Thursday, August 17, 2017

For Today

Lots to talk about ...



Thirteen people were killed when a proverbial lone wolf plowed through a market in Barcelona:

Two men have been arrested and at least one more is still at large after a white van ploughed into a crowd of people in a busy Barcelona tourist district, killing at least 13 and injuring 100 others.

(Sidebar: where is Sadiq Khan right now when one needs the clarity of his wisdom the most?)

It is now being reported that the "perpetrators" of this attack have been killed by the police.

More to come.


Also - are there statues of Confederate generals in Spain, Mr. Blitzer?

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said Thursday there would be questions if the Barcelona terror attack involving a van crashing into a group of people was a "copycat" of what happened in Charlottesville, Va.

Stonewall Jackson by Routzahn, 1862.png
The famous Confederate general, Tomas "El Piedro" Juanez

Pauline Hanson, leader of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration One Nation minor party, sat wearing the black head-to-ankle garment for more than 10 minutes before taking it off as she rose to explain that she wanted such outfits banned on national security grounds.

“There has been a large majority of Australians (who) wish to see the banning of the burka,” said Hanson, an outspoken fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, as senators objected.

Attorney-General George Brandis drew applause when he said his government would not ban the burka, and chastised Hanson for what he described as a “stunt” that offended Australia’s Muslim minority.

Would this be the same minority that calls "uncovered" women "meat" or plots terrorist attacks? THAT minority?




It's on. Or will be soon:

As nuclear posturing between North Korea and the United States rivets the world, a quieter conflict between India and China is playing out on a remote Himalayan ridge — with stakes just as high.

For the past two months, Indian and Chinese troops have faced off on a plateau in the Himalayas in tense proximity, in a dispute prompted by moves by the Chinese military to build a road into territory claimed by India’s close ally, Bhutan.

India has suggested that both sides withdraw, and its foreign minister said in Parliament that the dispute can be resolved only by dialogue.

Yet China has vociferously defended the right it claims to build a road in the Doklam area, land it also claims.




Yes, many Canadians have similar questions:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been getting a lot of attention from international media, but now the spotlight has landed on his senior adviser, Gerald Butts, and his dealings with a contentious figure in the White House.

Steve Bannon, the controversial chief strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, told the New Yorker he struck up a friendship with Butts, the long-time friend and principal secretary to Trudeau, after the pair met in New York during the transition to government.

The magazine reported Bannon, who is apparently on the outs with Trump, has been mulling the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy and that Butts had spoken to him about how such a move could have a populist appeal that could boost the president's political fortune.

"There's nothing better for a populist than a rich guy raising taxes on rich guys," the magazine said Butts had told Bannon.

Ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his version of our immigration policy to virtue signal how it differed from the Trump administration in the U.S., the predictable has happened.

Illegal asylum seekers have been flooding across our border with the U.S., most frequently in Quebec.

(Sidebar: these illegal asylum seekers.)

The numbers are spinning out of control, with Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and other facilities conscripted to provide emergency shelter, traditional refugee services having been overwhelmed.

Plus, the emergency creation of a rapidly growing tent city set up by the Canadian army at the border, to handle the growing backlog.

None of this is surprising, given Trudeau’s tweet on Jan. 27, which read: “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.” #WelcomeToCanada.

So far, there have been more refugee claims in Quebec in 2017 than all of last year,
While the government insists everything is under control, an Ipsos/Global poll of 1,003 Canadians taken Aug. 11 to 14, suggests Canadians don’t agree.

-- 62% don’t think the Trudeau government has a “solid plan” to deal with the issue, while 67% believe the border crossers are trying to skip the legal immigration process.

-- 56% believe with the government calling in the army, the situation is “out of control”. An equal number say the government isn’t doing enough to protect the border from “those who want to cause harm to Canada”.

And:

China doesn't buy many Canadian exports, and their communist government uses what they do purchase to threaten our government if they don't get political concessions.

China doesn't respect physical or intellectual property rights, either, and has even threatened a BC winery owner with life in prison for alleged "smuggling."



