Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For A Tuesday

One hundred years ago, Canadians, some as young as sixteen, bled the fields of Europe and would do so again and again the world over.

They are not forgotten.

Today's Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo were also honoured on this day:

Remembrance Day ceremonies in the hometown of a young reservist gunned down in Ottawa and in the city where a Quebec soldier was killed did not mention their names, but their memories weighed heavily over the large crowds. ...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement acknowledging the deaths of Cirillo and a soldier who was run down and killed in an attack south of Montreal.

"Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have the honour to wear a uniform that is recognized across the world as a symbol of courage and democracy," Harper wrote.

"The recent deadly attacks on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who were targeted simply because they proudly wore this uniform, only strengthens Canada's resolve to keep fighting against those who would deny our liberties and freedoms, and who have a complete disregard for human lives."

The Canadian Armed Forces has named two operations bases overseas after Vincent and Cirillo. One of the locations of the air group flying missions in Iraq has been named Camp Vincent. The operations base of the Canadian Special Operations Forces in Iraq is now called Patrol Base Cirillo.

And it's worth every penny if ISIS is completely vaporised and never heard from again:

How much will Canada’s mission to Iraq cost Canadian taxpayers?

It’s a question that’s been asked by opposition parties, media and even the Parliamentary Budget Officer but to no avail. 

Well, we might just have an answer  thanks to a thorough analysis by some intrepid reporters at the Ottawa Citizen.  
A Citizen analysis estimates the first week of air operations against the Islamic State cost taxpayers between $2.7 million and $4.1 million.

That means if the Canadian military aircraft tasked with helping the U.S. fight ISIL continue flying at their current pace, the initial six-month mission will cost Canadian taxpayers between $60 million and $90 million.
The Citizen notes that their estimates  derived from publicly available information about the number of sorties and departmental operating cost estimates of the different aircraft  are likely understated because they don’t include the full costs of personnel salaries, general maintenance or equipment depreciation. If you include those, notes the newspaper, the full-cost of the six-month mission could total between $178 to $266 million.

Selfish buggers forgo Remembrance Day ceremonies and weaklings let them:

An Ontario school board allowed some of its students to be exempt from certain Remembrance Day ceremonies today after their families said they feared for their children's safety, in light of the killings last month of two soldiers on Canadian soil. ...

n lieu of sending students to public events, the board chose to celebrate Canada's diverse military history. It provided principals alternative teaching assignments for the students who were not attending public events.

"Remembrance Day is a wonderful ‘teachable moment’ — and the Canadian War Museum has lots to offer with resources that are reflective of our Canadian nation — and our equally diverse local population," the memo to principals said.

The board did provide links to the museum, to a story about Lt.-Cmdr. Wafa Dabbagh, who was the first Muslim to wear a hijab in the Canadian Armed Forces, and to Google image searches on aboriginal and African Canadian soldiers.

(Sidebar: thanks for highlighting that subculture, CBC.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the memorial to Muslim war dead in Verdun, France. They who gave so much are disrespected by those who give so very, very little.

In other news, Lee Joon-Seok, the South Korean captain of the doomed ferry Sewol, was sentenced to thirty-six years in prison:

A district court Tuesday sentenced Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the sunken Sewol ferry, to 36 years in prison for abandoning the vessel without taking any measures to evacuate or save passengers during its lethal sinking.

The Gwangju District Court, however, acquitted Lee of homicide by willful negligence and of murder charges. The captain was among the first to leave the ill-fated ferry as it sank in waters near the southwestern port of Jindo Island on April 16. A total of 295 people, mostly teenage students on a field trip, have been confirmed dead with nine still missing.

The court’s verdict said that the prosecution failed to sufficiently prove Lee’s criminal intent in relation to the homicide charge. The prosecution had earlier sought the death penalty for the 69-year-old skipper.

In the same ruling, the court convicted chief engineer Park Ki-ho of murder, as he was blamed for deserting two wounded staff when the ferry was sinking. Chief mate Kang Won-shik and second mate Kim Young-ho were cleared of the homicide charges.

