Saturday, March 17, 2018

Canada to send aging Sea King helicopter fleet to Mali

Top brass at the Canadian Forces have been at wit's end about what to do with their fleet of obsolete Sea King helicopters now that their replacements are coming on stream, a mere 25 years late. Now a win-win solution to the conundrum has presented itself.

The decrepit fleet is to be gifted to the UN mission to restore freedom and democracy to Mali, a benighted land-locked African "shit-hole" nation that has proven remarkably impervious to both freedom and democracy.

The fleet of 18 Sea Kings includes three whirly-birds believed to be fully operable, and the remainder are considered "parts" vehicles. The Canadian contribution to the UN mission will include 750 maintenance technicians tasked with keeping those three operable choppers in the air.

Mali has been over-run with terroristic types ever since the Canadian-led mission to restore freedom and democracy in neighbouring Libya concluded in 2011. It is believed that the mission will last at least until the last Canadian-owned gold mines in the country are completely worked out.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A drive to Tobermory in winter

I've been making a slow rebound from that nasty flu that's been going round, and the Farm Manager's been keen to get out of the house, so this morning she says, hey why don't we take a tour up the Peninsula.

I'm as sick of my company as she is, so I said, why not?

And away we went! First stop Wiarton, to ransom my Globe and Mail from the Korean extortionist. We were hardly out the drive when the CBC news comes on. Top story; Donny J admits to making shit up in his meeting with Justin a few months ago.

How is this the top story? How is Donald Trump pulling a whopper out of his ass even newsworthy? According to the Toronto Star's official Trump Fib Tracker Daniel Dale, Trump is up to 1,314 whoppers as of today. Trump lying is the top story? Surely there are more newsworthy goings on in the world.

Got our Globe, grabbed a pie at New Orleans, and up the Highway 6 we went. Turned off at Colpoys Bay road and headed for Lion's Head.

A hundred years ago the north shore of Colpoys Bay was totally built up all the way from Wiarton. This area was home to a major fishery at the time. In fact, fish from here went all over the world in those pre-globalization days. Entire trainloads of frozen fish departed Wiarton multiple times per week, in an era when you froze fish by storing ice from the bay year round.

Then another unintended consequence of global trade, the sea lamprey, decimated the fishery. Wiarton has yet to recover.

But it's hanging on. It's the last chance to pick up a Globe and Mail before you head up the Bruce. And while there's a couple of liquor stores further north, the Wiarton Foodland is an essential pitstop if your diet gets fancier than hotdogs and KD.

Went through Lion's Head, circled back to Highway 6 because I wasn't keen on trying the Forty Hills Road in winter, and ended up in Dyer Bay. That's a quaint enough cottage community just past the middle of nowhere. Still, a half decent waterfront shack is gonna run you half a million or more.

From there we made our way to Tobermory. I popped into the local grocery and came out with a bag of plums from Chile. $1.99/lb. Under five bucks for a bottle of Aquafina (tap) water and a bag of plums in the dead of winter.

Is this free trade thing  great or what!?

In the Globe there's an opinion piece by Jeff Rubin called "Has global trade liberalization left Canadians behind?" Rubin used to be the top economist at CIBC. He's saying today what I've been saying since the middle eighties... "left behind" is way too kind... left for dead is more like it.

But then, it's one thing to figure this out in 2018 as a big-time economist. Maybe somebody will pay attention.

When I was saying the same thing in 1988 I was a shop-floor workee... what the fuck would those guys know? Anyway, the horses are so long out the barn its beyond ludicrous to think you're gonna corral them now.

Stayed on the no. 6 all the way back. The FM remarked on what a boring drive it was, and she wasn't even driving. She's right though. I've done this drive a hundred times and the only time it's interesting is if you're the last car off the ferry in Tobermory but the first car to reach Wiarton.

That's how accidents happen, she says.

Why Israel will avoid a direct show-down with Hezbollah

Much has been made of the alleged "increased tensions" in the Middle East, due in no small part to both Israeli and US meddling in Syria. The more paranoid factions of the punditocracy see an Israeli or combined Israel-US assault on Hezbollah in Lebanon as imminent, especially in light of Mr. Netanyahu's dire straits vis-a-vis those various corruption investigations.

It won't happen, and here's why. That number is from two years ago. Unofficial estimates have the Hezbollah arsenal at well over 200,000 rockets today, and we're not talking about the homemade stuff the Gaza rocketeers lob into the Negev on a regular basis. We're talking about the real deal.

If you assume a best case scenario wherein the various Israeli anti-missile defences, Iron Dome, David's Sling, and the Arrow program, all function flawlessly, they could be expected to be effective against an initial barrage of a few hundred incoming. They'd be less effective going forward, and they'd essentially be a non-factor after a few thousand, which in the case of all-out war would be a matter of hours.

Then what? Even if the IAF managed to take out half the Hezbollah arsenal in a massive first strike, that'll leave a hundred thousand missiles and Israel with it's missile shield spent. Political rhetoric aside, IDF leadership will never permit this.

What we're looking at is a regional case of MAD lite. There may be proxy battles here and there, but there will not be a head-on confrontation.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Great to know your pacemaker has a ten year warranty...

I was down in Guelph today visiting with my dear father, who is 85 and just had a pacemaker installed. He was pleased to inform me that the pacemaker comes with a ten year warranty.

Let's think about this. Your pacemaker has a ten year warranty, but it quits after two years...

What are you gonna do?

Well, most likely you're gonna do nothing because if your pacemaker fails you're most likely gonna be dead! Shit, they might as well give it a fifty year warranty... who's coming back to claim the warranty after their pacemaker stops?

But it was a lovely visit. He's looking great. Getting a pacemaker used to be a big deal but today you're in and out in a few hours.

Nice opportunity to catch up on the family news. Nephew Sam has found a college course the curriculum of which runs from whitewater rafting to mountaineering.

I know! That used to be shit you did for fun in your spare time!

Now it's a college program? If they'd had that in my day I might have stuck around a bit longer.

And his brother Parker has been accepted at Trent.

I don't mind Trent at all. My daughter spent a couple of years there. In fact, I once delivered her from her Mom's house in Guelph to her dorm at Trent in a minute under two hours. Considering that mere mortals more often than not require over two hours just to traverse the City of Toronto West to East I found that a remarkable accomplishment.

I think they've still got Michael Neumann on staff. I've never met Michael but we've exchanged emails over political stuff. Here's why he should have the undying respect of anyone who cares about truth and justice.

That alone is a good reason to choose Trent.

After getting caught up on family news I had lunch with my dear son Jake. Sometimes I worry about him. He's a bit of a character. Takes after his old man a bit too much for my liking, although he's at least a hundred times more talented than me.

So he finally gives up the straight skinny on what really happened when his band got the slot at the Hillside Festival.

I was there. I knew what happened.

But it was nice to hear it from him.

Four dorkshit wannabee rockstars get a chance to play Hillside!

On hearing this great news they immediately proceed to halve their practice time and double their party time!

Ketamine, MDA, acid, and of course lots of pot and beer for the next two months... they're rock stars now, don't you know?!

Ya, I know. I saw the show. At the time I thought you idiots just blew the chance of a lifetime.

Good to hear Jake concur.

He did offer a post-script, though. He'd set up a web-site for future bookings. By the time he got around to checking it two months later the five bookings they'd garnered as a result of their Hillside show were all in the past.

Lesson for aspiring rock stars; keep your wits about you.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Meet Doug Ford, next preem of Ontario

This will no doubt have the media bed-wetters in a tizzy. After all, Doug is the slightly more stable brother of former crack-head TO mayor Rob Ford, and surely you remember how relentlessly our "free press" hounded him to death.

In fact, Toronto Star intern Dan Dale did such a bang-up job on the Ford file that the Star dispatched him to Washington, complete with an actual paycheque and expense account, to become the official Donald Trump Fib Tracker.

Why a money-losing Canadian news platform would consider that a useful deployment of their dwindling resources is a question you'd have to ask them.

But back to Ford. Rob was relentlessly portrayed as a racist and misogynist bigot across the spectrum of our mainstream media.

That was mostly fake news.

Take a gander at this video of Rob Ford's funeral.


I see brown people galore paying their respects to the racist. And women too!

Frankly, I didn't believe Doug could pull this off, but the Conservative leadership race was such a shit-show that anything was possible.

And here we are. Doug was the only candidate who had a chance at unseating Wynne. She could have easily whupped those females candidates, but Doug Ford is a new game.

Doug Ford will be the next premier of Ontario.

The terrible burden of white privilege

Embarrassing shit can happen when white folks get woke. Take this for example;


Ms. Downs is Superintendent of Schools for School District 74 in British Columbia.  According to the BC sunshine list, she pulled down $158,530 in 2016 for doing whatever it is that school board bigs do, which near as I can tell involves a lot of liaising with other educrats to invent bullshit reasons for why their graduates can't read or write and struggle with grade-school math.

You'd think that if Ms. Downs was truly troubled by her white privilege she'd do the right thing and step down. After all, for a school district that is 60% native Canadian, there's got to be some capable aboriginal candidates around willing and able to do the job.

Instead, we're treated to this fatuous exercise in virtue signalling.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

How much "meritocracy" is too much?

The topic of income and wealth inequality is somewhat in vogue these days. Apparently, as income inequality rises, so does a lot of other stuff; crime, depression, infant mortality rates, and so on.

The voices of those clamoring that "something must be done" about this are inevitably drowned out by those determined to maintain the status quo. After all, every voice you read or hear comes to you via a medium owned by a billionaire. You don't seriously believe these folks are gonna beshit their own nest, do you?

That relentless barrage of pro-billionaire bullshit is why, stats be damned, every good sensible American knows in their heart that the rich deserve their riches. They're smarter than the poor, and they work harder, or their parents or grandparents did, or something. After all, if you worked as hard as, say, Steve Schwartzman, you too could be a billionaire!

I mention Steve only because of a headline making the rounds about his so-so year. Sure, that's a lot of money, but it's by no means a record in the world 'o hedgies, who as a group, are obviously the smartest and hardest-working motherfuckers on the planet!

Just to put Steve's boodle in perspective, I calculated how long it would take me to make 785 millions at Ontario's plump new business-killing minimum wage of $14 per hour.

It would take me 28,000 years.