Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Week: A Merry Christmas

I was channel surfing when I caught this - an episode of Archbishop Fulton Sheen in which he ties Superman, Batman and Christmas together.

Definitely worth a watch (get some hot cider):

When you go from this:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reimbursed taxpayers at least $38,000 for personal and family expenses during his first year in office, with extra childcare for his three kids topping the list.

To this:

Members of the Chinese community have been asked for payments of as much as $5,000 to attend private cash-for-access functions with the Prime Minister, amounts that exceed federal contribution limits.

The former is all attention-deflecting bunk.

Not buying it, Hair-Boy. It's chump change for the ruination of this country.

Some pansy-boy screamed at Ivanka Trump on an airplane and cannot for the life of him imagine why he was kicked off:

A male passenger was removed from a JetBlue flight on Thursday morning after reportedly “berating” Ivanka Trump and her family shortly before takeoff at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to TMZ, the unruly passenger spotted the president-elect’s daughter in coach on the Florida-bound flight.

“Your father is ruining the country,” the man told Trump, according to TMZ. “Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private.”

As JetBlue personnel escorted him off the plane, he purportedly protested, screaming, “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?”

Ottawa school board trustee Donna Blackburn prides herself on being outspoken, but even she agrees that a personal text she sent to fellow trustee Erica Braunovan was a mistake.
In the profanity-laden text, she accused Braunovan of enjoying white privilege and of “buying” her children.

Braunovan and her husband have two young daughters they adopted from Guyana.

The insult came during a testy exchange over the seemingly innocuous topic of school board officials touring an unused part of Broadview Public School to consider what could be done with it.

But at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, there can be nasty politics. And these days, Blackburn is at war with some of her colleagues. Since the board adopted a code of conduct last spring that allows trustees to discipline each other for bad behaviour, four complaints have been filed against Blackburn, including one from Braunovan over the text exchange.

“I’ve jumped through hoops trying to work with this woman,” said Braunovan. “She’s called me names so many times I can’t keep count.” But the text about her children was the last straw, Braunovan told the Citizen. “This is starting to affect my family. I have these two beautiful little girls. My husband and I fought for years to bring these girls into our home. I don’t need that kind of negativity.”

The girls, 6 and 9, have already had to deal with comments from other children about how Braunovan isn’t their “real mom” since their skin colours don’t match, she said. Braunovan and her husband have talked to their girls about some of the stereotypes surrounding adoption, and reassured them they chose to build their family that way. “It’s something that’s very sensitive to my kids.”

They adopted the girls at the same time, four years ago, said Braunovan. “I’ve been a social worker my entire life. As long as there are kids out there who need a home, we wanted to (create a family) that way.”

Braunovan said she never expected she’d have to tell a fellow school board trustee not to say that adopted children are purchased.

The text exchange took a personal turn after Blackburn told Braunovan to drop the idea of touring the Broadview school property. The backdrop: Blackburn prides herself on voting in favour of rebuilding Broadview even though it wasn’t in her district, but she opposes renovating an unused older part of the school. Braunovan is the trustee for the ward where the school is located.

In the text, Blackburn warned of another “political firestorm” over Broadview. She advised Braunovan not to follow the lead of trustee Shawn Menard because he’s an “idiot all of the time.” A year ago, Blackburn got in trouble and apologized for calling Menard and other trustees “whackjobs,” which prompted the board to adopt a code-of-conduct policy. ...

“I am soooo tired of ur white pivelged bullshit,” Blackburn replied. “I bought a coupla kids. So ya take me on.”
See - this is one of the reasons why teachers' unions should be abolished. No one this unpleasant and racist should be allowed to remain anywhere near children.

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

McClinton, church and law enforcement officials told the AP, is an African American member of the burned church. According to authorities, the blaze was not motivated by the presidential race.

Oh, I'm sure I know what the motivation was.

So goes Berlin, so goes Melbourne:

Police say they have arrested seven suspects who allegedly planned a series of bomb attacks in the heart of Australia’s second largest city on Christmas.

Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday the seven had been inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and had planned attacks on Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, neighbouring Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Ashton says police had been watching the alleged plotters for some time, and believed they were preparing to use explosives and other weapons.

Police said they believed the threat had been neutralized through the raids on Thursday night and Friday morning.

I wouldn't hold my breath.

Today in "are we still afraid of 'climate change'?" news:

Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of space research at Pulkovo and the author of the study, has been predicting the arrival of another little ice age since 2003, based on his study of the behaviour of the Sun’s different cycles and the solar activity that then results. His model — informed by Earth’s 18 earlier little ice ages over the past 7,500 years, six of them in the last thousand years — led to his prediction more than a decade ago that the next little ice age would occur between 2012 and 2015. Unlike the global warming models of scientists, which were soon disproved by actual measurements, Abdussamatov’s models have been affirmed by actual events, including the rise of the oceans and the measurable irradiance sent earthward by the sun. This record of accuracy — which he has repeatedly demonstrated in studies between 2003 and now — leads him to now confidently state that in 2014–15, we began our entry into the 19th Little Ice Age.


The Italian name for the caldera – Campi Flegrei, or “burning fields”- is apt. The 7.5-mile-wide cauldron is the collapsed top of an ancient volcano, formed when the magma within finally blew. Though half of it is obscured beneath the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, the other half is studded with cinder cones and calderas from smaller eruptions. And the whole area seethes with hydrothermal activity: Sulfuric acid spews from active fumaroles; geysers spout water and steam and the ground froths with boiling mud; and earthquake swarms shudder through the region, 125 miles south of Rome.

And things seem to be heating up. Writing in the journal Nature on Tuesday, scientists report that the caldera is nearing a critical point at which decreased pressure on rising magma triggers a runaway release of gas and fluid, potentially leading to an eruption.


The second major mistake in the government studies is the way in which they frame the social costs of carbon. As all champions of cost/benefit analysis understand, it is a mistake to look at costs in isolation from benefits, or benefits apart from costs. Yet that appears to be the approach taken in these reports. In dealing with various objections to its reports, the IWG noted in its July 2015 response that “some commenters felt that the SCC estimates should include the value to society of the goods and services whose production is associated with CO2 emissions.” Their evasive response has to be quoted in full to be believed: “Rigorous evaluation of benefits and costs is a core tenet of the rulemaking process. The IWG agrees that these are important issues that may be relevant to assessing the impacts of policies that reduce CO2 emissions. However, these issues are not relevant to the SCC itself. The SCC is an estimate of the net economic damages resulting from CO2 emissions, and therefore is used to estimate the benefit of reducing those emissions.”

Read the rest of this essay.

But being smug is what Canadians do best:

It’s not that Canadians shouldn’t be proud of Canadian society. They certainly should. But if I could enforce a new year’s resolution on this country, it would be to be mindful of and thankful for what dumb luck has bestowed upon us, and to dial down the smugness a long, long way.
It won't happen, even after someone's legs get blown off.

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s nuclear potential needs fortifying, in what would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries’ nuclear weapons.

And now, Noel Nouvelet. Enjoy:


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