Shea Serrano is a paid Grantland writer.
Let that float around your head for a minute, as you read the drivel he actually got paid to write. It actually starts with a fairly good thesis: if Terminator Genisys hadn't flopped, Schwarzenegger’s career could be revitalized and we could get a chance to see him in quality movies again. Okay, decent enough premise, and it would be nice to see him do well, though Serrano is interested in him doing action movies, which is a bit of a stretch.
We get Junior 2, and people are disappointed that it’s not a Reckoning and they’re also disappointed that he even made it. But guess what? This one doesn’t suck like the first one did. He’s pregnant again, yeah. But it’s twins this time
It turns out that Bennett’s wife was also pregnant with twins when that happened. And guess what? Those twins are super pissed that Arnold put a pipe through their dad’s chest and they want revenge. THAT’S A SURPRISE FRANCHISE CROSSOVER ON SOME MARVEL AVENGERS SHIT, my dude. The big fight at the end of the movie starts when the Bennett twins are getting into a car to drive back to their bad-guy compound with their younger brother, Baby Bennett, whom they’re also training to be a villain. Baby Bennett says, “I got shotgun,” and right then, just as he’s opening the door, he takes a shotgun blast to the chest. The camera pans over. We see the Arnold Twins standing there. They’re both holding shotguns. “No,” they say in unison, and they cock their guns in unison, too. “We’ve got shotguns.”Serrano is paid to write that. Again, let that thought just percolate in your head for a while, then please -- please -- read on.
After getting excited about a sequel to Junior, and no that's not a typo, but after getting excited about a sequel to Junior, Serrano moves to the next stage of his thesis, which is again a fairly good one.
The movie is such a blockbuster hit that the pendulum finally swings back and we get a rush of action movies like in the late ’80s and early ’90s, where the stars were untouchably cool and not gloomy, despondent sad boys.He's right, of course. It would be nice to see directors and writers make nice little well-paced action movies centred around a solid if somewhat unrealistic or unreasonable premise. What was the plot to the original Terminator? A wounded soldier has to save a pretty young girl from an advanced futuristic killing robot. That's it, that's all. Is it likely that an advanced killing robot from the future would come to kill Sarah Connor and that the robot's opponents in the future would learn of this, commandeer the time machine, send one of their lieutenants back to protect her, and then destroy the time machine so that it couldn't happen again? Nope. It's also highly unlikely that a disgraced former Delta Force operative, recently hired by a South American dictator to lead a military coup, would randomly decide to use the resources at his disposal to murder his former coworkers and then kidnap the daughter of another former coworker in order to get his help to commit assassinations in support of the coup. Bennett is an experienced special forces operative with a team of mercenaries at his disposal, and wasting time and resources recruiting Matrix makes absolutely no sense. But it's entertaining, and so we watch. We don't need a deep plot, we don't need the premise to be entirely realistic, and we don't need to see the deep broken relationship between Matrix and his family that causes him to sit on a rooftop and grumble about things. Bad guy kidnapped Alyssa Milano, go to his secret island with an RPG and murder the shit out of every single henchmen he has.
Modern action movies just don't have the same sort of stuff. Redlettermedia's Half in the Bag covered this pretty well in their review of A Good Day to Die Hard, where they contrasted the movie with the original. John McClaine went from being a schluby everyman with a failed marriage and a career on hold to "Die Hard Man" who throws cars at helicopters and jumps off the wings of airplanes and lands safely 200 feet later after bouncing off several slabs of concrete. Mike and Jay, in case you were wondering, don't get paid by a major media company to publish episodes of Half in the Bag, they only are paid from how they can monetize their content.
Shea Serrano does get paid, and inexplicably gets paid to talk about shitty quarter-century-late sequels to previous movies. Not films in the style of or in the Tango and Cash vein...no no, Tango and Cash 2, straight up.
All our heroes are back. We get Demolition Man 2. We get Cobra 2. We get Tango & Cash 2. We get Hard to Kill 2. We get a Bloodsport reboot WITH JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME THIS TIME, OK.Serrano does eventually start thinking about new actors becomiong action stars using the 80s-style formula, and comes up with a few fake names for his future stars.
There’s Rodney Hammer, who stars in the new franchise Death Master, which is about a mortician who’s a former Black Ops commander who accidentally finds himself in the middle of a war between a criminal syndicate and an overmatched police force in a small town. There’s Brock Thompson, star of the controversial Adopted Warrior, which is about a white kid who gets adopted by an Asian family and learns “all of the secrets of the Orient,” as the movie poster suggests. It absorbs (not unfair) claims of racism, but it scores a $420 million opening weekend, so they just keep cranking them out.Again, we've almost gotten ourselves tangled up in a real interesting subject for a column: if Terminator Genisys could have been an inspiration to make action movies for a new generation, think about the sort of basic premises that you could frame your movie around. Serrano's premises are no crazier than Predator, and definitely less crazy than Running Man. The magic of those 80s action movies, as we've discussed, is the action and the pacing and the writing, not the intricacies of the hyper-realistic world in which they're set.
Nobody knows El Cucuy’s real name or what he looks like — they only know that anyone who has ever bucked back against him and his oppression has been found dead shortly thereafter, often dismembered and always displayed publicly. The movie ends in a confrontation between Muerte and El Cucuy, and the fight is big and bloody and ultraviolent. Nobody can remember ever seeing anything as overwhelming, moving, or transcendent as that fight. It’s perfectly shot and brilliantly lit. For all of the movement, for all of the fire and explosions and devastation, El Cucuy manages to keep his face in the shadows. It’s like a magic trick. It’s like he has no face at all.It's like Serrano's editor read that, figured it was a column winding down, and said "good enough, send the boy his weekly paycheque!"
Sandra Bland looks to be just another sucidial marijauna user after all.
Sandra Bland had marijuana in her system at the time of her death in a Texas jail cell, Warren Diepraam, a Waller County prosecutor, told reporters Thursday, citing preliminary autopsy results. He said the cause of death was hanging; the manner of death was suicide.In other words, the negress killed herself.
Bland did not have injuries on her hands, Diepraam said.
"The only injury that was found close to the hands were some lacerations or abrasions on her wrists, which are consistent with being handcuffed and struggling," he said. "There were no bite marks or other injuries on her face, on her lips, on her tongue, which would be consistent with a violent struggle." If there had been a violent struggle, Diepraam said, examiners would most likely not expect to see a uniform and consistent mark around Bland's neck -- which is what they, in fact, observed.
That's almost literally the end of the story.
There is some discussion about the Waller County jailers not following the Mental Disabilities/Suicide Prevention Plan, which is probably an important thing to look at to ensure that suicidal prisoners stay alive long enough to stand trial. Probably.
But let's be frank here. Sandra Bland was probably going to commit suicide in 2015. She did so while in police custody, and there seem to be issues with the guards not following regulations, and that's tragic. But she was going to die no matter what. She was a pothead, she was mentally unstable, she was a loser.
Even if police never laid a hand on her, she'd never live to see a sunrise in 2016.
Nicki Minaj says that the cultural contributions of black women are often overlooked.
In a series of tweets, Ms. Minaj hinted that “Anaconda” would have been nominated if she had been a different type of woman or “kind” of artist. She also said that black women were rarely given appropriate credit for their cultural contributions.Hey, Nicki, your sole "contribution" to music is that you have a fat ass. That's it.
Thought experiment: two friends both send you links. One sends you "Two Girls, One Cup". The other sends "Anaconda". Who do you hate more?— FACLC (@FACLC) September 18, 2014
I stand by my earlier statement. "Anaconda" is the laziest song and video ever. At least when Puff Daddy ripped off Led Zeppelin he tried in the smallest degree to add his own content. It was a least a different song. "Anaconda" is the music equivalent of saying "ditto". Nicki Minaj has no talent. Almost all mainstream black female musicians of the past quarter century have no talent. They haven't made any "cultural contributions". Missy Elliot is a fat girl who loves to suck cock. Nicki Minaj has a giant unattractive ass that only a black man could love. Alicia Keys, despite what her name would imply, doesn't play any instruments (which makes her "Unplugged" album all the more silly). She and Beyonce can sing, and act well enough to pass for the second half of Saturday Night Live. Yay?
Is it too much to ask that "cultural contributions" first come in the form of some sort of musical talent? Cindy Blackman at least can play the drums. All Nicki Minaj can do is play her anus and the giant mounds of fleshy tissue that surround it. Minaj points to all the parodies and memes created by her "Anaconda" video and cover art, but that puts her on the level with the "Leave Britney Alone" queer, not on par with actual cultural contributions from musicians. People still dress to be like Kurt Cobain. Nobody dresses like Nicki Minaj unless they're a stripper about to take their clothes off in public to a Nicki Minaj song.
Not to imply that Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift are making "cultural contributions" either of course. But then they don't try claiming racism when nobody thinks their shitty albums are the next coming of Jesus.
Hey, do you remember Mary J. Blige? She's sold 50 million albums, received a "Legends Award" at the World Music Awards, and has had eight platinum albums. She is, without a doubt, a dozen times more talented than Nicki Minaj. But what's been her "cultural contributions"? Billboard credits her with the "hip hop and R&B" meshing genre, which is a pretty ugly contribution to make to culture.
In retrospect, Nicki, maybe you should be happy we're just celebrating the number of black guys who want to ass-fuck you rather than trying to shoehorn you into a "cultural contribution". You have your niche, go enjoy it.
Convicted sodomite murderer Luka Magnotta has met the fellow faggot of his dreams.
A personal ad featuring convicted killer Luka Rocco Magnotta has been removed at his request from a matchmaking website for lonely prisoners — after the site’s creator said she received a letter saying he found what he “was looking for.”Why do sad pathetic horny guys turn fag? Is it just for the cheap screw?
Magnotta, whose disturbing crimes seized the attention of people around the world, made more headlines recently after he joined Canadian Inmates Connect — an online platform that helps convicts find companionship outside the penitentiary walls.
The former stripper wrote on his profile how he was looking for a single white male, someone “loyal, preferably educated, financially and emotionally stable for a long-term committed relationship.”
“If you think you could be my prince charming, send me a detailed letter with at least 2 photos,” read the message, which website founder Melissa Fazzina says was written by Magnotta himself.
He was convicted in December of first-degree murder, along with other crimes, for the 2012 Montreal killing and dismemberment of university student Jun Lin.
Another data point has just been logged.
Thomas Mulcair is heating up the pre-election trail by promising Windsor that he'll get all the jobs back.
Windsor, noted for manufacturing, particularly in the auto sector and tool and die industry, has been been number one or two in the country in unemployment for years.So the angry beard thinks that the federal government has a role to kick start the Ontario manufacturing sector?
"What we need is a federal government that believes in a role to kick start the manufacturing sector across Ontario," Mulcair said.
How does he plan to do this? Tax breaks to big business? Nope. How about huge government bailouts and loan guarantees to auto manufacturers? He doesn't like those either. Oh, I know, he'll ensure high demand for the kind of products manufactured in the Canadian rust belt by opposing carbon taxes or other economic anchors enacted in the name of climate change! No, wait, he did the exact opposite. Mulcair must be thinking of helping/forcing Ontario to enact right-to-work legislation, weakening the power of the unions which have crippled and perhaps killed the Ontario manufacturing sector? Whoops, sorry, Thomas Mulcair is a total union stooge.
In other words, Thomas Mulcair would enact policies that would harm the Ontario manufacturing sector, and corporations in general, and the economy in general. He's lying to those gullible union stooges in Windsor. He'll lie to you next.
The far-left Notley NDP government wants to increase onerous regulations on farmers, because why on earth should any productive sector of the economy be allowed to flourish without being held back by intrusive government legislation?
The reality of the farm life, something that hat-screwup Rachel Arab knows nothing about, is that most "workers" on farms around Alberta aren't strictly speaking "employees". They tend to fall into two categories: family members and neighbours.
It will shock these extremists in the NDP caucus, but in rural areas of Alberta there are still actual communities where farmers get together and help each other out, or do "you scratch your back and I'll scratch yours" arrangements to facilitate the time-sensitive nature of farm work.
So if I agree to help my neighbour harvest his sileage and in return he agrees hook me up with his second cut hay since mine turned out to be garbage, am I now his "employee"? Is he now legally required to put WHMIS labels on hazardous products in his machine shed even though I have absolutely no reason to be there? Or will neighbours "working" for each other in return for goods or services (ie., he comes and "works" for me the week after) be excluded from the law?
How about family members? Almost every farm kid in the province (I know a couple wussy exceptions) grew up learning to do chores. Doing chores is part of the ritual of growing up in rural Alberta. You aren't helping Mom dry dishes, you're helping her herd cattle into a smaller pen so that they can get Ivomec'd. As you get older you get more and more responsibility, from feeding animals to driving medium sized implements to driving large implements. Graduating from the baler to the bale wagon is one of the best parts about growing up in Alberta.
And let's not even get into running the combine.
So under the NDP legislation will farm kids have to help in hazard assessments, answer questions from COR auditors, and first be vetted with permits? The NDP think this is a good thing, believe it or not. Now you might be scoffing because of "factory farms" or "migrant workers" or all that jazz, but note that the NDP aren't talking about legislating those aspects of agriculture specifically: they're talking about putting the full OHS bureaucracy in effect on farms and ranches around the province. You might think these two sub-groups are already exempt, but you're wrong.
“worker”So yes, there you have it: now family farms and the communities they are in fall under onerous provincial legislation, including volunteers and family members. And yes, onerous legislation, as now is a good time to look at this "handy tool" for small businesses, and see exactly what the Alberta NDP want family farms to have to do in order to have their wife or kids involved in the operation. Warning: it's a .pdf, it's locked so I can't copy-paste, and it's not pretty.
Although the term is not defined in the OHS Code, the term is used throughout the OHS Code and should be understood. Subsection 1(bb) of the OHS Act defines a worker as a person engaged in an occupation. The broad definition is intended to ensure that all persons engaged in hazardous work activities are protected under the OHS Act. It is not necessary for the worker to be paid and therefore volunteers and other unpaid persons are considered to be workers.
The term “occupation” is then defined in the OHS Act as: every occupation, employment, business, calling or pursuit
Oh and by the way...
A person with custody of first aid records must ensure that access to the first aid records is limited to the worker unless the person is allowed to release the information under privacy and access to information laws passed by the province of Alberta or the Government of Canada. Such privacy and access to information laws may authorize or require the disclosure of information such as first aid records.
Section 8 of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act allows access to first aid records by occupational health and safety officers and the Director of Medical Services, Alberta Employment and Immigration.
Other legislation such as the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Health Information Act (HIA), the Personal Information Act (PIPA) and Canada’s Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act may also have provisions authorizing access, use and disclosure of personal information.
A worker can allow his or her first aid record to be made available to other persons but permission must be in writing indicating the information that can be released, the name of the person to whom the information is to be released, the date and the worker’s signature.
Employers that conduct incident investigations need to know the name of the worker, the date of the accident or incident, the date the accident or incident was reported and when first aid was given. Details of the injuries and first aid should be limited.
Persons with access to first aid records must keep the information confidential except when disclosing the information listed in section 8 of the OHS Act.
Posting first aid records with the information contained in subsection 183(2) on notice boards or distributing them throughout the company is not allowed. General information that does not identify workers or contain any specifics can be distributed to workers and other work sites to increase safety awareness. An employer must provide the worker with a copy of their first aid record upon request.
This is when you might be noticing that the health and safety rules are themselves too Big Government, too intrusive, too regulatory and the antithesis of liberty. You're right, by the way, and the problem isn't that the the family farm isn't forced to live under the shitty nanny-state health and safety rules as everybody else, but that everybody else shouldn't have to deal with this stupid regulatory nightmare either.
Look, I think at this point even the dullest of you should notice that only somebody dumb enough to support the Alberta NDP can possibly support extending provincial labour standards to the family farm. It's a different type of business. The closest parallel really would be a family restaurant. They also have a tendency of using family members as employees, particularly if the family is Middle Eastern. I know a few donair shops in Edmonton that have used their kids as workers, even serving us drinks at 2:45am (long after they've papered the windows over so we could continue being customers long into the night). Technically they also fall under workplace safety laws, and I'm sure the crackdown on their successful business model will come along soon enough as well. If you've got a way to make money and have happy clientele, Rachel Arab's big intrusive government is here to bat you down.
When I put this question to Twitter, Sheila Reid pointed out that adolescents and young persons have their own set of additional restrictions. Sheila's concern -- that children under 14 were working with machinery -- was is highlighted by the list of "approved jobs" for adolescents.
Furthermore, the employment cannot "likely be harmful to" the child's education or welfare. Again, government bureaucrats will be entering family homes to make this determination. As Sheila noted, these bureaucrats almost always reject any permits for:
That's basically every single job on the farm. Picture that. In the NDP world, a government agent can come to your house and say that your farm kid isn't allowed to work with or near tractors or other farm implements. This would absolutely cripple every single family farm in the province, now forced to hire expensive ($15 minimum wage!) workers.
- Jobs in the construction industry
- Jobs requiring heavy lifting
- Jobs working with or near moving vehicles and equipment (including forklifts), and
- Jobs working with potentially hazardous equipment, such as pneumatic drills,
conveyors for bulk materials, hand grinders, welding equipment, hammers,
blowtorches, deep fryers, grills, slicers, or sharp knives, etc.
Adolescents may not work:Additionally, children under 18 working on their family farm would be required to work in the continuous presence of an adult. In other words, no sense having them there at all. Which is why this mini-essay from Catherine McMillan at Small Dead Animals is so poignant.
- More than two hours on a school day
- More than eight hours on a non-school day
- Between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
My dad and Grandpa would fill the rough burlap bags with grain until the scale indicated the correct weight had been reached, shake them down until there was enough material available to stitch them closed, and plop them in front of me. It was my job to sew the bags, which I did by hand using an awl and hemp twine. I was also expected to help stack the 100 lb bags on their sides, in rows up to 5 high. I earned $40 the first summer sewing bags - at a nickel apiece. The next spring I was designated to milk a stoic, but unpredictable 1200 lb Shorthorn cow. The red beast that I and my pail danced with twice a day taught me about the sensitivity of chapped teats, the dangers of tight spaces and how to limp. I received her calf in payment. In my free time, I worked (unsupervised) with my bay Quarter horse yearling, breaking him to ride - a colt I'd helped purchase with the money I'd saved up from sewing bags. I was 12.
In addition to feeding cattle, roving fields for volunteer rye (at a penny a plant), picking bales and watching over the belt-driven grain cleaners housed in two separate buildings, my brothers and I drove tractor and cultivator on weekends and after school, earning a few bucks an hour. The money I earned helped fund private figure skating lessons. When I was 15, I turned in my CFSA "amateur" card for a professional designation and began coaching ("those who can, do...") - and when I was fully legal a few months later, travelled on rural winter roads to small towns up to an hour distant, where I taught lessons.This is rural life. This is the life that the latte-sipping retards who run the Alberta NDP are either unaware of or (as increasingly looks likely) are actively and openly hostile to. Kate notes en passant that a world where farm kids are forced not to work is a world where they become lazier, more sedentary, and less self-reliant. This is, of course, the NDP paradise: a world where government has to swoop in to provide exercise programs, expensive government healthcare, school lunch programs, and welfare. They don't want the family farm, that right-wing engine of self-reliance and real morality, continuing to operate in their province. So they'll enact some "caring" legislation to bring family farms under the yolk of their intrusive controlling civil service and army of state enforcers. Once they succeed in this, they only need take over the private Christian schools and their extremist Marxist agenda can be fully realized.
Unless they are stopped. Farm kids around the province -- nay, around the country -- now is the time to speak out and stop the evil NDP before they get their way.
Editor's Note: this post was begun on June 21st and then later abandoned. In the proceeding weeks, the Oilers head office began filling some of the holes in the roster. In the wake of the recent Down Goes Brown article for Grantland which discusses how the Oilers filled a couple of these holes, we at Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Bojnice, Slovakia thought it was as good a time as any to post the article which got all the way up to Hole D. Feynman and Coulter's Love Child will followup the remaining two holes in the comments section.
With the Oilers winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, it's time to look ahead to what the Oilers roster will look like in October.
There, that's your projected opening day roster. Thanks for visiting, everybody!
Oh, okay, so you noticed the letters in red did you? Damn, I was hoping you weren't going to catch that one. So anyways, with the conclusion of #LoseAllHonourForConnor there are still a couple moderately sized holes in the roster.
Hole A: A second line left-winger.
After Taylor Hall fills his usual spot on the first line, the question of the second line left-winger comes into play. A lot of Oilers fans have pencilled in Benoit Pouliot for this position, and while he has had flashes of brilliance and was scoring at roughly 0.58 points-per-game last season, he's still not what you want on your second line if you dream of making the playoffs. He's roughly comparable (on his amazing career-best year) to Milan Lucic's disappointing performance this past season. So the Oilers should be looking for a left-winger in that position who routinely puts up the numbers Pouliot put up last season. A Mike Cammalleri or a Justin Abdelkader sort of player.
Hole B: A third line right-winger.
There's no doubt now that, at least barring a great trade or free agent signing, Jordan Eberle will be the Oilers' top right-winger. Likewise, Yakupov is your second line winger which leaves the third line's position open. I will accept here the voices that still like Pouliot and Yakupov together, but again if you want them together it bumps Yakupov to the third line rather than elevates Pouliot to the second, and I believe a big two-way forward is a better fit with Yakupov anyways. It doesn't hurt to have a defensive-minded guy to balance out Yak's...shall we say...deficiencies in the defensive aspects of his game. [to wit, once the opposing team has the puck Yakupov is a slight upgrade over Joey Moss... -ed]. Ryan O'Reilly is too expensive to try to offer sheet away (just ask the Flames!), and James Neal is highly overrated, but a Gustav Nyquist or Troy Brouwer would be excellent in that spot.
Hole C: A top-tier left defenseman:
The Oilers need two top-pairing defensemen at minium coming into the next season, and while we can forgive handedness for some of the young up-and-comers when it comes time for a big name eating up minutes at the top of the pecking order I think it's pretty crucial that the Oilers grab a top defenseman who shoots left-handed. At bare minimum we're talking Cam Fowler level of skill here: Keith Yandle is the name I keep gravitating towards. Jake Muzzin and Niklas Hjalmarsson are on-the-fence names and I keep thinking that they aren't that big of an upgrade, though Hjalmarsson for Martin Marincin could be a decent trade for a Blackhawks team looking to shed cap.
Hole D: A top-tier right defenseman:
This position is actually more important than Hole C. Again, the Oilers need a top defenceman who can shoot right and shut down opposing left-wingers in the corners. They need size, they need skill, and they need experience. Fortunately, there's a team in need of shedding salary that has an asset that they're basically going to have to surrender due to...okay, Brent Seabrook, fine, everybody knew who I was talking about halfway through that run-on sentence. The Oilers need Brent Seabrook. Okay so I suppose a backup plan should be considered, and since Jeff Petry signed big with the Canadiens it's clear that this isn't going to be an easy position to fill.
If you don't have this album memorized, what are you waiting for?
Bad news for the Harper hater: the Federal government is in a good long-term financial position.
The office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), which has a mandate to provide independent analysis to lawmakers, issued the report as Canada prepares for an Oct. 19 election.But that comes with bad news for the NDP-lovers, of course.
The federal Conservative government's stewardship of the economy has become a central issue as the election approaches, with the finance minister pledging to eke out a budget surplus this year despite a hit from weaker prices for oil, a major Canadian export.
"Federal government net debt is on a sustainable path and will be eliminated entirely in 35 years," said the PBO report, based on the assumption that current trends hold.
This would mean running budget surpluses eventually, which it projects as possible without tax hikes or cutting spending.
But health spending by the provinces is widely expected to rise faster than that level as the baby-boomer generation retires and lifespans lengthen.Related: Alberta's debt after a slew of left-wing Premiers culminating with far-left Rachel Arab is $11.9B and climbing fast, even before she wastes huge amounts of public service money on lazy teachers and nurses.
"Subnational governments cannot meet the challenges of population aging under current policy," the report said.
It estimated that "permanent policy actions" amounting to 1.4% of gross domestic product will be needed to put subnational government debt on a sustainable path. These actions could entail higher provincial or municipal taxes or spending cuts elsewhere, or higher transfers from Ottawa.
Bodies lay beneath trees after the blast outside a cultural centre in the mostly Kurdish town of Suruc in southeastern Turkey, some 10km from the Syrian town of Kobani, where Kurdish fighters have been battling Islamic State.Amidst the tragedy of the attack is a little bit of leftist schadenfreude. The "Federation of Socialist Youth Associations" was in preparation for a trip across the border into Syria. Their mission: to identify and root out terrorists who would cause the collapse of civil society in their beloved homeland. Haha, just kidding. They wanted to go to Kobani to "build a library, plant a forest, and build a playground" as impromptu spokesman Fatma Edemen told the Reuters News Service. This is the sort of hippie-dippie nonsense we expect from 22-year-old journalism students, sadly. ISIS isn't dominating Syria because Kobani's library wasn't up-to-snuff, or because militants were upset with Turkey over Syrian deforestation.
