2008-12-31

Top 100 things that went wrong in 2008

My 2007 thing that went wrong in 2007 was quite was quite popular, so here goes for 2008. This year was much easier. (edit: I didn't check last year's before writing this year's, it turns out I could have copied and pasted here)
 
1. Steven Harper was re-elected as Prime Minister of Canada. Yes that is the number one thing that went wrong in 2008. Harper is proof that democracy is the greatest system in the world until you get to meet the people who vote. The blunder was almost corrected. Blasted Governor General chickened out.
 
2. The Canadian dollar. I didn't lose all my money in 2008 and I'd like to buy stuff. And since stuff is no longer made in Canada, a low dollar sucks.
 
3. "Summer". I didn't take any vacation this summer, but the weather in Moncton sucked so much I wished I worked more overtime!
 
4. Blogs. We haven't changed the world, have we. Even Iran's President has stopped blogging.
 
5. Twitter. Yeah I don't care that you are standing in line. Really.
 
6. Facebook is still popular. The people who use it, not so much. ;-P
 
7. Apple share prices. It sucks you lost half you retirement savings invested across many mutual funds. I lost a fortune investing into the cult, er, company, called Apple.
 
8. Not everybody has an iPhone. Forget about losing weight and drinking less. Getting an iPhone should be your resolution for 2009. Heck, you can get one Friday. (I'm no longer an Apple share holder, honest).
 
9. Google Adsense. I still have a job. In fact, I'm working New Years Eve! WTF?! I'm still blogging to pass the time/ improve the world (snicker, snicker), and not to pad my bank account. What happened there, eh!?
 
10. I had to take a bus to Burlington, Vermont, to fly to Florida, because I don't have a passport. Think about that. Does that make any sense? Thankfully (sarcasm), in June, everybody will be treated equally, regardless of mode of transportation. I now have a passport, although the bus to Burlington thing is still a great way to save money, especially if your time is worthless.
 
11. Internet users. You can access the library of France. Are you taking advantage of that? Nope. You are reading this blog.
 
12. My attention span.
 
Happy 2009 :-)

2008-12-29

WMTC Loses Credibility


I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories. Especially stupid ones that use stupid tricks to justify them. They are a major insult to my intelligence. L-Girl over at WMTC is not stupid. However, quoting a news release from the New York Times new release reproduction service, to lend it credibility, is intellectually dishonest, or, well, stupid .

2008-12-21

Will This Affect The Price of Beer?

Are rich people more likely to be alcoholic than poor people? No, than why oh why is a minimum price of beer or spirits supposed to be a good thing? I just came back from Miami where beer is significantly cheaper than here in New Brunswick. Does Florida have a higher rate of alcoholism than New Brunswick?

Minimum prices and surtaxes for alcohol products is a bad idea. It does not reduce consumption. It just makes drugs look cheaper.

Think about it. By that logic, government should increase taxes for the poor so they don't have enough left over after rent and food to splurge on beer. It is just crazy. Makes no sense. Worse, the LCBO system already distorts costs by making beer the same price all across the province. That makes beer in some parts of Ontario cheaper than juice!

Chris Rock VS. Ricky Gervais... Chris Rock Wins

Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais both headlined on HBO in December.

One hit wonder Ricky Gervais (author and star of the British The Office) is not a particularly good stand up comic. Chris Rock is. Ricky's show, like his series, gets old pretty quick. There is some good stuff in his act. Such as: "You would squint, and say, that is an average size. Well you wouldn't squint, I don't know why I said that."  When Ricky looks embarrassed, fumbling, trying to regain control, that is when it works. Unfortunately, some of  his jokes, such as those about fat people, "they eat too much" come off as unecessaraly aggressive and completely unoriginal. Might as well make fun of mullets. (Disclaimer, I'm about the same body type as Ricky).

Chris Rock's New York is closer to Canada than England. Ricky makes fun of a Wikipedia article where an author says an elephant has been caught swimming 2 miles off shore. "Caught" instead of "spotted". Well, that is a tomato/tomato situation. Not funny Ricky. Sorry. 

Chris's humour isn't sofisticated by any measure. As long as you are human you should get most of his funny gross generalisations. If you want light entertainment, Black or White, go for Chris Rock. If you want something a bit more sofisticated, watch the British The Office (which, to my chagrin, not everybody gets the humour from). David Letterman called it the funniest show ever. It certainly is up there ( I agree with Ricky that The Simpsons is better).

By the way, I like the American version of The Office. I also liked the Quebec version. Unfortunately, the Quebec version lasted even less than the British version. I also religiously watch "Everybody Hates Chris", possibly one of the best "Black" sitcoms ever.

Comparing Everybody Hated Chris to the The Office would be like comparing tomatoes to tomatoes. Comparing stand up acts is easier. Chris Rock wins. 

Eastern Russians Revolt Against Auto Industry Rescue, So Should Atantic Canadians!

"The Russian people have started to open their eyes to what's happening in this country," said Andrei Ivanov, a 30-year-old manager who joined about 200 people at a rally in Moscow. "The current regime is not acting on behalf of the welfare of the people, but against the welfare of the people.''

Amen. And ditto for Canada. Not only do Canadians have to pay duty on better, and often cheaper, European and Asian cars, but now we are asked to bail out an industry that does absolutely nothing for our regions but suck up the wealth.

Have people stopped driving cars? Some have,  and that is good, because last time I checked, none of the bus drivers in Moncton lived in Ontario. But lets face it, the Canadian auto industry is suffering because of foreign competition. Some of it is unfair, such as the subsidised plants of Alabama, but most of it is plain Jane capitalism at work. The cost of transporting a compact car oversees is alot lower than for an SUV. And as people move away from the gas guzzlers (fool me once...), the domestic auto industry is suffering.

So what does New Brunswick get in exchange? Will Canada ban the use of Indian call centres? Reimpose tariffs on textiles? Require that furniture use Canadian lumber? No. Canada will do nothing to "protect" Atlantic Canada's economy except suck it dry of any extra cash people have in order to subsidise high paying jobs in Ontario. 

Time to ask Ontario to leave this federation. Time to take back control of our banking and telecommunications industry. Time to allow citizens to buy the best product at the best price at the best time (be it shipped via the Trans-Canada highway or via the port of Halifax). Time to take back control of our government.

2008-12-20

Home Capital Gains Could Reduce Tax Fraud

An informative december 18th article in the New York Time, "Tax Break
May Have Helped Cause Housing Bubble", brought to my attention one of
the primary benifits of a residential capital gains tax: keeping
people honest.

Vast amounts of tax dollars are missed by people paying contractors
cash, not paying the Goods and Services Tax and, presumably, having
contractors under declare their revenu for income tax purposes.

By allowing people to deduct the cost of home renovations from an
eventual capital gains, there would be a very big incentive for people
to ask for a receipt.

A capital gains tax on homes isn't perfect. For example, do you allow
deductions for property tax? Doing so would favor Ontarians who have
high property taxes that pay for things like health care and
wellfare. On the other hand, not taxing capital gains on homes favours
urban home owners at the expense of rural and small city home owners
who are selling their homes at a loss to move to large centres to find
work.

The residential capital gains tax exemption also encourages the buying
of large lots (the most lkely to net a profit over time; homes require
expensive maintenance, much less so for land ) using up precious urban
land that could be used to build more homes.

Homelessness and urban poverty are caused by low revenu, no doubt, but
they are also caused by a high cost of housing. If the rich spent
there money on expensive appartments and luxury townhouses (row
houses) instead of Mcmansions, there would be more land avaliable for
everybody else.

If the rich invested their money in companies that do research and
development, instead of large tax exempt properties, the economy as a
whole would benefit. Cities would be more affordable and compact, we
would therefor use less fuel to get around them.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2008-12-19

The Auto Industry Only Bemefits Ontario

Canada's auto industry is one giant wealth transfer to Ontario. And
now tax dollars, collected in part from massive duty on European and
Asian cars, will be directed at Ontario manufactures!

Enough! What have Magna, GMC and Ford done for non-Ontario Canada?
Nothing? They have been taking our money and all we have to show for
it is crappy cars.

Let Ontarians go back to farming if they have to, but don't give them
my money.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2008-12-18

Sud de la Floride pour 166$US, passeport non-requis!

Sud de la Floride pour 166$US, passeport non-requis! (Certificat de naissance: oui)

De retour d'un agréable voyage à Miami Beach, j'ai évidemment sauté sur l'ordinateur pour savoir comment y retourner.

Voici ce que j'ai trouvé:


Partir de Plattburgh ce n'est pas Dorval. Et Fort Lauderdale ce n'est pas Miami. Le trajet en autobus de ville de l'aéroport de Fort Lauderdale à South Beach vous coûteras $6 allez-retour (voir Google Maps pour les directives pour prendre l'autobus de ville) et prenderas environ 100 minutes dans chaque direction. Ajouter 20% pour la conversion en dollars canadiens. 

L'autobus Métro Longeuil à Plattburgh est aussi très abordable. À Plattsburgh, un taxi sera nécessaire pour vous rendre à l'aéroport puisque l'autocar ne s'y rend pas le lundi. Au retour (le vendredi), vous pouvez prendre l'autocar de l'aéroport.

J'aime bien le Clay Hotel à Miami Beach pour les prix et sa localisation au coeur du quartier Art Déco de South Beach. Si partager la toilette ne vous intéresse pas, avec ce que vous économisé en avion, vous pouriez certainement opter pour un peu plus de luxe. Mais attention, Miami Beach ce n'est pas le Mexique. Je vous suggère fortement de faire des réservations bien avant l'arrivé. D'autant plus que ça prend une adresse d'arrivé pour passer la frontière américaine.

Si vous loué une voiture, vous avez certainement plus d'options de logement, et réserver d'avance est beaucoup moins important (mais ça prend quand même une adresse pour passer la frontière).  L'excellent  site de coupons http://www.hotelcoupons.com/ peux vous aider à magaziner.

Les croisière partent généralement la fin de semaine, donc attendez-vous à payer plus la fin de semaine pour vous loger.

2008-11-18

Runs House 4: Good TV

Runs House is not original, but it is good. Way good. A guilty
pleasure to be sure, but it is quite entertaining. Available for free
on MTV on Demand.

The show is in the over the hill rock star reality TV family format
pioneered by the Ozborns. It shouldn't be good, but it is. Yeah, I
said it.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2008-11-14

Your friend just caught a whopper on Flick Sports Fishing

ALTAVISTAGOOGLE just caught a fish THIS big!

Rainbow Trout

RAINBOW TROUT
9.17 lbs

Can you do better?

Flick Sports Fishing: Available for iPhone and iPod Touch

Freeverse: Click the treasure to see our other great apps for the iPhone and iPod touch!

2008-11-11

Welder in London, 25 dollars per hour: MUST SPEAK MANDARIN !

 
 
Job Number: 4062058
Title: Welder (NOC: 7265)
Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Shift, Day
Salary: $25.00 Hourly for 40 hours per week
Anticipated Start Date: 2009/02/01
Location: London, Ontario (1 vacancy)
Skill Requirements:
Education: Some college/CEGEP/vocational or technical training
Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Welder Trade Certification
Experience: 5 years or more
Languages: Mandarin
Employer: 2124093 ONTARIO INC
How to Apply:
Please apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do so may result in your application not being properly considered for the position.
By E-mail: ontarion2124093@hotmail.com
Business Profile: MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL
Advertised until: 2008/12/04

2008-11-08

If Israel Occupied Your Province, Would You Fight?

If Israel Occupied Your Province, Would You Fight?

If you are Canadian, Israel occupying your province is a tad improbable. So imagine that an other country was occupying your corner of the world, say the US or Russia or, worse, France! Imagine that you didn't like the country in the first place, even before they started occupying your province.

You're no hero. The occupation was probably deserved. You are surrounded by violent morons who need to be controlled. But imagine the occupation has lasted 40 years! Imagine that you still have no citizenship rights in the country that occupies your province.

Would you fight? 

I think Canada should put an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Canada should occupy Israel. 

Before Canada invades Israel, Canada should promise to defend Israel (possibly via NATO) if Israel leaves the occupied territories and is attacked.


My previous posts about Israel:




Sarah Palin Still Confused Over Africa!

Watch this video, and tell me if Palin is clear on Africa's status:
 




Rocket Lies: Rogers Lies On Data Pricing

You may have seen the new Rogers "Rocket" USB (Universal Serial Bus) stick being advertised; faster than any other wireless network, is the tag line. The service uses Rogers' 3G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) wireless (cellular/mobile) network, available in select urban areas. 

The problem is they don't mention the price .

There are a couple of flat out contradictions/lies on that site . 

Rogers gives you "worry free" data! Rogers helps you control data costs in 4 ways:
[...]
2.Overage rates at only $0.03 / MB if you do go out of bucket for plans $25 and up –so going 100MB over your data bucket only costs $3!

No, the overage is $5/MB for the first 5MB, $0.03/MB thereafter. So going 100MB over will actually cost you $27.25!

Additional Data $5/MB for the first 5MB, $0.03/MB thereafter

This is just one contradiction on the web site, heaven knows the discrepancies between the web site and Rogers' billing software. Why, for example, would they assure you that the maximum you could possibly be charged in in a month is $100, and not advertise the fact that you can use unlimited wireless Internet for a $100 a month !?

Data usage exceeding the amount included in your data plan (but excluding usage while roaming or while using subscription based or pay-per-use applications, which are subject to additional charges) will be charged at the applicable overage rate for your data plan up to a maximum of $100 less the monthly service fee for your data plan. Applies to new data plan subscriptions only, whether subscribed as a standalone plan or as part of a bundle.
Usage subject to Rogers Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy available at rogers.com/terms.
 

2008-11-07

Maybe Africa is a Country

Wouldn't it be cool if Palin was right, that Africa is a country now.
Think about it, when was the last time you heard any news from Africa?

Now, off the top of your head, name 6 countries in Africa.

And now to quote my favourite line in the UK sitcom "Yes Minister":

-Name the 3 main religions of Cameroon.
-Good point.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Yes I Am Smarter than Sarah Palin

Even if it is fake money, it is good to know... :-)

By the way, I do not believe Fox news when it says that aids told them
Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent. You can't get a
Journalism degree and be that ignorant. Even if you get all your news
from Fox. ;-)

Like Castro, I am Looking Forward to Ted Rogers Kicking the Bucket

Alternative Title: Ted Rogers, dead at 75; good riddance.

75 year old Ted Rogers, controlling shareholder of Rogers (you can't vote with those class B shares, you simpletons) has been running Rogers like Castro runs Cuba: without any input from customers or employees. Granted, Bell, like the USA, is widely held and, from a shareholder perspective, much more democratic. Is Bell better than Rogers?

Ted will probably die soon; he is "stabilised" according to a Rogers press release. "Stabilised" is the political correct term for "almost dead" but still alive enough to fire the guy who is writing this press release.

So why am I looking forward to Ted Rogers dying? Because he has all my money. I give money every freaking month to that guy (granted, at least it isn't every week like to the Westons). You can read about the implications of the death of Canada's second richest man here , but keep in mind you will make Canada's richest man a tad richer in the process (Thompson owns Reuters). For your sanity, I suggest the Atkins diet (so you stop eating as much bread and therefore not make the Westons richer. Jees, do I have to explain everything?).

So why will the death of Ted Rogers be beneficial to humanity? Because Ted Rogers is evil. Service Activation Fee evil. Digital Access Fee evil. Fake 911 surcharge evil. Competitively priced home phone, that have a system access fee! Competitive long distance rates, with monthly charges! Now that is evil. Has he improved the condition of workers with all that money? No. Salaries at Rogers are lower, lower!!!, than they were 10 years ago! Not adjusted for inflation lower, just plain lower!

I'm not suggesting Ted Rogers broke the law. Just that he exploited and misled his way to 7.2 billion dollars of OUR money. But you can't get rich by playing nice. And nobody has ever accused Ted Rogers of being a nice guy.

Ted, may you burn in Hell with Fidel.*

*According the Chris Rock's latest HBO special (available on TMN on demand, only available on Rogers), it is OK for poor people like me to make fun of / insult rich people. The more shit you have, the less shit you can say. If you want to say more shit, you got to get rid of some of your shit. For rich people to insult the poor, well, that would just be mean

2008-11-03

Border Security: Glorified Tax Collectors

Should we give guns to tax collectors?

Because we are now giving guns to land border "guards".

Did you know there has never been any border checkpoints between Ireland and Northern Ireland? Never!

Perhaps we should glance over at Europe and realise that the paranoia at the Canadian-American border is a colossal waist of resources.

2008-10-28

No keyboard !

Dear readers , I have horrible handwriting and yet I was able to write
this entire post using only my finger ! No keyboard !

-- This message was composed with PhatWare WritePad.


Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

The Earth in My Pocket... In 3D

If you like Google Earth, then you will also like it on your iPhone/
iPod Touch. It is a great time to be alive...

2008-10-24

$25 billion in cash and no debt

This is why you should never invest in good companies with amazing products (From the New York Times ):

Apple sold about 6.9 million of its iPhone 3G units in its fourth quarter, compared with 6.1 million cellphones for R.I.M., he [Steve Jobs] said. Apple has already surpassed its goal of selling 10 million iPhones during 2008, he [Steve Jobs] said.

(...)
The success of the iPhone helped push Apple's net income up 26 percent, to $1.14 billion, or $1.26 a share, from $904 million, or $1.01 cents a share, last year. Revenue increased 27 percent, to $7.9 billion, from the $6.22 billion recorded a year ago.
(...)
Apple said it shipped 2.6 million Mac computers, representing 21 percent growth over the year-ago quarter when it shipped 2.2 million.
(...)
"This company is on a roll and a very consistent one, where they are gaining market share at two to three times the rate of the PC industry," said Charles Wolf, a financial analyst at Needham & Company.
(...)
It [Apple] sold 11 million iPods during the quarter, representing 8 percent growth over the year-ago quarter.
(...)
Apple said it ended the year with $25 billion in cash and no debt. Apple's stock dropped $6.95, or about 7 percent, Tuesday to close at $91.49
(...)
Apple's 52-week high was $202.96.

Disclaimer: As I bought on margin , I no longer have any Apple shares. 




Canada Should Be a Jewish Homeland


It is very easy to criticise Israelis and Palestinians over their treatment of their neighbors. The sad fact is these people are fighting over a corner of the desert. The desert!

Well, may I suggest we compete with Israel for Jews. And while we are at it, lets treat Palestinian refugees with dignity and respect.

The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians have no interest what so ever in emigrating to Canada. After all, for most, that would mean giving up their language, their culture and, indeed, their country. However, they could keep their religion. There is no doubt about that, in Canada, you can be a Jew or a Muslim.

And we have lots and lots of land. Plenty of trees. Too much water. Quite a bit of energy. Even diamonds and gold. You might have to learn English or French (or both!), but you won't have to fight over the desert.

Canada thaws every Spring. 

End Canadian Support of Apartheid in Israel

You don't have to be an astronaut to realise that Israel has an apartheid like policy towards non-Jews in Palestine/Israel+Occupied Territories. They are called the occupied territories for a reason eh! The United Nations calls the occupation illegal. Unions in Ontario and the United Church have called for a boycott of Israel. A boycott against a country that imports food, is, in my opinion, significantly worse than signs calling for ending Canadian "support" of Israel.

But I guess an election is no time to talk about serious issues.

By the way, how does Canada support Israel? As far as I know, we don't! So the Liberal Marc Garneau was in favour of taking down "inflammatory" sings calling for the status quo. Maybe it was the "Out of Afghanistan" part that was so offensive. Except ALL 4 major parties called for Canada to be out of Afghanistan within 3 years...

2008-10-22

Google Translate on Your iPhone

Cool free iPhone app allows you to translate on the fly. Lithuanian is
the only language that doesn't call a modem a modem. Now you know. I
must admit I am dessipointed it isn't a modemski in Polish.

Now all I have to translate is "no, that is your router/computer/phone/
door bell, dumbass".

2008-10-16

Jason Cherniak For Prime Minister

Jason Cherniak , responsible for the Liblogs blog agragator, is so crushed that his boy Stéphane "its not fair" Dion lost the elections (doing worse than right wing Paul Martin) that he is abandoning his love of political blogging because it is useless. "As influential as the main stream media" reads his blogs subtitle." Perhaps, but that is assuming the media has no influence.

"I don't believe blogs have the ability to make a real difference in Canadian politics." (Jason Cherniak , Oct 15, 2008)

I disagree with Mr. Cherniak. I think his blog is responsible for getting Dion elected and ultimately allowing Harper to ruin Canada. Canadian soldiers will die in Afghanistan in 2010 because of you Jason, think about it. 

Obviously I'm joking. I agree that blogs have limited influence. It is a fun pastime and probably more effective than yelling at the TV. I'm sure Jason will reconsider abandoning his pastime as real life sucks. Still, if he does enter politics, he could hardly do worse for the Liberals than Stéphane Dion. :-)


Hey Liberals: I told you so!

On the day Dion won the leadership, I predicted the Bloc would win Quebec in a landslide.

It could have been worse, Gerard Kennedy could have been the leader...




2008-10-15

Harper to Quit Politics To Work as Stock Broker

Alternative title: conservatives elected, TSE plummits.

Insert sarcasm here.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Look at the Results Map

Obviously, you could slice and dice the election results along age and revenue, spoken language, religion and ethnic origin. But that requires looking at surveys and taking into account margin of errors. 

But the way cool interactive electoral cbc.ca map is more dramatic. The map is interactive, so don't be afraid of clicking on the different regions.

Here is some analysis:

The NDP did well in urban cores. Winnipeg (3), Vancouver (5), Victoria (1), Toronto (2), Ottawa (1), Montreal (1), Edmonton (1), Saint John's (1), Halifax (1), London (1), Hamilton (3). They almost won a seat in Saskatoon and an other in Gatineau. The smaller the riding (because of population density) the higher the likelihood it went to the NDP. 

Let's call this the beggar effect. If you encounter beggars every day of your life (or almost), you are more likely to care about poverty and universal health care.

But certain rural areas voted NDP as well. The most striking example is Northern Ontario. Collapse of the forestry industry and the realisation that the Employment Insurance program is deficient? All the rural regions where the NDP did well also have an ongoing depopulation. But that could be said about many rural regions where the Conservatives won. 

2008-10-13

Iceland May Go Hungry By Friday!

Untill a couple of weeks ago, per capita, Iceland was the fifth
richest country in the world. Now, according to Bloomberg, it may be
out of fruits and vegetables by Friday!

Iceland is not part of the European Union, but it is part of the
Schengen mobility agreement, so the 350,000 Icelanders could show up
anywhere from Ireland to Norway over the next few weeks, ready and
eager to earn money that is actually worth something.

Hey Newfoundland, remember Iceland next time you talk about
independence. I'm talking to you Marry Walsh.


Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2008-10-12

George Soros Is Rich, Don't Be Stupid

This is a response to what is possibly the stupidest post ever. Apparently, Mike Watkins thinks that rich people should decide public policy, including taxation. Four words: George Bush was rich. 

Who makes more sense to trust? Backing a carbon tax are hundreds of economists joined with some of the most progressive, wealthiest, people in the world. Can we really trust Stephen Harper, on record as a climate change denier, who hasn't run a business bigger than (or even as big as?) a submarine sandwich franchise?

I'll put my money on Soros any day. (Mike Watkins)

Being rich, successful in business, does not make you an expert at public policy!  And gee whiz, some rich people are in favour of a massive tax transfer from the rich income tax payers to the poor consumers of heating oil and electricity (which is what the Liberal carbon tax is, really). 

Afghanistan Did Not Cause 9/11

Canadian's support of the war in Afghanistan is based on thruthiness. Here are some clarifications.

Many Canadians believe that if the Taliban retake control of Afghanistan, their religious radicalism will cause more attacks against us (ie NATO countries).

In fact, not one of the terrorists involved with the 9/11, 2001, attack against American civilians and the Pentagon were Afghan. Not one. The Taliban's mistake was to provide safe heaven to Ossama Bin Laden. The American's mistake was to provide safe heaven to all the 9/11 terrorist physically involved in the attack. All the hijackers were legally admitted to the United States. With the exception of a couple with recently expired visas, all were legal residents of the United States at the time of the murders.

The terrorists were from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Many were highly educated, including a city planning graduate from a Hamburg, Germany, university. He flew into the world trade centre. These weren't religious fanatics denied a balanced education, these were people like you and me. The Taliban system, as sexist and strange as it was (banning music!?), did not cause 9/11. (But you might want to avoid studying city planning in Germany.) 

As for the Taliban governing Afghanistan, as horrible and bizarre as they were, they were not genocidal maniacs. They did not drop chemical weapons against people who disagreed with them (Unlike Saddam Hussein). They didn't invade, or even threaten to, any of their neighbours. You could argue that Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive and adultery is punishable by death, is just as bad today as the Taliban ever were. And wasn't that the whole point of Bin Laden's attack, to punish the United States' support of Saudi Arabia's royal family? 

You could also reasonably argue that the Communist in China, over the years, are responsible for much more death and human suffering then the Taliban (20 million dead, mostly by starvation). North Korea isn't no pick nick either with 1 million dead thanks to the current regime.

The problem with Ossama Bin Ladden is not the number of people who died because of him, the problem is that those people were American, citizens of a NATO country. Unfortunately, we are compounding the problem with the war in Afghanistan. Because of the war in Afghanistan, more NATO member residents are dead. Not less.

The unfortunate truth is that is doesn't take years of religious indoctrination from a young age to generate a terrorist, they can be farmers in Michigan (Oklahoman bombing), residents of Vancouver (air India bombing), disgruntled youth in England (London bombings) and disenfranchised Moroccans in Spain (Madrid bombings).

And by the way, haven't the IRA killed just as many NATO citizen's as AlQuaeda. How come were aren't invading Ireland?

2008-10-10

Harper, phoque!

Funny, well made, 100% québécois. I'd call it anglophobic if it
weren't so true.

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3HVFsIQ5M4


Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2008-10-09

Afghan war may cost $18 billion: report

Afghan war may cost $18 billion: report

I'm reminded of that Simpson's episode wear Principal Skinner uses rubs his index and thumb together as a sole argument against a proposal.

Harper's Stock Tip

Thankfully, most preople ignored Steven Harper's, aka the economist,
advice to poor what was left of their life savings into the stock
market.

2008-10-08

How Many Canadian Soldiers Do You Want to Die in Afghanistan?

This is an important election. If the Conservatives win,  100 more Canadian soldiers will die in Afghanistan (at current death rates). If the Liberals win, 33 more. If the NDP win, 0.

Who will you vote for October 14th?

This is an important election. If the Conservatives win,  700 more Canadian soldiers will be injured in Afghanistan (at current injury rates). If the Liberals win, 210 more. If the NDP win, 0.

Who will you vote for October 14th?


Furthur reading:
CBC.ca, Canada - 11 hours ago

2008-10-07

An NDP Minority Government

This is in response to wmtc's prediction of a minority Liberal government.

As a French Canadian, I have real trouble imagining Mr. Clarity Act Stéphane Dion as the next Prime Minister. Frankly, I still have trouble imagining him as leader of the Liberals (but I digress).

Just in case the following actually happens, I want to be on the record for having predicted it:

-The Liberals will win a majority in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. Now that was a bold prediction :-) .

Seriously, this is the prediction I will be bragging about (anybody know how to frame a blog post):

-The NDP will win a minority (perhaps smaller than the Conservatives) and will align with the Liberals to form the government. The government will be all NDP with Jack Layton as Prime Minister. Dion will resign, Rae will become leader, a few MPS will cross over to the Liberals, the Governor General will name the Liberals as the government (in order to avoid an other election). In the interim, Harper will leave politics to work for an oil company and a Newfoundlander will become Conservative leader (Joe Clark will try but loose badly). The Conservatives will also change their name back to Progressive-Consevatives. Then, inspired by the Alaskans, Quebec will finally become a country, the Liberals will lose all 5 Quebec MPs, lose their majority status and the Governor General will apply to regain her French citizenship before giving the government to the Conservatives (to avoid an unnecessary election at such a time of uncertainty).  Oh, and I'll find a way to lose more money on the stock market. 

Layton Wins Debates (Source: NDP ad)

I gave 400 bucks to the NDP which will only cost me $100 thanks to federal income tax credits. As a bonus, the party is advertising on my blog (on a post about radio!?).

I've posted before about NDP advertising. Let's just call this one tongue and cheek and leave it at that. 

Layton wins debates
NDP poised to take on Harper. Be a part of it. Join today.
ndp.ca




Who is Rogers Going to Fire?

Get this, I'm on the Rogers information web site dedicated to Atantic Canadians that are going to have to reprogram their digital boxes and I see this advertisement for a new call centre in Toronto (located 1 km EAST of the last subway station on the Sheppard line).

Is this hiring binge because of a whole bunch of new customers who have left Bell and Telus? Possible, but I doubt it. Clearly, these "new" positions will replace existing postions somewhere else in Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, London, Brampton, Toronto, Moncton, Saint-John's or Calgary) or replace third party contracts (Saint-John NB, Kentville, NS, and Montreal).

I'm not sure why there are any call centres left in Toronto. Finding people there who speak English clearly is more and more of a challenge. Labour is cheaper in other parts of Ontario/Canada and long distance bills are essentially nil thanks to voice over IP.

Granted, call centres need a huge labour pool because of their high labour turnover (at least 200% per anum, often many times higher). With three universities and many more colleges, Toronto is in constant supply of recent graduated eager for work. But if these graduates (and lets face it, drop outs) can barely be understood by the average Canadian, I fail to see the point.


The End of Life As we Know It. But when, Rogers? When!?

Why is Rogers Communication Inc. so bad at communicating? 

Dear Rogers,

I got the letter. I got the automated phone call. I read the brochure, I went to your web site. Life as I know it will end. I get that part. But WHEN? When!!!!! The five Ws; You are missing one!  

Your previously recorded programs on your Personal Video Recorder will not be available after the upgrade, and you will also need to reset your scheduled recordings. Please
click here to see the New Digital User Guide for easy-to-follow instructions on how to reschedule your recordings with your new Interactive Program Guide.
It will be necessary for you to reset preferences like Parental Controls, Purchase PINs, Favourites, and Show Reminders. Please refer to the enclosed Guide for easy-to-follow instructions on how to reset these preferences.
On Demand movies in the “My Rentals” folder with remaining viewing time will not be available after the service change. This only applies to movies ordered 24 hours before the upgrade. Any new orders placed after the upgrade will not be affected.

Africa wins Grand Prix, Canada, Not. So Much

There are over 40 million people within a days drive of Montreal's
Iles Saint-Helen, home of the Grand Prix du Canada.

In their wisdom, the F1 brass have chosen to abandon North America in
2009, prefering the United Arab Emirates (of which Dubai is part of).

Easy to read too much in to the decision, after all, Abu Dhabi (UAE),
two hours from Dubai, doesn't have Nascar, Cart or Indy racing. Still,
losing world class events to what is still a third world country kind
of stings.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Wifi on Moncton City Busses

In a classic case of one-upmanship over Fredericton, Moncton offers
WiFi Internet on the Bus.

"Was wireless Internet a factor in your decision to take the bus
today?" is the first survey question on the welcome page.

Why Was Bob Rae in Moncton

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/434432

My barber told me today that Bob Rae was on the Main Street sidewalk
here in Moncton the other day shaking hands. Shouldn't Rae be
campagning somewhere the Liberals aren't garanteed to win? Or perhaps
somewhere where people know who Bob Rae is, like Ontario (my otherwise
knowledgeable barber reffered to Rae as "the NDP convert from Ontario,
what's his name").

I'm just saying. Either the Liberals are trying to save the furniture
or Rae is campagning for the Liberal leadership.

I know what you are thinking, people from other ridings work downtown
Moncton. This is Moncton, not Toronto. Moncton may be New Brunswick's
largest city, but the entire metropolitan area is covered by the
Moncton-Dieppe-Riverview riding. 99.99% chance of it going Liberal.
Unless Radio-Canada is filming you, don't waist your time here.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Conservatives Or NDP = Same Result?

There are many reasons Not to vote Conservative and many reasons To
vote NDP. However, wouldn't the Conservatives reducing federal
corporate taxes by 50 billion dollars allow provinces to raise
provincial corporate taxes and therefor spend 50 billion on provincial
items such as training, doctors, medication and childcare?

I realize not everybody is as anal as I am when it comes to
jurisdiction, but come on NDP, use some better arguments!

Such as:

-The Conservatives raised the average Canadian's income taxes to pay
for the war in Afganistan;

-The Conservatives are spending more of your federal tax dollars than
even the Trudeau Liberals.

-Longer jail sentences means less provincial money available for
doctors and teachers. Or perhaps even higher provincial taxes! And as
the US has proven, longer sentences don't even work!

-Have you been getting good service from your bank or phone company
lately? Then perhaps we need to restore some federal regulation and
make Canada's labour code more union friendly.

Think about it. Vote NDP.

2008-10-05

TV Forecast Now Works Better

A couple of weeks ago I reported that the iPhone app TV forecast did
not work as all it provided was TBA. That still is the case for
Showcase shows such as Weeds (Sunday, 10PM Eastern), but thanks to an
update, most shows, including CTV's Corner Gas, now show up correctly.

Unfortunatly, French language shows such as Tout le monde parle and
Caméra café still do not work with TV Forecast. And time zones seem
stuck in Eastern.

Based on this screen shot from TV forecast, my Digital Video Recorder
(DVR) will be working overtime tonight!

(By the way, if you enjoy your 2 tuner DVR with Rogers in Ontario,
whatever you do, do not move to single tuner DVR New Brunswick or
Newfoundland. Although, to be fair, thanks to "time shifting" and
AMC and TMN "on demand", I still won't miss a minute of my favorite
shows (that all seem to play on the same night)).

2008-10-02

Liberaux aux Francophones: speak white

Vésitez harpernomics.com et cherchez l'erreur.

Je vous pose donc la question: Est-ce que vous en voulez plus de la cocluche des Torontois?

Dites non aux osties d'anglais qui nous traitent comme des citoyens de deuxièmes classe. Dites-non aux Libéraux et à leur marionnette Stéphane Dion.

Liberals Attack Harper with English Only Web Sites

Dear Liberals, this is Canada, not the United States. When you are in a federal election, it is a good idea to make sure your web sites are available in English and French. BushHarper.com is only available in English. Perhaps worse, harpernomics.com has a French version with the subtitle, in English, Do you really want more of this? Um, non. 

harperbush.com

I predict this blog will get thousands of hits now that the Liberals are advertising the English only bushharper.com but failed to use harperbush.com . I think harperbush.com sounds better, but maybe that is just me. Anyway, I'll save you a visit to the site, here is the total content of harperbush.com er, sorry, bushharper.com. Yes, two Youtube videos, that is it.

If you do go to the web site, pleas use BushHarper.ca as that is more patriotic than BushHarper.com. Interestingly, in both cases, www is optionnal (as it is for my blog).

www.BushHarper.com
www.BushHarper.ca

But please note than www.HarperBush.ca and www.HaperBush.com do not exist. Neither does hapereconomics.com or harpereconomics.com.

Others on the subject:
A gift Dion can't afford to squander
Globe and Mail, Canada - 3 hours ago
And it is this: the Liberals have launched a microsite, http://www.bushharper.com, with a voice over meant to sound like George W. "Welcome to our website. ...
Liberal Web attack links Bush with 'my pal' Harper
The Canadian Press, OTTAWA - 13 hours ago
"You probably won't change an awful lot of minds with this." The websites can be viewed at www.harpernomics.com and www.bushharper.com.
 


National Post Ignores Own Poll, Calls it for Harper

Débat des chefs: premières réactions (in English)
Macleans.ca, Canada - 4 hours ago
By Andrew Coyne | Email | October 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 am Ipsos is first out of the gates with the insta-poll. Winner? Dion, by a wide margin. ...


Conrad Black is in jail, why does the National Post insist on being the Fox News of Canada? Can West News Services pays big bucks for a Ipsos Reid poll then sits on the results, refusing to publish them in its national newspaper.

Instead, the front page title is "Harper fights off rivals at French debate"

There are some jems in Don Martin's column, including: "An anglophone columnist with Alberta roots trying to decipher the impact of leaders fighting for the hearts of Quebec francophones with sovereigntist leanings is, at best, instinctive." You think? Then spare us your western instincts and look at the insta-poll results, dumbass!

I'll spare you the undeserved praise for Harper; Don Martin observation of Dion directly contradict my own opinion (and I'm no Dion fan) and the Canwest poll: "Mr. Dion was underwhelming at times, a faded force of personality dwarfed by the testy exchanges surrounding him." 

The Canwest poll is clear, Dion won the debate. Harper finished a distant third. 


One in Three Canadians Will Watch US VP debate: Ipsos-Reid Survey

According to an Ipsos-Reid phone poll, One in three Canadians Will Watch the US Vice-Presidential debate. One in three! 36% to be more precise.

That sounds crazy! Even more crazy when you consider that Canada will be having an election debate at the same time.

65% of Canadians plan on watching one of the debates tonight. Add Sportsnet (playoff baseball) and Showcase (Trailer Park Boys) into the mix, and tonight between 9 and 10:30 Eastern should be a very good time for some telemarking... 

Election Debate Review: Jeffery Simpson Is Out to Lunch

Jeffery Simpson calls Jack Layton's French in last night's debate "very good". What!? I'm voting NDP, I agree with most of what Layton said during the debate. I was rooting for him. But Jack Layton's French is understandable, as long as you suspend the rules of gramer.

How They Said It
How bad was Layton's French? Dion couldn't stop from correcting him when, for the third time, Layton confused milliard and million (billion and million). Layton also confused mille with million (thousand and million).

The masculine/feminine screw ups could probably be forgiven by many listeners, but it seemed he got them ALL wrong. He made it worse by mentioning his Quebec routs. Seriously, dude, make an effort.

I think what threw off Jeffery Simpson is that Layton often pulls off the Quebec accent. But that is not a good thing when you don't master the language. I would qualify Layton's French as understandable. Harper's French is better because of the way he speaks (slowly).

French on a scale of 1 to 10:
-Dion: 10
-Ducepe: 9.5
-Harper (better grammar than Layton): 5
-Layton (better accent than Harper): 4.5
-May (Tony Blair has better French): 2. (Apparently 0 when it comes to understanding franco-Ontarians).

On this scale, I would rate Dion's Eglish a 6 and Ducepe's an 8.

Isn't it ironic that the most bilingual person at the table is the leader of the separatist party?

What They Said
By the way Jack, Exxon employs 800 people here in Moncton. If you are going to mention an evil company in French, mention one that isn't a major employer of urban Acadians!

Layton was given little time to explain why he wanted to leave Afghanistan, but he didn't even try. He could have scored points there. Although at least he made it clear he was the only leader in favour of an immediate pullout. Dion made a good case for staying in Afghanistan, unfortunately, he also mentioned half a dozen other countries Liberals will be sending soldiers to. Yikes! 

All three leaders made it clear that Harper's 2011 pullout deadline was fictitious.

Layton was pleased that nobody was condemning the Afghan leadership for talking to the Taliban. Hopefully, listeners can read minds (or faces) because he was unable to express his thoughts comprehensibly of that subject. Although if you knew that Layton had been called crazy for proposing talks with the Taliban, you could figure out what he was trying to say.

That isn't very good French...

2008-10-01

Must See Australian Video: Tourettes: Out of Control

Tourettes: Out of Control
Tourettes: Out of Control


1000 channels and nothing on. You may have noticed the new channel surfing widget at the top of the screen. If you have enough RAM on your computer, I strongly recommend you take advantage of it. Obviously, most TV it total crap. However, there are a few gems. Most notably the above clip on Australian 60 Minutes. It will bring you to tears.

Top 10 Reasons Not to Vote Conservative

I didn't have much luck with my Top 10 Progressive reasons to vote Conservative , so here is my attempt at the opposite: top 10 reasons not to vote Conservative.

1. Canada has no enemy countries. We should be spending less on the military, not more! The only reason the Taliban hate us is because we invaded Afghanistan. 
If nobody has any intention of invading Canada, we should spend less on the military, not more.

2. The Conservatives raised the age of consent to 16 but want to send 14 year old girls to prison for life! Longer prisons sentences for children will just mean higher taxes and will accomplish nothing. The USA has a jail culture and their crime rate is the highest in the G8.

3. The Conservatives promise a tax credit to first time home buyers. Yes, because encouraging poor people to buy homes they can't afford has worked so well in the USA. And by the way, sprawl causes global warming. If you don't want to be part of the solution, don't be part of the problem!

4. Tax credits for this, tax credits for that. Mr flat tax Stockwell Day is part of your cabinet for crying out loud. Make the tax system simpler, not more complicated.

5. The Harper Conservatives increased my income tax. Seriously, what is the point of having a Conservative government if they increase your income taxes as soon as they get into power?

6. The Harper Conservatives make Brian Mulruney and Pierre Trudeau look like spendthrifts. If we wanted more federal spending, we would elect the NDP!

7. Tax credit for youth sports is a gross interference in a provincial jurisdiction. Some places have highly subsidised sports centres with low fees. The Harper Conservatives are lowering the income tax bill of people who live in places that don't. If you aren't going to respect provincial jurisdictions, what is the point of having provinces?

8. Pro Israel. Many Evangelical Christians are staunchly pro-Israel because they would like North American Jews to move there. I fear Harper and many Conservatives share this view.

9. Via Rail, CBC, Health Canada. You know they will be cut.

10. Cut to the arts. This isn't Australia. We have winter and need entertainment! 

Ipsos Is Making Me Watch the Debate

I fast forwarded during the American presidential debate. Boring. The only thing I learned was that McCain refuses to visit the Prime Minister of Spain. Spain! Also good to know, Spain is part of NATO. But I probably knew that. 

If the Black guy from Hawaii (who wrote two autobiographies!) and the maverick from Panama can't hold my attention, who will? Certainly not the Canadian party leaders during the French debate today at 21:00 (Moncton time), 20:00 in Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto (9PM and 8PM).

Unlike McCain and Obama, Harper, Dion, Layton, Ducepe and May never lived is Asia. And I'm sure they would all agree to meeting the Prime Minister of Spain.

Not only will the debate be in the distant second language of three of the five, they will be sitting down!  

So why will I watch? So I can get my reward points for Ipsos. Ipsos points are like pesos, only less valuable. They are paying me to watch the French debate and answer a survey immediately after. The results will be announced on Global National.

I just hope Harper comes equipped with some good DeGaule texts.  

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