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French teacher beheaded after showing class Danish Muhammad cartoons

Witnesses heard the attacker shout Allahu Akbar, or God is greater

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French anti-terror police are investigating after a man beheaded a teacher after apparently showing their students controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Responding police shot the attacker dead a short distance from the school in a Paris suburb about 5 p.m. local time.

Witnesses heard the attacker shout “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greater, Reuters said.

When police shouted at him to give himself up, he is said to have threatened them. The officers shot him and he died a short time later, said the BBC.

Le Parisien newspaper said the victim was “horribly mutilated” and the attacker was the parent of a student, but this has not been confirmed by police.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted the killing of a teacher was an attack on the French Republic, the BBC reported.

He said his thoughts were with the victim and his family, and unity and firmness were the only responses to “Islamist terrorism”.

In the country’s parliament, deputies stood up to honour the dead man and condemn the “atrocious terror attack”.

President Emmanuel Macron visited the neighbourhood later on Friday and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, travelling to Morocco, is returning urgently to Paris, said the BBC.

The victim, history and geography teacher, had been talking in class about freedom of expression in connection with the Muhammad cartoons.

The cartoons were published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was subjected to a deadly terrorist attack in 2015.

A trial is under way in Paris of alleged accomplices in that attack in which 12 people were killed.

In February 2006, the Western Standard and the Jewish Free Press reprinted the cartoons, causing world-wide controversy.

Numerous complaints where filed against the Western Standard but none of them went anywhere.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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MAKICHUK: A lesson from the Three Stooges in giving back

But getting back to the Stooges — let’s face it folks, life is not fair. Some of us have had some good breaks and we’ve parlayed that into rewarding careers and all that that comes with it.

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A wise man once told me you can learn everything about life by watching one Three Stooges episode.

The injustice, the pain and suffering, the disasters that await us and test our sanity — as Shakespeare would say, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

In the comedic sense, of course. Most of us don’t have to worry about bowling balls falling on our heads, or a compatriot dragging a saw over our forehead. (With cool special effect sounds!)

I once made a pilgrimage to Curly Howard’s grave in L.A., my favourite Stooge of all time, just to feel close to the man who would entertain me after school, before I had dinner and before I did any homework.

It’s was an appropriate escape from the horrific Ontario school system which sought to break me and turn me into a well-behaved, but robotic citizen.

They failed — big-time.

But getting back to the Stooges — let’s face it folks, life is not fair. Some of us have had some good breaks and we’ve parlayed that into rewarding careers and all that that comes with it.

I’m lucky in that sense, I’ve had it good since I arrived in Alberta in 1979 and, of course, I had to work damn hard for it.

But not everyone is so lucky. Sh-t happens, as they say, and all it takes is a few of those bad breaks in life,to put us behind the 8 ball.

It’s also cool to think about the fate of our four-legged friends, be they in the wild or trying to survive on the streets of our city. This too is an important part of our Alberta heritage.

I don’t want to get all cliched on you, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

The Christmas season is approaching, fast, and there is no better time than now to think of giving back.

So here’s my story. All true, so help me God.

A few days ago, I got a message on Facebook messenger from a good friend of mine who lives in another part of Canada.

He’s a retired oilpatch millionaire, many times over. He did well, but yeah, he too worked hard to get there. And he likes to help others.

He said, “Dave, I need you to do me a favour — I want to give you $1,000, and I want you to donate it, to as many good causes, as you can, as you see fit.”

I said, “As I see fit? RU sure?” (That’s Messenger lingo)

He said “Yes, and I already eTransferred you the money.”

Well, right, I thought … I can do this. But who should I donate to and why? There are tons of good causes, so how do I go about this.

I knew that the benefactor — who wanted to remain anonymous — was an animal lover, and would like to see some of it go to animal rescue and conservation, but he did say “as I saw fit.”

At the top of my list, was Drop In The Bucket, which drills water wells for villages in Africa. 

That was followed by Ernest’s cat sanctuary in Aleppo, Syria (a man who has no fear), and then good old CKUA radio.

What the heck would we do without CKUA?

I then thought, why not help out the animal rescue agencies, so I did.

My daughter had visited the Yamnuska Wolf Dog sanctuary and said it was an amazing place with amazing people, so I donated.

My focus then turned to AARCS Animal Rescue, the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society the Grizzly Bear Foundation and the Wolf Conservation Centre.

The one group I also wanted to help out — and this is an important one — was the Calgary Women’s Shelter, a fabulous organization that does amazing work.

I was fortunate to work with a wonderful lady named Kate Robinson in Special Sections at the Calgary Sun, and together we (I was just a helper) would deliver tons of new review toys to this group before Christmas.

I don’t think I ever worked with a person with a bigger heart, to be honest.

I also wanted to help out the Calgary Flight Museum, which has done such an excellent job of preserving Western Canada’s aviation history, as well as our Second World War history.

For years and years, I used to see that old Lancaster, sitting on a pedestal, while it got destroyed by weather and birds.

I cursed the city fathers for this terrible outrage, until my friends didn’t want to hear my rants anymore. I thought it was despicable why no one in the oilpatch stepped forward to help preserve this amazing piece of history.

Eventually, that Lanc would be brought inside, and restored — finally.

I personally think every school child in Calgary should see that aircraft,or walk through it to know what the greatest generation did to preserve our freedom.

Sorry, but that’s a big one for me.

This was followed by donations to the Calgary Food Bank, the MEOW Foundation, the Calgary Humane Society, and Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue — all super great causes.

Keep in mind, this took me several days to do — I had to do my due diligence, as they say, and research some of these groups.

I then targeted the Children’s Make A Wish Foundation, one of my favourite organizations.

Back when I worked at National Trust, I took up a collection for this group and sought a donation (via a memo) to the top boss, a good man named Bill Rhind.

He called me into his office, and said, “Dave, what is this?”

I said, “It’s a damn good cause” and I explained what they do. He paused, looked over my memo, smiled and said, “OK sure.”

It was a generous act and I never forgot it.

So now, most of the money was spent. I only had a few dollars left.

I then remembered attending a get-together at CUPS Calgary, a group that “builds resilient lives for Calgarians facing the challenges of poverty and trauma” with programs and services.

I immediately pointed some funds to CUPS.

I then went across the world to donate to the Dian Fossey International Gorilla fund — a cause I knew about and wanted to help.

God help us if the world loses the majestic mountain gorillas. I’ve never been to Africa proper, but some of my friends have and they all have said it was amazing.

I had one more donation left, just one. I thought why not check out GoFundMe, lots of great causes there.

And man, did I ever find one.

A Saskatchewan family, had lost the dad in a farming accident near Saskatoon. The bio had me in tears and I knew then I had to donate.

I took the last $50, plus some of my money too, and threw it down — happy to help.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I too donate, and I have my special causes. I set up a yearly budget for donations and stick to it.

Another thing I want to say is, I don’t understand people who don’t give back, I really don’t. We should be so damn grateful we live in a city as great as Calgary with so much opportunity.

You don’t need to spend a $1,000, it might even be two little kids by a grocery story exit, trying to hit you up to support their soccer team. Don’t ignore them — stop, listen to their story — throw them something, anything. 

And then feel damn good about it.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

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More than 600,000 animals dead in BC flooding

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

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As the weather begins to dry in parts of British Columbia savaged by recent flooding, officials begin to get a more accurate picture of the true devastation the weather has had on livestock.

At least 640,000 animals are dead, officials said Thursday. The number is likely to climb as more farmers return to their properties.

As of publication there are 819 farms still under evacuation.

“The weather looks to be a bit more dry over the next couple of days which will be critical for the removal of carcasses,” said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham.

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

“The work by farmers and volunteers and companies to clean out barns and remove those animals continues to be extremely heartbreaking,” said Popham.

Abbotsford, BC — a city particularly oppressed by floodwaters — is home to roughly half of the province’s dairy farms.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Notley supports CBC’s woke words for white people

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

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Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley has thrown her support behind a list of words the CBC says white people should avoid using.

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

As the Western Standard’s Linda Slobodian pointed out, the CBC’s list includes: “ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.”

Notley tweeted: “Such an important and interesting read.”

Notley tweet

CBC racialized journalists consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. 

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour.”

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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