Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mid-Week Post

Seven more shopping days until Chuseok...

The trip to China was a bust but that is no surprise:

What can one expect for one who believes the manufactured hype about him?

As Trudeau will one day discover – not unlike Obama before him – foreign popularity is not the only metric to worry about. The only world leader who comes close to his level of adulation from Chinese netizens is Vladimir Putin. The same Putin, you may recall, who was told by Harper at a previous G20 Summit: ‘I guess I’ll shake your hand, but you need to get out of Ukraine’.

Trudeau will also have to factor in domestic disquiet, otherwise his desire to press the ‘reset’ button on relations with China could be seen more as hitting ‘mute’. One of Justin Trudeau’s most controversial statements in opposition was to say he admired what he called ‘China’s basic dictatorship’, because it enabled them to get things done on the economy and environment. Learning from this, he did use a business speech this week to urge China to do more on human rights, albeit in a gentle fashion.

At the other end of spectrum, when the Canadian Conservatives were in opposition, Jason Kenney (well-known as being behind Harper’s successful courting of ethnic groups) took advantage of a government trade trip to visit the family of Zhao Ziyang – a recently deceased reformist who was purged for being critical of Maoist policies. His diplomatic minders were as horrified as the authorities. Kenney later regaled to me how, on his next trip to China, the engine of his car suddenly caught fire on the way towards an official meeting. ‘How was your journey…?’ his interlocutor inquired, when he eventually arrived at the ministry.

Not that Trudeau has to worry about causing offense as he gives China his support freely.

(Paws up)

Let's put things this way: the word "Islamic" is in ISIS' name. ISIS derives its principles and raison d'etre from the teachings of Mohammad. Calling ISIS anything but what it truly is not only obscures the truth but coddles ISIS and gives it a relative anonymity and ultimately the support it certainly does not deserve:

The Liberal government will no longer refer to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and will instead call the terrorist group a different, potentially insulting name: Daesh.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale revealed the change in a report on terrorism released last month, saying ISIL is neither Islamic nor a state and that the report would instead use the group’s Arabic acronym.

Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence also say they are adopting Daesh to refer to the group.

The decision continues a trend that has been sweeping through Western governments.

Neither Obama nor Trudeau want ISIS defeated.

Of course they still pose a threat. They plotted to bomb the BC legislature building:

A British Columbia couple found guilty of masterminding a terrorist plot but then freed when a judge ruled they had been entrapped by police are still a danger to the public, a Crown lawyer says.

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody appeared via video from Victoria at a Vancouver provincial court hearing on Wednesday called to consider if they should be restricted under a peace bond while their case is under appeal.

Crown counsel argued throughout the pair's lengthy criminal trial that Nuttall and Korody embraced violent extremism and repeatedly spoke about killing and maiming members of the public who didn't share their world view.

Crown lawyer Sharon Steele said the pair continue to pose a threat to the public despite their guilty verdicts being reversed. She said the conditions of the bond have yet to be finalized, but Korody's lawyer Mark Jette said they will likely resemble the bail terms now in place.

Those conditions stop Nuttall and Korody from visiting the B.C. legislature, the Canadian Forces Base in Esquimalt and any synagogue or Jewish school. They are also forbidden from having weapons and must report regularly to a bail supervisor.

Trudeau refused to call honour killings and female genital mutilation "barbaric".

Are cowardice and vote-mongering Canadian values?

Having accepted that argument from economics, why not values? There are reasons, but they’re all pragmatic, not philosophical. I don’t believe Canada should “values screen” immigrants largely because I question the ability of our political leaders, across all parties, to meaningfully define what those values are, and further doubt that any attempt at screening would be effective. Even if we could agree to a checklist of “Canadian values,” in other words, it would be impossible to design a test for them that wouldn’t be easily defeated by would-be immigrants, whatever their values. I’m also not convinced that the current system is in urgent need of improvement — we already screen for criminal backgrounds, for instance, and Canada is generally looked upon as the success story of global immigration. People come here and become Canadian. I don’t see a crisis.

(Sidebar: yes, about that...)

The crisis is that immigrants now are not being chosen for their abilities or their willingness to acclimatise to the Canadian way of life. Indeed, those coming in don't care about trans-gender bathrooms or the rights of women. Isn't Canada's political elite worried that these huddled masses are terribly philistine when it comes to the gender-fluid?

I'm sure that, like the budget, will sort itself out.

Also: perhaps the minister should lead by example:

“We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume,” Agina said, according to a translation in Egyptian Streets, an English-language local news website. “If we stop FGM, we will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.”

Well, he said it.

There is no election now, so...

Most right-thinking Canadians would agree with the contention in the Liberal election platform that chronic underfunding of the First Nations education system has held back many indigenous communities.

There was very little push-back when the new government’s first budget allocated $2.6 billion over five years for primary and secondary indigenous education to boost abysmal high school graduation rates.

But, curiously, given the amount of money that was being tossed around elsewhere, the Liberals did not follow through on a clear campaign commitment to invest $50 million in the Post Secondary Education Support Program, designed to help native students attend colleges and universities. (The $313-million fund helped 22,000 students in 2013/14).

The Philippines releases photographs of China's incursions into formerly disputed territory:

The Philippine government on Wednesday released what it says are surveillance pictures of Chinese coast guard ships and barges at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, in an apparent diplomatic gambit to publicize its concerns at a regional summit being attended by China’s premier and Southeast Asian leaders.

It's time for a new pan-Asian alliance.

A woman is charged for shooting a black bear on another woman's property:

A 76-year-old Sudbury woman is under investigation after shooting dead a black bear that was pestering a young mom in her area.

When any apocalypse hits, I want to be on the Gurkha team:

In Afghanistan in 2010, Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun single-handedly fought off 30 Taliban soldiers. As Pun was keeping guard on the roof of a checkpoint, the attackers came at the complex from all sides with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.

It took less than an hour for Pun to kill them all. He went through all of his ammo—400 rounds and 17 grenades, as well as a mine that detonated—to defeat each attacker. When he ran out of ammo, a Taliban soldier climbed up to the roof, only to be hit with a machine-gun tripod that Pun threw at him.

Pun's valor was rewarded with a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, the second highest British military decoration awarded for bravery.

This pie chart makes sense:

No comments: