why Canadian airfares are so HIGH

No competition.

It’s cheaper to fly to an international destination than to a Canadian city.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Proposed Swoop, Jetlines, FlyToo and expanded Rouge may help. I’m not holding my breath.

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The future of global energy

I’ve always been suspicious of stories predicting the rise of solar and wind and the imminent plunge of coal and oil.

But it’s here. Solar in Dubai is already the least expensive source of electricity in the history of the world2.42 cents / kwh.

Click PLAY or watch a TED Talk on YouTube. (38min)

Incumbents will increasingly be asking for government subsidy for coal and oil. Those requests should be denied.

(via tywkiwdbi)

American politics went batshit crazy starting with Newt Gingrich

I ignored American politics until 2004 when — inexplicably — George W. Bush was elected for a second term after being unbelievably bad in his first term.

What the Hell was going on?

Jim VandeHei explains why the USA has such extreme politics in 2017: Newt GingrichFox News (1996), MSNBC, CNN, Facebook and later Twitter, Sarah Palin and finally Trump.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert documented the idiocy.

It’s easy to say Americans deserve the politicians they have.

My fear is that other nations will evolve in the direction of the American way. 😦

how Google (and myself) avoid taxes

I’m in Bermuda right now … hiding my vast wealth. 😀

According to the latest available figures, 63 percent of all the profits made outside of the United States by American multinationals are now reported in six low- or zero-tax countries: the Netherlands, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland. …

The NY Times has a comparatively simple article with graphics explaining how the stupidly rich hide their money … legally.

How Corporations and the Wealthy Avoid Taxes  (and How to Stop Them)

How do we know?

Much was revealed from the Swiss Leaks (2015), the Panama Papers (2016) and the Paradise Papers (2017).

Only one entity was sued after the Panama Papers.

 

Has the USA already peaked?

Some argue that the USA peaked in the 1990s.

Under Trump it certainly seems that the States now have far less world authority and moral influence. Americans consider their politicians corrupt and ineffective.

The Republican / Democrat split solidified by gerrymandering would seem to make gridlock inevitable.

But having toured Washington DC the past 3 days, I’m not so sure the USA is on permanent decline.

My favourite attraction on the mall was the Washington Monument.

Very inspiring.

It’s the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk.

George Washington is inspiring too:

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.

Like the USA, the Washington Monument has problems. $2-3 million is needed to modernize the elevator.

Has the USA peaked? For some reason I think the best is yet to come.

The nation will have to rally around one leader and Party. A fiscally conservative Democrat. Or moderate Republican.

Dinosaurs like Jeff Sessions will need to go extinct for the nation to move forward. Trump is the worst American leader of all time. By far. The sooner his regime ends, the better.

homeless downtown Montreal

I spent a few weeks this year near the Berri-UQAM Metro station on Rue Sainte-Catherine, heart of downtown Montreal. There are a LOT of homeless people. It reminds me of a major American city in that way.

One survey (Douglas Mental Health University / 800+ volunteers) counted 3,016 homeless in the city. 10% aboriginal. 10% immigrants. Veterans 6%.

Other guesstimates have been 10 times as high.

I was there during warmer months. During winter these folks need to find someplace heated.

A harsh and boring life, seems to me. They all seem to have cigarettes. Somehow.

IMG_0114

Not sure what can be done to reduce the numbers. A guaranteed minimum income experiment — or new kinds of free housing — could be tried.