Sunday, February 26, 2017

On a Sunday

 




A drunk driver plowed into revellers in New Orleans, injuring twenty-eight people:

Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated.

The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Online jail records showed Rizzuto was arrested on a number of charges and was being held at the city's jail.

The accident happened Saturday during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets of Mid-City to watch the elaborate floats and clamour to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders.

"We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated," Police Chief Michael Harrison had said on Saturday evening.

Harrison was asked by the media if terrorism was suspected. While he didn't say "No," he did say it looks like a case of DWI.

Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims taken to the trauma centre in guarded condition. However, their conditions did not seem to be life-threatening, said Dr. Jeff Elder, city emergency services director.

Seven others declined to be hospitalized, he said.

The victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4 to adults in their 30s and 40s, Elder said.

Idiot.




British authorities are worried about ISIS attacks in the UK:

Britian's new terrorism watchdog says the U.K. is facing a level of terror threat not seen since the IRA bombings of the 1970s.

Max Hill made the comment in his first major interview since taking up the role last Monday.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, he warned ISIS was planning "indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians" and expressed "enormous concern" at the imminent return of hundreds of British jihadists who have been fighting in Iraq and Syria.

He also warned that British teenagers as young as 14 were being radicalized by extremists online.
"The sad fact is the threat in this country represented by what we now know as Daesh, so-called Islamic State, is high, is continuing and is not going to abate," Hill said.
 
(SEE: horse, barn, close door, run out of)




In a sign that nothing has changed between itself and the US, Iran holds naval exercises in the Persian Gulf:

Iran launched naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean on Sunday, a naval commander said, as tensions with the United States escalated after U.S President Donald Trump put Tehran "on notice".


Since taking office last month, Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

Iran's annual exercises will be held in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Bab el-Mandab and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, to train in the fight against terrorism and piracy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, according to state media.

Millions of barrels of oil are transported daily to Europe, the United States and Asia through the Bab el-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways that run along the coasts of Yemen and Iran.

Navy ships, submarines and helicopters will take part in the drills across an area of about 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) and marines will showcase their skills along Iran's southeastern coast, the state news agency IRNA said.

The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is based in the region and protects shipping lanes in the Gulf and nearby waters.



China, too, rattles its sabre:


China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places.

Now, with President Donald Trump promising a U.S. shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.

"It's opportunity in crisis," said a Beijing-based Asian diplomat, of China's recent naval moves. "China fears Trump will turn on them eventually as he's so unpredictable and it's getting ready."

Beijing does not give a breakdown for how much it spends on the navy, and the overall official defense spending figures it gives - 954.35 billion yuan ($139 billion) for 2016 - likely understates its investment, according to diplomats.

China unveils the defense budget for this year at next month's annual meeting of parliament, a closely watched figure around the region and in Washington, for clues to China's intentions.
 


But... but... think of all the money that will be saved:

Deck: Some doctors backing out of assisted death

Some doctors who have helped the gravely ill end their lives are no longer willing to participate in assisted death because of emotional distress or fear of prosecution if their decisions are second-guessed, according to their colleagues.

In Ontario, one of the few provinces to track the information, 24 doctors have permanently been removed from a voluntary referral list of physicians willing to help people die. Another 30 have put their names on temporary hold.

While they do not have to give a reason, a small number have advised the province they now want “a reflection period to decide whether medical assistance in dying is a service they want to provide,” according to a health ministry spokesman.
 
Wow. What will the government do if more doctors have attacks of conscience?




Pretend boy wins a wrestling match:

A 17-year-old transgender boy completed an undefeated season Saturday by winning a controversial Texas state girls wrestling title in an event clouded by criticism from those who believe the testosterone he’s taking as he transitions from female to male created an unfair advantage.



Cell phones do not make students smarter, safer or more savvy. They are buzzing, glowing distractions:

Researchers and educators agree that cellphones have become fixtures in Canadian classrooms, but opinion remains divided on how best to address their presence.

All agree that the presence of smartphones can be problematic if students are allowed to devote more attention to their screens than their studies.

One research paper suggests the majority of schools are still treating cellphones as a scourge and banning the devices outright both in and out of class.

But that study and a growing number of boards say they’ve had more success once deciding to stop fighting the technological tide and find ways to incorporate cellphones into schools.

Rather, teachers have given up.

