Merkel and Beata Szydło in the Octagon Cage, Beata Szydło would walk out wearing a Merkel raincoat. She would then turn to Emmanuel Marcon and say: "Shine my shoes. NOW!"

He would comply because he is a wiener.


And:

Islamists don’t hate the West because of Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban.” And you can’t appease them with multiculturalism, transgender sensitivity or atheism. They hate the open society of the West for who we are, not what we do.




Salman Abedi has been linked to Abdu Albasset Egwilla:

The bomber who attacked a Manchester pop concert has been linked to an extremist imam from Ottawa whom Canadian intelligence officials had warned was “promoting violent jihad” in Libya.

Quoting a senior American official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, The New York Times reported that Salman Abedi “had links to a radical preacher in Libya identified as Abdul Baset Ghwela.”

The report appeared to be referring to a Libyan-Canadian the Canadian government calls Abdu Albasset Egwilla. Formerly a cleric at an Ottawa mosque, Egwilla has been accused of inciting violence since returning to Libya.

“The RCMP is aware of the latest allegations,” Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer, an RCMP spokesman, said when asked about the alleged Canadian connection to the Briton said to be behind Monday’s terrorist attack, which killed 22.

He would not confirm the RCMP was investigating, saying it would be inappropriate to do so before charges were laid. Canada was collaborating with its international partners to “ensure the safety and security of Canadian interests and that of the broader global community,” he said.

(Sidebar: is that collaboration as successful as your wasteful boast on figuring out the bleeding obvious?)


This Abdu Albasset Egwilla:

A former Ottawa imam has issued a fiery call to arms to Libyans after his son, raised in the Canadian capital, was killed in clashes in Benghazi, where Islamist militias are battling elements of the Libyan military.

“Allah break the backs of the tyrants and the oppressors and the unjust and those nations of the world that are with them,” Abdu Albasset Egwilla said. “Allah they have gathered against us and are scheming against us, so scheme against them.

“Trick them, kill them.”


 
At least some people are decent:

Chris Parker came to Manchester Arena as an anonymous beggar, positioning himself near the crowd of exiting Ariana Grande fans in hopes that he might pocket some spare change.

He left the arena distraught after having witnessed the kind of carnage more typically seen in fields of combat.

Sometime in between, the 33-year-old homeless man became a hero, a symbol of hope in a stunned nation craving exactly that.

In turn, Parker and another homeless rescuer are being rewarded for their daring actions, though the devastation they encountered left them scarred.

Parker told the Press Association that life changed the moment he “heard a bang,” then “a white flash” followed by smoke and the sound of screaming.

“It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” he told the wire service.


 
In 2015, Trudeau promised "modest deficits":

Canada posted a preliminary budgetary deficit of C$21.85 billion ($16.3 billion) for the 2016-17 fiscal year, largely in line with what the government had projected, the Finance Department said on Friday.  


Trudeau did that.





Leadnow acknowledges Sisu has contributed grants for its “other campaigns,” but chair Adam Shedletzky, says the election campaign was funded entirely from Canadian sources “with zero foreign dollars.” 

However, he acknowledges nearly 20 per cent of the organization’s funding comes from outside Canada and says a “privacy policy” prevents Leadnow from sharing a list of donors. 

The shadowy nature of this progressive collaboration is enhanced by a video featuring Kai Nagata, executive director of Dogwood Initiative — another recipient of Tides grant money — talking about a meeting between anti-Tory activist groups in Toronto to “divide up key swing ridings, so we’re not doubling up.” 

This looks like collusion between third-party groups to circumvent spending limits set out in the Canada Election Act. 

Or it would be, if the groups involved had spent anywhere close to the $439,410 third-party advertising limit in the extended 2015 campaign.

In the event, Dogwood spent just $80,790 on election advertising and Leadnow $137,545 — even though it raised $427,578 in contributions. 

It is nonsense for Leadnow to say the foreign money was ring-fenced. As Duff Conacher at Democracy Watch said, “any grant frees up other money, if it’s all in one pot.” ...

A far bigger threat to our democracy emerged from labour unions that united to spend millions to defeat Conservatives across the country. 

The top 10 third-party spenders in the last campaign were all labour groups, led by the United Steelworkers, which spent $431,640. In total, the top 10 spent $3.3 million on election advertising. 

