Category Archives: General Interest

Public service or private gain?

This is a guest column; ‘Mihael Willman’ is the pseudonym for a concerned Canadian – JG.

by Mihael Willman

When former Toronto police chief Bill Blair announced earlier this year that he was going to seek the nomination for the federal Liberal Party, because he wanted to remain in public service, I nearly choked. Sorry, but anyone earning $367,719, as well as $3,006 in benefits a year as a police chief, amounting to over $3 million during his ten year term, and in line to receive an equally extravagant pension, has a lot of gall referring to his career as “public service.” And let’s not forget his generous severance package which amounted to a full year’s salary.

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The Occidental Observer’s annual appeal for donations

I have been an e-mail subscriber to their well thought-out and insightful commentaries for several years now. Their work is excellent, and they only appeal for funds once a year. I highly recommend them, and will be donating whatever I can.

You can visit their website here, read their appeal here, and donate here.

Thanks,

Jeff Goodall.

Black Friday – has it gone too far?

This is a guest column; ‘Mihael Willman’ is the pseudonym for a concerned Canadian – JG.

by Mihael Willman

Black Friday, the Thursday before Black Friday, the week before Black Friday, Cyber-Monday, etc., soon it will be Black Friday month, if this trend continues. Maybe it might be better to simply create another “holiday” not “holyday” dedicated to the “God” of merchandising and manufacturing. It could be called the “Shop Till You Drop Bargain-hunting Day,” or “Look at the loot I got for next to nothing,” or any other similarly appropriate name. But definitely do not call it “Christmas” shopping. Jostling with hundreds if not thousands of people in crowded stores and malls is not what Christmas is about. And fighting over the same “drastically” reduced item has nothing in common with the season or spirit of goodwill.

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Some thoughts on writing letters to the editor

This is the 2,000th post on my website!

And as an activist of sorts, I would like to offer some advice on letter-writing for publication.

My first letter was published early in 1968 by the Toronto Telegram, which later folded following a protracted labour dispute, and was effectively replaced by a number of its leading  writers and staff who founded the Toronto Sun in late 1971.

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Monkeys and politicians: Mind-conditioning 101

Found on the internet, author unknown…

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys, and inside the cage you hang a banana on a string and then you place some steps under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the steps and climb up towards the banana.  Seems logical enough.

But, as soon as he touches the steps, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result… all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the steps, the other monkeys will stop him.

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No more pennies for Canada as of February 4th!

Starting tomorrow, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop putting one-cent coins into circulation, and the banks will begin to take them out of circulation.  In my opinion, not enough notice has been given, and many people will be taken by surprise when making purchases next week.  And when stores “round-out” the amount that people have to pay to the nearest nickel, there is going to be a lot of bad blood and complaints from customers about being “ripped-off” etc. if they have to pay more.

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Good grammar reduces password security

The following is a press release from Carnegie-Mellon University earlier this month.

– Grammar Undercuts Security Of Long Computer Passwords –

“Pittsburgh – When writing or speaking, good grammar helps people make themselves be understood. But when used to concoct a long computer password, grammar — good or bad — provides crucial hints that can help someone crack that password, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated.”

Read the full release here.

French politicians freak over article in The Economist

Britain’s Daily Mail ran a great story yesterday describing the French response to an article in  “The Economist” which describes France as “the time-bomb at the heart of Europe”; it would seem that while The Economist supports the continuation of the Euro, it thinks that French plans to tackle the financial crisis are “not ambitious enough”.

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