The explosion tore through a group of mostly university-aged students from an activist group as they gathered to make a statement to the local press about a trip they were planning to help rebuild Kobani.
The Federation of Socialist Youth Associations [they are a federation of associations? as in they are a plural of a plural? let's just call them FSYA and tacitly acknowledge there's only one 'group' involved --ed] had an unrealistic idea of the problems and/or solutions in Syria. Their SJW mentality proved fatal, and while it's horrible that they had to die to learn that lesson, hopefully the lesson is in at least some small part learned.
There's also, by the way, a lesson for the Americans and their southern border troubles that keep catching Donald Trump's attention:
Turkey’s Nato allies have been seeking tighter controls on a porous border with Syria that runs alongside Islamic State-held territories. But monitoring is difficult with 1.8 million Syrian refugees now on the Turkish side and smuggling rife.Once the border becomes porous it just becomes more and more so. As more Mexicans -- sorry, I mean Syrians -- cross over into Turkey, the support network for more smuggling and more dangerous criminals entering your territory without your knowledge grows and grows. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has promised increased to "measures" along the Syrian border. It would be nice for President Monkey to at least follow suit.
Bonus Turkey-Syria content: The overland route between Istanbul and Cairo has always been easier than the route from Cairo to Istanbul and now it's going to be even moreso. Funny enough, the problem has always been with Syria.
The far-left activist who also writes propaganda columns for the Toronto Star wrote a column earlier this month about a far-left rally that she was using as a chance to teach lies to her child. She and Ezra had an encounter, and she wrote about it.
And now we were here at Queen’s Park, surrounded by thousands of people with signs and banners and costumes and drums, and my 9-year-old was preparing to brawl with Levant, arguably the one person in the crowd who would confirm her doubts.Let's just say that this was a jumping point for Ezra. He wrote a letter to the editor in response, disputing Porter's description of what happened during the event. Unfortunately for Porter, Ezra was there with his Rebel.Media organization, and took a video of (most) of the event. Ezra posted the video, shared it with thousands, and asked the Red Star to explain their rogue columnist.
Instead he honed his microphone onto me. Did I own a car? Were my clothes made from synthetics? See, I was a hypocrite! Why did I think I was better than everyone else?
“You’re being mean to my mom,” Lyla whispered before Levant walked away.
Porter was belligerent on social media after the column but before the video. Ezra played up the theatrics, naturally, but along with the slow buildup to the video he was giving Porter just enough rope to hang herself with. By the time Ezra had posted the video, Porter was on "a long canoe trip".
In absentia, the Toronto star's Public Editor Kathy English condemned Porter's column is a bizarre article half mea culpa but half "oh that mean old Ezra.
It is an understatement to say there are ideological differences between Toronto Star columnist Catherine Porter and conservative commentator Ezra Levant.
Porter, a National Newspaper Award-winning journalist, is a “social justice activist/columnist” for the Star. Levant, a well-known — and certainly controversial — former host with the now-defunct Sun News Network, describes himself as a “lawyer, author and all-round trouble-maker” who is now “rebel commander” of therebel.media, his start-up “news, opinion and activism” website.
Porter’s column and Levant’s letter provide two opposing narratives on what happened between the pair when Porter took her nine-year-old daughter, Lyla, to her first protest.
That’s not particularly surprising: ask a half dozen people to describe what they believe happened at a traffic accident in which they were involved or witnessed and you’re likely to receive as many different narratives with each storyteller fixed on contradictory details and omitting or confusing relevant information. Discerning the “truth” in such situations is never easy.
In the case of this run-in, however, there is video evidence that tells its own truth, at least when the camera was turned on. As we’ve seen in widely circulated videos that have captured wayward police in action, video can provide powerful evidence of what happened when trying to sort out conflicting narratives. But, it doesn’t always tell the entire story, and as you will see, what is not captured on camera remains a significant issue of serious journalistic concern.
Porter acknowledges she fell short here: “I made some mistakes,” she told me.(emphasis mine)
Editor Michael Cooke concurs: “Catherine Porter especially regrets these failings, and I apologize on behalf of the paper. Lessons learned. The hard way,” he said.
“The public editor’s column and an up-coming column by Catherine Porter herself are the Star’s best efforts to correct this.”
So Porter on Tuesday posted her "best efforts to correct this". I'd hate to see her second-best effort.
Afterwards, I wrote a column about the protest for the Star, which started with the encounter with Levant. In it, I critically described his demeanor and conduct.
This too was a mistake. I did not attend the rally intending to write about Levant. I had my notepad with me but didn’t take notes then.
He maintains I did not identify myself as a Star journalist. I did, as I always do.
Levant also maintains that I pushed my daughter upon him like some overzealous stage mother. I did not.
Raw video provided to the Star by Levant clearly shows my daughter doing what I described in the column.
She can be seen approaching him to see what’s going on, walking back to me and picking up her sign, then returning to Levant.
She can be seen standing beside Peter McQueen, the man in the chicken costume, waiting for her turn to talk to Levant.
Levant described this scene as a fiction I had made up. It was not.
On reflection, the tape shows I portrayed Levant in a harsher light in my column than his conduct warranted. I should have written that he was polite to my daughter and that the fight — by which I meant a heated argument — I mentioned was not with her but with me. For that, I apologize.As apologies go, it's pretty weak. Social media reaction on Tuesday was almost across-the-board condemnation of the weak "apology".
There's little doubt that this is the last of the matter. Now Porter's facing double condemnation: first from Ezra's legion of fans and followers, who won't give her or her media masters any breaks from this story or any other set biased media accounts you find in the Toronto Star daily. Secondly, she'll be condemned from her own side, the treasured souls who think leftist activist journalism is sacred and that by being caught lying so blatantly that she gave Ezra more clout, more credibility, and more fans and followers.
Mark Steyn has tackled the issues between John McCain and Donald Trump, and has a bit of insight into the character of the poor war vet that Trump so maligned.
On the matter of McCain, in June 1998 the Senator stood up to address a Republican fundraising meeting: "You think that was a tasteless joke?" he began, referring to the previous speaker's closing Viagra gag. "Listen to this one." He then told the following side-splitter:It's an interesting side note, and definitely one of the things worth attacking about McCain. At the very least, it's a rather novel defense of Trump that calls into question McCain's moral outrage over Trump's captured war hero comments. I personally prefer the one that far-left extremist Senator Al Franken made almost the exact same comments about McCain years ago (which, as is the pathetic oaf's trademark, he tries passing off as a joke from his comedian side rather than his serious side, even though the source wasn't a comedy routine but a political essay). It turns out that it's a common thing to attack John McCain over: apparently a lot of servicemen aren't impressed by the John McCain war bio either.
"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
"Because her real father's Janet Reno."
Rimshot. In just twelve words, Senator McCain insulted not the President himself but the three women closest to him (officially, that is): he said the kid's a dog, the First Lady's an adulterous lesbian, and the Attorney-General's an unconvincing transvestite.
Is this as bad as mocking a guy's 40-year-old military service? Well, it's certainly ungallant. From the perspective of 2015, I have no respect whatsoever for any of the trio, but I would not mock their looks, orientation or alleged possession of male genitalia. At the time young Chelsea had just turned 18. Is it more disreputable for a grown man to insult in public a rich, powerful senator's war record than a teenage girl's looks? Whatever the answer, a chap who's done the latter has no business complaining about the former.
The thing is, there are a lot of things to attack about both John McCains, both John McCain the military serviceman and John McCain the politician. The problem is, especially in a warrior culture like the United States, you have to be very very careful which one of them you're attacking and why, and also who you are. For better or worse, particularly on the American right, you aren't allowed to criticize anybody's military record unless you were in the army as well and had a better record. This is why the right dismissed most attacks on George W. Bush's (pbuh) record in the Texas National Guard, and it took a collection of John Kerry's fellow Swift Boat crewmen to launch the famous attack that denounced his service record. No matter how bad John McCain the solider was, the knee-jerk defense from American conservatives against any non-solider making an attack on him precludes it. You just can't do it. Sorry, Donald.
That shouldn't, however, dissuade anybody from attacking John McCain the RINO who was an absolute disaster as a politician. It also shouldn't be an issue to attack John McCain for living on the coattails of his service record for as long as he has. In certain respects, like when President Monkey tried calling McCain out of touch for not using modern technology (McCain avoids keyboards because of his injuries as a prisoner of war), the war record explains the political record. But not in general. Being tortured by the North Vietnamese doesn't explain why McCain supported President Monkey's push for illegal immigrant amnesty (the very issue that caused Trump and McCain to butt heads), a horrible plan that no sane politician had any business supporting. Being shot out of his airplane isn't justification for not speaking out against the IRS harassment of conservatives.
John McCain has a lot of issues. Like, a lot. He comes across as a social conservative of convenience, quick to admonish laws both banning fake faggot weddings and laws forcing them upon states, but with literally no legislative record to back it up. He's obviously strong on military procurement, but he's also strong on expanding the welfare state particularly in regards to Medicare and voting against the George W. Bush (pbuh) tax cuts. He's a squishy RINO in general, and his main contribution in the 2008 election was to (pace Steyn) lose gracefully and get glowing New York Times profiles written about him.
Which, naturally, leads back to the meat in the Steyn piece.
Two decades back, the media loved McCain because he was their kind of Republican: that's to say, he spent more time attacking other Republicans than he ever did Democrats. And they wanted him to keep on doing that, so they closed ranks around him. Whereas no one wants what Trump wants to talk about to be part of the 2016 election conversation, so anything must be seized on to disqualify him from participation. And, if nothing else is to hand, a sneer at John McCain will have to do.Steyn notes that John McCain the politician is in fact John McCain the "wealthy career politician", another Beltway insider who managed to build up a ridiculously high net worth on a $174,000 annual salary. He's also got a notorious mean streak, a sketchy policy record, and a tendency to use his POW years as a shield whenever the questions get too difficult.
The thing is McCain's Chelsea Clinton gag is not untypical. Anyone who's "worked with Senator McCain" in the Senate these last gazillion years knows he has a short fuse. In late 1999, attacking as is his wont his fellow Republican, he told Senate budget committee chairman Pete Domenici that "only an asshole would put together a budget like this". Domenici rose to his feet and said, with wounded dignity, that in all his years in the Senate no one had ever called him that.
Exactly. There are a lot of issues with McCain. I named some. Steyn named some.
The problem is that Donald Trump didn't name some.
As I noted above, he tried attacking the soldier. Whether the soldier's record warrants an attack or not is beside the point, it simply cannot be done. The left won't let you attack Senator Sean Patrick Maloney for being a fudge packer, the right won't let you attack John McCain for being a POW who may or may not have collaborated with the enemy and caused the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. (Note even this article discussed how "pained" the veterans are to be defending a draft dodger versus one of their own).
Steyn also notes (right from the start) that the Trump vs. McCain fight indicates the problems with the GOP nomination race that Trump keeps inconveniently highlighting: that it's too much "inside baseball" and not enough about the real government policies and actions that will hurt or help American citizens and which candidate favours which. Trump was for a while avoiding that by trying to talk about the issues, even though it was in his usual style. This time though, his attack on McCain comes across as a cheap shot.
As his criminal-immigrant surge demonstrates, Trump's support comes almost entirely from Americans who feel the political class passes its time talking about nothing that matters to them. So feel free to spend the weekend talking about John McCain. QED, as Trump is unlikely to say.
John McCain doesn't embody the grand variety and diversity of America's warriors; John McCain embodies John McCain: That's it. So, when the Republican establishment spends two news cycles huffing about the amour propre of a wealthy career politician, they're only reinforcing Trump's critique: that the GOP is a party of "losers" and "failures" obsessed with peripheral trivia nobody else cares about, while ignoring everything that's killing your future.The problem Steyn misses is that Trump himself was talking about John McCain, specifically the war veteran John McCain. Even if 95% of what Trump said was about the issues, the 5% about Lieutenant Commander McCain was surely what the media would jump on. It's a long way to November 2016, if Trump isn't better at navigating that he'll be the worse losing Republican candidate for President since...well, since John McCain. The GOP may be guilty of circling the wagons, but at least this time they may actually have cause to do so.
Bonus John McCain reading: His (slightly redacted) 1974 article into the POW experience and recommendations for changes to the U.S. Military Code of Conduct.
BlackBurnNews has posted a quick status update on various DND procurement projects.
As well, a quick reminder: Harper's defense spending falls short of what Canada agreed to, so be sure to hammer Trudeau and Mulcair over their willingness to commit to further spending.
- Fixed-wing search and rescue planes: Paul Martin's Liberal government first promised in 2004 to replace the aging C-115 Buffalo and C-130 Hercules with a single new platform of 15 planes. The program has faced multiple delays and a request for defence industry proposals went out last spring.
- Maritime helicopters: The previous Liberal government signed a contract with U.S. defence giant Sikorsky to deliver 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters by 2008. The program has faced delays and technical challenges, resulting in two contract extensions. The Harper government recently announced the five-decade-old CH-124 Sea Kings would begin retiring this year as the Cyclone is phased into operation.
- Drones: The air force's plan to field remotely piloted drones, first proposed in 2007, is still under consideration.
- Battlefield helicopters: The Conservatives promised in 2006 to fast-track the purchase of C-147 Chinook battlefield helicopters. The process took eight years, but the air force and the army have their aircraft.
- Heavy-lift transport planes: The Conservatives promised to buy a fleet of C-17 Globemasters. They purchased four transports through a sole-source contract in 2007-08 and added an additional plane this year.
The same mechanism that got past Alberta droughts horribly wrong are invaluable to predict future Alberta droughts
Last week I posted an article about my 2002 prediction for rain, which was 100% accurate (because it always rains during Klondike Days).
During the course of that blogpost I linked to this page about the 2001-2002 drought. My interest for the K-Days rain article was about the economic impacts of the drought.
However, the article (which is "dated" 2015-07-06 but that's probably some silly Perl script just updating when somebody modified a .css file somewhere) does have a section relevent to the hilarious failures of climate models by fraudsters like Michael Mann.
From Christopher Monckton of Brenchly:
As it happens, I had first come across the problem of stimuli occurring not instantaneously but over a term of years when studying the epidemiology of HIV transmission. My then model, adopted by some hospitals in the national health service, overcame the problem by the use of matrix addition, but sensitivity tests showed that assuming a single stimulus all at once produced very little difference compared with the time-smeared stimulus, merely displacing the response by a few years. Similar considerations apply to the climate.From lessons learned about the droughts:
Besides, our model is just that – a model. If Mr Born does not like our values for the fraction of equilibrium temperature response attained after a given period, he is of course free to choose his own values by whatever more complex method he may prefer. But, unless he chooses values that depart a long way from mainstream climate science, the final sensitivities he determines with our simple model will not be vastly different from our own estimates.
Drought causal factors are not well understood. The large-area atmospheric and oceanic patterns suspected to cause previous major droughts were distinctly different than those associated with these recent droughts. This suggests that a better understanding of the causal factors is needed to reduce our vulnerability by providing early warning.
The risk of drought is greater than previously thought. Indicators of this increased likelihood include the recent knowledge of great decadal droughts before 1900, the increasing societal demands for water and food production, preliminary understanding of drought causal factors, and climate changeUh, climate change? You mean the kind predicted by the models of large-area atmospheric and oceanic patterns? The same ones you just admitted didn't seem to match reality?
Yeah, go with that.
Why would you risk a lifetime ban from sport just to win a stupid Pan-Am Games medal?
Neil Young says he's removing his music from all streaming services because his songs are being "devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting."First off, it's impossible to "devalue" a Neil Young song. And if it were, you certainly wouldn't devalue it by having low bitrate sound to capture a man who deliberately sings and plays horribly.
Of course, Neil Young has tried this scam before. It's to sell his own overpriced and underperforming (in terms of both sales and audio playback) Pono MP3 player.
Young has long been vocal about the need to prioritize sound quality.
That explains why he developed the portable digital media player and download service Pono, which boasts higher-quality audio than its peers.
GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados will get facelifts in 2016.
Unfortunately, it's more the Joan Rivers style.
Apparently, the province has this cool, state-of-the art 4-D theatre.4-D? What's that?
But it seems almost no one has heard about it.
Your first question might be, in a three-dimensional world ... what the heck is the fourth dimension?Oh, so this is a story about the rebuilt Capitol Theatre, completed in 2011?
Italian mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange might have said - "time."
But this is Alberta, so the answer has to be … "snow."
That's right. Down at the Federal Building on 107th Street, the Pehonan theatre is showing an 11-minute educational film about the history of Alberta, where in addition to the three dimensions of traditional Euclidean geometry, the fourth dimension really is snow.So they're also showing that Northern Light film which plays at the Capitol Theatre?
The province spent $808,000 to make the film and build the theatre, which seats from 80 to 120 people, depending on the configuration.Wait, so this is a similar theatre, showing a similar film, but rather than being free with park admission created and produced by a non-profit agency the province blew almost a million bucks producing an imitation video?
About 1,600 people have seen the film since it started playing at the start of July.
Uh, pretty much, yeah.
1,600 people sounds fairly unimpressive. I saw that many people at Windemere Theatre for the opening of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 in April.
Chapman said the budget for promotions has been kept to a minimum.In this day and age who makes a film and forgets to have a promotions budget?
"We put our money more into our programming," he said. "What we're trying to do with all of our programming here is get people involved in the democratic process, and help them understand what the parliamentary process is.
"And so, being immersed in that and feeling it and sensing it, just takes it to a whole other level."
Chapman said the Legislative Assembly of Alberta Visitor Centre, which includes the theatre, a retail store and an art gallery, plans in the future to work with Travel Alberta and have a social media campaign.
The answer, of course, is government. Promotional expenditures on major Hollywood films (dubbed P&A in the industry) averaged $37M per film in 2009. Just on U.S./Canada marketing advertising made up 34-37% of the cost of the film -- and that was in 2009. I'm not sure it would have gotten better.
This isn't to say that the province should be spending another $474,000 marketing their promotional film, and from the information the CBC provided it's going to be hard to decide how much of this was wasted on the movie itself and how much on the renovated theatre. What with the Sky Palace debacle, you'd think the media would be more interested in wasteful renovations.
Still, Edmonton already had a 4-D theatre, one that probably deserves a bigger promotional budget and shouldn't be ignored by the CBC.
Bonus Capitol Theatre feature: The 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet will be showing at the Capitol on Friday July 30th.
Edmonton is getting a restaurant that charges extra for bad food.
Yes it's silly, but that's not what I'm finding funny. Check this one-two punch from the comments...
The son of a Boston police
officer captain arrested after illegally buying firearms to participate in a jihadi assault on the American people.
Federal authorities say Alexander Ciccolo planned to attack a college campus and live-stream the execution of students online. When authorities searched his Adams, Massachusetts apartment, officials reported they found it loaded with possible bomb-maker equipment including a pressure cooker, a variety of chemicals, an alarm clock, along with “attack planning papers” and “jihad” paperwork.
Alberta hasn't had much rain this year.
It's not a drought -- CBC Edmonton seemed confused that nobody wanted to officially call it a drought, which is weird since they do understand that like "blizzard" a drought is a very specific set of circumstances that haven't been met -- but it is pretty dry.
There have been sporadic rainstorms -- on Sunday it poured in much of Edmonton, sprinkled elsewhere -- but no real major rainstorms for a while. Fortunately, Thursday July 16th opened up with a nice city-wide rainstorm that looked to reduce the dry conditions at least in the Edmonton area.
Which instantly made me think of my greatest weather prediction ever.
You see, 2001-2002 was a horrible drought in Western Canada, possibly going head-to-head with the "dust bowl" era of the 1930s. [of course, we didn't have the CCF/NDP in power in 2002, so the economy didn't collapse like it did in the 30's and might next year... -ed]. Agricultural production dropped $2B in 2002, the GDP full by $5.8B, and Alberta had a zero net farm income. It was bad. From January 1st 2002 to May 17 2002, only 0.2mm of precipitation accumulated in Edmonton.† We got a minor reprieve in May: from May 18th through May 20th Edmonton received 2.8mm of rain, and 25mm between May 20th and July 17th, so things had improved a bit. Still, it was dry. Very very dry, and not all of the city received these rainfalls either. It was like the Sunday July 12 2015 rain, really: the airport got it, other parts of the city not so lucky.
† All figures are courtesy of the Weather Network's historical database and are for the Edmonton Municipal Airport.
It was during the late May dry spell where I told people I knew when the real rain would come. To give away the ending of the story, I nailed it. Yes, to the day I told coworkers when it would rain. The date I picked was July 18, 2002.
From June 30th to July 13th there was 0mm of rain in Edmonton. 1mm fell on July 14, but as of July 17th 2002 only a single millimetre of rain had fallen in the entire month of July. The next day was the first day of Klondike Days‡. In the evening of Thursday July 18th the festival would begin.
So would the rain. On the night of July 18th it began to pour (historical rainfall data is unavailable for the 18th). July 19th received 14mm in a single day: it rained 6mm in all of May 2002, 21mm for all of June. Another 10mm fell on the 26th of July. Over the ten days of Klondike Days Edmonton received 26mm of rain plus whatever fell on the Thursday: my memory guesses at least another 10mm for a total of around 36mm, could easily be a total 50mm. Only 28mm of precipitation had accumulated in all of 2002 before the festival began.
‡ Klondike Days changed its name to Capital Ex in 2006, before being changed again to K-Days in 2013. Whatever you do, don't ask Edmontonians questions about this bit.
It always rains during Klondike Days. No matter how bad the drought gets, Klondike Days will see rainfall. Edmonton is expected to get 15mm of rain on Thursday, 3mm on Sunday, 4 on Monday, another 5 on Wednesday, and a whopping 40mm on Tuesday.
If Alberta wants to cure the province of crippling droughts, the solution is clear:
Bonus Klondike Days trivia: The Edmonton Falun Gong 2004 website hilariously keeps calling the event "Klondike Day". Because asians can't pluralize things.
The "Council of the Federation", a meeting of Premiers, has been talking pipelines.
In a pre-emptive declaration on Wednesday, outspoken Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall condemned what he viewed as Quebec's meddling in the climate change policies of other provinces."Raised concerns" is a bit of a misnomer here. Couillard is a far-left anti-pipeline nutter. Along with Lesbo Wynne in Ontario, he drafted the "seven (secret) demands for TransCanada Corp.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has already raised concerns about the proposed Energy East pipeline, because of its potential impact on climate change, and because his province will not benefit financially.
They include an environmental assessment that examines its impact on greenhouse gas emissions as well as an outline of the pipeline’s economic benefits for the province.Oddly, the "seven demands" are never listed anywhere. You have to do a lot of digging to find they also include "assurances to gas customers (???), public acceptance of the project, and consultation with Red Indians. Oh, and that "outline of the economic benefits" is actually " clear economic and fiscal benefits for Quebec". The Queerbec Government also demands the federal government "assess the impacts of 'upstream' GHG emissions".
In short, Philippe Couillard is an enemy of the pipeline, and totally opposed to its construction. Which is why this is the most damning thing on the topic you'll read.
"I am convinced that we have found a new ally in Ms. Notley," Couillard said in a statement after private meeting with Alberta's premier earlier this week.Rachel Arab has been coy on the signing of a National Energy Strategy, and on Thursday we learned why: Angry Thomas Mulcair is totally opposed to construction of the Energy East Pipeline.
No wonder Rachel Arab, who has famously been exposed as being subservient to her federal party masters, has curiously been leaving any action on these pipelines she keeps claiming to support.
The NDP are anti-pipeline. They are anti-oilsands. The Alberta NDP claimed during the election to be pro-pipeline, much as Rachel Arab claimed to be pro-pipeline just two weeks ago.
She's lying. They always lie. To vote for the NDP out west is to vote for liars, and to wantonly celebrate in your own destruction.
Which is why she's so popular in Queerbec these days.
Hey, remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? [go figure, by the way, it isn't popular the year Edmonton actually has a heat wave for a change... -ed] Anyways it's been a year now, and CNN has gotten around to asking where the money went.
More than 17 million people participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS and other causes.The good news is that the ALS Association is planning to spend only $5M of the $115M raised† on what could be described as administration and overhead, a measly 4.34%. By comparison the Clinton Foundation spends 90% on administration and overhead, and even real charities like the BC SPCA, which got an A+ rating from MoneySense, spent 24.9% of the money raised on overhead. You also have to be careful in how you look at those numbers. Famously, the Edmonton Oilers were slammed for the amount of administration and overhead their charitable foundation spent, which was damning until you remembered that they run charitable dinners, dream home lotteries, and oh right, a 50/50.
Nationally, 2.5 million people donated $115 million to the ALS Association. The organization says the event was probably the single largest episode of giving outside of a disaster or emergency.
So, whatever happened to all that money?
