Sunday, May 28, 2017

Quebec Separatist Forces Melt Down

It's fair to say that those militating for Quebec sovereignty come in all sorts of political stripes, supporting a diverse range of political ideologies running the gamut of the alt-left of Quebec Solidaire, to the centrist Parti Quebecois and even the conservative element, the barely alive Option nationale of ex-leader Jean-Martin Aussant.

It doesn't take a genius to understand that unless these forces agree to work together, or 'converge' as is the term used by sovereigntist forces determined to unite the movement that the chances of success, already slim to none, are effectively out the window.

With this in mind separatist forces created an action committee to facilitate an agreement whereby cooperation would lead to some sort of a breakthrough through cooperation.

But this didn't happen, Quebec Solidaire signed the deal, but asked that it be kept secret until a party congress and then welshed on the deal rather abruptly.
And so we are witness to what can be charitably called a 'Mexican Standoff' whereby separatists are pointing guns at each other, unable to withdraw or advance.

The Liberals and the CAQ can not believe their good fortune and so it is to be that different separatist forces will battle it out for the small sliver of the sovereigntist slice of the electoral pie next October in the next provincial election.

The seemingly bizarre position of Quebec Solidaire actually makes sense when one considers what they are...idiots who never really want power anyways because they would be forced to implement their childish agenda. For them the peanut gallery is the place where they want to be, pitching nonsense ideas with no consequences.

For PQ leader Jean-François Lisée the utter stupidity of QS quitting the alliance is particularly hard to swallow, his deception apparent as he labelled the leadership of QS leadership 'members of a politburo' an nasty jab labeling them as commies.

For those who think we have a bad government in Philippe Couillard's Liberals, could you imagine a independent Quebec run by a coalition government where the likes of fools like  Manon Massé actually had power.

There is a sad reality that hangs over the Quebec independence movement, that is there are too many divergent opinions, opinions that are impossible to square.

So perhaps Quebecers may see a real option next year's election, a battle between realistic political philosophies, the conservative  CAQ versus the center of the road Liberals.
Usually it would be a no brainer, with the Liberals winning once again, but the taint of scandal and corruption isn't going away and perhaps with the sovereignty vote split and irrelevant, the CAQ might just slip in.
I'm actually hoping so.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We are All Sitting Ducks for Terrorists

Watching the sad drama unfold over the terrorist attack in Manchester we can only pass on our condolences to the families of the dead and wounded and wax reflective that there by the grace of God we go.

Terrorism can happen anywhere and there is little we are able or perhaps better said, willing to do  about it.

The Manchester attack underscores that front-line security has its limits and that a determined terrorist can usually succeed, because the soft underbelly of society can never be protected.

Look at this picture of fans streaming into the Bell Centre in Montreal which is typical of every major sports facility in North America.
While fans need to pass through a metal detector and perhaps a search in order to get in, the bottleneck outside the building created by this security check is a target waiting to be attacked. How hard would it be for a terrorist to wade into this crowd and blow up a suicide vest.?
How many would die and how many fans would be injured?
It's not something we like to think about and so we try to block it out of our mind.

Paradoxically the panicked fans fleeing the Manchester Arena in the wake of the bomb were safer inside the building than outside and therein lies the problem, you can't have security everywhere and it's pretty easy to figure out where and when the public is vulnerable.

The authorities are quick to label that these attacks are committed by lone wolves, impossible to trace, but the reality is that nobody lives in a vacuum and those around the terrorist are usually pretty aware of the danger he poses.
The Manchester bomber has already been identified as a radicalized Muslim and had displayed dangerous behavior that had those around him concerned. The imam of the mosque where the terrorist attended was fearful for his life after giving a sermon condemning ISIS.
Why didn't anyone drop a dime?

At any rate western society is doomed to repeat this cycle of terrorism because we are not willing to sacrifice civil liberties in order to root out potential terrorists.

In Canada we haven't had a real terrorist attack, just a couple of nut jobs that inflicted very limited damage in the name of Allah. I say 'limited damage' with respect to the dead, whose families don't see the attack as something minor.
So we are all for liberty and civil rights and for personal freedom from surveillance, that is until a serious terrorist attack happens here.
I wonder what a similar attack on a major Canadian arena with multiple deaths of children would have on that perception.  

Here is a hypothetical story of counter-terrorism that is a test of one's real values.

