Monday, April 03, 2017

On a Monday

So it goes...

An Islamist terrorist attack results in the death of eleven people:

A bomb blast tore through a subway train deep under Russia’s second-largest city Monday, killing 11 people and wounding more than 40 in a chaotic scene that left victims sprawled on a smoky platform. Hours later, anguish and fear rose again when police found and defused a shrapnel-packed explosive device at another St. Petersburg station.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown. In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of terrorism, usually blamed on Islamic militants.

News reports initially said police were searching for two suspects, and Russian state television showed a photo of one suspect wearing what appeared to be a skullcap characteristic of Russia’s Muslim regions. However, the Interfax news agency later cited unspecified sources as saying police now suspect the blast was the work of a suicide bomber linked to radical Islamists.


A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.

The Saturday report in Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government, but gave no details.

The report was denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman, who suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region. Ali Karimov said, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti, “it’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.”

“If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return,” Karimov was quoted in the New York Times as saying.

Iran has said the same thing.

Yeah, that must be the reason:

China is steadfastly opposed to the deployment of advanced U.S. anti-missile radars in South Korea because it does not know whether the defenses, intended for North Korean missiles, are capable of tracking and countering Beijing's own nuclear program, experts say.

Of course.

I'm sure Trump will believe China, too.

And what will China say when South Korea, worried about North Korea's nuclear arms and a potential war, uses the system to defend itself.

It must chap China that other east Asian countries would rather drink hot wax than belong to it.

PM Hair-Boy is pouty over Bombardier's pay hikes:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday he was "not pleased" with Bombardier's plan to raise compensation for its senior executives, a move that caused a public furor that forced the company to back down.

You're not the only greedy one, Hair-Boy.

It turns out that people don't like it when you attempt to stymy them:

The opposition members were just settling in for the fifth day of their filibuster when they discovered that the committee examining the Liberal government’s suggested changes to the standing orders had been suspended before they’d even popped a throat lozenge.

The Liberals came in like lions last month, thrusting a “discussion paper” of reforms to parliament under the noses of the opposition and imposing a deadline on the study of the proposed changes.

But it looks like the whole kerfuffle will go out like a lamb, with yet another government climb-down. The opposition claimed the changes to the standing orders are a power grab, an attempt to alter the rules to their own advantage using their parliamentary majority.

Yes, it is a carbon tax - a tax people will vote and pay for because they are too dull to do anything else:

What does Climate Change Minister Glen Murray’s announcement Monday that Ontario sold out its first cap-and-trade auction of carbon credits mean to you?

It means Ontario businesses have just paid a new charge of $472 million to the Wynne government in a government-run quarterly auction of carbon permits to industry, through which the government hopes to raise $1.9 billion annually in new revenue.

That $1.9 billion annually will be paid for by all Ontarians, in the form of higher retail prices for most goods and services.

Because culture matters:

For too many years now, Canadians have been poorly served by the working definitions of Canadian values and Canadian identity that have been on offer.

“Diversity is our strength” is a mantra that’s been repeated so often it’s lost meaning.

Meanwhile, “Hockey and Tim Hortons” reduces us to nothing more than...well, than hockey and Tim Hortons. With no alternatives on offer, we’ve become cynical.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau only made matters worse when he told the world via The New York Times the other year that “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” and this makes us “the first post-national state”. ...
(Sidebar: that is because he is a douchebag.)

Then along comes Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch with her proposal to screen newcomers for “Canadian values”. It’s not much, but it’s something at a time when nothing else is on offer. No wonder it got everyone talking.

The liberal consensus looked down their noses at Leitch and tried to paint her as some intolerant ogre. Even though she was clear from day one that her definition of those values includes embracing diversity of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Even though countries in northern Europe do exactly as she’s proposing. Even though the numbers show a majority of Canadians across the political spectrum support the idea.

Sure, Leitch is a one-trick candidate and her idea is, for all the press it’s getting, not that well developed. But so what? It’s a conversation starter. Credit her that much.

People can have the naive attitudes that they do because a framework of rule and law and infrastructure (roads, running water and electricity, for example) have been laid out for them. When those gradually disappear or when "white flight" happens, what will their attitudes be then? What will they think when their casual anti-semitism in the form of BDS becomes particularly nasty or when women are assaulted with impunity (pick a place in Europe)? They can afford to be liberal because everyone else around them feels that way. When there is no one left, will their chattering stop?

No government funding should also mean no governmental interference:

University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson has had a federal research grant application denied for the first time in his long and distinguished academic career.

And he’s certain that the rejection from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the government agency that supports post-secondary research, is linked to the controversy surrounding his stand on gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “zher,” and the modern notion of gender as being fluid.

Whose idea was it to make the girls' blouses in charge of anything?

And now, random facts:

A group of pugs is called a grumble.

Good to know.


Everyone knows the painting depicts Jesus' last meal with his apostles before he was captured and crucified. But more specifically, da Vinci wanted to capture the instant just after Jesus reveals that one of his friends will betray him, complete with reactions of shock and rage from the apostles. In da Vinci's interpretation, the moment also takes place just before the birth of the Eucharist, with Jesus reaching for the bread and a glass of wine that would be the key symbols of this Christian sacrament.


The island’s Kizhi Pogost (pogost means enclosed cemetery) contains two adjoining churches and an octagonal bell tower. Each seems to glimmer silver in the sun, but no metal was used. The 120-foot-high Church of the Transfiguration is the island’s largest structure, crowned with 22 domes, while the smaller Church of the Intercession stands 105 feet and has nine domes. Both were built in the 18th century; the 98-foot bell tower, erected in 1862, was a later addition. All were constructed without nails or steel reinforcement, as by tradition Russian carpenters of the era only used wooden logs with interlocking corners.

No comments: