Film Video Of The Day: The Obama Deception

And for my final and 100th post for the month, seriously (this is out of hand) I present this video by way of my stalker "Shmeetz."

Conspiratorial in orientation, one can't help but raise an eyebrow. Is there an element of truth to some of it?  Yes. For example, the appointments made by Obama are correct.What I find interesting this is the sort of stuff American presidents once fought hard against a long time ago. They were always concerned about the power of industrials, bankers, corporations and the military concentrating and running against the best interests of the Republic. 

The film brings into light all the usual suspects in conspiracy circles with the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, and Council on Foreign Relations (all run by criminals according to the film) and their role in hijacking American democracy and constructing a New World Order (also referred to as the Anglo-American empire) run by bankers in its place. It kicks it up a notch by asserting Obama, in a long line of Presidents since Kennedy, is the biggest puppet leader of them all. Hence, the title the "Obama Deception."

Most of us who follow American politics know most of what's mentioned here. Some of it valid, some of it really conspiratorial - Lyndon LaRouche style. But...as the song once said...There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear...

Kroooooooogman Draws Geologist Ire

Paul Kroooooooooooooogman is at it again. For a guy who writes for the Noo Yawk Times to say he saw "not a single smoking gun" with the Hadley email Scandal is hilarious. And not in a ha-ha kind of way.

Look buster, leave the flagrant commentary to ME. 

I don't know much. I freely admit this. However, I know when something is serious and when it's not. The things disclosed in those emails is not something that should be sneered at - in any discipline. If these people who are supposed to represent intellectual thought and freedom act like this then, yeah, I'd say it's a serious issue. But that's just me.

Anyway, I'm glad to see some scientists aren't acting aloof like Kroooooooooooogman - and he's not the only one to be sure. Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook is incensed at Kroooooooooogman's poor attempt at "balance" commentating. 

Krooooooooogman, it should be noted, is an economist - one that lobbied hard for bail outs. He's not a climate expert. Furthermore, as a scholar he should exhibit more wisdom. He should know better.


All I know, remember I know little, is that some people stand to make a MINT off the redirecting of national economies - if it comes to pass.


Climategate: More Than Meets The Eye

I love listening and reading people who are smarter than me on various subjects. Energy topics being one of them. Here's an alternative take on Climategate by Mobjectivist. 

It certainly opened my weary eyes.

Quote Of Da Day

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

Thomas Jefferson

It's almost as if the original and prescient men who crafted and inked the new Republic were skeptical of its future.

Needing To Change Our Ways

Big picture take on peak oil...from1976. Very long but very worth it.

Speaking of oil, I like to drop by The Oil Drum from time to time to remind me of my ignorance about an important subject. This article takes Washington Post columnist (and conservative) George Will to task. I especially like the discussion below the essay - especially the analogy to, of all things, baseball!

Conclusion? Energy consciousness and efficiency is the key.


Batman Is Turkish

Did you...

Did you know there's a city in Turkey that goes by the name of Batman? 

I looked for Robin but to no avail.

Incidentally, can anyone tell me the difference between the Turkish language and Turkmen (Turkmenistan)?

Slow night. 

Liberalism In The West Under Strain

Interesting article from Dissent magazine about the disaster facing the left in Italy. Sounds like Italy isn't the only place the left struggles. Ask the left here in North America.

LEFT-WING voters in Italy have indeed had ample reason to feel betrayed by their political leaders. Over the last fifteen years alone, the Italian left has been divided into a confusing multiplicity of parties, umbrella organizations, and electoral coalitions that puts to shame the struggle between the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front, as portrayed in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. Yet, all these groupings have one thing in common: for reasons of both programmatic lethargy and persistent corruption, no recent left-wing party has managed to convince and mobilize its base.
 Didn't I once compare the Democratic party to Animal House? Yes,I did.
Notwithstanding these moderate achievements, the PD has had its fair share of trouble, too. For a start, center-left politicians, though less corrupt than Berlusconi, have hardly given voters reason to believe that the problem of political corruption and links to organized crime doesn’t apply to them at all.

In this light, the most frightening thing about Berlusconi’s unopposed success is not that it is owed exclusively to special Italian factors. To be sure, both the degeneration of Italy’s public discourse and the inefficacy of the Italian left are far more extreme than in any other large Western European country. But this, sadly, might be emblematic of the growing crisis on the European left.
 And the North American left?And
 In a similar vein, the PD, mostly to cover up its internal divisions, continues to copy Berlusconi’s pleasant-sounding, content-free generalities. The party program on the PD website is full of well-intentioned wishes for “safer schools” or “to protect and value the Italian cultural and artistic heritage,” but sparse on details and lacking in overall vision. Posters that the PD plastered all over Rome at the time of the conflict in Gaza sum this up perfectly. They lamely read, “War in Palestine: Try for Peace.”
Sounds like the Liberal party of Canada. As for Obama, the problem is that he's plan for change was stalled from the get-go. If your staff contains too many elements from the previous administration and is stacked with patronage appointees, then how can you foster change? That's why it's all talk and no action. Obama can only go so far.
In the end, Berlusconi’s ascendancy is owed not only to the shambolic state of the Italian left; more worryingly, the shambolic state of the Italian left is, in turn, owed partially to the toothless political program of the European left.
Why are conservatives and liberals dominating the debate anyway? That's what classical liberals, libertarians and socialists would like to know!


Fiction And Reality One And The Same?

People are fucking crazy.

First, we have an asshole father and his stupid wife put their son in danger by parading him in a balloon in a publicity stunt. Why? Motive? Because they wanted a bloody reality television show. Then, we have a couple wiggle and meander their way into the White House. Again, the aim was to angle for a reality show.

People are fucking crazy.

Ave Maria And Amazing Grace With Luciano Pavarotti, Bobby McFerrin, Judy Collins And Elvis Presley

Music. Beautiful. Astonishing. Deep in your soul.

WKRP Owns Thanksgiving

With American Thanksgiving come and gone, I thought it appropriate to post this.

For me, WKRP in Cincinnati is one of the all-time great sitcoms. The 'Turkey Drop' is hands down one of the funniest episodes I ever saw on any show. The way Mr. Carlson, Herb and Les were so proud of themselves while the others looked on with suspicion was priceless. The character interaction was outstanding.

Mr. Carlson: As God as my witness I thought turkey's could fly!"

Heck, I wasn't sure they could fly myself the first time I watched this show. 

Anyway, that line is tattooed in my mind. The show changed my image of thanksgiving forever.

Inspiration Is Fleeting - Sometimes

Inspiration. What's your inspiration? It's a standard question to ask an artist, an actor or whomever else you care to insert in here. The usual response is "she's my inspiration" and "Bela Lugosi is my inspiration." And so forth.

Me? I really don't have one. Sure I get spurts of inspiration but it escapes me quickly. A bolt of inspiration has little weight with me for some reason. Inspiration, therefore, is fleeting on my time.

It's like Chinese food. It fills you up but one hour later your stomach is grumbling and rumbling.

People do all sorts of things to inspire themselves. Hang a picture of an enemy on the wall, listen to their favorite musician, read a preferred philosopher, eat a hamburger - whatever.

I just do it. Swoosh!

No clue why or how but I just do. I'm not saying I don't get inspired, I'm just saying it takes a lot to inspire me and when it does come, it feels, I don't know, empty. I know inspiration comes in different forms and degrees. I've been known to watch a cooing show and head straight for the kitchen to challenge my culinary abilities.

But. There's one actor who keeps popping in my head. Bill Murray. For three movies: Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation and Rushmore. Those movies, including the writers, do enter my mind from time to time. Enough for me to have written a television script - which was a semi-finalist in a contest run by Hollywood writer Larry Brody. Stan Lee was a judge. There isn't a kinder man, speaking of Brody, willing to help a writer more than this guy. "Brode" always answers emails and treats his students with incredible respect. For that, even if I go nowhere, I will always be grateful for meeting him.

There are other movies that left an impact but I don't want to deviate this post into another direction. Lots of musicians offer inspiration too so I won't bother with that either for the same reason mentioned. 

There's another source for inspiration. Everyday people who never get a sniff of notoriety or attention for extraordinary acts they perform. Some have to battle through life because of an affliction, others save lives, and then there are the parents who have to face a sick child - indeed a sick kid is the most heart-wrenching thing to watch. Whatever they may be, it consistently keeps me in awe of the human spirit.

In a way, now I think of it, it's the last paragraph that led to my idea for a script. Dealing with life is not always self-evident and along the way we need help.

This is where I go "The Secret" on everyone and get into positive thinking: The script will be picked up by a network. Ah-oom! Ah-Oom! Ong nava dem doo!

If it doesn't get picked up, so be it. The power that be, that is the man upstairs (he keeps moving furniture around), deemed I had another path to follow.

Reporting from up above, I'm The Commentator.


Obama In Search Of Something

A couple of criticisms hurled at Prez Obama befuddle me. One, is that he's traveled more than any President in history in his first 10 months and the is he apparently plays too much golf. Make that three criticisms, he's dithering on Afghanistan.

Let's hit the first point. I don't get it. If you apply it in the context of global warming then, yeah, I suppose you can say he's leaving one bad ass carbon footprint. If not, maybe it's a situational thing and it has led for him to take all these trips. We know he's the kind of guy who likes to take on too much too fast so maybe he's racing to leave his mark. Who knows? Maybe these trips will all lead somewhere - figuratively speaking. At least he slowed down the talk show circuit. Let him govern for the love of God.

As for golf, I read somewhere President Eisenhower faced the same criticism. If the beloved and loveable Ike can be criticized, then everyone else is game! People will find anything to attack. It's the way of the sword.

Now. Afghanistan. Perhaps he's taking too long. Voters were led to believe he had a plan, or at least, a philosophical outlook worked out within a practical policy dealing with what pretty much is a civil war. We're finding out he's not so sure of himself. What he thought is not jiving with the reality.

He should show decision making prowess either way. Again, I turn to Ike. Ike had no problem pulling out of Korea when he saw the war had run its course into a stalemate. If Ike, a decorated Republican General can do it, so can any leader. If Obama in his heart feels Afghanistan is a no-go then he should follow through on his conviction. If not, and he said he wants to "finish" the job, then by golly, show it. Either way, there are going to be consequences.

Obama wants to focus on health care reform and cap and trade. The mood of the country is not for this but rather the economy and the war on terror. Say what you want, but Bush, at least, you knew the bill of goods with him. Obama wears a suede pair of shows, velvet gloves and sleek slacks but you have no clue if the emperor has any clothes.

He can be a great President. He just needs to find le palle. Les couilles. Cajones. Balls.

Je Me Souviens

I've developed a mean, awful streak in me. In my own corrupt way, I can write. Some of you have told me this. So have professors and journalists. Even my little pet hamster through Morse code. It's not over-confidence that permits me to write this but a combination of personal observation reading other people's work and what professional writers have told me. Am I an award winning author? Who fucken knows? I never tried it. I should but I probably won't it looks like. My dreams are colliding with reality now.

They, all those life advisors from teachers to friends, say keep writing and knocking hard and suddenly, magically even, all will unblock. Keep chippin' away friend, I'm told.

For those of you out there who hit the tarmac everyday looking to be noticed or hired, you'll understand what I'm about to say. I get the "keep working at it" angle because life is all about timing. If you stop, the timing may pass you by. However, it gets really, really grating when you apply somewhere, after analyzing and concluding, "Sure, I can do this. I'm certainly ahead of the curve than this douche" only to get mysteriously rejected by some online editor named "Erica" or "Eric" 10 years your junior and with half the experience.

I know for a fact not too many editors have the knowledge I have. I know this because I've dealt and spoke with a few and so far I haven't met one who can match wits. "Man, you know too much!" one girl put it. But that didn't stop her from trying to restructure a previously published article. I politely told her, "Hey, if it made a magazine it's good enough for a blog."

We're told to "grin and thank you" every rejection. Grace under fire, don't burn your bridges and all that. Wise words. I know I'm pretty laid back when it comes to stuff like that. My ego is kept in check by my humble, sense of practical realism. I'm fairly confident, but I certainly don't believe I'm smarter than the next guy. Wait. The guy next to me is pretty stupid but the girl next to him. Self-doubt and curiosity drive me.

However, I'm starting to crack. I'm a tad fed up with being turned down when I know the content of my ideas are original and can be properly conveyed.

Recently, I applied to examiner.com. "What do you have to lose!" a friend told me. He's always saying that. He suggested, as an informed soccer fan, I put my knowledge of the sport to work on a big site. After perusing their soccer section, I figured, hey, the soccer coverage can use a hand. I played the game for 25 years at a high level, write about it all the time and even wrote pieces European fans enjoyed. To boot, I did local work for a local sports radio show during the 2006 World Cup giving my two cents about the matches. It was a success. I remember hearing one caller say, "Hey, that Super Sandro knows his shit. Get him on more often!"

My sports writing and knowledge is pretty solid. I definitely know the history of sports and tend to connect it with contemporary issues - sprinkled in with humor when necessary. I offloaded my sports writing to Blogcritics and Intersportswire (which is currently absorbing a partnership with a sports management and marketing company that enjoyed our content) and must say, again, I'm satisfied so far. Much more needs to be worked out but it's blogging so wrinkles are part of the game. I get emails from readers from time to time telling me how they enjoyed the "tone and flow" of the work as one film maker put it.

Yet, somehow, someone at the Examiner decided I couldn't "get on board."

For the first time, I yelled at the computer, "Fuck you! You guys kidding me?" I even pulled up a soccer article from their site that was basically weak in structure and language. The word "looked" was used three times in two sentences for cripes sake! I don't write that way. Call it an irritant but please, avoid using the same word, especially one that is vague like "looked," often.

Meanwhile, here I am, researching Atletico Bilbao and the Montreal Canadiens, Hungarian soccer in the 1950s and evolution of tactics, and they say they don't need this shit? Moreover, I was applying to cover the Champions League - a tournament I know very well. My goal was to cover it and write it for a North American audience.

No dice. Amazing. It's not like I was applying to write for the Times. 

Maybe I didn't fill out their fucking "tell us about yourself" boxes right. I hate those things. I hate them because I can never effectively transfer my broad knowledge there. The only way, and I''m convinced of this, I'll ever get a fair shot is if I actually speak to someone and hold a relevant conversation.

Anyway. When I do make it. *Insert American Idol nutwhack job here. You know, the type who screams I'll make it you'll see! Even though they possess singing skills of a rat in heat*

When I do make it, I'll go Michael Jordan on everyone and remember all the people who "cut" me for lesser talents. The memory knives are being sharpened as we speak.


Of Bombs And Political Correctness: A Coffee Connection

With Italian cafes being in the news recently for being targeted and attacked by assailants with Molotov cocktails, it reminded me of a time not so long ago. Not as far back as Star Wars but far enough.

Years ago, say nine years, my sister was looking to do a local film on cafes; specifically Italian cafes and bars. Her goal was to explore coffee bars and its roles in a male dominated environment.

Cafe shops have a long history in the Mediterranean. From Turkey to France, the cafe played a fascinating role in society. Italy in particular had a huge hand in developing the coffee culture in Europe. For example, the Cafe Procopio, the first in Paris, was founded by an Italian - ooops, a Sicilian.

Coffee - or espresso - is synonymous with Italian culture obsessed with maintaining quality on anything related to food and beverage. This reality and fact travelled across the Atlantic and into the bars of Montreal.

This is where the story shifts a little. She asked me to write the script and I went along with the camera crew to various bars. Yes, we did encounter some characters along the way. By the end of three days of visiting shops, I had probably 18 espressos in me. I never experiences such, erm, heightened awareness. I spent quite a bit of time researching the history of coffee and its origins.

To take our footage to the next level we needed money and this is where an arts grant came in. The CBC, or some division attached to it (I forget the story) was considering taking part but with one hitch: They wanted to have women baristas involved. When my sister, after realizing they were out of their fricken minds, tried to explain these are not the sort of places women frequent, the people involved balked.

Imagine that. They wanted to bend the reality of culture to fit a politically correct mold.

I still have the script somewhere - I think. But the film was probably burned.

Pilgrims Safe For Now

With American Thanksgiving upon that great nation, I have to ask:

Does anyone hate the Pilgrims?

I mean, with revisionism in full gear and political correctness rearing its nutty head when it comes to holidays, I'm surprised no one has attacked the Pilgrim legacy...yet.

Bloodied Lip Of Terrorist Lands Navy Seals In Court

You know, years from now (and I hope it's waaayyyy off), when historians look back on the fall of the West, they'll point to stories like this.

More Things I Hate

When Canadians say shit like, "Why are Americans commenting on Canadian affairs?" Or when Quebecers assert, "Why are Canadians talking about Quebec? They don't live here. Mes tes affaires!"

Both are stupid assertions. Here's why. Canadians, like me, always involved themselves in American affairs. It's one of those things. In fact, the entire world has something to say about America. It's a national hobby, if not obsession for some nations. America instills that kind of passion among people. So for a Canadian to ask Americans not to comment on Canada and to then turn around and do it themselves is hypocrisy. Same with Quebecers who don't hold any punches when it comes to their opinions on both Canada and America. Tit for tat.

The bigger point is how parochial such comments really are. Sometimes outsiders have something relevant to say. No?

Dances With Salad

Just saw a commercial for salad. The type you buy prepared in a bag at the grocery store. It showed people dancing while holding the package.

It made me wonder.

Who fucking dances with a bag of salad?


My Blog Isn't Relevant. Big Shit.

A commenter, let's call him Vigilante, left a comment in my previous post that helped me realize something about my blog.

For years I've struggled to find an identity for this blog but how can I expect to find one when I myself can't define who I am? So, in a way, this blog is a reflection of my personality. I still haven't figured out how to tap into my "McSweeney" side.  I know it's there. Like that line from The Eagles in One of these nights:

I've been searching for the daughter of the devil himself
I've been searching for an angel in white
I've been waiting for a woman who's a little of both
And I can feel her but she's nowhere in sight

One of these nights I'll indeed nail this son of a bitch.

As result of my identity crisis, I've stopped "marketing" this blog. It went nowhere. I've come to terms with the fact my opinions have limited appeal. Every damn place, like Dmoz recently, I've applied to has turned me down. I don't know why. It's not like all the blogs on their directory are blowing minds away. Directories, publishers and whatever else expect tight, non-free form type of blogs; blogs with a clear sense of purpose so as to be able to "sell" them. I can't deliver that.

I just don't fit that mold. I never really fit into anything anyway so why should it be any different with blogs? So if my posts seem scattered or deemed "not relevant" all I can say is too bad - or, fuck you. I write what comes from my soul. Not with what I think some asshole wants me to write about.

I guess that's why I love this site a lot. Fire Jay Mariotti bloggers are real sports iconoclasts. They don't give a shit about popularity or seemed all that concerned about needing to present their blog in a "marketable" manner. I'm heading that way with this blog.

Which leads me to think...are our fates already written? To quote another rock band. This time The Kinks and  Last of the steam powered trains:

I'm the last of the good old renegades.
All my friends are all middle class and grey,
But I live in a museum, so I'm okay.
I'm the last of the good old fashioned steam-powered trains.

Political Assassinations In Canada

In a previous post I wrote about the assassination attempt on former President Harry Truman.

That's an American story. What about Canada?

To those who are aware of our history, the most notorious assassination was that of journalist and politician Thomas D'arcy McGee.

By 1866, his political star was fading. He was not invited to the London Conference that year. While he was elected to the House of Commons in 1867 by a slim majority, he was not included in Macdonald's first post-Confederation Cabinet. By 1868, McGee was planning to leave politics for a job in the civil service. He also hoped to spend more time on his writing and poetry. However, he was not given the chance. On April 7, 1868, McGee attended a late-night session in the House of Commons, where he gave a passionate speech in favour of national unity. Returning home, he was shot and killed as he entered the door of his rooming house on Sparks Street in Ottawa. It is generally believed that McGee was the victim of a Fenian plot. However, Patrick James Whelan, who was convicted and hanged for the crime, was never accused of being a Fenian by the Crown prosecutor. McGee was given a state funeral.
The only other assassination on Canadian soil happened during the FLQ crisis when Pierre Laporte was murdered by homegrown Quebecois terrorists.

Here's a list of political assassinations in various countries. Some may think America would lead the list but they don't. While there have been 17 murders there, Japan leads with 30. England witnessed 16. T

Global Warming Scam?

While at this point I've grown numb to the global warming/climate change debate, I can't say that I'm at all surprised of this story.

Excerpt from the piece:

1. Prominent environmental scientists organize a boycott of scientific journals if those journals publish scholarly material from global warming dissidents.
2. The scientists then orchestrate attacks on the dissidents because of their lack of scholarly material published in scientific journals.
3. The scientists block from the UN's report on global warming evidence that is harmful to the anthropogenic global warming consensus.
4. The scientists, when faced with a freedom of information act request for their correspondence and data, delete the correspondence and data lest it be used against them.
5. The scientists fabricate data when their data fails to prove the earth is warming. In fact, in more than one case, scientists engaged in lengthy emails on how to insert additional made up data that would in turn cause their claims to stand out as legitimate.
Despite this, and it is sad, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be more environmentally friendly and made aware of our behavior and how it affects the planet.

Linking Health Care Reform To Small Business Growth

It's been argued President Obama doesn't understand business. With this comment, he only adds to this suspicion:

“Many entrepreneurs can’t get financing to start a small business in the first place. And many more are discouraged from even trying because of the crushing costs of healthcare – costs that have forced too many small businesses to cut benefits, shed jobs, or shut their doors for good,” Obama said.

His right on the first part. The same problem exists in Canada. Banks and other lenders of interests (excluding mobsters) have type cast industries and only lend to certain business projects. Years ago I went to the Business Development of Canada (BDC) which apparently has less rigid rules than the banks, to discuss a grocery store idea I had (it still remains a relevant concept). The girl in front of me couldn't have been more blunt, if not arrogant. "We don't lend out to grocery stores" was her response. She wasn't interested in the idea. I tried to engage her but to no avail. It left a sour taste in my mouth that's for sure. I know the risks involved but I had two mean with over 75 years of experience in the business ready to help out. The idea was shelved and forgotten.

Obama's comment, to me, is a cynical political ploy. In addition, it's a specious assertion. When people enter business two things are paramount: salaries (if you employ workers) and paying off debt for a business loan (assuming there is one). Generally, it takes three to five years before a business sees a profit. A person or persons entering an entrepreneurial endeavor aren't looking at health care plans and their costs. It's far down the ladder. Once their business reaches a stable maturation period only then will they begin to entertain health care plans.

Health care costs are a viable expenditure, Obama is right, however, reforming it (under the premise that it's all the fault of insurance companies) won't spur small-business growth. People don't say, "Gee, health care costs are down, let's get into the widget business, honey!" To even remotely suggest this shows lack of business knowledge.

In any event, he's absolutely correct to demand banks begin to lend to small businesses; to "stand by creditworthy businesses" as he put.

It's asinine that a small, profitable business ready to expand and hire has to beg for money.Especially to those banks who received a bail out funded by taxpayers. Meanwhile, the government and banks keep doling out cash for loser companies in losing industries. That's the corrosive-ness of believing in protecting big businesses at the expense of everything else.

Start at the bottom. Start small. Think big.

Small business enterprises come from the will and gut of the people. From its talent and creativeness. It magically happens. You don't need government bureaucracies to "create" it. People are their own motivators. Just get out of the way.


Measuring The IQ Of Countries

Is it possible to rate nations for their IQ?

Doctor Richard Lynn has tried and his results have been controversial. 

The top 10 countries are: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland. The United States is in 17th spot and Canada 22nd. Great Britain is 11th and France 17th.

An IQ of 85-115 is considered average. 116-144 above average. 145 and up is gifted. For the record, The Commentator took an IQ test with International IQ Society and scored 128. Or was it 126? I know it's in the 120s. I can't remember. So much for that.

Truman Once Survived Assassination Attempt

On November 1, 1950 two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselo Torresola, attempted to assassinated President Harry Truman at his temporary residence at the Blair House. It failed and one officer, Leslie Coffelt, was killed in the line of duty. However, before he died, Coffelt managed to kill Torresola with one shot to the head. Coffelt is buried at Arlington National Center.

Collazo was arrested and sentenced to be executed but was eventually commuted to a life sentence by Truman himself. President Jimmy Carter pardoned (clemency) Collazo in 1979. 

Here's a list of Presidents who offered commuted sentences and pardons.

Saturday Night Live Shows Moxy

Every Saturday night for years, when I was home of course, the natural thing to do around 11:30pm was to flip the channel over to NBC and watch Saturday Night Live. I tell ya. I've seen a lot of SNL skits - probably more than my share. However, over the last couple of years I haven't really tuned in. Not sure why. This past Saturday I wasn't around but I wish I was. SNL took President Obama to task and quite frankly, from how I read this, it's pretty much how I see it.

Spend to save money? Please. Who runs their household that way? If you do, you're an idiot and explains why you want the government to help you at every turn.

I've spoken of his foreign policy - if you can call it that - in the past so I won't here.

I wonder if the boobs over at CNN will waste their time and "fact check" the sketch.

On a side note, unfortunately, we in Canada can't view clips in Hulu. Very irritating. Very.

We're Not Dying Waiting In Line

I've grown a tad tired of hearing conservatives say people "die while waiting because they couldn't see a doctor" in Canada's (or any public health system), national health program. 

Is it expensive for what we get? I say yes. Are costs rising? Apparently so. Is there mismanagement. Yup. Do we have doctor shortages? You bet. Are wait times long? Depending for what in which province, yeah, too much for our taste. Do we wait long in hospitals and doctor officers (sometimes over four hours)? You bet we do. Is the system compassionate? Nope. Does the government have too much say and power? Damn straight they do. Do we lack access to advanced medical equipment? On a per capita basis, we fail on this point.

Are choices restricted? Yes. This is my biggest beef. If I don't want to go public for anything and I can afford it, the government should mind its business. It's not just for patients choice is restricted. Doctors are sometimes forced to go work where they don't want to and in Ontario, for example, the government prevents perfectly able doctors to perform certain surgeries if they dare go private. In Quebec, immigrant doctors are not allowed to practice here. We have doctors shortages and have a talented base of doctors but won't allow them to get to work. Instead, they go off and be RESP reps and taxi drivers. Real normal.

However, two things to keep in mind: One, despite all the illogical problems, it IS, I admit, a nice perk to have. And two, to get back to the criticism by pop American conservatives, serious illness and cases are taken immediately. They never did provide the stats for Canadians dying in line. Moreover, it would behoove us to track and disclose how sick some people are while waiting. For all we know, terminally ill people are included in this argument. Anyway, while it does happen, it doesn't happen often as far as I know - and I've been critical of our system.

It's also a bit of a straw man put up by conservatives. What, Americans don't die while waiting for surgery? From what I gather, Americans have no problems with access - if they can get it. So what's the difference/ We come from angle and they from another. People die. It's a fact of life and no system in the world can protect against this. There are so many unknown and known human variables it's impossible to account for each.

It all comes down to what trade off you're willing to tolerate. Some people are willing to pay whatever it takes to take care of its weakest links. Unfortunately, and this doesn't apply to just health, the list includes irresponsible, selfish and clueless people.

That's what the welfare state pushes. Personally, I would love to foster more community oriented clinics and hospitals free of government intervention. Alas, this may be unrealistic on my part. Or is it?

More Rock Bands: The Who And The Kinks

Since I spoke about rock now I'm on a roll.

Everyone makes their case for "greatest" rock band ever. I know a few who pushed for The Who.

Quick story. Years and eons ago, we incorporated a friend into our gang. He was from the island of Montreal and moved into the 'burbs. One day, he had a party bridging his gang from the Dago parts of the city with his new found buddies. It was a clash of civilizations of sorts. I'll never forget one guy who sat mute for pretty much the whole night under an LA Lakers flag. He was wearing a t-shirt with a Union Jack and The Who impressed on it.

Then. It came on. 'Won't get fooled again.' All of a sudden he came alive. Like Frankenstein. Mimicking Keith Moon with a mock drum play. His other friend, known to have a framed the underwear of a stripper which he subsequently hanged over his bed, stood up as if listening to the national anthem.

It was all so...fucking wild.

When I spotted this video it made me smile. It was so raw. The Who were all energy. I'm not one to say "they don't make 'em like that" anymore. But seriously, man did they break the mold with some of these bands.

Baba O' Reilly

But many a music enthusiast I've met have often rated The Kinks, authors of Lola, You really got me and All day and all of the night, high and among the most under rated of bands:

Un Bagel SVP!

From the Dumb-Dumb files.

From The Gazette:

Party president Jonathan Valois kicked off the debate with a comment that reflected the mood: There is too much English in Montreal.

"When I can't buy a bagel in French, it bugs me," Valois said at a morning plenary session. "And it's part of daily life for Montrealers."
Avez-vous un pain juif?

*Under his breath: Maudit immigrant*

Non-sequitur: What "bugs" me is that my neighbor keeps hanging clothes on her clothes line even when it rains. 

The "We're Not Dubya" Administration

I don't know. I'm not a legal expert - let alone know the difference between military and civilian courts and their role in history - but the more I watch Holder and read people defending the move to move terrorists for civilian trial in NYC, the more I wonder if it makes any sense. Maybe legal reasons can be posited but is it wise?

The thing I really, really don't get is why are both Holder and Obama saying those charged with be convicted? Obama says on one side of his mouth don't "prejudge" yet he shoots his mouth off saying they won't get off. Isn't that, like, tainting the process? Again, not a lawyer, just a douchetard blogger, but I do watch Law & Order and one thing I foresee is a lot of motions to suppress.

Moreover, if they are acquitted Holder said they won't let them go. So. He's going to circumnavigate the law? Isn't this the sort of stuff that made Bush hated?

Those taking the higher moral ground will assert the Bush administration wrongfully apprehended and detained these people in the first place. Perhaps. But, why, and this is how I'm beginning to see it, put the previous administration on trial? Why? To show the world justice in America is open and transparent?

Holder didn't impress me at all. For a defense lawyer, he's struggling to eloquently explain his decision.

Criminals love this sort of logic. 

I sure hope the circus doesn't come to NYC. Right now. Every policy enacted seems to come with a bumper sticker that reads: Clueless We Are. Bur We're Not George W. Bush.


Which brings me to Obama's so-so Asia trip. Americans are told his approach is laying the groundwork for...something, something. Der Spiegel, hardly a right-wing outfit, is having none of the Mr. Nice guy act. It's getting him nowhere they believe.

Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament? Not an issue for the Chinese.

The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.
Here's the thing. Obama thinks...a lot. He says a lot of nice things. His wife too, when she once said "she was finally proud to be American."

Maybe Obama's weakness stems from the fact he has misread American - heck general - history all along? The world is not interested in his mini-biographies inserted in each speech anymore. They got the picture.

Obama: And our commitment to, as I stand on the majestic Great wall of China, I'm reminded of my father and my half brothers who are scattered all over the world. I'm proof of what l'uomo universali is all about. Michelle, stand up baby, is my comrade. My distant but intimate lover. Every morning, we sit together sharing scrambled eggs sprinkled with paprika and draw on a piece of paper how we will bring peace to the world...

Chinese: Hey, he tawk a lot. Say lots nice tings. But. PAY ME NOW!


Harper Should Be More Open

I know reporters can bend the truth but  he should just take questions from reporters.

In Search Of Stillness

Canadian author Yann Martel is perturbed. On a local radio program last week, he spoke about his personal intellectual crusade against Prime Minister Harper. What about, you ask? Martel, oddly enough, is upset Harper refuses to tell him what he's reading.

You betcha.

And the motivation for it? Martel is not happy about Harper's decision to cut some funding to some arts programs. What kind of man would do such a thing? Hence, I must know what he's reading. If I were Harper I would have emailed back, "I'm reading 'Mad.'"

As far as I can tell he's formulated the following equation: Art = humanism and enlightenment. That Harper doesn't admit he reads leaves Martel uncomfortable. He wants to know more about Harper's moments of "stillness." Until Harper "proves" to him he has no choice but to conclude Harper is but a fricken frigid conservative with ice veins running through his dead corpse. At least, that's how I interpreted it.

Unsurprisingly, given Doctor Hope's symbolic to liberals, Martel kept harping about how much Obama reads and how he discloses it publicly. I wonder how "humanistic" Obama was when he turned down the Dalai Lama (hero to all) when the poor spiritual monk asked to meet with him in Washington.

As Mr. Martel kept talking about Harper, I kept thinking to myself,  "So wha? Wha happened?"

Some of the smartest people I ever met were dumb as crooked screws. They weren't grounded in any realism; constantly living in an abstract world of moving targets. Point out critical fallacies in their arguments? Good luck. What passes for facts to them passes a logical fallacies to others.

Martel does have a point about reading. Reading is crucial in the development of our minds and by extension world view. Unfortunately, some of what he was conveying came off as typical self-absorbed liberal presumptuousness that passes as critical thinking. In a nutshell, he takes the obtuse position that people in the arts are more humanistic to life than - well - conservatives.

To find, les mots justes, erm, let's see. How can I put this? Oh. Bull shit!

I've met many artists labeling themselves as humanists but were really judgmental hipster cranks who were all too willing to censure and wail against opinions that ran against their grain.

At one point, a caller asked, "why are so many artists left-wing?" Martel replied, "what makes you think I'm left-wing?" The host of the show then asked, "are you?" Martel then proceeded to make the following vague claim, "I'm a "small l" liberal. I have a humanist outlook." Whack!

Which begs the question: Can a "small c" conservative be  humanistic?

Again. Bull shit.

Whenever I hear this sort of stuff, I'm reminded of the movie 'Demolition Man.' If we don't watch ourselves we'll become exactly like the peace-loving-understanding, naifs with no sense of humor living in a world of self-delusion. A world where swearing is "verbal harassment" and caffeine, alcohol contact sports and smoking are illegal because "they're not good for you." In other words, a friendly police state run by a benign big brother.

Harper is the Prime Minister of a nation; in this case, Canaduh. If he deems it appropriate to cut a few dead beat arts programs (of which I've witnessed first hand how useless they really are), then so be it. It won't kill Canadian culture and if it were to be the case, that didn't say much about our culture to begin with.

Harper owes Martel nothing. If he chooses to not answer that's his business.

Oh, one last thing. Harper plays the piano. He played "With a little help from my friends." Google it. Moreover, he's part of the Society for Hockey Research which lead him to this.

Bestill my revolving mind. Indeed, the head spins. 

Dems Inch Closer To Their Dream

Why are the democrats allergic to medical malpractice (Tort) reform? Saying that it only accounts for $57 billion in spending is a bit of a straw man. Surely the threat of lawsuits is a corrosive endeavor that permeates across many lines, no?

2000 pages and something as logical as this is ignored?

Three states, Connecticut, Maryland and Mississippi aren't waiting around for the Feds.


Democrats get the needed 60 votes to move forward on health care reform.

The bill would spend $848 billion over 10 years to extend insurance coverage to 31 million more people while cutting the federal budget deficit by $127 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In addition, the measure would cut Medicare spending by more than $400 billion, raise more than $370 billion in taxes and enact sweeping health insurance regulations.

I don't know why having universal health care is considered "civilized." Anyway, Obama has struggled on foreign policy and the economy, so one out of three ain't bad. Although he'd better hope and pray the economy turns around.



Man. The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were wicked, eh?

My uncle, a man of The Beatles and who witnessed that era first hand, believes Exile on Main Street was their best album because it reflected their blues roots. 

Let it Loose:

Sweet Virginia:

Loving Cup live here.

Tumbling Dice live here.

Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown:


And the mighty Hey, hey what can I do?

The Beatles Forever

Our friends over at Skeptical Eye have rekindled an age old debate. One I know my friends and I have argued about through the years. Who is the greatest rock band in history? The question itself is overwhelming on its own without setting a defined set of criteria. Still, generally, the usual suspects remain The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.

I said "rock band" not rock acts. So Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley and whoever else I'm missing are not part of the discussion.

Bruce Springsteen on his own is a no-go but is he with the E Street Band?

There is no right answer. Of Course. It's similar to any debate in pro sports. Pele, di Stefano or Maradona? Gretzky or Orr or Howe or Lemieux? Jim Brown or Barry Sanders? Jim Rice or Don Hutson? Joe Montana, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? The only two sports that seem to have a clear king are basketball with Michael Jordan and baseball with Babe Ruth. With respect to Wilt Chamberlin, Ty Cobb and anyone else you care to mention.

So it is with rock' n roll. In sports, you can, up to a point objectively examine and determine athletic dominance. In music it's a little harder. I'm not sure music sales tell the entire story. What's left? Body of work, the influence a record leaves in future generations of musicians, impact on pop culture come to mind.

There have been many, many great, legendary rock bands in music history. Too many to name here. Some are even under rated. There's a question: Who are the most under rated band/and or singers of all time?

Anyway. For me? It's The Beatles. Hands down. I can't see how you can't say otherwise. Just in case, here are 20 reasons why.

Scratch the Stones and Zeppelin and you find Robert Johnson and the blues. This is not to disparage those bands. Far from it. Far, far from it. I love pulling out Exile or Zep's I anytime.


Scratch The Beatles and you find nothing like it in 20th century music.

Revolver is one of those perfect, magical albums very few rival. A pure masterpiece.

Couple Busted For Not...Tipping?

Just when you thought things couldn't get any kookier, this story comes along.


Quebec Looking To Enhance Resume On Rights

Speaking of illiberal thinking, Quebec is at it again.The PQ, the party that watches the world go by, wants to restrict access for French-Canadians to English day care centers.

To, you know, protect the culture.

Meanwhile, the political masters get to go to schools like the London School of Economics. Families are gonna one day wake up from their slumber and ask, why in the world is Jean Charest so perfectly bilingual? The government is going to deny my right to such a thing?

Illiberal Thinking

Believing the government can actually be a dirigiste of the economy is an illiberal belief. But we can't really grasp that which we cannot see. 

Indeed, with so many factors at play, it is difficult to predict whether or not the unemployment rate will peak early next year, as many are hoping. And regardless of when things really do turn around, Obama's defenders will doubtless say that it would have been even worse without the stimulus, just as we free market folks will say that the adjustment would have been quicker with less interference. Such is the difficulty with counterfactuals, which plague economics and all of the social sciences in which actual laboratory experiments cannot easily be carried out.

All the more important, then, to get the theory right, to make sure that it is internally coherent and externally helpful in explaining real world events. Austrian business cycle theory does a better job than other models of explaining booms and busts. The booms of malinvestment are caused by loose money, and the painful busts that sometimes drag on so long are caused by interference with the adjustment process, of which spurious job "creation" efforts are one example. This was the real story behind the Great Depression, and it is the real story now. If more members of Congress understood this, they would have had a better chance of saving their own jobs come next November's midterm elections.
As for 'Bama's "economic summit" coming up, expect more nonsense. Caroline Baum from Bloomberg.com captures the mindset of the administration:

Here’s the executive summary in case you missed it:
The crisis: “Inherited.”
The economy: “In terrible shape” (the inherited one).
The shocks to the system: “Larger than those that precipitated the Great Depression.”
The policy response: “Strong and timely.”
The efficacy of the policy response: a 2 to 3 percentage point addition to second-quarter growth; 3 to 4 percentage points in the third; and 160,000 to 1.5 million “jobs saved or created,” a made-up metric if there ever was one. (More on that later.)


Gun Registry Has Little Bang For Buck, Bucko

I don't know why Canadians are split on the gun registry. It doesn't work and the cost is obscene.

Next subject.

Reich's Take On Health Care Reform

From Robert Reich's blog:

I sincerely hope America gets genuine health reform and I hope it's stronger than what's emerging in the Senate. (Whoever voted for Joe Lieberman last time around ought to pray for continued good health.) I worry, though, that Obama's strategy may turn out to be a mistake comparable to Clinton's overemphasis on deficit reduction. Obama's focus on health care rather than jobs, when the economy is still so fragile and unemployment moving toward double digits, could make it appear that the administration has its priorities confused. While affordable health care is critically important to Americans, making a living is more urgent. Yet the administration's efforts to date on this more basic concern have been neither particularly visible nor coherent.

The current rate of unemployment would have been even higher were it not for the federal stimulus package, but the stimulus should have been much larger. Especially with the states still cutting back on spending and raising taxes, the federal stimulus will be barely enough to keep unemployment from hitting 11 percent by the middle of 2010. Yet as the rate of unemployment continued to rise faster and higher than the White House anticipated, Obama could not return to Congress to seek a larger stimulus. He was spending political capital on health care.
It's a question I've asked before: Why is health care being pushed when the economy is in distress? 

Geithner Clueless On The Economy; Mr. Obama's Neighborhood

I thought Geithner - you know, the guy who runs the IRS even though he never paid his taxes - had a "plan."

Man, these guys are clueless. Hence, blame Bush.

The Guardian chimes in with their take on Obama's niceness.

Someone should get him a cardigan.


Unprecedented Gamble

Lindsey Graham grills Eric Holder:

I Hate Study Groups

Or any group of any kind for that matter. They frightened me. Dealing with other people who wouldn't pull their weight forcing you and other high-achiever to assume their portion?

I remember one group for a management class I was forced into. No sooner had we sat down to discuss the work, two people were already angling to be "leaders." Smacking their stupid heads snap back and forth was, I admit, entertaining. Then there was the piece of work ditz who refused to do any work and after being confronted by the group, she actually blamed us for her failures.
Losers are everywhere friends.

Bah. Who needs the stress of study groups? Most of the time they're complete wastes of time.

As you can tell, social settings are not my faves.


Chuck Norris Is The Man

Chuck Norris should run for president because he'll increase the employment rate with his eyes and reverse the dollar downward spiral with his hands.

Keeping Track Of Corruption

Transparency.org has published its Corruption Perception Index for the public sector in various countries of the world.  I have no clue how much salt and weight we can place on surveys that rely on perceptions. There's no real quantifiable way to marriage it with reality. Unless perception here is perceptive.

Canada is the ninth least corrupt state. I think this doesn't include Montreal. Meh.

The United States is 19th.

New Zealand is #1. Boy, the Kiwis are on a roll. First, they qualify for the World Cup in 2010 for the second time in their history and now this. 

Cold War Revisited; Urging Obama In Copenhagen; Bending Over For Emperors

If conservatives overplay Reagan's role in hastening or even ending communism, then liberals overestimate the role of FDR's New Deal. I think in both instances psychologically had a larger impact. It really didn't matter if government programs actually worked, it was that FDR was aggressive in tacking the depression especially in relation to his predecessor Herbert Hoover. Same with Reagan. He spoke the right words and tone using effective diplomacy to firmly send the Soviet Union on its way.

His detractors point our, correctly, it was Gorbachev who was the real impetus behind the Russian renaissance. But wasn't that always going to be the case? No foreign leader could seize the Russian Duma and force its hand. The only way was how Reagan did it. Gorbachev knew the USSR's time had come so he didn't really need Reagan to tell him. However, that doesn't undermine Reagan's role. And the same can be said of FDR. Conservatives have come to view the New Deal with suspicion - even though Republicans at the time voted for it.

In any event, sometimes I wonder if the Cold War ever ended. I get the feeling, even through the war on terror (despite shared interests on the matter), Russia and America are still fighting in the background.


I was listening to a commercial where elementary students of various ages urged President Obama to "do what's right" and "speak for this generation" by going to Copenhagen and save the planet.

It reminded me of my days in junior high school when we had to do projects urging President Reagan to stop nuclear armament and adhere to world peace. Blah, blah, blah.

Nothing will come of Copenhagen. Nothing.


My thoughts about Obama's Japanese bow. In short, it was just plain weird. One thing I've learned reading up on it and speaking to people who lived in Japan, is that the bow is deep with cultural significance and highly nuanced so I won't profess to even claim to know what I'm talking about on the issue.

However, apparently, once you bow at roughly 45 degrees you're showing deference - and in this case Obama gave this impression, to some Westerners anyway, off to an emperor. The deeper and longer the bow, the more apologetic. It's pretty obvious he went pretty deep in his brief bow.

Here's an article in The Hindu about how the Japanese viewed it. 

Then again:

ABC's Jake Tapper reports that at least one Japanese newspaper is not printing the picture of the president's mortifying bow because the Japanese are embarrassed by his behavior. A scholar of traditional Japan tells Mr. Tapper, "The bow… did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms… The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak-looking American president."
If someone wants to take issue with my ignorance here, please by all means...un-ignorize me.

I'm just glad he didn't ask to cook - in a microwave - his sushi...is the day we'll know he's really lost it.

Let NYC Terror Trial Play Itself Out

I don't get something, and I don't get a lot of things most of the time - like why ear phones never seem to fit into my effen ear. Why are conservatives stark raving angry about the decision by Obama to try a few creepy terrorists in the Big Apple? Hey, has anyone ever determined what kind of apple New York is? I love Jazz, Lobo and Honeycrisp.

Look. I've heard all the assumptions and suspicions posited by the right and some of it makes sense but really, isn't this the time to rally behind and watch American justice at work? If it back fires on Obama and if there was indeed a sinister ulterior motive to put Bush on trial, then you go on the attack. Right now, it's all a bunch of slippery slope theories that may or may not occur.



Questions And Quote

Question numero uno: Is it possible to read too much?

Question numero deux: Why is increasing taxes and expanding the welfare state considered "progressive?"

And our quote comes by way of Frances Perkin:

I came to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain, common, working men.
 Try and say you want to work for God today and see what looks you get.


Avoiding The Clash Of Civilizations Narrative; Using Proper Foreign Policy Language; Apologizing Not A Sign Of Wisdom

Is the rankling about how "political correctness" led to the Hassan rampage at Fort Hood a straw man fallacy?

Rob Haren at Foreign Policy thinks so. 

The 'Clash of Civilizations' theory espoused by Huntington remains alive but can it be avoided? The author in the link seems to think so if American leaders strike the right tone. Or is it a fait accompli as Huntington suggested?


Politifact confirmed Sean Hannity's charge that Obama's refusal to use the phrase "war on terrorism" opting instead for "war against Al-Queda."

So what? I think the President is right to be cautious about the language he conveys.

Linking the fact he doesn't use words the right would use about terrorism (which really is a vague term) doesn't mean he's weak on the fight against it.

I guess time will tell if the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush method of defending national interests and security will prevail or falter against Obama/Clinton/Biden.


But then he goes and says something stupid like I love you...to the world.

...Barack Obama has done something much worse: By breaking the tradition of not criticizing your own country abroad, Barack Obama has undermined this nation in an attempt to be popular with Europeans and the Muslim world -- and to perceived as a "reasonable" American.

Strike a right chord with the world...but always remember sage advice from one Vito Corleone

Never go against the family.

Or in this case, country.

Don't Be Fished In By Internet Systers

I received an email from an internet company My-Date-entry source promising great income from working at home. Home-based businesses are a popular and tempting notion but do they work?

From what I've gathered, more often than not the answer is no. Only the really savvy and hard working make a go of it. So if you're neither, don't bother. Most of these are all scams anyway.

A key point you need to know if you plan to explore this world, is if they ask you to pay to join, run for the hills. It doesn't matter which hill so long as you head for it. Live in a valley? No difference. Run for it. Moreover, be careful of music sites offering exclusive access to an archive of music through a paid membership. Same with "watch live stream TV" and "diet" sites. Most are scams.

What happens is, rip off artists take a legit site and copy it. They pay to reach the top of the page rankings (mostly on Yahoo because they don't govern it as tightly as Google) and everyone knows people tend to click on the first five or so sites even though the more reputable ones can be lower down the list.

Once you click on the site, it looks professional and legitimate but it really isn't. One way to detect a faux-site is if they infringe on copy rights. For example, if they use the shadow images associated with Apple's iPod commercials but there's not Apple endorsement or logo on the site, chances are they were told to remove it and are not really what they say they are. It's not illegal but not kosher either. They walk a fine line.

I know all this because I did some web copy for a dubious (and unnecessarily strict and paranoid) company claiming to be a "partner in e-Commerce" or something like that.  Rigidity and paranoia are functions of poor management by the way. Anyway, I would buy domain names for their sites and each credit card had a different name from a different location. Yeah, real honest stuff.

Which brings me to one of the more honest reviews I've come across on the internet. It happened to be for exactly the same email I got. 

Where it is possible to find a registrant for these sites, then they all appear to be different. So, either they are reselling some else's "work at home" product, or they are just copy-and-pasting content from someone else.

There are very few clues as to the owner of My-data-source.com except for the name "Mike P Sanders" embedded in the affiliate link. When you try to sign up for program, eBay gives an email address of mikepsanders@gmail.com

..but here's an oddity, when the domain was originally registered, the registrant was "Lyndon Dave Ardimer"and a straight Google for that name points to a website called primemarketers.com which contains a number of ads for various schemes.. including My-data-source.com posted by Mike Sanders. So, is Mike P Sanders actually Lyndon Dave Ardimer? Or it this Derek Lindsay? Or Timothy Darwin (who's name appears on many of these sites)? At this point, the lead vanishes into a mass of affiliate programs and offshore marketers.

So who is My-Data-Source.com? As you can see, it is difficult if not impossible to determine if there's a real company involved anywhere in this scheme. Should you shell out $50 to join up with a company with no discernible history or physical location? Almost every consumer advice site says that you shouldn't get involved in any type of work-at-home scheme unless you can verify real contact details.

My honest side regrets having worked for them. My practical side says it was a great learning experience. I got to see how shady things can be even if it's dressed with a cappuccino machine and a health plan. Most of the people who worked there didn't seem to have any qualms with it. It was a pay and most were foreigners. Those who weren't, were kids of the internet age. Different value systems were at play I surmise. I can't project any further than this. 

Credit to the guys who figured out how to make money this way - and they make tons of it. However, with a little consumer knowledge and healthy dose of skepticism, people can avoid being made the fool thus helping to dent their pocketbooks. Hopefully only then they can use their talents for the broader good.

The more you know...

Roe v. Wade: Not As Clear Minded And Progressive As We Think?

This blog only started getting its legs, despite being set up in late 2004, in 2006. I wasn't really sure of what I wanted to accomplish. I still don't. One thing I do like to do is link to other articles and ideas that I deem to be overlooked, enlightening and imporant.

Sometimes, on my long, lonely internet journeys, I come across older, archived articles that still maintain and pack a mean punch.

So is the case with L.A. Times writer David G. Savage in an article titled. "Roe Ruling: More than its author intended."

I never could quite get A) how abortion came to be a zero-sum game with a final arugmentative destination for supporters and proponents of it and B) how it came to be how other parties of importance were weeded out of the equation when it came to making an abortive decision. I don't know why it's framed as a black and white question either.

Years ago, my friend, who was always in politics, asked me if I was "for or against" abortion and when I began with something other than a "yes or no" he interrupted and said, "you're either for it or against it." He was for it because he felt people were going to get them anyway and better to ensure they do it properly. Another reason for it was bringing in a baby into this world when the person is incapable of raising it only drains society and the economy and is likely to result in crime.

To me that always seemed like a stretch if not a false dilemma. Man, to take that leap was/is something I'm not willing to take. Imagine if Stephen Hawking's mother decided to have an abortion! Then the world wouldbe deprived of his genius mind. I don't believe all abortions to be bad nor do I feel all abortions should be allowed.

The article is informative and filled with revelations about that controversial law came to pass in 1973.

I'm not surprised it emerged from confusion and fortunate circumstances. We'd like to believe it came about from sound legal, medical and even moral clarity, but it looks like it wasn't.


Incidentally, there have been over 49 million abortions since 1973. I wonder if studies have been made to follow women after they had abortions - post-abortion consequences (if there any) that is.

Time To Scrap No-Fault Insurance

I never liked No-fault insurance. It makes little sense to me. It eradicates personal responsibility and liability.

Last week I heard a gut wrenching interview on CJAD about how the system consistently furthers the pain of victims of tragic traffic accidents that result in fatalities. Unfortunately, there's no podcast I could link to but if you want to hear it go to here. November 13, 9:30am. I don't know how long they keep interviews posted but it's worth a listen.

To most of us, that the public system would behave in this manner (ie lack of compassion) is of little surprise. It's incredible how the government deals with this.

For more information regarding the Automobile Insurance Act of 1978 and would like to voice your opposition to it please go here to The Jessica Campaign.

Quote Of The Day

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” - Thomas Jefferson

I once read, on a liberal blog, a commenter say "referring to the Founding Fathers is soooo tacky."

Wisdom is ageless, my friend. Ageless.


Great Interactive H1N1 Map

It's interesting to note Quebec has had 1268 hospitalizations to Ontario's 758 despite having a smaller population.

If I'm reading it correctly, there haven't been any cases in Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Arctic territories.

From A 45 Record To Meeting A Rock Star

I still remember the first 45 I bought. I was 10 years old and my mother gave me a five dollar bill to buy a record at the local mall. Unsure of what to purchase, I asked my older sister - eight years my senior - for advice. Reading a book on a bench (looking back I don't think she wanted to be there), and completely disinterested in my eagerness, she said without looking up, "Hurts so good."

I shrugged my shoulders and walked into the record shop - Discus I believe it was - looked for 'Hurts so good' saw the name of John Cougar and bought it out of pure ignorance.

That record began my love affair with music.

Naturally, I still own the record - along with some 300 other ones. I'm still pretty ignorant.


John Mellencamp was always a part of our family musical legacy. Five years later, Mellencamp was at the peak of his popularity and during a tour in Montreal we managed to score Row A tickets thanks to my cousin. Little did we know destiny awaited us. We were five teenagers and one tweenager in all; me, a couple of buddies, my brother, my cousin and his girlfriend (now his wife).

We knew the lyrics to every one of the songs he played and eventually this caught the eye of his (now ex) wife. Next thing we know, a big burly bouncer grabs my brother and flings his 12 year old body onto the stage. He was standing next to Mike Wanchic and John Cougar Mellencamp. The instructions were simple: Sing 'Pink Houses.' And that he did before 20 000 fans. 

Later on, we were invited back stage and met the band including John Mellencamp. The great drummer Kenny Aronoff told my brother, "man, you kicked ass out there!"

It was a quick "hi", snap of the photos and "bye." What can teenagers possibly say to him anyway?

His wife took our address and promised to mail the pictures. True to their words they did like true, heartland Americans.

I still remember the envelope it came in addressed to my brother. What a memory.

This was before youtube and the internet so no footage exists of the night. Sometimes I think that's a good thing because it forces us to imagine - even if it doesn't capture every detail.

Pink Houses and Hurts So Good remain among my all-time favorite songs.

More Terms I Don't Get

I never could get my mind around the "they hate our freedoms" line.

Doesn't this imply the raison d'etre of a terrorist is to attack freedom? What terrorist gets up in the morning, stretches, yawns does a few crunches, takes a swig of Araq and proclaims, "Gish, gosh I hate freedom. I think I'm going to be blow myself up."

I think, unless someone can steer me otherwise like a cow cluelessly chewing on grass, that's a vague and possibly misleading belief.

Of course, conservatives tend to take this stance. But then again, conservatives, the committed ones anyway, can be a rather contradictory or even hypocritical bunch. They talk an awful lot about freedom but are often too willing to take it away. Sure, they're not alone on this front but liberals don't speak much about it - maybe because they abandoned its principles?

They claim to be fiscally conservative and  for free markets; they take massive swipes at Obama, but seriously, who are they kidding? Bush was kicked started the bail out plans and they didn't seem to mind it back then.

The same goes for drugs, pornography and homosexuality. How many times have we seen conservatives speak ill on each (and rightfully so) only to engage in them at different times?

I hate people who declare wars on this and that and then partake in this and that.

It's just one of those things. Human hypocrisy that is. I know people try to figure out who is more culpable but that's like trying to figure out who is more evil, Lex Luther or The Riddler?

Closer to home, Quebec's political and intellectual classes provide all the proper platitudes about pluralism, freedom and democracy but are all too ready to invoke the notwithstanding clause to trample on civil liberties in the name of protecting the collective.


Question: Is classical liberalism alive and well and do libertarians have a right to claim lineage to it?

The Commentator Welcomes Tommy Emmanuel

I was at a Gala last week with a friend and the douche sitting next to me (I'm kidding. I don't know why I feel the need to call people names. I gots promlems. He actually was a decent guy) mentioned to me, during our talk about music, the name of Tommy Emmanuel. I thank him for it because he's some wicked guitarist. Out of Australia I believe.

More On American Health Care Reform

Christopher Hayes is mad and he doesn't care who knows it!

Mr. Hayes, a writer for The Nation, is upset about how some dare health care reform will add to the deficit. He asserts in a recent piece that basically, health care reform is "deficit-neutral" that is, it will take from one side of the accounting ledger (expenditures) and the other (revenues) and presto! Even stevens!

Says Hayes:

See, a government, like any organization, institution, or firm has expenditures and revenues. Miraculously, it can increase its expenditures, without increasing its deficit, if it also increases its revenues. This is called "deficit neutral" and it's what the current health care bill, in all its incarnations, is.

So. What is the source of those revenues? Taxes. The government doesn't produce goods and services. The money it has belongs to the people. Revenues in this instance is tax payer money. Still, it doesn't totally debunk Hayes because in principal, I suppose, the government can still, in theory, be deficit-neutral. Nonetheless, you still need to be conscious of what revenues really are. If you increase expenditures (health care costs) and revenues to offset it, and if the source of revenues are taxes, doesn't it follow taxes will increase too? In the end, it all comes down to the same thing: It's funded by taxpayers.

But what happens when costs of health care actually spiral out of control? What are the offsetting measures? More taxes? 

I don't know enough about this stuff to write emphatically in defense of it. I just go with my experiences and hunches. Deficit-neutral is a type of jargon no different than what we see in the corporate world; my personal favorite has always been EBITDA.

Fiscally, it will cost Americans no matter how it's presented. Why not just admit this and hammer on the "this is the right thing to do" angle? At least they'll come off as "honest" and "compassionate." Although, as most Canadians already know, public health (or any bureaucratic office for that matter) is many things and compassionate isn't one of them.

Here's a more detailed explanation of how misleading the math is.


As for the notion that the government wants to present a "competitive" option to private insurance...well let's just say that's a bemusing thought.

Take it over President Coolidge:

When government comes unduly under the influence of business, the tendency is to develop an administration that closes the door of opportunity; becomes narrow and selfish in its outlook; and results in an oligarchy. When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency, but, having, the power to crush all competition, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly.


The Ultimate Insult

It's odd that the first thing that comes out of the mouths of Democrat-leaning people and politicians after a terror attack is, "please let's keep calm and avoid a backlash against the Muslim community."

Sheesh. One would think Americans are standing by with knives in their hands waiting to pounce on the first Muslim in their local grocery store.

It's insulting because it projects upon the American people the notion they're blood-thirsty vigilantes. Last I checked, it just isn't the case. Sure, there are pockets of isolated attacks and crooked stares but hardly enough for the warning in a country with 300 million people. In fact, I would submit it's the exact opposite, Americans have been more than understanding about the situation. I doubt they're oblivious and clueless.



Once Again From The Top

When you restrict choice, under any circumstance, you forfeit your right to claim to be democratic.

Moreover, in the case of the PQ looking to enforce the anti-democratic Bill 101 law further, they abandon any right to claim to be for human rights, pluralism and liberty.

They made their choice. Culture comes before the individual. They must be prepared to live with the consequences. Just don't try and insult and tell me you stand to protect my civil rights with this sort of stuff.

Obama's Big Apple Gamble; Islam Absorbing Western Philosophy; An Urban Fable

I wonder what are Holder and Obama up to by trying a few admitted killers and perpetuators of 9/11 in a civil court in New York?  The underlying debate I surmise meekly: Is Obama attempting to reset American law allegedly broken by the previous administration or is he under handily putting the Bush administration on trial?

To Islam or not to Islam? Despite the nonsense about how Muslims don't grasp the concept of liberty, or worse, loathe it, the notion they can't process Western philosophical ideals is equally absurd.

Which brings me to a story. Ya'all love my stories. I'll never forget a fellow blogger advising I let readers into my life from time to time. You must all suffer, now.

Setting: Suburb of Montreal circa 1993.

Young but never naive, our clique of about 20 were partying (we had AMAZING stylish parties) one night at a friend's house, when it was crashed (people talk you know) by a group of guys. Being the nice people we were we invited them to join in on the fun.

As the night wore on, the drinking was exacting its toll on the party crashers. They began to make everyone feel  uncomfortable and sensing things can go awry we decided to intervene and politelty ask the guys to leave. However, they apologized and all was well again - except for one douche who was slowly getting out of control.

My buddy - who is now working on becoming a diplomat - did just that and took him for a walk. We gave him coffee. Talked sports. Calmed the soul down.

It seemed to be working. Then, when we turned around he punched a whole in the wall of the house. He slobbered over a girl friend and took a swing at someone.

The owner of the house, our buddy from Cuba, began to take his stand. Diplomacy wasn't working in this case. He asked the guy to leave. He refused. Again, he politely asked him to leave. "Fuck off!" he said smiling. Then he got in my friend's face and said, "what are you going to do about it?"

Hardly trembling, he replied, "Please. Just go."

Suddenly, the guy took a swing at my buddy. Now, as some of you already know, Cubans are legendary boxers and my buddy who trained in Cuba was no exception. He avoided the punch and clocked him one in the jaw. You heard the shlock all the way to Chicoutimi.

We proceeded to take out the garbage. It didn't escalate into anything more. We're lovers, not fighters. You know?

A girl acquaintance who knew us from school was there and witnessed the entire episode. Guess what she did. She began scolding and calling us animals and pugilists and all that. I was surpised. I told her, "Cindy, you know us. Your boyfriend knows us. What are you talking nonsense for?"

But she was having none of it. As far as she was concerned, it was fair to paint us all as violent. Which was weird because NONE of us ever got into it. No. We're weren't weak chickens. Far from it. It's just that we never looked for trouble and always knew how to steer clear from it. Besides, we had an off branch of our group who could take care of matters for us if we needed.

At fault, according to the girl, wasn't the guy but my buddy (and the rest of us) for punching him. Nothing else mattered to her. Not the extraordinary effort made to quell the situation, the constant talking and reassurances and repeated second chances. It didn't matter to her that the guy refused to leave someone's house and then proceeded to take a swing at him.

At some point reality settles in. Sometimes in life some people, dare I say (and I did!)  need to be slapped around.

Until this day we all know he did the right thing. There never really was any moral or philosophical debate about it. We're nice guys but even we had our limits.

Yet. Yet, it still wasn't enough for some.

Free Form Thoughts


Why do you hate the homeless, Mikey?

Because they don't contribute to housing starts!

La, la, la,la...


My cousin made an interesting comment to me the other night. Extremely rational and hardly religious, he's befuddled by how Christianity has become the enemy among "progressives."

"It's too much. We're all sensing it. They're making me draw a line in the sand and defend Christianity. It's weird but I feel it."

I reached that conclusion a few years back.

Food Fight Lands Kids In Jail

Tensions must really be high in Chicago for the cops to bust 25 kids ages 11-15 for a food fight.

Of course it's an over reaction and the judge should throw out the reckless behavior charges. In fact, they should not have any record of any kind. I read somewhere some kid was arrested for merely helping another student up.

What's mind boggling is how some creepy comments actually agree with the cops under the premise kids need to be "disciplined" and "chaos ensues and can be dangerous." and "raise your kids" and "take responsibility."

Please. Kids are kids.

I've been in the middle of food fights - though I never par took. To throw food is a sin. Do you realize how expensive prosciutto is?

Anyway. No one ended up maladjusted as far as I know.

Being A Loser Transcends All Races

To punch a woman in the face over a fucken "white privilege" debate? Even if she called him a "niggar" it still doesn't justify violence.

Obama: "That woman acted stupidly."

Ivy League loser.

They seem to be producing a few of those.


Carrying a racial grudge can weigh real heavy on the soul.

My wife's grandmother was 100 years old and still talking about how Italians were discriminated against by the English and French-Canadians. In one episode she and her husband were declined a home because, as they found out later, the owner said "c'est des Italiens."