Archive for April, 2007

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

April 30th, 2007
Comments Off on Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Last year I played at a friend’s wedding and, as I documented elsewhere, it went reasonably well. For her walk up the aisle I chose to play Pachelbel’s so very pretty Canon in D.

Sorry about that Gail.

Classical Guitar, YouTube

Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs – Who Pays?

April 30th, 2007
Comments Off on Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs – Who Pays?

Does your municipality recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFB’s)? I emailed the environment department in my region (Waterloo) last week, but they haven’t got back to me: Nice representation. However, I haven’t heard of them recycling CFB’s, although it’s possible the local hazardous waste depot takes them.

CFB’s cost 30c/bulb to recycle according to Dan Power of FLR. My house has about 24 bulbs in it. If each bulb lasts five years (a very optimistic assumption), that’s 5 bulbs/year out of my house. That’s $1.50 per year for one household.

Now Waterloo region has over 400,000 people. Lets assume 100,000 households in the region. If we further assume my house is average i.e. four people, 24 light bulbs, that’s a cost of $150,000 per year just to recycle light bulbs once every household has no choice but to use compact fluorescents.

That’s $150,000 a year over and above present expenses. Who’s paying for that? Both my province and country have banned incandescent bulbs, which one of those jurisdictions is going to pick up the extra expense to every municipality of recycling CFB’s? Or do they expect that we should just throw them out, and let all that mercury lie around the landfill?

And is it really smart to make virtually mandatory something that you need to take to the hazardous waste depot to get rid of?

Dalton, Global Warming, John Baird, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Picture of the Day – Art For Arts Sake

April 29th, 2007
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Art For Arts Sake

Blogging Tories Site of the Week

April 29th, 2007
Comments Off on Blogging Tories Site of the Week
Exactly Right

Dave Hodson is a proud Canadian conservative living in Newmarket, Ontario.


Saturday Fluffernutter

April 28th, 2007
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter

All the Fluffy news about the worlds biggest nuts.

Rosie O’Donnell announced this week she is leaving the “Chick sit” show The View. Negotiations apparently bogged down when O’Donnell wanted a one-year contract and ABC wanted her “the hell off our set today.” A compromise was established and she is leaving in June.

Sheryl Crow approached Karl Rove at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and badgered him about global warming. Rove got angry, and Crow eventually told him:

“You can’t speak to us like that, you work for us.”

A few days later, Crow posted an article on her website, in which she advises her fans:

“I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.”

Which just goes to prove Karl Rove is just like the rest of us: his boss is an idiot.

Oh, and Crow now says the toilet paper thing was just a joke. Which leads us to the question, who was she poking fun at? Sheryl Crow?

It was an interesting week all around for Sheryl Crow, as later in the week as Archbishop Raymond Burke resigned as chairman of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation after its board of governors refused to pull the plug on a Sheryl Crow benefit concert Saturday. The Archbishop called Crow “a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives,” upon tendering her resignation. “Oh,” he added, “she also has really smelly hands.”

Doris Richards, 91 year old mother to Kieth Richards, died last Saturday of unknown causes. At Home in Hespeler has received an exclusive that her last words were: “For Gods Sake, Don’t let him cremate me.”

Hugh Grant was arrested Thursday over an incident in which he allegedly threw a Tupperware container of baked beans at a photographer. We use the word allegedly because, while there is photographic evidence, the video is not yet on YouTube.

These photographers these days are becoming complete wimps. In the old days paparazzi got hit by tins of baked beans- now that would hurt. Back in the silent movie days, actors carried a pork shoulder to make beans while they were on set. No getting smacked by a wimpy old Tupperware container for the photographers of old, but did you ever hear of them complaining?

Thursday also saw an arrest warrant issued in India for Richard Gere. His offence, a very public smooching of Bollywood starlet Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event. Gere faces three months in an Indian prison if found guilty, which, you gotta figure, is a lot worse than a tin of beans to the head.

Farewell to Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, who passed away this week at age 69. Pickett was known for his novelty hit “The Monster Mash. Picket apparently died of a “sudden surprise when his eyes beheld an eerie sight while working in the lab late one night.” The Crypt Kicker Five is said to have performed the music at his wake.

Celebrities, Fluffernutter, RIP

Governments – Sheesh!

April 27th, 2007
Comments Off on Governments – Sheesh!

I can’t figure out governments in this country anymore. The other day I was Praising Baird for his Kyoto paper, The Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and Business. But yesterdays nonsense makes no sense to me, especially considering the opposition for C-288 put forth by the environment ministry. Last week Baird was suggesting the costs of Kyoto would be onerous, this week he started imposing costs. The environment ministry is becoming the ministry of whack-a-mole (or is that ministry of whack-a-prairie dog?), bashing away here, then there… no up there.

This seems to me a simple problem. You believe global warming is on, it’s man-made and it is a looming catastrophe, or you don’t. If you believe all three parts of the first statement, then you do anything – ANYTHING – to solve the problem. If you don’t believe all three parts of that statement, then you do nothing, because there is no problem to solve. Half measures make no sense. And what John Baird is doing is half measures.

Which is it John Baird?

Then there’s the Liberals in Toronto. What ever came over them to release the FLICK OFF campaign. (Notice, by the way, you don’t need a fancy font. Use almost any font, type it in caps, it looks like what it’s supposed to look like.) If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Never mind complaints about prissy indignation, it is entirely inappropriate for a government to be putting together this kind of vulgar campaign. The government should, and must, be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. They should be raising the level of debate, not lowering it.

But what boggles is, did they ever think this would be OK? As the Post points out “…the premier’s office thinks parents who find this campaign offensive lack a sense of humour — that they are just not with it.” Did they not realize this would be a problem? Or have they become so removed from reality, that it never occurred to anyone this would be a problem? If that is so, this group needs to be removed from office quick. If only there was somebody, anybody else to vote for.

Oh, and memo to a couple of children of my acquaintance. Telling your dear old dad to FLICK OFF at any time, for any reason, government approved or not, is hereby added to your “I really don’t recommend it” list.

Dalton, pimply minions of bureaucracy, Prairie Dog, Silly Liberals, whack-a-mole politics

Gerry Nicholls Posts One In

April 27th, 2007
Comments Off on Gerry Nicholls Posts One In

Nice article today in the National Post by former vice-president of the NAC Gerry Nicholls:

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper deserves credit for uniting the Conservative Party of Canada, he must also take the blame for dividing the conservative movement.

And make no mistake, Harper’s deliberate strategy of diluting conservative principles and moving the party to the left has split the movement into two factions.

The members of one faction, who might be dubbed the “Tory Partisans,” support the Prime Minister as they would support their favourite sports team. Ideology doesn’t necessarily matter to them. What matters above all to Tory Partisans is winning.

The other faction, which might be called the “Principled Conservatives,” are horrified with what Harper is doing; they believe the Conservative party must actually stand for certain values and ideas.

In other words, the Principled Conservatives want the Conservative party to be truly conservative– that is, a party which stands for free enterprise and less government.

I have long struggled with the political question of what I am, trying to define myself within our limited system. For a while I felt I was a libertarian, but those guys are somewhat anarchistic for my taste. Small ‘c’ conservative seemed a good fit, but was terribly unimaginative. Lately, I have settled on ‘classical liberal.’ Individual freedom within our political and economic system, government that should show an explicit reason for ever involving itself in peoples lives, and evidence that such involvement will solve, or at least improve, the problem.

While defining what I am has been recent, I have always known where I stand. No party has ever truly spoken for me and that is as true today as it was in 1977 or 1997. I actually thought Stephen Harper could be the guy, would be conservative fiscally, liberal in everything else (liberal, not Liberal. Two very different things). So far, the evidence is not good.

