Friday, February 28, 2014

For A Friday

It's time....

The situation so far:

Ukraine International Airlines says it has cancelled flights to and from the regional capital of Crimea due to the closure of the airspace over the peninsula.

The announcement, which did not say who had closed the airspace, came after heavily armed uniformed men took up positions outside a military and a civilian airport in Crimea, a flashpoint in the tense relations between Ukraine and Russia, which has a naval base in Crimea.

Russian troops have moved into Crimea in what Moscow is calling a mission to “protect Black Sea Fleet’s positions” but which the Ukrainian government has denounced as an “armed intervention.” 

Ukraine's acting president has warned Russian forces not to leave their naval base in the Crimea region after gunmen seized government buildings in the regional capital.

President Oleksandr Turchynov said: "Any movements of troops, especially with troops outside that territory will be considered military aggression."

(Sidebar: Russia does not respond well to threats because, as it has been shown in the past, it has nothing to fear from anyone.)

Remember when Mitt Romney called Russia a "geopolitical threat" and Sarah Palin predicted that Russia would invade Ukraine but no one wanted to listen to them?


Artist's depiction of Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin bathing in the sunlight of complete rightness.

 A tale of two responses:

"As Canadians we emphasize our very strong support — and we emphasize this to all the countries in the region — our very strong support for the territorial integrity and the respect of the territorial integrity of Ukraine," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at an event in Toronto.

"We remain very supportive of the Ukrainian people in their desire for democracy and a better future."

While not specifically naming Russia in his comments, Harper called the reports out of Ukraine "worrying."

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, speaking from Kyiv, went further, singling out Russia directly.

Baird said he was calling on Ukraine's neighbours to respect its sovereignty "and avoid any actions that could prove and appear provocative."

"With this in mind I am concerned that Russian military exercises so close to the Ukrainian border are not helpful at this time when emotions and when tensions are running high."

The comments came as members of Ukraine's new government accused Russia of a "military invasion," saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports in Crimea.

Baird said he welcomed a statement from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Russia would respect Ukraine's territorial sovereignty.

(Sidebar: Lavrov is a lapdog. He will "transmit" no such message to his superiors.)


Earlier today, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia that intervening in Ukraine would be “a very grave mistake.” This afternoon, fellow clown Jay Carney doubled down on the paper tiger diplomacy...

And there you have it.

Some people think we're in dire straits:

The federal government recorded a massive surplus in December, the first since last June and the largest one-month windfall since the recession in what some see as the beginning of the stretch drive to a balanced budget.

Remember- budgets balance themselves.

Speaking of Canada:

When MSNBC’s Richard Lui asked Grayson for his thoughts on who would take the Florida Republican primary for 2016, here’s what Grayson had to say:

“Since Ted Cruz is a Canadian, and our constitution requires that an American win, I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna be Ted Cruz. I think that Ted Cruz is Canada’s revenge against the United States for acid rain.”

Where did the love go for Canada, American left? I mean- it's not like you even like the US, anyway, otherwise you would never have re-elected an empty-suit with questionable sympathies and conflicting birth reports.

This must be embarrassing:

Prosecutors say an FBI agent overheard Boston marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) making a "statement to his detriment" when his sister visited him in prison.

In a court filing Friday, prosecutors said the FBI agent was in the room with Tsarnaev and one of his sisters when Tsarnaev made the remark. Prosecutors did not reveal what the suspect said, but they objected to what they called an attempt by Tsarnaev's lawyers to suppress the statement.

Prosecutors argue that the FBI agent's presence was permitted by special restrictions placed on Tsarnaev in prison.

What did he say?


Canadian correctional authorities have unfairly classified former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr even though they lowered his risk rating from maximum to medium security, the federal prisons ombudsman complains. 

In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, the Office of the Correctional Investigator urges prison authorities to take into account evidence that Khadr poses minimal threat and should be classified as such. 

"(Correctional Service of Canada) officials also note that there is no evidence Mr. Khadr has maintained an association with any terrorist organization," the letter to CSC's senior deputy commissioner states.

This is Omar Khadr making bombs. An ombudsman for federal prisons believes he poses a minimal threat.

Theez dayz, kids dun lern how to reeded gud in skewell:

My daughter recently received a Post-it note on her homework that read, “Your [sic] Awesome!” A year or two ago her teacher had written, “No merkers! [sic]” on an assignment. How does one not know how to spell “marker”? Why doesn’t “your” look strange to a teacher when she uses it as a contraction of “you” and “are”? Does she not read? Is she not familiar with what words look like? ...

