Saturday, October 31, 2015


 Ottawa Citizen
Kate Heartfield looks at prime minister-designate Justin 
Trudeau's vow name a federal cabinet comprised of half women and half men. She says that even if gender parity doesn't change the way cabinet works, there are arguments for it.

When Justin Trudeau announces his cabinet on Wednesday, half will be women and half will be men. This will be a first in Canada, and is highly unusual in the world.
Phyllis Carter  - And how about including a person over 60 who might understand the needs of seniors. A person of colour too: Brown is nice. A member of a First Nations tribe. A Jewish person who is not a nut over Israel. Stir gently, add a little spice. We could be living in paradise.


Gazette cartoonist Terry Mosher, a.k.a. Aislin, had plenty of fodder for political lampooning in the leadup to the 1995 Quebec referendum. Here is a compilation of his referendum sketches. 
"There was a naivete about the 1980 referendum, an enthusiasm if you will. But nobody had ever done this before; it was a great experiment. Also, the opposition forces were very strong – the 'No' forces. In 1995, the PQ were seasoned, they were craftier, Jacques Parizeau was a very calculating person. The opposition wasn't that strong. So I think that there was more of a fear element that this might actually happen."AISLIN / MONTREAL GAZETTE
"I don't know if the 1995 referendum would have happened if Robert Bourassa had not retired — and eventually died within a couple of years. He was a very strong personality; he would have been a good match for Jacques Parizeau." AISLIN / MONTREAL GAZETTE
"Lucien Bouchard also uttered some unfortunate words. At one point he said something about the birthrate being too low in Quebec. And he was saying that we were the only white society that was not having enough babies. So I did a cartoon of a black couple, with a white baby, delighted, saying that all things are possible in a separate Quebec." AISLIN / MONTREAL GAZETTE
 Montreal Gazette


Lisa Roy Beauparlant shared COMPASSION's photo on Facebook

Et si vous aimez les ANIMAUX ,venez rejoindre COMPASSION et cliquez sur "j'aime" ▬►


The recordings, in which Jared Fogle apparently details his sexual attraction to minors, aired on Thursday's episode of Dr. Phil. The content was disturbing:

Secretly recorded audio tapes that reportedly helped bring down disgraced former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle were played before a national audience for the first time on Thursday.
Phyllis Carter  - This pig should never be allowed to walk among decent people again. He is insane. He is a menace to little children. Don't ever let him near a computer. And don't tell us later that he is no longer dangerous. He will always be dangerous. He has a handsome face, Clean cut. Clever. And twisted, If Evil is the Destroyer. He is a flesh and blood manifestation of Evil.


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) Other General Articles

Of all of Roosevelt's New Deal programs, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is the most famous, because it affected so many people's lives. Roosevelt's vision of a work-relief program employed more than 8.5 million people. For an average salary of $41.57 a month, WPA employees built bridges, roads, public buildings, public parks and airports.( And they planted hundreds of trees to save the land from erosion. P.C.)
Under the direction of Harry Hopkins, an enthusiastic ex-social worker who had come from modest means, the WPA would spend more than $11 million in employment relief before it was canceled in 1943. The work relief program was more expensive than direct relief payments, but worth the added cost, Hopkins believed. "Give a man a dole," he observed, "and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and you save both body and spirit".
The WPA employed far many more men than women, with only 13.5 percent of WPA employees being women in the peak year of 1938. Although the decision had been made early on to pay women the same wages as men, in practice they were consigned to the lower-paying activities of sewing, bookbinding, caring for the elderly, school lunch programs, nursery school, and recreational work. Ellen Woodward, director of the women's programs at the WPA, successfully pushed for women's inclusion in the Professional Projects Division. In this division, professional women were treated more equally to men, especially in the federal art, music, theater, and writers' projects.
When federal support of artists was questioned, Hopkins answered, "Hell! They've got to eat just like other people." The WPA supported tens of thousands of artists, by funding creation of 2,566 murals and 17,744 pieces of sculpture that decorate public buildings nationwide. The federal art, theater, music, and writing programs, while not changing American culture as much as their adherents had hoped, did bring more art to more Americans than ever before or since. The WPA program in the arts led to the creation of the National Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The WPA paid low wages and it was not able to employ everyone — some five million were left to seek assistance from state relief programs, which provided families with $10 per week. However, it went a long way toward bolstering the self-esteem of workers. A poem sent to Roosevelt in February 1936, in block print, read, in part,

PBS, American Experience


If you thought vampires were simply the stuff of myth and legend - and perhaps the odd teen horror film - think again.

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into the undead.

They are the latest in a succession of finds across western and central Europe which shed new light on just how seriously people took the threat of vampires and how those beliefs transformed into the modern myth. 

Scroll down for video

Archaeologists in the Black Sea town of Sozopol, Bulgaria have unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires
Find: Two skeletons, believed to be those of suspected Medieval vampires, were discovered with iron poles plunged through their chests in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol

The two skeletons, believed to be around 800 years old, were discovered during an archaeological dig near a monastery in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol.r

Bulgaria's national history museum chief Bozhidar Dimitrov said: 'These two skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century.'

A close up of one of the 'vampire' skeletons discovered with a metal bar through its chest
A skeleton found last year, which quickly became known as the 'Sozopol vampire,' was also pierced through the chest with a ploughshare
According to pagan beliefs, people who were considered bad during their lifetimes might turn into vampires after death unless stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden rod before being buried.

People believed the rod would also pin them down in their graves to prevent them from leaving at midnight and terrorising the living, the historian explained.

According to Mr Dimitrov over 100 buried people whose corpses were stabbed to prevent them from becoming vampires have been discovered across Bulgaria over the years.

He added: 'I do not know why an ordinary discovery like that became so popular. Perhaps because of the mysteriousness of the word "vampire". 

'These people were believed to be evil while they were alive, and it was believed that they would become vampires once they are dead, continuing to torment people.'

According to Dimitrov, 'vampires' were often aristocrats and clerics.

He added: 'The curious thing is that there are no women among them. They were not afraid of witches.'

However last month Italian researchers discovered what they believed to be the remains of a female 'vampire' in Venice - buried with a brick jammed between her jaws to prevent her feeding on victims of a plague which swept the city in the 16th century.

Matteo Borrini, an anthropologist from the University of Florence, said the discovery on the small island of Lazzaretto Nuovo in the Venice lagoon supported the medieval belief that vampires were behind the spread of plagues like the Black Death.

Find: The two skeletons were discovered during a dig outside a monastery in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol

Sozopol: According to the head of Bulgaria's natural history museum 100 corpses of  people who were stabbed to prevent them from becoming vampires have been discovered across the country over the years

The skeleton was unearthed in a mass grave from the Venetian plague of 1576 - in which the artist Titian died - on Lazzaretto Nuovo, which lies around two miles northeast of Venice and was used as a sanitorium for plague sufferers.

Borrini said: 'This is the first time that archaeology has succeeded in reconstructing the ritual of exorcism of a vampire.

'This helps ... authenticate how the myth of vampires was born.'

The succession of plagues which ravaged Europe between 1300 and 1700 fostered the belief in vampires, mainly because the decomposition of corpses was not well understood, Borrini said.

Gravediggers reopening mass graves would sometimes come across bodies bloated by gas, with hair still growing, and blood seeping from their mouths and believe them to be still alive.

The shrouds used to cover the faces of the dead were often decayed by bacteria in the mouth, revealing the corpse's teeth, and vampires became known as 'shroud-eaters.'

According to medieval medical and religious texts, the 'undead' were believed to spread pestilence in order to suck the remaining life from corpses until they acquired the strength to return to the streets again.

The remains of a female 'vampire' from 16th-century Venice, buried with a brick in her mouth to prevent her feasting on plague victims

The remains of a female 'vampire' from 16th-century Venice, buried with a brick in her mouth to prevent her feasting on plague victims

'To kill the vampire you had to remove the shroud from its mouth, which was its food like the milk of a child, and put something uneatable in there,' said Borrini.

'It's possible that other corpses have been found with bricks in their mouths, but this is the first time the ritual has been recognised.'

While legends about blood-drinking ghouls date back thousands of years, the modern figure of the vampire was encapsulated in the Irish author Bram Stoker's 1897 novel 'Dracula,' based on 18th century eastern European folk tales.v.mpires' in Bulgaria
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The word vampire is derived from the original Slavic term opyrb or opir which later appears as vipir, vepir, or vapir. Drunkards, thieves and murderers were all believed to be likely candidates to become vampires. 

Movie legend: Christopher Lee as Count Dracula gets his comeuppance with a stake through the heart in the 1958 film Dracula
Movie legend: Christopher Lee as Count Dracula gets his comeuppance with a stake through the heart in the 1958 film Dracula

Appearing completely normal, they would arrive at a town and live amongst the people often even marrying and fathering children. But at night they would wander the countryside in search of blood.

These types of vampires could be destroyed with a stake through the heart. 
One account maintains that a vampire was the soul of an outlaw who died in the mountains or forest or along a country road, and whose corpse is eaten by crows, wolves, or some other such scavengers. 

Because such a soul is not permitted to enter heaven or hell it remains on earth haunting the place where he was killed strangling and drinking the blood of anyone who comes by.

Another account states a person who died a violent, unnatural death or whose corpse was jumped over by a cat before burial, can become a vampire. 

In such cases during the first 40 days after burial, the bones turn to gelatin and the vampire performs mischief at night  - releasing animals from their pens, scattering house hold items, and suffocating people. 

During the first forty days it can be destroyed by a Vampiridzhija - a professional vampire hunter capable of seeing them - or alternatively devoured by a wolf. 

However if not destroyed in this time period the Vampire would develop a skeleton and becomes even more fierce. 

In other areas, the unexplained deaths of cattle or other livestock were often taken as proof that a type of vampire known as an Ustrel was at large. 
These were believed to be the spirits of children born on a Saturday but who died before receiving baptism. 

On the ninth day after its burial, a Ustrel would climb out of the ground and attack cattle or sheep by draining their blood before returning to its grave before dawn. 

To kill an Ustrel, a village would have to go through a ritual known as lighting of a needfire. 
This involved extinguishing all the village household fires on a Saturday morning before rounding up all the cattle and sheep in an open space. 

From there the animals were marched to a nearby crossroads where two bonfires, lit by a new fire created by rubbing sticks together, had been set up. 

By guiding the animals between the fires the vampire would become stranded at the crossroads where wolves devoured it. 

Before the bonfires burned out, someone took a flame and used it to relight all the household fires in the village.

Read more: 


'African Union investigators discovered mass graves in South Sudan and found evidence of horrific crimes, including forced cannibalism, according to a long-awaited report.'
African Union Report:
Executive Summary: