The Death Of Evil

Evil son of a bitch who should never have gotten a lick of decent consideration or attention.

Capital punishment applied to him would have bothered me none.

A Night To Remember


Now that was entertaining.

If you don't follow baseball move along.

For the rest of you read on.

Without doubt the single most astounding sports night I've witnessed to date.

Holy caaaaa-rap!

The way the events unfolded it was Total Opera.

As it went, the Cardinals and Rays completed improbable epic comebacks (8.5 and 9 games behind respectively on since the beginning of September) in dramatic fashion at the expense of the Braves and Red Sox. What made it even more unbelievable is that half way through the night the Sox were up on the Orioles, the Braves led the Phillies 2-0,  and the Yankees were hammering the Rays 7-0. Next thing we know, the Rays win 8-7 in 12 innings, the Orioles win 4-3 with 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Phillies rally for a 4-3 win in 13. Snap! St. Louis and Tampa Bay are in, Boston and Atlanta are out. Snap!

Just when you thought the playoff picture was going to be uneventful and predictable, a rarity in baseball, bang we get hit with a night of action that has been building for over two weeks.


Boston later released manager Terry Francona. Very surprising given how much was written about the bad state of the clubhouse all year. If there was a credible candidate for "safe no matter what" it was him.

Alas, Francona isn't the first well-regarded and successful coach/manager - nor will he be the last - to be relieved of their duties.

The most recent prior to him was when Chelsea fired Carlo Ancelotti despite winning the EPL last season.

Speaking of fired managers, I was relieved to see Ozzie Guillen isn't going to be out of baseball. After being let go by the White Sox, the Marlins scooped him up.

He's the best thing to happen to after game interviews since, like, ever.

I don't understand maybe 32% of what he's saying but I cry of laughter each time. He's refreshing and honest.

Muddled Musings By Belcher

Here in Quebec many people outside the French speaking majority think the Quebecois are brainwashed.

Making that jump to racism is quite another matter.

I don't think stating that blacks are brainwashed because they voted overwhelmingly for President Obama is racist. Might be misguided, but not racist.


Business Groups Challenge Obamacare

Of course it's "an encroachment of Federal power." Duh. Anyone who disputes otherwise is a dreamer. Anything for the social collective entails encroachment on personal choice.

Question is, does this encroachment match what Americans want?

I would love to research how some Canadians reacted and subsequently debated the arrival of the welfare state during the post-war era and compare to what was said to today.

Switzerland's Immigration Challenges

Lessons for America:

"In November 2010, Swiss voters approved tough new regulations on the deportation of non-Swiss immigrants convicted of serious crimes. The measure calls for the automatic expulsion of non-Swiss offenders convicted of crimes ranging from murder to breaking and entry and social security fraud."

The "immigrant must assimilate" debate is also quite alive here in Quebec. It's complicated. Valid arguments that may be presented, it can easily cross over into xenophobia.


Obama's Hegemony

Interesting review on President Obama's "hegemonic" background.

As I felt with Bush, I don't see anything extraordinary in Obama's foreign policy. It's pretty much par for the course in 20th century American politics.


Passing By Western Civilization

You know, I tend to agree with Pat Buchanan and other commentators that the West is in general decline and the United States represents its last hope. Those words written in the Constitution are something to cling on to as we move forward. It was the last great piece of paper advancing human kind where politics and government is concerned anyway, I reckon. I haven't seen anything like it since. Hence, possibly, why we keep referring to it.

The list of achievements from the West and its ubiquitous influence dwarfs anything we've seen in human history. What has evolved from The Enlightenment - the single and most important intellectual movement?

I don't think we'll see in our lifetime another Beethoven, Da Vinci, Babe Ruth (etc.)  or...a band like The Beatles. These entities stretched beyond the athletic and art form in which they belonged.

Have we been passed by?



Do people actually believe they're saving the environment when they bring their own bags to the grocery store?

I always pay the five cents for the plastic bag. They're perfect for throwing diapers away (and food) at the daycare. Saves me money.


My daughter's school is one of those "reusable water bottles, litterless lunch" type of school.

En Garde!

It's good to be skeptical and even suspicious. But not too much. You may miss an angel and an opportunity.

Of Freedom Slayers And Low University Support In Sports

Reminds me of what happened at Concordia University a few years back when pro-Palestinian protestors and a student council (I forget which one) literally managed to prevent a discussion on the Middle-east from an Israeli perspective (I think it was Netanyahu who was the guest speaker). Whatever. It's all anti-free speech and totalitarian in its orientation. The protestors got nasty. Classes were cancelled.

As a former student, watching the limp, and gutless reaction by the university, it was enough for me to not give money to the alumni. I said as much to them during their yearly drive for contributions.

Never heard from them again.


A local sports radio show host was lamenting the pathetic state of attendance at university sports games. Outside a sprinkle here and there, and pockets of decent support in some football, basketball and hockey (depending on the region and school)  institutions, the overall support is indeed, shall we say, weak? As usual, we measure it against the United States. In the U.S., 100 000 people will fill the stands supporting their school. In Canada, 10 000 if you're lucky. More like, 5000 or even less actually. I've seen cases where 100 or so show up.

There is no comparison between how the two countries develop and market their sports. The USA is on a different inter-planetary dimension. The "why's" of this is not the point of this post.

But I will explore one reasons why I think attendance and support is low, is because more often than not, it's not really the best players representing the school. Some of them wouldn't have made AA let alone AAA. Personally, and I'm very selective this way, I estimate half the people in soccer don't know jack squat on how to play the game. It's one thing to know have some technique and quite another to forge a team capable of executing proper skills and tactics. Most are undisciplined mavericks who just focus on bad tackles and useless aggressive play.

I digress.

Outside a tight circle of friends and family, no one cares. It's just a bunch of guys who came up through the system who still loved playing and happened to make the team; it's sort of like high school. High school soccer games in the USA can get into the thousands of people. Know how many people came to watch our team win its first city championship in high school?


As in no one. Not even fans made of cardboard. The school didn't even attempt to build any kind of support. And this was the school's first ever title! The coach had been waiting for one since 1975 and we brought him not one but THREE between 1987 and 1989.

It was a great team really. Several all-stars who played for country and province at elite AA-AAA levels.

It may be a little different in basketball (although for some reason few of our top players in the NCAA ever comes to play for Team Canada) and increasingly in football, but I know in soccer the output gap between the best and weakest was huge. There were plenty of players I knew who were outstanding players but didn't join for multiple including justifying the time. The best hockey players tend to go to the junior ranks and even the NCAA before university hockey.

I don't mean to demean any of this. Just stating the reality. I could, of course, be wrong but I think this is the general picture.

In the United States, it's a completely different scenario. Schools begin recruiting in high school and are far, far more scientific and organized about it. Canadians see what goes on in the States and truly want to mirror that. The desire is there, we just don't have the cash to design the roadmap to such success.

They say Canada and the USA are two different cultures. When it comes to sports, we are.


Wasting Posts

Never did quite get why they label it "smooth jazz." What, other forms of jazz are "rough?"


The Big Tear Down

Apparently, whoever owns the Oympic Stadium is soliciting ideas from the public on what to do with it.

Here's mine:

Tear it down. The roof - with its ugly cables holding it up -  is an embarrassing and ghastly mark on what's already a so-so part of the city. Put up an amusement park or giant testicle made of recycled material for all I care. What's the point in keeping it going? It's one big concrete non-sequitur.

I once had the surreal pleasure of having to make a delivery at the Big O a couple of years back.

After navigating through a dizzying maze, I ended up in the nether-regions of the Olympic stadium where I swear I thought I stumbled on an entire lost species from middle-earth working as if it was 1976 again. I emerged from the darkness and into the light of day in dazzled amazement wondering what I just witnessed.

It's a useless, stinky (you can still smell the sweat from past ball games as the humidity clings on to it for the memories) poorly constructed, corruptive, costly, dated piece of junk without the Expos, Alouettes and Oympics long gone.

Spy Games

Mums the word on a disturbing piece of legislation tabled by Harper.

"In fact, the Conservatives have rolled this invasive, costly and poorly thought-out legislation into an omnibus crime package, allowing them to avoid discussion of the details."

Sounds pretty much like any piece of legislation really.

"Oh won't someone thing of the terrorists...and children!"

Conservatives Call In Cost Cutting Consultants

Is it that hard to figure it out where to cut spending on their own?

$90 000 a day for consulting services to probably reveal what you knew?

Sheesh, Harper.

How about this: Don't spend $90 000 a day for a service you don't need. There. And this came for free!

Just Another Night In Canada's Criminal Justice System

In the "it's murder but not murder" file enter the case of a teenage mother killing - and I mean it in every sense of the word - her baby.

Yet, the judge didn't see it that way.



Two Books For Publication Thought

Two books I'd like to either write about or read:

"Be Civily Cool: Turn Nervous Energy Into Acceptable Energy When Left Alone At The Table."

Ever been on a first date and your partner splits to "powder their nose?" I never believed that. I can just imagine what goes on in the ladies bathroom. "Oh yes, it's ladies night and the feelings right..." Come on, sing it! I continue do cling on to lustful vivid images of women clustered about in magnificent conglomeration.

While she's away, you're stuck trying to find comfortable stillness. You find yourself sipping enough wine to pour another glass while crossing and uncrossing your legs and placing and removing your elbows from the table multiple times. By this time, your actions make you wonder if people are asking if you have ADHD.

We've all gone to a party where we know absolutely nobody except for the person who invited us. Naturally, that person can't be relied on when the guest you showed up with decides to go take a long piss or mysteriously wanders off leaving you to stand around like a complete zero.

It's hard to compose yourself since your mind - depending on the degree of self-sabotaging you possess. It varies from person to person - can mischiveously play dirty tricks on you thus exaggerating the situation. No one is really paying attention but your mind will turn you into an instant narcissist. "Omigod, is my slip showing? Wait a sec..."

You may think your giving off a natural smile when it fact it's more like a disturbed grin. Think you're standing erect? Go look in a mirror; that's not Rock Hudson circa 1964 looking back at you, it's Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

It's no easier roving like a vagabond from group to group in hopes of nailing one that appeals to you  while faking interest- or vice-versa. You may want to avoid lines like "Hey, these chips are delicious!" (when in fact they are nachos),  "Nice party, eh?" when clearly it sucks and "I'd do her" without knowing the full profile of who you want to do.

It's impossible to act like James Bond so don't do it. Unless you're able to use any type of weapon known to man, have nice hair and strong bones that can perform remarkable stunts, drive a BMW-Maserati hybrid (also known as an Aston-Martin), attract literally any woman, carry more utilities in your belt than Batman himself, know how to ski, swim, skate, pilot a crashing plane, beat up UFC fighters and make a wedding cake professionally, I'd avoid it. Be more like, erm, Larry David in Curb your enthusiasm.

Another book:

"From Obama to Osama. How one letter changed my life."


On his name:

"It may sound crazy, you know, but I still stay up late at night laughing at my luck. I mean, if my name was Osama I wouldn't be president. I can't help but wake Michelle up with it. She's so special. She looks so cute all groggy. By that point, the sleep pills are in full effect but, man, this Obama-Osama thing is just too much."

On the environment:

"I really considered changing my name as the Kabbalarian Society suggested. Obama was a little too, you know, I don't know, erm, "Wow!" Like, Wobama!" As if I'd come in swinging and swaggering with a cape. Watching Peter Pan, I realized we needed to be more green in our lives. You can't try that shit anymore with those new green light bulbs. I want us to be more like Tarzan than Peter Pan. Tarzan's mode of transportation was all green - trees. I really like the color green."

On health:

"I don't get into Michelle's affairs. Good on her she wants to eradicate obesity. Just don't touch my cigarettes and cheeseburgers."

On economic policies:

"I'm not sure if they're "policies" per se, but a state of mind.  A state that will prove me right...somewhere down the line. michelle sez that all the time The way I see it, no one can prove anything anyway when it comes to economics. What does 12% unemployment in Nevada mean to you? Exactly. If Africa can get by, so can we. I've produced two massive documents totalling over 5000 pages and people are gonna tell me I ain't innovative? shit

On his personal memoirs:

"I think it'll be bigger than The Beatles, therefore Jesus. I's gots lotsa shit to say once all this is said and done."

More (Unedited) excerpts from his memoirs:

my place, I think, given what I inherited, in history is assured. I do believe my efforts deserve to have my face chisled on the side of some mountain. (It was later pointed out to Obama he was unwittingly referring to Mount Rushmore to which he responded, "Really? A mountain, huh? What about a tree? One of those big ass motherfuckers (like the ones in Lord of the Rings) in Oregon or Minnesota?")  
anyway, its 4:44 am. these ruminations by me are for the people since America is filled with honkey tonk donkeys.   people of action who are always on the go, go, go its hard to "fix" an economy that keeps moving if people only shut their stupid faces sat down and did nothing forever for a coupla months id  be able to flatten things up with my crew. I just need some time and total deference from the people its hard to constantly be negotiating with voters politicians fantoms my kids and michelle
i get tired of all this constitution talk about jefferson, madison, &&&&& the rest of the gang from riverdale i have to be me, you know? not some guy flying a kite. **what made them so special i dont get it i mean im a constiutiominanal expert with community experience and i still can't figure out what the heck they meant. to me things are meant to be changed and theres a new sheriff in town i have somuch tosay i cant even pace my thoughts at the moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! willube4ever?
me and michelle are planning a "date" night. just the two of us. sa-weet! sha-wing!

fuck this freedom crap.

