Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mid-Week Post

Erdogan has declared a three month state of emergency:

Turkey's president has declared a three-month state of emergency following last week's failed coup.
In a televised speech, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned there "may be more plans" from dissidents to try and overthrow the government.

The president said the state of emergency was in order to "take the most efficient steps in order to remove this threat as soon as possible, which is a threat to democracy and to the rule of law".

State security powers will be vastly increased as a result of the emergency measure, and it means the president and cabinet will have the ability to bypass parliament and pass new laws - suspending rights and freedoms if necessary.

Turkey's constitution enables a state of emergency to be imposed "at a time of serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence", but they haven't been used in the country since 2002.
An emergency doesn't come with time limits. Erdogan is currently purging anyone he believes was directly or indirectly involved with the coup.

I imagine that purge may be completed three months from now.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has told Turkey to respect the rule of law as it moves against the plotters of its failed coup.

I'm sure Erdogan is intimidated by Trudeau's nothingness.

A journalist critical of Putin was killed in a car bombing:

Belarus-born journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was killed by a car bomb in central Kiev on Wednesday, was known for his fearless criticism of the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

It is no secret that journalists critical of Putin end up either dead or jailed (though no one is willing to publicly say it).


Mr. Wendt failed to add how frequent these occurrences were prior to letting in millions of "lone wolves".

They voted for it:

Half of the country's aboriginal families living on reserve could miss out on the federal government's new child benefit aimed at raising hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty.

Tax returns are the basis for calculating how much a family receives under the new benefit and internal government estimates peg the tax filing rate on reserves at about 50 per cent.

That means millions intended to help indigenous children could end up left in the federal treasury.

They are not the only ones who voted for ruin:

The recently announced CPP hike is the most recent nail in the coffin. Virtually all objective analysts have for years stated that CPP enhancement was not needed and that the current system does a commendable job of providing retirement security for the vast majority of Canadians, especially those at the lower end of the income scale. Prior to entering politics, even the current Finance Minister Bill Morneau stated “Canadians are actually doing better than they think they are in their retirement planning – and are better off than many of the experts are telling us.”

So if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Part of the reason is that many Canadians believe they will be big winners from a larger CPP, despite facts to the contrary. Another compelling reason is that the very underfunded government employee pension plans, which are integrated with the CPP, will benefit greatly from a CPP expansion. Public sector unions spent many millions of their members’ mandatory dues in the 2015 federal election promoting the election of the Trudeau government, and the CPP changes are a very nice payback. Unfortunately, this payoff comes at the expense of the 80 per cent of Canadians who do not work for government, but who spend in the neighbourhood of $40 billion annually to fund rich government employee pensions. And as usual with such pension changes, younger taxpayers will bear the brunt of the CPP hikes, paying higher premiums up front for little gain in benefits down the road.


The great Ontario Liberal electricity cash grab isn’t over yet. The government has sold off 30 per cent of its shares in the province’s biggest monopoly power distributor, Hydro One, netting about $3.7 billion. Another 30 per cent will be sold later. The money raised from shareholders in the market will fall into a slush fund the Kathleen Wynne government says will be used to pay for “investment in public infrastructure” and help balance the provincial budget.

But there’s more to come. The province is busy orchestrating another electricity deal to net the government hundreds of millions more. The outlines of the deal were announced in April last year by then energy minister Bob Chiarelli, who spun it as a “win‐win” for all concerned. But Chiarelli didn’t do much to explain how all the alleged wins would accumulate. So far, the only obvious cash beneficiary is the provincial government, which is set to net about $400 million.

No, Ontario will not be getting out of debt any time soon.

The world runs on oil. The only question is whether it is Canadian oil or Arab oil:

It’s a hypothetical question, perhaps, but not altogether unreasonable. The pressure is on to cap expansion of oil sands production and exports to fight climate change. That, coupled with international efforts to move to climate-friendly energy sources and away from hydrocarbons, suggests demand for oil sands crude may flatten and decline in the longer term.

“The global economy is on a long-term trend of declining oil intensity,” Burkhard said, explaining that improvements in energy efficiency have cut the amount of oil needed per thousand dollars of economic output.

The long-term trend is for growth in oil demand to separate from growth in global economic demand.
“The idea of having a peak in world oil demand in the next decade is not a fantasy. It’s not guaranteed to happen, either, but it’s more plausible now than it was, say, 20 years ago.”

But the significance of Alberta’s oil production, roughly 80 per cent of which now comes from oil sands, extends beyond its barrels of oil, Burkhard said.

Yes, about that:

Analysts predict oil prices driven higher by production stoppages during the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfires in May will bolster the bottom lines of Canadian oil and gas companies as they report financial results starting this week.

Western Canada Select, the benchmark price for blended oilsands bitumen, rose by 58 per cent in the three months ended June 30 to an average of $42.52 per barrel from $26.93 in the first quarter of the year, said analyst Nick Lupick of AltaCorp Capital.

“Unfortunately, one of the contributing factors helping support Canadian crude prices in the quarter were the forest fires in Fort McMurray, which saw a total of 1.5 million barrels per day of bitumen and SCO (synthetic crude oil) production offline at its peak in mid-May,” he said on Tuesday.

I guess people do need Alberta's oil.

Gut an industry and who will notice? Those affected by that economic sabotage.


An Edmonton protester who was driving erratically along Highway 2 with a sign in his car’s back window saying “F— Harper” has been convicted of stunting.

The law does not allow for one to be so self-absorbed as to endanger the lives of others.

This would only work if bland fossils like Margaret Atwood were worth tearing adolescents away from their cell phones:

Ontario wants to see the work of more Canadian authors incorporated into school curricula as part of a new provincial culture strategy.

Tourism and Culture Minister Eleanor McMahon says there will also be technical and business skills training for some of the 280,000 workers in Ontario’s cultural sector, which adds more than $25 billion a year to the economy.

McMahon says a new fund will be created to support cultural activities in First Nations communities, including camps for young people that promote awareness of traditional knowledge.

The minister says engagement in arts and culture is a catalyst for creative thinking and innovation, which she calls “essential qualities in the knowledge economy and vital to Ontario’s growth and prosperity.”

(Sidebar: Ontario's puppy mills high schools aren't teaching marketable skills now. What wisdom could badly-written and tedious dreck impart on the future unemployed?)

Guys, guys -  you're both wrong:

Some members of Montreal’s Italian community are upset the Patriote flag, an enduring symbol for Quebec separatists, is flying in place of the Italian flag over a park in the heart of Little Italy.

This is Canada, guys.

Not that you need a flag to figure that out.

And now, bacon - is there nothing it can't do?

Yesterday afternoon an 86 year old female withdrew a large quantity of money from a cash machine before heading into a supermarket in Altrincham. Whilst shopping, the lady was challenged by an unknown female who grabbed her trolley and demanded the money she had withdrawn. The 86 year old lady then defended herself by repeatedly hitting the female offender over the head with a packet of bacon. The offender then retreated and made off from the supermarket.

Bacon: a delicious way to stop crime.

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