Four In The Afternoon: I Hate Rapists

4 in the Afternoon1 CHEERS TO THE SURVIVORS As we are no doubt all aware, three awesome Cleveland women have escaped from the evil sacks of rapist shit who kept them captive for a decade. Here’s the Columbus Dispatch, here’s the New York Times and here’s the Guardian’s live blog. What else? Well, Jezebel has a round-up of what’s known about the three women, Cleveland’s WKYC has the beginning of what will no doubt be a gruesome accounting of abuse, assault and torture, and exceedingly vile multi-millionaire radio hate-ape Rush Limbaugh insinuated U.S. president Barack Obama and the people who voted for him are responsible for the kidnappings and confinement. But fuck that guy. Look at this guy, who helped the prisoners escape.

2 HARPER’S CONSERVATIVES JUST DO NOT FUCKING UNDERSTAND SCIENCE Now they’ve told the National Research Council to focus on science with commercial applications instead of “basic research and discovery science”. Which is how we learn new things. This is the stupidest fucking government in the history of Canada. It blows my mind that Conservative MPs aren’t pelted with rotten vegetables whenever they appear in public.

3 HOME EXPLOSION LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES Pro tip for weed dealers: take extra care to not draw attention to your illegal home business by detonating your house.

4 WASTEWATER MISTREATMENT There are new criticisms for the P3, or public private partnership, funding model Regina’s signed onto for our next wastewater treatment plant. Here’s Regina Water Watch’s report. I’m pretty sure the whole P3 movement exists to transfer public money to private companies, but that’s what our broken country does know.

Six In The Morning: Renters Ain’t Decent Folk Like Us Is

6-in-the-morning1 RENTERS HAVE NO CHARACTER  Who will protect us against the scourge of deadbeats who pay monthly rents to respectable landlords? Sounds like we can rely on Regina’s  usual NIMBY xenophobe mob civic-minded neighbourhood activists: “Reginans are watching, and are stepping into the spotlight in defence of their neighbourhoods,” says the L-P article*. Sounds good to me  because people who rent are definitely NOT “Reginans” who live in “neighbourhoods”. Everyone knows that if you don’t own property in this town, you’re not really a citizen of Regina.

*Which also features a cartoonishly bad photo of Ward 2 councillor Bob Hawkins.

2 RALLY FOR A WRONGED BRIDE The transgender woman refused service at a Saskatoon bridal salon gets some much-deserved support. This reminds me a little of the case of a gay couple in Seattle who were refused service at a florist. And I just so happen to have a link to a thoughtful piece on that right here.

3 INDUSTRIAL EMISSIONS ARE MAKING THE ARCTIC OCEAN MORE ACIDIC, WHICH WILL HAVE GIGANTIC YET UNKNOWN AFFECTS ON MARINE LIFE It’s terrifying and you should read all about it.

4 SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS DON’T TRUST THE SYSTEM Well, maybe the system isn’t trustworthy.

THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT The first census produced without mandatory long form results will debut this week. On the bright side, the inherentl fucked-upedness of this census has taught statisticians new tricks. On the downside, businesses and public planners will have access to fewer facts because the idiot Harper government screwed up the census.

6 YOUR MONDAY NO-FUN DAY SYRIA UPDATE Israel bombed targets in Syria, which, um, sounds bad. Also, remember how Syria is using chemical weapons against rebels? Well maybe it isn’t.

SOMEHOW THIS EXCELLENT THINGY WAS NEVER POSTED TO DOG BLOG The oversight is corrected!

“And his dick falls off!” BWAH HA HA

Four In The Afternoon: Floods, Transphobia, Massacres, Conservatives And A Walrus Named Big Mac

4 in the AfternoonMEANWHILE IN SASKATCHEWAN Flood fears, more flood fearsstadium news $65 million for farm irrigation and a clueless Saskatoon bridal shop is going to help Saskatchewan make international news in a super unflattering way.

DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE FEDERAL CONSERVATIVES PLANNING TO RE-WRITE HISTORY? Our federal government is a clown carnival. In other circus news, the feds will put $82 million into clean energy projects, which is a.) good (yes, I said something that the Conservatives did was good, deal with it), b.) not anywhere near enough, and c.?) a subsidy to the Alberta tarsands. Also: scandal, more scandal, disgracepropagandacivil servant revolt, this simmering scandal and I don’t think I’ve linked to anything about this heinous bullshit yet. Meet your federal government, everyone! Almost every daily newspaper in the country endorsed them before the last election.

ANOTHER MASSACRE IN SYRIA Brutal. That country’s government has always been bad news.

WELL, I’M  STILL A FAN OF THAT BUG-EYED, FAT WALRUS Seriously, who wouldn’t love a fat, bug-eyed walrus? Cuteness for days. Also, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Lars Eller.

Six In The Morning: R.I.P. Dr. Freedman

6-in-the-morning1 IT’S A FALLEN WORLD More survivors have been found in the collapsed sweatshop in Bangladesh but more than 300 people are dead, 38 people burned to death in a Russian hospital, Syria is probably using chemical weapons against its own citizens and more than a quarter of Spain is out of work;

2 LABOUR LOSS Saskatchewan’s Court Of Appeal has upheld shitty labour legislation. It’s an important reminder that laws that suck are not necessarily illegal, and more importantly that activism needs to be done by everyone–not just labour leadership and hard-core types. If you’re in a union, educate yourself on the massive, anti-union changes to labour laws in this province and ask what you can do to help. Because sooner or later, you will be affected by changes to these laws.

3 YOU LOOK LIKE A GIRRRRL Mean-spirited, crummy and probably effective Conservative mailers imply that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau likes weak typography. Or something.

4 GET PERMISSION, THEN MAKE AN APPOINTMENT A new RCMP policy states that senior RCMP officers need to get permission from the RCMP commissioner before they’ll be allowed to meet with politicians.

5 HEADLINE PRETTY MUCH TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW Bit late on this, but on Wednesday, Canada’s natural resources minister told a U.S. think tank that a scientist’s opinion was “nonsense”. Well I guess Canada’s Conservative politicians know more about science than scientists do. Also, thank god these think tanks always bring in politicians, economists and business people to explain how the world works. By the way, the scientist in question said the thing in question here. He was smart enough to work for NASA, by the way. Unlike our Natural Resources Minister, whose talent presumably lies in collecting political donations from big donors.

6 HE WAS MY FAVOURITE PSYCHIATRIST Rest in peace Allan Arbus, who played Dr. Sidney Freedman on the legendary TV show M*A*S*H.

Six In The Morning: Guantanamo, Earth Day, The Junos And More Stuff

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1 HALF OF GUANTANAMO IS ON HUNGER STRIKE Probably because they’re being held for all eternity in a concentration camp without charge. Story here. And look at this quote: “Nearly 100 of the detainees have reportedly been cleared for release but remain at the facility because of restrictions imposed by Congress and also concerns of possible mistreatment if they are sent back to their home countries.” I remember when U.S. President Barack Obama, then a candidate, said he’d close Gitmo. Apparently a different definition of “close” than the English one.

2 CENTRAL LIBRARY IS REVIEWING WHICH SERVICES IT OFFERS, AGAIN That’s what I got from this piece about the RPL’s downtown branch. Are the pack of conservatives running that institution once again looking for an excuse to shut down the Dunlop Art Gallery (last attempt: 2002) and the RPL Film Theatre (last attempt: 1998)? I wouldn’t bet against it. I don’t trust them and neither should you.

3 IF YOU WANT A COLLAPSED LUNG, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY TAKE THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE Doctors say the cinnamon challenge is very bad for you.

4 IT’S EARTH DAY! HAVE YOU RECYCLED YOUR PLASTIC BOTTLES? The Philippines has! Also, Google has an Earth Day doodle. Also, Earth Day is 43 years old. With global warming passing the tipping point any minute now (if it hasn’t already), with the over-exploitation of fish stocks rushing us towards fishery collapse, with species extinction and habit loss increasing and with  more and more toxins in the ecosystem, we’re on track for one hell of a happy 50th anniversary. Wooo, go sustainable development!

5 WE’VE BEEN JUNOED That was a fun weekend. Regina should invite Canada over to play more often. You can read James Brotheridge’s entertaining Juno Awards coverage here, and JunoFest coverage here,  herehere and here, with more to come. Also, it sounds like Paul McCartney is coming this summer. Wait, wait–yup, that’s confirmed. Are you guys going to go? Should I go? Will Stephen LaRose write about this being yet another cynical cash grab from an artist well past his prime, and then go to the show anyway? So many questions.

6 CAT RESCUED IN SASKATOON Hooray!

VIDEO! In honour of Regina’s next big concert and cats, I give you: this.

Six In The Morning: Nothing’s Happening Today, Oh Wait

6-in-the-morning1 VOTEY VOTEY VOTE-VOTE It’s democracy day in Saskatchewan! HOORAY! Here’s the CBC story and here’s the Leader-Post’s election page. Wondering about voting and stuff? Maybe you didn’t even get enumerated because you’re a busy, scatterbrained editor who’s often not home because he works weird hours not that I know anyone like that? It’s okay, you can still vote! Here’s where to find the info you need.

2 ITALY IS IN TROUBLE! GREECE IS IN TROUBLE! EEEK!!! Italy’s borrowing costs are up, Greece’s prime minister is out and everything is scary.

3 GO DIE OF A DRUG OVERDOSE IN AN ALLEY WHERE NO ONE HAS TO THINK ABOUT IT YOU LOSER ADDICT City officials have ordered Occupy Vancouver protesters to pack it up and ship it out after a young woman died of an overdose this weekend at the camp, cough trumped-up excuse cough.

4 AIR CANADA EMPLOYEES STRIKE ARBITRATOR FROM CHRISTMAS CARD LISTS Arbitrator Elizabeth MacPherson has ruled that the last negotiated agreement — which was rejected by Air Canada employees — shall stand.

5 CANADA’S ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING SUCKS BUT GIVEN THAT VOTERS DON’T GIVE A SHIT AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS  BEHOLDEN TO A BRAIN-DEAD BUSINESS CLASS THAT DOESN’T “GET” SCIENCE BECAUSE THEY ALL GOT BUSINESS DEGREES INSTEAD OF A REAL UNIVERSITY EDUCATION, THINGS COULD BE WORSE We are so screwed.

6 THEY STILL LIKE ORTEGA Nicaragua’s Sandinistas are headed for a landslide win. Remember the 1980s when the U.S. backed terrorists to topple these same Sandinistas? I recall there were a few American officials who went to jail because they sold weapons to Iran to fund the Contras. Yeah, that apparently worked out great for U.S. interests.

HAVE SOME MORE NEWS WHY DON’T YOU Syria’s homicidal dickishness keeps on keepin’ on. Justin Bieber will take a paternity test because a lady says she was impregnated by his Bieberwiener. I knew Bieber was against abortion; is he also opposed to condoms? Also, Herman Cain has been quietly decreed by everyone to be a goofball. Also also, my Beloved Columbus Blue Jackets suck so hard this year. At least former coach Ken Hitchcock got out of town while the getting was good. Hey, there was a big protest over the Keystone XL pipeline yesterday — maybe a few people DO care about global warming. And did you hear about the artist who hid the Devil in the clouds? Sounds like Barack Obama can write cheques even faster than his critics can write him off. Maybe he can write a couple of cheques for the 49 million Americans living in poverty? Wait, isn’t it someone’s birthday today…?