Friday, January 19, 2018

For a Friday

Just in - unbelievable:

One of the most closely watched Canadian trials in recent years ended Friday with the acquittal of three former railway employees who were charged with criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people in the Lac-Megantic tragedy.

The jurors reached the verdict on their ninth day of deliberations.

Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre were charged with criminal negligence in the 2013 tragedy that killed 47 people when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.

Harding was the train's engineer, Labrie the traffic controller and Demaitre the manager of train operations.

A teary-eyed and emotional Labrie said he hopes the trial delivered the answers the 47 victims and Lac-Megantic residents were looking for.

"Even though I never spoke, I always thought of you," he said, his voice cracking. "I would like to say that Lac-Megantic residents, with what they had to go through, showed us a lot of courage and help and lots of resilience.

"I wasn't expecting to cry. It was hard, it was long, but now it's finished. I just hope we can easily turn the page and slip back into the anonymity that was ours before July 5, 2013."

Thomas Walsh, one of Harding's lawyers, spoke to reporters on his client's behalf after the verdict.
"Mr. Harding is too moved by the situation to give a coherent expression of what he feels inside," Walsh said.

"But I know he feels terribly relieved and terribly thankful to the system, the jury system, and this jury in particular."

Crown prosecutor Veronique Beauchamp said it is too early to say whether there will be an appeal.

"You'll understand it is not necessarily the decision we were expecting but we respect the verdicts that were handed down and, especially, the work the jurors put in," Beauchamp said.

"Criminal negligence causing death is one of the Criminal Code provisions that is difficult to prove."

All three accused could have been found guilty of criminal negligence causing death, while jurors had the option of convicting Harding on one of two other charges: dangerous operation of railway equipment or dangerous operation of railway equipment causing death.


The ruling comes just months before the province heads to the polls, with the governing Liberals fighting an uphill battle against the Opposition.  

David Livingston, who served ex-Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, had been charged with attempted mischief and illegal use of a computer. His deputy, Laura Miller, faced the same charges and was found not guilty — a ruling that drew an audible gasp in the courtroom.

Judge Timothy Lipson, who presided over the case, said Livingston was a sophisticated individual who knew exactly what he was doing.

The political context around Livingston's actions was highly relevant, Lipson said. That context was the growing pressure in 2012 and early 2013 for the Liberal government to account for the cancellation of the two plants before the 2011 election.

"No issues were more challenging or more dangerous to the minority Liberal government than those related to the gas plants controversy," Lipson said. "This was the grim political backdrop."

The cancellation of the plants ended up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion and caused a huge political scandal.

Livingston was openly dismissive of stern warnings and advice about his obligations to retain and produce gas-plant records a legislative committee had been demanding as it sought a contempt finding against the then-minister of energy, Lipson said.

It defies common sense and reality, Lipson said, to suggest that wholesale wiping of 20 hard drives in the outgoing premier’s office was in accordance with policy.

While he was advised about retaining records, Lipson said, Livingston was "more interested in deleting them."

It's Friday and a family of liars, after some "backlash", decided to apologise to people who have had it with their bullsh--:

The family of an 11-year-old Toronto girl has reportedly apologized for the “pain and anger” they caused, after the girl’s claim that a man cut her hijab turned out not to be true.

I can sense the sincerity from that pack of frauds, the slobbering politicians who believed them and the ravening wolves in the popular press who lapped up this hoax.

Go away all of you.

South of the border, the American electorate heard their president support their pro-life position.

In Canada, the mincing tyrant uses abortion to divide and control the electorate.

To wit:

What shallow hubris engenders the sense that Mr. Trudeau, as through this both petty and profound intrusion he has, has the authority to undo the balance of citizens’ religious and moral beliefs and the political dispensations of a particular government? The Liberal platform of the day is not, as this government wildly seems to think, a synonym writ large for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But hey, it’s only a jobs program. Well, once started, why stop? Why stop at the grant-applying organizations? Why not question the students who are to get the jobs? Why shouldn’t they be asked to sign on the dotted line, tick the right boxes? Why shouldn’t they be asked as well if they endorse the Liberal readings on abortion, the carbon tax, diversity, NAFTA, refugee intake, the return of ISIL fighters?

On the principle underwriting the summer jobs policy, there is absolutely no logical reason why they should not be so interrogated and obliged. ...

It’s an act of arrogance that comes very glibly to a crowd that requires no exertion to feel pleased with themselves — the same arrogance that skips blithely over the stated ethical standards of Parliament and Prime Minister, but in lordly fashion riffs in town halls and cabinet rooms what is right for everyone else to believe and what is not. 


This year, the Liberal government created a mandatory attestation on the application form that states the organization’s “core mandate” must respect individual human rights, including reproductive rights.

The attestation has already prompted a court challenge from a Toronto anti-abortion group, but also protests from churches and religious groups who say they can’t separate their beliefs from their core mandate, and thus can’t sign the attestation.