3:22pm. I took a nice little nap and still have a few things to get offf my chest including michelle. she can get a little heavy; mently and fisicly
I cant figure what people want i go into libya (lib-yeah!) kill osama binladden spend money yet people in district 9 abandon me!!!!!!!! what the fuck!!!  epic fail. just because, like michelle always tells me i don't support israel doesn't mean i dont like jews. everyone knows jew money bagel is key to any campaign the last thing i need to do is go to the mics and dagos
sometimes i just want to get up during a state addresss and say, phuck it, you're not worth it.

4:07 pm. Yay! Da Bears take on the Saints today! Yayyyyy! go grossman. ESPN should be calling any second now luvu4evah mich!


Jacqueline Kennedy's Interview

Hey, where are all the screams of "racism?"


Nothing surprises me anymore. What the interview with Jacqueline Kennedy given by historian Arthur Schlesinger showed was how utterly human she was. So what she didn't "measure up" or meet whatever fictional ideals people have had of her?

That and the fact it should put all this "Camelot" business to rest.

The cult of the personality in politics, however, still lives on.

One need only read the many articles, now trivial as time moves on, gushing over Obama when he got elected.

Regions Unite Under Soccer

I'm surprised Quebec hasn't filed for the Nouvelle-Federation Board - a soccer association "made up of teams that represent nations, dependencies, unrecognized states, minorities, stateless peoples, regions and micronations not affiliated to FIFA."

They compete in a tournament called the VIVA World Cup.

There are nine members of record. Italy has tow in Padania (three time Champion) and Kingdom of Two Sicilies while France has one in Provence. Occitania is shared by France, Italy and Spain. Gee, the Italians make up a third of this group. Not surprising given Italy's historical uneasiness with unification.

I suppose the Basque territory from Spain are natural members. In fact, Europe could still expanded further.

If one knows their history, none of these regions should be a mystery. They've been around for centuries.

Besides the "treason" grey line (as defined by the modern nation-state) not sure what the legalities and criteria is. The Kingdom of Two Sicilies for example makes up a large portion of Italy itself!

There may be something to this organization. There are plenty of "regions" and non-recognized people in the world. Here in North America I'm sure we can come up with a few between Mexico, USA and Canada.

Within Canada, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Acadia, and Quebec alone could be members. The United States could add a few more including the South; which could be broken down still further I reckon; Creole, Texarkana etc.

Across the continent, Native nations could be eligible.

Question is: Would it make ESPN 3?



Libyans Welcomes The West

I was watching a news report where Libyans welcomed British PM Cameron and French president Sarkozy reminiscent of how The Beatles captivated people.

The same thing for Americans. Imagine that. Chants in favor of America for a change! Not since World War II have the Americans been hailed as friendly allies. It's all the more unique it comes from an Arab nation.

President Obama may be boring and banal on jobs and the economy, but he did skillfully nail Libya.

Transparency Still An Issue

The Columbia Journal Review takes President Obama to task over transparency in science.


Of Lawyers

Sometimes I wonder if prosecutors are worse than defendants - if either were good or bad to begin with.

An over-zealous and ambitious person out to seek justice makes for a sinister plot.

Daycare Update

I've observed that eco-friendly products aren't that friendly to me. I find myself running double washes of everything.

Nothing beats good old Tide, Pine Sol and Mr. Clean and other related products.

Get the job done right I say.

Venture Capitalism Is For Venture Capitalists

That didn't take long. The Solyndra story is being blamed on Bush I heard on the radio.

Who is to blame is besides the point. What really matters is that (all) Federal governments shouldn't be venture capitalists with taxpayer dollars.

They ain't businessmen and they shouldn't play one on TV.


Question: Did the government lend to early car manufacturers like Ford and Daimler?

Serious I'd like to know.


Krugman Should Write For This Blog


Paul Krugman passed off a beaut this week.

"...Now, I should have said that the American people behaved remarkably well in the weeks and months after 9/11: There was very little panic, and much more tolerance than one might have feared. Muslims weren’t lynched, and neither were dissenters, and that was something of which we can all be proud."

Smear sticky sauce on my face. I have a couple of problems with the assertions made; not the fact he's entitled to his opinion but for the love of God don't make it so easy for morons like me to pick on it!

Let's break it down. *Grabs ass*

"behaved remarkably well."

Gee, thanks Paul. Dunno what powers of observation he used to prove this a fact, but good on him for offering people a Scooby-snack. Didn't realize he was a professional behaviorist! A real B.F. Skinner, him!

"There was very little panic, and much more tolerance than one might have feared."

Welcome, welcome! Step right up and see here the one and only Paulpanicmeter! Step right up and be amazed!

He musta thought it was going to be one gigantic panic fest. Pitch forks, plastic forks, Big Slurpies and all.

"Than one might have feared."

Reminds me of the "Sex to save the friendship" line on Seinfeld.

So. Here's the thing, people who thought this to begin with were and are full of presumptuous shit. Yes, caca.

"Muslims weren’t lynched, and neither were dissenters, and that was something of which we can all be proud."

Does he really believe this would happen? I mean, like, seriously. He makes it sound as if lynching was a common practice in the USA.

*Careful treading the line warning follows:

 Yet, though this evil practice did happen, it wasn't exactly enough to justify Krugman's fears.

The fact no Muslim lynchings were reported reveals, ironically, how exaggerated his original belief was.

Regarding dissenters, yeah, maybe free speech has been curtailed but for the love of Cheryl Ladd, America isn't exactly China or Cuba or Iran.

The European version of the Krugman clone still laments in shame the many pogroms against Jews throughout the centuries. "Yeah, but we Germans should hang our heads forever more for massacring Jews for the Black Plague in 1348!"

Anything resembling the Kristillnacht after 9/11 was not a foregone conclusion.

It's like arguing with an incoherent sock puppet who happens to read history. I apologize. Not even a sock, however dirty, would explore a kind of "Blacks were lynched once upon a time, ergo Muslims will be lynched because history repeats itself and this is the pattern in American culture" logic - or lack thereof.

Good grief, Paul. Proud of something that likely never was going to happen? Good fucking grief.


It hurts when you presume all sorts of bad, illiberal things will happen after a devastating event and nothing does. It must be frustratingly annoying, furthermore, to constantly have your prognostication talents be negated.

That negation, of course, is never your fault but of the widespread ignorance that stalks everyone around you.

Other than that, it was in poor taste for him to write this on 9/11 as families grieved. I mean, liberals with a conscience should know better, right?

So much for "civil discourse."

Phrases I Hate

"There are people out there who want to kill us."

Hear this said by conservatives all the time. It's a rather vague comment. No kidding "there are people" who want to commit murder. Humans are a miserable bunch that way. Specifically, he means Islamic terrorists. Of course.

But when you think of it, while it's true they scam and plot to kill in the name of "overthrowing oppression" (more like seeking to consolidate power), Al-Queda and its lame derivatives are no match against the full force of American might.

Gotta give Newt Gingrich credit. He's still a political player. In fact, while listening to a radio show out of Boston interviewing him, he's readying himself for another "Contract with America" deal.

The strategy? Defend liberty by restricting it. Because "they're out to get you."

The Existential Terrorist Plot

From the Washington Examiner: 

"Of the 32 "plots" uncovered in the U.S. since 9/11, only 10 developed anything resembling an operational plan that identified a specific target, developed the means of attack, and offered a sequence of steps to carry [it] out."

"Only" ten? How much is too much?

What if the ten were as big as 9/11? What if all it takes is one nutcase with chemical weapons to inflict widespread death?

Not to be an alarmist or anything, but in a way, I disagree Al-Queda is not an existential threat. 3000 plus lost souls can attest to that.

I know, the title of this post gave off more than it presented in content.


Haiku You

Ravage you with rules
Succumb to the splendid tricks
and see light you will.

Daycare Update

"We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money." Steven Chu on justifying forcing American consumers to convert to environmentally friendly lightbulbs.

That comment packs a lot of nanny-state punch.


The above quote reminds me of something I discovered during the inspection of my daycare - of which I was cited for not displaying my original permit on the wall (as opposed to keeping it seperate in a file as I chose to. Yes, because spending and wasting three hours of my time nitpicking on administrative paper work was going to improve my service). One of the laws the state enforces in daycares is the one where all cleaners (Mr. Clean and the like) must be under lock and key at all times. Aside from being a logical and prudent action, I don't have a problem with it.

The problem I have is philosophical and empirical. We tend to assume the laws on the books are rooted in some empirical study by a team of professional experts and bureaucrats. They are presumed to know more than, well, say parents and daycares. No questions asked.

If you challenge this dare you be deemed an "extremist." After all, it's meant to protect us all, right?

Well, easy there. I get the Spidey, spiney, tingly feeling it's more about protecting jobs than anything.

What makes me think this?

When I asked if there were studies statistically showing children were guzzling down Pine Sol as a result of neglectful daycare operators and/or parents, the inspector responded no study exists. It was merely a "preventative" measure. Classic "well-meaning" over stretch.

Think about that.

I'm going to pour myself a glass of pear juice.


The "light bulb" symbol has become synonymous with a sudden burst of energy, imagination and ideas.

Ironic that it would be the object of paternalistic bureaucratism, eh?

Hero Worship

By way of Skeptical Eye a post by Karen De Coster.


Music Sunday Part II

Now that's a beaut of a song!

Music Sunday

How popular is Pink Floyd?

If youtube is any indication, pretty damn popular. Seven million views for 'Mother.'

Do you know the origins of the name of the band?

Named after two obscure blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council who were tagged as 'East coast blues' or the 'Piedmont' school (or even 'porch blues') artists.

I found this out years and years ago reading a rock history blurb in some magazine. I later found a Pink Anderson record in a hot, humid record shop across Sam The Record Man in downtown Montreal. The man was nice enough to play part of the record for me. Didn't buy it for some reason. Never came across a Council recording.

Ah, the days when I had time to roam the streets like a vagabond. At least I put part of it to some good use. Look, I'm posting about it here aren't I?

The influence of the blues is ubiquitous.


Canadian Dollar Luck

I'm not a currency expert - I only play one on the internet - but here's my take on the Canadian dollar.

It's a source of pride - for some reason - to many Canadians the dollar hovers around the USD. Yet, it's not like investors are flocking to the CDN as a flight to quality; gold is the choice.

Rather, the recipe for its success is a combination of rising oil prices (and other commodities) and an American recession. Simple as that. It has little do with our overall economy being "stronger" than the United States. It's more stable relatively speaking but that too is precarious.

The value of a currency is often based on perception. Right now, the USA is losing its status as the world's currency. Their fall is our gain but not out of us being a viable replacement but by happenstance.

Nothing to brag about. But it sure does help when shopping there!

The Canadian economy, as should be reminded from time to time, is intimately tied to the U.S. economy. We will eventually feel the pinch. It's as predictable as an Adam Sandler flick when 85% of your trading power is with one partner. It's the quintessential put all your eggs in one basket connonnonodrum.

How any Canadian can sit with a straight face and ignore this reality really needs to let go of their nationalism.


The Canadian economy is rolling along quietly. Productivity is up. Unemplyoment has steadily gone down under Harper's watch but 7.4% is still high in my opinion. The U.S. rolled along with 4.9% with a much larger, more complex economy. Canada is fairly well managed financially.

As for prices of goods and services, I don't know why we pay higher prices on things like books and TVs. I suspect a large part of it is "supply and demand." If there's more demand and competition, prices go down. Canada is far smaller a country than the USA and has fewer consumers nor does it produce many of its purchases (importing them from elsehwhere. Or manufactured here as a subsidiary), so somewhere along the way, someone is passing along those costs. To say nothing of taxes. Economies of scales or something to that affect.

Personally, I don't shop much in Canada where given the choice. You're stark raving mad if you accept at face value Canadian retail prices. People who complain about Indigo prices, here's an idea, shop online! Buy an eBook. Or go to Vermont or if you're lucky (like we were in Maine), happen to visit a Borders book shop liquidating its stock. I bought a classic Italian cook book with over 2000 recipes for $9 - original retail price $55.

There are options you know. Personal choice hasn't entirely been erased...yet.

I digress.



I bet the world wouldn't fall apart if we "cut back" spending.

Just a hunch.


What's the percentage of people do you reckon sitting in prison wrongfully accused or framed?

I'd say it's probably high enough.

Naughty Green Company

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned en passant the bankruptcy of a green company that received lotsa cash. The company Solyndra, I didn't know at the time (but was suspicious of nonetheless), has been under investigation by the FBI. Looks like some of the cash ended back into Democrat coffers.

Please. No "Gate" references.


Questioning Taxes

I think most of you know me by now to not be surprised I feel taxes are too high; even immoral. Taxes are inefficient by their nature. "Progressive" taxes are anything but.

I also find it objectionable at how much power tax collectors wield.

It's interesting, on a related note, that despite the welfare state in place, liberals (I never will understand the mindset of a person who actually advocates more taxes thinking it's beneficial and fair) still bitch and moan about how ignorant we are.

Ah, but these days, it is to be 'extreme' to think so!

Again, not advocating the eradication of the entire public sector, just a massive retooling and rethinking; leaner and meaner if you will.

It's ok. This is where we're at these days. And they say the 11th century was a Dark Age!

George Harrison and The Beatles had it right when they sang:

Let me tell you how it will be;

There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
And you're working for no one but me.


Russian Ice Hockey Tragedy

The entire Lokomotive Russian hockey club was wiped out this past week in a plane crash.

If your sports fan, it's a big one.

Lokomotiv is a popular KHL team which at the time of the crash had a few former NHLers on its roster. I was stunned to hear the names Brad McCrimmon - who I watched play when he was with the Flyers back in the 1980s - Pavol Demitra (who was an excellent player), Karl Rachunek and Ruslan Salei. It may sound silly, but Demitra in particular was a fixture in keeper hockey pools; I even had him on my team for a while.

It's great the story watching the league rally around Lokomotiv in an effort to get its operatins going. Players from around the world are offering their services including Dynamo player Alexei Yashin.

The tragedy got me thinking of other sports disasters. Most come from the soccer ranks:

-First among them was the Superga air disaster in 1949 when the great Torino soccer club was wiped out on a journey back from Lisbon. Before the glorious and glamorous dominance of Italian soccer with Juventus, the story goes, there was Torino. The club had 10 players ( including the great Valentino Mazzola (father to Sandro who would also have a prominent career)  representing the Italian national team at the time of the crash thus setting the program it back a decade or more.

-In 1958, a group of lads known as "Busby Babes" (called such because they were scouted and trained for the great Manchester United manager Matt Busby) lost their lives on a flight back from Munich. 23 of the 38 passengers (including eight young players) died. Legenday player Bobby Charlton survived the accident.

-In 1993, 30 people were killed, including 18 Zambian soccer players. They're memorialized at a place known as "Heroes" acres.

Other disasters include:

-Heysel Disaster just before an epic European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool.

-One of the most deadliest in British soccer history was the Hillsborough disaster.

- U.S. figure skating team 1961.

- And the massacre of Israeli athlete's at the Munich games in 1972.

Others you know about?

Complex Question

Paul over at MOR made me think about something. He argued that Quebec society is "complex." I retorted that it isn't, politically and culturally anyway. Maybe because I'm not a fan of large parts of its laws that strike me as hopelessly anti-individual. I just can't tolerate when the state restricts free choice on any level.

But what should be the criteria to what makes a society or region or whatever, "complex?"

I partly based my opinion by measuring Quebec against Canada, and then the world. Within a Canadian context, Quebec looks complex. However, in a world context it's just another place.

Being complex, to me, also entails providing the world with philosophical thoughts it can borrow. I don't see that here.

Anyway. I'm hard; dare I say complex, that way.


There's Hope For the Liberal Party

A return to classical liberalism that is!

Right now, the Liberals are as good as defunct; as useful as the ever-ciculating broken piece of plastic from my daughter's Barbie collection.

I mean, the option is to merge with the NDP?

That's no solution.

That's just lazy.

Let the NDP be the NDP. Let the Conservatives be the conservative. The Liberals, by this logic, need to be liberals.

While they're at it, they can drop the "natural governing" arrogance. Justin Trudeau doesn't represent "fresh" ideas. Rather, he's just another face.

Truth be told, there's an opportunity for the Liberals to purge itself from nothingness and rediscover the once great liberal tradition. There's a whole niche market of free thinking peoples waiting to be snapped up.

More people; less state.

Bummer Part II

Last week the President promised to unleash "innovative" ideas for the economy for his speech.

I began reading snippets of it and began to yawn figuratively.

It was about as "innovative" as colored paper clip.


Ever walk into a sex shop only to find the workers to not be hot?

Girl: Let me demonstate how these suckers work, ok?
Me: Will it arrest that wart on your second nose?



Learning To Love And Accept The TSA

With 9/11 around the corner, it's a reminder why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created - to which the Transportation Security Administration belongs - under President George W. Bush.

The TSA has been controversial ever since.

The thing I find interesting, at the time, there were people (mostly liberals and of course libertarians) who voiced concerns over the creation of such a massive department. While libertarians have remained consistent on the matter, the left has come to accept the TSA. With Republicans looking to shrink the government, the left finds itself defending large parts of the state (surprise), including the TSA. The left hated less the fact the government expanded and more that it was done so by Bush - who ironically, was basically an interventionist who created huge chunks of departments most contemporary liberals would accept had someone else done it.

Sorta like the war thing. They hated Iraq, but accept the premise in Libya - or at least tolerate it.

While we're on it, conservatives are no better. A constant theme among them is liberty. A fine theme it is, but they too are willing to erode such liberties through the government when it suits their needs.
Just an observation.

What Is CSIS?

The CIA is an immortalized organization within American political, intelligence, and security culture. Consider how many movies involve them or the FBI.

So what's Canada's equivalence? Without the Bourne Identity intrigue of course. Welcome to CSIS.

CSIS is restricted to activities, thanks in part to budgetary constraints, on Canadian soil which is why Canada always relies on American and European intelligence gathering that involve Canada abroad.

Information on CSIS is limited and Canadians know precious little of its function. Like most anything, we know far more about American operations. CSIS has been controversial from the onset mostly for its Dudley-Do Right-Keystone Cops-like competence; lost documents, laptops and even corrupt when the RCMP ran the show, etc.

If the RCMP-CSIS split isn't confusing enough, add the Communications Security Establishment to the mix.

Keeping Bankruptcy Tabs

Link to daily bankruptcy news in Canada.


You Say You Want A Revolution

We often hear "in these times of revolution" said as if it's an exceptional moment in our lives and era to which we belong.

Fact is, the human race has generally been in a constant state of revolution - small or big.

We speak of warfare as if it's uniquely a political phenomena or equation but this has always felt unsatisfying to me.

It's a little more than that. It's the natural state of man I reckon.

Even Canada for all its peacefulness - that's one thing we have going - has been involved in a few wars since its inception in 1867.

Ruining A Good Thing

When I heard Metro grocers is possibly in talks to acquire or parnter with Adonis supermarket, I reacted negatively.

Culturally, I just don't see a natural fit; "synergies" as they call it in the investment world. When it comes to food, I'll side with the Arabs on this one. Without knowing the details, Metro is smart to get in on the "ethnic" game but judging by how they run things, I'd say they're in over their heads.

Adonis is a grocery store with all the typical markings of a Middle-Eastern environment: Stressful, chaotic and ostensibly rude. You always get the feeling the workers have ADHD when serving you. If you're looking to have a superficial interaction with people in the requisite "hello, good-bye" format, this ain't the place for you.

If you're Mediterranean, you know how to go with that flow.

Insiders I've spoken to describe what goes on behind the scenes as anarchistic. No room for notions of Anglo-Saxon accounting here!

In trying to get some information, no one can get any story straight with each adding a few more tales to the 1001 Arabian Nights.

Still, when it comes to offering fresh fruits and vegetables (although prices have gone up), and meat, Adonis among the best; from its shish-taouk, kafta, marintated filet-mignon and so on. Outstanding food really. The 'Metro' tag means little to me.

As long as Metro keeps its corporate fingers at a distant and not intrude on operations (Metro is terrible when it comes to fruits and vegetables), it should go ok I reckon. However,  if they come in with a "c'est notre facon" way. It's over. If I want to go to  Metro, I'll got to, erm, Metro.

I'll find another spot to shop.


On a side note, I've noticed food inflation is starting to set in. Things are getting expensive out there.

Private State Of Mind

Posts have slowed down because the new interface seems to lead to "freezing" and delays on my computer.

I have much to reflect upon.


First, this from the WSJ.


I've observed during my short tenure in daycare is when it comes to choosing the public versus private option, it very well does come down to values. If you're predisposed to go public, you're not likely to sign with an "expensive" service like mine. If you're in tune with private philosophy, well, you welcome the private option.

Fiscally, once tax credits (which are very generous in Quebec) and deductions are factored in, there's not that much of a difference price wise. Personally, I will always choose private where I feel it's appropriate.



Which sports organization is worst in Canada: FIBA or the CSA?

Tough one. The Canadian Soccer Asssociaion has been a joke for a while, but man, Basketball Canada is making a good case.

Murderer Goes To Law School

It's called "progress."

Stay classy UBC.

Understand? Oh, won't you please understand!

"UBC says it cannot comment specifically on its decision to allow Ansari to return, but James Ridge, the school's associate vice president for enrolment, says there is nothing in the admissions guidelines preventing a convicted killer from attending classes.

"The university generally does not investigate or assess its students' personal lives and does not discriminate against students simply because they have criminal records," Ridge said in an email."


"Simply because they have criminal records?" He's a fricken MURDERER!

Horrible choice of words. Terrible.

Let a "guideline" trump all reason. Attaboy.

What a country!