*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Crossover: CRV or Forester

Tried the Outback: too fucking big for the city.  It's down to the CRV or Forester now.  In short, the Honda's more reliable, but the Forester comes with better options at the price.  Also everyone has a CRV, and I do not like its few colour choices.

Here's what I'm comparing.

CRV LX $27678
- red or one in the greyscale
- cargo cover not included
- rack not included

Forester Convenience Automatic $27731
- multiple colours
- heated mirrors
- rack included
- automatic lights
- fog lights included
- power front seat
- hill descent
- cargo cover
- more mats included
- 17" better wheels

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

NDP response about refugees: Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Thanks for writing in. I could not agree more with your assessment of the appropriate role for Canada in dealing with this crisis. I believe Canada to be a nation built on principles of compassion, and increasing and expediting refugee resettlement while also providing increased relief on the ground is a fundamental expression of those principles.

Below, please find the party's outlined proposals for expanding our refugee resettlement program and increasing aid to agencies in the region. If you have any further questions or would like additional details, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll do my best to answer your question.

Thanks again for writing in and lending your voice in support of the refugees. 

The challenge:
·         The crisis in Syria has generated more than 4 million refugees and displaced more than 7.6 million Syrians within the country.[i]
·         This is the largest single refugee crisis in more than a quarter century.[ii]
·         According to the UNHCR, more than 2,500 people have died this summer crossing the Mediterranean, trying to reach Europe.[iii]
·         The UNHCR is aiming to resettle 130,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. Canada has resettled 2,374 to date, with a commitment to take an additional 8,926 by the end of 2017.[iv]
·         François Crépeau, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, has called for the West to resettle 1 million Syrian refugees over the next five years.[v]
·         Canada’s share of the global total, according to Crépeau, would be 9,000 Syrian refugees per year.[vi]

The NDP Plan:
·         Appoint a Syrian Refugee Coordinator to coordinate the resources of government departments to oversee processing, travel to Canada, and resettlement; and,
·         Bring in 10,000 refugees by end of 2015 and 9,000 a year between 2016 and 2019, making it a priority to keep families together.

·         Increase the number of immigration officials on the ground; and,
·         Work with provinces, territories, municipalities, and others to resettle refugees. 

    • Work with Turkey and other affected countries to streamline exit requirements; and,
    • Treat all refugees equally by ending Canada’s policy of discrimination on the basis of religion. 

    • Match Canadians’ humanitarian donations;
    • Increase aid to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees; and,
    • Help coordinate the response of the international community. 

·         Fast-track private sponsorships, with no cap; and,
·         Provide temporary resident permits for Syrians who wish to come and stay temporarily with family.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Canadian Federal Election: refugee resettlement to Canada‏

Sent to the Green, NDP, Liberal and Conservative candidates for my riding in the October Canadian Federal Election.

I am a voter in your riding, and will vote in the October federal election. I am asking for a clear statement of each candidate's position on increasing and expediting refugee resettlement in Canada, as well as aiding displaced persons abroad. 
Most Canadian citizens and residents have displaced persons in their family history. When I was a child over thirty years ago, the Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic Parties agreed to accept tens of thousands of Vietnamese and other Indo-Chinese refugees. It was a proud moment for Canada, and does honour to each party. I have now worked with the children of these refugees, and my children are in school with their grandchildren. My Vietnamese-Canadian friends and colleagues are some of the most grateful Canadians I have ever known. 
Canada should regain it's status as the most generous country in the world to displaced persons. According to the UN we are now fourteenth. Fewer than ten-percent of immigrants are refugees. We could double this number. Despite a recession, we are one of the richest countries in the world. We are one of the most multi-ethnic, and peaceful. If not us, whom? Let it be us. 
I hope I have permission to post your response on my Facebook page and other social media. 
Thank you.

I hope to have responses to add.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Alas, Honda CRV?

Of all models I have listed before, as bland as Honda are, they are the right choice.  Not to mention, I had an eight year Civic a decade back which gave me no troubles, ever.  I believe in rewarding quality.  Getting a test drive soon.

Aiming for a city and highway AWD vehicle, my 'process of elimination':
- I found the Subaru Outback larger than I want in the city, and a wee squirrelly at highway passing speeds
- Subaru Boxer engines are... not dependable
- the Forester has a more basic interior than the CRV
- the Mazda CX5 is the anti-Tardis
- Ford is the only N American maker I would consider, but they have no cash deals... as N Americans love mortgaging their future
- wife won't buy Korean, nor do I think they are cheaper enough to do so
- Nissan Rogue is a bit cheaper, a bit less reliable, and will get me a bit less at resale, so no
- Mitsubishi Outlander isn't cheaper enough to go with a fringe model
- Volkswagen Sportwagen is smaller, not dependable, not AWD, and nearly as much
- fuck Toyota , which are not good value besides
- the CRV is nearly the biggest inside, has the best power:weight ratio, has nearly everything I want in the base AWD model, and is among the most fuel efficient

Never mind the Thai branding.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

As there's no Legacy Wagon anymore

Seriously, fuck North Americans and their bloated dumbassed lifestyles.  I was born here, but have lived in Montréal*, Tokyo, don't eat like them, drive like them, commute like them, vote like them, drink like them, dress as poorly as them, fuck like them!

I have been trying to find a new car.  There are hatchbacks, there are buses, and there are SUVs never taken to gravel so much as 'off-road'.  Almost nobody's selling mid-size wagons; I want a wagon damnit**, and am unwilling to spend for an Audi or Volvo, thank you very much.  Nor will I buy a North American shit-box, nor Korean yet, nor enthusiastic about Toyota for its lies.  Making the list short.  I do not even want to buy a car, and wouldn't have to in Tokyo, but North America fucking sucks, and sucks even harder without a car.

I am left with these options, too many of them 'CUVs', just two letters away from what a Brit would yell.  Why no CUV/SUV?  Well, I know how to fucking drive, unlike the locals, and know something about the difference between a truck meant for hauling crap, with a high centre of balance, and a vehicle that's some pleasure to drive, and safer.

Sportswagen Trendline Automatic FWD, $29K

Nissan Rogue S AWD, $32K

Honda CRV LX, $34K

Subaru Outback 2.5i, $36
- this is the closest even if overbuilt to the cancelled Legacy Wagon, but 10% over the others?
- what's the point of the Forester?  Little cheaper, narrower and shorter,  but a higher centre of balance.

I am unhappy with all of these.  Notice how bland and all look the same?  The Outback has minimal uniqueness.

I think it's the Outback 2.5i PZEV automatic (sigh, for wife). 

Touring would be nice, but $3K more. OTH, does add:
- power lift gate (wife)
- "auto-dimming side-view mirrors with approach lighting"?
- "door mirrors: Integrated LED turn signals"
- better instruments
- better wheels
- "sunroof: glass, power tilting and sliding with sunshade"!
- "windshield: wiper de-icer (integrated)"
- more speakers
- "climate control: Automatic, dual-zone"
- "rearview mirror: Auto-dimming with Homelink"
- leather shifter, as little as one touches an automatic's
- "Blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert"

Nope, not worth that much more cash.

torque trans interior cruise fog rear cam full rack (City/Hwy/Combined)
Outback 174 CVT biggest yes yes yes yes 9.4/7.1/8.4
Rogue 175 CVT yes no yes opt
CRV 181 CVT yes no yes opt

Sportwagen    185 6-speed              yes        no      yes       opt        8.1/6.0/7.1

*Technically in North America, but not entirely so...
**With AWD, because we are a Nordic country, and nobody else can fecking drive.  Not to mention a CUV/SUV without AWD/4WD is like a codpiece hiding a double orchiectomy.