Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Post

Canada, for some reason, was bested by Portugal and Germany in a bid for a seat on the UN security council:

Bruised on the second ballot by its Portugese rival, Canada called an abrupt halt to its bid Tuesday to rejoin the United Nations Security Council — the country's second international black eye in as many days — and laid the blame for its failure squarely at the feet of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

Canada’s UN Ambassador John McNee made the announcement after the second ballot gave Portugal 113 votes and Canada just 78, both short of the 128 votes required to claim the second of two available seats on the influential council. Germany won the first seat on the first ballot.

Despite recent rumblings about Canada's decidedly Israel-friendly foreign policy, it was Ignatieff, having last month openly questioned whether Canada was ready to re-join the council, who earned the brunt of the blame from both Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and the Prime Minister's Office.

"I do not think that this is a repudiation of Canada's foreign policy," Cannon told a news conference.

"Canada ran a campaign based on principle; we ran a strong campaign. Unfortunately, back home in Canada, the leader of the opposition determined that Canada does not speak with one voice."

Yes, it was a repudiation of Canada's foreign policy and shut up, Ignatieff.

As much as it might sound like a good idea to counteract China and Russia's repeated efforts to screw the world, this is the UN where China and Russia can actually have permanent seats on the security council and where indifference to the rape of Congolese women and the murder of Rwandan civilians can go unabated.


A battle is brewing between the Saskatchewan government and First Nations over the province's potash riches. 

The province's Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd says the government's position is clear -- it is happy to work with First Nations, but potash and other natural resources are under the exclusive control of the provincial government. 

A group of First Nations preparing to launch legal action on the matter says the issue is not so black and white. 

Led by former Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations chief Perry Bellegarde, they say First Nations never surrendered any resources below the "depth of a plow" in the treaties. 

With the province's potash industry under the microscope due to an attempted $38.6-billion U.S. takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. by BHP Billiton, a growing number of experts agree it's time for the government to start negotiating a resource revenue-sharing deal with First Nations.

Will this obvious power grab make chiefs more accountable?

Rescue for the Chilean miners is at hand:

Officials are concerned about acute hypertension in some of the miners, as well as sudden drops in blood pressure in others because of the speed of the ascent to the surface. The men have been taking Aspirin since Sunday to prevent blood clots, and will wear a biometric belt that monitors heart rate and body heat and a special suit to maintain their body temperature. They will go from temperatures of about 32C underground to near freezing if they emerge at night. The miners have been put on a high-calorie diet designed by NASA to prepare them for the ride in the capsule, pictured. The liquid food enriched with potassium and magnesium should prevent nausea as the capsule will spin 350 degrees some 10 to 12 times at a speed of up to three feet per second.

The trapped miners while be placed in a one-man capsule that will rotate in a devised rescue shaft. The whole process will take fifteen to twenty minutes per miner. Yikes.

It never ends:

The man who admitted to stealing plants in a high-profile trial against a Chinatown shopkeeper last week is once again in jail, on separate plant-stealing charges. Anthony Bennett, 52, pictured, who is known in the Chinatown and Kensington Market neighbourhoods for his thieving ways and has 43 prior convictions, spent the weekend in the Don Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow to face five charges of theft under $5,000, in connection with taking plants from the Jungle Fruit mart in Kensington Market last spring. Bennett is a witness in the trial of David Chen, who owns Lucky Moose Mart on Dundas Street West, and two others facing charges of assault and forcible confinement after catching Bennett stealing plants last year and placing him under citizen's arrest. Bennett testified in court last week that he did indeed steal the plants from Mr. Chen.

Just free David Chen already.

Another Chinese fellow knows how David Chen feels. China is still pouting:

China is still steaming over the "affront" it suffered when dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week...
 Even before the diplomatic snub, it was clear earlier yesterday that feelings were running high in Beijing when the China Daily carried an editorial page column calling the award "part of the plot to contain China." 
 "Some may have expectations that such a prize will effect changes inside China in the direction they desire," it argued. "But it can do little except expose, and in some ways highlight, the deep and wide ideological rift between this country and the West." 

