• Convicted Indian rapist murderer lectures on behaviour "expected" of women

    One of the Indian men convicted of the notorious Delhi bus gang rape and murder in 2012 has outraged millions of women and many decent men in India by self righteously saying that women who went out at night had only themselves to blame if they attracted the attention of gangs of male molesters. “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he said.

    As far as this rapist murderer is concerned, the killing was an "accident". In his distorted, mind, he sees and justifies the horrendous deed by saying, "When being raped, she shouldn't fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape."

    In this case, the Indian courts made a harsh example of the gang, passing death sentences otherwise rarely used.

    If India is to be counted among the nations that want to belong to the group of nations whose behaviour is dictated by effective laws protecting every member of their society, then the penalty is appropriate.

    Singh, whose death sentence is currently on appeal, arrogates, “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boy and girl are not equal."

    He goes on to say, "Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 per cent of girls are good.”

    Not surprisingly, the attorneys who defended the gang in court express similarly extreme views. Reportedly, in a televised interview one of the lawyers stated, "If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.”

    So much for some of the reported attitudes displayed by licensed legal beagles in 2015, in the upcoming nation of India.

    It is lamentable because the country of 1.1 billion people is not a new civilization.

    However, we must remember that the concept of women's rights is, sadly a reasonably new concept. Until about a hundred years ago women weren't really respected as equals almost anywhere in the world. -- And there still is a long way to go in many countries.

  • Price of oil down - Price of gas up - So what's new?

    Greed itself is not bad. In fact is needed in appropriate amounts. Otherwise we would still be living in caves and chewing old bones around the dying flame of the fire.

    Making the jump from ancient times to our days, we knew that cheap gas was an aberration and just too good to last: Gas prices are creeping back up across Canada. The explanations border on the realm of the Twilight Zone. No need to bore anyone here with the usual "explanations."

    Bottom line is "PROFITS" are down and so we need to pay more .

    We may hear the carefully crafted nonsense by oil industry spin-doctors about this and that happening in refineries, etc.

    When oil was $110 a barrel, gas was cheaper than today, yet today oil is $50 a barrel? Do the math folks, shake your head, and cough up the price.

    Willing to bet, if the price of oil by magic would dip to $20 a barrel, rational sounding reasons would be floated, that the average person would not be able to confirm, why the price of gasoline must be raised.

    And that's the way the cookie crumbles.

  • The Earth's climate is warming. Believe, Believe, Believe! Or something like that

    As you are freezing while digging yourself out of a mountain size snowbank in subzero temperatures somewhere in the Northeast of the American continent, think positive and keep the spark of life going in your frozen body. Focus on the dogma of the current climate change, without doubting what those in the know are telling us. Under no circumstances challenge the scientific explanations. After all, they have the answers. If you still have questions, you can always direct your query to Mr. Al Gore.

    In fact you may feel sorry for Santa Claus who is probably looking for new digs because some time ago the good Dr.Suzuki scared everyone, especially the little children. He woefully let the world know that as the climate warms, Santa's ice palace in the Great White North is going to melt away like some cut rate ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

    Do not argue about contradictory aspects of the ongoing climate change. Be on the side of caution and consider the points of the following guide to discussing weather for climate change advocates. You can't be wrong:

    1. If it is too hot: Global Warming.
    2. If it is too cold: Global Warming.
    3. If it is too windy: Global Warming
    4. If it is too muggy: Global Warming
    5. Too snowy: Global Warming
    6. Too rainy: Global Warming
    7. Not rainy enough? Global warming
    8. If the weather is just right: Enjoy it now, because Global Warming is just around the corner.

    Oh, that knock on the door is probably a dedicated climate crusader with a collection plate for the good work of stopping the climate change. Don't argue, just quietly make your initial donation. The rest will be collected through your taxes.

    Most of all, do not ask questions like, "What about the gases emitted by the few hundred active volcanoes, burning forests?"

    Just do your part. In the summer ride your bicycle, count your carbon footprint and don't envision the coming winter with months of subzero temperatures and terrain altering mountains of snow. Be happy, there is always an explanation.

  • Why aren't there more women airline pilots?

    Good question. Jane Prendergast explores the issue in this interesting article:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31491754

    Why should not be there more female pilots? Women when given the opportunity, today, are doing very well in almost any area of human activity.

    Yet, when it comes to flying, Globally only about 4,000 out of 130,000 pilots, are women.

    Here is an idea to ammend the situation, based on the motive of profit; Create an airline where every employee, pilots,mechanics, captains, attendants, etc., would be women. Perhaps the airline could be called,"Fly High With Me".

    The reasoning behind the idea is as follows: Women make up almost half of the flying public. More often than not, women decide the mode of travel when going to a vacation or any other destination in the family unit.

    Powerful and economically savvy women, like Oprah Winfrey most certainly could initiate the creation of an all female airline. Once such endeavor shows positive results and patronised by millions of women, other airlines would imitate the success of the all female airline and the hiring of many able women wanting to become pilots would begin.
    Thus the unrealized dream of many able women would materialize.

  • A Fairy tale, or "It is not all about Eve"

    In the groovy and beautiful country of Canada, there are two big political parties in the news these days.

    Political Party AA, and the other identified as BB, are the subject of this beguiling and for a sane mind unbelievable fairy tale.

    Party AA, for some unfathomable reason did not want to promote one of it's hopefuls, a young Princess in a coming election. The young Princess just did not like this. She kept thinking and thinking and suddenly, she underwent what we ordinary folks may just call an epiphany. Something like when one suddenly realizes that if the price of gasoline keeps going down, the loss of tax revenue must be made up from some new tax, perhaps a carbon tax.

    But let's return to the tale. In the context of this taradiddle, I refer to the so-called Joycean epiphany that has been defined as "a sudden spiritual manifestation", an abrupt insight into a matter.

    This has happened to our charming Princess in our story. In deep thought about her early commitment serving the people as a stately goal in life, the Princess painfully became aware that she had wasted her considerable talents serving the people under the flag of Party AA.

    The next thing the good people of Canada saw, was her approaching the young King of Party BB and offering her undying loyalty and continuing good work on behalf of the people under the flag of Party BB.

    In the view of some court jesters, the outcome could be a win-win situation: The noble Princess is accompanied by one of her very loyal helpers. Reportedly this paragon of loyalty is the guardian of some of the AA Party's arcane secrets that may be of great value to the strategists of Party BB.

    On the downside, people are people and are finicky at times. They might just don't want the good Princess to work on their behalf unselfishly as she has done it up to know. Under the flag of any Party.

    In that unimaginable scenario, the Good Princess may consider becoming the Mayor of the splendid city of Toronto.- Magic still happens in Toronto.

  • "Samsung gives warning about talking in front of the Smart TV " - Comment on article in The Toronto Daily Star.

    Samsung, the manufacturer of the "spy" TV, is proud advertising that a voice command feature on Samsung’s Smart TV could allow the interception of private living room conversations and their transmission to third parties.

    Think about this. Samsung is certain that the average consumer of the day is so dumbed-down, that is willing to spend money just to have one or more of these Smart TV's in their house so their privacy can be voided at times, thus others may be able to hear what they are saying.

    Remember, this is not forced on anyone by some real or imagined super snoop agency. This is a device for which we pay good money, knowing or just not caring, how we are facilitating snoops. Indeed paying for a device, only to transmit our sometimes intimate conversations from our living rooms.

    Do not blame Samsung for having the nerve to make and market these super snooping instruments. It is us, the consumer at fault for giving someone the idea that something like this is welcome in consumer land.
    Brave / Dumb New World we are marching to your beat.

    The article:
    http://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2015/02/09/samsung-gives-warning-about-talking-in-front-of-the-smart-tv.html

  • Why struggle to succeed, when failure pays so well?

    As most of us know by now, the adventure of the Target retail enterprise in Canada came to a crushing end.

    Target went out of business and right now are busy liquidating their assets in Canada.

    Many Canadians are disappointed as they had expected that Target will be popular as the one they know from their across the border shopping trips..

    Something went wrong and Target Canada is packing. One bizarre aspect of this sad saga is, Target CEO's Golden Handshake pretty much matches the one for all 17,600 Canadian Employees.

    Stop for a moment and absorb this; The retail giant went bankrupt in Canada. !7,600 employees are on the street with a pittance of compensation. However, the individual, the captain of the ship, is rewarded with millions of dollars, as per his contract.

    Contract or no contract, the money paid to the executive was legal. There is no debate.

    Still, it is very hard to explain this to young people, who are told left and right to work hard and there will be a payoff, for initiative, work and for setting example for others to follow.

    No matter how well motivated one is to illustrate with examples the rewards of good work, most of us would have trouble over some aspects of this case while explaining this: This gentleman was in charge of the clumsy unveiling of the chain in Canada, and was top dog when the credit cart breach happened, and makes out like a brigand, while the victims of his INCOMPETENCE are out of a job with very little provision for their future by the company which probably devoutly proclaimed "Our employees are our greatest asset".

  • TV commercials that put my Sloth brain to suspended animation

    No preamble, I get right to the few commercials that amuse me and at the same time make me somewhat sceptical of advice offered by semi professional sources.

    For start, there is the middle aged guy, beaming while announcing that he prefers a certain brand of toothpaste because his daughter learning to be a dentist. Can you think of a better reason for the choice? Obviously his charming daughter did not gain the knowledge about that particular brand of toothpaste by years of clinical experience. More likely she was told by a dentist in school, one who is the recipient of a large supply of free tubes of toothpaste to be promoted by the manufacturer.

    In a similar way, another young and very nice daughter visits her Daddy who lives alone, as many daughters do with an elderly father living on his own. She apprises the delighted father what particular choice of food will promote his continuing good health. The reason? Well, the caring daughter is learning to become a dietician. Therefore, she must know what's best for Daddy to eat.

    The third commercial, appears to be idiotic and I still don't know exactly just what are they trying to vend: An agitated lady shouts to some people here and there to "Stick it!" As far as one can make out she does not say what to stick, and where to "Stick it ".

    I don't really know the purpose of this gem of TV commercials. Nevertheless, if the advertisers still having doubts of the appropriate place to "Stick it, I may be in a position to recommend a place just where to "Stick it".

    Unable to continue as a good commercial is coming up on the tube, offering a once in a life time opportunity to buy some great life insurance for peanuts, or for devalued Canadian dollars. The kind of insurance that would make even the most nonchalant beneficiary to phone once a day to see if the insured loved one is still among the living. -:)

  • Should we believe that Millennials Don't Care About Owning Cars?

    The newest story is that the auto industry just can't understand why Millennials could possibly not want to drive?

    One can not help from shedding a tear or two for the poor and obviously puzzled auto industry. After all the industry is smart. Just look at the number of "Smart" cars they let loose on our already crowded roads. Cars are automated to the degree that even if a driver is 'road challenged' and just have not got what it takes to drive a car, is able to roam in the passing lane on the highway or does not even bother to check the blind spot when changing lanes, yet he/she is able to survive-somehow. Well, most of the time.

    Auto manufacturers please relax and stop scratching your heads as here is the simple explanation without the input of expensive consultants from top firms.

    Today, in the real world, many young people just do not make enough money to pay for a decent place to live and to pay for a car. There it is, short and sweet.

    Then comes the upkeep of the vehicle and insurance while working at temporary and contract jobs which more often will not outlast the car's warranty period.

    Of course there must be money for gadgets that are absolutely necessary to keep in touch with others. Like going to a party and sit in a corner texting, etc., on the cell phone, like most of the other people at the party.

    The unpalatable truth is, young people today are pretty broke compared to the stupid baby boomers in the 1960s with their super fun hip new Mustangs.

    But don't feel bad. Console yourself with the sum of these observations ; Driving today is an awful experience filled with the stress of bad drivers, traffic, fines, upkeep costs, danger and liability. The roads and freeways are increasingly filled with aggressive, impatient, and inattentive imbeciles in cars that blind with misaligned headlights or obstruct your vision with body lifts and you must go out of your way to avoid dealing with them.

    See? Having that Iphone in place of that car is not all that bad. Even if you are served by Bell or Rogers. -:)

  • Arm school children with cans of food and books to fight off classroom intruders?

    Yes, you have read it right. Communication sent to parents of students at one school in one County in the U.S. requested just that — students were asked to arm themselves with an eight ounce canned food item. Up to now children and others often brought canned food to a collection place like a school, for the noble cause of a food drive for people in need.

    The good intentioned and supposedly wise administrators of the school based the idea that students armed with something like a can or a book received ALICE training. The ALICE acronym stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

    So far feedback on the Chambers County Schools program has been mixed since the letter went home to parents. The majority of negative responses have come via Facebook, and often times by people who don’t have children in Chambers County School system.

    The idea of arming the students with cans and books was that the students who are armed with a canned food item will have a sense of empowerment to protect themselves in the event an intruder enters their classroom.

    This is a very sensitive subject and as one who has no children enrolled in any school system, I will refrain from endorsing or running down the proposed initiative.

    Yet, I am still somewhat concerned. The flying cans will draw fire away from the teachers and toward the unarmed students. The already disturbed and armed killer may went his anger on the children and will start shooting.

    If something would go wrong, and in spite of these 'defensive' measures children still would be harmed, then, the resulting hearings, lawsuits, could go on for ever.

    And as one sarcastic critic of the idea remarked," The way things are going when it comes exercising self defense against armed attackers, what would stop the attacker suing and winning should he be injured by a flying can or book?"

    The idea along with other initiatives to protect students in schools should be analyzed and no matter how costly, everything should be considered to protect the children. Errors will be made, but the effort should continue.

  • Winston Churchill, "I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself”

    Mr. Churchill's comment clearly tells me that he was on to something. The statistics the great statesman had to deal with were not kicked out by computer programs created and interpreted by geeks in the world of algorithms and overtly influenced by vested interests.

    Today, we are overwhelmed by statistics dealing with every aspect of our existence on this planet, in this life.

    The most interesting thing about the statistics vomited up almost daily for every occasion to convince us to buy this, or vote for that idea or person, is the timing of these statistical revelations.

    A tragedy occurs involving an airliner and within minutes after the sad news comes the statistic telling us that travel by air is the safest method of transportation.

    A rather nasty riot, or other horror occurs, and we are told that actually the crime rates are down and there is very little to be worried about as per the latest statistics.

    A giant corporation lays off hundreds or thousands people earning good wages? Well, immediately comes the latest statistic informing us that employment is up, even if the created jobs are in the fast food industry paying minimum wage.

    You are stuck on the road and sitting in your car in the middle of an ongoing harsh winter storm, waiting for a tow truck to rescue you in a super storm that is part of a very cold and snowy winter. In frustration you turn on the radio. After an almost unending commercial, you hear the news and the statistic that the earth is warming and thanks to the efforts of Mr. Al Gore and Dr. Suzuki now we are all aware of this inconvenient fact.

    The salient truth is that no matter how the average person is pelted with statistics, most people instinctually reach conclusions from what they have seen and experienced around themselves.

    You may view this as a prosaic conclusion, but that's the way it is. Of course, I have no statistics to support the statement. -:)

  • Alien visitations ( From Out There) alleged by Ex-Canadian Defence Minister.

    No doubt just about everyone heard tales of incidents describing Canadians as more or less a nice, normally polite but basically boring bunch of people with nothing interesting to report or to tell around the dying flames of a campfire. Well O. K. Tales of the Toronto Maple Leafs sometimes emerge as a last resort of keeping people from retiring to the tents.

    Of course that is incorrect. People with such distorted views just have no idea what really goes on. No mistake, I am not alluding to the truly mundane stories, like how is a political party re-elected with a majority in the informed Province of Ontario, after lying and mismanaging the finances to help maintaining power for a dozen years.

    The interesting stuff pops up when we read, "Ex-Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer Discloses Alien Visitations".

    Yes, the Honourable gentleman is not just one of the unwashed masses, watching truly boring so-called Reality Shows and sleep inducing talk shows. Not to mention the interview segments with some dainty but mostly unknown wannabe poet, or musician inserted during the evening's CBC news for the enlightenment of culture hungry Canadians.

    Mr. Hellyer is not beating the bush and comes right out claiming that Aliens refuse to share technology with us until we stop our polluting and warring ways.

    There it is! All kinds of techno - goodies are waiting for us if we only stop our nasty ways, respect Gaia, and start living in peace. Strolling all together and with angelic faces singing kambalaya, or something like it.

    Not to be a too obvious doubting Thomas, one has already read, or was told related stories of similar messages delivered by other messengers of apparently well-meaning Aliens.

    Still, this is a New Year and one needs a solid boost of morale, even if it takes a tale of Aliens - from out there. Happy New Year!

    You may read the charming story as published on the net:

    http://www.neonnettle.com/videos/440-ex-canadian-defense-minister-paul-hellyer-discloses-alien-visitations-

  • Sharp and finicky Millenials and their aspirations - in the real world

    According to researchers, Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the age bracket following Generation X. There are no accurate dates when the generation starts and ends. In practice, most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

    Judging from their comments and voiced expectations, this group of young people wants to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make a positive contribution to society. It's a beautiful dream and one that is worthwhile to strive for.

    These young people as shown by a number of TV programs, imagining a workplace where seemingly everyone sits or drinks coffee or whatever available while engaging exchanging creative ideas and nurturing new concepts with coworkers that will benefit mankind.

    They demand to work the hours they want and are asking for a great deal of flexibility concerning just about everything pertinent to their work.

    In reality, this emergent group of young people appears to be idealistic but not very true-to-life.

    In the confines of the real world, we only need a certain number of people working out creative ideas on computers surrounded by pleasant coworkers.

    Society will need untold number of people to perform a multitude of necessary, albeit not very creative jobs. From cleaning toilets, to repairing equipment, preparing and delivering food and the list goes on.

    And like it or not, most Millenials just like many others, will be toiling and earning a living performing mundane jobs.

    Fortunately, there will be Millenials who will be living the cherished dream and creating whatever they will in an unstructured workplace while sitting or standing around the computer. Oh, and drinking coffee.

    As for as the rest of us? Well, just follow what the pundits are predicting and believe whatever make you feel good, or dream of becoming something like the fortunate of the Millenials will be.

  • "Indonesia Tests Female Police Recruits' Virginity"-- abc News

    The article is about an aspect of law enforcement in the well populated country of Indonesia.

    According to Human Rights Watch, virginity tests were a long standing practice in Indonesia.

    The almost unbelievable news report was based on interviews with female police officers and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the so called "two-finger" test to determine whether their hymens are is intact.

    This is not a hidden practice, as the requirement is openly posted on the jobs website for Indonesia's national police.

    To our mind in this part of the world the above is dehumanizing, disgusting and unreal.

    At least we can be sure, anyone who would propose the "two-finger test" in Canada, for any job, would get an unmistakable response in the form of the one-finger expression. - And he or she would be very lucky if the matter would not pursued to it's deserved outcome.

    You may read the report as published by abc NEWS.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/indonesia-tests-female-police-recruits-virginity-26988034

  • The magazine that wants to ban the word "Feminist" and a young man who still has a lot to learn.

    Apparently there is nothing new with the Kardashians and other super celebrities. Perhaps this is why Time magazine came up with the idea to ban the word "feminist." Obviously I am not qualified to contribute to discussing the merits and the negative aspects of the idea.

    The article is interesting for the ones acutely involved with the meaning and practice of feminism.

    You may read the article:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2014/11/12/time-magazines-silly-proposal-to-ban-the-word-feminist/?hpid=z2by a

    The article was brought to my attention while dining in a restaurant. A group of young women and one young guy were sitting at the adjoining table. They were reading the article on the IPhones and loudly voicing their views.

    While the young women were debating the article, the young guy quietly listened. At one point, the apparent voice for the group turned to the young man and outright asked him, "Do you like feminist women?". For a few long seconds he was silent, then, he quietly said, "I like all decent people, and I prefer "feminine women."

    Well! The response could have not been harsher had he announced he was a visitor from the leading planet of hard core male chauvinists who expect women to dress like women and avoid haircuts like the ones given to new soldiers just prior to basic training. Obviously we do not want visitors like that from outer space. Even the Borg would be preferable.

    No! There was an icy silence, followed by something the apparent alpha lady of the group told him, in a measured voice that did not sound like an Ode to his uninformed sincerity. I could not absorb the words as the server came and I left after paying the bill.

    As for the young ladies? Good luck to them! And the young fellow? He still has plenty of time to learn.

  • A Conspiracy Theory A Day Keeps Boredom Away, Or Put You To Sleep

    Alien abductions, nasty and good natured Zombies, Ebola victims rising from the dead, and the list of potential conspiracy theories are growing on the Internet.

    Right now, the Ebola crisis provides material to creative Conspiracy theorists.

    Some theorists by altering the so-called 'race card', now working to convince the faithful that the Ebola virus is nothing but a race -targeting bioweapon, concocted by out of control and totally mad super racists. Beyond that there is very little in substance.

    However, there is a penchant to avoid uncomfortable questions such as, "How does this race-targeting bioweapon works in the thousands of variations of the mixed race scene?" Take Rio De Janeiro, where you see some of the most exotic and looking people as a result of the mixing of various races?

    The number of Zombies and their stories still trending in cyber space and on the big screen but are overshadowed by the Ebola scare and the budding fresh Conspiracy theories.

    To be fair to the Conspiracy theorists, there is no doubt there is more going on in this world that any person will ever know.

    Not every Conspiracy theory is grounded in truth and for every Conspiracy theory that later proven to be true, there are thousands that amount to little more than crazy nonsense.

    A favourite one is the faked Moon landing that took place on a movie set in Hollywood.

    The theory elevating the poor extinct dinosaurs involved in building the pyramids and that the President is in control of a magic weather control machine, secretly made in China and shipped in the country through the facilities of the Walmart Empire with the help of their well-paid employees.

    Then, the theory the Moon is actually a Hologram that controls the mind. Coming to think of it, what urges me on to write this nonsense? After all, I always knew that the Moon is made of green cheese and now this! -:)

    While I am not a great fan of snakes, my favourite is the Reptilian theory and all their currently living descendants. Many employed in a union-free environment, living the good life and controling our daily existence. From the price of the Halloween pumpkin to the subway schedule.

    As I see it, A good conspiracy theory grips the imagination, offers some compelling evidence and makes you look at things in a whole new light. A dumb one, by contrast, throws together a bunch of random crap and makes you want to cry.

    Right now, reading the Ebola conspiracy "facts" I just feel like waiting for the software to kick in on my "Alien from out there" proofed IPhone. -:)

  • "How con artists trick your mind", comments on BBC report

    Almost incredulous how scammers can fool us with clever tricks and by the use of applied psychology. Naturally, most of us using our computer or some other device will say that is ridiculous and only dummies can be victims of con artists using the computer to fool their marks.

    Putting into simple terms, the fact is the scammer try to trick us to hand over our money. Simple as that. And often they are successful.

    Dating web sites are favored by some scammers, knowing that lonely people are vulnerable and often are hoping, even against the caution whispered by their subconscious. Scammers are creative and people from all walks of life have been freed from their money shattering their misplaced trust and hope.

    The ability to hope for a favourable outcome makes lives at the very least bearable. Scammers know this and are sophisticated in the manipulation of the potential victim's mind.

    The report is timely and the content is assistive. You may read it:

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141003-the-mind-tricks-of-scammers

  • Are we "The People" becoming blubbery, obese, en masse ?

    Earlier in the day, I was waiting for someone shopping in a large box store. While doing so, hundreds of people, men, women, children, walked in an out of the store. Up to now, I had never paid particular attention to the appearance of people.

    This time I became consciously cognizant of an overt phenomenon. A significant number of people, to put it mildly, were fat, indeed obese. Mothers and fathers, way overweight, with one or more little ones in tow, carrying packs of crunchies, boxes of sugary soft drinks and other foods.

    The picture was sad, indeed very discouraging regarding our future as functioning human beings.

    As individuals most of us is aware obesity results from the accumulation of excess fat on the body. Obesity is considered a chronic (long-term) disease, like high blood pressure or diabetes. It has many serious long-term consequences for our health, and it is a leading cause of preventable deaths. Yet, we somehow block these facts out of our thoughts and doing very little to change our quandary.

    Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and in other developed countries. Small wonder: Corpulance is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and most of us are employed in positions that require little to no physical activity. This is the inconvenient truth. You can argue it, deny it, or accept it.

    "Fighting obesity" is a big and financially rewarding business. Each year, North Americans spend billions of dollars on dieting, diet foods, diet books, diet pills, and the like. Another $75 billion is spent on treating the diseases associated with obesity. Unfortunately, businesses suffer an estimated $20 billion loss in productivity each year from absence due to illness caused by obesity.

    We must face it, our social environment promotes obesity. Although we complain left and right about it, we are doing very little to change this creeping disease which endanger and may kill many of us.

    As a matter of fact, obesity is becoming global epidemic according to World Health organization reports. Add this menace to the predicted woes of climate change, ongoing and potential conflicts and the problems we will be facing will be monumental.

    However, there is always hope, human will and resolve. Utilizing our instinct for survival, we may conquer the disease of obesity so we can work on the other problems in a state of reasonably good health.

  • The new IPhone is great? But can we function without lungs?

    Almost everyday a new technical marvel hits the news and soon after impact our credit cards. We seem to thrive on what we call progress. Yours truly is no exception, we just go along with the flow.

    Very few of us are aware of the fact that between 2000 and 2012, roughly five football fields size area of rainforest is chopped off every minute. Most of it illegally, or licenses obtained by corruption.

    One does not have to be a so-called tree-hugger to sense that something is wrong and down the line, we are going to pay the price. Many of the rain forests in Brazil, Indonesia, Africa, as well as Papua and New Guinea are disappearing while the population is increasing along with their efforts to make or at least eke out a living.

    To stop this harmful deforestation is not easy, and knowing the human condition it may not happen.

    In countries where illegal deforestation is the order of the day, kickbacks to the issuers of licenses to cut is an ongoing practice.

    There is some hope that the EU could introduces measures to reduce, or even bring an end to deforestation. Among the ideas is that the EU and others would pay in order to reduce deforestation, so the people who depend on these jobs would not be signing up for the work. - Fat chance that this will work. Another idea debated is, not to buy anything from the products originating directly or indirectly from deforestation.

    The intentions are good. Unfortunately the task is very difficult.

    We may consider the consequences once the proverbial "last tree" is chopped down. For one thing, will there be enough oxygen left
    to inhale and let out a deep sigh over our predicament?

    But until that day, business as usual. Sharpen the chain saw and head for the woods.

  • Comments on The Globe and Mail article, "The degrees that practically guarantee a job and a big salary"

    Anyone interested in obtaining a degree and working for a decent or top salary in North America, may benefit from reading this interesting article prepared by Simona Chiose for The Globe and Mail.

    The essence of the article is outlined without much ado:

    "Professional majors such as dentistry, optometry and pharmacy show high employment levels, with annual salaries approaching $100,000, a study undertaken for the Council of Ontario Universities finds. Humanities graduates reported far lower earnings, with artists toiling for the love of their profession at an average of $35,000 annually, the lowest of all graduates."

    Basically the message is, if you want to make money you will have to sweat and forget about the easier degrees.

    Many people believe that most people they know in university, are acquiring degrees in areas in where there is little demand and pay.

    Of course, anyone with sound mind would be suspicious of anything that proclaims a guarantee when it comes to degrees.

    In my experience, two young people I know, graduated from engineering. Both stepped into good jobs. Some of their friends who took, sociology,women's studies, art, etc., are flipping hamburgers.

    However, no one should be discouraged. Experienced oil patch tradesmen, with overtime, reportedly making over $200.000. Other tradesman are doing quite well too.

    The content and the methodology used in the preparation of the article is arguable, still, it is interesting. You may read it:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/guess-which-degrees-practically-guarantee-a-job-and-a-big-salary/article20347971/

  • Why worry about the world as long as we have celebrity doctors on TV and celebrity brands to buy?

    We don't seem to be preoccupied about taxes, climate change, disappearance of the so-called middle class, the looming danger of Ebola spreading or even the reported findings of bed bugs in public places.

    Our obsession with the growing celebrity-culture acts like a tranquilizer when faced with things not very pleasant.

    Are there people who don't get that spark from their inner self when watching the grand appearance on TV of a "celebrity doctor"? Who does not feel or experience being part of a sublime experience when at the beginning of the show the celebrity doctor makes his grand entrance?

    In one case, the lights on the set were dimmed and at the top of a staircase He appeared. Descending, slowly, dignified with a confident smile for the perked up audience. People, in awe, as if the first outer space visitor have graced them with his benign presence, to tell us to watch our diet and keep paying the carbon tax.

    The celebrity Doc, selflessly divulges remedies for our ills. No doubt he does not have a financial interest in any of the cures, medications he offers to the enhanced gathering. Actually, there is nothing wrong with what he is doing. Although there are spoilers out there ready to argue that touchy item.

    Nevertheless, the so-called celebrity brands are a source of aggravation for me. Well, nobody is perfect.

    Let me explain it. Why would one heed an overpowering urge to shell out a small fortune for a wrist-watch, just because the name on the watch is that of a one time model?

    Is that watch a better timekeeper than if the watch carries the name, Rolex, Omega, or even Timex? Oh, of course, if I circulate within the snobby crowds of specialty coffee houses, or in some art-gallery frequented by the artzie gang and wannabe artists, then perhaps the designer watch bearing a celebrity's John Henry may just the calling card needed for acceptance among the ranks of the "distinguished".

    The same goes for clothing and other items carrying the name of this or that one time model.

    And last but not least. Why would a 'celebrity' actress, singer, male or female, store nude pictures of themselves on so-called cloud servers? Don't they know that these days nothing is safe from hackers?

    If one is blessed with real talent, why would one need nudies of themselves stocked away? Is that a sort of last stand if the talent slips away? They have something still to "show" to their diminishing audience?

    I would not know. Yet there are many people convinced they have the answer. Do You? :)

  • "Corruption never has been compulsory" ( A. Eden)

    Corruption and bribery exists everywhere, in fact it is growing. Apparently in India corruption is perceived as the civil servants' favourite contest nationwide.

    But we should not dump on India. Hardly a day goes by in the West that this or that politician or leading businessman is not in the news as one who was just caught taking payment for something. Actually, this state of affairs is disheartening for the millions of people who had voted for the charged and convicted individuals.

    Right now, IMF's chief Christine Lagarde has been placed under investigation for alleged negligence in handling IMF business. More than likely Lagarde will be cleared.

    Some others, in other countries charged with corruption fraud and alike offences may go to jail. Although, somehow people at the higher level of society are well lawyered-up and not often sentenced to a jail term.

    Corruption must pay for some individuals and companies. We are not talking of small potatoes. For example, corruption in the 28 countries of the EU is costing European taxpayers about €120bn (£100bn) a year, or the equivalent of the union's annual budget.

    The fact is that corruption is part and parcel of the modern world, it is growing massively in huge proportions. The developing world losing billions of dollars each year through corruption. In Africa, corruption is the major cause of poverty and conflicts.

    As for the fight against corruption? Sounds good. Unfortunately it is like fighting to keep the Titanic afloat after hitting the iceberg.

    Alan Greenspan came close to a viable way to handle corruption. He wrote" Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff."

    There it is. Perhaps we can do better. If anyone knows how to go about it it, just tell us.

  • An Oxymoron:Caste system in the world's largest democracy, India

    According to many Indians and others, the caste system is one of the greatest social evils plaguing India in this supposedly enlightened twenty-first century. More alarming is that the caste system is being introduced in the United States by Hindus who have emigrated to North America in the last forty years.

    Apparently, castes are placed in a stepladder of ascending superiority and descending inferiority. People who are born into these castes should follow the ordained caste professions and marry only within their caste through arranged marriages. The beneficiaries of this system were the various Brahman castes who by virtue of their birth were free to follow intellectual avocations at the advent of British colonial education making them modern India's intellectual, scientific, and bureaucratic class.

    Taking the history of societies into consideration, one should know that in the nineteenth century even in Europe many people were serfs working for a landlord in perpetual slavery. But that was in the past.

    Knowing that the caste system developed and is prevalent since antediluvian times and remains in these "modern" times as a great irritant, one from the outside of India, mostly from the West can not understand it's place in the world of today.

    The caste system in India is entrenched as every political party is strongly supported by a caste.

    Many experts claim that the caste system encourages child marriage and oppose remarriage. Women are treated only as sex machine and cheap labour.

    To eradicate caste in India is practically impossible. Yet, when a help desk answers the phone somewhere in India to resolve a technical problem originating from a North American customer, is the responding technician aware that the customer in North America hardly knows anything about the misery and humiliation of the caste system? He probably does not, and more than likely could not care less.

  • Who was rewarded for this "Bright Idea" at Costco?

    The other day I went with a friend to the neighborhood Costco big box store.

    He wanted an estimate for buying and installing four winter tires on his late model car. Costco has a pretty good automotive section, a garage where they do maintenance, install tires, and make small repairs on cars.

    The polite Costco employee in the garage listened to him and responded, "No problem, here is what we do". Then he continued, "You have to go Costco online and order four tire rims for the car. They will be delivered to your house. Then you bring the tire rims in here and we will install the appropriate winter tires."

    I could not believe my ears. Delivering four fair size wheel rims to a house or for the twelfth floor of an apartment to the "Valued Customer"? Then the poor sob must take them to his / her car, find space for them in the trunk or perhaps on the back seat?

    Then the tires must be taken to the Costco garage and they will install the winter tires.

    This seem to be an unusual way to encourage business. Needless to say that Canadian Tire and the Dealer where he bought the car would install the wheels with the tires without first mailing the tire wheels to the customers residence.

    Somehow I can't escape the thought that this bird brained idea was sold to senior management at Costco by some ambitious lower echelon employee in the hope of a promotion or some other reward for the "money saving idea" or whatever.

    This is not the way to do business. It is ludicrous to mail the wheel rims to the customer's residence, who then must take them to the Costco garage to have the snow tires installed.

    Winter is coming, there is competition for installing winter tires. Costco should get with it. - And perhaps review that hastily awarded promotion. -:)

  • In India, If the shirt fits and made of gold, wear it

    You should treat yourself for your birthday, so they say. A hamburger goes well with a large Coke and some fried onions on the side. Eat up and be happy and you just celebrated one of your birthdays.

    Others may eat in fancy restaurants, or sample a barbequed steak prepared by a loving, or not so loving member of your family.

    Thanks heaven, we are not all the same, especially when it comes to the depth of our pockets. Here is the case of Indian politician, Pankaj Parakh. He just celebrated his 45th birthday in grand style by having a shirt made out of gold. He is also an Indian textile tycoon. He indulged himself in something more lasting than any of his own textiles can provide, a custom-made gold shirt worth about $213000.

    After all, it's only money and the shirt is dazzling and for good reason he is called 'the gold man'.

    Sure, it is an extravagant, ostentatious fashion statement but for Pankaj is more than that.

    As a matter of fact, to ensure his gold shirt remains on his back, he is escorted by a security guard when he travels. He also has five cars, par for the course.

    Actually, the 18,000 tonnes of gold which is held in India, about two-thirds is in rural areas. Among the millions of people without bank accounts, gold is seen as an alternative way of saving. This is understandable. In most rural areas, without sanitary facilities, one can not expect to have a bank on every street-corner.

    Pankaj Parakh, truly keeps some of his fortune close to his chest. While he is known as a charitable man, you can be pretty sure he won't give you the shirt of his back. - Can you blame him?

  • Don't laugh at this, or gossip about it on the cell phone

    Turkish deputy prime minister, Bulent Anic obviously worried about the state of sexual morality around him. He urged the good people of Turkey, to remember the importance of chastity and to have an acute awareness of shame.

    One prefer to think he meant well, while sounding like a preacher of faith, from bygone days. He went on to criticize television programs aimed at young people which encouraged them to become "sex addicts" to an audience which included mostly of men.

    He let people know Chastity is very important, it is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [She] will have chasteness. Man will have it too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. - men, especially the rascals did not get off scot-free. Mr.Anic told them too keep their pantaloon zipped up unless they are at home and basking in the glow of married bliss.

    Bucked up by his own advice, he went on to say that women should not laugh loud in public and refrain from gabbing about trivialities on the cell phone. -
    Saying this, to put it mildly, was a bad mistake. Obviously he did not expect the elicited reaction from women.

    The women that were only giggling at his earlier comments about chastity, now were having uncontrolled fits of laughter. First In the land of Turkey and as his wise words spread world wide, the laughter of women exceeded the noise generated by the latest 'cultural icon', the Movie "Sharknado 2", premiering on the idiot tube.

  • Modern, Vibrant Nations Could Not Survive Without Armies.

    Lately, one sees media evidence by some authors playing around with the idea of not having an army would be advantageous for a country.

    Assuming the proponents of the idea are not glossy-eyed "peace champions", that is, not the useful idiots in service of some other countries' interests, one can say they are wrong. Period.

    Oh, yes! Pointing to countries without armed forces such as Andorra, Costa Rica, The Vatican, Samoa, and the list continue to show a total of 23 countries who exist without the protection of their own armed forces.

    Of course, not having to pay for the maintenance of armed forces is a source of pride. After all the percentage of money saved may be allocated to other public sectors such as education and health, just to name a few.

    In reality, many of the military-free countries have various security agreements with larger countries. For example, the small Nation of Andorra, wisely signed an agreement of protection with both it's neigbours France and Spain. Iceland is protected under an agreement with NATO. Costa Rica expects the U.S.A. to defend it. - And so on.

    In the real world, not having a military is not for everyone and certainly not for the United States Of America, or Canada. No need to mention all the others in the same situation.

    Apart for the defence aspect of having a military, one should consider the plight of rural populations when they need help during a calamity of natural disaster like a flood, earth quake, landslide, etc.

    It is well known that humans since the beginning of time, used and using other humans for gain. Hitler, Stalin are two well-known examplars of the evil that weakness and inaction can invite.

    The reason some countries are able to function without a military is that the are not important enough and unable to influence the outcome of the power struggle between the giants. Or, they needed for salted away wealth, in places like Switzerland during W.W.II

    Daydreaming of a world without conflicts and world peace is pleasant and maybe a source of optimism and hope. And that's good.

    The sad reality is that if armies were dismantled that would mean that civilians would have to protect their own interests.

    In summation, we have to be careful what we are wish for. Discouraging as is, the world at the present time is not ready for us to sing kumbalaya arms locked together,hoping the desired utopia will materialize.- Maybe someday.

  • Cockeyed commercials, crackbrained spam and unwanted stealth software programs installed on your device.

    Umpteen people getting sick of the avalanche of imbecilic TV commercials. These days the same draggy commercials are repeated often three or four times during a one hour TV program.

    Why would anybody compelled to rush out and buy some minor household item when a nice elderly lady for the third time, within sixty minutes, demonstrates the wonders of this new duster, or whatever? She is calling her catnapping husband, "Morty, are you asleep?". The poor old sod groggily replies, "I am awake".

    Old Morty, probably like the rest of us does not give a rat's ass about the advertised item. Frankly, the dull and often repeated commercials escape my memory the moment after they aired.

    Spam, the unwanted garbage in your in box is frustrating for the recipient, and actually could be expensive if one has a limited amount of bandwith.

    Yet, spam must be paying off for some advertisers otherwise they would not pay spammers to infect the Internet with billions of mostly useless spam, often elaborate scams. But some people are falling for it.

    One of the most disgusting underhanded deed is the installation of stealth software programs you did not wanted to install when downloading another program.

    People telling me, this happened when they downloaded some applauded and recommended program, only to end up with an unwanted browser. One would never trust a vendor who has to smuggle its product onto your hard drive.

    The above mentioned examples are only a fraction of the countless unusual, often simplistic methods employed by people to induce a desire in you to spend money purchasing, their often jerry-built products.

    However, there are exceptions. Not all advertisers peddling useless products. In the final analysis, you, the target of their approach will decide, whether or not to bite, that is to buy the advertised product.

  • Pessimist Billionaire warns of coming revolution

    Nick Hanauer made his fortune on the Internet. He is one of the often mentioned 1%. You know, the ones reportedly own a hefty slice of the available wealth in North America and perhaps everywhere else on the planet.

    Mr.Hanauer is gloomy, although he owns his own yacht, multiple homes and private jet. Judging from Mr. Hanauer's comments one is inclined to believe he did not became a wealthy man by paying minimum wage for his employees or by importing foreign workers by the hundreds.

    He urges raising the minimum wage and supports Seattle's recent move to raise the lowest hourly wage for an employee in the city jurisdiction to $15.

    One has no idea how his ideas are received by his fellow billionaires. Are they as concerned about the Back to the Future, scenario when he adverts to events in France at the time of Marie-Antoinette's misfortune or the fate of the Russian Czar in the last century?

    Obviously, Mr. Hanauer is concerned and has identified some disturbing trends and that steps should be taken to address income inequality.

  • Is Mcdonalds tricky, or I just don't get it?

    The other day, as seldom as I do, I went into a Mcdonalds to have a Mc chicken sandwich. Long time since I ate one at McD's.

    The tables were dirty and I had to look around to find one reasonably clean. Perhaps they were understaffed that day.

    The Mc chicken sandwich seemed smaller than in the past and the modest chicken meat was hiding in the bun.

    If Mcdonalds is concerned about our health and for that reason reducing the size of their product, that's fine. However, the price of the product remained the same. In other words, you get less for the same money. - If the trend continues, perhaps they could provide a small plastic magnifying glass with the food to catch a glimpse of the 'meat' and maintain the illusion of a hearty meal. Nevertheless, they sure are not saving on the salt content. At least in my opinion.

    So, I have decided to drop a line or two to this multi billion dollar corporation. On the Internet under their inviting "Contact us logo", there is no option for email. A clever way to reduce the number of complaints.

    The next best thing was to comment on their consumer survey page. Oh, but there is a catch too! To start, you must provide the restaurant number. Now, how many of us seek out the "restaurant number" when stopping somewhere to have a Big Mac?

    Without providing the restaurant number you can't proceed with the survey to lodge your complaint.

    In light of the above, is anyone surprised that Mcdonalds fortunes are fading? If people perceive that Mcdonalds is not the advertised utopia for the culinary pleasures of the masses, no legions of foreign workers or automation will do much for their business.

    The apparent shenanigans displayed by McDonald's will only drive customers to the competition. If competing corporate executives don't care, - shareholders will.

  • Want to be elected in Ontario? Don't promise to cut 100.000 public service jobs and cut corporate taxes to the lowest level in North-America.

    The Ontario election is over and the Ontario Liberals have been re-elected with an impressive majority.

    Despite the Liberals' poor performance over a decade, scandals costing the taxpayer billions of dollars, lies, and unfulfilled promises, the people gave them another chance at the helm of the Province.

    Pundits will argue for months to come the reasons for this apparent miracle bestowed on the Liberals of Ontario.

    In the opinion of many, they do not deserve this break. Yet, it happened.

    The answer in a simplified form is as follows: A disappearing middle class, many of them in fairly-secure public service jobs, do not want somebody elected, like the Conservative Mr. Hudak, who tried to capitalize on the feelings of many who don't have a better job with a reasonably decent pension and are hostile to others working for the public service. Essentially, one segment of the work force was turned against the other.

    However, the Conservative Mr. Hudak's platform had another shaky leg. He promised to cut corporate taxes for wealthy corporations, promising that the trickle down effect will create one million jobs in eight years. This was his nemesis.

    Over the years, people had enough of hearing about the wonders of the trickle down effect as the magic elixir for job creation.

    A multitude of voters believe tax breaks did not stop companies for relocating jobs offshore, laying off Canadians and hiring foreign workers.

    The reality is what people perceive. Fair or not, the people of Ontario did not trust Mr. Hudak and his provincial Conservatives to vote them into office.

    The rest is now up to the elected Liberal Premier, Ms. Wynne and her new provincial government to deliver the promised goods.

  • Politicians don't tell lies, the people just misunderstand the message?

    The province of Ontario in Canada will have an election in a few days. Actually, there is nothing new or unusual about this important aspect of democracy.

    One of the three major parties will be elected at the end of the procedure.

    Before going any further, I categorically state that in my humble and generally ignored opinion the three party leaders are honest people and the only reason they want to be Premiers of the province because they have an overwhelming desire to serve the people of Ontario. Why else would one go through the hassle of the primaries, election and all the nasty, probing questions before and after the election?

    But getting elected is not easy. the aspiring leader must convince the people that he or she will provide the desired salvation, a.k.a., better future for those who will vote for them.

    In this age of generic scepticism this is almost as difficult to believe as accepting that our Moon is made of Camembert cheese, or that living on minimum wage is actually builds character.

    Wannabe Premier #1 must convince the voters that no matter how badly the previous premier, coming from the same scandal ridden party, allegedly wasting billions of taxpayer money on dead end projects was somehow just an aberration. If she will be elected, even if the same crowd is behind her, things this time will be different. So, just believe. Well she seems like a nice person and for some people that is sufficient.

    Wannabe Premier #2 cuts right to the chase and bravely states that for starters he will lay-off hundred thousand public servants. Nevertheless, he will create one million jobs if elected. Of course, this bonanza of jobs will take eight years to become reality. Well, Rome was not built in one day - and this is Ontario. This aspiring premier seems to be a clean cut well spoken man. I haven't seen him kissing babies, yet. Then, one is not following everything on the idiot tube, or on Snoop Book.

    Wannabe Premier #3 is well spoken, pleasant in appearance. Unfortunately the party she represents was only once in power almost two decades ago. Naturally her crowd had not had the opportunity to make decisions and to screw up since that time. Like the other two, this lady is pledging that given the opportunity, she will lead the Province of Ontario toward prosperity, or that at least the people will have affordable hydro allowing them to watch the CBC news on their devices equipped with a screen.

    Basically, everyone will vote for the party they think, this time, will deliver the goods. Go on, believe and vote.

  • Who would buy the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls threatened to be sold into slavery?

    The widely reported outrageous kidnapping of more than 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria by a radical terrorist group is heartbreaking.

    Although we are in the twenty-first century, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has said he plans to sell the girls into marriages and sex slavery.

    Just sit back and think about it! The dastardly deed, outraged most people, even the ones who over the years slowly become desensitized to such cowardly outrageous actions like the kidnapping of these schoolgirls.

    What one finds difficult to grasp is this: If there are people to be sold as slaves, then, there must be customers who are buying slaves in our days, like we buy an IPad, or some household item.

    Just who are these people? There must be more than just a few. Where do they live? Why do we not see a demand to identify these "customers" and expose them for what they are?

    Almost all of the news outlets act like this is an obscure event. One is glad it is getting the attention it deserves but according to other reports this has been happening on a frequent basis in the Sub-Saharan for a very long time.

    The kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls must be found, the perpetrators should face justice. As for the customers who would buy or already owns slaves, the world must send a firm message that the practice of buying and keeping slaves will not be tolerated.

  • Get real! Dr.Suzuki's good intentions and carbon tax will not save the planet

    Just watched a nature program about our polluted planet and the dreadful things going to happen to us, unless we change our ways and stop polluting the atmosphere, the oceans and everything we homo-sapiens come in touch with. The program was skillfully narrated by Canada's very own Dr. Suzuki. The illustrations were excellent, showing what's in store for us as the warming of the planet accelerates. Not going into detail, mainly because almost everyone of us is bombarded almost every day of the Earth's grim future that according to many 'experts' is not looking good.

    If a rogue, undetected meteor will not end our temporal exploits, then we can always hope that the Yellowstone super-volcano, or some earthquake generated tsunami, perhaps even some uninvited alien visitor from out there will not end our activities on this once mostly green planet. -

    Back to the nice Dr. Suzuki. Climate change might be slowed down, but only if all of us on this planet will work together to make it happen. I regret that Dr. Suzuki and the other climate gurus, with rare exception almost never mention the unstoppable problems caused by the almost out of control increase in population.

    Perhaps we may palliate the effects or even slow down the predicted climate change. Although I am a doubting Thomas, the unmitigated fact is that global cooperation needed to do something effective. There is no other way.

    Does anyone out there really believe that we can do that, thus we may alter our global future?

    Look into media reports. Terrorists somewhere in Africa kidnapped school girls and planning to sell them into slavery. The Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. Russia threatens to stop energy deliveries to Europe. Zealotry is growing in the Middle East and in other places. Things don't look promising to women in Afghanistan just to mention one country. Mexico has a serious problem with big time crime. In Europe and in North America the middle class is in the danger of disappearing like the five cent cigar.

    One could go on with our ills and the insecurities of many millions on every continent.

    Yet, somehow there are people like the esteemed Dr. Suzuki, who believe that like in a dream, the countries of the world will cooperate in instituting the required tough measures to stop climate change, although we can't even agree on smaller matters. That's the gist of it.

    Monies should not be solicited under the flag of "Stopping the Climate change". Definitely, we should do everything we can do to stop or mitigate our wasteful polluting ways. But let's don't fool ourselves, because what's coming is coming and no carbon tax or any other contrived tax will forestall it.

    Instead, we should focus our talents and energies on how to cope with the demands of the climate change. How to ensure that the human race will survive and will live and prosper in the ever changing environment. -- As it has since our ancestors left Africa long time ago and survived climate change induced challenges like the ones presented by the ice age.

  • McDonald's alleged foreign worker practices and Canadians who feel left out.

    The ongoing federal investigation into McDonald’s use of temporary foreign workers has widened to several other locations, as more local workers speak out about feeling sidelined and shortchanged.

    In one case, the manager quit his managerial job for six McDonald’s locations in Alberta, because he said he could no longer stomach denying local employees much-needed shifts to accommodate temporary foreign workers.

    This real or alleged situation is not the first time the issue of employing temporary foreign workers in place of Canadians popped-up and is not an aberration. Every time this becomes public knowledge, following the ensuing brouhaha, assurances are floated that the rules will be enforced and this will not happen again.

    Of course it happens again, and again.

    Within a corporation, who initiates, and how these
    "money saving " ideas reach the implementation stage?

    Who signs the approval to a plan that will put some of his fellow-Canadians out of work so their profits grow?

    As for the initiators ? They must know that they really must come up with a novel approach that will not be detected before the realized profits exceed the probable financial penalty dished out by the regulating agency. Up to now in similar cases the offending company survived getting caught, usually with a reprimand and a fine.

    It would be interesting to know that at this very moment how many "genius" corporate climbers are devising schemes to sidestep the regulations and go to the boss with a preliminary plan to increase profits by hiring temporary foreign workers to replace Canadian employees?

    One can hope this is not the case. Nevertheless, I would not bet the extras on my next greasy hamburger on it. Would you?

  • British population urged to curtail farting.

    When you read the header you begin to suspect that something smells. Your suspicion is confirmed when you are told that your next fart may contribute to global warming. If you are a sensitive person and a champion of environmental causes, making donations to the noble cause of stopping global warming, then you may feel guilty each time you let a small fart escape into the great void.

    Why? Because a couple members of the British House of Lords seem to think, are well-versed in the in the rumbles of the bowels and the often smelly periodic emissions that it releases into our atmosphere. Well, we all think we are expert at something.

    According to a British newspaper, Viscount Simon said to the House of Lords, "A programme on the BBC stated this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world. Could you say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission?"

    Sharp as a nail, Baroness Sandip Verma promptly responded, "You do actually raise a very important point, which is we do need to moderate our behaviour."

    While one is surprised, I am relieved that for the moment the heat is off the planet's peaceful cow population as big time contributors to the methane content of the atmosphere by their constant farting.

    Enough of this! We just have to curtail the intake of baked beans and the consumption of hard-boiled eggs washed down with pints of ale.

    All we need now that after hearing of this emerging and sometime stinky problem that some ambitious bureaucrat recommend a new tax to save the world, called, "The progressive fart tax".

    Perhaps already is too late. What if Al Gore got wind of this and the idea of a new movie nurtured, called:"An inconvenient olfactory modality may cloud our future."

    As for me? Right now I am heading to the kitchen as the aroma of ready to eat baked beans smells heavenly -:)

  • Russian dairy workers caught bathing in milk - Clean freaks or just a case of applied skin-care?

    There is what we call celebrating the arrival of the new-year, and then, there is really welcoming the new year with good spirits and clean as a hand-washed car inside and outside.

    According to the LA Times, a Russian consumer oversight agency reported that Trade House Cheese, a Siberian dairy plant east of Moscow was closed by regional authorities after photos and a video of the milk bathing pasteurized party were uploaded to a Russian social network.

    Unbelievable but the narrow-minded Russian authorities think that a throng of full-grown males are seen ringing in the new year, undressed and relaxing in a giant container of milk is 'Nyet kulturny', otherwise not cool at all.

    Why did they do it? In the words of the brainiac of this troop of milk-bathers, "In reality our work is very boring". Now isn't that enough? After all, these days employers are urged everywhere to make the work challenging so the employees will not be tempted to literally jump in the works.

  • Don't run for the hills but Civilization doomed according to NASA study

    We know or at least we should be aware that our civilization is fragile and it will collapse. The source of the bad news is not some star-gazing, super vegan, post-apocalypse worshipping group but the measured conclusion of a NASA financed endeavour conducted by a reputable scientist with empirical methods.

    With rising population, depleting natural resources and stretching social divide, civilization could be facing collapse within the next few decades. This is not a pleasant soul lifting subject to discuss but it will not go away.

    In the report prepared by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri, his “Human And Nature Dynamical” (Handy) model claims “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”

    What makes today's civilization so different, however, from previous civilizations that have collapsed is its global nature. We are all interlinked and interdependent. In the past, one civilization would fall, only to be superseded by others somewhere else in the world.

    If the report is credible and the predictions are on the way to fulfilment, then humanity is in for a very tough time in the not-so-distant future.

    Until then, for starters, you may read one of the recent media reports on Safa Motesharri's, findings regarding the predicted collapse of our civilization:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/17/civilisation-doomed_n_4977387.html

  • Push-Up Jeans for the Up-Front generation?

    You don't really age like cider in some oak barrel, without learning something new every day. Yesterday, someone close to me showed a newspaper article under my nose reinforcing the fact that there is no real freedom of expression for younger women ( and some older too) without displaying some of their assets with ample assistance provided by the wearing of Push-Up Jeans.

    Now, I am certainly not going to complain, or try to dampen the enthusiasm of any person for daring to give their backsides a boost without any padding.

    The 'backside boost' is achieved by ingenious design. No padding is used but rather a combination of strategically placed shading, stitching, pocket placement and special fabrics to enhance a woman’s shape. As an added bonus, the design may come with a built in girdle, to provide a small push in tummy for ladies who may feel they need it.

    So, if you can, go for it, strut your enhanced asset,- if you get a standing ovation you will know your money was not wasted.

  • Canadian Citizenship Is A Privilege, Not A Tool Of Convenience

    A proposed new Canadian law will usher in more exacting requirements for becoming a Canadian Citizen. Most Canadians feel it is about time to attach value again to the highest desire to most people lining up at the gates of Canada to get into this great country.

    The new Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act would make immigrants spend at least four years out of six in Canada before applying for citizenship. Meaning that would be citizens must demonstrate commitment to this country before some of them with their brand new Canadian passports heading back to their country of origin and live their lives and pay taxes somewhere else.

    Of course, if life overseas turns into a race for survival, then out comes the Canadian passport and requests for help are flooding Canadian officials stationed in the affected country.

    Something like this happened to a surprisingly large number of Canadians living in Lebanon a few years ago when troubles came.
    The urgent evacuation of thousands of these Canadians cost a fair amount of Canadians at home.

    Applicants for citizenship will have to file income tax papers in Canada and the bill would require immigrants between the ages of 14 and 64 to pass language tests.

    In addition, the bill also gives the immigration minister authority to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who fight against the Canadian military, or who have been convicted of terrorism, treason, or spying offence. Moreover, citizenship fraudsters will face the music in the form of hefty penalties including living at the taxpayers expense in a jail for a designated period.

  • "Three factors why Indians, Jews, Chinese do better than others " as per article in the Globe and Mail

    An interesting article, with highly debatable assumptions. For many a child's success is not the result of a particular ethnicity. Others believe that, success is influenced by making sure a child has a supporting environment, access to good education and a nurturing meshwork of family and friends that promote achievement.

    One has to read the article to gain some preliminary understanding of just what exactly is the message, without starting an utopian debate about the creation of an equal opportunity world.

    Here is the article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/the-tiger-mom-goes-even-further-why-some-minorities-are-just-bound-to-be-more-successful/article16705333/

  • 'Woman wishes to undo kidney donation to allegedly cheating husband' Comment on article on Breitbart.com

    Safe to say, one time or another we all have given something away to someone to help the person. It is not important if the gift was money, time, care in some form or even unsolicited advice that wasn't welcomed.

    The ultimate gift of course is the gift of life in the form of giving one of our body parts, such as a kidney, lung or even part of a liver to another human being so they can continue living.

    In the news story, a lady in England wishes she could recover her donated kidney from her allegedly unfaithful husband who left her.

    Plainly, he is not a nice guy, although we do not know all the particulars leading up to him leaving her.

    Apart from the sympathy one may have for the jilted wife, in reality, donating a kidney is one of those good deeds that can't be just undone - at least legally.

    She may fantasize that the symptoms of her kidney problem will be shared by the errant husband making his intimate life less than satisfying. But you never know. I leave it at that.

    You may read the article:

    http://www.breitbart.com/system/wire/upiUPI-20140127-184731-6190

  • "Hiring on basis of race, gender is wrong"- Comment on editorial in the Toronto Sun.

    The Ontario Government is thinking of introducing a program similar to the long ago implemented employment equity program.

    Basically, the old program strived to be fair to all people working for the Ontario Public Service and that public and private workplaces reflect the communities they serve. The intention was good and within a few years the goal was achieved. Able people were hired and promoted in accordance with the plans of employment equity.

    This is the reason why many people are taken by surprise when just now the Ontario Government announced that it will promote a new initiative called the Administrative Internship Pilot Program, with applications accepted only from, “black, female administrative employees.”

    Black female employees currently working for the Ontario Public Service are just as able as other employees of any other ethnic background.

    Not surprising that people of the general community as well as the diverse workforce of the OPS are somewhat astounded at this retrogressive move that unnecessarily turns the clock back by at least 20 years.

    You may read the editorial:

    http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/18/hiring-on-basis-of-race-gender-is-wrong

  • Forty below outside? No big deal - Just a real Canadian Winter

    Raging Ice storm, followed by another deep freeze. For many without hydro and heat is rough, especially for the ones living in apartment blocks in Canada's cities.

    If you feel cold and think that it is very hard to cope, you may assure yourself that the earth is warming up as we are told. If the winter bothers you, suck it up, - after all this is Canada.

    However, you may read the interesting CTV report describing many aspects of this latest cold snap:

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/temperatures-hit-50-as-cold-snap-hits-central-and-eastern-canada-1.1615624

  • Be Careful, Or You May Get Plucked Like A Canada Goose

    An eye-opening article in today's edition of The Globe And Mail should remind everyone that if something sounds too good to believe then, it is! Some of us, some of the time, against our inner voice believe that we can buy something for next to nothing.

    At times like that our judgment is blurred and we go ahead and become the willing victim of a rather transparent scam to free us from our hard earned money.

    By the time we realize we had been hosed and our goose was cooked like the over-cooked Christmas turkey, is too late. Our money is on the way to enrich the swindler and our self-esteem took a drubbing that hurt.

    Reading The Globe and Mail article, maybe - just maybe, in a weak moment could save us to act on an impulse and to see the offered deal as the scam what it is.

    Here you may read the article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/day-to-day/my-christmas-goose-dont-get-scammed-like-i-did/article16088567/

  • Compassionate Canada Post Boss Deepak Chopra tells seniors, walking to the community mailbox is good for them

    Canada Post is in a financial maelstrom and obviously something must be done or the deterioration of service and cost of operation will be astronomical.

    Mr.Chopra has taken steps to rectify the situation before is too late. Canada Post announced last week it would end door-to-door delivery, hike the cost of stamps and reduce the size of its work force over the next five years.

    Mr. Chopra dismissed concerns that elimination of door-to-door delivery would disquietingly impact the significant number of seniors and many of the disabled, who in Canada's extreme weather would find it very difficult, if not impossible to pick up their mail.

    Apparently seniors took Mr. Chopra in their confidence and told him that "I want to be healthy, I want to be active in my life". One does not have to be the head of Canada Post to suspect that seniors and disabled Canadians are sincere regarding aspirations about their health.

    However, it takes a large amount of naivety or conceived salesmanship to interpret seniors' and disabled Canadians' wish to remain healthy as a desire to coax an achy or disabled body to the planned community mailboxes.

    One way or another, things will change, not necessarily for the better.

    On the other hand, there used to be daily milk delivery but that went away along with the horse and cart.

    Whatever will happen, one thing is certain: Seniors and disabled voters at election time somehow will make that outing to the polling station and cast their votes. And at that point in time, all bets are off.

  • Comment on CNN report, "6-year-old suspended for kissing girl, accused of sexual harassment"

    Apparently the theatre of the bizarre imparted the silver screen and gambols it's unbelievable meltdowns in real life.

    A 6-year-old boy, in Colorado, was suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. - Yep! Such brazen sexist act had to be stopped, nipped in the bud, with the full power of political correctness. For good measure the child was promptly charged with sexual harassment.

    There are countless schools where bullying is going on big time and very little or nothing happens to the perpetrators. That's the way it goes.

    Anyone who read the story should know what may happen to the Old Lady of yesteryears limerick. "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. / She had so many children, she didn't know what to do. / She gave them some broth without any bread"- In the spirit of this enlightened age, the old lady would be taken into custody for child abuse- and the shoe would be recycled.

    You may read the report:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/11/living/6-year-old-suspended-kissing-girl/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

  • Pizza Delivered By Flying Drone May Not Warrant A Tip

    Now that soon Google snoop glasses will be adorning peoples snouts, another high tech wonder may be knocking on our roof, or literally dropping in without under control into our back yards.

    I am babbling about a breed of commercial drones that will be deployed to deliver purchased goods from companies like Amazon. com. and others.

    Once the legal and technical snags are worked out you may see flying armadas of miniature drones buzzing in our skies, delivering goodies like pizzas, take-out dinners and items I could not even list at the moment.

    We all got wind of the expression that the devil is in the detail. The inconvenient details pertinent to delivery by commercial drones are numerous enough to keep any genius or group of super geeks busy for a fortnight, or until we'll have peace in the Middle East.

    Some people are uneasy when a flock of Canada Geese sweeping over their heads and nervously looking for smudged spots on their clothing or messy droppings on their heads.

    In the case of the delivery drones, we on Terra firma, must have a hat full of faith that the drone delivering the pizza, crowned with anchovies, will not have a technical failure, a glitch causing it to crush land on our property, or release the load of warm pizza prior to landing, like when passing the chimney of our house.

    I don't even like to think, if the pizza I had ordered is dropped off two doors down the street due to a navigation error and was promptly gobbled down by two of the beer drinking residents of the house.

  • French Philosopher: 'There Is a Clash of Civilizations'

    Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut voiced his concerns about what he calls the clash of civilizations in an interview published in the German magazine Der Spiegel.

    After reading the content of the interview, it seems to me that Mr.Finkielkraut is worried that what he calls the French mode of European of civilization is under siege. He feels France is on the way to an irrevocable multicultural society where traditional national values will erode until very little, if any will remain.

    Whether or not the philosopher's concerns are baseless or valid, the interview deals with a relevant and important aspect of European reality in the new century.

    The article: French Philosopher Finkielkraut: 'There Is a Clash of Civilizations':

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-french-philosopher-finkielkraut-on-muslims-and-integration-a-937404.html

  • Road trips in North America and surviving in the Philippines.

    About two million children affected by Typhoon Haiyan are at risk of abuse or trafficking in the aftermath of the devastating storm that struck the Philippines. The suffering of the mostly poor people are indescribable. We have all viewed clips on TV about the devastation and the need for immediate and adequate help.

    The concerns are real. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, many numbers of orphaned children were kidnapped in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, by child trafficking gangs and couples unable to have children themselves.

    Relief workers in the Philippines seen children scavenging for food in cities and wherever they could hope for finding something to eat. These children do not need cute commercials on TV, showing playful toys made from food to induce appetite as many of our kids do.

    In sharp contrast to the above, I have just came across an article in the National Post, "Has technology killed the road trip?"

    http://driving.ca/auto-news/news/death-of-the-road-trip/

    On these family road trips usually every member of the family withdraws into their own world delivered by the 'marvels' of high technology, like DVD players, cell phones and other devices.

    As for sights they are passing by without even taking a glance? Who cares? When the kids get hungry, the air-phones come off and little Johnny and Susie start paying attention to road signs until they see their favourite road side fast food outlet. The car stops, they get out of the car, gabble down the burger, washed down with plenty of sugary water. Then, hurry back to their toys and entertainment in the car. And so do the parents. Perhaps by accident they catch the latest news from the Philippines.

    Now there is poverty and suffering in North America too. But even in our worst nightmares there is nothing like what is happening to millions of already poor people in places far away from us.

    On your next road trip thank your lucky stars that you are still have plenty of things to see what you can share with your family without the pangs of hunger enshrouded in a blanket of misery.

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