Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wow!

Modi Revives India-Israel Ties as Terrorism Threat Grows

With potentially 1.3 billion people, or 19% of the world's population, on your side, it's hard to see what can go wrong.
"Modi’s public overtures to Israel since his Hindu-dominated Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide election in May are bolstering a defense relationship as both countries face threats from Islamic terrorists. The previous Congress-led government kept ties with Israel quiet, partly over concerns it’d antagonize Muslim voters the party relied on for support.

“The relationship is coming out of the closet,” said Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “This is unquestionably the most pro-Israel government in India’s history. It’s one of the many signals of a more assertive India and one that takes terrorism very seriously.”"
[---]
"Modi called for an international strategy to defeat terrorism while addressing Australia’s parliament this week, several months after accusing neighboring Pakistan of resorting to terrorism because it can’t win a conventional war. The countries have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, which is divided between them and claimed in full by both."
[---]
"While India’s foreign ministry says its friendship with Palestine is “an integral part of our time-tested foreign policy,” signs of a shift toward Israel were seen shortly after Modi’s BJP became the first party in 30 years to win a majority in India’s parliament. Swaraj, the foreign minister, in July rejected a request by opposition lawmakers for a resolution condemning Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

What'll They Do Now?

Controversial new DNA study: Gay gene discovered
"The New Scientist reports that researchers have recently discovered concrete evidence of a gay gene. The study was based on an analysis of 409 pairs of gay brothers, including twins. The results give further support to the notion that homosexuals are born gay."

Gay Gene Discovery Is Important For Multiple Reasons
"It should be obvious to anyone that sexual orientation is not a choice, that no one actually decides whether to be either straight or gay."
[---]
"The study focused on 409 pairs of gay brothers, and the team ultimately found genetic markers on regions of the X chromosome and chromosome 8 which provide further evidence supporting the theory that homosexuality is hereditary. Sanders himself made bold claims about the impact of his study, claiming, “It erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice.” "

Largest ever study into the gay gene 'erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice'
"Sanders does not claim to have identified a single gene which ‘causes’ male homosexuality in humans and stresses that with complex human traits like sexual orientation there are many influencing factors, both genetic and environmental."
[---]
"neuroscientist Simon LeVay commented: “This study knocks another nail into the coffin of the 'chosen lifestyle' theory of homosexuality.”
[--]
Commenting on the research to The Independent, Richard Lane of LGBT rights charity Stonewall echoed Allen's reaction, saying: "While some people may choose to focus on the continuing debate of whether people are born gay or not, we'll continue to focus on making sure everyone has the same rights and opportunities regardless of who they love."
I suspect some people will be quite content to ignore this.

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What Are Harper's Chances Of Another Win Come Next Election?

Interesting article, especially the last paragraph:
"Maybe he’ll just be prime minister forever. In 2015 he will still be three years younger than Jean Chrétien was when the Liberal politician won the first of three consecutive majorities. But you hear more pundits betting on Harper’s downfall than on his triumph.

He ignores them. When’s the last time the conventional wisdom bet on Stephen Harper? Not in 2006, when the leader, then deemed to be devoid of charisma, first ascended to power by beating Paul Martin to form a minority government. And not even as recently as 2013, when Mike Duffy was hanging around his neck like the world’s biggest albatross, a popular bet in the Bytown saloons was that Harper would quit before Labour Day. Instead, as 2014 closes, the Commons debates are about whether his tax cuts are deep enough, universal enough, generous enough. That’s the kind of debate Harper has prayed for.

Winning a fourth consecutive election would be incredibly difficult. But he’ll go into the next campaign with the federal budget balanced and, he hopes, the bloom off Justin Trudeau’s rose. He has always sought to run as the sensible incumbent against reckless sorcerers’ apprentices. Within that frame, small surpluses are useful: there’s not enough money in the kitty to pay for Liberal-sized or NDP-sized ambitions. “Don’t vote for big spenders” is not a message to stir the heart.

But he doesn’t need to stir the heart. He needs to win. Only two other men have won four consecutive elections: John A. Macdonald and Wilfrid Laurier. Even Harper’s own supporters might blanche at the notion that he should rank in their company. But you count this guy out at your peril."

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Absolutely Fascinating

A history of the Great Wall of China - why it was built, how it was built and the genius of the Chinese people:



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Canadians Of Convenience

This article (For Arab immigrants, a Canadian passport and a GCC job may no longer mix) is a bit old, but not by much. It deals with immigrants from the Arab world bitching about changes to the process and rules governing the road to Canadian citizenship. It seems the old "Canadians of convenience" phenomena is no longer all that easy to pull off. Too bad. So sad. (Note that it deals exclusively with immigrants from Arab countries.)

Even Liberals seem to be reluctantly onside:
"McCallum and his colleague, MP John McKay of the Scarborough-Guildwood riding, focused on attacking the Conservative government for proposing to expand powers to revoke citizenship, but stopped short of criticizing the new residency requirement—newcomers’ major complaint."(Emphasis mine.)
And then here's this: ‘Comedy of errors’ lets woman become Canadian citizen despite abysmal results on citizenship tests

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

You Go Girl!

Hirsi Ali slams feminism's 'trivial BS'
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed."
We got what we fought for in the sixties and seventies, now quit your bitching.

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Queen Rania

Jordan's Queen Rania in powerful attack on ISIS for 'hijacking' the Arab world with horror beheadings on social media that 'drag us back to the Dark Ages'

Let's hope she has some influence. Being a woman, I doubt her thoughts will carry much weight in some quarters, tho.

But she has this right: "...silence of moderates made them complicit in ISIS' success"

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil

Freezing Our Buns Off



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Welcome To Buffalo, NY



Looks like they could use some of that global warming right about now.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Had Never Heard Of These People



Good luck to them.

And here's another interesting article about the Kurds.

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Yup


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Monday, November 17, 2014

It's About Damned Time

Another Momentous Occasion