Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Your locus of the work-week ...

China, desperate to deflect attention from its vassal state, warns that the tensions that state ratcheted up with everyone else could be disastrous:

China's U.N. ambassador warned Monday that further escalation of already high tensions with North Korea risks getting out of control, "and the consequences would be disastrous."

Liu Jieyi expressed hope that key nations will be "more forthcoming" and support China's three-part package to de-escalate tensions — revive negotiations and dialogue leading to denuclearization and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The West needs to get a clue and start treating China as the problem, not as a deal-maker. The South Koreans have tried everything from sanctions to humanitarian aid. North Korea, China's ever-important buffer state, is not interested.

To wit:

Pyongyang did not starve millions of “expendable” people to build a nuclear arsenal so that it could trade that arsenal away. Kim Jong-Un does not want nuclear weapons merely to defend himself from us. He will use them to blackmail Seoul into a “peace process” that would achieve the incremental surrender of South Korea and ultimately, the legacy to which is father and grandfather devoted their lives — the reunification of Korea under his rule.

China is making that happen. North Korea's successful missile test on Tuesday is evidence that a country that refuses to feed its people but is capable of firing a missile that can strike the Northwest is being supported by a very powerful ally, one that has been with North Korea from the beginning. Either the West can take the boots to China or watch the situation on the Korean Peninsula go from tense to frightening.

For argument’s sake, and to give Ambassador Lu the benefit of any doubt, let’s take the embassy’s word for it. Let’s rely on its own official transcript for an understanding of what Lu was trying to get across about Beijing’s superior approach to the matter of human rights, democracy and free speech: 

“Why do you think China can make so many great achievements with so high efficience? It’s because the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government are good at listening to the public opinion and mobilizing and guiding the public for common cause.”

Now let’s look at what that means within Beijing’s sphere of influence. We’ll stick to the most recent examples.

Three months ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has taken on greater dictatorial powers than any Chinese tyrant since Mao Zedong, instructed China’s major news organizations that the “news” they produce must express “total loyalty” to the Communist Party. A flurry of complaints was made to quickly disappear. The business magazine Caixin published three articles about censorship in a row, all deleted by Beijing’s censors.

On June 1, the new rules laid down by the Cyberspace Administration of China came into effect: editorial managers overseeing online media platforms — websites, web logs, discussion forums, search engines, messaging applications and news distribution — must be approved by Beijing. 

Editorial staff are to undergo training by central government authorities to ensure their party loyalty. June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre passed with little notice, because public discussion of the 1989 slaughter of demonstrators is banned.

Apparently, this never happened.

Not to be outdone by a callous pro-Islamist government, Tabitha Speers, widow of Christopher Speers (whom Omar Khadr murdered) has filed an application to take the money Trudeau wanted to reward Omar Khadr:

Lawyers acting for the widow of an American special forces soldier have filed an application in Canada seeking to enforce a massive U.S. damages award against former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, Omar Khadr.
The application comes amid word the federal government is set to pay the Toronto-born Khadr $10.5 million and apologize to him to settle his long-running lawsuit for breaching his rights.

The filing in Ontario Superior Court, obtained by The Canadian Press, also says the applicants might ask for an order blocking Ottawa from paying Khadr any compensation. Alternatively, it wants any government money flowing to Khadr to go instead to relatives of Sgt. Chris Speer and retired U.S. sergeant Layne Morris.

Filed on June 8, the application seeks a declaration recognizing a US$134.1-million default judgment against Khadr from Utah in June 2015 and an order that he pay the money. It also asks for another US$900,000 in legal and other costs plus accrued interest.


Omar Khadr stands convicted by the American government of the murder of American Sgt. Christopher Speer, and of other charges related to terrorist activity. He is appealing his conviction in the United States, arguing that his confession and subsequent guilty plea were obtained via torture, during his detention by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay. In 2014, he also re-launched a civil suit against the Canadian government, alleging that it had violated a number of his Charter rights.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are settling the Canadian suit by offering Khadr a $10.5-million payout. Here’s the rub with this settlement: neither the American nor Canadian legal processes are complete. There would have been compelling reasons for allowing them to play out before giving Khadr any money. ...

The problem for Trudeau is that doing any of the above would have required him to stake out a position on this issue, and to explain it more than once over a long period of time. The irritation in Trudeau’s voice on being asked about this matter during what was supposed to have been a victory lap around Ireland was palpable. Presumably, he’s annoyed because having to take a position on a difficult issue opens him up to criticism—which is a lot less fun and much more pedestrian than engaging in colourful sock photo ops.


The "lone wolf" who stabbed a police officer at a Michigan airport has been indicted:

A Tunisia native who lives in Quebec repeated the Arabic phrase for "God is great" prior to his arraignment Wednesday in the stabbing of a police officer at an airport in Flint.

Amor Ftouhi said "Allahu Akbar" before the proceeding started Wednesday in federal court in Flint, according to The Flint Journal.

He was indicted earlier Wednesday on charges of committing an act of violence at an international airport and interfering with airport security.

(Sidebar: he lives in Quebec? He is a dual citizen, clearly not devoted to this grand airport known as Canada. Kind of like these guys.)

Iraqi forces seem deeply intent on making sure ISIS thugs don't leave Mosul:

Iraqi forces moved to besiege the Old City before launching their attack in order to prevent ISIL fighters from fleeing to neighbouring Syria, but al-Aridi said hundreds of militants still managed to escape from the Old City alone.

“They just shave their beards and walk out,” al-Aridi said. “Just yesterday we captured two among a group of women and children.”

No one wants your stupid flag, Justin:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked Canada's 150th birthday with the Queen Wednesday by giving her the Canadian flag that flew on the Peace Tower on Canada Day.

(Sidebar: stupid gifts like these sound familiar.)

Just like no one wants to hear your fake Scottish accent when receiving an honourary degree for breathing air.


Canada celebrated its 150th birthday as a nation on July 1.

Ho hum.

Not just “ho hum” from south of the border where United States citizens barely notice their northern neighbors unless they appear poised to disintegrate, as was the case associated with the 1995 Quebec referendum.

But also “ho hum” from Canadians who apparently believe a sesquicentennial isn’t that big a deal and are not getting excited. Despite massive advertising preparation and assorted and sundry projects projected to occur throughout the year associated with the commemoration, these activities seem to be noted in passing rather than embraced with delight—a large crowd in Ottawa notwithstanding.
Such is considerably different from 1967—Canada’s centennial—which was marked by a World’s Fair in Montreal, an almost new flag (adopted in 1965), a new metro system, and scores of new buildings and museums. ...

It was a much more open and even naïve time, conditioned by substantial growth and general optimism. Canada may have been “born” in 1917 at Vimy Ridge with its 10,000 Canadian casualties, but 50 years later, it was projecting a “coming of age” image of benign peace keeping, fostered by then Prime Minister Lester Pearson, and “punching above its weight in foreign affairs.” And, on a micro basis, the endless “undefended” cliché marking United States and Canada was blithely relaxed. ...

Why would Canadians feel as though they had arrived? Canada is, after all, a "post-national" state where its residents (not citizens) neither study history nor share any common socio-political bonds. Our de facto leader is a total moron whose claim to fame is having a famous dad. He has never inspired Canadians but bleated his usual empty platitudes and apologised for their historical deplorability.

1967 was declared to be Canada's last good year. Who can argue with that? We're an airport with no mandate or identity. Our prime minister is an insincere man-child who doesn't even like this country (sorry - airport). What isn't sold off to foreign interests gets swallowed by others who see Canada as a squatting ground. There won't be a bicentennial because the place will not resemble what it started out as.

(Paws up)

Trudeau wimps out of the Calgary Stampede:

The Calgary Stampede is looking a little less political this year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t make it to the 2017 Stampede, his office said Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, due to scheduling constraints, he will not be attending this year,” press secretary Cameron Ahmad said in an email.

Trudeau’s absence is bound to be noted just days after he neglected to name Alberta in a listing of all other provinces and territories in a Canada Day speech, sparking a flurry of criticism on social media. He later apologized for the omission.
Not that anyone wants him there. I'm sure he doesn't want to be there. He might even think that he doesn't need Alberta to win in 2019.

He only needs Chinese help.

God help him if there are Chinese cowboys who are supremely cheesed off at him.

Also in cowardice:

Canada's top general has condemned the actions of a group of Armed Forces members who disrupted a spiritual event on Canada Day marking the suffering of Indigenous Peoples at a statue of Halifax's controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, called the incident "deplorable" and said the men will be removed from training and duties while the incident is investigated.

On Saturday, the group of men were clad in black polo shirts with yellow piping  — one of them carrying a Red Ensign Flag —  as they approached singing "God Save the Queen," one Mi’kmaq organizer said. The Canadian Red Ensign, which bears the Union Jack in the corner, was the national flag until it was replaced by the Maple Leaf design in 1965.

What? No one wants a poverty-inducing tax?

The new study by the Angus Reid Institute suggests support for a national carbon tax has fallen to 44 per cent from 52 per cent last November, and 56 per cent two years ago.

Canadians are concerned their industries may be hindered after Trump pulled out the Paris Agreement: 55 per cent believe Canada should hold off on carbon pricing to avoid being placed at a competitive disadvantage.

And now, the tale (tail) of Hachiko:

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