2009-02-28

The iPhone will Bring Democracy to China

If you have the Internet in your pocket, you are more likely to read
about the decisions that affect your life, such as the new subway
project or a new law that is being enforced.

There is democracy in China at the municipal level. I predict
democracy will be demanded of other levels within our lifetime. The
iPhone will be a facilitator.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Imitate the Irish, save 10 Billion Dollars!

Imitate the Irish, save 10 Billion Dollars! As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, Canada spent twice what Ireland did on the military in 2006. Twice. Ireland is not part of NATO.

So A, we should take advantage of this situation and invade Ireland, or B, we should seriously consider reducing our (Canada's) military spending, eh.

Costa Rica spends 0.05% of border patrol and zip on the military. Meantime, we (Canada) are arming our border guards/glorified tax collectors (not counted in the 19.1 billion to be spent in 2009).

Canada has oil you say. Well, Mexico spent 0.4% of GDP on military spending in 2006. Less than half of what Canada spent (as a percentage of GDP).

Canada Has No Enemies, Why Spend 900 Million More Than Last Year to Defend it?

Seriously, who could possibly invade Canada this year? Why are we Canadians spending C$19.1 billion to defend our borders? That is $597 per Canadian. Family of four: $2387.50.

Obviously, Canada doesn't want to end up like WW2 France, Poland or Denmark. The cost of an invasion would be presumably be much higher than $19.1 billion per year. The thing is, as far as I can tell, Canada has no enemies. Sure the Taliban want us out of Afghanistan, but they have no intention of invading Newfoundland or sneaking across the North Pole into Nunavut.

We are simply spending too much on the military.

High Speed Rail = Higher Taxes. Any questions?

High speed rail means higher income or sales taxes. If you don't believe me, check out the tax rates of countries that have high speed rail. What follows is a February 26th editorial in the Toronto Star , and my comments. 

The governments of Ontario, Quebec and Canada are moving forward – albeit in slow motion – on a high-speed rail link.
If the $3 million feasibility study announced this week has a familiar ring to it, that's because Premier Dalton McGuinty keeps proclaiming it in old railway hotels: nine months ago at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City and 13 months ago at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, both times alongside his Quebec counterpart, Jean Charest.
Back then, McGuinty mused: "This has been talked about for quite some time, but every once in a while there's an idea whose time actually comes." Comes and goes, actually.
High-speed rail has been coming to the Windsor-Quebec corridor for the past 35 years, which is when the first report was submitted – followed by 15 more studies. The latest iteration will essentially review and update the previous ones, notably the $18 billion pricetag from a 1995 study – about $24 billion in today's dollars.
For all the stops and starts, times have truly changed: The price of oil is destined to have us over a barrel again in no time, and there is growing pressure to curb carbon emissions. About 60 per cent of the country's population resides in the Windsor-Quebec corridor, where highways are rapidly turning into parking lots and airports are plagued by delays. The idea of halving the rail travel time from Toronto to Montreal to two hours on an electrified right-of-way is improving with age.

So how does cutting travel time cut carbon emissions? Explain that to me please. And apart from a very few long weekends (when trains would be full anyway), the highway from Montreal to Toronto is clear sailing. Halving travel time is great, working five times as many hours to pay for your ticket (vs. bus or regular train), not so much.

The rise of private-public partnerships also makes the daunting pricetag easier for taxpayers to digest, especially if built in stages. High-speed rail has proven profitable in Europe, and studies have shown there is high potential demand in the Montreal-Toronto leg.

Profitable to whom? There is no rail line outside the UK that is profitable. If some lines generate a small operating profit, they are completely overshadowed by the debt required to build the line and buy the trains. 

We may already be paying a heavy price for the past year of intergovernmental foot-dragging on high-speed rail. Quebec waited many months before tendering the latest feasibility study, which is only now getting underway. Were it shovel-ready by now, this infrastructure project would provide a timely economic stimulus. Regardless, high-speed rail stands on its own merits and is long overdue.

McGuinty worries that "the Prime Minister is not as much of a fan on this score," and indeed federal cabinet ministers have been unenthusiastic. After so many years and so many studies, this project needs strong leadership at all levels. If Canada continues to hesitate over high-speed rail, it risks being left in the dust.

Who drives the buses that transit on the 401? Who flies the planes? Where are the buses made and where are the planes maintained? Ditto for the current trains, which would presumably be replaced by the high speed trains. 

I love high speed trains. But I also love Ferraris and Lamborghinies. If you want to take a high speed train, use the tax savings of not having Canadian high speed rail and go to Europe, Japan or Shanghai.

And remember, even if you are a student and don't pay taxes, higher rail ticket prices will mean less choice, not more. 

