I Call Bravo Sierra

Common sense isn't very common.

Archive for October, 2008

Fight for the Poppy

Posted by Keen Observer on October 31, 2008

I had wondered what my first actual post (not the introduction) would be about.  Originally, I thought it might be about some election bullshit, either here or south of the border, or maybe something about the economy meltdown.  Instead, I find myself saying WTF about this.  It’s a short article from CJAD talk radio in Montréal, but it didn’t take much to turn my stomach.  I hope it does yours.

I have never served on active duty in the military, but I have family who did and have the utmost respect for those who do.  I have even more respect for those who fought or served in World War II.  The war ended in 1945, but Canadians still fight and die abroad.  That war ended 63 years ago, and most people born since then (of which I am one) have little knowledge of the events of the day, of the sacrifices and dangers, or of how close the Axis came to winning everything.  This store’s rejection seems to me to be yet another example of forgetting or ignoring the lessons of the past, because it’s inconvenient in the modern world, because it might cost them money.  It costs nothing to let the Legion into the store and sell poppies, and it’s a PR win (as opposed to this loss).

On the managers of the Kemptville, Ontario, Metro Supermarket at Dollard & Newman, I call bullshit.  You gave the Legion written permission to be in your store on a poppy drive.  Honour your commitment to the veterans who have served Canada and continue to serve Canada in their advancing years.  Show some spine.   And show some respect.  Let these people into your store, and maybe you could learn some sorely-needed lessons in honour, courage, and respect.


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Posted by Keen Observer on October 28, 2008

As a first post, I hope to give people a bit of an understanding of me and where I’m coming from, without my identity getting scattered around for misuse.  I currently have comments disabled, but I hope to turn them on at some point in the future, once I have a body of work worthy of criticism.  For now, there just doesn’t seem much point.

I live in Calgary, Alberta, although I’m not from here.  Up until recently, I worked in the energy industry.  I’m currently looking at a potential career change to something I’ll enjoy more.  I may, however, just end up back doing the same sort of thing to pay the bills.  I have a fairly broad educational background, and I’m a voracious reader.  I also dabble in writing, and this will be the first time I’ve published anything for public consumption.

I have to admit that it makes me nervous, because much of what I say (perhaps all?) will annoy someone somewhere.  I don’t like being exposed like that, but I’ve seen things in the last six months or so that have so left me shaking my head, that I, in my own personal brand of hubris, decided I need to help educate the world.  The problem is that most of the people who need that education are unlikely to read socio-political blogs online.  But I still feel the need to point out glaring issues that seem to miss critical comment and analysis by news media, to the point that what seems blindingly obvious to me (and others) is glossed over or ignored at exactly the wrong time.  If something isn’t glossed over or ignored, it tends to be obfuscated to such a degree that it develops a particular smell.

Therein lies the source of my blog’s name:  sometimes, you just have to call bullshit on something or someone, to tell the emperor he has no clothes, lest the situation deteriorate to something much, much worse.  I use the radio call letters for BS in the hopes of keeping the blog name work friendly.

Four main things in the past year continue to boggle my mind, although there are many other subjects equally worthy of public ridicule and honest analysis, based on the facts I have available to me.  I can be persuaded, if there are sources of factual, unbiased information to which people can refer me (print or electronic).  These four main items are:

  1. The US election and general American political BS
  2. The highly-variable price of oil and BS analysis thereof
  3. The recent Canadian election and continual political BS
  4. The global, stock-market meltdown and associated BS.

Other topics are similar in nature, including political, social, religious, and economic topics in North America and around the world, and perhaps the occasional personal musing on something else.  But among all of this is the common thread that there’s so much BS out there, you’d swear it was being fertilised to grow faster.

The likely format for this is probably something like:

  1. I’ll find/post a link to some news story or other (perhaps multiple links to show more than one of the reporting biases).  I may or may not post a link to another blog already commenting.
  2. I’ll write up some excoriating analysis of why this indicates a head so far up its own ass that they can eat breakfast twice.  It may or may not get edited after the fact.
  3. I’ll see if anyone comments.  I’m not interested in heated discussions, and I tend to love my opinions rather a lot, but if someone can find me a link or hard-copy reference that is an obvious refutation of my position (not someone else’s opinion, though I may check those out), I am capable of reconsidering my opinion.
  4. ????  Rinse and repeat?

A few extra points:  my sense of humour is not the same as most people’s; I tend to use (and encourage the use of) British spellings, but sometimes I slip; I tend to the sarcastic and snarky; SPELLING AND GRAMMAR COUNT, if you wish to be taken seriously or actually understood; there’s no need to be insulting, but I appreciate a good zinger as much as the next person–if you’re going to do it, be creative; I can read French passably, if English is not your first language, but I will miss anything subtle.

I guess that’s it for now.  Just for shits and giggles, I left comments on for this post.  Have at ‘er, and I’ll be back with some actual content sooner or later.  I make no promises as to when.

Also, I will add some things as I go along, like my blogroll and the obligatory links section.  I’m rather new at this, for all that I’ve been reading some blogs for about ten years or so.  And I won’t point out that I’ve been using computers since about 1980, since that might age me some.  But this part of it is all new to me, so it’ll take some time to get it how I want it.  I do like this theme, though.  I’ll probably stick with it.

And fair warning:  I sometimes don’t know when to stop writing.  Hopefully, this will teach me to control that better. (Ha!)

Posted in economics, general, personal, politics, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on First!