Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mid-Week Post

The denouement of the week...

The Shafias, convicted of killing four female relatives, demand a new trial:

A Montreal father, mother and son convicted nearly four years ago of murdering four other family members in an honour killing argue, in an appeal to Ontario’s top court, that they were victims of “cultural stereotyping” and “overwhelmingly prejudicial evidence” that should not have been admitted at their murder trial.

In a 110-page document filed with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Mohammad Shafia, 62, his wife Tooba, 45, and their son Hamed, 24, claim they’re entitled to a new trial. The document is a concise outline of the evidence and legal argument that lawyers for the three will present at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 14.

The trio, who were tried together, complains that the trial judge, Justice Robert Maranger, made numerous errors of “misdirection and non-direction” that may have permitted jurors to make improper conclusions.

The three were each convicted in January 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, Geeti, 13, and Rona Amir, 52, Shafia’s first wife in the polygamous 10-member Afghan family that came to Canada in 2007 and settled in Montreal. The three were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. They have been behind bars since the convictions.

I'm sure they'll get one. There is, after all, a legal system in Canada, not a justice one.

But... but... there's no compulsion or anything and it's cultural and there are other things to worry about and stuff!

This past July, a Muslim man got into a “screaming match” with federal citizenship officials who asked his wife to remove her niqab during the ceremony to take her oath.

According to several sources who witnessed the confrontation, but are not authorized to speak with media, the woman was willing to remove her face covering in order to become a Canadian citizen.
Her husband, however, refused to allow her to show her face.

As officials scrambled to explain the rules and get the ceremony underway, the man grew increasingly hostile and “abusive” with citizenship managers. He insisted they “enforce his wishes” that his wife remain veiled.

“She really wanted to be a citizen that day,” said a source who witnessed the dispute. “She was absolutely willing to show her face for it and her husband was the one who was vehement that she should not and was trying to make us have her remain covered.”

Yes, the slippery slope is real.

Case in point:

Another reporter, Ilana Shneider with, put on a niqab and voted in the advance poll in Willowdale, Ontario.

As you can see, at no time did Shneider ever remove her face mask.

But worse, unlike Menzies, at no time was she even asked to swear that it was really her, or show a second piece of ID.

Sure, he would:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he would tell off Russian President Vladimir Putin “directly to his face” if he becomes prime minister.
Laughing Cat: Life for me is one barrel of laughs

That threat is as effective as ISIS' warning to Russia.

No one is shaking in their boots.

A funeral was held for a rabbi brutally mutilated to death:

Thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral procession of Rabbi Yeshayahu Akiva Krishevsky, who was killed on Tuesday when a terrorist rammed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians waiting at a Jerusalem bus stop.

The procession for Krishevsky, who was 59, began at the Pinsk-Karlin Beit Midrash [Jewish house of study and prayer], located in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem, and set out for the Har Hamenuchot cemetery. During the procession, influential Rabbi Elimelech Biderman said the attack signaled that God was trying to send a message. ...

According to initial reports, an east Jerusalem man rammed a vehicle, registered under the Israeli telecom company Bezeq, into a bus stop on Malchei Yisrael Street in the Geula neighborhood, hitting two pedestrians, including Krishevsky. Then, the assailant emerged from his vehicle brandishing a cleaver and began stabbing the wounded — before he himself was shot.

It's not a claim. It is actually happening:

Christianity is in danger of ceasing to be a truly global faith as increasing numbers of its followers flee violence and persecution across swaths of the Middle East and Africa, according to a new report.

“Christians are fast disappearing from entire regions – most notably a huge chunk of the Middle East but also whole dioceses in Africa. In large part, this migration is the product of an ethnic cleansing motivated by religious hatred,” says Persecuted and Forgotten?, published on Tuesday by the Catholic campaign group, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Christianity was “changing from being a global faith to a regional one, with the faithful increasingly absent from ever-widening areas”.

Its latest report, covering the past two years, concludes that the difficulties facing Christians have worsened in 15 out of 19 countries under review. Militant Islamism is the main – and increasing – threat, but Christians have also been targeted by extremists of other faiths and totalitarian regimes such as North Korea.

There is a glaring omission in this New York Times article about the Alberta oilsands. There is plenty of oil and even plenty of opportunity despite the current market. What Alberta doesn't have now is a pro-oil government.

Canadian Oil Sands just issued its quarterly financials. They lost $128 million in the past 90 days, compared to the $176 million profit they made this time last year.

And $120 million of that recent loss -- all but $8 million -- is from the Alberta NDP's new tax increase.

One would think that alone would be a pertinent factoid.

Not for the New York Times, apparently.

Also: the misty gray memories of the way we were:

“Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark!”

Very strong language, most will agree. The above quotes effectively illustrate the emotions felt by a majority of Albertans directed towards the Pierre Trudeau led federal government of the early 1980’s. The emotional outcry, of course, was in the wake of Trudeau’s infamous 1980 National Energy Policy. ...

The National Energy Program, largely the brainchild of Trudeau’s energy minister Marc Lalonde, sought more federal control over the energy industry. The impetus for such goals came in the wake of the extremely volatile oil price climate throughout the 1970’s. 

It had three main goals: increase the federal share of energy revenues, boost Canadian ownership in the oil industry, and make Canada self-sufficient as an oil producer. The Trudeau government also introduced a tax to finance the federally owned energy company Petro-Canada, and gave grants to Canadian-owned companies to encourage exploration.

The Program was promoted as an effort to counter the prevalence of rising world oil prices ($1.80 a barrel in 1970, oil hit $30 by 1980), and the unpredictably wild price swings of 1972, and 1979.

Trudeau argued the NEP would pave the way for Canada to become self-sufficient in energy. How so? By forcing Albertan producers to sell domestically at a deep discount to world prices and allowing Petro-Canada an advantage in purchasing producing assets. Self-sufficiency would protect Canada from the volatility of the international oil prices so the logic went. Furthermore, Eastern Canadians would then be able to buy oil at below-market rates, and the federal government would have a view into an industry dominated by foreign owned petroleum companies.

Economic disaster quickly followed. Alberta’s unemployment rate shot from 4% to more than 10%. Bankruptcies soared 150%. A housing crisis ensued resulting in values collapsing 40% in both Edmonton and Calgary. As Libin notes, “it would take office landlords a decade to work off the glut.” Alberta’s government plunged into significant debt levels.

Ted Byfield, founder of the now defunct Alberta Report, was quoted as saying “there was an enormous amount of pain everywhere, Alberta was very much a small-business province. Behind the big oil companies, there were thousands of little people..all this was just brought to a crashing halt.”

Former premier Ralph Klein, who was mayor of Calgary at the time, said “thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes, their businesses, their dignity. Some took their own lives.”

By the time the Brian Mulroney led Progressive Conservatives cancelled the NEP in 1986, the federal government collected more than $100-billion in today’s dollars from Alberta. Many billions more in potential investment fled the province of Alberta that up until that point, reveled in an economic boom. The damage caused was immense: construction and energy projects were nixed overnight.

Energy minister Marc Lalonde later said the motive was what Albertans had suspected all along: “to transfer wealth from Alberta to Central Canada. The major factor behind the NEP wasn’t Canadianization or getting more from the industry or even self-sufficiency. The determinant factor was the fiscal imbalance between the provinces and the federal government,” 

Lalonde added. “Our proposal was to increase Ottawa’s share appreciably, so that the share of the producing provinces would decline significantly and the industry’s share would decline somewhat.”
In effect, the NEP gutted the Alberta energy sector and jeopardized the country’s energy future.

Like the Pere, like the Fils.

But electing him would just be nutty. He, like others, feel immune to the weight put on the public.

Whether one likes it or not, oil is not just a fuel or a component of the many objects one uses daily. It is the only viable option one has. It is the life's blood of the economy.

Failing that, one really will freeze in the dark.

Is that a fact?

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said that her organization’s new policy of taking no payment for fetal parts erases “any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood,” but the pro-life group behind undercover videos alleging the sale of fetal tissue is anything but satisfied.

David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress released a statement calling Planned Parenthood’s new policy into question, labeling the move to ax all payments a “PR stunt” that serves as “an admission of guilt.”
But I thought they weren't even trafficking illegally in baby parts?

Help The Rebel. You know you want to.

And now, questions you wanted to ask but Halloween but were afraid to:


Why, the Americans of course!

But it didn't happen right away. Puritans in New England suppressed the superstitious holiday. In the South, however, where religious piety was less important, Halloween was celebrated in much the same way it was in Europe. But a great tide of immigration in the late 1800s brought a new life to the holiday, and no amount of piety could contain it. Through the years, the "spookiness" of Halloween was replaced with a more wholesome community feel, out of which grew trick-or-treating and, as towns celebrated together, stripped any religious significance away. Finally, after many thousands of years and many cultural modifications, we arrived at a holiday involving witches, costumes, candy, mischief, the deceased and pumpkins.


(Merci and paws up)

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