Wednesday, July 20, 2005

today in history - - - July 20, 1969

- U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon.
... or not.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Advertising silliness ... #7 ... Alarm Force

Alarm Force. You've heard their ads on radio. "Hey! This is alarm force central control, identitfy yourself!" The commanding voice shouts at you from a speaker somewhere.
So what does the burglar say? "Oh, it's ok, Sir, I'm the brother-in-law." Does the disjointed voice come back with, "Hmm, I guess it's ok then."
'The authorities have been notified' is their catch-phrase. Authorities? Who ARE the authorities? We naturally assume the police. It turns out that the 'authorities' are some guy they hire to give you a call or come knock at your door, and THEN maybe call the cops. And where IS Central Control? Winnipeg? Toronto? Halifax? Chicoutimi? How do you yell, "Help, the burglar is stealing the silver!" in french? Merde.
The latest is they are saying if they HEAR you being threatened they'll call the police. Hear? So they plant a bug in your house? Are they listening all day every day? All night? Do eager ears hear you pleading with your wife for Tuesday night sex? Do they hear your bank account number? Do they hear you saying that under the sofa is the best place to hide the jewels? Will they hear you saying that their $25. monthly cheque might bounce this time? And cut you off? The little mic must be powerful to hear everything in every room. Wondering what the government would give to have that ear into your private life?

Could it go like this;
Alarm force - "Identify yourself, this is Alarm Force central control!"
Unknown voice - "It's ok, man, I'm jus' waterin' the plants."
Alarm force - "Identify the plants then."
Unknown voice - "Uhm ... little jagged leafy plants. Green ones, man, what'd you expect?"
Alarm force - "How many? And don't lie. We know everything, you know."
Unknown voice - "Forty-one."
Alarm force - "Aha, should be 43, we hear everything too!"
Unknown voice - "One died and one got smoked."
Alarm force - "I'm calling the authorities."
Unknown voice - "Hey, give a guy a break, I'm only doing a little agriculture while these folks 're away."
Alarm force - "Well, I'm calling as soon as our guy in your town gets off his coffee break. Where are you anyway?"
Unknown voice - "I'm outa here."
(sound of phone dialing)
Alarm force - "Is this 9 1 1?"
911 operator - "Bonjour, où est en France Québec vous?"
Alarm force - "Oh no. I got Chicoutimi 9 1 1."
911 operator - "Département du feu? Fire department? Ambulance, Police or Wine abuse please, what do you like? We no longer take complaints against the Montreal Canadienne."
Alarm force - "Get me the cops."
911 operator - "Which city please?"
Alarm force - "Um ... er ... he didn't say ... but I think it's in BC, I heard him say 'Bud' and no one else was there, we hear everything you know."
911 operator - "Désolé, neuf un un Chicoutimi ne reconnaît pas Colombie britannique."
Alarm force - "Sheeez, you don't recognize BC? It's OUT there, get real."
Unknown voice - "Hey, man, you still there?"
Alarm force - "Uhm ... shit ... er, Identify yourself, the authorities have been notified!"
Unknown voice - "Okay okay, I'll send you another pair of ... uh ... socks."
Alarm force - "Better .... Never mind the call, 9 1 1."
911 operator - "quelle ville, which city, s'il te plaît?"

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hockey wars

Owners - We won!
Players - We won!
Fans - We lost!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Canadian beer tricks

Lowenbrau is back. The German beer is back in our BC liquor stores after several years of absence. This quality beer imported from Munich is truly an international beer, they even label it as bier, beer, biere, birra cerveza, cerveja, imported beer, biere importee. Nice to have it back after the Canadian brewers did their sneaky trick on the Germans.

the beer, out there ...

You see, what they do when an imported beer begins to sell real well is this; They propose to the importer to make it for them here under licence, this saves the huge shipping costs and supplies their market for them. What the importer doesn't know is this; they purposely make crappy beer with the importer's label on it, thus guaranteeing that the product they're making under licence will steadily decrease in sales, become known as poor beer, destroying the reputation of the product entirely and phasing it out of the market because they usually have a long term agreement. Effectively eliminating their competition. They did it with Miller High Life when it too became very popular.
Our Canadian beer companies stop at nothing to protect their market. One beer company executive once admitted that they made seven labels of beer with only four vats. North American brewers purposely ignore the fact that in Germany the purity laws prevail in the making of beer and a company cannot dump huge amounts of artificial ingredients or chemicals into the brewing. Apparantly Budweiser has been spending millions lobbying the German government to relax these laws, because 'Bud' drinkers apparantly LIKE chemicals in their beer. And it is CHEAPER to brew that way. So far the Germans will have none of it. They're aghast at the thought! They've been making Lowenbrau in Bavaria since 1353, they know what they're doing. Danke schoen.
Welcome back, Lowenbrau, read the small print. Bitte.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Canada's Olympic team

Once again, Canada's Olympic hopes are dominated by the NHL. Wayne Gretsky is STILL unwilling to use Todd Bertuzzi on OUR team. His loyalties are clearly with the money and the NHL. One can understand that he made his millions playing in the NHL, he was actually hugely responsible for the expansion into the US market when they really needed the image. But Gretsky's ideas are misplaced. He has not the Canadian Olympic team in his mind, using the best Canadian players whoever they are, he is sticking with his American masters. He says he might place Bertuzzi on the team if his suspension is ended by the NHL.
We ask what the NHL has to do with OUR olympic team? He got away with it with the World Cup because everyone accepts that it is an NHL tournament. But the Olympics are supposed to be independent of a professional organization.
Of course the American Olympic team is thrilled that a supserstar of Bertuzzi's caliber won't be playing for Canada.
Gretsky is betraying us by his misplaced ideology. He OWES Canada, NOT the USA.
Meanwhile Sidney Crosby has a 10 million dollar offer from Lugano to play in Switzerland. SEVEN millions higher than his entry level salary would be in the NHL. What could Todd Bertuzzi get in Europe as a proven quality player?
Todd Bertuzzi should go looking, he has nothing to prove in the NHL. He should tell 'em to go to hell and enjoy his life.

Lugano, Italian Switzerland

Aide to African leaders?

Bob Geldoff has done a great thing ... drawing attention to the plight of poverty stricken Africans, and wanting to get the G8 nations to dedicate a percentage of their riches to help these desperate people. However, one must view the past to evaluate the future.
There is widespread curruption among the leaders of these impoverished nations, and while some have tried to help them, many have become resistant to outside help, blaming the West for much of their woes, yet accepting their money.
There are many documented instances of abuse of aid and where the money went, two leaders of two countries, when receiving dollars in the amounts over 100 million, bought themselves private jets. (cost-30 million) It is well known that many country's warlords SELL the medical help that arrives. Some leaders have swollen Swiss bank accounts. One leader is suspected to have stolen up to 750 MILLION from international aid! Civil wars break out daily. Aids is rampant. Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan etc etc ad nauseum, resist any Western influence, no matter how well meaning. In Swaziland the King has built 8 palaces and has a fleet of Ferraris while having the highest HIV+ rate in Africa!
In contrast, when Ian Smith was in charge in Rhodesia, it was the blooming flower of Africa, moving forward with ideas and modernization to guarantee its successful future. Some would say the same of South Africa twenty years ago.
Today Robert Mugabe destroys Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) systematically in his hatred of whites and the West. Once productive farms lie dormant or destroyed. The equipment supplied by the West to perpetuate their forest industry rusts. It can be said also that South Africa continues to decline.
My friend worked in Africa for many years for the United Nations, he believed it was his career triumph to have implemented systems and methods to help some nations become successes on their own. Today his efforts lie in scattered ruins because of corruption and waste of materials and equipment. The last time he was there he saw truck after truck passing with soldiers and military equipment on board, ALL the trucks with UN markings as supplied by the West to carry food to the needy.
If the rich West is to help these poor of Africa, throwing money their way will not do it. There needs to be systems implemented to make sure the aid efforts reach those who need it. The UN is simply not doing it. We cannot trust that money will filter down to food and medical aid for the starving and sick.

Perhaps the West needs to listen to an unlikely source, Moamar Khadafi, who recently commented that African nations should stop begging and start working together. The trick of course, is how to help them do that. As Libya is one of the few rich nations in Africa, the UN should have pressed him to start it himself! There's a HUGE opportunity to help Africa and allow Khadafi to redeem himself in the eyes of the world.
The Live8 Concerts continue to draw attention but it's only a start, it's not as easy as rock n roll, the politicians knew that going in.
Money isn't necessarily the answer, creative thinking is.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

NO to Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has become recognized as a leading destructive economic power in the US and abroad. Where it establishes stores, other retail stores are forced to close, wage and benefit rates for workers are lowered in the area, the rights of workers to organize are abused, and local communities have to pick up the costs of these abuses in many different ways. In the face of these revelations, Wal-Mart has launched an aggressive public relations campaign to create the illusion that the company is a source of good jobs and benefits for workers and communities and a good corporate citizen.

This is from a Chicago based website fighting to make Wal-Mart become proper corporate citizens. Check out Wal-Mart on the web, you'll get endless sites where people are struggling to stop the aggressive and destructive march of the uncaring giant retailer from the Dark Side.
Just a few links;

Chicago wants realistic rules -

A Class action lawsuit against sexual descrimination of employees -

Another unionized store shuts down abruptly in Quebec -

... in YOUR neighborhood?

Vancouver voted out the Wal-Mart application. Campbell River just turned down a Wal-Mart too. New York city has declared itself Wal-Mart free. Everywhere people are fighting the juggernaut. Perhaps we should be proud of declining the spurious advances of the retail Darth Vader instead of being upset about it.

Now where did I put my light-saber?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Campbell and the ferry accident ...

When asked about that frightening ferry crash in Horseshoe Bay by Bill Good today, Liberal leader Gordon Campbell ignored the fact that the Queen of Oak Bay just had a 35 million dollar refit, and harped on about the fault being that the government didn't build more ships in the 90s. (Whoa, is he saying the NDP is to blame? Again?) Hmm, why of course he is. He went further by saying that the present American managers of the BC ferry system, are out looking for more investment money to build more ships and that they have his full confidence in running the system. (We assume in building ships in foreign countries)
He then also ignored the fact that the government spent something like 14 million dollars over their advertising budget on telling us what we already know, BC is the greatest, just before an election of course. He also declared that the advertising was NOT a political message. When asked about not telling anyone about this budget fiasco, he was of course unapologetic, saying that lots of people had asked him to tell us how great we were. He never gave that money to the tourist industry to tell tourists the message OUTSIDE of BC. And ignored the fact that the overspending would have paid for 200 hip operations for British Columbians. Hmm, is the NDP to blame here too? Carol Taylor, the star candidate and shiny new Finance Minister, during a recent press conference, had no answers about these lost millions, budget money gone that was known as being overspent BEFORE the election but was hidden from public scrutiny until now.
Then when it was suggested that when former Premiers Dave Barratt and Bill Bennett agreed on a political idea during the last election, STVs, (probably the first time ever) Gordon Campbell declared that these two multi-time provincial leaders were not the political elite and their ideas were of the past, not the present.
The callers were so obviously set up that it was pathetic. All asking Campbell nice little questions about his policy. Bill Good of course, true to his wishy-washy form, accepts whatever his guest says without pressing for details. Campbell also dismissed political columnist Bill Tielman as not having anything to say. Will he try to have the newspaper 24hours shut down too? As he did the Georgia Straight?
Well it's sort of like he's campaigning right now isn't it? But then he knows gullible voters will forget in time for the next round. Matter of fact, that's what all liberals count on, President Martin included.
Same old same old.

UPDATE: Since this post, there have been two more engine failures on BC Ferries, The Queen of Saanich and the Queen of Cumberland both had problems. The Saanich an exhaust valve and the Cumberland THREE OUT OF FOUR engines! Although our media reporters don't ask why, it almost begs the question of the American management about WHO is doing the maintenance on our BC fleet? Doesn't it?