Tuesday, May 25, 2010

racing at Kartbahn

I went racing with the kids a couple of times recently. It was at Kartbahn in Bayers Lake. The kids had been asking to go for a while. I wasn't sure if they were old enough yet but they did fine.

I was last at Kartbahn over 10 years ago when it was in the north end Halifax. It is a much improved facility since then. The track is better. The gas engines have been replaced with electric charged battery which makes the air much cleaner at the indoor track. A simple but effective safety improvement is to put the plastic side coverings so that the wheels are now no longer exposed. There's now computer tracking your lap times with a printout at the end. That's pretty cool use of technology.

It was a lot of fun. Now the kids always want to go there. We'll be back for sure as a regular place to visit.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the wrong track

Well bad news on the doorstep all this week.

In Europe they come up with yet another trillion bailout. This time for Greece and it's equally irresponsible neighbours. So now Greece won't have to raise the retirement age over 53 after all. Rioting with a cute dog pays.

So where did the trillion come from? Was there some vault with a trillion Euros in it? I doubt it, the socialist government spending machine would have consumed the tril if it actually existed. Nope since Germany was involved the money bomb would have to be the from the printing press. You would think the Germans of all people would see the danger in printing. Oh well America and everyone else prints so whatever, let's kick the can one more time.

I was shocked to hear the RCMP is not interested in investigating a $30 million mortgage fraud scheme. So let me get this straight. If a Canadian wishes to grow some weed in his basement for his private personal use that's a crime and off to jail. There's police resources and jail space for that, but not for multi million dollar crime schemes. Disgraceful! Check out the Pakistani straw buyer and his wife, not to mention the India born Conservative MP are untouchable.

We're failing. In New Brunswick a school principal bans O Canada at the request of anti-Canadians and didn't even lose his job or be disciplined for it. The only one who got in any trouble over that matter was the brave patriot who burst into the principals office and threatened him and ran him out of town. At least someone stood up for the country, its flag and its anthem.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

House of Meetings - Martin Amis

I finished reading another book. It was House of Meetings by Martin Amis.

It was a good book. But it was a bit hard to get through. The author has a great command of the English language and just about every page had at least one word I had to look up using Google mobile on my BlackBerry. That's a great reading companion.

The book is a bit hard to follow. It is set in Russia and mostly spans the period 1944-1953. However there is stuff both before and after that which is significant. The major part of the book is set in a Siberian gulag where the author and his half brother end up.

I thought the gulag writing was well done. I've read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago in the past and Amis' compelling gulag account seemed very well researched and presented.

There is seemingly a lot of symbolism in the book I didn't really grasp. The story is told in the first person account of the Hero but his name is never mentioned in the book. I found it hard to figure out the Hero's philosophy through the tale. I don't think he was a communist or a fascist. The author spells it out late so that was helpful. There were some characters Uglik and Ananias who made brief but significant appearances but they seemed to be symbolic, representative of something - but I'm not exactly sure what.

Still it was a compelling read and a good story. I would read some more Martin Amis. Although I will read something a bit lighter next. I think even most non fiction is lighter than House of Meetings.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Nova Scotia civil service pension lawsuit

Now the retired nova scotia civil service pensioners want to sue over changes to save their pensions from insolvency.

lol at their spokesman Bernie LaRusic who retired at age 56 in 1991. Nice work if you can get it. Greece II here in Nova Scotia!

Basically then they want to pocket the $500 million the government borrowed to stabilize their pensions, and welsh on their side of the deal. Although this "deal" was imposed on them by the government they have been dealt with fairly and generously and they should appreciate that it could have been a lot worse.

If this lawsuit proceeds then the government should renege on its side of the deal and withdraw the $500 million taxpayer rescue of the civil service pension fund. Let the chips fall where they may if the plan is underfunded, hopefully their pension cheques won't bounce on them in around 15-20 years but we offered them a fair compromise today to rescue the plan with shared sacrifice.

Unless the NDPs plan all along was that the civil service side was a straw man they knew the courts would strike down; leaving the taxpayers holding the bag for the entire pension bail out with no concessions from the union.

Is Stephen Harper the next Kim Campbell?

On the federal side there's a bunch of noise lately about the Conservative government displeasing certain vocal activitsts.

Harper declines to use the people's tax money to pay for third world abortions. Defies "Fat Hillary" thuggishly coming onto our turf to try to shake us down on it.

There was some flap about the federal government declining to sponsor a gay fest in Montreal. That is of course the domain of the province and the city to sponsor if they choose. This is not a federal matter.

Some noise about gay language removed from some immigration pamphlet or something.

Some discussion about an enemy fighter who apparently died on the battlefield in Afghanistan while trying to kill Canadian soldiers; it's some problem with it or some such. whatever

So far Harper has been on the correct side of these issues. Wisely defying the media and the Liberal/NDP elites. Still Harper doesn't have much room for error here. He's in real danger of becoming the next Kim Campbell.

Like Campbell, Harper has already betrayed his fiscal conservative base with disgraceful defecits and bailouts for the undeserving financial sector. So having failed on that side he needs to distinguish himself and his party somehow from the Liberal/NDP or his voters will stay home or take their votes elsewhere. After all it was Paul Martin and the Liberals who showed Kim Campbell the door and got the federal finances back in order.

That said Harper is old school National Citizens Coalition/Reform Party so he's miles away from Campbell philosophically. Still he needs to keep his eye on the ball; stand your ground on key social issues, show some real progress to getting the nation's finances back in order.