Sunday, December 25, 2016

Great post of the day

From GQ: The Least Influential People Of 2016 - everyone from Anthony Weiner to Ryan Lochte, from Hillary Clinton to A Rod....

And don't miss DB Wong's chicken wing instructional video at the end.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

And from the oddest Christmas special of all time:

According to co-writer Ian Fraser, Bowie balked at singing "Little Drummer Boy": "I hate this song. Is there something else I could sing?", Fraser recalls Bowie telling him. Fraser, along with songwriter Larry Grossman and the special's scriptwriter, Buz Kohan, then wrote "Peace on Earth" as a counterpoint to "Little Drummer Boy". Crosby performed "Little Drummer Boy", while Bowie sang the new tune "Peace on Earth", which they reportedly performed after less than an hour of rehearsal

Friday, November 11, 2016

And I missed the fall, too

Well, I thought at the end of August that I was recovering but instead I just kept on getting sicker and sicker. Finally I went into hospital the third week of September, followed by immediate surgery to begin to deal with an obstructed bowel, followed by a seven-week hospital recovery. Barely eating for three months resulted in a complete depletion of the protein in my body so following the surgery I could barely stand up, much less walk or do stairs -- and we live in a four-level split. So I needed extensive physio and lots and lots of nutrition before I could come home. I finally managed to get home last week. Provided nothing else goes wrong, I am looking toward likely two more surgeries in the next year, before this trouble is behind me (so to speak!)
All in all, I would sum it up as a miserable experience, mitigated only by the love of my family -- they all faithfully visited almost every day, in spite of the cost of hospital parking!
And they brought me Tim Hortons.
One other silver lining -- I lost 70 pounds! Maybe I could write a book on how to lose weight. It would be a short one: 1. Get seriously ill 2. Don't eat for three months. 3. Lose weight! -- however, somehow I don't think it will be a best seller!
So hopefully, I will be able to get back to blogging now. And given the Trump election (gag!) I have a feeling that there will be lots to blog about over the next while.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The year without a summer

So I got sick in early July, and I am finally just recovering now -- just the flu, originally, but then I couldn't eat anything, then got diverticulosis -- awful -- and I'm finally just coming out of it now.  I'm still not eating normally, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
But basically I missed summer this year.  I hope we have a really long, nice fall!

Friday, July 08, 2016

I'm back!

Sorry for the lack of posts -- I had too much going on in "real" life, for a change.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I'm a patriot too

What is the matter with these people? In spite of all the positive talk at the Conservative convention, the Conservatives haven't changed a bit.
Harper isn't at their head anymore, but he's still their leader in their hearts.
Today, the CPC is doing whatever it can to obstruct a dying MP from making a picayune, sensible and long-overdue change to our national anthem:
Time is of the essence for the MP {Mauril  Belanger], who was diagnosed with ALS last fall and whose health has deteriorated over the past few weeks. But his determination to see Bill C-210 pass is inspiring people from inside and outside his party to support him.
After question period Thursday, government whip Andrew Leslie sought the unanimous consent of MPs to allow the bill — which would change the line "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command," making it gender-neutral — to proceed under the whip's name to take some of the pressure off Bélanger.
Enough Tory MPs shouted their objection to deny unanimous consent for Leslie's motion.
Oooh -- changing "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command" obviously demands  nation-wide hearings, according to CPC.
Personally, I've always hated that wording in the national anthem, it was a minor but definite insult to every woman in the country.
And there is nothing particularly sacred about the English version of O Canada.  The song was originally written in French in 1880, and it was more than 25 years before several versions of English lyrics were written. The line used to read "thou dost in us command". The "all thy sons command" version was introduced in 1914 -- likely with the idea of supporting the troops in WWI.
But "True patriot love in all of us command" is the way O Canada should always have been translated, so I'm glad Belanger wants to change it. And its the kind of change that would never happen except as someone's dying wish, because in the larger scheme of things, it is just so supremely unimportant that it would never rise to the top of any government agenda.
I'm glad its getting done at last.

Monday, June 06, 2016

On this historic night

I am woman, hear me roar in numbers to great to ignore

This is my fight song

Sail on Silver Girl...your time has come to shine.

Endorsing Trump is like tying a rotting fish around your neck

I loved this comment at Lawyers, Guns and Money:
Endorsing Trump is like tying an already “whiffy” dead fish around your neck – it’s already going off, and it will just smell worse and worse, until, finally , people are disgusted to be around you. And then you have to answer the inevitable questions – Why would you tie a dead fish around your neck? Didn’t you know it would smell? Don’t you know fish goes off? Do you like the smell of rotting fish? Do you believe in wearing rotting fish? What’s wrong with you…..? But the worst thing is after weeks, you personally will no longer be able to smell the fish – it will be normal to you – and people will have to yell at you, “you smell of rotting fish! You’re disgusting!”
And finally when you want to take it off – “yech, you still smell of rotting fish … get out of here.” And once you remove the fish, you’ll start to smell it again, in your clothes, your furniture, your car – and you’ll be mortified. And before anyone will let you back into polite company you’ll have to burn your entire wardrobe, disinfect or reupholster the remaining furniture, and you’ll always have to deal with people worried about your taste for the smell of rotting fish.
That's exactly what the Republicans are now finding out.
Even Harper wasn't as bad, and that's saying something.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The difference between Trump and Clinton

Eric Alterman writes about How False Equivalence Is Distorting the 2016 Election Coverage | The Nation and sums up the basic difference between Trump and Clinton:

 Journalistic abdications of responsibility are always harmful to democracy, but reporters and pundits covering the 2016 campaign will be doing the public a particularly grave disservice if they continue to draw from the “both sides” playbook in the months leading up to the November election. Now that Donald Trump has emerged as the presumptive Republican nominee for president, some simple facts about him and his campaign should be stated clearly and repeatedly, not obfuscated or explained away or leavened into click bait. Trump is a pathological liar and conspiracy theorist, a racist, misogynist, and demagogic bully with a phantasmagoric policy platform and dangerously authoritarian instincts. Hillary Clinton’s flaws and failures are many, and they should not be discounted, either. But they are of an entirely different order. Love her or hate her, at least we don’t have to wonder whether she believes in democracy. When it comes to sane and even semi-sensible policy proposals for America’s future in the 2016 presidential election, there is only one side.
Emphasis mine.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One of these things is not like the others

Canadian politics has apparently entered its silly season just before everyone takes the summer off and goes to the lake.
While Canada discusses Sophie's workload and "elbowgate" -- both such important news stories! -- in the United States we see Hillary Clinton gearing up to do battle with Deadbeat Donald.
Forgive me if I think that what is happening down south is much more consequential and ultimately more meaningful than either of our scandals-du-jour.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Oh, they're just pets, let 'em suffer....

This just infuriates me.
A volunteer group organized through Facebook is ready, willing, able and on the spot to rescue the Fort McMurray pets.
Instead of helping them, some bureaucratic RCMP officers are preventing them -- they're not "official", you see. Its actually some municipality job or maybe the SPCA -- though neither have bothered setting up any rescue yet, but they're getting to it any day now, yes siree! And its just dogs and cats anyway, so who cares....

Sam Sansalone, who’s based out of southern Alberta but has taken on a leadership role in the Facebook group Fort Mac Fire - Pet Rescue, where many of the efforts are being co-ordinated, said group members rescued about 230 pets on Wednesday and Thursday.
But on Thursday, and again on Friday, police kicked them out, he said.
He said authorities told them that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was taking over pet rescue duties, and there was a risk that people working independently might loot houses under the guise of attempting to rescue pets.
Sansalone said he understands that concern, but that official resources are spread too thin, and civilians should be allowed to help.
Plus, Wood Buffalo’s rescue effort didn’t start until Saturday. Sansalone said he was worried that would be too late for many of the pets.
“This is a mass grave, in basements, in crates,” he said.
And The Globe and Mail carefully titles its story "SPCA asking evacuees to register pets left behind in Fort McMurray" when the story is actually about the volunteer group -- they're the ones who set up a facebook group and they're the ones who are organized already to rescue the pets. The SPCA could have done this. The Municipality of Wood Buffalo could have done this. The RCMP could have done this.
But they didn't.
Instead, they seem to be putting their best efforts into preventing the rescue of animals that dying as we speak.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Stories of courage from Fort McMurray

I'm sure every one of the thousands of Fort McMurray families has their own story of what happened to them during the evacuation, but here's one of the most thrilling stories of courage that I've seen so far:
If Cora Dion only needed transport for two horses as she fled Fort McMurray with her twin 15-year-old daughters, three dogs and a cat, the family’s escape from Alberta’s worst wildfire in years would have been fairly straightforward.
But she had four horses. And a trailer for two....
So they joined the vehicular torrent on Highway 63 — Dion, the dogs and the cat in her truck; two horses in the trailer; and Gwen and Carly riding the two remaining horses.
They didn’t even have time to saddle them both: Carly rode bareback; Gwen took charge of Addie, a six-year-old thoroughbred who, as a racehorse, is high-strung by nature.
Sometimes they took the shoulder, Dion driving slowly alongside. Where there was no shoulder, they were on the road, in traffic. ...
“Seriously, for my daughter to jump on a six-year-old thoroughbred and ride down the highway, that takes guts,” she said. ...
“We had Harleys driving right behind. Normally a Harley would cause great stress, especially in a really young horse like Addie.”
“My horse, she’s very much the leader of our little herd there, and you could tell she was very visibly trying to suppress her stress. She was pretending to be calm, but when we pulled her off she was drenched with sweat.” ...
As Dion and her girls waited for their next ride at the junction of highways 63 and 881, a stranger with a four-horse trailer pulled up beside them.
“I don’t know who you are, but load in — let’s get going,” she recalls him saying.
“He literally put my horses in his trailer and we were on the road in five minutes.”...
They’ve no idea when they’ll be able to go home or what will be left when they do. (So far, from what they hear, the house is still standing.)
Especially painful is the thought of the animals they left behind: a corn snake, a bearded dragon, and a ball python named Demetrius who probably won’t make it without carefully controlled heat and humidity.
Hunter, their 10-year-old cat, was nowhere to be found when they left. Dion hopes he can take care of himself for a little while.
“Honestly, now that I look back, it was pretty terrifying,” Dion says.
But at the time, she was in survival mode.
“I was just, OK, this is what we have to do.”
Other families evacuated included Syrian refugees who had only arrived in Fort McMurray four months ago:
As members of Fahed Labek's family from war-torn Syria fled the inferno engulfing their adopted Alberta hometown, he recalls them staring back at the flames in Fort McMurray.
"They said, 'OK. We left the fire and now we saw another fire. From fire to fire,' " said Labek, 43, who fled the approaching wildfire on Tuesday.
Labek lives in Fort McMurray with his wife and two children. He helped relocate his mother, sister, brother-in-law and their two children to his home in late February.
They are among about six families of Syrian refugees that resettled in the city in recent months....
Labek and his family left in a rush for oilsand workers' camps to the north of the city, expecting a 45-minute drive. Instead they drove for eight hours and when they arrived, apologetic aid workers told them no beds were available.
The family, including his 68-year-old mother who is in a wheelchair, set off again for Edmonton.
When their car broke down they were picked up by other evacuees in two different vehicles. Labek was awake for 42 hours before everyone reunited in Edmonton at about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
"Now we have another story. I have to find a place to stay, I have to find some food," Labek said Thursday.
"We don't have clothes for my kids, we don't have milk. For my kids, we don't even have diapers."
The evacuation order happened so quickly that people couldn't fill up their tanks -- now hundreds of cars are abandoned on the highways, and the government has sent tanker trucks and set up mobile gas stations to allow owners to get their vehicles moving again.
Here are before and after photos from The Weather Network:

Nobody has died so far, and two babies have been born during the evacuation.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Duffy should please just shut up for a while

I think Canada has had quite enough of Mike Duffy.
I know I certainly have.
Apparently we aren't supposed to hold this grown man responsible for understanding such complex rules as:
1.  If its not Senate business, don't ask for reimbursement; and,
2.  If you live in Ottawa, don't ask for reimbursement.
Most other Senators had no difficulty acting ethically and with the rules. But poor Duffy just found it too hard.
After the greediness and ineptitude and poor judgment displayed throughout his trial, Duffy now is adding insult to injury by asking for retroactive pay for the two years he was suspended from the Senate.  And I think it is quite likely he will get it.  So he will pocket years and years of the income taxes I worked to pay.
So no, I'd just rather not hear any more from him for a while.

Monday, April 11, 2016

NDP leadership woes

So Saskatchewan NDP leader Cam Broten has resigned after losing his seat, and federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair was voted out - though apparently he still wants to hang around embarrassing the party for the next two years until they finally elect a new leader.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Clinton is on track to win it

Looking at what has happened so far, and at the contests coming up, here's my unscientific view of what is going to happen over the next two months:
First fact: the total number of delegates needed to win is 2300.  As of yesterday, Hillary needed about 700 more delegates, and Bernie needed about 1400 more.
Second fact: From now until the end of May, there will be 13 primaries and caucus, awarding about 1,100 delegates.
Based on results so far with Bernie winning the smaller caucuses and Hillary the larger primaries, I think Bernie and Hillary will continue to split many of these votes.  But I believe Hillary is on track to achieve significant wins in the closed primaries in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, while Bernie's only large blowout will be today's open caucus in Washington.
As a result, over the next two months, I think we will see Hillary gain maybe 600 to 700 delegates -- which brings her pretty close to the goal -- and Bernie gain maybe 400 to 500, which leaves him still about a thousand delegates short.  And there are only about 700 delegates remaining in all of the June primaries.  So even though he gained about a hundred at the Saturday caucuses, which is cheering to his supporters, in the long run these delegates aren't going to help.
I must say now that its becoming clear that Hillary is going to win -- because millions of Democrats actually like her a lot -- I'm glad to see more people pushing back against some of the Hillary hatred which has polluted blogs like Daily Kos for the last several months.  In refuting Matt Taibbi's incoherent Clinton trashing, Kevin Drum goes point by point while Booman gives everyone a valuable history lesson in what happened during Bill Clinton's presidency. Booman concludes:
The choice between Clinton and Sanders is not a choice between today and 1992; it’s a choice about who you think is best prepared to be president and who can win by the biggest margin. It’s also a bet, or a gamble on how much change you think the system can bear. And it’s a guess about which candidate can get more out of a reluctant Congress.
It’s no easy choice, and I don’t want to pretend that it is, but it’s not a choice between good and evil, and it’s not obvious who is right.
The more I see of Bernie, the less I think of him. As Kevin Drum puts it:
Bernie Sanders too often lets rhetoric take the place of any actual plausible policy proposal. He suggested that his health care plan would save more in prescription drug costs than the entire country spends in the first place. This is the sign of a white paper hastily drafted to demonstrate seriousness, not something that's been carefully thought through. He bangs away on campaign finance reform, but there's virtually no chance of making progress on this. The Supreme Court has seen to that, and even if Citizens United were overturned, previous jurisprudence has placed severe limits on regulating campaign speech. Besides, the public doesn't support serious campaign finance reform and never has. And even on foreign policy, it's only his instincts that are good. He's shown no sign of thinking hard about national security issues, and that's scarier than most of his supporters acknowledge. Tyros in the Oval Office are famously susceptible to pressure from the national security establishment, and Bernie would probably be no exception. There's a chance—small but not trivial—that he'd get rolled into following a more hawkish national security policy than Hillary.
I'm old, and I'm a neoliberal sellout. Not as much of one as I used to be, but still. So it's no surprise that I'm not always on the same page as Taibbi. That said, I continue to be surprised by the just plain falseness of many of the left-wing attacks on Hillary, along with the starry-eyed willingness to accept practically everything Bernie says without even a hint of healthy skepticism. Hell, if you're disappointed by Obama, who's accomplished more than any Democratic president in decades, just wait until Bernie wins. By the end of four years, you'll be practically suicidal.
Finally, here's Hillary's latest speech, on terrorism and how she intends to deal with it  -- hint:  she's not carpet-bombing ISIS, or closing the borders, or patrolling Muslim neighbourhoods. As well as laying out her own positions, she is also testing out the attack lines she intends to use during the election campaign against the Republicans.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hillary sweep

I was so so glad to see Hillary sweep the five Super-Duper Tuesday states tonight -- she comfounded the polls just like Bernie did last week in Michigan, except this week she took Illinois, Ohio and Missouri from him, as well as maintaining significant leads in Florida and North Carolina.
Why did he lose? Two main reasons I think -- first, however odious Trump is, Americans are totally committed to free speech, so I think they had a visceral negative reaction to Bernie Bros trying to shut down Trump rallies. And I think it was offensive to democrats for Bernie to say in an interview Sunday that he was running in the Democratic primary, not as a service to the Democratic party or to the country but because of the media coverage he would get as a Democratic candidate.
And why did she win? She had an awful week with the Nancy Reagan HIV flub in spite of her somewhat-graceful recovery. But she hit it out of the park with the painfully-honest answer about why people didn't like her, the nuanced response on capital punishment to the wrongfully-convicted man, and the post-debate follow-up which we could see off-camera to the Guatemalan woman whose husband was deported. These small-ball moments added up to a home run.
UPDATE: And we are already seeing an uptick in Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
In her victory speech, Hillary pivoted to attacking Trump because she no longer needs to deal with Sanders.  So one of her lines in this speech was about how America needed to “engage its allies, not alienate them” — quite obviously an attack line against Trump and his slanging of Mexico, Europe etc.   But later in the evening I saw a tweet from Max Blumenthal with a retweet by Billmon, that she was referring to Obama and Israel and she was “dissing” Obama for supposedly not supporting Israel.
What???  Why would any sane person jump to the conclusion that she meant something like that?
It horrifies me to realize how deranged the Hillary-Haters have become.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival, boys!

Our social services ministry has finally figured out how to deal with homeless men in North Battleford -- give them a one-way bus ticket to BC:
A decision by a Saskatchewan government social worker to buy bus tickets to British Columbia for two homeless men is raising concerns in both provinces.
According to Caitlin Glencross, who works with the Lighthouse homeless shelter in North Battleford, Sask,, the out-of-work men were applying to the province for a spot at the shelter.
But instead of getting funding to stay at the shelter — which has been locked in a funding dispute with the province of Saskatchewan — one of the men was offered a bus ticket to anywhere outside of the province, she said.
When he said he had a friend on B.C's Sunshine Coast, he was offered a one-way ticket on a Greyhound bus to Vancouver, Glencross said.
The second man, who managed to secure funding for a bed at the shelter, then asked for and was issued a ticket to B.C., even though he had never left the province before, she said.
"I'm almost speechless," said Glencross. "Like, I don't know what to say. We can't start shipping people off when we haven't done our due diligence in our own province. It's just not acceptable."
In B.C., Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang called the decision "absolutely appalling."
Of course, an election campaign just started -- Saskatchewan can't bother our beautiful minds about poor homeless people.   An election is no time to discuss serious issues.
And who wouldn't want to be in BC at cherry blossom time!

Cherry Blossoms Vancouver

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Justin, you're wrong as wrong can be

In response to calls for police to immediately stop arresting people for using marijuana, Trudeau has apparently decided to ignore the people who elected him and instead follow the stellar leadership of Bill Blair and the police.
Trudeau has reminded everyone that marijuana laws haven't changed yet -- yeah, we noticed.  And he also set up a ridiculous parsing between "legalization" and "decriminalization" which will give the Liberal government enough wiggle room to avoid ever changing these laws:
News 1130's Reaon Ford subsequently asked what Trudeau would say to a teenager stuck for life with a marijuana charge on their record, and whether marijuana could be decriminalized on an interim basis, until a regulatory framework allows for full legalization.
“I think decriminalization is a bad idea because it doesn’t do anything to make it more difficult for young people to access it and it doesn’t do anything in terms of keeping the black market and the criminal organizations from profiting from it,” Trudeau replied. “That’s why I believe in control and regulation that actually will do the protection of public safety and of minors that we need. And in the meantime, it’s still illegal.”
In other words, its business as usual until Bill Blair can figure out some absolutely perfect way to "protect minors".    Good luck with that.
And in the meantime, police can just continue to make its easy arrests of those kids, and organized crime can just continue to make its easy profits.
This isn't what Canadians voted for, Justin.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

First Nations answers to #OscarsSoWhite

Indian Country media network has a post up listing First Nations actors or films that should have been awarded an Oscar, or at least a nomination. Its a great piece, noting in particular the great performances in Smoke Signals, which is one of my favorite movies ever:

And of course Will Sampson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Brer Barak

So the Republicans are saying they're not even going to talk to any proposed Supreme Court Justice nominee named by Obama.
And in response, Obama is pleading with them: Please, Mr. Republican Senator, please vote on my Supreme Court nominee!
The GOP-controlled Senate has said loudly and repeatedly that they’re going to refuse to hold a hearing for any Supreme Court nominee President Obama might pick. In response, he wrote a blog post appealing to the Senate’s sense of fairness, law, and Constitutional responsibility. Hmm.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he’ll refuse to even meet privately with any Obama SCOTUS nominee, and there’ll definitely be no confirmation hearings: “I’ve said repeatedly and I’m now confident that my conference agrees that this decision ought to be made by the next president, whoever is elected.”
In response, the president wrote a guest post for SCOTUS Blog, the heavily-read, well-respected outlet that tracks Supreme Court news and opinions. In it, Obama pretends like everything is normal here and he’s not hostage on a speeding legislative train with shoddy brakes and a bunch of screaming maniacs setting the engine room on fire out of spite.
Because heaven forbid that the Senate not even call a vote on an Obama nominee.  Why, this could become a major election issue, which Hillary to use to get herself elected AND to flip the Senate! Heaven forbid!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Letting the drunk poors freeze

You can recognize when the Sask Party government is doing something based on ideology rather than common sense.
First, they won't announce it or admit to doing it.
Second, when finally called on it, they can't explain it in a way that makes any sense.
And third, its always about money. Added bonus: when it grinds a few more bucks from the poors, just to show them they have no right to exist in The New Saskatchewan.
The latest is that Saskatchewan social services apparently decided IN NOVEMBER that it would refuse to pay anymore for emergency beds for drunks. Yes, just as Saskatchewan was heading into its coldest time of year, our Social Services agency apparently decided it doesn't care if drunk people freeze in the streets.
After all, drunk poors -- why should our government waste its beautiful mind worrying about what happens to them anyway?
As a result, the Lighthouse in North Battleford, which annoyingly persists in providing emergency beds for drunk people, is no longer getting enough funding from Social Services to stay open.  And the Saskatoon Lighthouse is in financial trouble too.
We're presently at the denial and obfuscation stage in this story -- Social Services denies funding rule change at North Battleford shelter . Here's the nut graph:
In a Dec. 16, 2015 message from a ministry employee, Glencross ...was told, “Social Services mandate is to provide emergency shelter for the homeless who have no other means to meet their immediate need of shelter. Our mandate is not to fund the lodging of publicly intoxicated individuals.
A more inclusive community response including police and health services may be required for the latter.”
These people need emergency help  because the Sally Ann won't admit people who have been drinking.  And the police have been trying not to spend their limited time and resources arresting harmless drunks just to get them off the streets when it is cold.
Last winter, the social services ministry apparently stepped up. This winter, not.
The rest of the news story quoted above is a sorry mess of disingenuous bafflegab:
When asked if liability for refusing services to intoxicated people is a concern for the Ministry, Redekop said he wasn’t familiar with where the statement came from, that he isn’t qualified to provide a legal response and that he is “not specifically” aware of any discussions about liability for refusing intoxicated people.
“I didn’t say if I’m aware of the issue or not,” he said.
“We would need to have more information about what the question means. Liability is obviously a very big issue and there’s a lot of elements to it that are beyond my ability to discuss without maybe a legal opinion.
“I want to make sure I’m giving you good information rather than getting into something I don’t have specific information about,” he said.
Redekop stressed the ministry provides shelter in the short term and in the daytime staff work to find the right solution.
“They may be eligible for other programs,” he said.
When asked if the programs are adequate, he said, “Adequate is a very subjective word.”
And we're not exactly talking luxury accommodation -- here's the room in the North Battleford Lightouse where the men sleep:

NORTH BATTLEFORD —  Beds in the men's dorm at the Lighthouse shelter in North Battleford.

Its a few bucks a night, folks.  But its enough to prevent people from freezing to death.
Social Services minister Donna Hapnauer is still denying there has been any change in policy or else its all the auditor's fault or else its Lighthouse's own fault, or something:
Harpauer said they have a mandate from the provincial auditor to scrutinize the organizations managing shelters to ensure they aren't doubling paying for someone.
"The other community based partners that we work with for emergency shelter provisions have not had this issue. "When (Lighthouse) expanded their services with the stabilization unit, their intake rose significantly which brought them under a bit more scrutiny," said Harpauer, adding the stabilization unit was launched without their input or funding to sustain it.
Yeah, right --how dare Lighthouse develop a program for the poorest of the poor?
“This particular shelter is aimed at individuals who are the most chronically homeless and who often have been kicked out of every other waiting room and 24-hour coffee shop. So there's not a lot of places for them to go,” DeeAnn Mercier, communications director with the Lighthouse, said.
The Star Phoenix ran an editorial about this today, calling out the Social Services ministry for what they are doing (not posted yet so no link).
So I expect we'll be at stage two next week.

Friday, February 12, 2016

This is why the Harper Cons lost the election

So the Harper Cons figured out a complicated legalistic way to screw a few thousand poor First Nations people out of a few thousand dollars in long-overdue residential school reparations.
Now the Liberals have put a stop to it.
And that's why the Harper Cons lost the election -- too cheap, too mean, too incompetent.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The awfulness of the Ghomeshi trial

Did ALL of the women that Ghomeshi supposedly abused so badly later sleep with him again and send him bikini photos and love letters? Or only the three who have testified so far at his trial?
And here I was thinking that police and prosecutors only bring charges against someone when they think they have a winnable court case. With Ghomeshi, they apparently scurried to court with charges that are proving so far to be ludicrous.  Was their goal not to protect women but actually just to display their contempt for the CBC and for Ghomeshi's egotistic celebrity?
I know things have reached a truly awful state when I find myself agreeing with Margaret Wente: The Ghomeshi trial turns into a fiasco:
Everybody knew a guilty verdict was far from sure. The bar for a criminal conviction is, as it should be, high. But nobody, not even the most experienced court-watchers, could have predicted how this trial would go. It has turned into a fiasco . . . .
I know the dynamics of abuse can be complex. I know that women can both love and fear their abusers. But these women were not battered wives. They were not in relationships with Mr. Ghomeshi. They barely knew him. They had no reason to fear him, and he had no power over them at all – except the power of his charm and celebrity. They could have walked away. They didn’t.
And all that’s left is their word about unpleasant encounters that may or may not rise to the standard of criminal assault.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Get on with it!

This is ridiculous:
Liberal MP Bill Blair wants to make it clear the growth and sale of legal marijuana in Canada will not be a free-for-all.
Bill, its already a free-for-all -- anyone can already get anything they want,any time they want.
So the only question is who will be selling it, the provincial Liquor Board Store or that gang guy on the corner.
And Trudeau could not have picked a worse "point person" to develop a legalization strategy for Canada than Bill Blair -- the guy who couldn't manage his own police force.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I though Conservatives were against government interference?

UPDATE:  A commenter points out that McKenna is a Liberal, not a Conservative -- sorry, I had mis-read a website.  So I have updated my post accordingly, but I didn't withdraw it because I think the overall point is still valid.

Conservative politician Frank McKenna thinks immigrants should be required to live in the Maritimes when they first come to Canada.
Now let me say first that living in the Annapolis Valley in the spring could be pretty nice, really, especially compared to Whitehorse in the winter.
But I always thought it was Conservatives Liberals who believed that governments shouldn't be telling people what to do -- like with owning rifles and selling wheat.
I guess that was then and this is now.
Apparently Nova Scotia and New Brunswick think maybe McKenna has a good idea. And it starts out sounding sort of innocuous really:
He said the federal government should create a special program for Atlantic Canada that would require immigrants to live three to five years in the region before they are granted citizenship... He said forcing a Canadian citizen to live in a particular province would violate their mobility rights under the Constitution, but he said Constitutional scholars believe it would be a reasonable requirement for people seeking citizenship.
But my question is, just how, exactly, do they think this "special program" should be enforced?
Will we have to set up an "immigrant location" board, just like we have a parole board, to keep track of where people are living and whether they have completed their sentence -- um, location term?  Would they have to show up with their families in tow every two weeks or every month to "check in"?  And if they missed a check-in, then would we send out the IMLOs -- immigrant location officers -- who would raid the neighbours to search out where the family had moved to. And there would be "underground railways" to Toronto and Vancouver, so that immigrants could be shuffled around the country.
And then when we find them, we would have to move them back to the Maritimes so they could finish their sentence -- um, "location term".  But likely they couldn't be trusted not to run away again so then would be have to set up special "camps" for them to live in -- you know, with big signs at the entrance about how work will make you free...

Oh dear, we've gone Godwin already.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

What a cruel, mean and ignorant thing for Brad Wall to say

“If you really don’t like the prison food, there’s one way to avoid it, and that’s don’t go to prison."
This is what Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said in response to complaints about poor jail food quality and quantity after the government's decision to contract out prison food to a for-profit company, Compass Group -- which is also in the news today for sexual favours.
Stay classy, Brad!