Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Post

Lots to talk about...


It is believed that one of two Japanese hostages taken by ISIS has been killed:

A video was posted online Saturday night showing a still image of journalist Kenji Goto, one of two Japanese hostages held by the Islamic State group, holding a picture of what appeared to be the body of fellow captive Haruna Yukawa, a private security contractor who was believed abducted in Syria in August.

In the photo, Goto is holding a composite of two images. In one of them, Yukawa is kneeling on the ground. The other image appears to show his decapitated body. The photo, if authentic, suggests Yukawa was executed after a 72-hour ransom deadline imposed by the terrorist group expired at 2:50 p.m. Friday Japan time. ...
The video released Saturday night was accompanied by the voice of a man who identified himself as Goto.

“I am Kenji Goto Jogo. You have seen the photo of my cellmate Haruna slaughtered in the land of the Islamic caliphate,” the voice said in accented English in the video.

“You were warned,” the voice said. “You were given a deadline and so my captors acted upon their words.

“Abe, you killed Haruna. You did not take the threat of my captors seriously. And you did not act within that 72 hours.

“Their demand is easier. They are being fair. They no longer want money. So you do not need to worry about funding terrorists. They are just demanding the release of their imprisoned sister, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi,” the voice said.

If Japan has any external means to recover the remaining hostage or obliterate ISIS, it should avail itself of them. That or re-militarise. Also, deliver to ISIS the corpse of this woman, preferably wrapped in the skin of a hog.


An alleged Canadian terrorist accused of killing five Americans has been extradited:

An alleged Canadian terrorist charged with murdering five Americans in a 2009 bombing in Iraq has been extradited to the U.S., the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.

Edmonton native Sayfildin Tahir Sharif is scheduled to appear at the Brooklyn federal courthouse Saturday to face criminal charges that he conspired to kill Americans abroad and provided material support to terrorists, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sharif -- also known as Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa -- was ordered extradited Oct. 19, 2012, after a Court of Queen's Bench hearing. The federal justice minister approved the extradition in February 2013.

(Sidebar: what took so long?)

A feel-good story.


Leftists' favourite little piggy wants bail:

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr wants bail pending a decision on the appeal of his convictions in the U.S.

A bail hearing is scheduled for March 24 and 25 in Edmonton.

Khadr, 28, is currently serving an eight-year federal prison sentence in Bowden Institution, located north of Calgary, as part of an international transfer agreement with the U.S.

But defence lawyer Nate Whitling said he wants Khadr released during the appeal process.

The Liberal government Ontario voters wanted and got is not ruling out tax increases:

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was not ruling out tax increases as he headed into pre-budget consultations.

"I would prefer to talk about the budget on budget day," Sousa said. "I recognize the importance of revenue as well as controlling expenses."

Sousa said he will deliver a budget this spring that keeps the government on track to eliminate its deficit by 2017-18, currently pegged at $12.5 billion.


Further violence in Ukraine goes virtually unnoticed:

Pro-Russian rebels announced a major new offensive in Ukraine on Saturday after missiles killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic city linking rebel territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

The local mayor’s office said 97 people were also wounded in the attack, which struck a crowded residential district early in the morning and then again shortly after midday.


Obama has not only refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but has also refused to attend the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Tuesday. He is sending instead his token Jew Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

To be clear: Obama, who left for a fundraiser in Las Vegas and a golf game after terrorists murdered American nationals, will not meet with a major American ally (one he does not like) "because of the proximity to the Israeli election...".

Obama will also not visit the death camp he can't be sure some uncle of his liberated or something.

The recent death of King Abdullah, to whom he will be paying his respects, must be occupying his thoughts.

He is, instead, sending his treasury secretary.

French President Fran├žois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will be attending the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet liberation of one of the most infamous death camps (Putin will not attend this year citing his busy schedule and his unjust war in Ukraine).

There one has it.

Related:

When Abe visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, this week, he said, “Today, I have learned how merciless humans can be by singling out a group of people and making that people the object of discrimination and hatred. … We must continue to work toward the realization of a world free of discrimination and war, where human rights are protected.”

Oddly enough, Abe refrained from mentioning Japan’s wartime aggression and colonial rule in the past, or the frequent hate speech against Korean residents in Japan today. If Japan does not open its eyes to the negative aspects of its modern history and turn the lessons it draws from them into meaningful actions, it will not be able to achieve true reconciliation with its neighbors.


First-World problems:


A Colorado bakery is under investigation for religious discrimination after a baker refused to write anti-gay words on a cake.

**

A Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple has been given an ultimatum by a judge; serve gay weddings or face fines.
**

These are obscene images. They depict two men thrown from the roof of a building as a crowd watches them fall to their deaths, and they purport to show the Islamic State (or ISIS) carrying out public executions before an audience in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

The two victims’ alleged crimes? They are believed to be gay. In another photo, woman accused of being an adulterer is stoned to death, and two men charged with thievery are bound to crucifixes.

Guess which one got more ire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mid-Week Post

The median point of the work-week...


Justin Trudeau has gotten many things wrong since being handed assuming leadership of the federal Liberal party. He has made several embarrassing gaffes, he has projected American middle-class woes on the Canadian middle-class, he cannot define what is the middle-class, he assumes budgets balance themselves, he has taken soft stances on terrorism, he admires "the basic dictatorship" of China and he has no grasp on the situation in the Middle East and Canada's peripheral involvement in it.

Justin Trudeau has made it clear on a number of occasions how vaguely involved Canada should be in the fight against ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). In his haste to appeal to the vulgar millennial crowd, he forgot how much in aid Canada had given prior to committing very limited military aid which included CF-18s and military advisors.

It's not warm jackets but hey.

When this small armed contingent came under fire this week-end, both Trudeau and Thomas Muclair took the opportunity to attack Harper, accusing him of misstating Canada's mission abroad.

Apparently, it is too much to expect armed personnel to defend themselves against child-rapists and journalist-murderers. This firefight has since exploded into a full-on war and is perfect political hay for those who would see Canada once more take a backseat on the international stage.

Here is Justin Trudeau "bravely" facing the media:




With this kind of "courage", why worry about Putin?


This is the rotten state of the Union:

- the US debts stands at over $18 trillion dollars (as of this writing) which averages out to $56, 931 per person

-the actual unemployment rate is higher that the listed 5.6% due to seasonal factors and "discouraged workers" or those who have been unable to find any work, much of which is part-time


-Iran is STILL enriching uranium


Cambodia and social media:

Soaring use of Internet-connected smart phones has allowed Cambodians to sidestep government-controlled television, radio and newspapers.

In 2008, only about 70,000 people had access to the Internet, according to government statistics. Today, the figure is 3.8 million and most of them are young: about 70 percent of the country's 14 million people are under 30.

There are now more cellphones used in Cambodia - 20 million - than there are Cambodians.
Many government ministers have Facebook or Twitter accounts, and Everett said the Ministry of Interior planned to increase its use of social media.

Although a late adopter, Hun Sen's Facebook page has more than 640,000 "likes." The page of his arch-rival, the CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy, boasts over a million.


A gender imbalance? Really?

Chinese health authorities on Wednesday described the gender imbalance among newborns as "the most serious and prolonged" in the world, a direct ramification of the country's strict one-child policy.

The statement will add to growing calls for the government to scrap all family planning restrictions in the world's most populous nation, which many scholars say faces a demographic crisis.

Like most Asian nations, China has a traditional bias for sons. Many families abort female fetuses and abandon baby girls to ensure their one child is a son, so about 118 boys are born for every 100 girls, against a global average of 103 to 107.

"Our country has the most serious gender imbalance that is most prolonged and affecting the most number of people," the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement on its website.

The agency said it would step up supervision on fetal sex determination, which is banned in China. It acknowledged that women were transferring blood samples overseas to determine the genders of their babies as part of an "underground chain for profit".

"This has further exacerbated the gender imbalance in our country's birth structure," the agency said.
Researchers have warned that large sex-ratio imbalances could lead to instability as more men remain unmarried, raising the risks of anti-social and violent behavior.

Many analysts say the one-child policy has shrunk China's labor pool, hurting economic growth. The working age population fell again in 2013, the government said on Wednesday.


And now, crashing a North Korean wedding.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday, Monday

Much to do...


Two RCMP officers were shot in Alberta. The suspect later killed himself. What should be jaw-dropping but is not is the criminal record of the deceased gunman:

RCMP Constable David Matthew Wynn, 42, a beloved community leader and hockey dad whose lifelong dream was to be a Mountie, remained in grave condition in hospital Sunday, a day after he was shot in the head at close range while investigating a report of a stolen vehicle.

An RCMP auxiliary officer, a civilian volunteer, was also shot in the same attack inside an Alberta casino and survived despite being hit in the arm and torso. He has been released from hospital. Constable Wynn, who has a wife and three children, is being treated moment to moment. ...

It’s not known why the confrontation inside the casino turned violent so quickly. The RCMP did not detail Mr. Rehn’s criminal record, but he had been accused of various crimes involving firearms in the past. In 2005, he was accused of forcing his way into a home in Edmonton with a gun and is alleged to have driven the victim to an ATM and robbed him of money, according to a story in the local newspaper. He was also accused in a theft of hockey memorabilia, and of possessing guns and a crossbow in other cases.

A child who refused chemotherapy for "alternative treatments" has died:

Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old girl who refused chemotherapy to pursue traditional indigenous medicine and other alternative treatments, has died.

She died Monday after suffering a stroke Sunday.

The girl’s case made national headlines and ignited a debate about the validity of indigenous medicine and the rights of children to choose their own treatment.

Makayla was given a 75 per cent chance of survival when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March. She underwent 11 weeks of chemotherapy at McMaster Children’s hospital in Hamilton. ...

In an interview with CBC News, her mother said, “This was not a frivolous decision I made. Before I took her off chemo, I made sure that I had a comprehensive health-care plan that I was very confident that was going to achieve ridding cancer of her body before I left the hospital. This is not something I think may work, this is something I know will work.”

Judge Gethin Edward rejected the application from the Hamilton hospital that would have seen the Children’s Aid Society intervene in this case.

(insert own statement of blame here)


A proposal to put up an aboriginal  stop sign has been put on hold:

A councillor for Kamloops, B.C., has been forced to put the brakes on a proposal to add a First Nation's language to stop signs in the city. 

Stop signs on the Tk'emlups First Nation, which borders Kamloops to the north east, are already bilingual, with the Secepemc word for stop, estil, on each stop sign.

City Councillor Donovan Cavers thought it would be nice to include both languages on city signs as well.

"I thought it would be interesting to pursue the idea of doing that in our community as well just to see and express and bring more awareness of the First Nations culture to everyone in the community," he told CBC.

Cavers brought the idea to city council late last year, asking staff to do a report on the feasibility.

That report will be presented at Tuesday's city council meeting — showing it legally can't be done.

According to the staff report, the design of stop signs falls under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act, so the city has no jurisdiction to change them.

What percentage of Canada speaks any aboriginal language? About .6%.

What percentage speaks English? Sixty-seven-point-one percent.

So the purpose of putting up an aboriginal sign in an era where English is language of commerce is because...?

"I thought it would be interesting to pursue the idea of doing that in our community as well just to see and express and bring more awareness of the First Nations culture to everyone in the community," he told CBC.

Right.


Boko Haram now controls huge swaths of Nigeria and, in like fashion, is making Nigeria into another failed Islamic state:

Boko Haram says it is building an Islamic state that will revive the glory days of northern Nigeria's medieval Muslim empires, but for those in its territory life is a litany of killings, kidnappings, hunger and economic collapse.

The Islamist group's five-year-old campaign has become one of the deadliest in the world, with around 10,000 people killed last year, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Hundreds, mostly women and children, have been kidnapped. ...

Unlike its Middle East counterparts wooing locals with a semblance of administration, villagers trapped by Boko Haram face food shortages, slavery, killing and a lock down on economic activity, those who escaped say.

Michael Moore, the fat, washed-up director, is awfully sore that "American Sniper" is doing well at the box office.

Whatever.

Moore's fifteen minutes of fame reclamation are over.


And now, coloured photos of the Russian Revolution.


Friday, January 16, 2015

For A Friday

All the news that fits like print...


More on the Charlie Hebdo front -

Apparently, this has nothing to do with Islam:

Muslim anger flared over a French satirical weekly's latest caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, with four people reported killed and dozens injured at a protest Friday in the West African country of Niger, and violent clashes between demonstrators and police in Pakistan, Jordan and Algeria.

But, really, this is not dissimilar from the Danish cartoon rampages and, yes, it has to do with Islam.


A Malian immigrant to France will acquire citizenship due to his bravery:
  
Lassana Bathily, the 24-year-old Muslim immigrant from Mali who hid Jewish hostages during last week’s bloody drama at a kosher grocery, will become a French citizen.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that he will preside over the ceremony on Jan. 20 after he ordered that Bathily’s July 7 citizenship application be accepted.

Why aren't the Americans embarrassed?

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris after the White House apologized for not sending a high-ranking official to a massive unity rally after the terrorist attacks there.

And he brought a friend by the name of James Taylor.

Without France's help, the United States would not have been a republic. The favour was repaid when the Americans liberated Paris during the Second World War.

So how does the Secretary of State assist France in its darkest hour?

With an aging hippy.

Mon Dieu...


Sixty-four recommendations have been made following a shooting rampage that took the lives of three RCMP officers:

A review exploring the RCMP response to Justin Bourque's deadly shooting spree in June in New Brunswick calls for the force to take immediate action to better arm Mounties — one of 64 recommendations that have all been accepted by the RCMP.

The 180-page report, led by retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, was released in Moncton on Friday morning, with nine pages redacted for officer safety, including details about the amount of equipment officers have.

The report urges the RCMP to expedite the deployment of patrol carbines across the force, including improved training.

A carbine is a short-barrelled rifle that has a longer accurate range than a sidearm or shotgun.
MacNeil's report says officers were outgunned during the incident, having to rely on shotguns and pistols, while Bourque was armed with a high-powered rifle.

Patrol carbines would have made a difference at several key stages of the shooting that claimed the lives of three Mounties, he said.

It's unthinkable to know how slow and inept the police could have been at that time.


This is the government Ontario Liberal voters wanted:

Gerry 2:10 – 3:01 “So I come to you, on behalf of the premier, and on behalf of, yes, Thibeault, more indirectly, to ask you if you would consider stepping down, even more than that Andrew, nominating him. In the course of that deliberation, the Premier wants to talk to you. They would like to present to you options in terms of appointments, jobs, whatever, that you and her and Pat Sorbara could talk about it. Having said that, and I made it very clear to Premier Wynne ...

Wynne, of course, denies it.


Speaking of Kathleen Wynne, her friend, Benjamin Levin, will plead guilty:

Dr. Benjamin Levin will plead guilty on March 3 to some of the child pornography-related charges, court heard Friday.

Levin will plead guilty to some offences, but not all of the seven charges that were laid against the renowned educator.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Right here...


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is pushing for a carbon tax:

The two methods of carbon pricing are a carbon tax and cap-and-trade.

Norway has the most mature and sophisticated carbon tax in the world. Statistics Norway - the equivalent of Statistics Canada - concluded years ago it has not significantly reduced Norway's man-made carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Liberals will probably haul out British Columbia's carbon tax as a success at lowering emissions.

Except it was introduced in 2008, just as the global economic recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage scandal was hitting and fossil fuel usage was dropping all over the world.

The world's most mature and sophisticated cap-and-trade market is Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme.

It has not only failed to lower emissions, it sent electricity prices skyrocketing throughout Europe and drove millions of families into fuel poverty, which means paying more than 10% of your income just to heat and power your home.

The carbon credit trading system upon which the Emissions Trading Scheme is built, is overrun by fraud and organized crime. ...

A carbon tax raises taxes on goods and services, money that goes directly to the government.

A cap-and-trade market raises prices on goods and services, with the government getting its cut by holding annual auctions of carbon credits to industrial emitters.

The Liberals will argue they are making "polluters pay," but what they will mean is that they are making us pay, because "polluters" pass along their increased costs to us.

The Liberals will probably describe their carbon pricing scheme as "revenue neutral."

It won't be.

In all carbon pricing schemes - even if they are revenue neutral in the narrow sense of the government returning all the money it takes in - politicians pick the winners and losers.

For example, a common feature of carbon pricing schemes is that governments divert some of the money into social programs, ostensibly to help the poor cope with the increased cost of living they experience under carbon pricing schemes.

To accomplish that, everyone else pays more.

The key thing to remember is that carbon pricing schemes have nothing to do with improving the environment or even lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

They are tax grabs and wealth re-distribution schemes imposed by governments desperate for cash, in Wynne's case, because of the financial incompetence of the Liberals.

Ontario already has some of the highest electricity rates in North America. The "green" energy schemes put in place by the Liberals have been a colossal failure at great cost. Wind and solar power (unreliable) provided on four percent of Ontario's power but accounted for twenty percent of the cost paid by taxpayers. And they were sold at a loss! Now, Wynne wants a carbon tax that has been both unworkable and unpopular else where.

 But do not fret. Ontario Liberal voters won't be.

Ontario Liberal voters want this tax. They voted for her. They want this outrageous tax that will not conserve the environment but will fleece everyone else of what little money they have left.

Also:

Ontarians should pay four or five times more for "on-peak" than off-peak electricity to promote conservation, environmental commissioner Gord Miller says.

(Sidebar: as in Commissioner Gord?)

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which sets the spread between peak, mid-peak and off-peak power rates, only has a mandate to add the cost of conversation programs onto peak power, he said.

