Friday, December 31, 2010

Just a thought

Giving back the tax cuts

Instead of giving your tax cut to a organization that will just take the money and lobby for economic development, why not take the money, SPEND it, and generate real economic activity?

I know, I KNOW... Whacky idea, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kutcher fears apocalypse is near

Kutcher fears apocalypse is near | Celebrities | Entertainment | Toronto Sun

Kutcher discovered combat training Krav Maga last year as he prepared to tone up for his role in Killers and now he's obsessed with running, Bikram yoga and Muay Thai fighting with the French national champion - and he insists he's committed to his extreme workouts, so he can dominate in desperate times.

Uhhhh Dude?

Guns still work in desperate times. Brains still work in desperate times. You can keep fit all you want, but in the end, you can still be shot 4 times before you close on someone to use all that fancy hand to hand stuff. And really? You try that stuff on wildlife and you're more likely to become bearfood.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mini Ice Age by 2035?

Mini Ice Age by 2035? - By Greg Pollowitz - Planet Gore - National Review Online

He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.

He takes a snapshot of what the Sun is doing at any given moment, and then he looks back at the record to see when it last did something similar. Then he checks what the weather was like on Earth at the time – and he makes a prophecy.

I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more. Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Some of my friends may know how I feel about this time of year. I love getting together with friends and family, I love getting up with my kids christmas morning, I love the anticipation of what's under the tree and of course everyone loves getting presents. I even like the idea of brotherly love with all men and women and spreading of joy and kindness to all. Despite all the annoying songs, movies and other trappings that come with the christmas season my biggest pet peeve with this time of years actually has nothing to do with the commercialism of christmas. My biggest pet peeve, the thing that annoys me the most this time of year...are christians.

Yeah I know we're supposed to be celebrating the birth of your messiah. But try to get over yourselves for a minute and realize you're not the only people on the planet. Try to listen to reason and maybe you can stop getting worked up in a frenzy every time someone says happy holidays instead of merry christmas.

1. The birth of christ was not on December 25th. It is estimated to most likely have been in the fall or late summer based on the position of the stars. At least that's what I have read. I don't recall anything in the bible saying that this was the day so try to remember this is just and arbitrarily picked day that had more to do with incorporating already existing pagan beliefs into the christian fold than it does with a factually based birth date of your baby god jesus.

2. There is more racism and religious zealotry at this time of year than at any other time of year. Many christians seem to think that because it is chistmas they are allowed to force the rest of us to acknowledge their god and their religion as the best. There are many religions, not just around the world but also in our own country. I heard a guy on the radio (albeit country redneck religious radio) actually say that if immigrants didn't want to celebrate chistmas then they should go back to their own country. Come on, are you serious, are you so close minded that you think anyone with a differing viewpoint should leave the country while you are celebrating your precious holiday. If you don't see the flaw in this thinking then I'm afraid no amount of reasoned thinking is going to get through to you.

3. In this country (as in any country worth living in, in my opinion) we have a separation of church and state. The reasoning behind this is because the people who wrote our constitution realized that freedom to have any religion relies on removing one religion as "above" others. Now I know this is a hard concept for many religious people because they feel their religion is the right one, but living in a free country means that you cannot force your religion on me or my family. Now some people may wonder what this has to do with chistmas. I'll give you a guess. That's right, public schools. I know singing a song that talks about jesus isn't necessarily pushing christianity down my child's throat but it kind of feels like it. Now I obviously don't prescribe to any religion in particular and would take exception if any religion tried to push it's beliefs on me or my family but I'm supposed to sit back and let you sing songs about your god and make my kids sing songs about your god just because the government made this time of year a stat holiday. Do you see how flawed that reasoning is?  My beliefs or lack thereof are just as important to me and mine as yours are to you and your family, so what makes you more important than me that you can force your religion down my kids throats? I don't go to schools and talk about the importance of not believing in god and being a moral person without the fear of punishment or need for reward.

4. Even moderate christians are hardcore this time of year. Do you go into a public store where anyone of any religion could be a customer and hear happy holidays instead of merry christmas and get pissed off? How about the rest of the year, do you feel it necessary to force your beliefs on people in the middle of spring? Do you get up in arms about people who won't say happy easter? What is it about this time of year that turns moderate christians into bible waving crazies? As I said in number one, even if your god is the right one, and even if jesus existed, and even if the entire story of his birth is 100% accurate, this isn't when he was born. The church decided to incorporate a time of year that was already being celebrated by pagans in order to make christianity more appealing to possible converts.

5. Lastly, I don't believe what you believe. Get over it. Most of the reasonable people I know, don't follow any religion. Most of the reasonable people I know,  have ideas all their own. If they have faith in some greater power it usually isn't one prescribed by some overblown institution, it is one they have come to in their own way. Are these people worth less than christians, are their beliefs less valid, how about those of us who don't believe in any of it? I say, merry christmas cause it's no skin off my ass, but I take offence when my kid has to sing a song with religious connotation because my child is forming beliefs and is in a state where those beliefs are easily manipulated, sometimes by things not in my home or control.

I guess what I'm saying is, be reasonable, try not being offended by political correctness. The store clerk doesn't take your faith away when they say happy holidays instead of merry christmas, the same can be said the other way, the holiday is called christmas who cares what the store clerk says to you as long as they aren't actively forcing religion or lack of religion onto you. Keep your religious songs in religious schools, if you don't like the public school system you have the option to move to a separate school or home schooling. The public school system is run by the state and as such has to separate from religion so suck it up and keep your religious zealotry out of schools.

Well, that's all I have to say on the matter. I doubt anyone who believes in christianity will agree, especially at this time of year when their belief is at an all time high. But try to remember, getting offended by people not wanting your beliefs pushed on them is unreasonable.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


What's Really Wrong with WikiLeaks by Theodore Dalrymple

What's Really Wrong with WikiLeaks by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal 2 December 2010

The idea behind WikiLeaks is that life should be an open book, that everything that is said and done should be immediately revealed to everybody, that there should be no secret agreements, deeds, or conversations. In the fanatically puritanical view of WikiLeaks, no one and no organization should have anything to hide. It is scarcely worth arguing against such a childish view of life.

The actual effect of WikiLeaks is likely to be profound and precisely the opposite of what it supposedly sets out to achieve. Far from making for a more open world, it could make for a much more closed one. Secrecy, or rather the possibility of secrecy, is not the enemy but the precondition of frankness. WikiLeaks will sow distrust and fear, indeed paranoia; people will be increasingly unwilling to express themselves openly in case what they say is taken down by their interlocutor and used in evidence against them, not necessarily by the interlocutor himself. This could happen not in the official sphere alone, but also in the private sphere, which it works to destroy. An Iron Curtain could descend, not just on Eastern Europe, but over the whole world. A reign of assumed virtue would be imposed, in which people would say only what they do not think and think only what they do not say.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maybe Wikileaks isn't so bad after all.

Michael Moore's Latest Public Relations Nightmare Brought to You By Wikileaks

Here's a money quote. According to Wikileaks:

Cuba banned Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a “popular backlash”, according to US diplomats in Havana.

The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.

But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so “disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room”.

Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”

Read it all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cancun’s Climate Alarmists Go All Zoo Monkey

Cancun’s Climate Alarmists Go All Zoo Monkey - By Greg Pollowitz - Planet Gore - National Review Online

I wonder how much Mexico is paid for their security forces for hosting this conference?

Oh, that's right, it doesn't matter because when Canada hosted an event with protesters, it was about us not being prominent on the world stage and being too small to host such a costly event.



Global reputation needs restoration

Global reputation needs restoration?

or is it more Canada's education system needs to do some work?

I can only say thanks to Matt Gurney for setting the record straight on the article that Mssrs Craig and Marc Kielburger wrote in the Toronto Star.

From the Kielburgers:

Maybe that’s a little harsh. Nonetheless, Canada’s prominence on the international stage started back in 1956 when Lester B. Pearson launched the world’s first peacekeeping mission during the Suez Crisis.

Today, Canada’s failure to gain a seat on the Security Council is just the latest in a series of gaffes that make Suez seem like ancient history. The government and the opposition need to look beyond finger-pointing for solutions to restore our reputation.  The last 12 months of foreign policy haven’t exactly reflected our past. When it comes to dealing with other nations, there is a well-known list of blunders.

I, of course, disagree with the Kielburgers in that Canada's failure to receive a seat on the UN Security Council has more to do with the ideology of the current US President and less to do with our contributions on the world stage.  That having been said, it's arguable that our reputation on the world stage hasn't been taking a hit for some time as Canada has "progressively" drawn back from participating in most of the exercises which might have gained us some prominence.  It has scaled back its military to the point where we can't even sustain a 3000 person force in a war zone indefinitely.  It now comes to a war zone wholly under equipped to do the job at hand.  Canada has turned into, arguably, the little brother that tags along and impedes the grown ups from getting the job done by siphoning off their supplies and directing their attention where it isn't needed.

Now, that isn't to say that Canada doesn't do heavy lifting, and I'm proud of our men and women in uniform for doing the job that they do despite the impediments to their effort.  What I AM saying is that Canada won't "gain prominence" on the world stage by promising to unilaterally destroy our economy to save a few fractions of a percentage of global emissions.  It won't gain prominence by throwing the population of a Toronto High School into a war zone, regardless of if we lead a larger international force.  Canada doesn't gain prominence for these things.

Canada gains prominence by standing up for what it believes in.  Canada gains prominence by providing the world with a safe, secure and ethical source of energy resources.  Canada gains prominence by fielding a military that can sustain a military engagement over decades at a size of greater than a division.  Canada gains prominence, in short, by being a help, not a hindrance on the world stage.  It's not the environmentalists and the peaceniks that need to view Canada in a positive light, it's the rest of the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Damned Dogmas

Whether you like Penn Jillette or not, there are some things that can be agreed upon (quoted in its entirety from here):

  1. God exists. Imagine how boss the right wing would be without the religion stuff making them bug-nutty. Without God, even Glenn Beck isn’t all that crazy.
  2. Most people are evil. One has to look long and hard for a truly bad person. Imagine how groovy the left wing would be if they just trusted most people to take care of themselves and each other. Without cynicism, even Michael Moore isn’t all that…oh, never mind. 
  3. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. Your country doesn’t owe you jack shit. It’s not supposed to take care of you or stop you from being unhappy or offended. Government should do nothing beyond protecting individual rights—and “rights” doesn’t mean “anything that would be nice to have.” The second half of that quote is the problem. It should read: “Ask not what you can do for your country.” You don’t need to do anything for your country—you do everything for yourself, your family, and other people.
#1 comes from an atheist - I tend towards agnosticism - but the sentiment is still there.  The Republican party in the US and the Conservative party in Canada would be much better off and have a larger tent if there wasn't the "religious right" stigma attached to them.  Don't get me wrong - some of the most pious and religious people I know are NDP supporters, it's just that the NDP doesn't sell themselves as having those religious people and as such it's okay for them.

As for #3, I would point out that if you are doing everything you can to ensure that yourself, your family, and other people are successful, then you don't NEED to do anything for your country - it's receiving benefits via the trickle down effect.  Every citizen has certain responsibilities to ensure that democracy works, but as long as those responsibilities are being carried out then you should have no problems.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If the science is persuasive, why the theatrics?

If the Science is so persuasive, why the theatrics?

Donna says it rather eloquently.  People have been concerned about "climate change" and its predecessor concepts "Global warming" and "Global cooling"  since the late 80s, but as she points out:

One scientist who, as scientists are wont, felt “very certain” his theories were correct. That’s all the evidence Wirth needed. And the rest, as they say, is history. Hansen’s testimony was a turning point -  after which the mainstream media, the environmental lobby, and much of the known world became critically concerned about climate change.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter: If Hansen’s scientific arguments were so convincing, if his evidence was so cut-and-dried, so “beyond debate,” why did Wirth stoop to political theatre, to “stagecraft” – as a television journalist charitably terms it?

In other words, why attempt to dramatize the concept?  Why not present the evidence in clear, concise, scientific terms and lay out the evidence such that it supports your conclusions?  Why not allow opposing viewpoints to view (review?) and work with the evidence to allow for a conclusion to be reached by all?  Why begin the process in the political arena first rather than the research arena?

There are all questions which have yet to be answered by proponents of anthropogenic climate change, and I believe that the tide is turning such that nothing further will be started until those questions have been answered.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Christmas... get her something good...

This has been a public service announcement.

I may give the impression....

I was thinking the other day and realized that when I talk to people I might be giving them the impression that I am on or wish to be on anabolic steroids. I talk about legalization, I talk about the comparative death rates with alcohol or other drugs, I talk about the stuff I have read that leads me to believe we have been mislead for all these years into thinking that steroids are the equivalent of bodybuilding heroin. I have read a lot, my interest in bodybuilding makes this an issue I see in a lot of magazines. I have watched the movie Bigger, Stronger, Faster.

I've looked on the internet and I've found lots of sites that talk about the side effects of steroids, they all sound like they know what they're talking about and they all claim to have studies backing up their claims and many of them contradict each other.

Here are a few things I have discovered, the few consistencies among most sites talking about steroid use and the side effects.

1."Most data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids in humans come from case reports rather than formal epidemiological studies."
Now I don't know for sure but I would say that case studies aren't a reliable source of data when it comes to side effects of anything, shouldn't conclusions about side effects be based on empirical data obtained through study of actual effects. Perhaps I am misunderstanding case studies but it seems to me that they are easily refutable.

2.Every site that I have read talks specifically about abuse, not carefully monitored use. As though every person who uses steroids is taking them in massive quantities for extended periods of time. I read about one study that gave mice steroids.
"exposing male mice for one-fifth of their lifespan to steroid doses comparable to those taken by human athletes caused a high frequency of early deaths."
A fifth of their lives!!! Who's taking steroids for that long, one fifth of the average human life is like 15 years. I think the study may have been stretching it a little bit.

3. Testicular atrophy, otherwise known as ball shrinkage. Honestly unless this is affecting sexual performance is this such a big deal. Not only that but when one quits using steroids the testicles will revert back to normal over time.

4. Gynecomastia, otherwise known as "bitch tits", this is basically a build up of breast tissue in men and is considered a side effect of steroids due to the high levels of testosterone one is putting into their body and the human body's reaction is to increase the estrogen. Or so the sites I have read say.
File:Gynecomastia in Bodybuilder.jpg

5. If taken during adolescence steroids can cause bone growth to slow or stop

Those are really the only things that are consistent, various sites talk about roid rage, liver damage and heart damage(though in my opinion this could be caused by the incredible size some people attain and the heart simply has to work too hard, much like in an obese person). I have found no sites that actually allowed a person to view even the case studies. I continue to look.

None of this tells me why it's illegal, I understand that it is bad for teenagers so placing an age limit on purchases would of course be prudent. But should the government be telling us what to put in our bodies? Alcohol is considered one of the leading causes of death in the world, according to one article "One in 25 deaths across the globe can be directly attributed to alcohol consumption"

Meanwhile there are no verifiable statistics on the number of steroid related deaths in a a year. Oh you can find a ton of sites telling you which people of note have died that were on steroids, but nothing telling us the actual numbers.

Ok, I'm done for now, just gonna throw a few links on to show where I got some of my info. And I'll say this, I am for legalization of substances that don't need to be illegal. I am pro legalization of marijuana and steroids. I think that it's silly that cigarettes which have no purpose but to kill us are legal and alcohol which is related to massive numbers of deaths are legal, while steroids which can be prescribed by a doctor for someone with AIDS and have uses beyond just killing us are illegal. I am not on steroids, I don't really care to be, (though if it were legal, I might try it for a cycle if it were oral and not injected and see what happened) especially when it is currently against the law. If you want to do something like steroids fight to have the law changed, don't go doing them while they are still illegal.

I guess that's all I have here are the links, check these sites out for yourself and if you care enough do a little more research, you might just find as many dead ends as I did. It seems like most of the information on this subject is opinions and very little real data.

I just have to emphasize my belief in following the law until it is changed, don't buy, sell or use steroids until they are legal or without a prescription from your physician.

Friday, December 10, 2010

NDP angered that Sask. doctors aren't covered by essential services laws

NDP angered that Sask. doctors aren't covered by essential services laws | News Talk 650 CKOM

Provincial NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter argues this highlights the inadequacies in the government's essential services law.

"If you are a right wing government that believes there should be essential services, how do you pick and choose who it will apply to?" he asked Thursday.

So let's see if I have this right...

The NDP doesn't like the essential services legislation. They and their buddies fought tooth and nail against it, both before it was passed and after it got royal ascent. We get it. They think that it's bad for their side, and they're right. But to now argue that MORE people should be covered by what they feel is a bad piece of legislation seems, I don't know, ironic at least and hypocritical at most. I hate to point this out to the NDP and the unions, but if you don't like a piece of legislation, you use the doctors' withdrawal of services to prove why the legislation SHOULDN'T BE THERE AT ALL, not to complain that the piece of legislation they don't like should apply to MORE people. It's using an exception to prove their own rule, and while it makes sense that they would complain that someone else has it better and to want that too, they are going about it the wrong way.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Only a judge can tell us what to release: CBC

Only a judge can tell us what to release: CBC | Canada | News | Edmonton Sun

So let's see if I get this right...

CTV and Global both pay taxes to the government, some of which are siphoned to the CBC in order to allow CBC to operate, compete for viewers, programming and advertising dollars. In return, the taxpayer (in this case, CTV and Global, along with Corus, Rawlco, etc) are blocked from getting ANY details as to how its money is spent? Not only that, the CBC is attempting to force their parent companies (Bell and Shaw) to carry ALL of their local channels on Satellite?

Sorry. Don't buy it. CBC can have their next budget allocation when their funders (we the taxpayer) are told how they spend their money, and when CBC justifies why it is necessary to have more than 5 affiliates (one for each time zone) carried. For that matter, why does the CBC have more than 5 affiliates PERIOD? I think it's high time that the CBC started tightening their belts along with the rest of the federal and provincial governments. It's high time that the CBC was forced to reveal information about their operations. Its shareholders have a right to know.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Traffic Bridge discussion planned for Saskatoon city council meeting

Traffic Bridge discussion planned for Saskatoon city council meeting | News Talk 650 CKOM

"In the end, I think what is going to happen again, is that common sense will prevail, and that in fact, we'll end up with a bridge that is sympathetic to what currently is there. But we'll have to wait and see," Atchison said.
James Winkel with the city's Heritage Advisory Committee is part of the group hoping the bridge isn't torn down. He realizes things are at the eleventh hour- but hopes to potentially sway the vote.
"This is a bridge that's too important to be taken apart piece by piece and replaced. I think it's something that should be designated. There are a number of reasons why it should be, most importantly, it's historical significance," Wilkie said.

With all due respect to Mr. Winkel, historical significance should not impede relevance or common sense.

When I visit Saskatoon, I rarely if ever used the traffic bridge. I always used the Sid Buckwold, the Broadway, the College bridge or the Circle drive bridge. The traffic bridge was always to far out of my way or too cramped when I did use it. It isn't an efficient people mover.

To be quite frank, if the city, provincial and federal governments are going to put money into this project, it had better be an improvement over the old bridge. A new bridge built to look like the old bridge will cost somewhere between $27 and $34 million. A new bridge will have walkways for pedestrians and wider driving lanes for traffic and dare I hope, a second driving lane each way. In short, a new bridge will be a significant improvement over the old bridge at a lower price.

Now I'm not against keeping heritage sites as keepsakes or shrines, but if the refurbishment of the existing bridge will cost more, then chances are there will be little if not any trace of the original bridge other than the shape and design. All of the metal would be replaced with more modern metals. The roadway would be replaced, not to mention the road bed. The pillars would also be replaced or refurbished to a newer condition. In short, all of that work, for more than the price to just do a wholesale replacement (that looks like the original except that it's wider and more functional), which is what will pretty much be done anyways.

As I said. I'm all for designating heritage sites, buildings and structures where something historically significant occurs, but if the only reason to impede the replacement of an old bridge which is past its useful life and outgrown its original design is simply because it is old, then I'm sorry, that just doesn't cut it. Tell me that a battle of the NW Rebellion (yes, it was a rebellion against the lawful government of Canada, but that's another post for another day) happened on it, and I'm good to go. Tell me that a treaty was signed in the middle of it and we're good too. Explain to me that on that bridge, the settlements on each side of the river met and agreed to amalgamate, and I'd be good to go too. But just to tell me that it should be kept in current form because it's old, you've got some work to do to explain to me why I would pay more to refurbish than to replace.

Update:  On other thing to note after reading the information from the City of Saskatoon website:

Refurbishing the existing bridge come with an annual price tag of $150,000 to maintain the newly refurbished bridge over its lifetime.  That's $12 million over 80 years added to the price tag of the bridge.  Compare this to the $1.2 to $1.6 million price tag  for maintenance over the lifetime of the Steel Truss replacement bridge, and you have one more reason to choose replacement over refurbishment.

Dennis Miller on SUVs

Dennis Miller on SUVs - By Henry Payne - Planet Gore - National Review Online

Relax, we’ll replace oil when we need to. American ingenuity will kick in and the next great fortune will be made. It’s not pretty, but it is historically accurate. We need to run out of oil first. That’s why I drive an SUV: so we run out of it more quickly. I consider myself at the vanguard of the environmental movement and I think the individuals who insist on driving hybrids are just prolonging our dilemma and I think that’s just selfish. Come on, don’t you care about our Mother Earth? Don’tcha?

Not much more to say, is there?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Halifax poop controversy stirs emotions of politicians and Ellen Page

Halifax poop controversy stirs emotions of politicians and Ellen Page - Winnipeg Free Press

Now, I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I can reason out the pros and cons of a debate, so for this debate, here it goes:

Pro (emphasis mine):

Rob Sampson, president of N-Viro, the company taking the sludge from the city's sewage treatment plants and processing it into usable compost, said he wishes people would tone down the rhetoric and examine the facts.

"You've got to consider that this isn't coming right out of the toilet and into the field. It's being treated at the sewage plant and our plant," he said of their operation in an industrial park near the Halifax airport.

The company uses alkaline waste products from coal-fired power plants and the cement and lime industries to stabilize organic waste through pasteurization and disinfection.

"We need to make decisions based on science and not hysteria," said Sampson, referring to the local buzz Page generated when she visited a site where city crews had applied biosolids this past summer.

"It's probably the most regulated and the most watched land application of any material including commercial fertilizer."

Sampson said even some of the more complex materials that may get into the sewage deteriorate over time and don't get into the plants.

He argued that N-Viro's process creates a product that is safe because it must follow stricter regulations than animal manure.

and the Con (again, emphasis mine):
Page, a Halifax native and environmental activist, came under some criticism after she came out strongly against the use of biosolids.

"I'm always getting that, 'Oh, look at the young actress. She's not a scientist, blah, blah, blah!'" Page said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.

