Thursday, August 28, 2014

All Sorts Of Evil?

Salerno, Italy-Travel+Leisure, Facebook

Business Week: August 28, 2014


'Firearms Sure, Give a 9-Year-Old an Uzi: Four Blunt Points'


'A 9-year-old girl in Arizona being taught to fire an Uzi machine gun lost control of the weapon and killed her shooting instructor. This is the kind of horrible incident that invites overheated debate.'


'1. Wait, a 9-year-old can get her hands on an Uzi? Yes. In most places, it’s legal for children under adult supervision to fire guns. The operator of the Arizona range permitted kids as young as 8 to shoot. The little girl in this case was brought to the range by her parents. Instructor Charles Vacca can be seen on the video released by police eagerly explaining to the youngster how to hold and point the Uzi, a potent weapon originally made for the Israeli military. After the girl fired a single round in semiautomatic mode, Vacca switched the gun to fully automatic and urged her to let loose. A fully automatic weapon, referred to as a machine gun, spews rounds continuously as long as the trigger is depressed. The Uzi’s recoil apparently proved too much for the girl in Arizona, causing the barrel to drift up and to her left, where Vacca was standing close by.'

This raises the question that if someone nine years old is going to be allowed on a firing range; should it not be a gun that is easier to control and not automatic?


 '3. So should a little kid be firing an Uzi or any other machine gun? No. Not even with adult supervision.' 

This seems reasonable and correct.


 '4. Does the Arizona episode mean we live in a whacko gun culture?'


'Those saying no, guns are as American as apple pie, will point out, accurately, that for years, the number of accidental shootings has been declining, along with overall gun deaths. By those measures, we’re becoming a safer country, even as some parents defy common sense and put machine guns in the hands of little kids.'

I am for allowing, reasonably, weapons for self-defence. But I am in favour of keeping automatic weapons out of the hands of non-adults. As well those with significant criminal records and medically documented significant mental issues when applicable should also be disqualified from being able to legally own certain weapons. August 26, 2014


'Burger King to Buy Tim Hortons for About $11 Billion' 'Burger King Worldwide Inc. (BKW) agreed to acquire Tim Hortons Inc. (THI) for about C$12.5 billion ($11.4 billion) in a deal that creates the third-largest fast-food company and moves its headquarters to Canada.'

From Facebook

Senior security officer brings in Tim H box because it was his Grandson's 1st birthday. 

A female Russian trainer, probably in her fifties, signing out asks me who brought the box in sternly and states that the contents are poison...

Tim King's?


'The purchase brings Burger King the biggest seller of coffee and doughnuts in Canada, which it can use to grow internationally. The deal also lets the burger chain push into the grocery business by selling packaged coffees at supermarkets in North America. The combined business would create a fast-food network with $23 billion in sales, including franchisees, and more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries.'


'The acquisition also moves the merged entity’s global headquarters to Canada, potentially taking advantage of lower corporate taxes. When the companies disclosed the talks on Aug. 24, it heightened debate over American businesses shifting to other countries in search of lower tax bills. President Barack Obama criticized the practice in July, and his aides said that the administration would take action to stop the trend.'

If Canada has lower corporate tax rates than the United States with Canada's reputation for high income taxes, that is quite interesting. 

Perhaps disturbing from a Canadian citizen's perspective?

From the video the idea was given that basically a corporation and its leadership has a obligation to its shareholders in regard to maximizing financial gain. 

I do not deny there is an obligation to shareholders.

But in the context of business in general, not just this deal, I do have very great ethical and moral difficulties with making maximizing gain for shareholders primary over all other ethical and moral obligations. To make this primary risks living for money and financial gain.

1 Timothy 6:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 For the love of money is a root of all [a]sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

The context is those in the Christian faith, not those outside of Christ, but the theological concept would apply in the world system as well, that being that the love of money and financial gain is the root of all sorts of evil. 

This could be so in a corporate context as well when corporations as a bottom line have their shareholders financial gain as primary instead of other considerations, for example, even from a secular perspective; the welfare and safety of employees.

Perhaps child labour in developing countries when abuses are taking place by employers?

This means the Tim King's is becoming a Canadian company. Burger King is going to become a Canadian? Satirically, Burger King is associated (as is McDonalds) with 'fat American culture' and now perhaps it will be associated with 'fat Canadian culture?'


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Belgium, Seriously?

Maps of .net

Is Belgium seriously among the European football elite?

CIA Belgium

Population: 10,449,361 (July 2014 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.05% (2014 est.)

Birth rate: 9.99 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate: 10.76 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Present FIFA World Rankings

1. Germany 2. Argentina 3. Netherlands 4. Columbia 5. Belgium

I do not bet but find the analysis gained intellectually interesting.

Favourites to win UEFA EURO 2016

1. Germany 2. Spain 3. France 4. Netherlands 5. Belgium 6. Italy

William Hill

1. Germany 2. France 3. Spain 4. Belgium 5.Netherlands 6. Italy


July 6, 2014


'Out but not down! Why Belgium could be real contenders for Euro 2016'

'The team labelled as the ‘dark horse’ for the World Cup finally met their match after an eighth minute goal from Arsenal transfer target Gonzola Higuain was enough for Argentina to secure a place in the semi-finals.'

'Despite looking the more likely to score, Belgium lacked the clinical edge to equalise in the 82 minutes that remained. More conspicuous was the lack of contribution from young stars such as Divock Origi, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. For some its hard to imagine a young team like Belgium progressing so far in the tournament without having made an appearance in a major competition since 2002. Subsequently Belgium were treated with the harsh reality that their team and players needs more experience.'

'So Belgium is clearly a team in transition and by getting to the quarter-finals and pushing one of the tournament favourites to the edge, they leave the tournament after a successful campaign and its something that they can build on for the future. Having progressed further than Spain, Italy and England suggests that this team will soon be considered amongst one of the toughest in Europe – thereby showing real promise for Belgium to win Euro 2016.'

Give Me Sport

Eleven month ago


'Brazil 2014, however, could act as a dress rehearsal for Euro 2016 – don’t be surprised if Belgium are being touted as serious contenders in three years’ time.'

'For a nation populated by just 11 million to produce such a high amount of top players in such a short period of time, the national coaching must be doing something right. Definitely one to watch at Brazil 2014, and if you fancy a cheeky flutter on an outsider for the European Championships in 2016, look no further than Belgium.'

Belgium scores versus USA, World Cup 2014-CNN

I will admit right from the start as a sometimes skeptical philosopher, I am wondering if this historically will end up as another example of over-hype. 

Portugal was hyped in a similar way for several years a few years ago. 

Considering Belgium's relatively moderate population compared to most world football powers, as even the Netherlands has over 16 million as population according to the CIA website; population and population growth are not seemingly major positives for Belgium.

Belgium has never won either major tournament, the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championships for which it can qualify. It did finish fourth in the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

On the other hand, not being a football expert, I must acknowledge the commentators when they opine on the positives of Belgium in the present and future as a club. 

It should also be pointed out that Belgium's neighbours Germany (3), France (2) and Netherlands (1) have all won the UEFA European Championship and Germany (4) and France (1) the FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands losing the final three times. Even with only moderate size population, Belgium is in basically in broad terms, in the world centre of football in their part of Western Europe. It would be reasonable to develop into a football elite from that perspective.

Looking at this information as a non-football expert, but educated observer, I reason Belgium will probably begin to challenge the elite national sides of Europe.

But will not win a European Championship or FIFA World Cup.

However it would be rather interesting to see if they did because it is extremely difficult for any nation to break into the winners category, consistently, especially.

Colombia is ranked fourth in the FIFA rankings and although they could not defeat Brasil, ranked seventh, in the recent World Cup, they might be the best hope for a rising national team from South America.

The Peoples Cube

Note: Uncle Chuck lived in Belgium... 

Pope Chuckles plays goalkeeper here in East Maple Ridge football with ball hockey nets. His alternate goalkeeper is a garbage can with a lid...

I think we play tonight again. 

For someone that never played organized football/soccer my shot is getting pretty hard and more accurate.  I am beginning to scare people. I was pretty mediocre when we started a few years ago.

Pace is still not my best quality.

Perhaps martial arts and ball hockey muscle is finally transferring to football muscle in regard to the shot?

I could however, play well at goalkeeper from the start. Of course it helps that I am pretty large and muscular and that we play in ball hockey nets.


What a wood smell...