Pride and Prejudice

Some news from Edmonton, Canada:

Mayor Don Iveson said he was sad to hear the 2019 Pride Festival was cancelled but also understands it’s a complex situation and not unique to Edmonton.

“I know many Edmontonians from all walks of life enjoy the spirit of inclusion and diversity and everyone being welcome at Pride,” he said Thursday. “A lot of people are mourning that today, concerned that they won’t have that opportunity this year. So it’s very unfortunate.”

So what caused the 2019 Pride Festival to be cancelled? Angry Christian fundamentalists? Alt-right incels in Make Canada Mediocre Again hats? White supremacists? Not quite:

A member on the society’s board of directors, whose name Global News has agreed to keep anonymous, said a funding and volunteer deficit, as well as a belief the organization could not fulfill its goal, led to the decision to cancel the event.

“We felt that we were not fulfilling our mission this year, which is to unify our community.

“And so we felt it best to step back now at a point where we can do that without causing harm to the society’s structure.”

Be patient, soon all will become clear:

In another email, festival organizers wrote about a heated meeting last week between EPFS members and other LGBTQ+ groups called Shades of Colour, which advocates for “queer and trans Indigenous, Black, and people of colour,” and RaricaNow, a group that promotes human rights for LGBTIQ+ refugees and newcomers in Canada.

“The festival has been provided demands, involving a complete restructuring of our festival and our commitments to sponsors, which we needed to bring to our membership,” the Pride Society said in an email dated April 6. “A special meeting was called as per our bylaws.”

So what was presumably a fun day out for the sane if a little extravagant gay community in Edmonton has been hijacked by a tiny bunch of lunatics who think the event should focus more (meaning, only) on non-whites, transsexuals, and refugees.

Police ended up being called when the disagreements became heated.

Which is a polite way of saying when the intersectional headcases didn’t get their way they turned violent.

“They really need to ask themselves: where is that fear coming from?” said Victoria Guzman, a member of Shades of Colour. “Because we are not the source of that fear. Who taught them to be afraid of us? We have been trying to sit at the table peacefully with them for months now. If anyone is going to be violent, it’s going to be the hate groups that show up.

Such as yourselves?

“We never asked for the festival to be cancelled whatsoever,” Guzman added. “We just asked for… We were negotiating on needs that needed to be met.”

We never wanted the guy’s restaurant burned to the ground, we just wanted our money.

She said the groups definitely made demands, but that they were negotiable.

“We made these demands because we felt that the meetings we were going to for the last 10 months weren’t really going anywhere and that they weren’t taking our needs seriously.”

Kevin Michael Grace has generously provided me with the list of demands (word doc). Let’s try to figure out why they weren’t taken seriously:

Reorganize the structure of Pride. Open Pride with a protest lead by QTIBPOC, trans folx and their allies. Allocate funding for QTIBPOC and trans folks to host community building and creative workshops – and make this the main feature of Pride in the Park.

The entire festival must be restructured so as to be in celebration of us.

It is essential, and in line with the theme ‘Stonewall’, that Pride is lead with a protest against systemic injustice. This protest will be filmed in the News…

…and a plane fully loaded with fuel will be waiting on the tarmac at Edmonton airport.

Shades of Colour Community and RaricaNow will assess via email who applies to partake in the protest and ensure the applicants adhere to a set of criteria based on the values and principles of the protest. Upon inspection by Shades of Colour and RaricaNow, applicants will be either permitted or denied entry.

This must be what SJWs mean when they say they’re inclusive.

Workshop themes can and should include: Poetry writing,
songwriting, visual art workshops, navigating gender, navigating race, spirituality and race, unlearning misogyny for masc individuals, queer and trans representation in the media, refugee storytelling workshop, refugee support workshops, cultural music, dance & drama activities, QTIBPOC mentorship, Climate Justice activism, protecting our land, indigeneity, etc.

The only bit of that I recognise is the navigating race, but why they don’t just call it orienteering like everyone else I don’t know.

These workshops and resources should take up the most space and be at the centre of Pride

For all their anti-colonialist rhetoric, this lot make the Conquistadors sound humble.

End Pride in the Park with a vigil to honour the lives of LGBTIQ2S+ activists and community members that were lost due to systemic oppression including transphobia, racism, classism, capitalism, etc.

And that nasty junction out on Highway 216.

Part of this would include setting up a memorial wall listing the names of LGBTIQ2S+ lives lost including those in other countries where their identities are delegitimized and punished.

So the organisers of gay pride need to construct a wall to keep out Mexicans, carving into it a list of unknown locals and foreigners who have died from, among other things, classism and capitalism. I have no idea why their demands weren’t taken seriously.

Moving forward, we desire Pride in the Park to continue this activity and make it a tradition in the following years.

That’s a lot of wall-building.

Let us also acknowledge the LGBTIQ+ refugees who have suffered not only in refugee camps but also within their own countries due to their sexual orientation.

I’m sorry, I’m trying to picture a tranny wandering around in a refugee camp and I’m having a hard time keeping my composure. All that, by the way, was merely Demand No. 1. Here’s Demand No. 2:

Rework the budget, and provide Shades of Colour (SoC) and RaricaNow with $20,000 each.

At least this now looks like an old-fashioned shakedown.

While we feel that $20,000 is necessary – we are open to negotiations.

How generous. But they’re not done yet. Here’s Demand No.3, and it concerns money again:

Provide the SOC Team and the RaricaNow team with money to access ongoing training so we can best create these spaces for our communities.

At this point a blank cheque will do.

As community organizers we often find ourselves facilitating the training for other agencies, and unfortunately, do not have the opportunity to access conferences ourselves. Often, the knowledge we’re desperately seeking isn’t here yet, and can only be found outside of Edmonton. In these situations, we realistically may need to travel to larger more established cities such as Brooklyn, Oakland, etc where this knowledge exists. Our demand is that the Pride Board funds these learning opportunities so that we can bring the knowledge back to our own communities.

There isn’t enough intersectional lunatic expertise in Edmonton so you need to pay for us to go on jollies to hotbeds of degeneracy such as Oakland and Brooklyn. Demand No. 4:

$1500 to fund a SOC organized QTIBPOC sober dance party on the evening of pride.

I get asking $1500 for a pissup, but who the hell shakes down an organisation for money for a sober party?

Our vision is to provide QTIBPOC with a space to move their bodies in ways that they may not feel safe doing in everyday life or mainstream queer spaces.


When people face queerphobia, transphobia and racism collectively, it can be difficult to form positive relationships to their bodies. For some, dance offers a way to work through those difficult feelings.

Anyway, we need $1500. And shouldn’t you have made a start on that wall by now? Demand No. 5:

Write a public accountability Statement outlining the harm the EPFS has caused the QTIBPOC community and a public commitment to rectifying this harm. This statement will be publicly released with this document by the EPFS.

You, the relatively normal people who were previously minding your own business when we showed up, must release a public statement denouncing yourselves.

We appreciate that the EPFS agreed to meet our demands in 2018. However, there is still some public confusion about your stance on supporting QTIBPOC communities. Our demand is that the EPSF writes a public accountability statement about the harm that the EPFS has caused QTIBPOC+ communities, and also about their commitment towards change.

But don’t forget the twenty grand each we asked for earlier. Demand No. 6:

Feature Shades of Colour and RaricaNow on the front four pages of the Pride Guide.

All your newspapers are belong to us. Demand 7:

Work with RaricaNow to support QTIBPOC refugees and newcomers. Provide resources in writing support letters when necessary, and make a public commitment to centre these communities.

Thought you’d joined Pride to mix it up with like-minded gay folk? Think again: you’re now in the refugee business. Little wonder the organisers decided to pull the plug on the whole thing. Here’s what the mayor said:

The mayor said he’s heard of Pride organizations in other cities encountering similar situations.

“This is not something limited to the city of Edmonton. We understand Pride organizations are encountering challenges around North America, with increasing complexity and what does it mean to be inclusive to everybody.

“I have sympathy for the Pride board and the challenges that they faced trying to figure out how to create an event that is welcoming to everyone, which is the spirit of Pride, that’s its heritage.”

In other words, the tiny minority of intersectional headcases are ruining it for everyone everywhere.

Iveson said it’s not really the city’s place to step in and either mediate the dispute or organize the event itself.

Which is the mayor’s way of backing away slowly, very slowly. I’ve said many times before that gays will rue the day they appended the T to LGB and hooked their campaign wagons together. Although the way the gay lobby works these days, e.g. hounding Colorado bakers to the Supreme Court, my sympathy is limited.


Canada Goof

I think anyone who’s spent time on social media knows that men who describe themselves as feminists and spend half their time white-knighting and virtue-signalling to women are the sort you’d want nowhere near your daughters.

Last summer Canada’s manchild of a Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood accused of groping women:

The self-described feminist, who has said he has “no tolerance” for sexual harassment, said he did not recall the event.

“I remember that day in Creston well. It was an Avalanche Foundation event to support avalanche safety. I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all,” he said, nodding and smiling to reporters.

But on Thursday, he told reporters that he apologized to the woman in question “in the moment,” although he also said he is confident he “did not act inappropriately.”

Now it’s likely the allegations were invented by a deranged lunatic, but what’s interesting is how quick Trudeau was to dismiss them given he spends half his time blathering on about gender issues. As is common with male feminists who chant “believe all women”, he carved out an exception for himself. However, Trudeau is now in a lot more trouble in part due to his treatment of another woman:

Mr Trudeau has been accused of pressuring his former attorney general to cut a deal with a company facing corruption charges – and retaliating when she refused to play ball.

The revelations could cost Trudeau the October general election, some pundits say.

The former AG, Jody Wilson-Raybould, says Trudeau and his staff spent months trying to convince her that taking the company to trial would cost Canadians jobs, and their party votes.

She also says she was subject to “veiled threats”, which she believes were made good when she was shuffled out of her department.

Now another minister, Jane Philpott, has quit saying it was “untenable” for her to continue due to “serious concerns” raised by the case.

So a gurning SJW who’s never missed an opportunity to virtue-signal and polish his feminist credential turns out to be a corrupt, bullying, nasty piece of work especially to women who won’t do as they’re told. Now there’s a surprise, eh?


Pucked Over

Via Steve in Calgary in the comments, this story:

Last month, a video uploaded to Snapchat showed a boy from the Fort McMurray Midget “A” Junior Oil Barons banging a hockey stick against the lid of a garbage can like a drum. As music from the Indigenous electronic group A Tribe Called Red plays, two other players can be seen dancing while the rest of the team shouts and laughs.

As I’m fond of saying, religion has not so much died in the west as been replaced by a weird sort of superficial earth-worship. Part of this entails slavish deference to anyone and anything remotely considered indigenous or native, presumably in the belief their ancestors were humble stewards of nature rather than savages of scarcely imaginable cruelty. As such, these children have committed heresy:

The social media backlash that followed saw commenters accusing the boys of mocking Indigenous culture. Many comments included hopes the boys would die in a traffic accident, specifically mentioning the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus crash.

Unlike traditional religions, this newfangled version offers no path to redemption. It’s simply death to all heretics, period.

As it turned out, the boys involved were Indigenous, with at least one player a member of the Fort McKay Métis.

As if that matters. We’ve seen elsewhere that being a member of a protected class doesn’t count for much if you deviate from the narrative set by middle class political campaigners. SJWs might despise white men but they reserve a special hatred for minorities who wander off the, erm, reservation.

“We could not guarantee the safety of our players, the families and the teams that we were going to play against because of the threats that were made against the team,” said Shane Kearney, a parent of one of the players on the team.

Threatening to cause physical harm to children for being insufficiently woke is becoming a thing in the west. These are societies which pat themselves on the back for being all liberal and progressive in contrast to those nasty Russians and Chinese.

Following the release of the video, the [Fort McMurray Minor Hockey] association released a statement saying the behaviour was “wrong and will not be tolerated.”

“We are sick to know how many people this hurts and offends and for that we sincerely apologize on their behalf,” the association’s statement read.

Two days later, a statement from lawyer Dwayne Roth, who is also the CEO of the McKay Métis Group, said the teens were Indigenous and called the dance was intended to be motivational.

The apology was later pulled from the association’s website and social media accounts.

Half the problem here is those who end up running modern organisations – companies, government departments, associations – have been selected due to their slavish adherence to hierarchical diktat, not because they are competent, courageous, or particularly bright. As such, like a priest who’s been caught watching pr0n by a passing bishop, they’re prone to blurting out the first thing that comes into their heads according to their indoctrination. If they were capable of rational thinking, measured language, and reasonableness they’d never have got the job in the first place.

The statement from the parents blames the response of the association for mismanaging the incident. The group says leadership of the association never met the parents or team staff members before posting an apology, which they say gave the video further exposure online.

This is because their priority is their careers, not the reputation of the association nor the welfare of the boys.

“They are out there to protect all the kids that are in minor hockey . . . we don’t feel that they protected these 17 kids with what went on,” said Kearney.

Faced with the choice of a potential black mark on their performance appraisal or putting children in physical peril, they chose the latter.

“We feel that the people that were in place, the executives, need to take responsibility for what they did and own up to it and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

If they were capable of taking responsibility, this situation would never have arisen. What they need to do is be fired and replaced with people who aren’t so obviously self-serving.

Roxanne Janes, another parent of a player on the team, said the parents have reached out to the association on two separate occasions with no response.

Well, yes. Why should they talk to you? They’re the ones in charge.

“Unfortunately what ends up happening is a lot of these kids end up quit playing the game that they love because of the decision of adults that are put in place to protect these kids,” said Kearney.

A small price to pay for the elimination of racism in our society.

While this may only concern a minor league hockey association in a remote Canadian mining town that even old hands think is a dump, the incident has all the hallmarks of what you see playing out on a much larger scale across the western world. Those running the association are the exact same sort of people who now make up our ruling classes. They’re also running every company and organisation you can think of. Fun times, eh?


Playing with fire

In some ways this story, seen on Twitter, is related to yesterday’s post about Pakistanis fighting Roma:

16 Vancouver women facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

“JY” publicly identifies as a woman, but still has all the male parts.  In recent months, JY approached 16 Vancouver-area female estheticians who only serve women, requesting a “Brazilian” bikini wax on his groin area.

In spite of the fact that JY is able to obtain a Manzilian in Vancouver, JY has filed 16 complaints against these women at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, claiming discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.”

It is similar because it represents yet another example of the government creating protected classes in order to advance political agendas, and gifting them special rights and privileges which result in ludicrous yet predictable outcomes bringing misery to ordinary people.

As we saw in the US, no sooner did the Supreme Court grant homosexuals the right to marry in the name of equality when activists went from establishment to establishment looking for someone to accuse of discrimination. It was only a matter of time before transsexuals started doing the same thing, and Justin Trudeau’s Canada was the logical place to start. That the whole thing is a shake-down is obvious:

One of them, Shelah Poyer, is a single mom who works out of her home.  JY was willing to withdraw his complaint in exchange for $2,500.

If JY is demanding similar sums from the other 14 women, he stands to receive as much as $35,000 for dropping his human rights complaints.

It’s a handy racket, one that Jessie Jackson deployed in the US for years to good effect. But it does leave me wondering how many of these women now being clobbered by insane legislation initially supported it, confident it would eradicate bigotry as they saw it? Or at least, how many voted for the government that’s brought it in? Feminists were quite happy to use bad law to bludgeon men into submission, and now they’re finding men in dresses are using those same laws against them. Whose fault is that, then?

That said, I think the trannies might be overplaying their hand here. As I’ve remarked before, gays are largely accepted in western societies because there are enough of them around that anyone my age knows a few, and most of them will be normal, decent people. It’s a similar story with blacks in the UK: once you go to school with a few black lads, eat meals, play sport, and joke around with them it’s rather uncomfortable to hear people talking about “jungle bunnies” and the like, and you’d rather disassociate from those who do. If you see those pictures of black men being beaten senseless by police in the civil rights era for standing in the wrong place, it’s hard not to sympathise. Similarly, when Iran hangs young men for being gay you wonder if it wouldn’t be too much trouble just to leave them the hell alone.

But with trannies it’s different, because there simply aren’t enough of them. If gays make up around 2-5% of any given population, it’s enough that you’ll get to know a few and realise they’re not insane. But trannies are around 0.1% of the population or thereabouts, and few people know any outside a trip to a Bangkok nightclub they’d rather forget. While I’m sure there are transsexuals who are reasonable, decent people who generally want to be left alone, the ones the public see appear to be in desperate need of treatment for mental illness. And to make matters much worse, those in the public eye have adopted a nasty authoritarian streak aimed at forcing the ordinary public to share in their delusions. This will not end well.

I’m not entirely sure that gays, if the more militant of them continue to act as they do, will not be subject to an appalling backlash in at least one western country. Their approach to the ordinary population is perilous enough, so where does that leave trannies? Out on a limb, that’s where. Few will have much sympathy if some bloke in a frock launches a program of aggressive extortion against women and ends up unconscious in a ditch somewhere.

The fault lies squarely with western governments and progressives who support these insane policies. We often hear how dangerous it is being transsexual, usually in articles which ignore the fact an awful lot of them work as street prostitutes. By passing laws which encourage these people, who are usually mentally unstable to begin with, to go around ruining the lives of strangers they’re making it all the more likely they’ll come to grievous harm. Politicians of all stripes need to get a grip of this, rid the statute books of these insane laws favouring certain groups, and stop this extortion racket before someone gets seriously hurt.


An Absolute Zoo

Via a reader, some reviews of the Radisson Hotel in Toronto:

When I showed up, there were kids running around the hotel unsupervised and in the pool area, and adults running talking very loudly loitering in the common area, a lot of signs of run down and general filth you might find in a Toronto rooming house downtown. I basically walked in and walked out, kept my bags in the car. After checking in, I went to my floor and there were signs of neglect, more loitering. I hardly bothered opening the door, and laying claim to the room as the floor had a warm foul odour of urine, cigarette smoke and sewer gas. I was afraid to spend the night as a single female later at night, needing to be up and out of there early.


This place is an absolute zoo. Stayed here for a business trip for 2 nights. Was shocked and horrified at the nightmare situation when we arrived in the lobby. Huge crowds of people, children spitting, yelling, jumping on top of each other, and to make things even worse, one of them stole my phone and I had to chase them to get them to return it. The child’s parents were nowhere to be found. The lobby is filthy, packed with people at all times of the day, and the noise is unbearable at any hour.


I don’t know what was happening the day I visited but everybody kept grabbing my arm and either tried selling me something or kids begging me for money. I will never stay here again. I’m so glad I didn’t bring my 11 year old daughter.

All rather unusual for a Radisson, no? What’s got into these Canadians? Ah, wait:

As we heard from the locals, the hotel has contract with government & as the result they are accomodating the refugees in the hotel.

I always assumed the Radisson was one of the posher hotel chains. Certainly the ones I’ve stayed in were nice enough. So why is the Canadian government putting refugees in them? Don’t they care about the cost, or are Radissons not as nice as I remember?


A Minor Incident in Toronto

Three days ago, a gunman opened fire in Toronto killing two people and injuring thirteen others. Oddly, the story disappeared from the front pages of the international press and in the BBC’s case remains buried in the list of regional news stories:

Canadian officials have identified the suspect in Sunday’s deadly shooting in Toronto as Faisal Hussain, 29.

I can’t think why this isn’t creating more media interest.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said it was releasing his name due “to the exceptional circumstances of this tragic incident”.

And following serious pressure from the public who knew damned well there was only one reason why his name was being withheld.

In a statement released to various media outlets, Hussain’s family expressed their “deepest condolences” to the victims and their families for what they called “our son’s horrific actions”. ?

Since when have the thoughts of a murdering gunman’s parents been given airtime? It didn’t take long for Canadians to work out the statement was rather too professional in its presentation and timing:

The man who has presented himself as the point of contact for the family of Faisal Hussain is a professional activist who has reportedly committed himself to “framing a new narrative of Muslims in Canada” and creating a “national political movement.”

Shortly after the Ontario Special Investigations Unit revealed the identity of the Danforth shooter as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, a news release was sent out to select media attributed to the “Hussain Family”.

Not that you’d learn this from the BBC. We do get this, though:

They said their son suffered from serious mental health challenges and had struggled with untreatable psychosis and depression most of his life.

Oh right, he was mentally ill. Sure he was. What are the chances nothing indicating this will appear on his medical records, and instead he had a healthy interest in ISIS, terrorism, and jihad? I’d say they’re high, but we’re never going to find out, are we? The Canadian authorities will be happy enough to lie through their teeth and parrot his parents’ spokesman in dismissing it as a terrible tragedy, rather like a tree falling on someone’s head in a gust of wind. Right on cue, here’s Canada’s PM:

Why, it’s just one of those things, isn’t it? Best we all move swiftly on. Even the folk in charge of the Eiffel tower can’t be bothered turning the lights off for this one. Perhaps, like me, they have jihad fatigue.


Polyamorous Families in Canada

This was only a matter of time:

In the first decision of its kind in Canada, all three adult members of a polyamorous family have been recognized as parents of a child.

Two months ago, Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court (Family Division) in the case of Re C.C., decided the adults would be named as parents of the child born within their three-way relationship.

I predict a full-on campaign to bring all aspects of polyamorous relationships on a legal par with monogamous marriages before too long. Those puff-pieces have been buttering us up for something, you know.

In the introduction to his decision, Justice Fowler described the unconventional St. John’s household:

“J.M. And J.E. are the two male partners in a polyamorous relationship with C.C., the mother of A., a child born of the three-way relationship in 2017. The relationship has been a stable one and has been ongoing since June 2015. None of the partners in this relationship is married and, while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown.”

The three adults brought a court proceeding asking to be recognized as the parents of A. after the Newfoundland Ministry of Service refused to designate them as parents, saying that the Vital Statistics Act allowed only two parents on the child’s birth certificate.

What always surprises me about these stories is how short the timescales are. Quite often middle aged women write about finally finding the love of their life two months ago. In this case, the kid is less than two years old, the relationship only three, yet it’s described unequivocally as “stable” by a judge. In terms of marriage and a family, that’s a blink of an eye.

In his ruling, Fowler observed that “the child, A., has been born into what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment…. I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child’s point of view…. To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests.

Why? How is it in his interests to create future ambiguity? What, exactly, is the threat to his interests which arise from having the biological father on the birth certificate and the live-in boyfriend excluded? And does the child not have the right to find out who his biological father is?

It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents.”

The fact the judge has to labour this point suggests it’s a lot less obvious than he thinks. From where I’m sat, the birth certificate is being used more to describe the romantic arrangements of the mother at the time of conception than provide useful information as to who the child’s parents are.

Unlike bigamy and polygamy — which involve marriage ceremonies between the participating parties — polyamorous relationships are not prohibited by the Criminal Code.

At this point one wonders why polygamy is still illegal.

Boyd’s research found that people who identify as polyamorous, typically “reject the view that sexual and relationship exclusivity is necessary for deep, committed, long term relationships with more than one person on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only on aspect of their relationships.”

Similarly, second-hand car salesmen think they’re honest, journalists think they’re brave, and BBC comedians think they’re funny.

There is little doubt the recognition of three parents will be the least legally complex aspect of polyamorous relationships. Family law legislation across Canada now recognizes only one spouse’s obligation to the other. Current legislation will be difficult to apply in polyamorous relationships, especially if new partners become involved in the relationship and the relationship later breaks down.

All the more work for lawyers and judges, then. Kerr-ching!

(H/T: Fay)


Snapchat Diplomacy

Staying on the subject of Russia, consider this:

This is a pretty major allegation, one that even two years ago would not have been made without strong supporting evidence. But nowadays, accusations that Russians are “interfering in democracy” can be thrown around like confetti without anyone having to produce the slightest shred of evidence. We’re all just supposed to believe our dear leaders, who would never lie about such things for their own ends.

Now of course Russia engages in mass disinformation, and they have done since at least 1917 and probably before that. But nothing I’ve seen comes even close to what they were up to during the Cold War, when they were deeply embedded in western academia and funding trade unions. The only reason this is an issue now is because Hillary lost in 2016. I don’t mind dealing with Russia in a robust fashion – and we should have after MH-17 and the annexation of Crimea – but not for this reason.

And “interfering in democracy”? If that was an offence which got diplomats expelled from a country, US embassies around the world would be staffed mainly by janitors on local contracts. The US actively supported Boris Yeltsin in elections, and boasted about it, for goodness sake.

I have no problem with Canada throwing out these diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the Skripal poisoning, but spare us the bandwagon-jumping bullshit justification tagged on the end. If these four were doing what Canada accuses them of in any meaningful sense, they should have been turfed out independently of what happened in the UK. I suppose one shouldn’t expect anything else from a government headed by Justin Trudeau, but this smacks of someone wanting to fit in rather than a serious policy decision. This whole business is not being handled well at all.


Hands and Feet

This article caught my attention when it mentioned ice-covered islands in Russia:

TWENTY-SEVEN pairs of severed human hands have been found mysteriously washed up on an ice-covered island in Russia.

The shocking discovery was made close to the city of Khabarovsk in the Far East of Siberia, close to the border with China.

Sakhalin? Alas, no:

All but one of the 54 hands were in a bag.

Another – spotted first by a local – was lying separately on a snow-covered island in the Amur River around 18 miles downstream from the Russian frontier with China.

The sinister finds were laid out in the snow for a police picture.

I’ve probably been close to that spot – well, closer than any of my readers, anyway – on one of my frequent visits to the city of Khabarovsk. Here’s a not-very-good photo I took of the Amur river at Khabarovsk:

Yes, it was as cold as it looks. Sakhalin was not actually that cold, at least in the south. Most days it would only be around minus ten or fifteen, much warmer than mainland Russia. The north of the island was much colder though, and the winds much stronger. But Khabarovsk was absolutely freezing and the wind would cut you in half. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much snow around whereas south Sakhalin – like northern Japan  – enjoyed metres of soft, powdery snow of the sort which covered cars but made skiers and snowboarders happy. And, to my knowledge, we didn’t have sacks of hands lying around on islands.

The Siberian Times said it was a “mystery over who the sinister hands belonged to, when they were chopped off – and why”.

Fingerprints were found on one hand, and the others are being checked.

One gruesome theory is that the hands could have been axed off as a punishment for theft.

Another is that the hands were severed from dead bodies in a hospital – but it is unclear why this would happen.


One fear is that the corpses were illegally used for stealing body parts and the hands were cut to prevent them being identified afterwards through fingerprints.

Local media reported that next to the remains were found medical bandages and hospital-style plastic shoe covers.

Who, other than Victor Frankenstein, would steal body parts from a corpse? What do you reckon the going rate is for a second-hand Russian liver? My best guess is someone was paid to dispose of corpses from a hospital and cut a corner by burying them in the tundra somewhere, or maybe just weighing them down and chucking them in the river to be pulled out by Chinese fishermen and served for dinner along with the more traditional toad, rat, and cockroach. To cover their tracks in case the bodies were discovered, they removed the hands and dumped them in another place.

Police have refused to comment on the case.

I bet they did. Rumour has it that when the Sakhalin police discovered body parts on the construction site of the LNG trains at Prigorodnoye – an arm here, a leg over there, head a bit further over, etc. from what was most likely one of the many victims of the mafia wars in the ’90s – they ruled it as a suicide. As one of the police chiefs said in The Wire: “I don’t want a dozen mouldering John Does added to my case list”.

Russia is not the only place where mysterious body parts turn up unexpectedly. One of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever read on the internet concerned the Salish Sea human foot discoveries in Canada:

ANOTHER severed foot inside a trainer has mysteriously washed up along the coast of the Salish Sea between Canada and the US.

The latest grisly find is the 18th since 2007 and was made by a man walking his dog in British Columbia on December 8, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The first severed foot was found on August 20, 2007. It was a right foot, size 12, encased in a shoe made in India. Authorities were able to link the foot to a male who suffered from depression, concluding he most likely committed suicide in or near water.

Of the 18 feet and shoes found, only two have been matched together.

The Coroners Service has been able to identify eight feet that have washed up locally, linking them to six people. They do not believe any of the cases involved foul play. More likely the victims died from accidents or suicide.

That hasn’t stopped people’s imaginations running wild with grim theories about serial killers chopping up bodies.

Wikipedia has a good entry on the Salish Sea feet discoveries, if you want to know more. Alas, they don’t yet have one on the Khabarovsk hands.


Canada, where even the dreams are American

Last January I said:

One day I hope Canada and Canadians will be able to define themselves on who they are, rather than who they are not.

Eleven months later, the signs are not encouraging:

Across the board, Canadians have fared well over the past few years, reports Quartz. But Canada’s poorest have seen the largest gains, with the bottom 20% seeing a 24% wealth boost between 2013 and 2016. In the US, the richest 10% of Americans saw a 32% wealth bump, while the poorest 20% reaped a 16% gain in that time.

This is cribbed from an article entitled The American dream still exists—in Canada.