We see that a few people in Cornwall are floating a trial balloon- one that says we should lobby for a casino in Cornwall. I think it’s a bad idea and a non-starter and here’s why.
Do the research on gambling and casinos and you will find discover that it’s all downhill. Casinos have some obvious economic benefits that everyone points to, but I believe the costs far outweigh the benefits.
Take the Akwesasne Casino across the border in New York state as an example. Other than a few low level jobs there, what has the casino industry really done for Akwesasne? First of all, most of the money earned doesn’t stay on the native reserve; it is shipped out and used elsewhere. In casino operations this is standard practice. Sure there will be a few public relations giveaways to the community, but it would be hard to argue that Akwesasne is being revitalized because of the casino. I don’t think so.
Choice Hotels kicked off an incentive package this fall. From August 26 until November 3 every hotel room in the Choice group advertised on a handout: “Stay 2 separate times- Earn a Free Night.”
Busy travelers on the move, checking in and checking out, would look at a flyer like this over breakfast or in their rooms, and perhaps assume that after staying two nights in a Choice Hotel, that they would be rewarded with a free night. Sound reasonable?
Well, it’s not the case at all. When you start reading the fine print and asking questions, a completely different picture emerges.
The fine print that practically no one reads defines a ‘stay’ as one or more nights at the same hotel. So, if you stay two consecutive nights at a Choice hotel, it is considered to be one ‘stay’. If you stay 3, 4 or 5 nights or more, that is still considered to be just one ‘stay’.
Get the picture. So, to take advantage of this promotion you have to be on the move. Stay in Choice Hotels in different cities, changing hotels each day, and you can earn up to four free nights during the promotion. But stay in a Choice Hotel for more than one night, and you won’t be getting any bonus points at all.
In the April CIBC VISA card statements, an updated
Cardholder Agreement was enclosed explaining some recent changes.
Written in legal language that is difficult to read and
understand, as of September 1, 2010 cardholders will be paying more interest on
their purchases. It matters not that banks continually show record- breaking
profits even during a recession, they consistently change the rules to skim
more profit from the working class and middle class people.
I contacted the CIBC VISA Centre to confirm my understanding
of these changes.Here is a concrete
example of how the new policy is intended to work.
Just when we thought that we had our hands full with an
upcoming Canadian election, a demoralizing and futile war in Afghanistan, and
an irrelevant and diversionary American election, there’s something else to be
In a new book called “Spychips,” by Katherine Albrecht and
Liz McIntyre, a new technology called
“RFID” is predicted to remove our remaining privacy and put us all under a
threat of surveillance.
In a stunning example of corporate greed and arrogance, COGECO sent a technician to my home on May 31, 2007 to serve me with a ‘Partial Disconnection Notice.’ This was the first time I had been contacted by COGECO to tell me that I would be charged more money for the service I was receiving.
The company claims that I have been receiving certain Basic Cable channels as part “of a technical error.” Translated, that means that COGECO has made the changes to the policies first, then allows a month or two to pass, and then claims that you will no longer receive them at the current price. In other words, COGECO changes the rules and then informs you that you are not in compliance. It’s basically a price increase by default.
The technician/salesperson, sporting a fluorescent bib, leather gloves, a pouch of tools and dark sunglasses, politely informed me that some of the channels I was receiving under ‘Basic Cable’ would now become part of the ‘Variety Value Pack,’ and that all I had to do was authorize the extra charges, and he would go on his way. Otherwise, he would disconnect the channels that are no longer covered under ‘Basic Cable’ which include: channels 31, 32, 33, 39, 52, and perhaps some others I haven’t yet noticed.
Here’s the bad news. I currently pay $26.50 + taxes per month for ‘Basic Cable.’ Under the new system, I would now be charged $43.99 + taxes for the first 12 months. Folks, that’s an increase of $17.49 per month or an increase of 66%!
COGECO is the company that sent me an information package last month showing me ways in which I could save money by combining cable, phone and Internet services, proudly proclaiming that “Life’s Better with Cable.” Whose life, COGECO shareholders or mine?
The hypocrisy is beyond belief. This latest initiative is a disingenuous example of price gouging, taking advantage of the fact that cable services are basically a monopoly, and citizens can’t just pick up the phone and call another cable company.
Approaching people at their homes during the supper hour with tool kit in hand, threatening to immediately disconnect part of their cable service amounts to intimidation and disrespect. I had been watching a tournament on the Golf Channel, and when I declined this outrageous increase, I saw the technician on my lawn moments later, disconnecting the above mentioned channels, including the Golf Channel that reverted to a blank screen. This action illustrates the real corporate image that is behind COGECO and so many other companies.
Do they really have the customers’ interest and welfare at heart? Do they really want to ‘save’ customers money? I think the answer is obvious.
I don’t know about you, but I am unwilling to pay 66% more for my television cable service, and have refused the offer. If thousands of people did the same, maybe COGECO would have to get off its high horse.
We need the federal government to keep companies like COGECO in check, or they will continue to gouge us at every turn. COGECO acts as a monopoly and in these situations where there is no alternative cable service, the federal government and the CRTC must insist on reasonable increases in keeping with inflation.
With little fanfare, a local retailer has introduced a new check out procedure at its establishment. Home Depot, a new arrival to the retail scene, can now boast of having a “self service checkout” – a first for the city of Cornwall.
Customers can now proceed to a counter and scan their own merchandise, scan their credit or debit cards, obtain their own receipts, bag their goods and exit the store without dealing with any staff.
The Home Depot checkout area is set up with 4 checkout stations under the supervision of one staff to offer assistance for this new procedure, and to troubleshoot.
A first impression might suggest that this is another feat of technology and an improvement in convenience but as always there’s a lot more at stake.
Getting customers to shop, choose, and check out their own goods will mean the loss of many, many jobs. Whereas the retail ‘big box’ stores have been built on the promise of jobs for the community, this new innovation runs in the opposite direction. Cashier jobs will be phased out as “self service checkouts” become the norm. As the whole industry proceeds in this direction, the results will be devastating.
Remember the introduction of the ATM’s and the loss of thousands of bank teller jobs. Sure it’s convenient and yes we have adapted, but where are the new jobs for those people? Some of them may have moved to retail sales, but unfortunately the corporations all have the same idea. Maximize profits at all cost, downsize staffing and to hell with the working class.
Is it not better for society to have people involved in productive work rather than being unemployed. Unfortunately, the big corporations don’t see it that way.
What happens when a man eats nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days? Morgan Spurlock, director and star of “Super Size Me: a film of Epic Proportions” took a huge bite out of McDonalds during the making of this movie in 2004.
In an age when children recognize McDonalds before they are able to talk, Spurlock’s food eating experiment proved what many people are discovering- that fast food is the main culprit in a society full of overweight, obese and very sick people.
Spurlock ate three meals each day and ate every item on the menu at least once. He decided to “supersize” his order every time he was asked.
Prior to the experiment, Spurlock was given a clean bill of health by his doctor. By day 5 he was consuming 5,000 calories per day, and by day 21 he had heart palpitations because of trouble breathing.
One of doctors stated that his “liver was pickled” and he was susceptible to gout and kidney stones. He became addicted to McDonalds food and became depressed between meals. Over the month he gained 25 pounds, and became a physical wreck. One of his three doctors pleaded with him to stop the experiment in the 3rd week, since his health and his life were in jeopardy.
One of the obvious questions which arises is: why are 46 million people eating at McDonalds each day, when a steady intake of this food can lead to death? The food is full of sugar, starch, salt and additives- and has very little food value. People are dying a slow death and so far it’s legal.
This groundbreaking documentary is a wake-up call for the western world. We had better cut out the fast food and get our kids on a nutritious diet fast, before it is too late. Fats, sugar, salt, additives, preservatives, aspartame, starch should be cut out whenever possible.
When I see a breakfast program sponsored by McDonalds I get worried. I think about the breakfast that Spurlock ate for 30 days, and imagine kids ending up 25 pounds overweight like him.
Schools need to get into the act, and cut out pogo sticks, French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, white bread, candy and soft drinks from the list. Start giving kids nutritious food which will make them healthy and alert.
It’s getting harder to select nutritious food since the corporations make more money from serving “junk” but the integrity of food will become a major issue in the 21st century. It already has.
If you are unsure about all of this, then watch “Supersize Me.” The proof is in the pudding, or more appropriately in the “Big Mac.”
Give me a W-A-L-M-A-R-T! What have you got? Wal-Mart! Louder. WAL-MART! Louder! WAL-MART!!
But is anybody really listening to what is being said at these good morning Wal-Mart pep rallies around the continent? Right, let’s all hail to the late Fuhrer Sam Walton and his $100 billion dollar family, while we pretend that we have the greatest jobs in the world.
Do you see anything wrong with this picture, taken from the February 19, 2005 Toronto Globe and Mail.
Head cheerleader, Paula, repeats the Wal-Mart mantra each morning as the rest of the sheep follow. This is a classic case of manipulation and brainwashing- first with the employees on the shop floor, and then passed on to their esteemed customers, most of whom are just looking to save a few bucks.
I can just imagine a phone conversation between the Globe and Mail publisher, and the kingpins from the Wal-Mart Empire.
“Phil, we got a bad situation in Quebec with one of our stores closing. We’re getting hammered in the media. Listen, Phil, we need to do some major damage control, and we need a good news story fast. You know, something to show we’re a big happy family at Wal-Mart. The same ol’ crap, works every time.”
Well, whatever was said between Wal-Mart officials and the Globe and Mail, something did happen fast.
A full two-page story in the Focus section extolls the virtues of working at Wal-Mart. Sure the article mentioned a few of the problems that Wal-Mart is having, but one look at the headline and the picture,and the problems are forgotten. That's how propaganda works.
Once again the public is being denied all of the facts relating to Wal-Mart. Folks, this is corporate fascism at work, smoothed over by a pretense for family values. For further information about Wal-Mart see the preceding article on the Weblog.
Actions speak louder than words. I have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart, and will boycott that store until it recognizes people’s democratic right to form a union to represent their interests. Until that time everyone in the Wal-Mart chain is being treated like second-class citizens, and I refuse to support that.