"For reasons of influencing market demand, you have to really put up the price on peak," Miller said Tuesday. "Until they're told by the government to see it that way, it won't happen."

What a moron.


Bribing someone with somebody else's money does not guarantee any future favours:

General Motors was a big beneficiary of Ontario taxpayer generosity when the company stalled several years ago, Finance Minister Charles Sousa has reminded the automaker whose future in Oshawa, Ont., remains hazy.

"It's critical that GM recognizes that Ontario was the only sub-national jurisdiction in the world that was there to support them at a time of need," Sousa said Wednesday.

With that proposed carbon tax and high energy prices, why would this example of union schlubbery bail out Ontario?


Is anyone aside from Charlie Hebdo producing their own cartoons of Mohammad?

Just asking.


I am dismayed when churches are burned down:

A week ago, Charlie Hebdo was a niche publication little known outside France, with a circulation of 60,000. On Wednesday the satirical newspaper's first issue since last week's deadly attack on its staff went on sale with an initial print run of 3 million copies and front-page coverage around the world. ...

Many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet, and reacted with dismay — and occasionally anger — to the latest cover image. Some felt their expressions of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after last week's attack had been rebuffed, while others feared the cartoon would trigger yet more violence.

"You're putting the lives of others at risk when you're taunting bloodthirsty and mad terrorists," said Hamad Alfarhan, a 29-year old Kuwaiti doctor.

The one's own community ought not to produce them.


Perhaps Mr. Ansari would like to explain how Rupert Murdoch is wrong. Did or did not terrorists burst into an office, murder twelve people and shout that they "avenged the Prophet"? Is this par the course in other countries where Islam is the dominant religion? Should these thugs not be punished and ridiculed for their violence and emotional retardation?


Maybe Aziz Ansari is just a thin-skinned liberal celebrity without any ability to objectively think through any statement and instead just goes with his gut.


Russia has re-opened one Arctic military base near Finnish border and is building a new one:

As of Jan. 13, approximately 800 servicemen from Russia's Northern Fleet had been stationed in the Russian town of Alakurtti, in the Murmansk region. Alakurtti is due to become one of Russia's key strongholds in its quest to fortify its position and influence over the Arctic region. 

The rest of Russia’s Northern Fleet — which includes 3,000 ground troops trained for combat in Arctic conditions backed by 39 ships and 45 submarines — will be stationed there "soon."

Finnish news network YLE confirms that Russia has reopened the military base in Alakurtti. The base had previously been shut down in 2009, but was now being retrofitted to fit a garrison of 3,000 radioelectronics experts. 

Russia's drive to militarize the Arctic is in keeping with the country's new military, which was signed into law on Dec. 26 last year. The new doctrine explicitly states that NATO's expansion was the main external threat facing Moscow and that Russia should reinforce three key geopolitical fronts.

What to make of Russia's pan-Arctic approach?

NATO is not moving strongly enough against Russia. Russia is emboldened by this and by the possibility of getting a deeper and stronger foothold into the North Pole.


A teen-age offender saves a cop's life in Florida:

A juvenile offender is being hailed a hero for helping to save the life of the Fort Lauderdale police officer who was processing his arrest last fall. 

On September 10, 2014, Officer Franklin Foulks was processing the arrest of teenager Jamal Rutledge for probation violations when the officer suddenly collapsed.

According to a statement from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Rutledge, who was still handcuffed at the booking facility, “immediately began to kick the security fence and yell to alert officers in the area.”

Thanks to Rutledge’s actions, nearby officer Todd Bunin ran to the scene and found Foulks on the ground, “clenching his chest in distress.”


Pope Francis was in Sri Lanka canonising its first saint:

Pope Francis on Wednesday canonized Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first saint, praising the 17th-century priest’s love for the Sri Lankan people, his “missionary zeal” and his example for all Christians.

“Leaving behind his home, his family, the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led,” the Pope said in his homily. ...

Pope Francis was the main celebrant of the Jan. 14 Mass held at the Galle Face Green in the national capital of Colombo. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the service, whose languages included English, Sinhalese, Tamil and Latin.

St. Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) was an Indian-born priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. He founded the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in the Indian region of Goa, then journeyed to Sri Lanka at a time when Catholics were suffering persecution under the country’s Calvinist Dutch rulers.

Due to the threat of persecution, the priest dressed as a beggar and would visit secret meetings of Catholics, often at night, to bring them the Eucharist and other sacraments.

“His efforts provided spiritual and moral strength to the beleaguered Catholic population,” Pope Francis said, also praising the saint’s efforts to serve the ill during a smallpox epidemic.

Pope Francis said Joseph Vaz was “an exemplary priest” who showed “loving care for the Church of God.” He especially encouraged priests and vowed religious to look to the saint as a model.

“He teaches us how to go out to the peripheries, to make Jesus Christ everywhere known and loved,” he said.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Post

(see footnotes)

After separate terrorist attacks killed twenty people in France, Unity marches were held all across Europe, the largest one being in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to attend the Unity rally in Paris. Netanyahu did anyway.

(insert Hebrew word for "honey badger" here)


The Islamist-in-Chief, Obama, elected not to go. There were basketball players he wanted to meet.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not attend the Unity rally. Instead, he paid homage to Canada's first prime minister this week-end. But, as one is reasonably certain he is no Islamist supporter, his sympathies are not at all in question.

After all is said and done, this love-fest must be punctuated with the strongest response to seventh-century cultural retardation the post-modern West can manage. A German newspaper office was bombed for printing pictures of Mohammad. Where is the solidarity on the part of the popular press? Surely they are fearless. Let's publish more pictures.

A Kashmiri representation of Mohammad destroying idols at the Kaaba. He is said to be in the top right mounted on a camel. It seems even history would like to blot him out.
Mohammad riding a horse and receiving a submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated in Medina (representation circa 1314-15)

Let's name Islamism as the enemy. Let's challenge Muslims' sense of what they think is right. Why shouldn't Islam be criticised or even mocked? Any other institution is. What makes Islam so special?


In other news, twin Canadian converts and a third man are charged with terrorism-related offenses:

Mounties have charged a third Ottawa man in a terror investigation that included the arrest of 24-year-old twin brothers on Friday.

Police arrested Suliman Mohamed, 21, on Monday and charged him with participating in the activity of a terrorist group and conspiracy to participate in a terrorist activity.

Carlos Larmond was picked up Friday at Montreal's Trudeau airport, where police say he was planning to travel overseas to take part in terrorist activity.

His twin Ashton was arrested in Ottawa and is charged with facilitating terrorist activity, participation in the activity of a terrorist group, and instructing to carry out activity for a terrorist group.

Children in Nigeria are being used as suicide-bombers:

Two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market in north-east Nigeria on Sunday, witnesses said, killing three people in the second apparent attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives. 
The blasts struck around mid-afternoon at an open market selling mobile phones in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, which has frequently been attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram. 
A trader at the market, Sani Abdu Potiskum, said the bombers were about 10 years old. "I saw their dead bodies. They are two young girls of about 10 years of age ... you only see the plaited hair and part of the upper torso," the trader said. 
A source at the Potiskum general hospital said three people had been killed, excluding the bombers, while 46 were injured.

No word on any rallies or hashtags.


Divers have located the black box from Air Asia flight QZ8501:

Divers retrieved the cockpit voice recorder from the wreck of an AirAsia passenger jet on Tuesday, MetroTV said quoting a transport official, a key piece of evidence for investigators to determine the cause of the crash that killed 162 people.

The cockpit voice recorder, which records conversations between the pilots and with air traffic controllers, was found close to where the flight data recorder was recovered from the bottom of the Java Sea on Monday, the report said.

Two government officials with knowledge of the matter said divers had recovered an object, but could not confirm what it was until after its serial number was verified. 

Indonesia AirAsia's Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors.

The black boxes contain a wealth of data that will be crucial for investigators piecing together the sequence of events that led to the Airbus A320-200 plunging into the sea.

The cockpit voice recorder was now on board an Indonesian navy vessel and expected to be sent to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis...

And now, a new prehistoric creature was found in Scotland:

Scotland has its very own prehistoric marine reptile - and, no, we're not talking about Nessie, the mythic Loch Ness monster.

Scientists have announced the discovery of the fossil remains of a dolphin-like seagoing reptile on Scotland's Isle of Skye that lived about 170 million years ago and was about 14 feet (4.3 meters) long.

The creature, named Dearcmhara shawcrossi, is a member of a group called ichthyosaurs that were among the dominant marine reptiles when dinosaurs ruled the land. Ichthyosaurs, some of which reached monstrous proportions rivaling all but the largest of today's whales, thrived for more than 150 million years until disappearing about 95 million years ago.

Dearcmhara, a moderate-sized ichthyosaur, swam in warm, shallow seas during the Jurassic Period, eating fish and squid. Its remains are incomplete but the shape of a bone in its front flippers suggests it may have been an especially strong or fast swimmer, the researchers said.