My lot lies with the Conservative Party, I don’t see how that can change, not in the near future. But boy they are making it hard. So yes, Principled Conservative fits, but it does imply association. So if you don’t mind Gerry, you can use my name to bolster your argument, but I think I’ll stick with classical liberal.

classical liberal, Conservative Party, Gerry Nicholls, NAC

Picture of the Day – The View From Here

April 26th, 2007
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – The View From Here

The Cost of Bill C-288: Report

April 25th, 2007
Comments Off on The Cost of Bill C-288: Report

The Environment Ministry last week produced a report, The Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and Business, suggesting that the cost to Canada of Bill C-288 would be a 6.5% GDP decline (the largest post WWII recession), a doubling of Natural Gas prices, $1.60 litre gasoline, pestilence and locusts – lots of locusts. While the last two may not be in the report, both opposition leaders, Stephane Dion and Elizabeth May, have insinuated as much about the report.

The criticisms are based on the figure of a $195/tonne carbon tax the report says is required. Elizabeth May suggests that realistic figures are more like $30 – $50 tonne. I can only guess she is confusing a carbon tax with carbon credits, which most experts agree need to be in the $40-$50 range. If she thinks $50 would do it, consider that it would increase gas at the pump by 12c litre (not including increase in refinery costs). That’s a long weekend jack-up, not a fix to reduce carbon by 33% (even more laughable is Dion’s $20-per-tonne ‘deposit’ for companies – a 5c litre increase. I get that now between going to and leaving work).

In order to test Dion and May’s theory, I put the numbers to a quick test: $195 tonne gives an at the pumps increase of .47c (1 litre of gasoline produces 2.4 KG of CO2. 1KG – .001 tonne. $195x .001 = .195. 195 x 2.4 = $0.468/litre of gasoline increase.), before refining costs. Considering the carbon tax will be on both sides of the equation, pump and refinery, it is not unreasonable to assume a 60c increase in gas. If the gas numbers are accurate, then I can accept the others without evidence to the contrary.

But is that too much, can we make Kyoto reductions next year with a 12c litre increase. The report says we need to make a 33% total reduction in GHGs. It estimates that 25% of those credits can be bought on international markets, leaving every person and industry to make a 25% cut in their emissions. How much would gas have to increase to make you reduce consumtion by 25%? Twelve cents? Four? Or John Bairds Sixty Cents a litre? (In fairness, Elizabeth Mays number should be closer to 20c.) Same rule for home heating. To cut your Natural Gas use 25%, what does the price have to be?

I have analyzed various reports in the past few months, and 60c a litre on gasoline is the number I expect to see from any serious report. Frankly, I think it’s low – I expect a doubling of gas prices from current prices are required. Sixty cents a litre is the low end of the scale. So I have no trouble accepting the environment ministry’s report.

There are however, various problems that crop up with the report, and Kyoto, when you read this. A carbon tax is expected to produce a significant decline in energy exports, as tar sands production loses some of it’s cost advantage. This energy production has to be made up somewhere, so while Canada is suffering a Kyoto induced recession, someone else is producing the carbon we refused to.

Then there is electricity. Coal will be hit more than Natural Gas, which will be more expensive than hydro. However, Alberta and Ontario are more reliant on coal. While long term “… planned new hydro-electric generation capacity in northern Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador that together with development of an east-west electricity grid, could dramatically reduce the dependence of Canadian industry and consumers on high GHG-emitting energy sources…” sounds good, how does Ontario and Alberta becoming dependant on Quebec and Newfoundland for hydro affect provincial politics. Does Ontario really want to be beholden to confederations blackmailers? (I know Alberta doesn’t.)

Meanwhile, doubling Natural Gas prices implies much more for dirty electricity generation. A person wonders how high prices would have to go to make new nuclear generation a worthwhile investment? Sooner or later an Ontario Premier will have to consider it.

Further economic activity that can be anticipated, according to the study, is a weakening of the dollar and “effects on monetary policy.” I presume that to mean stimulative effects, i.e. lowering of the interest rate, but as a lower dollar and increased carbon prices are not inflationary, I can’t rule out higher interest rates.

And in the end, how effective would all this be? Consider this statement:

Revenue received from a broad carbon tax could be recycled back through the economy through changes in other tax rates, although at the same time it would be essential to ensure that the government’s overall fiscal situation be kept whole in order to avoid returning to deficit.

Translation: they will give some of the extra tax money back through other tax relief (although not all), however expect tax increases as you decrease usage. You benefit what from cramming yourself into a tiny car, and wearing sweaters to bed in February? Nothing, because that savings will be taxed back to protect government revenues. Now isn’t it funny how Stephan Dion and Elizabeth May never got upset about that bit of sophistry?

And who said that would happen? And what was that quote again? Something about farthings and “pimply minions of bureaucracy?”

Carbon Tax, Global Warming, Kyoto, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Visiting Parliament

April 24th, 2007
Comments Off on Visiting Parliament

I have family in Ottawa, and go there once or twice a year. Last week, however, was the first time I was there while Parliament was sitting. This gave me a chance to sit in the visitors gallery for question period. If your a political junkie like me, put it on your “must do” list, it was a great experience.

First off, a big thank you to my MP Gary Goodyear and his staff. For question period you can just arrive and stand in line to sit in the end gallery, or, you can contact your MP’s office and let them know when you will be in Ottawa. They can provide you with a pass to sit in the gallery opposite your MP, thus you can watch your representative in action. This is what I did.

I was met at the door by Jennifer Dodd, Gary Goodyear’s assistant, and escorted around the line-up to security. After a brief security check, I was back in Jennifer’s hands, who then took me to a more private elevator to the gallery level. At this stage I had to hand in my cell phone and camera, then got passed on to a security guy, who helped me find a seat, and everything else I needed.

I got there before question period, but it doesn’t mean nothing was happening as debate on a Liberal motion to pull our troops out of Afghanistan was on-going. There where only a few dozen MPs present, most of them working away on laptops, reading briefings &tc.

The real action starts with question period, which is rollicking, fun and entertaining. It also has a rhythm to it, a give and take back and forth that adds to the entertainment. If you’ve ever watched it on TV you know the feeling that the MPs act like children, but it’s not true. All that annoying background yelling you hear on TV is part of the flow of question period, and very much adds to it’s flavour. As I said before, it should be on every political junkies to do list, just to get a feel for what it’s really like.

But of course, what’s Parliament without the Parliamentarians? This also provides a chance to get fairly close to the politicians and gather better impressions than you get off TV. Here’s my take on people I saw (and remember, I was able to view the Conservative/NDP side of the house, not the Liberal side.

Stephen Harper does look sullen. He’s a sloucher, and he looks entirely displeased to be there.

Peter MacKay, on the other hand, is tall and handsome. I always thought he looked like a fish, but he doesn’t. Further he’s very well dressed and carries himself with poise and confidence. In short, he looks like a successful guy.

Jack Layton looks arrogant and smug; possibly more so in person than on TV.

Rona Ambrose is not the Conservative hottie, that distinction goes to Josée Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages.

The star of the day was Environment Minister John Baird, who presented his Kyoto report to Senate that morning and was getting grilled. He was quick and sharp, and got the best laugh of the day as well (From Hansard):

Hon. John Baird (Minister of the Environment, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member said, “when Canadians see the cost of Kyoto they will scream”.

Let us look at what one of the former Liberal ministers of the environment, Sheila Copps, said. She said, “On the environment, the Liberals are not on solid ground”. She also said, “People like Ralph Goodale and Anne McLellan were viciously against Kyoto”.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker:

I would urge all hon. members, and particularly the Minister of the Environment, to avoid using members’ names. The person may have said that but the member knows that you cannot do indirectly what you cannot do directly. I think the member meant the hon. member for Wascana and he should use those kinds of terms in addressing the House.

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, it was a difficult day for the Minister of the Environment, who appeared before the Senate committee with only one thing in mind: spreading fear among Canadians.

Except that when he brought out an incomplete report based on partial information, he instead discredited himself before the members of the committee, and before all Canadians. When he was asked for specific figures to justify at least one of his dire predictions, he had nothing to say.

Now that he has had a few hours to read his report, can he give us some explanations or figures that justify at least one of his outlandish conclusions.

Hon. John Baird (Minister of the Environment, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, not only are we justifying the conclusions of the report, we had a number of Canada’s leading economists from outside of government validate it.

I would encourage the member opposite to listen to members of his own caucus. This is what one of his caucus members said two months ago, “We’re so far behind now that catch-up is impossible without shutting the country down”.

I cannot say who said this but I did see it on a website called

That last line had everyone in the house laughing – well maybe not on the Liberal side, I couldn’t see them. Baird is young and good, and looked like was enjoying himself. Look for more from him in the future.

As an aside, I lunched at the Parliament Pub directly across the street from the Parliament Building and while it had good food, it is noteworthy because it has a great, fun menu:

Senators Soup of the day
Like our Senators this soup is the result of a decision by the Head chef

Johnny Crouton Caesar Salad
Shaved asiago, bacon, garlic croutons and home made tangy
caesar for a King or …a friendly dictator and good
for your legacy.

Dennis Mills Danforth Greek Salad
Cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, kalamata olives, feta
cheese and roasted garlic vinaigrette. Like Mills, this salad is a
of ingenuity and taste sprinkled with a hint of assertiveness.

Bill Graham’s Roasted Portobello Mushrooms
and New Potato Salad

with roasted red pepper coulis.Roasted and baked just like
Canada’s Foreign Policy on the Middle East

Stephen Harper’s Mixed Baby Greens
Pesto Dijon vinaigrette and roma tomatoes. Let’s focus on
green” here. Hey Stephen you still have to apologize to the
Maritimers – when you do we will name this item “mixed and
polished greens”

David Pratt’s Bunker Buster Tandoori Chicken
Mixed greens to camouflage the oncoming assault of the
palette, honey Dijon vinaigrette to lure the diners to the plate
riata that will blow your mind. This salad will target your
hunger and take it out permanently.

The Jack Layton Coalition of the Unwilling Chicken Caesar Wrap
Roasted chicken, romaine lettuce, asiago cheese, bacon and
Caesar dressing in a flour tortilla. This is the most politically
correct sandwich available……anywhere… the world.

Peter MacKay’s Philly Melt Sandwich
Sliced roast beef, mixed mushrooms, caramelized onion and
Swiss cheese. Served on toasted baguette with horseradish
pommeray aioli. – it looks good, it tastes good, it is good…and
it melts on its own when David Orchard is around.

Bloc Quebecois Smoked Chicken Quesidilla
b.b.q. sauce, guacamole, asiago, corn, and side sour cream .A
distinct sandwich with its own notwithstanding clause that’s
good for your overall constitution.

Paul Martin Roma Tomato Bruschetta
Served cold on toasted baguette with shaved asiago. Like Paul,
this is in a class all by itself.

John Godfrey’s Guantonimo Bay BLT WRAP
Roma tomato, bacon, mixed greens, asiago cheese, Dijon
mustard and avocado aioli imprisoned in a tomato tortilla wrap.
John Godfrey, the Liberal MP from Toronto known for his
passionate defense of the Al-quaida “non-combatants” who are
being “unfairly” held in US military prisons in Cuba.
We suggest he send them some of these sandwiches.

Stan Dromisky’s Roasted Vegetable Wrap“THE STAN”
Liberal red pepper, mixed with Kyoto Protocol themed zucchini,
eggplant, portobello mushrooms and red Tory onions, with a
collegial spot of Bloc Quebecois brie cheese, mixed greens and
roasted pepper sauce in a spinach tortilla wrap. Like Stan, this
is a meal for a team player who is always loyal to your
gastronomic desires.

Canadian Alliance Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Marinated capers and red onion, dill cream cheese and lightly
toasted dark rye bread. This Salmon is like theCanadian Alliance
– a fish out of water that got smoked in the
last election

Don Boudria’s Voodoo Chicken Sandwich
Mango and chili roasted chicken breast and provolone cheese.
Served on toasted baguette with avocado aioli. A true grit
sandwich with a loyal following. Like Don, this is a sandwich
you can always count on when the chips are down.

Stockwell ‘s Pasta of the Day

… with mixed green or ceasar salad. Served steaming hot…Amen.

Myron Thompson’s Quiche of the Day
with mixed green or ceasar salad…because REAL men
do eat quiche.
Pizzas are served with a choice of Caesar or garden Salad.

Bevilacqua’s Pesto Pizza
Roast chicken; sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Aaaaah
Maurizio. Smooth, tasty, palatable. A pizza that both Martinites
and Chretienites can stomach.

Parliament Pizza
Liberal portions of Tomato sauce, mixed with an Alliance of
prosciuitto and mixed mushrooms, red Tory onions, asiago and
mozzarella that’s as cheesey as the Bloc Quebecois.

Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Fresh basil, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, eggplant and goat
cheese. In honour of Hedy Fry, Art Eggleton, Alfonso
Gagliano and some of the other “bright lights” in the Liberal
government who have delusions of adequacy.

Scott Brison Crème Brulée
John Manley’s Cheesecake
Deb Grey’s Chocolate Torte
Carolyn Bennett’s Lemon Tarte

Food, Hotties, Ottawa, Parliament

Picture of the Day – Reflections of Ottawa

April 23rd, 2007
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Reflections of Ottawa

Migration Complete

April 23rd, 2007
Comments Off on Migration Complete

I went to Ottawa last Thursday, and when I got back this blog was down due to converting to *new* blogger. Not again. Last time, you may remember I was down for over three weeks, the time before ten days. A repeat, and I don’t think I would have returned, at least not in the form of At Home in Hespeler.

Once again, migration got stuck, and I wound up in the help groups where, to their credit, the blogger employees do their best to problem solve. As you can see, this time the fix was quick, and effective, as I am posting from the *new* blogger template.

Meanwhile I will be writing about Ottawa, but here’s a favourite moment. This little fellow was running around Parliament Hill.
I kept thinking, Prairie Dog? Gopher?
Either way, apparently they are getting a bit more respect from “Canada’s New Government.”

Blogger, Corner Gas, Gopher, Prairie Dog, Stephen Harper

Lee Iacocca: Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

April 17th, 2007

Lee Iacocca has a new book that hit the shelves today, Where Have All The Leaders Gone?, that questions the lack of leadership in America. While the preview seems to be an anti-Bush rant, I spent ten minutes in the book store today and I can tell you it’s more than Bush Iacocca goes after:

Had Enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.”

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?…

Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I’ll tell you what we didn’t do. We didn’t agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn’t agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that’s a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don’t tell me it’s all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That’s an intellectually lazy argument, and it’s part of the reason we’re in this stew. We’re not just a nation of factions. We’re a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?

He may be “senile and off his rocker,” but he’s Lee Iacocca and his ideas are worth hearing. This take no prisoners book is definitely on my list.


Where Have All The Men Gone?

April 17th, 2007

Another random shoot-fest, another day when men failed to step up and be men. While others can debate whether an armed student body would have stopped Blacksburg gunman Cho Seung-Hui, or whether it’s George Bush’s, the Police or the university administration’s fault I have to ask, where were the men?

Why, in shooting after shooting, is their never, ever one Todd Beamer? Before Marc Lepine shot his fourteen victims in 1989, he sent the men out of the room. Not one tried to stop him, knowing full well he would probably kill the women. That would happen in no other time and place in history; men simply wouldn’t walk meekly away while the women were slaughtered. In Montreal in 1989, nobody even questioned it.

It happens every time, the complete lack of story about some guy who stepped up, succesful or not. It doesn’t take an armed populace to stop a shooter, although it helps. Cho Seung-Hui walked classroom to classroom, opening doors and shooting. He was vulnerable every time he walked through a door, and not once did one of the men in the room decide, not this room, not this time.

It’s not the mens fault, you can’t blame someone for what they don’t do in these situations. I can’t promise I would step to the plate given the choice, although I don’t know how I would live with myself after if I didn’t. But it speaks volumes about the society we’ve created that not one person in that school decided to put the school, society and classmates ahead of himself.

Not one man said “I’d rather go down fighting,” and that’s part of the tragedy.


Dumb Statement of the Day

April 17th, 2007
Comments Off on Dumb Statement of the Day

Heard on a radio news report about ten minutes ago:

A disturbing picture is starting to emerge about the Blacksburg gunman [Cho Seung-Hui]…

Ya think?