Monday, December 28, 2020

Easy Enough to End Covid-19 Disaster by Early Spring

Crunching numbers is something I enjoy doing and I sometimes, just sometimes, uncover interesting facts that the media and the government ignore because it doesn't fit the narrative which they wish to disseminate.

Now that a vaccine or two are available the question begs as to how fast it can make a real difference and how many of us need to be vaccinated in order to end or severely limit the impact of the pandemic and eliminate the disastrous lockdowns.

Let's analyze the numbers in the chart here from England which closely resembles ours in terms of the demographics of the virus.

First, the most important statistic is that less than 10% of deaths related to Covid-19 occur in those under 60 years old and of those deaths less than 1% of the total Covid-19 deaths occur in under 60 year-olds with no underlying conditions.
This means that the youngest 80% of the population suffer around 15% of the Covid-19 deaths.

The numbers are quite shocking.

They reveal that by inoculating just 15% of the population, those over 70 years old, the effects on the rest of the population can be safely managed.

Let us remember that the average age of a Covid-19 death is around 83 years old and 55% of those hospitalized with the virus are over 70 years old who make up just 13% of Canada's population.

The government is talking about the end of  2021 as the date when all Canadians who want the vaccine can get it, but the worst results of the pandemic can be minimized by the very early Spring by vaccinating the most vulnerable, those over 70 years old. And so the numbers presented here easily demonstrate that if those over 70 years old are removed from danger, Covid-19 is not much more dangerous than the flu for the rest of the population.

Really, I'm not kidding.

Let us compare the nine months of the pandemic and put Covid-19 deaths side by side with flu deaths for the groups under 70 years. In Canada of the 15,000 deaths from Covid-19, 90% occurred in those 70 years-old and older. Doing a little math tells us that only around 1,500 deaths occurred in those under 70 years old and quite shockingly, this matches almost identically to the 1,430 deaths from flu in people under 70 years old reported in Canada in 2018 (for the whole year).

If we innoculate the 13% of us who are over 70 years old and for good measure, another million or so in the over 55 set who have serious underlying conditions like morbid obesity, hypertension or heart disease, we can get the pandemic down to an extremely manageable level.

Those who are still in jeopardy should govern themselves accordingly by masking up when going out and limiting outings to the very bare essential.

The economy could be unlocked and businesses and restaurants reopened. Hospitals would still have Covid-19 cases but the numbers manageable and the fatalities cut by 90-95%.

At the point where we've vaccinated the most vulnerable 15%, a lockdown is infinitely more damaging than the virus.
The increase in suicides, conjugal violence and drug and alcohol abuse aggravated by the lockdown would be abated and children would return to the much-needed routine of school.

The early Spring is when this could and should happen, but I get the sense that the government both federal and provincial are enjoying the situation where total control and fear make us dependant.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

What They Don't Tell You About Covid-19

Way back in the Spring I watched an interview with a young college type who was being chastised by a reporter for ignoring the rules by frolicking with like-minded Spring breakers on a Florida beach. He told the reporter that Covid-19 wasn't much of a danger to him and his fellow collegians and when challenged that he could be spreading the disease, he told the reporter that those in danger should stay home and isolate themselves.

What a Jerk! 

That's what I thought then but now have come to believe that he was absolutely right and despite the government and the media exhorting us to shut down our lives, the reality is that the policy of isolating our entire society is deeply flawed, based on erroneous conclusions, desperation and panic.

Now I'm not an anti-masker, anti-vaxxer or a conspiracy nut, just someone with above-average intelligence who enjoys sifting through reams of data to either validate or reject what officials are telling me to do.

 If you think that I'm an arrogant Besserwisser, someone who rejects government advice because I have a default right-wing paranoid distrust of authority, you are grossly mistaken. I have shared some conclusions through this blog that time has actually borne me out as often more accurate than what the government has peddled. This is partly based on the fact that I don't have a political agenda like that which forces officials to lie in order to protect what they believe is the greater good or in the worst case, their own greater good.
An example of this was the advice that masks were not necessary because of the shortage at the time and the fear that health workers would be deprived. It was perhaps sound public policy but a lie just the same.
I myself bought N95 masks on Ali-express (Chinese: Amazon) so that I wouldn't remove any from the supply here and it took a month to get them, but get them I did and I am still wearing them.
It is a tiny example of how the government makes decisions mostly in good faith but not always in the individual's best interest. 

When we were told back in the early spring by Health Canada and the laughable sadsack Dr. Theresa Tam that Covid-19 wasn't dangerous or likely to have a significant effect on the nation, I read the data coming out of China and concluded that we were going to be slammed. The data was clear to anyone who cared to study it with an open mind and Its logical conclusion that the virus was loosed upon the world and that there was no going back.
Our health minister Patty Hadju swore up and down that closing the border was actually counter-productive, an utterly stupid and foolish notion that the World Health Organization was pushing at the time.

Now I'm not saying that if we closed the border earlier, we would have done much better but the Health minister destroyed her credibility in stridently lecturing us about the counter-productive nature of such a border closure, just days before the Prime Minister, following Donald Trump's lead, did exactly that. Hadju and Dr. Thersa Tam embarrassed themselves by disseminating such harmful and irresponsible ideas and both should have been fired or resigned over their incompetence.

Of course, in their defence politicians and defenders tell us that the advice was based on the best science available at the time, which is a crock of bullshit.
While the Chinese were remiss in reporting the onset of the disease, once denounced by the rest of the world for harbouring the secret, China decided to open up its data including the genome of the virus which led to the rapid discovery of a vaccine. A trove of statistics related to transmission was made readily available. It was those facts and figures that were the basis of my conclusions, which could and probably was known to health agencies in the western world.
I'm actually sure that within Health Canada, there were those who knew the truth, that we'd be in for a monumental catastrophe. The experts and statisticians could analyze the data even better than I, but somewhere a political decision was made to downplay the unfolding disaster.

In a post I wrote on March 13, 2020, at the very onset of the pandemic, I described quite plainly what was coming and offered an opinion on what we should do. Remember, I wrote all this back in March.

"All the experts and all the health professionals know that we cannot stop Covid-19 dead in its tracks, that ship has sailed or never even was in port.
Restricting foreigners at airports may stall the propagation somewhat, but the virus is already here and will work its way through the population, no matter what.
The shutdown of public gatherings is useful only because it will slow (but not eliminate) the spread, giving our limited medical resources more room to react."....

"We must immediately impose a self-quarantine on everybody over 65 years old and those in vulnerable health categories. 

Seniors would be obliged to go into home self-quarantine where they would be forced to ride out the storm. Senior residences would be put on lock down with no visitors and employees would be restricted to working in just one senior residence, reducing contamination from one home to another."

Please read that entire post;

 The Government is Handling Covid-19 All Wrong...

I took my own advice, arranged my affairs, bought all the disinfectant and personal protective equipment needed for myself and my extended family and battened down the hatches, prepared to go underground for the duration.

So what else can I tell you that the government isn't eager for you to know, facts that I've concluded through painstaking data analysis? 

1. The Virus is almost no Threat to the Young

The virus poses a deadly threat to older people, by which I mean those over 80 years old who are particularly susceptible. Remove this demographic from the data and the pandemic is infinitely less dangerous.

In other words, let us as the Springbreaker told us, isolate as best the old and infirm and let the rest of society get on with life.

Here are some readily-available statistics that nobody in government or the media wants to present because the data contradicts the message they are peddling, that Covid is a danger to us all.

As of this date, there have been some 8,000 deaths due to Covid-19 in Quebec, not a number to be scoffed at for sure.
But out of all of those deaths, less than 50 deaths occurred in those aged less than fifty years old which is less than 1% of the total, and this includes the obese, hypertensive and otherwise immune-depressed within that group.
The under 50 years old demographic makes up almost 60% of our Quebec population and represent over 5 million people out of the 8.5 million living in Quebec. It is a stunning fact that nobody wants to admit publicly.

During the nine months of the pandemic and within this under 50 age group, historic statistics tell that about 250 people would have been killed in car accidents, in the same time period, making death by vehicle 5 times more likely than death by Covid-19.

For those of us under fifty, the measures imposed are causing more harm than good. Children are falling behind in their studies and their socialization is suffering immeasurably. For adults, the economic toll of losing one's livelihood is devastating and mental-health issues related to twiddling our thumbs at home exacerbated with reported conjugal violence, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse increasing. Locking down a group that has limited risk is a policy debacle enacted by panic.

