Monday, June 23, 2008

Sloppy Reporting?

The following article about the use of thermobaric warheads is, I believe, a rather sloppy job of reporting. It has a number of inaccuracies and assumptions:

"which sucks the air out of victims, shreds their internal organs and crushes their bodies" Yes, but how is this more brutal than a regular bomb which blasts the bodies apart?

"condemned by human rights groups as “brutal”". Let's be perfectly clear. Quoting a human rights organization that wants all weapons banned is not useful information.

"The cloud of burning aluminium powder means victims often die from asphyxiation before the pressure shreds their organs." Wrong. The gap between the aluminum powder being dispersed and the blast wave hitting is a fraction of a second.

"British Apache pilots complained that standard Hellfire antitank missiles were going straight through buildings and out of the other side." No mention of the fact that the regular missile eventually hits and kills an unintended target, instead of the people you are trying to kill.

"Parliament has never assented to their use." Thus quoted from a member of the Opposition. But does Parliament need to provide approval?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Destroying a Society

If you wanted to purposefully set out to destroy a society in a single generation, how would you do it?

Start by weakening the bond between the parents and the children. Start the infants in daycare. Send them to a public school where they will not be taught the values of their parents but the values of the State and the liberal elite. Clamp down on homeschooling. Make two income families the norm, where children get a couple of scraps of time at the end of the day.

Then make sure that values do not get passed from generation to generation. Convince parents that they have no right to teach their values to their children, but that all views are equally good and valid. Take away the right of parents to discipline their children. Even though we already have laws against child abuse, make it illegal to give a child an occasional spank. Attack the notion that legitimate authority when acting towards a noble purpose has the right to discipline. Make emotional arguments that can be repeated by the weak-minded among us.

The essential goal is to ensure that parents understand that their only right is to pay for the upbringing of the children, and that they don't have the right to help mold the character of their children. Whether secular traditions or religious instruction or common wisdom, make sure that none of this filters down to the next generation.

Make sure that unelected judges and politicians cannot be removed, no matter how out of touch with reality they are. Given them free reign to impose their radical views on us. Ensure that political correctness and trendy views trump the methods and values that have worked for millennia.

Tell children that their body belongs to themselves, and so nobody has the right to question who, how and when they have sex. Don't tell them that sexual relationships have significance far beyond immediate pleasure. Make abstinence a dirty word and virginity a joke.

Do all of this, and you will destroy a society in a single generation.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Goodbye Edgar, Hello Enrico

I think I've exhausted the range of stories that can be told about "Edgar the Dragon" so I've started a new series for Hannah on "ENRICO the Talking the Car (tm)". After one telling of the story, she was repeating it in the van the other day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

To my Dad on Father's Day

Dear Dad,

Tomorrow is Father’s Day again. I thought about buying you something, but frankly there’s little you need and even less that you have room for. So instead I decided to give you some of my thoughts. Growing up I knew you loved me. Now that I’m a Dad too, I understand a whole lot more about what a great Dad you’ve been.

As a kid, you made a lot of time for me. You spent time with me, you answered my questions, you involved me in your activities, thought up special activities for me, and made me feel loved. Remember watching “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” on the Late Show in that cottage we rented in 1976? Maybe you don’t, but I do. Or the time you sent me walking through the bush for a half-hour with your .410? Or that camping trip on the Kukagami Lake Road where the horse flies were so bad we had to eat and sleep in the back of the station wagon? Do you remember showing me how to take the mechanism out of a tap before you solder it on? Or when you showed me how to identify a nut that has a reverse thread? Or when you showed me how to read stock market quotes? I remember all of them.

I also know that you’ve been proud of me, even when you didn’t fully understand me or what I was doing. In some ways, we’re very different people. I love books, whereas you read to learn the specific facts you are interested in (like the stock market quotations). You can fix just about anything, while I know how to phone the repair man. I spent a lot of time in university, mostly financed by you. And when I had decisions to make about my education, you still managed to provide good advice. Remember in October of my third year, when I wanted to quit? You told me to keep plugging until I really couldn’t handle it anymore, and then quit without looking back. Well that piece of sage advice cost you about $20,000 because I finally did quit after my eighth year!

Over the last couple of years, my job has become a lot more demanding. This has really helped me appreciate how hard you worked over the years. The tough working environment, the shift work, and picking up extra shifts whenever you could. A friend of says that if a man if going to be a breadwinner, he should bring home the whole loaf. Well, you always brought home the whole loaf. We always had a decent house, good food, everything else we needed, and some really memorable vacations and Christmas’s.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:9, “we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.” I guess the idea of this verse is that it’s no fun getting a spank, but later when we are mature we look back and see that it was for our own good and so we come to respect our fathers more. I don’t think I got spanked very often, but I did get discipline (and some spanks) as required. And I guess you found the right balance, because in retrospect I respect you for the way you raised me.

I could talk about the ways you taught me right from wrong. Or your patience. Or the sense of humour I seem to have inherited from you. Or how you taught me to be financially responsible (“Shawn, just because you have the money in the bank doesn’t mean you can afford to buy it”). But I think I’ll draw this to a close. By the way, I’m posting this on my blog rather than just sending it to you by email because I want to share the kind of Dad you’ve been. Maybe others will see your example and be inspired. I know I’ve been.


P.S. – you also did a good job picking out a Mom for me!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Strange Emotions

Sometimes I have the strangest emotions. Tonight I brought home some fast food, but I was unusually quiet during supper. Why did I feel "down"? The reason is that I think that the fast food place that I got the food from will go out of business. Now it's not because the place is so spectacular that I can't imagine living without their takeout. Call me an emotional capitalist but I get sad when I meet people who don't seem to know how to run a business. I've felt this way a couple of times. People have invested in a business, they're probably working long hours, and they are going to go under and lose their shirts. And it is not as if it is rocket science.

Last year I didn't renew my contract with the lawn care guy. For 3 years I hired this company to look after my lawn. And the guy who owned it worked really hard on my lawn and to build the business. For personal reasons, he sold the business to another guy. Maybe the new guy knew the basics of lawn care, but he didn't do nearly as much work as the other guy. And call me the emotional capitalist but I felt bad for him that he spent money to buy a business only to have myself and a ton of other people cancel their service after one year. Now the pure capitalist would say, "that's business and someone else who works harder will take over". And the pure capitalist is correct. But the emotional capitalist gets down about these things.

Tonight we got takeout food and the emotional capitalist strikes again. The fast food place wasn't all that clean. The cook was working hard, but the delivery guy, who didn't have much delivering to do, could have kept that place spotless. But that would require something that is in short supply; initiative. Other capitalistic concerns were a large cooler that was empty. Now maybe it was empty because it was broken and they couldn't afford to have it fixed. That is possible. But it could have held a variety of dry goods for sale. Lots of floor space that could have been generating revenue, but wasn't. The signs on the walls were old and half of them were missing prices. I know that the pure capitalist will say, "let him fail and a better takeout place will replace him". And the pure capitalist is correct. But I felt bad for the guys who owned the place, even if they seemed to lack the drive to make a success of the business.

Am I turning into an NDP'er?

Friday, June 06, 2008

I've Been Abandoned

I've been abandoned by Microsoft. I bought Microsoft Money many years ago, and upgraded in 2000 and 2005. With a brand new computer and Windows Vista I decided to look into upgrading to Money 2008. There are in fact several choices. But not if I live in Canada. You see Money 2008 is only supported in the United States and Japan. I suppose I could buy it, but why pay for unsupported software? I went to the Microsoft Canada website and got more details. Microsoft Money 2006 is still available for sale in Canada. However when I click on the link "How to Buy" it takes me to a statement that says it is not available directly from Microsoft. And, no surprise, there are no links to any vendors that sell it, because what vendor is going to carry a version of software that is a couple of years old? So I found my old disk for Money 2005 and it seems to install and run under Vista. Thanks Microsoft!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Human Rights Commissions

I made the following comment on a blog which urged that the various Canadian Human Rights Commissions be shut down, due to the threat they pose to free speech, their excessive powers, lack of judicial oversight and controls, etc. Here's my comment:

Yes, they should be shut down, but they won't because in the minds of most people it is the HRC which is the guardian of human rights, and shutting down the HRC would be akin to declaring that you don't care about human rights.

Of course the HRC is not the guardian of human rights. The guardian of human rights is in the collective understanding of the people of the nation. Unfortunately in a multi-cultural society that common understanding fades, and so it must be replaced by HRC and constitutions and arbitrary laws.

Having created a structure that replaces our collective understanding, it is easy for the liberal elite to get control of the structure and drive the agenda, including expanding the definition of what constitutes human rights.

One key to changing this situation is to abandon the idea of multiculturalism and embrace the melting pot concept, where people from all over the world come here and add to what we have rather than maintaining the exact same culture they had in the country which they chose to leave. A unified nation with a common culture could be very powerful. A nation where everyone's primary loyalty is to the culture and nation that they left, can never be strong.

Let me expand a bit. I am delighted that the best and brightest from around the world chose to come to Canada. The energy, optimism and work ethic they bring enriches this country. And I don't think that people need to forget where they came from. But can Canada really be considered a nation if we are a bunch of people who all maintain our own cultures, all have a strong allegiance to the country we came from, and have only two things in common with each other; we all live within specific geographic bounds and we all have permission to work within those geographic bounds.