Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Mid-Week Post




The firestorm in Fort McMurray has gotten worse:

The "catastrophic" wildfire that has destroyed 1,600 homes and buildings in Fort McMurray, Alta., has now consumed more than 10,000 hectares, and is expected to rage out of control through the rest of the day.

At an update Wednesday afternoon, Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Danielle Larivee announced a province-wide state of emergency has been declared, a move that puts the battle against the fire and the subsequent recovery efforts in the hands of the government.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cut the wildfire budget by $15 million.

Carry on.




After the auditor-general's report that immigrants have scammed their way into citizenship, Minister of Immigration John McCallum has promised to use even more resources to shove in more migrants:

Talks with the military to provide assistance in bringing thousands more Syrian refugees to Canada are under way as the Liberal government appears to be spooling up efforts to make good on a promise to private sponsorship groups.



I suppose one should never under-estimate the moral depravity of others:

The Calgary police elder abuse unit is investigating after some rental-home tenants fled in the middle of the night, leaving a brain-damaged senior alone in the house without any food or water.

And now one knows why they are passing Soylent Green laws.




I think this fantastic idea should be run by the imams first:

Student Mika Schellenberg attended the school board meeting in Steinbach, Man., to ask trustees to update the division's diversity policies to better include LGBT people.

Come on. Take on a real challenge. Stop being a coward. It's easy to get a pat on the back by a bunch of schnooks. Of course schools will morph into some bizarre child-minding centre for anyone who claims to be bullied. Why not take on bullying where it really matters?


Because Mark Steyn:

Yet ultimately you can be either a gay-wedding society or a semi-Islamized society. By choosing both, the west will tear itself apart - and in the end it's the Islamic imperialists who have the less shaky relationship with "the very existence of external reality". What Marx called the internal contradictions of capitalism have nothing on those of "diversity".

Perhaps one should sit back and watch this particular train wreck. When tribes based on one's own trouser feelings are more important than basic academia, why not watch the barbarians remove the gates and get down to burning what is left of Western civilisation?


Also:

A North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday, putting the state on notice that it is in danger of being sued and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

The law, which also requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that conform to the sex on their birth certificate, has been broadly condemned by gay-rights groups, businesses and entertainers, some of whom have relocated offices or cancelled shows in the state. Several other states have proposed similar laws limiting LGBT protections in recent months.


What the law actually says:



Single-Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities. – Local boards of education shall require every multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility that is designated for student use to be designated for and used only by students based on their biological sex.

 (c) Accommodations  Permitted. – Nothing  in  this section  shall  prohibit  local  boards  of education  from  providing  accommodations  such  as  single occupancy bathroom  or changing facilities or controlled use of faculty facilities upon a request due to special circumstances, but in no event shall that accommodation result in the local boards of education allowing a student to use a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility designated under subsection (b) of this section for a sex other than the student’s biological sex.

Basically, there is no compulsion for a school to accommodate someone's unscientific fantasy.

I'm sure the majority will not be affected by this.




The Americans have voted for a showman:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign Tuesday, eliminating the biggest impediment to Donald Trump's march to the Republican nomination.

Good luck with that, Yanks.




I'm sure he does:

Sipping filtered city water to show it's again drinkable, President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to ride herd on leaders at all levels of government until every drop of water flowing into homes in Flint, Michigan, is safe to use.

A state of emergency was declared in January of this year.

Now Obama has the back of Flint proles residents.




Remember - it's all about the environment:

The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

Under the plan announced Wednesday, wind companies and other power providers could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said the proposal will "provide a path forward" for maintaining eagle populations while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source that's intended to ease global warming, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's energy plan.




What ships can't do, singers might:

China's military has dispatched ships and planes — even constructed new islands to assert its maritime claims. Now it's deploying a new set of tools to uphold Chinese sovereignty: Magicians, singers and actors.

Famed singer of patriotic anthems Song Zuying headlined a tour of China's man-made islands in the South China Sea's Spratly islands this week, underscoring Beijing's confidence in asserting its increasingly dominant position in the disputed region.

The performance, entitled "The People's Navy Advances," included songs, skits and magic tricks, part of a long tradition of the People's Liberation Army art troops putting on shows to entertain, promote ideological conformity and stir public pride in the military and ruling Communist Party.

Among the songs performed: "Ode to the South Sea Defenders," whose lyrics speak of "a troop of stout men with guns in their hands who battle the wind and fight the waves to guard the nation's door."

Look for the ruling in the next few weeks.




Albania detains sixteen Syrians who entered the country illegally:

Albanian police say they have detained 16 Syrians who had entered the country illegally.

A police statement Wednesday said the group that included nine children had come from the Idomeni shelter in Greece, taken a taxi and then walked 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) before entering Albania.

They were discovered by border police in the district of Devoll, near the Greek border.

Police said the group had aimed to cross into Serbia in order to reach Germany.




That's terrible. Christians and Yazidis were murdered and are still being murdered. How did that escape the UN's notice?

The U.N. humanitarian chief has told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured in indiscriminate attacks over the past 10 days in "the carnage in Aleppo."




Australians head to the polls on July 2nd:

Australia's election campaign will officially start soon with climate change policy and union corruption in the national building industry shaping into key battlegrounds for the July 2 poll.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday that he was likely to visit Governor-General Peter Cosgrove this weekend to lock down the date and officially start the election campaign.



And now, are you unsure what to celebrate in May? Worry no more:

MAY 22: NEIGHBOR DAY

This Rhode Island holiday just so happens to fall on the anniversary of the premiere of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1967.





Tuesday, May 03, 2016

For A Tuesday

Aaahhh, glorious May!

Residents of three more Fort McMurray neighbourhoods in northern Alberta were ordered from their homes Tuesday as crews battled a growing wildfire threatening the city.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo issued a mandatory evacuation notice as the 26-square-kilometre fire spread.

"Residents should evacuate to MacDonald Island Park," read the order sent on Twitter.

About 200 people previously told to leave their homes in a trailer park also remained on mandatory evacuation.



Yeah, I would be stuck on about a bald-faced lie, too:

Finance Minister Bill Morneau (link is external) evidently thinks Conservatives would do well to get past this "whole balanced budget thing."

Morneau made the remark in question period Monday, sparking an eruption of laughter and mock applause from the Tory benches.
- See more at: http://waterloofreepress.com/content/bill-morneau-tories-still-stuck-whole-balanced-budget-thing#sthash.cl5EOJDX.dpuf


Finance Minister Bill Morneau evidently thinks Conservatives would do well to get past this "whole balanced budget thing."
Morneau made the remark in question period Monday, sparking an eruption of laughter and mock applause from the Tory benches.

For months now, Tories have pressed the Liberal government to admit it inherited a surplus. Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose (link is external) urged Morneau to concede that "undeniable fact" Monday, days after the Finance Department released a report showing Ottawa ran a surplus of $7.5-billion over the first 11 months of the fiscal year. (link is external)

The Parliamentary Budget Officer also projected last month (link is external)that the federal government will run a small budgetary surplus in 2015-2016.

Morneau shot back that his department informed him the feds will be in a deficit position this year, but said Liberals were "focusing on things that really matter to Canadians" rather than balancing the budget at all costs.

Who left you a surplus, Bill? Canadians want to know who to thank.


Also:

At long last the Liberals may be running out of policies to undo. As they gloat at the damage wrought to the legacy of their political foes, they should understand the time will come when Canadians evaluate the consequences of their actions, not based on what they’ve done to the Conservative party, but what they’ve done to Canada’s national interest.

Yeah, but that would require maturity, common sense and empathy. Liberals and their voters do not have those qualities.


Case in point:

But the afternoon event, with the denim-clad Kielburger and Trudeau and Prince Harry shouting out to the preteen throngs, just seemed somehow wrong — somehow political. Trudeau sure didn’t help by posting a video of himself doing pushups with Canada’s Orlando Invictus Games team as a backdrop. Political is the last thing this sort of thing should ever be.

Where Prince Harry, who actually fought in Afghanistan, promotes the Invictus Games for wounded soldiers, Trudeau sees it as yet another opportunity to showcase himself.

What a vain, useless b@$#@rd.




But... but... transparency!

Immigration officials are looking at revoking the Canadian citizenship of about a dozen people after the auditor general found the government isn't doing enough to root out fraud in the citizenship system.
Michael Ferguson's report uncovered instances of people with serious criminal records and others using potentially phoney addresses among those who managed to secure Canadian citizenship thanks to holes throughout not just the Immigration Department but the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency as well.

The cases flagged represent just a fraction of the nearly half a million people who've become Canadian citizens in the last two years, but that doesn't mean improvements aren't necessary, Immigration Minister John McCallum said Tuesday.

"The vast majority of the cases are clear but we are not happy if even one case is fraudulently obtained and that is why we are vigorously implementing the recommendations of the auditor general," McCallum said.


(Sidebar: ... says the guy flooding Canada with unvetted migrants some of whom probably don't have a problem with child marriage or women-beating.) 



With long wait lists for Syrian refugees trying to get into publicly-funded language classes, some schools are questioning why their donated lessons aren't being used. 

Across the country, there are at least $5 million worth of free hours that are going to waste according to Languages Canada, which represents more than 225 schools offering accredited English and French programs. The group put out the call last year asking members to step up.


But I thought that they were blending in!

 



Veterans Affairs Canada lacks adequate limits on the soaring cost and usage levels of marijuana among ex-soldiers who are using it for medical purposes, authorizing in some 340 cases the consumption of 10 grams a day — twice Health Canada's recommended threshold.

Getting veterans too high to know that they are being screwed over is family novel given the source.






Let's see if Israel and the US get swamped with bogus torture charges while ignoring that North Korea runs concentration camps.





(Sidebar: some people may consider that calling an electorate stupid is unfair but if one voted for a substitute drama teacher who promised debt, debt and more debt, you are disastrously stupid and need to be kept away from heavy machinery.)

They were there to talk about foreign policy and defence, but three former political heavyweights ended up giving the Trudeau government some unsolicited advice on leadership and trade issues.

John Manley, a Liberal former deputy prime minister, Jean Charest, the ex-Liberal premier of Quebec, and Bob Rae, a former NDP premier and interim federal Liberal leader, spoke in front of a high-power audience at a Canadian Global Affairs Institute symposium late Monday.

Members of the Liberal government's defence review advisory panel were there taking notes along side the diplomatic community, top military brass and the defence industry representatives.

Manley and Charest both warned about the urgency of completing trade deals started by the Harper government, including the European free trade agreement.

They also said Canada needs to develop a Plan B if the Trans-Pacfiic Partnership agreement is rejected by the U.S. Congress.

At the same time, each of the former politicians talked in turn about the necessity of public policy consultation, but warned it shouldn't be open-ended, nor used as an excuse for doing nothing.

The Trudeau government is in the extraordinary position of being more popular than when it was elected, and it should take advantage of that good will to make decisions that are difficult, said Rae and Manley.





Good:

A British Columbia woman who killed a 14-year-old girl almost two decades ago has been denied day parole after a board said she is too entitled.

But Kelly Ellard has admitted for the first time that she was responsible for the death of Reena Virk.
Ellard told the board during her parole hearing today that Virk would still be alive if she hadn't participated swarming and drowning her.

The now 33-year-old woman told the board she wanted day parole so she could be treated for substance-abuse issues after getting contraband crystal meth inside prison.

But the parole board ruled that Ellard wasn't ready to be released and that her comments to the board that "enough is enough" and there is nothing in prison to help her move forward showed she is entitled to release.

After several trials that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, Ellard was eventually convicted of second-degree murder for drowning Virk in a Victoria-area waterway.

Kelly Ellard admitted that she took part in Reena Virk's death, not the felt remorse for it. Reena Virk, who was far more Indian than any of the human sludge that took part in her brutal death, had cigarettes burned out on her head, repeatedly beaten, had her head smashed against a tree and then was drowned. Unless Miss Ellard is willing to suffer Reena Virk's fate, leaving her in a hole is the next best thing.



Speaking of murderers...

Muslim militants in the Philippines have a released a video showing the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel, an American group that monitors jihadi websites reported Tuesday.

Ridsdel, 68, of Calgary, was one of four tourists — including fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor — who were kidnapped last Sept. 21 by Abu Sayyaf militants.

In a series of tweets, Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence Group cited the video as saying Ridsdel was beheaded on April 25 "due to non-compliance" of the Canadian government.

"The beheading vid...by Abu Sayyaf group is brutal, barbaric, extremely graphic, and most disturbing," Katz said.

Another video released by the militants shows the three remaining hostages, with the militants threatening to behead them if their demands are not met, she said.

Why hasn't the jungle been burned down yet?




Of course they did:

A private members’ bill called Cassie and Molly’s Law adding penalties for assaults on pregnant women that injure or kill their unborn children was condemned by the Liberal government and NDP opposition for threatening women’s access to abortion during an hour of debate in Parliament Monday.

These people are vile.

That is all.




Tae kwon do.

That is what I have to say:

The parents of a boy who was stabbed in the eye with a pencil by another schoolmate in Pointe-aux-Trembles said the school and the alleged attacker's parents could have prevented the incident from happening.





A child is being hunted down for admiring a soccer player:

The father of a five-year-old Afghan boy who received signed T-shirts from his football hero Lionel Messi claims the family has had to leave the country.

Mohammed Arif Ahmadi claimed they received threats over the telephone and "life became a misery" when the threats became more serious.

He said: "I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son's life as well as the lives of the rest of the family."

Mr Ahmadi said they did not want to leave Afghanistan, but he has now settled his family in Quetta, Pakistan, in the hope of a better life.

(Sidebar: not in Pakistan he won't.)




Yeah, that's what happened:

North Korean authorities on Tuesday presented the colleagues and parents of the waitresses to North Korean and international media in Pyongyang. North Korea says the women were tricked into thinking they were being transferred to work at another restaurant in Malaysia.

Also:

Kim Il Sung groomed his son for a good 20 years to be his successor, promoting him up through a series of posts and propagating a myth around him. (According to the official record, Kim was born on the sacred mountain Paekdu under a bright star at night.) But Kim Jong Un had none of that. He was presented at the party conference in October 2010 and his father was dead just 14 months later. Not only did he not have a narrative, but he wasn’t even 30, making him incredibly young in a hierarchical Confucian system that prizes age.

His first five years have been notable for a number of high profile purges — from his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, to his defence minister, Hyon Yong Chol — and personnel changes. He’s been clearing out the old and replacing them with the new, or the new-ish.

Chances are that Kim will use this congress to show he’s in charge and to cement his legitimacy as the third generation leader of the world’s only communist dynasty.

“He wants to keep everyone toeing the line,” said one foreign resident of Pyongyang. “He wants to consolidate his grip on power.”




And now, the Fuzz:





Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Post



This surplus one can blame on the previous government:

The federal government ran a budgetary surplus of $7.5 billion over the first 11 months of its fiscal year — putting Ottawa's books well ahead of its 2015-16 deficit prediction with one month to go.

To wit:






A judge has dismissed charges against a New Brunswick man charged with illegally importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town, in a ruling defence lawyers say has “huge” ramifications.

Judge Ronald LeBlanc threw out all charges Friday against Gerard Comeau, one of four people facing charges after a police “sting” operation in 2012.

“Essentially, Judge LeBlanc’s decision confirms that what tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of New Brunswickers have been doing for the past 40 years is not a crime,” said Mikael Bernard after the ruling in Campbellton provincial court Friday.

Ontario-based constitutional lawyer Arnold Schwisberg, who was part of Comeau’s defence team, said the ramifications of the victory are national: “A decisive win for all Canadians!” he said in an email.

The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer that wasn’t purchased through a liquor store in the province.

Comeau’s liquor was seized and he was fined $292.50.

On Friday, Comeau said he was “kind of pleased” with the decision, which came after the judge read his 88-page ruling.

“I was kind of surprised because the decision lasted two hours and 45 minutes, so sometimes it looked good, sometimes it didn’t look good,” he said.

The 62-year-old Tracadie man said the case wasn’t just about dodging a fine.

“The way I look at it, I’m a Canadian citizen,” said Comeau on Friday. “I don’t see any reason why I can’t go buy merchandise anywhere in this country and bring it home. You can buy anything else like cars, clothes, everything. Except for beer.”

Someone wasn't getting taxes from this man. THAT is why he was dragged to court.




Ontario’s Liberal government is under increasing pressure to release a complete list of private companies that were given billions of dollars in grants and loans.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk reported in December that the government had committed $2.36 billion to 374 private business projects between 2004 and May 31, 2015, with $1.87 billion in grants and $489 million in loans.

The province has committed another $118 million in corporate subsidies since the auditor’s report was released.

Lysyk found there was no information on which companies received more than $70 million in funding for 60 different projects.

For months, the Progressive Conservatives have been asking for a list of the companies that received what he calls “corporate welfare,” how much they were given, and what the job targets were.

“It’s time the government clears the air on these grants and comes clean to Ontario taxpayers,” said PC economic development critic Monte McNaughton.


Also:

Things just got a whole lot brighter in Canada for the dismal electric-car business. Word has leaked that the country’s largest province is preparing to help buy a plug-in vehicle or hybrid for millions of families across the province — or will at least force those families to buy one. The details of how Ontarians are getting all those green vehicles weren’t clear in the confidential draft version of the Wynne Liberals’ “Climate Change Action Plan” leaked to The Globe and Mail on Wednesday. But the goals are crystal clear: A promise to get 1.7 million low-emission cars on the roads in the next eight years, and pull seven million gas-powered cars off in the next 14.


