Thursday, November 09, 2017

But Wait! There's More!

Often, that is the case ...

The most transparent government in the country's history is blocking tweets and Facebook pages:

Canadian government departments have quietly blocked nearly 22,000 Facebook and Twitter users, with Global Affairs Canada accounting for nearly 20,000 of the blocked accounts, CBC News has learned.

Moreover, nearly 1,500 posts — a combination of official messages and comments from readers — have been deleted from various government social media accounts since January 2016.

However, there could be even more blocked accounts and deleted posts. In answer to questions tabled by Opposition MPs in the House of Commons, several departments said they don't keep track of how often they block users or delete posts.

It is not known how many of the affected people are Canadian.


“Was I still in Canada, or had someone whisked me away to North Korea, where people must say what officials want to hear?” he asked in a piece last month upon receiving the Law Society advisory that he must get his statement of principles together to show his “personal valuing” of equity, diversity and inclusion.


At last week’s hearing, Wall’s legal counsel tried to persuade the court that, if there are no grounds under Canadian law for the court to interfere in purely religious matters, the court should then consider adopting U.K. law, which does allow this type of review. “Good luck!” Justice Rosalie Abella quipped, prompting everyone to burst into laughter.

That exchange suggested the court was not persuaded that it is time to change the law to allow courts to get tangled up in reviewing decisions of religious bodies. That would be a good thing, as courts don’t have the moral or legal authority or doctrinal expertise to decide such matters.

Unfortunately, some people have learned nothing from Russia's bloody past:

At the distance of a century, two things stand out. The first is the Soviet century was not even that, and its dissolution was both complete and (largely) nonviolent. The resolution of free peoples proved resilient in containing communism, and the peaceful revolution of conscience and spirit within the evil empire proved more potent than Lenin or Stalin could imagine. That the vanquishers of communism would be led by priests (John Paul II) and playwrights (Vaclav Havel) gave the lie to the communist slogan that power proceeds only from the barrel of a gun.

At the same time, the short Soviet century was long enough to teach us that so many experts and so many leaders got it so terribly wrong. Some were simply complicit for base motives, like the New York Times, which covered up the Ukrainian terror famine. Others were fellow travellers who liked the progressive frisson of communism from a distance. And still others thought that what everyone knew to be true — that communism was robust and the way of the future — was certainly true.

Into the 1980s it was not difficult to find economists who were singing the praises of the Soviet economy. Foreign relations experts clucked derisively about the anti-communism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, making anti-anti-communism a uniting force for the global left. The professorial Kremlinologists who insisted that the Soviet empire was a permanent fact of life had no idea that their own faculty tenure was more enduring.

The consensus of respectable opinion turned out to be spectacularly wrong. Respectable opinion today should be chastened, and those who lecture others about what opinions are permitted in the respectable consensus should be reminded of that.

November is the month of remembrance. This November we remember the fearful toll of tyranny, and salute those, who at great cost, defeated it.

I can't wait to hear what Trudeau can't say in the Philippines:

Environmental groups incensed about Canadian trash dumped in the Philippines four years ago want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “take it back with him” after he attends this week’s APEC summit.

Canadians may not be aware their garbage is such a hot-button issue in the Philippines, but it was important enough to have been the focus of a campaign promise by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

Now environmental groups want him to make good on that promise to take out the Canadian trash.

(Sidebar: start with Bill Morneau and the rest of the Liberal party.)

Tough questions have always been hard for him.

A judge has ruled that the Crown has enough evidence against Dalton McGuinty's former aides for the trial against them to continue:

The criminal trial of two top aides of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty will continue, after a judge in Toronto ruled Thursday the Crown has presented enough evidence of wrongdoing that the defence must respond.

However, a judge downgraded one of the charges against David Livingston, who was McGuinty's chief of staff during his final months in power, and his deputy, Laura Miller. 

Lawyers for the pair had asked Justice Timothy Lipson to dismiss all charges. They were seeking a directed verdict of acquittal, arguing no evidence of a crime had been presented in court during three weeks of testimony by Crown witnesses. 

The judge reduced the charges of committing mischief to data, and said the pair will instead be tried on a charge attempting to commit mischief to data. They are also charged with unauthorized use of a computer. 

Reduced? Hey, why not just release them, O Sympathetic Judge?

We need to elect our judges.

 One can ban guns if one wishes. I'm sure criminals will not care:

For instance, what is the point of forbidding people like this maniac from owning guns when he was already forbidden from owning guns because of a violent felony court-martial that led to his Bad Conduct Discharge from the Air Force? And how much confidence can a rational person have in government gun control measures when the Air Force inexplicably failed to enter his conviction into a federal database that might have prevented him from buying his lethal weapons? Even so, he was turned down for a concealed carry permit in Texas, making the usual calls for background checks especially fatuous.

It is also noteworthy that the killer, who I refuse to name, left a long trail of red flags including previous gun offences, repeated domestic violence, an animal cruelty conviction and text-message threats against the mother-in-law who attended the church where he carried out his massacre, though she was not there at the time. And that he was finally stopped, far too late, because an armed citizen confronted and shot him, and, aided by a courageous bystander, pursued him until the police could arrive and find him dead.

Gun control might have disarmed that hero. But not the killer who, it soon emerged, had once broken out of a mental hospital, which also should have set off alarm bells.

If Trump thinks that he can trust China, he is in for a terrible surprise:

U.S. President Donald Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea on Thursday and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but praised President Xi Jinping’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms.

Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year, hardline reign in the in the region. 

Let's see what fills its void. 

Oh, this is painful:

Ordinary men who did extraordinary things suffered in silence, haunted by the wars they fought:

My uncle never talked about what he had done at Passchendaele,” his 89-year-old nephew says from California. “He was very quiet, and very polite, and just the nicest uncle you could ever have.”

If Vimy Ridge is the First World War battle where Canada as a nation was born, then Passchendaele — another Canadian victory, won on Nov. 10, 1917 — is a monument to war’s waste. The months-long fight claimed nearly half a million casualties, both Allied and German, including 15,654 Canadians. The battlefield near the Belgian village of Passchendaele was a mud-sucking hell. 

Wounded men drowned in the stuff. Corpses were swallowed by it, and those who survived it were indelibly marked.

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