Random Thought for the Day
"The framers of the U.S. constitution expelled an occupying army. The founders of the New Iraq are guarded by one."
That one line pretty much says it all.
"The framers of the U.S. constitution expelled an occupying army. The founders of the New Iraq are guarded by one."
"And, in any case, what does Alberta's good fortune cost the rest of Canada? We will all pay the world price for oil and gas, whatever its source -- all the better, then, that it be within Canada. And federal equalization programs to fund broadly comparable public programs from coast to coast can be adjusted to reflect Alberta's special situation, so Ottawa doesn't bleed billions to other regions just because Alberta does so well.
There is no politically meaningful "national envy" at Alberta's happy position. It is anachronistic to try to create some."
"Everyone must have a ticket, including children. Babes in arms (6 months or younger) are allowed in free but are not encouraged."
"Recently, the Canada West Foundation, a western think-tank, warned against that strategy [slashing (corporate) taxes] for fear it would disrupt the Canadian economy and set up Alberta as a "tax haven in the federation."
Mr. Klein said that concern is unfounded because other provinces could keep up to Alberta by using incentives such as subsidies and loan guarantees.
"The only incentive we have to sustain economic growth and prosperity is to have a very competitive tax regime," he said."
"The species which are failing are those which became bloated and inefficient (whales, elephants, rhinoceroses), or else those which exploited a market niche which is no longer viable (the spotted owl, the panda bear).
If these species cannot downsize or evolve to meet the new global environment, it is inevitable that they will fail. Meanwhile, more efficient and adaptable species (pigeons, sparrows, squirrels, rats) are re-evaluating their roles and finding new markets, with the result that they are thriving in the new global economy."
"News Editor Alan Marshall has landed the new gig of Editor, New Ventures. This, to my mind, is the most important change of all because Alan will be working with Giles to, among other things, "map out an aggressive growth strategy for the star.com." Alan is a sharp and creative guy who will dive into the job of pushing the Star further into the cybersphere."
"Looking back, the biggest questions are probably why it took so long for viewers to begin tuning in to watch a show starring attractive young women competing for a modeling contract -- and why they appear to largely be other women rather than the expected male audience."
"Fighting weight gain is simple math: The energy you take in (food and drink to fuel your body) must be offset by the energy you put out (through body activity and movement). It's no surprise that people who spend their leisure hours in a sedentary state are more likely to be obese, or that eating fewer fruits and vegetables correlates with weight gain."
"...the G-G designate must put to rest immediately any speculation that she is a soveriegntist sypathizer.
All that is necessary is a simple and direct statement from Mme. Jean to the effect that she believes the place of Quebec is in Canada and that she voted 'non' in the 1995 referendum."
“We are, of course, disappointed with the (panel’s) decision, but it will have no impact on the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders,”
"Agent: Can I help you? Name please?
Jerry: Seinfeld. I made a reservation for a mid-size
Agent: Okay, let's see here.
Agent: I'm sorry, we have no mid-size available at the moment.
Jerry: I don't understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?
Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation.
Agent: I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.
Agent: Let me, uh, speak with my supervisor."
"Agent: I'm sorry, my supervisor says there's nothing we can do.
Jerry: Yeah, it looked as if you were in a real conversation over there.
Agent: But we do have a compact if you would like that.
Agent: Alright. We have a blue Ford Escort for you Mr. Seinfeld. Would you like insurance?
Jerry: Yeah, you better give me the insurance, because I am gonna beat the hell out of this car."
"A Shania Twain look-alike sings a song to the tune of Up!, with lyrics about increasing shareholder value. A member of the judging panel tells her:
“I’m up. I’m up big time. You know that thing called the CN Tower? It’s right here in my pants.
“If I buy stock, would that be insider trading? Speaking of inside, do those pants come off?”
Another male judge suggests the Shania look-alike would go further in the competition if she had breast implants. The comment is greeted with shrieks, laughter and boos. There are penis jokes and the observation that a female contestant has “amazing lungs.”"
Labels: avoid telus at all costs
"the survey asked students about their attitudes toward theft and found that most did not put illegal software downloading in the same category as offences such as shoplifting.
About 96 per cent agreed that stealing software from a store would be considered a serious offence. By comparison, 40 per cent felt the same way about illegal downloading, file swapping or making copies of commercial software."
"On the issue of intellectual property rights, about 87 per cent said they would have a problem with someone plagiarizing their own work. When it comes to downloading commercial software, however, just 40 per cent showed similar concerns.
The disconnect, the report said, was particularly strong among computer-science students."
"And isn't it significant that there has not been a really bad movie - not a movie at all in fact - about blogging like email's 1998 You've Got Mail or that 1983 video game based classic WarGames?"
Nova Scotia should make it tougher to gamble, says the head of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.
Brian Lee Crowley says he's not proposing gambling be outlawed, just made more difficult to indulge in.
"I'm pretty sure we're not getting the difficulty the ease of access to VLTs has caused around the province," Mr. Crowley, president of the right-of-centre think-tank, said in an interview Monday.
Governments have to become more objective about gaming and its costs, he said.
"When you are getting as much money as they are from it, you can't," Mr. Crowley said."
"Last week, Premier John Hamm said there will always be gambling in Nova Scotia, and the best way to deal with it is to regulate the industry.
Mr. Hamm said the revenue the province receives from gambling is important.
"We would rather have (gambling dollars) going to government and paying for health care, education, than going to the private sector and making a number of Nova Scotians millionaires off of the proceeds of gambling," the premier said Thursday after cabinet."
"The biggest attraction Mauritania offers is the very desolation that keeps so many people away. For those with the true spirit of adventure, Mauritania is one of the least trodden spots in the world - and even those who find it godforssaken agree that it's exotic.
To see more than sand outside the small, staid capital of Nouakchott (which has its fair share of sand too) requires some planning and some luck."
"Mauritania, the vast desert refuge of the Arab/Berber Moors in northwest Africa, may seem a distant front in the war on terrorism. Yet the pro-Israel/U.S. policies of its President, Maaouya Ould Taya, have sparked an Islamic revival in this traditionally moderate nation, a country that takes pride in being the world's first Islamic Republic. Mauritania has experienced no domestic acts of terrorism or known al-Qaeda activity, but the President claims Islamists with foreign connections guided three recent coup attempts."
"Coup leaders Major Salih Ould Hanana and Captain Abdul Rahman Ould Mini entered guilty pleas. Hanana used his time in court to deny receiving foreign assistance and to describe the President as "[A] despot who doesn't respect the laws of the country or international conventions" I wanted to change a rotten and illegal regime by way of a coup, similar to that launched on 12 December 1984 by President Ould Taya."  Islamist rhetoric was noticeably absent from Hanana's address. Ould Mini cited the tribalism prevailing in the government and the injustices in the army as reasons for his leading role in the "Knights of Change". "
"Calls for change have also been fuelled by the discovery of large offshore oil reserves. Production is scheduled to start next year at an initial rate of 75,000 barrels per day. While the amount is not large compared to some Arab states, it has life-changing potential for impoverished Mauritanians who survive on an average income of US$1 per day. The leading company in Mauritania's new offshore oil industry is Australia's Woodside Petroleum, with major contracts for development awarded to the Halliburton Corporation. The opposition fears that the oil revenues will be swallowed up by a well-entrenched system of government corruption."
"Ould Taya's shift in alignment from the Arab/Islamic world to the U.S. and Israel has created a wide gulf in Mauritanian society. The French and Arabic speaking Mauritanians feel a natural attachment to France (the former colonial power) and the Arab world. The Islamic opposition warns that allowing Israel to establish a presence in the country is to open the door to Israeli intelligence activities in North Africa. The U.S. and NATO are both interested in developing Mauritania as a cornerstone for anti-terrorism operations in North Africa."
"Ould Taya sees an opportunity to solidify his rule through participation in the war on terrorism, even if it means creating Islamist threats and external aggressions where none exist. Hanana and some other rebel officers come from warrior tribes that traditionally work closely with the marabouts. There may be further cooperation between these two castes to restore the customary balance of power within Mauritania. This local reaction to Ould Taya's tribalism and authoritarianism remains open to exploitation by Salafist extremists but no evidence exists that this process has begun. Growing ties with the U.S. and Israel are isolating the Ould Taya regime, which will increasingly have to rely on the loyalty of the army. Furthermore, Ould Taya may see a U.S. military presence and Israeli security assistance as insurance for the survival of the regime."
"The group, which identified itself as the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, announced the coup against President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya, who was abroad, through the state-run news agency.
"The armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put an end to the totalitarian practices of the deposed regime under which our people have suffered much over the last several years," the statement said.
The junta said it would exercise power for two years to allow time to put in place democratic institutions."
"Essentially, five main points are made. First, that since about 1800 economic development has been based on the burning of fossil fuels, and this will continue to apply for the foreseeable future. Of course, there will be increases in the efficiency with which they are used, but there is no real alternative to the continued - indeed increasing - use of these fuels for purposes of economic development. Second, due to momentum in economic, demographic, and climate processes, it is inevitable that there will be a major rise in the level of atmospheric CO2 during the twenty-first century. Demographic and CO2 emissions data are presented to substantiate this. Third, available data on global temperatures, which are also presented, suggest strongly that the coming warming of the Earth will be appreciably faster than anything that human populations have experienced in historical times. The paper shows that a rise in world surface temperature of anywhere between 1.6 and 6.6 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 is quite conceivable - and this is a conclusion that does not require much complex science to appreciate. Furthermore, particularly in a system that is being forced, the chances of an abrupt change in climate happening must be rated as fair. Fourth, while it is impossible to attach precise probabilities to different scenarios, the range of plausible unpleasant climate outcomes seems at least as great as the range of more manageable ones. The agricultural, political, economic, demographic, social and other consequences of future climate change are likely to be considerable -indeed, they could be almost inconceivable. In a world of perhaps nine billion people, adverse changes could well occur on several fronts simultaneously and to cumulative adverse effect. There is a pressing need to improve ways of thinking about what could happen - because current prognostications by environmental and social scientists are often rather restricted and predictable. Finally, the paper argues that human experience of other difficult 'long wave' threats (e.g. HIV/AIDS) reveals a broadly analogous sequence of reactions. In short: (i) scientific understanding advances rapidly, but (ii) avoidance, denial, and reproach characterize the overall societal response, therefore, (iii) there is relatively little behavioral change, until (iv) evidence of damage becomes plain. Apropos carbon
emissions and climate change, however, it is argued here that not only is major behavioral change unlikely in the foreseeable future, but it probably wouldn't make much difference even were it to occur. In all likelihood, events are now set to run their course."
"It was noted above that in the last decade or so virtually all countries have continued to burn greater amounts of fossil fuel. This also applies to those that have arguably been most prominent in supporting the Kyoto process - notably Canada, Japan and those of the EU. Many of these countries are unlikely to meet their CO2 reduction targets agreed under the Kyoto treaty (which finally came into force in 2005). Thus comparing 1990 and 2002, it is estimated that Canada's emissions increased by 22 percent and Japan's by 13. While the CO2 emissions of the EU(15) remained roughly constant, this was mainly due to reductions in Germany and Britain - both of which gained fortuitously from a move away from coal towards natural gas (which emits less CO2 per unit of energy)."