Monday, January 13, 2014

On a Monday

So it begins...

Over the week-end, former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, passed away:

Sharon died on Saturday, eight years after a devastating stroke removed the prime minister from office and left him in a coma from which he never recovered. He was 85. ...

One of Israel's greatest and most divisive figures, Sharon rose through the ranks of the military, moving into politics and overcoming scandal and controversy to become prime minister.

He spent most of his life battling Arab enemies and promoting Jewish settlement on war-won lands. But in a surprising about-face, he led a historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, uprooting all soldiers and settlers from the territory after a 38-year presence in a move he said was necessary to ensure Israel's security.

How does the popular press choose to remember him?

One of the notable features of the BBC’s tsunami of coverage of Ariel Sharon’s death – and one which has already received no small amount of criticism on social media for its inappropriate lack of taste – has been the generous inclusion and amplification of hate-filled views of the man and his life. ...

But apparently the BBC policy of amplifying the hate-speech of anyone and everyone – from the Tweeter in the street to members of terrorist organisations and tame editors of newspapers from theocratic dictatorships – when statesmen and politicians pass away is selective. We certainly saw no evidence of such policy when Mandela recently died and it will be remembered that the BBC saw fit to censor a song about former British PM Margaret Thatcher at the time of her passing on the grounds that it was an inappropriate “celebration of death”.

Related: rockets fired at Israel before Sharon's funeral:

Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip on Monday, just hours ahead of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's funeral, the Israeli army said. The projectiles did not appear to have landed in Israel.

Hey, Palestinians- guess who has a state and you don't? Guess.

Aged rock star Neil Young ramped up his tirades against the Alberta oil sands by claiming that not only do the oil sands cause health problems but are in violation of treaties:

A vocal environmentalist and critic of Canada's oilsands, Young, a longtime resident of California, partnered with First Nations groups in Alberta for his Honour the Treaties Tour, which includes four shows beginning Sunday in Toronto, then Regina, Winnipeg and Calgary. Proceeds of the sold-out concerts go toward the yet undefined legal actions by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to fight the expansion of the Shell-owned Jackpine Mine, 70 kilometres outside Fort McMurray, Alta., approved last month by the feds.

In September, Young caused a bit of an uproar in Alberta when he said at a National Farmers Union event in Washington, D.C., "Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima.

"Fort McMurray is a wasteland," Young said. "The fuel's all over, the fumes everywhere - you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 or 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray," he said. "People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this."

In a press conference Sunday, Young accused the Canadian government of breaking its promise to First Nations.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, told the CBC his community suffers high levels of cancer, lupus, skin rashes, asthma; he wants the government find out whether nearby oilsands activity is connected.

Shell says the expansion will create 750 new full-time positions plus construction jobs.

"We meet regularly with aboriginal communities to discuss projects, training and business opportunities," Shell spokesman David Williams said. "Conversations are open, regular and most often constructive."

There's a few glaring omissions there, Heart of Crap. Aboriginals have found gainful employment in the mining and gas industries and mostly in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. A survey meant to uncover possible health risks of the oil sands in Fort McKay have been stymied by a refusal to take part in it. If it helps, cancer rates in Alberta have fallen in 2013. What also is pertinent in this debate is that there is no evidence to suggest that environmental contaminants are causing cancer in place like Fort Chipewyan and that any such suggestions were erroneously made.

Certainly no Hiroshima.

Then there is this little embarrassing tidbit:

A couple weeks ago I wanted to let my family and friends know what was going on in my life and I tweeted that I was going to be filming with Neil Young and Daryl Hannah in Fort McMurray. I was not prepared for the reaction. My phone was immediately blowing up with media requests to find out what was going on. Reaction from people commenting on social media in the community ranged from concern to rage over how Fort McMcMurray would be portrayed by these people who have a clear environmental agenda. ...

What we didn't shoot was as informative about the narrative as what we did shoot. We did not film any reclaimed land. We didn't film any new extraction operations using greener technology. We didn't film any industry experts. We didn't film Neil's diesel burning bus that his crew rode in. We didn't film the environmentally conscious community active in Fort McMurray. That stuff wasn't on the agenda.

Mr. Young's ravings are the limit. Like other enviro-extremists, he makes claims that cannot be supported and offers no real solutions to any problems. To top it off, he is misleading and hypocritical.

A lot of hot gas.

Moving on....

Pope Francis has to remind everyone that neither he nor the Church is changing. It doesn't need to:

Pope Francis, whom conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church have accused of not speaking out forcefully enough against abortion, on Monday called the practice "horrific".

The pope made his toughest remarks to date on abortion in his yearly address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, a speech known as his "State of the World" address.

"It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day," he said in a section of the speech about the rights of children around the world.

Abortion, he said, was part of a "throwaway culture" that had enveloped many parts of the world.

"Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary," he said.

Since his election in March, the pope, while showing no signs of changing the Church's position against abortion, has not spoken out against it as sternly or as repeatedly as his predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II.

(Sidebar: if the wags care to remember, Pope Francis made it clear that Church is more than its opposition to abortion and it has always had care for the poor. Suck it, popular press. You're a journalistic and moral failure.)

Related: Pope Francis names nineteen new cardinals.

Hillary Clinton's hit list:

It would be political malpractice for the Clintons not to keep track of their friends and enemies. Politicians do that everywhere. The difference is the Clintons, because of their popularity and the positions they’ve held, retain more power to reward and punish than anyone else in modern politics. And while their aides have long and detailed memories, the sheer volume of the political figures they interact with makes a cheat sheet indispensable. “I wouldn’t, of course, call it an enemies list,” said one Clintonworld source when asked about the spreadsheet put together by Balderston and Elrod. “I don’t want to make her sound like Nixon in a pantsuit.

Too late.

But I thought if you liked your doctor, you could keep him:

Obamacare required almost all congressional staffers to give up their federal health care plans and to enroll in Obamacare. The results, say some aides, have been awful. 

"The elimination of staff's traditional health care has been a complete disaster," said one respondent.
Another staffer with breast cancer was forced to switch health plans while undergoing radiation treatments. 

"Getting insured through the D.C. exchange is not helpful – my choices are very limited and costs are high," the staffer said. "As a result, I've gone on my husband's plan. My staff don't necessarily have that option." 

A total of 163 congressional aides responded to the survey; 52% of staffers surveyed were Democrats, 48% were Republicans.

The study found that 86% of those surveyed were worried about Obamacare's financial costs and that 79% said they were concerned switching to Obamacare may affect their access to doctors and care.

Own your mess, American voters and congressional staff. Own it.

Over at the Fur: sectarian violence in Bangladesh, Gazans are forced to pay for donated medicines, Germans care about the suffering of Christians in the Middle East and have the flash mobs to prove it and much, much more!

Is your favourite breakfast food an indicator of your personality? Probably not but breakfast food IS delicious.


Anonymous said...

"Pope Francis has to remind everyone that neither he nor the Church is changing."

In other breaking news, in a nod to outraged environmentalists, bears still crap in the woods. Scientists discover a pattern revealing the sun continues to rise in the east.

I'm seriously hoping Pope Francis says a few more things difficult for lefties to spin, most clearly and loudly, very soon.

Honestly, I think I liked it better when people were always criticising the pope, because at least then they were more honest about what he said.

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

No, these liberal yahoos were NEVER honest about the Pope (s). They were delusional and vitriolic. They hear and see what they want to hear and see. They believed Pope Francis may be a leftist but is not. I'm glad he is disappointing them.

Anonymous said...

Like I said... "more honest" not "completely honest."

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Or never honest to begin with.