Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For A Tuesday

On the eve of Christmas Eve...

Luka Magnotta has been found guilty of first-degree murder:

Luka Rocco Magnotta stood impassively and kept his eyes trained downward as juror No. 9 rose and, in a loud, clear voice, uttered the word "guilty" five times Tuesday, including one for first-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin.

After eight days of deliberations, it was a quick and sudden end to a saga that began in 2012 following a horrific, heinous crime captured in part on video and published on the Internet.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer sentenced Magnotta to life imprisonment on the murder charge, with no chance of applying for parole for 25 years.

On the four others charges, the native of Scarborough, Ont., was given the maximum terms allowed under the Criminal Code, ranging from two to 10 years. The sentences are concurrent.

(Sidebar: these sentences are a joke. Why not serve consecutive time and never get out?)

This ends the freak show.

One hopes....

Wasn't that the Soviet Union?

Russia and four other ex-Soviet nations on Tuesday completed the creation of a new economic alliance intended to bolster their integration, but the ambitious grouping immediately showed signs of fracture as the leader of Belarus sharply criticized Moscow.

The Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, comes to existence on Jan. 1. In addition to free trade, it's to co-ordinate the members' financial systems and regulate their industrial and agricultural policies along with labour markets and transportation networks.

Russia had tried to encourage Ukraine to join, but its former pro-Moscow president was ousted in February following months of protests. Russia then annexed Ukraine's Black Sea Crimean Peninsula, and a pro-Russia mutiny has engulfed eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the new union will have a combined economic output of $4.5 trillion and bring together 170 million people.

(Sidebar: by 'encourage', Putin meant threaten.)

Did anyone forget that it was a failed and bloody experiment?

Related: Ukraine moves toward joining NATO:

 The Ukraine parliament’s vote Tuesday to nullify the country’s non-aligned status is largely a symbolic gesture and does not mean Ukraine will seek NATO membership any time soon.

Or, rather, it will join as soon as it can. It cannot afford not to. That move will not only make Russia nervous but volatile.


A sales representative at a Canadian Tire in Sudbuy says he's upset because he's been encouraged by his managers to say happy holidays, instead of Merry Christmas.

But Johnathan Scott doesn't agree with his managers.

“It is sad to see that something as little as ‘Merry Christmas’ has sparked such an uproar through society,” he told CBC News.

“You know, everyone is scared to say Merry Christmas for offending one.”

Scott's store manager told CBC News that she has apologized to him and his family.

Michelle Novak said she was trying to be sensitive to people of all faiths, but noted Canadian Tire does not have a seasonal greeting policy.

That’s been confirmed by Canadian Tire’s associate vice president of corporate affairs, Jane Shaw, who made the following statement:

“Canadian Tire is Canada's Christmas store — and any of our employees wishing someone a Merry Christmas is certainly welcome and in keeping with the season's sentiment.  We have spoken to our store's dealer to determine the facts and can tell you with certainty that any suggestion that an employee was sent home or had their hours reduced for saying, 'Merry Christmas' is simply not true at all.”

Outside Canadian Tire, some customers told CBC News they prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays.’

"Actually, I prefer Merry Christmas,” one shopper said.

Two others concurred that “Merry Christmas" was preferable.

This childish nonsense of censoring the mention of a holiday (ie- CHRISTMAS) we're all going to celebrate anyway just needs to stop. It's beyond absurd.

According to The Wrap, Sony will also release the film on video on demand systems.

Sony gave the green light to the theaters after pulling the movie from theaters last Wednesday; that decision came in the wake of North America’s five biggest chains announcing that they would not screen the movie due to threats made by anonymous hackers who promised a “9/11-style” attack on theaters that showed the film.

And now, the origins of Christmas words:

In Old English, a gift was specifically a wedding dowry, but by the early Middle Ages, its meaning had broadened to mean simply something given freely from one person to another. It ultimately derives from some ancient Germanic word root meaning something like “give” or “bestow”—which is also the origin of the not-so-festive German word gift, meaning “poison.”

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