"Of course I'm not a scientist but I'm allowed to have common sense and care about the planet," she said, adding that Halifax is still her primary residence.

Page, who was nominated for an Oscar Award, says she has no desire to create drama or make anyone look bad but she does have concerns about sewage sludge — even after it is treated.

"It's taking all the waste of our current society with its sickness and toxicity. That's what they're treating in a very short amount of time and what they are saying is safe and, quite frankly, I don't believe it."

See the problem with Ms. Page's argument, other than the fact that she's not a scientist, is that it doesn't matter how long they take to treat the solid waste, she won't believe that it's safe. Period. She won't listen to governmental regulators (whom I assume she wants to ensure that the process is safe), she won`t listen to those people that know what they are talking about. That`s it. She knows, and she won`t change her mind that it could be made safe.

Now, I too can be accused of the same thing at times, but I usually listen to the scientists and investigate the evidence before I start spouting off. What this comes down to is that the city of Halifax, like so many other cities in Canada, is returning to the same model as served our pioneering fore-bearers who gladly took the contents of their outhouses and returned the nutrients to the land in order to help with the next year's crops. In this case, it's being done with 150 extra years of science and stricter regulations to waylay Ms. Page's concerns.

"What do they want in the end? Do they want us to go back and let it run into the harbour? There's only so many options, unless people stop going to the washroom," he said.
I suggest Ms. Page follow his Mr. Streatch's advice and stop excreting until such a time as her waste can be disposed of safely.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Afraid of the internet

The other morning in the work truck we were listening to the radio. Now, I already hate the station we were listening to because its a country music channel but on this particular morning I got quite agitated my the rhetoric being spewed as though it were truth. The people were talking about facebook and they were saying that it is a pick up site and that they can't believe how open people are on there. I know that some people will agree with this, some people keep their shit to themselves, not me (as you may have noticed).

I think people are more afraid of the internet and information than they really should be. First off you can block the people you don't like so you don't have to have contact with the stranger who commented on your post inappropriately. Second you can set your privacy levels so that no one can see what you say, so that only your friends can see what you say, so that friends of friends can see what you say or so that the whole world can see what you say, you can also do this with photos, comments, wall posts and almost everything else you do or are in on facebook. The only people who can access your stuff are the people you want to or maybe someone who is overly interested and capable of hacking your account(which is, I would argue, considerably rare). Third, what is it you're hiding, why do yoy need so much privacy anyway, what exactly are you afraid of, I'm proud of who I am and who I want to be and what I think and what I have to say. If you have an opinion the why would you hide it? Or maybe its not fear, its shame perhaps you're doing something you are ashamed of and don't want anyone to know. Personally I have nothing to hide and am not worried about what people might find out about me.

These are just my thoughts about how ridiculous it is to worry about being open on facebook because even if you are afraid or ashamed of what you might say or put on facebook, YOU CONTROL WHO SEES IT. Just check out your privacy settings..

And that doesn't even touch the idea that facebook is a pick up site. Here's a thought, people who aren't commited to their partner and are interested in cheating or finding someone new will do just that with or without facebook. In fact there are hundreds of chat rooms and websites dedicated to the business of cheating, there are always adds on other sites talking about them and many of them guarantee that you will get laid tonight if that's what you want, no facebook required. That's not even counting regular dating sites on which people can lie and find someone to date that isn't their partner. There are thousands of singles sites and if one were so inclined one would have no trouble finding someone that could be picked up. Don't blame facebook for the behavior of its users. People who want to cheat will find a way to cheat.

So stop being afraid of facebook, if you are a good person who can trust your partner then you have nothing to worry about. Be open and opinionated and spread your thoughtful point of view amongst your friends or maybe even the public if you are confident enough

Friday, December 3, 2010

What does awareness accomplish

The last while there has been a virtual avalanche of causes demanding attention. They all demand that we act in a certain way, do a specific thing, or wear something in order to increase awareness. But what does it really do? Is there some advantage to "raising" awareness? I get that we all want the cure to cancer found or child abuse or bullying to stop but do these campaigns actually accomplish these goals? I guess what I'm getting at is how does, growing a moustache/wearing red or purple/changing your facebook picture?, how does doing any of these things accomplish first, even the intended task of raising awareness or second, the actual goal of stopping/curing the different world problem? No really tell me cause I'd really like to know. Cause as far as I can tell this is the most ridiculous way to accomplish these goals. Not only that but to constantly post this crap on facebook statuses as though all your friends and family are total idiots that are completely unaware that there are things like child abuse/bullying/AIDS/cancer is not just lazy, it's insulting.

It's lazy because, as a very smart friend of mine said, "it is literally the least you can do", if you want to donate your time or money into finding real solutions to these issues then you have my full support in doing so. If you want to go out and help coucil the people dealing with these issues then you not only have my support I will drive you wherever you have to go to help out and while I'm there I might even lend a hand. But if you want me to wear red or change my facebook picture or grow a moustache (when I don't intend to) then you my friend are going to be disappointed.

It's insulting, because I know about these issues, I am a savvy person who pays attention to the world around him and I'm sure most of your friends and family are the same. We all live in the world and are aware of the problems in it. There is no one that is not touched by most if not all of these issues so the idea that we are unaware is quite insulting.

Lastly the things you want me to do have very little or nothing to do with the problem associated with it, oh I know all about assigning pink to breast cancer and blue to prosate cancer and whatever to whatever but what I'm saying is that these colors were arbitrarily picked and have nothing to do with finding a cure for cancer. And as for growing a moustache this too has nothing to do with prostate cancer, if you want to grow something that has relevance to the issue grow your hair long and donate it for wigs for cancer patients, that is at least doing something. Then of course there is this new one, change your profile pic to a cartoon from your childhood to raise awareness of child abuse. I really don't think this is right on any level, can you honestly say that this makes sense, if anything I think it makes light of child abuse and completely misses the boat on "awareness raising".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Volt’s Reason to Be

The Volt’s Reason to Be - By Henry Payne - Planet Gore - National Review Online

While I'm not as opposed to the concept of a Chevy Volt as others, I just have one question for the manufacturers of such a product.

Why did you choose a small platform first to deliver this concept?

Let me explain.

The normal process for engineering has seemed to be to develop a concept and then scale it down for every day use. It was mere years ago that computers needed a whole room to contain the computing power of one laptop computer today. Computing capacity doubles every 18 months or so as scientists find more and more ways to fit more capacitors on a one inch chip. All manner of consumer electronics prove the case - from TVs to video game systems, from cell phones to treadmills.

And this approach seems logical - when you are developing a concept, size doesn't usually matter - all the developer wants is see the concept to workable application, he/she is not interested in applying the concept to the smallest possible package available right from the get go.

Except when it comes to electric vehicles, it seems.

Let us be clear about one thing - the technology in the Volt really isn't anything new. Diesel-electric train engines have existed for the better part of a century, and have proven that the concept works, so too with diesel-electric submarines. What I would have expected, given how things advance, is that the technology would have been scaled down to fit into heavy equipment where space and aesthetics aren't an issue, and then scale down again to fit into trucks and SUVs where they can make the most difference on ANY emissions in the long run.  After the technology is proven in those platforms would it be scaled down into a size where vehicles already regularly get in the 40 to 60 mpg range just through weight and aerodynamics. 

THAT is a progression I would like to have seen, because honestly, right now all the Volt is is a concept car that was put into production, and that will lose GM money with every sale without government subsidies.  Sure, I get that the more of these things out there, and the more experience there is making them, the cheaper they'll get, but in the end, does it really need a 40 mile battery at highway speeds?  Did it really have to be fit into a subcompact?  Was this really the advancement that would do the most good?

I think I'll wait until they put the technology into a better size.

Dark Knights and the Call of Authentic Conscience

Dark Knights and the Call of Authentic Conscience

This may or may not have any meaning without the context of the chapter before it but I thought that this excerpt was particularly interesting, this is from the book I've been trying to finish reading for the last couple months, Batman and Philosophy from chapter 15, Dark Knights and the call of Conscience, this chapter is by Jason J. Howard, the quote in the excerpt is from Martin Heidegger'sBeing and Time

Batman is ready to die. He has come to terms with the inevitability of death, yet this alone does not make him authentic; many people are ready to die for a cause. So what can Batman, a "mere" comic book character, teach us about being authentic? One of the crucial points to keep in mind is that Batman's choice to risk his freedom on an impossible cause is not an escape from the reality of the world, but an affirmation of it. Batman does not seek to convert people to his cause, nor does he begrudge those who choose to fight crime in other, more traditional ways. Likewise, there is no completion to his quest, no proper ending, and no salvation, but only a continual reappraisal of his own choices. In accepting his choices in life as his own unique fate, Batman reveals himself as someone who has accepted the world for what it is, with all its absurdity and sorrow, while nonetheless remaining tolerant and compassionate toward everyone except those whose actions end in senseless violence.
Batman does not stand against this onslaught of senseless violence on the basis of an explicit moral code or religions creed, but rather from the resolute acknowledgment of his own freedom to accept death, which is the authentic con science. It is this freedom to accept life in all its perplexing ambiguity, and to decide for himself how to deal with it, that makes Batman who he is, not his costume. Batman lives in his decision "to be," acknowledging the reality of his own anxiety while anticipating the nothingness that haunts each of us:

"Anticipation allows Dasein to understand that that potentiality-for-being in which its ownmost Being is an issue, must be taken over by Dasein alone.... Dasein can be authentically itself only if it makes this possible for itself of its own accord. . . . When, by anticipation, one becomes free for one's own death, one is liberated from one's lostness in those possibilities which may accidentally thrust themselves upon one; and one is liberated in such a way that for the first time one can choose among the factical possibilities lying ahead."

This "freedom towards death," as Heidegger calls it, is the distinguishing feature of the authentic conscience. To say someone is free to anticipate their own death does not imply a death wish, nor is it some morbid fixation on "the end." It is the penetrating realization that the point of existence is something each of us must come to grips with as individuals by continually reaffirming the meaning of our own mortality. It is this attitude of authenticity that ensures that our lives are as transparent as possible in terms of who we are, freeing us from the "illusions of the 'they'" and their obsession with familiarity, tranquility, and distraction. This is not easy. It requires that we admit our own vulnerability, along with rejecting any kind of fatalistic determinism or escapism, accepting that "to be" is to be anxious about who we are.
If we assume people are simply "born" with a conscience, rather than struggling to have one, as Heidegger explains, then there is no room for people to exercise their freedom to authentically make their own decisions in life. This does not mean that having an authentic' conscience entails abandoning morality. On the contrary, it prevents morality from becoming another kind of conformism where the exercise of free and spontaneous moral judgment is exchanged for blind commitment and intolerance.
Of course, Batman is not the only example of an authentic conscience, but he is certainly an instructive one. Moreover what makes him so instructive is the existential complexity of his identity, and not simply the fact that he is a superhero. It is his willingness to come to grips with his past, his rejection of all facile excuses, and his passion to deal with reality on its own terms that distinguish Batman from the moral fanatic, and that make his type of heroism so significant. As Batman himself puts it, "You play the hand you're dealt. . . . What I am, I am of my own choice. I don't know if I'm happy, but I'm content."

The choice to lead an authentic life brings with it some dark nights, yet this is the price we have to pay to lead a life without delusion. Batman's acceptance of this sustains his heroism. He relies on his own will to have an authentic conscience, not some superhuman power. Consequently, the purpose of his cape and cowl is not to hide who he is. Rather, it stands as testament to the choices he has made and the man he has become. Although we cannot literally emulate the Batman and the risks he takes—after all, he is a comic book hero—his internal battles are by no means alien to most of us. He is a person struggling to affirm the weight of his own choices and lead an authentic existence. In a world where mindless conformism is rampant, ignorance is the order of the day, and fear is our greatest taskmaster, Batman's call to conscience is an example of how our willingness to confront the meaning of our own existence can also be the path to personal liberation.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rest in Peace Leslie, you will be missed

What James Cameron Can’t Tell You about the Oil Sands

What James Cameron Can’t Won't Tell You about the Oil Sands

This is the best summary of the Oil Sands and the impact of work in the oil sands that I have ever seen. It may be geared towards showing the Oil Sands in a positive light, but given the amount of negative information out there, it's good that there's some positive fact based information on the Oil Sands available.

One of the things that strikes home to me is this statement by Mr. Cameron:

As one final example I will let Mr. Cameron’s own words to MSNBC hit the nail on the head. “[T]here’s an opportunity for all of North America to be weaned to some extent off of OPEC oil so that’s why it makes me very nervous… we need more science… we have the capacity for ecological disaster here on an unprecedented scale…”

The thing is that the Oil Sands IS an ecological "disaster" on an unprecedented scale. By their very definition, it is oil infused sand. It is a danger to wildlife and humans alike if left how it is. The clean up process, which just happens to take that oil-infused sand and process the oil out of it, is cleaning up the oil sands, and doing so in a way that is commercially viable without government support. Why WOULDN'T we support it?

Tony Blair Versus Christopher Hitchens

Wow I love all the Rider stuff popping up on Oxygentax, very cool. But I watched a debate last night with Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens, Tony Blair is pro religion and faith, where Christopher Hitchens is con or anti religion and faith. It is a great debate, though very long, if you have or wish to make 2 hours to watch it then by all means do so, it was a lot of work to get all 7 videos into my other blog so I am just going to post the link to that here.

hope you enjoy

Friday, November 26, 2010

agnosticism isn't a mild version of atheist

I have noticed lately that a lot of people claim to be agnostic rather than atheist, the idea being that atheist are anti-god, anti-religion and just generally hardcore people, while agnostics are open to the idea that god exists but don't really know so don't really believe. It paints those of an agnostic ideal in a very moderate light when compared to an atheist. While sometimes it's nice to be considered moderate, in this case I don't think it's accurate.
First off, the definition of atheist basically refers to someone who believes there is no god or gods, while the definition of agnostic refers to someone who believes that questions about the existence of god or anything metaphysical are unknowable or unanswerable. To me this says that an atheist really only denies the existence of god or an afterlife, while an agnostic denies the existence of anything or even the knowledge of anything that isn't part of reality.

Now I'm gonna steal a quote from a friend of mine that was part of a facebook debate.

"For what it's worth, agnosticism, in my view, consists in rejecting the question "is there a creator" as, not just unanswerable, but unimportant. If there is a creator, then the universe exists just as it does right now. If, going back through time, there is a literally endless chain of evens - and no creator - then the universe exists just as it does right now. There is no explanatory or predictive difference; the question results in pure speculation with no possible answer in principle. "

I like this because not only does an agnostic view these questions as unknowable, they view them as irrelevant because it doesn't apply to the future or even change anything about the present.

So doesn't the agnostic view seem less like a moderate atheist, and more like the hardcore view, it does to me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

CFL This is Our League- Full Version

Saskatoon churches back co-op grocery store

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Saskatoon churches back co-op grocery store

All I can ask is what took them so long?

What? You mean that something good for the poor can actually be done WITHOUT the government's help?

Huh. Wow. Fascinating.

Okay, all sarcasm aside, it's good that these Saskatoon congregations are getting behind this project, and it's also good that it only has $500,000 left to raise (considering when last I mentioned it, they had about $2,000,000 to go).  I hope that they raise the remainder quickly.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If it saves just one life

I'm going to preface this by saying that YES, I am quite aware that Canada does not have exactly the same thing, and that I'm aware the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply in Canada.

Still, the concept is the same, and that concept is that at some point people should use common sense when they are doing their job.

Does it make sense that security personnel in airports throughout the "free" West force random people to endure ever more difficult or intrusive procedures simply because someone has been able to sneak a dangerous substance on the plane?

To that end, I have three suggestions that the government might consider:

1.     Do as Tom suggests in his comments section - have a little explosive detonation chamber that EVERYONE walks through one at a time before they board a plane.  Between that and a metal detector, that should be all the security you need to prevent a mad man from blowing up a plane.

2.     Everybody fly naked.  I know, I know - whacky thought, and not necessarily an appealing one if you are flying with a bunch of people you don't want to see naked, but if you do this, then the only thing you will get on board the aircraft will have to be hidden in an uncomfortable place, and if it's a bomb, it likely won't be big enough to do much damage.

3.     Profile - NOT RACIALLY.  Match the profile of a terrorist against the passengers and see what jumps out.  Person flying alone? One way? Paying cash for their ticket? Acting extremely nervous or extremely calm at the airport? AND buying their ticket last minute?  Please step out of line.  It's as simple as that.  This person could be any race, any color, any country of origin (ESPECIALLY the last part with the "rise" of home grown terrorism).  So profile them based on what they did and how they're acting.  How hard is that?

In the end, every new "security" measure is designed to inconvenience each passenger more and more, and in that respect, terrorists have already won.  The only way to stop that is to peel the layers back and get back to doing what makes sense again.

Because if it saves just one life....

The Universe isn't doing us any favors

The universe is a big random place and our spot in it is pretty insignificant, did the universe really keep track of me all these years and then just when I needed it gave me what I wanted or did I make choices in my life and learn from my mistakes. Is the universe going to give me the tools I need to be successful or do I already possess them and just need to figure out how to use them. I feel like when you give the universe credit for the lessons you learned it takes the credit away from yourself, and vice versa when it comes to mistakes, if the universe keeps throwing things at you till you get it, did you make the mistake of choosing incorrect behavior over and over, is it your responsibility or is it the universe's. I guess it's pretty clear which way I come down on this one.

I internalize everything, if something happens in my life, it's because of the choices I have or am making and if it's the wrong choice then it's my responsibility to fix it, no help from the universe required. I drove home in the snow in the middle of the night and if I had died it wasn't the universe that killed me and it wasn't the universe that caused my family grief and loss. It was all me, and I like it that way, the more responsibility I have over my own life the better my chance of success, I think, and the better my chances of learning from my mistakes because they are my mistakes not just a set of circumstances that happened to me. Just my perspective. I hope it doesn't sound as negative as it did when I tried to explain it on Saturday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goin' to the Cup again!!!!!

Hats off for real help for the homeless

I can't say it any better than this, so I won't even try:

Hats off to those behind a sharp decline in the number of homeless living on our city streets.  The 2010 homeless count tallied just over 2,400 citizens bunking on bus benches, diving in dumpsters and picking bottles in the alley — 2,421 people is still a huge, unacceptable number, but it is a decrease from the last round- up in ’08 of about 650 people.
That’s good. And how are they doing it? By acknowledging the differences between homeless and bums. Homeless can be helped. Bums can’t. You can lead a bum to water but you can’t make him bathe. Bums will always be homeless, but homeless aren’t always bums. Ya follow?

Programs like the twice annual Homeless Connect at the Shaw Conference Centre are making the difference. Let’s continue to focus our spending there — on the people that are a haircut, toothbrush, birth certificate, some Internet, legal counsel or maybe a clean shirt away from turning the corner and getting a job and a roof.
This Christmas season there’ll be Christmas dinner drives to ensure that everyone gets turkey, cranberries and gravy on the 25th. It’s a nice gesture, but funds can be spent — and are being spent — more effectively to help the homeless. Keep up the good work, Samaritans.
There are some people who want help, and there are others who don't.  I agree with Jack - lets use the resources to help those who want it first, and THEN worry about the others who don't.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

new to this blog

Hey there, since I am new I am gonna introduce myself a little, my name is Cory, and I have been friends with the main contributor for a very long time, we see many things the same but differ on a few. I like to think of myself as a wolf, a wolf is a leader unto himself, he doesn't try to lead others but he refuses to follow mindlessly, so many of my opinions are thought out into incredible detail while others I have just by my own instincts of what is right and wrong. I swear so I hope that people who read this blog don't get offended too easily, I don't feel that it is a reflection on my intellect, it is a reflection of my attitude towards arbitrary rules that don't make sense. I may or may not post on similar topics to what has previously be posted, not everything in my life is political and sometimes I am very extreme in my position while at other times I am quite balanced. I am skeptical of everything, even if someone thinks they have science on their side I tend to find many studies are biased and end up with skewed results. For the truth one has to look at many things and it's very rarely easy to find. I almost always dismiss what the media says, because despite what certain talk show hosts think, every report is biased in some direction or another and you can usually find out pretty quick which way they lean so to stay in the middle I have to do a lot of looking around for multiple versions of the same story.

Thats all I have for now, so I hope to have some fun and maybe stir up a few arguments now and then. Have a good day everyone.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

POW Economics

The POW Economy Explained

Richard Radford is one such soldier. When war broke out in 1939, he left his studies at Cambridge and joined the British army. Captured in Libya in 1942, he spent the remaining war years in prisoner of war camps. Upon his release, he wrote an analysis of The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp. It is worth reading today, both for what it says about life during wartime, and for its lessons about “the universality and the spontaneity” of economic activity.

Soldiers in the German P.O.W. camps received regular rations for most of the war. Their captors provided basic necessities – bread, margarine, and so on. Red Cross and private parcels provided the rest – cigarettes, chocolate, meat, tea, coffee, and less popular items, like tinned carrots. Almost as soon as soldiers were captured, barter systems emerged, with non-smokers trading cigarettes for chocolate, for example. But over time camps became highly organized economies, with cigarettes serving as currency.

Definitely a recommended read... I'm even thinking about looking for the book.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Canadians favour melticulturalism

Canadians overwhelmingly favour melticulturalism

Mr Parland misses the point completely when he says this:

So, the majority of Canadians are in favour of a system that seeks to respect and preserve cultural differences, just as long as people from other cultures don’t actually preserve those differences but assimilate into Canadian society. Call it melticulturalism: You can be as different as you want, just as long as you act like everyone else.

The point isn't that people must assimilate - the point is that when you come to Canada, most would assume that you continue to honor your own traditions within your own house, occasionally letting others get a glimpse into your culture, but that whenever your traditions clash with Canadian traditions, the Canadian traditions should win. Simple as that. Honor killings, ethnic prejudice, sharia law to name a few are things which clash with Canadian Culture. These are the things that make many Canadians throw up their hands and say "If you don't like it here, go back to where you came from!", not because we don't want them here, but we don't what these aspects of their culture here. These are the things oftentimes they moved to get away from... why then should we allow it to be implemented here so that they can be subject to it again?

To steal a phrase, to what appears to be a large number of people, we assume that "multiculturalism means more pavilions at Folk Fest"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Spin Begins - By Kathryn Jean Lopez - The Corner - National Review Online

The Spin Begins - By Kathryn Jean Lopez - The Corner - National Review Online

Hello to gridlock … and goodbye to recovery? Post-election inaction in D.C. probably won’t bode well for the economy

Or... OR

Gridlock in Washington will be exactly what the US needs - something to stop government from taxing more, spending more, and killing any hope of recovery that might be starting to take root.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Putting "rich" business owners into perspective

I'm not American, and I really don't have a dog in the hunt this election cycle, but some things just have to be put into perspective, and I've found Steven Crowder to be rather coherent on a lot of things.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A humble suggestion to any Conservative MPs out there

CBC News - Canada - Williams to lose rank but not pension: military

I propose a simple statute - that any income collected by an individual while he or she is in prison be subject to taxation at 100% to the estimated limit of the cost of upkeep for that individual in prison.

For example, if it is estimated that a convict in maximum security prison costs $85,000 per year including cost for guards, room, board, treatment, rehabilitation and other assorted initiatives, then the first $85,000 is confiscated for upkeep. If he or she earns more than this, then the excess will be taxed at the regular rate for that income level.

To be quite frank, there are too many pensioners (and 1 is too many, mind you) that receive their full federal pensions and Old Age Supplement while serving life sentences in prison. Some of these guys have absolutely no hope of seeing the light of day again. We charge pensioners for their upkeep to the limit of their income level when it comes to nursing homes and retirement homes, so what makes THESE pensioners any different than the ones sitting behind bars having done something wrong to be sent there?

A closing thought, maybe the prisoners have the right idea. I mean, honestly, what a great retirement scheme. Kill someone when you're ready to retire, and you get 3 square meals a day, free clothing, free shelter, cable TV, access to computers and the internet, exercise every day including access to weights, a job that you don't necessarily have to work all that hard at, and in the end, if you do something wrong, all they can really do is making you sit in your cell by yourself. Add to that the fact that you're paid full pensions to bank and you can choose which visitors you want to see or talk to, and you have the perfect retirement. The only problem is that you risk getting shived in the yard, but if you're in your 60s, chances are that you aren't going to piss off anyone bad enough to have them want you dead.

Forget about CPP or RRSPs - that sounds like a solid retirement plan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Since the CBC won't put it up yet

Wyant wins in Saskatoon Northwest.

The Elections Saskatchewan post was 5 minutes after the CBC posted that he was leading in the riding. I think that with all polls reporting it's safe to say congratulations.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The real Islamophobia

Greg Gutfeld Bashes WaPo For Pulling Mohammed Cartoon

Mr. Gutfeld has a point, so I'm going to quote it in its entirety:

GREG GUTFELD: So the Washington Post removed the October 3 “Non Sequitur” cartoon from its rag. The reason? It mentioned, not showed, Mohammed. There wasn’t even a picture of him anywhere. But the Post and some other papers still pulled it.

Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander asked his style editor why, and he said, “It seemed a deliberate provocation without a clear message.” He added that “the point of the joke was not immediately clear.”

Yeah, the reason is ambiguity. Weasel. Anyway, here’s the cartoon. Yeah, that’s really outrageous. And so here we see another callow editor making a cowardly decision based on a fear of upsetting religious fanatics, a fear he can’t even admit to his co-workers. Which leads me to my only point: why is it that the media keeps reminding us that we shouldn’t exaggerate the threat of a small group of radicals, but then completely changes tact when it comes to their own personal safety?

Think about it: if the average Joe expresses anxiety over Islamic fundamentalism, they’re called Islamophobes. But if an editor removes a comic in which Mohammed isn’t even present, that’s not honest to Allah Islamophobia?

Look, the media can’t have it both ways. They cannot criticize the public for concerns over Islam and then pull this stunt over a fear they may get stabbed in front of a Starbucks. If their governing principle in the newsroom is fear, then they should admit it and get the hell off our backs for feeling pretty much the same way.

For “Fox News Watch,” I’m Greg Gutfeld.

The true test of "Islamophobia" isn't someone doing something in full provocation of the religion, it's someone doing something in fear of that religion... That's what a phobia is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And so marks the beginning of the end

of Weyburn's Walmart store:

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Wal-Mart union in Weyburn, Sask., upheld

It's rather simple, there are two narratives that can be played out here:

1) The union negotiates exactly the same wages and benefits as all the other Walmart employees throughout Canada get, or

2) The store closes and 75 people are out of jobs.

Simple as that, but let's elaborate the reason why.

Walmart is an international chain, with stores all across Canada and the United States. While there are local variances for wage levels, it provides its employees with wage and benefit packages better than some unions can get for their members. It is said that the presence of a Walmart in your town generally benefits the average household to the tune of $1200 per year, but for the average Walmart worker, they get an additional 10% off virtually everything that Walmart sells.

Now let's follow the reasoning. If 1 store unionizes, then Walmart has to negotiate with the union, statutorily. If the union gets any additional benefit from Walmart than is already offered, then the jig is up - it's a precedent that is set that unions can use to organize in every other Walmart store in North America. This would cost Walmart additional dollars and may actually cause a reduction in the total benefit package as unions start focusing on their usual suspects - wages and health benefits - at the expense of other benefits like stock option plans and employee discounts. If this happens, 1 of 2 things will happen - either Walmart increases its prices to compensate for the increased costs (reducing the benefit that it brings to the community as a whole, see above) or it determines that the store will soon become unprofitable and close it (reducing the benefit to the community as a whole).

Walmart has set precedent by closing a store that has unionized. Jonquiere, Quebec closed several years ago after its employees voted signed cards to unionize. There are stores within a 60 minute drive of the Weyburn store. Same with the Moose Jaw store. And the North Battleford store. Walmart wouldn't think twice about sacrificing closing any of these stores if it means that it doesn't have to extend further benefits or embolden other union drives through the company's chain. It's a simple fact: a rape victim is entitled to escape if given the opportunity - why do we think any less of corporations who do the same?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Humans consuming more resources than Earth can sustain: report

Humans consuming more resources than Earth can sustain: report

The Living Planet 2010 report, conducted by WWF International, a global environmental research organization, says that humans would now need 1.5 planets to sustain their consumption patterns.


So I guess that when the global call for cull comes up, the WWF and it's associates will be the first ones to step up and answer the call?

Amid all the hooting and hollering

Bob Rae gets it right:

I think the case for Canada is very strong and I think the case was made effectively by the prime minister, but I think frankly it transcends partisanship and it transcends one political party or another, you know, when the prime minister is at the United Nations, speaking on behalf of Canada and talking of 65 years of Canadian experience, that is, I think, a story that everybody needs to hear and he wasn’t just talking about his own government, he was talking about the achievement sand the accomplishments of many different governments and I think that is the way we should approach it. I think we would be much better off in foreign policy if we looked much longer and harder at the things that we are doing together as a country and not see it as some partisan exercise. As far as I’m concerned, it is not a partisan exercise and I think that is the approach that we should be taking.”

Now I'll be frank. It wasn't Michael Ignatieff's fault that we lost the seat. It was Stephen Harper's foreign policy that made him lose this bid. But let's be clear, the Globe's editorial on the subject gets it right in the last paragraph:

Under the Conservatives, Canada has maintained its position of global leadership. It led at the G20/G8 this summer. It was the driving force behind a maternal-health initiative that promises to dramatically improve the lives of countless women in the world's poorest countries. It may hedge on an issue like climate change, but has enunciated an unambiguous message in terms of human rights, and democratic principles. It has aligned itself squarely with countries, such as Israel, which respect such principles. If Canada's failure to win a Security Council seat is a result of Conservative foreign policy, then it says more about the UN than it does about Canada.

On the global stage, Canada is consistently doing things right. The problem is that the UN is filled with a whole lot of countries whose leaders oppose some or all of the things that Canada champions. There is a large bloc of countries that oppose Canada's support of Israel. There is a bloc of countries which aren't impressed with Canada's direction for Climate Change. There is a bloc of countries which believe that Canada should give more foreign aid to Africa/middle east/southeast asia/AIDS/pick one. There are some countries who feel that Canada should stay in Afghanistan, and others who feel that Canada should not be in Afghanistan now. Add all this up, and it isn't surprising that Canada would have lost this bid when all it takes is the Islamic countries and most of Europe who may feel that there is more power in having an additional seat on the Security Council.

Mine is not to judge, but when NATO and the G8 seem to be more effective bodies, do we really care about a seat at the UN Security Council, let alone the UN itself?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And now some good news

The Chilean miners are set to finally be rescued from their 2 months in the equivalent of hell.

My hope is that the operation goes smoothly and that all make it out safe.

Read the story here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A humble thought on the CBC

Here's a thought regarding the CBC...

"Great, they don't get money from the federal government until they comply with the requests."

But Lantagne’s records were denied citing a section of the Access to Information Act, 68.1, which allows the crown corporation to withhold information based on its journalistic, creative or programming activities.

CBC spokesman Marco Dube said Lantagne’s records were withheld because “as general manager for Television de Radio-Canada, Louise Lantagne's activities and related expenses are most of the time deeply intertwined with our programming activities.”

Access to information expert David Statham believes CBC is misapplying the section 68.1.

The public broadcaster is also refusing to hand over documents to the information commissioner so the watchdog can check whether the CBC is fairly excluding documents or simply trying to avoid embarrassing information from leaking out, he said.

The Federal Court recently ruled CBC has no right to deny the information commissioner access, but CBC plans to appeal the court’s decision.

“Unless they receive political direction that enough is enough, they are going to fight the federal court ruling as far as they can go, and that’s going to cost the taxpayer,” said Statham.

It is in CBC’s interest to fight because while the case is under appeal dozens and dozens of CBC requests lie unanswered, Statham said, noting he is waiting for the information commissioner to investigate whether CBC was right to deny him access to Peter Mansbridge’s salary range and possible discretionary benefits.

Simple as that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Che Guevara remembered

“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said a former Cuban political prisoner Roberto Martin-Perez… “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of the La Cabana execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man (or boy) by firing the coup de grace himself."
Read it all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NDP raises potash ownership

NDP raises potash ownership

Lingenfelter told reporters at the legislature he hears often from Saskatchewan residents that the BHP Billiton bid for PotashCorp presents a potential opportunity for the province to regain shares in the former Crown corporation.

While even a small ownership percentage would likely cost the province far too much in a direct purchase, the province could potentially alter its royalty regime to allow it to take a small ownership share in the company, he said.

He stressed he was not discussing nationalization of the company, although he did note the success of state-owned resource companies such as Norway's Statoil and Brazil's Petrobras.

I've got news for you Dwayne. Taking a percentage of the company without putting anything into it IS Nationalization, whether it's a 5% stake like Danny's done, or 100% stake like your party has done in the past. You are essentially stealing from the people who have bought shares in the company by making their shares worth less than they would be if you didn't take a stake in the company. Furthermore, I would think that you and your caucus had learned from past investments like Spudco and Millar Western Pulp Mill, not to mention successes like PCS (oops) and Cameco (SK Uranium) (both of which only had success AFTER privatization) that GOVERNMENT DOES NOT BELONG IN BUSINESS.


End of Story.

If you want to play businessman Dwayne, put your own money into starting one. Until then, keep your musings to yourself.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oxygentax - 1, Statistics Canada - 0

So I get home from the office this evening, drop my groceries in the kitchen, and find an envelope sticking out of the side of the front door (not the bottom). I open the door to remove the envelope (because far be it for me to risk damaging my weather stripping by yanking the envelope through).

On it is a note from a Statistics Canada representative (who shall remain nameless, after all why should she be outed for doing her job?) telling me that she's sorry she missed me, and instructing me in a not so nice formal manner to contact her for an interview regarding the Household Spending survey that she is doing. There is no indication that the survey is voluntary.

So after reading the paper, I did what I normally do when the government doesn't say please - I go into civil disobedience mode and decide to ignore the note until it's followed up.

Not 15 minutes later, I get a ring of the doorbell, and I get to face the woman who wanted to invade my privacy without any reward for the information I give up. The exchange lasted all of about a minute and she had as much luck as a telemarketer would.

Don't get me wrong, she attempted to be persuasive, and I will give her points for making a second attempt to get my acquiescence after the first failed miserably, but in the end, what it came down to was two simple parts of the exchange:

1. "Is this mandatory?" "No, this is a voluntary survey." "Then thank you, but I would prefer not to take part.", and

2. "But just think of all the people that you would help by answering these questions." "Thank you, but I would really prefer not to take part in the survey."

She left without saying thank you. I was polite enough to turn the porch light on in order for her to see her way back down the walk.

See, I know that she was trained not to take the first "no" for an answer, but she really should have understood from my apprehensive first question that her second attack wasn't going to be successful. Sure, I could have wasted her time for 5 minutes letting her be the surrogate for all those groups she is purporting to help by collecting private information from me to help. She could have stood in for all those people who think that it's all right to force me to answer a survey under penalty of punishment to help them better take my money and distribute it to others who are deemed through that information to be more needy or worthy than I am. I could have done those things, but I politely sent her away, hopefully giving the impression that I wasn't happy with Statistics Canada right now.

Hopefully more people have the opportunity to do this - it would be nice to make Stats Canada work for their data for a change.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I miss Paul Harvey:

America has become a cannibal society, devouring its best. The competent, numerically outnumbered by the incompetents, are being corralled, restrained, confined and milked like barnyard cattle. The giants who created our skyscraper civilization are now ordered to obey Lilliputian bureaucrats. Common men—who owe their jobs to uncommon men who create jobs—gang together to shackle their providers.

Americans are becoming congenital dependents. Even as loafing relatives extort a livelihood by claiming they have a “right” to your money—so today eight million homegrown moochers insist that you are responsible for their welfare! Thus, we subsidize promiscuous mothers and their illegitimate babies and lazy feather bedders and goldbricking government pay rollers…While we penalize the strong, the purposeful, the productive with disproportionate burdens of taxes, pressures, red tape.

We praise ventures which are “non-profit” and grant them tax advantages and social acceptance, yet we damn the men who make the profits which make the “non-profit” ventures possible. Americans want to keep the electric lights but destroy the generators. What if the men of brains and initiative and industry should go on strike?

It happened once. “The Dark Ages” were a period of stagnation when men of exceptional ability gave up, figured “what’s the use?” and went underground—for a thousand years. Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged,” thinks it may have to happen that way again. Dr. Charles Mayo says, “I know of no individual, no nation, that ever did anything worthwhile on a five-day week.” Already many American industrialists are turning the keys on their corporations and going to Florida—either part-time or full-time—to become non-productive beachcombers.

Curiously, Russia is beginning to reward the uncommon men. Soviet scholar Vadim A. Trapeznikov—not without Kremlin sanction—is now referring to the Soviet system as “obsolete.” He says Russia’s economy must now rely on the “more productive profit motive.”

We, on the other hand, continue to play the democratic con-game which pretends that all men are equal and that anybody who demonstrates any inequality should be punished for it.

Any insolent beggar can wave his sores in your face and plead for help in the tone of a threat. You are expected to feel “guilty” for having more than he. Any barefoot bum from the pestholes of Asia or Africa cries out, “How dare you be rich!” And we beg them to be patient and we promise to give it all away as fast as possible.

The economic creed of “enlightened selfishness” which made our nation the powerhouse of this planet has been so maligned that now it sounds like heresy when I say:

Any man who claims you owe him a living is a cannibal.
Whether foreign or domestic, he is a cannibal.
If you choose to help him, that is one thing.
If he demands you “help” as his “right,” he is a leech,
a sycophant, a parasite.
He is a cannibal seeking to survive by consuming you.

So, as you marchers march, making your demands upon others, we wanted you to put yourself into proper perspective and, in the words of Paul Harvey, have a…

Good Day!

- Paul Harvey