Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas. NOT!

Okay, it's been a few weeks since I have done anything on this blog. Christmas spirit, laziness, you pick the excuse. I just had to comment on this story though that I found this morning

Take down decorations: Canada Post

MONTREAL – Canada Post is threatening to suspend mail delivery to those with Christmas garlands adorning handrails leading to their homes.

"It's moronic. They are stupid," said St-Hubert resident Ghislaine St-Pierre. "I've been putting the garlands up for five years and they have never said anything. My entrance way is always clear."

St-Pierre, like many of her neighbours on Montreal's south shore, received a Canada Post notice a few days ago that the garlands shouldn't be on the outdoor staircase.

Canada Post argues the festive decorations are a hazard to its employees.

Garlands, lights and other Christmas ornaments installed on stairs make it difficult for mail carriers to hold the handrails and climb the steps, says the Crown corporation.

"Four years ago, a mail carrier got her finger caught in a garland and almost had her finger ripped off," said Canada Post spokesperson Christiane Ouimet.

But St-Pierre says there is no way she's taking down her decorations.

"If they aren't happy, they can keep my mail until Jan. 2," she said.

One of her neighbours, Jean Boisvert, said Canada Post's request are bordering on harassment. [SNIP]

Canada Post, your tax dollars at work. Or not at work as the case may be. This complaint and issue is moronic. The way these letter carriers complain is inane. I know that they do have issues in the winter with walkways that aren't cleared or salted properly, and they are correct to not deliver to such houses. But to say that a hand rail is an issue because it's covered with lights and garlands at Christmas? I almost think that a letter carrier is having other issues.

Of course the Crown Corporation tries to defend this "threat":

Ouimet said that the majority of accidents for mail carriers happen on stairs.

"Last year, we had 586 accidents or falls in Quebec and in 80 % of those cases it happened on stairs or cluttered walkways," said Ouimet.

Yes that is true. What he neglects to mention is that probably most of those accidents happen when a letter carrier is walking on icy stairs. Anyway. Merry Christmas and keep those garlands up.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blazing Cat Fur Chanukkah Fundraiser

Last night I went out to help support a fellow blogger. Blazing Cat Fur is in the process of fighting a lawsuit from a former employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. BCF's crime? Linking to another website that sad bad things about the man. I showed up early and met saw a few other bloggers from the city. Scaramouche, Lumpy Grumpy and Frumpy, Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury fame, and a few others. The number of local bloggers that showed up was rather impressive. There were a few others that I met over the night, I am sorry if I can't remember all their names and blogs, I am sure though that some of them will remind me when they see me next.

So after we filed into the hall, grabbed our jelly filled, sugar coated donuts, latkes, and drinks, Meir Weinstein of the Jewish Defense League led the crowd in the lighting of the first Chanukkah candle and told us the story of the miracle.
JDL Chanukkah Fundraiser
After the lighting Mr. Weinstein said a few words about the fight that Blazing Cat Fur is going through. He talked about how people are starting to infringe on our rights in freedoms here in Canada by trying to stifle free speech. He then turned the floor over to a speaker that came all the way from Ottawa, Joseph Ben-Ami who works at the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.
JDL Chanukkah Fundraiser

Mr. Ben-Ami talked about the CHRC's and it's history. He also apologized for his community for the whole mess. Believe it or not Section 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights was instituted to protect Jewish people from hate speech. Now we see the CHRC's been used to "fight" all sorts of hate speech. I wish I had taken proper notes, but at least Blazing Cat Fur has promised videos of the speeches so check his site out later on today.

After Joseph Ben-Ami, Meir Weinstein introduced Kathy Shaidle who is also embroiled in a lawsuit as well.
JDL Chanukkah Fundraiser
JDL Chanukkah Fundraiser
She discussed how she's been fighting the same battles, how we need to support people like herself and BCF against the charges that are being made against them. She is a very good speaker and if you are in the area and have the chance to hear her I urge you to go.

Finally after all the big wigs spoke, BCF was dragged up to the stage to say a few words as well. He was a little overwhelmed by the turnout and show of support for him. He talked about what is going on, Lawfare and SLAPP suits.

There was a question and answer period after everyone was finished talking. One fact that was brought up was about the take over in Germany in 1933 by the National Socialist party. All the laws that they used to stifle speech and restrict freedoms of the people weren't laws that they had created. ALL the laws they used were already on the books. Something similar to what's going on here as well.

Two other pieces of information about the CHRC "official" policies were brought up as well. A well known iman in Montreal, the name escapes me at the moment, was accused of hate speech under Section 13.1 of by a private citizen. Everything was documented on paper, video, and audio tape. The CHRC refused to prosecute him. Another time a group of union members were getting upset about the level of anti-semitism that was being vocalized at union meetings and protests. They approached the CHRC to make a complaint and were told since they weren't members of the target group they couldn't make a complaint. There's a lot more stories like that out there about this travesty of justice.

I urge you to go to Blazing Cat Fur's site and make a donation to his legal fund. He needs all the help, support, and prayers. He's in for a tough fight and a long one. So please keep him close to mind. He's not just fighting for himself, he's fighting for the rights of all us Canadians. Not all front line troops wear armour and are armed with weapons.

Keep up the good work, and fight the good fight Blazing Cat Fur.

Update: Welcome Blazing Cat Fur and Five Feet of Fury readers.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ignatieff: Illegal Immigrants Deserve Canadian Rights

You read that right. Iggy thinks that human smugglers and immigrant queue jumpers deserve the same legal rights as the rest of us. Here's the story....

Liberals won't back human smuggling bill

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says his party will vote against the Conservatives' proposed human smuggling legislation — bill C49 — because it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights.

"We feel after much thought and reflection that this bill is in violation of the charter. Mandatory detention is just not in the Canadian tradition. We think it's not charter-proof, as a result," Ignatieff said Wednesday, after his caucus meeting.

"It's punishing the wrong people. It's punishing the victims, not the criminals."

Bill C49 would increase the minimum fines and jail terms for those caught bringing illegal aliens to Canada. However, the proposed legislation would also affect the people being smuggled — refugees could spend as much as a year in detention facilities while their claims were processed.


So the charter applies to foreign nationals that are trying to get in here illegally? I am sorry but I don't think so. They are applying our Canadian Charter of Rights to those that think they can circumvent the law. At least in the bill there was provisions to see if these queue jumpers do have a case of being refugees. Incarcerating them lets the immigration board do checks on them and keeps them close to hand in case anything turns up. The way things stand now they are released into the public, given free money, free health care, and even free housing. Some of them just drop out of site and can't be found when its discovered that they aren't refugees.

Besides the way our detention and jail system is run, I bet it's a far more comfortable environment than what they would be experiencing in most countries these people come from.

Iggy is just trying to portray the Conservative government as anti-immigration again. Never mind the fact that the governments job and responsibility is to protect our nations sovereignty and borders. I hope Iggy campaigns on this and if there is an election called goes down in resounding defeat.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smart? Or Not So Smart?

Well, I got a chuckle when I read a news story today about the new electric Smart Car that's been piloted here in Toronto. Here's the story, then my commentary.

Dawn of the electric Smart Car era:
Bill Tharp was one of the first people in Toronto to get a Mercedes-Benz Smart Car but he’s already making plans to ditch the gas-guzzling two-seater in favour of his new toy.

“We’ll use it for everything,” Tharp said of his latest acquisition — an electric Smart Car he’s now leasing as part of a pilot project with Mercedes and Toronto Hydro.

Tharp — CEO of green tech investment firm Climate Change Infrastructure — is the first to get a crack at one of 17 electric cars that will be available through the four-year program, during which both Hydro and Mercedes will gather information on how well the technology works and how consumers will use it.

Toronto Hydro has already installed a $2,000 charging station in Tharp’s garage where he can power up the car before taking it on his 12-km daily commute.

He said he’ll use his new car for as much of his daily driving as he can, although he’ll still keep the van he uses when he and his wife and three children travel together.

“They get one-on-one time with mom and dad,” Tharp said of the parenting advantages of owning a two-seater. “If we have things we need to discuss, we go to the Smart Car.”

Anyone interested in leasing one of the electrics — they won’t go on sale to the general public until the latter half of 2012 — can sign up at www.smartexperience.ca but the program isn’t for everyone.

The lease itself costs $545 a month for the four-year term and you’ll need somewhere for the charging station, so anyone who only has access to street parking can’t participate.[SNIP]

Okay, that's enough! I can't stop giggling every time I read that. Did anyone else see what I saw? First off calling the smart car a "gas guzzler". I swear, I have seen some mopeds that have bigger gas tanks. Next, did you tally up all the costs for the car? $2,000 for the charging station at home (later on Ontario Hydro says they are covering it at the moment), $545 for a monthly lease, and then later on the battery replacement (they say ten years down the road and there is no cost at the moment). I mean, are they really serious about this? A new Chevy Volt would probably cost less to lease then this electric toaster on wheels. Sure they are just using it to run around Toronto, but still I wouldn't even consider a Smart car to begin with.

Most of these eco-friendly ideas and people that try to do so aren't thinking right. Sure they say that the costs will come down if more and more people buy them. I don't see a huge line up at dealer ships though to purchase any of the new hybrids. I am seeing more of them on the road though. Where more is instead of one a week, more like one a day.

The costs of these electric vehicles is just a pie in the sky solution for what they are driving at (pun intended). All this talk about carbon footprints and being good for the environment is mostly wishful thinking. The cost of creating and driving electric cars is more then regular vehicles. We just don't see the immediate impact like we do with regular internal combustion engines.

But if Mister Tharp wants to go along and believe this stuff, all the power to him. He can obviously afford the lease on this test model Smart car. As for me? I will be lowering my carbon footprint by walking and taking the bus.

Here's a couple of more reasons why I shudder at driving Smart cars....

I Am Back!

Well I have been quite here for a couple of weeks. Feelings of malaise, and other stuff mean that I haven't had much to say. Besides other people I have stumbled upon have said things much better. Today is just going to be a link and minor comment day since I need to get back in the grove a bit. So lets get at it.

WikiLeaks spills Canadian terror details (from the Toronto Sun)
This whole WikiLeaks scandal is hilarious in one sense. Julian Assange thought he would be revealing horrible secrets of the United States of America. Big Epic Fail to him. The best part about this documentation is showing how much Canada's intelligence is on top of current terrorist threats. And yes I did have an idea about the Hezbollah presence here in Canada. See my Gaza Flotilla pictures and posts for the documentation.

Speaking of Julian Assange:
WikiLeaks founder again appeals Swedish detention order

Apparently he's wanted for investigation in a couple of sex crimes in Sweden. Nice guy there isn't he.

Back to Canada:
Federal Tories take 2 byelections, Liberals 1

This will make the leftist parties here tremble in worry about calling another election anytime soon. Cheers!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Believe in War!

Did I grab your attention? I should hope so. That is a very provocative title as it should be. Please follow along carefully as I try to justify that statement. Today is November the twelfth, one day after Remembrance Day here in Canada, Veterans day in the United States, and Armistice Day in the United Kingdom. This day holds special meaning to many people. Be they veterans of war, military action, or the families that are left behind. It's not a celebration, or it can be, it's a day of mourning and thanksgiving. We mourn the loss of our brightest and finest on the fields of battles far from home. Without their sacrifices we wouldn't be living the lives we enjoy today. At one point, everyone was touched either directly or indirectly by the horrors of the Great War, and it's final conclusion World War Two. Fathers, mothers, grandfathers,grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, were part of this. Each one sacrificed something to ensure our modern freedom and peace. Whether it was blood, sweat, toil, or tears, everyone gave their all. Some gave the most in laying down their lives.

THIS is what Remembrance Day is all about. Recognizing our dead and fallen. I will get into this more later on. Now I must go and justify my belief.

Like I said, I believe in war. I don't find it glorious or charming. It's one of those forces that must be endured and weathered when it's time comes. In all of modern history, or ancient history for that matter, there has been only decades of peace. Every where you turn in history there's been battles, strife, and wars. As we have moved on from swords and shields, warriors to soldiers, it has been a constant of human existence. Many people have tried for peace, some have succeeded, most often they haven't. Wars have been started over trivial matters, to matters of great importance. Could they have been avoided? Possibly.

It matters though that there are always two sides in a war, us and them. I won't try to debate who's right and who's wrong. I may dabble a bit here and there, but I will leave the big questions to philosophers and armchair generals. War can be seen though as a final resort. Yes, I know, all peace protesters will say that violence is the last resort of the incompetent. On this belief I will agree.

Heads done exploding yet? Yes that's right, I agree violence is the last resort of the incompetent. But I believe in war, and no that's not an oxymoron or cognitive dissonance. For most of modern history soldiers haven't been a part of the political process. The military has been a tool of governments enacting their will. So when a country goes to war, it's usually because the politicians have failed in their duties. There are always exceptions to these rules, but generally they hold true. After all, Von Clausewitz said in his tome "On War", "War is just politics by other means".

So to set things straight. Soldiers don't cause wars. Generals don't cause wars. Politicians are the one major cause of military conflict in the military age. Things go to hell politically and the prime minister/president/king picks up his phone and tells his generals to kit up and move out. War is a horrible thing. The violence, the bloodshed, the horror, and atrocities. It is a necessity though. Wars must be fought to protect liberties and freedoms. We have fought several wars over that question. Most people living in today's modern world seem to have forgotten that. We don't fight wars for fun, we fight them because we get backed into a corner and have to come out swinging. Any other wars we have been involved in recently, Afghanistan and Iraq for example, have been about ensuring other people have the same freedoms we enjoy. Okay those might not be proper examples, after all they were both terrorist states, or on the other hand, the people of both states were trod under by autocratic regimes that told them what they could and couldn't do. Another discussion to be left for other people, and it has been hashed, re-hashed like leftover potatoes for breakfast...mmmm breakfast...

Do soldiers look forward to war? In a way, yes. Why do they? Well, that's a complicated answer. Here's one way to look at it. Soldiers are craftsmen. For their entire career they train in all skills and tools of war. On the range in the field they practice their craft, honing their skills. Most consider themselves lucky if they can go their entire career without having to put into action what they have put into practice. All soldiers are aware of what war is. They have heard the stories older vets won't tell families or other civilians. They have heard the stories of stark terror as a soldier huddles in a trench in the middle of a long artillery barrage, or as he comforts a friend that's bleeding out because there is no medical facilities close by to save his life. We as soldiers are aware of our mortality on the battlefield. In fact numbers have been compiled from many modern conflicts on how long we can expect to last on the modern battlefield. Think about having the phrase beaten into your head that you can be expected to last for seconds or minutes once the fit hits the shan. Yes that's right, some units had a life span of seconds, 17 seconds for armoured reconnaissance if I remember correctly.

So we know the horror, the short life spans, the misery, and practice as much as possible in conditions that are as close to the real thing as possible. Are we mad men for doing this? Well some consider us that, including spouses and girlfriends/boyfriends. Why do we do it? There's only one real answer to that, someone has to, why not us? The best quote I can think of is "People sleep peaceably in their beds because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Violence is the soldiers lot. We do it so that we have a peaceful, and free life to return to when our duty is done.

There is a purpose to war as well. The main purpose to a war is to beat your opponent so viciously that they don't even want to think about it again. You take all your tools, all your learning in the craft of war and apply it totally to your opponent. You don't just want peace, you want peace on your terms with them understanding that if they were ever to try it again bad things would happen to them. That's how wars are won, lost, and prevented. Wars are won when soldiers are unleashed to apply their knowledge and craft. That's why I believe in war. That's why it's necessary. Unfortunately it's a lesson that must constantly be taught and re-taught to all the despots and tyrants around that would try to take our freedom and liberty away. You can have freedom or you can have peace. Peace doesn't really mean freedom, freedom doesn't really mean peace.

Now onto the article I stumbled across that was linked to from Scaramouche.

The article, written by Susan G. Cole, that got me seething and fuming was from Toronto's Now Magazine. The usual collection of leftists and such. The title was "Going to war over poppies", subtitle "War has other victims. It’s time for a new ceremony that remembers all who suffer."

Opening paragraph lays it all on the line:

If you’re like me, Remembrance Day makes you a bit uneasy.

You want to identify with the ever-dwindling numbers of soldiers who’ve survived the war trauma of their youth. But all that pro-army pageantry seems to romanticize war when we should be spending the day assessing the damage of military conflict, not celebrating it.

The ceremony to remember our fallen makes her uneasy. Somehow I don't sympathize with her feeling. Maybe because I am a cruel man, or perhaps I know more about the costs and trauma of war then she does. The article continues on and on ad nauseum about how all sides are bad, how all sides commit atrocities, how all war is bad. She's entitled to her opinion, no matter how much it stinks. She has her forum, this is mine. As for atrocities on all sides? There's one small difference about that. Guilt, and punishment. We have punished our criminals for the atrocities, they don't get swept under rugs. One example is a Canadian highlander unit here in Ontario. Forgive me I don't remember the unit, but I do remember the story. Most highland units were a tam, type of hat, that has a feathered plume behind the cap badge. There are different colours, mostly white though. I forget the colour they wore, when I asked what the colour represented I was told after the fellow soldier dropped his head. It was a hackle of shame. Apparently a squad of troops was found guilty of raping civilian women during a battle. They were tried and punished, but the unit still bears the shame. The shame of having such troops among their ranks. The hackle is to be worn for a hundred years after the fact. That's how we deal with atrocities.

As to the other dead in war? They are remembered as well. Remembrance Day and the red poppy are not just for soldiers, they are for ALL war dead.

Now this whole white poppy idea. It isn't new at all, in fact it was first floated back in the 1920's in the United Kingdom to promote peace.
From Wikipedia:
In 1926, a few years after the introduction of the red poppy in the UK, the idea of pacifists making their own poppies was put forward by a member of the No More War Movement (and that the black centre of the British Legion's red poppies should be imprinted with "No More War"). Nothing seems to have come of this, until in 1933 the Women's Co-operative Guild introduced the White Poppy. Their intention was to remember casualties of all wars, with the added meaning of a hope for the end of all wars; the red poppy, they felt, signified only the British military dead. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) took part in its distribution from 1934, and white poppy wreaths were laid from 1937 as a pledge to peace that war must not happen again. Anti-war organizations such as the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship now support the White Poppy Movement.

Those who promote the wearing of white poppies argue that the red poppy also conveys a specific political standpoint, and point to the divisive nature of the red poppy in Northern Ireland, where it is worn mainly by the Unionist community. They choose the white poppy over the red often because they wish to disassociate themselves from the militaristic aspects of Remembrance Day, rather than the commemoration itself.[1]

Now the Peace Pledge Union is an interesting organization. They backed Neville Chamberlains 1938 peace conference with Adolf Hitler and Germany. We know where that lead to. They were against a lot of war time preparation and so on. Talk about backing the wrong horse. Or did they just think that if Britain rolled over and played dead they would be spared?

I find most "militant" pacifists, love that oxymoron, to be an interesting subset of the human race. They tend to deny human nature, side with the tyrants, show their underbellies at the first sign of war with said tyrants, and are willing to scream about their rights and freedoms.

The modern day pushers of the white poppy movement seem to be set in their paths. Their arguments are similar to all those peace protesters. War is wrong, soldiers are criminals. It sickens me to have to read this tripe that they come out with year after year. If any of you have the stomach, I urge you to read the comments at the now article. One commenter, nevilleross, seems to have sipped a bit too much from the kool-aid.

I think that I will call this an end for now. I have shone the light on some dark territory. And it's been a long day/week for me. Take care.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget....

At the 11th day at the 11th hour of the 11th month we WILL remember them.

Cenotaph

92 years, 65 years, 57 years, and many other on going missions that our soldiers are active in. Our thoughts, prayers, and thanksgivings go toward all our troops.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Globe and Mail Tries to Define Our Future Military Role

Well, I was in a good mood this morning. It being Friday and everything. I was checking the news headlines on the way into work and the one from the Globe and Mail caught my eye.

Above the fold was this title:

"Peacekeeping: Canada and the call of the Congo"

It's a rather lengthy article, two pages, and when I went to their website I discovered it was part 6 of 6. Well I have my reading cut out for me today. Typically I don't trust much analysis that comes out of the Globe paper. There bent is decidedly left and for all that entails when it comes to our military. I will be reading the series and will try to sum up what I believe they are trying to say. Where possible I will try to hammer them with my unprofessional opinion. At least I have partial chops to know what I am talking about.

Anyway, keep your eyes open and I will get back to this article and to the rest of them either today or this weekend. Stay tuned

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Conservative Blogger Needs Our Help

Well, I got up this morning and checked my blog feed. I first stumbled across this post at "Lumpy, Grumpy, and Frumpy", and then followed it to it's source.
Apparently the blogger "Blazing Catfur" is being sued by Richard Warman, a leading Human Rights activist. Apparently he doesn't like what some people are saying about his work and ethics.
Lawsuits are expensive, especially if you have to defend yourself against people like this.

One tool the left likes using is lawsuits to shut up their opposition. When was the last time you saw a undeserved lawsuit from a conservative or right wing person? Anyway. Those that can please donate what you can.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Those whom live in glass houses....

Well, it appears that the hate just keeps on coming. One of our Liberal members of provincial parliament had an interesting tweet following the municipal election here in Toronto.

Blazing Catfur has the screen caps of the tweets.

As well there's this story in the National Post that covers the tweets, and the "apology" from Minister Glen Murray.

Minister apologizes for 'bigotry' tweet

HT: to Blazing Catfur for the screen caps of the twitter posts done by Glen Murray

An Ontario Liberal Cabinet minister is facing calls for his resignation after he took aim at Toronto's mayor-elect Rob Ford, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, using the social networking site Twitter to accuse them of bigotry.

In an apparent response to an anti-gay ad targeting mayoral candidate George Smitherman broadcast on Tamil radio last weekend, Glenn Murray, Ontario's Research and Innovation Minister and former mayor of Winnipeg, tweeted: "If u vote Ford u r voting for bigotry."

He then goes on to criticize the provincial Opposition leader and the Prime Minister: "Ford, Hudak and Harper use fear tactics against Tamils and gay men. I am proud of the Tamil and gay Canadians I represent."

The openly gay Mr. Murray also retweeted a message from another Twitter account that said: "ford, hudak and harper -- the trifecta of republican-style, right wing ignorance and bigotry."

Mr. Ford, who spent his first day as mayor-elect coaching football at Don Bosco Secondary School, responded: "Those pathetic comments aren't worth a response." [SNIP]

Interesting how he calls Ford and all conservatives bigoted and ignorant right? Well here's his apology:
By yesterday afternoon, Mr. Murray, in Quebec City for a conference, had issued a statement apologizing for his comments.

"I do not believe Rob Ford or Stephen Harper or Tim Hudak are bigots. I regret tweeting a message that said otherwise, and am sorry I did that," he wrote, before quickly adding, "I do challenge Tim Hudak to condemn strongly the hateful campaigning deployed in Toronto and to root out any of those working in his ranks who would try to exploit hatred with smear tactics."


Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/politics/Minister+apologizes+bigotry+tweet/3732230/story.html#ixzz13ZDDnbQb

Interesting that he states that the conservatives should stop all the hatred and smear tactics. Lets look at some interesting articles, posts and comments from the liberal side of the equation.....

Slandering Ford with Photoshop.

Ford courts the xenophobic vote (from Toronto's far left Now Magazine)
Globe’s Marche uses “fat” 17 times in Rob Ford column.
This blog as the full article that was pulled by the Globe and Mail.

You can also search the Toronto Star archive for Rob Ford in the opinion section to see what their people think.

Now let me see what I can pull up for George Smitherman.

Hmmmm, interesting. I hereby declare MPP Glen Murray to be talking out his backside. It's obvious that there were more slanders from the left against the right. This is something you see very often in politics lately. For some reason the left wingers always accuse the right wingers of tactics that they are using. Isn't this called "projection"?

There's many more cases I could bring up after a little research about this subject, not just the mayoral race slanders, until the time really calls for it I will be doing research and saving links to open up the guns on the lying left.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Warren Kinsella: Out of Touch and Dated?

Last night was a big win for the people and conservatives of Toronto. Rob Ford after a long fight, and much mud slinging at him, won a very convincing victory over his rivals.

So today drinking my coffee, scanning the news and editorials I ran across Warren Kinsellas pieces in the Toronto Sun. Mr. Kinsella worked for Jean Chretien and other Liberal party members. He's been a strategist for many Leaders and ran for office once unsuccessfully. Unfortunately most are starting to realize that he's past his due date.

Reading his two commentaries this morning I am bound to agree. Let's look at them and see.

Stuck in the minority mentality


Was Jean Chretien the last majority prime minister?

On Oct. 25, 1993, historians will recall, Chretien did what no one else had ever done before – he reduced the once-great Conservative Party of Canada to two seats. All that remained, 17 years ago, was Jean Charest in Quebec, and Elsie Wayne in New Brunswick. Every other Tory, including then-leader Kim Campbell, was wiped out.

The Conservatives’ fall was stunning. That was particularly the case for Campbell – who, just a few weeks earlier, had been the most popular prime minister in the history of polling.

The lessons of Oct. 25, 1993 are two-fold. One, the current “anti-incumbent” mood ain’t anything new. Every so often, the people get fed up with what they’ve got, and they opt for change in a big way.

Chretien – for whom I worked, full disclosure, and whom I still admire a great deal – benefitted from a fractured conservative movement, to be sure. He also was a far more adept politician than his main opponent – and, throughout his lengthy political career, he had certainly benefitted from being consistently underestimated.

But, to many voters, Chretien represented change from the old way of doing things. That was the main reason he won so big 17 years ago.

The second lesson of that historic night is this: As long as the Bloc QuĂ©becois exists – and as long as vote-rich Ontario remains split between Tories, Grits and New Democrats – no party will be able to win a majority in the House of Commons.[SNIP]

He almost got it there, almost. The major reason that the Progressive Conservative party got dumped so badly was the conservative vote split that happened when the Reform party got started. I looked at all the vote data for the next couple of elections across much of Ontario after a Federal vote. In quite a few ridings the conservative vote out numbered the Liberal vote. But since the vote was split between two parties it enabled the Liberals to have monster majorities.

Now the Quebec situation. Most people forget that Lucien Bouchard, the Federal Separtist party founder and leader, was originally in the PC camp. When the Meech Lake Accord fell apart, because Quebec didn't get what they wanted as usual, Bouchard took a bunch of like minded individuals from the PC's and formed their own party. At the time, seperatist fervor was running high in Quebec so any seats that would have gone conservative, precious few, went to the Bloc Quebecois. As well, a lot of Liberal seats were lost to the Bloc as well.

It used to be the case that a majority government here in Canada required a large following in Ontario and Quebec. All other provinces were just the gravy. Since 1993 with the forming of the Bloc Quebecois and the splitting of the Conservative party, election dynamics changed.

Now with a resurgence Conservative party things are looking different. The Bloc are still fairly strong in Quebec, after all they are looking after their provinces self interest, and can and do play king maker. A lot of Canadians are getting irate at this.

In Ontario, most of the rural ridings are Conservative in orientation, which means that Toronto, with a large population and ridings, plays king maker or denier. So this leads to the next commentary by Mr. Kinsella.

Election night winners and losers: Kinsella

Ford simply doesn’t have enough votes at council to do even half of what he promised


Here’s what a Rob Ford victory is going to mean for different political players.

Ford ran a disciplined and organized campaign and he stuck to a simple message. George Smitherman didn’t.

But what of others? Who benefits from a Ford win? Who doesn’t?

n Dalton McGuinty — winner: Yes, you read that right. Ontario’s Liberal Premier wins because Ford will provide a living, breathing example of what will happen if Conservative Leader Tim Hudak somehow ekes out victory in next October’s provincial contest.

I anticipate Ford will be who he has always been: A politician whose mouth gets him into lots of trouble — and a politician who has a chronic inability to get along with others. “Gridlock” isn’t a word that was invented in Toronto, but gridlock is what all of us will shortly be experiencing with Ford at the helm: He simply doesn’t have enough votes at council to do even half of what he promised.

So who will step in to end the inevitable labour strife, and the gridlock? Dalton McGuinty, that’s who.

n Tim Hudak — loser: Hudak is a lifetime politician — he’s been in politics since he was in his 20s, in fact — and he therefore can be expected to know a thing or two about The Game.

Hudak knows, for example, that we have a national memory of about five minutes. He also knows fear-mongering about the Mike Harris era is pretty tough do, because a huge number of new voters were in nappies when Harris was in power.

Hudak knows, therefore, that every mistake Rob Ford makes — and he’ll make plenty — will be laid at the Ontario Tory leader’s doorstep.

n Rob Ford — winner today, but not everyday: Here’s the paradox about the Etobicoke-based mayor-elect: The very thing that won him the mayor’s chair is the same thing that will sink him.

For a decade, Ford’s brand has been that of the angry, fed-up City Council outsider — the guy who refuses to go along with the rest of council.

That “outsider” reputation obviously didn’t hurt him on Election Day. But it will hinder him in the months ahead — too many councillors just don’t like him. And the mayor always needs council to implement his agenda.

—Kinsella, an election advisor to Dalton McGuinty, blogs at warrenkinsella.com

It seems like a lot of sour grapes. Mr. Kinsella seems to think that a conservative win in Toronto will lead to a Liberal win all over. I don't think he really understands what happened last night. A municipal populace was finally fed up with a tax and spend government and decided to go with someone that promised LESS spending all the way around. A lot of the councillors that said they would fight him tooth and nail are no longer in office, some retired, some lost. It still won't be an easy road ahead for Ford, but at least he won't be cut off at the knees from day one.

One point of fact here as well. Kinsella was the campaign manager for Rocco Rossi near the end of his run. He took dismal numbers and ran then even further into the ground.

We shall see what happens next. Personally I think Kinsella is wrong on numerous counts. There's a strong conservative feeling rising in most Canadians, and the Liberals and other left wing parties aren't going to be able to stand against them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good News!!!

Two good news stories today. First off:

Toronto 18 ringleader gets 16 years in prison
By Linda Nguyen

BRAMPTON, Ont. — The ringleader of the Toronto 18 terrorist group has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for masterminding plans to storm Parliament and to detonate bombs in and around Toronto, a judge ruled Monday morning.

Fahim Ahmad will serve a total of eight years, three months because of time already served.

Ahmad pleaded guilty in May to participating in a terrorist group, importing firearms and instructing others to carry out activities for the benefit of a terrorist group.

The group, known as the Toronto 18 because of the number of its members, was dismantled in 2006.

Evidence has shown that Ahmad arranged terrorist training camps, created propaganda videos and helped the group acquire weapons.

Last month, in a rambling, six-page letter to the court, Ahmad said he had fallen into a “fantasy world” when he plotted to devastate Canadian infrastructure with a series of attacks.

Ahmad also placed the blame on a host of external sources, from his parents, to religious leaders, to anonymous people he met online.

Ahmad, who has been in custody since June 2006, faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He is eligible for parole in three years, 6 1/2 months.

The Crown had for an 18-year jail term, citing mitigating factors, such as his youth and apparent remorse.

The defence had asked for a sentence of 10 to 12 years, with lawyer Dennis Edney painting his client as a self-aggrandizing talker who lacked both the means and the will power to carry out his scheme.


Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/10/25/toronto-18-ringleader-gets-16-years-in-prison/#ixzz13O6zkDYf

Unfortunately with the whole time served mess that most judges go with, he will only serve maximum 8 years in federal prison.

Now the next good news story:

Khadr pleads guilty to all charges.

Jane Sutton and Janice Tibbets, Postmedia News with files from Reuters · Monday, Oct. 25, 2010

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Canadian terrorist Omar Khadr pleaded guilty on Monday to all five charges against him in the U.S. war crimes tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in a deal that could send him back to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence in a year.

Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and is now 24, admitted he conspired with al-Qaeda and killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan.

Terms of the Toronto native’s plea deal were not immediately disclosed, but lawyers had reportedly discussed an eight-year cap on his total sentence.

The United States agreed to support Khadr’s request to return to Canada in one year to serve the rest of his sentence there, Khadr’s lawyers told the court.

They said U.S. and Canadian officials had exchanged diplomatic notes, but that his return would ultimately be up to the Canadian government.

Vancouver lawyer John Conroy, who specializes in offender transfers, said that Khadr cannot officially apply for a transfer to Canada until after he is sentenced. The federal government then would have to show that Khadr is a “threat to the security of Canada” to deny him a transfer to a Canadian prison once it has been approved by the United States.[SNIP]


Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Khadr+pleads+guilty+charges/3721789/story.html#ixzz13O7d1fsh

So that's two terrorists now. Of course the blame game will start up with both guilty parties throwing around accusations that they were led astray by other people. Or that they aren't really guilty of the charges. In the case of Khadr, I hope the Federal Government says, "nope, don't want him, you keep him."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TTC Special Constables to become Security Guards

Well, it's been a little while since I posted anything. This story I ran across today grabbed my attention.

Police to end TTC ‘special constable’ program

There will be more security on the TTC next year but fewer officers endowed with the power to use force and detain suspected criminals, drunks or people with mental health issues.

Despite objections from the TTC, the Toronto Police Services Board is expected to vote Thursday to terminate the TTC’s special constable program in favour of doubling the police transit patrol unit to 80 officers.

The TTC’s own force of about 120 transit officers, without special constable powers, will be reduced to about 100 security officers, who would be confined mostly to fare and bylaw enforcement.

“The public will get high visibility, greater resources in terms of dealing with public safety, as well as a group of people who will be publicly accountable,” said police board chair Alok Mukherjee.

Special constables, he said, are not governed by the Police Services Act, the SIU (Special Investigations Unit) or the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

TTC officials say, however, that special constables are accountable to the police service. Complaints about them go to Toronto Police, who can follow up on a complaint or send it back to be dealt with by the TTC. [SNIP]

Does anyone see anything wrong with this article, or the current description of the "Special Constables"? They can make arrests like police officers, do similar duties of police officers on TTC property, but they AREN'T governed by the Police Services Act. I am surprised that this has been going on like this.

Some of the complaints about the downgrade of their status are bogus in my books. They still retain the right to arrest people under the Trespass to Property act, like all security guards do. They still maintain a role of security on TTC property. Now they will just have to wait for police to take suspects off their hands.

As well, they won't be armed with "pepper foam", whatever the heck that stuff is. The part that got my attention was their wages compared with police officers here in Toronto:

TRANSIT SPECIAL CONSTABLES

• Earn $65,374 to $81,682, working through a six-year pay grid.
[SNIP]

TORONTO POLICE OFFICERS

• Earn $50,558 (cadet in training) to $81,046 (first class constable) working through a five-year pay grid.
[SNIP]

So a TTC union member as a special constable makes more than a member of the Toronto Police force. Sure they will say their job is dangerous, but for some reason I don't think it's as dangerous as a police officer.

And people wonder why the TTC costs so much to ride? Sure there are only 120 Special Constables at the moment. I am willing to bet though that the rest of the TTC employees wages aren't far off from that scale.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Khadr Plea Deal in the Making?

WTF???!!??? is all I can say at this time. Stumbled across this story earlier this morning and I will probably be seething for the rest of the day. From The Globe and Mail:

Plea deal, repatriation possible for Khadr


Omar Khadr could be repatriated to Canada as part of a plea deal that would allow the Obama administration to avoid the international notoriety of a Guantanamo Bay war crimes trial of a child soldier.

“We can confirm that there is a potential deal in the works,” said Nate Whitling, one of Mr. Khadr’s Canadian lawyers. He declined to discuss specifics. No deal has yet been concluded but the shape of one – Omar Khadr pleading guilty to some or all of the war crimes charges, including murder and terrorism, in exchange for a reduced sentence and the option of serving at least some of it in Canada – has emerged.

Late Thursday, after a conference call with prosecutors and defence lawyers, Colonel Patrick Parrish, the military judge, postponed the long-delayed trial. Instead of military transports flying more than 100 witnesses, lawyers, journalists and human rights observers to Guantanamo Bay Friday for what was expected to be a four-week trial, a short sentencing session is now expected to begin Oct. 25.

The military's convening authority formally signed off on a plea deal Wednesday morning, The Globe has learned. This means that, while Mr. Khadr can change his mind, the plea deal is nearly complete. [snip]

So much for Omar's vow not to accept any plea deal. The rest of the article goes on and on about how he's been the only captured terrorist that's been charged with murder on the battlefield. I think the only reason that's the case is probably because Omar has been the only one captured alive. Most of those terrorists meet a short brutal end.

It is the Globe and Mail, so it tends to spin the whole Guantanamo Bay detention story like it's this horrible place and practice.

I still am reeling about this. No Khadr trial, and he may be released into Canadian Custody.

Well maybe his family will finally get a chance to visit him...

In Toronto, the Khadr family, who like all families of Guantanamo detainees have been denied any chance to visit, refused to comment on whether he might be coming home. “We’re not giving anything to any reporters,” said a woman who answered the phone at the Khadr residence. “We haven't even had a chance to speak with a lawyer yet.”

Yeah the family has been denied permission. Now if they were allowed to visit, who would pay for it? I mean practically the whole damn family lives on government handouts.

More stuff from the past here:

Those Wacky Khadr's

The Omar Khadr Trial

Omar Khadr: Damages From Lawsuit?

Friday, October 8, 2010

James Hansen...Forecasting Doom, Again

I have been slacking off this week, but this story just cried for attention. James Hansen came to Canada to vilify and attack the Alberta Oil Sands project. It appears they aren't doing the right thing by shutting down or installing carbon capture technology. I think this whole AGW scam is about to be done in though.

Oilsands expansion 'fool's gold,' scientist warns

By Sheila Pratt

EDMONTON — Expansion of Alberta's oilsands must be avoided if the world is going to avoid disastrous effects of climate change, says one of the world's leading climate scientists.

James Hansen, of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, travelled from New York to appear Tuesday at the Energy Resources Conservation Board hearing into the proposed Total Joslyn North mine near Fort McMurray. The open-pit mine is slated to produce 100,000 barrels a day.

The Joslyn project is the first new oilsands megaproject to seek approval in several years. An upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan to serve the mine was approved last month.

Hansen said he chose to come to the hearing because stopping expansion of the oilsands is critical in the battle against global warming.

"To achieve a safe level of carbon emissions, we cannot have more coal-fired plants, no more oilsands or shale oil," he told the hearing.

"Of course we need energy, and this looks like a gold mine. But it's fool's gold." [SNIP]

I have to stop right there. Yes we need more energy. Every time you turn around though useful idiots are blocking new power stations, fighting against alternate forms of energy, nuclear is a big example, and other "green" projects.

All of this to stop "Global Warming". I have come to despise that phrase, and cringe whenever some idiot starts arguing about how mankind is going to doom the earth. I still say all this AGW garbage is sheer hubris.

Anyway, first mini rant done, back to the article:

[SNIP]
Hansen told the panel a scientific paper he wrote in 1981 accurately predicted the melting of ice in the Northwest Passage that began in the past decade.

At this point, carbon in the atmosphere is 389 parts per million, while the safe level is 350 ppm, he says. To get to the lower level, the world has to phase out fossil fuel and look to nuclear and renewable energy, Hansen said.

"Otherwise we're going to hand our children and grandchildren a situation that is out of control."[SNIP]

Hansen is full of himself. He's been predicting doom and gloom for decades. A quick question I have though, is how does he know that 350 ppm of carbon dioxide is a safe amount? There's so much out there about all this AGW junk science it's hard to keep up. Yes I am an official denier. I don't deny climate change. It does happen naturally. History is full of tales of cold winters, and warm winters. What is a normal climate for our world anyway.

Anyway, enough about Hansens doom and gloom about the "overheating" world. I ran across this article the other day from a Russian news service. I don't know how much stock to put into it but it's funny in a strange short of way.

Scientists: Winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years:

CLEVELAND - If you are planning a trip to Europe this winter, better pack the winter woolies. Several scientists there say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.

Why this dire prediction? Polish scientists say the coming cold is connected to the speed of the Gulf Stream. That's the warm current of water that travels from the Tropical Atlantic up along the US East Coast and over to Europe. the Gulf Stream effectively brings warmer temperatures to Europe, especially during the cold season. Figure 1 photo shows an active Gulf stream back in 2009. Note the active streams of warmer water (reds and yellow streaks) moving northeast thru the Atlantic Ocean. Figure 2 shows the active warm water streams as of September 1st, 2010. they are substantially weaker!

The Gulf Stream has really slowed down in the past two years. Its now moving at just half the speed it was just a couple of years ago. The scientists believe that this means the stream will not be able to add that extra heat to the European Countryside and compensate for the cold, Arctic winds. These scientists also believe, when the Gulf Stream stops completely, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe...[SNIP]
Click through for the image they are talking about.

I don't know about you folks, isn't a warmer world a better world?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Juxtapostioning: Two Stories, Same Theme

No comment from me at this time. Just two similar stories from differing areas.

Story one:

Man charged for burning, urinating on Qur'an

STRASBOURG - A blogger who filmed himself burning the Qur'an and urinating on it to put out the flames is to appear in court in eastern France, charged with incitement to religious hatred, legal sources said on Tuesday.

Threats in September by a Florida preacher to hold a high-profile protest burning of the Qur'an sparked global outrage among Muslims, and triggered violent protests in Afghanistan in which one protester was shot dead.[SNIP]

Story Two:

Muslims burn Bibles in protest
LILONGWE - Muslims in southern Malawi have been burning Bibles in protest against their distribution in Islamic schools by Gideon’s International, a senior Muslim Association of Malawi official said on Tuesday.

“That annoyed some parents and other leaders who have resorted to burning the holy books ... in protest,” Sheikh Imran Sharif, the association’s secretary general, told Reuters.

He said the burning of Bibles was carried out by a few Muslim fanatics and the association has ordered them to stop.

Malawi has 1.7 million Muslims, mostly living in the south of the country, that has a population of about 15 million.

The Muslim protest has been widely criticised in secular Malawi, which has had little religious friction.

Reverend McDonald Kadawati, a leading Christian clergyman asked Muslim leaders to ask followers to stop burning Bibles.

“This is a sad case of religious intolerance and we condemn it in all uncertain terms,” Kadawati said. He called on police to arrest those involved.

Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito said police have launched an investigation but did not say how many Bibles have been burnt.

Gideon’s International, which is dedicated to providing copies of the Bible to people around the globe, said on its Website it has distributed about 90 million Bibles in 22 countries in eastern Africa.[SNIP]

See a difference? Read both stories and you will.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Green Light on the Red Light?

Well, things have been getting interesting here in the Province of Ontario. First though, a little something from a internet friend of mine Buzzsawmonkey a real wordsmith:

There she was, just a-walkin' down the street
As a commodity-ditty dum ditty do
Shakin' her ass at every man she did meet
Singin' commodity-ditty dum ditty do

They busted (busted!)
Her ass (her ass!)
And she sued then, very fast

Now you walk in Toronto almost every single day
Singin' commodity-ditty dum ditty do
Watchin' the hookers peddling themselves for pay
Singin' commodity-ditty dum ditty do

They degrade (degrade!)
Themselves (themselves!)
So they lay it on the shelf...
----buzzsawmonkey----

Yep, in thirty days if the federal and provincial governments don't appeal it, prostitution will be legal in this wonderful province.

Prostitution laws struck down

Tracey Tyler Legal Affairs Reporter


A Toronto judge has struck down Canada’s prostitution laws, saying provisions meant to protect women and residential neighbourhoods are endangering sex workers’ lives.

If Justice Susan Himel’s decision stands, prostitutes will be able to communicate freely with customers on the street, conduct business in their homes or brothels and hire bodyguards and accountants without exposing them to the risk of criminal sanctions.

The Superior Court judge suspended her ruling from taking effect for 30 days to give the government time to consider how to address potential consequences, including the emergence of unlicensed brothels.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the federal government is “very concerned” and is seriously considering an appeal of the 131-page ruling.

Alan Young, a lawyer at the forefront of the landmark legal challenge, said it is too early to say whether Tuesday’s decision could open the door to Canada going “the way of Germany with five-storey brothels.”

But to his client, Terri-Jean Bedford, a dominatrix who was convicted in 1998 of keeping a common bawdy house, it was “emancipation day.”

“How am I going to celebrate? I’m going to spank some ass,” Bedford, cracking a riding whip, told reporters.

Bedford and prostitutes Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovitch took on the legal might of the federal and provincial governments, their battle waged on a shoestring legal aid budget and the volunteer services of expert witnesses and lawyers.

Scott said the decision means sex workers no longer have to “worry about being raped, robbed or murdered.”

Himel found Criminal Code prohibitions against keeping a common bawdy house, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating for the purposes of the trade violated the women’s Charter rights to freedom of expression and security of the person.[SNIP]

There's a lot of things in the article about the case. A lot of assumptions too. Is this right? I am divided for a number of reasons. One, the whole liberty and entrepreneurship thing. Others? Lets just say that I know a bit about the whole sex trade industry and it gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Here's this take from someone that is struggling to rescue people from the trade:

Former prostitute 'shocked' by Ont. court decision
CTV.ca News Staff

A former sex-trade worker who now helps prostitutes trying to leave the trade, says an Ontario court's decision to strike down Canada's laws surrounding prostitution was a terrible move.

Natasha Falle, who runs StreetLight, a non-profit organization that provides support services for sex workers, and works with the Toronto Police's Sex Crimes Unit, says she was "shocked" by Tuesday's court decision to strike down three provisions of the Criminal Code surrounding prostitution.

"It was very disappointing for me that a judge would determine that this is the best solution for protecting people in the sex trade industry," Falle told CTV's Canada AM Wednesday morning.

The laws prohibited communicating for the purposes of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and living on the avails of the trade.

Justice Susan Himel wrote her in 131-page decision that the laws, "individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Those who wanted the laws to be quashed say they forced hookers to work the streets, instead of in the safety of their homes. But Falle says decriminalizing all aspects of prostitution is not the solution.

"I don't think Canadians understand what this means. This means, if this decision is to carry through… your next door neighbours can run a brothel right beside you. Your children could be exposed to condoms left on their driveway, johns propositioning them," she said. [SNIP]

Now that's from an insider. What's the sex trade really like? Here's this story from the beginning of September.

A woman's escape from sexual slavery

This is the part I think stood out the most for me:
[SNIP]
Lindsay washed Brittany off, but it was becoming more difficult to separate the 24-year-old college student from the 28-year-old mother of three.

By the third weekend, Lindsay understood why Paris was so spaced out.

“It’s like you go into a trance. You don’t feel anymore. You don’t see anymore. You don’t hear anymore. You’re there to do what you need to do and that’s it. You totally lose touch of who you are,” she says.

“I didn’t feel like I was (Lindsay) anymore. I actually felt like I was Brittany. Like I didn’t know who (Lindsay) was or even how to get her back.”

The calls were getting slower. She wasn’t making as much money. Tired and shook, Lindsay wanted out.

But the next weekend was the long weekend. Geoffrey promised things would pick up and Lindsay would see how “some of my girls” pull in $3,000 a night.

She agreed to return on Friday, but said she would only pay him $60 per out-call — nothing more. He agreed.

He put her in a waterfront hotel in downtown Toronto. She could see the CN Tower from her room.

She had one three-hour call on Friday and then nothing. All day Saturday, nothing. She couldn’t get a hold of Geoffrey. She was hungry, tired and isolated.[SNIP]

I think that's one thing most people don't realize. They see movies like "Pretty Woman" or some other such film with the "prostitute with the heart of gold" trope, and think that real life is like that. Or they go to Europe where some countries have red light districts and the industry is highly regulated. Would something like that fit here in Canada, much less Ontario? I don't know. I don't think so though. We are different culturally then Europe for one thing. There is too much about this case and the strike down of these laws that needs to be thought upon.

I for one think this is a wrong decision. If it is allowed to stand, the damage to people and neighborhoods will be too much to pay for supporting someones rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Federal Opposition Parties: Bill C-308

There's something that's been flying under most peoples radar. The federal opposition parties, the Bloc Quebecois, Liberals, and NDP, have put forward a private members bill that will change how Employment Insurance will work. The Conservatives have a bill on the floor as well that will increase the amount of payments workers and employers will pay, but the opposition parties are attacking it because it doesn't do enough for what they want.

Here's a quick take down on why it's bad:

EI needs real fix, not a pogey payday


Bill C-308 would allow for a mere 45-day work year for EI eligibility


By Kevin Gaudet, Guest Columnist

he federal Liberals are joining the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois in fighting the government again over Employment Insurance (EI).

Unfortunately, they aren’t fighting the tax hike planned for Jan. 1, the one that will take more off pay cheques and out of the pockets of employers.

Instead, they are fighting to make EI even easier to get and way more expensive for taxpayers.

Private member’s bill C-308 proposes a myriad of changes, each of which would make EI both easier to access and more generous to receive. The government claims the changes would cost taxpayers anywhere from $2.3 billion to $4 billion a year.

The biggest change proposed would reduce the number of hours worked for EI eligibility, down from 420 hours to only 360 hours. This would allow for a mere 45-day work year.

The TD Bank issued a report in 2009 that estimated this change alone would cost $1 billion. But that’s not all they’re after.

The bill would make permanent the temporary change that added five more weeks of EI benefits; making it permanent at 50 weeks. Payments meanwhile would rise from 55% of earnings to 60% of earnings.

Finally, they want to change the way insurable earnings are calculated, upping it to the average of the highest 12 weeks over the last 12 months.

The bill is silent on how this expensive change would be paid for. EI premiums collected from employees and employers last year totaled $16.9 billion. A $4 billion increase in costs to the program would require a 24% EI premium hike to pay for it. Otherwise, the money would have to come from a permanent massive drain out of general tax revenue. [SNIP]

Unfortunately the opposition party seats out number the Conservatives in parliament. So what they are trying to do is force the government to pay for something that's not really needed. Or that will cause all sorts of issues.

Employment Insurance (EI) has been one of those things that's been abused more then used. People have taken seasonal jobs then taken a pogey holiday. Which can also be extended by taking sponsored training courses. The rules for getting onto EI changed back in the early 90's making it much more difficult to qualify for.

Now what the loyal opposition *cough* want to do is make it easier and pay more. Less time working, slacker qualification rules, and more money, and longer periods allowed to collect it. This will be open to all sorts abuses.

Now the funny thing is that this story has been coasting under the radar. I went to my usual lefty source for news, The Toronto (red) Star and did a search for it. I plugged in the bill number, private members bill, employment insurance, and found exactly nothing. No information what ever.

Next stop The Globe and Mail. Same type of search, nothing, nada, zilch. Now on to the National Post. Same, same. Nothing found. I went back to the Toronto Sun and found another comment article on this bill, and finally a name of the author, Bloc MP Yves Lessard. Time to go digging again...

NOTHING!!!! There is precious little out there in our big name papers about this travesty. What are we doing here sleeping? Come on Canada, it's time to wake up and pay attention to what we are not being told.

I did do a Google search on this bill by the way. Two links I will leave for your perusal. One from a business site, and another from a Union site. Most of the relevant pages I pulled up from Google were from unions supporting this mess.

CFIB Blasts Opposition MPs on “Irresponsible” Employment Insurance Bill

EI CHANGES ARE POSSIBLE

Employment Insurance does need to be fixed, no question about it. There are flaws in the system, some areas of Canada can get it easier then others, and so on. More stuff for me to look into. Until then, we Canadians need to pay more attention to what our government is doing. The Opposition Parties are trying to do an end run and rule by a coalition. We stood up to them when they tried this before, we need to do so again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How do I respond to this?

I have seen a few things in my life that make me sit up and go "Huh?". Whether it's a blatant lie done by politicians, ramblings by activists, or scenes of pure hatred and stupidity. While scrolling through news links this morning I found one of those "Huh?" moments.

Statements or actions by left wing people shouldn't be surprising to me by now. Unfortunately some seem to go that extra mile and really double down on idiocy. For example this article about a photographic art exhibit in Ottawa. Here's the news article. I recommend going to see it because the descriptions don't really do justice for the images.

Controversial artist brings headlines into the playroom


Dan Robson Staff Reporter
An olive-skinned boy glares ominously, pointing a toy plane towards twin building-block towers — one with a gaping hole, burning with construction paper fire, as toy soldiers fall to the playroom floor.

A boy on a box, covered in a black cloak and hood — his fingers wired with electrodes. A nearly-nude handcuffed boy, eyes screaming in terror as a stuffed dog wraps around his waist.

Abu Ghraib, 9/11 — meet the playroom.

A new series of controversial photographs from artist Jonathan Hobin, called In the Playroom, brings the headlines into the supposedly safe, carefree space of childhood playtime.

“I want people to acknowledge the fact that kids see the scariest things that are out there,” said Hobin of the exhibit, which among other notorious events, includes depictions of Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 tsunami, and the murder of JonBenĂ©t Ramsey.

Hobin, who studied photography at Ryerson, said the photos are intended to tear down to illusion that, in a media-saturated world, children can be sheltered.

“I want people to acknowledge the fact that kids see the scariest things that are out there,” he said. “If you see it, they see it.”

The 30-year-old’s work has been praised by art lovers who have flocked to the Dale Smith Gallery in Ottawa since the exhibit opened on Sept. 17. [snip]

Here's the link to the photo gallery.

I don't know what to say about this, really. I mean using children to depict tragedies? Mind you, using a photographers eye, the images are stunning and arouse all sorts of emotions. The biggest emotion that I have felt though is disgust. This person uses a lot of myth and fallacies to create the images and sometimes promotes continuing myths and stories. As well, why use children to do this? Anyway, this is what we can usually expect for art these days.

Two more articles for your reading seething as well.

Is This Art, Or Parental Stupidity?

The kids are not all right

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Defence of the CBC?

Wow, I don't know where to begin with this one. It appears that the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) is feeling a little threatened. There are a couple articles in the Toronto Star this morning that are written in "defence" of Canadian culture, and dispelling "myths".

Article One:
Nine Myths About Canadian Culture

It starts off fairly benign, then it goes into T.V. shows, the CBC being underfunded, etc. etc. etc..

I loved this little Myth/Fact response.

4. Fiction: They are shoving Cancon down our throats.

Fact: Canadian content regulations in radio and television have ensured there are Canadian choices that would not otherwise exist, but Canadians also have easy access to most American television, as well as all U.S. movies, music, books and magazines.

The Cancon rules are bogus. They have done more stifling of Canadian creativity then anything else. Example, a radio station has to play at least 10% Canadian content. Any other rules? No. On goes Rush, or Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Guess Who, Neil Young....See a problem yet folks? How many new groups and bands get airplay? I used to hear a few up in my home town area that got radio play on the local radio station. Anything national? Rarely. For t.v. shows it was a bit different. The CBC at one time was considered the guardian and creator of anything Canadian. A few channels now are moving into that market and are creating some wonderful Canadian shows. The CBC is trying, but now they are failing and flailing.

Now the Next article in the Toronto Star:

How to make the CBC viable in the digital age


[SNIP]
The CBC’s $1-billion parliamentary allocation sounds like a lot, but when the amount is adjusted for inflation, the broadcaster is receiving $500 million less than it did in 1991.

Before anyone gives the CBC more money, however, we all need to decide what we want the CBC to be.

“If we are serious about having a national public broadcaster — and it’s not always clear that we are — we need to give it a clear mandate and properly fund that mandate. . .” says Alan Sawyer, a consultant in digital media. “If we are serious about it we have to go big: here is what we want.”

So, what do we want? Stursberg’s argument was that in an environment dominated by the American programming on CTV and Global, the CBC’s English service distinguishes itself simply by being Canadian. Not by being non-commercial or high-minded, but by offering Canadian versions of commercial programming formats.

The alternative is to reduce the CBC to some sort of PBS North, funded by many but watched by few.

However, the either-or argument, populist or elitist, is unnecessarily polarizing. Funded, however skimpily, by all taxpayers, the CBC needs to reach many audiences. And in English Canada, serving the entire population with a single, general-interest channel is a particularly difficult task. Canadian content is not, after all, a specific programming niche. [SNIP] (emphasis added by myself)
Whining and winging about how they aren't getting enough money to broadcast Canadian culture. Why should the CBC define Canadian culture? I think that may be a rant for another day actually, "What is Canadian Culture"....back to the topic at hand. The CBC has been the government media for generations now. Ever since it's founding in 1936 it has broadcast all manners of media to the country. In the last thirty years though, probably longer, it has seemed to become more and more the propaganda arm of the left and the Liberal Party of Canada. That's my belief anyway. Your mileage may vary.

Now the third article:

Is a national Canadian culture important? If so, what would it be?

Now we are getting to the meat of the issue.

[SNIP]Canada’s government is not as generous, but operates on the same principle. Ottawa subsidizes the cultural industries with various loans, grants and tax credits, and requires both radio and TV broadcasters to offer specific percentages of Canadian content. Some of these measures have proved highly successful, others much less so, but without them there would be no Canadian popular culture. [SNIP]

I don't believe this argument at all. Popular Canadian culture does exist and would exist even without the funding of the government. How many authors are there that are published? How many movies, dramas, writers, actors, comedians? They are there, we just have to discover them. Some of them stand out and are remembered. Others need maybe a little helping hand. But the cream will rise to the top no matter who. Funded or unfunded.

Further on in the article is where I find my stomach turning:

It is hard to find much philosophical support for cultural nationalism these days. In the universities, political thinkers are queasy about nationalism, an unease they would trace back to the Holocaust and follow forward to Bosnia.

Cultural thinkers, meanwhile, reject attempts to define, let alone mould, national identity as paternalistic and exclusionary. This leaves the stewards of cultural institutions and regulations without much intellectual grounding for their mandate.

Meanwhile, the reach of the Internet and the efficiency of digital technology are softening national boundaries in culture and communications and may erase them outright as they become the sole highway and only vehicle for all media. The digital age will recognize few of our regulations as a flood of foreign content rapidly becomes an ocean.

These university philosophers and political thinkers are trying to kill nationalism. Nationalism is a part of our cultural heritage. This sickness has been fermenting now for almost 40 years with the whole "multicultural mosaic" created by the Trudeau government. The concept where all cultures are equal, and now it means all are equal except Canadian culture.

The Toronto Star is trying hard to defend the doddering institution of the CBC. Of course like draws to like, and left to left. The CBC at one time was a needed institution. No longer. More and more Canadian broadcasting companies are creating Canadian programs. Written here, filmed here, about here. Other Canadians are starting to become modern cultural icons and making their presence known. Here's a good example. How many have seen the t.v. show "FlashForward"? An American show on the ABC channel, unfortunately canceled now. It was based upon a novel by a Canadian writer. Hows that for culture? Anyway enough of this for the day, time to relax and not get my blood pressure up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gun Registry: The Left Starts The Spin Machine

Well, with the current death of this governments chance of canceling the LGR, left leaning writers are editorializing....

Travers: Reason barely defeats gun registry anger:

By James Travers National Affairs Columnist

Loved by some, hated by others and exaggerated by all, the gun registry has never been just about public safety. Now, in the aftermath of a rancorous Commons vote, it’s mostly about the soaring power of emotion in Canadian politics and the coming federal election.

