Archive for January, 2008

Bad Samaritans?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Traffic’s back! Some of the morbidly dedicated readers of the page will recall a flurry of traffic-related blogs last year. These seemed to really strike a chord, based on the number of comments we received – some very detailed. From that response, it likely won’t take much discussion of speed traps to get readers hot [...]

Beets me

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

“The tricky part is growing enough strawberries, lettuce, wheat, soybeans, dwarf apples, carrots, radishes, beats, green onions…” – Anne McIlroy, Globe and Mail article about growing food on Mars That darn Spell-check! Aren’t they ever going to get a grammar function that works? If we can put a man on the moon (or in this [...]

Polluting the market, marketing politics

Monday, January 28th, 2008

It should come as little surprise that the global warming/carbon dioxide/energy use debate would degenerate into a morass of euphemism, obfuscation, conflation and reversal of meaning. When you combine tendentious zealotry, a weak scientific case and an allegedly defeated but unapologetic ideological movement at loose ends following the end of the Cold War, the result is [...]

Squelch the belch, shut the…

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

There’s a snippet of It’s a Wonderful Life that can’t help but make a haggard parent smile. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) comes home in despair, thinking he may be financially ruined. He lashes out at all the little things happening around him as if to compensate for the huge burden weighing him down. All the [...]

The death of the entrepreneur is never from natural causes

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

In this interesting recent column, economist John Tamny takes issue with those in the U.S. who claim that the era of the entrepreneur is in its twilight, and that – surprise – policies designed to encourage entrepreneurship, like low income taxes, are no longer appropriate. As he notes in his engaging opening: Back in the [...]

Get out of my face

Friday, January 18th, 2008

It is the sign of a sick mind. Whenever I see an Italian word ending in “i”, like graffiti or macaroni, I often think of an old Wayne and Shuster sketch about Julius Caesar. You may be curious to know the actual title was “Rinse the Blood off my Toga”. Anyway, it’s remembered mostly for [...]

Poor Marx

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

“As Groucho Marx famously said, ‘I wouldn’t belong to a club that wouldn’t have me as a member’” – CBC talking head   I can’t recall exactly which invited “expert” it was who recently let this one slip on Radio One. He was using the quote to criticize some form of social injustice which has [...]

Ski the Alps

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

For an illustrated pdf of my guide to skiing the Alps, published in the December 2007 issue of Ski Canada magazine, please click here.

Lost in the cultural wasteland

Monday, January 14th, 2008

It’s common enough to look down long noses at the Great Republic south of 49. By some accounts it’s a vast cultural wasteland of reality TV and tabloid journalism, strip-malls, Wal-Mart; one interminable brainless tailgate party. That attitude is common enough to infect millions with a certain Rick Merceritis, being convinced of the universal dumbness [...]

John McCain: prospective Dux Bellorum

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

You didn’t see this on CTV, or even read it in the National Post: U.S. Senator John McCain, invariably presented by mainstream journos as a Republican “maverick”, someone appealing to independent voters because of his “straight talk” and “non-ideological” views, is the archest war hawk in the presidential field of either party. Where the Democratic [...]