Mar 152017
 

Today is the Ides of March or Idus Martiae in Latin, a day for religious observances in ancient Rome, but also an inauspicious day for Julius Caesar.  He was assassinated in 44 BCE on the Ides of March.  Let's hope your day goes much better for you than it did for Caesar all those years ago!

Well tonight, we are having thunder and lightning which is relatively unusual for here.  It was very close to my house, just north in the mountains, and the house shook with the display.  TC is still feeling significantly under the weather but he did post an Open Thread today.

Short Takes

Maclean'sAs for who first noticed that Moscow was gunning for Freeland, that’s something that has yet to show up in any banner Canadian headlines. It was the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force, a unit of the External Action Service (the EU’s foreign ministry and diplomatic branch). The Task Force was set up in March 2015 as a kind of early warning system to detect incoming Kremlin disinformation campaigns.

In its January 26 Disinformation Digest, the Task Force specifically identified the “Freeland Lied About Her Family’s Nazi Past” hoax, which by then was already circulating within the nether regions of the pro-Kremlin web, under the category of “pro-Kremlin disinformation” and “fake media stories that support Russia’s policies.” The Task Force flagged the Freeland smear project under the campy headline “And you are a Nazi, too!” along with several ongoing efforts to affix the Nazi tag to “anyone opposing the Kremlin’s interests,” especially in Ukraine and the Baltic states. Canadian Forces personnel are active in both arenas.

Usually, Moscow enjoys a degree of marginally plausible deniability by circulating its nastiest propaganda via merely Kremlin-admiring webzines and usefully idiotic “anti-imperialist” pseudo-news operations. But the effort to attack Freeland’s character and undermine her credibility first came straight out of Russia’s embassy in Ottawa, on January 11, the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Freeland to the foreign-affairs post.

In Squatch’s Open Thread 10 March 2017, I included another Maclean's article about how Russia was turning its predatory disinformation sights on Canada, and I made reference to an article in the Ottawa Citizen about Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Maclean's has now covered this aspect beginning with how some western journalist aided and abetted Putin's disinformation ritual.  But why Freeland?  The article goes into detail on that point.  I urge you to read the entire article.  The new Russian Czar, Vladimir Putin, is certainly busy trying to destabilise western nations.

CBC — Girl Guides of Canada has announced it will not be taking any trips to the United States in the near future, citing concerns about inclusivity. 

"While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain," international commissioner Sharron Callahan and director of provincial operations Holly Thompson wrote in a joint advisory issued Monday afternoon. 

"This includes both trips that are over or under 72 hours and any travel that includes a connecting flight through an American airport," the advisory says.

The statement does not directly mention — but appears to be a reaction to — the executive orders U. S. President Donald Trump has signed restricting travel to the United States.

More fallout from Drumpf's travel ban.  Interesting that a group of young Canadian girls can show up Drumpf when it comes to ethics, loyalty and inclusivity.

YouTube — Trump Can’t Even Watch TV Correctly | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ              

Kudos to Keith!  Spot on as usual!  Is this what the "age of television" has become?

CBC — For the second time, a federal court on Wednesday blocked President Donald Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations, putting the president's revised travel ban on hold just hours before it was to take effect.

This time, the ruling came from a judge in Hawaii who rejected the government's claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.  …

U.S. President Donald Trump held a rally at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, vowing he would not stop defending the security of Americans despite the latest legal setback, which the government will likely appeal. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.  …

The hearing was one of three held Wednesday in federal courts around the country. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who blocked the initial travel ban last month, did not immediately rule on a request from an immigrant-rights group to block the revised version. Neither was there a ruling from U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban. A case brought by Washington state argues that the new order harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon, which rely on foreign workers. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.

Judicial overreach?  What a load of horse pucky!  It is only judicial overreach to Drumpf because he isn't getting his way!  I am glad that there are some members of the judiciary and legal profession that see this Muslim travel ban for what it is — outright discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds.  As Drumpfenfarten said when US District Judge Robart of Washington state turned aside the first ban, "See you in court!"  While Robart and US District Judge Chuang of Maryland both heard arguments today, neither has announced their ruling.

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OK, so I am almost 3 months behind the times but this commercial for Temptations cat treats is "so cat"!

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Mar 112017
 

It has been raining all day today . . . but no snow!  You've probably noted that TC is still sick but a physician's assistant did visit him at home and has him on medication.  Rest my friend, drink lots of water and take your medicine.  I am sure Wendy will be in to make sure you are fluffed and buffed, and ensure you are eating properly . . . maybe some chicken soup?  Personally, I am going to have some beans and toast, comfort food for a rainy day!

Short Takes

Otherwords.org —

Khalil [email protected] has a way with 'alternate' words!  I think this sums up much of the current situation as far as Drumpfenfarten and Putin are concerned.  Of course, this does not explain the 'why?', but it certainly does speak to the extent of the, shall I say, collusion.

The Hill — Preet Bharara, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country, said Saturday he was fired from President Trump's administration after he refused to resign when asked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life," tweeted Bharara, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.  …

"One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served," he [Bharara] said in the statement released by the U.S. attorney's office.  …

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) heralded Bharara as an "exemplary U.S. attorney."

"His relentless drive to root out public corruption, lock up terrorists, take on Wall Street, and stand up for what is right should serve as a model for all U.S. attorneys across the country. He will be sorely missed," Schumer said in a statement.

Rachel Maddow covered the replacement of 46 federal prosecutors and Bharara's firing in the following segment of her show.

Bharara was told by both Drumpf and Sessions that they wanted him to stay on as the chief federal prosecutor in the SDNY.  Could it be that Bharara was just too damned good at his job and Drumpfenfarten and Sessions became nervous after looking at his accomplishments?  After all, as Rachel says, Drumpf Tower where Drumpf carries out all his business dealings — you know, those dealings that are supposedly in the hands of his sons who do not discuss anything with their father — is within the SDNY!

Truthout — Autre Murray, 24, never planned to go to college. He thought he couldn't afford it — even with student loans. Besides, he wasn't thrilled with the prospect of ending up in "debt up to the neck." Instead, Murray planned to earn a high school diploma and find a job doing manual labor, maybe somewhere like a factory. He told himself he didn't need a college education to become successful.

But now he's on his way to obtaining a bachelor's degree, as are other members of his Kalamazoo, Michigan, hometown. That's thanks to the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program first announced at a board meeting of Kalamazoo Public Schools in November 2005. The nonprofit of the same name provides scholarships that cover 65 to 100 percent of college tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools who meet certain criteria. Students have 10 years from the day they graduate high school to use the scholarship.  …

After Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered college tuition for nearly all high school graduates, dropout rates declined and the city's population began to rebound. (Photo: The Kalamazoo Promise / Facebook)

"The donors believe that a community's vitality — politically, socially, and economically — is closely related to the educational level of the community," says Bob Jorth, executive director of the Kalamazoo Promise. "In the knowledge-based economy that we're in, almost all good jobs require some kind of training and education beyond high school."

Kudos to the Kalamazoo Promise!  I wonder how fast Betsy DeVos can put the brakes on such an innovation? . . . not that it is within her purview.  When did that ever stop a Republican!

Huffington Post — Most of the migrants who recently made the difficult journey across the border into Canada were in the United States legally, making the trend hard to explain, says U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The majority travelled to the United States with the necessary visas, Kelly said Friday after a meeting in Ottawa with cabinet members including his Canadian counterpart, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

"Everyone was perplexed," Kelly said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"Many of them have only been in the United States a few days before they made the trek north, so it's something we're certainly trying to figure out."

"… it's something we're certainly trying to figure out." ?????  There have been Somalis crossing into Manitoba in the dead of winter, literally risking life and limb — 2 have lost many of their fingers to frostbite.  In Québec, at a well known crossing point, RCMP officers are often waiting there to arrest the people until they can chat them up properly and they can make their requests for asylum.  And U.S. Homeland Secretary John Kelly is 'perplexed' about the migrant surge into Canada?  Let's see 1) Donald Trump; 2) pervasive American discrimination of foreigners, particularly Latinos and Muslims; 3) overly zealous border agents; 4) keep adding to the list.  My apologies to my American friends, but with the current administration, the US has lost ownership of Emma Lazarus' poem that is on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome
; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

YouTube (GQ Channel) — Trump’s Amazing Speech Sure Didn’t Age Well | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

Romney has been supplanted as Mr Flip-flop by none other than Drumpfenfarten.  I remember a line from the movie "Clear and Present Danger" that went like this: "He cannot be clear when clarity is not exactly what he wants."  White House aide or a Cabinet person talking about the president played by Donald Moffat.  Sure seems appropriate to Drumpfenfarten.

Huffington Post — The idea was simple enough: publish as many absurd, obviously fake stories imaginable, and see if anyone actually falls for it. The results of this experiment were both fascinating and disheartening. 

“BREAKING: Satire Makes Fools Of Gullible Trump Supporters.”

That’s the headline James McDaniel published on his intentionally fake news website, UndergroundNewsReport.com, earlier this month.

Within just two weeks of his website going online, McDaniel had already amassed more than a million views, thousands of comments on his stories, and hundreds of thousands of “likes” and “shares” on Facebook. 

“While writing them, I was aiming for stories that no one would believe, but rather would be satirical in an age where disinformation is so prevalent,” McDaniel wrote on his website. “Just for fun, I decided to post some of the stories in Trump fan groups on Facebook to see the reactions.”

I just had to share this piece with you to give you some light fare, if not depressing, on the intelligence state of Drumpf supporters.  Go to http://undergroundnewsreport.com/the-truth/former-white-house-aide-obama-gay-man/ or http://undergroundnewsreport.com/the-truth/obama-tweet-trump-must-removed-means-necessary/  and read the comments at the end of each article.  There are several other satirical articles as well.  These are SATIRE but sadly, Drumpf supporters believe it all.  The world is becoming more dangerous every day.

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Resist and Persist!!!

 

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Mar 112017
 

Sorry this is so late.  With TomCat down, I told him I would put out an Open Thread but I wasn't anticipating computer issues.  It kept freezing so I had to put it to bed for several hours.

Short Takes

msn.com — A first-term congressman who spent three decades as a physician — and is now part of a group of Republican doctors who have a major role in replacing Obamacare — is facing backlash after saying that poor people “just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

Rep. Roger Marshall, (R-Kan.), a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, said comments he made to Stat News were not meant to suggest that poor people take health care for granted. The comments were published in a story last week about his burgeoning role in the fight to replace the Affordable Care Act.  …

He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” the poor, including the homeless, “just don’t want health care.”

Well isn't he just precious.  I suppose this Republican idiot thinks everyone is made of money.  Take a WalFart employee who is being paid the minimum wage.  Many have used SNAP because their paycheques do not cover the cost of food for the family.  It is people like this, the working poor, that want healthcare but cannot afford it.  The arrogance of this doctor is astounding, but then I guess it should not be . . . he's a Republican.

Maclean's — Moscow has been waging an increasingly daring clandestine war against western democracies. Under the direction of President Vladmir Putin, Russia is targeting most of the major members of the western alliance. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of Russian attempts at cyber attacks. In France, Moscow has funded right-wing populist Marine Le Pen and is alleged to be spreading false propaganda about her opponents. There are now reports from British parliamentarians that Russia may have meddled with the Brexit campaign. And, of course, Putin’s interference in the U.S. Presidential election has lit a tire fire in Washington that may bring down the Trump administration, and at the very least has left America’s political institutions reeling, and its alliances weakened.

So is Canada next?  Or have the Russians already started their campaign of disinformation and lies.  As the sub headline of the article says "The smear job on Chrystia Freeland is only the start."  The Ottawa Citizen outlines just one such attempt.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s ambitious foreign affairs minister, is secretly itching to draw Canada into a showdown with Russia because of the seething hatreds she inherited from her Ukrainian grandfather, a Nazi collaborator and war profiteer she never told us about. She’s been lying about her family’s sordid past all along, and she’s been lying to Canadians about what’s really going on in Ukraine. She’s dangerous.

The main problem with all this is that it’s rubbish, from top to bottom. It’s also the hottest political news story in Canada right now.

