Connect with us

News

Canadians try to boycott American-made food products

Published

on

A funny thing happened along the way as Canadians decided to start a boycott against American-made groceries. It turns out that so many Canadian food products are made in America that consumers don’t even realize how much is actually coming from their neighbors to the south.

A perceived one-two punch to Canadians delivered from the Trump administration has the “Canada-nice” reputation in jeopardy. The usually easy-going Canadians are downright angry about the tariffs levied on Canadian steel and other products. Then, adding insult to injury, President Trump mocked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak” at the G-7 summit in his own country.

A hashtag-worthy movement began as Canadians began calling for consumers to #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts, and #BoycottUSA. There is a catch, though. Up to 60% of the food on Canadian grocery store shelves is from America. Average Canadian consumers don’t know what products are and are not made in Canada. Not so easy, eh?

The country is the U.S.’s top export market, taking a little more than 18% of all U.S. goods that are sold abroad. Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, estimates roughly 40% to 60% of food on Canada’s grocery shelves is from the U.S. Closely linked production chains make it tough to determine how much of any given item was produced domestically.

That has left would-be boycotters scratching their heads as they untangle how much of a given product was made or grown outside the country.

Even when a food product is technically produced in Canada, the actual food comes from America. For example, sweet potatoes aren’t grown in Canada’s climate so the source of frozen sweet potato fries is America.

Susan Quinn-Mullins, a semiretired communications professional from Burlington, Ontario, said she turned to the frozen-food section of her local grocery store when she couldn’t find Canadian-grown sweet potatoes. Canadian food giant McCain Foods Ltd. makes sweet-potato fries, but the package said the potatoes were grown in the U.S., Ms. Quinn-Mullins said.

“I’m now becoming slightly radical about this,” said Ms. Quinn-Mullins, who skipped the fries and is still on the hunt for Canadian sweet potatoes.

A spokeswoman for McCain said its sweet potatoes are sourced from the U.S., where the climate is better for growing them.

Interesting development there. So far, the boycott efforts aren’t proving very fruitful. The movement is young but the sheer amount of goods exported from America is daunting.

It is difficult to say whether the nascent boycott efforts are having an impact. Goods exports to Canada were up nearly 4% in June from the same month last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, they were down 1.2% when compared with the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Some companies have wised up and jumped on the bandwagon to promote Canadian products by displaying the Canadian flag on labels. This is a sound marketing decision. I know that when I lived in south Louisiana, a push for locals to buy authentic Cajun products spurred companies to label their products as such on labels. For me, it helps when I shop for frozen crawfish, for example. Chinese crawfish importers can have very deceptive labeling. I buy crawfish from the Gulf of Mexico, not China.

So, what about the idea of boycotting travel to America for vacation? That idea isn’t showing as much support or enthusiasm.

One sector where the boycott efforts doesn’t seem to be working is travel. Overall cross-border car trips by Canadians were up 12.7% in June from the same month last year, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians like to virtue-signal and illegal immigration is one of their favorite issues to drag the Trump over. Nevermind that even Justin Trudeau has now admitted that unlimited access to Canada via an open border approach on his side of the border isn’t such a great idea. Resources are being stretched thin.

Most of the migrants entering Canada from America are exploiting a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement. The Safe Third Country Agreement spells out that asylum seekers must make their claim in the country in which they first arrived. But that only applies when claims are made at official border ports of entry. If, however, asylum seekers reach Canadian territory by avoiding ports of entry, they become entitled to stay while their claims are processed. That is because of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and because Canada is a signatory of the U.N. Refugee Convention. In this way, claimants knowingly avoid return to the U.S. and are placing a strain on Canadian federal, provincial and municipal resources.

In the absence of a mitigating policy, illegal migrants crossing the U.S.-Canada border will increasingly consume resources previously meant to help process overseas immigrants. Canadian citizens who seek to bring their family members into the country will be delayed. Employers who seek to bring over skilled workers will not be able to do so. Investors who want to come to Canada to start businesses and grow the Canadian economy will be pushed aside.

It turns out that when Canadians are planning some vacation travel to America, the decision becomes a bit murkier than in the past. With good deals to be had for summer travel, for example, family trips aren’t being sacrificed in the name of sticking it to President Trump.

Despite all the boycott talk, the number of Canadians returning from overnight trips in the U.S. has actually grown by six per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis, since Trump’s inauguration.

Western Canadians, in particular, are flocking across the border in larger and larger numbers, with double-digit increases recorded in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan over that same time.

The individual pocketbook always wins in the end. Who is going to pass up a quick trip over the border for a baseball game or an easy weekend trip at a good price just to make a statement over an American policy that won’t be affected anyway? Canadians are practical in their outrage.

Time will tell how effective the boycotting of American good turns out. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a list of goods affected by  Canadian tariffs launched in a tit-for-tat retaliation.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Previously Deported Illegal Alien Charged with Brutal Murder of Shakopee, MN Woman

Published

on

By

Minnesota officials charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal from Mexico with the brutal murder of his former girlfriend in Shakopee, Minnesota earlier this month.

Fraider Diaz-Carbajal had been previously deported but told the court he has lived in the are for 18 years.
Fraider does not speak English and needed a translator.

He stabbed his former girlfriend several times before cutting his own neck.

SW News Media reported:

A 27-year-old woman who was killed in Shakopee on Aug. 12 has been identified as Enedelia Perez Garcia, 27, and today prosecutors charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal, 35, 1279 Taylor St. Unit 6, with second-degree murder (not premeditated) in her death. Police say he was in the country illegally after being deported in 2014.

At about 4:02 p.m. on Aug. 12, Shakopee police were dispatched to a fight call involving a knife at 1279 Taylor St., No. 6., and while on the way to the Taylor Ridge Towhomes, they were told a male had a knife and a female was possibly dead.

According to the charging documents, officers found a bloody scene in the upstairs bedroom: Diaz-Carbajal was lying with his head resting on the stomach and chest of a woman who was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall and did not appear to be breathing. Diaz-Carbajal’s throat was cut with a 6 to 8-inch-long laceration and there were several stab wounds in his abdomen. He was “taking occasional breaths and moving” and a large, bloody knife was at his left side.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Can AI produce fine art?

Published

on

By

We don’t normally cover the fine art beat here for obvious reasons, but there was a sale of a painting to a French collector in February which drew some attention. Another work by the same artist is going on sale at Christie’s presently. They works are going for some impressive amounts of money, but that’s not what makes the story interesting. The artist is an Artificial Intelligence program from a company named Obvious. (Time)

Hanging inside a gold frame on a pristine white wall in Christie’s Central London Gallery is a dark, moody portrait of a man in Puritan-style black clothes—the work, it seems, of some Old Master. But scrawled in the bottom right corner, there’s an unexpected signature: a mathematical equation.

This is Edmond de Belamy by French art collective Obvious—or, more accurately, by an algorithm designed by Obvious.

“The whole process is about humans having as little input as possible in the finished piece,” says Gauthier Vernier, one of three 25 year-old French men who started Obvious in April 2017 out of their apartment in Paris. Since then, by teaching a computer about art history and showing it how to make its own work, Obvious have produced 11 artworks with the help of artificial intelligence.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the technical particulars behind this since you can read them all at the article and at the Obvious Art website if you wish. The short version is that they developed an algorithm that scanned a vast number of paintings taken from classical art. It uses something called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) which randomly generate images meeting certain criteria (a face has two eyes, one nose, one mouth, etc.) and the program “tests” each image itself to see if it can tell whether it’s original art or a computer generation. The results do indeed resemble portraits.

Here’s the real question: Is this art? Allow me to offer the definitive answers (plural) because it works both ways.

First… Yes. This is art.

But that answer comes with a caveat. Anything can be art because art is in the eye of the beholder. You can walk down the beach, find a particularly interesting looking piece of driftwood, take it home, clean it up and mount it on a wooden base. If you find it attractive, if it brings you pleasure, if your friends come over and compliment you on it… it’s art. And that’s only good art I’m talking about. Some of the crap put out by human beings as “modern art” is total garbage. If a crucifix in a jar of urine or three basketballs shoved into a broken fish tank (I actually saw that one in a gallery in New York City some years ago) qualify as art, then anything this robot spits out can certainly bear the name.

Second… No. This is definitely not art.

What they are presenting is a painting. But it didn’t come from an original thought or moment of inspiration in a mind, human or otherwise. They fed a bunch of examples into a program and had it randomly place zeros and ones corresponding to random colors until it generated something which matched certain test criteria that the programmers defined as being “art.” There was no feeling, no intent nor even any knowledge in the “mind” of the program of what it was doing. It was solving a math problem by randomly guessing combinations until it arrived at some solutions which met those design criteria.

It also wasn’t “painted” in any way that requires effort, training or involves risk of messing up a brush stroke. I had to search for a while to find out how the actual, physical paintings are created, but the AI only generates an image file. It’s then fed into a fancy laserjet printer which is set up to print on canvas instead of paper. Then a human being took it out and mounted it in a frame. An artist could never reproduce one of their painting precisely by hand. There would always be at least minute differences. Obvious could crank out the same portrait a thousand times and they would all be the same.

This isn’t even artificial intelligence as near as I can see. And it’s certainly not fine art. You could switch out the canvas for paper and it would be making interesting posters. If some rich collector wants to go to Christie’s and lay out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for one of these creations, that’s up to them. But save up your money, because Obvious can produce thousands more for you in no time at all.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

President Trump Responds to Manafort Conviction “Nothing to do With Russian Collusion” (VIDEO)

Published

on

By

“NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIAN COLLUSION” – President Trump

President Trump responded Tuesday afternoon after a jury found his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on 8 felony counts.

The President spoke to the press shortly after he landed in Charleston, West Virginia as he headed to his rally.

“It doesn’t involve me but I still feel really sad…you know it’s a very sad thing that happened. This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion…this has absolutely nothing to do…this is a witch hunt and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said.

President Trump also said that he feels very bad for Paul Manafort. “He worked for Bob Dole, he worked for Ronald Reagan…” Trump continued.

The President didn’t answer any questions about his former lawyer Michael Cohen who just pleaded guilty to 8 counts; his plea deal includes 3-5 years jail time.

VIDEO:


After four days of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict on 8 counts and could not make a decision on 10 counts in the tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort.

Judge Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 counts. The jury found Manafort guilty on 8 counts.

Both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort were hunted down by Mueller and his thugs because of their association with Donald Trump.

We currently have a two-tiered justice system because AG Sessions is AWOL.

One set of laws for Trump and his supporters and another set of laws for Democrats and Clinton-Deep State cronies.

H/T: Zero Hedge

Leave a comment

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Close