• "Wynne’s carbon pricing scheme grabs our cash" - Comment on article in the Toronto Sun

    You may read the article and think about the subject:


    Governments need money to provide goodies for the ever-increasing groups of people who had been convinced to vote for the Party. No big deal. After all, this is the age old modus operandi and it had always worked.

    In this day and age obtaining money to meet the promises made is much more difficult. People are more cynical and are asking awkward questions about how the money is spent.

    Voila! The carbon pricing scheme may be marketable for the public. Who would not want to avoid the coming and much heralded climate change? Or even be identified as a sceptic? A doubter who simply does not believe that a scheme like carbon pricing will halt the climate change?

    No, we rather pay up. Trim back on other items, trying to exist on less money. Somehow most of us will get by.

    However, when once again more money is required to keep at least some of the campaign promises, new creative ideas will be needed to raid the pockets of the electors. - Rest assured they will find ways to gauge out more money to "serve the interests of the people" who put them into power. - We may grumble a bit, but no doubt we will pay up.

  • Generous Ontario paying for Teachers' negotiating costs?

    The hydro is off for the last 12 hours and I am listening on a battery powered radio to the local news in the interesting province of Ontario.

    I won't vouch for it, but I think the pleasant news person just announced something that aroused my interest and you can bet part of your tax refund I was not disappointed.

    The generous Liberal government of Ontario is routinely handing over about 2.5 million dollars to one of the teachers' unions in the province for a noble purpose: To cover the cost of negotiations between the province and the union.

    Assuming the news is accurate that is really nice.-- After all, how many unions are blessed with an employer forking money over to them to show their appreciation for being able to sit at the same table with a union that actually collects a nice booty in the form of union dues ?

    Employers in the penny pinching private sector should not have a migraine on hearing this news. They simply haven't got the mandate for such a giveaway. Unlike the provincial government, they can't just increase revenues by charging more and more, like the province does in the case of hydro. If they mismanage, the shareholders will throw the management out.

    And right here is the difference; The people of the province like some junkies, keep reelecting the very same management that is handing over generous compensation to a union they are negotiating with, just for the pleasure of sitting down with them to negotiate.

    Oops! The hydro is back! Better days and more expensive hydro in the cards.

  • How Do You Define "Trump-ism"?

    Sensitive subject, but there it is. At the beginning of Trump's fame, he was characterized as a populist for the working class.

    Someone said that Donald Trump is the voice of "aggrieved privilege". The game of speculation goes on, often accompanied by sophisticated assumptions, originating from people having degrees from "better universities".

    Well, Mr. Trump is here, he speaks, he is the subject of heated debates.

    Former Texas governor, Rick Perry defines 'Trump-ism' as a 'Toxic Mix of Demagoguery and Nonsense'.

    Yet, there are many who have a very simple explanation for Mr. Trump's populism and for the crowds' enthusiasm for hearing what he has to say: In this age of advanced Political Correctness, when we are very careful not to hurt, insult or degrade anyone and for this stately reason we are not saying out loud what we really think or feel. In more than one way this is helpful to get along in a functioning society.

    Unfortunately, under the surface the unsaid, unquestioned items pile up in the human psyche, at times with resentment. According to this line of reasoning, sooner or later the bottled doubts and concerns will surface.

    At this point in time, Mr. Trump, a billionaire, financially independent, is the one who actually questions some of the concepts shaping our life, our income and the often heard freedom of expression.

    Right or wrong, people think Mr. Trump will speak for their frustrations or feelings they are affraid to question about things affecting their daily life.

    I am not the originator of the above speculation about the perceptc concerning Mr.Trump's appearance on the scene. -

    However, the possibility of others catching on, thinking and expressing themselves along the lines of Mr. Trump cannot be chucked out. In other words, it may be the beginning of a different paradigm.--- Looking back at history, one can say that stranger things had happened in the past.

  • You paying for the privilege of watching Cineplex pre-show commercials

    I am old enough to remember when fortified with popcorn and soda, one sat down at Cineplex and after munching a small handful of already overpriced popcorn and watching a brief showing of coming attractions came the "Feature Film".

    Not so today. Greed is running its ascending course at the Cineplex empire. You are "entertained" for at least 11 minutes with moronic commercials you can see on your TV.

    However, there is a major difference; At home, you can reach for the remote and your ears are not exposed to eardrum shuttering booms coming from every corner of the cinema, advocating a product that I will definitely avoid in the future, that is, if I can. O.K. The advertised Lexus on the big screen would not be in my plans, no matter how loud the sound track urges that my life may be incomplete without taking their new model for a spin.

    Actually there is a way to avoid the onslaught of these unwanted commercials. - you would have to show up to the theatre 15-20 minutes after the start time, hope you find a decent seat, or go early, sit there and watch ads before the movie you just paid $10 to see.

    Today, we got to the theatre 5 min prior to a 6.pm showing and had to watch at least a dozen pre show advertisements , followed by movie trailers and then more adverts. It is gotten completely out of hand. I don’t think it’s fair to make paying guests sit through mindless, and often pathetic attempts at taking more of our dollars.

    Something wicked is happening to what was once a fabulously fun experience for the entire family. Now I will shut up , I am going back to eating my 15$ bag of popcorn!

  • Enough Of Celebrity Doctors

    In our celebrity obsessed world the new breed of so-called celebrity doctor morphed into a super salesman of dubious miracle cures, health regimens, and lifestyles.

    Often a decent and capable doctor, a healer, is invited as a contributor to a TV program discussing issues involving health. He or she, although for some reason one mostly see males offering the well prepared advice to the viewers of the TV show, the doctor appears to be sincere and lives up to the image of the healer.

    However, in some cases, the growing fame makes the doctor to take chances and push the proverbial envelope and nonsensical fat-loss cures, unsubstantiated health promotion supplements - for more $$$$$$$$ in his pocket.

    Thus a celebrity doctor is born. When he appears on the carefully devised TV studio set, he makes quite an impression. At times he walks to a podium on stairs designed and perfected for the arrival of a deity to the sound of music from old films, showing the entrance of a Roman Emperor. The invited audience breaks into a frantic but organized spasm of hand clapping. Perhaps if you are gifted with exceptional ears you may pick up of suppressed murmurs of "Ave Doctor".

    Some people say, that many of these celebrity doctors, being human, allow sole greed to become their major desire.

    Often these famed doctors are associated with universities. In some cases, dissenting voices criticize these doctors. Stating things like, “He’s a fake and a quack and a charlatan.”

    As for myself, I am quite happy when my capable doctor enters into the examining room and with a smile she says, "How are you today?"

    At times like that my doctor is more important than dozens of so- called Celebrity Doctors peddling snake oil and miracle cures on the idiot tube for impressionable people.

  • Canadian Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May shut out by foreign policy debate organizers

    Yours truly is not a political animal and is definitely not an admirer of the Canadian Green Party.

    Nevertheless, Canadians deserved to hear what Elizabeth May has to say. She has consistently been the most geared up, the most propitious, and the most perceptive of all the speakers in any debate she has been in.

    Some people think She and her internationally based party are truly irrelevant in Canadian politics. Maybe so.

    No matter what, Ms May is the leader of a party that represents a segment of Canadians, it should not matter that its a small percentage, a vibrant democracy demands She be included.

    As for the holier than holy detractors of Elizabeth May, the ones who refer to her drunken, profanity-ridden rant earlier in the year at the Ottawa Press Club dinner? They should be reminded that lately more than one potential candidate from other parties quit following scandalous revelations that hit the media.

    No matter what, Elizabeth May is a smart woman; While four leaders were debating about an article of a woman's clothing, it took a woman to recognize how relevant it really is.

    As for media people obsessed with the "glass ceiling" in the corporate world, they should consider the fact this woman can't even get a fair chance at getting onto a stage!

  • Why Volkswagen took the risk and cheated in the age of hightened environmental concerns?

    As the emissions cheat scandal deepens around the VW brand, the European Union urged all 28-member countries to start their own investigations and the scandal threatened to ensnare rival BMW AG.

    Don't be surprised that executives of other large car companies are sweating in their air-conditioned offices. Once the attention generated about anything endangering the Holy Grail of the environment, not to mention the concern of people like the good Dr. Suzuki, the offender better watch out and start counting the money in their piggy banks.

    Already much has been written about how Volkswagen came up with the elaborate emissions rigging ruse in the first place. The question is, who knew about the cheat, and why it was allowed to continue -- and in the end who should be thrown to the wolves?

    Papers, books ,articles will be written about the implications on public health, which other brands are involved, and whether such fixes were limited purely to emissions systems.

    Yes, Volkswagen screwed up in a big way. The puzzling aspect of this disgusting matter, at least for some people is this: What made the 'brains' behind the idea think that they will get away with the scheme?

    Were they encouraged by past events involving banks and other institutions where billions were mishandled and following the scandal hardly anyone went to jail?

    Or, watching politicians of just about of every party making outlandish promises prior to an election, only to renege on the offered goodies after being elected. After all, more often than not, the same people had been re-elected next time, broken promises or not?

    No, the top people at VW are not stupid . They can not be counted as just some people from the allegedly dumbed masses, who among other things buy the products churned out by the factories of the VW empire.

    At this point some experts are inclined to believe that VW, under enormous pressure to meet arrogated environmental standards, chose a badly calculated risk to implement the scheme of toying around with the environmental control components built in their diesel powered cars, in order to meet test requirements for pollution control.

    This is just the first chapter of this disgusting saga. One can only speculate where this will go. How many other car makers will be implicated in the unfolding scandal once the authorities start digging. And they will!

    Make no mistake, the environment is rightly an important cause and among the environmentalist are many who are more than just committed to the "cause".

  • Are these scientists the modern day Giordano Brunos to be sacrificed?

    The 16th-century Italian philosopher (and former Catholic priest) Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for a stubborn adherence to his then unorthodox beliefs—including the ideas that the universe is infinite and that other solar systems exist.

    Things are not nearly that bad today, but the following headline makes one think:

    Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics

    "The science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming."


    I do believe in the climate change. However, it is hard to understand that in this age of almost unlimited freedom, educated, liberal people would not allow other people with appropriate credentials to express their views. Read the article if you like.

  • Canadians are polite, not Bobbleheads

    The other day I had an interesting conversation with a visitor from a troubled part of Europe. He was impressed with the manifestations of politeness he found in the daily life of Canadians.

    Rather pleased, I asked him to give me an example of something that especially impressed him.

    I was expecting him to say something about Canadians lining up at bus stops and other places without pushing and unpleasant comments. - Or quietly tolerating stupid and vulgar commercials by the dozen.

    I was truly surprised by the example of polite Canadian behavior he
    mentioned. In his words, "Very much impressed by the behavior of your MPs in parliament, especially when the leader of the party speaks. The camera shows the Leader and a small area behind him where a number of his party's MPs sit. When the Leader, reading from his paper, says something wise, they do not interrupt but like a choreographed dance troop, their heads start to bobble, in perfect unison".

    Seeing my puzzled looks, he quickly added, "You know, like the Bobbleheads people place on the dashboards of cars".

    Perhaps he was thinking I was not too impressed, he went on to assure me that the highlight of his observation was when the apparently impressed MPs hearing the Leader saying something bright, out of the ordinary, "they all jump up, and charmingly like seals, start to clap their hands."

    Well, he likes our ways and I am not going to say anything to change his positive impressions of Canadians. Why mention the tasteless and stupid so called attack ads? Obviously, he did not see them, or at least did not mention it.

  • Scott Walker:Voters have very legitimate concerns about Canadian border

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) Magnus Opum in running for President, includes reviewing security on the little in the news northern border it shares with Canada.

    When asked whether he would support building a wall along the long northern border Mr. Walker responded. "some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that's a legitimate issue for us to look at."

    In light of the above "issue", small wonder reading reports that, according to a poll Trump and Carson surges as Walker collapses.

    Comments suggest Walker's idea of a wall on the border with Canada is ludicrous. Walker really sounds like a political parody of a desperate candidate looking for a cause to squeeze for his benefit.

    Unfortunately for Mr.Walker, he picked the wrong issue to sail the prevailing winds.

    Wisconsin is a great state and with imagination and hard work one has a good chance to succeed.

    Even in a popular fictional soap opera, placed in Wisconsin, toddlers grow up in a few years to become executives in a multi billion corporation. Spending their days debating who is the father of this or that baby. All this takes place in corporate headquarters.

    In real life, one can do even more. But, to run for president of a great nation, it takes a real platform this time.

    Apparently, people are hungry for a leader who speak their mind and works on real issues, instead of building their fortune on something that is a non-issue for most people. -- Like building a Super Border with Canada. What next? A Border around Hawai?

  • Greedy and stupid advertisers fighting Ad blocking software

    Actually, I don't really believe that most online advertisers are stupid. They just trying to push a product that consumers don't really want.

    According to reports, more people feel that online advertising became far too invasive. In fact, many people don't have the patience of a holy man sitting in a cave, and ad block use grew 82 % in the U.K. alone.

    Naturally, there are established companies doggedly working on ways to circumvent ad blocking software.

    Greed must be the incentive to push awful products. Video ads, flash ads and giving more importance to ads rather than contents. They are annoying as anything and makes web page load slow. If you are on a metered system, you are paying for garbage you must filter out.

    On top of all this, most ad block software by default won't block text ads or "non-intrusive" ads. If they want to advertise, do that. No more flashy "You're a winner" banners. Adios.

    We can complain all we want, but online advertising of often dubious products will not stop. --- That is, unless one adopts a simple rule I follow: Where I see something is pushed on my screen, it makes me be sure to NOT buy the product as I don't appreciate people shoving things in my face and telling me to buy them. - How about you?

  • Comments on Social Media killed an opportunity - Again

    According to an article in the Toronto Star, young Liberal candidate, Ala Buzreba, who told a Twitter user in 2011 to ‘go blow your brains out,’ has quit as candidate for Calgary-Nose Hill.

    Here is the article:


    In this day and age we should know that the websites specifically geared toward professional networking, most people use social networks for personal reasons – connecting with friends and family, sharing photos, and gathering and disseminating interesting information.

    However, while job seekers may view their postings as personal, any public profile is fair game for employers, who increasingly use these sites to gauge whether a candidate will be the right fit for their organization.

    In the case the Star brought to our attention, a young university student activist became the Federal Liberal Party's candidate in the forthcoming Federal election.

    As it happened, and obviously expected, her earlier comments on social media were publicized. Interestingly, as reported, the Leader of the party felt her comments belong to the past as they occurred 2-3 years ago and now the candidate has a mature acceptable outlook and should not be denied the candidacy.

    Now one is not sure if an employer other than one elected and working for the people of Canada would accept the explanation offered. However, one can be wrong.

    Still, some people are asking; How does a candidacy with the reported history on social media, even get past party censorship, selection committees, or whatever method the party is using for wetting people selected to sell the party for the voters?

    In the end the party must select a candidate whom they feel might best appeal to the majority of inhabitants of a particular riding. Is that what happened here?

  • Mr.Trump on a roll?

    As I understand, Mr.Trump's persistence to become President at the moment is paying dividends. Like it or not, Democrat or Republican, a growing number of people start to take him seriously. One of the reasons is he is talking about subjects dear to many people but they are hesitant to talk about it.

    Not so Mr. Trump; Without beating the bush, he is talking about immigration and about well-paying manufacturing jobs going to China and to other countries. As one person said, "It is wrong when they can build furniture in China and ship it here cheaper than it costs us to build it here." And according to many others this applies to other items too.

    Another Trump supporter thinks, "People are sick and tired of the other choices. They're two sides of the same coin. The media also suuuuuucks." Some feel the media is handled by the current power structure and will not support they kind of change Mr. Trump is fighting for.

    No matter what, the future will play out one way or the other. However, to denigrate Trumps' supporters is not a wise course of action. In the current state of political affairs, considering peoples' frustrations, expectations, one can not be certain if Mr. Trump's initial popularity will subside as many expect. Indeed, Trump both appeal to disillusion and emotion among voters.---- Now we just have to wait and see.

  • World’s population to reach 11.2 billion by 2099, UN says

    According to people in the know, the current global population of 7.3 billion is forecast to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, slightly above the last set of U.N. projections. Well, projections are just that, more or less.

    Anyone surprised that most growth will happen in developing regions, particularly Africa, according to the report World Population Prospects?

    Right now, people by the tens of thousands are leaving, escaping many places where the impact of the predicted population growth will be unavoidable, at least based on the present situation.

    Up to now only two countries have implemented child limits with minimal success, and those are China and Vietnam. Many other nations could also gain from a one or two child family planning policy, but they lack the prevision or political impetus to make it happen.

    Some desperate people even mention that the biblical admonishment to "be fruitful and multiply" isn't such good advice these days.

    No doubt, concerned people, organized or unorganized, working on solutions about our future. Hope they will succeed.

    However, whatever we are planning about our human potential, there is a looming cloud on the horizon: The current technological trend that will throw a wrench into our plans, is robotics and A.I.

    These technologies have the potential to wipe out the envisioned economic potential of large populations and ultimately put into question the need for human work in general, thereby having a massive impact on labour and global poverty.- If and when that happens, the planners in the U.N. and everywhere else must return to the drawing boards. - Provided there will be space available not occupied by humanity.

  • The Good People in the UN once again published 5 concerns about Canada

    Not the first time that a super conscientious arm of the UN knocked Canada in the area of human rights.

    You can read about the report here:


    As I understand, the UN committee, criticizing Canadian practices involving or touching on human rights, include countries with interesting records, especially in the sphere of human rights. Such as: Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Congo, Venezuela, Qatar. Past members included Iran and Zimbabwe.

    Unless the media is misleading us, in some of these countries practices like female genital mutilation is inflicted on millions of their young females and many of them die from it. - Apparently the UN has no problem with that.

    No! for them Canada is the problem.

    Reportedly, there are many people who feel the US should kick the UN out of New York and let them set up shop in a country more to their stature.

    If my memory is correct, I read that there are only 25 true democracies in the UN the rest are marching to the drum-beat of a different drummer.

    However, the proof is in the pudding. Let's try this: The UN report on Canada was published in Canada. The same report on Canada should be published in the countries criticizing Canada's human rights record.

    Following this, a survey in Canada should find out how many Canadians are willing to migrate to any of the countries critical of Canada in the report --Then, the same survey should ask people in the countries criticizing Canada, if they would like to migrate to Canada? The results could be interesting.

    According to one critic, "The United Nations is a failed organization which has never lived up to the expectations of its founders. One of its major problems are so many of its senior staff are left-wingers who have not succeeded in their own countries and have found a sinecure in the UN where they can work toward their socialist goals!"

    You may form your own opinion.

  • A Doomsday Theory A Day Keeps - Worries Away.

    Can't speak for others but it seems to me that Doomsday theories are the main staple of some of the educational and geographical channels on our TV.

    I just got over the fear endured by the idea of the giant tsunami generated by part of some island sliding into the Atlantic ocean far-far away. - I started to feel good again, breeding normally, like on a bad date when I was young. Even started to criticize some taxes and learned to live with some awful commercials. Indeed I started to spray the over advertised Breeze to freshen things up around the TV.

    Then, I dropped in to see a friend. His TV was on, and surprise! He was anxiously watching a "science" program describing the possibility of rays from a distant 'Death Star' wiping out all of our debts, hopes and doubts- together with our lives.

    Since then, within a couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to find out from a Science show, what life on Earth will be without people, the future without oil. Accepting the possibility of snooping aliens lurking on deserted highways waiting to abduct perfect specimens of homo-sapiens to examine in spaceships with functional but well cooled interiors.

    Still, I have learned to adjust to just about everything that may can happen to us on this planet of unlimited potential. Well, that's what we are told.

    Everything started to click again, until on a sunny day with a gooffy smile on my face, I was stretched out in a dentist chair, staring at the TV embedded in the ceiling. I just started to relax as the freezing started to work anticipating a painless tooth extraction. And suddenly, the screen on the tube started to show a preview from an upcoming TV series. On the screen, up to now placid wild animals started to organize with intellect for the purpose of attacking humans and even tasting them, accompanied by the flashing of HEALTHY teeth and disgusting smacking of lips. -

    I have reached my breaking point and murmured to the dentist to PLEASE bring on the tools of the trade and extract the damn tooth. After everything I have seen, I am sure I could live in a world with no teeth, eating baby food. However, I could be wrong. A Super Storm, like the one playing on the tube could knock out the power. --Then what?

  • Doggone it! - Ash Clouds from Volcano can't be milked for taxes

    What a waste! Some twenty-three pictures showing the tick ash- clouds rising from Mount Sinabung volcano during the June 26 eruption somewhere in Indonesia, and not a penny in taxes!

    The pictures are chilling and the suffering of the people affected is indescribable.

    We can only hope for the best and help the people within our means.

    As a final thought, one is compelled to ask: The pollution created by this and numerous other volcanic events are taken into consideration when carbon and related taxes are imposed on us to save the Earth and to stop or slow the relentless process of climate change? I don't know the answer. Perhaps Mr. Gore and the good Dr. Suzuki will put us at ease.

    You may see these amazing pictures:


  • Japanese women go ape over Shabani the brooding and "deep thinking" gorilla

    Who can blame these adoring Japanese ladies? The drudgery of everyday life in a supposedly almost perfect society, with customs and values going back for hundreds of years, after a while must be tiresome to observe and to live by them.

    Japanese culture is inclined to fall for great beasts, real or creations of imagination, like Godzilla and more than a handful contemporaries.

    In the case of Shabani the sensitive eyes and disturbingly good looks that caught the imagination of the mostly young IPhone equipped crowd of young women.

    But that is not all; He is a good father to his two young children and is 'married' to a gorilla lady much older to him. Perhaps Shabani had a chance to scan the one time popular book, "In praise of older women".

    Whatever, this mighty gorilla has it made. Adored by a multitude of delicate and choosy Japanese ladies.

    It is only a matter of time before Hollywood produces a movie, called , "Shabani is hot", or "Shabani goes to America".

    Right now he is the perfect role model for the modern day Japanese male.

    Perhaps I am envious while reading, "He flexes his muscles and he stares broodily into the distance." While I am able to stare like a scare-crow at a corn field, I do not seem to have the muscles one is able to flex at command.

    Well, you can't have everything. Neither can Shabani.

    At the moment, he still has no access to the Internet. But don't hold your breath, soon you will be reading his blog instead of this one.

    Best wishes Shabani. Enjoy the bananas while basking in the adoration of the ladies.

  • Sexist remarks will not be tolerated, scientist or no scientist, you will resign your position

    Tim Hunt a Nobel winning scientist was forced to resign an honorary post at University College of London and losing his position with the European Research Council science committee.

    Apparently he was the author of his own misfortune. His problems started when he announced to the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea that there was a "trouble with girls" who worked in laboratories, saying they cry when criticized.

    Although several female collegaues defended Hunt, he was cooked. Some people go as far as to talk of a new fascism, cloaked in the colours of political correctness.

    Whatever, he should have known better. The year is 2015 and remarks that may be judged to be sexist are not acceptable. So he is paying the price.

    Actually, two things are proven by Mr. Hunt's punishment;

    First, remarks deemed to be sexist will not be tolerated, regardless of the person's position and importance in the area their expertise.

    Second, no matter what we hear or see, we are living in relative safety guided by the highest ideals.

    Let me explain. Suppose a group of scientists would be working feverishly today on something like the W.W.2 Manhattan project.

    Imagine, one of them would say something considered to be sexist. In line with our modern code of ethics he should be relieved of his post. Justice would be done and the world and the future would be better for it. Or may be not?

    Some may say that Mr. Hunt's science background and Nobel Prize is not THAT important.

    In that case, there may be something in the rumours that nowadays the Nobel Prize is handed out like flyers at a Mall during a period of super sales.

    Moral of the story: Sexist remarks are not allowed and are not excused.

  • Toronto Star, "Indonesia mayor orders curfew for women in Aceh capital"- Comment

    The rationale for the curfew for women is that it will reduce violence. Therefore, restaurants, Internet cafes and tourist attractions should not serve women after 11 p.m. - unless they are accompanied by their husbands or other male family members.

    The directive also prohibits women from working in such establishments after 11 p.m.

    Never mind cracking down on the people committing the violence. No. Obviously much easier to restrict the women's freedom.

    The article is interesting. As a comment, one can only hope that the city's mayor will not pop up as the latest recipient of the Nobel Prize for achievements in the area of Human Rights.

    Don't hold your breath. The world is getting stranger every day.

    The article:


  • Is The Time Here For Dress Codes Or Uniforms In School?

    As a result of protests at two Ontario schools and the arrival of summery weather, the topic of dress codes is again in the news.

    Up to now, most of the conversation centered on the un-called for sexualization of teen girls, and the issue of whether dress codes promote rape culture.

    At this point the conversation reached the point when school administrators started to voice opinions in favour of reasonable but enforceable dress codes in schools.

    Not surprisingly, a growing number of parents support the idea of dress codes. Some went even further; In one Ontario school, uniforms were introduced earlier in the year. Don't be surprised if a trend develops for wide scale introduction of school uniforms.

    If a school has a dress code in place, that means that every article of clothing covered under the code could be argued that it meets the code.

    A school uniform is clear cut. No doubt some would challenge the outfits by making minor alteration to a part of the uniform, like the length of a sleeve, or something similar.

    Still, overall it would present fewer and less serious problems than a dress code that is open to wider interpretation.

    School is not a fashion walk. Students from poorer backgrounds can look like kids from wealthier families thus advancing the idea of practical egalitarianism. In this way, school uniforms would promote further concentration on important things, like learning and studying instead of competition about who has the latest fashion?

    The parents of poorer kids would not be under the pressure of keeping up with the proverbial Joneses and quietly suffering, mistakenly thinking that they not trying hard enough to provide for the children.

    On the positive side, we must be living much better than our
    grandparents. In their days, unless the tales are not true, a student was able and learned enough to be able to express his/her individuality without dressing very differently for that 5 minutes of fame. ---- And they did not had to be concerned about a potential employer scrutinizing Google about their "crusade" for their cause celebre when applying for a job.

  • "Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb" - Article in the Independent ( Comment)

    One does not have to concur with the captioned article by Janet Street-Porter.

    If you read the article you can see that she is not mincing words writing about the legions of young people equipped with a trendy smartphone, the ability to type on the keyboard with dedication rarely observed in our days.

    Reading the article, one is left with the feeling that the alleged dumbing down of society begins with the proliferation of smartphone use by children under 18.

    Maybe so. Maybe not. Read the article, call up your experiences and observations regarding the use smartphones. Then, you may form or re- enforce your already held view on the use of smartphones by all of us.

    The article:


  • Don't fool yourself - Employers watch your online and other activities!

    A few days ago Hydro One announced it is firing an employee after social media pinpointed him in a video telling Shauna Hunt of CityNews that it’s “fucking hilarious” to shout a sexist obscenity at television reporters. The man was not on the job and did not identify his employer in the video, but Hydro One said its “Code of Conduct” and “Core Values” were violated just the same. Another career down the drain.

    I have no use for the louts who shout obscenities at female reporters. Let the law come down hard on them and they must learn that behaviour like that will not be tolerated.

    We must be alert and watch that employers will not dilute the interpretation of the signed employment contract and make it a tool for getting rid of employees they want to download.

    In the worst case scenario, things could degenerate to a point, where an employer could dismiss someone for simply spitting a chewing gum on the sidewalk, or fluffing in an elevator, both examples of disgusting behaviour.

    Of course, frivolous cases will be challenged in the courts. After an overzealous employer is ordered to pay a large sum of money to an unjustly dismissed employee correction will take place. Meaning that people will be more careful of their conduct in public and online.

    At the same time employers will have less need to monitor their employees conduct away from the place of work. However, online activities will be monitored as long as the legal and technical support makes it possible.

  • Women are smart, no need to force feed stupid and demeaning commercials

    It was a long and demanding day. He was happy to be at home with his girlfriend who just came home from work. They were tired. Instead of going out for a burger or something else edible, they have decided on home made pasta and both got busy with the preparation. Finally, the steaming spaghetti covered with juicy spaghetti sauce was ready to eat. As usual, they sat on the chesterfield to eat and turned on the TV to watch a usually light-hearted comedy on TV.

    After spooning a few forkful of juicy spaghetti, enjoying the flavour of pasta, covered with the tasty red coloured sauce and enjoying the simple comedy on TV, the inevitable loud commercial cut in.

    On the screen you could see a happily screaming young woman sliding down on a water-slide. At the same time, the announcer charmingly outlined the advantage of a particular feminine hygiene product, proudly emphasizing that this product will prevent leaking.

    The man's girlfriend just said, "Yeah, that's true". What the dining couple did not know that the advertiser probably was thinking of the WWII Allied Bomber Command's effective tactic, called saturation bombing. Where waves of bombers, within a short period of time saturated and softened the enemy's resolve by delivering loads of bombs in quick succession.

    The pusher of the feminine hygiene product within a period of thirty minutes, repeated the same commercial, at least 12 times, according to the girlfriend.

    By the time the couple finished their spaghetti meal, the lady had had enough and was not appreciative of the force fed, and demeaning commercial directed at potential female customers.

    According to her, it was not the ruined appetite for the spaghetti that made her upset. Essentially, she felt that this type of commercial present women as dumb and they need to be brain washed to be sold on a product that is known and used by most females.

    I was told the story and truly only a female is in a position to add or criticize it.

    Nevertheless, one is up to the ears with the avalanche of stupid commercials that treat people as we are already the "dumbed down" crowd of people who can only be motivated to buy, by repetitive and extremely stupid sales tricks.

  • There always will be a Conservative England - More or less

    Our suspicions have been confirmed; Pollsters and weather people are two professions who are routinely inaccurate, its surprising that people still listen to either. Old habits die slow and we are gullible. Don't take it to heart, it will happen again - and again.

    David Cameron's spectacular election victory under the flag of the Conservative Party was unexpected. Now that it has become a fact, pollsters around the globe are ridiculed and the security of their livelihood at the moment looks like the future of the dinosaurs, after the big meteorite struck the planet.

    In Germany, where the heart and the engine of the EU reside, politicians are concerned. And they should be. Mr. Cameron's future fortunes are tied to his promise of providing a way for the U. K. to leave the apparently unhappy union with the EU.

    His euro-skeptic blusterers in the boondocks of the Parliament, have become even more powerful. Mr. Cameron must deliver if he wants to keep the support of various interests, lobby groups.

    Anxiously waiting for the promised referendum are many domestic and foreign companies in the U.K. Economists warn that companies will put investments in United Kingdom on ice until the EU question is clarified. That is a real concern.

    Mr. Cameron's victory demolished the aspirations of both Labour's Ed Miliband and his former Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg have both resigned after suffering heavy losses.

    However, only time will tell if the new political landscape on the island is the one that has the willpower and the ability deliver and satisfy the expectations of those who gave him the benefit of doubt. - This time.

  • Schools failing in the paragon of welfare states, Sweden?

    Up to recent times, we could not read or hear anything but good about Sweden.

    One is not talking about the supposed abundance of blond females, some of the well prepared smorgasbord meals, or the once top of the line Volvo cars and road building equipment. School discipline has worsened, with Swedish students the most likely to arrive late for school.

    According to a "credible" report Sweden needs to urgently face the declining performance of its schools. At this point nobody says they are preparing badly equipped dummies to face a very competetive future. But the time is now to wake up and initiate corrective action.

    As reported, the performance of Swedish students in an international tests for 15-year-olds has plunged in the past decade from average to significantly below average.

    The emphasis is on the "significantly below average". Obviously effective measures must be taken to resolve the worsening situation. Prancing on the part of opportunistic politicans will not lead to melioration.

    Ideas and recommendations are dime a dozen. The predominant sentiments include a number of recommendations; Such as raising the salaries of teachers. Telling students that they must live up to higher expectations and improving the integration of immigrants. Apparently on average they score lower than children born in the country.

    Critics also mention that school discipline has worsened, with Swedish students the most likely to arrive late for school compared to the students of other countries surveyed.

    Frankly, many people with some knowledge of Sweden, their society and their achievements in the area of human rights are surprised. What happened?

    At this point in time no responsible person would suggest that Swedish schools are heading in the direction of becoming something depicted in some movies, like "The Blackboard Jungle".

    Nevertheless, the discouraging trend must be reversed. Especially in a world where competition for everything will be much rougher among the millions of people who now will have the opportunity to do their best to struggle for a decent life.

    The future has arrived, the race is on.

  • "I am a dork, but the Apple Watch will make me desirable"

    As most of us know, for we are informed left and right, that the new Apple Watch, is the greatest thing, right after spreading ketchup on badly prepared potato chips.

    To own one of these small electronic devices is equitable to having compensation for just about everything nature cruelly denied to many of us. Like good looks, personality, a good job, the admiration of the opposite sex, and a credit card that will not be maxed after strapping the newly purchased Apple watch on to your wrist.

    The hell with the Kardashian crowd! The Apple Watch will make us to be perceived as cool. Flaunting The Watch in a place of entertainment, will guarantee the proud wearer envious and admirable looks.- Looks exposing dazzle and the unspoken assessment, that He or She must be really hot, or even sizzling .... on the dance floor.

    Flashing the Apple Watch, during a job interview will impress the potential employer. They will know, that no matter what, the applicant is ready and able to tell the time. As a last resort, they can be notified via the Apple Watch that their iPhone is able to provide the wearer with the local time.

    I sound like yesterday's badly scratched vinyl record in an old-timer's dusty collection. But not for long!

    Yes! Yes! I want to be with it! As soon as I paid my Hydro bill, I am heading to the Apple Store to optimize my digital existence, buying the Apple Watch to fit in the Wonderful World of the Apple.-- Of course, first, I would have to learn to tell the time. -:)

  • Canada Is Not An Oil Sheikdom Surrounded By Sand

    If you live in Canada or had the good fortune to see and experience Canada from coast to coast, you have seen a beautiful country, rich in natural resources, plenty of space for people. Add to this millions of talented individuals who had made Canada their home to build a better life for themselves.

    That is why it sounds strange when some politicians, pundits, talking media heads and others suddenly panicking when the price of oil is tumbling.

    Are we that dependent on oil that everything is going under in Canada if the price of oil drops? Where is our industrial base? The factories that used to produce industrial goods for domestic use and for export?

    If Canada can't make money from selling oil, we'll make money in other ways. We still have Nortel ... and Blackberry. After all, Blackberry is still limping along. And Tim Hortons, although foreign owned, is still operating. Sure, it is not the same as a booming steel plant in the Hamilton area of Ontario or a prosperous fishing industry on the East coast of Canada. But life must go on, albeit with some caution. Like intellectual property should not leave Canada just like that.

    Canada may be an emerging energy super-power and that is a positive aspect. But no matter how the oil business shapes up in the future, Canadians should remember 7/24 that the oil industry is not remotely the entire Canadian economy. Never was and hopefully never will be.

    Perhaps it would be prudent to stop touting Canada's Big Sky country, oil rich Alberta, as the center of the universe and alienating the presently spattering industrial sectors in Eastern Canada in the process. That is not the way to go.

    Most importantly, we must remember everyone looks like a genius when times are good. A rising tide lifts all boats.

    It's when the tide goes out that you start to think these guys don't have a clue what they are doing.

  • Comments on The Globe and Mail article, "Why cap-and-trade schemes are little more than a cash grab"

    The article in the Globe by Jeff Rubin is well-timed and straight to the point.

    Ontario's Liberal Government is flirting with the idea of introducing a cap and trade scheme in the interest of a cleaner world and so on.

    Unfortunately for the Ontario Government, far too many people believe this is just another cash grab as there aren't many clever, toothsome, ideas for increasing government revenues.

    Perhaps carbon taxes would be more effective than any other approach that may be perceived as a badly concealed cash grab.

    But there is a risk; carbon taxes by and large have been electoral poison. Carbon taxes are visible just like the hated GST.

    Then, there is the matter of convincing people that carbon taxes actually doing some good, aside from creating new billionaires.

    Nevertheless, in Ontario, the voters twice before voted for the Liberals. Even after a number of costly scandals like the Hydro mess and two others.

    In light of this, you can bet your carbon footprint that the proposed carbon cap-and-trade scheme will be introduced.

    Read the interesting and apparently well researched article, published by the Toronto Globe And Mail:


  • HP Customer Service experience almost like an April Fool's Hoax with contribution from UPS

    My HP printer broke down and is covered by HP's factory warranty. So, on Sunday, March 29, I called HP Customer Service as per procedure. After wrangling my way through their voice operated answering system, a pleasant customer representative took the call. Under his guidance I had tried a number of things to get the printer working, but did not succeed.

    He called a "Supervisor" to the phone. This new help first informed me in a commanding way that he hears several voices in the background on my end and that must stop. Then, the good man surprised me by saying that for the last 15 minutes he has been telling me HP will send a replacement printer.

    Suddenly the connection died. Well, that can happen considering that the Customer Service is located many time zones away in India, if I understood them correctly.

    On Monday, March 30, I called HP again. The service representative transferred me to a charming lady "Supervisor". After going through just about everything I have discussed with two of their people, she assured me that on April 1 a new printer will be delivered by UPS or FEDEX.

    With some trepidation I stayed home on April 1, waiting for the printer to be delivered, either by UPS or FEDEX.

    April 1 came and went but no printer was delivered. I don't really think it was an April Fool's joke but it felt like one.

    On April 5, I went through the taxing process of calling HP customer service again.

    After another wasted 40 minutes, I was told that I should have called UPS and arrange a delivery date for the printer. Yet, I was told before that the printer will be delivered without mentioning that I have to contact UPS.

    I called UPS, the connection was weak, as I was told that the UPS
    customer centre is located somewhere in Asia. However, the charming lady at UPS told me that they have no information whatsoever on the printer and an investigation must be initiated.

    She told me that I have to call HP and tell them because UPS have no record of the printer or the delivery order.

    By this time I was tired of the hours spent on this matter. Still I called HP.

    Now comes the good part: While finding my way through HP's voice mail system to tell them that UPS have no record of the printer, Lo behold, I see a UPS truck in the driveway delivering the printer. The same printer that according to information received from UPS, only ten minutes ago, is not even shown on their records.

    The printer, still packaged, is here now. However, as of now I have not tried to open it. Who knows what's in it.

    What can I say? Good job HP? Good show UPS?

  • Are you a male with or without a beard?

    You are not in the Middle East or accidentally transferred back to the middle ages by a stealth time machine. Yet, just about everywhere you look, today, you see males of all ages strolling around with hipster beards, or what some see as "Spastic face rugs".

    Unkind people and some studies claim that hipster beards are hiding something, or are grown to compensate for lack of personality.

    Others, including some aging anti-gadget types parroting the line that the abundance of facial hair is the result of the monotone plebeian social media generation that allows people to live their life with minimal human contact.

    Some people are scared of the beards, or just simply feel uncomfortable seeing them, because it reminds them of some terrorist organizations they see on some newscast day in and day out.

    Then, there must be people affiliated with the razor industry or even have connections in the world of barbers.

    Obviously their business interests may be affected. And so on.

    Actually, beards are okay, if they neat and covered when the wearer flips my hamburger or stirs my beef stroganoff.

    One does not really know or is even qualified to shove down an opinion on a hairy matter like the situation surrounding facial hair.

    Nevertheless, I believe that the fad is the sign of the times.

    Back in the 60's, when civil rights was in the news, marches were almost a daily occurrence by African Americans and others, many people changed their hair style to what is called the Afro.

    Today, when we are pumped with news from the Middle East, some people unconsciously, or just by following the trend are cultivating beards.

    Add to this a legion of men who hate the ritual of shaving, like yours truly, and you end up with a sizable and still growing number of people sporting a fuzz, beard, or whatever you call it.

    In any case, I am ready to scribble more on this ticklish subject.
    Unfortunately I must hurry to shave to meet the standard dictated by somebody else -- Or I go to the movies by myself.-:)

  • If you MUST use Facebook, then you must obey the planned new rules.

    If you have the irresistible urge to open your heart or just vent frustration on Facebook, you must be prepared to comply with the new rules.

    The coming new standards will not tolerate inappropriate content and such scribble will be promptly deleted. Indeed, in serious cases the unlucky or actually stupid user may be banned, as the ultimate punishment.

    Given the recent wave of terrorism by extremist organizations and their reported use of the social media, especially Facebook, the restrictions are understandable.

    Limitations will be imposed on other aspects of what is allowed and what will be frowned upon on Facebook.

    It will be prohibited the publishing of material reeking with explicit sexual content in the shape of video, photo or any other form.

    Actually, the Internet is already saturated with sites offering smut for almost every taste. At least that's what we read and hear by the gurus of the media. And they have the expertise in digging for "truth" and reliable data. At least that's what they are telling us.

    For the average patron of Facebook, and they are the majority, the new rules will mean very little. There are no restrictions planned for describing mundane everyday tidbits, writing about visiting aunt Josephine and the strange habits of a lonely goldfish swimming in a bowl the size of a smaller cabbage.

    So, if you must, if you have nothing better to do, go and keep busy with Facebook. Sooner or later there will be something more interesting to watch on CBC, or participating in a Easter egg hunt in your local community park.

  • Something rib-tickling happened while transporting an alleged murderer to a hospital - somewhere in India

    Apparently four policemen were taking a prisoner to a hospital for some treatment. A rather hum-drum routine job in that part of the country. Therefore, one may understand that they came up with an idea to spice up the boring trip by taking a 200 kilometer detour to a house of ill-repute in the neighbouring state.

    Of course, they took the prisoner with them. However, it is not clear if the prisoner was actually invited to share in the goodies served up in this house of leisure and pleasure.

    As we can see, the four policemen did not check their daily horoscope because the day turned into a disaster for them.

    Just so-happened, that the local law enforcement officers raided the brothel at the same time while the four out of state police officers were on the premises engaging in activities that should not be described in a half–decent blog.

    While this went on, the prisoner escaped. Surprisingly, short time later, the escaped prisoner gave himself up to local authorities.

    Unfortunately for the four excitement seeking police officers, they had been suspended. Whatever will happen to them, they will have plenty of time to contemplate the cost of a detour that looked promising at the time.

  • Unwanted software pushed, installed on computers, tablets and phones. Another aspect of the emerging Dishonest New World?

    As customers we accept that device manufacturers have profitable agreements with software firms to advertise and install so called trial versions of software. Unfortunately, these days there are no limits to the number of junk and other unwanted software installed.

    Why should the customer spend time uninstalling an unwanted anti virus program that pops up on most new computers, tablets and smart phones? I would never buy software that was pushed on me or was installed by stealth method after owning the computer. Obviously there must be people who willingly, or out of helplessness being sucked into purchasing a writing program, anti virus and other software, space on 'cloud' servers and other often questionable software.

    Things seem to get from bad to worse. You can hardly open a program installed on your tablet, without a pop-up notice that your device is in danger unless you click on choice "A" or "B". In some cases you end up with unwanted bloatware that is useless and just a load on your device.

    Most of these methods used to push a product is not honest and in a way short sighted: As the customer slowly becomes aware of the fact that they are just used for a sucker, they will be more careful and will shy away installing even legitimate and useful software. But most of all, they will share their experiences with others.

    Of course as Barnum Bailey is widely, but erroneously, credited with coining the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute". - And the pushers of unwanted software are aware of it.

  • The Era Of Short And 'Sensitive' Actors - Why?

    Just came across this article. Touchy subject for some. I am not qualified to comment. But you may read it and judge for yourself.

    "Why ARE today's stars so short? Actors were once strapping hunks and muscular specimens. Now the modern leading man is more likely to be required to burst into tears, says QUENTIN LETTS"


  • Brewing coffee is not challenging enough for Starbucks - Now they are going to discuss race relations with the Latte crowd

    The CBC news report starts with, "RaceTogether: Starbucks blasted for encouraging baristas to discuss race issues with customers"

    You can read the report here:

    One is not calling into question Starbucks' good intentions with this new project. Urging baristas in the coffee shop to open conversations about race perhaps is not as easy as it seems.

    Obviously Starbucks' corporate management thinks the idea is practical and will win the company the reputation as one working to improve race relations among people.

    One is not so sure if Starbucks employees are groomed to engage an unsuspecting but otherwise decent or even racist customer in discussion about race.

    However, if it works, then you can be sure that other establishments, like Tim Horton's, McDonald's and others will initiate a similar program. If that happens, than most people will be convinced that people working just above the minimum wage are truly much better qualified to do other jobs for which today a degree is required. As happens in many cases where qualified employees are tasked to deal with sensitive issues like race.

    Although Starbucks has thousands of employees in other countries, from what we know, baristas at the 4,700 U.S. Starbucks locations are being encouraged but not required to discuss race relations with customers.

    Which is a sensible and cautious start. After all, opening a dialogue about race in a Japanese Starbucks outlet would not be more successful than doing the same in India bringing up the subject of the so called class of Untouchables.

  • One sure way to get peeved off!

    First the VW, now the Germans started to utilize another invention to improve the quality of life in large and small cities.

    Basically, residents in a German neighbourhood, had just about enough of mainly drunk people peeing on the walls of buildings.

    Local residents organized and started to apply Ultra-Ever Dry, a super hydrophobic paint originally developed by carmaker Nissan. The coating, which is also used in shipbuilding, is powerful enough to push water molecules away, meaning that late night pee-ers get a nasty and wet surprise.

    You may read the article and view the video illustrating this:


  • Climate Change and Human Procreation

    The subject of the real and well trumpeted climate change came up in a free wheeling discussion among a small group of people while having a coffee.

    Frankly, the subject palls me, as I have heard just about every argument surrounding the issue.

    Nevertheless, one of the debaters expressed his view, and frankly I am still thinking about the validity of his line of reasoning.

    This is what he said: " I am not denying that something is going on with the climate. Climate change has been going on for thousands of years. That is the main reason that today we are not debating sitting atop a glacier that used to cover most of the Northern part of the continent. What is up for debate is whether human activities are the major cause to what seem to be escalating climate change. Accepting this, we should identify the contributing human activities and do something about them."

    "If human activities are the problem, then, any political solution will be nothing but a band-aid solution and we will pay for it big time.---- Because whatever we come up with, no matter how much we pay, any such solutions will be quickly outstripped by human population expansion.

    Based on the current situation, as human numbers increase, so, too, does the amount of carbon emissions from human activities. Why circle around the problem? We should place a cap-and-trade tax on human procreation. We are already close to share the planet with 8 billion people and there is no indication that the growth of population will slow down."

    Roughly this is what he said. One does not automatically accept this gentleman's reasoning. Nevertheless, some people may find it interesting.

  • Smart Cars, Smart Phones - Now Smart Watches For Smart People?

    One is beginning to question the allegations that the general populace is getting dumber. Advocates of the rumour often point to the results of some of the elections outcome.

    Whatever the "consensus", there must be a growing number of Smart People. Just tally the so-called Smart Cars you see on the roads. These wonders of technology are rumoured to be gas-savers. Most of all, they can only can seat two people with very little luggage, like a doggy bag with the remains of a Mac meal.

    Anyone driving these cars to work, will not get a call on their Smart Phone, requesting to pick up Mom at the Airport, coming to stay for the rest of the summer with her ample luggage.

    At the present time, there is hope to surmount the wonders of the Smart Car by buying one of the soon to be introduced Smart Watches.

    The watch is the product of Apple for Smart People, and even for the ones not gifted with an abundance of grey matter, as long as they have plenty of green bills, or a tolerable ceiling on their credit.

    No need to espouse the marvels of this Mount Everest of technical plateau. You can read all about it on dedicated web pages and articles inspired and likely supported by the massive advertising machinery of Apple.

    In light of the above, next time you see someone talking into his twinkling wristwatch, do not signal you are surprised. Just consider yourself lucky: You are within the range of visibility of one of the Smart People.

    And if you are envious? Well, just cope in misery. Or buy a Smart Watch after you mortgaged your small condo, or had to put your recently acquired Smart Car on sale on Car.Car.Car.Jalopy.com

  • Men who hold doors open for women are actually sexist?

    The finding of a Boston based research group is that men who smile, open doors for women are actually practicing "benevolent" sexism.

    Yep, these dudes apparent but misleading chivalry is nothing but the manifestation of sexism.

    The wise and no doubt well paid "experts" say this type of sexism is harder to spot than the 'hostile sexism' we are more familiar with, because it often masquerades as gallantry. It is epitomized by paternal and caring deportment, from supporting smiles to holding doors open.

    Actually, this quite serious; Professor Judith Hall, of Northeastern University in Boston, said: 'Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep's clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women'.

    There you have it! One is ashamed even to voice a sprinkle of dissent what the good professor says with the authority of an all-knowing deity from the realm of omnipotence.

    But don't take my humble comments on this, You may read the most informative article written by Fiona Macrae of the Daily Mail:


    After learning about "benevolent sexism", I do feel
    somewhat shaken, but in the words of one of the respondents to the article, "I open doors for both men and women and children. If they don't say thank you I just get on with my day and don't get all heft up about it either. What's the point? It has happened to us all."

  • 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:


    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:

  • 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. -:)


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