Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Wind Turbines in Blackdog, Scotland: a major problem

BLACKDOG, SCOTLAND: WIND TURBINE TROUBLE

I’ve had a request to write a blog on wind turbines in Blackdog Scotland. I'd really never before heard of this little town of 82 families but I think they may be the perfect example of what’s wrong with government and the wind turbine fiasco. Blackdog is becoming the victim of an environmental tragedy, a tragedy the people of Blackdog neither asked for nor permitted. I willinclude a link that will give you better info on this but I would like to concentrate on the wind turbines in general here.

As countries throughout the EU abandon their failed attempts at wind power, there are still a few that continue to throw away billions of much needed tax dollars on what is, at best, an intermittent energy source requiring generator backups; at worst, this is a full blown ponzi scheme. Those who do just a little research will understand this quickly enough. It’s the families of Blackdog and the families of all the towns around the world forced to take on wind turbines that I am concerned about.

WHAT IF IT WERE YOU IN THIS POSITION?

Imagine you buy a lovely home in a quiet rural setting. You have chosen this rural life for its peace and serenity. Then one day the government walks in and tells you they are putting a wind farm next to your land. You have no choice. All the placards & town meetings with turbine officials will have no effect. The government wants these wind turbines. In Ontario these companies are given carte blanche to ignore provincial and federal wildlife regulations. These “bird blenders” are often put in bird migratory routes. The groups you think that should come to your rescue Like the WWF are silent. In Ontario they destroyed a bald eagle's nest just to make an access road. In California wind turbines are killing condors, a bird the government has spent millions on trying to save from extinction (see video below). People are complaining of a host of human health issues and these issues are being recognized by the health community. Just not by governments.


So now you are a home owner beside one of these monsters. You can’t sell because no one wants to live near one. You understand that like in Ontario, the power output is minuscule (usually .05% of required energy needs on a good day) so you know they’re a complete waste of money. Your health is affected.

So you organize. You fight back. 60 of the 82 families in Blackdog rejected the construction of the wind turbine substation yet it’s still a go. Fighting seems to do nothing. What do you do? You get the word out. Not only about your plight about the ponzi scheme that is the wind turbine industry.

COMMON SENSE OVER ECO-PANIC

Lets keep it simple. Would you buy a car that got .5km to the tank but put out 0% emissions? Now the car is also a million dollars and the government is forcing you to buy one. You say to yourself,  "Sure I want 0 emissions, but not at this cost," but now you have no choice. The car will be built in a foreign factory so no jobs will be produced & the amount of power to build and ship these monsters would take decades to receive from said auto. Now the maintenance costs of the car are unbelievable which also eats up more of your dollars. (With a wind turbine, every time the wind stops a generator must be used to balance the flow, costing even more money). Oh, and every time a bird or an animal walked by it would die. How is this sounding so far?

 Well this is the wind turbine industry. Few jobs, massive upkeep costs, massive environmental costs, massive production costs, ill affects on human health, and little return on investment. Take Ontario for example. The liberal government her has spent $17 billion putting up wind turbines. They have circumvented nearly every ecological law, ruined countless acres of our most beautiful landscape, killed countless animals & birds, affected peoples health and for what? On average they produce (when running) .05% of our total energy requirements! Now they are paying producers to not produce even the pathetic amount of power they do produce. But guess what, they want to put five times more wind turbines up on some of our most ecologically sensitive landscape. We are paying them not to produce and they want to build fives times more turbines! Thats like parking your SUV because it uses too much gas and then buying five more SUV's!

Or perhaps you would like to live beside one of these when they blow up. Yes sir these little beautys fail in a most spectacular fashion. watch these videos and tell me if you would feel safe living around one
 



The people of Blackdog are like any small community which is under attack from wind turbines and bad science. Its time this kind of abuse stopped. Governments are supposed to work for the people, not agendas and foreign corporations. They have a website where all they ask is that you sign in and help them get the word out. Information is power and if enough of us stop consuming the dogma the environmentalists and governments are feeding us maybe, just maybe we can make a difference. Spread the word. As a matter of fact spread the word about the poor bastards in your own area that are forced to live this nightmare. That could help too.







Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Why a downtown casino is the only choice for Ottawa

Why a downtown casino is the only choice for Ottawa

 
MGM Toronto plan. image source
Why do we have casinos? Some say it’s the entertainment value. Man has found pleasure in the rush of gambling since the dawn of time and that need for the thrill of winning is why we visit and enjoy casinos. There is also the fun of shows, dining, and getting together with friends. The MGM plan for Toronto actually only had 17% of its land dedicated to casino space (here's a clip). The rest was hotels, conference center, parks, and restaurants. Today’s modern casinos make most of their money in these areas, not gambling.

The main reason a city would accept a casino is for profitability, whether it’s profit sharing or taxes, tourism or entertainment; cities do it for the money.

CHOOSING A VIABLE LOCATION IN OTTAWA

 So you’re an investor and you want your enterprise to be as profitable as possible. What are you going to look for? Well first you’re going to look at market viability. Will your location support your new business? Do you have competitors? Can you buy them out so you can be your own competition (eg. Future Shop & Best Buy did this)? Where is the population and tourists you need as customers? Do you build from scratch or do you retrofit an existing building? What is the local transportation like and will you have to build roads to get access to your building? The CT Center (formerly the Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators) had to build its own overpass to get such access.
 
The RCR. Clearly in the boonies.
Now for the sake of argument we are going to say there are two possible, truly viable, casino locations. The first is the Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR) and the second is located at the City Center (CC) on Scott St. This would also include the land on the other side of Scott where the snow dump is now—a huge waste of downtown land, where snow is accumulated throughout the winter.

CITY CENTRE WINS OUR VOTE.

Both locations have good size footprints; both have space for free parking or at least the ability to build underground parking. Both could be built or retrofitted to be whatever design you would like. As far as location goes this is where the two sites part ways. Fears and emotions aside, the downtown location has the winning hand. Transportation is fantastic. The O Train runs right behind the building and the casino could actually be a stop on the line. The new Light Rail Transit (LRT) is right in front. Scott St, The Parkway, and the Queensway give excellent east-west access. There are four bridges within 1-3 km for access to Quebec. It is within 5-10 minutes travel of every major hotel and most of the major tourist destinations. The main bike paths are next door and Gatineau Park is minutes away. Like RCR, the location doesn’t interfere with any of the downtown businesses and will actually increase business for the local economy by drawing tourists to downtown Ottawa. Picture 5000-6000 patrons downtown each night. Those are numbers Ottawa Tourism would kill for.
What currently squats on the City Centre property.

 The RCR has none of these advantages. As a matter of fact, the city never even bothered to run a bus route to the RCR and it’s been operating gaming and horse track activities for years.

The City Centre has another huge advantage. It doesn’t come with any baggage. Everyone keeps asking, why would you not want to stay with RCR? Some say that those who go there now will not go to a new casino. Well, we heard the same argument when people threatened never to go to a restaurant or a bar if they outlawed smoking. They still went to bars and restaurants. Now some will stubbornly remove the fun of the casino from their lives just to spite us. But those numbers will be easily made up by the tourists and the people not going to the Lac Leamy Casino. Which is good for Ontario: keeping tourism and gaming monies in the Ontario economy and gaming charities. Those who go to the RCR currently because it’s close to their homes will make the trip to the downtown locale: just take the Airport Parkway downtown and you are there.
 
The City Centre: tons of space, right downtown.
Secondly: if they build downtown, they don’t have to deal with the Horseracing Association and the costs involved in maintaining a dying sport. I know this is where photos of horses being carted off to the abattoir start showing up. But the sport is archaic and not locally beloved. You either pump the money into a business to make it run or you let it go. I hated to see camera film disappear but what replaced it has changed the world. If we are going to make a go of this we can’t do it without cutting the costs. Why would a new competitor take on an albatross like the Horseracing Association when it could build anew without the headache? And with the RCR gone, the profits flow to the new location.

So you see, it’s really a simple question of economics. We don’t have to build $200 million in infrastructure according to Councillor Diane Deane’s estimates. And I’m sure that the new casino would be glad to pitch in on the LRT, which, like every other city building project, green bin program, bridge construction, will be grossly over-budget and in need of funds. Ottawa needs a destination. Something to put it on the map. A new Downtown Casino built to the likes of MGM or Ceasars will be a boon to this City, the economy—not to mention the percentage payback to the Province (to support Health Care, Trillium Funds etc) and our City infrastructure and costs. The spin-off economy, jobs and tourism will far outweigh any agricultural job loss that has been tossed at us as a poor excuse for defaulting to the paltry RCR location.


Downtown is the clear-cut winner here; when will our councillors accept that, or will they continue to muck around ignorantly until it’s too late, and we have another Lynx Stadium on our hands: another money-hemorrhaging mess? It’s not too late, Councillors: wake up.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Canadian Government: what the hell is going on?


It’s been a while since I did one of these. I think that twitter got the best of me; anyway, here goes.

Over the last few months I’ve been commenting on the state of government on both sides of the border. Whether its municipal, provincial, or federal government it seems to have lost its way. Take a simple thing like “The Big Dig” in Ottawa. They planned for years to start this project (citywide light rail transit) and did absolutely nothing to accommodate drivers. The one reason given for the project in the first place is the congestion in the core, and yet nothing was planned for said drivers. Forget the fact that we spend tens of millions of dollars for planners, surveys, contractors, and communications people to work theses things out; its as if the car does not fit the government’s agenda, so lets not do anything to help them through the construction. Of course the popular theory is that nothing was done so people would be forced onto transit. Forget that we live in the 2nd coldest capital on the planet thus rendering bicycles (the city’s choice for transit) useless six months of the year. Forget that they are building a tunnel without planning how to extend the route east and west. Does anyone see a pattern forming?

           
The provincial government is building power systems that have been rejected by EU countries as too expensive and too inefficient to continue. The money that’s being wasted on these projects is supposed to be going into healthcare, yet they cut physio to the elderly. It’s so bad that the upper echelon has erased the email records of the gas plant projects to seemingly protect themselves. Have you wondered where the emails for all the other scandals went, too? I have.

 
We have the government in the US embroiled in scandal after scandal that may be affecting the constitution itself. The document that is the basis for what is arguably the most successful country on earth. What is going on?

 
It seems that governments, in a bid to be kept in power, have sacrificed the needs of the people to further that agenda. Right or wrong, many citizens are coming to realize this.

 
Take the wind power program. Whether you believe in it or not, the thing is just too damned expensive. So what do you do if you have to feed the family? Do you sell the Porsche or do you ask the kids for their allowances to keep it? The government chooses to keep taking the allowance, cutting medical, increasing the cost of electricity, water, heat, all the things we need to survive just to keep the Porsche.

 
The worst part is that all levels have bought into the Leader Syndrome. You made me the leader so I know better than all of you. And you gave me this power for 4 years so I can do anything I want with impunity. 100 years ago, having 4 years to work your agenda seemed short but with today’s technology and legal system its amazing what can happen. The final straw is that the promises they give to get elected can be utterly ignored and a new agenda put in place that had nothing to do with the reason we elected them in the first place.

So what’s the answer? Well it’s simpler than you think. First: hold all prospective leaders accountable to their promises and their agenda. Make it law. Number two: build recall legislation to remove said leaders should they not follow rule one.  No more nonsense about “we didn’t know the country was broke” or “we promised but now we know better” we hold them to their promises. And if the country is broke and the previous government lied, then they are held legally accountable. (Now, if war breaks out or emergencies take place, there would be flexibility. Common sense flexibility.) Finally: the books and the contracts of all projects are made available to everyone. No more secret deals. If you want to do business with the big boys, open the books to prove you are worth it. Now this is the money contracts I’m referring to, not technology and patents that are protected. (Again, common sense.) The books need to be fully open to see how they spend our money. Believe me there are plenty of brilliant people who can hold the government to account. This will be painful at first (for governments) because they have built the way they do business on secrecy. But in the long run common sense will prevail. Think about it like a bank loan. You have to prove the project is viable before you get the money, right?

 
What do you think? What would you do if you were given the power over the special interest groups that drive today’s agenda and could introduce them to common sense? What would you do?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Christmas Is Canadian: standing up for Christmas



Canadians love Christmas. No matter how or why we celebrate it, Christmas is the holiday time! Of course Christmas is many things to many people. For some it’s just another holiday, for others its Santa clause and the giving of gifts. This one is very important because without it most businesses could not survive. Many retail businesses do over 90% of their sales during the Christmas season! Without it the economy would come to a grinding halt.

