Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Post

What's in the news?


Oh, God, shut this man up:

President Barack Obama hailed the recapture of Mosul dam Monday as a "major step forward" as a barrage of U.S. airstrikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces score the biggest victory of its counteroffensive against the Islamic State militants.

Obama also urged the badly fractured and largely dysfunctional Iraqi government to move quickly to forge a united front and give hope to Sunni tribes who've been marginalized. Obama noted last week's decision by Nouri al-Maliki to step down as Iraq's prime minister, a move that raised hopes a new government could roll back Iraq's powerful Sunni insurgency and prevent the country from splitting apart.

"They've got to get this done because the wolf's at the door," the president said.

Says the man who withdrew his troops in 2011.

Obama could, at any time, send out even one drone and liquidate the same demons who behead children but he won't. If he wouldn't get off of his @$$ in trying to save Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens, he's not going to save Yazidis and Iraqi Christians. He leads from behind every time.

What a weak, terrible man the Americans have twice put into office!

Related:

The Islamic State militant group that has seized large parts of Iraq and drawn the first American air strikes since the end of the occupation in 2011 has warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if the raids hit its militants.

The video, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and victims of snipers, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".

This sounds familiar, as though some emotionally retarded, cousin-marrying freak had uttered this in ages past.


A lesson on why debt and interest suck courtesy of the Government of Canada:

Paying interest on your debt doesn’t just cost more; it can also prevent you from spending money on other needs and wants.

Government debt is no exception, and a new report from the Fraser Institute argues that those interest payments mean less money for public priorities such as hospitals, highways and schools. It’s also preventing governments from lowering our taxes.

“Whether you’re talking about a household or a government, when you take on debt, you have to pay interest, which leaves less money in the budget for other priorities,” states Sean Speer, an associate director at the Fraser Institute think-tank and co-author of the study called, “The Cost of Government Debt in Canada.”

The report comes as policymakers debate the best course of action for debt-laden governments. One camp believes governments should worry a little less about debt costs given that interest rates are low, and focus instead on maintaining much-needed public services and/or tax cuts for everyday citizens. Others believe the debt should be tackled, despite low interest rates, to preserve services and the overall economy for the longer term.


Fat broad sentenced for assault:

A college professor who teaches courses in pornography and black studies avoided jail time on Friday over her attack on two pro-life teens. Instead she was sentenced to three years probation, 108 hours of community service, and 10 hours of anger-management classes. ...

According to Fox News, another of Miller-Young’s colleagues, Professor Eileen Boris, wrote that "if [Miller-Young] appears smiling on camera, she is 'wearing the mask,' that is, she is hiding her actual state through a strategy of self-presentation that is a cultural legacy of slavery.”

Really? I thought it was because she is a fatty who can't control her temper.


The United Kingdom is allowing what is dubbed 'genetic modification':

Last month the UK’s Department of Health quietly redefined the term “genetic modification” to open the door to allow certain kinds of modification of human embryos – thus potentially making it the first country in the world to allow genetic engineering.



The case against Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's friend is proceeding:

A former top-ranking Ontario education official and appointee of Premier Kathleen Wynne charged with making and distributing child pornography 11 months ago will face a preliminary hearing in November.

In July 2013, University of Toronto professor Dr. Benjamin Levin was arrested and charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including making and distributing child pornography as well as arranging for a sexual offense with a child.

The charges were filed after an international child pornography sting led investigators to his doorstep.
The upcoming three-day hearing will determine whether or not the Crown has sufficient evidence to bring Levin’s case to trial, reported Toronto Star.

Under his 2004-2009 watch as Ontario’s top education official, Levin oversaw the development of the now-shelved provincial sex-education curriculum themed around “sexual diversity.”


What joke? Doors don't lock themselves:




Oh yes:

 Deep Fried Tequila Shots



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Soft Side?


Behind his corpulence and tyranny, one sees his... nucleus?

There have also been reports in the past that suggested that North Korea's leaders did indeed have moments of self-doubt. Before his death, South Korean newspapers reported that Kim Jong Il had suffered from depression. According to Yonhap, the older Kim once remarked when watching a parade in his honor: "It's all fake."

What's really remarkable about this self-deprecating joke, however, is that it appeared in North Korea's most important state newspaper – a moment of levity made it into the propaganda. It is unclear whether it was deliberate.

I guess I missed these moments of self-deprecation. I was just too blinded by the tyranny and executions that I couldn't see it.
 

The Olive Branch

 

Just doing his job, China. Just doing his job:

Pope Francis on Sunday extended an olive branch to China, urging the Communist Party-ruled nation which has fraught relations with the Vatican to pursue a formal dialogue to benefit both sides.

On the fourth and next-to-final day of his trip to South Korea, Francis flew by helicopter to Haemi, southwest of Seoul, to address bishops from Asian countries and celebrate a Mass closing an gathering of Asian Catholic youth.

In his address to some 70 bishops from 35 Asian countries, Francis said the Church was committed to dialogue with everyone and added: "In this spirit of openness to others, I earnestly hope that those countries of your continent with whom the Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship, may not hesitate to further a dialogue for the benefit of all."

This was a clear reference to China, a nation with which the Vatican has had no formal relations since shortly after the Communist Party took power in 1949.

The Catholic Church in China is divided into two communities: an "official" Church known as the "Patriotic Association" answerable to the Communist Party, and an underground Church that swears allegiance only to the pope in Rome.

Did He Ask For the "Root Causes"?

What?

Too soon?

A home invasion or burglary is terrible. Not only are one's possessions taken (or, in the case of home invasion, bodily harm is done), one never feels safe in the one place where one should feel safe.

No one was physically hurt during this crime (though a threatening note was left) and nothing was taken.

Mr. Trudeau and his family are, however, "extremely troubled" by this incident.

As well they should be.

Many people who aren't Justin Trudeau are "extremely troubled" by the leader of the official opposition talking about "root causes" in a bombing that saw the deaths of three people and the grave injuries of two hundred and sixty-four people.

If the man who hopes to be the leader of the greatest country on Earth (a nation that would cease being great if he ever got in) cannot bring himself to be viscerally angry at this atrocity and indifferent to its "root causes", then what good is he as the representative of all that is good and fine about Canada? It's terrorism. It's bad, period. Does the blowing apart of an eight year old boy cease being bad because the terrorist had hurt feeewwwings?

People who aren't Justin Trudeau are "extremely troubled" by his refusal to call cultural practices "barbaric" and his attendance of a mosque linked to terrorism. Girls who have undergone FGM (sometimes with clean razors) can't imagine a word strong enough to call what they have undergone and the attendance of a mosque linked to al Qaeda is just bad optics to say the least.

People are also "extremely troubled" by the "basic admiration" of a totalitarian state that not only represses its own people but others as well.

Perhaps it's easy to kick Trudeau now that he is semi-down but the people to whom he shows indifference are down all the time.

I hope this jolt of reality gives him some sense of empathy. I really do. No one cares about "root causes" when mad theocratic thugs mutilate them or admires dictatorships that run them into the ground. Likewise, no one wants a leader who doesn't understand the world they live in.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Post


 A happy Gwangbokjol to all y'all.

And a happy Independence Day to India.

And a happy National Acadian Day.

All of these things on the Feast of the Assumption, too.

Coincidence?

I think not.


Speaking of coincidences:

North Korea suggested Friday that a series of rocket tests that coincided with the arrival of Pope Francis in South Korea were actually conducted to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

In a brief despatch, which made no mention of the pontiff's five-day visit to the South, the North's official KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong-Un had personally supervised the testing of a high-precision tactical missile.

The test was timed to mark the 69th anniversary Friday of the Korean peninsula's liberation from Japanese rule in 1945, it added.

The North fired three short-range missiles just minutes before the pope's plane touched down in Seoul on Thursday morning at the start of the first papal visit to Asia for 15 years.

Another two rockets were fired later in the day.

Sure, Kim Jong-Un. Sure. Everyone believes you.

Pope Francis was greeted by President Geun-Hye Park prior to saying Mass for the Feast of the Assumption in Dajeon, met with families of the Sewol disaster and beatified one hundred and twenty-four martyrs.

Quite a busy week.


Related:

Dire economic straits compounded by a weakening regime have led to an increase in prostitution, drug abuse and human trafficking in North Korea. The regime blames the negative influence of capitalism and is cracking down hard on offenders.

Intelligence officials here say these problems are spreading especially in parts of the North close to the Chinese border.

Also:

About 100 Chinese had planned to attend the Asian Youth Day hosted by the pope. But on Thursday, Heo Young-yeop, a spokesman for the papal visit to Korea, said half of those had been unable to attend.


