Restricting Civil Liberties In The USA

It really is a shame that the TSA in the USA is losing its marbles. I just don't see the logic. Look at the picture. Look at it. Does this strike you as the work of people who are using their resources properly? Instead, as I mentioned in an earlier post, because officials refuse to focus on known variables (i.e. Arab-Muslims), we're treated to ridiculously draconian measures. And boy, Janet Reno, Robert Gibbs and Janet Napolitano have really shown they're on the ball with their outstandingly chumpish comments. All I know is if these people were working under Bush and were Republican, we'd hear about how foolish they are. Furthermore, why have there been two terrorist attacks on American soil in less than one year under the Obama administration? 

Ushering In A New Year

Well, another year has passed. Whew. Made it without getting attacked by polar bear.

It's been my most prolific one to date with 775 posts. I don't anticipate being as active in the first few months of 2010. Barring any problems, my day care center should be ready to launch sometime in February or March.

I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. Please believe me when I write, your thoughts only serve to make me a richer individual. I like to intellectually spar, challenge and even provoke to see what the reactions will be. In the process, it helps provide some personal clarity.

So. Enough of me. HappyNew Year to one and all. One in which your mind, body and soul reaches another plane.

Public Health: Loosening The Grip Of The State And Denying A Family Citizenship

There was a discussion about public health at the dinner table at Christmas. I didn't take part (yet soneone took me to task, for some reason, over a comment I didn't even make. Even when I explained this, the person was completely disinterested in hearing the truth and went off on a logical fallacy tirade while justifying their behavior based on flimsy projections. I must admit, I was taken aback. I still am. Ah, the holidays) , but it did confirm my belief that pubic health, while a necessity to people, is really a balance between personal choice and the philosophy that we should care for all our citizens no matter the costs.

I try to be somewhere in between. If we go too much into the former, we become a society fending for ourselves. Sometimes, we need a hand. I'm not suggesting government is the answer to providing that hand, but in the case of health, it could play a role. It's the size of the role I'm concerned with. If we go too much into the latter, then we're in danger of making everyone a ward of the state. As such, it's the state that sets the rules of our personal health choices. Public health is not a zero sum game and we should indeed be conscious of its costs.

Everywhere in the West we see that there are cracks in the social welfare state yet daring to discuss ways to curb costs remains taboo for some. In a wider sense, while we go further in debt paying for it, nations in the East are amassing great wealth - liquid wealth. This can have huge implications for us in the future.

The case of the United States is different because, while it doesn't possess a welfare state (even though it is quite socialist), it has been subsidizing the armies of the West for roughly 60 years. Countries in Europe, after the devastation brought upon by two great world wars which in effect brought them to their knees, were free to expand the welfare state since they didn't have to spend money on the miliatry. Same with Canada. Does anyone believe that if the U.S. was a hostile neighbour we'd be accorded the luxuries we have now? Of course not. We'd have to be realistic and maintain a large army.

I sorta digress.

In Canada, the public health system is too egalitarian. It doesn't permit someone of means to go off the system and pay for serious surgeries. For that, we must leave and go abroad and this is unfair. It also presupposes that all citizens willingly want to give a disproportionate part of their income to something they feel they could do well on their own. Hey, it may not be "moral" but that's liberty. If they don't want to be a part of it, that's their right.

As I've always argued here, the Canadian public health system, as we know, is under severe strain. It needs to be revamped and preserved and the best way to do it is to remove the paternalistic visions of the state and loosen it up a little. Give some power back to the people.

Our problem is the opposite of America's. 


Which brings me to the unfortunate story of a family from France who have been refused immigrations status in Canada because their daughter - who has cerebral palsy - would pose a severe strain on the public health system.

I understand Immigration Canada is acting (financially) responsibly (especially considering how many people scam the system here)  but I thought we were a compassionate society.The argument against them gets weaker since he has a successful business here and therefore is carrying his weight to pay taxes contributing to public health. These are exactly the sort of people we should be allowing into the country.

Is it a valid reason to deny people entrance on this reason?

I say no and I have to say, I'm ashamed (and I don't use that word too often - if ever) of my country for this decision. 


Profiling A Normal Part Of Criminal Investigations

Politics prevails over common sense it looks like. An article culling various figures offering their thoughts about racial profiling.

Why didn't they interview law enforcement experts and thinkers? There should be more of a focus on behavioral experts too. I don't know why economics professor get so much weight on the subject of terrorism. That's not to discount their opinions, it's just not their domain of expertise.

I always assumed law enforcement would chase down a terror suspect much like we see on 'Criminal Minds.' Methodically examine the entire picture piecing together all the evidence. Eventually it leads you to a fresco. Racial profiling is just one part of that equation; not the only one.

But it sounds as though myopic bureaucratic and intellectual posturing bull shit is getting in the way.

A price will be paid I reckon. When we study the fall of Western culture a few decades from now, the way we handled the terrorist threat will be a key component of that examination.


Ironic China

Isn't it ironic that for a country that's sensitive about its image abroad it sure knows how to attract bad publicity through its human rights record?

No Blue Potatoes Leave Me Singin' The Blues

All that meat, and no (blue) potatoes
Just ain't right, like green tomatoes
Yeah, I'm waiting
But all that meat, and no (
blue) potatoes

Ed Kirkeby and Fats Waller/ Slightly amended by The Commentator.

The other day I bought a bag of Cavendish 'Microwave Steamers' potatoes. It was a variety pack with yellow, red and blue flushed potatoes. I live dangerously. The excitement within me could hardly be
contained. They were going to go great with my Vidalia onion and sweet Italian sausage with honey dijon dish. And they were.

One problem. There were no blue potatoes in the bag! So I did something my mother was keen on but I never did. I called Cavendish. I asked in so many words, "what the fuck? No blue potatoes? What gives? Is this Ireland? Is there a shortage I'm unaware of? Damn it, why?!" I was told the customer service girl was on vacation until January 4 - now there's a gig - and that she would call me back upon her return. Until then, I had no choice but to chill.

Most of us, when we don't always get what we pay for, we just shrug and let it go. I know I do that a little too often. Not this time. I wanted my blue po-tay-toes!

I wonder what Cavendish will do. Maybe I should scream until, erm, I'm blue in the face?

Detroit Plane Terror Attack

This is such bull shit.

On why Obama hasn't responded yet the terror attack on a Detroit plane:

Here's the strategy: "Let the authorities do their work. Don't presume; don't panic the country; don't chest-thump, prejudge, interfere, politicize (in an international sense), don't give Al Qaeda (or whomever) a symbolic victory; resist the urge to open the old playbook and run a familiar play."

"In a sense, he is projecting his calm on the American people, just as his advisers are convinced that the Bush Administration projected their panic and anger on the self-same public eight years ago." 

Is this guy for real? Soon after 9/11, Bush was lauded for his statesmanship and handling in the face of a horrific terror attack. He didn't instill fear or panic. I seem to recall many people and pundits alike appreciating his stance. He was clear at every turn to remind people to not attack Muslims - as if Americans needed that reminder. I think this person is confusing his decision to go into Iraq a couple of years later.

Perhaps Obama is acting "wisely," but this administration's insistence on avoiding the word "terror" is no better. Describing it as an "attack on a plane" is dumb. The person didn't attack a plane. His goal was to kill people. Saying he was "incompetent" and therefore we shouldn't worry isn't a proper response either. They can afford to miss nine out of ten times. We can't.

And how did that guy, without a passport, even get on a damn plane from Amsterdam anyway?

Follow the demographics, logic and yes, profile. Ye therein, shall find many answers. But we don't want to do that. Soon after 9/11 I hopped on a plane and was asked to remove my shoes and blah, blah. No big deal. What was odd to me was the old man with white hair who could barely walk and talk being shaken down. That's when I saw political correctness lose its mind right before my eyes.

Shit, we know who the players are. And most, if not all, are Muslim of any nationality, very well educated, Westernized and come from middle to upper class backgrounds. Focus on that and don't feel guilty about it.

Being liberal or conservative has nothing to do with it. Common sense does and I think most citizens are on this matter.


Meet the man they call the 'Flying Dutchman' who found his courage to save Flight 253. His name is Jasper Schuringa.


Ranking World Empires Not Straightforward

Over at Costo's blog a few days ago, the subject of great empires came up. It intrigued me and eventually led me to this link ranking history's great empires.

Empires are all individual in character, having been formed in widely different times under widely different political structures.

