Sunday, November 29, 2009
In 2006, Peter MacKay was very busy with important things, such as being one of Canada's most eligable bachelors and fueling rumours of a spark between him and Condoleeza Rice, which, consequently was while Canadian policies in Afghanistan inadvertantly led to prisoners being tortured, raped, and perhaps even murdered. With so many emails to respond to, answering romantic questions and even, possibly, wooing an important Republican woman, it's perfectly understandable if he missed a few minor details, such as the fact that his policies were responsible for war crimes.
But there were other factors that are equally to blame. For instance, Condoleeza Rice wasn't the only woman knocking at the door. There was another, certain well known blonde woman vying for his attention. Yes, we all know who I'm talking about.
That accursed woman should not have been running against him in his home riding in Central Nova. Peter Mackay had important things to do that didn't involve trying to convince the people in his riding that there is no such thing as Global Warming.
With so many door calls, emails, letters, phone calls, single Republicans, and a hippi-looking, wild-haired tree hugger vying for Peter Mackay's attention, it is perfectly understandable for his busy staff to have missed a message or two from Richard Colvin, or the Red Cross, or the Afghan Independant Human Rights Commission. So what? We all make mistakes at work. It's not a big deal if he took his hand off the wheel while his policies inadvertantly led to Afghan civilians being detained, beaten, raped, tortured, and perhaps even murdered.
And if those humiliated victims of abuse happened to get out of jail, it certainly isn't Peter Mackay's fault if they decided to join the Taliban, fuel the resistance, tip the balance in favour of the Taliban, who in turn killed dozens of Canadian and coalition soldiers and led the British and some other countries to label Afghanistan a lost cause.
We should not blame Peter MacKay for this.
Instead, we should be blaming Condoleeza Rice and Elizabeth May. For if they hadn't been distracting him with their assets, he could have spent less time worrying about his political career and more time focusing on the job at hand.
Furthermore, his staff should have been screening his emails and passing important messages onto him. So it is also there fault for not letting him know he was a war criminal.
It's also George Bush, Stephen Harper's, Syria's, and Sudan's fault. They started this whole torture thing. In fact, they made torture routine, turning it into an important issue. With the US torturing a Canadian citizen in Guantanimo (with our permission), Sudan torturing a Canadian citizen in Khartoum(at our request), and Syria having just finished torturing a Canadian citizen in Damascus(at America's request), what's good enough for our own citizens is certainly good enough for Afghans, right?
And while we're at it, where was Canada's opposition? They're the ones who are supposed to be making sure Peter Mackay does his job. If anyone is responsible for war crimes committed in Afghanistan, it's the Liberals and the NDP, who should have been shouting at Peter Mackay in question period the moment these allegations came to light.
As you can see, their are a lot of people to blame for the war crimes Canada is responsible for in Afghanistan, and none of them are Peter Mackay.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
At the very least, it looks like Canadian officials, from the Minister of Defence Peter Mackay to top military brass, might be found guilty of negligence in the transfer of Afghan prisoners. At worst, they are guilty of intentionally transferring those prisoners into conditions that contradict the Geneva convention, including torture, rape, and possibly even murder.
It's important this issue gets fully examined and taken through the course of the law. Firstly, this is important because Canada can't criticize other countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, who's leaders flaunt and break international law at will, while our own governments are not held accountable for their misdeeds.
Furthermore, the victims of this injustice, some of which may have been Taliban, others who may have joined the Taliban as a result of being humiliated by torture, rape, etc, would see this as a step toward justice.
If we don't hold our leaders accountable, how can we expect Afghanistan's government to do the same. By not seeking justice, we are allowing the Afghan government to point to Canada as an example and say, "Hey, they stonewalled justice and aren't accountable for their crimes, then neither are we."
A full inquiry, and if Canadians are found guilty, then a conviction, lets Muslim extremists around the world know that Canada goes into Afghanistan with high morals and principles and we prosecute those who break the law.
Justice gives Afghan people a reason to trust us. Injustice gives them fodder to recruit more extremists to kill our brave soldiers, our men and women who put their lives on the line. We owe it to Afghanistan. We owe it to our soldiers. We owe it to ourselves as a country with impeccable morals and traditions, to seek justice.
As Stephen Harper would say, we need to "shine light into dark corners" of government affairs.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
What's scary is it shows how impotent Canada's opposition parties are. They've sat on this story for more than two years, and have done little to bring the government to account over actions that arguably constitute war crimes!
