Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Post

For a cool autumn week-end...

Ken Taylor, former Canadian ambassador to Iran and whose noble exploits (and others who aided him) were captured in the film, Argo, has passed away at the age of eighty-one:

It was nearly 40 years ago, but Mark Lijek remembers the day he met Ken Taylor like it was yesterday.

The young U.S. diplomat had spent nearly a week on the run in Tehran before ending up in the den of a house rented by a Canadian counterpart. After a cocktail or two, he finally worked up the courage to ask the question that had been weighing on his mind and as well as those of his five fellow fugitives. Would Canada’s ambassador really agree to hide and harbour all the Americans?

It was only at that point he was told that he had already met the ambassador in question – a young wallflower of a diplomat in his 40s who had been quietly taking in the scene that evening. And Mr. Taylor and his team relayed that they had already secured the Prime Minister’s blessing for a high-risk plan that would become renowned as “the Canadian Caper.”

Mr. Taylor will forever be known as the Canadian face behind that mission. He died Thursday in New York City of colon cancer, at age 81.

But I thought they were interested:

Fearing political trickery, the Liberals and the NDP summarily rejected Thursday's offer by the federal Conservative government of a line-by-line briefing on the text of the newly minted Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

The offer refused almost as quickly as it was made public ” made clear that the text of the deal, first promised last week within a matter of days by Trade Minister Ed Fast, wouldn't be out before Monday's federal election.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the text is still being crafted by Canada and its 11 Pacific Rim partner countries and will be released as soon as it is available. But he offered no other details.
"The 12 countries continue to work on that," Harper said. "We have released detailed summaries, detailed chapter summaries. We will release the text as soon as it is available."

A spokesman for Fast refused to elaborate.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he could not agree to "a private briefing that leaves Canadians in the dark."

He accused Fast of breaking his "promise" to publicize the deal.

"Instead of openness and transparency, Canadians are learning details through leaked information and the government's own self-serving promotional efforts. That's not acceptable," Mulcair said in a statement.

In a letter to Harper, Liberal candidate John McCallum also sent his party's regrets, calling the invitation "a political ploy."

(Sidebar: how is it a ploy to comment on a major issue?)

Yes. Don't play your hand lest the voters know.

Yes, we know that:

Having learned nothing from the past seven years of American decline under President Barack Obama, Canada is poised to elect its own media-approved, know-nothing dilettante in the person of Justin Trudeau.

Justin’s father, Pierre, was a Castro-snuggling socialist and among the most consequential prime ministers in Canadian history. Justin evinces the worst traits of his father, without any of the senior Trudeau’s qualities; to wit, he embodies an utterly unexamined, leftist worldview, while possessing none of the intellectual heft or professional accomplishment to back it up.

One upside is that with Justin, unlike Obama, you can point out the unmistakeable truth that he is a dimwit without being called, y’know, a racist.

Relatedly, we have been spared the enforced soft bigotry of having to pretend Justin is a genius or a brilliant speaker, as was the case with Obama. As to that last, many conservative commentators consented, Stockholm Syndrome-style, with even the great Jonah Goldberg claiming Obama “constructs cathedrals with his words.”

To anyone with ears to hear and courage to bear the scarlet R, Obama was never a good speaker. From the disingenuous address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched his career, to the dithering um’s and ah’s and grammarless, soul-crushing lectures we have come to know, the man is a self-important bore. Obama’s oratory is like sitar music, in that a certain segment of society supposes it looks good on them to pretend they like it, but no one really does.

His plodding, pseudo-thoughtful cadence is that of the faculty lounge – which is also where his politics originate and end.

Justin, likewise, shows no evidence of understanding, or even having contemplated, any political theory beyond precisely what you would expect from a high school drama teacher.

Case in point, when asked the first thing he would do as prime minister, Justin replied, “Call the premiers together, talk about climate change.”

Children speak this way – perhaps your children, because they hear this kind of nonsense all day long from their teachers. But in the real world, actual adults know this is nonsense.

Even if one believes the direst predictions of Al Gore, David Suzuki and noted thinker Leonardo DiCaprio, the notion that having yet another conversation about “climate change” is the first thing a newly elected head of government should do is mind-bendingly stupid.

Read the whole thing.

Why repeat the Americans' enormous and costly mistake?

Sorry, Mr. Pickens, but Kathleen Wynne has already bled us dry:

T. Boone Pickens made billions drilling for oil and gas and squaring off in bare-knuckled corporate takeover bouts.

Now the 87-year-old tycoon is embroiled in what may be the last big battle of his career. Only this one is aimed thousands of miles north of his Texas home. And it is over wind power.

It is an unusual fight for the former wildcatter. Pickens is using his rights under the North American Free Trade Agreement to bring claims against the Canadian province of Ontario. ...

Palestinians burn down everything. Let's not give them a state:

A Palestinian man wearing a yellow “press” vest stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday before being shot dead by troops, the latest in a monthlong spate of attacks.

In Nablus, another West Bank city, Palestinians firebombed a site revered by some Jews as the tomb of the biblical figure Joseph. Flames blackened exterior walls of the small stone structure, a frequent site of Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the past.

In the past month, eight Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them stabbings. During the same period, 33 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire — 15 labelled by Israel as attackers, and the others in clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli troops.

Turkey shoots down an unidentified drone:

Turkish jets on Friday shot down an unidentified drone that had violated Turkey's airspace at the border with Syria, the military said.

The drone was shot down after it ignored three warnings for it to leave, the military said, adding that it was not immediately known which country the aircraft belonged to. It crashed inside Turkish territory.

Turkey earlier this month had complained about Russian warplanes violating its airspace, intrusions that also drew strong condemnation from Turkey's NATO allies.

The United States, Russia and the Syrian government all operate drones in the region.

This must be a joke:

The land Down Under, home of shrimp on the barbie and all that is fair dinkum, is once again showing the world that they can’t take anything seriously, even something as grave as an economic downturn.
If you haven’t heard, the Australian dollar has been in something of a slump of late, and one young Aussie, a man named Thomas Probst, has taken it upon himself to rally his nation’s finances a rather comical solution.

Probst has started a petition on to change the name of Australia’s currency from the dollar to the “dollarydoo.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a fan of seminal and absurdly long-running animated television show The Simpsons, you may recall an episode that originally aired back in 1995 titled “Bart vs. Australia,” in which young Bart makes an extremely expensive collect call to a man in Australia to inquire why the toilet water spirals down the drain in the opposite direction Down Under. When the man receives the bill, he exclaims, “Nine hundred dollarydoos!”

Probst makes the following argument in favour of the name change:

“This will make millions of people around the world want to get their hands on some Australian currency due to the real life Simpsons reference, driving up the value of the Australian currency. If the leaders of this great nation have any common sense at all, they will introduce legislation to parliament to change the name of our currency as soon as possible.”

The petition has more than 15,000 signatures, and that number is growing by the minute. The dollarydoo, it seems, is something the public can really get on board with, and the comments only add to the fun.


Check out the Fur.


Of course this would only happen in New Brunswick:


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