"It is from Scotland, and is the first uniquely Scottish marine reptile ever discovered and studied," said University of Edinburgh paleontologist Steve Brusatte, one of the researchers in the study published on Monday in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

"Many other marine reptile fossils have been found in Scotland, but the vast majority of these have disappeared into private collections or been sold. This new specimen finally breaks the impasse: it was found by a private collector who did a great thing, donated it to a museum and worked with scientists," Brusatte added.

Amateur fossil hunter Brian Shawcross found the fossils on a beach in the northern part of the Isle of Skye in 1959 and donated them in the 1990s, researchers said. The genus name Dearcmhara (pronounced "jark vara") is Scottish Gaelic for "marine lizard." The species name honors Shawcross.

"It is important to emphasize how grateful we are that Brian donated the bones he found all those years ago," added paleontologist Neil Clark of the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum, which received the fossils.

The discovery sheds light on a span of the Jurassic regarded as nearly a black hole in the marine reptile fossil record, Brusatte said. Scotland is one of the few places with fossils from that time.

Almost.... ominous...


I Am Not Charlie

(re-printed with permission)


No, I am not Charlie.
 
By now we have all read about the deadly shooting in Paris at the office of a controversial publication, Charlie Hebdo.

The public’s response has been somewhat varied, but the common cry is “Je Suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie.”

Well I’m going to say it. I am not Charlie.

I am not going to invent figure heads, or let others invent figure heads for me. Especially people with poor taste and who are intentionally offensive. (though I support their right to be both)

"Charlie" is not responsible for my rights. I am, and have always been, a free man.

We don’t need to support him by pretending to be him. These cartoonists didn’t earn us our right to free speech. It is inherent. They didn’t get the law to recognise this right. They simply exercised their freedoms, as all of you should. We don’t need people to be free for us.

Whether you agree with what a person says, or chooses not to say, is irrelevant to the point. We all have the right to say or print what we like. As such, if you do not like what I say or print, you have the right not to listen or read it, but not to tell me what to say or write.

Furthermore, Freedom of Speech isn’t just the freedom to say what you want, but to say what others may not want you to say. There is no freedom if you can only say what you want, provided no one has any objections.


This attack, and others like it, are simply attempts by cowards and thugs to shut people up when they lack the moral high ground and means to do anything else.

 

I speak freely not because I am (like) Charlie. We are not Charlie. He is like all of you. Free men and women with the right to free speech. To say what you choose to.


We need to take a stand because he is one of us. This is not an attack merely on his right to free speech. It is an attack on our right to free speech.


You had this right before. You have it now. Stand on guard to make sure you can retain and use it tomorrow.

 

(Gracias, El Barto)

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Post


In what has to be one of the most dramatic events in recent French history, two brothers who murdered twelve cartoonists and a police officer were killed. In a separate shoot-out, another terrorist and his (alleged) accomplice killed a policewoman and killed four people in a kosher deli before himself being shot by police:

FRIDAY, Jan. 9.

—The brothers are cornered with a hostage inside a printing house. Security forces backed by a convoy of ambulances stream into the small industrial town. Helicopters hover above. Schools go into lockdown and town residents are told to stay inside their houses.
—"They said they want to die as martyrs," local lawmaker Yves Albarello, who was inside the police command post, tells French television.
—A gunman takes hostages at a kosher grocery on the eastern edge of Paris, wounding several people. Police say the hostage-taker is armed with an automatic rifle and there are multiple hostages and wounded.
—A police official identifies the gunman as Coulibaly. Police release his photo and that of a suspected female accomplice, Hayat Boumddiene, calling them "armed and dangerous."
—Police link Coulibaly to the Kouachi brothers. ...
—Just before 5 p.m., the Kouachi brothers came out from the printing plant with guns blazing, a French police official said. They were killed and their hostage was freed.
—Minutes later, police storm the Paris kosher grocery in another eruption of gunshots and explosions. Coulibaly and at least four hostages are killed. Fifteen hostages are freed.

So much for the "lone wolf" theory.

As of this writing, the female accomplice is still at large.


Related: more CBC cowardice and white-washing:

Next week, despite the loss of its founder and core staff, Charlie Hebdo will publish a new issue.

Financed by Google, the magazine returns with a circulation 20 times the size of the usual estimated 50,000.

The aim of this environmentally-obscene stunt is to give a finger to the terrorists who planned the Jan. 7 attack.  

