Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Mid-Week Post

Your mid-week train-of-thought...

A shooting in Georgia:

A man fatally shot one Georgia police officer and wounded a second before fleeing an apartment complex near a college campus that went on lockdown as a precaution, authorities said. They said the suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Seriously - how difficult is it to hold a referendum?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists that well before we all go the polls again, he’s going to keep his promise to replace the first-past-the-post system Canadians have been using since Confederation. But rookie Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef insists that the question of how we’ll vote, exactly, requires further public engagement. So maybe there will be séances, or ritual drumming, or palmistry.

It could well be that the Liberal party intends to screw us out of the national referendum on a proportional-voting system that the majority of us wanted and expected. It could also be that in all the shouting, we’re missing a larger and far more important point: Canadians are almost uniquely fortunate among the people of the world at the moment, in that we’re even capable of having these kinds of elaborate and arcane arguments at all. We don’t know how lucky we are.

Because in China and Cuba, the proportional voting system always picks one party for some reason.

Also: scratch an insecure hypocritical knuckle-dragger and you will find a leftist every time:

Oosterhoff was unprepared for what awaited him under the hot lights, and that is a strange failure of his staff. More bizarre still, though, was the tone of many of the reporters’ questions, which were framed as accusations, with nary a cursory effort to mask the questioners’ contempt. Later, as the video made the rounds on social media, the Greek Chorus of revulsion chimed in: “This guy is an ignorant f—!” read one Facebook post.


Oosterhoff won because he focussed on jobs. The electorate is tired of not having them.

Please, angry little leftists, cuss some more. That way voters, tired of your immature snowflake pouty crap, will elect more people like Oosterhoff. Imagine people so busy contributing to society that they have no time to pay attention to your insignificant blather.

Pay-for-play fund-raiser is being called a "networking opportunity":

The Liberal Party marketed a recent $1,500 per ticket fundraiser with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an opportunity for donors to “form relationships and open dialogues with our government” and to network with other wealthy business executives.

It is the federal party’s first written acknowledgment that Liberal cash-for-access fundraisers are more than just partisan functions but a place to network and discuss business in the Prime Minister’s presence.

The Sept. 14 event was at the Montreal home of former Liberal senator Leo Kolber, who was a chief Liberal fundraiser for Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien. Montreal billionaire Stephen Bronfman, who now heads fundraising for the Liberal Party, was the co-host, along with high-tech entrepreneur Ari Himmel.

One will remember that Stephen Bronfman is a financial backer for the Liberals and former vice-chair of the David Suzuki Foundation.

One can see where their true intentions lie.

Follow the money.

Also: this repulsive lying sack of crap used to be a substitute drama teacher:

How many tears has he shed for the Yazidis?


Oh, heavens to Betsy:

On Tuesday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump excitedly announced that telecommunications giant SoftBank Group has pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs. - See more at:

On Tuesday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump excitedly announced that telecommunications giant SoftBank Group has pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs. 

The deal sounds great on the surface. After all, who could possibly argue with a $50 billion infusion and 50,000 jobs gained in the U.S. economy?

Now, what if you were told that the money was actually coming from the government of Saudi Arabia?
Here’s what Trump left out of his grand announcement:

According to the Wall Street Journal, the majority of the investment will come from a $100 billion investment fund that SoftBank set up in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by the Saudi royal family, is the fund’s lead partner, the report added. This means that most of the money Mr. Son is going to invest in America is actually coming straight from Riyadh, and not through his Japan-based conglomerate.

The fund is overseen by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. Notably, the Saudi royal, who is the most powerful member of the family (outside the king himself), made sure to congratulate Trump on his election victory in November.

While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump rightfully demanded that Hillary Clinton return the investments the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments.

“Hillary wrote that the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are ‘providing clandestine and financial and logistical support to ISIL.’ Yet, in that same year, Bill and Hillary accepted a check from Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “I think she should give back the $25 to $35 million she’s taken from Saudi Arabia. And she should give it back fast.”

Trump again castigated Clinton in June for taking money from the oil-rich kingdom.
What did he campaign on again?

Math relies on formulae. There are no creative, round-about ways of saying two plus two equals four.

That's where discovery math fails students:

A debate over so-called discovery math — an approach wherein students are encouraged to work out problems in various ways instead of relying on rote learning — erupts every few months as math-testing scores are published in different provinces. And, as the PISA report reveals, progress across the country remains uneven on all fronts — in particular, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador lag the rest of the country.

It's a subject that doesn't need to be harder than it is. Return to the basics and watch the scores change.

Also: it's time to re-emphasise the importance of geography. That way, spoiled little babies can check a map before they derail people for speaking their minds:

The 44-year-old teacher, who has asked that he not be identified to protect what’s left of his career, was teaching “the criminal law unit, a lesson on vice, ethics, morality and the law” to his small class in the Vancouver-area school in late November.

“I was working my way through examples of how some people’s sense of personal ethics was more liberal than the letter of the law,” he said in an email.

For example, he told them, many people might roll through a stop sign on a deserted country road, deeming it morally acceptable, even if unlawful.
In other words, he said, in a pluralistic democracy, there’s often “a difference between people’s private morality and the law.

“I find abortion to be wrong,” he said, as another illustration of this gap, “but the law is often different from our personal opinions.”

That was it, the teacher said. “It was just a quick exemplar, nothing more. And we moved on.”
A little later, the class had a five-minute break, and when it resumed, several students didn’t return, among them a popular young woman who had gone to an administrator to complain that what the teacher said had “triggered” her such that she felt “unsafe” and that, in any case, he had no right to an opinion on the subject of abortion because he was a man.

The school, for the record, is a witheringly progressive one.
Before classes even started last fall, teachers underwent serious “gender training” given by QMUNITY, an organization for LGBTQQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and two-spirit) people. Teachers were told in no uncertain terms, for instance, that “no one is 100-per-cent male or female” and that everyone is somewhere on the “gender spectrum.”

Unsurprisingly, students at the school, where $30,000-a-year tuition buys small classes, regularly say “I’m so triggered” and are allowed to walk out of class.

What happened to the teacher over the ensuing few days sounds like something out of the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China, where people were subjected to what were known as ideological struggle sessions, forced to “confess” to various imagined sins before large crowds, and roundly denounced.

Immediately after the student complained to the administrator, the teenager came, with a teacher at her side as support, to confront him in a public area of the school.

She pressed for an apology, but the teacher resisted, because, he said, it would set a dangerous precedent for a teacher to be reamed out in the presence of a colleague.

“When I didn’t show contrition,” he said, “I was summoned upstairs and grilled by two administrators who told me my job was on the line.”

Now panicking — he has a family to support and had just recently returned to teaching after several years in business with a relative — he apologized profusely and promised to apologize the next day to the offended student.

Instead, the school had an administrator take over the class for a day, whereupon, he was told, they would all discuss what went wrong in his absence. He would be invited back to “hear the grievances and offer an apology. It was clear I must do this successfully or I would be terminated.”

He repeatedly asked what he’d done wrong or if there was an allegation of misconduct.

“The answer I got back was that I was recognized as an outstanding teacher, but student ‘safety’ was the school’s primary concern.”
Let's see how "triggered" this little b!#ch would be in North Korea.


Dark matter, the mysterious substance believed to comprise a quarter of our Universe, is spread out more smoothly than previously thought, said a study Wednesday that may challenge some tenets of physics.

The finding may throw into question what little we know about the birth and growth of the cosmos, astronomers reported.

"All we can say for now is that something appears to be not quite right," study co-author Konrad Kuijken of the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands told AFP.

Toenail clippings shed light on the fate of the doomed Franklin expedition:

The Franklin expedition headed north, never to return, in 1845. Some remains of its crew have been discovered, along with ghastly evidence of cannibalism. Its two ships, Erebus and Terror, were found within the past two years by underwater archeologists.

But how things went so badly wrong has remained a mystery and a legend.

The latest chapter began two years ago. Jennie Christensen, an environmental consultant with expertise in toxicology, thought it would be productive to use the latest laser technology to examine one of the Franklin corpses discovered on Beechey Island in 1984.

She got in touch with Chan, a colleague at the University of Ottawa.

The team applied to the Museum of History in Ottawa and the Inuit Heritage Trust, which has custody of the bodies. Eventually, they were granted a small piece of toenail from able seaman John Hartnell.

They used lasers and the University of Saskatchewan’s synchrotron to peer inside the toenail to a layer unaffected by outside contaminants. Toenails grow about three millimetres a month, so the clipping provided a pretty good picture of what Hartnell had been eating and the state of his health in the last weeks of his life.

What it revealed was a long-standing, severe zinc deficiency.

“That zinc deficiency would explain that he had a very low immune function,” Chan said. “In the tough environment, he probably contracted infections and died from (tuberculosis).”

Hartnell was so weak in the month before he died, his body released all the lead that had been stored in his tissues. That caused previous researchers to suggest lead poisoning was the culprit.

The toenail also revealed that Hartnell had eaten very little meat, despite large reserves of canned meat in the ship’s hold.

“We see a clear decline of meat consumption,” said Chan. “If all the canned food (had lasted) he should not have that problem. It’s probably because some of the canned food was spoiled.”

And now, the cinematic wisdom of Kim Jong-Il:


This lesson boils down to one thing: make us look good. Is the film set in the “exploitative society” of the West where “the majority of the population live in low spirits, plagued by worries and anxiety because they are poor and have no rights”? Well, make sure the mood of the scene reflects that. Irony aside, a real lesson for filmmakers here is to develop their craft, because “mood can only be correctly expressed by artists who have attained a high level of creative skill.”

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