Category Archives: Our World

You Won’t Believe The Entertainment Centers Set To Replace American Malls

The medium-sized and generic, forgettable malls are going the way of the dinosaur, just like the Main Street, family-owned stores those same malls once put out of business.

American retailers are going bankrupt at the fastest rate since the Great Recession. Many are sitting on mountains of volatile debt. J.C. Penney, Sears, Abercrombie & Fitch, GameStop, and others are shuttering locations left and right.

As Business Insider recently put it, dying shopping malls are wreaking havoc on suburban America. As they close down or fall into disrepair, shopping malls are, “in some cases, leaving jobless communities and rotting buildings that are hotbeds for crime in their wake.”

The commercial real estate firm CoStar “estimates that nearly a quarter of malls in the US, or roughly 310 of the nation’s 1,300 shopping malls, are at high risk of losing an anchor store.”

The Honeydale Mall died a prolonged death, in it’s final days it housed a “Flea Market”. It’s not far from where I live. Just up the road from there is Cloverdale Mall which lost an anchor store with the Target bankruptcy.


Pirate Mom – Latest News

Just back from the hospital where we spent a very warm afternoon.

The doctor was encouraging, after performing an ultrasound on the eye he said that he liked what he saw.

The retina is not detached and the cornea is not nearly so cloudy now.

How much vision she’ll have left remains to be seen, it’s a waiting game. Right now all she sees is light and shadows.

She now has four sets of drops that we administer 4 times a day.

We are back to the doctor in 2 weeks and will hopefully see additional progress.

Thank you all for your kindness and concern.


Pirate Mom… is back

We’re back as of 6:30 PM.

This was a long day for me, imagine what it was like for Mom.

We dutifully arrived at 8 am as instructed and eventually sorted out where we had to go.

Mom was told to fast from midnight on. One by one the hours ticked by. We were moved through a succession of waiting areas.

Finally about 4:30 PM we were escorted to pre-op. By that time Mom had been without food or water since midnight, 16.5 hours.

I complained that it seemed more like abuse than patient care to deprive a 93 year old woman of food and water for that duration, especially given she was not being put under  a general anesthesia but only receiving local freezing and some sedation.

It was explained that the long fasting regime is mandated for everyone by the system so they will have no concerns about slotting someone in earlier than was scheduled if cancellations occur. There were no cancellations today. Health care is a machine and you are an outcome named “next”, eventually.

We might learn a bit about the success of today’s operation at tomorrow’s check-up, the antibiotics injected Thursday evening did not help much. It’s all about saving as much vision as possible with the unspoken fear that none will be.

There was no explanation of today’s procedure, we saw the surgeon for perhaps a total of 6 minutes in advance before he was off to inspect the next defective part.

But on a happier note, Mom was alert and in good spirits when we met up again in the recovery room.

We’re home and Soup’s on.

Thanks everyone.


Hospital Daze…

For the last several days Mom has complained of a sore eye. Initially it looked no more irritated than Pink-eye.

But today it was far worse, she woke up with her left eye entirely discolored into a cloudy white mess accompanied by a milky discharge and a contracted pupil.

I called her ophthalmologist who unfortunately was out of town and was advised to head to ER.

So at noon off to St. Jo’s we went. The Doctor’s expressed concern but no ophthalmologist was available to consult.

The St. Jo ER doctor then made arrangements for us to see an ophthalmologist off site – the associate of my Mom’s doctor at the clinic we called first.

Off we went.

The Dr. did an exam and determined that Mom had a severe infection in the eye. Where it originated from is still up in the air as it may relate to glaucoma surgery she underwent some years ago.

Then began the long process of finding a hospital that could accept us.

After a couple of hours hunting Toronto Western came through. I was instructed to bypass ER and head straight to the 6th floor Eye clinic.

Except we couldn’t find an elevator that would let us off at the 6th floor. I’m not kidding.

We had to settle for getting off on 7 and finding another set of elevators that would drop us off at 6 , which of course meant hauling a 93 year old woman and her walker around half the hospital. Great fun.

We finally found our contacts. The diagnosis was made and the first step taken.

