Category Archives: political

Weathered Valentine

Weathered Valentine Tank Mk VIIA, no. 838, built in Montreal May 1943 loaned to Stalin's communist regime survived decades under water.

Weathered Valentine Tank Mk VIIA, no. 838, built in Montreal May 1943, a Lend-Lease tank to Stalin’s Soviet Union once lost and forgotten is now an exhibit in Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum.

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Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum is home for this severely weathered Valentine VI tank that spent decades drowned in former Soviet Union after helping defeat Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Although it fell through ice during action on January 25, 1944 when crossing a river near Telepyne, Ukraine and was forgotten about until 1990 when an old-timer helped locate it this tank remained mostly intact as my picture shows.

It is a gift to Canada given by independent Ukraine in 1992 now Valentine Tank Mk VIIA, no. 838, built in Montreal May 1943, a Lend-Lease tank to the USSR is an exhibit in Canada’s War Museum.

Designed by Vickers-Armstrong in 1938, the Valentine tank was a private venture project pressed into British military service after the Dunkirk disaster.

Canada adopted this infantry tank by 1940 and production was mainly done at Montreal’s CPR Angus Shops some 1,420 produced and most were sent to the Soviet-Union, which also received another 2,394 units from Churchill’s Britain.

Stalin’s Russians seemed to appreciate this robust and simple tank design mostly because of its adequate armor and low profile although its obsolete 2-pounder (40mm) main armament and narrow tracks limited its offensive ability on the eastern front.

This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”WEATHERED”.

Political Conversation

Saturday, June 15, 2013 former Canadian PM Steven Harper in political conversation with party supporters  in Montreal's West Island.

Former PM Steven Harper in political conversation with Canadians living in Montreal’s West Island about his federal
Conservative government programs.

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June 15, 2013 allowed former PM Steven Harper a political conversation with Canadians living in Montreal’s West Island about his federal Conservative government.

Harper appeared very happy with the large turnout of Conservative party support during his stopover in Montreal talking about his government programs for Canadians, and answering multitude of questions from the crowd.

It was a warm sunny Saturday and this was a diehard Conservative event by invitation only to see the Prime Minister of Canada speak, I was lucky to get an invite through my connections in the Conservative party.

This is my contribution for WP single word prompt:”CONVERSATION”.

Some 2017 Favorites

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Some 2017 favorites that I never used for my blog appear in my short slide video also, one picture that I used helps end the show.

Urban Science Brass Band trombone player dressed in white suit and hat wearing dark shades and broad smile while extending his arms out in triumphant satisfaction during the annual Montreal Jazz Festival 2017 was that image I am glad to have captured.

Just-for-laughs green devil with red horns and wide toothy grin seemed appropriate for show’s last image after all, that Montreal festival follows after the Jazz Fest ends

This year readers seemed to have a fascination with mushrooms particularly those of the toxic Amanita family therefore, a picture is included meanwhile, another picture that follows it,  is another Just-for-laughs related one taken in the Quartier-des-Spectacles during the Jazz Festival.

The two bogus Quebec paramedics have their hands full “saving” a dummy female wearing a neck support meanwhile, some passersby tourists appear concerned  thinking about the odd emergency aid performed as “medic” holds the patient’s leg straight up.

Another subject readers seemed to appreciate viewing are expensive, fancy cars and the Lamborghini emblem on jet black background certainly makes a statement.

Food is subject that readers love heck, we all love good eats therefore, my homemade glazed  muffin with icing dripping onto plate evokes desire for some moreover, that image of milk chocolate pieces loaded with nuts or other appropriate bits certainly makes our mouths water.

Entertainment already touched  earlier on excites many particularly when a Quebec cabinet minister plays guitar during the annual Saint Jean Baptiste Day festivities followed by a lovely Quebecois  belle in fashionable torn jeans belting out a few songs while accompanied by her rock band.

Something seldom seen in Montreal or anywhere else however, certainly eye popping enough to get a lot of attention by locals and many international tourists in town for the Jazz festival were a troupe of young women and some men totally painted in blue, orange, red, green, and yellow colors and wearing only thongs and skimpy bras.

Two other areas depicted in my short video are art and buskers both provide stimulation to our senses regarding creativity some individuals have.

Our two buskers entertained locals and more importantly international visitors in town for the Jazz Fest, their act was exceptional worthy of some of the best circus acts.

Our art involves a newly established art gallery where a friend was one of a group of amateur artists being acknowledged by gallery owner in front of friends and visitors  while  their work  was being displayed  on the gallery’s walls.

This year was Montreal 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries and a lot was happening downtown and across the country, all will end on New Year’s Eve.

This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”2017 FAVORITES”

Serene Moment

Montreal Ukrainian priest in serene moment of silence during solemn service commemorating 30th Anniversary of Chornobyl Disaster in 2016..

Serene moment commemorating 30th anniversary of Chornobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986, when
flawed Soviet Russian built power plant blew up contaminating landscape.

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Serene moment commemorating victims of Chornobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986 when Soviet Russian built electrical power plant blew up spewing radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere.

The Chernobyl nuclear power station located some 130 km north of Ukraine’s capital city Kiev and only 20 km from neighboring Belarus had four Soviet-designed RBMK 1000 graphite block reactors sitting near the Pripyat river to provide a cooling source for them.

The design now universally recognized as inherently flawed used enriched U-235 uranium fuel rods to heat cooling water creating steam to power massive turbines generating electrical power for the surrounding cities, towns, and villages including Kiev.

The RBMK-1000 was  designed to produce  plutonium,  probably for the Soviet Union nuclear armament program,  and also electric power for industry and lighting.

Criminal negligence by two plant workers and their management triggered a massive hydrogen gas explosion in reactor No.4 that detached a 1,000-ton steel plate covering the reactor’s core starting a chain reaction resulting in a second more powerful blast completely demolishing the reactor and its building.

Furthermore, hot, intensive, burning graphite fires then threatened adjoining reactor No.3 which was still in operation during this time.

We now know the Chernobyl No. 4 reactor contained about 190 metric tons of uranium dioxide fuel and fission products,  and about 30 percent of this radioactive stuff escaped carried away by airflow into atmosphere.

Despite the severity of this emergency Moscow continued business as usual pretending nothing was going on meanwhile,  the 115,000 residents of Pripyat, the nuclear workers model city, were finally being evacuated about 36 hours later.

Additionally, despite the whole world already knowing about the radioactive plume flowing around the globe Moscow continued their repressive, suppressive ways keeping their own citizens in dark about the disaster going on.

Soviet president Gorbachev and Communist party preferred to keep them ignorant therefore, scheduled May Day celebrations in Kiev, Ukraine were allowed to go on despite radiation deaths to plant workers already having occurred and local mass evacuations going on.

According to some “reliable” sources 28 reactor staff and “liquidators”or emergency workers were dead from radiation and thermal burns within 4 months moreover, there were about 7,000 cases of thyroid cancer in children less than 18 years old from affected areas when it happened.

Radiation is deadly, odorless, tasteless, an invisible killer that silently robs a person’s health eventually terminating life.

My picture depicts priest during a serene moment of silence solemn service at Mary Queen Of The World Cathedral commemorating the Chornobyl Disaster 30th Anniversary in 2016 by Montreal’s Ukrainian community.

This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”SERENE”.

Urban Deterioration Scale

Urban deterioration scale is evident captured in picture of decades city laissez-faire and slumlords neglect.

Urban deterioration scale is evident by graffiti, broken boarded up windows, crumbling brick walls, miscellaneous debris, and general run down look.

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Urban deterioration scale is evident by amount of graffiti, broken boarded up windows, crumbling brick walls, miscellaneous debris, and general run down look of place.

This picture taken in downtown Montreal below Rene Levesque boulevard captures some of what is being torn down and replaced by rampant urban development featuring huge dark glass and metal highrises funded by mostly foreign overseas money.

Decades of laissez-faire by paid off corrupt city administrations allowing rich slum lords to acquire loads of old property cheaply then continue practicing neglect doing very little maintaining these properties meanwhile, raising rents to their poor tenants creates this type of scenario.

The corporate slum lords await the right moment to sell obviously very valuable downtown property for huge profits to the foreign buyers eager to park their money avoiding taxes at home.

This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”SCALE”.

Kiddie Show Launch

Kiddie show launch during Saint Jean Baptiste Day on outdoor stage in Montreal's West Island.

Kiddie show launch during Saint Jean Baptiste Day celebrations on an outdoor stage in Montreal’s West Island, cheerful, excited, and happy children watched by excited, happy, parents.

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Kiddie show launch during Saint Jean Baptiste Day celebrations on an outdoor stage in Montreal’s West Island filled with cheerful, excited, and happy children watched by their equally excited, happy, parents.

Funded by $millions in hard-earned taxpayers money that the Quebec government generously doles out to municipalities to allegedly celebrate province’s patron saint, the day filled with merriment, music, and all sorts of fun for citizens and visitors.

The former peaceful religious feast day celebration morphed into a secular holiday during 1970’s when the chain-smoking former journalist Rene Levesque led separatist Parti Québécois government legislated it into “La Fete National” to prepare Quebecers for the infamous sovereignty referendums to break up Canada that followed later.

Quebec has since evolved from a majority French-speaking Christian Catholic society into one lost in the shuffle, where adoring celebrities and excesses of material wealth has replaced worship of God.

This is my contribution for WP single word prompt:”LAUNCH”.

Popular legend

Popular legend has it that Diefenbaker Conservative government were wrong cancelling Avro Arrow.

Popular legend regarding Canada’s Avro Arrow has it that Diefenbaker Conservative government were wrong cancelling this secret advanced military jet aircraft project.

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Ever since secret project was abruptly terminated during Diefenbaker era a popular legend evolved regarding Canada’s position in today’s advanced military jet aircraft.

Armchair experts insist that the Diefenbaker Conservative government set Canadian aerospace back allowing others primarily the USA to benefit from all the very expensive research already done as well as from all the technical staff Avro laid off.

They claim Canada gave away the whole store in a proverbial  “fire sale” ending up poorer for it because many of those Avro scientists and technicians ended up “Making America Great” working in USA developing its NASA space program.

There is no doubt that the Avro Arrow was unique and probably the most advanced aircraft of its kind however, it was heavily over-budget generating a real strain on Canada’s fiscal resources.

Canada, although a huge country with its small population tax base did not have an economy to support this type of very expensive project  compared to the USA with its massive economy.

Ottawa’s Canada Aviation And Space Museum is home for part of what’s left of the Arrow, the cockpit are depicted however, 1/3 of both wings,  essentially its wing tips,  and two sets of engines, one being the famous Iroquois, are available too.

These other components are stored nearby along the inner wall of the building for those interested in viewing them.

This is my contribution for WP single word prompt:”POPULAR”.

Waiting In Ambush

WW2 German paratrooper waiting in ambush ready to gun down any enemy soldiers.

WW2 German paratrooper armed with MP-40 machine pistol waiting in ambush ready to gun down any
 enemy soldiers coming into view.

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Waiting in ambush armed with his MP-40 machine pistol WW2 German paratrooper is ready to gun down any enemy soldiers that come into view.

The scene is probably somewhere in Italy perhaps, near Monte Cassino,  where the Allies had fierce battles with all branches of the Hitler’s Nazi armed forces in the famous monastery ruins.

Another more likely scene would be Otto Skorzeny, commando extraordinary, and his handpicked special paratroopers raiding Italy’s Gran Sasso’s Hotel Campo Imperatore to extract dictator Benito Mussolini from his captors.

This daring raid by crack German paratroopers on the country’s highest peak using gliders remains the best original “mission impossible” based on the extreme difficulty such a operation had to master to save Il Duce from the hands of the Allies.

Our realistic depiction is from an exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”WAITING”.

Red Hats Anticipate Trouble

Red hats seem to anticipate trouble while walking and observing crowd gathered near tire changing competition stage.

Red hats seem to anticipate trouble while walking and observing crowd gathered in front of Grand Prix weekend
tire changing competition stage.

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Red hats seem to anticipate trouble as they walk by carefully observing the crowd gathered in front of the popular tire change competition stage on Crescent street during Montreal Grand Prix weekend.

Montreal Police dressed in combat boots, camouflage pants, dark blue standard issue jackets covered by bright neon-color vests with Montreal police logo, and topped with blood-red baseball caps patrolled the street for any obvious signs of unrest or disturbance.

These automatic pistol armed constables were wearing the aforementioned outfits as protest against Quebec government protracted inaction resolving their labor contract with police union.

Despite their labor dispute, the Montreal Police did an excellent job in protecting the area during these troubled times of global international terrorism threats.

This my contribution for WP single word prompt:”ANTICIPATE”.

Elevate Work Scaffold

Rooftop motorized winch is used to elevate work scaffold with two workers to do their job.

Rooftop motorized winch used to elevate work scaffold containing these two workers riding it flat against the skyscraper side to their job

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Rooftop motorized winch used to elevate work scaffold containing these two workers riding it flat against this Montreal skyscraper side to do their job.

Montreal is booming with many tall office and condominium structures being erected all over the place downtown funded by mostly overseas investors money.

After Vancouver and Toronto, Montreal seems to be attracting a substantial amount of this money perhaps, because land is still cheap compared to the other two cities coupled with a growing population of thousands of new arrivals including the recent immigration cue jumpers from the USA.

Few know the reasons why foreigners invest in any particular area however, Canada is probably one of the best places on the globe to do so because it is big, relatively secure, and still inexpensive with a mostly civilized, growing, middle-class, high-percentage literate, population.

This is my contribution for WP single word prompt:”ELEVATE”.