Harper is in Seoul (it's a hell of a town):
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen stepped off the plane in South Korea on Wednesday, and into a raging debate about how to revitalize the global economy.
In two Asian summits this week, Harper is pushing for bold, co-ordinated economic action — first at the Group of 20 summit in Seoul, and then at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Yokohama, Japan.
The Canadian leader has set a high bar for success at this week's G20 summit _ one that looks increasingly hard to reach.
Harper wants to see concrete commitments from the world's key economic actors this week, to stabilize the global economy and set the path for steady growth in the years to come.
But momentum for a deal on how to stabilize the global economy at the summit in Seoul is flagging.
"We must continue to avoid the temptation of unilateral action in response to the current pressures now weighing on the global economy," Harper pleaded with his G20 colleagues in a letter sent last week.
"I strongly believe that co-operative and co-ordinated actions are both in our national interests and will lead to a stronger global economy."
An earlier consensus that the world's economic powers should frame an action plan around a U.S. idea to constrain extreme surpluses and deficits is unravelling.
And now, surplus countries are chastising the United States for launching another round of so-called quantitative easing -- this time, a $600-billion bond purchase by the Federal Reserve that amounts to printing money.
China, Germany and Brazil, among others, are concerned that the U.S. move will devalue the American dollar, sending waves throughout the world, and especially to those countries that hold a lot of U.S. dollars.
"The dollar's strength ultimately rests on the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy," President Barack Obama wrote to G20 leaders in a letter this week, urging them to understand the state of the U.S. economy and the need to work together.
Printing money is a stupid thing to do, by the way, and Harper would do well to make sure the cretin running the US
Related: Harper is seen as trustworthy. Seen.
In some way, Kanye West apologises to George Bush.
Iran is not seen as a bastion of women's rights. I wonder why.
Obama campaigns in the Islamic world even though one member of that world had "ethical" qualms about shaking his wife's hand.
What a maroon. If an Indonesian minister would rather drink a bowl of wax than shake the hand of the wife of Indonesia's "greatest export", why in the name of Chewbacca would you want anything to do with it? Why? Is Obama fed up with his wife's opulent lifestyle? Does he care that Indonesia persecutes Christians? Is he looking for somewhere to retire in 2013?
Yemeni bomb set to go off over the US.
We owe Japan an apology (in a way):
What is wrong with these people?
The thirty-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Ladies and gentlemen, Gordon Lightfoot.
Baghdad Christians are targeted:
A string of anti-Christian bombings has cost six more lives in the wake of a Baghdad church bloodbath, sowing panic in Iraq's 2,000-year-old minority on Wednesday, many of whom now want to flee.
"Since Tuesday evening, there have been 13 bombs and two mortar attacks on homes and shops of Christians in which a total of six people were killed and 33 injured," a defence ministry official said. "A church was also damaged."
The attacks come less than two weeks after 44 Christian worshippers, two priests and seven security personnel died in the seizure of the Baghdad church by Islamist gunmen and the ensuing shootout when it was stormed by troops.
On November 3, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking at the capital's Syrian Catholic cathedral and warned it would step up attacks on Christians.
The UN Security Council said it was "appalled by, and condemned in the strongest terms, the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Iraq, including today's."
(Sidebar: this is the same UN that did nothing in Rwanda and allows China and Russia to sit permanently on the security council.)
The campaign of violence against Christians "potentially poses a threat to diversity in the Middle East, which was one of the fundamental bedrocks of stability," said British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, reading the council statement.
French ambassador Gerard Araud said Al-Qaeda's bomb and shooting attacks were part of "a deliberate will to destroy the Christian community."...
Monsignor Pius Kasha, also of the church in the hostage-taking at the end of last month, said a four-month-old baby was among three people wounded in bombings of Christian homes in Baghdad's Mansur district late on Tuesday.
"We don't know what is the aim of these criminals but what is certain is that this will push even more Christians to emigrate"
(Sidebar: Dear Monsignor, the aim of these "criminals" is to drive you out and/or kill you.)
A senior Iraqi clergyman based in London said at the weekend that Christians should quit Iraq or face being killed at the hands of Al-Qaeda.
But Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday cautioned foreign governments not to encourage Christians to abandon their homeland, after France took in dozens of people wounded in the cathedral attack.
Related: the silence is deafening:
The non-Muslim world is increasingly not surprised and unmoved by the depravity of Muslim jihadis committing outrage, one after another without end in sight, and what can only be explained, unsatisfactorily, as a pathological wish to cause pain to the living by random acts of terrorist violence.
The murderous attack on the church in central Baghdad last Sunday by Muslim terrorists, if we go with the news reports, was merely another not unusual blood-soaked event in the daily cycle of news from Muslim countries.
But if such an atrocity was not just another criminal event in a "normal" day across the Arab-Muslim world, then we should have heard of a special meeting being called at the UN, or in one of the capitals of member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to express outrage against those who killed innocent worshippers inside Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad.
We then should have heard of Muslim political and religious leaders expressing their grief over the dead and wounded — there were some 120 Iraqi Christians in attendance at the Sunday evening mass when Muslim terrorists attacked the church and left 58 dead with only a dozen escaping unhurt.
Instead, we have deathly silence of the Muslim leadership as non-Muslim minorities inside the Arab-Muslim world are routinely abused, their homes and places of worship under daily duress, and their hearts filled with fear of violent death in the hands of Muslim jihadis.
The silence signifies the abdication of any responsibility by governments of the Arab-Muslim world to protect non-Muslims in their countries, and severely punish those who target them.
Then there is the ignoble silence of Muslims here in Canada, and across the West, over the repeated atrocities committed against non-Muslim minorities in places like Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, or Sudan.
This silence of Muslim minorities in the West is even more despicable than that of Arab-Muslim governments. It reveals how little they understand, or respect, the political culture of societies where they have made their homes.
On the contrary, there is shrill denunciation by Muslim governments, and organizations representing Muslim minorities in the West, of the manufactured problem of "Islamophobia."...
The simple truth is Muslims are among the worst perpetrators of crimes against non-Muslims, and penalties based on obsolete jurisprudence of Shariah implemented in Muslim states violate the UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights, to which they are signatories.
Some would like to think this is some sort of "faux-persecution", an embellished incident or something to deflect from the "real problem" of "Islamophobia". It is insulting in every respect that someone would even think the aforementioned but there you have it.
Muslims kill each other. They even target mosques in which Korans are burned. Apparently, burning a book is worse than killing a family in the midst of daily worship so cheap is human life in some circles that it is scarcely noticed. The targeting of Christians in the Middle East by Islamofascists is not as shocking as the silence surrounding it. Of course it is horrifying and saddening that adherents to Christ are so persecuted. It is, since early Church times, expected. In the West, Christians deal with more ideological troubles, not so much bloodbaths. Why the silence and the deflection? Are we so removed from the pain of others that we ignore it or is there a deep-seated hatred of Christ and the Church that these kinds of atrocities would be acceptable to others?
I'd really like to know.
Laughing when you are not supposed to is "not acceptable". This is just plain wrong.
Lest we forget: