Monday, March 20, 2017

On a Monday

Aaaahhh, glorious spring.....

This week in the House of Commons, the Liberals will attempt to push a budget onto a population they it do not understand  and pass a censorship law.

Be aware.

But ... but ... the Narrative!

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada "less safe," underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau's Liberal government.

If this poll is to be believed, it begs the questions: is the rest of the population hiding under a rock?

But would Kim Jong-Un be so bold if China was no longer in a position to back it?

North Korea said Monday it is not frightened by U.S. threats of possible pre-emptive military action to halt its nuclear and missile buildup.

A spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry slammed U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent talk of tougher sanctions, more pressure, and possible military action, and said the North would not be deterred in its nuclear program.

“The nuclear force of (North Korea) is the treasured sword of justice and the most reliable war deterrence to defend the socialist motherland and the life of its people,” the official Korean Central News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying.


Chang said Tillerson “spoke to the Chinese pretty harshly in private, but in public, though, he adopted China’s formulations of mutual cooperation, win-win this, and also respecting China’s core interests.”

“I think that was a mistake,” he said. “Nonetheless, we will see what the result is because, clearly, the United States and China right now have some irreconcilable interests. The Chinese want to support the North Koreans. They do that because every time the North Koreans do something provocative, we run to China, we ask for their cooperation, they get bargaining chips, and they distract us from things that are important – such as cyberattacks on American companies and the American government, of course; South China Sea; South Korea; you name it.”

The US, like South Korea, have to put an end to this insufferable stalemate and punish China for its support of North Korea, not beg it to turn that Third World dictatorship around.

Would the North Koreans fight to the death for the Kim dynasty, brow-beaten or not?

I'm guessing not. It's brainwashed and starving population would be hard-pressed to fight for the only fat man in the country.

Canada cannot be responsible for the legal systems in other countries but it should be responsible for its own:

Canada could undermine the global justice system by failing to extradite a pair accused of orchestrating the honour killing of a 25-year-old B.C. woman, a government lawyer argued today before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Janet Henchey, a lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada, made the case to extradite two B.C. residents to India to face trial for their role in the murder of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu in 2000.

India has requested the extradition of Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha, the mother and uncle of Jassi. Her body was dumped after her throat was slashed, and her young husband, Sukhwinder (Mithu) Sidhu was badly beaten and left for dead.

The pair has argued they could face neglect or mistreatment in India's prison system, but Henchey argued any potential risks are general in nature, not "personalized" to the pair. Henchey noted that all countries have problems such as overcrowding in prisons, including Canada.

She said the case before the high court has broad implications for Canada's role in administering international justice.

"It undermines the entire concept of extradition and sending people to the country where they have allegedly committed a crime if we refuse to surrender based on imperfections in our treaty partners, even sometimes large imperfections,  without a more specific connection to the person sought's situation," she said.

"If we do that, we fail to recognize the importance of extradition to the international community as a mechanism for avoiding impunity."

Hey, does anyone remember when someone was worried that people would be euthanised for their organs and that was dismissed as paranoid nonsense?

Doctors have already harvested organs from dozens of Canadians who underwent medically assisted death, a practice supporters say expands the pool of desperately needed organs, but ethicists worry could make it harder for euthanasia patients to voice a last-minute change of heart.

There was nothing good about residential schools, claims shame-ridden Anglican bishop:

In response to Senator Lynn Beyak’s assertion that Canadians ignore the “abundance of good” that happened in residential schools, one of the system’s primary operators issued a statement Monday saying “there was nothing good.”

“There was nothing good about children going missing and no report being filed. There was nothing good about burying children in unmarked graves far from their ancestral homes,” reads a statement co-signed by the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Yes, about that:

That phenomenon was on display again this week, following the publication of last Saturday’s story, “4,000 Children died in residential schools; Truth commission.” As that story detailed, “commission officials expect that number to rise as researchers access much more complete files from Library and Archives Canada and elsewhere.”

Letter writers commenting on that story this week complained that the article lacked important historical context.

“Nice work, National Post, as you continue to dump on the charitable work accomplished by generations of selfless missionaries, physicians, nurses and teachers of the Canadian North,” wrote C. Lutz, of Haliburton, Ont. “[This story] heavily spins out a ‘physical and sexual abuse’ [narrative] as if 150,000 Indian and Inuit children had gained nothing good from taxpayer-provided white education. At least some of them learned enough English and French to, fluently, play the system and bite the hand that had fed them.”

“By today’s standards, 4,000 deaths out of a total of 150,000 students is shocking,” wrote Russel Williams of Georgeville, Que. “But given the period covered, 1870 to 1996, it may compare quite favourably with Canada at large, or Canadian aboriginal communities specifically, for the same period. One must bear in mind that much of this period predates immunization for smallpox, whooping cough, and diphtheria. It also predates penicillin for treatment of TB. Given the above, perhaps the statistic is not as alarming as it first might seem.”

“It was undoubtedly a terrible thing to be taken from your family, but in the early days, the reserves were impoverished and 90% of First Nations people were infected with tuberculosis,” added Michelle Stirling. “It is hard to say if the students got tuberculosis at the residential schools. And until the 1950s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death of all Canadians.

