Archive for April, 2011

Why I voted Conservative

I wanted to get my democratic duty out of the way today as I wasn’t sure if I’d have time on Monday to cast my ballot.

Until today, I wasn’t sure who I was going to vote for. Although conservative by nature, and libertarian by philosophy, I had never been wowed by the federal Conservatives, currently led by the once-libertarian Stephen Harper. Their fiscal irresponsibility, even if driven by a left-wing parliament, is still theirs to own, as is their habitual tendency to apologize for conservative points of view. At the same time,  they are not corrupt, they seem to be as conservative as clinging to power will allow, and they have made the occasional great policy or two. It’s not a high bar to set, mind you, but it is far from what the opposition are trying to make them out to be.

(Speaking of which, I try to be open-minded. I really do. I want to be able to say I can support another federal party if I absolutely had to. But the alternative choices to which I’m presented really depress the hell out of me in ways I won’t elaborate here.)

This morning, I intended to vote. I didn’t want to vote against something. I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to vote for.

Then I went to Arby’s. Read the rest of this entry »

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Evil Corporations and their demise

Remember You Got Mail? You know, that Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan vehicle that pitted small against big, coziness against volume, Mom & Pop against the CEO? Yeah,  turns out that was bullshit.

Simone Wallace can appreciate the vagaries of retail competition, even if she doesn’t exactly have the time or the inclination to relish their nuances. Wallace is co-owner and co-founder of the Sisterhood Bookstore, a small (1,200 square feet) but impressive Los Angeles shop that specializes in women’s studies, gender issues, and feminism. Over the past 23 years, the store had developed a steady and appreciative clientele.

Then, last fall, the nightmare that troubles the sleep of small bookstore operators across the nation suddenly came to life for Wallace: Directly across the street, a two-story Borders Books and Music superstore opened for business. The new store casts a long shadow, literally and figuratively. Look out the entrance to Sisterhood and all you see is Borders.

And then Borders went bankrupt.

The big behemoths will only bully the little lovable lilliputians until they themselves get wiped out by the next technological tsunami.

h/t Cafe Hayek

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Reagan at 100

Sometimes he addressed more than ten audiences a day, a crushing schedule. But the real value of that time for him was not in what he said but what he heard. He questioned the workers who questioned him. What did they think of the state of the republic, of its leaders, of its direction and ways? What did they want the future to hold for themselves, their families, and the country they loved? As much as the rigorous study of economics, history, and philosophy that we now know he was putting himself through, listening to those workers informed all he later did. Like Walt Whitman, he heard America singing. Do we?

A terrific essay brought you through — and with thanks to — PowerLine

Read it all.

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2011 Playoff Prognostications

One good thing about my Flames being knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs before they’ve even begun is that my playoff picks tend to be considerably less biased than during the high-flying days of Flames post-season action. No more Flames-Bruins Stanley Cup final for this guy. This year, at least.

FIRST ROUND

Washington (1) v. New York (8)

The Capitals have been ripe pickin’s for the upset in recent years, and considering the rollercoaster ride they had this season, one would think another upset is in the making. Ha-ha, that’s just plain ol’ stupid! The Blueshirts are going to get their bell rung.

Caps in 6

Philadelphia (2) v. Buffalo (7)

Philly dropped out of the top seed position due to a late-season slump, and Buffalo has the best goalie in the league. Unfortunately for les Sabres, that’s all they got. Buffalo wings anyone?

Flyers in 7

Boston (3) v. Montreal (6)

Habs will be slammed like Pacioretty in the Bell Centre shanchion. (Too soon?)

B’s in 4

Pittsburgh (4) v. Tampa Bay (5)

The best match-up in the first round. Will Sid the Kid come back? Will Stamkos take it to an even higher level? Will anyone in central Florida care?

Pens in 7

Vancouver (1) v. Chicago (8)

Everyone is expecting the Hawks to knock out the Canuckles in the first round again. Everyone will be right. Except those who believe that. Orcas will prevail.

‘nucks in 5

San Jose (2) v. Los Angeles (7)

Every year, I ask, What has Joe Thornton ever won? This year, the answer is: a first-round victory over the slumping Kings.

Sharks in 6

Detroit (3) v. Phoenix (6)

The Wings know how to win, but can they win without Zetterberg? No. No, they can’t.

Yotes in 7

Anaheim (4) v. Nashville (5)

The Duckleheads went on a late-season tear, picking themselves up from out of the playoffs to a home-ice position in less than a month (or so — I don’t feel like checking this). Their front line is as dominant as the league has seen since, well, I don’t feel like checking that either. The Ducks’ first line, however, will be checking the shite out of the tough Preds D, leaving their impotent offense, um, impotent.

Ducks in 5

SECOND ROUND

Washington (1) v. Pittsburgh (4)

Depends. Without Crosby, Pens will lose. With Crosby? Ah, they’ll still lose. Ovi is on a mission.

Caps in 6

Philadelphia (2) v. Boston (3)

Rematch from last year’s historic collapse in Beantown. That won’t happen again.

B’s in 7

Vancouver (1) v. Phoenix (6)

Fuck. The Sedins are too damn much. Fuck fuck fuck.

‘nucks in 5

San Jose (2) v. Anaheim (4)

Now’s the time when we ask ourselves, again, What has Joe Thornton ever won? Answer: Jack shit.

Ducks in 6

ROUND THREE

Washington (1) v. Boston (3)

Ovechkin, meet Chara’s stanchion.

B’s in 6

Vancouver (1) v. Anaheim (4)

Luongo’s face, meet Perry’s ass.

Ducks in 5

STANLEY CUP FINAL

Boston (3) v. Anaheim (4)

Tough one. I figure, however, if the Ducks’ top guns blasted their way through Vancouver, they’ll do the same to the Bruins. I mean, stranger things have happened, right?

Ducks in 7

And if you believe that, here’s your 2012 winner: the Calgary Flames.

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“Management theory is what happens to philosophers when you pay them too much”

As a principal and founding partner of a consulting firm that eventually grew to 600 employees, I interviewed, hired, and worked alongside hundreds of business-school graduates, and the impression I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like “out-of-the-box thinking,” “win-win situation,” and “core competencies.” When it came to picking teammates, I generally held out higher hopes for those individuals who had used their university years to learn about something other than business administration.

A facinating insight to the world of the philosophical MBA.

h/t Instapundit

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The death of modern journalism

… will come, not with a bang, but with a Facebook post:

You’re in charge of security for the Prime Minister of Canada during the current election campaign. You read this comment on a Facebook message. What do you do?

You don’t contact the local media, for one thing. Security forces doing their job isn’t news, after all. That doesn’t fit the narrative.

Neither does this.

Maybe Harper’s security or campaign organizers are being a bit over-the-top with their screening process, but so what? This is an election campaign. Messages are tightly managed, as are campaign events. I would expect that if Jack Layton wished to ban me from an event due to pretty much anything I’ve said about him over the years, I shouldn’t complain. I don’t support Layton or the NDP, and my being there would only take away from what his organizers are trying to accomplish.  Big deal.

What is disturbing, however, is how the media completely fed this non-story and were either negligent or deliberate in not revealing information about the individuals involved. This is unethical journalism and, unfortunately, further confirms suspicions that our fourth estate is neither unbiased or benign.

We need good journalism, especially in our mainstream media. Stop cheerleading, do your jobs, and let the citizenry make up their own minds.

h/t sda

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Baby news

Last week, I met the newest and best member of Team Huck, when the Better Third delivered our first baby. The Perogie and the Better Third are both doing well, and I’m having a ball.

As such, blogging has been and will likely remain sporatic for a little while. My apologies.

I’ll give an update in the next little bit once I get some sleep.

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