The likelihood that Trudeau will close the loopholes that benefit him are pretty nil.


Also - this audacity is adorable and stems from some very public Sino-love:

Chang is making a plea for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make her family’s case a priority. If he accepts her request for a meeting next week when she visits Ottawa for a third time since her parent’s detainment, she will lay out the facts of their case and reiterate her belief that they should never have been arrested.

“This is a trade issue,” Chang plans to tell Trudeau. “Canada and China are trying to discuss a free-trade agreement. How can you let this happen to Canadian citizens abroad?”

Canadian consular officials in China have been visiting Chang’s parents every three months while a federal case worker has met with her mom just once since the arrest, she said.

But because her family has been helping support Canada’s tourism, agriculture and wine industries since 2002, Chang feels the Canadian government could be doing more to help them reunite.

She believes their case is precedent-setting and could have broad implications for any Canadians planning future business overseas.

“What’s the purpose of having a Canadian passport if you can’t even be protected?” she said.




Trudeau gave Indonesia $14 million:

Indonesian police have set up a new task force to investigate activities by gay men and women in the country's most populous province, amid outrage over the caning of two men.

Photobomb a caning, Justin.




Whatever you say, you contrary man-child:

Canada's deeply entrenched role in the fight against global extremism is more focused these days on intelligence-gathering — and sharing — than on putting more boots on the ground in the Middle East, Justin Trudeau suggested Thursday. ...
It was in this way that Trudeau brushed aside concerns that NATO's agreement to increase intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism comes amid accusations that President Donald Trump and others in the U.S. are playing fast and loose with sensitive secrets.

... says he who fled from child-raping ISIS at the first opportunity.




There are people who are truly soulless:

Dr. Uta Landy, the founder of the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS), Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA): An eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross! [laughter from the crowd]

Watch the video while one can.




Unbelievable:

A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk said Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.

Malvo was 17 when he was arrested in 2002 for a series of shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, causing widespread fear throughout the region.

His accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, was executed.

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh, who helped prosecute Malvo, said the Virginia attorney general can appeal Jackson's ruling. If not, he said he would pursue another life sentence.



Perhaps the contempt was enough to sway undecided voters:

Republican businessman Greg Gianforte won Montana’s sole House district in a special election Thursday, keeping a seat in Republican hands despite facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a reporter who’d asked him about the GOP’s health-care bill.




The pro-Kim South Korean government to lessen sanctions put in place on North Korea after the sinking of the Cheonan:

After Moon Chung-in, President Moon Jae-in’s special advisor on unification, diplomacy and security, suggested that it would be “practically necessary to adjust” the May 24 measures seven years after the measures were first imposed, conservative criticism of unconditional concessions to North Korea appears to be making a comeback. 

“In order for the newly launched administration to take the initiative in inter-Korean relations, it needs to recognize the limitations of the May 24 measures and to resolve these in a forward-looking manner,” Moon said during a media interview on May 24, with the caveat that he was expressing his personal opinion. 

“Rather than cancelling them immediately, we need to be flexible about relaxing them as we watch for changes in North Korea’s attitude,” he added. 

The May 24 Measures are sanctions on North Korea that were independently imposed by the government of former president Lee Myung-bak (2008-13) in the aftermath of the sinking of South Korea‘s Cheonan warship on Mar. 26, 2010. The main provisions of the sanctions are to prohibit all South Korean visits to North Korea aside from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, forbid all North Korean ships from entering South Korean waters, halt inter-Korean trade and ban new investments in North Korea. 

The conservative opposition parties attacked Moon’s remarks. “Pumping dollars into North Korea by canceling the May 24 Measures and by resuming tours to Mt. Keumgang and operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex would be throwing aside our security even as the awful prospect of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles stare us in the face,” conservative Liberty Korea Party floor leader Jung Woo-taek said during a party meeting on May 24. 

Conservative Bareun Party floor leader Joo Ho-young made similar remarks during a gathering of Bareun Party members: “Many experts believe that North Korea was saved while on the brink of collapse after the ‘Arduous March’ by the unconditional aid provided by progressive governments under the name of the Sunshine Policy.” 

The Blue House has not taken an official stance on the May 24 Measures. 

“Not only are we currently focusing on sanctions, but the US-South Korean summit next month is right around the corner,” said a key official at the Blue House. “[Adjusting the May 24 measures] is an idea that could be suggested after North Korea shows its sincerity, and it’s not something that could happen right away.”

