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The Blanche Report: Goldfish, Parbuckling & Gouging

Yet another senseless mass shooting in America. Yet again the flags are at half-mast and we have to watch Obama put on his sad face. What we never understand is if someone has an axe to grind and wants to do themselves in, why must they take others with them? Shoot yourself. Why must innocent people who happened to be in the wrong place for ten seconds lose their lives? This dude was arrested for two prior shootings. So much for gun control. Someone has to cut the stranglehold that the NRA has on America. No one needs guns. We don’t live in the jungle with lions attacking us. Something to be said for living in Canada. Alternate side parking is suspended for the duration of the holidays in Jewish areas in our city. A very nice gesture from our elected officials. New York, which is WAY bigger than Montreal does the same thing. Except there, they put ads in the local papers and on the internet advising their citizens of the days that the parking rules are suspended. Here we have union people who go to every single sign on all the streets involved and cover the parking signs – one at a time (say that very slowly) with magnetized blank signs. Now the unions are complaining. Are they making this up or are do they really have the brains of a goldfish?

If you have a moment tomorrow morning, take a look at Aislin’s cartoon in the Gazette. It’s priceless. If we were Princess Pauline, we would want to strangle him. Oy, does she look bad.

Now for the hail mary pass that the princess has put forward with the charter of values.  No doubt Rene Levesque is turning in his grave. The kind of Quebec she is trying to foment is not remotely connected to what he had in mind. For that matter, no one except the few hardliners left really give a hoot about separating. They, as we all do, just want to be left alone to earn a living and live in peace and harmony. Last night she attended a Quebec awards dinner and was publicly scolded by her own people.  This is her last kick at the can and after she sees the cartoon tomorrow, she may want to either go on a big diet or put that punim of hers in a can. Remember the Costa Concordia? The humongous ocean liner that hit the rocks on the shores of a sleepy little Italian town almost two years ago when the captain was trying to impress his girlfriend on shore? Well, for all this time, the ship has been lying on its side just by the shore of the island of Giglio. Quite the apropos name, n’est pas?

To right this ship is not for the faint of heart. More than 50 enormous chains and winches are being used to break the ship (which is twice as heavy as the Titanic) away from the reef. Engineers will try to roll the ship up using the cables and the weight of water contained in huge metal boxes welded to the ship’s sides – a process called parbuckling. The salvage project has so far cost more than 600m euros  – $800 million, but the cost is expected to rise.

The ship was abandoned as it was. Ergo, there’s still a lot of stuff on board such as: Refrigerators filled with milk, cheese, eggs and vegetables that have been closed tight since the disaster. The freezers that have not burst under the water pressure and are still locked with their thawed,  contents sealed inside, including 1,268 kilograms of chicken breasts, 8,200 kilograms of beef, 2,460 kilograms of cheese and 6,850 liters of ice cream. Feh.

They began to right the ship this morning at 9:00 am our time and as of this writing, will be doing so probably until tomorrow morning.

Here’s something that you may be interested in. Which airlines do you think have gouged you the most? The top two are United who wins the prize by taxing almost every passenger $38, collecting a whopping $5 billion. For what you ask? Your checked bag, some extra leg room and other things that used to be normal when traveling. Delta came in second making $2 billion for charging $15 per person for checked baggage, WiFi and (we love this one) – economy comfort. 

Seems that Yom Kippur lingered an extra day, so yesterday’s Blanche Report is going now.

We’ll talk…tomorrow

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