They froze the eye then injected antibiotics, freezing does not work as well with a bad infection I was told. The procedure was not pleasant to listen to.

We left the hospital at 9 pm and headed for home.

We have to return for 8 am on Friday morning. It is then that a decision will be made about surgery.

The Doctor is concerned Mom may lose the eye and says surgery is likely the only option.

It is a day procedure but that means we will be there all day till at least 5 PM I am told.

Mom is doing OK under the circumstances, plenty cussed which is a good sign. We removed her bandages and did our best to apply the drops they provided but her eye is a zombie like mess. We put on a patch and off to bed she went.

Please thank Nightmouse, Denyse, Black Mamba, Osumashi, Frau and  DB Cooper for keeping it all together.



Russian interference? What about US, Saudi Arabia?

On Monday, U.S. senators on the judiciary subcommittee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 American election campaign, spent hours grilling ex-national intelligence director James Clapper and former acting attorney general Sally Yates.

But there was one question they never asked:

“Has the United States ever interfered in the election campaign of any foreign country?”


Trump, Putin, and Pope Francis — and the Plot to Kill Pope John Paul II

On May 13, 1981, shortly after 5:00 p.m., Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, the first Slavic pope ever, and — to the great dismay of the Soviet Union — an intensely anti-communist Pole from the heart of the Communist Bloc, slowly rode through St. Peter’s Square in his white Fiat “Popemobile.”

Among the onlookers gathered for the pontiff’s weekly audience were Americans and Italians, Chinese and Germans, Latin Americans and Africans — Turks and Bulgarians. And observing intently from still further away were Russians posted at the Kremlin. Moscow had recently described this pope as a “malicious, lowly, perfidious, and backward… toady of the American militarists,” who was seeking to undermine communism with his “overseas accomplices” and “new boss in the White House.”

His new boss: Ronald Reagan.


Venerating Havoc

Another five-year anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, another opportunity for media glorification of racial mayhem. The New York Times outdoes itself this year with a fawning profile of one of the sadists who stomped and bludgeoned trucker Reginald Denny nearly to death on April 29, 1992, as Denny tried to maneuver his truck through the already anarchic intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles.

Henry Keith Watson, an ex-con who had just assaulted an Asian man, stood on Reginald Denny’s neck and head as others kicked him. Watson never served any time for his participation in this grotesque explosion of racial hatred. The Times notes admiringly that Watson apologized to Denny on a talk show.


What I Learned About Civil Unrest During The Los Angeles Riots 25 Years Ago

The last 25 years of urban unrest in America, and around the world, show how rapidly domestic tranquility can collapse when law enforcement steps aside or is overwhelmed.

The age of cell phone video ubiquity treats us with daily outrages over people in authority behaving badly towards the powerless. Unreasoned passion leads to a thirst for justice, or at least the appearance of justice.

In 1991, there were no cell-phone cameras and the Internet was still in its infancy. In March of that year, after a high-speed chase through the night, Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested Rodney King. King was intoxicated. He later admitted that he tried to evade the police because a DUI charge would violate his parole conditions for a prior robbery conviction.


The Gramscian March and the Suiciding of the West

The term “suicided” refers to a homicide that appears to be, or at least is ruled to be, a suicide. One of the tropes of the Left is that Western Civilization, be it Capitalism, the Patriarchy, or White supremacy, will inately eat itself, and thus, in a sociatal way, commit suicide.

The Gramscian March, which has been the slow infiltration and mutation of key elements of society as a vanguard to total conversion, is, in effect, a “suiciding” of the West.


How Western civilisation could collapse

The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should that forward-propelling motion slow or cease, the pillars that define our society – democracy, individual liberties, social tolerance and more – would begin to teeter. Our world would become an increasingly ugly place, one defined by a scramble over limited resources and a rejection of anyone outside of our immediate group. Should we find no way to get the wheels back in motion, we’d eventually face total societal collapse.

Such collapses have occurred many times in human history, and no civilisation, no matter how seemingly great, is immune to the vulnerabilities that may lead a society to its end.


What does ‘Western culture’ mean anyway?

Western culture without Shakespeare, Kant and Plato?

In a Wall Street Journal column, Bret Stephens recently wrote that Western societies lack the “civilizational self-belief” that others have. Daniel Larison in the American Conservative replied to him that “in modern times, ‘the West’ has often been even more narrowly defined to exclude nations that objectively share the same intellectual and religious heritage for contemporary political reasons”.

Larison is right: “Western culture” is not what liberals have in mind. Europe’s political establishment is still suffering from shock at the election of Donald Trump and the wave of populist movements, from France to the Netherlands. “The West”, the liberal establishment repeats as a mantra, is under threat from Russian expansionism. But what are these “Western values,” according to our élites?

Gender ideology? Multiculturalism? Secularism? Ideological and mandatory open borders? Pacifism? Slander of Israel? Eugenics? Feminism? Cultural sanctimony?


The Hitler of Gibsons

While not my first musical crush—that would be the Sex Pistols—the Who introduced me to a branch of rock’s family tree blessedly devoid of hirsute hippies yodeling about fairies and elves between 20-minute guitar solos. And I love them still.

So like any Who fan, I noted the death last week of Gustav Metzger. While a student at the Ealing School of Art, Pete Townshend had been inspired by performance artist Metzger and his theories of auto-destructive art, which Metzger conceived of as “a desperate last-minute subversive political weapon…an attack on the capitalist system.”

His resulting displays, passing condemnatory Marxist judgment on everything from the Nazism that had killed Metzger’s parents—he had come to England with the Kindertransport—to rampant post-rationing consumerism and the supposedly ever-looming threat of nuclear war, were fueled by the spirit of demolition rather than creativity in the traditional sense.


The Disrupters – Silicon Valley elites’ vision of the future

In just ten years, Facebook built a global empire that surpassed General Electric in market value—and did it with just 4 percent of the Old Economy giant’s workforce: 12,000, compared with 300,000. Whatsapp, a recent Facebook acquisition, managed an even more impressive wealth-to-labor ratio, with a $19 billion value and just 55 employees. Combined, both companies reach roughly one-sixth of humanity. Facebook’s entertainment colleague just to the south, Netflix, crushed Blockbuster’s mammoth national network of 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees with its more nimble workforce of just 3,700 employees. It’s easy to see why: for just $10 a month, Netflix consumers could enjoy an unlimited video library larger than any of Blockbuster’s retail shops, without ever having to find their car keys. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010.



Sister update

So… since the initial diagnosis last fall of cancer in the brain and lungs my sister was shipped to Montreal to begin what was supposed to be her one and only radiation treatment for the brain tumors about 2 weeks ago.

She arrived in a very weakened condition due to a lung infection and a water build up around her heart which had gone undetected.

They have the infection under control now and have drained the water which improved her condition significantly so she has been downgraded from critical to sorta critical.

The steroid they started her on in the fall to reduce the swelling in her brain also caused significant muscle deterioration for which they have now scheduled physio. That same steroid also caused a racing pulse, 80 beats to 150 and and back in seconds. She now has medication to level that out.

They seem less concerned about the lung cancer at this stage as it seems slow moving for lack of a better term and one of the doctors has even suggested a new biopsy to determine if it is the kind that could be treated with pills versus the usual Chemo route. An earlier biopsy gave the somewhat happy news that no cancer was detected in her lymph nodes.

All of this leaves her in a bind as she now has to be rescheduled for the radiation treatment, a special helmet has to be constructed for her which would protect the non-cancer areas from radiation exposure. She is simply too weak to undergo what is expected to be a 45 minute session at this point.

The family hopes she can stay in Montreal rather than be shipped home until she is well enough for the radiation treatment. At any rate my nieces and nephew say she is in good hands in a brand new hospital and the care is genuinely first rate.

Brother update

After passing out from heart meds and t-boning a truck he and his wife are on the mend, the cardiac surgeons have suggested a sort of pacemaker as a possible life extender, any other sort of surgery i.e. a bypass simply isn’t viable due to the degree of tissue damage incurred after a series of silent heart attacks. A transplant is also not in the cards.

And Sainted Irish Mom just keeps on keepin on, kinda like Ma Joad.