Sunday, January 01, 2017

Sunday Post

Happy New Year!

And what a year it is shaping up to be.

The suspect in the murder of thirty-nine people in a club in Turkey is alleged to be a member of ISIS.

ISIS has also claimed responsibility for a bombing in Baghdad.

A Nigerian child didn't blow herself up; she was killed:

A young child detonated a bomb strapped to her body in a suspected Boko Haram attack, killing herself and wounding others. A second suicide bomber was cornered and lynched by an angry crowd before she could denote her device.

The incident happened on New Year's Eve in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri ...

German police, proud that they beefed up security and didn't lie about several sexual assaults (as Ottawa police must be putting up those cement barricades against those mentally unwell lone wolves who could easily walk around said barricades and just blow themselves up), declare this year's celebrations to be a success:

German police said on Sunday they had prevented a repeat of the assaults and robberies suffered by hundreds of women in Cologne a year ago by screening 650 mostly North African men on New Year's Eve.

Justin Trudeau's "brand" is is one of  abject failure, cowardice and weak will. There are those who remember Canada's peace-keeping "strength" in Rwanda where thousands were butchered. Going back to that is devolution - and Trudeau's backers know it:

Canadian bureaucrats pondered using the personal “brand” of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sell the world on the merits of the country’s return to peacekeeping, The Canadian Press has learned.

Using the prime minister’s personal appeal was seen by senior foreign ministry officials as one of the possible “framing” techniques for explaining Canada’s decision to devote more military resources to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Documents obtained through Access to Information detail the early government planning to reboot Canada’s return to peacekeeping.

Once a traditional role for the Canadian Forces, it was all but abandoned in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States when the military focused on counter-terrorism and war in Afghanistan.

Trudeau promised during the 2015 federal election that Canada would focus more on UN peace operations, and the government has since committed 600 troops and $450 million to an as yet unspecified mission or a combination of deployments.

That idiot couldn't be bothered being Canada for the new year's holiday. He certainly does not embody strength or pride in Canada's accomplishments. Indeed, this "post-national" prime minister honestly believes that killing terrorists who have no compunction of murdering children actually allows them to win.

What will Canada's 150th anniversary mean with that man-child at the helm?

Not one anyone can celebrate.

Speaking of failures:

From Israel, to Syria, to Russia, to Iraq and through to the Pacific, America’s allies and partners have been forced to re-evaluate how useful an ally the United States really is, while its enemies and opponents discover just how far America can be pushed. Even when America’s interests have been directly and clearly challenged, for example, by Russia’s recent cyber adventurism, the best the White House can muster is an appeal to “knock it off” and a belated, half-hearted round of sanctions and diplomatic expulsions that could be described, if one were in a generous mood, as mostly symbolic.

North Korea will once again test missiles and the world will do nothing solid about it:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday that the isolated, nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea tested ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate during 2016, although some experts have said it is years away from developing an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.

"Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage," Kim said during a televised New Year's Day speech.

The country has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. 

The sanctions were tightened last month after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 9.

A successful ICBM test launch would mark a significant step forward for secretive Pyongyang's weapons capability. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,418 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,214 miles) or further. California is roughly 9,000 km (5,592 miles) from North Korea.

However, North Korea has struggled to reliably deploy its intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile, succeeding just once in eight attempted launches last year.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen on Sunday called on North Korea "to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric that threaten international peace and stability, and to make the strategic choice to fulfil its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks."

Oh, that will show him.

The funniest thing is that people voted for this:

When Canadians file their taxes this spring, they'll calculate how new tax rates and child benefits worked out for their household.

But the changes don't stop there. The start of 2017 brings a bunch more.

Here's some of what to expect.

More carbon pricing ...

Payroll deduction changes ...

Shorter waiting period for EI ...

Tax credit elimination ...

Some very good points against the cap-and-trade imposed on the people of Ontario:

The Wynne government estimates the initial cost of cap and trade per household will be $156 per year, due to increased costs for gasoline ($8 per month) and natural gas home heating fuel ($5 per month), rising to $285 annually in 2019 in direct and indirect costs. However, its own estimate that it will take in $2 billion annually from cap and trade ($8 billion from 2017 to 2020) suggests the real annual cost to Ontarians will be $400 per household, given that Ontario has about five million households. The Ontario Energy Board says the initial increase in homeowners’ heating bills alone — which won’t be listed as a separate charge — will be $5.68 to $6.70 per month, already up to 34% higher than the government’s claim. ...

Unlike a carbon tax, which is visible, cap-and-trade raises the prices of most goods and services, since most consume fossil fuel energy. Businesses pass along their increased costs from having to buy carbon allowances from the government or their competitors, by raising their prices. Since the price of consumer goods is determined by numerous factors, Ontarians will have no way of knowing what they are paying for cap and trade. ...

Cap and trade is essentially a hidden tax on consumption. Since lower income earners, including seniors on fixed incomes, spend a larger proportion of their income on necessities, such as heating their homes in winter, cap and trade will disproportionately impact them in terms of costs. This even though their carbon footprints are relatively small because they consume less, tend to live in apartments as opposed to single family homes, take public transit as opposed to owning cars and do not engage in fossil-fuel intensive activities such as taking foreign vacations. ...

While the government is promising to help Ontarians cope with the higher cost of living cap and trade causes, its scheme will not be revenue neutral, meaning it will not return to the public in the form of tax cuts or grants the $2 billion annually it intends to raise from carbon pricing. Instead of helping all Ontarians to cope with the higher cost of living, the government will pick winners and losers, which governments are notoriously bad at doing.

With all of this, I guess one could say that nothing changes on New Year's Day.

(Paws up)

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