Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Two more days until Christmas....

Immigration Minister John McCallum admits that the Liberal government won't be able to keep the downgraded but still whacky promise to flood Canada with unvetted future Liberal voters:

Immigration Minister John McCallum says more than 10,000 Syrian refugees will have passed medical exams and other requirements to be certified as permanent residents of Canada by the end of the year — but may not all be on Canadian soil by that time.

“I am convinced that, by the end of the year, 10,000 or more Syrian refugees will be confirmed, certified as Canadian permanent residents. The issue is whether all of those 10,000 Syrian refugees will have arrived in Canada, will have their feet on Canadian soil by Dec. 31,” McCallum told reporters at a press conference in Ottawa Wednesday.

For some perspective:

Saudi Arabia has recently called on the international community to abandon racist speeches and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to protect the refugees, Arab News reported.

Saudi Arabia has urged all countries, humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to renounce any racist speeches and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to boost protection for refugees who face inhuman treatment even after fleeing brutal regimes and terrorist groups.


But while Syria’s neighbours struggle to accommodate the influx, an Amnesty International report from December noted that the six Gulf states — Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar — “have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees”

A private non-profit organisation that helps autistic children cannot keep up with demand:

The founder of a free Ottawa program that covers the cost of early intervention for autism says it may have to turn children away after an increase in demand since launching in 2013.

Suzanne Jacobson, a grandmother of two boys on the autism spectrum, launched QuickStart to provide families with a free early autism diagnosis and treatment to avoid sitting for years on wait lists.

"We are seeing almost double the numbers come through," said Suzanne Jacobson, who now fears she will have to start a wait list herself. 

Jacobson runs a four to five month program that pays for children under 30 months of age and covers the costs of the diagnosis and 18 sessions with a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and a parent coach.

The group put 33 children through the program last year at a cost of $4,000 per child totalling more than $130,000 - money that came from private donations.

But, Jacobson says the not-for-profit doesn't have enough funding to pay for double the number of families at their current funding level.

Former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty  promised to extend funding for programs for autistic children but did not do so.

Carry on.

Maybe the little princess would like to be acquainted with how things are done in the grown-up world or a world in which not dressing properly can get you an honour-killing:

Rose Lynn is the latest teen to fire back at her school after being sent home for “violating” the dress code.

Earlier this month, the high schooler from Lawton, Oklahoma, was wearing a long cardigan, a tank top, leggings and boots, according to her Facebook post, when she was sent home from class after being in school for two hours.

The school said her outfit would “distract the boys” because her tank top was not covering her crotch.

“Because I look like a curvy woman and may distract young boys, I have to miss class and change my outfit,” Lynn wrote in her post.

“So once again, society has failed to advocate young ladies, by confining them in a box, where they are stripped from their sense of self respect and self expression, rather than teaching young men to respect the boundaries of young ladies,” she goes on to say. 

Frustrated by the school’s decision, Lynn went home to change into an oversized white t-shirt, which she personalized with her own message. 

On the front side of her homemade shirt, the teen wrote, “It doesn’t cover your crotch” and on the back side, “You’ll distract the boys.”

Boy, is this self-important little b!#ch in for a shock when mummy and daddy can't protect her from employers itching for a firing.

Rules are there for a reason, little princess. 

Now go and champion an anti-burqa campaign. You know - something that really matters.

And now, Santa is on his way.

Saint Nicholas' home is buried in mud:

Technically, Nicholas’s hometown was the nearby city of Patara. In Roman mythology, Patara was the birthplace of Apollo; today, it draws tourists with its expansive array of well-preserved urban ruins (and a nude beach). But it was at Myra that he became the Nicholas remembered by history. ...

By the time Nicholas died on December 6, sometime in the 4th century CE (perhaps 343), he was already famous. He was buried in a church at Myra, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 529. Another church was constructed in its place. That cycle would repeat over the centuries. ...

But Myra’s fame—and easy-access coastal location—was alluring to more than pilgrims. As I wrote in the New York Times a few years ago, Arabs attacked in the 7th and 9th centuries, and in the 11th, Seljuk Turks seized the city. In 1087, Italian merchants who claimed to have been sent by the pope absconded with the bones thought be Nicholas’s and took them to Bari. By the 13th century, Myra was largely abandoned.

Yet some apparently kept the faith. Not too long before, they constructed a small chapel using stones recycled from Myra's buildings and tombs.   

Not too long after, the Myros River sealed Myra’s fate. The river had long swollen over its banks as it coursed through the town, periodically flooding streets and buildings, but this time several seasons of heavy rains completely ravaged what remained of the old city. In a relatively short time, the city was entombed in at least 18 feet of mud. All that remained were the rock-cut tombs, located safely in the hills; the remains of the amphitheater; and St. Nicholas’s Church. Its survival was a kind of miracle—not supernatural, but amazing all the same.

The rest of Myra vanished from the landscape—and from memory.

But about 700 years later, in 2009, Turkish archaeologists found Myra again. And what they found is a testament to the legacy of Nicholas: a small Byzantine chapel, preserved almost perfectly under the streets of modern Demre right up to its roof tiles.

The history of letters to Santa Claus:


Always one to evolve with the times, Santa now answers email. Kids can reach him through a number of outlets, such as Letters to Santa, Email Santa, and Elf HQ. Macy’s encourages kids to email St. Nick as part of its annual "Believe" campaign (children can also go the old-fashioned route and drop a letter at the red mailbox at their nearest Macy’s store), and the folks behind the Elf on the Shelf empire offer their own connection to St. Nick.

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