Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Four days until Easter...


Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was remembered by family and friends earlier today.


I would suggest that the same person being sued for political man-handling also took his opposition for the Fair Elections Act from south of the border just like his ideas about the middle-class:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has pledged to repeal the government’s Fair Elections Act if he forms government next year, a move that comes amid mounting opposition outside of the political fray.

Just ask: who would benefit from vouching rather than bona fide official forms of identification, of which there are forty?

Can I vouch for this guy? He's a friend of mine.

Nepotism: it oils the gears that make the Liberal party go round:

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s brother-in-law has been appointed “interim” CEO of eHealth, the Toronto Sun has learned.

David Rounthwaite, brother of Wynne’s wife, Jane, was appointed to the $210,000-a-year job effective March 7.

A spokesman for eHealth said Rounthwaite has been general counsel for the giant agency charged with getting health records online for more than four years — before Wynne became premier.

I often wonder if Kathleen Wynne wants to be kicked out of office and then I remember that in Ontario, no Liberal voter would allow it, hence her girlfriend's brother lands a cushy job.


A nineteen year old has been arrested for the Heartbleed hack that took nine hundred social insurance numbers:

A Western University computer-science student described by acquaintances as bright and studious has been accused by authorities of exploiting the online security vulnerability known as Heartbleed that led to a breach of personal data from the Canada Revenue Agency website.


Do people still believe that Russia will not take all of Ukraine?

On Wednesday, NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen upped the ante promising to increase its military footprint in Eastern Europe amid growing concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in the region.

"Today, we agreed on a package of further military measures to reinforce our collective defence and demonstrate the strength of Allied solidarity," Rasmussen said in a statement.

"We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land.

"For example, air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required. Military staff from Allied nations will deploy to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises. Our defence plans will be reviewed and reinforced."

In response to a question from a reporter, Rasmussen added that NATO does have the capacity to implement these measures.

"We already know that some Allies will come forward with concrete contributions and I’m sure that more will follow," he said.

Just weeks after Russia annexed Crimea, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are now believed to have massed upon the eastern Ukrainian borders. Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists have taken over government buildings and facilities in about 10 eastern Ukrainian towns and cities.


In 1994, the United Kingdom and the United States made Ukraine surrender its weapons to Russia in exchange for protection. Discuss.


No one wants anyone to suffer from a hemorrhagic fever but imagine if such a fever was detected in a major metropolitan area, like, say, Sydney, what then?

An outbreak of dengue fever at an Australian refugee detention center in the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru sparked calls on Thursday for greater oversight at the facility, which has been criticized by rights groups and the United Nations.

 Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's office said that medical officers at the center had confirmed three cases of the potentially fatal tropical disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Two of those affected by the sickness are potential refugees awaiting processing, while the other was a member of staff working at the center, they said.

"All three people have been isolated and are receiving appropriate treatment and are expected to make a full recovery," a spokeswoman for Morrison said in a statement.

But Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, immigration spokeswoman from the opposition Greens Party, said that outbreaks are inevitable in crowded camps like the one on Nauru and called for greater independent oversight of the overseas refugee detention system.

"The government can't control these types of outbreaks in the harsh detention camp environment. With seven families to a tent, it's impossible to keep children safe from the disease," she said in a statement.

Australia uses detention centers in Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea to process would-be refugees sent there after trying to get to Australia, often in unsafe boats after paying people smugglers in Indonesia.

(Sidebar: yes, I am aware of how dengue is spread but there are cases of it in these detention centres, so... Also, bringing the UN into this all the while ignoring human smuggling is just so morally profane.)


Ringing in the Easter season with this:

Nigeria's military said on Wednesday its forces had freed most of the more than 100 teenage schoolgirls abducted by Islamist Boko Haram militants and were continuing the search for eight students still missing.


Uh-oh:

Nine people died and 287 are missing after a ferry sank off the southwest coast on Wednesday morning. The ferry carrying 475 people was on its way from Incheon to the resort island of Jeju. The passengers included 325 students of Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province who were on a school trip, of whom about 200 are missing.

Some 175 were rescued before the ferry went under completely, but the others apparently became trapped inside the ferry.

The disaster looks like the worst since a ferry with 362 passengers sank in 1993, killing 292.


