Archive for June, 2008

Saturday Fluffernutter: Get Smart kicks Love Guru’s butt; Dr. Jimmy Page; George Carlin (1937 – 2008)

June 28th, 2008

All the weeks Fluff stories about all those Hollywood nuts.

The clever, and funny, Get Smart trounced Mike Myers awful looking Love Guru at the box office this past weekend, proving funny can work. Smart was clever, living in the past by paying homage to the original TV show, and the present with a witty script and good actors nailing their roles. Love Guru features a double neck sitar for laughs, and the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, in case you thought it was a documentary.

The weekly Led Zeppelin update, courtesy of Ramble On: The Who had a song called Dr. Jimmy, with some ever so wonderful lyrics:

What is it? I’ll take it.
Who is she? I’ll rape it.
Got a bet there? I’ll meet it.
Getting High? You can’t beat it.

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I’m pilled you don’t notice him,
He only comes out when I drink my gin.

I can’t help thinking of that song today after hearing that Jimmy Page will now be Dr. Jimmy:

The University of Surrey is proud to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of the University to Jimmy Page for services to the music industry.

Congratulations Dr. Pagey.

Prediction time: Warning: Possible Spoiler.

Hells Kitchen is down to the final contestants, Christina and Petroza.Warning: Possible Spoiler.

Although the internet buzz is that Christina won and is already at work at the London West Hollywood, my read of the show is that under the radar Petroza has never been made to look bad, and is this pages choice to take home the prize: Executive Chef at Ramsey’s new, above mentioned London West Hollywood restaurant.

George Carlin (1937 – 2008). George Carlin was my introduction to comedy. My brother had Toledo Window Box and we used to listen to it continuously. Being a kid I got great pleasure from the snot and fart jokes. As I grew older and heard more comedians, Carlin was still always a favourite. His ability to take a simple word and turn it and twist it until you understood every nuance of it was amazing, and for a word guy like me pure genius. Funny too. While his 60’s and 70’s stuff is the legendary work, his 1986 album Playin’ With Your Head has always been my favourite.

For Canadian content, one of my favourite scenes from his 1994 TV show was the guys in the bar betting on the curling, arguing over whether Moose Jaw or Yellowknife would win.

Whatever you think of Carlin’s views, and he was certainly controversial, he was an original thinker and the words comic genius don’t seem to be hyperbole.

Celebrities, cookin' with Ramsey, Fluffernutter, The Mighty Zep

Da buck stop wid da person who as da buck, and I don have da buck, so da buck don stop here.

June 27th, 2008

Thanks to Justice Max Teitelbaum who has declared John Gomery was biased against Jean Chrétien and therefore, his conclusion that Chrétien, and his chief of staff Jean Pelletier, bore some responsibility was wrong. Chrétien was said to be “very very pleased. Chrétien ran a $100 million program in which up to $40 million is said to have gone missing. He is either responsible, or extremely incompetent. As he cannot be responsible, isn’t Justice Teitelbaum just declaring Chrétien incompetent? So again, thanks to Justice Teitelbaum for clearing that up.

Actually, as Justice Teitelbaum makes Justice Gomery’s findings invalid, and as it’s probably an election year, Prime Minister Harper should call a new enquiry into the sponsorship scandal. Think another enquiry would find the Prime Minister had no responsibility when $400M in malfeasance was happening under his watch? And it can’t hurt Harpers re-election chances.

Oh, to the person who’s going to comment that Gomery cost more to conduct than was stolen and it would be a waste to spend it again: I accept that argument as soon as you show me where you made the same argument re: Brian Mulroney.

pimply minions of bureaucracy, Silly Liberals

The Lie of Revenue Neutrality

June 27th, 2008

A little less than a year ago John Palmer at EclecEcon had a post on the three most important concepts in economics. While some fools were arguing utility theory and the theory of perfect competition, he argued for opportunity cost. Opportunity cost isn’t just basic, econ 101 stuff, it is econ 101, day 1, page 1. It works this way: every time you engage in economic activity (i.e. buy something), you make a choice. I buy this litre of gas or that litre of milk, for instance. It’s so simple, and so often misunderstood.

Why misunderstood? An example: when Stéphane Dion says we want to make polluting pay, that’s opportunity cost. When he says he will return the money to you through the tax system, that’s misunderstanding opportunity cost. Here’s why: if it costs more to heat your house you have two choices: run the furnace less (i.e. turn down the heat) or sacrifice other economic activity to accommodate the extra cost (before the clever among you cite the obvious problem with this case, savings and leisure time both count as “economic activity”). If you’re public policy objective is reducing carbon producing activity, this will effectively work. It is that choice between competing economic activities that will give you incentive to reduce. However, if you give back the extra you took at the thermostat, you have eliminated the incentive. Revenue neutral means, or is intended to mean, opportunity cost = zero. But with zero opportunity cost, there is zero incentive to reduce.

I have cited before others problems with both a carbon tax as it is being sold, and with the concept of revenue neutral: the real level of taxation required to be effective; revenue neutral means neutral for the government; what happens to the tax when it effectively works amd government revenues decline?

But the truth is the main reason revenue neutral is bad policy is opportunity cost. Revenue neutral means zero opportunity cost, and without opportunity cost Dion’s tax shift is simply for the sake of shifting taxes. Or as Stephen Harper would put it, it’s crazy economics.

Carbon Tax, Economic Fundamentalism

Happy Birthday…

June 24th, 2008
Comments Off on Happy Birthday…

Jeff Beck

It is normal procedure here at At Home in Hespeler to celebrate milestone birthdays. There are, however, exceptions and if you happened to play guitar for The Yardbirds between 1963 and 1967, there’s a good chance I will honour you whichever birthday. So happy 64th birthday Jeff Beck.

Here’s a Yardbirds scene with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on guitar: Beck is the one with the, ahem, guitar problems:

And if you really want to know why the fuss about Jeff Beck, here’s an example of him at his soulful best:

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin'

The Liberal Party’s New Western Strategy…

June 20th, 2008

Da Protocol is Da Protocol

June 13th, 2008
Comments Off on Da Protocol is Da Protocol

When a protocol is in place and the protocol has been breached there will be consequences. If that consequence is that everyone is made aware there is a protocol and it is to be followed – that is a consequence.

This “da proof is da proof” moment brought to you by Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

The truth, Ms. Wynne, is that if a principle doesn’t know that not OK for 2 thirteen year old boys to ambush and beat a grade one boy with a belt, all the memos in the world aren’t going to give him the tools necessary to be an effective principle.

Silly Liberals

Hey David McGuinty…

June 10th, 2008
Comments Off on Hey David McGuinty…

Now that the people in charge of “advertising in gas stations from oil companies” have rejected the Conservative’s Dion’s Tax On Everything ads, can we take it as read that the Liberal Party is “working hand and glove with the oil companies?”

Silly Liberals, Stephane Dion

Bo Diddley: December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008

June 2nd, 2008
Comments Off on Bo Diddley: December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008