Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday Post

A lot going on ....

The job of the government is to protect itself.

Cases in point:

Wynne told the moderator — who had asked her incredulously, “Why are you doing this?” — that when it comes to people engaging with their government, nothing can replace being able to ask questions of their elected representatives.

Several of the roughly 200 attendees were college students, who return to classes Tuesday after a five-week strike by faculty. The government ended the strike this weekend with back-to-work legislation, but the students had lingering questions about impacts on them and why Wynne didn’t intervene to end the strike sooner.

Wynne reiterated what her government announced Monday morning, that students who wish to withdraw instead of continuing with a condensed semester can receive a full refund. Students can also receive up to $500 through a hardship fund.

The premier defended not intervening sooner by saying she was acting on advice she was given, though some students vocally disagreed with her assessment.

“That’s exactly what needs to happen right now is that we look at what actually was my authority or not,” Wynne said. “I had an understanding of what it was and I acted in good faith on that.”


More than half of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, tasked with managing billions of taxpayer dollars, are unrecognizable to the public, according to a new Angus Reid Institute poll, taken online with a “representative randomized sample” of 2,425 members of the Angus Reid Forum.


Canada’s prime minister has been criticized by Australian and Japanese media since failing to show for a Nov. 10 summit in Vietnam with the other 10 leaders of countries still involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While Japan in particular wants a quick deal on the pact that Trump abandoned earlier this year, Canada says more talks are needed on contentious points. ...

Canada is looking to strengthen a cultural exemption in the agreement that will allow Trudeau’s government to, in part, support language rights of the French-speaking population, a key part of his voter base. The move suggests the Trudeau government wants the freedom to subsidize and incentivize French-language and other programming, particularly digital and online Canadian content, without fear of a trade challenge. ...

The Canadian government official said there’s a fear that allowing the current TPP wording on cultural exemptions will complicate NAFTA talks further — particularly as Trump threatens to withdraw, as he did with the TPP.

The Sankei article indicated that other countries including Japan wouldn’t support changing the cultural exemption — a point that Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami disputed on Tuesday. ...

Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo earlier this month called Trudeau’s non-appearance at the Vietnam TPP summit a “disappointing development.” That may have cost Canada a chance at being included in the East Asia Summit, an 18-nation group that covers economic and security affairs in the region, the Australian Financial Review reported on Nov. 16.
(Sidebar: Trudeau is stalling. When all one has to offer is bullsh--, offer away.)


Shortly after she was hired, the executive director for the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), sent an email to all staff telling them their top priority was to protect the commissioners from "criticism or surprises."


Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the Liberal government will back a bill that calls for full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a move that could have wide-ranging consequences in Canadian law.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau claims to have sold the shares to his family's pension and business and - in his words - made a large donation to charity (which one would that be?):

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he has sold all his shares in his family's pension company and made "a large donation" to charity, as the ethics watchdog continues to examine an alleged conflict of interest surrounding his ownership of the shares.

Morneau, the target of the opposition's attack during question period again Monday, had previously promised to place his assets in a blind trust and unload about a million shares, worth about $20 million, in Morneau Shepell to calm a growing ethics controversy over his personal holdings.

Sure, Bill, whatever. You still need to resign.

The Haitians are not refugees. Their visas expired. They have to leave or apply for new visas just as any other person would have to.

Instead, Idiot-Boy and his lackeys have rolled out a welcome mat because of the election in 2019:

A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian government on alert for a potential new surge of asylum seekers at the border.

The Homeland Security Department said late Monday that conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, so the benefit will be extended one last time — until July 2019 — to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.

Haitians were placed on notice earlier this year, and, few months later, waves of people began crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. to claim asylum, catching the Liberals off guard when the crowds began to number more than 200 people a day.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said while Canada remains an "open and welcoming country to people seeking refuge," anyone entering Canada must do so "through the proper channels."

"Entering irregularly is not a 'free ticket' into Canada,"' said Hursh Jaswal late Monday.

Also: how could this go wrong?: 

The Liberal government is struggling to track the impact of its historic effort to resettle upwards of 40,000 Syrian refugees, the federal auditor general concluded Tuesday in his fall report.

Markers like how many kids are in school or how many Syrians are on income assistance weren't being measured between fall 2015 and the spring of this year, the period examined by the federal watchdog, raising questions about what happened to the population once they began to settle in Canada.

While a rapid impact evaluation was conducted by the government for the first wave of arrivals, the auditor general went digging over the longer term, looking to see whether Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was both providing the services newcomers needed and tracking what happened next.

"This audit is important because the Syrian refugee initiative will succeed in the long term only if the people it brought to Canada integrate into Canadian society," the report said.

Yeah, that will never happen.


A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit co-operation with U.S. immigration authorities.

Parents of an ISIS member expect the Canadian government to rescue him:

The parents of a British-Canadian man held in Syria on charges he was an ISIL member are pleading with Canadian MPs to help free him, saying politicians here are now the Muslim convert’s best chance of staying alive.

Why not improve everyone else's chances of staying alive by not letting him into the country?

Stunned that people find fascism distasteful, the president of Wilfred Laurier University apologises to a teacher's assistant who used excerpts of Professor Jordan Peterson's talks in class:

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University said the school is proceeding with a third-party investigation into the dispute with graduate student Lindsay Shepherd, but said recently revealed audio recordings of her interactions with her immediate superiors made it clear an apology was in order.

Shepherd said she discreetly recorded a meeting with three Laurier staff members in which she was roundly criticized for failing to condemn the views of polarizing University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. She had aired a clip of a debate featuring the professor as part of a communications tutorial.

On the recording of the meeting, Shepherd is heard tearfully defending her decision to play the clip while staff accuse her of being transphobic and liken her failure to condemn Peterson to remaining neutral on the views of Adolf Hitler.

"The conversation I heard does not reflect the values and practices to which Laurier aspires," the university's president, Deborah MacLatchy, said in a statement Tuesday. "I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd."

Shepherd, 22, said she accepted and welcomed the apology, but felt it rang hollow coming on the heels of intensive media attention around her case.

"Let's not forget that this was their only option," she said. "They were basically forced to do it out of public and media shaming."

You're damn right they did!

Where were their principles of defending junk science and censorship and name-calling when in the face of the public who finds these sorts of charades tiresome? In the caps they held in their hands?


To her enormous credit, Shepherd didn’t cave.

She stood up for herself and, far more important, stood up for free speech; she dismissed the notion that students could be harmed by mere exposure to an idea, however controversial, and while she teared up once or twice, she didn’t back down.


Scheer argued during the Tory leadership race that free speech was "under attack" on university campuses, with certain topics and speakers deemed out of bounds. He pledged that, if elected prime minister, he would withhold federal grants from institutions that do not foster an environment of open expression and inquiry.

Lawton asked Scheer if the Laurier case might fit the bill.

"The reason why I proposed this idea in the leadership campaign is precisely for the types of things that are happening on campus and specifically what happened to Lindsay Shepherd, as you mentioned, a grad student who had the audacity to show her students both sides of a debate on a current issue, on something that was before Parliament just recently," he said. ...

Scheer argued during the Tory leadership race that free speech was "under attack" on university campuses, with certain topics and speakers deemed out of bounds. He pledged that, if elected prime minister, he would withhold federal grants from institutions that do not foster an environment of open expression and inquiry.

Lawton asked Scheer if the Laurier case might fit the bill.

"The reason why I proposed this idea in the leadership campaign is precisely for the types of things that are happening on campus and specifically what happened to Lindsay Shepherd, as you mentioned, a grad student who had the audacity to show her students both sides of a debate on a current issue, on something that was before Parliament just recently," he said.

And this is why you will lose votes, Andy. 

I have no idea why people are shocked that people overdose on fentanyl or any other drug and then ignore the drug use in their midst:

Ministry contractors also provide 24/7 security — not for those adults and children who might want to use the public park — but to protect the “assets on site,” says Gallant.

Trump does what should have been done ages ago:

President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism on Monday, a designation that allows the United States to impose more sanctions and risks inflaming tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programmes.


The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on a slew of North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies Tuesday in its latest push to isolate the rogue nation over its nuclear weapons development and deprive it of revenue.

The Treasury Department also designated a North Korean corporation involved in exporting workers overseas. The action came a day after the United States returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"These designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North Korea cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "We are also sanctioning the shipping and transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea's trade and its deceptive maneuvers."

Among the companies targeted were four Chinese-based companies and one Chinese individual said to have deep commercial ties with North Korea. The sanctions were imposed under a September executive order that opened the way for the U.S. to punish foreign companies dealing with the North. 

It bars those sanctioned from holding U.S. assets or doing business with Americans.

The Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co., Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co., Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd. are alleged to have exported about $650 million worth of goods to North Korea and imported more than $100 million from North Korea since 2013. The goods included notebook computers, anthracite coal, iron and other commodities and ferrous products.

Also sanctioned was Chinese national Sun Sidong and his company, Dandong Dongyuan Industrial Co., said to have exported more than $28 million worth of goods to the North.

The way to bring North Korea to heel is to eliminate its backer, China.


As the world welcomed the demise of ISIL’s reign of terror in the Mideast, it largely missed a more spectacular development: the entrenchment of Iranian power and control, from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea, controlling large swaths of Syria and all of Lebanon, and strategic outposts in Yemen and Libya. As ISIL filled the vacuum left by the abdication of American power by the Obama administration, so now Iran will occupy the space left by ISIL.

I don't believe that for one moment Lois Lerner is worried about her family. She is worried that she will have to face the families of people she screwed over:

Former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that members of her family, including “young children,” face death threats and a real risk of physical harm if her explanation of the tea party targeting scandal becomes public. 

Ms. Lerner and Holly Paz, her deputy at the IRS, filed documents in court Thursday saying tapes and transcripts of depositions they gave in a court case this year must remain sealed in perpetuity, or else they could spur an enraged public to retaliate. ...

Ms. Lerner came in for particular criticism, with the government admitting she not only didn’t stop the targeting — contradicting the Obama administration’s claims — but also hid it from her superiors in Washington.

During the course of the Ohio case, the tea party groups filed thousands of pages of documents, but testimony from Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz was left out of the public record because of their earlier request for privacy.

Now Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say that since the case has been settled, there is no reason for their testimony to ever become public.
Schadenfreude: the German word for "your tears of anguish taste yummy to me!"


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