Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I would like a clarification from Canada on their efforts to bring back the Ontario teen that is currently being refused exit from Cuba for his part in a car crash in Camaguey...

The AFP reported that finally the Harper government has gotten on the case that has lingered since April nearly bankrupting this Ontario family. But the article seemed to insinuate that they were also pushing for the release of 6 other Canadians currently being detained in Cuba.

I for one am interested to find out if we're pushing for the release of the 4 Montrealers who are being held for rape. Because pushing for the release of a kid who was involved in an accident where everyone died and no fault was found yet is one thing, but pushing for the release of "alleged" rapists is another...

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Theirs VS Ours

Jim Flaherty

There's been a lot of hype around "racy" pictures of the Georgian Economy Minister around the press lately. Well I'd just like to take a second to say a few things.

This chick graduated from BCIT in 2004, so she's educated. She's Canadian raised so she's probably pretty friendly. And lets face it folks she's not hard on the eyes. When you compare her (on looks alone) to our finance minister, I'll take bad news from her over Flaherty any day.

Georgian Economy Minister (to the left of the chick in right)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

July 25 and the passing of a Friend.

This morning I woke up and started getting ready for work. I got a message from a friend living in France that one of the nicest people I'd ever met had passed away in Ciego de Avila yesterday.

A big man, a bass player (like myself) and a shameless joker Pino will be fondly remembered as one of the first real friends I'd made in Cuba. He took me into his house, we played music together, we drank 10 peso rum and laughed and ate rancid cheese until we nearly passed out... and all this before I even spoke a single world of Spanish (the only language he spoke). Despite the fact we didn't understand each other on a verbal level for a while, there was always that mutual understanding that come from those who are cut from the same cloth.

I'd like to think that even my cloth was somewhat small and tattered compared to him that we had much more in common than we had differences.

One day in one of my man drunken moments I took out my little Spanish Phrases book and looked at him and very seriously I said: "Donde esta el museo?"... I don't think I've ever heard a man laugh so hard at such an obviously ridiculous question considering we were sitting at his house eating at the time.

And it stuck, after that every time I saw him I could hear him and his friends saying "Oye muchacho donde esta el museo?" And that was that. It's not really funny unless you're there. but honestly it's the most humor I can muster up today.

I can not attend the funeral of my friend, but I will be there in spirit and I will be there for his family as much I can.

So Pino, this one's for you and one day we'll find that pinche museum.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coming back to Haunt Us.

It was reported in the Montreal Gazette today that a private developper planned on building three luxury homes on contested land near Oka Quebec, unless the federal government stepped in and bought the land for 400,000$.

The announcement comes in the middle of negotiations of the land claims between the government and the Mohawks, and will do nothing except stir up controversy. The land in question is part of the the same land dispute that started the famous "Crise D'Octobre" in 1990 when Mohawks took up arms to claim their land rights when developpers planned on building a golf course near and most likely over a native burial ground.

The 78 day armed conflict had the army swoop down on the province after a provincial police officer was killed and Mohawks blockaded the Mercier Bridge.

Anyone dumb enough to try and stir up a controversy over these lands deserves to ahve his developping lincense revoked and that's that.

This is the last thing this province needs.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

David and Goliath

By the end of the year, China will have 2000 missiles aimed at Taiwan.
The little island 160 km away that refuses to accept China's rule.
China has stated in the past that it might use force to bring Taiwan into China, much like they did and continue to do in Tibet.

China, a Goliath by world standards.
China is now the world's larget oil consummer.
One of the world's largest exporters (of everything).
One of the world's largest importers (of anything).
And many a small economy (such as Taiwan's) would collapse without China's buying power.

Seems to me that someone should say something if China invades a denicratic country such as Taiwan. Maybe Canada or other G8 members? Maybe the UN can say "please stop or we;ll attack you", but they can't say that because China is a member of the Security council and would veto the motion. Maybe we can place economic sanctions on China if they invade Taiwan... But that would be even more crippling to our economy then to theirs. So I'm sure that no one will say anything.

No one wants to take on Goliath when there is no hope of winning.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Victory" has a price...

...and apparently that price is $3.99.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

You know, one of my favorite things about Montreal is the multitude of street artists who use the backdrop of city as a living ever changing canvas. I'm not talking about people who spray paint stuff like "fuck the police" or "vive le Quebec libre"... I'm talking about art, people who spend hours vizualizing the perfect piece for that specific building, for that specific wall.

Sometimes though, street art puzzles me. Like the on this picture. Where, well to be honest, there's a message and it's pretty clear. But did that graffiti make me stop and think? Did it make say wow, that's amazing? Or did it make me stop my car, get out and take a damn picture because it was so retarded?

Well, if you picked the third choice then you're a winner...

Meaningless pollution masked as art? Sorry.... the corner of St-Laurent and Sherbrooke is ugly enough without having someones declaration of love for cheese in it.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A new look (kind of) , a new post, the same blog...

Well... I've made a new banner, it's not great and it hurts my eyes a little bit... Really it sort of makes them water when I look at it. But well, it's mine and I'm quite happy with it. The new signature at the bottom of the post, I like it as well. The gas mask is an idea I got from my cousin Frank-O who lives out in Vancouver, an artist and a musician that is always apparently on the verge of either breaking the bank or breaking himself.

I've been thinking (since my last post back in April) that the problem with this blog and the problem I had with it, was that I mostly just used it to react to news stories and stuff like that, when in reality it should be a place where I put whatever the hell I wanna put and that should be that.

So screw everything else, I'm just going to write about what I want to write about and you'll all have to live it with or go read something else.

So let me just start by saying welcome back to the NEW Politicophobia...

Also I will begin contributing more to the joint blogging experiment that is Serxy Druck Heo as of... ummm... right now.

Peace out.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The truth is in the numbers.

The Castro Cartel can say whatever it wants about dissidents being paid by foreign oppressors and they can have all the little press releases and columns by Comrade Fidel that they want, print all the propaganda in the world, but the bottom line is: it just doesn’t fucking matter.

I got curious today while I was on lunch, so I decided to do some comparisons of Alexa rankings and compare different sites: Global ranking: 73,233 ( Global ranking: 107,519 (

So if anyone, anywhere in the world would like to question the power of free expression and the determination of those who want to speak out: the statistics speak for themselves. The global relevance of a state run rag filled with propaganda about commercial accords with Viet Nam, the global importance of the sugar cane and how rosy life is under a never-ending dictatorship, is in effect: null.

An independent blogger, blogging through whatever means she cans reaches a wider global audience than a news website that tries so hard to discredit anyone who doesn’t agree with the official position of the party.

I would really love to add more to this but I think I’ll let the number do the talking from here on in…

73,233 > 107,519

PS: my traffic rank… Global ranking: 27,446,962... that's right baby, TWENTY SEVEN MILLION FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY SIX THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO!!! That's like 4 million spots down from last year!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010


The Cultural Dictionary (from defines xenophobia as: "An unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different."

Somehow though, I simply don't think that the word is strong enough to describe what the English minority in Quebec has to face when it comes to extremist separatist groups. The latest example of what I call uber-idiocy, a group that calls themselves Le Comité d’action politique pour l’Indépendance nationale, decided that it would be a good idea to protest the building of the
McGill University Health Center (MUHC) by planting 101 wooden crosses and a banner symbolically painted in red.

A statement sent to the press said: “This cemetery of crosses, in the image of cemeteries for soldiers fallen in the two Great Wars, represents the Québecois people who, after centuries of battle, are finally conceding to the English-speaking pressure on the continent. The cemetery is accompanied by a banner claiming high and loud the death of a people, signaling that the MUHC represents nothing less than the death of the Québécois people, and it expresses the people’s rejection of an assimilation like that which they have always resisted until now in a continuous, and perhaps perpetual, struggle.

I resent the entirety of this statement, the separatists group have no right to even equate themselves to the brave young Canadians who fought in both Great Wars, as Canadians. The also have no right to protest the building of this hospital as there is also a super hospital being built for the Université de Montréal.

Once again, the extremists of this province have given my people a black eye on both the Canadian and the world stage.

To the rest of the country we're already strange enough and every week I talk to people in Toronto, 5 hours up the 401 highway and they have no idea that people in Montreal speak English as well as French.

If idiots like this group keep grabbing headlines, what hope does Quebec ever have of attracting foreign investments, preventing a brain drain and of being taken seriously on the national stage?

Just food for thought.

(quotes from Montreal Gazette)

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Call To Release Iran's 'Blogfather' For Norouz

The mother of a controversial, well-known blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, who is often described as Iran's "blogfather" because he helped popularize blogging in Iran, has called on the head of Iran's judiciary to release her son for the Iranian New Year, or Norouz, marked on March 21.

Derakhshan, a dual Iranian-Canadian citizen, has been in jail in Iran since November 2008.

Derakhshan is reportedly facing security charges, including espionage. But his mother says in her open letter to the head of the judiciary that the family hasn't been informed of the official charges against him.

"Hossein has been in your prison for more than 500 days. And we have been waiting for him outside the prison every day," she writes.

Derakhshan's mother says that the judiciary should release Derakhshan for the New Year, as it has done in the case of a number of postelection detainees who have been allowed to go on prison leave.

"It's been eight months that you've said in all media that you have arrested those who were attempting to overthrow the establishment. On the eve of the New Year, you release all of those who had been described as the leaders of sedition. Why in your view doesn't Hossein deserve to be released?" she asked.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has said that his case is "typical of the lack of justice and due process in Iran's judiciary."


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Going off the rails on the Crazy Train"

Originally I wanted to used this post to bitch and complain about Ann Coulter. Now I also have to use it to bitch at the people that staged a protest outside the university of Ottawa yesterday.

First let's start with Ann Coulter:
For those of you who don't know her, she's an author who is best known for her controversial comments. Here are some of the quote-worthy ones:
"They'd better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent," when talking about Canada.
-On the same show she was asked why she felt the need to make fun of Canadians and she answered: "because they speak French."
-After 9/11 she suggested all Muslims should be banned from airplanes and suggested they take Flying carpets.
-At her speaking engagement in London, On. a Muslim challenged the remark and Ms. Coulter suggested that instead of the flying carpet, she take a camel.

And the list goes on and on and on...

Now the University of Ottawa is no better... An email was sent to Ms. Coulter (which was leaked to the National Post) advising her to educate herself on Canada's hate speech laws. Because here it is a criminal offense to promote hate or violence against any specific identifiable group.

Ms Coulter, who lives off of comments like this, said the university of Ottawa was promoting hate and violence against her and as such she hired a lawyer to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

The protesters who didn't want her speaking? Well, they're the idiots because that gave Ms Coulter an excuse to cancel the speech stating that she was afraid the protest would turn violent. So, in effect, the University of Ottawa is screwed because the protester just proved Ms Coulter's case...

While I firmly believe that Ms Coulter is an uber-bitch and is thoroughly ignorant in her remarks, I also believe that she is entitled to speak her mind. If she makes remarks that are considered to be promoting hatred and violence while in Canada we should have charged her accordingly, instead of letting her turn our own laws against us.

In conclusion:
-Thumbs down to Ms Coulter for giving Conservatives a bad name.
-Thumbs down to the University of Ottawa and its protesters for being idiots.
-Thumbs up to Ozzy Osbourne for providing me with such a catchy title.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

UFO or Missile?

The video's not really important, but i decided to put it anyways just for kicks.
Here's the latest development: Defense Minister Peter MacKay said: "We [the Canadian government] will provide money to build a landing strip for UFOs at Harbour Mille."

Of course he was joking, but what's not a joke is that a bunch of residents saw 3 things that looked like missiles being launched from the ocean, that they took pictures of said missile shaped objects and that no one in the government or law enforcement has any sort of statement to give the public.

Now most people won't think it's aliens... I certainly don't. But what I do think is that this is most likely a missile or rocket of some kind.

I just want to the government to say: "We know what it was, you don't need to be worried, it's all good." Instead of patronizing frightened citizens and refusing to speak to the press.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

UFOs over Canada

Darlene Stewart of Harbour Mille, Newfoundland was outside taking pictures of the sunset last Monday when she saw this flying through the sky:

She called some neighbors who also saw it. They reported it to the RCMP who asked them to phone Public Safety Canada who then referred her back to the RCMP.

Various statements were made about the nature of the object:
-RCMP says: "there is no debris or any other evidence that would allow the Mounties to investigate the matter."
-Public Safety Canada says: "that the federal government was aware of media reports of public sightings of unidentified objects off Newfoundland but said the RCMP was investigating."
-The Military says: "they were aware of the reports and have confirmed there have been no planned missile exercises off the seaboard."
-VOCM radio in St. John’s said: "that France had conducted a ballistic missile test in the Atlantic Ocean."
-The French Embassy said: "Nothing"
-The office of the Prime Minister of Canada said: "There is no indication that there was ever a rocket launch."
-In slight contradiction the PMO also said: "people on Newfoundland's south coast like to launch model rockets."
-Oh yeah and the military also added: "There's no threat to the security of Canada."

So it's not a Canadian missile, it's not a French missile... so far it's still unidentified. But there's no threat to the security of Canada? When something like this flies through our airspace the government can tell me with a straight face that everything is okay? This coming from a government that won't let me take carry-on luggage on a plane anymore because they're afraid that we're all terrorists? They get nervous about my laptop at the airport, but they don't get nervous about missile shaped objects flying through the sky?

Thank you PMO and all the other Canadian agencies involved in this for fueling conspiracy theories and fear. As a tax payer I really appreciate it.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

News flash! I agree with Flaherty on Something.....

For the first time in recent memory I actually agree with Canada's finance minister Jim Flaherty. He is calling on Haiti's creditors to cancel their debt and forgive Haiti's outstanding balances.

“Haiti's future must be focused on the priorities of its people, not on the liabilities of its past.” Beautiful words I would never expect from the Conservative minister. I must say that they are music to my ears.

Canada has pledged to match all donations by all Canadians up until February 12th and so far Canadians have donated over 82million dollars. That is on top of Ottawa's pledge for 100million in grants for Haiti and on top of our emergency personal and equipment that is continuing to be distributed in Haiti.

Flaherty is calling specifically on two nations Taiwan and Venezuela. Incidentally Venezuela has been a huge critic (along with ALBA whatever that is) of the way other nations have tried to help Haiti. Meanwhile they plan on keeping Haiti in a financial choke-hold while the rest of the CAPITALIST world works together to help out those in need.

All that to say, I really want to shake Flaherty's hand right now and maybe (just maybe) he's not the asshole I always thought he was.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Enough of this shit...

So today I'm reading an article from Cubasi that talks about ALBA and its plans for recovery in Haiti. Where Hugo Chavez (surprise!) is saying that Venezuela's aid can't get in because the ports are "in the hands of the Yanks." Also at this "summit" they are to discuss the "Bolivarian counterattack against right wing actions on progressive movements in the region.”

Which right wing actions would those be? Would those be the sending of American troops to secure and stabilize a port and an airport to allow over 180 flights per day to come in and out of Haiti? Or the thousand of NGO volunteers from Europe, Canada, the US and the world that are present on the ground? Seriously!

This shit kills me! Today in Montreal there was a conference with 14 nations and many organizations (including the UN) to talk about help and reconstruction in Haiti. One of the key people at this conference was the Haitian prime minister... was he at the ALBA conference as well? I don't think so.

Where was Cuba that bitched so hard at the Americans for sending troops? Where was Venezuela and its accusatory finger pointing? They weren't here in my hometown. They were somewhere warm complaining about the Americans. I'm sure the Americans have a political agenda in Haiti, everyone does, even if it's something simple like boosting a country's image. But at least we here at our conference didn't talk of an attack on Bolivarian left wing initiatives in the region. I believe Chavez and his minions are the ones with the actual agenda here. Not the rest of us.

The only agenda we had was this comprehensive 6 point plan to help rebuild Haiti:

1. Ownership – Respect for Haitian sovereignty will see foreign aid aligned with the priorities of the government of Haiti.

2. Co-ordination – The United Nations will play a key co-ordinating role, under the leadership of the Haitian government. The UN will co-ordinate efforts with donor countries.

3. Sustainability – Donor countries will commit an initial 10-year reconstruction period.

4. Effectiveness – Recognized principles of aid effectiveness and humanitarian donorship will be followed.

5. Inclusiveness – The Haitian diaspora and the private sector will play a role in Haiti’s reconstruction, along with the government of Haiti, foreign governments, the UN, donor countries and non-governmental organizations.

6. Accountability – Mutual transparency and accountability on the part of the government and Haiti and the international community will see performance reviews become an ongoing joint effort.

Wow... this really sounds like "right wing actions on progressive movements in the region" and must be stopped this instant.

Once again, I am shocked that anyone would swallow Chavez's garbage and hate mongering.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Canadians take to the street

Today, I'm a proud Canadian.
It's been a little while since I've said that, especially when it comes to the collective conscience of the electorate.

The masses took to the street all over the country to protest the Conservatives' prorogation of parliament. For those of you not from Canada , parliament has been shut down until after the Vancouver Olympics. Why? In large part because of the questions surrounding the mistreatment of Afghan detainees (which I've written about here and here). It is most likely an effort for the Conservatives to save face and to avoid answering embarrassing question while the whole world is watching Canada.

Considering our dismal turnouts for many of our most recent federal election, I am truly surprised at the number of Canadians that took to the streets. Expatriates living in London and New York did the same.

The prorogation of parliament is seen by many as an assault on the democracy that shapes this country. This is the second time in as many years that Mr Harper and his Conservatives have shut down parliament, the first time was in 2008 when they closed it down to put together a budget that would keep them in power and avoid an election.

When prorogation occurs both the senate and the house of commons are dismissed so any bill that was tabled to be voted or become law gets axed and will need to be introduced again at the new session of parliament. This prorogation cost us 36 bills and the Globe and Mail provides us with a comprehensive list. Among the bills that died were:

-BILL C-45
Protects foreign nationals from exploitation through human trafficking
-BILL C-58
Requires Internet service providers to report tips about child pornography
-BILL C-36
Eliminates faint-hope clause that allows those with life sentences to apply for parole after 15 years
-BILL C-34
Strengthens the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank

Prorogation should not be a tool to remain in power, it shouldn't be a "timeout" to rally your troops and certainly shouldn't be used to avoid dealing with issues that could potentially set off an election. Canadians will not forget how Mr Harper has manipulated the system to avoid elections and avoid hard hitting questions concerning the mistreatment of Afghan detainees. I hope that the election results will show this next time around.

Well Mr Harper... you can brush off the Opposition parties, but you can't brush of the thousands of Canadian voters, many of them Conservative voters, who took to the streets yesterday in an effort to make you hear their voices. Remember that you are a Public Servant and that is a wonderful title of trust and prestige that is bestowed upon by the people; as such you have obligations and responsibilities to public you are paid to serve. Those obligations do not include shutting down Government because you feel like it. Think about it.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oops... I take it back...

Apparently I need to read the daily news before publishing something I wrote yesterday.
It appears Ross Rebagliati was cleared to speak. But he should have had a better speech.
Instead of saying he would do with his riding and for the country it ended up being a bunch
of fluff about "knocking Stockwell Day off his sea-do" and about how great the Olympics are.

I understand why he's doing it, he's up against one of the most prominent members of the
Harper cabinet, but maybe a little more substance would have a better chance at swaying voters
than rhetoric and catch phrases.

He might be a gold medalist snowboarder but I'm not sure he's going to win at politics.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shut up Ross!!!

Canada's gold medalist snowborder Ross Rebagliati and world famous pot smoker (having tested positive for marijuana directly after winning his gold medal) is apparently under orders from Mr. Ignatieff's office (i.e. my former main man Peter Donolo) to shut the f$ck up, along with the rest of the liberals.

So the Liberals now have a dress code and a code of silence? I'm not sure where Donolo and his staff are trying to go with this, but for some reason I don't think this bodes well for the grits. Rebagliati is running in a riding against Stockwell Day, which will already be a tough riding for him to win, but it'll make it even harder if he's not allowed to talk to the press. How are his constituents supposed to get to know him if all he's allowed to talk about is "his experience as an Olympian, and how it relates to his choice of becoming a Liberal candidate – pride of representing his country, desire to serve needed commitment, etc.”

At first I figured Ignatieff would grow on me, that he wouldn't annoy me so much if I just gave him time. But so far it's been quite the opposite. To me Iggy is just as annoying if not more so than the day he won the leadership.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010


It seems to me that when the Universe decides to focus on a country it's never a good thing. Since the days of its independence from from France Haiti has gone from being France's richest colony to one of the world's poorest countries.

In 2004 the country faced a rebellion from within and a massive food shortage, in 2008 hurricane after hurricane pummeled the nation and now in in the 2nd week of 2010, the strongest earthquake in over 200 years rocked the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Report vary but one thing that people seem to agree on is that mostly any building taller than one story is reduced to rubble. Death toll estimates vary from 50,000 to over 100,000 in Port-au-Prince. With a population of just over 1million and very very few first responders we can only guess that those figures will rise dramatically as Haitians pile the dead in the streets and wait for foreign aid to trickle in.

Canada has sent its rapid response team (DART) to Haiti and pledged 5 million dollars in aide, the UN has pledged another 10 million, the US is sending a contingent of Marines to Port-au-Prince and countries around the world are showing their support for the battered nation. Hopefully the money and the personnel will arrive in time.

Let's see if this international show of support will become a long term feeling of goodwill. Let's see if countries, such as Canada, that has a huge native Haitian population living within its borders can put together something to compliment the dozens of law enforcement officers we already have there.

Ideally, after the world is done digging out the rubble and helping with this catastrophe, I would like to see the world forgive Haiti's national debt and help put it back on its feet again, really and truly.

For those of you who'd like to help with donations please check the websites of Doctors without Borders, Unicef or World Vision. For Canadians please click HERE for a list compiled by the government of organizations that are helping with relief effort.

Lastly, my deepest sympathies go out to all the families and people that have lost loved ones in Haiti and my prayers go out to those still wondering about those they hold dear.

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