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.  

Online Paperless Lottery Tickets: doing my part to save the environment


You invest/gamble you life savings online, why not buy online lottery tickets?

There must be a least a hundred places to buy a Lotto 6/49 ticket within a km from my Moncton home. And although I literally walk past the Atlantic Lottery Corporation's headquarters every day, I keep forgetting to check my ticket and claim my winnings.

Now, at least in Atlantic Canada, you can buy individual 6/49 tickets online. You can upload money to your account using your credit card, online bank transfers and food stamps (kidding about food stamps). More importantly, they will automatically notify you when you have won, and upon your request, wire the money to your bank.

This is the perfect solution for those of us with an unhealthy fear of oversized novelty checks.

Be forewarned that when you sign up, the weekly spending limit is firm. I managed to win some money in the instant games, but I couldn't play that money after reaching my spending limit. Fine, I thought, I'm a smart person, I'll just temporarily increase my spending limit. Unfortunately, I have to wait 7 days for that to happen! I'm pretty sure the waiting period for a gun permit isn't that long. So just like a gun permit, best to get one before you need it.

I was about to give myself a huge weekly spending limit in case I hit an other winning streak but the maximum is $99. Remember, this includes spending winnings.

As a taxpayer, I'm happy New Bruwswick has online gambling. Basically, everybody with an Internet account will now be forking over 5 grand a year to alc.ca . The reason I say this is that the entertainment value is pretty big. If you take proper hygiene precautions, taking a dump with a laptop will never have been so much fun. Nothing quite like the thrill of betting on hockey 9 days after the end of summer. Gambling helps in the caring element which is essential when following sports. And unlike an illegal booky, your credit card company isn't allowed to physically hurt you (except for stress related ailments).

Some of the instant games are pretty addictive. Spending $1 quickly turned into a $40 win at a poker type game. Of course, I got greedy, let it ride and lost it all. A dice game is also fun, but the warning that the odds aren't the same as actual dice is kind of off-putting. That is what really bugs me about lottery companies in Canada, they go out of their way to hide the odds. Buying a 6/49 ticket will give you a 1 in 13.9 million or so chance to strike it rich. Two tickets will buy you a 1 in 6.95 million chance. Is the odds difference really worth the extra $2? Put it an other way, buying a 6/49 ticket is pretty stupid; but buying two 6/49 tickets is twice as stupid. But at least online you are saving valuable line-up and ticket verification time. 

So when is Alcohol NB going to implement online beer delivery?

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