Thursday, September 18, 2014

But Wait! There's More!

A huge terrorist plot, one of the biggest in Australian history, has been foiled:

Militants connected with radical group Islamic State were planning to behead a member of the public in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday, after hundreds of police raided homes in a sweeping counter-terrorism operation.

Abbott said there was a "serious risk from a terrorist attack" days after Australia raised its national terror threat level to "high" for the first time, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.

Australia is concerned over the number of its citizens believed to be fighting overseas with militant groups, including a suicide bomber who killed three people in Baghdad in July and two men shown in images on social media holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers.

More than 800 police were involved in the pre-dawn security operation in Sydney and Brisbane, which was described as the largest in Australian history and resulted in the detention of 15 people, police said.

Abbott told a news conference that members of the radical group had planned to conduct a public beheading.

"That's the intelligence we received," he said.

Media reported that the plans included snatching a person at random in Sydney, Australia's largest city, and executing them on camera draped in the group's black flag.

"The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country," Abbott said, referring to the group otherwise known as Islamic State that has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.

But the real news is this:

AN URGENT meeting was called last night by members of the Muslim community who were outraged about yesterday’s anti-terror raids in Sydney. 
A speaker at the protest, said they were not there to interfere with security, despite what many believed.

Of the arrested people he said: “We are not here to determine guilt or innocence ... but we are greatly concerned.”

Women and children had been terrified during the raids and homes “smashed” as they were carried out, he said, adding they took place only days after the Government claimed there was no direct terror threat.

He spoke from the steps of the Lakemba War Memorial, which drew criticism from many on social media.

The Muslim community they were “not fools” and could see through the “spin” and “propaganda” of the Abbott Government who he insisted were seeking to politicise the security situation. ...
The crowd chanted “we reject the terror laws, they only serve American wars”.

“Terror raids can’t break the spirit of Muslims” and “stop terrorising Muslims” were some of the anti-government placards held by protesters listening to the speakers at Lakemba station.

“These are the same people who brought us children overboard and Iraq.

“So what do we expect from this [new] tale from ASIO and the police commissioner?”

There were about 200 people at Lakemba station for the protest in response to what organisers say is the Federal Government’s heavy-handed approach to the raids, which resulted in 15 arrests.
“My house was raided by these police pigs,” a teen from within the crowd screamed.
It's the sort of mental dissonance one expects from a perpetually aggrieved mass, a mass that just doesn't get that repeated threats and attacks don't convince thinking individuals that this is all isolated. The arrests weren't a misunderstanding nor were they acts of an overreaching government. For once, the police were doing their jobs, arresting people who plotted the murders of innocent people done in the name of the Islamic state.

I might just be "emotional" about this, emotional enough to call an emergency session of Parliament to talk about it and then not turn up, but the plan to deliberately murder random citizens in a show of terror and power is no small matter.

And, yes, it is all related.


Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau refused to answer when asked if convicted terrorist Hiva Alizadeh - a Canadian-Iranian dual citizen sentenced to 24 years in prison this week - is the type of Canadian whose citizenship his party wouldn't revoke.

When asked, Trudeau simply said "next question" and turned away.
How about this, Trudeau, you jack-hole, answer the damn question? Did your handlers not prepare you enough? Was the question worded too poorly? Was it beneath you?

People want to vote for him.

Votes are still being tallied in the Scottish independence referendum.

And now, an illustrated guide to dogs.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Quickly now...

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed Parliament today and thanked Canada for its generosity and support:

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told Canadian parliamentarians there is no turning back to the "awful days" of the Soviet Union for his country.

The leader was in Ottawa on Wednesday, meeting with politicians and Ukrainian immigrants.

In his address to Parliament, Poroshenko thanked Canada for its unqualified support and lamented that "today, Ukrainians are paying a high price for what we believe in - freedom and democracy."

"Now is the real fight for our independence," Poroshenko said.

More than 3,000 Ukrainians have died since conflict began late last year when then-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich declined to ratify a trade deal with the European Union in favour of forging close ties with Russia. That led to the overthrow of the Yanukovich government, which then raised the ire of Russia, and ethnic Russians within Ukraine.

