Monthly Archives: September 2014

Happy Trails

If we were Obama today, we’d do one of two things: fire the head of the secret service or go  buy a baseball bat to protect myself. News that the secret service did not want leaked came out today. It appears that the dude who jumped the fence a couple of weeks ago got into the White House, with a knife no less, and had plenty of time to run around most of the ground floor. He was caught not by those on duty, but by an off-duty Secret Service agent who was coincidentally in the house and leaving for the night.

In other details that have come to light, the intruder penetrated at least five rings of security protecting what is supposed to be one of the world’s most secure properties.The United States of America is in much bigger trouble than they even know they are. From the president on down and through all the layers of security and so-called leadership positions within the government, no one seems to be taking ownership of their job.

Are we the only one who thinks that any details of the magnotta trial are unnecessary for anyone to hear? He did it and no matter what the outcome he’s obviously a psychopath with no conscious. It serves zero purpose for the public to continuously hear the gory facts. Some stations are a bit more sensitive to this, others for whatever their reason, insist on giving every morsel. We wonder where the line gets crossed and who decides. Not sure about you, but when we hear this coming up on a newscast, we simply lower the volume on our radio.

Hong Kong is quite the happening place these days with riots stopping traffic and causing chaos. Today a six-lane highway was beginning to be blocked by protestors. To jog your memory, Britain handed control of Hong Kong, one of its former colonies, to China in 1997. Issues were expected at some point and, lo and behold, they’re here. Here’s the scoop on what’s going on:

Why: In late August, the Chinese legislature’s standing committee ruled that it would not allow open nominations in Hong Kong’s 2017 election for chief executive. Instead, potential candidates must be endorsed by a special nominating body in Beijing before securing a spot on the ballot.

Who is protesting: It started with students and has escalated to include Hong Kong residents.

What are their demands? The protesters want fully democratic elections when they cast their ballots for the next chief executive.

What is Beijing’s role? When Great Britain handed over Hong Kong to China the two governments negotiated a so-called “one country, two systems” method of government that ensures Hong Kong remains free of China’s socialism. Hong Kong’s basic law promises its capitalist system will remain untouched for 50 years. Many are now saying that Beijing is backtracking on that promise.

How has the government responded?
With a very heavy hand shooting tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets at the protesters, something unusual for the  usually polite Hong Kong police. The demonstrators are one up on the police however as they came equipped with umbrellas to ward off much of what is tossed at them. In fact, when the umbrellas are turned inside out the pepper spray hits back at the police. Ergo this demonstration has been dubbed The Umbrella Revolution.

What happens next? Seems to be at an impasse. No surprise that the Chinese government is unwilling to negotiate on details important to the pro-democracy movement. Also no surprise that the protestors are not backing down. Could get ugly. Time will tell.

We saved PKP – Pierre Karl Peladeau for the bottom of the news where he belongs. A poll was taken of PQ members as to whom they would like as their new leader to replace princess pauline. To our delight it was PKP by a landslide. He is the one almost solely responsible for the quick and mighty demise of his party. When introduced on a Sunday in February, he pumped his fist and said he wanted a country for his children. That remark sparked the independence debate, something the PQ did not and does not want to talk about even though it is the essence of their being.

In the past few days PKP has outdone even himself when comparing the repatriation of the Constitution to the imposition of communist rule in East Germany. What prompted this brilliant comment  was German President Joachim Gauck who came out in favour of a united Canada during an official visit to Quebec City.

In case you thought you had nothing to worry about when traveling, think again. Posted on a popular travel webpage: How to prepare for an earthquake while on vacation. Great.

If you’re lolling around in bed late in the morning reading a book, take your pillow and put it over your head. If there’s a desk in your room, maybe go under that. Forget about getting dressed. OMG. Stay away from windows, hanging mirrors, or heavy light fixtures. That could also be a problem if you’re lying in bed. Oh well.

You’ll love this next one: ask your hotel ahead of time about its disaster preparedness plan: are there generators and emergency lighting? If it’s near the water, is there a designated safety point at higher ground?

