Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Fathers' Day

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Joachim, church of Saint-Alexis de Griesheim-près-Molsheim, Alsace, Bas-Rhin, France; by Ott Frères, 1914; photographed on 21 September 2016 by Ralph Hammann; swiped from Wikimedia Commons 


A happy Fathers' Day to all the dads who taught us how to swim, how to drive, how to make scrambled eggs and the importance of being good judges of character.



Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Night Special





 
Despite an all-night filibuster, the Tories end up with no account of how much the carbon tax will cost Canadians from the most "transparent" government in Canadian history:

After a 12-hour filibuster that lasted through the night, the Conservatives ended their voting marathon on Friday morning, announcing they’d used “every tool” they have to force the Liberals to reveal the cost of their federal carbon tax.

But the procedural tactic seems to have brought the Liberals no closer to releasing the documents the Conservatives are demanding. In fact, its only tangible effect has been to delay House of Commons debate on several pieces of legislation, including the Liberals’ cannabis legalization bill, which the Conservatives oppose.

Shortly after exhausted MPs streamed out of the House of Commons around 10 a.m. on Friday, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said he felt he’d made his point, despite the fact that the government hasn’t coughed up any new documents.

Well, no, because the Liberals will keep lying and obfuscating, but thanks for trying, Pierre.



Also:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, though, and his increasingly moody band of climate warriors, seems to be digging in his heels in defiance over the issue. The public will not appreciate learning that there is data out there from a 2015 document that they could be reading, but the Liberals are blocking its release.

This will only further suspicions about the tax. It’ll also help provincial leaders who want to free themselves from the yoke of Trudeau’s federally mandated carbon tax. Like Ontario Premier-designate Doug Ford, which brings us to death knell number two.

On Friday, Ford announced that his first priority is to eliminate the Liberals’ cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme. He plans to do it right away, when he reconvenes the legislature in a few weeks for a special summer session.


And:

Liberal MP Omar Alghabra is making a fool of himself on Twitter as the House of Commons goes through marathon votes, and is showing the truly disgusting and disgraceful divisiveness of his party.
He’s accusing the Conservatives of being Islamophobic for – wait for it – having marathon votes in the House of Commons to get the Liberals to reveal the cost of the carbon tax to Canadians.
Yet, because the vote is happening on Eid, an important religious day for Muslims, he’s trying to demonize the Conservatives.
But here’s where it gets more absurd: The timing of the votes was decided by – you guessed it – the Liberals. It was the Liberal House Leader who scheduled the timing of the vote.

(Sidebar: this Omar Alghabra.)


I'll wait for a Tory - any Tory - to hold this Israel-hating piece of crap to account but I shant hold my breath.




In Justin's eyes, terrorists are a protected class:

Global News Investigative Journalist Stewart Bell shared the disturbing info on Twitter – linking to a New York Times podcast discussing the fate of ISIS fighters:
“For Canadians, another deeply disturbing @rcallimachi podcast about a Toronto-area ISIS member, in which he expresses no remorse & a continued attachment to violent extremist ideology. And yet has not been arrested.” ...

Not even window-dressing from the most "transparent" government in the country's history.




Instead of "penning a letter", why don't you confront the pu$$y, Andy?:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to table a plan to immediately stop "queue jumping" by the ongoing influx of illegal border crossers.

Last week, Scheer and his Public Safety critic, Pierre Paul-Hus, visited Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., where the vast majority of irregular migrants have arrived this year after crossing the Canada-U.S. border through the now well-worn path at Roxham Road.

Scheer says he went to the site to witness first-hand the "epicentre of the crisis at our borders."

In his letter, Scheer says he also met this week with other immigrants and refugees who say friends and family who've applied to enter Canada through the regular channels are now waiting longer for their files to be processed "due to those jumping the line illegally."

He calls on Trudeau to table a plan to immediately stop what he calls "the queue-jumping and public safety crisis at our borders."

"Canadians are concerned, both about the safety issues this crisis has caused and with the unreasonable delays for those seeking to move to Canada who have followed the rules and now must wait longer," he wrote to Trudeau on Friday.
 
Justin can't run away forever, not even from allegations that he groped a reporter from a "lesser" newspaper, but I digress..




Oh, dear:

Michael Wernick, the clerk of the Privy Council and Canada’s most senior public servant, was at the Public Accounts committee on Tuesday to answer MPs’ questions about the opening chapter of the auditor general’s spring report.

Michael Ferguson, Fraser’s successor, prefaced the regular value-for-money audits with a chapter decrying the “incomprehensible failure” behind the Phoenix pay system debacle and other perceived systemic shortcomings in government.