Earlier in the week, Poroshenko ratified that trade deal with the E.U. but also made painful concessions to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, including allowing them to appoint their own judges, form their own police forces and participate in programs that would strengthen ties to Russia.

Harper was the only foreign leader to attend Poroshenko's swearing in ceremony last spring.
Canada also sent several hundred observers to oversee the election.

More observers will be sent to oversee Ukraine's parliamentary election Oct. 26 - something for which Poroshenko praised and thanked Canada.

"I look forward to Canadians coming to that (to) ensure (the election is) free and fair," Poroshenko said.

But he also spoke of the continuing Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and asked Canada to supply more military aid including "signal intelligence" and surveillance equipment.

Canada has already delivered several plane-loads of humanitarian aid and military supplies.

Shortly before Poroshenko's address, the government announced an additional $3 million in such funding.

That will go directly to aid groups, including the Red Cross already operating in Ukraine.

More broadly, Poroshenko talked of a global "common goal" in the fight against terror, and thanked Canada for being among the countries actively working to unite the world and send a strong message to Russia.

Oh dear:

The tumour in Rob Ford's abdomen, the discovery of which led the mayor of Toronto to drop out of the election last week, is both malignant and rare, according to medical authorities.

Dr. Zane Cohen of Mount Sinai Hospital's surgical team addressed the media today to provide an update on Ford's medical condition, which, he noted, was done due to great public interest.

He said a repeat biopsy was done Monday on "the mass," meaning the abdominal tumour.

"The diagnosis is a malignant liposarcoma," said Cohen, which is a form of cancer that arises in fat cells in deep soft tissue; it is, Cohen said, a rare and difficult tumour to treat.

"It has about 60 different cell types and that's what makes it a very rare tumour and a very difficult tumour," he said.

"We have not found cancer" in Ford's organs, Cohen noted, later adding that the tumour appears "very aggressive" based on its size after its recent discovery and that it has been growing since well before that, but Cohen added that the treatment plan is also aggressive, involving an initial three days of chemotherapy, a rest day and an 18-day "washout period" before possible subsequent 40-day cycles over the treatment plan, which Cohen said is to begin within the next 48 hours.

A hike in minimum wage ignores the cost of big government, the inflated cost of living and squeezes out those who need to work but don't let facts get in the way of a good campaign:

On Tuesday, Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats introduced a doomed-for-failure motion in the House of Commons, which would reinstate a federal minimum wage, and increase it to $15/hour.

Even if the motion somehow passed, it’s affect would be limited  it would only apply to those workers who belong to a federally regulated industry such as banking, air transport and radio and television broadcasting. 

It has, however, re-ignited the debate about the efficacy of raising the minimum wage, for all workers, across the country  a debate that has reached grand proportions in the United States. 

"Here in Canada, the minimum-wage debate has been trapped in a time warp," the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Trish Hennessy wrote in an essay praising the New Democrats for introducing the motion. 

"Provincially, any attempt to increase the minimum wage on a steady basis has been overly cautious, muted by a loud and powerful business lobby.

"[The NDP motion] is the beginning of a national conversation about the inadequacy of the current minimum wage level. It’s the beginning of a national conversation about the value of a minimum wage that is a living wage — one that can actually help a household pay all of its most basic bills, such as housing, transit to work, child care, and food."


With just five full days of campaigning to go until New Brunswickers vote on Monday, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant will be struggling to recover from the worst political media interview since St├ęphane Dion got confused in the 2008 federal election. ...

CBC Reporter Bob Jones and others reported that, despite Liberal claims to the contrary, Gallant's plans would lead to the highest tax jurisdiction in the country. The Liberals pushed back and argued that reporters were wrong.

So on Friday morning CBC offered Gallant an interview to explain the policy.

During the interview, CBC New Brunswick host Harry Forestell challenged Gallant repeatedly on his tax policy (and on other confusing aspects of Gallant's platform) but Gallant, in a tone that, at times seemed both slightly indignant and condescending, told Forestell he was wrong and kept repeating his talking points.

But my by mid-day, the Liberal war room realized their talking points were flat-out wrong.

And now, this is a real thing:


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obama the Spineless

Obama's presidency has been a failure.

There are several things that highlight this conclusion: the attack on the American embassy in Libya, the deplorable state of the American economy, the near-shattered relations with Canada and Israel and the dramatic rise of Islamism since his administration began.

One must question whether Obama's mistakes are the results of his incompetence or are deliberate on his part.

The most recent example of Obama's failure to lead is the increasingly decrepit situation in Iraq. Obama had American troops withdraw from Iraq in 2011 and the situation has disintegrated from there. ISIS has been committing atrocities since June of this yearOnly last Wednesday, after months of inaction, did Obama give the impression that he would act.

The impression.

He is not putting boots on the ground where they would be most beneficial:

As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

The Kurds have been holding off ISIS and training and bolstering Iraqi troops has not been successful.

Obama is putting boots on the ground in Liberia:

President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security.

Apparently, the long-standing Ebola crisis has now reached a point where American military intervention is warranted.

One can conclude the following:

Obama has dithered and underestimated not only what being an American president entails but the people with whom he expects to deal successfully. This makes him short-sighted.

Or: after months of doing nothing, he has to appear to be active so he picks what he thinks is a manageable crisis.

Or: his support of Islamism is so paper-thin that he would let ISIS and/or any Islamist group run amok. In 2008, he declared he would deal with Iran without pre-conditions. He sat back while the Green Revolution was decimated. He made Islamic overtures in Cairo. He persisted in the myth of a Youtube video being responsible for the attack on an American embassy in Benghazi. He declared that the "sweetest sound" he had ever heard was the Islamic call to prayer. He is doing nothing now.

By the way, former president George W. Bush has been noted for his charity work in Africa.

No fan fare for that.

McGuinty's New Job

A new train wreck to preside and profit over:

Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty is lobbying the government to increase its use of one company's education technology in the province's schools.

McGuinty's seeking "to enhance the presence of Desire2Learn education technology in Ontario's schools, colleges and universities," reads his online registration as a consultant lobbyist.

Desire2Learn Inc. created Brightspace, which it calls "the world’s first truly integrated learning platform," according to its website.

The record shows D2L has received $3,143,666 from government and government agencies in the current fiscal year. This includes $3,000,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

South Korea Extends An Olive Branch to North Korea (Again)

To wit:

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, thwarted so far in ambitious plans to begin the process of reunifying the Korean peninsula, said the door is open for talks with the North during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly.

However, Park said in an interview that Pyongyang must show sincerity in seeking a constructive dialogue and "walk the talk" in taking up South Korea's offers for engagement aimed at ending a deadlock after a decade of warming ties.

North Korea will send its foreign minister, Ri Su Yong, to the U.N. General Assembly meeting, the highest ranking official from the reclusive state to attend in 15 years. Ri's official agenda is not clear.

Pyongyang has not accepted South Korea's overtures and the unpredictable North's official media has heaped insults on Park. Park said there are no current plans to meet North Korean officials in New York.

I don't know what President Park is thinking. Does Kim Jong-Un even seem slightly more reasonable than his dictatorial father? Has North Korea ever shown a genuine interest in making peace with its southern neighbour?

At least President Park can say she offered but it profits her nothing. It is a continuation of the same dance the Koreas have done for decades.

This Is the Cutest Thing You Will See All Day

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Post


Australia picks up Obama's slack commits to sending forces to fight ISIS:

Australia became the first country to detail troop numbers and aircraft for a U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, as Washington drums up support for global action to counter the terrorist threat.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday a 600-strong force comprising some 400 airforce personnel and 200 special forces soldiers would be deployed to a U.S. military base in the United Arab Emirates. ...

Abbott said along with the troops, Australia would send eight super hornet fighter jets, an early warning and control aircraft and an aerial refueling aircraft. He said they would be deployed in the coming days.

A task group of military advisers to assist Iraqi and other security forces fighting the militants would form part of the deployment but Abbott said he had not yet made the decision to commit troops to combat action.

"I have to warn the Australian people that should this preparation and deployment extend into combat operations, that this could go on for quite some time," he told reporters in the northern city of Darwin.

Abbott said Australia did not intend to operate in Syria.

Boxing Kangaroo

President Barack Obama would seek to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad if American planes were attacked upon entering Syrian air space, Peter Baker of The New York Times reports .

If Assad's troops fired at American planes entering Syrian airspace,  "Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system," Baker reports. "He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow, according to one account."

Is this because Assad is beheading children?

Obama: coward who takes easy shots at nearly-deposed dictators or a secret ISIS supporter?

You decide.

Trudeau is a moron but don't take my word for it:

The Liberal leader is loved and lauded, of course, by his own troops and their supporters and why not? Since he became leader in the middle of 2013, there have been more than 50 polls by several different firms using different methodologies. Except for two or three where the Liberals are in a statistical tie, Trudeau's Liberals lead in every single one.

Canadians keep telling pollsters they'll vote Liberal despite millions of dollars already spent by the Conservatives attacking Trudeau on radio, TV and the web, and despite Trudeau's propensity to say the darndest things sometimes.

Just last week, at Western University in London, Ont., Trudeau was explaining to students how he stood for a different kind of politics and, in the course of that explanation, had this puzzler: "We have to realize that the way of thinking that got us to this place no longer holds. We have to rethink elements as basic as space and time."

Canadians need to rethink the laws of physics?

While Harper can boast some significant achievements, Trudeau wants to bend time and space... or something.

Remember- there are people who want to put Trudeau (with his "irresponsible" sympathies) into the seat of power.

North Korea sentenced an American to six years of hard labor Sunday for allegedly entering the country illegally and trying to spy on the highly secretive state.

Matthew Miller, 24, of Bakersfield, Calif., has been held since April 10, when he entered North Korea as a tourist with a New Jersey-based tour company.

State news agency KCNA previously reported that Miller had torn up his tourist visa during his trip and said he wanted asylum.

At Sunday's 90-minute trial at the North Korean Supreme Court, the prosecution argued this was a ruse that Miller hoped would enable him to commit espionage against North Korea, the Associated Press reported from Pyongyang.

The court said Miller had admitted to having the "wild ambition" of experiencing prison life in order to carry out a secret investigation of North Korea's human rights situation, AP said. The prosecution alleged that Miller had claimed, falsely, that his iPad and iPod contained secret information about the U.S. military in South Korea.

Miller is the second of three U.S. citizens being detained in North Korea to be tried and jailed. 

Kenneth Bae, 45, a Korean-American missionary, is serving a 15-year sentence of hard labor in North Korea. Another U.S. tourist, Jeffrey Fowle, 56, a street repairs worker from Miamisburg, Ohio, still awaits trial for leaving a Bible at a seamen's club in May.

But then again, this information is coming from the North Koreans, so....

A very good point and a very compelling argument for dragging Kim Jong-Un through Sejong-no with a rusty meat hook:

There are compelling arguments from defectors that suggest it’s time to cut loose, no matter how Machiavellian that may seem. The growing suspicion is that food aid inhibits the population’s ability for self-determinism and profligates the regime’s control. In other words, while we pump $200,000,000 of food aid into the country, Kim Jong-un can spend the national budget on 4-D cinemas, water parks and, you guessed it, nuclear armament (though, that, too, is unfounded hearsay—the kind of scaremongering required to get people to take notice).

The detractors of aid argue that North Korea does not suffer from a lack of food because it can’t afford to import enough, rather, that it does so due to a systematic governmental plan of expenditure that excludes food. The government needs to adjust its own budgets before aid will be invigorated. This is almost certainly correct.

Worse still, the population suffers from dual mismanagement, first from the government and second by the WFP, whose hands are tied by the latter. There isn’t compelling evidence to suggest the aid even breaks the surface of the population. Due to the lack of transparency by the North Korean government, the vast majority of the money donated, for all we know, may have been thrown into a gigantic suitcase under Kim Jong-un’s bed. ...

In excess of 80% North Koreans do not eat enough. That’s 20 million people, or, to pick at random the major cities of countries that have provided very little food donations this past year, the populations of New York, London, Paris and Berlin combined.

And now, non-recipe recipes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Hey! It's Wednesday and you know what that means!

A First Nations group has declared sovereignty in Quebec:

The Atikamekw First Nation in Quebec has declared its sovereignty over 80,000 square kilometres of territory and says any development in that area must get its approval. 

Armed with a Supreme Court of Canada judgment recognizing ancestral rights for First Nations in British Columbia, the Atikamekw want to have their say on projects located in the Nitaskinan region.

That's nice. Let everyone know when you will man your own power plants.

All is fair in the land of internal Liberal politics and by fair I mean unfair:

Two members of a Liberal riding association in southwestern Ontario have quit in protest over what they say is the party’s failure to respect its pledge to hold open nominations.

“This goes explicitly against what [Justin Trudeau] has said in terms of free, open, transparent nominations. We’ve had something that was distinctly closed and very, very opaque,” said Bryan Kerman, who quit the board of the Brant riding association after 40 years as a Liberal.

And they expected something else?

That's what you get when you put your faith in a band of crooks, liars and congenital idiots.


ISIS is afraid of Kurdish women fighters:

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Loretta Lynn.

(Gracias, El Gordo)

News from the Korean Peninsula -

Impoverished states just don't do this unless they are getting help:

U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea is building a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles, potentially increasing the threat posed by the nuclear-armed rogue state.

Cynical but probably true:

Separately, South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission says “it plans to open a permanent exhibition hall on North Korea’s human rights conditions in an effort to raise public awareness about the issue.” That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that the opening date is scheduled for 2017, which should give South Korean’s left-wing parties, whose human rights policy can be summarized as “die in place,” plenty of time to cut funding for it.
Leftists suck no matter where they come from.


I wouldn't think so:

Analysts expect the shake-up of the Obama administration’s Korea policy-makers to bring about momentum in the long-stalled six-party talks.

But other Washington and Seoul sources indicate such anticipation may still be premature.

“In regard to North Korea, Washington’s tactic of strategic patience, the trend of ‘not doing anything,’ has not changed,” said a high-level diplomat here who has dealt with the six-party talks.

 No, it certainly has not changed. Putting in new faces will not create the illusion that something is being done.


Getting one's priorities straight:

Penn State has removed Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms after a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) accused the Bibles of advocating the killings of nonbelievers.

“The bible [sic] calls for killing nonbelievers, apostates, gays, ‘stubborn sons,’ and women who are not virgins on their wedding nights,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement last week. “What is obnoxious in a private hotel, however, becomes inappropriate and unconstitutional in state-run lodgings.”

This Penn State.

Horse crap by any other name:

A study published by professors at North Carolina State University claims that pressure put on mothers to cook nightly meals is elitist and stressful for working class families.

Published in late August, "The Joy of Cooking" reports the authors' findings after interviewing 150 mothers from diverse ethnic backgrounds over the past year-and-a-half. The professors also spent time shadowing 12 working-class and poor families.

According to the study, the heightened pressure from influential figures like Michael Pollan and Michelle Obama for families to sit down to healthier, home cooked meals on a nightly basis has become a source of stress for American mothers. The study refers to the message that "good mothers" cook for their families as "unrealistic."

Authors Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Bretton (a professor at Ithaca College) relay a number of anecdotes culled from their body of research. Interviewed women cited time, money, and picky children as obstacles.

"Romantic depictions of cooking assume that everyone has a home, that family members are home eating at the same time, and that kitchens and dining spaces are equipped and safe,” the authors write. “This is not necessarily the case for the families we met."

The study alleges that even in modern America, expectations for a home-cooked, nightly meal constitute a "widely promoted standard to which all mothers are held." The authors document the experience of Elaine, a married mother of one, who feels inadequate because she struggles to provide a relaxing dinner for her family despite her love of cooking and preparation on the weekends.

The study suggests various different solutions, including the advent of healthy food trucks, monthly town suppers, shifting society’s emphasis towards lunch, and schools offering to-go meals that families can heat up for dinner.

The study does not mention any families that were able to enjoy a nightly home-cooked meal without drama. It concludes that the resurgent emphasis on home cooking is "a tasty illusion, one that is moralistic, and rather elitist."

(Sidebar: it's supper. Everyone eats it and somebody - ie, Mum - has to make it. It's not hard. You can even teach older kids to do it. It's a healthy, time-honoured, realistic, practical, affordable thing to do. Really. I'm not making that part up.)

I wonder if this study was racialist in not including Third World mothers who would give anything to put food on the table for their children.

Gee, I guess First-World problems are more important.

And now, a bear saving a crow:

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

For A Tuesday

An enormous discovery has been made:

The key to unlocking the mystery of the missing Franklin Expedition came just days ago when a coast guard helicopter pilot spotted a dark U-shaped object in the Arctic snow the size of a man's forearm.

The time-ravaged, orange-brown hunk of metal, vaguely in the shape of a tuning fork, bore the markings of the Royal Navy. It was a davit — part of a lifting mechanism, likely for a lifeboat, for one of the two lost Franklin ships.

On Tuesday, the davit sat on display in Parks Canada's Ottawa laboratory, the only tangible link to one of the most enduring mysteries in both Arctic and Canadian history.

"That's the clue that tells you: look here. That's the flag," said John Geiger, president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Geiger was with the search team that finally confirmed the discovery of one of two lost ships from Sir John Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition.

The remarkable find completes one half of a puzzle that long ago captured the Victorian imagination and gave rise to many searches throughout the 19th century for Franklin and his crew.

I think any ad the Tories put out will be a positive one (if someone is upset that a former substitute drama teacher's feelings are hurt, they should address their concerns to someone who cares). Has anyone ever heard Justin Trudeau speak? He's an idiot and a vote troll. Even when the Fils is coherent, he blames Stephen Harper for everything. That might appeal to Liberal voters who clearly have no conscience or knowledge of the everyday workings of a country but to the regular taxpayer, that's a problem.

It's time for the average voter to step up his or her game. When a prospective voter claims Trudeau can balance the budget, point out how Trudeau claimed that budgets balance themselves. When it is claimed that Trudeau unites, ask then why he believes Quebec is better than the rest of Canada or why he trolls for votes in mosques with known links to terrorism.

Otherwise, Liberals will inflict this man on the rest of a country that stands on the global forefront and what a mess that will be!

There is a legal system in Canada, not a justice system:


By now, parents in British Columbia are well-versed in what’s on the negotiating table in that province’s ongoing teachers’ strike. 

They know that the union and the employers association are far apart on salaries, benefits, signing bonuses, class size and composition. 

One thing that’s not on the table is incentive pay for teachers.

According to a new Fraser Institute report, maybe it should be. 

In their report, released on Monday, the free-market think tank argues that tying teacher pay to student success would improve overall academic outcomes. 

The comprehensive report looks at 10 global cases where teachers’ pay is based primarily or solely based on improved student achievement.

One example offered by the authors is a pilot project in Little Rock Arkansas school district. In 2004/2005 and 2006/2007, teachers were given monthly bonuses based on a child’s level of improvement in given set of subject areas.  If a student improved by 4 per cent, for example, the teacher would received a bonus of US$50 for that one child. If a student improved by 15 per cent, the teacher would get a bonus of US$400. 

According to the report, student performance improved significantly in all three subjects assessed. 

"In Canada, close to three-fourths of private sector employees currently receive performance-based or variable pay, and 43% of those who do not receive this kind of compensation report they would be more productive if their pay were linked to performance goals. Yet there is a common misconception that incentive pay is simply unworkable in the teaching profession, in spite of its prevalence in the private school sector," notes Vicki Alger, the report’s author. 

"The evidence suggests that incentive pay programs, when properly designed and implemented, improve student performance even among the most disadvantaged student populations, and are more cost-effective than across-the-board pay raises and class-size reductions."

Canada’s teachers are paid strictly on their level of education and their seniority.

News on Malaysia Airlines flight 17:

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 broke apart over Ukraine due to impact from a large number of fragments, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday, in a report that Malaysia's prime minister and several experts said suggested it was shot down from the ground.

The crash over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on July 17 killed 298 people, two thirds of them from the Netherlands.

And now, know your groceries about Beatnik slang.