Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Freakout

Freaking out festively...

Wondering what to serve for Christmas supper? Why not refer to this menu from 1660?

May was an English chef who trained in France and cooked for nobility throughout his life. In a section titled “A bill of fare for Christmas Day and how to set the meat in order,” May suggests 39 dishes split over two courses, plus oysters, oranges, lemons, and jellies for dessert. The menu is surprising not only because of its size, but because it contains so many proteins—there are 11 different types of birds alone—and not much else.

Or you can make these peppermint confections because why not? It's Christmas and it's comforting and delicious.

Or this gingerbread Borg cube. Royal icing is not futile.

Friday Post

Just before the week-end...

$10,000 was paid to delete e-mails relating to cancelled gas plants. It gets better, and by better I mean worse:

As the Liberals battled to contain the fallout from the gas-plant scandal, the top adviser to then-premier Dalton McGuinty sent a detailed memo to senior aides on how to delete e-mails and ensure they could not be retrieved.
Later, the government billed taxpayers $10,000 to pay the husband of a top party official to wipe computer hard drives in Mr. McGuinty’s office.

I'll reiterate:

Later, the government billed taxpayers $10,000 to pay the husband of a top party official to wipe computer hard drives in Mr. McGuinty’s office.

This is the government that Ontario Liberal voters wanted. It was no secret before the election that not only did Ontario Liberal cancel gas plants at great cost but also had any evidence deleted. Now that it has been established that taxpayer money was used for this fraud, it makes the crime and its shocking lack of consequences all the more galling.

To make things clear, nothing changes for the Cuban people:

The U.S. bailout of the Castro regime could not come at a better time. Venezuelan oil becomes cheaper by the day and the future of the Maduro regime less certain. With a more organized pro-democracy opposition in Cuba, the Castros also need more resources to continue their record setting number of political arrests. Opening up to U.S. business and travel is also more secure than ever for the Castro regime after having mastered the art of profit and repression without threatening their grip on power.

Since it remains illegal in Cuba for foreigners to do business with anyone other than its state-owned monopolies, we should not expect Americans to be doing business with everyday Cubans anytime soon. Unfortunately that is one in a long list of concessions President Obama forgot to discuss with dictator Raul Castro.

This plot thickens even more than any Hollywood contrivance:

A previous report by Bloomberg said Sony execs altered the gory finale of The Interview, toning down the extent to which Kim Jong Un's head is exploded and set aflame. But the movie faced more problems than just Supreme Leader's immolation scene—Sony executives and distribution partners around the world were worried that the movie was too offensive, "desperately unfunny," and worst of all, starred James Franco.

Emails sent from UK Sony Pictures exec Peter Taylor to president of Sony Pictures Releasing International Steven O'Dell are particularly harsh, describing the comedy as a "misfire," "unfunny and repetitive," with "a level of realistic violence that would be shocking in a horror movie." Taylor holds one of the film's co-stars in particularly low regard: "James Franco proves once again that irritation is his strong suit which is a shame because the character could have been appealing and funny out of his hands."

At this point in the story (whatever it is at this stage), one points out freedom of speech, standing up to bullies, the unlikelihood that North Korea has a vast network of suicide-bombers, telling Obama to cram it (just do that anyway), it was alright to make movies about killing Bush, why not Kim Jong-Un? and so forth.

I say sit back and watch this comedy unfold. This farce could not have been written better.

(Paws up)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Look under the tree...

Danielle Smith, the leader of the Wild Rose party, now quits it and crosses over to the Conservative Party:

Premier Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith announced the unification of Alberta's conservatives as nine members of the Wildrose caucus were welcomed into the Progressive Conservative caucus Wednesday afternoon.

The PCs stated the party will continue to welcome Wildrose MLAs, of which there are five remaining.

"Throughout my public and political life, I have always believed conservatives should be united in bringing our common principles and combined energy to public service. Today, we once again represent the full diversity of voices and regions from across Alberta ─ north, south, urban and rural," the premier said around 4 p.m.
The MLAs who crossed the floor are: Danielle Smith (Highwood), Rob Anderson (Airdrie), Gary Bikman (Cardston-Taber-Warner), Rod Fox (Lacombe-Ponoka), Jason Hale (Strathmore-Brooks), Bruce McAllister (Chestermere-Rocky View), Blake Pedersen (Medicine Hat), Bruce Rowe (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills) and Jeff Wilson (Calgary-Shaw).

Smith resigned as Wildrose leader Wednesday morning and the caucuses agreed to unite under a set of aligned values and principles.

"When I became Wildrose leader more than five years ago, I did so with one singular objective in mind: to return to government the conservative values and principles that I had spent my life defending. Under Premier Prentice's strong leadership, I believe we can work together to lead Alberta with a renewed focus on the values and principles that we share," Smith said.

The whole point, one imagines, of starting a new party was to give disaffected voters another alternative. Smith's defection has let those voters down.

The ruble is at an all-time low:

The ruble was volatile in morning trading Wednesday despite the Russian Finance Ministry saying the beleaguered currency was “extremely undervalued” as it announced plans to start selling its excess foreign-exchange holdings. 

The currency USDRUB, -3.27%  dropped as much as 5% against the dollar shortly after the market opened, before it recovered to trade more than 5% stronger. In late morning, the ruble was trading around 68.50 a dollar, compared with 67.50 at the end of Tuesday. Oil prices CLF5, +0.11%  were slightly weaker.

The Finance Ministry said it “considers the ruble to be extremely undervalued and has started selling foreign currency from its balances on the market.”

It should also be noted that Putin has acquired quite a bit of gold.

Obama, while in his last two years in office, has warmed (not unpredictably) to the communist Cuban government:

In a move to wipe away one of the Cold War’s last vestiges, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced that the United States and Cuba will start talks on restoring full diplomatic relations for the first time in the half-century since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Americans voted in this communist twice. Can you believe it?

South Korea needs to get off its @$$, form an alliance with Japan to battle its over-reaching overlord, China (which backs North Korea, I might add) and not let the US (led by a communist) dictate what's what to it:

South Korea will not conduct maintenance of its new fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighters in Japan, a South Korean official said on Thursday, despite a new deal by the Pentagon to service the stealth jets in Asia.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday it chose both Japan and Australia to carry out heavy airframe maintenance for the jets in Asia, given the high cost of transporting jets across vast distances in the region.

Back-stabbing Hollywood is now apprehensive over releasing the movie, "The Interview", over fears of terrorism from the North Korean state:

The controversial comedy The Interview is scheduled for released on Christmas Day, but the threat of attacks on movie theatres that air the film have prompted several chains to scuttle their plans.
Including here in Canada.

Five major America theatre chains have already announced they will not play Sony’s The Interview. And Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment chain now says it will “postpone” showing the video until the perceived danger is gone.

"After careful consideration of this unprecedented and complex situation, Cineplex Entertainment … will postpone presentation of the Sony Pictures movie, The Interview,” reads a statement attributed to company vice-president Pat Marshall.

"Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their safety and security is our number one priority. We look forward to a time when this situation is resolved and those responsible are apprehended."

What. Ever.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For A Tuesday

Quickly now...

Katrina Dawson died shielding her pregnant friend (thus saving two lives) and Tori Johnson tried wresting the gun from Man Haron Monis.

In gratitude and remembrance for their noble and ultimate sacrifices, a race-monger has started a social media campaign that depends heavily on fawning over a paranoid mass and ultimately doesn't do any good at all:

My privilege is being born in and living in a western country with a decent income. My privilege is being ambiguous in my physicality; as it’s not easy to identify which ‘other’ I am, most people are hesitant to voice what they know to be racist-ass opinions around me. The discrimination and bigotry I experience is largely unconscious and insidious, and in fact not grounded in hate at all. I’m fortunate. Very fortunate. ...

I’m learning about hate because I am coming to hate you, white person. You have all the control, all the power, all the privilege...

(Sidebar: says the broad who is spewing this with impunity. Some powerlessness there.)

Another sad after-effect of terrorist attacks is that useless people like Tessa Kum with enormous and undeserved chips on their shoulders get platforms on which to coast while Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson go largely ignored.

Screw you, Tessa Kum. Go back to your "privileged" existence.

The Pakistani Taliban have murdered one hundred and forty-one people, most of whom were students:

In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school Tuesday and killed 141 people — almost all of them students — before government troops ended the siege. ...

A 14-year-old, Mehran Khan, said about 400 students were in the hall when the gunmen broke through the doors and started shooting. They shot one of the teachers in the head and then set her on fire and shouted "God is great!" as she screamed, added Khan, who survived by playing dead. 

I'm sure it has nothing to do with Islam.

Well, this must be really embarrassing:

Guests at call-in shows have generally come to expect dealing with the occasional angry caller, but things went to another level when the mother of two political pundits called in and asked them to clear the air before Christmas.

Brad and Dallas Woodhouse, brothers on opposing ends of the political spectrum, were put to task on a recent episode of 'Washington Journal' on C-SPAN.

"Oh God, it's Mom," groaned Dallas Woodhouse, upon recognizing the voice of the first caller on the line. Dallas quickly put his face in his hands as his brother came to grips with the reality of the situation.

"I'm you're mother," the woman, identified as Joy from North Carolina, said. "And I disagree that all families are like ours. I don't know many families that are fighting at Thanksgiving. I was very glad that this Thanksgiving was a year that you two were supposed to go to your in-laws. And I'm hoping you'll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas."

And a merry Hanukkah to all y'all.

No, All Religions AREN'T the Same

It is moral laziness and cowardice, as well complete intellectual abrogation to conclude that all religions are the same or similar in founding, rituals and tenets. Anyone who suggests or states such things exposes their non-existent mental rigour and spinelessness. It's the kind of reactionary huffing and puffing from the semi-literate Twitter masses, not the observations of one who has seen and studied how the world actually is. Until people have the wontons to actually inform themselves properly and be critical of offending cultures, this idiocy and its fatal effects will not go away.

When was the last time Pope Francis said:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued

Where in the Bible does it say "kill those who insult the prophet"?

Are there roving bands of Mormons hanging homosexuals in Tehran?

If all religions are the same, do monotheistic Sikhs believe in the same sets of gods the Hindus do?

How many rabbis were involved in the murder of one hundred and forty-one students and staff?

When the mental midgets of the day have an answer, I would really like to hear it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Post

At the start of the work-week...

Just after a sixteen hour siege at local cafe in Sydney where staff and customers were made to display a Shahada flag by an Iranian-born Islamist and where three people, the Islamist included, where killed, Australians (and Canadians) offer a display of naive and ultimately suicidal grovelling:

In the wake of the hostage-taking incident, a powerful online movement is capturing these moments of camaraderie. The hashtag #Illridewithyou has been trending on social media all day, after it was launched by an Australian who saw a Muslim woman remove her headscarf while riding public transit.

According to the Associated Press, Rachel Jacobs wrote on Facebook that she watched the woman remove her scarf, presumably out of a fear of repercussion, before running up to her and offering to walk with her.

The show of solidarity prompted a Twitter campaign in which people volunteered to stand with those in traditional Islamic dress who felt insecure in public.

And this is why Australia will be attacked again.

First of all, let's start with how Ibn Warraq has described the seventh-century emotional retardation that is the Islamist character:

Most important, Ibn Warraq  describes the “mind-set” of most Muslims as intolerant, self-pitying, stagnant, and trained to blame others for their own failures. He also sees the Muslim “mind-set” as akin to that of people trapped in totalitarian regimes. The need to control thought and to sacrifice individuality characterizes both Islamic and Marxist regimes. Thus, we understand the affinity that Western “leftists” have with reactionary Islamists. Ibn Warraq contrasts this with a Western “mind-set” which is built upon Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, scientific, and Enlightenment foundations and is characterized by intellectual curiosity, genuine interest in the “other,” a sense of irony, the ability to engage in self-criticism, and a concern with finding the truth.

Granted that a flurry of white shame (the inexcusable neurosis that makes weak-minded individuals susceptible to feelings of shame, self-loathing and the need to prove one's worthlessness to an ideological bully) intercepted the inevitable and unjustified cries of racism and "backlash" that never, ever seems to come even after fifteen people are arrested for plotting to behead innocent people, or after violent riots or after bombings that killed Australian tourists in Bali, it's still as sickeningly defeatist and for the unthinking tweeter, a chance to stroke one's ego by being a part of a social media happening without thinking of its origins or consequences. An articulate and rational response is always better than knee-jerk reactions.There is nothing articulate or rational about taking part in a social media campaign steeped in denial and ego-stroking. Want to be a part of a happening without even thinking about it? Send out a pointless hashtag. It's as fun as taking self-photographs near a hostage crisis.

