Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mid-Week Post

Summer is coming....

Former prime minister Stephen Harper has decided to move into the private sector:

Former Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who lost power last October after almost a decade in office, will leave politics later this year and go into business, a Conservative source said on Wednesday.

Harper, 57, stepped down as party leader in the wake of his defeat by the Liberals of Justin Trudeau in the Oct 19 election.

He was re-elected as a legislator for a parliamentary constituency in Calgary, but will resign his seat before the House starts its fall session in September, said the source.

"He will go into a global business venture. He has no plans to become an academic," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous since Harper has made no formal announcement about his future yet.

Several companies had asked Harper to sit on their boards, the source added.

Perhaps his time has come. Corruption and chest-elbowing are new games, ones for which Mr. Harper feels he is unprepared.

Or, perhaps, he knows that soon Canada will be a pile of smoldering ash thanks to Pierre's son.

Either way, he is not sticking around.

The Ontario government is allocating $220 million to prevent aboriginal suicide as opposed to encouraging aboriginal youth to leave remote locations, get an education and then a job. But heaven forbid one should ever find a purpose:

Ontario plans to spend more than C$220 million ($168.48 million) to improve aboriginal healthcare, the Canadian province said on Wednesday, a month after a rash of suicide attempts in a poor indigenous community drew global attention.

The province's Liberal government said the funding, to be spent over three years, would boost doctor service, make fruits and vegetables more available for children and increase the number of mental health workers.

The Slovakian prime minister reiterates what many in Europe already feel -  that Muslim migrants who refuse to assimilate have no place on the continent:

In Slovakia, meanwhile, the prime minister said Wednesday his country is not a suitable place for Muslims to live because they could change centuries-long traditions.

In an interview with the local press agency TASR, Robert Fico said he doesn’t want to have “tens of thousands of Muslims” in Slovakia.

His country is also a vocal opponent of a compulsory EU plan to redistribute refugees in member states and is suing the EU over it.

Fico charges the Muslims would change Slovakia’s traditions, which have “been present here for centuries.”

Russia eventually frees a scapegoated female Ukrainian pilot after a prisoner exchange:

Russia freed Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko on Wednesday after holding her for nearly two years, with President Vladimir Putin pardoning her as part of a swap for two Russian servicemen jailed in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president sent his plane to pick up Savchenko in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia and bring her home to Kyiv, where she received a hero’s welcome.

“Thank you everyone for fighting for me!” she told a scrum of journalists at Kyiv’s Borispol Airport. 

“You fought for everyone behind bars. Politicians would have kept silent if people had been silent. I would like to say thank you to everyone who wished me well: I have survived because of you.”
The two Russians were also freed on Wednesday, and Russian state television showed them being greeted at a Moscow airport by their wives.

Savchenko was captured by Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and sentenced in March to 22 years in prison for her alleged role in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the conflict zone. Her refusal to bend after nearly two years in Russian custody has made her a national hero in Ukraine.

The two Russians, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, were captured last year. They acknowledged being Russian officers, but the Russian Defence Ministry claimed they had resigned from active duty. They were tried in a Kyiv court, which sentenced them to 14 years in prison after finding them guilty of terrorism and waging war in eastern Ukraine.

Both of the Russians submitted a petition to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for a pardon, Alexandrov’s lawyer Valentin Rybin announced Wednesday morning, indicating a swap was imminent.

Now, perhaps after this dreadful game of political chess, the West can start getting a clue about what is going on in eastern Europe.

Belgian police arrest four people suspected of plotting a new attack:

Police found "traces" of a plot to launch a new attack in Belgium when they arrested four people suspected of recruiting jihadists for Syria and Libya, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The four were charged with "participating in the activities of a terrorist group" following their arrests in the northern port of Antwerp and other Flemish-speaking cities, the federal prosecutor's office said.

"The four were more involved in the part of recruiting," Eric Van der Sypt, a spokesman for Belgium's federal prosecutors, told AFP. "And we found traces of plans for an attack in Belgium."

Another one? In Belgium? Colour me surprised.

But... but... doctored videos!

In explosive new court filings the attorney for Planned Parenthood admits that he secretly received a videotape from the Houston prosecutor's office, and says the grand jury never even voted on whether to indict Planned Parenthood for selling aborted human beings' body parts. Furthermore, the district attorney admits her office violated the law in its handling of the indictment of pro-life investigator David Daleiden – but dismisses the infraction as “minor and harmless.”

How is rail-roading "harmless"?

Eleven states don't care for Obama's need to watch people relieve themselves:

Eleven states filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the Obama administration's guidance to U.S. public schools this month that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Wichita Falls, Texas, accused the Obama administration of trying to turn workplaces and schools into "laboratories for a massive social experiment."
The trannies won't like this.

That a government is poised to pass euthanasia laws, ostensibly with restrictions, means that it is too late to go back. The only restriction will be for lawsuits against any medical practitioner or hospital that fails to preserve the life of anyone who has the audacity to be over seventy years old:

Medical regulators in every province have issued detailed guidelines doctors must follow to help suffering patients end their lives once Canada’s ban on medically assisted dying is formally lifted next month.

And most of those guidelines impose safeguards similar to — or even more stringent than — those included in the federal government’s proposed new law on assisted death.

A relic of Saint Thomas Becket , murdered at the behest of Henry II, is returning to Canterbury Cathedral:

A small piece of bone thought to belong to St. Thomas Becket is, after centuries of exile in Hungary, returning to Canterbury Cathedral where the archbishop was murdered in 1170. Encased in a dazzling modern reliquary, the bone will be displayed in several Catholic and Protestant churches on its way to Canterbury.

And now, this summer, head to Zalipie, Poland to admire its prettily painted facades:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

For a Tuesday


Human remains recovered from the debris of EgyptAir flight  804 indicate that there may have been an explosion:

An Egyptian forensic official says human remains from the crashed EgyptAir flight indicate there had been an explosion on board.

The official is part of the Egyptian investigative team and has personally examined the remains at a Cairo morgue. 

He said all 80 pieces brought to Cairo so far are small and that "there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head".

The official added that "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion" but no traces of explosives have been found.

However, another forensics official said only a tiny number of remains had arrived so far and it was too early to specify whether there had been a bomb on board.

All 66 people on the plane were killed when the Airbus 320 crashed in the Mediterranean on 19 May while en route from Paris to Cairo.

An American court has rejected Omar Khadr's request to remove a judge:

An attempt by Canada's Omar Khadr to have a judge thrown off his appeal panel has raised important legal questions that U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress should deal with quickly, a court in Washington has ruled.

Nevertheless, the D.C. Circuit said it was not prepared at this time to grant the former Guantanamo Bay inmate's request.

"Although we deny the writ, we cannot deny that Khadr has raised some significant questions," the D.C. Circuit said.

"We encourage Congress and the executive branch to promptly attend to those issues."

At issue is Khadr's call to have the court toss presiding Judge William (Bill) Pollard from the panel hearing his appeal of his war crimes conviction. Khadr and his lawyers argue that Pollard's position on the panel is illegal based on federal statutes that prohibit a judge from continuing to work as a lawyer.

For an allegedly innocent child solider (read: a member of a terrorist family who has never condemned terrorism nor apologised for the death of Christopher Speer.), he is really grasping at straws.

The police are called on a mother whose autistic son has been deprived of care he sorely needs by the very government that started it all:

Melanie Palaypayon is taking a breather at her family’s Muskoka cottage to collect her thoughts after Peel Regional Police came to her door Friday morning.

She says the encounter left her intimidated and shaky.

The 35-year-old Mississauga mom was tired of being told by her local MPP Bob Delaney’s constituency office that he couldn’t meet with her due to scheduling conflicts. On Thursday morning, she picked up the phone and told the Liberal MPP’s staff she planned on squatting there and handing out flyers to protest against new provincial autism rules that mean her six-year-old son Xavier can no longer qualify for intensive behavioural intervention (IBI).

Around 8:50 a.m. Friday morning, the cops came to her door after Delaney’s office complained.

“I am shocked and intimidated,” she told the Sun in a telephone interview Saturday. “I asked myself, ‘Is protesting prohibited here?’ or ‘Are they making a statement that we can’t call MPPs now?’ Why are they sending two police officers. I am alone, I am a mom of an autistic kid. I told them I would not be holding the door. I did not swear. My tone is aggressive and I can be persistent ... but I am not a wrestler.”

A part-time nurse, Palaypayon, and her husband Clint, a computer programer, said the government’s move to cut children age five and older from being eligible for IBI paid by the province will mean more than 3,500 families who have been waiting half their lives for treatment will be removed from wait lists over the next two years.

This would put a $50,000 a year financial strain on those families to pay for private therapy.

“We’ve been waiting 3 1/2 years,” Palaypayon said, breaking down in tears. “We’ve been waiting half of his life for this treatment and they just cut it off. We’re going to be in huge debt. I will try my best to give Xavier what he needs. I see a lot of potential in him.”

Delaney claims his two staffers – one a mother and the other a grandmother – were verbally abused, but would not get into details, insisting “it’s between me and the constituent” when Palaypayon made over 10 calls to his office last week.

“We had one parent who was over the line with her actions,” he said. “The number of times she would call the office, essentially to have identically the same conversation. The tone and remarks she would use. (She) repeatedly used the word, ‘we’ ... and she is very clearly seeking a confrontation. We are not welcoming a confrontation with an unknown number of people.”

Delaney said he called police but didn’t realize they would go and visit her home. He denies it was an intimidation tactic, but rather he had an obligation to keep his office staff safe.

“Given the things she has given to my office staff and the treatment to women who are doing their level best to help her, none of these women deserve the treatment they received and I’m going to leave it that,” he said.

Peel Regional Police were unable to discuss the details of their visit to Palaypayon’s Mississauga home.

“We have a responsibility to follow up any complaint,” Const. Rachel Gibbs said Saturday. “But we can’t comment on this because it’s a private matter and there was no risk to public safety.”

(Sidebar: I have heard that this particular MPP chose to do his nails while families with autistic children pleaded their cases at Queen's Park. Like the leaders of his douchebag political party, he is set to apologise for using the police to intimidate this woman.)

What a brilliant case for privatising healthcare and education.  By giving the heartless Liberal government (any government, really) power over the general populace, they have made decision that have ruined families, especially the families that consistently vote Liberal. Until the electorate wakes the hell up, the Liberals will continue ruin people's lives and using the police to enforce their will.


Fresh from man-handling whips from other parties and elbowing women in the chest, PM Trulander stops short of  supporting Japan against the nation he most admires:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada had committed to supporting his country’s opposition to sweeping territorial clams, island-building and other aggressive measures widely regarded as a challenge by China to the rule of law in the South China Sea.

“On the South China Sea, we share serious concern over unilateral actions which heighten tension, including large-scale reclamation, building of outposts and military usage thereof,” Abe said. “We agreed to work closely to secure free and safe seas based on the rule of law.”

However, although the issue is of urgent and pressing importance to Japan and many of Canada’s other Asian allies as well as the U.S., Trudeau made no mention of it when he spoke moments later.

This is why Japan, South Korea, Taiwan et al must form a new pan-Asian alliance against China. Canada and the US do not give a care about them at the moment.


He’s taking Wednesday off work, to spend the day with his wife and celebrate their anniversary.
But actually, that’s a bit of a lie, too.

The Trudeaus’ anniversary is on May 28th. That’s on Saturday, after the G7 is over. They’d be back in Canada by then, because of the time zones.

But then they can’t have an exotic date night at taxpayers expense, can they?

Who in the real world gets to take their anniversary off from work?

He’s lazy, sure. Trudeau always had one of the lowest attendance records in Parliament as an MP. It bored him.

Trudeau's whole life has been this way. He was a substitute drama teacher, not even a full-time drama teacher, because a full-time job would get in the way of fun.

He dropped out of university where he was studying environmental something, because it was too much work.

Justin and Sophie Trudeau are a national disgrace, and an international embarrassment.

Oh, dear:

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie is determined to “blow people’s minds” with a raucous Canadian tour in the wake of learning he has an incurable brain cancer, his managers said Tuesday as fans tried to digest the shocking announcement about the singer’s illness.

Outrage is alright when some people do it:

When it comes to standing up for gay rights, corporate outrage is rather selective. Large companies that have publicly denounced new laws in several southern U.S. states as “anti-gay” are quite happy to remain silent as they carry on business in countries that criminalize gay sex.

After North Carolina passed a law upholding separate male and female public washrooms, PayPal publicly cancelled its plans to build a new operations centre in that state, citing that law. Yet PayPal chooses to place its international headquarters in Singapore, where gay sex is punishable by two years in prison.

Calling trans-people mentally ill fascists and pointing out that their monomaniacal dreams of extreme surgical procedures are just sick and pointless ways to feed their delusions will be punishable for up to two years in prison:

Canada's Liberal Party government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a bill that would ban transgender discrimination, including both gender identity and gender expression, with up to two years in prison for violators.

Leave the pretend girls alone. Stop judging them and their enablers for carrying out ridiculous fantasies which will only ruin people in the end.

And now, Bugs Bunny and his contribution to the opera world:

Like many other singers and crew staging the 17-hour, four-opera Wagner extravaganza at the Kennedy Center, Ms. Bishop got her first taste of opera from a cartoon rabbit and his speech-impaired nemesis.