With decisive help from Jack Layton’s NDP, Liberals rescued the registry from Conservatives last night by narrowly winning a weak argument. Backed by gun crime victims, police chiefs and metropolitan voters, Michael Ignatieff forced a nervous caucus to accept that, on balance, saving the registry Jean Chretien introduced in 1995 is worth the rural political risks.

Coming to that conclusion shouldn’t have taken so long or been that difficult. It wasn’t until this spring that Liberals finally grasped truths Conservatives have long understood. Support is increasingly measured by a party’s depth, not its width. Campaigns are won by emotion as well as reason.[snip]

So, the opposition parties "rescued" the registry from the nasty Conservatives. The way he talks you think that the registry was actually serving a valuable purpose. I still scratch my head at that one.

He goes on to spout this banal piece of opinion:
Mysteriously, they also let Harper slip the handgun hook. Conservatives are rarely forced to explain why a ruling party that makes so much of public anger at the registry is paying so little attention to the majority of Canadians who favor an outright ban on private handguns.

Last time I checked the majority of handgun crimes were committed by ILLEGAL handguns by people that were *gasp* criminals. Yes there are a few handgun crimes that are committed with registered handguns, but they are rare. Handguns are so restricted that only people that require them for other reasons i.e. target shooting competition, own them. The restrictions on owning one is so stiff that most people don't even think about it.

The handgun boogie man has been used continuously since the talk began of the LGR. It appears that 80 years of restricted access and registration with the government has done wonders for stopping crimes with them (sarcasm for those that don't get it).

Anyway Mr. Travers think that the Long Gun Registry is a good thing. The Liberals and the NDP stood up against those evil Conservatives by listening to all those victim groups that sob about how it's a good thing for law and order. Somehow I don't think so.

Gun Registry: It Still Lives

Well, I am a little late on this one. The vote was held yesterday afternoon in the House of Commons. At the time it was still up in the air and unknown what it's status would be. Well, now we know, the bill to abolish the Long Gun Registry was defeated by 153 to 151. Let the dancing begin.

Harper defeated in move to end hunting rifle control:

OTTAWA (AFP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government was narrowly defeated on Wednesday in its bid to end controls on hunting rifles and shotguns, in a major political upset.

Parliamentarians voted 153 to 151 to defeat a bill to repeal the long-gun registry act, after a divisive debate that could have lasting repercussions come the next elections.

Still, Harper vowed to continue the fight, which has pitted advocates of gun control against a long tradition of hunting and trapping in Canada.

"The people of the regions of this country are never going to accept being treated like criminals and we will continue our efforts until this registry is finally abolished," he said.

The 15-year-old registry of 6.5 million rifles and shotguns was brought in by a former Liberal government in 1995 in response to the killing of 14 women at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique six years earlier.

Police and victims groups praise the firearms registry, saying it has contributed to public safety.

But it is hugely unpopular in rural Canada with farmers and hunters, and critics brand it a wasteful attack on law-abiding gun owners. [SNIP]

I love the spinning of this article. The incident at Ecole Polytechnique has been the siren call of the left for more gun control. One thing that has been done is that ALL semi-automatic rifles are now considered restricted weapons. At the same level as handguns. Secondly when they talk about support from the police? The majority of the line officers don't support it. Only all the police chiefs and association supported the registry. Here in Canada most Police chiefs are practically political positions.

Anyway, the spinning, screaming, and yelling is going to be ramped up. By the way this vote was considered a free vote. Unless you were NDP or Liberal. The Liberal party didn't want to see their frankenstein monster die so they whipped their party into line and voted to keep this waste of taxpayer money.

From Iggy:
"This is an emotional issue," said Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

"I feel now we have shown to what extent the Liberal Party is ... united on this issue," he said. "We support victims. We support emergency-room doctors and police forces."

Somehow I don't believe a single word he says.

The bright side in all this? Well lets go back to the press room....

Gun vote switchers, you're going down: Harper

[SNIP]
Prime Minister Stephen Harper cast the defeat as the springboard for the Conservative party effort to increase support in its rural base.

"After 15 years opposition to the long gun registry is stronger than it has ever been," he said.

"The people of the regions of this country are never going to accept being treated like criminals and we will continue our efforts until this registry is finally abolished."

It's in Canada's nooks and crannies where the issue of the gun registry is most divisive, a fact not lost on politicians from rural ridings who wrestled with what to do with their votes.

Fourteen opposition MPs switched their positions and cast votes to save the register. They will face the full fury of a formidable Conservative election machine aimed at steamrolling them in the next campaign. Those MPs have already been served a sample of what awaits them. Online ads, radio spots and phone-bank canvassing was part of the pre-vote campaign to compel them to maintain their original votes.

Tory MP Candice Hoeppner, who sponsored the bill, said the eight Liberals and six New Democrats who did an about-face will pay the price at the ballot box.

"We won't give up the fight. This isn't the end, this is just the beginning."

Even as the votes were being counted, the Tory push was on.

Newfoundland MP Scott Simms had been one of the eight in his caucus who had opposed the registry up until now. His reason for switching packed an emotional wallop. He told fellow Liberals during a wrenching caucus meeting that his father committed suicide with a rifle in June.

Simms received a warm round of applause from his colleagues after he voted, and a shout from across the floor: "they won't be clapping for you when you lose your seats."[SNIP]

One more article link and then I am done on this for the day...
Tories vow to use gun registry vote as ammo

Thank you opposition parties. You have just given the Conservative Party the means to defeat you in the next election.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today is a BIG day.

Well it's here, the long awaited vote on the canceling of the Long Gun Registry. The pie in the sky program created by the Chretien Liberal government as a way to lower violent gun crimes. From where I sit now, 15 years later and 100 miles south of when it came into effect, I don't see a drop in gun crimes. In fact the amount of HAND gun crimes appears to have risen a fair amount. Oh, that's right. Hand guns have been restricted weapons since the 1930's.

The whole argument that's been raised now is that it's a women's safety issue. Those evil gun toting men are using their scary fire arms to keep their "wimmen" in line. Seriously, that's the whole gist of this article on one of the unknown votes from an NDP member from the prairies.

NDP MP target of women's groups on registry:


By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A rookie rural Manitoba MP will cast one of the most challenging votes of her young political career when the fate of the long-gun registry is decided Wednesday.

Niki Ashton is the sole New Democrat who has not publicly declared whether she's going to maintain her stand in favour of scrapping the registry. There appear to be enough opposition votes in favour of keeping the registry so even if she votes in favour of scrapping it, the bill itself will likely fail.

But that isn't stopping a group of women's advocates and politicians on both sides of the issue from imploring the 28-year-old MP who has long been an advocate on rural women's issues to think hard about her decision.

The women's groups say the registry is crucial to preventing violence and that women will die if the registry is abolished. [SNIP]

Fear mongering. It's what's on the side of the left mostly. Those evil guns are going to be used to kill the women. Therefore we most know who owns all these firearms. I don't know about you, but the minute people start restricting rights and freedoms, I get nervous.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ahhhh, I love our current diplomats.

Well the Iranian president addressed the UN General Assembly again. And once again, Canadian diplomats stood up and walked out in protest.

Canada boycotts Iranian leader's speech at UN:

By Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Canadian diplomats at the United Nations, including Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, boycotted a speech Tuesday by the president of Iran.

In recent years Canadian officials, along with those from other Western nations, have made a show of walking out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whenever he addresses the UN General Assembly.

It's meant as a form of protest against Iran's human rights record and controversial nuclear program.[SNIP]

Why this maniac is given such a bully pulpit consistently, I don't understand. He's verbally assaulted Israel, his regime supports terrorists of all stripes. In fact there could be grounds for calling the government of Iran a terrorist organization.

It's days like this that I wonder why we are even a part of the United Nations.

Mayoral Race Updates

Well, this week is off to an interesting start. A new poll has come out which places Rob Ford miles ahead of the other contenders.

Rob Ford opens huge lead in mayors race.

Yep, now the mud slinging is really about to begin. The trouble is, who's slinging what at who? I mean aside from Ford, all the other candidates seem to be opening up on each other. Even though they are attacking Ford, they also seem to be doing drive by smearing of their other opponents.

Candidates target Ford:

I mean, some of these candidates don't have a snow balls chance at all. Why are they even still running?

Even funnier is that the Toronto (Red) Star is starting to jump on the other candidates. Well except for Smitherman, who is their candidate that they are backing.

The Smell Test: Rossi’s Toronto Tunnel
Mafia-themed ads go over like stale cannoli

Some writers are still slamming Ford as much as possible. One of the blogs I read almost daily, Scaramouche, has a good take on Heather Mallicks recent "editorial" about Rob Ford.

I think that's enough link dumping for the mayoral race today. Time to go diving for other news and info to keep our eyes on.