2012-12-31

Waiting on 2013

Let's get this over and done with already.

Enjoy it.

2012-12-29

Bottoms-Up! The Folly Of Top-Down Solutions To Problems

For the life of me (and I may have brought this up in past posts), I just don't get modernity's obsession with a top-down approach to problems that really begin at the most basic level: With us.

As I listen to this increasingly absurd "fiscal cliff" surrealism, the point becomes all the more clear. Have we become this dependent on others to run our personal economies? I wouldn't give one damn red cent to any of my politicians if I was given a free choice. I simply don't believe they hold my personal welfare at heart. Talking about the collective welfare does good up to the point 'one size fits all' works.

Beyond this, it does nothing for you and me.

An economy is a self-organizing entity so profound it defies explanation on so many levels. How arrogant have we become to think we can legislate our way to a "just" economy? It makes no sense at all using a top-down approach since the self-organizing principle begins from the bottom.

But progressives truly believe man can't be trusted to make the "right" decision and so feel control is in order. To me, this is unjustified cynicism. To them, it's rational.

Baloney.

This is the part where I do my Don Corleone impression where he slaps Johnny Fontaine around demanding he act like a man.

Don't get me going on education. I'm privy to enough stories to know we have a basket-case of a dysfunctional system out of its logical mind made worse by over-bearing bureaucrats who tend to use one too many communistic overtones in their conversations.

The state controlling education as tightly as we do in Canada (and I suspect it's the same in the States from what I read) is not only unhealthy, it's now basically rendered useless.

Bottom-up. I would love to see what we come up with.

Get To Know The Commentator

I like peppermint. Peppermint tea. Peppermint York chocolate. Peppermint candy. Peppermint Patty.

Wait. Scratch the last part.

I do like peppermint.

Hating Evil

"I hate envy and greed. Our entire tax system is based primarily on envy and greed. How often do you hear some jackass complaining about how the rich don’t pay their fair share and not a word in opposition to it? Why should I care what the rich do with their money. So long as they are not hurting anyone else, let them be I say. Instead, we get a bunch of envious and greedy jackals who can’t even pay an electric bill without taxpayer support yet somehow manage to have the latest cell phones, designer clothes, and expensive booze. Not to mention the illegal drugs, which are much more expensive due to the War on Drugs than they would be normally."

I noticed this much with the striking students here in Quebec. They speak of not making ends meet in what they feel is an inefficient system to which they did not contribute and a rigged one to which they are not a part of.

Yet. All of them have expensive gadgets. Most of them strive to be wealthy. Some just want a "fair" chance whatever that means.

Anyway, read the post here at Skeptical Eye.

It links to this article in the WaPo and the killing of American civilians by the U.S. government.

Gun control for private citizens but not the state!

Of course, the jackal-hounds in the media aren't squawking about it because a man of "peace" is doing the killing and not one George W. Booooooooosh!

***

Was talking to my aunt the other night. She has owned her own school (to which the Quebec government is dying to shut down - it's private. Can't have that, you know. But that's for another time.) for over 25 years.

We got to talking about how many frivolous courses there are in University now. I think I linked to the one about Bob Marley.

Then the people who take these useless courses wonder why they're unemployed.

Anyway, she was telling me that - and I don't know if this is accurate - many times what happens is many professors can't find work so they propose a course to a school as a means to create jobs.

If true, the fall of our education system is not that hard to grasp then.


Nobility On Film

Over the Christmas holidays, It's A Wonderful Life played on TV. I first saw the movie back in the mid-90s thus my memory of it began to fade over time so we sat to watch it.

I fall into the category of opinion makers who happens to think this is indeed a timeless masterpiece.

Is there anyone more noble on film than George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart)?

Assault Rifles Rationally Explained

Semi-automatic and fully automatic assault rifles explained.

The truth is the media manipulates your emotions. David Gregory, for example, on Meet the Press, was using emotional techniques passing off as journalism. Moreover, he was using his credentials as a journalist to present the case of gun control as rational and factual.

It's not.

Do your own research and you will find they lie through their teeths.

Some buy it, some want to buy it (because they simply want gun control) and others (like me) sit and ask, "what the fuck are these people talking about? They mix things up and prey on ignorance."

This video does a fantastic, lucid job of setting the facts straight about rifles.

Thank God for the internet.

And thanks to Skeptical Eye for this.

Finally, thanks to this officer for making it.




*******

Pistols are the Devil's Right Hand...

"Got myself a Colt 45, called a peacemaker but I never knew why"



2012-12-28

List Of School Shootings Around The World

Macabre but informative I suppose.

It only goes back to 1996 so the Polytechnique massacre in Montreal in 1989 doesn't make the list. If it did, Canada would have three incidences. After the U.S. which leads the list with about 60, Germany has four and Finland two. From this list, four countries have had multiple shootings.

Other countries include Norway (which had the bloodiest), Scotland, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Brazil and Argentina.

Posse Protection

I admit having liked the idea of arming teachers for, like, five seconds. It makes sense on a primal level and I do agree an armed citizenry is a valid one. However, when Sheriff Arpaio stepped up with this, it should make people think twice.

Law enforcement people with questionable ethics shouldn't be leading the charge.

I think there's over reaction on all sides.

Question

Why do coffee beans smell infinitely better than they taste?

TSA Bad Behaviour

Oh, here's a surprise.

TSA officials acting unprofessionally.

What an outrageous situation Americans are tolerating in the name of security.

What a useless bunch - the TSA.



Silence!

Five Quebec born players are representing Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior tournament in Ufa, Russia this year. The QMJHL (the 'Q') has six players represented - the five mentioned plus one player born in Halifax.

It's true Quebec representation has come off in recent years. This had a lot to do with the simple fact we haven't produced the talent Team Canada was looking for. It doesn't help that Quebec doesn't dominate the goaltending position like it once did in the 1990s into the 2000s. The Patrick Roy effect has diminished I reckon.

But these things go in cycles. Quebec is bound to bounce back. And it did this year.

Funny how vagabond nationalist sportswriters in the province kep their lousy traps shut on this. At least we're spared the "Ottawa is against Quebec" conspiracy for one year.

2012-12-27

Quote Of The Day

"It took FEMA five days to get water to the Metrodome." Matt Farrell, Live Free or Die Hard.

Shh. Don't tell the sycophants statists at the New York Times this. Big government for big problems, remember?

Questions

Will we see a trillionaire in our lifetime?

***

Did you know James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1952 but were only awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963?

What took them so long? Meanwhile, Obama got one for peace before actually being in power. Interestingly, is the world more "peaceful?"

Go figure.

Now THIS Is A Storm!

More like a blizzard.

We're getting pasted here in Quebec with an obscene amount of snow. The drive to work this morning was greeted with a thick, white blanket before me. It was that treacherous.

I spent the entire morning shovelling at the daycare. But there was so much snow that by the time I finished one end, the other was filled with snow again.

Damn you, climate!

/shakes fist at the sky.

Cars belonging to my staff was buried in snow, and so, like a good guy I shovelled around four cars to ensure they would not get stuck.

Why am I shovelling the pragmatic among you may ask? Didn't I hire a snow removal company?

Yes, I did. But the city is overwhelmed with snow. There's just no way they were going to get to me in a reasonable amount of time. By the time they arrive, my workers would not be able to get out and go home.

I gathered up everyone's keys, removed the snow on their cars and began making paths to the street - which itself hadn't been cleaned of snow.

One girl's van was getting stuck too easily so I decided to send her home in the interest of safety. "Go. Go! Sarah Conor!"

As a matter of fact, another question you may be asking yourself is why we would open the daycare in the first place. Well, you don't know how bad things are until you're mired in it. 20 kids still showed up but we informed parents we'd be closing at 3pm instead of 6pm. But most of the kids had been picked up at the time of this post - we're down to two now.

It's just too dangerous.

When I started shovelling the snow was light. La, la, la I'm shovelling. However, as time went on, the snow began to get heavier and heavier. By noon, it was at my knees. It was menacing and not so friendly as we hear in all those christmas songs.

Drenched and tired I went home. Waaaayyyyy too many cars on the road. Why old people seem to be on the streets more than any other age group in snowstorms I'll never know but there they were, driving 10 km/h. I have a 4x4 needless to say I could go a little faster.

Now I sit. Blogging. With time to annoy you all with still more posts.

Lucky youz.


Pro-Anti Gun Hysterics Continue

Saw David Gregory interview Wayne Lapierre of the NRA on Meet the Press.

Now Gregory is under investigation for displaying a high capacity ammunition magazine on television without police permission.

If found guilty, it can lead to a two-year sentence.

***

Westchester County, NY publishes the names of gun owners.

Notice the threads at the LA Times.

Regardless of whether this leads to less or more crime, I think it's a cheat trick by the paper.

***

The NRA is pointing at mental health as the main culprit. As if mental health is a monolithic condition. They're basically painting a narrative whereby people with mental health issues can "snap" at any time. Mental health entails manythings and the vast majority of people afflicted with it are not violent. To insinuate they are is to merely create an atmosphere of social disorder.

Both sides are playing with emotions and that can only mean one thing: Bad legislation.

2012-12-26

Vermont Voting Pattern

Before the Democrats...

From Wiki:

"...Republicans dominated Vermont politics from the party's founding in 1854 until the mid-1970s. From 1856 to 1988, Vermont voted Republican in every presidential election with only one exception in 1964. Vermont consecutively had Republican governors for over a century until Democrat Phillip Hoff was elected in 1962. Prior to the 1960s, rural interests dominated the legislature. As a result, cities, particularly the older sections of Burlington and Winooski, were neglected and fell into decay.[citation needed] People began to move out to newer suburbs.

In the early 1960s many progressive Vermont Republicans and newcomers to the state helped bolster the state's small Democratic Party. Until 1992, Vermont had supported a Democrat for president only once since the party's founding—in Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 landslide victory against Barry Goldwater.."

PQ Want To Ban 'Go Habs Go'

"Two-thirds of the words are English. It must go!"

Sez the leader of the pack.

Back, Bettter And Bruised.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas. Speaking of which, remember when it wasn't a social faux-pas to say "Merry Christmas?"

For those of you interested, Pauline Marois of the PQ spoke to the Foreign Policy Association in New York earlier this month. The one where she said Quebec is "open" for business.

I agree pretty much with the sentiments on the threads here at the CBC.

See. What they don't tell Americans is that once you're here you have no choices. You can't do what's right for your business or kids because the language laws will prevent you. For example, your kids are in Grade 1? Too bad. In French they go. Now for some parents this may not be a big deal and good for them. But for others - especially ones being solicited by the province - it may be. Guy Carbonneau the hockey player got into a tussle with the state after he returned from Dallas. He wanted his kids in English school but he wasn't prevented from doing so. I don't know what happened there but that was the base of the argument

People come here and it's only once they're here they realize what they're up against. It happened to one of my workers. Had they known and were told up front they would have paid the higher immigration fee and gone to Ontario.

No one likes bull shit.

And so it is with businesses. Whatever reasons who decide to come, just be ready to face L'Office de Langue Francaise and their army or slimy snitches. If they hear too much English you will be fined.

No. I'm not joking. And with Bill 14, it's gonna get worse.

****

They tell me the PQ are a dying party so not to worry. In the meantime, they'll introduce bad laws that will stay on the books for a long, long time. I don't feel like waiting.

The sad thing is during the debates CAQ leader Francois Legault said to Jean Charest Quebec lags most jurisdictions on the continent for economic growth and education comparing the province to the American south. He was absolutely correct. Too bad his party sided with the PQ on Bill 14. They went ahead and voted for a mentality that puts them behind everyone in the first place.

Yawn. I smell another 'Quiet Revolution'...

****

Here's part of Mme. Marois-Defarge's bio at the FPA - taken from the Quebec government website.


During her 30 years in politics, Pauline Marois has contributed in many ways to the advancement of Québec. She has established laws, implemented policies, and promoted numerous projects, such as the Québec Water Policy, the drug insurance plan, the Pay Equity Act, the Balanced Budget Act, the Act to govern the financing of political parties, and the Charter of the French Language, in particular. She also created Québec’s first family policy, which led to the birth of many childcare centres, $5-a-day daycare, parental insurance, and several measures to improve work-family balance.

Today and in the years to come, Pauline Marois intends to be the “Premier of all Québecers.” Liberty, integrity, and trust are the values that will guide her in accomplishing this mission.

Blah, blah, blah. Isn't this the funniest thing you've read so far today?

Especially the last part. That lying little wench.

Quebec ISN'T about liberty. What have we bestowed in words of wisdom to our Western brethren on matters of liberty? Precious little.

They're about liberty for ONE segment of the population. Right now, we're experiencing "tyranny of the majority" in this province. And as we all learned from Mill, when you don't guard against it, your democracy weakens.

If Quebec was about trust, they would not sabre-rattle on language. They would back off and let citizens live in peace. They don't.

Quebec's values are slaves to insecurity. When you legislate punitive action against your OWN TAXPAYING CITIZENS, you have no values or integrity.

Perhaps, one day they'll grow up.

Take Bill 14 off the table and maybe, just maybe, we'll believe her.

Until then, they are who we thought they are.



2012-12-22

Tebow In Montreal?

It's been rumored and circulating that Tim Tebow could possibly be heading to the CFL. The Montreal Alouettes own his CFL rights and if I'm not mistaken GM Jim Popp alluded to this possibility.

For the Als it makes sense to the extent they're going to have to start looking for a QB to replace the 40 year-old Anthony Calvillo. Without a QB, you basically lose. So inserting Tebow in there makes some sense.

Alas, I just don't see it.

I'm probably wrong of course.

But it doesn't make too much sense for Tebow. Not because the CFL is not a viable league or hasn't been kind to American players - think Moon, Theisman and Flutie - it's just that one has to wonder if he'd be leaving too much back home.

For starters there's the money aspect. Here he'd probably make, what, 250-300k tops? He can make that with one endorsement deal in the United States. His worth is much more than what the CFL can offer. In other words, he may just be too big for the league. I think one NFL team is worth more than the entire CFL.

Which is remarkable given he's not even a starting QB in the NFL. Not even the woeful New York Jets want to hand the ball to him; I'm scratching my head over that given what he did in Denver last season. So far he has been in for eight series. Not enough to really assess the guy.

Tebow's biggest problem is he can't throw. And this is the second problem with him in the CFL. The CFL is a pass-first - or at least a passing - league. You ain't going nowhere if you think you're gonna just run. You have to throw. We have bigger balls up here, you know.

Money and passing. Two legit reasons why he may not come.

But boy would it be a marketing boon for the league if he would.

It's Brutal Out There

Anywhere between 50cm and 105cm have hit the North of Montreal - which is where I live.

That's, like, um, a lotta snow.

It's a white Christmas alright. Perhaps a little to white...

My fricken neighbor has taken to a bad habit of shovelling late at night. Exhausted, I was falling asleep around 11:20 pm when the sound of a shovel grating against cement woke me. I was infuriated. What the hell was he doing all night? And was it that pressing a need to do it at that time? For 15 minutes I had to wait and listen to him pound the ice, shovel and hurl - the snow was a mixture of rain and snow so when it hits the ground it sounds like cement splattering while making a thundering sound.

Two nights in a row this happens.

I'm surprised because he's an excellent neighbor. I guess he's just not thinking.

Mid-Day Thoughts

This may surprise some of you but I do think security is a mandate given by the people to the government. In the aftermath of Connecticut, one can reasonably make the case to simply ban assault rifles. No one is asking to disarm the people or abolish the 2nd amendment. They just want to take out the weapons that seem offensive in a civilized society.

I get that some people believe the state can at any time turn on its people - history makes a good case for that - but if protecting oneself is at the heart of the issue, one can easily be well protected with guns acceptable to society at large.

Dipshits getting access to these guns should be severely restricted and if a gun store is found to not have performed a proper background check or done its due diligence, then perhaps they need to be accountable as well. Enforce the law.

Parents who know in their hearts their children need help should be honest and deal with the matter. Don't let it fester. Don't be in denial. There's help. It may be hard to get, but you have to find it. There's too much at stake.

Be parents. Be leaders. Athletes are superfluous role models. You and your family are the true role models.

This is a case where I think Americans can easily balance liberty and collective pragmatism for the good of society. I admire America. It's disheartening to see it lose its eminence in this way. It must do what's right. A strong and healthy America only helps to keep the world turning in a better direction.

The nation is still inherently good. It just needs some fine tuning.

While we're at it, if cigarettes have been assaulted by the government, then so too can violent video games. Specifically, the advertising of those games. Someone brought up a point that during NFL games all he sees are those dumbass video games. He has to change the channel every time since he doesn't want his kids to see it. And boy are they violent. I've played some of them.

Even the arts - music and movies - have to perform an introspective and honest assessment of their crafts.

I'm not calling for censorship of any kind. Banning things and censorship only leads to black markets and really don't solve anything. Like Obama, we have to appeal to our better senses. Vague and vast a notion I know but the stakes have been increased to unacceptable levels.

Too much blood is on the hands of the people.

***

Rediscover God. That's another angle we can benefit from. The attack on religion has gone too much to the other side too. When there's no fear of God there's no fear.

The concept of God-fearing kept people in line. When you become too secular you may become too rational and when you're too rational emotional impulses are dried up. You can intellectualize anything. Even brutal murders. Ask the communists.

Alright. All of the above is a mere mental general assertion but mybe we should think about things a little harder.

I meet and talk with people who are still disturbed by what happened. This lingering effect shouldn't go to waste. Capitalize on it and don't let the lives of so many innocent people waste away. Make them true angels on a path to a just and merciful society.

2012-12-21

Altar Girl Strikes Pose

My daughter is officially an Altar girl. She walked right up to the Priest a couple of weeks back and asked if she could be one.

She's up front that way. In Cape Cod her social talents won the manager over with her questions. A couple of years before that she insisted she put her order in at Wendy's in upstate New York. The manager noticed it and gave her a free meal. In restaurants she leads the way about her lactose intolerance and her mother's allergies.

She strikes a lot of poses.

I just sit back and watch it unfold like a salam.

Anyway.

Last week was her first gig and did quite well. This Saturday will be part two and after that it's off to one of the best Greek restaurants (I think anyway) in town.



No True Answers

When Obama was elected in 2008 on a rational level I wasn't all that enamored but on an intellectual level I understood the symbolism of his election.

In the aftermath of Newtown, the debate has moved towards gun control. I may be skeptical of its effectiveness but maybe it's just one of those "just do it" things. I don't know.

One of my clients is from Wichita, Kansas. It was an interesting conversation about guns and America. She grew up around guns as her family were hunters. But that was different than sleeping with a .357 Magnum as he ex-husband used to. She's ok with Obama's push for gun control even though she too is skeptical. She brought up the point that in Australia citizens turned in their guns - except the criminals and all hell broke loose.

As for background checks, she's of the opinion their not enforced enough.

On the other hand, she's not to crazy about what the NRA is proposing although there is some validity to it. It just may not be feasible.

In the end, we just need the strength to accept there are no true answers to such evil acts.



NRA Goes Full Force

That was some speech by the NRA.

Interesting discussion at Reason about it.

Fraternite, Egalite..Dignity?

When I watch Pauline Marois - who I do not recognize as my leader. Call it civil disobedience - I don't see an honorable leader. What I see I could not understand for a while and then - snap! - it hit me.

Madame Defarge from Dickens A Tale of Two Cities.

I'm quite certain that among the literate who are of like-mind, would agree.

One can picture her knitting and rocking in her chair as she creates her next pattern of English destruction.

Marois's yarn is a symbol of her intolerance towards citizens who do her and her "people" no harm. Nor is it remotely wished for harm to wreak havoc upon the majority.

Alas, possibly consumed by perceived past injustices coupled with obsessed insecurity bordering on punitive paranoia, they plot to further eliminate basic rights and common decency. Toxic ideas are the product of polluted pride.

Cut that yarn, Madame Defarge.

Fate is a bitch.

2012-12-20

Supreme Court Ruling On Niqabs

Not crazy about it but the court of the land has ruled. Personally to me, it's not a religious garment and quite frankly it's an offensive one.

Nonetheless, I reckon the Supreme Court did the prudent thing in leaving it to the discretion of judges on a case by case basis.

In the end, we're not totalitarian and people are free to wear whatever they want. But maybe there's some meat to the notion that the courts should be strictly off limits for any kind of religious symbolism. You come to court, you come as a free-standing citizen. Period. This way, we ensure true equality in the interest of justice.

The Problem With Grievances

Is that often it's hyped up.

Storm the Bastille! Oh. It wasn't such a bad place after all. Tax the rich!

And so on.

GM! Success!

They spin and they spin and they spin...

GM was nothing but a smart ploy by the Democrats to ensure UAW votes. Simple as that. It was a I scratch your back I lick your balls deal. Nothing less, nothing more.

I've read the argument that it was worth the loss since it saved so many jobs it's incalculable.

Horsespit.

Ends justifying the means garbage that gets us into these sorts of messes in the first place.

Stop bailing out companies that can't evolve and build products the market wants. It's the government's hobby - a macabre one - giving money to losers.

They could have done this without the politics - it's called restructuring under bankruptcy.

This was a classic case of government of cherry picking who they were going to help.

Some may call this cynical.

Anyway. Never invest in companies that rely on subsidies or the government to help them. Ever.

And looking at the chart above who in their right mind would invest in a company whose three largest shareholders was the government and a union?

That's the perfect recipe for non-performance.


Piers Morgan Is An Insufferable Pompous Ass

Watching him interview people is painful.

Telling his guest Crockett Keller - a gun expert - "You are aware sir that..." annoyed the crap out of me.

CNN is pro gun-control. We get it. Move on and have the grace to let other voices in without mugging them for cripes sake. Or else don't interview them. If I were Keller, I'd be tempted to punch the guy in the nose.

I really honestly don't see what is so wrong with what Keller said. Keller was clear in explaining that it may be a good idea where people are properly trained. Morgan seems incapable of accepting the notion that private citizens can protect themselves! It's fucking nuts to insist people lay around exposed to criminals who mean harm.

Trust me. If I'm a parent and a teacher went titty-bang-bang on someone's ass and it saved my kid, I'm making that teacher an honorary member of my family.

Yes, arming teachers, nurses and the clergy sounds a little "out there" but mostly in the context of the progressive la-la mindset. To those of us outside that little box, sober reality is considered.

His line of questioning was absurd. Like the one where he wondered what would happen "if" a teacher was armed and a kid - inevitably of course - got their hands on the gun. While this may be something to consider, it shouldn't detract from Keller's position which is a valid one.

Keller was right at the heart of things and I could tell he was growing irritated and keeping his composure as that hack increased his smug line of questioning: You ain't gonna stop psychos from shooting up places so may as well at least tip some of the odds in your favor.

They're good at pointing out what could happen in things they don't like but seem unwilling - even oblivious - to ever considering the negative fall-out of their own positions.

My wife is a teacher. She agrees it's a strong suggestion since children are around but she wasn't against it since she completely understood Keller. Everything deserves consideration. And she thought Morgan was rude too.

So there.


Quotes Of The Day

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George Washington

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Alexander Hamilton
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest...."



.......Mahatma Gandhi

Bastard!

Screams the liberal.

Time For Ottawa To Take A Stand

As long as Quebec is part of Canada (and I truly shiver at the thought of a "free" Quebec), it must behave in a manner conducive to the Canadian legacy for their actions do leave a mark on our reputation. In this case, a black one. It'll drive the nationalists mad but guess what? They don't own Quebec and they sure as hell don't own the right to tell me what language I can speak and where.

Consistently targeting us is no longer acceptable. It's time for Canadians to look closely at Quebec and exert pressure on the province to once and for all conduct itself in a proper and fair manner. Just like the South was pressured into the Civil Rights Act, it's time to drag Quebec into the 21st century on matters of language. Marginalize the extremists.

Quebec was left to its own devices for fear of losing it. I ask, are we really losing much if this is the type of values it displays?

I would ask this if any province behaved in this manner. I hear a lot about what goes on in other provinces about Quebec. Perhaps it's true but the fact remains: NONE of those provinces have institutionalized or made law parochial ideas. Even if they did, two wrongs don't make a right.

