Just watched The Artist (2011). A modern silent film in the spirit of The Jazz Singer.

Leave it to the French to capture the essence of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Good movie. Charm overdrive.

Dying Breeds

No time to break this article in Der Spiegel one down.

Right. Too much choice is the problem.

/rolls eyes.

I may cover it in a later post. 


Game Plan Simple (GPS): Get Out Of The Way

AS senators consider President Obama’s nomination of Tom Wheeler to lead the Federal Communications Commission, some observers have painted a dire picture of the state of Internet availability in America. One legal scholar, Susan Crawford, has argued that “prices are too high and speeds are too slow,” though she supports Mr. Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former telecommunications lobbyist. Other critics have called for new government policies to “fix” the telecommunications industry. 

Prices are too high and speed to slow because of intervention of the FCC.  The situation is far worse in Canada where the we're not even debating the problematic issue that our industry is a monopoly preserved by the CRTC. We not only have outrageous prices, we're not even a player technologically speaking. As for critics who call for more (not less, more) government regulations, that's just typical of the dinosaurs who roam the floor in Washington and everywhere else. What we need is one big cloud dust to choke them off. It's the same mindset that calls for increased taxes to deal with deficits or eating habits. Got a problem? Tax it! Next!


Such criticisms are misplaced. If he is confirmed, Mr. Wheeler will have the good fortune to be arriving at the F.C.C. at a time when the United States has gained a global leadership position in the marketplace for broadband. 

Wow. The NYT is actually taking a free-enterprise, market stance on the issue? Shtonk! I just fell off my chair. The paper that not too long ago editorialized 'big government for big problems?' That paper? No. You don't need big government to solve 'big' problems. Just efficient and innovative ideas - and you ain't getting that from a bureaucrat who operates in a snail-paced regulatory environment. Paper is their thing. They sure do love Dunder-Mufflin.

More than 80 percent of American households live in areas that offer access to broadband networks capable of delivering data with speeds in excess of 100 megabits per second. Almost everyone in the country has several competitive choices for high-speed broadband service (with wireline, satellite and wireless options). Verizon offers 14.7 million consumers, in parts of 12 states and the District of Columbia, speeds up to 300 megabits per second via our FiOS network, which is poised to provide even greater speeds in the future. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are also investing in their infrastructure. 

Fifty-six percent of American adults have smartphones that give them access to mobile broadband data and video. Our country is the center of a booming mobile ecosystem in which new devices and applications are being used to do everything from personal health monitoring and e-commerce to tracking deliveries and saving energy. 

Contrast this with the European Union, where innovation and investment in advanced networks have stagnated under an onerous regulatory regime that limits investment and innovation, and where today only about 2 percent of households have access to broadband networks with 100-megabit-plus speeds. “Once, Europe led the world in wireless communication: now we have fallen behind,” Neelie Kroes, the European Union official responsible for broadband policy, said in a speech in January. “Europe needs to regain that lead.” 

The United States built its lead because companies invested nearly $1.2 trillion, over 17 years, to deploy next-generation broadband networks. These investments, which began with the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, were neither accidental nor inevitable; they were a result of deliberate policy decisions by Congress and by Democratic and Republican administrations alike to protect consumers while encouraging companies to invest in nascent technologies that are now flourishing. 

Notice the simple trend and logic. Lower regulation, step aside and let the big boys who know what they're doing run the show. In French they say 'chacun sont metier.' To each their own craft. When the government isn't involved, companies feel comfortable investing over the long-term. They feel they can retrieve their investment over time without intervention. In Europe, which has been dealing with eurosclerosis for decades, the trend has reversed itself because of too much government policy initiatives. It's not complicated at all. 

To use my own personal experience, I'm not investing anymore money in private daycare in Quebec because the current administration frightens me and the industry has become too politicized. On the drop of a piece of legislation I can lose my business here. Logically, I can't commit to a long-term project because I can lose everything. Why should I invest $250 000? It takes years to get that money back. What happens if in the fourth year of my 10 year loan the government decides to take action that works against me and suddenly find myself stuck making payments?

Think about the ramifications of this across the board - lower employment, tax revenues etc. And I'm not the only one thinking this way. Don't throw Target in my face. Target is an massive corporation with tax incentives and special privileges small-businesses don't have. Completely different scenario.

My point is the economy at the basic level grinds to a slow down because of the excessive regulatory and politicized environment. This is an axiom that can't be debated. Frankly, I can't believe it is in some circles.

President Bill Clinton’s administration decided not to impose, on the Internet and wireless technologies, century-old regulations designed for copper networks. Michael K. Powell, the F.C.C. chairman during President George W. Bush’s first term, presided over the decision to exempt new fiber-optic networks from the old regime of price controls and rate-of-return regulation. The fast deployment of 4G LTE mobile broadband networks across the country might not have happened had Julius Genachowski, the most recent F.C.C. chairman, imposed a heavy-handed regulatory approach toward the technology. 


Regulatory restraint has resulted in a robust broadband market, but today some self-styled policy advocates insist that America’s broadband marketplace is badly broken and that the only solution is to revert to Depression-era regulations, like government rate setting and price controls or rules dictating what types of competitive offerings broadband providers can offer consumers. These ideas, however, are part of the rigid bureaucratic approach that European regulators like Ms. Kroes have correctly identified as stifling. 

Quoted for truth and it's hilarious and depressing at the same time people would advocate such policies. It's crazy. They're incapable of understanding it's private enterprise that will push this industry forward. Besides, the New Deal has come under more scrutiny in recent years for its effectiveness and applying it to contemporary issue is foolish. You don't need a New Deal and its progressive garbage. You need to have the confidence of your people; a free people. That's your greatest asset.

Progressives have zero faith in people. They ultimate faith in the civil servant.


Heard on the radio the other day a liberal commentator agreeing with the NYT. You could smell the but coming...

..."but that doesn't mean government isn't good or isn't necessary and took a shot at people who call for smaller-government."

Two steps forward, one step back with these folks.

Immediately I thought "ok, here's a clear example of how things can work." Why shouldn't it be the case everywhere else including health and education?" Where should government be involved and why should it be so big and expansionary?

Why not lessen the load and impossible expectations on government and politicians. Why not act with wisdom and usher in visionaries into the system?

We should be questioning the government's role and results across the board. Our economic times demand it. We have no excuse not to. The President does a huge disservice selling a big government agenda.

Government should pick where it wants to be involved - conditional on the approval of the people - and focus on those areas with utmost efficiency.

As it stands, they're addicted to spending. They spend and tax. They coerce people into actions they see no benefit in. Notice the charter school issue in America. People are already pushing America into a direction Obama's Democrats don't want. 

It's not extremism at work. It's good old fashioned sensibility. People are reacting to their environments and coming up with solutions that work sans l'etat. People more and more feel they don't need Washington.

And that has big government types freaked out.


Speaking of taxes. To me, a society that over taxes (ie Quebec) is a defunct one. I was talking to a friend of my wife. Highly intelligent (a person of the new age. Despite being a teacher, she has all the professional skills needed in the tech era....and is a robotics enthusiast), like most rational economic beings, she has concluded it's foolish to shop here. Between the artificially inflated prices (probably attributed to regulatory policies somewhere in the equation), and high sales taxes she does what most of us do. Shop at the retail level. See what you like and go buy it on Amazon or physically in the United States where prices are substantially lower.

As I've pointed out, Vermont has a 7% sales tax. Socialist Vermont understands this simple axiom: Keep taxes low to keep the circulatory system going; to keep blood flowing.

Not Quebec. Quebec has to keep its corrupt infrastructure in place while trying to maintain and sustain a pseudo-Scandinavian welfare apparatus increasingly difficult to manage.

All this nonsense costs us money. Where I can save, I will.



Saving The Environment One Nickel At A Time

Unstainamable! The new leitmotif!

I always pay the bloody 5 cents (sometimes more. Shoot, I'm tempted to buy a whole bunch of 'em each time) whenever I go to the grocery store. I ain't carrying no girly bags into the store.

It is a tax.

Love one of the commenters arguing 5 cents isn't enough. He can go fuck himself.

Seeing the benefit of things without coercion? Pish-posh! Punitive action is what's needed!

You go Scotland! Fathers of The Enlightenment. That'll learn people!

Tyranny Is The Default Position Of Man

This won't end well.
This is what happens when we take a legit concern like bullying and twist it into hyperbole. People crash through windows wanting save the children. You know, like gun control.

And with it an excuse to assault rights.

So now they're gonna connect sports trash talking and criticizing politicians to bullying?

This won't end wall.

Dissolve The OLF


They will do major damage to this province.

This is getting completely out of hand and it's time Francophones need to stand up and truly protect their province from collapse.

Does this sound reasonable to you?


It gets worse.

Check this story about an IGA store manager personally applying her own interpretation of Bill 101 by forbidding a 17 year-old girl from speaking English to her boyfriend in the lunch room.

IT MADE THE DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND. When far left liberals in the USA compare you to Appalachia you know you lost the plot. As you know, Quebec zealots are like the American south circa 1948. And even that region is beginning to leave Quebec in the dust now. Explosion of business opportunities and the changing face of demographics is making the American south the new pink.

Lemme be clear here. This tit for tat angle used by Francophones doesn't cut it. If they're being told to not speak French elsewhere this is wrong and it infringes on their civil liberties. I will defend this right to the death. Quebec, though, is taking it a step further with all this garbage. Besides, we should show how things should be. We shouldn't fall into that 'but in Alberta' logical fallacy. Right is right. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Look, I blame the PQ and Pauline Marois for this. Her lack of wisdom and respect is what emboldens the lowest common denominator to go vigilante on fellow citizens. That the CAQ would even consider supporting Bill 14 on any level blows my mind away. For all the business talk the CAQ makes, it will be for not if they don't

Not to go Godwin on you, but when you add up the vigilantism against English and all the language laws, how is this not a form of Nazism again? I can't see on any intellectual or moral level how this sort of behavior is justified. Lisee is asking for 'sensible application of the law' but this is laughable as we can see. When people are given a chance to piss on other people...they will. And it's especially galling when one side is backed by the state and the other is powerless. 

I despise the PQ for the snooping and intolerant society it is attempting to instill.

"From  CNN to the BBC the world has seen the face of Quebec cultural prejudice from "Pastagate" to "Pastrygate" to"Turbangate" to now "Spoongate" - which has already gone viral on social media - turbocharged since the election of this government."


"Another matter that makes the "Spoongate" affair particularly galling was brought to our attention by attorney and Montreal West councillor Dino Mazzone. He pointed out that there is regulation respecting the language of commerce and business, chapter C-11, r.9, that sets forth exceptions to Section 51 of the Charter of the French Language. Section 3, paragraph (6) states: "An inscription on a product may be exclusively in a language other than French in the following cases: [...] the product is from outside Quebec and the inscription is engraved, baked or inlaid in the product itself, riveted or welded to it or embossed on it, in a permanent manner." 

Clearly Menchie's spoons fall under this exception. But you know what, what citizenry can live like this? Measuring the most mundane daily activity with legal scrutiny? Quebec small businesses already spend some 19 full working days a year on government compliance according to several studies. We don't need exceptions to law in order to live!"

19 days? It's more than that if my business is any indication. We suffocate under various provincial and municipal laws. It's to the point we don't even bother following through with some ideas because we know it will be a battle to get permission from some jerkoff bureaucrat.

Pish-posh! We shall apply the law as we see fit! Fuck you!

I'm part of a couple of publications in the U.S.. Trust me, Quebec has become a joke. 

Here's the thing. The nationalist zealots and its sorrowful band of apologists can't possibly win international public opinion on such trivial matters. Never mind that no one can explain how in the world this actually helps the French language.

Hint: It doesn't. But it does bring about a shitload of humiliation to Quebec. And this is one thing they can't fault 'le federale' for.

You want to win back some measure of respect Quebec? Disband the OLF. Immediately.

All this shit of trying to guess when it's the right time to speak a language because of the full of shit language laws is stressful and bad for business.


Push back. She's a bitch.


Euthanasia: A Question Of Cost Not Compassion

Quebec is not letting go of euthanasia.

It's too bad.

And sad.

I understand the part of people not suffering but do we really, really want the government to make that decision? Do people actually believe the government gives a shit about people? As far as they're concerned it's a write-off. We live in such an expansive welfare state killing off people is considered 'savings.'

It's macabre on so many levels.

And unethical.

Shit, it's downright evil.

The government of Quebec has made a mess of our finances - OUR money - and now you want them to enter the realm of life? Them as arbitrators of who lives and dies? Really?

Before you know it, you will be squeezed out of the decision making process completely. You won't have a say. That's what happens when you let the government enter your private life under the guise of compassionate policy - a bloody myth if there ever was one.

There are better ways to tend to our sick. An enlightened society - a real enlightened one - would not advocate killing people like animals.

And before you cite other places like Belgium, Holland and Germany and states like Oregon, best to remember that the definition of euthanasia has been loosened over the years. I'm sure plenty of people who were euthanized could be living today.

The Quebec government assures us it would only take place under 'strict' conditions.

Bull shit.

If you believe that you're a fool.

Palliative care may cost us a tad more  but isn't this the TRUE measure of a compassionate society? Let doctors and families make this sacred decision.

Fall of the West.

Continues in a free fall.


Is the United States an under-taxed or over-taxed society? Or is it just right but inefficiently collected and distributed.

I know for people of the leftist persuasion the answer is the former. They feel the deficit problem is a revenue one and it is so because not enough taxes (on the wealthy) are being collected or levied. One small problem with this: The rich already pay the majority of all taxes while about 50% of the country doesn't pay at all.

If you're on the other side of the argument, you argue that it's over-taxed given all the taxes (sometimes taxes paid on taxes) once amalgamated in its totality actually erodes discretionary income.


Wednesday Night Blues

Link to video of blues musicians Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie playing When the levee breaks (1929).

Of course, this was covered decades later by Led Zeppelin.

Canada Leaving Mark In Basketball

Canada's chances at actually making some international noise in a sport other than hockey and curling is in basketball. For those who noticed during the March Madness tournament, there was a record number of influential Canadian ball players on American teams.

It's really a staggering accomplishment given the odds of making it on a top flight U.S. college team with all the depth that exists there.

But find a place among the best they are doing.

Which is a marvel given that Basketball Canada was roughly on par with the Canadian Soccer Association in terms of ineptness, incompetence and appreciation for mediocrity.

Now the CSA stands alone with that dubious distinction. Shit, even Tennis Canada is beginning to produce some stellar talent worth paying attention to.

Don't take it from me. We Canadians tend to over rate ourselves. Take it from an American perspective in USA Today.

"...Olynyk is not alone in preferring Steve Nash, one of eight Canadians on NBA rosters this past season, over Wayne Gretzky. He's part of a growing nucleus of Canadian talent, a tight-knit group of young basketball stars poised to impact college basketball, the NBA and the Olympics..."

"...Recent research by BBM Analytics, which does frequent surveys of Canadian citizens, put basketball's annual growth rate of participation in Canada at 16% since 2010, more than hockey and soccer. A 2010 study by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group found basketball to be the most popular team participation sport for Canadians aged 12-17..."

Hockey is too expensive to play now and fast becoming a sport for the wealthy. I used to buy a Sher-Wood hockey stick for $19. Today, a high-tech stick will run you $200.  As for soccer, we fans of that game missed our chance. I just don't see enough of a development system in place.

"Opportunities for young athletes were -- and still are -- limited in Canada when compared to the USA, although efforts by Canada Basketball, British Columbia native Steve Nash of the Los Angeles Lakers and AAU teams in Canada have helped increase them considerably"

Without a doubt. And it will always be that way. We just don't have the resources the Americans have but the least we can do is be efficient and set a proper system as highlighted here. Shoot, if countries like Lithuania, Serbia and Croatia can do it, why not Canada with our diverse population?

I just hope it has staying power. We saw this script before in baseball when Canadians were making MLB rosters. A lot of that was due to the fact we had the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays. Now with the Expos gone, so has a generation of potential Canadian ball players.

We're on the basketball map now. That's fine by me.

QSF Backs Off

I've written in the past about how the Canadian Soccer Association is a joke and run by a bunch of nincompoops. So it wasn't surprising (and really, I shoulda known) to read about the CSA's mishandling of the Quebec Soccer Federation's decision to ban turbans on its fields.

It was a retarded, myopic position to make but the CSA should have shown leadership on the issue.



Everyone cranked their guns - metaphorically - and sat on their rocking chairs on the front porch while drinking hootch. Marois was the epitome of nationalist zeal when she chose to pick the wrong side merely because it was from Quebec using the usual 'no one will tell us what to do' populist drivel that comes oh so effortlessly from the drooling mouths of fire-breathing nationalists.

And honestly, that the QSF discriminates is of no surprise.

As I pointed out in a previous point, FIFA does NOT prohibit kids from playing due to religious attire. I noticed quite a few nationalists and intolerant jack-offs across the country make the claim - as the QSF naively did - that FIFA's own governing rules supported them. As well, as claiming it was a safety issue where no evidence has ever been empirically produced to support such a specious claim.

FIFA governs the world's most popular game. It knows when to apply and not apply its own laws. In this matter, it took FIFA to flex its muscles and tell the QSF to quit acting like a bunch of yokels and let the kids play.

Quebec. Incapable of seeing the big picture.

All this could have been avoided had REAL LEADERSHIP been around. Instead we had a bunch of goofballs acting like miserable hacks setting a poor example for our children in the process.

Honestly, if you supported them in the first place you're an asshole. 

As for the Director-General of the QSF Brigette Frot, she must resign immediately for her comments.

Leave the xenophobic idiocy to the PQ.

O'Neil Says

Australia wasting money equipping trucks with cameras.

Not too long ago I mused about this happening one day...and it did.

And they're just getting started. Believe me.

“If the driver sees some inappropriate material go into the truck he will get out and put a note on the person’s bin and look at ways we can work together.”

If that does not work residents could lose the right the have a green bin yet they will still pay $80 a year for it."


Fuck you, because we say so.

The government isn't interested in working with you. It's interested in you conforming for your own good.

I get that composting, reducing waste and all that is good but that's not the issue. I can get on board with that within reason and without coercion.

However, the issue is the right of citizens to opt out of things they don't want to do. Notice you still have to pay if you want out. That's not right and never will be.

THAT'S what living in freedom means.

Identity Politics As Bull

Read this article in a Kentucky paper about a progressive group going after Mitch McConnell's wife. 

In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, Progress says: "This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she's his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!"

She's of Chinese heritage.

Identity politics. It's ugly and it's bull shit. I see it up here in Quebec every day.

I keep hearing the GOP needs to 'brown' and appeal to Hispanics and this culture and that demographic. Apparently, they have to chase race.


What they need to to is sell ideas. Sell values. Principles. Policies.

Build it and they will come.

Stern Would Be Politically...?

I don't get Howard Stern. Whenever he talks about why he loves being on satellite radio part of the reason is there's no government interference (and no commercials which I love because it definitely suits a great radio man like Stern) yet whenever he talks about government and Mayor Bloomberg in particular, he advocates nothing but big government.

Big government for others.

That's the liberal way.

He couldn't handle it (rightfully) for himself but it's okay for Bloomberg to tell people what to eat.


I mention this because Stern has been making noises about running for office again this time with Jessie Ventura. I don't know how serious he is but if he does, he's going to have to get much more consistent philosophically speaking.

One would think he'd be libertarian leaning if anything given what he's been through, but listening to him I get the feeling he's living in a bubble and he'd have no problem letting his inner-paternalism take over.

Then again, places like New York just love being bent over and being reamed by a politician and faceless bureaucrats.


Zombies Live In Massachusetts

I felt compelled, as a political animal and a listener to Massachusetts politics, to comment about Ed Markey being elected to John Kerry's senate seat over Gabriel Gomez.

Massachusetts is so addicted to Democrat governance it makes me wonder about their state of mind. They're like a bunch of zombies. That's one thing Quebec has on Massachusetts. We're capable of mixing things up by electing different parties. We're able to swing between federal and provincial parties.

It is a cruel twist of irony that many of the world's great institutions of higher education operate in that state because judging by how blindly in bed that state is with an utterly corroded, meek, and corrupt Democrat machine infested with politicians of questionable character critical thinking isn't much their strength.

Right. Gomez was a tea-bagging, equity investor. Evil. Gotcha. Markey's hit negative campaign hit job was a-okay to people. Right.

Gomez is about as moderate a Republican as they come just like Scott Brown inexplicably fired by the people of the Commonwealth. They're what we call RINO's and yet the people still can't seem to break their partisanship and loyalty to the one-party dictatorship.

If this (from the Boston Globe comments) is any indication of what passes as a Democrat voter in that state, God help them. 

"I will not vote for a republican until (1) republicans enter the world of reality and admit global climate change is a huge problem we must start making a plan of action to make sure the human race can exist in 300 years (2) republicans stop this attack on women's freedoms. Get off your obession with forcing women to maintain pregnancies and birth babies against their will (3) get off your obession with stopping women from receiving reproductive healthcare and birth control (4) get off your obession that jesus will fix everything, and realize you need to use your BRAIN and investment in science to find new energy solutions, medical solutions (banning embyronic research for cancers and diseases...really????) and that (5) we MUST fund education and we MUST get more Americans educated so we can have less poverty and (6) raise the taxes on the ubber rich, seriously...and finally (7) less guns. back ground checks, less legal guns being readily available, limits on how much stockpiling of weapons a person can do, and registry for guns so ,yes, we know, who has an arsenal in thier house and a registry so when a gun is used in a crime, we know who to blame, who was supposed to have that gun ,and why did they either lose it, or sell it to someone who didn't go through a background check. yeah..until then...dont bet on a MANY of us for even thinking for a minute or voting republican."

In this mess,  I couldn't but chuckle at the "can exist in 300 years" part. How he arrived at that figure is a marvel to behold. Why not 20, 30, 40 years? Doesn't he want to see the fruits of his labor?

Ugh. Just ugh.

If It Squeals Like A Pig, Quacks Like A Duck...

You're socialist.

Elena Kagan! And so is the guy her put her on SCOTUS.

Don't tell me these people don't have deep left-wing tendencies. Obama, like a flaming gay person who's not out of the closet, is a closet case if there ever was one.


ACLU Letter To Obama

“[W]e say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know,” the ACLU writes in a statement circulated to grassroots supporters and addressed to Obama. “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.”

Yeah well, true as this may be, he was elected twice. That's all he cares about now.

People should by now realize Obama's privacy abuses and assassination program without due process puts him in a league beyond Bush by now.

 Hope, change, peace, forward and transparency. All words meant for someone else other than Obama.

At what point does it become feasible to impeach? Seems to me the laundry list is long enough by now.

What's Going On In America?

This war with the press is utterly disheartening and frightening. 

Furthermore, what I don't get is left-wing journalists closing ranks, ironically, with the government!

Shows where their allegiance lies. And it ain't with a free press.

A banana republic for, by and protected by the partisans.

A republic if you can keep it.

Americans can't keep it it looks like.

It's almost as if Franklin and the men who authored the Declaration of Independence were skeptical of their experiment for the long-term and knew all along it would be a challenge to maintain it.

Rome lost her republic. Washington is following.


On a side note, one of the events that marked Bush's presidential legacy was his decision to invade Iraq claiming the need to eradicate Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

The WMD's were never found. However, Iraq did have such weapons and had used them against the Kurds.

Fast forward (on your PVR) to Obama and Syria. True, Obama hasn't invaded a nation but his interventionism is equal to any that preceded it.

One of the key components of national security is to attack only when vital national interests are threatened. In today's global world and with an empire like America, that meaning can be wide in scope indeed. However, one can argue the administration's decision to arm al-Queda backed rebels in Syria is even less of a threat to national security than Iraq was.

So why is Obama doing it? If Iraq's unintended consequences were to strengthened the resolve of terrorists as was and is often argued, how won't this be the case with Syria?

Video Of The Day

This is why it's crucial to keep government small. In doing so it makes it more efficient and accountable. To me, being a civil servant demands a certain type of individual who in their hearts and minds want to serve the public to their best of their wisdom, intelligence and dignity. I know it's asking a lot but that's the way I see it. Whenever I see a public servant lashing out or acting rude with the public it makes me wonder why they even chose such a profession.

There just isn't enough people of high-caliber to support a massive expand government. A lot of the spaces are filled by wastoids like these folks (assholes) in the video.

To me, the judge turning her back on a citizen is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen in a place of justice.

And the child pleading...

Fall of the West, folks. Fall of the West. I'm sure this happens everywhere and more often than we think. This is why "whistle blowers" and the blogging revolution is critical to the advancement of truth and justice. The government will act as your enemy while claiming to be serving your interests.

The Dumbest States In The Land

“In addition, if at any time following your enrollment in the Program you become a resident of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, or Rhode Island, you will become ineligible to participate in the Program, and this Operating Agreement will automatically terminate, on the date you establish residency in that state. In addition, you must promptly notify us in writing of your Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, or Rhode Island residency, which you may do via the Contact Associates Customer Service form available here.”

Why states (and provinces) think it's a good idea to tax this is beyond me. They truly aren't gauging the growing anger against excessive taxes all that well.

California just got reinstated when its bill was defeated. I imagine Minnesota is next to get added to the list. Notice that the states on the list are run by Democrat governors.  North Carolina currently has a Republican but the previous incumbent was a Democrat as recent as this year. So their bill was likely initiated by Democrats.

I'll tell you what's gonna happen. The smart folks, I mean the really smart and motivated ones who make coin on the internet, will simply move their lap top over to the next state and register their affiliate program with that state. The end.

Like capital silently moves whenever investors feel our political masters are dipping a tad too much into our pockets, so will be the case with the internet. Worse in fact because it's a lot easier to move a lap top around. The segment of the economy is so highly fluid and mobile it makes using traditional coercive action like taxes look silly. Better to shut up and let the economy flow.

Alas, since I started this blog there's been talk that we would one day see politicians come around to doing this. It wasn't that hard to see coming. I mean, we have to keep revenues up in order to keep the enabling state going.

Anyway, good for Amazon. I get more out of Amazon than I do from some faceless, unelected bureaucrat with too much power to decide my destiny.


Circle of life. Tax, overtax, rebellion. Rinse. Repeat. 

Know Your Bread And Butter

Looks like Vermont knows how to play smart business. We visited Burlington today - this ain't your mother's Burlington anymore - and Church St. was decked out with Quebec flags for its June 24 provincial holiday.

And why not? Quebec is a huge regional market so Vermont is only tapping into our cash.

Of course, we rely just as much on American capital - actually, far more - but I doubt Montreal would ever litter one of its streets with American flags on the 4th of Joo-lie.

In any event, Canadian flags are far and few between on July 1 here.

Whatever. I dug up the GDP output for states and provinces that trade in the region. Quebec-Maritimes-Ontario-New England-New York form a rather formidable economic block. With a total population of roughly 54 million and GDP output of about $2.5 trillion (which is larger than all of Canada interestingly enough).

Here's the breakdown:

Massachusetts: $365 billion, population 6.5 million.
New York: $1.144 trillion, population 19.3.
Vermont: $25 billion, population 625 000.
New Hampshire: $60 billion, population 1.3 million.
Maine: $50 billion, 1.3 million.
Rhode Island: $47 billion, 1 million.
Connecticut: $216 billion, 3.5 million.

Nova Scotia: $37 billion, 948 000.
Quebec $345 billion, 7 million.
Ontario $655 billion, 13.3 million.

New York is clearly the gorilla in the hall. Of the 'Big five' Quebec has the lowest per capita output.

Figures from econopost.


Two Of The Most Under Rated Words In The English Language

Capital flight.

As in over tax and watch capital magically and secretly flee. It's a story as old as civilization itself.

Quebec I'm sure bleeds capital. Especially when other provinces make it more attractive to do business there. Saskatchewan is now in on that game and smart Quebecers will go.

Minnesota, I read, is now taxing income generated through Amazon affiliated marketing. A system used mostly by bloggers.

Classic example of a leftist state finding sources of income to expropriate. Income generated by most blogs is insignificant in the grand scheme of things but the extra $100 or so a month goes a long way to paying for stuff like food and gas. But I guess the enablers prefer everyone go on EBT cards it looks like.

And like Saskatchewan, neighboring South Dakota attracts productive Minnesotans thanks to its more reasonable tax code. The trick and challenge, though, for places like S. Dakota and Texas and Florida etc. is to keep the riff-raff from uber-liberal states out. Those folks will mess you up good. Like Charles Bronson mess you up. Chuck Norris mess you up. Stevan Segall mess you up. Jean-Claude Van Damme - ok, maybe not but you get the picture.

For the record, I must be doing something wrong because it takes me a couple of years before Google cuts me a cheque for $100. Apparently, it's taxable in Minnesota now; if I read correctly. What geniuses.

Come to think of it, this can easily be a 'Fall of the West' segment.

Best Overall International Soccer Sides

Someone asked me to once and for all rank who I think are the all-time great national sides in world soccer.

I not only considered basically the World Cup, overall records, championships, finals appearances, head to head but consulted various lists and publications of what are considered to be the greatest World Cup players and performers of all-time. I even look at general overall soccer pedigree like strengths of leagues and contribution of reputable referees as well as being part of what are regarded to be all-time great matches. Of the later, Italy definitely does very well and outperforms countries like Brazil and Argentina.

The metrics are non-scientific and therefore aren't necessarily entirely objective. 'Greatest players' is subjective but when the same names are repeated often you start to get a picture. I looked at how many Ballon D'or and Golden Boot winners nations have produced which also include silver and bronze winners so it gives you a a strong, idea of how countries do.

For example, Brazil has 7 Golden Ball to Italy's 3. 13 players from Brazil have been nominated and 8 from Italy. No one else comes close. Not even Germany. The Golden Boot (for top scorer) has 5 Brazilians, 3 Germans and 2 Italians and Argentinians. In total, 16 players from Brazil were among the top scorers in World Cup play, 12 Germans, 8 Italians, 6 Argentinians. These are the mighty four.

As for the Ballon D'Or for the best European player, Germany and Italy lead the pack with five players winning it. Germany has won the award seven times to Italy's five. The Netherlands have also won it seven times but by way of only three players. France is a six time winner with four players. Brazil and England each have five wins through four players, Argentina three and five (and not done with Messi), Portugal three and three, Spain two and three (which I think will improve moving forward) and finally the Czech Republic at two and two.

Finally, I looked at how many players from each country made the World Cup All-Star team each tournament.

1) Brazil 44
2) Italy 32
3) Germany 25
4) Uruguay 16
5) France 13
6) Spain 12
7) England 11
8) Argentina 9
9) Netherlands 8
10) Hungary 10
11) Portugal 6
12) Czechoslovakia 4

Heck, I could even get technical and point out how many Argentinians and Brazilians of Italian descent have led those countries as players and coaches. 

I hope to one day dissect the lists and give it some numerical weight and substance but that will have to wait for now.

For me, it goes something like this:

1) Brazil
2) Italy
3) Germany
4) Argentina
5) Spain
6) France
7) Netherlands
8) England

Some quick comments. Brazil and Italy tend to dominate all-time great players lists. Brazil's record and five World Cups speaks for itself. They've also won more than any team (Germany is in 2nd) Italy has four World Cups and six finals. The 'quattro stelle' factor was enough to give the nod over Germany; that and the fact no German side has ever beaten Italy. One thing Germany has going for it is consistency - seven finals, 13 times reaching at leas the quarters more than Brazil's 10 and Italy's 8. These three have gone further more times than any other country.

Spain's dominant run in the last five years has vaulted them from 8th to 5th. If they continue on this pace they'll catch Argentina. Assuming Argentina doesn't win along the way. Argentina's main strength - aside from its World Cup record - is they produced Diego Maradona and it remains to be seen if Lionel Messi enters the conversation for posterity.

That being said, Spain have a long way to go to catch the top three. France gets the nod over Holland because they have a longer track record and have won WC title as well as well as two European Championships. They've also produce two great sides from two different eras (1980s, 2000s) and had some solid teams in the 1950s. I don't think England in 8th will inspire much debate among people.

Saturday Night Music

Lightning Seeds are a British alternative band formed in 1989.

