Enthusiasm on the wane

Regularly scheduled Bank of Canada interest rate decision announcements are always made at 9 am. The press releases from the big banks, announcing their intention to pass the change onto their customers through the prime rate, usually follow fairly quickly thereafter. Until recently. Below, the time stamp of press releases from TD Bank Financial (usuallycontinue reading

The Official Story

The federal Conservatives have become accustomed to spreading their talking points* through anonymous “officials”. For some reason media outlets have, for the most part, gone along with this, and the question about how much credibility to give unsubstantiated theories touted by anonymous sources seems to have gone forgotten. Saturday, Conservative officials contacted selected reporters tocontinue reading

A sign of things to come?

From the Grauniad: The European commission is backing away from its insistence on imposing a compulsory 10% quota of biofuels in all petrol and diesel by 2020, a central plank of its programme to lead the world in combating climate change.Amid a worsening global food crisis exacerbated, say experts and critics, by the race tocontinue reading

The law’s delay

Summary: Two lawyers hear a murder confession from a client, and out of respect for client confidentiality let another man sit in prison doing time for the killing (which happened in 1982) for twenty-six years. They try to work out the point when they could ethically reveal this, and decide that they might be ablecontinue reading

This doesn’t get any better

By Chris Bowlby BBC News The Olympic torch is being welcomed this weekend in the UK as a symbol of the sporting spirit, uniting people around the world in peaceful competition.But the idea of lighting the torch at the ancient Olympian site in Greece and then running it through different countries has much darker origins.Itcontinue reading

Immersed in self-referential mythology

Konrad Yakabuski has a great essay on French immersion in Saturday’s Globe and Mail. Yakabuski doesn’t bother detailing the many studies showing that the literacy levels of French immersion graduates are poor in both languages, but takes as an accepted (and easily proven) premise that their grammar is substandard. And as he observes, French immersioncontinue reading

And public sector jobs

Dan Gardner gives the gears to policy development in Canada, describing Canadian public life as “stagnation wrapped in delusion.” And he pleads with pundits to stop using the small perfect country comparators: As I said earlier, we are not Iceland with trees. Iceland has excellent governance and clever policies. We have trees.

From the NYTimes:

More Heist-able: Your H.D.T.V. or Your A.C.?Burglaries are on the decline across the United States, with at least one notable exception: increasingly, thieves are breaking into foreclosed homes — stripping out the copper pipes, wiring, and appliances — and selling their pilfered goods as scrap. From there, Treehugger reports, the scrap metal is most oftencontinue reading


This makes me happy: ‘Flintstones’ car case thrown out of court … Trevor Baldwin was pulled over on a Toronto street last October for operating an unsafe vehicle on Queen Street West. The Buick he was driving looked more like a car from The Flintstones animated television show, in which the driver and passengers usecontinue reading