Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Your focal point of the work-week ...

Trudeau doesn't talk tough. He concedes, flees, hands over and takes selfies:

Just days ahead of a Beijing visit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to decide on whether to launch talks on a free trade deal that China has long pressed for and could face a cool reception over his government’s decision to snub Chinese interest in Bombardier. 

To wit:

On Saturday, Mr. Trudeau was asked about the perception that he gave up more than he gained on his first trip to China as Prime Minister. He did not directly answer.

"This whole trip has been about relaunching a strong, stable relationship with an extremely important country in the world," he said.

But Canada, like other nations, has not always been successful in making its relationship a balanced one. In applying to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, for example, Canada provided China a valuable vote of confidence and international prestige. In return, it secured a Band-Aid solution to a dispute over canola exports and seven new visa processing centres in China, but made no visible progress on the release of detained missionary Kevin Garratt.

Western leaders have for years demanded China open its markets to their products, in the same way theirs are open to Chinese goods. It hasn't been a fair fight. China's low-cost labour gave it such a powerful advantage that huge trade imbalances resulted. The U.S. imports four times more goods from China than it exports; in Canada, it's only a 3.3-fold difference.

But Mr. Trudeau's visit has highlighted the modern complexion to an old problem, as wealthy Chinese firms now seek foreign access not for the things they make, but their cash – even as their government still bars outside companies from many parts of its economy.


Talk tough?

Never to his bosses.

The Liberals would defend a fellow Liberal caught stabbing someone fifty times and then loudly proclaiming that he was glad he did so in front of a crowd of lucid witnesses:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called a press conference before question period to demand Justin Trudeau fire Bill Morneau over his refusal to answer questions on the sale of shares in his family firm, Morneau Shepell, just days before he introduced tax changes that coincided with a drop in the company’s share price.

That set the tone for a rambunctious question period during which Scheer and his front bench accused Morneau of refusing to divulge whether he sold 680,000 shares just days before he announced tax changes that encouraged many investors to sell their own shares by the end of 2015, in order to avoid paying a higher rate in the new calendar year.

“How can the prime minister blindly trust someone who has demonstrated such ethical lapses,” asked Scheer.

Trudeau has taken to answering all opposition questions in the House on Wednesdays but on this occasion, he declared his confidence in Morneau, called the whole affair a “smear campaign” and allowed the finance minister to defend himself.

“We’ve reached a new low in the House,” said Morneau, revealing his own political naiveté — behaviour has been infinitely more odious in years past. ...

With Trudeau’s public declaration of confidence, it seems that Morneau is not going away anytime soon, which on balance is probably as it should be.

Uh, no, it isn't. Morneau was caught lying to everyone. If that doesn't make him a political liability, then I don't know what will.


Conservative MP Harold Albrecht said Trudeau strayed too far past apologizing for historical wrongs when he expressed his support for children discovering their sexual orientation or gender identity at a young age.

"It went beyond an apology," Albrecht said Wednesday when asked why he was among a handful of Conservatives who did not rise to their feet with the rest of the witnesses to the keenly anticipated expression of regret in the House of Commons Tuesday.

"When you start talking about six-year-olds, in that context, I'm not there," he said.

But that's Liberals for you.

Why aren't Europeans worried about North Korea? Because people who think that bollards and cement barriers will protect them from stabbings or suicide bombings also believe that the US will handle North Korea. That's why:

European leaders may have doubled down on their condemnations after the latest missile test, but these largely echoed previous, more cautious remarks, compared to Trump vowing, somewhat ominously, to “take care of it.” The comparative calmness with which Europe is responding may of course be due to the lack of direct threats. So far, North Korea has focused on its arch-enemy, the United States, even though European politicians have acknowledged that an escalation of the conflict could easily draw Europe into the dispute.

But their more cautious responses also reflect the role European leaders believe they have in this conflict. Occupied with other foreign policy and security dilemmas, Europe has so far mainly attempted to prevent a further escalation of the tensions between the United States and North Korea. “Nuclear armed North Korea is clearly a potential threat to Europe, but it’s far from a top priority. Europe is dealing with a resurgent Russia, irregular migration and a host of other issues before North Korea comes up,” said Marcel Dirsus, a German military expert.

“Even if Europe wanted to influence events on the ground, it couldn’t. Europe has no real political, economic or military leverage over Pyongyang. The real players are China, Russia and the United States. When it comes to North Korea, Europe has neither the will nor the capability to effect meaningful change. The North Korean crisis illustrates the limits of European power,” said Dirsus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to defend his party's fundraising methods in the House of Commons Tuesday after media reports emerged revealing he attended a fundraiser with Chinese businessmen who went on to donate $1 million to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.Source:

Oh, I'll bet they didn't:

Housekeepers working in President Bill Clinton’s White House were “afraid to bend over in his presence,” a former staffer has claimed.  

Linda Tripp, the White House employee who helped expose the relationship between her colleague Monica Lewinsky and Mr. Clinton, said housekeepers were constantly concerned about the President. ...

Ms. Tripp said White House employees who cleaned the offices learned to avoid Mr. Clinton amid rumours about his “libidinous impulses.” 

In addition to observing the housekeepers’ behaviour, Ms. Tripp said she witnessed the aftermath of an alleged assault against former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey in November 1993.

Ms. Tripp said that seeing Ms. Willey after the alleged incident made her suspect Mr. Clinton was a “predator by pattern.”
When Bill Clinton was in the White House, his grotesque exploits were laughed at and brushed over by his supporters, even celebrated. Of course. He occupied the highest office in the land. Now, after years of floundering around in his wife's shadow, a two-time failed presidential candidate, people are tired of him and other financial losers and are feeling free to turn on him when they should have been revolted from the start.

Liberals are opportunistic and have a mental disorder, is my point.

This is interesting:

The tomb in which Jesus Christ may have been buried dates back nearly 1,700 years, scientists have discovered.

Tests carried out on the remains of a limestone cave in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, date it back to around 345 CE, National Geographic reported.

Previous evidence had only dated the tomb back 1,000 years, to the Crusader period.

Although it’s impossible to definitively say whether the tomb is the burial site of a Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is largely accepted as the site of Christ's burial.

First of all, it's a cave. Of course it is going to be older than Christ Himself. As there were no other people buried in it before or after, it is consistent with the Gospels:

Joseph took him down, and wrapped him in a winding-sheet which he had bought, and laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock, rolling a stone against the door of the tomb.

So there's that.

But that is not the "interesting" part.

This is:

Although it’s impossible to definitively say whether the tomb is the burial site of a Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is largely accepted as the site of Christ's burial.

What? Where there other Jews walking around saying that they were the sons of Joseph and Mary, employed as carpenters and performing miracles?

According to these guys, no.

I don't remember Mohammad being described as just some guy who claimed he was a prophet and wrote a book six hundred years after the death and resurrection of a man even the Talmud mentions.

I suppose it's just one of those things.

But ... but ... global warming!

The summits of famed Hawaii volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are getting an early coat of snow this season -- with up to eight inches in the forecast.

Snow accumulates at the Mauna Kea summit Tuesday afternoon.
What would Elvis think?

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