Park was given a jail sentence of 30 years, while Kang and Kim were given 20 years and 15 years, respectively.

The third mate, a female crew member surnamed Park, and steersman surnamed Cho were handed 10-year imprisonment sentences. The court also sentenced the other nine crewmen to jail terms of five to seven years.

The verdict prompted the families of the ferry victims to express anger toward the judges at the Gwangju court. The families had demanded the death penalty for the captain and other key crew members, holding them accountable for the sinking and negligent acts.

While everyone makes business deals with the paper tiger China, an American envoy on North Korea has arrived in Seoul before the UN can pass some meaningless non-action against the Stalinist state:

The U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues arrived in Seoul on Tuesday amid the United Nations’ quickening move to adopt a resolution on the communist country’s dire human rights situation.

Robert King landed in South Korea in the morning on his three-day trip reportedly to be focused on the ongoing U.N. moves.

Late last month, a draft resolution on the North Korean human rights issue was submitted to the U.N.’s Third Committee, dealing with social and humanitarian affairs. Member countries are now planning to adopt the resolution in the U.N. General Assembly, which calls for referring North Korea’s human rights violations to the International Criminal Court.

During this visit, King is scheduled to meet with South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Hwang Joon-kook as well as other security officials.

King will also attend a human rights forum in Seoul on Thursday following his tour of a local resettlement center for North Korean defectors earlier in the day.

King’s visit also came just three days after the North sent two American citizens, who had been detained in the communist country, back home.

Your Nincompoop-of-the-Day:

A Canadian's letter to the editor of the Detroit Free Press is generating buzz across the United States. 

In the letter, published on Monday, Richard Brunt  who claims to be from Victoria, B.C.  says that Canadians are confused by the outcome of last week’s U.S. mid-term elections, which saw the Republicans retake control of Congress.

"Consider, right now in America, corporate profits are at record highs, the country’s adding 200,000 jobs per month, unemployment is below 6 per cent, U.S. gross national product growth is the best of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries," he wrote.

"The dollar is at its strongest levels in years, the stock market is near record highs, gasoline prices are falling, there’s no inflation, interest rates are the lowest in 30 years, U.S. oil imports are declining, U.S. oil production is rapidly increasing, the deficit is rapidly declining, and the wealthy are still making astonishing amounts of money.

"So, Americans vote for the party that got you into the mess that Obama just dug you out of? This defies reason. When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way?"

How much would one like to bet this guy would vote for Trudeau? 

The Americans sent a strong message last week to the Iran-appeasing weakling who ruined their economy but don't let facts get in the way of a rather terribly-constructed narrative.

I'm sure this guy will move to the US any day now.

And now, this:

Smoky, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, was found in a foxhole in the New Guinea jungle. Her owner, Bill Wynne describes how he came to be with Smoky:
"Smoky was found in the jungle foxhole by Ed Downey a friend ,who not liking dogs gave it to motor pool Sgt. Dare from whom I bought her the next day for two Australian pounds ($6.44 American) so Dare could get back in a poker game."

Smoky went with Wynne from then on and, in the course of eighteen months of combat with the 26th Photo Recon Sq., of the 6th Photo Recon Group, 91st Photo Recon Wing, 5th Air Force, Smoky was credited with twelve combat missions and awarded eight battle stars. YANK magazine named Smoky, "Champion Mascot of the Southwest Pacific Area in 1944." 

More than a just mascot, Smoky became a war dog on Luzon in January 1945 when a taxi strip had to be crossed by a communications cable, requiring a culvert to be dug up. She was the main solution by leading with the wires through an eight inch pipe under the runway, and climbing through piles of sand accumulated along the 70 foot length.

Not to be stopped after that, Smoky became the first Therapy Dog (as investigated by Animal Planet) and found she was the first documented in that role. Smoky started in July 1944, at the 233rd Station Hospital, in New Guinea, where she accompanied nurses to see the incoming wounded and go on rounds with Dr. Charles W. Mayo of the Mayo Clinic. She did this for twelve years, during and after World War II.

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