Calgary Under Water

Calgary flood in pictures.

More here.

Water reaches eight to ten rows at The Saddledome.

Just a FYI or point of interest, visited Calgary in 1995. Ah, the things we do for a girl...

Excessive Regulations Destroy Growth

From Reason:

"The researchers, economists John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State, constructed an index of federal regulations by tracking the growth in the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations since 1949. The number of pages, they note, has increased six-fold from 19,335 in 1949 to 134,261 in 2005. (As of 2011, the number of pages had risen to 169,301.) They devise a pretty standard endogenous growth theory model and then insert their regulatory burden index to calculate how federal regulations have affected economic growth. (Sometimes deregulation extends rather than shortens the number of pages in the register; they adjust their figures to take this into account.)

Annual output in 2005, they conclude, "is 28 percent of what it would have been had regulation remained at its 1949 level." The proliferation of federal regulations especially affects the rate of improvement in total factor productivity, a measure of technological dynamism and increasing efficiency. Regulations also affect the allocation of labor and capital—by, say, raising the costs of new hires or encouraging investment in favored technologies. Overall, they calculate, if regulation had remained at the same level as in 1949, current GDP would have been $53.9 trillion instead of $15.1 in 2011. In other words, current U.S. GDP in 2011 was $38.8 trillion less than it might have been."

Should this surprise anyone? I would love a report like this for Canada. Outside the Fraser and C.D. Howe (both conservative leaning) Institutes there aren't many Canadian think tanks that offer alternative perspectives.

And for the record, CHEAP CREDIT is what's causing a lot of our troubles. Making things "free" for people is gonna crush us in the long-run if we end up in an increasing inflationary or interest rate environment.

Tales Of The OLF

I went out with some friends last night for some pizza and subs - real Italian pizza and subs not that crap made by foreigners who claim they make the 'best' pizza. As has become an all too familiar part of the national discourse the topic moved towards the twats in the OLF.

Apparently the restaurant was honored with a visit from the Quebec version of the Gestapo who took issue with the word 'Trattoria.' The inspector suggested it be changed to 'Terrasse.' The owners pointed to her that terrasse is not trattoria and that perhaps she should go back and do some research.  Of course, in the mindset of a lowly nationalist, it's perfectly fine to insult and trample on ethnic words since, in their minds, their language trumps all others. The restaurant held their ground and never received a visit from the aggressive jerkoffs again.

The welcoming classic 'trattoria' apparently threatens the French language.

Again, it ain't got nothing to do with protecting language at this point and everything to do with state sponsored language discrimination. Nothing else, nothing more. Those assholes don't protect shit, they demean French.

Everywhere they go they're told to fuck off.


Which led to a comment from a friend who said I'm going medieval on the Parti-Quebecois. Shit, thinkers in the Middle-Ages were probably more progressive than the PQ. But yeah, I'm going full blown cuckoo on those boobs because they deserve every ounce of criticism for their bullying.

Aside from their outrageous xenophobic tendencies, they also have no problems pumping populist-driven cultural collective nationalism at the expense of economic well-being. Sure, to some Quebecers, being endowed with a bureaucratic-socialist-union mindset, blind to them is the consequences of such action.

But what about those with an entrepreneurial spirit?

Here, we're the enemy. Just listen to the rhetoric. They never ask "how can we help small-business?" Nah. It's always "private industry should be viewed with skepticism." What follows is a massive regulatory system that brings this economy to a screeching halt.

If Quebecers truly cared about their province they'd ask the reactionary PQ to give it a rest. That their outlook is not set up for the 21st century. That their standoffish behavior helps no one.

In the USA conservatives are beginning to make noise about the need to make English the official language of America fearing the growth of Spanish.

It's a thinking that threatens the rights of people to speak in the language of the choice. Language is a fluid thing. If people think English is important they will learn it. If not, brush up on your Spanish.

I don't know if English is really under threat but listening to conservatives there they sound an awful lot like the PQ here. Not saying there aren't valid reasons made by them. What I'm saying is when you open that can of worms you leave yourself open to all sorts of potential abuses on civil liberties. Quebec is public enemy number one as the province continues to bear this point out.

No sense in fearing things. Yet, we keep living scared shit.


Quebec claims it's being vigilant in its defense of French. Right now, it's restricted to sign laws. Just like Bill 101 is being ratcheted up, who is to say the next step is to expand the empire of restrictions? Why stop at signs? Maybe English radio may one day be forced to speak in French for a part of the day. Maybe English language book published here will have to come with bilingual or French titles. Speaking English in public? Well, people do get lectured by French zealots for doing so.  And it happens more than we care to admit or think.

Who knows where this can go but if there's one thing Pauline 'The Hobbit' Marois has shown is that Quebec has bought a sled and embarked on a slippery slope.

There's absolutely nothing enlightening in the PQ.



Quebec On A Downer

I'm trying to gauge the pulse of Quebecers when it comes to all the corruption that's come out in the open. I think they fall into two categories. The apathetic and the ones who are fed up.

The apathetic simply conclude it's the way it is and nothing can be done about it. So, they keep voting the same bastards in. Sorta like California and Massachusetts does by irrationally handing their governance to ONE party.

Being apathetic is a defense mechanism of sorts.

It's also a cop out.

But I've also detected a sense of anger and embarrassment too. My neighbours, French-Canadian, for example are thoroughly disgusted with Pauline Marois and the PQ. They can't stand her for her divisive rhetoric and they can't stand Quebec's tax system which in the end gets pissed away as our deficit continues to balloon. They also can not accept the attack on English and when I point out the parts of Bill 14 that wreak of Nazism they tend to agree. It's not right to bother people this way.

As if that's not enough, the punks in the PQ actually thought it be a swell idea to pick a fight with FIFA and the CSA. What a bunch of cocky little shits.

Never mind that FIFA is bigger than the fucking United Nations and that the CSA governs Canadian soccer to which Quebec - a god damn PROVINCE - is a part of. Her claiming no one will tell Quebec what do is so utterly ignorant and jingoistic one has to wonder just how removed from reality this jokers are. They're being told what to do because they're acting like petulant children. That's why.

We stand alone on this issue. As in alone on the planet.

Safety my ass.

The average Quebecer gets all this. I'm pretty sure anyway.


Quebec is on a downer at the moment. Their national day is coming up on the 24th.

Me? I'll be in Vermont - like most of us who can't digest the tribal populism that will overtake the news.

FEMA Waste

Lol. Was listening on the radio about how FEMA was giving cheques to people in Louisiana after Katrina hit to fix their homes. The amounts were anywhere between $50 000 and $100 000.

You didn't have to prove you owned a house.

Now they can't find the money and there remains 8 or 9 thousand homes still not renovated or fixed.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me or that I'm old fashioned, but if you're gonna give people (and most of them are likely poor) free money something tells me it ain't going towards what you think or want it to go to.

According to the radio host, it all went to the casino.

Which, if true, wouldn't surprise me one iota.

The government are experts at enabling and waste.

But hey, the New York Times feels you need big government for big problems. With it comes big waste and corruption.

Columbia University: Where Convicted Criminals Roam

When criminals run a reputable institution of higher education how can't you conclude America is falling?

Columbia University is some kind of place. Wow. Just...wow.

Kathy Boudin killed a man. She tore apart a family. She ruined lives. And Columbia gives her a gig?

No morals. No integrity. No dignity. No honor. No nothing this piece of shit place has.


James Gandolfini Dies

Man, this is a bummer.

The Sopranos wasn't recently ranked the best written show in history.

America's Descent Into Trouble

This is who the Americans are going to arm?


Doesn't this make a farce of their war on terror? Doesn't it undermine all anti-terror efforts around the world? Remember when the left screamed 'we created bin Laden?' Yet, they're doing the exact thing here?

This is warped.

Maybe it's a logical fallacy but while they want to arm crazed terrorists abroad, domestically they want to disarm citizens?

I can't follow this plot anymore.

Americans Set To Enter Syria Quagmire

Bad idea.

How is Obama different from Bush again? I forget.

How Much Can A Man Take?

Sometimes things just make you shake your head in disappointment.

This is some kind of woman.

This chick has no honor, dignity or morals. 



European Soccer By The Numbers: Viva Italia, Espana E Germania

Just watched Spain beat Italy 4-2 at UEFA U-21 Euros. It was a nice game but it could have been better had it not been for a suspect call awarding a penalty to Spain. Easily among the worst I've seen in a long time in a championship game. The game was tight at the point and it completely deflated the Italians.

Such are the breaks.


Spain looks pretty darn good at all levels at the moment. Looks as though Italy and Germany are closest to them. Maybe Netherlands too.

For the heck of it I amalgamated the finals appearances records of the top European sides at the World Cup, Euros and U-21.

I think we can all reasonably agree those are the big three tournaments.

Ranked by titles:

1) Italy 10-6- 16 appearances
2) Spain 8-3 - 11 appearances
3) Germany 7-10 - 17 appearances
4) France 4-2 - 6 
5) Netherlands 3-3 - 6 appearances (no WC titles but three appearances in finals)
6) England 3-1 4 (no Euro titles or appearances)

As you can see, it's three countries that rule the continent (though Italy and Germany still hold a significant lead in appearances - still more when semi-finals are added). Prior to Spain's run since 2008, it was a two-team race. Of course, when it comes to the World Cup, Italy and Germany still tower above all others. On the other end lies England with its rather pedestrian record for a nation that considers itself a power. Only the top four - Italy, Spain, Germany and France have won at least a title in each tournament.

Note: Olympic records: England 3-0-0; Spain 1-2-0; East Germany 1-1-1; France 1-1-0; Italy 1-0-2; Netherlands 0-0-3; West Germany 0-0-1.

Chocolate Price-Fixing

Oh, how many times have we seen these exercises in futility by the government?

"...While a hobby chef could buy the ingredients and make an exotic chocolate delicacy at home, it actually costs less to buy readymade chocolate candy from a retail store. This is the result of buying the ingredients in massive quantities and producing the end product using organized mass-production, combining mechanization with the efficient division of labour and economies of scale. It is this end of the chocolate market that has become the target of collusion and price fixing, not the top end of the highly-priced, specialty chocolate market that is open to competition from hobby chefs.
Yet the news media actually chose to report a story in early June about three Canadian companies colluding to fix the price of chocolate, with the possibility that Canada’s Competition Bureau may actually investigate the allegations. Given the ridiculous nature of the story, it may have been more appropriate to broadcast the allegations on April 1st. But now the nation may witness an even more ridiculous spectacle of an “at arm’s length” government agency actually launching an investigation into the allegations. Who is going to cover the cost of this farce? The taxpayer, of course.

From a free-market perspective, the three colluding companies would have only played into the hands of their unregulated competitors had they actually colluded to fix the price of chocolate candy. Only a monopoly player that is free from unregulated competition could ever successfully engage in price fixing. And only a government could ever assure such freedom from competition. Canada’s Competition Bureau is powerless to investigate government-regulated monopolies that are the turf of the marketing agencies, agencies that get “captured” by the industries they regulate. So the Competition Bureau is left to investigate chocolate price fixing."


Oh, Here And There

I love the responses. I guess this is the good part about Twitter: People get to directly respond to politicians and politicians get to read exactly what people think of them.

Harry Reid and the entire Democrat party are wallowing in shit and they're the authors of their own ineptitude and irrational mindset.


Food waste recycling coming to New York. 

One comment bucking the 'yay' trend:

What has happened to individuals *choosing* the actions we will take in life -- from drinking super-sized sodas, to smoking cigarettes, to going for a bike ride instead of a drive, to now separating our trash?

The debate about ideas like Bloomberg's should take place among *private citizens* trying to influence one another's opinions and actions, not among government officials who speak of "voluntary" programs that of course become mandatory after a short period (as the article correctly states).

Regardless of each of our takes on nutrition, or smoking, or fitness, or recycling/environment -- regardless of my or your political leaning -- if we don't start questioning at root the ever-broadening powers of our leaders to make decisions *for us*, we will one day live in a city (maybe a nation) where we no longer have independent choices. Our new protector, Mayor Bloomberg or his political descendant will ensure we are safe without our ever having to think for ourselves.

Might sound far-fetched, but as of now Mr. Bloomberg would have it that *he* chooses whether we go for the big drink, smoke a cigarette, ride a bike, and now sort our trash! I love our government -- especially the police officers who keep me safe every time I visit the great New York City -- but please, Mayor Bloomberg, stay out of New Yorkers' private decisions about what they can and cannot do with their own bodies and garbage.

Most cities have this. Montreal doesn't. Pretty soon we'll have 14 bins in front of our houses. Anyway, didn't an investigative journalist at NYT or the New Yorker basically exposed recycling for the bull it was?

Recycling by the numbers and how much it saves energy over at Popular Mechanics.

And The Economist.

Damn, I wish I had Bloomberg's authoritarian streak.


Ok. Now I regret coming to Trudeau's defense. He's really showing it's amateur hour in the Liberal party at the moment. He should take the mic at the Comedy Cellar or something. First, it was explained he fully disclosed all his earnings guest speaking. Now, he's willing to reimburse them? Doesn't that mean, then, he knew all along it was wrong to do it in the first place? How stupid does he think people are?

Granted, all politicians tend to pull flip-flop crap but if he does it on this imagine on important matters!

Here's a list of where he spoke and for how much. Personally, a waste of cash.


If you vote for this guy and you're 40 and older. Don't ever look or speak to me. You can't be taken seriously.


Surveillance in the USA:

"The principle animating democratic and republican government is accountability to the governed. Yet more and more government action lies beyond the citizens’ reach. As law professor Jonthan Turley explained in a Washington Post piece that appeared before the surveillance leaks, “our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch of government, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.” (Viz., the NSA.)

The “vast majority of laws,” he continues, “are not passed by Congress but issued as regulations, crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats.” In 2007, he writes, “Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies” – there are now 69 of them – “finalized 2,926 rules.”

Damn, I go through this all the time with bureaucrats. It's a wall. An irrational one at that sometimes.

There are 429 federal agencies in the USA.

That's like, um, a lot.

The fourth branch of government indeed.


In the aftermath of Applebaum's arrest, politicians expressed 'shocked' and 'had no idea.'


Are these people shitting me? Either their fucking liars or are clueless hacks.

For the love of God. Are they not paying attention? How many mayors have now been arrested? Five?

Imagine the garbage that goes on in Quebec City!

Ooooo, nelly!

Things I Hate

People who force other people on the dance floor even though they don't want to dance.

As if dancing must be an activity enjoyed by all.

Shaming me into doing it only irritates me further. I especially fucking hate it more when I'm involved in a conversation only to be interrupted with a "Come on! Let's dance!"


What's in it for me, eh?

A Day In The Life

INT. EVENING. KITCHEN DINNER TABLE. T.C. sits with wife. She's asking all sorts of 'how was your day' questions. T.C. stirring a bowl of soup.

Wife: How was your day.
T.C. (shrugs shoulder, staring at bowl): Dunno.
Wife: You don't know? Stop playing with your food.
T.C.: Aw, get off my back, man.
Wife: What happened?
T.C.: If you read my Tweets you'd know.
Wife: You have a twitter account?
T.C.: I also texted you.
Wife: Yes, I saw that.
T.C.: So.
Wife: Telling me you think the neighbor is hot and horny for you doesn't indicate how your day is going.
T.C.: Email?
Wife: I didn't check.
T.C.: It's all on Facebook. Or is it Fuckbook? I forget.
Wife: I'm getting nowhere.
T.C.: No. No. It's Facebook.
Wife: You're not on Facebook.
T.C.: I'm not. Hm.

Slurps soup.

Wife: Stop slurping.
T.C.: I'm going to blog about this.

Mayor Applebaum Taken Away In Handcuffs

Of course, innocent until proven guilty.


I think someone owes McLean's Magazine quite the apology because their report about Quebec being the most corrupt province in Canada looks to be spot on.

Not too long ago the mayor of Laval, the third largest city in the province, Gilles Vaillancourt was arrested by Quebec's anti-corruption unit. It's alleged he stole up to $40 million from tax payers. Aye, that's African despot territory.

Now it's Montreal's turn.