If Canada had a leader, he would tell the UN's various lackeys and hangers-on to get stuffed:

The United Nations refugee agency has sent a representative to Manitoba to check how asylum seekers are being processed near the border with the U.S.

Jean-Nicolas Beuze of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was in Emerson getting a tour of the area from Manitoba Mounties on Thursday morning. The visit comes as hundreds of asylum seekers continue to make their way into Quebec daily.

As of Thursday morning, there were 1,000 people near the Quebec border waiting to be processed. The United Nations isn't sure whether numbers in Manitoba could pick up the way they have in Quebec.

"We don't know," said Beuze. "We need to keep a watch on what's happening here. It's very difficult to predict."

Will Mr. Beuze wait by the Yalu for North Korean defectors? 




A judge has ordered a Toronto-area woman facing terror-related charges in an alleged attack at a Canadian Tire store to appear in court on Monday, by force if necessary.

The order was issued for Rehab Dughmosh after the 32-year-old refused to leave her cell to attend a court hearing via video on Thursday.

The Crown says Dughmosh believes she has said all that she needs to in court.

Dughmosh faces a total of 21 charges, including attempted murder of at least three people for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group.

Police allege Dughmosh swung a golf club at Canadian Tire employees and a customer on June 3 and threatened them.

They say she then pulled a large knife from under her clothes but store staff pried it out of her hands and restrained her.

Media reports have said Dughmosh pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group during a previous court appearance.



Don't be a wanker, Andrew:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Thursday he’ll do no further interviews with conservative news outlet the Rebel until it changes its editorial direction, following its coverage of last weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Va.

Scheer’s declaration he’ll stay away was followed hours later by Brian Jean and Jason Kenney, both running for leadership of the new United Conservative Party in Alberta, distancing themselves as well.

While all three had condemned the violence in Virginia last weekend, they’d also previously stopped short of addressing the Rebel’s coverage, seen by some as sympathetic to the white nationalists who initially organized the event that later collapsed into clashes that killed one counter-protester and injured nearly 20 others.

“I am disgusted by the vile comments made by hate groups this past weekend,” Scheer said in a statement Thursday.

“I believe there is fine line between reporting the facts and giving those groups a platform. I have a positive vision for Canada and I want to share that vision with Canadians and talk about issues that unite us all. Until the editorial directions of the Rebel Media changes, I will not grant interviews to the outlet.”

Had Mr. Scheer been paying attention, that was not what Rebel Media was doing at all.

No one in their right minds would support the revolting racial supremacists on either side who were present in Charlottesville. That such mindsets even exist in this age is baffling and sad.

What could and should be pointed out that sandwiched between repellent white supremacists and leftist vandals were virtue-signallers who did not understand with whom they were getting in bed.

There are no sides to pick here. Everyone is nauseating.

That groundless charges of racism can be levelled against anyone serve only to cloud and ultimately stop any debate. It is a slander in which the illogical left find refuge, particularly those whose hypocrisy knows no bounds. No one should be playing this denouncing game anymore than people should be touting racial supremacy or pulling down statues.

Perhaps cooler heads should prevail.


Also:

Ryerson University has canceled a panel discussion called “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses” following pushback from activists who said the event was giving a platform to fascists.




There was no fanfare for this for some reason:

There were tears, hugs, smiles and songs at the Winnipeg airport early Thursday morning as friends and family witnessed the reunion of a Yazidi refugee mother and her 12-year-old son.

Nofa Zaghla wept as she met her son privately behind airport security before appearing before dozens of supporters and reporters in the arrivals area.

"Thank you, Canada, thank you Steve Maman," Emad Mishko Tamo said, referring to the president of the group The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq, which orchestrated a campaign to expedite his reunion with his mother.

"I'm happy, I'm very thankful for anyone that had any part in me reuniting with my mom," Emad added through a translator.

"I am very happy and very thankful to God that he got here safely and soundly," his mother said, also speaking through a translator.




 Well, this must be embarrassing:

Quebec's anglophone population is declining, rather than booming, Statistics Canada said Thursday as the agency officially corrected a census finding that stoked political fires in Quebec's emotionally charged language debate.

The change is the result of a computer error that recorded some 55,000 people in last year's census as English speakers, when they really had French as their mother tongue. Correcting the mistake cut the increase in the anglophone population in half and pushed the francophone population up by more than 145,000 between 2011 and 2016.

Statistics Canada officials suggested the revisions did little to change the overall narrative captured in the census that showed an increase in the number of French speakers in the country, largely driven by Quebec.

The country's revised bilingualism rate dropped to 17.9 per cent from 18 per cent, but remains at an all-time high.

The census data originally indicated roughly one-half of the 57,325 increase in Quebec's anglophones over five years came from outside of the Montreal, a finding that puzzled experts, given trend lines and other information like school enrolment figures that pointed in the opposition direction.

What officials found was that a mistake in the online prompts for 61,000 respondents who did a follow-up step when they failed to complete the questionnaire and then had their answered flipped. A panel of outside experts reviewed the corrections before Statistics Canada released the figures almost a week after publicly reporting the mistake.

About 40 per cent of the wrongly classified responses were in Montreal.

The government invaded people's privacy only to make an error.





And now, a feel-good story:



Flora, the 100 pound Malamute, shared a very special bond with Dexter, a super senior cat, who was adopted from Best Friends Animal Society at the age of 20.


When Dexter came to his forever home, Flora became his biggest fan. They were always together, completely inseparable. After two wonderful yeas, Dexter crossed the rainbow bridge at 22. Flora was grieving and felt so sad and lonely. She missed her best buddy's cuddles every day.


Jill Williams, Flora's mom, quickly adopted two kitties from the shelter, hoping it would heal Flora's broken heart.


"While that cats did help ease some of the sadness that Flora was feeling, the new youngsters didn't like to cuddle the way Dexter did. She was still lonely," Best Friends shared with Love Meow.


In early August the family decided to foster a litter of kittens as they felt fostering would be a great experience for their children. …


When it was time to introduce the fur babies to their canine friend Flora, Iggy the kitty went right up to the gentle giant and sniffed her nose.


"Flora gently brought her face down to meet his and got a huge smile on her face," Jill said.

 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Quickly now ...




Israel shouldn't seek a seat on the UN security council; it should just leave the UN:

Israel is working to rally enough votes in the 193-member General Assembly to defeat either Germany or Belgium in a three-way race for two spots on the UN’s most powerful body. ...

Israel’s run at the Security Council has been in the works for 12 years and now has a powerful ally in U.S. President Donald Trump. His ambassador, Nikki Haley, has accused UN institutions such as the Human Rights Council of “chronic anti-Israel bias,” for issuing five resolutions this year against Israel yet none against Venezuela, which is engulfed in civil unrest.



Why give credence to an organisation that hates it?




The US cares not for Canada's pouting over NAFTA:

The United States drew a hard line for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday, demanding major concessions aimed at slashing trade deficits with Mexico and Canada and boosting U.S. content for autos. ...

Lighthizer put Mexico and Canada on notice that the United States would use its clout as their biggest export customer to wring concessions, saying the United States wanted substantially tougher rules of origin, including a requirement of "substantial U.S. content" for autos. 

He also signaled a fight over NAFTA's trade dispute settlement system for changes that would allow more anti-dumping duties against Canada and Mexico, saying this provision should "respect our national sovereignty." 

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland suggested earlier this week that her country could walk away if the United States insisted on scrapping the "Chapter 19" trade dispute settlement system that requires the use of binational panels.



I would start asking to whom are favours promised:

The Liberal government will announce Thursday a $5.2-billion deal to privatize maintenance of new navy ships despite concerns the plan puts key portions of Canada’s military capability in the hands of a private firm.

A Canadian subsidiary of the French defence firm, Thales, will be awarded the contract. Jim Carr, Acting Minister of Public Services and Procurement, will make the announcement in Dartmouth. 

Parliamentary Secretary Steven MacKinnon will make the same announcement at the Thales facility in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Citizen reported in January that the firm had been selected to provide long-term maintenance for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic patrol ships and its joint support vessels.

The deal would see the firm provide in-service support for an initial service period of eight years, with options to extend services up to 35 years. The company will be given significant access to Department of National Defence facilities and support equipment, as well as, in some cases, oversight of federal workers.

But unions representing federal ship maintenance employees have been warning the deal will mean lost public service jobs and will jeopardize national security.



That's the government for you:

The federal government’s proposed tax reform on private corporations unveiled in mid-summer has drawn furious reaction from doctors and other high-income professionals, but there’s another group in line for a nasty tax surprise once their busy summer season is over.

About one-quarter of all farms in Canada are family farm corporations, meaning the shares are held by family members. Their number has been growing rapidly, even as the overall number of farms has fallen: There were 43,457 family farm corporations in 2016, up from 28,854 in 2001.  

A main reason for the increase is the tax advantages of incorporating, and many banks and accounting firms have specific guides for farmers. Even the Ontario Agriculture Ministry has a guide that suggests farmers consider incorporating once their family’s income reaches $75,000.

Accountants who specialize in farming are sounding alarm bells over Ottawa’s proposed changes, which were unveiled on July 18 for 75 days of consultation. For many farmers, the timing is in the middle of their busy growing and harvest season.

“Trust me; it is time to visit your MP,” wrote Allan Sawiak, a farm tax specialist with Edmonton-based KRP, in a letter sent to clients and to agriculture groups across the country. “Your lobbying efforts up to October 2nd are critical at this stage to shape the tax issues surrounding your farm and all Canadian farms.”

The government says its reforms are aimed at tax avoidance by the wealthy, who increasingly use private corporations as tax shelters. As an example, family members can be named as shareholders to allow a high-earner to split his income and lower his tax bill.

But business groups have said the proposed new rules are too complicated and will unfairly punish small business owners.



Self-governance? Is this the same lot who demand "reparations" ad nauseum so that they may live in the middle of nowhere where educational opportunities are few to non-existent?

The federal government says it has reached a self-governance agreement with 23 Ontario First Nations, the largest such deal of its kind in Canada.

The agreement with Anishinabek Nation First Nations, the culmination of more than 20 years of negotiations, grants communities greater control over education on reserve from junior kindergarten to Grade 12.

It also allows First Nations to more administrative control of funding for post-secondary education.

Because everyone knows how fiscally conservative these bands are.




And now, is Japan running out of swordsmiths?

Although it might sound unusual for artifacts with a centuries-long history, swords are currently in vogue in Japan. Museum exhibitions of historically significant katana have been attracting large, enthusiastic crowds in recent years, but the blades’ surging popularity is yet to solve a few problems.

In 1989, the Japanese Swordsmith Association counted 300 registered swordsmiths in the country. Not 20 years later, that number has been nearly cut in half, with only 188 smiths currently registered, and their average age rapidly increasing.

Swordsmithing isn’t just an industry, it’s also part of Japan’s cultural heritage. To preserve the craft, Tetsuya Tsubouchi, one of the Japanese Swordsmith Association’s directors, says two things have to be done. First, new swordsmiths have to be trained and certified to replace the craftsmen who’re retiring or otherwise being lost to old age, but there are some major hurdles in the way.

Not just anyone start hammering away and producing swords for sale in Japan. Practitioners are required to first serve as an apprentice under a registered swordsmith for a period of five years. These apprenticeships are unpaid, meaning that blacksmithing could be considered one of Japan’s harsh “black enterprises.” Those who want to complete the training must either burn through savings they amassed working in another field (before quitting that job to start their apprenticeship) or rely on financial support from their families. But while Japanese parents are generally willing to invest in their children’s education, it’s pretty difficult to convince Mom and Dad to cover all of your living expenses for a half-decade so that you can take a shot at making it in as niche an industry as swordsmithing. As a result, Tsubouchu says that though there’s actually been a recent uptick in apprenticeship applications, very few apprentices actually make it to the end of their five-year training period.

Even if they do complete their apprenticeship, prospective smiths still have to pass a national certification test, which takes place over a period of eight days. The test is offered only once a year, so if you fail, you’ve got a long wait until you get to take another swing at it. Oh, and once that’s all done, the estimated cost to set up a swordsmithing business of your own is 10 million yen (US$91,000), an amount of seed money that’s kind of hard to scrape together when your last paycheck was five years ago.



Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Post

St. Maximilian Kolbe icon




Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says two Canadians were among 18 people killed in a suspected extremist attack on a popular restaurant in Burkina Faso.

The incident happened late Sunday when suspected Islamic extremists opened fire at a Turkish restaurant in the country’s capital.





Canada laid down a tough line ahead of talks on modernizing NAFTA on Monday, suggesting it could walk away if the United States pushed to remove a key dispute-settlement mechanism in the trade deal.





The politician who sheds power in a timely manner, under the sway of his own judgment, unimpelled by the scorn of weary voters and not shamed into flight from scandals of his own devious devising or careless stewardship, is therefore a phoenix of his kind. Wall belongs in that contracted circle.


 

The tent went up at ten to four on Sunday — a big tan tarp slung over a metal base in the last ungentrified sliver of Toronto’s downtown.

Around it, tattooed volunteers shifted supplies: black naloxone kits, water bottles, baggies stuffed with sterilized needles and gear.

“Don’t you think this is so cool,” Angie Austin said to a group of friends sitting on the grass nearby.
“What is it?” one replied.

“It is,” she said, “a safe injection site.”

For the second day in a row Sunday, harm reduction advocates in Toronto operated a guerrilla injection site out of a tent in a public park, just behind a hockey arena and not far from a playground.

They did so in full view of the police, who watched on bicycles from a distance and made no move to intervene.

(Sidebar: the police force - another thing that shouldn't be subsidised.)





Perhaps Pastor Lim has spent far too long in North Korea. This is no more a sign of Kim Jong-Un's  generosity than public executions are good for the children:

A 62-year-old Canadian pastor held in a North Korean prison for more than 2 1/2 years said he suspected his life sentence was commuted last week to help reduce pressure on Pyongyang. 

"I believe (North Korean leader) Kim Jung Un let me go as a gesture of goodwill in the face of so much rhetoric," Hyeon Soo Lim told a packed worship hall in a Toronto suburb on Sunday.


Also - when all else fails, pray

Guam's Catholic faithful attended Sunday Mass after several days of dramatic rhetoric between the two nuclear-armed nations. President Donald Trump threatened swift and forceful retaliation against North Korea, declaring the U.S. military "locked and loaded."

There hasn't been any widespread anxiety among Guam residents, even after Pyongyang vowed to complete a plan to attack waters near the island by mid-August.




Unless Beijing has been reduced to rubble, China will never abandon North Korea

China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first.





Chinese textile firms are increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border, traders and businesses in the border city of Dandong told Reuters. 

The clothes made in North Korea are labeled "Made in China" and exported across the world, they said. 

Proudly exploiting slave labour. 




But ... but ... I thought Obama had this:


Still a failure.




 




Several senior members of Islamic State's central Asian affiliate were killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

 

Breaking the seal of the confessional will get one excommunicated toute suite.

Not that those with a bone to pick with Pell et al care:

Priests who fail to tell police about suspected child sexual abuse should face criminal charges, even when they learn of abuse during a confidential religious confession, Australia’s most powerful investigative authority recommended on Monday.

If the authorities were ever serious about stopping the abuse of children, they wouldn't wait until videos of child exploitation popped up.



 (For more icons, go here.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Post

Quickly now ...



Pastor Lim Hyeong-Soo has been freed:

Relatives of a Canadian pastor released this week after more than two years in a North Korean prison say he is “on his way home” and they are anxious to be reunited with him.

The Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday that North Korea’s central court had decided to free Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serving a life sentence for anti-state activities.

The pastor’s release was described as “sick bail,” but no other details were given.
In a statement Thursday, a spokeswoman for his family said “there is a long way to go” in terms of Lim’s healing and stressed the need for privacy as he receives unspecified medical attention.

Lisa Pak also said the family is grateful to the Canadian government and the Swedish embassy in North Korea for working behind the scenes to secure the pastor’s freedom. She did not say when he was scheduled to arrive in Canada.

Yes, the Swedes pulled their weight.