Because he's Mark Steyn:

One of the most ingenious and effective strategies of the Left on any number of topics is to frame the debate and co-opt the language so effectively that it becomes all but impossible even to discuss the subject honestly. Take the brothers Tsarnaev, the incendiary end of a Chechen family that in very short time has settled aunts, uncles, sisters, and more across the map of North America from Massachusetts to New Jersey to my own home town of Toronto. Maybe your town has a Tsarnaev, too: There seems to be no shortage of them, except, oddly, back in Chechnya. The Tsarnaevs' mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference the other day that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: "I would prefer not to have lived in America," she said.

Not, I'm sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to the New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility. Writing on the op-ed page, Marcello Suarez-Orozco, dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Carola Suarez-Orozco, a professor at the same institution, began their ruminations thus:

"The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers."

Maybe. Alternatively, the above opening sentence should "prompt Americans to reflect" on whether whoever's editing America's newspaper of record these days "does an adequate job" in choosing which pseudo-credentialed experts it farms out its principal analysis on terrorist atrocities to. But, if I follow correctly, these UCLA profs are arguing that, when some guys go all Allahu Akbar on you and blow up your marathon, that just shows that you lazy complacent Americans need to work even harder at "assimilating" "immigrants." After all, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were raised in Cambridge, Mass., a notorious swamp of redneck bigotry where the two young Chechens no doubt felt "alienated" and "excluded" at being surrounded by NPR-listening liberals cooing, "Oh, your family's from Chechnya? That's the one next to Slovakia, right? Would you like to come round for a play date and help Jeremiah finish his diversity quilt?" Assimilation is hell.
The same people who delight at the removal of acerbic but mostly harmless fellows are the very same who cannot force themselves to feel even the tiniest bit angry that an eight-year-old boy was blown up.

And that, in a nutshell, is the left for you: hypocritical, cowardly and mentally incongruous.


Speaking of mental incongruity:

Three hundred students from 11 Saskatoon schools gathered at the Western Development Museum Tuesday to show off in-depth projects on sustainability.

At Bishop Pocock School, Grade 6 and 7 students worked to cut waste at the school and at home. They got their hands dirty with a garbage audit - which "was gross and everything, but knowing we were helping the environment was a good feeling," said Kristen Weisgerber, one of the students who took part.

There one has it. Nothing but fluffy feelings were achieved. Children in the Third World still pick through garbage for food, waste at the farm level still occurs and there certainly won't be a moral discussion on materialism, greed or gluttony because that would be too Jesus-y. Nope. It's all about feeling good.

That is also the left.

Ladies and gentlemen, Nina Simone.

(Merci)


Her punishment should be getting struck by texting driver:

Texting while driving is so totally wrong.

But according to 21-year-old Kimberly Davis, it’s totally not her fault. 

Davis, who according to phone records was texting with seven different people while driving her vehicle through Koroit, Australia, slammed into a cyclist from behind, severely injuring him. Local police say she used her phone 44 times while driving during the trip.

It happened at about 7:20 p.m.

Apparently the warning lights that had been placed on the front and back of the cyclist’s bike were invisible to Davis.

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” Davis told police, according to The Standard.

She was apparently "pissed off that the cyclist hit the side of her car."


What a little b!#%^.


And now, Easter egg bark candy. Enjoy.


 

Holy Week Moment



 "Behold the Bridegroom"

Your Holy Week moment courtesy of the Saint Petersburg Chamber Choir.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Post

A pleasant sur sdei chhnam thmei to all y'all.


Gee, who can we thank for this?

Ontario needs industry reforms, better tax policies, and needs to make better use of its natural resources before it brings down Canada's economy any further, according to a new Fraser Institute study.

"Because of Ontario's immense size and population, and because the Canadian economy is highly integrated, what happens in Ontario significantly affects Canada's national economy. An economically stronger Ontario means an economically stronger Canada," study co-author Livio Di Matteo said in a release.

The study, Can Canada Prosper without a Prosperous Ontario?, says the province's terrible record on GDP growth, employment and business investment "reflects a damaged provincial economy that's dragging down the national economy," Di Matteo said.

The province needs to improve tax and regulatory competitiveness, boost capital investment, reform energy and industry policies and make better use natural resources like mining and forestry, the study said.

