Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Post

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich have been convicted of coldly luring out and murdering Tim Bosma:

Grieving relatives of an Ontario man killed after taking two strangers on a test drive three years ago broke into smiles and tears of relief Friday as the two men were found guilty of first-degree murder, setting off a wave of celebration that rippled through the courthouse and out onto the street.

Gasps rang out in the Hamilton courtroom as the jury announced the convictions of Dellen Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, both of whom had pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.

Cheers erupted moments later as Bosma's family members, including his widow, Sharlene Bosma, walked out of the courtroom to a crowd of supporters. "We won!" one supporter said, a sentiment that was echoed by several others.

(Sidebar: I don't how cheering is a dignified way to react to the conviction of two soulless ghouls for the brutal taking of life of one's spouse but I guess I'm just not with it.  They still get to take in oxygen at the taxpayers' expense until they are paroled.)

People who don't get to take in oxygen, everyone else:

Bill C-14 was given royal assent less than two hours after senators voted 44-28 to accept the controversial legislation, which limits the right to assisted dying to those whose natural death is "reasonably foreseeable."

The Senate had amended the bill to include those who aren't terminally ill, but the Commons voted Thursday to reject the change.

Rather than kill the bill outright or insist on the amendment and bounce it back to the Commons once again, a majority of senators gave up Friday and accepted the government's version of the bill.

Look for the following: with hospital beds clearing, a larger and more entrenched bureaucratic class making healthcare decisions for Canadians, no new medical breakthroughs (the Netherlands and Belgium have radical euthanasia laws and very little to offer in the field of medicine and have been quick to use euthanasia for reasons other than pain) and more liberalised laws that will kill anyone.

The Canada Pension Plan, along with other government-run pension plans, is an enormous waste of workers' hard-earned money and is designed only to give autocrats more power over people:

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will meet with his provincial counterparts in Vancouver on Monday, and a plan to expand the pension plan will be at the top of the agenda. Some premiers, notably Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne, have been pushing to boost benefits, which is only possible with an increase in premiums paid by workers and employers.

“I don’t believe that the minister of finance has made a case based on evidence as to why we need to take such a drastic step of increasing everybody’s cost across the board in order to get a benefit in the future,” Raitt said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio's The House.

Morneau has promised to reach an agreement on a CPP enhancement by year’s end, and Wynne signalled in a separate interview with Hall Friday that there now appears to be a consensus among the provinces, after a period of wrangling.

“I am more optimistic. It’s a different moment than it was even a few weeks ago, there is more of a potential for some success,” she said, adding she would be willing to ditch her plan to launch an Ontario retirement pension plan if a CPP deal is achieved.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that he wanted to ensure “Canadians are going to be able to afford the things they need in the present while ensuring retirement security for as many people as possible.”

But Raitt called it a solution looking for a problem.

“Canada ranks above everybody else in being prepared for retirement,” Raitt said, citing a recent OECD study. “We have all kinds of other vehicles to allow for savings other than the traditional pensions that are set aside,“ she said, noting that many other financial products, including equities held in an RRSP, often deliver a better rate of return than funds invested in the CPP.

The former Conservative cabinet minister said Finance Canada itself has found that Canadians are in good shape for retirement, with 83 per cent of households on track for a comfortable retirement.

"If we’re dealing [with] a cohort of only 17 per cent, figure out who it is, and then develop those tools specifically for those cohorts to have them save for the future,” Raitt said, citing a McKinsey study commissioned by the last government.

The maximum CPP payout stands at $1,092.50 per month, although the average payment is closer to $500 a month.

PM Trulander attempts to sound tough against a country he said openly that he admired and which communist dictator his father supported:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to establish closer relations with China but, citing human rights and governance concerns, won’t rush into a free trade agreement with the superpower.

China's human rights record against its own people and North Korea was never a secret. When Trulander said he admired China, it was returning North Korean refugees to North Korea where they would face a certain death, it was persecuting Christians and other dissidents and its environment was virtually unlivable for any being, human or otherwise.

No one can believe that this move was motivated by Trulander's understanding of the political machine in China (or Russia, for that matter) or by anything resembling altruism. That's not how Pierre's son operates.

Veterans have risked their lives so that others may live in security and freedom.

Veterans have also banded against one leader for another who treats them far worse.

From Rex Murphy:

The truth is that remedying Blindheim’s situation would be easy and would come at little cost to the government. Trudeau should grant this old and honourable soldier the peace of a dignified and cared-for departure. He should demonstrate a little of those “Canadian values of caring and respect” that decorate so many of his public speeches. And he should do it before Canadians pay tribute to the fallen on Canada Day. Otherwise, those tributes will be as hollow and vain as the wind that stirs and brings no rain.

Belgium charges three men for plotting terrorist acts:

Belgian prosecutors charged three men with terrorism offences on Saturday following overnight raids that took place amid heightened security in Belgium and France due to the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.
Three months after Islamist bombers killed 32 people in Brussels, police searched dozens of houses across the country and arrested 12 people the night before Belgium's Euro 2016 game against Ireland.

