2014-11-16

Fees When Donating Online to Canadian Political Parties

I just finished watching The Ides of March on Netflix Canada and I got in the mood to make a donation to a political party. Since I haven't waited until the last minute this year, I thought about sending a check so that none of my donation gets eaten up by merchant credit card fees (2.5 to 10%). Because of the tax credits, if you want to give $100, you give $400, to give $200 you need to give $600. Since 4% of $600 is $24, approximately 12% of a net (post tax credit) donation of $200 would go to the credit card processor.

But then I thought of the logistics involved in sending a check (finding my stamps and the envelopes that don't have the evaporated glue), and I realised sending a cheque was unlikely. Plus processing a cheque on the receiving end isn't free either. Someone has to open the envelope and enter data into a computer.

Thankfully, the NDP has a solution: eChecks. I did some reasearch and at worse, the NDP will pay 1% of my donation as a fee. More likely, the fee will be limited to less than $5. For me, that's the way to go. At most it will cost me 65 cents, and that is only if I'm over my 10 transaction per month limit on my $3.95 a month bank account. I won't get my 1% in donuts back that I would using my DoubleDouble CIBC credit card, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make so that Trudeau or Harper don't win the next election.

By the way, you will need a routing number: 0XXXYYYYY (X= Bank number, Y= branch number). You can look it up if that explanation was too complicated.

The Liberals don't accept eChecks. They accept Paypal. That dramatically increases the fee to 1.9% (plus 30 cents), but at least it is cheaper for the party than credit cards.

The Conservatives? The Conservatives don't accept echeques or Paypal, but they do accept American Express. Amex has the highest merchant fees. At a minimum, 3.5% (probably more for Internet transactions). 

Hmm, I just realised that at the bottom of the NDP donation page, there is a link to "contribute via your bank account" and then you have the option to use Interact Online. My bank charges me $1.50 to use Interact Online, but as far as I know that is the cheapest method for the merchant. I'm not sure why they kind of hide that option, although perhaps it is because you can only use Interact Online if you use online banking with:
-BMO Bank of Montreal
-Envision Financial
-Libro Credit Union
-Scotiabank
-TD Canada Trust
-RBC Royal Bank

(So no CIBC, National, Laurentian or Desjardins.)

Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals accept Interact Online. By the way, Permanent Residents can't vote, but they can donate

2014-11-10

Jurisdiction and the TTC

The rules of federalism don't always make sense. John A. Macdonald wasn't a fan.

But it is what it is and we have it. If you want to mess with it, Toronto, and have the federal government pay for bus drivers and potholes, than here is what we could also change.

-Duty on foreign made cars. In Canada, new cars are only made in Ontario. Why should the rest of the country pay duty on non-Ontario made cars? That's a giant subsidy of Ontario, at the expense of poorer Canadians in the rest of the country. Is there a duty on foreign fish? Foreign oil? Foreign paper? Foreign lumber? No. 

-Capital gains on homes. If you make a million dollars on your home, you don't pay a cent in federal tax. How is that fair? That is a giant subsidy to the people of the Toronto area and, lately, Ottawa. You know where homes are not increasing in value? Rural Canada, and that includes most of the Maritimes.

-GST on financial transactions. Many banks charge $10 a month for a checking account. Others charge 65 cents per transaction. Not a penny is paid in GST. There is GST on a sandwich, but not on financial transactions. That's a giant gift to the banking industry, you guessed it, based in Toronto.

-Why is the banking industry based in Toronto? Does it need to be federally regulated? Credit unions under provincial jurisdiction seem to be doing OK. So do provincially regulated insurance companies. Banking in the USA is under state jurisdiction. I'm not saying the industry would necessarily be better, but it would spread the wealth to non-Toronto cities, and that is a good thing.

-Federal jobs in Toronto and Ottawa. In the age of the Internet, does it really make sense to have all those federal jobs concentrated in expensive cities? In Ottawa-Gatineau it is even more absurd. Move the jobs across the river, save on rent, and workers that follow their job to the Quebec side would pay their income and sales tax to the government of Quebec, reducing federal transfer payments. Very few federal jobs need to be in Toronto. There is no reason for the CBC, for example, to have their HQ there. Move it to Hamilton, Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg. Just not expensive Toronto!

-International flights to Toronto. Any European airline can fly to any city in Canada, but they can't make stopovers and pick-up passengers en-route. Worse, countries that don't have agreements with Canada can inexplicably fly accross half of Canada's airspace and land in the most lucrative market (Toronto) without serving the rest of the country. Make them land in Quebec City, Halifax, St. John's, Yellowknife, Iqaluit. 

Asking for federal funds is very shortsighted. Wealth might be concentrated in Toronto, but voters are not. In addition to all those non-citizens in Toronto who can't vote, Canada is a big country and the vast majority of Canadian don't live in Toronto. Hence, getting federal funding for transit is giving power to politicians in Moncton and Moosejaw. Power to literally decide the location of streetcar lines and the frequency of bus routes. That strikes me as not good. Worse, Torontonians, on average, have higher incomes than most Canadians. Since many cities have pot holes and city busses, asking the federal government to contribute 33% is the equivalent of asking the federal government to increase taxes. And basic math dictates that rich people spend more in tax than they get back in public services. The federal government spends, Toronto loses.

Both Montreal and Vancouver have local gas taxes. The city of Toronto has the power to impose tolls. Many cities have a hotel tax. London, UK, has vastly more expensive transit with zone fares. The Toronto Maple Leafs suck. But the solution isn't to change the rules of hockey.



2014-09-27

ISIS is Not Our Problem

So there are a bunch of armed religious zealots running around Syria and Iraq trying to turn that region into a Saudi Arabia minus the Saudi part. How is that Canada's problem?

-Are they a military threat to Turkey (a NATO ally?)
-Are they a military threat to any other NATO allies?
-Are they a military threat to Canada or Canadian interests?

No. 

If Assad didn't warrant military intervention, if we continue to act as if Saudi Arabia is a civilized country, then why on earth would we spend our hard earned money on fighting the Islamic State? Why would risk the lives of Canadian soldiers in this conflict?

This war makes no more sense than the 10 year war against the Taliban.

Fundamentally, IS it's not our problem.


 

2014-07-07

5 millions pour la F1, rien pour le mascaret de Moncton

La F1 c'est une fin de semaine par année et pourtant le gouvernement
Harper lui accorde 5 millions de dollars par année pour les prochains
20 ans. Le mascaret de Moncton, quant à lui, est à tous les jours et
n'obtient pas un cent du fédéral. ;-)

2014-07-06

The CBC is a Waste of Money

The government subsidizes TV. That's like having the Queen on the money (they don't even do that in Scotland). It is anachronistic and should end.

Poor people pay far more federal taxes in Canada than in the USA. Granted, they get healthcare that is partially funded by the federal government, but mostly it is to pay for things of dubious value like 28 billion on national defence and 2 billion on the CBC/Radio-Canada.

TV, that can be paid for via advertising, channel subscriptions, video on-demand rentals, DVD rentals and Internet subscriptions (like Netflix) doesn't need the money from the poor folks that work at Tim Hortons.

Remember when Discovery and A&E had compelling programs? Those days are gone. That's because TV is a brain dead medium. The idiot box. You watch it when you are too tired to do anything else.

But even junk TV is expensive. So expensive that producing local content is prohibitive. Not even the CBC does that (no, stuff made in Toronto or Vancouver is not "local" when you live in the Maritimes. Heck, even a Stephen King novel contains more local content).

We watch Faulty Towers from 30 years ago, we watch the British and the American Office. Some people watch one ot the many incarnations of "The Bridge".

Meanwhile, many of us get our entertainment from the written word. Or family. Or sports.

I'm a huge fan of TV and enjoy CBC shows like Mr. D (made in Halifax). I probably get my money's worth (despite the CBC not having over the air in Moncton). But there are ways to charge me for that content. And if a show can more efficiently be made in LA or London, than so be it.

News and Weather Networks are Pointless and Should be Off Basic Cable

The only time I every watch a 24 hour "news" network is via the Daily Show with John Stewart. For anybody that can read, the Internet is a much better source of news. Dito, perhaps even more so, for the weather network. And yet Canadian cable and satellite subscribers are forced to fork over their hard earned dollars to these useless services because they have mandatory carriage imposed by the CRTC.

It is time to end this nonsense. 

Shediac-Bouctouche à 4 voies est un gaspillage épouvantable de fonds publics

Dès leur entré au pouvoir, les Conservateurs du Nouveau-Brunswick ont augmenté la taxe sur l'essence. Malgré cette augmentation, la taxe est moins élevé qu'au Québec ou en Nouvelle-Écoisse. Et contrairement au Maine, il n'y a pas de péage sur les routes du Nouveau-Brunswick. Mais malgré cette augmentation, le ministre des finances estime que la taxe sur l'essence ne génère que la moitié de ce qui est dépensé annuellement par le gouvernement provincial sur les routes de la province.

Et qu'est-ce que le gouvernement Conservateur fait, à quelques mois des élections provinciales? Il commence l'élargissement à quatre voies de la route entre Shediac et Bouctouche.

Est-ce que les 2500 résidents de Bouctouche ont besoins de 4 voies? Non, vraiment pas. Il y a effectivement 250,000 personnes dans le nord de la province. Mais cette région ce dépeuple. Il y a de moins en moins de monde. Il n'y a qu'un autobus par jour entre Moncton et Miramichi. Un!

La route 50 entre Gatineau et Montréal qui a ouvert en 2013 n'a que deux voies. Pourtant, les Conservateurs croient que Moncton (120,000) et Bouctouche (2,500) méritent une autoroute. C'est promouvoir l'étalement urbain. C'est un gaspillage épouvantable de fonds publics. Entre Moncton et Miramichi, ce n'est même pas le chemin le plus court!

2014-06-21

No Foreign Temporary Workers, But Students And Graduates Can Still Work

Full time foreign students can work in Canada up to 20 hours a week. In addition, they can work in Canada up to 4 years after graduating as long as the job is somehow related to their field. In Moncton, that means hundreds of foreigners working in call centres.

Without those workers, would Sitel et al increase wages?  Bell, for example, has outsourced to call centres in India, the Philippines, Tunisia and Egypt. So there is no guarantee that the jobs filled by foreigners wouldn't simply be shipped off overseas. It is significantly easier to have workers who speak both English and French to service Canadian customers, but when you pay your workers $4 an hour, you can have them sit around and do nothing, waiting for French calls. 

That said, the Moncton call centres exist thanks to provincial subsidies and a willingness by telecoms and banks to undercut union negotiated wages. So it is perplexing to witness a room filled with foreigners. Are they making our lives better, or worse? In theory, Université de Moncton enjoys the fruits of all those foreigners filling their classrooms and contributing tuition. But if they lower salaries of local workers, or displace jobs for local students, they might be lowering the number of Canadians that can attend the university.

Walmart Will Deliver $1 Can of Ham for Free

Mind blown. Walmart will deliver a $1 can of ham to me for free via Canada Post (I live in Moncton). 

Dear Rex Murphy, Christians Need Impose Their Religion on Others

Rex Murphy seems to think that religion should over-ride democracy. 

Firstly, the idea that Christians MPs need to impose their faith on others by banning stuff is ludicrous. Christian MPs who are strongly against abortions, shouldn't have abortions. Should Muslim and Mormon Liberal MPs be allowed to leverage their Liberal party status to try to bring back prohibition? Or ban sex before marriage? Or outlaw condoms? No.

Religious radicals are free to form their own party. That's what the Conservatives did.

ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/06/21/rex-murphy-in-justin-trudeaus-world-christians-need-not-apply


2014-06-20

I Support the Northern Gateway Pipeline

I consider myself a progressive. I've given thousands to the NDP and
even threw a few strategic progressive dollars to the Bloc Québécois.

I also consider myself an environmentalist. Perhaps not enough to give
up my travel addiction (poverty has temporarily taken care of that),
but enough of one that I live in a downtown apartment and walk to
work.

People in Bangladesh are going to die because of global warming.

I'm writing this on an iPhone that was assembled just north of Hong
Kong in China. Parts of it were made in Taiwan and Korea. The energy
used to manufacture the iPhone was most likely derived from coal.
Ditto my computers, TV, Playbook, Kobo and iPad (did I mention I'm
poor?).