Joyce Arthur, the abortion rights coalition’s executive director, now says the government should amend the statement so religious groups are able to sign it.

“We support the attestation requirement, but unfortunately it has resulted in a lot of confusion and backlash, so we thought as a way of trying to clarify the situation, it might be better if they could clarify the wording,” Arthur said in an interview on Thursday.

“I don’t know how exactly they should reword it precisely, but they need to do something, I think, to clarify it.”

What Arthur means to say is that after finding out that even pro-abortion Canadians find this fascist sleight-of-hand too hard to swallow, the wording should be changed so that people still have to repudiate their faith but not so that they take to the streets and start demanding some restrictions on them and their favourite thing in the entire universe - abortion.

A word with one of the most dangerous men in Canada:

We’re not helping young people figure out a noble and difficult pathway forward, where they bear responsibility and march forthrightly into adulthood. Quite the contrary. We’re saying, ‘Well, the system is corrupt and there’s no point in taking part in it. You’re going to be victimized no matter what you do.’ And so the race is on for who gets to play the victim card with the highest degree of status. And it’s really bad, it’s especially bad for adolescents because they’re trying to sort their identity out, they’re already a mess.

What glory is there in being a victim?

Not someone who has risen above tragedy or hardship but simply being a simpering object of pity?

Why would personal fortitude be seen now as a form of vexation, not something to which people can aspire?


Justin is looking for another chance to humiliate and alienate Australia, Japan and Vietnam:

Canada will attend a key meeting on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership in Tokyo next week, two months after a high-profile no-show that infuriated its negotiating partners, the Canadian and Japanese governments have confirmed.

It's just money:

The 3.2 per cent increase in spending for 2015-16, the most recent year available, was also more than twice the 1.25 per cent pay increases the government has negotiated with many of its public sector unions.

Spending on performance pay for top executives increased to $75 million from $72.6 million the year before with wide fluctuations in the percentage increases — or decreases — in many departments.

Spending on performance pay for deputy ministers increased 3.4 per cent to $4.7 million.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is a long way from "starting over or scrapping" the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

But your feet aren't frostbitten, right? You can walk back, right?

Kangni Fiowole-Kouevi says he wasn't sure he had made it to Canada when — overcome by bitter cold and barely able to use his hands — he took a risk and dialled 911 on his cellphone.

Fortunately for the 36-year-old from Togo, he had made it across the border near Emerson, Man. in the dead of night. He is the latest African asylum-seeker to face the possibility of losing his fingers to frostbite after crossing the border on the open prairie in the dead of winter.

"I started to suffer enormously," he recalled in French Tuesday as he sat at the kitchen table in a home run by Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, a Winnipeg non-profit group. His hands remained in bandages.

"I fell, I cried, I was in agony. I didn't know how I would survive the cold."

Fiowole-Kouevi said he fled religious prosecution in Togo, where he converted to Christianity in defiance of his family's wishes. After making it through South and Central America, he said he arrived in the United States, was detained and eventually rejected for asylum.

He said he decided to head to Canada via Minneapolis where he paid a man $700 for the seven-hour drive to the border. The night of Jan. 5, he was dropped off somewhere along the highway south of Emerson and started to walk, he said.

The temperature was below -20 C. He was dressed for winter but his gloves were not enough. He said he walked for more than four hours.

Oh, this must be embarrassing:

President Donald Trump said Friday that he reauthorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law that gives the government comprehensive surveillance powers, just as GOP lawmakers are discussing the alleged abuses the law has allowed. ...

Trump’s signing comes just a day after the Senate voted 65 to 34 to reauthorize FISA, specifically Section 702, which allows federal intelligence agencies to collect data on foreigners suspected of crimes. But the extensive powers in the law and the inherent nature of surveillance often cause the electronic communications of law-abiding Americans to be collected and surveilled as well.

This FISA:

The document purportedly describes classified information Nunes obtained from the FBI and Justice Department as part of his investigation into whether the Obama administration misused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Trump and his associates during the presidential transition.

Orange is the new black, Obama.

While Moon is pleased with himself over the enormous propaganda stunt that is the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, North Korea has changed as much as a KGB agent has. That is to say, not one iota:

Sources inside North Korea have reported on a recent decision by the authorities to hand down severe punishment to six people charged with spying and treason for making phone calls to South Korea. Despite an outward appearance of warming North-South relations with the recent high-level talks occurring between the Koreas, anti-South Korean domestic policies remain unchanged. 


A U.S. human rights watchdog has evaluated North Korea as one of the least free nations in the world, a U.S. broadcaster reported Wednesday. 


China has ramped up security along its border with North Korea, installing new surveillance cameras, deploying extra security forces and operating radiation detectors as it braces for a potential crisis.

Also - North Korea Glastnost Watch

And - good God! NO! :

South Korea’s trade deficit in kimchi, its proud traditional side dish of fermented cabbage, reached an all-time high last year as low-priced Chinese imports flooded the market, statistics showed Wednesday.

Keep your kimchi Korean!

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