International News & Events

How do we know when to stop praying for Orlando and Texas, and start praying for Nice?

Turkey quashes coup – President vows 2,800 arrested will ‘pay a heavy price for treason 

Unsurprisingly – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is claiming responsibilty for another dispicable and horrifying terrorist act against civilians in their blood-lust to destroy (not just 21st Century) the foundation of modern civilisation

ISIS – the word jackals come to mind. Apologises to jackals everywhere

West needs to come to grips with reality and fight ISIL on the ground

Nothing Less Than Hard Power Will Remove A Brutal Dictator Like Bashar Assad  –
The UN Security Council will never do anything to remove Bashar Assad. It takes muscle, and a willingness to use it, to displace a tyrant as oblivious to suffering as him 

U.S. airstrikes on Syria risk becoming ‘historical footnote’ without wider strategy
Yet again, the people of the Middle East have lived to see another “mission accomplished.” That phrase, last owned by then President George W. Bush after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has aged badly. Donald Trump’s version 15 years later, after the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syrian targets Saturday, may prove as fleeting as the tweet in which he wrote it, because as it stands, this mission, in effect, changes little.

We Sent A Signal To Assad, All Right: ‘We Are Weak     John Robson  April 17, 2018 11:30 AM EDT    Evidently Saturday’s brief flurry of cruise missiles against Syrian chemical weapons facilities sent “a very strong message,” as American Defence Secretary Jim Mattis put it. But to whom? And saying what?Of course the action was accompanied by the usual pseudo-Churchillian rhetoric about unshakable resolve in the face of unspeakable crimes. Donald Trump called Syria’s latest chemical weapons use “evil” and “despicable … These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead.” So was this monster targeted? Um, no.We’re assured the strikes targeted only known chemical weapons facilities. Which means that for years, despite endless bluster including Barack Obama’s infamous vanishing red line, Western powers have avoided taking out weapons they’ve known all about. Even this time, a senior Syrian military defector claims, important sites, including a depot called Taqsis, were not hit. Why?  ………………..You would never find the Americans, British or French rattling sabres this irresponsibly. And rightly not; superpower confrontations are very risky. But this asymmetry again raises the troubling question that has haunted us from the dawn of Mutual Assured Destruction. What happens when one side, aware of the perils, adopts a deliberately restrained posture the other recklessly exploits?

It is obviously not a hypothetical question. Russia has annexed Crimea, dismembered Ukraine, and armed and fought alongside loathsome war criminal Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow, and Beijing, have repeatedly sheltered him at the United Nations with Security Council vetoes.

Antler chef refuses to display vegan slogan, so protesters attempt to shine it on restaurant with projector  Jake Edmiston  April 20, 2018 11:58 PM EDT

A Toronto chef facing another bout of vegan protests outside his west-end restaurant this week has been offered a way out: display an animal rights slogan in the restaurant’s street-front window and the protests will stop.

The slogan reads “Animals’ lives are their right. In their desire to live and capacity to suffer, a dog, is a pig, is a chicken, is a human. Reject speciesism.”

“We’re not going to — there’s no way,” Michael Hunter, the chef and owner of Antler Kitchen and Bar, told Joe Rogan during a taping of the popular U.S. podcast The Joe Rogan Experience in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “It’s like eco-terrorism, extortion, whatever you want to call it.”

The protests outside Antler — which started in December after vegans were dismayed by a sidewalk sign proclaiming “Venison is the new kale” — became the subject of international fascination last month when the chef  butchered and ate a leg of deer in full view of the protesters. “I just said, ‘Screw it. I’m going to get these people to get out of here,’” Hunter told Rogan. “I thought that that would make them go away.

“It was just totally last resort, totally fed up. I wanted to defend myself, defend our customers. You could see people walking in visibly upset … I was just upset and I just kind of thought, ‘Buzz off.’”

The protesters, led by organizer Marni Ugar, announced Friday that they would return to Antler Friday evening with a projector to shine the slogan onto a wall near the restaurant. “The sign, if you look at what it says, it’s just a fact,” said Ugar, a local dog walker and head of the activist group Grassroots Anti-Speciesism Shift, or GRASS.

And under what should be titled – PATHETHIC

Clowns Survive Bad PR As Toronto Festival Celebrating Them Enters Its 13th. Year
Published: May 11, 2018
Updated: May 11, 2018 11:17 AM EDT

Send in the clowns — no, really.

After a couple of years of bad PR — remember how Pennywise The Clown from the movie It frightened moviegoers in 2017, or how sightings of people dressed as clowns in the U.S. in 2016 lead to at least one criminal charge? — it’s a new day for the red-nosed entertainers.

Case in point, the 13th edition of the Toronto Festival of Clowns that runs from May 30 to June 3 at both the Monarch Tavern and The Commons Theatre.

Sketchy The Clown, the festival’s executive producer, says the outlook for clowns has never been better, but warns The Toronto Sun‘s Jane Stevenson this is an adult festival and definitely not for kids.

NBA Basketball and Satire at its best ….

Man Waits Three Days To Get Into Toronto Raptors Jurassic Park – Only To Discover That He Could Have Just Watched The Game At Home

TORONTO – Local man Jerome Dobbins, who has been waiting in line to get into Toronto’s famed Raptors viewing party square since Saturday at 9am, was shocked and quite frankly furious to discover he could watch the game at home if he wanted.

“Are you serious?” shouted Dobbins, half his body already painted red with the words ‘We The Nor’ written on it. “Like in my apartment, with air conditioning and friends and a bathroom that isn’t this thermos I’m holding?”

“I got fired for skipping work today!” he added.