He concluded there is an imbalance between political perspectives in government, necessarily short-term, and longer term public service perspective. The political side has become dominant over the past decades, as implementation of policy has been subverted to message and image management.

“The culture has created an obedient public service that fears mistakes and risks. Its ability to convey hard truths is eroded, as is the willingness to hear hard truths,” he concluded.

Precedent suggested the clerk would thank the auditor for punching his public servants in the face and promise they would mend their bureaucratic ways.

But he did not — setting up the most heated institutional tilt this country’s seen since the last prime minister started chirping at the chief justice.

Wernick called Ferguson’s opening chapter “an opinion piece” and said he took issue with its “sweeping generalizations.”

“It’s not supported by the evidence and does not provide any particular guidance on what to do to move forward,” he told the committee.

Far from being broken, he said the Canadian public service is “world class” and citizens should have confidence in its ability to deliver the government’s agenda.

Well, the system is clearly not "world-class" if the system is broken, hence the audit.

I'm sure Mr. Wernick would argue that the Titanic didn't sink because of a large iceberg but was just hidden in fog because the ship was unsinkable.


Also - another example of a system broken by elitist activists who answer to no one:

Societies governing the legal profession have the right to deny accreditation to a proposed law school at a Christian university in British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

In a pair of keenly anticipated decisions Friday, the high court said law societies in Ontario and British Columbia were entitled to ensure equal access to the bar, support diversity and prevent harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students.

The cases pitted two significant societal values — freedom of religion and promotion of equality — against one another.

Trinity Western University, a private post-secondary institution in Langley, B.C., was founded on evangelical Christian principles and requires students to adhere to a covenant allowing sexual intimacy only between a married man and woman.

Law societies overseeing the profession in Ontario and British Columbia say they would not license graduates from Trinity Western because the covenant amounts to discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario had upheld the rejection, while B.C.’s top court sided with the university.

In each case, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favour of the respective law society.
 
Canadians have to accept that nine people can determine what private institutions codes of conduct can be or they can fight it.

But Canadians don't fight, so ...




Emotionally and financially exhausted from having an apartheid system, Canadians let their opinions be known:

Sen. Lynn Beyak is applauding an online survey that suggests a majority of Canadians believe the government apologizes too much for residential schools and that Indigenous people should integrate more even if it means losing their culture.

The controversial senator was ousted from the Conservative caucus in January after she posted letters on her website supporting her defence of residential schools — but that hasn't silenced her on the subject.

She issued a press release Friday welcoming the results of an online survey from the Angus Reid Institute.

"It's refreshing to read an unbiased article and poll that truly reflects what Canadians believe will help our whole country move forward and prosper," Beyak wrote.



There is no money for what veterans need, or the military for that matter:

Canada has boosted the number of used Australian fighter jets it is purchasing to 25, but the deal still hinges on approval from the U.S. government.



No one ever says Italy:

Italy has suddenly become the latest battle front in Canada’s trade wars, with the country’s new agriculture minister declaring Thursday that his country will not ratify the Canada-European Union free trade accord, potentially threatening the 28-country deal.

“We will not ratify the free-trade treaty with Canada,” Gian Marco Centinaio told La Stampa newspaper. “Doubts about this deal are common among many of my European colleagues.”






The Germans have their work cut out for them:

A SUSPECTED Islamic extremist arrested in Cologne had succeeded in making ricin and was planning a “biological weapon attack” in Germany, prosecutors said yesterday (Thursday).

Sief Allah Hammami, a 29-year-old Tunisian, was held on Wednesday, along with his German wife, after police found large quantities of the deadly toxin in his apartment.

It is believed to be the first time Islamic extremists in Europe have succeeded in manufacturing ricin, which is one of deadliest biological agents known to man.



Pope Francis calls out abortion for the eugenics tool that it is:

Pope Francis denounced abortion on Saturday as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

Francis spoke off-the-cuff to a meeting of an Italian family association. The Vatican didn't immediately provide a transcript of his remarks, but the ANSA news agency and the SIR agency of the Italian bishops' conference quoted him as denouncing the pre-natal tests that can result in parents choosing to terminate a pregnancy if the fetus is malformed or suffering other problems.

"Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves," the agencies quoted Francis as saying.

The pope urged families to accept children "as God gives them to us."



Extremely disappointed by the agreement Trump signed with Kim Jong-Un, North Korean defectors and South Korean detractors of the agreement speak out:

Some North Korea defectors are feeling betrayed by U.S. President Donald Trump for his praise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting in Singapore, rather than confronting him about widespread human rights violations committed by the repressive government in Pyongyang.

At the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore on Tuesday President Trump called the North Korean leader a “terrific person” and “a great leader,” and that he cares greatly about the welfare of his people.
“He loves his people, not that I’m surprised by that, but he loves his people,” said Trump during an interview in Singapore with VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren.


Trump’s embrace of Kim in pursuit of denuclearization has left North Korean defectors and human rights advocates like Jung Gwang-il feeling abandoned.

Jung was among a group of defectors that met with the president in the White House after his State of the Union address, in which Trump called the Kim government a “depraved” and “cruel dictatorship.” Jung said Trump led the group to believe that he would confront the leadership in Pyongyang about the widespread abuses in the country. Now he feels let down.

“I was really disappointed. We trusted this big country, the United States, and we have been working on the North Korean human rights issue together until now, but now I am not sure if we can work together in the future,” said Jung, who is also a human rights activist with a group called No Chain.

More than 40 percent of North Korea's population of 24 million is undernourished and live in poverty according to the United Nations. The totalitarian state also restricts travel, prohibits outside information, strictly controls the media, and brutally suppresses dissent by imprisoning over 100,000 people in political prison camps, and possibly subjecting them to torture, rape, murder, according to a 2014 U.N. report that recommended the leadership in North Korea be prosecuted for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

**

What happened between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at Singapore last Tuesday was a sheer comedy. Kim. Jong Un was the landslide victor, and Trump looked as if he were brainwashed by Kim Jong Un. The South Korean rightists became complete losers while the leftists were collateral winners.

 International politics around the Korean Peninsula will be a game in which China will orbit 'Kim Jong Un + South Korean leftists' with the blessing of the U.S. endorsement. 

 Trump said "The Korea-U.S. joint military drill is a provocative act against North Korea" siding with the North's age long claim by 100 percent." "The CVID was not a central issue in this debate," he said. The reduction and withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea was initially said to have been out of discussion, but later he confessed he hoped to see the eventual withdrawal someday. 

 If the CVID was out of the question, then why would he have been making such a fuss about the talk with Kim Juing Un till now? Trump's all those sticks along with the carrots to North Korea hitherto have then meant nothing but a kind of stalking for the yearning of "Let's be in love".



Oh, this must be embarrassing:

Israel's foreign ministry reportedly raised questions in a recent classified report about President Trump's upbeat assessment of his Tuesday summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 
Axios reported Thursday that the Israeli report makes a point of noting that a brief document signed by Trump and Kim fails to commit the North to "full, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization," which has long been Washington's position.

Instead, the agreement calls for "complete denuclearization." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Wednesday, however, that the agreement still commits the North to the total nuclear disarmament demanded by the U.S.

The report from the Israeli foreign ministry also raised questions about Trump's decision to suspend joint military drills with South Korea after his meeting with Kim. 

The announcement marked a dramatic reversal from the United States's past rejection of China's "freeze-for-freeze" proposal, which called for an end to the military exercises in exchange for a cease to the North's weapons tests.

"Regardless of the smiles in the summit many in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Congress doubt that North Korea is sincere in its intentions," the Israeli report stated, according to Axios, which said it obtained a copy of the report. "Our assessment is that regardless of President Trump's statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road to real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow."


Slow? Perhaps non-existent.

 

(Kamsahamnida)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Mid-Week Post

Now, the rest of it ...



Pierre's son is terribly miffed that Trump made fun of him in front of everyone:

On Sunday, CBC invited CBC Ottawa Bureau Chief Rob Russo, actually quiet the fine journalist, to discuss Trump and his twitter tirade.

At 4:15 in the clip below, Russo starts to describe how the meeting, the bilateral between Trudeau and Trump is going so well that Trump waives his demand of a sunset clause. The Americans had been demanding that NAFTA expire and need to be reaffirmed every five years.

This is a bombshell that I have not heard elsewhere and quite frankly it seems to have escaped CBC how important this is.

I listened back to Trump’s news conference as he left the G7 and he said that he still wanted a sunset clause but left open the possibility of a longer timeline, said negotiations were going well and the two sides were close. ...

Trump reportedly left the meeting thinking he had made a deal with Trudeau and had made a gracious gesture. Then Trudeau came out and sounded like he was fighting in his news conference when asked about the sunset clause. ...

In Trump’s mind, the decision to waive the sunset clause had been a generous act of reconciliation. Yet Trudeau publicly denigrated him just to score political points with Canadians.

Trump was livid. He found it duplicitous and humiliating. Indeed, Kudlow claims Trump was even fretting that it made him look weak just as he was going to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

So, Trump’s team is not arguing that Trudeau said something new or different at the press conference. Their claim is that at the bilateral meeting everyone agreed to move on, but that Trudeau then cheated on the agreement. This was the trigger for Trump’s tweets.

So there's that.


Also, the supply management scheme has gone on long enough and benefits only a few.

