Tuesday, September 06, 2016

For A Tuesday

Oh, how the time flies....

How many North Korean women were sold to Chinese farmers as sex slaves in Toronto suburbs, you useless piece-of-sh--?

When Justin Trudeau raised concerns directly with China's political elite about their human-rights record, he says he also acknowledged that Canada isn't perfect.

Trudeau is just a piece-of-sh--. I do believe he would grind his own mother into a fine powder if the Chinese asked him to.

Just like dad.

He is not even being original. How soon have we forgotten Obama's apology tour?

In the mean time, Canadians will have to get used to the sort of frog-boiling human rights abuses at which the Liberals excel: ignoring the violent tendencies of Syrian migrant students in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (prioritising Christians was regarded as "disgusting"), eliminating the only means aboriginals had to hold their spend-happy band chiefs accountable, attempting to change the electoral system without referenda, wasting money while unemployment rises, refusing to help autistic children or their parents, firing scientists and sending jobs overseas.

(Sidebar: do his backers have interests in Hong Kong?)

Speaking of North Korea....

North Korea fired three medium-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast Monday, landing close to Japan, in a show of force that coincided with the meeting of leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies in neighbouring China.

Catherine McKenna wasted $6,662 on photographs of her and her staff and fired scientists. Kirsty Duncan, the current science minister, threw her support behind a discredited treatment for multiple sclerosis.

The Trudeau government announced $900 million in research grants Tuesday, handing out the money in a series of co-ordinated back-to-school announcements designed to remind voters that the Liberal brand stands for science and economic growth.

From St. John’s to Waterloo, Ont. to Edmonton, an octet of ministers were dispatched to star in made-for-TV events designed to underline what is expected to be an increasingly common theme for the government in the months leading up to its second budget: Innovation and the middle-class.

“Support for science is an essential pillar in our strategy to create sustainable economic growth and support and grow the middle class,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his Science Minister Kirsty Duncan in the mandate letter he provided her last fall. ...

(Sidebar: what does the middle-class have to do with scientific research?)

Duncan was the star Tuesday among cheque-carrying ministers, appearing at the University of Waterloo to present that institution with a $76-million award for research into advanced quantum physics. But whether it was Treasury Board President Scott Brison with $93 million for ocean and fisheries research at Dalhousie University in Halifax or Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr with $75 million for research into low-carbon energy at the University of Calgary, each award was made in Duncan’s name.

The money handed out Tuesday is drawn from the  Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a pool of money established by the Harper Conservatives in the 2014 budget to help cover the cost of research on big ideas and big themes. The funding is allocated on a competitive basis with researchers applying to an arms-length selection board.
This is the party that wants everyone to think that they are the science party.

I'm sure:

The fact Justin Trudeau wasn’t invited to a meeting with American, French and German leaders about Ukraine at the G20 wasn’t a snub, says the prime minister’s former international affairs adviser.

Ukraine is better off without Trudeau's bungling.

This is why people would rather vote for anyone other than the Tories. How are they distinguishable from the Liberals?

Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose told CTV that she doesn’t support Kellie Leitch’s proposal to screen new immigrants for “anti-Canadian values.”

Leitch, a Conservative leadership hopeful, came under fire when her campaign sent out an online survey to supporters asking whether immigrants should be screened for “anti-Canadian” values.

But the interim Opposition leader said on CTV’s “Question Period” that she doesn’t know what the screenings “would look like,” noting that there are already criminal background checks in place for potential immigrants.

Ambrose also says she doesn’t think it’s something that Canadians would want to see implemented, and that she thought Leitch’s proposal was “badly worded.”

(Sidebar: was "barbaric" badly worded?)

Culture matters. People whose cultures permit the abuse of women should have no place in Canada no matter how badly Trudeau needs their votes.

Of course, it's a snub:

The president’s subdued arrival on Saturday afternoon, from a secondary exit on the presidential plane, stood in contrast to other world leaders who departed their planes onto red-carpeted stairs – and some, including Trump, perceived it as a snub by Chinese officials.

Maybe Obama should put it all behind him and play some golf. Let someone else worry about the aggressive China's perceptions of major super-powers.

Is a marginal improvement that much of an improvement?

Bangladesh is an attractive option for offshore fast-fashion brands not only due to the country having some of the lowest wages in the world, but also because the country offers foreign investors a 10-year tax holiday.

Following the Rana Plaza tragedy, Mahmud said garment workers salaries have jumped from around 2,000 to 4,000 taka a month, about $33 to $66, to a starting wage of 5,300 taka — $87. 

“Earlier on when there was less regulation, some (factory) owners might exploit,” he said in an interview. “Because they got a poor worker, who was not earning anything, and they say, ‘Ok I pay you 10 taka (17 cents)’ — a lesser salary — and now he cannot do that.”

While the increase marks an improvement, Labowitz cited a recent Fair Labor Association report that found compensation for Bangladeshi garment workers still falls below the World Bank Poverty line.
Based on her research and time in Bangladesh, she has some ideas why.

“The stories I heard were a lot about when the minimum wage was raised, landlords and shop owners immediately raised prices,” she said. “So the effect of the wage increase — which was the right thing to do — didn’t necessarily result in the kind of purchasing power that you would hope for.”

While the garment industry can be empowering and is economically beneficial, Labowitz said, workers in informal, unregistered factories are still at risk for below-minimum wages.

“There’s no enforcing mechanism if you’re not registered,” she said. “For many people it’s still a struggle to get enough to eat, to pay rent.”

The next time someone complains that they need fifteen dollars an hour for flipping hamburgers, force them to work in Bangladesh.

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte backtracks on calling Obama what he truly is:

Earlier Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret over his "son of a bitch" remark while referring to Obama, in a rare display of contrition by a politician whose wide arc of profanities has unabashedly targeted world figures including the pope.

In a statement read by his spokesman, Duterte said his "strong comments" in response to questions by a reporter "elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president."
Way to man up, Duterte.

What is a student's self-esteem going to be like when their communication skills in a globally used language are poor thus hurting their chances at employment and personal growth?

Sandra Inutiq says she's all but given up on the idea that her children will learn Inuktitut in school.
"In my daughter's Grade 8 Inuktitut class, they pulled the janitor in to teach."

Inutiq, the territory's former languages commissioner, was one of several parents, educators and concerned community members to take part in the final public consultation meeting on education reforms in Apex on Friday. The government has been gathering public feedback on proposed changes to the territory's 2008 Education Act after a review in 2015 led to some dramatic recommendations.  

Inutiq was one of several who think the department isn't doing enough to support language learning in the classroom. 

Inutiq says the "patchwork" approach to teaching Inuktitut gives students the message that their language is not important, and erodes their self-esteem and sense of cultural identity.

"How can we talk about bilingual education when we don't... have an aggressive approach to developing teachers that can instruct?" she asked. 

"How are we sending the message to my son that Inuktitut is just as important when the instruction he receives is less than what he receives in English?"

According to Inutiq, the problem is not only a lack of trained teachers. It's also a lack of effort by the government to give teachers the support they need.

Parents are more than welcome to spend their resources on private language lessons if they feel that they must but insisting that children remain linguistically isolated just marks them for a serf class, not a politically protected class as one sees in the francophone oligarchy.

See - there ought to be laws. Oh! There are!

Turns out when it comes to baby names we like to be a bit unique as the main reason parents cited for any regret was how regularly the name was used by others, with a quarter claiming their baby’s name was now too popular.

And now, unusual guard animals:


A vineyard in the Western Cape in South Africa keeps its grapes from being ruined by pests by allowing a veritable army of ducks to march in waves and devour bugs. Because they act as a natural pesticide, the vineyard has been able to reduce chemical applications; their poop is also welcomed as a fertilizer. In honor of their service, the winery markets some of their products under the Runner Duck brand.

He may look feathery but he will mess you up if trespass on his farm.

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