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Wild Bill

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Everything posted by Wild Bill

  1. Logged in to take a gander and what do I see? 30 pages of nitpicking! I still think most are missing the point. The moderators are an extension of who owns MLW. One presumes their approach is sanctioned by that owner. So the state of this board is a result of the moderating criteria. The owner has the right to any criteria he or she pleases, since in the final analysis it is THEIR board! That being said, many times it has been stated that the end goal is to increase membership and activity. If this is true, then that is the only yardstick to measure success or failure. So the question is, has MLW decreased or increased its membership and activity? That is the only way one can tell if this board is meeting its stated goals. The question of whether an individual member is comfortable or not with the moderating politicies is irrelevant. Those of us who don't like it are free to leave for other pastures. If we leave in a civil manner then it is assumed that if things change we may come back someday. If things don't change to an individual's liking then so what? Is this the only board out there? Go find another one! Discussion forums are like a table of friends and acquaintances at a bar or a coffee shop. Everyone is free to sit down and join in a discussion. If you find the tone of the discussion or the manners of some of the participants offends you - walk away! Find another table or another coffee shop. All I know is, whenever I check back all I ever see is more pages of posts with nothing changed. I see discussion about more stringent rules but only more vivid examples of politically correct opinion being taken as universal reality. And all the while, the basic problem is so simple - bad manners and a lack of courtesy! Bill and Ted, we have never needed you more!
  2. Well, thanks for the kind invite Michael. I will check things out every few months or so. However, if I find it is still the same it will be hard to make the effort again and again. If I want abuse I will pay for it! Wild Bill
  3. Same old, same old! I've actually left MLW twice. This has been the longest interval. However, I heard on another board about this thread and so for the past week I have checked it out from time to time. I invested a number of years and several thousand posts. It would be nice if the board improved. I used to enjoy it a lot and it would be good to come back. Betsy and I are at opposite poles about religion. Still, I think she has made some valid points that many of you refuse to acknowledge. I think too many MLW members have become so righteous in their own POV that they think that anyone who disagrees must either be a troll or incredibly stupid! Forget this fixation on a sufficiently precise definition of a troll! The solution to attracting more and better members is not to have more exactly specified rules! The real problem is simple. Too many members are simply rude! Too many posts are phrased lacking even common courtesy! I know from direct experience that this is true. I learned many things about myself that I never knew. I was never the classic liberal I had always thought. Rather, I was a rightwing evangelical conservative (the evangelical part was hard to understand, me being a devout agnostic and all!). I was called a racist but that was retracted in favour of my arguments inevitably led to being racist. This was from the facilitator! When a post of mine was blown off as "simply blowing sunshine out your ass!" for the second time I had had enough. I reported it and then found that I WAS SUSPENDED TOO! It was time again to just move on. Life is too short. Instead of more rules, why not focus on people being polite? All the other problems would evaporate! Take a tip from Bill & Ted! "Be excellent to each other!" Goodbye again, MLW! Good luck! Wild Bill
  4. Merry Christmas to all foiks of good cheer! It has never mattered if someone agreed or disagreed with another forum member. All that matters is if people stay "civilized." All the very best to those who return the feeling. May any others always get as they give!
  5. I have no idea why any in the West would want any more than the minimum interaction with barbaric cultures. In today's global economy I understand that some interaction is necessary but certainly, tourism is not one of them. When these cultures modernize out of the Paleolithic then and only then should we accept them. In the meantime, they should be shunned. This is the sort of thing that got Morsi booted out of power. Progressive people in these countries have become sick of it!
  6. Now BC, usually we agree but in this case, I differ! Sure two wrongs don't make a right but still, shouldn't we consider the differences in scale? Uncle Sam, having 10 times the population, tends to have 10 times the smoke stacks. You sound like an elephant who, having wet the bed, demands the mouse he was sleeping with share the blame! What's more, Canada has done far more than many American states who share borders on the Great Lakes to clean up pollution. You can still visit the Canadian side of the Niagara River and see the raw sewage on the American side dripping out of pipes that empty directly out of the Gorge. Take a walk some morning in Windsor, then go back to Detroit in the afternoon. Get a good look around both places. <cough-cough-puke!> Wasn't that long ago when some rivers actually caught fire! Don't recall any doing that on the Canadian side.
  7. You know, having lived through a number of up and downs in the economy I have come to notice a sad fact that never seems to get mentioned. When we are hurting, governments fall all over themselves to show they are "clamping down" on the "cheaters". Now we all know that some folks DO rip off the system but during periods of high unemployment WHEN THERE ARE NO JOBS is it really fair to be so aggressive, to the point where innocents are hurt willy nilly? We also all know that the governments are notorious for having no brains in making decisions in these areas. Meanwhile, when we are flush nobody bothers to police a damn thing! This makes it seem rather obvious that the true goal is just political optics. That being so, is it any wonder that nothing ever seems to change?
