Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Future is Here!

Hey you! You like the earth, eh? Think it's pretty cool that we still have enough clean air to breath, and that we haven't all drowned yet due to global warming?

Then trade in your crappy car, and get one that runs on alternative fuels. Everybody's doing it....

Pumpin' it up for the People!

This is definitely the headline of the day, via seriously guys.

A Fair Trial

The Supreme Court of the US has ruled that it's unconstitutional to have a military tribunal for the detainees at Guantanamo, affording them the same due process that an American would enjoy. While I personally don't think that's necessary, kudos to the US for granting those prisoners the same right that Al-Qaida denies its hostages. In my mind it certainly clarifies the moral superiority of the American position.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Can You Say Bender?

Via Seriously Guys, Germany is on the verge of running out of beer! Apparently, it's all the fault of the drunken English fans who have flooded the country.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I Did It!

I just got a letter from the U of M accepting me into the faculty of architecture! Wow. I've never been so relieved in my life! It just so happens that tommorrow's my last day as a gas man, and up til now it's kinda felt like I was jumping off the diving board with my eyes closed; with no idea whether there was water in the pool.... Now summer can really begin.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Evil Capitalists!!

To the chagrin of communists everywhere, who undoubtedly wish they were the benefactors of his wealth, Warren Buffet, in partnership with Bill Gates, is giving his fortune away! Together, the two of them will give away more money than the GDP of over 150 countries! (Not 150 countries combined, mind you)

And to think, these two men were completely driven by profit during their working lives.

Hey guess how many Microsoft Millionaires there are! (Answer: over 10,000) And by Microsoft millionaires, I mean employees of Microsoft who are millionaires. I wonder if any of those people ever give money away...

One more thing...

....about moral relativism, before I have no friends left.... lol...

As you probably know, 4 russian hostages have been executed by Al-Qaida forces in Iraq, and the video of the execution has been distributed for propaghanda purposes by the same. All believers in moral relativity, watch the video at peril of altering your worldview.

If you can watch that video without appreciating the difference between it, and the photos that have come out of Abu Ghraib, for example, then there is nothing that I can say to you that will change your mind. But I'll try to remember to thank those that I meet who fight for liberty on your behalf.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Moral Relativism

The Americans use smart bombs, designed to avoid 'collateral damage'. The Jihadis blow themselves up in public places to purposefully kill innocent lives.

The Americans hold inquiries and serve court marshals when mistakes are made. The Jihadis lop off the heads of any hostages they can find.

Where's the moral equivalence?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Post Number 100

For this special occasion (my 100th post), I would like to share a cartoon that takes a little poke at the concept of Moral Relativism. Consider the 'torture' of detainees at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay. Now think of the real torture of those two American troops by members of Al-Qaida. Isn't there a moral difference between the borderline torture at one and the real, brutal torture by the other?

What about the difference between women's rights in our culture, and women's rights in Islamic culture? Are they morally equivalent?

What about the freedom of religion, association, and speech that we've got, compared to the states of fear in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, etc.?

How about our social safety net, where even welfare recipients can have cable TV and refrigerators, as compared to the crushing famine engulfing North Korea's 'people's republic'?

I could go on....

Hey Saddam, Pass The Mustard, Please!

Chemical weapons have been found in Iraq. Over 500 shells containing sarin and mustard gas have been found so far in Iraq, and officials believe that that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sheila Copps Gone Mad

Sheila Copps has completely missed the point in an Op-Ed in today's Toronto Star. It's titled "Taxes Will Set Us Free", and in it she derides the Fraser Institute, and anyone else who thinks along their lines, for complaining that tax freedom day comes too late in the year. She's implicitly arguing that it doesn't come late enough, and that as a result, government is having trouble providing the services that we have come to expect. She doesn't seem to understand that the outrage is more about how little we're actually getting for our massive tax burden!!! I mean, seriously. Tax Freedom Day was June 19th this year, which is half-way through the year. This means that half of your income is going to the government! How come we still have health care problems? Shitty roads? Rising crime rates? No military? Tainted water?

Her answer is always: Pour more money into the problems. This way to Utopia, folks! Bleed the people dry, and then spend their money with no accountability!

But look, if there are all these problems already, and no amount of taxes so far have fixed any of them, then why would more taxes do the trick?

Sure. Throw a few more billion into the gun registry. Spend another bil on advertising to Quebecers! The people won't mind, eh? Hey, don't complain, didn't you know that we've got the best health-care system in the world?

But you know what, Sheila? People are repelled by high taxes and bloated bureaucracy. That's why they move away. That's why Alberta is so appealing, or even -gasp- the United States. They are repulsed by your fiscal black hole. So keep on screaming about raising taxes to fund your lifestyle. You probably won't even notice when you're the only one left.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Political Correctness Gone Mad

Brittany McComb, a high-school valedictorian in Nevada, had her microphone cut off because she mentioned God in her address. Wow.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Has Iraq Turned a Corner?

I follow Iraq The Model pretty closely, and given Mohammed and Omar's track record at being brutally honest about how things are going in Bagdad and surrounding areas, I'd say their posts in the days since Zarqawi's death speak volumes about the change in momentum that has just occurred. I wouldn't say a reversal of momentum by any means; as I've always considered there to be consistent movement towards a free and peaceful Iraq, but I'd say there has been a quickening of momentum for the Coalition and the Iraqi government's causes.

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy.

Via Vogtee, is a website that purports to analyse your name to find out key character traits that you possess. Here's what they say about Jeremy:

"The name Jeremy creates the urge to be creative and original, but we point out that it limits your versatility and scope, tuning you to technical details.

This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses centring in the head, and in the stomach and intestinal organs.

Your first name of Jeremy has given you a very practical, hard-working, systematic nature.
Your interests are focused on technical, mechanical, and scientific things, rather than interests of an artistic, musical, or social nature.

You have a rather skeptical outlook on life and rather materialistic standards.

In reaching your goals, you are very independent and resourceful, patient and determined.

You can be so very positive and definite in your own ideas and opinions that others sense a lack of tact and friendliness in your manner of expression."

What does your name "mean"?

Brazil Bound

Oh boy oh boy, Jeremy's going on vacation! In the past 7 years, the longest stretch of time off I've had has been one week. I've done that 3 times. However, as a direct consequence of my divesture of the Petro-Can, I'm taking 8 weeks off, 5 of which I will be in Brazil! It sounds like all the travel arrangements have been made, all that's left to do is fly, surf, suntan, and party!

Woo Hoo!

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Empire of The Pursuit of Happiness

Jack Wakeland, a contributor to The Intellectual Activist, waxes eloquent in an essay about the globalization of Liberty, brilliantly titled The Empire of The Pursuit of Happiness. This is a must-read!

The Globalization of Terror

Mark Steyn, Canada's most improbable product, has a piece about the globalization that isn't accompanied by protest, and should be.

I've always found it ironic that people will gladly protest the 'evils' of globalized free markets, etc., but when it comes to the spreading jihad, those same people are silent, and have their eyes closed to reality.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

"She is a no-b.s. - so to speak - kind of person."

The aforementioned crazy dem who dropped the dog doo doo off at the republican congresswoman's office turns out to be a professor emeritus at North Colorado University. Wow. That's what you get with $100,000 a year worth of tax dollars, eh?

The title to this post was my favorite quote from the story, given by one of her democratic colleagues.

Is Canada Awakening From Its Delusions?

Jonah Goldberg writes that we better be.

I've been checking out The Absurd Report lately, which is a good place to sift through media spin.

Daniel Libeskind's Vision

Architect Daniel Libeskind won the commission for rebuilding the World Trade Center Site, back in 2003. His master plan is stunning, to say the least. Unfortunately, it may be many years before it is materially realized because it has it's opponents. A few neat features: The tallest tower is exactly 1776 feet high. The year 1776 of course is when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Secondly, the shape of the rooflines itself is a tribute to Liberty, because it evokes the shape of the flame burning on the torch held by Lady Liberty. Lastly, the buildings are arranged so that, on September 11th of each year, between the hours of 8:46am (The time the first plane hit) and 10:28am (The time the second building collapsed), the sun will shine without shadow in a wedge across a public space set aside for a memorial.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Greatest Generation

Wretchard at The Belmont Club lays the truth about war bare, and it ain't pretty. The Greatest Generation had to do some seriously terrible things in Hiroshima, Dresden, etc. to secure victory. It makes one wonder if all the pains that this generation has undertaken to avoid collateral damage in war will be in vain.

Friday, June 09, 2006


A posthumous interview with Abu Zarqawi. He does interview well.

The Nutbags Strike Once More

Some crazy dem in Colorado is so sick of losing that she's started to stuff envelopes full of dog shit into the mail slot of a Republican Congresswoman.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Nutbags Strike Again

Some Democrats are calling the death of Zarqawi a 'stunt' to shore up support for the war in Iraq. I am frankly at a loss for words....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Keith "Excuse me, I fell off my perch" Richards is back!!

The Rolling Stones are happy to report that, after a bad fall out of a palm tree and subsequent brain surgery, the show will go on! Their delayed world tour is about to begin...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mind Boggler

NateDawg has uncovered something here. The Ontario chapter of CUPE has decided to boycott Israel in favour of the Palestinian cause. Now don't get me wrong, everybody's entitled to their own opinions, but there are some serious problems with this public position:

1. CUPE is a union of public employees. That fact alone is preposterous, given that every time they strike or demand concessions, they're doing it on the backs of taxpayers. But more importantly, they are a group of government workers, who should not present ANY positions on international affairs, because even though they're not elected, as government workers they represent Canada. And Canadians do not necessarily support their positions.

2. Where then, does CUPE stand on other pressing issues? Do they support the right of Palestinians to blow themselves up on public transit vessels, killing innocent Israeli men, women, and children?

3. With respect to my first point, I suppose that CUPE has never pretended to have Canadian interests at heart. I mean really, they continually file grievances with the Canadian government, which is the true representative of the Canadian public, and they are against Canada's official stance on terrorism.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage is coming to a vote this year, in a parliament near you. (Or not, if you live outside of Ottawa).

Ahhhhhhhh. Time to lean back, relax, and pound out a good rant......

I wish this topic was that of the morality of homosexuality, rather than the State’s benign and magnificent blessing of it through the redefinition of a word. What’s the difference between a ‘marriage’ and a ‘union’? Who cares, but the Statists, and more importantly, God’s people? At any rate, the answer to the ‘riddle’ of same-sex marriage is found in the realm of semantics; and God and God’s children have ownership of the meaning of the word marriage, and across cultures, religions, and classes, the word ‘marriage’ means a spiritual connection between a man, a woman, and God. And God (otherwise known as Allah, or Yahweh), like his children, isn’t interested in having non-believers change His word. Therefore, the State should not have the power to recognize ‘marriages’ between two homosexual people. It’s sad that this topic is worthy of public debate in a handful of societies. After all, those that want a redefinition of the word are homosexual, or atheist, or possibly both, but more importantly, they are devout ‘Statists’. You don’t see the Christians(except maybe the United Church), Jews, and Muslims lining up at the public pulpit advocating gay marriage, and this group, in Canada at least, represents over 70% of the population (StatsCan, 2001); so I’d suggest that the people whom this issue affects are not interested in the redefinition of their Lord’s terminology. Further, if this large portion of the population can claim to know God’s will, who amongst the remaining 30% which are atheists, gay, or members of the United Church, can hope to claim otherwise? Lastly, why would that 30% (or less) really care about taking down the pan-religious, anti-gay-marriage crowd anyway? Really, the majority of Canadians, Americans, or any other civilized nation’s citizens want gays to hook up if that’s their desire. It doesn’t seem all that scandalous to them, as long as the newlyweds don’t come asking God to accept them, either as unrepentant followers, or as a married couple, which is why a gay civil unions are not unreasonable, and the redefinition of marriage is.

‘Marriage’ is a religious term found in the Bible. ‘Ketubah’ is the Hebrew translation found in the Tanakh, and ‘Nikah’ is the Arabic as found in the Quran. It is a symbolic joining of a man, woman, and God. When a man and a woman are symbolically joined outside of religion by a Justice of the Peace in Canada, the procedure is called a ‘civil union’. The followers of God seemingly have no quarrel with the State over its practice of civil union. Further, Christians, Jews, and Muslims all agree that humans ‘sin’, even though they shouldn’t. The relative ‘immorality’ of a sin in the eyes of a follower is crucial to this argument, and it’s important to note that God seems to regard homosexuality as a sin, regardless of the Christian/Jewish/Muslim perspective. Modern Christians, Jews, and Muslims, mindful that their religion is their own moral guide, have to allow their co-worshippers to find their own way through the guide, even occasionally contradict it (by sinning), but they are vigilant against the subversion of this guide, particularly by others who are not followers of God or his moral guidance. Their (correct) view is that allowing the term ‘marriage’ to be redefined as a union between either opposite sexes or same sexes is a subversion of the moral guide provided by God to his followers.

The previously mentioned ‘Statists’ believe that they have a moral guide that should supersede the one provided by God. Good for them. However, the troubling, insinuation-laced hyperbole spewing forth from some prominent figures in this ‘debate’ ( ie. That all those who oppose same-sex marriage are neo-conservative homophobes) seems to indicate that they believe that theirs is the final and all-authoritative moral guide, and that not only do they believe it should supersede God’s word, they believe they’ve got the moral authority to forcibly impose this guide upon their God-worshipping opponents.

If social mores dictate the content and perspective of our laws regarding morality, then this argument is already settled. It seems as though, as long as the vast majority of a society’s members believe in the ‘word(s) of God’, the moral ‘law of the land’ must support opposite-sex marriage, and limit the term used to describe the union of two (or heck, three or four) homosexuals to a ‘civil union’. However, if some Hedonistic, Utilitarian, Kantian, or other contrived theory of morality must be used to determine the morality of same sex marriage, then the debate is open, but at least the debate can then be reframed to be one about the extent of liberty to be enjoyed by the religious majority, and not the liberty of homosexuals, if you’re a Utilitarian. Or if you’re a Kantian, perhaps you’d debate whether a law legalizing homosexual union was the right kind of rule for people who want to freely choose how they are governed. In other words, can there be social justice for religious people who want to be free to be happy, and worship a God who condemns homosexual marriage?

The answer is clear. The meaning of a word can belong to a group. It may end up being subverted in the popular, common vernacular of the day by other groups, but as the word ‘Kleenex’ can only ever really mean a Kleenex-brand tissue - yet is commonly used to name any tissue, so ‘marriage’ remains a religious concept that is subverted by non-religious people. That said, it seems a little improper for the State to absurdly decree that officially, Kleenex must be the term that is used to describe Sneezy brand’s competing product. In fact, the absurdity of the State dictating semantics to the populace at all with reference to religious moral code is staggering, given I’m writing this essay while living in a country that (so far) allows freedom of religious belief. Making same-sex marriage a legal definition would open a door for making certain religious beliefs legally immoral, and in Canada’s case could make preaching the Christian belief that homosexuality is immoral a hate crime. Further, in Canada it has already happened that marriage commissioners (who are public employees) have been told they must be willing to perform same-sex marriages or resign. Clearly a Christian marriage commissioner must have the same right to that job as any one else, regardless of his religious convictions. Particularly because a marriage commissioner is a public employee, his or her employer must not be able to infringe upon that commissioner’s Charter right to freedom of religion.

Cough, cough. Ahem.

UPDATE: It's already happened. The Saskatchewan thought police have charged a couple priests with hate crimes for upholding the Catholic Church's view on homosexuality. And found them guilty.

Memetic Weaponry

Armed and Dangerous has an excellent essay on the same theme that I expounded in my three part rant. Memes such as multiculturalism, relativism, and exploitation are nothing new.

Actually for that matter, neither is this essay. It appears to be dated February 11, 2006.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Is Iraq a Disaster?

Apparently, there are more violence-caused civilian deaths in a year in Washington D.C. than there are in Iraq.

Time to Heal Some Wounds

I am soon to be a former gas man. That is, I've sold my Petro Canada franchise, and the handover occurs in less than a month. Once that's done, I hope that I'm moving on to something bigger and better. This change is actually just one of a few that are occuring in my life. My living arrangement is changing, my family life is changing (my sister and several cousins have started their own families, my parents are getting ready to retire, etc.)

As I transition from one chapter in my life to another, I've decided to take stock of my outlook on life; my attitudes towards other people, institutions, situations, spirituality, and vice, in particular. It's a good thing to do sometimes. When you run a business, you've got to continuously take stock of your situation, ie. product levels, cash and working capital levels, etc., in order to know what direction the business is going in, and to periodically give yourself an honesty/reality check with respect to that direction. Sometimes, you have to adjust your stock. In the case of a convenience store like the one I owned, that meant writing off old stock, or theft, for example. You know, you have to shed some of the things that are not helping you move in the direction that you want to be going in.

Today I want to write off resentments that I've accumulated over the seven years that I've owned this business. Resentment is like old stock, it goes sour like past due milk, or stale like old chocolate bars, and you can never sell it, and you'll never get anything out of it but a bad taste in your mouth. You may as well face the fact that the old stock should just be thrown away, and you move on.

I need to give up the resentments that I have towards:

1. People who complain about high gas prices
2. People who yell at gas jockeys
3. Thieves
4. Dishonest employees
5. Petro Canada for their endless manipulations
6. And finally, the government for making me their tax collector.

I forgive this list of people for hurting me over the years. I want to also seek forgiveness from those close to me who've suffered my anger during this time. It is my intention to release my resentments in a more timely and constructive manner, because it is resentment that is the root of much destructive behaviour. It's not as though the acts of people listed above are not destructive themselves, but I can not control any of them, only my own acts.

By the way, resentment also makes one self-absorbed. Maybe my ceaseless ranting will finally cease, if I can successfully release all my resentments :)

Stay tuned, for some more stock taking....