Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Mid-Week Post

In the midst of all things ...

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, former Afghanistan captive Joshua Boyle made a brief appearance Wednesday morning at an Ottawa court to face charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and lying to police. ...

In all, Boyle faces 15 criminal charges, ranging from assault, to sexual assault, to forcible confinement and administering a noxious drug (trazodone, an antidepressant with anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing effects). ...

Defence lawyer Ninetta Caparelli represented Boyle but offered no comment beyond what her law firm said Tuesday. 

The son of an Ottawa tax court judge, Boyle had previously been in the public spotlight because of his brief marriage to Omar Khadr’s older sister. 

When Boyle and his family were freed, American intelligence officials publicly said they had long suspected Boyle had entered Afghanistan with the desire to hook up with “Taliban-affiliated militants.”

Despite the length of their captivity, no ransom was ever demanded by their kidnappers.

When asked by ABC News following his rescue why he was in Afghanistan, Boyle refused to answer. ...

Last month, in the wake of their release, the Boyle family met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The prime minister generally meets with any returning hostage with connections to Canada, and discussion of the hostage-taking was the main purpose of the meeting with the Boyles, said a government official.

(Sidebar: oh, really?)

Photos posted by the family on social media show Trudeau holding their youngest child.

In his zeal to meet this dubious hostage, Trudeau neglected to ascertain if Joshua Boyle was being investigated for anything, something that would have popped up with just a cursory search:

The Prime Minister’s Office should have known about police investigations into Joshua Boyle before agreeing to meet with him, says one of Ottawa’s former top cops.

“No matter who was investigating him, they would have known,” Conservative Sen. Vern White told the Sun. White was chief of Ottawa Police Service from 2007 to 2012 and an assistant RCMP commissioner before that.

“There is only one system,” adds White. “If you run [Boyle] against the system, it would have said he was under investigation.”

This suggests that either Justin Trudeau’s RCMP detail did not run a check on Boyle or did but the meeting went ahead anyway.

On Tuesday, media learned that Boyle was arrested and faces 15 charges, including eight counts of assault, two counts of unlawful confinement and one count of misleading police. Boyle appeared in court Wednesday morning but his case was adjourned until next week.

All of the alleged offences occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30, court documents state. Boyle and his family returned to Canada from Afghanistan on Oct. 13, after being held in captivity for five years by a Taliban-linked group.

The prime minister’s office declined to comment on both the charges and what happened in a meeting between Trudeau and the Boyle family on Dec. 19.

But it wouldn't the first time Justin did things without his handlers:

Trudeau’s own description of his governing style makes him seem like nothing more than the cool kid who brings weed to a high school party. If there happen to be two groups at the party negotiating a deal of some sort, he’s unaware of it. His only goal is just to make everyone “happy.” So, how could one group’s offer of a free spa treatment influence his behaviour?

Trudeau’s second prong was to insist the Aga Khan was an old family friend. Here Dawson, perhaps inadvertently, makes the PM appear kind of pathetic.

Trudeau claimed a lifelong friendship with the Aga Khan, who he claims to have called “Uncle K” even after he became an adult. But Dawson provides a very different picture.

The Aga Khan did vacation with Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when Justin was a child. The younger Trudeau was along as part of a larger family entourage.

But for nearly 30 years after that, the Aga Khan had exactly one contact with the current PM – a kind note in 2000 at the time of his father’s passing.

The Aga Khan then struck up the tenuous relationship again after Trudeau became Liberal leader in 2013. This Trudeau seems to have misinterpreted as a sign of true mutual affection from a man nearly 40 years his senior.

However, as Dawson points out, the Aga Khan has deliberately cultivated similar relationships with most PM’s since the ‘70s, largely because he likes to collect matching donations for his development projects and because he sometimes finds it useful to call on the Canadian PM (whoever it is at the time) to help mediate his disputes with other international political or business leaders.

Only the Trudeaus seem to have interpreted this strategic relationship as the kind of genuine friendship that justifies three separate private, tropical holidays.

Dawson leaves the impression that Trudeau and his wife are a fascinating combination of arrogance and naivety. They appear to possess a deeply rooted set of entitlement and celebrity fascination, yet at the same time suffer an inferiority complex regarding the truly rich and famous.

