Monday, May 31, 2010

Do the crime, do the time

This article just reinforces one thought above all.

Just because you're a Canadian citizen doesn't mean that you can commit crimes abroad and expect your government to fix it. It also doesn't matter that the crime in question was "being a patsy".

Here's a thought... don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time.

Any questions?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I couldn't say it much better myself

This is one person I wouldn't mind being Prime Minister - even if he is from Quebec*

From the perspective of corporations, taxes are an additional cost of doing business. If you increase their taxes, to remain profitable they will have to find ways to lower other costs, or to increase revenues.

How does a corporation do this? One way is to reduce the returns to its owners and investors. In that sense, it becomes the equivalent of a capital tax, or a capital gains tax. It is not the corporation that pays the tax, but rather its owners and investors. And since capital is mobile, there is a limit to how much you can tax it. The result, as with the capital tax, is that we end up discouraging capital accumulation and investments in Canada.

Another way for corporations to shift the burden of their income tax is to increase the price of what they produce. In that sense, it becomes the equivalent of a tax on consumption. It is the consumers who pay it, not the corporation.

A corporation can also decide to cut down on its factors of production by laying off workers, reducing their wages, investing less in new equipment, or buying fewer inputs from its suppliers. Once again, in the end, it is real people who will pay the tax, either the company’s workers or the workers of other companies that do business with it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sask. population could hit 1.3M in 2036

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Sask. population could hit 1.3M in 2036

In other news... The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has a growth strategy that sees Saskatchewan hit 1.5 million by 2030.

Perhaps the ceeb should do a little more research and not automatically ignore what the Chamber says.

And by the way - the Chamber is actually monitoring to see how close we are. Pretty interesting stuff.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Harper mirrors Obama's tactics

Full disclosure...

Last spring and summer during the Health Care and Budget and Stimulus debates in the US, I was a regular viewer of Fox News. No, not just Hannity and O'Reilly, but Van Sustern, Fox & Friends, and Hemmer/various cohosts.

While I was watching, I marveled at how big the bills were that were being passed as routine without perusal. I marveled at the 1400 and 3000 page documents were being passed by both Houses without so much as a glance at what they contained.

Now for those people that might disparage me for watching Fox News, the message was always the same from those guys. They would point to various sections of the Bills and ask this person or that person (sometimes sypathetic sometimes hostile, always respectful) either what that section meant to them, or whether they thought it should be in the bill. The segments would normally end with the host questioning what the rush was to pass this stuff.

While watching those shows, I was proud to be a Canadian and know that all of our legislation, at least for the past 4 years, has gone through at a snail's pace, with absolutely every word scrutinized. Such is the case when a Conservative is in Power but doesn't have the majority. All the opposition parties search every bill to see if there is something that might bolster their "hidden agenda" conspiracy theory, or to find that one little thing that might make the government look bad. I was also proud to know that the bills that are passed up here are usually nowhere NEAR the monsters that were going through the legislative process in the US.

The funny thing is that Mr. Harper has taken a play out of the Democrat's playbook, and there really isn't much they can do about it:

In 2009, the government introduced 1,617 pages of legislation. The Budget Implementation Bill currently before the House of Commons contains 880 pages--more than half of the entire workload of Parliament last year.
But complain they will, and in the end, a federal case will be made out of it. There is one thing to point out though:

Mr. Harper wouldn't have done this if he didn't think he could. Let's be honest here folks, he knows full well that the Opposition parties don't want an election, and this is just an extension of his brinksmanship strategy that was being employed the last 4 spring sessions. Long story short, this is his way of effectively getting things done without the hassle of delays and filibusters and other tactics of the opposition.

The author of the story is upset that Mr. Harper did this in order to get his legislations passed, but I would point out that there was nothing that said that the Opposition parties couldn't say ANYTHING about the bills. Parliamentary procedure involves a debate and discussion, both in the House and outside of it. I submit that the commentary shouldn't be "Harper is bad because he forced all this stuff that isn't money related through the House", the commentary should really be "WHERE THE HELL WAS THE OPPOSITION DURING THIS DEBATE?"

