Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is Obama the Darth Vader President?

Obama doesn't want America to give in to the "dark impulse" of prioritizing ME Christians as refugees. A nation's ability to accept refugees is finite. Given that, selectivity is perfectly rational.

When Christians are being targeted by Muslims for rape and crucifixion, when Christians, unlike Muslims, pose no threat, when the character of the host country is itself Christian, it is not a "dark impulse" to say we will bring them in.

Discrimination is not always bad. The wilful, blind failure to rationally differentiate is the dark impulse.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Paris Massacres: The Worst of Both Worlds

The authorities probably hoped the attackers weren't home-grown, that they were foreigners who had snuck in. On the other hand, they probably equally hoped that the terrorists hadn't slipped in on the recent Get-Into-Europe-Free card wave of "migrants" -- conservatives had been warning of the dangers.

As it is, they got  -- the worst of both worlds - home-grown "Frenchmen", and foreign imports who had indeed slipped in during the open-borders wave of migrants.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Only One Mention of the Word "Muslim" in BBC Paris Report

By convention, the phrase "Muslim terrorists" is not used in mainstream reporting of Islamic acts of terrorism.

Last night, the BBC managed to report on the Paris carnage without using either the words "Muslim" or "Islam". Apparently, they figured readers had no interest in knowing who might be behind the mayhem. Or perhaps, in a backhanded compliment to Islamic terrorism, they assumed everybody already knew.

This morning the BBC are reporting that ISIS was responsible. Inevitably this story becomes at least a teeny bit about Islam. The BBC used the word Muslim only once:
Its controversial ban on the burka face veil for women has been interpreted by some Muslims as being anti-Islamic.
Did you catch the context? It's in one of those "the West is bad"/ "it's our fault" sentiments. When the BBC uses the term "Muslim" the context is not terrorism, it is Muslim victimhood and the west's anti-Islamic bigotries.

Unless we are willing to articulate who our enemy is, and take rational steps to minimize the threat, there is no hope things will get better. Terrorist acts will continue and will become an acceptable price of western wishful thinking and deadly political correctness.

Mark Steyn weighs in at SteynOnline. Please swing by and read what he has to say.


Friday, November 13, 2015

BallBounces Car Travel Tips

We just completed a four-day drive from Toronto to Phoenix with our two dogs. Here are some of my travel tips. What are yours?

* pack the car early and take the day before off. This will prevent you being overly tired on the first day of the trip

* treat the day before as the first day of the trip: get to bed early.

* get an early start each day-- an early start means everything in terms of meeting mileage objectives and driving during daylight

* use stops wisely: differentiate between full dog-walk stops and short human stretch time stops; try to go a set time or distance between stops, but take a stop if you really feel like one

* gas-up the car at the end of each day to avoid an unnecessary gas-stop the next day; gas-up on a comfort stop when tank is less than half full to avoid a stop for gas later

* each day's travel begins the night before: have the car filled with gas and get to bed early

* leverage west-headed time-zone changes to your advantage: go an extra hour on the day the time zone changes; get up the same absolute time as the day before -- you are up an hour earlier and on the road sooner

* don't tank up on caffeinated soda at lunch -- this will result in an afternoon energy crash. Rather, keep a stock of diet Pepsi in the car and sip away throughout the afternoon. This was a new discovery for me this trip.

* Drive during daylight from dawn to just before dusk

* If you are going to "push on" beyond your normal stop time, have a place to stay -- you don't want to be scrambling for a motel at the end of a tiring day

* Enjoy the trip!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Road Trip Toronto to Phoenix: Day Four - Albuquerque - Phoenix

Drury Inn Albuquerque Quick-Start breakfast then on the road early. Crossed into Arizona. On to Winslow, AZ and the Turquoise Room for 2nd breakfast. Arizona Green Chile Eggs and a pancake side. Possibly the best breakfast on the planet. Expensive, but worth every penny.

Took highway 87 down to Payson. Took a side trip in Payson looking for spruce trees and discovered Payson has some lovely neighborhoods with upscale homes. Then on down into Scottsdale Phoenix area.

Arrived at Anasazi Condo Village around 4pm. CenturyLink had promised to restore internet by 5pm. They didn't. Came on around 7pm.

Four hard days on the road, but we made it safely. The dogs are ecstatic, and so are the humans. A neighbor had stocked up our fridge.

We thank God for safe arrival. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Road Trip Toronto to Phoenix: Day Three - Tulsa - Albuquerque

Early start out of Tulsa down to OKC and then west on I-40. Through Oklahoma and into Texas. Skipped Cattlemen's Steakhouse in OKC because it was too early; stopped at Red River Steakhouse in Amarillo. VG steak, delicious grilled mushrooms and fresh-cut french fries.

Temperature got up to 25 Celsius.

Out of Amarillo and into New Mexico. Past Tucumcari, Santa Rosa and into Albuquerque. Staying at the Drury Inn in Albuquerque. Arrived in time for Kick-Back.

Today: Oklahoma - Texas - New Mexico.

We plan to leave early tomorrow in order to arrive in time for breakfast at the Turquoise Room in Winslow, AZ. Then, down the back country route into Scottsdale/Phoenix for an easy fourth day.

That's the plan, Stan.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Road Trip Toronto to Phoenix: Day Two - Indianapolis - Tulsa

Early start out of Indianapolis after Drury QuickStart breakfast. Looped around Indianapolis and headed southwest. Through Terre Haute, IN into Illinois. The highway was much better in Illinois. Lots of recent and current construction. They have smoothed the route through Effingham, IL. Tip: I view current construction as an investment in future travel, and express gratitude that they are making the road better for us; we don't have to do anything, they do all the work -- this helps minimize frustration at any delays that may occur.

Down to East St. Louis, IL and then through and around St. Louis. Missouri has improved the loop through/around St. Louis -- it is no longer a terrifying as it was.

Other side of St. Louis, making good time so skipped planned IMO's pizza stop and survived on energy bars. Headed on southwest to Springfield, MO. Detoured down to Ozark MO and Lambert's Cafe -- Home of the Throwed Rolls. The Pulled Pork sandwich is amazing. There's no point having one anywhere else. Throw in all the fixin's they pass around, not to mention the throwed rolls -- what a place!

Back on the highway, over and down to Joplin, MO. Decided to push on into Oklahoma and Tulsa via the 75mph toll highway. Cell phone died so we could not vet hotels ahead of time. First one wanted an additional $20+$20 for our two small dogs; second one wanted $25+$25. Plus, the roads off of I-44 in Tulsa are insane, especially at dusk and after dark -- all one-way and back-tracking and merging and looping and just hair-pulling insane. Finally, a guy having a smoke outside one of the hotels suggested we try the Red Roof Inn two miles south. We did and that is where we stayed. Around $70 and no surcharge for the pets. Much appreciated. Basic room, but newly renovated and clean. It'll do for a night's sleep.

Today: Indiana - Illinois - Missouri - Oklahoma.

Tomorrow: We hope to get to Albuquerque, NM and make this a four day trip to Phoenix instead of five. Planned culinary stop: Red River Steakhouse, McLean TX.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Road Trip Toronto to Phoenix: Day One - Toronto - Indianapolis

On our way 7am. 401 to Windsor to Detroit via the Ambassador Bridge. Nexus cards in hand. No line-up. Breezed through Nexus, declaring our dog food, US cash, etc. Paid bridge toll -- $5 US or $6.25 CAD.  Opted for Canadian to get rid of some change and preserve US dollars.

I-75 south out of Detroit down to Toledo, OH. Got a couple of take-out dogs at a Tony Packos in Sylvania -- delish, and, boy, are their pickles strong!

Drove southwest to Fort Wayne. 70 mph with cars making right turns onto the highway -- definitely rural! Then down to Indianapolis. Got a coupon-rate at the Drury Inn, Indianapolis. When we stay at Drury Inns, our goal is to arrive in time to enjoy evening Kick-back. We arrived around 5pm -- in lots of time.

Ontario - Michigan - Ohio - Indiana. So far, so good.

Tomorrow's goals: IMO's pizza in St. Louis and Lambert's Home of the Throwed Rolls in Ozark, MO. Stay in either Springfield or Joplin MO. There's a time zone change that works in our favour tomorrow.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Road trip Toronto to Phoenix: The Plan

We leave with our two dogs leave tomorrow morning for Phoenix. Travelling in a 4-wheel drive 2006 Toyota Matrix.

Day one, heading for Indianapolis via the Detroit bridge. Plan to stay at an Indianapolis Drury Inn at their coupon rate. Would like to get some Esther Price chocolates if I can find a Kroger that sells them.

Four culinary highlights on the planned route: IMO's St. Louis for thin-crust pizza. Lambert's, Ozark, MO - "home of the throwed rolls" for pulled-pork, throwed rolls, and fixin's. Cattlemen's in Oklahoma City for a T-bone. Turquoise Room, Winslow AZ for Arizona green chile eggs breakfast.

I'll try to do nightly updates.

Enjoy the ride!

Friday, November 06, 2015

BallBounces' Plan to Save Ontario

Ontario is drowning in debt. Meanwhile, government employees enjoy job security along with salaries and benefits that are higher than the private sector.

Here's my plan to save Ontario: 

* Reduce all civil servant/public employee salaries/benefits by 3% a year until the budget is balanced. (If you want to be aggressive, make it 5%.)

* No bonuses whatsoever paid out in fiscal years that run a deficit. Bonuses tied to amount of fiscal surplus.

* Any future deficits result in a 5% reduction in salaries/benefits in the next fiscal year. 

This would encourage better planning and responsible use of scarce funds. As it is, governments just keep blowing the debt balloon ever bigger while the worker-beneficiaries hope they are no longer around when it all goes pop.

Editted for clarity and content 11/7/2015.

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