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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Baggage or No Baggage?

One of the arguments brought against Belinda Stronach on her bid to become leader of the new Conservative Party of Canada is her lack of experience in politics. The more I think about it, the more I agree that this utter lack of experience is why she should not be the leader of the official opposition. (Let's face it, short of a money scandal rocking the public's trust in the Liberals, the Tories will not win the next election. Oh wait, there is a scandal.) Strangely enough, she has used this very point to argue why she is the perfect candidate. Since she has no experience, she has no political baggage, to use her wording. But what I think she misses is that we actually prefer our politicians with "baggage". That way, we know where they stand and how they handle in the political area. Stronach, on the other hand, is an unknown variable. Maybe she'll be a great leader. Maybe she'll be a horrible leader. We don't know. And, I don't think it is wise for her party to take that chance if they ever hope of beating the Liberals. What would Ms. Stronach say to a fresh graduate out of business school who argues they are ready to head up a multi national corporation like Magna because they have no baggage?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

It's Official: Chretien Doesn't Think Anymore

Former PM Jean Chretien has admitted that he doesn't think anymore. Inquiring minds want to know, when did this cessation of mental processes occur? Before or after he retired? Of course, if he were to answer that question, he'd have to think about it, which would then defeat the point of not thinking.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Theories For the Lazy

Conspiracy theories are havens for the intellectualy lazy. What I mean by that is that many times, there are those who wish to prove a point and instead of proving it in a logical manner based on facts, they instead resort to conspiracy theories to uphold their point. This is, at the very least, laziness on their part. To illustrate this with an example, I remember reading a while back an article about the Iraq War, written during or shortly after the war. The article stated that if, for whatever reason, they found WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq (which he doubted), then they would have been planted there by the Americans. In other words, this person, in his zeal to discredit the Iraq War, resorted to a "conspiracy theory" to explain away why WMDs would be found, if, in fact, they were found. (The fact that it is now shaping up to be an intelligence failure is immaterial to the case.) What is astounding is that this person did not resort to a theory to explain away a fact, but resorted to a theory in case a fact turned out to be true that would ruin his argument. What is even more astounding is that I did not read this on some website or in some blog. It was an editorial in the Toronto Star.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

When Pig Fat Will Fly

In Israel, there is another plan to help deter suicide bombers: place bags of lard on buses. The reasoning goes that suicide bombers, who consider pigs unclean (as do we), will not want to blow themselves up on buses that are filled with lard. This follows a similar earlier plan mentioned in the article of wrapping up the bodies of suicide bombers in pig skin with the belief that they will be less willing to suicide bomb in the future. Also, pigs have been considered as a replacement for bomb sniffing dogs, with the reasoning that they can do a better job. Generally speaking, in Judaism, even though pigs and other animals are not kosher, they are, however, permitted for other uses. For example, there is nothing wrong with using a football made out of pigskin. Thus, using lard or pigskin for the purpose of deterring suicide bombers is fine. The only problem I have with the whole idea (with the exception of the bomb sniffing pigs) is the utter futility of it. A suicide bomber may be religious but he (or she) is also a murderer. They are using religion as an excuse for murder. Once someone does that, that opens the door to all sorts of perverted interpretations of their religious beliefs. For example, at one point, the religious leaders of Hamas considered it wrong for a female to be a suicide bomber. Once it suited their purposes, that idea was quickly changed. So, a simple matter of pig fat will not impede their desire to kill Jews.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Is Google in Yiddish a Geegle?

Everybody's favourite search engine, Google, now has a version in Yiddish. I'm sure my bubbe would kvell and shep naches if only she knew how to use a computer.

Saturday, February 7, 2004

Dr. Yechezkel Goldberg Memorial

A memorial website has been set up for Dr. Yechezkel Goldberg, of blessed memory, a Toronto native, who was murdered a week and a half ago in the Jerusalem bus bombing. Meanwhile, the Canadian ambassador to Israel has declined to pay a condolence call to the family because they live on the wrong side of the tracks, um, Green Line, i.e. they live in that area known as the West Bank. The ambassador's offer to meet with a family representative in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem has been rejected.

Monday, February 2, 2004

Microsoft criticized by AI

Next time when you think Amnesty International unfairly criticizes Israel, just remember this: Microsoft in human rights row Ok, Microsoft is responsible for a lot of things, but not this.