Remember - budgets balance themselves:

A Globe and Mail headline last month trumpeted the good news: “Deficit on track for elimination by 2045, a decade earlier than last year’s projection.” You would have thought that the government had accomplished something quite remarkable, that our fiscal challenges are well in hand and that doomsayers are conjuring up a problem out of whole cloth.

A more pertinent headline would have read quite differently: “Annual deficits will drag on for another 27 years.” That is remarkable, but hardly in a good way. Moreover, it might remind people that the Liberal election platform promised a “modest” $10-billion deficit and a return to balance in the last year of its four-year mandate. No wonder Finance Minister Morneau sticks to his talking points and refuses to say when the budget will be balanced. Waiting 27 years does not have a terribly imminent ring to it.

People voted for this:

Employees at an Ontario Tim Hortons owned by the children of the chain's founders say they have been told to sign a document acknowledging they are losing paid breaks, paid benefits, and other incentives as a result of the province's minimum wage hike.


Minimum wage hikes across Canada this year could cost about 60,000 jobs, despite the benefits they would bring, the Bank of Canada says in a new report.

(Sidebar: I'm not seeing how lost jobs and higher taxation are benefits.)

In other news ...

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have deployed forces to three provinces to put down anti-government unrest after six days of protests that have rattled the clerical leadership and left 21 people dead

Three provinces? This isn't a flash-in-the-pan protest that Obama could ignore. 

Also - no, Trudeau would rather shave off his hair than support a democratic movement:

“Canada’s back,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to say in progressive international circles.  But since the outbreak of the growing protests that have rocked Iran, Canada has been nowhere to be found.  

The protests, which began in the religious city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, have been raging across the country for nearly a week and, to date, have claimed nearly 20 lives. The protesters’ demands were initially about economic justice, but have quickly transformed into a rejection of Iran’s theocratic structure and the Iranian government’s military adventurism in Syria and Yemen.   

In the face of this, Canada’s Global Affairs department released a statement that indicated Canada is “encouraged” by the protesters’ exercise of their rights, and stated that Canada will continue to monitor the situation. This statement — tepidly recognizing the protests without endorsing their message, and emphasizing the protesters’ rights to free expression without giving any offence to Iran’s rulers — was the diplomatic equivalent of hedging Canada’s bets.


Trudeau is just like his dad:

It’s interesting to hear what former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark has to say, too, especially when he calls out Pierre Trudeau (who was leader of the opposition at the time) for having gone on a tirade in Question Period about Canada needing to condemn Iran’s acts of terrorism, which Clark had already warned him would be impossible if they wanted to protect the delicate situation with the six hostages.

Give the Palestinians absolutely nothing. They can carve out a life for themselves the way the Israelis had to.

Oh, but no jihad or anything:

Palestinians condemned as blackmail on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold future aid payments over what he called the Palestinians’ unwillingness to talk peace with Israel.

A German lawmaker has run afoul of her own government:

A right-wing German lawmaker was temporarily blocked by Twitter after she referred to “barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men,” and prosecutors are now looking into whether her remark violated the country’s hate-speech laws.

Yes, about that:

At least 13 cases of sexual assault were reported in Germany's capital on New Year's Eve -- despite the city's creation of a "safety area" for women to celebrate the arrival of 2018 near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. ...

Germany has been grappling with rampant sexual harassment of women during public celebrations. Two years ago, more than 1,000 complaints were filed about sexual harassment on New Year's Eve.

Many of the victims have identified their attackers as being North African or Middle Eastern migrants -- a source of frustration as Germany struggles to assimilate new arrivals.

And now, the original X-man:

The holy and uncorrupted arm of an ancient saint is crossing the country in a two-week tour that began this week in Ottawa and Quebec City.

The relic of St. Francis Xavier, whose body lies in Goa, India, will be viewed and venerated by tens of thousands of Catholics as it makes its way from St. John’s to Victoria as part of a tour conducted by Catholic Christian Outreach, a university campus-based religious organization. The arm will also spend a day at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.

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