Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Balance Shoes Cost Canada $6,000

How about this story from the front page of the National Post this morning:

Killer awarded $6K over wrong shoes in prison

Want to hear the story? Sure why not. Better sit down.....

A guy who killed not one, not two, not three, but four people has just been given six thousand dollars of our money by the federal court of Canada because prison officials were slow in giving him a brand new pair of New Balance running shoes.

The quadruple killer's name is Gregory McMaster. He’s now being housed in a nice little medium security institute at Fenbrook Institution near Gravenhurst.
He went on a killing spree in 1978 killing four people including a Minnesota police officer.
He complained that because prison officials were slow in getting him a nice new pair of New Balance runners, he suffered a knee injury while working out in 2004, so he sued us taxpayers.

Yesterday, we taxpayers agreed to fork over six thousand dollars to Gregory McMaster, but of course the lefties claim we don’t need any tightening up of our justice system.

By the way, just thought you’d like to know, almost ten million Canadians didn’t bother to vote on Tuesday. That’s about ten million eligible voters who couldn’t be bothered. This increases pressure to impose some sort of mandatory voting system. It has worked in Australia.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Does Canada Need a Majority to Survive?

There is one overriding question that is beginning to dominate our election campaign.
Simply put, it is this:

Should we elect a majority government?

In light of the growing financial distress, would Canada be safer with a majority government?
Very interesting column in the Globe and Mail this morning written by Gwyn Morgan, well known and successful Canadian businessman, who says, "The unpredictable challenges of this global economic crisis cannot be navigated by another minority Parliament bound up by partisan bickering. The best hope for Canadians is to elect a government with strong, decisive leadership and the mandate needed to steer Canada around the shoals that lie in our path."

What do you think? Is he right?

Thus far Canada has escaped the financial crisis which is staggering the United States and is now spreading like a virus to Europe and the UK.

Already indications are mortgage rates will soon begin to climb again in Canada. It seems impossible that we will fully escape, especially when you consider that about 80% of everything we make and grow in this country is sold to the United States.

Aside from ideology, is Gwyn Morgan correct when he says the best hope for Canadians is to elect a government with strong decisive leadership and the mandate needed to steer Canada around the shoals that lie in our path?
Among other things Morgan claims that "The New Democratic Party offers a typical socialist agenda. Tax and spend, subsidize unionized industry and make big business "pay" - the kind of policies that drove Ontario and British Columbia to the brink of economic ruin."
Morgan also points out something many of us weren’t aware of. “The carbon tax,” he says, “has wildly differing effects, depending on how you heat your home, the fuel used to generate your electricity and how you earn your living. If you heat with natural gas, the impact might be only 2 per cent, but if you use fuel oil it's more than 10 per cent. If you live in B.C., Manitoba or Quebec, where most power comes from hydro dams, there will be little impact on your electricity bill. If you live on the Prairies, in Ontario or in Atlantic Canada, where fuel oil and coal generate a significant portion of your power, the impact will be substantial, increasing the cost of generating electricity by about 10 per cent for fuel oil and more than 50 per cent for coal-fired plants."

He says,"No one knows what chapter of the global financial meltdown we're in, and whether the latest Hail Mary bailouts by the U.S. Treasury will stop the downward spiral." The best chances for Canada to weather the coming storm is to elect a strong majority government.
What is your view here?
I’m not sure that with five political parties in the running we will ever again see a majority government. There may be some times when that’s not a bad thing, but in times of grave financial crisis would our chances of avoiding a meltdown be better with a strong decisive majority government?

Is this absolutely the wrong time to bring in another minority government?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Government Funded Arts. Cut or Keep?

All this fuss over so called cuts to the arts. I really don’t understand it. Unless of course it is simply a last ditch attempt by the Liberals to win a few seats. But when you examine the facts, the complaints make no sense.

The issue really isn’t about the amount we spend on the arts, it’s whether government has a right to decide where money for the arts, or anything else should be spent. Overall, funding for the arts increased eight per cent last year, but several programs were cut, lopping about 45 million dollars off the overall budget.

In other words, the Conservatives took money away from some programs, allocated them to other programs, and added eight per cent. What’s wrong with that?
And look at some of the programs cut: The one the so-called arts community seems to be complaining the most about is something called PromArt, which didn’t actually fund any works of art, but rather provided travel money for various individuals and groups.
The Rock band Holy—F***for example can still perform, but we taxpayers aren’t going to be paying their travel expenses to foreign lands anymore. Ditto left wing radicals like Avi Lewis.
We won’t be paying for guys like Gwynne Dyer to take a nice little trip to Cuba.
Films like Young People F****ing will just have to find funding from someone other than us taxpayers.

And let’s not forget something else. When it comes to funding the arts, governments of all stripes have always, and continue, to pour billions into things like art galleries, museums, arts centers, libraries and various other so called cultural events from rock fests to local fairs.
And what about the publishing industry? I picked three books at random from Steve Madely’s desk this morning. The first happens to be a book entitled Where War Lives—author is Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Paul Watson.
Fine. An interesting book, but check inside the front cover. Let me read you what is says: “We acknowledge the financial support of the government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program”

Let’s see. That’s four separate grant programs that little book has tapped into. How much money is involved I have no idea. The next book I picked up is the Way it Works, by Eddie Goldenberg, right hand man to Liberal Prime Ministers for many years. Let’s see how his publisher tapped into us taxpayers. This book says: “We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts council for our publishing program."
Another four grant programs hit up for an author who I would suspect is hardly destitute.
The third book I picked up in a real Left wing Dandy entitled Dry Spring, The Coming Water Crisis of North America written by Chris Wood. His publisher has been able to tap into a different set of taxpayers grants. Let me read the inside cover of this book: "Raincoast Books gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit and the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the arts and the Book Publishing Industry Development Program."

Wonderful. Another four grant programs hit up, and, by the way, Raincoast Books was the distributor for the Harry Potter books so I would imagine it has a few dollars stored away for safe keeping. Hardly in need of your money or mine.

Now let’s have a look at a local author named Lowell Green who has written three best selling books, made a fair chunk of money, as did his publisher, without receiving one single cent. Not a cent of taxpayers money from any source.

And Why should Lowell Green, or any author receive any taxpayers money? If people want to read the book, they will buy it. If people don’t want to read the book, they won’t buy it. But why should taxpayers be forced to pay for something nobody wants to read?

Same holds true of other segments of the so called arts world. Create something of value, something people want to read, see or hear, and they will pay for it.
Fact is, supporting stuff only a tiny handful of people have any interest in, does not support the arts, it supports junk, and actually discourages real worthwhile art.

Let me give you an example:
A very well know and popular Canadian Author recently contacted several major publishers to see if they were interested in a new book he was writing. His four previous books had all been Canadian Best Sellers, made hundreds of thousands of dollars for him and his publisher who was going out of business. One of the publishers who responded said they weren’t interested and only published what they described as "literary works". But, said the author, you are guaranteed a profit from my book of at least a hundred thousand dollars. "Oh," replied the publisher, "we don’t really care about that. We are government supported!"

Lovely stuff.

And by the way-most Canadian authors who are not in the main stream “CBC literary crowd” will tell you similar stories.
Yes, government needs to support the arts. Galleries, art centers, and museums are a vital part of our culture, but surely we taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for so called artists who in one case stuff vials of blood in their anus, stand on their heads so the blood runs into his mouth, or garbage like young people F****ing!

And we sure as hell shouldn’t have to pay for lefties like Gwynne Dyer to travel to Cuba!

Canada Needs a Guiliani

One of the most astonishing things we hear these days is that punishment does not deter crime. Astonishing because there is overwhelming evidence proving that punishment is a major deterrent to crime.

Listen, I am the co-founder of Big Brothers of Ottawa. I understand very well the importance of a strong male role model for boys.

I was very much involved in the formation of Big Sisters, so I understand very well the importance of a strong female role model for girls.

I have been a member of the John Howard Society so I understand very well that some people can be successfully rehabilitated away from a life of crime.

All of those organizations and others devoted to provide assistance and guidance to young people play an important role in crime prevention. But I know something else. It is this:

What keeps many people away from a life of crime is plain and simple fear.
Fear of getting caught.
Fear of severe consequences.
Fear of the shame involved.
Common sense tells us so. More importantly, so do the facts.
Yes the facts.
For just some of those facts, turn to page 40 of “How The Granola Crunching, Tree Hugging Thug Huggers are Wrecking our Country."
Here is some of what you will read:
In 1993 after more than 100 years of left wing, soft on crime administration, New York City had 1,946 homicides. By 2001, after eight years of Rudy Giuliani’s right wing-tough on crime administration, the number of homicides in New York City dropped to 642. A reduction of an astonishing 67 per cent!
During that same eight years of getting tough on crime, overall crime in New York was reduced 57 per cent.
And do you hear this Toronto Mayor Miller? During the eight years of get tough on criminals legislation, shootings dropped an astonishing 75 per cent!
Robberies in New York City declined from more than 85,000 to just under 36,000. Burglary dropped from nearly 101,000 to just over 38,000.

But listen to this:

One of the most dramatic declines was in the number of violent assaults at the City’s Rikers Island Prision. Until Rudy came along, those who committed violent offence at Rikers, even those who caused serious injury or death, were hardly ever charged.
Rudy said that’s crazy! Under my administration, prisioners at Rikers will be charged just like everyone else. Sentences will be tacked onto the ones already being served.

Are you ready for this?

Here are the facts:

In 1993, after more than 100 years of liberal, soft on crime administration, Rikers Prison Experienced 2,500 violent incidents. Let me repeat. In 1993, Rikers Island recorded 2,500 violent incidents.

Eight years later, after police clamped down and charges began to be laid, that figure dropped to, ready for this, just 70!

From 2,500 violent incidents to just 70!

Why? Because Rudy Giuliani, good friend of right wing conservative Ronald Regan, got tough on crime.
Think of it. Even hardened criminals already serving time in jail stop committing more crimes when they know they will be severely punished if caught.
In other words, even hardened cons fear tough penalities.

Alright. Let’s examine another example of how getting tough on crime stops crime. Turn to page 47 of the Thug Huggers book.

In 1994 California passed into law proposition 184, widely known as the three strikes you are out law. Just as here in Canada, the left wingers screamed bloody murder! It won’t work, they said. Our prisons will be full etc. etc.
Well what happened?
Eight years after the three strikes you are out law was passed, total crimes in California dropped 45.9 per cent. Total violent crime dropped 46.6 per cent! Murder was reduced 45.6 per cent. Robbery fell 56.1 per cent, rape fell 29.2 per cent, burglary dropped 50.7 per cent, and auto theft was reduced 38.5 per cent.

All figures are from the California Department of Justice and are available to everyone, including criminologists, University professors and you.

Here’s something else you might think about:

Once again, according to the California Department of Justice, the three strikes you are out legislation saved California taxpayers $28.5 billion in just eight years. Only New York and Massachusetts have better records of fighting crime during that period. In both of those cases it was accomplished by getting tough on crime.

The facts are there, but then, why would anyone on the left let facts get in the way of ideology?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life in a Jar

On May 12 of this year, one of the world’s great heroes died with little if any notice-let alone fanfare. Only now is this story coming to light.

Irena Sendler is this hero’s name.

She is credited with saving the lives of at least 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto at unbelievable risk to herself. As early as 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland she began providing food and shelter to Jews. Then, as it became apparent the Nazis intended to kill all Jews, she and some helpers created more than 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families escape. Keep in mind that, if caught, not only would she be put to death, but all her family members as well.

In December of 1942 Irena Sendler, who please keep in mind was Roman Catholic, not Jewish, was appointed to head a children’s section of an organization called Zegota, roughly translated, Council for Aid to Jews. As an employee of the Social Welfare Department of the occupied city of Warsaw, she had a special permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for signs of typhus, something the Nazis feared would spread beyond the ghetto. During visits to the ghetto, Irena donned a yellow star of David as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people.

What she was really doing was smuggling babies and small children out of the ghetto, often concealed in the bottom of a tool kit she carried. During the typus outbreak she smuggled babies out in ambulances. Sometimes she wrapped the infants up as packages. The babies were placed with various Polish families, Catholic convents and orphanages. In every case, Irena wrote down the names of the children and buried them in jars. Her intent was that, after the war, it would help in reuniting families.

In 1943 Irena Sendler was caught by the Gestapo, tortured terribly and sentenced to death. She refused to reveal the names of any of those involved in the rescues. She was saved from death when her organization bribed German guards on the way to her execution. She was left in the woods unconscious with both legs and both arms broken. She was listed on public bulletin boards as having been executed. She remained in hiding for the rest of the war then dug up the jars containing the children’s identities and began an attempt to find the children and return them to living parents. Sadly, most of the parents had been killed.

After the war, Irena was at first persecuted by the Communists. She was imprisioned where she miscarried her second child. In 1965 Irena Sendler's story began to leak out. She has been awarded many citations including the Commanders Cross by the Israeli Institute. In 2003, Pope John Paul sent a personal letter praising her wartime efforts. On the 10th of October, 2003 Irena received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest civilian decoration.
She was presented with the Jan Karski Award for courage and heart given by the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington.
On the 14th of March, Irena was honored by Poland’s senate and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She did not win the Nobel Peace Prize. It went instead to Al Gore for his semi fictional movie.

Irena Sendler died on May 12 at the age of 98.

Her story is beginning to gain a great deal of traction, not only in Poland and Israel, but in the United States as well, where a play has been written entitled "Life in a Jar" which has been performed more than 250 times.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Drive-By Media Strikes Again

I am insulted to the core this morning.

Insulted that once again our drive-by media are displaying incredible political bias. Insulted that well paid and supposedly experienced reporters and editorial writers are not telling us the whole story. Insulted that, for the most part, the news media is just too damn lazy to dig up a few facts.

