Kids (And Bureaucrats) Say The Darndest Things

They should do one "S*** Corporate Execs" say.

I'm A Hero

I'm not sure if what MSNBC Chris Hayes said was "unpatriotic." In fact, it's a fair point. The only two things he's guilty of is clumsily delivering it (I felt uncomfortable for him when I heard it. It's almost as if he felt himself sinking) and his poor sense of timing. Bad timing = drowning. On any other day, this likely goes down well. Pick Memorial Day and you get a "predictable" reaction. Honestly, what do you expect?

Thinking Of Not Getting A Vaccine?

Have a look at this.

Grilling Recipe Ideas

From me to you with love, hugs, punches and kisses.

Take a pineapple, preferably not to engage in sexual acts, cut it and toss into a bowl. Grab an onion. What did I tell you about mixing pleasure with food? Cut it. I like to dice it ring style. But for grilling purposes best to cut thicker wedges. Ditto with a pepper. Colour is your choice. Personally, use red, orange, or yellow. You can add a zucchini to it.


Time to season it. Pure maple syrup, cinnamon and brown sugar. I use olive oil but if you prefer another type go ahead. Salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle lightly.

Mix. Grill. Pig out. Dee-lish.

The End Of An Era In Hockeytown

Whenever a significant athlete retires it's worth posting about it. I think Niklas Lidstrom qualifies. I'm not gonna get into all the "he's a class act," and "one of the all-time great defenseman" stuff. Clearly, he was those things. Seven Norris trophies, one Conn Smythe and four Stanley Cups over 20 seasons pretty much says it all.

The Detroit Red Wings can actually build a credible top 10 list without fans laughing.

Is Jesus An Easy Target?

Another one of those "is it art" debates.

Obama's Private War

From Reason:

"..This is not from a work of fiction, and it is not describing a series of events in the Kremlin or Beijing or Pyongyang. It is a fair summary of a 6,000-word investigative report in The New York Times earlier this week about the White House of Barack Obama. Two Times journalists, Jo Becker and Scott Shane, painstakingly and chillingly reported that the former lecturer in constitutional law and liberal senator who railed against torture and Gitmo now weekly reviews a secret kill list, personally decides who should be killed and then dispatches killers all over the world -- and some of his killers have killed Americans. We have known for some time that President Obama is waging a private war. By that I mean he is using the CIA on his own -- and not the military after congressional authorization -- to fire drones at thousands of persons in foreign lands, usually while they are riding in a car or a truck..."

Wow. Thems chargin' words.


Not bad for a President who won the Nobel Peace prize before doing a single, damn thing! He's the Houdini of politics! He's Houbama! Or O'dini!

Stupid Ideas #25344499

The people responsible for adding BMI to reports cards should  hang their heads in shame for their absurd ignorance. BMI was always a questionable tool in measuring fat. These people are not even up to date on health news. Clowns.

Want good, no-nonsense advice about health. Head over to Health and Fitness.

The Battle For Jobs

About private equity. After Romney claimed he "knows how to create jobs" because of his experience at Bain, it became a political item. Like with most things that involve money, capitalism, state regulations, greed, laziness and all sorts of other human behavior that can't be regulated, it's, well, complicated.

It's further made absurd given we operate in a faux free-enterprise environment. The prevailing attitude isn't "how can I" it's "what can the state" do.

Those lambasting Romney for having been a PE guy are best to keep in mind that's pretty much what Warren Buffett is.

Whether Bain Capital "creates jobs" or not is the not the point. PE's are not set up for that.

Indeed, people don't get into business to "create jobs." They get into to it to make money. Jobs are just a by-product of risk. It's impossible to tell with any empirical confidence.

In any event, it's not like the alternative is better.

Philosophically, there's much to question. However, it's all perfectly legal.

Here's a discussion on PE.




The last link interestingly asserts:

"Private equity are the cowboys that risk capital to build or rebuild companies. And by doing so they often times create jobs. In fact, without private equity there would be approximately 60 to 70 percent fewer jobs created every year. Furthermore, there would be virtually no new companies created. Therefore, there would be no competition and in short there would be no capitalism."

I can only add about the last bit about virtually no companies being created. Banks sure as hell don't lend to start-ups.

And (gulp) here. Comparing it to the mob is outrageous. I'll remember this the next time they're compared to the government. What? No comparison to the character played by Richard Gere in 'Pretty in Pink?'

Teachable Moment Myth

Love those "students are teaching us a lesson" articles.

Let's hit one of those up courtesy of Rabble.

Before I begin, I'm not hostile to the movement. I try and accept each for what they are. However, if you want more of my tax dollars, you're gonna have to do better than what I've been hearing.

Here at rabble.ca, we've been hard at work to break through the wall of mainstream media that - either by ignoring or cynically attacking - has largely kept the rest of Canada in the dark about the historic social movement taking place in Quebec.

This falls in the "they're demonizing our kids" category.

I don't think outlets like Rabble are reporting anything we don't already observe or hear on the radio. What I read in this article is what's being reported so I'm not sure what the angle here is but student leaders get a lot of press time. Some even grace the cover of magazines - even if they're late with the rent close to eviction.

The coverage has been intense with all sides being represented. Actually, that's not true. The people footing the bill - taxpayers - have been voiced out completely. No real discussion on the FINANCING of education has taken place largely because, and let's be blunt, we're ignorant and choose not to.

The movement is taking its toll on people in ways Rabble wouldn't dare discuss because it believes it sees the "big picture." More on this later.

Quebec is a social and economic disaster and shouldn't be a model for any province. I discuss this post about this in the next few days.

All across Canada and beyond, we need fair and in-depth coverage of the Quebec student strike. Not just so we can show solidarity with their efforts, but so we can learn from their creative and determined movement.

Determined yes, but it helps to have the unions back you up financially. Creative? If you include violence, blocking Metros, using pots and pans to bang around in the streets at late hours, preventing taxpayers from going to work and using coercion against other students who don't share their view, then yeah, sure it's "creative." But I ask: How does one define "creative?"

Quebec's students are teaching, or re-teaching, an important lesson to all of us.
In Canada, and here in British Columbia, decades of neo-liberalism have rolled back our public services. Even more damaging, perhaps, has been the way these years have rolled back our public imagination.

Let me see if I get this straight. Public services equals more imagination? If this is what he's arguing then he can not be helped.

A smaller government doesn't mean the end of imagination any more that cutting spending will lead to social decadence.

I consider myself imaginative. Perhaps more than it is considered "healthy." I just wrote a TV script. It even garnered some interest. All while carrying loads of debt. Does that count?

But in Quebec, the student movement is pointing right at the heart of the matter. Faced with a 75 per cent tuition increase, they have fought back - hard. Holding out on strike for well over three months now, they have displayed remarkable unity and creativity.

See, now that's not right. He makes it sound worse than it is. 75% increase sounds ominous. It appeals to you emotions. Until one realizes it's 75% over seven years. That works out to $325 per year. That works out to .92 cents per day. Per day! You mean to tell me a human being is incapable of matching that output in labour? Shit, I make that just for breathing or blogging.

Right. It's the principle of it all!

The unity is a mirage. Another person I know has been putting in over time as a riot police.

From his own perspective,  the cops really do not want trouble. He further claims the students are  provocative and is seeing a lot of the same faces recycled. Why be provocative at all if you're in the right?

What's that saying, many sides to a story or something? From where I sit, the students and articles like this one are less interested in truth and more out to force their own version of it.

In addition to putting up a fight for their own right to an accessible education, they have appealed to the wider society, calling for a ‘social strike' against Quebec's Charest government. As in B.C., Quebec's government is Liberal by name, but in reality is a coalition that represents right-wing corporate interests.

It costs roughly $47 000 to $50 000 to run a university program. Quebec students pay about $7800 to $8 000 of that amount. The taxpayer is on the hook for the rest of it - including the Federal government who kicks in a small portion.

That's the COST of running a university. I know this makes sense because it's the same issue in daycare. $7 a day care COSTS taxpayers $50 a day. You're better off with the money in your pocket and deciding how to spend it. The economic and rational benefit is beyond logical.

Alas, if the majority of Quebecers think otherwise, so be it. At least be forthwright with the true costs.

What corporate interest is he talking about exactly? I want to know EXACTLY how being fiscally responsible remotely figures to be a part of a neo-liberal agenda.

Even if it went to 25%, Quebec still gets a good deal out of it. I plan to talk about the dangers of making university education "free" to all in a short while.

It's hard to read this with a straight face. QUEBEC PAYS THE LOWEST TUITION ON THE CONTINENT. The taxpayer pays for 85% of the bill!  Remove the transfer payments Quebec gets from Alberta and then let's see how ugly the books really are.

Charest is no natural born leader (he could have had his moment and chose to back off ridiculously accepting Beauchamp's resignation), but in fairness he did campaign that tuition were going up. He got elected. Isn't that how democracy is supposed to work?

"Earlier this month, the Charest government announced it had a tentative ‘deal' with the students. But when this ‘offer', which did not in fact do anything to cut the proposed tuition increase, was discussed democratically by the student unions, it was overwhelmingly rejected."

Democratically? Excuse me, people voted for Charest. They didn't vote for a student association and its leaders. Besides, I went to University, student elections and the way they're conducted are a joke. What's the percentage of students who actually vote? Low I bet. Very low.

Faced with this collective defiance by the students, the Charest government has turned to some incredibly draconian legislation. Rushed through in an all-night session of the National Assembly, Loi 78 puts onerous restrictions on the right to assemble and threatens students who continue the strike with heavy fines.

As I discussed in a past post, Law 78 is a reactionary law. But what triggered it was the smoke bomb laucnhed into a Metro by a few punks directly putting lives in danger.

Opponents of Quebec's student strike often bring up the history of Paris in 1968 as a sort of 'bogeyman' of wild, radical students.

Let's not concede the spirit of '68 to their ahistorical scaremongering. Paris 1968 was part of a worldwide uprising that dared to dream of a better world.

The bold actions of the young French students sparked a general strike across the country that nearly toppled the government of Charles de Gaulle. The example reverberated on campuses around the world.

Blah, blah, blah. Who cares?

Yes, let's use France as an example. One of the sickest countries in Europe with a tax code the size of Saskatchewan.

It's ok to challenge authority. It's healthy. In this case, however, I don't think they're radical. Just misguided. .

But he does point out, unwittingly, something I've observed: It's mostly the French side protesting. The old Anglo bastions of education like McGill and I believe English CEGEP's remain open. This points towards a very important and unique scenario worth further discussion.

Sigh, the trade and vocational occupations are so under rated and appreciated.

Quebec's student strike, and the utopian energies and slogans it has unleashed, should not be sneered at or cynically dismissed by anyone concerned about changing the dismal state of politics in Canada and British Columbia.

The global financial crisis, and the inspiration provided by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, has weakened TINA but it's proving a stubborn acronym and doctrine to kill off. Here in North America, the Quebec student strike is the most important challenge to TINA we've seen in a long time.

So let us all take a moment and show some solidarity. It's the right thing to do, and we might just learn some things that we can apply in the rest of Canada too.

Still waiting on how all this is "creative."

Utopia is an impractical notion and it certainly isn't applicable here even if it were.

Utopian, huh? I know of a lot families and their children reduced to tears because they can't go to class as all entrances are blocked off by other students and thugs. What about them? Can we spill a tear or two for them?

I don't appreciate being lectured. No one is against freedom of assembly, what people are against is having this impede their personal lives. The second, and I mean the second, property is damaged and coercive action is used IT'S INVALID.

Stuff like this makes you realize just how much we rely on the state for so much.


The U.N Is Priceless

If you thought the United Nations had little credibility, then appointing Robert Mugabe as "tourism ambassador" may change this - for the worse.

At this point you can only giggle and pound your fist into the desk repeatedly it's so comical.

Who are these dudes making these decisions?


A Deserved Break From All The Posting

With Canned Heat.

Physiocracy Resources

Physiocracy is a little known economic theory originating in France.

"The physiocrats attracted more enemies. There was growing opposition to the deregulation of the corn trade, which finally undermined physiocracy. Deregulation meant the price of corn in the wholesale and retail markets rose during the 1760’s, possibly attributed to some poor harvests, however the physiocrats were accused of worsening the supply of corn for the French people, which was important as corn was the most popular good consumed. A new minister of general affairs was appointed, the standing of the physiocrats was at an all time low. 1770 saw the re-introduction of regulations for the corn trade. The final glimpse of physiocracy came from Turgot who abolished all restrictions on the corn trade within France. Turgot dissolved medieval guilds and curbed spending to reduce the burden of luxury, consumption on surplus and wanted to keep the taxation of agriculture to a minimum, however he came up against opposition and was removed in 1776."

More information here.

"In political economy, the physiocrats were among the first laissez-faire thinkers, casting aside contemptuously the entire mercantilist baggage. They called for complete internal and external free enterprise and free trade, unfettered by subsidies, monopoly privileges, or restrictions. By removing such restrictions and exactions, commerce, agriculture, and the entire economy would flourish."

And here.


How did the Tea Party manage to protest without disrupting the economy, causing property damages or costing the taxpayer a dime?

Compared to, say, Occupy and the student protests which cost the taxpayers millions?

The German Model

Sounds like Germany's problem is too much Eurocratic influence.

Please note that this is a "Google" translated version from French.

Quebec Ripe For Tyranny?

A libertarian take.


On a side note, I'm getting bored with all the "let's not be bad like the U.S.A." nonsense.

Right. They only built the most successful nation in human history "by mistake."


For What It's Worth

I may not be highly influential but I believe I offer a rich, diverse tapestry of content. I'm always late with these things. Oh, well. At least I'm out there.

Brett Kimberlin is a strange story indeed.

Just To Be Sure

Big labour unions are nasty, bullying, brutish, nasty entities.

They lack transparency and are a direct threat to a democracy and free enterprise. For an unelected body, they wield way too much power on society as we're seeing with the student protests.

 Heard about David Bego on The Dennis Miller Show.

De-Subsidize Me!

Someone I know asked the government how to revoke her subsidy. After 15 years in daycare, she feels she's better off without it. The bureaucratic red tape is so much, it literally costs her time and money. "Non-subsidized daycares reflect true profitability" in her view. As for the government, they went silent at the request. For them, it's unthinkable for someone to do so. C'est la vie.

CBC Liberal?

The CBC isn't "leftist" as its critics suggest. Sure, they may have old, liberal bleeding hearts and socialists working for them, but personally I don't detect an obscene lack of objectivity. If anything, it's pulled a tad towards the center.

Rex Murphy, for example, is hardly liberal I would submit.

Schumer's Plan 9 From Outer Space. We're Not Extremists Dammit!

"In his speech, Schumer had accused Republicans of being so extreme that they would favor no capital gains tax, which Norquist, at least, agreed with."

So this is where we're at, huh? Where thinking capital gains taxes should be lower or eliminated is "extreme?"

I guess you're likely to think this way if you believe the problem of income inequality and deficits and debts and all that are tied to not enough taxes, then this logic makes sense.

But there are many of us who feel otherwise. Smart financial cookies too. Capitalism as a system is not the problem. The problem is corporatism enabled by the state and welfare entitlements and the taxes that follow.

Capitalism to me merely means the absence of intervention and/or coercive action against my best interest. Everything else is just political bull shit.

The above quote in the opening paragraph is attributed to Chuck Schumer who wants to bar people from coming back into America after they freely choose to leave a country. In this case, Edouardo Saverin (the other guy in the Facebook story/saga), who renounced his American citizenship to live in Singapore where there are no capital gains taxes.

I still don't know why nearly 50% of Americans don't pay taxes.

Schumer continues:

"No one gets rich in America on their own," Schumer said. "And when people do well in America, they should do well by America. I believe the vast majority of Americans believe this too."

This crock of crocodile poo started, I think, with uber-liberal Elizabeth Uber - I mean Elizabeth '1/32' Warren. What I interpret in this argument is that you're a partner in someone's success. It's indirectly laying claim to something is not yours. The "I paved the road to your success" disease.

I don't share, as you can see, this view at all. If you feel you've been a part of a company's success, then buy the stock if it's available. Keep buying it until you turn blue in the face and become stinking rich.

No one is stopping you from doing this anymore they aren't forcing you to rack up debts.

Saverin created Facebook. People loved it. He provided something they wanted. That's the exchange. He doesn't owe anything else to anyone else. He packed up and left.

Get over yourselves.

Personally, I do think, in a perfect world, Saverin should stick around (who knows the details of his life and circumstances?), and you should do right by your "neighbor." I put back into the community where I feel I can.

However,  I consider coercive action to make you do right as defined by someone else to be invalid and illegitimate. If Saverin chose to leave, then so be it. People do have an option: Reject Facebook.

But Schumer's "idea" has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with coercive action that further erodes liberty.

Audi Scoops Up Ducati. The Backstory.

The German car company Audi has added Ducati motorcycles of Italy to its universe bringing it under the Volkswagen empire. In a strict business sense, it's a strange move as this piece explains. Ducati is too small and specialized of a manufacturer to matter on VW's bottom line.

So what gives?

As is sometimes the case, it's all about prestige. Ducati is a legendary manufacturer (much like Moto Guzzi and Aprilia); specifically in motor racing. There, Italian bikes manage to compete with Japan.

However, when it comes to capturing customers in a global competitive market, Japanese bikes rule. I don't know if this is by choice or simply a fact that Ducati was unable to mass produce through economies of scale.

 Hence, they (Italian companies) remain small, mostly specialized artisan based companies relying in some cases on subsidies leaving them too inefficient to compete on the global stage. Ferrari, Maserati, and all the other famous brands are not "priced to mass market" but cater to a specific high-end clientele.

If this be the case, we can see natural synergies between a company that mass produces and a unit that remains specialized. The Italian brand in cars, bikes, boats and motorcycles still carry a powerful luxurious image.

Enter the Germans.

There's always been, I think, a mutual fascination between Italy and Germany. As far as I can tell, this goes back to the days when Germanic tribes crossed the limes into Rome. Even in the literature of the time we hear about the "physical attributes of the strong German" and "wily, tactical intelligence of the Romans" later adapted to "Italian" by Machiavelli who touched on this in The Prince.

Presently, there may be something wedged deep within the psyche of each. In the Germans, the Italians may see traits and characteristics - efficiency, work ethic, and engineering - that was once were cornerstones of the mighty Roman empire. They see something in the Germans that's a part of their heritage. Engineering remains a part of the Italian identity but it is in Germany they see it at its apex. In Germany, they respect it. Not so sure if they do in Italy. In the Italians, the Germans see a part of their own identity oft overlooked. Once upon a time, the Germans were noted for their art and musicianship. It was under the guidance of Von Bismarck they became known for being a militaristic society too easily succumbing to authority. Germans see a wild side in Italy where authority is an option.

During and after the fragmentation of Rome, German kings and leaders sought to be accepted into Roman civilization. There wasn't, for the large part, a motive or interest to conquer and impose their culture for they knew they were entering a far superior society. The merely sought to integrate. The power of Rome's aura was too great. This held true well after Rome's said fall in 476 AD.

When Charlemagne rose to power he laid down the first attempt at uniting Europe before there were nation-states under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire where Italy was seen more as a prestigious trophy to hold rather than a conquered land. And so it went through the ages. Call it a Holy Grail of sorts. If you were to own and operate an empire you have to possess Rome no matter how insignificant to the grand scheme of things.

Alas, Charlemagne's European Community was not to be and would not be achieve (tenuously) until 1000 years later (perhaps too late?), and nations consolidated power into Monarchies and became England, France, Spain etc. but the mystique of Rome lasted right up to the 20th century with Mussolini's (who founded Fascism and help form the Axis alliance. A man even Hitler admired) promise of a "return to Rome" and Adolf Hitler's use of Roman symbols. Even Hitler seemed to have a soft spot of the "Italian mind."

Europe, for the most part in its early stages of greatness (say the 13th to 15th centuries), were largely a local affair. You weren't really English or French. You were Christian from London or Provence. The subsequent competition between the city-states splendidly shown in Renaissance Italy is what drove the continent to unsurpassed excellence in world affairs.

As most of Europe consolidated into various nations and empires, Italy and Germany were to remain fragmented, regionalized city-states until the 19th century. Another common feature they share.

With that brief, hopefully lucid and accurate background, perhaps we see why Audi buying Ducati is really just another moment in the long relationship between the two cultures.

One can still wonder how can the Germans and Italians get along despite all this?

Quite well, in fact. There simply is a willingness to cooperate. Perhaps there are examples to the contrary, I don't know.

Call it one of those strange glitches during the long course of European history.

All this to say, I just made a simple business transaction more complicated than it really is.


Why Do It?

We never seem to be content in our lives.

Someone brought up a point the other night as we talked about stocks. The conversation inevitably fell for a few seconds on Facebook. He asked why after being bought out for billions would the founders even bother to go through the hassle of an IPO? Why not just ride into the sunset and accept your blessings? Not to steal a lame page from the liberal-socialist handbook, but how much money do you need?

Looks like some people plain need more. Also at work, I reckon, is ego. As in, "my company went to an IPO" thing. When you have one thing, you want two, when you have two, you challenge yourself to get a third and so on. The thrill of it all is natural. I can see why, with free time on their hands, people would want to push forward.

It's the same with workoholics who have more money than they could ever want or need, yet, there they sit at their desks, accounting for their existence, slaves to something. Perhaps their own mind.

Personally, if I won or earned that kind of money, there's no way in hell I'm wasting my time determining what my stock will be worth. There's so much more to life and too little time.

I go on and take another leap into the Age of Aquarius. I read, travel, learn and acquire knowledge. Heck, I'd do so many things. Anything but haggle over something that really doesn't enhance your inner-journey. Go build a fricken hut for some lost South American tribe you always wanted to engage.

A big bad ass house where they would worship you as you sip and slurp a Slush Puppy.

I'd enjoy another aspect of life and humanity most people will never have an opportunity to experience and enjoy.


Fucking Doug Henning.


Obama's List

Hey, as one of my liberal friends tells me, "we have to play dirty. Conservatives have been playing dirty forever."

Ergo, two wrongs make a right?

King's Tax Edict

Holy Joseph Mother Mary of Jesus Moses, he can't be this stupid?

Can he?

Sadly, to sone people, this makes perfect sense.

His last bit about the rich not creating jobs is a tired angle. "Rich" people don't create jobs. PEOPLE do. Period. With as little interference from the state preferably.

Again, if taxes are the issue (that is, paying one's "fair share" whatever that means), then why is it that 50% of Americans pay no taxes at all? I'll keep repeating this question.

Look, I'm no genius but I'm not an idiot either. I'm educated, own a business, read, speak three languages, pretty decent athlete, blah, blah, but these guys sound like complete fools to me. Stick to writing, Mr. King.

Clinton Being Clinton

He's just a very special man this Clinton.

Hesjedal Comes Through And Wins Giro!

It was a historic victory for the Giro D'Italia, Canada and above all for Ryder Hesjedal as he conquers one of the most storied races in cycling. As a sports fan, this is huge. Not only that, he did it riding a Canadian bicycle - Cervelo which too has left its mark on cycling as the world's largest manufacturer of time-trial bikes.