Oh, I'll bet.


Also:

Two skeletons have been uncovered under the base of the walls of Wolseong Palace, also known as Moon Castle, in Gyeongju in South Korea.

The skeletons date back 1,400 years to the 7th century. They were found lying side by side with one looking upwards, and the other having his head turned to the partner.

“Judging from the fact that there are no signs of resistance when they were buried, they must have been buried when they were unconscious or dead,” told Park Yoon-Jung, a senior researcher, to Phys.org.

Experts assume that the two people must have been buried as part of a ritual to please Gods who were believed would protect the construction from collapsing.



China warns the US to leave the South China Sea:

China’s government warned a U.S. warship to leave waters around a reef it claims in the South China Sea, saying the vessel was trespassing on its territory and undermining security in the region.

The U.S. warship entered waters adjacent to the Spratly islands, an area where China has “indisputable sovereignty,” defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday. China “identified, tracked, verified and warned off the ship.”

The so-called freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea was the first under President Donald Trump. The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey made the patrol on Wednesday near Mischief Reef, where China has built an artificial outpost equipped with an airfield, the Wall Street Journal reported.

China claims most of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. In recent years it has increased its military presence in the waters by reclaiming thousands of acres of land to build artificial outposts on reefs.


 
Bees .... bees ... :

Wearing only a T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers – and no gloves – Nathan Thompson reached up and gingerly pulled down the branch of a crepe myrtle tree as his father leaned in and clipped a branch holding a swarm of about 40,000 bees.

Nathan Thompson
(source)


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mid-Week Post

 The flavour-filled centre of the work-week ...




But why are Trump's remarks about Kim Jong-Un controversial? They're true:

In a call last month with the Philippines' president, U.S. President Donald Trump described North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un as a "madman with nuclear weapons" who could not be let on the loose, according to a leaked Philippine transcript of their call.


Trump told Duterte in the April 29 call that the United States would "take care of North Korea," and had a lot of firepower in the region, although it did not want to use it, according to a transcript of their conversation published by the Washington Post and the investigative news site The Intercept.

The document included a "confidential" cover sheet from the Americas division of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

A senior U.S. official said the Trump administration did not dispute the accuracy of the transcript and declined to comment further.

Trump requested Duterte's help in impressing on China, North Korea's neighbor and only major ally, the need for it to help rein in Kim, the transcript showed.

"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that," Trump said. "We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20, but we don't want to use it."
 
Kim Jong-Un had senior officials and even his own relatives purged. His missile launches are becoming increasingly successful.

Is calling him a madman with nuclear weapons inaccurate? Really?




Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed five people in Mogadishu:

A bombing claimed by Islamist insurgents killed five civilians and injured six more in the Somali capital on Wednesday, a spokesman for the city's mayor said, underscoring the militants' ability to carry out attacks despite territorial losses.

Bombings are a near-daily occurrence in Mogadishu. Most are claimed by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militia, which is fighting to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government and drive out the African Union peacekeeping force that supports it. 


Perhaps the the peace-keeping force would be stronger if its members stopped raping girls.




Terrorists in the Philippines have seized hostages in Marawi, a city in the south:


Islamic State group-linked militants swept through a southern Philippine city, beheading a police chief, burning buildings, seizing a Catholic priest and his worshippers and raising the black flag of IS, authorities said Wednesday. President Rodrigo Duterte, who had declared martial law across the southern third of the nation, warned he may expand it nationwide.
At least 21 people have died in the fighting, officials said.

As details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears mounted that the largest Roman Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The violence erupted Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged allegiance to IS. He is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The militants called for reinforcements and around 100 gunmen entered Marawi, a mostly Muslim city of 200,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

"We are in a state of emergency," Duterte said Wednesday after he cut short a trip to Moscow and flew back to Manila. "I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere."

He declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region — home to 22 million people — and vowed to be "harsh."

"If I think that you should die, you will die," he said. "If you fight us, you will die. If there is open defiance, you will die. And if it means many people dying, so be it."

(Sidebar: one cannot say that Duterte isn't persistent.)



It's time to burn the jungle.




How could this possibly go wrong?
 
Last March, CSIS director Michel Coulombe testified in front of a Senate committee that, at the time, there were 60 Canadians known to have returned home from going abroad to participate in terror activities.

These included paramilitary exercises, receiving jihadi training, providing logistical support for operations and more. Basically, they went to terrorist training camp. Then they came home. “Ticking time bomb” is the accurate phrase to describe this situation.

U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd recently confirmed that Abedi was known to authorities. For specifically what reasons, we’re not sure. The speculation is that it has to do with what he’d gotten up to during a recent visit to Libya.

Coulombe also said last year that there were an additional 180 Canadians who at that time were still abroad engaging in terror-related activities. A year ago. And how many of them have since come home?

These acts are serious Criminal Code violations. So if we’ve identified dozens of Canadians hot for jihad, why on Earth are we letting them move freely?

It can be difficult to build a proper case, terrorism expert and Carleton University Professor Alex Wilner pointed out on my radio show Wednesday morning. If the alleged terror offence took place in countries, such as Iraq and Syria, it’s tough to compile the evidence and get help from what exists of law enforcement in the regions.

Even when they return home to Canada, it takes dozens of officers to perform surveillance on one radical.

(Sidebar: problem right there.)

“We have to dedicate our limited resources to those that we think are the greatest threat,” CSIS deputy director of operations Jeff Yaworski told a committee back in 2014.

Despite all this, it’s clear Canada also just isn’t committed to going all in to charge these guys. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson confirmed as much in remarks he gave to media last year.

“If we’re not getting the evidence, are we satisfying the safety issues by surveillance and other techniques while we collect the evidence or are there alternative ways of keeping communities safe by direct interventions with the individual or his family?” Paulson said last March. “In other cases, we’ve assessed that they’re back, they’re sorry, they’re working to try to get their heads straight and we’re relying on family members or other professionals.”

That’s right. If jihadists say they’re sorry and their moms promise to keep them on the straight and narrow, the RCMP opt not to charge them. It’s madness.



No one can accuse one of incompetence if one looks like one is working hard:

The brother of Salman Abedi, the suspect accused of carrying out a bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people, allegedly said he knew his brother was going to carry out an attack, but did not know where or when, according to a spokesman for Libya’s counterterror forces.

** 


Police made arrests in Manchester and Tripoli on Wednesday as the investigation into a suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue packed with children focused on tracking down a network of accomplices who authorities fear could strike again.

Manchester police made four new arrests and searched an address in the city center. A source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped build the suicide bomb and who could be ready to kill again.

"I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating," police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.


(Sidebar: and you just discovered this? Of course you did.)

Please, British authorities, continue being cross with sharp-tongued columnists and embarrassing leaks:


U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd criticized U.S. officials for leaking details about Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, warning Britain’s ally that it should not happen again. ...

“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources,” Rudd told BBC Radio on Wednesday, when asked about U.S. leaks. “I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”


That, apparently, is more important than sweeping changes needed to safeguard one's country.



Also - Morrissey said this



 

People voted for this

Ontarians will be paying a net $21 billion over the next three decades to get short-term savings under the Liberal government's hydro plan, which is designed to make the province's bottom line look better, two watchdogs said Wednesday.

Both the financial accountability officer and the auditor general weighed in on the plan to lower hydro rates, which have roughly doubled over the last decade.

A report from the budget watchdog found that the government will spend $45 billion over the life of its hydro plan to save people $24 billion on their bills over the next approximately 30 years.

The $45 billion, however, is mostly the cost of funding an eight-per-cent rebate that took effect in January and assumes balanced budgets. If the government has to fund that rebate through debt, the cost could soar up to $93 billion, the report said.

Only in the mind of Liberals can this be an economic win.
 



And now,  puppies arguing with humans. Enjoy:



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

(Insert Post Title Here)

So much to talk about ...




French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the French had to “learn to live with terrorism”:

... mothers that they found who are still looking for their daughters. And daughters they found who are still looking for their mothers. And they can’t find the rest of their families. And I think that is what is making… Europe is getting used to attacks like this Mika. We have to. Because we are never going to totally wipe this out. 

Indeed.

Heaven forbid that one re-evaluate political multiculturalism, take stronger measures against the devout "lone wolves" and not lose one's g-d- mind and allow back in those who committed or supported terrorism abroad.


