Tuesday, April 11, 2017

(Insert Title Here)

What a day...

French candidate Marine Le Pen pressed the usual buttons when she said that France was not responsible for the Vel d'Hiv round-up in July 1942 in which 13,152 Jews were arrested by the Nazis:

National Front leader Marine Le Pen sparked controversy in France on Sunday when she said the French State was not responsible for the Nazi-ordered round-up of more than 13,000 Jews at Paris’s Vel d’Hiv cycling track in 1942.

In so doing, she called into question the role French authorities played in deporting Jews during the Second World War, for which President Jacques Chirac officially recognised France’s responsibility in 1995.

Yes, about that:

The French reactions to the arrest and deportation of Jews varied between active collaboration with the Germans, indifference, and empathy toward the persecuted Jews. Most of the civil administration and the French policemen who had been allocated to conduct the arrest collaborated with the authorities. A minority, however, tried to aid Jews in escaping, either by turning a blind eye toward escapees, or by actively aiding such escapes and providing Jews with hiding places. Many elements within French society – leading figures in the Church, the press and the underground – expressed revulsion at the events and protested against them. Public condemnation of the arrest and deportation of Jews was primarily sparked by the difficult sight of women arrested along with their babies. This negative public sentiment found its way into the official reports of governmental authorities and even the police.

If Le Pen's view is seen as obnoxious (certainly revisionist), then it is no less obnoxious than Hollande recognising the Palestinian Authority as a state or any other rancid views held by politicians and popular press alike.

I think Rex Tillerson should ride everywhere in a tank just because:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson carried a message from world powers to Moscow on Tuesday denouncing Russian support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad, as the Trump administration took on America's traditional mantle as leader of a unified West.

Where are those accusations of election tampering now?


Different U.S. allies articulated different versions of that warning Tuesday, including Canada. During a G7 meeting in Italy, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland urged Russia to seize the moment as a chance to break with Assad.

The twin events of a horrific chemical attack on Syrian civilians, combined with U.S. airstrikes, had created new momentum in pursuing a long-term political solution to the Syrian civil war, Freeland said.

"Russia needs to decide whether it wants to double down on its support of a murderous regime that is committing war crimes, or whether right now it wants to say, 'You know what? We do not want to be associated with this, this is not where we want our country to be,'" she told a conference call.

"I really do hope Russia will take this opportunity to be on the right side of history."

Right you are, Chrystia!

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland knew for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland that vilified Jews during the Second World War.

On the brink of war or more sabre-rattling?

The United States and North Korea are engaging in high-tension brinkmanship, with North Korea warning Tuesday that it will “hit the U.S. first” with nuclear weapons, but the prospects that this could escalate into an actual clash of arms are slim.

The stakes remain too high for both countries, analysts say, today as they were yesterday, as they were last year. But the temperature in the region has become decidedly hotter in recent days. And there’s always the chance that one side or the other could miscalculate.

Expectations are mounting that North Korea will unleash some kind of provocation this week, and the U.S. Navy rerouted an aircraft carrier strike group, capable of both firing missiles and shooting missiles down, to the Korean Peninsula over the weekend.

When trust-fund babies who actually believe that budgets are magically self-correcting use taxpayers' cash to fund their holidays with wealthy businessmen and then sell out their economies to their favourite countries, it is safe to say that some may have buyer's remorse:

In addition to the initial $127,187 disclosed in documents tabled in the House of Commons, the government spent $6,695 to transport a Privy Council Office technician from Nassau to Bell Island by seaplane along with 400 pounds of equipment.

That brings the total cost to taxpayers as a result of Trudeau's vacation to the exclusive island to $133,883.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial New Year's family vacation at the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas has opposition MPs riled up once again.

Trudeau weathered a barrage of questions from interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and Opposition House leader Candice Bergen about the latest cost estimates for the trip, which included a pricey ride on the Aga Khan's private helicopter.


The Nanos Research survey, which polled 1,000 Canadians between April 1-4 on behalf of The Globe and Mail, found that 90 per cent of respondents did not want China’s state-owned companies to have unrestricted access to Canada’s economy.

If Canadians are truly bothered by the unrestricted flow of illegal immigrants, then why did they vote for a party which allows it?

Angus Reid Institute found that 50% of Canadians believe there’s a significant or huge risk of criminals and other dangerous individuals crossing into Canada through the unguarded border points now used by asylum seekers heading north from the U.S.

Almost three in every four Canadians want the country to focus its resources on monitoring and patrolling the border to discourage more crossings.

Not going to happen, princesses.

Yeah, I would say having one's arms and legs ripped off would be Holocaust-esque:

A central Alberta school division says it was unacceptable for a video shown to a high school class by a pro-life group to compare abortion to the Holocaust of the Second World War.

The video was presented last month by Red Deer and Area Pro-Life to Grade 10 students at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School in the city’s Catholic school system.

A statement issued by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools says the intended outcome was to teach students respect for human life as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Officials say they’ve requested the pro-life group make their presentation more appropriate for students.

(Sidebar: I'm sure they meant to say show only blank slides.)

If that bothers one, perhaps it should not be allowed.

Christian martyrs never sought to be martyrs. No one wakes up one day and hopes to be eviscerated by some Christ-hating @$$hole. But it is their unwavering love for Christ, even at the point of persecution and death, that gives them purpose and nobility. They may die but they have merited a great reward.

People who blow them up, however, can roast in ignominy.

You get what you want:

It is an awful thing — a blasphemous thing, a sacrilegious thing — to massacre people at prayer, as ISIL did on Palm Sunday in Egypt, killing more than 40 Coptic Orthodox at two churches, including the cathedral in Alexandria.

It is an awesome thing — literally rendering us full of awe — to behold the death of those killed while most fully Christian, singing God’s praises and giving witness to Him. ...

It was not their choice to be killed because they were Christians. It is their choice to receive that martyrdom precisely as Christians, strengthened, not diminished, in their faith. It is an inspiration, just as those Coptic Christians beheaded on the beach two years ago whispered the name of Jesus as the jihadists drew their knives against their necks.

And now, a segment of "Stabat Mater":

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