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Hiawatha Pete

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Member since: Sun Feb 9, 2020, 12:30 AM
Number of posts: 873

Journal Archives

U.S. politicians fume over Canada's extended border restrictions

Source:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-canada-border-closed-reaction-1.6071737

-snip-

American politicians who are normally friendly to Canada are fuming over news that the border will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.

"I wish there was a more artful way to say this — but this is bullshit," said Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democratic congressman whose Buffalo, N.Y., district touches the border.

A senior Republican from New York, Rep. Elise Stefanik, demanded a unilateral reopening in a recent letter to the administration — urging Biden to get tougher with his Canadian counterpart.

Biden "missed a huge opportunity at the G7 summit to stand up for America and deliver a plan to safely reopen," Stefanik said in a statement Friday. "Instead, caving to Prime Minister Trudeau's incessant desire to delay.
"

-snip-

My wife & I miss driving to Upstate New York from Ontario. We miss the occasional cross border shopping junket.

We miss seeing the natural beauty of Letchworth State Park.

We miss the many train trips across the country on Amtrak to places like Seattle, LA, Glacier National Park, Miami.

But sorry Ms Stefanik, it's the duty of Canada's elected representatives to represent the safety and interests of the citizens of Canada, not your interests or the commercial interests of your backers.

We do not want the border open yet if doing so will jeopardize Canadian lives.

Americans should want the same for themselves, as Canada has not yet achieved its own vaccination targets.
Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Mon Jun 21, 2021, 01:04 PM (9 replies)

The claim that gas taxes "pay for roads" & electric cars get a "free ride" is bullshit

As someone who drives a hybrid and who would love to drive an EV someday, I've run into this argument several times.

1) First off, the simple fact is gas powered cars require fuel infrastructure. Infrastructure like big tanker trucks that pound the roads to bits - with one truck causing as much road damage as 9,600 cars:

Page 23 "Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford"
http://archive.gao.gov/f0302/109884.pdf

Electric cars don't require fuel trucks, and so are are responsible for far less highway damage than fossil fuel powered cars.

2) The claim that gas taxes pay for the roads is B.S.
Gas taxes come nowhere near to covering the cost of highway maintenance.

As an example, between 41 and 55 percent of Wisconsin’s road money comes from non-users: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2011/12/12/transit%E2%80%99s-not-sucking-the-taxpayer-dry-roads-are/

Here in Canada, government spending on roads is $29 billion tax dollars/yr.

"Even adding revenues from permit, licence and other fees collected by all levels of government, the total revenue from road users amounts to only $15.5 billion
per year across Canada.

More than $13 billion per year –nearly half – of the annual spending on roads is subsidized by other revenue sources":

https://web.archive.org/web/20190718002019/https://www.thecostofsprawl.com/report/the-costs-of-roads-and-highways.pdf

13 billion tax dollars per year from other revenue sources - like property taxes - which every homeowner must pay.

Regardless of the type of vehicle they drive.

Regardless of whether they even drive at all.
Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Sun Jun 20, 2021, 06:47 PM (25 replies)

Got my second shot!

Got my 2nd shot of Astrazeneca today.

Here in Ontario, Canada that was the first vaccine to become available to my age group.

And before anyone starts ranting about how great Pfizer/Moderna is (and yes they are great, and so is J&J) let me just say I'm extremely happy to be able to have my choice of the getting the same vaccine for both my 1st & 2nd doses - as recommended by the manufacturer & as proven effective by 80% of the population of the U.K. & counting.

The only side effect with my 2nd dose so far - a lack of Springsteen on Broadway...

Yep. I'm good with it.



Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Fri Jun 18, 2021, 10:42 PM (35 replies)

Hamilton researchers have recommended treatment for rare blood clotting

From Global News Canada
https://globalnews.ca/news/7941278/hamilton-treatment-rare-blood-clots/

-snip-

"Researchers at McMaster University are recommending a pair of treatments to fight Vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), identified in a small number of COVID-19 vaccine recipients.

A group from the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory (MPIL), building off of previous investigations into a condition that prevents blood clotting, are suggesting that a combination of anti-clotting drugs with high doses of intravenous immunoglobulin — an antibody solution — may be effective against VITT.

VITT has been associated with but not definitively linked to the viral vector shots from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson."


-snip-

For AstraZeneca first-dose recipients like myself, the risk of a clot with a second shot is orders of magnitude less than the first (which is why Canada is now only giving Astrazeneca as second doses to those who had AstraZeneca as their first, and why I'm not worried about getting my second shot of AZ).

That said, still good news - and may be applicable to clots caused by the J&J as well.
Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Fri Jun 11, 2021, 11:33 AM (0 replies)

Just got my first shot!

Just got my first shot of the covid vaccine.

I had an appointment in May at a pharmacy 50km (30mi) away, but one closer to home opened up for walk-ins. Got there nearly 2 hrs before they were scheduled to start this morning, I was second in line from the front. Maybe 5 people.

By the time I got out, the line up for vaccines was about a block long.

Astrazeneca, as that's what they're giving out at the pharmacies here in Canada since it doesn't require the ultra cold storage that Pfizer/Moderna does. Pfizer/Moderna are only being distributed through health & rec centers up here and is only open for those 60+. I'm 49. Also no J&J here in Canada yet.

I figured I'd get it done ASAP since they're predicting 18,000 new cases per day here in this wonderful conservative playground called Ontario.

Wife will be watching me for any rare ill side-effects (she had her shot two weeks ago). It's a load off my mind now that it's done.
Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Fri Apr 23, 2021, 12:59 PM (26 replies)

Dead Kennedys - Stars and Stripes of Corruption

Dead Kennedys were the quintessential west coast punk rock band of the 1980's.

While I now think of punks as a bunch of misguided anarchists (of which I was one myself back in the day, and so was my wife), their message did include a lot of concepts that would resonate with the progressives of today: that the scourges of income inequality, racism, and big money in politics are the forces that people should be fighting against instead fighting of wars. As well, it promoted the ideas of legalization of marijuana, taxation of religion, and that people must be on guard against the erosion of civil rights.

I now realize that the punk rock movement would never be able to change the world's woes (and today my wife & I have the local jazz station playing more often than anything else), but from time to time I like to tap my foot & go back and listen one of the 'old favorites' as it were.

So without further ado, here is Stars and Stripes of Corruption by the Dead Kennedys.

With punk, the lyrics are a very important part of the experience, so here they are below the video, Source: https://www.lyricfind.com/



Finally got to Washington in the middle of the night
I couldn't wait
I headed straight for the Capitol Mall
My heart began to pound
Yahoo! It really exists
The American International Pictures logo

I looked up at that Capitol Building
Couldn't help but wonder why
I felt like saying "Hello, old friend"
Walked up the hill to touch it
Then I unzipped my pants
And pissed on it when nobody was looking

Like a great eternal Klansman
With his two flashing red eyes
Turn around he's always watching
The Washington monument pricks the sky
Flags for pubic hair ringed 'round the bottom

The symbols of our heritage
Lit up proudly in the night
Somehow fits to see the homeless people
Passed out on the lawn
So this is where it happens
The power games and bribes
All lobbying for a piece of ass
Of the stars and stripes of corruption

Makes me feel so ashamed
To be an American
When we're too stuck up to learn from our mistakes
Trying to start another Vietnam
While fiddling while Rome burns at home
The Boss says, "You're laid off. Blame the Japanese"

"America's back, " alright
At the game it plays the worst
Strip mining the world like a slave plantation
No wonder others hate us
And the Hitlers we handpick
To bleed their people dry
For our evil empire

The drug we're fed
To make us like it
Is God and country with a bang
People we know who should know better
Howl, "America rules. Let's go to war!"
Business scams are what's worth dying for

Are the Soviets our worst enemy?
We're destroying ourselves instead
Who cares about our civil rights
As long as I get paid?
The blind Me-Generation
Doesn't care if life's a lie
So easily used, so proud to enforce
The stars and stripes of corruption
Let's bring it all down!

Tell me who's the real patriots
The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags?
Or the people with the guts to work
For some real change

Rednecks and bombs don't make us strong
We loot the world, yet we can't even feed ourselves
Our real test of strength is caring
Not the toys of war we sell the world

Just carry on, thankful to be farmed like worms
Old glory for a blanket
As you suck on your thumbs
Real freedom scares you
'Cause it means responsibility
So you chicken out and threaten me
Saying, "Love it or leave it"
I'll get beat up if I criticize it
You say you'll fight to the death
To save your worthless flag
If you want a banana republic that bad
Why don't you go move to one

But what can just one of us do?
Against all that money and power
Trying to crush us into roaches?
We won't destroy society in a day
Until we change ourselves first
From the inside out

We can start by not lying so much
And treating other people like dirt
It's easy not to base our lives
On how much we can scam
And you know
It feels good to lift that monkey off our backs

I'm thankful I live in a place
Where I can say the things I do
Without being taken out and shot
So I'm on guard against the goons
Trying to take my rights away
We've got to rise above the need for cops and laws

Let kids learn communication
Instead of schools pushing competition
How about more art and theater instead of sports?
People will always do drugs
Let's legalize them
Crime drops when the mob can't price them
Budget's in the red?
Let's tax religion

No one will do it for us
We'll just have to fix ourselves
Honesty ain't all that hard
Just put Rambo back inside your pants
Causing trouble for the system is much more fun

Thank you for the toilet paper
But your flag is meaningless to me
Look around, we're all people
Who needs countries anyway?
Our land, I love it too
I think I love it more than you
I care enough to fight
The stars and stripes of corruption
Let's bring it all down!

If we don't try
If we just lie
If we can't find
A way to do it better than this
Who will?

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Darren Henley / Eric Reed Boucher / Geoffrey Lyall / Raymond John Pepperelle
Stars and Stripes of Corruption lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Thu Feb 18, 2021, 10:04 PM (2 replies)

Pics from our honeymoon stay at LA's much-maligned Cecil Hotel (& a new Netflix doc about the hotel)

Last night my wife & I watched the Netflix show on the disappearance of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles and guess what, we stayed there the year before she did in 2012.

I had booked 4 nights without knowing what it was but after one night we decided to get out and checked into the Super 8 on Sunset Blvd instead. We're Canadian & had no idea about the history of the hotel when I made the booking, all I knew is it was very affordable and downtown.

We had arrived in LA by Amtrak late at night so didn't see the poor skid row denizens surrounding the area lining up on the sidewalk until the next morning.

When we checked in, there were all kinds of vivid characters loitering in the posh-looking marble and brass lobby but we didn't feel unsafe and besides, both myself and my wife are quite large in stature and people often take me for a biker anyway with my long hair & beard (had a Honda CM250 many years ago but that's another story)

When we got to our room, the rugs were sticky, the bathroom floor tiles worn away, the beds looked like they were from the 1940s, and we slept with our street clothes on. Never mind the noises from the room next door.

Here are a couple pics from our stay. If you're feeling adventurous in LA I recommend it, otherwise I'd stick with a brand-name hotel.

The Netflix documentary series on The Cecil turned out to be a very good commentary about the divide between rich & poor in general and the serious social problems in California in particular, as well as shining a light on conspiracy theorists and so called internet sleuths.

The view from our room at the Cecil:


The lobby:


The main entrance, sorry for the quality - it was taken from a taxi & is my only pic of the main entrance


Here is the Netflix preview, very interesting documentary.


Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Mon Feb 15, 2021, 01:24 PM (4 replies)

Congratulations to President Joe Biden on his stunning victory today!

Congratulations to President Biden who can now govern with impunity and run roughshod over the cultist republicans for the next 4 years.

The precedent has been set today by 43 Republican senators.

Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Sat Feb 13, 2021, 07:33 PM (13 replies)

What the hell is that on Ted Cruz' head?

What the actual f--k? What is that? Looks like a hybrid between a mullet, a McInnes proudboy 'do and a piece of roadkill.

Sorry if I'm late to the game on this one but I have a legit excuse-Canadian...

But geez!

Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Sat Feb 13, 2021, 05:41 PM (24 replies)

Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford getting destroyed on Twitter

First, my reply - of course!:

https://twitter.com/HiawathaPete/status/1360681937594159117


Others, just a few of many:


https://twitter.com/AstasDelights/status/1360672042350166024

https://twitter.com/HODLThisBag/status/1360660733642608640

https://twitter.com/mikecrime/status/1360666832538120192

https://twitter.com/frankland_craig/status/1360665082779287554

https://twitter.com/barnhart_linda/status/1360661960937897987

https://twitter.com/Kalicranstonson/status/1360668535828193280

https://twitter.com/passenthrough/status/1360662867230531599

https://twitter.com/jellibeans123/status/1360661148874465283


Posted by Hiawatha Pete | Sat Feb 13, 2021, 04:16 PM (0 replies)
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