Nine of them were released after questioning but three Belgian nationals identified as 27-year-old Samir C., 40-year-old Moustapha B., and 29-year-old Jawad B., were charged with "having attempted to commit a terrorist murder and for participation in the activities of a terrorist group", the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Some media reports said the suspects had planned attacks against fans watching the Euro 2016 games in Brussels, and had possibly been targeting Saturday afternoon's Belgium vs Ireland match. 

Russian track-and-field athletes have been banned from the financially-strapped Rio de Janiero Summer Olympics and Putin does not like it one bit:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken out against the IAAF’s decision to uphold an international ban over his country’s track and field federation that would bar it from sending athletes to the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“Of course that is unjust and unfair,” Putin said in a Friday news conference. "There are universally recognized principles of law and one of them is that the responsibility should be always personified - if some of the members of your family have committed a crime, would it be fair to hold all the members of the family liable including you? That is not how it's done."

The IAAF voted unanimously Friday to extend its ban after it found that “the deep-seated culture of tolerance (or worse) for doping” had not been changed since the ban was instated in November.

If Putin doesn't like something, he will just invade another country.

Exterminate! Exterminate!

A crafty robot was able to escape the clutches of scientific research and make a dash for freedom outside a research lab in Perm, Russia on Tuesday.

A crafty robot was able to escape the clutches of scientific research and make a dash for freedom outside a research lab in Perm, Russia on Tuesday.  The robot, named Promobot, was being taught to move around on its own when a worker reportedly left a gate open. Promobot traveled about 164 feet, stopping in a nearby street when its battery ran out, the BBC reported. SEE ALSO: Jerk human beats up Boston Dynamics robot An alternative theory is that the robot was fed up with its human overlords and decided to end its life in protest by standing in traffic. Maybe it heard about the abusive conditions at Boston Dynamics.   But some Russian media is skeptical, claiming that this was just a clever marketing stunt to garner attention for the humanoid robot. After all, the Promobot company did post a video of the incident to its YouTube channel.   In the video, a police officer rolls up to the spot where the robot is blocking traffic, and a few moments later a man moves Promobot out of the street. Russian media reported that the robot was in the road for approximately 30 minutes before it was retrieved.   According to the company, the robot is designed to talk to people, help them with navigation and answer questions.  Bonus: Corgi butts in slow motion
Убивайте Доктора!

Also: Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, something Skynet has ignored.

A professor in Saskatchewan wants to fix what she calls "food swamps":

Many people have heard of food deserts — low-income communities where there is limited or no access to healthy food sources. But Rachel Engler-Stringer, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, is also concerned about "food swamps" — areas where the convenience stores far out number healthy food stores.

Engler-Stringer spoke to CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning about the harms of food swamps in Saskatoon and what can be done about them.

Engler-Stringer said Saskatoon food swamps are throughout the downtown core area, up Idylwyld Drive, and in the 33rd Street area of Saskatoon.

"In part because of where the arteries are, so where the larger streets are, and so the sort of commercialization neighbourhoods, we find in Saskatoon our lower income areas of the city have a much higher proportion of unhealthy food sources," Engler-Stringer said.

Yes, about that:

"Since 2011, the Federal Government has spent almost $500 million to improve food store access in neighborhoods lacking large, well-stocked grocery stores," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). "States and local governments have also launched programs to attract supermarkets or improve existing stores in underserved areas. For example, the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Initiative has provided $30 million of public funds (matched with $117 million of private investment) to help address limited store access in underserved urban and rural areas throughout Pennsylvania." 

The theory was simple: poor people simply lacked easy access to healthy food options. If you put fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in front of them, they would soon be singing the praises of Michael Pollan, too. And voila: no more obesity epidemic in these neighborhoods. 

But of course things didn't work out that way. As many business owners in these neighborhoods and other food-desert skeptics have pointed out, the problem wasn't that they simply hadn't thought to offer more wholesome items. The problem was that these items just didn't sell. You can lead human beings to Whole Foods, but you can't make them buy organic kale there.

Australian researchers decant some rather old beer:

An 18th century shipwreck has given some thirsty Australian researchers the opportunity to enjoy beer just like they made it 220 years ago.

Described as tasting “light and fresh,” the batch of beer goes by the name Preservation Ale and is sure to have beer aficionados green with envy. 

The unique beer recipe was made possible after researchers at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery successfully cultivated a live yeast sample taken from a beer bottle recovered from a shipwreck, ...

Divers salvaged the vintage beer bottle in the early 1990s from the Sydney Cove trading vessel, which sunk off the coast of Australia in the year 1797. The ship was carrying a wide selection of trading goods from Calcutta to Sydney when it sank to the bottom of the ocean floor.
At 220 years old, the organic yeast recovered from the salvaged bottle may be the oldest specimen in modern existence. 

The sample used to create the unique beer gives it a taste consistent with the historic brewing practices used all those years ago, according to museum conservator David Thurrowgood.  

“Possibly the wreck has now also given us the world’s only known pre-industrial revolution brewing yeast,” he said.

“It is genetically different to hundreds of yeast species it has been compared to from Australia and around the world.”

And a merry Father's Day to all y'all.

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