Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mid-Week Post

All in a day’s work…

A group of protesters who had been blockading an Enbridge pumping station in Ontario since last week has been charged after police moved in Wednesday to remove them from the property.

Hamilton police said protesters were given 24-hours notice to leave after Enbridge obtained a court injunction Tuesday, and 18 protesters were arrested when they refused to leave the station. 

Police spokeswoman Debbie McGreal-Dinning said 13 men and women, between 19 and 25-years-old, were charged with trespassing. Four protesters were charged with mischief and one other with breaking and entering with intent to commit mischief.

She said all were being released after they were processed.

I insist they stand for their principles and block this pumping station in January.

The debate about a gender-neutral national anthem has been on hiatus for the past couple of years — at least in the public sphere.

But an Ottawa-based non-profit group wants it back on the national agenda.

Informed Opinions — a social enterprise gender equity group — has produced a new YouTube video promoting the idea.

In their 2010 throne speech, the Harper Conservatives suggested the change to the national anthem: They wanted to amend the phrase "in all thy sons command." The Prime Minister's Office quickly withdrew the idea citing that Canadians overwhelmingly told them they like the anthem as is.

Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions, argues that the complaints came from a very vocal minority.

"They got backlash from the Conservative base and that was probably predictable," she told Yahoo! Canada News in a telephone interview.

"But the Conservative base is not the majority of the population of the country."

(Sidebar: and neither are you.)

Some fast facts about “O Canada”: was composed by Calixa Lavallee with words written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier, two French-Canadians, in 1880. It was first sung in Quebec before the more popular English translation by Robert Stanley Weir was performed in 1908. It was approved as the national anthem in the year of Canada’s centennial in 1967. It was officially adopted on July 1st, 1980.

Ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem.

Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty returned to the political battlefield on Tuesday, tasked with answering questions from a commission investigating the costly and politically opportune gas plant cancellations.

He did that, sure. Although maybe not to the degree the opposition-led commission would have preferred.

But the real fireworks came when McGuinty dismissed the affair as partisan gamesmanship, waxing poetic about the state of politics in Canada and citing ancient Roman statesman Cato the Elder for some reason.

"We need to understand this exercise for what it truly is. It is not a genuine effort on the part of the opposition to seek out the truth. They are partisan," McGuinty said of the commission during a post-appearance press conference.

He added later: "I'm not looking for votes now. I think it is important to talk about these things."

There are 585 million reasons why everyone in Ontario cares about the deleted e-mails, you dolt.


We saw the future of the Obamacare death Panel when Kathleen Sebelius denied ten year old Sarah Murnaghans a lung transplant before a Judge overturned the decision.  Sarah Palin’s observations about how the Independent Payment Advisory Board would work as a death panel can no longer be debated.  Sarah Palin was right on Obamacare having a defacto death panel in 2009.

David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley in a recent Wall Street Journal article demonstrated  how this board will ration health  and care but noted, “The ObamaCare law also stipulates that there “shall be no administrative or judicial review” of the board’s decisions.  Its members will be nearly untouchable, too.  They will be Presidentialy nominated and Senate-confirmed, but after that they can only be fired for “neglect of duty or malfeasance in office….  The IPAB’s godlike powers are not accidental.  Its goal, conspicuously proclaimed by the Obama administration, is to control Medicare spending in ways that are insulated from the political process.”  Sarah Palin was right about the Death Panel and I suspect as one pundit recently noted; we would be better off with a President Sarah Palin.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted as Labor Party leader Wednesday by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, in a vote of party lawmakers hoping to avoid a huge defeat in upcoming elections.

The ballot took place three years and two days after Gillard ousted Rudd in a similar internal government showdown to become the country’s first female prime minister. She lacked Rudd’s charisma, and although many Labor lawmakers preferred her style, her deepening unpopularity among voters compelled a majority to seek a change ahead of elections that are set for Sept. 14 but could be held in August.
Artist's rendition of the ousting. I believe Gillard is the one with the powerful tail.

On June 25, 1950, the Chinese and Russian-backed North Korea attacked its neighbour to the south. On June 25, 2013, cyberspace on the Korean Peninsula went dark:

Several North and South Korean websites that went offline on a war anniversary remained shut down Wednesday, a day after what Seoul partly blamed on a hacking attack.

The shutdown appeared to be less severe than one in March, and some government and private sector sites were operating again.

The main page of the presidential Blue House was restored, but websites for the prime minister's office, the science ministry and South Korea's spy agency remained offline. The conservative South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo was back online.

North Korea's national airline, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North's official Uriminzokkiri site and Naenara, the country's state-run Internet portal, had been shut down Tuesday, and all but Air Koryo were operational a few hours later.

Seoul blamed hacking for the shutdown of the South Korean sites, and National Intelligence Service officials said they were investigating what may have shut down the North Korean websites. North Korea has not commented.

The shutdowns occurred on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War, which both countries commemorated. They also are preparing for the 60th anniversary of the end of the fighting July 27, a day North Koreans call "Victory Day" even though the Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

There’s that wordrestiveagain:

Riots in a restive far western region of China on Wednesday killed 27 people and left at least three injured, state media said.

The official Xinhua news agency said knife-wielding mobs attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site Wednesday morning in a remote town in the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region.

The unrest in in Lukqun, a township in Turpan prefecture, left 17 people dead, including nine policemen, before police shot and killed 10 rioters, the agency reported. Xinhua cited officials with the region's Communist Party committee.

Xinjiang is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs but is ruled by China's Han ethnic majority. It has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years, including ethnic riots in Urumqi in 2009 that left nearly 200 people dead.

Obama is a piece of shtako:

As Egyptians of all factions prepare to demonstrate in mass against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi’s rule on June 30, the latter has been trying to reduce their numbers, which some predict will be in the millions and eclipse the Tahrir protests that earlier ousted Mubarak.  Among other influential Egyptians, Morsi recently called on Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to urge his flock, Egypt’s millions of Christians, not to join the June 30 protests.

While that may be expected, more troubling is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt is also trying to prevent Egyptians from protesting—including the Copts.  The June 18th edition of Sadi al-Balad reports that lawyer Ramses Naggar, the Coptic Church’s legal counsel, said that during Patterson’s June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she “asked him to urge the Copts not to participate” in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Brotherhood. …

So why is the Obama administration now asking Christians not to oppose their rulers—in this case, Islamists—who have daily proven themselves corrupt and worse, to the point that millions of Egyptians, most of them Muslims, are trying to oust them?

What’s worse is that the human rights abuses Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been suffering under Muslim Brotherhood rule are significantly worse than the human rights abuses that the average Egyptian suffered under Mubarak—making the Copts’ right to protest even more legitimate, and, if anything, more worthy of U.S support.

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