The Last Of The Bloggers

We often hear the term "the last of the" something. As in, "he was the last great musician of the era" or the popular "Last of the Mohicans."

But what about "The last of the Romans?" 


It's funny to see that to some, Brutus was the last of the Romans.

Well, someone had to mark the end of Roman blood and transfer it into Italian, no?

Reminds me a little of the Americans. To the hard core, the last great Americans were the Founding Fathers and that the Republic merged with democracy and later became an oligarchy.


Speaking of Rome, or what was left of it anyway, the Justinian period provided some interesting history. Justinian's legal code certainly left a mark on history.

The work (and rivalry) of the great generals, Flavius Aetius, Bonifacius and Belisarius in particular.

And who chronicled all this stuff? Why, Procopius that's who! Speaking of the "last" chaps, he's considered the "last scholar of the anicent world."


My goal in life is to become the last of the bloggers.

I'll do this until I'm purpleblue in the face if I have to.

Penny Dreadful

Into Penny Dreadful?

More here.

Aka Dime Novels in North America.

They appeared in England in the 1830s but I came across a type of 'dreadful' dating as far back as 1797 in Germany with Rinaldo Rinaldini: The Robber Captain by Christian August Vulpius.

I think I'm gonna investigate this writing genre more moving forward.


This. Well, this is just more crap that constitutes as "part of the game" now in the NHL.

Notice the comments. I point to them because this is a prevailing mindset among douchebags who in reality know jack shit about hockey and its history but feel ignorantly compelled to comment about it. I wouldn't be surprised if half of them can't even skate or hold a hockey stick properly.

What Ference did, again, is not a hockey play. It's an act of devious thuggery.

All the more hypocritical given he's gone on record saying there's no room for head shots in the game. Yet, there he is throwing a dirty hit on an unsuspecting player away from the play.

This is not a case of not "keeping your head up." What's destroying hockey and making it a bushwack league is somewhere along the line kids are being taught to specifically clock a person when they've got their head down and away from the play. This is key. Hitting for its own sake has become "normal."


Folk Music Saturday

With Richard and Mimi Farina (Baez) - soeur de et beau frere a Joan.

Richard Farina was killed in a motorcyle crash in 1966 at the age of 29 and Mimi died of cancer in 2001 age 56.

What is it with that window between  Marilyn Monroe's and Jack's death in 1962 and 1963 respectively and 1972 when notable politicians and celebrities like RFK, MLK, Duane Allman, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and a few others died young?

Eminent Domain

What is it?

"Homeowners are currently facing a growing problem. The government is gaining more leeway in what types of property they can obtain through eminent domain and what types of properties they can construct on that land."


That's My Girl

As I was getting ready to leave and while waiting for daughter to rise from her temporary sleep, my wife was watching the news - rephrase that to the Royal Wedding. By 6:20 am my kid was up and rushed over to her mother who said to her, "Look baby doll, that girl just became a princess!"

She glanced over at the television, looked at the clock remembering something from the night before, and with an indifferent look replied, "Mommy, Woody Woodpecker is on!"

That's my girl!


Speaking of dated Monarchical weddings, I tend to treat Royalty and its history sorta like I do religion and the Christian church. I'm not a nut about either. Each has had its influence on history but both are institutions run, governed and invaded by mere mortals. I certainly won't get up at 3am in the morning to watch two people get hitched.

So the future King plays Polo and wears a sash saying, 'I will.' As for his bride, a Canadian no less, I swear I heard the words, "I will, eh?"

In the end, when we strip ourselves naked, we all have the same virtues and vices.

And Lord knows British royalty has its share of both.

In the end, again, we're all screwballs.


Itsezhere that the NDP are poised to conquer Quebec over the Bloc Quebecois. When scattered and clueless, referring to the Bloc, send in the clowns as they try and pull out all the stops to stem this turn of event.

Jacques 'Lobster tail' Parizeau ain't gonna cut it I'm afraid, les boys.

God. If not the Bloc, it's the NDP in Quebec.

Proving once again that T.C. is from Jupiter and Quebec is from Planet Claire.

St. Hugh

On this day in 1109,  Hugo van Cluny, make that St. Hugh and advisor to the popes, died.

The man opposed investiture and simony. For that, he deserves a mention here. That, plus my first house was on Cluny St. in Montreal back when I was a lad.

Now you know.

Feel free to use on your date tonight.



Earlier tonight my wife told me a disturbing story about something that happened to a colleague of hers at school. A four-year old girl was showing someone in her class how to give a blow-job with a cheese stick.

Nope. I know I kid a lot but not about this.

What is going on at that child's house?

Obama's Birth Cerftificate Appears

I don't know. I just find this sad.

That it had to come to this.

As for the comments, never saw any thread with 37 000 + in my life.

Guantanamo Fiasco

Ripped this from SE.

Reminds me of the time when the United States and Canada interned Italians during WWII claiming they were fascists. They knew they were innocent just like the Japanese were. Actually, I don't even know if any charges were ever laid on those arrested.


Classic Bugs

Things I think about during the day.

The rabbit kicked the bucket!

Street Gang Flicks

The Warriors and The Wanderers were the first gang movies I ever saw.

Colonial Literacy Rates

Most interesting.


"Queequeg was a native of Rokovoko, an island far away to the West and South. It is not down in any map; true places never are."

Ishmael, from Moby Dick.


Or is it fail?

I can't keep up with trends.

I'm a classics guy.

So. Let's delve into this article envoyer via email to moi.

It's from a site called Wonkette and judging by its content, not surprised by the position it takes about the Atlas Shrugged movie struggling at the box office.

Yes. Because that's never happened before.

Just because a film fails at the box office doesn't mean much. Some do go on to become cult classics.

I don't know why it's struggling. I don't pretend to profess anything. Sometimes art is ignored for whatever reason. To somehow attempt to correlate it to the "liberal media" as some on the right thing or the fact it's somehow politically deficient is plain lame.

And for the god dang record, Ayn Rand was not libertarian. Objectivism is a philosophy attempting to be formalized and structured. Libertarianism is more a loose confederation of points of views; a movement.

Clearly, people are too lazy to make the distinction or are so annoyed at another view other than their own, they merely judge a book by its cover.

She's no more libby than Obama is socialist.

In any event, what a travesty a film is made about a philosophical outlook - however minor - that diverts from the status quo; or at least the leftist vision of the world.

Heaven forbid!


I plan to watch it at some point. We're so behind we haven't even watched 'Iron Man 2' yet.


The notion that no one buys something or goes to see anything somehow detracts from the content or quality of that produced item is wrongheaded.

Ever been to a fantastic restaurant that failed since it was ignored by the so-called "smart" public?

It's especially rough on artists. Nick Drake, Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson, and of course Galileo and Van Gogh all became famous in death.

It says less about the work created and more about how shortsighted we can be. We believe to be hip and progressive but sometimes we're not.

No clue what will become of Atlas Shrugged the movie. No one does. It's a fool's game to piss on it in the present. It was made into a film because it's a cult book of sorts. No one can deny the book has found new fans.

It's irrelevant if we disagree with it.

If leftists are worried, maybe they should write a book or make a movie defending their positions.


The Change Disease

'We want change.'

That idiotic, miserable phrase is back this election cycle.

And apparently 'change' is coming by way of the NDP. As if democracy is well-served and healthy by voting other than Liberal or Conservative.

If it's come to that point, I say, then to hell with it!

Want change? Vote fringe parties like Pirate or Green - if you're lucky enough to have them on the ballot. Be true democratic renegades.

Or else, spare me the bull shit and go back to your statist lives.

Vote fringe? "But who are these people?" a friend asked. "And 'who are' the people running the big parties? Do you know them outside what the media feeds us?" I replied. All we get is the same tired issues with the same tired responses and "solutions." Tax, spend, increase government. Pat ourselves on the back for a job pretended to be well done.

What makes, say, Justin Trudeau so damn smart or smarter than politicians in other lesser known parties? Nothing.

With change like this, who needs it? Unless, of course, people superficially believe if they vote someone other than the ruling parties they know, then I guess mission accomplished. "Hey, I voted NDP! I did my part for change! Woooo! Hey, wait a second? Why are my taxes going up?"

Nah. Change for me at this point is true revolution.

Other than that, your vote hits a concrete wall. You still have no say in anything once the party you voted for is in power.

If, for example, you vote for a party based on their platform and they suddenly go opposite of what they said, you're screwed for four years.

Some democracy.

Schools Stunts Creativity

So thinks Sir Ken Robinson.

Academic inflation. It probably explains why I see so many mediocre minds with a Phd.


What hit home was:

"Have to move to think."

Think of this. In school, we had to sit still, listen and think.

I never had a chance. It was over before it began.

I'm one of those people who does their thinking outside the prescribed time frames and structures. I do it when I'm up and moving. Driving. Whatever. I can't be told, "Ok. Here's a paper. Write. You have 20 minutes."

Other than that, I would have preferred more a little more depth to this.


Ever notice how government programs offering, say, job training, or other special services to help people pick arbitrary age limits? Usually, from what I've seen, the figures settled upon are 18 to 35 years old.

What. 17 and 36 year olds are chopped kidney? What about a 45 or 55 year-old? Why they be discriminated against?

Just an observation.

Mexican-Americans And Cultural Evolution And Assimilation

Love this interview from Reason discussing Mexican-Americans.

It's amazing how whenever the topic of immigration comes up, the Irish, Italians and Jews (and Chinese) are mentioned. Specifically how they "ghettorized" themsevles. As if they did it by choice. Indeed, the refusal of the majority to accept them played a part. Here in Quebec, French-Canadians discriminated against, for example, les Italiens who were seen as stealing jobs.

Look. Back when these minorities came into North America, creating Little Italy's and Chinatown's was a way of coping in an Anglo-Saxon, Scottish, German, Dutch - and in Quebec, French-Canadians - world. They first self-identified, supported one another and then took on the power base. They did this because they didn't have the luxury of all these PC rules and laws that benefit new immigrants. They had to literally fight, scratch and claw their way up.

Despite the massive immigration numbers over a couple of centuries, proportionally speaking, no one ever talked about learning German or Italian. But now, given our new knowledge and tolerance, learning Spanish is encouraged.


The other interesting part mentioned in the video is the term "symbolic ethnic." Eventually, as we move further away from our heritage, we lose the language but identify with other parts of a culture like food and diet. The degree to which an ethnicity experiences this depends on the level of assimiliation which is connected to the amount of time they've been part of a host nation.

Italians, for example, are further along the assimilation path than Greeks or Armenians. You'll still encounter Greeks who speak Greek amongst themselves. Less so, dramatically even (if at all), with Italians.

As for the salad bowl theory (aka multiculturalism), never liked it. Meh.


Obama And Latin America

No doubt Latin and South America are crucial areas and economies for United States interests. With an important free-trade deal on the table with Colombia (and possibly Panama), Brazil as an emerging power and a stable, modern Chile, the region shouldn't be ignored. Unfortunately for America, like in Africa, China (and even India) is a competing actor and President Obama's recent trip there may have done little to solidify the American position.

From World Policy Institute:

“He has not inspired the region,” said Birns, “and this trip will be forgotten in a millisecond.” After one day back in Washington, it seems that it has.

Indeed, no sooner had he left Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff sided with China and not the United States concerning Libya.

Obama sprouted the usual fluff towards South America. One gets the feeling it was more dazzle than substance. It was long on rhetoric and short on actual proposals and solutions for different issues.

"To lead military action in Libya with vague declarations about democracy and freedom from Rio leaves much to be desired in terms of leadership. Gary Sick, a senior research scholar at the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, said that no country can serve as a model for democracy for another country. “Egypt can’t be a model for Yemen; Bahrain can’t be a model for Libya.” He added that South American democracies certainly couldn’t be a model because in addition to political differences, “it’s a totally different culture.”

I agree. What's happening in the Middle-East is particular to that region and its people. It can inspire but it can't be a "model."

Still, one can't under estimate the visit. Despite the fleeting speeches, South America was eagerly awaiting some attention from the U.S. Enough for Argentina to have been miffed about the fact Obama skipped visiting Buenos Aires.

10 Great Canadian Political Scandals

It's a tight race between Liberal leader Jean Chretien and Conservative leader Brian Mulroney!

According to this list anyway.

The Libs and Cons split the list 5-5.

It's funny. While people harp on Harper, it's mostly focused on policy and his "dictatorial" style, and not on any specific scandal that actually harmed democracy like, say, under the Liberals. I'm pretty sure they turned a blind eye with Chretien. As far as I'm aware, Harper is an angel next to Chretien's scandals. Meh. Chretien is "liberal." You do the math.

My personal favorite:

"The billion-dollar boondoggle: Human Resources Development Minister Jane Stewart was in the hot seat in 2000 when an internal audit found that Jean Chrétien's Liberal government had failed to track employment program grants worth $1 billion to make sure the money was spent properly and the promised jobs were created. At one time, the RCMP had launched 12 separate investigations into HRDC files as a result of the audit; three of them related to grants awarded in the prime minister's riding of Saint-Maurice. Stewart faced grilling for months in the House of Commons, but managed to hold on to her job. She decided not to run again in the 2004 federal election, however."


How low have the Liberals gone? Put it to you this way. NDP leader Jack Layton is more popular than the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec - according to polls anyway. Here's a leader from a third party who fraternizes with separatists and he surges past the Liberals!

The Liberals would have been better off without the non-confident vote. All they're doing is exposing they're not ready for power. Loathe as I am to admit it, but the NDP are more ready.

Doubting Thomas

Caravaggio's The Incredulity of St. Thomas.

African Christian Art

See more here.

Springsteen And Catholicism

Sounds as though Bruce Springsteen went through a similar road most of us had with religion.

One thing is for sure, he doesn't come off hostile towards it at all; skillfully straddling between personal existence and the firm embedded reality of his religious background:

On a rattlesnake speedway in the Utah desert
I pick up my money and head back into town
Driving cross the Waynesboro county line
I got the radio on and I'm just killing time
Working all day in my daddy's garage
Driving all night, chasing some mirage
Pretty soon little girl I'm gonna take charge.

The dogs on main street howl,
'cause they understand,
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain't a boy, no, I'm a man,
And I believe in a promised land.

I've done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start

The dogs on main street howl,
'cause they understand,
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain't a boy, no, I'm a man,
And I believe in a promised land.

There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

The dogs on main street howl,
'cause they understand,
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain't a boy, no, I'm a man,
And I believe in a promised land
I believe in a promised land...

Dylan's Christianity

Speaking of artists and religion, Bob Dylan entered a Christian phase during his epic musical career.

Like his decision to go 'electric' (which apparently spawned the the song Postively 4th Street), much has been made of his move to Christianity (he was born Jewish) with albums like Slow Train Coming.

'I shall be released,' was written in 1967. Interestingly, it was inspired, in part, by Johnny Cash's landmark 'Folsom Prison Blues.' Cash also put out Christian albums.

I don't think this song was written with personal salvation with a religious context in mind (it was written well before his entrance into Christianity in the late 1970s but one year after his mysterious motorcycle accident) but its religious overtones are clear.

Updike Easter Poem

John Updike's Seven Stanzas on Easter:
Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
re-knit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
re-gathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:

let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.


Consistency Is The Word

After listening to Colin Campbell break down on radio, and really no clue how this chap is still employed, the NHL needs to look up the word consistency.

It's all about consistency.

As in make your rules uniform or at least ENFORCE your rules.

It's simple. It really is. Hit to the head = automatic *insert number of games here* suspension. Or something like that. If a high stick is a fucking two-minute penalty regardless if it's intentional or not, you can't tell me you can't enforce a hit to the head. The league and fans know there are headhunters in the game - Torres, Cooke etc. - and when they strike you SIT their asses DOWN.

None of this arbitrary and subjective review process. You, hit head. You, sit. There's you slogan.

If violent sports like boxing, UFC and the NFL can do it, so can the NHL.

And spare me all the bull shit excuses about the speed of the game. These are pro athletes who know what they're doing. All they need is a clear, consistence cue from the NHL.

Wake the hell up already.


The NHL, jumping to politics, remind me of the Americans and their sad inability to enforce their immigration laws to protect the integrity of their national borders.

What is up with that?

No balls.

Pepper Spray Alarm Illegal

An alarm system that discharges cayenne pepper has cops, well, alarmed. Crazy story.

"When pepper spray is used against another person — even if that person is an aggressor — it's considered a prohibited weapon," said provincial police Sgt. Genevieve Bruneau.

I don't know. But I'm calling bull shit. More proof every ounce of freedom humans that should be accorded - and I do consider self-defense to be a private issue if necessary - is removed through laws.

If someone enters a house unlawfully, as far as I'm concerned, he or she is FREE game. None of this excessive force crap. If anything, excessive force should be used to send a message.

"...police argue having a pepper spray-enabled alarm system at home could impede firefighters and first-responders from doing their job.

Meanwhile, they believe having it installed in a vehicle poses a risk if the system malfunctions, contravening the Highway Safety Code.

"If someone is contaminated, they can cause injuries to others too," Bruneau said."

But. I thought an alarm system is to keep burglars and possibly killers out. Not firemen.

That's another weak argument.

Bunch of 'what ifs.'

Anyway. Other than that, who knows what these folks were up to beyond this? Maybe there's more to the story.


The Last Supper

From Russia With Vodka And Love

Obama strikes success with Russian alliance.

Just a small excerpt from a long, detailed piece:

"...As a result of these efforts, relations between the U.S., NATO and Russia have steadily improved over the past 2½ years. And in spite of lingering mistrust and marked differences on some issues, the U.S., NATO and Russia have created a positive political environment in which real dialogue and engagement on a number of shared interests makes possible a “true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia” for the 21st century, as expressed in NATO’s new Strategic Concept.'

My Celebration

Celebrating 5000.



*Wipes sand from eye. Swears gently under breath*

Look at that.

Pushed through 5000 posts (including unpublished drafts). I must have missed the 5000th while eating Nutella with my fingers.

5000 posts and all I gots is tumbleweed.

Take it over Elton:


MLB Takes Over Dodgers; NHL Takes Circus Show To NBC

Remember when the Expos were a ward of the MLB state?

Yeah well, so are the Dodgers now.

What is it with teams I root for becoming degenerates?

We're talking the Dodgers here. One of the all-time great and storied sports franchises.


Hey, look at this. The NHL is going to show how useless it is when it comes to protecting the integrity of the game right on national TV with NBC!

Daycare Update: Permit Idiocy

Ah, there it is. I just discovered I have to pay to get a permit to be allowed to put up a sign for my business.


Everything is a racket.

Ignatieff Reality; Pirate Party Of Canada; Peace By Other Means Under Obama

Anyone who has followed North American politcs and American politics in particular since 2001 shouldn't be surprised by this. Michael Ignatieff was often on American TV while he was a professor at Harvard talking about the invastion of Iraq. I've read a couple of his books. In one of them, The Lesser Evil,  he took the position that democracies can morally torture temporarily in times of war and revert back to not doing so.


What sucks about voting in Canada is I can only vote for the dude running in my riding. So if three parties are running and I don't like either, I'm stuck. Personally, I'd like to vote for an independent or libertarian but I can't. Man, even the Pirate Party speaks to me. In fact, their platform talk about issues I care about.


