Faux Ziegler but not fake humour

Last week on Facebook I stumbled upon this piece of cartoon signed “Ziegler”:


I found it extremely funny (but also quite sad) because it embodies everything that is wrong in Washington right now and particularly the Republicans’ hypocrisy (they pledged to never raise taxes but they do; they say they are against raising the deficit but they always  make it worse; they try to impeach a president on moral grounds but elect a treasonous crookserial sexual harasser and bully as president and want to put a child molester in the senate ! They always said they would removed those entitlement and, well, they kind of did… Where’s their moral high-ground now? How can they claim to be “good Christian” and allow this? They should be ashamed of themselves!).

So, kudos to the “cartoonist” for this excellent idea that pinpoint Washington’s ethical fallacies. Or is it? I noticed that the style of the cartoon is quite similar to what we find in magazine like The New Yorker, but the font used for the caption is totally wrong for this style — such cartoons usually put the caption in a italicized serif font… So the creator of this piece must have “repurposed” (meaning stole) a previous cartoon in order to create this hilarious concept by adding his own caption.

RealZieglerCartoonConsidering that the drawing is signed, it didn’t take me long to find the original. The concept is quite similar, so the “thief” just adapted it to the current political situation.

The original was created by Jack Ziegler and was indeed published in The New Yorker, a magazine well known for this style of cartoon. Unfortunately, Ziegler died last March. You can read tributes to his life and work in The New Yorker,  The New York Times and The Washington Post.

You can find many compilations of The New Yorker‘s cartoons in your local public library.

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Portes Ouvertes à VSP


Cet après-midi je suis allé faire un tour aux Portes Ouvertes de la mairie d’arrondissement.

Je suis citoyen co-propriétaire d’un duplex dans l’arrondissement depuis presque sept ans (avril 2011) et je commence tout juste à m’intéresser à la politique municipale. Comme je travaille tout les mardis soir, je n’ai jamais assisté à une séance du conseil alors c’était l’occasion idéale de rencontrer la nouvelle mairesse de l’arrondissement, Mme Giuliana Fumagalli (au centre), et ses collègues du conseil d’arrondissement (de g. à d.): Franz Benjamin (District de Saint-Michel), Sylvain Ouellet (François-Perrault), Rosannie Filato (Villeray) et Mary Deros (Parc-Extension). Je ne suis pas sûr d’avoir vue Mme Filato mais, bien sûr,  mon conseiller de district, M. Benjamin — que je n’ai jamais réussi à rencontrer durant toutes ces années — était absent.



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Monthly notable news (w26-33)

On the domestic front, in the last month or so, the condition were still rather horrible at work: it was way too hot (ventilation is working but there’s absolutely no air conditioning so we regularly work at temperature of 28~33 ? including the humidex — 23~25 ? with 45%~55% humidity) and we are still running like crazy… Therefore, most of the time, I come back home totally exhausted.

When I was not busy chasing quotes for the balcony and masonry repairs on the duplex, I was taking care of the stray cats, but this year’s cat saga has finally concluded: the two females have been sterilized & released and their kittens have been adopted through a good samaritan shelter. Despite all this (and maybe thanks to the omega 3 supplement I am taking? Nah…) I wrote much more than the previous months (many capsule reviews including commentaries on the Ghost in the Shell and Valerian live-action movies, as well as the superb Pline manga)  and I also started contributing to the Irrésistibles blog (with a version of my commentaries on Animeland #214 & #215, dBD #115, Pline #1, and the movie Silence).

In the news, everything was about the Trump circus. I was literally consumed by the news of this train wreck in the making, like watching an accident where you know you shouldn’t but just can’t turn you gaze from it. So we’ve spent countless hours watching news reports on MSNBC (mainly Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell shows) about the latest trump scandals — and there’s a new one almost every day! It never stops: the Buzzfeed Russian “dossier” (Wikipedia, document), the possible election tempering collusion and financial involvement with Russia, the healthcare repeal & replace disaster, the sabre-rattling with North Korea and, finally, the controversial comments following the Charlottesville violence contributing to inflame the supremacist and racist agenda! When will the republicans realize they have bet on the wrong horse and decide to put him out of his misery? I can’t believe it has gone this far…

I have also watched today’s partial eclipse of the sun (58%) on TV and with my own eyes (using a home-made filter) but, unfortunately, I was not able to take any respectable pictures (by lack of preparation and appropriate equipment). But, at least, the weather was cooperating and I was able to see it. The next opportunities for such event will be June 10 2021 (partial at 85%), October 14 2023 (partial at 29%) and on April 8 2024 (a total solar eclipse!).

As always, I tried to remain acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered oven an hundred notable news & links — which I share with you (in both french or english, and roughly separated in a few categories of interest), after the jump.

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How to save the planet

You’re feeling good because you think you are saving the environment by recycling and switching to LED light bulbs? Well,  don’t (feel good, I mean). It is totally useless.

Last week-end, I read an interesting article in The Gazette titled “Want to save the planet?” (also from the National Post via PressReader). A study by the University of British Columbia is showing that what we are told to do to reduce climate change is rarely the most effective way.  We’re told that “making a difference doesn’t have to be difficult” when, in truth, making a real impact demands some major sacrifices!

The most interesting part of the article is found in a graphic that was available only in the print version. What high school textbooks suggest students to do for the environment is not very effective: using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic ones represent only a saving of 0.005 tonne (5 kg) of carbon dioxide per person per year, while upgrading light bulbs saves 0.1 tonne, hanging your laundry to dry in the sun saves 0.21 tonne, recycling saves 0.213 tonne and washing your clothes in cold water saves 0.247 tonne. Small changes.

In opposite, the more effective actions for helping the environment represents only four per cent of the suggestions given to students. The best tactics are eating less meat with a plant-based diet (saving of 0.8 tonne per year), buying green energy (saving 1.5 tonne per year), taking one less transatlantic flight per year (saves 1.6 tonne), and going car-free (saving 2.4 tonne per year — note that switching from an electric car to car-free saves 1.15 tonne per year and buying a more efficient car saves 1.19 tonne per year!). However, the most effective way to be environmentally friendly is to have one less child: you would save 58.6 tonne of CO2 emission per year! I always said that those kids are killing the planet.

I am really happy because I am already doing all those things (switching light bulbs, washing in cold water, hang-drying, using reusable bags, hydro-electricity, having a plant-based diet, no flying, no car, no kid) and I hope you will consider it too. I won’t go as far as some sci-fi shows and suggest, as some sort of Sophie’s Choice, that we should reduce the children population (or even the general population) — it would surely make the environment quieter — but please copulate with moderation (I would say “practice abstinence” but that would be inconsiderate: just don’t have four or five kids and think of it as a planetary-wide one-child policy)! There are already too many people on earth…

That would certainly be a good way to save the planet.

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Lettre à l’arrondissement

Mme la mairesse d’arrondissement
M. le conseiller de Saint-Michel,

J’ai quelques questions que j’espère vous aurez, cette fois, l’obligeance (sinon la décence) de répondre.

En novembre dernier, suite à une annonce dans le journal de St-Michel (“Toujours à l’écoute de vos besoins, nous vous invitons à nous faire part de vos demandes et commentaires”) qui incitait les citoyens à envoyer leur questions par courriel à leurs conseillers (jusqu’alors, quand j’avais un problème, je me déplaçais au bureau de mon conseiller — que je n’ai jamais rencontré par ailleurs mais sa secrétaire à toujours fait en sorte que les problèmes soient réglés de façon satisfaisante), je vous ai écrit au sujet d’un grave problème de gestion animalière dans notre arrondissement (j’ai par la suite publié cette lettre sur mon blogue et ma soeur, co-signataire, vous l’a très récemment envoyé de nouveau). Je n’ai jamais eu de réponse, ni même d’accusé-réception!

Je ne vous répèterai pas ici le contenu de la lettre (pour cela je vous réfère à mon blogue où le sujet est abondamment documenté par des hyper-liens) mais je me permet d’insister sur le fait que, cette année, la situation est pire: une dizaine de chats errants (deux femelles, cinq chatons, un mâle dominant et deux prétendants) font un véritable ravage dans le jardin de ma cour arrière. Non seulement la situation était-elle devenue intolérable mais apparemment les règlements municipaux nous menaces d’amendes si l’on “tolère” des animaux errants dans notre cour (?!).

Je n’ai donc pas eut le choix d’attraper tout ce beau monde (du moins les femelles et les chatons) mais maintenant qu’en faire? Les refuges privés sont toujours bondés (particulièrement à ce temps-ci de l’année où il y a beaucoup d’animaux abandonnés), c’est très difficile de trouver de bons samaritains pour adopter autant de chats et la seule solution officielle offerte est le Berger Blanc, qui a très mauvaise réputation (l’an dernier un employé m’a avoué que 100% des animaux errants y étaient euthanasiés) et que je me refuse à utiliser. J’espère trouver une place pas trop chère pour faire stériliser les deux femelles (et ensuite relâcher au moins la plus vieille des deux, sinon les deux, pour faire un TNR — “trap, neuter & return”) et trouver des gens pour adopter les chatons. Aux États-Unis et aux Canada anglais la plupart des villes ont des programmes subventionnés pour la stérilisation gratuite ou à bas prix ($15-$20) pour les animaux errants mais ici cela va me coûter autour de $60-$80 chacune! Avez-vous des suggestions?

Donc, suite à ce trop long préambule de contexte (je m’en excuse), j’aimerais bien que vous répondiez à ces deux questions:

  1. Comment cela se fait-il que notre arrondissement fasse affaire avec le refuge qui a la pire des réputations, le Berger Blanc, et non avec la SPCA comme beaucoup d’arrondissements environnants (Anjou, Montréal-Nord, Plateau, Rosemont, etc.)? Si VSP faisait affaire avec la SPCA cela serait déjà un peu mieux…
  2. Comment se fait-il que la ville repousse sans cesse la construction de son propre refuge animalier (dans notre arrondissement)? Aux dernières nouvelles il était maintenant annoncé pour 2019 !!!

Tant qu’à vous écrire j’aurais encore quelques questions sur d’autres sujets:

Comme vous le voyez je ne me gène pas pour commenter les absurdités municipales que j’observe que ce soit des problèmes de déneigement ou la politique de contraventions abusives sur Saint-Roch…

Merci de me lire et, surtout cette fois, de répondre à mes questions…

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Monthly notable news (w20-25)

On the domestic front, after much hesitation, the summer has finally arrived. At work, it is crazier than ever with the start of the vacation loan, the TD summer reading club, the twenty-days of amnesty, the summer clean-up and all this often in a sweatshop-like environment (hot and humid, because the ventilation and AC doesn’t work properly). It is so exhausting. I’ve applied for a job with more responsibilities (and pay) but flunked the interview (for the second time!). I am either good for nothing else or there’s something rotten in the HR kingdom.

I felt quite depressed lately. With all the problems with the house and at work, as well as the fact that I have not written or read much in several months, it’s no surprise. I come back from work with all my energy spent. I feel worthless. I feel I give a lot to the people around me and doesn’t get much (attention, respect, gratitude, etc.) in return. I hate it when dark thoughts keep me from enjoying life. But, hey!, it’s summer so lets enjoy the sun, the parks, the museums, the flowers, the cats, the people and particularly the few remaining days of my second ten-day summer vacation. There’s lot to do around the house and so much writing (hopefully) to catch up (I’ll try to go at it with smaller bites)!

In the news, Apple has announced some great software updates (iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4) and some new products (iMac & MacBook Pro, or iPad Pro updates, as well as a new iMac Pro and the HomePod, a speaker that they say will reinvent music at home) and my evenings have been consumed with listening to the latest Trump craziness on MSNBC. Everyday brings a new lie! More on the news in the links bellow…

I have always enjoyed the stray cats in my backyard but this year it is a real infestation: a battered dominant male [Toffee], two females (mother [Grisou] and daughter [Chaussette/Socks], their FIVE kittens and a couple of tomcat challengers. That’s TEN cats! They have laid waste to the backyard garden so I had to do something to control the situation. Unfortunately, the lack of consistent animal management policies in the city (and particularly in this borough, VSP) puts all the burden on the citizen and doesn’t give much help. My only option is to bring them to the Berger Blanc (which has a terrible reputation and an almost all-kill policy — also, for some mysterious reasons [$$?], my borough doesn’t deal with the SPCA) which I refuse to do. So far, I’ve caught all the females and their kittens, and I’ll see what I can do from there (any suggestions?)…

I’ve also started taking some omega-3 supplements, which (according to an NHK World report) is supposed to be good against cholesterol and dementia, amongst other things (like cancer or arthritis). It’s messing up with my digestion, but strangely I feel that my mind is a little clearer. Placebo effect? Anyway, we’ll see…

Strangely, I kept busy during the last month by doing lots of little things (cleaning up the garage, buying a new couch, burying my mother’s ashes, etc. — daily routine stuff) about which there’s little to say (or I just can’t recall some of them). I confess that I also probably watch too much TV. Anyway, that’s about it for now…

Although, as always, I continued to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered nearly a hundred notable news & links — which I share with you (in both french or english, and roughly separated in a few categories of interest), after the jump.

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Le suffrage de la marmotte

Une élection partielle s’est tenu aujourd’hui dans 6e district de Géorgie. Les démocrates pensaient bien profiter de la vague d’insatisfaction envers l’administration Trump pour y faire élire leur candidat, Jon Ossoff, et ainsi offrir un excellent présage en prévision des élections de mi-mandat de l’an prochain.

Hélas, ce n’était pas écrit dans les astres, car la marmotte démocrate a eut peur de son ombre. Cela laisse donc présager huit ans de Trump! L’hiver s’en vient et il sera long!

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