You know, terrorism, while horrible and unconscionable, is at least a bit comprehensible. If the reports about the Toronto mass murder are true, that he is a so-called “incel” or “involuntary celibate” is disgusting. The belief that one is entitled to sex and that they have the right to commit mass murder because women don’t find them attractive to have sex with is beyond the scope of my understanding. What is wrong with these men? They are actually ‘happy’ that one of their own is getting so much media attention. Our world is getting so very, very scary.
It is exactly this brand of toxic masculinity that feminism seeks to dismantle. The patriarchy – which has told these men that they are entitled to have as much sex as they want with beautiful women. When these men then try to ‘pick up’ women and are rebuffed they get angry. Instead of looking at themselves and their own behaviour they lash out and blame women. Yes, that’s right, it’s the fault of an entire gender why you can’t get laid. Maybe we have a secret society where we collectively decide that some dickwad is going to be on the ‘do not bed’ list.
Seriously folks. If there was ever time we needed feminism it’s right fucking now. Men are killing lots of people because they can’t find someone who will have sex with them. We need to rid ourselves of toxic masculinity that promises men a ‘woman in every bed’ much like families were promised a ‘chicken in every pot’ after the war. Here’s news for these so called ‘involuntary celibates’ you are entitled to nothing. If you want a girlfriend how’s about ditching your beliefs that you are entitled to one and seek to be a worthy partner.
I am so glad the stupid bridge tolls are gone. And not because I minded paying the tolls (to be clear, I was not a fan but I get that we all have to pay for things). My beef was the completely moronic, idiotic way the billing for the tolls was set up.
I paid all of our tolls months ago. I gathered up the invoices and paid them, one by one, through Treo and Quickpass. Deb went to do something on her insurance today only to be told she still owed tolls. Given that we had received no invoices since November and we hadn’t moved, I really had no idea how this was possible.
Part of the problem was that there were 2 companies responsible for bridge tolls in the lower mainland: Treo and Quickpass. You could merge your Treo and Quickpass together or leave them separate. If you got a new vehicle or different vehicle and you were not aware that you had tolls on the old vehicle you could essentially end up with 4 different bills when the tolls were stopped in September of 2017.
Like a responsible citizen, I gathered up all of our invoices and paid all the tolls in October. We no longer received any invoices and thought all was fine, until today.
Turns out that Deb had a Treo bill from when she had her truck. We traded her truck in when I got my truck in May of 2015. So, for 3 years these tolls sat there accumulating interest and no one told us they existed. Because the amount was under $25 she had no issue getting insurance services and had the tolls not been eliminated in September this would still be the case (for those of you not resident here – if you had outstanding tolls of less than $25 then they didn’t deny you insurance/driver’s license services). In fact, we both got our licences renewed in June and July of 2017.
Just for shits and giggles, I checked my license plate – I owe them $.27. Yes, 27 cents. I go to pay the 27 cents and the minimum payment is $1.00. Oh and I can’t call them today because it’s a holiday. Will the fun never end?
So why I am I ranting about this now? I fear what is going to happen if/when we move to a road pricing system. Will it be one system or will it be 2 or more? Given the fact that we have 21 different municipalities in Metro Vancouver, it’s quite possible we could end up with multiple systems that don’t speak to each other all with staff groups to chase money. I sincerely hope the government gives people the opportunity to give feedback before any road pricing system is implemented. Who would have thought they could screw up 2 bridges as much as they did.
As some of you know Deb is Jewish. Until she met me, she had never eaten pork. Not a bacon bit or a morsel of back rib. She used to say things like:
“I’ve survived just fine not eating bacon until now, why would I start eating something bad for me now?”
Then came pork ribs. I was making them for me one day (as I think it had been 10 years since I had eaten any) and Deb couldn’t believe how good they smelled. She tried one, and it was all over.
We recently bought a Big Green Egg which is an amazing contraption. It allows you to bbq as you normally would but it also allows you to cook low and slow like they do in the southern United States and it’s also a smoker. It doesn’t use propane – instead it uses a wood charcoal that burns long. We did pork ribs last week and this week we have pork belly. Here is the note I woke up to this morning:
“Ahead of The Swamp’s First Annual ‘take your oinker belly to the Big Green Egg” EXTRAVAGANZA. I thank you both (Angelina and me) for being kind enough to devote your day to creating orgasmic BBQ. I’m drooling in anticipation. No, really, I’m drooling.”
Let’s look at this last week in the ever-escalating war between the NDP governments of BC and Alberta. On Friday, BC Premier John Horgan asked the federal government to investigate why gas prices in BC are so high. Many premiers over the years have asked for all sorts of investigations into why we pay so much at the pumps. This is not out of the ordinary in any way. It does seem like BC’s gas prices fluctuate greatly and can be higher particularly in the Lower Mainland. In looking at a comparison between the two provinces, BC pays an additional $0.317 per litre over Alberta. I am not an expert on gas prices, however, over the years I have heard that prices can be affected by switching between winter and summer blends, bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico and OPEC.
Back to Rachel Notley. In response to John Horgan’s call for a federal investigation she suggested that if BC wants to pay less for gas then Horgan should stop opposing the twinning of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline. This statement is patently ridiculous. It’s almost like Notley is forgetting that it is raw bitumen that will be travelling through those pipelines destined for China where it will be processed into some usable fuel (providing it doesn’t leak and destroy natural habitats between here and there). It’s like she envisions British Columbians lining up at the terminus of the pipeline to fill their vehicles! Will we also get frequent filler points and will it be full serve along with a window clean and a winning smile? Is Notley going to demand that income tax for employees in the new terminus be submitted back to Alberta? That way she can take advantage of all the stoners (probably smoking BC bud) living in their parents’ basements with laundry piles that have their own postal codes. After all, with BC’s unemployment rate being the lowest in the country we may not have the people to pump the raw bitumen.
After that ridiculous statement, Notley went on to call Horgan a hypocrite for agreeing to look at subsidies for an LNG project in northern BC. The big difference between Alberta’s bitumen and BC’s natural gas is that processing will happen here in BC thereby guaranteeing ongoing jobs and selling a value-added product on the market. By processing the gas here we move beyond our resource extraction (hewers of wood and drawers of water) of our past. Make no mistake, much of the Canadian economy relies on the extraction of our natural resources whether it’s bitumen, natural gas, trees or minerals. BC is not perfect in this regard as we send a lot of unprocessed, raw wood out of the province. However, where we can keep processing in the province we stand to gain good paying jobs.
Adding to the idiocy of Alberta politics , enter Jason Kenney the new leader of the United Conservative Party. Fresh off of destroying the Conservative Party of Canada, along with Stephen Harper, he has now turned his sites back on his home province. Here’s the thing about Kenney he has been bleating negative rhetoric for years. I have yet to hear him come up with an original idea and he is true to form in this debate:
“You can’t make this stuff up. It’s like comedy hour coming out of Victoria. They’re trying to shut down their major source of oil. They are increasing their carbon tax while telling ordinary British Columbians they’re concerned about high gas prices?” he said.
So, let’s have a look at the ‘comedy’ hour coming out of Victoria. The budget introduced by Finance Minister Carole James has new commitments for housing, childcare, a freeze on BC Ferries fares, increases in health care spending and will see the elimination of MSP premiums a year earlier than promised. With all of these new initiatives you would think BC is running a deficit. It’s not. The Horgan Government is hoping this will be the 6th balanced budget in a row (building on the balanced budgets of the BC Liberals). Even though BC is still dependent on natural resources, the economy is diversified enough to ride out the peaks and valleys of resource extraction without resorting to deficit spending.
Notley is wasting her time going after BC. She needs to focus on the wolves at her door: Jason Kenney and the UCP. She also needs to figure out how to diversify Alberta’s economy. If she doesn’t at least take some steps towards that goal her government will be no more than a footnote in history. The oil peaks are over and have been over for quite some time now.
I am no economist. However, it seems like the answer to some of Alberta’s fiscal woes lay in the taxes it charges on gas. Perhaps if Notley raised the gas tax in Alberta she could get closer to a balanced budget. It really is time for Albertans to pay the full cost of the destructive fossil fuel royalties that buttress the economy . Maybe if the tax went up there would be an appetite for alternative energies and economic diversification. BC seems to have good luck with wine and BC bud.
 In the Lower Mainland for example, we pay federal and provincial taxes, a carbon tax but we also supplement Translink.