Moving on...


Obama is far more passionate about a local matter concerning the shooting of a rather iffy victim than he is about the continuing slaughter of Christians and Yazidis by ISIS:

The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police criticized President Obama Thursday for his remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.

"I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha's Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation," director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill.


It's easier to race-bait than to vaporise ethnic cleansers, I guess.

(Merci)


Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki has stepped down:

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister for the past eight years, relinquished the post to his nominated replacement late Thursday, ending a political deadlock that has plunged the country into uncertainty as it fights a Sunni militant insurgency.

Standing alongside fellow Dawa Party member, Haider-al-Abadi, al-Maliki said he was stepping aside in favor of his "brother," in order to "facilitate the political process and government formation."


Again, why wouldn't Ukraine trust Russia?

Meanwhile a Russian convoy of about 260 trucks is currently halted some 30 km short of the border. Russia claims it is a dispatch of humanitarian aid to war-torn eastern parts of Ukraine. Kiev, on the other hand, fears it may be a covert shipment of military supplies to Moscow’s separatist allies, or equipment to be stockpiled ahead of a future Russian invasion. Russia has amassed around 20,000 troops along the border, and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Monday that there was a “high probability” of further intervention from Moscow.


And now, your wistful freak-out on this National Acadian Day....



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Putting it out there...


Embarrassed into acting, the Calgary police have charged a fourth person in a violent attack that took place on July 18th:

A fourth person has been charged with assault in connection to a pro-Palestinian rally outside Calgary City Hall in July.

Two other men and a teenager have already been charged over the fights that broke out when pro-Israeli supporters showed up at the demonstration.

Only July 18, about 400 or 500 Palestinian supporters were on one side of the street while a handful of Israeli supporters were on the other. 

Police say they are still investigating and are looking for a man who may have more information.

"He was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt with a DULUX logo on it, with white runners and a tan baseball cap," said police in a release. "His clothing and hands were stained with white paint."

The 18-year-old man charged today is expected to appear in court on Sept. 16.


What? A Liberal Party-supporting union is butting heads with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne? Say it isn't so!

The head of the powerful Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario said Monday the last thing his union wants is a repeat of the labour turmoil of two years ago. 

Sam Hammond steered clear of fighting words against the Liberals after a speech in which he cheered his union’s work to help defeat Tim Hudak’s Conservatives, whose policies he said threatened teachers’ wages and unions in general. 

Although Hammond did warn the 800 delegates to the annual meeting in Toronto that “it will be a challenging year,” bargaining “with a government intent on holding the line on public sector wages, and we are ready,” he used conciliatory tones with reporters afterwards and praised the Liberals for their investments in education.

“The last thing I want, the last thing my members want, and I know the last thing the government or OPSBA (Ontario Public School Boards’ Association) want is to go through what we went through the last time. 

I hope Hammond loses everything he has and then some.
 

Why not finish off Hamas for once and for all?

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend a temporary cease-fire for five days, Egyptian and Palestinian officials announced Wednesday, permitting the sides to continue to negotiate a substantive deal to end the war in Gaza.

Yet even as the extension was announced just minutes before a previous truce was set to expire at midnight, violence spiked, with Palestinian militants firing five rockets at Israel and Israel targeting sites across the Gaza Strip in response. It was not clear if the fighting was isolated or might shatter the truce.

Egypt's foreign ministry and the head of the Palestinian negotiating team announced the extension, which began at midnight local time. A spokesman for Israel's prime minister had no immediate comment.

The cease-fire extension is meant to grant both sides additional time to negotiate a longer-term truce and a roadmap for the coastal territory.


American military and humanitarian personnel arrive in Iraq:

A team of U.S. military and humanitarian aid personnel landed on Iraq's Mount Sinjar early on Wednesday to assess how to evacuate thousands of civilians under siege from Sunni militant fighters, a U.S. official said.

The United States has not ruled out using American ground forces in an operation to extract the trapped civilians, but they will not engage in combat, the White House said.

The U.S. team flew in darkness early in the morning to Mount Sinjar, where thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority fled to escape an advance by Islamic State fighters, the official said.

"They were there last night and they did an assessment," the official said.

And?

The forced exodus of native Christian and Yazidi populations is a direct result of the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Action taken now is no more than window-dressing unless the complete vaporisation of ISIS occurs immediately.


The Neskonlith Indian Band plans on evicting a gold mining company:

A British Columbia First Nation plans to issue an eviction notice to Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III) — the company behind a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine last week — over a separate project in the band's territory.

The declaration from the Neskonlith Indian Band is the latest sign that last week's tailings spill at the Mount Polley Mine in central B.C. could ripple across the company's other projects and possibly the province's entire mining industry.

The Neskonlith band said the notice, which its chief planned to hand-deliver to Imperial Metals in Vancouver on Thursday, orders the company to stay away from the site of its proposed Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, which is located about 150 kilometres northeast of Kamloops.

The mine, which is still in the development phase and has yet to go through the environmental assessment process, would be located near the headwaters of the Adams River, home of an important sockeye salmon run. The Neskonlith band opposed the mine long before the Mount Polley tailings spill.

"We do not want the mine developing or operating in that sacred headwaters," Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said in an interview Wednesday.

"Our elders have stated very clearly that they do not want anything poisoning our water or our salmon."

Well, you poison the water, you can clean it up.



And now, puppies: is there anything they can't do?

Thanks to her faithful puppy, 3-year-old Karina Chikitova is now safe and sound after surviving on wild berries and river water for 11 days in a Siberian forest.

According to the Siberian Times, Karina's mother assumed the little girl had gone with her father to his home village on July 29. Karina's father thought the 3-year-old was with her mother.

Karina's mother wasn't able to contact her husband for four days. When she did, she discovered Karina and the family dog were both missing, likely having wandered off in pursuit of her father who didn't know the girl was following him.

Days later, Karina's puppy returned to her village. That's when rescuers assumed the worst.

"That was the moment when our hearts sank, because we thought at least with her dog Karina had chances to survive — nights in Yakutia are cold and some areas have already gone into minus temperatures. If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive," Afanasiy Nikolayev, a spokesman for the Sakha Republic Rescue Service, told the Siberian Times.

"So when her dog came back we thought, 'That's it' — even if she was alive — and chances were slim — now she would have definitely have lost all hopes. Our hearts truly and deeply sank."

To their surprise, the puppy led rescuers straight to Karina, who "was conscious and looked surprisingly well" after living in the wild for 11 days.

This little guy may one day save your life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

For A Tuesday

Are you watching Shark Week?

So much happening...


We don't need to belong to the UN:

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Tuesday a probe by the UN Human Rights Council will prove Israel committed war crimes and violated humanitarian law during its Gaza offensive. ...

"We are going to cooperate with this commission when it arrives in Palestine," he added.

"We know Israel won't allow it to enter the West Bank and we will seek alternatives so that the commission can carry out its mission."

Earlier, Israel attacked the man named to lead the inquiry, Canadian lawyer William Schabas, as anti-Israeli.

(Sidebar: yes, about that...)

This would be the same Israel that went out of its way not to kill civilians and this would be the same UN that rewards Islamist and other totalitarian states whose human rights records are decidedly irrelevant.

All it would take for the UN to crumble is one major player (read: donor) to withdraw. This toothless organisation baits democracies and coddles dictatorships. This latest outrage should convince every sane nation to withdraw immediately.


Reasons why ISIS and any offshoot must be droned out of existence:

(WARNING: the pictures and videos are quite graphic. It is maddening that not enough is being done.)

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) set about destroying centuries old Iraqi tombstones and graves in the north-west city of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in Ninevah province, and their actions were caught on video.
**

A Christian nurse from the Philippines was allegedly abducted and gang raped by up to six men from the militant terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in Libya last Wednesday.

According to a report from Shoebat.com, the woman was abducted outside her home and taken to an undisclosed location where she was brutally raped by the allegedly “religious” gang of men. The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs spokesman, Charles Jose, told reporters that the victim of the rape was released by her abductors after about two hours.

The incident comes just days after a construction worker, also from the Philippines, was abducted and beheaded by ISIS because they deemed him to be a “non-Muslim.”

**
 
A child is photographed, waiting to be killed by militants. ISIS uses these images to terrorize others and to glorify their spree of terror.
A child is about to be shot to death by ISIS.
Kurdish men carry the bodies of children who died after being driven from their homes with nothing t
Kurds carry the bodies of children who succumbed from thirst after being chased into the desert by ISIS.

**

ISIS overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters have since fled the area. Militants were seen pulling down church crosses and burning manuscripts.
**




Related: Obama is a lying piece of crap:

President Barack Obama now says predecessor George W. Bush and his administration were responsible for the 2011 withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, according to The Washington Times.
Despite couching the "full removal of U.S. forces from Iraq" as the White House’s having made good on a 2008 Obama promise to do just that — it was a key talking point in his campaign speeches — the president is now back-stepping, according to the Times.

"Now, however, with the terrorist force the Islamic State running roughshod through Iraq, capturing key territory, slaughtering Christians and promising to 'raise the flag of Allah at the White House,' Mr. Obama has begun to adjust the narrative," Ben Wolfgang of the Times wrote.

 
On Saturday, the president presented reporters with the newest iteration of his story, the Times said, when asked if he had any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq.

"What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision," Obama said, according to the newspaper. "Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government.

"So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis — a majority of Iraqis — did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq. So that entire analysis is bogus and is wrong. But it gets frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made."

The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack wrote that Obama made troop withdrawal a key platform issue in his 2012 re-election bid, quoting from a foreign policy debate between Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Obama "told the American people he didn’t support leaving any troops in Iraq," wrote McCormack.

"Every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong," Obama scolded Romney in that debate. "You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day."

The National Journal’s Ron Fournier took to Twitter to mock Obama’s malleable position on the troop withdrawal, first posting Obama’s words in 2011, and then Saturday’s statement in which he denied responsibility for the decision.

From an empty-suit to someone everyone should listen to:
 
Pope Francis is speaking out against he violence of ISIS in Iraq, saying the terrorist group offends God and humanity. ...

“Thousands of people, among them many Christians, banished brutally from their houses, children dying of hunger and thirst as they flee, women kidnapped, people massacred, violence of all kinds, destruction everywhere… All of this deeply offends God and deeply offends humanity.”



Justin Trudeau's supporters follow the hair man. This is another one of his beliefs:

Despite its success, Justin Trudeau says that a Liberal government would scrap the bill.

"I wouldn't keep the legislation in place," Trudeau – whose party voted against the bill in the House of Commons – told the Vancouver Sun.

"I would work with First Nations to make sure that a proper accountability act that would have disclosed any excesses we see, but is done in a way that is respectful of the First Nation communities."

While he didn't say what he would replace it with, the Liberal party's new star candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould – a B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations – suggested that salaries could be made available to community members but not the Canadian public at large.

"Of course salaries/remuneration should be disclosed to community members, and by virtue of that disclosure it is public, as the band members can do what they please with the information received," she told the Sun.

Trudeau's new edict isn't sitting well with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – the organization that's taken credit for pushing this legislation through.

"We have heard some very heartbreaking tales from people on reserves who have been bullied, harassed and assaulted for daring to ask questions about where public funds are going in their communities," CTF Prairie Director Colin Craig said in a statement.

"The new First Nations Financial Transparency Act allows them to go on the Internet and view their community’s financial statements anonymously, without fear of reprisal."

Not only does Trudeau admire China's "basic dictatorship", he would remove what little power citizens have for holding their leaders to account.

This is what Liberal voters want. If they didn't, they would not even dream of voting for Trudeau.


Gee, why wouldn't Ukraine trust Russia?

Ukrainian officials said Tuesday that 280 trucks thought to be carrying humanitarian aid from Russia to the war-torn eastern Ukraine city of Luhansk would not be allowed to cross the border between the two countries.

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said the convoy would not be allowed to pass because it had not been certified by the Red Cross. Lysenko also showed a covertly filmed video appearing to show vehicles similar to the white-canopied trucks dispatched from Moscow on Tuesday parked at a military base in Russia.

One frame displayed by Lysenko shows uniformed troops lined up in front of one of the trucks.


And now, Robin Williams, the versatile funny man, and Lauren Bacall, the smoky-voiced actress, have passed away.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Post


For your Sunday ponderage...


Plane crash in Iran:

A Sepahan Air Iran-140 plane bound for Tabas in northeast Iran crashed in a residential area after taking off from Tehran's Mehrabad airport on Sunday morning, killing all 48 passengers and crew, Iranian state media reported. 

The Civil Aviation Authority said the passengers included two infants and three children under the age of 12, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. 

