Friday, January 06, 2017

For a Friday

A lot to talk about...

The story so far:

An arriving airline passenger with a gun in his checked luggage opened fire in the baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale airport Friday, killing five people and wounding eight before throwing his weapon down and lying spread-eagle on the ground, authorities and witnesses said.

The gunman – identified by authorities as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, an Army National Guard veteran who served in Iraq but was demoted and discharged last year for unsatisfactory performance – was immediately taken into custody. His brother said he had been receiving psychological treatment recently. ...

One witness said the attacker gunned down his victims without a word and kept shooting until he ran out of ammunition, sending panicked travelers running out of the terminal and spilling onto the tarmac, baggage in hand.


In Nov. 2016, FLL suspect walked into FBI office in Anchorage, claiming he was being forced to fight for ISIS, sources tell CBS News. ...

Ft. Lauderdale shooting suspect received mental health treatment after being in contact with FBI, sources say.  

I'm so glad to see that people entrusted with the public's safety are on the ball.

After vacationing with wealthy Islamist, Trudeau has decided it's too much for him to go to Davos:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing negative headlines over party fund raising and his winter holiday, on Friday pulled out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in favor of meeting ordinary citizens.

Because if there is anything the trustifarian enjoys more than hair products, selfies and celebrities, it's meeting with the people he is taxing to death. 


Nov. 29, 2016: On the same day he announces Kinder Morgan’s approval, Trudeau kills Enbridge’s $7.9-billion proposal to build a pipeline to Kitimat. He also imposes a North Coast crude oil tanker moratorium.

Clark, presumably keeping what she believes is her side of the bargain after Ottawa supports both LNG and the Alberta-B.C transmission line, now says Ottawa is “very, very” close to meeting her five conditions from 2012.

Dec. 9, 2016: Trudeau caps the carefully timed trifecta when he and eight provincial premiers, including Clark, agree after a year of wrangling to a national plan to price carbon as part of a strategy to combat climate change.

Notley made clear that she couldn’t agree to a national climate plan unless she got her pipeline. And Trudeau, according to Leach, would have had difficulty approving that pipeline without a broad national consensus on a carbon tax.

“It would have been a very different conversation, saying, ‘Well, I basically don’t have the ability to approve this pipeline if I can’t point to collaborative action from Alberta on the broader agenda.’ ”

A well-planned screw job.


The dream was, I suppose, that the Kazakhstanis, and Burundians, the Chinese and Peruvians, all in their several dominions, taking the morning beverage to begin the day, would pause and remark to the neighbors, “Those Ontarians. They’re leading the fight against global warming. What a people.” Then, instantly, a worldwide flight to turn off the space heaters, shut down the factories, jail the coal miners, and turn out the lights. In 24 hours the only place left on the planet that still had the lights on would be a mansion in Tennessee.

Because as we know, when Ontario sets the pace, the world follows.

And people voted for it.

How could this possibly go wrong?

Vending machines dispensing needles and crack pipes will be installed throughout Ottawa in the coming months as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C in designated spots throughout the city.

But... but... they were hacked!

Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system ...

North Korea can be stopped if someone has the guts to punish China for backing it:

What to do? The options are stark:

(1) Pre-emptive attack on its missile-launching facilities. Do-able but reckless. It is the option most likely to trigger an actual war. The North Koreans enjoy both conventional superiority and proximity: a vast army poised at the Demilitarized Zone only 50 kilometres from Seoul. Americans are not going to fight another land war in Asia.

(2) Shoot down the test ICBM, as advocated by The Wall Street Journal. Assuming we can. Democrats have done their best to abort or slow down anti-missile defenses since Ronald Reagan proposed them in the early 1980s. Even so, we should be able to intercept a single, relatively primitive ICBM of the sort North Korea might be capable of.

Although such a shoot-down would occur nowhere near North Korean soil, it could still very well provoke a military response. Which is why the new administration should issue a clear warning that if such a test missile is launched, we will bring it down. Barack Obama is gone. Such a red line could be a powerful deterrent.

(3) Return tactical U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea. They were withdrawn in 1991 by George H.W. Bush in the waning days of the Cold War. Gorbachev’s Soviet Union responded in kind. A good idea in general, but not on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang had railed constantly against their presence, but they did act as a deterrent to any contemplated North Korean aggression, which might make them a useful bargaining chip.

(4) Economic leverage on China, upon which Pyongyang depends for its survival. Donald Trump seems to suggest using trade to pressure China to get North Korea to desist. The problem is that China has shown no evidence of being willing to yield a priceless strategic asset — a wholly dependent client state that acts as a permanent thorn and distraction to U.S. power in the Pacific Rim — because of mere economic pressure.

(5) Strategic leverage on China. Washington’s been begging China for decades to halt the North Korean nuclear program. Beijing plays along with sanctions and offers occasional expressions of dismay. Nothing more. There’s one way guaranteed to get its attention. Declare that the U.S. would no longer oppose Japan acquiring a nuclear deterrent.

This is a radical step that goes against America’s general policy of non-proliferation. But the point is to halt proliferation to the infinitely more dangerous regime in North Korea. China is the key. The Chinese have many nightmares, none worse than a nuclear-armed Japan.

If it was simply a matter of South Korea versus North Korea, South Korea would have marched into North Korea in the Seventies and today one would go skiing in the mountains.

Punishing China is the key.

And now, baby chinchillas.

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