2013-10-31

Blaming Jews

Personally, I think anti-semites are retarded ingrates. I especially hold in contempt the person who "hates Jews" because of the actions of Israel in the 20th century thus completely ignoring the violence perpetuated against Jews - the perfect convenient scapegoats of history - by many groups and nations in history.

Christians have massacred far more Jews than they could ever muster on us and they're the "racists?"

It is to laugh. 

I kinda get why some of them became radical in their defense. They were fed up of being bitched slapped by everyone and Nazi Germany was the last straw.

If you tolerate hatred against Jews because of the "occupation" then you have a rather superficial and incomplete understanding of history.

Again, just personal here, I can't stand people who say a racist thing and claim they are not.

I see it enough of it here with the Parti-Quebecois and their meek Machiavellianism.

Be wary of the group, political party, organization, person or leader who lays blame elsewhere.

Always.

Government Knows Best

Look.

The government knows what's good for you, okay?

So what's wrong with pressuring evil insurance companies into doing the right thing?

"If you like your doctor and insurance plan you can keep it" has been amended to "you can keep it but why would you it was crappy anyway!"

Of course, it's not what he "meant."

Question And Quotes Of The Day: The Blameless President

Is the President setting a tone whereby accountability always stops elsewhere?

It certainly feels that way.

***

From Reason:

"Here's the thing, I can totally understand something like Fast'n'Furious getting the okiedoke from the President, any President. But you only get to play the "underlings didn't tell the boss" card so many times before people start asking (even taking him at his word), "why don't your employees tell you bad news?"

...He's a blame-fixer, not a problem-solver. You go to problem-solvers with a problem and they may blister your hide, but then they go out and get you the resources to fix the problem. Blame-fixers, you avoid, because all they want to do is tell you to "fix it". Even if you can't, and it is obvious that the boss needs to get involved."

"...I work as a government contractor. When I started the job we pretty much did what the customers, the government users, wanted. When something would go wrong we would immediately go to work fixing it. Well, the upper bureaucrats didn't like that.
 

Now nothing gets done until a bureaucrat explicitly approves it. That's why I waste so much time here. And when something goes wrong, figuring out who to blame is the most important thing. Fixing the problem? Not so much.
 

I imagine most of government is like that. Don't do anything unless you are told, that way you're not responsible. The person who told you what to do is responsible, so they give you as little to do as they possibly can. And if anything goes wrong, pointing fingers is more important than actually fixing the problem."

I think they call this sclerosis. 

Helping Humanity...Not

The other day the battery died on my truck at the gas station.

Stranded, I took my cables and solicited the first person I saw to give me a quick boost.

I was turned down.

He gave me an incoherent reason about cars today being too complicated risking engine failure. I have a Jeep Liberty and he had a Ford pick up.

What should have been a five minute setback, turned into a 45 minute delay since I decided to not witness more fucking retardation I called my brother in law. The girl at the station was helpful and even drove her own truck up to mine but she was making me nervous asking all sorts of questions. So I told her not to worry as I could make other arrangements.

Anyway.

Who refuses an appeal for help?

I know I haven't. I've boosted people, pulled them out of ditches and pushed them onto safety.

It's an inconceivable thought to me to turn pleas for help of any kind.

The ONE time I get stuck I get a fucking, unhelpful putz.

In instances like this, I hope karma does exist and its name is Bitch.

Distracted Driving

A woman was ticketed for wearing Google glasses while driving in Los Angeles.

Silly on her part in my opinion and equally imprudent - if not outright dangerous - is the curious culture of menacing drivers who wear their hoodies and iPhones while driving.


2013-10-30

Question

What's the percentage of strippers who actually went on to law school and earned a degree?

Advice From T.C.

If you earn a high salary, let's say arbitrarily six figures (starting at $100 000), consider leaving not within your means but below it.

Be modest in your materialism. 

That way, you'll be in a solid position to squirrel away savings and investments should the company your work for sinks.

I know. That Maserati looks mighty fine but there will be a time for that toy.

This advice was brought to you by T.C.: Your budget-lord, teacher and above all, friend.

2013-10-29

FIFA A Joke Under Sepp Blatter

Blatter is a blathering tool.

An international embarrassment.

What idiotic comments about Ronaldo. Real Madrid are right to be upset. Just the recent silliness in a long history of silly proclamations.

Recall that Blatter did not present Italy with the World Cup trophy in 2006. A standard protocol all FIFA Presidents performed.

Stay classy, Shlepp.

Sandy Aftershocks Remain

You mean people are still suffering after Sandy?

B-b-but. Big government for big problems!


Expensing Senators

The Senator expense accounts scandal has brought up the whole discussion as to whether it's necessary. For starters, they're unelected and it's time we reconsider this appointment practice. Currently, Harper has appointed more Senators than any PM in history. The other thing is, we're focusing on three Conservative Senators but we'd be fools to think this is not common practice among all Senators regardless of party.

It's a culture thing.

Entitlements aren't just for the parasites you know.

The Administration Knew All Along Some Americans Wouldn't Get To Keep Their Plan

Every administration has to have its own lie so it is with Obama's "you can keep your plan if you like it."

Boy, the media is actually starting to dig aren't they?

As I said before, those who are getting cancellation notices are collateral damage.

There, there - like SS - people will eventually learn to love it.

What's especially astounding is that a law passed by the Democrat party of the United States UNILATERALLY is somehow the fault of the Republican party who had nothing to do with it?

Democrats OWN this.

The other thing I've been reading - among the leftist apologists - is that people losing their coverage didn't have "adequate" insurance to begin with and Obamacare fixes that?

Are these people for real?

Prosthetic Limbs Made By Individuals Cost Little

I predict government (egged on by their corporate cronies) will make this illegal soon enough.

For the children.

Very easy to see where this is going.

141 Reasons Obamacare Is A Problem

From Dan from Squirrel Hill.

As for us Canadians, why should we care?

Well, where will Canadians go for quality care not available in Canada (of which there are a few)!

There's a reason why medical tourism does well here.

And The Bob And Doug McKnezie Winner Goes To....

Walter Serpit!

Not to say anything but the folks at Budweiser should send Walter some coupons or something.

Obamacare: Collateral Damage

More people losing insurance than signing up.

That's how redistribution schemes work. Those who are expected to pay more are collateral damage.

"There have been estimates about hundreds of thousands of people losing coverage, CBS News' Jan Crawford reported on "CBS This Morning." CBS News has reached out to insurance companies across the country to determine some of the real numbers -- and this is just the tip of the iceberg, Crawford said. The people who are opening the letters are shocked to learn they can't keep their insurance policies despite President Obama's assurances to the contrary.

The White House is on the defensive trying to explain it, after Mr. Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it."

Right up there with 'you didn't build that.' (Context of quote noted but the spirit of his comment was clear in my view).

Well, Congress can 'keep it.' Just not citizens.

What a mess.

****

More Obamacare fall out from a former Democrat staffer.

So let me see. It cost her her job, increased her cost of living and still toes the ideological line still believing in 'health care for all?'

Can't help those in denial.

*****

 I was listening to Howard Stern and they were interviewing people at a Pokemon convention. One of the people there said they spend $4000 a year going to conventions but does not invest in a 401k.

People make their choices. So in the case of insurance they don't purchase it choosing instead to put their money elsewhere. With laws like Obamacare (or anything like it) suddenly other people are forced to pay more to cover people like the Pokemon guy.

Why stop at health? Why not compel people to save in their 401k (RRSP in Canada?). Yes, we do pay into SS, or OAS but at this point, I'm actually a little surprised no one has expanded this to savings plans.

If anything, the government will probably start dipping into savings plans in the future. Crazy? They already raid pension plans.



2013-10-28

CGI Canadian Connection To Obamcare Website Disaster

Mark Steyn:

"...CGI is not a creative free spirit from Jersey City with an impressive mastery of Twitter, but a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.

Sound familiar?
Also, there was a 1-800 number, but it wasn’t any use.
Sound familiar?
So it was decided that the sclerotic database needed to be improved.
Sound familiar?

But it proved impossible to “improve” CFIS (the Canadian Firearms Information System). So CGI was hired to create an entirely new CFIS II, which would operate alongside CFIS I until the old system could be scrapped. CFIS II was supposed to go operational on January 9, 2003, but the January date got postponed to June, and 2003 to 2004, and $81 million was thrown at it before a new Conservative government scrapped the fiasco in 2007. Last year, the government of Ontario canceled another CGI registry that never saw the light of day — just for one disease, diabetes, and costing a mere $46 million...."

"...Was the government of the United States aware that CGI had been fired by the government of Canada and the government of Ontario (and the government of New Brunswick)? Nobody’s saying. But I doubt it would make much difference. Asked by Mother Jones to explain why Obama the candidate uses the Internet so effectively but Obama the government is a bust, his 2008 tech maestro Clay Johnson put it this way: “The first person that you need in order to start a Web company would be a Web developer; the first person you need to start a government-contracting firm is an attorney.” The problem with Obamacare isn’t the website design, it’s the nature of government procurement in an unaccountable bureaucracy serving 300 million people...."

And then there's good old fashioned cronyism that's said to have been involved. But we'll save that for another time.

CGI. The new Haliburton.


Vatican Tweets On Reed's Death

Cardinal Ravasi.

Heroes!

I think it's time we stop calling cops heroes.

That gig has played itself out.

Kid didn't have to die. Simple as that.

Income And Wealth Are Not The Same And Should Be Treated Carefully

A couple of videos on economics.

He's, of course, absolutely right. Income and wealth are NOT the same thing. Nor are they static since, you know, human activity is in a constant state of flux. A lot of the income inequality studies out there deliberately or otherwise conflate and mislead to paint a picture that there's a receding middle-class.

The video he's referring to is here. See for yourself. It made little sense to me as it took all sorts of liberties with data. 

Socialists have it all wrong and backwards.

Unfortunately, the view of a receding middle-class is in the majority and not the minority.

Just like demanding for more gun control in A) an environment that already has ample gun control legislation depending on the region and state or province for that matter and B) a social environment where crime has been dropping off for decades is irrational, so is the belief 1% of the population somehow conspires to keep us down is specious in its logic.

Ironically, one of the best ways to achieve wealth (besides saving money) is to invest in dividend paying investments and in those that grow thus creating a capital gain. Yes, at different points in our lives we may or may not have disposable income to take advantage of this but ask yourself this: Why would you advocate the government tax dividends when you can benefit from it?

I firmly remain adamant in the fact that our tax policies and faith in taxing to redistribute wealth actually benefits no one. If you invest $5 (after earning, say $12, of which $2 went to taxes and $7 for life expenditures/loans) and it makes $1 why shouldn't you keep it? You just created wealth.

The real savvy among us figured this out.

Those who don't, wallow, for example in envy.

Simplistic scenario yes, but that's the gist of it.

The rest is just obfuscation on the part of partisans.

Waiting Your Public Health Turn

Fraser Institute's study on wait times in Canada public health is out.

 

Where's Waldo? Searching For Joe Biden

Where has Joe Biden been?

"...There are, apparently, two Joe Bidens. The public Joe says foolish things he hasn’t thought through, off the cuff (“They’re gonna put y’all back in chains,” he said, of Republicans, in a scary Southern accent to a black audience last fall). He also says foolish things he has thought through, on the cuff (such as when he voted against the first Iraq War but in favor of the second, which he then voted to lose by opposing the surge).

Yet behind closed doors, the vice president is widely acknowledged as a canny operator who knows the Senate, has friends on both sides of the aisle and cuts deals. He brokered the resolutions to the 2011 debt-default crisis and last winter’s fiscal cliff.

He is, in other words, the opposite of President Obama (and Hillary Clinton): He doesn’t cut a dashing figure behind the wheel, but he can get under the hood and fix the transmission..."

"...Actually, Biden does whatever his boss tells him to. He might well be thinking that loyal-lapdog status will earn him Obama’s endorsement in 2016. And the report in Politico that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the president to keep Biden away from Congress during the shutdown is credible. “None of the deals Biden has struck have aged well from the perspective of the Democratic Caucus,” a Senate Democratic official told Politico.

Which means that, at a notably divisive moment in national politics, the country is being run by Harry Reid. President Obama has silenced the one player on his team with a proven record of working the middle and instead chosen to go for all-out partisan warfare..."

Biden stands in the way of a 'grand liberal project?'

Fashion Trends: Necropants

I'm so getting a pair of Necropants.

Just as soon as they hit the outlets of course. Matched with a puffy shirt and we're off!

Question: Will it comes with a set of balls too?

Fighting For The Slants

Effen government.

It's not their job to regulate crap like this.

Freedom of speech and expression my ass.

The Slants is a cool name.

2013-10-27

Quotes Of The Day: Keynes

"By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls . . . become 'profiteers', who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished not less than the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds . . . all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless." John Maynard Keynes

If he were alive today the Keynsesians would turn on him calling a "right-wing nut job."Hard to think Keynesians like Krugman would be so sober.

Look, I'm no economist but I do kinda get the subject and took a few courses in my day. In reading Keynes it never struck me he would support the insidious "spending your way to prosperity" while wallowing in significant debt. That's just me. I think Keynes was a little more prudent and rational than contemporary followers of his ideas.

Here's another Keynes quote:

"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become "profiteers," who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

 

Music Video Of The Day: Lou Reed

Lou Reed playing Blind Lemon Jefferson blues classic. 


Lou Reed Dies

Rock just lost a New York City icon.

Lou Reed. 

Reed - solo and part of the Velvet Underground - authored two of the great rock songs of all time - Walk on the wild side and Sweet Jane.

Back in August of 1990 I was sitting on the Metro heading to school when I came across a concert announcement in The Mirror. It was Lou Reed and Bob Dylan together.

Much to my regret, the same day they were coming I was leaving for Europe.

One of my big regrets to have missed that concert as that chance never came again. Not only that, Stevie Ray Vaughan died during the trip.

Another Reed story. I discovered him in the mid-80s when I was a teenager and long past the legendary, NYC scene he was involved with. My first Reed CD was 'New York' which I bought at Tower Records in 1989. Walking on 42nd Street, pre-Giuliani - where some of Reed's hustling, transgender characters lurked about - was still seedy so I was glad I got to see it.

Etna Erupts; Edna Krabappel (Marcia Wallace) Dies

Somewhere, in a dark dingy dungeon, Al Gore and David Suzuki are discussing how to profit and charge a tax on Etna for the CO2 emissions.

Maybe we can cover it!

***

Ha!

RIP, Edna.

2013-10-26

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Just An Observation

For some reason, I don't see high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient in a lot of food products here in Canada.

That's a good thing.

However, I notice it's still found in the United States. For example, I see it in American cereal but not in Canada even though the majority of cereal companies are from the USA.

I reckon this has something to do with health policies and laws.


London And Los Angeles On NFL's Watch List

The NFL would like to expand into Los Angeles and London. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Rams are reaching out to Brett Favre.

With a QB shortage they want to further water down their product by adding two more teams? Unless, of course, Jacksonville moves its franchise to L.A..

