Banana Counting Monkey

Saturday, February 09, 2002:

Whatta AWESOME Movie!!!!!!!

What an awesome movie! I went to see
The Brotherhood of the Wolf" last night. It was so fantastic that I'm going to see it again tonight. One of the newspaper ad blurbs called it "a seventeenth century matrix" and I have to agree. It has that level of action and interest. There's intrigue, romance, horror and action all wrapped up into one great looking two and a half hour package. I am going to be raving about this movie for the next week or so. I will be dragooning my friends into seeing it. Better than a dozen Hollywood movies of the last year. Super!

Yes, there are many cliche action movie/hero bits, but they are so well done you don't care.

Did I mention that it's an awesome movie? It's a really, really really awesome movie!

BCM // 3:20 PM


Site Updates

Construction still in progress. More blog links to come especially. I'm going to break them down into categories to avoid the laundry list phenomenon.

BCM // 3:12 PM


An Open Letter to Liberal MPs

By Lawrence Garvin of
What Fresh Hell.... to Liberal MPs Ivan Grose and Joe Volpe, prompted by their recent grousing in a newspaper article. Thouroughly worth reading the whole thing.

You know Ivan, when I was a young fellow, bored and irritable on a long drive, my Mother would urge me to use my imagination. I think that's good advice, Ivan and I offer it to you. Imagine what you could do if you initiated some change instead of complaining about the lack of change. Imagine taking a principled stand for something you value instead of complaining that nobody is giving you your marching orders. Imagine yourself, as a member of the government, acting in the interest of the country rather than the interest of your political party. Can you picture it, Ivan?

A Liberal taking a principled stand? initiating change? Acting in the interest of the country? Actually, I'm afraid I sure as hell can't imagine it.

Oh, speaking of the Liberals, another promise just bit the dust. Not that I'm suprised or anything.

BCM // 12:01 PM


Friday, February 08, 2002:

Enron dictating Bush Energy policy?

Not bloody likely,
as demonstrated by Bill Lickert & Christopher Morris.

"During the Clinton administration, Enron was a corporate supporter for those who demanded international energy controls to reduce so-called global warming. From 1994 to 1996, the Enron Foundation contributed $990,000 to the Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy's "Climate Change" project promotes global-warming theories, a key component of the Kyoto Protocol. Indeed, one internal Enron memo — circulated immediately after the 1997 Kyoto meeting — shows the company believed that the treaty could provide it with a financial windfall. According to the memo, which was first reported by the Washington Post, the Kyoto treaty "would do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural-gas industries in Europe and the United States."

Last June, President Bush refused to sign the treaty, saying it "is, in many ways, unrealistic" and that "it's not sound public policy." Despite pressure from green groups, the administration pulled out of last fall's meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, on the treaty's implementation."

So Enron donated just short of a million dollars to Nature Conservancy. Exactly how much again did Enron contribute to Bush's election campaign? Nowhere near as much

I expect to see an investigation soon about how Enron tried to use its connections in the NGO world to secure a bailout and NGO intervention. After all, if Bush is supposed to have been tarred by Enron's contributions to his campaign, then the enviro groups are tarred, feathered and burned.

Again, I'm dreaming, in technicolor.

BCM // 2:04 PM


Coming Soon to a Blog Near You...

I think I have finally learned how to add links to the sidebar. I'll be doing a reworking of the blog over the weekend to add them. I'm looking forward to doing it.

BCM // 1:38 PM


Why Arafat Must Go

Charles Krauthammer
states the obvious but remarkably unmentioned:

""Chairman Arafat must...choose, once and for all the option of peace over violence," testified Secretary of State Colin Powell before Congress on Tuesday. If you had a dollar for every time an American official from the President on down, has said this over the last eight years, you could fund the Pentagon."

"How many moments of truth does a liar get?"

BCM // 1:19 PM


The Difference between Compassion and Theft

Via Fredrik Norman

The reference to how "democratic" theft is supposed to make it more palatable is quite relevant. This is the democracy that leftists desire. Many of them don't consider Canada or the US democratic in the least because the majority cannot simply take or impose what it wants. What the majority is supposed to want of course always seems to be in perfect accord with their beliefs. Strange, that.

BCM // 12:21 PM


Movies for this Weekend

Now that I've finished my exam, I am free to go see a few movies. I really want to see
Brotherhood of the Wolf, which is getting good reviews across the board in Toronto papers. Not that I care, as I'd want to see it anyway. Unfortunately, it's only playing in very few theatres.

I also want to see Metropolis and the new Arnie movie for fun.

BCM // 12:19 PM


All Olympics-Free Coverage, All The Time

There will be absolutely no posts regarding the Olympics on this blog.

BCM // 12:07 PM


Some perspective on Enron employees and their stock losses

Were they fools?
Should everyone else's choices be restricted as a result?

BCM // 11:35 AM


Yes, it's Enron day here at BCM
BCM // 11:28 AM


Bias on NPR in the U.S.

....and I'm sure
this gentleman would have no problem getting onto the CBC radio. After all, someone who in 1998 warned:

The foreign terrorist threat in the United States is one of the most important issues we face.... We now face distinct possibilities of mass civilian murder the likes of which have not been seen World War II.

He'd certainly be someone they would want to talk to and get insights from.

Via Andrew Sullivan

BCM // 11:22 AM


The Real Villian

James Lileks, live from Guantanamo.

BCM // 10:44 AM


The Enron Dollar

Canadian Dollar, 1058am est spot quote $0.6261 USD, up 0.0004

BCM // 10:13 AM


Don't bring up the relevant facts!

A few days ago, I posted a link to an article on the Congresswoman Shiela Lee Jackson, and made the comparison to Shiela Copps in Canada. Apparently both of them have had problems with airlines not giving them the regal treatment.

Damian Penny wrote to remind me that the incident with Shiela Copps was later found to have been much exaggerated in the media. (I'm sure he must have had to wash his hands after writing that email. Defending a Liberal in the interest of accuracy must have been tough.) It would appear that the comparison wasn't as valid as I'd made out. I apologize to my readers for the error.

No apology to Sheila Copps though. Not until she gives me and every other Canadian the apologies we deserve for several of the things she's done over the last few years. Like resigning for breaking the promise to axe the GST. Then standing for the byelection caused by her resignation. She won easily. The rest of Canada may hate her, but her constituents seem to appreciate that she can bring home the bacon.

BCM // 10:11 AM


Some Enron questions

Neal Boortz.

"David M. Walker is the General Comptroller of the GAO and is suing Vice President Dick Cheney to get notes, minutes, and tons of other information from Cheney's energy policy meetings last year. Did you know that Henry Waxman and John Dingall first demanded that Walker get this information on April 19 of last year -- months before Enron was even an issue? Did you know that David Walker was appointed to the GAO by the Clinton administration? Did you know that before Clinton moved him to the GAO in 1998, Walker held the job of "Global Managing Director of Human Capital Services Practice" at Arthur Andersen, Enron's auditor and financial advisor? Did you know that Walker still served on the board of Arthur Andersen until last month? Have you ever heard any media outlet mention any possible legitimate reasons for Enron's failure, e.g., the sudden drop in energy prices in California last year or Enron's loss of a $3 billion power plant in India (a deal which was carefully orchestrated by the Clinton administration in Enron's favor)? Have you heard any comparisons to Pacific Gas & Electric going bankrupt a full eight months before Enron? No? Neither have I. I wonder why? "

Some of the questions are very valid. Others fairly easily answered. PG&E didn't have the same kind of accounting irregularities that Enron had. Everyone also knew that PG&E was in trouble, where Enron suddenly folded like a house of cards.

Now, the Democrat on the GAO having been a Director of Arthur Andersen. That's interesting. So is the role of the India project. I would very much like to see some more reporting on these issues. I've seen the reports of how the Clinton administration got Enron the India deal, and the donations that made their way to the Dems. I'd be very interested in finding out how much the India deal might have been responsible for their failure, if at all.

I only wish that Neal would link his specifics so we can check them.

BCM // 9:30 AM


"Osama bin Laden's demands are the demands of his nation."

From an
interview on Al-Jazeera with Abdallah Bin Matruk Al-Haddal, a Saudi preacher from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia

"...There is no doubt that Osama bin Laden waged Jihad against the infidels, against the aggressor and the oppressor. America does not want Islamic principles [to exist] on the face of this planet. It does not want the full implementation of Islam's values and principles... It does not want there to be a free Islamic economy."

"...America doesn't want to have any competitors. She wants to be all alone in this world. Osama bin Laden's demands are the demands of his nation. The nation who gave rise to Osama bin Laden is a strong and great nation. It is the nation of the future. Before bin Laden, it gave rise to Salah Al-Din An-Ayyubi [Salladin]."

"...Osama bin Laden [caused] the West to think and read a lot about Islam. Books on Islam disappeared from the market; everybody wants to read about the kind of Islam that does not accept oppression..."

"Like all other Muslims, bin Laden wanted to apply the Shari'a fully with its values, principles, economics, media, and education. Even in sports there should be Shari' sport."

"I don't believe that the attack on America [on September 11th] was perpetrated by bin Laden or the Muslims. I think differently. I believe it was a scheme. What is happening now is a continuation of an ancient attack. It is a continuation of the Jewish deception and the Jewish-Zionist wickedness which infiltrates the U.S.... I am surprised that the Christian U.S. allows the 'brothers of apes and pigs' meaning the Jews] to corrupt it. [The Jews] have murdered the prophets and the messengers. [The Jews] are the most despicable people who walked the land and are the worms of the entire world. They are all evil. And why? Because they are deceiving and plotting aggressors..."

Via World Tribune's exclusive from Memri.

BCM // 8:47 AM


Axis of Evil Updates

has produced 20 Shihab missiles, Israeli official says

A few days ago I made reference to Khatami making threats to nuke Israel. It was Rasfanjani. Sorry. Wasn't Rasfanjani supposed to be the reformer? The moderate?

BCM // 8:40 AM


The Tomato Seller, and Chain email hoaxes

In this article on a few chain emails you may have received. Some good sense and more debunking of anti-capitalist myths.

"Halting some of the lies spread via chain email require some common sense analysis. One that has been making the rounds for a year or so is the "Microsoft tomato" story. Chances are you've seen it: An out of work laborer applies for a janitorial position at Microsoft. Because the applicant doesn't have email access, the Microsoft HR rep says he is worthless and refuses to hire him. The unemployed man, down to his last ten bucks, dejected, rejected and desperate, buys a carton of tomatoes and sells them on the street corner for 100% profit. Over the next few days he sells more tomatoes at this amazing profit level and within a year he has incorporated his produce business and wants to buy life insurance for his family's benefit. The insurance salesman is shocked that this wealthy business owner doesn't have an email address to send certain insurance forms. "How on earth have you managed to amass such wealth without the Internet, e-mail and e-commerce? Just imagine where you would be now, if you had been connected to the Internet from the very start!" The tomato millionaire cleverly replies, "I would be a janitor at Microsoft!" The rest of the email is a "moral of the story" statement declaring that the Internet and icrosoft only takes wealth away rather than creating it.

Let me clue you all in on how absolutely unrealistic the story of the tomato millionaire is: ....."

BCM // 8:30 AM


Israel/Palestinian Update

An Egyptian strategist
believes that the growing Arab missile arsenals reduce the chance that Israel will launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the Arab world. I don't suppose it has ever occured to the strategist that ceasing attempts to destroy Israel would really reduce the chance the Israelis would attempt a preemptive strike?

Just curious: why hasn't Israel done their utmost to acquire a few missile submarines? Wouldn't it make sense to have a few to ensure that Israel's nuclear capability isn't overwhelmed by a suprise attack?

Of course, maybe they have tried. I don't think there are many countries who would sell them one. Even the U.S. would be very leery of the idea.

The Israelis captured a shipment of new missiles in the West Bank yesterday. It seems fairly obvious to me the Palestinians are getting ready to launch a new stage in their jihad.

If CNN reports the nasty Israelis blowing up Palestinian factories, remember this report. When the civillian machine lathes were donated to the PA, I seriously doubt that production of missiles what was intended.

BCM // 7:39 AM


"Enron Nation"

The description for Argentina in
this article. The author calls for an authoritarian government for Argentina. I don't agree on general principles. I still don't understand exactly how people conclude that everything will be better, if we just take away the people's freedom. (Just for a little while, mind you!)

BCM // 7:07 AM


Quote of the morning

"In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry about where the next meal would come from."

Peter Drucker

BCM // 6:39 AM


Now, if I were a conspiracy theorist...

I'd say that the production of
this movie was part of a conspiracy to discredit the stock market. "Coincidentally" announced just as the Enron hearings are continuing. But, I'm not Ted Rall. This is just Hollywood as usual. They've never needed a conspiracy in place to bash capitalism. Just business as usual.

Let me guess, the evil capitalists of the stock market are responsible for whatever bad happens in the movie. All they want to do is to set up a new form of exploiting the workers! Can someone please make a movie about Marx writing the Communist Manifesto in a similar vien?

BCM // 6:28 AM


Enron needs a new Chancellor....a strong Chancellor.....

Enron's naming several enterprises after Star Wars characters has irritated
Darth Lucas enough to motivate him to send his apprentice, Darth Deposition after Enron.

BCM // 6:19 AM


Post Exam feeling

Relief mainly. I went in, no nervousness, probably because I've been in that room more than a few times before and always passed. I generally know what to expect. This time though, I admit I didn't do enough work to ensure a pass, so I'm unsure whether I passed or not. I think I did, but there were enough questions I was uncertain about to make it a knife edge thing. I'll probably just pass, or just fail.

Ironically enough, if I fail, I won't be mad or frustrated. I'll actually have more respect for the institute and its exams. I'll be miffed with myself for not working harder and having to do the studying over again.

So, after the exam last night, I went over to the
World's Biggest Bookstore and picked up a new hardcover novel, a sequel to a book I've re-read twice. $40 cdn for a hardcover. Damm. Thankfully the discount card and a few coupons reduced that to a managable $28. I already have a pile of books to read at home, but any David Weber novel automatically goes to the top of the list. It's been that way ever since reading his novel On Basilisk Station, the book which introduces the character of Honor Harrington. I once saw a fan website with the title "Why I go on death rides with Honor Harrington". That guy got it exactly right. (Interestingly enough, I see that the link I inserted for Basilisk station now contains the entire book online. Fantastic!) I have seen many people read that first book. I've always advised them that once they get withing forty pages of the end of the book, don't make plans. I know this is self-indulgent, but I'm going to post the cover blurb. Because I love this book. Read the first, and it's virtually guaranteed you'll be reading the next eight.


Having made him look a fool, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her.

Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station.

The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.

Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is Up To Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn't work to police the entire star system.

But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They've made her mad."

Anyway, after that I went for a nice cold beer or two and went home. Today, I have the great feeling of not carrying around that bunch of textbooks. Regrettably, I have the duty to myself to call up Oliver and order some new review books to prep for the next exam I'm going to take.

BCM // 5:41 AM


Thursday, February 07, 2002:

Why can I hear...

....the smug self satisfaction in this man's voice?

"The central figure had a close encounter of the worst kind with a Hellfire missile,"

-An unnamed US official on the
Predator strike on an Al-Queda convoy today.

I love that quote! I wish I'd had the opportunity to say that. You can tell that if this man wasn't practicing saying it to himself before he went to talk to the media, he was saying it to himself the rest of the day. It just sounds cool.

BCM // 8:09 PM


I'm off....

...for the day to study and then take an exam this evening. Hopefully I'll pass. Then I have a bigger one to start preparing for in June. oh Joy.

Still, I know if I want the higher pay, the better lifestyle, I have to work for it. So I can't complain too much. Oh hell, Yes I can.

BCM // 11:43 AM


Axis of Evil Updates

The US doesn't need a ballistic missile defense. Really. It's just a Military Industrial Complex plot to militarize space!!!!!

Then again, maybe there really is
something to worry about!

BCM // 11:36 AM


The Third Way

The "Third Way" has been the friendly face of government intervention in the economy for the last few years. The
Mises institute gives us a history of the creator of the philosophy. Socialists will want to read halfway through the article for the history and Ropke's criticisms of the capitalist system. Capitalists will want to read the whole thing to get the rebuttal at the end.

I find it interesting how the "Third Way" originally arose out of a desire to avoid socialism in West Germany after WW2. My thought is that the adoption of the "Third Way" by the Labour party in Britian and much of the mixed economy world is a simple adoption of one capitalist principle, and it isn't the free market. The Third Way is an example in "rebranding", just as in advertising consumer goods. Change the name of the product in order to get away from the negative associations of the previous name. Then vigourously promote the old product as something entirely new.

The "Third Way" is still socialism. The aim is still government control of the economy and redistribution of wealth from those according to their means to those according to their needs. The difference is that socialism learned from the fascists that ownership isn't the truly important thing, control is the important thing.

As long as a government can threaten any industry with new regulation and taxes, it has a lever by which to obtain the control it desires. The "Third Way" is simply a socialist acknowledgement that capitalists do a much better job of production and service than nationalized industries do. Why not maintain the same goals, but keep the good horses?

(My thanks to Natalija Radic, for her post in Samizdata summing up the difference between the Communists and the Fascists (control vs ownership). That one sentence contains more clarity than an entire year of polisci 020.)

"According to this conservative critique of capitalism, the unfettered free market was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it had produced enormous wealth and raised the standard of living for millions of Western citizens.
( Read that scentence again.)

On the other hand, it had polluted and defaced the natural world, depleted precious resources, and undermined traditional society.
(And we all know there was no mining that took place before capitalism. No trees were ever cut. No fish were ever caught. Undermining traditional society? Was "l'etat, c'est moi." a society that many would prefer to live in?)

It had subverted natural social hierarchies, destroyed communities, weakened the traditional family, subverted religious faith and patriotism, and rendered rewarding work and real property ownership the privilege of only a privileged few.
(What is a natural social hierarchy? Who decides this? "Subverted...patriotism". News to me. Does the U.S., the most capitalistic society in the world, seem to suffer from lack of patriotism?)

In its stead, it had substituted excessive labor specialization, dehumanizing work, subsistence wages, crass materialism, social atomism, personal alienation, the excessive concentration of wealth, unhealthy factory production, and the proletarianization of society.

Why is materialism always referred to as "crass"? Is any material desire beyond your basic needs (and who decides what basic needs are?) somehow unworthy? Is wealth more concentrated today than in the age of feudalism? Did the average peasant have any savings? Was working in the fields, breaking your back over a plow humanizing work?

The second sentence of the first paragraph is the important thing to remember here. "(capitalism) had produced enormous wealth and raised the standard of living for millions of Western citizens." Why yes, we have material abundance, longer lives, individual rights and personal property and a vastly better life than under what came before. By the standard of the critique, however, we'd be better off moving to adopt the developing world's lifestyle instead of the other way around.

(Okay, I admit I'm using the article's own summation of the conservative critique as a straw man here. I just damm well wanted to pound on the anti-capitalist argument for a while. is anyone going to deny me that enjoyment?)

BCM // 6:46 AM


No Stats.

Curses! For the last three days I've not been able to get any stats on bcmonkey from the Gostats counter! Damm you foul gremlins of the net!

BCM // 6:09 AM


Canadian Dollar Update

Those currency traders better wake up soon!

707am this morning quote, $0.6229 USD, Down 0.0008

Maybe we would have better luck pointing out to the Liberals that every time the dollar slides, every redistributed dollar buys less. So, every welfare recipient gets poorer as well. Given that the poor spend a relatively greater proportion of their money on essentials, the sliding dollar affects them first.

BCM // 5:53 AM


Wednesday, February 06, 2002:

Why Donate to Politicians?

"(W)e ought to be asking ourselves why corporations and interests groups are willing to give politicians millions of dollars in the first place. Obviously their motives are not altruistic. Simply put, they do it because the stakes are so high. They know government controls virtually every aspect of our economy and our lives, and that they must influence government to protect their interests.

"Our federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan that redistributes trillions of dollars. We can hardly be surprised when countless special interests fight for the money. The only true solution to the campaign money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy. Big government and big campaign money go hand in hand."

- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), "Texas Straight Talk," 2/4/02

Neal Boortz

The bigger the government, the more lobbying and corruption you will see. More regulation only produces more opportunity for loopholes and more lobbying. The more power the government acquires, the more companies will find it necessary to contribute to the parties to be left alone.

It's a protection racket. If you're aware that your competitor is going to get a grant from the government, it becomes your interest to get one as well to maintain even footing. If a competing industry has persuaded politicians that your industry should be handicapped in order to "make things fair/give them a chance", it becomes your interest to contribute.

When someone holds the power to destroy your livelyhood through regulatory and legislative fiat, it is a perfectly rational decision to attempt to secure influence. Even more so when you are aware that that fiat may be used for entirely political reasons that consider the consequences to you an irrelevant externality.

The whole Campaign finance reform issue is a classic feedback loop. What's the answer to political contributions? more regulations and regulators. When new ways are (quickly) found to get around the rules, more rules are called for. If an industry is viewed as having too much influence in the government, they need to be regulated further. The more they are regulated, the more it becomes necessary for the industry to make friends in government.

Do the reform advocates really believe that if there are "enough" rules that the companies will decide"well, we're not wanted here." "We'll go back to running our business, follow these rules, and ignore the possibility that these people can pass new rules on us at any time." Would this be rational for a company, after having more government rules and regulations imposed on it?

It all goes back to the axiom, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". The more power you grant the government, the more corruption there will be.

BCM // 7:30 AM


Feeling their Pain, Part 1,000,000

"I cried for Argentina."

-Bill Clinton

BCM // 7:25 AM


No Logo, no brain, no future in collectivism

Jonah Goldberg
on the Anti-Globalization protesters.

"These kids think they are the future when, in fact, they're stuck in the past. Their solutions — stopping sweatshops, stopping technological advancements in agriculture, stopping the spread of the free market — are the solutions of the reactionary.

Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo rightly complained in 1999 that anti-globalization forces were trying "to save the people of developing countries from development." He was right to be angry. I know "sophisticated" people don't say this, but economic advancement is the single greatest remedy for what ails the planet. Rich countries are healthier, environmentally cleaner, safer and more respectful of human rights. Wealth even breeds democracy. As George Mason University political scientist Francis Fukuyama writes, "There is not a single historical instance of a democratic country reverting to authoritarianism" once a society has achieved a per capita purchasing power of $6,000 (in 1992 dollars). "Spain, Portugal, Greece, Taiwan and South Korea," writes Mr. Fukuyama, "all made their transitions to democracy at or near this magical figure."

Jonah hits upon one of the greatest problems of capitalism and freedom these days. We can advertise any type of shoe, burger or drink with incredible skill and finesse, but we don't promote capitalism. There's always been this reluctance to stand up for the best system of governance and economics the world has seen.

Why don't we stand up and say that economic advancement is the best hope for the world?

Capitalists have abdicated the debate on how the world will best advance to the left for the last century. As a result, the public discourse is almost exclusively dominated by the left in their terms. Capitalists feel the need to justify their profits in terms of "the greater social good", where that term has been exclusively defined as wealth redistribution and bigger government.

If you allow your opponents to dictate the terms of the debate, you will lose.

Capitalism has the evidence in its favour, has had for years. Socialist mixed economies around the world have experienced slower growth in living standards, if not outright penury if they started as undeveloped countries. The most capitalist nation in the world, the U.S., has provided the highest standard of living to the greatest number of people in its population and continues to power ahead to even higher standards of living. The full command economies of the communist world were abject failures, except at exterminating their own people and exporting weapons.

If the current differences in growth between the U.S. and the mixed economies of the world continue, we are going to be facing a future in which the poor of the U.S. will have incomes greater than the middle class in the mixed economies of the world.

There have been some recent efforts to defend capitalism and promote its virtues, specifically the Walk For Capitalism. There haven't been anywhere near enough. One of the reasons I started this blog was that I wanted to be heard and promote the argument that capitalism is the best system humanity has generated in history. It is not a coincidence that with the evolution of capitalism in the last few centuries that we have seen such an amazing leap forward in human progress. Capitalism is the mechanism that has unleashed the fantastic potential of human creativity and effort.

The alternatives of communism and the mixed economy have been attempted. Communism buchered its own citizens and kept them in penury. It sheltered an elite and eternally promised the people that paradise was five years away. The mixed socialist economy only survives as a parasite on the capitalist system by dragging down the vast majority of those who live under it. Both of these systems are derivatives of the monarchy. All power ultimately resides in the state, all ultimately belongs to the state and can be demanded at the state's whim.

If we really want less influence politics, then we have to take away the reason it came into exisitence. Reduce the power of the state, not increase it. Humanity's future prosperity and freedom is not going to be created by a government. They may be defended by a government once they are established, but neither freedom or prosperity stem from government writ and control.

Now let's get busy. We have the evidence on our side. Let's work on getting the evidence recognized. The sooner it is, the sooner the rest of the world will be able to join us.

BCM // 5:46 AM


Tuesday, February 05, 2002:

I am Shocked! Shocked! To find gambling in this bar....

The Saudis admit it. 15 of 19 hijackers on Sept 11th were Saudis.

"Nayef said the oil-rich kingdown bears no responsibility for the actions of the hijackers.

"This is the truth ... and I defy anyone to prove it," he added."

Read that last sentence carefully. The Saudis really don't know which side they're on, do they? Hell, I defy anyone to prove the the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had no responsibility for the attacks on September 11th.

BCM // 7:49 PM


Dear Reuters

Noting your
policy against using "emotive" terms such as "terrorist" in your coverage, We guess something slipped past your editors in this recent article.

"PARIS (Reuters) - Leading intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy will travel to Afghanistan shortly on behalf of the French government to evaluate the needs and expectations of the Afghan population, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The dashing philosopher has traveled to the region several times in the past in support of the late Afghan anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Masood, assassinated shortly before the September 11 attacks on the United States. "

We would prefer that the Reuters news service use the less emotive term "bloviating windbag".

We would also ask that you cover an angle to the story that was not mentioned. Clearly the assassins who killed Masood were after Levy. The pen is mightier than the sword according to the latest EU foreign policy, making Levy a military target of note. Levy's assasination would have represented a coup for Al-Queda. Obviously the assassins killed Masood out of frustration at so narrowly missing their target.

Best Regards,

(Via Daimnation and Instapundit)
BCM // 2:49 PM


"There's a bit of a perception we're looking after ourselves first,"
-Councillor Jane Pitfield, Toronto, Canada

Here's an
article on the continued state of affairs in Toronto's Municipal government. Read and weep.

Sue-Ann Levy, the journalist writing the commentary is my idea of an ideal commentator. She has not stopped hammering the same points home for a few years now. Her integrity and success can be measured by the number of Toronto politicians who refuse to speak to her. As a Toronto resident, I'm very grateful to her for her continued efforts, as futile as they may sometimes seem.

BCM // 2:32 PM


"This is the internet. We can Fact Check your Ass." -Ken Layne

Opinion Journal's daily feature, The Best of the Web performs a two week consistency check on Paul Krugman's writing in the New York Times.

So let's see if we have this straight: 10-year budget projections that suit Krugman's partisan purposes are "agreed fact," while those that don't are "no more than a guess."

Ken Layne also has assembled a list of the articles that the kidnapped WSJ journalist Daniel Pearl wrote over the last few years. Interesting articles in of themselves, but Layne's conclusion is even more interesting.

"It's time to forget Hotmailed nonsense about some Pakistanis For The Death Of Wall Street Journal CIA Goons nonsense and realize that Daniel Pearl has been writing damning stories from the Muslim world for seven years. He has written about bin Laden, Iran's fundamentalist government, the movement to topple Saddam and the various pipelines of money to the terrorists.

He was set up. And he was targeted because of his history of covering the most criminal states of the Middle East and Central Asia. "

BCM // 1:44 PM


Situation Reports

Stratfor. These daily reports are an interesting little summary of strategic events you may not hear of otherwise. Very interesting.

BCM // 1:40 PM


James Taggart, CEO of Taggart Transcontinental

Wendell Cox of the Amtrak Reform Council
details just how efficient a public monopoly can be at reforming itself.

Imagine for a moment that Enron had been a public monopoly. What would be happening now? Something very much like what has happened here with Amtrak.

BCM // 1:38 PM


Axis of Evil Updates

North Korea:
Biggest exporter of balistic missiles in the world.
Iraq: Saddam starving Kurds in N. Iraq
Iran: Warns Israel against attacking Nuclear facility

Wasn't Khatami warning a month or so ago that he would want to see Israel nuked?

BCM // 12:29 PM


Jackson, Sheila. Sheila, Jackson.

Apparently Shiela Copps isn't the only
Limosine Liberal to have terrible problems with the airlines. If only they would just understand how important they are, everything would be fantastic!

"But in February 1998, things finally came to a head. On a flight home to Houston, Jackson Lee became enraged when flight attendants failed to produce the seafood special she liked. "Don't you know who I am?" she reportedly thundered. "I'm Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Where is my seafood meal? I know it was ordered!"

UPDATE: oh Gawd, I hadn't noticed until I read it again. They're both named Sheila. People accuse the right of having conspiracies? This can't be chance......
BCM // 11:23 AM


Why Support Israel?

Victor Davis Hanson in National Review Online.

He nails it.

"The answer is found in values —not in brainwashing or because of innate affinity for a particular race or creed. Israel is a democracy. Its opponents are not."

Via Little Green Footballs, where the link to this article has generated thirty-two comments!

I've been on Israel's side for a number of years now, and I've been questioned on it more than a few times. "But if you were a Palestinian living in the refugee camps, would you still think the same way about Israel?" Of course I wouldn't. What would the odds be I would know anything of freedom or democracy? My education and socialization would be completely different. I'd probably be humming a catchy pop tune I heard called "I Hate Israel" which has been a hit all throught the Middle East. I would have been raised to think that blowing myself up was a perfectly logical and commendable thing to do.

When Jim Jones exhorts his followers to suicide, it's a horrific tragedy. When "militants" teach children to become suicide bombers to kill themselves and others, the international community understands. It was an understandable act of frustration with the peace process and Israeli intransigence.

My decision to support Israel has followed Hanson's argument for years. If I have to choose between supporting a flawed democracy with a free press, rights for women and free markets against a nihilistic dictatorship, the choice is very easy.

BCM // 9:20 AM


False Dichotomy

"Canadians are facing a mexican standoff between the drowning loonie and spiking interest rates, Finance Minister Paul Martin argued yesterday.

Martin brushed aside opposition demands that the Liberal government prop up the Canadian dollar with tax and spending cuts.

"The fact is, this country s booming and it is about time that the markets begin to recognize what this country has done."

"Loonie won't get lifeline: Martin"
Toronto Sun, Tuesday January 29th 2002, p5

Or what, Mr. Martin? What will you do if the markets don't obey your decree? Stamp your feet? Offer to subsidize the traders? Form a Royal Commission?

Amazing. First they tell us that they are going to take action to shore up the loonie. Then, a week later, they tell us they don't have to do anything. Everything is Hunky-dory, it's the currency traders who have to change. Typical Liberal mangement. "The house isn't burning, ignore the smoke. The fire has to realize that this house is brick and that we have sprinklers!"

So Martin has determined that Canada's only proactive options are either letting the dollar slide or raising interest rates. Any other course of action has already been ruled out. This is something we' ve seen from the Liberals before on Health care, either you have the current system with all of its problems or (shudder!) Two-Tier American Health Care! (lightning, thunder in background). Never mind any other choices, they are ruled out. Now, do you want us to let the dollar be, or (shudder!) Raise Interest Rates! (Crack! Flashing lightning!) No one wants to have high interest rate like we had under Mulroney! Right!

The policies that Martin rules out are the only ones that will get the dollar to rise in the long term. But that would involve ending all of the Liberal party's favourite games. Spending, spending, spending, a new national initiative here, picking winners in industry there, making sure failing industries don't close and penalizing success to reward failure.

It's the Canadian way, after all.

Daimian was right. I am a cranky, cranky cranky right leaning Canadian.

BCM // 8:32 AM


Man of Few Words

Canadian$: $0.6258USD, Down 0.0021 as of 9am today.

What happened to talking up the Canadian dollar? Perhaps Chretien is saving his breath for more important matters, like chewing out Eggleton and Bennett.

BCM // 8:14 AM


The National Football League recently announced a new era. From now on, no offensive team names will be permitted. While the owners of the teams rush to change uniforms and such, the National Football League announced, yesterday, its name changes and schedules for the 2002 season:

The Washington Native Americans will host the New York Very Tall People on opening day.

Other key games include the Dallas Western-Style Laborers hosting the St. Louis Wild Endangered species, and the Minnesota Plundering Norsemen taking on the Green Bay Meat Industry Workers. In Week 2, there are several key matchups, highlighted by the showdown between the San Francisco Precious Metal Enthusiasts and the New Orleans Pretty Good People.

The Atlanta Birds of Prey will play host to the Philadelphia Birds of Prey, while the Seattle Birds of Prey will visit the Phoenix Male Finches.

The Monday night game will pit the Miami Pelagic Percoid Food Fishes against the Denver Untamed Beasts of Burden.

The Cincinnati Large Bangladeshi Carnivorous Mammals will travel to Tampa Bay for a clash with the West Indies Free Booters later in Week 9.

And the Detroit Large Carnivorous Cats will play the Chicago Large Mountain Mammals.

Week 9 also features the Indianapolis Young Male Horses at the New England Zealous Lovers of Country.

Off my work website

BCM // 7:16 AM


"Cultural Competition is Darwinian"

Steven DenBeste administers another well thought out slapdown to the voices decrying "American Cutural Imperialism".

"The fundamental flaw with the leftist argument about cultural imperialism is that they assume that Western culture (and in particular American culture) is spreading through force and coercion. The people of the world take our ideas and our culture only because we are shoving it down their throats, and if only we'd stop doing that, our culture would stop spreading and the cultural diversity of the world would be preserved in all its glory.

Does this attitude sound familliar?

Only it's not like that. If there are McDonald's restaurants in Paris, it's because the people of Paris like eating there. No-one goes out on the streets of Paris and forces people into the nearest McDonald's at gunpoint. If no-one wanted to eat there, the restaurants would close.

If people in Cairo wear Levis, if people in Kuala Lumpur wear Nikes, if people in Kabul watch Schwarzenegger movies, if people in Bangalore watch Baywatch, if people in Kinshasa listen to rock music, it's because they like it.

We don't have to actively spread our culture to the world; it is seductive. Cultural competition is darwinian; and one culture can replace another quite easily. It happens because of a billion individual choices by a billion people, not as the acts of a few. We don't have to actively spread our culture, because it is spreading on its own. And so are our political ideals.

BCM // 6:10 AM


"Swimming Against the Tide" Quote of the Day

"All those elites out there who are so bound on having the CBC, let them pay for it,"

Roger Gallaway,
MP for Sarnia-Lambton

This man is going to get crucified by much of the Canadian media over the next few days. If you agree with him, drop him an email of support. His email is

"I don't mind CBC radio. I have no problem with that. It's pretty low-cost. But the television is sopping off about $750-million ... some say $1-billion a year and the viewership is like chemical traces," he said.

However, others on the heritage committee say the CBC remains of vital national importance.

Mr. Gallaway plans to introduce a motion asking the government to "take measures to ensure that the television services provided by the CBC become self-financing and are no longer dependent on parliamentary appropriations, in order to facilitate the long-term viability of the CBC."

From The National Post

Of course, we know which view is going to win out. This is Canada, after all.

But Sarmite Bulte, the parliamentary secretary to Sheila Copps, the Canadian Heritage Minister, says the CBC is "absolutely necessary and vital to this country."

"Through this broadcasting study we want to engage Canadians to tell us that it [the CBC] is important,"

"We want to engage Canadians to tell us that it is important"? Read it again. We want Canadians to tell us that it is important. No predetermined conclusions here. Nope.

BCM // 5:55 AM


Idiotarian Quote of the Day

"Extreme pessimism seems to me to be the only rational stance,"

- Sir Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, at a
session devoted to the future threats and opportunities presented by scientific advances

No, living standards haven't been going up in much of the world. Technology hasn't wiped out many of the diseases we suffered from a hundred years ago. No food supplies haven't grown many times over in the last century. No, the world is not more free than it was even twenty five years ago. No you and your colleagues weren't obsessing about global cooling twenty five years ago.

BCM // 5:41 AM


Monday, February 04, 2002:

The Usual

Canadian Dollar close $0.6279USD, down $0.0006

Memo to J.C: Having Bono say that you are running the country in a way he likes, may not be the best way to persuade Currency traders that your have your head screwed on right.

BCM // 3:15 PM


Via ExPatPundit

"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.

BCM // 1:28 PM


Arafat writes for the New York Times

Gee, I guess that does it,
he must be sincere this time! (Link requires registration)

I would be much more impressed if he had instead given this as a speech on Al-Jazeera, or broadcast to the Palestinian people. In. Arabic.

Let's sample Arafat's op-ed.

"There are those who claim that I am not a partner in peace. In response, I say Israel's peace partner is, and always has been, the Palestinian people. "

Notice he leaves himself out of his reply? The Palestinian people may be, but he sure as hell isn't. This is the man who started the age of terrorist airplance hijackings.

"The Palestinians have a vision of peace: it is a peace based on the complete end of the occupation and a return to Israel's 1967 borders, the sharing of all Jerusalem as one open city and as the capital of two states, Palestine and Israel. It is a warm peace between two equals enjoying mutually beneficial economic and social cooperation. "

Barak offered Arafat 95% of the territories called for by the U.N. and half of Jerusalem in 1999. Arafat walked out of the negotiations without making any counteroffer.

A month and a half later, the Intifada started after Sharon had a walk around the Temple Mount. The visit had been cleared with the Palestinian religious authority who administers the Mount. PA officials have since admitted that the Intefada had already been planned and that Sharon's walk was just the excuse they'd looked for.

"Israeli government practices of settlement construction, home demolitions, political assassinations, closures and shameful silence in the face of Israeli settler violence and other daily humiliations are clearly not aimed at calming the situation.

And the daily efforts of Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah and Fatah are aimed at calming the situation?

"In 1988, the Palestine National Council adopted a historic resolution calling for the implementation of applicable United Nations resolutions, particularly, Resolutions 242 and 338. The Palestinians recognized Israel's right to exist on 78 percent of historical Palestine with the understanding that we would be allowed to live in freedom on the remaining 22 percent, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967."

What is missing here is the acknowledgement of the PA's plan declared in 1974 to accept whatever piece of land in Palestine they could, and to use it as a forward base to annihilate Israel.

"But first, let me be very clear. I condemn the attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians. These groups do not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations for freedom. They are terrorist organizations, and I am determined to put an end to their activities."

.....In a New Year's Resolution kinda way, right?

"The personal attacks on me currently in vogue......."

"Yasir Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996 and is also chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization."

When is the next election scheduled? What is the specific length of your term, Mr. President?

A week and a half ago, I was watching CNBC at work. There was a clip of Arafat talking to his supporters in the West Bank. He was in full speech mode as the voice over at the beginning and end told me about his meeting and house arrest in his compound. Some of Arafat's speech came through. I don't understand many words in Arabic, but there is one that I know.


As he was saying this, he was pumping his arm back and forth, pointing his finger at the audience. I tried to find a news report last week that quoted him on this, but I couldn't find one. Why is it that what this man says in Arabic so rarely gets translated?

BCM // 12:21 PM


Oh Hell, why don't I just rename the blog "Samizdata Groupie"

As always, tons of good stuff posted to
Samizdata over the weekend, including;

*Could there be something exciting happening in Canada?
*Agricultural Vampires... they are everywhere!
*Eat vegetables, die
*We're from Different Planets (on Guantanamo prisoners)

My personal response to the first? No, nothing interesting is happening. Individual provinces occasionally vote in "less government parties", but federally nothing changes. Those of us who do not agree with the current state of affairs are starting to find our voices, perhaps.

Ever so strangely, the provinces seem to elect these "less government" parties right after having out-and-out socialist government. Detailing the mess they created would take..far...too.....long. and involve far too much risk to my blood pressure.

BCM // 11:53 AM


Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit has had its 2 millionth hit. (awe)Daaaaaaammmmnn!

Lots of good stuff over there today, including a reader's opinion of why cats are like Europeans.

"At home this weekend ruminating on European criticism of us, which seems to be picking up, I decided that our cat is a European. He is taken care of, cradle to grave. He gets all he can eat, including treats. He gets a warm house. He gets petted. We clean up his messes, especially that cat box. He even gets free health insurance, in the form of trips to the Vet paid by us--not that he appreciates it. He just meows for what he wants. And to get all these things, all he had to do was give up his claws and his balls. Yes, a good European."


And also from Instapundit, The Star Wars-Enron connection! No, this isn't a joke.

BCM // 11:23 AM


Quote of the Day

The "problem with capitalism is capitalists; the problem with socialism is socialism."
- Willi Schlamm, reformed German Communist

BCM // 8:15 AM


Evil Monopoly of the Day

Gas stations! For years their prices have stayed up, up, up, no matter what was happening to the price of oil. Of course, that's what we've been told. Liberal MP
Dan McTeague has been making a pet hobby horse of this for years.

I've been watching the pumps for the last few months. I've seen the price per litre jump up and down like crazy. One day I see the price at 52.3 cents/litre, two days later at 60 cents. Three days later it's 51.1 cents. Those crazy monopolists are trying to confuse the public!

There's been a ten cent band of gas prices for the last couple of months, swinging up and down regularly. This is not the way a monopoly is supposed to operate. A monopoly looks for stable, high prices when it has the market cornered. So why aren't we seeing this? Why the volatility if those evil monopolists are really in control?

Remember that the taxes on the gas also make up half of the price of the gas. The retailer is only receiving about 25-30 cents per litre to cover all of the costs of the gas, refining, transport, retailing, salaries, etc. This volatility is quite likely murder on them.

Also, we get charged GST on the price at the pump. We are getting tax charged on top of the exisitng taxes built into the price. I'd say that double taxation is unfair, but that would be a little redundant given the level of taxes in Canada.

BCM // 8:14 AM


Starwatching, part one

In today's Toronto Star, columnist Royson James
makes the quid pro quo clear.

"Federal Transport Minister David Collenette owes the Toronto Star big time. We told more than 2.2 million readers on Saturday that Collenette is in their corner, fighting for them, advocating on their behalf."

Well, nothing like disinterested, objective reporting, is there?

BCM // 8:02 AM



As an economics grad, I know all about statistics, random events and that stuff. In particular, how each roll is statistically independent of the last roll's result. You are equally likely to get a six on a d6 on any given roll as you are to get a one, irrespective of whether you have just rolled eight sixes in a row. The chances are always the same, the result is random.

I know this, but it is very, very, very hard to believe it when I roll a twenty sided die repeatedly and get 2, 1, 5, 3, 1, 12, 4, 2, 9, 10 and so forth.

I have seen people on a run of bad luck start using new dice and suddenly start making fantastic rolls. I have called my dice during monopoly games where I need a specific number and had it work far many more times than random chance would determine. Unfortunately, my luck has been very bad as of late. if my cousin comes over this summer, perhaps she can do some sort of pagan ritual to get my dice working again.

I've seen stranger things work......

BCM // 7:23 AM


Kudos the Space Monkey for running yesterday's game, despite a looming cold. Kudos also to Resource Monkey's wife for cooking for us and tolerating us. The RM's kitchen table seems to be loaded with positive karma for dice. More natural 20s were rolled than any other time in memory. This was also the table where I blew my karma fuses by rolling three 20s and a 10 in one roll of four d20s.

Or..... Perhaps it was the absence of the Curious George's bad juju that allowed us to excel.

Anyway, the story is set up for a grand finale. Looking forward to it next weekend. May the Space Monkey's cold be purged ASAP.

UPDATE: it has been bought to my attention by Resource Monkey's ill-informed email, that perhaps Curious George is not soaking up our bad karma, but is in fact the cause. May many superbowls infest the future if this is correct.

BCM // 7:14 AM


Can't say I blame him

Enron CEO Kenneth Lay has
refused to testify in front of Congressional Hearings into the Enron Bankruptcy.

I can't say I blame him. What are they going to do to him if he doesn't? Villify him? Drag his reputation through the mud? Call him names? He knows quite well that the only thing on the politicians' minds is to bash him as much as possible in order to demonstrate their own purity. "No, taking campaign contributions from Enron didn't affect my judgement, no siree! I'm on the side of the angels here, I'm down hard on this corporate crook!"

Yes, Ken Lay has obviously been very responsible in the Enron bankruptcy. If his actions are criminal, prosecute him. If he is responsible for your being ruined, sue him. Asking him to show up in front of these hearings which have the essential goal of crucifying him is similar to the HUAC hearings held during the McCarthy era. I have little pity and less respect for this man, but I don't blame him in the least for deciding not to attend his own public execution.

BCM // 5:53 AM


An Open Letter to John Godfrey, M.P.

Wedensday January 23rd, a full page ad ran in the Toronto Sun, paid by a private citizen, Dawna Edmonson. She paid about $8000 to do so. I haven't seen it posted anywhere else, so here is the text of the ad.

To Mr. John Godfrey,

On Sept 11, 2001, a group of uncivilized murderers took the lives of over 3000 innocent people and forever altered the emotional and geographic landscape of the United States, resulting in the most devastating event to affect the world.

I understand, Mr.Godfrey, that you and your fellow Liberal MPs are concerned about the U.S. treatment of the combatants being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. To put it bluntly sir your views disgust me. Their eregrious behaviour, coupled with the fact that they are NOT prisoners of war (since when is Al-Queda a recognized government?) does not entitle them to protection under the Geneva Convention.

Do you honestly have concerns about the treatment of these terrorists? They are being transported by the world's best trained military personnel in the world's best maintained military aircraft, to a significantly warmer climate where they are being fed regularly, all at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers. Get real Mr.Godfrey. They deserve to be put to death.

The U.S. is Canada's strongest world ally. if our country was ever in need of assistance, it would be our neighbours to the south who would step up to the plate. You and your fellow Liberals have successfully depleted the Canadian military, destroyed the Canadian economy and are now tarring Canada's reputation.

Rise up Canada. When you go to the polls, let politicians like Mr.Godfrey know that we do not share his concerns about the welfare of terrorists. Our concerns should be centered on helping the innocent families of those who are left to grieve- our american neighbours. After all, I AM CANADIAN.

Dawna Edmonson


BCM // 5:42 AM


No anti-americanism in this entertainment industry

I'm sure the troops may appreciate the message, but I can understand why the military didn't go ahead with broadcasting the
porn industry's support to the troops.

Oh yeah, while we're on the subject of the entertainment industry, did Alec Baldwin ever leave the US? I remember he was promising to leave the US if Bush won the election. It's hard to tell, it's not like he's worked much in the last few years.......

BCM // 5:34 AM


The Usual Dollar Story

I guess J.C and Paul did a bang-up job of promoting the CDN$ at the New York Forum, eh?

Canadian$, $0.6285 USD, down $0.0025 from friday's close.

BCM // 5:26 AM


Sunday, February 03, 2002:

I hope they find these bastards

Even if they do though, how much of a punishment will they get under our Youth Justice System?

Excuse me, but when I was a teen, I damm well knew the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. I knew that if I did something like hanging a dog, it wasn't a joke or a "tragic mistake on the way to growing up". It was amazing to me at that time that I could kill a person and get a maximum of three years incarceration and have my record erased when I reached 18.

How long will it be before some twit starts asking if this is different to what the US is going to do in Guantanamo?

BCM // 9:29 AM


Like Shooting Fish in A Barrel With a Shotgun

"Boost Cities' Powers: Collenette
"Federal Minister recognizes funding plight Toronto faces."

Toronto Star Headline, Saturday Feb 2nd 2002

No Mr. Minister, Toronto does not have a funding problem, it has a spending problem.

Toronto increases its budget for almost every item each year and is incapable of saying no to special interest groups. The City keeps putting off selling surplus real estate assets which it doesn't need. There is little enough oversight and control that a consulting contract was recently revealed to have ballooned to double the initial amount and it took a year for people to notice. It took three years for them to eliminate limo rides for Councilors when it was revealed they were costing $80 a ride. The City spends more on homeless shelters than it does on garbage pickup and maintenance. The city has $1.1 billion of debt on the books and is raising property taxes by 4.8% this year.

When a person goes around running up the Visa without regard to how much it is going to cost, we say the person is a spendaholic, not that they have a funding problem. When the Harris Gov't created the Megacity out of the various cities of the Toronto region a few years ago it was supposed to reduce costs. Several severe restrictions were put on the Megacity gov't to ensure it couldn't run out of control. For example, new taxes on business were prohibited. Loans were put in place and funding caps set. unfortunately, for these restrictions to work, the assumption is that the Councilors were going to be rational and live within their means. Big mistake. The approach seems to be very much "apres moi, le deluge."

Why should I surf the net looking for things to blog when I can just look at the front page of the Star every day? It's too easy. Every day this week there's been something in their headlines to write about, but as I say, it's too easy!

BCM // 9:25 AM


Pray for Mojo

The Curious George has decided to ditch his comrades of the Monkey Circle to be a couch Legume and watch the Super Bowl. His Fabioliciousness has deserted the Circle in its time of need, defending the town of Stoneheim. Dammit! The crunchy mage needs his Meat Shield! Not to mention someone to suck up everyone’s bad dice karma!

Also absent is the MACHing Monkey, for the more understandable reason of being our agent in Texas. Many thanks are due to the MACHing Monkey for her Christmas gift basket. The basket was more than sufficient to reduce the entire circle to a state of Ferret Shock when it was consumed.

(I apologize to anyone who reads this and finds it incomprehensible. Great Chuthulu has nothing on the mysteries of the Monkey Circle.)

BCM // 9:15 AM


Rollerball: A Movie To Avoid

In the entertainment section today I saw the ad for the John McTiernan remake of the 70's movie, and one particular element of the credits blurb caught my eye. Music by Eric Serra. Right then I knew the movie was doomed.

Why? Because, Serra cannot do action movie music for beans. He scored the first of the new James Bond movies, Goldeneye, back in '96. I remember noting that all through the movie, the action never really seemed to be that tense or exciting. Eventually I realized that it was because the more action there was on the screen, the more the soundtrack pretended nothing was happening. Gunfights had music more appropriate for light conversation. The only time the movie started to feel exciting was when Serra twice, only twice, used the signature James Barry Bond theme. Damm shame, because otherwise the movie would have rocked.

Now then, if pronouncing a movie good or bad on the merit of its soundtrack sounds silly, remember how John Williams has made so many great movies awesome. Imagine Jaws without the ominous buildup music, or Raiders Of The Lost Ark without the signature Raiders march. Of course, the ultimate example of a great soundtrack is Star Wars.

Thankfully, the producers of the James Bond films realized their mistake. The last two Bond films were scored by David Arnold, who is an exceptional composer. His soundtracks rock and multiply the mood on the screen many times over. He probably came to their attention through doing a
remix album of classic Bond themes. I've got it and love it.

BCM // 8:08 AM


Comic of the Day

For any Gamer,
this is probably a familliar feeling. Plan C time.

Looking at the Toronto Star's weekly colour comics section yesterday, I note that it is now down to one page of newsprint, double sided. Sad.

BCM // 6:22 AM


This site is powered by Blogger because Blogger rocks!

Blog Of Record
My Gaming Blog

Newly Added Blogs

One Girl's Opinion
David Artimiw

Monkey Blogs

Feces Flingin' Monkey
Government Monkey

CRTC Approved Canadian Content
Damian Penny (Nfld)
Dispatches (Vancouver)
Ranting And Roaring(Toronto)
Flit (Toronto?)
Colby Cosh

Israeli Blogs
Tal G
Joel Orr

American Imperialist Running Dogs
David Horowitz
The Reactionary
American Kaiser
Layman's Logic
Don McArthur
Joanne Jacobs
Megan McArdle
Patrick Ruffini
Sgt .Stryker
Neal Boortz
Matt Welch
Smarter Times
Midwestern Conservative Journal
Give War A Chance
On The Third Hand
Arcata Eye Police Blotter
The Fly Bottle
Juan Gato
Campus Nonsense
Corsair The Rational Pirate
NZ Bear
Doctor Weevil
Protein Wisdom

The Ones Everyone Links
Andrew Sullivan
USS Clueless
Little Green Footballs
Virginia Postrel
Ken Layne
Tim Blair

International Blog Brigade
Libertarian Samizdata
Fredrik Norman
Bjorn Staerk
Edge of England's Sword
Kolkata Libertarian

News Sources
World Tribune
FOX News
National Post
Jerusalem Post
Yahoo News
WorldNet Daily
Far Eastern Economic Review

Web Magazines
National Review
Capitalism Magazine
Objectivism Today
Esprit De Corps
FrontPage Mag
Reason Magazine
Weekly Standard
The Onion
Darwin Awards
Cal Patriot

Sluggy Freelance
Bruno The Bandit
Schlock Mercenary
Dork Tower

Consumer Freedom
Walk For Capitalism
Mises Institute
F.A.Hayek Scholars
Government of Canada
United Nations
Ontario Goverment
Media Research Centre
Honest Reporting
Statisitical Assessment Service
European Foundation
Palpatine For President


Plus about 14,000, if people hadn't reset the dammed counter.

This site is powered by Blogger because Blogger rocks!

Companies I love
Wizards of the Coast
Baen Books
Pizza Pizza
TELUS Mobility
The Second Cup

Comments by: YACCS

Idle AmusementsLegoDeath
Hero Machine
Evil Plan Generator

"The fierce urgency of now."

banana_counting_monkey at