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World outside of North America

Canada’s refusal to sign the UN arms trade treaty…

…is nothing short of bizarre!

And Pit bill Baird’s contention that the Grit and Dipper support for the treaty is somehow related to reintroducing the Gun Registry is stuff from a freaking alternate universe!

Seriously? Has the moral compass of the CPC gone that wacky???

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Kim Jong-un…

… reading things…

Probably written in English.

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Kim Jong-un….

… looking at things.

Far away things.

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Ah. Foreign monarchies are so…

… foreign…

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The Venezuelan election results…

… will be interesting to see.

What will be even more interesting is to see if both sides respect the results. If, as Chavez is quoted as saying in this article, Venezuela is indeed a “mature” democracy, we will see proof of this in the coming days.

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The invitation must have been lost in the mail

The North Korean Dear Leader got hitched!
I wonder if they had to get married?
Ew.

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Didn’t the French…

… get the memo that socialism is dead?

I guess not.

And combined with the Greek election results, this might prove to be very interesting as Germany pushes the austerity agenda…

Wow. Europe is a train wreck, eh?

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Dear Leader – we hardly knew ya, and…

…I love how The New China Daily has covered the story.

Take this text announcing the death of Kim Jong-il…

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Great mental and physical strain??? This dude was as loony as three dollar bill!

Meanwhile, over at The Onion:

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA—In surprisingly candid remarks today following his father’s death, Kim Jong-un, heir apparent to North Korea’s highest government post, expressed doubt that he was sufficiently out of his mind to succeed longtime dictator Kim Jong-il.

While emphasizing that he was definitely completely insane and would likely become even more so as leader of North Korea, the younger Kim nevertheless wondered if he could ever be enough of a lunatic to truly replace the most unhinged dictator on the planet.

“Obviously, I know I was handpicked because I’m super crazy,” said Kim, the youngest of the late 69-year-old dictator’s four known children. “But my father was just so great at what he did. Did you know the people of North Korea heard his voice exactly once, for like five seconds? How nuts is that? Honestly, I look at stuff like that and I think, ‘Wow, there’s just no way I can ever top Dad.'”

But in all seriousness, these be twitchy times in that part of the world. No one can really know what kind of power struggles are taking place in this hermit nation. One thing is certain though – the one country who has considerable influence is China. And now is the time for China to step up to the plate and show the world that they are capable of being a world leader.

And has anyone noticed that all three of these guys died at the age of 69?

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An example of how things can get outta hand…

… on the Interweb thingy…

An innocent post by a fellow Ottawa blogger – and pretty cool person – has caused a storm of sentences! A cacophony of curses! A maelström of meanness! And an onslaught of overreactions!

Seems Zoom (The Knitnut) put up an innocent post soliciting opinions about whether or not they should adopt a certain type of dog from a rescue organization. She said the following: We’re not crazy about the look of poodles. She’s not ugly, but she’s not drop-to-your-knees heart-meltingly cute either. I think we’re both feeling guilty about this. Is it terribly shallow of us to reject a sweet little dog on the basis of her looks?

Um. No. I don’t think so.

Well, some self-proclaimed do-gooder forwarded this on to the owner of the rescue group and the group immediately disqualified Zoom and her family from adopting the varmint… judging their suitability as pet-owners solely based on these couple of lines from a blog post. That’s it. Here’s how Zoom put it:

Yesterday’s blog post, Should we adopt this puppy? has had some completely unexpected and bizarre repercussions.

Someone forwarded the post to Kim Knapp, founder of Friendly Giants Dog Rescue, and she hated it. I don’t understand what her problem with it is, as she doesn’t seem to be able to articulate it, but she really hates the post.

Not only is she not allowing us to adopt the puppy in question, and barring us from adopting any dog from FGDR, but she claims to have contacted all the other dog rescues in the Ottawa area. She says we should not be allowed to adopt a dog. She says “The rescue community is a very tight-knit family and stuff like this travels like wildfire.”

What I want to know is, STUFF LIKE WHAT? What have we said that would make anyone think we’re unfit to adopt a dog?

She’s also threatening to sue me.

Personally – I don’t see the big deal. So what? You make a throwaway comment about the looks of a dog. Don’t we all make comments of the appearance of one thing or another? But it’s a dog, you say – looks shouldn’t matter. The hell it shouldn’t! I’m sorry people, but it is human nature to use attractiveness – whatever the criteria may be – as one element of decision-making! If you don’t recognise that then you are being incredibly naïve.

Anyways – lots of comments on the post. The rescue org is threatening lawsuits if Zoom does not take down the reference to the organization – which is total BS. There is nothing libelous in this post. In fact, FGDR posted several times on its FB site about this whole travesty using terms that COULD be considered actionable (since taken down after they were reported to the FB gurus). Eight-two comments on her blog later (she has had some primo traffic lately) and the morons at the FGDR have been trolling and have adopted different aliases (same IP address – newbies!) to post defamatory comments, and have claimed to have banned Zoom from the animal rescue community and managed to get much of the Ottawa blogosphere into a titter. All over an innocent blog post.

Two things to conclude.

  1. The peeps – as least some – who run that organization are extremely judgmental, thin-skinned, extremist and shallow.
  2. They are bullies, pure and simple. As one commenter pointed out: This is how the values of an entire country are being corrupted. Bullying is the pith and substance of the present government. From there it’s been seeping downwards, into the media and to the grassroots. What you’re experiencing is bullying, pure and simple, and I’m glad you’re standing up to it.

I’m not a dog person, and never will be and will never understand why some people are so attached to animals… but, Zoom, I hope you and your family can find a pet without ever, ever having to go through the bullshit that you have had to endure because of this incredibly cowardly bully.

Happy Christmas!

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Saudi women will gain right to vote… sort of… later…

But, of course, they’ll have to be driven to the polling stations.

Saudi King Abdullah announced on the weekend that Saudi women will be allowed to take part – vote and run for office – in the 2015 local elections.

Of course, they are still not allowed to drive. That would be way too much to expect, wouldn’t it?

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, follows deeply conservative social traditions and adheres closely to a strict version of Islam. Despite Abdullah’s attempts to push through some social reforms, women still cannot drive and the sexes are segregated in public.

Saudi Arabia held its first-ever municipal elections in 2005.

The kingdom will hold its next municipal elections on Thursday, but women will not be able to vote or run in those contests.

So they’ll be able to vote, just not right away.

Sure, it is a tentative step into the 20th century (we’ll leave the 21st till another time, k?), but a step is a step, right?

I guess that the Saudis, like the rest of the Arab world, have been a wee bit offput buy all of the democracy stuff that has been breaking out in that part of the planet  lately and they figure that they had been at least have the appearance of addressing some of the popular concerns. This step is being taken out of fear of uprisings, certainly not due to some democratic awakening by the Saudi royal family, clerics and government.

But it’s a step, right? Progress?

Sure, but unfortunately, the men in Saudi Arabia won’t care too much for this “progressive” move and they, not the law, will determine whether or not their spouses, daughters, grand-daughters and nieces exercise their right to the franchise.

And does anyone really think that these men will allow this to happen? Some might, but most will not. No way.

But maybe, just maybe, twenty years from now will see an enlightenment among the estrogen-challenged citizens of Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the region and women will legally, freely and without fear exercise their democratic rights.

And maybe even be allowed to drive themselves to the polling stations.

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