I'll end on a quote from the author of the article for your consideration:

"There are two sides in the House, and those opposing interests have to be reconciled. First, the government is entitled to get its legislation through in a reasonable time-frame. Secondly, Parliament has the right to consider legislation. If you don't balance these rights, the end product is an abomination like this bill."
I submit that the government did its job, can anyone say the Opposition did the same?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And for something interesting today

Justice Employee Still Has Job After Breach

Justice Employee Still Has Job After Breach | News Talk 650 CKOM

I wasn't affected by this, but in a way, we're all affected by this story.

The reason is that someone who violated the confidentiality of her position, not to mention the privacy of the individuals targeted by the union is still in a position to possibly benefit from that breach in the future.

Because honestly, what are the odds that such a breach will affect her career options at the department? What are the odds that she doesn't just transfer out of the department to another one where her record will be clean and she'll have access to the same information again? If that wasn't the case, why would you possibly hang around a job where you had absolutely no hope of advancement.

To be quite frank, there should have been an eye for an eye in this case - she violated the privacy of 25 people, so therefore she should be subjected to a similar breach in the release of the details of her and her punishment. It is only fair after all.

And for the record, I sincerely hope that if lawyers come knockin' at the Ministry of Justice, that THEY can get the information they need to successfully sue her. That should be the least of her woes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A new take on an old law

Russia tries a new law of the sea for pirates

The problem is that it's a fairly old law of the sea for pirates. At one time, pirates were captured, taken back to the nearest friendly port, and either strung up or rescued.

Tantamount to walking the plank, quite frankly, this is the way it should be dealt with.

I know some people will say that these people are incredibly poor and this is the way that they have figured out to improve their lot in life, so they should be allowed to live, but I'm not buying that argument.

These Somalis, like the pirates of ye olde times, are choosing to do this in order to improve their lot in life. Of course, there are other ways that they can improve their lot in life. For that reason, they should be an example for future pirates to consider before they get into piracy. I'm okay with the new "law", and I hope that it starts working soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A new perspective on banning the Burqa

Now realistically, I can understand the call to ban the burqa, but it all comes down to a respect for values.

Admittedly, my objection to the burqa comes out of incidents where the people wearing the burqa refuses to compromise when it is in their best interests. And then takes the other party to the Human Rights Commission because they refused to compromise.

This is the other perspective

Now what it all comes down to is respect. But respect has to be on both sides of the board. I agree with the author that it is disrespectful to force someone to change their cultural practices for you, but it is also disrespectful for them to force you to accept their point of view when it is no better. It is downright disrespectful to use the force of law to settle the point regardless of which side you're on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's the sun, stupid

Earlier this month, the link between solar activity and climate made headlines throughout Europe after space scientists from the U.K., Germany and South Korea linked the recent paucity of sunspots to the cold weather that Europe has been experiencing. This period of spotlessness, the scientists predicted in a study published in Environmental Research Letters, could augur a repeat of winters comparable to those of the Little Ice Age in the 1600s, during which the Sun was often free of sunspots. By comparing temperatures in Europe since 1659 to highs and lows in solar activity in the same years, the scientists discovered that low solar activity generally corresponded to cold winters. Could this centuries-long link between the Sun and Earth’s climate have been a matter of chance? “There is less than a 1% probability that the result was obtained by chance,” asserts Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading in the U.K., the study’s lead author.

It's the sun, stupid.

Gosh, do you think that the fact that there has been little sunspot activity since 2008 could possibly have been responsible for cooler than normal temperatures during all of 2009?

Just sayin'

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Re: Branding Matters - Mark Steyn

Re: Branding Matters - Mark Steyn - The Corner on National Review Online

I agree with Steyn and Goldberg that the government shouldn't be buying condoms for people. I also flash back to a phrase that mom always used, that of "beggars can't be choosers"

The unfortunate thing is that the beggars ARE being choosy, and the people buying the condoms are swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

Personally, although I DO prefer that the government not buy condoms in general, in this case, I can make an exception in order to ensure that a 30 year old college student that turns his nose up at a "non-premium" brand of condom doesn't procreate. God knows what other costs the taxpayer would be on the hook for if he actually had a kid.

Cue the conspiracy theories

Idiots with bombs in Ottawa

And shortly thereafter, cue the conspiracy theorists.

Now, there should be no question that firebombing ANYTHING is a bad idea. It should also go without saying that the group that did it had a very specific goal.

What I find odd though is that both of those people think that the reason for this firebombing was something other than what it really is. A group took responsibility for it... it was a previously not famous group. They had a very specific goal in mind for this act, and it had nothing to do with giving the government more power nor did it have anything to do with equating the left with terrorism.

Regardless of my feelings about the groups most likely to commit such an act, what it comes down to is that this group is angry about their place in society, and they feel that the only way to call attention to it is through actions such as these. I sincerely hope that the perpetrators are caught and that they are punished accordingly.

As for "Dr" Dawg's contention that this makes the left look like bad guys, I just have one thing to say:

Hitler headed a SOCIALIST party and was more akin to the political left in Canada than to the right.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Truth or fiction on Bill 80

Broken promises paved Bill 80 path

The op-ed by Mr. Parker is interesting. It also presumes one side of the story. In the interest of fairness, let's look at another bit of information from an independent business publication that answers all of the different myths surrounding Bill 80.

Percy on Business article

Now with all due respect to all the union operatives and trade councils, OF COURSE they want to maintain the status quo, just like they want to ensure that Health care workers don't finish their negotiations before the next provincial election. It's called making the province ungovernable, and it's something that these people try to do every time there is the "wrong flavour" of government at the helm.

What I find interesting though, is that while Mr. Hubich and the SFL seek to abolish all business people (you know, the people that actually KNOW how to manage things properly), the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce actually acknowledges that unions have a place and that growing Saskatchewan - through creating an environment to grow business - will only help unions, not hurt them.

Oh, and Mr. Parker? It's pretty disingenuous to claim that Mr. Wall lied when Bill 80 is a direct result of things that happened since their election to government.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One more time...

Blazing Cat Fur: Graves/Ekos - CBC says... We're not biased you ignorant peasants....

Someone explain to me again why a Government funded television network has ANY involvement in political reporting?

I don't care how careful they are, they are always going to be suspect of either going too far to "hold the government to account" and prove that they aren't biased, or go not far enough to ensure that the government tap never gets turned off.

Los Angeles proves why boycotts don't work

Los Angeles proves why boycotts don't generally work.

It all comes down to the choices that are made.

For example, if Los Angeles TRULY believes that a boycott would be appropriate against Arizona, I suggest that they should be willing to boycott ALL products, and not just the ones that are visibly products from Arizona. It's not enough that you boycott the easy stuff, you have to boycott the hard stuff if you really want it to work.

Of course, that's the point though. They don't really expect or want it to work. They're just creating a politically correct show that punishes a state for making it legal for officers to check your papers if he suspects that you are an illegal immigrant. I wonder how big the uproar will be when someone actually gets escorted out of the country because of this bill. I suggest that they escort the "illegal" to Los Angeles instead.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The true story of Robin Hood

A Libertarian Rebel

Need I say more?

I might have to go see that flick when it comes out, just because of the storyline.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saskatchewan won't get safe-injection sites

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan won't get safe-injection sites

Okay, let's follow the logic again...

IV Drug use begets needle exchange programs, which in turn begets higher IV drug use, which begets more junkies not caring about their own conditions which begets higher incidence of blood born diseases which begets safe injection sites which begets higher crime statistics in the area around the safe injection site and higher drug use.

The problem is that any of these "fixes" are a bandage solution.

I note on the above post that my comment about more counseling and less needles (May 16, 5:38pm) handed out and promptly got more dislikes than likes. Fair enough but when all is said and done, the people that "disliked" that comment are the ones that don't care about fixing the problem. They are the ones that feel more MUST be better. That more MUST lead to better results. That more money, more needles, more safe havens for drug users, more of everything but a counseling session MUST be the best thing for all those poor drug users.

Well you know what? I'm tired of that logic - sometimes less is better. The fact is that the drug users don't care if they get help, they only care about their next fix, and they will continue on that path when they hit bottom. They can't hit bottom if someone is constantly there to stop them before they hit bottom.

Sometimes the best help you can give a person is to walk away and let them figure it out on their own. Tough to do, tougher if they are family, but in the end, they will thank you for it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

MPs refusal of audit request an absolute disgrace

Tasha Kheiriddin: MPs refusal of audit request an absolute disgrace

You know what? I have to admit that I agree with this. I do. It doesn't matter if it is in Sheila Fraser's job description, she should be allowed to audit expenses for all of the MPs.


This isn't a question of trust or distrust. This isn't even a question politics. It's a question of making sure that proper policies are being followed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A tale of two universities

William Watson: Make the MBAs pay

Not to mention the evil effects of those nasty conservative policies.

It's a simple concept to understand - yes, society benefits from a higher level of education, but depending on the field of study, the individual will always benefit more from that higher level of education. Studies show that post-secondary educated people earn much more than high school educated people, which means that post-secondary education, more often than not is an investment and not a cost.

Not necessarily in all situations, but most.

So from that perspective, I would wish that McGill should be allowed to charge for an MBA what it is actually worth - if it can`t then the value of the MBA becomes much lower, and the ability of the university to run an MBA program in the first place becomes much smaller. If the latter becomes the case, then what happened at the U of S becomes a reality. I hope the Bureaucrats learn this simple little lesson.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Conservatives open a new chapter in the culture wars

Tasha Kheiriddin: Conservatives open a new chapter in the culture wars -- Rape is in, pardons are out

At first glance at the headline, I have to admit, I rolled my eyes thinking that Tasha was just another fringe lefty with an agenda of making the Conservatives look bad, not because they are doing anything particularly wrong, but because they are conservatives.

After reading the article, I realized that it wasn't about painting the Conservatives, although I would point out that the headline still does go a long way to doing that very thing. It was more about the give and take, the push and shove that Canadian society has been under constant battle since Confederation.

In essence, it's about changing the terminology of certain things to achieve reverse normalization according to the current set of values at the top of the chain. It is about incrementally turning the ship and showing the country that they really have nothing to fear from a Conservative government. And it has the opponents of the government scared.

How Scared?

When you have books being issued regarding the scary Religious Right and their ability to cozy up to the government in power, that is pretty scared. Essentially what you have there is a book that attempts to remind the population that the Conservatives have a hidden agenda, one that isn't apparent, and one that focuses on religious values.

The problem is twofold in this - 1) that these people do make up a significant proportion of the population, and their opinions DO count, regardless of what some people think, and 2) that there is really nothing wrong with a religious point of view in most things.

A religion is "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices". Very much like a political party, a religion sets out an umbrella of beliefs and attitudes and invites those of like mind to join in and gather together. It is no coincidence that a large percentage of Catholics are anti-abortion (errr pro-life). It is no coincidence that a large number of religious people espouse abstinence to safe sex practices. It is no coincidence that religious people will generally espouse views consistent with taking care of yourself and your own family. It is no coincidence that many religious people have an aversion to the government funding many programs and that many of these religious people find a way to do these things themselves. It is no coincidence that some of the most prominent help missions aren't run by the government, but instead by the Salvation Army (religion, in case it wasn't known), the Catholic Church, and the Anglican Church.

Do I disagree with the "religious right" on some topics? Yes. But fundamentally, these people are fighting against the secularist, socially liberal agenda that has been running rampant for decades, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Coming soon to a drug store near you

The male version of the pill, so you too can have your sex and avoid condoms too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

IPCC: Beyond the Himalayas

Lawrence Solomon: IPCC: Beyond the Himalayas

An interesting roundup of the "denier" position as it relates to Global Warming.

Definitely worth the read.

Followed by a column by Marni Soupcoff about environmentalists.

And lest we forget one of the most famous "environmentalists" of them all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sadly, I actually know the feeling

It's tough having the right answer in a class where everyone else has the wrong answer. It's also tough using a mathematical problem to teach teamwork, especially when the answer can be misconstrued.

I have to agree with Mr. Barry's choice not to pursue business courses - especially if "consensus" and "teamwork" are what are being taught as sound business practices. Don't get me wrong, these ARE sound business practices, but in the end, a company can employ teamwork and consensus all it wants, but if it isn't doing the RIGHT things, it will still fail, and all of those commerce students will still be out of their jobs. In a case like that, the right answer counts just as much as teamwork, even moreso.

Then again, the lesson may have been lost on me - I employ teamwork for the right reasons - to teach and to allow employees to specialize in some small part of the whole that gets the job done expediently, I don't employ it just because it is teamwork. That would be a waste of resources.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Helena Guergis tells her side of the story

Don Martin: Helena Guergis tells her side of the story

I get it... I understand... there comes a point where the "downtrodden" is allowed to give their side of the story...

Except that it's pretty suspect when the same reporters who have been beating her and her husband up for the last 6 to 8 weeks are all of a sudden concerned for her feelings and her side of the story.

The sad truth of the matter is that although Mr. Harper was prepared to weather the little storms - the "tantrum" in PEI that Mansbridge now says wasn't a tantrum (do we want to revisit all those islanders that called it such back then to see if they agree?), the staffer writing letters under an assumed name.

But there is one thing that Mr. Harper wouldn't stand idly by and not react to, and quite frankly, that's ANY hint of influence peddling or wrong doing. Unfortunately, Ms. Guergis didn't do anything necessarily wrong except marry a dumbass who doesn't understand the difference between "lobbying" and "influence peddling", nor could be bothered to fill out the appropriate paperwork necessary to REGISTER as a lobbyist.

THAT is the real reason why you were fired from Cabinet and caucus, Ms. Guergis. I know that it MUST absolutely baffle the three opposition parties, not to mention the "journalists" who have been chasing you these past 8 weeks. The simple fact of the matter is that the LAST thing Mr. Harper wants within a 50 foot pole of his party is a real scandal, and that would have been provided had Guergis/Jaffer been allowed to continue as before with any perceived access to the cabinet offices.

Some might paint Mr. Harper as mean spirited. They've been trying to do that since 2006. The fact is that he knows the difference between a real scandal and a fake one, and he has acted decisively at the first suggestion of a real one.

Transparency on Reserves Desperately Needed

FED: Transparency on Reserves Desperately Needed | Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Full Disclosure: I'm not aboriginal.

There, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about accountability.

If you've spent any time reading and understanding my writings in the past, you will know that I oppose many things about the Aboriginal situation in Canada, but specifically what I oppose is throwing money at the Aboriginal population through the institutions currently set up, knowing that there will be a lot of leakage before the money gets to where it is supposed to go.

I have mentioned that income testing should mean income testing when it comes to the various benefits dished out by our government (ie, GST Rebates, Child Tax benefits, clawbacks). I have decried that an aboriginal parent receiving more than $100,000 of tax exempt income will also receive their full Child Tax Benefit when a non-aboriginal parent would long have lost the benefits altogether. There is an inherent unfairness in the tax system as it is currently set up, and it would be political suicide to attempt to make changes.

Having said this, there is a greater unfairness in the system that Aboriginals are currently forced to live under. For an Aboriginal living on many reserves, it is an invitation to bullying and virtual suicide to merely question how much money is going to band administration and chief and council. There is a decided lack of accountability on many reserves which force band members to live in abject poverty while their chief and council pull in six figure salaries.

For these reasons, it would be appropriate, albeit political suicide, to dismantle the reserve system as they currently exist under the Indian Act and create a new covenant with the Aboriginal peoples, one that brings a measure of accountability - both personal and societal - back to The People. They deserve it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Study tracks HIV

Study tracks HIV

There are some interesting points made on this subject, points of escalation and despair once one is diagnosed with HIV. In listening to Richard Brown on CKOM, there were also some interesting points drawn towards the sinking hole that is poverty and the average drug user, but there is one thing that I found missing in all of the analysis around this topic:


Five years ago, the needle "exchange" program changed such that more needles were being handed out on the premise that more needles = less sharing = less new cases of HIV. The law of unintended consequences kicked in, and as such, OOPS, more cases occurred rather than less. What the study doesn't eliminate, or doesn't eliminate in the news release, is whether all of these new cases attributable to injection drug users that were already in Saskatchewan, or if it included ones that moved to Saskatchewan. Regardless of the answer to that question, the study is also showing that giving MORE needles has nothing to do with reduction of HIV cases.

Now, the other thing that the article is attempting to do is to link new cases of HIV to poverty. The implication is pretty clear - If we give these people more money, then they will make better choices and care more about themselves and others. Of course, the law of unintended consequences says that if you give these people more money, they will just turn around and make MORE bad decisions, which will likely have the effect of hastening their demise.

Hmmm. Maybe that thought has merit after all. Of course, there IS another option, which includes neither giving them more money OR more needles. We can... wait for it... give them a counseling session every time they show up for needles - no exceptions. Maybe then they will clean up and change their life - they might even start going to work more often in order to pull themselves out of the crippling poverty they currently find themselves in.

Of course, tough love in the form of regular drug tests in order to get welfare benefits might also be in order, but then, what do I know.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Then and now...

That was then.

This is now.

It's funny, because the Opposition of the time DID take the same stance - that of firing the minister from Cabinet, however I don't recall there ever being a call for Mr. Hagel to be censured.

Of course, Mr. Hagel admitted to misleading the House on a legal matter within the NDP caucus, and Mr McMorris only misled the House on whether HE had consulted with the Privacy Commissioner on a regulation change similar to the one the NDP had consulted on years earlier, however it does should how far the NDP will go to make the province ungovernable.

I wonder how that's working for them?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finally a voice of reason on tuition increases

U of R Raises Tuition 5% | News Talk 650 CKOM

Reading the linked story, there is one thing that I noted:

"It's a financial burden," agrees Engineering student Mitch Stillborn. He feels the school puts a priority on hiring people that excel in research work, regardless of whether or not their ability to impart their knowledge on students. "They don't have instruction in instruction. Maybe if they started to get that I'd be all for it. To teach in high school you have to have a teaching degree. You come to university and it's supposed to be a higher quality of educational experience and the people teachign are no longer to have that degree. You're no longer being taught by the coaches, you're being taught by the athletes and that's caused us some problems."

"The facilities and stuff are fine," says Derrick Mohr. "I don't mind paying the extra 5% as long as I'm getting something for it."

This time, for this tuition increase, they didn't just take the normal statement from some random Arts student who got the smallest percentage increase on the lowest tuition but is still mad as hell because they know bloody well that their degree will be useless when they are done school.

No, this time, they actually spoke to someone who will have a good, high paying job when he/she gets out of university and gets some experience. They spoke to someone who will graduate with a practical degree, and (surprise surprise) the person focused more on the quality of the education, and not the cost of it.

That's right. A student said that he doesn't mind paying the extra cost as long as he is actually being taught properly.

It's a statement that many universities should take note of and a statement that many profs should also pay attention to. The theory behind the current university system is that it is prestigious to take a class from a professor who has brilliantly made strides in their field of study. But what happens when all the prof has done is written a textbook regurgitating the same information from other textbooks? Does it really demand a premium? Just because they wrote a textbook, does that mean that they are necessarily good at teaching the material?

I'll be frank, there is an idea whose time is coming. The health care field got hit with "Patient First" focus, and this government won't stop until that initiative has been put into place. Post-Secondary schools will soon get hit with "Student First" focus, and I have to say that the idea can't come soon enough. Schools need to recognize that students can go anywhere - they CHOOSE the school they go to, and the sooner everybody understands that the better off they are.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CBC News - Saskatchewan - FNUC to sell Saskatoon campus

CBC News - Saskatchewan - FNUC to sell Saskatoon campus

From the comments:

Tories legacy, they let The ONLY First Nation University in Canada close its doors on students and sell of its building. They are willing to give millions in bailout to bankrupt businesses but educating First Nation People is not in their priority list. The students have to pay for the mistakes the administrators of the University made. That is Mr. Chuck Strahl’s solution to the crisis. History and time will judge you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Edmonton lawyers battle on Khadr's behalf

Edmonton lawyers battle on Khadr's behalf

While I'm sure that it is admirable that these people are wasting all of their time trying to get the Canadian definition of a "fair trial" in an American military tribunal, one of the things that jumps out at me is that these people assume that Mr. Khadr is a regular Canadian citizen like you or I. That being the assumption, let's go down the facts of the case:

  • Mr. Khadr grew up in a family where he was taught to hate Western Civiliation.
  • Mr. Khadr grew up in a family where their Canadian citizenship was a ticket to free medical care.
  • Mr. Khadr was taught to fight through guerrilla and terror tactics.
  • Mr. Khadr grew up in a culture where children grow up much faster than the normal "sit in my parent's basement playing video games until I'm 30" culture.
  • Mr. Khadr was caught on a battlefield in Afghanistan where his father was shot fighting against allies of Canada.
What it comes down to is that Mr. Khadr is playing many in the media for fools. To be quite frank, if they really want Mr. Khadr out of Guantanamo and out of American custody, I humbly suggest that he be implanted with a locator chip (c'mon folks, you don't think the technology is out there?), put on a Canadian military uniform, walk beside a regular patrol LAV in Afghanistan for 2 full years, and get to know not only the soldiers his dad pledged and taught him to kill, but also to know the damage that his brethren will do to ANYONE wearing the wrong uniform.

