#191 – Saskatchewan, Canada’s ‘Special’ Child

Oh, fucking Saskatchewan. Even within cakerdom this miserable rectangle of reactionary fuckery is regarded as the rural asscrack of the country. What other province has a tradition of wearing fucking watermelons on their heads?

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(s) Captioning this with the word durr is an insult to the letters d, u, and r.

When they aren’t busy putting more intelligent melons on their own melons, what does Saskatchewan do? Among such other activities as waiting for porn to load and setting all five of their remaining neurons to pondering how they became the laughingstock of Canada, a country that for all intents and purposes is the laughingstock of civilization, Saskatchewan likes to give local Indigenous tours. Tours of the “fuck you, now freeze to death” variety. Saskatchewan’s “finest” (if you define “fine” by way of soldier-sniffing knuckle-dragging) are also fans of (theoretically) non-lethally racist policing and prison practices; if you’re Indigenous in the Rancid Rectangle you’re 33 times more likely to get thrown in the slammer. And the rest of Saskatchewan is a fan of racism too, to the point where Premier Brad Wall had to plead on national media for Saskatchewan to go back to using its limited bandwidth and brain cells to look for bad porn and watermelons, respectively.

But hey, you say. Canada’s rural bits are basically Wyoming with shit healthcare and a smug attitude. We demand Saskatchewan’s special brand of suck! But the thing is, Saskatchesuck is such a piece of shit that even its problems aren’t interesting or unique. Let’s go through Saskatchewan’s caker credentials. Shitty hospitals? Check! A fixation on mindless extraction regardless of economic merits? Ding! Hideously expensive produce in a province fabled for its agricultural output? You know it! A runaway housing market that in no way reflects the economic merits of the areas being overbuilt? Chronic gang-related violence coupled with police inaction? A lack of capacity for basic, modern waste disposal? It all checks out, folks. The Wretched Rectangle is a piece of a caker shit!

Saskatchewan’s problems are mostly related to its economic output. Saskatchewan is flat and grows a shit-ton of wheat. The problem with leaning an economy on extraction, as we’ve talked about before, is that shit like this happens and the whole thing goes belly-up. And then, when you try to hide your extractive failure in other festering economic buttcracks, like, say, mindless sprawl, your lack of planning for this new stupid idea comes to firmly bite you in the ass. Saskatchewan is also known for mining potash. It is not, however, known for having anything else to do that isn’t speculative or extractive, meaning that entire towns can get knocked flat off their asses by market forces far beyond their control or understanding. You may recognize this as being Canada’s modus operandi, but somehow even stupider than usual.

Speaking of stupid things beyond reasoned understanding, who the fuck thought a giant metal statue of wheat was going to do anything besides rust and be mocked by cruel people like me? In a province with reams of people claiming that there’s nothing to do, the best thought people had is to build random giant shit and hope that someone cares enough about it to get out of their fucking car for two seconds? Who does that?

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(s) Answer: Cakers.

Seriously – here’s Pravda’s list of things to do in the entire province on a holiday Monday. Please note that this exciting spread of activities is typically found in literally any community that isn’t a fucking hole in the ground. You know you suck when taking a train that’s somehow even slower than VIA Rail’s subpar service is considered an activity. Though this does help to explain the watermelon thing – maybe Saskatchewan’s bored population is so numbed by the mindless miles of absolutely nothing that wearing fruit on their empty skulls like a retarded version of the Chiquita Banana lady is the closest thing to feeling that they have left.

It’s also probably the only unique thing they have going for them, which I think says all that needs to be said about the Wretched Rectangle.

#190 -New Bumswick, the Fief

Imagine yourself a life. The city you live in, dominated by massive tanks with the company’s name slathered on them, suffers an disproportionate number of respiratory problems and cancers. But you’ll never know – every single newspaper in the city, indeed in the whole place, is owned by the company. Your work options are scarce. You could work in timber or paper-making for the company. You could work in the oil industry for the company. The government’s new initiative is call centers; you could always listen to cakers, day in and day out, as they bitch and moan about God-knows-what. The ultimate dream is a terrible administrative job with the government, desperately trying to make sense of byzantine regulation and severe understaffing.

Got a good mental image going?  Good, ’cause I’m going to pencil it in for you. Welcome to New Brunswick, a polluted hellhole clinging to life by accepting Ottawa’s sloppy seconds and licking the boots of some of the most loathsome, terrible caker businesspeople that cakers have to offer. New Brunswick is practically owned by the Irving family, a collection of lizard-people who own or dabble in basically every economic activity in New Brunswick. Their combined net worth is equivalent to the entire province’s revenue in 2014. Yeah, this is going to get ugly.

The Irvings are notorious for their hyper-aggressive oligarchic hold over the province of New Brunswick. Sound a bit like post-Soviet Russia? You’d not be the only one thinking that – people live in fucking fear of the choking control that the Irvings have over their lives. Here’s a story of the Irvings collaborating with both the provincial and federal government to bury a story about glyphosates (a common herbicide used in forestry) and their connection to declines in deer stock. The degenerate caker mafiosos are aided in their Chechnyesque stylings by the fact that they are the key players in what a 2006 Senate report called an “industrial-media complex“.

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(s) Irving “reporter” getting “the news”, circa 2013

Oh, and they like to use dodgy shell companies in Bermuda to avoid paying Canadian taxes. Because nothing says that a company is committed to and cares about the areas it exploits quite like them running away from fiscal responsibilities. That’s kind of shitty given that New Brunswick is wildly in debt and doesn’t seem likely to fix it anytime soon. Oh, and another small sign that the Irvings may not give a shit about the people of New Brunswick: the places that they’ve industrialized, like their massive operation at Saint John, are at greater risk of cancer than other New Brunswickers. Meanwhile, the Irvings keep growing and stowing their wealth, running their little Dagestan as it putters and shits like a Lada rolling to a junkyard. You know what’s even better? The Irvings aren’t even the only shitty oligarchic family operation in the province!

So the Irvings are massive wankers. And what they and the province have wrought is impossible misery. Between the ages of 15 and 24, there are only 36,900 workers, giving the province an incredible 17.1 percent youth unemployment rate. The general unemployment rate – the stated one, mind, with all its flaws and failures – hovers around 10%. Nearly one in seven was living in poverty in 2006. An astonishing 53% of adults in the province are functionally illiterate, meaning that they street signs are about as complex as it gets. This may have something to do with the government’s make-work programs there being critically understaffed. There’s something ironic here, given that New Brunswick is unusually bilingual, but I just can’t find it in me to kick down people who can’t fathom that there’s more to the written canon of man than words written on street signs.

Oh wait, yes I can. New Brunswick is basically Canada’s end-game. It’s a province almost singularly devoted to extraction for the benefit of a tiny minority of people while the majority suffer pollution, fear, poverty, and idiocy. It’s a dismal, miserable, appallingly-poor province in a country that seems more and more full of these sorts of bush-league failures the more we comb through province by province through the abomination that is the Canadian federal family.

 

 

#44 – Homeopathetic Legislation

Homeopathy is a self-serving, vacuous bastard child of marketing and scientific illiteracy. Being both prone to marketing and generally illiterate, cakers spend $2.4 billion a year on junk of all kinds. This is despite Health Canada openly admitting that it allows for “natural health products” to get to market claiming health benefits which cannot be substantiated, as CBC Marketplace discovered when they made their own “natural health product” for sick children, submitted old photocopied pages from a textbook as medical evidence to Health Canada, and had their “medicine”…approved. And the fix for this problem was to effectively level homeopathy with actual medicine, at least in Ontario.

For the record. If you come and chirp me about naturopathy, here is my official response:

“Bitch, I was born in the fucking Rust Belt. I breathed weird brown air and swam in mercury-laden lakes. I remember the smog days, the red flags on the beach, the water that tastes like algae and rust. I do not give a single, heavy-metal-laden shit about ‘natural’ anything. Fuck off and bring on any prescription that will keep my ass alive longer.”    

After that awkward time when the CBC was able to get a nonsense product aimed at children that does nothing of consequence approved for sale by Health Canada, the government took…action, I guess? The official fix for useless snake oil being sold as a substitute for vaccination (which is a public health hazard as far as I’m concerned) was to forbid the marketing of snake oil as having specific health benefits “unless those claims are supported by scientific evidence”…for children under 12 years old. And bullshit peddlers had an entire year to continue making obtuse claims and pillaging the wallets of the sick and needy like the filthy highwaymen they are.

Also, what the fuck? Why not protect the rest of us from this crap? Why does the need for scientific evidence proving the efficacy of so-called “medications” end at 12 years of age? More than 10,000 different varieties of placebo entered the market in 2015 with Health Canada’s approval, in a process derided as a joke and a massive loophole. I suppose Canada is allergic to facts generally, but this? It’s no surprise that this common-sense extension of protections has been recommended by people who aren’t just shitting on Canada for shits and giggles.

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(S) $49.99 for a month’s supply! Traditionally used to cure…everything!

Obviously, the federal government can’t be trusted to stop the peddling of bullshit. How about the provinces? Ontario’s try at making legal sense of nonsense involved creating the College of Homeopaths of Ontario. Which, you might notice gives them the same legitimacy as physicians and surgeons, two professions which you might recognize as being significantly more important than homeopathy. Whoops! And don’t you worry about Ontario slapping stricter requirements on this crap, because approval and regulation are Ottawa’s responsibility! And while Ontario’s regulations are at least an attempt to put some kind of control on a criminal trade, it’s also the only province to have even tried.

Our one attempt to control naturopathy at a provincial level ended up making pecuniary predation upon the scientifically illiterate easier for these bastards, and the federal legislation is currently slightly flawed (in that it requires no meaningful evidence that a “drug” does what it claims to) for people over 12 years old. So, junk and real medicine sit side-by-each on pharmacy shelves, the former ready to pounce on an unsuspecting caker. In a plaintive cry from the CBC, Alheli Picazo make the ultimate plea for the fed to take this lethal shit seriously, noting that even AmeriKKKa has started taking this shit seriously.