in North America the poor & less educated smoke

There’s hope for the world.

The national smoking rate (USA) has fallen to historic lows, with just 15 percent of adults still smoking. …

America’s new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor didn’t

Smokers are mostly embarrassed that they can’t quit in North America.

Not so in Europe. There the cool kids still smoke. Proud of it.

Why can’t Europeans quit smoking?

I don’t get it.

Dictators Nicolae & Elena Ceaușescu – Palace of the Parliament

Inspired by the dictator in North Korea, Nicolae Ceaușescu was a terrible leader.

While subjecting his people to extreme austerity, he built the Palace of the Parliament … the second-largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon.

His thirst for power led to his regime bulldozing historical parts of Bucharest in the early eighties and forcing workers to build, through day and night, the enormous political and administrative complex known as the House of the People.

The grandiose palace, which was not completed in the Ceausescus’ lifetime despite the huge human and financial cost, has been called the world’s second biggest building after the Pentagon and boasts luxurious fittings. It is now Romania’s parliament building. (30% occupied) …

Under his regime, eating a banana was a rare luxury while all staple products such as milk, sugar, eggs and butter were rationed. …


It’s difficult to put this monstrosity into scale.

Check the size of the people on the balcony.

Here’s the last known photo of the dictator on that balcony.

It was from that balcony in 1992 that Michael Jackson shouted: “Hello Budapest“.

I took the tour seeing 4% of the space.

The exterior is classic former Soviet rectal-linear architecture. UG. LY.

The interior is better. Especially the halls they show to tourists.

Ceaușescu was shot before construction finished. There’s no mention of him in the building today.

This huge space was intended for a gigantic portrait. It was never painted.

I walked the perimeter surprised to see they are still building. This will be the future National Cathedral.

The waste of money and resources will always remind me of egomaniac dictators. And dictator wannabes like Trump.

Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu killed by firing squad

Considered by the BBC a kangaroo court or a show trial, the main charge was genocide—namely, murdering “over 60,000 people” during the revolution in Timișoara. …

North America has lousy airlines

I’m in Europe shopping inexpensive airline options. It reminds me how bad we have it in Canada — WestJet and Air Canada being almost the same, equally bad. There’s no competition.


Air fares are higher per seat mile in America than in Europe. …

Airlines in North America posted a profit of $22.40 per passenger last year; in Europe the figure was $7.84. …

Only one operator based in America can be found in the world’s 30 best carriers, as rated by Skytrax, an aviation website, compared with nine from Europe. …

This happy combination of low fares and reasonable service has a simple explanation: competition. American policymakers have presided over a wave of mergers in the past few years. The biggest four carriers in America between them now control 80% of the market, compared with just 48% a decade ago. …

A lack of competition explains the flaws in American aviation


America’s woeful image among travellers is self-perpetuating

the BEST Canadian Conservative leader?

I can’t support O’Leary or Leitch. I’d vote for ANYONE ahead of those two.

300px-maxime_bernierTherefore it seems Bernier is my best option. … Assuming Trudeau loses the next election, highly likely at the point, I’d say.

Maxime Bernier, 54, is the MP for Beauce, Quebec …

Bernier is considered a libertarian and advocate of limited government. …

Leave a comment if you have any advice for me.

Registered candidates:

Money Monster

I quite enjoyed this film. It has many surprising twists and turns.


Money Monster is a 2016 American thriller film directed by Jodie Foster …

The film stars George Clooney (who also co-produced) as Lee Gates, a TV personality who advises his audience on commerce and Wall Street …

Money Monster has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 58%, based on reviews from 231 critics, with an average rating of 5.9/10. …

It’s clearly based on Jim Cramer, host of the TV show Mad Money.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

I subscribed to the Washington Post

The Washington Post has been killing it in recent months. The best U.S. election coverage by far. Even better than Politico. Or the NY Times.


Like all print media the Washington Post are trying to find a way to survive while switching customers to digital.

I paid $9.99 for the first 6 months – digital edition. U.S. Amazon Prime members can get those same 6 months for free. They hope we get addicted to the service over that period … or forget to cancel the subscription. 🙂 Mine renews at $150 / year, more than I’m willing to pay.

It’s easy to bypass the Washington Post paywall if you don’t want to pay. But I’d like to support them.

No doubt the Washington Post will offer me a lower price when I go to cancel my subscription on April 12th, 2017.

I now subscribe to Economist magazine and the Washington Post. The only two old media companies getting cash from Rick McCharles. So far.