Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Mid-Week Post

So many things to ruminate...

Charges have been laid against three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for having destroyed evidence and lying to the authorities:

Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been arrested and face charges of attempting to conceal the crime by removing evidence from his apartment, throwing it in the trash and lying to investigators. 

Details of the allegations against Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos were outlined in a criminal complaint submitted to the United States District Court and obtained by media on Wednesday.

The complaint details the steps allegedly taken by the three young men after realizing their college friend was suspected of being one of two men behind a pair of explosives detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. 

Specifically, it is alleged the men removed a backpack, computer and firework remnants from Tsarnaev’s apartment on the evening of April 18 and that Kadyrbayev later threw those items into the trash. Those items have since been recovered by investigators.
 They only destroyed evidence. I'm sure it's nothing.

This sounds like overkill:

Senator Barbara Boxer said on Tuesday she plans to investigate the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant earlier this month that killed 15 people and injured scores more.

California's Boxer, the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the panel will hold a hearing "in the near future" on the disaster and will probe whether there are any gaps in the enforcement of U.S. chemical safety laws.

The cause of the April 17 fire and explosion at West Fertilizer Co, about 20 miles north of Waco, is not yet known.

"I cannot rest until we get to the bottom of what caused the disaster in West, Texas and the tragic loss of life," Boxer said in a statement. "It is critical that we find out how this happened."

A Texas state House committee is slated to hold the first hearing on the explosion by a legislative body on Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

The state panel on Homeland Security and Public Safety has invited testimony from state entities or regulators that oversee rules, security and other details for facilities such as the fertilizer plant involved in the disaster.

Concerns have been raised that the fertilizer plant might have been storing significant amounts of ammonium nitrate, which can be used in bomb making, without notifying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as required by law.

Why does the Department of Homeland Security feel a pressing need to make this into a bigger issue than what it is already? If this was a case of improper storage, then use the laws already in place and add additional charges. But as the cause is yet unknown, this seems like a governmental over-reaction in hopes that a complacent citizenry will not object. Soon, any accident (or incompetence) can be subject to ridiculous amounts of intrusion instead of proper handling.

Four dead men were called "bumps", too:

Obama: 'Glitches And Bumps' Coming In ObamaCare

North Korea sentences Kenneth Bae to fifteen years of hard labour or when someone capitulates and lifts sanctions. Whichever comes first:

North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labour on Thursday for committing crimes against the North, according to state news agency KCNA.

It's alright when they do it:

Another day in the B.C. election campaign, another 'bozo comment' from the past comes back to haunt a candidate.

This time, however, the candidate, isn't being fired.

According to the Vancouver Sun the NDP is standing by Korean-born Jane Shin — who is running in the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby Lougheed — for calling Chinese people "chinkasauruses" in an online gaming forum 11 years ago when she was 21.

"I’ll use myself as an example. If I made those comments today, I should be fired," veteran NDP MLA Jenny Kwan told the Sun in Shin's defence.

"Jane made those comments in the context of a gaming forum 11 years ago and I think today she has matured. She is a sincere, respectful person. She oozes respect when you talk to her."

At first glance, the move not to fire Shin appears "hypocritical."

Two weeks ago, at the start of the campaign, the NDP fired candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk after it was discovered that she had written several blogs in 2009 and 2010 which included derogatory references to First Nations and French people.

So, in essence, the NDP are saying it's okay to make derogatory remarks 11 years ago, but not 2, 3 or 4 years ago? Is there some sort of time limit on bozo comments?

Ignorance can be excused if the party is right. I don't care how Korean her parents are, if China bugs Miss Shin (and what the hell is she doing with the NDP, anyway?) that much, she can argue that if China doesn't get off its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Canada should withdraw from the UN.

Now watch the overly sensitive writhe in indignation over this or ignore it because they vote NDP. It's Pavlovian.

Maybe McGuinty and Wynne should forgo their pensions for sticking Ontarians with such debt?

Ontarians will pay at least $585 million to not build gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga. Premier Kathleen Wynne wouldn’t apologize for the debacle Tuesday, but said she is frustrated with the process that led to the siting of the plants in unwelcoming communities. “I regret the situation and I have said that I take responsibility to make sure this never happens again,” Wynne said during an appearance before the Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The premier said she was unaware of the cost when her government cancelled the Oakville plant in 2010 and the Mississauga plant in 2011, and instead depended on the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to later provide the numbers.

Show me a civilisation that hasn't used slave labour and I'll show you a cause-de-jour:

The European Union is considering trade action against Bangladesh, which has preferential access to EU markets for its garments, in order to pressure Dhaka to improve safety standards after a building collapse killed hundreds of factory workers.

Duty-free access offered by Western countries and low wages have helped turn Bangladesh's garment exports into a $19 billion a year industry, with 60 percent of clothes going to Europe.

But any action by the EU on Bangladesh's duty-free and quota-free access would require the agreement of all member states and could take more than a year to implement.

China, Vietnam and North Korea (to name a few) have been using slave labour for years and, if someone noticed, no one cares. Had the factory in Bangladesh not collapsed, would anyone care that the workers were being exploited?

Not a surprise:

Large majorities in the Muslim world want the Islamic legal and moral code of sharia as the official law in their countries, but they disagree on what it includes and who should be subject to it, an extensive new survey says.

Suicide bombing was mostly rejected In the study by the Washington-based Pew Forum, but it won 40 percent support in the Palestinian territories, 39 percent in Afghanistan, 29 percent in Eygpt and 26 percent in Bangladesh.

Three-quarters of respondents said abortion is morally wrong and 80 percent or more rejected homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.

Over three-quarters of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia want sharia courts to decide family law issues such as divorce and property disputes, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said on Tuesday.

Views on punishments such as chopping off thieves' hands or decreeing death for apostates is more evenly divided in much of the Islamic world, although more than three-quarters of Muslims in South Asia say they are justified.

Those punishments have helped make sharia controversial in some non-Islamic countries, where some critics say radical Muslims want to impose it on Western societies, but the survey shows views in Muslim countries are far from monolithic.

Once again, culture matters, not all religions are the same and the root causes are barbaric. The West had better wise up.

A grown man receives adulation and is called "brave" for revealing his sexual preferences in a country where homosexuality is not only legal but tolerated and another is forced to apologise for his more traditional views. Discuss.

Evidence shows that early settlers in Virginia resorted to cannibalism:

Settlers at Virginia's Jamestown Colony resorted to cannibalism to survive the harsh winter of 1609, dismembering and consuming a 14-year-old English girl, the U.S. Smithsonian Institution reported on Wednesday.

This is the first direct evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the oldest permanent English colony in the Americas, according to the Washington-based museum and research complex.

A recent excavation at the historic site revealed not just the remains of dogs, cats and horses eaten by settlers during the cold "Starving Time" of that year, but also the bones of a girl known to researchers simply as "Jane."

Jane probably was part of a relatively prosperous household, possibly a gentleman's daughter or maidservant, said Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley, who analyzed her bones after they were found by Preservation Virginia, a private nonprofit group.

Her back molars had not yet erupted, putting her age around 14 years, and there was a lot of nitrogen in her bones, indicating she ate a meat-rich English diet, Owsley said in a telephone interview.

It is not known whether Jane was killed or died of natural causes. The Smithsonian said there is no evidence of murder.

After her death, in a year when many Jamestown colonists starved, Jane's body was hacked apart by a butcher or butchers who barely knew what they were doing. She may have been chosen because others in her household were already dead and there was no one to bury her, Owsley said.

Well, that's decent of him:

Ehab Sadeek, the owner of Bagel Land in Winchester, Massachusetts, is donating 100 per cent of the profits from his business to One Fund Boston until every bombing victim is out of the hospital.

It is time to let your heart melt:

A central Ontario woman is recovering after being rescued from a mud hole where she was stuck for almost 12 hours, while her dog stayed at her side.

Police say 64-year-old Sandra Van Alstyne was out walking her dog in the cottage country area of Haliburton Highlands on Tuesday when she became stuck in a mud hole and couldn't get out.

She was reported missing at about 7:30 p.m. and a provincial police helicopter and tracking dogs were brought in to help find her.

Once she was located in the mud hole, police and emergency medical workers managed to pull her out and she was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Police say Van Alstyne’s dog Monte remained by her side during her lengthy ordeal.

Once again, dogs show their awesomery.

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