Steyn: Jersey Sure (6)

There are two competing narratives here.

I have a strong dislike of the current fashion among American’s decrepit and unreadable newspapers for “fact-checker” columns, because the practice attempts to cloak run-of-the-mill hacks in an aura of dispassionate authority that they do not, in fact, possess. Case in point: The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, who has awarded “four Pinocchios” to Donald Trump, for claiming to recall seeing “thousands” of Jersey City Muslims celebrating on September 11th 2001. Mr Kessler wrote:

Trump says that he saw this with his own eyes on television and that it was well covered. But an extensive examination of news clips from that period turns up nothing. There were some reports of celebrations overseas, in Muslim countries, but nothing that we can find involving the Arab populations of New Jersey.

Kessler has spent the day re-writing and re-re-writing that confident assertion. As of now, that last sentence currently reads:

There were some reports of celebrations overseas, in Muslim countries, but nothing that we can find involving the Arab populations of New Jersey except for unconfirmed reports.

When Kessler says “nothing that we can find”, he didn’t have to search very hard. After a two-minute Google search, Powerline’s John Hinderaker turned up the following:

[Read it all]

See Also:

#1 — Dear Left: No one is ‘giving in to fear and hatred’ so you can put a sock in that lecture

#2 — Navajo Indian And Democratic Senator Leaves To Join GOP [VIDEO]

#3 — Shelter in Place Until Further Notice

#4 — Donald Trump — The Jacksonian Candidate


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Afternoon Update November 25th, 2015 (10)


#1 — CNews | 60 recommendations made to clean up Quebec construction industry

MONTREAL — The stench of collusion and corruption that permeated Quebec’s construction industry and spread to bureaucrats, political parties and organized crime was far more rife than originally thought, says the judge who headed the Charbonneau Commission.


#2 — CTV | Ban on consensual sex between teens and adults ruled constitutional

TORONTO — A cornerstone law aimed at protecting teens from sexual exploitation by adults is constitutional, even if the sex is clearly consensual, Ontario’s top court has ruled.



#3 — BBC | Missing Russian jet pilot ‘picked up by Syrian army’

A Russian pilot who went missing after his jet was shot down by Turkey over Syria was rescued by the Syrian army, Russia’s ambassador to France said.


DM | World leaders scramble to defuse ‘monstrous’ new crisis over Russia’s downed jet

CFP | Opinion: Time to Trade Turkey for Russia in NATO

#4 — CNS | Senators Introduce Resolution Calling for Senate Approval of Any Paris Climate Agreement– A bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution last week expressing the sense of the Senate that any agreement reached at the climate talks in Paris next month “shall have no force or effect” unless the Senate gives its “advice and consent”.


#5 — DM | Phew! Earth’s magnetic field WON’T flip within a human lifetime

The earth’s magnetic field won’t flip in just 100 years, researchers have found.

Reversal could potentially wreak havoc with our electrical grid, generating currents that might take it down.


#6 — Fox | Chicago officials urge protesters to be ‘peaceful’ as video showing police officer shooting of black teen is released

Officials in Chicago urged protesters to be “peaceful” as a dash-cam video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting and killing a black teenager was released Tuesday. A state prosecutor said the release prompted her to move up the announcement of the officer’s murder charge out of concern the footage would spark violence.


#7 — MT | U.S. Will Not Lift Russian Sanctions in Exchange for Syria Cooperation

The United States will not lift sanctions imposed on Russia in exchange for an expansion of its counter-terrorism operation in Syria, White House spokesman Josh Earnest announced at a press conference Monday, posted on the White House briefing room website.


#8 — Sky | China Plans Giant Animal Cloning Factory

China is causing online alarm with plans to build the world’s largest animal cloning factory producing dogs, horses and up to a million beef cattle a year.


#9 — WP | Standoff over government climate study provokes national uproar by scientists

A top House lawmaker’s confrontation with government researchers over a groundbreaking climate change study is provoking a national backlash from scientists, who say his campaign represents the most serious threat Congress has posed to scientific freedom.


#10 — WT | Conservatives urge GOP to hamstring Obamacare risk program

More than two dozen conservative groups asked Republican leaders Tuesday to make certain that a looming spending deal reins in a part of Obamacare designed to protect insurers during the overhaul’s early rounds.


Posted in Afternoon Updates | 3 Comments

Hofman: Belgian charm can’t make up for incompetence (10)

You have to put up with a lot in Brussels: the architectural eyesores, the permanent traffic jams, the garbage on the streets, the nonstop rain in autumn. But, then, there are umbrellas and there is the oft-cited charm that covers up a multitude of this odd and lively city’s sins. The problem is, charm alone never caught any terrorists .

It’s now the third day in a row that a giant “closed” sign seems to be hanging over the capital of Europe: no subways, no big events, no school. The people of Brussels have abandoned their everyday activities, preferring to stay at home – far away from their windows, of course, as per the authorities’ instructions. They’re hoping that the police and the military will be able to prevent a “serious and imminent attack,” according to the government.

But it’s a mystery to me why anyone should have faith in Belgium’s authorities. Even before the district of Molenbeek became known across Europe as a haven for extremists, the police of this “charming” country were known for being arbitrary and incompetent. One of the most notorious examples of shameful failure was their botched investigation into Marc Dutroux, a barbaric pedophile whose crimes shocked all of Europe 20 years ago.


See Also:

#1 — Moment ISIS sniper is destroyed by a British missile

#2 — Ghost town Brussels

#3 — European Commission strengthens control of firearms across the EU

#4 — Portugal’s new prime minister seeks alliance with far left, greens

#5 — Greek deposits safe as top banks raise enough capital

Afternoon Update:

#6 — Brussels emerges from lockdown

#7 — Russia halts gas deliveries to Ukraine

#8 — Greece spends 800,000 euros on migrant healthcare

#9 — Dozens of domestic shipping firms have relocated to Cyprus

#10 — Controversial Hungarian prime minister calls for EU border clampdown

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As China’s Workforce Dwindles, the World Scrambles for Alternatives

Levi Strauss and other global brands are revamping as wages rise and robots multiply

ZhONGSHAN, China—Thirty years ago, Levi Strauss & Co. began producing its iconic jeans in China, eager to tap a seemingly endless stream of workers willing to sew for a few dimes an hour. Now that stream is starting to dry up.

Over the coming decades, a labor shortage will force Levi and scores of other Western brands to remake their China operations or pack up and leave. The changes will mark a new chapter in the history of globalization, where automation is king, nearness to market is crucial and the lives of workers and consumers around the world are once again scrambled.

The stirrings of change are visible already. In an apparel factory in Zhongshan, a gritty city of three million stuffed with industrial parks across the Pearl River from Hong Kong, lasers are replacing dozens of workers who scrub Levi’s blue jeans with sandpaper to give them the worn look that American consumers find stylish. Automated sewing machines have cut the number of seamstresses needed to stitch arc designs into back pockets. Digital printers make intricate patterns on jeans that workers used to do with a mesh screen.

“Labor is getting more expensive and technology is getting cheaper,” says Andrew Lo, chief executive of Crystal Group, one of Levi’s major suppliers in China.


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World’s Top Miners Risk $10 Billion of Earnings on Carbon Cost

The world’s biggest mining companies face a combined $10 billion risk to their earnings if carbon pricing tightens in the wake of crucial global climate talks in Paris starting next week, according to a report from U.K. non-profit organization CDP.

CDP, which says it advises institutional investors with assets of $95 trillion, ranked 11 companies on climate change-related metrics including disclosure of emission-reduction targets, conducting water stress-test studies and preparing for an expected tightening of carbon regulation to emerge from the United Nations climate summit.

The estimate of earnings at risk, representing about 15 percent of the total for the group, assumes the introduction of a carbon price of $50 a metric ton, a level already accounted for by some companies, it said.

Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest exporter of power-station coal, scored the worst among the companies that participated in the study, according to CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.


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Chinese police use a FLAMETHROWER on ‘Muslim terror suspects’

The PLA Daily said the special forces used flash grenades and tear gas to force the attackers out of hiding, but when those methods failed, a senior officer said: ‘Use the flamethrower’.

After that, the newspaper said the attackers came out at the troops wielding knives and that they were then ‘completely annihilated’.

China’s government says it faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists in energy-rich Xinjiang, on the border of central Asia, where hundreds have died in violence in recent years.

Rights groups say China has never presented convincing evidence of the existence of a cohesive militant group fighting the government.

Much of the unrest, they argue, is due to frustration at controls on the culture and religion of the Muslim Uighur people who live in Xinjiang.


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Fedeli enraged with Premier’s Chromite Tax initiative for Ring of Fire (1)

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli presented evidence in the Ontario Legislature today that the Wynne Liberal government is considering a chromite tax.

“I ask the minister, did the Liberal government ever propose a chromite royalty? Is that why Cliffs left Ontario?” Fedeli asked during Question Period.

Cliffs, an American Natural Resources Company, suspended the project in 2013 after numerous delays and difficult discussions with the province and the First Nations communities.

After the Northern Development and Mines Minister refused to provide a direct answer to that question, Fedeli confronted him with documents released during the Gas Plant Scandal which show such a tax is indeed on the table.

“The section on Cliffs reads: “The province created a chromite royalty… Expected revenue from the new chromite royalty which was created for this Ring of Fire project ranged from $6.6 million to $34.4 million per year,” Fedeli said during Question Period, quoting the document.


See Also:

#1 — Open the north; get on with it

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Furey: Number of Canadian radicals kept under wraps

The RCMP and CSIS won’t update Canadians about the number of radicals they’re tracking. It could be decreasing. It could be increasing. They won’t say.

This is no doubt cold comfort for people wondering just how safe their country is following the Paris attacks. After all, ISIS has mentioned Canada as a target.

As I reported Monday, the latest issue of the terror group’s promotional magazine reiterated calls for adherents to attack Western countries, including Canada.

At a press conference last Wednesday, neither RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson nor CSIS director Michel Coulombe gave updated numbers to reporters. Sun Media received the same response to requests made Monday.


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Walsh: In Paris, Muslims Experiencing ‘Suspicion’ from the French

Oddly enough, some Muslims in Paris don’t like the way the French are now looking at them:

This mosque in the Paris suburb of Blanc-Mesnil was publicly accused last week by a politician in the neighboring town of radicalizing Samy Amimour, a 28-year-old who grew up nearby and was among the suspected gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall where at least 89 people died Nov. 13.

The Muslims who pray here were shocked by the accusation and its bluntness. Theirs was “a mosque known for being radical,” the neighboring deputy mayor, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, told the news media, “for being a place where they seek to radicalize the young.”


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Goldstein: The Left’s Obsession With Denying Radical Islam & Tying Conservatives to Racists

Over at The New Republic, Brian Beutler has written an article about what he alleges is the Republican obsession with radical Islam.

It’s about one would expect from left-wing thinking on the subject. Beutler writes, “Democratic unease with this language is almost entirely a function of strategic, rather than empathic, thinking—a reflection of the greater seriousness with which the party treats national security and foreign affairs than Republicans.”

The Democratic Party has treated national security and foreign affairs with the seriousness which has left us with the Iran nuclear deal, red lines in Syria which were unceremoniously erased, a Secretary of State who just uttered there was a rationale and a legitimacy to the Charlie Hebdo murders and a President who declared that ISIS had been contained. Did Beutler actually write that sentence with a straight face?


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Morning Update November 25th, 2015 (10)


#1 — CNews | Former B.C. premier rips Wynne over ‘racism’ comments

At a policy conference in Ottawa last week, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard commented on aggression and backlash against Canadian Muslims following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives.


Postmedia | Government expected to announce it’s unlikely to meet goal of 25,000 Syrian refugees resettled by Dec. 31

#2 — CTV | March of Dimes manager charged with defrauding charity of $800K

Toronto police have charged a woman with defrauding the March of Dimes charity of $800,000.

They say the suspect was the charity’s property manager and had been a longstanding employee.


#3 — Global | Montreal snow removal system is corrupt: Auditor-General

MONTREAL – The city’s Inspector-General Denis Gallant is calling for a clean-up of the city’s snow removal system.



#4 — Al Arabia | French anti-terror police descend on “White Emir” village

French anti-terrorist police accompanied by helicopters descended on a small southwestern French village on Tuesday searching for a Salafist preacher suspected of mentoring young jihadists, a source close to the case said.


#5 — BBC | Turkey downing of Russia jet ‘stab in the back’ – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has bitterly condemned the downing of a Russian jet on the Turkey-Syria border.


DM | Putin warns Turkey there will be ‘serious consequences’ for ‘stabbing Russia in the back’

Sky | Russia And Turkey Can’t Afford To Be Enemies

WT | Now that NATO has shot down a Russian jet, here comes the real issue: How will Putin respond?

#6 — CNS | At UN, Israel Blamed for Spread of Terror Across the Region

( – Amid a wave of jihadist terrorism in France, Sinai, Lebanon and Mali, members of the United Nations met on Monday to focus on “Palestine,” with several speakers accusing Israel of fueling the violence across the region.


#7 — DM | Is this the end of hacking?

An unhackable form of communication that exploits the weird world of quantum physics could make the devices we use to browse the internet far more secure.


#8 — Fox | VA Christmas tree ban causes Yuletide uprising

Folks around Salem, Virginia were ready to jingle the government’s bells after they implemented a ban on Christmas trees and religious Christmas carols in the public spaces of the local VA hospital.


#9 — JP | Israel’s closure of Islamic charity leaves 500 needy Arab families without benefits

The closure of a charity linked to the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement has left 500 needy families bereft of welfare benefits, a former head of the organization told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.


Debka | IDF has a plan to stem Palestinian terror. Netanyahu & Ya’alon: It will die down

#10 — WT | Big premium increases foreseen for Medicare drug plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — With time running out on open enrollment season, many seniors are facing sharply higher premiums for Medicare’s popular prescription drug program. The reason: rising drug costs have overtaken a long stretch of stable premiums.


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