Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mid-Week Post

The magnetic centre of the week…

Commentaries by two of China's most influential news outlets suggesting that the country's air pollution crisis was not without a silver lining drew a withering reaction on Tuesday from internet users and other media.

In online commentaries on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV and the widely read tabloid the Global Times, published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, both tried to put a positive spin on China's smog problem.

The Global Times said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while CCTV listed five "unforeseen rewards" for smog, including helping Chinese people's sense of humour.

While both pieces have since been deleted from their websites, Chinese newspapers lost little time in denouncing their point of view, in an unusual case of state media criticising other state media, showing the scale of the anger.

(Sidebar: you know your sanctioned party bullcrap is bad when even your mouthpieces aren’t scared enough to call you out on it.)

This does not completely solve the problem:

Ontario Power Generation immediately fired three executives on Tuesday following the release of a damning auditor-general report accusing the utility of unnecessarily driving up electricity prices through rampant nepotism, high labour costs and one of the province’s most generous public-sector pension plans.

Perhaps most alarming of all, the report by Ontario-Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk identified areas in which OPG’s sloppy managerial practices were potentially compromising nuclear safety.

“I’m sorry the findings are what they are, but we strongly believe that they will serve as a catalyst for achieving further positive change at OPG,” said Jake Epp, chairman of OPG’s board of directors, soon after the utility dismissed its chief financial officer and two of its vice-presidents — although it did not name the executives.

According to the 2012 “Sunshine list,” the OPG’s chief financial officer was Donn Hanbidge, earning $650,000 a year.

OPG had supposedly already been on the road to “positive change,” as per a 2010 “Business Transformation initiative” in which the utility had vowed to reduce labour costs and create a “sustainable cost structure.”

Instead, OPG significantly expanded its executive ranks to create a “top-heavy” organization, according to the auditor’s report, and then oversaw years of across-the-board increases to benefits and compensation.

By 2012, the effect was to drive up labour costs to one of the utility’s highest-ever levels, $1.7-billion, even after hundreds of employees had been sent packing — and the level of electricity provided by the utility had been sent into steady decline.

All told, OPG’s inability to collar its “human resource cost” was having a “financial impact on the cost of electricity” in Ontario, concluded Auditor-General Lysyk.

What we are see here is the typical Liberal culture of spending and not giving a sh-- about the very people (mostly idiots) who put them into positions of power in the first place.

Related: a member of parliament is meant to represent his riding, not decide to never show up, not devise sound policies or speak coherently:

The Liberal leader has been elusive on the Hill this fall, making it to question period an average of twice a week — less than both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Trudeau's absenteeism is leading to speculation about what he's been doing with his time.

Trudeau explained he doesn't believe proceedings in the House are adequately addressing Canadians' needs and has been characterized more by partisanship than productivity of late.

"The Liberal Party needs to connect more with Canadians across the country and it does not happen just in Ottawa," he told reporters in French. "I believe in what is happening here, and I've always had great respect for our institutions and that is why I am here regularly to ask questions and to push against the government."

But Trudeau, who appears to take offence when asked tough questions by media, refused to repeat his answer of his absenteeism in English — common practice during scrums with media on the Hill.

What a wiener. He can't answer for himself and makes some obnoxious, middling pretexts as to why he never does what a representative is expected to do. If he can't show up for work, he won't show up for the country's business. That's just not his style, apparently.

Let someone else do all the heavy lifting, eh, Justin?

Newly analyzed data from East Antarctica say the remote region has set a record for soul-crushing cold.

The record is minus 94.7 Celsius.

A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -94.7 Celsius. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -92.9 Celsius.

The Liar-in-Chief has never met a dictator he didn't like so it must be confusing when someone else draws the line:

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas walked out of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday as Cuba's President Raul Castro began speaking.
A spokesman for Cruz, who is a member of the official U.S. delegation to the Mandela memorial, told Newsmax that the senator feels "Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents."

Cruz's father fled Cuba before Fidel Castro — Raul's brother and predecessor — came to power in 1959.

"Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free," the senator's spokesman said.

Cruz hopes the Cuban strongman's regime frees its political prisoners and forgives its enemies, his spokesman told Newsmax, and that "Raul Castro learns the lesson of Nelson Mandela."

The action by Cruz came in stark contrast to that of President Barack Obama, who shook hands with Castro at the service.

Can one really blame Senator Cruz for not wanting to hear some communist blowhard drone on and on about how socialism is so wonderful yet he cannot explain why his people live in total crapholes and can be arrested just for thinking? That is sufficient reason for walking out on this Cuban dictator. Throw in the fact that Cruz’s father was arrested by the communists and you have yourself a grudge.

And now, avenge your house this season with the Wreath of Khan. Enjoy.


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