If he does that, then I would happily welcome him as a loyal Canadian and call for his "repatriation". If he doesn't want to do that, well, then there are always a few other options:

1. Hans Island
2. Return him to the exact condition he was found on a battlefield in Afghanistan (properly chipped, of course).
3. Let him rot in Cuba.

The option is his.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The cost of the long-gun registry

The cost of the long-gun registry | Canadian Taxpayers Federation

And here are the money stats:

  • There are nearly 7 million registered long-guns in Canada. Yet of 2,441 homicides recorded in Canada since mandatory long-gun registration was introduced in 2003, fewer than 2 percent (47) were committed with rifles and shotguns known to have been registered. (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics).
  • Illegal smuggling by organized crime is by far the principal source of firearms on our streets. Indeed, the Vancouver police report that 97 percent of firearms seized in 2003 were illegal guns smuggled in from the United States, usually by organized crime (Vancouver Police, Strategic Plan 2004-08)
So in Vancouver, less than 2 percent of gun crimes were committed with registered weapons. So why then do the police chiefs want it? It doesn't help them do their job. It's a faulty tool that when relied upon will get someone injured, and that was BEFORE the Conservative government announced an amnesty.

I'll be frank, in my office, when a piece of mail or a letter goes out, it is logged in a book or noted in the file. If the letter does not reach its destination, the registry that logs pieces of mail sent doesn't help get the mail to where it is going, nor would it be looked at as definitive proof by the receiver that the mail was sent. In the end, all that matters is that the letter didn't get to the intended address, and that it needs to be sent again. Relying on the registry, like relying on the gun registry, creates a false sense of security and in the case of the gun registry, is bound to get officers killed.

In the end, officers should be trained that it shouldn't matter whether there are 100 guns registered at an address or none, they should still approach the situation with all the caution demanded of a potential arsenal, and go through the process to ensure that this isn't the case. In the end, the 2 Billion that has been wasted on this mess could just as well have gone to more police officers, better training and more prisons - it wouldn't have prevented Dawson College, it didn't prevent Mayerthorpe, it didn't prevent Spiritwood, and it doesn't help in Caledonia.

Name one place that is better for having the registry, other than the facilities of the people who programmed a $2 Billion database that gets searched 5000 times a day along with the rest of the roadside checks the officer's computers do.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Izzeldin Abuelaish: Let my daughters be the last to die

Izzeldin Abuelaish: Let my daughters be the last to die

In reading the excerpt from the author, I couldn't help thinking a couple of things:

1) That the author started out with a completely rational sentiment that the Middle East situation will not be resolved with guns or treaties, and

2) That the argument downgraded with the expectation that Israel need only be the one to change.

I agree with her statement:

I feel we should avoid formal declarations for now. Instead, we should seek ways to be together — at soccer matches, at conferences, at family dinners. The most important step now is getting to know each other and establishing mutual respect. We share so many fundamental values: the way we socialize, the way we raise our children, the way we argue loudly and embrace ancient mores and a sense of honour. What we need is to believe in our own ability to lift ourselves up out of this quagmire that threatens to choke all of us. We need a heavy dose of hope.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saskatchewan MLA exits caucus over drug allegations

Saskatchewan MLA exits caucus over drug allegations

Now really, this is not news - it's a story that has been playing out over the past few weeks. What has bothered me about the story isn't the allegations - I'm sure that Mr. LeClerc will be exonerated - it's the way that the sex is portrayed. "Illicit homosexual sex" must be a little bit different than what I'm thinking of, but to my knowledge homosexual sex isn't "unlawful" or "not permitted". It isn't illegal to change or "weed out" partners. If it is, then that law should be changed. Quite simply, it doesn't matter what kind of sex Mr. LeClerc was allegedly having, it only really comes down to whether or not Mr. LeClerc used drugs, and even if the evidence shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no drug use, it still won't get enough press to counteract the damage caused.

I hope the CBC has a good lawyer if that turns out to be the case.