This is NOT the Canadian way.

Time to get Federal. I don't expect the NDP to bac us but I do hope the Liberals and Conservatives can find some common ground on this front. What's right is right.

It's time to call Quebec out.

Bill 14 Voted: For Shame

I'm really disgusted.

One of the most outrageous, backward and prejudicial Bills to come our way in a long time was actually voted in favor by the National Assembly. I can't believe we have that many idiots governing us.

I called my local MNA. I was that infuriated. I wanted to know  where the Liberals stood on the affair. I spoke to one of his attaches. She invited me to come and sit with my representative but I declined choosing instead to voice my utter displeasure and embarrassment.

She was kind, intelligent and shared my views. Remarkably, she intimated that even among politicians they have to watch speaking in English the situation is so toxic.

It's incredible.

I told of her of our plans to send our child elsewhere for it's not an environment we want her to be in. We will eventually divest of our holdings and move. Putting up with this asinine situation is something we're not willing to par take in anymore.

It's got nothing to do with Quebec. It has everything to do with the fact that among us we have tyrannical clowns who believe punitive actions against fellow citizens is a way to protecting their culture. When I see the type of people in the PQ pimping Quebec culture, I wonder if it's even worth preserving.

Again, I will say, Quebec is the American south circa 1955. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise.

Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing in Bill 14 can be justified on any grounds. It's a plain vindictive attack on a minority. Plain and simple.

Yes. I do feel we should fight back and disobey the law.

As for the CAQ, they showed their true colours. Had they taken their thumbs out of their asses and done the proper thing, this foolish and travesty of a Bill would have been thrown out. Instead, half of them voted with the PQ.

Safe to say Francois Legault can kiss my vote good-bye - and something else too.

Know what else?

I'm speaking English everywhere I go. If someone has a problem with it, they will hear it back. Just like the Natives. They pushed too far this time. It's one thing to mock the PQ in private with our friends on vacation in the USA and even on this blog and quite another to put this on the table.

No more egg shells.

Let the yolk splatter on their collective faces.

2012-12-19

Quote Of The Day

"Criminals obey gun control laws in the same manner politicians honor their oath of office."

Facts About The 2nd Amendment

I touched on this in a previous post and will touch some more on it here. As is usually the case in emotionally charged times, we tend to mangle history. We become so engulfed in our beliefs we look back on history with a heinous look when it doesn't support a perspective or position.

So it is with the 2nd amendment.

Given the scope of the issue, it just doesn't make sense to me how "blaming" an object is going to lead to the elusive "meaningful change."

Both sides tend to overstate their position. For example, it blows my mind how pro-gun control advocates point to the fact the 2nd amendment referred to the militia (who made up of private citizens by the way) but deliberately ignore the second part about how individuals had the right to bear arms. Do these fools think we can't read?

For the most part, the pulse and pace of human nature and laws are rather predictable in what is an unpredictable existence; universe.

In reading the framers of the Constitution we clearly see these were men immersed in the great ideas and philosophies of their times and of history.

There's nothing "outdated" in what they wrote and enshrined in the Constitution. It's no more so than a piece of literature written by Dante or Dickens. Or a timeless piece of music by Bach or Debussy. If they be "outdated" so too be the Magna Carta!

"It was written 300 years ago" is equally offensive and patently pathetic and should be scorned by every single free thinking person. It should be refuted at every turn. Our entire heritage in the West is based on great teachings and ideas that stretch well beyond 300 years. We built on Athens. We built on Rome. We built on the High Middle Ages and Renaissance. We further constructed our wealth and health of thought on numerous scientific rediscoveries and revolutions, The Enlightenment and economic principles bestowed upon us not just from Venetians, Florentine, Dutch etc. traders but as far off as Asia as well.

We are but a collection of things written "hundreds of years ago." Can people not see the small, myopic ploy they play on their own minds?

They confess to ignorance of history yet profess to know it in political contemporary times. What folly.

The framers were astute observers of the umwelt; the reality of their times. They were also deliberately vague and exact in their writings.

The 2nd amendment was written "300 years ago." That much is fact.

So what?

The overarching umgebung - big picture - of the point of the exercise was the road to liberty.

The framers, I think, above all, wanted Americans (and by extension humanity) to keep vigilance against tyranny of any kind. That's the point of the exercise we're failing miserably.

The essay by David T. Hardy in the link provided above concludes:

"...The distinction between the second amendment's purposes enables us to avoid the pitfalls of the collective rights view, which would hold that the entire amendment was meant solely to protect a "collective right" to have a militia.The militia component of the second amendment was not meant as a "right", collective or individual, except in the sense that structural provisions (e.g., requirements that money bills originate in the House, or military appropriations not exceed two years) are considered collective "rights." Indeed, the militia component was meant to invoke the exertion of governmental power over the citizen, to inspire it to require citizens to assume the burdens of militia duty. In this respect it differs radically from any other provision of the Bill of Rights. To read what was a recognition of an individual right, the right to arms, as subsumed within the militia recognition is thus not only permitting the tail to wag the dog, but to annihilate what was intended as a right. As the one (p.61)provision of the Bill of Rights which encourages rather than restricts governmental action, the militia component's terms were necessarily vague and its phrasing a reminder rather than a command.
 
The right to arms portion of the second amendment, in contrast, was meant to be a prohibition, as fully binding as those in the remainder of the Bill of Rights. Madison intended that the second amendment be read as incorporating the individual rights proposals put forward by the Pennsylvania minority and by Sam Adams and the New Hampshire convention. Judging from contemporary discussion in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, he succeeded. If either clause can be accorded primacy, it is the right to arms clause; only in Virginia, at the eleventh hour of the ratification process, was a militia clause appended to a federal bill of rights proposal.
 
Reading the entirety of the second amendment as militia-related, based upon some contemporary references to the need for constitutional (p.62)recognition of the militia concept, confuses the purpose of one provision with the text of another. The second amendment, in short, cannot be explained simply as a last avowal of the classical ideal, as "the last act of the Renaissance." Rather, it is a bridge between the decline of that ideal and the rise of the liberal democracy. Part of the second amendment looks backward to the worlds of Polybius and Machiavelli; but part looks forward, to the worlds of Jefferson and Jackson. Only a recognition of the dual nature of the second amendment will enable us to give meaning to the aspirations of Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams as well as those of George Mason."

So outdated.






Gun Control Facts

The more and more I read into gun-control, the less and less the case for it makes much sense. It's one of those "less guns = less deaths" calculations that doesn't seem to make out. There's much, much more at play. More to the point, it may very well be a policy in place to make us believe we're doing something creating a placebo effect on safety.

Now people have taken to arguing the 2nd amendment is "outdated." So is the 13th amendment. And?

No point or logic in this argument for a multitude of reasons on several levels. I won't get into this here. It drives me nuts when complete hacks use this line to pimp their idea.

For now, digest all these facts about gun control at Justhefacts.

It's a fascinating read and you'll find (not surprisingly) a lot of what you hear just doesn't match the facts.

***

Here's an essay on Canadian Gun Control by David Kopel I've yet to complete.

***

Off the cuff remarks:

While the 2nd amendment is here to stay, pragmatically, the discussion would be best geared towards ensuring the gun purchasing process is solid. From what I see, it's quite compact and can take up to two weeks to complete. More details in the first link.

It'll take a multitude of actions - including access to better mental health facilities. The problem with the "right to bear arms" is the chances of the government declaring war on the people is remote. However, the framers were astute observers of history and knew all too well anything can happen so they made sure the people had the right to bear arms even for basic security needs - not unlike modern Switzerland. Human nature, the thinking went I reckon, is human nature.

It's probably the most sober of all the amendments. And one in which typifies various misunderstood under-currents. It's, like the Constitution itself, a product of various factions and voices joined into one. There is no right or wrong. Therein lies the genius which permits it to remain relevant today. It's only "irrelevant" to people who have an agenda the amendment likely doesn't support. It doesn't make it wrong or, as I stated, "outdated."

The framers considered many factors. Britain, for example, declared its subjects hand in all guns - statistics to the results at Justthe facts in link above. That's a clear violation of the state removing the right for people to protect themselves. America doesn't have that problem since it's enshrined in their Constitution. Britain is moving in a weird direction these days. I digress.