"If Ontario adopts smarter policies focused on competitiveness and economic growth rather than interventionist government, it could unleash its private sector and improve Ontario's economy for the benefit of taxpayers in Ontario and across Canada," Di Matteo said.


Parents marched to the Alberta Legislature building to protest a new and ineffective math curriculum:

Parents, children and educators took to the steps of the Alberta Legislature Saturday demanding a change in math curriculum.

Protesters rallied behind Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies, a rural Alberta parent and family doctor whose petition to restore traditional math for Alberta’s K-6 students has more than 13,000 signatures. ...

The 200-plus protesters blasted changes made in the last several years that have moved away from traditional math instruction in favour of an “inquiry based” system that was outlined by the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol and touted in Alberta’s 2009 Inspiring Education initiative.

Math marks have been slipping on Provincial Achievement Tests among Grade 3 and 6 students in Alberta since 2009. Some parents blame the decline on the new teaching strategy, which they say is convoluted and confusing.


Remember when Mitt Romney declared Russia to be a "geopolitical threat" and everyone laughed at him, and when Sarah Palin rightly predicted that Obama wouldn't stand up to Putin when he invaded Ukraine?

Laugh at Harper if you wish. See how well that goes:

"I know this is of great concern to our NATO allies in the region, but it should be a great concern to all of us," Harper said.

"When a major power acts in a way that is so clearly aggressive, militaristic and imperialistic, this represents a significant threat to the peace and stability of the world and it's time we all recognized the depth and the seriousness of that threat."

While wags are far more concerned about maligning the perpetually correct, they ought to be analysing the very dictator who has had journalists jailed and killed.

Just a thought.


Why you shouldn't give kids cell phones:

Authorities have arrested the 14-year-old girl who ignited an Internet firestorm after tweeting a threat at American Airlines Sunday. ...

The girl, who identified herself as Sarah online, initially tweeted at American Airlines that she was a member of Al Qaeda and was going to “do something really big” on June 1. She later said she was joking.

The airline tweeted back at her saying they “take these threats very seriously” and said that her IP address and details would be forwarded to security and the FBI.


Pesach Sameach to all.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Post


First, a sermon from the Reverend Elron.


Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week:

The faithful waved palm and olive branches as the 77-year-old pope rode into St Peter’s Square on a white jeep and stopped at its centre to bless palm and olive branches.

The pontiff was particularly solemn when he delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared.

Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus' life - his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion.

He asked those present to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate.

"Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week," he said.


No one had a problem giving a state funeral to the first Trudeau who ruined this country or to the philandering caviar socialist, Jack Layton:

I don't know about you, but I was surprised when it was announced former finance minister Jim Flaherty would receive a state funeral. ...


Perhaps one needs reminding that Detroit was ruined long before this:

The burned-out, abandoned parcels of property in a west-end Detroit neighbourhood are the reverse image of an oil boom town — a ramshackle yin to the thriving yang of Fort McMurray, Alta.

For three-quarters of a century, crude oil has arrived here at the Marathon refinery. Even as this once-bustling, blue-collar area became blighted by crime and neglect like so much of Detroit, the industry survived.


No, you have three-hundred-and-fourteen million people forced to pay a tax that also caused them to lose their coverage and healthcare providers and virtually no young people to foot the bill:

A new, highly anticipated study on the effects of the Affordable Care Act suggests the number of Americans without insurance has plummeted since September, lending more evidence to the notion Obamacare is having its primary desired effect.
**

There is yet another ObamaCare surprise waiting for consumers: from now until the next open enrollment at the end of this year, most people will simply not be able to buy any health insurance at all, even outside the exchanges.

"It's all closed down. You cannot buy a policy that is a qualified policy for the purpose of the ACA (the Affordable Care Act) until next year on January 1," says John DiVito, president of Flexbenefit which has 2,500 brokers.

John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas adds, "People are not going to be able to buy individual and family policies, and that's part of ObamaCare. And what makes it so surprising is the whole point of ObamaCare was to encourage people to get insurance, and now the market has been completely closed down for the next seven months."

That means that with few exceptions, tens of millions of people will be locked out of the health insurance market for the rest of this year.

Only about one in four subsidy-eligible people signed up for health insurance," says Robert Laszewski of Health Policy Associates. "That means about 13 million subsidy-eligible people have not yet signed up for health insurance."

Add to that millions more who waited, or thought the policies under ObamaCare were too expensive and decided just to pay the tax penalty.

Although those who failed to buy insurance during the enrollment period could face a government penalty, most will not have to pay that penalty until they do their taxes next year.

“In all likelihood," says Laszewski, "we've only signed up somewhere between one in five and one in seven people who were uninsured prior to the start of ObamaCare."


Bono said what?
 
Bono, frontman for the Irish band U2, investor, and philanthropist, said he believes Jesus Christ was divine, that he arose from the dead, and that he made promises to the world that will come true

Bono, frontman for the Irish band U2, investor, and philanthropist, said he believes Jesus Christ was divine, that he arose from the dead, and that he made promises to the world that will come true.
Read more at http://patdollard.com/2014/04/bono-jesus-was-the-son-of-god-not-just-some-nutter/#v2DxaEFCSGsQ0fiI.99
And that was your Holy Week moment.


(Merci)


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Mid-Week Post


It's like "Game of Thrones" but nothing at all like it...


There are ten more days until Easter.


Says the the school board that would take children to simulated sex-fests:

A warning to parents in Toronto: if you want to chaperone your kid's field trip to the zoo, you may soon be subjected to a criminal-background check.

If today's proposal is approved, the Toronto District School Board will require all school volunteers to get clearance from the police.

Yes, everyone. Even pizza-lunch supervisors and library helpers.

Teachers and volunteer coaches already go through the "vulnerable sector screening," as they have greater contact with the students.


Why are they bothering? They frame their support for the perverted Pride parade as "gay rights" (homosexuals are still hanged in Iran, by the way) yet are adamant that a parent the teachers know very well undergo a police check.

Do naked people simulating sex act undergo similar police checks?

What a farce.


Uh-oh:

The Canada Revenue Agency says it expects its website to be down until the weekend because of a security vulnerability related to the Heartbleed bug.

The tax agency's website took away the public's ability to log in late Tuesday evening, which raised concerns about a the privacy of sensitive taxpayer data.

"We are currently working on a remedy for restoring online services and, at this time, anticipate that services will resume over the weekend," the tax agency said on its website Wednesday afternoon. 

"The CRA recognizes that this problem may represent a significant inconvenience for individual Canadians who count on the CRA for online information and services. Recognizing this, the minister of national revenue has confirmed that individual taxpayers will not be penalized for this service interruption."

Rest assured the tax people will always get their money, bug or not.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles.


But I thought you had Ukraine where you wanted it, Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin told state-controlled natural gas producer Gazprom on Wednesday to hold off on demanding Ukraine pay up front for natural gas supplies from Russia.


Some North Korean news-

Persecution of Christians in North Korea (again):

North Korea recently lured two Korean-Chinese civilians in China back to North Korea and forcibly transferred them to Pyongyang, Daily NK has learned. It is alleged that Korean-Chinese families remaining in North Korea are being used to entice specific targets, who are suspected of Christian proselytizing, back across the Sino-North Korean border so that they can be detained.

A source from the border city of Sinuiju in North Pyongan Province reported the news to Daily NK on March 2nd, explaining, “Recently, two Korean-Chinese were captured and taken off to Pyongyang. The word among traders is that evidence emerged that the two had been introducing [North Koreans] to churches.”

Slavery is not dead:



Last month, an important paper by Marcus Noland added strong support to long-standing suspicions about the exploitative arrangements at the Kaesong Industrial Park, the flagship of the Sunshine Policy and the largest surviving “engagement” project.

To the extent the newspapers noticed it, they mostly noticed Noland’s most sensational conclusion — that each North Korean worker there nets as little as $2 a month, out of average of $130 in “wages” and “bonuses” for overtime. Noland isn’t pleased with the media focus on this point (for example), although I’d argue that it’s an important one that deserved even more attention and introspection than it got.

What the Korean press largely missed, however, was Noland’s deeper conclusion that North Korea has negotiated its way to pan-opticon control over Kaesong’s work force, negating the very reformist forces that Kaesong’s promoters once promised.
 

Read the whole thing.

(Kamsahamnida)


At least I know one place is safe:

Days after a ranking system determined Regina was a relatively safe haven in the event of a zombie apocalypse, people in the Prairie city are noting the distinction with a sense of pride.