#Thatiswhyyouhaveterrorism





It's bad enough that children as young as eight were turned into pin cushions for listening to a pony-tail sing but the overwhelming response to that is this:


**




(Sidebar: we wouldn't want to hurt any terrorists' feelings, would we?)


#Thatiswhyyouhaveterrorism 





Always trust one's journalistic betters to clarify things:



(Gracias)





French women are tired of being man-handled in no-go zones:

Women in Paris have been protesting against ‘no go zones’ where immigrants from Asia and Africa pester and abuse them.

It’s claimed the district of Chapelle-Pajol, in the north east of the French capital, has become more dangerous for women as the rate of immigration there grows. Large groups of men are said to hang around in the streets, sometimes drinking, and often intimidate women.

One 80-year-old woman from the district has even said she was sexually assaulted walking home one night.

Others have complained about catcalls and verbal abuse, which makes them feel unsafe.

Dozens turned out to protest against the so-called ‘no go zones’ on Friday. ‘The problems in the area are real,’ Clare Rougy, one of the demonstrators, told The Local.

She added: ‘It is aggressive and you see men fighting in the streets. Women do not feel safe.’

Another woman, identified as 50-year-old Natalie, told Le Parisien newspaper: ‘The atmosphere is agonising, to the point of having to modify our itinerary, our clothes. Some even gave up going out.’
 
But, as Monsieur Valls said:

Times have changed, and we should learn to live with terrorism. We have to show solidarity and collective calm.
Because that's helpful.


#Thatiswhyyouhaveterrorism 





Ah, the last laugh:

Journalists are already self-censoring in the toxic fallout from the CBC’s cultural appropriation controversy, University of Toronto Prof. Dr. Jordan Peterson says.

Peterson, whose fight against mandatory use of genderless pronouns drew international attention, said the impact of political correctness on free speech and broader society is profound.

“This is why I’ve been warning about the emergence of such ideas at the university,” Peterson told The Toronto Sun.

“Anybody who thinks these ideas are going to stay in the university, believe me, they’re engaging in wishful thinking.”

People tripping over themselves to prove their social piety have removed themselves from sanity. They are - perhaps not realising it - destroying the culture, leaving only a withered husk of a civilisation that gave everyone people like Shakespeare and Descartes.


#Thatiswhyyouhavestupidpeople


Also:

Speaking at that year’s CPSA annual meeting, Widdowson argued that Canada’s land reserve system and the policies that encourage First Nations to live separately from mainstream society only further societal dysfunction. Assimilation, she said, would better close the “development gap” between First Nations and non-indigenous Canadians. Out came the angry bees. Some members called her talk “hate speech” worthy of a Criminal Code investigation. One colleague asked if she’d “like to take it outside.”




In other news:

South Korea’s military fired warning shots across the military demarcation line at an unidentified object flying on Tuesday afternoon, as tensions remained high on the peninsula days after another North Korea missile test.

**

The Trudeau Foundation received $535,000 in foreign donations in 2016:

To recap, the Calgary Herald reported this week that Crockatt and others lodged a complaint with Elections Canada alleging foreign money was donated to third-party organizations and then used to influence the 2015 election, potentially in contravention of spending limits.

A total of 114 third parties — people or groups producing election advertising who are not registered candidates, political parties or riding associations — were registered with Elections Canada in 2015, up from 55 in 2011.

According to the complaint, nine of those organizations were funded at least in part by the New York-based Tides Foundation, which donated a total of US $1.5 million.

Leadnow — which organized a 2015 anyone-but-Harper strategic voting campaign which targeted a number of ridings where it considered the Conservatives vulnerable  — is not included on the list of Tides grantees, but the researcher and writer Vivian Krause has claimed the organization is funded indirectly through the Sisu Institute Society, a B.C.-based non-profit which in 2015 received US $795,300, according to the Tides list.




Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Roger Moore:




Monday, May 22, 2017

On a Monday

A merry Victoria Day to all y'all



Either Trump doesn't know what he is doing or he is exercising the age-old tact of dividing and conquering:

President Donald Trump opened his first visit to Israel Monday, saying he sees growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a “common cause” with Israel in their determination to counter the threats posed by Iran.

Arriving directly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump expressed his hope for co-operation among U.S. allies in the Middle East. His second stop on the nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. 

Trump, who had previously suggested that it would be easier than anticipated to solve the conflict that has vexed his predecessors for decades, said that conditions were right in both Israel and the Arab world to strike what he has called “the ultimate deal.” 

“We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people,” Trump said upon his arrival in Tel Aviv. 

And then he will move on to those who fund terrorism?


Also:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without Tehran's help, responding to criticism of the Islamic Republic from U.S. President Donald Trump who is visiting the region.

Trump called for a U.S. alliance with Muslim countries on Sunday aimed at fighting terrorism, singling out Iran as a major source of funding and support for militants in the Arab world.

Rouhani, a pragmatist who won last week's presidential election, hit back hard by dismissing the summit as a "ceremonial (event) that had no political value and will bear no results".

"Who can say regional stability can be restored without Iran? Who can say the region will experience total stability without Iran?" he said at a news conference.


Stability with the bomb? Okay ...
 





China admits to killing CIA assets:

The Chinese government “systematically dismantled” CIA spying operations in China starting in late 2010 and killed or imprisoned at least a dozen CIA sources over the next two years, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper cited 10 current and former U.S. officials, who described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report said U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies scrambled to stem the damage, but were bitterly divided over the cause of the breach. Some investigators were convinced there was a mole within the CIA, while others believed the Chinese had hacked the covert system the CIA used to communicate with its foreign sources. The debate remains unresolved, the paper said.

(Sidebar: I think I know who the mole is.)

 
Even if this paper tiger lives long enough, it will soon crumble. No empire lives forever.


Also - China and Russia have plenty in common. Like North Korea, for example:

So, Russian-Chinese relations are developing according to their previous logic: On the whole, Russia supports China on North Korean issues. And China, by and large, supports Russia’s position on Syria, but typically backs off at the most critical moments. (For example, during the storming of Aleppo in 2016 and after the chemical weapons attack on Idlib in 2017, China abstained from voting in the UN Security Council.)





North Korea fires yet another missile:

North Korea fired a medium-range missile on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, the latest ballistics test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The rocket was fired from an area near the North Korean county of Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 500 kilometres, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked the missile before it landed into the sea.





Has anyone given a first or second thought to the Arctic?

If war were to break out with Russia tomorrow, the United States would have just one solitary heavy icebreaker — the 50-year-old Polar Star — to clear the way for its warships. Meanwhile, across the Arctic Sea, is a Russian icebreaker fleet of some 40 ships. Several are nuclear-powered, giving them incredible range and endurance — and more are on the way.





Cambodians prepare for their election:

Cambodia’s main opposition party believes it has momentum on its side in next month’s local elections, which will gauge the support for Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of national polls next year.

The U.S. State Department called on the government to avoid threats and political intimidation as the two-week campaigning for the June 4 communal elections started Saturday with tens of thousands of supporters of Hun Sen’s ruling party and the main opposition party flooding the streets of the capital.

Hun Sen has ruled for three decades, and he has warned of civil war if voters do not support his ruling Cambodian People’s Party. In the last communal elections in 2012, his party received 60 percent of the vote compared to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party’s 30.6 percent.

But the opposition now says it has a better chance of winning after it nearly upset the ruling party in general elections in 2013, triggering its boycott of the legislature that ended with the opposition returning to parliament after it struck a deal with the longtime ruler.




Relics of Saint Nicholas are being transferred to Russia:



Relics of the fourth-century saint Nicholas, who inspired the beloved figure of Santa Claus, have left Italy for the first time in nearly 1,000 years, arriving in Moscow for veneration by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The remains of St. Nicholas have been housed in the southern Italian city of Bari since 1087, when they were brought over from present-day Turkey by a group of Italian merchants.

In what is being described as “a historic event,” a “gesture of love and peace” and a “seed of ecumenism,” relics of the saint have left Bari for the first time in 930 years, transferred to Moscow where the sainted bishop of Myra is especially loved.

A five-inch bone fragment from the saint’s rib was deposited in a a golden reliquary adorned with precious stones and bas reliefs that recount the life and miracles of Nicholas. The relic arrived in Moscow on a special flight from Italy on Sunday afternoon and will stay there for a week before being transferred to Saint Petersburg, and eventually back to Italy.

The sharing of the relic is being touted as fruit of the historical encounter between Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba, just prior to the Pope’s visit to Mexico in February 2016.

The gesture is also being seen as an overture on the part of the Catholic Church toward closer relations with the Orthodox Church, who split in the Great Schism of 1054.
 
