Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mid-Week Post

It's time to get things started...

The woman accused of hiding the bodies of six babies wants to be out on bail:

Andrea Giesbrecht, the Winnipeg woman accused of concealing six dead infants in a U-Haul storage locker, will try to get bail at a hearing Wednesday. 

Giesbrecht was arrested outside her home in the Maples neighbourhood and charged with six counts of concealing the body of a child in October.

The disturbing discovery was made by employees at a U-Haul facility when the workers were trying to clean out the locker because rental payments had not been made.

Giesbrecht has also been accused of defrauding Employment and Income Assistance and a payday loan company.

(Sidebar: sadly, the last charge listed will be the thing she gets more time for. Regrettably, there is such a precedent.)

A dramatic showdown over Canada's Keystone XL pipeline has erupted on the floor of the United States Senate — a sign the six-year battle over the project could be nearing a critical endgame.

Embattled southern Democrats are trying to force a vote immediately on the long-stalled project that could happen as early as Wednesday evening, but is more likely to take place Thursday.

Chief among them is Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, who risks losing her seat in runoff election next month. Proponents argue that the current Congress has long supported a Keystone bill — but it's only blocked by the Democratic leadership in the Senate.

In the wake of last week's midterms, a Keystone vote wasn't expected until early next year, which is when the new Republican-dominated Congress is to be sworn in — but it appears some Democrats want to do it now.

There are many Democrats who want this pipeline to go through but the push was stymied by Obama and his wealthy benefactors. The pipeline's approval will be an enormous blow to Obama and his supporters.

One will see things get very savage in Washington.

 Hailed as a hero at home, the House of Commons' sergeant-at-arms is now getting a celebrity welcome abroad.

But Kevin Vickers is greeting the international attention with the same modesty that characterized his response to the outpouring of support at home in the wake of the deadly attacks of Oct. 22.

In Jerusalem to attend an international security conference on Wednesday, Vickers was invited to meet Israel's prime minister and other high-ranking government officials and was honoured by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

He said the people at the Knesset reminded him of the team he has around him in Ottawa.
"Though I'm honoured to think (you're) excited about me, I wish and hope you realize it's about the entire team that performed very well on that day," he said on a video circulated by Israeli officials.

The trip had been arranged prior to the attack on Parliament Hill, where Vickers was credited with taking the final, fatal, shot at an armed gunman who ran into Centre Block minutes after killing a soldier at the National War Memorial.

"This terror attack in Ottawa proves, once again, that Islamic radical terrorism has no limits and respects no borders," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following their meeting Wednesday.

"Israel and Canada stand side-by-side in the international effort to eliminate terrorism."

Russia signs a deal to build two more reactors in Iran:

Russia signed a contract Tuesday to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran to be possibly followed by another six, a move intended to cement closer ties between the two nations.

The deal comes less than two weeks ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline for Tehran to sign an agreement on its nuclear program with six world powers. Tuesday's contract has no immediate relation to the talks that involve Russia and the United States, but it reflects Moscow's intention to deepen its co-operation with Tehran ahead of possible softening of Western sanctions against Iran.

Nuclear officials from the two countries signed a contract Tuesday for building two reactors at Iran's first Russia-built nuclear plant in Bushehr.

Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom state corporation, and Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi also signed a protocol envisaging possible construction of two more reactors in Bushehr and another four in an undetermined location.

"It's a turning point in the development of relations between our countries," Salehi said after the signing, according to Russian news reports.

Rosatom said in a statement that the construction of the new reactors will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. As in the case of Bushehr's first reactor that became operational in 2013, Russia will supply uranium fuel and then take it back for reprocessing — a provision intended to prevent a possibility of Iran using the spent fuel to build atomic weapons.

A potential agreement between Iran and the six powers would ease Western sanctions against Iran's economy if Tehran agrees to limit its uranium enrichment to a level that would make it unable to build nuclear weapons. Iran has dismissed Western suspicions that it was working covertly to develop nuclear weapons, insisted that its nuclear activities are aimed at peaceful energy demands and medical needs.

(Sidebar: I'm sure Iran can be believed.)

For anyone who still thinks Putin is a world-class leader and not a dictator or global game-changer, it's time to wake up. 

Filthy China and the US have the audacity to force Canada's hand in combatting greenhouse emissions (itself a dubious theory):

Canadian policy-makers can expect to come under intense pressure now that the United States and China have reached a ground-breaking agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The deal, announced in Beijing, would double annual the rate at which the U.S. is reducing its emissions and, by 2025, cut emissions to 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels.

China, meanwhile, says 20 per cent of its energy will come from zero-emission sources by 2030, the year the country has promised its greenhouse gas emissions will peak. It's the first time China has agreed to cap emissions.

The Conservative government in Ottawa has long argued that curbing Canada's relatively paltry emissions on the global scale was not a priority when major emitters such as China were unwilling to act.

"That excuse of 'why should others do something when the two largest emitters in the world are not,' that argument is seriously undermined today," David McLaughlin, the former head of the federal Round Table on the Environment and Economy, said in an interview.

"It puts real pressure on Canada to up its climate game."

Regulation of the oil and gas sector has been promised — and delayed — for years, even as Canada falls well behind on its international commitment to cut emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2020. The Americans have the same 2020 target and were on track to meet it before President Barack Obama announced the new, more aggressive goal.

The truth is that China is never going to clean its own filthy landscape and gobbles up Canadian oil like someone who has inside knowledge on dilithium crystals, making oil obsolete, and Obama will do anything to deflect the fact that he is the worst president the Union has ever had (it's no accident that he accepts Venezuelan oil rather than drill for American oil).

Strange how this is not reported by the popular press.


Christmas is just another day on a DC school calendar:

Christmas is now just December 25th in the Montgomery County school district.

The suburban DC district stripped Christmas and Jewish holy holidays from its official calendar after Muslim parents complained.

But that’s not good enough as they say the move does “nothing to gain parity and a day off for the Muslim holiday of Eid,” according to WTOP.

“Equality is really what we’re looking for,” Saqib Ali, co-chair of Equality for Eid, says. “Simply saying we’re not going to call this Christmas, and we’re not going to call this Yom Kippur, and still closing the schools, that’s not equality.”

CAIR isn’t happy either.

“What’s really concerning to us is that similar conditions weren’t placed on any other faith community,” a representative of the group, Zainab Chaudry, says, the station reports.

The district is attempting to decouple the breaks from school and religious holidays by calling them “winter break” and “student holidays.”

But school board member Michael Durso says unless the Muslim’s complaints aren’t addressed, “it comes off as insensitive, and I just think we cannot afford to be in that light.”

According to NBC 4, school employee Samira Hussein has campaigned for 20 years to have the Muslim holiday added to the school calendar.

“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” she says.
Yes, about that:

 - Christmas Day commemorates the Birth of Christ (the JEW)
- Easter commemorates Christ (SEE: the JEW) resurrecting from the dead.
- Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and I believe there was a war in which the belligerents (the more Jewish ones) beat out a whole whack of badly fighting belligerents.

I think I'm seeing a pattern here.

This is what comes of catering to an obnoxious, loud and intolerant mass (funny, there are people of all backgrounds not whining about Christmas so what about these guys?) instead of standing one's ground and telling this bigotted whining herd to cram it.

Culture: it matters, particularly when it observes Christmas.

(paws up)

And now, size comparisons of Comet 67P and other space vehicles.

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