Monday, 1 January 2018

Where were The Guns during The Battle of The Plains of Abraham...

CAVET: as an extremely amateur historian-wannbe, my readings over the years have me coming to one overwhelming conclusion; The multiple American attempts at invading Canada would have well been successful, had it not been consistently the case, whereby those in command [on both sides of the border-lands] made tragically poor decisions. Time and time again, decisions by commanders of both high and low rank, resulted in victory and/or defeat. Poor leadership was oft married with corruption and malfeasance to determine the course of conflict. The Battle of The Plains of Abraham being one such outstanding example.

That I've previously read bits and pieces; it took the reading of many sources to piece together the tragedy that was the fall of Quebec City, surrounded by corruption, malfeasance, nepotism and incompetence. While there have been thousands of papers written on the strategic, tactical successes and blunders by both Wolf and Montcalm, I found the following intriguing.

Part 1: The Battle of The Plains of Abraham (Quebec City)

The Players:

Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Governor General of New France (Canada);

François Bigot Intendant of New France. This guy controlled the money in New France. Theoretically he was subordinate to and worked for Vaudreuil. In practice Bigot controlled what can best be decribed as an earlier version of the Italian mafioso.

General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Commander of the forces in New France during the Seven Years' War . Montcalm was subordinate to Vaudreuil.

General Wolf was the military British charge. On the other side.

Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor was a junior French military officer during the Seven Years' War. Subordinate to Montcalm, de Vergor had many friends in very high places; most notably, François Bigot.

And so the story begins.

Initial incompetence is allowed to breed future disaster:

In 1754, de Vergor was named as commander of France's Fort Beauséjour in what would eventually become New Brunswick. On June 4, 1755, Fort Beauséjour was attacked by a force led by Robert Monckton.

After a few days of siege, a cannon ball exploded inside the fort, killing six officers and several soldiers. Vigor panicked, and raised the white flag. The British gave him favorable conditions, and gave permission to him and his men to go to Louisbourg. de Vergor was tried by court-martial at Quebec City in September 1757 and acquitted of charges that the forts were not adequately defended, and allowed to continue his service as an officer.

Two years later...

The Battle of The Plains of Abraham (Quebec City)

de Vergor [now promoted Captain] was a part of the defense of Quebec under Louis-Joseph de Montcalm during the siege prior to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. 

On the night of September 12, 1759, Vergor was in command of a small encampment (Fulon Post, present day 'Wolf's Cove') tasked to guard the upper portion of a rough trail leading from the St Lawrence River up to the plains; As de Vergor slept, his command was the first to contact the British under General James Wolfe. [1.]

With great irony, the British officer in charge of the initial assault force was again Robert Monckton [now Major]. Remembering his encounter at Fort Beauséjour with de Vergor four years previously, it must have came as a great comfort realizing that de Vergor was now in command of Fulon Post.

A second accounting:

Wolfe's Cove, formerly the Anse au Foulon: A mile and a half above the city [up river] of Quebec City. In 1759 the French 'Fulon Post', was commanded by de Vergor. Early on the morning of September 13th 1759 Wolfe landed with his army at the foot of the cliffs; a small party of volunteers climbed the steep path, surprised and overpowered de Vergor's handful of men; the army followed - "In the gray of the morning the long file of red-coated soldiers moved quickly upward, and formed in order on the plateau above;" the first step had been successfully taken in the movement that led to the Battle of the Plains and the cession of Canada to Great Britain. Bib.: Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe; Casgrain, Wolfe, Montcalm. [2]
Reticent Incompetence:

What was not revealed in references 1 or 2, was the fact that de Vergor had previously unilaterally released 50% of his troops, to depart home, to tend to their fields; the deal was that they had to work 'his' land holdings as well, on their return trip.[3.] 

This left Fulon Post at most at 50% strength and likely at far less.

In historical terms, this was to be the second time that de Vergor's reticent incompetence had failed his country on an increasingly massive scale.

Tellingly, Montcalm had become increasingly concerned with the exposure of the Fulon Post and the plains, and hence requested of Vaudreuil, that de Vergor be replaced [based on his historical record of leadership performance (or lack thereof)]. Vaudreuil denied the request. It must be acknowledged that a nepotistic relationship between de Vergor [who was one of ' Bigot's Gang '] and Vaudreuil existed and is presumed to have played a part in de Vegor's protection. With tragic results.

Part 2 - Where the hell were The Guns ?

The second tragedy in the subsequent battle for Quebec was that when Montcalm requested all of the twenty-five guns [horse drawn artillery] available for deployment, Vaudreuil only released three; against the single (one) field piece that Wolf’s artillerymen had managed to disassemble and drag up the escarpment.

Apparently, whilst the remaining guns were fully serviceable and located at Beaufort Works, Francois Bigot the Intendant of New France had rented the artillery unit's horses out, for his personal profit and thus they were not available to be harnessed in front of the guns and moved with all speed west of Quebec City. [4.]

Horses were apparently in very short supply to everyone's individual and collective wonderment. Thus Montcalm was severely limited in his battle plans for the defense of Quebec City on the Plains of Abraham, regarding the movement of guns, ammunition, troops and supply's in general.

The drama of Quebec ended with the two principals Montcalm and Wolf dead.

Vaudreuil along with Bigot and twenty other officials were tried in France for the loss of French possessions in North America. They were sent to the infamous French prison, Bastille, where they stayed for a year before being brought to trial for fraud. They spent another two years awaiting judgment. 

The trial in France into the loss of the empire in North America lasted 15 months.
Vaudreuil put up a spirited defense. He maintained he was solely preoccupied with military matters and had nothing to do with finance. He said the sordid charges against him insulted his noble lineage and the honor of the armies of France. He wrapped himself in the mantle of Montcalm and appeared in court as a soldier of France, innocent and ignorant of the conniving and corruption that swirled about him. He was acquitted, awarded the Grand Cross of St. Louis and given a pension of 12,000 livres. He retired to his family chateau where he died at the age of 80 in 1778. [5.]

At the trial of Bigot his defense filled some 1000 pages. Despite this he was found guilty. The prosecutor demanded that he be made to kneel before the main gate wearing only a shirt, a rope around his neck and a placard labeling him "Thief." He was then to confess his crimes and have his head chopped off. The court decided instead to confiscate all his possessions, fine him 1,500,000 livres and banish him from France for life. He paid the fine and went to Switzerland where he "successfully fitted himself into local circles" and led a comfortable life before dying on January 12th, 1778.

de Vergor, eventually made his way back to France, wed, bore two children and faded into obscurity.
Tragically wrote one historian, there was enough ability among them [save de Vergor] to have defended New France from ruin. Torn from without by invasion and from within by pillage and dissension, there was no way the colony could survive. [5.]


2. Lawrence J. BURPEE, The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Canadian History, London and Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1926, 699p., p. 692.
3. William Wood, The Plains of Abraham, in The Passing of New France. A Chronicle of Montcalm, Totonto, Glascow, Brook & Company, 1915, 149p., pp. 12-142
4. Century of Conflict – Vol 2 of 6, The Struggle between the French & British in Colonial America 1956, by Joseph Lister Rutledge, Doubleday p. 497

Friday, 17 February 2017

Canadian Facebook 'Vets for Conservatives seeking more moral clarity by harassing PTSD afflicted Vets - For Shame.

Back a few months I addressed the pathetic line of Canadian Facebook 'Vets for Conservatives' who questioned the 'courage and more moral clarity' of soldiers, serving and retired, afflicted with PTSD, here:

But you just knew that these good-ole-boys couldn't leave it alone. Now 'some' of them [ some still in uniform ! as well as Vets] apparently are harassing those same troops, online, here:

As the article points out, there are a certain number of serving members/vets, who aligned with Steven Harper's petty, moralizing, judgemental conservative brand. Narcissistic douch-bags who have no time, empathy, nor compassion, for those they feel were too weak on the battlefield...undeserving of the respect of their peers, because they had the audacity to be emotionally affected by battlefield conditions/atrocities, or just the madness of it all.

Any soldier will agree that those troops afflicted with PTSD, generally speaking, has experienced feeling inadequate on/in the battle, experience horrors that will not leave the mind, or placed in a situation where they could not adequately respond to a life & death situation, of another soldier, an enemy combatant, a civilian, a child...because of 'rules of engagement' or other factors limiting their effectiveness in responding to the situation.

The key here, is that PTSD is a perfectly normal response, to a perfectly non-normal circumstance or experience.

*Read this last line a 2nd time*

Many troops are of a mind, where they are naturally inoculated against PTSD, simply because they head into battle to slay dragons, slay the enemy...anyone whom is a threat is perceived fair game. They have no doubt in the concept of total war and annihilation of the enemy. They, return after a tour, and after a few months of boredom in a training garrison environment, they submit their release from the military and call Blackwater/Academi, to head over as a mercenary, to slay more dragons.

It's their opiate.

These guys have no time for any so called soldier that would bear any guilt or remorse, any questioning of the battle task at hand. PTSD to these guys is weakness. Weakness means death.
If you read some of the stuff that came out of a FB group 'Veterans for Conservatives' back in 2015, you'll get a taste of their contempt for what they perceive as weakness on the battlefield. I wrote a piece on it:

1st link above...

As I described it then:

it is generally the situation that PTSD is a real or often PERCEIVED shortcoming/inadequacy that results in mental anguish/dreams/nightmares etc... It can and often is simply experiencing situations where one has no power to do anything in a given situation;
  • unable to stop long enough [whilst on a mission with other priorities] to personally care for injured civilians, feed the starving;
  • unable to convert one's training and experience into battlefield confidence; and/or
  • unable to save the life of a mortally wounded comrade in arms... for three, of thousands of examples.
 In the days of Bosnia and initial years of Afghanistan, I believe it's entirely fair to say that the Canadian Forces did not do a great job in conducting pre-deployment training in regards to 'PTSD inoculation'.

In fact, one could claim that it was near non-existant in the combat arms [infantry/armoured/arty/engineers], and virtually unrealized in the preparation of combat support troops [logistics].

My theory is that the CF Medical Branch did not drop the PTSD ball so to speak; rather, they didn't even bother to pick it up, seriously, until midway in our Afghan experience.

It's 2017, and the CF still has yet to develop a truly effective response, that ends up retaining the majority of those afflicted. In my mind, a monumental failure. Even worse, Veterans Affairs Canada [VAC] is to busy vindictively moralizing in reducing the amount of marijuana available, thereby promoting the continued/increased use of narcotic opioids and just as debilitating, alcohol.

So, whereas conservative leaning CF members/vets were previously somewhat careful in condemning their PTSD afflicted breathern, they have apparently become quite embolden via social media in their condemnation.

You who judge your peers, should be ashamed; I feel your shame for you.

I called them cowards [Oct 2015], when they hid behind veiled criticisms, challenging the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of soldiers, they deemed not quite as tough as they.

Today, I believe the entirely appropriate word is, douche-bag, in the singular. Douche-bags, in the plural.

In injecting your crusader venom onto your brethern, online, perhaps instead of manufacturing imaginary terrorists, CSIS and the RCMP would be better employed with all of their new shiny kit, tracking your IP/MAC addresses, and asses down. Especially those of you who are still in uniform. I'd love to be sitting in on the public courts martial as you babble, trying to justify your actions, to your Commanding Officer....or Brigade Commander, for those of you more senior.

Aside - I had a peer on my Snr Leaders Course, who after 3 tours, came home and found himself repeatedly waking up at zero dark thirty, on top of his wife, pounding the living daylights out of

 'the demons who were attacking/over-running his hasty defensive position' ... 

After the second occurrence...well you can guess what happened to their relationship. 

My issue with this scenario, is the complete lack of empathy displayed by both [a very few] serving and retired vets, accompanied by judgemental ignorance that is staggering in it's vacuous morality.

For anyone looking to understand PTSD, I highly recommend Retired Lt Col David Grossman's book  'On Combat' and this video presentation based on same -- 'Bullet Proof Mind':


His theories and ideas are spot on, however I do take exception with his religious overtones. That said, if you honestly and truly believe that your killing jihadis as God's work, that is a form of PTSD inoculation... 

IMHO, if you are killing people in the name of your religion, you need a new religion or a complete rethink on religion period. 


Saturday, 31 December 2016

An easy fix 4 Canadian pipelines - oil - ngas - property rights

I am the quintessential Canadian environmentalist. I grew up in Atikokan Ontario, 100+ miles west of Thunder Bay, Ontario 20 miles north of the American border, in pristine wilderness adjacent to gorgeous Quetico Provincial Park. I spent my weekends and days off school, from sunrise to sunset hunting partridge, fishing, chasing squirrels and sighting an occasional magnificent lynx. I cherish our numerous environmental/water protection acts, as I believe most Canadians have and do.
[ ]

I was not very impressed when Comrade Harper essentially trashed these various ACTS to expedite business interests and after a year of complete inaction by young Trudeau's new Liberal circus act, more-than-equally very unimpressed.

I live in Spruce Grove Alberta, near directly downwind from the coal generators, 45 km west of us, located around the Wabamun Lake area. On still days, of meteorological inversion,the brown haze extends like a horizontal oriental paper fan a few hundred feet in the air, for kilometers. I will personally be very happy to see it's demise.

Ironically, [due my own ignorance] had I known of the coal generators existence, we would have not settled and built our home precisely here.

But, I am not understanding why, in Dec 2016 I [we] do not have a small 1 square meter nuclear power plant buried in my back yard, slowly disintegrating a single 2.5 square centimeter nuclear fuel pellet, supplying my complete energy needs...  It's not rocket science [anymore].

However comma, having said all that, I understand that there is presently not nearly enough green energy available, to replace our dirty energy sources. That essentially means that we still need dirty energy for some considerable time to come, and that our governments welcomed plans to kick industry in the ass, are far to optimistic.  

Hence, of the three methods of oil/gas transportation, pipeline, truck or rail, I absolutely believe that pipe is the 'safest' [my only real concern] method.

I also believe [and it's most likely considered politically incorrect to say] that native bands/leaders/populations that claim to be environmentally concerned, are really simply creating a ruckus to create some level of cash payout [bribe]. When the dollars speak,  we'll VERY quickly see native environmental concerns vaporize. I cannot recall the gentleman's name, but there was an Albertan native leader that said as much, a few weeks go, interviewed by CBC and I completely agree with his assessment.

Sitting down yesterday afternoon with my son's father-in-law, George [visiting from Ontario], a railway engineer [designer, not driver] in discussion ...   he suggested that the oil pipeline gurus completely avoid the entire issue and build the required pipelines, on land that is already owned, uncontested, has legal right of way, presently runs thru native lands/reservations in some instances, has already had either extensive or some environmental studies done and save everyone a huge amount of time, effort expense and reduce drama-lama's to tears...

George's  answer;
"pair up with the railway companies and 
build pipelines 'parallel to', along existing railways"

The added bonus, is that you have a railway to give quick [emergency spill containment/cleanup] access to any point along the pipeline, via that same railway.

Your also not creating new multi-thousand kilometer clear-cut corridors thru virgin forest, and

You've effectively neutered native claims to anything. 

In the mean time, we can push industry to start cranking out those miniaturized nuclear power plants to drive our homes and re-charge our vehicles batteries. Then once we have a real energy source that can replace dirty energy, we can completely get rid of the latter.

Should 'we' have started this process 45 years ago, absolutely. However comma, it is, what it is.

Friday, 23 December 2016

In response to The re Gender Pronouns & Professor Jordan Peterson's Thought Crime



On Professor Jordan Peterson's Thought Crime.

Obligatory statements:
  • i am presently sitting on once indigenous native lands.
  • to be perfectly clear, of course,  no one should be discriminated against based on their gender, orientation, fetish or state of confusion, in sorting out any of the aforementioned.

Labelled “The Legal Case for Gender-Neutral Pronouns”, the author presents absolutely no legal case for gender-neutral pronouns other than to describe the fullest extent of the law [hate crime] and completely ignore the [carefully crafted] knock on effects.

Indeed, individuals who choose of their own free will to ignore plea's for kind labels such as zeer, zim and they, will obviously fall short of a hate crime. This is so painfully obvious, as to be biologically 'not a thing'.

However comma, individuals that must interface with zims/zeers/theys as a part of their employment [particularly government employees], these 'institutionalised' individuals, who exercise their right to ignore participating in a confused 'non-binaries' physiological journey, will suffer supposedly unintended [non-hate crime] consequences.

Professor Jordan Peterson is a prime example; he had the audacity to merely express his opinion [he's not yet had a gender conflicted individual who has yet actually, demand interstellar mind expanding labels] and he's on the receiving end of formal notices from his employer to cease and desist. If in fact, Peterson's declarations are not-a-thing, why would a Canadian University feel it necessary to initiate the process [we all know the HR drill, 1st letter, a 2nd letter, possibly a third, and then your out of a job]?

If C-16 does not call for this, how does the U of T feel justified in any manner, in formally calling for him to stand down on his self-declared option of language and free speech? We know why U of T is doing this and we know that Ontario's Human Right Tribunal decisions and C-51 give them every legal right to call for Peterson's legal execution....even tho he has yet to actually, not comply with the entire gender pronoun thing; he's just expressed an opinion. A thought.

As Peterson explains, under these new SJW laws, it's not very difficult to envision [short of any hate crime] a student or citizen he encounters in his professional 'institutionalised capacity, where he refuses to call Bob, “Zim”, launching a civil suit for damaged feelings. A $ amount is awarded to the wallflower for their lack of self-esteem, Peterson refuses to pay, which places him or anyone in 'contempt of court', which is precisely, a jail-able offence.

This is not theoretical, it is entirely the logical likely lawful outcome. And as a bonus in the process, social just warrior's would pee themselves in glee, seeing this otherwise absolutely distinguished and outstanding professor, indeed loses his job.

Despite the honorific-ally degree'd peer-reviewed social justice warriors, [one specifically of BC fame who insists on her gender studies students, declaring their orientation (only to be mocked if their 'straight' (feelings?)) and then admittedly subjects them to 'artistic' (her word) video interpretations of lesbian ~fisting~ love (really !)] who declare a 3rd, 4th - 41st (NY State for example) gender/non-gender flavor, which have more affinity with fetish than gender....there is not a shred of biological scientific evidence to support more that the human genders of male and female.

These same pant suit wearing intellectuals, avec strap-on, also declare virtually no difference between the sexes; obviously not having been exposed to the theory of X and Y chromosomes. It's not surprising that the penis and clitoris start out with very similar structural threads. However comma, they are at a loss as for how to then explain how the two organs then develop into different looking handlebars, 'cause we're all the same' don't you know ?

Exercising his white privilege, one Chris Alexander [of FB fame said], "If I don't "identify" as being white, it doesn't mean I'm not white'.

Likewise, being a woman in a man's body [which makes me a lesbian I guess]....'If I don't “identify” as being a woman, it doesn't mean I'm not a woman. But I digress.

These same social just warriors, being previously successful at lobbying the [very notably un-elected] Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, in lawfully declaring one's feeling of sexuality/gender as legitimate, the terms of ' zee, zim, they ', are required politically correct form.

So it's the federal legislation that gives these 'Tribunal' decisions additional legal weight.

Local elementary school-boards where I live in Parkland County, cite the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decisions, in their official declarations, as the example to follow [when in doubt]. This, precisely obligates [institutionalised public and private Catholic for that matter] teachers to mouth zim & zeer as appropriate, so as not to offend those afflicted with gender diaspora. We can all agree that this is nice, it's warm and fuzzy and friendly.

The unintended knock on effect, is the disintegration of historical family terms such as mom, dad,, mother, father, sister, brother, grandpa, grandma.

Teachers, so as to not offend the fantastical non-binary, simply will not refer to anyone, as mom, dad, mother, father.... Now rather, it's your “parent/parents.

Students, so as to not offend a (3rd party to the conversation with their teacher) fantastical non-binary, are not refer to their mom, dad, mother, father....rather it's your “parent/parents. It's not my 'brother', rather it's now, my 'sibling' … WTFrack ?

It's so unintended, that even when the supposed non-binary is the 3rd, distant person overhearing the conversation, from a distance, this is the required language. It keeps the teacher safe, and thus, more importantly, it keeps the institution safe, from litigation.

I fully expect that upon picking my 6 year old Grandson up at school, if I was to utter the gender specific slur “ Hello there, I'm Billy's Grand-Father, here to drive him home... ”, I'd be quickly taken aside by [at least] the Vice-Principle, and spoken to, in a one sided conversation.

Social justice warriors might gain some sympathy, if they only requested the creation of new words to avoid hurt feelings, when being addressed; (which I could almost buy into if only to be nice) However comma, the [apparently] unintended consequences will end up in those who refuse to utter the legally mandated words, being eventually, litigated, fined, out of a job, and in rare cases, jailed for remaining obstinate.
Secondly, social justice warriors might gain some sympathy, if they only requested the creation of new words to avoid hurt feelings, when being addressed, without inadvertently destroying the cultural language of gender, that has been in use for generations.

This second point is currently an unintended knock-on effect. But, present Ontario legislation, is designed expressly to make it law. The terms of Mother and Father will be legally expunged, to be replaced with the term(s), “Parent(s)”. And for some reason I've yet to fathom, you will be able to have not 2, but rather '4 Parents'...

In a somewhat disturbingly related case, Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, it was decreed that even the truth can be litigious:

Quote- Truthful statements can be presented in a manner that would meet the definition of hate speech, and not all truthful statements must be free from restriction. -Unquote

In summary, my opinions (having nothing to do with any religious moralising) are based on science, biology specifically, which to my knowledge, in humans supports 2 genders, male and female. The fact that you look like a woman, but feel like your a guy, is perfectly ok [not that anyone needs my permission].

If you suffer from gender diaspora, seek psychological therapy to resolve your conflict-ions and do not demand that every else's Mother and Father become State sanctioned, neutered non-gendered 'parents'.

I am a father and a grand-father and expect I will remain so (in my own mind), regardless of legally mandated nouns.

---References below---

Regarding the enforced mandated use of non-binary gender pronouns,at my Grandson's elementary school in Stoney Plain, Alberta, administered under EVERGREEN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

details in,

Administrative Policy # 160, Safe & Caring Schools - page 8, Section 8.2.1

which refers us to the following re gender diversity issues:

Province of Alberta – Ministry of Education - Guidelines or Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions. - Para 11 (Page 14)



Canadian Prof Jordan Peterson exposes Left’s secret weapon for world domination in new documentary

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

RCMP chief’s comments about racism 

fuel tense relations with officers


Really ?

Do not read me wrong here; I have the utmost respect for the majority of police officers of all stripes, who are some of the finest Canadian citizens we have.

However comma, it is in this case, the RCMP Union's response, that [has been] continues to be the problem [notice I did not use the politically correct term 'challenge'].

As the Commissioner had the balls to publicly concede, that which every Canadian knows to be a fact; we have a significant number [any # is to many] of racists in our police forces're kidding...

We also have a number of officer's who, emulating  their mirrored numbers from Canadian society [despite apparent recruit  vetting procedures] who are corrupt, self-serving and generally not interested in getting their uniforms dirty.

It is precisely this minority, and the majority's refusal to acknowledge the former's unimpeded existence, that is the primary cause of the nation wide public relations campaign that the police are rapidly losing.

Increasingly, where joe-average-Canadian is concerned, a tazer is employed, where a conversation may very well have cleared things up, to everyone's satisfaction. Increasingly,  a 9mm pistol round is employed, where a tazer would have sufficed. Increasingly, 5 or 6 or 10 rounds are employed, where one round, would have done the job just fine...

Commissioner Paulson has called them [the racists, the corrupt, the self-serving] out, and according to the Union, their feelings are hurt...

I'll respond un-politically, in language I'm very sure that you'll be able to relate to...suck it up princess.

And while your at it, please direct your violent tendencies , towards the mafia and criminal biker gang elements, instead of joe-average-citizen, and you might just start gain a measure of respect, back from the average Canadian.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Coffee Snobbery 


Researching, to roast my own Costa Rican ‘Tarazu’ beans in my fabricated BBQ roasting drum, I learned that the French Roast was developed to simply make one’s beans ‘go farther’ by burning the coffee, to make it ‘stronger’, hence make more cups from a lb of beans. Thus a French roast is a poor man’s roast…

Where is the flavor & aroma ?  In the oil.

o   The tradition 1st crack [pop !] in roasting is the water coming to temperature

o   The 2nd  crack, is the oil coming to temperature; at which point, the oil starts coming to the surface of the bean...  Keep roasting and you physically burning the oil.

-Roast 15 seconds past the cresendo of the 2nd crack, remove ASAP and cool down in a LARGE metal bowl, stirring under a LARGE fan, so as to cool rapidly

-Let sit for a day to vent off the CO2

-Grind & enjoy !


-        Roast to and/or buy a ‘City Roast’ (medium).
-        If you like your coffee stonger, grind/add more [unburnt] coffee
-    Use a paper filter with a drip machine ?  Your filtering out the oil (taste)
-        Us a french press to extract the most flavor, while retaining the unburnt oils.

…and avoid that burned crap Starbucks dishes out.

Check it out:

Friday, 23 October 2015

Regarding Canadian 'Vets for Conservatives' seeking 'moral clarity'

Regarding Canadian 'Vets for Conservatives'

Retired, I ran into an old (Canadian) army acquaintance, a retired full Colonel, a former infantry Commanding Officer that I originally met as a young 2nd Lt when he first was posted to the battalion. This guy became known for his professionalism, hard driving leadership style. I watched as we deployed to Croatia (The Former Yugoslavia), he,  as a Company Commander, and then to Afghanistan as Battle Group Commander. One tough nut... the kind of leader that could drag you willingly into and back from hell, with a smile on his and your face...

Now, 30 years after I first met this gentleman, we are discussing Afghan insurgent tactics, and the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes up. The Colonel, offered up his opinion that,

 "anyone afflicted with PTSD didn't measure
  up on the battlefield....that they had some 
situation where they failed to 'man up' and 
now were feeling guilty of thier personal 
shortcomings as a man and as a solider"

He essentially nailed it on the head; it is generally the situation that PTSD is a real or perceived shortcoming and/or inadequacy that results in mental anguish/dreams/nightmares etc... It can and often is simply experiencing situations where one has no power to do anything in a given situation;

  • unable to stop long enough [whilst on a mission with other priorities] to personally care for injured civilians, feed the starving.
  • unable to convert one's training and experience into battlefield confidence.
  • unable to save the life of a mortally wounded comrade in arms...
As a soldier who has dealt with a thankfully very minor case of PTSD, and known troops that are literally mentally and physically incapacitated because of it, I was astonished to here this coming from a former infantry Commanding Officer....

He nailed it in defining the general causation, but his enunciation was not simply explanatory, it was condemning.  They, were weak, pathetic, to be despised  in that they didn't have the balls, the cahonaas, to man up and get on with the profession of soldiering.

The level of ignorance was astounding...

So, you can imagine the instant thoughts that ran through my mind upon hearing recently, words being tossed out recently, in the middle of a federal election, by a Facebook Group called 'Veterans for the Conservative Party'....words challenging the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of those present retired Canadian vets who started up 'Veterans against the Conservative Party'. 

Granted, they [the latter] are not terribly organized. Some of the lads have become a tad worse for wear, becoming of 'wide girth', Few of them seem to have forgotten how to 'form' a beret and seem to think that speaking on national television in a T-Shirt, is ok.

But god dam it, these veterans have suffer from horrendous physical, emotional and mental injury. The fact that the Canadian Medical Corps had completely institutionally forgotten how to deal with 'shell-shock' (another story), only partially explains why they had to come up with a new name for it...PTSD.

So, when I read and hear 'Veterans for the Conservative Party' spouting off about challenging the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of these veterans, the words of the Colonel, immediately sprang forth...

When challenged, the 'Veterans for the Conservative Party' denied to media that 'courage' and 'moral clarity' were not 'code' for something else, I thought to myself, that's exactly, what it is, code for cowardice, code for moral confusion, code for weakness, code for having failed on the battlefield, code for PTSD.

It's the Colonel, it's the 'Sgt Rocks' who can deploy repeatedly & endlessly, slaying jihadi dragons without mercy, feeling, doubt or remorse. And how dare anyone fail them, by not being able in body or spirit, to be there 'watching their six'. How dare they.

Even more than the TheoCons betrayal of injured vets, were these same despicable "Vets for Conservatives', retired and serving soldiers that effectively turned their backs on their 'weak willied' fellow brothers [and sisters] in arms, who are branded failures, lacking courage and moral clarity.

A huge disappointment, listening to these same Vets 4 TheoCons current and former soldiers spouting off, about how the system is just fine.

I personally have had great experiences with VAC however comma, there are injured troops [in mind and body] that have and continue to fall thru the cracks as a direct result of 'the system'.

 I have a vague sensation, that comments questioning the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of injured vets, is in fact 'code' for doubting those afflicted with PTSD...

But the 'Vets for Conservatives'
don't have the 'courage' 
to come right out and say it...

In the same way Stephen Harper and his ilk, used code words to rally the ill-informed, the  evangelically distracted, the dung kickers. Those claiming a moral high ground in a similar fashion, knocking down courage and moral clarity of the disadvantaged, of those who would have the audacity to actually use employment insurance, of those who may temporarily need the services of a food bank. Those not strong enough to stand up on their own two feet, to man up...

One can see a striking condescending similarity between The Colonel, 'Vets for Cons' and hard hard right TheoCons.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Actively Managed RRSPs – the biggest scam on planet earth

‘Actively Managed’ RRSPs/retirement funds – the biggest scam on planet earth

Right above the No. 2 scam, Realtor commission rates…

QUESTION: Why, would the vast majority of Canadians and the rest of worldly investors, willingly give up 40-50% of their profits, to financial money managers, over the lifetime of their RRSP/retirement investment timeline ?

Why indeed ?

If you’re like me, you sat down with your investment manager [in my case, from a Canadian firm we will call  'Investor' Company for the sake of argument] and at some point, I asked him, “so how do you make your money here ? “ He promptly replied, ” in the case of this specific fund, we charge 3.2% of your profit. 

I thought to myself,  

 $3.20 for every 100.00 dollars profit I bring in (gross),
is actually really good…
These guys are not the grubby greedy snakes I presumed !

And thus, the conversation ended, with a smile on his face.

What I found out years later, was this ‘charge’ is called a ‘Management Expense Ratio (MER)
So, ten years went by, and eventually I was wondering, why my tens of thousands, didn’t seem to be making that much money, despite my 9 -10 % returns…especially considering, that I was only being charged 3.2%, a paltry sum…

Except it wasn’t just 3.2%  …. Three dollars & twenty cents for every $100.00 in profit….
It was and is the FIRST 3.2%

Allow me to explain.
For simplicity sake, let’s say our funds MER is 2.5%. I invest a bunch of money and end up making a gross profit of 5% (5% which works out to $1,000.00)

ABC Investment Corp will take their 2.5% MER right off the top, leaving me with the remaining 2.5%....of my initial 5% …..

Confused ? You should be…

It’s not $2.50 for every $100.00 profit, it’s the FIRST  2.5% of my 5% I made !

THIS, is the industry’s dirty little secret.

And just what percentage, is 2.5% of 5% ?  …….You guessed it, 50%


Why would anyone give up 25/30/50% of their profits to an investing company/guru ?
Remember that $1,000.00 gross profit I made ?   Well, it’s actually going to be $500.00, as ABC Investment Corp will skim their 2.5% MER/$500.00 (the first 2.5% of 5%) right off the top, before I even see it (standard practice in the entire industry, wouldn’t you guess), and I’ll get a paper statement, telling me that I made/netted (the remaining) 2.5%/$500.00, on my investment this year.

Now, MERs and gross investment returns fluctuate year to year, but, over your investing life time (40-50 years), you will give up in MERs, 40 to 50% of your gross profits to the (crooked) investment firm.

This, is the white elephant in the room; your corporatized investment guru will not explain to you in detail, unless pressed, very hard. But, you will find it all explained in legalese, in the very fine print in the contractual paper work you signed with them.

QUESTION: How can I pay a lower MER on my RRSP investments?


~Lower MER ‘Index’ funds –Versus-- Higher MER ‘Actively Managed’ Funds~

Actively Managed Funds
Why will the vast majority of investment managers steer you toward ‘actively managed’ funds ?  Because they charge a (much) higher  MER of 2.5, 3.0, 3.5%.  And if you didn’t know any better you’d say, “Geez, 3% (three dollars) for every one hundred I make is pretty good ! But now you know better…

It’s the FIRST 3%  [STUPID]  of your 6%   = 50%

They will tell you, that we charge a higher MER for ‘actively managed funds, because we have hundreds of professionally trained investors who spend all days combing the world, ‘actively managing’ your funds, to get you the best possible returns….to beat the markets, to beat the TSX, the S&P 500, etc…  They are ‘stirring the pot’. And with each stir, your MER goes up a fraction of a percent.

The 2nd elephant in the room,

Is that ‘actively managed funds’ (by ‘professionals’) RARELY outperform the markets [the TSX, the S&P 500, etc…). In fact, they normally underperform them; but, you get to pay more for that privilege.

Hopefully, you can taste the sarcasm, dripping off my keyboard…

Index (Tracking) Funds
Index funds, very simply track or ‘mirror’ a given stock exchange/market; The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSC), American S&P 500, etc…  If the TSX gains 7% through the past year, you make 7% (MINUS (you guessed it; your magical MER)) . Thus a 7% gross gain, minus our hypothetical (but your (very real) MER of 1.2%, allows us to net out a profit of 6.8% .

This, is much better than an actively managed fund, as is plainly obvious. Many Index funds cost well below a 1% MER; many are in the .5%, .75% range. It takes a bit of digging and persistence.

Index funds can charge a lower MER, because instead of a pool of professionals trying to stir the pot, to beat the markets, a computer, simply tracks the performance (or Index) of the particular stock market.

I spent a decade+ paying 'Investor' Company MERs to manage my RRSPs, invested in actively managed funds, paying them well above 3%.  Keep in mind that Canada has on average, the highest MERs in the known world, and 'Investors' Company charges some of the highest in Canada. After all, they have to pay themselves some fairly high wages, and pay for all of those Cable TV ads that are continuously spewing forth.

Once I realized, that 3.5% meant the FIRST 3.5%, I asked my 'Investor' Company guru, if Investor Company offered RRSP investing in Index Funds. The initial answer was a non-answer, in that he simply informed me that “ He was convinced that he had us best positioned for our long term interests ”.

So, I when back to him and specifically asked, “Does 3.5% meant the FIRST 3.5% ? “. And, to his credit, he answered, “Yes.” . 

I expressed my amazement; and he was quick to point out, that a decade+ or so previously, I had signed a piece of paper, where it was explained and thus I had legally acknowledged, acknowledging that it’s ‘the first…’ and not $3.50 for every $100.00

To this day, I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around this concept. Had my Investor Company guru, precisely explained this concept in language I would have understood…  my immediate response would have been, “are you out of your mind ?   I’m going to effectively pay you between 30 and 50% of my profits, so that you can stir the pot, vainly trying to beat the market averages ?  I don’t think so, would have been my reply.

Through the majority of that decade+, I was netting roughly 6% on any given year. With my MERs in the 3.4% range, (meaning I was grossing 9.4%) you can see that I was paying Investor Company, approx. 35% of my profits to active manage my ‘portfolio’ (such a fancy smancy word)  (Remember, ‘actively manage’ means they are professionals…) and through all of this, they were doing neither no better, nor any worse than ‘average’.

It was this 35% that was missing, and that gave me a ‘feeling’ in my monthly investment statements, that something was not adding up…

The third elephant in the room,

Is that you get a monthly statement that gives you the overall value of your investments generally in what is called  a ‘UNIT VALUE’ ; this unit value fluctuate within the stock markets, up and down, each day, month, year… So as markets fluctuate, and your focused on the unit value, attempting to track whether your making any money or not, your somewhat oblivious to the  (in my case) 35% of my profits that were getting skimmed off without my knowledge; Because I did not really understand what an MER was, and I certainly did not understand, that an MER of 3%, meant the FIRST 3%. My bad.

Thus, I should have been invested in ‘passive’ Index tracking funds, (which I am now with a different investing firm, thank you very much) being charged something in the  1 -1.5% range, and I would have still grossed 9.4%, BUT, netted out,  making on average 7.9% profit.
Netting a profit of 7.9% is significantly better than 6%, especially over the long term.
It’s not just 6%, you can now understand that it works out to 40-50%, depending on your circumstances, your gross profits and the (transparent/unseen) MER you’re paying some guy in short pants, the in the vast majority of cases, match, if you’re lucky, what the market is performing at,  all by itself.

So, having gone through this I hope and trust that I’ve been able to clearly explain that the charged MER is the slice in percentage points that the investing advising guru, takes directly off your gross gains, before you see it. (and you have to figure, there is a very very good reason [for them] that they do this…it assists in keeping you, the chump, ignorant).

If the MER is 2%, (as it is commonly with actively managed funds)and I gross 6% (not uncommon in today’s 2014/15 investing climate), your investing company takes the FIRST 2% of gains, leaving you with the remaining 4%; This means you’re giving them (in this case) 33% of your profits. 

THIRTY THREE PERCENT ! That, IMHO, is highway robbery and should be a criminal offence.

These MERs in my case were what is called ‘front end loaded’ funds, in that the MER is taken off at the front end, ‘before’ I see my net gains…  Some funds are ‘rear end’ loaded. Some funds have additional charges every time they ‘stir the pot’, moving your money between investments, or between funds.

Statistics over the long term, (YOUR long term investing of 30-40-50 years) have shown that with actively managed funds, the MERs eat up 40 to 50% of gains.

Over the short term, you may not notice much of an effect. (I did, and that’s why I started asking questions.But it took 10 years for me to catch on !) However comma, over the long term, this can and does mean, that instead of netting out with a $250,000.00 retirement fund (with an Index fund charging a 1% [or better] MER), you’re going to end up with 130,000.00 – 150,000.00 . 

Yes, a ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND+  DOLLAR DIFFERENCE, over a lifetime of investing.

That ladies and gentlemen, is going to translate in a huge difference; in the monthly ‘annuity’ you eventually create from that money, to finance your retirement.
Now, you know better.

I have spent considerable time on the internet, looking for papers/web sites/authors, that explain this phenomenon if it being the first XX % of your gross profits, without a lot of success. You can imagine that it’s not in any investment advisors interest to be completely transparent about it, is it. They stand to make more money from your/our ignorance. 

Let me say that it is not just Investor’s Group that enables ignorant clients, it’s the entire industry. They [all of them] will claim that they have a financial gain to make, from being completely forthright, open, and transparent. After all, if they make you money, you will stick around, recommend them to others. That’s how the ‘grow the business’. 

I submit, they grow the business, the profit margin, from keeping clients ignorant. IMHO, it highway robbery with a smile on their face. It is unfortunately, perfectly legal, thus making them nice guys in a shirt and tie. They will make the average schumk 200K in long term profits. However comma, what they will not tell you is to walk down the street, and invest in an Index Tacking Fund, paying a .5% MER, and thus making an additional 150K.

The few sites that have broached the subject, do so in language that often obfuscates the message. And as you can now appreciate, the message is initially beyond belief and comprehension. It took me a few days of saying, “it can’t be” to figure it out.

Additional opinions on this subject (complete with charts & graphs on the subj):

I encourage you to forward this to everyone you know who has set up a retirement fund, so that it becomes common knowledge. The financial industry presently has legal licence to fleece the world, as long as we are ignorant.

Declaration: spelled checked @ 0741 11 Oct 2015