Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mid-Week Post

In the bleak mid-week, Frosty winds made moan.... 

For the past five years, internal and external forces have attempted to oust the Syrian tyrant, Bashar Al-Assad. Syria has since been left at the mercies of al-Nusra and ISIS who have destroyed priceless historical artefacts and held the population of Aleppo captive.

When the Russians got involved (for a price), they proceeded to lay waste to whatever was left. Russians have a history of doing that. Despite the UN's finger-wagging, they never once removed Russia from its permanent seat on the security council.

Syrian migrants (a huge number of whom are military age men) are fleeing not from the war-torn region but to the West where they are given benefits that most citizens do not receive.

There is no point in lamenting the human cost now:

The truth of it is we’d just rather not take the trouble. We aren’t prepared to suffer the sacrifices demanded of the commitments to universal rights we profess, so we absolve ourselves by talking about “the Muslim world” as though it were a distant planet. We talk about Arabs as though they were a different species. It’s easier on the conscience that way.

(Sidebar: Saudi Arabia is more than welcome to take in the Muslims that ISIS kills.)


But within a month, the homes of Mosul’s Christians and other minorities were tagged with official stickers — for “statistical purposes,” ISIL officials said, according to Mosul Eye. Christians and Shiites soon fled.

“If you turned in a Kurdish family, they gave you a car,” said Hassan Ali Mustapha, a retired prison guard. He said he moved to a home deserted by a Kurdish family, after the family asked him through a mutual friend to keep the extremists from taking it over.

Why, that sounds like a challenge to me:

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord,” Linus says. “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

It is that quote, extracted from the special’s most overtly Christian scene, that has thrust a Texas middle school nurse’s aide, the school district she works for and the state attorney general into a very public — and unseasonably bitter — debate over what “religious liberty” means inside the walls of the state’s public schools.

The battle began last week, when Dedra Shannon, a nurse’s aide at Patterson Middle School in Killeen, Texas, scrawled that Linus quote on a 6-foot tall poster, added a cutout of the character and the famously sparse Christmas tree, and taped it to the nurse’s office door.

On Dec. 7, the principal asked Shannon to remove the Linus quote or take down the poster altogether.
On Dec. 8, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that mandate was “an attack on religious liberty.”

It's time to play "A Charlie Brown Christmas" ad nauseum.

Now, go and drink some egg nog or something, perennial party-poopers.

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

A Muslim woman who drummed up mainstream media hysteria claiming she was attacked on a New York City subway by President-Elect Donald Trump supporters is now under arrest for fabricating the hate crime and filing a false police report.

Well, when one is caught on camera admitting to buying dead babies, one was bound to get into trouble for it:

The Senate Judiciary Committee is recommending criminal charges against Planned Parenthood for allegedly trafficking in fetal body parts from abortions for profit.

An unlikely belligerent in a fight for principles:

Bill 28 passed not only without opposition from the province’s Progressive Conservative party, but with its leader, Patrick Brown, demanding his MPPs skip the vote if they couldn’t support it. This may explain why the newly elected MPP, 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoff, a social conservative, delayed his swearing-in until after the Nov 29 vote. Oosterhoff has publicly stated Bill 28 is “a horrible piece of legislation,” and, on Facebook, that it is “poorly written” and “disrespectful to mothers and fathers.”

Because Oosterhoff is a socially conservative Christian, accusations of homophobia rained down on him. But there are like-minded others, such as Toronto activist Queenie Yu, who has voiced the hostility to Bill 28 from within parts of the Chinese community. “Chinese immigrants didn’t expect the Wynne government would outdo the communists and get rid of mothers entirely,” Yu said. She and Oosterhoff were hardly the only opponents of this bill.

The hearings on the bill, for example, produced scarifying criticism from Joe Clark, a designer of digital technologies for the disabled and a writer. Clark described himself to me in a telephone interview as the “most unpopular gay man in Toronto” (among other maverick acts that have stigmatized him and even led to threats against him, Clark registered a complaint to Pride Toronto against Black Lives Matter for their disruptive actions in last summer’s parade). He’s a controversial polemicist and what he has to say makes Oosterhoff’s comments look insipid by comparison.

Clark calls Bill 28 “the Handmaid’s Tale Act,” referencing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel in which women are coerced into bearing children for infertile theocratic elites. That’s because it “literally rewrites motherhood and fatherhood,” he says. “In fact, it redefines motherhood out of existence.” Considering the mandate for the bill as it was originally circumscribed by the MDR ruling, Clark says that “in a classic example of scope creep … this bill attempts to rewrite human biology.”

Mocking the transgender argument that people are whatever gender they feel they are — male, female, something in between, or none of the above — Clark refuses to concede longstanding facts of life: “Men don’t have vaginas or female anatomy … and women don’t have penises,” he says. “There are two sexes — two, not an unknown number.”
Clark also ridicules a change that Bill 28 will make to Ontario’s Vital Statistics Act. Where it now reads “’birth means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a fetus…” DiNovo is changing to “the complete expulsion or extraction from a person of a fetus…” It is, Clark says, as though a mother were, like Atwood’s handmaids, “generic, bodiless, (and) sexless.”

(Sidebar: Margaret Atwood is a hack and even that desiccated poseur knows it. Let her slide into irrelevance and out of high schools.)

If the words "mother" and "father" mean nothing, then neither do you.

And people voted for this.

Like fun there will. People voted for this:

If Ontario’s wind industry had truly passed away, the celebrations among hundreds of thousands of Ontario ratepayers would have rivaled the scale of celebrations exhibited in Florida by Cuban exiles after hearing that Castro died. As it is, Ontarians are hardly celebrating. We will be forced to live with and among industrial wind turbines for at least the next 20 years. The “government support” alluded to in the eulogy isn’t dead. It continues to get pulled from the pockets of all Ontario ratepayers and has caused undue suffering.

The wind industry rushed to Ontario to enjoy the largesse of government support via a government program that granted above-market payments for intermittent and unreliable power. Industrial wind turbines have so driven up electricity prices that Ontario now suffers the highest residential rates in Canada and the fastest growing rates in North America. The Ontario Association of Food Banks in its recent 2016 “Hunger Report” noted: “Since 2006, hydro rates have increased at a rate of 3.5 times inflation for peak hours, and at a rate of eight times inflation for off-peak hours.
Households across Ontario are finding it hard to keep up with these expenses, as exemplified by the $172.5 million in outstanding hydro bills, or the 60,000 homes that were disconnected last year for failing to pay.”

Beyond that, the cost of energy affects businesses and, as noted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, “fuel, energy costs” ranks for their Ontario members as the second-highest “major cost constraint” behind “tax, regulatory costs.”

Until the day we actually see Ontario electricity consumers dancing in the streets one day, the eulogy for this province’s wind-power tyranny is unfortunately premature.


Canadian diplomats in Washington warned Ottawa earlier this year that a Donald Trump presidency would affect how the two countries co-operated on fighting climate change.

They also levelled criticism at Trump’s protectionist trade policy, at one point branding it ill-informed.
And less than two months before the Nov. 8 election, they said that a Trump victory seemed unlikely, given Hillary Clinton’s strong showing in polls.

The findings are contained in a series of campaign monitoring reports prepared by the Canadian embassy in Washington for Global Affairs Canada.

Copies of the reports were released under the Access to Information Act.

They shed new light on how the federal government viewed a possible Trump presidency, especially given how Justin Trudeau steadfastly avoided criticizing the billionaire Republican nominee during a campaign — a decision that has won the prime minister plaudits since Trump’s surprising victory.

Rather, a Trump victory was more than likely and PM Hair-Boy would have to deal with a man he had previously slagged.
Didn't the popular press predict Trump's loss?


And - it's okay when he does it:

Bald and golden eagles may be legally killed or injured in the thousands by high-speed turbines (reaching speeds up to 170 miles per hour), under new regulations released Wednesday by the Obama administration. The rules, which affect individual wind-energy companies that plan to operate the technology for up to 30 years, allows up to 4,200 of the birds to perish.

But... but.... China is Duterte's friend!

A fresh batch of satellite photos taken in November show these are being completed as point-defence fortifications housing radar-guided anti-aircraft and antimissile guns.

This means all seven of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea are now armed.

And now, how well do you know Santa's reindeer?

This is... Allan... the reindeer...

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