How will London, barring complete realignment, fit in all this? I could kinda get an international division made up of say, London, Frankfurt, Mexico City and perhaps Toronto as opposed to shoving London in one of the divisions.

Rosemere Elections: Throw The Bums Out

The city of Rosemere has one party looking to bring some rational, reasonable normalcy back. Innovaction is that party.

The incumbent party, by contrast, is irrational if not absurd in the application of the signage laws. It's enough for me to consider selling.

It annoys me because this is not stuff we should be wasting energy on. It's pretty self-evident. Attract business, be reasonable with the regulations and taxes and let them do their thing and hopefully thrive.

Coercing someone into what color their BUSINESS sign should be (a business is intricately tied to a marketing scheme). For example, if the business is called 'Red' it's normal the owner will want a red sign. The god damn municipality shouldn't say which "shade of red" is acceptable. That's a form of tyranny that helps no one.

Yet, this happens in Rosemere. I know, it happened to me and it's not only unacceptable, it's patently stupid.

Look for yourself. 

It's in French so please allow me to briefly paraphrase. Basically, business owners in Rosemere have grown weary of the excessive application of the signage laws. Every time we want to advertise we have to ask for permission grovel to an urban planning bureaucrat with little incentive or experience in business issues (to say nothing of shoddy manners) in order to do so. More often than not, the answer is no and if permitted with stringent restrictions.The "fuck you because we say so" line of thinking.

The two people you see in the video are two such owners who faced odious municipal nonsensical over reach. The person who owns 'Bliss' was told she could not use the shade of pink she wanted to use for no good reason. They basically imposed their will on a person's LIVELIHOOD. The second is a bike shop owner who since the video has left Rosemere. His finals words are best heeded and one in which this blog often repeats: Keep hassling business and they will leave. It's not a sudden thing but over time smart, productive and rational people think with their pocket book and silently vote with their feet. The "unintended consequences" if you will. One in which apathetic people with no skin in the game don't want to grasp.

This plays itself out not just at the local level but at a provincial/state/national level. You can bludgeon (and demonize) business and free-enterprise for so long.

As for the bike shop, Rosemere is now without one. Which is a shame because he served A COMMUNITY.

But goes ask the party that pushed him out give a rat's ass.

They don't. Know why? Because they think like bureaucrats. "Someone else will come in." Never ONCE considering the cost to losing a business for no proper reason. This is not an optimum way to run a town or govern a civil economy.

His "worth" to the town is significantly higher than the person writing the infractions. A community is poorer for losing a local business owner; it wouldn't miss the inspector.




Canada Has Death Panels And That's NOT A Good Thing

No Adam Goldenberg. 'Death panels' is NOT a good thing nor do I consent or ever will accept strangers deciding life issues on my family's behalf because unlike you or "most" Canadians (an indifferent and apathetic bunch if I seen one), I don't trust government to make the right decision that's fit for me. I don't agree this is "rational" or "objective" as you seem to assert. 

My family was in a similar situation and we would have ripped the hospital down if some bureaucrat would have made a decision we didn't agree with. Guess what, Adam? We were right. In the end, there's ONE institution and ONE alone that should have the right: Family. Not you, not the PM, not Shirley Bureaucrat, no one. God, family and the doctor. That's it, pal.

Maybe we should rethink how much faith through tax dollars we put in our public health system because it should never come down to cost or cost-centric reasons.

See this, Adam? That's my middle finger.

The title says it all "Canada has death panels - and that's a good thing."

Macabre.

H/T SE.

Saving Kittens

Nice video of a fireman saving a kitten.

Movie Of The Month: The Return Of The Living Dead

i
It's Halloween and that means....The Return of the Living Dead!

"Send more cops!"

2013-10-25

Cops Being Cops

They have to get home at night.

And Canada is no exception as we see in the article.


Quote Of The Day

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

Claire Wolfe.

Let's Fix This Thing

Kathleen Sebelius promises to fix the heathcare.gov website.

Obama and Sebelius enter website war room which the President calls 'rooooom' for some reason.

"Let's fix this thing!"

"Yes. Mr. President!"

No one moves. He sits down.

"No, you stand" he tells Sebelius.

"Bring me my thinking beanie!"

"Here it is Mr. President."

"Okay. Now give me some tools. I need TOOLS!"

"Er..."

"What's this?"

"A keyboard?"

"Now, we're cooking."

Rolls sleeves.

"Bring me a Slurpie.  A big, badass motherfucker one."

"But Mr. Bloomberg sez..."

"I don't give a shit what he says! I'm the President and best you mind your biz-ness, son. Now git."

Punches letters and plays with keyboard.

"I see. I see."

Continues.

"What do you think, Mr. President?"

"Tell you what, Kathleen, that's a lotta squirrels in there."

"What should we do?"

"Throw stuff at it. Here lemme show you. You take a dollar and you throw it at the screen."

"This is fun!"

Everyone in the room stare in confused disbelief.

"In the meantime what do we tell the people?"

"Don't worry about that. I think today I'll blame the private sector and if that doesn't work whining about the Republicans and Rush Limbaugh never fails."

"Right."

/Sebelius leaves office clumsily bumping into furniture and people. Obama continues to stare at computer screen. In a low but forceful tone he mutters to himself.

"Where are you you critter clingers?"


Learning To Distrust Government

"Hi, I'm Todd. From the government. I'm here to help."

/girl at door faints. Todd catches her. He winks and stares back at the camera and lunges to kiss her.

"Ew, what are you doing, Todd?"

"I'm taking care of the children."

/Gives Mr. Roper smile at camera and lunges again.

"Get off me! You're not my type!"

"Whaddya mean! I bring peace, order, regulation, fairness and justice to all - well, some people but that's besides the point. There are limits, you know!"

"Well, I like less controlling men in my life!"

"Oh come, baby. You know you want it. We all can't be trusted to do the right thing. We're here to, you know, guide you along. In the right direction. By "right" we mean our direction."

"And if I don't comply?"

"Oh, we're confident you will."

"How?"

"Oh, let's just say we have our methods."

"You sure say "oh" a lot."

/lunges again. She pushes off.

"Very well. I will have to cite you."

"For what?"

"Not, erm, not doing your fair share."

"Excuse me? This is my home and you're intruding!"

"Really? Your home, huh? Did you "really" build this? I mean, look at the street in front of you."

"What about it?"

"Did you build that?"

"No."

"Exactly. So this is not "technically" your house."

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Look, what difference does it make at this point?

"A whole lot. We work hard for this house."

"I'm sure you do. Off the backs of poor people."

"I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."

"Hm. Come to think of it. I may enforce eminent domain. I think the government can make use of this lot. Here's a cheque."

"This equals 30% of the value of the house!"

"It's a good deal. You should take it."

"A good deal for you!"

"Hey, we can split hairs all we want and all day long or we can braid hairs all night long if you get my drift.

"You're disgusting. I'm married."

"Right. I'm tired of all this obstructionism."

Pauses.

"So?"

Slams door.

Next day.

House bull dozed. Todd passes by. Looks at woman and then the lot.

"Such a shame. Such a shame."

"You ruined my life!"

"Yeah. Whaddya gonna do? Oh, I know what. Here's some cash. Don't tell anyone but it's from my boss. Let's just keep it a secret."

"Oh. Okay."

"Hey, you said "oh!"

/they share a light chuckle.

"How does this work?"

"We're putting up low-income luxury Homecare condos for people ruined by the free-enterprise system. Why don't we just put you up here? Fees are cheap since they're mostly paid by taxpayers who so lovingly give up their income for such grand, noble projects. That way, I can send you this cash every single month! All we ask in return is your blind support. Win-win!"

