Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday Post

Gone are vibrant autumn colours and the merriment of October holidays....


This can't be good:

Five senior cabinet ministers in Manitoba resigned their posts Monday, saying Premier Greg Selinger has stopped listening to them and cares more about his own power than staying true to NDP priorities.

"In recent weeks and months it has become clear to us that he is increasingly being driven by his desire to hold onto his leadership rather than the best interests of Manitobans," Finance Minister Jennifer Howard said.

"In recent months, it's become clear that if you are in a position where you support the point of view of the premier, that your priorities and your projects move up the queue ahead of what was once a government plan and what would be indeed the priorities of Manitobans," added Theresa Oswald, minister for jobs and the economy.

Others resigning included Health Minister Erin Selby, Justice Minister Andrew Swan and Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers. He was finance minister when the government raised the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven last year.

Struthers hinted Monday that the tax increase, which has caused the NDP to drop in opinion polls, was not his idea.

"What was our choice? We were going to vote against our own government? I wasn't prepared to vote against a government that has done so much good work over the (last) 15 years for the people of Manitoba, so my vote was very much in the spirit of supporting the government I represented."

All five ministers said they plan to stay in the NDP caucus and run in the next election, slated for April 2016. They refused to say directly how many other caucus members share their concerns, but Howard said the five did not act without talking to their colleagues.

What about Kevin and Julia Garratt, Mr. Harper?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to China this week amid serious divisions in the Conservative ranks over Canada's relationship with its No. 2 trading partner.

Is there a reason why Harper is forgetting not only the Garratts but what a human-rights abusing rat-hole China is?

What a weasel!

We're not bombing ISIS enough:

In explicit detail, one video released by the group, and seen by Business Insider, appears to shows the executions of at least 160 men and boys.

Militants posted images in June and said the victims were Iraqi soldiers, though most appear to be young men and boys in civilian clothing. ISIS said it killed 1,700 Iraqi prisoners of war, though human rights groups say the figure should be treated with some skepticism. ...

A man with an automatic weapon held casually in one hand then walks down the row of prisoners, firing bullets into each person one-by-one.

The victims' bodies spasm with each shot; several are seen writhing after their injuries. The shooter, accompanied by a fellow militant holding an ISIS flag, then takes a second pass, firing more bullets into the prisoners. ...

In the earlier June 10 massacre detailed by Human Rights Watch, 600 men were lined up, executed, and then burned in the middle of the desert. Nine survivors gave the organization raw accounts of the violence. 

“They set my right leg on fire. But I had to withstand the pain so they wouldn’t know that I was still breathing. When they saw that I didn’t move, they told each other that I was dead. Then they burned the person next to me,” one survivor said.

ISIS seized control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, on June 10. The organization's extreme brutality, demonstrated through atrocities like the massacres in the days after the city's capture, created an atmosphere of terror and panic that has allowed ISIS to retain control of much of western Iraq.

It gets worse:

In the newest issue of Dabiq, the English-language magazine published by ISIS, the extremist group for the first time confirmed and justified the capturing, enslaving, and selling of Yazidi women and children. The article surfaced as a new report from Human Rights Watch said that hundreds of Yazidis are being held captive in makeshift detention facilities in Iraq and Syria, and that some young women and teenagers are being forced to marry the group's fighters. 

“The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yezidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” said Fred Abrahams, special advisor at Human Rights Watch. “We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery—and some of the victims were children.” 

In the article, "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour," the magazine stated that "the enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers," adding that, "the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations."

French President Francois Hollande visits Canada. Good for him.

Russia is bold and no one does anything about it:

Tensions between Russia and the West have been steadily growing over the past few months, as there has been a sharp uptick in Russian bombers and fighters flying missions over Europe. This increase in activity has  taken place against the backdrop of a frozen conflict in Ukraine, which has already pitted Russia and the West against each other. 

This rise in tensions, summarized succinctly in a recent brazenly anti-Western Putin speech, has led to Russian aerial incursions being viewed with increased hesitance.
Down a jet, rescue the pilot and give him amnesty if he talks about what kind of a "leader" Putin is.

She didn't die; she killed herself. Doctors didn't help her; they killed her:

The terminally ill woman who revived a national debate about physician-assisted suicide ended her life Saturday by swallowing lethal drugs made available under Oregon's law that allows terminally ill people to end their lives. She would have been 30 on Nov. 19.

Brittany Maynard had been in the national spotlight for about a month since publicizing that she and her husband, Dan Diaz, moved to Portland from Northern California so that she could take advantage of the Oregon law. She told journalists she planned to die Nov. 1, shortly after her husband's birthday, but reserved the right to move the date forward or push it back.
As tragic as Brittany Maynard's case is, she (like others who publicise their "rights to die") has opened a door the Netherlands and Belgium opened and cannot close. What is advocated by the seemingly willing now will be applied to the unwilling later on.

And now, watch baby penguins crowd around a baby penguin-bot.

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