All countries must keep their wits about them.  And coming back to the recent US experience with Russia,  it is interesting to note that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian influence investigation but has not called for a special independent prosecutor, but he has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the accusations made by Drumpf that Obama authorised the wiretapping of Trump Tower.  While wiretapping American citizens is illegal, the Russia affair is far more dangerous from a national security perspective.  Misplaced Republican priorities?

The Hill — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said his office on Monday would formally join a suit filed by four other states, Reuters reported

"The administration persists in an effort to implement a policy that is inhumane and unconstitutional, but also makes us less safe, not more safe," Frosh said in a statement.

The states are pushing for a temporary restraining order similar to the one that halted President Trump's first order.

Maryland joins New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D), Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) and Washington state in challenging the new ban.

In addition to these five states, Hawaii is also launching a suit against the travel ban, but its suit is based on economic criteria and not constitutional criteria.  May the force be with them!  Update — Seattle U.S. District Court Judge James Robart on Friday declined to apply his first order to the new ban.  Lawyers need to file more extensive court papers.

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Mar 072017
 

I'm having a very difficult day.  Last night was so muggy and noisy that I ably slept for about ninety minutes.  Safeway.com will be delivering groceries in the next hour and forty minutes.  When they do, I have to unpack and put them away, without the help I normally get from Store to Door.  I already feel exhausted.  Please expect no more than a personal update from me tomorrow.  I have a meeting.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 4:52 (average 4:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Donald J. Trump’s claim that Barack Obama wiretapped him received a strong denial on Monday from the former President, who said to reporters, “Like I’d want to hear more from that fool?”

Obama said that, when he first saw Trump’s allegations on Twitter, “My first thought was, Only a narcissist on the scale of Donald Trump would think people want to hear more from him than they currently do. If anything, I think we’d all like to hear way, way less.”

He said that his wife, Michelle, agreed that the idea of his wanting to hear more from Donald Trump “was one of the funniest things she’s ever heard.”

LOL Andy! Is that an exact quote? It could be! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination.

On the surface, this revised order looks different from the first version. It explicitly exempts Iraq from the travel ban, thus reducing the number of affected countries to six, as well as lawful permanent residents (that is, green card holders) and people who have visas. It no longer categorically bars Syrian refugees or includes a religious test to determine which refugees may enter the country. And in a marked departure from the earlier order, it goes into effect in 10 days, so that the chaos that unfolded in airports around the world when the January order became effective presumably won’t happen again.

These changes are, no doubt, intended to address the due process concerns that led the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm a lower-court ruling that put a hold on part of the original order. But while these changes are important, they do not fix the core problem with the executive order: The administration is waging an all-out assault on Islam and Muslims.

That’s because anti-Muslim bias and bigotry that characterized the original travel ban remain in this revised version. The order is still limited to only Muslim-majority countries: namely, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Residents of those countries — and only those countries — will be severely restricted in their ability to travel into the United States for 90 days. Left off are the predominately Christian countries that the State Department lists as “Terrorist Safe Havens” like Colombia, the Philippines and Venezuela.

The Fuhrer's underlying motives for this are still hatred and bigotry. RESIST!!

From YouTube (GQ Channel): The Russian Developments That Matter Most | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Flushing Trump is not enough. Every Republican must be removed from office. RESIST!!

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Mar 012017
 

I’m waiting for Store to Door to arrive with my groceries, and Wendy is coming this evening, so I’m quite busy.  Tomorrow, please expect no more than a Personal Update, because it’s my monthly Physical Terrorism with Courtney, who loves to be called Lady Torquemada.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

T^oday’s took me 2:57 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Let’s Be Honest: Trump’s Banning Muslims and Purging Hispanics

 

Republicans have been the party of bigotry, hate, and racism for decades. But the hate-filled hairball and jus Nazi sidekick have taken it to a level that makes the KKK seem moderate by comparison. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: On the final day of Black History Month, Donald J. Trump thanked Ben Carson for participating in a handful of photo opportunities during the month, and bade him farewell until Black History Month next year.

Saying goodbye to Carson at the White House, Trump praised him for “sitting or standing next to me” at various times over the past four weeks.

