Jul 7, 2015

Screw Canada

I tried to raise my children to be absolutely cynical about anything and anybody having anything to do with governments. They were urged to believe that any public-trough functionary, from the guy who collects the garbage to the guy who lives in the White House, is in some part a blend of leech and thug.

One summer in Canada, my teachings took a hit. We were taking a long camping trip through northwest Ontario,  bedding down sometimes in the wilderness, sometimes in the superb provincial parks.  In one of them (Rushing River Park, I think)  I came briefly to love bureaucrats as represented by the park staff.

Checking in, we were taken with the youth, attractiveness,  and personability  of the young men women assigned to collect our money,  help us select a site,  and generally make us feel welcome. The girl taking the camping fee was a special delight and not only because she was decked out like a like a grown-up and alluring Brownie.

There was some confusion about the exchange rate. Ontario's parks were perfectly willing to take U.S. currency, but there was a small discrepancy between the actual charge and the greenback I handed over. It amounted to a few cents in our favor.  I waved it away. She wouldn't hear of such a thing and disappeared for a minute or two,  long enough to collect some coins to make it just right. Then she apologized for delaying us. I was about ready to inquire about the immigration laws.

All of which is to say I had a mild love affair with our northern neighbor.


Maybe that kind of cordiality was laid on strictly for the tourist trade, though somehow I doubt it. On that trip and some others back in the day, I always found Canada and Canadians a congenial bunch embracing a live-and-let-live attitude and celebrating their occasional outbursts of odd-ball nonconformity.

Maybe Canada is turning,  like its Mother Country, into a meek bastion of rampant  nannyism where any deviation from officially prescribed behavior is grounds for police action.

I mean, c'mon, how much danger could this guy pose to public safety?  Suppose that everything failed at once, catastrophically. All the carnival balloons pop. His parachute doesn't open. He plummets to earth, a willing victim of his own free spirit, his sense of fun and adventure, his refusal to march in the drab gray line with Winston Smith.

The report leads us to believe everyone Calgary was gawking at this man aloft. Certainly they would have had enough warning to evade his plunging body and lawn chair, probably even enough to flee the disgusting splatter.

I wish someone with clout in Buckingham would cut and paste this and make sure Her Majesty sees it. We could then dream that she agrees with us that a formal Royal Pronouncement is needed.

 It should read, "WTF is happening among Our Subjects? Doesn't anyone remember Jim Tytler?"


Jul 6, 2015

The Art of the Lede

While not totally reflective of the story, this AP lede is the best I've seen in several days of media Odes on the Grecian Burn.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Greece is at the last chance saloon, thirsty and out of credit. Next stop could be the badlands of euro exit.

Well done, David McHugh.

Jul 1, 2015

Silver Sex in a Greek Cave

(Inspired by a morning AP headline saying Greek politicians  are about to "cave in" to the people who loaned them money and now want it back. {This headline does not necessarily represent reality}.)

(And also inspired by memories of Melina as Ilya, who, as previously reported in these pages, is the last known Greek person to work cheerfully and diligently through a six-day week.)

An independent dispenser of an honest product at at honest price, the hallmark of free market economics; rare enough to justify at least one repost of our heroine.

I liked Ilya and even Melina who became a nagging left-wing political bore, much like our own Susan Sarandon. For reasons which may suggest themselves, I have forgiven them both. Those reasons have nothing to do with their value as conversational partners.

All this leaves only the obscure title reference to "silver" to be explained. Easy.

Wouldn't it be nice today if we were in Pireus  with a bulging sack of pre-1964 U.S. silver coins? Or even some of those wonderful silver Drachmas which circulated in Athens up until the time when Greek politicians, like their American counterparts,  in cahoots with amoral bankers, found out that the drooling masses could be hoodwinked into accepting pieces of paper and clunky zinc medals in place of actual money.

We can think that over for a while and commiserate with the poor Greek worker (forgive the oxymoron) standing forlornly outside the barricaded bank where his "money" is, fidgeting with hands in his pocket, where it is not.

Then we can forget it because we live in America, a place ruled by Golden men and women who would not for a moment consider issuing and using value-free scrip and and pot metal discs, backed by nothing more than their fingers-crossed promises.

Jun 12, 2015

What gun for face-eating monkeys?

This fellow Jeff has a point. We slip well away from the rule of law when a  bureaucrat can administratively void a state statute, in this case Missouri's open carry law. Whether his attention-seeking demonstration is useful way of making our  point is open to debate.

He plans to carry a gun, probably a sidearm, openly into the no-guns-allowed St. Louis zoo, just to see what happens other than his new 15 minutes.

Regardless of your conclusion about Jeff's tactical stunt, I think you might agree that the leading local cop is guilty of a notable non-sequitur.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson disagrees and said, “More guns are never the answer. I think we need to have stronger gun laws and make sure that they are used in appropriate ways.”

Sam, no one with the brains of  a three-toed sloth gives a damn about your elevated insights on citizen control. You are a hired hand, paid to enforce  laws written above your pay grade. If you hate the idea of everyone except you and your employees being stripped bare of self-defense means, write your legislator.