I argued that a non-Francophone mayor could have been a breath of fresh air. Alas, nothing is subservient to the laws of man and its lust for greed. Whether it be Smith B. Whitey, Sean O' Skimmy, Shyster Applebaum. Piquemespoches Gauthier or Goodoffer Mazzino, men are tempted by extra dough.

Now there's talk of whether Montreal should be placed in trusteeship like Laval. Laval was rotten to the core, we just don't know how deep it goes in Montreal. Great. Just what we need. The prospect of Montreal being run by the fucking hicks in the PQ or Louise Harel a former Pequiste. Nice. Brav.

Jesus, me what a mess

And that's the prick, Applebaum, who increased property taxes!

Anyway. Quebec deserves full credit for tackling the corruption. Like Italy does in sports and with the mafia, it's at least willing to acknowledge there's a problem.

Step 1 is admitting you're a drunk, right?

What about the people? Well, we do get the governance we deserve. We're so apathetic it's disgusting. Why, just yesterday somebody was telling me "it's everywhere! You think Chicago and New York are any better?'

Well, that's that! It's bad over there so shrug your shoulders time!

Who gives a shit what happens there? We're here. And we need to confront this. It's YOUR money.  Damn, start writing to your representatives, make a stink, be diligent and vigilant, stop asking them to take care of you, rethink the party system etc. There's all sorts of things we can do.

We get more worked up about a stupid insensitive comment about women's rights or gay marriage than we do something as corrosive as corruption.  Make a a counter-PC argument against affirmative action or pay equity and see how fast the blabbermouths jump on you.

But stealing millions? Meh. It's normal and happens everywhere.

Nuts. Just nutty.


Another Business Targeted By The OLF

I hear that Fabricville was told to change its internal inventory software by the OLF. The owners were flabbergasted left to wonder how the heck that 'protects' a language since it's, well, internal and generally based on a universal software all businesses across the world use.

But this is Quebec and in Quebec punitive measures are the best path to a healthy language and culture.

I'm only guessing here but piss them off enough and they'll move their operations elsewhere.

A friend of mine owns a successful organic mattress company. Out of principle he moved his sales and marketing office to Florida. I know of three businesses mulling over their options just like I am.

The PQ, with the help of the lambs in the CAQ, have officially over reached.

Between the OLF, Bill 14, major corporations like Wal-Mart and Costco taking the government to court for its loose and excessive interpretation of the language laws (Target will be, erm, targeted I'm sure), the Quebec Soccer Federations decision to ban turbans on the soccer field (despite appeals from both the CSA and FIFA to reconsider its position) and its record at the UN's Human Rights Commission, Quebec officially, in my view, is a black mark on the Canadian Confederation. How Ottawa remains silent with the antics of these buffoons is beyond me. Cut our transfer payments already.

We're an abject failure and disgrace when it comes to civil liberties. How weak is the French language in the minds of the PQ nationalists to compel them to go on such a self-destructive crusade?

Quebec is nowhere near ready for the 21st century. With the type of immigration we permit, we will reap what we sow.


A Foreign Policy Without Direction

Lemme get this straight. Hizbollah is supporting the murderous Assad regime (which I guess means Iran is supporting it) while al-Queda is backing the Syrian rebels and the U.S. government is considering sending arms to the rebels?

How did they make that calculation? Give arms to the side that the U.S. is fighting a war on terror against? And who the heck is gonna make sure those guns don't get in the wrong hands?

It's nuts.

Isn't this a classic case that screams STAY OUT?

The Tone Deaf President

I have to get my mind off Quebec. So what better way to do that than to pick on Obama?

Get this.

He's off to Africa. Why, no one seems to know why.

So what? He has the right, no? Of course.

But one has to question the wisdom in shelling $60-100 million for this junket in a stagnant economy.

Speaking of the economy, it's five years I keep hearing reports describing it as "slowly recovering."

Now that's sa-low!

There is no recovery.

Quebec Falling Part 39485858

A friend of mine owns a million dollar company and decided to move his operation to Florida. He considered California but that state is Quebec/Canada on steroids with its insane tax policies. In addition, the California economy is a mess.

He liked Texas but figured Florida was the best option.

We also talked about the quality of life in North Carolina and Tennessee also is better than it is here. In fact, the entire southern region of the USA is budding with great potential.

Why is he moving?

Taxes, corruption and the language insanity. He will be affected by Bill 14 so rather than put up with it he's moving.

And believe me PLENTY of people of thinking this way.

When I saw the PQ table Bill 14 I knew it was time to move on and predicted smart, ambitious people would conclude the same.

You would be irrational not to consider moving. What exactly does Quebec have that's so great to keep you here? Ask yourself that question.

I concluded nothing.

My family is considering divesting of our holdings and bolting. We would like to move to the United States. An opportunity came to invest in a business in Florida. After pondering our options we decided it would be a good move especially if we plan to move. We don't feel Quebec is a place to invest.

Don't get fooled by the opening of major corporations like Target. They get major tax concessions to come here but believe me, they quickly wonder about the excessive language idiocy here. It's why Wal-Mart and Costco are taking the Quebec government to court.

Our original plan was to open daycares here but one year into the business, I realized I'd be taking too much of a chance to plunk down $250 000 in a business here. Trying to guess what a boob party like the PQ will do is not my idea of sound investing. Bunch of clowns.

If the CAQ would send a clear message by not voting for Bill 14 it would give hope to reconsider but I'm not sure that will happen.

So USA got our money.

Nah. What you do is look at the amount of projects that come to a grinding halt among small to medium sized businesses. And that's exactly what's happening. I found out today Piscines Trevi - a rather large swimming pool company here - is holding off a major expansion plan because of the PQ's moronic and xenophobic economic and cultural policies.

That's a logical position to take.

I personally worry every month what's gonna happen to my business because the god damn government can put me out of business with one bad, welfare-oriented decision.

Oh, T.C. you're exaggerating! Maybe. Maybe not. My hunch is that I'm not. Like animals can sense an earth quake, humans are good at sensing bad omens.

And Quebec is in a bad place at the moment.

Wait. I think the Federal government is thinking of recalculating the amount provinces get. Quebec takes in more than it kicks in. If that happens...watch out.

I'm not sticking around to find out and my family agrees.

I'm pretty sure many are coming to the same conclusion.


Being Liberal Means Not Having To Be Really Free

Classic case of liberals in name only.  What they claim is liberal is actually socialist.

They're socialist because their conception of freedom or liberty includes coercive action to 'equalize' whatever injustices liberty brings.

Enter at your own risk.

Comment of the day:

Libertarians usually use freedom as a quick word to describe the Non Aggression Principle: free from initiated violence, i.e., not threatening peaceful people with violence as a means of control and coercion. Getting down to the details requires defining "violence", "the initiation of violence", "peaceful", etc. It gets wordy, so we use the word "freedom."

Progressives see libertarians claim "freedom" as a principle (not an adjective describing principle), and then claim it as their own, defining it as whatever they want, and stating that we're all morally equivalent because we both want freedom, we just define it differently. So, conscience clear by false equivalency, they have no qualms with forcing their vision down our throats, since, apparently, that's freedom, too, and we'd be shoving our concept of freedom down their throats if we don't let them, i.e., if we resist the initiation of violence.

It's similar to when libertarians say that they oppose violence, and are accused of being pacifists. We use "violence" instead of "initiation of violence" to avoid wordiness, and people miss the point.


Carrey Shunned

I couldn't care less about this story (even though I liked Dumb and Dumber). And didn't consider it much of a story (I'm sure scripts get turned down a lot) until I read the comments. Seems like people unanimously feel Jim Carrey's anti-gun video mocking southern folk and gun owners offended the crap out of people.

And probably not just southerners but all law-abiding gun owners who have flexed their muscles in light of the gun-control debate.

Did that video really impact negatively Carrey's career especially in terms of marketing?

Personally, when I saw the video I wondered what the heck he thought he was going to accomplish by denigrating people like that with such tripe generalizations.


NDP Playing Holier Than Thou In Our Minds

At the risk of being struck by lightning, run over by a car, smote by God, crossed by a black cat,  struck by lightning, choking on dry Mini-Wheats and audited by CRA for being a terrible blogger, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to side with Justin Trudeau on this one.

Yeah, you heard me. Or read me.

I think the NDP are stretching on this one. 

Tell you what. How about they come forward with their expense reports. As a matter of fact, why don't all politicians face that music?

I'm sure there's a shit load of items they no business expensing we're on the hook for.

The NDP shout-voting down a Liberal motion for more transparency was some piece of cynical politicking. That party makes me laugh.

Although, I personally wouldn't pay to listen to Justin Trudeau speak. Not unless he's drunk and dishing out family secrets. Then I'd maybe kick in 5 bucks.



Best Way To Prevent Rape And Life Imitating Irony

Eat chipotle.

Courtesy of Joe 'Just Whistle' Salazar (D).

Mind. Boggles.


Turns out the chick-actress who sent ricin to Bloomberg and the President framed her husband.

And was anti-gun activist. But I wonder if it's her married life that set her off.


Oh. The irony.

Damn. Again it wasn't NRA inspired.


The reminds me. I have to really get off my ass and sign up for those pistol courses.


Do we need Google more than the government?

Run with it.


What She Really Said

Five years on and people still think Sarah Palin said "I can see Russia from my house."

That's because they probably get their news sources from Saturday Night Live and The John Stewart Show.

But boy do they hate seeing Obama being taken out of context because Obama is 'smart' and Palin is 'dumb.'

The obsession over Palin was almost equal to the Bush Deranged Syndrome still on display.

"They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska":  

Which of course, is true.

Hilary's 'what difference does it make at this point' comment deserves some Tina Fey treatment, no?

Shopping For A Race Bike Concludes

I bought a new custom made race bike recently. It's from a local company founded by an Italian immigrant who established himself as one of Quebec's top bicycle builders.

My Gardin (another now-defunct Italian-Canadian manufacture with Shimano 105, Columbus frame) is now 23 years old and was in need of an upgrade. Won't be getting ride of this bike. I worked a whole summer in 1990 to buy it - I think it was something like $1000) and there really isn't any point in getting rid of it.

I shopped around quite a bit and had settled on Masi (once an Italian bike now operating in the U.S.), a couple of U.S. based bikes with Sram parts and Ridley (Shimano or Sram) out of Belgium. There were a lot of choices with nice-looking American and Japanese bikes I must say making it hard to settle on one. It took a few months to decide. 

All were solid bikes but I decided if I was going to spend $1500 may as well get it customized.

I didn't go with the high-end parts (frame (chose steel over aluminum for comfort), chain system and derailleurs, pedals, handles etc.) but I got myself a solid upper-tier bike with good quality Italian parts (Campagnolo gear system, Italian made seat) at an affordable price. Top notch Italian bikes will run you $3000 at the minimum and up. I'm not a pro racer nor am I anywhere near the stamina levels I used to have. So I went for half the price.

In order to fit my back to my height and specifications I had to buy a pair of cycling shoes. Again, I opted for a hybrid pedal I regarded to be a good price to quality ratio relative to my needs. The shoes they have in stock didn't fancy my taste for the price. There was a pair of Vittoria's for $100 but they didn't have my size and wasn't crazy about a black pair going for $125.

The guy fitting my bike suggested I go out and by a pair and come back. Rather than go around town looking for shoes I simply went online. Lo and behold I found Diadora shoes (also made in Italy) at reasonable prices. On Amazon I spotted a pair I really liked for $86 but, damn, again they didn't have my size.

So I continued my journey. Psychologically, I wanted to break the $85 barrier. I found more Diadora's this time at $70 and $50 dollars but both were black. Nonetheless, at those prices I had them on my list.

I looked some more and found a pair of Diadora Aerospeed regular $180 (retail in Canada) in clearance from a store based in Toronto. It wasn't the color I wanted (my bike is silver, light metallic green and black with a retro-contemporary look), however, at $49.99 it was simply too good an offer to ignore. How rare is it for a Canadian company to have better prices than U.S. counterparts on the internet!

All told I paid $70 (taxes and shipping) for a $180 shoe as opposed to about $115-$140 depending on the model selected.  

It was win-win. It's nice to not have to ship to Plattsburgh and go pick it up. Where feasible, it's a bonus to support a Canadian company. It's not a criteria of mine since I'm a price-based shopper, still.

My point is, I'm a pragmatic and realistic shopper. Sure, I didn't get the color I was hoping for (sharp silver), I was going to break my head over it either (red, black and white is nice enough). Not for an expensive shoe selling at such a deep discount.

Natural Alliances Forming

The real alliances are forming in the wake of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing.

Notice the establishment is closing ranks with guys like Boehner and Rove backing the President while calling him a "traitor" and pundits and commentators like Beck and Moore calling Snowden a "hero." Citizens of all stripes on one side, and the government on the other.

Tyranny in the flesh. What's that movie again?

I don't get Obama's take on things. In his last speech he claimed the war on terror was over - remember Al-queda was "on the run?"  -  but claimed security measures like NSA spying on millions upon millions of people is necessary to...get this....fight terrorism?

How about stop dicking around and go to the source Mr. President - Muslim radicals. I think the government is more than capable of focusing on the ONE group committing these acts. The juvenile antics of Obama and his 'leadership'  of blaming videos should be enough to shame them. Speaking of which, the man who did jail time for it (sorry, violating probation), vows to finish the film.

I'd be fuming too.

Anyway. Right. Racial profiling and political correctness. So let's violate the rights of all citizens!

From Politico.

Politico's comment threads are a little more balanced I find. Far more than ThinkProgress or Huffington:

"Hmm, somehow, so-called classified information, namely, that our country is treating us like the enemy and spying on us, is something that should be exposed. Not "classified" in order to keep us from knowing about it. What is so hard for you to understand here? Just because committing Treason is being classified doesn't mean one becomes a lap dog. It means you atleast growl, or show your fangs as per Eric Snowden.

Let me put this another way. Remember the Boston Marathon bombings? Holder and the Prez were/are both on record as thinking that the perps were probably people who didn't like to pay taxes---it happened in the context of that yearly April event we all face. Remember? Now we know that the IRS was not only going after Obama's political rivals who want less taxes and less BIG BROTHER GOVT, but was extracting personal, private info and then passing it on to Obama's political supporters like George Soros et al. Remember how the Prez's people, like Salon.com writers who openly almost got down on their knees and prayed about it publically,"O Lord, let the terrorists be Tea-baggers! dear God!"

Well, it was committed by the very ones who Russia revealed were going to do just that. About a year before the fact. But we know that just like snail darters, Islam is a protected species and it is now a crime to even talk about them unless we agree with them that they are THE religion of peace."


Most Transparent Administration Ever

President Obama asserted (boasted even) he had the 'most transparent administration in history' or something to that effect.

It's true. He is transparent.

Transparent enough to see the amateurism!


I'll be here until the end of the morning folks.

How Data-Mining Surveillance Works Under Obama

From Huffington:
[E]ven if one of these [FISC] judges issued a controversial ruling the decision can be appealed right?

Technically, yes. But who's going to appeal it?

Let me give you an example. Let's say a police officer wants to strip search you. You've done nothing wrong, but the police officer disagrees and says he needs to strip you to prove it. Under the criminal justice system, you get to bring that argument to a judge, who will issue a ruling only after listening to the government's reasons for wanting to strip search you and your reasons for why they shouldn't be allowed to do that. In the event that the judge rules against you and finds that the police officer has probable cause to search you, not only do you have a right to appeal that judge's decision all the way to the Supreme Court, you are welcome to talk to as many reporters, friends, relatives and elected officials as you want to along the way. And, if the public doesn't agree with the police force's policy on strip-searching, they can pressure lawmakers to change the law or -- if in California -- push for a ballot measure.

However, let's say the government wants Verizon to hand over all of your phone records (not just who you call, but who calls you, how long your conversations were and where you were when you had the conversation). You're never going to know about it, much less get a chance to argue against it. The FISC judge who signs off on the government's data collection will only hear the government's argument for why it should be lawfully allowed to collect data on you. If the judge rules against the government, the government can appeal the decision, but if/when the judge agrees with the government there is no other side to appeal the decision. Moreover, the judge's ruling is classified, so even if the ruling is outlandish, it can't be reported or even debated on the Senate floor.

Scary stuff.