Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Post

For a quiet Sunday afternoon...

Eight murders in Ohio:

At least eight people were killed in “execution-style” shootings in southern Ohio on Friday, authorities said. As many as four young children were found alive at multiple scenes of the shooting, officials added.
What is wrong with people?

After North Korea fired a submarine-launched missile off of its east coast  (though an apparently botched test, it won't be long before someone gets it right; has anyone forgotten the bombardment of Yeongpyeong Island?), it now says it will halt nuclear tests if the US stops drills:

North Korea is ready to halt its nuclear tests if the United States suspends its annual military exercises with South Korea, the North Korean foreign minister told The Associated Press in an interview in which he also warned that his country won't be cowed by international sanctions.

Extortion, thy name is North Korea.


A former North Korean female military officer says male superiors raped all the women in her squad.

In an interview with a media outlet, North Korean defector Lee So-yeon, 41, said 20 male officers sexually harassed 100 lower-ranking female soldiers in the squad.

"Those who got pregnant were sent to a hospital in the city of Haeju, South Hwanghae Province, the only hospital in the vicinity of the military base," Lee said, according to the report. "Medical personnel in the hospital who found out about the incident divulged the fact after two years."

Rape targeting female soldiers is frequent at North Korean military bases and those responsible are rarely punished, she said. Victims are often dishonorably discharged from the military.

"Authorities, aware of time and money invested in nurturing high-ranking male officers, are reluctant to punish them, although they are responsible for the crime," Lee said.

Another set of cruelties to add to the widespread abuse of women in North Korea.

I'm sure the "mattress" crowd will be all over this.


The Liberal government wants to bolster a waning industry:

Canada's Liberal government is prepared to overhaul the country's laws governing broadcasting, media and cultural industries to support local content, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly told the Globe and Mail in a report on Saturday, announcing a new policy direction in what she called a broken system.

Canada's broadcast regulator has long had requirements for networks to carry certain amounts of local content. But it cut that quota drastically last year under the Conservative government, after the industry was shaken up by the arrivals of online media services such as the streaming site Netflix.

Joly told the Globe she was willing to change laws such as the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act and modify the mandates of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) broadcast regulator and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp public media organization. She added the government would also create new laws or agencies, as needed.

Joly's Canadian Heritage federal department on Saturday announced a public consultation on how to support and promote Canadian content in the current digital climate. The department said in a statement it has made available a pre-consultation questionnaire on media consumption habits and expectations that will be open until May 20. The department said Joly will lead the next phase, which will begin in the summer, though it did not give further details.
I'm waiting for any politician to have the wontons to privatise the CBC and to shut down the CRTC.

Now that would revolutionise things.

It's only money!

Taxpayers forked out almost $150,000 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his 30 cabinet ministers to hole up for several days at a swanky, seaside New Brunswick resort where they pondered weighty matters of state.

And now they're poised to do it again, this time at a mountain resort in Kananaskis Country, 85 kilometres west of Calgary.

Speaking of money:

The gap is growing between the amount of money First Nations children receive for basic services compared to other Canadians, according to documents filed at an inquest into First Nations student deaths in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Spending information from the Department of Indigenous Affairs shows the impact of the two-per-cent cap on annual increases to First Nations budgets, put in place in 1996 by the previous Liberal government.

The document compares and tracks funding for First Nations people versus other Canadians on a per-person and inflation-adjusted basis dating back to 1994. It shows that funding for First Nations dropped by almost 30 per cent during that time, while funding for other Canadians rose during the same period.

"If we allow things to continue as they are, then we as a people are accepting racial discrimination against children as a fiscal restraint measure," said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
Justin Trudeau said his government will lift the two-per-cent cap on funding, but it's not clear when First Nations budgets will be adjusted.
It's not discrimination when band chiefs are clearly corrupt and fat off of the taxpayer's dime.

Not that I expect Trudeau to hop to it. He already has aboriginal votes. Anything else would be as meaningless as his refusal to call the murder of Christians and Yazidis genocide.

In May, the territory of Nunavut will hold a plebiscite on private land ownership:

Nunavut is considering changing one of the most basic facts of economic life for its households and businesses by allowing them to buy the land their homes and buildings sit on.

On May 9, the territory will hold a binding plebiscite on whether municipalities should be able to release land for fee-simple ownership of the kind almost all Canadians in non-aboriginal communities take for granted.

Advocates say allowing people to buy instead of taking out long-term leases will make it simpler and cheaper for Inuit to buy homes and bring more money into a housing market that desperately needs more construction. Others say the government hasn't done its homework on the issue and fear private land ownership won't benefit the average Inuk.

"Looking across Nunavut, I do not see a lot of Inuit being positioned to take benefits from the sale of land," said Cathy Towtongie of the land claim group Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which opposes private ownership.

"I do see a lot of non-Inuit that have the capacity, the capability and the dollars to buy land."
The plebiscite asks all Nunavut voters whether municipalities should have the power to release land they now hold for private sale. Most Nunavut land tenure is currently regulated by long-term leases.

It's not like these guys are finding cures for diseases:

Oklahoma is just a signature away from revoking the licenses of most doctors who perform abortions.

This guy:

An Australian politician has set fire to a river to draw attention to methane gas he says is seeping into the water due to fracking, with the dramatic video attracting more than two millions views.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham used a kitchen lighter to ignite bubbles of methane in the Condamine River in Queensland, about 220 kilometres (140 miles) west of Brisbane.

The video shows him jumping back in surprise, using an expletive as flames shoot up around the dinghy.

"Unbelievable. A river on fire. Don't let it burn the boat," Buckingham, from New South Wales, said in the footage posted on Facebook on Friday evening, which has been viewed more than two million times.

"Unbelievable, the most incredible thing I've seen. A tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin (river system)," he said, blaming it on nearby coal-seam gas mining, or fracking.

Australia is a major gas exporter, but the controversial fracking industry has faced a public backlash in some parts of the country over fears about the environmental impact.

Where has one seen this before?

Fox’s new film, Gasland Part II, features a powerful scene showing a Texas landowner lighting the contents of a garden hose on fire. The incident is presented as evidence of water contamination from a nearby hydraulic fracturing operation.

According to a Texas court, the scene was actually a hoax devised by a Texas environmental activist engaged in a prolonged battle with a local gas company to falsely inflate the supposed dangers of the oil and gas extraction technique, also known as fracking. ...

Gasland Part II, a sequel to Fox’s Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary Gasland, will premiere on HBO on Monday night.

Like the first Gasland, which showed a Colorado landowner setting his tap water on fire, the sequel appears to falsely inflate the dangers of hydraulic fracturing to local groundwater supplies.

The iconic flaming faucet scene from the first Gasland was criticized as misleading by some who noted that area residents had reported flammable tap water for decades. When asked why he did not inform viewers of that fact, Fox said he didn’t think it was relevant.

Now the Condamine River and related waterways are diverse in their makeup and use. Any leaks of methane into the river were due possibly to floods and deemed not a major risk to people or the environment according to a Queensland governmental investigation. Indeed, the presence of methane can be quite overblown.

This seems like a lot of hot gas.

(See what I did there?)

And now, an owl uses a mushroom as an umbrella.

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