DA: Einstein The Parrot

Daily AggregationHappy afternoon, Saskatoon! It’s a gorgeous day, 13°C, with hours left before sunset (7:48 p.m.). How about some news? I found this on the Internet for you…

1. EFFICIENCY IS MAGIC Worried about the epic devastation caused by budget cuts? You can stop. The government will fix everything with changes to the Education Act. Phew!

2. LIBRARY LAMENT Provincial cuts to library funding are devastating. Here’s the Saskatoon situation. This is what we get from a bunch of boom bungling politicians, I guess.

3. ENTER THE APP WayToPark lets Saskatoon drivers pay for parking with their cellphones. Sounds civilized.

4. PROTESTS FOR COLTEN BOUSHIE CONTINUE The RCMP have scaled back their presence outside North Battlefield’s provincial court after demonstrators called it “intimidating”: “[The RCMP is] protecting who, and from what exactly? That’s not clear to us, especially with the history my family’s had thus far with the RCMP,” Boushie’s cousin told CBC. Good question.

5. “ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT” Canada ranks 10 out of 16 “peer countries” on a Conference Board Of Canada report. Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which a certain nasty ex-Prime Minister dismissed as “northern European welfare states”, rock, as usual. Also, the United States is hilariously disastrous on the Income Inequality chart.

6. WELCOME BACK BRIAN, I GUESS Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal will gather ’round the cabinet table for a special performance from Canada’s favourite former prime minister, Lyin’ Brian Mulroney. The sad thing is, ol’ “envelopes stuffed with bills” probably has useful insights. Sigh.

7. CELL PHONE SPY DEVICES DISCOVERED AT MONTREAL AIRPORT Who’s behind it? Nobody’s taking responsibility.

8. BANNON BOOTED President Donald Jerkwad Trump has removed his political adviser, former Breitbart boss Steve Bannon, from the National Security Council. Trump’s administration continues to be an unprecedented shambles.

9. WHO GASSED CIVILIANS? Russia and Syria say it was Syrian rebels but pretty much everyone else says it was the Syrian regime. I’ll put my nickel on the latter. If Bashir al Assad had retired to Moscow after the 2011 mass protests the country wouldn’t be rubble and 470,000 people would still be alive. The brutality seems never-ending. Monstrous.

A PARROT TURNS 30 AND IT IS CUTE Here’s Einstein, the Knoxville Zoo’s smartypants African Grey parrot. Squawk!

DA: The Non-Hats Of Men

Daily AggregationGood afternoon Saskatoon! While I’m sitting here listening to “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats and sniffling through unwelcome springtime sniffles, it’s 12°C outside. Sunset tonight is at 7:44, which is lovely. News!

1. PRELIMINARY HEARING FOR COLTEN BOUSHIE’S KILLER Started today, could go on for a week. At issue: will Gerald Stanley go on trial for shooting Colton Boushie in the head, or was the shooting self-defence? Background here.

2. OTTAWA PHONES ARE BEING MONITORED Parties unknown!

3. BYELECTON MONDAY Voting is happening; none of it here.

4. BRAD WALL’S POP DROPS He’s still pretty darn popular, though.

5. RUSSIAN SUBWAY EXPLOSION KILLS 11 It was caused by an “unidentified explosive device”.

6. TODAY’S REASON TO HATE GARY BETTMAN NHL players won’t be  in the 2018 Olympics. To be fair, it doesn’t sound like the International Olympic Committee did enough to make this happen. Story here.

8. TRUMP VOTERS: BLIND HOPE AND IRRATIONAL, SELF-DESTRUCTIVE LOYALTY Possibly a small consolation for the millions of Americans who will be harmed by the Donald Trump presidency and Republican House and Senate: the people who voted for him will pay for it too. Not that they’ll stop supporting him.

9. SPEAKING OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS Stephen King has always had insight into American psychologies, so when he writes about his imaginary roundtable with made-up Trump supporters it’s worth reading.

10. EVERYONE LIKES DINOSAURS Looks like the fact that dinosaurs are cool is the one thing conservatives and the rest of us can agree on. As long as they don’t share their dumb opinions on the earth’s age.

WE CAN DANCE! WE CAN DANCE! Everything’s out of control!

DA: The Handmaiden’s Jorge

Daily AggregationHappy happy afternoon, Saska-Saska-Saskatoon! It’s 6°C at 2:52 p.m., down from a high of 7°. Sunset tonight is at 7:27. The next time I write a blog post it’ll be waaay after 7:30. All right, let’s aggregate.

1. STC FALLOUT: STRANDED WITH CANCER The most compelling reason shutting down the Saskatchewan Transportation Company is stupid and vicious? The 300 rural cancer patients who took STC buses to Saskatoon are out of luck. #BradBotchedTheBoom

2. LIBRARIES CUT TO RIBBONS The StarPhoenix reports most library districts face funding cuts between 50 and 60 per cent. Ugly. #BradBotchedTheBoom

3. TRENT WOTHERSPOON, QP BADASS? The interim NDP leader was kicked out of yesterday’s Question Period because he called the budget deceitful Wotherspoon refuses to apologize. #BradBotchedTheBoom

4. SASKATOON COUNCIL MEETS TO TALK BUDGET With essential Saskatoon institutions like libraries and the University of Saskatoon taking big budget hits IO imagine they’ll have a lot to discuss. #BradBotchedTheBook

5. I THINK THIS IS THE BEST MURRAY MANDRYK COLUMN I’VE EVER READ Murray Mandryk says:

“Sask. Party MLAs, you just raised taxes by nearly a billion bucks a year by gouging kids’ clothes and restaurant meals. You just fired 574 people. You just took away your own voters’ buses — buses used by sick, old, rural people and farmers needing parts. Hell, you won’t even pay for the funerals of those who in their whole life didn’t save enough money to buy their own coffins.”

Good stuff. Mr. Mandryk’s utter contempt for arrogance has always been one of his best qualities.

6. THE GREAT GRASSLAND SELL-OFF The Sask Party is selling 51 provincial community pastures. says Trevor Harriet:

“Among our large provinces and territories (i.e. excluding the Maritimes), Saskatchewan already leads the nation in the ratio of private land to public. Across Canada, 11% of land is privately owned. In B.C. 7% of land is private. In Alta, 30%. Saskatchewan is at 40% but south of the boreal forest in this province the figure is 80% and rising. In fact, believe it or not, by 1980 24% of all privately held land in Canada was in Saskatchewan[i]—almost all of it in the Prairie Ecozone. And now we are adding more?”

7. NO MORE CANADA SAVINGS BONDS The famous investment bonds won’t be sold anymore and CBC has an excellent and interesting story on it.

8. HOUSE OF COMMONS PASSES ISLAMOPHOBIA MOTION Good. Although I fear places like, say, the comically Islamophobic Facebook page The Republic Of Western Canada might be losing their minds right now…

9. TODAY IN AMERICA DON’T WORK NO MORE From the Washington Post: “The decision means the ACA remains in place, and a major GOP campaign promise goes unfulfilled. It also casts doubt on the Republican Party’s ability to govern and to advance other high-stakes agenda items, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan is still without a signature achievement as speaker — and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward.” LOL.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE There’s a new trailer for the new Hula adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian book The Handmaid’s Tale. It looks horrifying. On the bright side, if you look closely you might catch a glimpse of Prairie Dog film critic Jorge Castillo, who’s onscreen for about a second in the background of a crowd shot. Yup, really!

DA: Filth City

Daily AggregationHappy noon, Saskatoon! it’s -2 now, but in a mere 10 degrees it’ll be plus-8. Woo! Sunrise was 7:03, inching toward that 7 a.m. barrier! The sun will set this evening at 7:23, and since it’ll be around 5 degrees out it might be a nice time for an after dinner walk. But that’s up to you: it’s you’re life! The only one you’ve got. Wow that was so deep. News!

1. IT’S BUDGET DAY, ARE YOU EXCITED? Read the CBC, StarPhoenix and CJME.

2. IT’S ALSO FEDERAL BUDGET DAY CBC, Toronto Star, Globe And Mail.

3. THE NATIONAL POST SUCKS I was going to put in a National Post link but since the paper just ran an utterly irresponsible (not to mention pompous) column that’s skeptical of human-caused climate change, to hell with it. The only reason anyone still argues about climate change is money. There’s infinite money to be made in fossil fuels. Gotta keep drilling, which means the petro-stooges and their idiotic, radicalized followers will keep arguing with/discrediting/harassing climate scientists forever. Scientists say last year was the warmest on record, by the way. Yay!

4. TERRORIST ATTACK IN LONDON People dead and injured, suspect shot.

5. PREDATORY ONLINE MISOGYNY Thug hacker lectures victim on morality, demands sex video.

6. PRESS FREEDOM VS. RCMP: COURT ORDERS VICE JOURNALIST TO FORK OVER INFO Fight not over.

Stumbled across the trailer for an upcoming movie today. Looks fun! Seems weirdly familiar, somehow.

DA: Ultimate Desk Lunch

Daily AggregationWell hellooooooooo Saskatooooon! According to multiple reports, it’s -3 in Saskatoon right now on a day that’s going to get up to a balmy 0 degrees. You wanna know about sunrise-sunset stuff? Sunrise was 7:06 and sunset will be at 7:22. Here’s a pile of links I found lying around my desk. They might have some sesame seeds on them from my lunch bagel. Sorry.

1. ‘RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS WERE REALLY BAD’: ANGLICANS A Conservative senator who’s sad because no one ever says nice things about residential schools (!!!!!) is corrected on the true horror of Canada’s colonial history.

2. TEACHERS WORRY ABOUT THE PROVINCIAL BUDGET Well yes, they probably should be. From welshing on contract agreements to hamstringing school boards to cutting back on teacher’s aides to their weird, un-factual obsession with standardized tests, this government has a history of incompetence toward education.

3. LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE Mayor Charlie Clark is optimistic on the eve of the first provincial budget of his mayoralty.

4. ‘YAY SALES TAX’: GORMLEY SHOW ECONOMIST  Uh huh. Economist Ian Lee, who ran for the post-Mulroney PCs in 1993, also criticized environmentalists on The Rebel and argued against banked sick days so I’m not sure we should embrace his opinions on what are widely viewed as regressive taxes that make the rich richer.

5. MILLIONS FOR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE Seems like one of those things you wanna spend money on.

6. EX-HARPER SPOKESMAN APOLOGIZES FOR LIBELING MUSLIM GROUP Here’s a reminder that Stephen Harper’s government and right-wing media nurtured Islamophobia in this country.

7. CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE ACCUSATIONS: NO PROOF FROM BERNIER What a idiot jamboree this thing is.

8. TRAVELLING MUSLIM iPAD BAN Another day, another stupid new rule in Trump’s dumb, bigoted America, and oh crap Canada might do this too.

9. CONSISTENCY IS THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS A conservative hobgoblin says something almost rational (but still dumb) about gun rights and abortion rights and is immediately eaten alive by her shitty political team. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

10. COSPLAYERS HACK SPIDER-MAN’S SQUINTY EYES Cool.

11. FINALLY, A USE FOR ABANDONED MISSILE BASES They make great homes for cute giant pythons! (Yes I know invasive Burmese pythons are an ecological calamity. They’re still cute.)

YOUR DESK LUNCH IS PATHETIC Here’s how you make a desk lunch, courtesy “walking recipe from Mars” Miss Xiaoye,  via Kottke.

DA: Springtime On Sesame Street

Daily AggregationGood afternoon and happy spring! The sun was up at 7:00 this morning and it’s staying up until 7:12 and that’s obviously fantastic for everyone’s psychological well-being. The high today is 1 and the low tonight is who cares, it’s spring! Here’s some slow-aggregated news. Shoulda posted it earlier but who cares, it’s spring!

1. BRAD WALL DISCOVERS RESOURCE REVENUES ARE VOLATILE Saskatchewan’s premier posted a pre-budget video on Facebook this morning. Will the sales tax go up while income taxes drop? Sounds like it. The provincial budget comes down tomorrow.

2. BOB DYLAN: COMING TO SASKATOON! Also, Moose Jaw.

3. R. WOLFE, CHILD PORNOGRAPHER A Saskatoon man pleads guilty to a megaheinous crime.

4. YOUTUBE CENSORS TEGAN AND SARA? The service’s restricted mode disproportionately filters out LGBTQ content apparently.

5. NO EVIDENCE OBAMA ORDERED TRUMP TOWER BUGGED That was nonsense anyway. That Trump campaign/Russia scheming, on the other hand

6. “I NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE FROM HERE BEFORE I SERVE YOU” In Huntington Beach, California, a now-fired server demanded proof of citizenship from four Latina customers. Trump Derangement Syndrome strikes again.

7. NO RESPECTABLE REPUBLICANS Here’s a good, angry long read on the connection between movement conservatism and the Trump budget. Given that Canada’s own national Conservative party gives a platform to the viciously dumb ideas of people like Kellie Leitch, it’s a relevant read for this country, too.

8. CHUCK BERRY, BERNIE WRIGHTSON, ROWAN ATKINSON Dead, dead, not dead. Also: genius, genius, genius.

9. COUNTDOWN TO BREXT The United Kingdom will trigger article 50 before the end of this month. Good job, idiots!

10. WHY DO MALE JOURNALISTS ASSUME THE WOMEN THEY INTERVIEW ARE FLIRTING WITH THEM? Well actually (lol) you could take the word “journalist” out of that sentence and it would still be accurate.

11. WHAT IS A SPRING? A hard-hitting Boston Globe investigation reveals all.

SPEAKING OF SPRINGTIME Who remembers this one?

DA: The Eighth Wonder Of The World

Daily AggregationHappy afternoon, Saskatoon! It’s minus-19 (samsies with Regina!) and the oracles have foreseen a minus-17 high coming at us late afternoon. Tonight will be minus-22. Sunset remains on the preferred side of 7 p.m., happening at 7:03 to be specific. In just over a month it’ll be setting after eight. In just over a week, the days will be longer than nights, which is awwwwwwwwsome! Now pull up a chair and let’s news!

1. HEALTH CARE: DEALS, DEALS, DEALS Alberta, Quebec and Ontario sign health care funding agreements with the feds. Saskatchewan signed its deal in January.

2. A NEW WAY TO PAY, HOORAY Are you a person who likes to park? Do you have a cellphone? Well then, you’ll want to read this right here.

3. MLA AND PUBLIC SERVANT PAY FIGHT CONTINUES The NDP and Sask Party are not getting along.

4. EMPTY APARTMENT CITY Saskatoon’s rental vacancy rate is a staggering 15 per cent. Normal is around three per cent. On the bright side, rents are coming down. That’s a damn good bright side.

5. MORON POT BUST Here’s a long read on yesterday’s ridiculous, waste-of-time-and-money Toronto police-led national weed dispensary raids. Legalize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. BOMBARDIER BOY BAGGED IN BIG BRIBERY BUST Evegeny Pavlov, who works for the Canadian aerospace company possibly best known for its trough-slurping, is being held in Sweden.

7. DOES THE CONVENIENT-FOR-TRUMP WIKILEAK ABOUT THE CIA’S HACKING POWER SERVE RUSSIAN INTERESTS? So we have to choose whether we’re on Team CIA or Team KGB? Wheee, I love 21st century geopolitics. Anyway, something to read and ponder.

8. OLD MASTER, NEW ART New Goya etchings have been found, holy smokes. Goya is one of the all-time greats.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND It’s getting decent reviews and it looks like fun. Gotta love the king!

DA: The World Is Round

Daily AggregationHappy nooner, Saskatooner! It’s, uh, minus-21 with a minus-29 windchill. That’s the bad news. The good news: sunset is 7:01 tonight, breaking the 7 p.m. barrier! Wooo!

1. “KINDLY AND WELL-INTENTIONED MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR DESCENDANTS” Conservative senator Lynn Beyak defends residential schools. SMH.

2. MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS ARRESTED Opinion: this is a waste of police time and resources. Theory: it’s happening now either to appease a U.S. government that hates weed, or because weed-haters are emboldened by the Trump regime. Regardless, it seems stupid. Legalize weed!

3. FIRE ON THE REZ The Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation lost its second residence to fire this week.

4. GOAT YOGA??? Goat yoga!

5. U.S. EPA BOSS SAYS CARBON DIOXIDE ISN’T THE MAIN CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE This is factually incorrect. He’s incompetent. He should lose his job.

6. TRUMP’S ECO-VANDALISM The most anti-environment U.S. president ever plans to slash funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Sea Grant program, which studies and protect coastlines. The worst part about political/ideological attacks like this: good, smart people must waste time defending their important work instead of doing that work.

7. THE EARTH IS ROUND, LIKE A BASKETBALL This is from a while back but I just read about it: NBA dribble-king Kyrie Irving believes the earth is flat:

“For what I’ve known for as many years and what I’ve been taught is that the Earth is round, but I mean, if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that, can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets and stuff like this … It doesn’t come back. There is no concrete information except for the information that they’re giving us.”

It used to be fun to mock ignorance (okay it’s still fun) but since we live in an age of climate change denial, political repression of scientists and alternative facts we have to take batshit statements from public figures, even athletes, seriously. That’s why I like this rebuttal from psychology prof Craig A. Foster. Says Foster:

“United States residents might think the idea of a flat Earth is so absurd that it could never become a serious political concern. They shouldn’t. Science educators fight this type of battle daily. The scientific evidence that the Earth is billions of years old is nearly as convincing as the evidence that the Earth is round. The United States has a vice president and several other politicians who nevertheless believe in a “young Earth” or are unwilling to contradict the idea publicly.”

Check it out. And remember: the earth is round, like a basketball—or if you prefer a more literary metaphor, an orange.

 

DA: International Women’s Day

Daily AggregationHappy International Women’s Day, Saskatoon! At At quarter to one it’s an icy tundra of suck at minus-18 with a minus-27 windchill. The high is minus 17, bleccch, while the low is minus-25, double-bleccch. Today’s sunrise was at 7:36 while sunset is at 6:59, sayyy. On to news!

1. IT’S INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!! Here’s Planet S‘s feature. More? Okay! Women world-wide are being asked to go on strike—here’s the story on CBC and in the The Washington Posta Guardian live-blog, and a quartet of Al Jazeera stories on women in Gaza, South African grandmothers, the world’s female leaders past and present and of course the requisite global overview. Vice has a piece on climate change and women here, and Vox has a story on U.S. President Womanhater’s resurrection of the women’s health funding ban. Here in Canada? The Liberal federal government just announced $650 million in international funding for women’s sexual and reproductive health—something, it should be remembered, we’d never get from a Conservative government because Conservatives in 2017 are the party that panders to extremists who want to restrict women’s reproductive rights (hi Brad Trost, how’s the leadership bid coming along?). So if you want to bash Liberals (and we all do sometimes!), maybe bash ’em for not giving us a national child care program (which BTW we’d also never, ever, ever, ever see from 21st-century Canadian Conservatives who, did I mention, pander to extremists?).

2. RALLY AT THE MARBLE PALACE Public workers are protesting expected cuts.

3. SASK NDP FIGHTS WANTS DEEPER CUTS TO POLITICAL SALARIES AND DEMANDS A PLAN THAT ISN’T JUST SLASH-AND-BURN “We don’t want to be a rubber stamp or seen to be helping this government force a wage cut on the people,” says MLA David Forbes.

4. YESTERDAY’S BLIZZARD Intense.

5. POACHERS KILL A WHITE RHINO IN A FRENCH ZOO Pure evil. Attacks on endangered world heritage wildlife are top-tier crimes and international incidents and, if I were the boss of things, grounds for full-scale war with South-East Asia. I might not be sane on this subject. I’m Chinese criminal court levels of “justice by firing squad” when it comes to rhino poachers.

6. “URGENTLY LOOKING INTO THE MATTER” The big tech companies respond to the big Wikileaks news about the CIA getting into people’s cellphones. Oh! And televisions.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!! Rawkaroll!

DA: 100 People Party Planet

Daily AggregationGood morning Toontown, what’s going down? Little windy out there, huh? It’s minus-13 with a snow situation and very pushy -24 windchills. You have until 6:57 p.m. today to get your affairs in order, at which point the sun will set and you have to go to bed (I don’t make the rules!). Hey! Here’s some news I found on the Internet for us to read together. Fun!!!

1. THIS WEATHER! Did I mention? Windy! Snowy! Eeek!

2. SASKATCHEWAN IS BACK IN SESSION The Legislature is sitting again and yesterday was the first day of spring session. And what a day it was! Brad Wall won’t sell SaskTel! Don Morgan has fresh ideas* to stop impaired driving! New MLA Ryan Meili is the NDP shadow critic for poverty! Out of province political donations are destroying democracy! Exciting times.

3. DEALS WITH DRAGONS Can Canada have closer economic ties to China when China is a human rights shitshow? First step: consultations!

4. DEPORTING CANADIANS You might be a fuck-up, but if you’ve lived in Canada all six decades of your life you’re OUR fuck-up. Meanies disagree.

5. TRUMPCARE The diabolical dummies release their dumb anti-Planned Parenthood Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan. Douchebags. I like Tom Tomorrow’s take.

6. WAIT, THE CIA HAS THE ABILITY TO GET INTO CELL PHONES? No way.

7. INCRIMINATING USE OF A FOUR-POUND HAMMER After two sleeping homeless people had their heads bashed in, Las Vegas police arrested a fellow who beat the shit out of a mannequin’s head. The mannequin was posing as a sleeping homeless person. “I knew it was a mannequin,” says hammer guy. Uh huh.

WORLD OF 100 What would it look like if the planet’s population was represented by only 100 people? Video swiped from the always excellent Kottke.