"What’s wrong? The internet is the most important development in the free exchange of ideas since the invention of the printing press, yet copyright laws remain in the 18th century, preventing the internet from living up to its full potential as a medium for the exchange of art and information.

What can we do about it? We want to adjust copyright to meet the needs of artists first, consumers second, and big business third. We’ll shorten copyright terms and reduce their scope to prohibit commercial copying only. Doing so will return to the original purpose of copyright: to protect the ability of an artist to make a living rather than to grant exclusive “ownership” of an idea for life. Ideas are too valuable to treat as commodities, and are at their best when shared."

Or I could look for the NeoRhinos on the ballot.

Think I'm kidding? I'm not. Canadian politics is more interesting than being reported.

Alas, I'm stuck with the usual. Some democracy. Vote for the leftovers.

Here's a complete list of candidates and parties campaigning for votes on May 2.


At this point, only a drooling blinded partisan hack would consider President Obama as a purveyor of peace on the planet.

By extension, the notion that the Democratic party is somehow a party of "peace" is also nonsense.

Democrats have been just as willing to commit to a war as Republicans. After all, it was a Democrat who went into Vietnam and who sent Enola Gay to pay an explosive visit to Japan.

They just sell the same things differently.

It gets messier when you consider neo-cons are "disaffected liberals."
As for the Nobel Peace prize, I know he didn't ask for it, but I hope he doesn't take it too seriously because it would be quite the sham if he did.


It's not all bad though I reckon. Obama is trying to reinstall the basic concept of using soft power in international affairs. To what degree and how effective it will be will depend on him executing it properly.


Honestly, I don't get how Layton is so popular. Aside from the fact the NDP's basic premise is to promise the world paid for by taxes (I know. They're not "real" socialists like the Marxist-Leninist party. Yawn), does the rest of Canada understand he rubs elbows with separatists? I don't see how you can on one end believe in a united Canada and tolerate the crap the NDP pulls in Quebec when it comes to the language issue. The NDP clearly pander to it.

The NDP do frighten me because they'd confiscate more of my money.


Speaking For Truth

Every once in a while a video creeps up that keeps me watching for a few spin cycles.

Man, is this Wisconsin-Sarah protestor a classic or what?

Reminds me of the time when I was a stock broker soliciting clients.

"Give. Me. Your. Monnnneeeeyyyy!"

I Am Bankrupt

Things you may see from honest people on their public internet profiles:

Specialty: Bankruptcy.


“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” Laurence J. Peter.

Peter came up with the Peter Principle. He was from B.C. No. Not before Christ. British Columbia.

Phsycian Shortage

It hasn't improved much in the last four years.

It's so bad the FMOQ is putting out videos. What words failed to do, perhaps images will triumph.

With Friends Like These...

The NDP are NOT a federalist option.

How can they be when they court separatists? It's more cynical than anything Harper can do. Layton is some piece of work.

If you're a voter in the rest of the country and claim to be a federalist, I remind you it's incongruent to vote for the NDP on this front.

It's Not A Hockey Play

I see the buffoonery continues when it comes to suspensions in the NHL.

I've given up trying to figure these guys out.

Only in hockey is it tolerated that when player doesn't keep his head up is open game for a blindside hit.

All these people who think they know sports and the game know squat in reality. There is such a thing as sportsmanship - at least I'd like to think so.

The latest hit to the head left unpunished involved Vancouver Canucks forward Raffi Torres. He knew Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was vulnerable and he still hit him.  To me, and it's just personal, it's horse spit play. See it here.

Yes, players are taught to keep their heads up but it doesn't mean when it's down we should waste them. To me, well, it's almost cowardly. It's getting to the point hits are taking place away from the puck or play. Now we just have guys ramming people for not tactical reason except to, well, plough them into the boards or ice.

DB's in football always let up when a receiver is not looking so why can't fricken hockey players grasp this simple tenet? And no, it's not "part of the game." Good clean, hard, even open ice hits are. NOT blindsides.

Never was and never will be in my book. And I played hockey.

In the case of Torres on Seabrook, yeah, it's borderline but in light of everything the league just went through he should have sat out a game a or two. After all, he is a "repeat" offender for such hits. This is a player who wouldn't be in the league if he didn't make a living of trying to seperate players from the puck.

All I know is in football (and yes it's not a furious perpetual motion game like hockey) was able to stamp out helmet to helmet hits and head shots.


Judge for yourselves. Incidentally, in the usual NHL inaction to assume leadership on the issue (God I have no respect for the powers that be), a bunch of non-hockey plays littered the Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay game. Steve Downie, another aggressive player, did something similar to a Penguins player. He was subsequently suspended for one game even though he was given 20 for a similar hit on Dean McAmmond a couple of years bach. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz - who plays for outspoken owner Mario Lemieux on the issue of dirty plays - hit Simon Gagne with a flagrant elbow.Gagne has already been diagnosed with concussions and has missed a significant amount of games in his career due to the injury. His punishment? One lousy piece of shit game.

But hey. It's all "part of the game" and "keep your heads up" fellows.

Why would a parent put their kids in this game the way it's being taught?

They Have Gots To Do Better Than That, No?

I'll tell you one thing, if this teenager was speaking on behalf of the progressive agenda, she'd be praised to no end.

Heck, she'd likely be interviewed by Katie Couric. Bruce Springsteen would sing a song for her, and Obama would give her some sort of ribbon.

And don't say it's not true!

Alas, since she speaks for the Tea Party (if you're still using the term Tea Bagger thinking it's still somehow smart to do so, think again) she's being...get this...indocrinated by her parents!

Of course. Naturally. It's gotta be that.

Moving along. Were that some black people I saw in the video? Don't they know they're part of a racist movement?

Reminds me of Quebec nationalists who still whine about being an oppressed minority in a province exclusively controlled by French-Canadians. More like part of an oppressed majority.


I'm less interested in the content of what she's arguing, we pretty much know what the TP is about by now, but how opponents dealt with.

Drums and cow bells.

While she's up there speaking, this is the best the left has as a response? Fucking cow bells and chants of 'Go home?'

Cue Will Ferrel now!

Civil discourse my ass.

Foreign Owners In Sports

Getting worked up over a foreigner buying a sports team is a little like listening to Quebec commentators on the radio babble about too many English words and stores (international branding rights be damn!) in a shopping mall.

It all comes down to one thing: Xenophobia.

Pure and simple. No if, but, or and about it.


It's always interesting to see reactions in the media and among fans whenever a foreign consortium or new owner buys a local team. It happens often enough but do they ever get used to it?

