Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid-Week Post


The "Arab Spring" is perhaps one of the worst euphemisms ever uttered:

Egyptian security forces crushed the protest camps of thousands of supporters of the deposed Islamist president on Wednesday, shooting almost 200 of them dead in the bloodiest day in decades and polarizing the Arab world's most populous nation.

At least 235 people were killed in all, including at least 43 police, and 2,000 wounded, a health official said, in fierce clashes that spread beyond Cairo to towns and cities around Egypt. Deposed president Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood said the death toll of what it called a "massacre" was far higher.

While bodies wrapped in carpets were carried to a makeshift morgue near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the army-backed rulers declared a one-month state of emergency, restoring to the military the unfettered power it wielded for decades before a pro-democracy uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said 43 police were among the dead. Security forces had completely cleared two protest camps in the capital and would not tolerate any further sit-ins, he said, vowing to restore Mubarak-era security.

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi defended the use of force, condemned by the United States and European governments, saying the authorities had no choice but to act to end "the spread of anarchy".

This is the new Iran. It has a huge Islamist presence, must import its food and one dictator differs little from the previous ones.

One is known by the company one keeps:

A British Columbia group has told an international panel reviewing the environmental effects of NAFTA that the worst fears about the historic trade agreement's impact on the environment have come true, especially under the federal Conservative government.

West Coast Environmental Law has sent a submission to the Commission on Environmental Co-operation as part of the commission's look back at the 20 years since a side deal was signed between Canada, the United States and Mexico in response to concerns that NAFTA's environmental impact.

The commission has formed a public advisory panel asking for public input, noting in a news release the side deal was reached amid concerns that NAFTA might "harm the environment by encouraging the creation of pollution havens because of lax environmental standards or ineffective environmental law enforcement."

"With new free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in negotiation all around the globe, there is no better time to reflect on the ideas that led to the creation of the (commission) in 1994, considered by many as the first time international trading partners addressed concerns that free trade might harm the environment," the commission's news release said.

But West Coast Environmental Law argues that's exactly what has happened.

In a submission filed Wednesday, the group argues the federal Conservatives violated the agreement by introducing changes in two omnibus pieces of legislation.

Specifically, the group points to changes to the Fisheries Act, which it says will inhibit the protection of fish habitat, and changes to the way Canada conducts environmental assessments.

The group says those changes will mean there will be thousands fewer assessments, including on projects the groups says could have major environmental impacts, such as oil and gas pipelines. ...

(Sidebar: red flag warning.)

West Coast's letter to the commission comes a day after environmental activists launched a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada challenging new federal legislation they say limits their ability to oppose pipeline projects at regulatory hearings.

The lawsuit, which will be mounted by noted Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby, was filed by ForestEthics Advocacy and activist Donna Sinclair.

Read the number of acts, permits and regulations Canada has for resource exploration and protection of the environment. Who does not have the kind of environmental protocols Canada has? China. Indeed, foreign companies do not need to adhere to the strict labour and environmental laws of their home countries when they re-locate to China. Whether from domestic or foreign persons or companies, pollution in China isn't just rampant; it's deadly. China's grave environmental transgressions always seem to be absent when Canada is hyperbolically accused of ruining the environment, particularly when it concerns oil or gas. One of the biggest red flags in the article was the mention of ForestEthics Advocacy. See here:

Since 2005, the U.S.-based Oak Foundation has made at least eight grants for $3 million for projects that are clearly intended to tackle the Canadian oil industry and/or stop the development of the Northern Gateway project. Four of these grants went to Tides Canada, two went to Greenpeace, one went to Forest Ethics and one went to West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation.

A coincidence, I'm sure.

If the Senate had been reformed ages ago, ie, all persons being elected and with accountability, this would not be a problem:

The Deloitte audit into expense claims by Senator Pamela Wallin cost $126,998 – or slightly more than the amount she’s being asked to repay. ...

The audit recommends Ms. Wallin pay back $121,348 in travel expenses. Auditors said about three-quarters of that sum was for travel that wasn’t ultimately for Senate business, while about one-quarter was for costs incurred by Ms. Wallin during regular stops in Toronto, where she owns a condo. Auditors found no issue with 73 per cent of Ms. Wallin’s travel claims.

And before one forgets, Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne covered up the true costs of cancelled gas plants, Kathleen Wynne is associated with an accused child pornographer and Justin Trudeau took money from schools and charities and trolls for Islamist votes.

Some people are scum:

The ashes of a teen girl who had been killed in a car crash were stolen and thrown on the street, say Calgary police, who are looking for help in solving a series of vehicle break-ins.

The incidents occurred on Aug. 2 in the area of 10th Street and Wapta Rise S.E. A number of vehicles were targeted, including a truck that carried a pouch containing the ashes of Colleen Ransom's 19-year-old daughter.

Ransom was barely able to hold back the tears Tuesday as she discussed losing her daughter for a second time.

Emma Ransom, 19, was killed along with two other women when the car they were driving in 2009 near Nanton, Alta., crossed the median and slammed into an oncoming car.

Since then Ransom has kept Emma's ashes in a green velvet pouch

But culprits took the pouch and dumped the ashes on the sidewalk, later tossing it to the side. A green jacket that belonged to Emma was also taken.

Yeah, that's not going to work:

President Park Geun-hye proposed Thursday that South and North Korea hold reunions for separated families and establish a peace park in their heavily armed border, a day after the two sides reached a landmark deal to reopen a joint industrial complex.

Another ship sinking in oh, sa, sam...

Still, Happy Gwangbokjol.

It falls on the Feast of the Assumption. After a bomb was dropped on the place of great martyrdoms.

Think about it.

And now, eat your strawberries. They're good for you.

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