Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday Post

A Canadian fighting ISIS has been arrested in Iraq:

A Canadian military veteran who has spent the past six months fighting ISIL alongside Kurdish forces has been arrested in northern Iraq, his mother said in an interview Sunday.

Michael Kennedy, 32, was on his to Sulaymaniyah, trying to make it home to Newfoundland for Christmas, when he was taken into custody by Iraqi Kurdish authorities, said his mother Kay Kennedy.

“All I know is he’s been arrested and he’s in Erbil,” she said from Saint Vincent’s, Nfld. She said she got the news from a Kurdish friend of her son’s. “He said nobody knows the reasons.”

The South Koreans want blood:

South Korea’s three opposition parties filed a motion Saturday to impeach President Park Geun-hye, rejecting her offer earlier in the week to resign in the wake of an influence-peddling scandal.

Parliament will vote next week on the motion, which has the support of all 171 lawmakers from the three opposition parties and independents, excluding the parliamentary speaker. The opposition will need the support of dissenters from Park’s ruling Saenuri Party to achieve the 200 votes it needs to pass an impeachment bill.

Speaking of blood....

The Liberal government is considering taxing private health and dental plans, in a measure that would raise about $2.9 billion, sources say.

The Liberals don't care how bad your cancer is or how badly you need your teeth fixed. No one upstages their crumbling healthcare system.

No one.

As I said before, what makes Putin think Trump is so malleable? He may be but I wouldn't trust a KGB agent who invaded Georgia and Ukraine:

Trump’s promise of closer co-operation with Russia has created worries that the U.S. will have diminished leverage. He said during the campaign that under his leadership the U.S. might not come to the defence of some NATO members if Russia were to attack them, indicating he would make that decision based on whether those Baltic republics “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

But Trump’s positions are hard to assess because he’s often stepped away from his more controversial proposals. Trump’s choice as defence secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis, has called Russia’s aggression in Ukraine a problem “much more severe, more serious” than Washington and the European Union are treating it.


U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday downplayed the significance of a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Taiwan's president, describing it as a "courtesy call" that was not intended to show a shift in U.S. foreign policy.

Trump's call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president with a Taiwanese leader since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China."

The diplomatic contretemps was one of several recently for the president-elect, a real estate magnate who has never held public office and has no foreign affairs or military experience. Trump is still considering who to name as his secretary of state.

China blamed Taiwan for the call, but also lodged a diplomatic protest with the United States on Saturday, saying that the "one China" policy was the bedrock of relations between China and the United States.

Pence called the uproar over the call with "democratically elected" Tsai a "tempest in a teapot." He blamed the media for the controversy, saying the call was similar in nature to one between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping after the Nov. 8 election.

"I think I would just say to our counterparts in China that this was a moment of courtesy. The president-elect talked to President Xi two weeks ago in the same manner. It was not a discussion about policy," Pence said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

I don't know why China is so upset. Taiwan is a separate country.

Castro was ever the showman, shallow but deceptively appealing to lesser intellects:

The Castro theatrics — he put on a show — was enough to earn his place as a revolutionary hero. And even those who are most keen on every incidental flaw and temporary inequity in real democracies, because Castro did put on such a good show, were willing to offer tribute to a man whose government was institutionalized inequity, permanent repression, and a perfect antithesis to the very idea of social justice, however elastic the understanding of that dubious concept is allowed to be.

Look - people can play dress-up if they want but everyone knows deep down that it is still a fantasy. So one guy refused to go along.  History will see that as a good thing:

The Peterson affair is threatening to cross the double white line. All people must be treated with respect, equally. But there are only two genders, two sexes; our species and all other mammals are “gender-binary.” All people may state their sex, and if that is contrary to physical appearances, that remains their right. But no individual or group has the right to invent a new vocabulary and a new co-equal gender because of a state of ambivalence or confusion about which sex they are. Every legally competent individual has a perfect and absolute right to declare their sex, but not to create a new legal status and legally require the use of a new vocabulary for those in flux between the only two sexes we have, mercilessly binary though their finite number may be. The individuals in that condition may change their registered sex each day if they wish, but not treat anyone who declines to address them in terms that debunk the gender-binary world as guilty of a hate-crime, punishable by imposable fines.

And now, a short segment of Bach's Christmas Oratorio:

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