The newest addition…

Sorry about the delay on the rant series, my family is in town and I’ve been saving up a whole salvo to fire off at once. In the meantime! I would like to introduce the newest addition to my family, Camille :D.

She’s a 2001 Honda CRV, and she originally belonged to my mother. When my last Volvo died, my grandparents decided to spoil my mother with a new Hyundai, and me with this beautiful Honda. I look forward to spreading misery everywhere I go, and I’m planning a road trip (details to come!). 

Also, look how shiny she is in this picture, I mean come on!Image


The Rant: A Series!

As I’m sure all of my friends know, I have an exceptionally short temper. If I’m not ranting about something, I’m making up flashcards with swear words on them so I don’t have to strain my voice from shouting at people while I’m driving. So! I’ve decided to start sharing my aImagenger with all of you (I am pleased to announce that we have hit, on average, 26 hits a day for the past little while now).

26 is an appropriate number for ranting, I believe. Tomorrow, I’ll begin recording my anger, and hopefully you all get a laugh or two! Of course, if any of you have any rage fueled stories, would you care to share?

and they’re all wearing the same dress!

He’s sitting in the main building, in a chair that is far too uncomfortable for what it cost. He’s waiting to register, to continue his education, find a well-paying job, join society, have 2.3 kids, etc. He can register at exactly 1 PM, and not one minute before, an angry French woman had assured him of such. So he’s waiting in the main building with his headphones in, but he can hear them all running around, screaming! There must be 30 or 40 of them all sitting at tables nearby. They all wear matching hiking boots, matching niqabs, and the same white dress! Such an odd dress, it looks like it has Girl Guide patches on the shoulders. They walk around, back and forth, not going anywhere, and all screaming to each other. One, standing on the patio, lets off a high-pitched, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Is it a word in their language? What is he even saying? Perhaps a mating call? Whatever this roar means, another one has responded with the same screech. It must be some kind of battle call, why would another one do the same thing? A call used to represent one’s determination to come and study at a Western university. The screeches resonate throughout the crowd of identical visitors throughout the waiting period.

The continual “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”s that echo throughout the main building are beginning to drive him crazy, so he plots an escape. He’ll go for a walk, burn the last five minutes in the waiting period, and then come back in to register. But just as he gets up, so do they! He sits down, and they sit down. They must be following him, he thinks to himself, so he waits. They do stand again, a collective body, composed of identical beings, but they begin to screech collectively now, as if beginning a hunt. They walk towards a large staircase, and then back to their table, some 10 meters away. They repeat this trek, pacing the floor of the main hall as a collective, stopping to screech now and again.

Finally he cannot take it anymore, but he does not have to, because it is 1 PM. He goes to register, and listens as the person inputting his courses waffles on about terrorists watching her do her banking online. He’s always wondered what it must be like to be stupid, stupid people seem so happy! After telling him to put his money in a sock under the mattress, the deed is done, and he is locked into another debt circle, so that he can compete in the real world; the world of the educated, of “the Left.” That mental bash makes him chuckle.

The visitors are still screeching as he leaves, but at least they’re making it up the stairway now.


Harper & Davos – David Warren from the Vancouver Sun

By David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen January 27, 2012

Apparently, we must go to Davos, Switzerland, to find out what’s on Stephen Harper’s mind. This, anyway, is the impression given in Canadian media reports, which splashed his remarks to the World Economic Forum about yesterday as if they amounted to a blueprint for our national future. Yet I don’t think any of the themes he touched upon were new.

The general problem of funding “entitlements” — and in our case especially an Old Age Security program which is the loss-leader among government services (funded directly out of tax revenues) — is shared by every other western nation. The political fix is also the same everywhere. Programs that no country could ever afford were launched in an era of unreasonable optimism. But only the first generation could be paid off handsomely for their votes.

Our “next” generation contains vastly more elderly people, and at this moment costs for the OAS are on track to double in the next decade or so. There is no national economy in the developed world that can keep up with that. And at present, none that can afford a heavier tax burden, which would compound upon an ever-smaller proportion of working-age people.

In the last drying wharks of the optimist generation, “immigration” was cited as the solution to this problem. The doors were thrown open — without much attention to the quality of immigrants, from a mean, self-serving, cost-benefit point-of-view. Suddenly we, like everyone else, want to be sure our immigrants are more likely to generate wealth than absorb welfare. So, suddenly we are competing for the same kind of immigrants with everyone else.

Harper will be condemned, even execrated, for what he must do, and what any government must do, in the national interest. For as we have seen from Greece, balancing the books is in the national interest.

I think everybody who knows anything, knows what I have written above, though not everyone will admit to knowing. Soft love is easier than hard, and the easiest thing is compassionate posturing. We elected Harper because we, the people, do not think like Wall Street occupiers. But the people who stand to receive OAS have no intention of being cut off, either.

The only practical solution, beyond nipping and tucking wherever possible, is to move the age of retirement sharply higher, while gradually shifting the actuarial principles to within sight of land. This makes sense, given a population not only aging, but living longer in relatively good health. Yes, one generation benefited at the expense of another, but so what? We’ll live.

On another front, Harper came close in Davos to speaking aloud what he has been saying previously only in mute gestures.

For many generations, it made sense to count on the United States, alike for security and for our economic well-being. Trade with the U.S. has entirely dominated our foreign trade, indeed our whole economy. Long before Brian Mulroney’s North American free-trade agreements, we had shifted from our dependence on preferential terms throughout the old British Empire. Our dependence on the U.S. was paradoxically accelerated by Canadian nationalism; but in truth, we didn’t have a choice. Britain abandoned us more than we abandoned Britain.

Today, it is the U.S. in economic decline, and abandoning us to turn inward, as Britain once did. Unfortunately, the old Left anti-Americanism of our chattering class blinds us to this reality.

The U.S. was already in trouble, but the new America of Obama is “exceptional” among western countries in refusing to address entitlement issues, in attacking wealth-creation head on, in vastly expanding government participation in the economy. Moreover, the U.S. military is now being slashed: a signal to all allies that the days of American “hyperpower” are over.

The natural comparison would be to Clement Attlee’s administration in the years immediately after the Second World War, when Britain made an almost conscious choice to fold up as a world power, and self-immolate as an economic one.

The recent Keystone pipeline decision — to indefinitely delay a huge and vital energy project on the basis of vague environmentalist neuroses — makes the situation plain. We need new trading arrangements, especially to sell our resources.

Security and economic considerations combine in making China less than an ideal trading or investment partner. My impression is that while the Harper government is waving China as a red cape, to get attention in Washington, China is not the principal object of our current outreach.

India and Europe are the alternative major customers, and our salesman-diplomats are further persistently cultivating Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, etc. — resource-hungry countries vividly aware of potentially catastrophic instability in the Middle East.

In addition to the tarsands, we have Atlantic coast resources, and customers in Europe currently ill-served by Russia.

The wall we’re up against is not insuperably high, but as Harper knows, and we must understand, there is no time to waste in climbing it.

David Warren’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

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what is a “drill?”

The most beautiful moment of my post-secondary career has probably just transpired in front of me today. Here I am, sitting in Microeconomics this morning, when suddenly the fire bell rings. Normally this would mean to leave the building immediately if not for the events that transpired.

My professor, a smart man, said that the school had sent out an email saying they were going to test the bells, but that this test should not interrupt lectures. When the bells began to ring, he stopped lecturing and said that he was not going to continue until the bells stopped ringing. When they continued for about a minute, he stepped out into the hallway and noticed that kids were leaving their classrooms and heading outside. At this point he said that we didn’t have to stay in the room, but we didn’t have to leave, either.

This all seemed very reasonable to the entire class for some reason, and we all continued to sit in the room for the next five minutes. The professor stared at us, and we all stared at him, while the fire bell merrily rang in the hallway outside.

Now, in the real world, this is absolutely not what you should do, good God. When the fire bell rings, you should save your valuables and get out as fast as you can. But we continued to sit.

After about five minutes, a friend of mine said that she was going to go get a drink, and left the classroom. She would later tell me that she was approached by a security guard while she looked for the water fountain and when asked what she was doing she plainly said, “looking for the water fountain!”, making no mention of the shrieking fire bell. The security guard screamed at her and told her to leave the building right away, and then upon checking classrooms noticed that we were still sitting reasonably in our classroom staring at our emotionless professor.

The security guard stormed into our classroom and told us that we had to leave. This is where a second thing you shouldn’t do while the fire bell goes comes into play. Not only did I leisurely put on my coat, I also proceeded to gather up not just my things, but the things of the girl next to me! This is very bad.

We left the building, and it did turn out to be a drill, one that I can say we failed miserably. Not only did we completely ignore the absolutely shrill fire alarm, many of us (not just myself) made sure to grab all of our things before we left.

I still laugh when I think about this, but in all seriousness , when the fire bell goes, just get out. I was lucky, because, well, it was me :D.

An entire class of economics students ignoring a fire bell… priceless.