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silly little country

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Home July 2011
July 2011

The Occupy Mind Unveiled Somewhat

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This article about one of the recently convicted G20 protestors would be funny were there not enough idiots like this to cause great damage and disrupt a usually peaceable city for a few days at the recent G20 in Toronto. Morons like this vandalized businesses, burned police cars, and provoked what is considered by many to have been a police over-reaction. Slightly less stupid people, often considered innocent, got themselves caught in an utterly predictable crossfire.

So let us look into this mental midget's mind.

A TTC urban planner was sentenced to 14 months for attempted arson and damaging two police cruisers during the G20 summit riots.

Ashan Ravindhraraj was fired by the TTC in July 2010, a month after he was photographed setting ablaze and stomping on the abandoned police cars on Queen St. W.

OK, squishy education and job, and now, I am pleased to see no job. When he gets out of jail he will likely have to have a career as an NDP politico; I don't see much else.

Madam Justice Anne Molloy said the 27-year-old Ryerson University graduate blamed his appalling conduct on a recent break-up and his decision to quit smoking.

Of course - it's OK to commit arson and vandalism when you're a bit down and a bit stressed. I'll give his Girl(?)friend credit though, though clearly starting with him was an error of judgment.

She dismissed his quitting-smoking excuse after the accused was spotted in many photographs and video images with a lit cigarette in his hand.

OK I can fairly call him stupid. How did he pick a stupid lawyer?

He showed little real remorse and only pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief due “to the overwhelming photographic and video evidence,” which made his conviction a certainty.

His ethics are that it is OK to commit crimes if he thinks he won't get caught. Nice.

He is sorry he did it, not because of the appalling conduct itself, but because of the effect it had on him and his family,” said Molloy.

Utterly self-absorbed, with a pretty stunted sense of compassion.

Crown attorney Catherine Rhinelander argued the accused was clearly destroying the windshield, not testing its “sponginess,” as the accused testified. Molloy agreed.

Stupid indeed. I think we know what IS spongy.

Yes looks like an Occupier. walks like an Occupier, quacks like one too.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 07:24

Now That is the Management of Tension!

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God I wish I had that joy in me. I have experienced it occasionally, but wow do I envy that kid.

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And realize, she did not have the music on that video!

I hope she is one half as happy as she seems.

She should be. I can only imagine the proud parents.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 July 2012 10:55

There is Stuff I do not Get

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Wasn't Anderson Cooper always gay? I think that is what he says.

And who is Frank Ocean?

Surely there is important news somewhere.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 July 2012 10:24

Where the Hell is Matt

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He's back! Makes me so happy.

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(Curious that Syrian faces had to be blurred.)

And this is fun too:

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UPDATE: Can it really be four years since this piece of magic?

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I find myself switching between joyful laughter and joyful tears.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 13:29

Morgan Pressel is an Ultimate Class Act

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Really unpleasant judicial challenges featured her elimination from yesterday's match play championship.

Pressel was pretty much the first person to embrace the winner.

That was so sweet.



What a Disgrace of a TV Season

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Lots of shows are proudly announcing their last episode of the season.

And WOW I am so peeved at their contract with their viewers.

Bones finished with Tempe on the run. Cute, but not something that wil bring me back next year. If anything, it turns me totally off.

NCIS LA has finished with Callen engaged in a shooting that clearly it not what it appeared to be. I am not amused at being required to catch up again.

It could be all this is good for the 18-34 demographic but I am in my 60s and not confident I will be back for next season. The clear message is they do not care about me and I plan to return the favor.




Undercover Boss and Comparative Advantage

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Ricardo's difficult idea applies in a lot of places (yes, Krugman is brilliant when he cares, or maybe when he does not),  The TV show 'Undercover Boss', which is one of my favorite 'reality' shows (actually one of very few that even vaguely approach reality) gives us week after week stories that hide the difficult part of Ricardo's difficult idea.

The CEOs and their like are put in front-line jobs in their companies and are invariably lost and somewhat incompetent in the front-line jobs. I am suspicious of this apparent incompetence. Actually in one show about a candle shop, the CEO proved so suspiciously good at making candles that one of the employees suspected he was a ringer of sorts.

These thoughts come to me watching the Canadian episode with Karen Stintz, chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, working on some of the basic jobs. The woman they feature who maintains the vehicles as vehicles comments that the Stintz persona 'Ruth' could be a prety good maintainer of the vehicles, but could likely contribute a lot more in some other job in the TTC.

This was an insight one almost never sees on 'Undercover Boss'. It is entirely possible that the boss could be better at front-line jobs than any of the employees there, and yet it would be entirely sensible for the boss to be the boss and the less competent employees on the front line. (This is the difficult part of the idea.)

There is an 'Undercover Boss' narrative and Ricardo's difficult idea is well beyond that but it is nice to see his notion sneak through quietly in a passing comment from one of the front-line employees put under scrutiny.

BTW, Stintz' show made me like her even more; I always have, even as she pulled off her anti-subway coup against Rob Ford (whom I also like).

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:48

One Young IDF Soldier

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Against 1000 murderous slimeballs. In some ways perhaps a true measure of human worth.

It is a deal with the devil.

It's not for me to call this one. I am glad Gilad Shalit can again face good times with his family.

Hamas' rejoicing, for all its phoniness, is no pleasant sight.

The deeply unpleasant human beings are clearly lined up on one side here.


WOW I Guess That's Not Entirely OK Then

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BBC Hostess as the fires set by rioters burn (paraphrased):

"It's not just businesses, but there are flats on the levels above, so this is really bad."

What utter moral bankruptcy the BBC has created!


This Would Be Funny If It Were Funny

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I often find it difficult checking these boxes, though I can see why Nikki Haley might find it even harder.

She had the audacity to consider herself white. Who does she think she is? Come to think of it, my congressman, Tim Scott, had the audacity to not join the Congressional Black Caucus. Who does he think he is?

In unrelated news, it was reported today that 73 out of the 74 school districts in South Carolina failed the federal No Child Left Behind education standards. Way to go South Carolina. Not only do you waste the money I have to pay in property taxes but you elect another lying Republican to be Governor.

I figure if Obama decides he wants to be officially black, despite a pretty clear-cut upbringing in a Caucasian family, Nikki Haley can call it as she sees it too.


Dutch Leading The Way?

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I hope they will have followers.

the Dutch parliament struck another blow against multiculturalism in the Netherlands yesterday with the passage of a bill banning ritual animal slaughter. The bill requires that all animals be stunned before being slaughtered, a requirement that conflicts with halal and kosher stipulations that animals be fully conscious.


The Great Windbag Bloviates Once More - July 29th Version

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He's doing a lot of this lately, and looking pretty silly to me.

And of course he has NO plan to offer. Still.

He is behaving exactly as a cynic would have predicted - a guy with NO executive experience, and who voted 'present' with stunning frequency as a Senator. He runs and hides and blames everyone else.


After Listening to All the Whining

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... in front of the Executive Committee, I would like to suggest the Committee cut at least 50% of the funding they all whined about.

This was a revolting performance from the community, which showed NO sign of believing in independent responsibility.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 19:32

Bronwyn - 8:15 Witness

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Oh that was a smart one. She was great.

It's pretty easy to look really good amidst this dismal procession but Bronwyn was great!

Maybe it is bad I have been in Ireland for over a week so a Bronwyn could fool me easily. But I buy what she said.

My only major concern is that she seemed to agree with Mike Layton. That just seems wrong.


A Generic Question About the Pig-Trough-Suckers

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Could there perhaps be one intelligent one before the night is over?

We shall see. Not even close so far.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 18:53

Pigs Slurping Still More at the Trough

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"It's Wonderful to see so may taxpayers here". Yup - they make my life!

Oh I bet it is wonderful.

What a tiresome procession.


Saint Kevin's Cave

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During the period when he was able to protect his privacy and not be the amazing monastery adminstrator he reluctantly became.

It's the dark spot next to the white slashes running down the hill.

Jeff told us he cut a deal - that during Lent he could go back to his cave, so long as he ran his most stunningly successfully monastery the rest of the year.

I hope that was enough for him. He was clearly an utter genius.


The Pigs at the Trough, Continuing

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Man this is getting really boring. We are up to #43 out of a planned over 300!

I expect to fall asleep listening to what I know full well will be the story - oh no if we don't get this money so many people will suffer!! Oh Oh Oh!

Pathetic and useless.

Some of the presenters have nore outrage and more of an apparent sense of entitlement than others. But not a single one has had an intellectual case that could stand up to any reasonable criticism. Pathetic. It is all just "We really do good stuff with the money and it would be awful if you did not give it to us next year". Yeah, right.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 18:24


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This sign at the Wicklow lake near Glendalough baffled me:

Until I learned that there was a precipitous drop-off in depth of the water in the lake as you step into it.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 17:58

Jeff Elucidates Glendalough

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Jeff is telling us about Saint Kevin at Glendalough (the failed hermit par excellence). He was GREAT! By far the best tour guide I have ever had.

