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July, 2011:

Quebec or Bosnia : who has safer public infrastructure?

Honestly, after reading this, I think I’d take Bosnia over one of the Montreal bridges, overpasses or tunnels…

What a shame. And disgrace.

But look y’all, before we in the RoC start feeling all smug-like, start looking at the condition of some of the streets etc. in your neck of the woods. Many of us are not that far behind QC, infrastructure crisis-wise…

Big bills coming up… just saying…–large-concrete-slab-collapses-in-montreal-tunnel?bn=1


Chillin’ at a KOA…


Great place to camp if you’re not too into rustic…

Great weekend so far!!!


Friday miscellany – Liz, cowboys, Arsenal and a cottage

1. Elizabeth May’s sudden crusade against Wi-Fi has disappointed me. I had thought she would latch on to an environmental issue that was beyond reproach. The tar sands. GHGs. Volatile organic compounds. Food safety. She had a lot to choose from.

But no. She picks an issue which may or may not actually be an “issue”.  The studies that are out there that associate Wi-Fi electromagnetics and carcinogens are  inconclusive, IMHO.

Writing on her Twitter account (@ElizabethMay), the Green Party Leader said she was glad not to have WiFi at home, and joined ranks with parents who are concerned about the increased access to wireless Internet hookups in schools across Canada.

“It is very disturbing how quickly WiFi has moved into schools as it is children who are the most vulnerable,” said Ms. May.

Faced with critical reactions from some of her 28,700 followers, Ms. May said the World Health Organization lists electromagnetic frequencies as a “possible human carcinogen.”

“I do not act without scientific info,” she said, as she called on Canadian authorities to adopt stronger controls on WiFi that are in place in Europe.

The jury is still out, as far as I am concerned. And Liz should know this rather than playing on the fears of those who have not done their own research into the issue.

2. The Baseline Cowboys are a bunch of guys who haul their couch out to the edge of baseline Road in Ottawa every Wednesday. They drink beer, wave to traffic and generally just have a good ol’ time. This past week, they held a vote on Facebook to determine to which charity they should donate their (and anyone else’s) empty beer bottles. The Christie Lake kids camp won out.

So, on Wednesday collect your empty beer, wine,  and your loose change and pony up at the Beer Store  parking lot of College Square shopping centre (at Baseline and Woodroffe).  The Cowboys will be there all afternoon (2-6) to accept your donations for Christie Lake Kids.

Good guys. And a good cause.

3. Only a couple of weeks until Arsenal’s first fixture against Newcastle! Here’s hoping for some silverware this year! Picking up Gervinho might be a good move, but what we really need is help in the centre backfield. C’mon Wenger! I don’t think we fans can forgive yet another year without a trophy!

4. In case I haven’t been clear enough, Rob Ford, and his brother, are DOOFUSES (sp?)!

5. Off camping this weekend and then back here to do some laundry before heading out to P Sound for the week! Many thanks to my bro and sis-in-law for inviting our motley crew to their cottage! Gonna be a blast! I’ll try to post an entry or two while there (think fishing tales), but no guarantees.

6. Good luck, Mr. Layton…


The T.O. Fords – one buffoon deserves another…

buf·foon [buh-foon]


1. a person who amuses others by tricks, jokes, odd gestures and postures, etc.
2. a person given to coarse or undignified joking.

So, Rob Ford is an example of a gene pool gone wrong terribly … right? We can agree on this, correct?

If you doubt that at all, then look no further than his Councillor brother… supposedly the smarter of the two. Dougie has decided to take on Margaret Atwood over comments she has made about the City considering the closure of some library branches.

If things were not bad enough for the mayor’s camp, his brother, Councillor Doug “The Smart One” Ford, poured oil on the book pile by declaring he would close at least one Etobicoke library in a “heartbeat.” Reminded that novelist Margaret Atwood had joined a save-the-libraries campaign, he declared that “she could walk by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is.” It did not help that he has the habit of dropping one of the R’s when he says “libraries,” pronouncing it “lie-berries.”

The next day, he tried to explain himself to Global News. “What I was saying is, everyone knows who Margaret Atwood is. But if she were to come up to 98 per cent of the people, they wouldn’t know who she was. But I think she’s a great writer and I look forward to her input.” Ms. Atwood must be grateful for the endorsement.

No, Dougie. You are wrong. Ninety-eight per cent of the people wouldn’t have a clue who you are outside your those on your own street!And they probably think you’re a jerk too!

And if you have ever picked up and read any of her works, I’ll buy myself a membership to the CPC!

Furthermore, he stated that Ms. Atwood has no right to criticise the closings because she wasn’t elected to Council.

“She’s not down here. She’s not dealing with the problem,” he went on to say. “Tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected.”

So Councillor, non-elected taxpaying citizens don’t have a right to stand up against policies that are not agreeable to them???

Whatta joke these guys are… do I hear the words – “one term Mayor”??

Rob and Doug - having a "moment"...


YES! Two smoking cessation aids now part of Ontario Drug Benefit Plan!!

This is great news!

When I quit 7 years ago, I used Zyban, the patch, nico-gum… everything I could get my hands on! And they worked!

Fortunately, the costs were covered under my drug plan… but most folks aren’t so lucky.

Lower future health care costs will many times over pay for the costs of this forward thinking initiative!

Now how is Hudak and his merry band of nay-sayers going to react to this? I mean, how can you argue against it? Win-win, right?

Naw, they’ll come up with some kind of distorted view of this… par for the course.

Kudos to the Ontario Grits for the timing of this announcement. Ol’ Tim is kinda being bounced around because of his sloppy handing of the abortion funding issue. Strike while the iron is hot, eh?


Gotta love those who read and comment in the T.O. Sun…

Be sure to not eat anything before reading this that you don’t want to see again in a few minutes.

I can’t believe that I’m of the same species as these scum.

Yeah, scum. pond scum. The scum you scrape off rotting deli meat. I’m talking about YOU!


An apt depiction of Rupert Murdoch

From a fine website called Think Progress.

I’d love to take the axe to that tentacle on the right!


Norway = steadfast

At a simple ceremony at Oslo’s cathedral, a characteristically austere building surrounded by flowers and candles left by mourners, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg seemed to express the country’s mood of defiant grief.

“You should know that we’re crying with you. We feel for you… I am proud of living in a country that has managed to stand up on its feet in such a critical time… We are still horrified over what happened. But we will never give up our values.”

Mr. Stoltenberg repeated his call to defy the terrorist’s anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism rage by reinforcing those very values: “Our answer is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity – – but never naivety,” he told the congregation.

I hope our fellow northern nation can resist the calls made by those who feed on and profit by fear. Don’t go down the path that we Canadians have been striding through lately. Stick to the values that have made you a respected nation in the international community. Do not abandon them in the face of fear.


Using real figures to show something…

I commented on Twitter yesterday that some were taking the Oslo tragedy as an opportunity to push forward certain right-wing agendas.

And please don’t tell me that open carry and anti Gun Registry proponents are not unique to the right. There may be a few exceptions – but damned few.

Over at wmtc, they took it one step further and tore down the straw-man that the anti Registry and pro open carry advocates were making. Please go over and take a look.

And, just because of how I tick, I dd a bit of research and yeah, the figures cited are correct. At 10.9 gun deaths / 100,000, Texas is in the middle of the pack in the U.S. on this count.

And here’s a country by country table (again, / 100,000 of the pop.). Some of the sources are quite dated, but I don’t believe any are too far out of whack.

Country↓ Total firearm-related death rate↓ Homicides↓ Suicides↓ Unintentional deaths↓ Year↓ Sources and notes↓
 South Africa 74.57 74.57 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Colombia 51.77 51.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Thailand 33 33 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Guatemala 18.05 18.05 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 United States 15.22 7.07 7.35 0.59 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Brazil 14.15 10.58 0.73 0.28 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Estonia 12.74 8.07 3.13 0.93 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Mexico 12.07 9.88 0.91 1.27 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Philippines 9.46 9.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Argentina 9.19 2.11 3.05 0.32 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Paraguay 7.35 7.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Finland 6.86 0.86 5.78 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Northern Ireland 6.82 5.24 1.34 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Switzerland 6.4 0.58 5.61 0.13 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 France 6.35 0.44 5.14 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Canada 4.78 0.76 3.72 0.22 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Zimbabwe 4.75 4.75 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Austria 4.56 0.42 4.06 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Norway 4.39 0.3 3.95 0.12 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Portugal 3.72 1.28 1.28 0.21 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belgium 3.48 0.6 2.56 0.06 1990 Krug 1998[3]
 Costa Rica 3.32 3.32 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Uruguay 3.24 3.24 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Slovenia 3.07 0.35 2.51 0.2 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Barbados 3 3 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Israel 3 0.72 1.84 0.13 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Italy 2.95 1.66 1.11 0.11 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Australia 2.94 0.44 2.35 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 New Zealand 2.66 0.17 2.14 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Denmark 2.6 0.23 2.25 0.04 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Sweden 2.36 0.18 2.09 0.03 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Slovakia 2.17 2.17 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Czech Republic 1.77 1.77 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Germany 1.57 0.22 1.17 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Greece 1.5 0.59 0.84 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Azerbaijan 1.47 1.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Republic of Macedonia 1.28 1.28 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Kuwait 1.25 0.36 0.06 0 1995 Krug 1998[3]
 Hungary 1.21 0.23 0.88 0.09 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Ireland 1.21 0.03 0.94 0.11 1991 Krug 1998[3]
 Latvia 1.2 1.2 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 India 100 100 NA NA 2011 UNODC 2000[1]
 Spain 0.9 0.21 0.43 0.25 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Bulgaria 0.77 0.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Netherlands 0.7 0.36 0.31 0.01 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Scotland 0.58 0.19 0.33 0.02 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Moldova 0.47 0.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Lithuania 0.46 0.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Taiwan 0.42 0.15 0.12 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belarus 0.38 0.38 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Ukraine 0.35 0.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Poland 0.29 0.29 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 England/ Wales 0.46[3] 0.38 0.07[3] 0.15 0.03[3] 0.2 0.01[3] 0.03
 Singapore 0.24 0.07 0.17 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Hong Kong 0.19 0.12 0.07 0 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Mauritius 0.19 0 0.09 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Qatar 0.18 0.18 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 South Korea 0.13 0.04 0.02 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Japan 0.07 0.02 0.04 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Chile 0.06 0.06 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]


Canada’s right – many are narrow minded and reactive hypocrites

I might have more to say about this later, but for now I just want to highlight the idiocy of some on the right of the spectrum here in Canada.

Yesterday, when the news broke about the tragedy in Norway, the response by many in the Twitterverse, blogosphere and in the comments sections of news articles was overwhelmingly vitriolic against Muslims.

“Send them back.” “This is what happens when you let those people into your country.” “Bomb them to hell.”

Crap. It was nasty.

And this judgement was made despite the fact that there was no evidence that an Islamic group was involved. None.

And the worst of the lot on Twitter were the usual right-wing morons who always like to spout hate. If you follow Twitter, you know who they are.

But this morning, where have all the anti-Islam Tweets gone?

Now that details are leaking out, it looks like the Oslo terror may have been the work of a Christian fundamentalist or someone on the far right.

So now I assume we’ll see lotsa anti-Christian Tweets, right?

Didn’t think so.

Bloody narrow minded hypocrites.