There is nothing wrong with a sense of mistrust after repeated examples of xenophobia and violence. Remember- Australia bore Japan a cold animosity long after the war. If common geopolitical ground is hard to come by after seventy-four years of conflict and coddling occurs not twenty-four hours after a brutal terrorist attack, then this says volumes about not just Australian character but the character of any post-modern West citizen. Forgiveness occurs after the victim accepts what has happened to him and contrition occurs after the guilty party realises his moral error and makes amends. One cannot get an apology out of Monis; he's dead. Did anyone hear the Muslim community promise to root out extremism in their ranks? Is the Koran going to be re-interpreted? Will the Islamic world undergo fundamental changes other religions have undergone and that will make them adapt to a world where all humans are supposed to have worth, accept the consequences of their actions and inquire about their realities?


Instead, the pervading sense of white shame has prevented a much-needed shake-up of a community that cries 'victim' after yet another of their members commits an act of violence.

I wonder what the next hashtag will be? #Iknowthiskeepshappeningtousbutlet'sforgetallaboutit.

Flag of Australia.svg
Not an ISIS flag.

Moving on...

Well, this must be embarrassing:

Last week, NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Deron Williams donned "I CAN'T BREATHE" T-shirts in support of Michael Brown and Eric Garner — two unarmed black men killed by police over the summer. But now, a political activist who helped organize and produce some of the shirts says he regrets they were manufactured by a company that has long been accused of poor labor practices. ...

Skolnick obtained shirts from a store in Long Island City, whose owner confirmed in an interview that the shirts were manufactured by Gildan, a large Canada-based apparel company. 

According to pro-labor activists, Gildan has a poor record when it comes to respecting workers in its manufacturing plants in Haiti.


I know you meant well but she doesn't care:

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne got some direct feedback from a man in her neighbourhood following the auditor general's report last week that blamed Liberal policies for soaring electricity prices.

Wynne told the Economic Club of Canada today that she was in her local video store Saturday when another customer decided to offer some unsolicited advice.

She described him as a young father, and said he yelled from across the store: "Kathleen you've got to do better. You're wasting our money."

Wynne told the business audience that she figured the guy was having a bad day.

But she also said such interactions with the public remind her of why she got into politics in the first place: to create more jobs, more opportunities and a stronger economy.

(Sidebar: what a lying b!#ch.)

And neither do the people who voted for her.

And now, cats vs. Christmas trees: it's on!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Freakout

Festively freakout for the week-end...

Some mood music.

The feast days of Saints Lucy and Peter Cho.

Time to bake some Saint Lucia saffron buns.

This is awesome. These guinea pigs actually have an overpass:

Apparently they really know how to treat their rodents and entertain their patrons down in Kyushu. The other day we mentioned Nagasaki Bio Park, spotlighting their hot spring for capybara. Now, a Vine video has surfaced, taking us to the guinea pig area at the same zoo. The little critters get to “commute” from one play area to the other in an adorable single file line.


Friday Post

Just in time for the week-end...


The Canadian dollar closed lower Friday as data from China and an international forecast of weak demand for oil further depressed crude prices.

The loonie fell 0.33 of a cent to a 5 1/2 year low of 86.42 cents US.

January crude in New York lost another $2.14 to settle at a five-year low of US$57.81 a barrel after a report that China's factory output, although up 7.2 per cent in November for a year earlier, was down from October's 7.7 per cent growth rate and September's eight per cent rate.

China's economic growth slowed last quarter to a five-year low of 7.3 per cent, below the official full-year target of 7.5 per cent. China's leaders are try to steer the economy toward more sustainable expansion based on domestic consumption.

Also depressing prices was a revised 2015 forecast from the International Energy Agency. The IEA cut its forecast for global oil demand growth by 230,000 barrels per day to 900,000 barrels, citing lower expectations from oil-exporting countries.

Well, the Arab oil barons will drill no matter what, so there's that.

I guess it would be too much to ask for Canada to cut its ties with the paper dragon China and to have the Keystone Pipeline completed.

The only confrontation exists in Wynne's mind. She and McGuinty have run Ontario into the ground. That isn't Harper's fault:

In a letter to the Prime Minister Thursday, the Ontario Premier said the two should end their “confrontation” and meet for the first time in more than a year.

“That is too long a time between meetings of the Prime Minister and the Premier of Canada’s largest province, whose relationship should be one of collaboration, not confrontation,” she wrote.