To wit:


Canadians can’t even bring cheaper beer across provincialborders, so how can the government be promoting free trade around the world?

A while back, I wrote about an outrageous Supreme Court decision that “upheld an absurd fine imposed by New Brunswick against Gerard Comeau. Comeau’s ‘error’?  Buying cheap alcohol from another province. For that, Comeau was fined for ‘violating’ New Brunswick’s statist liquor monopoly, meaning he’ll have to pay money to the government in order to uphold a monopoly he already pays for through his taxes.”

The ruling was just the latest of many examples showing how Canada doesn’t have free trade between Canadian provinces.

In many cases, it’s easier for provinces to trade with US States or other countries than it is to trade province to province.

And yet, even as we lack free trade within our own country, the government is posturing about supporting free trade around the world.

While much of the foreign press hasn’t pointed out the hypocrisy, here in Canada we need to ask why our country is focused on ‘free trade’ with other nations when we can’t even trade freely at home?

Internal trade barriers take money out of the pockets of Canadians, and weaken our domestic economy. Ironically, this makes us much more reliant on foreign trade, which makes us far more vulnerable to other countries.


** 


Supply management limits production on dairy, eggs and poultry.

Defenders of the system say it keeps markets from getting saturated, keeps prices stable and ensures a steady income for farmers.

In other words, it is price fixing.

It can easily be compared to the scandal grocery stores got themselves embroiled in after they got caught fixing bread prices.

Why do we think price fixing by grocery stores is bad, but just fine when it’s done by the government and farmers? ...

Public policy think tank Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) reported: “”Supply management disproportionately hurts the poorest Canadians,” explains Mario Dumais, associate researcher at the MEI and former economist for the Union des producteurs agricoles. “This system imposes an additional cost of $339 a year on the poorest households. As a proportion of income, this represents a negative impact that is five times greater than for rich households. This policy is therefore heavily regressive.”

Economists Ryan Cardwell, Chad Lawley and Di Xiang at the University of Manitoba determined those numbers when they studied the impact of supply management on households.

In their report Milked and Feathered: The Regressive Welfare Effects of Canada’s Supply Management Regime, Cardwell concluded that it is “… notable that all three national political parties staunchly support a system that impedes access to healthy foods, particularly for poor consumers. 

Such a policy counteracts poverty-reduction measures and healthy-eating initiatives that are undertaken by various levels of government.”

Mark Milke is author of Tax me I’m Canadian: A Taxpayer’s Guide to Your Money and How Politicians Spend It. In a piece in Maclean’s he took Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to task for supporting supply management.

(Sidebar: this Andrew Scheer.)

“Supply management is a relic of 1930s Soviet central planning influenced by Karl Marx,” Milke wrote.

“It never should have been introduced into Canada. So let’s call supply management what it is: Marxist economics applied to dairy cows.”

**



Support for supply management is a difficult issue to poll, largely because the Canadian public has only the dimmest awareness of the status quo. Yet judged by their actions, culture and temperament, it does strain credibility to believe that there exists a broad-based constituency in favor of paying more for a basic staple in order to further benefit a province already widely resented for its coddling by Ottawa.

Yet this is the trade-war hill that Trudeau has chosen to die on. He has alienated the entire western half of his country through bungled oil and pipeline policies, and now his path to a second term in next year’s election seems increasingly tied to maintaining the goodwill of Quebec.

Americans do not have spotless hands when it comes to using unfair measures to protect their own sacred industries, yet it’s a myth to believe Canada has ever had much interest in running hard in the opposite direction, and embracing the sort of unqualified economic integration with the United States equivalent to that enjoyed among member nations of the European Union, or one American state to another.


Justin can score some points from this but only for a while. 

No one applauds a Grabby-Sam who has tanked another industry and another trade deal. 




Also in "weakling government" news:


Over five weeks, the British submarine HMS Trenchant travelled beneath — and broke through — Beaufort Sea ice alongside two U.S. submarines. 

It was there as part of the Arctic and Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018, a U.S. Navy submarine arctic warfare exercise involving U.S., Canadian and British armed forces.

Taking place about 200 kilometres off the Alaskan coast in the Beaufort Sea, the exercise was designed, in part, for the U.S. Navy to practise and test the operational and tactical capabilities of its submarines under ice. ...

The Royal Canadian Navy, however, cannot make the same claim about its submarines.

Canada's fleet of submarines, bought 20 years ago from the British Royal Navy, didn't join the latest ICEX operation. The Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Windsor, Victoria, Chicoutimi and Corner Brook aren't designed for those kinds of under-ice uses. 

Unlike their nuclear counterparts, Canadian submarines are limited to open water and near-ice-edge operations, an acknowledged concession due to budgetary realities. This is in part because they're diesel powered boats, and must come up for air periodically.

Both the U.S.and British navies have nuclear-powered submarines with the capacity to stay underwater for as long as a crew's food supply lasts. They can confidently travel under arctic ice.

Still, the Royal Canadian Navy has been involved in ICEX since 2011, according to naval communications adviser, Jennifer St. Germain. This year, Canada offered a "modest contribution" to ICEX 2018, sending "a naval communicator to support the exercises." That's one Canadian among a sea of many U.S. Navy and Royal Navy personnel.

** 

The overwhelming number shows that many people see a need for Canada to have a stronger national defence.

While some have claimed that Canada is “too big to defend” and we “can’t afford a strong military,” that is totally incorrect.

Russia has about twice the landmass of Canada, and their GDP is $1.28 trillion, while Canada’s GDP is $1.53 trillion.


So, we have less land to defend than Russia, and we have a bigger economy from which to fund our military. And Russia is widely seen as having either the second best or third best military on earth after the United States and (possibly) China.

That means Canada clearly has the capability to have a top-tier military.

The issue is simply that we don’t spend much on it. That is a political choice, not an unavoidable reality. We spend about 1% of GDP on our military – which is towards the lower end of our NATO allies.

By contrast, Russia spends 4.3%, the US spends 3.1%, and other top spenders like China and Saudi Arabia spend 1.9% and 10% respectively.

So, if Canada brought our military spending up to 2.5% or 3% of GDP we would have a very respectable military capable of defending our country. And while that would be somewhat expensive, building up our military would create so many jobs and generate so much investment that it would help grow our economy dramatically.



The Trudeau Liberals are seeking to weaken Canada’s anti-terror laws.

In a 168-125 vote, the Liberals approved legislation that will make it more difficult for Canada’s security agencies to disrupt terror plots.

The original anti-terror laws had been passed by the Conservative government in the wake of the radical Islamist attack on Parliament Hill.


Also:

Surprising the opposition, Liberals in the Commons passed a strongly-worded Conservative motion condemning the Iranian regime on Tuesday.

The move saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and much of his caucus rise to agree to “strongly condemn the current regime in Iran,” to call on the government to “abandon its current plan and immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions” to restore diplomatic relations, and to immediately list a branch of Iran’s military as a terrorist entity under Canada’s Criminal Code — an action that not even the United States has taken.

It's almost like Justin was thinking how much supporting Iran would cost him politically.




A stoned electorate is easy to manage:

The federal government is rejecting several Senate changes to its cannabis legalization bill, setting the stage for a possible showdown between the Senate and the House of Commons.

The Senate has proposed 46 amendments to The Cannabis Act, and while the government is accepting some of them, it is passing on several major ones.

According to the House's order paper, the changes the government plans to reject include:
- Affirming the provinces' right to ban home cultivation of marijuana.

- Banning branded promotional items such as T-shirts and hats that display logos of marijuana producers.
- Establishing a public registry of all cannabis companies' directors, officers, controlling parent corporations or trusts, and their directors, members and shareholders.

The House still has to debate and vote on the plan in the coming days. Then C-45 will return to the Senate, where senators will have to decide whether to give up their fight to make these changes.
While precedent suggests the Senate will go along with what the elected House of Commons decides, some senators have suggested they might not be prepared to back down this time.



I hope that she wins:

Lindsay Shepherd, the teaching assistant who rose to prominence after she was controversially disciplined for showing her class part of a TVOntario program on gender-neutral pronouns, is suing Wilfrid Laurier University, two professors, and a manager of the school’s Diversity and Equity Office.

She claims harassment, intentional infliction of nervous shock, negligence, and constructive dismissal. The “attacks” on her “have rendered her unemployable in academia,” she claims, and forced her to abandon her career plans for further graduate study and teaching.

The statement of claim, which seeks $3.6 million, was filed Tuesday in Waterloo, Ont., and as yet no statements of defence have been filed.



An Indian chess player refuses to wear a head scarf in Iran:

A female Indian chess player said Wednesday she has decided to not participate in an Asian championship being held in Iran next month because she could not comply with an Iranian rule requiring women participants to wear a headscarf.

Soumya Swaminathan, a former world junior girls champion, said she found the Iranian law to be in direct violation of her rights and the only way to protest that was to not go to Iran.



Oh, dear:

Saskatchewan RCMP say they are preparing to talk to Crown prosecutors about potential charges in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, but they can’t say exactly when that will happen.

Police say they are still investigating the April 6 collision. They have previously said that a semi-trailer unit was in a rural Saskatchewan intersection when the truck and the junior hockey team’s bus collided while the Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin.

“We’re still working through a number of reports, data, interview material for the investigation,” Supt. Derek Williams said Tuesday. “We are just waiting for some expert reports to be completed and peer reviewed so we can have a good discussion with our provincial Crown prosecution team here in the province.”

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 players were injured. The driver of the semi-trailer was not hurt. He was taken into custody immediately after the collision and released later that evening.




And now, a dog eating watermelon. Enjoy:





Ontario: Where Bad Liberals Go to Die

I could not resist.



If there is a bright spot to Doug Ford's betrayal of Tanya Granic Allan, it is that he is getting right on dismantling Kathleen Wynne's legacy of waste and corruption:

Ontario’s incoming premier is meeting with his transition team as the Progressive Conservatives prepare to return to power in the province for the first time in 15 years.

A spokesman for premier-designate Doug Ford says he is taking part in briefings Monday on how to implement his plan for the province.

The Tories won a majority government in last week’s election and Ford has said he expects the transition to power to take three weeks.

The 76 Progressive Conservatives elected to the legislature will meet on June 19 for their first caucus meeting.

The province’s outgoing Liberal premier, Kathleen Wynne, will officially hand over the reins to Ford on June 29.

The Liberals have also begun the process of searching for someone to succeed Wynne on an interim basis after she stepped down as party leader on election night. She is, however, staying on as a legislator.

(Sidebar: BOO!)

**

A spokesman for Doug Ford says Ontario's incoming premier is determined to deliver on his campaign promise to scrap the "disastrous" cap-and-trade system and fight a federal carbon tax.

Ford's pledge is causing concern in Quebec, a province that introduced a cap-and-trade system in 2013 and shares a carbon market with Ontario and California.



No, Liberals don't learn from their mistakes because they don't believe that they've made any:

The first campaign lesson is that there is a desire by voters for plain language. Plain communication by Ford won him the leadership and won him the election.

The endless conversation of nonsense language from our governing Liberals will not win the next election. Gender neutral pronoun nonsense from Justin Trudeau will not win votes.

Wynne sounded like a deputy minister in the debates and during the campaign.

Contrasted with Ford’s simple communication, voters had an easy choice.

Yes, a 10-cent tax cut on gas is a simple bumper sticker slogan. It is also easy to understand and was a timely and strategic decision regardless of the cost.

Ford spoke “English” while Wynne spoke “Government.” Voters understand the first and doze off at the latter.

By "government", I am sure the columnist meant "lies", but whatever.



The Hermit Kingdom

 


What happens if you pull down
Beams and supports?
A host of opinions greet the leaning skeleton house.
Carpenters 
with rulers and ink keep milling around.

(Chong Chol)



Like the court of King Seonjo in great disarray after the Japanese invasions of 1592, so, too, is everyone else after Trump's dramatic walking-back from challenging the now-American legitimised North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un, to signing a vague peace agreement that is sure to collapse at some point in the future, as so many others have done.

While it should be plain by now that China nor its vassal state can ever be trusted, those precedents have been ignored for a cheap victory (for lack of a better term).


From the agreement:

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
  1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

These vagaries are not reassuring and have been exploited in the past by North Korea.

When will Kim denuclearise? Does that mean even the nuclear facilities in North Korea (of which there are many)? :

Diplomacy will not disarm a regime that remains constitutionally mendacious, opaque, and hostile. Until that changes, the prospects for productive negotiations with Pyongyang approach zero. To change this, we must enforce sanctions strictly enough, and challenge its propaganda enough in the eyes of the Korean people, to bankrupt Pyongyang’s bodyguard of lies and fracture the walls it builds around its guilty secrets. Some of the members who voted for those conditions are now going wobbly on holding the North Koreans to the conditions in the law. But going wobbly on important principles is just the sort of display of weakness what shows Pyongyang that it can get away with violating any standard that obstructs its ambitions. Ultimately, that’s what got us where we are now.

Why demand steady progress on improving the conditions in its prison camps? Because verification isn’t just about where food aid monitors and weapons inspectors are allowed to go, such as the vast area to the immediate east of North Korea’s nuclear test site. It isn’t just about the uranium-smeared documents Pyongyang hands over. It’s also about what prisoners, military officers, and nuclear scientists are afraid to tell us about where to look and what to look for.

That is also not in the agreement.


Kim does have the reassurance that there will no longer be American-Korean military drills on the peninsula:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday rocked a region and suggested the upending of decades of U.S. defence posture on the Korean Peninsula when he announced that he was stopping annual U.S.-South Korean military drills and wants to remove the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South as a deterrent against North Korean attack.

China must be thrilled.


