Friday, November 30, 2007
Do you think if you give your baby a certain name, they'll have a better chance to have the career you want them to have?
If you would like your son to become a barrel maker when he grows up, you might name him Cooper. If you want him to be a top university administrator, you can name him Dean. And if you would like him to knock over banks, you could name him Rob.
I'm pretty sure the parents of this woman wanted her to be a lawyer. Good job!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Dalton: I am going to continue spending way too much of your money.
John: I am going to spend even more of your money!
Howard: I am going to spend a ridiculously insane amount of your money.
What a choice to have. I am definitely going to waste my vote.
We're also seeing what a horrible effect the fixed election date law has. A ridiculously long unofficial campaign where the parties are afraid to reveal what their whole platform is about. Not only is it pointless, it's making all of the choices seem even less attractive, if that's possible.
I hope my fellow citizens will have the brains to vote no in the electoral reform referendum. The party sheep factor in our political system is already way too high; there's no need to make it even bigger.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
I work in Toronto, but I'm really very glad that I don't live in Toronto. Toronto City Council is up to its usual intrusive and counterproductive shenanigans.
Everyone in Toronto has come to the conclusion that there it's a very bad thing that the availability of rental housing continues to decrease year over year. (I don't really think it's a bad thing -- it largely means that people are doing well and buying their own homes.)
But let's pretend for a moment that I agree that a decline in rental availability is a bad thing. It seems to me that then I would want to encourage property owners to rent their properties out.
The geniuses at Toronto City Council, however, think it makes more sense to impinge on individuals' rights to do as they please with their own property, and send a message to everyone that if you are thinking about building rental property (or renting out your existing property), you better think twice because any future economic decisions you might like to make with your own property will be subject to their whims.
It's pretty shocking that people of power know so little about basic supply and demand. They are simply discouraging supply.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Later this year, Ontarians will vote on a proposal recommended by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. They want us to accept a form of (mild) proportional representation in our provincial government.
Andrew Coyne pokes some holes in the Post's editorial opposing PR. His criticism is valid on it's own but Coyne, who is so smart about everything else, fails to speak to the simple point I would like the pro-PR crowd to address:
Why do they think that naming representatives based on percentages of party vote is the right thing to do? Seriously, I don't get it at all.
The pro-PR crowd always breaks out a bunch of examples of how this parliament or legislature is unfair because party A got X% of the vote and got too many / too few seats, thinking we will be dazzled with the apparent obvious absurdity of the math at hand. There's no logical connection to me that any form of PR is a better choice than our current system, however.
For one thing, party politics are already badly entrenched in our current politics -- this will just make it much worse. Why would we want to add a bunch of party hacks to the legislature that wouldn't be directly accountable to anyone? You wouldn't be able to blast them out of the house with dynamite.
(Oh yeah, increasing the number of MPPs by 30% is a bad idea all on it's own. Most of them just sit around taking up space -- why would we want to pay for more?)
Call me weird, but I still vote for the candidate's name that's on the ballot. That's the person I want to represent me. And if I don't like the individual that's representing me, I can try to do something about it.
Some think that the proposed reforms would cause either gridlock or wishy-washy coalition governments. I generally welcome gridlock -- governments are constantly making useless intrusive laws that benefit either no one or some selected groups who know how to shout the loudest. But that's a pretty bad reason to support PR, so I won't use it.
The only genuinely important pieces of legislation are budgets, and that's where I want governments to have the cojones to the do the right thing. Under the proposed system, we would have a government that would be even more mushy-middle, more gutless, and the budgets would naturally be loaded with plump pork products for all manner of special interest groups that they'd have to cater to according to the political winds of the day.
All forms of democracy have their failings. I think it's pretty foolhardy to start tinkering with a system that is working more or less okay, and with a track record of success of several hundred years.
(By the way, fixed election dates are also dumb. Really dumb. They just are. Don't ask why.)
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Instead of waiting for Krankor to tag me, I will briefly explain:
Why I blog
I launched a blog because a lot of way bigger idiots than me are spewing their poorly-considered thoughts on the Interwebs. Also because people at work think I can write. I know I can't really write well, but in the business world I look like frickin Billy Shakespeare. But I figured a blog would allow me to vent my opinions in a way I can't anyplace else (my family sure as hell doesn't want to hear it).
Unfortunately I have found that doing any real writing requires thought, effort, and sometimes work. At the end of the day I'd really rather just post links to fart jokes.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
So why not give my own (largely unsubstantiated) opinions on the Global Warming debate. After all, the mainstream media, tv pundits, and all political parties are not interested in having an honest debate about it.
1. It is evident to me that on average, the world has indeed been getting warmer lately.
2. It is pretty likely that humans have contributed to this. Anyone who says they can state definitively exactly HOW MUCH we have contributed to it is probably full of shit to some degree.
3. Even if we humans were savages running around the forests and not burning any fossil fuels, the world would still be getting warmer right now.
4. The world becoming warmer has it's pros and cons. Why assume it's all bad? Seriously.
5. Even focusing on just the 'cons' for which WE are responsible, it probably has still been a good bargain for us -- the global economic development of today is a pretty positive thing, and has been worth the environmental cost.
6. Even if I were to agree that global warming is strictly A Bad Thing, it is pretty arrogant to think that it is even possible for humankind to stop or even significantly reduce global warming through emissions reduction at this point.
7. And if it is possible, it would require complete agreement by pretty much all of the world's significant nations (including China, Russia, etc.) to agree to making emissions reduction their absolute number one goal -- a goal that they could not diverge from even when their economies would predictably go into the toilet. Not going to happen.
8. Said economic costs include increased poverty, starvation, death, disease, etc. -- especially in the developing world. (The environmental left likes to gloss over this.)
In other words, my view is that attempting to make the reduction of global warming the overriding concern of humanity is an unrealistic goal, and is a goal that would likely have little beneficial effect anyway, and would be ruinous in many other ways.
What is way more likely to help out our planet is a future technological innovation that can provide a cleaner source of energy at a similar cost. Today, it ain't there.
Having said all that, I am not a purely pro-business, right-wing, screw-the-tree-hugging-hippies type. I am in favour of governments legislating pollution controls to a reasonable degree. This is not because I am scared to death of global warming; but because of the simple selfish reason that I really hate breathing polluted air. I have a difficult time with being outdoors in the smog. I think this is a libertarian view -- your right to unleash crud into the environment stops at my backyard.
I think one can be pro-environment without drinking the Global Warming Kool-Aid.
The quality of the political debate on these issues in Canada at present is hopeless at best.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I would never have guessed! The Wes-Man writes some kick-ass reviews of old Star Trek: TNG episodes. From Encounter at Farpoint:
Riker and the Doctor begin to discuss the mystery, when Wesley interrupts them to explicitly point out how mysterious the whole thing is. (It's right around this moment, according to historical data and polling research, that the Kill Wesley movement got its first member, though scholars are unable to agree upon who it was. It has been narrowed down to a single male virgin, approximately age 24, living in his parents' basement in the American Midwest.)