"This is probably the last place zombies would travel," one Regina resident told CBC News reporter Adrien Cheung Wednesday.

The ranking system was devised by an engineering student from Alberta, Michael Ross, who noted Regina scored well, in part, because of the climate and sparse population.

"It's quite cold, colder than the average Canadian city," Ross said. "It's very lowly densely populated, which is a good thing."

Ross devised the ranking system as a fun project based on the current popularity of zombie-themed movies, TV shows and other pop culture.

Ross evaluated such factors as geography, climate and the availability of weaponry to thwart zombies.
His rankings made sense to many.

"There's so much farm land," another Regina citizen noted, approvingly. "That's my plan: grab the family and go to the farm."

Why doesn't Rick Grimes move his people up north?


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

But Wait! There's More!

There usually is....


Former Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has had to resign following a disastrous campaign and election defeat:

Pauline Marois announced her departure after Monday's defeat and very likely became the last PQ leader who will have served alongside Levesque, the party's founding father.


Well, this must be embarrassing:

Attawapiskat First Nation promises it will co-operate "in any and all ways possible" after former co-manager Clayton Kennedy was charged with theft and fraud.

Kennedy, 62, was co-manager of the band's finances between July 2010 and the end of the summer of 2012. He's also the partner of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.


Did anyone expect honesty from anyone associated with Chief Double-Dipping-Double-Chin?


Who needs "Hockey Night in Canada", anyway?

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation plans to hold an all-employee meeting to discuss its financial future and layoffs are expected, with deep cuts in the sports division likely.

The broadcaster will lose its marquee program Hockey Night in Canada later this year when Rogers Communications Inc. takes over responsibility for the broadcast as part of the $5.2-billion 12-year exclusive deal with the National Hockey League it struck last November.

CBC will continue to air the program on Saturday nights and for playoff games for the next four years, but the revenues will disappear. Losing the NHL rights, along with other high-profile sports rights in recent years, leaves a gaping hole in the CBC’s budget, which has already been hit hard by government funding cuts.


There is no satire that could be written for this:

Greenpeace Canada has asked Elections Canada to probe whether the Conservative government colluded with a pro-industry group known as Ethical Oil in contravention of the country’s election laws.

.... says the activist group that takes foreign funding.



Jacob, we hardly knew ye:

 Actor Mark Pellegrino currently costars in “The Tomorrow People” and is most recognized for his roles as Jacob on “Lost,” Bishop on “Being Human” and Lucifer on “Supernatural.” He’s also a rarity in the entertainment industry: a working actor whose Twitter feed doesn’t march in Hollywood leftist lockstep.



Monday, April 07, 2014

For A Monday

Yep.


The PQ has been shut out:

Philippe Couillard's Liberals have won a majority government in the province of Quebec.

As of 9:45 p.m. (EST), Liberal candidates are leading or elected in 72 ridings, compared to the Parti Quebecois in 31 ridings, the Coalition Avenir Quebec in 19 and the Quebec Solidaire in three.
It wasn't supposed to be this way.

One month ago, PQ leader Pauline Marois met with her province's Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve the National Assembly in an effort to turn her minority government into a majority.

But after a campaign full of missteps and unfocused messaging, which included a lot of talk about a referendum that Quebecers weren't interested in, PQ support plummeted in the opinion polls and now they're on the outside looking in.

Not much of a difference, really.

Speaking of douchebags:

Trudeau condemned Canada’s decision to shut down its embassy in Iran. (At the same time, Canada kicked out Iranian diplomats in Ottawa.) Iranian refugees in Canada had reported they were harassed by Iranian agents directed from there. ...

And then Trudeau talked about the Jews.

When he’s courting donations in Montreal, Trudeau claims to be a friend of Israel. He appointed one of Montreal’s richest Jews, billionaire Stephen Bronfman, to head up his fundraising.

But when he’s alone in a room with an Iranian newspaper, he nods along as his hosts bad-mouth Canada’s foreign policy, including Harper’s pro-Israel stance. And then he says this: “whether it’s his positioning around Israel, or position around working closely with the United States, he’s very, very much focused on what is going to play well at the ballot box.”

Yes, there are people who want to vote him in.


Wait. Seriously? This is a real question:

Call it the million-worker mystery. 

A large chunk of American adults are no longer in the labor force. That has left economists divided over how many of them are voluntarily not working-or even looking for work-because they wanted to retire, go to school or take care of family members, versus how many have been forced out because they couldn't find a job.

This might fill in a blank or two:

The CBO report concludes that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs will be lost due to Obamacare, primarily because of decisions made by workers. But, like Holmes's dog that didn't bark, the report may be even more damning because of what isn't there.

The CBO minimizes -- and even willfully ignores in some cases -- decisions that employers will make about jobs because of Obamacare provisions that punish them: penalties for not providing insurance, or insurance that doesn't carry the Obamacare stamp of approval; higher costs to provide expanded, and sometimes unnecessary, coverage; costs of maintaining and reporting Obamacare documentation, etc.

And this:

The math is depressing. In March more than 9 million native-born Americans were unemployed. At the current rate of job creation it will be 7.5 years before all these native-born unemployed find jobs. By then, of course, the population will be larger. And we haven’t even considered the millions who have avoided unemployment by dropping out of the labor force.


Another Great Wall of China:

Thousands of Christians have formed a human shield around a newly constructed church in Zhejiang province in China after authorities earlier this week threatened to demolish the building. The Sanjiang Christian Church reportedly cost more than $4.8 million to construct and was built over a six-year period in Wenzhou, one of China's most Christianized cities.

Friday evening, the Telegraph reported that hundreds of Christians, including elderly and disabled church members, had stationed themselves inside the church to block access to demolition teams during the night.


Over at the Fur: Obama insists on abusing his ability to issue executive orders (rather like George III) and demand that government contractors reveal salary by gender and race (because that is the most pressing issue of the day, Race huckster-in-Chief); Russian troops amass along Ukrainian border; also, the corruption of Putin; why no compromise can be reached with the left; while everyone is mad at Brendan Eich, Egypt jailed four homosexuals (bake a cake!); the Trial of Ezra Levant; some common sense from Arab groups who don't mind Easter egg hunts for children, and much, much more!


An uplifting story:

22-year-old Errol Samuels from Queens, New York, who lost the use of his legs in 2012 after a roof collapsed onto him at an off-campus house party near where he was attending college in upstate New York, walks with a ReWalk electric powered exoskeletal suit during a therapy session with Alexandra Voigt, a clinical research coordinator and therapist, at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City March 26, 2014. Made by the Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies, ReWalk is a computer controlled device that powers the hips and knees to help those with lower limb disabilities and paralysis to walk upright using crutches. Allan Kozlowski, assistant professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai hospital, where patients like Samuels are enrolled in his clinical trials of the ReWalk and another exoskeleton, the Ekso (Ekso Bionics) hopes machines like these will soon offer victims of paralysis new hope for a dramatically improved quality of life and mobility.



Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Post


Pour yourself a beverage for the week-end is upon us.


There are sixteen more days until Easter.


One hopes that Canadians of Persian descent remember which party it was that let Zahra Kazemi's death go unavenged (yes- unavenged):

Trudeau accused Harper of pursuing a staunchly pro-Israel foreign policy so as to gain Jewish votes, during an interview last Thursday with the Farsi-language weekly newspaper Salaam Toronto. The paper is read by Iranian-Canadians, and is widely recognized as being supportive of the Liberal party.

"Until the prime minister was chosen to be prime minister, he practically didn't travel abroad, and his position on foreign policy was from the point of view of 'can it advance my election campaign or not,'" claimed Trudeau to the paper, reports Shalom Toronto.

"His (Harper's) position on issues tied to Israel or to the United Nations is very much based on what can affect his standing in the ballot box," charged Trudeau.

The Liberal party leader attacked Harper further, saying the crisis in Ukraine troubled him because of the presence of a large Ukrainian community in Canada that is worried about the crisis. Trudeau claimed Harper's visit with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird to Ukraine was meant as a photo opportunity to gain more votes.

(Sidebar: Trudeau's shameless pandering is for what purpose? Who loves China's dictatorship and jokes about Ukraine? Who was that, Trudeau?)