"Oh..."

"There's that 'oh!"

"Okay. I guess. I never took from others before. Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, I was pretty self-sufficient before you came along."

"Now who's being naif? Who's gonna bring you that clean water, honey? Who's gonna protect you from those evil extremists? Who's gonna tuck you in at night, huh?

"You are?"

"You bet your god damn little asshole, I am. Now here's your bib with you number. Don't lose it."

"Fine."

"Best you remember. I'm your friend."

"Wanna come inside and help me break in my new pad?"

"Why didn't you say so in the first place? It'll be my pleasure!"

/winks and laughs at camera.

Fin.


2013-10-24

History Of Canadian Public Health

What I'm trying to get more information is how the public and medical profession viewed the debate on universal health care here in Canada which stretches as far back as the 1920s.

I finally came across something that touches on this.

It's from Civilization.ca.

State medicine or health insurance?

More here.

What I should be doing is hitting the library and pulling out newspaper clippings.

What I'm trying to get more information is how the public and medical profession viewed the debate on universal health care here in Canada which stretches as far back as the 1920s.

I finally came across something that touches on this.

It's from (Canadian Museum of Civilization) Civilization.ca.

State medicine or health insurance?

More here.

What I should be doing is hitting the library and pulling out newspaper clippings.

Anyway. Moving along:

"Although the Department of Health had been careful not to infringe on provincial sovereignty, the Department of Justice concluded that the federal authorities had no legal basis for involvement in health matters other than those specified in section 91 of the British North America Act. This pronouncement was to have long-term consequences for the development of health policy." 

"...The Great Depression would prove to be the catalyst for redefining Canadians’ values, leading to the initial attempts to create provincial health insurance plans..." 

The Great Depression accelerated social-welfare policies in North America.

Yay Liberal Freeland!

Burn.

Ladies and gentlemen. The Liberal party brain trust.

*I couldn't come up with a better title. Truth is, watching the ball game as I type this.

It's Not Fraud When The Government Does It

In the private sector, this is called, you know fraud.

Where's Elizabeth Warren when you need her?

What.

A.

Mess.

But it's still 'a good deal' remember?

How Many Public Workers Does It Take To Change Lighbulb?

Depends how many taxpayers there are!

Now where's my guaranteed Freedom 48 pension?

I earned it dammit!



Communism By Other Means

Yes.

Because a bureaucratic entity like the Competition Bureau can ensure "competitive balance" in what is supposed to be a "free-market."

The scary thing is people actually think this crap works to consumer benefit.

I saw this comment on a Facebook page somewhere:

"Large corporations merging or buying out others to become larger is almost always bad for consumers in the long run. Just look at Bell or Rogers."

Not only is this person economically illiterate (they are monopolies), they're apparently is ignorant of history. I'm guessing this person is the norm in thinking this way I've become that jaded about people and their views about wealth, economics, finance and the role of government in our lives.

Bah.

The CB shouldn't be ordering anyone around anymore the CRTC should be regulating airwaves.

"..Five Winnipeg grocery stores will soon be up for sale, thanks to a Competition Bureau ruling that ordered Sobeys to sell the spots before it takes over Safeway.

Sobeys Inc. has been ordered to sell 23 stores across Canada, including five in Winnipeg, before it purchases Safeway Canada for $5.8 billion.

The bureau said the sales are necessary to keep the grocery market competitive.
In Winnipeg, the Southdale Centre, Grant Park and St. Vital locations will be put up for sale, as well as two more downtown..."



2013-10-22

Remembering Elinor Ostrom

"...Professor Ostrom’s prizewinning work examined how people collaborate and organize themselves to manage common resources like forests or fisheries, even when governments are not involved. The research overturned the conventional wisdom about the need for government regulation of public resources...."

"Ha, ha. For that she won a Nobel prize? Everyone knows you need the government to help organize lives!" Paul Krugman.

There's no room for such extreme discourse! 

"Traditionally, economics taught that common ownership of resources results in excessive exploitation, as when fishermen overfish a common pond. This is the so-called tragedy of the commons, and it suggests that common resources must be managed either through privatization or government regulation, in the form of taxes, say, or limits on use.

Professor Ostrom studied cases around the world in which communities successfully regulated resource use through cooperation. Her work has important applications for climate change policy today."

Coercion to achieve cooperation! Coercion to achieve cooperation! Repeat!

Progressive heads explode.

Call 1-800 I'll Repeat That Number

The meme has been set. There's no sugarcoating it. Cologne doesn't cover up B.O.

What difference does it make at this point! You can't repeal this law anyway. It's cemented and written in blood. Like prohibition and women's suffrage. I mean, those weren't repealed, right?

Lord, what has happened to the United States?

Obama is getting pummeled and rightfully so. What the fuck was that the other day?

It's been rather bizarre if not annoying having to listen to liberals make endless misguided analogies to the private sector when it comes to the Obamacare roll out fiasco.

It's like everyone has lost their minds in trying to defend the indefensible. The incompetence has been staggering yet even Apple had glitches they will have you belief.

Obama's pitch was a sad mix of clueless cynicism with a hint of desperately begging to believe it will all work out in the end.

It's not even funny anymore. When you get compared to the Sham-Wow guy. You know you've lost the room.

"I think most of us in the press expected him to address the shady government contract processes that allowed a mediocre web developer, CGI Global, to take on a $92 million, U.S.-government-funded e-commerce project.

But instead of providing more details about why most people still can’t sign up for the new healthcare plans online, the press conference turned into a bizarre sales pitch for how Americans can still purchase insurance . I don’t think I’ve ever seen a U.S. Commander-in-Chief say “1-800″ so many times."

The solution? Increase the number of workers; which only confuse and slow down things further All the while, increasing the cost to taxpayers.

And pray.

President Does His Best Lyle Lanley Impression

As I listened to Obama's speech the other day I sat in disbelief at what I was hearing. Not only was it a terrible sell job (what was with all the clapping? I kept looking for tanks to roll by as a show of force) it was filled with gibberish. And apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed.


I got no skin in the game but it is fascinating watching the President try to defend what is a disaster at the moment.

A couple of rather disingenuous comments:

"We've essentially created competition." 

Since when has the government ever 'created competition?' Competition infers there are to willing parties participating in action (or transactions) free of coercion. The government doesn't compete, it dictates. Nor can it "create" something it's not a participant in.

"Prices have come down as a result of the competition." 

Really? So why have premiums gone up for people? Why the loopholes and exemptions? Why are tax credits needed? What we have here folks is market distortions created by the government. Something it's very good at.

"People can save money." 

Which people exactly? Low-income people? Who exactly is going to benefit?

"It's a great product and prices are good. It's a good deal." 

Sez you and your pals who are exempt.

In any event, Americans will never know now will they? This massive redistribution scheme has been shoved down their throats.

In order to know if a product is 'great' consumers react to it. This happens in a free market system. There is no such mechanism in government run operations. As to price, again, how does he arrive at this assertion? Because he says so?

Classic case of a bureaucrat using "capitalist" lingo to sell a state-run initiative. Obama was playing the part of CEO and this is what was most outrageous today.

Running Scared

You know, I come across a lot of articles from multiple (blog, newspapers, magazines) publications on the internet. In my opinion, out of all them Salon without doubt provides readers with just about the most sophomoric vapid gibberish.

I've come across some really bad and poorly thought out articles but Tom Watson at Salon at the moment has taken the lead alongside an associate professor from Huffington (I forget his name but his article from a few years back continues to haunt me to this day).

