Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Mike Duffy Sighting

PEI is a small place. We were eating with friends once and the Premier of the province walked in. As I recall, we didn't even bother acknowledging him in our conversation. It's a small place and even prominent people are "locals" who are likely to drop in for a coffee.

Which brings me to Mike Duffy, PEI's newest Senator and one of the Harper Eighteen. We spotted Senator Duffy yesterday at the Charlottetown Hotel. We went over and congratulated him on his appointment and I gave him a complimentary copy of my Christian CD "Love Lifted Me" (

He and his posse of close relatives could not have been more gracious.

A good pick by a good Prime Minister.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

!!! Storm Surge Warning !!!

There's a storm surge warning in effect for all of Prince Edward Island -- the entire island !!!. I know this is all my fault -- we should have changed our bulbs to low-C02, and we didn't. Curse you, global warming!

This may be my LAST POST. If you don't hear from me, you'll know what happened. My final words. Agnostic Joe, there IS A GOD. (And no, his name is not Al Gore !!!)

The wind is howling. I think I see the waters rising.

This could be it.



STORM SURGE WARNING: Queens County Issued at 3:23 PM AST SUNDAY 21 DECEMBER 2008


Coastal Erosion? Yikes! We live NEAR THE COAST. Our house, our home, my CDs, my DVDs, all going, going...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Conspiracy Theories: Did Muntadhar al-Zaidi Act Alone??

As published in today's National Post Letters section...

The tapes of the George Bush shoe incident were clearly doctored. No one could get off two good throws in under three seconds. The evidence is overwhelming. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was a second shoe-ter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What the PM Should Do: Senate Full-Stack

PM Harper should appoint to the Senate every person who has been the victim of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case.

This would include Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, Stephen Boissoin, Scott Brockie, and Chris Kempling for starters.

We would then have a Senate stacked with persons who understand the fragility of our fundamental rights and the oppressive tendencies of state-sponsored ideologues.

Friday, December 12, 2008

GM and a Street Called Dead: A Question For The CAW

The CAW spokesman is speaking on TV. He's the guy who says the unions have contributed nothing -- nothing -- to the problems of the Big Three - GM, Ford, Chrysler. I have a question for him:

Should financial bailouts be also offered to the non-union Canadian auto industries, e.g, Toyota, etc.? Are they not just as entitled to a bailout as the CAW unionized shops?

If not, why not?

Meanwhile, Mark Steyn weighs in:

"Detroit was the industrial powerhouse of the world fifty years ago. Now it’s a basket case. They did that to themselves. There’s no reason for Congress to collude in doing it to the rest of America."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

GM and a Street Called Dead: Mexico Rising

We're Number Three!

According to today's Globe and Mail --

"Mexico has knocked Ontario off its perch as North America's pre-eminent auto-producing area.... Mexico's rise means that for the first time ever, Canada has declined to No. 3 behind the U.S., which leads, and Mexico."

First, the UAW/CAW wanted its workers to be paid unheard-of wages for working.

Then, they wanted to be paid for not-working (lay-offs, plant shut-downs, etc.).

Then, they wanted early retirement and inflation-guaranteed pensions.

The trajectory of their demands was that they wanted to be paid an infinite amount for doing infinitely little.

They enjoyed these excessive benefits for a generation. They should be grateful for them. But, as someone has said, "all good things must come to an end". And that time has come.

Why shouldn't impoverished Mexicans have their chance at a better life? Maybe, just maybe, instead of hating the company that feeds them, they will be grateful.

I wish the members of the UAW and the CAW, and the communities they live in, well. But, the writing's on the wall.

It's time to start preparing for a career outside of GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Brush up on your marketable skills. Put on your best game-face. And start looking.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Inimitable Mark Steyn

"In the year ahead, NRO will be your one-stop shop for a narrow doctrinaire tightly defined brand-new moderate centrist extremist fundamentalist neo-theo paleo-Palin transnational isolationist Beltway-elitist swamp-dwelling country-club oogedy-boogedy RINO-squish redneck girlyboy gun-nut big-tent wide-stance reform conservatism we believe can sweep the nation. And we’ll be hammering out this exciting new platform in real time, right here, around the clock."

There is only one Mark Steyn.

The Sloppy Logic Of Global Warming Alarmism

Is it sloppy thinking, sloppy reporting or sloppy science?

According to the latest article at livescience, Scientists have proved "beyond a doubt that global warming is real. Now they have to figure out just what to do about it."

No, they don't. If all they've done is prove that global warming is real, they have to next prove that a) mankind is the dominant cause of this warming, b) this warming is harmful to the planet on a net basis, and c) combating this warming is possible, feasible and desirable.

Anything else is just sloppy alarmism.

The article goes on to talk about a new treaty to control the emission of greenhouse gases, "which have grown by 70 percent since 1970."

No, they haven't. Another sloppy, misleading statement.

What's missing is the key qualifier "manmade" in front of "emission". And then this manmade portion, which has allegedly grown by 70%, should be shown for what it is -- a tiny sliver of the overall greenhouse gases produced by this gorgeous planet.

The article is at:

For a dissenting view, go here:

h/t Drudgge

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Islamophobia vs. Amishophobia

Militant and even supposedly moderate Muslims complain at every turn about "Islamophobia". It's a complaint that Canada's Human Rights Tribunals are very sympathetic towards -- Must Not Tolerate Islamophobia. Must Process Each Complaint Of Islamophobia.

Well, what about the Amish -- you know, those weird fundamentalist religious dudes in the strange black clothing who offered unqualified forgiveness to the crazed shooter who recently shot up their school and killed their kids.

Why is it that Canada is (supposedly) plagued with Islamophobia and not a peep about Amishophobia?

