Thursday, March 30, 2017

But Wait! There's More!

Often, there is...

Today in Canadian political corruption news:

One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s closest friends is benefiting from an exclusive agreement between his data analytics company and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Data Sciences Inc, run by Trudeau’s boyhood friend, Tom Pitfield, is providing the party with “digital engagement” and support services for its powerful voter-contact database, Liberalist.

Neither the party nor Pitfield would say how much the agreement is worth to the firm, which Pitfield set up after his friend was elected party leader.

Pitfield’s wife, Anna Gainey, is the president of the Liberal Party and also a close friend of Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire. The two families vacationed together at the Aga Khan’s resort in Bahamas over the Christmas holidays.

A spokesman for the Liberal Party of Canada says Gainey does not get involved in decisions involving her husband’s company.

(Sidebar: oh, sure.)


A Fraser Institute report released Thursday details the ballooning of Ontario’s net debt under the Liberals — which has almost doubled since ’07 and is tracking toward a record $318 billion.

Environment Canada told Catherine McKenna early in her mandate as minister that a price on carbon would have to go as high as $300 per tonne in 2050 for Canada to meet its climate targets, a secret briefing document shows.

Keep telling one's self that it's just money.

The senator who opined that residential schools did some good now wants an account of how money is spent on First Nations reservations:

After hearing testimony about the atrocities committed in residential schools, Senator Lynn Beyak asked survivors at the Senate's Aboriginal peoples committee Wednesday what they thought about her plan for a national audit on all First Nations spending.

Beyak asked John Morrisseau and Doris Young, two elderly Indigenous people who faced abuse in school, if they thought it was appropriate to be spending money on renaming buildings, like Ottawa's Langevin Block, named after one of the architects of the residential schools, when there are children on reserve without clean drinking water.

Well, why not? 

Isn't clean running water more important than renaming a building?

I know this is a wrench in the shame-inducing works but people have to prioritise.

Alberta Education Minister David Eggen said Wednesday that he was “disturbed” by new Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney’s comments on gay-straight alliances in schools.

Reacting to Kenney’s comments Tuesday that parents should be informed when their child joins a gay-straight alliance in school unless the parents are abusive, Eggen posted on Facebook that Kenney has shown himself as an “extremist.”

“We work very closely with parents, but let’s not forget gay-straight alliances are support groups for students who are in a very vulnerable position,” said Eggen.

“If the government is compelling people to out those students in a very compromised situation, then they’re only serving to make the situation worse.”

How would the teachers know about their students? Are they prying into their lives?

The abortion pill is available in less than half of all Canadian provinces and territories three months after it first went on sale in Canada. 

Medical experts and advocates had hoped Mifegymiso — the official name of the two-medication drug also know as mifepristone or RU-486 — would help close the gaping urban-rural divide in access to abortion care services in Canada. But three months in, experts warn a strict regulatory regime could further entrench that divide and only existing abortion providers will be willing or able to distribute the pill. 

Yes, about that:

Cross-referencing demographic data, the Finnish researchers found that the risk of hemorrhage increased among aborting women using RU486 who were aged 20–24, who have had a previous birth, from a lower socio-economic class, and were living in a densely populated or rural area. Risk factors associated with an incomplete abortion were the same, but also included those having a previous abortion, unmarried, or having an advanced gestation.
In comparison to surgical abortion, the risk of hemorrhage with RU486 was nearly eight times higher, while the likelihood of an incomplete abortion was five times higher.

On the Korean Peninsula -

Did China, the country that enables North Korea to pursue its nuclear ambitions, help North Korea steal from the Federal Reserve?

Last February, cybercriminals stole $81 million from the account of the central bank of Bangladesh at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, one of the biggest bank heists ever. U.S. officials are now pointing the finger to North Korea as the culprit.

North Korea, if it is the culprit, almost certainly did not act on its own. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Federal prosecutors are investigating certain Chinese middlemen, who may have helped the North “orchestrate the theft.”

If such middlemen were involved, Chinese financial institutions were almost certainly complicit. If these institutions were complicit, Beijing must be supporting the criminal attacks. ...

The Journal reported last week that U.S. investigators think North Koreans were the ones behind the theft from Bangladesh because of the similarity of the code used in that cyberattack to the code employed in the 2014 attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Sony attacks have been attributed to, among others, North Korean hackers based in China.

Again, why aren't we lighting a fire under China?

Also - I doubt it will come to nukes:

The United States should be prepared to pre-empt a North Korean nuclear attack by using its own atomic weapons, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said.

James Woolsey, who was a senior adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump before abruptly resigning in January, accused "the press and public officials" of ignoring or under-reporting the threat from the dynastic dictatorship.

In a hawkish joint column for The Hill he also claimed the Kim Jong-un regime could use a warhead-triggered electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to kill 90 per cent of Americans by knocking out the "national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year", following a strike from space.

Satellite images taken over the weekend suggest North Korea could be in the final stages of preparation for its sixth nuclear test. Washington-based 38 North, a website that monitors North Korea, said the images showed the continued presence of vehicles and trailers at the Punggye-ri test site and signs that communications cables may have been laid to a test tunnel.

A lack of activity elsewhere at the site "may mean that test preparations are in their final stages," the report said, although it added: "Since North Korea knows the world is watching and is capable of deception, caution should be used before declaring that a nuclear test is imminent."

One cannot under-estimate what Kim Jong-Un might do or is capable of doing. But where his father was calculating, the younger Kim is a mad dog.

I'm thinking ... coup.

It is better to be a general of an overthrown dictator than a possible recipient of retaliation.

And now, melting candy. Enjoy.

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