Fox News defends CNN against Trump – Press should adapt NATO Article 5 Collective Defence

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

It is surprising to see Fox News defending CNN against Trump (with video). I think the Press should adopt a principle similar to NATO Article 5 Collective Defence. Attack One = Attack All!

Let me quote the following from NATO Article 5 Collective Defence,

Highlights

  • Collective defence means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.
  • The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
  • NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
  • NATO has standing forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance’s collective defence efforts on a permanent basis.

Of course, we are not talking about real war here but it won’t be too surprising that sooner or later, all fact-checking press can and may be seen as “fake news” by Trump except his own Twitter AC and his propaganda machines.

Jan 13, 2017 update:

(Highly recommended) CBC Radio, The Current, Friday January 13, 2017 “Donald Trump news conference ‘clear attack on the free press’” (note: 13:45 mark for Canadian PM Harper experience)

CJR, Jan 11, 2017, “Trump berated a CNN reporter, and fellow journalists missed an opportunity” (source: FB)


Fact Check re Syrian children

Friday, 23 December, 2016

20161223-fact-check-re-syrian-children

(This is a post I shared on Facebook.)

My dear FB Friends, I had enough today. I refuse to stay silent seeing suffering children in Syrian or anywhere around the world being further insulted. I’m absolutely #BeggingYouToFactCheck your posts before you share anything (claims of photos of suffering Syrian children are fakes, radiation in our food in Canada or US, etc). Stop sharing things so quickly from a random “non-trusted” site. (It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?)

My last straw was seeing a long time friend sharing a post that claims photos of suffering children of Syria are fakes! Accusing they were photos of the same child in three photos.

I LOVE children as they are our future. Defenceless & suffering little children in Syrian or anywhere around the world don’t need some baseless accusations!

Against my own earlier post in stating I won’t spend my time to fact check my friends anymore. They are adults and should really do their own damn fact check! I decided to do one *last* simple #FactCheck. How long did this simple check take me to confirm my friend was dead wrong? Well, precisely less than 60 seconds! Typing a few words into Facebook search of all places! (Some checks take longer but this one is less than 60 seconds) I was able to confirm my friend’s shared accusation was untrue thus sickening.

I don’t have infinite time to fact check my friends’ posts but when I see things that are fishy, for those friends that I care enough, I may leave a tag comment #BeggingYouToFactCheck

I know I may risk pissing some friends off as some friends had told me they enjoy sharing stuff, including unproven medical claims with neither proper nor reputable sources or references.

Sorry my Facebook friends in advance. If you need to unfriend me after seeing one of my #BeggingYouToFactCheck tags, I don’t mean to insult you in anyway. But in our post-truth world, we are in danger of being drowned with fake news and lies that were reshared endlessly in social media like Facebook.

P.S. A few words about references and good sources, when you want to make an astonishing or extreme accusation, please make sure you have sourced the share from creditable media or double or triple sources things and not simply from a single FB page or .com sources that are align to your own political views.

Repeating what I wrote above: It is hard to define “trust” but will you take a C$100 bet reports from this site will NOT be confirmable lies or fakes later?


Omran is alive. His older brother, 10-year-old Ali, is dead.

Sunday, 21 August, 2016

#ArcOfTheMoralUniverse Unfortunately, “on Saturday the story took an even more tragic turn when Omran’s older brother, 10-year-old Ali Daqneesh, died from the injuries he sustained in the blast that destroyed their family’s home on Wednesday.

We in the international community (Canada, US, UK, and others) failed the many Alis, Omrans, and Syrians in this war. They died and suffered under our watch. We, the member states of United Nations, love to *talk* Responsibility to Protect (RTP) doctrine but usually end with massive “Failure to Protect” unless our national interests (oil, other resources, our own securities) are at stake. Have we not learned enough from the tragedies in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s? I hope/wish and agree that “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war“. And I will add my voice to urge our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan to try to do what is right, on our behalf.

At the end of the day, there is no escape that Ali and many other Syrians had died in this war, and Omrans and many other Syrians suffered under our watch and we failed them. Whether we keep on failing our Syrian brothers and sisters, letting them die, allowing the refugee crisis to get even worse, or we say enough is enough and actually commit to stop this massive human atrocity, it is up to us “word citizens” to tell our governments what need to be done.

The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it decidedly and increasingly does not always bend toward justice. Why does that matter? Because it means that too many children will never get to grow up, period. Let alone grow up in a morale universe that bends towards justice.” – The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (1946 – ), Closing Remarks at Nuremberg Symposium – May 4, 2016

Ref1: “Brother of Boy Who Became Face of Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Dies

Ref2: “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war

A week later another colleague from M10 hospital rang me and told me he had treated Omran, the young boy whose picture had gone viral on social media. To be honest, I had not seen the picture. He simply wanted to tell me that the boy had survived and he had treated his deep scalp wound and he was going to be discharged home.

I asked him whether he wanted to go on television and contacted the BBC and Channel 4. He was willing to do this but not to show his face, as he would surely have been targeted by the regime. To see him talking on my television brought a lump to my throat. He is the kindest and nicest human being I’ve ever worked with. He has been there from the start of the war and his only words on the television were: “Please help us.” […]

The picture of this little boy must be a turning point in this war. It must not be looked at and forgotten within 24 hours. I have pictures on my phone and in my computer of all the cases that I dealt with when I was in Aleppo. These images are far worse than the image of Omran. They are of dead and dying children. I have given lectures showing these pictures and have had people in the audience crying. Why has the world become heartless?

When President Obama talked about crossing the red line after 400 children were killed by chemical weapons outside Damascus in 2013, he was awaiting the outcome of a vote on action in the British parliament. In the end it was close, with 285-272 voting against military action against the Syrian regime. If the west had shown strong leadership, I have no doubt that the Syrian military hierarchy would have collapsed. George Osborne said prophetically: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all the world’s problems.” It’s not often that a politician gets it right, but he did then.

I packed my gas mask and spent six weeks in Aleppo just after that statement in 2013.

[HT Zohreen]

Story of Syrian boy moves CNN anchor to tears


Paris Calgary friends Google Hangout the day after Paris Attacks

Monday, 16 November, 2015
Peace for Paris posted by jean jullien - 20151113

Peace for Paris posted by jean jullien – 20151113

Heart Broken in Paris

My heart broke Friday (Nov 13th, 2015) as I saw the tragedies of Paris attacks unfolded in live (minute by minute) news reports via Guardian. Since then, I’ve been reading/watching news/analysis (ref 1ref 1bref 2ref 4ref 8ref 9), a simple symbol of peace, and also realized other cities had being attacked in recent days (ref 3ref 3b).

On Saturday morning out of the blue, Paris called! More precisely, my super cool Paris friend Laurent (now cool *and* magical, more on this later) pinged me online and we ended up having a wonderful Google Hangout and video chatted for a few lovely minutes. He in Paris, France. Me in Calgary, Canada. The day after horror in Paris.

Paris Calgary Friendship in the age of Google Hangout

To set things up a little. How did a guy from Paris, France and someone from Calgary, Canada become friends? Well, Laurent and I first met in 2011 and then we became good friends over the years thanks to the magic of Google Hangout. (Laurent: fourth icon at the bottom counting from the right in this 2011 screen capture, me: the 6th icon counting from the right).

Over the years, Laurent and I love to talk about good food (Ferran Adrià, elBulli, street food), fashion, and even Christian Louboutin shoes (the designer is his family friend and has promised introduction one day)! So on Saturday morning, in the dark hours of Paris, less than 24 hours after the Paris Attacks, we defiantly talked about food. Yes, we “defiantly” talked about food, good Paris food! Our little #beepyou to the terrorist gunmen. Lives are short and we were determined to live our lives to the fullest without being changed by those #beepers. (note: I am not naive, it is a given that world governments need to come up with effective strategies and appropriate actions needed to be taken carefully in the coming days, weeks, and months without being reactive and doing exactly the things the terrorists expect us to do in fear. Those discussions are for another day.)

Tres Tres Bon on Paris Premiere

But on this Saturday morning, we talked our shared love of Paris food, defiantly! Laurent told me about the Tres Tres Bon” TV show on the “Paris Premiere” TV channel is a French food site (with video), where I can find many less touristy places to hunt for good food in Paris when I visit. (And we talked more than just food since then, see bottom note with links.)

Paris Premiere - French food site

Paris Premiere – French food site

After browsing around Tres Tres Bon, I found a fascinating video about yam’Tcha that put a smile on this native Cantonese speaker’s face immediately as I saw the Chinese connection/inspiration (you see yam’Tcha sounds like Cantonese words for going for Chinese Dim Sum)! Of course, I expected and confirmed from the video that yam’Tcha‘s food come with some French creative twist!

yam'Tcha - screen capture via Paris Premiere

yam’Tcha – screen capture via Paris Premiere

Mending Broken Hearts metaphorically and literally

Yes, my heart is still broken as I watched families of a victim spoke (ref 5 – video)? And I know my heart will keep on breaking as more stories of lives cut short started to be reported in the coming days and weeks. But try we must, to live our lives to the fullest, without fear, and with kindness that we had before this tragedy. If we allow the terrorists to rob our kindness towards Syrian refugees and others refugees in need from around the world, or take away our respect and love of our fellow peaceful Muslim Canadians (or citizens of your countries), then the terrorists would have truly won in creating a hate filled world where we are all closed off, with locked up borders, spying on each others with total mistrust, and unfounded fear of each others. Is this the kind of world we want to leave to our future generations?

Finally, my talk of mending broken hearts is both metaphorical and literal. My friend Laurent actually had a major heart incident in June 2014 and had to be implanted with a total artificial heart (TAH info from US nih.gov) 17 months ago. So Laurent is literally being kept alive by the magic of a cutting-edge TAH as he awaits a new heart. I am not a medical doctor/researcher but here is a medical and technical post about his TAH that we hope may help other people who are waiting for heart transplant.

One of the machines that keeps my friend Laurent alive in Paris. The other machine is a total artificial heart (TAH) implanted inside him. Photo credit: Laurent

Let me quote a Facebook friend’s status from this morning as she concluded with “Paris is alive and well, despite everything.

Walking around Paris is very, very therapeutic for me today and I wish you could be here to experience it as well. It would make you feel better. Kids are playing. The sun is shining. Cafes are full of people having coffee. There’s a million Chinese tourists with selfie sticks. Yes, when you catch the eye of someone, there’s a silent and solemn communication. But being here is SO SO SO much better than what you are seeing on the news. Paris is alive and well, despite everything.

Our broken hearts may seem impossible to heal but Read the rest of this entry »


Argo, Oscars, Grateful President Jimmy Carter, Ben “WTF” Affleck

Sunday, 24 February, 2013

Oct 15, 2015 update: It is with deep sadness that I report the passing of Ambassador Ken Taylor at 81. CTV News report with video. Global News report (with video).

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President Jimmy Carter vs. Ben

90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA. And with that exception, the movie is very good.” — Former President Jimmy Carter on Ben Affleck’s movie ‘Argo’ to CNN’s Piers Morgan.

There’s nothing much right from Day 1 I could do about the movie [Argo]. I changed a line at the end because the caption at the end was disgraceful. It’s like Tiananmen Square, you are sitting in front of a big tank.” – Ken Taylor

Many people (including me) are predicting Argo will likely win Best Picture in The Oscars tonight. So no time is better than now to set the record straight and urge Mr. Ben Affleck, director/actor of Argo to thank Canada and Canadians in his Oscars acceptance speech. If I may be frank and honest, Mr. Ben “WTF” Affleck, enough is enough. Your drama license to twist history to enhance your story telling makes this and other Canadians angry. What will Americans feel if filmmakers from UK or France rewrite history in a “based on real events” movie and minimize the US effort in World War II? Ben, Man up and thank Canada and Canadians in your Oscars speech tonight. If not, I’ve decided to change your name to Ben “WTF” Affleck!

President Jimmy Carter on Argo in Speech at Queen’s University Nov 2012

AP, “Canada deserves Argo Oscar mention, ex-ambassador says ‘The Canadians were brave’, says ex-ambassador Ken Taylor

AP, EX-CANADA AMBASSADOR SLIGHTED BY AFFLECK’S “ARGO”

The original postscript of the movie said that Taylor received 112 citations and awards for his work in freeing the hostages and suggested Taylor didn’t deserve them because the movie ends with the CIA deciding to let Canada have the credit for helping the Americans escape.

Taylor called the postscript lines “disgraceful and insulting” and said it would have caused outrage in Canada if the lines were not changed. Affleck flew Taylor to Los Angeles after the Toronto debut and allowed him to insert a postscript that gave Canada some credit.

Taylor called it a good movie and said he’s not rooting against it, but said it is far from accurate.

“He’s a good director. It’s got momentum. There’s nothing much right from Day 1 I could do about the movie. I changed a line at the end because the caption at the end was disgraceful. It’s like Tiananmen Square, you are sitting in front of a big tank,” he said.

THR, “Ex-Ambassador Again Slams ‘Argo’ for Canada Snub

The full convocation video with President Carter. (portion related to Argo, ~25:55 – 28:15) Queen’s University press release.

An excerpt from the transcript of President Carter on CNN Piers Morgan with my extensive notes,

“MORGAN: A scene from the Oscar-nominated film, Argo, about a daring rescue during the Iranian hostage crisis. I’m back now with former President Jimmy Carter, who was, of course, in the White House at the time. You’ve seen Argo, I take it? How accurate is it from your memory?

CARTER: Well, let me say first of all, it’s a great drama. And I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film because I think it deserves it. The other thing that I would say was that 90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA.

And with that exception, the movie is very good.

But Ben Affleck’s character in the film was only — he was only in — stayed in Iran a day and a half. And the main hero, in my opinion, was Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian ambassador who orchestrated the entire process.

I was informed about it the first day. And I was very much involved with the Canadian government because the Canadian government would not legally permit six false passports to be issued. So the Canadian parliament had to go into secret session the first time in history, and they voted to let us use six Canadian passports that were false. [Kempton’s note: Lets be clear, I doubt the Americans will issue false US passports to Canadians if our roles were switched. Agree? To me, I am so proud of my government, and the cabinet (?, not the parliament?) in approving the false passports to help our friends in urgent need.]

MORGAN: But when you first heard about this outlandish plan to create a fictitious science fiction movie to get these hostages out, you’re the president of the United States. I mean, if this had gone badly wrong, you would have been an absolute laughing stock. So it’s a bold moment for you, for the presidency, for the country.

CARTER: Well, I don’t deny that, but it was much bolder for the Canadian government to do it because the Canadian government was not involved in the hostage crisis, as you know. They could have been hostages themselves had it been revealed. [Kempton’s note: This is absolutely the case! Remember, other countries (I will not shame them here) were asked to help the trapped Americans and they refused. Canada helped. And by helping, “Argo” is how Mr. Ben “WTF” Affleck decided to thank us?! WTF Ben!]

But as I said, you know, they did the primary work. And as a matter of fact, the American hostages left Iran and landed in Switzerland and landed before the Iranians ever discovered that they had been there.

When I left office, I ordained that we would not reveal any American’s involvement in the process, but to give the Canadians full credit for the entire heroic episode. And that prevailed for a number of years afterwards. [Kempton’s note: This is a right tactical move by President Carter. Totally different from what the movie implied.]

But I think it’s a great film, and it tells a dramatic story. And I think it’s accurate enough. [Kempton’s note: President Carter is nice. I am frank with Ben and is hoping I won’t have to call him Ben “WTF” Affleck after tonight. Will see.]

This article is cross posted in examiner.com by me.


War is the the kind of thing …

Saturday, 17 November, 2012

On a perilous day like today, I am adding the following to Quotes I Love,

War is the the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end” – Meir Dagan (see “Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon Google+ Hangout at Fox LA“)


Gaza crisis vs. Blood Relations – The Israeli Palestinian blood donation project

Saturday, 17 November, 2012

On a day like today with headlines like Gaza crisis: Israel air strikes hit Hamas HQ when peace seems impossible, it got me to revisit the United Nations award-winning project Blood Relations – The Israeli Palestinian blood donation project.

The following video gives me some hope. This post gives some background on the project.

A longer, very moving 8 minutes version.


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