Archive for the ‘Politically Correct’ Category

Michael Ignatieff: Offense taken

December 8, 2010

Michael Ignatieff seems a little delicate for the rough and tumble battle of federal politics. His latest cry for attention came from a remark made by newly elected conservative MP, Julian Fantino.

In the interview, Mr. Fantino – the former Toronto police chief and Ontario Provincial Police commissioner – expressed his frustration with charges by the Liberals that he had run a “peek-a-boo” campaign, avoiding public debates and afraid to address tricky issues.

He told The Globe that was simply not the case, believing the Liberals had made the allegation out of desperation. “I think they intended to hurt my campaign,” Mr. Fantino said. “The things they said … a lot of them were absolute lies. They keep repeating [them]. I call it the Hitler theory. You tell a lie often enough you hope that some people will believe it.”

In a memo circulated by the Liberals they seemed to get a bit hysterical.

“Barely four days after squeaking into office, Julian Fantino crossed the line by using an offensive analogy that compared a democratic political party in Canada to the Nazi regime,”

And on and on.

No, he didn’t compare the Liberal party to the Nazis, he equated their tactics to the ‘big lie’ theory that has been associated with Adolph Hitler.

But Hitler apparently didn’t make the statement as a matter of his personal policy.

The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Hitler believed the technique was used by Jews to unfairly blame Germany’s loss in World War I on German Army officer Erich Ludendorff.

And then down the ranks.

Later, Joseph Goebbels put forth a slightly different theory which has come to be more commonly associated with the expression “big lie.” Goebbels wrote the following paragraph in an article dated 12 January 1941, 16 years after Hitler’s first use of the phrase “big lie,” titled “Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik” and translated “From Churchill‘s Lie Factory.” It was published in Die Zeit ohne Beispiel.

That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

Anyway it appears that Mr Fantino hurt Mr Ignatieff’s feelings. It’s a tough world out there for sensitive people.

Robert Latimer: Justice gone awry

December 4, 2010

After 10 years in jail for the mercy killing of his severely disabled daughter, Robert Latimer begrudgingly, but finally will receive full parole on December 6th.

Latimer applied for and was denied early parole in 2007 because, in the opinion of the members of the National Parole Board, he didn’t exhibit sufficient regret for his actions. Latimer, answering their questions honestly, said that he still thought he had done the right thing when he killed his daughter.

In 2008 the B.C. Civil Liberties Association filed an appeal on Latimer’s behalf on the basis that the NPB had violated its own rules by requiring to admit to wrongdoing in order to qualify for parole and by ignoring the fact that he was a very low risk for re-offending.

In actual fact he was probably a no-risk case.

In February 2008,a review board overturned the NPB’s decision and granted Latimer day parole in Ottawa beginning that March.

The sad thing is, if the jury and the judge who heard the case had been allowed to do their job, Latimer would have been out of prison in a year’s time.

However the case became a cause celebre with various disability rights groups, some church groups and others who argued that unless Latimer was dealt with the full severity of the law others would be encouraged to rush out and kill other disabled people.

Even the Maclean’s columnist Andrew Coyne argued that the NPB was within its rights to deny Latimer parole because he didn’t express regret, because doing so without that requirement might encourage others to do the same.

All of which is patently nonsense.

Robert Latimer took a life and for that he had to answer to the law. But he shouldn’t have had his case effectively arbitrated by groups that have agendas that have nothing to do with justice or fairness but are meant to advance their advocacy.

Justice is never even handed and I don’t think was ever meant to be. Every case has its own story and its own specific set of facts. But when you look at Latimer’s sentencing and his treatment by the National Parole Board knowing that this man was caught up in his own moral dilemma but also knowing full well that he was absolutely no risk to the community, and then again look at other cases and how the sentencing came down, I think there is reason to wonder.

Cases in point:.

Regina teen gets 3 1/2 years for fatal May long weekend shooting

Jodie Lynn Bryant was enjoying a campfire in a Regina backyard on the May long weekend when a stranger in a passing car smiled, lifted a stolen rifle and took the 21-year-old’s life with a single pull of the trigger.

Asked by his friend what he was doing, the 16-year-old murderer replied, “Oh, just having fun.”

On Friday, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a youth facility on top of the six months he’s already served since his arrest, followed by three years in the community under a conditional supervision order.

“That’s a dangerous man. In three years Regina, be scared,” Bryant’s aunt Elaine Severight told the Leader-Post.

A killer, admittedly 16 years old, callously kills a girl in her own backyard in a drive-by shooting, “just having fun”. He gets 3 1/2 years in prison and then they throw him back into the community under ‘supervision’.

And among various mercy killings in Canada, a few examples.

Doctor gave potassium chloride to a dying patient who was suffering intractable pain.

1990 – Unidentified city in Quebec, possibly Quebec City – Unidentified doctor gave potassium chloride injection to dying patient who was suffering intractable pain
Charge: None (president of Quebec College of Physicians defended doctor’s action and Quebec Minister of Justice decided against laying charges)
Reference:
“Euthanasia: Quebec considering charges for MD’s role in AIDS death”
Ottawa Citizen, June 20 1992, Page A3

The case of Dr. de la Roche

In Timmins, Ontario the forty-nine-year-old chief of surgery at St. Mary’s General Hospital, Dr. Alberto de la Rocha, administered an injection of morphine and potassium chloride to his seventy-year-old patient in 1991. Mrs Mary Graham was suffering from terminal cancer of the cheek, mouth and lung. It was clear that during much of her remaining time she would have to endure great agony. As Nicholas Ionides reported in the Globe and Mail of April 5, 1993, her forty-six-year-old son, George, testified at the trial of his mother’s doctor that he and his brothers regarded his mother’s death as being “very peaceful, very dignified, and very humane,” and that it was “a beautiful experience.”

The doctor’s motives were clear — to save his patient the pain, suffering and humiliation of protracted illness. His community recognized this when they rallied to his support, as did many of the hospital staff and de la Rocha’s other patients. Initially, the doctor was charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was later reduced and he pleaded guilty to a much lesser charge, of administering a noxious substance. He received a three-year suspended sentence and was not banned from practising medicine.

Cheryl Myers and Michael Power

1993 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Cheryl Myers and Michael Power  euthanized Myers’ father who was dying badly
Charge: Second-degree murder, reduced to manslaughter
Result: Suspended sentence

It would appear that a (brief) case  study would indicate that the only certain thing about mercy killings is that if the victim is old and in pain it is ok to put them down. It seems to me that the organizations looking out for the welfare of the aged should be very concerned.

What I do think is that in the end, between advocacy groups howling for his head on a plate, a prosecutor that seemed strongly motivated to extract the severest sentence possible and his trial being turned into a media event, Robert Latimer never had a chance of finding any compassion from the courts.

There are many who still think that Latimer deserved no compassion.

I think his 10 years spent incarcerated was wrong and a waste of a decent man’s life.

Soccer, an anti-competition mentality and entitlement

June 20, 2010

I started writing this blog a few weeks ago but got sidetracked. However the story seems to have legs so I will continue with my 2 cents worth.

The story is simple.  A children’s soccer league in Ottawa has a rule saying that any team that  wins a game by more than 5 points, automatically loses the game by default. (Although as I now understand it , with all of the unfavourable publicity they have now modified that rule).

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.

Although this story seems to have caught the eye of the media – for a brief instant, at least – it’ is just a further extension of the philosophy that competition is damaging to the psyche of children.

We have seen this philosophy at work in schools over the years, where  no one should fail and students get promoted up through the grades even though they have not completed the curriculum.

I have a hard time believing that we are doing children any favours by removing the competitive element. Not everyone can be a top class athlete and not everyone is going to be a brilliant academic. But does this mean that to soothe those fragile egos, those high achievers must be held back? The only way you hone your skills is by competing with others. And by that I mean real, honest competition.

It seems to me that those who rail against the competetive instinct – the teachers, the adminstrators, the parents and the social activists – are doing nothing but promoting mediocrity.

One of the ongoing complaints that I hear about today’s youth is that they expect to get rewards without showing any inclination to deliver on performance. It is the mentality of entitlement.

I wonder if, in part, that that feeling of entitlement has been driven by the attitude that it is enough if you just show up.

There is a much more rigorous analysis of the situation at Zomblog who takes it way further than a mere soccer league ruling.

Now I’m really depressed.

On poverty and crime

May 24, 2010

I wish I had written this. An old link but still worth reading.

The canard that “poverty causes crime” is the  product of lazy correlation. We associate crime with poverty  because criminals are so often poor. However, the association is an inversion – people don’t become drug-addicted thieves because they’re poor – they’re poor because they’re drug-addicted thieves.

If poverty were a root cause of crime, the six-figure executive wouldn’t embezzle, the limo-driven politician wouldn’t defraud. There’d be an income threshold at which crime was no longer “necessary” for survival. Poverty and ruin are simply possible consequences when high-risk, high-return windfall economics trump morality, honesty and the work ethic.

What the white-collar criminal and inner-city gang member have in common is something quite different, and it’s unrelated to birthright or economic misfortune.

What they share is a sense of entitlement. They have convinced themselves (through varying measures of rationalization and socialization) that they are entitled to our money, our property, our lives.

Airline security, terrorists and Fort Hood

December 31, 2009

My post on the attempted terrorist attack on the Christmas flight into Detroit beat on the officials who, in the aftermath, put numerous ridiculous restrictions into place that in no way improved security for the flying public but did manage to make the miserable experience that commercial flying has become into a more miserable experience.

My theory was that having done little to nothing meaningful to improve real security in airports since the tragedy of 911 they had to come up with some kind of a short-term plan to convince the world that in actual fact they had a handle on the situation. Their solution was to come up with a lot of dumbass restrictions on the paying customers that would make air travel so inconvenient and so difficult that the flying public could only assume that their new rules and regulations had merit. After all, why would anyone deliberately make your life that miserable for no good reason?

But then I looked at the killings on the Fort Hood army base in Texas by another terrorist and the security measures that were put in place after it was over.

There is a pattern.

On November 5, this year, an army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik went on the Fort Hood army base and shot and killed 13 people and wounded 30 more. He was stopped by the courageous action of a female police officer, the first armed responder, who engaged Malik and with the help of a 2nd officer put him out of commission, although she was wounded as well in exchange. Malik lived.

As the investigation of the event progressed it was discovered that Malik had sent e-mails to a radical Yeman cleric where discussed the killing of American soldiers by Muslims serving in the US forces. This information was intercepted by US Intelligence who passed it on the the army, but nothing further was done.

There were other hints as well.

There was the classroom presentation that justified suicide bombings. Comments to colleagues about a climate of persecution faced by Muslims in the military. Conversations with a mosque leader that became incoherent.

[snip]

Danquah assumed the military’s chain of command knew about Hasan’s doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates in a graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan’s “anti-American propaganda,” but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.

There were problems, people knew there were problems and nothing was done.

So when the facts were in and all was said and done, what solution did the military come up with to make sure nothing like this could happen again on the Fort Hood army base?

Fort Hood officials announced Thursday a new command policy regarding registration requirements for privately-owned firearms was signed into effect Tuesday by Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, III Corps and Fort Hood commander.

The policy, and Fort Hood Regulation 190-11, requires all service members and their families living, residing or temporarily staying at Fort Hood to register any privately-owned firearms kept on post with the Directorate of Emergency Services, a Fort Hood press release states.

The announcement comes more than a month after the Nov. 5 massacre on post claimed the lives of 13 and injured more than 30 – victims were shot by a soldier using a privately-owned firearm.

The new policy details how soldiers, family members and even civilians must go about reporting privately-owned weapons being taken on post.

“Service members living in barracks or in post temporary housing must notify their immediate commander of the possession of POFs and keep the weapon in their respective unit arms room in accordance with Army Regulation 190-11 and Fort Hood Regulation 190-11,” the policy reads.

Under the new policy, service members and their families living, residing or temporarily staying at Fort Hood are required to immediately notify DES of any “sale, purchase, trade, gift, exchange or any other action that changes the ownership or long-term possession of a POF kept on the installation.”

Besides detailing the responsibilities of service members, the policy additionally states that “all persons, whether service member or civilian, who intend to transport a privately-owned firearm onto Fort Hood must first register that firearm with DES.”

It goes on to state that when entering Fort Hood, all persons are required to declare to access control point personnel that they are bringing a privately-owned firearm onto the installation.

“POFs being transported onto Fort Hood will, at all times, be accompanied by post registration documentation and are subject to inspection,” the policy states.

The announcement Thursday specified that the new policy is “punitive in nature” and applies to all III Corps and Fort Hood service members, major subordinate units, tenant activities and family members across Fort Hood.

In the aftermath of a tragedy that was begun by an army officer who came on to the base with the sole intent of murdering as many people as possible and was only stopped by the arrival of two armed police officers, the army’s solution is to crack down on legitimate gun ownership on the base.

Unlike the new restrictions on the flying public that would inconvenience them even further while actually providing no increase in actual security, the army brass went one step further. Their new security regulations would ensure that a terrorist of the same ilk as Hasan would again have the opportunity to gun down his comrades with impunity until hopefully someone who was allowed to be armed on the base came forward to stop the carnage.

If this is the clearheaded military thinking that is leading the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq then the troops are in serious trouble.

In a 4 part article (1,2, 3,4) in the Examiner.com on the new Fort Hood firearms regulations, the author concludes:

Unfortunately, “the obvious” solution is not necessarily the easy solution; anyone who tries to create a culture that demands loyalty and willingness to follow orders in the U.S. military will certainly face charges of fascism, McCarthyism, racism, and any other -ism that seems likely to damage a reputation.  Although there’s still time for more substantial changes to be made, Fort Hood’s new regulations are worrisome signs that the powers that be think they can avoid doing the hard work of getting rid of terrorists in their own midst if only they make a convincing show of cracking down on the weapon the last terrorist used . . . but even if the next terrorist grants us the courtesy of doing only what he saw on TV the last time, it’s hard to see how that could be enough.

All of which leads me to modify my thinking to accept the fact that there is probably no deviousness in the new airline regulations nor the Fort Hood gun rules. I think, as the author of the Examiner article says, there is a natural inclination to look for the easy solution but apparently little to no ability to analyze that solution to assess whether it will actually have any effect on the problem. And there is absolutely no inclination to try and deal with the realities.

It is always easier and safer to penalize the innocents and simply ignore those that cause the problem.

The high cost of green power

August 28, 2009

The B.C. government, in its August 25th Speech from the Throne, reiterated its intent to press forward with alternative power sources.

This government will implement an aggressive strategy to turn the challenge of climate change to our citizens’ economic advantage.

Green energy will be a cornerstone of British Columbia’s climate action plan.

Electricity self-sufficiency and clean, renewable power generation will be integral to our effort to fight global warming.

The BC Utilities Commission will receive specific direction.

Phasing out Burrard Thermal is a critical component of B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy.

Further, this government will capitalize on the world’s desire and need for clean energy, for the benefit of all British Columbians.

Whether it is the development of Site C, run-of-river hydro power, wind, tidal, solar, geothermal, or bioenergy and biomass — British Columbia will take every step necessary to become a clean energy powerhouse, as indicated in the BC Energy Plan.

Government will use the means at its disposal to maximize our province’s potential for the good of our workers, our communities, our province and the planet.

While these forms of power require greater investment, in the long run, they will produce exponentially higher economic returns to our province, environmental benefits to our planet and jobs throughout British Columbia.

I wonder when it will come back and bite us on our financial asses as it apparently has done in Ontario.

Today it became public that Hydro One has asked the Ontario Energy Board for permission to raise the cost of distribution to all Ontario customers an average of 9.5% in 2010 and 13.3% in 2011 to cover $266 million dollars in costs relating to their four year Green Energy Plan for 2010 to 2014. By 2011 the impact of this $266 million will be an average increase of 24.3% over two years on the delivery portion of every Ontarian’s hydro bill. Because each public utility is a customer of Hydro One, it doesn’t matter who sells you your electricity – this impacts you.

Between the provincial government driving up our gasoline prices to discourage us from driving and the very real possibility of our power costs rising as the province pushes for alternative energy sources, B.C. could become an increasingly expensive place to live.

Selling out Peter for Paul’s Benefit

August 3, 2009

When I started to read this article by Paul Craig Robert, I was intrigued by the title: Gun Control: What’s the Agenda?

Now I thought I always knew the gun-banners’ agenda. It was, and is, to get rid of guns owned by civilians. I also thought that I knew some of their motivations.

We’ve heard the arguments hundred of times. Banning guns (so the theory goes) would materially reduce crime, suicides, fatal accidents, violence in the home and make the public domain for all intents and purposes a a safer place and although it might not create a utopia but it would be a step in that direction.

Then there are the animal rights activists who would see the banning of firearms as a way to ending hunting activities. (They could ban bows later – or sooner for that matter).

I hoped that the author might have some new insights on the subject.

As a lead-in, the author pointed out the facts behind New York’s oppressive Sullivan’s Law.

New York state senator Timothy Sullivan, a corrupt Tammany Hall politician, represented New York’s Red Hook district. Commercial travelers passing through the district would be relieved of their valuables by armed robbers. In order to protect themselves and their property, travelers armed themselves. This raised the risk of, and reduced the profit from, robbery. Sullivan’s outlaw constituents demanded that Sullivan introduce a law that would prohibit concealed carry of pistols, blackjacks, and daggers, thus reducing the risk to robbers from armed victims.

The criminals, of course, were already breaking the law and had no intention of being deterred by the Sullivan Act from their business activity of armed robbery. Thus, the effect of the Sullivan Act was precisely what the criminals intended. It made their life of crime easier.

He then dealt with the fallacy of the epidemic of gun deaths among children in the U.S. and notes that the White House Offices of National Drug Control Policy says that drugs is one of the leading factors in homicides.

According to the National Drug Control Policy, trafficking in illicit drugs is associated with the commission of violent crimes for the following reasons: “competition for drug markets and customers, disputes and rip-offs among individuals involved in the illegal drug market, [and] the tendency toward violence of individuals who participate in drug trafficking.” Another dimension of drug-related crime is “committing an offense to obtain money (or goods to sell to get money) to support drug use.”

Roberts then writes:

Those who want to outlaw guns have not explained why it would be any more effective than outlawing drugs, alcohol, robbery, rape, and murder. All the crimes for which guns are used are already illegal, and they keep on occurring, just as they did before guns existed.

So what is the real agenda? Why do gun control advocates want to override the Second Amendment. Why do they not acknowledge that if the Second Amendment can be over-ridden, so can every other protection of civil liberty?

There are careful studies that conclude that armed citizens prevent one to two million crimes every year. Other studies show that in-home robberies, rapes, and assaults occur more frequently in jurisdictions that suffer from gun control ordinances. Other studies show that most states with right-to-carry laws have experienced a drop in crimes against persons.

Why do gun control advocates want to increase the crime rate in the US?

Why is the gun control agenda a propagandistic one draped in lies?

At which point he inexplicably goes sideways.

He blames the NRA for fueling the irrational fear of guns through trade advertisements in their members’ only magazine.

The NRA is the largest and best known organization among the defenders of the Second Amendment. Yet, a case might be made that manufacturers’ gun advertisements in the NRA’s magazines stoke the hysteria of gun control advocates.

Full page ads offering civilian versions of weapons used by “America’s elite warriors” in US Special Operations Command, SWAT, and by covert agents “who work in a dark world most of us can’t even understand,” are likely to scare the pants off people who are afraid of guns.

And although he begrudgingly acknowledges that there is some validity to hunting, he apparently believes that gun owners would be better served if  it kind of went away.

The same goes for hunters. Recent news reports of “hunters” slaughtering wolves from airplanes in Alaska and of a hunter, indeed, a poacher, who shot a protected rare wolf in the US Southwest and left the dead animal in the road, enrage people who have empathy with animals and wildlife. Many Americans have had such bad experiences with their fellow citizens that they regard their dogs and cats, and wildlife, as more intelligent and noble life forms than humans. Wild animals can be dangerous, but they are not evil.

Americans with empathy for animals are horrified by the television program that depicts hunters killing beautiful animals and the joy hunters experience in “harvesting” their prey. Many believe that a person who enjoys killing a deer because he has a marvelous rack of antlers might enjoy killing a person.

He is apparently ignorant of the fact that the aerial shooting of wolves in Alaska is a State initiative to control the predator population and is not done by “hunters”, and he identifies the person who illegally shot a wolf in the southwest as a poacher whom he apparently associates with legitimate hunters. In fact his whole diatribe on hunters and hunting would indicate that Roberts sits quite comfortably in the anti-hunting camp.

So after wondering what the anti-gun agenda is, we find out that apparently they don’t really have an agenda, it’s just that the NRA (and I presume other magazines) publish advertising for modern guns that “are ugly as sin”, and whose “appearance is threatening, unlike the beautiful lines of a Winchester lever action or single shot rifle, or a Colt single action revolver, or the WW II 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, guns that do not have menacing appearances” which makes people fear guns and makes them want to ban them. And if that isn’t enough those damned hunters are out there killing wolves and other beautiful animals which makes people think that they “might enjoy killing a person”. All enough reason to ban firearms – apparently.

The author then goes on to wax poetic about the joys of target shooting which one could apparently do without fear of the gun banners if it wasn’t for the NRA’s advertising practices and – again – those damned hunters.

It appalls me that there are still those out there, who profess to be “one of us” who have such a simplistic and  (dare I say) stupid view of the issues.

One would hope that by now we would have gone beyond the divisions where long gun owners were willing to sell out handgun owners in the hope that doing so would take the focus off their firearms. Or in Britain the owners of double barreled shotguns being willing to sacrifice  those who owned pumps and semi-autos.

But apparently the message that the anti-gunners are quite willing to pick us off one by one still hasn’t reached everyone.

Whether it is the anti-gun or the anti-hunting crowd, they know that they cannot get everything they want in one big bucket and are quite happy take their little victories. Unfortunately some of which we give them in the vain hope that they will be satisfied enough to go away and leave us alone. Which of course has never been in their game plan.

There is little question that Canada;s Firearms Act was written in such a manner as to make things more bureaucratically difficult for gun owners in the hope that many would get rid of their guns and drop out of the system. Which many did. The Act relegated some firearms (most notably handguns with barrels 4″ or less in length) to ‘prohibited’ status and while current owners were grandfathered it ensured that no-one else would ever be able to legally acquire them. In that way they would eventually be purged from the system.

Toronto Mayor David Miller has been on a crusade to ban handguns, obviously in a misguided attempt to demonstrate to his electorate that he is “doing something to fight crime”. All gun owners should the strongly and publicly opposing this.

Some years ago there was an attack against bear hunting in B.C. The ban proponents wanted to totally stop the hunting of black bear – not exactly a threatened species in this province. Of course they weren’t able to win that fight, but in the process the Ministry of Environment decided that they would put in a new regulation that would force all bear hunters to salvage the meat of any bears they shot. This was just for black bear. Although some bear hunters already kept the meat (actually good eating), most hunted for the hide. The Ministry thought that bringing the meat in would legitimize the hunt and remove the objections of the environmentalists.

Did it work? Well it removed a bunch of hunters from the system and the environmentalists are currently back again trying to stop bear hunting. And the new solution being floated around to blunt the attack? Put in a regulation to make it a requirement for hunters to salvage grizzly bear meat. Which shows that we have learned little from our past mistakes.

The antis are focused and patient. We, as gun owners and hunters, are divided and complacent. If that doesn’t change, our future is bleak.

Where the trouble lies

February 9, 2009

All of our major cities in North America are experiencing gang related violence, most of it with drug dealers shooting at each other. When one of these shootings takes place the media is more than likely to make it seem that you are risking your life if you even stick your nose outside your front door.

What the media rarely tells you – in the name of political correctness – is that much of this violence occurs in specific areas. Which is good for most of the residents in the city but not so good for those who must live in those areas.

But the politicians with the help of the media avoid pointing this out and in effect keep the general populace in a state of anxiety because (I think):

  1. They can use it to push through a political agenda.
  2. It would be politically incorrect to point out the fact that these localized areas within the confines of the city generate most of the gang violence.

Gunlaws.com has some similar thoughts on this matter.

Homicide in America has demographic, geographic, social and economic factors which, if acknowledged and openly discussed, would tranform the debate, and place blame where it really belongs: on the causes and people that fuel the violence we hear about (but rarely actually see for ourselves, except on TV “news”) .

The real blame is hidden, because the truth is so painful. Crime is not spread across the streets of America. Crime, and crime using guns, happens in isolated areas for well known reasons the media and politicans hide from you.

The site also shows some demographics that the Baltimore Sun published which shows visually where the violence in that city occurs. I’m sure the result was an eye opener for the Sun’s readers and probably not too popular with the city fathers.

There is no question that Toronto would show similar demographics and it would be interesting to see it applied to other Canadian cities.

I suspect it is not likely that we will see that information any time in the near future.

The Art of Being Offended

February 8, 2009

It’s damned near impossible to say or do anything these days without publicly offending someone or some group. Being offended has almost become a preferred pastime.

Sixteen year old Miley Cyrus, goofing around with some friends including an asian girl were filmed slanting their eyes. It gets shown on the internet and incurs the wrath of at least one asian group which accuses her of “mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent”.

J.J. Rowling, while accepting an award in France feels compelled to apologize for giving the  arch villain in her Harry Potter series – Lord Voldemort – a french name.

Back in 2004 Conan O’Brien did his Late Night Show in Canada and did a bit with Triumph the Insult Dog that offended the Quebec government and had Canadian media people as well as the Premier of Ontario and a federal government spokesperson apologizing to all and sundry. It was Triumph the Insult Dog – a sock puppet – for gods sake!

The Indo-Canadian community was offended when Prime Minister Harper actually made an apology for an incident that happened back in 1914. Harpers offense was that he didn’t make the apology in Parliament.

Prime Minister harper also got crapped on for saying in a speech, “What we have found is that while regional development agencies can go off the reservation — can go in some bad directions — they also tend to be pretty good compared to most federal bureaucracies at actually having a handle on what local development needs really are.” Of course the use of the word  reservation’ apparently offended aboriginals.

The examples are legion, but the one that I love most is the County Commissioner in Texas who was attacked for making racist remarks when he said that “central collections “has become a black hole” because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.”

It seems that there are a large number of of professional offendees lurking out there just waiting for something that will allow them to rise up in righteousness proclaiming to the world how they or their particular constituency has been slighted, wronged, insulted and emotionally damaged.

In Canada we have even taken it further with our Human Rights Tribunal which attempted to prosecute Ezra Levant for publishing what have been referred to as the Danish Cartoons in his magazine the Western Standard and Macleans magazine for printing an excerpt from Mark Steyn’s book, America Alone all because it was believed to be offensive to Muslims.

Not only do we seem to have lost our sense of humour, we have lost our sense of balance. In situations where the Human Rights Tribunals have become involved truth is apparently no defence. You can be right but you’re still wrong.

Obviously there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but that line has become increasingly blurred.

It appears that we have elevated our ability to be offended to an art form.

Postscript:

And then there is the basketball coach in Texas whose team walloped their opponents by a score of 100-0 and who was excoriated for allowing that to happen and who was fired because he would not apologize “for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”

It even happens in the golf world.

LPGA golfer/model Anna Rawson has apologized for any offense she may have given in an interview in Australia where she said:

“The tour has got so much better with so many young stars and great players,” Rawson told the radio station in an interview arranged by her father Jim.

“But the mentality unfortunately amongst the media and the industry hasn’t changed.

“They still think we’re at 25 years ago when the tour was full of, you know, a lot of dykes and unattractive females nobody wanted to watch.”

Well yeah, that’s probably true, but dammit you’re not supposed to say it out loud.

The high price of flatulance

December 7, 2008

This proposal is so stupid that one would expect that it must be coming from Britain. But no, it is emanating from the U.S. federal government, or more specifically their Environmental Protection Agency.

In a bizarre proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA is suggesting a tax on cows and pigs and other agricultural animals that belch and flatulate and thus add to greenhouse gas emissions.

It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and “all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them.”

Sparks said Wednesday he’s worried the fee could be extended to chickens and other farm animals and cause more meat to be imported.

It is difficult for me to read the EPA proposal without thinking that there must be an agent provocateur for the animal-rights movement within the EPA.

Whether they have their fingers in the mix or not, the AR people are certainly in favour of the proposal.

“It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses,” said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“We certainly support making factory farms pay their fair share,” he said.

It would no doubt advance the AR agenda against meat by driving up the cost of meat to the consumer.

It is hard to believe that a proposal like this could ever be written into law. But sillier things have been pushed forward by bureaucracies and have found their way into legislation. The danger is that it is so silly, should it somehow proceed, the public (other than those directly affected) won’t pay any attention  to the threat, thinking that no one would be stupid enough to pass it into legislation.

That has been proven on numerous occasions to be a fallacy.

Whether or not the EPA has “taken a position” on this proposal , it needs to be killed. Not just filed away for another day, but removed from their computers, hard copies shredded, and the person(s) who came up with the idea reverted back to fetching coffee for the rational policy makers.


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