This is my post from more than two years ago.
Let's get some things straight. Unlike the Conservative government would try and have you believe, taking shots at government incompetence and their complicity in torture is NOT the same as taking shots at Canadian soldiers on the front lines doing their duty. Canadian soldiers were following protocol. They were told to deliver prisoners somewhere, and the agreement was to deliver them in good faith to Afghan Authorities. Top military brass can in some ways be held accountable, but again, who do the top military brass answer to? The minister of Defence. Again, in no way are Canadian soldiers responsible for incompetent government policy.
Had the Canadian soldiers themselves been abusing detainees, like in AbuGharib, then yes, we would be responsible and we would have a military scandal more than a political one.
But this is nothing like AbuGharib. The only parallel is that instead of soldiers committing crimes, it was Canada's top brass, our Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister himself who knew of the torture, rape, and abuse and waited over a year and a half to take action!
Our soldiers are the victims here. These protocols led to a far more dangerous situation, a complete lack of trust in Kandahar. You can't claim to be trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, then go and turn those same people over to the humiliation of human rights abuses.
Our government, plain faced, stands up and says how dare people insult our military. They go on to claim there's no way they could know of such conditions occurring. How could they not know? Anybody reading a newspaper knew. The Red Cross complained of Canada not informing them of prisoner transfers for months after they'd taken place. It was stonewall after stonewall by the Canadian Government!
It's unfortunate we have such an impotent opposition in the House of Commons. Dion did little if anything to bring this scandal to the attention of Canada. Ignatieff seems to have all but disappeared, whether he's now hiding from his own words supporting torture, or he's just a lame duck I don't know. His silence is scary.
I do agree with one thing, there shouldn't be a public inquiry. Instead, the ICC should look into these allegations and decide whom, if anyone, in Canada's government should be brought to trial for war crimes.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
But, in the next decade or two, if not by 2012, some major changes in the world are going to take place.
We might hit peak oil, if we haven't already, and demand will outstrip supply, driving prices soaring.
But oil isn't the only product in danger. Fertilizer ingredients, potash, etc, is an even more scary prospect.
Thanks to our manipulation of finite resources, improved health care, and this burning economic thirst to have more more more, we are using up the world's resources at breakneck pace. A tipping point has to come.
I'm always been fascinated by government's fear of recession, and how they will go to great lengths to avoid that horrible word. But, the more they delay, spend, offset, and gerrymander the economy to keep in that full steam ahead mode, the harder the crash is going to be. It's kind of like continually eating sugar to keep up your energy while running a marathon. Eventually, your just going to crash, and crash hard!
Has the tipping point come?
The price of phosphates, a major ingredient in fertilizer, has increased fourteen fold since 2007. Which means demand has been outstripping supply. If we reach the point where phosphates become prohibitively expensive, or we can't mine enough to continually boost our farming production, could the world begin starve? Could we not be able to produce enough food to feed ourselves? Could the world's population actually decrease! Could this start happening in 2012? Is that what Nostradamus' prediction meant?
Think about it. A 10% drop in world population. An economist's nightmare. That's 10% fewer consumers. That's 10% less productivity. In countries like Canada, who have been growing our consumer base through immigration, a sudden drop off might mean back to back to back quarterly GDP decreases, continual annual GDP decreases. Recession. Depression.
Or will a giant meteor crash into the earth. Perhaps Nostradamus understood something about the Cosmos we don't. Perhaps every thirty thousand years we pass through some mine field of galactic meteor waste, and Nostradamus figured it out. I doubt Bruce Willis will drill a hole and set off a nuclear bomb if a Meteor is coming. It'll hit us before we know what happened.
Or maybe the cosmos, some galactic line up of planets with the earth, will trigger massive volcanic and tectonic activity.
Maybe HIV will morph into an airborne disease and decimate us.
Perhaps it will be the bird flu, SARS, Ebola.
The Day After Tomorrow - Damn, Canada got hit hard in that movie. Al Gore, help!
Or, scariest of all, Sarah Palin.
Oh, wait, phew, she won't get in until at least 2013.
Perhaps Nostradamus was wrong after all...
I sent half a dozen different stories to different magazines and journals, and am waiting for an answer. Publish me, yes, or no.
I did get published several months ago, and I'm still waiting for my copy of the magazine to arrive.
My manuscript, Siham's taxes, Alia's birth certificate, that magazine I got an article published in, a date to start training for my new job.
Every morning I check the mail. What do I get. Bills, usually. The odd survey. A "baby come back" message from Bell Canada every so often, and bank statements.
Speaking of waiting, if Bell is waiting for me to come back, they might be waiting longer than I've been waiting for, err, I mean, forever.
I don't think I'll be going back to Bell. If they are spamming me biweekly with letters, then that is part of their ad campaign. Their ad campaign translates to higher costs for their services. I hear they just overpaid a boatload of cash to become the 2010 Winter Olympics soul telecommunications advertiser. When I find out a company spends billions on advertising, and isn't doing very well financially, it tends to push me toward the competition. Especially if their commercials are annoying.
But moreover, Bell only price matches after they've lost a customer. Oops, you left us, well we can offer you that rate too...
Then why didn't you when I asked you too match it?
I don't really like Bell commercials. They're not as good as Rogers, with the guy (presumably with Bell) who keeps getting one upped by the cooler looking guy with a Rogers phone plan.
IMO, they're one of my favourites, although not nearly as good as the gum commercial where a goat rams into a guys nuts or a Polka band kicks another guys ass, but they're pretty good.
I don't really remember any Bell commercials. I think there's one where there's a party in a Bell sign, but that's it.
Perhaps instead of a Bell sign party, they'll get a goat ramming some guy with a Rogers phone in the nuts and use the line, "Finish your contract and start using another phone already."
Hmm, doesn't work as well as it does with the gum.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have this feeling that I don't get other poetry. I mean I sometimes get it, in meaning, on some level, but not the style, the rules.
But there are no real rules, it's just expression. Which is why it doesn't really move me, rarely anyway.
I started reading poetry in literary journals, and perhaps it's got something to do with my short attention span, but it just doesn't click. It's often like trying to puzzle through how a poet has broken up sentences on separate lines.
Here's a poem I wrote. I don't claim it is good. But it's my first attempt at non-structured poetry. My goal, in part, was to get my message across with as few words as possible.
Remembrance Day Canada 2009
With disgraces, too.
Perpetual claims of,
Role model status.
Shameful Japanese internment.
Jews not the only ones.
And today we remember,
Lest We Forget,
We will Remember them,
Our follies too?
A Flanders Street of pricking felt
Have we forgotten?
Lessons of fathers
Grand and great
Rats the size of cats.
We live free, unless,
Accused of terror,
Innocent until proven accused.
Of sympathy for suffering kin?
Arar, Abdelrazik, Khadr
Syria, Sudan, Guantanamo
Abandoned by government.
Never forget the sacrifice.
Of soldiers not principles.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Jim Balsille has been spurned three times by the NHL for trying to buy franchises and relocate them to Southern Ontario, first in Pittsburgh, then in Nashville, and finally and most bitterly, in Phoenix.
With the financial clout of multi billion dollar RIM behind him, and Balsille's obvious desire to own a hockey franchise, does he have the will to carry this through? If he does, it might spell serious trouble for the NHL.
One source outlined some juicy pieces of hearsay about the rival league, and suggested that its likely form will include interconnected leagues to build off a system widely used throughout Europe.
This means that teams will be able to play up and play down from the top league. Essentially, a last place team in the premier league will drop down to a feeder league, while a first place team in the feeder league could move up to the premier league. This could go several layers deep. In European soccer, for instance, there are more than six divisions.
Such a setup makes sense for a guy like Balsille, who like the millions of hockey fans and players throughout North America and the world, never made it to the spotlight in their teens, but retained romantic notions of moving their way up through leagues to make it into the spotlight. A guy with some talent and determination in a city leauge could be fighting his way up to fourth, to third, to second division teams. It could also bring higher level hockey to cities throughout North America and Europe and add a mythical quality to teams who push their way up the ranks to get noticed and make it to the NHL. Furthermore, it could be a proving grounds for young coaches and trainers hoping to get noticed by creating something from nothing.
The rumoured new leagues would include teams in both North America and Europe. Possible European cities include St Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, Stockholm in Sweden, Helsinki in Finland, Prague in Czech Republic, and with the possibility of expansion into Belarus, France, Switzerland, Germany, and England.
In North America, markets in Southern Ontario, Quebec City, Winnipeg, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington and Montreal make sense, with the possibility of expansion into Western Canada and one or two other US markets.
The league, which is still very much a rumour, would likely offer higher salaries than the current, salary cap limited NHL, particularly to upcoming talent in order to woo them away from the National Hockey League.
It's not hard to see just where the speculative new leagues could exploit weaknesses in the NHL system:
Firstly, NHL rookie salaries are limited to $900,000, and with almost half of the NHL's teams losing money last year, and with a rival league eating into revenues further, a stronger, financially backed league could offer higher startup salaries to top young talent. They could also poach any star not under contract and offer them ten million or more per season, matching their true worth, while NHL teams would battle to fit players under the salary cap.
Another factor favouring a start up league could be that players could be woed into playing in front of their hometown/provinces/country crowds. The upside of an NHL player signing with a team from his country or own province/state of origin would not only be a higher salary, but also better sponsor income via local businesses would certainly enhance a player's earning power. Teams too would strengthen drawing power with hometown heroes.
As good as it sounds, there are definite hurdles for a new rival league. Primarily, the NHL has a strong brand and player loyalty, and cracking that would be challenging. The new league would feel the pinch, especially in the early going when players are locked in contracts to NHL franchises. The barrier of NHL players having a preference for the NHL brand and being wary of breaking away from the NHL is also formidable.
Here's a list of free agents for the upcoming 2010 season.
A few big names include Patrick Kane, Robert Luongo, Kovalchuck, Rick Nash, Nabakov, Jokinen, Toews, Cam Ward and Selanne.
That's where marketing could be key, and starting soon. If the new league could put the idea into the players, and the fans minds that "A better paying, more dynamic, exciting product is coming, and instead of Phoenix vs Florida, Nashville vs Columbus, and Tampa vs Atlanta, we could be playing Moscow vs New York, Sweden vs Toronto, Paris vs Montreal, etc. Just like a new political leader might rejuvinate a party, a new league might reinvigorate disenfranchised hockey fans who are tired of the NHL song and dance.
It's been suggested that the league could eventually open up to a mid season tournament like soccer's FA cup in England, where minnows, lower division teams who qualify, can turn giant killers and upset top level teams. Such a tournament could raise the status of local teams, such as a team from Halifax, Regina or Kingston, and broaden the fan base for the sport in non-traditional markets such as Phoenix and Nashville where slow but steady success and exposure could eventually create a fan base to support a competitive team at the top level.
Truth or rumour? Time will tell.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
It's a pretty mish mash magazine with several sections.
It starts with ranting bloggish stories. And I mean that in a kindly, Rant Like Rick Mercer kind of way. Many have an artsy theme to them.
It has a few articles and exposes on people and events of creative and artistic interest.
Some Comics and artwork.
The major article in the issue in front of me is Crafts in the Economy, talking about things like knitted Ipod cases and DIY products.
There is a section with fiction, which is one of the more entertaining in the magazine. The stories range from disturbing with gratuitous, risque and graphic sex to quirky and a bit weird. The stories are well written and descriptive with generally troubled characters, or characters in a real life, awkward situation.
The second half of the magazine is dedicated to reviews, ezines, zines, journals, chapbooks and more.
Unlike a lot of Magazine websites, Canadian Stories describes what they're looking for.
Here's a link to their editor's corner.
One of the things I like about Canadian Stories is that it's not so literary as to appeal to only the most distinguished, bizarre, and, ahem, literary of authors. They generally don't pay for accepted material, but do have some worthwhile contests.
Literary magazines usually say they want people to be familiar with their work before they submit. If you're familiar with the materials in any of these magazines, please feel free to send me a short blurb on the type of work they publish. Over the next little while, I'll try to provide links and descriptions of some of the magazines I've happened to read.
I'm asking for blurbs so I, and other readers and writers who come across my blog, can narrow down the magazines they choose to become familiar with and purchase, both for interest, and for the intention of submitting to.
The Capilano Review
Literary Review of Canada
The New Quarterly
West Coast Line
White Wall Review
Unlike the tax and spend Liberal opposition, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) is not only the right choice, but should be the only choice going into Canada’s future.
Do you want some godless, tax and spend Liberals leading your country? No, of course not. You want the righteous spend and spend Conservatives putting more and more money in your pockets, and taking less and less out.
That’s why Stephen Harper reduced the GST. So that when you buy a candy bar, you have an extra two cents to store away. And why not put that money in a tax free savings account, or a tax free educational fund, or a tax-deductable housing improvement allowance? (Which the socialist, godless, tax and spend Liberals voted against.) Because as we gradually take taxes off everything, you’ll have more and more money to spend, and even though it will have to be paid off by your children and grandchildren for centuries to come in the future, at least you’ll have a cool new I-pod to play in your gas guzzling SUV.
Let’s take a moment to remind voters what the Conservative party has done for
The Red Carpet
The CPC’s star friends list includes a hero of many Conservative constituents; the right honourable George
Walker Bush and his associates Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove. As close friends with Canada’s Prime Minister, (GWB calls him Stevie) and long time allies, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) is well practiced in showing how awful other parties are and how the right wing neo-con agenda is always right. We are proud to be acquainted with some of the most distinguished Conservative political minds of our era.
Stephen Harper’s incredible talent began to show when he was leader of the opposition. As early as 2001 he showed his ability to commit long speeches to memory by repeating word for word a speech given by Australian Prime Minister John Howard. In front of parliament, he used the speech to give an impassioned plea for
As opposition leader, Stephen Harper questioned robust scientific evidence of Global Warming. In doing so, he rightly put short term economic gain far above any remote possibility that our carbon emissions might create conditions for human extinction.
Conservative Party Successes
As Prime Minister, Stephen Harper outshone all other international leaders by abandoning Canada’s international obligations to the Kyoto treaty, first at the G8 summit, then at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) and again at the Commonwealth Summit. He went on to make Canada the first country to completely abandon its Kyoto targets, and Canada is now the largest per-capita polluter among the G8 countries and we refuse to commit to any significant carbon reducing goals.
Showing the ability to not only plagiarize, but to adapt and reword, Stephen Harper introduced the Clean Air Act, legislation that would allow Canada’s global warming emissions to increase without any repercussions, and very similar to the Bush legislation known as the Clear Skies initiative.
Stephen Harper is truly a leader to be reckoned with on the international stage. He gave
Our proud, honorable, economist PM not only oversaw the largest Canadian stock market crash since the Great Depression in the 1930s, but presided over the largest one day, one week, and monthly drops in the Canadian Stock market ever! He reassured panicked investors as they watched their life savings disappear.
After having governed while the Toronto Stock Exchange lost over 40% of its value, Stephen Harper went onto lay blame against the alarmist and angry, not to mention godless, tax and spend opposition, accusing them of deflating the stock market by a further few percentage points via their criticism of the CPC’s management of the crisis.
During this obvious and internationally recognized economic crisis, Stephen Harper reassured Canadians that our economy was still strong even though the Toronto Stock Exchange had crashed 20% more than the NYSE at that same point.
Continuing with The CPC’s impressive economic record, we’re proud to announce that the CPC has reversed the former Liberal Government’s completely unnecessary budget surpluses within three years and set the stage for deficit governance for years to come.
Late in 2008, the CPC put partisanship anger over economic turmoil and proposed a budget that served to unite the opposition against Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper then showed his ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Many CPC supporters believe that a good leader must change as circumstances change, and not be afraid to take on a new course (even though when other the parties do it they are uncertain, baby killing flip-floppers.) In 2003, Stephen Harper tried to convince Jean Chretien to join an illegal coalition to overthrow
Stephen Harper went on to become the first Prime Minister in Canadian history who, when presented with a confidence motion he was sure to lose, prorogued parliament, thus by ensuring seven weeks of complete government inaction during a global economic crisis.
Stephen Harper and the CPC have in the past reached out to gain the support of opposition parties. They showed their ability for bipartisanship when, in return for massive transfer payments to Quebec, they obtained the support of the Bloc Quebecois during Stephen Harper’s first term in power.
Unfortunately, Stephen Harper had to withdraw his generous transfer payments when those backstabbing, ungrateful separatists no longer supported the Conservative agenda. Stephen Harper then, staving off an opposition coalition, cleverly convinced many Canadians of his version of the truth when he said, "The highest principle of Canadian democracy is that if one wants to be prime minister, one gets one's mandate from the Canadian people and not from
Taken straight from George W Bush’s economic plan, Stephen Harper cut taxes and then went on the biggest spending spree in
Stephen Harper showed his ability to manage the CPC and make tough decisions when he kicked Garth Turner out of the Conservative party for blogging his views, which is behaviour completely out of line with modern Conservative politics. Stephen Harper later fired conservative candidate Mark Warner for his interest in social issues concerning local residents. He went on to show his strong leadership ability to control the Conservative party in tough times by banning Conservative MPs from unauthorized media interviews.
Stephen Harper showed his ability to find the right man with the right experience for the job when he made Gordon O’Connor, a former lobbyist for military arms dealers, the minister of defence in charge of $15 billion in spending.
The Conservative Party of Canada has a proven track record for having the ability to backtrack, make tough decisions, and break campaign promises when deemed necessary. Some accomplishments not previously mentioned include.
- Breaking a campaign promise on taxing income trusts.
- Ignoring police advice and vowing to dismantle the gun registry after a fatal shooting in
with registered weapons. Montreal
- Promising a lean government, and then bloating the cabinet by fourteen more people, each with cars, drivers and support staff.
- Leaking confidential diplomatic comments made by Barrack Obama in a bid to help right wing friends gain an advantage in the
The CPC is most proud to announce how it has protected Canadians by ensuring that suspected terrorists such as black Sudanese-Canadian Abousfian Abdelrazik are out of the country as much as possible. Under the CPC, the Canadian government demanded his continued arrest, incarceration, and interrogation by a foreign government not only known for torture, but wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide against Black Sudanese people. The government continued to refuse his reentry to Canada despite his being cleared by CSIS and the RCMP, because the CPC knows best.
Furthermore, during CPC rule, the borders have been tightened so much that even foreign-born Canadians, such as Suaad Mohamud from
As you can see, the Conservative Party of Canada has been hard at work to make
I did it to protect six week old Alia more than to protect myself. If I'm immune, then I'm not bringing it into the house and endangering her.
Zack also got immunized. He cried, cuddled me, then got a bandaid and a chocolate.
When I was at the clinic there were several older people there too. I couldn't help but think, why are older people here? I was under the impression that priority went to those most vulnerable.
In the news this morning, the Calgary Flames allegedly jumped the queue in Alberta, and a health care worker was fired. Despite all the hoopla and anger, I might have done the same thing if I was the health care worker with friends in a high risk group. Not high risk of death, but of contracting the Swine flu. I think hockey players exist in an atmosphere where they are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu. As do health care workers, customer service representatives, and people who work in high-traffic environments where disease spreads rapidly. IMO, the government should be organizing priority lists, going into schools to do mass vaccinations, organizing with companies to set up times and clinics where at risk employees can get immunized, and making sure the most vulnerable are served first!
According to health experts, it's children 6 months to five years who are most vulnerable to the dangers of the swine flu, as well as people with underlying respiratory health issues, diabetes, and a few other specific health problems.
It's these people who were supposed to be immunized first, which is why I was somewhat surprised to see that seniors practically outnumbered younger people at the clinic where I went. I was under the impression that seniors are likely to be immune to the swine flu because they've lived through at least one pandemic in the past.
People over a certain age, I'm not sure what, were supposed to be low priority. As I glanced over the dozens of older patients (it took me about 40 minutes to get in) I coudn't help but feel they were overreacting and shouldn't be here.
I suppose I blame the clinic for sending them notices, or the government for not issuing the flu vaccines appropriately.
On the other hand, perhaps we're just at a stage now where the supply and demand are starting to intersect, and the only issue is having enough health care workers to give the vaccines out in a timely manner, thus the lingering line ups.
It's been 16 hours since my swine flu shot. My arm where I got the shot now hurts and I have a mild headache.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Transexual Jesus Play
It just makes me want to see what's going on. It gives the people at the centre of the controversy massive free publicity. That translates into more money. So they can do an even better job of putting on a scandalous show in the future.
I'm almost tempted to make up a second, anonymous profile, pretend I'm someone else, and threaten myself with violence. Then I can go to the media, tell them someone wants to kill me for my views, and get national, or even international attention.
Let's see, what are some of the most controversial things I can say. I can call someone's prophet a transexual or a pedophile. That would generate plenty of hatred. Then again, I generally avoid blogging about religion other than to raise a point of interest.
Saying something nice about Hitler, or holocaust denial. That always stirs up controversy, although that would just make me one of countless neo-Nazi nutjobs fighting to have their racist voices heard over the internet.
I could insult Obama, but that would just make people think I'm a Republican who watches too much Fox news. I have to hit a nerve that hasn't really been hit.
