Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday Post

Quickly now ...




Good and decent people have raised over seven million dollars for the victims of an accident that claimed the lives of fifteen players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos.


In the mean time, the driver of the semi-truck that struck the bus has been suspended pending the completion of the investigation.




Justin proves why he should have remained a substitute drama teacher when he pretended to care about the Kinder Morgan pipelinebut not that he and his policies killed it. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley claims that she is willing to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline. Sure. Whatever.


Also - so, when Justin initially had Stephane Dion in his cabinet, it was because he hated him? :

All of Dion’s attempts to schedule a rendez-vous with Trudeau failed. There were multiple rifts between Dion and other officials on the wording of speeches. During one of the only conversations that Coulon recalls Dion and Trudeau having — on a government jet, with others present — Trudeau is described as “irritated” by Dion’s strong opinions on foreign policy, and in particular his insistence on rapprochement with Russia.

The only private meeting they had, on Jan. 6, 2017, lasted five minutes. Coulon reconstructs the scene. Trudeau offered Dion, who had worried for weeks that he would be ousted, dual ambassadorship to Germany and the European Union — a “stupid idea,” Coulon writes, which raised immediate backlash. (Eventually the EU position would be minimized to a “special adviser” role.) When Dion asked why he was being sidelined, Trudeau said he needed “change.”

After that encounter, Dion sent away his driver and hopped on a bus back to Montreal. Upon hearing this news, his mentor, former PM Jean Chr├ętien, was “furious.” But he didn’t succeed in changing Trudeau’s mind.

Further:

...  Coulon describes Trudeau as a man “incurious about the affairs of the world,” and a leader more influenced by surveys and media than by the advice of his ambassadors and diplomats.

Trudeau leaned heavily on his first foreign policy adviser, the University of Ottawa’s Roland Paris, Coulon writes. But when Paris didn’t seem to fit in with his inner circle, he was shuffled out within a year.

This book is revealing what we already knew: that Justin is a petulant idiot driving the country into the ground for some popular buzz.




Do we have rule of law in this country? Nope:

On a failed oil sands tour last week Justin Trudeau told reporters “our job as a government is to bring everyone together and say we’re all getting what we want…” Really? Your job is make-believe? But even if he’s the prancing dunce we saw in India, are there no adults behind him aware of the extent of the crisis and able to find legitimate levers of power and pull them?

Or are all the levers broken? Alberta Premier Rachel Notley notes plaintively that her province has won every court battle over this pipeline. But if silly games can stretch judicial proceedings out for years, even decades, and ultimately kill their target despite losing every time, it’s not the rule of law. It’s lawlessness in a robe and wig.

What is a court system for, if winning there means nothing? What is an executive for, if it cannot enforce the law? What is a federal government for, if its jurisdiction is flouted at will? What is a Constitution for, if the rule of law is just an empty phrase?


Also:

No one can say this crisis came as a surprise. It’s worth a brief recap of how we got here. For years now, Fort McMurray, and more generally Alberta, have been the chosen targets of a relentless organized campaign to denigrate the oilsands. Every possible negative interpretation of anything related to the oilsands, even the most trivial of circumstances, has been fired out on Twitter and Facebook, and in a blizzard of press releases. There has been a torrent of organized demonstrations, both legal and illegal, all aimed at one implacable goal: to halt the oilsands. The oil industry, as valid an industry as any other, auto and aerospace certainly, has been painted as virtually demonic. There has been a full, tireless, and ruthless effort, a pure scare campaign to portray the oilsands development as being the very trigger of eco-collapse of the entire planet. Armageddon will take place in Alberta. ...

During the life of this propaganda blitz against Alberta industry, where was the voice and backing of Canada’s most frequent frequent flyer denouncing the fusillade of half-truth and full-bore falsehoods aimed at killing the central element of the Canadian economy? (Energy underwrites all.) When has Mr. Trudeau even once set himself in full vocal opposition to its critics and its declared enemies? Or, for that matter, his self-styled super climate crusader Minister Catherine McKenna? Indeed, the minister, with her endless and false tweets about carbon dioxide as a pollutant, her declaration that she “has no time for her critics” (she calls them, condescendingly, deniers), would seem to fit more easily on a protest line with the Green fanatics, than as a backer of the necessary Alberta pipeline.

If the Trans Mountain pipeline had been given one-hundredth of the publicly voiced support the Liberal climate duo gave to their deep hearts’ concern over tendentious global warming, we would not have had the Sunday announcement.


And:

The Liberal government’s long-term energy plan ignores its own climate change laws, and more must be done to shift the province from fossil fuels to low-carbon power sources, Ontario’s environmental watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.

Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe said Ontario’s climate laws would require a drop in fossil fuel use by 40 to 50 per cent in the next 13 years to meet emission-reduction targets set for 2030. The target — a 37 per cent cut below 1990 levels — is still within reach, but only if the government begins to plan for it now, she said.

“The whole reason to have a 25 to 30-year long-term energy plan is precisely so we can look ahead and make plans and not constantly be panicking and rushing to deal with the latest emergency,” Saxe said. “Yet there’s nothing in the long-term energy plan to deal with that long-term challenge.”

How embarrassing.




How convenient:

Lawyers for a Toronto man accused of attacking soldiers at a military recruitment centre two years ago say he should be acquitted of terror-related charges and found not criminally responsible for lesser offences in the case on account of his mental state and the fact he has no affiliation to a terrorist group.

Ayanle Hassan Ali has pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count of carrying a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, all “at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group.”
The 2016 incident at a north Toronto military recruitment centre left at least two soldiers with minor injuries.

In written arguments filed as part of Ali’s trial, defence lawyers argue the 30-year-old — who a psychiatrist said shows signs of schizophrenia — should be acquitted on the terror-related charges altogether and found not criminally responsible for the lesser included charges of attempted murder, assault and weapons offences.



Sure. Why not give him fair warning and time to shred incriminating documents? :

The federal ethics commissioner has taken a step towards opening an investigation into a Liberal MP who helped a business affiliate gain access to events during the prime minister’s trip to India.

At the end of March, the National Post reported that Raj Grewal included Yusuf Yenilmez, head of Zgemi Inc., a company from which Grewal profits, on a list of guests to invite to receptions in India earlier this year that were attended by the prime minister and senior members of cabinet. 

The revelation prompted Conservatives and New Democrats to write to ethics commissioner Mario Dion, asking for a formal investigation into whether Grewal violated the Conflict of Interest Code that governs MPs.

According to a letter obtained by the Post, addressed to Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie, dated April 5 and marked “confidential,” the commissioner concluded that the information Kusie provided the previous week “meets the criteria” for him to take the steps towards an investigation. 

Dion is giving Grewal until May 4 to provide a written response, according to the letter. Once one is received, or after that deadline passes, stipulations in the code require Dion to decide on the necessity of a formal “inquiry” within 15 business days.



Bummer, dude:

Canadian marijuana stocks fell to their lowest level in more than four months on Tuesday, hit by lingering concerns about possible delays to legalization of recreational use, disappointment over proposed distribution rules and profit-taking following a strong run-up to a January peak.



Why not vote against it, Jason? :

Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney says proposed legislation creating safe zones around abortion clinics is political game-playing by the NDP government.

He said Monday he will abstain when the bill comes to a vote. His caucus members will be allowed to vote freely.

Kenney said Premier Rachel Notley's government has never proposed or discussed such legislation before. He said they are doing so now to distract from a budget that promises an $8.8-billion deficit this year and more long-term debt.

"This is so obviously a transparent effort by the NDP to distract attention from its failed economic record," said Kenney. "We're not going to play games with divisive social issues. We're here to focus on job creation and economic growth, (and) market access for energy products.

"I will be abstaining from the vote, as will most of our caucus."

Kenney has been clear in the past he is against abortion, but has said he would never legislate on the issue.

The proposed legislation would create 50-metre buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep protesters away and would also forbid them from taking video or pictures of those going in or out under penalty of fines or jail terms.



What? Americans are not flocking to Canada? :

According to the Canadian immigration department, 9,100 American citizens got permanent residency in Canada in 2017, a figure slightly higher than the 2016 total (8,410), which was itself higher than the 2015 total (7,520) but lower than the total in 2014 (8,491). 10,187 Americans got Canadian green cards in 2008, the only year of the last decade in which the figure surpassed 10,000.

According to America’s immigration department, by contrast, the year 2017 saw 11,573 Canadian-born persons get permanent residency in the United States. This was down from 2016 (12,793) and 2015 (12,673), but about the same as in 2014 (11,586). In 2008, the year in which over 10,000 Americans emigrated to Canada, the Canada-to-U.S. number was over 15,000.


(Paws up)




 Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg had his @$$ handed to him for reasons like these:

Facebook has been censoring the pro-Trump comedy duo Diamond and Silk, supposedly out of concern that they are "unsafe to the community," but more likely because they are two funny and influential black women who strongly support President Trump.

The charismatic pair posted the news on their Facebook page Friday night, saying that the social media giant had come to the decision after corresponding with them for over six months.
“Finally after several emails, chats, phone calls, appeals, beating around the bush, lies, and giving us the run around, Facebook gave us another bogus reason why Millions of people who have liked and/or followed our page no longer receives notification and why our page, post and video reach was reduced by a very large percentage.
Here is the reply from Facebook. Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 3:40 PM: “The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community."
The duo went on to say that it took “6 Months, 29 days, 5 hrs, 40 minutes and 43 seconds” to get a response, and that Facebook told them the decision was  “final and it is not appeal-able in any way.” In other words, it wasn't a snap decision made by some rogue SJW employee.

**

Questioned about whether Facebook is a neutral public forum, Zuckerberg said the company does not engage in political speech and seeks to be a "platform for all ideas." Cruz, however, discussed instances where conservatives seemed to receive unfair treatment and where conservative ideas were somehow suppressed by Facebook.

"In May of 2016, Gizmodo reported Facebook purposely and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, including stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck," Cruz said.

He went on to mention other examples, such as when Facebook shut down a page supporting Chick-fil-A after the fast-food chain was criticized by some on the left. Then he brought up Diamond and Silk, a pro-Trump duo whose Facebook page was shut down for being "unsafe," and he said this seems to be part of a pattern.

"Facebook has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages and most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk's page, with 1.2 million Facebook followers, after determining their content and brand were ‘unsafe to the community,’" Cruz said. "To a great many Americans that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias."

Zuckerberg granted that Silicon Valley, where Facebook is headquartered, is an "extremely left-leaning place," and he said he tries to promote fairness at the company.

"This is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out in the company is making sure we don’t have any bias in the work that we do and I think it is a fair concern that people would wonder about," Zuckerberg said.

Cruz then asked about a series of left-leaning groups and whether they ever had their pages or posts censored. Zuckerberg said he was not aware of any of those left-leaning groups, or any Democratic candidates whatsoever, having their content suppressed.



China is terribly pouty about this tariff business:

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.



And now,  British scientists are using unmanned submarines to search for Sir Ernest Shackleton's lost ship:

When on Nov. 21, 1915 the polar explorer ship Endurance finally yielded to the Antarctic pack ice, Ernest Shackleton and his crew began one of the most gruelling survival attempts in history.

Their five-month ordeal on the ice floes followed by a 720-nautical-mile dash to South Georgia has since become the stuff of legend.

But of the ship itself, no trace has been detected since the day it went down.

Yesterday, a British-led team announced it is setting out to find the wreck of Endurance, thought to be at rest nearly two miles beneath the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea.

Operating from the research vessel S A Agulhas II, the expedition will use the most advanced unmanned submarines in the world to scour the sea bed.

But they will also arrive armed with an equally important tool — information from the diary of Captain Frank Worsley, the renowned navigator who was busy recording precise sextant readings even as the ship went down.


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