Thursday 29 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --VOCs, Gas, Crosses and Debt

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Kind of tired today, contractors at my house yesterday requiring me to be in multiple places at once, in an eCare conference while watching a guy using the wrong tool to close a pail, while another guy sprayed chemicals containing volatile organic compounds without a respirator.  I suggested to him several times to wear one, but he claimed he was immune.  Right, dumb.

And now I am just skimming the newspaper.  I see that the U.S. and Canada are gearing up to inflict some kind of retribution on Syria for the gas attack, Syria claims that it wasn't them that it was the rebels.  Interesting, that would mean the rebels carried out a 'false flag' attack to invoke this retribution.  If true, not a bad tactical move.  I have wondered why Syria would be dumb enough to launch a gas attack with the world watching, but that's just me.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the move is underway to ban religious symbols in gov't institutions...  odd if you ask me, does this mean that the nuns and priests working in the schools and hospitals (they are funded by the gov't and usually fall under such legislation) won't be recognizable as nuns and priests?  I am certainly a fan of banning symbols of oppression disguised as religious symbols, but it never bothered me that Sr. Alice wore a cross,  Question?  Will the Crucifix be removed from the Quebec Legislature?

A recent Transunion study shows that Canadians swelled their consumer debt up to $27,000.  I for one am disappointed.  I think with some concentrated effort, consumers can spend themselves further into debt and reach the Canadian standard set by the folks in BC with their $38,000.   Come on Canada, we can do it!

There, found something to write about.  I was going to fill the Pulp with hundreds of lines of "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy".  That would be more meaningful for fans of The Shining.  :)

Have a great day.  Spend spend spend.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Keynesian Revisited

I don't usually throw back into our collective faces what I have written in previous Pulps (okay, sometimes :).

Back a short eon ago when I had moved the publishing on these missives to this Pulp site away from a simple email distribution group I published an email written to Don ( about the <bullshit> disparity between North American and Japanese automakers.  Yep...  Like the past always comes back to haunt the present, I bring you...  Canada Post.

In that missive I explained Keynesian economic theory a bit.  The theory runs a bit like this, and this is extremely simplified... do not pay Paul what you owe him today, merely pay the interest, the principal will shrink on its own by the going rate of inflation.  Instead go out and spend the monies that you borrowed from Peter, the debt to him will shrink too.  I read this back in the very early 80s and it scared the shit out of me then for the very reason I will explain.

bullshit bullshit bullshit. Yes, the trifecta of bullshits.

What I realized 30 years ago was that if corporations, banks, and institutional debtors in general adopted the logical strategy and did not fund their debts, then they would continue to push them forward into the distant future and make them someone else's problem, but eventually the debt will need to be serviced and if the entity's growth had not matched the going rate of return, someone would get shafted.  Moreover if it became a widespread practice it could spell an economic crash that no Glass Steagal style legislation could touch.

I had discussed with my friend, the late Hughes M., at the time (we both worked at the Lethbridge Community College -- shout out to my friend Andy that used to work in Environmental Sciences and now works for the man at some TV station, Yo, Andy!  Hughes downplayed the risk really for two reasons.  One, he'd rather shoot hoops, and two he didn't have any interest in economics.

When corp execs realize this bit of flimflammery they may (and often do) put it together that they need not worry about things like employee pensions.

Um.. Uncle Daniel, you were mentioning Canada Post?  Yep.  Buried in the back pages of the Globe last week sometime was an article written by someone that actually read CP's last financial statement.  And..  Surprise surprise, Canada Post projects that it has enough cash flow to meet its obligations until the early part of 2014. 

This means Canada Post will in all likelihood be seeking help from the Gov't in meeting its pension obligations.  That means you and I.  So while you and I are saving our funds into our RRSPs, TFSAs and mattresses, these bastards were spending the money that should have been banked to meet the future payroll obligations.  It makes no sense to believe that you could pay a Postie to walk down my street with revenue from today's mail postage and also pay the pensions of all previous Posties.

Do you know what happens if we didn't pay our employees?  Our employees could go after the officers and directors of the company, because even in a limited liability corporation, although ordinary creditors can't go after the shareholders, officers, and directors, employee wages are an exception.  So I ask the question, how are pension funds any different from wages?  I see no difference, they are merely deferred wages that arose from negotiations between the Posties and Canada Post.  Let 'em go cap in hand to the Gov't, but let's see some accountability for those that made the bad decisions.

Have a good day, plan for your own future.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --Keep your receipts

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today and will not be working tomorrow.  Friday will see me head off to Calgary to see some family and participate is a family event.  Distributel accounting staff will not see any travel or accommodation expenses for tomorrow's trip.  I do not find it confusing.

This is a cheap and easy way to fill the Pulp this morning.

Quick follow up on Pamela Wallin and her creative bookkeeping, or is that pronounced bookcooking?  Seems Wallins calendars were altered prior to turning them over to the auditors, some 400 changes.  Now Wallin claims that they were merely 'formatted' to show the relevant items to the auditors, but I ask you, does altering items like adding an awards dinner that she did not attend and deleting a flight that would prove that she was not there constitute formatting?

The auditing firm, Deloitte, has identified some $120,000 in 'expenses' that have been identified as non Senate related, and a further $20,000 in questionable items. What does that mean?  It means that the Canadian taxpayers were bilked out of these funds that were used to pay for Wallin's activities related to her free enterprise activity, or her personal activity.  I will save you trying to figure out what crime that is.  It is fraud over (well over) $5000. It is embezzlement of public funds, it is a series of indictable offenses.  It is also a contravention of the senate act.  Pamela, you need a team of lawyers, but please don't submit expenses for them.

Wallin has issued the statement not unlike, "it's not fair, there are so many numbers and its so confusing.."  

I would be much more sympathetic if the auditors found that she had missed expenses, but no.  Why is it that whenever someone claims simple errors that the errors always seem to favour them?  One last tidbit, the audit cost taxpayers in the neighborhood of $128,000.  aw crap.  Like I said before, the Senate should have its own full time audit staff.

Have a great day, keep your receipts.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Bolsheviks R Us

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I may be a Bolshevik.  Maybe not a card carrying member of the Russian Democratic Workers' Party, but certainly a believer in Social Democracy.   Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "gosh Uncle Daniel, nothing in your writings would have suggested that :p".

What prompted the invocation of the 'B' word?  This morning I was reading an account of President Obama in a Jay Leno interview from yesterday, where the Pres made the statement, "There is no spying on Americans, we don’t have a domestic spying program".  WOW what bullshit.

You see The POTUS was playing a bit of a word game, trying to make a distinction between gathering up banking, phone, email, browsing, purchasing, records of ordinary citizens and the separate process of looking at the records.  Obama's little word game with the outmatched Leno reminded me of a game of cat and mouse.

And then I remembered Tommy Douglas.  And the mice.  And the cats.  Douglas told a story of Mice and Cats to demonstrate the illogic of continuing to elect Black Cats or White Cats to administer and enact laws over the Mice of Mouseland, and how one mouse had the idea of not electing cats, but mice to administer the land and enact laws.  It was a great idea, of course the Cats called the mouse with the idea a Bolshevik and locked him up.  See prior pulp on Sedition (

So to continue on what this Black Cat is up to and also to continue on with the domestic spying program, Obama has cancelled a planned meeting with Russia's Putin 'cause he's ticked that Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum.

Snowden.  You may recall the pulp that announced the exposure of the domestic spying program starting with the news that Verizon was providing phone records to the U.S. gov't ( Snowden, through an act of conscience revealed to the world the domestic spying program.  What you may not be aware of is that the majority (thin, but none-the-less a majority) of Americans see Snowden not as a treasonous bastard that the White House has labelled him but as a whistleblower.

And that is very interesting.  The U.S. gov't has lied to the population about there being no domestic spying, moreover the U.S. Constitution specifically provides against it (Obama should know that since he is a Constitutional Lawyer, whereas I just blog about Constitutional Law), and Snowden reveals the lie, and the ppl see him as a whistleblower and none-the-less, the POTUS risks diplomatic relations with Russia (another member of the UN Security Council I will add).

For the People, by the People?  No.  By Black and White Cats.

Have a good day folks, you Bolsheviks too.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --Senseless

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today, and not working tomorrow (more on that in the second Pulp item).

First in today's Pulp, the senseless and outragious shooting of Sammy Yatim by Toronto Police.  I have watched the videos and read the accounts reported to date.  Unless Yatim was an evil super villain with magical powers there was absolutely no reason to shoot the young man once let alone nine times and then half a minute after his dying body lay on the deck to punish it with six seconds of Taser discharge.  Just for you if unaware, there was no one on the streetcar except for Yatim, there was no one at risk with the exception of Yatim.  Accounts place Yatim exposing himself and that he was armed with a three inch knife. The police could have just isolated him for hours if necessary and used their words to resolve the situation.  As it was the police were on the scene for about a minute and committed by all accounts was seems to be a senseless killing.  Civilization is was disappears when we need it most.

Next, more joyfull news.  I am not working tomorrow.  Neither is Sharlene, and neither is Jennifer.  Phil too is taking the day off (Phil is Jennifer's fella).  And the reason for this wave of job skipping?  Because my daughter Christine is flying into Toronto this evening from Kelowna along with MY GRANDSON ETHAN!  and tomorrow...  We are going to the Zoo!  .. unless it is going to rain all day and we'll go Saturday instead.  This is it folks.  A Grandpa taking his Grandson to the zoo is the reward for just about everything that a guy has ever put up with... all roads led to here, a great deal if you ask me :)

Last item on the docket.. Our Federal Gov'ts is adopting a 'Nudge' Program.  Nudge? You may ask?  Go ahead, I'll wait.

"Nudge?, Uncle Daniel"

Yes.  This is a program modeled after Britian's program with a name that Orwell would approve, "Behavioural Insights Team". The goal of the program is to nudge the citizenry into behavioural patterns pleasing to the gov't by using techniques learned through psychological research into behaviour modification.  The initial goals are economically motivated, nudge ppl into paying taxes on time, insulating their attic.  But soon, and don't worry, it will happen, the techniques learned and refined by this program will be used to nudge the citizenry, the electorate, into shifting its political views into those of the gov't.  Yes, it's very easy to forget that the electorate is suppose to impose its will on the gov't not the other way around.

Have a good day.