Monthly Archives: April 2010

A Long Gun Poll For the Freeping

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I hate these polls, but we must do our best to make sure even the clowns with Con TV get the message that the long gun registry is a good thing.

Category: Uncategorized

Pirate Party of Canada Launches

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Step aside Rhinos and get ready for another vote split:  the Pirate Party of Canada has launched.

Of course, like the Green Party, they’re a one-platform party.

I’m sure that’ll change in time and they’ll become as boring as the rest of the parties in this country, but for now, they’re going to enjoy a lot of press.

But what do I really like about these folks?  Everything’s online, including their manifesto, marketing and planning activities and a live wiki page that anyone can edit.

Those are initiatives that the Libs, Dippers and especially the Cons simply don’t tolerate.

Category: Canada, Politics | Tags:

9 Things to Avoid in Your Diet

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This is a good piece (9 Things to Avoid in Your Diet), but I think they could have made it even better.

How?  Add an ‘ethical’ column to the products and you get a sense of what the broader implications are with each of these products.

What follows are just a few ideas.  Feel free to add your own.

Ingredient Why it is Used Why it is Bad Why it’s REALLY Bad
Artificial Colors
  • Chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives to enhance color.
  • Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches.
  • Food from coal?  Really?
Artificial Flavorings
  • Cheap chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors.
  • Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma
  • Can affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid.
  • Most artificial flavourings are derived from petroleum products.  That’s right:  oil.  We need to naturalize our food so that when we finally start taxing the hell out of oil, we don’t force ourselves into starvation!
Artificial Sweeteners
(Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal®, NutraSweet®,  Saccharin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol)
  • Highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving.
  • Can negatively impact metabolism
  • Some have been linked to cancer, dizziness hallucinations and headaches.
  • Donald Rumsfeld is connected with Aspartame and many believe that it’s this connection that prevented the US Admin under Bush from ever investigating claims of defects, tumours and other maledictions related to artificial sweeteners.
Benzoate Preservatives(BHT, BHA, TBHQ)
  • Compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid.
  • May result in hyperactivity, angiodema,  asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and  urticaria
  • Can affect estrogen balance and levels.
  • An easy way to avoid preservatives is to eat fresh, organic, real and natural food.  Many people argue this isn’t possible, but think about how real things would be if we as a culture spent money on real food instead of trying to extend the shelf-life.
Brominated Vegetable Oil(BVO)
  • Chemical that boosts flavor in many citric-based fruit and soft drinks.
  • Increases triglycerides and cholesterol
  • Can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.
  • This is actually an additive that many countries have labelled as toxic and have subsequently banned in products like pop and power drinks.
  • So here’s the big hint:  stop drinking sugar and you’ll be fine.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar
  • Sustains freshness in baked goods
  • Blends easily in beverages to maintain sweetness.
  • May predispose the body to turn fructose into fat
  • Increases risk for Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer
  • Isn’t easily metabolized by the liver.
  • Too many issues with this, but the central idea is that corn permeates our entire food chain.  We need to break that chain and expand from a monoculture.  If we don’t, and something happens to corn (disease, pests, etc), we’re all screwed.
  • Corn is dominated by approx. 3 companies (ADM, Monsanto, Cargill) and they are constantly fighting for ways to monopolize distribution and growth of corn.
MSG(Monosodium Glutamate)
  • Flavor enhancer in restaurant food, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, soups and other foods.
  • May stimulate appetite and cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and difficulty in breathing.
  • In most cases, MSG is piled on in one specific kind of food:  fast food.
  • Avoid fast food and you’ll be fine.
  • The pervasiveness of MSG in our diets is a reflection of how much we’ve aborted food culture and adopted an unnatural commercial food industry as a cornerstone of our routine.
  • Not only are there financial implications, but the cultural ramifications run deep as well.  We no longer eat together and we need to start enjoying the people we eat with as well as what we eat.
  • An indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked.
  • Inhibits absorption of some nutrients
  • Linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding and incontinence.
  • Two words:  anal leakage.
Shortening, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils
(Palm, Soybean and others)
  • Industrially created fats used in more than 40,000 food products in the U.S.
  • Cheaper than most other oils.
  • Contain high levels of trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, contributing to risk of heart disease.
  • Palm oil in particular is a MASSIVE problem.  Most palm trees grow in tropical areas and to get these fats in our foods, we’re deforesting pristine woodlands faster than a fatty burger goes through our systems.
  • Solution:  avoid processed and fast foods.

I loved reading about the 9 things to avoid, but I loved the exercise of exploring even more ethical and moral reasons why we need to rethink our ‘demand’ for these products.

Most of the solution comes with a very simple answer: make your own food from natural products, enjoy cooking and take the time to cook (making it a family or functional activity) and stop buying processed anything.

Tony Clement: Tough on Gas or New Con Smoke Screen?

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Tony Clement announced yesterday that Industry Canada and the Government of Canada would pursue fines against anyone caught tampering with gas pumps.

Unfortunately, this is a well-timed smoke-screen that is another attempt to get gullible Canucks to side with the most scandalous leadership on the planet.

I’m not a gas pricing expert, nor am I a logistics expert, but I have done a little reading about this.  The question is whether or not certain pumps clog or get impeded and then, in most cases, unintentionally give the consumer less than what was recorded.

On the surface, this is a very noble effort, but let’s pull it apart a little:

  • The potential variations are likely to be a maximum of a percent of a percent of your overall spend on gas and you may even wind up getting more gas than was recorded
  • The timing is perfect for the launch of the ‘summer driving’ season (the time when most Canadians start their road trips and visits across the country)
  • The timing is also perfect in that the Cons desperately need a ‘good story’ to deliver to the public, hopefully diverting our attention from the massive array of scandals that are strangling this government from doing anything but choke on its own filth
  • This crusade is a lot like the Con’s general goal of being ‘tough on crime’.  It makes for great marketing, but little substance
  • The actual effort will likely translate to an assault on small businesses and independent gas suppliers, most of whom do their best to keep gas prices competitive
  • Nothing will be done to address the overall ridiculously high price of gas given the climb in the Canadian dollar

I’ll address the last comment:  when the Canadian dollar has been rising as it has, the price of everything else should be dropping.  Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen nearly a 50% increase in the value of our currency vis-a-vis the US dollar and yet we’ve seen little to no reduction in the cost of gas, books, vegetables, fruits and other things we import on a daily basis.

Canadians are being gouged and it’s time that Tony Clement and our other so-called leaders look at what I call ‘Price Parity’ issues with imports.

As I mentioned, gas is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a massive portion of our disposable expenditure.  The high price of gas also has an impact on nearly ALL of our daily activities.

Of course, if pushed, I would also say that gas should be $5 per litre, but that’s more because we need to reduce our reliance on gas, but as long as we’re trying to find the cause of ‘high’ prices, let’s be sure that Tony’s tantrum doesn’t misdirect us from the true cause:  suppliers are gouging us.

In future blogs, I’ll address two things:

  1. How to address our addiction to gas (and how to end it)
  2. Price Parity Policies that will put more money in the hands of Canadians

Some Questions About Jaffer Questions

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I’m late in the game about critiquing the various shenanigans of Geurgis and Jaffer, but I’m noticing one important trend:  if you work for the CPC, be prepared to be thrown under a bus if you even remotely come close to f***ing up.

It’s a pretty ballsy thing to suggest and I would be the last person on the planet to actually defend the likes of Guergis or Jaffer, but look at the press releases that have come out in the last week or so:

  • Rather than quietly accept a resignation, a major press release and whirly circus-like routine is launched, including a threat that there are ‘impending investigations’, simultaneously causing the Libs and Dippers to chase after said ‘shiny object’ like a dog after a laughing squirrel.  Good luck, Helena with your next job hunt.  Try explaining the investigation that no one will launch!
  • The release of expense reports related to a big whopping $1000 or so on ‘other expenses’ by Guergis, along with what I can only assume are officially sanctioned flights and trips made on behalf of Canada but charged to the public.  Are these people supposed to pay for flights out of pocket?
  • Jaffer’s questionable business dealings and accusations that he was lobbying other ministers with his environmental business while in office.


I heard Jim Prentice on the radio today say that he was approached by Jaffer A YEAR AGO with solicitations related to his business.  If it was such a big issue, and has instantly become such a big issue, why the hell wasn’t this reported A YEAR AGO?

Which opens up a bigger question:  if this wasn’t reported A YEAR AGO how do we know the entire caucus isn’t running around making other business deals behind the backs of Canadians?  What other conversations in the hallways happened A YEAR AGO (or more or recently) that we should bring to light? Are other MPs of the governing party working with businesses on the side pitching to their buddies for sweet, no-questions-asked contracts?

Is what we’re hearing just the tip of the iceberg?

Do actions, regardless of how questionable they were A YEAR AGO, only get publicized when you’re out to lampoon people that work for you and screwed up?

I’m not one to support the Liberals with their AdScam program, but isn’t this activity in the halls of Parliament just as disgusting?  Have I missed something here?  Have I misunderstood what’s supposed to be happening in the halls of Parliament?

How many scandals are enough, Canada?  How many?