Tuesday, September 02, 2014

For A Tuesday

ISIS has beheaded another American journalist:

Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, "our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

The footage — depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality — was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff's mother pleaded for his life.
Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family, said that the Sotloffs had seen the video but that authorities have not established its authenticity.

"The family knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately. There will be no public comment from the family during this difficult time," Barfi said.

Sotloff, a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in August 2013 and was not seen again until he appeared in a video released last month that showed Foley's beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the U.S. stopped airstrikes on the Islamic State.

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled "A Second Message to America," Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is apparently beheaded by a fighter with the Islamic State, the extremist group that has conquered wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate.

As crushing as this may be to Sotloff's family, friends and colleagues, the likelihood of his death being avenged with either the death or prosecution of those responsible is nil. Obama didn't care about one of his own ambassadors. Even feigning interest in the country he was twice elected to lead is a chore remedied only by playing golf. He refuses to be a leader in any way, shape or form. Much like the countless Christians and Yazidis assaulted and murdered by ISIS, Sotloff's estate is on their own.

NATO has a new plan of action:

NATO leaders will respond to the Ukraine crisis by agreeing this week to create a "spearhead" rapid reaction force, potentially including several thousand troops, that could be sent to a hotspot in as little as two days, officials said on Monday.

The 28-nation alliance already has a rapid reaction force but U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders meeting for a NATO summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday are expected to create a new force that would be able to respond more quickly to a crisis.

The speed with which Russian forces infiltrated Ukraine's Crimea region in March has focused minds at NATO on speeding up its ability to respond if a similar crisis ever occurred on NATO territory.

"We will develop what I would call a spearhead ... a very high-readiness force able to deploy at very short notice. This spearhead would be provided by allies in rotation, and could include several thousand troops, ready to respond where needed with air, sea and special forces support," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference.

A senior NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the spearhead force could range from "a very small size up to something potentially as large as a brigade size". A NATO brigade typically numbers between 3,000 and 5,000 troops.

That's nice except that Russia, still a superpower, invaded Ukraine in March and shot down a civilian aircraft in July. France still trades with it, the US is useless and Canada is wondering if it should increase its defense spending. Start putting sanctions on France, refuse take-off/landing privileges to Aeroflot, remind Canada that owning the Arctic would be in its best interests and tell that useless clod in the White House that the Russians don't play golf.


The US anti-ballistic defence system largely based in Romania, is aimed at protecting Europe from missiles that might come from rogue states in the Middle East. Reportedly, the proposal by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia has been made as part of the preparations of the 4-5 September NATO summit in Cardiff, Wales.

The Polish-Baltic proposal would completely undermine the long-standing US position that the deployment of its anti-ballistic missile system is not aimed against Russia.

However, the proponents of the idea have reportedly succeeded to put on the agenda before the summit the issue of new security measures for Poland and the Baltic states, such as increasing the number NATO reconnaissance flights at their eastern borders, and that those flights would not automatically terminate after one year, as it was planned initially.

It's not like they don't have a good reason to demand this.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said today (27 August) Kyiv knew of Russian plans to halt gas flows this winter to Europe.

"The situation in [Ukraine's] energy sector is difficult. We know of Russia's plans to block [gas] transit even to European Union countries this winter, and that's why their [EU's] companies were given an order to pump gas into storage in Europe as fully as possible," he told a government meeting, without disclosing how he knew about the Russian plans.

The warning came less than 24 hours after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko as well as Europe's main energy diplomat G√ľnther Oettinger, which included talks to secure Russian gas flows during the peak demand winter.

Of course the policy hasn't changed. It's easier to push students through than it is to deal with them:

The high school physics teacher fired for refusing to follow his principal’s directive not to give students zeros says the policy still continues at Edmonton Public Schools.

Lynden Dorval appeared before school trustees on Tuesday to speak out against the board’s revised grading policy, which he called a “tarted-up” version of the one he fought two years ago.

Trustees didn't ask Dorval any questions after he completed his two-and-a-half minute presentation. 

Afterwards, the veteran teacher told reporters he plans to keep fighting what remains a flawed policy.

“I would do whatever is possible to make sure that no no-zero policy is in effect in this city,” he said. 

“That's why I'm here, even though I'm retired and my case has been finished. I'm still here fighting the battle.”

Under new regulations, teachers are required to undertake five steps to prove they spoke to parents and allowed students many chances to finish work before they can give a zero.

Dorval argues that puts the burden on teachers to get students to complete their assignments.

Twenty-six percent of Canadians polled are retards:

Within hours of winning the Liberal leadership last year, Justin Trudeau was bombarded with Conservative Party attacks.

The Tories’ explicit narrative back then, as it is now, was that Trudeau doesn’t have the know-how or experience to be prime minister. They want Canadians to believe that Trudeau “in over his head.”
Apparently, that message hasn’t resonated.

According to a new Abacus Data poll, only 24 per cent of Canadians feel that Trudeau is “in over his head” while 26 per cent believe he’s not. Others are unsure, or are at least willing to give the young leader some leeway.
For one's edification, budgets don't balance themselves.

The Liberal party: filled with crooks, liars and congenital idiots since1867.

Lois Lerner deliberately overlooked political expenditures by unions:

In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.

Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”

“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.

Don Todd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) at the time the email was sent, confirmed seeing Lerner’s email and remembering similar complaints at the time. OLMS oversees labor union financial disclosures within the Department of Labor.

“The law’s never been enforced,” Todd told The DCNF. “The IRS was telling us it would cost more to enforce the law then they would collect.”

Canada Revenue Agency has decided to audit leftist groups:

A left-leaning think-tank was targeted by the Canada Revenue Agency for a political-activities audit last fall partly because the research and education material on its website appears to be "biased" and "one-sided."
That partial rationale for launching the controversial audit appears on a newly released document that the think-tank, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, obtained under the Access to Information Act.

The one-page summary sheet, which has some material deleted to protect law enforcement, includes a section entitled "Screeners' comments" that outlines why the Ottawa-based group was selected to undergo an audit of its political activities.

The section refers to two previous audits, in 1989-1990 and 2002, where the tax agency says it first raised questions about the group's political activities, among other non-compliance issues.

"A review of the Organization's website, as well as the previous audit findings, suggests that the Organization may be carrying out prohibited partisan political activities, and that much of its research/educational materials may be biased/one-sided," says the document, a copy of which was provided to The Canadian Press.


Oh, look- selfish people:

... Keston and Andrea Ott-Dahl, have related their own story of how they were asked to have an abortion. Andrea agreed to become a surrogate for friends, another lesbian couple who were using sperm from a male friend to make a baby. However when tests showed that the baby had Down syndrome, the parents, who are Silicon Valley executives, asked Andrea to have an abortion.

Andrea had already had one abortion and was reluctant to have another after having a bad experience the first time. In the interview, Andrea describes the day when she and Keston decided to keep the baby and raise the child as their own with their other two children as “the happiest day of my life.”

And now, what The Simpsons would look like in real life.

(With thanks to all)

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