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Murder Hornets Seek Legal Counsel

Hornet

Photo: pej_pej_pej/Getty Images

In many ways, we live in politically correct times. Some good, some inane. Should sports teams, professional and otherwise, drop names such as Chiefs, Indians, Eskimos and, Braves? Absolutely.

If your school colour is red, and, like my alma mater McGill, your men’s sports teams are called Redmen (and assuming no reference is made to “Indians”) should you change it? I don’t really think so, but McGill has gone and done so anyway. I guess it just wasn’t worth the hassle.

Regardless of the fact that this would be a good name for a Punk band, those who have been saddled (and yes, some of them are the size of horses) with the moniker are none too pleased

A new debate is rising on the horizon, and being on the cutting edge of these things I will let you in on the ground floor. As if it wasn’t horrendous enough to be dealing with a Coronavirus pandemic, it seems we now will have to come to terms with some new residents known, at least for now, as Murder Hornets.

Regardless of the fact that this would be a good name for a Punk band, those who have been saddled (and yes, some of them are the size of horses) with the moniker are none too pleased. And believe me, an angry hornet is not something to be taken lightly.

These potentially homicidal flyers, known as Asian giant hornets, and officially as Vespa mandarinia (although not a shred of evidence exists of them riding Italian scooters) are making their way into Canada. 

Vespa

Imagine a hornet big enough to ride a Vespa!

My sources in the apiology world inform me that these newcomers are currently seeking legal advice vis a vis the use of the word murder to describe them. They cite the matter of crows who, in an ongoing legal debate, are fighting the antiquated term ‘murder’ to refer to a group of them. Why should congregating deem them to be murderers? Although during the pandemic humans gathering may well be murderers.

Could there not be Manslaughter hornets – both voluntary and involuntary?

The hornets main point, other than the one on their arse, is why jump to the nth degree? Could there not be Manslaughter hornets – both voluntary and involuntary? Criminal negligence hornets?  What if they were being whacked by a fly-swatter – Justifiable manslaughter hornets?

They also argue for low-interest loans and bursaries as they point out that education is the key: a hornet with a mere B.A. is a First Degree Murder Hornet, while one with an M.A is considered to be a Second Degree Murder Hornet. 

Hopefully, some legal minds will soon take on the Hornets’ case.  The longer we continue to call them murderers the more likely they are to take out their frustration on innocent Honeybees. 

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COVID-19, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, News, Opinion

COVID-19 And Private Long-Term Care Facilities

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JOHN MAHONEY / Montreal Gazette

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been horrifying on so many levels. The fear of contracting the virus, hideous though that is, is just the thin edge of the wedge.  Those who must work in what have become known as front-line positions – everyone from doctors and nurses to police and firefighters to truckers and store clerks – now face terrifying work conditions. 

We also have private residences that allege to provide the same services, but charge significantly more.   The goal of these places is to make a buck

In Quebec, we have public long-term residences for seniors who can no longer care for themselves. The monthly rent covers care and meals. It is taken from the residents’ pensions. Extras such as manicures and hair-styling are separate and paid for in cash. The goal of these institutions is to provide the best quality care for residents.

We also have private residences that allege to provide the same services, but charge significantly more.   The goal of these places is to make a buck. Unfortunately, many people are left with no alternative but to go into a private residence as the public, government-run homes are always full.

Recently a journalist with The Montreal Gazette, Aaron Derfel, uncovered absolutely disgusting conditions in one private home in suburban Montreal. His opening paragraph was: “A privately run seniors’ residence in Dorval that is grappling with an outbreak of COVID-19 has been described as a “concentration camp” — with unfed and soiled elderly residents inside — by health professionals who came to those residents’ rescue, a Montreal Gazette investigation has found”. The Herron residence in the article recorded 31 deaths in a months’ time. 

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TVA

In the wake of Mr. Derfel’s findings, several investigations have been launched into the operations of the home. Criminal charges against the owners have not been ruled out.

But, and this may well come as news to those who own private long-term residences, humans are not widgets

I have always been perplexed at the notion of private health care. I’m no economist, but as I understand it, the goal of a private (i.e. for profit) entity is to make money – a profit. Not just a profit, but the greatest margin of profit possible. If a widget company can make widgets for 15% less by laying-off workers and installing a deluxe widget machine, that’s what they’ll do. And if that machine can be cleaned once a week instead of daily, more savings on reduced cleaning staff.

But, and this may well come as news to those who own private long-term residences, humans are not widgets. Corner-cutting to increase profit may work in many industries, but not when the provision of people’s healthcare and safety is the “product”. The gleaning of profit off the backs of the sick and infirm, by cutting corners, is egregious. This is not just a matter of negligence or forgetfulness, it is a calculated predetermined attempt to line ownership’s pockets before and during a time of crisis. Disgraceful.

I don’t claim to have written the book on capitalism, and call me a socialist if you want, but there are places and times when profit should not be the bottom-line.

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Rolling Rock©: The Official Beer of Easter Morning

Stone

Happy Easter!

 

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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COVID-19, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, Montreal, News, Opinion

News Coverage: Juxtaposing COVID19 With World Wars

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As we try to deal with the COVID19 pandemic there is no shortage of news. Some accurate, some not. Some sensational, some factual. The news channels and radio talk shows are having a field day. The smallest item gets analyzed and poked to the nth degree. Sometimes you just have to change the channel to get a break.

Several times I have heard the pandemic referred to as “our” world war. Governments are taking actions that are reminiscent of how things were during the world wars. Daily updates from leaders, health officials, and medical experts have become the norm. Up to the minute coverage 24-hours a day.

People waited to read the newspaper that was chock a block with details, but probably a few days late. Not a few hours, but days

It is interesting to juxtapose the media pandemic feeding frenzy with coverage of the World Wars. I certainly was not around for either war, but even the slightest interest in history gives you an idea.

In the early 20th century, as war raged in various locations around the world on two occasions, news was not beamed by satellite. People waited to read the newspaper that was chock a block with details, but probably a few days late. Not a few hours, but days.

Video news took the form of newsreels: according to Wikipedia, they were “a form of short documentary film, containing news stories and items of topical interest, that was prevalent between the 1910s and the late 1960s. Typically presented in a cinema, newsreels were a source of current affairs, information, and entertainment for millions of moviegoers”.

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Montreal’s The Gazette from September 22,1915. Most war-related stories are at least a day old.

Imagine if we had to rely on days old news as we deal with COVID19. Things change so rapidly – wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, go for a walk, stay at home, numbers are up, numbers are stable – that without our split-second news many more lives may have been lost.

Of course, there is a significant difference in that family members at home, away from the fighting, waited for news but could not be physically affected by the battles. Emotionally affected certainly; I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to learn of the death of a loved one in a war overseas.

I don’t like the term “fake news”: if it’s fake, it’s not news, it’s a lie

Our current seemingly insatiable hunger for COVID19 news is not about finding out what’s going on “over there”, but an attempt to keep up to date with matters that affect our health directly.

Unlike people a century ago, we must bear in mind that there is always a need to carefully sift through news.  In the highly competitive world of modern media, outlets often rush to issue “breaking news” without all the facts. While others such as FOX News, regularly fabricate stories. I don’t like the term “fake news”: if it’s fake, it’s not news, it’s a lie.

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Canada, Computers, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, Montreal

Mysterious iPhone Jamming Building In Montreal

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Mysterious iPhone jamming building

As I stroll along Ste. Catherine Street in Montreal on a pretty much daily basis it is my wont to tune in to one or other of several available music streaming apps. Sometimes it’s AccuRadio, sometimes TuneIn Radio, or perhaps iHeart Radio.

I noticed that whenever I pass the pictured building above – corner of Ste. Catherine and MacKay Streets – my iPhone stops streaming and has to be restarted. In addition, once restarted it will, regardless of what the battery strength was at before restarting, indicate either 6% or 8% and will shut down.

I have learned to let it have a short nap, then start it up again. At this point, it will function normally and the battery strength indicator will reflect a true reading.

Every day!

Curious fellow that I am, I looked up one day and noticed that the roof of the building is adorned with numerous antennae-looking things as shown in the above photo. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the abutting police station, but something up on that roof is causing me music-enjoying grief.

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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Donald Trump, Media, News, Opinion, Politics, United States

Justin Trudeau Misses Chance To Quote Father

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They say that history tends to repeat itself. Given some of the rotten things that have taken place – wars, plagues, racism – I hope this supposition does not hold water.

Yet last night in London, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had an opportunity to draw on the past. During a gathering of what is known as the G7, Trudeau made an off the record remark about Donald Trump. Trudeau stated to two fellow leaders in what he thought was a private conversation, that Trump’s habit of holding very long press conferences had left the other leaders waiting for an event to begin last night.

“I’ve been called worse things by better people”

Foolish of him really, he should have known that at such a function the leaders are essentially always in the presence of live mics and cameras.

When informed of the slip, Trump, fully on the record, called Trudeau ‘two-faced’.

This afforded Trudeau an opportunity to cite his late father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Upon learning in 1971 that then US President Richard M. Nixon had referred to him as ‘that asshole’ Trudeau senior merely reacted by saying “I’ve been called worse things by better people”.

Justin

Alas, Trudeau junior missed the chance, and instead dwelt on other aspects of Trump’s comments about himself and Canada’s lack of NATO spending.

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Name Griffintown REM Station for George Springate

George Springate
Recently Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante suggested naming the REM station in the Griffintown area for former Quebec premier Bernard Landry.

Work is well underway around Montreal on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). A 67 km (42 mile) rapid light rail system that will link several suburbs with Downtown Montreal via Central Station. It involves the conversion of the existing Deux-Montagnes commuter rail line to rapid transit standards. A station at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport will serve as the terminus of one of the four branches.

Griffintown is the name given to the southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Quebec

Recently Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante suggested naming the REM station in the Griffintown area for former Quebec premier Bernard Landry.

Griffintown is the name given to the southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Quebec, which mainly existed from the 1820s until the 1960s, and was mainly populated by Irish immigrants and their descendants.

In response members of the city’s Irish community are asking Mayor Valérie Plante to withdraw her proposal. Calling for a more area-appropriate suggestion. 

In response members of the city’s Irish community are asking Mayor Valérie Plante to withdraw her proposal. Calling for a more area-appropriate suggestion

On November 21st George Springate passed away at the age of 81. Born in Montreal,  he received a Bachelor of Arts from Sir George Williams University. He also received a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1968 and a Bachelor of Common Law degree in 1969 from McGill University. From 1958 to 1969, he was a police officer with the Montreal Police. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the McGill Redmen football team.

In 1970, he played 11 games with and was part of the Grey Cup winning Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. In total he played 17 games with the them over 3 seasons.

In 1970, Springate was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a Liberal for the riding of Sainte-Anne (Griffintown). He was re-elected in 1973.

Also in 1970, he was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a Liberal for the riding of Sainte-Anne (Griffintown). He was re-elected in 1973. In 1974 he was removed from the Liberal Caucus for voting against the French-only language bill along with John Ciaccia. During the Bill 22 crisis, he compared Québec to both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. 

 

After leaving the Liberal Party he was elected as an independent candidate in 1976 for the riding of Westmount. He did not run in 1981, and thereafter being completely disillusioned by the Liberal Party’s direction threw his support behind Brian Mulroney to lead the Conservative Party and as the future PM. In 1989, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

It is my opinion that upon completion the Griffintown REM station be named for George Springate. To that end here is a link to a Change.Org petition in support of the notion

He was a teacher in criminal and civil law at John Abbott College. He was one of the founding members of the “Police Technology” program at John Abbott College ; he retired from teaching in 2008. He was also a columnist for The Chronicle, a local Montreal newspaper.

In 2000 and again in 2006, he was appointed a Citizenship Judge. In 2008 he was appointed Canada’s Senior Citizenship Judge for a five-year term.

It is my opinion that upon completion the Griffintown REM station be named for George Springate. To that end here is a link to a Change.Org petition in support of the notion.

(Factual data in the above post is from Wikipedia)

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Michael Jackson: To Ban Or Not To Ban

Following the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland that rocked the Michael Jackson legacy, several radio stations in Canada have stopped playing his music. The four-hour documentary seems to provide irrefutable evidence of The King of Pop’s paedophilic tendencies.

From CNN.com

While some will make the argument that he is no longer with us and therefore not able to defend himself, others just flat-out refuse to believe. It seems that in our Trumpian times facts and truth have taken a back seat to shouting and ranting.

What if the paedophile was not a performer, an entertainer, but a cancer researcher who discovered a sure-fire cure for cancer?

However I wonder if banning his music is the way to go. Are his songs any less enjoyable? The beat, the lyrics, the rhythm are still the same. If Jackson were still alive I could understand a boycott that would hit him in the wallet, but he isn’t. 

What if the paedophile was not a performer, an entertainer, but a cancer researcher who – sadly hypothetically – discovered a sure-fire cure for cancer? Would we stop using his science and go back to people dying of cancer? Of course not. What the doctor, or Jackson, did is repugnant, but we can’t paint the situation with such a large brush.

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Major Glitch With Gutenberg Editor

I little while back I sat down to write a blog post and was faced with the chance to switch to the new WordPress.com editor. Thinking erroneously that I could take it for a test drive then switch back if I wanted, I went ahead and agreed to give it a try.

At first I thought it was the biggest blogging mistake I had made, and wanted to go back to the old version. Alas, I have yet to be able to figure out how to do that. Then I thought perhaps it’s just a bit of a learning curve. I can figure this out.

Changing my theme was helpful.

So there I was cruising along, getting used to the new editor and its quirks and differences when wouldn’t you know it, it went seriously strange on me. 

For reasons not known to me the new editor often refuses to use the title I give my post, opting instead for a number. No matter how many times I edit the post to include a title, the editor refuses to cooperate.

I have tried using the WordPress help boards before – and will again regarding this matter – but have never really received a satisfactory reply. 

So if anyone reading this knows the solution please let me know.

Thanks.

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WH Correspondents Dinner Needs a Rethink

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Much is being said in the wake of Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD). Once again this year President Trump refused to attend the event, instead opting to hold a campaign-style rally in Michigan during which he was free to take pot shots at the media, the left and anyone else.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

They say that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. It astonishes me to say, but among the idiotic things Trump was spouting in Michigan was a kernel of truth: the WHCD is dead. Not that they won’t have another, but the old tradition of “good-naturedly” poking fun at each other has been replaced by downright nastiness.

However, that’s not what gets me riled. I can watch two adversaries quip each other all day assuming they are funny. But the last two dinner comedians have lacked that one essential ingredient: humour.

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

Don Rickles was never my cup of tea. Not because he engaged in insulting people for a living, but because I never found what he said funny. Michelle Wolf, someone I must admit I had never heard of prior to Saturday evening, was not funny either.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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