The plane crashed into the Azad residential block on Mina 6 Boulevard, IRNA reported. State television reported at least three people in the area were taken to hospital with burns.

A photograph on IRNA's website showed a huge plume of black smoke billowing over traffic standing at a road intersection. A photograph from the Iran Student News Agency showed a charred tailfin lying on the ground.

A spokesman for Tehran's Fire Department was quoted by IRNA as saying the bodies are being transported to the coroner's office. 

IRNA reported that an engine shutdown caused the crash. Iran's aviation sector has suffered repeated crashes which have been blamed by Iranian politicians on international sanctions.

Those sanctions have restricted Iranian carriers from buying new aircraft. For years, planes have been kept in service through parts imported on the black market, cannibalised from other planes or reproduced locally, aviation sources say.

But they have money for Hezbollah?

Okay....


Hamas needs to re-group Israel and the Palestinians agree to a new truce:

Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Sunday to an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza starting at 2100 GMT, officials from the warring sides said.

"Israel has accepted Egypt's proposal," a senior Israeli government official said, adding Israeli negotiators would return to Cairo on Monday to resume indirect talks with the Palestinians if the truce held.

The Israeli team had flown home on Friday before a previous three-day truce expired and hostilities in the month-old conflict resumed.

A Hamas official said Palestinian factions had accepted Egypt's call and that the Cairo talks would continue.

In a statement, Egypt's Foreign Ministry urged "both sides to exploit this truce to resume indirect negotiations immediately and work towards a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement". 


A better use of this money would be for drones and transporting the affected to safer places:

Canada is bolstering its contribution to humanitarian aid in Iraq as the United States carries out air strikes against Islamic militants in the north of the country.

International Development Minister Christian Paradis says $5 million will go toward new assistance projects in Iraq, with $2.25 going immediately to what the government calls trusted humanitarian partners on the ground.

The three organizations are the International Red Cross, Mercy Corps and Save The Children Canada.
Paradis said the remaining amount will be spent after officials hear from Canada's partners in Iraq.

The money is to be used to distribute food, hygiene kits, cooking materials, blankets, tents and other needed supplies.

It is also intended for emergency repairs to essential water and sanitation services and to buy medical supplies.

Paradis also condemned members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria who launched attacks against Christians and other groups in northern Iraq.

"Canada continues to stand by the people of Iraq in these difficult times and condemns the terrorist actions of ISIS and the killing of innocent civilians in northern Iraq in the strongest possible terms," Paradis said in a statement issued by the prime minister's office.

"Canada will continue working closely with our allies to determine how we can best continue to support the needs of Iraqi civilians, particularly religious minorities."

ISIS, formerly known as Al Qaida in Iraq, was declared a terrorist organization by Ottawa in 2012.


King George III Obama prepare to make a possibly unconstitutional move on immigration:

By the end of the summer, President Barack Obama will make what some activists and legal experts say could be the "boldest move" of his presidency as he prepares to move without Congress on immigration reform

The coming executive actions to change immigration policy could become the defining moment in a second term marred by congressional gridlock. A mid  fierce debate over the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border they also could set up a potential political firestorm just weeks before the crucial midterm elections. Perhaps most importantly, Obama's coming executive actions could also test the limits of presidential power. 

"Depending on how far they go, yes," David Martin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law who specializes in immigration law, told Business Insider.  "It could be a significant challenge to the scope of presidential power."

The White House has provided few hints on what Obama will do on immigration as a review by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security on his options is still ongoing. The Washington Post has reported, based on readouts of meetings among White House officials, congressional Democrats, and activist groups, that Obama could effectively expand the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA, as it is known, has shielded hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation . 

According to the Washington Post report, the Obama administration is considering providing " temporary relief for law-abiding undocumented immigrants who are closely related to U.S. citizens or those who have lived in the country a certain number of years." The number of people who could fit under those descriptions might be as high as five million.


Don't forget Shark Week.


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sixty-Nine Years

A statue in an alcove of Urakami Cathedral

The sixty-ninth anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki had its usual platitudes of peace and a world without nuclear weapons.

Now, in an era of a belligerent China and an insane North Korean leader, Japan can no longer afford to adhere its pacifist constitution which has been in place since the end of the Second World War.

Japan doesn't have to adopt the militaristic (quasi-Islamist, really) mindset that dragged it into an unwinnable war but it does have to be mindful of what can destroy it if it doesn't fight back.