Tuesday, January 18, 2011

There Is Still So Much to Say

Quebec legislature denies access to Sikhs carrying kirpans:

Several Sikhs were denied entry into the Quebec legislature Tuesday amid a heated debate over multiculturalism and just where to draw the line when it comes to tolerating cultural practices.

Security officials at Quebec's assemblee nationale refused to let them in because they were wearing kirpans, small stylized daggers worn by some religious Sikhs.

Four representatives from the World Sikh Organization of Canada had planned to attend public hearings but were told by security to leave their daggers at the door if they wanted to enter. They refused.

The provincial government reacted with cautious language to the decision. The opposition Parti Quebecois, meanwhile, applauded heartily and said Canadian-style multiculturalism was unwelcome in Quebec.

Good. I don't care who you are, weapons are not allowed. Is Trudeau-style multiculturalism far more important than safety and the rule of law?

If I were a Saskatchewan marriage commissioner, this would be my response to a nagging special-interest group.

Someone else who should salute with a dreaded finger.

Speaking of tidy little fascists and their love for shutting up people they don't like:

The objection students’ associations have to allowing any opinion at all to be expressed on campus is that some opinions are upsetting to members of the university community. Hearing these opinions, the argument goes, robs such people of the peace of mind, feeling of belonging, and confidence in their identities that they need to participate fully in academic and campus life. That the students’ association is able and willing to deny certain resources (such as meeting rooms) reassures these people that they will be able to participate safely in academic and campus life.

Make the greedy little student unions repay every single penny to the students they rip off. Highway robbery never looked so... academic.

Hu Jintao arrives in Washington to check out his investment. The commander-toady-in-chief has promised his boss trading partner a welcoming family dinner because China owns American debt, has taken North American jobs while it mistreats its own workers, kills North Korean refugees to help its vassal state save face and is just an all-around bully.

Related: from the makers of unsafe toys to potentially unsafe toys:

The federal government is restricting the use of certain chemicals used to make toys and child-care articles soft and squishy.

The new regulations restrict the use of six compounds known as phthalates in toys and items such as bibs and sippy cups.

For more than a decade, manufacturers have followed voluntary restrictions on the use of these chemicals in things such as pacifiers, rattles and baby-bottle nipples.

The new rules extend the restrictions and bring Canada in line with the United States and the European Union.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says there are concerns that the chemicals can leach out of certain items that may be chewed or sucked over long periods.

Under the regulations, phthalate concentration will be limited to 1,000 milligrams for every kilogram of plastic.

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier won't be able to exploit Haiti's power vacuum because he has been taken into custody.

Cut. Pakistan. Off.

The lifeless bodies of two tiny babies are being given their final bath before burial in Karachi, after they were left to die in the southern Pakistani city's garbage dumps.

"They can only have been one or two days old," says volunteer worker Mohammad Saleem, pointing at the two small corpses being gently washed by his colleagues at a charity's morgue.

In the conservative Muslim nation, where the birth of children outside of marriage is condemned and adultery is a crime punishable by death under strict interpretations of Islamic law, infanticide is a crime on the rise.

More than 1,000 infants -- most of them girls -- were killed or abandoned to die in Pakistan last year according to conservative estimates by the Edhi Foundation, a charity working to reverse the grim trend.

The infanticide figures are collected only from Pakistan's main cities, leaving out huge swathes of the largely rural nation, and the charity says that in December alone it found 40 dead babies left in garbage dumps and sewers.

The number of dead infants found last year -- 1,210 -- was up from 890 in 2008 and 999 in 2009, says the Edhi Foundation manager in Karachi, Anwar Kazmi.

A sad yet touching photo of a dog and its former owner.

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