Saturday, August 03, 2013

For A Saturday

Rounding off the week that was.

Michael Ansara, a television and movie actor whose roles included a Klingon on "Star Trek," has died.

A longtime friend and spokesman for Ansara says the actor died Wednesday at his home in Calabasas, California after a long illness. He was 91.

Islanders are wondering what a $12-billion pipeline bringing bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to the port of Saint John, N.B. will mean for people on P.E.I.

TransCanada Corporation, based out of Calgary, announced Thursday plans to move ahead with its Energy East pipeline project, which will expand an existing pipeline network to enter Quebec and end in New Brunswick.

P.E.I. Energy Minister Wes Sheridan said the pipeline will stabilize fuel prices.

"The last number of increases in gas prices have been because of the unstable condition in the Middle East where most of this oil comes from, and every time there is a blip in that we see an increase in our gas prices," he said.

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter said the region should see the benefits of the pipeline.

"We should be, as Canadians, using Canadian resources right across the country and all Canadians should benefit from the oil resources in this country," he said.

But Leo Broderick, vice chair of the Council of Canadians, has already begun a campaign against the project. He said there are huge environmental concerns.

"We will be organizing communities and Canadians to oppose this. There is a different future for energy in this country, but it certainly doesn't depend, and need to depend on dirty oil from the tar sands," said Broderick.

Well, this must be embarrassing:

Up to 35 CIA operatives were working in the city during the attack last September on the US consulate that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, according to CNN

The circumstances of the attack are a subject of deep division in the US with some Congressional leaders pressing for a wide-ranging investigation into suspicions that the government has withheld details of its activities in the Libyan city. 

The television network said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels. 

Sources said that more Americans were hurt in the assault spearheaded by suspected Islamic radicals than had been previously reported. CIA chiefs were actively working to ensure the real nature of its operations in the city did not get out. 

So only the losses suffered by the State Department in the city had been reported to Congress. 

"Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings," CNN reported. 

Frank Wolf, a US congressman who represents the district that contains CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, is one of 150 members of Congress for a new investigation into the failures in Benghazi. 

"I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it's an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way," he said. "We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn't any national security issue involved with regards to that." 

A CIA spokesman said it had been open about its activities in Benghazi. 

(Sidebar: um, no. Why would we now find out definitively that the CIA not only had a bigger-than-previously-reported presence in Libya but was running guns? Oops.)

What difference does it make? Well, I’m glad you asked, Hillary, because now it is confirmed that this was not only a weapons-running scheme but a super-duper cover-up.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the economy gained just 162k jobs in July, well below expectations of 185-200k. More worrying, though, isn't just the quantity of jobs created, but the quality of the jobs. About a quarter of the jobs created, 38.5k, were in restaurants and bars. Another 46.5k jobs were in retail. This continuing trend to part-time employment is likely due to the coming implementation of ObamaCare.

This is the same administration that steadfastly refuses the jobs that Keystone pipeline will provide.

There’s your “Special Olympics” for you:

More than 30 million Americans place money into a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through their employers to help save emergency funds to pay for their families’ medical costs. Obamacare institutes a brand new $2,500 cap for FSAs, which will make more money taxable and could raise $13 billion in taxes for the federal government over the next decade.

Oh, I’m sure this will work out well:

Muslim-American groups are pushing to block the potential nomination of Raymond Kelly for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Kelly, who serves as the New York City police commissioner, is being considered as a replacement for current Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is set to resign in September. She will go on to serve as the president of the University of California school system.

The Muslim groups contend that Kelly oversaw a spying initiative that targeted Muslim people specifically for their religion, Religion News Service reports.

Why is it that anyone with a modicum of scrutiny must fall under the axe of these wags?

Yes, there is compulsion:

Tens of thousands Syriac Christians – members of the oldest Christian community in the world – have fled their ancestral provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasakah in northeastern Syria, residents have said. …

The growing presence of radical jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda, has also seen Christians targeted. 

"It began as kidnapping for money, but then they started telling me I should worship Allah," a male Christian resident of Hasakah who was kidnapped by jihadists said. 

"I was with five others. We were tied and blindfolded and pushed down on our knees. One of the kidnappers leant so close to my face I could feel his breath. He hissed: 'Why don't you become a Muslim? Then you can be free'." 

Another Christian in Hasakah said he knew of "five forced conversions" in recent weeks. 

Can we stop denying it now?

Wow. If only people could get this worked up for the gays hanged in Iran:

It turns out that the IOC doesn’t have it covered. Russia’s sports minister said this week in an interview with the state news agency that gay Olympic athletes will not be exempt from Russian law: 

“If he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable.”

In this case, "propagandize" seems akin to "exist." Which also suggests the controversy is just getting started. A bill is being introduced in the U.S. Senate calling on the IOC to press Russia on the issue. A boycott probably won’t happen, but you can bet that there will be plenty of gay pride protests in Sochi next winter. (LGTB groups are already discussing how to use the 2014 Games to publicize Russia’s regressive policies.) Russia will have to decide if it wants to deal with more than its usual share of international scorn in return for enforcing its laws. 

One: Russia has always been ruled by autocrats, whether the tsars, the communists (yes, those guys) or Putin whose grip on the country really takes one back to the USSR. I don’t hear anyone complain when Gazprom freezes old ladies to death. Two: let a country do as it pleases. Is anyone bothered by what goes in Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam… Three: the law prohibits the influencing of minors so unless you are a perverted teacher in the TDSB, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Four: you’ll punish athletes to what end? To show everyone how “open” you are? I’m sure they will thank you for it. This stand is as principled and brave as any liberal cause which is to say not at all. It’s convenient and self-serving, not to mention overblown.

Somewhat related: what you call a crusade, the rest of the human race calls nuisance:

When might a gift certificate for a free men's haircut not be honoured? 

In one case, when the customer is a woman. 

Armed with a voucher for a free haircut she won in a silent auction at the end of June, 38-year-old Lyla Miklos went into the Westdale Barber Shop Wednesday afternoon. She had just finished work at Westdale Secondary School. 

She took a seat in the King Street West shop, pulled out a book and waited for her turn. The barber, who was cutting another customer's hair, asked how he could help her. 

Miklos, who identifies as a queer, feminist and a labour activist, was shocked when he told her the shop is for men only. 

"Even if I want to get a men's cut? You're joking, right?" she asked the barber. 

"Emotionally, I was very angry and slightly hurt," she said, noting she's had short hair her entire adult life and has been to other barbershops in the area. 

"I didn't want to cut her hair," said Phil Angemi, who's owned the Westdale Barber Shop for the past 12 years. "That's my reason."

Thanks for screwing over small businesses, gender-dink.

For BM- I see your sloth and raise you a wombat:

(With thanks to one and many)


Anonymous said...

I hope Phil Angemi gets a super expensive lawyer and wins that case, because than Miklos will be on the hook for every single dime of his legal expenses.

There is no law saying that you can't own a shop that does only women's hair or men's hair. I myself go to a place that only does men's hair. That is their business model and that is their right.

There was a case a lot like this recently. It sounds just like people out to pick a fight.

I hope Angemi wins in a big way. He didn't deserve this trouble but Miklos sure has it coming

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

First of all, lawyers are expensive. As Miss Miklos can make a frivolous claim that can only hold up in vendetta court- sorry- the Ontario Human Rights tribunal and therefore get her costs covered, Mr. Angemi, on the other hand, must pay not only for her case (as he is a taxpayer) but go into hock for a lawyer of his own. He will lose business and resources, as well as be emotionally tired, defending his case.

Secondly, nowhere is there a human right to have one's hair done and by a certain person, too. There are people being denied the right to life and speech. Where is the tribunal for them? We whittle down the true meaning of rights with this kind of nonsense.

Thirdly, one robs a private business of its right to serve its customers as it sees fit. Mr. Angemi made a very good case for that.

Fourthly, if low-information voters didn't resemble zombie extras from "The Walking Dead" and pieced together that certain people are grievance mongers and that every little thing is not a human right above all other rights, NONE of this would ever be a going concern.

There was a lesbian who challenged a Muslim barber but the case arbitrated quietly in favour of no one. How does a politically correct vendetta kangaroo court override Muslim over gay?

Anonymous said...

Isn't that (mostly) my point?

The law does say that the losers has to pay for the winners legal expenses. If Angemi wins, he gets his legal expenses paid for by the loser. It's a shame however that it will be tax payer money.

He might wants to consider a defamation suit after he wins. He would be proven innocent and she cost him time, money and business.

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Not in the case of a tribunal.