Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Mid-Week Post

The crucible of the week...

March for Life: it's happening, so screw you, Trudeau.

Author Farley Mowat has died. He was ninety-two.

It's Ontario. It's not like one has to choose between MacDonald or Laurier here:

It will be a little easier being Green after the June 12 provincial election, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says.

Schreiner said he expects the party to pick up one or two seats in this campaign, despite past shutouts.

But the Nigerians already have the Islamist-removing equipment. They're called guns. What good would a milquetoast response do? I mean- it's not like people are going to point out that Islamism is the problem or anything:

The federal New Democrats are calling for an emergency debate in Parliament over Canada's response to the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian teenage girls by Islamic extremists.
The request comes amid reports that Nigeria is asking Canada to supply surveillance equipment to battle terrorism in the wake of the April kidnappings by the Boko Haram rebel group.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar made the request Wednesday in a letter to House of Commons speaker Andrew Scheer.

"These girls were taken while writing a high school physics exam, an indication of the extent to which Boko Haram terrorists seek to undermine the education of young Nigerians, particularly girls," Dewar wrote.

(Sidebar: says the guy who thinks terms like "Islamist terrorism” are harsh and that we can work with "moderates"in Islamist-run countries.)

"Hundreds of young innocent lives are at stake, along with the political and social direction of a country and the region. Parliamentarians need an opportunity to discuss an appropriate Canadian response to this crisis."

Nigeria's vice-president reportedly issued a statement Wednesday after meeting with Canadian Development Minister Christian Paradis in the Nigerian capital of Abuja a day earlier. It said Vice-President Namadi Sambo asked for Canada to supply "surveillance equipment and other vital security hardware" to help Nigeria battle the Boko Haram insurgency.
Though the Canadian government did declare IRFAN a terrorist entity, so...


Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird promised assistance from Canada to help rescue more than 250 Nigerian school girls who were abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram more than a week ago.

"I think I speak for all members of the House that strongly stand up and condemn actions by Boko Haram," Baird said in the House of Commons Tuesday. "Quite simply, their actions are repugnant. Our hearts go out to these young girls and to their families."

Baird said International Development Minister Ed Fast "recently offered Canada's full assistance to Nigerian authorities as they work to secure the release of these young girls."

He didn't explain exactly what that assistance could include.

I wouldn't call this a "breakthrough" but a re-grouping. Putin has been overwhelmed with roving mobs and sanctions. When things cool, Putin will be as iron-fisted as ever.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.
It was the first sign the Kremlin leader has given that he would not endorse a referendum planned for Sunday by pro-Russian rebels seeking independence for two provinces in the east, and Russian analysts said they believed the rebels would heed Putin's call to put off the vote.

In what could be a breakthrough in the worst crisis between East and West since the Cold War, Putin also announced he was pulling Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border.

However, NATO, the Pentagon and the White House said they had not seen any signs of a Russian pull-back from the frontier, where Moscow has massed tens of thousands of troops, proclaiming the right to invade Ukraine to protect Russian speakers.

"We call on the representatives of southeastern Ukraine, the supporters of the federalization of the country, to postpone the referendum planned for May 11," Putin said.

He said this would create conditions for dialogue between the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev and the separatists.

"Emergency meetings" wouldn't be necessary if the following were the happen-  parents got off their duffs and paid attention to what their children were learning and who was teaching what; curricula were based on academic excellence, not absurd and inflammatory exercises; teachers and other staff were carefully selected for their skills, not their ability to read from textbooks and spout out political crap; and finally, school board trustees were so afraid of this kind of crap that they saw to it that nothing like this would ever happen:

Rialto school board members will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday in response to widespread criticism of an eighth-grade writing assignment that asked students to consider sources that contend the Holocaust never happened.

A group of teachers and the district’s educational services division created the assignment, in which students were asked to research and write an argumentative essay about whether the Holocaust actually occurred or whether it was "merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth." ...

In the aftermath of the blowback, a spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District told The Times that interim Supt. Mohammad Z. Islam was not aware of its topic until school officials received an email about it.

Syeda Jafri said he was “deeply disturbed” by the assignment and acted swiftly, but declined to comment on whether the teachers involved faced any disciplinary action, citing confidential personnel matters.

Gee, one would think one wanted to put this beastly Benghazi business behind one:

Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to Mexico later this month, making him unavailable to testify before a congressional committee hearing on Benghazi that he has been subpoenaed to attend, the State Department said Wednesday.

Kerry will be in Mexico for two days, starting on May 21, the department said. That means he will miss the scheduled hearing that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has set for the same day. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., last week issued a subpoena for Kerry to appear.

Kerry said Tuesday he would comply with "whatever responsibilities" he has to Congress. It was not immediately clear whether the committee had rescheduled the hearing or other arrangements had been made for Kerry's appearance.


And now, boat-jousting: it's on.

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