“I could sing you the entire cartoon before I knew what opera really was,” says Ms. Bishop, who performs the part of Fricka, wife of Wotan, king of the gods.

The rabbit in question is Bugs Bunny, who, in the 1957 Warner Bros. cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” finds himself hunted by Elmer Fudd, in the part of the hero, Siegfried.

“Kiww the wabbit! Kiww the wabbit!” Elmer, in an ill-fitting magic helmet, sings to the urgent strains of Ride of the Valkyries as he jabs his spear into a rabbit hole.

Bugs flees, dons a breast plate and blond braids, climbs atop an obese white horse, and for two minutes and a ballet interlude, fools the smitten Elmer into thinking he is Brünnhilde. 

“Oh, Bwünnhilde, you’re so wovewy,” Elmer croons.

“Yes, I know it,” Bugs answers coquettishly. “I can’t help it.”

And just because:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Post


It's time for the long week-end...

It is being reported that smoke was detected before Egypt Air Flight 804 crashed:

According to the sources, the information indicates smoke was coming from one of the engines. The data was transmitted through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which sends snapshots of engine performance throughout the flight. 

Earlier Friday, search crews found floating human remains, luggage and seats from the doomed jetliner, but face a potentially more complex task in locating bigger pieces of wreckage and the black boxes vital to determining why the plane plunged into the Mediterranean.

Looking for clues to whether terrorists brought down EgyptAir Flight 804 and its 66 people aboard, investigators pored over the passenger list and questioned ground crew members at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where the plane took off.

The Airbus A320 had been cruising normally in clear skies on a nighttime flight to Cairo early Thursday when it suddenly lurched left, then right, spun all the way around and plummeted 38,000 feet into the sea, never issuing a distress signal.

Prior to dragging the Tory whip by the arm (like you can do that) and elbowing a female MP in the chest, the plan was to seize control of the House of Commons so that any debate before the summer break could be quashed.

Let that sink in for a moment.

PM Trulander's inability to control his temper and act like an adult (pick an incident - he's done this before) overshadows a plan to shut down debate making the House of Commons irrelevant.

I shudder to think when this will happen again.

A breakdown of bustafazoo in the House of Commons.

Also: I am surprised that the Holy Words of the Lord didn't just erupt into flames when Trulander pretended to mean them:

The Bible passage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to read Thursday at the annual national prayer breakfast in Ottawa was chosen long before his physical confrontation in the House of Commons, and its resultant apologies.

But the irony of the scriptural message was not lost on those in the room, including members of his staff still reeling from the fallout of Trudeau's dramatic physical scuffle with a pair of opposition MPs in Parliament the night before.

"Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone," Trudeau said as he wrapped up the reading from Romans, chapter 12, which offers lessons on how to be a good person.

What does the Bible say about being a dictator, Justin?

Banks expect migrants to be great customers just as government and other assorted parties think that migrants bring in skills they sorely need and will have children to pay for the social programs that they want:

Canada’s population increases a little more than 1.2 per cent per year, and immigration accounts for about two-thirds of that increase. Canada welcomed 271,662 new permanent residents in 2015 in addition to hundreds of thousands of international students and temporary workers, and Statistics Canada projects that immigration will continue to be a key driver of population growth in the future.

All of those people translate into big potential business for banks, and the major banks across Canada are vying for a piece of that booming market.

You know what you're doing, banks.

China's Cultural Revolution fifty years on:

Mao called upon the masses to “educate and liberate themselves.” At first that meant intense discussions, angry words and inflammatory posters, but it soon developed into a massacre. At a party for one of his birthdays, Mao raised a glass and toasted “The unfolding of a nationwide civil war!” The war he inspired pitted the masses against leaders of every class and children against their parents.

Supplant any modern movement of hyper-sensitive idealogues in the Cultural Revolution's stead.

We have learned nothing from the past.

And now, a sad ending to "The Frog Prince". Enjoy. Or don't.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mid-Week Mellow

Today, everybody was pushing. Everybody was shoving. Everybody was kung-fu fighting.

Now, it's time to get away from all of that.

Do you know what calms one down? Waterfalls:

Bigăr Waterfall (Caraş-Severin County, Romania)

Isn't that picturesque?

A 1600 year-old Roman shipwreck was found off of the coast of Israel:

The wreckage includes well-preserved items in bronze, such as lamps, a faucet shaped like a wild boar, fragments of statues and a figurine of Luna, the moon goddess. “The sand protected the statues; consequently they are in an amazing state of preservation—as though they were cast yesterday,” says Jacob Sharvit, the director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the deputy director Dror Planer, in a statement. Few metal statues have survived the antique period, he explained, since they were often melted down and re-used. Another incredible find was two groups of coins that had been fused together, weighing around 20kg in total.

Hhhmmm. Maybe we shouldn't go into space....

And now, a horse rocks a baby:

Mid-Week Post

Your Zen for the middle of the work-week....

But not yet:

It seems that during a heated argument in the House of Commons, Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were about to come to blows, jostling (accidentally or otherwise) other members of Parliament.

A more candid video is here.

Some middling apologies were made but who cares? Everyone knows who throws the tantrums in the House of Commons, don't we, Justin?

It's bound to get better:

The opposition parties are pushing back after Liberal House Leader Dominc LeBlanc gave notice the government could seize control of the House of Commons.

LeBlanc has given notice of a motion that would let the Liberals force overnight debates and adjourn the House for the summer without any notice and with no debate. The motion would also restrict the opposition parties' ability to slow down proceedings.

The NDP and Conservatives are protesting the Liberal motion, arguing the Speaker should find it out of order. But MPs said they wanted to debate C-14, the assisted dying bill, so they put off much of the discussion for another day. ...

Tensions rose so high by Wednesday night that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was involved in an altercation on the floor of the House. When New Democrat MPs loitered in the path of the Conservative Party whip ahead of the time allocation vote, Trudeau strode to the back to escort the Official Opposition whip to his seat so the vote could proceed. In the process, he elbowed New Democrat MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, who appeared to crash into one of the wooden desks. Trudeau returned to apologize, where NDP Leader Tom Mulcair confronted him and the two leaders squared off. Other MPs separated them.  Brosseau left the House before the vote happened, and MPs spent the next hour debating how to handle the incident. Trudeau later stood twice to apologize.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer called the proposed Liberal motion unprecedented and said it came out of left field.

"The motion that they put on notice is something that I’ve never seen or even heard of. It’s one thing for the government to use the tools available to it to implement its agenda. It’s another thing to take away tools from the opposition, and that’s what we’re seeing. This is a very undemocratic proposal by the government," Scheer said.

LeBlanc and Trudeau say they're trying to extend House sitting hours to give more time for debate, ignoring questions about the other measures that would allow them the ability to shut down the House for the summer with no notice.

"This attempt to put a straitjacket on Parliament deprives Canadians of their most important democratic institution," Mulcair said. "It's childish petulance by the Liberals who almost lost a vote this week, who are now trying to put their straitjacket on Parliament and submit it to their majority will."

On Monday, the NDP and Conservatives surprised the Liberals by triggering a vote on a bill regarding Air Canada maintenance. The government and opposition tied 139-139, which forced the Speaker to cast a vote. Following parliamentary convention, Speaker Geoff Regan voted with the government to keep the legislation moving.

The opposition parties say talks among the House leaders, which are a normal part of the behind-the-scenes discussions in Parliament, broke down this week. LeBlanc wouldn't tell the Conservatives and NDP which bills would be debated over the next few weeks.

"We had a very short house leaders’ meeting where the opposition were not even provided with a calendar. That's something that didn't happen in the last Parliament. Even when things broke down between the opposition and government, the Conservative government always gave the opposition a calendar for what was going to be debated," Scheer said.
Let's get ready to rumbllllllllllllle!

Residents may return to Fort McMurray in early June if the wildfire is under control:

The Alberta government says people from the fire-ravaged city of Fort McMurray could return home starting on June 1 if conditions are deemed to be safe.

"Remember, many hazards remain in Fort McMurray," Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday.

"We need to address all of them before it is safe for residents to begin to return and we are doing this."

Notley said the re-entry will be done in stages and will be voluntary.

The conditions include no threat of wildfire or from smoke.

The Liberal government may have to prove that its arms deal with the Saudis was legal:

The Globe and Mail’s video evidence of Saudi Arabia using armoured vehicles to violently quell dissidents will advance the court challenge of the Trudeau government’s arms deal with the Middle Eastern country, said the law professor who is leading the lawsuit.

Last week, the newspaper released video showing Saudi Arabia using armoured vehicles to quell minority Shia Muslims in its Eastern Province. The video added to mounting evidence that Ottawa’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia could supply weapons that may be used against the country’s civilian population.

The lawsuit argues the Liberal government is obliged to uphold Canadian export rules and the Geneva Conventions Act that bar Canada from exporting military equipment to countries whose governments persistently violate the human rights of their citizens — unless Canada can demonstrate there is no risk the equipment may be used against the population.