Do you know what mocks motherhood, Kim Jong-Un, you fat, repugnant toad? Forced abortions and infanticide:

One of the most grotesque and inhumane issues that the Human Rights Commission found was the widespread practice of forced abortion and infanticide against North Korean women and their babies.  The report specifically addresses these abuses directed against woman who have been “repatriated” to North Korea from China – meaning they have managed to escape from North Korea into China and were then send back by Chinese officials.  The report notes, “Despite the torture, arbitrary imprisonment and other gross human rights violations awaiting forcibly repatriated persons in the DPRK, China pursues a rigorous policy of forced repatriation of DPRK citizens.” According to the UN Report, the vast majority of forced abortions and infanticides are perpetrated on women repatriated from China and their children.

These forced abortions and infanticides can take place in interrogation and detention centers as well as in prison camps.  Many of these forced abortions are performed under the rationale that the racial “purity” of the baby is unclear and “pure Korean blood” is an important concept in North Korea. One former North Korean official testified that having a child who was not “100 per cent” Korean made a woman “less than human.”

One witness told the Commission how she was forced to undergo an abortion without anesthetic by a woman who used rusty equipment. When the witness screamed, she was told to be quiet. Her dead baby was tossed in a bucket afterwards and she later found that she became infertile due to this procedure.

Another witness, Ms. Jee Heon A, recounted to the Commission how she witnessed a mother forced to drown her newborn baby. Ms. Jee testified:

“…there was this pregnant woman who was about 9 months pregnant. She worked all day. The babies who were born were usually dead, but in this case the baby was born alive. The baby was crying as it was born; we were so curious, this was the first time we saw a baby being born. So we were watching this baby and we were so happy. But suddenly we heard the footsteps. The security agent came in and … this agent told us to put the baby in the water upside down. So the mother was begging. ‘I was told that I would not be able to have the baby, but I actually got lucky and got pregnant so let me keep the baby, please forgive me,’ but this agent kept beating this woman, the mother who just gave birth. And the baby, since it was just born, it was just crying. And the mother, with her shaking hands she picked up the baby and she put the baby face down in the water. The baby stopped crying and we saw this water bubble coming out of the mouth of the baby.”

Please, someone take out this fat monster.

Related: please give here. It's more than a worthwhile story.


Oh look- people who don't know what they are talking about and like their "savages" "noble" are attacking an Inuit artist for her "SEALfie":

But it was Inuit singing star Tanya Tagaq's provocative "sealfie" that's sparked a furious social-media brouhaha. She's come under fire for tweeting a photo of her baby lying next to a dead adult seal, its blood splashed inches from the child's head.

The shot, taken near Tagaq's Cambridge Bay, Nunavut home, and tweeted March 28, sent anti-sealing activists and their supporters into a spitting rage.

The invective took a nasty turn.

"If they have the mentality 2 murder a seal like that, they could easily murder humans," read one tweet, which has since been deleted.

The attacks, including one woman's petition to have her baby taken away, shocked Tagaq.

“It became quite hurtful,” Tagaq told CBC News. “Right now, actually there's a woman who has my picture up on her Twitter and the things that people are saying about myself and my baby. It's just complete harassment. It's not OK.”

Yes, but that is the left for you, Miss Tagaq.

Now, run out and support Miss Tagaq's music.


And now,  a hard-working cat:

There is only one employee who works at Kishi train station in Kinokawa City, Japan... and she's a cat.

Tama is an aging cat who works as a train station master bringing in hordes of tourists, mostly from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has helped revive the economy of the rural area.

She turns 15 this month and has been working at the station for seven years, since her appointment in 2007.
Tama's job is pretty relaxing. She only works four days a week and mostly just sits around on her cat bed wearing her gold-lined hat looking cute while tourists take pictures of her.

"The idea is clever, as the cat has become the symbol of the railway, attracting many tourists," Ka Wing Wu, a 22-year- old university student from Hong Kong, tells the Wall Street Journal.

Tama has caused a boom in the local economy of 1.1 billion yen revenue from train ticket sales, memorabilia and commercial appearances. During the first year of Tama's appointment there was a 10 per cent jump in train ticket sales.

Visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan increased 240 percent from April to September last year, according to the railway company that owns the train station, Wakayama Electric Railway.


"The moment I met eyes with Tama, I was immediately struck with an image of Tama as station master," says company president Mitsunobu Kojima.

He envisioned her as a "maneki-neko", a Japanese lucky charm that would bring good business.


(Merci)