Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Week: O Postenbaum

One more week ...

Why Justin Trudeau, for whom gaffes come as easily as breathing, was ever popular to begin with beggars the imagination of people with sufficient brain matter to support both life and rational thought. It's not a matter of changing political tides or even inadequate foresight. If someone claims that budgets balance themselves, particularly someone who has never managed even his family's money, he should not only never be elected into any office, he shouldn't even be hired to shoo away Canada geese from public parks:

Just over two years after his election victory, Justin Trudeau’s popularity is running into political headwinds. For the first time, the prime minister’s popularity has fallen below the 50 per cent mark, according to a survey by the Angus Reid Institute.

Of the Canadian’s polled, 46 per cent say they approved of Trudeau, compared to 49 per cent who do not. Even millennials, the demographic that was key to securing his victory and sustaining his popularity thus far, have cooled to him. Just over half, 56 per cent, of millennials say they approve of the prime minister, a significant drop from the 68 per cent approval he enjoyed when he was first elected.

Trudeau’s support has dropped even further in the two older age brackets. His approval dipped to 45 per cent with 35-54 year-old Canadians, down from 58 per cent when he was first election. Approval dropped to 40 per cent with Canadians 55 years-old and above, down from 63 per cent in November 2015.

(Sidebar: where the hell are these polls being conducted? Toronto?) 

Liberals voters must share a large portion of blame for the debacle that is the Trudeau government. They cannot claim having been hood-winked and are now experiencing some serious buyer's remorse. That simply will not do. Their philistine, pig-headed ignorance and adherence to a party and not policy (which can be likened to tribes of early man insisting that fire was a thing of evil and should never be used not matter how beneficial it is) are the reasons why this country is headed down the tubes.

Cases in point:

Though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau balked at finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership last month, Japanese officials say the other countries in the trade deal could decide to push ahead on it without Canada. 


Canadian law already sets limits on how much an individual can donate to a political party or candidate. Corporate donations are banned entirely. Even if those policies are debatable, the rationale for them is understandable: money can have an influence on the democratic process. Yet Canada remains strangely lax about restricting donations from foreign individuals or entities who, unlike citizens and Canadian businesses, have no natural right at all to participate in our political process.


During that hour, MPs were given a paltry seven minutes to ask the Liberal pick questions. The whole thing was a sham and showed contempt for Parliament.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons voted to confirm Dion’s appointment to the post. But the issue isn’t over, according to one watchdog.

Democracy Watch plans to take the Liberals to court to challenge what happened, calling the rushed process illegal.

“They’re just shoving these people down the opposition’s throat and the public’s throat with little notice and little review and that’s illegal,” the group’s co-founder, Duff Conacher, said. “You’re required to consult in every case.”


A high-profile employment law firm has been hired to probe allegations of inappropriate behaviour within the Prime Minister's Office.

Rubin Thomlinson LLP is the independent third party handling the investigation into Claude-Éric  Gagné, the deputy director of operations within the PMO. 

Janice Rubin, who led the independent investigation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation following the dismissal of radio host Jian Ghomeshi, is a partner at the firm. 

However, a spokeswoman for the PMO refused to say if Rubin is directly involved in this investigation.

The alternatives to Trudeau remain relatively unknown but still shrouded in an aura of journalistic paranoia.

One leader is (gasp!) a Catholic ...

During marriage prep courses at their Roman Catholic church, Andrew and Jill Scheer picked up two tips they say have sustained their 14 year partnership: Learn to move past old fights and make it easy to say sorry.

Somewhere in the seventh circle of hell, Oliver Cromwell (Lord Protector of England) is writhing in agony.

... while the other is just as stupid as Trudeau is:

“In difficult economic times, I’m firmly opposed to austerity,” Singh told The West Block‘s Vassy Kapelos this weekend.

“I don’t have a firm line on balanced budgets. I believe that if we are able to, obviously we need to ensure that we have a robust budget that’s balanced, but there’s no way I would ever accept austerity.”


One way this brown-shirt fascism can disappear from Canadian universities is if the money disappears, as well:

It was that letter Centra replied to Friday, saying, “I see no reason to recuse myself and will not be doing so. I addressed your concerns about a reasonable apprehension of bias in my previous letter.

“I have completed my investigation and will be finalizing and submitting my report to the president.”

His report will remain private, though bizarrely, MacLatchy has pledged to act “on the recommendations that come out of the report.” Since it will stay secret, no member of the university or public will ever know if Laurier follows through.

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University says a teaching assistant who was chastised for airing a debate clip featuring a controversial figure was disciplined by her supervisors even though no formal complaint was filed.

Deborah MacLatchy says in a statement today an independent fact-finder hired by the school found that no formal complaint or informal concern was ever raised about the class taught by Lindsay Shepherd.

Shepherd was criticized by three Laurier staff members for failing to condemn the views of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. 

She aired a clip of a debate featuring the professor as part of a communications tutorial.

The university apologized to Shepherd last month after she discreetly recorded the meeting with the staff members and released it publicly.

MacLatchy says the staff members should not have met with Shepherd and compounded their error by a misapplication of existing university policies.

