Saturday, October 31, 2009

Donolo; mirage or messiah?

I remember as a child trying to wrap my brain around the concept of a mirage. That when people are wandering through the desert, they can see something on the horizon that is not real. "How can they see it if it is not there"? They will see an Oasis in the ocean of sand and heat, when infact nothing is there. Judging by the overreaction of many Liberal opinionists to the Donolo hiring, they are crawling through the desert dying of thirst and they see a figure on the horizon who they believe will save them, and Donolo is his name-O. I think one kook even suggested that Superman would "wear Donolo pajamas". Sure, the man of steel would look to a former communication director as a role model? That tells you something.

I would like to know a little more "inside baseball" on what exactly Donolo did during his tenure in the Chretien administration. There has to be at least a few black eyes. Trust me, he was not exiled to the land of the pollster to work on his fastball. Honestly I had no idea who this man was until a few days ago, but out of the gate there doesn't seem to be nearly as much substance as the left wing cheerleaders are screaming. I have been watching the Liberals crawl across the arid desert believing that a pile of sand is a luscious oasis. Sitting in my shaded seat, well hydrated, with a first and goal on the opponent's 6 yard line. I feel pretty good right now.

The Scariest Words Bob Rae Could Speak?

Since Bob Rae is now in the inciting mass hysteria business, I figured that it would be appropriate to run a Halloween poll on the scariest thing that you could ever hear uttered from Boob's mouth. I voted for "as your newly elected Prime Minister", which I predict will be the runaway winner. While he is trying to spark a mass panic in the populace, I can think of a few other things that I could hear come out of his mouth that would spook me far worse than "you are going to die" ever could...

This is another example where several people would reach for the "all of the above" option, but I never liked all or none as the answer to a multiple choice.

Spook 'em with a Bob Rae costume!

If you really want to strike fear into the hearts of trick or treaters this Halloween, go down to your local costume store and buy your very own Bob Rae outfit! When the little rascals ring your doorbell, you can open the door and scream "YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE OF THE FLU AND IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S FAULT!" or perhaps something even more scary like "I HAVE BEEN PROMISED MINISTER OF FINANCE!" or even scarier "LET ME DO YOUR TAXES", or if you really want to give them nightmares "I WANT TO BE YOUR PRIME MINISTER!"

This is of course in reference to Bob Rae going on the Soloman Show and telling Canadians that they are going to die of the flu and it is the government's fault that Glaxo couldn't make enough vaccine for a bug that is less lethal than the normal flu. I understand how it benefits the opposition to create a mass hysteria, but it hardly benefits the country. The hysteria over SARS did far more harm than the virus itself, and SARS was far more lethal than pig flu. We should be promoting calm, not doing what Bob Rae is doing trying to frighten people.

"GDP Slide"

While watching the Soloman Show on the CBC, I also noticed how they ran a segment with the heading "GDP Slide" when discussing a story that GDP dipped 0.1% in August despite being up substantially above expectation in the 3rd quarter (hint, August is the middle month of Q3). Up considerably in the 3rd quarter, down a tiny dip in August, and the headline they run for several minutes is "GDP slide"?? Am I the only one who thinks that this is absolutely crazy? Is Evan selecting these topics and headlines himself, or is the producer who hired him writing "GDP slide" onto the television?

It befuddles me how good news can hit the market, and immediately investors start selling? As though many investors saw the good news on GDP and decided that they should sell high. Others see the movement and then sell out of fear. The last downturn lowered the sum total of the market's risk tolerance. Some people are having flashbacks to the large fast declines of a year ago, while others are buying into the ominous warnings of the doomsayers. Whatever happened to optimism? Does increased Q3 GDP not deserve a headline on the Soloman Show? Instead they have to pass the tiny bit of bad news on the screen as though this were some mighty unnatural disaster?

Oh that's right, the stimulus is now allegedly the only reason that GDP is up in the 3rd quarter. If that is true, isn't that why we agreed to do it in the first place? Why would that be bad news? If the economy rebounded before the stimulus money hit the market, does that perhaps suggest that it might not have been necessary? Either way, We had a strong 3rd quarter and we should be happy and confident.

I don't get it.

Buy the National Post

I buy my copy every day. I don't understand how they managed to lose so much money despite strong sales, they may need to do an internal audit. I love the Financial Post for my information and opinion on the markets, and the main paper for op-ed and breaking news. It is a fantastic newspaper, and I read it every day. I was not paid by the Post to write this, I did so because I want it to continue to be shipped to my newsstands every day.

As their editorial board writes; the rumours of their demise...

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Evan Soloman Show

I finally had the opportunity to watch an episode of the Evan Soloman Show and confirmed what I predicted would happen. It sucks. That is my scientific and scholarly review of Power and Politics. It was pathetically poorly performed. I was no great fan of Don Newman, but the Don was so far and away better than what Evan is that it is sad this crappy new show is filling the old Politics time slot. Far be it from me to "wax nostalgia" about an old CBC Show, but where have you gone Don Newman, common sense turns its lonely eyes to you.

I also noticed that Mr. Soloman seems to be having a little difficulty securing advertising. Most of the ads during his program were purchased by *gasp* the CBC! There was a splash of private sector advertising, and to Manulife, I'm watching you. I am also considering terminating my own business with the Royal Bank. I don't appreciate my user fees being spent to "market the brand" on the Soloman Show, it is bad enough as it is that my tax dollars may be used to save a sinking ship. I'm not sure how long this debacle will last. If he can't secure advertising, how long will the CBC keep him afloat?

A Halloween Climate Poll

I launched a new poll in the spirit of the Pagan holiday season. What is the best nickname for the climate activists currently engaged on a PR blitzkrieg in Canada? There are some really strong options, and perhaps I should have included "all of the above" as one, but I prefer to have the cream rise to the top.

The options are:

Climate Clowns; my choice, apology to real clowns

Climate "Misguided Idiots"; Adler suffers misguided idiots

Climate Fools; Adler does not suffer fools

Climate Crazies; appropriate

Climate Hooligans; some Euro trash feel

Climate Kooladers; they have drank it

Lang and O'Leary Exchange

My review through the first week of the Lang and O'Leary Exchange on the CBC is that I enjoy it. I'm not quite sure what the dude's shtick is, if he is trying to do a bad impersonation of Jim Cramer? If next week he starts hitting quirky sound effects buttons and biting the heads off of stuffed animals, I will call him out! I don't always agree with the analysis, but they present a lot of quality information about Canadian economic output. If Mister O'Leary could tone down the emotional hyperbole, that would make the show much more tolerable. My only observation about the lady is that she appears to be trying really hard to hold a poker face on camera.

Basically, I like the show. The Lang and O'Leary Excange on CBC Newsworld, 1:30pm Pacific Mon - Fri.

Halloween

This week Canada was introduced to these new "flash climate protests" that are intended as an urban guerrilla tactic to shock people into climate assimilation. This is coming from the same people who cried slogans of mischief and skulduggery every time the Bush Whitehouse raised the "terrorism threat level". They believed Bush was simply scaring the people into supporting him. Is this starting to sound familiar? And yes the hypocrisy is delicious, if not disturbing. Obviously these kooks are mobilizing for their next protest and coincidentally tomorrow is Halloween.

Given the childish behavior of the climate clowns, I fully expect them to take full advantage of this children's holiday to make a loud media statement. The question is what strategic riding will these hooligans spontaneously assemble? Who has been targeted for aggressive civil disobedience? Quebec City? There has to be a room full of people somewhere frantically sewing to finish all those polar bear costumes, right?

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires,
strike; when he retreats, pursue."

- Chairman Mao

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaking News: Donolo indeed can walk on water! Just ask Barbara Yaffe.

I read the Vancouver Sun this evening, and had a good laugh reading this op-ed by Barbara Yaffe. I don't think her glowing endorsement of Peter Donolo was intended as a comedy, but it was hilarious! First, what is the selection process at the Vancouver Sun? Does the story break and the editor takes the best on the desk before the paper goes to print, or does the editor task an individual reporter with writing a piece on a specific story? Because the story they printed on the front page of today’s Canada section is priceless.

As the Iceman wrote last night:

"He seems to have a mystical aura among Liberals for his work during the Chretien Dynasty, a Liberal Prime Minister who never defeated a united right."

To call Yaffe's opinion of Donolo exaggerated would be an incredible understatement. But don't take my word for it:

"The Liberal Party made a dramatic move this week"

"Donolo is a 50 year old political wizard. Smart, strategic, and experienced. His communications skills may well be unparalleled in the Canadian Political Realm today.
"

How superlative is that!? I do find her use of language reaching, such as "may well be unparalleled" not "is unparalleled" or "is effective". That is suggesting that he MIGHT be without equal in the entire country! Wow.

"He will almost certainly make a huge difference to Ignatieff's fortunes as leader."

I think she is starting to hedge her bets on the huge difference he will make. "Almost Certainly" I feel like that should be a title for the next Kate Hudson romantic comedy. She is not saying "he will make a huge difference" or "he will almost make a difference". I suspect it is somewhere in between.

"Liberals cannot be written off. They've got considerable talent on their front benches. MPs such as Ralph Goodale, Bob Rae, Ujjal Dosanjh, and Marc Garneau."

Talent? Okay, let me knock these off one at a time.

1) Ralph Goodale. The man who REALLY gave us Stephan Dion. I watched the convention, it wasn't Kennedy's fault. Let's assume Kennedy had stayed on the ballot for that vote and then went to Dion. Gerard's soldiers followed him en masse, be it before or after a Kennedy ballot. The “King Making” moment was when Ralph led his gang of support from the Rae camp to the Dion camp instead of to Ignatieff. Had Ralph marched to Ignatieff instead of Dion, the Dion embarrassment would have never happened. Besides, the polling out of the prairies suggests that if an election were held today, Ralph would not retain his seat.

2) Bob Rae. I don't know if you lived in Bob Rae's Ontario Barbara, but I did. I can think of a lot of words that I would associate with Bob Rae in politics, and talent is certainly not among them!

3) Ujjal Dosangh. Gee Barbara, great plug for one of the last standing Liberals in BC who won by what, 20 votes last time?

4) Marc Garneau. Way to plug the star candidate with virtually no experience in politics. If I want to fly a space ship my first phone call is to Marc, but how does he constitute political talent?

Send your feedback to byaffe@vancouversun.com

Climate Clowns

Having absorbed the term "climate justice" into my brain, I have been thinking about the most appropriate word to put immediately after "climate" to best describe the clowns actively participating in this PR blitzkrieg happening in the "tactical ridings" right now. Bloodyface-Gate was a stumble out of the blocks. They are now as vulnerable as ever to "common sense".

Before I start my web poll of what word should follow climate in describing these misguided idiots henceforth forevermore, I would like some ideas. My best ideas so far are...

1) Climate Clowns
2) Climate Crazies
3) Climate Hooligans
4) Climate Kooladers
5) Climate (insert your own idea)

PS: How much do you want to bet that these loons have some obscene over the top display planned for Halloween? Don't be distracted by shock and awe. Stick to their old forecast models that have been proven totally inaccurate.

Heather Mallick, you should be fired!

Even though Heather Mallick is not technically a CBC employee, she does have a column at www.cbc.ca. Thankfully she does not appear to have posted anything on the CBC website since June, and we should keep it that way. I think everyone is entitled to an opinion and she is free to write whatever she likes, I just don't have time for it on the my national broadcaster because they receive my tax dollars. If there is a market for her brand of opinion, then by all means write your little heart out. Where myself and others become frustrated is when a writer like Mallick on the CBC website writes something so flagrantly insulting to a demographic of people and it draws international attention; that is not something I want appearing on a government sponsored webpage.

I laugh at the idea that she is "left of center", and I assert that an English Lit degree does not qualify someone to be employed having a national political opinion. If the Toronto Star wants to publish her material, fantastic for her. I just don't want her nonsense on the CBC website, which is consistent with the results of my "most foolhardy CBC employee" poll. The poll has yet to officially close, but right now it appears she will handily defeat Man-bridge for the one CBC employee most deserving of being booted from the public to the private sector. She should have been permanently banished from the CBC when she wrote that story about Sarah Palin.

Personally I think the statements of CBC Ombudsman Vince Carlin said it best:

"there is no factual basis for a broad scale conclusion about the sexual adequacy of Republican men" and "that type of comment, applied to any other group, would easily be seen as, at best, puerile."

He also noted that Mallick's "characterization of Palin supporters as white trash lacks a factual basis." Carlin wrote that he had asked Ms. Mallick to explain the basis for these characterizations and although she explained her opinions of Ms. Palin, she "did not provide a factual justification for the statements."

"Climate Justice"?

Oh Lord, here we go. The new activist buzz term is "climate justice". Global warming lost its mojo when the world stopped warming, so they switched to climate change when the world's climate is always changing and never resting in a steady state equilibrium. Infact in economic dynamics it is observed that "systems" seldom rest in equilibrium, but rather cycle around it. In any event, the new terminology is climate justice. There are a lot of words that you can stick after "climate" that are far more appropriate. Such as climate hooligan, climate Kooladers, climate tomfoolery, climate “misguided idiots” and I could go on but I won't.

Kelly McParland wrote a magnificent piece in the National Post today.

Markets overvalued by 20%?

I breathed a sigh of relief when I awoke this morning to a strong day on the markets. Yesterday I caught a brief glimpse of the Lang and O’Leary Exchange, when they brought on this investment banker to explain why he feels the stock market is overvalued by 20%. For starters, he is estimating a parameter that cannot be accurately measured. You could look at price to earnings ratios or equity/asset ratios and make an estimation as to the fair value of a stock, but since expectation of future performance (which cannot be reliably predicted) is also represented in the price of a stock, the aforementioned ratios cannot be used exclusively to draw the conclusion that stocks are overpriced. If we expect markets to completely rebound in another year or two, then that expectation is priced into the value of the stock whether or not today’s assets and revenues justify it. What he calls overvalued, I call tomorrow.

"The sun will come up tomorrow!"

To my "friends" over at the CBC, be “O’Weary” about inviting on a guest who is the Chief Economist at an investment bank to offer an expert opinion. He is just as likely to promote the positions of his investors as he is to tell the general public the truth. This "expert" admitted that he did not predict the 6 month incline of the market, therefore when he says that the market is overvalued by 20% he is validating his initial opinion. When he said the market would stay flat and it went up by 20%, rather than admit a mistake he simply begins promoting the idea that the market is 20% overpriced. If he is an investment banker, then he has rich clients whose money he invests with. Some of those clients may not be happy that their "expert" did not play the rising tide, and thus he has to sell the notion that the market is overvalued by the same error rate of his initial prediction to pacify his weary investors.

Basically all economists are all over the map right now in terms of predicting the future. Just because some guru in New York was right last time, that does not guarantee he will be right this time. There is more volatility than anyone can predict. Everyone knew there was a housing bubble and a credit bubble inflating at the same time, when far too much money was being handed out in loans. To compound the fracture, firms like Lehman's were buying these toxic assets and leveraging them into even more risky asset packages. They were building a great pyramid on top of a house of cards. That was the biggest mistake of the last downturn, a mistake that the majority of banks should be able to avoid making a second time. The popping of bubbles is a healthy component of our economy.

I will say that I want to see interest rates go up. Interest both the cost of borrowing and the benefit of saving. With rock bottom interest rates, we are making it easy to borrow and less rewarding to save. Sure there are benefits to easing the credit markets, but let's not get carried away here. Borrowing too much got us into this mess in the first place. Lowering the cost of borrowing down to zero seems inherently dangerous given what just happened.

The Donolo Secret?

Iggy has a new Chief of Staff and Donolo is his name-o. D-O-N-O-L-O, D-O-N-O-L-O, D-O-N-O-L-O, and Donolo is his name-O! A former Field Marshal of Jean Chretien who stepped aside in 1999? Gee, I'd be awfully curious to know what he was doing in and around the time of the Sponsorship Program...

I don't know much about him, at least not enough to make a pop culture comparison. He seems to have a mystical aura among Liberals for his work during the Chretien Dynasty, a Liberal Prime Minister who never defeated a united right.

It feels like those Rolo commercials. Jean goes to Iggy and says, "would you like my last Donolo?"

I'm just test driving some of my early Donolo jokes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trudeau Book Title, poll relaunch

I had some fantastic feedback for the suggested title of the next book about Pierre Trudeau, and thus I need to re-launch my poll with some new options. I will include the top 3 vote getters from the original poll, and add Holier Than Mao, The Father of Deconfederation, and The Man Behind Ottawa's Iron Curtain. I am sorry that I did not put this to a nomination process originally. I get some outstanding feedback from my readers that I should have cultivated before launching such an "earth shattering" survey.

The top 3 from the original poll are:

Evil and Wrong (30%)
Apocalypse Pierre (20%)
N.E.P - R.I.P (17%)

I would like to encourage my visitors to take this opportunity to make a comment below and regale me with your stories about how Pierre Trudeau wronged you. I would like to publish a long list of the sins of the father (*cough*Justin*cough*) and even write a piece about how terrible Pierre Trudeau truly was at the act of leadership. He could win elections, but he did institutional harm to Canada that might never be undone.

Comment Moderation

Today I was forced to change my settings to include moderating the comment portion of my page. One goofball was spouting off borderline slander on a few different pages, and I got tired of following him around deleting his crap. Isn't it ironic that within a day of launching a web poll on the worst CBC employee that included Heather Mallick, suddenly my site was targeted for character assassination? I will still allow for anonymous posts that require no personal information, but I have to run it through a filter first. I looked up the particular blogger who had initiated the attacks against me, and he has a long rap sheet. What he does is simple character assassination with no scholarly debate, and he has a cadre of followers who follow behind doing the same thing. I bet he is well known in the Blogging Tory universe, but I will not repeat his name because I will not lend any promotion to his site at all.

That's not why I started blogging, to have loony toons posting nothing but petty name calling. My parents read my blog okay. I will continue to welcome Liberal opinion, but please keep it within the realm of decency. To my other readers, if you would like to send me comments, opinion, or ideas that you don't want posted, just send a comment that starts with "do not publish" and I won't publish it.

Coyotes

I was saddened to see the news this morning of a young woman killed in a coyote attack and I hope that authorities are able to track down the offending animals. Regardless of why they attacked, once any animal gets a taste for human blood, they must be put down (except perhaps endangered species). I have seen dozens of coyotes this past summer alone. They are all over the Vancouver golf courses. When I do see one, they always run away from me, and I thought that people were supposed to be safe from harm. Has the coyote population exceeded its sustainable size such that animals are now forced to hunt bigger higher risk prey? Do we need to do a coyote cull? I like how they control the squirrel population, but if they continue attacking people, we may need to remove them from our cities.

The coyote population has been flourishing, but perhaps Wylie has been flying too close to the sun. The victim in this attack was 19 years old. I have 4 nieces and nephews under the age of 19 and the last thing I want to see is one of them taken down by a wild dog. What is the best way to do a cull? Or was there something unique about the animals that attacked the young woman today? Did they have rabies, and thus the attack does not represent a predator population exceeding its natural food source and expanding its hunting parameters?

I would like more information on this incident.

Chris Alexander

I just watched my first television interview with Chris Alexander and my initial reaction is very positive. He was visibly nervous on television, ironic considering he spent 6 years driving around a war zone. Other than some jitters in front of the camera, he provided fantastic answers to the critical questions regarding the situation in Afghanistan. I want Mr Alexander sharing his opinion on Afghanistan with Canadians more often. I doubt any Canadian has a better understanding of the problems we are facing on the ground, General Hillier notwithstanding.

The question is what cabinet seat would best suit his unique skill set? Foreign Affairs or Defense? With all due respect to Mr. Cannon and Mr. MacKay, I want Chris Alexander as my liaison between the Government of Canada and our mission in Afghanistan. Don't take it personally. The kid is just that good.

Who has their fingerprints on the Protests?

With the latest breaking news that Jack Layton met with the protesters and the NDP may have booked a room in parliament for them ahead of the protests, I want to know who has their fingerprints on this. Some signs might point to Layton, but I am more suspicious of Elizabeth May. Logistically, I will trust the RCMP and security to handle the situation on the ground, but politically I want to know who is running the show. Who is calling the shots? Who are the Field Marshals on the ground? We need to focus on asking questions and finding answers. Rosemary Barton may find these protests "interesting and effective", but they are pushing the limits of acceptable civil discourse. It is okay to have an opinion and promote it, but once it ventures into the realm of coordinated aggressive civil disobedience, I draw the line and it must be stopped.

The environmentalists are on their heels and in trouble. This is their Ardennes Offensive. If Elizabeth May and her Greens are knee deep in this shit creek, then we have to ask ourselves if it makes any sense to have her serving in the legislature. The good citizens of Saanich have to decide if they want to vote for a seat in cabinet, or if they want to vote for a vacationing Loony Toon.

Red Wings defeat Vancouver

The mighty Red Wings defeated the Vancouver Canucks this evening in Van City. I watched part of the 3rd period on my coffee break, and it was entertaining hockey. The Wings always put on a good show. If Pavel Datsyuk is not the best stick handler in the NHL, he's in the top 3. My Wings are not off to the best start, but the team looks good. Back to back Finals put a lot of miles on the odometer. I am happy that Helm, Leino, Abdelkader, and Ericsson are all getting plenty of minutes. I was hoping Jimmy Howard would be a little better than this, and Osgood has just about spent his 9 lives.

The NHL is off to the weirdest start that I have ever seen. Colorado and LA are leading their divisions, and a whole lot of big names are on the injured reserve for a significant period of time. Now we just lost Kovalchuck, and Gaborik is held out of practice. All these injuries bother me. Can't we just re-enforce the skeletons of all NHL players with adamantium like Wolverine? Let's think about it.

Being a Red Wings Fan in Vancouver

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brace for Buying Opportunities

With three consecutive days of loses on the TSX, suddenly investors are starting to cash out their bets while they are still ahead. What precipitated the original selloff is not entirely clear, since there really was no bad news that justified a sudden downturn. Perhaps Mark Carney pistol whipping investors might have spooked a few of them? Infact all economic indicators were pointing to a strong economic recovery, especially in Canada. Then last Friday, Potash and Agrium announced their massive declines in revenue due to a farmer's boycott, and that seemed to lead a selling frenzy. I'm not certain how much longer this sell-off will last, but one thing is for certain it will deflate some prices at strong companies that will create buying opportunities.

I know, I know; somebody plug Peter Man-bridge's ears with bees wax because as soon as he catches wind of an economic panic, he flees like George Castanza at a Birthday Party. Canada posts 3rd quarter GDP growth technically ending the recession, and the next day the markets plunge 150 points for no apparent reason? The underlying data does not support a market sell-off, except that a number of investors are likely taking their gains and leaving. There is speculation a plenty of what has caused the last 3 days of losses, and the one with the most traction is a deflation of precious metals prices. It could also be the Law of Averages influencing investors who have convinced themselves that after several months of solid gains, failure becomes more probable. Of course in mathematics we call the "Law of Averages" the "Gambler's Fallacy", but it does serve to explain "a massive movement of people acting stupid" (co/ Eminem).

As Warren Buffet says, no expert can reliably predict a peak or bottom of a market, but investors should always be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. There is a lot of greed in the gold market these days. I'm just pissed that I signed up for the FP Stock Market Challenge a week ago before the price deflation. This will correct itself. The economy is stronger than anyone predicted, and a significant number of investors are selling their positions while they are still in profit. I will tell everyone to brace for buying opportunities, I just can't forecast the bottom of an otherwise irrational short term selling trend. It could be tomorrow, it could be a month from now. The data is not driving the market on this one, the investors are.

Is it possible when Flaherty announced last year that we would be in good shape to weather the storm, he might have been right?

New Trudeau Book?

If you had to write a book about Pierre Trudeau, what would be the best title? I probably should have put this to a nomination process to cultivate some ideas from my readership before launching the poll, but I am leaving for work and wanted to post some cat nip for my new visitors from the Liberal Blogosphere. I voted for The National Destabilization Effect of Centralization.

Dalton Attends Kindergarten

As I watch Dalton McGuinty on my television unveiling his new kindergarten, my advice to the Premier of Ontario is to stick around the classroom for a while, you just might learn something. Based on the folly of his leadership and the deft ignorance of his governance, he could stand to benefit from spending a few days as a student in his new pre-school system. Ontario needs to get Dalton hooked on phonics before the end of his reign of foolishness. Dalton McGuinty sat on a wall. Greg Sorbara had a great fall. All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Ontario back together again.

And to my new adversaries over in the Liberal blogosphere, remember that the Iceman is a member of the Libertarian wing of the Conservative right, and I believe gays should be allowed to marry. It is very insensitive, even malicious the manner by which you make gay jokes as a means of character assassination about people who support gay marriage. I am not gay, but are you suggesting that there is something wrong with homosexuality mister Liberal? I only ask because this slander is coming from the left, not the right. Again, thank you for all the exit links. I will not be sending any to you; I will just continue doing whatever it is I was doing that pissed you off in the first place...such as the paragraph above.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"California Dreaming" at the Northlands Golf and Country Club

Today I golfed my very first round at the breathtaking Northlands Golf and Country Club, and the soundtrack to my round was courtesy of the Mama's and the Papa's. It had been raining for half the day, but it cleared up long enough to get in a round. I had been postponing my first trip to Northlands for when the cold weather rates kicked in. Even with a half day of rain, a freezing gale force wind, sand traps that were like golfing in the Bay of Fundy; it was still an absolutely majestic experience.

This course is carved out of the base of the mountains, has beautiful rolling hills on their fairways, abundant wildlife, and giant old growth pine trees. The fairways were wet, so the ball often stopped where it landed. That is great on greens, but not fairways. I assigned myself a few extra mulligans on account of the foul weather, and managed to shoot a 111. For me that is an excellent round. Most of my par 72 rounds are in between 110 - 125.

On the 5th hole, I saw two Bald Eagles combing the area on a low level flight, later followed by another. Then on the back nine we saw two more Bald Eagles! I was scrambling for my camera while I had a shot, and this was the best that I could do. I saw herons, many ducks, 3 species of frog, but no deer or cougar. It adds to the tranquility to golf on a course with a vibrant ecosystem, and Northlands is built in the steppes of the coastal mountains. I could only imagine how magnificent my experience would have been had I played there in July instead of the end of October.

I would love to go back to Northlands this season, but I don't know how much playable light and playable grass that they have left. At a higher altitude they will get more snow and daylight savings murders the golf season. Hopefully next season I will be able to afford playing the top of the line courses in the beautiful greater Vancouver Area!

Selecting Heather Mallick

Is it a sign that you have reached a new level as a blogger when your political opponents begin quoting, linking, and attacking your site? I seem to have touched a nerve over in the Liberal Universe because I have received an influx of new traffic from the blogging liberals. The one I read today presented the thesis that not only am I gullible, but totally ignorant for putting Heather Mallick in my worst CBC employee poll when I stated in the nomination process that "I have never read her blog, but others tell me she is the worst of the lot". So I am stupid because I don't read Liberal blogs, and I am gullible because I trust the opinion of others on how terrible Heather Mallick is at what she does. Who is my source? Charles Adler. The Boss of talk has highlighted some of her most ridiculous work published on the CBC site. Is that a bad choice to include Heather Mallick based on the recommendation of Adler Nation?

Then I am accused of being sexually attracted to Maxime Bernier's "throbbing manhood" because I forgave the man for being seduced by the wrong good looking woman. I had to visit the Lib website and clarify in the comments that to suggest I was physically attracted to the MP was factually incorrect, not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't care if gays get married. I don't care if a woman wants to marry the Eiffel Tower. I feel a strong affection for my pitching wedge. You should have seen some of the marvelous shots my wedges made today!

I also thanked him for the 150 unique visitors that he sent my way. I welcome as many exit links as the Liberal bloggers would like to send me. I noticed that a lot of them stayed and poked around for a while. Now that I am on the Liberal radar, what happens next? Is this just an anomaly or just the beginning? Am I like the Fellowship of the Ring in the mines of Moria? They make the noise, the drum starts beating, Gandalf says "they are coming", and then you start hearing the screeching of the approaching hoards.

I will make my stand in Balin's Tomb. I don't read Liberal blogs because I listen to your politicians and frankly after that I could honestly not care less what the rest of you assholes have to say. I will not direct a single one of my dozens and dozens of loyal fans to your site to defend me. Having them read a Liberal blog would be a complete waste of their time. As Morgan Freeman said in Million Dollar Baby, "sometimes the best way to throw a punch is to take a step back". If some dude thinks he can raise his own portfolio by sending his readers to me, fantastic! I bet you that I convert at least a few of them. I will not play into his hand by "going Tupac"...

"Interesting and Effective Protest" - Rosemary Barton

I haven't been closely following this breaking story on "flash climate protests" that seems to be "breaking" every 15 minutes on Newsworld. I just finished watching Rosemary Barton describe today's events as mobilizing people around the issue of climate change, and then she said "it was an interesting and effective protest". That sounds like a little "op-ed" to me. Bad Rosemary, bad.

Just out of curiosity, are the people behind these new "interesting and effective" flash protests the same people who just descended on those "tactical ridings" as we were warned about in the National Post?

Anyway, I really have to leave for the Golf Course! Let's all dig a little deeper into who these people are.

Gerard Kennedy "the best Cooler" in the Liberal Caucus?

I see that Gerard Kennedy continues to make very large blunders, first it was Dion, and now it is fumbling "stimulus-spending-Gate". I am reminded of the movie "The Cooler" with William H Macy, where when gamblers are on a roll, the casino sits Macy down to "ice" a table. Without fail virtually every time Macy gets in the game, the gamblers stop winning. The parallels with Gerry in the Liberal caucus are obvious.

Anyway, I must really be going.

"I can hear the Asteroids machine calling my name from the games room"

-Happy Gilmore

The "new and improved" CBC Newsworld

Just out of curiosity, how much did the CBC spend in this latest "retrofit"? Because in my opinion, this sucks. Are they trying to be more like CNN? CNN already sucks. That is almost like wanting to be a stand-up comic and deciding to model your career after Carrot-Top. I actually liked Newsworld the way it was, at least in terms of format. Sure the content was always lacking, but from an optical perspective I preferred CBC Newsworld 1.0. The one thing that I do like is that there does appear to be a little less Liberal red and a little more Tory blue. Whether that was intentional or accidental I don't know, but it is at least one positive step in the right direction. Ha, I made an unintended pun!

Thankfully I will be on the golf course for the debut of Power and Politics with Evan Soloman. I am going to endure the harsh elements of global cooling and golf in the cold rain. Could someone do me the favour of watching the show on mute so that they can write down who is advertising on the program? I would like to do "consumer reports" for every single company that purchases advertising on the Soloman Show. I will expose all the flaws in their products, research their quarterly reports, executive reviews, and discuss all the many ways that their competitors are superior. If the left wing wants to do that to Rush south of the border, let's do that to the CBC douche bags north of the border. To paraphrase the great Hulk Hogan; Hey Grey Power, whatchya gonna do when the Iceman runs wild on you? I'm chomping at the bit to rant on "you don't drive like her, so why should you pay the same insurance premium?"

Liberals at 25%?

Ironically earlier today I was reading some Blogging Tory posts claiming that the sky is falling over Logo-Gate, even free falling. Where I get confused is when I visit www.nationalpost.com and see this story featured as the main story on the main page. What was the deal with the BT carrion call earlier today? Are you guys going to say oops?

Is it a coincidence that my page views are growing as Ignatieff's opinion numbers are declining? Far be it from me present a hypothesis, but I could make a chart like Al Gore that charts my growing page views against Ignatieff's approval numbers and present a strong inverse correlation. Cause and effect, or caused by effect? Deep.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"I'm also what Ukrainians would call a Great Russian"

I am currently running a web poll on the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said since becoming a Liberal, but I really should have broadened it to his entire public work and included "I'm also what Ukrainians would call a Great Russian and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these little Russians". As of right now "if you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done" is holding a slight lead over "the government is sending the message that they want aboriginals to die."

Somehow I suspect that Mr. Ignatieff is not very popular with the Canadian Ukrainian community.

"Little Russians"

I was considering a web poll for which "breed" of "Little Russian" would be most offended by the words of Iggy and the actions of his "Great Russian" forefathers that he so diligently celebrates in his written work. In terms of what Iggy has said himself, obviously the bit on Ukrainian independence is likely the most offensive thing that he has ever written in reminding us how his "Great Russian" ancestors have disdain for all these "Little Russians" running around screaming independence.

"My difficulty in taking Ukraine seriously goes deeper than just my cosmopolitan suspicion of nationalists everywhere. Somewhere inside I'm also what Ukrainians would call a great Russian and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these little Russians."

"From my childhood, I remember expatriate Ukrainians nationalists demonstrating in the snow outside performances by the Bolshoi Ballet in Toronto. 'Free the captive nations!' they chanted. In 1960, they seemed strange and pathetic, chanting in the snow, haranguing people who just wanted to see ballet and to hell with politics. They seemed fanatical, too, unreasonable. Hadn't they looked at the map? How did they think that Ukraine could ever be free?"

In an interview Mr. Ignatieff describes Ukrainian culture as "embroidered peasant shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phony Cossacks in cloaks and boots."




But then you also have to wonder, wouldn't somebody of Polish descent revile Ignatieff lamenting in the magnificence of his lost Czarist roots? Those "Great Russians" did some very horrific things to the Polish people. The Poles know first hand how it feels to live under the iron fist of the "Great Russians". First under the Czars who invaded Poland in 1792. Napoleon liberated Poland from the merciless Czars some 20 years later, creating an independent Polish state, until the Grand Army froze to death and the Congress of Vienna gave Poland back to the Czar in 1815. It stayed in the hands of the Czar despite several Polish uprisings until the Communist Revolution and World War 1 set them free. Then the Nazi's invaded, and the "Great Russians" came back for another 44 years of oppressive dominance.

I can't imagine Ignatieff and his love of "Great Russian leadership" is terribly popular among Canadian-Poles. How about Hungarians Mike, are they Little Russians too? Are Georgians just Little Russians? Are Fins just Little Russians? Are Serbians Little Russians or Great Russians? I'm certain that Poles and Hungarians don't feel warm and fuzzy inside when they read your "Russian Album".

My 8 Iron Vs My Wedges

I have isolated a core audience or 20-40 people who enjoy reading my golf stories, so I have to keep them trickling in. Saturday I got off of work with 2 hours of playable daylight and sunny weather. I opted for a pitch and putt to work on my short game, and I could get in a full 18 holes, 1700 yards for $10. Most of the holes are 80-120 yards. I spent Friday at the driving range working nothing but my long distance clubs. It was chilly, and there was nobody in front of me or behind me. For the back nine, I decided that I would try an experiment. I would play two golf balls, one with only my wedges and one with only my 8 Iron. I even coloured one ball in my bag with my black magic marker such that it would look like a billiards 8 ball.

This is about as much fun as you can have golfing alone. Sometimes your friends bail on you for such asinine reasons as rearing young children. The nerve. I still had a fantastic day, as my wedges went shot for shot with my beloved 8-Iron. My putter was Switzerland. Anything on the green was a putter. It went back and forth, including a miraculous 20 yard chip shot with my 8. For the par 27 back nine, my wedges shot a 32, and my 8 Iron shot a 33. My putter was decidedly better to my wedges.

I am golfing at an undisclosed location tomorrow. I don't think this place will let me play wearing my hockey jersey. I'll wear a fleece just incase it rains and global cooling continues.

Where should the Prime Minister go for Information?

The early results from my "should the PM be forced to watch Man-bridge every night" poll is thus far unanimously no. Which then begs the next poll question, where should the PM go for information of government issues? A child is presumed trap in an experimental air craft over Guelph heading towards Kitchener, the dad has stared in reality TV and is currently seeking his own show. Do you want the Prime Minister to base his decisions on live coverage on CBC Newsworld, or would you like him to meet with his Cabinet Ministers?

Easy question, but I put it to you. The act of running the government was not designed to be based on CBC Newsworld. The leader gets on the phone with the people on the ground.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

One of my friends finally managed to drag me to watch a UFC event, on television, not in person. As a life long boxing fan, I have been reluctant to even watch a minute of UFC. It is not as a matter of moral outrage at "human cockfighting" as John McCain once said. Í don't enjoy watching two men roll around on a carpet for 30 minutes. I prefer my fighting to be two contestants standing on their feet punching each other in the head repeatedly until somebody falls down and can't get back up.

The Ultimate Fighting had its moments. It was interesting to break down the mechanics, discuss the various types of martial arts, debate the rise and fall of Kimbo Slice, joke about the marketeer who decided it a good idea to put an ad for "Condom Palace" on the ass end of one dude's trunks; but at the end of the day boxing is still #1 for me. I just don't watch much boxing these days because I much prefer the heavyweights, and there is not a compelling big man right now. The Klitchkos are extremely boring to watch. They have deconstructed it into a science that is not fun for the spectator. Until the Klitchkos fight each other, I don't have much time for boxing. I will be waiting for the next 24 year old phenom that keeps knocking people out. Oh, and we also bought the pay per view for Tyson V McNeely, and after that experience I vowed never to buy any pay per view TV sporting event of any kind ever again. You scored our $50 Don King, but "never again"...

Anybody henceforth being introduced to boxing for the first time, there are five fights that you must watch, preferably in sequence. 1) Ali V Frazier I, 2) Frazier V Foreman, 3) Ali V Foreman, 4) Balboa V Thunderlips, 5) Balboa V Drago.

Speaking of which I went on a satirical rant before this gathering of Ultimate Fighting fans as I was preparing to leave. Based on the level of laughter elicited, I should probably share it here:

Well gentlemen it has been a pleasure watching this spectacle with you this evening though I must be on my way. This was interesting, but you have been unsuccessful in converting me to UFC from boxing. I have probably watched the movie Rocky IV 300 times in my life. I watched as Rocky Balboa single handedly collapsed the Soviet Union. That speech, "if I can change….and you can change….everybody can change!!!" That inspiring, tear jerking melody by Prophet Stallone personified the first crack in the Berlin Wall. Do you believe for a second that they did not watch Rocky IV at the Kremlin? I bet they had group screenings of it! Within a month of the release of Rocky IV, a panicked Gorbachov appointed the revolutionary Boris Yeltsin to a powerful post in the Politburo, and so the seeds of demise were planted.

"There are cheers now for Rocky Balboa! Suddenly Moscow is pro-Rocky!"

The pressure from that force of nature was too much for the Iron Curtain to bear.

Sly 4 Life!

Selling Potash

As an outspoken advocate for the Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, it pains me to announce that I sold POT as part of my portfolio in the FP Stockmarket Challenge. I did this because prizes are awarded in a few months, and POT is not a short term play. POT is a long term buy. I read a fantastic story in today's Globe and Mail that described it perfectly. I recommended that my father buy Potash when it had fallen from $250 to $80 because at that price it was terrific value. If you don't already know, Potash is a crop fertilizer, and on a "per crop yield" basis, it is the best in the business and a select few producers produce it.

As good as it is, demand for the commodity grew too fast and the price inflated too fast, to the point where farmers started boycotting it in favour of less productive alternatives. That's why when it hit $80, I said buy, buy, buy. Well on Friday we found out that the boycott led to a 95% decline in profit at Agrium, and an 80% decline at POT in the past year. With the growing season over, this situation will not improve much between now and the end of the FP Stockmarket Challenge.

If you are investing with real money at home, I say that Potash is a very strong 5-10 year investment. There is going to come a time in the next decade when there will be a very significant upward pressure on increased crop yields. To fuel that need, Potash is the best in the business. You may want to allow Friday's bad news to further deflate the price before you buy. I'm not sure where the bottom will be, but a sweet peak will happen in the next 5-10 years.

To replace my holdings in POT, I selected Transalta Corp because they are in sync with my "all of the above" energy policy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Canadian News?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I would rather have my Prime Minister doing his job than watching television. If there is a hostage crisis, I want the PM to get his news directly from the RCMP Officer in Command of the incident that Julie Van Duusen does not have access to. God forbid a kid get stuck in a balloon in Canada, I'm not convinced that I'd want my leader following the situation live on CBC Newsworld. I have seen that movie before. Granted, I don't watch much American news either, unless I am in America. Dennis Miller on the O'Reilly Factor is must see TV. The day CNN hired DL Hugley to "do the news", I turned them off forever. I know DL from his many appearances on the Bill Maher Show. He really should not have a public opinion, and I have no time for a network who believes he should.

My two primary sources for real Canadian news are the National Post and the Globe and Mail. I buy their newspapers for the op-eds, and visit their websites for regular coverage. I reach for the Post first, but buy the Globe when the Post is sold out.

I watch CBC Newsworld a lot because they tell me what is happening in Canada right now, and I like to focus on Canadian content. As a taxpayer I am also paying for it, so what the hell, right? You just need to learn how to filter what they send you. Do I care if my PM watches Canadian news? Not in the least! As my HEAD OF STATE, in any real time current breaking story Stephen Harper gets his news from the people on the ground working the situation. That's why we have something called "Cabinet". Any leader doing his job should be very busy conducting government business. I want him doing his job, not watching the tube. If he is winding down at the end of the day, is it important for the Prime Minister to watch Mansbridge do the National? Is that a must? Because the rest of the day he is busy running the country! Infact, the less spare time he has to watch TV, the harder he is working to run Canada!

Remind me why this is a controversy?

Mansbridge?

I am a little surprised to see Peter Mansbridge getting this many votes in my which employee would you vote off the CBC island poll. I know Peter had that appalling moment when he was visibly shocked that the Prime Minister would encourage investing in Canadian markets at a time when many large scale investors were fleeing stock markets in a panic. Shouldn't the PM have been on TV encouraging people to invest in Canada? Lest we forget that within a week of Harper saying that, Warren Buffet said the exact same thing in the New York Times! People of influence are supposed to promote calmness in periods of mass hysteria. It makes no sense to me why Pete would respond that way, and then Liberals point to the very fact that Mansbridge over-reacted as the evidence that what the PM said was morally repugnant! What if the PM had said "we're fucked Peter, get your money out while you still can!"? "Damned if you do, damned if you don't?" or how's about "great if you do, damned if you don't?"

Then Pete bumbled the Palin story, but really I have lost interest in Sarah Palin. This is all I really have to say about her ever again.

Is Mansbridge the one who really needs to go, or is he just the most recognizable name, so people vote for him because they don't know who anyone else is. Just wait until the day that Evan Soloman hosts an opinion based show called "power and politics" in prime time monday to friday and he has to stretch his narrow opinion into two hours of content. I don't know that "douche bag" is the clinical definition for what he is, but it sure feels right. I would encourage you to watch his show so that you might grow to dislike him and change your vote in the poll, but really I’d rather you don't watch his show at all. Let the ratings take nature's course, the CBC wants to shift to the left while the country is shifting to the right. Let’s see how that works out for you CBC...

Friday, October 23, 2009

DONE; The Mike Ignatieff Story



I decided to experiment with Photoshop this evening and figured that I would test drive a cover for a book that I may or may not write. I have already written tens of thousands of words on the subject. According to my web poll, the majority of visitors prefer "Ignatieff; Much Ado About Nothing", but "If you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done" is winning as the dumbest thing he's said.

Okay, well here is option B. Yes it amateur, but just a first draft.

What is the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said since joining the Liberal Party?

I am starting my poll on the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said since joining the Liberal Party. It is going to be difficult to choose a winner from the many quality candidates. At first I liked "If you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done!" but then someone suggested "I'm not losing sleep over (Qana)" followed later with the infamous “what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear." I decided that earned my vote.

There is also

"A coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition."

"Mr. Harper, your time is up!"

"The government is sending the message that they want aboriginals to die." I couldn't find the actual quote on this one, but I watched it live on TV and this is what I inferred he was communicating based on his tone of voice and speech.

With the 1st pick in the 2010 entry draft, the Boston Bruins (c/o Toronto) select Taylor Hall

With the Toronto Maple Leafs standing alone as the last winless team, it is fantastic that they traded their first round pick to Boston! Last season when Tavares and Hedman were available, the Leafs couldn't suck enough to get a top 5 pick. Brian Burke tried his hardest to shed talent from his roster last season, but with Ponikarovsky et all playing with the strength of ten ordinary men down the stretch, they finished 7th from last. When they acquired Kessel for the draft picks, my friend immediately attempted to convince me that the Leafs had a chance at making the playoffs this season, to which my response was to reflexively spit out my mouth full of water all over his kitchen floor. It was an accident, and I did clean it up.

I will be watching in ecstasy this season as the Leafs drown in futility to the benefit of the Boston Bruins. Having said that, I did buy a Sportsaction ticket today where I picked Toronto to defeat Vancouver.

Tough Day in the Markets

My FP Stockmarket Challenge portfolio took a hit today in what was a bad day for equity securities across the board. From what I can best judge from my perch, today's activity was driven by a sell off of resource futures. Speculation of a gold bubble is rampant, and some traders may be cashing out their bets believing that they are selling high. If more people are selling than buying, the market comes down. I remain bullish on Canadian resources in my 5 year outlook. My darling Potash Corp of Saskatchewan had a bad day. Ironic, that the value of POT was diminished on the very day Ross Rebougliati announced his Liberal candidacy. In defense of POT, it was dragged down by osmosis with Agrium. My support of POT is based on long term supply and demand projections of this precious resource, not short term variation. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan...

My day was not a complete loss. All the stocks in my portfolio declined except for one, Microsoft! On Thursday at 1am Pacific time the Iceman posts. On Friday the New York Times reports.

I am and always will be a PC. I loathe the Macintosh. My IPod gets immunity because he interfaces with my PC. I'll take Gates over Jobs seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

What was Ross smoking when he decided to run for the Liberal Party of Canada?

I am curious to know Ross Regebouiati's decision making process in deciding to run for the LPC in the Okanagan. Did he get the idea on his own while on a 3am munchie run at Burger King, or did somebody approach him at keg party at 4am and prophesize "Ross, you should run against Stockwell Day". Was he approached by the "soothsayers" who plucked Iggy out of Harvard? I would like to know more about how this was brainstormed, and what clinched it on all sides.

This is the closest thing to a "tweet" you will get from the Iceman....

(insert CBC employee name) "You're Fired"

If you were awarded the right to play the role of Donald Trump and send a CBC television or radio personality to the unemployment line, whom would you select? I will start the poll later this evening, but I wanted to get my final list approved before I do. I will only include the top 5 names in my poll for logistics purposes. Who belongs on that list and who does not? State your case.

1) Evan Soloman: 911 Truther Tribute on the eve of 5th anniversary of 911.

2) Nallah Ayed: Hassan Nasrallah, a "hero of the people".

3) Peter Mansbridge: On Palin story, outrage at PM encouraging investment in Canada.

4) Heather Mallick: I have never read her blog, but others tell me she is the worst of the lot.

5) Harvey Cashore: What started as a story has become a blood feud that clouds his opinion. I don't know if he is an active CBC employee, but he sure shows up on Newsworld a lot.

On the outside looking in: Susan Bonner, Julie Van Dussen Chantal Hebert (if she even counts as a CBC employee), Strumbolopoolis, Mercer, the entire cast of Royal Canadian Air Farce if they haven't been canned already, Alan Park, Neil MacDonald, and Terry Whizzniewski.

Immunity: Rosemary Barton, Q, Suhana Meharchand, Colleen Jones, and the entire cast of Hockey Night in Canada.

Maxime Bernier, I forgive you

I like Maxime Bernier. Leaving an important government document at his girlfriend's apartment was a boneheaded thing to do, but I am willing to bet money that he never makes that mistake again. Then there was the allegation and book about Maxime encouraging his girlfriend to show cleavage in public because she happened to be sexy. Wouldn't it have been more offensive to tell her to cover up because she doesn't look good?

Despite "cleavage-gate" and "file folder-gate", Mr. Bernier still crushed his Bloc opponent in The Beauce by nearly 25,000 votes in 2008. The Beauce is one of the coolest riding names in Canada from a phonetic perspective. The people that he represents in parliament love the man. Despite a "controversy" that felt like it came from the movie Slapshot, with Maxime as Morris watching the ice capades.

Morris - "I don't like how they cover up their jugs"

Dennis Lemieux - "you make me sick when you speak Morris"

Morris - "this isn't art, this is sex!"

I forgive Maxime for his error, and I would like to see him in a quality cabinet office. His ex-girlfriend had a screw loose. As a writer I am pissed off that she got a book deal over being good looking and showing cleavage in public. That lowers the standard for book deals. I hope Scott Reid doesn't get a book deal.

Ross Rebagliati to take on Stockwell Day?

Ross Rebagliati is going to be running on the Liberal ticket against the Minister of Trade? I was a fan of Ross the athlete, so it does pain me to see the man in my cross hairs. All I will say is that this is one of the dumbest nomination ideas that I have ever heard! I don't want to slander snowboarders as a demographic, but I have met several of them over the course of my life and not once have they elicited from me a "I would love it if you represented me in the legislature." Infact most often times they elicit the exact opposite opinion. It is absurd to have Keannu Reaves character from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure sitting in Parliament on your behalf.

This is coming from a Libertarian who supports legalizing Marijuana. I just listened to an interview with Ross on the CBC, and the man is not the brightest bulb in the tool shed to put it mildly. If I had to forecast his IQ based on that interview, I would say 82 give or take 5 points. Does he have any education? Any business experience? Or is his name and a shiny medal all he's got? This is all for not anyway, as his probability of unseating Stock is slim to none at best. Elizabeth May in Central Nova thinks this is a poor choice.

If I were Stockwell Day, I would not be concerned.

Does calling Ignatieff "Rasputin" equal racism?

For the first time in my life, I have been accused of being racist against Russians. Interesting development. Have Ignatieff supporters noticed that a politician can deflect all criticism by invoking the racism card? Is it about to become common practice to accuse Iggy's detractors of being Russian-hating extremists? In this specific incident, I had referred to Iggy as "Rasputin" in a post, and a commentor speculated that it was a racist slur against all Russians.

I first started calling him Rasputin when I learned that Iggy is obsessed with his Russian ancestors who worked in the administration of the last Czar of Russia. Rasputin was a "witch doctor" who arguably contributed to the fall of the Czar's regime; though Rassy was murdered by Iggy's forefathers before the revolution was officially under way. I have in the past recommended the song "Rasputin" by Boney M to become Ignatieff's official theme song. "But when his drinking and lusting and his hunger for power became known to more and more people, the demands to do something about this outrageous man became louder and louder."

Chris said...

"So with the "Rasputin" comment, do you hate Russians, half-Russians, or just like to sound like it?"

Iceman replies...

"You need not play the racism card. I call him Rasputin because Rassy is widely believed to have led to the fall of the Czar of Russia. Iggy wrote more than one book about his beloved Russian ancestors who were in the Czar's government. That's why I call Iggy Rasputin. It has nothing to do with hating Russians, but a contributing factor to his ancestors fleeing Russia."

"real conservative"

I don't know if this is common knowledge among the Blogging Tories and I'm just late jumping on the wagon, but there are people who post comments on Tory blogs that end with the signature (real conservative). Infact, these commentors are not Conservatives at all. They are merely posting an opinion that they believe to match some far right stereotype with a spin on a story that endeavors to paint "real conservatives" as lunatics. I had noticed that I was deleting a lot of obscene apparently "right wing" spins on my posts, but I never clued in on any systematic "PR counter-offensive" that may be coming from Liberal Party spinsters.

It was not until I posted this piece on Accepting American Refugees that I first clued in on what was happening. Instead of deleting the idiotic opinion, I responded to it, and another reader clued in.

Then tonight I posted this piece on Don Martin the Argonaut, and I clued in right away to the "real conservative". Here's the thing about posting a comment, you leave a "footprint". This particular "real conservative" is a repeat visitor from Toronto of all places! IP address 99.235.99.247. Gee, isn't Iggy's Command and Control run out of Toronto? Isn't this what Dennis Coderre was complaining about?

Even if other bloggers have already discussed this before me, the examples I listed above can only help paint the portrait.

Discuss...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Which TV personality would you vote off the CBC Island?

If you won a contest and could vote for one CBC television personality to be booted out of the CBC, whom would you choose? I will be posting a poll on this in the next few days, but before I do, I would like to take nominations. Give me a name, and cite a specific piece of journalism they created to warrant dismissal. For example, if you don't like George Stromboolopolis, you can't just nominate him because you don't like him. You need to cite a piece or interview to justify it.

Here are my early nominees. I am going to choose the top 5 names for my web poll.

1) Evan Soloman: For his 911 Truther Tribute on the eve of the 5th anniversary of 911.

2) Nallah Ayed: For her Hassan Nasrallah, a hero of the people after the Lebanon-Israel war.

3) Heather Mallick: For just about everything she has ever written.

PS: Rosemary Barton has immunity from my web poll. I'm pretty sure that I have Bartons somewhere in my family tree, and I would not want to include her only to find out when they do my episode of "ancestors in the attic" that Rosemary is my cousin. Besides, she does have some endearing qualities. She can keep her job.

Don Martin the Argonaut

Here we go again, Don Martin trying to present a regional story as a national story. This time it is creating a narrative that the Danielle Smith "revolution" is a threat to "bring Alberta's Conservative house down" and that it is extremely relevant to Ottawa. A "Siren" is singing, and it has caught Mr Martin's attention.

It is written in "Argonautica" that the Sirens were these beautiful voices that lured sailors into their rocky shoals, sinking their boats. The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result. I have seen this movie before, Belinda Stronach. My "HMS Belinda" crashed into the shallow shoals of that lovely vixen. I am not condemning Danielle Smith, but I am saying that we must moderate our initial opinion of Don Martin's "carrion call" through the lens of Belinda. Didn't Don write the book about Belinda? I'm sure he got to spend a lot of time at the Stronach household for interviews, perhaps a few wine and dine meetings about town, and he got to immerse himself in "Belinda's World." I bet he's already planning out his Danielle Smith book, and day dreaming of his many future encounters with the lovely vixen.

I have nothing negative to say about Ms Smith personally. I have heard her on the Adler show a few times and generally I like what she says and I am happy that she has a voice in Canada. I am 110% in favour of more women joining political parties and becoming more interested in politics as a gender. It has been my experience having 3 sisters that women are on average far less interested in politics than men (with exceptions of course). My point is that she is not currently as big of a deal as Don is making her out to be. Stelmach might be doing a poor job, but it is too early to call his demise at the hands of this revolutionary, grassroots, guerrilla leader.

On the same day that we receive great economic news, Don Martin submits his Danielle Smith love story under the auspices of the "winds of shit" blowing towards the federal Tories, as Jim Lahey might say. Where is the good news? Can we talk about some of the positives for a change? I would like my punditry to change the channel and start talking about all the great things that are happening right now.

Right now Don Martin is an Argonaut sailing through ancient Greece, and he has caught wind of a "Siren Song". Somebody may need to chain him to the mast of the "HMS National Post" while they sail past this exhibit...

A lot of us were lured in by Belinda's Siren Song, myself and Mike Harris included, and we may want to err on the side of caution this time around. If Belinda taught me anything it is that in some specific political situations it is detrimental to have loved and lost, and it is better to never have loved at all. There is a good reason why the PM ordered his sailors to fill their ears with bee's wax and go about their business. Men do not always make rational decisions when a Siren is singing.

"Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

Or as I wrote: From Belinda to Dhalla...or Ed Stelmach might suck but...

I feel as though I should do a joke about Tie Domi's sloppy seconds, but I don't want to get the "Sean Avery treatment"...

Technically "the Great Recession" is Over.

In order to be in recession by definition requires two consecutive quarters of negative growth. As we experienced positive growth in the 3rd quarter, technically we are no longer in recession. This is not to say that there won't be another downturn or another negative quarter in the near future, but according to the definition of a recession we are no longer in recession. So all you Chicken Little's who have been running around screaming "Great Recession" can shut up! Your "Great Recession" lasted two quarters, or half a year for you lay folk. By contrast the "Great Depression" lasted roughly 45 quarters, not 2 quarters.

The good news does not surprise me because I have been announcing good news since March. What shocked me is that the CBC reported it! I am frustrated that the media and many of the pundits seem to have become allergic to good news.

While I am comfortable telling people that the sky is not falling, my concern that Obama and Pelosi could collapse the greenback has not gone away. "Cap and tax" could still scuttle North American forward progress.

Ontario has to be missing Jimmy 3000

As I mentioned before, my new nickname for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is "Jimmy 3000" because of the 3000 points the TSX has added since the Liberals demanded his resignation. Now as I turn on my television and see this Dwight Duncan clown explaining to people how he and Dalton are destroying Ontario, it begs the question how much better the province would be doing if Jimmy 3000 returned to his old post? Yes, Jimmy 3000 running the books in Ottawa might be the only thing keeping the Titanic from sinking into the abyss, but the two stooges Dwight and Dalton are doing their best to scuttle the ship. Whatever happened to "Common Sense"?

I am one of the "McGuinty refugees" who fled the province for the prosperous west when Dalton ascended to power. I don't know if I will ever be able to return to my home...

"Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience."

-Albert Einstein

Microsoft

I have purchased my final stock in the FP Stock Market Challenge, and it is Microsoft. A lot of people are buying Mac right now, but I'm a PC.

Or take Jerry's word for it.

Chretien is no Winston Churchill, much less an Eisenhower

Generally I am happy to see any Canadian win any foreign award or contest, but this one doesn't make much sense to me. Jean Chretien is awarded a rare medal at the discretion of the Queen of England? What the Hell? This just as the Catholics are trying to woo back the Anglicans? Normally I don't care about the Queen handing out hardware, but given the past winners of this award that is rarely awarded, why Chretien? What was the selection process? Did somebody go to the Queen and say that "we need to hand out an Order of Merritt, here's a list" and then they made a selection? I would like to know who Chretien was up against to win this award.

All I will say about Chretien is that while he won 3 majorities, he never defeated a united right, he had the Sponsorship Scandal, and he gets too much credit for an economic boom. Seriously, when you've got "earners" like Mike Harris and Ralph Klein working the streets of your two most economically prosperous provinces, it is hard not to be successful financially.

I think this only cements my argument as to why we should not recognize the Queen of England as our head of state.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A good week for Iggy? I could not disagree more with Don Martin

Don, I like you. I enjoy reading your work and I am glad that you do what you do for a living. But I must vehemently disagree with your recent assertion that Mike Ignatieff is having a good week. I understand that your thesis is that Iggy is having a good week because the Conservatives are having a bad week, but Ignatieff himself has done nothing positive at all in recent days; except perhaps abandoning his Scorched Earth policy. In Question Period Iggy is visibly shaken with incredibly poor body language. Then he does this dreadful photo-op with the kids that had to freak out every parent in the country. How are you spinning this as a good week for him? He's clinging to an issue that doesn't matter, at a time when Canada's recovery is the envy of the G20! Why don't we talk about some of the good stuff? The positives dwarf the negatives, and yet the media is hung up on the negatives. Does good news not sell? Do more people buy newspapers and magazine when they believe the world is coming to an end?
Again you and Coyne keep bringing it back to Logo-Gate as this dreadful indicator of flagrant corruption. You were both very pious in your barking at the "Big Red Machine" when they behaved similarly, but that doesn't mean that you must now feign outrage at a non-controversy to avoid the aura of hypocrisy. Jesus Christ, Andrew Coyne was very nearly in tears talking about Logo-Gate on last week's At Issue Panel! And to think that I endorsed Coyne for best pundit in Canada over Charles Adler, who has largely avoided this topic. Charles has instead been breaking cutting edge news on blind dates, talking to strangers, and divorce. I love it when Adler discusses the "macro" like politics and global warming but can't listen when he dwells too long on the "micro" like pet eulogies and making conversation with office staff. Adler and I don't always see eye to eye, but still the cat comes back every day. www.charlesadler.com

When I wrote this next piece, I was responding to Andrew Coyne's passionate condemnation of Logo-Gate on At Issue, and a similar Martin piece at the National Post. Logo-Gate; some of you people need to calm down.

Evan Soloman to get the Don Newman spot?

Is the CBC "Nucking Futs"??? As someone who used to watch Don Newman's Politics program on the CBC regularly, I am both flabbergasted and upset that this season's replacement politics show will be hosted by Evan Soloman, arguably the most biased reporter in the CBC family. I am proud to say that I will never watch a single minute of his program, except perhaps commercial breaks so that I can decide which companies to stop consuming from. I will continue my policy of immediately changing the station every time Evan Soloman appears on my screen. Evan Soloman = exit links to the CBC. Any company that advertises on his program, I will be boycotting, possibly in my public forum. Beware "Grey Power", you risk making my "shit list" if you spend money on the Soloman Show...

I don't know how they can even call this man a journalist, let alone give him a prime time spot to discuss his opinion of recent political events. This is the same "journalist" who a few years ago on the eve of the Anniversary of 911 dedicated his Sunday night show to the "911 Truther" movement. Except that he did not present them in a negative light or attempt to expose those goofballs for the lunatics that they are; he infact treated the whole story as "informative" journalism. The "shit for brains" at the CBC who decided to give Soloman the Newman slot should be fired immediately. Evan had a week to plan his Sunday show for the eve of the 5th Anniversary of 911 and what does he come up with? A "tribute" show for the kooks who believe that George Bush personally carried out the attacks on 911.

This is our new prime time CBC politics opinionist. Just when you think the CBC can't get any worse, they lower the bar to where it is hanging in the sewers.

If the CBC is trying to harvest the treasure of King Soloman's "mines", they should be warned that there is no gold in them there hills...just a lot of dense rock and porous mud.

Ignatieff says the Darndest Things...

What is the dumbest thing Mike Ignatieff has said since becoming leader of the Liberal Party? I am going to run this in a poll, but I would like to take suggestions before I start the poll. I have 4 active polls right now and would like to wait until the voting has closed on my best/worst Premier before I open "what is the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said on television as Liberal leader?"

The first two that jump out at me are "if you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done" (as one visitor suggested as a title for my possible book about Iggy called "Done"), and the other was in the immediate breaking of "Body Bag Gate" when he ostensibly accused the Government of preferring Natives die of flu rather than helping prevent them from becoming ill. Again, Iggy wanted to jump out in front of the story and frame the debate on yet another "false controversy", but he didn't wait until the facts were known and it made him look like an idiot.

So let's hear nominations for the darndest things Iggy has said...

Guaranteeing Pensions

To all the Nortel workers, I say that you have a guaranteed pension called Canada Pension Plan. Sure it might not be as fruitful as the contract you signed with those knuckleheaded executives who ran Nortel into the ground, but it is guaranteed. It is not that I am without compassion for pensioners; it is just that I don't want the government in the business of guaranteeing pensions. Most especially, CUPE and CAW, who were able to extort obscene contracts from "Generous Motors" and the Government.

Remember when Bob Rae snuck that clause into law that guaranteed pensions of the "too big to fail" unionized companies? What happened? The unions were then able to drastically under fund their pension because they knew that they could get a bailout. It is a moral hazard to guarantee private contracts in public monetary policy. The Government can enforce contracts but should not guarantee them. The dodo birds that destroyed Nortel should not have their poor decisions insured by the government. You need to allow failure to fail in a healthy economic system.

Question Period; What About the Economy Stupid?

Sometimes I wonder why I continue to subject myself to Question Period. I suppose if I want to play a role framing the debate, I have to at least watch the Government and the Opposition debate public policy. Hold on, public policy? Iggy is so mystified with "Logo-Gate" that he can't see the economy through the stimulus cheques! How's about the TSX rising over 3000 points since March? I seem to remember Iggy back in the spring proclaiming Jim Flaherty to be the worst Finance Minister in the world. I'm going to start calling our Finance Minister Jimmy 3000.

Canada's economic recovery has been fantastic, especially when you look at how some of our friends are doing. Many of the "doom and gloomers" dramatically overestimated how bad this recession was going to be. If Bob Rae was Chernobyl, this wasn’t even a “3 Mile Island”. Or perhaps the “experts” believed Stephanie Dion would be Prime Minister when they prepared their dismal forecasts? It baffles me how the Opposition can be this "outraged" when all economic indicators indicate that the worst is behind us, the best is ahead of us, and we can thank Jimmy 3000 and the Conservative Government.

It is simultaneously fascinating to watch my public broadcaster desperately try to frame a "public discord" to the benefit of a flailing Opposition. There is an awful lot of good news that they are generally avoiding. I can get non-stop all day coverage of a balloon hoax, but I can't get a story on the marvelous performance of the Potash Corp of Saskatchewan? I have POT in my portfolio, do you? I doubt Iggy has POT in his portfolio, though I would suggest that he's been smoking a lot of it lately.

What do you think Canadians care more about, a dumb marketing idea or a thriving economic recovery? I have said it before and I will say it again, if “Logo-Gate” is the best they've got, we are in fantastic shape!

Keep up the great work Mister Prime Minister!

"An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today."

-Laurence J. Peter

If the Iceman were to write a book about Ignatieff, what should it be titled?

Based on my hit counts, my readership has a strong preference for my Ignatieff rants. Writing a book is on my "Bucket List", so if I were to assemble my collective commentary on Iggy's leadership, what would be the best title for that book? I value your opinion, so let me know what you think. Here are my nominees:

True Patriot Abandonment: my favourite

Iggy Popped: like it

Rasputin: Iggy's theme song and persona personified

Scorched Earth; the Folly of Ignatieff: I also like this one

Living on a Prayer; the Mike Ignatieff Story: like it

A Bridge Too Far; the Mike Ignatieff Story: like it

The Fall of the Czar; the Mike Ignatieff Story: like it

Ignatieff; Much Ado About Nothing: like it

Blame it on the Rain; the Mike Ignatieff Story: last minute add in

I'm too Sexy; the Mike Ignatieff Story: last minute add in

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ed Stelmach is not Glen Clark, not even close!

I get a lot of traffic from Alberta, and I understand that some of you are frustrated with the current state of affairs. But let's not get carried away here. I have not been closely following Stelmach because I live in BC and am very focused on federal politics, but there is absolutely no way that he can be anywhere close to the abysmal failures that were Bob Rae and Glen Clark! Eddy replaced a very popular Premier, and you knew there was going to be a hangover. Maybe his worst offense is that he is boring. Everyone across the country loved watching Ralph speak on their televisions. When Harris and Klein were in power simultaneously, Canada had a fantastic economic boom, if not a miniature "Golden Age".

Perhaps Eddy did not properly brace for the fall in the world price of crude oil from $150 per barrel to $50 per barrel. Alberta exports a lot of barrels, including a lot of the lower end stuff that costs much more to refine. Many of those projects are only profitable when oil is selling at a certain price. Alberta has had to have experienced at least a 50% decline in revenues. I have never run a government, but that cannot be easy. Again I don't know how much of this is Stelmach's fault, but if his name shows up in a web poll of worst premier in the last 30 years, it is absolutely ridiculous that he could be within 2% of Glen Clark. Does nobody outside of British Columbia understand just how terrible Clark was? Clark nearly destroyed BC economically when the rest of Canada was prospering! I voted for Rae in this poll because for as terrible as Clark was and McGuinty is, Bob was that much worse. He prepared government policy like the Swedish Chef preparing a meal on the Muppet Show.

Bob Rae is running away with this one. He was that brutal. But you people voting for Stelmach need to give your head a shake. Google "BC Fast Ferries." Maybe the Stelmach votes are coming from my Wildrose readers, of which I'm sure there are a few. I am excited for Danielle Smith to make some policy announcement, but just remember Alberta, when the "Siren" starts singing, you may need to chain down your Argonauts...

Mike Harris in all his glory endorsed Belinda for that Tory leadership race. How do you logically explain endorsing a candidate with no political experience? Read the story of Jason and the Argonauts. This rule may also apply to Sarah Palin south of the border.

According to Wikipedia: "BC Fast Ferries"

The Fast Ferry Scandal, also referred to as the Fast Ferries Scandal, "FastCat Fiasco", Fast Ferries Fiasco, was the name given to a political affair in the Canadian province of British Columbia in the 1990s relating to the construction of a fleet of high speed ferry vessels.

The provincial government at the time, led by New Democratic Party (NDP) premier Glen Clark, decided to use provincial Crown corporation BC Ferries to advance its economic goal of supporting British Columbia's shipbuilding industry by creating a fleet of custom-designed high-speed catamaran passenger/vehicle ferries for BC Ferries, with the eventual goal of exporting additional vessels on the international market. The vessels were to be built by local shipyards under the overview of a new provincial Crown corporation to be called Catamaran Ferries International Inc. (CFI).

Faced with the potential collapse of an institutional industry the New Democratic Party, a political party with a very strong pro-labour disposition, attempted a resuscitation by creating the Fast Ferry Program. BC Ferries had initially recommended that a comparable ferry be leased for trials in coastal waters, but the Government decided to forego testing and committed to the construction project regardless. The Government was attempting to emulate the success of Australian shipbuilders such as Incat in Tasmania and Austal Shipbuilding in the global fast ferry market.

Due to various oversights by the government, BC Ferries, design bureaus, and the shipyards, the cost of the program more than doubled from $210 million ($70 million/vessel) to almost $460 million ($150 million/vessel) and final delivery was almost 3 years behind schedule. As with all prototype construction this cost and build time was gradually being reduced with each successive completion. A large part of the delay was because the shipyards commissioned to construct the vessels had very little experience working with aluminum. Also design changes during construction caused delays and more costs. Previously, construction of aluminum vessels in British Columbia had been limited to fishing boats and special-purpose vessels. The construction of three dual-hulled 122.5 m catamarans represented a very large leap of faith by the Government in British Columbia shipyards.

The ferries also had the following problems during their brief tenure:

High fuel consumption. The four 8,375 brake horsepower (6.2 MW) engines driving their waterjets required an inordinate amount of diesel fuel and had to be used at 90% power for cruise speed, making them prone to breakdown. This was largely due to BC Ferries' insistence on using diesel engines rather than the more efficient gas turbines that were originally planned.

Due to an unusually wet and windy winter, there was a higher than normal amount of flotsam in the waters along the route, some of which was sucked into impellers for the ferries' engines, causing breakdowns and sailing cancellations.

When operated at full speed, the Pacificat fleet created a wake which was reported to have damaged waterfront wharves and property in coastal areas near the two terminals. This required that the ferries reduce speed in certain areas and alter course in others, reducing their speed advantage.

The air on vehicle decks became uncomfortably warm, either from the heat of the vessel engines or lack of air circulation. This made some people wary of bringing pets aboard the FastCats; however, the ferries had kennels with improved air circulation at the bow and stern of the vehicle decks.

There was little outside deck space for passengers. The existing ferries had large decks, and it was common for passengers to spend the entire sailing circling the decks of the ship or sunbathing on the lifejacket containers.

After a change in leadership, the new Premier of BC, Ujjal Dosanjh, placed the ferries up for sale.[1] A subsequent election virtually eliminated the New Democratic Party from the legislature, and Gordon Campbell of the BC Liberals auctioned off the PacifiCat fleet on March 24, 2003 for $19.4 million ($6.5 million/vessel) to the Washington Marine Group. Further controversy erupted when it was revealed that the same company had offered $60 million for the vessels prior to the auction.

POT fuels Iceman's portfolio

I am in my first week of the National Post's Stock Market Challenge, and I had a strong first two days on the strength of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan. I am a big fan of the fertilizer producer, and the speculation that they are for sale also helps. I still have 5% of my portfolio in cash, looking for one more high upside play. It is interesting to check the current price of a stock against the 52 week high and low to see where it is in the cycle. I strongly recommend participating in this contest, there are lots of prizes to be won! Some of my Alberta resource stocks took a hit today. Our resource sector does benefit from a strong Canadian dollar.

Ironically, back in Feburary when POT was trading at $80 and the Canadian dollar was at 80 cents US, I recommended that my father sell some of his American holdings and buy POT. I never bothered to ask if he listened to my advice, but he would have made a pretty penny on POT had he listened to me. Now POT is over $100 and the Canadian dollar is almost at par. I know my dad did not listen to me when I recommended he hop on the Archer Daniels Midland bandwagon, which would have netted him another pretty profit.

It's all about the POT!

Who are these children hugging Iggy?

I just saw video footage of tiny toddlers swarming Ignatieff, and Iggy was hugging and kissing the kids. This is one of the creepier sights that I have seen this year. My first thought was who are the parents of these children, and did they agree to allow Rasputin to hug and kiss their kids when they put them on the school bus this morning? Never mind that Iggy looked like a complete dork in that outfit, in a stunt that undoubtedly designed to frame Iggy as a warm loving father figure, it just looked incredibly creepy. I'm sure I am not alone in that opinion. There had to be a lot of people watching at home saying to their television "what is he doing?"

Did he just randomly show up at a kindergarten and start reading and the whole thing was "spontaneous"; or was this Liberal "bring your tots to work day" and the episode was a staged photo op?