Astrophotography Is The Best

Jupiter is approximately 5.2 AU from our Sun, so almost 20 AU is pretty distant.

SK Government Response Too Slow

“”The secrecy around pipeline spills in Saskatchewan is astonishing,” said Keith Stewart, head of Greenpeace Canada’s climate and energy campaign, in an email on Tuesday.

“First the government waits three days to announce it, then the company will neither confirm nor deny that it’s their oil. More worrisome, however, is that once again pipeline spill detection technology and systems failed, leaving it up to community members to smell and see the oil before action is taken.”

Chief Connie Big Eagle said a band member who worked in the oil industry detected the smell of crude oil days before the leak was discovered southeast of Regina.

She said the man became suspicious about the odour and went looking for the source, tracking it down and reporting it to officials last Friday.

Government officials confirmed the spill about 10 kilometres north of the southeast Saskatchewan town of Stoughton on Monday.

It said about 170,000 litres have been recovered in a cleanup being handled by Calgary-based Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd.”

Gee, I wonder why the Premier doesn’t get information available to people quickly. Maybe because Tundra gave $10000 to Wall‘s SaskParty in 2007?

Here’s some news about the company:

tundra-oil-spill-saskparty

Wikileaks: Manning Sentence Commuted to 7 years

I’m elated! Chelsea Manning is finally going to be released. Obama signed the commutation today.

Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organisation which published the diplomatic cables, has previously said its founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the US if Mr Obama granted clemency to Manning.

The White House said the Manning commutation was not influenced in any way by Mr Assange’s extradition offer.

Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, did not immediately comment on whether he plans to surrender.

But he did tweet: “Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”

I think if the decision Obama made was not a prisoner exchange, then Assange doesn’t have to surrender. He’s already being illegally detained by the US extradition order they funneled through Sweden. Or, if he is sentenced to a day in prison, he’d keep his promise if he serves that time. I think a day in jail is too much for the person who stood up to the US intelligence machine and exposed some of their worst crimes.

ADDED: It’s only a shame that Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond can’t also be set free from their political prisons.

Sask Party Putting People Out of Work

The Sask Party has hit a new low.

Province laying off 251 custodial workers, “lowest paid government employees,” says union”

A tender for cleaning services at SGI’s head office was sent out last week.

Those being laid off work in government-owned properties, like the Legislative Building and the T.C. Douglas Building in Regina.

“Unless the public will stand up and tell the government what they’re doing is wrong, or there is backlash, they’re going to do it and that is too bad,” said Bymoen.

There is concern from SGEU that the 251 employees, who currently earn a living wage, will take lower paying positions with the company or companies who may be contracted by the province to do the work.

He said when you go into non-government buildings, it is often minimum wage employees doing the maintenance and cleaning.

“They’re working odd hours, minimum wage, and whoever is hiring them is taking a premium for hiring them and managing the contract,” he said.

A friend of mine calculated the “savings” the province is seeking in doing this privatization:

“The province says it is exploring the option to determine if there would be savings…” B.S. 251 employees at a living wage costs about $10.4M at $20 an hour. To contract it out to the private sector that cost would go down to a minimum of about $5.6M, and only if the employees got minimum wage and the contractor (read: business friend of the Sask Party) didn’t take a premium for the service. In other words, the actual savings would be less than $4.4M and people who rely on being paid a fair wage would be screwed. Take my $4 a year and treat people with respect!

For a Decade It was Harper Horror

Now, it may be Trump’s turn to make everything worse. I’m not planning on blogging about Trump very much, however. The man gets far too much attention, and that’s one of the things that brought him to power in the United States. While Harper was wrecking Canada, I couldn’t help but write about his lying, cheating, and bad governance. I think I can help writing about Trump. Today is an exception. Sorry.

Many of his supporters are fully delusional. The example below says “Only dopes use snopes,” referring to the meme/fact-checking website with an excellent reputation for explaining the root of misinformation circulating online. To attack Snopes, Stefan cites Breitbart, a racist “news” site which backs Trump.trump-supporter-delusional

What brought up this shameful incident again?