Saturday, May 9, 2009

Russia Flexes its Muscles

There is no doubt in my mind that Russia's Victory Day parade is nothing more than an excuse to show the world that it can still pack a military punch.

“We are confident that any aggression against our citizens will be firmly repelled,” said Dmitry Medvedev.

Maybe was referring to that whole Georgia business or maybe he's just trying to spark nationalist sentiments in his people, but either way it sounds pretty damn aggressive to me. Since when has ANYONE tried to invade Russia or commit aggression against her citizens?

The Associated Press reported that the parade included "displayed about 9,000 goose-stepping troops and more than 100 combat vehicles, including new Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles." Now the US and the "International Community" is all upset that the impoverished North Korea "might" be trying to create missiles with intercontinental abilities... But Russia actually has them, they had a parade and you could see them clear as day!

This throwback to the Old USSR style of celebration, especially one organized by Putin and his puppet President, is just slightly scary.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Quebec NGO Sues the King and Wins...

Not so long ago I used to see these commercials for Burger King Cressandwhiches which advertised "meat and cheese and meat and cheese" that looked oh so tasty in the eyes of this simple carnivore. But it appears that not everyone felt the same about waking up with the King...

A Quebec organization called "The Coalition québécoise sur la problématique du poids" (Quebec Coalition for weight problems) sued BK for targeting children in their advertising. They did this by advertising a free toy with the purchase of a kid's meal. The best part is they won.

Again I am stupefied at the verdict of the court having now sentenced Burger King to pay 12,000$ after a guilty plea by the burger chain. A few things here are worth considering... WTF is 12,000$ to a huge corporation. Second off, who the heck sues a fast food chain for making them and their kids fat?

You don't want your kids to get fat, don't take them to BK, Mickey D's, Wendy's, A & W, Harvey's or any of the burger joints around the province. If your kids grow up craving junk food, don't blame the commercials, blame yourselves. I eat well, I take care of myself mostly because my parents taught me the value of a well balanced meal. When I need a snack I eat an apple, it's far less costly the BK and much better for you.

I think I'm going to sue Danone for making yogurts geared at kids or those people who make string-cheese... Because hey, it's aimed at kids and that's obviously wrong.

Parent's stop blaming everyone and everything except yourselves for the shortcomings of your offspring. It's not TV, it's not video games, it's not fast food and it's not what they pick up at school; as a parent it's your job to make sure that your child has the proper values to cope and deal with this stuff. And that doesn't start by suing Burger King, it starts by giving your kid milk and fruit and talking to them about their day.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Crack Reporting From the Gazette

The Montreal Gazette, Canada's oldest English daily paper, has been going down the tubes since it was bought out a few years back. Instead of having editorials about issues relevant to Montrealers we had them about "Infrastructure Problems in Winnipeg" and the "The Price of Cattle in Alberta Since Mad Cow".

Now to be fair, there's quite a few talented reporters who write for the Gazette and I'm not bashing them by any stretch. What I am saying, however, is that the editors have got to step it up... I logged on to their website today and saw this article about a bank robbery that occurred this morning in the heart of downtown Montreal. It's so short I don't even have to link to it... I'll copy and paste it for you...

"Robbers Hit Up Downtown Bank for Cash

Robbers held up the Royal Bank branch at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Stanley Sts. Thursday morning, and escaped wth an undisclosed amount of cash, Montreal police say.

Witnesses said one robber was carrying something that looked like a gun, Constable Anie Lemieux said.

There were no reports of injuries.

More details to follow.

And this was on the front page of their website, like a tantalizing tale that said "read me I'm interesting" and when you clicked on the link all you got was a few vague lines about this crap.

It was like getting socks for your birthday.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Court Rules on infamous "Squirrel Feeder"

In my WTF moment of the day as I was reading the Gazette
and I saw that a Westmount (rich borough of Montreal) had issued a man a ticket for feeding a squirrel.

As was his right he fought the ticket in court. He's a musician so of course he wrote a song about it called "SquirrelGate"...

The man was feeding a squirrel.
He got a ticket for feeding said squirrel.
Two years of trial.
The courts upheld the fine.

This is two and half years of taxpayer dollars that went to waste because Westmount security couldn't just give him a warning and let it go. In an attempt to stop this ludicrous trial the city of Westmount offered to drop the charges if the man agreed to be the city's "Don't Feed the Squirrels" spokesperson.

I don't really have a funny or witty conclusion... I think this just speaks for itself. Once again... my tax dollars at work.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Worst Places to Blog From

There were no surprises for me when I first saw the list of Top Ten Worst Countries to be a Blogger to find countries such as Iran, Myanmar and Cuba included in the infamous list.

At number 2 Iran has a fairly large blogger population and most of them aren’t afraid of the things they say, I know that I follow a few Persian blogs and most of these people don’t mince words. However, the Iranian government has been holding an Iranian-Canadian blogger known as the Blogfather since October on charges of being an Israeli spy or something along those lines. The government there apparently isn’t afraid to stick bogus charges and throw due process out the door to silence offensive bloggers.

Myanmar (Burma) is a scary place if you’re a blogger... Right up there on the list at number 1 it has handed down ridiculously long prison sentences to blogger ranging in the 40-50 years behind bars (and please remember that these are not the nice Canadian jails with cable and a gym and 3 meals per day). But they forge on, the Burmese in exile publish blogs and write and get the news that even the international press can’t get. I’m fortunate enough to know one of these bloggers, Ashin Mettacara, who has a blog, a news site and has helped launch a social network called Smile Club to help Burmese and people from all around the world connect.

Cuba is the place that I’m most familiar with on this list. It sits at number 4 only because bloggers haven’t yet been given lengthy prison terms. Access to the internet is restricted in Cuba, especially for locals who can mostly only access it from government run “internet cafes” at the ridiculous price of 5 or 6 Cucs per month when the average wage is 18-20 Cucs per month. The government there has blocked access to all the blogs hosted on (among others) and has forced the sites to be hosted outside the island with the help of friends living abroad.

Again, I wasn’t surprised by any of the members of the list and I’m glad to say that I live in a country where I’m free to say whatever I want whenever I want to whomever I want. I can safely have the internet at my house without worrying that a team of special ops soldiers will kidnap me in the night for what I’ve said or simply for being online. As much as I complain about our politics and our justice system, I’m eternally thankful to be living here.

Muchacho Enfermo

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Opinions from Kenya

Just for kicks, I decided to follow up on yesterday's post about Kenyan women withholding sex from their husbands in order to push for political change, an initiative backed up by the country's first lady and by Kenya's own G10 (the group of 10 women's group that pushed for this action).

I've received a few emails, and a couple of comments about this and so far the women I've heard from where all in support of the Kenyan women's action. You'd think that other people in Kenya would take notice, they'd say something along the lines of: "Hmmmm maybe we should listen to these women..." Apparently that's not the kind of thing that happens in Kenya... According to a few articles and posts I've read from there today, people have completely missed the boat, for them it's all about the fact that sex is in the bedroom and not in parliament.

Here's some quotes with the links to the original sources:
"Insecurity, inflation and poverty only affect the ordinary mwananchi and now the hapless guy has been told that the only source of solace shall be denied. It’s highly unlikely that your average male politician can go for two days’ leave alone a week, without intimacy. Their wives won’t deny them and even if they did, these guys have a retinue of young girls waiting to unleash just for a song. Will they now accuse the men of viewing the women as nothing but sex objects?" (source)

Muslim Women in Kenya "said denying men sex would encourage them to be promiscuous, leading to rise in sexually transmitted diseases."
"The decisions we make could affect us for the rest of our lives and we don’t want to leave our children in orphanages or streets"

Click HERE for more.

After the last Kenyan elections "hundreds of Kenyan women have reported being raped during ethnic clashes that left more than 1300 people dead over the course of two months. The actual number of rapes committed likely totals over 3000..." So is it really surprising that women's bodies are once again at the center of a political battle? The difference is that this time the women aren't going to be victims...

Muchacho Enfermo

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It Worked in Ancient Greece Right?

The women of Kenya have decided to withhold sex from their husband as part of a desperate plea to the government to work in a more unified manner towards the common good.

Women's groups on the ground estimate 40% of Kenyan are participating, everyone from prostitutes to the first lady who has voiced her support of the initiative. Kenya was in Chaos following the last election and this initiative aims at raising awareness and forcing the government and the opposition to work together in a more cohesive manner, with the future of the country and its people at the forefront of their actions.

The reactions from within Kenya are mixed:

"If my wife refuses to have sex with me, he says, she goes back to her mother. That is my right." Said a 23 year old man.

"People are really reacting to it, whether they are for it or not. We have been heard. That's the voice of women power." Rukia Subow, chairwoman of Kenya's oldest women's NGO,

“It might make a difference, but it's not right,” Says a female hairdresser. “According to God, according to the law, women should submit their bodies to their husbands. It's a rule.”

“They (men) have to be told something. They are so involved in themselves, especially the politicians. They're not thinking about other Kenyans.” Said a student named Olive.

This reminds my of an occidental history course I took like 10 years ago where we discussed at length how Greek women stopped the Peloponnesian Wars by withholding sex from their husbands. I remember being impressed by the whole business and not entirely unconvinced that it would probably work, although back then it was probably just the hormones talking.

If it's good enough for mythology then it must be good enough for Kenya. I raise my hat and my pint glass to these courageous women who decided to take public political matters into their own hands by making sure that their husbands must now take their "private matters" into theirs for the next week or so.

I hope there's a follow up story in some paper on this because I'm really curious to see if it actually does change something for them and for their country.

Muchacho Enfermo

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