  8. Well, I realize that not everyone lives in a location where this is practical but I am surprised more people don't just put up an antenna and tell the cable and satellite folks to get stuffed! It's called "Over The Air" reception, or OTA. LIke the days of yore, you use a tv antenna of your own to pick up signals. I put one up at my old house and I get about 2 dozen HD channels, all for free! There are pluses and minuses, of course. First off, all the stations broadcast originally in HD, so that's the way you get it. No surcharge for HD with the regular providers. OTA is transmitted on the former UHF channels, so you don't need the old fashioned large antenna they used to use to pick up VHF stations 2-13. You use much smaller "screen with bowtie elements" antennas. Much easier to put up. With OTA, since all signals are now digital, there are no snowy channels. You either get a perfectly clear picture or none at all. When SuperBowl comes around, there's no CRTC making your cable or satellite provider edit out all those wonderful commercials the Americans get to watch. You see them all, because you are receiving them directly with no one else in the way. Downsides? There are a number of channels that are "cable or satellite ONLY", like the History Channel or various sports channels. You might miss some of these. Personally, I don't miss the Shopping Channel or the Home Cooking Network. You can replace some of what you lose by using your computer to visit various sites that carry Discovery or SciFi archives. If you have a modern TV just buy a video card that has an HDMI output, assuming your computer doesn't already have one, and feed it into your TV! I love watching youtube clips of rock bands and Frank Zappa appearing back in the 1970's on the Mike Douglas Show. A further bonus is that some stations actually broadcast extra channels with extra programming. Here I receive both CH 2-1 and CH 2-2, out of Buffalo, NY. 2-1 is the regular NBC network station. 2-2 is classic tv, like Barney MIller, WKRP, Alfred Hitchcock and a host of others! I love it! You have to make your own choice but I find the pluses far outweigh the minuses to get that much FREE reception! Best of call, as I already said but let me put it more clearly, when you receive it direct the CRTC can't control a damn thing! That bit of personal freedom means a lot to me!
  9. No, trolls come in all sorts. I am referring to the tendency of a large percentage of leftwingers to make personal attacks and just generally be rude and snarky. "Rubble" is a perfect example! I have no cites to back up my opinion, just the experience of a 60 year old man. While I have many leftwing friends I still maintain that whenever you run into a snarky debater it most often is a lefty. I'm not sure why but I think it has something to do with how some lefties seem to feel that only the left has a heart and that anyone else must be BAD! Some of the anti-Harper threads are perfect examples. To hear some tell it, Harper is on a mission to screw all lower income Canadians simply for the sheer joy of it! There's also an underlying current of "drama queen". If you can label someone as a rightwinger you can then castigate him vigorously, thus somehow proving that since you are against such you personally must be a hero! Again, this is just my opinion. Perhaps if you feel I'm wrong you would like to call me some names.
  10. He's simply being a smart-ass. Take it for what it's worth. Just another example of the charm of the left wing...
  11. Derek, ever read Atlas Shrugged? I won't get into any arguments about Rand philosophy but when I look around today I see more and more parallels with the society she described, where crooked politicians made deals with crooked businessmen and things kept getting more and more shabby. Eventually everything just broke down and stopped working, for lack of any intelligent attention. Is that the way we are going? Will we fulfil that old socialist maxim - "Everyone will at last be equal - equally miserable!".
  12. I don't know or even care if anything will come of it but in the interests of basic honesty, I want you to know I have lodged a complaint about you. If I wanted "rubble" style personal attacks i would be posting on Rubble.
  13. Maybe, but it cannot be denied that an industry that once employed tens or even hundreds of thousands to produce cars now does it with perhaps a 10th that number. Here in Hamilton I remember when my dad was a steelworker. There were about 20,000 high paid steelworker jobs in this town. Now Stelco, once the largest and now owned by U S Steel, employs less than 500 guys at the local mills. So that's 19,500 or so good jobs lost, along with all the spinoffs and all the taxes to the city. Hamilton tried to attract new manufacturing but for a variety of reasons were not very successful. It was also a bit like trying to sieve water - automation and new techniques in ALL areas of manufacturing have meant that they provide only a pittance of the jobs they once did. Hamilton's politicians have not been much better than those of Detroit. We now have the highest property taxes of any Ontario city - higher than that of Burlington or Toronto. With steadily reducing business tax revenue the politicians had to get their money from somewhere. Meanwhile, they spend it on things like flowers in the street medians. They look pretty but I think they are a safety hazard. They distract your eye from all the potholes! The main drag through the industrial part of town consistently takes 2nd place in the CAA survey every year for worst stretch of road. They also seize photo ops of better stroller and bicycle access for the buses, which all can lower themselves to make it easier for the elderly and handicapped to board. There are so many large strollers and such that get on the buses that one day I watched them jam together in the aisle. Nobody could get on or off! It took the driver over 10 minutes to clear the jam and get the bus moving again. Me, I couldn't help it. I just started laughing! It was all so obviously inevitable. The politicians think improved access will buy them votes but none of them think about how such things can WORK in the real world! Meanwhile, the bus service is hopelessly in the red! The fares don't even cover 1/4 of the total budget. I don't know if we will go as far down the chute as Detroit but don't see much difference between what their politicians have done and what those in Hamilton are doing right now.
  14. I'm not sure if you understand about such regulations. You seem to be implying that if and whenever the government raises a standard of safety in a rail car, it is immediately implemented in every rail car that ever travels over a Canadian foot of track. That is just flatly impossible! The number of rail cars is almost astronomical. Large numbers come from the USA and Mexico. Unless it is a matter of life and death there is not enough money in the entire continent to implement upgrades to every rail car in the system. So what happens in the real world is improvements mandated by new standards are phased in, as cars retire or are completely overhauled, or new ones bought. This is the only practical way to go about it. To demand immediate compliance would mean shutting down the entire North American railroad system, likely causing food shortages and bankruptcies of some shipping companies. A car that has developed some failure can be pulled from the system but you can't implement new standards on ALL cars overnight! It would be like shutting down every car in North America to implement an improved safety systems. How would people get around while this is going on? Even if you allowed the railroad companies to upgrade their railcars in batches, the process might take 20 years! There are just SO flippin' many of them! Also, who said the existing cars are flimsy? Do you have something to substantiate your opinion? Do you have some personal experience with such matters you can share? I realize some folks might consider building a rail car to be an obsolete skill set but I thought I would ask.
  15. That's part of it, Kimmy, but not all. Detroit grew up with a much larger population all making a good income, based on the automotive industry. Its public sector workers were also paid good wages, all based on income and taxes on an industry everyone believed would last forever. Of course, the easy ride came to an end. The auto industry no longer employs anywhere near the numbers of decades past. So people didn't leave Detroit for nice homes in the suburbs. They left because they no longer had jobs in Detroit! It would seem that Detroit did not have much of a diversified economy. People had no employment opportunities - so they left. As the job cuts deepened so did the revenue losses to the city. Cities are run by politicians. Politicians don't keep getting re-elected by telling people they are going to get less services than they did before. They also have to negotiate contracts with their unionized workers. Those workers are going to rabidly resist any cuts in pay or jobs. So everyone goes on for some years as if things are able to be sustained, but of course they aren't. Everyone hopes for a miracle - the automotive jobs will all come back or some new technology will take its place, hiring all those who had lost their jobs banging bumpers on cars. Finally, the chickens come home to roost. The whole house of cards falls down. Then everyone says to each other "How could this have happened?". It just seems to human nature to fool ourselves. Not everyone, of course. The smart ones got the hell out of town! It's sad, but oh so predictable!
  16. Well, fortunately my children rarely struggled! Both were reading before they went to school. I was reading to them every night at bedtime from before they were two years old. It didn't take long before they could read on their own. It did mean a constant supply of new books to ensure they weren't just memorizing but I had felt they were certainly worth the investment. They also were comfortable on our home computer before they attended kindergarten. First I gave them children's programs that made games out of simple math and reading comprehension but they rapidly outgrew those. So they graduated to the Net. Before they got through kindergarten they were using Google. My oldest just completed 4 years at U of Guelph. She achieved high honours in maths and sciences. Real sciences like physics, not botany! The younger is in Grade 11. She just finished her exams for the year. Her average was 94%. So I guess my attitude towards helping them wasn't completely bad! More important, I taught them not to be "a rock against the waves". Both girls quickly came to a point in their schooling where they were so bored they were climbing the walls! Talking to their teachers was a waste of time. Their idea of a solution was to increase the workload of boring, easy material! I explained that they needed to get good marks because the employment world demanded them. In effect, they should keep their teachers happy. Meanwhile, I did everything I could to help them learn on their own. So they did what was necessary at school and learned an incredible amount on their own on a multitude of things they found interesting. Sadly, even though my oldest was among the top of her class she still can't find a real job. She has been working for free for a professor to "glamorize" her resume and surviving on a job at a coffee shop. During the past years I saw only one teacher that I truly respected. She was the oldest's grade 3 science teacher. She got her entire class involved in a project contest sponsored by Toshiba. The class created their own science project and got as far as the North American finals! My oldest never forgot that experience. Those were the Harris years when the teachers were "working to rule". The science teacher was found to be coaching some kids in the evenings and her union brothers and sisters crucified her for it! They drove her into early retirement. That's MY story! Frankly, I found your criticism of my parenting to be both flip and ill-informed. Over the years I have gotten used to such attitudes from those of the teaching profession.
  17. Methinks AlienB has an academic POV of how trade works. Academics tend to either be unaware of or ignore important details that derail their argument. Let me give an example. Once upon a time transistors had not yet been invented. The standard of electronics was vacuum tubes. They were what made your radios and televisions work. They were produced by the millions every year. They were a perishable product, in that they would eventually burn out, like lightbulbs. This meant a constant replacement market. There was a big Westinghouse factory right here in my home town of Hamilton that employed 3500 people and made hundreds of thousands of vacuum tubes every year, if not more. Now of course today the standard is the transistor and its successor, the integrated circuit. Still, most folks would be surprised to know that vacuum tubes never totally died out. Most guitarists will not use a transistor amp if you put a gun to their heads. Audiophiles pay thousands of dollars for home hifi setups. In the audio world, a strong market exists that prefers the sound of vacuum tubes. There are nearly a BILLION U$ dollars a year of vacuum tubes made and sold! These tubes are made in China, Russia and some eastern European countries. There are no factories in Canada or the USA. Why? Because it is impossible to make them at a competitive price in our countries! We have things like WMHIS and other restrictions about "green" protections in how we manufacture things. Vacuum tubes have some parts inside that have chemical coatings. We also have higher taxes and safety laws that add to the cost. Countries like China and those others have no such costs at all! They simply don't care! Now, I am not at all suggesting that we should throw away all our labour and environmental protections in order to compete. Still, that doesn't change the stark fact that we can't compete! Now, AlienB might suggest we put up trade barriers to foreign tubes and allow Canadian manufacturer(s) a protected market, so that they can sell us vacuum tubes at a profitable price. Unfortunately, that doesn't work either. That was the thought behind McGuinty's idea of allowing only Ontario made electronic equipment to be used with solar power installations. A kind idea but totally a product of shallow thinking. You see, like most things today, vacuum tubes are a "volume" product. They just can't be produced at anything less than a ridiculously high price without a high manufacturing volume. Canada could never possibly buy enough vacuum tubes to reach such volumes. Even added to the demand from the USA it would be a hard go. No, we live in a global economy. You absolutely have to have a global reach to your markets if you hope to have enough demand to enable you to compete. I've heard that the "Ontario only" provision from the McWinty government has been rescinded. Not only did other countries laugh at the idea of paying so much more for Ontario solar equipment but they have taken Ontario to the WTO to settle the dispute. I haven't yet heard how that has worked out. So I am afraid AlienB, your ideas just won't work. If you happen to be rich, you are welcome to try but don't expect much luck in finding investors to back you.
  18. I have only one objection - the implicit assumption that parents will be active with the homework! I DID help both my daughters when they were bogged down but other than that, I had things of my own I needed to do. Teachers seem to take parents and their available time for granted! As I said, I had no problem helping when necessary but frankly I would have resented a teacher taking my involvement for granted. A teacher's job is to educate his or her students, NOT their parents! As for the concept, I don't think the method is all that important. As parents we should judge by results. If our children seem to be grasping the necessary concepts of a subject to a satisfactory level then we are getting value for our tax dollars and our children are being well served. If not, then we have the right to complain.
  19. That may be true but unfortunately, many people will take the average and try to apply it to those people that fall outside the average.
  20. Yep! A Prime Minister of Canada has deliberately chosen to make an international deal that will screw all Canadians and drive them into bankruptcy! I can't see what reward Harper would get for doing this so I guess it is all just because he is a BAD MAN! Since he is not a left wing politician, obviously it must be because he ENJOYS seeing Canadians suffer! The Left has a monopoly of caring for their fellow man, after all. What other explanation could there be?
  21. Waldo, I'm not saying you are wrong but consider this: Municipalities like Toronto have been allowing new development for several decades now without spending a nickel on new water collection and treatment centres. They have simply been extending the hookups from the legacy systems. In effect, they have taken all the development fees and new property taxes and just pocketed them, instead of using them for their official justification, which is the necessary cost of new infrastructure to support that development. Could adding so much storm sewer piping with no supporting networks not have a teensy, weensy effect on the amount of flooding being greater today than in the past? Just a teensy bit?
  22. I agree, AW. I've seen some of the cougars that frequent my local bar and I would be afraid to tangle with them!
  23. MY fiscal guru? You just won't stop or won't listen, will you? I guess I'm your Ford strawman. Well, I quit! You can sing to yourself and those who agree with you. Life is just too short.
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