Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Post

Justin Trudeau apologises after a fashion:

Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau says he is sorry for comments he made in an interview two years ago that have Conservatives accusing him of an anti-Alberta bias.

Trudeau was forced to address the comments he made to the Tele-Quebec television program Les Francs-tireurs (The Straight Shooters) in 2010 after a Sun Media report republished them Thursday.

In the interview, Trudeau said Canada wasn't doing well because "it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda."

The published comments have touched off a firestorm of reaction from Conservative MPs on Parliament Hill. Trudeau's leadership campaign issued a statement Thursday saying the Conservatives were taking the comments out of context.

On Friday, Trudeau offered an apology, but continued to argue his comments were being misinterpreted and that they were directed at the government of Stephen Harper and not Albertans in general.

There was nothing to misinterpret.

Alberta should know how to deal with those eastern...


It's not schadenfreude if it's spot-on:

The defeated GOP candidate famously disparaged Obama as the candidate of the 47 percent. Now, liberals gleefully view Mitt's final tally as poetic justice

Liberal schadenfreude is about to reach overdose levels. Just when you thought the dead horse of Mitt Romney's campaign had been beaten more than enough — and most savagely by members of his own party — Dave Wasserman at Cook Political Report projects that the final count of the popular vote, which is still ongoing, will show Romney winning 47 percent of the electorate. In addition to proving that Obama handily won the popular vote, the final tally makes Romney the official candidate of the 47 percent — a delicious irony, liberals say, given that Romney infamously claimed that Obama was the candidate of the 47 percent of Americans who "believe they are victims" and are "dependent on government."

While the gloaters still lick their lips, Obamacare is adding to the massive unemployment problem Mitt Romney tried to stress was a huge problem before the election. And you can bet the pre-foreclosed farm that the Hispanic voters want their payout. If I were Mitt Romney, I would take this time to be with my family and write my memoirs, ones that detail what it's like to run a business, especially when you don't have a murderer get in your way. Then, a couple of years into another disastrous administration, I'd make a appearance at an employment centre and ask the jobless how poverty is treating them, just to be a real....


Where the aid goes in North Korea:

Mercy Corps has been active in North Korea since 1996, when, according to David Austin, the group’s program director for the country, “a North Korean diplomat to the U.N. began reaching out to aid agencies requesting help with agricultural production, as there was a famine occurring in the country.” Since then, Mercy Corps has been deeply involved in North Korea, sending regular shipments of food, medicine, and plants. Earlier this year, it dispatched a large delivery of antibiotics and oral rehydration salts.

In a phone interview with The Weekly Standard, Austin described how Mercy Corps delivers its aid to North Korea. Actually, in point of fact, Austin described how Mercy Corps doesn’t deliver its aid to North Korea: Along with several other organizations, it simply ships the goods to a port in the country, where the Korean American Private Exchange Society, an arm of the North Korean foreign ministry, takes delivery and distributes them. Mercy Corps workers are not involved in the distribution. Instead, they are allowed periodic visits to the country to monitor the dispersal and use of the donated goods. But the itinerary is set long before the workers arrive in the country, and any changes have to be approved by officials. What’s more, the Mercy Corps workers are chaperoned by members of the North Korean foreign ministry and other officials the entire time they are in the country.

Austin concedes that North Korea is the only country in which Mercy Corps is not allowed to implement its own aid programs—only in North Korea does it simply trust the local regime to do what it says it will do. In every other country that it operates in, no matter how troubled—from Pakistan to Niger, from Burma to Colombia—Mercy Corps has permanent employees who oversee its aid programs. But not in North Korea—the regime won’t allow it. With the exception of infrequent, closely monitored visits, the Kim government has carte blanche to do what it sees fit with the aid. When asked about this stunning lack of oversight, Austin avers, “The [North Korean] government doesn’t take food away, to the best of our knowledge,” before quickly adding, “there’s no evidence of that.”

But Mercy Corps doesn’t stop at sending aid. It also periodically invites officials from the North Korean foreign ministry to the United States for junkets, shepherding them to Oregon State University, various national forests, and other sites. One such visit, of four North Korean officials, happened in March 2009, just as North Korea had outraged our allies in Seoul by announcing that it was going to test a long-range missile. A 2007 junket saw North Korean officials attending a Portland Trail Blazers game and touring Nike’s headquarters. According to Austin, these junkets are a “cultural courtesy,” extended to North Koreans because “we send Americans there.” In an interview posted on Mercy Corps’s website, Austin said that these tours show North Korean officials that “there are many similarities between our country and theirs.”

Yes, but North American governments don't deliberately starve their people.

(Merci beaucoup)

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