Tuesday, May 09, 2017

For a Tuesday

The story so far ...

Just in: Trump fires Comey:

President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, dramatically ousting the nation's top law enforcement official in the midst of an FBI investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's election meddling.

How embarrassing.

South Koreans have opted for national suicide after ten years of conservative rule:

The predicted win for Moon will mark the country veering to the left, after 10 years of conservative rule that ended with President Park Geun-hye being unseated by a peaceful civilian rebellion. Park’s ouster and a liberal’s rise to power also marks the end of a chapter in South Korea’s political history.

I can understand a sea change. I can understand fatigue with corruption. I can't understand embracing Roh Moo-Hyun Redux:

As lawyers defending left-wing radicals and pro-democracy activists alike against the right-wing dictatorship, Moon and Roh became close friends and law partners in Pusan. Moon went on to become the legal advisor to the Pusan branch of the Korea Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union, a radicalized union that would draw controversy for the politicized, anti-American, and often pro-North Korean bias of its members’ instruction. In one case, it was caught using textbooks that borrowed heavily from North Korean texts. …

The violence slowly tapered off as the Sunshine Policy failed to keep its unrealistic promises, as Roh turned out to be another compromised politician, and as North Korea repaid the South’s generosity by sinking one of its warships and shelling a fishing village, killing 50 of its citizens.

Opinions shifted away from the pro-North Korean and anti-American sentiment that dominated in 2002. Today, there is no groundswell to cozy up to Kim Jong-un or kick the Yankees out. Instead, there is the weariness with the industry of politics (see, e.g., America circa 2015) and a combination of anxiety, frustration, and indecision about North Korea (see, e.g., Washington, D.C., circa 2009 to 2015). The spirit of 2002 returned again in 2015, when a pro-North Korean extremist slashed the face of U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert. With delectable irony, Moon warned that “if this incident is politically used … such a move will rather hurt the Seoul-Washington ties.”

If there are any silver linings to this, it's that Moon has only five years to screw up South Korea and that despite his willingness to appease Kim Jong-Un (who implored South Koreans not to vote conservative), North Korea will collapse anyway. Moon will have to explain to the average South Korean taxpayer why taking in their fleeing North Korean cousins is bad for the country.


Voters in Canada's British Columbia went to the polls to choose a new provincial government on Tuesday in a neck-and-neck race between the ruling Liberal Party and left-leaning New Democrats.

Some pollsters predicted the Liberals, who have governed the westernmost province for 16 years, would carve out a victory. The party is not linked to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal Party and is more right-leaning.

For one's edification:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday defended his government's support for planemaker Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO in the wake of a trade challenge by rival Boeing Co BA.N, saying the aid was important.


Aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. is clearing its debts with taxpayers, striking new terms with Canada and Quebec to repay early more than $1-billion in loans owing to the two levels of government in a move that has potential repercussions for Bombardier Inc.

Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp. (UTC), Pratt’s parent, disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday that Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) signed amendments to existing loans agreements with the governments on Dec. 30. Records show the engine manufacturer has historically been the largest beneficiary by far of federal support for research and development.

The Montreal-area company will make four annual payments totalling $965-million (U.S.) – $1.4-billion (Canadian) at current exchange rates – starting this month to “fully settle and terminate” its previous contractual obligations related to royalties to the two governments, according to the filing. That means PWC will now no longer have to pay royalties to the lenders based on its engine sales. ...

UTC’s move to repay its loans early would free up cash at both the federal and Quebec levels for other aerospace and defence suppliers, at least in theory. That means Bombardier, which has approached the Trudeau government to invest in its C Series airliner program to match $1-billion in funding committed by Quebec, could benefit.

And here:

Suzanne Benoit, president of Aero Montreal, recently hosted a press conference to honor Pratt & Whitney’s recent completion of its 400th engine for the Airbus C-295. The event also served to remind the public of Quebec about the additional content that will be included because of the government’s recent FWSAR (Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft) contract deal.
But, the event was a rarity of sorts. Unlike Western Canada, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, Quebec does not have a regional defence association to represent the defence industry’s interests. The upshot is that many of the province’s defence players feel that they have been short-changed on contract awards in areas ranging from aerospace, to naval shipbuilding and SME participation. Benoit and Aero Montreal have been increasingly stepping up to fill in the gap. “We have to make sure that (Quebec industry is) not penalized,” says Benoit. “The opportunities are unbelievable, so we had to contribute.”

TWO companies are on a string.


So, for eight years,  Americans got an Islamist-supporting windbag who was nowhere to be seen when the American embassy was under attack for a video that proved to be immaterial?

You get the politicians you deserve,” Obama said without mentioning President Trump. “And if you don’t vote and you don’t participate and you don’t pay attention, then you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interests.

In 2008, I couldn't imagine Americans voting for an apologist for Iran but I was wrong.

In a word, yes:

I can’t help but question whether Democrats really think people are buying the argument that Republicans don’t just want take away your health care, but want you dead, too. Does the left really believe people are so gullible, so naive?

Syria wants only a Russian presence on the ground:

Syria on Monday dismissed the idea of foreign forces patrolling four so-called de-escalation zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would agree only to Russian "military police" who are already on the ground.

That pipeline is in the bag.

Also - this won't end well:

Islamic State has issued a video showing the beheading of a man it described as a Russian intelligence officer captured in Syria, the U.S.-based SITE monitoring website reported on Tuesday.

Before I proceed with this, I would like to preface it with the sentiments of Ibn Warraq:

Most important, Ibn Warraq  describes the “mind-set” of most Muslims as intolerant, self-pitying, stagnant, and trained to blame others for their own failures. He also sees the Muslim “mind-set” as akin to that of people trapped in totalitarian regimes. The need to control thought and to sacrifice individuality characterizes both Islamic and Marxist regimes. Thus, we understand the affinity that Western “leftists” have with reactionary Islamists. Ibn Warraq contrasts this with a Western “mind-set” which is built upon Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, scientific, and Enlightenment foundations and is characterized by intellectual curiosity, genuine interest in the “other,” a sense of irony, the ability to engage in self-criticism, and a concern with finding the truth.

Carrying on:

When I read Barbara’s Kay’s column about me, it was with a mixture of anger, frustration and a heavy heart. I came upon it as I was about to board a flight to a conference in Berkeley where I was to be a keynote speaker. The column was devoted to maligning my work and that of my esteemed colleague Dr. Hatem Bazian from the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley, where I serve as an affiliated faculty member.

Before my trip, Kay had sent me an email, asking me for my definition of Islamophobia. She was perturbed that M-103, a parliamentary motion to condemn Islamophobia, put forward by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, was about to be passed without it providing a clear definition of Islamophobia. She said Muslim community members she spoke to could not give her one. ...

I informed her that I found the traditional definition of Islamophobia as a “fear or hatred of Islam and Muslims” to be limiting. So in my definition, I place it in a broader sociological framework where fear and hatred manifest into individual, ideological, and systemic practices (on this, other scholars might differ). Individual practices include things like name-calling, vandalism, assaults, and the like. And that the ideologies that justify these actions include stereotypes such as seeing Islam as a violent faith or seeing Muslims as terrorists, or as people who do not accept “Canadian values,” and these notions are inculcated into systemic practices such as racial profiling and domestic security policies targeting Muslims.

Again, I refer to the sentiments of Ibn Warraq:

... Ibn Warraq  describes the “mind-set” of most Muslims as intolerant, self-pitying, stagnant, and trained to blame others for their own failures. ...

Miss Zine demonstrates (perhaps unwittingly) the stunted and self-pitying traits Mr. Warraq attributes to most Muslims.

Instead of giving a precise definition of an actual phenomenon, Miss Zine chooses to "broaden" her scope to things like name-calling. She goes further stating that well-publicised incidences of terrorism, intolerance and failure to acclimatise to Canadian culture are "stereotypes" leading to unfair profiling.

Instead of addressing Mrs. Kay and acknowledging that maybe - just maybe - some fears Canadians have about censorship and Islamist terrorism are well-founded, Miss Zine is tediously predictable and moans how unfair all of this is, hence the need for Motion 103.

A rational person can distinguish between an Islamist terrorist and a citizen who adhere to Islam. A rational person can also distinguish between deflective whining and legitimate concern.

When people read things like this:

Jakarta's Christian governor has been sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy, a harsher-than-expected ruling critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces to challenge secularism in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

And this

On the morning of the bombing, the bomber ran through the detector and directly into the church pursued by the guard. The explosion occurred in the women's section of the church, right inside the door, and the guard, who was vaporized by the blast, was the only male fatality. The rest of the victims were women and girls.

One can understand why they would think that there is something dreadfully wrong with an ideology that supports and carries things like this out and certainly can understand that something is wrong when one cannot talk about it openly.

And now, a project that creates kimonos to represent every country on Earth:

Share the Land ...

No comments: