2016-01-31

North American Shoppers Against Amazonian Masterhood

If you've ever bought stuff on Amazon, you know that begrudging feeling when you decide that the deal is just too good and you click the link even though it mysteriously doesn't tell you where it's shipping from and the delivery date is way out into the future...


Yep. You've just bought something from China. Before you know it, you'll get yourself a nice cool looking China Post tracking number.

Ignore it.

Actually anyone can get a unused tracking number label from China Post very easily and free. A tracking number is invalid and non-trackable until this tracking number is attached to a parcel and sent to China Post. So many cheaters gave an unused tracking number to paypal/ebay/aliexpress just to fulfill the payment requirements.

When you get the dreaded China Post tracking number, you can either sit patiently and wait for your item (usually 4-10 weeks) or contact the shipper and complain.

Bonus China Shipping link: This is a problem that is only going to get worse.

2016-01-30

#SuckForTkachuk

As the NHL enters the highly controversial All-Star weekend the Edmonton Oilers find themselves in a sweet schedule position to heal up from their ridiculous string of injuries (featuring what seems like a regular rotation of guys too). Two of the key missing players -- Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom -- will be back after the break.

The lengthy span between their last game (Saturday's 4-1 home loss to Nashville) and their next game (a home game against Columbus) has also provided Edmonton's long-suffering fans an extra fringe benefit: a lengthy time period in which the team hasn't lost any games.

The psychological benefits to this cannot be understated. As a friend told me last year (she's lived in both Toronto and Vancouver) Edmonton residents rise and fall with the fate of their teams like no other NHL city in which she has resided. If the Canucks won last night there aren't really that many smiles around the boardrooms of Burrard and Georgia. A two-game Leafs losing streak won't mean the CBRE sales reps you meet with are extra ornery. But she reports that from the top of organizations to the bottom, Edmontonians feel the fate of their team and it's imperative that in her business dealings she keeps an eye on the sports page. Whether it's a high-level meeting with a CFO, a routine mid-level meeting, or interactions with front-line workers they are in one mood when the team won, another when the team lost.

Well the Oilers have not been winning very much this season. They're 19-26-5 (in other words, 19 wins and 31 losses) and sitting second-last in the entire league (and 3 of the 5 teams ahead have at least a game in-hand). Between mediocre Oilers performance and the economic ruin that comes from electing Liberal and NDP governments, there isn't much these days to be happy about in Edmonton.

Until the All-Star Break, that is. Here's the list of the longest Oilers lossless streaks so far in 2015-2016: that's periods of time where Oilers fans don't sit glued to their TVs and then shut them off in disgust three hours later.


Since the season opener (a loss) Oilers fans haven't had many days to enjoy the team's most recent win (or, in two cases in our chart, to recover from the previous loss). Also notice the sad number of streaks: of the 19 games the Oilers have won only nine of those games (and 2 streaks) have been 3 or more games in a row. Usually the Oilers win a game only to lose the next games. The schedule hole combined with the All-Star Break gives the Oilers a whopping nine days without a game, which means 9 days without a loss. Were it not for the six-game win streak in early December this would be the longest lossless streak of the season. [The Oilers have been so bad you wouldn't believe how many times Feynman and Coulter's Love Child typed "winless" in this post and I had to correct it... -ed]


Here's the lossless streaks expressed visually. Note too how the Oilers have to win their first four games post-All-Star to set a new season mark: there's a schedule cost to having this many days off.

So enjoy this All-Star weekend, Oilers fans. This might be the happiest (and at least second least saddest) time of the season.

2016-01-22

Delawarication

Red Hot Chili Pepper's Anthony Kiedis has some good advice for would-be singer/songwriters. Mention U.S. state names as often as possible, even when it sounds ridiculous.

No, wait, sorry, it's "write that shit down".

Do you know how Keith Richards wrote the "Satisfaction" riff? It popped up in his noggin when he was falling asleep in a hotel room.

But Keef wasn't lazy, he got a recorder, he delivered the idea and went to sleep.

When he woke up and listened to the tape, he heard what would become one of the most iconic riffs of all time and "then me snoring for the next 40 minutes."

2016-01-15

This day in (blog) history

Hey, remember when the Edmonton Journal pretended not to notice black people?

2016-01-14

Terrorizing history

Another month, another terrorist attack in Istanbul: though this time it was serious.

Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIL militant of Syrian origin who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square near the Blue Mosque in the morning hours of Jan. 12 when the popular square was relatively less crowded compared to the rest of the day.

Tourist sites including the Hagia Sophia and the nearby Basilica Cistern were closed by the Istanbul Governor’s Office following the attack.
The symbolism here is awfully clear. Sultanahmet Square is the cultural hub of the city, but look not only at where Fadli detonated but where he didn't. The Obelisk of Theodosius was originally built aroud 1450BC and transported to Constantinople in the fourth century to be part of the now-demolished Hippodrome. It's located directly in front of another popular tourist location: the Blue Mosque. Nearby is the famed Hagia Sophia (a former mosque). It certainly isn't a coincidence that the attack took place in front of but far enough to not damage or distress a Muslim place of worship. The Obelisk is also along the side of the Blue Mosque used for tourists but nor worshippers, if that's of any relevance.

CNN is asking if Turkey's attacks on ISIS are coming home to roost rather than the most dangerous question...with all respect to the tourists (mostly German) who were killed and injured, what happens with ISIL radicals with suicide vests stop attacking people and start destroying monuments?

It's not like ISIS doesn't love destroying monuments: they've famously gone full Taliban of late, blowing up various sites including the Arch of Trumph, Temple of Bel, and the Tower of Elahbel. They don't even have to make a horrible choice between destroying history and raising the body count: they can do them both at the same time.

The logistics of tying captives to pillars in Montreal may not yet be within their grasp (but give it time!), though thanks to tourism they don't have to bring out the ropes. We are very happy to provide human targets inside historical sites.

Sultanahmet Square is, frankly speaking, not where you go to maximize your death toll in Istanbul. Even when it's busy, it's mostly full of Australian tourists and Italian tour buses. The number of people crammed into Sultanahmet Square or even the nearby tram is fairly minimal. If you want to kill a lot of people, you detonate your suicide vest in the busy Istiklal Caddesi (street) near Taksim Square -- and yes, this is how busy it is all the time -- and accept that a few non-tourists will be killed in the wake. You could put some real fear into people there.

And yet instead Nabil Fadli blew himself up in front of a Roman column in front of western visitors. His target was the visitors. Pray that his successor's target isn't the column.

The surprising film that influenced Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is action-packed, winks at all the in-jokes to the franchise, steals plot points from its popular precedessors with wild abandon, and entertains audiences in inverse proportion to how serious into fandom they are.

It's new yet old, inventive yet derivative...oh God, it's Star Trek Into Darkness isn't it?

I know, I know, you've read all this stuff already. Gary Sebben refers to Khan and the Starkiller as J.J. Abram's "fatal flaw":
It’s not a surprise. It adds nothing to who he is. It really doesn’t matter a drop. It just makes you cover your face in shame. Without Khan, Kirk saving the ship in place of Spock looks less like a rehash and more like a twist. Stuff that was an obvious callback becomes fresh because you’re not pointing back to the source. The smartest way to steal something and get away with it is to not tell us where you stole it from.

The same thing can be said of the Starkiller. The Force Awakens’ most critical fault is that it seems like a point-for-point remake of A New Hope. In a lot of ways that’s true. But nowhere else is it more apparent than with the countdown to death against a super weapon that’s about to blow the heroes up. The very idea that the Empire would build an even bigger megaweapon with a single vulnerable spot is ridiculous in the extreme. That it would remain secret from, not a small rebellion, but a major galactic government like the New Republic is even harder to swallow. Having the Starkiller reminds us this is a remake. All the other stuff was just different enough but the Starkiller is a Deathstar, period.
Luke Benjamen Kuhns goes even further, saying that The Force Awakens is "just as bad" as Into Darkness:
Just like Into Darkness, the plot of The Force Awakens relies wholly on A New Hope and elements of Return of the Jedi with enough cameos and references to drive someone insane. We revisit the young person on a desert planet dreaming of a better life, A villain with family issues, a kidnapped protagonist that needs saving, and another Death Star that needs blown up. Again there is another attempt to hide who the villain is, but when you get the obvious reveal the impact is lost. So here you don’t feel like you’ve seen anything new, but a different take on A New Hope.
A lot of the "Force Awakens Into Darkness" comparisons take a specific look at elements of the story and where they've been stolen from, that sort of thing.

However, walking out of the theatre following my viewing of The Force Awakens all I could think of was the same thing I was thinking of after hearing that J.J. Abrams would be directing the new movie:

Good, now Star Wars fans can know what it feels like to have your favourite universe destroyed.

I don't mean this strictly as an in-universe event: though noting that both Vulcan and Coruscant were destroyed by J.J. Abrams reboots. I mean that the events and stories and worlds that others have built up painstakingly over time have been obliterated, and instead we're left with the Abrams nightmare. Already you can cruise Memory Alpha (the Star Trek Wiki) and see the impact of this. There's a page for a character called Khan played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and a page for a character called Khan played by Ricardo Montalban. Wookiepedia had to redesign their biographies for all the characters, as Disney shunted the entire Expanded Universe into something called Star Wars Legends. Did you enjoy reading about Darth Caedus in the New Jedi Order series? Hope not! He's gone like the wind. He's as non-existent in this universe as the time that James T. Kirk traveled to San Fransisco to rescue whales. And of course, just like in the rebooted Star Trek franchise, the hated prequels are still canon but the much beloved later adventures aren't.

Star Trek fans have had to put up with this now for six and a half years. Uhura and FaggotSpock dated. The Enterprise was built in a field in Iowa where Kirk lived even though his mother died and his brother may or may not have been born. Scotty invented a magical interplanetary transporter. FaggotSpock.

Well now its the Warsians turn. Han and Leia only had one kid. Luke's new Jedi Order lasted 63 femtoseconds. The Sun Crusher is now called a Starkiller and is the size of an entire planet. Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara "Emperor's Hand" Jade are replaced by General Hux and Captain Phasma. I admit to not being that much of a Star Wars fan and I'm mostly aware of the Expanded Universe Star Wars: Legends through osmosis. I certainly haven't read any of the supplementary material except perhaps for a peek or two at Chapters. As far as I'm aware, Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn't feature anything as offensive to Expanded Universe fans as, say, Captain Kirk dying and being saved by Tribble blood. But then again, J.J. hasn't reached the Star Trek Into Darkness movie count yet...wait another 11 months and maybe they will.

Sure it's technically the "Hosnian system", not Coruscant. But the movie never tell us this, did it? Even 2009's Star Trek painstakingly spells out to the audience that this is an alternate timeline, yet a planet that looks exactly like Coruscant that houses the Senate and the New Republic

The Force Awakens is technically a sequel, but as both Red Letter Media and Ezra Klein have noted, it's ultimately a "soft reboot".

The Force Awakens borrows elements from more then just Star Trek Into Darkness of course: it also borrows from Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and Redirected. And no, that isn't a typo.


Did you see Redirected? If not, you really should (it's currently available on Canadian Netflix at the time of this writing). It's a neat little mob drama that sort of borrows some of the feel from Lucky Number Slevin, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, and most of Guy Ritchie's oeurvre (particularly Snatch or Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels). In it, a London man is "kidnapped" by his friends on his birthday and taken to a back alley and waits in the van as his friends presumably are getting him a hooker. Instead, they're involved in the violent robbery of an illegal casino run by Vinnie Jones (who, spoiler alert, spends a lot of the movie screaming and swearing), but since the birthday boy doesn't know to stay in the van and away from the cameras and the gang lets it slip during the holdout that one of Vinnie Jone's patrons was the inside man who planned the heist. As a result, Vinnie Jones goes after them all while the birthday boy tries to pursue his now ex-friends as they escape to Malaysia. They all wind up instead in Lithuania, where birthday boy tries to return home, the gang tries to retrieve their money and continue onto their South China Sea paradise, and Vinnie Jones goes after them. However, the gang members themselves are victims of some of Lithuania's seediest characters and the money and bloody assaults change hands almost faster than your eyes can keep up.

So that's basically the same plot as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, right? Vinnie Jones and Daisy Ridley are both British leads who play characters down on their luck working in a seedy part of the galaxy/city where they are accosted by shady characters who try to steal something of value (Vinnie Jones' ring, Oscar Isaac's droid). Both don't want to leave their home but are forced by consequence into a strange new world (Lithuania, Takodana) where everybody seems to be out to get them. Then a horny priest and/or horny Smuggler with a Wookie try to rescue a down on their luck guy handcuffed naked to a radiator (Gil Darnell, John Boyega) before an evil overlord (General Hux, Daniel Nehme) try to destroy Malaysia with a superlaser.

Okay, fine, you got me, the plot doesn't really match very much when you look at it that way. But what both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Redirected have in common is they exist in a universe where every possible coincidence instantly happens. We don't know for sure who Rey is: she may be Luke's daughter or Han's daughter or even Caleb Dume's daughter. Let's pretend she's Luke's daughter, who happens to live on the same world that Max Von Sydow lives on with the map to Skywalker Ranch. She's the one who finds BB-8 within a stone's throw of the Millenium Falcon. Finn happens to find the two of them (though I suppose Rey 'found' him). These are an awful lot of coincidences, and these are the ones that make the most sense. Luke may easily have left his daughter close to the man who knew how to find him, which means that Finn's aim to catch BB-8 in the vicinity makes the coincidence at least manageable. The only big coincidence is BB-8 latching onto Rey, and Uncle Owen did buy C-3PO in the original trilogy so we have to give that a pass. Likewise in Redirected birthday boy knew where to find his friends because he knew they were going to Malaysia and its theoretically possible to blindly stumble upon people you're looking for at Heathrow Airport (though about as likely as a droid finding the right girl to latch onto). There's a gag about birthday boy being a minor celebrity (he works at Buckingham Palace) which is why Vinnie Jones' gangsters can find his house within an hour after seeing him on the security videos. Since the casino patron gave up the names of the other robbers to Vinnie Jones, they could trace the flight to Lithuania and know which country to aim for. Fair enough.

But then both franchises go off the deep end. Chewie and Solo just happen to stumble across the Falcon within 30 seconds in deep space without ever noticing it on the planet 500 miles away -- despite knowing its pedigree where presumably they could have traced the "stole from who stole from" trail of begats that Rey somehow had memorized. At the time they find the Millenium Falcon it contains data required for Princess Leia, Han's ex-girlfriend, which Han and Leia's son is trying to track down. Everywhere they go, somebody already knows that the First Order is looking for BB-8. Apparently every adventure in the Star Wars galaxy features some combination of Skywalkers (Anakin, Luke, Leia, and Kylo Ren) interacting with each other. And that's without us testing to see if Snoke is related to Palpatine and Rey is related to Luke. Hell, Nien Nunb and Ackbar are back along with what looks like Porkin's overweight son. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Biggs turns out to be related to Poe Dameron and Finn is actually a Calrisian. The galaxy has ten families in it, tops.

Likewise, in the world of Redirected the nation of Lithuania is about four square miles with only a single gas station. Two of the casino robbers find themselves in a small town where the truck they steal escaping a vicious fiancee turns out to be the fiancee's smuggling truck. Their getaway is spoiled because the fiancee knows how to find them, and Vinnie Jones always knows how to find everybody he's looking for. There's apparently only a single priest in all of Lithuania, the guy handcuffed to the radiator spots the con-lady who robbed him while running around naked on a city bus. Despite the fact that the Brits are all in a strange land where they don't speak the language, they can always locate people who are often trying to remain hidden. Near the end of the film when the skinny robber is telling Vinnie Jones where to find them, the answer is "at the Lithuanian wedding" and you don't even question that despite the supposed 300km distance Vinnie Jones gets there before the cake is finished baking.

In both films, the universe (a galaxy long ago and far away and/or Lithuania) is setup to be smaller than most small towns. Seriously, spend a day where you and three other friends all go to Smoky Lake during the Pumpkin Festival but each take separate vehicles and don't try to arrange anything on your cellphone (including attending the events). Just wander around the busy-ish small-ish town and see how many Star Wars or Redirected style coincidences you can discover. Having done basically this same experiment by accident a couple of years ago, I can already tell you that it's damned-near impossible. Similarly, remember trying to meet up in large/largest malls before cellphones?

So remember, if you're always able to bump into people you need to bump into to progress the plot of your life, you might just be a Jedi.

2016-01-13

The Bounty on Rachel Arab's head has just reached $1,000,000

2016-01-11

Whatever happened to the Gin Blossoms?

