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Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday's Ride - 1968 Dodge Charger RT For Sale

Buh-Bye Loser

Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence Compiled

The Tyee's full, updated list of 70 Harper government assaults on democracy and the law.

ephen Harper and his Conservatives have racked up dozens of serious abuses of power since forming government in 2006. From scams to smears, monkey-wrenching opponents to intimidating public servants like an Orwellian gorilla, some offences are criminal, others just offend human decency.

Last week we published 59 examples in two parts, and asked our readers to suggest any we may have missed. Among the many suggestions we gratefully received, we concluded that 11 more meet the criteria for "abuses of power." Today we compile all 70 items into one omnibus of abuse by the Stephen Harper government.
This list is now also available as a tablet-friendly pdf which you can download for free here Thanks, once more, to friends of The Tyee who help with this list.
This section includes examples of willful misgoverning by the PM and his team, 31 times they have lied, flouted rules and stymied democracy to achieve political and ideological ends.
PMO Tied to Senate Hush Money Scandal
An RCMP affidavit reported widespread involvement by PMO staffers in a secret payment to Senator Mike Duffy to try and make a political problem go away. The Senate expenses scandal brought on allegations of a cover-up, abreach of the public trust, and a whitewashing of a Senate report. The PMO was found to have hand in the altering of a damning Deloitte audit.
Harper Found in Contempt of Parliament
For refusing to disclose information on the costing of programs to Parliament, which Parliament was entitled to receive, the Harper government became the first in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament.
Against Court Order, Refusal to Share Budget Info
Even though it lost a court case and was ordered to comply, the Harper government nevertheless refused to share 170 times reasons and impacts for cuts with Canada's independent budget watchdog, mocking Parliament's right to control the public purse.

Just a reminder

Nine stupid things the Harper government spent tax dollars on

Since the Conservative prime minister came into power in 2006, his government has been harshly criticized for gutting federal science libraries, speeding massive omnibus bills through parliament, and making legendary cuts to support for veterans.

In the lead-up to the 2015 federal election, Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver has been scrutinized for his expensive travels. In the last nine years, the federal government has also come under fire for partisan promotion, and a number of odd investments. In no particular order, here is a list of nine strange things on which the Harper government has spent taxpayer dollars.

1. The fake lake

The Harper government has long been in hot water for building a $2-million tourism pavilion at the 2010 G8/G20 summit media centre in Toronto, which infamously included a ‘fake lake’ that simulates Ontario’s cottage country. The Conservatives spent a record $1.1 billion hosting the events, including $160 million in hospitality, food, security, and infrastructure bills.
The expenditures were labelled “obscene,” “unprecedented,” and a “poor example” of government spending.
Then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff criticized the prime minister in the House of Commons: “Canadians wanted leadership, and all they got was a fake lake."

Yet another reminder of Conservative taxpayer abuse

Conservative MPs rack up highest travel costs for taxpayers

National Observer review of public expenditure records between 2013 and 2015 shows that Conservative MPs spent more on travel than their opposition counterparts.

While the Conservative Party's website states that since 2006 "the Harper Conservative Government has replaced the old Liberal culture of entitlement," travel records from Conservative MPs indicate otherwise.
For instance, Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism,billed taxpayers $7,367 for a plane trip to Calgary and Edmonton in February 2015.
He racked up a total bill of $8,430 from the public purse from that trip alone, spending an additional $252 for 'other transport,' $587 for accommodation, $118 on meals and incidentals, and $105 on other unspecified expenses, according to figures from Industry Canada's website.
But not all Conservatives are high fliers. Conservative Health Minister Rona Ambrose billed only $649 for her trip to Vancouver in 2015, and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford has consistently travelled across the country for under $2,000.

Designated travellers

Members of Parliament are allowed to designate one person as their "designated traveller," usually a non-dependent family member. Of all parties, Conservatives have the highest percentage of spenders on family travel between Ottawa and their constituencies.
Defense Minister Jason Kenney once billed $6,000 to fly his mother from Calgary to Ottawa, but after being called out by writer Kevin Grandia on Twitter, he promised to pay for her ticket himself in future.
Kenney’s spokesperson Daniel Proussalidis said that when the minister learned of the cost of the ticket in question, he removed his family member from Parliament’s Designated Traveller Registry and now pays for such family travel costs personally.
“During his tenure as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Kenney has used the House of Commons Designated Traveller policy to be accompanied by a family member less than once a year, far below the average for all Parliamentarians. The booking in question was made by a travel agency for an immediate family member to attend Mr. Kenney's ministerial swearing-in ceremony," said Proussalidis in an emailed statement on Sept. 25. "Notice of the event came at the last minute, when only higher cost fares were available. Mr. Kenney was not aware of the cost of the flight, and would not have authorized it had he been made aware."

Leonard Cohen - Democracy

Thanks Ivan

Mrs Brown's Mischievous Call - Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Specials - BBC...

Thanks Maria

The Head and the Heart - All We Ever Knew [Official Music Video]

A Modern Day Parable

 A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (General Motors decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

> On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

> The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

> Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

> Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

> The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

> Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India

> Sadly, the End.

> Sad, but oh so true! Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. Toyota has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US

> The last quarter's results:

> Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads.


Thanks Randy

20 intelligent questions and answers!

Does olive oil prevent heart disease? 
Short answer: Yes
The health benefits of olive oil come from the presence of polyphenols, antioxidants That reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancers. 
But to get these healthy compounds, consumers should buy good-quality, fresh "extra-virgin" olive oil, 
which has the highest polyphenol content. Most commercially available olive oils have
low levels of polyphenols associated with poor harvesting methods, improper storage, and heavy processing.
Do cough syrups work? 
Short answer: No 

In 2006, the 
nation's chest physicians agreed
 that the majority of over-the-counter cough medicines don't actually work. 
These colourful syrups typically contain doses of codeine and dextromethorphan that are too small to be effective. 
Only cough suppressants that contain older antihistamines seem to relieve coughs. 
That includes brompheniramine, an active ingredient in Dimetapp. 
Do sugary soft drinks lead to diabetes? 
Short answer: Yes 

The majority of health research is 
stacked against sugar-sweetened soda
A large 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women 
who drank one or more sugary drinks per day increased their risk of developing type 
2 diabetes by 83% compared to those who consumed less than one of these beverages per month. 
Do I need sunscreen with more than 30 SPF? Short answer: No 

Sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 block about 97% of ultraviolet rays, 
While sunscreens with an SPF of higher than 30 block 97%-98%. 
It's more important that you choose "broad-spectrum" sunscreen, meaning it protects against both UVB and UVA rays. 
Sunbathers also need to apply a 
generous amount of sunscreen
 in order to get the full benefit of the SPF. 
Is the MSG in Chinese likely to give you a headache? 
Short answer: No 

A review of 40 years of clinical trials, published in the 
journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2006
found that all previous research "failed to identify a consistent relationship between the 
consumption of MSG and the constellation of symptoms that comprise the syndrome," including headaches and asthma attacks. 
The misconception spawned from several poorly-done small studies in the 1960's that 
seemed to connect MSG with a variety of maladies that people experienced after eating at Chinese restaurants.
Learn more about the MSG myth here » 
Do nuts make you fat? 
Short answer: No 

As much as 75% of a nut is fat. But eating fat doesn't necessarily make you fat. 
The bigger factor leading to weight gain is portion-size. 
Luckily, nuts are loaded with healthy fats that keep you full. They're also a good source of protein and fiber. 
One study even found that 
whole almonds have 20% less calories
 than previously thought because 
A lot of the fat is excreted from the body. 
Is walking as effective as running? 
Short answer: Yes 

Studies have shown that how long you exercise — and thus how many calories you burn — is more important <Than how hard you exercise. Running is a more efficient form of exercise, but not necessarily better for you. 
A six-year 
 published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 
in April found that walking at a moderate pace and running produced similar health benefits, so long as the same amount of energy was expended.
Is drinking fruit juice as good for you as eating fruit? 
Short answer: No 

Calorie for calorie, whole fruit provides more nutritional benefits than drinking the pure juice of that fruit. 
That's because when you liquefy fruit, stripping away the peel and dumping the pulp, many ingredients like 
Fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and other antioxidants are lost. 
For comparison, a five-ounce glass of orange juice that contains 69 calories has ..3 grams of dietary
fiber and 16 milligrams of calcium, whereas an orange with the same number of calories packs 3.1 grams of fiber and 60 milligrams of calcium.
Are all wheat breads better for you than white bread? 
Short answer: No 

Not all wheat breads are created equal. Wheat breads that contain all parts of the grain kernel, 
Including the nutrient-rich germ and fiber-dense bran, must be labeled "whole grain" or "whole wheat." 
Some wheat breads are just white bread with a little bit of caramel coloring to make the bread appear healthier, 
According to Reader's Digest. 
Can a hot tub make me sick? 
Short answer: Yes 

Hot tubs — especially ones in spas, hotels, and gyms — are perfect breeding grounds for germs. 
The water is not hot enough to kill bacteria, but is just the right temperature to make microbes grow even faster. 
Even though hot tubs are treated with chlorine, the heat causes the disinfectant to break down faster 
than it would in regular pools. 
The most common hot tub infection is pseudomonas folliculitis, which causes red, itchy bumps. 
A more dangerous side-effect of soaking in a dirty Jacuzzi is a form of pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease. 
This is what 
reportedly sickened
 more than 100 people at the Playboy Mansion back in 2011. 
Does coffee cause cancer? 
Short answer: No 

Coffee got a bad rap in the 1980's when a study 
linked drinking coffee to pancreatic cancer
The preliminary report was 
later debunked
More recently, health studies have swung in favor of the caffeinated beverage. 
Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of 
type 2 diabetes
, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer, and even suicide.
Do eggs raise cholesterol levels? 
Short answer: No 

Although egg yolks are a major source of cholesterol — a waxy substance thaat resembles fat — researchers have learned that saturated fat has more of an impact on cholesterol in your blood than eating foods that contain cholesterol. 
"Healthy individuals with normal blood cholesterol levels should now feel free to enjoy foods like eggs in their diet every day," the lead researcher from a 25-year 
University of Arizona study
 on cholesterol concluded.  Can you drink too much water? 
Short answer: Yes 

It is very rare for someone to die from drinking too much water, but it can happen. 
Over-hydrating is most common among elite athletes. Drinking an excess of water,
called water intoxication, dilutes the concentration of sodium in the blood leading to a condition known as hyponatremia. 
The symptoms of hyponatremia can range from nausea and confusion to seizures and even death in severe cases. 
To avoid this, drink fluids with electrolytes during extreme exercise events.  

Can yogurt ease digestive problems? 

Short answer: Yes 

Our digestive tract is filled with microorganisms — some good and some bad. Yogurt contains 
beneficial bacteria, generically called probiotics, that helps maintain a healthy balance. 
Probiotics can relieve several gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea. 
Certain brands of yogurts, like 
 by Dannon
, are marketed exclusively to treat tummy issues.
Do whitening toothpastes whiten teeth more than regular toothpastes? 
Short answer: No 

Whitening toothpastes usually contain peroxides and other strong abrasives that might make 
your teeth appear whiter by removing stains. Unlike at-home whitening strips and gels that contain bleach, 
these toothpastes do not actually change the color of your teeth.
Is it safe to microwave food in plastic containers? 
Short answer: Yes 

But the plastic container should display the words "microwave safe." 
This means that the Food and Drug Administration has 
tested the container
 to make sure no chemicals used to make the plastic leech into foods during microwaving. 
If chemicals do seep out into food, the amounts are tiny and not dangerous to our health. 
As a general guideline, plastic grocery bags as well as most plastic tubs that hold margarine, yogurt, cream cheese, 
and condiments are not microwave safe. 
Can watching TV ruin your eyesight? 
Short answer: No 

Watching TV will not destroy your rods and cones as the outdated myth suggests. Before the 1950's, 
TVs emitted radiation that 
could increase an individual's risk of eye problems
 after excessive TV viewing. 
Modern TVs have special shielding that blocks these harmful emissions. 
Is red wine better for you than white wine?
Short answer: Yes 

Red wine contains much more resveratrol than white wine, an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes 
that has been 
shown to fight off diseases associated with aging
Is bottled water better for you than tap water? 
Short answer: No 

Bottled water is no safer or purer than tap water, although it is substantially more expensive. 
A recent study by Glasgow University in the U.K. found that bottled water is actually 
more likely to be contaminated than water from your faucet
 because it is less well-regulated. 
Bottled water and tap water typically come from the same sources — natural springs, lakes, and aquifers. 
While public water supplies are tested for contaminants every day, makers of bottled water are only required 
to test for specific contaminants every week, month, or year
 Thanks Randy