It is highly doubtful that Kim's many gulags will be scrutinised and shut down, not that it is a concern for the man who signed this agreement and even used the plight of North Korean defectors to affect it.

To wit:

President Trump said that the sufferings of the young US student Otto Warmbier had been a factor that moved him to seek the meeting with Chairman Kim. I acknowledge that suffering and it calls out for a transparent response. But so does the suffering of the tens and hundreds and thousands of North Koreans, South Koreans and Japanese who have no one to speak for them, except the United Nations human rights inquiry. The summit in Singapore has ended with bilateral commitments. But a commitment on human rights is nowhere to be found. And statements were varying in subsequent media briefings. If that card was not played in Singapore, the prospects that it will be played successfully at a later stage look grim.

**

The discussion of trust came after Stephanopoulos asked the president: “What other kinds of security guarantees did you offer?” Trump responded that he did not want to offer specifics, but “He’s going to be happy. His country does love him — his people, you see [ABC makes a mid-sentence edit] the fervor, they have a great fervor.”

(Sidebar: this kind of talk makes that puppet Stephanopoulos look credible. Ugh.)


Kim's countrymen love him?

What's not to love? :

A North Korean defector has spoken about the horrific human right violations she says she witnessed in the state’s prison camps — including starved prisoners fed to dogs.

Speaking at the UN Monday, Ji Hyeon A described how she was forced to have an abortion when she was three months pregnant. She pleaded with the world to take action.

This agreement is a political and moral failure that will only hurt Trump in the end. No one will care how many jobs he created or how many times he made that mincing son of Pierre cry when the Chinese-backed North Korean regime resumes its nuclear program and works its people to death.



Also - one really shouldn't expect anything from the fluff-headed, iron-fisted cocooned academics so moved by the illusion of North Korean glasnost but they might be embarrassed when these professors defect:

For the eighth year in a row, six North Korean university professors will arrive next month to take part in a one-of-a-kind six-month immersion program that exposes them to courses in business, trade, economics and finance, plus field trips that give them a taste of Canadian culture.

Professor Kyung-Ae Park, who has been quietly running the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program since 2011 and frequently travels to Pyongyang, told the National Post that if the Trump-Kim summit went well, it would be her hope to expand the program to include not just North Korean professors but also bureaucrats and policy experts.

“If the summit goes well and some of the sanctions are relaxed, then I hope we could initiate this — diversifying the participants,” Park said.



(Kamsahamnida)


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Post




Before one can comment on Trump's insistence that Justin dismantle the supply management system, such as one sees in the dairy industry, one has to define it and illustrate why it is unpalatable to most.


In the case of the dairy industry, farmers collectively set the price for milk and other dairy products and produce accordingly. Quite simply, it is not the market, or consumers, if one wills, that sets the price but a handful of people, a practice in some countries that has either been done away with or reduced. This reduces the market size and traps the Canadian consumer in a monopoly.


While Justin could have brought up American protectionism, he instead acted like a snivelling coward and talked about Trump behind his back but with an audience that might attest to his braggadocio:



It was weaselly, self-serving and does not project an appearance of self-confidence, strength or interest in the Canadian people and economy, interests that could hardly matter to an heir of a great fortune.

It is this behaviour that Justin will use to prove that he is defending Canadian interests, not hiding his ignorance of the supply management system and his failure as a negotiator.

Oh, look - everyone is ignoring Justin. (here)


Also - no one cares about "gender studies" and Justin's panty-twitching and it's high time that someone said it:

A tardy Donald Trump created a distraction Saturday when he showed up late for a G7 meeting on women’s empowerment.

The U.S. president arrived several minutes after the start of the breakfast meeting between G7 leaders and the gender equality advisory council that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created for this year’s summit in the Charlevoix region of Quebec.

Trump missed Trudeau’s introductory statement at the meeting and entered the room while council co-chair Isabelle Hudon, who is Canada’s ambassador to France, was speaking.

His arrival was impossible to miss as security personnel had to open a path for Trump through a mob of journalists, many of whom were holding large cameras.

Trump stopped at the edge of the room and flashed a big smile in Trudeau’s direction before continuing to his seat.


And - that's not what you said before, Justin:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a U.S. demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact.

I'm sure someone explained things to him.



And - there is no money for veterans:

The Trudeau government announced at the G7 summit that it has raised more than $3.8 billion in an effort with other countries to send the world's poorest girls to school.

Virtue-signalling at its most expensive.

The wealthy white Laurentians would wet their shorts at the very thought of a successful African women's economic collective that didn't need "reproductive health" cash.



Hoisted by their own petard, as it were:

Doug Ford won the Ontario election on Google and Facebook, and was never in any danger of losing — despite what some public polls indicated, says one of his top campaign organizers.

The Progressive Conservative leader appeared for a brief encounter with the media Friday after capturing a majority government the day before, the party’s first Ontario election win in almost 20 years.

His adviser — speaking on condition of anonymity — offered fascinating insights into how that happened, and the importance to the victory of digital warfare.

Elections until recently were fought largely in the news media and with television advertising. But the PCs this time relied on “literally thousands” of online ads they produced inexpensively in-house, the campaign official said. With the ability to target specific demographic and geographic groups through Facebook and Google, those internet spots proved more important than any traditional media, the campaign official said.

The targeting was so precise, “a husband and a wife should not be seeing the same ads,” the organizer said.

And monitoring data suggest the Tories “crushed” the other parties in terms of the volume of their online advertising viewed by Ontario voters, he said.

The Canadian popular press has learned nothing from the American experience where it was predicted the vitriolic Hillary Clinton would ascend to the presidency handily.

Oops.

The popular press is not as influential as once it was. Social media allowed millions of disaffected voters to air their views (yes, millions), very few of which were complementary to the Liberals.


Speaking of whom:

Kathleen Wynne, who stepped down as Liberal leader after the party's dramatic downfall, said she hopes premier-designate Doug Ford will change the rules to grant the designation, which currently requires eight seats in the legislature.

"I think it's important," she said. "I hope that Mr. Ford will agree."

Don't do it, Doug. Finish the b!#ch. Finish them all.

Here is one (out of many) reason why:

The Ontario PC Party led by Doug Ford was very clear in the election: They would repeal cap-and-trade and fight against the hated carbon tax.

Doug Ford repeated it over and over and over again, and all PC candidates ran on that idea.
Knowing this, the voters of Ontario gave the PCs a massive majority government, and a clear mandate to implement their Plan For The People – including scrapping the carbon tax.
But now, instead of listening to the will of Ontario voters, the Trudeau government is arrogantly planning to impose the carbon tax anyway.
As reported by the Toronto (Red) Star – who tried taking down Ford but failed miserably – Liberal parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna Jonathan Wilkinson “told the Star the government wants to work with the incoming Ford administration on carbon pricing. But if Ford scraps Ontario’s existing system, as promised, Ottawa is prepared to impose one. “We need to move forward, and the Government of Canada intends to move forward,” Wilkinson said.”


Finish the b@$#@rds. Finish everyone of them off. Scorch the earth where they stood:






Now, this makes a little more sense:

President Donald Trump said Saturday he has “a clear objective” for his upcoming nuclear summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, though he acknowledged that potential progress “will always be spur of the moment.”

He described the meeting set for Tuesday in Singapore as a “one-time shot” for Kim and characterized it as a “mission of peace,” speaking shortly before he left a Group of Seven summit in Canada to fly to Asia.
 
Perhaps Trump is anticipating a repeat of decades of North Korean treachery.

One hopes he is, anyway.


Also - if human rights are not on the table, then Trump's previous disparagement of the Kim regime will ring hollow:

U.S. admission of North Korean refugees has almost ground to a halt since President Donald Trump took office because of his administration’s efforts to increase vetting of overseas arrivals.

**

Early in the reign of North Korea’s current supreme leader, merchant Kim Young-hee shared a flea-infested prison cell for a year with more than two dozen other women, enduring regular whippings from guards. Her crime was helping her sister’s child flee one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships.

There is no reason to make Kim prosperous while this occurs.



Was it something they said? :

THE Austrian government is to order the closure of seven mosques and expel up to 60 imams in a crackdown on political Islam and Turkish nationalism, it announced yesterday (Friday).

“Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,” Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, said. Six of the seven mosques are being closed on suspicion of links to Islamic extremism. They are run by the Arab Religious Community, which the government has also ordered to be shut down.

The seventh mosque is to be closed on suspicion of links to the Grey Wolves, a far-Right Turkish nationalist group.

The move comes after images emerged earlier this year of children as young as four being made to wear Turkish army uniforms and salute the Turkish flag inside the mosque in Vienna’s Favoriten district.



Another reason why the popular press must be treated with contempt:
 
Jeff Amyx, a Baptist minister and owner of Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies, originally posted the sign in 2015 when SCOTUS ruled to permit same-sex marriage across the country.
Amyx claims that gay and lesbian couples are against his religion.

Following the ensuing backlash, Amyx took the “No Gays Allowed” sign down and replaced it with a sign reading, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion,” according to USA Today.

Try reading the sign, Yahoo.

No, it does not follow that the poor, put-upon homosexuals in the United States will be excluded after the Supreme Court's decision to defend a baker's right not to cater a gay wedding. Only a self-absorbed, mentally ill, attention-seeking ambulance-chaser would think such a thing.