I am doubtful that Chrystia Freedland (the one prone to tears) moved the stony hearts of Kim Jong-Un and one of his Chinese handlers, Foreign Minister, Wang Yi (this Wang Yi). I am also very aware that Canada does not reward terrorists who do not embarrass the Liberal party directly. It begs the question of what was promised to free the hapless pastor.


Also:

Now that North Korea has intercontinental ballistic missiles, this has made the troubled and unpredictable state even more dangerous. And now that they may have miniaturized nuclear warheads, as a U.S. defense department report recently stated, things are even worse.

Kim Jong-un of course hasn’t singled out Canada. But the United States has been and if the U.S. were targeted by any form of attack – even a failed one – there would be implications for Canada’s national security.

However unlikely this all may be – and we certainly hope it never comes to pass – the game has changed in recent months as North Korea has bolstered their arsenal. It’s changed in a way that matters more now than ever to Canada.

We need to have a plan in action for all eventual outcomes of both this latest flare-up and the long-term goals of the U.S. and its allies.

After all, Canada has a small number of personnel stationed along the demilitarized zone in the Korean Peninsula. We have many people stationed at the NORAD facility in Cheyenne Mountain, as we watch the skies for incoming missiles alongside our American counterparts. We’re already in the game.

And we have a broader interest in peace and stability.

Yet, when asked by reporters his position on this issue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stumbled. He was at a loss for words, simply getting out a jumbled statement about North Korea being fundamentally irresponsible.

This Trudeau:




There are several reasons why Trudeau will never take a stronger stance against North Korea and some of them are actually political. The rest points to his inability to be an adult in any way.



And:

The United Nations’ latest sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear program extend beyond the conventional exports cited in the Security Council resolution — coal, iron ore, lead ore and seafood.

The restrictions described by diplomats on Aug. 5 as the “most stringent” against the nation also freeze the assets of some of North Korea’s biggest companies, including a maker of massive monuments and a Pyongyang-based insurance company that’s been linked to a slush fund for leader Kim Jong Un and his family.



Hey! Why not let these guys traffick people? What could go wrong?

Smugglers have thrown some 280 migrants into the sea off the coast of Yemen in the last two days, causing more than 50 to drown and leaving over 30 missing, the U.N. migration agency said Thursday.



Yet another obstacle for the Kinder Morgan pipeline:

British Columbia will not allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd to begin work on public land for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion until it "meaningfully" consults aboriginal communities, provincial officials said on Thursday. 

The $5.5 billion project through British Columbia, which secured federal government approval last year, would almost triple the capacity of the current Trans Mountain pipeline. 

The project's prospect has become more uncertain after a left-leaning government took power in British Columbia in June, although the administration has since softened its rhetoric. 




One of Canada's most high-profile premiers who rose to national prominence for his down-to-earth style, sharp wit and, more recently, his willingness to lock horns with Ottawa is retiring from politics after a decade in office.


 





And now, ordering food made stupid:

Recky
Customer complains after eating her omelette that the menu didn't explicitly state that it contained “so much egg...”
Just Jim
"Can I get the special with fettuccine? I'm allergic to penne." "You're allergic to a shape?"
Sergeant Pepper
Obligatory hybrid temperatures on steaks.
Will
Well-done steak tartare.
Good to go
Mid-rare ossu rucco.
Shanks
We had a guest claim that they were allergic to all fish then order a Caesar salad, when I said that the dressing contained anchovies they got annoyed and said "I eat it all the time, it's fine!"
RAS1187
French onion soup, no onions.

Yep.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Mid-Week Post

 In the midst of the work-week ...



As North Korea may very well deliver a third nuclear payload to the Japanese, one might suggest that the rules of engagement have drastically changed since the end of the Second World War and that Japan must prepare for the worst:

As Nagasaki marked the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Wednesday, Mayor Tomihisa Taue demanded that the Japanese government join a recently adopted treaty banning nuclear weapons.

I have been to Nagasaki. It is a lovely city, rich in history and steeped in as much historical momentum as it is tragedy. Japan can no longer afford to be horrified by the events that ended its involvement in the Second World War. Kim Jong-Un assuredly does not share their sorrow.