“You just need to prove before a court that there’s a risk, that some equipment may be used to breach human rights,” said Daniel Turp, the professor of international and constitutional law at Université de Montréal who is leading the court challenge with a group of law students and a Montreal law firm.

“Things have evolved in a positive way for us and our lawsuit,” he said of the new video. “That’s really good and convincing evidence, in my opinion, for a court of law.”
I don't think that it will come to that.  It's not like one is dealing with a transparent and honest government here.

Remember - looking at one's cell phone while driving is so dangerous that they needed a law:

About half of pot-smoking Canadians who get behind the wheel while high believe the drug doesn’t impair their ability to drive safely — and 20 per cent say nothing would make them stop driving while stoned.

Will PM Cheech and Chong Trulander lead the push for a driving-while-high law any time soon?

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant resists a court ruling allowing citizens to transport alcohol from other provinces:

In a judgment that is long past due, a Canadian court has finally ruled that interprovincial trade barriers in Canada are illegal. In the New Brunswick case of Regina vs. Comeau, the provincial court acquitted Gérard Comeau of violating the provincial Liquor Control Act by bringing in more than 12 pints of beer from neighbouring Quebec, where prices are lower. Predictably, the New Brunswick government has vowed to keep the discredited rules in place anyway. But its shabby attempt to ignore the rule of law will fail, as it definitely should.

The court sided with Comeau based on Section 121 of the Constitution: “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” The decision defies a 1921 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that forbade formal customs duties, while allowing endless protectionist jiggery-pokery thinly disguised as the exercise of legitimate provincial powers, like making beer in New Brunswick much more expensive than Quebec, without making it any more valuable.

The Comeau ruling also reflects the intent of Canada’s founders, summed up in George Brown’s ringing 1865 declaration, “to throw down all barriers between the provinces — to make a citizen of one, citizen of the whole … our farmers and manufacturers and mechanic, shall carry their wares unquestioned into every village of the Maritime Provinces … the law courts, and the schools, and the professional and industrial walks of life, throughout all the provinces, shall be thrown equally open to us all.” ...

While professing to favour interprovincial trade, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says he will ignore the court ruling. His rationale is that only superior courts can invalidate a law, rather than simply acquit a defendant. But if the province really believes its law is valid, it should appeal to a superior court to confirm that view. The alternative is a shabby effort to continue using its position of strength to mistreat its citizens.

In the wake of the Comeau ruling, any New Brunswicker who fights similar charges will probably win. But only after an expensive, protracted, stressful court battle against battalions of tax-funded lawyers devoted to enabling the government to continue extracting its cash. The government is hoping there are relatively few Gérard Comeaus out there, and most people will shrug and continue paying New Brunswick’s higher beer prices, or sneaking off to Quebec for an illicit trunkload, in the hopes they won’t be caught.

It’s a low and cynical approach to governing, which treats the population with disrespect. Somebody, somewhere, will use the Comeau ruling to challenge some similar piece of protectionism, win an appeal and deal a blow to such phony barriers. Premier Gallant should act now, when he has a choice, rather than later when he doesn’t.

It is always about the money.

Corruption in Ontario? Oh, heavens to Betsy!

Ontario’s multi-million-dollar payouts to teachers’ unions are a rarity unmatched in other provinces or for other public service unions, the auditor general has found in a report that also uncovered an additional $80.5 million in payments over the past decade-and-a-half.

A well-written article on how Catholic churches in Canada have done more than their fair share of apologising and making huge financial reparations for what is a major industry: victimisation and financial reaping.

Speaking of apologies:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking from the floor of an institution that once enacted racist policies against large-scale immigration from Asia until the 1960s, apologized Wednesday for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident.

Is the apology for the murder of three hundred and twenty-nine men, women and children and two baggage handlers forthcoming?

Gee, hashtags do eventually work... or something:

A Nigerian teenager kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago has been rescued, the first of more than 200 girls seized in a raid on their school in Chibok town to return from captivity in the insurgents' forest lair, officials said on Wednesday.

Soldiers working together with a civilian vigilante group rescued the girl and her four-month-old baby near Damboa in the remote northeast, army spokesman Sani Usman said. They also detained a "suspected Boko Haram terrorist" called Mohammed Hayatu who claimed to be the girl's husband, he added.

"Preliminary investigation shows that she is indeed one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on 14th April 2014 in Chibok," Usman said in a statement.

Rights activists named the girl as Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki. They quoted her as saying her schoolmates remained in the Sambisa forest in the northeast, Boko Haram's biggest stronghold.

Yes, ISIS has been crucifying people for ages. Thank you for noticing:

A leading international rights group on Wednesday released a report documenting atrocities by Libya’s Islamic State affiliate — including instances of “crucifixions” and shooting a man to death for “cursing God” — in the coastal city of Sirte, a stronghold of the militants.

Thank you:

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out in support of conscientious objectors to the Iraq War. He accused the-then Conservative government of “lacking compassion and lacking understanding” by deeming American war deserters (as the Tories preferred to call them) ineligible for permanent residency. The Liberals have now said they will be reviewing this policy.
In fact, there are reasons for a government to support a hard line on war resisters that have nothing to do with a want of compassion or understanding.

For one, military desertion is an offence in Canada. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a person is ineligible for permanent residency if he has committed an offence in Canada, or an offence elsewhere that would constitute an offence here. This is a blanket rule. While there might be cases where exceptions to this rule are appropriate, it surely cannot be appropriate to create an exemption for American soldiers while Canada continues to prohibit its own soldiers from breaking this law.

It’s also important to understand that the roughly 200 Iraq War resisters who ought refuge in Canada had all voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. military. Unlike many of the conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War (who had been conscripted to fight in a conflict in which they did not believe), the conscientious objectors in this case chose to serve in the military and had committed to obeying orders.

The importance of this commitment cannot be overstated. A military cannot effectively project or exert force if soldiers could opt out of duties whenever they disagreed with a command. Discipline and obedience are essential in the military, particularly because the decision-makers generally possess more information than those lower in the chain of command.
Wasn't I saying this?


Police wearing body cameras experienced an increased number of assaults by civilians, a new U.S. and U.K. research study found.

“Assaults against police officers were higher when police cameras were worn, versus when they weren’t,” said the study’s co-author and RAND Europe researcher Alex Sutherland. The rates of assault against officers wearing cameras on their shift were an average of 15 per cent higher.

The study also found that the rate of use-of-force by police on citizens was unchanged by body cameras, but this finding depended on whether the camera was on consistently, or was turned on and off during an interaction.

If police had cameras on for their entire shift, use-of-force against civilians decreased. But if officers switched the cameras on and off at their own discretion, use-of-force increased.

Gee, if only there was some sort of law against this:

But the theory that Dixon decided to kill his girlfriend because she wouldn’t have an abortion was echoed on a GoFundMe page set up by one of her close friends.

“Candace was an amazing mother, friend and person,” Vanessa Peterson wrote. “She was always smiling and made the best out of life. She had recently found out she was pregnant and was murdered because she refused an abortion.

“So many loved ones have lost such an amazing person and more importantly an innocent child has not only witnessed his mother’s murder the day after his third birthday.”

A medical examiner confirmed that Pickens was pregnant at the time of her death, police said. The examiner told WLOS that he didn’t know how far along she was in her pregnancy.

Given the medical examiner’s finding, police also charged Dixon with first-degree murder of an unborn child.

(Sidebar: it must be one of those outlier states.)

A friend of late atheist warhorse, Christopher Hitchens, wonders if he was leaning toward conversion:

As Taunton drove, Hitchens read aloud from the Gospel of John and mulled over the precise reason Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. “Where is grace in the Old Testament?” Hitchens asked at one point, in Taunton’s telling. “I see it in the New Testament, but God is different in the Old Testament,” Hitchens observed, leading to a discussion of God’s covenant with Abraham.

I will not make the case for any event. Christopher Hitchens held very repellent views on the soon-to-be canonised Mother Teresa. However, his virtue (such as virtues go) was his consistency unlike the Johnny-come-lately militant neo-atheists whose raison d'etre is to dump on everything in order to prove how superior they think they are.

What did Hitchens really think?

Discuss among yourselves.

(Sidebar: the comments after the article are quite telling.)


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Next Slippery Slope

The one that people said would not happen.

If, likewise, the court could reverse its own decision before, it may be persuaded to do so again. The justification offered for overturning Rodriguez was that in the interval the “matrix of legislative and social facts” had changed; that the fear that had justified the law then, namely that assisted suicide would otherwise come to be applied to a wider and wider expanse of the population, had been disproved by experience; or at any rate that whatever might have happened in Belgium and the Netherlands — where the numbers of those euthanized annually has skyrocketed, and where it is now available not only to children and the mentally ill but for the relief of all manner of ailments — could not happen here, on account of our differing “medico-legal cultures.”

But even if that were true at the time of the court’s ruling, it is clearly not true any more. The notion of extending assisted suicide to children and the mentally incompetent, once derided as “slippery slope” alarmism, is now the next item on the agenda. So it would be entirely open to the Court to find that the matrix of legislative and social facts had shifted again. 

I’m not saying it will. But it certainly won’t if it is not asked.

It is doubtful that the judicial activists in the Supreme Court would ever resist crossing a line that would turn Canada into Belgium or the Netherlands.

While the suffering of the sick and disabled is hard to imagine, it is equally hard to imagine how killing them off could equal compassion or medical progression. If one can't stand to see suffering, the object should be not eliminate the sufferer but eliminate the cause of suffering, some modern medicine can and should do and could do if permitted. Why spend time and money on cures or other treatments when it is easier to kill people off? Why question one's own moral compass when it has been decided that such things are as dispensable as life?

From Father Raymond de Souza:

To the sick and suffering, the court offers them the hemlock of a timely suicide. And according to the court, should the supply of the hemlock ever be in question, it is tantamount to being forced by the state to drink it today. It is an extreme, and extremely bleak vision.

Ontario's Proposed "Green" Policies Could Ruin More Than One Province

They can ruin other provinces, too:

Just when Alberta is performing policy backflips so Canada will accept petroleum products, Ontario talks about banning the stuff entirely.

If a proposed Ontario climate change plan goes ahead, the market for about 1.3 billion cubic feet of Alberta natural gas per day will virtually disappear. ...

By 2050, gas would be eliminated as heating fuel from all buildings in the province.

To show how serious they are about this, the Ontario Liberals would pay a rebate of up to $20,000 to people who buy houses that don’t heat with natural gas.

It would be replaced by electrical energy (great for Ontario hydro generation) and by solar panels, geothermal heating – whatever works, as long as it isn’t a fossil fuel.

Alberta’s gas shipments to Ontario have been going down sharply in recent years, partly because Ontario is buying huge volumes of U.S. shale gas.

The Liberal province, in fact, now imports more than 95 per cent of all the U.S. gas that comes into Canada. There’s never been much national loyalty at work here.

The downward trend for Alberta gas has been obvious for years, but this is the first time a big customer ever mentioned a ban.

I propose that anyone who whole-heartedly believes in these "green" policies truly live as they wish others to live. They can lead by example. No natural gas heating or coal or nuclear-powered anything, only wind turbines and solar panels.

And none of this running water nonsense. A near-by creek should suffice.

Surely "green" methods can keep tablets, computers and other household appliances running at any hour of the day and in any weather.

Venezuela Is a Socialist Failure

But don't take my word for it:

This nation has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet the government saved little money for hard times when oil prices were high. Now that prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014 — the consequences are casting a destructive shadow across the country. Lines for food, long a feature of life in Venezuela, now erupt into looting. The bolívar, the country’s currency, is nearly worthless.

The crisis is aggravated by a political feud between Venezuela’s leftists, who control the presidency, and their rivals in congress. The president’s opponents declared a humanitarian crisis in January, and this month passed a law that would allow Venezuela to accept international aid to prop up the health care system.

“This is criminal that we can sit in a country with this much oil, and people are dying for lack of antibiotics,” says Oneida Guaipe, a lawmaker and former hospital union leader.

But Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, went on television and rejected the effort, describing the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Maduro said. ...

Dr. Amalia Rodríguez stood in the hallway.

“I had a patient just now who needed artificial respiration, and I had none available,” Rodríguez said. “A baby. What can we do?”

The day of the power blackout, Rodríguez said, the hospital staff tried turning on the generator, but it did not work.

Doctors tried everything they could to keep the babies breathing, pumping air by hand until the employees were so exhausted they could barely see straight, she said. How many babies died because of the blackout was impossible to say, given all of the other deficiencies at the hospital.

“What can we do here?” Rodríguez said. “Every day I pass an incubator that doesn’t heat up, that is cold, that is broken.”
It is no surprise that serfs who are forced to fund bloviating dictators who rant on about class equality and the evils of capitalism end up dying in poverty and filth.

If someone could show me a socialist state that works, I should like to see it.

Liberals Move to Cap Union Donations

Like fun they are!

Ontario is moving to tighten the rules around political fundraising with legislation that bans corporate and union donations and reduces the amount individuals can contribute.

Unions got Wynne elected. Not even she is that stupid to stop a gravy train.

The Liberal government is also proposing that taxpayers give each party a $2.26 per vote subsidy each year to offset the lost donations from companies and unions.

What did I tell you?

(insert own "robbing Peter to pay Paul" comment here.)

If Wynne and her merry band of thieves continue stealing from the taxpayer, I must insist on a referendum on whether or not she deserves a pension.