Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Post

Just in time for the week-end...

Canada to train "incompetent" Ukrainian military:

Canadian soldiers are heading to Ukraine to train military personnel there and none too soon, suggests one report.

Incompetence within the senior ranks of the Ukrainian army pose a serious risk to the former Eastern bloc country’s democratic future, says the report prepared earlier this month by the International Crisis Group.

“…incompetent, sometimes corrupt senior commanders are incapable of designing effective combat operations or unwilling to lead them, leaving junior officers on their own, under serious pressure,” says the report from the independent, non-profit organization that monitors global crises.
Well, gee, no wonder these is no headway in that region.

From the people who brought you "beer and popcorn":

Ontario's "biggest shakeup" to its liquor laws since it repealed prohibition in 1927 includes a new tax on beer and allowing it to be sold in hundreds of grocery stores, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday.

"When it comes to the sale of beer in Ontario, I'm here to announce that the status quo is over and that the days of monopoly are done," Wynne said as she released a report by a panel appointed to look at liquor sales and Crown assets.

The Liberal premier made it clear there were big changes coming at the 448 retail outlets operated by the foreign-owned Beer Store, which controls 80 per cent of beer sales in the province.

"The Beer Store has grown into a de facto monopoly, controlled by a very small number of companies," said Wynne. "This system has stifled competition (and) kept craft and small brewers from growing."

The new beer tax — $1 on a case of 24 — will be phased in over four years starting Nov. 1 at 25 cents a case, which is expected to raise $100 million annually by 2019.

Ontario Liberal voters wanted this.

Did you know that Benjamin Levin, friend to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and co-developer of a controversial sex education program being pushed in schools, feels "shame" for encouraging an undercover police officer acting as a mother to abuse her daughter for his enjoyment and that thirty-six people wrote him character references?


It's a good thing everyone is worried about Mike Duffy.

Once again, militant atheists answer questions no one ever asked:

City councils across Canada are reacting differently to Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling that praying before council meetings is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We need to elect our judges.


Justin Trudeau has been effectively kicked out of two churches by no less that the bishop of Charlottetown.

The Liberal Party of P.E.I. had two events lined up this weekend, both in Charlottetown Catholic churches, and both featuring Justin Trudeau.

However, that was before the diocese sent a directive to the province's parishes, reminding them that partisan events aren't permitted in church halls.

Both events have since been relocated.

Even if you don't have a title to land you can't prove is yours, that is not a problem:

Industrial giants, from forestry companies to mining operations, must respect aboriginal territorial claims in British Columbia just as they would heed the rights of any other Canadian landowner, the province's highest court has ruled.

A decision from the B.C. Court of Appeal paves the way for First Nations to launch lawsuits to protect their territory from private parties, even without proving aboriginal title.

Two northwestern First Nations expressed vindication on Wednesday after a panel of three judges overturned a lower court ruling that denied them opportunity to sue the aluminum producer Rio Tinto Alcan.

The Saik'uz and Stellat'en First Nations, based downstream of the company's Kenney hydroelectric dam and reservoir, were refused a trial on the premise that aboriginals must first establish their title. Their initial suit was mounted in September 2011.

The nations contend the dam, in operation since the 1950s, causes nuisance and breaches their rights to the natural waterway that runs through their land. They're seeking damages for property-rights violations, alleging the electricity generator has harmed the Nechako River system and its fisheries.

The decision means they can now take their claims to trial.

This is about money and we know it.

In this addiction story, there is a grain of common sense:

In 2013 Tshakapesh claimed the gas sniffing problem in his community was getting progressively worse and called on government to do more to help.

Both Tshakapesh and Natuashish Chief Gregory Rich said there's a lot of work to be done. 

"We need to target the families, we need to target the parents — the father, the mother, they need to sober up, they need to be clean," said Rich.

"They need to be more open up to their children and be more responsible."

Well, this must be awkward:

Most people know Dr. Mehmet Oz as America’s most famous doctor, occupying the coveted 4pm TV spot with his daily series, “The Dr. Oz Show”.

But what you may not know about him is that prior to becoming a household name via “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2004, Oz was (and still is) one of the most sought-after cardiothoracic surgeons in the country, practicing at New York City’s prestigious New York-Presbyterian Hospital. And since 2001, he’s been a professor at Columbia University, where he’s currently the Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery. 

Now, some of Oz’s peers are calling that appointment into question. On Wednesday, a group of doctors from across the country called on Columbia University to remove Dr. Mehmet Oz from their faculty list...

The environment at medical conferences will be frosty from here on in.

That's nice, Gwyneth, but poor people can't quit their day-to-day struggle just to live:

Who didn’t see this coming? Gwyneth Paltrow writes in her magazine, Goop, that she only lasted four days on her much publicized SNAP challenge:
As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice). My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days—a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year. A few takeaways from the week were that vegetarian staples liked dried beans and rice go a long way—and we were able to come up with a few recipes on a super tight budget.
And she had a team helping her come up with recipes, and still failed.

There was no need to take on this "challenge" anyway. That was just posturing.  Secondly, it offers no solutions to actual poverty (those who genuinely struggle, not wastrels). Thirdly, this stunt served only to patronise those who struggle. Is coming up with a few recipes supposed to be cute? I'm sure the needy don't think so.

There's no censorship like post-Soviet censorship:

In an unprecedented move, Russia has cancelled the release of a Hollywood thriller set in the Stalin era - claiming it distorts history and would air as the country celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany.

The film, 'Child 44', starring Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassel and Gary Oldman, tells the story of a serial killer who targets children in the Stalin era. ...

(Sidebar: unprecedented?) 

The move to effectively ban a major mainstream Hollywood film just a day before it was due to premiere is unprecedented.

In recent years, Russia has cracked down harshly on negative depictions of the Soviet Union during the Stalin era, while criticism of those who fought in the Second World War is taboo.

The culture ministry accused the film of 'distortion of historical facts and the idiosyncratic treatment of events before, during and after' the war.
Is that so?

A North Korean who tried to bring a drunk Soviet lieutenant to justice said, “I cannot forgive the Soviet soldier who raped my wife. Many such perpetrators went unpunished. Though another lieutenant colonel urged the Soviet military police to punish the perpetrators to maintain military discipline several times, his words went unheeded, the report said.

The 25th Primorsky Krai unit commander of the Soviet Far East Army arrived at Pyongyang Airport on Aug. 26, 1945, and described the Soviet army as liberators. “Remember fellow Koreans! Your happiness is up to you. You have achieved freedom and independence. Everything is up to you now,” he said. The report, however, quoted the commander as threatening to hang half of the Koreans” if they rise up against the Soviet army in protest of their abuses.

The commander held a party with his subordinates for 22 hours in a row in downtown Haeju on Nov. 16, 1945. A fire broke out and burned houses, but he said the fire was an act of arson committed by dissidents and received 300,000 yen as compensation.

The report quoted another Soviet colonel as saying privately, “The Korean people were enslaved for the past 35 years. It’s okay for them be enslaved a little longer.


It would be great if a Cuban trip ended up being a "Pope John Paul II Humiliates Castro" redux.

"How can anyone call himself a good man when he lives in a palace and the rest of the population can only earn twenty dollars a month? Oh, hi, Raul. I didn't see you there. Be an amigo and get me a cuba libre, will you? It gets awfully hot under these heavy robes."

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