Obama As Lenin; White Collar Fraud Blog; Furloughs California Style; Hanson On Kennedy And Obama

The American Thinker thinks so.

It's an interesting read but I hope conservatives don't go overboard with Obama like the left did with Bush.


Blog of the day, heck, even week: White Collar Fraud. Crime info. straight from the mind of a convicted felon now turned blogger.


Furloughs as a cost cutting tool in Callyfornya. Read more here.


I have to admit, it creeps me out how people have spun the Kennedy-Kopechne tragedy. Victor Davis Hanson offers a conservative perspective. I don't think what we're hearing in the mainstream press is the entire picture. Kennedy had a real disturbing past; one that can't easily be overlooked. I'm sorry.

Imagine if he was a Republican...

Hanson also claims Obama is a statist and not a liberal.


Canada will be getting back to political business. It should be a wild one. Stay tuned.

Canada Must Dare To Dream; Democrats Limbaugh Obsessions Counterproductive

I'm sure some people may not like what I'm about to write but I believe it to have some merit. If not, I'm sure some of you will point it out.

I overheard a conversation between two people discussing America's racial problems.

We Canadians speak of American race relations as if we don't have any ourselves. Of course, anyone who has a mild understanding of Canadian history knows this to be false. Canada has a woeful racial record.

However, I hardly knock our past for it. Those were the times and harking back on it serves no one. It's good to be aware and offer the odd acknowledgment but it's best nations move on.

America has had a volatile racial history but yet it managed to elect a black President.

In America, there's an audacity to hope and strive for the best. In Canada, we don't dare dream. We don't aim for excellence. It's just the way things are here. To some, this prudent path is preferable. One man's version of balance is another man's definition of mediocrity.

Will we ever see in our lifetime a black or other minority elected as Prime Minister? Will Quebec ever produce a non-francophone premier?


Dare to dream. I like that.

In what discipline does Canada excel in? I mean, to the point we're envied and copied. Education? Nope. Our system is a mess. Public health? A dysfunctional monstrosity. Sports? Not really.

I must admit I was proud when the Canadian Olympic Association boldly asserted it was aiming to win the overall medals table in Vancouver 2010. Even if we don't, I don't care. At least we tried. Did you know Canada holds the dubious distinction of being the only nation ever to host an Olympic summer games and not win a medal? The winter games were hardly any better, until we were shocked into shame of not winning a gold in Calgary in 1988. Someone, somewhere said, "enough is enough."

I would love for us to say the same things in education. What is wrong in aiming to produce the best universities? How about public health? Why can't we say, "People, it's time this country truly lives up to its promise and produces the best medical system on the face of the earth and this is how we shall achieve it..." But right now, no one even dares admits publicly changes are necessary.

Aim high Canada! We can do it.


What's the definition of a loser? A Democrat. Let me explain.

Democrats and people on the left spend a lot of time obsessing over Rush Limbaugh and the influence he exudes upon Americans. The media, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton and the present administration have all made direct references to his comments. Did Bush obsess over Michael Moore? Just asking.

Now, I'm sure Limbaugh (he must drive liberals and independents absolutely bat shit crazy. Which I'm sure explains his massive popularity) does have some influence, but how much can he have? Either you believe Americans are impressionable dolts or you believe them to be free thinking and standing individuals. If Limbaugh is so powerful, how come then, did Clinton get elected twice? Or how did Obama get elected with full control of the House? Simplistic I know, but politicians use simplistic (and superficial) excuses.

Since 1992, the Dems (will) have been in power for 10 of those. The way they speak, you'd think they're the NDP - never sniffing a shot at power.

Think about this. They achieve power and they still find a way to whine! About a radio personality. Ugh.

Moreover, this "I inherited a mess" thing has...to...stop. At some point, you have to take ownership and show a set of balls. It's like buying a beat up building with potential. It may take time and you can console yourself for a short period you "inherited" a mess but in the end, you chose to enter it. Make it work and stop complaining.


Kennedy Thoughts

Reason Online ponders Ted Kennedy's passing.

"Indeed, upwards of 70 percent of Americans fear that a compulsory national system will diminish the quality of their care, and 77 percent expect costs to rise. Americans are not being ideological on the issue. They are simply being realistic. Back in the '60s, when Kennedy was a young senator with presidential ambitions, large majorities of Americans wanted the government to get more involved in education, health care, and other aspects of day-to-day life. We fear it now because government did in fact become more involved in every aspect of our lives, both public and intimate. We know from bitter experience that, whatever its intentions, the government (especially the federal government) is not particularly good at delivering the sort of individualized, ultra-responsive customer service that the private sector is itself only recently figuring out."

There's Plenty Of Scare Tactics To Go Around

One line of argument that makes me want to go Spoletta and jump off a building is when politicians, pundits and people alike blame economic and social problems on the "free market" system. While the Obama administration attempts to tackle the scare-mongering tactics used by opponents of his health care reform plan, the irony is blaming all ills with a "capitalism just doesn't work" rationale is scare-mongering too.

And a hopelessly bad argument at that.

In the next post, I'll write about personal experiences dealing with the government. People under estimate how costly government inefficiencies really are and contribute to the weakening of the free enterprise system.


Fox Is Right Leaning. At Least They Admit It

I find it lovingly amusing to have to listen to major mainstream networks continuously attack Fox for being "right-wing" while maintaining they're impartial.

Yeah. Right.

For example, I consider (Fox's evil twin) MSNBC to be a closet liberal media outlet. I don't want to expand the debate further than this lest it bogs this post down.

Which is an easier ideology to rally and organize: Liberalism or conservatism? Conservatives, while far from homegeneous (think neo-cons, Christians, moderate etc.), seem (and this is just a perception) to be a tighter bunch while liberals seem far more fractured and unsure of its footing.

In any event, at least Fox has the balls to at least admit it leans right. The other networks, assuming they are partial to a side, only delude themselves. But MSNBC are full of shit for pretending to be anything but liberal.

I've noticed some interesting (and incredibly intelligent) websites I read regularly also sometimes delude (or perhaps they're in the closet too?) themselves. They call themselves "Rational" and "Balanced" yet all I see is constant breakdowns of conservative intellectual indiscretions while posting "must read" links to liberal thinkers and writers. Whenever I see someone dismantling, say, George Will and then send the reader over to David Brooks and Paul Krugman it raises my eyebrows. I mean, Brooks and Krugman aren't infallible beings, right? For example, just the other day Brooks, with a straight face I presume, asserted Ted Kennedy "never" took part in negative personal attacks.

All I needed to do was do a google search to see this is patently untrue. Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas are two cases debunking the Brooks myth.

Which begs another questions: Why do commentators on both sides engage in selective memory?

As for my blog, yeah, I take a quasi-conservative-libertarian stance on certain issues but it's a moderate stance and I do everything in my power to present opposing views in a given post. Marxists, socialists, liberals, whatever, all have been (and are) welcomed and discussed here. I believe in the theory of learning from others. If this blog can cross the great big intellectual divide. hey, then power to the people is all I can say.

And by the way, kudos to ABC for tolerating its token conservative in John Stossel. The way I see it, all networks should have as many voices as possible. I don't need to hear "preaching to the choir" punditry. Many television shows do a fair job of it but I think they can do more.

Take The Muslim Brotherhood Seriously

This declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood in a memo to its members dating back to 1991 was released by the FBI and reported by the Washington Times. From counterterrorism.com:

" (members) must understand their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

Can't get clearer than this. I'm sure they're already doing this.

When it comes to terrorism, I get the distinct feeling it's prudent to take things at face value. Take them at their word.


Maher Says: Drag the Knuckle Draggers Into The 21st Century!

Excuse me?

Did...did I just hear Bill Maher, who I enjoy watching even if I disagree with him sometimes, call Americans (or at least those who oppose health care reform) "stupid?"

Please. Tell me I didn't hear this. I ask because I only have 85% hearing in one ear.

If true, well, he has balls that's for sure. At least he attempts to challenge Americans.


What an unfortunate state of intellectual affairs.

First off, it's inconsequential to his argument that "60% of Americans don't believe in evolution." You can't use this line of thinking to support health care reform. What if a few of them actually support it? Did he break down the numbers?

I'm wondering, does he think those Americans with thoughtful concerns are "stupid?" I thought dissent was a good thing in America. Ah, but only if it agrees with your side!

The other thing he said that intrigued me was his assertion "they must be dragged" into the reform. Is he promoting the notion government has the right to ignore the wishes of the people as long as it believes (along with the intellectual classes) it's doing the right thing? I think it doesn't take a grand mind to consider the implications of this.

If, say, 55% of Americans oppose reform, is it correct for the government to ignore the wishes of the majority and side with the minority? Tyranny of the minority if you will.

I'm not sure. Let's s suppose 45% of Americans are in fact correct about it, does this give them the right to over turn the majority? I know governments go against the wishes of their people all the time, but for a personality to advocate for it is something not right with me.

I do believe that sometimes hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, but I also understand this comes with all sorts of complicated nuances. If you're a politician what's your ultimate purpose on a particular issue: To rule with your conscience or listen to the people who elected you?

If you go with the former, you're banking on history eventually vindicating you. At which point, you'll be ordained a visionary. However, this presupposes your leader has the intellectual aptitude and moral fortitude to wrestle with complex issues. What if you're wrong? What if you force an issue you strongly believe in against the people? What then? How to measure the consequences of your decisions for posterity?

Is this the case on the whole?

A Lot Can Happen In Three Decades

30 years is a long time.

Much can change during such a time frame. For example, I became a "man."

For Time Magazine and other climate scientists, global cooling was the topic du temps.

From Global Cooling to Warming between the Rockford Files and CSI. Not bad.

I love (d) the Rockford Files by the way. I even had the miniature version of Jim Rockford's Firebird.

The Netherlands Go From Progressive To Insipid In A Jiffy

Though I'm not so sure they were progressive in the first place.

But, hey that's me.

Wow. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry about this story.

Social workers in the Netherlands have taken legal action to try to stop a 13-year-old girl from sailing around the world on her own.

Is there no belief in the sanctity of freedom of choice anymore?

Think about this for a second.

We may think it's irresponsible or stupid, but seriously, that's not my place to decide what people can and can't do. Seriously, where do we draw the line?

The governments action has so many potential unforeseen consequences it's too much for me to contemplate.

The government is not gaining ground - it caught us. Run, Forrest, run!

I hear in Holland they'll start assigning citizens Personal Bureaucrat Officers to live with them.

Of course, I jest, but are we really far from this? And don't think for one sec it can't happen here in North America.

Education Under Stress Across North America - Time For New Solutions

As I listen and watch Quebec's ministry of education stumble and mumble its way through a fractured system - growing class sizes, lack of text books for English schools and increasing teacher workloads without much thought and with little support - I wonder how long before the quality of our education collapses. If we're not already there.

My lovely companion is a teacher and the stories are frustrating to say the least. They make do with so little - much like nurses. On one side of the coin, teachers have to put up with the ministry and their poorly thought out ideas (remember those awful report card schemes no one understood? I think they were called "comparative" or something) and on the other a growing disinterest by parents in their kids education.

Quebec's education minister Michelle Courchesne is failing (well, on the English side anyway. In Quebec, there always seems to be two stories) in my estimation. Most recently, the sizes of classes have increased after she promised to reduce them.

Which reminded me of my time in elementary school. I was a miserable wretch in school. My brain couldn't cope with all the commotion and the "one size fits all" mentality. I needed something more tailored if you will. I truly believe I'm one that fell through the cracks.

As the public system simply wasn't jiving with me, I was sent to a private CEGEP, by concerned parties of interest who shall remain nameless, to get my act together. The main selling point was the size of the classes which were all under 10 students. It was a joy to be in school under those circumstances and I did excel. It was during my time at Centennial Academy I discovered I could write as English and History professors made a point of mentioning.

You can thank them for all these blah, blah, blah posts.

In any event, write I must! I'm not sure exactly where Canada stand internationally, but last I checked I believed we weren't fairing too well.

Private schools and even those with a special niche, will play a larger role in the future here in Canada.

The story is probably a little more complicated down south. In the United States, health and education are in disarray - depending of course who you speak with. However, the difference in the U.S. is the people are prepared to take matters into their own hands. Such is the case of "chartered" schools. Clearly, the education bureaucracy has failed kids and for Americans it's time to try a new, fresh approach.

Apparently, students are performing very well under these schools. So why does Obama want to stop them then?

Check out the trailer for Flunked - The Movie exploring the state of American education.

Yes, sometimes it's better the government gets out of the way if they can't get their act together. These days they seem way out of touch with the people and their realities.


What Canada Can Learn From Quebec; National Geography Not A Prerequisite At Sportsnet Connected

I was mulling over the Canadian arctic sovereignty issue this evening. I know. Such excitement.

As most people know, Canada's claim to the arctic is often disputed by nations. Yet, Canada never really seize the issue by the collar and exerted its national interests in the area. It's like we're too timid, naive or just plain daft.

How to find that extra bite? That certain, "don't mess with us and our snow" flair if you will.

For this I look to Quebec. I know to most Canadians the idea of some Quebecers wanting to bust up the country is a sensitive issue but there's a lesson on how Quebec handles its affairs to which Canada can learn.

Quebec fights for its interests. Sometimes they go overboard but the province knows where it stands. Nationalist author George Grant admired this Quebecois moxy and proclaimed in 'Lament for a nation' that while Canada meekly sold its interest to the United States, Quebec was "going down guns blazing" trying to preserve its identity.

For this they deserve a nice tap on the bum.

For once, just once, I want to see Canada grow a pair - or a spine - and just tell the Americans, Russians, Danes, Norwegians and who ever else enters our waters to shove off or face our guns.

If Canadians consider the Arctic important and a part of our national identity then it's time to convert the rhetoric into action. I'm not saying through violence but build a few military ships. Just "be there." Twitch. Dare. Be bold.

You'd be surprised with the results.


Just wanted to mention something I heard on Sportsnet Connected this morning. They were talking about Team Canada's Olympic training camp roster. To be specific, the goaltending situation. The two main goalies thought to be in the running for the starting job are New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Both players are from Quebec.

So when it came to discussing both in the report - by Ian Mendes I believe it was - naturally, this was mentioned. But it was how it was described that raised my Andy Rooney eyebrows (I'm kidding). Mr. Mendes said, "Both are French."

Call me a stickler but if I'm the editor, I don't let that pass. No, they're not French (Luongo's heritage is Italian). They're Canadians. Or, if you prefer, Quebecers.

I would have amended that to "Both are Quebecers." Hey, SNC is far from the only one's who make these sort of oversights. I hear and read about it often enough. Sigh. No one would dare hire me as a sports editor.

Thought to make a small, insignificant issue of it.

Bloomberg Wins Lawsuit Against The Fed

Finally some accountability and transparency for the Federal Reserve.

"The Federal Reserve must make public reports about recipients of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers under programs created to address the financial crisis, a federal judge ruled."

Amen for public disclosure.

Now Americans will get a shot at actually seeing where trillions of their dollars went.

I recently heard Judge Ray Moore (check out his story) of Alabama make a sharp comment about Washington:

"They're trying to buy us with our own money."

I hate bail outs. Worse, I hate them under the guise of "averting catastrophe."

Ted Kennedy Dies; Pondering Private Military Companies With Good Old Machiavelli

I never bit on the whole romantic Kennedy thing - let alone the comparison to Camelot. King Arthur had morals and integrity. He wasn't a politician. He was a King. King of all Kings! I don't think Arthur gave into his urges as easily as JFK.

In fact, I never get romantic when it comes to politicians. It's just plain unwise in my book. My book of life. There's too much ga-ga romanticism with Obama too. All it does is cloud sober judgment.

It's with this most unromantic notion I listen about Ted Kennedy. A long-serving Democratic and liberal Senator; even a titan of American politics, Kennedy died this week. Known for his ability to work with all sides of a political equation and champion compassionate causes, he leaves behind quite a legacy - good and bad.

The unfortunate thing is that one of his last political moves was to try and change the law of succession for political expediency he himself introduced.

To conservatives, whenever people wonder how American politics got so nasty, they trace it back to Ted Kennedy, Judge Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

Is he the father of "eye for an eye" politics?

You know how angry liberals get about Bush and the hiring with private military firms like Black Water? Quietly, Obama has done the same. Back in April his administration hired a company called Triple Canopy. Wonder what the folks commenting over at Daily Kos think about this.

Machiavelli said one of the downfalls of governments (and he spoke of Italy in particular) is to trust mercenaries to fight in its defense. The condotierri's allegiance was not to nation but to itself first. While not quite the same, as Americans are not yet outsourcing its military capabilities to foreigners like the City-States and Papacy of Renaissance Italy did, but I can't help but wonder about this nonetheless. Private security firms are first about profit, no?


Charest: He Lives! Harper: He's Tough! Ignatieff: He's...Bope

I was beginning to wonder if Quebec had a leader at all.


Jean Charest said earlier today he's willing to consider getting tough on white collar crime. No kidding.

Though I wonder where the Bloc, who simultaneously grab a Federal paycheck while advocating the break up of Canada, would be on such a scale. Or how about asking Canadians who live, say, in Alberta to pony up a subsidy tax to prop up parties like the Bloc. Heck, why should a conservative party supporter give their taxes to any party? It's democratic? That's pure bull.

Any. Way.

I'm for tougher sentencing. Canada is too soft on crimes that literally destroy lives. Financial advisor bilks a 65 year-old out of their life savings? Throw the effen book at him and find a mechanism to help pay back victims.

However, I'd rather see Quebec get tough on drunk driving offenses. We don't seem to take this serious enough.


I heard PM Stephen Harper talk all tough about Arctic sovereignty.


Where have I heard this before?

Show me the money! Show me how tough you are. Spend the resources needed to occupy and maintain a strong, if not poweful, Canadian presence. Stand up and act like men, Canada!

Let's do it! If we lose the Arctic what will we be good for?

Harpy, Harpy, he's our cold Arctic man, if he can't save it no one can! Well, except for this guy.


Someone asked me if I would vote Liberal if Ignatieff is there. I said, "Look into my eyes." But that went nowhere and I continued, "I probably won't be voting Liberal for a while. If not Ignatieff, one of the Trudeau boys will get in and they just ain't my bag of Orange Pekoe. You know?

Food Does Matter

Stumbled on the James Beard Foundation. Among other things, its essential raison d'etre is to:

To celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.

Food matters. You are what you eat not only because food is nutrition, but also because food is an integral part of our everyday lives. Food is economics, politics, entertainment, culture, fashion, family, passion...and nourishment. The James Beard Foundation is at the center of America's culinary community, dedicated to exploring the way food enriches our lives. Won't you join us at the table?

Yeah baby. I can dig that.

Who was James Beard? He was a lousy sot with no taste buds who claimed he was from a planet called, simple enough, Planet. But they pronounced it "Play-net."

I kid of course. I like to mess around here at The Commentator.

He was a chef and writer. Read his bio here. (at the World Culinary Institute)


During the Iraq war, people against the actions of the American government often reasoned "we have nothing against the American people. It's the American government that's the problem!" to justify anti-American sentiment. In the Middle-East, the same logic applies. To Western eyes, Iran is in fact a moderate nation who happens to be run by madmen who don't represent the will of the people.

Which begs the question: Is it possible to separate the people from its government? Are they not extensions of one another? Or are we in a situation where the few actually do manage to seize control and power thus creating a distant discord between citizen and government?

Chomp on that while you clip your toe nails.


Health Reform A Polarizing Issue With Blogs And Media

Liberals versus Conservatives: Tonight on American Gladiators.

Pew Research breaks the biatch down here.

Remembering Les Paul and Lee Dobbin

I've been a little behind the ball but this site just has to pay homage to Les Paul - even if it's through a couple of lousy links.

Hey, he was a principle architect and pioneer of this thing we call Rock and Roll!


Closer to home but still in the realm of music, Lee Dobbin, a true friend to jazz, passed away. Not much of a hoopla was made of it, but from what I hear and read the guy deserves to be remembered.

Europe Lovvveesss Obama; Muslims Less So

I dunno.

I know the world is full of positive karmic energies regarding President Obama but the more I watch him on foreign policy issues, the more I wonder where's the tofu? Some argue his ways are "less arrogant" and "more progressive."

All I see is naive rhetoric.

According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, while Europe is getting down with Obama, the Muslim world is less than impressed - or at least not getting all the hype. So Europe loves Obama more. La-dee-daw. Let's party like it's 2099!


A kid comes running into the kitchen crying while his mother is, let's say, cutting celery for no apparent reason.

Kid: "Mom, I have a gash in my head!"

Mother: "Come here son and let me have a look. Hm. Let's put a band-aid on that!'

Kid: "But I'm leaking more blood than a drunk vampire!"

Mother: '"Shh. There, there. Who's your momma, huh?"

Kid: "You are?"

Mother: "Yes, now here's a super, duper, extra strongy, wongy plaster. All will be alright."

Kid: "O....k. I sure hope you're right, momma."

She looks out the kitchen window. She caresses the celery gently with her fingers.

Mother (mutters to herself): "I wonder if the kid needs stitches."

Known Truths: I Won't Win A Loebner Prize Any Time...Ever

I don't know a whole lot - just reading the content on this blog should be sufficient evidence - but I do know I'll never win the Loebner Prize for 'Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence. Hm. Sounds a lot like me.

As for the chaps winning the Loebner...it takes a special scientific mind, eh?


Not Everyone Thinks Obama's Health Proposals Are Bad

A study by the Urban Institute - Health Policy Center - a Washington D.C. think-tank - on Obama's health care proposals. Though it seems to take a different position from the Congressional Budget Office (who suggested the plan would prove too costly) they paint a more favorable picture.

For example:

Our general assessment of the Obama plan is that it would
• greatly increase health insurance coverage but would still leave about 6 percent of the non-elderly
population uninsured, compared to 17 percent today.
• substantially increase access to affordable and adequate coverage for those with the highest health
care needs, including those with chronic illnesses, by spreading health care risk broadly;
• significantly increase the affordability of care for low-income individuals; and
• reduce the growth in health spending through a broad array of strategies.

Film: The Room

Ever hear of the movie "The Room?"

Often considered "the best worst movie ever made" the movie has become a phenomena at midnight screenings (a-la Rocky Horror Picture Show) in Los Angeles and even as close to home as Toronto.

"You're tearing me apart!"

Is Tommy Wiseau the new 'Ed Wood?'

Self-Inflicting Wounds

This article is seven years old but still relevant - I think.

It's a piece in the WSJ titled, "Riot Inc." and how governments (Canada included), sadistically I suppose, help fund anti-globalization protests which often turn violent.


Compassion For Lockerbie Bomber

From the Christian Science Monitor:

"Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's granting of "compassionate release" Thursday to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence agent convicted of murdering 270 people in the 1988 bombing of Pam Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, earned an outraged response from US officials and family members of the victims."

Sense of fair play or just plain nutty?

Scotland was merely following to the letter its prisoner compassion laws. As distasteful it may seem to many, it's just the way it is. What can be more Christian? Nonetheless...

The truth is there are still too many questions that remain unanswered surrounding the Lockerbie tragedy. The political angle to it still more murky.

And my, what of the families of the victims.

Unions Have Way Too Much Power

As printed many times before, I'm no fan of unions. A link to the Montreal Economic Institute titled "Business people need to stiffen their spines."


Free-enterprise has been basically ripped to shreds in North America. I love when I hear people talk about how "capitalism" doesn't work or that "deregulation" is the source of all our problems. To me, this is all par for the course. In the post-war era, most of our time has been spent nationalizing and socializing our societies. Of course deregulation will fail if the government still has a massive hand in things. Capitalism was never "pure" in my lifetime. It was a strange brew of corporate preying that teamed up with national governments. In the end, democratic principles were lost while healthy skepticism gave way to cynicism.

Business people did once have some fight. In the 1980s, I remember my father joining other business owners to fight Mayor Jean Dore's poll tax. It was a grass roots revolt.

Alas, I fear we may have lost the fighting spirit.

Government is a warm gun and no one wants to piss it off.


Been away. I know. Busy.

But I did find time for this.

Lately, I've observed a disturbing trend in our discourse regarding health care costs. We keep hearing about how we need to do this to one segment of the population and need to do that to another all in the name of cost cutting.

It made me think about online bookstores. Whenever you click on a book you see information regarding its content, price etc. You also see something like, with your Rewards card YOU SAVE 30%!

Macabre as it may sound, but I envisioned a similar scenario for health. Imagine a section on a medical website that tracks deaths in order to measure savings.

Randy La Tournado. Died. Age 43. Heart attack. Weight 300lbs. Smoker. YOU, WE SAVE 22%. We won't have to pay for his habit for another 44 years! Instead, he had the decency to die earlier and this means a net savings per household of roughly $1000!

What will YOU do with YOUR SAVINGS!

I'll be back soon enough with other stuff.

I promise


Challenging Authority Through Art; Is North America Ideologically Evenly Split?

This article got me thinking (cantcha smell the wood burnin'?)about the role of artists in political discourse. Of course, the arts have often intertwined itself with politics throughout history. In Italy, for example, opera composers like Giuseppe Verdi used their medium to call for the unification of Italy.

I can't escape the thought there's a rather macabre irony in this. Don't all operas end in tragedy? Unification of Italy was bound to be tragic!

The article argues artists should be critical of Obama if warranted. There's a general sense of uneasiness in wanting to tackle this issue; possibly for fear of being a racist?

A few weeks back comedians confessed in not being able to find enough material to use. I felt it was because they weren't trying hard enough. The poster that circulated around California depicting Obama as 'The Joker' with the caption socialist (a commenter made an astute point. The creator should have used "Change." It would have left far more to the imagination), kicked off the festivities and most recently Jon Stewart went where no man dared go before.

Spoofing Bush is sooo over. It's lame. He had his fair share. So why is (seemingly) Obama off limits?


I picked up one of those "pocket book guides" about media a couple of years back. I'm a fan of the 'Dummies' and 'Pocket Book' format for introductory purposes by...the...way.

While it was informative overall, I could never get my mind quite wrapped around one assertion it made. Notably, that the media is controlled by the right. Really?

I know about the Aspers here in Canada and Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh and all that but the left is not without its bastion of media support. For example, MSNBC is left of center in its thinking (it's owned by GE and MS stands for Microsoft. Both were significant contributors to Obama. Plus it's home to Keith Olbermann). CNN was owned by Ted Turner - another Democrat supporter. The jury is out on the other (except FOX) networks.

Speaking of Fox, while it makes no attempt to feign impartiality, does it exist because the other networks weren't servicing a large portion of the American audience? I've been listening to conservative radio this past month and mentally taking notes and comparing it to the other networks. I hope I can make sense of it and lucidly articulate in a blog post in the future.

The biggest newspapers in the land - New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times - are often accused of being liberal or at least liberally sympathetic. They're offset, by the smaller New York Post and Washington Times. In Canada, The Globe and Mail and Maclean's are seen as conservative while the National Post is our "National Review" or Washington Times. For its part, the CBC is incessently perceived as not only liberal but even socialist - similar to NPR or even PBS in the United States.

I won't touch the internet. I think both sides have their supporters in high numbers.

At the very least, both sides seem well represented to me. Now who gets larger market share is a different matter altogether.

If there's one area where liberalism reigns supreme it's on campuses across the continent. My own experiences tell me this anyway. I'm still fluttering with the notion of liberals cloaking themselves brilliantly under the mask of "balanced progressive" thought.

In any event, all this suggests to me that North America, for the most part and all things considered, is pretty much a 50/50 place. Which, in turn, can be interpreted as "center." Though I sometimes wonder if it's possible to be effectively center."That's why when one side gets an edge it feels like it's "taking over." Again, I need to refine this a little moving forward.

And what about leaders? Bah. They're too busy holding the people in contempt to actually pay attention.

The one thing I've noticed is this: Conservatism has managed to maintain a connection to populism while liberalism, speaks in favor of "the collectivity" but ironically live in urban centers and has become comfortable with elitism. Perhaps therein lies the problem with modern liberalism; Too much of it is ironic; maybe even hypocritical. The problem with conservatism these days alright is its willingness to accept the expansion of government when it chooses: Fiscal stimulus and war ok. Health care reform not ok.

Last, conservatism crosses path with libertarianism on some issues mostly regarding individual liberty while liberalism sways towards socialism.

Clarifying Health Care Facts And Dropping Public Option

With the Obama administration dropping the public option from the bill, I suspect this will slow down the rabid debate - including posts about it. However, a new one will arise: How does this affect Obama's presidency moving forward? Is this a a big enough blow or can he recover? It was a bloody one.

Seven falsehoods about health care reform verified by factcheck.org.

Obama drops public option here.

Howard Dean had this to say:

"You really can't do health reform" without allowing the government to compete with private insurers, said Howard Dean, a former Democratic Party chairman. "Let's not say we're doing health reform without a public option," he added in a slap at the administration's latest move."

Government compete? I like Dean - or anyone from Vermont for that matter - but isn't that like, an oxymoron or something?


Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon Landing Conspiracist Out

Bart Sibrel is one of those "we never landed on the moon" nspiracy douches. In this video he aggressively confronts legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin calling him a "liar and a coward." Next thing he knows, WHAM!

Good for Aldrin.

More On Canadian Public Health

It's bizarre.

Just plain weird.

I've been reading about how describing Canadian public health as "socialized medicine" is wrong.

Of course it is! Has socialism become so pervasive in our thinking so as to not think it's socialism? Somewhere along the line I missed the memo explaining socialism is now defined as "progressive."

It reminds me of the scene in Superman II when Superman tricked Zod and his cronies into believing they were outside the molecule chamber that would reverse their powers. After Lex Luthor (that weasel) warned Zod not to go into the chamber, Superman was left no choice but to enter the chamber since they held Lois Lane hostage. Ah, but Superman was thinking two steps ahead of everyone. By going into the chamber he actually protected himself so when Luthor activated the chamber, Zod was left exposed to become a mere mortal.

Socialism went into some sort of ideological chamber and came out as "progressive." The question is: Was anyone thinking ahead like Superman to reverse this?

Picked this article up. Pierre Lemieux is an economist and contributor to the Quebecois Libre - a libertarian think tank. It paints the picture that Canadian public health is nothing but a socialized system. Thinking otherwise is absurd.

Migraines: Drill A Hole In My Head Already!

I suffer from migraines. Yes, I do. Now you know a little about me. And when afflicted with it, I simply pop a 222 pill. It's an over the counter aspirin (not available in the U.S. I found out years ago much to my dismay).

After swallowing one of those suckers I feel perfect. My migraines are not vicious enough so as to render me incapacitated like some people. Lucky me.

But it still doesn't mean I don't want a trepanation procedure performed when a migraine attacks.

Is it covered by Medicare?

More On America's Quest To Fix Health Care

It really doesn't take a genius to see the Democrats are struggling with their health care plan. President Obama is not helping matters with his recent comments about surgeons performing unnecessary procedures which led to a statement by the American College of Surgeons:

"The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight."

The American Medical Assurance too opposes Obama's plan. And the AARP also had begun to distance itself.

Ouch. First the Democrats attack the people and got a revolt (some independents are also turning against him - or at least are sympathetic to the Townhall meetings. To say nothing of these secret backroom deals with pharmaceutical companies) on their hands and then they decide to go after doctors and surgeons. Maybe it's misleading but the bottom line is the people, rightly or wrongly, have become wary.

Who's their strategist? Seriously. Tactically, they've been horrible.

I'm always being told I try to do too much to fast. I think this is Obama's problem. He wants to fix the economy, environment and health all in one swoop. Nothing gets done until people psychologically feel the economy is on the mend - not what the statistics or pundits think. With the bailouts, citizens feel squeezed out of the equation and with the health care plan all they saw was yet more spending by the government. Would it have changed anything to pace himself?

This perception I just described led me to this question: Is it leadership if leaders ram things through even against the will of the people? For their own good as it were.

The Democrats may need to regroup and focus on what part of the plan they really think is necessary. This probably means concessions.

A while ago, Obama chose not to select Howard Dean as his Medical czar. Did he make a mistake? As a doctor, Dean certainly understands the issue. Here's a video with Dean talking about needing a "hybrid" plan on MSNBC. It's starts around 5.24 mark.


National Health Care In U.S. Not The Exclusive Domain Of Any One Party

I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio the other day. Entertaining guy. Not my idea of conservatism but entertaining nonetheless.

He was hollering about the, guess what, health care plan. He set the stage in a way that characterized universal health as an idea only pursued by the left. In the process, he pitted conservatives against liberals. Naturally, liberals are the enemy.

He further claimed liberals had been trying to ram universal health for over 60 years and have been thwarted every time.

Is this accurate?

Not really. Picked this up on Cleveland.com.

According to the article, the idea of offering some form of social assistance (national health care) to all citizens goes as far back as Theodore Roosevelt - the Republican President with his face on Mount Rushmore. What more, other Republicans have tinkered with it in different ways too. Richard Nixon proposed universal health insurance in 1974 just before Watergate hit. And George W. Bush added prescription drug coverage to Medicare in 2003 - funny how no one talks about any of the good things Bush did.

So Limbaugh's set up is misleading.


Sharia Law In Britain Debate

Wind Rose Hotel posted an article about Britain's acceptance of Sharia Law. I particularly invite you to read the comments. Most enlightening and highlights just how layered the issue is.

Obsessed With Nazism

Andrew C. McCarthy has tackled the left's bizarre (and infantile) penchant for Nazi analogies over at the National Review. It's a good read. Anything I post is a good read.

I post it because for over a year I've talked about this on and off in various ways.

Are we secretly and sadistically trying to extract the "good" side of Nazi socialist policies? How many times have I read scholars talk about how their stimulus programs saved their economy. What, I'm supposed to overlook one of the most evil and heinous regime in history because they knew how to control the economy through the state? How obscene!


Health care reform is consuming Americans to bits, eh?

Hm. Let's see.

This is rich.

Nancy Pelosi, you know the third most powerful person in American politics who called Americans protesting health care reform bill 'Nazis' (technically, she said they were carrying 'swastikas' but hey), is seen on this video saying how much she loves protestors.

Recently, she was quoted as saying it was "un-American." Yet, isn't that the base of American history? America is built on revolutionary ideals. Shouting and confronting politicians is a normal thing in American political history.

Ok. When is it safe to call someone a hypocrite?

Tommy Douglas: Canada's Most Popular Socialist

It's "Get in touch with your socialist side" (originally "When socialists attack) week here at TC and today I introduce to you Tommy Douglas the "greatest" Canadian ever.

This is totally up for debate but it doesn't detract from the fact that Douglas was an interesting figure in Canadian political history.

As all Canadians know, Lord only knows how much it's fricken drilled into us, Douglas is the father of universal-public-health-care-socialized-medicine in Canada. If anyone ever tells you nothing ever comes out of Saskatchewan they haven't watched 'Corner Gas.' Hey, Gordie Howe and Gordon Tootoosis are a Saskatchewanites. What are the odds of having two "Gordon's" from Sas...I'm tired of typing it.

And of course, it's the birth place of Tommy Douglas and universal health. Actually, Douglas wanted to make sure universal access was available. Diefenbaker kicked it up a notch- whatever. It all ended up being what it is.

One thing I keep reading about was how "opposition to his plan was fierce" but I've yet to find any detailed specifics on this. I would have to go research it in news archives but my university library card expired. So...screwed. One thing I did find was that doctors did strike in protest and that many worried it would lead to substandard quality of care - which to many is a fair assertion.

I'll keep trying.

By the way, here's an interesting entry on Wikipedia comparing the U.S. and Canadian systems. Don't kid yourself, there's already strong government involvement in the American system.


Links Of interest: American Health Care

Interesting article in the NY Times about health care. Specifically, research into how some regions in the United States manage to offer effective, low-cost servicing to patients. What if it's just a matter of "tweaking?" There are already cases of what works in communities across the country.

"...we invited physicians, hospital executives and local leaders from 10 of these regions to a meeting in Washington so they could explain how they do what they do. They came from towns big and small, urban and rural, North and South, East and West. Here’s the list: Asheville, N.C.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Everett, Wash.; La Crosse, Wis.; Portland, Me.; Richmond, Va.; Sacramento; Sayre, Pa.; Temple, Tex.; and Tallahassee, Fla., which, despite not ranking above the 50th percentile in terms of quality, has made such great recent strides in both costs and quality that we thought it had something to teach us.

If the rest of America could achieve the performances of regions like these, our health care cost crisis would be over. Their quality scores are well above average. Yet they spend more than $1,500 (16 percent) less per Medicare patient than the national average and have a slower real annual growth rate (3 percent versus 3.5 percent nationwide)."

I heard author and doctor Robin Cook proclaim on a Montreal radio show that the U.S. "has the worst health care system in the world." Of course, this is offset by claims of just the opposite.

It seems to me, judging by what I've seen and read (particularly in this article), it's pretty creative and innovative when it needs to be.


The Hudson Institute examines the role of personal decision, or lack thereof, in Obama's health plan.

"Although the president is quite right in his desire to eliminate waste in healthcare expenditures, he seemingly overlooks the personal decision making that undergirds the existing system and creates a remarkable level of assurance for the American people.

With Obamacare a council or a bureaucrat relying on a computer program will determine the appropriate level of care. If an eighty year old, for example, needs a hip replacement, the bureaucrat is likely to argue that a tin joint as opposed to a titanium joint is appropriate since the person only has a few years left based on actuarial expectations. Or if an eighty year old has cancer an advisory council might suggest that aggressive and expensive radiation treatment doesn’t make sense since that person doesn’t have long to live whatever the treatment."

What Is Utopian Socialism?

With the word socialism being thrown around like a cheap skank at motorcycle party, I figured why not talk about it here?

Socialist party time!

Like conservatism, socialism is sometimes, I think, misunderstood. I'm less interested on where it fits on the political scale and more interested in its historical evolution.

Socialism basically was a reaction to classical liberalism who, according to socialists, placed too much faith in the individual. The Industrial Revolution in particular, they believed, only confirmed the fallacy of competition "without regard" for each other.

Socialists, at its foundation, don't believe man's natural sate is to be competitive. Instead, humans can achieve its happiest state in the spirit of cooperation.

It's only natural that an ideology would coincide with a political movement and socialism found expression in the Romantic movement - its complicated evolution won't be considered here. The combined forces created something called Utopian Socialism:

"Before the coming of industrial capitalism, the yearning for an egalitarian society could only be a yearning, without any concrete analysis of social reality. Utopian socialism does not refer, therefore, to the vision of a William Morris, who was a scientific socialist, but to largely pre-capitalist visions of a socialist future. Under this heading come the mediaeval communists together with the Anabaptist and other religiously-motivated sects."*

In the process, Utopian socialism challenged the philosophes of the Enlightenment and its adherence to a highly mechanized, rational and efficient human. Socialist thinkers, like the romantics, viewed the Middle Ages as a time when social unity was preserved by the Church thus creating a stable and heroic period.

It would be wrong to dismiss socialism's positive impact on humanity and Western culture - think the concept of egalitarianism. It forced man to consider his or her conscience in matters of industry. Before long, for example, a tradition of compassionate (labor) laws took root.

Three main thinkers represented utopian socialist thought: Henri Comte de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier and Robert Owen. I'll offer a quick overview on each.

Fourier sought to re-engineer society in an effort to end human suffering and misery brought on by the industrial age. And how would he do this? By creating small communities numbering around 1600 people called phalansteries. The goal was to allow people to prosper and enjoy life each according to personal needs.

Founder of the "Saint Simonian" movement, Saint Simon, interestingly, believed scientists, bankers, engineers, writers and artists would replace the clergy and aristocracy as the social elite. Kind of a new-age Nouveau Christian-humanism if you will. The only way society would progress was if it was in the hands of creative minds. He believed such people would have the will and the intellect to use technology in a way that would benefit mankind. In other words, he wanted trained experts at the top of the heap. This remains an influential argument and is known as Technocratic socialism - you know it as a bureaucracy. While he did converge with the philosophes on matters of reason and rational thought, he also didn't view society as being divided into classes with competing interests.

Both Fourier and Saint Simon were among the first thinkers in Europe to espouse woman's equality. It's hard to argue neither weren't dirigistes - a nice way of saying state control.

Finally, Owen differed with the Saint Simon and Fourier in that he was an owner and saw first hand at how workers were mistreated. Owen was one of the first men to increase wages, refuse to hire children under ten, improve workers conditions and provided food and shelter to workers. In Owen's mind, it was all just a matter of readjusting values and principles. As a result, people across Europe came to visit his factories.

Roman Classics: Cato the Younger

Cato the Younger (or Cato of Utica) was an intriguing and brilliant Roman philosopher (Stoic school) statesman (Senator) and politician with strong conservative views. One who was blessed with unshakable integrity. Voici is his story as told by the Greek historian and biographer Plutarch.

Cato was a source of intellectual guidance for revolutionaries during the Enlightenment. Dante immortalizes Cato in The Divine Comedy. In Canto I, Dante writes of Cato:

I saw close by me a solitary old man, worthy, by his appearance, of so much reverence that never son owed father more. Long was his beard and mixed with white hair, similar to the hairs of his head, which fell to his breast in two strands. The rays of the four holy lights so adorned his face with brightness that I saw him as if the sun had been before him.

Cato's life is immortalized in Joseph Addison's play, Cato, A Tragedy, which George Washington often quoted and had performed during the winter at Valley Forge, in spite of a Congressional ban on such performances.

Blog Of Interest: Watching Congress

Here's an interesting website I stumbled on called Watch Dog blog. Great information about American politics.

Superficially Renaming Streets Won't Change History

Using Hitler as analogy to all things we disagree with is not only faulty logic and exudes ignorance of history, it's contemptible.

It's a phenomena, I've observed, that found expression during the George W. Bush administration when leftists compared Bush to Hitler. Ironically, if one wants to get technical about it, Nazism fell on the left side of the scale and not the right.

Following the Bush=Hitler assertion came a cascade of terrible analogies inserting Hitler. The NDP have used it and Nancy Pelosi used it just last week; forgive me if I single them out but theirs stood out off the top of my head. There have been others and perhaps I'll try and research and list some of them here soon enough.

Most recently, a Montreal city councilor compared General Amherst to Hitler and lobbied to have his street name changed. No word on Lionel-Groulx yet...Thankfully the Tremblay administration is showing maturity and is having none of the request.

The councilman's knowledge of history is suspect indeed - ah such individuals infecting our political ranks! - and is best to focus what's left of his dubious intellectual capablities into other areas. You can't rewrite history and the fact that Montreal is a "French" city (in reality it's a bilingual city but don't that to nationalists) is irrelevant to our "English fact" heritage. The English have every right a place at the table of Montreal history.

I fear for our anayltical minds!




Canadian Current Events: Dumb Duck Hunters And Tim Hortons Pull Out

I watched the videos on these two Duck Hunters and the first thing I thought to myself was "Why?"

As in, what was the fucking point?

I accidentally stumbled on it. My friend in Holland sent me a video of him fishing for carp - I know ex-ci-ting. And like we're all apt to do on youtube you spend a minute or two or 50 on it.

If you really want to see it go to youtube. I didn't want to post it here.


Should Tim Hortons have backed out of this event?

Don't know who NOM are. But before we go all nuts on them: Remember that the President of the United States of America doesn't support same-sex marriage (as he repeatedly said. That didn't stop Ellen DeGeneres from inviting him on her show) nor does Secretary Of State Bill Clinton - erm Hilary Clinton. Sorry. Anyway, there position is probably in-line with millions of North Americans.

Is believing marriage is between a man and a woman "racist?"

I don't think it is. But if people want to enlighten...by all means.


American Current Events: Cash For Clunkers And Health Care Reform

Pundits and government officials (surprise) are already claiming the cash for clunkers program is a success.

Really? Reason Online has this to say about it.

Then again, Marketwatch has this to say.

Obama is trying too hard too fast.

I don't know why, and I could be wrong, but this reminds me of the Canadian gun registry fiasco from a few years back.

They. Just. Don't. Get.



Some videos on Obama's Townhall meeting in New Hampshire here. He gets an 'A' for doing this.

The President claims he doesn't want to "subsidize the insurance companies." But the banks and auto industries are ok? Odd.

Now it's "insurance reform." Ok. But is it fair to single them out? Factcheck.org answers that question here. Not surprisingly, FC schools Moveon.org on how to, well, fact check.

Moveon.org simplistic? No. It can't be. It just can't be!

Factcheck also takes aim at Obama's claim AARP support his bill. Na-ah.

Alas, do not giggle with glee ye conservatives! FC tackles some dubious claims from the right here.

And what of the euthanasia claims?

All I know is if the Dems. fail to get this done, they'd be wise not to pin this on Rush Limbaugh or the insurance companies or people with Swastikas, for a nice, long look in the mirror tells many truths.

Fat Tax: Another Well-Meaning Idea That Weighs Too Much

"The natural order of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." Thomas Jefferson, 1788.

We're so numb to its expansion by now...come on Commentator get with it!

I have to comment on this "Fat Tax" thing. Is it not odd that from the people who defend political correctness, they've no qualms with calling people fat?

Just an observation. What's next? Fag will be back in vogue?

Anyway, I was digesting my daily dose of musical sarcasm with the compositions of Randy Newman earlier today. One song, 'Short People,' got me thinking about the fat tax:

"Tellin' great big lies, They got little noses, And tiny little teeth, They wear platform shoes, On their nasty little feet. Well, I don't want no short people, Don't want no short people,`Round here Short people are just the same, As you and I, (A fool such as I), All men are brothers, Until the day they die (It's a wonderful world) Short people got nobody, To love They got little baby legs, That stand so low, You got to pick em up, Just to say hello,They got little cars,That go beep, beep, beep, They got little voices, Goin' peep, peep, peep, They got grubby little fingers, And dirty little minds, They're gonna get you every time, Well, I don't want no short people Don't want no short people, 'Round here"

Now just replace "short" with "fat." We don't want fat people 'round here! Of course, we're told it's all about maintaining health and I don't dispute that but...

There's a common thread with health (euthanasia, smoking etc.) when it comes to tax on consumption (yes, I do think it's a terrible idea no matter how you dress it). Namely, you're fat ergo you cost money and drain the system therefore we're phasing you out because you don't have our lifestyle. Shting! Tax!

As usual there a proponents and opponents of such a tax here and here.

The first link is to Seek Wellness and the author put it this way: "Self-responsibility is the foundation of a wellness mindset. How can a wellness enthusiast and/or promoter favor coercive strategies designed to discourage consumers from choosing high fat foods? I don't think a wellness approach is consistent with such a policy. Freedom is part of wellness, too."

I tend to look at things this way and this way here at Health and Fitness Advice.

For people who exercise and maintain a solid diet, all this seems unfair. So my question is this. Won't people who aren't obese get caught in the middle? What will be the parameters? Food is already a monstrously gigantic industry government can barely keep an eye on. So why try this?

And what of anorexia? It's the opposite of obesity, but what can we tax to prevent it? Both diseases can either genetic or psychological so why tinker with one and not the other?

Do we see things through cost-effective lenses now? Have we been reduced to an item on an accounting ledger? Or all these measures actions of a progressive government gently nudging the populace along onto a healthier path?

It seems all our solutions to problems comes down to this: Tax, tax, tax! Consume too much gas? Tax it! Drink too much soda? Tax it! Smoke too much? Tax it! Make too much money? Tax it!


I would love to examine the diet of a bureaucrat. If it's worse than mine (and folks, I have an awesome diet), then why should I listen to them?

One day, we'll all have a "well trained" government official living with us.

Delving Into Ethics And Medicine

Was doing some reading on assisted suicide and came across this: Ethics in Medicine.

I don't like when one argues assisted suicide/euthanasia as if it's a cost effective measure. We should all cringe at such logic.


Practice Your Critical Abilities

I love this site. The name is simple enough: Bad Arguments.

It helps to sharpen your skills in pointing out weaknesses in an argument.

In case you're wondering, I did very well in the practice section. I've oft considered making this blog exactly that: A site that analyzes gaps of logic in the media. The problem is there's just too much of it. If I would write about every suspect article, I wouldn't eat.

For example, not to single them out, but I read the NY Times and find many offenses - but to sit and work them out and then write about it would be too time consuming. I do comment on some stuff from time to time but after a while it gets irritating (and boring) reading some of their columnists. And their not the only ones.

I'm not suggesting I'm better. Heaven knows I breakdown from time to time.


12 Canadians You've Never Heard Of

Presumptuous title I know.

More than just street names, they are significant figures from our past. People who ensured Canada was represented at the table of great ideas and contributions to history and mankind - mostly in the sciences.

Reginald Fessenden: The Father of Radio Broadcasting. Fessenden was born in Quebec and actually worked for Thomas Edison at one point.

From the first link titled, 'Unsung Hero':

"If Canadian radio archives do not contain as much material as they should, there is one historical event well documented - the achievement of Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian who made radio history by transmitting the letter "s" in Morse code from Cornwall, England to a receiving station on Signal Hill overlooking St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland on December 12, 1901.

But an equally historic event, the achievement of a brilliant Canadian inventor, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company..."

Charles Huggins: The pride of beautiful Nova Scotia (and American citizen), Huggins won the Noble Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1966 "for discovering hormones that could be used to control the spread of some cancers..." (Wiki)

James Collip: Was a brilliant Biochemical researcher from Ontario before embarking on a great medical journey. While Banting and MacLeod are recognized as having discovered insulin (subsequently winning a Nobel prize), Collip along with Charles Best were unrecognized instrumental parts in the development process. Best and Banting were looking for ways to treat diabetes but couldn't purify the (bovine) pancreatic extract. Collip was recruited by MacLeod to solve this problem and he succeeded in making insulin usable.

Simon Newcomb: Was a self-taught polymath with no formal training and a Canadian-American astronomer/mathematician originally born in Nova Scotia. "Newcomb set to work on the measurement of the position of the planets as an aid to navigation, becoming increasingly interested in theories of planetary motion." (Wiki)

John Plaskett: Born in Ontario, Plaskett "...made significant contributions to the study of star pairs, known as binary stars...In 1922, he discovered a massive binary star system, which was the heaviest on record for many years - a discovery which gained him international respect as an astronomer." (Canadian Astronomy Education)

Oswald Avery: Yet another native Nova Scotian, Avery later emigrated to the United States where the bulk of his work as a molecular biologist took place. He's considered to be a pioneer in immunochemistry "but he is best known for his discovery in 1944 with his co-worker Maclyn McCarty that DNA is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made. Previously, hereditary information (genes) was thought to be stored in cells and in protein molecules." (Bio-Medicine)

Felix d'Herelle - Like Newcomb d'Herelle was a self-taught individual and a microbiologist born in Montreal. He co-discovered bacteriophages.

Colin MacLeod - Born in Nova Scotia and a Canadian-American biologists, he's recognized as the founder of molecular biology and researched the role of DNA in bacteria.

Norman Bowen - A native of Kingston, Ontario, Bowen helped to establish a discipline that brings together chemistry and geology known as petrology.

John Tuzo Wilson - From Ottawa, Wilson was a geophysicist who pioneered the study of plate tectonics and was internationally acclaimed for his work, theories and research.

Walter Zinn - Zinn was a physicist from Berlin, Ontario before it was renamed Kitchener during WWII. He worked with Enrico Fermi's team on the Manhattan Project. "Zinn released the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reaction by withdrawing a control rod from the world’s first nuclear reactor in 1942 at the University of Chicago."

William Giauque - Though born in Niagara Fallas, Giauque is a Canadian-American who won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1949 for his work on the properties matter at temperatures close to absolute zero or third law of thermodynamics.

Protesting SAAQ Fees

Maybe someone can help me but I can't find any news related articles covering the protest against the Societe de l'Assurance Automobile du Quebec and the rising costs of driver registration, So far I've only spotted this one from Canadian Motorcycle News.

Good for them. We don't protest enough.

Moved Post

Something happened to my last post.

I've reposted it here at whoweare.

Paul, I know the video was unbecoming, but the overall message is correct I submit.

Nonetheless, I've made the proper adjustments and I think you'll like this approach better.


Remembering John Diefenbaker

"By the accident of geography and history we find ourselves squarely between the two greatest powers on earth. We have no fortresses facing either. We want to live at peace with our northern neighbours, as we have lived so long at peace with our southern neighbours."
- September 26, 1960, speech to the United Nations.

In responding to two men of great life experiences in a previous post, they helped to jiggle-joggle my memory of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.

It is oft asserted Canadian politics is boring but Dief the Chief was anything but. As leader of the Conservative party with strong populist impulses, Diefenbaker was responsible for Canada's Bill of Rights, called a Royal Commission on Health Services, was committed to enhancing Canadian arts and culture and was one of the few people to stand against the internment of Japanese-Canadians.

A man known for holding deep convictions with high ethical standards, he was nonetheless a controversial figure. Most memorable was his decision to mysteriously cancel the Avro Arrow Project - Canada's greatest military achievement -which remains a mystery for some reason.

Ryder Hesjedal Does Canadian Cycling Proud

I'm late with this but I wrote about Hesjedal's impressive result at the Tour de France over at whoweare.ca.

Quotes Of Lasting Value

Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. Thomas Paine, from The American Crisis (No. 4), 1777.

We're at the exhaustion stage now.

Paine's role often overlooked if not forgotten in American political life.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson, letter to Col. Edward Carrington, 1788.

I hadn't noticed.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. James Madison, Virginia Convention, 1788.

Isn't this precisely what's happened?


Townhall Mania; Wisdom Of Founding Fathers Forgotten

I've always liked Dave Nalle at Blogcritics.org. He schools his commenters and they never realize they've been zinged.

Are the Townhall meetings real, spontaneous, grass roots anger or are they orchestrated by big pharma and other lobbyists looking to protect their interests? The former would mean democractic impulses are alive (and I'm sure many of the people there are genuinely concerned and want to learn more), while the latter is conspiratorial in nature (I'm sure some vested interests are worried).

When is resistance genuine? Can we tell anymore?


Recent American politics is grossly incongruent to the principles established by the Founding Fathers. To invoke their names during a speech does a disservice to the political legacy they left behind.

Everything in between, the nonsensical conspiratorial, unsubstantiated and selective bull shit that seems to get so much play, is pure obfuscation, which in turn, introduces obtuse contemporary political discourse.


I don't know if Obama is a socialist but one thing is not up for debate: He is engineering a massive redistrubution of, well, everything. I know this is true because the biggest apologist of anything leftist (or at least Democratic) I've ever had the pleasure of watching, Eleonore Clift of Newsweek, agreed on the McLaughlin Group a few weeks back!

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." Thomas Jefferson.

Match these words with Bush and Obama economic interventionism and try and tell me they fulfill these words.

As for, socialism itself, I will post about it later on.

Cancer Claims Yet Another Young Life

The door bell rang earlier this evening. It was our neighbour. He and his wife have had the dishonor of watching their child of 13 years, Gabriele, battle cancer for two years. Today, after two weeks in intensive care, fighting tears his father announced his son lost his battle with the dreaded disease.

Powerfully sad.

No child deserves to die. It's a cliche I know. But it's true. Fact of life sure, still grotesque nonetheless. No parent should have to bury their child. God ordains they must.

Wal-Mart Keeping Unions At Bay...So Far

This post won't be too popular with some but as Wal-Mart battles unions across the continent (and the world), I'm hoping they hold their ground and prevail. Chicago's South Side is one such battle ground.

CNN's Report Card On The President

I wrote in a previous post Obama deserves a full term to fully be judged. Nonetheless, I still find CNN's report card fascinating.

Judging by these results, and we should keep in mind it's a poll, it seems Americans are less than impressed. In just 200 days?

To some, he's on track (personally, I don't think he is on matters of foreign policy and economics) and he should stay the course trusting the fruits of his labor and patience will blossom.

We'll see.


Influential Director Hughes Passes Away

Director John Hughes died today.

Even though I'm a child of the 70s, I was aware of my conscience in the 80s. Many factors and things contribute to this growing awareness including films.

Going to the movies was the main thing to do pre-16 years old. And in the 1980s there was a block of movies that literally defined a generation and they came from the director John Hughes. His list of movies goes on and on. Read the above link for details.

Anyone who was a teenager in the 1980s got hooked on films like 'Sixteen Candles,' 'National Lampoon's Vacation' 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'The Breakfast Club.' Possibly the most influential of all the teen flicks he made.

That movie had such an impact it infiltrated schools. Let me tell a true story. In junior high in 1985, which is when the film was released, I was 13. By then, I was already what is termed a "a bad student with great potential."

Whatever. My buddies and I were to busy being "cool." We frustrated teachers so much they tried everything to get us back on track. One in particular was our English teacher Ms. Molinaro. She got the idea one day of creating "A Breakfast Club" but with an added twist of getting us invloved in school. Every day, and I forget the time, we would meet and do something - I forget what. I think it was writing. Yeah, that's it. She wanted to expand our creativity because we exhibited quite a bit of it in class. Only this time, we weren't disturbing anybody.

I don't think it worked out well since I can't seem to recall what was accomplished. But in hindsight, she tried and we should be grateful. We liked her but we could never really get on track when it came to academics.

She enjoyed my writing by the way.

Another way Hughes' films influenced me is with the script I wrote. When I was asked who I would have play the parents in the family in the show, I felt Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson would be the perfect candidates.

Hey, I can dream too.

Great Speeches By Abraham Lincoln Part II

The Presidential Question: Speech in the United States in the House of Representative, 1848.

Lincoln discussing General Taylor, Veto power and charges by Democrats about Taylor's lack of principles. He brilliantly turned the mirror on Democrats and reminded them of their own documented lack of principles. Read entire text here.

"...Gentlemen on the other side are unanimously agreed that General Taylor has no other principles. They are in utter darkness as to his opinions on any of the questions of policy which occupy the public attention. But is there any doubt as to what he will do on the prominent questions if elected? Not the least."

"...Now this is the whole matter. In substance, it is this: The people say to General Taylor, "If you are elected, shall we have a national bank?" He answers, "Your will, gentlemen, not mine." "What about the tariff?" "Say yourselves." "Shall our rivers and harbors be improved?" "Just as you please. If you desire a bank, an alteration of the tariff, internal improvements, any or all, I will not hinder you. If you do not desire them, I will not attempt to force them on you. "

"...My friend from Indiana (C. B. Smith) has aptly asked, "Are you willing to trust the people?" Some of you answered substantially, "We are willing to trust the people; but the President is as much the representative of the people as Congress." In a certain sense, and to a certain extent, he is the representative of the people. He is elected by them, as well as Congress is; but can he, in the nature of things know the wants of the people as well as three hundred other men, coming from all the various localities of the nation? If so, where is the propriety of having a Congress? That the Constitution gives the President a negative on legislation, all know; but that this negative should be so combined with platforms and other appliances as to enable him, and in fact almost compel him, to take the whole of legislation into his own hands, is what we object to, is what General Taylor objects to, and is what constitutes the broad distinction between you and us."

"If we run our eyes along the line of the past, we shall see that almost if not quite all the articles of the present Democratic creed have been at first forced upon the party in this very way. And just now, and just so, opposition to internal improvements is to be established if General Cass shall be elected. Almost half the Democrats here are for improvements; but they will vote for Cass, and if he succeeds, their vote will have aided in closing the doors against improvements. Now this is a process which we think is wrong. We prefer a candidate who, like General Taylor, will allow the people to have their own way, regardless of his private opinions..."

"...You Democrats, and your candidate, in the main are in favor of laying down in advance a platform--a set of party positions--as a unit, and then of forcing the people, by every sort of appliance, to ratify them, however unpalatable some of them may be. We and our candidate are in favor of making Presidential elections and the legislation of the country distinct matters; so that the people can elect whom they please, and afterward legislate just as they please, without any hindrance, save only so much as may guard against infractions of the Constitution, undue haste, and want of consideration. The difference between us is clear as noonday. That we are right we cannot doubt. We hold the true Republican position. In leaving the people's business in their hands, we cannot be wrong. We are willing, and even anxious, to go to the people on this issue."

"I repeat, I would not introduce this mode of discussion here; but I wish gentlemen on the other side to understand that the use of degrading figures is a game at which they may not find themselves able to take all the winnings. ["We give it up!"]

"Have no fears, gentlemen, of your (General Cass) candidate. He exactly suits you, and we congratulate you upon it. However much you may be distressed about our candidate, you have all cause to be contented and happy with your own. If elected, he may not maintain all or even any of his positions previously taken...he will never desert you till you first desert him."

"...But, as General Taylor is, par excellence, the hero of the Mexican War, and as you Democrats say we Whigs have always opposed the war, you think it must be very awkward and embarrassing for us to go for General Taylor. The declaration that we have always opposed the war is true or false, according as one may understand the term "oppose the war." If to say "the war was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President" by opposing the war, then the Whigs have very generally opposed it. Whenever they have spoken at all, they have said this; and they have said it on what has appeared good reason to them. The marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful, unprovoking procedure; but it does not appear so to us. So to call such an act, to us appears no other than a naked, impudent absurdity, and we speak of it accordingly. But if, when the war had begun, and had become the cause of the country, the giving of our money and our blood, in common with yours, was support of the war, then it is not true that we have always opposed the war. With few individual exceptions, you have constantly had our votes here for all the necessary supplies."

"The Democrats are keen enough to frequently remind us that we have some dissensions in our ranks...Some such we certainly have; have you none, gentlemen Democrats? Is it all union and harmony in your ranks? no bickerings? no divisions?...I have heard some things from New York; and if they are true, one might well say of your party there, as a drunken fellow once said when he heard the reading of an indictment for hog-stealing. The clerk read on till he got to and through the words, "did steal, take, and carry away ten boars, ten sows, ten shoats, and ten pigs," at which he exclaimed, "Well, by golly, that is the most equally divided gang of hogs I ever did hear of!" If there is any other gang of hogs more equally divided than the Democrats of New York are about this time, I have not heard of it."