DA: Wotherspoon Running Soon?

Daily AggregationJust a quick one today, let’s go go go

1. EX-INTERIM The NDP’s Trent Wotherspoon has stepped down to contemplate a run for the party’s leadership. Wotherspoon, a teacher in his civilian days, would join a leadership contest that so far includes popular-with-millennials Saskatoon doctor Ryan Meili. More candidates are rumoured to declare in the coming months. Murmur murmur!

2. HATE CRIMES AGAINST MUSLIMS RISE IN 2015 There were 159 police reports of hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, up from 99 the year before. Jews remain the leading target of religious hate crimes, with 178 incidents. Read more here. And yes, Alberta had the biggest increase in hate crimes, unsurprisingly.

3. SESSIONS IS IN SESSION U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer (and not answer) questions about President Trump firing the FBI director. Hard to believe Trump hasn’t even been in office for five months and he’s already got his own Watergate going.

4. POULTRY WORKERS TORTURE CHICKENS Unacceptable.

5. TWIN SHOOTS TWIN IN SNAKE CRUELTY MISADVENTURE Two 14 year-old boys in Texas… Texas? Do I even need to continue? Just read the stupid thing here. And next time, Texas, maybe don’t raise your kids to be cruel to harmless (or close-to-harmless) animals.

DA: Champions

Daily AggregationGood afternoon Saskatoon! It’s 22°C and sunny in this fine, fine city on a day that truly began when the sun peeped its shiny yellow face over the horizon at at 4:45 a.m., and will hum along pleasantly until 9:27 for nearly 16 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. Let’s see what’s up with stuff!

1. BRAD TROST CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN FINED $50,000 Someone gave the National Firearms Association the Trost campaign’s copy of the party membership list. Trost’s campaign manager Joseph Ben-Ami says it’s all a big frame-up.

2. GRIM ANNIVERSARY It’s been one year since the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando. Forty-nine people plus the asshole were killed and 58 were injured.

3. CANADA PAYS THE MOST FOR COMMON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Don’t like it? Vote for political parties that promise to fix it, and if they get elected and don’t, complain to your MP then vote for different political parties that don’t leave their slobber on drug company’s genitals. We live in a democracy and we have the ability and moral right to demand good consumer protection rules.

4. SASK PARTY SLAMMED FOR USING PRIVATE E-MAIL Weird. I can’t think of any reason politicians wouldn’t want to use their work e-mail. I mean, how likely is it they have something to hide?

5. THERE’S NO DIRECT BUS SERVICE BETWEEN SASKATOON AND CALGARY? That’s just all kinds of fucked up.

6. GOODBYE, PEACOCKS The Forestry Farm Zoo has sent the popular birds away to zoos that will be better able to care for them.

7. AMERICA BAILS AGAIN To no one’s surprise, the United States won’t join the other six G7 countries in a symbolic pledge of support for the Paris climate accord.

8. STUPID TRAVEL BAN BLOCKED AGAIN Good. Trump is a malicious bigot.

9. TRUMP GETS SUED AGAIN Maryland and the District Of Columbia are suing the president for violating the Constitution, because he hasn’t given up control of his businesses.

10. EMPATHY FOR US DEVILS An awful lot of progressives — including one of my heroes, Thomas Frank — argue that liberals need to spend more time listening to the concerns of Trump voters. Here’s an excellent rebuttal to all that the hand-wringing that by Kathe Pollitt in The Nation:

Who is telling the Tea Partiers and Trump voters to empathize with the rest of us? Why is it all one way? Hochschild’s subjects have plenty of demeaning preconceptions about liberals and blue-staters—that distant land of hippies, feminazis, and freeloaders of all kinds. Nor do they seem to have much interest in climbing the empathy wall, given that they voted for a racist misogynist who wants to throw 11 million people out of the country and ban people from our shores on the basis of religion (as he keeps admitting on Twitter, even as his administration argues in court that Islam has nothing to do with it). Furthermore, they are the ones who won, despite having almost 3 million fewer votes. Thanks to the founding fathers, red-staters have outsize power in both the Senate and the Electoral College, and with great power comes great responsibility. So shouldn’t they be trying to figure out the strange polyglot population they now dominate from their strongholds in the South and Midwest?

I love the idea of empathy being a two-way street. Read Pollitt’s whole brilliant article here.

11. PITTSBURGH REPEATS Man that’s a good team. I guess I can live with them crushing my beloved Blue Jackets in the first round, especially since Regina’s Chris Kunitz is on that squad. Here’s a nice story about my sentimental pick for playoff MVP, Marc-Andre Fleury, here’s a tribute to Nashville’s lovably plucky team, and here’s the best victory song ever. Let’s send it out to everyone, because hey, we’re all champions.

DA: Scheer, Sharks And STC, Oh My

Daily AggregationHAPPY AFTERNOON, SASKERTOON It’s 19 degrees and sunny at the moment, on a daytime stretch that started at 4:54 a.m. and won’t end until 9:14 p.m., for 16:20 of daylight. Not to shabby! Let’s get on with it.

1. LIKE STEPHEN HARPER BUT WITHOUT THE EVIL STRATEGIC CUNNING Regina-Qu’Appelle’s member of Parliament somehow won this weekend’s Conservative party leadership. How about that. The farmers might’ve helped. The Leader-Post’s Barb Pacholik has a fine, Regina-focused piece on his rise while CBC’s Eric Grenier crunches the numbers behind Scheer’s unlikely defeat of front-runner Maxime Bernier. Read more on Scheer here.

What else? Well, if the reality-based world wanted to get upset over something they could point to Scheer’s late 2016 call to shut down CBC news. Bernier said public media puts the government in a “glaring” conflict but I think he was being dishonest. The real reason he wants to shut down CBC news? CBC reporting and analysis is (generally) good, and good reporting causes problems for dishonest politicians. It’s the old Harper playbook: destroy your critics because you can’t win honest debates against them. It’s why Harper muzzled government scientists and it’s why Conservative MPs so frequently refused interview requests.

Speaking of fact-averse notions: the CBC is a public broadcaster, not a government propaganda outlet. If it was run by the government, CBC would’ve given Stephen Harper an easy ride, right? Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

As for private media, anyone who wants to review how news companies treat their sacred mission of informing the public might want to check this out.

One last thing: radical Christian groups are cheering Scheer’s win. The anti-choice organization We Need A Law even sent me a press release congratulating Scheer:

“We recognize his commitment to consistent values, and appreciate his solid voting record. Scheer voted in favour of bills like Cassie and Molly’s Law and Roxanne’s Law, which show care for pregnant women and pre-born children. Pre-born human rights were highlighted during this campaign in a way they have not been for a long time. It is encouraging to see open discussion around the injustice done to pre-born victims of crime, and awareness raised about the prevalence of sex-selective abortion in some Canadian communities.”

Gross. You never hear social conservative politicians talk about helping the poor. Their religious moralizing is cheap.

2. TRUMP… SHRUG So his son-in-law wanted a secret channel to talk to Russia? How is this not treason? What can you even say. No wonder Europe’s pulling back. Keep alienating your allies America, I guess.

3. THE END OF STC Awful. An essential public service is being trashed and good jobs are being wiped out because #BradBungledTheBoom. Everyone knows that any private company picking up the STC slack will demand and get handouts from the government, right?

4. CANADIAN DOCTORS APPARENTLY THINK MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION WILL HARM TEENS Despite the fact that Canadian teens are huge potheads even though Marijuana is still illegal. Well, I’m skeptical it’s possible to make laws banning people from weed until they’re 25 so Canada just might have to go the public education campaign route. I know one pro- legal pot newspaper that would be thrilled to run ads expressing factually supported concerns about marijuana…

5. BICYCLE THIEVES SUCK No one takes bike theft seriously enough but they should because it’s a crime against the environment and it’s toxic to the cause of human decency. For the money involved, bike theft makes the world a much, much uglier place. The fact that it’s also widely culturally acceptable (IMO) is maddening. Anyway, here’s a depressing story about stolen bikes and the Roughriders.

6. A GOOSE-STEPPING, NAZI-SALUTING WHITE SUPREMACIST SLAUGHTERED TWO PEOPLE IN PORTLAND ON SATURDAY And mainstream U.S. media treated it like a regular crime, which they wouldn’t do it the killer was Muslim. Double standard much?

7. GREAT WHITE SHARK JUMPS INTO FISHING BOAT, SURPRISING FISHERPERSON Like it says.

8. DRUNK TIGERS DRIVING Golfer Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida. Now you know, if you didn’t.

See you tomorrow!

DA: Rest In Peace, Chris Cornell

Daily Aggregation1. LIBERAL CARBON TAX INFURIATES PETRO-GROUPIE Climate change is real, action needs to be taken, the Liberals have a plan and Brad Wall hates it. It’s hilarious that an alleged fan of business and markets rejects market-based climate change regulations. Maybe Brad Wall’s a commie? An OIL commie!!!

2. MEANWHILE GLOBAL WARMING FLOODED HUMANITY’S EMERGENCY SEED RESERVES (BUT THEY’RE OKAY FOR NOW) Kind of makes you think we’re at the point where climate change denial is a literal crime against humanity. I mean, the fucking seed reserves. You’d have to be cracked to think that’s not terrifying.

3. TRANSIT UNION SUES TO SAVE STC Is shutting down a Crown privatization? Government says no. Union says yes. Courts will decide.

4. NO SUPPER FOR YOU One in four Nunavut residents doesn’t get enough food and the situation needs national attention, say far-left hippies at the Conference Board Of Canada. “Canada doesn’t think as a country strategically around food. We don’t have a national food policy. We don’t have a national food strategy,” the report’s co-author told CBC. Well I for one support my tax dollars being invested in a public solution.

5. TRUMP SUCKS AT GAMES Good read here on why the President is terrible at getting things done. Politics might be poker but governing is chess.

6. CANADA’S BEST UFO INCIDENT TURNS 50 Read all about it.

7. CHRIS CORNELL OBITUARIES In The Guardian (plus this column on 10 essential songs), The New York Times, Rolling Stone and a bunch of write-ups in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative newspaper. I’m not a grunge guy so let’s keep this simple: here’s maybe Soundgarden’s best-known hit, “Black Hole Sun”.

DA (MNBD): The Saint Of Killers

Daily AggregationHappy noon, Saskatoon! At 12:10 it’s 15°C en route to a high of 17. Sunrise was 5:11 a.m. and sunset is 8:55 for almost 15 hours and 44 minutes of glorious daylight. Would you like news links? Have some news links.

1. DAY OF THE HACKERS Beware, Internet humans: there have been shenanigans.

2. HARASSMENT IN JUSTICE Saskatchewan’s Justice ministry produces the most harassment complaints of any ministry, though very few are investigated.

3. DEPT. OF CORRELATIONS: WARMONGERS HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING NORTH KOREA ON A MAP Interesting if not surprising.

4. CALL IN THE CITIZENS Civilian Review and Complaints Commission chair Ian McPhail says RCMP work culture is broken and needs civilian oversight. I think it’s bad news anytime a police force doesn’t have civilian oversight. Unsafe for the cops working in dysfunctional workplaces.

5. STC WAS SAFE. WILL A PRIVATE SECTOR REPLACEMENT BE? Concerns aplenty.

6. RAPE, MURDER AND MUTILATION IN INDIA Awful.

7. SEGREGATION AND BLOOD PRESSURE African Americans who live in highly segregated U.S. neighbourhoods have higher blood pressure than African Americans who live in more integrated neighbourhoods, a study says. Gonna go out on a limb and guess segregated neighbourhoods correlate with vulnerable communities and their attendant poverty, underfunded schools, inaccessible health care, poor economic opportunities, etc. etc. etc.

8. A PERFECT DINOSAUR DISASTER The asteroid that wiped out Earth’s all-time coolest animals hit the right place at the right time to unleash maximum devastation.

9. RYAN VS. RYAN One of my favourite hockey players is peeved at Anaheim Ducks pest Ryan Kesler. I miss Ryan Johansen being on the Columbus Blue Jackets. The trade for Seth Jones was great for both teams, but still.

PREACHER PROMO The first season had its moments (a violent, bloody and hilarious fight between Jesse, Cassidy the vampire and three unkillable angels was a laugh-out-loud highlight) but it also wandered pointlessly and treated its characters like plot devices rather than, well, coherent characters. So should we watch season two when it starts June 25? I’m undecided, but the trailer is fun.

DA: I Made A Stupid Video

Daily AggregationGood afternoon, Saskatoon! Sunrise was 5:30 a.m., sunset is 8:37 p.m. and and today was 15 hours, seven minutes and 26 seconds long. It’s 24°C right now, which my phone says is as hot as it gets today and I say that’s plenty hot enough.

Yup. Really nice day:

News!

1. BYE, BYE GOOD OL’ SGI, DROVE MY CHEVY TO THE LEVEE BUT INSURANCE WAS TOO HIGH Hot on the heels of the Sask Party’s announcement it could sell off almost half of SaskTel — which would cripple the crown and pave the way for full privatization, no matter what Brad Wall claims — the government says private companies want to buy parts of SGI. That said, stories like this don’t help the case to keep insurance public, which has a duty to be more compassionate than private companies.

2. SASKATCHEWAN LEADS CANADA IN STOPPING POOR PEOPLE FROM HAVING FUNERALS A proud day.

3. SASKATCHEWAN FIDDLES WITH DISABLED TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE Fiddling would be fine but the bottom line is disabled people in care homes will lose $750 million in funding.

4. SASK CROWN CEOS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS TAKE A PIDDLY PAY CUT Whoopdedoo. Look, if you make a six-figure salary you can afford a higher percentage pay cut. Sure, 3.5 per cent of $$566,762 is a proportionally bigger hit than 3.5 per cent of, say $50K, but when you’re making enough money to pay cash for a new car every year you’re not going to suffer from a 10, 15 or even 20 per cent rollback.

5. SASKATCHEWAN’S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER TALKS LIKE AN OIL STOOGE Scott Moe (nice name) says Saskatchewan will never allow a carbon tax. There’s absolutely room for debate on the merits and problems with carbon taxes, but blanket statements like this deserve contempt (especially when they come from a guy with two first names). Read about how a grown-up government fights climate change here.

6. WOW, THE EDMONTON OILERS GAVE WOMEN’S WASHROOMS TO MEN Garbage. And this from a team whose owner is tangled up in a cash-for-sex lawsuit. Female fans should sue the Oilers, the league and the City Of Edmonton (which put $131 million toward Rogers Place and is the official owner) for sex discrimination. Seriously.

7. U.S. CONGRESS PASSES AFFORDABLE CARE ACT SABOTAGE BILL BY A FOUR-VOTE MARGIN Story here. Next step: the Senate. Good luck with that.

8. SHOULD SIDNEY CROSBY RETIRE? Yup, says Keith Primeau. These concussions are ridiculous. The NHL needs to widen rinks to accomodate today’s bigger, faster and stronger players.

9. PRINCE PHILIP CLEARS HIS SCHEDULE Queen Elizabeth’s husband is retiring at 95. Also, Queen Elizabeth’s husband is still alive at 95.

HERE’S A STUPID I was bored and made a dumb cell phone video about how Prairie Dog functions. Or is that dysfunctions?

DA: Happy World Press Freedom Day

Daily AggregationHey Saskatoon it’s Wednesday afternoon! The heat’s peaking right now at a balmy 17°C, but that’s nothing compared to the weather on deck: more than a week of sunny and mostly sunny days with highs as high as 27°C. Now that’s high! Maybe too high. Onward to news.

1. BOOM BUNGLERS AND CROWN KILLERS Well well well, what a frickin’ surprise. After vowing to not sell off crowns without a referendum, Brad Wall and his Saskatchewan Party government has met with Bell, Rogers and Telus about selling 49 per cent of SaskTel, which will raise everyone’s phone/internet bills, send Saskatchewan profits to telecom shareholders, wipe out good local jobs, cripple the ability of future Sask governments to fund needed programs and, most hilariously, open the door for a lucky MLA or two to land cushy post-political careers on telecom boards of directors like when former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon privatized the Manitoba Telephone System then took a job on its board of directors. Wall and his cronies must think you’re really stupid and you’ll go along with this without a fuss. Prove him wrong. And be funny and peaceful about it because John Gormley doesn’t need you giving him material to smear Sask Party critics with.

2. SASKATOON COURIER WANTS TO TAKE OVER FOR STC So what, we should cheer? That’s how privatization and cuts to public services work —the private sector gobbles-up the profitable bits of a dismembered public entity, and the money-losing services either aren’t provided at all or governments have to step in after the dust settles and fork over subsidies to private companies to keep unprofitable services alive. Along the way, good jobs die and big-money investors profit. Personally I’d rather have a few dopey failures like Spudco than the destruction of public services. YMMD.

3. FBI BOSS IS JUST SICK ABOUT IT James Comey’s admission that the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton’s e-mails put Trump in the White House, but the FBI director would play it the same way again.

4. BIGOTS AGAINST BODIES Turns out it’s legal for U.S. funeral homes to reject LGBTQ people’s corpses. Appalling.

5. HAPPY WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY! Here’s a column on the threat of an apathetic public, a story on persecuted cartoonists and an editorial on the need for Canada to guarantee press freedoms. Want to read more about the state of journalism? Check out Reporters Without Borders. Want to buy hard-working and often unappreciated journalists a present today? Subscribe to an online newspaper. The media can’t exist without you.

You can support Planet S here.

Here’s a classic scene with some of my favourite fictional reporters at one of my favourite fictional newsrooms. Happy World Press Freedom Day!

DA: Maudie

Daily AggregationGood afternoon Saskatoon! How’s it going? According to my cell phone’s weather app, it’s 11°C with a high of 13 later. A source who doesn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals describes the day as “not bad, grey,” adding, “but the sun’s starting to peek out.” #Journalism.

Sunrise today was at 5:33 a.m. while sunset is at 8:34 and HELLO, that means we’re in the magical land of 15 hours of daylight, which continues until Aug. 9, HUZZAH. Peak daylight is 16 hours, 45 minutes on June 20 and 21, by the way.

1. SASK STUDENTS PROTEST BUDGET CUTS As they should.

2. “IT JUST MAKES YOUR HEAD SPIN” Weed will soon be legal but cops are still busting the people selling it, blah.

3. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: CANADA IS OUT OF THE TOP 20 COUNTRIES Well this isn’t good at all. Spying on journalists and police interference is unacceptable. The Toronto Star has a peeved editorial here.

4. NDP LEADERSHIP RACE BEGINS Will the party get it right this time? We’ll have an idea on May 6, 2018.

5. TEXAS COPS SHOOT AND KILL A 15-YEAR-OLD BLACK KID AND LIE ABOUT IT Police said they fired at a car that was backing towards them. It wasn’t, and now a kid’s dead.

6. PLAGIARISM IS THE NEW BLACK Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen lifted parts of a speech by eliminated Republican candidate François Fillon. She says it was a tribute. Or maybe she’s just a nasty dope who hired plagiarism monkeys for speechwriters?

7. A 12-YEAR OLD WAS BOOTED FROM A CHESS TOURNAMENT FOR WEARING A “TOO SEDUCTIVE ” DRESS Hopefully whoever’s responsible for this creepy, moralizing stupidity is banned from being around children.

8. CROSBY IS CONCUSSED The Hart Trophy nominee is out against the Capitals in game 4 after a nasty Alex Ovechkin slash and a probably-not-malicious-but-devastating cross check by Matt Niskanen. Not good for hockey.

DO YOU LIKE SWEET, QUIRKY ROMANTIC MOVIES ABOUT NOVA SCOTIA ARTISTS? CHECK OUT MAUDIE I caught it last night and it’s a sweetheart of a movie,  based on the life of actual folk artist Maud Lewis. It’s at the (theatre formerly known as the) Galaxy this week. You can read more about Maudie and Lewis here and here. How often do you get to see a biopic about an amazing Canadian artist married to a door-to-door fish salesman? 4/5 Prairie Dogs. See it!

DA: Remember The Matrix

Daily AggregationHappy May! We’re one-third of the way through the year. We “MAY”-d it! HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW. Anyway, the high today is 13°C and the overnight low is 1°C. It’s 10°C right now ( 12:39 p.m.). Sunrise was at 5:35 a.m., sunset is 8:32 p.m. and total daytime is 14 hours and 56 minutes. Let’s see what the Internet says is going on today…

1. MAY DAY VIOLENCE IN FRANCE The upcoming final round of the French election has emboldened thugs, who are running amok. Here’s more May Day news from around the world.

2. TEXAS PHONE COMPANY PROFITS OFF SASK PRISONERS Ick. Also, couldn’t SaskTel handle this, and keep the, ick, profits, and jobs, in Sask?

3. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE IS A TOP-FIVE PROBLEM The Workers Compensation Board says it’s the fifth-highest cause of workplace injuries. You can read more here.

4. WHO NEEDS TO TAKE A BUS SOMEWHERE WHEN YOU CAN TAKE A WEBSITE, WAIT, WHAT? Read about a comically inadequate “solution” for Saskatchewan’s soon-to-be-idiotically-devastated transportation infrastructure.

5. OIL BOSSES OPPOSE LEGAL WEED Dicks. Come on, no one thinks employees should be allowed to work while blazed just like no one thinks workers should be drunk. But what workers legally do for fun in their off-hours isn’t a company’s business. Oil companies don’t own their workers.

6. THE NORTHERN TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM ENDS NORTEP is done as its last class graduates in LaRonge. People are sad.

7. WARM WATERS There’s a good chance we’ll get an El Nino event this year. Again. Let’s hear it for hurricanes, blizzards and record temperatures!

8. CAUCASIAN MALE SHOOTS UP SAN DIEGO POOL PARTY “He had his beer in one hand and his gun in the other,” said one witness. One woman was killed. The victims were Black and Hispanic. The shooter was killed by police. The beer wasn’t identified. Theories/guesses in the comments.

9. SASK DOCTORS PRESCRIBE HELMETS For cyclists.

10. ALBERTA NDP GOVERNMENT KEEPS TABS ON FOI REQUESTS. Tsk. Wonder if the Sask Party does this? Can’t imagine them not.

11. “A GAUNTLET OF ENEMIES OF THE IMAGINATION” Music legend Nick Cave says he’s not going to write any more movie scripts because Hollywood is stultifying. I’m still sad his Gladiator 2 idea never saw movie screens. If you’re going to write a sequel to a movie that isn’t built for one, you’ve gotta think outside the box. Way outside.

12. “A WRECKING BALL RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE” Trump and the environment.

VIDEO: ONE REASON THE MATRIX WAS REALLY GOOD I enjoyed this video essay on the film’s scene-to-scene transitions. Recommended for fans of the movie and film in general.

DA: Hugh Jackman’s Escape Claws

Daily Aggregation1. EUROBANKERS BEFORE FASCISTS, I GUESS France’s presidential reality show is down to two finalists: the tax-cutting, regulation-loosening business-boostering “but he’s a centrist!” finance dude, and Madame Mussolini. On May 7, will find out whether neoliberal Emmanuel Macron or anti-immigrant Trump fan Marine Le Pen will be president. Wheeeeeeeee.

2. SASKATOON MARCHES FOR SCIENCE I liked Mark Bigland-Pritchard’s call for scientifically literate journalists, which seems like an opportunity to remind everyone they can support our scientifically literate stories (such as this one) by subscribing to Prairie Dog. The more support we get, the more we can do. Simple as that. As for the big Washington march: here’s a wrap-up, here’s a short essay on science’s politics problem and here’s another story because I like things that come in threes, especially when the third thing is Bill Nye.

3. POUNDMAKER’S PIPE It’s in the British Museum. Huh.

4. FREE LAND The Saskatchewan government fought hard to keep its payment from CP for land secret, and, well, I guess now we know why.

5. UNHAPPY DAY Happy Days star Erin Moran has passed away at 56. 🙁

FAREWELL TO HUGH The hilarious goofballs at How It Should’ve Ended made a surprisingly touching short about Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine (good movie, bye the way). If you’ve seen Logan, check this out. If you haven’t, well, go see it, and THEN watch this.