Back in the 1990s, American businessman George Gillette bought the iconic Montreal Canadiens in a province high on its 'chez nous' outlook. It caused a bit of a "why the Americans?' navel-gazing blah blah but hey, it's not like Canadian investors were llining up. In fact, Gillette bought the franchise dirt cheap, built it up and sold it a for huge profit. When it went up for sale at a premium that's when the sleepy headed Canadian business community fought to get it and shouted, "We'll take it!"

*Face palm* here.

In England, Russians, Arabs and Americans (Tom Hicks and the aforementioned Gillette bought one of the world's great clubs Liverpool)  flocked to buy EPL soccer clubs with varying degrees of reactions. I guess it's an acquired taste getting used to people speaking in foreign tongue buying up your assets. Remember the Great Japanese Scare of the 1990s. They were buying up everything in the USA! We were all going to speak Japanian! So it seemed. Then someone went out and got all perspective on us and reminded that Japanese holdings of total American assets accounted for something like 2% - if that, if my memory serves me correct.

The Italians too are starting to get a taste of what it's like when an American (Thomas Di Benedetto) scooped up AS Roma and its rabid fan base. Roma is one of those giant teams on the cusp of European greatness...mind you, since the 1980s. The reaction says a lot about the prevailing mindset, no?

Contrast this with the general "whatever" greeting from Yanks when Russian businessman Mikail Prokhorov bought the New Jersey Nets. Granted, the fact it was the Nets might have had something to do with it. I mean, it's not like he bought the Knicks, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls or even 76ers. Still. I read and listened to a lot of American media outlets and it the reaction was nowhere near the nationalistic levels we see here in Quebec or Europe. Some even liked his brash talk. Promising a championship? Di Benedetto faced a backlash for daring to speak confidently and looking to improve Roma. In Italia, non si fa!

Americans understand it's just business. One foreign dude doesn't mean 29 other dudes from the former republics will clamor to buy up NBA teams. Indoor soccer teams maybe but not the major sports.

Americans do a lot buying and selling and they know it's part of the deal to get bought out and sold.

I understand the attachment of certain soccer teams to the locals and cultural landscape of a town in Europe makes it especially delicate, but it's not like North America is void of such scenarios. One need only look at teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, New York Knicks, Green Bay Packers, Boston Celtics, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Chicago Bears to know this to be true.

One can only hope those doing the buying understand the cultural brands they are buying.

For Montrealers, it turned out great as Gillette was clearly dedicated to maintaining the fabled and famed  historical legacy of the Habs. I'm sure there are many like him waiting to do the same elsewhere.

Star Of David Bigotry

This story was mentioned on the local news but it was a bitch finding it on the internet. Apparently, freedom and liberty is low on the totem pole.


Because of ONE dipshit HQ reacts.

"Fletcher, who is well-known throughout Westmount for his community involvement and support of local events, has been displaying the Passover decorations above displays of traditional Jewish food items at the Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue grocery store for the past 10 years without any complaints from customers."

"It's not that it's because of the Star of David. It's just that it's too big ergo it's offensive!"

Logical equivalence:

"Hey, Hector. It's not that you're Mexican. It's just that you're, well, too Mexican!"

Taking Investor Fraud Seriously

Investors are not protected enough from financial fraud in North America. Here in Canada, this country has had its fair share of spectacular frauds that rivals anything in the United States from Earl Jones to Norbourg to Triglobal.

FAIR Canada (Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights) is an advocacy group that is trying to change this. It proposes its own recommendations on how to combat fraud.

Consequences of fraud:

"As of July 2009, an estimated 1.3 million Canadians have been victims of fraud at some point during their lives. In many cases, investors lose a significant part of or their entire life savings. The impact on their lives is devastating and irreversible. These crimes impact the financial, emotional, psychological and physical health of the victims and seed doubts about the security and fairness of our financial system.""Half of Canadian fraud victims say that fraud caused them not to trust "…the way investments are run and regulated…"

Lack of coordination or cooperation in a fragmented landscape:

"The Canadian regulatory framework for regulation of investments is complex and fragmented. First, there are thirteen provincial and territorial statutory securities regulators and two national self regulatory organizations. In addition, there are many other provincial
and national regulators that are involved in regulating financial institutions and investment products. When it comes to enforcement, the complexity and fragmentation gets much worse, as it includes provincial crown prosecutors and local and provincial police forces as well as the RCMP and its Integrated Market Enforcement Teams ("IMET"s) which were set up to combat commercial crime. The fragmented system, the combined delays in the justice system and difficulty in tracing assets make these cases complex and time-consuming, which results in most cases taking years to resolve."3. Victims of fraud report high incidences of stress, anger, depression, loss and isolation.4 Nine in ten Canadians agree that "[t]he impact of investment fraud can be just as serious as the impact of crimes like robbery and assault."

"With this bewildering array of government, regulators and police, it appears that no one has ultimate responsibility for prevention, detection and prosecution of investment frauds and scams. An investor who has lost $50,000 in an investment scam may start by calling the local police who may refer the victim to the provincial police, a commercial crime unit, the RCMP or IMET or a provincial securities commission. The victim may contact each of these agencies only to find that none of them wants to assume responsibility for investigating and prosecuting the investment scam. Even if some agency is willing to investigate, the investigation may take many years and the crown prosecutor may decide not to prosecute due to lack of resources."

Visit FAIR Canada here.

Of Football And Progressives

The thing I don't get about 'progressives' (aside from appropriating a word for themselves) is it's unclear what they're striving for or what they base their progressivism on. What constitutes progressivism?

This article came by way of Zeus written by Pat 'I want to buy a vowel at a discount' Sajak. It touches on how progressives wanted to ban football in the early part of the last century.

Gadhafi Strong

In and out my ass. Success my ass.

President Obama, the man of infinite wisdom we're told, got involved in a conflict using a jab rather than a strong upper cut.

If you're going to


Private And Public Salaries

Much is made about how much CEO's earn.

What about public servants in executive positions who earn well over six figures?

One is an actor in the private sector, while the latter's salary is taxpayer funded.

No one has ever been able to explain to me if a CBC's executive salary (I've read different amounts over the years including $300 000) is justified.

45 And 4 Million

I still keep reading about how 45 million Americans don't have health care when in fact all are covered. The issue is 45 million don't have insurance

Not only that, that 45 million figure has been examined.

45 million accounts for 15% of the population. As the article points out, 85% of Americans are covered and satisfied with their coverage. Though, interestingly, a high percentage of bankruptcies are due to medical expenses.

By contrast, 4.1 million Canadians don't have a GP - 12% of the population. It shoots up to 25% in Quebec. The way our system is set up, that's also a serious problem.

