2015-03-02

Tweet Of The Day

Via Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

Awesome.

Sometimes it isn't indeed just about business.

North American Cooling

Some takes on U.S.-Canadian relations.

Love - just love - how it comes down to Harper's fault.

I'm not surprised he and Obama aren't the best of friends. Obama has the diplomatic tact of a - well, I'm not sure. Foreign policy, in case anyone hasn't noticed, isn't his forte. Plenty of world leaders - allies - are feeling his cold shoulder.

So why do we single out Harper?Are we forgetting relations between the two countries weren't great under Chretien-Bush either? They were better with Clinton but not significantly more. The Mulroney-Reagan relationship was one where the stars aligned with, what, they being both conservative Irishmen and all that.

The problem is, as it was explained in the piece and one I agree with, Canada's national economic health is dependent on the United States because we never diversified our economy and trade with other nations so that if ever our relations cooled we'd have something to fall back on, if not some leverage. So now that the Americans freeze us out, we feel left alone in the cold shivering. 

At some point we'll get back to the natural order of things in the 'special relationship' but for now, our two countries have two leaders that see the world in different ways.




2015-03-01

My Kind Of Wake

Holy Shmoly, been a few days since I've posted.

I'm slowing down in my old age.

So.

Let's start up with Jimmy McNulty's wake.

The Wire was without a doubt a show for the ages.

McNulty was in the tradition of detectives and investigators who thought outside the box and not shy to bend the rules like Rockford and Magnum.

2015-02-26

Obama Predictably Vetoes Keystone Pipeline

"The vetoed bill — which was co-sponsored by Manchin — would’ve allowed construction on the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline to continue despite continued stalling by the Obama administration over the international venture. “How many times have you seen us do something bipartisan?” Manchin said on Fox News’ Cavuto, noting that nine Democrats voted for the bill. “The Canadians agreed on everything we ask for,” the senator continued, explaining how the nation agreed to use American-made steel and keep all oil that flowed through the pipeline in the U.S. domestic market. 
He also lamented the lost construction jobs and the safety concerns with transporting oil by rail. “I just can’t figure [the veto] out, I really can’t,” he said."

Obama has managed to hurt the Canadian economy as well since it impacts the tar sands in Alberta.


Daily Round Up: Fall Of The West Edition Continues

At the moment, we're seeing in the flesh what putting middling, mediocre minds in positions of power provides.

It's not pretty.

***

MIT architect behind Obamacare Jonathan Gruber overcharges state of Vermont. 

Look. The guy is as dishonorable (and disreputable at this point) as he is smug. That's what happens when you give private citizens access to public funds.

They take it.

Duh.

I have to say, Vermont has been quite sober and responsible in their dealing with the public purse. Recall, they decided to not opt for single-payer because of its costs. You would think a liberal nanny-state like VT would jump on SP no matter what. But it's not the case.

Never mind how it would spiral out of control down the line.

***

This excerpt (sent to me from a concerned citizen) is from the WSJ (paywall): "Greece Struggles to Get Citizens to Pay Their Taxes"

"At the end of 2014, Greeks owed their government about €76 billion ($86 billion) in unpaid taxes accrued over decades; the government says only €9 billion of that can be recovered, with most of the rest lost to insolvency.
 

Billions more in taxes are owed on never-reported revenue from Greece’s vast underground economy, which was estimated before the crisis to equal more than a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.

“Greeks consider taxes as theft,” said Aristides Hatzis, an associate professor of law and economics at the University of Athens. “Normally taxes are considered the price you have to pay for a just state, but this is not accepted by the Greek mentality.”"


The Greek mentality, of course, being give us free shit that we don't want to pay for. Something Quebec excels at. Except, the difference being Quebec has the advantage of being in a larger, wealthier and more advanced country where they can extract (or extort depending where you sit) more cash from other provinces in the Federation to pay for their unfunded welfare excesses.

It's not just Greece. The West has created this entitlement monster and it doesn't know how to quell or kill it.

Think Godzilla-King Kong and that alien monster in Cloverfield all rolled into one.

*** 

How do you say, "Mommy, what happens when the gravy oil train ends?" in Norwegian?

"Oil slump threatens easy life of affluent Norwegians"

 "The average Norwegian has just gotten too much. We have a welfare economy and an expectation from youth, who expect wealth to come down from heaven," Sunde said. "When we come down to periods like this, it comes down to good old values of working hard and competing. A country like Norway needs to go through that."

I see Big Fjord Troubles on the horizon.

/narrows gaze. 

***

Speaking of progressive and enlightened Scandinavians:

 "Bird watching has long been a popular and seemingly harmless weekend activity in Sweden. Its innocence, however, came to an abrupt end when many of the country's bird lovers were suddenly confronted with allegations of racism. "

Ah. Let's not deal with racism in any meaningful manner. Let's just play with words.

It's a new hobby on the left here in North America too. Change the words. What's the big deal, man? PROGRESS!

Here's my take on Scandinavia. From what I can detect from afar, racism is pervasive in those countries. So, to the bureaucratic asshats in power, it makes sense to project and treat racism with political correctness lunacy. 

It's pretty obvious. They're applying cologne to treat bad odor.

***

Heard Gordan Mianscum recently passed away. If you recall, rode the streets of Montreal on a wheel-chair that looked like a stretcher.

I remember seeing him in the news in the 80s.

*** 

Tweeting someone to call them back is a pretty douchey move. Something tells me Politifact wasn't interested in getting in contact with Williamson.

Gotta protect that narrative.

Kevin D. Williamson @KevinNR
Jesus H. Christ, you useless rube--I have an office with a receptionist and everything. Pick up a goddamned telephone, genius. @loujacobson

Kevin D. Williamson @KevinNR
You feckless, gormless, servile, water-carrying lackeys are an embarrassment to a once-proud trade. @loujacobson @AngieHolan

I think he's angry.

Rightfully so.

***

Speaking of the media, gotta love how they're engaging in tu quoque nonsense in defending Brian Williams.

Look. They can find all the bull they want on Bill O'Reilly, but it won't change what Williams did.

***

Polar bears invading Black Tickle, Nfld. 

*** 

Marie Harf 'clarifies' 'terrorists need jerbs' position. No it's not 'too nuanced for some' you arrogant, sniveling Democrat.

I loathe how political civil servants let slip that mask of superiority. 

And note to John Kerry. I'll make fun of whoever I damn please including you.

Make frivolous comments, say erroneous things, be elusive or contradictory and you will feel MY WRATH.

Which is worse than Khan's. 

Be wary of people who use the word 'nuance' in such a manner.  

***

Whenever you want an example of revisionism or just plain historical spin, just go to Salon for stupidity.

Apparently, America is one gigantic progressive experiment.

"...The fact is, our entire history – from our revolution to healthcare reform – is filled with progressive accomplishments, and it’s hard to sell the Conservative brand to people who know that history. "

Notice what this buffoon did. He simply reworked history to fit his narrative.

The stupid. It hurts.

***

Scott Walker doesn't care what the media thinks. Reminds me of Giuliani.

The fact they're trying to make an issue of him not having a University degree points to their group think credentialism.

***

My name is Frankenstein! Or Frankensteeno:

"It sounds like the plot of a bad horror film, but doctors are gearing up to do the world’s first head transplant.

Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero wants to take the head from someone with an incurable illness and graft it on to a healthy body.

He claims the first operation could be done in just two years’ time."





***


Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice-President of the United States.

In all his vacuous glory.

***

In the 'you don't say?' files of academia: 

"Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India".
Students who cheat on a simple laboratory task are more likely to prefer public sector jobs in India. We show that cheating on this task predicts corrupt behaviour by bureaucrats, implying that it is a meaningful predictor of future corruption..."

No shit.

Reminded me of this:

"By running an experiment among Germans collecting their passports or ID cards in the citizen centers of Berlin, we find that individuals with an East German family background cheat significantly more on an abstract task than those with a West German family background. The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task. While it was recently argued that markets decay morals (Falk and Szech, 2013), we provide evidence that other political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals’ behavior."

Remember kids. Socialism = civilization.

***

The Lindros clan were pains in the asses then and are pains in the asses now.

Eric Lindros has launched a $250,000 defamation lawsuit against onetime NHL referee Paul Stewart and the Huffington Post, after Stewart wrote a column for the online news website that allegedly made the former Philadelphia Flyers star forward look like a "dickhead."

Something tells me he's not getting it.

***

More inanity from the New York Times (sorry lost the link. In any event, it's not like it's in me to make this shit up:
"As Cuba opens the door wider to private enterprise, the gap between the haves and have-­nots — and between whites and blacks — that the revolution sought to diminish is growing more evident. […]
Raising the [U.S.] remittance cap, along with allowing more Americans to visit Cuba and other steps toward normal diplomatic relations, will help "support the Cuban people," the Obama administration contends.
But some will enjoy that support more than others. Cuban economists say that whites are 2.5 times more likely than blacks to receive remittances, leaving many in crumbling neighborhoods like Little Swamp nearly invisible in the rise of commerce, especially the restaurants and bed­-and-breakfasts that tourists tend to favor.
"Remittances have produced new forms of inequality, particularly racial inequality," said Alejandro de la Fuente, director of the Afro­Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University."
Always remember. They sucked communist cock back in the day. And they still do.

***

Speaking of failed liberal journalism on the NYT model, wonder if they wrote about places like Holdomor.

Probably not.

"Extermination by hunger" or "Hunger-extermination";derived from 'морити голодом', "to kill by starvation" was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5-7.5 million Ukrainians, with millions more counted in demographic estimates. It was part of the wider disaster, Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. "

***

"A Mankato man was jailed for months while he waited for the state crime lab to process suspected drugs that turned out to be vitamins.

Joseph Burrell was arrested in November and charged with two felony counts of drug possession. His bail was set at $250,000. The 31-year-old Burrell says he's not happy it took so long for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to process the evidence."

The war on drugs.

It wreaks havoc on civil society DESTROYING families and communities.

***

"I trust science. I'm a Democrat."

The only science they trust is the one they blindly like.

I weep for their side.

***

We knew the Climate System Change Inquisition was coming.

Remember. When you fail to debate in good fatih, you want to silence the opposition.  In the end, these socialist-animists who worship Sock Puppet enviro-gods always over reach. Hopefully, this is their tipping point.

"Let the climate inquisition begin. The ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, has written to seven universities about seven researchers who harbor impure thoughts about climate change.

One of the targets is Steven Hayward, a blogger, author and academic now at Pepperdine University (as well as an occasional contributor to National Review). As Hayward puts it, the spirit of the inquiry is, “Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?”

Hey, Raul. Go fuck yourself.

Seriously.

***


I just don't get what the ATF (an oppressive Nixonian agency that's seen better days - if ever) is up to here.

Seems like Sandy Hook has left the 'reality based community' unhinged in its unsubstantiated hysteria.

They will never quit until they get the control they want. Going after ammo was the next step.
 
"Gun-rights groups are in an uproar over an ammunition ban proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF says it wants to ban M855 ball ammunition, a .223 (or 5.56 mm) rifle bullet that has been used by American citizens for decades. The ATF says it wants to ban this popular bullet because it is “armor piercing.”

The law at the basis of this debate is the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). As amended, the GCA prohibits the import, manufacture and distribution of “armor piercing ammunition” as defined by a few terms Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to broaden.
The definition for what constitutes “armor piercing” reads: “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely … from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.”

Now, to be as nitpicky as the law, the M855 ball ammunition the ATF wants to ban as “armor piercing” doesn’t have a core made of the metals listed in what legally makes a bullet “armor piercing.” The M855 actually has a lead core with a steel tip. Also, the M855 is traditionally a rifle cartridge and the ban only covers handgun ammunition. The DOJ argues this doesn’t stop them because the law stipulates they can ban a bullet that “may be used in a handgun.” And, after all, any cartridge may be used in a handgun."
 
This is the action and reasoning of a bureaucratic entity that will never stop in the demand to know where the guns are.


2015-02-25

FIFA Continues To Make An Ass Of Itself

The day Qatar was awarded the World Cup, soccer fans around the world said, 'wha?' 

Is it not, like, super hot in Qatar in the summer?

Ah. But Qatar and their corrupt officials lackeys promised there would be air conditioned, state of the art facilities!

Now we know there isn't gonna be no AC so FIFA basically, as it's apt to do whenever it fucks up royally, told the world they'll simply move the tournament to winter.

Problem is, professional leagues in Europe (governed by UEFA) are in full swing during the winter and wonder about the feasibility of this decision while asking for compensation.

FIFA, naturally (because you know, they're a bunch of incompetent corrupt individuals on the take), gave them the middle-finger salute.

What a mess.

And a joke.


2015-02-23

Daily Round Up

No care-cash for Greece:

"...Even German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said he didn’t “want to make it more difficult for them,” concluded Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have a “difficult” time selling the agreement at home. That’s because Tsipras’s populist rhetoric of ending austerity was overpowered by the united front he faced.

A “complete political surrender to the world of reality” was how Erik Nielsen, London-based global chief economist of UniCredit Bank AG, put it. Societe Generale SA and Berenberg Bank both labeled it a “u-turn” by Tsipras, who won election Jan. 25 promising an end to budget cutting. "

Greece needs to shape up. Simple.

*** 

Speaking of Germany:

"Late last year, as the German Bundeswehr was considering rebooting its expensive, failed Euro Hawk drone program, the army of the country with the fourth largest economy in the world fielded its newest armored vehicles in a major military exercise in Norway with broomsticks painted black and lashed in place of missing machine gun barrels. That detail was part of a German Defense Ministry report leaked to Germany's public television network ARD that exposed widespread shortages of basic combat equipment."

Back during my Uni (that's right, my short hand for University) days, scholars from Germany came to speak at a European political science class I took. One student (from the Greek student association), during question period, went off on an embarrassing trek over praising Germany. If they stuck their dicks out he would have sucked them. As it were, they looked at him perplexed and thanked him for his kind words and proceeded to paint a rather sober picture of what ailed Germany at the time. The country was but a few years removed from reunification and the challenges were great.

I don't think things are that much better. Call me a Euro-pessimist at this time.

Anyway.

It all adds up to one thing: Asking for American help and support.

Germany's army is roughly the size of Italy's army at about 180k. Britain and France are slightly larger at around 200k. All (including Japan) spend about 1-1.5% of GDP on the military except for the UK who spend about 2%.

Perspective: France under Napoleon's Grande Armee had close to 600 000 men.

My how the mighty have fallen. 

***

In the 'duh' and 'no kidding' category:

"Gallup's annual World Affairs survey shows that only 48 percent of those identifying as Democrats sympathize more with Israelis in tensions in the Mideast than with Palestinians. In contrast, 83 percent of Republicans side with Israelis. The figure for all Americans is 62 percent."

***

Limpet Man, Limpet Man does whatever a sea snail can spins a web, any size:


"Spider silk may lose its claim as the strongest known natural material after researchers found that limpet teeth have more mettle.

Spider silk is hailed by scientists for its strength and structure, but researchers in Britain have discovered that limpets -- snail-like sea creatures with conical shells -- have teeth with structures so strong they could be copied and used in making cars, boats and planes.

"Until now we thought that spider silk was the strongest biological material because of its super-strength and potential applications in everything from bullet-proof vests to computer electronics," said Asa Barber, a professor at Portsmouth University's school of engineering, who led the study."

***
McGill students can't calculate averages. I no believe! I'm constantly told we're not as dumb as Americans!

The children are our future.

Seriously. As I've said in the past, the general ignorance on full display about economics and finance I read is shocking as it is frightening. If you can't count, you're especially vulnerable to all this 'pay your fair share' bull shit rhetoric.

***

New York Times in lap tops in 1985:

"The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don't want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so."


"...But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets. Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can't imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing. "

BOOYA!

And in 25 years we'll be reading the same thing from these Times only it will be bout global warming.

Kidding aside, not the end of the world. He made a call. He missed. Big deal.

Bob Ryan thought Michael Jordan was going to be a flop. The Toronto Maple Leafs passed on Bobby Orr. Economists and meteorologists notoriously miss their marks while climate change scientists have been spectacularly wrong about the 'future of the planet.'

History is filled with misses. In fact, we miss more than we hit.

If I were to guess what our historical batting average is, I'd say about .275. The big ones we predicted were outliers more than anything. Look at it this way, career average of .275 with a couple of solid .300 seasons.
 

2015-02-21

General Motors Logo Screams Of A Time Long Gone

Driving along Montreal's highway 40 (part of the Trans-Canada) on a cold, dreary day the month of February excels at, I passed by a General Motors facility.

The once mighty and proud symbol of the American automobile industry was reduced to a climate metaphor. Its GM sign meekly erect, in its mundane mediocrity, in the backdrop of clouds reminding more of a nationalized enterprise in the Soviet Union or East Germany than a member of a dynamic capitalist class. It's depressing. I mean, look at it, it's the letters G and M in extremely boring font with a dash under it. Hello. 1986 wants its image back.

Logos and branding can be powerful things. Unfortunately, when I see GM I don't see excellence or innovation. I see a corporate ward of the state.  No one is asking for anything awesome but Lord me.

GM should consider, it seems to this consumer anyway, redesigning their logo. It's telling me they make Ladas. By contrast, Ford is coming to market with excellent cars and trucks.

And their original logo expresses it very well.

Even Jeep-Chrysler (now owned by Fiat) has avoided such a drop in status like GM has. Chrysler is clearly benefiting with its access to design ideas from Europe.

While both Ford and Chrysler offer consumers competitive and quality products, GM continues to fail to connect to customers and has failed to find or reinvent itself in the process.

Something its logo is telling us all too well.

Occupy It All

As if you didn't already know they're about coercion, control and confiscation:


The mindset is 'it' was all stolen from them.

2015-02-20

MP Pat Martin Learns One Size Doesn't Fit All


"Comartin asked Martin whether he would like to respond to Galipeau, and Martin explained why he left his seat “briefly” in the middle of the proceedings.

“I can blame it on a sale that was down at the Hudson’s Bay,” Martin said. “They had men’s underwear on for half price. I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me and I find it difficult to sit for any length of time.”

By this point, many MPs had begun to laugh.

“So I apologize if it was necessary for me to leave my seat briefly, but I did not mean to forfeit my right to vote,” Martin concluded.

After Martin sat down, Comartin paused to consider his ruling before saying that Martin’s vote counted because he was in his seat for the actual vote."

At least the NDP are good for a laugh.
 
Maybe the NDP could introduce 'better labeling' legislation for the underwear industry seeing they're big fans of the nanny-state. 

Other than that, I think we guys know how uncomfortable tight under wear can get.


The President Needs To Knock It Off With The ISIS Doesn't Represent Islam Shtick

I've grown a little tired of listening to the most powerful leader in the world engage in professorial sophistry regarding ISIS.

I don't understand his pointless obsession in trying to 'school' people into understanding the difference. In fact, it points to his arrogance if he thinks we're not able to distinguish what is a derelict bunch of immoral murderous assholes and Islam.

However, the President is fooling himself if he thinks Islam doesn't permit this sort of nonsense no matter how much relativism he engages in.

Best the President keeps to a basic tenet of any employment: DO YOUR JOB.