Give these kids a book and film with one's self phone their struggle to turn the pages.



 South Korea's demographic crisis:

Korea is experiencing a demographic upheaval this year. The number of births plunged to 406,300 last year, a strong indication that it will further fall to below 400,000 as early as this year. 

The economically active population aged 15-64 will start shrinking for the first time this year and country will become an aged society with the proportion of people over 65 exceeding 14 percent of the population.

Only 406,300 babies were born last year, down 32,120 from a year earlier and an all-time low, according to tentative data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday. 

The total fertility rate -- the average number of children that would be born to a woman between 15 and 49 years -- shrank to from 1.24 to 1.17 on-year. The figure is still higher than the all-time low of 1.08 in 2005. In other words, the decrease in births is largely due to the decrease in women of childbearing age.




One actor's extraordinary stroke of luck:

An obscure Korean actor appeared in American filmmaker Martin Scorsese's latest film "Silence," which is set for release here late this month. 

"Silence," an adaptation of the 1966 novel by Japanese writer Shūsaku Endō, deals with a story of a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan. Scorsese reportedly had been wanting to make the film since the late 80s, when he first read the novel.

"It's like my dreams came true when I was cast in the film," Nam said.

Nam debuted as a stage actor in 2006 and played minor parts in a couple of plays and dramas. When he heard that "Silence" was being made into a film, he sent dozens of emails to Scorsese and the casting director. He then went to New York in 2013 and visited Scorsese's office everyday for one month, but was unsuccessful in getting a role.

Two years later he went to the filming set in Taiwan and waited almost all day long with a sign saying, "I am looking for Scorsese. I will be happy with any role, be it a beggar, a passerby, or a dead man." About two weeks later he got an audition at last and was given a role as a villager.

 (Sidebar: if one has not seen "Silence", one simply must.)




Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bill Paxton:





Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Post

Just in time for the week-end...




Trump offended the arrogant sensibilities of the popular press by banning some of them from a briefing:

Journalists from The New York Times and two other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Donald Trump’s press secretary Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.


One of the agencies banned from the briefing was Buzzfeed. This is an example of Buzzfeed's journalistic ethos:


Stick to recipes, Buzzfeed. People don't have to take those too seriously.




A censorship motion similar to Iqra Khalid's Motion 103 has passed unanimously at Queen's Park:

A Liberal backbencher who introduced an anti-Islamophobia motion that unanimously passed the Ontario legislature Thursday says, despite all-party support, she has received racist backlash.

The motion from Nathalie Des Rosiers called on the legislature to “stand against all forms of hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance,” rebuke a “growing tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiments” and condemn all forms of Islamophobia.

Is this Islamophobic, Nathalie?

Make no mistake - there is not ONE politician in Ontario who cares about his or her constituents. Not one.


Also:

The petition e-411 referred to was advanced by the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, Samer Majzoub, in 2016, and credits Islam with a large contribution “to the positive development of human civilization,” claims that the number of Islamic terrorists is “infinitesimally small,” and is unrepresentative of the world Muslim population, and asks that all Canadians recognize that and condemn Islamophobia. The Standing Committee’s study, under Ms. Khalid’s motion, is to develop a “whole-of-government approach” to fighting the alleged “systemic racism and religious discrimination … while ensuring a community-centred focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making.” It is also charged to “collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities.” This choice of words gets to the edge of incomprehensible bureau-speak, but essentially seems to wish to recruit every employee of the federal government to a role of crusading against any differentiation or even recognition of racial or religious individuality and seeks deep background and remedial recommendations for all reports of hate crimes anywhere in the country.

The motion proclaims the existence of a threat to civil society that is tremendously exaggerated, asking the federal government to launch a total war on what is a very scattered and largely undefinable phenomenon, and asking for mountains of anecdotal opinion from all those who can formulate a claim that they have been disparaged or mistreated because of their race or religion, or have observed this treatment of others. The fact is that it is up to the Muslim leaders in the world, including some in Canada, to be a good deal less ambiguous about and apologetic for the conduct of Islamic extremists, though Mr. Majzoub specifically condemns them. Ms. Khalid’s motion urges the government “to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Those rights include the liberty of anybody to hold and express negative views about any religious denomination or ethnic group or individual as long as they are not inciting hatred, which invites premature recourse to the kangaroo courts of the Human Rights Commissions. It is of the nature of those inquisition chambers that retroactive mind-reading and imputation of guilty motives routinely trespass on individual rights of freedom of expression.

Consider this verse from the Korean which advocates wife abuse (also remember that Iqra Khalid, was the president of the Muslim Student Association at York University and that group put out a book that advocated wife abuse):

Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. 

This is from the Koran which has not been revised or reformed (nor has Islam been).

By singling it out and by interpreting it as acceptance of wife-abuse, have I committed Islamophobia? What is my punishment?

Should the Koran be burned for giving its critics figurative fuel?




Moving on...




The allegedly most transparent government in Canadian history is increasing its budget for the privy council:
The budget for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Privy Council Office is set to rise by 20 per cent this year, making it one of the largest budgets for the office in a decade.

According to spending estimates tabled in the House of Commons Thursday, the budget for the Privy Council Office will jump to $144.9 million for the coming fiscal year from $120.7 million.

However, that pales in comparison to the $163.9 million the PCO actually ended up getting in spending authorities in the past year.

Each of the government's three supplementary spending estimates over the course of the year added to the PCO's budget. The projects ranged from information technology modernization and electoral reform to security upgrades, and included $10.8 million more "to enhance the Privy Council Office's capacity to support the prime minister and cabinet ministers in delivering the government's agenda."


Oh, it gets better:

Canada's annual inflation rate jumped to a stronger-than-expected 2.1 percent in January, its highest for more than two years, government data showed on Friday, bolstering the Canadian dollar.


Just like dad:

Even if you didn’t care about the deficit, and managed to keep your job, it was hard to escape the wrath of inflation and the high interest rates that inevitably resulted from Trudeau’s spending and deficit spree. Our prime rate peaked at close to 20% — well above American levels. A $100,000 loan cost a Canadian debtor $7,000 more in interest costs during Trudeau’s time in office than what an American would have paid on a similar debt. 


And this:

The federal government ran a budgetary shortfall of $14 billion over the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a $3.2-billion surplus over the same period a year earlier.

The Finance Department’s monthly fiscal monitor says federal program expenses between April and December rose $16.7 billion, or 8.8 per cent, compared with the same stretch a year ago.

A closer look at the numbers shows that major government transfers to individuals, including seniors benefits, were up $5.7 billion, or 9.3 per cent, while direct-program spending rose $8.9 billion, or 11.3 per cent.

Government revenues, such as those pulled in from income taxes, were down $1.9 billion or 0.9 per cent compared with 2015-16.

The Trudeau government is projecting a $25.1-billion deficit for 2016-17 as part of its plan to run several double-digit shortfalls over the coming years in an effort to lift the economy through infrastructure investments and larger child benefits.

The Finance Department also says Ottawa posted a $1.3-billion deficit in December alone — compared to a $2.2-billion surplus in December 2015.



People voted to be ripped off and will do so again:

This is a story of almost Dickensian symmetry. The ecoLords who have brought mayhem to Ontario’s electricity system and reduced some of its citizens to public tears and weeping, with power being cut off to low-income residents, is hurling $14,000 subsides to those who by definition – those buying $150,000 wonder cars – have no possible need of them.



Is there any doubt about this assassination?

The North Korean leader’s half brother was killed by VX, a lethal nerve agent that can be absorbed through the skin, Malaysian police said Friday, giving their first assessment of the cause of Kim Jong Nam’s death.

The finding will add to the increasing pile of evidence suggesting that Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea was behind the brazen and public attack on Kim Jong Nam in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal last week.



ISIS killed fifty people in northwestern Syria:

An Islamic State car bomb killed more than 50 people on Friday in a Syrian village held by rebels, a war monitor said, a day after the jihadist group was driven from its last stronghold in the area.



Egyptian Christians flee for their lives:

Christian families and students fled Egypt's North Sinai province in droves on Friday after Islamic State killed the seventh member of their community in just three weeks.

A Reuters reporter saw 25 families gathered with their belongings in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia's Evangelical Church and church officials said 100 families, out of around 160 in North Sinai, were fleeing. More than 200 students studying in Arish, the province's capital, have also left.

Seven Christians have been killed in Arish between Jan. 30 and Thursday. Islamic State, which is waging an insurgency there, claimed responsibility for the killings, five of which were shootings. One man was beheaded and another set on fire.

"I am not going to wait for death," Rami Mina, who left Arish on Friday morning, said by telephone. "I shut down my restaurant and got out of there. These people are ruthless."

Sectarian attacks occur often in Egypt but are usually confined to home burning, crop razing, attacks on churches, and forced displacement.

Arish residents said militants circulated death lists online and on the streets, warning Christians to leave or die.

"My father is the second name on their list; anyone Christian they put on the list" Munir Adel, a vegetable seller who fled on Friday, said as he huddled with four family members at the Evangelical Church, waiting for church officials to find them a place to stay.

Adel's parents did not leave Arish because of their old age, he said. "They could be killed at any moment."

(Sidebar: I realise that by even mentioning these acts of Islamist terrorism, I have committed the unforgivable crime of Islamophobia. If anything, I should be condemning these Coptic whiners and excoriating them for being alive.)




I guess there is just no pleasing Russia:

Russian politicians close to the Kremlin said on Friday U.S. President Donald Trump's declared aim of putting the U.S. nuclear arsenal "at the top of the pack" risked triggering a new Cold War-style arms race between Washington and Moscow.



And now, this.


Infants born prematurely struggle to live everyday in NICUs. Many of them survive and thrive thanks to the hard work and dedication of people like Martin Couney, a man pushed the edge of ingenuity and whose efforts remind us that if we didn't entertain the ideas of vaccines, space travel and incubators, the human race might as well be primordial sludge.


Here is one success story:

Lucille Conlin Horn weighed barely two pounds when she was born, a perilous size for any infant, especially in 1920. Doctors told her parents to hold off on a funeral for her twin sister who had died at birth, expecting she too would soon be gone.

But her life spanned nearly a century after her parents put their faith in a sideshow doctor at Coney Island who put babies on display in incubators to fund his research to keep them alive.

The Brooklyn-born woman who later moved to Long Island, New York, died Feb. 11 at age 96, according to the Hungerford & Clark Funeral Home. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Horn was among thousands of premature babies who were treated in the early 20th century by Dr. Martin Couney. He was a pioneer in the use of incubators who sought acceptance for the technology by showing it off on carnival midways, fairs and other public venues. He never accepted money from their parents but instead charged oglers admission to see the tiny infants struggling for life.

Horn and her twin were born prematurely in Brooklyn. She told The Associated Press in a 2015 interview that when her sister died, doctors told her father to hold off on a funeral because tiny Lucille, would not survive the day.

“He said, ’Well that’s impossible, she’s alive now. We have to do something for her,”’ Horn said. “My father wrapped me in a towel and took me in a cab to the incubator; I went to Dr. Couney. I stayed with him quite a few days; almost five months.”

Couney, who died in 1950 and is viewed today as a pioneer in neonatology, estimated that he successfully kept alive about 7,500 of the 8,500 children that were taken to his “baby farm” at the Coney Island boardwalk. They remained there until the early 1940s, when the incubators became widely used in hospitals.

He also put infants on display at the World’s Fair and other public venues during his career. There is no estimate on how many still are alive today.

Horn worked as a crossing guard and then as a legal secretary for her husband. She is survived by three daughters and two sons. She said she met Couney when she was about 19 and thanked him for what he had done.

“I’ve had a good life,” she said in 2015.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

(A Title Goes Here)

What a Thursday it's been...



If one was an engineer with a promising new gadget, would one remain in Canada where math scores are lower than in other countries, where Chinese practise industrial espionage with little impunity and corporate taxes are high?


Smart money says no:

Nicholson believes that the biggest hurdle for this or any government to overcome is inertia. It has been too easy and very profitable for corporate Canada to let American firms take all the risk when it comes to innovation. Canadian managers have been quick to adapt and co-opt successful American innovations.

Invent our own inventions? Build our own better mousetraps? Why bother?

After all, this low-innovation approach  has worked out pretty well for Canada.  By objective measures such as per capita income, infant mortality, home ownership levels, number of cars owned by its citizens, number of Canadian Facebook users and so on — Canada has always been relatively affluent.    
We are routinely at or near the top of the United Nations human development index, among the broadest measures of what we might call quality-of-life for a society.

And yet, despite that, a federal government is hanging its economic and fiscal policy — and potentially its political future — on the difficult-to-measure concept of innovation even though our “low-innovation” approach, for a century or more, has been a crowd favourite and resulted in one of the world’s highest standards of living for its citizens.


All of which will change.

It's not enough to milk the Americans anymore and it certainly won't do to let poorly-skilled migrants flood in in hopes that they will pick up the industrial slack because Canadian snowflakes and their uninspiring teachers don't have the study and work ethic to move forward.

Good luck with all of that.




Speaking of letting the Americans do all the work, Pierre's jack@$$ son lauds a pre-clearance bill that would see the Americans do a bulk of the vetting:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government's proposed legislation to expand border preclearance at Canadian airports and other crossings Wednesday as the opposition New Democrats pushed to stop the bill in its tracks.

The NDP argued the bill doesn't take into account what it called "the climate of uncertainty at the border" created by the Trump administration's recently adopted immigration policies.

But Trudeau suggested it's better to be cleared for entry into the United States while in Canada, because travellers are protected under the Canadian charter of rights, as opposed to American laws.

Bill C-23, the Preclearance Act, came up for second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday.


And:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed border cooperation in a phone call on Thursday as pressure mounted in Canada over rising numbers of asylum seekers arriving from the United States.

The phone call, which followed a positive meeting between the two leaders in Washington last week, also covered the softwood lumber trade dispute, among other issues, Trudeau's office said in a statement.

The number of asylum seekers crossing into Canada at isolated and unguarded border crossings has increased in recent weeks amid fears that Trump will crack down on illegal immigrants, and photos of smiling Canadian police greeting the migrants have gone viral.

The White House said Trump emphasized the importance of working closely with Canada on cross-border issues, "including implementation of his administration's actions to protect America from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals and others."

I don't even think Trump cares that Trudeau opens his mouth. 




It is predicted that another Liberal's censorship motion may pass:

A Liberal backbencher who introduced an anti-Islamophobia motion that is expected to pass the Ontario legislature Thursday says, despite all-party support, she has received racist backlash.

The motion from Nathalie Des Rosiers calls on the legislature to “stand against all forms of hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance,” rebuke a “growing tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiments” and condemn all forms of Islamophobia.

This all sounds like a challenge to me, like Miss Des Rosiers wants a Mohammed-drawing contest.




For some reason, I cannot muster any concern for this. When I consider how important education is and how Christendom has influenced the West for the better, I just can't force myself to care about a bunch of pansified First Worlders who think that the world owes them a favour. I just can't:

For more than two months, Education Minister David Eggen has had a copy of a report and recommendations from inquirer Dan Scott, whom Eggen hired to investigate two Edmonton-area private schools.

“Yes, we are working with it, but it’s more complicated than we had originally foreseen,” Eggen said Wednesday. “We want to make sure that we are following the law, but also protecting families and individual students in a safe and caring model.”

In August 2016, Pastor Brian Coldwell, chairperson of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, said private schools Meadows Baptist Academy and Harvest Baptist Academy would not allow gay-straight alliances. Although his stance clashes with the Alberta Human Rights Act and the School Act, Coldwell said the schools have a charter right to freedom of religion.

In response, Eggen demanded a written promise from Coldwell to comply with laws unanimously approved by the legislature in 2015 that protect gender identity and expression as grounds for protection from discrimination, and compelling schools to help students organize a support group for LGBTQ students when they ask for one.



Or maybe the bigger problem is that Chris Cuomo is a pig:



(Gracias)




Walking pustule Barack Obama is not at all pleased with a building he doesn't deserve:

The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the architects of the Obama Presidential Center said the former president found an early concept “too quiet” and speculated that the library could end up costing $1.5 billion. 



Antisemitic shrew A pre-school teacher has been fired for very questionable tweets:

An Arlington preschool teacher has been fired over a series of anti-Semitic posts on social media, including a tweet that said “kill some Jews.”  

Nancy Salem, who was fired from The Children's Courtyard, also retweeted: “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough!”

How many anti-semites does it take to find a new job? HA!


(Merci)




There are no marches for this for some reason:

The United Nations estimates that about 200 million girls are missing from the world due to this rampant genocide – now commonly called “gendercide.” The effects of these heinous practices, as time goes on, could be devastating in parts of Asia, as men look around and realize that all their potential wives do not exist.  

It’s A Girl takes a close look at gendercide, its roots, and its effects ...

Because brown and yellow lives matter, too.




