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?

Those Profane Twitter Goofs

What’s the account “libslikdik” doing in the Premier’s Twitter timeline anyway? He took the time to unfollow me last year, but he wants to read homophobes and retweet their anti-carbontax nonsense?

It was a good Holiday

I had a good New Years and Christmas holidays. A shipping error, in my favour, was perhaps the most notable event. The weather was cold, and it’ll be -25 or colder at night this week, which hasn’t happened that long since perhaps last January.

Was too busy to blog, but there was a letter in the local paper that summed up the state of Saskatchewan politics very, very well. The big problem may be that there’s no perception out there that anyone else would do much of a better job than Wall, even though the contrary is probably the case.

leaderpost .com/opinion/letters/wall-government-is-failing-to-govern

Just remind me again why Brad Wall is so popular?

Regina and Saskatoon have the highest crime rates in the country. The overall provincial crime rate is twice the national average. We have the highest homicide rate in the country. Our rate of incarceration is double that of every other province in Canada. Our criminal justice system ranks ninth among the 10 provinces. Racism is rampant and street gangs are on the rise.

We have the highest rate of impaired driving in Canada, and the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. Saskatchewan teenagers perform worse in science, math and reading tests than their peers in all other provinces.

There are not nearly enough child care spaces to accommodate the needs of working parents, and unfair taxation methods severely hamper those few in existence.

Last month 7,200 construction jobs were lost. The number of people needing social assistance has doubled in the past year.

The GTH is a putrid scandal and Wall refuses to explain how Sask. Party supporter Anthony Marquart made $5 million, and Robert Tappauf made $6 million on the deal. Auditor Ferguson has stated unequivocally that she “did not conclusively state there was no conflict of interest, fraud or wrongdoing with respect to land transactions related to the GTH.” It is clear that Wall’s challenge to the federal carbon tax is simply a way to deflect attention away from the GTH fiasco.

The privatization of MRIs is contrary to the Canada Health Act. We have more doctors from India, Nigeria and Pakistan than any other province in the country. We spent $50 million on a “lean” program sold to us by an American who imports Japanese instructors to increase employee productivity, as they purportedly did in a Toyota automobile plant. Health care in Saskatchewan is a mess. Home care is non-existent.

Although Saskatchewan has the highest per capita carbon emissions in the country, Wall refuses to acknowledge that climate change is a reality and our greenhouse gas emissions are a problem. We have spent more than $1 billion on a coal carbon capture plant that is not fully operational, and countries that Wall says we can sell to already get 25 per cent of their energy from clean sources with plans to achieve 50 per cent in 15 years. Due to the plant’s failure to provide enough CO2 to Calgary’s Cenovus Energy we have paid them more than $20 million in penalties. The Sask. Party has received more than $3 million from Alberta oil companies, and Cenovus is their biggest donor.

The privatization of liquor outlets was conducted in a shameful partisan manner, with Sobeys getting the lion’s share. Sobeys is a Maritime company and that’s where their profits will go.

The cost of failed SaskPower smart meters was $47 million, and now we’re going to try them all over again.

Wall refuses to release Husky oil spill records in spite of the privacy commissioner urging him to do so.

We have a $1-billion deficit and have borrowed another $4.6 billion just to cover operating costs. The 2016-17 budget is titled “Keeping Saskatchewan Strong.” The only thing strong in Saskatchewan today is the corrupt stench of a government’s failure to govern.

Sandra G. Mitchell, Regina

North Dakota Wind Beats Saskatchewan Coal

Want to verify these numbers?

But what does Saskatchewan’s government and Crown power corp do?
350MW more Gas is next. And they chased away the biggest local wind power proponent.

IT Problem At Saskatchewan Government

What’s going on?gov-sk-down

http://www.gov.sk.ca has been down a for a day.