Papal Infallibility

Written by Harold McNeill on September 24th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


pope-benedict11

Papal Infallibility: A Cornerstone of the Catholic Church

As a one time practicing Catholic (1), I have always been troubled by the ever changing positions taken by the Church. A large part of this stems from the churches concept of Papal Infallibility (2). It struck me that this concept tended to place the God (the Catholic God at least) in a very negative light as He was constantly changing his (or her) mind on key subjects held near and dear to church teachings.

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Doom and Gloom

Written by Harold McNeill on July 14th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


doom-gloom

“I realize that few phenomena are more tiresome than people of my age, and older, grimly lamenting the decline and fall of almost everything… (Conrad Black, Editorial in “Ideas”, National Post, July 13, 2013)

A decade back, Conrad Black and I were infrequently on the same page. That has changed. In recent years it seems this deeply conservative man has experienced somewhat of an epiphany, perhaps the result of having spent the better part of half the past decade as a guest of the US prison authorities. From reading his frequent comments, it seems he came to realize that many of his fellow prisoners, more than a few of which were lifers, presented far less danger to American society than a good many of the Bay Street and Wall Street Traders who were likely to be his associates in earlier years.

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Duffy Dollar rebuffed by the Bank of Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on May 26th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


“For goodness sakes” (mom’s saying), the Times Colonist(as reported by columnist Jack Knox) choose not print a copy of the the Duffy Dollar cartoon after another Canadian newspaper apparently received a written warning from the Bank of Canada advising it was against the law to publish images of fake Canadian bills.

Duffy Dollar
Now, if the Times Colonist is so meek they can be cowed by such a mindless threat, it makes one wonder how they might handle a real exposé involving influential political or business persons suspected of wrong doing if those persons threatened with a law suit.

As far as this fake bill is concerned, it is hard to image that someone might be fooled into believing it is real. If that was the case, I know of an awesome second hand bridge on the Interstate 5 in Washington State, just south of the US-Canada boarder, that is up for sale. $90,000 might do the trick.

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Why the BC Election Polls were so wrong!

Written by Harold McNeill on May 18th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


But then again, one man got it right…

Leading up to the recent BC election I was reading a book by Nate Silver, “The Signal and the Noise Why so many predictions fail – but some don’t. The book provides an excellent outline on a variety of prediction issues.  After reading a good portion of the book and then seeing how badly the mainstream pollsters failed, it made wonder if they had obtained their results using outmoded methods. CEOs of the polling companies, when interviewed on TV, dodged and weaved as they tried to explain the inexplicable results. It seems their margin of error was something in the order of (+) or (-) 100%, 20 times out of 20.

Dimitri PantazopoulosFollowing the election I continued the book, then happened upon an article posted on the CBC BC News  web site about one pollster, Dimitri Pantazopoulos, who got it (the BC election) almost bang on. Working behind the scenes for the Liberal Party, he confidently projected a Liberal win of at least 48 seats. An outline of his work was covered in a number of other media reports.

Mr.Pantazopoulos had been hired early on in the election to give the Liberals a realistic assessment of their chances as they were not thrilled (an understatement) with the mainstream polls whose results (predicting an NDP landslide) seemed to fly in the face of what they were hearing on the ground. Pantazopoulos’s information, which provided a much different story, was shared only among party insiders and candidates involved in close contests (where most of the polling took place).

Two weeks out from election day, the party machine kicked into overdrive and drove hard to the finish line. This included several hard hitting ads targeting Dix and the NDP party platform.

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March 2012 Tim Hortons Morning Posts

Written by Harold McNeill on June 19th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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McNeill Life Stories Facebook page and click Like.

LINK HERE

March 2012 Posts

March 17, 2012   Rogers Communications: Deceptive Business Practice

Rogers is a big company, do they need to stoop to such
shoddy business practices?

Call Centre in Ohio

May 1, 2012 UPDATE: I spoke to a Rogers Outlet representative I know and he confirmed the following marketing practice is commonplace…

March 17, 2012 Comment

A few days back I was nearly caught short during a Rogers Communications Customer Satisfaction Survey being conducted by a Call Centre in Ohio. Although I don’t usually take these calls near dinner, I was in a bubbly mood so decided to let the woman ask away.

After a few questions about my degree of satisfaction with Rogers, she went on to ask if it was OK to check and see if any savings could be found in our account. Why not? She then spent considerable time (20 minutes or so) and I was feeling bad for taking up so much of her time trying to find so little in savings. She stated: “no problem, Rogers is here to provide you with the best service we can” or words to that effect. 

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My Tim Horton’s Morning Posts: February 2012

Written by Harold McNeill on March 5th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


February 2012 Posts

February 29, 2012   Bill S-7, another Dangerous Bill to amend the Criminal Code, is back on the table

2012 Update to the Martin Niemoller quote below: “Since 2001, they began to chip away at civil liberties by makng changes aimed at ‘certain’ minorities in our society…I didn’t speak out because I was not one of those minorities.”

Over the past few days the ‘Robocall’ incident has dominated the news. Today, the National Post devoted a full 2.5 pages to the subject as they worked to play down the story suggesting it was all a tempest in a teapot. A few days earlier the same paper devoted only a few column inches on page 5, about the Conservatives resurrecting Bill S-7. I do not recall any radio or TV reports on the S-7 subject.  What then is Bill S-7 and why do I, a retired police officer, express concern?

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My Tim Hortons Morning Posts January 2012

Written by Harold McNeill on February 15th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Tim Hortons Posts for January 2012

January 31, 2012   The Threat of Social Media

In the 21 Century, the greatest threats Facebook, Twitter, other social media and blog sites present, is not the invasion of the privacy of individuals using those sites, but as a tool to ‘out’ the efforts of governments and giant corporations attempting to keep their dubious dealings secret and, in the worst case, of dictators trying to control entire populations.  This was no better demonstrated than in the events surrounding the Arab Spring which, to this day, continues to build across the Middle East.

Social media presents an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to co-ordinate and communicate their concerns about abuses by government and corporations that once held information tightly in the vaults of secretive government agencies and in the board rooms of corporations. Insider information and leaks today can be broadcast around the world in a matter of seconds. Wikileads is a good example.

Over the coming months and years you will see governments and corporations around the world working hand in hand to pass laws that control information they consider proprietary to their vested interests.  The recent attempt to close down social media sites because information was passed along that was considered proprietary, is a perfect example.  It did not take long before the US Government backed off once the backlash began.

Also, you likely watched as governments around the world become apoplectic during after the most recent WikiLeaks release. They are still pursuing Julian Assange with a vengence and arranged to have several organizations cut off Wikileaks services. Yesterday seveal hackers turned the tables on some spy agencies and hacked into some very sensitive conversations about those very hackers.

Worry not about what you post (other than that which may come back to haunt you at some future date) being accessed by some inept individual or pervert or even a government, worry about your ability to freely communicate your idea’s with others.  Except to fight against network posts or internet displays that cross the bounds of common decency or are clearly racist, fight censorship at every turn.

January 31, 2012  Hackers, Snoopers and Peepers

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My Tim Hortons Morning Posts Most Recent

Written by Harold McNeill on January 20th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 More Tim Horton’s Timbits

To receive regular notifcations of new posts, link to the
McNeill Life Stories Facebook page and click Like.
LINK HERE

Dear Reader,

Many Canadians consider a Tim Horton’s morning coffee to be one the five main food groups.  Yours truly is one of those individuals. I am now at the age where I feel slightly anxious whenever someone, even inadvertently, has the nerve to sit at my favourite table where I usually enjoy my morning cuppa and paper read if none of the other regulars happen to show up.

Each week I will add a few short posts about articles of local, national and international interest, as well as other miscellaneous items that have piqued my interest.  It seems there is never a shortage of items upon which I might wish to pass judgment.

Warning: The contents of this post do not reflect the views of my good wife, who sometimes jerks my chain just in time to modify a post she thinks might offend.  Since Lynn has engrossed herself full time with her travel consulting work, I am now running without the luxury of an Editor and Copy Reader. Any spelling errors and rough grammatical structure you encounter will most certainly be the product of my own hand.

I try to proof and correct but that is never easy when looking at ones own writing which is considered to be without fault and universally interesting. Bear with me, I am trying to overcome my shortcomings but the list is so long it will take years. If you wish to jerk my chain (occasionally!), that is fine.

Harold McNeill
Victoria, British Columbia

Travels from the end of March through April have taken me away from writing posts in this section. Hopefully, by the end of May, things will be back to normal.

June: It seems that other stories and spring/summer commitments will keep me busy until next fall.  Perhaps at that time I will return to regular posts in this section.

September 2012

September 30, 2012  Privacy on Facebook

In recent weeks, there have been many posts on Facebook and other social media sites about privacy. By definition, these sites are public. People post notes and pictures about themselves that lets everyone take a peek into their personal and private lives. What they had for breakfast, how they slept last night (sometimes even with whom), trouble going to the bathroom, a nasty little sore in a tender area, are just a few of the intimate details that periodically appear.

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Comments

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]

  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold