Friday, April 28, 2006

Caledonia: the Standoff Continues

At least I think it does -- the MSM haven't been covering it the past couple of days.

Preston Manning said that all Canadians should be viewed as equal before the law. Sheila Copps (I believe it was) denounced this statement as racist. We are now reaping the results of the triumph of such thinking.

Those in authority no longer understand that for a semblance of justice to prevail the law must apply equally to all Canadians. They're supposed to protect the law-abiding and punish law-breakers. Their present actions achieve the opposite.

Canadians are generally full of patience and goodwill (to the tune of eight billion dollars annually). But their storehouse of patience and goodwill (and cash) is finite. The first nations may find that they end up killing the goose that delivered the golden eggs to their doors with such regularity for years and years and years.

PM Harper gets a softwood lumber deal

Not a perfect deal. Not a great deal. But, it looks like a good deal.

Posters on the Globe and Mail site are going nuts criticizing PM Harper.

Here's my response to them:

- - -

"If the Liberals hadn't spent all their time spewing venom towards the US, they might have come up with a better deal than the Tories. As it is, they had their chance, and they accomplished: zero.

The one billion dollars forfeited is not taxpayers' or citizens' money -- it belongs to big forestry corporations, who, along with big energy corporations and other enterprises, expend their energies to create wealth, jobs, and tax income for governments, while producing the goods and services that enrich our Canadian lives.

In other words, the very same kind of companies that many posters to this site would normally be railing against as greedy capitalist profitmongers."

- - -

The long-term prognosis?

I suspect that the US dollar is heading south, which means the Canadian dollar is heading north; this will put increased pressures on Canadian forestry companies to compete in the US. With the rise in the Canadian dollar, the problem has been solving itself.

Some Canadian companies used the unfair, punitive US tariffs as a motivation to improve productivity, so they could become super-productive and compete even with the tariff.

These companies are in a good position to thrive, going forward.

May God bless both Canada and the USA.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Weaker Sex?

The apostle Peter refers to women as "the weaker sex", at least, I'm pretty sure he does.

It seems that Canadian courts hold this view, at least when it comes to holding Canadian women accountable for murdering someone (especially their newborn child or husband).

If a man kills his child or his spouse, he is a killer, and he does the time. If a woman does the same, that's a different kettle of fish. It seems the courts go out of their way to excuse women who kill.

The latest example is found in this story from the Canadian Press (CP)

- - - -

OTTAWA (CP) - The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the acquittal of a Quebec woman who shot and killed her abusive, alcoholic husband.

Rita Graveline killed her husband, Michael, in 1999 after a 31-year marriage.

Her lawyers argued that she acted while in a trance-like state brought on by years of abuse and the trial judge also suggested to the jury that she might have been acting in self-defence.

She was acquitted, but the Crown argued that the two defences - self-defence and 'automatism' - are contradictory.

The Quebec Court of Appeal agreed and ordered a new trial.

The Supreme Court has overturned the appeal court, leaving the acquittal to stand.

- - -

If you are in an abusive relationship, you have the right to leave, but not to kill the person. Feminists like to argue that the woman is so beaten down, she doesn't have the where-with-all to leave an abusive relationship. In doing so, they too are making the "woman as the weaker sex" argument.

The Bible sometimes receives unwitting support from the strangest places.

* * *

When we hold women to a lower standard than men, is that not sexism?

And when we hold native Canadians to a lower standard than non-natives, is that not racism?

I remember Preston Manning saying that he believed all Canadians should receive equal treatment under Canadian law. As I recall, Sheila Copps denounced this statement, which I believe is a wonderful ideal, as bigoted and racist. He was denounced for suggesting that all Canadians should receive equal treatment under Canadian law. Imagine!

The Climes, They Are A-Changing...

This disturbing, alarming, scary, Newsweek article, from


There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

“The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.


Excerpted from

"The Cooling World"

Newsweek, April 28, 1975

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Indian unrest in Ontario -- burning tires; defiance against law, etc.

George Orwell said that all are equal, but some are more equal than others.

This certainly seems to apply to Canada's first nations people, who receive something like $8 billion dollars per year in care-and-handling and handouts courtesy of the eternally patient Canadian taxpayer. While these subsidies make it onto the reserves, apparently no taxation flows out -- status Indians living on reserves pay no taxes (at least this is my understanding). Even if they have a good job in town! Plus they get free university tuition, etc. etc. etc.

The American Revolution was kicked off with the slogan, "no taxation without representation". Here, we have something like the opposite situation: representation, and welfare rights, and subsidy entitlements, without taxation or responsibilities to contribute to the greater society.

This can't go on forever.

A lot of it is guilt-based. As in, "when our European ancestors stole the land from the Indians."

Was it theft?

When the first European settlers arrived in the territories that now constitute Canada, there were absolutely no laws prohibiting or restricting immigration to the area.

So our European ancestors broke no laws by settling here. They had just as much right to immigrate to this vast territory as the Indians; to suggest otherwise would be racist.

When they came, they brought European views of law, land ownership, etc. These views prevailed, and the country of Canada is the result.

What to do?

It is time to end the apartheid, make first nations full Canadians equal to everybody else, under the same laws and system of government.

Either abolish the reserves, or, if first nations wish to retain them, make it clear that the arm of the Canadian welfare state stops at the entrance to the reserve.

If first nations people wish to share in the privileges of the socialist state, it's time for them to also accept the responsibilities.

I hope I am not being unkind in saying this. It is not my intent.

I believe it is best for all concerned.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

An Easter Exchange

Prakash Gomathinayagam wrote on his blog:

1) If non-believers of Jesus Christ, goes to hell. What happens to pre-christ people?

2) If the Omni potent, Supreme God is compasionate, then why can't he put everybody in heaven right away, where there is no place for evil.

3) What is the purpose of creation?
The Bible directly states the purpose of the universe in Eph. 1: To Glorify God. God created the universe to reflect his glory. Man was created for the same, "for the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:12)." If God is truly compassionate, To glorify him, would he allow us to suffer ?

posted by Prakash Gomathinayagam at 8:13 PM on Apr 15 2006

* * *
Here's my response:

1a) Christ is the Lamb of God "slain from before the foundation of the world". Although his slaying took place at a point in history, it is also eternal in the mind of God, and its efficacy works backwards in time as well as forwards.

1b) Prior to Christ, the people of God were kept under the Law, under a system of blood-based sacrifices, that pre-figured Christ.

1c) The gospels state that, during the period between Christ's death and resurrection, he "preached to the souls in prison".

1d) There is no doubt, for example, that Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, etc. will be counted among the saints in glory. Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration, and discussed the death which he should accomplish.

1e) Because Christ died for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future, God's justice has been entirely satisfied, and He may, justly, permit those who have not heard the gospel to enter into heaven; He knows the heart, and judges justly and compassionately. At the same time, He will not tolerate eternal rebellion against His will.

1f) Those who hear, and reject the gospel, go to hell. Those who have not heard will be judged according to their hearts and their actions -- see the book of Romans. We can absolutely depend on God to judge justly.

There are some scriptures that suggest that those who do not believe shall "perish".

At any rate, to lose out on God for eternity, whether it is through merely perishing, or suffering eternal torment in hell for one's conscious rejection of Christ, is terrible to contemplate.

That is why Christians must re-double their effort to preach the gospel to every person on the planet.

And that is why those who have heard the gospel should flee to Christ as one flees from a burning building.

2. Christians affirm three things about God: a) He is all-powerful; b) He is all-good; and c) He is all-wise.

God permits evil to exist, for a season. One reason is that he gave humans free will; Love cannot make robots; mankind fell into sin, and into the devil's dominion. I believe that if God were to destroy evil, he would also end up destroying mankind, which is intertwined with evil -- consider the parable of the wheat and the tares.

God has his reasons for permitting evil. One is that this world is a testing ground, to see who will turn from evil (which is obviously attract, since so many people are spell-bound by it) to God, who will believe in Him, who will trust Him, and who will love and serve Him.

But the Scripture does make clear that the day will come when evil is eliminated and Christ's reign is complete and total.

3. One reason we suffer is simply because of sin. Rebellion has consequences. Being cut off from God, through sin, has consequences, just like a flower being cut off from sunlight has consequences.

Much, but not all, evil in the world today is self-inflicted, i.e., by one human upon another. God has given us free-will, and man has chosen to rebel against God. God cannot be blamed if he, in his forbearance, tolerates some of this.

The Scripture says that God is delaying the second-coming of Christ "because He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance". Those who are in an unregenerate state at the coming of Christ will perish.

The rewards that will accrue to the faithful will be totally disproportionate to their suffering on this earth.

The apostle Paul says the glory will be so great, the sufferings of this world aren't even worth mentioning.

posted by RkBall at 8:51 PM on Apr 15 2006

An agnostic's Easter affirmation

An agnostic's affirmation of belief:

Jesus Christ never existed; the disciples invented him.

If he did exist, he didn't claim to be God, or even the Son of God, he didn't perform miracles, and he didn't die on the cross; he faked his death.

If he did die on the cross, it wasn't to atone for our sins, but just bad luck or judgment on his part, and he certainly didn't rise physically from the dead; the disciples somehow sensed that he was with them after his death, and from this grew the resurrection legend.

If he did rise from the dead, then he didn't really mean all those bad things he said about sin, judgment, and hell; and heaven is, as affirmed by Hollywood, a place we all deserve and get to go to.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!

Good Friday, 2006.

I would like to wish my fellow-Christians a holy Good Friday. I am mindful that there is nothing I can do to be worthy of Christ's sacrifice, no prayer I can pray, no onerous religious duty I can perform, no deprivation I can undergo. Christ said, "it is finished". All that's left for me to do is to accept the gift offered, and be thankful.

And so, I receive it now, by faith. And thank the Lord for dying for me.

And, although I will be attending holy week services, and praying, and singing, and bowing, and genuflecting, I realize that none of my religious activities can add to (nor subtract from!) the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Finished for me.

How misguided the Philipinos are who are crucified on Good Friday out of sympathy or whatever to Christ. How wrong they are to think that this will do them a whit of good. And how sad that the Roman Catholic Church tolerates such behaviour.

Saturday, the Church Expectant.

Good Friday soon gives way to Saturday which is referred to in the church year as Saturday of the Church Expectant (or something like that). An odd day in the Church year. According to the rhythms of the church year, Christ is crucified, but not yet risen.

It's a time of waiting. Of suspension, and, perhaps, suspense. This reminds us of the present era we live in, between Christ's ascension, and His return in glory. It's a time of waiting, watching, hoping, praying, and yet recognizing that the complete fulfillment of our salvation still lies in the future.

Sunday, Glorious Sunday - "this is the Day the Lord has made!".

And then, Saturday gives way to Sunday's glorious light, and the definitive triumph of God, our God, over sin, death, evil, and the devil. It's "game over", and God has won! When Christ died, I died. When Christ rose, I arose!

He is risen! Take that, you foul hosts of hell! And back off; Christ's Church is on the move, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

I can see them shaking. They're rickety. They're old. They're rusty. They're worn out and tired, just like a sinner tired of his sin. Evil has had its day. God's word conquers and prevails. Grace throws the demonic hordes into confusion. As Martin Luther said, "one single word will fell them". Along with the great evangelist Reinhardt Bonke, the Church's goal is to depopulate hell, and fill heaven with trophies of grace.

All for you, Jesus, all for you.

"He shall look upon the travail of his soul... and be satisfied.

As the black preacher said (concerning those going through trials, and the disciples' despair), "it's Friday, but Sunday's coming!"

Can you have a cartoon, but no cartoonist?

This was my contribution to a blog dealing with belief in God vs. atheism.

- - - - - - - - -

If you are an atheist, there is no reason to believe that reason should exist, and, if it did, why it should make sense, and if it seemed to make sense, why it should be trusted. There would just be a black nothingness. So why bother to reason, write, and post?

As for "evidence", I don't need to meet Charles Shultz to know he existed; Peanuts is ample evidence. Likewise, the created order spilling over with obvious design, beauty, and wonder, yet marred by evil, is more than ample evidence to believe both in a divine Creator and the contaminating, corrupting existence of evil.

Cartoons are two-dimensional characters, and yet their existence compels us to believe in a cartoonist. The creation is about a billion times more complex than a cartoon, and human beings are infinitely more complex and wonderful, and yet we still manage to convince ourselves we just happened out of nothing. Not because the evidence necessarily supports this, but because this is our preference.

Atheism is a faith-based choice, one that you have to work really hard to maintain, when God's fingerprints are everywhere. Creation. Conscience. Consciousness. Reasoning ability. Creative ability. Intrinsic understanding of God. The concept of eternity. The indignity and pain of separation of death. Love. The wondrous development and birth of a child. The words of Jesus Christ. The actions of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus Christ knocking on the door of the human heart. The empty tomb.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm gonna watch 'em in chronological order!

A while ago I bought a two-DVD set called Mystery Classics at Wal-Mart. It contains eight movies -- no doubt public domain . I've just ploughed through the first four, and am about to break open the second one. Here's my "brainwave" of the day. I'm going to watch the next four in chronological order, based on the year issued. That way, I'll a) get the most primitive one over with soonest, and b) be able to watch the progression of movie-making. So, here's what I'll be watching. A) The Kennel Murder Case (1933); B) The Spy in White (1936); C) Eyes in the Night (1942); and D) The Limping Man (1953).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I Spy with my little eye...

I couldn't resist responding to this blogger post. My response follows.

* * * This from "jack rabbit" (not me) * * *

A warning - this is a bit harsh - but designed to make you think.

Hi government spies. I hope you are having a good time. Do you enjoy snooping into other's business? Is it fun? What kind of a simpleton gets off on that sort of thing?

How about snooping on your fellow Americans? Do you find the work interesting? Do you like digging through other people's stuff? Do you like listening to their private conversations? Are you essentially a peeping tom who's justifying their sick fun because your leader told you it is ok? Do you have a mind of your own?

The above is an oversimplification I am sure. Perhaps you are thinking - "This dumb uninformed citizen doesn't know the facts about why it is so important to spy on Americans." This is true, since the important work you folks do is so important you can't tell me what you are doing, why you are doing it, or anything - even though you claim to be doing it for my own good - in fact I, the taxpayer are giving you the money to do it. So if you were spying on me the justification would be that you are spying on my to save me from... what ... myself? May I ask if you even know why you are spying on your fellow citizens?

We are all Americans - we have a constitution. If you swore to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, DO IT! If unconstitutional things are happening, or you are participating in them - STOP IT. If you are too much of a coward to blow the whistle, (that is impossible, aren't you all the bravest of the brave?) then QUIT your job. Or have you been comprimised by a high mortgage payment in Glen Burnie or other expensive community?

I know this is harsh, but it needs to be said. Think about it. If those in the know don't come forward so that America can be populated by an informed electorate -we cannot possibly have the information necessary to make the right decisions at the
voting booth.
posted by jack rabbit at 10:20 PM on Apr 03 2006

* * * This was my tongue-in-cheeky response * * *

"Hi government spies. I hope you are having a good time."

Thank you, we are.

"Do you enjoy snooping into other's business?"


"Is it fun?"


"What kind of a simpleton gets off on that sort of thing?"

The pay is good. We get to eat donuts.

"How about snooping on your fellow Americans?

That's definitely one of the attractions.

"Do you find the work interesting?"

Most definitely.

"Do you like digging through other people's stuff?"

Of course, who wouldn't?!

"Do you like listening to their private conversations?"


"Are you essentially a peeping tom who's justifying their sick fun because your leader told you it is ok?"

No, but we've made a note that you have begun talking about a "peeping Tom". We're adding that to your file, and checking your neighborhood.

"Do you have a mind of your own?"

I have to check with my superior, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be an affirmatory.

"Perhaps you are thinking - "This dumb uninformed citizen doesn't know the facts about why it is so important to spy on Americans.""

I was just thinking that! You are amazing!

"This is true, since the important work you folks do is so important you can't tell me what you are doing, why you are doing it, or anything - even though you claim to be doing it for my own good"

I can't tell you what we are doing, but I can tell you this: the important work we are doing is very important. That's why it's so important that we do it. And, it's for your own good.

" - in fact I, the taxpayer are giving you the money to do it."

And we appreciate it.

"So if you were spying on me the justification would be that you are spying on my to save me from... what ... myself?"


May I ask if you even know why you are spying on your fellow citizens?


"We are all Americans - we have a constitution."

And I have sworn to uphold it!

"If you swore to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, DO IT!"


"If unconstitutional things are happening, or you are participating in them - STOP IT."


"If you are too much of a coward to blow the whistle, (that is impossible, aren't you all the bravest of the brave?) then QUIT your job."

I would, but I've been compromised by a high mortgage in Glen Burnie.

"Or have you been comprimised by a high mortgage payment in Glen Burnie or other expensive community?"

Man, you are good.

"I know this is harsh, but it needs to be said. Think about it."

I'm thinking about it even as we speak.

"If those in the know don't come forward so that America can be populated by an informed electorate -we cannot possibly have the information necessary to make the right decisions at the voting booth."

Or at the drive-through take-out window!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Did Jesus Exist, etc?

The G&M has a list or blog going on the "Was Judas a Hero?" story. I made a couple of posts, and this is the response I got from someone named J Kay. My response to J Kay follows.

J Kay from Canada writes: Richard Ball:

Outside of Canon there are infact ZERO supporting historical sources for the historicity of Jesus and I'll contend that Tom Harper is at least one current theologian who doubts the historicity of Jesus but since you mentioned it can you cite and sources that support your claim that 'there are few if any historians who deny the historicity of jesus'. Citations please because from what I've read there seems to be quite a significant contingent of biblical scholars who also doubt it. I find Tom Harper's conversion from Anglican Priest and Professor of Theology at University of Toronto to skeptic of Jesus' historicity. Betrand Russell, while dead surely doubted it as did Northrup Frye.

You mentioned Josephus however the Testimonium Flavianum in Antiquities of the Jews is widely dismissed as a later Christian insertion, which is inconsistent with the remainder of Josephus.

Pliny the Younger doesn't mention Jesus/Yeshua at all, merely corresponds with Trajan regarding Christians.

The existence of Christians at the time does not prove the existence of Jesus any more than references to people who the Greek God Zeus proves the existence of a literal Zeus. Suetonis doesn't refer to christ either but chrestus, which is highly unlikely to be a mispelling of Christus seeing as he's refering to Chrestus being expelled from Rome in 54 A.D. which would be interesting given Christ was dead by then.

The argument that Christ must have existed because of how many people believe today is specious. Who founded Hinduism? There are nearly 1 billion adherents to it, does that therefore imply that Brahma, Vishnu or Kali also exist?

Largely Christianty exists as a faith today with the power is has because it was the state supported faith of one of the most power empire to grace the planet. If the Romans believed in and adopted Zoroastriasm, it likely would have had many more adherents today.

Your cite Mark, Matthew, Luke and John and perhaps latter Paul who never met or had any interaction with Jesus. The 4 synoptic gospels however were not written by any of the apostles. They are at best oral tradition ascribed to the apostles by later writers. However they alone do not support the existence of Jesus either and their selection as Canon doesn't make them 'gospel'.

They were selected at the Council of Rome. At the Council of Nicaea the nature of God/Christ/Spirit was also debated by scholars of the time and they voted for the trinity explantion. The problem with assuming the authority of these sources as the only true gospels forsaking all others is that the Bishops had a vest interest in selecting Canon which supported their authority through an Apostlistic Tradition. Hardly encouraging.


My response (hopefully done in "Christian love"!):

Re: "J Kay from Canada writes: Outside of Canon there are infact ZERO supporting historical sources for the historicity of Jesus." Even if this were true, it would prove nothing. The canonical sources are more than sufficient. If you want to discredit Christianity, at least aim for accuracy. Here are some errors in your post.

1. Tom Harpur is a theologian, not an historian.

2. "Pliny the Younger doesn't mention Jesus/Yeshua at all". Pliny the Younger: "I discovered nothing more than an innocuous superstition. They don't really do all that much. They meet before daybreak. They sing hymns antiphonally and they worship Christ as if he were a god". Disingenuous to differentiate between Jesus and the Christ.

3. "The argument that Christ must have existed because of how many people believe today is specious". I never made this argument. An argument can be made, however, that the existence of Christ, and the emergence of the Christian church, is rooted in history, and not myth or religious fantasy.

4. "The 4 synoptic gospels... were not written by any of the apostles." There are not four synoptic gospels. For you to say the gospels were not written by any of the apostles is a statement of pure faith, or perhaps better, wishful thinking. There is ample evidence that the gospel attributed to Matthew was in fact written by Matthew, that the gospel attributed to John was in fact written by John, that the gospel attributed to Mark was written by Mark, an associate of Peter, and that the gospel attributed to Luke was written by an historian named Luke who diligently investigated the facts before writing.

5. "The problem with assuming the authority of these sources as the only true gospels forsaking all others is that the Bishops had a vest interest in selecting Canon..." The bishops did not select; they recognized the books that had been viewed as authoritative from the beginning. You can impugn their motives if it makes you feel better, but it won't change the facts.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thank God for Big Oil!

Oil has hit $68 a barrel. People are upset at high prices, and oil company profits.

I used to work for an oil company -- Imperial Oil, an ExxonMobil-owned company. It was one of the most wonderful times of my life. The people who worked there were the most intelligent, ethical people I have ever worked with. The company excelled at attracting the best and the brightest (I managed to slip in, somehow). Unlike governments, they used what might be called "extreme intelligence" to ensure the supply of oil, to process it efficiently, and bring it to market.

The point is this: oil companies work extremely hard and intelligently, take enormous risks, and do a whole series of things "right" in order to make gas conveniently and reliably available to the Canadian public. For this, they make a profit of a few cents a litre. The government, on the other hand, does next to nothing beyond setting some regulatory things in place, assumes no risk, yet skims off a huge percentage of the price we pay at the pump. I would rather my money went to the oil companies, who have earned it, than the government, which has not.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

TJI (this just in): PM Harper says that the US is Canada's best friend

If the US is our best friend -- and if not the US, then who? -- Canadians aren't a very friendly bunch. There's no country on earth we like to dislike more than the US.

We smugly rest in our sense of moral superiority, which we only have the luxury of having in the first place because we have a powerful neighbour to the south that would defend us if attacked.

We let the US do the heavy-lifting; we let it make both the right moves and the wrong ones, and are content to sit back and throw our self-righteous made-in-Canada darts in Uncle Sam's face.

It's easy to sit back and criticize.

But, without the US countering Islamic terrorism and other threats, the world would be a far more unstable and dangerous place. Who would protect us? Ourselves? That would mean having a fighting military, something that is now considered "uncanadian". England? Got its own problems. France? Can you really trust a country whose money "expires"? (I once got stuck with some obsolete francs that even a French bank would not exchange.) Or one that was on Saddam Hussein's side up to the outbreak of the Iraqi war?

I say, thank God for the USA.

Coke. Pepsi. McDonalds. Burger King. Baja Fresh. Blues. Rhythm and Blues. Gospel. Jazz. Billy Graham. Larry King. ABC. NBC. CBS. FOX. CNN. CNBC. Levis. Bill Gaither. Elvis. The Beach Boys. Yosemite. Yellowstone. San Francisco. LA. New York. Phoenix. Nashville. Tahoe. Las Vegas. Lambert's Throw'd Rolls. Route 66. Bar Harbor. Wendy's. Hollywood. Bill Murray. Chicago. Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza. Lawry's - the Prime Rib. Dallas. Chili. Tex-Mex. Louisiana. Cajan. Chevron. Marriott. Holiday Inn. The Twilight Zone. Monk. Columbo. The Honeymooners. Jackie Gleason. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Cheers. Seinfeld. Hot dogs. Hamburgers. Ice Cream Cones. Chuck Berry. What about Bob? Bob Dylan. Fender. Steinbeck.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"