Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Canada NAFTA negotiations

So there's another round of NAFTA negotiations ongoing. The original trade deal was the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and USA back in 1987, about a generation ago.

Much has changed in Canada in only a generation. I remember trade agreements used to be about increasing trade, creating jobs in Canada, preserving key industries like dairy farms and auto manufacturing. In 1987 Canada's negotiator was Simon Reisman, a well-known, respected, successful Jewish businessman. He got it. He understood we were negotiating a trade agreement and his job was to get the best trade agreement for Canada.


And then there's today.
Look at Canada's so called priorities of this "trade" negotiation. The environment, Indians, gender, outlaw right to work in USA, etc. No mention anywhere of trade, industry or jobs. We can assume none of those things matter to the Prime Minister Trudeau.

The whole thing seems to be about advancing the social justice warrior agenda. Reads like some tripe written by the Dalhousie student union.

Who is the negotiator? On the USA side the leader and face is unquestionably President Trump.

And on Canada's side we have Chrystia Freeland. What a comparison from Mr. Reisman in only a generation. Freeland comes to cabinet from a career in big media, and appears to have no experience in business or industry.

Freeland seems to be a feminist sjw, writer of books with titles like "Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else". The wiki page states "She is a proponent of personal asset seizures..."  No doubt. It's not clear how Mr. Trudeau saw her as the best Canada could find as the lead NAFTA trade negotiator, but the Prime Minister seems to have little interest in this matter.


Given that, best outcomes to Canada from this NAFTA negotiation are no change, or cancel the NAFTA agreement. No gain can come to Canada from an agreement negotiated between Trump with his priorities and Freeland with her priorities.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The Atlantica Party of Nova Scotia

I discovered the party a bit by accident in the last provincial eletion cycle. I saw a couple banners around Halifax and visited the Atlantica website. I was a bit surprised and liked what I saw. Unfortunately they didn't have a candidate in my riding on the ballot or I might have voted for them.

A few thoughts on the Atlantica platform and website. First of all they should disable comments. Comments just attract trolls and it takes away their control of the narrative. Let the opponents expend their own time and energy to set up their own websites. Comments either undermine the message by opposing it, or even supporter comments can dilute the message without really adding value.

They should lead with the health care message. Health was the top issue in the election campaign. It is by far the largest provincial budget item. So lead with it. Their ideas for health care in Nova Scotia are quite interesting and innovative.

They make some good points about education too. So move that up to second on their website.

Everything else seems a bit w/e. Privatize the liquor commission? The LC is like meh, who cares one way or the other if it is private or crown. Maybe 30 years ago the way things were in the old days there was a case to privatize the LC. Today not so much. They have modernized, offering better hours and Sunday shopping. In-store service is good and friendly in my experience. There is also better customer experience with boutique outlets in grocery stores and rural corner stores.

I think the privatization of Nova Scotia Power was seen as a shot across the bow to the Liquor Commission. The LC got the message 25 years ago to act more like a business and less like a government department. Today I can't see a good case to make the change to private. Thus without a compelling case to privatize I'd say don't bother. Also we didn't gain anything from the NSPC privatization. A one-time $300 million of money to the province that was of course immediately spent with nothing to show for it.

MLA recall is a bad idea. In a multi-party first past the post system, riding winners will often pull less than 40% of the vote. Campaigns are often hard-fought and the margins of victory on election day thin. Recall would just be abused by sore losers trying to reopen and re-fight lost election campaigns. We already have recall, on election day.


On this site I've had some ideas about education and training and a proposal to reduce the burden of rules and restrictions which I will offer here as suggestions to Atlantica for future platform ideas.

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I appreciate the discussion that only Atlantica is willing to have at this time. I guess a soft landing from the statism of the past generations, going back to the 1970s and earlier. Admit that what we have been doing the last decades is failing. Let's move forward in a sustainable way. It's better to have a controlled soft landing now than an uncontrolled sudden stop and crash later.

It takes courage to bring it up and discuss it so credit to Atlantica for that. Thanks for being the only party willing to have an honest conversation about where Nova Scotia is today and what the realistic alternatives are at this point.

Atlantica makes me think of the Ivany report [PDF]. I think Atlantica should try to seize Ivany and identify with it. Demonstrate their platform is to basically implement Ivany. That's what it feels like a bit from their site anyway.

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I think Atlantica has more support than was reported. I think they ran a pretty good campaign with limited resources and exposure. I hope Atlantica continues and gains traction. It won't be easy, the status quo is deeply entrenched and will use their resources to very strongly resist any real change to the longstanding narrative of the past decades.

I think it was unfair of the media on election day to lump Atlantica and their darlings the Green party together as 0.4 % support "other". That was in my opinion basically appropriating Atlantica's votes to Green for reporting purposes which was wrong.

During the campaign the media basically tried to pretend Atlantica didn't exist, hoping Atlantica would go away if they just ignore them. Anyway that's stage 1, ignore and pretend it doesn't exist. Stage 2 which hasn't happened yet is ridicule, attack, and vilify. Stage 3, if they reach it, is when you win.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Gold Digging Salvatore Dalí

I noticed a story go by about the famous late artist Salvatore Dalí.

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/psychic-salvador-dali-body-exhumed-paternity-1005665
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/arts/design/salvador-dalis-corpse-exhumed-paternity-case.html
http://nypost.com/2017/06/26/judge-orders-body-of-painter-salvador-dali-to-be-exhumed/

So apparently a judge in Spain has ordered that Dalí's body be exhumed for a DNA test from a lawsuit brought by one Pilar Abel. Ms. Abel claims that her mother was working as a maid in Dalí's house in 1955 and Dalí is her birth father. Salvatore Dalí died in 1989 with no children.

This case makes no sense. First of all what evidence is there of this paternity claim? Dalí is long dead. Abel seems to present some hearsay evidence which is inadmissible in court. There seems to be no physical or testimony of her claim. Why didn't Abel or her mother bring this case through all those years when Dalí was alive and could have defended himself.

Also Dalí left a will. So even if a DNA was established, since she isn't in the will what claim could she have to the Dalí estate?

Talk about gold digging, sheesh. Trying to literally extract resources from men that her mother supposedly slept with. From the defenceless corpse of Mr. Dalí. So much for Rest in Peace.

So much for consent. How could the dead consent to this indignity against the human body. Idiot judge. Who is paying for this exhumation anyway?

Well as a hedge while you're there once the body is up, see if there are some gold fillings in his teeth. Since his dead body is being literally mined for resources at this point. Take the resource extraction and gold digging from Dalí's corpse to its logical conclusion. Plus a hedge when the DNA test comes back negative, perhaps she can at least extract those resources off Dalí.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Women and Men Fighting

I've noticed a trend recently in some popular culture. We see more women and men fighting.

For example in a recent Avengers movie, and in the show Vikings, we see women and men squaring up and direct one on one fighting. Historically this did not happen. Men fought men and women more rarely fought women. But never direct straight up woman v man fistfight/swordfight.

I noticed that in these fights the women always seemed to win the fight. Which seems unlikely. If everything is now equal, then in general the women should lose half these straight up fights and win half the time. So the women always winning is an interesting statement.

It's something new. Historically men and women never fought directly on screen. In general we also don't straight up fistfight in public. But maybe there is a trend of acceptability. I guess if everything is equal then "who you fight" can now be whoever you want.

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Alas as we saw in Cologne on New Years Eve, life does not imitate art. When it came to it the fighting wasn't so equal. The German men that night either weren't around, or were too few, not strong enough, expecting the authorities to deal with it for them, or just not motivated to fight on behalf of their women.

I guess they aren't "their" women, and if fighting is equal now as the Avengers and Vikings tell us then the German ladies were free to defend themselves and their property.

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There's this stat that surfaces from time to time. It's the concern about domestic violence in lesbian relationships. http://www.pandys.org/articles/lesbiandomesticviolence.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_lesbian_relationships for example.
so it exists. so what.

I will provide a theory that there's nothing "special" about the female abuse in lesbian relationships. I believe it's the same amount of abuse as men in heterosexual relationships experience. It's just in lesbian we're allowed to talk about it. After all, the women in many lesbian relationships such as Kathleen Wynne, Elizabeth Gilbert, Anne Heche, Lindsay Lohan come over or back from traditional relationships with men. So it's the largely the same women in lesbian relationships, committing the same abuse.

To a man in a relationship facing abuse. Here are two good options.

a) leave the abuser
b) hit back

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Grabher Case

There has been a news story about a fight in Nova Scotia about a personalized license plate.

Lorne Grabher had a license plate which read GRABHER for 26 years.

In response to one complaint, the Nova Scotia department of transportation revoked Mr. Grabher's license plate.

This is wrong on many levels

Grabher is his name This isn't some joke or attempt to skirt boundaries. His intent is obvious and the license plate is appropriate.
Precedent had been established There is a major difference between seeking a new custom plate and a plate that has been there for 26 years. Any common sense would say that there was no issue for 26 years, and the previous decision to allow the plate should stand. Even if you wouldn't issue that plate today for a new application, any application of common sense would be to let the longstanding decision to issue the plate to stand.

Too bad CTV wouldn't do their jobs as journalists and use freedom of information to expose the one person who got her panties in a bunch and originally complained about the license plate.

I see the Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan was reelected. That is unfortunate. The voters should have booted him out of office. As minister he is ultimately responsible for the department. It's his job to overrule the bureaucracy when they make a mistake, as they did in this case. The civil service works for the minister, not the other way around. Very disappointing that MacLellan, faced with a choice of who to disappoint, would throw an honourable man like Lorne Grabher under the bus to instead accommodate troublemaker activists and busybodies.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Venn diagrams and the meaning of English sentences



I was looking some English language materials recently and came across these two sentences. The basic question from the standpoint of understanding English was around the effects of commas and the meaning of similar statements in English. Thinking about it, it occurred to me that the question was about sets and logic as much as English comprehension. The original problem was stated similar to

In a certain math class there are Hardworking students and Lazy students. The class writes two tests. A student can Pass or Fail each test.

These are the overall results of the two tests.

1. The students, who were lazy, failed.

2. The students who were lazy failed.

Questions for students

- draw Venn diagrams with Hardworking, Lazy, Pass, and Fail for each of the two tests
- did any Hardworking students Fail the first test (yes, no, possibly)
- did any Lazy students Pass the first test (yes, no, possibly)
- did any Hardworking students Fail the second test (yes, no, possibly)
- did any Lazy students Pass the first test (yes, no, possibly)
- is it possible that everyone failed the first test?
- is it possible that everyone failed the second test?
- which test was probably harder? explain your reasoning


Now the first bit is English comprehension, as the only difference between the sentences is the punctuation. This part might be contentious so I put in my reading of the sentences. I'd be curious to understand how others may read it.

In the first sentence, my reading is: the punctuation makes laziness a property of those who failed the test.

In the second sentence I read it: the statement applies to the class as a whole.

So given that I can rewrite the sentences in an equivalent form that can be used for Venn diagrams

1 => 1.1 everyone who failed is lazy

2 => 2.2 everyone who is lazy failed

From there it's possible to create Venn diagrams and answer the questions.

I used creatly which was a nice online program. Easy to use and powerful. +1 to creately.

These are the Venn diagrams I came up with

For the first test

For the second test

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tim Horton's 100 challenge

Recently a few people have put the Tim Horton's roll up the rim challenge to the test. Apparently they are buying 100 cups of Tims coffee in an experiment.

I wonder what they were trying to discover. lol Tims is rigged? maybe they thought with 100 tries things would converge and they would have exactly 20 winners. In Tim Horton's roll up the rim they state that 1 in 5 cups wins something. The something is typically an inexpensive food prize such as a free coffee or doughnut.

I thought offhand 100 isn't a real large sample size and there would be some variance and probably surprises from people actually doing a sample of 100 times and recording the results. First I thought to write a script to use a random number generator to build a large set of samples of 100 trials (taking Tims at their word that indeed 1 in 5 cups randomly is a winner), then see what kind of data emerged.

Then thinking about it some more, I realized the chance of each of the outcomes, from 0 wins to 100 wins, can be computed exactly. This is the equation, where x is the number of times to win.

The probability of winning x times over a sample of 100 where each attempt has a 1 in 5 chance of winning is


This formula can be readily entered into Excel and we can determine the chance of each outcome. I entered it into a spreadsheet and these are some observations of the results.

The chance of losing all 100 times is about 1 in 4.9 billion. So any regular who tells you they never win is probably selectively forgetting a few stray wins here and there.

The chance of winning all 100 times is about 1 in 1070, or 1 in 7,888,609,052,210,030,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

There is about a 1.26% chance of winning fewer than 12 times.

There is about a 1.12% chance of winning more than 29 times. So regulars who think they win about half the time are likely overestimating how often they win.

With a 1 in 5 chance each time, the expected would be of course 20 wins. There is actually a 9.93% chance of winning exactly 20 times, or more than 90% to get something other than 20. Most of the action is around 20, there is an 83.2% chance of coming in between 15 and 25 wins over the random sample of 100 cups.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The end of the independent judiciary in Canada

Some recent court cases have called into question whether a judge in Canada can act as independent, impartial, disinterested observer in a criminal trial. In recent months in some court cases judges have been subject to censure after the trial for applying "incorrect" reasoning.

In an Alberta case a provincial court judge Robin Camp was subjected to a Canadian Judicial Council committee of inquiry who ruled that he "should be removed from the bench". The council also ruled that he "committed misconduct while presiding over the trial"

What was this misconduct? Judge Camp's mistake apparently was applying what some might consider thoughtcrime in his reasoning in acquitting a defendant of sexual assault.

With a precedent now established from the judge Camp case, now in a Nova Scotia case there are again calls to remove a judge over a sexual assault verdict, to send judge Gregory Lenehan to "Judicial council review". Again some disagree with the learned judge's reasoning in acquittal, and want the judge removed from the bench.

In the past there were concepts of an impartial judge, an unbiased observer with no personal interest in the outcome of a case. This allowed a judge to weigh the evidence as presented and determine a verdict free from outside pressure.

So what is the takeaway from this for judges and criminal defence lawyers? If I was a criminal defence lawyer with a client facing sexual assault I would not recommend my client go to trial by judge alone. Go with a jury trial. As we have seen, if a judge can be censured and kicked off the bench for acquitting, then it's hard to see how a defendant can get a fair trial by judge alone. If the judiciary is no longer independent then judges have to be aware of what the "expected" verdict and reasoning is before the trial begins. And they will be smart enough to protect themselves and deliver that verdict.

Even with a jury trial, it is still dangerous to the judge. His instructions to the jury could also be subject to this Judicial council review, so judges will be pressured to steer juries to deliver a predetermined verdict. Also once a precedent is established with judges, jury members as well can potentially face repercussions after the trial for coming back not guilty. So they will also now feel pressured play it safe and come back with guilty, to avoid trouble and possibly losing their day jobs as a result of delivering the "wrong" verdict.

The result of everyone having to play it safe is bad for defendants. In order for judges and juries to cover themselves and avoid difficulties after the trial if they acquit, established conventions would change. Presumption of innocence replaced by presumption of guilt. Burden of proof shifted to the defendant to demonstrate at least one of
a) the alleged crime did not occur
b) someone else committed the crime
c) it is impossible for the defendant to have committed the crime

Otherwise it might be "murky" as in the Halifax taxi case and better play it safe and protect your own interest and convict.

Friday, February 03, 2017

The Modern CBC Narrative

Interesting video posted by CBC 22 minutes apparently some time ago. Just saw it recently.


Intended as comedy, it's actually a sad and disturbing rendering of modern relationships. I suppose CBC has, as Canada's self-appointed storyteller, told the story of the modern Canadian man. Perhaps unwittingly but maybe not.

In the video a man comes home with a brand new truck that he bought. Before he even gets in the door of his own house he is attacked by his wife for buying the truck. Watch it in the video. A screaming, foul mouthed, public tirade against a man. The justification for her vicious attack? oh of course these invisible three kids.

Suitably shamed and humiliated, the video ends with the "man" agreeing to return the truck to the dealership for a vehicle of his wife's choosing.

Imagine for a moment CBC, doing it the other way. a wife comes home with some purchase husband disagrees with and is attacked as a result. yeah any day now we'll see that segment on 22 Minutes.

The poor guy and his 3 kids. loser should have never had kids or stopped after 1 with harpie. kids prevent him from doing the right thing and leaving her. 

For the guy, the 10 minutes that it took to drive the new new truck from the dealership to his house was probably the only 10 minutes of satisfaction he's experienced in the last 10 years being married to her. loser, he should leave her for disrespecting him. that's 10 minutes too much of his happiness for his wife to allow. so he goes back to the dealership, back to paying for everything, back to his job with it's prescription drug card.

Look at themes here. man attacked by his wife in public, openly berated, treated with hostility and contempt. the video is unfortunately so sad because it's not comedy. it's documentary, an accurate description of everyday life for all too many modern men. confirming and normalizing this type of abusive behaviour by women. The video is in poor taste.