Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Surfing a tsunami of lies

We in the Nations of Virtue, ensconced as we are in our comfortable lives, are shocked that the evil-doers have yet again managed to strike at the soft underbelly of our civilization, this time in Manchester.

Twenty-two dead. The death toll in Europe from attacks by various strands of "Islamic terrorists" now stands in the low hundreds. Every one of the dead was a sister, a brother, a mother, daughter, son or father much missed by those they left behind.

Our grief and outrage know no bounds. Just watch BBC or CNN for a while and you'll see what I mean.

The death toll in the Islamic world from attacks by the Nations of Virtue over the past fifteen years stands in the multiple hundreds of thousands, quite possibly millions. Every one of the dead was a sister, a brother, a mother, daughter, son or father much missed by those they left behind.

The day before the Manchester massacre President Trump stood before an assembly of Western-backed Arab despots in Riyadh and brazenly claimed that day was night and night was day. They, the un-elected tyrants of the Islamic world, were our friends and allies in the fight against terror.

The Republic of Iran is the prime sponsor of terror, not the sheikhs of Saudi Arabia or Qatar who have generously supported every Islamic terror outfit from Al Qaeda to Al Nusra to ISIS.

Iran must be relentlessly sanctioned and bullied and provoked at every turn.

Our terror-enabling sheikhs in Riyadh will be gifted with hundreds of billions worth of US weapons to help us win the war on terror.

What could go wrong?

How many more Manchesters will it take before we come to our senses?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Academic freedom takes a siesta at Yale

Apparently the concept of academic freedom does not apply when the academic is writing Yelp reviews.

What's unusual about this story is that it marks a rare instance of the wet blanket of political correctitude being used to smother a non-white voice in the alleged interest of upholding the dignity of white folks. That's a departure from the sort of issues we have come to expect university administrators to hold back the academic freedom card on.

Dean Chu lost no time in issuing an appropriately grovelling apology.

Pity.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hey Shinzo, we gotta say hello to these people

They've paid me a fortune over the years...

And that's how the president of the USA and the Prime Minister of Japan happened to photo-bomb the wedding of a young couple who got married at Mar-a-Lago at the same time that Donny J was hosting the Japanese PM.

The personal is indeed political.

And the political gets way more personal. Look at how young Jared is faring out.

He married Donald's daughter.

That in itself would seem to be a pretty decent score.

Then his father-in-law becomes President of the USA?

SCORE! SCORE! SCORE!

Look at Jared now.

Mastermind of the US-Saudi 100 billion arms deal, from what I'm reading.

Young Jared will never want for a dollar or a job again. He's snatched the brass ring!

There'll be so many directorships of big weapons manufacturers on offer that young Jared may want to lie down for a nap before he makes a decision!

But of course his number one file is Israel.

Do you ever wonder why the imaginary Russian interference in American democracy gets massive headlines while the very real Israeli interference gets a free pass?

That would be a good question to put to Jared.

The pros and cons of riding mowers

I don't mind walking.

I think it's what's kept me alive.

My doctor EJ Crispin once predicted, whilst I was still enjoying (or not so much) my early twenties, that I would not live to see thirty.

EJ, may he rest in peace, would be shocked to see me now. I must admit I'm pleasantly surprised myself.

His theory was that the line between "experimentation" and "substance abuse" can be more than a little nebulous, and it is always prudent to err on the side of moderation. My theory has been, if you can keep a job and pay your bills, you're doing OK, regardless of what you may do in your spare time.

If that spare time includes excessive amounts of excess... well, just walk it off when you come out of it.

That's led to some great walks. I recall walking up a mountain in the Austrian Alps. It was a dreary drizzly day. I walked and walked and walked. Then I walked and walked some more. The drizzle became an enveloping mist. I kept walking.

After maybe eight or ten hours of walking I imagined I heard voices... I was getting high into the mountain. It was getting dark.

Perhaps I was hearing the angels talking amongst themselves?

I kept walking. The voices became more prominent. Wait a minute - those voices were speaking in German.

Obviously not the angels...

No, I'd taken the scenic hike to a mountain-top resort. I took the gondola down the other side. Twelve hours to walk up the hill, twenty minutes to take the gondola back to town.

I'm still walking. Walking behind a push-mower has just been another mode of walking, at least until recently.

My first mower was a Canadian Tire special that I inherited from my brother in law. It was about ten years old when I got it. It did yeoman's service for another ten years. Zero maintenance. For ten years all I had to do was put gas in it.

It finally calved when I had my place in Durham. I splurged and bought a fancy Sears walk-behind. Close to five hundred bucks. That lasted for ten years or so.

Then I bought another Sears mower. Just over five hundred bucks this time. Didn't make it through four seasons.

Do you see a pattern here?

The manufacturers have got the lifespan of a lawnmower down to four years from twenty-plus.

That's progress for you.

I then bought the cheapest piece-of-shit mower I could find, $199 at Home Hardware. It's more asthmatic than I am. I can hardly get it through the dandelions.

Here at Falling Downs I figure I've got somewhere close to an acre of lawn which, at this time of year, requires a good three hours behind the push mower. More than a few people have wondered why I haven't gone to a rider.

Good question. After all, I don't really do enough substance abuse anymore to justify that amount of walking. I don't have anything to walk off for three hours a week.

It does give me time to think, though.

I think about what a waste it is to cut all that grass when it would be perfectly good feed for goats or rabbits or something.

I think about what a great market garden that acre of lawn would make. But that's a shit-load of work, which is something I'd rather avoid.

I think it might be time for a ride-on.

My dear son Jake has pointed out the potential benefits of a riding mower.

Instead of seeing grass-cutting as a chore, it could be an adventure!

Have a few beers and a huff on the vaporizer, then cut the grass! And the Cub Cadet ride-on I've been eyeing at Hasties has cup-holders! You could have more beers while doing the lawn!

I'm undecided.

I spent three hours behind the pusher today. It's gonna need three more hours before next weekend.

Undecided perhaps, but I have a rough idea where this is going...


Friday, May 19, 2017

President Trump and the People of The Book

President Trump?

Holy shit, how did the condo promoter from Manhattan pull that off?

We're pretty sure the new prez hates his new job. Sure, he had a lot of fun on the campaign trail burying the establishment stiffs, but seriously...

He was no more prepared to actually win that election than we were to see him win it.

Anyway, the interminable wingeing of the Wapo and NYT professional crybabies aside, it looks like Donny J, perhaps the most compromised presidential candidate of the modern era (even leaving aside the shit-storm of fake news about his Russia connections,) will be POTUS for the next three and a half years.

So look at the itinerary for his first presidential field trip.

Saudi Arabia. Home of the two sites most sacred to the Muslim faith.

Israel. Eternal home of God's Chosen People.

The Vatican. Home of you-know-who.

Looks to me like the sly (non-believing) opportunist is attempting an end run around the Beltway aristocracy by appealing directly to the Keepers of the People of The Book.

We're counting on America's free press to ensure he doesn't get away with this latest outrage.

The torists are back

Yes, I know they are properly "tourists," but in these parts that's pronounced tor-ists.

Torists are the folks who have million-dollar summer shacks on the Bruce. That would be the Bruce Peninsula, if you're not from around here.

You can have a leisurely breakfast at a window seat in the Top Notch and watch them roll by all day long. Range Rovers and BMWs and a never-ending caravan of $60,000 pick-ups pulling Sea-doos and ATVs and BBQs and summer fun accessories of every description.

They clog up the Timmies, make the Foodland parking lot into a nightmare, and hog all the good seats in the local dining establishments.

But they're more than welcome.

Our new Foodland was built and stocked with the affluent summer crowd in mind. They're not carrying Sambal Oelek chili paste and Kitchen of Love Spicy Quinoa for the benefit of the locals, I can assure you of that.

Couple of things you should know about Wiarton. They tore down a school to build that Timmies. Speaks to our priorities around here.

Also, right up until the sea lamprey found its way into the Great Lakes almost a hundred years ago, Wiarton was a major commercial fishing hub. Wiarton's population was higher a hundred years ago than it is today.

Up until very recently, that fact translated into very reasonable real estate prices. That's changing fast.

The Muskokas are pretty much built out, but you can still get quality Georgian Bay waterfront on the Bruce for well under a million. And once you factor in the inevitable traffic jam on the 400 heading out of town on the Friday of a long weekend, we're really not any farther away from Toronto than is Lake Joe.

So forget Lake Joseph and come take a look at the Bruce.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Falling Downs narrowly avoids mid-air collision

I was sitting in the yard, eyes on the heavens, when I noticed two vapour trails that seemed to be heading for the same space in the sky.

Oh my God, there's gonna be a mid-air collision!

Then I'd be duty-bound to assist in the search for the remains of the passengers. Not to mention the remains of their wallets...

I ran in the house and googled up Flightradar24.

Turns out the plane out of the southwest was a Delta Airbus heading from Detroit to Paris.

The vapour trail coming out of the north belonged to UAL808, a Boeing 777 on a direct flight from Beijing to Washington.

You'd have to agree that mid-air collision would make for some interesting wallets.

Alas, the Boeing was flying at 39,000 feet. The Airbus was at 35,000. They had nearly a mile of vertical clearance between them as they crossed paths overhead.

But it looked promising from the ground.