And finally, travel with the basics, like a flashlight, a small first aid kit, and a laminated copy of your emergency contacts. Don’t say blanche isn’t informative. Happy trails.

We’ll talk…

Obama and the Styrofoam Cup Trick

So whadda ya think, Obama has a problem with his security or what? A few days ago Omar Gonzalez (Ya think he has an identity crisis with a name like that? What is he, Arab or Spanish?) jumped the fence in front of the White House. You would think that bells, whistles, dogs and every secret service agent within five miles would have been alerted. Nope. No one flinched or even knew. Wait, it gets  better.

Not only did he get to the door of the White House but the front door was left unlocked. Did someone not tell the secret service and Obama who happens to live there, that Washington is not Mayberry RFD? (In case you were wondering what rfd means fret no more. It stands for rural free delivery. Ya can’t say we don’t give you information, even if it is useless. But we digress.)

To top off this event, 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete were found in his car, albeit parked blocks away.

The secret service is launching an investigation  on how to better protect the president and his family. Can we talk? Now they’re trying to figure this out? After Obama has been there for six years? And isn’t that their expertise? Protecting people who are targets of every yahoo and his brother? Maybe they should call MacGyver or Andy Berry or perhaps Agent 99 who could communicate with his cohorts through his shoe.

In the ‘do you know who I am’ category, Mark Zuckerberg, gzillionaire founder of Facebook, is ticking off his neighbors in San Francisco and has been doing so for the past 17 months. He bought a vacation home in 2012 and is still renovating, with hordes of ‘workermen’ in the normally quiet neighborhood.

Here are some juicy details: He has a car turntable so he can get his fleet in and out easier; A $720,000 addition of a first-floor office, media room, half-bathroom, mud room, laundry room, wine room and wet bar; A $65,000 kitchen and bathroom remodel and a $60,000 greenhouse. By the time he’s finished renovating he’ll be bored with the house and put it on the market. Let’s bet.

Obama is starting to look like Joe Bifelstick. He’s the dude who walked around with an open umbrella because he always had cloud over his head. There are two winner things that he has blown in the past couple of days.

Seems he saluted a pair of United States Marines on Tuesday while holding a styrofoam cup in his saluting hand. Now to us plebs this doesn’t mean anything. But in the armed forces? Ooh baby, he blew it. It’s a breach of military regulations and he ticked off a lotta people.

The bigger issue is that he really p’od New Yorkers. He is seemingly unaware of how intensely New York drivers despise his visits and the traffic jams they cause around the city.

Every time he travels to New York police have to close streets along his motorcade’s route, sometimes for long stretches of time, turning the city’s busiest roadways into parking lots.

He doesn’t seem to have the traffic problems the city’s residents are always complaining about. “It’s actually pretty smooth for me during the week”, he smiled. “I don’t know what the problem is,’ he told attendees of the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. ‘I haven’t noticed.’ Honestly, he has no clue about being the president. From something as innocuous as causing traffic jams to  acting like the leader of the free world.

In the ‘aw, isn’t that too bad department’, did you know that the Toronto Blue Jays have not made the playoffs since they won the world series in 1993? At that time, they used to be the darlings of the American league. Now they share the basement with the Kansas city royals who have not made the playoffs since 1985. Hehehehe.

Fifty years ago this coming week, the Warren commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren on the assassination of President JFK, published an 888-page final report. It identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the sole gunman in Dealey Plaza and said there was no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic. Over the years there have been rumors and rumblings about a conspiracy theory. All were dismissed.

Now, fifty years later, Charles Shaffer, a former Justice Department prosecutor who served on the investigation’s staff from the Warren commission in 1964, has stepped forward.

In a stunning interview, he said he has no doubt that Oswald was the lone gunman in Dealey Plaza. Nor does he question the single-bullet theory, developed by the commission’s staff, which holds that one bullet passed through the bodies of both Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally.

But he now suspects that the assassination was the work, ultimately, of organized-crime figures who somehow manipulated Oswald into gunning down the president in Dallas on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, and then directed strip-club operator Jack Ruby to silence Oswald by killing him two days later. Will we ever know what happened? Well, we found out who deep throat was. Maybe someone will come forward about this as well. It would definitely be at the end of his life, as he would no doubt be prosecuted if he did so. Time will tell.

As Thursday night is Rosh Hashana, Blanche will be on hiatus. We wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year. With help from Above, we will send out a blog on Saturday night.

We’ll talk…

Results of Scotland’s Referendum

We watched the BBC till about midnight before throwing in the towel.  The results favored the no side basically all night, sometimes coming very close. In the end, the result was crystal clear – 53% voted to keep Scotland part of Great Britain, 46% voted to separate.

While that is very clear, what is even more clear is the statement issued by the First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond and head of the yes side: “I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland.”

The Quebec separatists who went Scotland ostensibly to dance and cheer when the yes side won, should take note – and don’t bother coming home until they get it. It’s over. The no side won fair and square and there is no ‘next time’. We already heard this morning the leader of the Quebec Solidaire, a staunch separatist party saying that the separatists in Scotland still have their dream in their heart. Get a life buddy. They will be moving on, not holding an entire economy hostage with a old, tired dream that will never happen.

What Does a Scotty Wear Under His Kilt?

Don’t know about anyone else living in Quebec, but the referendum in Scotland is not bringing back very good memories. We don’t even have to go back to 1995 to feel that knot in the pit of our stomach. The last provincial election was a kind of referendum. A PQ win ensured a quick referendum at best. At worst, a drawn out affair with a referendum a year away. Either way, our economy would have been decimated.

No doubt the results in Scotland will be close. While everyone claims there will not be another referendum for a generation, we have our serious doubts, especially if the no side wins. Let’s hope after the results are announced tonight people waiting around in the pubs (and likely imbibing too much alcohol) will not take to the streets in a destructive manner.

Here’s a little insider tidbit about the referendum results: The Western Isles of Scotland, also known as the Outer Hebrides are described as a paradise of powder white beaches and Atlantic waves, dark moorland and rugged mountains. The capital is Stornoway. It’s also where people are voting for the referendum.

Problem is, there’s a heavy fog and the plane which is supposed to pick up the ballot boxes can’t land. They may have to resort to sending the ballot boxes by sea. Hope they don’t get wet or they may have to do this whole thing all over again.

It seems that a few members of the parti quebcois had nothing to do this past week.
For sure they thought that being in the National Assembly here while it’s in session was a waste of time. Where are they? Why in Scotland of course. They are so infatuated with the referendum over there that they marched with the yes side yesterday.

The last time we looked, they had no business mixing into another country’s referendum and for sure not marching with either side. Ya think princess pauline gave them this idea? Na, she’s still in gardening mode. Wonder who paid their flight, hotel and restaurant bills?

In the ‘what were they thinking’ category, Urban Outfitters obviously were not thinking when they manufactured a blood-stained sweatshirt. On May 4, 1970 four students were killed on the Kent State University campus while marching against the Vietnam war. Urban outfitters recently manufactured a blood-stained sweatshirt with the Kent State University logo. The company claimed that the red dye ran on the sweatshirt.

That may be so, but it didn’t run where the very dark blood spots were on the sweatshirt, looking very much like someone had been shot.

As with Zara (they had swastikas and other anti-semitic symbols on a purse and clothing), they are pleading ignorance. Sorry, it doesn’t fly. If one Googles Kent State, even to just dig up their logo, the second piece on the page highlights the killings by the National guard on that fateful day. Urban outfitters has taken the clothing off their website, but the damage has been done and they don’t come out of this looking good.

If you have a Toyota, you best be checking the latest recall.
Even the shmancy Lexus is involved in this one. It’s for 2014 and 2015 cars. Some fuel leak business.