I forget where I read it - I think it was factcheck - but that 45 million figure can also be broken down. Factor in people who freely choose to not have insurance and illegal immigrants, it's closer to 15 million.

222 Aspirin

For my headaches, I use an over the counter aspirin called 222. Powerful stuff.

For you Americans, that's basically Tylenol laced with caffeine and codeine.

It's not available in the U.S. since it contains codeine and codeine is considered a controlled substance down there. I believe you can only get it through a doctor's prescription. Here, you open a file with a pharmacist and voila.

I kinda like how Canada handles pharmacies. I find our pharmacists to be quite knowledgeable. So much so, there's a debate as to whether we should allow them to prescibed medicine.

I say go for it.


Apparently, it's technically illegal to carry 222's over the border. Sounds as though you're at least allowed one bottle of 50 pillls per person.

I Said...

Thinking of...selling nuts on the streets?

Business Blacklist Updated

I guess, sigh, I'll have to add the following businesses on my "No sale" list for politicizing shopping with a short sighted 'Ici on commerce en francais' sticker on their window.

Nothing screams 'know your place' than that little, idiotic message.

They are:

Best Buy
Future Shop
Centre Hi-Fi

No sale boys. You should be in the business of making money. Not politics.

I will gladly take my money to Ebay or Plattsburgh.


Canada's Welfare State Clip

CBC radio clip from 1949 about the welfare state in Canada.

Love this stuff.

I don't think the argument in the clip has been settled.

What I don't get is despite it all, millions of Canadians remain without a GP (a must in the type of system we have) and try as we might to egalitize, poverty remains.


In America, it was trading liberty for security. In Canada, initiative for security.

Patron Saint For Maids

Did you know there was a patron saint for domestic servants?


Here name was Zita and she died on this day in 1272.

Remember this the next time you meet a maid named Zita.

Summertime Blues

On this day in 1960, rocker Eddie Cochran died at the age of 21 in a car crash.

Figures Of The Past: Ganelon

The traitor Ganelon - who betrayed Roland and Charlemagne - is mentioned in footnotes and a symbolic figure (mostly with Mordred) in Arthurian legends and even makes an appearance in Dante's Divine Comedy, Canto XXXII.

Ganelon's fate and treachery is immortalized in the Song of Roland.

Image found here.

Public Health And Education

I realize this is a provacative video on the conservative side, or even 'extremist' to those who believe in public institutions, but it does bring up valid points some of which I've heard parents and teachers begin to question.

It's a video starring Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin look alikes.

There are definitely points to be made in favor of both sides of the debate.


A couple of things they bring up that may be up for debate some (American) readers can probably shed light upon:

-The Department of Education in the United States contributes 10% of its budget to schools. Yet, it controls the direction of what's being taught in those schools.
-One of the panelists asserted since its arrival on the seen, test scores have been in steady decline. Indeed, we've often heard and read about the fall of quality education. I have no citation for it.


Points I agree on:

-We tend to scoff of vocational education and apprenticeship programs. When I was in high school, councilors would coil in horror if you wanted to go to mechanic or electrician school. Today, plumbers make more money than someone in with a university degree working in a bank. In Europe, they're far better at indentifying vocational candidates and offering them jobs. They seem to be more pragmatic as to who should go to university. Here, we consider it a "right" to go to school and even demand society pay for it.

-In Canada, professor salaries can go up to $200 000 per year despite low tuitions. The balance of payments to cover the salary (excluding the actual cost of tuition) comes from, I reckon, taxpayers.

-The irony of public education - particularly for liberals (or any person free of ideology for that matter) who rightly rail against the loss of independent free thinking - is that it's actually a propaganda tool since it dictates and coerces the curriculum being taught. Sheep, sheep, sheep!

Schools should be treated as self-sustaining organisms where the needs and objectives of each is determined by educators and parents. No bureaucrat removed from the intricate equation of this reality should dictate otherwise. For example, a private school near my house with an excellent reputation was revoked its permit because it had the audacity to market itself as bilingual. It took parents, mostly French-Canadians, to leave their work to go and fight this nonsense. It was eventually rectified in the school's favor. The point being, why face the unnecessary stress? Why is the government intervening in what parents want for their children? How was the stare "improving" our education by playing politics?

Another example is when the government forced an "ethics"course on private schools built on strong religious identities. Again, it's a simple case of if parents send their children to this school then it's their business. The state should not be telling a Jesuit school to cease teaching religion. It's paternalistic, wrong and even immoral. If parents pay for it, it's none of our business.

The weight of the ministry on schools is unbearable and the results speak for themselves. It's not the teachers fault. They know what needs to be done but can't do it since it's against the law.

The best type of education system is one in which every school is free to control its destiny. Parents would then have the choice to pick which they like best. The crappy ones would go out of business and the best ones would stand alone.

The problem with this model is what to do with those who can't afford such schools - unless the market caters to it specifically. My suggestion is public education must remain so long as the government's input is limited. There's no reason to be able to give school's latitude even if they're publicly funded.

Furthermore, we can surely come up with innovative ways to get under privileged people a shot at education if they truly need it and have the interest in it. No? Better them than a bunch of sheep who merely worked the system against their will.

We just have to manage human resources better.

Question: What or when was (if ever) the last true innovative idea copied everywhere in education to come out of Canada?


Finally, Peter Theil is mentioned. Theil is definitely a character. I read about his bubble theory a while back and thought to comment about but let it go so I'll do it here. We do cling on to the ideal of public education - and here in Canada public health.

That's fine.

The problem is whenever people want to make meaningful and necessary changes, they are dubbed 'extremists' for merely bringing up the discussion.

The state of public education and health, in my opinion, is mediocre. Why not work to improve it? We can only do so if we actual begin to talk about it.

By the way, building a super hospital, while the current system is in turmoil is NOT a solution. It's sweeping things under a rug and quite frankly, Quebec's track record on grandiose projects is abysmal. Forgive my cynicism.

Identifying Soccer Talent Still An Issue In North America

If you're not a soccer fan, best you be moving along for this post.

I don't know what the etiquette is about copy/pasting comments from other sites but I've done in the past and will do so here.

As usual, the FIFA world rankings stir way too many emotions for its worth. It's just a ranking based on a formula of games played over a period of time. Too often people forget it's a concrete (and imperfect) equation meant to be objective and a ranking where a group of people subjectively subject who they thing should be #1 like they do with the BCS or college basketball. If Portugal is ranked ahead of the USA it means precious little. It does provide some insights into the consistency of a program but I tend to look at the long-term coefficients for that (like you would for a mutual fund or any investment. I don't care who is number 1 for three months. I want to see how they've done for 40 years).

FIFA doesn't publish those but ELO does under 'Strongest football nations.' since 1970.The top three are of no surprise. They do one better, they calculate and break it down per decade going back to the 1910s.

Back to the comment. I post it because I think he's accurate with his argument. It's one I definitely witnessed and experienced.

"To many of you people try to down the MLS. To be perfectly honest i currnetly play proffesional soccer in norway second division and have also playing 2nd division in italy for 3 years and there is almost no difference if any in the quality of players with the MLS and other leagues in eroupe what makes the game so poor in MLS is not the players but the coaching the training the tactics of our game we are tought the game incorrectly our youth system is so messed up and this is the main reason why gusieppe rossi left for italy... He was a good friend of my we played youth soccer together and he was not chosen for youth state team which was a joke. Coaches here are terrible...it makes me sick college soccer is even more of a joke..."

It's worse in Canada. At least the Americans can compete with the likes of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina and are consistently ranked in the top 20 and even made appearances in the top 10.

About his mention of Rossi. Canada did the same with Owen Hargreaves. The program failed him even though he was good enough to play for Bayern Munich's (one of the world's great clubs) youth academy. Following this, he ended up with another soccer giant in Manchester United and then was in the starting eleven for England.

Somehow Canada missed this?

Better yet, we then call him a 'traitor' for our own stupidity!

How a country so hard up for talent can let him go?

Simple. The chap above explains it well.

When I was playing the progress of soccer was reverse in Canada's favor vis-a-vis USA. It always baffled me how the quality of players on Team Canada was so poor - subpar tactics, ball movement and technique - since the local soccer parks were filled with highly skilled albeit raw talent screaming to be developed. We used to joke we can put together a local team and give Team Canada a run for their money.


When I was playing, players like me - big on vision, small on physical strength - being overlooked was the rule and not the exception. It just the way it was. The main prevailing tactic, if you can call it that, was to tell players to run like madmen and be "aggressive" on the ball. All the coaches would do is yell as if that would motivate players. Basically it was a hockey mentality in a soccer setting.

They never showed you to play without the ball or how to pace a game. That was left to chance if a coach cared enough to take the time to teach but it was always independent of any developmental strategy. 
I still marvel at how good we were with scant proper instruction. It was pure, raw, tupelo honey.

It's a bit better now. I see Canada's talent is finding its way into the national team (it's nice to see short passes with some purpose now) but I still think we're a long way off.

Finally, it's pleasing to see the team reflect its cultural makeup a little more now as well.


Mexican Drug Lord Bust

Can't seem to find the embed code on youtube anymore. Anyone know why?

In the meantime, this video showing a raid on a Mexican drug cartel lord is pretty wild.

Ever wonder what a billion dollars looks like?

Question: Is Mexico a failed state?

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

An anonymous, epic Arhturian poem and tale.

More here.

Filled with symbolism.

Quebec's Grading Meddling

Once again, in their infinite wisdom, the paternalistic brains running the education ministry have chimed in with a piece of grand work. I don't know what their fetish is for constantly tinkering with how to grade students. They messed up the last time they did it leaving parents with a blank Homer Simpson stare and a "I see. But is my kid an idiot or not?"

Was talking to a few teachers over the last few days, some of whom have over 40 years experience, and they concluded it was another dud from the government. All it does is confuse parents further and complicates a teacher's life trying to explain the convoluted process. We're doing a massive disservice to parents. In fact, no one asked for it to be changed the first time around. If parents and teachers didn't ask for it, then why is the government forcing a change?

To prove they exist? To justify their jobs?

Free Speech? What's That?

I saw (and still see) the repression of free speech all the time. University was one of the worst offenders. I couldn't get out of it fast enough. If I had balls, I would have quit to get away from stupid is and stupid does. But hey, I needed the piece of paper for...whatever.

Will never forget the student who was upset at a professor for having the temerity to not only refuse which books to focus on in the syllabus, but the chapters as well! She was entitled to a road map with destination 'A' apparently.

Will also never forget one guy's response, clearly annoyed: "Or you could just read the books."


Would a woolen burqua be popular in Canada?


Positively A Great Song

Very weird that I would have to find Bob Dylan's 'Postively 4th Street' here.


I don't know why Dylan wrote this song, but it doesn't get more stark than this on the subject of naked hypocrisy.

Man, many a musician covered this beaut gem of a song.

The vastly under rated and largely forgotten rock legend Johnny Rivers (ne Ramistella) made a brilliant cover.

With a mug like that, no wonder he was an idol.

Couldn't embed either of these clips.

Paying Volunteers Is The Best They Got In The Halls Of Ideas?

This is wrong. Just plain wrong. Wrong on so many levels. Wrong.

Not everything needs to have a monetary value attached to it.

If you can't see anything wrong with this, then you lost your sense of independence. Of what a volunteer in a free society offering their time to enhance their community.

It's another wrongheaded, misplaced statist idiocy that rips the soul out of what we should be as free-thinking, acting and rational players in the social realm.

The government is bent on removing what precious little is left of our personal dignity.

Actually, it's telling of where our mindset is these days for suggesting paying volunteers is a good idea for society.


The above article got me thinking about an old and wise adage oft repeated in sports: A good official or referee is one in which you never hear or see. I'd expand it by adding, a good team is one that is not overcoached.

A referee is there to simply enforce the laws or rules of a sport or game. He (or she) are not there to intrude and intervene in every action to ensure those laws are observed. If they did so, there would be no flow. In fact, it usually leads to unnecessary frustration and flare ups that could have been avoided.

They're merely there to preserve the integrity of the game and league to which the participants collectively agreed to be a part of. Not influence it. A ref is not there to determine who ought to win, or how they should win, or make sure everyone is a winner.

Let the players decided.

A classic and inevitable aspect of sports is the "settling" of accounts. Everyone knows this exists. Let the players decide.

Why pretend it doesn't happen?

The greatest games are those by which the players play within the rules and as such govern themselves in a mysterious but symbionic poetic pace. A lot of shit will happen but you can't penalize everything right? You can't save everyone right? Sometimes you just have to let things go. A lesson we're unwilling to heed when it comes to letting corporate bums fail as natural selection would.

A ref's interference screws and skews the contest.


Today, there can be no doubt, quite frankly I can't see how anyone can argue otherwise (read the link), that politicians and the state interfere way too much into the daily actions of the citizens it is expected to govern.

A leader not heard or seen is the best leader. Civil servants of which politicians are included, are the refs of society. They are there to protect and preserve the integrity of our institutions. Not interfere in everything (and coopt with special interest of whatever kind) in our lives from how much salt we eat to whether we lock up our own liquor cabinets. The biggest lie heaped upon us all is the concept of "protecting us from ourselves."

I do happen to think if you leave people alone, they will perform not unlike two teams competing on the pitch, field, court or ice. Ironically, a true sense of socialistic cooperation would have a better chance at succeeding (with smaller populations of course). After all, are teams sports nothing but (Darwinistic) socialism in an athletic setting?

Jam us up with insidiously numerous state laws and ordinances and all you've done is confuse the issue by frustrating people who just want to get on with it. Not spend time going back and forth sometimes arguing with different levels of government to stick a fence on their land or start a business. Or even be able to sell food on the streets without a "feasiblity test."

Nothing can't be done within the prescribed limits of a few pieces of paper within one or two departments.

The rest is just inefficient and pointless bullshit dressed up as improving the 'greater good.'

The greater good.

A myth.

How come know one talks about the 'greater bad?'


Canadian Democracy

The Green party is running 308 candidates in all 308 ridings but weren't allowed to partake in the national leaders debate. Meanwhile, a regional and parochial party bent on breaking up Canada, the Bloc Quebecois, gets to play 'let's reduce all issues to Quebec' in front of the country.

Seems to me the Greens deserve a spot.

How do we spell 'joke' again?

Daycare Update

We're only a few days but we didn't open with the kids I expected. My waiting list is stacked towards August, September.


I'm not subsidized. We'll see.


This report from the Montreal Economic Institute is BANG ON and one I surmised quickly in the daycare industry.

"But before we try to replicate Quebec's child-care model coast to coast, Ottawa should take a close look at what that model has brought Quebecers. The answer: high costs, little choice, mediocre quality.

The stated goal of Bill C-303 is to "ensure the quality, accessibility, universality and accountability of [child-care] programs in order to promote early childhood development and well being." Is this goal really being met in Quebec?

One of the few extensive studies on the quality of Quebec child-care facilities reported in 2005 that 61% had an overall quality rated as minimal (with scores of 3 to 4.9 out of 7), while 12% were rated as inadequate and 27% as good. Government subsidy and regulation, clearly, does not ensure high quality."

$7 dollar a day was a pipe dream from the start. It sheltered people from the true costs of running a daycare. It's actually more advantage for people to pay a private daycare up front than pay $7 which usually results in mediocre services. Worse, it created an artificial demand of which I'm learning about. People, like sheep, are conditioned to look for $7 without realizing the cost to quality effect.

"Meanwhile, those with incomes between $25,000 and $40,000 are actually worse off financially than they would be using nonsubsidized child care at, say, $26 per day, given the overall effect of the government's program on their taxable incomes. So much for universality and accessibility.

The $7-a-day child-care system also results in unfair competition for unsubsidized private daycare operators, further limiting parents' choices. Since 1997, their market share has become negligible. They accounted for just 1.7% of all spaces in 2006."

How many times have we read about from learned people who know and understand business, government interventionism puts everything out of whack. What usually follows, once they mess things up, is a paternalistic approach. Also known as a crack down. Mme. Courchesne did a great job in education. She should do fine in daycare. The link applies to subsidized daycares.


"Thousands of centres in Quebec are subsidized to the tune of $33 a day per child."

Parents are charged $7. Who is paying the balance of $26?

MEI tackles the government's crack down on extra fees:

"Last year, with the stated aim of preventing "two-tier" child care from emerging, the Quebec government prevented subsidized private daycare centres from engaging in extra billing for supplementary activities. This coercive measure comes as a logical outcome of the centralization and standardization mindset that took over a decade ago. A group of parents is currently challenging this policy in court."

It's group think.

"The costs of the new child-care system seem high in comparison to what private unsubsidized daycare operators charge, and to what is charged in other provinces. One measure of subsidies is the daily basic allowance given by the government. In formal child-care facilities, this comes to about $40 per child - not even including the $7 parental contribution. In regulated private daycare centres, by contrast, the corresponding cost is $33."

And this cost figure is EXACTLY what I've observed and experienced. Basically, the base price a private day care should charge is maybe $38 to make some money.

Parents who think a daycare charging $40 or $45 is too expensive are unaware of what's going on. They should do extra research and visit as many daycares as they can to get a feel for how things work. It's the only way. Listening to only the government option is not enough.

No Knock Out Punch

Conclusion after last night's debate?

In order to beat the defending champ in boxing, it usually takes a knock out. The Liberals took a chance in pushing a non-confidence vote. Michael Ignatieff needed to knock Harper out and he didn't.

What remains to be seen is if Harper can earn a majority.

If he doesn't and gets a third minority in succession, Frik and Frak may see this as yet another chance to try and bother us with another election somewhere down the road. And still more possible coalition nonsense between the irksome NDP and pointless Liberals. Don't expect fiscal responsibility either.


The thing is, Harper is a smooth chess player. He put his opponents in a corner with his coy budget. He put many things in there they wanted and they reacted by calling an election and then proceeded to attack him in the debates for not doing what he put in the budget. Follow? They misplayed the whole thing.

They were left to going after his iron-fist political behavior and kept hammering out how they want a "Democratic" government. Please. Quebec and the Bloc aren't bastions of "Democracy," the NDP are socialists and prefer coercion to individual choice and the Liberals under Chretien were a benign dictatorial state.

It was a hollow game.

Last, as a side note, the Harper conservatives have spent more than any Tory government in history.


The conservatives are the only government since I've been voting that actually cut cheques out to families. The Liberals, who cut services massively and never cut taxes, talked about it but never acted on it.

Hey, $100 bucks is $100. If you have more kids, more for you.


A local Bloc candidate is described as a "militante souvereigniste." A militant sovereignist.

Leave it to them to use military terminology to describe their intentions.

Imagine if mainstream parties used such language.

It does wreak of "pitchforks" and "axes" doesn't it?

Militant. Please.

How about getting serious about more social pressing needs, eh? Get Quebecers to stay in school, smoke less and exercise more, work harder, fix health and education, lower the damn taxes, scale back the enormous size of the civil service of which the crushing weight of its costs is destroying the tax base, weaken the unions, and produce some wealth outside state run monopolies.

Oh, get the bus drivers to smile more and privatize the fricken SAQ. I'm fed up of paying $28 hourly wages ( for something the state has no business running. $28! Go on the free market and see how much they're really worth.

Maybe then I'll take them seriously.

La faute d'Ottawa mon oeil.