Believe it or not, it's a mere six years (and not, say, sixteen years) since their last album.

2016-01-10

Star Wars and the World of Tomorrow

Did you think that Kylo Ren's ship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens looked familiar? So did I, and I figured out why.

2016-01-09

The Donald

What to make of Vladimir Putin saying such nice things about Donald Trump?

I guess half of it depends on which side of the Trump fence you're on. I'm pretty sure everybody's biases will be confirmed.

But perhaps the bigger question is which side of the Trump fence Putin is on. Which is to say, are his pro-Trump comments sincere?

“There is no doubt that he is a very bright and talented man,” the Russian leader said. “It is not our business to assess his merits; that is up to the U.S. voters. But he is an absolute leader of the presidential race."
The first part is something that the more fierce of Trump-haters (hey Paula Simons, how are you doing today?) will probably still deny: their visceral animal disgust at his beliefs is so strong that it blinds them to pretty much everybody. However it's a fairly anodyne statement when you come right down to it.

The bigger question is in the latter half of his quote. "He is an absolute leader of the presidential race". What the hell does that even mean? Is Putin just expressing a cold mathematical fact related to his poll numbers? Or is it instead more of an attempt to actually speak about Trump's leadership abilities?

Which comes to the question of whether or not Putin believes it. Much of what Putin says is hard to jive with the facts, though it's worth noting that this three hour talk caused him to accidentally speak much more plainly about the Crimea incident than he's ever done before. He may actually believe Trump is a strong leader and wished to express his appreciation. This would be a big difference between his recent treatment of another strong leader, namely Stephen Harper, who Putin basically accused of being President Monkey's toady. Putin might really admire Trump, which on a certain level makes sense. Both men have a certain bombast to them (Trump's is more vocal, Putin's is more physical) that belies a much more strategic mind underneath. They both hope that you get so distracted by their naked plays for attention that you assume that they're just an airhead. Neither is, of course, and Putin might just be giving "The Donald" a little professional courtesy. After all, Trump did the same for him two months ago.

The other possibility, of course, is that Putin doesn't really mean what he's saying and instead is using that shrewd strategic mind in the subtle ways that only a Russian truly can. In other words, knowing that he's not popular in the United States and Republicans in particular are interested in butting heads with the Russians, he's trolling them: saying such nice things about Trump to try and discourage people from voting Trump. Whether he's meaning to do this because he actually does fear having to sit across from a summit table with Trump as Mark Steyn suggests, or he's just playing around to see how much he can affect Trump's approval ratings as a feeler exercise, it's still worth considering. If you believe left-wing Bloomberg on the matter, Putin doesn't have to fear Trump anyways. Of course, Bershidsky wouldn't like the notion that Putin legitimately believes Trump to be a strong leader either, so from his perspective neither scenario is possible. I suppose he just didn't say it? Yeah, let's go with that.

Putin also, of course, praised John Kerry for his handling of the Syrian crisis. This is another data point in the "playing around with Trump" column, since after all nobody believes Kerry has done a good job in the Middle East. Putin apparently delivered that line while barely cracking a smile.

It would be fitting for a Russian

From your mom

Dilbert author Scott Adams wonders whether the future cure to sexless marriages might just be polgyamy. (it isn't his first foray into the subject).

It has Adam's usual decent mix of comedy, social commentary, and some of his crazier-than-shit thinking. The highlight, of course...

I can’t speak for women, but most men are going to be in a good mood if you offer them a sandwich and oral sex for lunch. Even if they say no. It just feels good to be asked.

Though to be honest, the best parts of Adams' blog these days are his little Trump discussions. He's not a fan of Trump in the sense that if you forced him into a voting booth right now and put a gun to his head he'd probably vote for Rand Paul. But he's a huge fan of Trump in the sense that he admires how Trump is changing the narrative for his campaign every day and seemingly (but not seemingly) at a whim.

But you don't get any good lines about blowjobs and sandwiches.

2016-01-08

#yeg Macs store murders

These three jackpine savages have certainly been #IdleNoMore!

I wonder how many #MMIW these three sacks of Indian shit are responsible for?

#LieToTheCensus

Rat Bastard 2.0 is going ahead with the long-form census. So guess what you need to do?

LIE.

You totally can lie. They don't send inspectors to followup. So lie. Lie to the census, deny Trudeau the information on you and your life he seeks so that his far-left government can exert more control over you. Deny the state your personal data. You can do it. I have faith in you.

The real victims

CTV News is on the case!

San Bernadino murders? Bah, tiny local story, not worth covering.

Paris Attacks? Probably angry right-wingers upset about global warming.

Fake Syrian refugees pouring into Canada to ruin our country? No no, refugees welcome! Some brain-dead liberals brought a sign to the airport to prove it!

Gangs of thugs involved in Bali? Just a little crime problem, no larger role to play in the world around us.

You know what is serious though? An absolutely hateful incident that cannot be tolerated? A British Muslim family didn't get to go to Disneyland.

Bonus head-in-the-sand link: Erna Paris’s ridiculous anti-Harper "fear-driven leaders" article is so offensive they hide it behind the pay wall.

Shiny Pony wasn't in the cavalry

The Globe and Mail has discovered that military vehicles have weapons on them.

Some of the armoured combat vehicles Canada is selling to Saudi Arabia in a controversial $15-billion arms deal will feature medium- or high-calibre weapons supplied by a European subcontractor – such as a powerful cannon designed to shoot anti-tank missiles.

These details shine a light on how lethal a product the Saudi Arabian National Guard – a force that deals with internal threats in the Mideast country – will be getting from Canada.

This contradicts Justin Trudeau’s assertion during the federal election campaign that the deal brokered by the Canadian government was merely for what amount to “jeeps.”
Let's for a moment set aside Shiny Pony's ignorant comments.

G&M commenter Mikey from the GWN said it best: "would the author care to name a military armoured vehicle that doesn't pack a lethal punch?". After all, even military support personnel (like mechanics or first aiders) are trained in combat techniques and carry firearms when on deployments. There's a certain naivite in the ignorance of Steven Chase and Daniel LeBlanc who wrote the article.
CMI, which manufactures turrets and cannons, announced in 2014 that it had signed a large contract with a “Canadian vehicle manufacturer” to supply two gun systems, including a medium-calibre weapon and the Cockerill CT-CV 105HP, which it advertises as a “high-pressure gun with an advanced autoloader to deliver high lethality at very light weight,” one with the capacity to fire 105-mm shells and a heavy-armour-penetrating missile. CMI did not name the Canadian company.

In France, where CMI’s campus is located, a local municipal official said CMI is doing work for General Dynamics and its armoured vehicle contract with Saudi Arabia. In an interview, Jean-Philippe Vautrin, president of the Communauté de Communes du pays de Commercy, said CMI will start training the Saudis on the turrets and cannons in 2017, using simulators on the campus site but also a nearby artillery range.

He said the Saudis will learn how to operate the wheeled portion of the LAVs on Canadian soil.
Now, as I promised, let's get back to Rat Bastard 2.0's mid-election contention that what Canada was selling the Saudis was "only for jeeps". Yes, obviously the pathetic man-child is a retarded moron for being so ignorant. Yes, obviously armoured vehicles are closer to tanks than to jeeps. But re-read the second quoted part of the article above. CMI manufacturers turrets and cannons. There's a huge likelihood that those systems will never appear on Canadian soil. The Saudis are being trained on the weapons systems in Europe, remember. Then they receive a turret featuring high pressure guns with advanced autoloaders, simultaneously receiving a vehicle from Canada. In other words, what Canada is building for the Saudis looks a lot like this:


Meanwhile, what the Saudis will be driving around at the end of the day will look like this:


