Saturday, April 11, 2009

CAW Screws its Members Out of Jobs!!!

This is actual breaking news that I've heard tonight straight from the horse's mouth. I was trying to find some sources to quote but I was, as of yet, unable to find any.

A GM dealership called Gravel in the upscale city of Iles-Des-Soeurs, just outside of Montreal, was on the verge of closing its doors and laying off all its employees. When the owner of said dealership decided to sit down with the people from whom he leases the land and the workers (sales, maintenance, administration) from his dealership and lay it all down.

He told them that if they could pay a lower price for the lease for the next twelve months and the workers accepted a 10% percent cut, he could manage to keep the dealership open and try to weather out the economic storm. Everyone agreed, from the landlord down to the receptionist.

When the workers of the dealership presented the plan to the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union) to have them work out the details, they refused. Stating that it would set a dangerous precedent for other dealership owners to cut wages across the board. Basically telling these workers that they would have to lose their jobs instead of taking a pay cut.

Who the heck is this union working for anyways? Maybe someone can explain it to me because my basic understanding of a union was that it was there to protect its members, not to have its own agenda and not help their members keep their jobs.

The case is now being heard in Quebec courts. I really hope the workers win because they probably have families to feed and were happy to keep their jobs. 90% of something is better than 100% of nothing, you'd think the largest private sector union in the country would understand that, seeing as how everyone else does.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Burma: A blog award for Ashin Mettacara

By Muchacho Enfermo ( the blog of Burmese Buddhist monk in exile Ashin Mettacara has been nominated for yet another international award. The Chapeau Blog Awards for most brilliant blog. The grand prize is $2000 (US) for the blog voted by the people as being the most brilliant.

Ashin’s network of sites started from his blog and now extends to his news site with contributors and editors from the four corners of the globe and to a social networking site called His message of peace and justice, his relentless fight for human rights and his quest to give a voice to the voiceless is being recognized by organizations such as Chapeau and in the past he has won other international prizes such as the Weblog Award for Best Asian Blog.

These awards are evidence that the social conscience of many people is being touched by the work of Ashin and his supporters. They are also a great way to raise awareness about Burma and other places on earth that may not enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the rest of us. I encourage all of you to follow the simple instructions below to vote in the Chapeau Blog Awards and with your vote help Ashin bring a voice to the millions who currently don’t have one.

Voting Instructions:
1- Visit:
2- Click on BECOME A VOTER
3- Fill out the form with your desired name and VALID email address
4- You must refer at least two other people in order to validate your registration.
5- Chapeau will contact you once voting begins.

Again, I encourage all of you who read and enjoy this site, that believe in freedom of press, thought, belief and expression to vote and tell others about this vote. Your voice can help thousands worldwide please show your support by signing up.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

My tax dollars at works Part 3

This time it isn't the politicians, nor is it the police... not even close. This time it's the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), Canada's tax collection agency, that misused my tax dollars. The people we entrust to audit the country's citizens and its corporations, the people that we charge with finding people trying to rob the tax-payers and defraud our government of money destined to social service and the running of this very country.

2 arrests were made yesterday in Revenue Canada's Montreal office, for allegedly falsifying tax documents to help a Montreal construction magnate funnel 1.7 million dollars into two inactive companies. The money seemed to be destined for Switzerland and the Bahamas. Two other CRA employees were suspended today in conjunction with the internal investigation that followed the arrests.

As stated in the Globe and Mail: "construction magnate Tony Accurso “funnelled close to $4.5-million” to Mr. Bruno's numbered company, 3703436 Canada Inc., and another firm co-owned by Mr. Bruno, Entretien Torrelli Inc." ... "The two companies have no commercial activities, are inactive" ... "The resulting tax savings are shared by the scheme's participants to use as payoffs or for personal gain."

This isn't the first time Mr Accurso's name is linked to politician or alleged wrong-doings. Montreal councilor Frank Zampino had been on trips to the Caribbean with him prior to Zampino awarding his company a lucrative city contract.

The level of corruption in our institutions is staggering. We currently have a public hearing into alleged money taken by a former Prime-Minister from a shady businessman, we've had the sponsorship scandal and now we have the tax authorities committing tax fraud.

I am thoroughly disappointed and hope that the media stays on top of this one. An internal probe into wrong-doing by the very organization where said wrong-doing originated from just isn't enough for me. It's high time that my tax dollars did more for me than employ corrupt employees and give them a fat pension fund.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

All the reason I need

People sometimes ask me why I’m so hung up on Cuba, let’s face it: I write about it almost as often as I write about Canada. For those very few people that know who I actually am and for those who’ve been over to my house: I just show them a roll of toilet paper that I brought back from a 5 star luxury resort in Cuba. Sandpaper does more to keep my skin soft and provide comfort than this stuff.

That’s all the reason I need.

In a country where the most luxurious of places provide you with stuff we wouldn’t give our prisoners in Canada, you’ve got to ask yourself what the regular people are getting to help them perform the most basic of functions. Let me tell you: nada. If you walk into an “El Rapido” (fast food chain in Cuba) and want to use the washroom, there’s no toilet paper but there is an old woman (or man) waiting at the door of the washroom to sell you a few pieces of pink stuff that probably causes rectal cancer. In a place of propagandized utopia you can’t even wipe your ass without cutting it wide open or messing up your hand.

As far as metaphorical statements for describing the state of a nation goes, I think this one is particularly powerful. A place that claims to meet all the needs of all those living within it’s closed borders can’t even provide toilet paper and when it does, it goes to the tourists first. Like so many other things such as beef and lobster and eggs. They sell their lies to tourists who love to hear a good story of a bloodless revolution for the people, by the people. Selling them Che shirts and little hats with little red stars on them. So the ignorant mass of foreigners sits on a beach, drinks their Bucaneros and enjoys all the privileges that Cubans can’t afford and aren’t allowed to enjoy even when they can afford it.

So when you travel please bear in mind, when you complain about the food at the hotel, that it’s really hard to cook something well when you’ve never tasted it. And when you complain that the beer is flat and warm remember that when you make 18Cuc a month and beer costs 1.25Cuc it doesn’t really matter how warm and flat it is. Most importantly every time you wipe, remember that you are enjoying the softest and best toilet paper in the country.

Or you can do what I do and use the Granma state newspaper: the propaganda filled ink makes for a really soft wipe and as an added bonus it feels really good to flush it down the toilet with the rest of the shit.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy crap... Man in the US sold his daughter for 16k

That's right folks... A man from California sold his 14 year old daughter into marriage for a grand total of $16,000 and an undisclosed amount of beer and meat. The only reason the authorities found out was because the father went to the police when payment wasn't made.

Can you believe this crap? I know I can't, not even a little bit. I'd sell, maybe, some hockey cards for meat if I was really hard up, but my own offspring? This dude is nuts... thankfully he now faces a year in jail and then deportation.

I must say that whenever I hear stories like this it makes me want to to jump on a plane and being back the good old vigilante justice that I'm so fond of... If he was in Canada he'd get a slap on the wrist, but since he's in the US this backwards @ss father will face a much harsher sentence.

The moral of this story folks? There just isn't one. Something is just really REALLY wrong with the world when fathers sell their daughters.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Afghanistan to Review Marital Rape Law

After the world cried out, after countless newspapers, blogs and politicians took to their chosen method of communication and spoke out against this atrocious little law; the Afghan justice minister, Sarwesh Danesh, said that Hamid Karzai had ordered a review of the law which would take two to three months.In the meantime women's rights will remain unchanged.

Canadian diplomat in Kabul, Ben Roswell, said: "We don't know what the outcome of the review is going to be. We do know that the government of Afghanistan is very serious about revisiting the law and anxious to use this review process in order to address concerns." I think the word "concern" is an understatement, we're talking downright objections here.

Afghan female MP Sabrina Saqeb said that she is concerned that Karzai is just trying to buy time because there is an election in August.

I've spoken about this crazy law at length in previous posts, but the one thing I did not address... While the government of Afghanistan was wrong to pass a law like this one, what about the people who would vote for someone BECAUSE of this law. Everyone, from newspapers to Afghan MPs have said that this law served only to garner votes from fundamentalists who would otherwise not vote for Karzai. What does that say about the people of Afghanistan?

Granted a majority of Afghan voters would probably not vote in favor of this law, but what about the minority of people who would? Every country has its radicals, from survivalists in the US to the IRA in Ireland to (a lesser extent) The Bloc Québécois and the PQ here at home. Governments have been known to pass laws to appeal to these radical minorities, take for example Stephen Harper's move to declare Québec a nation, the only purpose of this was to quiet down the separatist rumblings from PQ extremists and to garner support for his party in upcoming elections.

The main difference between this and the Afghan law is that declaring Québec a nation did not legalize the virtual imprisonment and rape of women. That's a huge difference. Québec being declared a nation did not take away the fundamental human rights of anyone. Québec being declared a nation (while it pissed me off) didn't shock the entire world and human rights groups across the globe.

Afghanistan is now a global center of attention. We wanted to bring democracy there and we did. Now let's see if this review process actually works. Let's see what Karzai values more: human rights and the protection of his people OR the power of his office.

Source for quotes the Globe and Mail

Muchacho Enfermo

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Montreal Police FInally Catch the "Real" Criminals (or my tax dollars at work part 2)

In case you were wondering exactly what it is that is going on the upper echelons of the Montreal Police Department, I've got the inside scoop: it's time for operation "look both ways and wait for the light" they're focusing their attention on jaywalkers.

The Montreal Gazette reported this morning that when police attempted to ticket a man for jaywalking in Cotes-Des-Neiges... he ran off. So the brave keepers of the peace chased him all the way back to his apartment where the jaywalker's 17 year old sister hit one of the officers before locking the door. The police called for backup and both were arrested. The jaywalker "is expected to be charged with resisting arrest, while she could face charges of interfering with a police operation and assaulting a police officer."

I think this is a brilliant example of my tax dollars at work, yet again. Seriously people, while Montreal copes with increasing gang violence and the ever present drug dealers at Square Berri (which we can all, with the exception of the police, plainly see) the police are busy running jaywalking operations. They've been doing it all over the city because, clearly, this a threat to public safety.

Granted Montreal is notorious for its jaywalkers, but that doesn't mean that there aren't real criminals out there to catch.I'm not saying that the guy who ran from the cops to avoid a ticket did the right thing and I don't think the officers were wrong for giving chase. I just think the cops shouldn't have been there in the first place. There are betters ways to spend our tax dollars than catching dangerous jaywalkers.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Of Dogs and Self-preservation

Dogs,loyal companions, vicious territorial protectors and hunters of all stuffed animals. You've seen dogs guarding junk yards or being used by the police, I've been stopped by sniffer dogs at airports, I've been bitten by a chihuahua and chased by rottweilers. You've also seen dogs being loyal family pets, playing with kids, keeping he elderly company and cheering you up when you're sad.

Recently I've had two completely separate conversations with 2 unrelated people that have both said the same thing: "There is a reason dogs were made to be cute, and that reason is self-preservation".

Think about it seriously for a second: my oldest dog, as puppy, completely ruined my antique hardwood floor by constantly missing the newspaper, ruined two brand new leather sofas by chewing them while we were at work and gnawed the legs off a chair so that when I sat on said chair, it broke and I really hurt myself... While on the floor crying out in pain and swearing like a longshoreman I opened my eyes and there she was, this cute little puppy staring at me with her big brown eyes, she tilts her head and licks my nose. Hence preventing me from launching her onto the street from my fifth floor window. She's still alive today, 8 years later. Self-preservation.

I was giving this some thought and I've concluded this is common in every species I can think of today. Human babies, for example, have to be cute because all they do is cry, eat and poop, so that you're constantly changing them and wiping their asses and feeding them, only to start all over again in a perpetual cycle of stinkyness. So they need to be made cute or we'd just stop feeding them altogether. Same with say... kittens... They scratch up your walls and miss the litter box and cough up hairballs but then you see them chasing a fly and bumping into walls and you just can't get mad.

This is nature's way of ensuring the survival of all species: make the offspring cute as hell so that the parents don't abandon them. It's absolutely brilliant and it actually makes me think that there just may be a higher power at work behind all this cuteness.

Now all I need to do is find a way to be awesomely cute and if I do... I will become invincible, unconvictable and irresistible, thus ensuring my survival.

Muchacho Enfermo

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