 Whatever distracts the electorate from what a terrible job Wynne has done.

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi calls Albertans "hillbillies":

Calgary's mayor says a now-delayed Alberta government bill about gay-straight alliances in schools would have focused international attention on "what kind of hillbillies we are."

During a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Naheed Nenshi called the debate over Bill 10 "damaging and hateful."

Premier Jim Prentice put the legislation on hold last week, saying he wanted to hear more from all sides before proceeding with it.

Nenshi said the bill would have done nothing but reinforce negative stereotypes about the province.
(Sidebar: way to help push that slur, Naheed.)

While I'm sure Nenshi actually feels that way about Albertans in general, his calling them "hillbillies" is rather like calling one "racist" in the heat of an argument. What better way to stifle debate and corner one's opponent than characterise them as something ugly rather than- let's say- dispute the need for and the reasoning behind the contentious gay/straight groups in schools?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mid-Week Post

The middle of the week never looked so median...

Sikh Liberal party members quit the party after walking out on leader Justin Trudeau and his "star candidate":

In an embarrassing blow to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, a large group of Sikh Liberals in British Columbia is quitting the party, saying Trudeau is being "manipulated" by Sikhs under the banner of the World Sikh Organization.

It couldn't happen to nicer iron fist.

First of all, Justin Trudeau would court any vote, as he has done unapologetically with the Muslim vote. Secondly, political multiculturalism has created the monster of the ethnic vote. Political multiculturalism has been a useful "divide-and-conquer" tool for creating voter blocks and not just for the Liberal party (which loves this strategy). It's patronising and contrary to Canadian identity and interests but that matters little. It's a form of contempt on the politician's part and a deliberate wedge on the ethnic voter's part.

It will be relieving to see the strategy employed in this case blow up in the faces of all involved.

Bob Chiarelli is a douchebag:

An attempt to dispute key findings in the auditor’s annual report sparked calls for Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli to apologize and resign.

Chiarelli set off a firestorm after he suggested that the energy file was too complex for Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, the first female to hold that position and a former executive at Manitoba Hydro.

I don't think Chiarelli has contempt for Lysyk because she is a woman. I think he has contempt for her and all Ontarians because he is a Liberal and Liberals don't have empathy for the taxpayers the way regular people do.

Ipperwash residents plan on boycotting aboriginal businesses after capitulation by the leadership:

Some property owners in the Ipperwash Beach area say they plan to boycott First Nations businesses because they're angry the local band took down barriers that blocked vehicles from driving on the beach.

Members of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation tore down the 41-year-old, government-erected barriers last Friday.

Mark Lindsay and other beachfront residents in this southwestern Ontario community argue it infringes on their property rights because their deeds extend to the water's edge. ...

Provincial police were present when the barriers were removed.

Bressette has said the provincial government didn't consult the band when the barriers went up in 1973, noting the property falls under a treaty with his band. The barriers separate the beach and the boundary of Ipperwash Provincial Park, which is to be transferred back to the band.

Lambton Shores Coun. Gerry Rupke says the beach has never been subject to Native treaties or land claims since it was purchased as part of the Huron Tract Treaty in 1827.

While big, fat, washed-up liars persist in their self-sympathy tour, true victims of sexual violence go woefully overlooked:

ISIS have released a list of rules about how females slaves, women and children should be treated once captured by Jihadi warriors.

The rules, published by the Research and Fatwa Department of ISIS in a pamphlet on 3rd December, are written in the form of questions and answers and say, among other things, that it is “permissible” to have sexual intercourse with, beat and trade non-Muslim slaves, including young girls. ...

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, who translated the pamphlet, it was likely released in response to the public uproar about the kidnapping and treatment of the Yazidi women.

In the pamphlet, titled Su'al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab ("Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves"), ISIS justify capturing the women due to their unbelief in Islam. “Unbelieving [women] who were captured and brought into the abode of Islam are permissible to us."

According to the pamphlet, it’s ISIS members can have sex with the women, “Allah the almighty said: ‘[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame [Quran 23:5-6]’.”

This can occur as soon as a woman is captured: “If she is a virgin, [her master] can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, is she isn’t, her uterus must be purified.” A female captive cannot be sold, however, if she has been impregnated by her ‘owner’.

The pamphlet also details how a female slave can be beaten, but her face should not be hit. “It is permissible to beat the female slave as a form of disciplinary beating, but it is forbidden to beat for the purpose of achieving gratification or for torture. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face.”

One of the final questions asks what happens when a female slave runs away from her master. “A male or female slave running away is among the gravest of sins,” the pamphlet reads. Although it does not specify a punishment, it says that the woman will be “reprimanded [in such a way that] deters others like her from escaping."

In this light, it makes the recent revelations about the CIA (which Obama uses as fodder because he is a prick) seem rather paltry.

"Post-natal abortion" is actually infanticide:

But Udo Schuklenk, a Queen’s University philosophy professor, argues that in rare cases of severely impaired, deeply suffering newborns, actively causing death is morally acceptable, if still illegal in this country.

“The parents should be able to freely decide on what would amount to postnatal abortion,” he argues in a paper just published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Hey! Remember that slippery slope pro-lifers warned everyone about?

Iraqi Christians prepare for Christmas:

The Christians in Northern Iraq have set up a refugee tent tent for Jesus in refugee camp for this year.

On December 9th, 1965, CBS aired the very first showing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

It's time to re-live it:

A Christmas Gift for Kathleen Wynne

This Christmas, I would like to bestow upon the premier of Ontario this gift she and her party have worked so hard to burden on me and other Ontarians.


I know what you're thinking. You don't want it. You're probably thinking you don't deserve it but you do. In spades. In shovels. In backhoes. For all that you have done to the residents of the province you were gob-smackingly elected to lead, you deserve this $23,000 (and hopefully others will re-gift this, as well). I hope it crushes you as it crushes others.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

For A Tuesday

Quickly now....

Interesting. How much do workers in China and Bangladesh get?

Companies would be forced to justify why their prices are higher in Canada than in the United States or face naming and shaming under federal legislation introduced Tuesday — a move some critics called misguided.

Industry Minister James Moore said the aim is to protect Canadian consumers, not regulate prices.
"This unexplained difference in price between American and Canadian prices for the exact same product is frustrating," Moore said at a toy store.

"It's called geographic price discrimination. A more blunt way of putting it is to call it price gouging of consumers."

Under the Price Transparency Act, Canada's Competition Bureau would have the power to compel companies to explain their strategies and how they come by their Canadian prices.

made in china,santa

And I thought there would be safe environment in which to talk:

The union representing CBC employees is warning members that what they tell an investigator looking into the broadcaster's handling of workplace harassment allegations against Jian Ghomeshi could be used by management against them.

Some points from the auditor-general report on the sorry state of Ontario:

Provincial governments get to speed immigration applicants through the federal system if they see particular people they want, but it’s not clear Ontario is using its power wisely. “After seven years of operation, the program still lacks the necessary tools, including policies, procedures and training, to help program staff make consistent and sound decisions,” Lysyk reports. Among other things, there’s no system for checking whether someone admitted to Ontario without a specific job offer ends up being a net contributor to the province. ...

Lysyk confirmed two things that have already come out other ways: The province’s education ministry has been terrible at checking the conditions in even licensed, ministry-approved childcare facilities, and a loan the province gave to the government-sponsored “MaRS Discovery District” in downtown Toronto to build a new office tower was a bad idea.

A possible cure for Alzheimer's Disease?

Could the cure for Alzheimer’s be found in something as simple as boosting our brain’s own immune system? New research suggests that may just be the case.

A team of neuroscientists working out of Stanford University has discovered that the key to preserving normal brain function and preventing the onset of neurodegeneration may not lie with the nerve cells of the brain as many have thought until now. Instead, it may centre on keeping immune-like cells in the brain functioning at top speeds.

Called microglia, these specialized brain cells act like patrolling sentries that monitor their environment for suspicious activities and serving a number of vital functions, including neutralizing toxic debris and healing inflammation before it gets out of hand. They even neutralize invading bacteria and viruses before they can get a foothold.

During the aging process, microglia activity appears to go downhill thanks to a specific protein, called EP2, that coats all cell surfaces.

Now the Standford team has found – in their experiments with mice at least – that by blocking the action of this protein, it actually reinvigorates the microglia so that they can again seek out and destroy all the nerve-damaging substances it used to when the body was younger. So by clamping down on EP2, the researchers noticed that the IQ of their laboratory-based, Alzheimer-prone mice rose dramatically.