It`s a dumb idea.

There are many clever ways to respond to the enemy. Doing their bidding is not one of them. 

Twelve muckraking journalists were not murdered so Muslims in France and throughout the Muslim world never see these contemptuous anti-Islamic cartoons, but so they would. 

Many of the four million Muslims who make up the 66 million people who live in France spend very little part of their day thinking about Charlie Hebdo.

But now, many, mostly assimilated French Muslim youth, many born in France with few ties to their parents` homeland or religion, many whom might have never even heard of Charlie Hebdo, can see every one of its grubby cartoons for his or herself. 

Perhaps, a tiny trickle of these youth, a significant number of whom identify as French and secular, might then be ripe for radicalization.

This was likely the terrorists’ and their masters’ naive hope as they and similar jihadists lose ground daily throughout Europe.  


Still, those French Muslims who would only roll their eyes and shrug in disbelief at the sight of racist cartoons might still come over to the terrorist`s side if the dominant population reacted to the attacks with enough of an anti-Muslim backlash.

Did Mr. Rae keep in account the closed-off streets in France for this 'secularised' populace?


Did he forget that a Muslim police officer was gunned down just as many Muslims are gunned down by Islamists?

The guy on the left did shout "Allah akbar" before his rampage, so...
How "radicalised" do you have to be to fly to Syria just so you can rape and murder?

How many cartoons do Middle Eastern Christians draw each week?

Are French "secularised" Muslims so stupid that they would get angry and then murderous over cartoons they may never have seen?

The Danish cartoons experience and white liberal posturing says yes.


In other news, the House voted to build Keystone:

Obama has threatened to veto the Keystone bill, along with two others. Nonetheless, the House voted 266 to 153 to approve the measure, with 28 Democrats joining all but one Republican voting yes. The bill goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to stage a lengthy, high-profile debate that is likely to stretch through Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 20.


The Law Society of New Brunswick elects to allow graduates of Trinity Western University:

The council of the Law Society of New Brunswick's decision to allow graduates of a yet-to-be opened Christian law school in British Columbia to practise in the province still stands after a tie vote Friday.

A win for merit!


And now, Japanese beers: can you tell the difference?

Who's Charlie Again?

Je suis Charlie Brown.



Je suis Charlie Chaplin.

Where is that support everyone kept promising to give? Who cares about hashtags and placards? They don't mean anything. No one 'gave our girls back' and most major news agencies refused to print Charlie Hebdo cartoons (save for French Canada) but they did offer cringing, whiny pretexts as to why they would not.

Case the first, David Studer, CBC's chief coward director of Journalistic Standards and Practices:

“This is not a ban, and it isn't censorship,”  David Studer, CBC's director of Journalistic Standards and Practices, said in an email on Wednesday, reminding news staff of CBC's long-established policy. 


“We are being consistent with our historic journalistic practices around this story, not because of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers about images of the Prophet​. Similarly, we wouldn't publish cartoons likely to dismay or outrage mainstream followers of other religions​.”

Would these be the same "beliefs and sensibilities" of the terrorists (or should I say "militants" as the CBC is wont to do?) who gunned down twelve unarmed people? I find it curious that for a major news story the publicly-funded CBC will not only refuse to print what is ostensibly the motive for this outrageous terrorist attack but then attempts a stiff upper lip when it claims it is doing so out of "respect".

I'll bet it does respect other religions.


Case the second:

David Walmsley, The Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief, explained the decision not to include the cartoons: “One doesn’t need to show a cartoon to show the story. The story is the killings, not any cartoon. As our editorial said, we support the right to publish material that provokes. Throughout the media landscape across the world, there is a wide range of material that is published. Charlie Hebdo has its voice, for example. The Globe and Mail has its. We hadn’t published the cartoons before the slaughter and our editorial position remains the same today.”

Wrong.

The entire story is about why these Islamist terrorists (one of whom has been tried for terrorism offenses) murdered twelve people in cold blood. If Catholic terrorists had murdered the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists over offensive cartoons, you would damn well publish that fact and the cartoons that came with it until you went purple.

But they weren't Catholics. They weren't Buddhists. They weren't Quakers. They weren't Jains. They are Muslims who killed defenseless people over badly drawn cartoons.

And that is the reason why you refuse to do the very thing that would not only fully flesh out this incident but stick a proverbial thumb-in-the-eye of the intolerant savages whose brains still reside in the seventh century.


Today, once again, the post-modern West has failed to stand up for itself and left itself open to more attacks, abuse and disintegration.