Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Lots to talk about today...

In a word, yes:

Editorial cartoonists are used to their work triggering a backlash from those they lampoon, whether it’s angry letters to the editor, demands they be fired and threats of cancelled advertising.

But the deadly attack by alleged Islamic extremists on Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical magazine, has shocked Canadian cartoonists and advocates for journalistic freedom.

They fear it may induce a chill of self-censorship, if not by the acid-penned artists themselves then perhaps from the publications they work for, out of concern that some cartoon might trigger bullets instead of angry words.

(Sidebar: the MotherCorps' David Studer's "brave" stand against thuggery.)
The French (indeed, everyone) have an opportunity to succeed where the Australians decidedly failed (SEE: #I'llridewithyou is a total crock and the founder was caught in a lie). Every newspaper should re-print Charlie Hebdo cartoons unpixillated. It's not enough to shake one's head at the loss of life. It's not enough to repeat platitudes about freedom if one really doesn't mean it. It's past due for a cultural sea change. The very "religion of peace" is not comprised of "lone wolves" who "misinterpret" Islam (just ask the moderates who deal with these guys all the time). The West isn't doing itself any favours by pretending that is the case. The line in the proverbial sand should have been drawn years ago. That can all change now if people had the will to do so.

Print the cartoons. Everyone.

I'm French! by Llanolyn
Make it so, France.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has announced that ten thousand Syrian refugees will be allowed into the country over the next three years:

Wednesday's announcement comes in response to a global appeal from the United Nations Refugee Agency to resettle 100,000 Syrians. The UN said war-torn Syria produces more refugees than any country in the world.

Alexander said up to 3,000 refugees from Iraq would also be granted asylum in Canada.

The renewed commitment to take in refugees shows "Canada is doing more," Alexander said in Toronto.

He also announced $90 million in humanitarian aid for the region, which has been under siege from Islamic State (ISIS), a terror group that claims to have established a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.


Are they ISIS escapees?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suspecting that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is blowing cancelled gas plants out of her butt, has made no financial promises for the province that she and Dalton McGuinty have ruined:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not come bearing financial gifts or well wishes for an Ontario pension plan, but Premier Kathleen Wynne says she was still pleased with the outcome of their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year.

"Did we get commitments on particular investments? No," Wynne acknowledged Tuesday, one day after she and Harper's sit down. "But the fact is that we have now got the ability to follow up in a few months ... For me that's a tangible result from the meeting."

Wynne has pushed publicly for an in-person meeting with Harper, even as the two levels of government criticized each other over provincial spending and federal transfers.

Harper and Wynne met Monday in Toronto prior to the world junior hockey championship gold medal game.

The pair discussed the need for public infrastructure funding, particularly in the auto sector, Wynne said.

The Ontario Liberal government had pitched for an enhanced Canada Pension Plan to address what it sees as a looming retirement income crisis, but is now pursuing a mandatory provincial pension plan.
Harper has opposed both proposals as job killers.

"He made it clear that he still doesn't agree with our Ontario Retirement Pension (Plan) but I knew that, that's not a surprise," Wynne said. "We are moving ahead with the implementation of the pension plan."

This is the government that Ontario Liberal voters wanted. High electricity rates and useless and expensive energy programs. An inefficient and expensive pension plan. Massive debt. Bribing teachers' unions.

Boy, did they get this in spades.

From the Douchebag-in-Chief:

U.S. President Barack Obama will veto Republican attempts to seize control of the Keystone XL decision, the White House said Tuesday as a showdown loomed over the long-delayed scheme to funnel Canadian oil-sands crude across the United States to the Texas Gulf Coast.

South Korea believes that North Korea has the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads:

North Korea’s capability to miniaturize nuclear warheads has reached a “considerable” level, while its long-range missiles are presumed to be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, according to Seoul’s 2014 defense whitepaper published Tuesday.

The biennial policy paper referred to the North Korean regime and military as “our enemy,” the same term it used in 2010 ― the year the North launched two provocations that killed a total of 50 South Koreans including two civilians.

The paper also reported that the North had established the 12th Corps under the directives of its leader Kim Jong-un to beef up defense around its northwestern province of Chagang-do ― some 60 kilometers from its border with China ― and other areas bordering China and Russia.

It's time for South Korea and Japan to acquire nukes and EMPs, even as deterrents. If this graphic is correct, South Korea is going to need it even if North Korean material is ramshackle.

And now, a panda frolicking in the snow. Enjoy:

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