Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Charity Begins at Home

Our local newspaper, the Montreal Gazette, is running a series of articles about the recipients of their Christmas fund. I thought that the articles were written to evoke sympathy for families who are much worse off. I wonder if it's only me, but I find it difficult to feel sympathy for a family of welfare recipients who have been on the dole for 10 years and currently have six children.

The mother originally arrived in 1997 and worked for a year. Then she married and started producing children. In the last 10 years, she has had six, which is an average of one child every 18 months. I don't have a problem with large families. My mother was one of four children and my father was one of five.

The big difference is that they worked hard to support their families.

There is something fundamentally flawed with a system that rewards welfare recipients for having more children than they can afford. Why stop? Each additional child means more revenue for them and higher taxes for me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Slavery is not dead. It's alive and healthy in Quebec

It's interesting that at the same time as the United States of America elects a black president, the Quebec government calmly announces that "mandatory overtime" will be required from nurses.

Quebec nurses are now slaves. It's true that they are still being paid, and are probably getting overtime rates, but forced work is still coercion.
If a private company were to demand mandatory overtime, there would be a huge outcry. Amnesty International would be writing about their terrible working conditions. Janet Bagnal would be writing reams about the poor women being forced to work long hours or risk losing their jobs. Instead, it's business--sorry, government--as usual.

I'll remember this, the next time someone claims that capitalism turns workers into slaves. It's clear that the guilty party is the government, and the nurses' slavery an inevitable result of its incompetence and mismanagement. You want government-controlled healthcare? This is the outcome: "mandatory overtime" aka servitude aka slavery.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

University suspends blood drives to protest federal ban on gay blood donors

from Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/the-freak-est-links-111/
"A Bay Area university has suspended all campus blood drives because of a long-standing government policy that bars gay men from donating blood, putting renewed attention on an issue that has been a sore spot at many liberal colleges."

The Canadian Red Cross was sued for billions of dollars when people were infected by tainted blood. The resulting restrictions make it very difficult for many people to donate blood. Gay men are one of those groups who have a higher risk of supplying tainted blood.

I'm all for reducing risk, but this University is making it difficult for non-gay men to donate. As a result, everyone suffers.

My solution is simple: Allow gay blood donors but segregate their donations from the general population. All University people who agreed with the suspension would draw blood from the bank of gay donors.
They would be able to compare relative risk with political correctiveness...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Natural Foods may be bad for your health!

Eating Natural Foods is not necessarily better for your health. In fact, a Californian producer of Spinach is suspected in a recent outbreak of E.Coli poisoning.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sympatico DSL Warning

I recently received a nice personally addressed letter from Sympatico. They claimed that I was a 'valued' Sympatico member, and were offering to reduce my monthly price from $44.95 (exhorbitant) to $39.00 (very high) if I signed a 12 month agreement. I also read about another promotion for new members in the local newspaper. It was $9.95 per month for 6 months, then $20.95 thereafter. The catch was that the promotion was for new subscribers and for their 'Basic' (slow) service. After reading the letter, I thought about our DSL service and how slow it was since our move to Montreal West.

The problem with DSL is that the further you are from the switch, the slower your connection speed. I went to dslreports.com to measure the DSL speed and was surprised to see that it was only 474 kbps! This was way under the 'Basic' speed of 700 kbps. This meant that for the last few years, I was paying for high speed DSL, but was receiving only slow speed service.

Something must be done!

I called Sympatico tech-support to see if our connection speed was normal. Unfortunately, it was and the agent was kind enough to switch me to sales, where I could downgrade my service. I remarked to the salesperson that I was getting their Basic speed but was paying full price, but he wasn't impressed. I asked about taking advantage of the new subscriber promotion, and he explained that I was not a new subscriber. I asked him what would happen if I just cancelled the service, then reconnect as a new subscriber. He parried by saying that I would have to disconnect for 3 months!, since my number was in their database.

I then gave him a choice. Allow me to get the new-subscriber promotion or I would cancel my service and reconnect when the requisite 3 months were over. I mentioned that Sympatico was my backup connection (true) and that Bell had been grossly overcharging me since we moved to our current location.

Success! After multiple consultations with persons unknown, he agreed. We've now been downgraded to their Basic service, which we actually had all the time. In the next year, I should be saving about $354.00 !

If you are using DSL internet, and your supplier offers multiple speeds, go check your actual connection speed. You can do this very easily at DSL Reports. If your actual speed is close to, or below their slower (cheaper) plan, then call them and downgrade. They won't call you and tell you that you are wasting your money.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Welcome to "Dipped in Vitriol".

This is the place where I get to rant & muse about life.
Maybe I'll find some free time... but politics and work keep me very busy.