Banana Counting Monkey

Saturday, June 15, 2002:

Idiotic Statement of the Day

From this Washington Post report on the possibility that
Israel now has submarine based nukes.

Although developing a sea-based leg would preserve the deterrent value of Israel's nuclear force, according to analysts, it would complicate U.S. efforts to keep other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere from seeking to acquire nuclear arms. It also could spur a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. (Emphasis added)

Oh, so Iraq attempting to build a bomb, Al-Queda trying to build, borrow or steal a bomb and the efforts of the other arabic countries, well, those activities aren't part of an arms race at all!

BCM // 11:29 AM


Union Openness and Tolerance

At the
Canadian Labour Congress' Constitutional convention. They threw out the Financial Post reporter when he started asking about the rights of individual Union Members. (But remember, a Union does not have individual members. There are no individuals below the rank of union executive.)

Oh, and check the Union solidarity;

Daily, the congregation, bleary-eyed from hours worshiping in luxurious hospitality suites the night before, shuffled in from their $230-a-night hotel rooms. Hoards of them avoided the unionized hotel dining rooms and instead lined up at the notoriously non-union McDonalds at the Waterfront Centre Food Court -- an effort to stretch their $60 meal per diems. They inhaled their Egg McMuffins and headed to the convention floor to vote as they were directed on issues with pre-determined outcomes.

Admittedly, I'd like a little more detail on the "to vote as they were directed on issues with pre-determined outcomes." Just writing that without backing it up is pretty obviously biased, but I guess that's why this article was in the "Comment" section instead of the "news".

BCM // 11:22 AM


But Master Yoda Thinks So Highly Of Me....

:: how jedi are you? ::

BCM // 10:13 AM


Friday, June 14, 2002:

Interview with a Muslim Girl

"FOX gets it" says Charles Johnson. Can't disagree. If you haven't read the transcript of this interview with a three year old girl on Muslim Television, I suggest it. Please encourage FOX to keep bring these things to the public by emailing your support at

BCM // 1:57 PM


"Cool Glasses

.....Where can I get a pair?"

Is what a co-worker of mine wants to know.......

BCM // 9:40 AM


Best Lines Of The Day

Being "forced" is now the standard excuse for quite a lot of things.

Tal G

Welcome to the East Germany of the soul.

-Daniel Henninger on political correctness in the WSJ

BCM // 8:41 AM


Google Search of the Day

"Monkey P0rn"

BCM // 8:04 AM


Thursday, June 13, 2002:

Time To Relax

With a preview of the next Honor Harrington novel
War of Honor online. Only the first four chapters are available, but giving in is the only way to get rid of the temptation to read them. At least, the only means that I'm willing to entertain.

If you like Sci-fi or like military fiction, I cannot recommend the Honor Harrington series enough. Here's the first novel in the series, in full, available free online. If you read the first, Baen knows that the odds are overwhelming that you'll be buying the other nine volumes.

BCM // 1:39 PM


Okay, I've Gotta Hand it To Him For This...

Jean Chretien, that is, for co-opting the Alberta Stoney Nation, with regards to the G-8 Summit by paying them $300,000 for "security costs". That the reserve is where the anti-everything protestors were planning to organize is, of course, coincidental.

Maude Barlow is pissed. Excellent.

(Via David Janes)

Sigh. $300,000 of taxpayers money on a transparent bribe. I should disapprove. I know I should. But I can't stop smiling and feeling that this is the wisest use of money I've seen from the Federal Gov't in ages.

BCM // 1:16 PM


Eves Cancels Hydro One Privatization

I'm livid over this. The Common Sense Revolution is being completely undone by the same party that implemented it. Premier Eves seems to believe that if he pretends to be a Liberal that he will be able to win the next election. If the people want liberals in power they will vote for the Liberal party, not a watered down version of the Progressive Conservatives.

Eves and his cabinet have lost all confidence in the principles that bought them to power in the first place and the policies that dug Ontario out of the hole that the NDP had excavatedt. Voters are not going to interpret his aboutface as "moderation". This government is acting as if everything they have done in the last seven years was wrong, and frantically trying to correct it. Why would people vote for a party that is communicating a message of "we fucked everything up. we're trying to fix it- vote us back into office." They won't. The PCs are presenting a highly confused, contradictory message which will look very unappealing compared to a focused internally consistent Liberal platform.

A further danger to the PCs is voters like me. I have been a PC voter provincially since I became eligible to vote. A few years ago I signed up as a party member as well and volunteered during election campaigns. No more. I am resigning my membership and I will not be voting for the Conservatives in the next election, given they no longer represent me and have renounced their principles and the platform they were elected on. The PCs are alienating their core supporters in the hope of picking up swing voters.

The Common Sense Revolution was a program that stunned everyone when the PCs actually kept the promises within which they had campaigned on. Everyone knew that Canadian politicians never kept their promises. The PCs built a base of trust with a lot of Ontarians through fulfilling their promises, making the hard decisions and following through. Now, the party has gone back to the Red Toryism that doomed them in the mid-80s and demonstrated that the only principle left to them is the love of power.

Federal PCs: Kim Campbell, 1993. From Majority Government down to 2 seats

Ontario PCs: Ernie Eves, 2003.........

BCM // 12:43 PM


The Superiority of Socialized Medicine

(via Best of the Web)

Patients who are going blind may have to lose their sight in one eye before receiving treatment on the NHS, under proposals put forward by a government watchdog.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has recommended that only patients who suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in both eyes should receive treatment.

But it has also suggested that patients should only receive photodynamic therapy in the eye that has suffered the least damage meaning that they will lose the sight in the other eye.

Wait a minute, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence? I have no witty comments. This is impossible to satirize.

But remember, Cuba is supposed to be better off under communism because it has socialized medicine, oh, and no free press to report things like this.

BCM // 11:59 AM


A Sluggy Freelance live Action Movie

Well, why not? The technology is there. I would love to see Torg, Riff and Bun-Bun on the big screen. It could be done. If Sluggy can make it into novels, why not a movie. if anyone knows Mr. Speilberg's cell number, please leave it in the comments section.....

And for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, shame on you, you're missing the best comic on the web today. Start reading here. Once you start into the archives, don't make plans to be doing anything else for a while, but do take precautions so as not to injure yourself from laughing too hard. Then you too will "Worship the Comic", for "Is it not nifty?"

BCM // 11:08 AM


And Now For Something Completely Different

review of Star Wars II: Attack Of The Clones, by Kent Beeson."Based on the Sumerian epic of the same name, STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES is Mr.Spielberg's finest to date." You may be amazed at how much you missed when you saw the movie.....

....Second, some of the dialogue seemed poorly written. During the climactic fight scene in the Gladatorium, Yoda flies in on a Black Hawk, observes the battle, and says, "The smell of napalm in the morning, I love. Victory, it smells like." I found this jarring, because the film gives no indication that this scene occurs in the morning.

BCM // 11:01 AM


The Kashmir Gameplan

As analyzed by Walid Phares. The game is to incite war between India and Pakistan and then step in to take Pakistan's nukes. This is worth taking a look at for the supporting evidence of what Bin Laden actually said in the fall regarding his plans for conflict with the Hindus.

Now, as for Musharraf, I have to wonder about the guy. We've seen reports that he's softpedaled efforts against Al-Queda elements in Pakistan. I understand that he doesn't want to provoke civil war with his own Intelligence agency, but what does he think will happen to him if he fails to take them on? There is no happy equilibrium to be found for Musharaaf between confronting and appeasing the terrorists. They want an Islamic republic under Shari'a law. To put it more pojntedly, they want Musharraf up against the wall. They aren't going to give him a country mansion to live out his days in pleasant exile. His interest is very much in seeing the islamists defeated and driven out of his country.

BCM // 10:15 AM


Schadenfreude Again

Just reading a report (via
the Corner) that an Al-Qaeda operative tried to shoot down a US plane flying from its base in Saudi Arabia last month. He was caught in Pakistan and is apparently singing like a bird.

The sources said the suspect, who was trained by al Qaeda, was the head of a cell operating in Saudi Arabia. They said he and others cased U.S. air bases and one night easily evaded Saudi security forces while attempting to shoot down an American plane.

The suspect says he fired one missile, but it failed to lock onto its target, according to the sources. He then became frightened, buried a second missile nearby and ran away.

Okay. Not to minimize the threat that Al-Queda poses and their ability to learn from their mistakes and try again, but can you imagine the sheer frustration that the Al-Queda leaders must experience because the men they send into the field are such utter maroons? There's the Shoe bomber Richard Reid, there's Mohammed Atta's ranting at a government staffer about how he'd like to slit her throat and destroy american monuments and frequenting strip clubs, the internet hoax a-bomb plans and now this guy.

It's a petty satisfaction to imagine their frustration. Unfortunately, it is dwarfed by my chagrin at the ongoing debate over profiling and security.

BCM // 8:18 AM


Summer is Here

Just arrived yesterday. How do I know? The Sears Fall and Winter 2002/3 catalogue got dropped on my doorstep.

BCM // 8:08 AM


Wednesday, June 12, 2002:

Canadian Taxes

I've been looking at buying a Palm m130 PDA as a reward for doing the CFP exam. At Grand and Toy, the sticker price is $450. Part of my hesitation has been that I really don't want to pay the GST and PST, basically $60 to the government for doing absolutely nothing.

Then I started thinking about it. That $60 is after tax income to me, so is the $450. I sat down and figured out exactly how much income I have to earn to be able to purchase the PDA.

The purchase price with taxes (PST, GST) comes to $517.50. The taxes I pay through withholding on my paycheque are Federal: 22%, Provincial 9.24% and CPP 2.5%, for a total of 33.74%. (1- 0.3374= 0.6626) 66.26% of my gross pay is my net take home income. I'd be purchasing the PDA out of that amount. So, to get the amount of pre tax income the $517.50 represents, I gross up the amount ($517.50/0.6626=) of $781.01.

I have to earn $781 to buy a $450 item. To put it another way, to make a $450 purchase I pay $331 in tax, or 75% of the purchase amount.

I am paying 75% tax on everything I purchase. Unbelievable.

BCM // 7:51 AM


Tuesday, June 11, 2002:


"After more than 30 years of high taxation and an expanding welfare state, Sweden is not the 4th richest OECD-country any longer, but the 17th. This hurts the least well off most. Between 1980 and 1999, the gross income of Sweden's poorest households increased by just over six percent while the poorest in the United States enjoyed a three times bigger increase".

Socialism: leaving the poor behind, trampling their opportunities and keeping them in penury. All with the full, eager approval of its adherents' concsience.

Ten years from now, "poor" in the US will be "Middle class" in Canada. Thirty years of socialism will continue to drag us down into the muck. We could have been even more prosperous than the US. For years before the Sixties, we were. But our leaders and the public pissed it away thinking that a government that gave would never end up taking from them.

The terms "first world" and "third world" are no longer relevant, as very soon the US will be so far beyond the rest of the "first world" in wealth and living standards that it will be ridiculous to group them together. It's a given that the rest of the world will view this as evidence that the US has done something wrong and must be stopped before it does more of it.

Oh, and Global Inequality is dropping (Via Instapundit), not rising as Naomi Klein, et al, would have you believe. Funny how that's happened since most of the world abandoned Communism as a form of government. I can only imagine what would happen what would happen if governments stopped pissing in the economic sandbox.

Well, we may have seen a brief glimpse of the possible, as noted by Richard Salsman

When North American stock markets raced upward from 1995 to 1999, their rise was ridiculed -- by people like Yale's Robert Shiller and the U.S. Federal Reserve's Alan Greenspan -- as a mere "irrational exuberance." No facts, they said, explained the gains. The rise, they claimed, was just another case of "market failure" which needed to be "fixed" -- by interest rate hikes, re-regulation and some trust-busting -- by whatever means necessary to push the market back down where it "belonged."

Yet the gains of 1995-1999 were rationally based on facts. In his January, 1995, State of the Union address, president Clinton declared "the era of big government is over." Republicans had just taken full control of Congress, for the first time in a half-century. In early 1995, the U.S. Fed stopped raising interest rates; it remained relatively inactive until 1999. From May, 1995, to summer, 1998, the treasury maintained a strong dollar policy, lowering inflation expectations. In 1996, welfare was reformed, diminishing parasitical behaviour. In the same year the telecom industry was partially deregulated. A year later the capital gains tax rate was cut, further raising incentives to invest. Much of today's Internet capacity was built in these five years, during which corporate profits and stock prices grew at a 20% annualized rate. The unemployment rate fell by half, to a 30-year low of 3.9%.

These are the facts. Did they generate positive emotions? Sure. Why wouldn't they? Muslim zealots aside, isn't this how most people wish to live, working and prospering amid peace? Was it "irrational exuberance?" Not unless one believes -- as some professors and central bankers do -- that prosperity is irrational and unsustainable. That view usually stems from a deeper one, a view that prosperity is evil. Hatred and envy motivated all the harangues we once heard about the "decade of greed."

Of course, the "the era of big government" wasn't really over for good. Government certainly didn't shrink in the late 1990s -- anywhere in the world. It was just in partial remission, like a cancer that stops advancing only briefly, permitting the victim a few, good, final days -- before killing him. We didn't get laissez-faire capitalism in the 1990s, as we should have. The world was still subject to central banking, income taxes, trustbusters and the government's terrorism-appeasers.

And they got back to work again, at the end of the millennium. They acted fully on that hatred and envy. From 1999 to 2000, they raised interest rates. In the spring of 2000, they abrogated biotech patents -- and intensified their trust-busting of Microsoft. In the fall of 2000, they spent weeks trying to steal a president election. Imposing energy price controls, by 2001 they had blacked-out large parts of California -- while bankrupting firms like Enron.
Okay, that's a bit over the top for my taste. Enron got what it deserved. The cast Enron as blameless in its own demise is fantasy. They abandoned the strong-dollar policy. And they flirted with protectionism, by imposing tariffs on imported steel and softwood lumber. And this caused a recent 50% plunge in U.S. profits -- the worst plunge since the Great Depression.

I do believe that Government has a positive role to play in society. I tend to agree with Mr. DenBeste about the government's essential role in avoiding the "Tragedy of the Commons", but I am utterly opposed to the level of goverment that we live under today. I feel like I am paying $10 for a can of pop. Yes, I want the pop, I am willing to pay for it, but I am being forced to buy it, and forced to pay an amount that bears no resemblence to the cost of the pop can. That the government throws a bunch of trinkets into the deal that I did not ask for and do not want in no way mollifies me.

BCM // 1:42 PM


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