Yet another "red line":

Tuesday's bombshell Washington Post story that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has determined North Korea is capable of constructing miniaturized nuclear weapons that could be used as warheads for missiles – possibly ICBMs – left out a crucial fact: DIA actually concluded this in 2013.  The Post also failed to mention that the Obama administration tried to downplay and discredit this report at the time.

During an April 11, 2013, House Armed Services Committee hearing, Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., inadvertently revealed several unclassified sentences from a DIA report that said DIA had determined with “moderate confidence” that North Korea has the capability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be launched with a ballistic missile.

The Director of National Intelligence and Obama officials subsequently tried to dismiss Lamborn’s disclosure by claiming the DIA assessment was an outlier that did not reflect the views of the rest of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

What an @$$hole.


Also:

North Korea is working on plans for a missile strike near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, calling President Donald Trump's warning of "fire and fury" a "load of nonsense" and that only "absolute force can work on him."

Laugh it up, lard-ball. If Trump calls your bluff, not even China can help you.




There is no win unless there is a regime change in North Korea:

On Tuesday, a Canadian delegation led by senior Canadian bureaucrat Daniel Jean went to North Korea to seek Lim’s release.

At the time of this writing, Lim had yet to set foot on Canadian soil, but by all accounts it seems this effort has succeeded.

A North Korean news agency announced Lim was being released on humanitarian grounds. He will be home soon.

This is good news for Pastor Lim and his family.

Not if Lim is still in prison.




But ... but ... voters blocks!

Canada has deployed soldiers to erect tents near the U.S. border to temporarily house hundreds of asylum seekers crossing from New York state, officials said on Wednesday, an influx of mostly Haitians prompted by fear of deportation by the U.S. government. 
 
(Sidebar: smoke and mirrors.)

Trudeau can't win for losing. He wants his voters blocks but no one else does. So what does he do? Pretend that this is an actual problem.

It's like some people might get the inkling that he is a moron.




A business advocacy group accuses the NDP about concealing the truth about carbon taxes:

The NDP government says the administrative costs associated with the province’s carbon tax are $2.1 million annually, but a business advocacy group is questioning why the figures were blanked out of documents it received from the province. 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Wednesday it had made a freedom of information request to the government on the administration cost of the carbon levy, which was introduced at the start of 2017.

The 2016 documents released by the government in response were heavily redacted, with actual figures whited out in a memo that outlined the total operating cost of design, implementation and administration from 2017 to 2022, and the capital cost for the design and build of the IT system.



You know what you're doing, France:

French police shot and arrested a suspect in the ramming of six soldiers near Paris on Wednesday after a dramatic car chase. 

Le Parisien newspaper named the driver in the suspected terror incident as Hamou B, a 37-year-old from Sartrouville in the north western suburbs of Paris.



And that is why the OFF button on your TV is so powerful:

One of the creators of a Disney cartoon that promoted same-sex "marriage" to preschoolers has admitted that they specifically aim to promote political messages on the show.

If one cannot convince the adults, grooming children is the next best bet.

Disgusting.




Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Haru Nakajima:

Following a severe case of pneumonia, Nakajima passed away this Monday at the age of 88, bringing to an end an incredible life full of contributions to cinematic history. The third son in a family of five children, Nakajima knew he wouldn’t be able to take over his father’s butcher shop, and after a brief stint as a truck driver for the occupying Allied Forces in 1947, he enrolled in an acting program at the age of 18 in 1947.

Nakajima earned a bit part in Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai, but his big break came in 1954, when he was tapped to wear the 100-kilogram (220-pound) suit of the titular Godzilla in the 1954 film from distributor Toho that launched the franchise. The actor would go on to play Godzilla for the next 18 years, culminating in 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, his final time to fill the role.




Monday, August 07, 2017

For A Monday

 



Ah, the gentle breezes of summer ...




China, furious that its buffer state, North Korea, has ruffled many a feather, lashes out at the US, like it has the moral authority to do so:

Chinese state media on Monday stressed the limits of new United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and also slammed the United States for its "arrogance", saying Washington needed to understand it also has a role in lessening tensions. ...