2. The media is guilty of spreading panic
The media shoulders much responsibility in panicking the general public over Covid-19 by constantly focusing on the deaths of younger people, fathers, mothers, health workers and first-responders,
media attention that is incommensurate with reality.
The overwhelming majority of deaths occur in patients over 80 years old, those who are generally uninteresting to the media and so a distorted view is presented to the public. Every time the media airs or prints a story about some unfortunate 40'something  who died of Covid-19, they should also air 100 stories about an elderly patient killed by the virus,
It is the very definition of a "man bites dog" media event.

The same goes for reporting allergic reactions from the Covid-19 vaccine which serves only to panic those already jittery over the prospect of getting vaccinated.  Such disproportional media coverage reinforces the reluctance of trypanophobics and anti-vaxxers to accept getting vaccinated.
I suspect that if everyone in the general population were forced to drink a glass of milk the number of anaphylaxis reactions would be higher than with the vaccine

3. The Carnage in the senior residences will endure

The government cannot stop the slaughter in the old people's homes because the cat is out of the bag and remedial action to mitigate the carnage is futile. With seniors living in cramped quarters with personnel travelling between floors and indeed between residences, spread is inevitable and the same goes for any residence where many people are living communally like dorms, hospitals and religious orders.
The problem of senior residences is of course the reduced ability to fight the virus.

4. Asymptomatic transmission is simply not true

From the beginning, officials haven't really understood transmissibility and have erred on the side of caution by telling us that the virus can be spread by infected people not showing any fever or outward signs of infection.
But since the summer, health professionals, as well as government and even the World Health Organization, have concluded that asymptomatic transmission is simply not a problem,
In other words, people who don't demonstrate symptoms, but are infected do not pass on the virus.

"On June 7, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told a press conference that from the known research, asymptomatic spread was “very rare.” “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.” She added for emphasis: “It’s very rare.”

Are you shocked by that analysis? 
I certainly was when I read it. It means that if you are infected, yet exhibiting no outward signs of the virus, you are not a danger to others.


5. Mask-wearing in public protects you, not others

Over the course of the pandemic, the government has reversed itself a number of times over mask-wearing, much to the discredit of its reputation. First, they told us not to wear masks because they were unnecessary, then they told us that we should wear masks to protect others and now they tell us that mask-wearing protects everyone.
I encourage everyone to wear masks as a defence mechanism against idiots who go out in public knowingly infected. To that end, the government has encouraged us to wear flimsy cloth masks because at the time, they were fearful of a shortage of infinitely more effective N95 masks, essential for health care workers.
That shortage has passed and instead of encouraging us now to procure and use the more effective masks (which are now readily available and inexpensive,) the government has stayed criminally silent, likely because reversing itself one more time is a bridge too far vis-a-vis its credibility.
It's as foolish as going outside in winter wearing a flimsy Spring jacket when what is needed is a substantial winter coat. 
If you're going to wear a mask, wear an effective N95 mask and skip the flimsy cloth mask, even if others have adopted it as the norm. 
Remember, contrary to the foolishness the government is pedalling, wearing a mask is for your safety first.

6. More important than masks, the government should enforce public temperature checks

More important than masks is stopping those who are infected and displaying symptoms from mixing with the general public.
We all are aware of the covidiot couple who boarded a plane while the husband was knowingly sick and who promptly died in his seat, infecting many others around him.
His wife admitted that her husband was displaying symptoms yet decided to board anyways, underlining the fact that many among just don't give a hoot.
Had the airline done a simple temperature check at the gate, the symptomatic traveller would have been denied boarding. Checking temperature with a handheld wireless device is simple and fast. It should be done at the entrance to all public buildings and stores. The guy or gal who makes sure you are wearing a mask at the Loblaws entrance can easily check your temperature and eliminate all the sick and selfish morons who put their convenience ahead of public safety. 
China adopted this policy early in their pandemic to good effect and it surprises me that such a simple, fast and inexpensive tool is not being put to use.

7. Prompt action by the government over the vaccine would have saved ten of thousands of lives in the western world, including Canada

Once China released details about the genetic makeup of the vaccine, it took just two days to design a vaccine. Yup...two days.
The testing phase took months and months instead of years and indeed was rushed according to modern standards.
The testing consisted of giving one group of volunteers the real vaccine and another a placebo. All the volunteers were sent home and asked to live their normal lives.
After long months and months, researchers compared the data and concluded that the group that got the real vaccine were protected from the virus and contracted the disease up to 95% less than those volunteers who got the control fake vaccine.
But all these months-long, people were dropping dead at an alarming rate. In fact, hundreds of thousands died and now many are asking if the government did the right thing in refusing to take the "Challenge" testing route which would actually expose all the who got the real vaccine to the virus and see how they reacted.
While exposing young healthy volunteers to the real virus is deemed unethical, given the scale of the disaster it would seem that it was a risk that had to be taken, given that young people are almost never fatally affected by the virus.
Had volunteers been given the opportunity, (and perhaps $50,000) the efficacy of the vaccine would have been established in early summer.
Yes, there were risks, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

8. Health care workers need to stop carping about their workload and risk

I have enormous respect and admiration for health care workers but cannot abide by their carping about being over-worked and exposed.

We are in a battle against a virus that is as deadly as anything we have seen since an actual war. Whether they wanted to or not, they have been drafted to man the front lines, just as the young men who were sent off without any choice to the killing grounds of Europe in World War II.
I couldn't imagine those soldiers complaining about being overworked or missed vacation. 
In today's feminist world, nurses are being asked to share the burden of service and sacrifice.
It is undignified to carp and complain.

With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Here's hoping things will turn around quickly and we can get back to normal....

Friday, November 27, 2020

Quebec's Dangerous Language Fantasyland

Excited politicians anxious to smack down MP who insulted language dogma 
The language Ayatollahs of Quebec were up in arms once again, outraged that federal Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos called into question whether French was actually in decline in Quebec. The Quebec MP represents a linguistically and ethnically diverse Montreal riding and was roundly chastised for saying out loud what many of us think.
Unlike the little boy in the fable of the emperor who wore no clothes, her revelation wasn't exactly embraced, in fact, quite the opposite. Her missive was so toxic that politicians of every single political party ran for cover, distancing themselves from her as if she was radioactive. She was summarily dumped from a Parliamentary language committee for having the temerity of expressing a forbidden opinion,  summarily 'cancelled,' in the best tradition of the French revolution where those whose ideologies ran afoul of the mob were burned at the stake.
While we scoff and condemn extremist Muslim societies that persecute apostates, homosexuals, feminists and others who dissent, it is fair to ask if we ourselves are headed in that exact direction? 

At any rate, the missive was manna from Heaven for Quebec language militants, another opportunity to display moral outrage and somehow reclaim the high ground in the phoney language and cultural war. The predictable reaction was swift and hysterical, worthy of religious fanatics in dysfunctional Muslim countries who defend Islam as the only true faith. 

Blaming Canada in general and Quebec Anglophones, allophones and immigrants in particular for manufactured language slights has been the policy of the defeated sovereigntist movement ever since the last referendum. Carrying on the fight for independence, militants have had to pivot, recognizing that support for the independence option is at its nadir and so they hope to keep the embers of sovereignty alive by fanning the flames of manufactured language discontent. 

For the last forty years, sovereigntists have been alluding to an omnipresent evil English world cultural juggernaut which they purport will ultimately destroy Quebec, setting themselves up as David fighting the English Goliath in a game where the ultimate goal is not to win an unwinnable fight but rather to lose as loudly, painfully and humiliatingly as possible in an effort to raise the dormant hackles of Quebec francophones more interested in pursuing their daily lives in peace...and within Canada.
This strategy was invented by the infamous Dr. Camille Laurin, father of Bill 101, the language law he designed with built-in anti-constitutional clauses that were meant to engender the inevitable court reversals with the sole idea that these humiliating defeats would provoke outrage in the francophone community, boosting the chances of success in the upcoming referendums.

This victimhood strategy is tiresome and tedious and only persists because Canada indulges the fantasy. Like the Israeli government which is hamstrung by an ultra-religious minority that controls the balance of power with a meagre 10% of the voter base, Quebec leverages its position between Liberal Ontario and Conservative west to its advantage and wrests concessions beyond its demographic weight.

No federal political party dares challenge the fantasy of the supposed dire situation of French in Quebec and so the faulty concept of an imperiled language situation in Quebec has gone unchallenged on pain of cancellation. Miss Lambropoulos is proof.

I've written before about how Quebec language nationalists absolve themselves from responsibility to protect and promote their own language, preferring to blame everyone else.  The Quebec government and the entire political cadre, aided and abetted by the compliant media, continue to offer an utterly false language narrative, a fantasy easy to sell and indeed easy to buy, where 'les Autres' are cast as villains and the 'pur and dur' the protagonists, fighting the good fight.

The current language distortion cast by the sovereignty and language movement 'proving' that Quebec is under attack is the statistic showing French declining as the mother tongue as spoken in the home.
With 50,000 new immigrants arriving in Quebec each year, most of all who speak French outside the home but who have another mother tongue, usually Arabic or Spanish, it is inevitable that the statistic about mother tongue declines.
But it in no way indicates that French in Quebec is declining, rather it is the 'Quebecois pure stock' component of society that is declining, a fact that really offends militants but something they cannot allude to in public.
The French language in Quebec society actually remains stronger than ever despite efforts to disguise the fact through selective and self-serving statistics. Every day more people speak French than the day before and the critical mass required to maintain French as the social language is stronger than ever. 
For sovereigntists and language militants it is the ultimate inconvenient truth.

The latest language tiff was sprung by an idiotic article in Le Journal de Montreal that had as its premise the idea that getting served in French was harder and harder in downtown Montreal.
The reporter offered some very unscientific observations of her visits, failing to disclose exactly how the stores were chosen and whether they were pre-screened, which I imagine they were. 

Since the whole idea behind the article was to find fault, the likely faulty unscientific methodology was purposely left undisclosed and so the results are not only unreliable but downright deceptive.
But the conclusions were embraced by an eager media which ran the story because it fits neatly into its narrative and helps boost ratings, a useful distraction from the daily litany of bad news vis-a-vis Covid-19.
Utter nonsense.

Tell the big lie, rinse and repeat has been the go-to policy of the sovereignty movement for the last forty years.
The device invented by Adolf Hitler who in his book Mein Kampf described it as the "use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

To our astonishment, we've seen Donald Trump employ the 'big lie' to outrageously distort the truth about his election defeat. It is just stunning to see how many people choose to believe his nonsense in the face of the unbridled truth.

In Quebec, we are living the same phenomenon, a big lie that tells us French is declining in Quebec when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sadly our politicians and journalists, both French and English, are too weak to denounce the practice and fight for the truth.
Where is our Emile Zola to boldly tell the truth when all others shirk away from the responsibility?

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Comical Language Police Pathetically Out of Touch with Reality

Only the most militant language fanatic can abide by the farcical inspection of a restaurant over some flimsy complaint about an English language sign during these desperate and trying of times for the restaurant business.

While most language militants kept silent out of embarrassment, not so Quebec's most enduring xenophobic and Anglophobe, Gilles Proulx, who in a radio interview with Richard Martineau referred to the owner of Kitchen73, Carmine Anoia by name as a "cursed impudent who just got off the boat" ("Un maudit bel effronté qui debarque du bateau") Link{fr}  

An insulted Proulx made the reference again just for good measure, again complaining about "those who just got off the boat who don't care about Bill 101" He then issued another racist insult invoking the term Tête carrée" a slur against Anglophones which is akin to Anglophones using the term "Pepsi" to insult French Quebecers.

More than a comical blowhard. Proulx is a sickening racist
It goes to underline the level of Proulx's racism that he made his remark about Mr. Anoia based solely on the Italian sound of his name. In fact, Mr. Anoia assures me that he was actually born here. He was also none-to-pleased by Mr. Proulx's racist remarks over immigrants.

I guess Quebec remains the only jurisdiction in Canada or America where one can use this type of language on the radio without complaint or repercussion. I wonder how it would go over  on Montreal radio station CJAD if I as a guest referred to Francophone Quebecers as "Damned Pepsis!" I can imagine the level of rightly-deserved censure that would ensue and this from an outraged Anglophone radio audience. As for Mr. Martineau, he is guilty of racism by allowing these types of remarks on his show with a wink, wink, nod, nod, and nary an objection. Shame on them both.

This in a time when almost all restaurants are on the brink of failure due to the in-house dining room closures as a result of the pandemic. It is indeed a stressful and bewildering time for hitherto successful restaurateurs blindsided by circumstances that can only be described as a "Black Swan" event. Not only is the pandemic a critical financial blow, but it also is wrecking a dastardly psychological toll on everyone in the restaurant business. 

The very last thing these people need is an idiot inspector showing up to add insult to injury.

As you probably heard the OQLF conducted an inspection of this restaurant which was actually closed to indoor customers. The exasperated owner of Kitchen 73 unloaded on the sad-sack inspector sending her scurrying away in the best tradition of the Shawville reception afforded the OQLF  years ago.

"A posse of Shawville, Que., residents, fed up with being harassed about business signs, has run one of Quebec's language police out of town -- and the residents say that if they have to, they'll do it again.

"At this point we are taking a stand, because I'm no longer being made to feel guilty for being English in Quebec," says Lynn Wilson, co-owner of the H&R Block in Shawville, a predominantly English town of 1,500 about 80 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

"Come and take me away -- I don't care, do what you have to do. I'm not changing (my signs)."    Read the rest of the story

 The saddest part of it all is the mindset of the OQLF, completely out of touch with reality, actually insulted at its treatment of its inspector and the support shown the restaurant in the press and in social media.

So aggrieved was the agency that it felt necessary to defend itself on its website, actually playing the victim instead of the bully.

Here's a translation of what the OQLF had to say about the situation;

The Office québécois de la langue française deplores the fact that certain untrue information is currently circulating about the visit of an inspector from the Office to the Kitchen 73 restaurant. personal on social networks. [-]

The Office therefore wishes to point out that it did not issue a fine to the Kitchen 73 restaurant, nor did it request any corrections during its visit. The Office responded to a complaint that involved indoor signage, not the outdoor signage or company name.

The Office is fully aware of the context of COVID-19 and is making all necessary efforts to minimize its impact on its clientele. In addition, he always makes sure to make an appointment before carrying out an inspection. This is what was attempted in this case. Unable to reach the owner, the inspector went to the Kitchen 73 restaurant on the afternoon of Thursday, October 22 in order to carry out the required checks. Link{fr}

First of all, let me point  out the utter irony of the OQLF in referring to those restaurants inspected as "clients,' a reference as realistic as lambs being led into the slaughterhouse being referred to as 'customers.'

But the above OQLF defence shows how completely oblivious and insensitive the agency is to the reality of the current pandemic, where inspecting closed restaurants on the verge of catastrophe is deemed perfectly normal and where beleaguered owners are expected to offer business as usual cooperation. It is strictly beyond the pale

The QOLF maintains the fiction that it protects the Province not only from the insidious creep of English but other languages as well. This charade offers the agency the fiction that it is not purely an anti-English tool.

Not having learned its lesson from the infamous pastagate affair, the OQLF was at it again, attacking a Montreal Italian bakery for its use of the word "Granita".

 Read the story

The agency is especially fond of harassing Italian owned businesses, their second favourite target, next to  Anglos themselves. Italians are especially despised by the OQLF because although almost all are perfectly bilingual, they like the Jews of Quebec identify with the Anglo community and are staunch federalists.

Ans so the OQLF has a big problem with words like pasta or granita. It's amusing that restaurant words rooted in other languages are considered kosher cacher like egg rolls, dim sum, tacos, tapas, bibimbap, wonton, ceviche, fajitas, queso, chilli con Carne, etc.etc. The OQLF much prefers legitimate French translations of these 'foreign' dishes in the spirit of the  famous "OT CHIKEN" sandwich, a staple in rural Quebec dives.

Perhaps the agency would be more sensitive if half of their staff were furloughed and the other half had to work from home at half pay for the duration of the pandemic.
It might sensitize them to the reality that is the restaurant business across not only Quebec but the entire western world.
It may be time for opponents of the OQLF to organize and up their game.
Up to now we have been bitching and moaning with the few legal challenges led by Brett Tyler largely unsupported by the community both financially and morally.

I want to congratulate Carmine Anoia for showing a little backbone in kicking out the offensive inspector.
Nothing terrible will happen and if his establishment is fined, it will well be worth the publicity. 
I for one never heard of this restaurant beforehand and now will make it a point to patronize it. A $500 fine is peanuts compared to the publicity.
If all targeted merchants took a stand, the OQLF would be paralyzed. 
If we are not willing to take firmer action we deserve what we get.

Perhaps we should take note of the effect that the Black Lives Matter movement wrecked on American society with a few well-aimed acts of civil disobedience.

The Quebec government is painfully sensitive to being publically humiliated over language, especially internationally. The OQLF inspectors have had an easy time harassing merchants and should be confronted in a more meaningful manner.

In other words, it's time for us to put up or shut up.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Sorry.... French Quebecers Don't Really Care About Saving French

This post isn't about climate change, but let me preface it with this observation on that subject before I go on.

I often find myself embroiled in debate with climate change proponents who froth at the mouth when they discover my skepticism.
The holier-than-thou lecturers invariably descend into name-calling where I'm treated to various insults which usually includes the infamous 'denier' label, a pejorative inspired by the apostle Peter's denial of Jesus.

My reply is almost always the same. I simply ask these virtue-signallers how much cash they'd be willing to fork over each week to a national fund that would combat climate change.

That's right, how much would they personally commit to paying each week....$10...$20...$50....$100.
You should see their stunned faces. It's as if they never contemplated the question.
I have never had any of them answer quickly and decisively with an amount. It is as if they never considered the idea of paying themselves because climate change is always someone else's responsibility.

Of all the climate change blowhards that you know, how many have downsized their home, sold their car in favour of mass transit, cancelled vacations and given up air travel?
Have they renounced air-conditioning and given up or drastically curtailed meat consumption? Do they buy fewer clothes and manufactured products and do they buy only food locally grown even if more expensive?

The protection of the French language by Quebec francophones falls under the same hypocritical reality that I've described above.

Francophone Quebecers, even the most militant and vocal are not really prepared to lift a finger themselves to help boost their language. As climate activists, their plan is for others to do the heavy lifting while they shout instructions and encouragement from the relative safety of the peanut gallery.
Simply put Quebec francophones believe that despite French being under threat as they believe, responsibility for corrective measures falls on somebody else's shoulders and of course, therein lies the rub.

This post is dedicated to all the French language alarmists like Mathieu-Bock Coté, Richard Martineau and his insipid partner Sophie Durocher, Gilles Proulx and Regis Lebeaume et als as well as the OQLF, SSJB and MMF. 

Let's won't be pretty.....

The Quebec government is presenting its latest iteration of anti-English language measures crafted ostensibly to further promote and protect the French language.

"Quebec will open three new Office quebecois de la langue française (OQLF) offices, hire dozens of new employees and create a French-language accompaniment program to help certain businesses conform to Quebec’s language law, said Simon-Jolin Barrette in a Monday morning news conference.

“We have to be very clear. French is the common language and we need to give the resources to the OQLF to make sure the law is enforced and respected,” said Jolin-Barrette." Link

The language minister is huffing and puffing publicly about the addition of a paltry five million dollars to the OQLF budget, the Quebec agency entrusted in enforcing Bill. 

Proponents on both sides of the language debate have been roused to spirited debate by this announcement ushering in the latest flame-war in the never-ending polemic.

Comedian Sugar Sammy, a poster boy for immigrant children forced into French schools is the embodiment of the reality that while you can lead a horse to water, you cannot make him drink. Flawlessly bilingual, his act roasts Quebecers, English, French and Allophones in both French and English shows.
Sophie Durocher, columnist at Le Journal de Montreal blasted the comedian for the tweet as if he attacked the very soul of Quebec by humiliating the idea of adding more money to the OQLF in times where businesses are dropping like flies.

She then went on to invite him onto her radio show where she'd no doubt lambast him some more but refusing the bait Sugar Sammy told Durocher where to stuff the invite in no uncertain terms.

He tweeted this back to her....

"Even though I've been out of the country for five years I still remember what to avoid in Quebec.
1. Columnists like you.
2. Carbs.

Ha! Ha!

At any rate, the pro and con positions made a big splash in the newspapers but the debate missed the point entirely, which is that the announcement is an exercise in "sound and fury, signifying nothing' as Shakespeare so eloquently described in Macbeth. For a government agency, five million dollars doesn't buy lunch. The idea that it can in any way shape or form make a difference is ludicrous, the government knows it, you know and I know it. 

The obsession with Bill 101 is promulgated by the belief that it is necessary for the preservation of the French language in Quebec an idea which has been driven by generations of politicians and language advocates hammering home the message over and over again, to the point where it is considered sacrosanct in the francophone community, even amongst the less militant.

But Quebec's obsession with Bill 101 can be explained by the selfish desire to have a law protect their language, relieving ordinary folks from any responsibility to take up the task. In other words, why fight the fire yourself when a perfectly adequate fire department is available.

But this bedrock concept that French be protected through legislation is not a given as we'd been led to believe. Denmark, who's Danish speaking population of similar size to Quebec Francophones find themselves in almost an identical predicament, yet eschew the notion that legislation is necessary. Instead, the Danish government promotes the idea that it is the responsibility of each Dane to use and promote its own language to protect it. 

"The Danish Culture Ministry has announced that there is no need to pass language protection laws in Denmark at this time, but that other steps should be taken to protect the Danish language.

According to the Copenhagen Post Online, the announcement marks the conclusion of a special government committee investigation into whether or not the use of English is threatening the future viability of Danish.

Although the report released by the committee did not recommend that any new laws be passed to protect Danish, it did recommend steps that the Danish people should take to help preserve their native tongue. For example, the report stressed the “duty” of Danes to preserve the language in their homes and in their schools." 


Unlike Quebec, the Danes believe that the protection of their language rests on the shoulders of its Danish-speaking natives, while Quebec believes that it is the minorities and the English who need to embrace French to protect the language and in Quebec's case, its culture.

As Quebec faced a population decline it boosted immigration of French-speaking immigrants, largely drawn from the French-enabled Maghreb hoping to fill the breach.

While these largely Muslim  immigrants speak French, they have stubbornly refused to give up their religion and faith. Planners believed that over a couple of generations these immigrants would adopt Quebecois customs as well as language, but it hasn't quite worked out. Maddeningly, these immigrants have kept their faith, their customs and more and perhaps worst of all, embraced Canadian federalism.

A bitter pill for desperate language nationalists and governments who have proposed and enacted stricter provisions in the law as its effectiveness over time is seen as wanting.

But the French language in Quebec cannot be saved by immigrants and Anglos adopting French.
Like the Danish proposal, it is up to Quebec francophones to save their own language if indeed it needs saving.
Alas, such is not the case because quite frankly Quebec francophones are just not interested in putting forth the effort required to save their own language. It is that simple, painful truth that is never discussed, a dirty secret best left under the rug.

And so the entire language debate blaming Anglos and ethnics for the perceived weakened position of the French language in Quebec is constructed to cast blame away from francophones who are shockingly lackadaisical, indifferent and utterly uninterested in making an effort on their own.

If Quebec francophones were serious about saving their language they could accomplish the goal by;

  • Getting 63% of Francophones to vote for sovereignty in a new referendum after which a successful outcome, declare independence and totally ban English  
  • Have all francophone native women undertake to have three children to patriotically ensure survival of the race. This would totally negate the need for those cursed immigrants who are perceived as the major threat to French in Quebec
  • Somehow appeal to francophones not to embrace 'foreign' English culture. Last year I looked at the acts playing at the Bell Centre in Montreal and 90% were performing in English. In fact there were much more English Canadian acts than French Canadian acts (so much for the old canard that English Canada has no culture.) If francophones want to preserve their culture, they should be taught from a young age to promote and support their own artists. 
  • Francophones need to boost their own language skills considering the pitiful state of affairs where the majority of new teachers on the francophone side can't pass a simple written French test.
  • Francophones should voluntarily stop attending English schools, cegeps and universities in the name of preserving the preeminence of the French education system. Proposed laws banning the crossover are cited to contain allophones from attending English schools, but francophones are flooding English schools as well.
  • Discontinue the practice of new companies from adopting English names and discontinue the practice of  adopting English names for products run by and created by francophones.
  • Stop listening to English music on the radio or streaming services and stop watching Netflix in favour of homegrown francophone media.

Have you ever heard a language activist propose the above? Ha!

All these measures should be embraced voluntarily by Quebec francophones if the desire to protect and nurture the French language and culture in Quebec is real. Coercive laws would not be necessary.

Not interested? I fear not.

Then francophones need to shut up about language and live with the consequences. 

It isn't our job as anglos and ethnics to save your language if you aren't willing to lift a finger yourself.