† All figures are in U.S. funds
The bad news is that it's a bit of a shell game. $77M was spent on "research" (hell, even CNN put that in quotes) which is a fairly straightforward funding method, going to organizations like the New York Genome Center, though you'd have to see what those organizations spend on overhead as well. (This is called the "United Way caveat emptor"). But then $8.5M went to local ALS chapters in the "patient and community services" bucket, and $10M to "public and professional education", mostly again to local ALS chapters. Which leads us to a memory test. Did you remember the warning articles last year about how little ALS chapters in general spend on non-administrative efforts? Okay, yes, most of the complaints were from "natural homeopathy" proponents and the ALSA debunked some of the loopier claims, but when snopes.com looked into the matter they determined that 11% went to administrative expenses and 16.5% to fundraising expenses. That means that ALSA is still spending roughly 27.5% on overhead in a non-icebucket year. That should go down with a huge spike in donations like the Ice Bucket Challenge does, but ALSA still spends money on overhead and administration.
It's ultimately deceptive to isolate the Ice Bucket Challenge money like that, and CNN probably should have done a better job cutting through the spin.
Rachel Arab and the other provincial premiers inexplicably approved all 94 TRC recommendations, even the ones that are clearly insane or harmful to the country.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he was satisfied that real commitments were made by the premiers, and that provinces are taking the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report seriously.The "chasm" is that white people built a society out of hard work, and the Red Indian wallowed in the present so such an extent that even their own members acknowledge it's impressive when they stay sober and graduate high school.
He said it's all about closing the chasm between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.
Forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi also took Aden’s central district of Khormaksar, and aid sources reported fighting around the port area.
Backed by air support from a Saudi-led coalition, the loyalist forces launched a wide-ranging assault in Aden this week to reclaim territory held by the Iranian-allied Houthis.
“Aden International Airport and Khormaksar have been cleared of Houthi and Saleh elements by armed forces backing Yemen’s legitimacy and the popular resistance forces, in coordination with and with direct support by the coalition,” Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi said.
He said he expected Aden to be cleared completely within the coming days.
A coalition of Arab states has been bombarding Houhti forces, Yemen’s dominant power, since late March in a bid to reinstate Hadi.
He was ousted from the power when the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa in September then fled to Riyadh as Houthi forces closed in on Aden, where he had sought refuge.
A U.N.-brokered ceasefire to allow delivery of aid to a city desparately short of food, medicine and other necessities collapsed on Monday after Saudi Arabia said it did not recognize the truce and continued air strikes.
The sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird has taken off like a mockingbird you're trying to kill.
But at the same time, there was trepidation, and disbelief, that Finch, the courtly model of integrity who in the 1930s defended a wrongly accused black man in Mockingbird, is portrayed as a racist 20 years later in Watchman.
The new book was written years before Mockingbird, and contains seeds of the story that eventually became a classic staple of literature. The new novel traces character Scout Finch's return home to the fictional town of Maycomb in the 1950s.So basically this new book is the Star Wars prequels only in reverse? Or maybe Truman Capote extensively rewrote To Kill a Mockingbird after all?
"Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves"
An update to how John Kerry took the Alberta NDP out back, roughly shoved them over a car hood, and anally raped the second term right out of them:
Iran nuclear deal likely to pull down oil prices long term: Analysts say it will take until at least 2016 for Iranian oil production to bring down prices.
In the long term, the deal "means that prices will not recover as fast as some may have hoped in 2016," wrote Martin King of FirstEnergy Capital in an email to CBC News.Bad news for Rachel Arab: containing costs, improving efficiency, and expanding markets is exactly what her far-left ideology is incapable of.
The Canadian energy industry "will just deal with the low prices as they always have done: by containing costs, improving efficiency, and attempt to expand markets where possible," wrote King.
Space Cop is finally here!
If you don't know what that is, watch this trailer right now.
I knew Space Cop was coming soon, mostly because of this clip showing the special effects coming together which "Colin from Canada" posted in March.
But now it's here.
So the question remains. When will Space Cop come to Edmonton? It definitely needs to come to Edmonton. If this is half as entertaining as Feeding Frenzy was, it'll be a classic.
Conservatives in Canada have been having a field day this past week [wouldn't that be a field week? -ed] with comments by several NDP MLAs and MPs about the Greek situation.
The "Ashton twins"† were the most prominent. Here's the Brandon Sun's Kerry Auriat on Steve Ashton, the Manitoba Minister of Infastructure:
While he may sympathize with his Greek friends and family who are facing destitution, hailing their decision not to accept their creditors’ conditions seems a tad disingenuous. It is certainly irresponsible.
Ashton is literally revealing his “spend first, pay later or hopefully never” philosophy by cheering on the Greek people. He appears to care not about the nations and institutions who lent Greece money and subsidized their government and lives. He appears to believe that it is perfectly appropriate and, in fact, smart to borrow money and then weasel out of one’s debts. I am very disappointed in his attitude.
Note that the reckless approach endorsed by Steve Ashton and his MP daughter Niki is indicative of the Greek left wing, not all the Greek people. These folks have painted themselves as victims and their creditors (who lent the money in good faith with an expectation it would be repaid) as victimizers.Meanwhile, here's Postmedia's Anthony Furey on Niki Ashton:
The Greek government borrowed the money and agreed to the terms. Now that the money has been spent, the Greek government demands still more loans with no assurance that any money will be repaid.
You’d have to be crazy to lend money to these folks. Sadly, when so-called responsible, thoughtful people like Steve Ashton encourage such behaviour, it’s hard to see how this situation will ever improve.
By the way, while Mr. Ashton applauds democracy in Greece, I wonder why he and his caucus mates denied us the promised right to vote on a PST increase here in Manitoba.
Niki Ashton, the MP for Manitoba, and a prominent voice in the NDP caucus tweeted "NO to austerity! YES to democracy!" in celebration of Greek voters' rejecting the latest bailout terms offered by the European troika on Sunday.
Ashton also retweeted more severe and more popular comments made by author and far-left celeb Naomi Klein: "Nobody should be forced to sign their own death warrant. So many Greeks voting no to blackmail and terror. Powerful day."
It's a powerful day indeed when we can kid ourselves that going above and beyond the call of duty to offer a loan to a neighbour in need is blackmail and even terror.
Greece ran deficits for years. Then, when it came time to join the European Union, they fudged the books to make their financial situation appear rosier.
Then they failed to clean up their books before the recession, so the latter hit them harder than it otherwise would have.
Greece behaved badly and is paying the consequences. After you've proven you're fiscally reckless, you can't expect to get multi-billion-dollar loans from your neighbours without them placing a few conditions on you.(incidently, you may recall the Queerbec students rallying about tuition from my April post on the subject)
It's no surprise that in Greece the young, students and public sector workers were most likely to indulge in this magical thinking.
Greek pollster Public Issue broke voting intention down by demographic and found 85% of 18- to 24-year-old voters wanted to reject the package.
Canadians got a glimpse of this in the 2012 Quebec protests when students took to the streets angry over modest increases to tuition frees, while Quebec benefited from equalization transfers. It's the height of entitlement culture.
We don't need more antics like this. We certainly don't need our own Canadian political figures calling for them.
† Steve Ashton is actually Niki's faja.
So obviously the Ashtons are completely loopy on the subject of Greek austerity, and as Furey notes in his article, Niki Ashton is actually respected and listened to within the Mulcair NDP caucus. Steve is a cabinet minister in Manitoba‡, for crying out loud. These aren't NDP fringe candidates, they're serious members of the party. It's a sick far-left fringe party, of course, and its recent rise to the top of the polls makes bad news for Canada's future. These same retards are the ones currently ruining Alberta, remember. However, sad to say a couple Ashtons aren't the only ones being silly about Greece. As you might expect, Bernie Sanders in the US took the "No" side in the referendum, as did the UK Green Party. But it wasn't just obscure opposition politicians saying silly things about Greece.
‡ In a pique of irony, Moody's downgraded the credit rating in Manitoba thanks to Ashton's party's mismanagement of the finances
The Pope waded into the issue, wondering why Greece couldn't just declare bankruptcy like a human being and move on with their life.
When asked by reporters about Greece's financial situation before a deal was announced Monday, Francis said "certainly it would be too simple to say that the fault is only on one side."I guess now we know why Pope Francis wasn't offended by the communist crucifix he was given last week. There are numerous problems with applying the personal bankruptcy concept to countries, as the Pope naively wants to do. Here are four of them:
Francis noted proposals at the United Nations to essentially let countries seek bankruptcy protection just like corporations. He asked "if a company can declare bankruptcy, why can't a country do so and we go to the aid of others?"
