Friday, October 28, 2011

Knock 'em Flat Pat

I didn't realize until recently Pat Buchanan is online. There's a name from the past. His writing is pretty good. He uses an interesting style. He has toned down the rhetoric from the past and his posts come across as more academic. Layout out facts and arguments and letting the reader draw his own conclusion.

Pat was part of a great era on The McLaughlin Group. I think that show is still on but I can never find PBS I'm not sure if I even get it. Anyway the best lineup was Pat, Mort Kondracke, Fred Barnes, Jack Germond and Elanor Clift.

Of course Pat's finest moment was the 1992 Republican Convention speech. From 2:00 to around 2:20.

That was a good time 1988-1992 in American politics. So many colourful and unlikely characters. Michael Dukakis, George Bush I, Willie Horton, Dan Quayle, Buchanan, Ross Perot, David Duke, Bill Clinton, Admiral Stockdale.

With the economy still struggling US politics may get more interesting again. In the last couple years we've seen first the rise of the Tea Party and now on the other ideological side Occupy Wall Street may yet translate into a real political force.

Monday, October 24, 2011

new car battery

I had a surprise over the weekend. Saturday night after the kids hockey game I started the car and ... nothing. Turned the key and dash lights came up but nothing else. Luckily there was a guy in a truck in the parking lot gave me a boost. That got me home but then on Sunday morning again no start. So I knew I hadn't left the lights on or something as I was extra careful Saturday when I parked.

So Sunday borrowed my dad's car luckily he lives nearby. I self boosted and drove my car to the Canadian Tire which is very close by. Today I went in at 7 when the service opened. They took the car and I caught the bus to work. They called by 8:30 to confirm it was the battery. Then called at 9:30 to tell the work was done. I'll say Canadian Tire service was very good. Staff were polite and knowledgeable.

It came to $200. Not fun but good to be back on the road. I was a bit lucky how it turned out I could have been stranded in a more remote way. So with a 6 year old car with 150,000 km I will now be getting CAA.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

math problem the price of milk

This is something that came up with me. I often buy a 4L jug of milk. I noticed that sometimes the milk goes bad before I finish it and I end up pouring some of it out.

So I thought I might buy 2L milk instead. Then I saw the prices:

4L milk: $5.69
2L milk: $3.99

which leads to the practical math problems.

1) how much (in litres) of a 4L jug can you pour out and still be better off than buying 2L

2) the main body of a 4L jug is around 8 inches high. assuming the entire 4L content fits in that 8 inches, how many inches can you pour out off the bottom of a 4L and still be ahead

we can assume that the buyer will always be able to finish a 2L milk. so as a baseline the 2L is always fully consumed with no losses

these should be solvable by a high school student or a better junior high. I'll let it sit for a couple of days then post the answer in the comments.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pirate Latitues by Michael Crichton

I read another book recently. It was Pirate Latitues by Michael Crichton. It was good. It was just a few days to read it.

I hadn't heard of this Crichton title before. It turns out it was published after his death in 2008. The manuscript was found among his papers. I wonder how much more work the author was planning before sending it to his editor. The book was polished but I suspect Crichton may have tightened up a couple of places.

Still it was a good read. It's about a privateer heist in 1665 led by Captain Hunter based out of the wild Port Royal Jamaica which was a British colony at that time. The book is in the spirit of The Great Train Robbery set in the glorious British Empire of the past. A tale of audacity, daring, cunning and determination. Crichton does a very good job of describing the times and the reader is able to really feel for what life was like way back then. It is a good book and I'm glad I happened to find it a the library. I've read a lot of Crichton but still a few of his titles to work through.

Monday, October 10, 2011


The usual bogus lawsuits.

Mom suing kids for parent support. This lawsuit is bogus. The reason child support exists is because children cannot go to work to support themselves. Thus their parents are responsible to provide for them until they are 18. At age 18 they are considered adults and are considered capable of going into society to support themselves through their own labour.

Now the parents of adult children are of course adults. Thus they are expected to take care of their own personal finances and the grown children are free to choose what level of support if any they provide to their aged parents. The adult children are already legally supporting their own children and they can't be expected to also support some other generation. The thing is the adult children chose through their own actions to be parents. Thus they would be required to deal with the consequences of this decision such as child support. However they did not choose their parents thus there would be no legal obligations. Also the parents as responsible adults would be expected to save for their retirement. If they chose not to then that cannot be their adult childrens problem.

On the face of it in this case it looks bad for mom. Perhaps she burned her bridges along the way with her 5 kids and if they don't want anything to do with her now at age 73 ... Typically a good reason to have children is that hopefully at least 1-2 of them will be virtuous, employed, not in jail, motivated to help you, and still in the neighbourhood when you are old. In any case whatever grown children do for their parents is strictly voluntary.

Ohio prison system implements Sharia. Disgraceful! If a criminal doesn't want pork chops for supper then he's free to fill his plate with veggies or just go hungry. Since 1776 who has done more to build Ohio and make it great? Christian pig farmers or muslim criminals? Incredibly the state of Ohio has thrown their own farmers under the bus to avoid a confrontation and sided with Islam. This is tyranny in the United States.

Not looking good for Christians in Egypt. 8 million Copts. 72 million muslims. Their fate will likely be that of the Christian minorities in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, etc - exile and extinction. They cannot win a war of attrition. Maybe like the Serbs they will be able to concentrate on some land and hold that but mid to long term it is not promising for this courageous and devout people.

Finally occupy wall street. That's an interesting match the anarchists who presumably want no government whatsoever and the social activists who want a dramatically expanded government to assume responsibility for providing all the people with employment ($20 an hour minimum wage), no cost to the patient health care, no cost to the student education, affordable housing (hey for the trifecta let's demand it be no cost to the homedweller), cancelling of debts, etc. I'm not sure how they plan to make all that work but who knows maybe they will come to control the levers of power - I hope not.

I was opposed to the original wall street bailout as it rewarded bad behaviour (like granting $300k mortgages to $8 an hour hairdressers to speculate in the red hot housing market of 2001-2007). Those firms who participated in evil and became personally wealthy off it should have been allowed to fail like Lehman.

Thursday, October 06, 2011


My work with the Halifax periodontal is now done. I was in for the final cleaning and check up. It went pretty well except having to give them another $500. I won't miss that part. Despite some coverage from benefits it was still pretty expensive. I hope my regular dentist doesn't have any more specialist recommendations up her sleeve after this and the wisdom teeth. My teeth feel all right and the top feels different after being gouged out to fill in the bottom but I can eat normally again now and I'm used to the ridges in the top now.

The specialist did recommend I try a rotating toothbrush so I might try that. The one she recommends is $90 at costco so yet more to spend it seems. Maybe I'll wait to Christmas what's an extra 2 months at this point after going all these years on regular toothbrushes.

Monday, October 03, 2011


So Anwar al-Awlaki  has joined Bin Laden in the hall of shadows. Good riddance. Some bleeding hearts have expressed concern about the killing of an American "citizen" overseas by the US military. Screw them and their complaint is bogus.

Ronald Reagan was right in his famous quote about terrorists "you can run but you can't hide". While it made a great sound bite, it was more subtle than that and remains the cornerstone of US policy a generation later. The "you can't hide" part means that you literally can't hide behind a US passport, G8 passport (the Canadian khadr in Gitmo, let him rot there forever), a mansion in terrorist friendly Pakistan, remote lawless places like Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, your wealth, etc.

Incredibly some apologists have tried to take a revisionist stance and rehabilitate al-Awlaki posthumously using sleight of hand and saying he wasn't involved in the detailed planning of Fort Hood, the Christmas Day bombing, the Chicago synagogue mail bombs, etc. He was close enough to it. He was a willing participant in his own special way. Like Bush said in the days after 9/11 - we will make no distinction between terrorists and those who support terrorists directly or indirectly. So the Bush doctrine also applies to al-Awlaki.


uh oh, it looks like Canada's low birth rate has caught up to us. we are facing near term fiscal disaster as large numbers look to drop out of the taxpaying workforce and become net tax recipients through government pensions, government health care and government prescription drugs. The math is inescapable and I think there will be a lot of angry and disappointed people of all age groups. In Canada today 100 grandparents produce 79 children who produce 62 grandchildren. With these upside down family tree I can't see how the taxes of the grandchildren can be expected to carry this load while also having anything for themselves to actually live on or have their own families. Something is gonna give and it may get ugly.


That was weird the USA Canada fence. uh I guess so. How many terrorists in USA have originated from Canada? of all the millions of crossings into USA from Canada. basically none. Seems like a waste of time and money.