Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Story So Far


Australians and New Zealanders remember the landing in Gallipoli.

Furious that Trump would predictably rock the lumber tariff boat, Canada threatens vengeance ... or something:

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said stiff new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber demonstrate the readiness of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to crack down on what it considers to be unfair trade policies.

“This administration is much more enforcement-oriented than the previous one,” Ross said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “Enforcement is very much on the forefront in this administration.”

The U.S. Commerce Department has slapped import duties ranging from three per cent to 24 per cent on U.S.-bound shipments from Canadian forestry companies.

Canadian industry officials say the Trump Administration’s move is illegal and vow to fight. They dismiss the Commerce Department’s measures as posturing ahead of future trade talks. 

That's nice, but PM Hair-Boy has neither the finesse nor the wherewithal to do anything to head this off at the pass.

He wasn't elected because of his financial savvy.

If there is ever a finger to be pointed at anyone it is Canada and its protectionist policies that have only recently been revisited, long after Americans have benefitted from our products before our countrymen have. Then there are the subsidies and supply boards.

How the hell can anyone do business in this country let alone business with the Americans?

It is quite possible that Trump is posturing and it is also possible that this will bite the Americans in the end but not before it further reveals Trudeau's incompetence and his reliance on backers to fix what he was elected ostensibly to do.

Also - he is not just a total moron but arrogant and comfortable in the knowledge that no one will hold him to account. That's why he can be a struck-up @$$hole who answers an English question in French:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his younger brother, Michel, was able to avoid a criminal record after he was caught with marijuana because of his father’s connections.

(Sidebar: just like getting elected PM.)


A photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posing with Veluppillai Thangavelu, the former vice-president of a group on Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist organizations, has underscored the pitfalls of selfie politics.

(Sidebar: another one?)

Harper didn't de-fund the CBC when he had the chance. That error still haunts us:

In its original form, the CBC article referred to Barghouti only as the “best-known” of the imprisoned Palestinians and a “popular choice” to replace Palestinian President Abbas, noting that he was arrested for his “role” in Palestinian uprisings, and that he’s serving multiple life terms, without explaining why.

From April 21 on, though, the CBC article included this paragraph: “Barghouti was arrested in 2002 during the violent Palestinian uprising and convicted on multiple counts of murder. Israel charged him with directing suicide bombings against its citizens and he was sentenced to five life terms.” These words come verbatim from the Associated Press story from which the CBC article was sourced.

The context-providing paragraph was only inserted following a complaint to the CBC’s editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire by Mike Fegelman of HonestReporting Canada (HRC), which monitors Canadian media bias against Israel. As well, an editorial comment explaining the update, which should not have needed a prompt, was only issued following an added complaint from Fegelman. Even then, the clarification cryptically read: “This story has been updated to include additional information on Marwan Barghouti.” It doesn’t say, as the NYT’s clarification did, that the “additional information” comprised the crucial facts about Barghouti’s terrorist background.

And Phoenix Sinclair should have been a precautionary tale:

This time it was Edmonton and Anthony Joseph Raine, but it’s an old story in which the plot line is too familiar and nothing changes.

Nothing ever changes.

A child is killed. The mandatory teddy bear memorial springs up. Social media is alive both with sugary tributes to the dead baby and illiterate blind rage at those accused of killing him.

The former, for instance, say Anthony was a “sweet angel.” He was a boy who could “light up a room” with his smiles. He was “always happy.”

In fact, according to Edmonton Police Homicide Staff Sergeant Duane Hunter, it’s unlikely the 19-month-old baby was ever happy. He lived a hideous life of abuse, “a terrible life full of violence,” as Hunter put it at a news conference late Monday.

Anthony’s body was covered in bruises.

Charged in his death are Joey Crier, 26, identified by family members as Anthony’s biological father, and his girlfriend, Tasha-Lee Mack, 25.

They are each accused of second-degree murder, criminal negligence causing death, failure to provide the necessaries of life and assault. Crier is additionally charged with assault causing bodily harm.

The charges suggest that Anthony had injuries both recent and not, that his death, the result of head trauma according to Hunter, was not the result of a sudden single burst of temper, but rather part of ongoing treatment, and that Crier and Mack also failed to get him medical attention.

An ambulance refuses to pick up child suffering from an allergic reaction:

When her 16-month old baby had a lick of peanut butter last week, Marina Byezhanova wasn’t particularly concerned.

Axel had had peanut butter before, and was just fine.

But this time, within seconds, the infant broke out in hives, started screaming inconsolably, and began to scratch his arms, chest and face until he drew blood.

Byezhanova called 911.

But the response she got from Urgences Santé was far from urgent.

“They said they would send an ambulance but we would have to wait up to three hours for it,” Byezhanova said. “We asked them to repeat that twice. They said if anything changes to call them back, but we knew if something else happened it would be that he was choking and it would be too late.”

Byezhanova and her husband hung up the phone and rushed the baby to Ste-Justine hospital in Montreal themselves, shaking at the wheel.

A triage nurse spotted them from down the corridor and immediately took the baby to inject him with a shot of epinephrine. They would spend the next five hours at the hospital, monitoring the baby and getting Benadryl and a prescription for an Epi-Pen to administer at home.

It was only later that Byezhanova thought about what might have happened if they had simply waited.

In 2008, Obama promised to meet Iran without pre-conditions.

In  2016, his pandering to Iran would almost pale Jimmy Carter's:

Obama released Iranians who were allegedly part of an “illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics” that would help create surface-to-air and cruise missiles. 

Information that will come in handy. In seven years, “all the sanctions, even arms embargoes and missile-related sanctions… would all be lifted,” Hassan Rouhani correctly noted during the post-deal Iranian celebration.

According to Politico, the Justice Department dropped charges and international arrest warrants against 14 men, most of them alleged spies. At least one of them sought supplies for Iran’s proxy Hezbollah, a Justice Department-designated terrorist organization that is also allied to Bashar al-Assad. Another one of these men was serving an eight-year sentence for “conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware.” And Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili had been charged with participating in conspiracy to procuring “thousands of parts with nuclear applications” that Iran supposedly didn’t care about anymore.

In the 2016 prisoner swap, the administration claimed that it was able “winnow” a big ask “down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.” This was a lie of omission, not to mention a distraction.

Read the whole thing.

Is that so, Mr. Ma?

Ma, 52, also hit out at the traditional banking industry, saying that lending must be available to more members of society. ...

Ma also called for traditional industries to stop complaining about the internet's effects on the economy. He said Alibaba critics ignore that Alibaba's consumer shopping offshoot, Taobao, has created "millions" of jobs.

Hhmmm ...

An anti-counterfeiting coalition is suspending Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba from its group after backlash from companies on May 13.

The companies view Alibaba as the largest marketplace for fakes in the world. 

Japan needs to nuclearise:

North Korea might be talking about building missiles that can reach the United States, but Kim Jong Un’s regime already has lots of missiles that can reach Japan. So the Japanese government is preparing its citizens to be ready in case a missile comes their way — something that could come with less than 10 minutes’ warning.

The prime minister’s office issued new “actions to protect yourself” guidelines this week, including for the first time instructions on how to respond if a North Korean ballistic missile is heading toward Japan.

And now, if she hadn't taken the dare, we would never have had that opportunity to appreciate her magnificent voice:

At the time, radio was booming and Harlem was a hotbed of black variety acts, theater, and street performance. Ella, who could both sing and dance, made the occasional nickel dancing on street corners, but when she learned about the Apollo Theater’s new amateur night competition, she was intrigued. She went to the theater with two girlfriends, who dared her to go onstage—as a dancer. "It was a bet," she said later. "We just put our names in … We never thought we’d get the call." The plan: Impersonate Earl "Snakehips" Tucker, a dancer renowned in Harlem for a routine in which he did a boneless-seeming dance people compared to a boa constrictor.

But when a gawky, homeless, poorly clothed Ella got ready to do her snake-like dance, things started to go wrong. She realized that a pair of well-known dancers, the Edwards Sisters—whom Ella once referred to as "the dancingest sisters in the world"—would go on before her as the final main-show act and that their costumes and routine were much fancier than her run-down gear and street-corner performance style. At the last minute, she chickened out and decided to sing instead.

"She was far from chic," recalled someone who was in the audience that night. "So we started booing … like the bunch of rowdy kids we were." The amateur night’s emcee had to beg the heckling audience for a bit of compassion to restore order before a discomposed Ella—who was "jumpy and unnerved," as the emcee reported—started to sing. After a rough start, Ella's clear, precise vocals—her calling card throughout her career—came through, and she won the crowd over. When she walked off the stage, it was in triumph.

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