And:

The situation is sadly reflective of the government’s cynical approach to the issue. In negotiations with other unionized public employees it has bent over backwards to appear co-operative, spending millions on secret payments to cover union bargaining costs for teachers while supposedly seeking “tough” contracts. Disputes with police unions are routinely sent to binding arbitration despite municipal complaints that the process inevitably drives up salaries. Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government seems to reserve its enmity only for a profession that requires years of specialized, and expensive, training but lacks a union to pound tables and make extravagant strike threats.

Big unions win big elections.

Wagging fingers are confused with solid, non-partisan action.






Harper had nothing to gain from criminal charges being laid against Duffy. The decision to do so was made by the RCMP and Crown counsel in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. Anyone who thinks the Conservative prime minister had the ability to manipulate an Ontario ministry that has been in Liberal hands for 13 years is kidding themselves. Staley says he suspected from the start that charges related to Nigel Wright’s $90,000 payment to Duffy would never stick, and warned Harper as much. In other words, Harper knew the charges were probably a losing proposition from the get-go.

Nonetheless, Harper gave explicit instructions that the RCMP should receive full assistance in its investigation. This included access to sensitive documents and emails, and help in arranging any interviews the police requested. Harper also waived lawyer/client privilege to ensure all relevant material was available to investigators. This was a great benefit to Duffy’s defence, and contained great risk for Harper, but he insisted on it anyway. As Staley notes, “it was the right thing to do and was an unequivocal act of integrity and accountability by Mr. Harper.”

His decisions in this regard almost certainly hurt his own interests. Harper couldn’t have spent almost a decade in power if he lacked the political skills to recognize he was handing opponents material to use against him. As Staley writes: “Contrary to the views expressed by some commentators, no one could believe that my client’s interests were served by criminal charges against Mr. Duffy that were certain to play out through the 2015 federal election.”

But... but... Duffy and Harper...!





A Canadian-supported hospital in Syria was destroyed Friday in what an aid agency said was a deliberate air strike that has forced other hospitals in the area to shut down. ...

While Canadian aid agencies and hospitals provide medical supplies, the centre is funded by the French government and the United Nations.










North Korea on Friday sentenced a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage to 10 years in prison with hard labour after convicting him of espionage and subversion, the second American it has put behind bars this year.

Kim Dong Chul was sentenced after a brief trial in Pyongyang by North Korea's Supreme Court, which found him guilty of espionage and subversion under Articles 60 and 64 of the North's criminal code.

North Korea regularly accuses Washington and Seoul of sending spies in an attempt to overthrow its government. Outsiders say North Korea seeks to use its U.S. detainees to wring concessions from Washington.


It's time to put a bounty on Kim Fatty's head. 



North Korea attempted unsuccessfully to launch two suspected powerful intermediate-range missiles on Thursday, South Korean defense officials said, bringing the number of apparent failures in recent weeks to three.





Forget maternity, this woman’s all about MEternity, arguing that women who intend to stay child-free deserve the same perks as their pregnant colleagues.

Meghann Foye became fed up with her co-workers heading off on maternity leave, and decided she wanted a bit of a career break herself.

Dubbing it “meternity” leave, Meghann quit her job as a magazine editor aged 31 to spend 18-months travelling and working on her aptly-named novel, Meternity - about a woman who fakes her pregnancy.
 
New parents aren't granted leave for a holiday. They have a miniature crying and pooping machine to mind. They have no week-ends off whereas selfish people like the half-wit writer have every week-end off. Lots of "me-ternity". 




Baffled that a good deal of people find mocking Alzheimer's Disease suffers distasteful, Will Ferrell has finally decided to drop out of a project making fun of late US president Ronald Reagan's struggle with the disease:

Will Ferrell has backed out of a planned comedy that depicted Ronald Reagan’s dementia.

The comedian was in talks to play the former president in a political satire that dealt with Reagan’s Alzheimer’s condition, but will no longer be moving forward with the project amid the ensuing controversy.

Hollywood waits for political winds to blow before it makes a decision on what is beyond the pale.

What a vile industry. 




A nine-year-old girl lost in the bush overnight returned home safe and sound thanks to the warmth and protection of her three pet dogs.

“When I started asking her about her night, she indicated that she was there with her three dogs, and that when she laid down all the dogs huddled around her and kept her warm,” said Sgt. Barry Larocque with the Elk Point RCMP, who called this a “heartwarming” end to what was a very scary situation.

“I have no doubt that those dogs kept her safe from maybe some animals that might have been in the area, in addition to laying down beside her, keeping her warm. It shows how dogs can be very loyal to their owners and companions.”

$113.2 billion
$113.2 billion

So -  one could say that it was a three dog night?


Ladies and gentlemen, Three Dog Night.