"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wavy Gravy alway says:
If you remember the 60's you weren't really there, but this study on Alzheimer's and marijuana indicates that it was better to inhale pot
Actually, I think its not so much that weed prevents Alzheimer's, I think chronic chronic users are just much more accustomed to functioning without their memory working properly.

The Hockey Sweater
One of my all-time favorite stories -- I love the narration by the author, Roch Carrier.

Over the hill and picking up speed
Okay, I've been 40 years old for about 99 minutes now. I don't like it, but I suppose it beats the alternative. I guess I better go do the stuff that 40 year olds do...."Hey you kids, get off the lawn"

addendum: Dave over at the Axis of Evel Knievel fill us in on the religious significance of my birthdate - worship me puny mortal! I am He who Is! and make that cheque payable to "cash"!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dilbert's Unified Theory of Everything Financial
Everything you need to know about money in under 130 words.
From Scott Adams' "Dilbert and the Way of the Weasels."

1. Make a will
2. Pay off your credit cards
3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support
4. Fund your 401k/pension plan to the maximum
5. Fund your IRA/RRSP to the maximum
6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it
7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account
8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement
9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio.

And as my mother the stock broker and financial planner always says: "Pay yourself first" meaning take ten percent of your paycheque and put it straight into the bank before you pay the bills, buy grocieries, beer or anything else.

Guilty until proven innocent
Ex-con (1) and Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews has brought in a bill to establish a U.S. style three-strikes law in Canada that would see people convicted of a third violent or sexual criminal offense jailed indefinitely as "dangerous offenders." Now, you might be thinking "What's wrong with that? I don't want violent criminals or perverts roaming the streets!" but the catch is that the dangerous offender status is automatic unless the defendant can convince the judge they are not at risk to reoffend - in other words the onus of proof is on the accused, not the accuser.

This is so obivously a political ploy on the part of the Conservatives to show they are "tough on crime" that it is offensive that they would even suggest it. Regular reader already know how this kind of stupid grandstanding pisses me off . How dumb do they think the average Canadian is? Do they really think that someone who gets in three bar brawls deserves to be automatically jailed for life?

Even defense lawyers, who stand to make a fortune from defending all the poor bastards who will suddenly be facing an automatic life sentence, oppose the idea, saying it is abitrary, will clog the courts and lead to shortage of available lawyers. And it won't do a damn thing to fight crime. It is also completely unnecessary since prosecutors can already apply to the judge in cases involving violent or sexual crimes to have defendants declared dangerous offenders, even on a first offense. Toews is saying that he doesn't trust our justice system or the judgement of crown attorneys and judicary.

The three strikes system in the U.S. has not cut the crime rate one iota, has filled prisons to beyond bursting and tied the hands of judges to make reasoned, thoughtful appropriate decisions on sentencing. It just doesn't work (2). But it gives Stephen Harper and Vic Toews the chance to pose with big, strong policemen for the cameras and gives the Conservatives a nice little hobby horse to ride in the next election when they need to distract people from their various screw-ups.

I can see the blogging tories and ex-reform party types foaming at the mouth at the first opposition to this clearly unconstitutional move: "What?!? You mean the Liberals are siding with child molesters and murderers? Clearly such evil liberals cannot be trusted!" (Clutch pearls) "Won't someone think of the children?"

I can see the Conservatives response when the law is struck down as unconstitutional too: "What?!? You mean the Supreme Court is siding with child molesters and murderers? Clearly such evil activist judges cannot be trusted! (clutch pearls/pound podium) "Won't someone think of the children?"

(see how thorough and serious I'm being? Aren't you impressed?)
1.On January 25, 2005, Toews pleaded guilty to the charge of exceeding personal campaign expense limits in the 1999 provincial election.[55] Toews claimed that the overspending resulted from a miscommunication between his campaign and the provincial party as to how some expenses were accounted.[56] There were some calls for him to resign as his party's justice critic, but nothing came of this.[57] Toews received a $500 fine, and the charge remains on his record.[58]

2. Take your pick

Monday, October 16, 2006

So it goes
Another day, another Republican accused of nepotism and corruption.
Seriously, if the Democrats can't turn all this into a congressional majority, there is no hope -- it will be time for progressives to organize a third party or emigrate to Canada.