books, ethics, food, human rights

World Travel by Anthony Bourdain (2021)

Said to be written by Bourdain — his longtime assistant Laurie Woolever actually only had one meeting about this book with her boss before he killed himself at the age of 61 in June 2018. 

A shocking end to one of our favourite travel and food gurus.

But Bourdain had long talked about writing a summing-up travel book, highlighting his favourite foods, cultures, meals and destinations. Woolever made it happen.

The book includes short summaries of 43 destinations from his many years filming Parts Unknown and No Reservations.

Profane, opinionated and often hilarious.

Bourdain was a tough guy. But travel opened his eyes. He wanted to tell the truth, to challenge the powerful, to expose wrongdoing. He’d call out racism at every opportunity.

He championed industrious Spanish-speaking immigrants—from Mexico, Ecuador, and other Central and South American countries—who are cooks and chefs in many United States restaurants,

Amazon – World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, April 20, 2021

ethics, government, human rights

A Fantastic Political Ad

Republican politicians in the States have found that making extreme statements somehow motivates deplorable voters to show up on Election Day.

Democrats are typically more restrained in their ads. Those are often boring.

Here’s Charles Graham who’s running for Congress. I feel like moving to North Carolina so I could vote for him. #inspiring

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ethics, human rights

“Be a warrior not a wokester.”

Professor Galloway — like many of us — is turned off by out-of-control political correctness.

People are increasingly afraid to say what they think for fear of online backlash.

Similarly, I’m embarrassed by people outraged that William Shakespeare (for example) was racist. You shouldn’t judge people in the 1500s by today’s standards.

Instead of complaining, take ACTION.

Do something REAL.

Be a warrior for social justice.

Listen to Professor Galloway‘s podcast here.

… Structural racism is real, and our economic system is tilted, if not rigged.

The most accurate predictor of your opportunities isn’t your intelligence or work ethic but where you’re born.

But playing the victim decreases your capacity to be a warrior against these injustices. …

Reacting to every slight and demanding satisfaction from every insult is what the system wants you to do. Joining a Twitter mob seizing on a hapless middle manager or an out-of-touch English professor may feel like justice, but it’s just a cheap drip of dopamine ….

Be a warrior. 

Advice to Grads: Be Warriors, Not Wokesters

cycling, ethics, food, McCharles family, travel

Murdering Salmon & Halibut

I really like Salmon. Try to avoid thinking about how they are killed for my pleasure. 😐

But my Dad and brother have always been keen fishermen. I’ve joined them on charters a few times in Canada and Mexico.

Many times found reasons to avoid those trips in the past. I really fear sea sickness. 🤮

Since my Dad sold his boat, they’ve done two charters a year, most recently out of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island.

As Pacific salmon numbers decline, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.

June 2021 they decided to try a new guide in a new area. An interesting and entertaining character.

Captain PETE with my Uncle

We stayed in Port McNeill for 2 nights as Pete lives there. He made the final decision whether to fish out of Port Hardy or Port Alice.

Fishing had been better out of Hardy, so that was the final decision.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Parksville to McNeill. Another half hour to Hardy.

We headed north at 6am on the hottest day in thousands of years (at least).

I’ve been to the north of Vancouver Island a few times — but feel I don’t really know the remote, unique area. I’m planning for a couple of weeks bicycle touring. Some day.

It was an hour at full throttle to get to the open fishing area. Seas at the north tip of the island are dangerous. Weather often horrific.

Our day was dead calm, compared to normal.

My family likes to fish for salmon first. Switch to halibut next. We had our limit of 8 Chinook (Spring) salmon (2 / licence) by about 12:30pm.

I even caught fish. It was fun.

4 year old salmon

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Pete took us further out about 5 miles to a spot he calls his butthole. It’s a shallow, sandy bottom area.

We ended up catching 4 halibut. They were bigger and much more of a challenge to murder than salmon. The largest halibut required Pete to use his harpoon.

Cost for 4 was about $1600 including 2 nights hotel, charter, fuel.

We brought home well over $1600 worth of fish.

I’d go again. Did not get sea sick.

On return to town we found all restaurants closed. Power failure.

Happily our motel had a huge, noisy generator.

related – Canada has budgeted $647M over 5 years to try to save declining Pacific salmon.

ethics, government, health & fitness

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack?

Until about age-30, I assumed I’d die from nuclear radiation.

Now age-63, I’m still surprised each morning to be enjoying life.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) weapon is designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface.

The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes as a secondary effect and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.

Just one such weapon could kill everything electronic for months or years.

COULD YOU SURVIVE IN A TENT WITHOUT POWER? FEED YOURSELF FROM THE LAND?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

economics, ethics, government

Should BILLIONAIRE$ pay less tax than YOU?

Someone in the American IRS leaked to Propublica:

  • Warren Buffett ~ 0.10% true tax rate
  • Jeff Bezos ~ 0.98% true tax rate
  • Michael Bloomberg ~ 01.30% true tax rate
  • Elon Musk ~ 3.27% true tax rate

What’s your true tax rate?

American politicians write complicated tax laws which result in loopholes used by the richest donors.

BUT — can it be fixed?

The best summary of the issue I’ve seen is the second podcast in this list.

Qaddafi's Son is Alive, and He Wants to Take Back Libya The Daily

Before the Arab Spring, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the second son of the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, was establishing himself as a serious figure internationally. Then, the Arab Spring came to Libya.His father and brothers were killed and Seif himself was captured by rebels and taken to the western mountains of Libya.For years, rumors have surrounded the fate of Seif. Now he has re-emerged, touting political ambitions, but where has he been and what has he learned?Guest: Robert F. Worth, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. Love listening to New York Times podcasts? Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes. Visit nytimes.com/audio to join the beta.Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: In his first meeting with a foreign journalist in a decade, Seif al-Islam Qaddafi described his years in captivity — and hinted at a bid for Libya’s presidency.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 
  1. Qaddafi's Son is Alive, and He Wants to Take Back Libya
  2. A Showdown in Chicago
  3. How a Single Senator Derailed Biden’s Climate Plan
  4. The Life and Career of Colin Powell
  5. Why Are All Eyes on the Virginia Governor’s Race?
ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. 😀

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder by a white cop. 

I’m hopeful things have change for the better.  

BLM haters have been more muted since their racist President departed for the golf courses full-time. 

According to professor of critical race theory, David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On Real Time with Bill MaherBill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …


cycling, ethics, government, health & fitness, hiking, travel

I’m fully vaccinated

😀 Send me ALL the vaccine passports.

I got dose #1 of “Covishield”, the Indian version of Oxford–AstraZeneca, March 18th. NO — I’m not worried about blood clots.

I was in the first 7.76% of Canadians to get jabbed.

When Alberta started allowing the second dose of AstraZeneca after only 4 weeks, I signed up. Got jab #2 on April 16th.

Sounds like Vaccine Passports are a terrible idea.

But it’s inevitable that something like this will become required for international travel for many months. Or years.

books, ethics, government, human rights, TV

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers is a 1991 crime novel by the Swedish writer Henning Mankell, and the first in his acclaimed Wallander series.

Happily, the audio book is read by one of my favourites — Dick Hill — of the excellent Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch series. Hill has 542 audio books, last time I checked.

Inspector Kurt Wallander is called out to a seemingly senseless and brutal murder on a Swedish farm.

Wallander is forty-two-years-old. His wife left him unexpectedly 3 months earlier. He’s constantly worried about his estranged daughter. And unsure whether his own elderly father can continue living alone out on another farm.

Also, he’s gaining weight.

Uncoordinated. Accident prone.

Near broke.

Troubled, to say the least.

Author Henning Mankell was a left-wing social critic and activist. 

But the themes of the book include Sweden’s liberal attitude regarding immigrationracism and national identity. The character Wallander is conflicted.

Kenneth Branagh is one of the actors who’s played Wallander in adaptations.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ethics, government, science

World’s First Genetically-modified Babies

He Jiankui has been jailed in China for 3 years. And fined US$430,000.

He’s the researcher who’s work led to the world’s first gene-edited babies known as Lulu and Nana in 2018.

Their father was HIV positive. Mother HIV negative.

His goal was to edit their genes to be highly resistant to HIV using CRISPR.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.