It's almost as if these people don't even bother or are incapable of abstract thought particularly when it comes to libertarianism.

Watson isn't alone in the utter indifference displayed. Bill Maher is the king of vacuous interpretations when it comes to libertarianism.

I like to believe this is because the long-term trends are favorable to libertarian philosophy. More and more people are beginning to come around to it. They're reading, listening and researching. Guys like Watson actually help because if someone reading is like me, I go out and research and learn. That's how I ended up at Reason and Le Quebecois Libre. There, I get a sense of rational thinking I sorely demand. I've grown suspicious of the progressive movement and its ideas. I don't believe it works as well as they claim. Alas, that's what freedom is. I get to make that educated decision for myself.

In the hall of ideas, let each argue their points and let the people decide. At the moment, it's not a fair fight as most of the laws, regulations and general mindset leans progressive. What this means, they get a lot of legislative pull. Progressive ideas, in my view, wouldn't succeed without coercive policy. Which is why you see a lot of prgos say stuff like "yeah, but people can't be trusted to make their own choices."

It's not really hard to make a 'slippery slope' claim based on that.

Anyway, lazily, I'll let the comments thread speak for itself. He takes a deserved pasting for his authoritarianism. There really isn't much I can do with this. Either he's a lying piece of shit or completely derelict with the facts of history.

For example, Von Mises "infatuated" with Mussolini? Wow. It was the left and liberals who were (and remain so) infatuated with strongmen and dictators.

No, libertarians - for the 1001th time - don't implicitly condone corporatism through their positions. They are consistently clear they oppose cronyism that corrodes the capitalist system. Cronyism exists because corporate AND political interests collide. From this point forward, they can explain, quite vociferously and passionately if not elegantly, real, workable, sensible solutions to this problem. Solutions that the left (and even right on some cases) oppose. Stuff like, rent control, licensing, minimum wage etc. and other mechanisms that actually benefit major corporations and hurt small business. Small-business's interests are not necessarily naturally aligned with corporations.

Apparently, it's the fault of libertarians there's NSA and that the Obamacare roll-out was an embarrassing disaster.

Do the following comments sound "extreme" to you?

"Anyone who puts their hatred for others ahead of their love for liberty ultimately betrays liberty."

"Too bad Tom Watson is not a true liberal, just mouthing off authoritarian nonsense. The idea of liberty for all came from John Locke, considered as the first liberal (classical liberal). No, today's modern liberal has more in common with Mussolini, who argued for complete totalitarian control of the economy. The same Mussolini who was an avowed Marxist during his early years and who considered fascism  on the "Left"  in his "Doctrine of Fascism" (Jane Soames' 1933 authorized translation of Mussolini's "The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism," has him writing: "a century of authority, a century of the Left, a century of Fascism.” ). The modern so-called liberal is the true authoritarian versus the classical liberal of Locke and Thomas Jefferson."

Although, once Fascism attained power, one can argue, it sought to be neither "right or left." It just wanted to be its own ideological ideal. But it is true Mussolini's background was heavily influenced by socialism (his father was an ardent socialist). Which is why I find it bizarre, given Obama's obvious left-wing associations, people would claim he's not influenced by his own father's communist beliefs and socialist organizations he was a member of.

Here's the weird thing. Voluntary socialism is basically the libertarian position. Libertarians do NOT reject the strength of the community as a key to fostering strong individuals. They simply reject when that belief becomes a coercive action enforced by the state. Then it graduates into violating individual rights. No one. Absolutely NO ONE has the right to tell another person, for example, pro-rights is morally right and pro-life is wrong therefore the government should pick a side in favor of the former. 

This is unjust action.  

"The liberty movement is about liberty; it is not about authoritarianism; if you conflate the two, you simply need to get out more; there's no polite way to phrase it. An issues coalition does not require all parties to like each other on all issues; it simply requires agreement on the main issue itself: an end to the surveillance state. Progressives have their own reasons for making this call. For libertarians, it is an integral part of the demand for freedom; when there are so many laws that it is estimated that the average American commits three felonies a day, we cannot allow government to surveil us in such intimate detail. More fundamentally, if it would be wrong for a random Peeping Tom to install monitors in someone else's home, it is wrong for government to do so. No idea is more integrally libertarian.

I'll ally with anyone on a shared principle, I'll bend my principles for nobody. If you and I disagree on some other issues, that's life. On this issue, I know where I stand. If you must seek out some other corner to spare yourself the sight of libertarians, that would be your issue, not mine."





2013-10-20

Switzerland Fixes A Figure For Living Wage

And it's $2800.

Give people $2800 and they will spend $2900.

All I know is when I visited Switzerland it was damn expensive.

Pain, No Gain

I've been a pretty active guy for the better of 35 years and if there's one thing I've come to learn through many, many years of exercising and reading about the subject it's that 'no pain, no gain' makes little sense.

Steady and slow is the best method to use in any form of activity.

It always made little sense equating exhaustion or pain to somehow doing the body good. Just like I never understood people who didn't obey their body and played through men as if it's some ancient Spartan ritual.

Hurt? Sit down and nurse the fucking injury. Stop pretending to be a tough guy.

The fact is, if you allow your body to nurse itself by resting early in the injury it will benefit you in the long-run.

Ah, but we don't like 'long-term.' Look at how our politics work. Everything is designed for the short-term- the now!

I used to be restless myself. It bothered me to no end to be pulled off a routine or schedule or to miss a soccer match. It felt like you were wasting time; your life.

But now I see it was in fact good for you. If you feel tired just take a day off. Relax. Let the muscles repair themselves. Catch your breath. Recharge your mental health.

Qui va piano, va lontano. Who goes slow, goes far is an Italian adage worth keeping in the back of the mind while throwing out 'no pain, no gain.'


Tire Law: Still Ridiculous

When Quebec outlawed four season tires on the specious grounds they were not good for winter, I was not happy.

I think about this every fall.

It was the usual one-size fits all bull shit legislation government coerces that at the time cost me $750 I didn't have. My four-season tires were awesome but nooooo the nanny-state chimed in with their big idears.

See, I own a 4x4 Jeep Liberty and lemme tell ya, a good set of high quality four season tires were just fine.

In fact, we always used four season tires and never, ever, never had a problem with our harsh winters.

Ever.

But because a few irresponsible dipshit dumbasses couldn't drive causing accidents that great, inexpensive option was lost for the rest of us.


2013-10-19

Wiki Quicker Than TSN

This is pretty sad.

I have to go to Wiki to view an up to the minute update of the CFL standings because TSN doesn't seem to think that sort of stuff matters.

I wanted to get a look at where teams stood and as of 11:10 pm the TSN website wasn't updated. The last 'mise a hour' according to the site was Saturday 12:27 AM.

No wonder I don't bother anymore and just go to Wiki. I figured lemme go to TSN since they fricken cover the league.

So, so Canadian.

As in so-so.




Quote Of The Day

"Race! It is a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five percent, at least, is a feeling. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today. National pride has no need of the delirium of race." Benito Mussolini

A quote I can get behind even if it's from Mussolini.

And one in which importantly marks the essential difference between Mussolini's fascist Italy and Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.

Mussolini, was a theatrical, narcissistic, charismatic, tyrannical thug who plunged into a war it wasn't ready for, and his Black Shirts did use excessive brutish force but he wasn't a racist or anti-Semite - though he was to later expel Jews from Italy in a gesture merely designed to play ball with Germany - nor were his convictions and political positions superfluous. Above all, he wasn't evil.

Which is why, in contemporary Italy, Mussolini - though a demagogic figure -  isn't necessarily seen as an absolute hated figure. Mussolini's love and patriotism of Italy was authentic. He definitely wasn't in it for the money. When former Lazio player (Lazio and Rome naturally would be places where fascist sentiment still exists in some form) the colorful and fiery Paolo Di Canio made a controversial fascist salute the media howled, but the reality is people in Italy didn't see it as quite the atrocity as depicted (particularly in the Anglo world).

It makes him a different cat from Hitler altogether. Like many political figures in history, he was, well, more complicated than we give him credit for.

I often joke to myself that when Mussolini and the Italians found out what the Germans were doing building concentration camps predicated on annihilating fellow human beings, they must of said to one another, "sono matte!" (they're mental!).

Italy - woefully and embarrassingly unprepared for war as already mentioned -  was on the wrong side of WWII but they weren't a civilization that sunk into barbarity like an advanced, intelligent, cultural, and powerful nation like Germany did.

As for the quote, replace 'race' with 'language' and it applies for our situation in Quebec.

Nationalism stinks and hastens civilizational regression.

2013-10-18

Help Brian D. Aitken Get His Son Back

Help Brian D. Aitken.

What an enraging story.

JURY NULLIFICATION.

Don't let vindictive judges and prosecutors skew the law and make criminals of innocent people. Society has to shame these morally depraved people. What "service" did they render the public by ruining this guy's life? 

Spread the word.


Political Correctness A Disease

The profound, smug ignorance is staggering.

Now people are gonna slowly lose their minds on a lousy sports name. 

Going straight to Godwin a debate is a tactic.

The irony for me, is that sports names are actually a sign of respect. No sports team looks to name itself after something it doesn't like but rather it respects and admire. I bet you the team was named by 'liberal-minded' people who wanted to be associated with Natives. I also bet you more people are not offended it by it than those who are. Like usual, the ones making all the noise are a minority.

Only the sovereign person can be offended. You can't blame others if you're "offended." It's a personal issue.

Quote Of The Day

"If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this." Hayek.

Does this not explain the progressive mindset and its fetish for government control well?

First they came for the....

All for the children.

2013-10-17

Obamacare In A Chart

"Your new health system."



Quotes Of The Night

"I think the gravest mistake a republic can make is to assume that the Stalins, Hitlers, Pol Pots, and Maos are anomalous figures of history. We like to think that they are rare examples of deranged individuals that happened to seize power when the opportunity came to them.
But look at what progressives actually believe. Look at what that author from the HuffPost openly advocates and the commentariat of that site overwhelmingly supports: the arrest and imprisonment of their political enemies for no reason other than using their Constitutional authority to impede progress.
 

Look at that and believe that somewhere in the lunatic asylum that is the Daily Kos, AlterNet, and Salon are people bold enough and fanatical enough to destroy all those who stand in the way of their utopia. There are Maos and Stalins and Pol Pots in this country today and God help us if they ever gain control of the state."


"Privately (and as a former journalist in a liberal town, I have interviewed many) they will tell you that they'd like to fucking kill their enemy. Literally. With guns and shit.
 

None of this is news. Anyone that's willing to put a gun to your head and take your money "for the common good" is more than willing to kill you for it.
 

Quite literally the only reason we aren't dead for our money already is because they think they can get more money out of us being alive."



Quebec Human Rights Commission Plays Insanity To Parti Quebecois's Insanity

This is so duh it's the Cadillac of duh. It's a fully equipped duh with a 440 Hemi or a Chevy stock Super Eight bitch! 

Duh as in 'like, duh!"

In all my life of dealing and communicating with duh, this was the most obvious duh.

The PQ are behaving like a bunch of divisive deviants.

Title Of The Day

Fox News: Be 'moral people,' ex-Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers urges

You kinda made your bed, friend. Nice to send a nice moral shout out but leave this business to people who, you know, don't have blood in their palms.

****

Speaking of sickening, Ray Lewis is on TV next to Chris Berman on ESPN talking NFL. Ghastly and ghoulish. 

The ugly side of television being slaves to ratings. 

 

Oreos More Addictive Than Drugs According To Study

Well, that's settles it.

We have to ban Oreos.

For the children.


2013-10-15

U.S. Education: That Grade You Think You Earned Might Be Inflated

Grade inflation graph in the USA.

I coulda used some of that.

Let's Get Back To The Basics

What do you think happens to something (ie a commodity) when you make it more available?

When a politician says, for example, they want to increase post-secondary graduation rates and will help to achieve that goal by making loans cheaper, what will happen?

Hint: Think Aero.

Think. It's basic economics.

2013-10-14

Canada's Elizabeth Warren

I didn't realize Trudeau named Chrystia Freeland to his economic team.

It's almost as if he personally doesn't want me to vote for the Liberals.

It's amazing how people I thought to be meh find their way into politics and Ms. Freeland is one of them. I'd watch her on the McLoughlin Group, for example, and tried as hard as I could to find a special angle to her to no avail.

Freeland has written extensively about the plight of the shrinking middle class and the rise of wealthy “plutocrats”, work that caught the eye of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who helped recruit her to run for the party.


She's our very own Little High Cheek Bones Warren - minus the Cherokee lineage.

The narrative, get ready, will be for the Liberals and NDP to claim the Canadian economy is being poorly managed - which simply isn't the case.

***

I expect to go 0 for 3 in the upcoming elections. I don't expect the party I support in the city where my business is (I don't have the right to vote. Apparently they can tax me without a voice) to win despite fielding what I regard to be a truly balanced and capable team that actually understands business. Which means, they won't be elected. My city where I live is likely to vote in the very same party the previous criminal represented. I'd be shocked if voters actually, you know, show a set of balls and shred of intelligence by voting in multiple candidates from all the parties. By giving all seats to one party begs for abuse of power and corruption. Finally, the city - Montreal - where we own properties is also likely to vote for the one candidate it doesn't need - a career politician in Denis Coderre.

We'll see.




EBT Chaos

I don't know what to think anymore.

Obama's Presidency has been marked by, among other things, record spending and increased food stamps.

Obamacare Registration: Epic Fail

Seriously, is anyone surprised by the problems?

Been following this quite a bit in the media (and boy are they increasing by the day not to mention calls for Sebelius to resign) and it seems there's some serious concern and even outrage.

This from the people who told Americans they "needed to pass the bill in order to know what's in it."

Obamacare and any hopes of cost efficiency (nay, efficiency period) was doomed from the beginning given how the legislation was passed, Justice Roberts absolutely mangling his reasons for voting in favor of it, to the silly cynicism of Chad Henderson, to its clear lack of public support all the way to the criticism from even people like Howard Dean. Shoot, even Jon Stewart was forced into questioning the competence of officials.

If there's one thing I know, it's hard to get back on proper financial footing when you miscalculate from the start. Then again, this is not a concern of public officials since waste comes with the territory.

President Obama was more interested in his legacy than anything else. He did his bit. Logistics problems are for minions to work out. He's a "big ideas thinker" after all.

How long before people assert the only solution to fixing this is for single-payer to be mandated?

The bigger question remains: Why did Congress give out all sorts of exemptions including themselves if Obamacare was so good and necessary?

From A to Z to -1. Epic failure to excecute.

And they want to pay your latex salesman? 

One can but nod their heads.

Question

How much you think Mr. Roper got for selling his apartment building? How many units did it have?

Wondering what the real estate market was in San Diego circa 1979 has kept me up at night.

Alouettes Snap Shots: Pat Aburzzi

Someone brought up former Montreal Alouettes running back (1955-58) Pat Abruzzi last week. He played during a good one for the franchise marked by its rivalry with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Drafted by the Baltimore Colts of the NFL in 1954, the 13th pick in the 30th round (352 overall) Abbruzzi chose the Montreal Alotuettes of the Canadian Football League for a pro career, mostly because they offered him a $500 bonus (which he used for his honeymoon.)

My have times have changed!

Of course, the NFL had yet to become the behemoth it was to become starting in the late 1960s. By then, it had replaced baseball as America's most popular sport.

The rest is history.

Abruzzi died in 1998.

Saving And Reviving Detroit: The Profit Motive Has Postive Impact

It's funny how humans always find a way to survive and innovate.

Dan Gilbert, of course, is challenging the weird belief that nothing gets done without government.

Watching 60 Minutes I caught a very important message people have made but still generally goes unheeded. Namely, the bankruptcy of Detroit and its ramifications were sown long ago. It's something to think about for leaders and citizens who simply refuse to acknowledge debt once out of control will destroy. No person or communities are immune to this fact and reality.

The dirty truth that if cities facing similar dark prospects it will be renaissance men with private equity that will save it. The profit motive, in this instance, is what will save civilizations.

/Progressive heads explode everywhere.

To most of us not indoctrinated with flimsy anti-corporate rhetoric, this is all self-evident. Who cares if a person like Dan Gilbert, who is literally single-handily turning Detroit into his own private Florence, profits from his risk? If the project succeeds, millions of people could stand to benefit.

The spill over effect could be immeasurable. Conversely, government intervention often have negative unintended consequences. For example, institution minimum wage standards in American Somoa thus damaging the tuna industry.

Of course, there's a lot to do as these comments reveal.
  
The Gilbert Model:
Sell a bunch of bad mortgages = get paid
sell the bad mortgages to investors = get paid
when mortgages go bad get govt bailout = get paid
get $5000 each to go fix the bad mortgages = get paid
don't pay sales tax on sky scrapers = get paid
keep quicken employee city of Detroit taxes for running a business in city = get paid.

Pay bribes/gifts to Kwame to keep him quiet. 


So what's this genius solution? Gilbert is bringing in companies who are actually relocating and with that comes jobs, and this is the comment they come up with? Loserville is dataway, chump.

"Hey how about allocating some of your big Dan Gilbert dollars to make sure the pensions stay intact for the 19,000 retired civil servants who built the city and now stand to lose everything."

Gilbert had nothing to do with those public pension deals. It's a shame the bankruptcy is disrupting pensions but it's not his responsibility and is under no obligation to fulfill such a request. These people are something else expecting someone else to bail them out. And what about people in the private sector who lost their pensions? Do they figure in this person's demand?

Watch the 60 Minutes report here.









T.C. Running For Office!

No, I'm not.

But.

If I were my slogan would be:

Vote for T.C.

Corruption you can trust!

2013-10-13

Air Canada And Customer Service Mutually Exclusive

I've written about the fact that Canada generally lags when it comes to customer service. It's just not our bag. And Air Canada is the poster child for bad customer service. Among the airlines, from what I read and hear, AC is pretty much at the bottom.

Not surprising given it maintains a unionized mentality and is gripped by a bureaucratic culture left from the days it was a Crown Corporation. AC was privatized way back in the late 1980s and has struggled ever since.

This story exemplifies how its executives don't even grasp the most basic and simplest of customer service concepts. 

***

Back in the day, when I worked at an investment firm, I would have to make the odd call to various fund companies, trading desks, and the sort in both Canada and the USA.

Here, you saw how the two countries handle customer service. I could call Fidelity and would get a prompt call back usually within the hour. I would call my own backoffice and not get a call back at all. I had to chase them.

My friend in pension funds experienced the same exact phenomena. "We're terrible. I call an American and I stay by the desk because I know they'll call me back. They're more on the ball than we are" he once said.

Here, you get the feeling you're bothering people; like they're doing you a favor. There, they understand business is all about relationships and they mastered that art. 


2013-10-11

Quick World Cup 2014 Qualifying Notes

Watched Belgium beat Croatia 2-1 to clinch a spot at the World Cup in Brazil 2014.

I have fond memories of the Belgian semi-finals performance in Mexico in 1986. They were a strong team but since that time its performances have been marked by pedestrian play culminating into missing the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

But they're back and it looks like with a vengeance. That's a young, talented and solid line up with quality players I saw today. Very strong and impressive.

They looked poised against a strong and capable Croatian side.

Dare I say, this is a team that can go very far in 2014.

***

The race for second spot in Group B is on. It looked like Denmark was going to secure a second spot after it took a late 2-1 lead over Italy (who already locked up first place). Alas, a rather fortunate deflection leveled the score for Italy thus leaving four teams - Denmark, Bulgaria (currently in second), the Czech Republic and Armenia (who defeated a nine-side Bulgarian squad 2-1) in a practical deadlock.

One has to fancy Denmark's chances as it takes on Malta in the final game so one has to assume they're good for the three. It's less clear for Bulgaria who will be facing a motivated Czech side ( a point should do it for Bulgaria - assuming Denmark doesn't pop eight goals on Malta)  and Armenia who have to travel to Naples to take on Italy. 

****

England put itself in practical qualification mode with a 4-1 win over Montenegro.

***

Closer to home, the United States was already on its way to Brazil prior to its match against Jamaica. At its conclusion a 2-0 was added to their record.




Montreal: Getting What They Deserved

With the Montreal elections set to take place in early November,  I'm hearing Denis Coderre is leading in the polls.

Which basically confirms the suspicion people like to be deceived. While Montreal looks on in shock about the systemic corruption at the Charbonneau Commission, what do they decide is the cure? To vote for a "career politician" and professional "outrager" in Coderre (who, it must be noted, was in the middle of the Adscam debacle) leading a party filled with, you guessed it,  candidates from Union Montreal - the party that was in the middle of the scandals.

Cynical and stupid really on the part of Montrealers.

There's no reason whatsoever to not take a chance with the other candidates in Cote, Joly and Bergeron. None. It's not like any one person can possibly fulfill what they're promising. Montreal politics doesn't function like New York where a strong man can seize control and lead.

I brace for the worse. A Coderre City Hall. 

At which point, it'll be meet the new boss...same as the old boss as The Who once sang in angst.

****

It was a shame, by the way, Melanie Joly wasn't part of the English debates.  In them, we learned the candidates were all in unanimous agreement on two important points: Montreal is bilingual and that the PQ Charter is not good for the city. Equally as important, they seem to embrace the "special status" calls for Montreal. 

Which puts Mini-Machiavelli Lisee and his band of sowers of discord in the PQ in a bit of a pickle. What we're saying is Quebec City values are not the will and wish of Montrealers.

It's a fight I'd stand behind.




Hospital Moves To Admit Only Healthy People To Save Costs

Hey, sick people cost money!

2013-10-10

Heroes!

Another cop kills dog.

Peeing For Progress

How policy is legislated and science settled.

Blog Of The Moment

The Time Travel Adventures Of Warty Hugeman.

You've been warned.

English Soccer: Getting Exactly What You Put In And Develop

It seems articles like this pop up every 10 years or so when it comes to England's national soccer team.

Today it's Spain. Tomorrow Germany. Another time Italy.

"At 15 he was spotted by scouts from an English Championship side and asked over for a week of trials. The team is now in the Premier League, but was then top of the second tier. He was treated well, and the facilities were fantastic -- certainly as good as in Spain -- but he was mystified by the training routines, which he found oddly basic, and the matches played among the squad players in which he was criticised by the coach for trying to build the play from the back with horizontal passes to the full-backs, when he had felt it was necessary.

In fact, everything he'd been taught in Spain as a midfielder -- to wait patiently for openings and then to switch directions and probe -- seemed to count for very little at this club. The English idea was to get the ball in quickly to the forwards, and that was about it."

I see things haven't changed since I last heard that criticism...back in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Alan Fotheringham of McLean's absolutely ripped English arrogance for thinking it was on par with the likes of Brazil, Germany, Italy and Argentina.

Back in 2012 following Italy's penalty kicks win over England, I was incensed over England's performance and the pitiful and pathetic reporting by the English press in the aftermath.

More delusional it could not be. The English - encouraged by its (sometimes) insufferable press and pundits -  saw a heroic and sparking display of defensive play. The rest of the sane world saw a tired, unimaginative English side decimated and outclassed by a superiour Italian side clinging on to any dignity it may have had left.

At one point, the English simply ceded the middle of the field (a part of the pitch Italy has generally been brilliant in over the years) and let the Italians march right in. It was Italian lack of finish that saved them.

English stubbornness was evident under Fabio Capello's short tenure as England manager. Simply,  England did not seem to be committed to winning. Known as a disciplinarian, Capello's style didn't mesh well with the celebrity culture known as English soccer.

True, England isn't that bad. They do have quality players. They're just not up to par on coaching and tactics. A shame really given its legacy and deep soccer roots.

All this to say. Don't be surprised if England doesn't win in 2014. The article explains it well.





The Most Transparent Administration Ever

Not.

So not.

From the Committee to Protect Journalists.

28 Years For Kilpatrick

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years.

Funny how the letter 'D' didn't make it next to his name.

A Massve Legacy Of Culture

For years I've had the statistic that Italy owns "40% of the world's art and 60% of Western cultural treasures" rattling in my brain. I can't remember where I read but it was such a stunning stat it stuck with me. I resigned myself to never finding out where I read it (it was in a book /White Goodman giggle) until I came across a 60 Minutes report on the restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper from 1996.

In it, Morley Safer opens with the first half of the phrase "40% of the world's art."

When you consider there are officially about 193 countries several of which with their own deep, rich cultural legacies (China, India, Iraq etc.), it could nonetheless make one ponder what Italy did to deserve such an unparalleled artistic heritage.

If I were to choose an analogy to sports to make sense of the figure, I guess you can argue Italy is the Babe Ruth, Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of nations when it comes to its cultural "statistics."

Big words but this is backed up by facts.

Which made me wonder, can you imagine the lost and undiscovered treasures under its grounds? Imagine if WWII had not happened and destroyed so much of its legacy, like the towers of Florence?

It's hard to contemplate and upsetting to consider.




2013-10-09

Stimulating Stagnation; Plan Nord Going South

Quebec, not surprisingly, thinks stimulus is a good idea.

If Quebec's business model and attitude towards business were properly adjusted to begin with, then yeah, maybe stimulus has a chance. It's deeper than that though. Unemployment, low productivity, reliance on Federal transfers, high taxes, low high school graduation rates etc., are all major problems Quebec needs to address.

This is gonna go nowhere just like it did in the USA.

$260 million debt so less use more public money to jump start the economy. 

Waste, waste, waste.

***

And Plan Nord. What can I say? It's off to a rough start and already lacking in funds. It doesn't help New England isn't all that interested in Quebec's plans.

"This story is about the New Hampshire mentality as much as it is about Hydro-Quebec corporate power. New Hampshire politicians respect their constituency because the people truly hold them accountable. Interestingly, Republicans and Democrats have identical responses as witnessed by Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s comments about Northern Pass to New Hampshire’s voters. He said, “I would only sign a permit that had a buried transmission system that had no visual damage to the beauty of Northern New Hampshire.”

One can only imagine Hydro-Quebec’s surprise with New Hampshire’s statewide response to their wires. After all, Hydro-Quebec seems to be in expansion mode as they build transmission lines across Canada.

St Hilarion, Quebec’s Innu community is currently fighting what seems to be a losing battle against transmission wires by Hydro-Quebec with a program called Plan Nord, a multibillion-dollar scheme that will open the north to mining and energy companies. To the Innu, their way of life is being threatened. Plan Nord has been voted down in two successive referenda, yet Hydro-Quebec has still built towers in the ancestral lands without the Innu’s consent."

I don't know why they refer to Hydro Quebec as a "corporation." The day it privatizes is the day one can call it such. Until then, it's a government monopoly and as you can see, the government monopoly motto is "fuck you because we say so."

Make Use Of Fuck You Useless Fucks

Since I tend to swear a lot on these pages it's only fitting I link to 'Uses of the word fuck.'



Path To Hell Paved With Good Intentions

Sometimes...

Sometimes a kid (a bully) just needs a beating.

Simple as that.

It's the law of the jungle.

No one should be surprised that anti-bullying campaigns aren't working.




Heroes!

"The parents of a Temecula, Calif., high school student filed a claim against the Temecula Valley Unified School District for unspecified damages, alleging the district administrators did not protect their special-needs son but instead “participated with local authorities in an undercover drug sting that intentionally targeted and discriminated against their son.”

Read the story and try and tell me this is not entrapment.

Forget the legalities.

It's beneath contempt what this cop did.

Tough guy "serving and protecting" my foot.

Take a bow local authorities! You should be proud.

/golf clap.


2013-10-08

Congressional Brinkmanship

Will the shutdown hurt Republicans?

Rush Limbaugh:

"Of course, you go back to 1995 and in the media it was a disaster for the Republicans. In the real world it wasn't. They won Senate seats in the year following, in the election following the shutdown. They gained two seats and they lost nine in the House. It was not a disaster. And from a policy standpoint, what they stood for in that shutdown actually led to Clinton signing welfare reform as something he needed to do to get reelected in 1996.  So there's that."

I think at the end of the day Americans will force Obama to own his administration even though he doesn't. They will not accept his blame strategy.

Just my guess.

Growing The Middle Class

By increasing taxes.

As you know, I fail to see how taxing investment income is productive or efficient. If there's one thing the middle-class has an option to grow savings is investment income. Taxing after-tax dollars used for investments is just about the most short-sighted thing a government can do. It's a form of confiscation really because it's the government sticking its hands in private pockets - just like wise guys.

You shoot yourself in the foot when you support such mindless actions.

Capital Gains
Dividends
Other*
2012
15%
15%
35%
2013+
23.8%
43.4%
43.4%


With the above table, Democrats claim they can reinvigorate the economy restoring innovation and confidence in the entrepreneurial class?

It's Bizarro meets 1984 meets Kafka is what it is. 1984 Revisited: Bizarro Kafka 2013!


Obama The Faux Orator

One thing I was always suspicious of was the claims of Obama's superior oratorical skills.

Time has not only kept up my skepticism, it actually has allowed me to think with confidence he doesn't possess the oratorical skills his fans claim.

Today I was listening to him speak and cringed at his naked ad hominen attacks on the Republicans. It was, as I've noted in the past, a pathetic trait for a person who leads a nation.

One thing he said I caught was how he called Republicans "extortionists" while calling for civil discourse all in one sentence.

Says a lot about the mindset, no?

****

I've detected an increase in shrill name calling on the part of the left describing Republicans as "terrorists," "jihadists," "anarchists" and "extortionists" as noted above. And these are the people whi claim to be logical?

How is this any different than, say, the right calling Obama a "socialist?"

You can make a stronger claim, if we must go this route, of Obama being a socialist than a Republican an "anarchist" since you can trace back some of Obama's past to socialist organizations. Not so much among the GOP.

Anyway, funny they call Republicans "terrorists' when they're reluctant to use the term for actual terrorists.