The woman whose face is obscured was one of TWO women I met during the week who lives within a couple of subway stops of my home. The world of Dublin is way too small (and this was not even Dublin - we were out in the Wicklow Hills!).

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 18:01

Yup, It's That Martello Tower

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And in the nearby park:

The Martello Tower in Kingston, Ontario looks far less domesticated than the one above.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 17:46

The Pigs at the Trough, cont'd

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My councillor Janet Davis colludes with some of the witnesses to make them look good and unfairly excluded. I cannot stand her.

I even voted for some guy I had never heard of in the last municipal election just to make sure I was not voting for her. The guy had a wildly Islamic name, so take that to mean what you will; he was vastly preferable to me, knowing essentially nothing about him, than Janet Davis.

The problem with living in East End Toronto is that there is such a 'consensus'. I have little taste for my Beaches neighbors.

I am coming to despise the well-meaning among us. They congratulate themselves and feel no need to actually be in any way responsible.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 July 2011 09:44

I Guess This is Good

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Though I will say I think Trinity College Dublin has more to be proud of than this:


Wilde Memorial in Merrion Square, Dublin

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Just lovely. Apparently called by locals "The Fag on the Crag".


I Loved This Icon

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It was on the back of the headrest for our tour guide Sam to Connemara.



The Pigs at the Trough

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We are many hours into the comic parade of Toronto's Executive Committee entertaining petitioned testimony from people who want to influence future budget decisions.

The whole thing is utterly predictable. We have a swarm of well-intentioned, charming people making the case for continuing their funding, from other people's money.

Their economic arguments are utterly laughable; almost every one of them thinks it is enough to show that of a dollar the city gives them, the ciity may get back $1.01 or more. This is ridiculous, though it may be sufficient politically.

I will take some blame; I did not sign up to testify; after all it makes a minimal difference to me on my tax bill. I should have signed up though, and made it clear how hostile I am to this progression of people sucking up taxpayer money for in general barely justifiable reasons.

Mayor Ford is astonishingly patient. This is going to go on for a LONG time.

I LOVE THIS! Volunteer Toronto wants money! Give me a break!

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:02

Nice Little Summer Home

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Nice Little Summer Home

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Galway Busking - Canadian Connection

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As part of a Connemara day trip last week, there was an hour stop in Galway. I decided to enjoy the major pedestrian strip, where I  got treated to definite Canadian culture enjoyments.

One singer I wandered by was in full throat on Cohen's "Hallelujah", and my next stop was at a sort of Houdini performer, who I believe said her name was really Dickie Bird, and that she was Canadian. Here she is getting out of her straitjacket:


And here she is earlier, in UTTER command of her audience.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:05

Galway Cathedral

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A new building but what a great piece of stained glass!


Thank You For My Smokin' Hot Wife Tonight Lisa

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Now THERE is a prayer this atheist finds appealing!

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This is indeed what makes America great.

h/t Gerry Nicholls

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 14:10

Bring the Rent-Seekers Forth

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Toronto's Executive Committee is holding hearings on KPMG's report on what are Core Services versus other sorts, with a view to finding ways to cut City expenses.

Needless to say, the witnesses are the pigs at the trough, and it is sickening to watch. Every one of them claims all its funding is utterly vital, for the children, for the good  people, etc. etc.

It is one unpleasant thing to watch. All the stupid little arts programs that for some strange reason the city has been funding. Hey wait! Not so strange - I bet they are all Miller voters. Hey - Miller is gone.

One day of this agony and maybe Council can get to cleaning up their act.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 13:53

The Battle of Guinness Hastings

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The likely major tourist target in Dublin should be the Guiness Storehouse; I did a tour and it was fun, including some refined Guinness-tasting.

The many displays included some great ads - one of my favorites was this:

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 14:09

Why Turmel

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As Jack Layton fades into what I hope is a background role (and while I disagree with almost anything he says, I admire his Energizer Bunny approach to politics, especially his almost stake in the heart of the Liberal party this year).

Media wonder why he has named as in-term deputy an unknown MP.

Hmmm - his options were surely the deputy leaders.

Libby Davies - dead on the tarmac. She would kill the party. In a couple of weeks.

Thomas Mulcair - Mr I am perfect. It would take longer than with Davies but he would do it too.

If Layton does not come back there is a Liberal party life after all.

Our politics are actually quite interesting.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 10:09

Irish Puckishness

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My business meetings last week were held at one of the sites of the Dublin Institute of Technology.

The students clearly have had some time on their hands; this was the sign on the nearest men's room:


When Walking in Dublin

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Keep your eyes on the ground in front of you; there appears to be no poop 'n' scoop practice, and there are also rewards:

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