Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mid-Week Post

 Your middle-of-the-week refreshment ...

The most moving moment in last night's the State of the Union address was when Trump recounted the harrowing story of North Korean defector, Ji Seong-Ho's graphic crippling and then escape to freedom:

Donald Trump used the harrowing story of a North Korean defector to highlight the brutality of Kim Jong-un's regime during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.  

Ji Seong-ho, who was among the guests of honour for the president's speech to Congress, was hailed as "an inspiration to us all" and received a standing ovation from the lawmakers. 

This Ji Seong-Ho:

Ji Seong-ho, 32, who escaped from North Korea after losing his left leg above the knee and his left hand at the wrist, said the disabled are considered a stain on North Korea's image and a "humiliation" to the ruling regime. 
Mr Ji, who is researching a book on the plight of North Korea's disabled, said babies with disabilities are taken away by hospital staff, never to be seen again. He added that children with developmental difficulties are neglected until they die. 
"The regime proclaims: 'There are no people with disabilities under the Kims' rule' and 'everyone is equal and living well'," he said. "And while that propaganda is going on disabled children are being taken away, suffering indescribable things and dying."

There couldn't be a more stirring moment.

Not that the Democrats care or anything. Their bitterness towards Trump was written all over their scowls.

Don't let Mr. Ji's life story move you or anything, Democrats.

In the mean time, is anyone doing anything constructive to stop this regime?

The U.S. military is confident it could destroy “most” of the infrastructure underpinning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear missile program if necessary in a favourable scenario, a top American general said Tuesday.

And how would that scenario look?

The Chinese-backed North Korea is perfecting its ICBMs and despite the sanctions everyone is keen on, North Korea is still eluding them, even managing to get its coal to South Korea via another backer, Russia.

I say it's time to sanction some countries other than North Korea.


Victor Cha, a former White House official who had been the Trump administration’s choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to South Korea, is no longer being considered for the post, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The Washington Post quoted people familiar with the matter as saying the Korean-American had raised concerns with White House officials over their consideration of a risky limited strike on North Korea and about the administration’s threats to tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul.

One U.S. official acknowledged that there had been policy disagreements but did not offer specifics.

We had an anthem:

The Senate has passed a bill to make the national anthem more gender neutral, fulfilling the dying wish of Liberal MP Mauril Belanger.

The Senate has given its final approval to the legislation, which would change the second line of the anthem from "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."

The legislation now only requires formal royal assent before it becomes law.

We also had an Arctic:

China has finally unveiled its official Arctic strategy, and it includes a promise to build a “Polar Silk Road” on Canada’s northernmost fringes. 

“It is interesting they put out something official … China’s strategy since 2008 was to remain low-key and avoid triggering the inevitable alarmism,” said Heather Exner-Pirot, managing editor of the Arctic Yearbook.

The document, published in English by Chinese state media, declares China a “near-Arctic state” and lays out the country’s ambitions to become a major shipping power through an ice-free Arctic. 

“China attaches great importance to navigation security in the Arctic shipping routes,” it reads.

A donation to the Trudeau Foundation can get one a portion of this country.

So what are you saying, Justin?

When asked if any of his past actions could be misconstrued, Trudeau said he didn't think so.

"This is something that I'm not new to. I've been working on issues around sexual assault for over 25 years.

Oh, I'll bet you aren't.

I think what Justin means to say is that confidentiality matters when it's his party that is under fire:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says confidentiality will be a factor in deciding whether to release the findings of an investigation into allegations of misconduct levelled against Liberal MP Kent Hehr.


Longtime Sen. Colin Kenny is calling it quits months before his scheduled retirement later this year.

Kenny officially notified the Governor General on Wednesday morning that he will leave the Senate at the end of the week, ahead of his mandatory retirement date in December.
(Sidebar: this Colin Kenny.)

We don't have elected judges and this is a serious problem.

Cases in point:

A former government communications director has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes for British Columbia’s Liberal party.

Provincial court Judge David St. Pierre said Brian Bonney made “certain choices” that landed him in court.


The Right to Life Association of Toronto has lost a court bid to suspend a federal requirement that groups applying for summer-job grants affirm their respect for a woman’s right to have an abortion.

The Toronto anti-abortion group had asked the Federal Court of Canada to put the requirement on hold while the underlying merits of the case could be argued fully.

In a ruling, the Federal Court says the group has not established that the harm it expects to suffer in the absence of an injunction outweighs the damage to the public interest from a suspension of the requirement.

Harm? Public interest?

No one likes this grants program requirement, not even pro-abortion Canadians (who are - let's be honest - part of the problem. If you support the killing of an unborn person, how hard is it to be a fascist about everything else? You put these people in power. This is an extension of your anti-freedom and anti-life stances. Own it).

Expect to see more of this.

There is a reason why Justin should never be allowed to speak if the Liberals want to be seen as the party of people who are literate:

"I don't think the president is going to be cancelling it," Trudeau said of the decades-old trade deal.

"I've been positive about NAFTA and NAFTA renegotiations from the very beginning. Our message has been consistent, to the president, to our partners and friends in the United States: that NAFTA has been good for American jobs. It's been good for Canadian jobs." 

That's what we call "wishful thinking", Justin.

Do you have a plan B?

Something tells me that you don't.

To wit:

The Senate of Canada is back in session this week, ready to vote on Bill C-25. That’s the legislation introduced by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains to revamp the Canada Business Corporations Act and inject more social subversion into corporate governance. Part of the bill deals with shareholders’ election of directors. Another tackles the trending topic of diversity in management, on boards and throughout the corporate system.

In December there appeared to be some chance the bill’s more extreme provisions would get amended and the bill returned to the Commons where, perchance, it might meet a peaceful demise. No such luck. When the risk emerged that the focus of the prime minister’s talking points at the World Economic Forum might end up as mulch on the floor of the Senate, the Liberal power machine shut down the banking committee’s review of the legislation. So much for the independence of the newly independent Liberal senators.

Poverty is also diverse, Justin.

Why not price-fix some mansions and yachts? Make things even:

At least $1.50 has been artificially baked into the price of a loaf of bread during a 16-year-long bread price-fixing conspiracy involving the country's largest bakery wholesalers and grocery retailers, the federal competition watchdog alleged in court documents released Wednesday.

The Competition Bureau alleges that Canada Bread Company Ltd. and George Weston Ltd.'s senior officers communicated directly to raise prices at least 15 times — with an average increase of 10 cents per loaf passed on to consumers between about 2001 and 2016. The bureau believes the behaviour may have continued into 2017.

According to previously-sealed information to obtain documents, the pattern became colloquially known as the 7/10 convention — with an average seven cent price increase at wholesale and 10 cent price bump for the consumer in stores, resulting in an average margin increase of three cents per loaf for retailers.

This must be embarrassing:

A Calgary school board trustee candidate who made headlines when she reported being the victim of racist threats has been charged under the Local Authorities Election Act following an investigation.

Nimra Amjad, 32, has been charged with signing a candidate's acceptance form that contains a false statement and making a false statement for a purpose related to an election.

Police believe she was not eligible to run for office when she unsuccessfully ran last fall as a Ward 3 and 4 school trustee candidate.

The seat on the Calgary Board of Education was won by Althea Adams.

The anti-corruption unit began investigating Amjad on Oct. 30, 2017, after a member of the public reported Amjad was not a Canadian citizen and therefore not eligible to run. 

"It is alleged that the candidate filed both a notice of intent to run and a nomination acceptance form, swearing or affirming she had read the eligibility requirements and was legally eligible to run," according to police.

It is a crime for a non-citizen to file either of those documents.

Christ appointed Saint Peter and his successors as guardians of the Vatican, not the Chinese communists:

The Vatican has asked two bishops in China to stand aside or step down at the behest of the Chinese government, reinforcing the impression that senior figures within the Catholic Church are keen for a formal rapprochement between the Papacy and the atheist Communist Party of China, experts said.

But a deal is not imminent, experts said, nor would it be universally welcomed within the Catholic Church — the latest developments have already prompted one retired cardinal to make an emotional appeal to the pope on the bishops’ behalf.

Beijing broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1951, not long after the Communist Party came to power. Since then, two parallel Catholic churches have grown up in China: the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) run by state-appointed bishops, and an underground church with many bishops appointed by the Vatican.

The Vatican is keen to bring the entire Chinese Catholic community of some 10 to 12 million people back into the fold and talks have been underway since 2014. Yet the question of whether the Chinese state or the Holy See has ultimate authority over appointing of bishops has been a major sticking point.

There are times when there are no words adequate enough to describe something.

For example:

Footage shows the unnamed woman walking through Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, with the bird sitting calmly on her shoulder as she pushes her luggage.

The bird reportedly had its own assigned seat, but was ultimately denied access as the woman attempted to board the plane.

One bemused traveller is heard to say in the footage: ’What the hell. I’m not kidding, a woman is wrangling her peacock in the airport.’

(Paws up)

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