Moreover, legislation takes it a step further in that when a criminal trespasses or unlawfully enters the private property of a citizen, the law asks the victim to use "reasonable force." Should the prosecution find otherwise, the victim quickly becomes the criminal - for protecting their family and property.

It's an unacceptable situation, if not an immoral one. Yet, we're made to feel as though wanting to carry a gun for protection is an improper decision.

It's one of the most basic and beautiful law of the jungle: If the criminal knows you kick ass, they leave you alone. Create "gun-free" zones and emasculate the society, and you've just given the cue and upper-hand to the criminal.

It's been argued it's an outmoded thought meant for Revolutionary times, I disagree. I think the framers knew exactly what they were doing. They had clarity, even thought they mostly argued incessantly amongst each other, having experienced it, on such matters.

It's probably more a timeless amendment than an outmoded one. One in which the facts of history sit solidly on the side of the framers.

Unprecedented Nonsense

Ann Lagace Dawson is not immune to bits of fallacies or hyper-nationalism passing off as progressive thinking.

The other day, in her defense of millionaire hockey players, she used Maurice Richard as an example of how bad things were for players once upon a time.

It was a ludicrous comparison to make.

Once upon a time is the operative phrase here. Just like once upon a time child labor was the norm in the early stages of the industrial revolution.

Working conditions and labour standards have ensured human rights are protected now. No one, even if they tried, could possibly and remotely offer working conditions once seen long ago. Just like we'll never, ever, never see (all things being constant of course) kids working the mines anymore we won't see today's hockey players be moving furniture as a second job. Or be exclusive property of their owners.

Today, athletes are extremely well protected and compensated to the point that bringing up past injustices as somehow being able to make a comeback is plain stupid.

Athletes today are mini-corporate entities on to themselves. Many even branch out into other fields. Their incomes allow them to diversify their employment.

When this was brought up she replied "well, they're elite athletes that put their health on the line."

Yes. But two things. No one asked them to become athletes and they're already properly compensated for it.

Here's a person that probably wonders "how much money is enough" for a banker in the U.S., but seems comfortable in merely accepting excessive salaries in athletes on the premise they play a dangerous game. Oh, and don't forget (she's a socialist) owners should always be viewed skeptically. This goes without saying.

Why stop there? Why not, say, an action actor? Is she ok with the money they make? Why do we try and divide who we believe is "earning" their money? It's such a futile and patronizing exercise.

Anyway.

She pulled another one today.

Apparently, and as a student of history this was unknown to me, Canada's respect and tolerance for religion and cultures is unprecedented in the world. She may have even alluded to in history as well.

Really?

Typical, parochial Canadian nationalist rhetoric. I wonder, if a Canadian shits, does it stain?

Look, we have a nice country. Some may even claim a model to some. I personally don't see what's to copy but I can see why some countries may like us.

Dawson is conveniently ignoring history. Canada is not the first nor is it the only nation in the history of the world to aim for and sorta achieve religious freedom and respect. That shit has been happening for centuries. Pick up any ancient text and see how empires were often peaceful entities patching together many great civilizations existing side by side in peace. Merchant trading centers across Asia and Europe were models of tolerance for centuries. The city of Cordoba, Lebanon and other regions are but places where Jew, Muslims and Christians coexisted in harmony.

Then there's our own checkered racist past from eugenics to internment of Japanese AND Italian Canadians. Never mind Quebec's recent mean xenophobic streak. I sometimes wonder what syrup she drinks.

Historically, her assertion (again, if I heard correctly) is absurd.

But even in the context of modern society can we say Canada is the single model to follow? Not sure. Australia must feel like we do. And then there's the United States.

I think for the most part, yeah, we seem to assimilate immigrants well but to use the word "unprecedented" is arrogant on her part.

The United States "melting pot" versus Canada's "multicultural policy" is a debate I've heard for decades. I like the melting pot because it organically allows for people to become Americans.

Professor Schlesinger (an interesting liberal historian I consider required reading) demolished the multicultural theory in his book 'The Disuniting of America.' At the heart of it, what we mean by multiculturalism as policy is nothing but political correctness. It was penned by a scholar who had a substantial background in such matters.

There is not 'melting pot policy' in America. It just happens...

Here, we enshrined it into policy creating what is known as hyphen-nated Canadians or Canadians of convenience. Allegiance to Canada is not as strong as it is to America.

Just my impression. It is my contention Canadians should reflect more. We're too complacent and comfortable in our assumptions.

It goes without saying to nationalist Canadians, they tend to dismiss the American model with scant proof.

Just my impression.

Point is, there's more than enough evidence - neigh, one can see through simple observation - Americans are equally as tolerant and proud of their assimilation record.

I know. I'm such a poopie pooper.


The President Needs To Knock Off The Jabs

Just watched the President on TV. Leaving aside his plans and pleas (which though vague will resonate with some people), he just can't resist.

Resist what?

His gratuitous shots at former Presidents that's what. It's so weasel like.

What was the point of singling out President Reagan for having scorned (according to Obama) a bill penned by Joe Biden in the 1990s? A bill he allegedes lead to lower crime. I would love to see the facts on that.



2012-12-18

Gerard The Gallant Gaul

Gerard, the Gallant Gaul, Depardieu is my hero.

Good for him. Not only a great actor, but one who knows how to say "fuck off."

And yes, surprise, I support him. That a socialist politician called him "pathetic" and socialist papers are reacting with the usual and typical vitriol makes my respect for him all the more grand.

I was born in 1948,” he wrote, “I started working aged 14, as a printer, as a warehouseman, then as an actor, and I’ve always paid my taxes.” Over 45 years, Depardieu said, he had paid 145 million euros in tax, and to this day employs 80 people. Last year he paid taxes amounting to 85 per cent of his income. “I am neither worthy of pity nor admirable, but I shall not be called 'pathetic’,” he concluded, saying that he was sending back his French passport.

That's a lot of money they took.

He definitely is pulling a John Galt.

Just like Newtown will be a tipping point, I believe the expansion of the state and taxes will also hit a wall forcing other alternatives to what amounts to expropriating people's wealth.

The funny thing - or ironic if you prefer - North American actors would love Francois Hollande. See how far French socialism goes without money produced by others.

***

Someone can be moved to wonder, how can France vote for socialists? Well, politics is funny that way. I just got the shock of the day when I heard a poll suggesting Pauline Marois's PQ could win a majority! I scarce believed what I heard! Despite her disgraceful, amateurish actions, she gained voters?

Hmph.

Get the U-Haul ready for real. That chick scares the shit out of me.

I was also reading Les autres are more and more motivated to defend their rights. They're even out to choose a logo and all that.

Whatever it is, I will (possibly gladly) join the skirmish strictly on common decency and CIVIL LIBERTIES grounds.

Theories And Newtown

We've been hearing a lot of theories to help explain about Newtown.

Some are loopy, some are specious, some are emotional, some are rational, some are valid and acceptable.

In Canada, all I read is "it's about gun control" so you probably won't get much out of here by way of thoughtful explanations.

One person spoke of  "de-institutionalization" that occurred - on a bipartisan level - in the United States back in the 1970s. Basically, you can't put people in the nut house against their will anymore. A civil liberties issue I reckon.

And if you know the person you love is suffering from severe mental illness, the process is, from what I hear, extremely arduous.

Then there's the over medicating aspect of this. More and more people are just given "anti-depressants" even in cases where it's not necessary. Mind-altering drugs chemically change your brain and not always for the better.

Add some violent video games to the mix with access to guns and the picture almost paints itself doesn't it?

Information is surfacing that the killer had all of these conditions going and was reacting to his mother's plans to have him committed. He lashed out against the people close to her - the psychologist and Principal were close friends. She(apparently she was a Suvivalist) did volunteer work the school. He, in turn, after learning of her plans to get him institutionalized, perceived she loved them more than him and this may explain why he murdered them.

This is the story so far.

Anyway, seems to me figuring out how to deal with mental illness is the way to go. Gun control is secondary to this monumental task.

In Memoriam

For what it's worth, I'll be dedicating all posts in December to all the victims - includng the shooter's family - of Newtown, Connecticut.

Sports Corner With The Resident Sock Puppet

Sportswriter Cam Cole has this to say about the NHL lockout:

"...All that's happening now is a further erosion of those myths we once clung to: That hockey players really are the best, the humblest, the most accommodating, the most human, of pro athletes.
And that owners are really guardians of a public trust - not so much businessmen as hockey fans who want the same things the fan does, but just happen to have the money to make them happen. Good people who "give back" to the community.

We know more about that now than we ever wanted to know. We know that most owners are themselves charity seekers from the public purse, strip-miners of their local markets, pyramid schemers who have gotten rich selling dreams to suckers in places never meant for hockey and now complain that the game's economics don't make sense.

We know that players, through their agents, have conspired with the very owners they now profess to despise, to subvert the salary structure.

Two villains, and no good guy. They deserve each other."

Quoted for truth.

T.C.'s son (if he had one): Pa, what's an NHL?
T.C.: A nilch? Not sure, son. Something that once may have meant something but has lost all importance?

****

Victor Cruz and Jack Pinto.

I may just pull for the Giants on principle.

****

Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg has a huge racial problem. Its fans are demanding an all-white heterosexual team.

They explain:

"Dark-skinned players are all but forced down Zenit's throat now, which only brings out a negative reaction and added  gay players were "unworthy of our great city."

Nice people.

Truth is, nothing like this happens in North America and I mean nothing. It does happen with relative frequency in Europe. Remember this the next time a 'Pean goes off about how "racist" America is.

Specifially, Eastern European countries are increasingly problematic in world soccer. The English, Dutch and Germans once had awful degenerate drunken (and in some cases racist) hooligans. They've been brought under control but now it's sprouting up elsewhere.

For his part, coach Luciano Spalletti had this to say:

"Tolerance for me is the ability to understand and accept differences.

"Furthermore, being tolerant means that you fight against any kind of stupidity.
"I can personally assure you that I will do everything I can to help those who seek to explain what tolerance is, and the need to respect other cultures and traditions.

"The team has gathered players from different countries and ethnic groups who work together to achieve a common goal. Their combined efforts bring tangible results."

I enjoyed Spalletti's tactics during his AS Roma days.

Anyway.

Here's the bit that caught my eye:

"..Zenit has its own identity in the world of football, along with a number of football clubs that have retained their own identity.

"As the most northern club of the major European cities, we have never been associated with Africa, South America or Australia and Oceania.

"We have absolutely nothing against the people of these and any other continent. But now black players are being imposed on Zenit almost by force.

"We only want players from other brotherly Slav nations, such as Ukraine and Belarus as well as from the Baltic states and Scandinavia. We have the same mentality and historical and cultural background as these nations."

In other paper they say, "we are not racists and for us the absence of black Zenit players is just an important tradition that underlines the team's identity and nothing else."

Familiar language?

This is the sort of logic and excuses PQ nationalists and language zealots apply whenever they're called out for their prejudicial behavior.

"Hey, we got nothing against the English language, it's just, well, we're French and Quebec has its own identity and, well, just keep it down, ok?"

The thing the PQ and their supporters don't get is they form a kind of segregationist blip on the North American political-cultural landscape. They simply don't grasp that whenever they come up with a travesty like Bill 14 they're actually affecting people for who they are. It's got absolutely nothing to do with "protecting" French and everything to do with silencing others under the pretext of "protection."

Basically, they're full of shit and their thinking is not that far off from Zenit soccer fans.

Spade a spade folks.

Oh. Not enough for you? Just go and read up on how they reacted to Randy Cunneyworth. An esteemed and respected coach who had the nerve to be hired by the Montreal Canadiens as a unilingual Anglo.

For shame! Barricade Rohan!

Dedicated to winning my ass.


My Trip To Toronto. By T.C.

Alright.

My trip to Toronto. We went to Andy Kim's 8th Annual Christmas Show.

How did it go?

Thanks for asking. I shall dish out.

It was pretty much like the 11 other times I visited. I like Toronto. If anything because it's so different from Montreal. In fact, all three of Canada's three major centers - the other being Vancouver and its annoying nickname Van City - are distinct in their "feel."

For example, Toronto and Vancouver stink of money, while Montreal has more of a hipster feel to it. Architecture also is different.

Here, Montreal has a clear advantage being one of North America's premier Art-Deco city. Toronto, on the other hand, has a strange, orderly (some say copy-cat) Anglo-Georgian Victorian-Protestant base. It seems content with that. As for Vancouver, meh. Vancouver Special or not.  'Couver has other things going for it - it definitely is one of the most gourgeous cities on the continent.

It's no different than what I've observed in the US. NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago - all distinct.

Italy same thing. In fact, there the cities are so different they may as well be independent city-states. Wait....they were. I strongly suspect it's the same in Spain.

Anyway.

Back to the Big T.O.

Driving in (the 401 stretch between Mtl and Toronto has got to be one of the ugliest on the continent), we observed safety highway signs are in both languages. That's always interesting to see given our unhealthy language situation.

It's only right given, you know, we are in Canada and it is a question of basic safety for the good of drivers regardless of where they come from. One day Quebec will get off its insecure high horse and realize this. Playing politics with health and safety is a bad, disrespectful idea.

I spent the better part of the drive - neigh, the trip - fixing a payroll problem. At one point, I threatened to drive straight on through to Winnipeg where the company I deal with is based.

Cooler heads prevailed and we eventually staggered into Toronto, Ontario. Good thing too because Cornwall and Brockville just about destroyed us morally and financially. Wild, wild towns.

We didn't have much time to spare as it was late in the afternoon and the concert was at 8pm. So we headed to Sambuca's - an Italian restaurant nestled in the gay village. Outstanding food turns out. Nice Calabrese sauce. So much for Toronto not having good restaurants.

What I do find unacceptable is an espresso machine not working in an Italian restaurant which happened to be the case. Luckily, there was a Starbuck's right next door - didn't expect to find an Italian bar as Little Italy was much further up the street. A good 20 minute walk the other way.

On our way to the Phoenix Theater, we had a couple of minutes and stopped off at the Loblaw on Carlton and Church St.

Now that's a grocery store. Nothing like it in Montreal. Actually, nothing "grand" happens in Montreal. For all our "coolness" we have one mean, parochial, streak in us that prevents projects on a grand scale. Our politics and corruption hold us back dearly.

How can we proceed when you have faux-populist, anti-English, socialist, anti-business, separatist fools like Marois going to New York City to speak to business leaders proclaiming Montreal is "open for business" like whores in Bangkok. All the while, of course, inserting "one day" we will be "independent." Just what business people want to hear.

I stand by my belief the PQ hastened the decline of Montreal.

I digress.

Quebecers feel uncomfortable with such displays of grandeur we saw at Loblaw I reckon.

The show.

Andy Kim was figthing a virus that affecting his throat and voice but made the best of it. Guests included Ron Sexsmith (who is set to play Royal Albert Hall), Sloan, Mark Holmes (of Platinum Blonde) who made a great rendition of "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch), Serena Ryder, Devine Brown, Dan Magnan, K-Os, Colin James and a few others.

James - who I saw live at the old Spectrum back in the early 90s. The band Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers out of Philly opened for him - was excellent.

Other than his ridiculous "Canada is a socialist melting pot" comment, K-Os was good too. Yeah, I was tearing my hair out on that one.

Bah.

It was all for a good cause. This year, it was for the Jeff Healey Park  (we met his wife back stage) in memory of the great guitarist. Healey, Holmes, James...man, throwback to my days in the 1980s and 90s. Time flies.

This was not meant to be a concert review. Kim was his stylish, professional self and a good time was had by all.

Had I really planned it, maybe I would have taken in the Seahawks-Bills game in Toronto but it was a 4pm start and my mother-in-law did join us on the trip so the chances of us leaving for Montreal at 7:30pm would have been slim to none.

The end.









2012-12-17

Cards On The Table And Are Mass Killings On The Rise?

The President said in his speech the other night (and it was political) that "we had to stop this" referring to all the killing.

Ain't gonna happen. These massacres will continue unfortunately and the gun control lobby simply don't have facts to back them up.

Right now, we're hearing a whole lotta platitudes like "meaningful action" and 'we've go to try!" The last one especially makes me nervous because it suggests let's just ram through any law to fight against crazies who gain access to guns.

Lanza had access to guns lawfully obtained by his mother, keep in mind.

And just how strict are gun laws in Connecticut?

Since Americans plan to take a tougher stance (do I smell a War on Sicko Killers coming?), on murder, then why not abortion at this point? After all, 3200 babies, it can be argued from one side, are killed each day. I doubt all because of rape.

What about drone strikes ordered by the President himself that kill kids abroad?

How is this any different?

Let's put the cards on the table and stop with the bull shit.

The truth is these guys fight things they can't possibly win with a stroke of a magic pen. The truth is leaders have no clue what to do.

I have a suggestion. Let's reexamine family values. Let's start there because it feels as though parents are abdicating their responsbilities a bit too much. We're a sad, uncouth bunch when it comes to the institution of the family in North America.

We're long on how to live through the pen of leglislation and short on living through the values of family.

I digress.

****

Stats, stats and stats. Murder rates have come off in the USA - ironically. It's just that we're seeing a bunch of these traumatic attacks in clusters. This can confuse the reality I reckon.

I stole this comment:

"The liberals who are still troubled by the War on Terror but are voicing support for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy are going to have to explain to me why the government can't restrict our civil liberties when 19 hijacker kill 3,000 people yet it can restrict our liberties when a one gunman kill 26 people. It seems to me that they just don't accept the right to bear arms as a means of self-defense to be civil liberty."

*********

Are killings on the rise?

"There is no pattern, there is no increase," says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston's Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer....

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century."


Statistics and history demolish the incredibly ignorant, foolish, childish and emotional comment "if there was gun control Belcher and Newtown wouldn't have happened."

Alas, people are addicted to bull shit. Bunch of Maude Flanders.

"...That said: While there's a lot to object to in the media coverage of the last few days -- the inaccuracies reported on the day of the massacre, the exploitative intrusions on grieving people's privacy -- this feeling that the crime took place in our backyard isn't a bad thing in itself. It represents empathy, and when the press amplifies our empathy, it's doing good. But it's also important for the press to give people a context for that empathy, lest those natural feelings for the victims and the people who loved them turn into an irrational fear that the next victims will be our own children or ourselves. Look at the ways so many schools locked down after Columbine: the increase in inflexiblezero-tolerance policies the speed-up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Those changes made a lot of studentsless secure, not more. And they were driven by contextless, free-floating fear. Empathy sí, paranoia no..."

This statement is so rational it has to be ignored....leaders need to show people they're doing something.

After all, "we have to try" no matter the cost.

***

For every call to gun control, there's an equally valid one against it. Liberals don't want to hear it but it's true.

Take this story for example.

Don't mess with the Joooos!




AC Milan's Nocerino Pays Tirbute To Newtown

Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino has expressed his condolences for the Newtown massacre by dedicating the goal he scored to the town.

As some of you know, I'm a Milanisti and I'm not surprised by the gesture. AC Milan is one of the world's great sports organizations. It exudes class and excellence.

For those of you wondering, Nocerino is no bit player. He's an outstanding component for both Milan and the national team. He makes up part of the new class of players under Cesare Prandelli's watch in an effort to restore the Azzurri to top flight soccer.

Forza Milan!

CNN Getting Too Emotionally Invested?

Watching CNN personalities and journalists take on an activist role for gun control bothers me. Not because they support it but because they're making it too obvious. In the process, they're mugging guests who take an opposite view (much like we see in abortion).

It's bush league.

I'm sorry, but there's plenty of statistics that back up - for and against - both sides. NO ONE has the right answer and quite frankly, I don't know what "meaningful change" means.

Best for CNN to report and not act like pseudo-experts.

2012-12-16

Empowering The Criminals

Taken from Christmas Nick:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." ~Thomas Jefferson

Boy, is there no subject Tommy didn't touch?

Seems logical enough to me.

***

At SE, there's a video that suggests crimes (home invasions and assault) actually rose after Australia banned guns. Here's a link to a home invasion article.

It's true Canada has less murders per capita than the USA but we do have high rates of assaults, robberies and rape. Link to highest gun ownership per capita.

If you look at this table. America has 11.8 million total crimes or 3.74%. Canada has 2.5 million or 7.1%! Clearly, we see more crime than the Americans.

So much for the peaceful kingdom.

It's interesting to note that when you add up the four main partners in the G7 - Italy, France, Britain and Germany - their combined population is roughly 270 million and they have more total crime (18.9 million).

So much for the peaceful Europeans. And never mind about the persistent ugly racial incidences at soccer games. Something we simply don't see in North America.

In fact, all countries in the G7 experience more total crimes than the United States.

Alas, WaPo - unsurprisingly - clings to its beliefs.

Why?

Here's a link to a website that posted pictures of the victims.

From that same site:

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news." Morgan Freeman

The Healing Begins

I guess like many people, I watched the Inter-faith ceremony on CNN this evening.

It was quite powerful. The President too, I feel, delivered his strongest speech yet. It was as honest as it can come.

He's right. No one can accept what's been happening. The problem and question is, what can be done exactly?

I think he recognizes laws can't solve this but a national discussion must commence.

You know. For all the criticism religion gets, it's the one institution people rally around in times of need and sorrow.

Organized religion most certainly has a critical role to play in the lives of many and in communities across the continent.

It has been pushed off to the sidelines enough.
In any event, I wonder if this is a tipping point...


A Seminal Battle For The Information Age

Canada and the United States along with Britain voted against the UN Telecom treaty.

And, for once, all three are 1000% correct on this one.

Essentially, once you get past the verbal caca, it denotes a clear dividing line between free nations (or those who at least strive for it) and totalitarian ones without a tradition of free speech and information.

The UN is an organization with a tyrannical bent. It's good the free nations of the West stand against Russia and China on this. It only points to those nations paranoia and willingness to suppress freedom of thought, speech and information. Russia bans a punk rock band (Pussy Riots) and we're to take those clowns seriously?

Regulating Internet information is a goal for nations with restrictive policies and for that, we must fight them.

Once upon a time, the West engaged in defining battles to protect itself from Muslim and Mongol invaders.

The analogy is appropriate here. I don't give a rat's ass Russia and China went to the UN with this to gain legitimacy. The truth is the world has more bankrupted, failed and lousy countries than good ones. So on this one, screw off.

I've been a proponent of Canada leaving the UN and joining forces with real countries dedicated to freedom and the rule of law for a long time.

The idea we should even be entertaining this crap is only a testament to how degenerate countries actually have too much of a say in the mental asylum.

2012-12-15

The Names Of The Victims

Charlotte Bacon, 6, (F)
Daniel Barden, 7, (M)
Rachel Davino, 29, (F)
Olivia Engel , 6, (F)
Josephine Gay, 7, (F)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6 (F)
Dylan Hockley, 6 (M)
Dawn Hochsprung, 47 (F)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6, (F)
Catherine V. Hubbard , 6, (F)
Chase Kowalski, 7, (M)
Jesse Lewis, 6, (M)
James Mattioli, 6, (M)
Grace McDonnell, 7, (F)
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 (F)
Emilie Parker, 6 (F)
Jack Pinto, 6, (M)
Noah Pozner, 6, (M)
Caroline Previdi, 6, (F)
Jessica Rekos, 6, (F)
Avielle Richman, 6 (F)
Lauren Rousseau, 30, (F)
Mary Sherlach, 56, (F)
Victoria Soto, 27 (F)
Benjamin Wheeler, 6, (M)
Allison N. Wyatt , 6 (F)

All those "6s" and "7s." It's just too much.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Aftermath Pontification

I came across Piers Morgan - the guy who took over from whathisname - the guy with the suspenders on that talk show; Larry King  - on the internet emotionally lashing out making a passionate plea for gun control. I also saw Tom Fuentes - I believe a former FBI worker - make a remarkable assertion. Basically, he said NOW is the time to make a decision about gun control. The logic being in a couple of months from now people will forget and nothing will get done.

I don't know.

All I know is it's never bright to let passion get in the way of making a rational decision.

As for Morgan. It's so sad to watch the left go off almost immediately on this with gun control. Rather than take a lousy minute to simply think of the tragedy and its impact on the lives of people, they tweet and comment about a debate that really isn't a solution. Gun control presupposes it has an answer, but it isn't.

It's illogical to remove arms from people. Which, thankfully is not being suggested. Nor is anyone really talking about curbing or removing the 2nd amendment.

Sure, by all means, make it stricter to get a firearm, but don't be surprised if it hardly does much. Connecticut had some of the strictest gun laws in America from what I read, yet, it still happened. Michigan also has tight gun control and it's home to one of the most violent cities on the continent in Detroit.

Rather, it makes much more sense to reinforce security in schools. Focus on that.

A more appropriate response would have been to steer clear of the politics and appeals to emotion. There will be plenty of time to debate.

Also saw someone blame video games. Blaming pop culture is nothing new. I remember vividly back in the 1980s when heavy metal bands like Judas Priest were being blamed for an "epidemic" of suicides. Again, I don't know to what degree video games are desensitizing kids making them numb to evil actions they may inflict on their fellow human beings. I do know the best weapon is proper parenting.

Call me a simpleton but I do believe it's all part of our over reliance on the state to regulate our lives.

If gun control is said to be the problem (which I don't think is a means to an end at all) then it follows more inanimate objects like video guns need to be subjected to stricter laws. Why stop there? Ban rappers and violent movies altogether. 

Alas. I'm no expert. However, the question is less about what legislation we can bring in (Switzerland has more guns per capita in the world, Canada has more rifles per capita etc.) and more when are parents gonna seize control of what their kids are doing?

***

I like the new tact the media is using: Less focus on the alleged killer.

Unspeakable And Profound Tragedy

Just came back from Toronto. Was going to post about what I observed there but I just can't believe what happened in Connecticut at the moment. Will get to it later.

May God bless these children and victims.

Unbelievable.

Doing my best to not watch the news. The last thing I want to see is pictures of the kids.

The thought of those angels still in class...

***

Lord our God, You are always faithful and quick to show mercy. () was suddenly (or violently) taken from us. Come swiftly to his/her aid, have mercy on him/her, and comfort his/her family and friends by the power and protection of the cross. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

***
God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

***


2012-12-12

Comment Of The Day

What the the Mediterranean world lacks in functional and organized governance familiar to us in North America, Oceania and Northern Europe, more than makes up in another institution: The family.

Indeed, I guess, it is the institution that is paramount across Mediterranean civilization. The may differ in cultures, languages, history and even government but the one thing that's common to each - whether they come from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, North Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and still further into the out skirts of the region Iran and Iraq. The one country that's part of the Mediterranean that may not fit totally into this is France but it carries a strong Mediterranean character specifically in the South.

It's hard to explain but there's an implicit understanding among these cultures and societies that the family is the only true legitimate institution.

Thoughts?

Black Blog: The Movie

Maybe one day someone will make a slasher movie of me while I blog. Classic gothic horror films is something Italians excelled at.

The films are soooo good!

Here's a trailer to Mario Bava's 'Black Sunday.'


Mayhem In Massachusetts

Wow, this Annie Dookhan catastrophe is reaching appalling heights in Massachusetts.

The consequences to this will be felt for quite some time to come.

Tales From The Quebec Language Crypt

As the faux-populist aristocrat Paul-eeen Marois sells her $6 million dollar chateau, heard on the radio the Nazi outfit Office de la Langue Francaise was on its insecure harassment run in defense of the French language. All they're missing is a cape.

Apparently, the OLF has a problem with Ben and Jerry's 'Chunk Monkey.' So  much so, the jerkoff from the OLF voiced his displeasure by shouting while waiting in line.

It's a form of abuse and bullying of course but not in the wacky, world of Quebec language madness.

Again. From my perspective, whenever they do things like this they A) demean the French language and B) humiliate Quebec culture. In the end, they look like the fools.

Not a delicious ice-cream flavor. The ice-cream has little to do with language security.

Alas, it's about "dignity" as Ma Tante Marois says.

And the Liberal party of Quebec is complicit in this bad, sad, immature behavior. After all, they hired more OLF inspectors.

Buffoons all around, all year round.

Anyway. Couldn't find any news link to this story. In any event, it does happen. How do I know? My brother's friend used to be a manager at Ben and Jerry's back in the 1990s and he had to deal with these clowns. Par for the course.

What I do find is a Facebook link to Amnesty International and a Human Rights organization about this topic.

Congrats Quebec.

I've Got My Blog To Keep Warm

If I could snuggle with my blog I would.

Now with that creepy image fully installed in your mind, enjoy a couple of jazz classics from two masters of song with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

Amazing how at the opposite end of style and sounds they stand.






Aussie Rock, Mate

Highly acclaimed Aussie band You Am I.

It's been said they're arguably the greatest band to come out of Australia. High praise given the great bands that have come out of there.


2012-12-11

Sustainability For This But Not That

It's funny. We passionately talk - even argue - of environmental sustainability. But what about financial sustainability?

I think most level-headed person of any ideological bent admits there's a severe cash problem in the West. The arguing commences with who should take the hit. The left say the "rich" don't pay enough taxes (thus claiming it's a revenue problem) while the right say there's enough revenue but rather too much spending on welfare excesses. The libertarian perspective takes it a tad farther with military spending needing some trimming too.

***

I honestly don't see what's so bad in giving people the right to choose a union is anti-democratic. We give women the right to choose so why not workers?







You Didn't Earn That...Fairly!

This pretty much runs in line with the general anti-business sentiment we're seeing in North America.

Envy is ugly.

This whole "you didn't build that the government did" and "we all work hard so why are you rich" and "most rich people are lazy" (and so on) talk, is but a naked display of envy.

It's counter-productive to bash other people's success just like it's pointless to protect the French language at the expense of English in Quebec.

The thing I don't like is the narrative seems to point to if you have money, you're somehow crooked.

And that's not cool with me.

Consider this poor fellow Brian Pallister (spoil alert" He's an evil conservative). Rather than celebrate his success from humble beginnings, we bash success based on nothing but projections and perceptions.

"...an associate professor who says that it's 'disingenuous' for the PC leader to say success is a result of only hard work.

"For anybody who doesn't own a $2-million home, does that mean they just didn't work hard enough?" Shannon Sampert, a poli-sci professor at the University of Winnipeg said.

This is outrageous. Is this guy for real? Where exactly is it "disingenuous?" Pallister wasn't inferring that. Stop with the Obamaism. And yeah, sometimes hard work pays off for some and not for others.

Life is unfair. What can I say?

Lemme ask. Does he care, to use American examples, about the wealth on the left? Does he care what Obama does with his money? Mayor Bloomberg? The Clinton family? Gore? John Kerry? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi ?Elizabeth Warren? George Soros?

Did he care that Paul Martin, the last Liberal PM, was worth something in the neighborhood of $225 million? Or that Justin Trudeau may become, gulp, leader with his inherited wealth?

Maybe there are people on there that gained their wealth and success the "wrong" way, but this guy isn't one of them.

As far as I'm concerned, Brian Pallister IS the North American dream story. He shouldn't have to apologize for his success and what he does with his money.

He didn't want to put it in a GIC. He put it in real estate.

Nothing remotely wrong - financially or morally - with that.

"It all comes down to who you know, who you hob-nob with, that's how you get ahead in the world. It's kind of insulting to everyone else who works hard, but lives in west Winnipeg in a $150,000 house."

What a stupid, ignorant comment.

So. Let's all live in a $149 999 house. Are people like Sampert going to be the arbitrators of what's "good" and "fair" wealth?

Again, sometimes this does happen but it sounds as though he's generalizing. Big time. It certainly doesn't apply to Pallister. Basically, you have to be sorry for your wealth because, apparently, you only amass that kind of money through "who you know?"

It's talk for losers who will get nowhere.

Furthermore, it's irrelevant and illogical to attack him on the basis that he supports "low-income families" ergo he shouldn't build such a big house?

Reminds me of a liberal friend of mine who keeps saying, "how much money does someone need?"

How many stamps does someone need? How many Slushes does someone want to drink? How many...more Mr. Speaker!

Bah.

It all boils down to this piece of advice:

Mind your own fucking businesses. Including you Sampert.