“I am aware that some people will feel that I am defending the known cases of abuse and cruelty — I do not defend these,” Ms. Stirling continued. “My own father was the victim of the same [abuse] at the hands of his own white Anglo-Saxon teachers at his British boarding school. He used to have his left hand beaten black and blue and tied behind his back because he was left-handed.”

We also heard from a non-native who attended the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in southern Alberta (the Blood/Kainai Reserve) for six years.

“When so many Canadians rely on publications like the National Post to stay informed on important issues, it is disappointing to see an article like that,” wrote Mark DeWolf of Halifax. “How does this figure compare to the number of First Nations children who died outside of the schools? Over 126 years and out of 150,000 students, the figure is perhaps not so surprising, given the deplorable health conditions on some reserves and high rates of communicable illness. More could and should have been done to ensure the health of these students, but let’s have responsible journalism, not emotional pandering to readers.”

“The last of the Truth and Reconciliation Canada (TRC) national events comes up at the end of March in Edmonton, and I hope to be there,” Mr. DeWolf added. “It will be interesting to see if the media just parrot what native leaders, TRC employees and other aboriginal activists repeatedly say, or if the occasion gives rise to some serious discussion of the schools, the harm they did and the more positive aspects as well.”

On Wednesday, we ran a letter that began as follows: “There are many native Canadians who appreciate the benefits of the schools where they received an education that enabled them to cope with life outside the reserves. How about recounting some of their testimonials?”

A few more notes came in after that, each echoing that same point. Here is one example.

“How refreshing to see the letter from Michael Barnes,” wrote Jeannie L’Esperance. “When traveling by plane in the North, I have had people tell me how grateful they were for the training they received in a residential school, which helped them find employment.”

I would never use the g-d- ugly mug of a snowboard instructor to promote Canada when I could easily use its natural beauty to speak for it:

Global Affairs has instructed diplomatic missions in the United States to stop using life-size cardboard cut-outs of the prime minister to promote Canada.

The order follows the revelation last week that prime ministerial replicas turned up at an event last June organized by the Canadian consulate in Atlanta and earlier this month at a Canadian music festival in Austin, Tex.

The Canadian embassy in Washington also rush-ordered a cut-out of its own for use at Canada Day celebrations last year, at a cost of $147.79, including $72.80 for next-day delivery.
Canada: come for the natural beauty. Stay for the pie.

Northern Ireland faces a "green" crisis:

Northern Ireland’s government launched a program in 2012 to promote greater use of renewable sources to generate energy. Arlene Foster, the enterprise minister at the time, introduced the plan, which subsidized the use of alternative fuels by businesses and non-household users. It offered payments for 20 years for the installation of systems using solar energy, heat pumps or biomass boilers burning wood pellets.

When interest suddenly surged in 2015 an inquiry was called, concluding that the government had inadvertently established subsidies were worth more than the cost of the fuel itself; rather than encouraging conservation as intended, the scheme provided an incentive to burn as much fuel as possible. Media reported that a farmer heating an empty shed could make about $2 million over the 20-year period. A Ferrari dealer was criticized for using the subsidy program, which became known as “cash for ash,” to heat his showroom. Since there was no cap on subsidies, the auditor-general reported, “the more heat that is generated, the more is paid.”

Foster is now First Minister and admits the whole scheme was badly botched. “We can all agree … that there were shocking errors and failures in the RHI scheme and a catalogue of mistakes,” she told the Northern Ireland Assembly. Not only did it pay people to waste energy, it was badly policed and poorly enforced, she said. The program has been shut down, at an estimated cost of $1 billion.


While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will never admit it, the 2015 Paris climate treaty Canada signed with great fanfare died last week.

It died because of the release of U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan.

While Trump has to get it through the U.S. Congress, which means parts of it are unlikely to survive, his clear intention to gut U.S. climate change policy by dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency spells the death knell for the Paris treaty.

Trump is proposing deeper cuts to the EPA than any other government agency, reducing its $8.2 billion budget by 31%, laying off 19% of its 15,000 staff and cutting 50 programs.

That includes funding for Barack Obama’s signature climate change initiative, his Climate Action Plan, to reduce America’s use of coal-fired electricity.

If one is stupid enough to jump into a crocodile-infested river, one should be left in said river:

An Australian teen who was attacked by a crocodile after jumping into a crocodile-infested river on a dare was recovering from serious wounds to his arm, officials said Monday, as authorities recovered the body of another man who also may have been attacked by a crocodile in nearby waters.

Lee de Paauw, an 18-year-old from Queensland state, was at a hostel in the northern Queensland town of Innisfail around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when he started bragging that he could swim in the river, a known habitat for aggressive saltwater crocodiles, said Sophie Paterson, a British backpacker who was at the hostel.

She and several others egged him on, though none of them thought he’d actually get in the water, Paterson said.

But get in the water he did. Seconds later, a crocodile latched onto him.

Homework is like any other skill - use it or lose it. If students do not memorise or apply the knowledge acquired at school, it will become useless to them.

That being said, plying on endless hours of pointless busywork is a great way to turn students off from academics altogether. It would be better to give students assignments that have them practise skills in a way that is mnemonic and not onerous.

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