A group of three terrorists are caught but others in the cell got away and have planted a massive car bomb somewhere in the city.
The interrogator fruitlessly tries to get the terrorists to confess but with time running out and torture not an option because of the time constraint, the police officer pulls his gun out of his holster and tells the terrorists that if they don't reveal the location, he will shoot them one by one and bury the remains in a pig sty, thus blocking any perceived ascent to Heaven.
The terrorists remain silent and so the officer places the gun to the temple of the first terrorist and counts down from three, shooting dead the terrorist in front of the others
He then moves on to the second  and tells the trembling terrorist he is next. The terrorist hesitates and the policeman pulls the trigger.
The third terrorist confesses and the police clear the square where the bomb would have certainly killed and maimed hundreds.

And so gentle reader, my question to you. Did the ends justify the means?

Here is a clip from the Untouchables where Sean Connery's character takes matters into his own hands in interrogating a crook.
And yes, unbeknownst to all, the 'victim' was already dead.
BTW...Gotta love the Mountie's reaction.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Montreal Cops Rain on Idiot Mayor's 375th Party

Nothing made me happier than to see Montreal's idiot mayor Denis Coderre getting his ass handed to him by Montreal cops who noisily crashed his 375th anniversary party on Tuesday, with a massive demonstration meant to embarrass the Mayor in his hour glory.

It's like having an ex show up to your wedding shouting expletives and telling all the guest exactly what a piece of dirt you are. Priceless!

At any rate, our unflappable mayor has decided that the police demonstration won't be allowed ruin his bridge lighting ceremony and so he has ordered a do-over.
Yup, a do-over and damn the expense.
The orgy of spending to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Montreal's founding is perhaps the most obscene display of political indifference since Marie Antoinette, when told that the peasants had no bread, replied that then they should eat brioche.

The police union didn't let up, placing this embarrassing billboard around the city,

"A Mayor that acts contemptibly towards his police for the last three years. that's what he celebrates"
What kind of a retarded notion is it to celebrate a 375th anniversary, anyway?
It's true that there's a lot of goofy commemorative days celebrated, like World Intellectual Property Day on April 26 or International No Diet Day  commemorated each May 6, but these ridiculous events don't cost a fortune to celebrate.
If Montreal can blow $200 million on the 375th, how much will they spend on the 400th in 25 years?

Yesterday a spokesman for the $40 million dollar project that will light up the Jacques Cartier bridge with a programmable multi-colour display explained how the colours will change to match the seasons from dark blue in winter to sizzling red in summer.
This from the design firm that organized the project;
"As the day’s first light appears on the horizon, the bridge comes to life in a dance of lights, gradually revealing that day’s colour.
Every hour at night, short 5- minute animations visually translate Montreal’s mood based on different types of daily data: the weather, traffic, news, major events, and more.
The bridge is then taken over by luminous movement, coloured
according to the hottest topic of the day in Montreal media:
Society -red, Environment -green, Technology -light blue, Business- grey, Sports- blue, Institutions- pink, Culture purple)"
Agggghhhh!!!!!!!!!       Honestly, have you ever heard of anything more moronic.

Now without going back and re-reading the text, can you tell me what the colour light-blue signifies?
The lights on the bridge will forever remind us what cretins we have running the city and if our idiot mayor thinks that citizens will devote time to deciphering the meaning of each colour presentation, he is even stupider than wood. 
The police did us a favour by ruining the day for the mayor, reminding us that the city is in a precipitous decline and like Nero who played his fiddle while Rome burned, Denis Coderre is ignoring the reality that Montreal has become.
I'm not usually a big fan of Richard Martineau of Le Journal de Montreal, but he followed up a television rant on the same subject with this piece in the newspaper. If you read French you can find the article HERE (thanks for the link Mamun.)
"Surprised that Toronto won the Infrastructure Bank head office and not Montreal......Really?

If this news has thrown you for a loop, it's because you haven’t been to Toronto recently.
It is one of the most exciting cities in North America. As exciting as New York.

Before, you say to yourselves: "Yeah, Toronto is the business capital of Canada, it certainly is big on business, but on culture, the city is dead. They're rolling up the sidewalks at 6 pm ... »
In the 1980s, maybe. Not anymore.

Toronto buries Montreal hands down.
In finance, in culture, in gastronomy.
The architecture is daring, the restaurants fantastic, the museums extraordinary.

Not to mention the TIFF, the Toronto Film Centre, which can make even the most demanding and hard-core film buffs drool.
Toronto moves, it percolates, it is driven!

Meanwhile, young entrepreneurs who work hard to open restaurants and businesses in underprivileged neighbourhoods in Montreal are have their storefronts attacked.
We don’t want rich people here! Go away, cursed capitalists!
Leave us with our hot dogs and our 5-10-15 stores!

The day before yesterday, I was discussing with a friend who regularly visits the Queen City for work.
Each time he lands at Billy Bishop Airport, located on a small island off of downtown Toronto, he takes the ferry and poof, finds himself in the heart of the action.
One day, while riding the ferry, he read that the city would soon open a tunnel that will connect the island directly with the downtown. The City posted the plans of the tunnel on the boat explaining its project ...
"Well, when I went back," he told me enthusiastically, "the tunnel was already finished!" Built, finished! There was no procrastination, no running around in circles "

But here ...
Let's face it: Montreal is a decrepit city, in decline.

And what are we doing? We are spending $ 40 million to light up the Jacques-Cartier bridge! As if it were a priority!
If you had cancer, would you consider getting your nose done by a plastic surgeon?
If the roof of your house fell into ruins, would you spend thousands of dollars to install Christmas lights on your gallery?
I do not think so.
Here we spread some super expensive icing on a cake that smells mouldy ...

Obviously the Infrastructure Bank headquarters was given in Toronto, of course.
The opposite would be surprising.
We want to attract headquarters? Well, let's get on with it.
Let us create a climate conducive to investment, encourage entrepreneurs, stop putting sticks in the spokes of the wheels on everything that moves!

Audacity, audacity and even more audacity!
Instead of organizing a bogus 375th anniversary to give Quebeckers the impression that something is happening in Montreal, let us work hand in hand with the business community to get (finally) the city out of the hole!"
A pretty good screed, with the exception of the reference to Woolworth's dime stores, which all closed about twenty years ago, replaced with today's Dollar stores.

At any rate, in the meantime our mayor plays Mr. Dressup, living in a fantasy world of cosplay while our beloved city is left to rot from the inside out.

Montreal has become a bit of a joke, where carnivals, festivals and expensive parties are political devices meant to keep the masses at bay.
This isn't a new concept, throughout history leaders have employed this same device to keep a 'lid' on things.
Panem et Circenses. is a Latin phrase, literally meaning "bread and circuses," supposedly coined by Juvenal and describing the cynical formula of the Roman emperors for keeping the masses content with ample food and entertainment.

and that is where we are.....

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Narcissist Trudeau and Trump are Peas in a Pod

Liberal supporters of Prime Minister Trudeau look at the the presidency of Donald Trump and thank their lucky stars that Canada is run by Justin Trudeau, all the while failing to understand that although they are at different ends of the political spectrum, they are indeed peas in a pod.

Everyday since Trump's campaign started and carrying on into his presidency, he has reminded everyone who will listen that he is God's gift to the United States and that everything will be fantastic under his management.  But Trump's failure after failure and disaster after disaster hasn't dampened their enthusiasm and support for him as he continues to weave a fantasy of competence and achievement, belied by reality.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that Trudeau peddles the same nonsense, the fiction that under his leadership and the Liberal party, the country is forging ahead successfully, despite setback after setback.
Like Trump, Trudeau lives in a fantasy world where facts are not facts and reality not reality.
Trudeau is the same narcissistic liar that Trump is, telling us the opposite that is true and ramming nonsense down our throats by the shear force of his personality.

Liberals accuse Trump of being a populist, a dirty euphemism for playing to the emotions of frustrated voters. I don't particularly see that as a bad thing, but alt-Liberals and the left-wing media view it as politics of the worst order.
But Trudeau is no different, pandering to the emotions of alt-Liberals by fostering a false cult of coolness and promising to do politics differently, while doing politics as cynically as everyone else.
The cult of Donald Trump matches that of Trudeau, where supporters are willing to suspend reality for the elusive promise of anticipated change.
Alt-Liberals are dumbfounded as to how Trump people can continue to support him in light of a so-far failed agenda, the dishonesty, lies and the misdirection. For them, the support that Trump enjoys is maddening and inexplicable, failing to understand or comprehend that they are the same idiots, also supporting an idiot Prime Minister who has accomplished absolutely nothing except raise the deficit by a staggering ten billion dollars

Like Trump, Trudeau has cavalierly backed away from campaign promises with nary an apology.
With a shrug of the shoulder Justin, reversed his promise of electoral reform and proportional representation. The abysmal performance of his newly minted democratic institutions minister, Maryam Monsef, chosen for her ethnicity rather than talent, blew up up in Justin's face when it was discovered that she lied about where she was born. Monsef bungled the file badly, insulting Parliament in the process and was thrown under the bus rather brutally by Justin, scapegoated for a broken campaign promise. But when challenged as to the reversal, Justin calmly replied that he came to realize that proportional representation would lead to dangerous fringe parties gaining Parliamentary seats, baloney that only his starry-eyed minions could buy.

Then there is the incredible effrontery in supporting another failed ethnic cabinet minister, Harjit Sajjan, who proved to be a liar as well, claiming to be the author of a big military operation in Afghanistan. The military uses the term 'stolen valour' for wannabes lying about fictitious military achievements. It is serious and unacceptable and that Harjit Sajjan is allowed to remain in position as Defence Minister underlines how Trudeau believes, like Trump, that he can do no wrong and any decision he makes is divine.

Trudeau seems to operate under the assumption, perhaps correct, that like Trump, his supporters are so dogmatic that he can do no wrong and can say and do anything as he pleases without repercussions.

Last week in Parliament, Trudeau stonewalled the opposition over the question of how many times he met with the ethics commissioner in regards to a possible violation of rules over his Christmas vacation on a billionaire's private Caribbean island. Instead of answering the question with a number...once, twice or perhaps never, Trudeau reminded the questioner that he was always happy to cooperate with the ethics commissioner anytime. When asked by another unsatisfied member of the opposition the same question, he again refused to give a real answer, again spouting Trudeauesque platitudes of the highest order. In fact he dodged the question 18 times and repeated his non-answer verbatim, smugly intimating that he is untouchable .
It is no wonder that Trudeau has proposed that the Prime Minister be given a pass and not be required to attend the House of Commons question period but once a week. Hmm...
After tweeting that he perhaps recorded conversations with the fired FBI boss, Trump was peppered with questions about whether recordings of White House meetings exist. His Press secretary dodged the question and when Trump was asked point blank by a friendly reporter from FOX news whether he taped James Comey, he demurely replied that he just did not want to talk about it. What chutzpah!
 In response to this embarrassment what did Trump propose? That the daily White House press briefing be abolished. Sound familiar?

As I said, Trump and Trudeau are cut from the same cloth.

Every time Trudeau is interviewed he reminds us of that his Canadian alt-Liberal values are the values of all Canadians, despite having won less than 40% of the vote in the last election. While Trudeau has the right to speak for all Canadians as Prime Minister, he cannot pretend that everyone supports his wacky Liberal agenda. His smug paternal platitudes and explanations can best be described as 'people-splaining.' 
Like Trump, Trudeau shucks and jives, never facing the issue at hand, always reminding us how open effective, fair and fantastic his government is and how lucky we are to have him.

For those who continue to blindly support Trudeau, I want to remind you of his utter non-accomplishments or less generously, his failures.
Here from the Toronto Sun, here are 10 key promises Trudeau has broken since becoming PM on Nov. 4, 2015.
1: Revenue neutral middle-class tax cut
Trudeau said his middle class tax cut would pay for itself. It hasn’t. The tax cut is costing all Canadians $1.2 billion annually from the federal treasury, a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
2: Small business tax cut
Trudeau promised to lower the rate from 11% to 9%. He hasn’t.
3: Modest deficits
Trudeau said annual deficits over his first term in office would total $24.1 billion. Last week’s federal budget pegs them at $93.3 billion, an immodest increase of 287%.
4: Balanced budget
Trudeau said the budget would be balanced, with a $1 billion surplus, in 2019-20. Last week’s budget predicts the deficit in 2019-20 will be $20.4 billion, $18.7 billion deficit in 2020-21 and $15.8 billion in 2021-22. It gives no indication of when the budget will be balanced, if ever.
5: Reduce debt-to-GDP ratio
Trudeau promised this ratio, a key indicator of the government’s economic health, would be reduced from 30% to 27% by the end of his first term in office. Last week’s budget replaces this with a vague statement the ratio will be lower in 2020-21 than 2016-17, without specifics.
6: Revenue neutral carbon pricing

Trudeau said his carbon pricing plan would be revenue neutral for the federal government. This was misleading because his government is not lowering other federal taxes to offset new federal revenues gained from carbon pricing, which is the definition of revenue neutrality. Instead, Trudeau has set a mandatory national carbon price for provincial governments to implement, with no requirement that their carbon pricing schemes must be revenue neutral for them.
7: Reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions
Before the 2015 election, Trudeau and the Liberals said then prime minister Stephen Harper’s proposed emission cuts were inadequate. Post-election, Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said they were the “floor” on which the Liberals would build. Today, Harper’s floor is Trudeau’s ceiling since he hasn’t changed Harper’s targets.
8: Electoral reform
Trudeau said the 2015 election would be the last using “first past the post” balloting and would be replaced with some form of proportional representation. He has abandoned this promise.
9: Open and transparent government
The opposition parties complain Trudeau is proposing to reduce weekly parliamentary sittings from five days to four (eliminating Fridays), appear only one day a week to answer their questions, limit their power to delay legislation and give the government more time to answer their written inquiries.
10: Restore home mail delivery
Trudeau’s government is studying the issue, but his promise appears to have been downsized to not cutting home mail delivery any further, rather than restoring previous cuts.
And so while Trudeau supporters continue to buy into his fantasy, others are sounding the alarm.
Justin Trudeau’s support for more pipelines and oil sands drilling is at loggerheads with his image as Canada’s progressive heartthrob prime minister, according to a top environmentalist.
In an op-ed published Monday in The Guardian, founder Bill McKibben called Trudeau a “stunning hypocrite” on global warming. Link
Donald Trump is a creep and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite when it comes to climate change The Guardian
 For alt-Liberal Trudeau supporters, his drunken spending doesn't matter, his failed initiatives and broken campaign promises a trifle, all because he represents all what they had hoped for, a new type of politician, a populist akin to Donald Trump, where fantastic and impossible promises are a seductive alternative to cold-hard reality.

To those smug Trudeau supporting Canadians who look down on Trump supporters as gullible brain-dead losers, understand that you are one and the same...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Montreal Flood Victims Fail to Heed Mother Nature

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't buy my home in an area at risk of flooding, it just isn't worth it. We are hearing people say that this or that river hasn't flooded in fifteen years, so the risk is minimal, but for me once in fifteen years is once too often and if a location is at risk of flooding in adverse conditions, one must pretty much assume it is going to flood at one point in your life.
Each year urban flooding in Canada causes up to $2 billion in damage, yet less than 15% of homeowners carry flood insurance. While every prudent homeowner carries fire insurance, floods are actually a much bigger risk.

I sympathize with the plight of people losing their homes or suffering tens of thousands of dollars in damage, but I cannot understand their logic in buying a home at risk and being so naively unprepared.

Last year the town of Fort McMurray suffered a catastrophic forest fire that cost the city 2,500 dwellings and cost upwards of $2.5 billion in damage. While officials shrugged off the disaster, blaming Mother Nature I couldn't help but wondering how a city allowed itself to become so vulnerable.
Allowing forested areas to abut an urban center is just asking for trouble and a simple fire break ( a zone around the town where trees would be removed to stop any progression of fire) seems to be a solution that nobody thought about.
I cannot fathom the recklessness.

It seems that cutting a fire break (as shown in the above video) in Fort McMurray after the fire is a case of closing the barn door after the cows have escaped.

It all comes down to preparedness and I'm sorry to say that officials in Fort McMurray were negligent as are the various city officials and homeowners in Montreal who allowed themselves to be overpowered by a very predictable natural occurrence.

I am sorry to kick people when they are down, but the lack of preparedness is simply appalling.
Watching soldiers and citizens filling sandbags in a decidedly losing battle is depressing and sad and it had me wondering if this sandbagging is the only remedy.

Alas a quick tour on has shown me that homeowners could have bought many different emergency flood barriers that could very well save their homes from disaster.

There exists many different types of  flood barriers that can surround your house with little effort and require only the foresight to prepare and the willingness to spend money as a precaution.
A typical home can be surrounded with 4 inch protection for about $300 or about $900 per each foot high.
It sounds expensive if you need several feet of protection, but considering the cost of the damage, it's a bargain.
These barriers are self-inflating and can be erected in less than an hour.

Clearly areas that are flooded with five feet of water are beyond hope, but most flooded homes are subject to less than a foot of water and so homeowners could have saved their property with a little preparation.
I bet none of the flooded homeowners were even aware that they could have saved their homes with a simple solution.
And so flooded homeowners can blame the city, they can blame Mother Nature, but few are willing to blame themselves for being so naive about the flood risk and being so woefully unprepared to face the consequences.

Let me say this, if you buy a home in an at-risk flood zone, buy flood insurance, a couple of pumps and a flood barrier that can surround your home.
If you aren't prepared to do so, you are rolling the dice.
And as sure as night follows day, irresponsible flooded homeowners will demand that taxpayers bail them out for damages caused by their own stupidity.

As I said before, I feel bad for these people but when this ordeal is over, an honest  reassessment is in order.