Monday, July 07, 2014

A Post For a Monday

May the light of Tanabata not be extinguished by a cat.

A happy Tanabata to all.

Not so in Japan:

A powerful typhoon forced Japanese authorities to cancel flights and urge more than 100,000 people to evacuate their homes on Tuesday as the storm threatened to bring torrential rain and high winds to Japan's southern islands.

Typhoon Neoguri weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense, with gusts of more than 250 km per hour (155 mph). It was powering towards the Okinawa island chain where emergency rain and high-seas warnings were in effect.

More than 100,000 people in the tropical island chain, some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwest of Tokyo, were urged to evacuate. Nearly 7,000 households lost power and an oil refinery halted operations.

There are no nuclear plants on Okinawa but there are two on Kyushu, Japan's westernmost main island, which lies in the area through which the typhoon is likely to pass after hitting Okinawa. There is another on Shikoku island, which borders Kyushu and could also be affected.

The last time someone claimed there was a link between cancer and the oil sands, it was debunked. Anyone claiming there is should be scrutinised to the nth degree as they may have ulterior motives and/or benefit from a resource they claim is dirty.

Carbon taxes raise prices on goods and services:

FAMILIES face a carbon tax increase on their electricity bills to about $24 a month — after it is supposed to have been axed.

Gas prices are set to rise again in British Columbia as the final instalment of the province's carbon tax comes into effect on Canada Day

The increase of 1.11 cents per litre is the last of several steady increases over the past four years that have seen the carbon tax on gasoline rise to almost seven cents a litre. 

The B.C. government says the carbon tax has brought in $500 million in revenue, which has gone towards reducing personal income taxes and business taxes.

The price of a bag of coal is going up by €1.20 today, with a bale of briquettes costing 24 cent more.

The price rises are the result of the implementation of the second phase of the Solid Fuel Carbon Tax.

Recent Census information shows that more than 200,000 people in Ireland rely on either coal or peat to heat their home.

The tax applies to kerosene, marked gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels.

Canada is vast as it is beautiful with a limited growing season in places capable of producing food. The average income of a Canadian family is $76,000. The average price of one liter of milk is $2.30 CDN (average food prices here and here). With a fifteen percent harmonised sales tax (that being the highest in the country), one might pay $2.64 for that one liter of milk. Because carbon taxes affect goods production and services and because transportation is a big chunk of food prices, costs will be passed on to the consumer (one-point-nine cents in the province Justin Trudeau believes is better than the rest of Canada- that's high praise for you). Convert that to a percentage and add that percentage onto existing sales taxes. Would anyone like to five dollars for a liter of milk?

That's just milk.

And that's if you buy that carbon or carbon dioxide are pollutants.

This is why Justin Trudeau's lead-from-behind and utterly wrong-headed plan for a carbon tax should not only be opposed but stopped forever in its tracks.

Freezing in the dark was his father's legacy. There should be no repeat of it.

Why wait for your government to rescue you when you can just escape on your own?

At least 63 Nigerian women abducted by Islamist militants last month escaped over the weekend, local vigilante leaders said, offering a rare bit of good news for a region reeling from a spate of kidnappings and attacks.

Banning bus ads only serves to highlight the enormous girl-killing elephant in the Islamic room:

The City of Edmonton is being sued for removing controversial advertisements from transit buses that claimed to offer help to Muslim girls threatened with honour killings.

The advertisements appeared on five city buses in October, and showed a photo of seven young women above the caption “Muslim girls honour killed by their families. Is your family threatening you? Is there a fatwa on your head? We can help.”

The placards contained a link to a website which warns readers about the “encroachment of Islam on western civilization.”

The advertisements were removed after eight days and numerous complaints.

In a statement of claim filed in April, the non-profit, New York-based group that placed the advertisements said their removal is a violation of its right to freedom of expression.

“The advertisement was designed to provide Muslim women and girls with help, should they feel threatened, as well as challenging the opinion that honour killings are in any way acceptable or justified,” the statement of claim filed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative reads. “The advertisement also sought to change public attitudes, to support gender equality and the rule of law.”

This is what decency looks like:

Israel's prime minister phoned the father of a murdered Palestinian teenager on Monday to promise that the attackers would be prosecuted, the government said, as anger over the killing fuelled Arab street protests.

Meanwhile, Obama, who has done what he can to stymy the Mideast peace process, has demanded that the murderers of the Palestinian youth be caught (not so much Neftali Frankel):

The Obama administration is condemning the killing of a Palestinian teenager as a "despicable act" and is calling on the perpetrators to be brought to justice, The Associated Press reported.

Please note the pills were supposed to kill someone who is clearly a Kryptonian baby:

An 18-week-old baby from Ireland has given new meaning to the phrase “born a fighter.” Megan Hui of County Kildare, Ireland, was originally deemed dead by doctors at Rotunda hospital in Dublin after five scans concluded 31-year-old mom Michelle Hui had lost her baby. The mother hadn't known she was actually pregnant with twins. However, she was instructed to take two abortion pills to clear her uterus after the miscarriage of what she (and doctors) thought was one child. A pregnancy test later, doctors found Megan.

NOW was never an organisation that should have been taken seriously anyway:

The National Organization for Women has included the Little Sisters of the Poor on their “Dirty 100″ list of entities who have had the audacity to challenge Obamacare’s contraception mandate in court.

Scratch a man-hating feminist, find a fascist every time.

And yet the KGB relied on them:

Over 12 years Mitrokhin smuggled handwritten copies of the files from the archive and hid them in his country house outside Moscow.

After the fall of the Soviet Union he travelled to Riga in 1992– dressed in scruffy clothes to avoid attention – with a small number of documents in a suitcase, hidden under a pile of dirty clothes. 

Staff at the American embassy were not convinced by his story but he was able to meet with MI6 representatives at the British embassy ,who were astonished to discover the material, detailing the innermost machinations of Soviet intelligence.

The documents, which were smuggled back to Britain by M16, contain information about hundreds of Britons who were spying for Russia, including the notorious Cambridge spy ring.

Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, John Cairncross, Anthony Blunt and Kim Philby were a group of disaffected undergraduates at Cambridge University who began spying for the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

The Mitrokhin papers paint detailed – and often critical – profiles of the five men, according to Russian researcher Svetlana Lokhova who has translated parts of the archive into English.

In the first six months of 1945, Burgess handed over 369 top secret files to the Russians but his record was blotted after the Second World War.

Ms Lokhova said: “It says Burgess was not taking care of his looks and was constantly under the influence of alcohol.

“Once on his way out of a pub he was seen dropping on the floor the filed he had to hand over from the Foreign Office.”

The documents contain details of Burgess’ sex life, including a number of affairs he had while in America.

Maclean’s file said he was “not very good at keeping secrets” since he told his brother and a girlfriend about his intelligence work whilst drunk.

Kim Philby is often regarded as Britain’s most notorious double agent but these documents reveal the Russians valued a secretary from Bexleyheath named Melita Norwood far higher.

Mrs Norwood created a sensation when she was unmasked by Mitrokhin in 1999 as the KGB’s longest serving spy in Britain – aged 87.

She was credited with helping the Russians develop their own atom bomb by passing secrets from her job at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association.

The file on the grandmother spy reveals she was awarded a lifetime pension in 1962 for “many years of excellent work”.

(Sidebar: why wasn't that broad garrotted? Has James Bond taught the British nothing?)

It's a little too late to undermine the importance of agents now.

And now, the cats of Gotoku-ji Temple. Enjoy.

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