• "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.

  • She Offers Free Viagra For Seniors, If Elected

    Things could not get any better for seniors living in Toronto. Sarah Thompson is running for Mayor in Toronto and promising to hand out free Viagra for low-income seniors if she masters the stiff competition in the mayor's race and wins in the fall.

    In the view of some seniors gossiping at Tim's, she is hoping that her expected flaccid campaign will be more than just a collection of meaningless platitudes and intends to bone it up with some staff that makes the blood circulate in the veins of those old electors.

    Obviously Sarah Thompson is up to date on the latest medical info on seniors. She revealed that," Stress in seniors can cause erectile dysfunction, leading to more stress and creating very unhappy citizens." That's it! Brilliant insight.

    She must be well informed as to the real concerns of senior-citizens whose incomes are shrinking with the demands of daily existence. However, she feels that Viagra is the elixir that seniors crave. The magic medicine that will replace what is missing in their life, except, food, lodging, companionship and many other desirable things.

    In conclusion, Don't be so hard on Sarah Thomson. She's just thinking outside the box.

    Nevertheless if Sarah Thompson gets elected, then watch out! In the coming Federal Election, just maybe, a politician will pop up with the promise of supplying some countries in the developing world with Cialis, if elected.

  • 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.

  • Business Booming For Sham Wedding Fixers

    The BBC reports that, "Brides and grooms are being offered for sale to people wanting to cheat their way to a visa and avoid deportation, a BBC Wales investigation has revealed."

    These days this is not really unexpected as many people use every loophole and trick to get what they want.

    The world gets smaller and the number of people is growing, often in already crowded countries. There will be no shortage of individuals willing to pay crooks to help them getting them into a country, in the Western hemisphere to have a better life. That's just the way things are.

    Here you may read the BBC report:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-21579279

  • 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.

  • Comment on NP article, about woman hurt typing profiles of sexy women for website.

    This is a story about a dating website for married people who get the itch to cheat on their partners. The former employee says she damaged her wrists while typing up all those fake profiles of sexy women for men salivating for a little or a lot of extramarital fun.

    Well, that's the sign of the times. Although, since the dawn of human history there were always people, men and women, who wanted to test a different brand.

    The lady is seeking $20 million from her ex-employer plus another million in punitive damages.

    The court will decide the outcome and one can only hope that justice will prevail.

    You may read the article, it is quite interesting:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/11/10/woman-hurt-typing-fake-profiles-of-sexy-women-for-dating-site-ashley-madison-20m-suit-alleges/

  • Injured Canadian soldiers will be given first choice to be hired for federal government jobs.

    Service members released from the military because of injuries suffered in the line of duty have already been given priority in hiring for federal departments just like visible minorities and other groups under various affirmative action initiatives.

    Finally, in the wake of the Senate scandals and sensing the feelings of many Canadians, legislation introduced by the Conservative government in the House of Commons today would bump injured soldiers, sailors and air personnel even higher up the list than those other applicants.

    This is fair and long overdue. Decent Canadians are disturbed when learning that several former soldiers who suffered injuries have alleged they were intentionally forced out before they reached 10 years of service, at which point they would begin to receive a pension.

    If the allegations are valid, then no politician would like to be associated with a tacky venture that harms exactly those Canadian men and women, who willingly put their life on the line so the rest of us is able to continue to live in a society which allows the manifestation of diversity for all of us.

    Give a break for our injured veterans - just as we are helping almost everyone around the world. That's the Canadian way.

  • 200 million missing girls in the world due to gender based abortions

    Canada’s grassroots Conservatives have embraced a sharp shift to the right adopting new goals.

    I only wish to comment on their condemnation of discrimination against girls through gender selection. That means that the Conservative grass-roots opposes abortion in cases where the parents don’t want to give birth to a baby girl.

    According to a British Columbia MP, “Right now in the world there are over 200 million missing girls because of the practice of using ultrasounds to find out if it’s a boy or girl,”

    This is inhuman, cruel, and should be unacceptable anywhere on the planet. Unfortunately, it happens in some other countries.

    However, so far this was not a problem in Canada, at least as far as generally believed. In fact it is a surprise that something like this require the recommendation of the 'little people', if the grass-roots of the governing party puts it on the table.

    What one would like to know, where are the loud voices from the ranks of the other parties categorically condemning the idea of gender based abortions? What about the powerful feminist organizations? Where are the legions of successful so-called alpha women? Why are these groups of people not speaking out against this gender based horror?

    These days when rapidly changing values dictate the way we born, live and die, we can not adopt the attitude that, "Well, it can not happen here". Yes, it can if we are not guarding against it.

  • Comment on Article in NP, "Australian court denies compensation to bureaucrat for sex injury on business trip"

    An article in the National Post by Rod MCGuirk of the Associated Press describes a very paiful outcome for a government employee who was injured while having sex in a motel room during a business trip.

    Apparently the lady involved and a man were having sex in the motel room when a glass light fixture above the bed fell onto her face, injuring her nose and mouth. This was followed by depression and she could not keep her job.

    Now that's bad luck. Business trips usually offer some relief from the daily hum-drum of the office or in some cases from someone's partner.

    There were no earth-quakes reported in the immediate area of this very personal mishap and no one suggest that the couple were swinging from the chandeliers.

    Unfortunately for the lady, Australia’s highest court on Wednesday denied workers’ compensation for her injuries and the resulting consequences.

    Some may say life is not fair. Others insist that stick to playing cards in hotel rooms while on a business trip.- Or at least check the condition of the ceiling fixtures before shuffling the cards.

    Here is the article:
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/30/australian-court-denies-compensation-to-bureaucrat-for-sex-injury-on-business-trip/

  • 30 million people living as slaves around the world - In 2013?

    I was quite surprised when I read we share this planet with 30 million bonafide slaves according to a CNN report. My first reaction was that there must be a mistake or a case of wrong interpretation of the data compiled by the Walk Free Foundation. And I am still not sure.

    India is leading the list with an estimated nearly 14 million slaves, followed by China 2.9 million and Pakistan with 2.1 million. Actually the list names the top 10 country's on this unbelievable list published in 2013.

    At the same time, we read that a number of countries are looking for compensation from their long ago gone colonial masters.

    The report on modern say slavery is alarming and disappointing. Read the article on the CNN site and reach your own conclusion:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/17/world/global-slavery-index/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

  • Comment on The Globe and Mail article, "Age of the Alpha Woman"

    The column describes the phenomenon of the new highly educated, female elite that came about in the last few decades, mainly in North America. Apparently Alpha Women make up about 15-20 percent of women in the first world and they do have the power to make their wishes come true.

    These women don't worry too much about husbands and children, rather they are obsessed about the so-called glass-ceilings limiting their aspirations in the corporate world. Wisely, they don't like to marry-down and surprisingly they could not care too much about sisterhood with the millions of women that struggle for the daily existence all over the world.

    Perhaps we are seeing the formation of a new class system. Of course we are still hoping that the contribution of this budding new class, may eventually turn their inherent aptitude and talents to create a gentler world. - As we have been hoping for the last forty years or so.

    You may read the referenced article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/age-of-the-alpha-woman/article14917148/

  • No Place For Virginity Test In Canada

    Virginity testing is a very sensitive subject, especially in our modern world. Yet, in Quebec, a province in Canada, physicians ordered to stop performing these tests. This came as a surprise to many Canadians who actually believed they are living in the twenty- first century, in a state where human rights and womens' dignity are protected by seemingly effective laws, administered by legions of bureaucrats.

    Apparently, there were at least four cases where doctors were asked to perform virginity tests on females, allegedly for the sake of family honour.

    Fortunately, not only the government of Quebec, but the Council for the Status of Women told CTV Montreal, that while there were four reported cases, this is not a trend, and the demands are coming from religious fundamentalist groups.

    We like to believe that such degrading custom will never be a part of the "Canadian way and practices". We don't sell our daughters virginity as a bonus prize to the right suitor of daddy's choosing.

    In a way we are lucky, most Canadians believe that this type of practice is tyrannical to young girls and women; a well-nigh decided act of gender inequality. And Canadian culture does not stand for that.

  • Covering the face under Quebec's proposed charter of values

    Protesters marched through the streets of Montreal on Saturday afternoon to stigmatize Quebec’s proposed charter of values, demanding that Premier Pauline Marois to put an end to 'politics of division.'

    The protest was called a multicultural event. A group from a local mosque displayed a large banner that read, "Multi-faith gathering for peace.” One would not question the sincerity of this group, as no doubt the same people would be marching to stop the killing of Christians and the burning of churches by religious fanatics in some countries, where this sort of thing is happening with increasing frequency. At least that would be the expectation by many people in Canada.

    However, there are many who are better qualified to debate the particulars of the proposed charter than some amateur like yours truly.

    I leave the debate with the following comment: You should be allowed to wear on your head whatever you want and dress as you like, as long as dictated by the rules of safety and common-sense.

    But under no circumstances should be the face-covered unless there is a health issue involved, such as a badly burned face or extreme deformation.

    Covering a face in our far from perfect world would offer additional opportunities for some people to expand evil activities. Also, average people would not feel comfortable facing people with covered faces. Be that on a dark street or in a government office or in a stuck elevator.

  • Immigrants Cost $20 Billion-A-Year For Canada

    According to a recent report compiled by the Fraser Institute, in Canada immigration and refugees impose a fiscal burden on the country to the tune of $20 billion a year. Now that is a lot of money and many people must contribute with their taxes to gather the yearly $20 billion in the pot.

    The Fraser Institute goes further and one of their economist argues that the government should take more decisive steps and start phasing out the sponsorship of parents and grand parents and introduce an employer-driven system to attract able economic immigrants who would contribute with their work and taxes to Canada's well-being. A set of grandparents could cost the system $400,000,

    In other words, they want people who will carry their own weight, instead of crowding hospital emergency rooms and seniors' facilities.

    The requested employer-system urges caution. Some corporations already have imported "employer required" labour and laid off current Canadian employees. This should not happen.

    Canadians should be put at ease regarding the $20 billion a year cost of bringing people in the country. Show us with simple figures just how the $20 billion is spent. Many people feel that the roughly a quarter of a million newcomers a year, is just too many in these times.

    Rightly or erroneously, many Canadians believe that on balance the newcomers of the day, cost more than their projected contribution to the country.

    Lets prove them wrong! Show us the balance sheet prepared in a way that the average Canadian understands the content and proudly remembers that Canada is a country of immigrants - and will remain so. -- And of course every penny of the $20 billion is well spent -- as shown by the balance sheet. Is that too much to ask? -:)

  • A jolly good beating for "sinners"?

    According to an article in the Toronto Sun, a Brampton preacher in line with his own interpretation of Islamic Law did not beat the bush and made his point.

    On a You Tube video this gentleman enlightened us that a member of his faith who is sentenced to death by stoning under Sharia, law actually benefits from this macabre and fatal punishment as his or her soul is being purified even as the stones rain down on their sinful head.--

    Thanks heaven, this enchanted piece was removed from cyber space by the end of the day.

    One would think millions of "sinners', like adulterers and others engaged in activities not approved by this preacher now breed easier and looking forward to carry on as before the thunder bolt released by this man of God. --

    Here is the article :
    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/28/brampton-muslim-cleric-preaches-adulterers-gays-can-benefit-from-being-stoned-to-death

  • Comments on CNN report - Sexual harassment in India: 'The story you never wanted to hear'

    As reported by CNN, a female U.S. college student and other females were victims of repeated sexual harassment in India during the three months she spent there. Here is the article, read it and judge for yourself:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/20/world/american-student-india-sexual-harassment-irpt/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    One would like to believe the content of the article is based on the subjective interpretation of a young woman, aware from home, in a culture very different from her own.

    Obviously the real or alleged problem of mistreatment of women in India can not be a real problem for many large corporations in Canada. Perhaps jobs sent to India by IT companies and now Sears Canada, are motivated by the altruistic belief of the CEOs' that the Canadian jobs will contribute to changing the reported treatment of women in India. What else could be the reason? ----- After all, money is not everything? -:)

  • Dig Into Your Piggy Bank If You Want To Take The Family To The Movies

    Rising costs of movie tickets and sugary drinks at concession stands have more and more people staying at home. An evening at the movie theatre just became too expensive.

    If you have a couple of kids, more often than not you can't afford taking the family to the movies.

    And what about the movies reportedly grossing hundred of millions? The first week following opening night, the money is coming in and the concession stands are busy peddling the over priced pop-pop corn calorie rich soft drinks. You are warned that you must toe the line and can not bring in your own pop corn and soft drinks, because that's bad for business.

    Now you go to one of these movie spectaculars, approximately seven- eight days after the premier on a week day and often you are able to count your fellow movie goers only to find there is no more than about fifty people watching the movie.

    That means that the movie is running while about 80% of the seats is empty. Day after day.

    One is curious about the business plan of the gurus in the movie industry: If the price of a ticket would be cheaper more people would go and see the film. In addition, more people would enjoy the movie for the second time. Further, quite often one must decide to only spend the money on a movie that in the judgment of the customer is not a borderline for his budget. Meaning, if the movie is not the first choice, the money was not wasted because the ticket did not cost so much.

    By and large with some variation consumers have to consider the following:The average price for a movie ticket is $8.12 US dollars Popcorn costs about $6, and a drink, about $4 USD. Thus, the average expense at a theatre is nearly $20 USD. For a family of four, that is close to $80 USD for two hours of entertainment. And that's a lot moolah for many people.

    The studios need a modern business plan based on mass attendance at affordable prices. Otherwise, alternates such as Netflix, DVD's and other form of entertainment will be the choice for a growing number of movie goers.

  • TTC Snitch LIne, Harbinger Of The Future?

    If the Toronto Transit Commission can't make it the business of transporting people, they are certainly trying to be one of the pioneers in the new age preoccupation with snitching. Apparently they are just going with the drift of the times, to snitch on somebody or something as a sacred activity next to the preparation for sainthood.

    The TTC is giving employees the opportunity to anonymously report on the illegal or unethical acts of their co-worker. This is obviously the brainchild of some expert no doubt with an advanced degree in the science of human relations.

    While the TTC may be a troubled organization, encouraging employees to snitch on each other is strong medicine.

    It may even harm or kill the patient. True, well organized snitching worked in places like in East Germany where the secret police, STASI, managed to elevate the art of snitching to alpine heights and one family member often reported other relatives to the collector of snitched information.

    In this age, considering all the outsourced jobs, knowledge and skills, it is just plausible that snitching will take off like a new opportunity for a better future. We may could even see a Provincial Ministry of Snitching, with appropriate organization structure, classification and salary tables.

    Community colleges may offer courses in Snitching and Universities will be ready with advanced programs for wannabe snitches with a degree.

    Sale of IPhones with cameras will increase, and IT companies will add personnel to handle the transmitted information by the snitches to their destination for analysis. Thus, creating another line of desirable occupation to be learned.

    The potential is endless and the TTC will be one of the better known vanguards of creative snitching. -- Now, can I have a transfer, please.-:)

  • Edward Snowden And Others

    Geopolitics and National Security are areas where my knowledge is lesser, than my ability to operate a generation 4 Iphone. I am sure there are untold others who are in the same boat.

    But here is what I don't understand. During the years of the Cold War, individuals in the West who claimed they are ardently fighting for peace, often disappeared with secrets stolen from their country, usually involving technology pertinent to military matters.

    Almost without exception, these self-styled paragons of "Conscience" or "Fighters" for world peace somehow ended up on the other side of the Iron Curtain. As to how their treasonous deeds facilitated world peace in the "Camp of Peace-loving" people, that was never satisfactorily explained.

    In the case of Snowden, it is hard to understand how he ended up in Hong Kong. For practical purposes The Territory is a vassal of the Peoples Republic of China, a potential adversary of the United States.

    Next we hear that Snowden with his secrets popped up at Moscow's airport. - And of course no agency would try to obtain his secrets - After all he must be among friends who are absolutely not interested in what he knows. At least he may think so.

    According to the latest, Snowden may go to Ecuador and Venezuela is also mentioned as a possible destination.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I am told, Russia, China, Ecuador and Venezuela, countries not known for freedom of speech or bastions of free press and personal and political freedom.

    Yet, this 29 year old American somehow thinks that by his actions and choice of destinations with the secrets in his possession is promoting the interests of the United States.

    I just don't understand,- and I am not the only one.

  • Densification of Canadian cities is not a good idea.

    First, they came trying to sell us the wonders of cutting our carbon foot print by introducing the carbon tax and similar ideas to make some people rich and to save all of us from a future with a climate very different from what we enduring today.-

    The climate is changing as it has since the formation of the planet, carbon tax or no carbon tax. In countries where we are still not starving due to uncontrolled population explosion, the people would be expected to pick up the bill for stopping or slowing down the climate change. Of course, success is not guaranteed. All it takes one or two Vulcano to came alive as it happened more than once in recent memory.

    The expected gain from the imaginary smaller carbon foot print would be wiped out within a short time. As for the taxes paid in? Well, there be no refund.

    But this is not sufficient for some of the 'great thinkers' of our age including environmentalist David Suzuki and others. They are ready promote greater density in our cities and save the surrounding areas for nature. Actually on surface the idea sounds good.

    One like to think the intent is noble and aims to improve the human condition. Reality may be something else.

    Already builders of Condos discovered there is a potential and significant number of people who are ready to cram themselves and very limited belongings into micro condos that they are able to afford.- At first, this is a win-win situation; Profits for the builder are optimized and the mostly young customers have a place they may call their own.

    Ten or twenty years down the road, the buildings age, the city's demography will continue to change and the achieved human density, in relatively small area will start to fall apart at the seams. Social costs will increase, mental illness will be more prevalent with an increase in crime.

    I hope it will not be like this. In a country with abundant space and resources like Canada, is not necessary to pack people like sardines in urban areas. One only has to look at some of the densities and prevalent human conditions in many of the cities on other continents, where tens of thousands live and die among the misery of human density.

    Densification for all it's sudden popularity, is not what they trying to sell us.

  • Trudeau speaking fee story is small change

    One does not have to be a devotee of Justin Trudeau or of the Liberal Party of Canada to say, "Enough is enough". Surely there must be other matters more important to the average Canadian than the speaking fee received for some speech at a fundraiser?

    Mr. Trudeau has made mistakes by billing for speaking to charities and others and he should not have done it.

    The fact is, Trudeau spoke at 17 events after becoming an MP in October 2008, garnering $277,000. Not all of them were charity events. His activities were cleared by the federal ethics commissioner. Why do we have an ethics commissioner if their decisions are second guessed by politicians? Especially in the interest of their own "noble" agenda?

    Mr. Trudeau is willing to pay back the accepted fees and hopefully has learned from the experience.

    In the overall scheme of things as far as the decisions of Canadian politicians indicate, at least in the last few years, Justin Trudeau's poor judgment regarding the speaking fees, surely will not top the allegations floating around political matters handled in a very bad way.

    Such as, the current scandal around unelected Senators, The arrested Mayor of Montreal, the allegations directed at the Mayor of Toronto, the reported difficulties of the Mayor of London. Not to mention, the saga of the Liberal Government of Ontario and the Costly Gas Plant scandal, The EHealth fiasco, McGuinty's taxes after he promised there will be no more tax increases. The list could continue but it would serve no purpose.

    Mr. Trudeau as a young politician has already made several mistakes and in the opinion of many is still not ready to lead Canada and perhaps never will.

    Harping on Trudeau's acceptance of the speaking fees is not going to help any of his opposition to misdirect attention from mistakes, bad judgments, or manifestations of pure greed from some people in their ranks. - So pipe down and get down to bread and butter issues that matter to Canadians.

    It would be naive to think that by taking the negative view on Mr. Trudeau's speaking fees would somehow diminish his chances of one day being elected as Canada's top leader.

    Dalton McGuinty, Ontario's Liberal Premier was elected twice - after people already knew he has not kept his word.

  • A Favourite Hobby Horse: TV Commercials - Again

    Lately more and more people beefing about hoo- huhs involving customer service, especially on the telephone while reporting problems with some services and products.

    Is it possible that the problem is us? The customer trying to explain a problem to a customer rep, often located on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and we just don't have the patience or lacking the ability to catch the smile in the voice on the other end of the phone?

    Let me explain before you think I got high on catnip or just concluded a phone call to an offshore customer center and I am still in THAT euphoric state.

    My conjecture is based on many of the TV commercials I can see, even if I mute the sound. - I love the angelic smiles directed mostly at senior-citizens by charming ladies, with a head-phone while they go on to tell them that they have nothing to worry about if they happen to die if they buy the insurance they are selling - with a beaming face.

    You are free to assume that the insurance they buy will take care of the funeral expenses and their grieving heirs will not have to worry about a reduced inheritance.

    Which is good as they will have more cash for that third large screen TV and for the purchase of that advertised pick up truck that is able to jump off asteroid size rocks without breaking a spring.

    If you happen to be older, and don't want to be overtly influenced by the "feel good" commercials, shuffling around all day with an incised smile on your face, pay attention to other commercials. Like the one where a somber voice advises you that the last ten years of life of the average person is spent in misery due to illnesses. Therefore he or she should donate to this or that fund. - While that should not wipe off the smile anyone's mug, is often enough to reach for the remote control.

  • Canadians happy to pay for cellular services, even more than the sticker price

    According to an article in the Globe and Mail, Canadians "Are so enamoured with smart phones that their ''willingness to pay' for cellular services is actually higher than the sticker price charged by mobile carriers. Read it and share the joy:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canadians-would-be-willing-to-pay-more-for-cellular-services-study-says/article12304459/

    Now perhaps we can look forward to an avalanche of heart warming news concerning current commodity and future prices we are destined to pay with a smile.

    Here is a sample of expected 'feel good' media information.

    "Overjoyed Canadians swamping the five major oil companies with tweets celebrating the overnight price increase at the pump. Euphoric motorists causing traffic jams as they pull to the side of the road and reaching for their smart phones to reassure the oil companies that they don't mind at all to pay whatever they asking for the gas."

    One could go on with hypothetical good news in a similar fashion but that would not be fair to the providers of cellular services.
    A tsunami of smart phone messages from ecstatic pumped up customers would flood the offices of the various service providers and other companies assuring them that Canadians don't mind at all paying more for their products and services. - Handling that amount of messages from cell phones could have a negative impact on the cellular services providers ability to deliver. -:)

  • Is The Ontario Drive Clean Test Just A Cash Cow ?

    In Ontario the Drive Clean Test is a mandatory $35 (plus tax) test required every two years for vehicles seven years or older.

    If your car does not meet the set emission standard you can't renew your licence plate sticker unless you correct the problem.

    Of course that means juicy business, often for the garage that performed the emission test. It's basically a form of guaranteed income for the garage and a feeling of wasted money for many vehicle owners. Perhaps even generates more than a handful of votes for the government providing this "manna" for the testing / repairing facilities.

    Let's face it, most of the cars on the road are fairly new and up to now about 95% passed the test. That's a lot of cars and a lot of money out of the drivers pockets.

    We are told these tests significantly contribute to cleaner air and we all will be better off because the emission test. However, critics question what value, motorists , motorists and the general public gets out of the program.

    Take a close look on the road at the vehicles around you. If you look up the specs on these cars you will find that they are sold as environmentally friendly and most of them are under some kind of warranty.

    Apparently, the amount of pollution put out by automobiles and trucks in Ontario is less than the error of measurement for the amount of pollution dumped into the air by industry. There is no reliable empirical data available demonstrating the effectiveness of this outdated program. It's time to end it. Concentrate of bad drivers, there are plenty.

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