So we send Asia oil that is slightly better for the environment than
coal, they give us cool gadgets that reduce needless trips to the store
for shopping, driving around while lost, enable shortcuts, and
dramatically reduce my consumption of paper. Win, win.

More importantly, BC takes a slight environmental risk instead of
Moncton suffering the guaranteed pollution that would come from Irving
refining Alberta oil in St. John.

Moncton is where I live. Not BC. The people of Bangladesh and China
matter as much to me as the people of BC (on a per capita basis). They
are guaranteed to have millions of people die because of global
warming and coal generated air pollution. If it replaces coal, Alberta
oil would reduce both. Northern BC (where very, very few people live)
incurs a slight risk of having localised water and soil pollution. But
I live in Moncton.

The federal government has spoken. Time to move on. And if you live
anywhere near the proposed pipeline, you might want to move to
Vancouver, because as a rural Canadian, your carbon footprint is
amongst the largest in the world, and that's not cool.

2014-06-05

Justin Bourque, 24 Year-old Angry White Man

Justin Bourque murdered 3 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers Wednesday night in Moncton. Based on his Facebook page, the alleged RCMP killer clearly loved guns. When I read his Facebook page, he still had 49 friends, many with public timelines no less scary than Bourque's.

This is what I gleaned from his public Facebook timeline:

(I'm using the present tense but I'm guessing he'll be dead when you read this.)

-He appears to be anglophone despite his last name (many of his Facebook friends live in the very English speaking suburb of Riverview). 
-He lives in a trailer park
-He has at least one black friend
-He loves guns
-He hates the police but is pro-military/militias
-He is libertarian leaning
-He admires Putin, but fears Russia will invade Canada first (before Ukraine?)
-He isn't big on writing. He prefers to repost
-He is a member of the Anonymous World Resistance Group of Facebook.
-Perhaps he was a fan of Megadeath? Well he quoted verse 1 of Hook in My Mouth on his Facebook page before going outside and starting his rampage. Perhaps he just felt the name of the group was apropos (since he was gong to have multiple victims). By the way, that song came out 26 years ago, before Justin Bourque was borne. 
-He like fishing
-He likes hunting

Mostly, he just likes guns. Also, by Moncton standards, for the first time this season, it was really hot tuesday in Moncton and quite humid the day of his murders. That's usually when people get violent.

2014-05-31

The Goddess of Democracy Would be 25 Years Old

I had so much hope for China in 1989. Oh well, at least I got an iPhone. 

Media Talk is Dead, Long Live Media Talk


The Guardian's Media Talk is the king of media podcasts. And it is dead.

As I wrote on The Guardian site in 2010: 

I love your podcast. It is like you guys live in a different world. I'm 100% more informed about British media every time I listen.

This is horrible news, really. This is on the same scale as the end of Diggnation. Twit.tv is still alive. So I know podcasts aren't dead. But Media Talk is dead. Long live Media Talk. It will be missed.

The Producer Matt Hill will try to revive the format with a new independant podcast starting June 6th. But you know it is going to suck (just like Top Gear America). Host John Plukett will continue to exist on Twitter. Original host Matt Wells still works for The Guardian, but he now works out of New York City where he is apparently to busy/lazy to take a few minutes out of his week to host a media podcast. 

The UK is a different world. How else would North Americans have earned that Big Brother was popular there in the winter. Or that phone hacking female journalist were costing Rupert Murdoch money.

Other source:
-

RadioToday | The Guardian cancels Media Talk podcast


Meanwhile, this blog you are reading is alive and well. In fact, the hundred dollars Google just dumped in my bank account easily paid for the bottle of vodka I'm drinking (seemed appropriate since talking about media and journalism). 

I previously wrote about alternative media podcasts. Check them out and, as Mashable likes to say, leave your comments in the comment fields below. Please. Pretty please!

2014-05-30

In Blogs We Trust: Making Money from a Macro-Blog in the Age of Social Media

Google just gave me an other hundred bucks for all the ads on my blog (hosted by Google but written by me).

I have to admit I prefer microblogging on Twitter. That's proven by 14,000 tweets. It is a far more efficient medium to share ideas and reference material already written by others. However, blog posts have staying power. Tweets are short term. As I no longer blog frequently, my page rank on Google has taken a hit and yet  people still manage to read my old blog posts thanks to other search engines and links on Wikipedia and other sites. And then they click on the ads.

Often, the best way to change someone's opinion on something is to let them speak. As they run out of arguments, they start to self doubt. That's when they are vulnerable to new ideas. Macro-blogging does that. Whereas someone might have enough knowledge and strong opinions on a subject to write 140 characters or to forward a text picture on Facebook, they quickly run out when faced with the unlimited space of a blog post.




If you have real or social media friends that have strong opinions that you disagree with, encourage them to blog. Tell them about the bored government workers that read blogs on their lunch hours because Facebook is banned from the office. Tell them about the articles you wrote 5 years ago that are still read. More importantly, tell them that your drinks this weekend were financed thanks to stuff you wrote in bed.

In other news, my favourite podcast, The Guardian's Media Talk, is coming to an end. Here is the last episode (MP3) of Media Talk. The folks over at Twit.tv seem to still be able to monitze the spoken word. Anybody know of a good alternative to Media Talk? I'd settle for a blog. 
 


2014-05-27

End CBC, VIA Rail and Print Subsidies

Canadians are fat and lazy. And yet we use sales tax dollars collected
from poor people's gym memberships, bicycles, sneakers and basketballs
(and income tax on their meagre salaries) to pay for things like
television, paper books and paper magazines.

Everybody benefits from socialised healthcare and education. We are
surrounded by poor people and it is quite useful that they not infect
us with tuberculous or put rat poison in our food instead of salt
(when you can't read, that becomes and honest mistake). We don't have
those things because we are generous. We have them because we are
selfish. Indeed, you could argue that being a progressive social
democrat is an act of selfishness. And I'm OK with that.

What I'm not OK with is bad public policy. Subsidised single family
dwellings via government guaranteed mortgages, for example. Subsidised
books are an other. The biggest cost in a book is the container
(printing and distributing it), and yet we subsidise them despite the
obviously cheaper alternative: ebooks.

We inexplicably subsidise rail transportation despite having plenty of
room for busses on our roads and airports that are nowhere near
capacity.

We subsidise Canadian magazines but not Canadian websites. How does
that make sense? And why are we subsidising the written word in the
first place? And TV? TV! Really! Is there anything of social value
gleaned from a nationally focused medium that painfully ignores local
issues and culture that are better served by local radio, theatre,
live bands and newspapers/websites?

Sure, the upper-middle class pay a lot of taxes. But by placating them
with things like the CBC, subsidised Maclean's and Via Rail, we are
helping them ignore the real mystery of federal spending: 28 billion
dollars a year on the military despite Canada having no enemies.

2014-05-24

Does New Brunswick Need Universities?

New Brunswick's need for a French language university is dubious at best. There are only 250,000 Acadians in New Brunswick, and Quebec's quality universities are right next door (and indeed arguably closer to Edmundston and the Acadian peninsula). Worse, because tuition is very low in both Quebec and France, it is very difficult to attract students from those regions.

The University of Moncton makes up for it by attracting students from Africa. 18% of students pay around $10,000 a year to attend Université de Moncton. Unfortunately, there are still classrooms with 1 or 2 students. Every graduate program at the Univerité de Moncton is in a constant struggle to justify it's existence. 

The situation at New Brunswick other universities isn't much rosier. There are only 500,000 English speakers in New Brunswick. And yet there are 3 English language public universities. And once again there is no shortage of quality institutions right next door in Halifax.

Someone needs to do the math. There is a huge opportunity cost here. Perhaps the money should be redirected to student loans or bursaries. Granted, if you are a francophone high school student living in Moncton, you'll be able to attend university at a fairly low cost if you don't mind living with your parents. But for the vast majority of Acadians, Moncton is no more practical than Rimouski or Quebec City. Dito Mount Allison in Sackville for Anglophones.

At the very least, funding should be denied to private freak universities like Crandall in Moncton. Although it's location is practical, accepting students of different faiths and then forcing them to abide by Crandall's brand of Christian morality and forcing students to attend "chapel" twice a week, is simply wrong.

Half of New Brunswick's budget comes from the Federal government. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. There is an oil windfall out west and New Brunswickers deserve their slice of the pie. However, I fear the easy money is being squandered. Students aren't winning and neither are New Brunswickers.

(The author of this blog has a university degree obtained in Quebec and works in a Moncton call centre). 

2014-05-05

Blair Lawrence in Moncton Ward 2 Will Raise Taxes

Blair Lawrence and his opponent Mike Dawson are both running for Moncton's Ward 2 seat vacant because of the death of Merrill Henderson. The election is May 12th. 

Do either of them have a web page? Nope. Although Blair Lawrence does have a public Facebook page and Mike Dawson has a Kijiji page (!!!). So after spending way too much time gathering information from the Internet about the two candidates from various sources, here is a summary:

Blair Lawrence:

-Positions on anything: Unknown. He could be against puppies for all we known.
-Education: Unknown. 
-Work: Subject coordinator for the Anglophone East School District. Former vice-principal and teacher at Bernice MacNaughton High School (located in Ward 2). Subject taught? Unknown.
-Lives in ward?: Don't know.
-Volunteer work? Capitol theatre and Frye Festival boards of directors.

Mike Dawson.

-Position on anything: Unknown.
-Education: Not listed on his Linked-in. But he is former military so I'm guessing high school and whatever he learned in the military.
-Work: Former military (20 years) (including at Moncton's Garrison located in Ward 2). No current job. How old do you have to be to get your military pension?
-Lives in ward? Don't know. 
-Volunteer work? Various committees with his church.

So there you have it. That's it. That's the only information you have to base your decision on. Good luck. 

Blair Lawrence's does have a Facebook page. To be fair, it is a public page so you don't have to log into Facebook to read it. Unfortunately, I don't think you can link to specific pages on Facebook. If you are patient enough, you'll eventually land on his April 3nd posts. He is in favour of "integrity" and "long term growth" and he also tells us what his job is (oddly enough, only in French).

Blair Lawrence is also on Twitter. I suppose you could ask him questions.  

The salary for the part time council job is $18,000 a year

-Mike Dawson on Allevents.in
-Mike Dawson on WhereEvent.

2014-05-03

5 Years and 14,500 Tweets

5 Years that I've been on Twitter. 5 years. So lets see: 14,500 tweets/(365 X 5)= 7.9 tweets a day. Hmm.

I don't know about 2009, but right now, Miley Cyrus does indeed have more followers than Ashton Kutcher. 

Paul Wells joined later that year. He now has published 47,000 tweets.

2010 was the year of the iPad. I was obsessed. 870 tweets in March 2010, 28 per day!  Only 33 tweets a year later, but still obsessed with the iPad.

In May 2012, some nimcompoop at Yahoo killed Geocities. The CBC still survives. 


  

2014-05-02

6 Honest Truths A Woman Can Learn About Herself After A One-Night Stand

That title, my friends, is why I am blogging from my basement apartment instead of from wherever successful bloggers blog from. Success measure by money, obviously. The Woven empire though of that title. Not me. The best I could come up with was jibes at Gerard Kennedy and nonsense about puppies. Sigh.

Anyway, Woven just bought Uproxx, a "blog" I recently discovered from a lesbian friend I added after joining Facebook. It is actually quite good. Not Wall Street Journal good. Mind you. But good enough. 

Photo of the Mad Men star stolen from Uproxx (who probably stole if from someone else). If you own the copyright to this picture, please be advised this blog generated 83 cents last month and that the owner lives in a basement apartment. 

Pre-Binged TV

Sure you could try these yourself at nominal cost via services like Netflix or iTunes. But why trust your own judgement when you can trust mine? To be fair, I think I only binged House of Cards and Breaking Bad. And 1 binge per season at that.

The shows with a line over them I never gave a chance. The ones with a squiggly line next to them means I watched religiously until I lost interest (presumably because I got older).

Happy rainy days. :-)

Hat tip uproxx.com

2014-04-29

Veep is Fracking Good

Season 3, Episode 4 of HBO's Veep tackles the issue of fracking, features a blogger, a smartwatch and a really complicated toilet. Very good, and very funny.

Disclaimer: people here in New Brunswick are going nuts about fracking, I obviously blog, I own a smart watch and I struggled with my hotel room's toilet while visiting Tokyo. 



2014-04-08

Le Québec devrait etre un pays

Je suis vraiment déçu de la défaite du PQ. Il y a 3 partis
souverainiste avec des députés à l'Assemblée nationale. Un de gauche,
Québec Solidaire, un de droite, Coalition Avenir Québec et le Parti
Québécois. Pourtant, avec les Libéraux majoritaires, le projet de
faire Québec in pays est sur la sellette.

On ne peut pas faire confiance aux anglophones du Canada. C'est
certain qu'ils sont moins Protestants et les Québécois sont moins
Catholiques qu'avant, donc un clivage de moins. Mais des différences
culturels importantes persistes. Mais surtout, les anglais veulent
nous assimiler!

En plus de 15 ans en milieu de travail anglophone, je suis plus
convaincu que jamais, le Québec doit être un pays. Pour la langue,
pour la culture, pour l'économie.

2014-02-05

I Love These Songs

I'm not sure what it is about these songs, but I've played them over and over again. Some of the videos are OK as well. But really, it's the music.

Passenger: Let Her Go.
 
Lorde: Royals
 

Avicii: Wake Me Up

Ylvis: What Does the Fox Say?

If you are keeping track, that's British, New Zealand, Swedish and Norwegian music. Here is some Korean music to round it off. Giant hat tip to California's Google.

 
Others I like:
-The ultimate ringtone: LMFAO Party Rock Anthem.
 
Not safe for work because of the boobies (OK, these ones I like mostly for the visuals, but the music is OK to):
-Robin Thincke: Blurred Lines
-Miley Cyrus: Wrecking Ball.
 


2014-02-04

A Taste of America

You should be cynical when it comes to a company peddling sugar water, but I haven't felt such an emotional connection to a commercial in a long time. As a non-American living in non-America, I find this commercial humanizes the USA. Maybe they aren't an Anglo gun crazy war mongering nation. Maybe. By the way, my favourite cola is Diet Big 8.

 
 
 
 
Last century I spent a month touring the USA by bus. I highly recommend it. It really is a geographically diverse country. Some of the people are OK to.  ;-)
 
 
If you don't have the time to visit all of America just yet, start with New York City, my favourite American city.
 

2014-01-09

Moncton's Fashion Magazine: Pink Blitz

Moncton, New Brunswick, has a fashion magazine. Moncton. New Brunswick.

I'm not from Moncton. I've been here the latter part of a decade. My first impression of Moncton: people are fat and fashion does not exist. But now there is a fashion magazine. In Moncton, where half the active population works in a call centre and the other half works in a warehouse (that's a slight exaggeration, as there are services to support those workers, and 2 universities, 3 if you count Mount Allison in Sackville). 

What makes this Pink Blitz magazine "different" is that it features all sorts of models (and all sorts of fashion?). Frankly, I don't understand Pink Blitz. But I'm not part of the target audience. Still, to see New Brunswick locations featured in a fashion magazine is pretty cool, if a tad bewildering. 

Look at this photo in Edmundston, New Brunswick. The paper mill, the Trans-Canada Highway, the Madawaska river. The hills in the distance are part of the Appalachians, in Maine. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? A perfect spot for a fashion shoot! In the winter, obviously. Miami Beach, eat my shorts (since it is cold in January here in New Brunswick and I really don't need them) ! By the way, Madawaska Maine, across the Saint John River from Edmundston, is the most northern point of US highway 1. Miami is on the southern end (the highway's most southern point is in Key West, Florida). 

The lovely unnamed model on Page 64 of the January issue of Pink Blitz cleverly hides the paper mill (I think it is now closed).

Pink Blitz:

I don't know if there is an actual paper version, but certainly someone put a lot of time and effort creating something could be an actual paper magazine.

Here is the URL for the online Flash required magazine. You can also Google Pink Blitz. Pink Blitz Magazine has got good page ranking, that's half the battle. ;-)

Pink Blitz Magazine (Sadly, not iOS (iPad/iPhone) compatible): 

For publishers inspired by Pink Blitz, please be advised that Southern New Brunswick doesn't yet have an alpine skiing, surfing or luxury lifestyle magazine. Just saying.
:-)

Hat tip for the 411 on Pink Blitz goes to plus size model Sunny Shine of Moncton.  
  

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