Who is someone that everyone in the world loves? From both sides of the spectrum.
Yes, it's time for Nelson Mandela jokes!
A Japanese man knocks on Nelson Manela's door, waves a clipboard in Mandela's face and says, "Car parts in truck, you sign, you sign!"
After three or four instances of this throughout the week, Mandela, exasperated, says, "Who are you looking for? Why do you keep coming here?"
The Japanese man says, (in his thick Asian accent) "You mean you not Nissan Main Dealer."
Okay, I'm just not controversial enough. I'll have to work on that.
I've got it. "RAISE TAXES! RAISE TAXES! RAISE TAXES!"
Tax gas, tax the roads, tax the water, tax the air, tax food, tax babies, tax children, tax tax tax!
Okay, let the threats roll in...
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Later in the night, when all the little kids had returned home, some older kids rang our bell, impatiently, three times. It must have taken me too long to answer, for in the thirty seconds it took me to get to the door, they'd taken off to the next house.
I could hear our neighbour greeting them, and could hear her taking her time, "Oh, hi, and look and your costumes... Are you having a happy halloween? Let's seen now... I'll give you some of these, and oh, what else, maybe some chips, yep, let me see, how many more kids do you think will be coming, I have to make the candy last, hrmm..."
I could almost hear those impatient kids thinking out loud. "Hurry up lady, just give us the damn candy so we can race to the next house."
A definite mentality change develops as kids grow older. Earlier in the night, when I'd taken Zack and his friend to different houses, Zack would typically say, "Trick or Treat."
The person at the door would greet him, and smile kindly, and say "Hey its Superman!"
Zack would point at one of their decorations and say, "Hey, a spider web," or, "What's that, can I press the button too," or, "I'm superman, I can fly!"
He'd stare in awe at the glowing pumpkins, at the other kids costumes, at the decorations and everything. I had to remind him to say thank you, and bye, and remind him there was more candy to get at the next house, then gently guide him away.
It was a fun day, and I look forward to next year.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Alright, so "Cash for Clunkers" has a better ring to it. But it's a stupid idea that will continue to screw over the industry.
And yeah, a sudden tax shock to the system is a stupid idea, almost as stupid as a near bankrupt government giving out more free money. But announcing a gradual plan to increase taxes, while providing some incentives for buying green cars (I like green licence plates that get free parking, discounted road taxes and lower tolls.)
That's my idea. Oh, and the tax revenue from getting higher gas taxes can later be given as green car subsidies.
A government should plan to make money, not perpetually lose it. While I think Obama is great, this has been a major folly. It's Bush-style-soiled-band-aid-on-a-gushing-wound-type-solution.
US national debt as of today, approaching 12 trillion = $38,000 per person.
Their merger with Mazda several years ago, IMO, is what has kept them alive. Still, they are in trouble and recent successes and profits are only cosmetic.
They reported a one billion doller quarterly profit. If you take into account that the government incentive cost an average of $4000 per vehicle, then its scary to think of how much Ford would have lost without the incentive program.
Scarier still is the knock on effect this will have.
According to this article, The Cash for Clunkers program sold 125,000 out of the 700,000 cars that wouldn't have been sold otherwise.
In a normal cycle, 575,000 cars would have been sold.
Incentives, cut back, promotions, and the like have slowly killed the auto industry over the last decade. It's at the point where people don't want to buy unless there's some sort of sweet deal going on.
When the Cash for clunkers incentive program ends, what happens next?
If 125,000 future car purchases were pushed forward by prospective buyers this quarter, then you can assume that instead of a typical quarters 575,000 cars being sold, then 450,000 cars will be sold instead in the upcoming quarter. That's without the psychological effect. People who missed the cash incentives program might be holding out for another one.
I firmly believe these door buster deals are a huge contributing factor which killed the US auto sector. Sales spike with incentives (while auto companies profits are usually trimmed for the deals), then they slump by the same amount afterwards. It's common sense. It's like expecting sales on Thanksgiving week to compete with the following week.
I can guarantee you that the week after the US Thanksgiving week deals is the slowest week of the year. Most people who needed or wanted something already got it.
Same for the auto industry. They're in for more tough times ahead. The Cash for Clunkers might have given them a short term profit (at the expense of the American tax payer), but the pinch is coming big time. This time, the big question is, Is the auto industry prepared for another dramatic drop in sales?