Bolivia, whose President Evo Morales hosted Francis during his three-nation South American tour, is reportedly pushing the proposal at the United Nations.
- Not all debts are included in a bankruptcy.
This is probably the biggest issue with "just declaring bankruptcy and starting over". When a human being does it, it only applies to unsecured debts. For humans, this excludes car loans, mortgage payments, child support payments (including arrears), alimony payments (including arrears), and court-ordered restitution payments. In a national sense, that will obviously include IMF loans, government-to-government debt, and promised social welfare payments. The problem is, that's pretty much entirely what Greece's debt it. Another major component, loans to major banks, are almost certainly secured debt as well. In other words, bankruptcy would at best free Greece from payingpaying €61.7B out of €360B total debt; a mere 17.1% of the total debt load. More likely, the €2.4B foreign banks have lent Greece are also secured, and let's estimate 10% of the remaining €59.3B is secured as well. This means that only 14.8% of Greece's debt is forgivable. Which leads us to...
- You're only allowed a cheap vehicle and a cheap house during bankruptcy
Here's another one that when applied from a personal to a national perspective can get pretty dicey. When declaring bankruptcy you're allowed to keep clothing and furniture up to a legal limit. You do get to keep medical equipment if it's necessary. However, again up to a legal limit, tools of the trade to earn a living, and a home and car...but again only up to a certain value. So if we're extending this to a national level, Greeks can keep their country...but only part of it, they may have to downsize. Who knew Turkey could get Cyprus back this easily?! Likewise, Greeks could keep a bargain-basement transportation network, but some of their inter-city trains would be sold off, and I'm guessing light posts on their highways would fetch a pretty price. Again, the Greek public healthcare system would be pretty much intact, so it's not a total loss: but bankruptcy definitely would come with a huge standard of living drop. Add in...
- Even after you've declared bankruptcy, you don't get to keep your income
After you've filed for bankruptcy a formula is used to determine how much of your income you get to keep: the rest of it is dispersed to your creditors. If you make too much money too fast, your bankruptcy is extended. Again this one has serious implications for Greece: even if the bankruptcy wipes their debts, a portion of national surpluses still have to go to the creditors. This isn't the "wipe it clean and kick out the evil Jews...er, I mean, "foreign bankers"!...that the Greek apologists hope it is. So it will be harder to rebuilt the country with half the national surpluses being siphoned off to the bankers. That's one of the things that got Naomi Klein all upset. The other thing, of course, is our final issue...
- When you declare bankruptcy all your assets you aren't living in are basically sold off
This is really the forgotten thing about "declaring bankruptcy". Not only do you owe a lot of money still, not only are you forced into a smaller apartment with a crappier car, and not only do you have to surrender your income, but everything of value you own gets sold out from under you to pay your creditors. What is that Jeff Nguyen over at Deconstructing Myths said about the Greek vote? Oh yeah...
The bailout package for Greece’s manufactured debt “crisis” consists of all the hallmarks of austerity…deregulation, privatization and massive cuts in social welfare spending. All eyes should be on Greece as it’s citizens are being crushed under the unrelenting, wing-tipped heels of the global bankers.If this pajamma-boy doesn't like the privatization under the original and updated bailout packages, he'd absolutely hate Greece declaring bankruptcy and having every government asset sold off until €360B -- or even €298B -- was raised.
All through the long and sorry crisis about Greece's place in the eurozone we thought it was about money — the money the Greeks owed, the debts they built up, the crushing austerity they were obliged to endure as their economy shrank. All in the quest to cling to the big money, the common currency, the euro. But no, it wasn't about that at all. Like a stern school mistress, German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Brussels on Sunday to set the silly pupils straight. "The most important currency has gone missing, and that's trust," she said. "There can be no agreement at any cost." Keep that in mind, class. Trust, not the euro, is what we're talking about. And this from the woman who said, as the Greek crisis was in its early stages, "if the euro fails, Europe fails."It's almost as if, as the negotiations were still ongoing, and as Germany was trying -- justifiably or not -- to guilt its European partners into voting its way by implying that the outcome had to keep the Euro intact. In fact, "no agreement at any cost" and "we have to keep the euro afloat" isn't an either/or proposition, and it's ridiculous for Murray to imply that it was.
But German leaders this weekend were in no mood for forgiveness, and still less for lessons from a French economist. The demands, quickly leaked, piled up: a complete overhaul of Greece's tax and pension system, the ceding of $70 billion of Greek assets to eurozone authorities for privatization, and an agreement to allow Greece to become a ward in all but name of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. And all of this to be passed by the Greek parliament by Wednesday, according to Finland's finance minister.Hey here's that "ward of the IMF" that we talked about in the Pope section above. $70B is presumably the Canadian figure: that's a mere €50B (€63.6B if Murray was talking seventy billion US dollars). Greece has €360B in debt, so this "austerity" package is selling off assets to only pay off 13.8% (or 17.67%) of its debts. That's not much austerity, when you think about it. Again, as I mentioned last week, when you owe people money you're at their mercy. The European Banks, like Merkel, want the Euro's supremacy on the continent to be maintained. That involves assuring international investers that an investment with Europe is a good investment, and obviously it means that if retarded socialists in a socialist country (ie. Greece) vote themselves unsustainable entitlements that there's a price to pay, and that they will brutally pay it. In other words, Mr. Potential Investor With An Entire Planet To Choose From, (let's agree to not call him Mr. PIWAEPTCF), we're a good bet for you. Your investment will likely be repaid, because here's what happens to any national economy stupid enough to listen to the Naomi Kleins and Don Murrays of the world.
The Germans, with their East European allies, tired of paying the bills for a country richer than they were, along with Finland, with a coalition government beholden to a right-wing rump, were driving the show. The Greeks would stay in the euro only on German terms, and the terms were draconian, fittingly a word of Greek derivation, referring to an ancient Greek lawgiver who punished all offences severely. The Greeks, not surprisingly, said much of the deal was unacceptable. And so the stage was set for Euripidean drama, a family tearing itself apart, blood on the floor and the walls. They fought through the night. In the morning they were still wrangling. One major bone offered to the Greeks was the removal of the threat of a "temporary Grexit," but almost everything else the Greek parliament would have to swallow, and fast.I sure hope that Don Murray isn't paid very much by the CBC. $50/column, perhaps? Otherwise, he's unfairly given large compensation for his writing despite the fact that he apparently doesn't understand much about negotiations. Germany holds all the cards. They'll come out with their ideal proposal, Greece will have their ideal proposal, and they will come to their equilibrium point (the BATNA in the standard negotiation parlance) that is awfully close to giving Germany everything they want. Murray gets to the nuts and bolts later, but how did he think his agent's negotiation with CBC News went, exactly? His agent demanded $475,000/yr, CBC reminded him how many unemployed journalists there are, and suddenly a 15% improvement over the $58,000 originally offered looked damned good.
The gun could still go off. Only when the Greek parliament has accepted the entire bitter package will the German parliament begin to consider the bailout terms. Tsipras had little choice — without some sort of deal, Greece's banks and then the country's economy would implode. So much for the grand European vision of solidarity. So much for the Franco-German alliance that had led Europe for 50 years. Merkel had made her choice; Hollande, in this encounter, was little more than decoration in the room. In the words of the German chancellor, it was all about trust, a word that, when translated into Greek, sounds very much like humiliation.Say it with me, everybody: GREECE HASN'T SHOWN ANY INTEREST OR ABILITY TO PAY ITS BILLS. No matter what language you say that in, that's the final nail in the coffin in any way shape or form. Because Greece was so unreliable (lack of trust), they found themselves in a financial mess and begged to be let free from the shackles of their own incompetence (again). What vision of "solidarity" is that? Does Don Murray send a portion of his paycheque to Jian Ghomeshi out of "solidarity"? Or does he accept that his former coworker did something that deserves a little bit of humiliation? Or at least humility? Hell, Ghomeshi has shown more humility than Greece in this matter. And let's not skip over an issue that Murray devoted exactly half a line to: without some sort of deal, Greece's banks and then the country's economy would implode. Greece is looking at the net result of their failed socialist policies. These dolts cannot manage a national economy (even one that now looks more like a local economy). Privatization, that evil word in Don Murray's head, is simply handing over the administration of the national economy to private enterprise, which time and time again has been shown to do a better job of it. The lineups at ATMs as government workers try to cash their 13th and 14th monthly paycheques prove it.