Anyone hear Rob Ford’s recording? Oy, he sounds awful. He managed to tell people to vote for his brother Doug for mayor. We wish him well in what literally sounds like the fight of his life.

Overnight, Australia uncovered a plot by isis to kidnap ordinary citizens and behead them publicly in Sydney and Brisbane. Authorities acted last night because, as they stated,  their information was not just suspicion but intent to carry out this horrific act.

The government has said it believes about 100 Australians are actively supporting extremist groups from within Australia, recruiting fighters and grooming suicide bomber candidates as well as providing funds and equipment. We don’t want to alarm you, but this also happening right here and throughout North America. We best hope that our intelligence is able to deal with these people. Nothing more to say.

You may have heard the word Alibaba bandied around the internet and news  in the past few days.  Here’s what you need to know:

Alibaba is China’s largest retailer founded in 1999 by Jack Ma as Alibaba.com, which connects Chinese suppliers of pretty much anything with buyers. If you put e-bay, google and amazon into one company, you would come up with something like Alibaba.

Alibaba is responsible for 80 percent of all online sales in China – the world’s second biggest economy after the United States – and handles more transactions than eBay and Amazon combined.

Alibaba’s biggest website is now Taobao. It has 760 million product listings from 7 million sellers.

Now for the money part:
Alibaba turned over $6.73 billion in 2013.

Here’s the key to whole piece:
On Friday (that’s tomorrow), Alibaba is going to release 368 million shares (with a starting price of between $66 and $68 per share) onto the New York Stock Exchange in order to raise around $25 billion in funds that it can then use to expand the company to the US and Europe.

Now we’ll make you feel better about this whole thing: Over 88% of Americans have never heard of Alibaba. Phew, we thought we were outta the loop.

We’ll be sending out a special Blanche Report tomorrow with the results of the referendum in Scotland. Unless of course we’re up in the middle of the night which we usually are listening to Red Eye Radio. We’ll get on the case then.

Good Shabbos,
We’ll talk…

PS: Seems they wear a skirt under the kilt:)

Kaboooom!

First the breaking news: Mirabel is history. Over and out.  It will be demolished within the year. Kaboom! Of course they first have to get rid of the asbestos in the building. Did you know there was asbestos in the building? Oy vey. Next up: the Big O. Can we please have  seats for that one?

The first three pages of today’s local paper were nothing short of jaw-dropping. On the front page was a picture of our main street, St. Catherine which will be torn up for no less than two years. If they say it will be one year, it will be two. If they say two, it will be three. Get it?

The mayor is asking people what to submit what they think the street should look like. Can we talk? Is he crazy? Does he think we believe that he is going to sift through reams of ideas which will be, for the most part, idiotic. How about this: hire an architectural engineer who actually went to university to learn how to do this. Here’s our two cents: don’t make it car free. That would be the kiss of death and kill every business along that street.

Keep going to page two: Those who run our elections, the ones who we have no choice but to trust, were, as the article said, ‘asleep at the wheel’ for much of the 2000’s. They allowed illegal donations to different political parties for about 15 years.

Then there’s a supposed land deal at the old port. Seems the multimillion-dollar city sale of a property in Old Montreal that has dragged on for nine years be returned to a call for tenders because of numerous “irregularities.” Wait, it gets better: one developer interested in purchasing the property was allegedly advised to make a $100,000 bribe to ensure he would win the city contract. This place is corrupt from top to bottom, left and right, backwards and forwards. There is no other way to do business here.

If you want to save the world and are a Jew, may we suggest that you look in your own backyard or help a homeless person in your city. Israel has issued a severe terror alert warning of potential “attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, especially in Western Europe”. They then go on to list places in the world where, if you go, one would definitely need their head examined. To wit: Chechnya (in Russia), the northern India state of Jammu and Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Tunisia. Doink.

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to know if people decide to go to those places, amongst a few other choice ones such as Algeria, they better have their affairs in order. As for western Europe, we best pray for them.

Yet another looming danger is the threat of isis crossing into the US via the Mexican border, or coming in on a regular commercial flight.
Although they have been to Syria most likely for ‘training’, the country stamp does not appear on their passport and therefore officials cannot detect them. What a surprise.

Both of these stories are unsettling to say the least. Blanche, ya gotta live one day at a time. Or, as our nutritionist is wont to say, one meal at a time. Breaks up the day, if you get the drift.

We finally figured Obama out. He’s like a bear in hibernation only he switched the seasons. He slept all summer and is now waking up for the winter. Hallo.  He just realized that the ebola virus is serious. Really? Here are a couple of quotes: “Here’s the hard truth. In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic, the likes” of which have not been seen before.” Wait, we have another one: “It’s spiraling out of control, it’s getting worse.” The man is a genius.

He is finally asking for money to speed up the production of the medicine which will stop the virus from spreading. A little late in the game, eh? What a leader.

On Thursday Scotland will vote for or against independence from Great Britain. The polls show almost a tie. Some pollsters however are saying that those polls may be completely wrong. They are claiming that people who will vote no will not say so when polled for fear of being accused of being unpatriotic. Once they get into the voting booth, they will, in fact, vote to stay in Great Britain.

One thing we hope for: that there is no violence no matter what happens. Referendums are emotional, with both sides believing 100% that they are going to win. Chaos may be the order of the day for a while there. We may send out a special edition as the election results won’t be known until very late Thursday night our time or Friday morning. If there ‘s something to report, Blanche will be on the case.

We’ll talk…

It’s Not A Toomah

As per Arnold Schwarzenegger it’s not a toomah. What? It is a toomah! Oy vey.

Could be Rob Ford’s days are numbered as mayor of Toronto and his run at the mayor’s chair derailed. No Blanche, he didn’t say anything ridiculous again. Seems he was not feeling well (for a few months no less) and after being admitted to the emergency in Toronto was diagnosed with a tumor. No joke. He’s waiting to hear what his doctor has to say before issuing a statement. Stay tuned.

So guess how much the $7 a day daycare costs you?  About $2.2 billion a year.  Yes Blanche, your tax dollars at work yet again.

Seems the government is slowly waking up and realizing that they can no longer afford to subsidize this program and want to charge people according to their income. No kidding – doink. Never mind the private mom and pop daycares, what’s gonna be with all those government run daycares in schools charging $7 a day?

Who is going to do all that paper work to find out which parents can afford to pay more and which not? And who is going to enforce this? We are looking into our crystal ball and see more bureaucrats on the horizon. So whatever they may save by charging parents more for daycare, they will most likely spend on government pencil pushers.

Obama spoke to the American people last night, on the eve of 9/11. Guess it was time to get off the golf course, especially if he was in Denver Colorado where it snowed yesterday.

He started off by saying that isil is not islamic. Oh really? Here’s what isil stands for: Islamic State in Iraq and Levant which includes Lebanon and Jordan in addition to Syria. Which part of the first word didn’t he get? isis stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Now that we have that straight, what’s the deal with the name?

The United States has shown much more willingness to attack isis in Iraq than they have to attack them in Syria, so they seem to have decided it is in their best interest to leave the “S” out of the name. Guess they’re fooling those dudes, eh? Not. No one is fooled. And guess else? We read that those  dudes are changing their name to two words: Islamic state.

We didn’t see the word ‘folks’ in his speech, but we did see this line: Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. Good morning your honor. We especially liked this line: My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Really, he’s a genius.

Seems the upcoming referendum (next Thursday) in Scotland is heating up considerably. A slight panic has set in, of the sort the country hasn’t seen in a generation, especially with those stiff upper lip Brits. Questions prompted to the head of the Bank of England — our own Mark Carney — asking for “reassurances” for the jittery in case of a yes vote elicited that the bank has made ‘contingency plans’. Reassuring, eh?

In case you were wondering where Queen Elizabeth stands on this, wonder no more. As in the old Catskill joke – ve von’t mix in. On the other hand, British Prime Minister David Cameron is mixing in. He has a lot to lose because he definitely does not want Scotland to separate under his watch. Aren’t you happy we’re done with this business for, G-d willing, a very long time?

So in a nutshell here’s the scoop on Scotland:
1. If it’s a yes vote, you may see Cameron step down. He’d be the biggest loser of all.
2. London’s financial status as one of the big boys would be damaged.
3. Almost 500,000 English people live in Scotland and are deeply rooted in Great Britain. Not a good vibe there.

We’re pretty sure everyone knows, but nonetheless it is incumbent upon us to remember this day…9/11. It was a Tuesday morning, a few days before Rosh Hashana and we were in a Torah class. There was no facebook, no twitter and we were just getting used to emails. The news came the old fashioned way, over the phone. We also had no television so we went to the gym down the hall and watched with horror as the first few hours of that day unfolded.

Our most vivid memory was not being able to function at all for the rest of that day, well into the night. We simply sat, weeping and  watching CNN unable to fully comprehend the magnitude of death and destruction.

We pray that the souls of those who perished that day are basking in Heaven and that the loved ones they left behind have somehow made a life for themselves.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

Maxwell Smart, Agent 99 Where are You?

Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook ain’t Steve Jobs. Tim was the one announcing Apple’s new iPhone 6 today, amid quivering worldwide fanfare. Alas, alas. People watching the live stream were first hit with a test card instead of the live feed. After that, users reported the audio for the live stream included the Mandarin translation over the audio of Tim Cook, just as the new iPhone was announced.

When the feed did work, many people viewing it reported to be either several minutes behind, or incredibly pixelated – which means very blurry. When we went to see the launch for ourselves on the apple site, we were met with a message saying that the replay of today’s launch will be available later. Hey – nobody’s perfect, eh?

In case you thought smart phones were obnoxious, you ain’t seen nothin yet. Today Apple revealed the smart watch aka the apple watch as opposed to the iWatch. Yes Blanche, just like Get Smart you can talk into your watch. It seems it performs the same functions as your phone. Go know.

Nu, Kate is expecting again.
(as in Prince William and Kate) As many of the English papers reported, she’s completing the first part of her royal duties – providing an heir and a spare to the throne. Even if her baby is a girl, she’s next in line after George. Ya think they call him George or did they privately give him a name they liked?

By now everyone must know about Scotland’s referendum being held next week. We heard and read the best line so far: If the no side wins by a slight margin, there is no doubt another referendum is on the horizon, which will cause uncertainty in Scotland. Guess what this uncertainty is called? The Quebecois scenario.

Yes Blanche, we have made the news in Scotland, but not for the right reasons. People were referring to the fact that investments and the business community will quietly move their money elsewhere, fearful to invest in a place where the future is uncertain.

The vote appears very close, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Many people sit on the fence until they get into the polling booth. We think that no matter what the outcome, unless it’s a landslide one way or the other, they are doomed to years of a shaky economy. Join the club.

Be happy you don’t live in Calgary today. They got 15 cm of snow with a temperature of -3 Celsius or 27 Fahrenheit. We’ll be getting ‘good sleeping weather’ when our temperatures drop to the 40’s at night later in the week. Welcome to global warming.

Have you bought a light blub recently?
Or maybe fixed your bathroom sink or bought a knob for your kitchen cabinet? Well, if you moseyed on to Home Depot best start checking your credit card bills and bank accounts. Their payment system was hacked with 70 million customers affected. 70 million! Wait, it gets better. The hacking has been going on since last April and no one knew. Hello? Anybody home? Guess they were knee deep at the depot…(Pardon the pun – home depot.)

We have one up on those shopping in the US because we are forced to use a pin number. Down south they just swipe your card and bob’s your uncle – you have your purchase. Much easier to hack into those accounts.

Tomorrow night you can rest easy. Obama is addressing his nation about how the United States plans to confront the threat from isis. Now don’t you feel better?

Obviously he’s off the golf course and back in his office, so it’s pretty reasonable that he’s back in the game. Nice of him.

He’s meeting with all kinds of ‘advisers’ and officials to get a feel of the problem. Can we talk? Where has this dude been the past six months? Now he’s waking up? He’s not very convincing as a leader.

Walmart now has a dress code for its employees. Among the rules: Clothes must be clean and fit properly (ya think they mean they don’t want dudes wearing their jeans under their tuchos); no holes, frays, discoloration or stains; no hoodies in the store. About time.

We’ll talk…

Does the Princess Wear Her Sunglasses at Night?

We got our first robo call last night way before the election in 2015. We picked up the long distance ring only to find a man talking at warp speed, stating the address and phone number from where he was calling.  We didn’t understand a word he said.  Then he proceeded to ask – clearly by the way – the following:  Are you very likely, somewhat likely, unlikely or not voting Liberal in the next election. What?? we asked no one on the phone? What’s your business who we are voting for in the next election?

We thought those calls are not allowed any longer, especially at 6:00 pm to numbers like ours on the do not call list for solicitations. Go know. It’s always the same: if you have good hair, a pretty face and come from ‘good’ stock, it seems that you can make your own rules.

A few weeks ago we informed you that many of the metro stations in our city would have a few letters added to their names, a totally useless endeavor.
The cost was in another world but anchored here in this world by your pocket. Well, the president of the public transit authority, Philippe Schnobb (is that a name or what?) called the name change unnecessary.

Really? Unnecessary? No kidding. We wonder how much they spent first deciding on the name changes, then undeciding. A hefty amount no doubt. Your tax dollars at work.

The referendum to see if Scotland remains part of Great Britain is on September 18 and it’s becoming a nail-biter. In a poll released today, only 6 points separate the no from yes side. Of course we here in Quebec know all about polls – and how they can be completely skewed to try and push the population one way or the other.

It seems that UK politicians were paying scant attention to the whole thing until today’s poll results. They suddenly woke up to the realization that their country may change drastically in a few weeks. If the yes side wins, the divorce could get ugly. There’s the oil in the North sea to contend with along with Scotland’s debt to Great Britain. If they become a country does the debt get wiped out? Tricky questions. Stay tuned.

Ever fly on one of those short hauls where the seats are packed as tightly as sardines in a can? Your nose is almost touching the seat in front of you and then, just as the plane hits the altitude it will fly for the next hour, the dude in front of you yawns (loudly) and reclines his seat. Your head and his head are now almost touching. G.r.o.s.s.

Some genius invented the knee defender. We checked it out and here’s how it works: You put your tray down and slide a small gadget along both sides of the tray  till it’s touching the seat in front of you. It locks into place and when the brainwave in front of you tries to put his seat back he is met with an impossible mission. It’s never going back because those two little gadgets are preventing it from doing so.

This of course could lead to some interesting conversation. Given the space on planes nowadays, anyone who puts his or her seat down without at least warning the passenger behind them is most likely one of the ‘those’ drivers. You know, the ones who make a left without signaling? Or drive slowly in front of you and then zoom through the orange light. They’re called inconsiderate.

A couple of pretty sad pieces of news in the past few days. Bernie Madoff, imprisoned for the next 150 years for his ponzi scheme, has lost his only surviving son to cancer. His other son committed suicide a few years ago. Madoff completely and totally destroyed not only hundreds of families, he destroyed his own family.

Joan Rivers died today. There is no doubt she was an iconic figure, trailblazing the comedy scene for untold numbers of women. In the past number of years she had some pretty serious nipping and tucking, almost changing her face completely, but she retained her humor to the nth degree and had all her wits about her.

Earlier in the summer we watched an epic two minute video of Rivers defending Israel. She held nothing back and was a proud Jew. She was very close to her daughter and we hope that it brought her comfort at the end of her life.

And finally, we haven’t heard about princess pauline for a while. We will first remind you that on September 4, 2012 she became the first female premier of Quebec. Thank goodness that’s over.

It seems that in the past few days she’s been busy on the phone with her own people. Although she says she’s ‘gardening’, it appears that she also knows what’s flying (or not) in her party and is calling certain individuals thinking of running for leader of the PQ and telling them to perhaps back away in favor of the fist-pumper – PQP – pierre karl peladeau. She has obviously not seen any of the recent polls where even the word ‘separate’ causes the numbers to plummet. Guess her handlers are still keeping her in da dark. Ya think she wears her sunglasses at night?

Good Shabbos,
We’ll talk…

One Chip Short of a Bag

Barbaric, grotesque savages. That about sums up isis. It seems that they have killed yet another American – this time a Jew –  in a gruesome fashion. What will stop them is a concerted effort by many countries, which doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. In the meantime, they just continue to terrorize and murder at will. We wonder who is watching the videos they put on the internet. We also wonder how anyone could watch them…

In case you had any doubts that the united nations is anti-semitic, your doubts may be finally put to rest. It has emerged today that on a regular basis the un holds events and important meetings on either Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur, knowing full well that they are Jewish holidays. A motion has been put forth to add Yom Kippur to the un calendar which would ascertain that day as a holiday. They are voting next month, making it a tight for Yom Kippur this year.

Didn’t you always think that if you had an Apple computer life was simple? No hackers, no viruses. Think again. This past weekend many celebrity iclouds were hacked and, shall we say, compromising pictures of them are now viewable for public consumption. We checked into this and suggest that if you own an apple go to http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5570 and sign in where it says my apple id and complete the two-step verification. It’s a tad complicated but will most likely save you from the losers in their hemdels (undershirts) somewhere in Pakistan trolling your personal information.

Remember the prison break by  helicopter in June? When two dudes were in the prison yard a helicopter landed, they jumped in and it took off? Well, today a report came out – paid by you – that personnel at the Quebec Detention Center were not prepared to react to what happened. Really? Come on. You’re kidding? They didn’t know what to do?

Can we talk? A similar prison break took place a year earlier. There was a  report with ‘voluminous’ amounts of documentation which, it appears, no one looked at. We are not surprised. Of course there are some working for the government who do have a brain and are able to do their job. There are others however, who are obviously one chip short of a bag and no matter how much information they are given, are just not going to get it or can’t read it. Your tax dollars at work.

Traveling anytime soon? Dig deeper into your pocket. Last month, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) security fee on tickets went up from $2.50 to $5.60. That’s each way.

Guess how many taxes there are on every airline ticket you purchase? 17. Yes Blanche, 17 different taxes on every single ticket. For example: 7.5 percent excise tax, a fee to use the airport facility, and even a tax for arriving or departing internationally. And as these taxes are government mandated, there’s zippo you can do about them. The only salvation in all of this is when you a click total amount for your ticket, all these taxes are already included. No surprises just heart failure when you see that a ticket to New York is $600. Now you know why.

If you have nothing to do in the next couple of weeks, we can help fill your time. The Quebec government is looking for ideas on how where and how they can save money.  Let’s start with the office de la langue francais. Aside from pencil pushing and being beyond annoying, we’re not sure what other purpose they serve.

The site is called expressez-vous but alas there is no English button to translate the page. Tout en francais. Guess they don’t think les Anglais have much to offer. Quel dommage.

We leave you with yet another obamaism. On Monday, the British Prime Minister Cameron said, ““To confront the threat of Islamist extremism, we need a tough, intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source. We must use all the resources at our disposal, our aid, our diplomacy and our military.” Three days earlier Britain raised its terrorism level threat to severe. Now for Obama.

“Yes, the Middle East is challenging, but the truth is it’s been challenging for quite a while,” he said. “I promise you things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago. This is not something that is comparable to the challenges we faced during the Cold War.” Wait, he gets better and happily said the following: “The post-9/11 security apparatus “makes us in the here and now pretty safe” and that the threat from ISIS “doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland.”

If anyone is looking for a leader of the free world, you best not look south. Nobody’s home.

We’ll talk…