Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday Post


Yes, good luck with that:

The Liberal cabinet is set to consider retaliation against the Trump administration if it expands “Buy American” policies that threaten Canadian jobs.

The national debt stands at $ 637,200,491,017.12 . Its unemployment rate stands at 6.6% because fewer people were looking for work. The trade deals with China Trudeau breathlessly gushed about may end up with China importing its own workers to Canada.

And the Liberals are going to make Trump pay.

Sure, they will.

Will these be the individuals Trudeau will force to pay their "fair share"?

The Sunshine list keeps on growing. But it’s not the executives who steal the spotlight for their scaled salaries. Instead, it’s the incredibly wide range of gigs that Ontarians are occupying that brings this list out into the spotlight. These are not the jobs they told you about in careers class.

Lunchroom Supervisor: Wai Loo at the Toronto District School Board, earning $111,949.67
Janitor: Michael Osso at Ontario Power Generation, earning 105,562.17
Manager, Caribou Conservation: Hilary Gignac at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, earning $103,859.63
Stage carpenter: Will Sutton at Ryerson University, earning 102,818.48
Utility Person “A”: Jeff Cline at the City of Kitchener, earning $117,536.43
Manager, Parliamentary Protocol: John Anderson at the Legislative Assembly, earning $102,482.49
Manager, 89 Chestnut residence: Paul Readings at the University of Toronto, earning $135,061.06
Ethicist: Paula Majorie Chidwick at William Osler Health System, earning $161,908.38 (That’s the highest of any medical ethicist in Ontario)

Also in "corrupt government class" news:

Canada’s military ombudsman has dropped the gloves in what appears to have become a tense battle with National Defence, accusing officials of “insidious” attacks whenever his office releases a report critical of the department.

Gary Walbourne said those attacks have affected his ability to hold the Defence Department to account, which by extension is having a negative impact on the military personnel he is working to help.

The ombudsman said the best way to solve the problem is to make his office, which was created in the aftermath of the Somalia Inquiry, fully independent from the department.

“I think this office should report to Parliament,” Walbourne told The Canadian Press. “That way there is a certain standard and process that has to be respected.”

The Trudeau government has so far rejected Walbourne’s request, with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan encouraging the two sides to work together to resolve their differences.


A Liberal member of parliament whose trip to Tanzania was paid for by a registered lobbyist appeared to violate the Prime Minister’s ethics code barring parliamentary secretaries from accepting such gifts — and she wasn’t the only one.

Brampton MP Kamal Khera was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health in April 2016 when World Vision Canada spent $5,210.50 to take her on a seven-day trip to Tanzania.

On Tuesday the National Post reported that the Trudeau Foundation paid for Toronto MP Arif Virani’s travel to London, England from Feb. 29 to Mar. 1 2016. Virani’s trip was the first time in the foundation’s 16-year history that it sponsored an MP’s travel.

Both Virani and Khera appear to be in violation of the Prime Minister’s Guide for Parliamentary Secretaries which bars those parliamentarians from allowing outside groups to pay for their travel and warns that: “As a parliamentary secretary, you are subject to increased public scrutiny and your actions reflect on the reputation of your minister and of the Government as a whole.”

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

The number of American citizens turned away at the Canadian border has jumped significantly in recent years. 

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) figures obtained by Montreal newspaper La Presse suggest 31% more US citizens were turned away last year than in 2015. 

In 2016, 30,233 Americans were sent back at the boundary compared to 23,052 the year before.
The report comes amid concerns in Canada about travel to the US.
I thought Canada's borders were so open and free.


Families and rescuers searched desperately on Sunday through mud-plastered rubble for victims of flooding and landslides in Colombia that have killed at least 210 people, injured hundreds and devastated entire neighborhoods.

Several rivers burst their banks near the southwestern city of Mocoa in the early hours of Saturday, sending water, mud and debris crashing down streets and into houses as people slept.

Political foment in Venezuela:

Venezuela's opposition lawmakers said on Sunday they will push for the removal of Supreme Court judges whom they accuse of acting on behalf of the ruling Socialists after the top tribunal briefly assumed control of congress last week.

While the move by the opposition-led congress would only be symbolic because it remains powerless, it could add to pressure on unpopular president Nicolas Maduro as he tries to defuse the furor over what critics saw as a lurch into dictatorship.

The Supreme Court's ruling last week that it would take over functions of the National Assembly triggered international condemnation and opposition protests at home.

Even the country's attorney general, a longtime government ally, said the decision was unconstitutional in a rare public rebuke from Maduro's ranks. On Saturday, at the request of the government, the Supreme Court eliminated the offending ruling.

But Maduro opponents said no one should believe that row- back meant democracy had been restored in the nation of 30 million people with the world's largest oil reserves.

Thousands of Chinese migrants protest after French police gunned down an elderly man they say attacked them:

A group of a few hundred Chinese youth and police officers clashed as the rally ended.

Police called to Liu's building over reports of a man with a knife burst into his apartment on March 26. Police say he attacked an officer with scissors before another officer fatally shot him.

Relatives are disputing the police account; they say Liu was holding kitchen shears because he was cooking.

Trump declares that he will act against North Korea if China will not:

The United States is prepared to respond to North Korean nuclear threats on its own if China fails to pressure Pyongyang, President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday.

"Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, We will. That is all I am telling you," he was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Ousted Park Gye-Heun has been detained by police:

Ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye was behind bars in the Seoul Detention Centre on Friday after her arrest, on charges including bribery, in a corruption scandal that has brought low some of the country's business and political elite.

In a dramatic fall from power, Park, 65, became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office. She is accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses to contribute funds to foundations that backed her policy initiatives.

She and Choi, who is already in custody and on trial, deny any wrongdoing.



Two, possibly three, North Koreans wanted for questioning over the murder of the estranged half-brother of their country's leader were believed to have accompanied the coffin of the victim on a flight from Kuala Lumpur after Malaysia agreed a swap deal with the reclusive state.

Photographs obtained by Reuters from Japan's Kyodo news agency show Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Kim Uk Il, a staff member of North Korea’s state airline Air Koryo were on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Thursday evening.

The pictures match those released by the Malaysian police earlier. The coffin carrying the body of Kim Jong Nam was also believed to have been on the same flight, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Malaysian media reported that the third North Korean, Ri Ji U, also known as James, who had been hiding with them at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur was also allowed to go home. The three men and the coffin are expected to be transferred to a flight to Pyongyang.

Malaysian authorities released the body Kim Jong Nam to North Korea on Thursday, in a deal that secured the release of nine Malaysian citizens held in Pyongyang after a drawn out diplomatic spat. 

You can run to the fridge, Kim Jong-Un, but you can't run away from the truth - you had your own brother killed.

Russia's designs on Montenegro:

If the Assad regime falls in Syria, Russia may lose its only Mediterranean port. And since Montenegro is gearing up to join NATO, Russia could be stuck without a backup forever because it’s the only place along the entire northern shore of that sea that doesn’t already belong to the West.

The world is not enough ... for Putin.

Also - the duck stops here:

The reason the ducks are funny is that they are a classic symbol of over-the-top political corruption.
One target is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who stood in as the Potemkin president from 2008-12 because Putin couldn’t serve a third consecutive term (speaking of grimly funny political humour, chess-mad Russians dubbed this transparent manoeuvre to protect the real king “castling”… and yes, if I have to explain the joke it dies on the operating table).

During his time in politics and in Putin’s pocket, Medvedev has mysteriously become a millionaire with fancy houses including a refurbished 18th-century manor filmed by a drone showing a duck pond plus duck house. This footage, publicized by courageous anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, recalled the embarrassing case of British MP Sir Peter Viggers, who tried to expense a “floating duck island” in magnificently out-of-touch “qu’ils mangent les brioches” style. (Putin, incidentally, appears to be a billionaire.)

Eating duck a l’orange and billing taxpayers would be bad enough, especially if the orange costs, say, $18 a glass. But when you start treating yourself to elaborate rustic idylls on the public ruble the jokes almost write themselves. Add a rubber duck and they do. People put Medvedev’s duck on the Forbes list of wealthiest Russians and so forth.

What’s even better is the paranoid reaction to the duck-waving protesters by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a Putin ally who refused to sanction Russia for destabilizing Ukraine and annexing Crimea.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” he said. “If someone tells me that different people have thought of the same symbol in Belgrade, Brazil and Moscow, don’t expect me to believe it.”

Looking after small children, particularly in public, is no easy feat.

That is why parents either leave the children at home until they are old enough to behave independently or they can get off of their @$$es and do some parenting.

Having kids means more than giving them a stupid trendy name and buying them Chinese-made lead-laced toys:

The debate surrounding the bans invokes larger questions about sociology, class and parenting trends, with some researchers saying they are the natural result of a culture of overtaxed parents desperate to spend as much time as possible with their children, even if that one-on-one time occurs over a fine bottle of wine at the expense of other diners around them.


The ma’am-haters are correct to object when the title is meant to diminish. But in driving it wholesale from the vernacular, we are raising children who have no tool of language with which to convey respect. And never seeing respect in action, they’re less likely to have it at all.

Thank God Periwinkle was off the block:

The world’s most famous crayon-maker is making this year’s National Crayon Day (today!) one for the record books by announcing the retirement of a classic color from its 24-pack crayon box for the first time in a century. When we reported on the story earlier this week, we asked: "Is dandelion facing certain death? Could blue violet be waving bye-bye? Is scarlet saying see you later?" Well, we were right the first time: Dandelion is bidding its place in the crayon box adieu.

Sorry, Dandelion-lovers.

Troubled by what else to celebrate in April? Be troubled no more!


(Sidebar: it is a very good idea to let Australians know in advance that one will hug them.)

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