So Trudeau certainly isn't correct in what he said, but he isn't entirely wrong. Canada is building an armoured vehicle, and a European company is building a weapons system. It's unclear from the article whether the $4.9B value contract with CMI is contained within General Dynamics' $15B contract or not. I suppose its entirely possible that a weapons system can make up 1/3rd of the cost of a military vehicle. But then you read this:
The full number of combat vehicles Canada will sell to the Saudis has never been released – some arms trade experts estimate it could be in the thousands – but a French municipal official told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday the transaction CMI is involved with concerns about 700.
According to About.com, the cost to replace a U.S. armoured vehicle is around $1M each though Army-Guide.com lists prices between $282,000 and $2.6M depending on the size of the batch and the customer. 700 vehicles costing $15B would be $21M per vehicle, and that's patently ridiculous. Let's assume instead $4M per vehicle which would still be the most expensive armoured vehicles around. That gives us 3,750 vehicles, which still seems high for a 14-year contract (267 vehicles a year? That's nine vehicles every twelve days). Likely the contract also includes technical support (we know it includes training) which over a 14 year period can easily be $200M a year and shaving $2.8B off the price tag and dropping our estimate to 3050 vehicles. So let's say 3000. We should also note that the General Dynamics contract is for 14 years and the CMI contract is for "more than 15" years, even though we know the CMI contract is apparently only for 700 units. That means a lot more training and logistics and other support must be part of the CMI contract: within three-and-a-half years the 700 vehicles CMI is building guns for will be built. For this and a few other reasons it's likely that the $4.9B CMI contract is not part of the General Dynamics contract.

So what does that mean? Well, it means that like the eponymous broken clock, Rat Bastard 2.0 isn't that that wrong when he says that Canada is basically selling Jeeps. We're providing the physical vehicle, and other contractors are providing the weapons (for 700 of them, it's CMI). Of all the idiotic and retarded things this embarassing load of shit has said over the years, at least this one isn't quite as idiotic and retarded as some of the others.

And yes, Virginia, military vehicles have guns on them. even Jeeps.

The Force Awakens, by Vox.com

In the weirdest ever example of Voxsplaining, Laiah Idelson recants her life story about how she's born in 1987 with a first name phonetically identical to Carrie Fisher's Star Wars character.

First grade: I am Princess Jasmine from Aladdin for Halloween. Kids ask me why I'm not Princess Leia.

I am asked this question every Halloween for the rest of my life.
I'm often asked why my Halloween costume never matches existing elements of my fandom (though coincidentally I did dress as Luke Skywalker one year). Never thought to whine to Vox.com about it.
10th grade: I begin drinking Starbucks. I learn that giving my real name for my drink is often a real risk of public mispronunciation and lost drinks.

I begin to use the name Katie. Later in life I switch to using Anna. Because, let's be honest, I don't look like a Katie.
Any Canadian who goes to southern America quickly learns that they have trouble understanding the names we give. I've since learned to always call myself "Dick" when somebody asks for my name in a context (ie. calling a cab) where there's no need to be honest with them. They can understand Dick. Never even bothered blogging about this, let alone whining to Vox.

Bonus Star Wars Voxsplaining: Is Luke's daughter totally unrelated to any major character a Mary Sue? If you think so, you must be a misogynist! (Featuring a bonus-bonus appearance of everybody's least favourite Best of the World guest star Max Landis)

2016-01-06

#BecauseIts2015

Rat Bastard 2.0 has decided the state belongs in the (children's) bedrooms of the nation.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould confirmed Monday the government is including the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which protects parents — and to a lesser extent, schoolteachers — who use “reasonable” physical force against children as part of its greater pledge to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
See? I told you that all 94 recommendations were horrible. Now you're seeing what comes next.
Heather Smith, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, said she would be open to Section 43 being repealed so long as it was replaced with something that specifically protected educators who may feel the need to use physical force — as narrowly defined by the 2004 Supreme Court decision — in the course of doing their jobs.

"There is a high threshold of accountability for teachers . . . I see it as protecting children, but it protects teachers against frivolous allegations," said Smith.

Those who oppose Section 43 argue the de minimis principle would already protect parents and teachers against prosecution on trivial charges.

In other words, even if someone called a child welfare agency after witnessing a smack on the bottom, an investigation would be unlikely to go forward if there were no other signs of maltreatment, never mind reach the police and the courts.

“This criminalizing of parents is a scare tactic,” said Ensom.
Ron Ensom is an insane anti-spanking advocate who is telling a blatent lie. So, I'm going to call him out.

ron ensom spankingRon Ensom, you claimed that parents will not be criminalized if Section 43 of the criminal code is repealed. If it is repealed, the very first time in the news that I hear about a parent being charged for spanking their child I will go to where you work and beat the living shit out of you. Think of it as an appropriate punishment for your bad behaviour. You're a lying sack of shit, and I am going to hold you responsible for your lies.

Domestic terrorism

Surprise surprise: an establishment that caters overwhelmingly to Muslims is the source of violence.

The bar has a permit to sell tobacco and hookah products but was denied a licence to operate as a bar.

Basualdo said she has complained to the city since September about the business, which she said operates as an illegal hookah bar and attracts shady characters.

"This wouldn't happen in other areas in the city," she said. "I firmly believe that if something like this was operating illegally on Whyte Avenue or on 124th Street, any other area of the city … it wouldn't have gone on this long."
As it so happens, there are several grey-market hooka bars operating on Whyte Avenue, so I'm not sure what her point is. Is she saying the overwhelmingly black and increasingly Muslim and obviously misnamed "Alberta Avenue" is a sort of police no-go zone?

It wouldn't be the first time.

Possibly related: Didn't they just expand the LRT into that neighbourhood?

2016-01-05

This never would have happened under a Christian mayor

Calgary just wrapped up a shocking 2015 that saw them competing with Toronto for Canada's Murder Capital rather than their usual December pasttime of wondering what's wrong with Edmonton.

In 2015 Cowtown saw a late ruling in the death of Jessica Hagan which officially ended their year with 34 murders: they had only six in 2011 when their northern neighbour hit 47. Toronto (which Edmonton even surpassed numerically in 2011) has Calgary beat with 56 murders in 2015, but they also have a substantially larger population to draw from.

The equalizer, of course, is the same reason that Manitoba has the highest murder rate in the country: not enough white people. It's the same phenomenon which caused my endless "Safe Haven" talk about Edmonton, and what I wrote years ago about the loss of Toronto the Good. I haven't written much about Winnipeg, but spoiler alert, the problem there is Red Indians.

Which leads us right back to the title of this post. The same ethnic pandering which leads to effeminate anti-Christian non-white mayors in Calgary also leads to a lot of dead bodies out on the street. Of the 34 victims, the Calgary SUN helpfully provides names. Let's examine some of them now.
  1. Abdullahi Ahmed; Arab
  2. Murad Omar; Arab
  3. Cuong Hoang; Oriental
  4. Dawn Echoes Baptiste; #IdleNoMore
  5. Mohameddek Ali Mohamud; Arab
  6. Maryam Rashidi; Arab
  7. Steven Sharda; East Indian
  8. Levi Marance, #IdleNoMore
  9. Mustafe Mohamud Hussein; Arab
  10. David Quach; Oriental
  11. Hui Xu; Oriental
  12. Kallen Carothers; Negress
  13. Christian Jovanovic; Arab
  14. Zakariya Mohamed Abdow; Arab
  15. Christa Cachene; #IdleNoMore
  16. Selamawit Alem; Somalian
  17. Julie Tran; Oriental
  18. Janel Squirrel; #IdleNoMore
  19. Khaled El-Ajami; Arab
  20. Hussein Merhi; Arab
That's a whole 20/34 murder victims who aren't white, meaning that 59% of the murder victims came from 32.7% of the population. Breaking that down further, Arabs make up an amazing 26% of the murder victims yet only making up 1.5% of the Calgary population! We're analyzing the victims, of course, not the perpetrators. But in general, they are one and the same. From Selamawit Alem (killed by her own son) to Christa Cachene (a Red Indian killed by her boyfriend, also a Red Indian) to white Jessica Rae Newman killed by her white boyfriend), the overwhelming tendency of Calgary killers was to stay within their own race. This isn't universal, of course: Maryam Rashidi was killed by a white kid out on bail, Frank Burton was killed by a negro as a consequence of his Tourette's, while Jonathan Schmeikal was killed by a savage Red Indian lesbian. Let's just say that when we're moving outside of our races in the killing department, white killers fall behind their demographics even more than white victims do. So your vast majority of killings in Calgary are due to the city's wider and wider range of ethnic groups that expand the culinary scene, add to the number of pavilions at Heritage Fest, vote Nenshi...and commit ruthless acts of deadly violence against the innocent.

Usually.

2016-01-02

Hung Out

Google Hangouts might be losing its texting features. I believe I can speak for all Android users when I say...

Did Google Hangouts have SMS/MMS capabilities? I didn't know that. Of course, I also forget for months on end that Google Hangouts is a thing and that people have messaged me on it. Is Google Hangouts still around?