I was watching the RAI feed in Italian and it was incredible to watch the Canadian flag draped over the commentator's table. I've also been watching the American feed who have been basically cheering for Hesjedal.

Let me put this in perspective.

There are three races that make up the Grand Tours: Giro, Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France.

- 12 countries have won the Tour de France since 1903 in 98 editions.
- Since 1935 - 66 editions - 11 countries have won Vuelta.
- Contested since 1909, 10 different countries have won the Giro in 94 editions.
- In total between the three Tours, 17 countries have been represented.

In 258 editions, a Canadian has never won. The United States have won 11 between Italy (1) and France (10). It's a list dominated by Italy (80 wins), France (51), Spain (46), Belgium (32). In other words, 209 of the 258 wins (81%) have come from just four coutries! These are countries with long cylcing traditions. The numbers don't include Teams and Manufacturers of which Italy further cements its cycling heritage. Nor does it include UCI World Rankings which Belgium and Italy also have placed the most champions.

That's what Hesjedal was against.

Prior to Hesjedal's win, the best Canada achieved was Steve Bauer's awesome 4th place at the Tour de France in 1988. That same year, he won a stage at the Tour. Another accomplishment was Alex Stieda becoming the first North American to win the Yellow Jersey in 1986; this is pre-Greg LeMond and the rise of American cycling.

Along with Mike Weir winning the Masters, Ferguson Jenkin's induction in baseball's Hall, Larry Walker's batting titles and Steve Nash's MVP titles, Hesjedal's victory is without doubt among the greatest, if not the greatest, achievement on Canadian sports record.



One stage to go at the Giro D'Italia for Ryder Hesjedal.

Currently 31 seconds behind the overall leader, Hesjdal has a chance to take over the lead in the time trials. If he succeeds, and he is very strong in time trials, he will become the first Canadian to ever win a major cycling event.

Hesjedal put in a fantastic performance, only surpassed by the incredible display by Belgian rider Thomas De Gent, in Stage 20 climbing the iconic Stelvio with an average gradient of 10% and as high as 22%. At 9000 feet, it's the highest level of any race in the world. .


President Obama Preys On The Seven Deadly Sins

In an exclusive interview, the President sat down over a dark beer with The Commentator and talked all kinds.

Note from T.C.: I met with Barack Obama at a local diner. I didn't see any secret servicemen until they emerged from the bathroom followed by a couple of sweet chicks. Obama snapped his fingers and told me, "yo, over here." He seemed to go out of his way to present a relaxed atmosphere as he rolled his sleeves and winked a lot. He went a little over board when he removed his socks and shoes and went all Huckleberry Finn on me. We talked about a lot of things, see, including his deepest most insecure, intimate thoughts. "I have a jelly fetish. Some people leave cum stains. I leave jam stains all over the place. It drives Micheline crazy...Excuse me? Right, Michelle." Here's part of the interview.

T.C.: Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. President.
Obama: No problem.
T.C: Or should I say, Senor Presidente?
Obama: No problemo. (laughter)
T.C: About illegal Mexican immigration. Invasion or not?
Obama: You see... (waitress takes order)
Obama: I'll have a cappuccino. Make it two for my Italian friend, here.
Waitress: Cinnamon or chocolate?
Obama: Cumin.
Waitress: And for you?
T.C.: Cacao.
Obama: What class!
T.C.: You were saying?
Obama: Saying? Right. People usually forget by now. You're a sharpie.
T.C: Well?
Obama: Were the Romans concerned when Germanic tribes entered their great city?
T.C.: I think they were.
Obama: Did the Spaniards kick out or merely asked the Moops politely to leave?
T.C.: I'm pretty sure they booted their asses back to North Africa.
Obama: Ooo, there's fight in you.
T.C.: With the election around the corner, it looks like Americans are concerned most about jobs and the economy.
Obama: They'll worry about what I'll tell them to worry about. I's the Pres'dent.
T.C.: I'm not sure I follow. What is your plan to get Americans back to work?
Obama: Oh, for Heaven's Sake (pronounces it Sa-keh). Is that all you got? Awright, awright, I'll bite. One number. Two words.
T.C.: Excuse me?
Obama. Seven. Deadly. Sins.
T.C.: What about them?
Obama: What school you go to? It certainly wasn't Harvard. How many deadly sins?
T.C.: Seven?
Obama: I plan to open seven new departments declaring war on each sin. I expect to create a billion jobs.
T.C.: Waitress! I'll have a gin straigt up. I may regret this but what are the SDS?
Obama: Pride, jealousy, gluttony (Michelle talks about this all the time), Bashful, something, something.
T.C.: Ok, even if those are correct, you named just six.
Obama: Well then that's one less department. That should shut the right-wingers up. We just saved, I dunno, $700 million. Can I get an amen?

At this point in the conversation I sat back, scratched my head and wondered if this was worth the time.  Looking over Obama's shoulders, I noticed a picture of a deer in a headlight. The metaphor was appropriate I thought. Beside it, there was a picture of a zebra being torn apart by a lion. Obama just sat there eating chicken wings.

Obama: Why so quiet, there?
T.C.: Just thinking.
Obama: Thinking, huh? You won't need to think by the time I'm done with things.
T.C.: What do you mean?
Obama: You think too much. Let us take care of you.
T.C.: I'm Canadian.
Obama: What? Canadiun? Is that like Cajun? 
T.C.: Not sure.
Obama: Do you guys have 'knock, knock' jokes up there?
T.C.: Nothing but subsidized 'knock, knock' jokes.
Obama: Now you talking my language. Fairness!
T.C.: I have to go put my kid to bed.
Obama: Need a hand?
T.C.: I think I got it.
Obama (slips bill): This too?
T.C.(sighs): Sigh.
Obama: Attaboy. I need the money saved here to pay for mortgages, extend unemployment benefits, cover medical insurance costs, and of course, for my war on the seven deadly sins.
T.C: Still on that?
Obama: On what?
T.C.: Have a nice day.
Obama (winks): You too.

And so I left. What I left behind I'm not sure. I lit a cigarette and peered through the window of the surreal diner from which Obama sat. He was making Mussolini-type gestures and frowns with the waitress. He was laughing, she wasn't. It reminded me of a 'knock, knock' joke.

Knock Knock
Who is there?
Broken pencil
Broken pencil who?
Ah never mind. it’s a pointless joke


Recycling Bull Shit

Notice at the end how the only recourse people have against other people is coercive action.


May Sky

Quietly, SpaceX launches a privately funded rocket into space.

Kinda big news if you ask me.

I would give my left hand to be part of a project of such significance.

Facebook's IPO Dud

Prior to the IPO, I remarked to someone I wouldn't buy Facebook stock. Methinks lotsa hype went into this thing. Still don't know how it's going to turn "promise" into profits.

Question: Would someone pay to use FB? In other words, are people vain enough to pay to post pictures about their lives with little privacy assurances?

From Forbes:

"Facebook has a great product but it is not a great company, not yet. To become one, it will have to navigate challenges in scaling up growth, while maintaining profitability and controlling costs. Like all businesses, the top managers will stumble along the way, and unless challenged, will not see the need to adapt."

And that's why I wouldn't touch it.

But hey. That's just me.

So what do I hear the next day after the stock opened to a lukewarm market? Analysts asking the exact same question about its profitability. Here's my question: Why wasn't this asked before it went to market and sold for what it did?

It's down $7 as of today off its $38 open. Oh, don't forget the massive 75 P/E.

Next up, Twitter.

I wonder what all these social media ideas will add up to one day.

Aston Martin Fetches Big Bucks; Shelby Dies

The Aston Martin Zagato  DB4GT set a record at an auction.

Always did think it was one of the prettiest designed cars.

On a related sports car note, legendary car builder Carroll Shelby died.

Quotes From The Past

Charles Doughty was an eccentric explorer who travelled across Arabia in the late 19th century who once said Islam was:

"the most dangerous grown secret conspiracy in the whole world."

Bill 78 To The Rescue

What does a society without real leadership looks like? A place that reacts and comes up with law like Bill 78. Look, I don't exactly side with the students - what, you mean, support union backed associations led by privileged hucksters sprouting out the usual entitlement mentality wrapped up in Marxist "redistribution" rhetoric while violence erupts and the economy disrupted for a $325 tuition hike? No thanks - but this looks like an infringement on personal liberties to me.

What about democracy? The students are flailing against an elected government that had tuition hikes as part of its campaign. 70% of Quebecers back the government. Moreover, 70% of students accept it. Besides, why are we negociating with students? We didn't elect them.


We know someone who is in the riot police. At this point, according to him, "the mob is extremely provocative, the cops aren't interested in this continuing, it's the same faces we see and all this is putting my kids through college because of all the overtime."

I paraphrase. Ironic, no?


Middle East Struggles

Arab spring wilting.

Spotted this over at Wind Rose Hotel.

Quote Of The Day

"Just because someone doesn't answer or address your argument or assertion doesn't mean your right."

While I've heard different variations of it, I'm - shamelessly - claiming it.



I don't normally burst with confidence but I can definitely do better than this. You know where to reach me.

David Hirshey, ESPN freelance columnist

I mean, isn't this just a classic "Lesser of Two Evils" match for me? On one hand, I'm constitutionally incapable of rooting for a team whose midfield general's nickname is "Schweini" -- or Piggy. It's not that I'm a militant vegan, it's just that anything German not named "Heidi Klum" (and, beginning next season, "Lukas Podolski") has always given me the willies.

Ha, ha. More "those bad Germans" jokes. Ha, ha. We get it. Don't let the story get in the way of your writing on the way out the door there, buddy. Goethe? Beethoven? Really? They would give you the "willies?" Closer to home, what about, I don't know, Klinsmann? Beckenbauer?

I don't get the pig to vegan to German and ultimately Bayern connection.

Was the editor on break when this was approved?

On the other hand, there's John Terry.

Terry is a jerk. We know this. Moving along. Take two easy targets (Germany and Terry) and make one bad article!

Just because he's not allowed to humiliate himself again in a Champions League final doesn't obviate my lifelong loathing of the Blues and their odious captain.

I really could care less about your personal loathings.

I suppose if I had my way, the earth beneath the Allianz Arena would open up and swallow both teams.

I support AC Milan and look forward to the final. So there. I don't want anyone being digested by an insurance company.

But even that has a downside, because it would mean Spurs would automatically qualify for next year's tournament. Since keeping the Lilywhites from defiling the CL is for the planet's greater good, I'm forced at Bud Light-point to hope that the Blues roast Schweini & Co. this weekend, but that Terry slips off the podium while lifting the trophy and suffers a concussion that keeps him out of the Euros.

God dammit this is just terrible. It can't be saved. Oh, well maybe he'll actually make a salient point just about...

Chelsea 1-0.


NOT ONE POINT to defend this "prediction." Too busy bashing Chelsea and Bayern to inform readers.


Cops Cleared

They shouldn't have fired the bullets in the first place.

Blog Of The Moment

Hey USA, think you're divided?

Try France.

Talking about Hollande's ministers: "...But according to Le Salon Beige it's a disaster. All are extremists, almost all have anti-family values. The ministers were chosen on the principle of parity - an equal number of men and women. Close friends and those who rose to prominence during the campaign and contributed to the victory were rewarded." The blog is filled with information very few dare speak about. While I've been reading and witnessed this for years in France, I hear the same overtones with the American It feels as though everyone knows what's going on but can't really do anything about it. It feels as though unelected people, or those who fail to get elected, are getting positions of power they shouldn't be granted.

Latest Evil Company To Make The New York Times Best-Seller List

"AFTER seeing Anheuser-Busch’s devastating exploitation of American Indians, I’m done with its beer."      

Let me stop you here. I think the direction of this article is set in the opening line. It's so pathetically construed and thought out (remember this is The. New. York. Times. The biggest, baddest, most readest paper in the land), it makes me want to read my daughter's discarded Max and Ruby books instead of this sort of moralistic nonsense.

Without getting into details (why should I? The writer of the article doesn't do so), something tells me (aside from not getting all the facts - I read somewhere Nebraska has a 'three-tier' distribution law that prevent Brewers from selling directly to retailers) the town in question has deeper problems that likely go beyond and stretch before Anheuser-Busch. Just a hunch.

But let's go with the easy target and pin social ills on a company. Why not? It's the trend. Yes, AB "exploits" Indians. A+B = C. This is the simple calculation.

Gosh. If one day the NYT charges for this crap, who in their right mind would pay? I know I wouldn't.


Thought Of The Day

Food labels are pointless.

12g of sugar? And? What's your point?

It's impossible to tell with any exact measure if amounts detailed are bad or good. Each individual is different. There are so many factors that come into play, even a table with numbers and words are rendered meaningless.

Each time I read the label and ingredients I'm left with more questions than answers.

NHL Continues To Baffle Reason 348575433

Martin Hanzal gets one game for his deliberate hit from behind? ONE game? Are you fricken kidding me? If there was a classic "throw the book at him" case that's one. Spare me all this first time offender garbage.

When a league is in inconsistent with its own logic, it deserves to be chastised.


Kill Bill

Thankfully Bill C-30 has died.

Sez Mr. Toews: critics "can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”

Nice, juicy logical fallacy on the house!

The Commentator's Ass For $200 Alex

I couldn't care less about people like Matthews. He and many of his brethren genius liberals make (part of their) living scoring cheap intellectual points off public figures like Sarah Palin...so he's not alone.

If you're gonna do a trivia show like Jeopardy!, however, just make sure that you're actually up to the task of proving your mettle and backing up your moxy. I would love to see Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow on a show like this.

When I first saw this, it didn't surprise me. I'm sure there are plenty of people on TV or screen who would bomb like Matthews did. It's not easy to ring in and answer quickly on Jeopardy!

The thing is, what caught my eye was his reaction to the question about the U2 spy plane. The answer asked for the FULL NAME of the pilot. Not the name he (Matthews) remembers. When the lady next to him answered correctly, his incredulous "what?" attitude irritated me and probably did Trebek too.

Answer the question properly and spare me the attitude.

Sorry but those were easy questions. St. Basil's should immediately bring you to Moscow.


Would liberal ideas stand on its own without protection or support of the state?

Strike Four!

After watching Blue Jays player Bret Lowrie lose it on an ump, and a number of horribly blown calls, it's time to call out the upms. It's been a couple of years now I feel MLB umpires are thin-skinned boobs.


Strange Countries: France

So many quotes packed in one small article.

"...Companies say the biggest obstacle to hiring is the 102-year-old Code du Travail, a 3,200-page rule book that dictates everything..."

Something tells me there's a nice cottage industry in there somewhere. And then they wonder, "hm, there's no growth! We need more growth! Let's superficially "create" ways to grow!" Next thing you know, 3000 page manifestos about this and that.

“The cost of labor isn’t the main problem, it’s the rigidities,” Haan says. “If you make a mistake in your hiring plans, you can’t correct it.”

Until people go through the exercise of what goes into owning and operating a business, they'll never get the intricacies of the challenges. It's easy (and terribly short-sighted) to shout "regulate the bastards!"

"...The code sets hurdles for any company that seeks to shed jobs when it’s turning a profit. It also grants judges the authority to reverse staff cuts years after they’re initiated if companies don’t follow the rules. The courts even deem some violations of the code a criminal offense that could send executives to jail."

And? What's your point? They're breaking the law. Come on, we have a society to run.

"...Hollande makes no mention of labor regulations in his platform, which seeks to generate jobs through tax incentives and government hiring, such as creating 60,000 new teacher posts. He said on April 25 that if elected he would act to counter “a parade of firings” expected after the election: Companies may be holding back job cuts until then to avoid drawing political heat."

Boy. France is so not to be emulated. Icky that this is their idea of a healthy economy.

"Worker groups say the code itself isn’t the issue. “If the code is complicated, it’s because our society is complicated,” says Bernard Vivier, director of the Higher Institute of Labor in Paris, which studies labor relations for unions and companies. “Cars are much more complicated today than they were 40 years ago. Why shouldn’t the labor code be?”

This is quite possibly the most retarded statement I've ever read. Or seen.


Classic Scenes From T.C.'s World

Driving along the boulevard I use to work the other day, I spotted a man taking a break from mowing his lawn to spark a joint. The cop station is a couple of kilometres up the street. By the way.



Music Loses Yauch

Man, finding out about the death of Adam Yauch was a drag. He was just 47. The Beastie Boys were a pretty significant group for those of us from the 1980s. Been to a few of those parties in the video. Fighting for your right to be a jerkoff while listening to this song was standard for that time.

Neil McKenty (1924-2012)

This blog salutes Neil McKenty.

I never met Neil in person but through the magic of the internet came to "meet" Neil through blogging. 

Sly Marketing


Artesian water from Norway.


Remember kids, it's more than just water.


Mulcair Fears Dutch Disease

Nah. Mulcair doesn't hate the West (he's on the 'progressive' side and as such is incapable of hate), he's just speaking like a paternalistic eastern NDPer. I think Mulcair is conveniently overlooking the fact that Canada is, you know, "by its definition" a resource based economy.


Canada Fattening Up Nicely

I find it interesting that nations with strong culinary traditions like Italy, France, China and India are at the bottom of the obesity list.

Conversely, for the most part,Anglo-based ones like the USA, Canada, Australia, and of course, the UK are at the top.  Largely because we don't know how to eat. 

But we'd be foolish to conclude anything based on this chart. Sweden is not known for its cuisine but it does have a reputation for being active. Then again, its neighbour Finland (which is not technically a Scandinavian nation) is higher up the scale. Mexico has a traditional national diet and finds itself near the top alongside its North American brethren.

Also, there's much more to this than just mere conumption.

Canada is of particular interest for me because (aside from the perception of "fat" Italians growing up) it almost gets no national media attention. Instead, we are treated to reports on how the Americans top the list. I can understand this if we were one of the better countries but we're not. Our record isn't something to brag about nor does it justify a "look at those Americans" type of nationalistic journalism.

Just the other day the local sports station led with this on one of its sports break reports. I found it odd. Is all.

Graph ripped off from The Economist.

It's Official: Massachusetts Has Dementia

Ah, but you see, this only postpones things. They will keep trying until they get what they want.

Whenever I read stuff like this, speaking of the proposed plan to ban bake sales in the increasingly insane state of Massachusetts, it reminds me of the petty buffoons who represent human activity in political institutions. How simple is thy mind to think or correlate the consumption of cupcakes to obesity? That somehow bringing stricter rules of diet in schools will somehow reduce the alleged obesity epidemic.

It's pathetic. And it takes a pathetic, pitiful mind to somehow believe this to be intelligent public policy. To think that someone actually proposed this.

Why stop at cupcakes? Why not, hey, pasta? All those complex carbs, well you know, fattens up little kids everywhere, right?

This, to me anyway, is an example of why we must always guard our personal liberties. All we've done is embolden Leviathan.

You can't legislate your way into a "better" society. I believe the reverse takes effect. The more numerous the laws, as it's been said, the more chances at corruption. The more you burden people  with laws the less you will get out of them.

With all the major social ills that face us all, Massachusetts shows well how far up our collective heads are buried deep within our asses.

European Differences

I spoke about the Pirate Party of Canada in the last election. They seem to be making inroads in Germany. Beppe Grillo in Italy too.

France and Greece took the lazy way out.

L'il Quebec And Failed Free Markets

I thoroughly enjoy all this "free markets" and "capitalism" failed rhetoric.

One need only look at Quebec to boot this assertion onto the side line.

Quebec is quite possibly the most statist, liberal jurisdiction on the continent. California may give it a run for its money but I don't think they even have what Little Scandinavia has.

Quebec is a tower of "progressive" welfarism. Yet, for all our energies poured into the collective good, we lag on so many elementary levels when measured against other provinces. Poor high school graduation rates, poor health, high taxes and unemployment, low productivity, high debts and deficits, gambling and alcohol firmly entrenched with the state, etc. Not to say nothing of language laws that wouldn't pass muster anywhere else in North America. Unique indeed.

Do we have anything to show for it? Have we imparted anything other places may want to emulate?

Quebec's serious economic and social ills can't be pinned on "failed markets" or "banksters" because Quebec never had an enterprising outlook; except for the period when the English-Scots controlled St. James street. Quebec's mentality isn't about competition and innovation. It's about monopoly and and preservation.

It has never had a "free" market business model. It clearly doesn't embrace business nor does it view its citizens as assets (as I mentioned in past posts). Quebec went from colonial, to serving the Catholic church, and then in the hands of demagogues to eventually supporting labor-leaning parties. It ostensibly possesses a social-democracy but it behaves more like New York under Boss Tweed and Louisiana under Huey Long.

Whoopee-doo - horror - that a party Pour L'avenir du Quebec (a right-leaning party) emerged.

Pin our troubles on whatever you like, but it sure is hell not because of unhinged capitalism gone awry.


And Then He Created Himself

Can someone please first define what "fundamental American values" are and how Obama - even if he's a fabricated image - violates them?

Vogue Changes Direction

Vogue is finally growing up.

Modern models are terribly unattractive.

Back to a more healthy view on things?

Students Unite With Other People's Money

If I had the choice, just saying, my tax dollars wouldn't be given them. But that's me. I'm picky that way.

Really. Should anyone be surprised that students are cohabbing with Marxists and unions?

Alright now, back to class everyone.

While Detroit Slept

A couple of rogues raped and pillaged.

Outrageous stuff.

Huey Long and Boss Tweed?


I thought Tammany Hall was destroyed. Oh, in New York was it?

Excerpt from link:

"Kilpatrick’s partner in slime is his ex-college frat brother Jeffrey Beasley, who is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks as he made bad investments that cost pension funds $84 million. Overall, a Detroit Free Press investigation estimates that corrupt and incompetent trustees appointed by Democratic officials over many years in Detroit are responsible for almost half a billion dollars in investments gone wrong."

Michael Moore is working on the sequel to 'Roger and Me.' It's called 'Killy and Me."

Sorry. That was just a rumor started by a bad blogger.


Forgotten Cult Actors

The clock expert I go to for any watch repairs looks like Warren Oates.

As you were.

Two Solitudes

It's interesting to note that the student strike in Quebec is mostly restricted to the French side.

And yes, their "demands" and "counter offers" are patently ridiculous.

Nothing our "friends" in the PQ wouldn't try and capitalize on. Oh, wait (*rolls eyes*), Pauline Marois promised post-secondary education will one day be free if she's elected.


That's the sound of quality diminishing.


Bad Call Of The Day

What. The. Heck?

Crew chief Tim Welke makes a mess of this one. The Dodgers are still wondering.

History Trivia Game

From the History Channel.

Just be strong on your Civil War knowledge.


Grow Baby

I must admit, I'm inclined to look at things this way.

Just like the best metric to determine a company's value is its earnings, growth is the key to a healthy economy. There's not enough of it. Period.

I don't know the best way to grow the economy, but I do know the prevailing "tax everything in sight" attitude ain't the answer.

Phrases I Hate

"Fair share."

There's no such thing.

Take Me, Master

Check. Mate.

Cash economy. Gone.

Assume position.


Coming into my business I was suspicious of all the bureaucratic nonsense involved. Now that I'm in it, my suspicions are confirmed everyday.

What a scandalous mess.


Pour la societe...