Author Mo Nong, described as a copy editor at the official paper, continued: "Liu's award is a provocation to China. And every time the West waves a stick, relations deteriorate." 

China is not quite alone in decrying the honour to Mr. Liu, either. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed his political opponents who praised Mr. Liu's selection as "lackeys" and said: "Our greetings and solidarity go to the government of the People's Republic of China." 

Meanwhile journalists and some supporters gathered again in front of Mr. Liu's apartment in Beijing yesterday after news spread that his wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest there. Police did not allow anyone to enter the building and a sign hung outside read: "No interviews in this neighbourhood please." 

The U.S.-based Freedom Now said Liu Xia was able to get a message out on Twitter: "Brothers I have come back. I have been under house arrest since the 8th and don't know when I'll get to see everyone again. They broke my mobile phone so I can no longer make or receive calls." 

Liu Xia said: "I saw Xiaobo, who learned about his winning the prize in prison on the evening of the 9th."

She said Mr. Liu cried when he heard about the honour and dedicated the prize to the "Tiananmen martyrs" -- referring to the hundreds, perhaps thousands who were massacred when the army moved in to quash the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. 

Yang Jianli, a member of Mr. Liu's "international defence and human rights team" at Freedom Now, said: "We hope that world leaders will immediately condemn this shameful act by the Chinese government and urge Liu Xia's immediate and unconditional release." 

Some parenting experts believe stubborn children are being that way in order to get attention. Can we afford to ignore China- "the little emperor"- until it grows up? I guess we owe Japan an apology.

The July 7th attacks could have much worse:

The London suicide attacks of July 7, 2005 might have been planned for the previous day and the bombers were prepared to fight police and throw improvised bombs at them, the victims' inquests were told yesterday. The first day of the inquests into the deaths of the 52 people heard the victims had been killed in acts of merciless savagery during an "unimaginably dreadful wave of horror." Four British Islamists -- Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Hasib Hussain, 18, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19,--detonated homemade bombs on three packed underground trains and a bus. The coroner, Lady Justice Heather Hallett, pictured, opened the hearing by pledging to release as much material as possible to the public. She will examine the role of the security services and whether MI5 could and should have stopped the attacks.

The next time someone tells you Islamofascism is a myth or that all religions and cultures are the same, remind them they can afford to be that stupid because they live in countries where the punishment for theft is a trial by one's own peers and imprisonment, not cutting off a hand, and where women are allowed to drive.

The Koran contains several very specific curses against Jews. And as modern terrorists often like to remind their YouTube audiences, Muhammad himself was a prolific Jew-killer. This passage from In Ishmael's House, for instance, describes events that took place after the Prophet's soldiers captured members of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in the year 627: "[All] 700 Jewish men were taken to the market at Medina. Trenches were dug in the market square and the men, tied together in groups, were beheaded. Their headless bodies were then buried in the trenches while Mohammed watched ... All Jewish males who had not reached puberty, and all the remaining women and girls, were sold into slavery." This mass slaughter came to be described in Muslim religious literature as the product of divine revelation. To this day, it is cited as clear proof that Allah permits the most hideous forms of punishment to be meted out against nonbelievers.

Also related- Aisha gets a new face (WARNING: contains shocking images):

An Afghan teenager who was horribly mutilated by her husband under Taliban rule was all smiles as she unveiled her new prosthetic nose for the first time.

Aisha, 19, shocked the world when she appeared on the cover of Time Magazine to lift the veil on the plight of many women in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, she bravely faced the public wearing a prosthetic nose - one that gives her some idea of how she will look after having reconstructive surgery....

When Aisha was 12, her father promised her in marriage to a Taliban fighter to pay a debt. She was handed over to his family who abused her and forced her to sleep in the stable with the animals.

When she attempted to flee, she was caught and her nose and ears were hacked off by her husband as punishment.

James Hansen, the head of one of President Barack Obama’s NASA labs, came to Canada last week to tell us not to allow a French company called Total to proceed with its Canadian oilsands project.

Even for Obama, that’s quite a foreign policy accomplishment: Interfering with two allies at once.

NASA used to be about exploring space — that’s what the S stands for. But NASA’s new boss, Charles Bolden, recently told Al Jazeera TV that Obama has given him new marching orders: Inspire children to learn math, expand international relationships. “Perhaps foremost. he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”

I guess that’s what happens when a “community organizer” becomes president.

But when you think about it, Hansen is following Obama’s instructions perfectly: The Saudis probably do “feel good” that NASA is trying to shut down their Canadian oil competitors.

Total is proposing to invest between $15 billion and $20 billion in Canada over the next 10 years, creating 1,300 jobs. Total’s not just producing the oil, they’re going to upgrade it in Canada, too, adding value for export.

Hansen is upset that the Total mine will emit 1.5 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide a year. Anything with the word “mega” in it sounds big. But that works out to just 0.0038% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions.

If carbon dioxide is your worry — and Hansen says it’s his — then coal should be your focus. It emits twice the carbon dioxide than petroleum products to create the same energy.

Hansen can start in his own backyard. Take the Miller coal-fired power station in Quinton, Ala. That one power plant emits more than 20 Mt of carbon dioxide a year. One plant. The Scherer coal-fired power plant in Juliette, Georgia is even bigger. It emits more than 25 Mt a year.

But those plants are just babies compared to what China is doing. China has plenty of power plants bigger than Scherer. There’s one in Tuen Mun at a whopping 35.8 Mt. And Taiwan has one that tops 41 Mt.
The oilsands — all of them combined? Barely 30 Mt.

Individual Chinese power plants have higher carbon emissions than Canada’s 100 different oilsands companies put together.

But Hansen hasn’t flown to China with his protest.

In 2008, Hansen said CEOs of fossil energy companies should be put on trial for “crimes against humanity.” Try saying that in China and you’ll get the Tiananmen Square treatment.

Hansen doesn’t even criticize China from the safety of the United States. In a laughable essay he wrote this spring for the liberal Huffington Post, Hansen says he believes China wants to “avoid the fossil fuel addiction of the United States. They want to clean up their atmosphere and water.”

Avoid fossil fuels? Last year Chinese auto sales hit 13.64 million, more than the U.S. for the first time. The number of cars on the road in China is expected to double to 200 million in less than 10 years. Clean up their atmosphere? The World Bank says that 20 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in China.

But Hansen and NASA and Obama don’t criticize China. China is the largest owner of U.S. treasury bills.
When you owe someone a trillion dollars, you don’t call them “polluter.”

You call them “boss.”

If one doesn't agree with Ezra Levant, fine. Give a sound reason. Are there less polluting forms of energy out there that are both practical and affordable? Are China, Saudi Arabia or Nigeria countries in which a worker has basic human rights? I hear comments like:
The problem with the Levants of the world is that they play the juvenile conservative blame game of: "Hey we ain't as bad as the Liberals (no but we are worse) or Nigeria or we ain't got the unemployment that the U.S. has or look at big bad China."

Some comfort.

When Canadians start feeling better about themselves when compared to worse qualities or situations of others. Right, that will get us far.

Typical Canadian thinking of late.
Sending Ezra Levant to do a man's job is like sending an arms dealer to negotiate peace in the Congo.

...but few counter-arguments that bear the semblance of intelligent discourse. Slagging a man isn't a counter-point. It's automatic naysaying.

The smell of desperation is in the air. The problem with getting crowds for this sort of event is that either anyone with a stupid crusade will show up to shoot his mouth off or the predictable laziness of leftist slackers. It's like knowing there will a train wreck before it happens.

Lightfoot in art.


Anonymous said...

Any time a resource that is of any value whatsoever is discovered in some uninhabited area, some Native leader/activist cries, "That's Native land!"

Tell them that, as soon as they pay their property taxes on that land, including the couple of centuries they are in arrears (unpaid), then their claims will receive semi-serious consideration.


Anonymous said...

Yes, HH. Conquest is a part of history, sad as it may be. How many groups. i.e. Jewish and Irish people, were displaced throughout history. Where is their retribution?

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

What you said, Harold.
All of a sudden land is somehow precious, sacred or theirs. Right.