The true meaning of course is the celebration of the birth of Christ. For hundreds of years Christmas has been celebrated as a time of love and family and devotion yet this most wonderful time is under attack. There are those who feel that the meaning of Christmas should be all inclusive and because of that the name should be changed. This is happening right under the apathetic eyes of the very Christians whose celebration it is. My own Muslim friends think it quite strange that Christians would stand for such a thing. They say they would never allow such a thing in their religion.  
I must admit I too am ashamed at the apathy within the Christian churches but mostly with its people. Christmas has become a buying holiday and it’s because Christians are unwilling or afraid to stand up for their own beliefs. So I am standing up for Christmas.

Number one: I will say Merry Christmas to everyone I speak to in conversation.

Secondly I will refuse to purchase any product from any store that does not greet me or respond by saying Merry Christmas. That’s right. Christmas is not Festivous or Seasons greetings or the Holiday time, it’s Christmas. If the retail stores cannot recognise their major profit season and tell their staff to say Merry Christmas then I’m out of there. I have spoken to many sales people and they say the store actually forbids them to respond to Merry Christmas! These people who make their daily bread off of the celebration of Christmas should at least recognise it by name! Imagine if every Christian did this. The store would change their policy over night or go broke but more importantly Christians would maybe start to grow a spine about their beliefs. 

What do you think and more importantly what are you going to do about it? 

Oh, and for those who don’t believe in Christmas, stop being such hypocrites by celebrating and taking time off. Stay in your job over the season and refuse to partake in the holiday in any way. That would be the moral thing to do. And, to the rest of us, a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Green Bin Folly: How Ottawa Can Win Back Our Trust



So let’s talk about trust in Government.

Sometimes you really believe that you are the last person on the planet that God gave common sense to. Ottawa city hall is a good example of what I mean. A year or two or ago we embarked on our green bin adventure. This was Ottawa’s bid to save our planet and we were sold on the premise that:

A)    it would expand the lifespan of our landfill by a few years
B)    it’s good for the environment
C)    it will save us money.

So our councillors go ahead with a 20yr contract knowing full well that they could not reach the target tonnage. They also signed that, whether we meet tonnage or not, the taxpayers will still pay the full tonnage weight. Brilliant. The first year is a complete failure. They bought expensive green bins and supplied them to all home owners, even though many actually have no pickup. The city bought special trucks and doubled the amount of trips to empty the green bins. They are so desperate to cover up their mistake that they divert yard waste and park waste to the green bin. Of course it costs ten times more to do this that the original yard waste program but they cannot be seen to fail. Even with this extra tonnage they barely make 60% of the requirements. So the next step is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising the program that the majority of Ottawans have no interest in.

Finally realizing that there is no way to reach their goal, they decide to cut regular garbage pickup in an attempt to force citizens to the green bin. Their premise is that this will lessen the amount of garbage produced, thus saving money. Except for one thing: if the city creates a million pounds of garbage, it produces a million pounds of garbage. No matter how many bins you divide it by, it’s still a million pounds. Of course they deny the real problem is the contract, and they try to sell the environmental benefits. They say this will lead to a decrease in costs even though they have added multiple truck trips. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

So let’s look at the three reasons for the green bin in the first place. First is the dump lifespan. The dump accepts 75% commercial waste, 20% or so home waste with a tiny percentage of organic material. Commercial waste is everything from construction material to new clothing that the stores won’t return. Now these inorganic materials do not break down so they make up the bulk of the dump. The organic waste is the only thing that breaks down and because it does it shrinks in size dramatically. It also heats up and helps things like wood break down more quickly. It also produces methane that can be used to heat and power the dump. Organics are not the problem.

Off course all these points are moot because the city has trucks coming from other cities to dump their garbage! That’s right, their stated worry is filling the landfill and they continue to ship in garbage.

Ok, the next argument is the environment. Part of the first issue helps with the second. But the main problem is the cost of hauling. We now have three fleets of diesel trucks on the road 12 hours a day. We have tens of thousands of plastic bins and we have a factory breaking the waste down that would have broken down in the dump.

The final one is money. The answer to this also lies in the other two issues. Plus, we have the added expense of $7,500,000 a year to Orgaworld. Here is the final nail in the coffin. We are about to start what we should have done in the first place: we are now going to burn the garbage with plasma and produce energy from it. No more dump issues and according to the company, biologicals wont hurt the process.

So why are we going ahead with this expensive unwanted folly of green bins? Because no one in the council is going to admit they were wrong. If they would just come clean and admit they screwed up, we could find a way to break the contract and start with a clean slate. It’s a matter of trusting us to accept their apology, and it’s a matter of faith for us to believe in the system again.

What do you think, and will you email you councillor to make this happen?

Friday, 14 September 2012

The World Needs More John Wayne: Honesty, Integrity, and Balls



Over the last few months trust has become an issue for Canadians. Trust in government, trust in people, trust in spouses, trust in churches, and even trust in themselves. Can you trust the guys at work? What are people saying about you? What ever happened to the strength we garnered from trust? My father said that you can tell the worth of a man (or woman) by the value they put on their word. If you say you will be there, then be there! Yet today I see kids who tell their friends they will meet at the shopping center and when the kid goes the friends don’t show up. Then when they call to see what happen the other kid will say “Oh I changed my mind.” It does not phase them that they went against their word and wasted their friend’s time.

What has changed? Why would our children not understand the value of their word? I have a theory. The school system, parents, and the media do not talk about the Golden rule any more. Take John Wayne. What made him the man we all wanted to be? When John told you something you could bet your life (literally) that he not only meant every word but that he would follow through. His quiet strength and full belief in what he said told you this is a man. How long has it been since you were with a person like this?

Another one of his great strengths was his common sense. You knew that his belief in common sense is what gave him his unshakeable sense of purpose. In El Dorado he is tough on Robert Mitchum who has become a drunk over a lost love. You know that he is Mitchum’s friend, but he won’t put up with anything but recovering the man he knew. It may seem simplistic, but common sense is simple. Right/wrong, needed/not, good/bad, first things first and the frills come second (something government has lost track of); it’s simple. How do you teach the golden rule? You make it the rule in your life and you prove it to others by being unwavering in your beliefs. Then you pass that rule on and you hold each person accountable to it. Finally you don’t deal or compromise on their word or yours. Period. What do you think and how important is surrounding yourself with people who share your beliefs?

Oh here's a final gem from Mr. Wayne.


"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." 


Simple right?

Monday, 3 September 2012

Quebec Separation: The Spoiled Teen Province


Canadians hate spoiled children. There is nothing more aggravating than watching a teenager stomping their feet and whining about how misunderstood they are. Then, when they get what they want, they rest only long enough to find a new set of demands. The
justice comes when the parents finally say enough is enough and they show the kid the door. Of course the kid thinks that it’s a bluff. Mom and Dad have given in every other time right? Only this time the kid went too far. The locks are changed, the visa is
cancelled, the cell phone is cancelled, and the allowance is done.

QUEBEC NEEDS TO GROW UP.


This is the tipping point that Quebecers find themselves at today. Too many demands, too many racist laws, too many times ignoring who pays for their nonsense. This time they will be alone. The Cree won’t side with them. I heard a Cree chief comment once about the chance of separating. He said the Cree control the lands with the hydro lines. He said you would be surprised what two Cree, a pickup, a case of beer, and a box of dynamite can do to bring a province to its senses. He wasn’t smiling. Labrador isn’t coming and
that cuts of the last of the hydro and the last of the export dollars.

Does Quebec remember the mass exodus of businesses the last time things got this close? Business does not want extra costs and regulation and they certainly don’t need laws that restrict the labour pool. Oh, the federal employees shouldn’t forget that they will not be Canadians and therefore will not be able to work in a foreign government. Of course this will lead to an employment boom and bilingualism won’t be a factor, so all Canadians will have an even shot—not a bad prospect after the oppression of false bilingualism.

HISTORY REPEATING.

The last time we faced the possibility of separation, it was Canadians that put their hearts on the line and pulled us from the brink. That will not happen this time. Even if separation is averted Canadians are in no mood to acquiesce to more demands. The Quebec separatists have crossed the line. I believe that the Prime Minister needs to explain Quebec what really happens when they leave. Explain the agreements that were signed about lands that revert to Canada should they separate. Explain that separation means just that: separation. Just like the heartbroken parent he needs to be firm no matter how much it hurts. I know Canadians are ready to support the hard truths.

So where do we go from here? Does the teenager grow up? Do the parents change the
locks and wait? And when they do leave, what do we do with all the Quebec refugees?
What do you see happening and what would you like to happen?