On Sunday, the New York Post published letters that high-school students had sent in defending blended learning. The program has become a pathetic trick where students are granted an easy pass by playing a video game and watching a show. Their teachers are so illiterate and incompetent, they assume their students are capable of a letter-writing campaign. “[Y]ou can digest in the information at your own paste [sic],” one student suggested. Another claimed, “I passed and and [sic] it helped a lot you’re a reported [sic] your support to get truth information [sic]….” The letters the Post received from these high-school students were rife with errors, and none of the students deserved to be above second grade.

We don't have to trade with these guys:

Chinese police have detained 1,094 people and rescued 382 infants in a nationwide crackdown on four online baby trafficking rings, state media said on Friday, as criminals prey on citizens yearning to escape strict population curbs.

Child trafficking is widespread in China, where population control rules have bolstered a traditional bias for sons, seen as the support of elderly parents and heirs to the family name, and led to the abortion, killing or abandonment of girls.

About 118 boys are born for every 100 girls in the world's most populous country, against a global average of 103 to 107 boys per 100 girls.

The imbalance has created criminal demand for kidnapped or bought baby boys, as well as baby girls destined to be brides attracting rich dowries in sparsely populated regions.

Some North Korean news:

A South Korean Baptist missionary who was arrested more than four months ago for allegedly trying to establish underground Christian churches in North Korea told reporters Thursday he is sorry for his "anti-state" crimes and appealed to North Korean authorities to show him mercy by releasing him from their custody.

He shouldn't apologise for anything.


Speaking of an attack on children who were returning from the camp school, the former guard said: "There were three dogs and they killed five children. They killed three of the children right away. The two other children were barely breathing and the guards buried them alive."

He said that the next day instead of putting down the murderous dogs, the guards played with them and fed them special food "as some kind of reward."

Is Chaz Bono the evil transgendered face of North Korea?


An article on Marie-Antoinette Imelda Marcos Jiang Qing Michelle Obama Ri Sol Ji:

A third source, this one from Hoeryong in North Hamkyung Province, cautioned against reading too much into the popularity of Ri criticism, pointing out that “most people couldn’t care less about Ri Sol Ju or Kim Jong Eun at all anyway. However, when Ri comes up in conversation the first thing that comes to mind is 'street performer' not 'Mother of the State.' I've heard people say that she doesn't look very dignified at official events, and that she seems to only pay attention to luxuries like her clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry, and none to things like her portrait badge."

Ed Royce and a possibly effective way of punishing Kim Jong-Un:

Cutting off North Korea's access to hard currency is the best strategy to slow down the communist country's nuclear weapons development, a visiting U.S. Republican lawmaker said Tuesday.

Ed Royce, the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, also said the recent United Nations' report accusing the North Korean regime of severe human rights violations will add pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program.

"It seems that the strategy that slows down North Korea the most is not allowing them access to the hard currency which they use in order to create their offensive nuclear weapons capabilities," said Royce in an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.

Royce is now in Seoul along with a delegation from his foreign affairs committee. He met with President Park Geun-hye and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se earlier in the day.

"We have tried various strategies and at this point, one of the problems is that if we give any additional support to the regime of North Korea, for example, we were to give them inducement in the form of currency, they would use that hard currency to further expand their nuclear weapons capabilities," the lawmaker said. 

Royce's remarks represent the harder line of U.S. efforts to remove the North Korean weapons program, compared to those who prefer dialogue in solving the issue.

Over at the Fur: and they say it's hard for women to get ahead in the STEM fields- a Muslim boys school with not hire female science teachers; yeah, I would say when human life begins is very relevant; Syrian Christians flee to Turkey; a brilliant essay on why Christians are the most persecuted group in the Islamic world today; and much, much more!

Mew oui!

Meatball is a hero.

The cat with the delicious-sounding name woke her owner up when a fire broke out in the attic of their home — and saved 10 lives.

Alexandra Marlin lives in a farmhouse that had been converted into apartments in the south of France.

According to the Local, Marlin woke up early on Sunday morning when her cat, Boulette — translation: meatball — began scratching on the floor of the attic. When Marlin yanked open the attic's trap door, she saw fire.

She escaped the house and called firefighters. Thankfully, residents in neighbouring apartments also escaped the blaze.

Once outside, Marlin couldn't find her heroic cat. Fortunately, Boulette had merely run off to avoid the chaotic scene. She returned later that day.

"The bonds of affection that bind us are even stronger than before. I have more respect for her. To think that she certainly saved my life and that of my neighbours, it will count forever in how I think of her," Marlin told French paper Dauphiné Liberé.

Marlin's neighbours offered to buy cat food as a token of their appreciation for their feline hero.

(With thanks to one and all)

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