Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Post

Let's settle into the week-end...

Justin Trudeau recommends that Canada instruct Iraqi refugees on how to deal with the cold:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Canada shouldn't drop bombs to defeat ISIS but rather offer 'cold winter' advice to the victims.

Trudeau made the remarks at a town hall in Hinton, Alberta as part of his day stumping with Yellowhead Liberal byelection candidate Ryan Maguhn.

(Sidebar: yeah, because we're, like, Canadians and stuff. Telling people slated for genocide to wear toques is totally helpful!)

The climate in Iraq:

The Iraqi climate is similar to that of the extreme southwestern United States with hot, dry summers, cold winters, and a pleasant spring and fall. Roughly 90% of the annual rainfall occurs between November and April, most of it in the winter months from December through March. The remaining six months, particularly the hottest ones of June, July, and August, at approximately 102° F (32° C), are dry. The influence of the Persian Gulf on the climate of Iraq is very limited. Near the gulf the relative humidity is higher than in other parts of the country.

It is important to remember that not only did Trudeau oppose Canadian military involvement in Iraq but he was seemingly unaware of the humanitarian aid it was providing. Also, Trudeau is a moron.

Racism is alright when others do it:

Waneek Horn-Miller is half of one of those “mixed race” couples who has been told to get out. 

Horn-Miller may be a Mohawk, but because her common-law husband (and the father or her two children) is white, the aboriginal activist and former Olympian is no longer welcome or permitted to live on Kahnawake territory.

This is happening in 2014. Which, to put things in context, is 47 years after the United States Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation (or race-mixing) laws unconstitutional in that country.

Now a Canadian court will have to decide if this blatant punishment (eviction, cutting off of benefits) because of inter-racial mixing is a violation of members of the Mohawk nation’s contemporary Charter rights; Horn-Miller and six other plaintiffs who are suing the Kahnawake Council are arguing that it is.

I wouldn't place my hopes in any court in this country. Miss Miller and her boyfriend are flat out of luck. This racism has been going on for ages.

An Alberta school wants to limit how much final exams reflect the final grade:

Alberta's school boards are set to vote on a motion to reduce the weight of diploma exams from 50 per cent of a student's final grade to 30 per cent. It's a change teachers have demanded for years, and one they say will be better for students.

"It will motivate the students to work harder and really get into their studies," said Frank Bruseker, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association's Calgary chapter. "That, in turn, should help them to improve their mark on the final exam."

Diploma exams have counted for 50 per cent of a student's final grade in Alberta for three decades.
Students say the heavy weighting disregards the work they do all year in class.

In a way, I can understand it. I have seen good students choke on a test or write a test while with a raging fever. However, tests are meant to show how much the student has retained over the course of the school year. That teachers' associations back this doesn't help.

North Koreans reveal a possible fate of Megumi Yokota:

Megumi Yokota, a Japanese national abducted by North Korean agents decades ago as a schoolgirl, died from an overdose of medication in 1994 and was buried in a pit with other corpses, a South Korean newspaper said on Friday.

Yokota, who has been an iconic symbol of Japanese nationals abducted by the North and Tokyo's efforts to ascertain their fate, died of an overdose of sedatives and sleeping pills in a psychiatric ward, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration eased some sanctions on North Korea in July in return for Pyongyang's reopening of a probe into the fate of Japanese citizens abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dong-a Ilbo said the finding was included in a report by Japanese officials who had interviewed North Korean witnesses who were on the staff of the hospital where Yokota died, and Abe's administration had been briefed about the fresh details. 

Abe, whose government is under fire for fund-related scandals in his cabinet, has made resolving the abductee issue a priority. Last week, he said the North had told Japan it intended to deepen its probe into their fate.

Pyongyang admitted in 2002 to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens to help train spies, and five abductees and their families later returned to Japan.

Japan wants to know about the fate of the remaining eight, who Pyongyang has said have died, and others that Tokyo believes were also kidnapped.

Yokota was snatched off a beach in northern Japan on her way home from school in 1977 at the age of 13. Pyongyang has said she had committed suicide after suffering from mental diseases. 

Japan has never accepted North Korea's explanation of Yokota's death, after bones North Korea said were hers were shown by DNA testing to be those of a man.

The Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said two North Koreans who were on the staff of the hospital gave testimony that Yokota was given sedatives and sleeping pills that exceeded safe doses.

"At the time of the patient's death, there were blue marks all over her body," one of them was quoted as saying. That was an indication that poison or excessive medication was taken or injected, the person was quoted as saying.

Her body was dumped in a pit to be buried without a coffin, the report said.

If true, it is time for Japan to cease aid to North Korea indefinitely.

According to this, white, Asian and Native Indians voted Republican more than voted Democrat. Women and Millennials tended to vote Democrat (if at all) but only by small margins.

It doesn't matter because Obama still doesn't get how he is at fault:

Speaking prior to Obama’s press conference, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the president to work with Republicans and accept the olive branch he was offering. But he also warned him that if he ignored the election results and moved ahead with plans to use executive orders to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, he would be immediately “poisoning the well” and making bipartisan deal-making far more difficult.

Yet that is exactly what Obama seems intent on doing. His attitude about immigration was no different than his stance on every other issue where he differs from Congress: It’s my way or the highway. If a Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t want him doing end runs around their constitutional authority, Obama says their only choice is to pass bills he likes. If not, he will act on his own.

This is the main point of his remarks. Though he spoke at times of being willing to have more drinks or rounds of golf with Republicans or members of Congress—something most presidents understand is part of their job but which Obama regards as being somehow beneath his dignity—the president believes such meetings are merely an opportunity for others to listen to him and learn the errors of their ways. In his view, “getting stuff done” means Republicans passing liberal legislation, not him being willing to agree to some of the GOP agenda.

Listening to Obama discuss the need to accommodate or even listen to critics, it’s easy to see he still thinks of himself as the adult in rooms full of petulant children that an unkind fate has forced him to supervise. Rather than treat opponents as equals who must be met halfway, even after six years of failure with Congress, Obama still seems to believe he is, at worst, a constitutional monarch who must suffer the indignity of hobnobbing with commoners even if he would rather die than relinquish his royal prerogatives.

He is a narcissist with seething rage buried deep within his core. He is incapable of self-reflection. He will make his last two years in office more dreadful than previous years.

Russian tanks are in Ukraine:

Ukraine on Friday accused Russia of sending dozens of tanks and other heavy weapons into rebel-controlled eastern regions and said five servicemen were killed in clashes with the rebels.

Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at least 32 tanks, 16 artillery systems and 30 trucks loaded with fighters and ammunition had crossed into eastern Ukraine from Russia. He said three mobile radar units loaded on trucks also came over the border from Russia.

Lysenko provided no specific evidence and it wasn't immediately clear how his agency had obtained the information, since parts of Ukraine's eastern border with Russia have been under rebel control since August.

Ukraine and the West have continuously accused Moscow of fueling a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine with troops and weapons. Russia denies those accusations.


Vladimir Putin has said there was nothing bad about the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the non-aggression treaty which led to the carve-up of Poland at the outset of the Second World War, suggesting that Britain and France were to blame for Adolf Hitler’s march into Europe.

He also said that Britain and France had destroyed any chance for an anti-fascist front with the Munich Agreement.

Does anyone still think Putin isn't a tyrant?

This is why we need to decrease Western dependence on Saudi oil:

Saudi Arabia's royal-appointed advisory council recommended to the government for the first time that the kingdom's blanket ban on women driving be lifted, but with conditions: Only women over 30 will be allowed behind the wheel and only until 8 p.m. each day, and no makeup allowed while driving, a council member said Friday.

(With thanks)

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