What could the difference possibly be?

Question of the Day: "Should buying winter tires be mandatory?"

Yahoo! Canada (not the Globe and Mail as I indicated earlier) is polling Canadians today. Here's the question:

"Should buying winter tires be mandatory?"

It's the wrong question for a bunch of reasons:

a) It says you must buy winter tires but says nothing about having to actually use them.

b) Winter tires may come with a resale car or be received as a gift (in Canada there is no higher expression of love) -- why should someone who already has some have to buy more?

c) Persons who plan on stealing their winter tires are all going to vote "no".

d) Persons who don't even have a car are going to be annoyed at the thought of having to go out and buy winter tires.

A better question would simply have been:

"Should winter tires be mandatory for drivers?", or,

"Should the use of winter tires on Canadian roads be mandatory?".

I voted "no". We have an All-Wheel-Drive Toyota Matrix with fresh All-Season Tiger Paws.

I figure I'm in good company. First, there was Tony the Tiger. Then, there was Esso/Exxon's "Put a Tiger in Your Tank" Tiger. And now, there's Tiger Paws. They’re Grreat! There's even a Uniroyal® Tiger --

"The Uniroyal tiger has been our well-known and well-loved mascot since 1964. Over the years, the Uniroyal tiger has come to symbolize the tradition, perseverance, and pride that have been a part of the Uniroyal® brand long before the tiger's first day on the job." Who knew?!

And that's the way the good-to-go Ball bounces.

GM and a Street Called Dead: The Way FORwarD?

Why should the broad interests of Canadian consumers and taxpayers be held hostage to the narrow self-interest of the UAW?

Check out the following video and hang on to the end.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

O .J. and Justice Delayed

Do you remember how captivated we all once were with the O.J. Simpson trial? I attended the trial, or, at least, the courthouse in L.A., but that's another story. This one's about the sovereignty and providence of God and justice delayed in the O.J. Simpson trial.

Providence has to do with things God arranges for mankind's provision, or providence.

Sovereignty has to do with God's ultimate reign over heaven and earth, in spite of man's active rebellion against God's rule. God is "above the heavens and earth", and does as He pleases. Because of God's sovereign rule in the midst of active rebellion, we are instructed to continuously pray, "thy will be done" -- God's will is, in effect, an intrusion into the normal course of sin and rebellion.

At the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, millions of people prayed that justice would be done. For many, these prayers continued after O.J.'s acquittal. O.J.'s conviction in the civil trial was a start. But still, justice was seen as subverted because O.J. was still free to golf and party (and search for the "real killers" of Nicole and Ron).

It now appears that God has, in his time, and in his way, answered those prayers.

O. J. has been convicted in a court of law and faces hard jail time. For a different offense, admittedly. But one that he committed and the end result is the same. The lawless one will end up (barring an overthrow on appeal) where he belongs -- in jail.

God sovereignly rules. Prayers are answered. Sometimes it takes longer than we would like, and sometimes He does it in a different way than we expect or have in mind. Sometimes God says "yes". Sometimes God says "wait". Sometimes God says "in my way, not yours". And sometimes God says "no". That's what makes him God and us not.

Sometimes our prayers are not answered in this life. In my readings through the New Testament lately, I have been struck by the phrase "the life to come" which contrasts this present life. This will never satisfy atheists of course, or those whose narrow and unimaginative epistemology causes them to view science as the sole arbiter of reality.

But it will satisfy those who, on the balance of the evidence along with the convicting help of the Holy Spirit, believe in God and Christ.

For those who escape justice in this life, rest assured all will receive it in the life to come. All will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and receive a fitting reward or punishment for the deeds done here on earth.

Atheists should welcome this news. Otherwise, theirs is a capricious and incoherent universe where justice is arbitrary and just as often denied. And indeed, where the very concept of justice is an absurdity.

And that's the way the justified by faith Ball bounces.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The West's Secret Weapon Against Islam

Those of us who view Islam as a threat to the West's ideological and physical sovereignty are continuously dismayed at the left's neutering of the intellectual weapons at our disposal. In the leftist's mind, there's no us-vs.-them involved in us er, versus Islam, it's all about accommodation and appeasement and the watering-down of our institutions and ideologies until they are Islamic-Muslim-fundamentalist-terrorist-friendly. (If there's any doubt about this, go to "The Journalism Doctor's" website.)

So, it was against this dreary backdrop that I was heartened to discover we still have a little-known secret weapon at our disposal.

According to today's National Post, fundamentalist-terrorist-extremist Muslims view April Fool's Day as a threat to fundamentalist-terrorist-extremist Islam. No, I'm not kidding. Christmas is no threat, Good Friday is no problem, and even Easter with its thunderous shout that "Jesus is Lord!" is not something to be worried about. The same cannot be said about April Fool's Day. Unless checked and abated, April Fool's Day could cause the whole Islamic experiment to crumble.

Now, I don't claim to understand the Islamic mind, but I'm willing to take this pronouncement at face-value. If April Fool's Day is a threat to Islam, then I'm all in favour of it.

Let's work to make next year's April Fool's Day bigger than ever. Before the Journalist Doctor finds out it is a sensitive cultural issue and demands that in the name of tolerance and accommodation we cease to wish someone a "Merry April Fool's Day!" and instead say, "Happy Inclusive Day!".

And that's the way the looking-forward-to-the-day-after-March-31st Ball bounces.

I kid you not.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Coalition Seeks Monopoly

Just over two months ago Liberal leader Stephane Dion said he would never form a coalition with Jack Lenin and the NDP because its economic policies are based on “Monopoly money.”

That was then; this is now. M. Dion now thinks that Jack Lenin is a fine chap and Monopoly money is at least on a par with Canadian Tire money and what could be more Canadian than that?!

Which gets me thinking. Just what are the dynamics behind the palace coup?

Here's my reading on it:

Jack and the NDP currently own Baltic Avenue, and are hoping for an upgrade to Marvin Gardens.

The Liberals are used to living rent-free at Park Place and hope to reclaim it shortly. They're ordering drapes and new carpets, because, as one said, "we're entitled to our entitlements".

The Greens hope to be awarded Electric Company just for hanging around. When they get it, they plan to do the responsible thing and shut it down.

Mr. Harper will be sent to jail, directly to jail, without passing "Go", and without collecting $200. Jack Lenin will expropriate all "Get Out of Jail Free" cards in the interest of the State and in the name of The People.

The Canadian taxpayer will play the role of Banker. The government is going to need to spend a lot of our money in order to save us.

And that's the way the Thim-Ball Bounces.

What Sayest Thou, Rex Murphy?

Rex Murphy, for our reader(s) south of the border, is the quintessential Canadian. He would never be mistaken for an American journalist or prognosticator; he just doesn't have the American "look". Yet, he is articulation squared. Canadians love Rex.

Rex writes for the CBC and the Globe and Mail.

Mainly, he writes for the hearts of Canadians.

So, at this time of national crisis, one asks, "What sayest thou, Rex Murphy?".

News Flash: PM Plans to Perogy Parliament

A thewaytheBallbounces exclusive:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper intends to perogy Parliament. That's right, in the great Western Canadian tradition, he will be serving up a hot, yummy dish of conciliatory Ukrainian perogies.

The Liberals, Bloq, Greens, and even Jack Lenin will find them irresistible!

And that's the way the perogied Ball bounces.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Invest in Canada -- We're Bananas!"™

The Evolution of Canada in two easy darwinian steps:


"Invest in Canada -- We're Bananas!™"

"Invest in Canada - We're Bananas!"™

Canada is in upheaval due to the present PM's belt-tightening plan to remove a portion of the generous taxpayer subsidies granted Canada's political parties. The Liberals supported all kinds of Conservative initiatives in the past, troops in Afghanistan, budgets, etc., but ending their subsidy was a bridge too far. As the Liberals would say, "we're entitled to our entitlements".

Because of this outrage, the opposition parties are in revolt against the government. A coalition of also-rans, rejects, and separatists has been formed to save Canada. How Canadian!

As a result, Canada is the new Italy.

Or, as John Ivison put it, "the world's coldest banana republic". This should be good for foreign investor confidence. Canada's new motto: "Invest in Canada - we're bananas!"™.

What the opposition parties don't realize (except for the separatist Bloc Quebecois) is that when they thumb their nose at the duly elected present government they thumb their nose at the Canadian electorate, especially the West. The opposition are like sharks in a frenzy over the smell of blood. They have lost their senses. They are going to save Canada -- but taxpayers, not them, will be footing the bill. Their rage over lost subsidies made it perfectly clear that it is only our money, not theirs, they are willing to commit to Canada.

When the new Coalition is sworn in, rather than pledging their troth, they will be pledging their trough. And Quebec will likely be the biggest trough of them all.

How do you solve a problem like Canada?

Canada should re-align and form two nations, one, a socialist paradise led by Quebec, the other, a capitalist, self-reliant powerhouse led by Alberta. Individual provinces could re-align as they saw fit. I know which way I would go.

The Quebec-led nation could subsidize itself to its heart's content. Of course, the other provinces would all expect daddy Quebec to subsidize them. This would be a new role for Quebec, which likes to be on the receiving end of Canada's generosity. Quebec's unofficial state motto with regard to Canada's subsidizing role is "Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow".

And that's the way the Alberta-bound Ball bounces.

PS -- for more (and better)...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

More than 50 flights at the world-famous O'Hare International Airport were cancelled today due to snow.

Total snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches is expected before the storm is over.

The Illinois Department of Transportation provided the following handy tips to motorists:

-- Don't crowd snow plows
-- Watch for black ice
-- Dress warmly
-- Always carry an emergency car care kit
-- Carry a cell phone
-- If the weather takes a turn, invoke the name "Al Gore"
-- Buy a plug-in seat warmer for your tush
-- Chant "The Climate is Changing, the Climate is Changing" and/or "The Globe is Warming, the Globe is Warming"

Global warming fundamentalists claim this unexpected snowfall is the work of the Antigore.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shroud of Turin - The Fabric Of Time

The Shroud of Turin has been in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church since the Middle Ages, and its purported history traces back to the time of Christ. It is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Christ.

The latest facts and theories about the Shroud are presented in a DVD entitled The Fabric of Time.

Here are some of the things we know about the Shroud.

The Shroud shows the full-body, front and back images of a crucified man with rich, anatomically correct details.

Since the 19th cc., the following facts regarding this image have emerged:

- the image behaves as a photographic negative

- the image contains 3D information

- the image contains holographic information (the DVD comes with 3D glasses -- the effect is stunning)

Since the mid-20th cc., these additional facts about the Shroud have emerge:

- the cloth is of a type and weave associated with 1st cc. Israel

- it contains images of flowers associated with the 1st cc. Jerusalem area

- pollen samples extracted from the Shroud have been traced to 1st cc. Israel

- it contains images of coins on the eyes of the crucified man. The coins have been identified as coins minted in the period 29 AD - 33 AD, in Israel, including a mis-spelling of a name -- coins have been found with this mis-spelling

- the image is that of a 5' 11" caucasian, semitic male

- the nail wounds pierce the man's wrists, rather than the palms as commonly depicted in Christian artwork

- the image contains evidence of Roman scourging using a Roman whip

- the artifacts of scourging and crucifixion contained in the shroud image are anatomically, medically, and scientifically correct

- the facial image on the shroud matches the blood stains on another artifact in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church, the Sudarium of Oveido, purported to be a cloth which covered Christ's crucified face; the blood-type of both is identical, ie., AB. The Sudarium's known history is traced back much earlier to the 6th cc.

Is the Shroud Genuine?

In the Middle Ages, the shroud was purportedly exposed as "a cunning forgery". However, the astonishing amount of anatomically correct information and the creation of the image on the shroud is beyond the technical capabilities of a Middle Ages forger. In fact, it is beyond 21st cc. technology as well.

More recently, the Shroud was exposed as a fake by Carbon-14 dating. Science killed the Shroud. Or did it? In the face of other overwhelming evidence that points to the genuineness of the Shroud, researchers plowed on. It was hypothesized that the tiny piece of cloth used for C-14 dating was a piece of cloth from the Middle Ages added through invisible mending to fix a damaged area. When compared with other tiny pieces of cloth available, it was found that the C-14 dated piece was different.

A scientist named Walter McCrone examined the Shroud in the 1980s and dismissed it as a medieval painting. His evidence should be weighed against the seemingly overwhelming evidence in support of the Shroud's authenticity -- much of which has emerged since he did his work.

What Do We Conclude?

The Shroud can reasonably be concluded to be the burial cloth of Christ. If so, it provides physical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. Of course, almost nobody today denies that Jesus Christ existed as an historical person and was crucified -- only Muslims because the historical facts concerning the crucifixion contradict their ahistorical Koran, and hard-core atheist skeptics.

Some go so far as to suggest the Shroud also provides evidence for Christ's resurrection. Although the evidence for this is not as strong, and less developed, here it is: The first reason for this is the nature of the faint image created on the Shroud fibers. The discoloration which creates the image does not penetrate the fibers as it would if they were caused by paint; it is extremely superficial. It resembles superficial scorch marks. The second reason for saying this is because, apparently, the backside view of the man of the Shroud is not flattened, as it ought to be if a man was lying on a stone slab with a piece of cloth between his body and the slab. This lack of compression creates an intriguing dilemma. It is almost as if the body were somehow suspended between the back side of the cloth and its front.

Of course, the Christian's faith does not rest upon the Shroud of Turin, it rests upon the word of God. If the Shroud of Turin was found to be a fake, the Christian's faith would be disturbed not one whit. Christians are free to follow the evidence wherever it leads confident in their belief that Christ did indeed die for our sins and God did indeed raise him from the dead.

Still, the Shroud of Turin makes for a fascinating study. And has resulted in more than one curious individual embracing the Christian faith, saying as did Thomas one evening many years ago, "My Lord and My God".

And that's the way Ball bounces.

The Fabric of Time

The Discovery Channel is planning an update on the latest Shroud evidence on December 14th, 2008.

GM and a Street Called Dead: Remember US Steel

We've got a friendly exchange going on between Mike and Mac at my GM post. Here's a further observation:

Met a man from Pennsylvania a week ago and we got talking about the auto industry situation. I wanted to know whether he thought a bailout was a good idea. He said the auto companies must be restructured and we need to allow at least one of them to go bankrupt. Here's his story.

Said he had a summer job as a student at US Steel. Was working a night shift and he changed a light bulb in an office or something.

All hell broke loose. This infringed upon the union rights of the electrician, who was sleeping in a corner some where. It was apparently well known that the electricians would sleep during the night shift and be unavailable for needed work. Didn't matter. The student was reprimanded for changing the light bulb and the electrician got paid his exorbitant union wage for sleeping.

I realize that a single anecdote does not establish a trend or characteristic. But when I worked at CGE this same kind of anecdotal story was in common circulation. And I suspect it could be multiplied by the thousands.

During the 1980s, US Steel was on the ropes and it looked like it might not survive. It did, but not without an extensive make-over. It survived through restructuring and joint ventures with with both domestic and foreign partners.

If the union had instead investigated and urged the electrician in question to be fired, I would respect unions. But that is not the way they work.

And Buzz, as Mac has noted, is the radical, adversarial, and even ugly face of uniondom.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Glaciers Are Growing! The Glaciers Are Growing!

Glaciers in Norway, Canada, and New Zealand are growing. Glaciers in Alaska are also growing, apparently reversing a 250-year trend of loss.

Ed Josberger, a glaciologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says the growth is “a bit of an anomaly”, but not to be unexpected.

Remember, folks: "If it's hot, it's what we predicted; if it's cold, it's an anomaly."

What an amazing self-regulating, self-correcting, Earth we live on! It's so incredibly wonderful, it's almost like Someone made it for us to live on...

And that's the way the growing glacial Ball-of-ice bounces.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take the CBC, Please!

Prime Minister Harper is reportedly mulling over the idea of selling federal government crown assets to bring in some income.

I've got a suggestion.

Sell the CBC. The red gift-wrapped building across from the Sky Dome, er, Rogers Centre, on Front St. W. in Toronto should bring in a pretty penny.

It would be nice to see the CBC privatized and taxpayers relieved of the obligation to fund this ideologically-driven entity.

Maybe Mark Steyn can corral a cracker-jack conservative consortium to buy it.

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas tradition has been a natural and integral part of US culture for 300 years.

Here's what Florida Gulf Course University officials have come up with as they struggle with "how best to observe the season in ways that honor and respect all traditions":

Santa - banned

Christmas decorations - banned

"Giving tree" - banned; replaced with "giving garden"

Popular greeting card contest - banned

Replaced with - an "ugly sweater contest"

An ugly sweater contest. Instead of worrying about offending the few, they have sought a way to offend all.

h/t Drudge

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

GM and a Street Called Dead

When I was growing up in Peterborough Ontario getting a job at the GM plant in Oshawa was a ticket to a better life. If you worked the GM assembly line you were paid far more than if you worked any other line, the main one in Peterborough being the line at the CGE plant. The wages GM workers got were almost beyond belief. The rest of us looked on in astonishment.

As I matured, I watched the evolution of union demands. First, they wanted a top wage for working. Then, when lay-offs hit, they wanted a top-wage for not working. Then, they wanted early retirement with continued benefits. It appeared to me the ultimate goal of the UAW was for its members to be paid an infinite amount of money for doing nothing.

It appears I was not alone. I came across this quote in today's National Post article by Mitt Romney: "But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, (UAW) said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”

A dead-end street indeed.

I chose a university degree and never did work at GM. But I watched the escalating union demands with fascination.

Now, the unions say they don't want to contribute to the bailout, because they don't see themselves as a cause the problem.

Message to the UAW: neither do the tax-payers who paid more than they should have for cars for a lifetime.

Looks like it's win-win.

PS. We have owned GM and Ford vehicles. Now, we happily drive a Toyota, for all the usual reasons.

And that's the way the non-union-made Ball bounces.

Monday, November 24, 2008


President-Elect Obama hasn't been going to church and he's got a great reason for not going. A Transition Aid said the Obamas were concerned about the impact their large retinue might have on other parishioners unused to such a thing. Obama-ooma-mow-mow! So they're staying home.

Well, I've got Obama beat.

Based on his example, I too am going to stop going to church. Why? As a great sinner (certainly a better-than-average sinner ((or is that worser?))), my attendance drags the rest of the congregation down. So, I'm staying home.

Churches across the nation will thank me for staying away and helping lift the tone and sanctity of their congregations.

And that's the way the Church-skipping Ball bounces.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Taxpayer Owes Gov't $20,000; Gov't Says, Fugedaboudit!

Just kidding. If the taxpayer owed the government $20,000, you can be sure they would demand you pay it back with interest.

A tip from Crazymamma:

A St. Clair Illinois couple thought their property taxes were a tad high, paid to have them audited, and discovered they had been paying taxes for their neighbor's garage for the past 18 years. They applied to have the over-payments, amounting to $20,000, refunded.

The government's response was: Are You Crazy?!!!!!!! (RkBall paraphrase)

* Officials from the St. Clair County Assessor's Office and the County Board of Review told the taxpayer that even though the overpayment was caused by an assessing error, it was his fault for not catching it.

Assessor Gordon Bush said, "It would set a bad precedent."

Assessor G. Bush also weighed in saying, "It would result in complications."

Assessor G. B. added, "It would result in problems."

A. Gordon B. quipped, "It would snowball out of control."

Indeed. If governments started paying back money owed to taxpayers, where would it end?!

An Assistant State's Attorney agreed that no refund would be made. Wait for this. Are you ready? "Despite a state law that says five years worth of mistakenly paid taxes can be refunded with the filing of a document called a 'Certificate Of Error.'"

Let me rewind the tape and run that one by you again in case you weren't paying attention.

"An assistant state's attorney agreed that no refund would be made despite a state law that says five years worth of mistakenly paid taxes can be refunded with the filing of a document called a 'Certificate of Error'."

Ah, yes, you say. But what about the Board Of Review Lady? Has the Board Of Review Lady been contacted? Has the Board Of Review Lady weighed-in.

Yes, she has.

"The Board of Review Lady didn't even want to hear about it."

Well, what about Ms. Pat Boze, a Deputy for the Board Who Is Familiar With Investigating Property Errors. What does she have to say?

"She's busy. She doesn't have time to talk to you".

At this point ya better hope the couple involved doesn't work for the US Post Office.

Cue the Rambo theme song. Enter the Good Guy.

State's Attorney Robert "Rambo" Haida said his office instructed the Assessor's Office to file a Certificate of Error and process a refund. "We told them 60 days ago to refund five years, but that didn't get done. We intend to follow the law no matter how much trouble it is".


You can read all about it at

Thanks again to Crazymamma for passing this one on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Answer Is: One Dollar, Maybe Two

This in from Drudge:

A 74-year-old woman (who is blind) has been told a lien will be put on her home if she doesn't cough up the one cent she owes on her utility bill.

The city of Attleboro Mass. sent Eileen Wilbur a letter stating that, unless she pays up, and fast, the city will assess a lien of up to $48 on her next property tax bill.

Predictibly, a software program is involved. It was instructed to print the letter for any account with a balance remaining. This is what is known in the software business as a boundary condition, and the one-cent condition should have been caught either during a) a requirements review, or b) acceptance testing. (The worst example I have seen of this boundary condition being abused is when a dunning letter was sent out to someone who had a balance "not equal to zero" -- the balance was in fact a negative amount, i.e., the store owed the customer money. The customer was not amused.)

Here's what "City Collector" Ms. Marcoccio said:

"It would be fiscally irresponsible for me to have staff weed through the bills and pull out any below a certain amount".

Memo to Ms. Marcoccio. You could simply re-program the computer to weed-out bills owing below a certain amount. Yes, computers can do that. And that's what other companies do.

She then proceeds to underline the hopelessness of the task.

"And what would that amount be?"

The answer is: one dollar. Maybe two. How about this: choose an amount that at least equals the 42 cent stamp you're going to put on the letter to mail it.

She went on to say, "If there's a bill, it must be paid," she said.


My advice to the woman caught in the nefarious net: better cough up the penny.

And that's the way the two-cent Ball bounces.

All You Need Is Love

An ad on TV:

A middle-aged couple, two adults, a young man and a young woman, in-their-twenties.

The affluent-looking middle-aged couple are showing the young adults a vacation island.

The young people are impressed.

Then the middle-aged couple hand a key over to each one of young adults, with the message, "we're buying each of you your own cottage". So now we know they are the middle-aged couples' kids, and not a husband-wife duo (unless it's a husband-wife duo who have some serious issues!).

The cottages are brand-spanking-new-drop-dead gorgeous.

Wow, what's going on?!

Then the punch-line.

I assumed this ad was all about working hard for a living, investing prudently, saving over a lifetime, to be able to give an extravagant gift to one's kids in ones' own golden years.

And I was dead wrong.

It's all about winning the lottery. Not working hard. Not saving over a lifetime. Not being wise or even prudent. Winning the lottery. Sponsored, no doubt, by some provincial or federal government or other.

The ad really bothered me. Why? I think because it was gambling for gain wrapped in love's clothing. It was all about showing love to ones' off-spring. But not through sacrificial giving. Through a very cheap way -- winning a lottery. The message is "buying lottery tickets can be a loving way to show you love your kids -- it's a selfless act". Except, it isn't.

Lotteries are wrong on so many levels. They seek to overrule the general maxim in life that you reap what you sow. They involve a hope for gain without providing any kind of service to others. In order for you to win, you must hope that everybody else loses. Others hope that you lose so they win. (Not exactly "love your neighbor"!) Meanwhile, the Lottery Agency hopes you all put in a lot of money so they can rake off quick profits.

Lotteries are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Better to trust El Shaddai, work hard, save prudently, and give to others lavishly.

All you need is love.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quote of the Day: Unless We Love The Truth, We Cannot See It

"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it." -- Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

Truth suffered its first blow in the Garden of Eden, when the Magic Talking Snake™ deceived Eve. Man has suffered from distorted views and images of God ever since. Even Christians are susceptible to the "idolatry" of false views of God.

The Bible says that Jesus was the exact representation of the invisible God. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. And, although he submitted to death on the Cross, he was no push-over. It is a mistake to underestimate Jesus, or to view him as someone easily dismissed.

Lovers of truth inevitably come to the One who said of himself, "I am the truth". He is the real-deal, not the type, not the shadow, not the distorted image, but the genuine article. A coin may have a representation of an Emperor, but it is not the Emperor. Jesus was not just like God, he was God clothed in humanity.

Jesus said that if anyone sincerely wanted to know the truth, ultimate reality, whether God exists or not, whether Jesus is the real-deal, they would one day know.

Many, like me, have already made that journey. Many are seeking now. The Spirit is drawing. And those whom he draws, come.

Atheists make the mistake of thinking that determining reality and knowing or not knowing God is in their hands. It's not. It's in His. Except He draws, no-one may come to him.

"To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed"?

As the Christmas season approaches, perhaps we should conclude by saying

Wise Men Still Seek Him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Climate Record Goes Up In Flames

NASA, world-authority on just about everything, declared that this October was the hottest on record. Actually, that should be OCTOBER!!! WAS!!! THE!!!! HOTTEST!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!!

It seems this climate thing needs to be fed and fed and fed, and the alarm bells must ring louder and louder or busy people will actual lives to live will stop paying attention to the fact that THE!!! EARTH!!! IS!!! ON!!! FIRE!!!!!! and worry instead about, oh, I don't know, jobs and the recession, or the war in the DR Congo, or the world's hungry.

Turns out NASA was wrong, of course, as anybody who has been paying attention to all the unseasonably cold weather would have already known, and their error was exposed not by a vigilant media (which loves the whole man-made global warming narrative and squeezes every reported weather story into it), but by vigilant blogging global warming skeptics (or, "deniers" as they are called by the Algoronianites).

You can read about it here:

Meanwhile, bundle up and enjoy yourself, and try not to feel guilty about that drive to the Tim Hortons for a pumpkin spice donut and a double-double.

The economy will thank you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Khadija?

Beverly Giesbrecht was going about her life in West Vancouver when 9/11 happened.

My response to 9/11 was a willingness to fight, if called upon.

Her response was to convert to Islam, change her name to Khadija Abdul Qahaar, and set up an Islamic pro-Taliban, pro-Al-Qaeda, anti-US, anti-Israel website called Jihad Unspun.

She has been over in Pakistan, promoting the cause of Islamic resistance against the United States and buddying-up with the Taliban. "Aiding and abetting the enemy" we might have said, in the days when Canada took sides in a conflict and really meant it.

The CBC treats her as a "Canadian journalist" even though a quick review of her 2008 article on 9/11 contains these bloopers:

"The Holy month of Ramadan is a time to... take stalk of our motives and priorities...

"For all intensive purposes...

Her website also talks about "Zionist-controlled America" which one might expect to get her in a bit of hot water with the politically correct CBC, but this is the best they can come up with:

"She then set up... Jihad Unspun, which covers news in the Middle East with imagery glorifying those fighting against the United States."

Here's a sample of her writing:

"Qandara is home to the future generations of Taliban from the area. From birth, these children are nurtured as future warriors. Once they are old enough to read, the children, both males and females, undertake formal studies in not just Islam but math, physics, history and Arabic.

Seeing the principle [sic] Abu Malik in the light of day was a wonderful experience. A tall man of great stature, Abu Malik’s face radiates with the light of Allah rarely seen on humans. Speaking English, he took me on a tour of the school and we filmed the students taking lessons in Hadith. One highlight of our conversation is that Abu Malik repeated over and over again “why is America attacking us? We just want to live simple lives and worship our God in peace. Why does America not want the peace?”

And for this I could offer no answer."

At any rate, the nub of the story is this: this white female Canadian convert to Islam has been reported kidnapped in Pakistan.

Her friends back in B.C. now want the Canadian government to ante up and help get her out of Pakistan.

I really don't know how to comment on this. She willingly converted to Islam, a religion noted for activities such as suicide bombings (against people like herself) and kidnappings. Her website glorifies Osama bin Laden, mastermind of a terrorist attack that killed over 3,000 innocent civilians. And now she's been kidnapped. Does this make her unhappy, or happy? The religion which she embraced has in turn risen up and either bit or embraced her, depending on how you look at it.

Back in Canada, her friends want her to be known simply as a Canadian journalist over in Pakistan. And are demanding Canadian government assistance.

How do you solve a problem like Khadija?

As a Christian, I'm going to pray for this woman in Jesus' name. Only Savior, Light of the World. The devout Muslim's only hope.

* * *

You can visit Jihad Unspun at:

Check out Jihad Unspun's glowing account of Osama bin Laden:

Intelligent Design, or Blind Chance? *Updated*

Yesterday I posted the above photo with the simple caption "Intelligent Design, or Blind Chance?" and "What do you think?".

I got a barrage of responses ranging from earnest defenses of darwinism and my complete ignorance of science to a vitriolic jab about the Crusades and Residential Schools. Hell was affirmed, but not heaven.

Just because I posted a simple photograph and asked a straightforward question.

In fact, the photo is of the man-made lights of the city of London and environs taken by Google Space.

So, the answer, in fact, is Intelligent Design.

Those who thought otherwise failed to make sufficient inquiry and leaped to a predetermined conclusion. They failed to see the hand of human designers behind the pattern of lights.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prince Charles: Defender of (the) Faith

Like Remembrance Day Canada 2008, in which we no longer remember the sacrifice made on our behalf but rather certain human rights "milestones", the Prince, in the great left-wing liberal tradition, is re-defining historic realities and recreating them in his own revisionist left-wing liberal image.

As a Defender of the Faith, the Prince would have defended a particular Something -- a Something that is now under attack both from without, and, more particularly, from within. As the defender of Faith (which will no doubt be expanded to include non-faith) he defends an ill-defined nothing-in-particular.

God save the Queen.

Quote of the Day: "If the Default Mode of a Society’s Institutions is Liberal...

From the incomparable Mark Steyn:

"If the default mode of a society’s institutions is liberal, electing GOP legislators eventually accomplishes little more than letting a Republican driver take a turn steering the liberal bus."

So true.

Let's Canadianize this and see if it still works:

"If the default mode of a society’s institutions is liberal, electing Conservative M.P.s eventually accomplishes little more than letting a Conservative driver take a turn steering the liberal bus."

Yup. Still works.

If you've never read Mark Steyn, you owe it to yourself to give him a try:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Intelligent Design, or Blind Chance?

What do you think?

Quote of the Day: "If you quit being Religulous you get to act like Caligulous"

From Craig Hazen's review of Bill Mayer's laff-riot Religulous:

"There is little to laugh at and nothing to learn (except maybe that if you quit being Religulous you get to act like Caligulous)."

Now that's a quote!

There's actually more than a kernel of truth to it. While atheists like to drape themselves in rationality and superior thinking skills, in fact atheism is just as often embraced because as a philosophy of life it releases a person to live a hedonistic lifestyle. (How many people attending this -- -- will be attending church on Sunday?!)

For the complete article:

For more on Caligula:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Queen's Chaplain at St. Andrew's Cathedral

Recently I attended a service at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore. The Rev. George Kovoor, one of the Queen's Chaplains, preached.

Here are some of his main points:

* A Christian has a message to the world: "I know I am going to heaven", and, "I know the way to heaven -- Jesus".

* Jesus is either Lord of all, or not at all.

* Jesus transforms every situation he enters.

* Every time we obey him, something good happens - we are magnified. When we disobey him, we are diminished.

What kind of life are you living?

Monday, November 03, 2008

They're A Quick Study

Ya gotta give these U.K. asylum-seekers credit. They're a fast study.

They arrived in the UK unaccompanied, said they were under 18, but didn't have the documents to prove it. As a result, they were held in detention while their ages were checked.

Now they are seeking compensation of £300,000 for being wrongly held.

A Refugee Council spokeswoman's responded: "Detention is vastly overused... and it has a massively damaging effect on adults as well as children". If that's the case, asylum-seekers may just want to stay home. But I doubt that will happen. Where else can you enter a foreign country and then immediately sue for mistreatment?

The U.K. is, if possible, even wackier than Canada.

And that's the way the asylum-seeking Ball bounces.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Maine East-West Highway - Bring It On!

I travel often from PEI to Toronto. There's three basic routes you can take.

1. The Canadian Route. From PEI, this route goes west through New Brunswick and then heads north up to Riviere-du-Loup, west across to Quebec City, and then south down to Montreal. The route through New Brunswick has been vastly improved in the past five years. The Trans-Canada has been straightened and upgraded to four-lanes, and, joy of joys, the speed limit is 110kph (65+mph).

This is the easiest and quickest route.

2. The US Route. You travel west through New Brunswick, head south to Bangor (via either US 95 or US Hwy 9) and then crawl along US Hwy 2. It's scenic and you pass through interesting New England towns, but it's a crawl. You go to Burlington Vermont, then pass into New York State and travel along secondary highways until you reach Cornwall Ontario. Then you hook up with Ontario's Hwy 401 and travel along a very boring stretch at a brain-numbing speed of 100kph (62mph).

This is the scenic take-your-time route.

3. The Hybrid Route. You take the US Route as far as Skowhegen, Maine. Then you head north cross-country to Coburn Gore, Maine where you cross into Quebec. You take secondary roads in Quebec for about 100km until you reach Hwy 10. From there you head to Montreal and join up with the rest of the Canadian route.

This route takes less time than the US Route, but you still have to navigate through Montreal, which can be harrowing.

For the past 50 years, people have been talking about an East-West route through northern Maine. Now, private developers are trying to make it happen. They say it would knock two hours off of the drive from Saint John New Brunswick and Montreal.

I say, "bring it on!".

And that's the way the traveling Ball bounces.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Honk If You Love Jesus

We drove through Quebec yesterday and into Ontario today. On the way we saw flocks of Canada Geese assembling in the northern skies and getting ready for the big move south. Some were landing in fields that had been recently harvested. Canada geese in quantities the likes of which we have never seen before, and may never see again. Hundreds upon hundreds of them -- perhaps thousands.

The coordinated flapping of their wings created a white flash effect as the morning sun caught the muscular, confident motion of their wings.

It was a wonder to behold.

The V-shaped progression of a flock of Canada geese is an amazing sight. How do they know to travel in a "V"? What drives them to go south for the winter, and then return north again in the spring? How do they know what route to take? How do they know that a collective approach to life is better than going it alone?

The collective behaviour of the Canada Geese has all the earmarks of planned intelligence. The book of Job talks about the wisdom that God used in creation, the intelligence that he built in to creatures. It should be read along side of Genesis.

The darwinist will say that this apparent intelligence is just an illusion; living creatures like geese just happened to evolve from slime, and geese that somehow became smart enough to travel in "V"s did better than geese that didn't; geese that learned to travel south did better than those who stayed in the frozen north, etc. I'm not sure what their answer would be as to why the geese then return north again in the spring, but I'm sure they would have one.

I find this kind of reductionist thinking unsatisfactory. It is an insufficient explanation and inadequate depiction of reality.

Intuitively I discern an intelligence at work in the design of geese to travel in patterns like they do. Just like I also see an intelligence at work in the encoding and transmission of genetic information in geese and other living creatures. This is an evidence of active intelligence that darwinists are forced to deny.

The heavens declare the glory of God.

And Canada Geese are doing their part.

So, to all of God's creatures out there, I would say, "honk if you love Jesus".

Colossians 1:15-16.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ich Bin Ein Humanist!

This just in from today's National Post --

Ms. Lise Thibault was the Queen's representative in Quebec for 10 glorious years. Now the party's over and she's been accused of misspending $700,000. Her defence? She said she was “more of a humanist than a manager.”

Wow! What a defense!

For $700,00 I'm ready to be more of a humanist too. And my management skills are already sub-zero!

She dismissed criticism of her spending taxpayers’ money on golf, ski trips, fishing expeditions, travel expenses, meals, parties, photo shoots, gifts and alcohol, claiming she brought joy to those she met.


Give me $700,000 of OPM (other people's money), and I'll bring joy to a lot of people, too. Guaranteed. Or your money back (unless it's already spent).

Then she goes a bit dark, or, at least, murky.

“As much as I have respect for true professionals, I pray to Heaven not to send to hell the people who have broken human lives,” Ms. Thibault said.

There may be a threat in there somewhere but I really haven't a clue what this means. However, I suspect if I were a true humanist, I would, and, for $700,000 I'm willing to learn!

Most people's defense consists of speaking to a judge or jury. In Ms. Thibault's humanist case, it consisted of speaking to herself: “I am 69-and-a-half and I said to myself the day before yesterday, ‘If I saw a woman of my age before a committee, I would say, poor old woman, poor old woman.’ ” You can see her inner-humanist at work!

For $700,000 I too am willing to speak to myself! In fact, I do this already, so it really wouldn't be Rick stop blathering on and get to the point.


Turns out the $700,000 in unjustified spending is just the bit from Ms. Thibault’s federal allocation -- she may have misspent TEN TIMES AS MUCH from her Quebec budget.

That's a lot of humanism!

Apparently Ms. Thibault claimed her job as lieutenant-governor — opening the National Assembly, confirming Cabinet nominations, giving royal sanction to laws, etc. etc. etc. — was a 24-hour-a-day job, so she did not need to justify her spending.

For $7,700,000 I too am willing to claim to work 24/7, and am prepared not to justify a single dime of what I spend!

Finally, in her defense, Ms. Thibault claimed that Quebec's auditor-general Mr. Lachance had never spoken to her about her expenses. However, Lachance said he had met personally with Ms. Thibault three times, once with federal auditor-general Sheila Fraser.

For $7,700,000 I'm willing to forget meeting with the auditor too.

Forgive and forget, that's what I say.

Because, I Am A Humanist!

And that's the way the hale and hearty humdinger of a humanist Ball bounces.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

This just in from Switzerland: The Swiss lowlands have received the most snow for any October since records began.

Zurich received 20cm, beating a record of 14cm set in 1939.

That shatters the previous record by almost 50%.

Remember: when it's cold, it's weather, when it's warm, it's climate.

Snow Blankets London For Global Warming Debate

Sometimes the comic AGW (anthropomorphic global warming) headlines just write themselves. This is one of them.

Here's the gist from the UK's Register:

"Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday - the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922....

"The bill creates an enormous bureaucratic apparatus for monitoring and reporting...

"Recently the American media has begun to notice the odd incongruity of saturation media coverage here which insists that global warming is both man-made and urgent, and a British public which increasingly doubts either to be true....

"Yet anyone looking for elected representatives to articulate these concerns will have been disappointed....

"It was all deeply sanctimonious...

My take on AGW?

It's a secular religion fueled by western guilt and tinged with western self-hate, draped in the great mythological construct of our day: pseudo-science. Mixed in with a bit of genuine science.

And that's the way the snow Ball bounces.

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