So let me inform you of a few facts which are very strangely being ignored by most media outlets:

At about 11:30 the morning of June 26 this year, a group of native Indians from the Barriere Lake Algonquin Youth Association and their supporters showed up at 127 Joseph Street in Buckingham, Quebec and began a sit in. It is the office of Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon. I won’t go into details about everything that happened here other than to say that finally Quebec Police were called and laid disorderly conduct charges against six of the protesters. According to witnesses, at least one of the protesters appeared to have been drinking.
Now fast forward to this past Wednesday.
A group of native Indians from the Barriere Lake Youth Association arrive in Maniwaki and demand to speak with Lawrence Cannon. He meets briefly with some of them.
After that meeting, Norman Matchewan, a Barriere Lake youth spokesman gets into a conversation with Darlene Lannigan, Mr. Cannon’s constituency assistant. From what we understand they wanted to arrange another meeting with the Transport Minister.
During that conversation, caught on videotape, Ms. Lannigan, who by the way is an experienced, seasoned political veteran, begins to lay out the rules for any future meeting. Keeping in mind what happened back in June, remember six disorderly conduct charges, Ms. Lannigan says, "If you behave and you're sober and there's no problems and if you don't do a sit-down and whatever, I don't care. One of them showed up the other day and was drinking."
"Are you calling me an alcoholic?" asked Norman Matchewan, a Barriere Lake Algonquin youth spokesman.
"I'm not calling you an alcoholic, no," Lannigan said. "It was just to say that you're in a federal office. If you're coming in to negotiate, I expect, there's decorum that has to be respected."

That’s it.

According to newspapers and TV and radio newscasts from coast to coast in this country, this is a terrible insult. Headline in the Sun this morning: "Natives insulted to core"

Headlines in the Ottawa Citizen’s major front page story this morning: "Cannon aide under fire for remarks". The Citizen story written by Meagan Fitzpatrick makes absolutely no mention of the June 26th sit-in or the arrests. In fact the only newspaper that makes even fleeting reference to the sit-in is the Ottawa Sun.

Sadly, what is supposed to be our only national Conservative newspaper runs a shortened version of Meagan Fitzpatrick’s story, with no mention of what prompted Ms. Lannigan’s warning.
Nor is there any mention of the June 26th arrests in the Globe and Mail’s editorial this morning which of course would have you believe this is just one more example of the terrible Tories.
Disgraceful reporting I would say. Disgraceful bias.
And why in the world Lawrence Cannon would feel compelled to apologize for this is beyond me.
In fact I think the biggest mistake was the fact he apologized. Of course Lawrence Cannon, just as is every Conservative, more than fully aware of how the media will play this.

Let me ask you this:

Instead of insulting the Algonquin’s with her warning, is it not true that Darlene Lannigan in fact was entirely within her rights to tell this group she did not want a repeat performance of the June protest?

I would go further:

I believe Darlene Lannigan would have failed in her duty had she not issued the warning.

I repeat, since the rest of the media is mute on this, On June 26 of this year a group of young people from the Barriere lake Algonquin Indian Youth group carried out a sit-in at Lawrence Cannon’s office which became so unruly police were called and arrested six of them.

If you were Darlene Lannigan would you not have said exactly what she did?
And what do you think of the media’s failure to tell us the whole story here?
Of all the newspapers I have read this morning, only the Sun mentions a previous problem with this group.

Haven’t seen TV newscasts. Help me out here. Has the June 26th sit-in been mentioned in anything you have seen or heard?

Do you think the June 26 arrests are relevant to the story?
Would you have done anything differently?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Keep Your Eyes on the Issues Folks!

You know that old saying, "It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by a bunch of turkeys"? That is surely how the Prime Minister must be feeling this morning.

He's running a great campaign. Modest, solid proposals in risky times. Much more relaxed and confident that we’ve seen him before, but almost every time he turns around some damn turkey is gobbling away in the woods distracting a delighted media from the real issues.

The latest of course is the Agriculture Minister and his silly jokes. We do this kind of thing all the time in the news game.
"Black humor" it’s called. A recognized method of blowing off some steam and relieving the pressure. But for a cabinet minister during an election campaign? Geeze!
No doubt Mr. Ritz let his hair down a bit believing he was on friendly territory. A conference call with members of the Prime Minister's Office and Health Minister Tony Clement’s office. Just as obviously there is a Judas somewhere there in the mix. Somebody in somebody’s office decided they’d like to blow the Conservatives out of the water, so they blew the whistle. Lovely stuff, but a minister of the Crown should be a bit smarter for heaven sakes!

I don’t know about you, but I for one would love to get up there in that so called war room and pound some sense into a few turkey brains. I’d also find out who the traitor is and boot his or her sorry butt out onto the street!