2009-02-27

6 US Senators in the History of the United States


Did you know there were more elected Black senators post slavery
(1870) then there are now? There have only been 6 US senators since
the end of the US civil war. 6!

Although Blacks are about 13% of the US population (or 36 million,
slightly more than the population of Canada), only 1 person is Black among the 100
Senators (two per state), and he was chosen by the Governor of
Illinois to replace Barack Obama until the 2010 elections.

In that context, Barack Obama is a superhero. Granted, the District of Columbia and Puerto 
Rico
residents elect 0 Senators. Zero, nada, niet.

However, if you need a Black hero, look no further than
Robert Smalls from South Carolina. He was elected to the South Carolina
Congress, the South Carolina Senate and to the US Congress (5 times!).

He also worked as a tax collector, a civil war civilian soldier/hero
and... a slave!

Robert Smalls. Forget Lincoln or Obama, or good grief, Trudeau, Robert
Smalls
is my hero.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2009-02-25

Check Out My New Bus Ad

Look, you can't attract an audience without advertising. So I blew my entire advertising budget on this bus sign. Hey in Moncton, buses have wifi! 

It is all about the Internet in this town baby. Commutes are like 5 minutes. Radio is for losers. People will see this ad, and when they arrive at work way to early, they will type in Altavistagoogle in their browser's search bar. Then, after spending 15 seconds reading this blog, one of the many lucrative advertisements on this blog will catch their attention and freedom 35 will be mine. Mouhahaha... :-).

Oh, and my ad helps pay for public transit. Take that Power-Point-peace-prize-winning Al Gore, I'm actually doing something! 

2009-02-23

1000000 winners of Loto 6/49

There were over one million winning 6/49 tickets Saturday night, and I
had one of them. One being the operative word as about 40 million
tickets were sold, more than the population of Canada!

Playing the loto is foolish. 1 of 14 million (1 out of 57 for the $10
prize, actually worse for the $5 prize, at 1 out of 81).

Buying more than one ticket is just that much more foolish. Do you
need more than one ticket to dream? You're not going to win at 1/14
Million and you ain't going to win at 1/7 Million.

But as a winner, and taxpayer, thanks for the money.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

"Thank You So Much" (Obama)

Something struck me about Obama's visit, he used the word "so" instead
of verry. "So" is easier to say and much easier to spell, but as
someone who deals with dozens of people a day who use English as a
second language, I suggest we don't.

The word "so" makes no sence in the phrase "Thank you "so" much".
Granted, people in the Ottawa Valley and elsewear are exposed to more
anoying uses of the word "so", but it still doesn't belong.

Worse, "so" is a feminin word. We usually put up with it beacause it
is said by a young attractive women. Gay men even use the word to
sound gayer.

So I must conclude that Obama should stop using the word "so",
especially when outside the US, beacsuse, murcifully, outside US
borders, "thank you so much" has not cought on.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2009-02-20

Obama For Prime Minister!

"A political genius." (quote apparently attributed to Micheal Ignatief about Obama) . Obama during his campaign said that all Americans should be bilingual. He demonstrated his opinion by saying "Merci" to Canada's foreign affairs minister and, presumably, speaking Creol and/or French in a 20 minute Bill Clintonesque meeting with Canada's Haitian born Governor General. Although since the GG doesn't actually do anything, perhaps she took the time to learn Indonesian as preparation.

After being put to sleep by Harper, Obama stopped by the nearest store for some cigs, unfortunately for him, the press was there so he bough a cookie and, Winterlude obliges, a Beaver Tail (which the New York Times incorrectly called cholesterol ridden, evil bastards).

At no point during the trip did any submarines collide. 


2009-02-18

Save the Planet: Ban Puppies

(Title typo correction: 2009-02-20) 

Time to take this global warming thing seriously. What are we doing?
Nothing. Worse, we are building more roads and subsidizing the
building of more cars!

So I say we should ban pets. Pets, among other things, cause global
warming. They are loud, regularly hurt children and consume vast
amounts of food that could be used to feed people. There are 10 times
more people in Canada than 100 years ago. At some point we will have
to make choices, and I fear the pets will win.

Banning puppies would be a huge sacrifice for many (and logistically
difficult), but that is the whole point. Reducing global warming will
require sacrifice. And no, trees do not reduce global warming (look it
up). There is no, repeat, no way of compensating your use of fossil
fuels by planting trees.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2009-02-17

HD Net

Taking a picture of an Imax flim, converted to HD 1080i, with a 2
megapixel phone camera, is a tad silly, I realise. But this is my
blog, and just like Mark Cuban's eclectic HDNet (The Godfather II was
on comercial free last nigh), I can post what I want.

This picture taken from a playing of "In Focus", on HD Net, on my 42
inch TV.

The original is blog inspiring.

Scientific Canadian

Scientific Canadian. Simple play on words or a statement about the
state of America?

By the way, when was the last time you saw a science magazine at the
checkout counter of a grocery store? Does this mean that the Simpsons
autors are so rich they never set foot in a grocery store? Yes. Yes it
does.

2009-02-16

Family Day Should be Learn English or French Day

We here in the Maritimes are thrilled that Torontonians set asside at
least one day a year for family. Here in the Maritimes, of course,
every day is family day.

So to justify your holiday, we suggest you spend the day learning
English or French. As an added incentive, exams should be held every
Tuesday after Learn English or French day.

If you fail the test, then of course you will be deported to your home
country. The few Torontonians who were born in Canada and fail the
French test will be sent to Hérouville, Quebec. Franco-Torontonians
who fail the English test will be forced to subscribe to Rogers,
thereby losing access to the Habs games in HD that play on RDS with
Bell TV.

In addition to making my call centre job a lot easier, this
deportation policy will ensure that Toronto remain affordable for all
those Maritimers returning to Toronto after living in Alberta.

I actually told a customer last week that no, as Canada won the cold
war, my company does not offer service in Russian. On more than one
occasion I've also been asked to speak Turkish.

My company has given up on the Chineese, we now have collection agents
who speak Mandarin and Cantonese.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you, as the saying goes. But as I face
an other horrible week trying to deal with Torontonians who do not
speak basic English, this Family day, I want to scream out: RETURN TO
YOUR FAMILIES IN PORTUGAL, RUSSIA, CHINA, TURKEY, ROMANIA and
SCOTLAND. Come back when you speak English (or French).

PS. Yes, I know my spelling is bad and I'm joking about the Scotish,
they are no worse than Newfoundland and Labradorians (who are
incomprehensible but seem to understand me).

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

20 Years in Jail For Translating the Koran

According to the Toronto Star, two Afghan men were recently convicted
to 20 years in jail for translaing the Muslim Bible, known as the
Quran (various spellings).

Now I could write a couple of ficticious paragraphs about doing things
with 17 year old girls that could land me in prison. Even translating
such stories would be illegal.

So Canada also has (justfiably?) harsh laws with regards to the writen
word.

Still, freedom of religion is a value most Canadians hold dear.

So the qustion is, what exactly are Canadians dying for in Afghanistan?

Just to hedge my bets against possible conscription if the war gets
out of hand, here is my translation of the digest version the Koran
(the following is illegal in Afghanistan, and possibly Alabama):

Mohamed was born in a town call Tikreet. When he was 15, he met a
lovely 13 year old, yada, yada, yada, she had 3 children by her 18th
birthday. Mohamed quickly learned to never openly covet his
neighboor's wife since she was a thief. When he turned 21he moved to
Mecca. Stuff happened and he and his wife lived happily ever after.
The end.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

Donate To NDP and Bloc or Harper Will Be In Power For Ever

The annual federal party donation limit is $1100. Donating the maximum
will only cost you half that thanks to federal tax credits. The tax
credit on the first $400 is 75% ! That is right, a $400 donation will
only cost you $100.

Who doesn't have $100 to give to assure a bright future for our
children?

Take advantage of your tax refund to give. The donation caps are quite
democratic. But like voting, if you don't use your right, you are
giving it to someone else. However, unlike riding voting, that person
could be a redneck out in Alberta!

Do you really want to give Albertan conservatives more power? I didn't
think so.

Give $1,100 this year to the progressive federal parties (NDP and the
Bloc). Your children will be gratefull (well, they probably won't, but
you will feel less guilty).

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

LDP Free TV

What will you do with the money? I often fantasize about that press
conference. You know, the one where lottery jackpot winners discuss
winning umpteen million dollars.

So here is what I _will_ answer on Thursday. ;-)

Well, I am very happy to have this money. I feel for the people
looking for work in these tough economic times, so the first thing I
am going to do is quit my job so one fewer of my colleagues will be
layed off. Although I will miss my employee discount, chuckle, chuckle
(scan room for attractive reporters laughing at my joke).

The next thing I will do is give 1 million dollars to the provincial
NDP. New Brunswick has the lowest minimum wage and the lowest welfare
benefits in the country, and I want that to change. I'm also thinking
of all those poor African children, I'd like to do so something for
them.

When it comes to splurging, I'd like to launch my own TV channel:
Lawyer, Doctor and police Free TV. A TV station that has no CSI or Law
and Order reruns. I'd call it Beach TV and, for tax reasons, will be
based at my new hotel in the Cayman islands. Interviews for news
anchors and journalists start after this press conference.

Last but not least, I'm going to buy a Mac. I can finally afford one!
LOL.

Corn Chips Will Make Me Rich

"Rich" may be an exageration, but I'm happy to report that mentionning
that The Simpsons are now in HD will generate some coin. This is the
first time I have ever seen the same company take up all three
placement slots on this page (by being the highest bidder for certain
words).

I'm thakfull this corn chip company will help me recoup some of the
money I have spent on them over the years. Now if only they could help
me regain my figure...

2009-02-15

This is What Bliss Looks Like

Maybe this is the Change Obama promissed: The Simpsons in all their
wide screen HD glory. Oh, and since there was room, three people
unrelated to the story line. :-)

The Simpsons in HD

I have been enjoying my 42 inch 1080p Dynex since Super Bowl weekend.
Today, I'm watching NASCAR on FOX HD. I'm not a NASCAR fan (I prefer
Formula One) and yet watching NASCAR in HD is like a religious
experience. And I just saw an avertisement for The Simpsons in HD,
tonight.

Even if you buy a Dynex, a 42 incher will cost you about $700. That is
a lot of overtime. Still, as long as my TV lasts a few years,
definatly worth it.

Oh, and for the love of goodness, please don't do like my friend and
buy an HD TV and then have no HD input. He has had it like that for
two years. No cable HD box, no Bluray DVD player, no computer. That
said, I don't have a Blueray DVD player, so the extra dollars on 1080p
(vs 780p or 1080i) are waisted. And nobody in Canada outside Toronto
and a few border towns has access to over the air HD, so the tuner is
a waist as well; but I don't know of any 42 inch monitors.

The first Daytona 500 live broadcast was in 1979. We had a black and
white TV back then. 30 years later, no jetpacks, but I do feel like
I'm living in the future.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

New Brunswick Missing on SNL

New Brunswick, the province, is missing from Saturday Night Live. On
this photo of my TV you can see Nova Scotia, Cape Breton (drifting out
to sea) and Newfoundland and Labrador. But no New Brunwick! Not sure
about Maine either.

It is a pretty accurate map too. You can see Corsica and most of the
Carabeen islands. But where did New Brunswick go?

2009-02-14

LCD Shovel Full HD

Têtes à claques is now in English. Wow! Thank you uncle tom, thaaannnk you.

Têtes à claques was a remarkable, and unexplainable, success in late 2006 in Quebec. It was so successful, that the owner/author/comedian has splurged on translating the videos into English. I personally would have put subtitles, but what do I know. When you are an overnight millionaire, you can do what you want. 

www.tac.tv  (please note, .TV, not .ca, not .com) 

Céline's interpretation of the Halloween video (the best one on tac.tv)

2009-02-13

Iceland Should Join Canada

Iceland joining Canada may sound crazy, but Newfoundland did it, why
not Iceland? Now, just to be clear, I have no intention of learning
Icelandic. But I never had any inclinatio to learn Inuktituk (Nunavuut/
Nunavik), so why would I learn Icelandic?

The recent financial colapse of Iceland begs the question: is 250,000
people enough to have a country? Because, if so, I think New Brunswick
should split from Canada and then split in two.

But seriously, Iceland is considering a raprochement with Norway and/
or the European Union. I think Canada should at least try to flirt
with Iceland. We are bigger, won't steal their fish and aren't
freakishly dependant on oil prices (eh Norway).

That said, Canada is China's and India's Iceland. Is Canada big
enough? By the time Harper is voted out of office, will we still be
able to brag about being such a rich country?

Perhaps we should bulk up and, for example, re-join the United
Kingdom. The 2 million Welsh don't seem to mind being part of the UK,
and contrary to them, the vast majority of Canadians have English as a
first language.

Canuk. Get it?

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

2009-02-12

Blogger Now Almost User Friendly

I don't have much content to add today, so I put all my efforts into form. Yes, I'm a Google Lemming. I use/love Google Chrome, Gmail and AdSense.

I started using Blogger randomly a while back. Not as easy as it should have been. Now much better. What you see here was all done without any HTMLing (hyper text markup language).

I'm sorry for you folks using dial-up Internet. I've given in to peer pressure. This blog is now officially dial-up unfriendly. 

2009-02-11

Key West Mayor Could Lose 2 Homes to Foreclosure

You know things are bad in Florida when the mayor of Key West is about to become homeless.
 

2009-02-02

Ban the Daily Show from Canada

Ban the Daily Show from Canada.
 
The Yanks want to stimulate their economy by screwing Canada? Fine. Time for a good old fashion trade war. Under the culture provisions of NAFTA, Canada can ban the Daily Show from Canadian airwaves tomorrow. And unlike other favourite American shows, the Daily Show plays on American cable, so it is easy to ban.

Religion

God didn't create Adam and Eve, Adam and Eve created God.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

My Profound Thought of the Day

If the Japanese had won Hawaii, Barak Obama would be the first black
president of Japan.
Envoyé depuis mon iPhone / Sent from my iPhone.

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