Indonesia seeks to conduct patrols with Australia in the South China Sea, signifying a new branch of uneasiness with China's belligerence:

Indonesia President Joko Widodo will discuss the prospect of joint patrols with Australia in the South China Sea when he meets his counterpart Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the weekend.

Widodo told The Australian newspaper he would like to see joint patrols with Australia, but only if did not further inflame tensions with China.

"If there is no tension I think it's very important to have the patrols together. We will discuss this with PM Turnbull," said Widodo.

Indonesia has traditionally taken a neutral position on the South China Sea, acting as a buffer between China and fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have the most at stake, the Philippines and Vietnam.

But after China angered Indonesia by saying the two countries had "overlapping claims" to waters close to Indonesia's Natuna Islands, Jakarta staged large-scale exercise on the edge of South China Sea in October.
 


And now, some music for a quiet evening:




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mid-Week Post

 

 

Your middle-of-the-week fun-run....


 
A delegation from the Trudeau government met with Islamist lobby groups before presenting Motion 103:

On February 8, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid “reconnected” with Islamist lobby NCCM / CAIR-CAN, Montreal-based AMAL-Québec co-president Haroun Bouazzi and Islamic Relief Executive Manager Abdelbasset Benaissa for a discussion about Motion 103. She was accompanied by fellow MPs Salma Zahid and Frank Baylis for the occasion. Motion 103 aims at “develop[ing] a whole-of-government approach” to target so-called Islamophobia.

Officially, Motion 103 is Iqra Khalid’s private member motion. However, very early on Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly was mandated to express the federal government’s “strong and clear support” to Iqra Khalid’s motion. As National Post columnist Barbara Kay pointed out, it is not clear “whether it was MP Iqra Khalid […] or the Prime Minister’s Office” who crafted the motion. MP Khalid refuses media interviews and won’t answer this question and others.

On February 8, Iqra Khalid posted three images on a Twitter message. Two of them show the participants at the meeting with NCCM / CAIR-CAN, AMAL-Québec and Islamic Relief representatives and a third one shows Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, with some of the participants at this meeting. However, no picture shows Minister Hussen taking part in the meeting itself. ...

Islamists like Faisal Kutty who supported the endorsement of sharia tribunals in family matters by the Ontario government in 2005 are now strongly supporting the Islamophobia Motion 103.

Read the whole thing.


(Paws up)




In what is clearly a display of disgraceful pandering, the Liberals will gradually let in only 1, 200 Yazidi refugees after initially calling their prioritisation for refugee status "disgusting":

Some 1,200 people considered to be among the most vulnerable refugees in the world are to be housed in Canada by the end of this year, the Trudeau government announced Tuesday — a move praised by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel as a message to the world that the persecuted Yazidi population needs to be a greater priority for safe-haven countries.

Nearly 400 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of Islamist extremists have already been accepted over the last four months, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in announcing the initiative, which is expected to cost $28 million.

I will say again:

Trudeau called the prioritisation of Yazidis and Iraqi Christians by the Harper government "disgusting":


For Yazidi children fleeing from ISIS violence, he recommended not armed contingents but parkas:

Trudeau, who opposes Canada's part in airstrikes on Islamic States targets in Iraq, says we'd be more helpful offering “cold winter” advice for victims of the militants.

“There's a lot of people, refugees, displaced peoples, fleeing violence who are facing a very, very cold winter in the mountains. Something Canada has expertise on is how to face a winter in the mountains with the right kind of equipment," Trudeau said.

(Sidebar: how do parkas prevent child rape, Justin?)


The Liberal government had to be shamed into acting:

Michelle Rempel needs to get angry more often.

The 36-year-old former Conservative cabinet minister, now the Official Opposition critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was the driving force behind Tuesday’s 313-0 House of Commons vote requiring Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to get its act together and open Canada’s doors to the persecuted Yazidi minority of Iraqi Kurdistan.

So far, 40,081 Syrian migrants have entered Canada at a cost of $384.7 million.

The Trudeau government is quietly allowing 1, 200 Yazidis (the nearly forgotten rape victims of the Middle East) into the country and spending only $28 million.


And let's not forget the thinly-veiled attempt to avoid embarrassment:

But unlike the thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria who were greeted by flashing cameras and intense public exposure, the Yazidis have been entering the country with no fanfare. That won't change, say government officials who are protecting the identity of the asylum seekers because of just how vulnerable they are.
"Some of these women haven't even told their own families about what they experienced" at the hands of their persecutors, associate deputy immigration minister Dawn Edlund told a news conference alongside Hussen.

Yes, about that:

They used to come and buy the girls without a price, I mean, they used to tell us Yazidi girls, you are sabiya [spoils of war, sex slaves], you are kuffar [infidels], you are to be sold without a price," meaning they had no base value and explains why Yazidi girls were "sold" in exchange for a few packs of cigarettes.


The Yazidis were being abused, raped and murdered when Trudeau huffed at the thought of letting them into Canada. That was no secret. That's why the UN put them on groups to be prioritised. There is no point in not highlighting the Yazidis' entry into the country now. PM Hair-Boy had no problem with meeting-and-greeting before:

"Look at meeeeeeee!"

This entire spectacle is only politically embarrassing for Pierre's son. He knows that as long as people overlook his reluctance to help the wrong sort of brown people, he can skate by.

The shame is that people let him.





It’s a good question, though: In what way are the police officers who have been arresting the would-be refugees as soon as they step on Canadian soil failing to enforce the law? The calls from Clement and other critics for a “crackdown” amount to a demand that illegal immigration should be made illegal, enforced by the arrest of all those who are currently being arrested.


So we come to the latest of these blooding exercises, the “debate” over Motion 103, a private member’s motion introduced by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid. In the fevered imaginings of its online discussants, #M103 is decried as a bill that would forbid any criticism of Islam, if not the first step towards imposing Sharia law. I only wish I were exaggerating.

This one right here:

I greatly admire Andrew Coyne for his exegetical brilliance in the hermeneutics of electoral reform, but on the subject of creeping Shariah-based blasphemy laws across the Western world, it grieves me to say that he has revealed himself as an authority of rather lesser stature.

That's the one.




A video shows North Korean children being used as slaves:




Child slavery in North Korea is a topic seldom covered by the popular press who earn the scorn for spreading "fake news":



I often say that the New York Times consistently has the worst North Korea coverage of any major U.S. newspaper. Next time someone asks me why that is, I suppose I’ll point them to this story by Jane Perlez, Choe Sang-hun and Motoko Rich, which could be the exemplar of everything that’s wrong with it in a single hyperlink. …


In sum, we have a story (really, an opinion piece) that was neither researched nor fact-checked, is consequently riddled with factual falsehoods, bases its major premise on speculation unsupported by a single source (even an anonymous one), and quotes a selection of opinions so skewed it would make Pauline Kael blush. It isn’t just that three New York Times journalists know or care so little about what they’re writing; I’ve followed Choe’s work for years, so I expect that much. It’s the fact that the Times‘s editors neither knew nor cared enough to stop them from printing it. If the Times wants to be a P.C. Breitbart with better typography and a style section, that’s fine; just don’t expect me to pay for it.


I guess one should not expect that the New York Times would cover the call for secondary boycotts of North Korea, either. Too much detail to check.



Also - more on the murder of Kim Jong-Nam:

Malaysian police on Wednesday named a North Korean diplomat along with a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader.

Kim Jong Nam, 46, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, while preparing to board a flight to Macau, where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing.

South Korean and U.S. officials believe the killing of the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was an assassination carried out by agents of the North.

Kim Jong Nam had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed state.

Giving an update on an investigation that has already angered North Korea, Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the diplomat wanted for questioning was 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the embassy.

Police also want to interview Kim Uk Il, 37, an employee of the North Korean state-owned airline Air Koryo.


And:

The women suspected of fatally poisoning a scion of North Korea's ruling family were trained to coat their hands with toxic chemicals then wipe them on his face, police said Wednesday, announcing they were now seeking a North Korean diplomat in connection with the attack.


(Kamsahamnida)




For some reason, people feel uneasy about Islamist violence:

Thousands of mourners gathered in a small Egyptian town on Wednesday for the funeral of the Muslim cleric known as "the blind sheikh" who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

**


In Canada, Tarek Fatah is not exactly known as a diplomat; the journalist’s provocative criticism of the Islamic world has even extended to promoting a conspiracy theory about the Quebec-city mosque shooting.

But when he took his needling brand of commentary recently to India — where tensions between Hindus and Muslims simmer just below the surface — the reception was explosive.

Fatah’s talk show about Islamic issues on India’s Zee News channel has quickly become a hit — garnering tens of millions of viewers per episode — and also triggered angry reaction from within the country’s huge Muslim minority.

One group has filed a court case demanding the show be cancelled, calling it a threat to communal peace, another asked the elections commission to take similar action, suggesting the show is a ploy to fuel Hindu nationalism, while petitions have pressed sponsors to drop the program.

More viscerally, an infuriated critic put a bounty on the Canadian’s head, while one of his own guests suggested on air that he be decapitated.

Between being mobbed by fans in New Delhi and police warning him to keep a low profile, Fatah says he’s become a virtual shut-in.

“I can’t walk on the streets any more,” says the 67-year-old, who has been advised by police to stay home. “I have never experienced anything like this … It’s just shocked me.”

**

While that debate occurred, at least two mosques were vandalized. But reports also surfaced while this debate was on the minds of MPs in which two imams, preaching from the floor of mosques in Toronto and in Montreal, called for the death of all Jews.

The Toronto incident,  first reported by Jonathan Halevi of CIJNews, took place at the Masjid Toronto mosque, the same mosque where worshippers last Friday had to go through a handful of protestors bearing signs such as “Muslims are Terrorists” and “Say No To Islam.”

Halevi also spotted a video from 2014 taken at a mosque in Montreal where another imam, who is no longer in Canada, also called for the death of all Jews. Halevi, the Canadian Jewish News noted in its report on the Montreal incident, speaks Arabic but translated the imam’s hate-filled sermon with the help of another Arabic speaker.

I can't put my finger on it.




Afghan lawmakers will set penalties for those who enslave boys for sexual purposes:

Afghanistan is set to lay out stringent penalties for “bacha bazi” — sexual slavery and abuse of boys — for the first time, officials say, in a landmark move against the deeply entrenched practice.

AFP revealed last year how the Taliban were exploiting rampant bacha bazi in police ranks to mount deadly insider attacks, exposing a hidden epidemic of kidnapping of young boys for institutionalized sexual slavery.

The revelations intensified long-standing demands by campaigners for Kabul to enact an incisive legal provision to curb bacha bazi — literally “boy play” — which has seen a striking resurgence in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

A raft of punishments will now be listed in Afghanistan’s revised penal code — from up to seven years in jail for sexual assault to capital punishment for “aggravated cases” such as violating more than one boy.


Sure, they will.



Pope Francis appeals for aid to the starving in South Sudan:

Pope Francis called on Wednesday for urgent humanitarian aid for the starving people of South Sudan, saying millions risked being "condemned to death" by a famine in parts of the war-ravaged country.


 
Known liar pledged Canadian tax dollars to baby-eating organisation:

Monsef’s statements came as the Liberal government announced $285,000 in funding from Status of Women Canada to Planned Parenthood Ottawa for a three-year project. The project will aim to improve local services for women and girls who face barriers to their reproductive rights, such as being coerced into either pregnancy or abortion.

Like what, known liar?

 


I must get this book:

On June 13, 2000, Gusinsky  was arrested and put into one of Moscow’s oldest, most flea-ridden jails without any clear charges. Malashenko was on vacation in Spain, where Putin was about to begin his first postelection tour. Despite the Russian security services’ best efforts, he called a press conference in Madrid in a hotel across the street from the one where Putin was staying. “Today Russia got its first political prisoner,” he announced to a room packed with journalists who were supposed to be covering Putin’s visit. “His name is Vladimir Alexandrovich Gusinsky.” As Putin moved to Berlin, so did Malashenko. “I was sitting in Gusinsky’s small Challenger on the runway in Madrid,” he told me, “and we had to wait to let the presidential jet take off.”The double act continued: Putin talked about the investment climate in Russia, Malashenko about the politically motivated case against a private company.

Foreign journalists loved the drama that was unfolding in front of them. Instead of covering Putin, newspapers made a splash with Gusinsky. Putin said he knew nothing about the case. “I hope the prosecutor has sufficient reasons for this step,” he said, adding that he could not get through to him on the phone. Everyone knew Putin was lying, and Putin knew that they knew, but this was within the remits of his power: as a former spy, Putin had a license to use decoy and deceit as his fighting tactics, especially in Berlin.



And now, uses for tequila one might have thought of:

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.
.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)