Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Lots to talk about ....

Not only was Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan caught in a lie, his defense policy is deemed wanting:

There is no doubt Harjit Sajjan has lost respect as a soldier, say sources close to and inside the Canadian Armed Forces, and that this will colour the remainder of his tenure. But whether he retains credibility as a politician will depend on whether he delivers on promises to fix major funding and capability gaps. And there is significant skepticism about whether he can. 

The minister himself acknowledged this reality Wednesday, telling reporters he’ll be judged by “actions, not words.” 

A substantially-delayed “defence policy review,” originally promised for last December, is being put out before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Brussels for a major NATO meeting May 25. Alongside its release, Sajjan is expected to reveal a dollar figure for Canada’s “significant investment” in the military.

That’s after detailing a list of complaints about past funding shortfalls in an address to military and defence stakeholders in Ottawa Wednesday. Several in the room called the address “frank,” but many noted every politician likes to detail predecessors’ failings before announcing policy. 

In its first two federal budgets, the Liberal government decided to “defer” about $12 billion in military capital spending, itself contributing to the types of shortfalls Sajjan described.

But he is not the only corrupt liar in a party that excels in corruption and deceit ...

Fat lot of good that does anyone now:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should recuse himself from having anything to do with choosing Canada's next ethics watchdog, says a Conservative member of Parliament's ethics committee.

Pat Kelly said he is concerned about the prospect of the prime minister helping to choose a new ethics commissioner while under investigation by that office for his trip to the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas.

"Some may view a conflict there, whether there is one or not," said Kelly, MP for the riding of Calgary Rocky Ridge. "It's a very unfortunate situation."

Under the government's rules, the prime minister is the minister responsible for the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

The Prime Minister's Office is not saying what role, if any, Trudeau will play in choosing the next ethics commissioner.

(Sidebar: why doesn't he just choose a family friend or donor?) 


In the cover story of the most recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, Trudeau claims the former Conservative government advocated “headscarf bans”. It’s simply not true.

The PM tells the influential American magazine that in the last election he “was up against a government than ran on snitch lines against Muslims and headscarf bans and a fear-filled narrative that Canadians chose to reject”.

It’s a sloppy take that completely mischaracterizes the former government’s election platform and sends a false message about Canadian politics to the world.

No major political party in Canada has ever proposed a headscarf ban. The closest thing would be Quebec’s failed charter of values, which would have banned the wearing of "conspicuous" religious symbols by public servants in the province. This would have applied to all religions.

Perhaps Trudeau was referring to how back in 2011 the Conservative government did enact a ban on full face veils for the brief one-time occasion when a woman delivers her citizenship oath. A court decision then forced them to defend this law at a time that coincided with the last election.

Bullsh--? Indeed:

A parliamentary committee meeting ended abruptly and in disarray Tuesday morning, with a Conservative MP crying foul.

“That is bullshit,” shouted Scott Reid as Liberal MP Larry Bagnell adjourned a meeting of the Procedure and House Affairs committee just moments after it resumed.

The issue stems from the government’s recent announcement that it will table a motion in the House of Commons to make changes to parliamentary procedure.

Those changes, and several others that have since been dropped, were originally proposed in a discussion paper in early March. A motion in the procedures committee to study the proposals and make recommendations by June 2 provoked outrage from the opposition, which claims that the government is trying to ram through changes.

Opposition MPs have filibustered the committee meeting ever since.

But now, the Liberals plan to table and vote on a motion with some of those changes before the summer, taking the issue out of the committee’s hands.

On Tuesday morning, Bagnell adjourned the committee meeting immediately, effectively ending the filibuster.

Reid claims that move was illegal, in part because he had raised a point of order before Bagnell ended the meeting.

“I said ‘point of order’ before you pulled that shit,” he yelled at Bagnell as the chair rose to leave. 
“We are not adjourned or suspended. That’s bullshit, Mr. Chair. That is bullshit.”

Why, that sounds like Bagnell is trying to sneak a way into letting the Liberals ram through whatever they want.

Why, didn't dictators of all stripes do similar things?

Why, they did!

This is what desperation looks like:

Canada is hosting a round of exploratory negotiations on the future of the Trans Pacific Partnership after the U.S. bowed out.

Senior trade officials from every remaining signatory country will convene the so-called TPP-minus-one talks in Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday. While ministers won’t attend, the event is expected to set the stage for an upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of trade ministers in Vietnam.

The United States is like the very good neighbour next-door. Well, it is, really. If Trudeau (not Canada) thinks he can get out of Vietnam or the ever-swindling China what every other PM before him got out of the US, he must be put in a straight-jacket for his and the country's own good.


Canada has a worse hand than Mexico going into Donald Trump’s proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, experts say.

Talks could take years, and there is little to threaten the United States administration with that wouldn’t hurt Canada much more, a panel of trade experts said in Ottawa Tuesday at an event organized by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

This is looking better everyday!

Hey, what did Israel do?

Israel has become the latest country to incur the fury of North Korea. It threatened the Jewish-majority nation with a "merciless, thousand-fold punishment" for "hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership".

The threat has come in response to the Israeli defence minister calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "madman". Avigdor Lieberman said tensions between the US and North Korea could impact Israel.

Have a falafel, Kimmy.

But I thought that China was going to punish North Korea. Wasn't that what everyone expected?

Air China, the only Chinese carrier with regular services to North Korea, will resume the flights between Beijing and Pyongyang on May 5 after a three-week suspension, state media reported on Tuesday.

If South Korea wants THAAD, it will have to pay for it. Otherwise, Trump may re-think how close an ally the US needs to be before a potential victor in the South Korean election decides for him:

South Korea on Monday ruled out any future negotiation over who should pay for a US advanced missile defense system to be deployed here, but left open the possibility that the Trump administration might use the issue as leverage against Seoul during the allies’ defense-sharing negotiations scheduled to take place next year.

Citing the Status of Forces Agreement and a classified separate agreement with US Forces in Korea, the Defense Ministry stressed that the allies had agreed that the US would pay for the deployment and operation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Missile Defense system, with Seoul providing land and supporting infrastructure.

More on the potential victor:

Like Roh Moo-hyun, the President he served, Moon Jae-in’s ideological origins are found within the leftist lawyers’ group Minbyun (which has since become Pyongyang’s instrument for intimidating North Korean refugees in the South). 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. …

After Moon defended Roh in the latter’s 2004 impeachment, Roh made Moon a job as Senior Presidential Secretary for Political Affairs, putting him in charge of communications with the National Assembly and South Korea’s political parties. He later became Roh’s Chief of Staff, the position he held when he asked Pyongyang for its instructions as to how Seoul’s man in New York should vote on a U.N. General Assembly vote to condemn North Korea’s human rights abuses (and subsequently lied about it).

If Moon Jae-in’s history and recent statements are predictive of his world view, the U.S.-Korea alliance is headed for what we might call “a critical stage.” For example, Moon was widely quoted as promising that if elected, he would visit Pyongyang before he visits Washington, though he now claims that statement was taken out of context. Moon still says he plans to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a move that would violate U.N. sanctions and directly undermine the Trump administration’s emerging policy of economic pressure on Pyongyang. Moon has opposed, and repeatedly waffled on, the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system that protects not only South Korean cities, but U.S. forces and their families. Whereas Moon calls Kim Jong-un a ”partner for dialogue,” he sells himself as the leader of a Korea that can “say no the U.S.”

Okay - when Roh was elected, he enacted a "Sunshine Policy" that only emboldened North Korea which ultimately led to such atrocities as the sinking of the Cheonan and the missile attack on Yeonpyeong Island which killed four people.

When the Americans lost their collective g-d- minds and elected Obama, he paved the way to further their nuclear ambitions.

I shudder to think what Moon will do.


But U.S. airstrikes, launched from bases in the South, or from Japan, or even Guam, combined with heavy jamming and cyber ops, could probably severely degrade North Korea’s ability to launch anything. Their internal communications would almost stop. And if you are going preemptive, there’s a good chance you are going to conduct a decapitation strike aimed at destroying Pyongyang’s ruling elites. Drones could loiter overhead to provide warning of any launcher rolling out of a tunnel. Being a North Korean launcher operator would become the world’s most hazardous job, but with plenty of opportunity to move up the ladder.


There are people who still think that subsidised heroin use is a good idea:

In a testament to the sheer scale and concentration of Vancouver’s drug problem, a pigeon living in the city’s Downtown Eastside was found to have built its nest entirely out of used hypodermic needles.

Look - if one would rather chew one's legs off than admit that an unborn child is a biological entity distinct from his mother with functioning limbs and organs and therefore cannot consent to having those limbs and organs forcibly removed from his body, he can't authorise photos of his corpse for beardy-weirdy professors to ogle at, can he?:

"What would you call the public display of a butt-naked body of a child? I would call it child pornography," David Sanders, associate professor of biology, declared at an April 24 debate on abortion.

"Do they have their permission? Do they have the permission of the fetus? Obviously not. Do they have the permission of the parents to show these images of children?" Sanders went on to ask.

The biology professor emphasized that he did not consider fetuses to be children, but argued that he was only using the pro-life debater's rhetoric. "I didn't admit it," he said. "I'm using his language. He thinks it's a child. I do not."

(Sidebar: and he teaches biology? What an @$$.) 

Two-thirds of Canada's electricity supply now comes from renewable sources such as hydro and wind power, the National Energy Board said in a report released Tuesday.

There are literally no words for this:

Nearly four years ago, Spec. Hilda Clayton, a combat photographer in the U.S. Army, was documenting a live-fire exercise in Afghanistan when, without warning, a mortar tube accidentally exploded in front of her.

Clayton, 22, was killed in the blast, along with an Afghan military photographer she was training and three Afghan National Army soldiers. Eleven other people were injured.

In the instant before the device detonated, Clayton snapped one last picture. So did her trainee.

On Monday, the Army published the images in its May-June issue of the Military Review, the Army’s professional journal.
Hilda Clayton snapped this photo as she died.
The last photograph taken by Specialist Hilda Clayton (RIP).

Morocco's Christians may very experience what their co-religionists have:

Moroccans who secretly converted to Christianity are demanding the right to practise their faith openly in a country where Islam is the state religion and "apostasy" is condemned.

To wit:

Make no excuse. Ye have disbelieved after your (confession of) belief. If We forgive a party of you, a party of you We shall punish because they have been guilty.


Father Benedict Kiely, a Catholic priest who founded, which helps persecuted Christians in the Middle East, recently met some Christians persecuted by ISIS in Iraq. As he left the country, another elderly priest, himself a refugee, gripped Kiely's hand and told him in Arabic: "Be careful, be very careful. What has happened here will come to you".

And now, maybe there are no wrong answers, only more delicious ones:


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