Toronto sets property tax increase, but critics fear it’s a fairy tale

The average Toronto homeowner will pay just over $2,900 this year in property taxes, city council confirmed Monday.

While some councillors, led by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, called for a 0% tax hike this year — and others following Councillor Gord Perks — wanted a 4% hike, the actual increase was 2.1%.

Toronto adds a City Building Fund for transit and housing, and other tax shifting measures, to the tab which brings the increase to 2.9%, not counting garbage and water which are billed separately by the municipality.

There was no property tax increase for apartment and condo dwellers.

Mayor John Tory compared the budget to the Goldilocks and Three Bears bedtime story, saying that there were those who wanted the city to spend more and others who demanded more belt tightening, but he thinks it’s “just right.”

 

Toronto sets property tax increase, but critics fear it’s a fairy tale

GamerGate Supporters Put Spotlight on Convicted Pedophile

Vocal proponents of the GamerGate movement for ethics in games journalism today ousted a convicted child sex offender who was masquerading as a 19-year-old girl among their ranks.

No mercy for sex predators.

Jonathon Warden, a 33-year-old male sex offender previously convicted for sexual exploitation of a minor, and possession of child pornography—class E felonies under Tennessee law, where he lives, masqueraded a teenage lesbian named “Hope McKenna,” presenting himself as @HopeStillFlies on Twitter.

Documents uncovered by GamerGate supporters, led by Internet sleuth Rudderhouse, who previously uncovered a doxing ring led by prominent social justice warriors within the game industry, show that Warden previously went by the names of “Phydeaux” and “Felonious Monk” before assuming the mantle of the teenage female persona.

The evidence

Rudderhouse prepared a timeline of events in a Pastebin document (archived) detailing Warden’s activities over the years, indisputably tying his old identities to that of @HopeStillFlies.

Evidence that led GamerGate supporters to question the identity of the allegedly 19-year-old “Hope McKenna” were posts dating to 2012, in which “Hope” claimed to be “pushing 12 years of retail” with “5 in management” and “4 under my own franchise,” according to posts dug up by Rudderhouse.

Another piece of evidence comes from a 4-year-old post by @HopeStillFlies on Reddit claiming that “she” is a “female underage felon who will have my record expunged when I turn 18,” stating that “she” was charged with “sexual exploitation of a minor”—the same crime Warden was convicted for.

Other posts incongruent with the Hope persona being a 19-year-old girl include references (also made in 2012, when “Hope” was supposedly 12-years-old) to shopping for a 47” Vizio television “years ago” to “save on my electric bill.” At the same time, Phydeaux posted a comment on Kotaku referencing his purchase of a 47” Vizio from Costco.

Hope also references having a day job… at age 13, in 2013. What an impressive child.

The feats of the incredibly woke 12-year-old were then contrasted to posts written by Phydeaux and Felonious Monk, who claimed on a gaming forum in 2013 that he “got in trouble nearly two years ago with something camera related” with his state’s bureau of investigation.

Among the evidence discovered by GamerGate supporters are WHOIS lookups of websites owned by the “Hope McKenna” persona, which had an address and phone number tied to Warden. A quick search for Jonathon Warden on the Tennessee sex offender registryshows the same address and phone number as the ones listed on the sites.

Since assuming the mantle of “Hope McKenna,” Warden has led a years-long campaign of harassment against Nicole Sund, a vocal proponent of GamerGate who once cosplayed as GamerGate mascot Vivian James.

In addition, Warden set up multiple websites, including hopestillflies.com and sealion.club, to install malicious software on visitors’ computers for the purpose of “Cryptojacking.” Do not visit these websites.

In layman’s terms, Cryptojacking is the act of injecting cryptomining software onto a victim’s computer to use their computing power to mine for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, or using their computer to mine for cryptocurrency while the page is opened. This is typically done without the victim’s knowledge.

 

GamerGaters prefer to do what’s right over any sense of loyalty to the “tribe”

Unlike opponents of the GamerGate movement, its supporters were immediate in their denouncements of Jonathon Warden.

Writing for Breitbart in 2015, MILO outed a prominent critic of GamerGate named Sarah Nyberg (@srhbutts on Twitter), a transsexual formerly known as Nicholas Nyberg, as a pedophile.

Nyberg was cited by the Washington Post, and enjoyed the support of progressive commentators in the liberal media like Chris Kluwe and Arthur Chu. With the help of citizen journalists and concerned gamers, MILO uncovered a host of leaked chat logs detailing Nyberg’s pedophilic tendencies and an admission that he was creeping on his then-8-year-old cousin.

Nyberg even admitted to being a pedophile, but later downplayed his remarks as “jokes” written by a “teenage edgelord”—when he was well over 20-years-old.

Despite being outed as a pedophile, social justice warriors opposed to GamerGate chose instead to support Nyberg and changed their Twitter profile names to “Butts” in solidarity with the “harassment” Nyberg faced for having his heinous sexual proclivities uncovered.

Social justice warriors were also quick to defend Devin Faraci, the disgraced former editor-in-chief of Birth.Movies.Death, who was accused in 2016 of sexually assaulting a woman while he virtue signaled about Donald Trump. Despite his admission of guilt and terse apology to his accuser, Faraci was allowed to retain his job at Alamo Drafthouse until he was outed in late 2017 as having quietly worked for the company for a year .

Progressive movie critic Sasha Stone publicly defended Faraci for his “contributions” to the progressive movement as for being a vocal opponent of GamerGate. “Devin’s absence will make a big difference for women, and not in a good way,” she wrote, in a post that was widely shared among progressives who were eager to turn a blind eye to the allegations.

For a movement that’s so-often wrongly condemned as a movement of misogynists, transphobes, racists, sexists, and all-around harassers, GamerGate is saintly by comparison to any of its detractors.

GamerGate Supporters Put Spotlight on Convicted Pedophile

Surgeries postponed due to severe flu cases overwhelming Toronto ICU

At least one Toronto hospital has had to delay elective surgeries as patients with severe influenza complications have overwhelmed local ICUs, CityNews has learned.

Michael Garron Hospital, formerly Toronto East General Hospital, has postponed seven cancer surgeries as a result of a shortage of beds in the ICU since December.

Carmine Stumpo, vice-president of programs at Michael Garron Hospital, says it’s been a juggling act for surgeons as they grapple with both critically ill flu patients and those requiring major cancer surgery.

“They’re usually larger cancer cases and they require more intense monitoring,” Stumpo said. “It was seven cases and we’ve been able to complete all those cases, so the work is done and the patients are cared for.

“Again, we wanted to make sure we do it in the safest possible way.”

Stumpo says on average the patients have had to wait less than a week to get the required surgery. In each case, the patients received care within the targeted wait times set out by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

“With our surgeon activity, we’ve noticed an increased use of our ICU-related influenza cases as well as complications of influenza,” Stumpo said. “We also use the ICU to care for patients post-operatively.

“Usually cases involving cancer, the care is more acute and they need more close monitoring. So when that happens and we’re unable to safely care for those patients, we will delay the surgery for a matter of days — and well within our target wait times — to ensure we’re doing it the safest way possible.”

SickKids Hospital, the University Health Network, St. Michael’s Hospital and North York General Hospital have all had more influenza patients visiting their emergency departments, but they haven’t had to delay or cancel elective procedures.

“I don’t want to diminish the importance to an individual or a family; it’s an incredibly stressful thing to have to undergo surgery of any kind,” said Health Minister Eric Hoskins.

“So we work with our hospitals to ensure that that that sort of situation hopefully is completely avoided, but if it’s necessary it’s minimized. That’s our aim, and fortunately across the province generally speaking there have been few cases where elective cases had to be rescheduled.”

According to most recent flu figures from the province, there have been 33,000 lab-confirmed cases of influenza. Almost half, or 49 per cent, are people 65 and over. More than 3,100 people have been hospitalized for the flu, resulting in 285 ICU admissions and 130 deaths.

Michael Garron Hospital has 17 funded beds in the ICU and four beds in the critical care unit.

 

Surgeries postponed due to severe flu cases overwhelming Toronto ICU

Paedophilia Enabling Vice Media sued by former employee alleging systemic pay discrimination against women

A former female employee of Vice Media has alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the company discriminates against female employees, systemically and intentionally paying them less than their male counterparts.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action certification, was filed by Elizabeth Rose, who worked at the millenial-focused media company in New York and Los Angeles from 2014 to 2016, serving as a channel manager and project manager. Vice Media operates the Viceland cable channel and produces two news programs for HBO, among other projects.

Filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the complaint alleges that Rose, as part of her job, received internal memos that showed the salaries of about 35 Vice media employees, revealing a pay disparity in which females “made far less than male employees for the same or substantially similar work.”

According to the lawsuit, Rose learned that a male subordinate — whom she hired — made about $25,000 more per year than her. The man was eventually promoted to be her supervisor. A male executive told Rose that her former subordinate was a “good personality fit” for male clients, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges Vice Media violated equal pay acts in New York and California, as well as the Federal Equal Pay Act. Depending on the circumstances, women who were employed by company within the last six years could be a member of one of three proposed classes, which in total could include more than 700 women, according to the lawsuit.

Vice Media, headquartered in Brooklyn, said in a statement that it was reviewing the complaint. “As a company, we have made a significant commitment to a respectful, inclusive and equal workplace,” a company spokesperson said. “That commitment includes a pay parity audit started last year, a goal of 50/50 female/male representation at every level by 2020, and the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board.”

Originating from the Montreal-based alternative magazine Vice, the company counts the Walt Disney Co., A&E Networks and 21st Century Fox as investors. It was valued at $5.7 billion last year, co-founder and Chief Executive Shane Smith said in a June interview.

The company was the subject of a Dec. 23 report by the New York Times that contained allegations of sexual misconduct at the company. Soon thereafter, Vice Media suspended two male executives — president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano — who were accused of misbehavior in the report.

On the same day the Times published its report, Smith and Vice Media co-founder Suroosh Alvi posted a message to Vice.com that acknowledged problems at the company. “Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive,” the note said.

Rose’s complaint also alleges that after she viewed the internal document that revealed pay disparities between men and women, she spoke with other female colleagues and learned that they too were aware that they were being paid less than their male counterparts. Rose is seeking for herself — and the members of the potential classes — compensatory damages, adjusted wages to compensate for the allegedly discriminatory pay policy and an end to the company’s allegedly discriminatory practices.

Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015, the California Fair Pay Act — one of three laws Vice Media is alleged to have violated — is among the toughest pay equity statutes in the country. The act strengthened previous equal pay laws in part by requiring that employees get the same pay for doing “substantially similar” work irrespective of job title. In practice, the state’s prior law had been interpreted by courts to only require male and female workers with the same title to get equal pay.

California has seen a rise in lawsuits alleging equal pay violations since the law went into effect, said Lisa Klerman, an employment law mediator.

“It is anecdotal from my own mediation practice in employment law, but but it has been my experience that I am seeing a greater number of these cases,” said Klerman, who also is a professor at the USC Gould School of Law. “It is now easier to bring these types of cases.”

Michael Morrison, Rose’s attorney, said that a focus on pay disparity could be “the next step in the #MeToo movement.”

“Not enough attention in the #MeToo movement has been drawn to pay disparities,” said Morrison of law firm Alexander Krakow + Glick LLP. “You can’t ignore that pay disparities based on gender have a profound effect on women. To not get the same amount of money as your male colleague, based on your sex, what is more discriminatory than that?”

Vice Media isn’t the only Hollywood company to be hit with a potential class-action case amid a wider reckoning in the entertainment and media industries over issues of discrimination and misconduct. In December, the disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and his namesake company were sued by six women who alleged that a massive scheme facilitated the disgraced mogul’s predatory behavior.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-vice-media-lawsuit-20180213-story.html

Why alcohol makes people violent, solved by scientists

The mystery of why alcohol makes people violent has finally been solved.

Scientists recruited 50 young men and asked them to consume either vodka or placebo drinks which were alcohol free.

They found that after just two drinks activity diminished in the prefrontal cortex of the brain – an area which is involved in tempering a person’s level of aggression.

Although experts had suspected for some time that the prefrontal cortex was involved, it is the first time it has been seen happening.

Dr Thomas Denson of the University of New South Wales in Australia, said: “Although there was an overall dampening effect of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex, even at a low dose of alcohol we observed a significant positive relationship between dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and alcohol-related aggression.

“These regions may support different behaviors, such as peace versus aggression, depending on whether a person is sober or intoxicated.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/02/12/alcohol-makes-people-violent-solved-scientists/