The calculation of the land area of a particular empire is controversial. In particular, there is the question of whether a particular empire can be considered to have laid claim to an area that is sparsely populated, or not populated at all. The below lists err on the side of including any land area that was explored and explicitly claimed, even if the areas were very sparsely populated or unpopulated. No claims on mainland Antarctica are included in the area of any of the empires.
 Indeed, measuring and comparing empires is a tricky game. Sorta like comparing sports teams and players from different eras. Then there's the "influence" factor. I remember a university history professor rhetorically asking, "who was more influential in Western culture, Ancient Greece or Rome?"

Government Running The Private Sector?

Interesting pie chart from Connor Clarke at The Atlantic:

Now, we all know we can make what we want of this. But it's best to remind that the author's point is the "bureaucratic take over of private industries." In this instance, the percentage is easy. However, no one can debate if we account for government intervention in the free market system the .21% figure would increase substantially.

Nonetheless, I like stuff like this to help give some context and perspective.


More History For 2010?

My aim for 2010, time permitting, is to increase the number of posts relating to history. However, writing about this discipline demands careful thought and time. We'll see.

That's my promise, to you, the reader. A big "we'll see."

No. More. Taxes!


Before I Forget

Joyeux Noel!

Buon Natale!

And to the rest of you,

Merry Christmas!


Rock The Tragically Hip Way

Best band in Canada in the last 20-25 years? Dunno. For me, The Tragically Hip are certainly in the mix. They're incredibly popular and influential here in Canada.

But commercial success in the U.S. has eluded them. Making it in the USA, while coveted and important, isn't the be all, end all. The Hip are raw and energetic. Strong live band too. I still like their second album and first breakthrough Up to here from 1989 I believe it was. They had a few other great albums, like Fully Completely and Road Apples.

Give them a listen.

New Orleans is sinking is a song from the same album and was, unfortunately, resurrected during Katrina. It goes well with the images.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

So says Tony Bennett. Go get 'em tiger.


English Schools Going The Way Of The Dodo Bird

We all know the sad state of English schools in Quebec. That's why the closing of three more English language schools wasn't surprising. The English community is fast dwindling (and yes, 1976 had a shit load to do with it. Quebec revisionism notwithstanding). Anyway, assigning blame may be a losers game. 

Still, that sound is the clinging of glasses and laughter among hard core Quebec nationalists. The less English, the better Somehow, self-mutilation is good for the French spirit. 

I pulled this interesting comment from the CBC website: 

"Let's not confuse this issue with Quebec politics. This was simply a group of elected individuals failing to represent their constituents. Mr. Tabachnick states that the LBPSB has lost 2000+ students to the French and private school systems. How does the LBPSB repond? By choosing to compete on the one facet on which they will never win - French language instruction. Parents wanting to ensure that their kids are fluently bilingual and maximize the chances of their kids remaining within Quebec will continue to choose French Elementary school system. French language instruction will continue to be better in the French system and English language instruction will be better in the English systems. At least for the foreseeable future. The LBPSB could use some education on business basics. Choosing to compete along dimensions in which you have no competitive and differentiable advantage will always be a losing proposition. Instead, the LBPSB should innovative and offer programs that parents want and provide a differentiable and sustainable advantage.

The articles posted in the media point to declining enrollment as the reason for closing schools. The fact remains that closing schools contributes to declining enrollment. Poor management and lack of vision contributes to closing schools. Declining enrollment did not close our schools, LBPSB administrators and commissioners closed our schools.

Liberals Eating Obama With Fava Beans And Chianti

I think liberals are retarded. Let me explain. They won the election back in February. They control American politics under the leadership on a man they were convinced would bring them to a promised land mostly of their own design.They can go Medieval on everyone's asses and what do they do? They spend their time eating their own, bickering, ignoring the will of the American people and wasting energy about how paranoid and dumb Republicans and conservatives are.

I mean, I've read one too many liberal writers and pundits babble about how "dead" conservative philosophy is. Some still suffer from "Delayed Political Development" by insisting on writing about how "crazy" Bush was/is.

Why are they wasting intellectual energy on this? Can it be to deflect blame for their (Democratic) own failures? 

Read more about how liberals are abandoning Obama here.

Yet there are lessons we can all learn from Obama's lost year. Chief among them is the insight that when you project all your hopes, desires, and even fears onto a Rorschach test of a politician—whether Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, or otherwise—not only are you bound to be disappointed, you might just deserve it, too. Government officials use force and the threat thereof to impact our lives, not always (or even most of the time) for the better, so it behooves all citizens to get over their schoolyard crushes and figure out just what their objects of political desire plan to do with all that power.
A message I've been trying to convey on this blog. The hype surrounding Obama wasn't just childish, it was unfair. It got to be people were saying stuff like "he's the most intelligent man in politics." Others believe he lives in a perpetual "big picture" world. That's some Magic Laso hurled at him.We just don't "see" his brilliance. America went from the "dumbest" leader to the "smartest" leader in one election swing. Talk about neurotic.

Liberals are turning on their own is nothing new in politics. Consvervaties did the same thing under Bush Sr. in the early 1990s.


By the way, I, The Commentator, officially remove the presumptuous and annoying label "progressive" from liberals. Just who the fuck do they think they are appropriating that word for themselves? Fuck them.

Thank you.


This Is Just Plain Wrong

In a few hours, like the rest of you, I'll be crying before baby Jesus celebrating the birth of the little guy. So orders of good cheer and funky vibes will conquer my soul.

But before that, I have to clear my mind of a EA Sportsactive (and Wii while I'm at it) commercial I saw on TV.

I couldn't believe my fucken eyes. People were talking about how pretending to jog, box or play tennis in front of a fucken television set was good for their health.

Have we become that fucking useless and lazy to hang our well-being on a video game?

Look, my nephews and niece have the Wii and it does make you move around. However, it's not a means to an end for fuck sakes.

All I kept thinking about during the commercial when the guy using the punching bag swore testimony about it helping him to lose weight was, "Why don't you go out and buy the fricken real thing?"

Go play tennis for real. Go jogging for real.

Active people don't need this sort of crap. Lazy losers do.

Christmas Confession

I hate candy canes.

I try hard to like them. I always think that with each new candy I unwrap something will unblock my taste buds and I will discover the joy of candy canes.

It never comes.

I hate candy canes.

A Day In The Life Of The Superfriends

Members of the acclaimed Hall of Justice sitting around waiting for the Trouble Alert to call them to action. Bat-Man is preparing some food, Robin is reading "I'm not gay. Just flamboyant," and Superman is playing strip poker with Wonder Woman. Hawk-Man is quietly doing a puzzle. The Flash storms in angry.

Flash: Could you believe this shit? I got a parking ticket right outside the Hall!

Bat-Man (cutting cold cuts): Too bad.

Flash: Like you care.

Robin (puts down book): Why are you driving anyway? You're, the Flash!

Flash: I want to reduce my carbon print.

Bat-Man: Ooof.

Flash: What's your problem? You don't think we should help the environment?

Bat-Man: Flash, the smoke you leave behind is greater than all of China's Co2 emissions!

Flash: What about you? What, with that Bat-rocket blasting into outer space. Heaven knows how that's affecting the polar bears.

Bat-Man: And how do you suggest we get up there to save some loser planet?

Flash: Whatever. It's Bat-shit.

Bat-Man: So mature, Flash.

Flash (points with thumb to Superman): What about him?

Bat-Man: What about him...

Robin (pounds fist in palm): Holy pollution, Bat man! Superman leaves a larger carbon foot print than Obama and Al Gore combined!

Flash: Why do you always have to address Bat-man when you're talking in a group?

Superman: My ears are ringing.

Wonder Woman: Someone's thinking about you.

Superman: I bet.

Wonder Woman: Will you deal?

Superman: One more win and that top comes off, Dubya.

Wonder Woman: I hate that nickname.

Superman (to himself): "It's not fair Aquaman got to fuck her."

Wonder Woman: Deal!

Enter Aquaman whistling "Oh Susanna."

Aquaman: Hey, hi there fellow Hall of Justicers! Nothing like a fresh swim in the East river to get the ole fins goin'.

Flash: Hi, waterboy.

Aquaman: What's with all the dour faces?

Just then, the Trouble Alert signals

Trouble Alert: Please Superfriend. Help us!

Robin: That's it? What the fuck?

Flash: What, no details? Are these people stupid? Do they think we're psychics?

Wonder Woman: Go easy on them. They're in distress!

Superman: You always go easy on everyone.

Wonder Woman: What's that supposed to mean?

Superman: Why don't you ask Aquaman?

Wonder Woman: That again?

Robin to Bat-Man: Man, those two should just hook up and unload all that tension.

Trouble Alert: Sorry Superfriends. I forgot to give you the particulars. We're on Planet Fedotu. We're the ones who invaded and wiped out the previous civilization.

***Sips drink***


Superman: Hey, remember when we went curling and how Robin's voice went up several octanes when he would scream HURRY! So gay!

Robin: Oh like you were so manly screaming SWEEP!

Superman: Do you "guys" realize how tough it is me to play down to you dumb fucks? I mean, I'm stronger than anything. 

Aquaman: Except Kryptonite.

Superman to Wonder Woman: Why?

Bat-Man: Fellas, enough. We all wear gay costumes for fuck sakes. Look at us. This stuff could have been made by Fruit of the Loom.

Robin: Bat-man is right. Can we get to work?

Superman: Where's Green Lantern?

Sound of toilet flushing emerges.

Superman: Come on GL, we have to head to Planet Fedotoo.

Flash: It's pronounced Fedo-tew.

Superman: Fuck you. Find you're own way.

Green Lantern: Where's my ring?

Robin: I saw it earlier right over...

Green Lantern: On the cutting board?

Robin: Yeah.

Green Lantern: Without my ring I'm just a guy in a green and black costume.

Aquaman: Oh, oh.

Green Lantern: Spill it Aquaman.

Aquaman: I sorta took it to the...

Green Lantern: Well...

Aquaman: Pawn shop!

Green Lantern: You hawked my ring?

Hawk-Man: I take offense to that term.

Aquaman: How was I supposed to know it was yours! Hm. Come to think of it, the guy did seem a tad overjoyed.

Green Lantern: Jesus Christ, how much did you get for it?

Aquaman: 100 bucks.

Green Lantern lunges for Aquaman: I think you're brain is filled with too much salt water.

Superman: QUIET!

Flash: Power tripper.

Superman: Shut the hell up Flash. I'll go with with Wonder Woman. Bat-Man will go with Robin...

Robin (to Bat-Man): No shit.

Flash: I wonder why he's going with Wonder Woman.

Superman: And Q-man can stay back and...anyway let's go.

Robin: What about Green Lantern?

Superman: Fuck him. He's useless.

Green Lantern: What's gonna happen to me?

Flash: Um, I know we have to go and save a planet but can we please think about the environment? Maybe we can all hop in the Invisible Jet? Or maybe ride on Superman's back?

Superman: Just because I'm Superman - the most powerful super hero in the world. Yeah, I'm looking at you Bat-Man - doesn't mean I don't have back spasms. Douche!

Flash: Well, I can't go in good conscience.

Superman: So don't come. But I want your junk cleared by 5pm tonight.

Flash: Isn't that harsh? It's not like I had sex with the cleaning lady!

Bat-Man: Come with and cut this shit out or OUT!

Superman: Cool?

Flash: Cool.

Superman: Let's roll.

Robin: Wait!

Superman: What now?

Robin: Prayer!

They hold hands and pra.

Bat-Man: Altogether now!

1-2-3, what are we? S-U-P-E-R!

Superman: I hate that cheer.

The greatest force of good ever assembled finally leave to save planet Fedotu. Nearby, Spider-Man looks on in disbelief.

Spider-Man: There goes one dysfunctional group of Superheroes.

End. Fin. Fini.

Bow. Jeers follow.


Why Turkey Doesn't Yet Belong In The EU

Handling Turkey is a delicate thing. An important Western ally (at least for now), with important economic and historical ties to the Europe, Turkey is the only secularized Muslim nation facing modernity. On this alone, its membership into the EU is a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, this is offset by its human rights record.

How can Turkey apply for EU membership as it actively suppressed the rights of the Church of Constantinople and the tiny Greek Orthodox population? How can it look at Greece, an EU member, and wish for membership? Its human rights record, as a whole, is simply not up to standards with the EU. Most Greek Orthodox citizens were expelled and the tiny minority left behind remain in a precarious situation vulnerable to Turkey's wrath.

Moreover, Turkey still hasn't come clean about the Armenian genocide. 155 million Armenians died? 155 million? Wow.

Then again, the West does turn a blind eye on China's patently inhumane rights record. True, they're not asking for EU membership but still...

Anyway, usually economics and politics prevail when it comes to this sort of stuff. We'll see how Europe handles the Turkey file moving forward.

Follow The Stock

Is it a coincidence that biotech and big pharma stocks have been making strong gains as the U.S. inches towards towards some kind of Obamacare bill?

All I Want To Do Is Blog

I received good news about a locale I was scoping for a business. My life will change forever. I can't wait.


They're pickin' up the prisoners
And puttin em in a pen
And all she he wants to do is dance, dance blog, blog
Rebels been rebels
Since I don't know when
And all she he wants to do is dance blog
Molotov cocktail the local drink
And all she he wants to do is dance, dance blog, blog
They mix 'em up right
In the kitchen sink
And all she he wants to do is dance blog
Crazy people walkin round with blood in their eyes
And all she he wants to do is dance, dance, dance blog, blog, blog
Wild-eyed pistols wavers who ain't afraid to die
And all she he wants to do is dance blog
And make romance - you bet.
She can't feel the heat
Comin off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she he wants to do is
All she he wants to do is dance blog
Well the government bugged the men's room
In the local disco lounge
And all she he wants to do is dance, dance blog, blog
To keep the boys from sellin
All the weapons they could scrounge
And all she he wants to do is dance blog
But that don't keep the boys from makin a buck or two
And all she he wants to do is dance, dance blog, blog
The still can sell the army
All the drugs that they can do
And all she he wants to do is
All she he wants to do is dance blog
And make romance - you bet
Well we barely make the airport
For the test plane out
As we taxied down the runway
I could hear the people shout
The said, "don't come back here Yankee"
But if I ever do
I'll bring more money
Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance

All I want to do is blog.

Car Lease Market In Quebec Large

I recently bumped into a high school acquaintance at a cocktail party.  We always got along. He owns a BMW/Land Rover dealership that's been in the family for over 30 years. He was telling me Quebec is a huge lease market. Biggest in Canada and quite probably in the world. We're that addicted to it.

I asked him if he believed if it was a function of economics; notably we're not a cash rich province. He doesn't "think" it is, it is in his view.

That's the part of the equation the anti-seperation forces try to drive home to those who want to split Canada in two: With what money do you want to do that? "C'est pas grave" one friend used to tell me. "Let's do it and worry about the particulars later."

Real sound. Wise indeed.



The Mysterious Christmas Card

I recieved a Christmas card the other day.


All good.

One problem.

I have no clue who "Paul and Bethane" are.

Canada's Political Insularity And Dean's Advice: Kill Bill

I love when I hear Quebecers - citizens and pundits alike - assert America is a "closed" and insular society. Talk about calling the kettle black. Sometimes I wonder if I live in a world purposely created by Franz Kafka.

America is, to my mind, the exact opposite. America (along with Canada of course) willingly absorbs people and ideas like no other nation on the planet.

Quebec is still in full "protect thy culture and language" mode. By this virtue, insularity comes as a by product with this choice.

Interestingly, America elected its first black President earlier this year and the city of Houston - the fourth largest city in America. Quick trivia: which city did it replace as the 4th largest metropolis? - is poised to elect an openly gay Mayoral candidate in Annise Parker. It's significant, I think, because it's in the state of Texas.

Canada, by contrast, has never elected a black or any ethnicity for that Prime Minister - not even a whiff. It had a woman in Kim Campbell as PM but does that really count? I'm still waiting for a rising star in the women's ranks.To be fair, in the MP ranks we seem to be doing ok but is it enough in relation to our cultural make up?


Howard Deal, a physician, is calling on liberals to kill the Senate bill for health care reform. He claims there are more negatives in it than good.

At this point, it will be a Pyrrhic victory, if it passes, for the Democrats. They've calculated, I suppose, the morality component trumps everything. The more skeptical or cynical believe it simply sells out and makes the Democrats shills for the insurance companies.

In their calculations, they've determined health care reform comes before the economy.

That's called political suicide. Thinking "let's get health care out of the way and then move to the economy" is one big mistake.

For people jobs and the economy, in North America as a whole, will always come FIRST.

And rightfully so.

A Christmas Song

The Band is easily one of Canada's all-time great rock groups. I always enjoyed "Christmas must be tonight." The lyrics are especially poignant - they seem to come from a distant past given the attacks the Christian religion face.

Come down to the manger, see the little stranger
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the prince of peace
Wheels start turning, torches start burning
And the old wise men journey from the East

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

A shepherd on a hillside, while over my flock I bide
Oh a cold winter night a band of angels sing
In a dream I heard a voice saying "fear not, come rejoice"

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

I saw it with my own eyes, written up in the skies
But why a simple herdsmen such as I
And then it came to pass, he was born at last
Right below the star that shines on high

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

I admit, as I've always done, I'm not the most religious guy. I even have problems with certain aspects of Catholicism and Christianity. However, I keep things in proper historical perspective and choose to not be reactionary when it comes to challenging it. To me, more good than harm has come from this religion. Demeaning it makes not sense to me.

I purposely made sure I have a Manger under my Christmas tree. My wife and I are careful to explain the subtle messages in the Bible to my four year old daughter for the message within it is inherently good. We don't take it literally but we find value and enjoy in the moral tales, parables and fables.

The point is to ensure love and respect for all mankind, and Christmas, through the arrival of Jesus, is meant to remind us of this universal and powerful belief.

I'll be damned if someone attempts to coax and belittle me into denying this part of our heritage. I respect those who have chosen a different route. But if they go out of their way to prevent people the right to draw Crucifixes, say Merry Christmas and perform Nativity scenes, then I'm afraid I'll have to respectfully disagree and ask them to get out of the way.

On Olympic Torch Relay And Government As A Mafia

As Canada readies itself to welcome the world for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the traditional torch relay is finding its way through the country.

Is it me or are there way too many people getting their hands on it?

I don't know. Call it sour grapes or being overly critical, but this thing that average people getting the honor of carrying the torch for a lousy 300 meters doesn't strike me as interesting or proper. I've been hearing how companies pay to get the torch. Nice. That's all we need more bank managers and executives hogging a moment of glory at the expense of say, up and coming amateur athletes. Maybe then we can have ONE athlete run with it for one kilometer or something like that.

For me, the Olympic torch should be reserved for athletes. Let me expand, world class athletes; past and present. I don't mind the odd "feel good" personality; a person with a disability and so on, and that's about it.

So yeah, excuse me if I don't share in on the torch festivities. 


My cousin owns a brasserie/bar. In that bar, there are poker video machines. To anyone who knows how this racket works, gambling generates a killing. Ever wonder how certain bars are always empty but remain open? You got it - they have video machines.

And the government, the bureaucrats who control the Casino and alcohol through the SAQ, knows this.

In all its greed, they wanted  demanded a piece of the action. Like mobsters, they muscled in on the poker machine game and got their cut.

So bad is their appetite for looting money, they literally go into my cousin's bank account and grab the money. 

Try and tell me A) the government cares about people and B) it's not an organized mafia.

I know. One week from Christmas and I'm writing about this.

But Jesus would want me to stay true to myself, no?


Who Was St. Nick?

And what did he want and was he a commercial enterpriser?

Read more about the prolific present dispenser at the St.Nicholas Center.

Do They Know It's Christmas?

In the 1980s, British and Irish musicians culled their talents to form Band-Aid. Founded by Bob Geldoff (who remains active in Africa until this day) the proceeds from the hit single "Do they know it's Christmas" was for famine relief in Ethiopia.

This led to the American version was by USA for America and "We are the world" while Canada's Northern Lights chimed in with "Tears are not enough." 

Altruism abounded. 

So. Did/do the Africans know it was/is Christmas? Let's answer this, because you know, inquiring minds want to know.

With a population of roughly 850 million about 330 million are Muslim - that's 40% of the continent. I'd say, then, 40% didn't give a shit. Approximately half of Ethiopia's 70 million people are Muslim and, well, no one is Christian. It stands to reason, I will take a guess, they know Ramadan more. 

I have to conclude, someone didn't do their homework. In addition, there's some Western projection going on here. Sorry to be such a stickler 25 years later.


It's still was a neat concept and it did leave quite an impact.

Homeschool A Rising Trend And Option For Parents

Now that I've thoroughly spooked you with the last two fictional posts, I present a discussion on home schooling. Here are some statistical trends in North America with a link to the Fraser Institute.

My sister homeschools her son and while the reasons for this are varied - as is with many parents who under take this journey - one of the main reasons was the difficulty of integrating him into the mainstream school system. My nephew suffers from Turret/ADHD; at one point he was on the autism spectrum.To say it hasn't been easy for them is a massive under statement.

The government decided it was time to implement "integration" into the system; that is, students afflicted with autism and other neurological disorders were now to be taught alongside "normal" kids.

It hasn't worked out as well as it could. Teachers have been over stressed with the burdens and responsibilities that comes with such a project. The government, as they're apt to do, didn't provide the necessary resources to meet this lofty objective. There's simply not enough properly trained professionals to help cope with integration.

My wife, for example, teaches Grade 1. In addition to maintaining her duties to the class, she has to deal with two autistic kids and one with global developmental delay. The autistic kids demand full attention. It's hard to balance all this. Luckily she has one child worker with her. While she has never complained, I can see the stress in her. She recognizes that it's easy to ask for more social workers, too many adults in a class is not a good thing either.

All this to say, my sister saw first hand, despite some herculean work by some educators who actually cared, just how short changed everyone was getting. Being a highly intelligent and motivated gal, she decided to teach her son herself.

I know one person who homeschools doesn't like the lack of religion courses in public schools. As the government imposes more and more what will be taught, activist parents push back by maintaining their individual right to choose what to teach their kids.

I'm positioning myself to go this route if I deem it necessary down the road for my daughter.

This thing of showing Michael Moore and Al Gore movies in the classroon passing off as legitimate intellectualism I have a problem with.

Taking A Stand Against The Wind

It was a windy day. One could say a very windy day. If I had hair it would magnificently confront the mighty wind creating a manly image for all to behold. It was, alas, not to be. Given the absence of hair on top of my head, the wind's majestic swirls' n whirls was free to find another source to crash upon.

I sat, as air spoke to my scalp, eating a banana in a park facing a lovely man-made pond. Geese and ducks splished, splashed their way around. I fed them day old kamut bread. They seemed to enjoy it. How do birds process sugar? At least, I think it was a banana I consumed. It may have been a hamburger.

He popped up with a grin plastered across his face.

"Commentator? Is that you?"

"Do I fucken know you?" I politely replied.

"It's me. Peter-Paul-Pilon!"

"PPP? Purchasing power parity?"

"Purchasing power parity?"

"Don't know a PPP."

"This will jog your memory."

He flashed one of his nipples. A guy we knew in high-school who had no nipples. It was crazy creepy. I hadn't seen it in over 20 years until now.

I shrugged my shoulders.

"What you been up to?"


"No. Like, for all these years."

"I make shoe laces."


"I guess."

"What kind of laces?"

"Is this going anywhere?"

"Guess not."

"Who are all these loud mouth fools?" I asked.

"They're with me."

"Jesus. Why?"

"We're going to stop the wind."

"Stop the wind. And how in the world will you do that?"

"We want to stop the wind because it carries all sorts of contaminated dirt."


"And, hello, it's been linked to all sorts of bad stuff like bad breath, bad speech, bad cancer, bad etc. Plus it contributes to man-made global luke-warming."

"Is that what they're calling it now?"


"How can wind be man-made?"

"Not the wind. The shit embedded in the wind is what we want to stop from touching people. Wanna come with?"

"I think I'm going to turn my back on all this."

Just then, Triple P put on a vest that looked like an air filter. I asked him what it was.

"An air filter. It's the best way to catch the junk. Smart, huh?"


"Too bad you don't want to save the planet."

"You seemed so sensible back then. When did you go awry?"

"Well, you won't believe it but it's because of you."


"Remember that infamous handball game when you smashed my face with the ball?"


Writer's intrusion: I sucked big time at handball.

"You called it the Lithuanian Lob. It was more of a missile. It was a strange name to give since there were no Lithuanians in school. Plus, the Soviet Empire was still standing and thus Lithuanians didn't exist. But then communism took it in the ass. I can't believe it. I can't believe capitalism won. How stupid are people?"

"That can't be measured."

"You know it."

"But, how was it my fault?"

"Soon after something changed in me. Deep in my gut, you know?"

'Who says it was an accident?"

"Funny guy."

Just then someone called out for Triple P. Her agonizingly deep and annoying voice was penetrating my temple with the force of a Mr. Burns punch. Her perfect tits were practically protruding out.

"Peeeeeeeeeeeter! Come on. We have woooooork to do!"

"I gotta go. It was great seeing you!"

I turned around and continued eating my fruit cup. The wind was as beautiful as ever despite the ruckus behind me. The ducks in the water seemed to enjoy it too. 

I closed my eyes, smiled and hoped the wind would carry atomic energy and  incinerate PPP and his bizarre band of bozos.

My Day In Court

On trial for the murder of Rocket J. Squirrel, The Commentator faced a grueling set of questions from the District Attorney.

DA: Is it not true, Commentator, you held the knife in your hand just prior to Rocket J. Squirrel being gutted?

TC: That's preposterous!

*Slams fist in palm*

And is it also not true you wielded it before the little squirrel?

That's ridiculous.

*Pounds desk*

How much are you getting paid to take this hit for the real culprits Boris and Natasha?

That's crazy.

*Waves hand*

Do you own a blog, Mr. Commentator?

That's absurd.

*Looks down on ground*

Are you done answering in that matter? If not, we'll have to hold you in contempt.

That's insane.

*Wipes sweat from forehead*

Do you not read many, many publications and blogs?

That's nuts.

*Flips page in magazine*

And you stalk each and every one of them by leaving threatening and incoherent comments?

That's mental.

*Let the record show, The Commentator smirks*

Is your birth name Paulie Pete Pascalinette?

That's incorrect.


Are not, in fact, a hermaphrodite?

That's misleading.

*Shrugs shoulder*

Your wife seems to think so.

That's bull shit.

*Winks at her. Gestures a sexual advancement*

Judge: Court is in recession. It will reconvene tomorrow at 8am.

That's not good.


Judge: Good it is and you shall be present and on time. Do I make myself clear?



Stay tuned.


Is The Criminal Justice System Stacked Against The Victim?

My wife's colleague at work is being stalked. Naturally, the cops said they can nothing about it. So she lives in fear.

Now, the stalker is emboldened. They know the law favors them in the early stages. Twice he tried to break into her house. Again, the cops can't do anything.

Until, Heaven forbid, she's hurt...or dead.

What are women to do?


Which brings me to this story in England. A man and his family were threatened with their lives by intruding criminals. The victims defended themselves and then some. They went to jail while the perpetrators went free.

Turns out the judge has a sad track record of lenient sentences for serious offenses. 

The Myth Of The French Revolution

Here's a piece on the French Revolution written, appropriately enough, in French.

The crux? How it never lived up to its promise. Instead, it degraded itself eventually commiting suicide under the full weight of reactionary violence through the vile and murderous Reign of Terror.

Tyranny is a tough habit to break. America is the only nation to create a prosperous and functional free society. It's under duress right now but it's notable to remind that America didn't undergo the rampant massacres seen in France.

The philosophical heritage of the enlightenment found its ultimate expression in America and not France.

The post reminded me of the debate in letters between the great conservative thinker Edmund Burke and philosopher Thomas Paine; so influential a figure in the annals leading up to the American Revolution. Burke considered the French Revolution an act against reason and an exercise in tyranny. Paine believed it was man freeing himself from the shackles of tyranny.

I wonder, in the context of what happened in the aftermath, who won this debate? Can we say Burke did? Although, Paine was vindicated with the success of the American Revolution.


Why is climate change portrayed negatively? Why is everything attached to it a potential catastrophe?

Why not speak of the positive of it? I'm sure there's a positive side somewhere, no? What if we discover new resources or gain access to important ones, say, in the high Arctic?

Just saying.

Wrong Treatment For Quebec Women With Cancer

This isn't good. 39 women wrongly treated for breast cancer in Quebec.

Question is: Should health minister Yves Bolduc resign?

Wall St. Conspiracies

Neat article on MSN discussing 'Five Wall St. Conspiracies."

By the way, I don't consider "Global warming is a hoax" to be in that category. While my eyebrows remain raised, I can't yet cross that bridge.

More From NYT Finest

***Warning: Some explicit ranting. Put the chil'den in another room ***

Paul Krooooooooogman, is at it yet again. Paul, the economist, like his liberal brethren Al Gore, the engineer, has become, somehow, an expert pundit on climate change.

Let me be the first here to say: They know squat. I know nothing and freely admit it. I'm just not lucky enough to have a job to pay me to pretend being an expert.

Yukon Ho! Krooooogman says:

The rage, by the way, is amazing. Nothing gets me as many crazed emails and comments as any reference to climate change. The anti-global-warming people are just filled with hate for anyone who suggests that maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of scientists are right.

Nothing like a good speculation piece to go with that muffin. Skepticism = hate? So much for healthy skepticism. The rest is just a baby-la-la cop out.

Maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of pseudo-scientists are wrong?

I don't want to hear "maybe" I want PROOF.

First, environmentalism is the ultimate “Mommy party” issue. Real men punish evildoers; they don’t adjust their lifestyles to protect the planet. 

Second, climate change runs up against the anti-intellectual streak in America. Remember, just a few years ago conservatives were triumphantly proclaiming that Bush was a great president because he didn’t think too much:
Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He’s normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He’s not exotic. But if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help. He’ll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, “Where’s Sally?” He’s responsible. He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.
So they’re outraged, furious, at the notion that they have to listen to guys who talk in big words rather than sports metaphors.

Interesting. Still speculation though.

So when did he conclude this social examination? They fall into two categories only?

I'm sure there's some of that going on but, again, he's completely avoiding the people who don't fit in his neat cultural theory. He's, furthermore, insulting those with a critical mind wanting to scratch further; those who aren't happy with stopping the buck with punditry.

Equating deniers to anti-intellectualism is a big, big specious assertion.

I think what people are objecting to, Kroooooogman, is that they're being coerced into changing their lifestyles meanwhile they watch the elites leave one gigantic carbon print frolicking around the world in limos and private jets.

See this? Yeah, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, mm, mm. Environmentalism is literally killing Africans.

On a side note, he speaks of anger as if it belongs exclusively to one side of the coin. Liberals are rational and free of anger. Sure. If you say so...Mr. Smarty Pants.

Liberals can be every bit as idiotic. Take the the Liberal party of Canada for example; a party at this point which not only lacks substance but is outright a joke. They recently commissioned a public contest asking citizens to come up with a creative protest picture about why Prime Minister Harper was reluctant to attend Copenhagen.

Fair enough. I love seeing what people come up with.

Like the one picture that slipped through Liberal state of the progressive art screening process where some nut case photo shopped Harper's face on Lee Harvey Oswald's face just as Jack Ruby shot and killed him.

Oh, yeah. Free speech and all that. Absolutely. I defend the picture. What I don't condone is that a PARTY OF THIS COUNTRY posted it on its site!

The Liberals would be the first, because they're a bunch of whiny, hypocritical bitches, to go absolutely bat shit insane if a picture of this sort had shown up on a conservative website.

The people running the Liberal party web site showed poor judgment. Heck, I'll even go out and say they're dumb assholes. For kicks.

Once again, free speech hell yeah but for the Liberal party "web team" to accept it on the "natural governing" party site is inexcusable and people should lose their jobs over it.

The subsequent apology was weak to boot.
The ultimate irony is the Liberal party of Canada's record on the environment was an abysmal failure. They signed Kyoto and did squat about it. In other words, they smiled, signed and didn't deliver.

And they have the balls to pull shit like this?

So excuse me Paul, if I don't buy into your gibberish. This is what passes as "progressive" thinking in the liberal rank and file. Apparently.

Look, there’s a faint echo of all this on the left — people who are outraged at the idea that we’re going to make saving the planet basically a business decision, aligning private incentives with environmental goals so that doing the right thing becomes a profit opportunity rather than a moral duty. That, I think, is what’s behind the furor over cap and trade.

No. Because it's a game of wealth redistribution where a select few will profit big time. I don't know if the green revolution will destroy or enhance our economies and neither does he.

Africa and developing countries will get sodomized once again because of a new, perverse version of the "White Man's Burden."

Another thing I find interesting is the math. They set carbon emissions targets as far out as 2050. But I thought we needed to do something now. They frame their arguments as if the world is about to collapse any second now. Oh, I see. If we don't do something now, the future will be even worse. Sound stuff.

Mr. Paul is better off dealing with actual facts posited by skeptics rather than belittling and insulting people's intelligence.

But it’s the anti-environmental craziness that matters. An important part of the population just doesn’t want to believe in the kind of world in which we have to limit our appetites on the say-so of fancy experts. And so they angrily deny the whole thing.

You first.

Until then, let me be "angry" in peace.



Jesus On The Crucifix Drawing Draws Ire From School

Wow. I mean, wow. Wo!

When an eight year-old boy was asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas he drew this:

It was deemed "violent" and he was sent home and underwent psychological evaluation. Apparently, in the States, there's a thing called "mandatory disclosure" and teachers can get in a lot of trouble if the authorities find out down the road information not reported if a person commits a crime. Crazy stuff. Thank big brother for that one. Tough pickle for teachers that's for sure.

Nonetheless, so much for the 1st amendment. Ironically, through this picture we're all reminded of what Christmas really is about: the birth of Christ and the death for all our sins. 

Image: Taunton Gazette.

Count Floyd's Scary Merry Christmas

SCTV was home to many classic skits and Chrissssssssmas was no exception.

The kid from Deliverance. Priceless. Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and the under rated Joe Flaherty.

And then there's this gem: Christmas in Leutonia. With those two nutcases Eugene Levy and John Candy (God rest his soul).

Meet Al Gore: The Cancellor

Al Gore was supposed to speak at a convention in Denmark as part of the hypocrisy orgy at the United Nations Climate Change Conference - Ka-Ching!  

But, the man who would save us all decided to conveniently bail out. That sound was Gore's smoke leaving incognito on his private jet. "Let's blow this popsicle stand. We'll try again at a later date. The polar bears need me, dammit!"

I wonder why he would quit. Quitter! Hmm. Why? Let me see, oh - snaps fingers - that's it! The Danish papers screwing developing countries and Climategate! He ain't no dummy. Copenhagen is compromised now. It's a sham. He saw the Co2 writing on the wall.

Bunch of fraudulent clowns.


Quote Of The Day

I'm conservative, but I'm not a nut about it.

George H. Bush.

Then the hard right rebelled.

Climate Strawman: Canada

Canada wins a fossil award - or something.

Blah, blah, blah.

Canada, the bestest, brightest, coolest country in the world, is being picked on.

Please. Canada can do all it wants, lead by example, wreck its economy (although I'm not so sure that will happen)  and it still won't have any real impact. Not as long as bigger more powerful nations like China, India, Russia and the U.S. don't commit.

Still, it's true Canada talks a nice environmental game but never really takes action. Canadians are wired that way. 

Hopenhagen is, as it goes, now useless. The notorious Danish texts made sure of that. It's about global governance; not about climate change.

Harper was right all along to be skeptical of this nonsense.

Anyway, I find it odd that people attack Sarah Palin for her ulterior motives to sell more books when it comes to comments about climate change, but they don't reserve the same skepticism for Al Gore who stands to gain, it looks like, a heckuva lot more.

Qui bono?


Climbing The Corporate Ladder Like A Snake

Cripes, all this time I've been railing against the Peter Principle gone awry?

Aw man, don't get me going. It baffles and boggles my mind to the point of bewilderment how people possessing limited leadership, intellectual and overall social skills keep getting promoted.

In my narrow interpretation, it seems a worker gets rewarded for knowing how to play the game politically. Actual competence and merit is sometimes overlooked.

The bank and investment world is infested with this shit.

Berlusconi Attacked; Obama's Speech In Oslo; Google's GOOG; Goldman's Risk Taking Staggering

Pretty nasty stuff. Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was attacked by a 42 year old man. He was bloodied in the incident and while it's not serious he did lose a couple of teeth.

Italian commentator Beppo Grillo knows where he stands on this episode.

Fellow blogger Wind Rose Hotel has this interpretation. While you're at it, read his post about Pope Benedict XVI expressing outrage over child abuses at the hands of priests in Ireland.


This was probably Obama's best speech. Ironically, he gave it in Oslo for a prize he had no business winning.

He made the case for "moral" and "just" war - one I've repeatedly hammered here over the years - the natural state of man to war and that not all wars are unjust.


Google's Android phone (GOOG) is on its way. Curious to see the impact it will have on the mobile industry.


Goldman Sach's role in the financial nightmare and its risky dealings with AIG are becoming clearer. From the WSJ.

Repealing Glass-Steagall; A Reminder For Conservatives; Torture Under Canada's Watch

It's wearisome to keep hearing the following:

"Obama is trying to fix up the economic mess left behind by Bush!"

That's wrong.

The repeal (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) by Republican leaders Phil Gramm (Texas) and Jim Leach (Iowa) in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively and Democratic President Bill Clinton of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 had a major impact.

Originally introduced by Democrats (signed into law by FDR) during the Great Depression, the act was enacted basically to control speculation by banks. The banking industry worked to have it repealed and succeeded in 1999 thus blurring the lines between traditional commercial banks and investment brokerage houses.This led to many, along with some government pressure, to the financial meltdown.

Blaming just Bush is simplistic.


Conservatives have been making some interesting comments about the upcoming mid-term elections. They feel Americans, independents specifically, will rebel against Obama's policies by rewarding the Republican party (despite a distcint lack of real policies and perhaps even leadership) with the House.

They revel at the thought of this. However, I think they should remember that Ronald Reagan, a hero in the conservative movement, lost his mid-terms in 1986 further solidifying the animosity between the two national parties.

Another thing conservatives talk a lot about is the Constitution and how it's being trampled on by liberals and Obama. Well, it's not like Reagan went through Congress, as the Constitution discloses, to send cash to the Contras during the Iran-Contra Scandal.


Foreign Affairs Minister Peter McKay is under fire for a cover up attempted by the Canadian government and military for the torture of captured Taliban soldiers consequently handed over to Afghan authorities. It's hard to believe Canada, under both the Liberals and Conservatives, was unaware this took place. To what degree and how often seems to be up in the air so it's time to come clean with all the details.

The cover up was exposed after diplomats decided to take the rare step of outing out the government.


It Pays To Work For The Government In The U.S.

 From USA Today.

There's something terribly wrong when government employees earn more than workers in the private sector. Government salaries are based on taxpayer dollars since there's no wealth creation in the public sector.

USA TODAY analyzed the Office of Personnel Management's database that tracks salaries of more than 2 million federal workers. Excluded from OPM's data: the White House, Congress, the Postal Service, intelligence agencies and uniformed military personnel.
The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.
Key reasons for the boom in six-figure salaries:
• Pay hikes. Then-president Bush recommended — and Congress approved — across-the-board raises of 3% in January 2008 and 3.9% in January 2009. President Obama has recommended 2% pay raises in January 2010, the smallest since 1975. Most federal workers also get longevity pay hikes — called steps — that average 1.5% per year.
New pay system. Congress created a new National Security Pay Scale for the Defense Department to reward merit, in addition to the across-the-board increases. The merit raises, which started in January 2008, were larger than expected and rewarded high-ranking employees. In October, Congress voted to end the new pay scale by 2012.
• Paycaps eased. Many top civil servants are prohibited from making more than an agency's leader. But if Congress lifts the boss' salary, others get raises, too. When the Federal Aviation Administration chief's salary rose, nearly 1,700 employees' had their salaries lifted above $170,000, too.
 $71 206 to $40 331? Absolutely insane. 

What's the story in Canada? Check it out here.

Just A Series Of Middling Thoughts

From the Canadian International Development Agency. There it is: Aid to China. While not on the list of "priority" countries I still don't get why they should get any dough. India, another massive economy, gets some love too but at least they're a democracy and without human rights issues on par with China. A case can be made against Brazil too. Aren't Embraer in perpetual battle with Bombardier? Battle of the corporate welfare bums! To think some of our cash probably finds its way into Embraer! Hilarious.


A number of organizations have complained about lack of funding for their causes. Instead of complaining, why not fund raise? Why depend on the government?

Here's what I believe. Many people have good ideas about many things. Asking for funding or a grant is a nice way to set up shop in some cases. Once up and running, that organization must begin to sell itself to the public at large. In other words, relying on taxpayer dollars shouldn't be a means to an end.

If they want to survive and expand in order to continue doing good things, like anyone with a great idea, take it straight to the source - the people. If the idea has relevance they will give. If it doesn't they won't. It will provide a direct pulse of what the people think.

Instead, we get too many organizations hide behind taxpayer money while begging to get it from a bureaucrat. This is the sort of coercion I loathe when it comes to "socialism." There's a certain "people are too stupid" or "people don't care enough" arrogance to the process. Try me. Come to me. Sell me on your ideas. You'd be surprised at the results. It's not easy. You will be turned down. Heck, you may fail. But you have to continue if you believe in your cause. Before you know it - BANG! - success!

Let me put it to you another way. You want to help, say, eradicate illiteracy in Mozambique. Noble cause. You spell out exactly how it's beneficial to Africans and why we should give. Let's say you do a great job and people give. What more of a stamp of approval for your cause do you want?

One cause I gave to was buying a special net to protect children in Africa from flies carrying malaria from attacking them while they slept. It was being advertised. I read up on it and decided it was worth giving to. 

No fucking bureaucrat in the way. Just people to people.

Try it. Find faith and hope in your fellow man.


Heard a socialist on the radio today make quite the comment. For the longest while, all I've had to endure was how much of a blood thirsty animal Harper is for keepin Canada in Afghanistan, but when Obama does it he's making the case for "moral war."

Oi. The head spins at the stupidity of it all. By the way, he's a guy who demands people buy more energy efficient cars and ridicules people for having a "small" view of things but drives a big, new - you guessed it - SUV.


From the "Wow, did he just say that?" files.

Chris Matthews: "Palin’s not so stupid that she actually doubts man-made global warming, does she?"

See. I don't get this sort of stuff. How can a "journalist" or pundit with millions (?) of viewers say a thing like this? Why is it that every time these clowns are questioned they immediately dismiss other people as "stupid?" The way I look at it, the real idiot is the person making the charge.

Attack on the basis of the fucking content of the argument. IT'S NOT HARD.

The way Matthews presents it is, A) she's a douchetard and should be summarily ignored and B) there's no debating this issue.

Gee. I gotta say, there's plenty to discuss and debate Mr. Man on TV.

As for me calling people names on my blog? That's fair game because I can spot - snap! - a douche a mile away.


You know, if Bush had said America had "57 states" or "America never fought a war against a democracy" or "when I took office last year" when clearly it was "this" year, the mainstream press would have lost all their marbles.

In my free time, I like googling comments made by politicians. What turns up is sometimes fascinating. Usually, whenever you punch in a quote, you want to see a wide range of organizations, publications and bloggers covering it. However, that's not always the case. You can immediately tell who is covering someone's ass.

On this front, there's no question Obama has been protected - although that's slowly changing. His misquotes are either ignored or dismissed as "honest mistakes." My brother is a classic leftist. Anything Bush said was scoffed at. "He's an idiot." When you present similar comments made by Obama, "He's too smart and people are reaching." I tend to give the benefit of the doubt too. I did it for Bush and I try as hell to do it for Obama. Then again, the President of the fricken United States of America shouldn't be making constant oral mistakes. So if you're one of those people who doesn't tolerate it, I get that. Totally.

What more, I listened to Obama's speech in Norway. It basically is a plea for the acceptance of a "moral and just" war. Hm. I thought I heard this before. Where was it again? Oh yeah, from the previous administration he loves to constantly bash in public! Another example how partisanship skews the perception.

In any event, don't believe me, I'm just a guy who peels potatoes badly, try it for kicks. Take a quote from a politician and see where it lands you. You may interpret it differently from me.

Regardless, you'll be surprise at what you find. It's helped clear my opinion on certain issues.


The way I see it, I think both Obama and Bush are the same. They both stink and stank at conveying their message. One happens to sound "better" at it.


So. When does Obama start talking in the third person. You know, like Costanza (and Jimmy) on Seinfeld? "George is getting very upset!" "Jimmy doesn't like misunderstandings."

Obama: "Obama doesn't like it when people criticize him. Obama needs to calm down now!"


Hear a lot about Sarah Palin being a dominionist have you? Who are dominionists anyway and how does Palin fit into this? Read Huffington and you get the picture she's a dangerous nutcase. Read theocracywatch and you get a more complex picture.


Socialism And The Soul

Dancing to the Superfriends theme on a pair of soul less slippers, I ate Ritz crackers - yo beyotch close them drapes and stop staring into my kitchen! Maybe it was the wondrous taste my snack or the inspiration of watching Green Lantern, Bat Man and Robin, Aquaman and Superman team up in unison to create the greatest forces of good and justice for all mankind that got me thinking of how socialism ruins and destroys the individual soul.

Socialism is destructive because on its surface it comes in peace. On the front end, that is the exterior, it seems functional even natural to our existence.

It possesses, Lord knows, good intentions. But it can't possibly cure what ails mankind through the power of the state. Using coercion to force one segment of the population to submit to another against its will, under the guise of the greater good, does leave a corrosive impact somewhere down the line of our individual consciousness.You have to take from individualism to give to socialism.

Furiously the crumbs fall to the ground. The theme song is now over. I discover Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism.

I shamefully take but one excerpt and copy/paste it here:

Individualism, then, is what through Socialism we are to attain to. As a natural result the State must give up all idea of government. It must give it up because, as a wise man once said many centuries before Christ, there is such a thing as leaving mankind alone; there is no such thing as governing mankind. All modes of government are failures. Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things. Oligarchies are unjust to the many, and ochlocracies are unjust to the few. High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people. It has been found out. I must say that it was high time, for all authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralising. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment. "He who would be free," says a fine thinker, "must not conform." And authority, by bribing people to conform, produces a very gross kind of overfed barbarism amongst us.

The Real Meaning Of Christmas

As part of my favorite Christmas Special, I present Linus. He knows where it's at.

So far, I've presented Newsradio and Charlie Brown.

Merit Wins Out

I'm glad a wrong has been righted regarding the Connecticut firefighters.

Global Governance Fast Approaches

Don't believe this whole climate thing has an ulterior motive?

Try global governance.

This sort of stuff spooks me. Especially when I have no say in it.

It is a massive wealth distribution program. They, them, readily admit this.

Oh, Please

And this just in from the "Stoopid Files." A political scientist professor from the University of Alberta, that's in Canada, let's call her Shaua Wilton has decided Thomas The Tank Engine is sexist and right wing.

I won't even bother. Though I fret with fear what she must tell her students about politics!

Taking It In The Teeth

It looks like left leaning people are increasingly getting confused by Obama. Try this for good measure. By the pen of Tina Brown.

During his speech at Brookings, it was indeed hard to follow the Prez. Let's see. His "solution" to the economic problem was to spend through it. That failed. No sweat. He inherited it. Never mind no one put a gun to his head to expand Bush's stimulus plan. Then, he decided to - horror! - offer tax cuts and incentives to small businesses. So now he took a page out of Reaganomics? Of course, the tax cuts he proposes are meaningless because savvy small business owners won't budge until they understand the full financial implications of Obamacare on their bottom line.

Today, over in Norway - where crowds cheered him - he sent further mixed signals. He admitted he didn't deserve it, reading between the lines of course. He went on to, cryptically, sell why he had to expand the war in Afghanistan making references to how just talking wasn't going to defeat Nazi Germany. The implication being the use of force in Afghanistan is just. Which, by now, should make one realized: Bush was right.

"I'm for peace. I mean, this medal is really cool. Peace is what I "wanted" but I was given a plate of rotten brussel sprouts. I can't give you that right now, you see Norweeegenians. It's more complicated. Sometimes you need to use force. But that's like getting peace if we win, right? Whoa! Where's my next prize?"

Anyway, despite the roses thrown at his feet, he's facing some heat from Norwegians. 53% are a little peeved he split before attending the Nobel Peeeeeece Prize concert in his honor. From the Norway Post.

It's tough being President. What, with all the scrutiny, eh?


Yes, Those Emails Were Serious

It's amazing. I was flipping through the channels and landed on Larry King with Ben Stein, Pen Jillette and Stephanie Miller as guests. It's all good these opinions and everyone is entitled to them but I consider it to be absolutely ridiculous that a commentator or pundit would even entertain the thought that those infamous and notorious East Anglia emails aren't important as Ms. Miller did. Have your opinion, ga'head. It shouldn't destroy the global warming theory, but don't sit there and tell people those emails were insignificant. 

Don't insult me that way.


What the frick do people want as more proof  that those guys were a bunch of deceitful crooks and assholes. It was a serious affront to open intellectual and scientific debate. If the science is so secure and damning then why lie like that?


More On Hopenhagen; Consensus Shmonsensus; L'il Tigger Woods' Fall From Something

I can't figure out how people can stand up and call the bank industry and scam but accept the massive transfer of wealth aimed at by climate robber barons? I just wished I could get me a piece of that sca...action.

Anyway. This is getting crazy. Copenhagen crazy! 

I want to see PM Harper - that climate "criminal" - go Trudeau on everyone and take a hard stand. Heck, blast the whole thing and let the Limo lovers know the people are watching them. Heck again, go off on a long Chavezesque rant or Shakespearean soliloquy.

All is not lost. The Weather Meteoroligcal Organization published this interesting article:

The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850, according to data sources compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2009 (January–October) is currently estimated at 0.44°C ± 0.11°C (0.79°F ± 0.20°F) above the 1961–1990 annual average of 14.00°C/57.2°F. The current nominal ranking of 2009, which does not account for uncertainties in the annual averages, places it as the fifth-warmest year.

The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989). More complete data for the remainder of the year 2009 will be analysed at the beginning of 2010 to update the current assessment.
So. When does Moonbiot blame Harper for this? I personally think it's Bush's fault.  


About the word "consensus." I never really cared for it. Consensus is one broad, elusive and evasive term to apply to something like climate change.

All I know is that sometimes, not always, sometimes, when there are six people in agreement and one dissents, the six aren't necessarily right. Now we're getting into the whole tyranny of the majority and black sheep thing.

Did Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton need "consensus" to prove their point? No. They let the science do the talking.


It's ironic about Tiger Woods. You know, about how careful he was politically but not socially or morally. L'il Tigger - grrrroowwll - went kaput on the latter two.

My gal, a chick with a high IQ, always asks about celebrity couples that fall from superficial grace, "But they looked so happy together!" When it comes to manufacturing an image, smart people can be had.

We don't know squat about what goes on behind closed doors and we shouldn't want to know. Fuck celebrities. It's a simple thought really.

Tiger Woods could have fucked 50 girls and I wouldn't care. Unless one of those girls was my wife. Then I'd be angling for hush money. Ahem.

What we have here, Watson, is an image problem. Whenever you carefully craft and manufacture an image - in his case, a good family guy - you set yourself into a minefield. Kobe Bryant, to cite an example I've heard used as a comparison, wasn't in the same league as Woods in terms of image. Bryant was a bad boy and was never cast as a family guy. He isn't even well liked. So it's not surprising he was able to overcome his own sexual indiscretions. It was par for the course - excuse the pun. Woods is a trickier case. His need to add to his foursome was surprising to his fans and the public at large.

I remember when Woods' father once said he wanted his son to be like Mandela and Gandhi. It was a remarkable thing to do; comparing a fricken golfer - golfer! - to those men!

Charlie Sheen, for his part, doesn't pretend - until he finds a hobby or cause to campaign for at which point he'll annoy us all about his new found reason to live.

A Frightening Episode No One Should Have To Face

The other day we watched an episode of Criminal Minds about a couple of home invaders who kill a family of four. My wife looked at me "what do you do in that instance?"

I replied, well, it's all survival instincts by then. But here's the rub: You can't be that way according to the law. You have to be "rational." I further added, when you think of it, the right to bear arms is a matter of security. Yes, it's a dangerous proposition but one that can ultimately save your life. The state doesn't see it that way and can prosecute you, if you kill someone entering your house, for defending your property and family.

It's almost as if they want you to be Cool Hand Luke under duress. The truth is, we don't know how individuals react when confronted with a moment of survival. Everyone is different. I told my wife, it's unfortunate, we should be allowed to have a gun and use it if necessary. Instead, we've been conditioned to believe owning a gun is evil. So what's the next best thing? I have to keep in the back of my head where I keep my baseball bat, hammer or knife.

Which brings me to this story about Donna Jackson in Oklahoma. Listen to the 911 call. It's incredible. What more could she do? Warning shot? Ok. Warning shot. He ignores it because he's drunk and lunges at her and kills her. Now the story is all about "that poor woman" and how depraved society is. This lady defended herself. She did what she could in a moment of pure terror. She's no "premeditated" killer. She shouldn't spend one second in jail. It was the man who was killed who freely put himself, aided by alcohol, in that situation. It's easy to second guess her. I'm not.

The victim is not the criminal here. It's sad for the man but reserve blame for him in this situation.

As for me, it drives me crazy that I know in the back of my head the cops can take me away in handcuffs for taking a baseball bat to a piece of shit thug forcing their way onto me and my peaceful kingdom.


All About Climate

I think the climate is changing. It's making people coo-coo, coo-coo.

I dunno. We've yet to win the "war on poverty" and that's a human to human problem and now we think we can take on Mother Nature?


Greenpeace scales the Parliament building. First a couple crashes the White House and now Greenpeace manages to hang some signs from The Hill.

Crazy, but good for them. Not so good for the security community. 


Thomas Friedman's beeeezar logic.

If you follow the debate around the energy/climate bills working through Congress you will notice that the drill-baby-drill opponents of this legislation are now making two claims. One is that the globe has been cooling lately, not warming, and the other is that America simply can't afford any kind of cap-and-trade/carbon tax.

But here is what they also surely believe, but are not saying: They believe the world is going to face a mass plague, like the Black Death, that will wipe out 2.5 billion people sometime between now and 2050. They believe it is much better for America that the world be dependent on oil for energy -- a commodity largely controlled by countries that hate us and can only go up in price as demand increases -- rather than on clean power technologies that are controlled by us and only go down in price as demand increases. And, finally, they believe that people in the developing world are very happy being poor -- just give them a little running water and electricity and they'll be fine. They'll never want to live like us.
Yes, the opponents of any tax on carbon to stimulate alternatives to oil must believe all these things because that is the only way their arguments make any sense.
And so he opens his article. Wow. Talk about all sorts of straw men and projections! Terrible. It's almost as if he doesn't believe there are any legitimate reasons to oppose the topics discussed.

Then there's this interview on Camp-bell Brown:

"But here's my take on it - maybe it isn't 90 percent, like some of the skeptics say," Friedman said. "Maybe it is 80 percent. Maybe it is 50 percent. But you know what that means? There is a 50 percent chance that - when you put that CO2 in the atmosphere, it stays there for about 3,000 years. So, if we keep putting it there and it stays there for 3,000 years and it does start raising temperatures, it is going to be hot here, Campbell, for a long, long time."

Huh? Wha? Pulitzer? That makes no sense to me. None. Please, someone, 'splain to me.


Rex Murphy is my reason for living. Everyday I fight to find a reason to exist but all I need to do is look at the poster of Murphy over my bed and I find my strength. His take on Climatescam, Climategate, Climatefence or whatever you care to tag a name to it.


Hopenhagen. Hopenhagen? Hansel? Hossenffer? Hopenfrickenhagen?


Which country is the most dangerous and destructive on the planet? China? North Korea? Iran? Freedonia? If you guessed any of these you're wrong dipshit. At least according to Monbiot.com:

So amazingly destructive has Canada become, and so insistent have my Canadian friends been that I weigh into this fight, that I’ve broken my self-imposed ban on flying and come to Toronto.
Imagine if we had Enola Gay and increased spending on the military what would he say!

Look, there's a bunch of things Canada comes up short on but does our misbehavior on the environment justify this argument? 

Anyway, read it for yourself. Seems a tad hyperbolic to me but hey...I'm just THE COMMENTATOR! Autograph session next week at the corner of St. Laurent and St. Catherine. For old times sake - inside Montreal joke.


This is tooooooo mooooooooch. As the elites drum the "you must change or else we will all die...arghhh!" beat to nauseating levels, it's not hard to begin to wonder about "qui bono."

Most of the stretched vehicles have been driven hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden. Last week, France ordered an extra 42 of them. Only five of the limos are hybrid, the rest are petrol and diesel, the Independent reported.

Among the personal jets will be Air Force One. US president Barack Obama’s £180,000 limousine, known as “The Beast”, will arrive on a separate flight with a fleet of decoy helicopters, up to 500 security staff, six doctors, two chefs and his personal BlackBerry handler.

According to the organisers, the eleven-day meet, including the participants’ travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of “CO² equivalent”, equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough, the Telegraph reported.
Classic case of do as I say and not as I do...because, you know, I have to live it up and keep up my image.

Hey, Gore, here's a stuffed polar bear. You figure out what to do with it.

Anyway, it's too bad. We do indeed need to change our ways. On this note, I agree with Friedman. I believe we're not kind to the environment but these assholes making their way to Denmark are making it hard to take them seriously.