a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Neither Rain nor Snow nor Common Sense. . .

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Herodotus

imagesCanada’s postal service announced a few months ago that it was ceasing door-to-door mail delivery. Instead, it would install neighbourhood mail boxes and people would be required to go to their assigned box to pick up their mail. Canada Post has been installing these mail boxes in newly built neighbourhoods for years and the Crown Corporation has indicated that it needs to make this change across the board in order to cut operation costs.

This isn’t an issue that I’ve been too concerned about to be honest. Maggie and I have been collecting our mail from a neighbourhood mail box for years and at the end of the day, it really isn’t all that big a deal to us. But it is a big deal for many Canadians.

There has been quite an outcry at the loss of daily door-to-door delivery and the roughshod manner in which Canada Post has overruled municipal governments and citizens about where the boxes will be installed.claire-marie-gagnon-sits-in-front-of-the-canada-post-communi

Many people are – well, to put it delicately – pissed.

Some have taken to protest by planting gardens on the site of a proposed mail box. Others have picketed and a few enterprising souls have laid down on the site of a new box and refused to move out of the way of the installers.

It isn’t quite the French Revolution but we’re Canadian and that’s how we do things here.

The Conservative government pretty much ignored the issue, most likely because there didn’t appear to be any niqab-wearing letter-carriers but the new incoming Liberal government has ordered a halt to the installation of the mail boxes until a full review has been conducted.

That caught my attention – not because I agree or disagree with any of the decisions taken before or since but rather because of the amount of political indecision triggered by a fundamental lack of business vision by all concerned. Continue reading

Strictly Speaking. . .

We communicate in many ways.

maxresdefaultWe communicate with our eyes, our facial expressions and body language but most of our communication is with words. Interestingly, our non-verbal communication tends to be the most accurate because it is subconscious most of the time; a natural emotional response to what we feel about whatever is being communicated by or to us. Words, on the other hand, can be used to both deliver information and to obscure it.

George Carlin used to say that there are no bad words, only bad intentions and he was right to a point. Words like Nigger (or “the ‘N’ word as the politically correct refer to it) has negative connotations for some in society but is often used positively by many in the black community. The meaning of the word doesn’t change but its social acceptability is determined by who is using the word rather than by what it means.

It’s the same with the word ‘fuck’ which for a very long time was considered to be the ultimate uh-oh word in polite company. You could take the Lord’s name in vain, curse someone out until you were blue in the face but you refrained from using the Big F generally and virtually never in mixed company.

That has changed, of course. Fuck is now one of the most common expletives used these days and even parents and their off-spring will use it comfortably in front of each other. The meaning of the word hasn’t changed and neither has its various uses just its social acceptability has undergone transformation. Continue reading

Ambidextrous Amphibians & Other Nonsense

Is it really only Tuesday?

It seems later in the week somehow. Perhaps it’s because it has already been quite a week in words and not just the usual bellicose rhetoric from the left and the right. There’s been some really creative, if not just a little bizarre, use of language over the past little bit.

CHAdzhLUYAAc-ASMy favourite headline of the week so far is “Amphibious pitcher makes debut”. It takes a very special talent to be able to pitch a baseball on land and under water. It is a talent rarely, if ever seen before. Perhaps it’s because amphibious doesn’t mean having the ability to pitch left or right-handed. That would be ambidextrous which you would have thought a reporter for Associated Press might have known and if not him – certainly his editor.

Apparently not but then amphibious and ambidextrous are easily confused. They both start with the letter ‘A’ and they both have lots of other letters in them so I can sympathize that it can be all too easy to confuse the two. Besides, considering the state of language these days, I’d put money down that a significant number of readers didn’t catch the mistake. Continue reading

Eight Seconds

You have eight seconds to read this post.

According to a research study just released by Microsoft, eight seconds is the attention span of the average person today. This is a 30% reduction since 2000 and is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish – or the average politician.

Science points to all the gadgets we have these days as being the primary culprit for our declining ability to stay focused on anything for very long and they may well be right. God knows we have more than a few gadgets to pre-occupy us. People switch back and forth from gadget to gadget in a frenzied attempt to stay current on the most trivial.

“I like bacon”

“Cheryl just washed her hair”

“Look at this picture of adorable kittens” (again and again and again….) Continue reading

Criticism Is As Welcome As Praise

I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now and have been fortunate enough to draw a regular readership that totals just slightly over a million page views a year. As blogs and web sites go, it’s not that impressive; a buddy of mine who runs a much larger conservative blog out of Florida draws in excess of 14 million for example. Still, it’s more readership than I ever thought this blog would achieve and I appreciate the support.

Many of my readers take the time to share the post with their friends and followers which I also appreciate and more than a few share their opinions in the comments section which I enjoy. Continue reading

Choosing Sides

When it comes to most things in life, it appears that there are usually only two sides.

In politics there is a right side and a left. When it comes to risk there is an upside or a downside and socially you’re either on the inside or you’re outside looking in. You can turn yourself inside out trying to figure which side you’re on at times.

You can sit cozy and warm fireside or shiver outside in the cold. I have learned from practical experience that when you fall off a ladder you can land upside down or right side up. I’ve managed to achieve both which confirms that I am gravitationally apolitical. Continue reading