In a front page commentary, the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily said North Korea's open flouting of U.N. rules with its missile launches meant that it had to be punished, but sanctions had to be targeted. 

"Sanctions to the greatest possible extent must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people and to third countries, and avoid bringing disaster to the country in question's normal and legal trade and business exchanges with the outside world, people's normal lives and the humanitarian situation," it wrote. 

"A precision blow is the essential part of sanctions." 

China has repeatedly said that while sanctions need to be imposed, they cannot bring a final resolution to the North Korea issue, which has to be addressed by talks. 

China has also called for Washington and Seoul to help lower tensions by reining in their military activities and drills on the peninsula, and by withdrawing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. 

The influential Global Times, published by the People's Daily, said it an editorial that the United States needed to curb its "moral arrogance over North Korea". 

"The West should be reminded to exercise restraint. If it believes it is only North Korea rather than the U.S. and South Korea as well to blame for the nuclear issue, this ill-fitting mindset will not help solve the crisis," the strongly nationalist publication said. 

"The U.S. should aim for peace and co-existence rather than geopolitical dominance." 

Yeah, the Chinese said that.



Also:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a door open for dialogue with North Korea on Monday, saying Washington was willing to talk to Pyongyang if it halted a series of recent missile test launches. 


And - if the Japan and South Korea want to survive, they need to arm themselves:

The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed Monday to ramp up international pressure on North Korea to compel the reclusive country to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

North Korea is not going to denuclearise and China won't, either.





You know what you're doing, France:

French anti-terrorism police are investigating an incident at the Eiffel Tower in Paris overnight. A man brandishing a knife and shouting "Allah akhbar" crashed through a security barrier, reportedly intending to kill a soldier. The iconic Eiffel Tower was then evacuated by police. The arrested suspect told investigators that he had been in contact with a member of ISIS who encouraged the attack. This marks the seventh terror incident in France this year.




Obama must be soiling his shorts:

Nebraska regulators will hear final arguments for and against TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline this week before deciding whether to approve its route later this year, the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project after President Donald Trump gave it federal approval.




Ernst Zundel is dead and no one cares:

As historical footnotes go, one of my proudest contributions was the exposing of Ernst Zundel as a neo-Nazi.

From that point onward, the secret world of this notorious Toronto-based anti-Semite began to unravel, leading to years in court fighting extradition as a security risk, and finally his deportation to a German jail where he served time for inciting racial hatred and for being a Holocaust denier, a criminal offence in Germany.

It has been learned, through a posting by his estranged wife, that Zundel — odious to the core — died of a heart attack Saturday at age 78 at his home in Germany’s Black Forest where he lived after his release from prison in 2010 following five years of incarceration.

If he lived unrepentant and died that way, he is in for a very fiery shock.





If one's language and culture are incredibly important to one, then one ought to teach and maintain it.

Not that emphasising rare languages is helping people in the market-place bit I digress ... :

Indigenous language skills are being lost in Saskatoon, despite the efforts of educators in the province and the emphasis placed on language preservation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada from the latest census, gathered in 2016, shows the number of people in Saskatchewan who identify an Indigenous language as their mother tongue dropped from 30,895 in 2011 to 28,340.



Organic and/or locally-sourced foods are gastronomical ways to virtue-signal, not aid low-income groups or persons:

“While eating local or organic food is often touted as superior from a health, environmental and oftentimes ethical perspective, such foods are often available only in Canada to the wealthy, with limited access for those living on lower or even middle incomes,” The Globe and Mail reported. ...

On Wednesday, I priced out a week’s worth of quick, easy, highly rated online dinner recipes for an imaginary family of four at my indomitable local No Frills and came up with about $125 (that’s excluding basic pantry items like oil, flour, sugar and spices.) Mom and Dad will barely get out of McDonald’s for the per-meal price of $18, never mind the kids. These were pretty solid family meals, too: tuna casserole, shepherd’s pie, a roasted chicken dinner, sausage and vegetable stew — and a warm, crispy baguette with each. You could easily cut the budget by a third and stay perfectly healthy. ...




And now, a matcha Zen garden: