Sunday, January 31, 2016

Facebook to prohibit private firearm transactions on its service

Facebook Inc will begin prohibiting users from coordinating private sales of firearms on the online social network, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.

Chilean-designed battery could take homes off grid

A new battery made in Chile could allow households to take themselves off the power grid and store excess energy. Roselle Chen reports.

GUN WATCH: Gun Reform, AB13, Passes Wisconsin Legislature, Goes to Governor Walker

A gun law reform bill passed the Wisconsin legislature on 20 January of 2016, with little fanfare.  It was approved by both the Milwaukee Police Association and the National Rifle Association.  Overall, the bill makes reforms in the way that courts treat the return of firearms when they are taken into custody by police.

The bill creates a rigid legal framework for gun owners to regain possession of their property.    It does this by requiring courts to issue orders to police to return guns under rigidly defined conditions.  It is an incremental reform, as it provides a clear vehicle for a person to have a firearm returned; but there are significant flaws.

The most obvious flaw is the burden that is placed on the owner of the firearm.  The police took the private property.  The burden should be on them to return it if it becomes clear that no charges will be filed, or for other reasons that are stated in the legislation.  Instead, the burden will lie with the property owner.  Time and expense required to retrieve the firearms may well be more than modest firearms are worth.  Here is the analysis of the law by the legislative Reference Bureau.  I have added spacing to make the analysis easier to read. From AB13, Wisconsin Legislature:
Current law specifies a process and criteria for courts and police officers to use to determine ownership of property that has been seized by a police officer and to decide if, how, and when to return the seized property.
Under this bill, if a person claims the right to possess a firearm that has been seized, he or she may apply to the court for its return.
If a person makes such a claim, the court must order the firearm returned if one of the following occurs: 
  • all charges connected with the seizure are dismissed;
  •  six months have elapsed since the seizure and no charges in connection with it have been filed against the person;
  • the final disposition for all charges is reached and the person is not adjudged guilty of a crime in connection with the seizure;
  • the person establishes that he or she had no prior knowledge of and gave no consent to the commission of the activity that led to the seizure;
  • or the district  attorney affirmatively declines to file charges connected with the seizure against the person. 
If the person applies to the court within eight business days after the  applicable event occurs, the court must order that the firearm be returned within ten  business days of the event.
If the person applies to the court later than eight business days after the applicable event occurs, the court must order that the firearm be returned as soon as practically possible but no later than five business days after the  order.
Under the law, police may return firearms without a court order, but they are not required to do so. The law will likely be signed by Governor Walker in the next week or two. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

Big business and Welcoming America working together to change your towns

Be sure to see my post just now at American Resistance 2016!

Rupert Murdoch calls the shots at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. BFF David Lubell of Welcoming America.
We learned that Rupert Murdoch’s Partnership for a New American Economy is working in collaboration with Welcoming America (Obama’s pals) at that Open Borders Leftwing community organizing group we have been writing about ever since 2013 when we first heard about them in Lancaster, PA, here.
It is really quite stunning to me to learn that the Open Borders activists (LOL! the “humanitarians”) are working in concert with Chambers of Commerce and large global corporations to assure that the business community has a ready supply of cheap (slave!) labor!
No wonder they hate Donald Trump so much.

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Anti-Gun Sheriff Negligently Shoots Self

Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone infamously warned of "wild west shootouts" when concealed carry laws changed. He should have worried about himself.

Mike Johnstone, an Iowa sheriff infamous for pushing the anti-gun lie that “shall issue” concealed carry will lead to “wild-west” shootouts, has managed to Glockify himself.
Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone is recovering after his personally-owned handgun went off accidentally while he was cleaning it at his home on Wednesday.
A press release from the Des Moines County Sheriff’s department says that Johnstone suffered the injury at around11:30 pm. A sheriff’s department official tells KBUR that Johnstone was beginning the process of cleaning his weapon when the gun, a Glock pistol, discharged, shooting Johnstone in the hand.
Sheriff Johnstone was taken to Great River Medical Center Emergency Room for treatment of the non-life threatening injury. GRMC made arrangements to have Sheriff Johnstone transferred to another medical facility where he could be treated by a surgeon who specializes in hand injuries.
Johnstone removed the magazine from his pistol but failed to do a chamber check before squeezing the trigger as part of the Glock design’s standard takedown process.
The general public shares the common belief that law enforcement officers are highly-trained firearms experts. While there are indeed some incredibly talented shooters in law enforcement, the vast majority of patrol officers and deputies simply aren’t “gun people,” and aren’t typically as skilled as serious concealed carriers.

This new technology will revolutionize how we connect to the internet

  Fascinating. Hope it works. FYI: Nicolai Tesla envisioned over a hundred years ago that we would eventually learn how to even broadcast electric power wirelessly.

The future of wireless internet just happened, and it came out of nowhere.
A startup called Starry is soon offering wireless internet equipment that delivers super-fast wireless internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) using a technology called millimeter wave band.
Gigabit internet is extremely fast. You can download a whole HD movie in 25 seconds when it would take you half an hour with your average 20 Mbps wired connection from your cable company. Some companies, like Google Fiber, already offer wired Gigabit internet, but this is the first time someone has offered it wirelessly.
But Gigabit internet is only available in a few places where the infrastructure has been upgraded, and it takes internet service providers (ISPs) like Time Warner Cable and Comcast a lot of time and money to upgrade the infrastructure for Gigabit internet. They have to physically install new cables into an area's infrastructure.
Starry fixes the problem by doing everything wirelessly.
Here's how:

How Starry works

Instead of sending you internet via cables, like almost every ISP does, Starry works more like your wireless phone carrier, like AT&T or T-Mobile.
1). Starry broadcasts internet wirelessly from nodes called "Starry Beam" that are installed around a populated area. The kind of signal the Starry Beam broadcasts is called "millimeter wave." Millimeter waves are concentrated radio waves.
2). Receivers called "Starry Point" installed outside your home receive the broadcast from the Starry Beam. They fit inside your window, kind of like an air conditioning unit.
3). The Starry Point receiver is connected via wire to either Starry's WiFi internet router, called "Starry Station," or your own regular WiFi router inside your home. It's the only wired part in the whole thing, except for the Station's power, of course.

So, recap:

  • Starry Beam node broadcasts internet all over the city.
  • Starry Point receivers in your window receive internet.
  • Starry Points send internet to a Starry Station WiFi router or your own WiFi router.
  • Starry Station or your WiFi router broadcasts WiFi internet to your wireless devices.
No cable installation to your individual home or area is required, which is a lot cheaper and can be implemented much more quickly than laying down cables.
You won't need to buy the Starry's $349 Station WiFi router, but you will need the Starry Point, which comes included with Starry's monthly service plan. Starry hasn't said how much the service will cost, but CEO Chet Kanojia said it will be cheaper than what you pay now for your internet. Not a bad deal because you'll be getting download speeds that are several times faster.
The Starry Station will go on preorder on February 5 and will begin shipping on March 6. Starry's service will start off in Boston in the summer, and will expand to other cities following launch.

Here's why internet services are so abysmal in America

Tech Insider
Rafi Letzter

There's a new internet service on the horizon that promises to deliver extremely fast internet speeds for cheap, wirelessly.
Called Starry, it's exciting enough on its own terms. But the startup's generating MJ-moonwalking-on-MTV-level enthusiasm in our newsroom not only because it rocks, but also because its competitors, frankly, are pretty bad.
Here are the main reasons many Americans still can't access quality internet service:

ISPs operate as monopolies in most of the country

Until recently, I lived on the north side of Chicago and had a home broadband plan from Comcast. But the corporate megalith failed for months to deliver anything close to promised speeds, and repeatedly tried to bill my roommates and me for a router we never rented or received. So we decided to switch services.
That turned out not to be an option.

In Rogers Park, a bustling, dense neighborhood in the third-largest American city, Comcast is the only broadband option. This isn't an aberration – the vast majority of the country lacks even two broadband providers to choose from. In that anti-competitive atmosphere, ISPs have little incentive to drop prices, improve service, or not bill you for imaginary routers.
The providers have gotten away with their monopolies for so long in part because until 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had defined any ISP delivering even 4 megabytes per second — which is not very fast at all — as "broadband." That meant Time Warner or Comcast could point to junky local providers and claim to face real competition in the high speed market. A recent shift to a 25 Mbps standard has exposed the nonsense in that claim.

Broadband investment has gone down in recent years

Most of the country still lacks the basic infrastructure for internet speeds that can keep pace with the modern internet. Yes, most of the country is also sparsely populated farmland, but it's not only Wyoming ranchers getting screwed out of access to the modern web.
Many mid-sized cities like Madison, Indianapolis, and Eugene, Oregon lack a variety of affordable options over 25 Mbps.

Expanding broadband access requires laying cross-country fiber-optic cables and doing the hard work of wiring up individual homes. That's an expensive project, but it's also necessary if every American is going to have access to the most important economic resource of the 21st Century. However, ISPs are investing less and less per year in getting it done.
According to their own numbers (which they try to bury in the hilariously bad chart to the right) the cable companies have invested 26% less in broadband infrastructure in the last six years than they did in the previous five.
When the FCC does pressure ISPs to improve their services, or at least be honest about how bad their existing services really are, all hell breaks loose. After complaints from AT&T, Verizon, and the cable companies about the broadband upgrade to 25 Mbps, six senators stepped in to argue that the agency was meddling with the free market. Which brings us to the most fundamental reason the American internet still runs so slow in 2016:

We still haven't decided if we should treat the internet as a utility or a consumer product

There are two basic models in this country for services that flow through the walls of our homes.
First there are essential utilities: electricity, water, and, in cold climates, natural gas. The vast majority of Americans agree that everyone should have access to these. When governments or the heavily-regulated private utilities they contract fail to deliver them consistently and safely – as is currently happening in Flint, Michigan – we're rightly horrified and demand action.
At the other end of the spectrum are luxury goods like pay-TV. Premium cable services generally operate like monopolies, but there isn't a huge push to break them up. That's because we recognize that HBO access is a nice thing if you can afford it, but most people can get by without it just fine.
As a country we still haven't decided whether high-speed internet falls closer to running water or Tyrion Lannister on the hierarchy of needs. Government still puts up barriers that restrict the ISP market to a few wealthy, powerful megacorps – often the same ones that provide premium cable, like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner. Then when the FCC steps in to demand a higher quality of service, politicians complain about invasions of the free market – an argument that only works if the internet is an inessential service.
But in a country where broadband access is increasingly important for employment, healthcare, and education, that model makes less and less sense. It's no wonder people are getting so excited about Starry: ISPs have sorely needed some competition.

Inmates Show Off Weapons Arsenal in Venezuela Prison


The inmate population in an island prison in Venezuela “honored” the death of the inmates’ criminal leader by shooting what appear to be dozens of firearms into the sky on the prison’s roof, raising alarming questions regarding how the government has allowed the inmates to openly amass such an arsenal.
Video of the event, allegedly recorded by the inmates themselves, surfaces just as Mexico’s Citizen Council for Public Security and Penal Justice publishes a study declaring Caracas the world’s most violent city.
Colombian news outlet NTN 24 identifies the facility as San Antonio prison on the island of Margarita, noting the videos appear to intend to “showcase the arsenal” of weapons the prisoners have collected. None of the inmates wore masks or made any indication that they felt the need to hide their identities. The celebratory gunfire was intended to honor Teófilo Rodríguez, who served ten years in the prison and served as its “pran,” a Venezuelan slang word for the head of any criminal organization operating within a prison.
Authorities believe Rodríguez, known as “El Conejo” (“The Rabbit”), ran a drug trafficking ring from inside the prison, one he formed while an inmate and continued to operate after serving his sentence. He died of gunshot-related injuries after his vehicle came under fire from unknown assailants in front of a night club on Sunday. Officials found about 70 shots were fired on his vehicle, and all other passengers were injured.
In addition to the inmate ceremony, the town of Porlamar, Nueva Esparta state blocked center streets to follow his funeral procession. Businesses also shut down for half the day Tuesday, fearing reprisal from violent criminals who sought to honor their leader.
Post-socialist Venezuela is significantly more violent than the nation Hugo Chávez had yet to govern, with some of the most violent cities turning to prayer to some of the dead criminals—the “thug saints”—to save them from violence as they go about their daily business.
The Venezuelan opposition is demanding President Nicolás Maduro react to both the inmates’ display and the surge of violence nationwide. “These are images that show how violence in our country has inoculated itself [against justice], and [shows] the severity of the problem of arms trafficking,” opposition legislator Julio Borges said of the videos, calling the images “incredible.” “What are common citizens supposed to expect if those already imprisoned have these weapons and control a good part of the nation’s organized crime?” he asked.
The videos surface as the Mexican Citizen Council for Public Security and Penal Justice, which researches international crime,crowns Caracas the world’s most violent city. The annual study does not take into account wartime nations—so cities like Homs, Syria, do not qualify. Caracas tops the list with almost 120 homicides per every 100,000 residents throughout the past year. “The homicide rate in Caracas is twelve times what the World Health Organization would consider a violent crime epidemic,” criminologist Luis Izquiel told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. It surpasses San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which has received the ignominious title repeatedly in the past.
The Venezuelan government does not publish official crime statistics; the study cites the Venezuelan Observatory for Violence, an NGO, as its source.
President Maduro has done little to address the violence during his tenure. As Spanish newspaper ABC notes, Maduro has invested significant state resources in keeping himself safe, however. Maduro has assigned ten of the nation’s military battalions to focus on his own personal security; between 300 to 1,000 soldiers constitute a battalion.

Cheetah-like dinosaur Nanotyrannus more terrifying than T. rex: U of A research

If you run you’ll only die tired.

Nanotyrannus was the cheetah of the dinosaur world, its speed making it even more terrifying than the great T. rex, suggests University of Alberta research.

Nanotyrannus was the cheetah of the dinosaur world, its speed making it even more terrifying than the great T. rex, suggests University of Alberta research.
When it comes to speed, the five-meter long Nanotyrannus led the pack, leaving the swift Tyrannosaurus rex and known juveniles of other tyrannosaur species in the dust. Nanotyrannus’ status as a distinct species has been debated for years due its strong resemblance to a juvenile T. rex, but its uniquely elongated limbs now indicate that Nanotyrannus really was its own distinct species.
“In terms of Cretaceous ecology, T. rex was the lion and Nanotyrannus was the cheetah. As far as I’m concerned, it was the scariest dinosaur,” says U of A paleontologist Scott Persons, who led the study in leg length among carnivorous dinosaurs as part of his doctoral research.
“Sure, it might take it four to five bites to eat you, while T. rex could do it in just one or two, but eaten is eaten — and no dinosaur was better adapted to chase you down.”

'Oh my God, this is real'; Inside the deadly school shooting that shattered La Loche

As gun blasts thundered through the halls of the La Loche Community School last Friday, students and staff dove for cover — in classrooms, washrooms, offices and closets.

Douglas Quan, The National Post

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET
As gun blasts thundered through the halls of the La Loche Community School last Friday, students and staff dove for cover — in classrooms, washrooms, offices and closets.
Others just froze.
“I didn’t know where to go, I felt so lost,” student Cayleen Jayden Park later recalled.
Staring down the barrel of a shotgun in the commons area, a school employee waited for the gunman to fire, thinking she could “outrace” the bullet.
She was wrong.
Shotgun pellets reportedly pierced her arm and stomach.
Amid screams of fleeing students, the suspect, described by his peers as “quiet and kind,” allegedly dared some people to tease him, while bypassing those who had been nice to him.
“No man, not you, bro,” the lanky teen is reported to have said.
Meanwhile, two girls, both bleeding from gunshot wounds, darted out the school doors and hid behind a tree.
The rampage, which left several dead or wounded, was over in minutes.
In its wake, though, the 3,000 residents of the remote northwestern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, mostly aboriginals, have been faced with a dizzying swirl of emotions.
There has been grief, shock and heartbreak, for sure.
But also resolve.
Resolve not to cast blame on the suspect, who cannot be named because he is a young offender, or his family.
Resolve to get out the message that La Loche and the neighbouring Clearwater River Dene First Nation desperately need more housing, access to proper mental health facilities and after-school programs.
And resolve not to let this community be defined by tragedy.
“We will come back from this — and become stronger,” said Gerry Ross, manager of the local hardware store.
La Loche sits at the end of Hwy. 155, about 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon, in the heart of the boreal forest and on the edge of the Canadian Shield.
Many from the area’s thriving Dene population work in mining or firefighting. And the lakeside village is popular with fishers, trappers and quad-riders.
There are a few shops in the village, a pharmacy and a small hospital. But entertainment venues are limited to a couple of bars and a hockey arena. There are no restaurants, motels or movie theatres. The closest Tim Hortons is 100 km away.
That relative quiet ended last Friday about lunchtime, when two brothers — Dayne Fontaine, 17, and Drayden Fontaine, 13 — both popular and into hunting and quadding, were gunned down inside their house.
The suspect then allegedly went to the high school, where the first semester was winding down and exams were getting underway.
The high school is modern and well-equipped, but prone to difficulties, which principal Stephen King has not shied away from discussing.
In a 2009 blog post, he wrote that while younger students were eager to learn, some high school students seemed disconnected, challenged authority and displayed little interest in attending classes.
“It is too simplistic to just blame it on adolescence because there are teens who remain focused and who do want to pursue a good education,” he wrote. “I wonder what kills the dreams of childhood of those who get lost on the journey? I wonder how do we rebuild those dreams?”
The 17-year-old shooting suspect is said to have suffered in his own way; he was bullied relentlessly and teased about his large ears.
Despite the ribbing, he was not known to lash out, says Perry Herman, who knew the shooter and the two Fontaine brothers. “He just bottled it up.”
At least for a while. At some point between the Fontaines' house and the school, the suspect allegedly sent a message to a chat group.
“im done with life,” it read.
“Why,” his friend Darius Piche replied.
“just killed 2 ppl. bout to shoot ip the school.”
Piche later told the CBC and APTN that he walked up to the suspect at school and asked him what was wrong.
The suspect said nothing and walked a short distance to a car. Piche followed, and saw him pull out a shotgun from the backseat.
“I ran back inside and told everyone to run,” Piche said.
The hallways echoed with the sound of gunfire.
Some students thought they’d heard lockers slamming, or a fight – until a teacher yelled, “Shooter in the school!”
Alex Janvier, 15, scrambled for cover in a classroom.
Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, 16, said friends ran past him, urging him to get out.
The school employee, who cannot be identified because of a court order, had been greeting students in the commons area as the lunch hour was winding down when she saw a male student go down.
“I didn’t think the gun was real until I saw the spark of it firing, and then it was, ‘Oh my God, this is real. It’s not TV, that’s a real gun,’” she told a TC Media reporter in Nova Scotia.
“Then it was, ‘What do I do?’ You don't go to university to study this.”
A thought raced through her mind as she stared at the gunman: “ ‘Go ahead, shoot.’ Because I’m going to outrace that bullet. You’re going to shoot straight and I’m going to go left or right.’”
Almost. The gunman fired and she felt a burning sensation rip through her arm.
Not far away, Cayleen Jayden Park, snapped out of her paralysis.
“I saw (the employee’s) terrified face trying to protect the students and that's when I ran."
She and another student hid behind a door. Someone else was hiding underneath a desk.
“I started texting my mom right away,” Park said. “I just told her I loved her because I didn’t think I’d make it out.”
David Ruelling said his niece was in a classroom when the gunman fired a shot through the door, showering her with slivers of glass. She and several other students scurried into a closet.
Meanwhile, his nephew was in another class. He heard two shots from the hallway. Someone ran into the classroom, shut the door and cut the lights.
Not long afterward someone else, presumably the gunman, tried to open the door, but it was locked. Whoever it was moved on. Three more shots rang out.
One woman, who asked not to be identified, said her niece and nephew texted her about the same time to say there was a shooter in the school.
“That’s how I knew they weren’t kidding around and lying.”
Hide, she instructed them.
Leonard Montgrand, executive director of the La Loche Friendship Centre, said his son was in the school’s washroom when the chaos erupted. For a moment, he considered staying put, but then decided to bolt and dashed to his father’s office less than half a kilometre away.
For relatives living outside the region, all they could do was wait.
Brock Hevenor, who had just started teaching at the school in September, texted his parents in North Bay, Ont., during the lockdown and said two people had been killed.
“I felt so helpless being so far away,” his mother, Shannon Leblanc, told the North Bay Nugget. “I just wanted to hear his voice.”
Frantic calls bombarded the RCMP detachment in La Loche just after 1 p.m.
One officer arrived at the school, followed by two more. Further backup arrived a short time later.
The front doors were pockmarked with bullet holes.
Shortly after entering the school, an officer spotted the gunman and chased after him.
At about 1:15 p.m., Mounties took the suspect into custody at gunpoint.
No one else was hurt. But police found nine gunshot victims.
A teaching assistant, Marie Janvier, 21, died at the scene.
Adam Wood, who had just started teaching at the school in September, died in hospital.
One local woman, who happened to have an appointment at the La Loche Health Centre and Hospital, watched in horror as victim after victim was brought in.
One of them turned out to be a relative.
She had been shot, wounded in her back and leg, but she and a friend had fled the school and hid behind a tree in the snow before running for the hospital.
“She was in shock. She kept repeatedly telling her story of what happened. Then she’d be calm, then she’d be crying."
Four of the most seriously injured victims were flown to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.
Meanwhile, at the school, the remaining 150 or so staff and students were taken by bus to a community hall where they were reunited with loved ones.
“When those folks got off the bus and I’d seen the fear in their eyes, and the tears, and utter disbelief, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening,’” Montgrand recalled later.
Since then, there have been numerous candlelight vigils and prayer circles. Thousands of dollars have been raised for victims’ families.
Alicia Fontaine, mother of Drayden and Dayne Fontaine, wrote on Facebook that her heart had been “shattered into a million pieces.”
“So sad I don’t have no more babies.”
The boys’ grandfather, Norman Fontaine, said he had lost his “best friends.”
Former co-workers at Roots to Harvest, a non-profit in Ontario that educates children about food cultivation, remembered Wood as someone who wanted to make a difference. “He truly saw himself as able to make positive change in the world,” the organization wrote on Facebook.
Teaching assistant Marie Janvier was similarly remembered for a kind and generous spirit. “I grew up not a good guy, but she turned me right,” her boyfriend, Deegan Park, said.
Even the suspect — now charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder ­— has been described by community members as a polite kid from a good family.
The grandmother of the dead brothers implored the community to forgive him.
“Please, you people of La Loche,” she told the CBC. “Please forgive him for what he did.”
“I myself forgive the shooter,” Cayleen Park said, even as she admitted she was afraid to go back to school.
Some people seemed equally concerned with what all this says about the town.
With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to visit on Friday, residents are growing wary of the media’s presence. Reporters only seem to take an interest in La Loche when something bad happens, they complain.
“People out there think our community is this evil, horrible place to live in. It’s not like that,” Montgrand told the Brent Loucks Show in Saskatoon.
Yes, addiction and suicide are problems, he said. But there are a lot of good things happening, too, such as the building of a new friendship centre.
With this shooting, “it seems all for naught. It’s like somebody punches you in the stomach.”
Hopefully, the tragedy will draw attention to the need for more resources and infrastructure, residents said.
While some have floated the idea of tearing down the school, others say money would be better spent on more housing, greater mental health services and family counselling.
At best, the community is currently served by a “temporary social service Band-Aid,” said Ruelling, a Grade 3 teacher at the nearby Clearwater River Dene Nation school.
Even in their grief, Adam Wood’s family called on the country to acknowledge the social conditions that led to last week’s shooting. The community knows what type of support it needs, they said in a statement.
“Rather than looking for someone to blame, or coming up with outsider opinions of reasons why this occurred, we must stop and listen to the voices of La Loche,” they said.
— With files from Saskatoon Star-Phoenix staff and The Canadian Press

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nothing offensive about hiring 'wenches,' says Regina man who is turning his house into a castle

  Who made those so-called “local women” the arbiters of right and wrong? Wenches, concubines and sex slaves are part of Muslim modern culture. Some contemporary women have become quite wealthy being what would have been called in ancient times a “courtesan” (Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian come to mind). Why deny people an opportunity to make a comfortable living?

REGINA -- A job ad looking for serving “wenches” that asked applicants their measurements and dress size was “next level” offensive and “creepy,” say two local women.
“It’s so embarrassing that he thinks this is acceptable. Like where do you live? What year is it where you live?” said Jill Arnott, executive director of the University of Regina Women’s Centre.
The “he” in question is Jason Hall, owner of Regina’s faux medieval Stone Hall Castle, a mansion on College Avenue renovated to serve as a party venue/hotel/tourist attraction.
A “medieval wench” job posted Wednesday to the Stone Hall website asked women to include their dress size (options ranging from sizes 4 through 10, to be selected from a dropdown menu), as well as measurements of chest, waist and hips.
By Thursday, the ad had been amended to simply ask for dress size.
Hall said the women would work as tour guides and food and beverage servers.
Darlene Juschka, a U of R professor in gender studies, said women’s sizes are irrelevant to the job.
“This is serving work. They don’t have to be sparrow-thin … to do this work,” said Juschka, adding it seems to be a “sneaky” form of discrimination.
While the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code doesn’t explicitly cover size discrimination, it does outline some related areas for employers to consider when hiring.
During the application process, employers are not allowed to ask the applicant for their photo, sex, age (except in a general sense to ensure they’re not “younger than the minimum age required by employment law”), or height and weight (“unless it can be shown the criteria used is essential to the performance of the job”).
Arnott said she perceived the ad as “objectify(ing) the female body, and to send a really strong message that only some female bodies are OK.”
Hall said the ad wasn’t meant to restrict applicants to certain “body shapes and sizes.”
“We’re not ruling out talking to a girl who’s 250 pounds,” said Hall. “Or we would just use models, frankly.”
He said asking for sizes in the ad was a matter of fitting bodies to the costumes he already has on hand. He also said he didn’t write the ad; he said a local modelling agency wrote it on his behalf.
Arnott said it’s inappropriate to ask for a dress size before meeting a potential employee — that should come once it has been “established that they’re capable of doing the job and you’re going to need to order a costume.”
To be historically accurate, Juschka said bigger sizes would make more sense.
“You know, medieval wenches weren’t size 4,” she said. “If you’re being true to the time, then I think they need to be looking for sizes at least 8 to 16.”
Being true to the time was the reason Hall says he posted the ad for “wenches,” a historic word for serving girls.
“Wenches to me isn’t an offensive word,” said Hall. “If I felt it was disrespectful to women at all, I certainly wouldn’t use the term.”
He said there are wenches in the movie Shrek and he wasn’t offended by that.
Further, he’ll be looking to hire ogres and giants in the future.
Hall said the negative feedback on social media regarding the ad was related to people not liking him as a landlord.

Millennials' Politically Uncertain Trumpet

  Interesting. I sincerely wish the author is correct in his assumption that Millennials are closet Conservatives. However, all the evidence of our eyes and ears is that most Millennials believe the government owes them a living,  and a very comfortable one at that. They believe the “American Dream” is no more, but they blame “America” for that, not the policies of President Obama and his Leftist fellow travelers in the Democrat Party. But that is the trouble with Millennials: nobody can figure them out, not even other Millennials. We do know that like most people Millennials are more likely to act on emotion rather than logic and tend not to analyze things they have been told, over and over again. So we can expect them to vote for the Party they have been told is “nice” (Democrats), rather than the party they have been told is “mean” (Republicans). We shouldn’t act so surprised when Millennials act entitled, since our society has taught everyone for the past 50 some years that if you are dissatisfied with anything, all you have  to do is whine and complain long enough and society will change things to suit you. Of course society will stop placating the whiners once the money runs out. Very abruptly. And it looks like we are drawing closer and closer to the time when the money will run out.

Three reasons I am hopeful millennials will be better at keeping the Republic than our parents.
Millennials may now represent the largest portion of the U.S. population, but as a millennial myself, I think William Handke and Ross Pomeroy prematurely telegraph what that means for the United States’ political future.
They argue millennials have more or less internalized John Stuart Mill’s harm principle that “the behaviors and preferences of any person, provided that they do no obvious harm to any other, are no business of anybody else." And this, they say, leads to social liberalism on marijuana, immigration, marriage, and abortion, but some fiscal conservatism when it comes to new government programs with a demand for simpler, more efficient laws to govern our world in the model of Uber and Venmo. This strikes me as wrong for three reasons.
First, it’s not obvious that millennials believe in “live and let live” at all. In our interconnected world, we are more aware of how facile the public-private distinction is, especially with social media. We came of age in a surveillance state, after all. As my generation begins to have children, our newborns appear on Facebook so early that our own kids will never remember a time when the Internet is not a managed window into our world. In fact, we overall tend to believe in social responsibility like a religion. We know that our individual and collective conduct affects not only our entire community, but the whole human social fabric. As a socially liberal classmate of mine at University of Chicago put it, "what begins in the home ends on the street." We’re more aware of that than ever.
Second, in many surprising ways, my generation is actually socially conservative. For one, we are the most pro-life generation since Roe v. Wade: “by 2010, 18-to-29-year-olds had become more pro-life than their parents — only 24 percent still wanted to keep abortion legal in all cases.” We are having fewer abortions. We’re less likely to get pregnant as teenagers. And there's evidence that the generation that coined “hookup culture” is actually less promiscuous than the previous generation, as “one in three 20-somethings have never had sex at all.” Some have called us downright Victorian: the data shows we binge drink less, commit fewer crimes, and although we get married later, have more children within marriage.
Third, Handke and Pomeroy rightly point out our skepticism of fiscal irresponsibility and government solutions. We will inheritmore public debt than any previous generation, and it’s up to us to make it right. That should point rightward politically, not leftward, over time.
But in the end, as we finish college and graduate school and enter the real world of bank accounts and home mortgages, marriages and child-rearing, our beliefs will likely change. As the regularly misattributed quip by French conservative François Guizot goes, “Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.” While political views are oftenestablished young in life, millennials care a lot more about spending on experiences than previous generations. That might be because we trust that our experiences will inform and shape our views more than ideology, typically a conservative instinct.
It’s too early to know what we, the millennials, will do as we take our place in the ranks of “we the people.” There are reasons for me to hope we will be better at keeping our republic and our world than our parents, but as St. Paul asked long ago, “if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” Our trumpet remains uncertain about which way we will go when we join the fray, but not forever.