They had better get those back.





And now,  an outline to define one of life's most controversial questions:

USDA: A SANDWICH IS MEAT BETWEEN TWO SLICES OF BREAD


Maybe there are no wrong answers here, only more delicious ones.

Friday, May 19, 2017

For a Friday

Just in time for the week-end ...




Thirty-nine percent of Canadian voters voted for this:

Very little of the new “infrastructure” spending over the next decade is earmarked for projects that will actually improve Canada’s core infrastructure. In fact, a mere 10.6 per cent of the nearly $100 billion in new infrastructure spending is earmarked for trade and transportation.

Most of the spending is going to projects that many Canadians would never call “infrastructure.” For instance, 56.8 per cent of the nearly $100 billion spending is for so-called “green” and “social” infrastructure. These loosely defined categories amount to spending on projects such as parks, cultural institutions, and recreational centres.

Although some communities may appreciate these initiatives, let’s be clear—they won’t help move people or products. And there’s certainly no robust evidence that such spending will increase the economy’s long-term potential.

There is, however, a fundamental problem with Ottawa’s infrastructure spending plan. The government has included numerous items that most experts and many Canadians would not consider infrastructure. Indeed, it has broadened the term to include many services and activities, rending the definition of “infrastructure” unclear.

For instance, the government is calling the $7 billion over 10 years for subsidizing daycare “infrastructure.” Putting aside the pros and cons of daycare subsidies, it’s a stretch to call such spending “infrastructure.”

Or consider the $2.1 billion in spending over 10 years to reduce homelessness by tackling addiction and mental illness. This is a laudable goal no doubt, but by most reasonable standards, this is spending on social services—not infrastructure.

In addition, the Trudeau government’s infrastructure spending plan also includes $77 million to develop regulations and establish pilot programs related to the adoption of driverless cars and unmanned air vehicles. Again, regulating emerging technologies may or may not be a worthwhile pursuit, but it’s hard to argue such spending is “infrastructure.”

Even data collection and research is now considered infrastructure spending by the Trudeau government including $241 million over 11 years for a government agency to improve data collection and analytics related to housing. Another $50 million of supposed “infrastructure” spending is earmarked for a new government centre to collect and publically provide data on transportation in Canada.

Simply calling a project “infrastructure” does not automatically make it infrastructure nor does it mean it’s an economically worthwhile endeavor.

Which would one expect the federal government to fund and immediately act on: a Global Centre for Pluralism or bridges and pipelines?




Great intellectual of our time, Catherine McKenna declares that Ottawa can impose a carbon tax on the provinces if it wants:

Ottawa is completely within its rights to impose a carbon tax on any province because protecting the environment falls under federal jurisdiction, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Thursday.

"Let me be very clear," McKenna said in the foyer outside the House of Commons. "It is well within the federal government's right to take action to protect the environment."

McKenna's comments seemed to be aimed directly at Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, the only premier holding out against any form of carbon pricing, which he says will hurt his province's recovering economy.

Wall reiterated Thursday his plan to take Ottawa to court to keep it from imposing a carbon tax next year.

"This federal government white paper is frankly more like a ransom note," he said in Regina.


Then it's time to scrap the stupid Charter, return to the Bill of Rights and amend it accordingly.

One who cannot distinguish between a penguin and a puffin can tell me what to do.



Also:

McKenna insisted that all the money collected through the federal backstop will return to the provinces. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will return to provincial governments. The government is considering sending rebates to individuals and businesses, she said, though details haven’t been worked out.

“Not a single dollar goes to Ottawa,” she told reporters Thursday. “We’re evaluating how best to return the revenue — for example, by giving it directly back to individuals and businesses in the province.”

That seems to contradict comments made by public safety minister Ralph Goodale in October, when he said “every single penny” from a carbon price imposed on Saskatchewan would remain “under Saskatchewan’s control.”


And:

The understanding was that Notley’s good work and good faith would earn her province the right to economically function. Poor innocent Premier Notley. Just in the last few days a new regulatory regime has been sketched out by a fulsomely politically correct federal panel, one that would throw out the NEB — and presumably shelve or defer many of its decisions and resolutions to date. Secondly, the same panel identified Alberta — Calgary in particular — as an unworthy headquarters site for future regulatory determinations. Calgary was “seen” as biased. 

How could it not be? It has all this cumbersome experience and knowledge of the oil industry, which leaves it dangerously over-informed on the subject under review, it is the home of the resource, and the most to work it. Knowledge, experience and proximity to the resource in question: notorious dis-qualifiers all.

Best to move NEB 2.0 to Ottawa, the very nesting ground of the Owl of Minerva, home seat of all of Canada’s collective wisdom and playpen of lobbyists, party fundraisers, career politicians and every other emblem of judicious disinterest and lack of bias. Ottawa is that tabula rasa spoke of by the philosophers of old, a table naked of every interest and influence. Calgary, by contrast, why Calgary is a bourse, a trading house run by Big Oil, where honour is in exile and fair dealing a forgotten rumour.
 
Once more, the political betters exercise their oligarchical rule over all.




Stick it in your ear, Hair-Boy:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to ask Pope Francis for a formal apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system when the two meet during a private audience later this month.

Why don't you apologise for being a rotten person, Justin?




Are you kidding me?

Five months after nearly freezing to death on a treacherous walk across the Canada-U.S. border, and still learning to get along without the 10 fingers and thumbs he lost to frostbite, Seidu Mohammed is happy.

He gets to stay in Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board has granted Mohammed refugee status on the basis that the 24-year-old bisexual professional soccer player from Ghana would face persecution if returned to his home country.

Yep, checked all the boxes.




No, I'm pretty sure they don't function at all:

Journalists’ brains function at a subpar level because they consume too much alcohol, caffeine and sugar, but their love of their work helps them fight through the difficult times, according to a study by neuroscientist Tara Swart.

Case in point:

In this sense, and as I said to Craig Oliver and others, the media, by their malice and dishonesty, are, as Trump called them, “enemies of the people.” They are trying to illicitly subvert the president’s mandate. The brilliant appointment of Robert Mueller as special investigator — but not an old-time Watergate-Iran Contra, Whitewater lynch-mob-leading special prosecutor — slices the Democrats and the jackal media off at the knees. Trump lured his enemies to make and amplify hysterical charges. They will now be revealed by the mechanism whose installation they demanded, a special counsel, as unfounded and maliciously false.

Remember - this is same water-carrying popular press that had no issues with either Clinton or Obama.

One cannot have everything both ways. If favours (perceived or otherwise) four foreign countries are wrong, put everyone in an orange jumpsuit.


(Gracias)




And then what? The decades-long routine continues? I think that it is time that North Korea crumbles. Who cares what China or Moon Jae-In thinks?

North Korea's deputy U.N. envoy said on Friday that the United States needed to roll back its "hostile policy" toward the country before there could be talks between the pair.

"As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue," North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong told reporters on Friday. "But what is important is not words, but actions."

"The rolling back of the hostile policy toward DPRK is the prerequisite for solving all the problems in the Korean Peninsula," he said. "Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the U.S. hostile policy toward DPRK, the root cause of all problems."



This is the same country that denies it ever killed Armenians:

New video surfaced on Thursday that shows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey looking on as armed members of his security team violently charge a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

The confrontation on Tuesday came after President Donald Trump had welcomed Erdogan to the White House and praised him as a stalwart ally in the battle against Islamic extremism. Trump did not speak of Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown on his own people.



It's time to put Sweden out of its misery and nuke it from orbit:

When a politician in a small town in northern Sweden recently suggested that it subsidize one-hour sex breaks for local employees, Swedes – and people around the world – reacted with a mixture of astonishment, glee and derision.

The politician, Per-Erik Muskos, 42, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party, said his proposal could help lift the town’s birthrate. Sexologists argued that state-funded sexual interludes could spice up marriages. As news of the idea spread, the scenic town of Overtornea was suddenly portrayed as the latest emblem of Scandinavia’s liberal values and generous welfare state.

This week, however, the town’s 31-member council overwhelmingly rejected the proposal on the grounds that if sexual intercourse should be subsidized, then so should many other personal activities, such as gardening or cleaning. The proposal had suggested that an hour of the workweek already devoted to fitness activities could be used by workers to go home and have sex with a spouse or partner instead.

“If sexual congress is considered a valid activity, then other activities should be approved, such as cleaning,” the council’s decision, initially published Monday, concluded.



And now, Japanese beer is pretty and colourful:

 





(Merci)