Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mid-Week Post

In the bleak mid-winter....

... and how bleak it is!

Much of Atlantic Canada is closing up and hunkering down as a major blizzard that already delivered a wallop of snow and wind to the U.S. Northeast sweeps through today.

Phil Fontaine is forced from the stage by some rather familiar characters:

Angry protesters took over a planned talk by First Nations leader Phil Fontaine in Winnipeg on Wednesday, resulting in the rescheduling of the event.

Fontaine was scheduled to speak at the University of Winnipeg in the early afternoon on First Nations issues in the past, present and future.

But loud protesters crowded the area almost immediately after he began speaking, some armed with anti-oil sands signs, others with drums and some with their faces painted red and black.

Fontaine, a former Assembly of First Nations chief, accepted a job with TransCanada Pipeline, a natural gas and oil pipeline developer in December.

Protesters were angry he took the job, saying he isn't representing their interests and isn't thinking of the environment.
Where does the money come from, guys?

The Red Book says: do as I say, not as I do:

Relatives of China's president and other business and political leaders are linked to offshore tax havens that help "shroud the communist elite's wealth," a U.S.-based journalism group said Wednesday.

The report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists might fuel politically awkward attention on President Xi Jinping's family and its wealth at a time when Xi has made fighting corruption a theme of his leadership.

Complaints that relatives of China's leaders abuse their positions to profit from real estate and other deals are widespread. But details on their activities, especially those at the highest party levels, are often hidden.

The ICIJ, based in Washington, said it obtained documents showing the identities of nearly 22,000 owners of companies and trusts in the British Virgin Islands, Samoa and other offshore centres. It said they include Xi's brother-in-law, former Premier Wen Jiabao's son and son-in-law and relatives of other ruling party figures.

"Close relatives of China's top leaders have held secretive offshore companies in tax havens that helped shroud the communist elite's wealth," the group said.

Chinese authorities moved quickly to block the country's public from seeing Wednesday's report. Access to the ICIJ website was blocked, as were foreign news reports about it. A reporter posted an Internet link to the report on the popular Sina Weibo microblog service but received a message from the company saying other users were blocked from seeing it.

The South Korean economy has experienced a rapid economic growth, the fastest in the past three years:

South Korea recorded its fastest growth since the first quarter of 2011, its central bank said Thursday, showing a recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy is on track.

Imagine a united Korea and what it could accomplish without a fat dictator and his Chinese backers mucking up the works.

I'm sorry but raising the minimum wage is not going to fix the problems of those who can't make ends meet:

As the debate over the federal wage floor heats up in Washington, experts are making the point that the minimum wage does not equal a living wage.

Amy Glasmeier, a professor of economic geography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has created a living wage calculator based on government data, which bears out this argument.

She breaks down the total cost of living, including food, housing, transportation, child and health care, based on the county in which people live.

Glasmeier said the cost of living rises with the size of the city.

For instance, in places with fewer than 250,000 people, Glasmeier found that the living wage would be between $12 and $15 per hour. In cities with 250,000 to 1 million residents, its $17, and in cities with more than one million residents, it's $20 per hour.

"The living wage calculator shows what you really need to make it, to survive," Glasmeier siad. "The minimum wage was never meant to be something for people to live on."

Using Glasmeier's calculator, Burgos would need to make about $15 per hour. But because he has three kids, his living wage would need to be slightly higher.

Any increase in his wage would make a huge difference to his life, Burgos said. That's why he's participated in several union-backed fast food strikes that have been building momentum across the country in the last couple of years. He hopes lawmakers will try to bridge the gap.

"[Politicians] don't really know how it feels to live in poverty, so they say let's raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and maybe they'll shut up," he said. "But $10.10 means we'll still have to struggle. It's really not a living wage."

I feel for people who barely tread water. Not everyone in difficult circumstances is there because of complete idiocy and idleness (though many are). However, reducing the size of government, reforming the tax system, removing unnecessary taxes and subsidies and providing more job and business opportunities would be more beneficial for lower-income persons and families than raising the minimum wage to the point where employment would be restricted and the consumer ceases to purchase services or goods because the cost is too high.

It's the little march that could:

The March for Life 2014 drew thousands, who braved the freezing temperatures to express their opposition to abortion on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

The 41st March for Life, held on each year since the momentous decision by the Supreme Court to legalize abortion, was once again attended by thousands, but this time they had one of the biggest winter storms to contend with, however, this didn’t stop any of the many young people attending the event.

Pro-life activists spotted giving boxes of pizza to the homeless

Those heartless monsters.

Ted Cruz is a better human being than Andrew Cuomo:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not have room in his state for “extremist conservatives” who believe in the right to life, but Sen. Ted Cruz would be more than happy to welcome them to his neck of the woods...

Just because you can talk doesn't always mean you should, Buzzfeed:

There’s a post at Buzzfeed’s community-contributed section titled, get this, “29 Astounding Soviet Propaganda Images Promoting Racial Equality.” The subtitle is “Whoa. The Soviet Union got racial equality right before America?”
Here’s first paragraph:
Under its policy of internationalism, the Soviet Union tried to eliminate racism right from the beginning — aggressively instituting domestic and international policies of equality, humanism, and anti-colonialism.
What a great guy that Stalin was!

Stick to recipes and pictures of Grumpy Cat.
The 41st March for Life, held on each year since the momentous decision by the Supreme Court to legalize abortion, was once again attended by thousands, but this time they had one of the biggest winter storms to contend with, however, this didn’t stop any of the many young people attending the event.

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