Thursday, September 08, 2016

But Wait! There's More!

With approval ratings as low as they can go, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has prorogued the legislature in hopes that a mad week-end brain-storming session can produce lies convincing even the most impoverished taxpayer:

The provincial legislature was officially prorogued Thursday to allow for a new session of parliament and Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell to read a new Speech from the Throne on Monday — a parliamentary tradition to allow a government to outline its agenda. This move comes after a troubled summer for the Liberals, and PC leader Patrick Brown said it’s only intended “to frame a new narrative after an embarrassing defeat in the Scarborough-Rouge River by-election.”

But the government maintains the mid-mandate refresh is standard operating procedure employed at different times by all parties — and every parliament since at least 1995 has included one such refresh.

“Prorogation is a normal government practice to reset the government agenda, to layout new legislative priorities,” Government House Leader Yasir Naqvi said. “It’s something we’ve seen governments do at all times. The tool exists exactly for that purpose. It is appropriate at a midway point in our mandate where we have been doing some very important work … that we now outline what the government priorities are going to be for the next 20 months of the mandate.”

Rather, this is a ploy to buy time.

But... but... we have nothing to fear from ISIS!

A senior terrorist killed in Bangladesh last week may have been trained by the Canadian Armed Forces as part of an international military cooperation program, defence sources said Thursday.

The Department of National Defence said it was trying to verify whether Mohammad Zahidul Islam, the alleged second-in-command of a pro-ISIL faction behind a wave of deadly attacks, had trained in Canada.

Health Canada has permitted the use of heroin for drug users

Health Canada has amended regulations allowing doctors to prescribe heroin to people who are severely addicted to opioids.

The government says the country is facing an opioid overdose crisis and health-care providers need help in treating patients suffering from chronic dependency.

The change to the former Conservative government's legislation means pharmaceutical-grade heroin can be prescribed under a special-access program in cases where traditional treatment has failed.

However, Health Canada says that while there is scientific evidence to support emergency access to the drug, the treatment is not an option for most people.

Health Minister Jane Philpott has said the government will hold a summit this fall to address the issue of opioid addiction leading to hundreds of overdose deaths across Canada.

(Insert own "way-past-the-slippery-slope" comment here.)

Methadone is prescribed for weaning people off of heroin use but why let medical facts get in the way of another taxpayer-funded dog's breakfast?

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould balances lying to Big Aboriginal with being ruled by the UN, an organisation that has caused more conflicts than it prevented or stopped:

Canada must adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a way that translates into real change for its aboriginal citizens, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says.

She told an annual gathering of British Columbia cabinet ministers and First Nations leaders on Wednesday that it’s important to appreciate why Canada cannot simply incorporate the declaration “word for word” into law.

“The hard and sometimes painful truth is that many of our current realities do not align with the standards of the United Nations declaration, and as such they must be systemically and coherently dismantled,” she said.

What it was like walking into the thick of an anti-Semitic crowd:

In years past, I have proudly waved my Israeli flag at the counter-protest. Police always set up barriers between the two groups of protesters, in order to keep the peace. I had thus never had a chance to experience the Al-Quds side for myself — until this year.

I arrived early. The first thing I noticed was the signs the protesters were holding. Several claimed the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) are equivalent, saying, “ISIS and IDF are the same: Only difference is their name” and “Humanity devastated, Zionist collaborated, ISIS & IDF activated.” Some read: “Boycott IsraHell.” Others showed graphic images purporting to be bloodied Palestinian children being abused by the IDF. I later searched for these images online and found that they were from other conflicts, unrelated to Israel. ...

Canada has laws against hate speech, and targeting identifiable groups for intimidation. Having now spent time inside an Al-Quds rally, it’s hard for me to imagine that these events do not cross the line where free speech becomes something else, something far more sinister and dangerous. More Canadians, particularly those in positions of power and influence, need to know what is being said at these events. Until they do, they will not understand why Jewish students such as myself no longer feel safe wearing our Magen Davids on campus, even right here at home in Canada.

Canadians and their politicians understand; they just don't care.

And, no, there should be no hate speech laws.

What is said at al-Quds rallies are obnoxious and demonstrably false. Hate speech laws will not eliminate the mindset that utters or prints these vile things. They will only move the vitriol elsewhere.

It is better to have counter-rallies.

First, teach Canadians how to read and then get them to read history books.

THEN have the counter-rallies.

It is being reported that an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale that might be related to an unreported underground nuclear test:

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says European monitoring agency reports 5.0 magnitude quake in North Korea; no immediate confirmation of nuclear test.

More from Yonhap.

Oh, heavens to Betsy! Duterte's spot-on assessment of Obama is costing the Philippines:

Duterte’s latest diplomatic dust-up, this time offensive comments aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama, led to Washington calling off talks between the two leaders at a regional summit in Laos. On its face a rift between the longtime allies would appear to provide an opening for China, but in reality it just made the Philippine leader look unsteady: And that’s not good for anyone.

No, that is pals scratching each other's backs.


The Australian government told a court Tuesday that it was seeking at least 120 million Australian dollars ($118 million) from the owners of a Chinese coal ship that damaged part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Shenzhen Energy Transport was fighting the clean-up bill in the Australian Federal Court on Tuesday for Douglas Shoal, which was damaged when the Shen Neng 1 went off course and grounded in April 2010.

The Federal Court heard that the crash site was contaminated with hundreds of kilograms of paint particles tainted with the highly-toxic, anti-fouling agent tributyltin.

Tributyltin slows the growth of aquatic organisms on ship hulls, and marine biologists say the particles need to be removed from the 40-hectare crash site to allow the area to recover.

The carrier’s owner says the reef is self-healing and the company should not have to pay for a clean-up that was not needed.

I don't understand why President White Bread didn't assert that Americans are "lazy" in the United States where such statements would make an enormous impact. It's like talking smack behind someone's back and then pretending that one is bold and dangerous.

Instead, Obama's maligning of the people he was elected to lead just makes him look like an even bigger douche than what he already is:

During a townhall meeting in Laos, President Barack Obama called Americans “lazy” multiple times.
For one, Obama said Americans’ reluctance to embrace his favored environmental policies is a sign of laziness. ...

He also accused Americans of being isolated and ignorant because the United States is such a big country.

Oh, Hillary! The things you say!

Glossing over the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four U.S. diplomats, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night claimed that “we did not lose a single American” due to military intervention in Libya.

Fifty years ago today, the first episode of Star Trek was aired. From there, it exploded into a franchise. But could the franchise have been had these spin-offs been aired?

An Assignment Earth TV series would have been interesting in that it would have — for better or worse — allowed Roddenberry and his team the chance to churn out topical and politically relevant sci-fi stories without the barrier that Star Trek‘s aliens and deep space travel provided. But it also would have felt a bit like Doctor Who. (Seven had a companion and a sonic screwdriver-like device called a Servo, after all.) So, maybe it’s for the best that the show never came to be.

I think it would have made an interesting series myself.

What do the uniform colours on the show actually mean:

Fans know the basics: an array of blue, red, and gold shirts line the bridge of the ship every episode. Those colors weren't just randomly picked for the sake of diversity, though. They actually correspond to the ship's various service roles. The gold shirts are worn by the command division, which includes Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Sulu, and Pavel Chekov. Red uniforms belong to the engineering/communications division, including chief engineer Scotty and communications officer Uhura. The blue shirts are worn by the science/medical staff, including McCoy and Spock.

As with everything in Star Trek, though, it's a lot more complicated than all of that. In addition to the red shirts belonging to engineers and communications personnel, they are also assigned to the security division. What's the purpose of the security division on the Enterprise? Well, they're usually the mindless supporting characters who are immediately killed whenever the crew is confronted by a new enemy. This is something of a running gag for Trek fans, as whenever one of the "Red Shirts" is seen on screen, you know they're not long for this world.

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