Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Your epicenter of the work-week ...

Just in, former astronaut Julie Payette has been chosen as the new governor-general:

Former astronaut Julie Payette will be the Queen's new representative in Canada, CBC has confirmed.

The 53-year-old Montrealer, who speaks six languages, will be named the 29th governor general, a position that comes with a $290,660 annual salary and an official residence at Rideau Hall.

Desperate to rub salt in Tabitha Speer's psychic wounds, a lawyer for Omar Khadr launches a most grotesque attack against her:

The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan has failed to show there's a real risk former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is hiding his money as a way to avoid paying people he might owe, new court filings show.

In urging Ontario Superior Court to dismiss a request for an injunction against Khadr, his lawyer argues Tabitha Speer and another former American soldier have not shown a strong case to back their demand for an urgent freeze on any money paid him by the federal government.

"The scant evidence offered in support of this pleading consists of double and triple hearsay statements drawn from media reports and Wikipedia," lawyer Nate Whitling writes in his factum ahead of Thursday's court hearing.

"The hearsay now relied upon by the applicants is so vague and unreliable as to be of zero probative value."

Yes, about that:


I. OMAR AHMED KHADR. ISN 0766. am presently the accused under military commission charges. dated 24 April 2007. I read the charges and specifications alleged against me, and they have been explained to me by my defense counsel. Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson. and Major Matthew Schwartz, and Mr. Nate Whitling, a Canadian foreign consultant (hereinafter collectively referred to as "defense counsel"). I understand the charges and specifications. and I am aware I have a legal and moral right to plead not guilty and to leave the prosecution with the burden of proving my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt by legal and competent evidence. 

2. Understanding the above and under the conditions set forth below, and in consideration of this agreement by the Convening Authority to approve a sentence in accord with the limitations set forth in this agreement, offer and agree to: 

a. Plead Guilty to all charges and specifications.

b. Admit I knowingly and intentionally committed each of the acts set forth in each charge and specification referred on 24 April 2007. 1 understand, as explained to me by my defense counsel. that my admission of committing these acts constitutes a sufficient basis, under United States law, for me to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to aforementioned charges and specifications.

And, the kicker:

The government paid the compensation to Mr. Khadr and his lawyers on Wednesday before the Canadian lawyer for Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris was able to ask the courts to block it.  

Why would Mrs. Speer and Mr. Morris believe that Omar Khadr (whom you defended while pleading guilty, Mr. Whitling) would hide the money that should go to them? Does that sound like hearsay?

More from the most"transparent" in Canadian history:

A high-tech lobby group led by a former Liberal aide has been asked to stop promising to deliver monthly meetings with a Liberal government chief of staff in exchange for $10,000.

The Council of Canadian Innovators has revised its membership pitch after receiving a complaint from the office of Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

The incident is raising questions over what critics say is the inevitable lobbying push from corporate Canada as companies target the billions in federal tax dollars on offer from a Liberal government promising to boost innovation through spending on infrastructure and direct support for private firms.

Remember - it was the Liberals who thought that this "financial accountability" thing was for suckers:

It’s a bit odd for a happy dance to break out after a court ruling about financial reporting, but when Charmaine Stick got the decision from her lawyer, she held hands with her kids and did a little jig.

“This is a victory for all First Nations people out there who’ve been fighting for transparency and accountability,” said Charmaine. “In our culture, you know transparency and accountability is first and foremost, especially when you’re in leadership.”

Onion Lake Cree Nation was given 30 days to publish financial disclosures online as required by The First Nations Financial Transparency Act, according to a Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench ruling released on June 15. The band’s lawyers are appealing, but Charmaine is confident that the decision will stand. She will then find out how much her chief and council are paid and what’s happening with her community’s finances. The ruling came after Charmaine partnered with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to launch the court application last fall.

Also - the train wreck is still in progress:

A coalition of Manitoba families says the commissioners on the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have become ineffective and must resign.

"The national inquiry has stalled and Manitoba families of MMIWG and survivors have lost confidence in the process," said Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, a coalition co-chair. 

The group says new commissioners who will listen more to the families are needed.

A chief in British Columbia refuses to leave his home after being warned to evacuate:

Emergency officials and police are urging British Columbia residents to respect evacuation orders ahead of fast-moving wildfires, but some First Nations are standing their ground, successfully protecting their homes and property.

The chief of the Tl'etinqox First Nation said RCMP officers told them to leave or risk having their children taken away. Instead they erected a fire boundary and prepared to fight.

"We are generation after generation that continue to live in a fire zone. This is not new to us," said Chief Joe Alphonse, whose community is about 100 kilometres west of Williams Lake. "We feel this is the safest place for our community members to be."

There are about 1,000 residents on the reserve, but Alphonse said only about 300 stayed to fight the fires.

I can appreciate that he wishes to protect his home. However, he cannot claim afterward that others should risk their lives for him nor can he ask for compensation of some kind.

He made his choice.

Vaguely related:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday visited a region devastated by flooding over recent days and promised that the government would do everything possible to help rebuild.

Torrential rain that began a week ago set off landslides and sent rivers surging over their banks on the southwestern island of Kyushu, at one point forcing more than 400,000 people from their homes.
Twenty-five people were killed and 23 are still missing.

Abe, whose support has plunged to its lowest since he took office in 2012, cut short a European tour by a day because of the disaster and went to visit the region less than 24 hours after returning.

"I was able to talk with people in evacuation centers and hear their worries and troubles," said Abe.

"The government will make every effort to rebuild so that people can resume their former lives without worries."

China really hates it when someone brings up North Korea:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued an exasperated response to a question about North Korea on Tuesday, demanding that those holding Beijing responsible for propping up the Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea stop.

“As we said repeatedly, the crux of the Korean nuclear issue rests on the conflict between the DPRK and the US and it is in essence a security issue,” spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters. “The Chinese side is neither the focal point of the conflict of the Korean nuclear issue nor the catalyzer for escalation of tensions at present, and it does not hold the key to solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”

Geng went on to accuse “certain people,” without naming them, of “exaggerating and playing up the so-called ‘China responsibility’ theory. Those people have either failed to grasp the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue comprehensively and accurately, or done [sic] this out of ulterior motives with an attempt to shirk responsibility” ...

... says the guy whose country helped keep the two Koreas separate for the past sixty-odd years.

Overall, the numbers suggest, first, that as I suspected, Moon Jae-In has no mandate to revive the Sunshine Policy; second, that they expect Moon to maintain a strong alliance with the United States; and third, that they hold extremely dim views of North Korea and His Porcine Majesty. That explains why Moon was so eager to avoid a fight with Trump during his visit to Washington. He knows very well that security issues are a vulnerability, and that by appearing to put distance between himself and Washington, he stands to lose much of his currently stratospheric approval rating, which is certain to decline as his honeymoon wears off and the media stop covering him like KCNA covers Kim Jong-Un. That is to say, if Moon Jae-In was on his best behavior, it may be because, like any good politician, he knows how to read a poll.

Here is where I beg to differ. Moon wanted to be like Roh Moo-Hyun but, unlike his foreign counterparts who are nowhere near the DMZ, soon realised that his leftist visions could really get him vapourised

South Korea's unification minister on Wednesday met with a group of company officials who ran factories at a now-shuttered industrial complex in North Korea as they called for more compensation for their losses over the closure.

I wish this village would just disappear. It's just a financial blackhole.

This must be embarrassing: 

Smith and Weber quote sources saying the Russian government has been colluding with environmental groups to circulate “disinformation” and “propaganda” aimed at undermining hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called fracking, the process makes it possible to access natural gas deposits.

Trump is no Churchill, and certainly no John Paul, but the deranged reaction to a rather standard defence of Western civilization was a clarifying moment. The “European observers” of whom Saunders wrote are horrified by Trump not only because of his horrible habits; they are horrified by someone who thinks that there is distinctive culture of liberty that is worthy of a defence.

Shortly after his election in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted an audience to the The New York Times Magazine, which it reciprocated with an adulatory profile that exceeded even the veneration Poles give to their saints. And the greatest praise it could lavish on Trudeau was that “Canada is becoming a new kind of state, defined not by its European history but by the multiplicity of its identities from all over the world.”

“‘There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,’’ Trudeau said. That is music to the ears of secular liberals. Trump came to Poland to sing a different, more venerable, hymn.

The reason why Poland did not falter then or now is because Poland did not give up on God and God did not give up on them. That Trump (or Churchill, for that matter) was able to see that faith and culture are great motivators and cornerstones for a civilisation (and Trudeau has decidedly not) is not a fictional dog whistle but a clarity the post-modern West needs sorely.


(Merci, Gracias and Kamsahamnida)

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