Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Post

Only a few more drinking shopping baking days until Christmas...

Surely no one takes North Korea seriously save anyone on or near the Korean Peninsula, not even the Golf Player-in-Chief who looks for any distraction from his disastrous presidency:

North Korea has reacted angrily to Obama's comments blaming it for the hacking of Sony, warning of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and "the whole U.S. mainland, that cesspool of terrorism."

Such rhetoric is routine from North Korea's propaganda machine during times of high tension with Washington. But the long statement from the powerful National Defence Commission late Sunday also underscored Pyongyang's sensitivity about a movie, which has a plot focused on the assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un.

And this is if one believes North Korea is truly capable of doing what has been done.

What does Kim Fatty want this time? Unlike his equally evil father, Kim Adul is more vain and less pragmatic. Why get fried over a film when one can strengthen ties with one's Chinese benefactor?

And I sincerely doubt the Golf Player-in-Chief cares one way or another about this entire mess. It's time for him to hit the links.

Related: hey- remember when everyone was so upset about water-boarding?

A United Nations panel has accused North Korea of crimes against humanity, including systematic extermination , "murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence ... and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."

The report is based on a  year of public hearings  with about 80 witnesses as well as confidential interviews with another 240 victims, including people who'd spent time in North Korean prison camps and experts.

Kim Kwang-il, a 48-year-old man who spent two years in a prison in North Korea, defected to South Korea in February 2009 and subsequently had professional artists draw sketches based on his recollections of torture and  the conditions of prisoner life. Some of these were included in the report.

Screw you, Kaiser Bill:

Saturday evening was a somber occasion in New York, after the assassination of two police officers by a gunman who warned beforehand that he was avenging the deaths of two African-American men at the hands of law enforcement. However, sentiment turned bitter towards the city’s mayor, when NYPD officers turned their backs on Bill de Blasio upon his arrival at a press conference.

Not everything is chai and roses in sanction-crushed Russia:

According to Home Office statistics, the number of Russians granted fast-track visas — given to those who will invest at least £2 million ($3.1 million) in the UK — jumped by 69% in 2014 compared with the previous year, The Sunday Times first reported.

Between January and September, 162 visas were given to Russian multimillionaires, an increase of 66 visas from the same period in 2013.

The Times notes a dramatic uptick in visa applications after March, when the first round of western sanctions were placed on Russia over its military action in Ukraine. The ruble's slide and falling oil prices are also to blame for the flight out of Russia.

In a speech to the Cuban parliament, during which he honored the return of three Cuban spies who were part of a prisoner swap with the United States, Castro thanked President Obama for his decision to reestablish diplomatic relations.

But he reiterated the principles of the communist revolution and suggested that change would not come quickly to Cuba.

(Sidebar: or at all.)

The feds deny Canadian commandos are engaged in ground operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.

A source close to the operations had told QMI Agency that members of the elite JTF2 (Joint Task Force 2) unit, armed with high-powered rifles, are involved in operations aimed at killing Islamist fighters far from the front lines.

The Canadians are officially in Iraq to accompany and train Kurdish and Iraqi snipers.

On Monday, the defence department said the troops are staying within that mandate and denied Canadians are "directly engaged in sniper activity against Islamic State."

Fixing baking mistakes: how to save Christmas when you forgot about watching the oven:

With quick baking times, cookies can end up burning if they’re in the oven even a few minutes too long. Keep in mind that cookies harden once they cool, so watch carefully and check on them when they’re nearing the end of bake time. Make sure they’re baking in the middle of the oven. If you end up with slightly burned cookie bottoms, turn them into sandwich cookies! Spread the burned bottoms with frosting, ice cream or whipped cream, and smoosh another cookie on top. A moist sandwich filling will soften the bottoms and hide the burnt taste. If they’re super-burnt, they’re going to be harder to rescue. Cut off the burnt part, chop the remainder into bits and see below for ideas on using broken cake or cookies.

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