A lot going on ...
Today in "it's just money" news:
Today in "how could this go wrong?" news:
But ... but ... empathy!:
Today in "it's just money" news:
Supply management is not on the table in free trade talks with the United States and Mexico, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated in advance of a visit to P.E.I. Monday.Trudeau's visit includes time at Old Home Week, the provincial agricultural fair.In an interview with Laura Chapin on CBC's Island Morning, Trudeau renewed his pledge not to give up on existing supply management systems in agriculture, in particular citing the dairy industry."Absolutely not. I have said and I will continue to say, both to Canadians and Americans, including directly to President Trump that we are not going to get rid of supply management," he said."It is a system that works. It is a system that works for Canadians, it's a system that works for our agricultural producers, our dairy farmers. This is something we will continue to protect."
But it doesn't make things work for Canadians, you arrogant moron. It inflates the price of everyday goods all for the benefit of a handful of wealthy businessmen in Quebec.
Justin may have won the votes of these businessmen quite handily but any Canadian who agrees that consumers should be paying more for butter, cheese and milk deserves to go without.
But in the face of the fight with the Saudis, Trudeau and his team are bragging about a values based foreign policy.Don’t buy it.They not only were willing to do plenty of business with Saudi Arabia before this fight started on Twitter, they still are.The export permits for the light armoured vehicles that the Saudis are purchasing from General Dynamics of London, Ont., remain in place. I get it, cancelling that contract and telling Canadian families that their ability to earn a living has to be sacrificed is a tough call for a politician.We also continue to import boatloads of Saudi oil.Each day we bring in 75-85,000 barrels a day of oil from Saudi Arabia. According to both Saudi and Canadian officials, this will continue. We could have replaced that Saudi oil with Canadian oil if only the Energy East pipeline had been approved but Trudeau didn’t want to deal with protesters in Quebec.
But, you know - "values".
Without drawing any attention to the shift, Trump put NAFTA in the corner and began an entirely new bilateral trade discussion with Mexico. ...
Instead of following customary sequential steps: (1) waiting for endless NAFTA negotiations that can never be resolved; (2) and then announcing NAFTA withdrawal; (3) and then dealing with the political and financial backlash; (4) and then beginning bilateral trade discussions, etc. etc. Team Trump brilliantly and quietly strategized an end-around.
(Sidebar: an oldie, but a goody.)
Like father, like son, the old adage goes. It’s rarely been truer than in the case of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his son. Pierre was once asked for his views on democracy and communism, and stated that a one-party state would be the ideal government under certain conditions. That might sound familiar.
Added Pierre: “I wouldn’t be prepared to think I would be successful in arguing that (communism) for Canada at the present time. But such times might come, who knows?” Five decades later, here’s his son, Justin Trudeau: “You know, there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime.” ...
During the 15 years that Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, federal spending rose from 30 to 53 per cent of GDP. Huge public spending overheated the economy, resulting in runaway inflation. By 1981, Canada’s prime lending rate had reached an incredible 22 per cent. The inability to meet skyrocketing interest payments caused widespread corporate and personal bankruptcies.
Accessing risk capital was virtually impossible when government bonds were yielding 19 per cent. By the time he retired in 1984, national debt had grown by 700 per cent and Canada’s international debt rating had collapsed. Canada was transformed from one of the financially strongest countries in the world into an economic basket case. It would be two decades before tough fiscal discipline was able to overcome compounding interest payments and begin to reduce the country’s real-dollar debt.
Five decades later, son Justin has Canada on a similar path. After inheriting the Stephen Harper government’s zero-deficit balance sheet a little over two years ago, Trudeau’s budgeted 2017–18 deficit has rocketed to $18 billion, with continuing deficits forecast to add $117 billion to the national debt by 2023. That’s reason enough to worry, but the picture is certain to get much worse. Why? For the same reason that Pierre Trudeau’s deficits spiralled out of control: the imposition of ideologically socialist government policies on a capitalist free-market economy.
Political multiculturalism is a failure and it's about damn time someone in the House of Commons said so:
“Having people live among us who reject basic Western values such as freedom, equality, tolerance and openness doesn’t make us strong. People who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto don’t make our society strong.”
People are getting their under-shorties in an awful twist over Maxime Bernier's words but there is a stunning yet simple truth to them.
One cannot maintain that all cultures have something equally good to offer society or that they are equally good in their own way. Mistreatment of women and various minorities prove how demonstrably wrong that thinking is. Whatever inequalities exist in the West, the only region of the world that recognises the value of tolerance and freedom, people are at least able to live freely and redress any problems that affect them. Try being a Pakistani Christian who finds being beaten a trifle problematic.
Even the very idea of "multiculturalism" is a hollow one. People are fine with the idea when it does not entail actually learning anything about a culture and accepting it, flaws and all. Canadians' multiculturalism doesn't extend past a bowl of pho.
Furthermore, a fractured society with people who latch on to old hatreds, backward customs and refuse to learn a language that could ease and enrich their lives in a country they have been let into do not form alliances with others. How are people united when they are decidedly put apart?
If Canada is simply a repository for all things other than Canadian (like the very things that made us defeat the Nazi war machine, for example), why not join the US as the fifty-first state? If Canada has "no core identity", what does it matter where we end up?
Also - further reasons why political multiculturalism is an error:
Amid the controversy over Victoria removing a statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, there’s new scrutiny about something that received little attention at the time.In May, 2018 politicians dedicated a park in Winnipeg to Muhammad Ali Jinnah – the founder of Pakistan.So, this is where we are in 2018: The founder of Canada gets demonized by the elites and his statute is removed, while the politicians dedicate a park to the founder of a foreign country.
(Sidebar: this statue. When the Chinese erect a statue of their own choosing in its place, I doubt Big Aboriginal will be in a position to resist.)
Between the South's increasing adoption of international terms and the North's political sensitivity to some words, the growing language divide is complicating cooperation on a range of joint cultural and economic exchanges as ties between the neighbors improve.To counter the confusion and promote a feeling of unity, the South Korean government is working to restart an obscure academic project aimed at developing a common Korean language dictionary with the North.North and South Korea speak the same language based on the Hangeul alphabet, but after decades of division, only about 70 percent of words are mutually understood, according to some experts.
OR the South Koreans could let the North Koreans adapt to the twenty-first century but then who would control the words and, therefore, the language?
A heat wave in North Korea has led to rice, maize and other crops withering in the fields, “with potentially catastrophic effects,” the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Friday.The world’s largest disaster relief network warned of a risk of a “full-blown food security crisis” in the isolated country, where a famine in the mid-1990s killed up to 3 million people. It said the worrying situation had been exacerbated by international sanctions imposed due to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
A Japanese man has recently been taken into custody in North Korea, government officials said Saturday as Tokyo tried to obtain information on the case.
According to informed sources, the man, in his 30s, was visiting the communist regime on a package tour organized by a foreign tourist agency. He was in Nampo, a port town in the western part of the country, the source said.
Japanese officials are concerned his detention could affect negotiations on the long-running abduction issue, which concerns Japanese who were kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1970s and 80s. Five were returned several years ago after talks held under the administration of Junichiro Koizumi.
“North Korea may use the man it has held as a bargaining chip for negotiations with Japan,” an official said.
Today in "how could this go wrong?" news:
The Parole Board of Canada has continued day parole in British Columbia for the man known as the balaclava rapist for another six months while ruling out overnight leave privileges for now.
Larry Takahashi is serving three concurrent life sentences for multiple counts of rape, aggravated sexual assault and other attacks on 23 women in the Edmonton area in the 1970s and '80s, which he committed while wearing a balaclava.The 66-year-old was granted day parole in 2016 and the board has extended it several times, saying in its latest decision on Aug. 3 that he is seeing a psychiatrist, is following his release plan and continues his "slow and steady reintegration."However, it did not authorize overnight leave, saying Takahashi has limited community supports in his release area and caution must be exercised given the gravity of his offences.
An AIDS support worker in Saskatchewan says pipes should be more available to drug users if the province wants to reduce HIV rates that are among the highest in North America.
People who work to keep drug users in Ottawa safe are harshly criticizing the Ontario government's decision to halt approvals of overdose prevention sites.In a letter sent late Friday to local health integration networks and health units across the province, Roselle Martino, assistant deputy minister of the population and public health division, said the halting of the approval process was effective immediately.The decision means that for now, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will not give the green light to new overdose prevention sites and is officially pausing the process for sites that are not open yet.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office says she plans weekend talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on issues including the development of a contentious Baltic Sea natural gas pipeline.
Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday the two leaders will meet Saturday at the German government’s guest house outside Berlin.
The Nord Stream 2 project will add to an existing direct Russian-German pipeline, increasing the amount of natural gas Russia can send to central Europe skirting transit countries to Germany’s east.
Several eastern European countries object to the plan, which the United States also opposes.
Seibert says Germany’s position is it’s “important Ukraine retains a role as a transit country” for Russian gas.
PGW Defence Technologies of Winnipeg is the Canadian firm that will be selling sniper rifles to Ukraine’s military.
But ... but ... empathy!:
One of Singer’s goals, she wrote in a 2013 book about compassion training, was to “support the development of a more caring and sustainable society… With this book, we aspire to bring more attention to compassion in our society.”
But recently, the attention has focused on Singer’s lab in Leipzig, Germany – and what former colleagues say is a pattern of bullying and intimidation from one of the world’s foremost researchers on empathy.
The complaints – from eight current and former colleagues who told Science Magazine this month that the bad behavior dates back several years – painted a picture of a work environment so dire that the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Singer agreed to a year-long sabbatical to “cool down” the situation.