Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Banks and Credit Card Companies Suck Ass

Let me tell you why - these companies rake in billions of dollars in profit by charging extortionate interest rates and service fees and handing out terrible investment returns and then finally ignore their customers security woes as compensation for loyal service.

The thing that gets me is that they haven't upgraded security in decades! Phishing, credit card fraud, identity theft are all easily mitigated with technology like smartcards, biometrics and public key tokens. Where the hell are those things on my ATM machines? Why is it that card swipers can be hacked together for a mager couple of bucks to fool the ATMs owned by multi-billion dollar tech savy companies? The reason is that they are just too fat and greedy to give a damn about the consumer being ripped off, it's not their problem.

Half a billion dollars annually is what consumers got ripped off from phishing, who knows how much from credit card theft, ABM rip offs and identity theft. Those Bay street bastards know it and don't do squat about it.

The sick irony of it is when they do finally do something about it, they will probably charge you and I extra for it too.

How do you do something about it? Simple, next time you buy an investment - buy some stocks in the publicly traded irresponsible greedy banks. Tank up your RRSP in RBC funds and then get your mortgage somewhere else like from ING direct or a smaller credit union.

If they are taking billions from consumers and giving it to shareholders, you might as well be a shareholder right?

Same goes for Microsoft & Intel.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

Feelin hungry?

I saw that movie about the dude who ate nothing but burgers for a month and got fat and inflated. First off, what the hell did you think was going to happen? The same thing would happen if he ate whole grain bread tofu organic vegan burgers in that quantity for a month. I put on five pounds in a week just from eating hotel food in a slightly bigger plate than I normally eat so it makes sense that a normally healthy person would fatten up pretty quick on a doubled or tripled caloric diet.

After seeing that movie, I just wanted to have the hugest burger on the plant and I don't even like burgers and have eaten at McD's maybe twice in the past ten years. Sometimes I think that I'm the only one who thinks the liberal youth left wing is even dumber than the far right. I'd put this guy and Moore on the same level as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and Tammy Faye Baker.

On that note, here's a wicked burger.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ice Baby Ice

What has red hair, weighs 60 pounds, hops around Florida and would kick you in the balls if given the opportunity (assuming of course that you have balls)? No it's not Danny Partridge or the wee man, it's Vanilla Ice's renegade kangaroo.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Darwinism in action

Man, it just totally amazes me how stupid some people are. Anywez, I'm on the road for another week so I'll be sparse for a while. See yez!

Remembrance day

Today is remembrance day, most people my age don't know exactly what it's about or even seem to care. Today is the day that people like you and me who sit in a relatively free place take a bit of time to appreciate the people that fought to keep it that way. If it was up to me, I'd also consider the civilians and "enemy" soldiers, many of them innocent as you or I.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The parade continues

Here's a moron, idiot and a stubborn old fool.

And why is it that Arafat keeps dying and then un-dying? How many times can that dude be declared dead?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Idiot parade

What is up with the idiots these days, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork. We've got dumbass Japanese people who bath in a radioactive soup, nuclear activists who don't quite get it , there's this crazy bunch in the UK with doggie glasses, then finally there's the self explanitory doggie fart thong.

Oh the hypocrisy

Most of the world thinks that the US shouldn't be in Iraq, this includes me. So how about Sudan or Haiti? Who is to decide if intervention is OK? Back in Europe during World War II, may people were very much against going to war with Germany even though there were many reports of atrocities, same thing with Kuwait and Yogoslavia.

I think that the hard liners who are against intervention should take a look back in history and think about what would happen if nobody ever intervened until they were directly threatened. You'd probably be speaking German, Russian or Japanese right now. I'm not saying that it's the right thing to do by any means, but the answer isn't so black and white and Iraq isn't so different from Serbia.

Want an example? How about France and the UN hanging out in the Ivory Coast where nobody there wants them? Same story, different theater except it's Chirac who's doing the intervening.

On a different topic, last night on the way into town I saw another Aurora Borealis. I had always thought that it only happened in August. This is the third time in 2 years, really unbelievable sight especially the first time you see one.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

A Dirty Secret About Offshoring

So let me ask you this, when you buy a car that was imported or a shirt from the Gap (yuk!), do you know that you pay some import duties indirectly because the goods were taxed on their way into North America? The same goes for anything you might buy from the US that was made in China, you will pay some duties of up to 20%. You don't pay any duties on American and soon South American goods due to NAFTA.

So my point is that when the big software companies have their products built offshore, why is it that you don't pay duties on the software? Duties and excise taxes are meant to protect local industry from dumping and unfair offshore competition. What about offshore IT work? Does Microsoft or Sun pay duties every time they sell you software? Probably not, it seems un-enforceable. While IT offshore outsourcing is a natural extension of manual labor outsourcing (sweatshops), it just isn't fair that it isn't taxed in the same way as tangible goods. What's worse is that it seems to be encouraged both by governments and Wall Street. This seems strange given that Americans are so patriotic but not patriotic enough to protect the jobs of the weak against the greed of the powerful.

For the record, I stand to gain the most from the status quo but I still think that it is unfair and will come back to bite us all in the ass. Unfortunately, politicians and the common folk won't react to this probably until its too late.

Thomas Jefferson said that people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never was and never will be. True dat.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Smug Canuck

Just when you were feeling especially good about being a Canadian, there's some local bonehead who shows up to remind you that we're prone to idiosis like everybody else.

Whacked out in DC

I don't know about you, but I have been getting wads of email from my friends who now live in the USA. Some are ex-pat Canadian, some American but what they have in common is that they all seem pretty distraught and almost desperate about the outcome of that last election. I don't really know of any Canadians who wanted Bush to win, even the most conservative ones. For the most part, most people that I know thought that given what a horrendous job he did, that there was no way he was going to win. They thought wrong and so did my peers in the USA who got snookered by rural USA and the bible belt. If you live in Boston, NYC, LA or anywhere relatively modern, it just became really clear to you how different you are from somebody living in Texas or Idaho. Culture shock isn't just Paris Hilton in a camper, it's the bible belt running the country, ruling the supreme court and bombing other peoples countries. You'd think that there was nothing the common American can do about it. Well that's the sad part, the people who will get screwed the most voted the least. That would be the youth and the poor. The younger you were, the poorer you were, the least likely it was that you voted in the USA. That's a very sad failure of democracy.

Another sidenote: Did you know that the District of Columbia where the White House, Congress and the US Senate resides voted 90% (!!!) for Kerry. Talk about ironic.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Four more years

CNN has some really interesting stats on the type of people that voted for Bush/Kerry, here's some really interesting highlights:

- White people voted 58% for Bush
- Black people voted 88% for Kerry (PHEW!@)
- Other races voted around 55% for Kerry
- People over 30 voted about 52% for Bush, under 30 it was 54% for Kerry
- Voting by income was wild, if you made <$15K, you voted 63% for Kerry, over 200K, 63% for Bush
- Protestants and Catholics voted 59% and 52% for Bush
- Jewish folks voted 75% for Kerry (!)
- Churchgoers voted 60-70% for Bush

No real surprises but there are now some numbers to these trends to really show how divided the US really is. Good luck to them, I'm just glad that I am Canadian today.

Source: CNN

BTW: I am on the road for the next month so I will be mostly out of sight.