Shepherd had said she accepted and welcomed the apology, but felt it rang hollow coming on the heels of intensive media attention around her case.

The same should also apply to state broadcasters, too:

Deep into the segment, Ibbitson brought up Lindsay Shepherd as a 2017 newsmaker, she being the 23-year-old teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier who garnered a lot of headlines when she went public with the roughhousing she got from the university’s hierarchy over her use of a TV Ontario video to illustrate the controversy over gender-neutral pronouns.

This offended Vicky Mochama.

“I think (Shepherd) exists,” Mochama said in response to Ibbetson’s choice, “But lots of people responded to her for the same reason they tend to respond … that she is a young crying white girl.”

Moving on ...

Tis the season for violence in Pakistan:

Two suicide bombers stormed a Christian church in south-western Pakistan, killing at least eight people and wounding up to 42 others before being stopped by police guards. 

The gunmen, who were wearing vests filled with explosives, attacked the church in Quetta city when Sunday services had just opened.

Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for Baluchistan province, said hundreds of worshippers were attending the church ahead of Christmas. He said one attacker was killed at the entrance to the church, while the other set off his payload inside.

Hang this SOB:

The Australian Federal Police has charged a 59-year-old Sydney man with being a broker and economic agent for the rogue North Korean regime, alleging he provided services to a "weapons of mass destruction program" and had tried to arrange the sale of North Korean missile parts and missile guidance technology to third parties overseas.

The man, named as Chan Han Choi, is understood to have been South-Korean born, but has lived in Australia for the past three decades and is a naturalised Australian citizen.

He was arrested at his Eastwood apartment at the weekend. Police are investigating his activities as far back as 2008 – the year the North Korean embassy in Canberra closed.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan claimed the man had been acting "to serve some higher patriotic purpose" to raise funds for the North Korean regime and that, if successful, his attempted transactions could have raised tens of millions of dollars for Pyongyang.

The charges relate to allegedly brokering the sale of missiles, missile parts and expertise from North Korea to "other international entities" and attempting to transfer coal from North Korea to non-government buyers in Indonesia and Vietnam.

What was stupid was bringing this idiot back into the country:

A German teenager has said she was an “idiot” for joining Islamic State and that the decision has wrecked her future, in her first interview since her arrest by Iraqi forces.

Her case garnered worldwide attention after she was photographed being dragged out of the ruins of Mosul near the end of the battle to liberate the city in July.

Linda Wenzel, 17, claimed her decision was a “stupid idea” but showed little remorse in the first meeting with her family since she left Pulsnitz, near Dresden, for Syria in July last year.

She should have been left there.

Also to be abandoned in the Middle East, this @$$hole:

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies. 

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests. 

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

Last week, the Muslim mayor of the city of Nazareth — the place where Jesus Christ grew up — announced the city would cancel all public events celebrating Jesus' birth, Christmas. He framed the move as a response to President Donald Trump's statement acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On Saturday, he backtracked, blasting reports of Christmas cancellation as "incorrect."

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate," Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of Nazareth, said on Thursday. "The decision [by Trump to recognize Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year."

The city council announced Thursday that Salam had ordered the cancellation of all artistic events, including a festival and a large Christmas market, The Times of Israel reported. Israel's Channel 10 reported the same, along with the same remarks from Salam. Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

Britain's The Independent reported a similar statement from a Nazareth spokesman. "We have decided to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem," spokesman Salem Sharara said.

Sharara said the town's market and the traditional Christmas church services will be held as every year.

Salam backtracked on the cancellation, telling Reuters on Saturday that these earlier reports were fake news.

Oh, that must have been it. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Palestinian Muslims have been strong-arming the Christians who inhabit - or inhabited - the town where Jesus was born, as is precedent.

Surely not.

Perhaps not as embarrassing as this, though:

The Washington Post broke a story on Friday that had the left frothing at the mouth. Someone told them -- an "anonymous source," of course -- that the Centers for Disease Control had banned seven words and phrases from being used in grant applications.

It doesn't matter what the seven words were because, well, they aren't banned. But as we all know, a lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth is able to get its trousers (or shoes) on.

Who the hell steals Baby Jesus?

Provincial police are investigating after figures of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary were stolen from outside a church in central Ontario.

OPP say the theft from the nativity scene took place in Bancroft, Ont., last Saturday.

And now, the resting place of the HMS Terror is now a national historic site:

Ottawa has set aside nearly 60 square kilometres of seabed off the coast of Nunavut to keep gawkers and scavengers away from one of Canada’s most famous shipwrecks.

The HMS Terror is one of two ships from the Franklin expedition which became trapped in ice in the Arctic in 1845, ultimately leading to the deaths of all 129 men on board, including expedition leader Sir John Franklin.

The location of the wrecked ships were one of Canada’s greatest unsolved mysteries until September 2014, when the first of the two ships, the HMS Erebus was found south of King William Island.
The HMS Terror was found almost exactly two years later, in September 2016, north of the HMS Erebus.

Both ships are in pristine condition despite resting beneath the sea for more than 170 years and the artifacts which remain have immense value.

(Merci beaucoup)

No comments: