The costs of diversity

Something the MSM should have done:

Over half a million people a day avoid paying their "fare" share of transit by jumping the turnstile and other means. I went out and investigated how bad it actually is.

Of course, the law isn't enforced since it would impact those oppressed, colored, poor people. So, we get more of this:

I was in a streetcar in Toronto last year when I noticed something similar. A lot of people would waltz in the streetcar and not bother tapping their Presto smart card for fare deduction. I noticed over a dozen culprits in just half an hour. Strangely, every single one of them was colored.

So, this isn't only a NYC problem.


Millennials and real estate

Debt, immigration and restricted housing supply is crushing the younger generation:

For the purposes of this study, Statistics Canada considered millennials to be between 25 and 34 years old in 2016. The agency then compared them with the same age group in 1999 (generation X) and young people in 1984 who are today's baby boomers.

The millennial cohort had a median after-tax household income of $44,093 in 2016, by Statistics Canada's calculations. That compares with $33,276 for gen-Xers and $33,350 for boomers at the same age. And those figures are inflation adjusted, which means it's an apples-to-apples comparison.

I was chatting with an older gentleman last month who was very surprised to find out that I don't own any real estate. He said that owning a house is one of the best financial decisions he made. I asked him, "How much did you pay for your house?"

"$54,000."

"Do you remember your annual income at that time?"

"Hmm, about $20,000."

"Did you have a mortgage?"

"No, I borrowed from family and paid them back in a few years."

Yeah. The average annual income today is roughly $40,000 but the average house price has skyrocketed to $600,000. If you want a nice neighborhood, then we're talking a million dollars in Ontario. That's a mountain of debt that no reasonable person would carry.


Dogs FTW

The Supreme Dark Lord is kind:

We have four in the house now, although one is a friend's dog who is staying here while she's travelling. It can get a little chaotic at times, especially when the someone comes to the door, but if there is one thing you can do to instantly improve your quality of life, getting a dog is it.

We've kept a friend's dog whose owner has traveled in the past. The dog is inconsolable for a couple of days and then she adapts to her new family. Her bed is kept in the bedroom. So, she doesn't feel alone. Once, when I was sleeping, she came to me and barked. I woke up almost instantly, looked at her, realized that she wanted attention, and obliged in my groggy state. She wagged her tail and went back to her bed.

I was dozing off when I opened my eyes again, and said, "Wait ... did you just wake me up ... so that I would pet you!?" Cheeky monkey!

I did feel sad when she went back to her real family.


Miserable Millennials

Millennials are now truly understanding the pain of increasing interest rates. The mortgage payments go up!

Nearly half of all homeowners have buyer’s remorse, according to a new survey from Bankrate. While 44% of all homeowners have regrets, that number swells to 63% for millennial homeowners. It’s the highest proportion of any generation, and nearly double that of baby boomers – 35% of those aged 55-73 regret buying a home.

I was doing a house search online a few years ago. I narrowed the search to two houses that were roughly the same size but about one kilometer apart. The house which was closer to grocery stores and bus stops was twice as expensive. That is a staggering premium in a time when average wages are stagnant.

Homeowners also say that bad location, high mortgage payments, and buying the wrong size home can cause them to think differently about their purchase.

Millennials should think differently before they make the biggest purchase decision of their life. Renting for a few years can definitely be a sensible option.


Diversity tech is upset

Vox Media is leveraging copyright strikes against YouTube channels that mocked The Verge's infamous PC build video. The company has allegedly manually filed a copyright strike against Kyle of Bitwit for creating a parody video of The Verge PC build video.

This is really strange behavior by Vox Media. The truly atrocious PC build happened five months ago. I had fun writing about it. Why bring it up again? Idiots.

Anyway, here's the entertaining video mocking that horrendous PC build:

Yup, Vox Media went after the above video with a copyright strike. YouTube took down the video and then restored it very quickly. Now, more people are clicking and watching the epic incompetence. Absolutely brilliant!


The Founder of Vanguard

The King of index funds has passed away.

Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who created the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1975, died Wednesday at the age of 89, the company said.

Bogle transformed the way people invest. He believed that investors should own a mix of bonds and stocks but shouldn't pay investment managers to pick them.

Jack Bogle provided simple, low-cost investing to hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Even today, investment firms charge ridiculous fees for passive funds -- especially in Canada. It's common to see Management Expense Ratios (MERs) of over 2%!

I used to have a retirement savings plan through my work. The employees had to choose from Investors Group (IG), a predatory Canadian firm, that charged MERs as high as 3% a year. By contrast, out of all the funds that Vanguard offers, the highest MER is 0.39%.

Note that it's difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons between companies and their funds because they don't really offer the exact same investments. So, one has to look at similar funds. I do remember comparing the relevant funds through my workplace and Vanguard and realized that IG charged 25 times more than Vanguard. In other words, Investors Group would charge me $25 for every $1 fee from Vanguard for the privilege of buying similar equities. Over decades that could result in a net loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the average worker.

Jack Bogle, unlike many financial charlatans, did a lot for the little guy.


Bad accountant

Parts of the, per person, monthly budget for the homeless woman and her daughter follow.

Phone: $112
Food: $450

Here's my relevant budget in Canada, in US dollars, for comparison.

Phone: $34
Food: $230

Note that Canada has, on average, higher prices! One of the constant things I hear about people who travel to the US for family visits, conferences, and vacations is: the food is so cheap! Yet, here we have a woman in America who burns over 50% of her take-home pay on food and phones and then has a total of, maybe, $100 for rent. No wonder, she doesn't have a proper roof.


Tawk is cheap, action matters

It's always amusing when a woman volunteers information about what she wants and then proceeds to behave in a strangely contradictory manner. For example, I overheard a girl who was discussing her exercise goals and told the audience that, in the previous year, she paid a $500 annual fee for a gym membership. Number of times she entered the gym: zero.


Night owl

I used to get tons of homework in middle school. I would usually start working on it at 10 p.m. and plow through till 3 a.m. Sometimes, I would fall asleep on my desk, then wake up a few hours later to see the few lines of gibberish I wrote before dozing off.

I just feel tired and sleepy after 2:30 a.m. I realized this even more during university breaks. My usual sleeping time would go forward from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. in a few days but then get stuck around that level. 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. is my ideal snooze time. For various obvious reasons, that's not my sleep schedule today.

More information about this "sleep problem" at Instapundit.


Bank profit protection

The banksters are at it again:

A Marketplace hidden camera investigation is raising questions about how bank employees are selling a pricey and controversial product marketed to help with credit card payments if you lose your job or get sick.

It's called credit card balance insurance, or balance protection insurance — and if you've signed up for a credit card, chances are you've been asked to buy it.

Yup. A few years ago, I applied for a credit card and got it in the mail. I had to call in to activate it. The customer service guy with a shockingly thick Indian accent repeatedly tried to get my approval for this balance protection scheme. I calmly refused.

He asked, "Why don't you want it!?"

"Don't need it."

[Repeats the magnificent benefits of the insurance.]

"Nope."

He wasn't happy about losing out on his commission.

At BMO, an employee seemed to have little grasp of the insurance product she was selling, struggling to explain balance protection insurance when asked to describe what it was.

"It's an insurance ... balance," said the employee, before grabbing a brochure about the product and reading aloud from it.

But don't you dare disrespect these smart wahmen! Anyway, too many bank employees are ignorant about the basic stuff they sell. Over the years, I've gone to the bank, sat in one of those nice rooms to transfer money, open credit cards, get a line of credit, setup registered plans, etc.

Almost always, the bank employee did one or more of the following:

  1. Searched about numerous financial terms on her computer.
  2. Asked someone else in the bank for help.
  3. Gave me incorrect information.

Apparently, having a pretty face and a vagina is qualification enough.


Fake news + diversity + tech

I've been buying components and building my computers for the last fifteen years. Today, it's very easy for a novice to start the same process because there are amazing YouTubers who share their awesome computer builds. In just a few hours, one can go out, buy the exact same components, and follow along with a video to assemble a new, powerful PC.

For example, take a look at this beautiful build by JayzTwoCents.

Now, let's see what happens when an idiotic, SJW organization hires an ignorant colored clown to build a PC, records the whole thing, and then shares it with the world:

OMG, how progressive and so-not-racist of The Verge to have a Black guy building a PC. So what if he doesn't have a fucking clue about what he's doing. Merit is, like, so racisss!

Here's my breakdown of the ignorance and stupidity in that video:

00:35 Tweezers? (Laughs.)

00:37 A Swiss army knife! There's a global shortage of Phillips screwdrivers.

00:40 Anti-static bracelet? It's magical! He bought it at Saruman's gift shop.

02:47 The brace!? That's not what it's called.

03:05 He installed the motherboard in the case at the very beginning! This is going to make it more difficult to put the CPU, RAM, and the NVMe SSD in the motherboard later. Order matters! By the way, doesn't your CPU cooler require a back plate? How will you attach that when you've already screwed in the motherboard in the chassis? The magic of editing will take care of that.

03:26 2666 MHz is not "fast" for RAM.

04:34 Did you just install both your RAM sticks right next to each other? That's not how dual channel works. I wouldn't be surprised if the computer doesn't even boot with that setup.

04:39 The graphics card goes in the fastest lane. Period.

05:08 Your power supply is overkill. 600-650 watts would have been enough.

05:19 Insulating pads!? Short circuit what!? (Laughs.) Also, let's place the power supply in the case so that the fan is not facing the outside. Give this man a Nobel!

06:18 "Every power supply is going to come with big bag of velcro cables." False.

07:15 Exposed CPU holder, er, slot. The entertainment is off the charts!

07:22 CPU applicator ... WTF? Just match the triangles and just drop the CPU in the socket.

08:12 This bozo provides false information regarding thermal paste. The thermal paste on the AIO CPU cooler is enough. However, if you're not happy with that, then REMOVE that paste before you apply your own on the CPU. He doesn't remove the thermal paste from the cooler and he goes ape shit with the thermal paste on the CPU. This will create air bubbles between the CPU and the CPU cooler. This will make the CPU run hotter. This is the bloody opposite of what one wants!

09:05 Does the term cable management mean anything to you?

Here's an image of the final build:

Shit show

The CPU cooler is missing a screw on the lower left! It's like showcasing a table that only has three legs. Also, for some strange reason, The Verge has disabled comments and we can't see the numbers of likes and dislikes on this epic disaster gaming PC build. Sad!


The Cloud can piss off

Vox Day:

When the whole Cloud thing started being marketed, I wondered who on Earth would fall for it. I mean, it's bad enough to run your programs on someone else's machine, but to actually store your files somewhere else?

My workplace has a few computers. After using them a few times, I gave up and bought my own laptop for work. I would keep my files up to date on my home computer by using a simple flash drive once a week.

The Cloud? Nope. For the same reason as mentioned by Vox Day.


"Hot" in Toronto

Today's temperature earlier beat a 73-year-old record for this date as the hot and humid weather continues for another day.

The mercury hit 33.9 C at Pearson International Airport at 3 p.m. on Wednesday but it felt closer to the low 40s with the humidity.

The previous record for this date was 31.7 C and was set back in 1945.

Funny. I was out today around 9 a.m. and thought that the humidity was uncomfortable. I didn't realize that a decades-old record was being broken.

For reference, tomorrow in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the temperature will hit 38 degrees with a humidex value of 46.


Can you delay gratification?

Or, in other words, can you become rich?

Dr. William Hampton: Existing studies have determined that many factors play a role in how much money a person will make. Some are very obvious, such as education and occupation, while some are less so – taller people earn more, for example. Our study was the first, however, to create a validated rank ordering of these factors (age, occupation, education, geographic location, gender, race, ethnicity, height, age, delay discounting) using machine learning.

Our results were interesting because when we compared the importance of these factors we found that how much a person discounts the value of future rewards compared to immediate ones (known as delay discounting) is more predictive of income than some other ‘big’ variables such as age, ethnicity, and race.

This is one reason why so many poor migrants from China become stunningly wealthy in a few decades in the West.

This is also why many poor people will remain poor. One could give each of them a million dollars but they'll be broke again a few months down the road. They simply don't save or conserve for the long term. Look at the people who start off in life as not-rich and then slowly build wealth over many years. The most common factor is their high savings rate.

The most spectacular example of that was Ronald Read. He died at the age of 92. He left behind $8 million. What was his profession? Janitor.


Pernicious pedagogy

I once knew a blowhard teacher who got an economics class at a high school. He had never taught the subject before. Two days into the course, he had a quiz for the students. One of the "correct" answers on the multiple choice questions was: Scarcity is just another term for a ... shortage.

Fortunately for the students, he was replaced the next day.


History marches on

Vox Day:

There is nothing strange about it what lies ahead for the planet. Diversity+Proximity=War. The Riders are already saddling up their Red and White horses; it will not be long before they begin to ride again. As Jerry Pournelle predicted so prophetically, there will be war.

Yup.

I shut down my WND column when I realized that I had completely failed to even make the smallest change in direction, that events were going to take their course and the great historical patterns were going to play out regardless of what I did, wrote, or said.

That was partly my reason for stopping this blog in late 2012. I had blogged for eight years and almost nothing came of it. I restarted in May 2016. It's now mostly a place to vent.

Why don't the majority of people in the West pay attention to reality? Why do they open their doors to poisonous snakes who'll murder their progeny?

At the margins, there might be a few people who read and comprehend the danger but most don't want to. Imagine, if you were in Hiroshima in early August of 1945. You warn people about the upcoming death and carnage. How many would have listened and moved to a safe location? How many would have called you a retard and laughed?

Those who've read history and those who've lived among the diversity comprehend the ugly future. Explaining that to the average person is like teaching calculus to a chimpanzee. Eventually, the chimp gets pissed and throws shit in your face.


To be left alone

The Supreme Dark Lord:

As a child, all I ever wanted from the dim-witted was to be left alone. And they could not, would not, do that! Now, I don't hate them, perhaps because over the last three decades I've successfully managed to arrange my life to minimize my daily contact with normal people. I can go days without ever speaking so much as a single word to anyone with an IQ below 120.

That made me laugh.

Two years ago, I was in a food joint. When I started to order my food, the voice of a mouse came out. It was confusing. What the hell is going on? Then it hit me: I hadn't talked to anyone in a week!

But while I don't blame the dim for their lack of intelligence, I find that I can't blame the intelligent individuals who hate and despise them after enduring years of malicious abuse at their hands either. Because dim or not, it's really not difficult to simply leave people the hell alone.

Oh, that would be lovely.


Not utilizing compound interest

You can't eat your house in old age:

A couple we’ll call Sally, 54, and Mike, 52, live in Alberta. They both work as personnel specialists, but have only been in their current roles for six and eight years, respectively. Sally and Mike have two children, aged 18 and 20, but their financial assets are modest: A house worth $400,000 on a 40 acre plot, and additional assets worth $148,000, including 12 acres of raw land, a car, a truck, four horses and a trailer. They also have $341,524 in debt, leaving their net worth at just over $200,000 — not a lot for folks expecting to retire in 10 to 15 years.

“We have put everything into our house and land,” Mike explains. “We have no RRSPs, no TFSAs, and no savings apart from $10,000 in chequing. We will have benefits from our employer, but with just a few years on the job, it won’t be a whole lot. Our dilemma is how we can retire with a monthly income of $5,500 after tax?”

No RRSP! That's like a 401(k) plan for those in the US.

These people worked for thirty years and completely neglected their retirement accounts. They missed out on three decades of tax sheltered growth.

Unfortunately, this mindset is quite common. Numerous people in the past few years have told me how they've bought a new house with a giant mortgage. They'll definitely start saving for their retirement once that 25-years-long debt has been paid off. One guy who told me that was in his late 40s!


Have you been to hell?

(Laughs.) I lived in Saudi Arabia for over a decade. One summer I watched the weather forecast and noticed that in two months the lowest temperature was 300C.


The speed of tech

My first computer had a 2.1GB hard drive. It was puny and slow. That was twenty years ago. Soon, Samsung will unleash an 8TB SSD:

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has launched the industry’s highest capacity NVMe solid state drive (SSD) based on the incredibly small Next-generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF)* – an eight-terabyte (TB) NF1** SSD. The new 8TB NVMe NF1 SSD has been optimized for data-intensive analytics and virtualization applications in next-generation data centers and enterprise server systems.

The epic specs:

The NF1 SSD features a brand new, high-performance controller that supports the NVMe 1.3 protocol and PCIe 4.0 interface, delivering sequential read speeds of 3,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speeds of 2,000MB/s.

YouTubers with deep pockets would benefit from using this beast when editing 4K videos.


The Mind of a Vagina

A few years ago, we were told at our workplace that the boss expects the male workers to wear a tie. The dress code for women, however, was quite lax. Though, nothing approached Victoria Bateman:

When standards are applied to men, it's a simple fact of life. Think of the phrase, "Be A Man."

When women have to follow certain rules, it magically becomes oppression. Have you ever heard of anyone say, "Be A Woman"?


Toronto is the worst

Global News: Toronto ranked worst city for commuting in North America: study.

The report said an average commuter in Toronto spends 14 minutes waiting for a bus or a train each day. But even worse, the average person spends a staggering one hour and 36 minutes for their daily commute with an average journey distance of 10 kilometres.

If the average guy works 23 years in this case, then he would have destroyed a full year of his life in traffic. For too many people, it's worse.

I had to attend a conference in Toronto many years ago. I went with a colleague who drove his car. He wanted to leave at least two hours before the start of the event and so we did. We got to Toronto in about one hour. I thought to myself, "That wasn't so bad."

Then, it took us an additional hour to travel within Toronto to get to our destination. Obviously, my co-worker was fully aware of the atrocious traffic. So, we burned four hours in our commute.

Canada is the second largest country in the world. Of course, most of the land -- let's say 90% -- is not fit for habitation. Still, this means that the livable area in Canada is larger than Germany and France combined. So, why does Canada have crazy real estate prices in spectacularly tiny cities like Vancouver and Toronto? Why is Tokyo -- a city metro that can hold the entire Canadian population -- cheaper than the crazy cities of Canada? What's stopping people from building more houses in the stunningly empty parts of British Columbia and Ontario?

Government regulation is the likely culprit.


The Zombie Life

The Shiv Lord: The Myth Of The Maladjusted Bumpkin.

I had some plans in Toronto a few years ago. I decided to take the GO train in the morning. There were a few people in the beginning and everyone was strangely very quiet. I noticed that the trains have a Quiet Zone. No talking!

As we got closer to Toronto, the train car filled up quickly. For the last thirty minutes, a middle-aged woman sat in front of me. There was barely any space between us. She was awake. She didn't make eye contact. She simply looked down or outside the window.

I looked around the car. We were all packed like sardines in a tin can. For many people, this is two hours of their life on every work day. It's truly sad.


Canadian wind storm

When nature starts tearing down trees, collecting pieces of roofs, and killing people:

Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power across central Canada on Saturday morning following a windstorm that downed trees and power lines and left two people dead.

Environment Canada said wind gusted at close to 120 kilometres per hour on Friday in the wake of a cold front that moved across Ontario and Quebec.

Hydro One, Ontario's largest power utility, was reporting about 200,000 customers affected by outages on Saturday, and Toronto Hydro said another 29,000 were without power in the city -- down from a peak of 68,000.

It really got ugly here around 5 p.m. yesterday. My neighborhood lost electricity for 12 hours. The traffic lights were out; drivers had to be extra careful.

I checked the outage map on my phone and realized that it wasn't a whole city-wide power outage. Certain blocks were out and others had no issue. So, it's not one problem, it's multiple small headaches for the power companies to fix.

In Quebec, more than 195,000 people were still without power by Saturday after the storm gusted through at speeds reaching 100 km/h.

Hydro Quebec asked customers for patience as its crews worked to clear the downed trees and branches that damaged its grid in several areas of the province.


Canadian stock market croaks

I was checking a Canadian stock quote an hour ago and noticed that it was stuck at 1:39 p.m. The US tickers were working as usual. A halt, perhaps? Nope. The whole Canadian stock market had frozen.

The TMX Group says technical problems have affected the Toronto Stock Exchange, Montreal Exchange and other markets it operates.

The Toronto-based company issued a series of notices by Twitter to alert all users of its trading services.

This is embarrassing:

It wasn't a crazy, high-volume day. So, what happened? Did some diversity hit the fan?


No Vagina Zones

Most of the time when I've gone out to have lunch with work colleagues, the group has been all-male. We talk about work, economics, finance, politics, technology, etc. And of course, the language can be quite flowery. A single woman would completely shatter that dynamic. For example, one guy in the video above made a good point: women don't handle pointed quips or jokes really well. They take it personally. There are so many shots about height, weight, graying hair, strength, and stamina among men that would make a woman burst out crying if they were directed at her.


One Savage Canadian

A few of these idiots have approached me in Toronto to talk about some cute animal. A sample conversation with one girl follows:

"Hi! Do you care about Animal X?"

"No."

[Shocked face.] "You don't care that evil people are eating this cute Animal X!?"

"Nope."

"Um, er, okay."

The soy boy commentary makes the whole thing fantastic.


The banks are not your friends

Canada's financial consumer watchdog says there are "insufficient" controls in place at the country's biggest banks to prevent sales of financial products that are misrepresented or unsuitable for consumers, and the banks' sales-focused culture elevates the risk that employees may flout consumer protection rules.

Banksters have to earn a living.

TD Bank, the focus of the initial CBC, has conducted its own internal review and concluded it did not have a widespread problem with aggressive sales tactics.

(Laughs.) Of course, it didn't.

Anecdote: I know a girl who went to TD to get a credit card few years ago. There was just one problem. The income requirement for it was $60,000. She worked minimum wage. Her income was barely close to $20,000 a year. That didn't stop the TD rep from filling out the application and, surprise!, she got a new credit card.


Problematic questions

I was around 10 when I saw a documentary about places in the world where the sun doesn't set for months. Later, these locations get months of darkness.

How could the Islamic prayers be even possible there?

What about Ramadan!? You would die if you tried to fast! Or just go through the whole month during the no-sun period and not fast at all!

My parents weren't amused when I asked them such questions.


Rude and ugly

Women report more incivility from other women at work than from male coworkers, according to a new study.

Shocking!

“Across the three studies, we found consistent evidence that women reported higher levels of incivility from other women than their male counterparts,” Gabriel says. “In other words, women are ruder to each other than they are to men, or than men are to women.

At my workplace when men didn't like something about another guy, they called him an idiot and shrugged. When women didn't like another woman, one would get a flood of snide, bitchy comments for days, weeks, and months. Another thing I noticed over many years is that it was the unattractive or plain women who were rude. The hot girls were uniformly pleasant and cordial.


Timmies gets a virus

The employees of Tim Hortons are having a miserable time:

An association representing Tim Hortons franchisees is threatening legal action if parent company Restaurant Brands International refuses to meet with store owners to fix a computer virus that recently knocked out cash registers at an unconfirmed number of locations, inflaming an already-tense relationship between head office and frontline workers.

I went to a local shop last month. There was just one guy placing his order in front of me. I thought, "Great, this should be fast."

It took nearly 10 minutes for his order to go through. He had a coupon which the cashier couldn't input correctly. She got her supervisor who was also stumped. Finally, they brought out a folder which detailed the complex procedure of entering the discount code.

"Damn."

Plus, the atmosphere in the place was that of a morgue. The employees looked very depressed.

Some store owners have complained of draconian cost cutting by the company’s new owners, resulting in lower-quality products, a damaged brand and weaker profits.

After months of recriminations and multiple lawsuits, the situation reached a boiling point last month when some franchisees scaled back benefits and cut paid breaks for store staff in response to Ontario’s minimum wage increases.

The franchisees accused Restaurant Brands of refusing to raise menu prices to offset the added labour costs. In response, RBI said the reduced perks were the work of a “rogue group”.

What a clusterfuck.


Public Mobile stupidity

Public Mobile (PM) is a low-priced phone carrier which is owned by Telus. PM had an amazing deal in late 2016: $120 for 12GB of data for 90 days. The major benefit was having all that data spread around 90 days. The downside? It's prepaid. Not a big deal for me. So, I switched.

Yesterday, I got a text from PM. It informed me that new pricing will be coming into effect in mid-March. Instead of $120, it'll be $150 for 12GB of data for 90 days.

  1. That's a giant 25% increase. This will make customers angry.
  2. The plan is prepaid for a 90-day period. Yet, PM gave its customers a 30-day notice!

The reactions at Red Flag Deals were scathing. Usually there are about 15-20 comments for an average post. This PM debacle got over 1,800 1,900 2,000 comments! People started to send in their thoughts to Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS).

The complaint numbers were staggering:

Based on the incident numbers from yesterday and today, it seems like there has been an increase in incidents by over 2500. Most, if not all, have got to be about this whole Public Mobile situation. Just to put it into perspective for you, the CCTS got around 9000 complaints last year. This entire Public Mobile fiasco has basically given CCTS 28% of their total complaints from last year in a span of 24 hours lol

So, finally, just a little over 24 hours later, I get another text from PM. Surprise! We won't be moving ahead with that price increase. (Laughs.) Seriously, Telus, how can you be this stupid? If you had set a price increase of $3-4 a month and given a reasonable notice (prices go up on June 1), then most people would have shrugged it off.


Enlightened objectification

Many years ago, a hardcore feminist at my workplace was talking about the male gaze and the objectification of women and blah blah blah. Then, the conversation turned to the Football World Cup. She said that she didn't like the German team.

"Why?" someone asked.

"They don't look that good."


Vicious Canadian weather

Ontario has been hit hard in this winter:

In what seems to be a relentless winter with consistent blasts of arctic air and an aggressive active storm track, it should come as no surprise that Toronto's Pearson Airport has recorded more snow so far this winter than ALL of last winter combined.

So far, Toronto has reported 90.5 cm of snow, out-snowing the 84.2 cm of snow that fell from November 2016 through to April 2017.

It's a similar story in Hamilton, Ontario as well. The city has seen 114.4 cm of snow so far this winter versus the 114.2 cm of snow combined from November to April.

It was definitely relentless over the past week. We had plenty of snow on the ground and then we got smashed with three days of snow, freezing rain, and snow. The only positive is that the brutal cold of January didn't make a repeat visit. Also, the forecast of the following week is an improvement. It looks like the worst is over. Any day in February with above zero temperatures is a gift.


Hundred years of quality

I bought my first pair of L.L. Bean winter boots in the previous century. One day one of those boots ripped. I was holding 20% of it in my hand while the remaining part was on the floor. It was my fault; I hadn't fully untied the laces. Too much stupid force!

So, I ordered a new pair from L.L. Bean. They're still going after ten years!

Of course, some people abused the generous policy of L.L. Bean:

L.L. Bean's generous return policy is going to be a little less forgiving: The company, which has touted its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for more than a century, is imposing a one-year limit on most returns to reduce growing abuse and fraud.

More:

On a recent day in the returns department, Dawn Segars recounted the story of a family that cleared out their grandfather's attic and returned a pile of 20- to 30-year-old clothes. They ended up walking away with a $350 gift card.

Costco is going to be next ...


Goals for success

Jack Ma provides excellent advice on expectations and thinking ahead. Unfortunately, that's not what YOLO people want to hear. They want to get rich today by winning the lottery.

I had a surreal conversation with a colleague about two years ago. This guy had some cash in his investment account and he was thinking of buying a few shares. He was hesitant. Understandable because of risk. He said something quite shocking.

"I only want to invest in stocks that go up 50% in a year."

Some of the greatest investors in history manage just a little over 20% compound annual growth rate. Mortals can get 10%. But, nope. He wanted 50%!

I talked to him last year. He had invested in ... nothing! His timidity and foolishness had earned him 0%.


Financially clueless

Many Americans are sorely lacking in knowledge when it comes to basic financial terms, according to new research.

A recent study of 1,000 Americans over the age of 30 found less than half of participants could confidently explain what a 401(k) is.

The research examining people’s grasp of financial terminology found many struggled to define common terms such as understanding what interest is (48 percent), the concept of bankruptcy (48 percent) or how inflation works (34 percent).

It's not just an American thing. Many Canadians don't know about finance as well.

Here, in Canada, if you've never studied finance and you're looking to save money for the future, then these are the basic terms to learn and understand:

  1. Chequing account
  2. Savings account
  3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
  4. Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  5. Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  6. Mutual Fund
  7. Exchange-traded Fund (ETF)
  8. Management Expense Ratio (MER)

That's it. I've met more than one married adult with children who is spooked by the stock markets. So, these people keep significant amounts of cash locked in GICs but since they don't really understand how TFSAs work, their meager interest is taxed.

For example, a woman goes to a bank and locks $20,000 for a 5-year GIC. The interest rate is 3%. Five years later, she gets $3,000. This income is taxed at her marginal rate which is, let's say, 25%. So, the government gets $750.

Had she simply spent thirty minutes to open a TFSA and then locked her GIC within it, she would have kept that $750. Note, there is zero additional risk in this scenario.

Canadians who don't bother learning those eight things lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in their lifetime. Ignorance is very expensive.


Life in a shithole

The vast majority of people in the West haven't experienced real poverty. Worse, they've not even seen it. Witnessing the wretchedness provides a lot of perspective:

Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town. Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health. That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, "a fecalized environment."

In plain English: s--- is everywhere. People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water. He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water. Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.

It's not merely material deficits:

Senegal was not a hellhole. Very poor people can lead happy, meaningful lives in their own cultures' terms. But they are not our terms. The excrement is the least of it. Our basic ideas of human relations, right and wrong, are incompatible.

Putting such diverse groups together only leads to conflict. The West will learn this the hard way.

What I did witness every day was that women were worked half to death. Wives raised the food and fed their own children, did the heavy labor of walking miles to gather wood for the fire, drew water from the well or public faucet, pounded grain with heavy hand-held pestles, lived in their own huts, and had conjugal visits from their husbands on a rotating basis with their co-wives. Their husbands lazed in the shade of the trees.

Feminist Islam FTW!

I've lived in the sharia shitholes of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. This is why I fully support the right of any nation to deport its Muslim immigrants. That really is the least violent option available to the West. If that's not done in the near-future, then more blood will be shed fighting the cult of death. The political class of Eastern European nations has made the right decision by refusing to import Muslim refugees. They'll be significantly better off in the coming years.


The State of Education

In a recent article for American Thinker, “Why I Quit Teaching,” I listed three reasons that prompted me to abandon the teaching profession: unscrupulous administrators, degenerate teachers, and incompetent students. Of these, the latter was the most determinant. Annually grading some 2000 term papers, which chiefly consisted of the most arrant drivel imaginable -- unintelligible grammar, stunted vocabularies, bovine inattentiveness, mental stupefaction, and monumental ignorance -- I had come to fear, if not for my sanity, for my continued intellectual viability. How many years could I go on without cerebral rot setting in? I knew the time had come to flee the cortical gulag of modern education.

I know a few high school teachers who talk about the lowered standards in Ontario. The quality of students deteriorates every year but the grades have to stay high. End result? Mediocre education. One older teacher was given a talking to by her department head for "expecting too much" from her students. She had little choice but to concede and then spoon feed her seniors. She's also retired now.

Where was one to start trying to educate an adult student who thought the Great Depression began in the 1960s; who was unable to distinguish between the First and Second World Wars; who thought that Moscow was the capital of Missouri [...] who claimed that Christ’s parables were about “betting and gamibeling and explaining differently in alot of discussion”; who asserted that “analising a book one must lick your way to the center of the Tootsie Roll-Pop”; who reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose declared “This book is all about mid-evil times and the monk-persons in ministories”; who thought that Canada separated from the United States during the Civil War [...]

There's not much one can do in these mid-evil times ...

I've noticed this with increasing regularity: Millennials and Generation Zyklon have given up on spelling. It's not unusual to see multiple typos in just one tiny sentence. The weird thing is that we've got automatic spell checkers. So, why don't these young people simply fix their errors? I can't understand that level of laziness.


An Islamic tradition

Police in Pakistan's capital are investigating banners that were put up on behalf of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a U.N.- and U.S.-designated terror group, that urged residents in Islamabad to donate money for Muslims in Myanmar and Syria.

Most Muslims won't personally engage in Jihad or terrorism but many don't mind donating a little money to the effort.

"It is a tradition in Pakistan, and such banners and signs appear mysteriously overnight, [posted] by unknown people on behalf of militant groups," Hasan Askari Rizvi, a security analyst from Pakistan, told VOA. "They should be held accountable for violating the law."

Making such "charities" illegal has little, if any, impact because:

Militant groups in Pakistan reportedly collect donations under the guise of religion and welfare for the poor, and instead use the money to fund terrorism.

Muslims are commanded to donate 2.5% of their savings to "charity" every year. These Jihadist groups often show photos of malnourished and oppressed Muslim children to get a few bucks from gullible Muslims. That money goes towards murdering infidels.

I remember such donation boxes in stores in Saudi Arabia in the mid to late 90s. That cash went towards their poor "Muslim brothers" in Afghanistan. All those Arabs who gave money basically bankrolled 9/11.


The Canadian Weed Chronicles

I was thinking of selling and then buying the dip this morning but decided to HODL! Soon, of course, TD croaked again:

Traders using at least two major online discount brokerage platforms are complaining of sporadic outages and expressing frustration that the latest glitch has tied their hands amidst a broad plunge in marijuana stocks.

Clients of TD Bank's WebBroker and Royal Bank's RBC Direct Investing platforms have again taken to social media to gripe about problems, after facing similar issues in recent days.

A TD spokesman says "unprecedented" trading volume continues to drive some intermittent delays for its online and mobile WebBroker clients, and the bank rolled out a broad update on Tuesday night to increase the platform's capacity.

Apparently that increase wasn't enough. Canada is six months away from the legalization of recreational marijuana. If the online platforms of the two largest banks are already melting down, then what will happen as the hype and volume increases when we approach July?

The big, upcoming news stories are the MOUs from the three big provinces. Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia will sign supply deals with the major firms (Canopy, Aurora, and Aphria). Those events will cause a huge spike in volume.

Are you ready RBC? Are you ready TD?


TD trouble

I couldn't log in to my bank account last Friday. There's always a huge surge in account activity and trading on the first business day of the year. Many Canadians are filling up their TFSAs and buying securities. So, I decided to check my account after the market closed yesterday. Nope. Didn't work.

Apparently, many people had issues:

Some Toronto-Dominion Bank customers are having problems using its WebBroker internet brokerage service and taking to social media with their complaints.

Several Twitter and Facebook users are complaining about problems logging into or using TD's WebBroker website since Friday, and complaints about the bank logged on canadianoutages.com on Tuesday began to climb at around 9:30 a.m.

More:

TD WebBroker user Adam Kauppi said he started having problems using the service on Friday and called the bank for assistance, but hung up after waiting for two hours on hold.

He didn't ... HOLD! It's odd that other banks didn't have any problems with their servers. Has TD Bank been cheap with their IT infrastructure? It appears that they didn't scale well.

Update
Ten minutes later: I read that many people have trouble accessing RBC Direct Investing.

Seriously, RBC and TD are the two biggest banks in Canada. They make billions of dollars in profits every year but their websites can't handle a spike in traffic?

The smaller players -- ScotiaBank, BMO, CIBC -- should be smart enough to use this to increase their customer base.


Uncovered Meat

Many years ago, my mom was talking about her new sister-in-law. She stated, with a subtle sneer, that my young aunt was very modern because she didn't wear any sort of a burqa or purdah. I realized much later that my mom was basically calling her a slut.

By the way, that aunt lived in the West. So, she was mostly free from the hungry and predatory eyes of lewd Muslim men.