Andy sure has that right. It’s the only time of year the racist Resident (NOT President) and the token Uncle Tom feel the need to associate.  RESIST!!

From NY Times: A ruling issued on Monday by a federal judge in Manhattan, in a case brought by a freelance journalist without a lawyer, may interest the White House. The judge said that the New York Police Department may have violated the First Amendment by revoking the press credentials of the journalist, Jason B. Nicholas.

The ruling was preliminary, and the Police Department said it had legitimate reasons for its actions. But Judge J. Paul Oetken’s decision was timely, following as it did the exclusion of several news organizations from a Friday briefing at the White House.

“It has been held impermissible,” Judge Oetken wrote, “to exclude a single television news network from live coverage of mayoral candidates’ headquarters and to withhold White House press passes in a content-based or arbitrary fashion.”

Last Friday’s developments at the White House crossed that legal line, said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

Don’t just sit there, media! sue the damn Fuhrer! RESIST!!

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Feb 282017
 

It has taken me longer to get this out than I'd like, but finally it is done.  I have been getting ready for my mother's memorial service and the arrival of my brother and his wife this Friday.

Short Takes

Metro News — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney and musician David Foster made for an unlikely Canadian duo to entertain Donald Trump and guests at his Florida estate Saturday night.

With Foster, the famed songwriter and producer, on the keyboards, Mulroney took to the stage and performed, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” to audience that included Trump.

It was an encore performance for Mulroney, who famously sang that tune with President Ronald Reagan at the so-called Shamrock Summit in Quebec City in 1985.  … 

Mulroney, dressed in a black tuxedo, came on stage and joked, “Mr. President, I hope this doesn't fracture Canadian-U.S. relations. . . I apologize in advance for it.”

Mulroney was the Prime Minister of Canada from 17/09/84 to 25/06/93 and the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party (Harper dropped the word 'Progressive' from the party's name during his later tenure and took it much further right.) so there is an ideological relationship to the US Republicans.  However despite that, I find it repugnant that Mulroney would stoop so low to sing at Mar-a-Lago, even at a fund raiser.

Vice.com — President Donald Trump's administration name dropped two terror attacks that happened on Canadian soil this week, but neither one was the recent mosque shooting that killed six worshippers in Quebec City.  …

Trump's list happened to include the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. As any Canadian with an internet connection will recall, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau managed to kill one soldier before being shot dead by authorities.  …

What does this all mean? Media are playing a dangerous, racialized game with their editorial choices, according to Naureckas. With Zehaf-Bibeau swiftly branded a Muslim convert harbouring radical opinions about Middle East politics, the Ottawa shooting was perhaps an easy narrative to sink into—an outsider that hated the "dominant" culture. On the other hand, the slow and contradictory release of info from Quebec City, muddled by anti-Muslim truther conspiracies, was not as easy bait for American networks.

"It's hard to escape the conclusion that the story isn't as big because the victims are Muslim, that Muslim life is not considered as important as Christian life," Naureckas told VICE. By the same token, he says on some level attacks by Muslims are generally seen as more threatening than people motivated by white supremacy.

Make no mistake . . .the Québec massacre of 6 praying Muslims and the wounding of 9 others in their mosque was a terrorist attack by a young anti Muslim man who followed Drumpf.  A number of sources have noted that domestic terrorists are responsible for more attacks and deaths in the US than any Muslim attack.  The Oklahoma bombing in 1995 killed 168 and wounded over 680 people.  If I recall correctly, there have been 19 domestic terrorist attacks and no Muslim terrorist attacks in the US. 

NY Times —On Friday night, Fox News aired an alarming six-minute segment in which the host, Tucker Carlson, interviewed a documentary filmmaker about a crisis of violence in Sweden ignited by the recent wave of Muslim migration.

“The government has gone out of its way to try to cover up some of these problems,” declared Ami Horowitz, the filmmaker.

“That is grotesque,” Mr. Carlson responded.

One of his viewers agreed, and in that moment was born a diplomatic incident that illustrates the unusual approach that President Trump takes to foreign policy, as well as the influence that television can have on his thinking. After watching the program, Mr. Trump threw a line into a speech the next day suggesting that a terrorist attack had occurred in Sweden the night before.  …

But the episode underscored that Mr. Trump obtains, processes and uses information differently from any modern president. He watches television at night and tends to incorporate what he sees into his Twitter feed, speeches and interviews.

“It begs the question of where the president gets his information as he articulates his administration’s global approach,” said Mark Brzezinski, the ambassador to Sweden under President Barack Obama. “To do so in an improvisational way, based on snippets picked up from cable news, is a major mistake.”

Faux Noise versus the intelligence community professionals — so which would you trust to provide accurate intelligence data?  Turns out, the noted attack was not the night before and it was an attack by neo Nazis on an refugee centre.  What is of further concern, Faux Noise is one of the media sources allowed in the WH press briefing room while other, more respected companies were shut out.

Washington Post — The reporter who helped expose an infamously paranoid, manipulative and destructive president said Sunday that Richard Nixon had nothing on Donald Trump.

“Trump's attacks on the American press as 'enemies of the American people' are more treacherous than Richard Nixon's attacks on the press," former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein said Sunday on CNN.

Trump's comments — made publicly, whereas Nixon attacked his enemies in private — brought to mind “dictators and authoritarians, including Stalin, including Hitler," Bernstein said.  …

Bernstein — whose reporting of the Watergate break-in and cover-up helped bring about Nixon's resignation — said Trump's rhetoric is potentially more dangerous than Nixon's attacks on the news media.

“There is no civic consensus in this country like there was at the time of Watergate about acceptable presidential conduct," Bernstein said on “Reliable Sources."

“Trump is out there on his own, leading a demagogic attack on the institutions of free democracy," he said. “We are into terrible authoritarian tendencies."

When a respected journalist like Carl Bernstein says "Richard Nixon has nothing on Donald Trump", we know things are not good and we should sit up and listen.

CBC — A lawyer is governed not just by normal criminal and civil law, but by clearly defined ethics, interpreted by quasi-judicial boards of his or her peers. The same self-regulation is practised by most other professions.

Not journalism. There is no uniform qualification for a reporter, no uniform code of behaviour. Journalism has vigorously resisted any efforts to legally define journalism, or any sort of peer review.  …

A huge swath of journalism doesn't even bother pretending self-regulation.  …

Apparently, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's favourite sources of political news is a fellow named Alex Jones, who has, among other things, asserted that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job, and that the Sandy Hook massacre of schoolchildren never happened.  …

To the president of the United States, Jones is a real journalist, as opposed to most of the rest of us, whom he now characterizes as a cesspool of lying, dishonest purveyors of fake news and outright falsehoods, or, most recently, "enemies of the people."

Drumpf really needs to be schooled in the meaning of journalism versus opinion and conspiracy theories (à la Alex Jones).  He also needs to realise that just because he does not like the slant of a story, it is not "fake news".  Drumpf lives in his own reality which bears no resemblance to ours.

Canadian Press — Some 1,200 people considered to be among the most vulnerable refugees in the world are to be housed in Canada by the end of this year, the Trudeau government announced Tuesday — a move praised by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel as a message to the world that the persecuted Yazidi population needs to be a greater priority for safe-haven countries.

Nearly 400 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of Islamist extremists have already been accepted over the last four months, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in announcing the initiative, which is expected to cost $28 million.

But unlike the thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria who were greeted by flashing cameras and intense public exposure, the Yazidis have been entering the country with no fanfare. That won't change, say government officials who are protecting the identity of the asylum seekers because of just how vulnerable they are.

"Some of these women haven't even told their own families about what they experienced" at the hands of their persecutors, associate deputy immigration minister Dawn Edlund told a news conference alongside Hussen.

The Yazidi are a persecuted people whose religion puts them at odds with the Islamic State.  There have been mass graves of men and boys while women have been made into sex slaves.  Despite all this, the Yazidi have not been a priority for resettlement . . . until now. 

Youtube — John Oliver covers Obamacare and the Republican plan to repeal and replace it.

Listening to John tell it like it is is funny, but also spot on.

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