Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Some Canadian Homicide Demographics

February 9, 2009

Thanks to Blunt Object, I stand corrected regarding the availability of information, at least for some Canadian cities, regarding homicide demographics.

Calgary:         2009 2008
Toronto:        2009 2008 2007

For comparison: Baltimore demographics for 2009.

And just for further interest a map of taser related deaths in Canada.

Canada’s “Don’t Call List”: Another total screw-up

January 23, 2009

This in today’s Globe and Mail:

Listing your name on Canada’s new do-not-call registry could actually increase the likelihood that you will be targeted by unscrupulous telemarketers.

The Consumers’ Association of Canada says it has been inundated with complaints from people who have been called by scam artists after placing their telephone numbers on the registry, which went into effect last September.

The do-not-call list was created to prevent telemarketers from contacting people who do not want to be pestered with uninvited sales pitches. For companies to find out who they are not permitted to call, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission sells the list online for a fee.

“You can buy any list you want of people who subscribe to the do-not-call registry online. The whole of Toronto costs you 50 bucks for 600,000 names,” Bruce Cran, president of the CAC, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

“That’s just perfect for any telemarketer, because these are good names which they would otherwise have to pay money for to verify. In addition to that, there’s no index list of cell phone numbers that you can get. However, people were encouraged to put their cell phone numbers on there as well.”

It is hard to comprehend just how stupid the people who set this up must be.

I put my name on this list thinking (obviously not clearly enough) that our highly paid bureaucrats would have some logical plan in place to distribute the list of “no call” names to existing and legitimate call centres. But no – they put it out there on the internet, with no controls, for one and all to purchase.

Did it never occur to these idiots that someone other than the intended call centers – maybe even offshore operations that they have no control over – might find these lists of value to whatever schemes they might have in mind?

So much for the protection of personal privacy.

Just another lesson in life. Wherever and whenever, volunteer as little as possible about yourself to the fricking government.

I am enraged, disgusted and unfortunately resigned to the fact that some of my personal tax dollars are going to pay the salaries of these incompetents.

Lawsuit against God denied

October 17, 2008

I don’t know if the judge in question had a sense of humour or if he was playing it straight, but a lawsuit against God by a Nebraska Senator was thrown out because of lack of evidence that the defendant had ever been served. Apparently God’s address is unknown.

Judge Marlon Polk threw out Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers’ lawsuit against the Almighty, saying there was no evidence that the defendant had been served. What’s more, Polk found “there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant.”

Chambers had sued God in September 2007, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent God from committing acts of violence such as earthquakes and tornadoes.

The senator said today that he is considering an appeal of Polk’s ruling.

“It is a thoughtful, well-written opinion,” Chambers said. “However, like any prudent litigator, I want to study it in detail before I determine what my next course of action will be.”

Polk dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, which means it can’t be refiled. But his ruling can be appealed.

Funny, but also a bit weird and a total waste of the court’s time.

From the Left with hate

October 17, 2008

It is almost frightening the level of hate that comes from the Left when they see conservative values being supported. It is like a religious fervor where those who disbelieve must be exorcised. There is no debate or rational thought, just emotion and lots of venom.  Lots and lots of venom.

If you go down to the woods today…….

August 13, 2008

Is it just my imagination or is it getting more dangerous out in the woods – or even in the suburbs?

By dangerous I mean more attacks by big fanged animals that are normally supposed to run away and hide when they see homo superior come swaggering into the neighbourhood.

Here are a few of the recent stories:

‘Awestruck and in total panic’, Yukon man survives grizzly attack. (August 10, 2008.)

A man from Haines Junction, Yukon, is crediting a smart dog, a sturdy tree and a can of bear spray with saving him from a recent grizzly bear attack.

Bob Hayes said he came across the grizzly sow on Aug. 3, while running with his dog on a recreational trail just outside Haines Junction.

“When I saw her, she was already charging me,” Hayes told CBC News in an interview Friday afternoon.

“I saw this immense instant attack coming at me, and I kind of exclaimed something that … probably most people would exclaim,” he added with a chuckle.

Montana man shoots, kills home invading cougar. (August 9, 2008.)

A Townsend man said he had “a little excitement to start the morning” when a mountain lion launched itself through a closed window at his home and tore apart a room in his basement.

Scott Vine, a 45-year-old ranch worker, said the female adolescent cat set off an alarm on his property at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

“My dogs started raising hell,” said Vine, whose wife and two stepchildren, ages 14 and 20, were also home at the time. “I looked out the window and there was a lion.” Vine said he grabbed his rifle moments before the mountain lion crashed into his house.

“That window exploded,” he said. “All of the sudden I had glass, I had curtain, I had lion coming over my head.”

Vine retreated upstairs as the 60- to 70-pound feline made its way to the basement, where it knocked items from shelves and clawed at the walls. Vine and a friend who brought a shotgun and a rifle with him killed the animal about 20 minutes later.

Jogger attacked by grizzly in Anchorage park (August 9, 2008.)

For the second time in six weeks, an Anchorage resident has been mauled by a grizzly bear in Far North Bicentennial Park.

The woman, who has yet to be identified, was reported to be jogging along Campbell Creek around 6 p.m. Friday evening when she was attacked by a sow with two cubs. What is believed to be the same bear has been involved in a variety of aggressive confrontations with people since June.

Colorado hiker, shoots, kills mountain lion (August 7, 2008.)

A man shot and killed a mountain lion north of New Castle Tuesday night after the animal came too close to him and his wife, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the DOW, said the agency received a call about the shooting a little after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. It occurred on the Main Elk Road north of New Castle, he said.

The man and his wife were out for a walk in the area when the mountain lion came out of the brush and was in a “crouch position,” Hampton said. The couple’s names were not immediately available late Wednesday.

“(The mountain lion) began to approach them,” he said. “The husband was carrying a firearm, and he shot and killed the lion as it got really close.”

Alaska teen versus grizzly: “I got her good”. (August 5, 2008.)

Devon Rees could have played dead. Or run. Instead, he chose to fight the bear that lunged out of the woods near his home in Eagle River on Monday morning.

And, though he ended up with a harvest of cuts and bruises, he survived.

“I definitely earned my bragging rights boxing a bear,” said Rees, 18. “It got me a couple of times, and I got her a good couple of times. I wasn’t going to give the bear an easy target.”

B.C. woman mauled by black bear in suburban garden (August 7, 2008.)

Neighbours rushed to the rescue when they saw a black bear mauling a Coquitlam woman in her front garden yesterday.

“We basically came out of our driveway and we heard screams,” said neighbour Mike Cillo, a 56-year-old cab driver who was with his son Christian, 12.

“We saw the woman in her driveway and the bear was on top of her, chewing on her. I drove my van up and leaned on the horn to try to scare the bear, but he just grabbed her by the arm and dragged her toward the front entrance.

Second bear threatens Coquitlam home (August 7, 2008.)

Police shot and killed a huge black bear that had broken into a basement suite in Coquitlam, B.C., Thursday morning, RCMP said.

It was the second bear sighting in the suburban Vancouver community in the past two days. On Wednesday morning, officers killed another bear that had mauled a Coquitlam woman in her yard in the Westwood Plateau area.

Grizzly tangles with Yellowstone firefighter (August 12, 2008.)

A hotshot firefighter battling the 4,700-acre LeHardy fire in Yellowstone National Park was back to work Monday, only a day after being roughed up by a grizzly bear escaping the blaze.

Tony Allabastro, a member of the Lewis and Clark Forest Service hotshot crew based in Great Falls, reportedly saw the bear over his shoulder, coming from where his crew had been doing controlled burns, Sandy Hare, public information officer for the LeHardy fire, said Monday.

Before he had a chance to get his bear spray, the grizzly pounced on him and “roughed him up,” Hare said. The bear was “acting instinctually.”

Mountain lion in bedroom kills family dog (August 6, 2008.)

A mountain lion crept through an open door into a house outside Denver, snatched a Labrador retriever from a bedroom where two people were sleeping and left the dog’s dead body outside, wildlife managers said Tuesday.

No one else was hurt in the home about 14 miles southwest of Denver.

Wildlife officials later trapped the 130-pound male cat using the dog’s body as bait and fatally shot it.

Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said the cat entered the house through open French doors early Monday and fled with the Labrador after the owners woke up.

“The people got up and looked around and saw the mountain lion’s tail leaving the house,” Baskfield said.

This last one reminds me of stories I used to read of marauding leopards in Africa.

There are a lot more stories that could be posted.

Although I wouldn’t be able to prove it, it seems to me that these attacks are becoming more frequent. Whether or not this is actually the case, I wouldn’t go traipsing about in the bush without some kind of protection, whether it be pepper spray or a firearm.

The ultimate barbeque

August 3, 2008

You gotta look at Clayton Cramer’s blog to see the ultimate BBQ.

So much for the asterisk thing

July 19, 2008

Forget all of the pre-Open droning about how the winner of the tournament would have to live with the fact that his achievement would be somehow downgraded by the absence of Tiger Woods in the field. Instead, the golf has been compelling to watch and the eventual holder of the Claret Jug will be very proud that he stayed the course under brutal conditions. So far it has not been the matter of trying to beat the other golfers; it has been trying to beat the course and the conditions. Or at least hold your own.

The Thursday Rocco Mediate story went to the back burner, to be replaced by the Friday and Saturday Greg Norman story.

Here we have the 53 year old ex-superstar leading the event after 54 holes. This probably wouldn’t be the case if the winds were less than hurricane force and players could bomb their drives down the center of the fairways and lob wedges into the greens. Instead the drives get blown off course into the punitive rough and the putts are guess and by golly with the wind providing its own preferred direction.

Which can sometimes work to a golfer’s advantage with one of Norman’s birdie putts being destined to slide by the hole when a gust of wind sent it sharply right in the cup.

Norman’s 2 over par 72 was a great score under the punishing weather conditions which makes the par 70s shot by Simon Wakefield, Ben Curtis, Henrik Stenson and Davis Love phenomenal.

We can only wait and see what the course doles out on Sunday and whether Norman can hold it together for a 4th day.

In the meantime both Phil Mickleson and Colin Montgomery sucked it up to make the cut on Friday. John Daly crashed and burned with an 80 on Thursday to be followed by an 89 on Friday.

The most bizarre moment of the Open was at the pre-tournament interview with John Daly where he complained that Butch Harmon had ruined his life. I was surprised as I thought that John had accomplished that feat all on his own.

Regardless, the final round will be interesting especially if the high wind conditions continue. If Saturday is any guide the final outcome will be decided by who backs up the least rather than who shoots the lights out. But then it is golf and you never know.

An Olympic shooter and her hero

May 19, 2008

A very interesting and inspirational story.

Lien Chao arrived in Canada in 1984 with $35 in her pocket and a desperate hope for some kind of equality.

She’d risked everything for a passport out of China, leaving her 9-year-old daughter Avianna behind at first, as she became one of the first self-sponsored students from her country to arrive here. With help from the visiting professor whose readings mesmerized her, she got a scholarship to study Canadian literature at York University.

She was an outcast in China, a strong-minded woman who refused to conform. As the first on her block to get a divorce, leaving an abusive husband, her neighbours spat on her for not just biting her tongue. When she went to get her belongings, bricks rained down in an ambush in which she was also attacked with metal bars.

“I could really have been killed that day,” she said.

She’d been a brilliant student, smart enough to attend Wuhan No. 2 boys’ school, where she not only bested the boys on math tests and essays but in foot races. But her dreams were crushed by the Cultural Revolution. She was designated a “bourgeois flower” because her father was an engineer, and consigned to hard toil in the countryside.

“I really wanted to get out, I really wanted to have this opportunity,” Chao said of coming to Canada. “I would pay anything. If they want my blood, I would give them my blood.”

Flash forward a quarter-century – to the unthinkable. Lien Chao is going back to China this summer to watch her daughter Avianna, now 33, compete for Canada as an Olympic pistol shooter.

Avianna picked up a gun only seven years ago, following her boyfriend into the sport, and now she’s an Olympian.

As Lien Chao quickly points out, the storyline could never have unfolded in China, where athletes are selected in childhood and groomed on a daily basis to become champions.

“It’s amazing, a miracle if you say; it’s a wonderful miracle, but it could only happen in Canada,” said Lien Chao.

It’s not about justice

May 18, 2008

When you read a story like this, you never know if there is something about the case that you are not privy to. On the other hand, I been close to a few cases where I have become seriously cynical about the motives of the enforcement agencies and the crown prosecutors.

The lead-in:

When pilot and big-game guide David Haeg strayed outside the boundaries of a wolf control area near McGrath in 2004 to slaughter some wolves, there is little doubt he thought he was doing the right thing. Everyone involved with the wolf-killing program for which the state had permitted Haeg understood the objective was killing wolves to increase the survival chances for moose.

And even if Haeg and gunner Tony Zellers were technically outside the control area, they were still operating within the boundaries of state Game Management Unit 19D, and the state calls these things “Game Management Units” for a reason.

What were Haeg and Zellers doing anyway but helping to manage the game in Unit 19D?

Unfortunately the state didn’t see it that way. Under fire from animal activists upset about the aerial gunning of wolves, the state saw in Haeg a chance to demonstrate that you can’t just let wolf-control run wild, to spin an old phrase from former Gov. Wally Hickel.

Where it went out of control:

Where the issue turned ugly was in deciding what punishment fit the crime. This is the reason the case is still making its way through the Alaska court system.

The state wanted make an example of David Haeg. It was supposed to be pretty simple:

They’d bust him. They’d make a big show of it by playing the press like a trophy king salmon, something at which law enforcement officials in this state are good.

Wolves shot 20 to 30 miles outside the control area became wolves shot up to 80 miles outside the control area. Haeg was portrayed as a rogue, out-of-control aerial wolf hunter to make it appear the state was keeping a close watch on these hunts, which is the biggest fraud in all this.

Haeg was supposed to take the publicity hit, hire a fixer to negotiate a plea deal and then just wait for everything to fade away.

That’s the way these cases usually go down.

Whether the government decided that they could deflect the heat they were taking from the animal rights crowd by hammering a big-game guide, or the prosecutor on his own ramped up the case to look like an avenging hero, or whether the law enforcement agency felt the need to make a big score, it would appear as though Haeg was the patsy.

Of course what they did to him after he started to fight the charges seems to be par for the course with prosecutors everywhere. They made up a bunch more charges to intimidate him.

But then, we all might be if you consider what happened to Haeg after the plea agreement went bust.

The state used what Haeg said in a five-hour, plea-agreement interview to put together a bunch of new charges. They didn’t just go after him for violating the terms of the aerial wolf-control permit. They went after him for the crime of aerial hunting.

(Haeg makes an interesting argument that someone engaged in state-permitted wolf control isn’t “hunting” because the state, in permitting the aerial gunning, specifically says it isn’t hunting.)

The prosecutors saw it differently. To them, it looked like hunting, and they tried to tie it to the game management unit in which Haeg guides to make it appear he was doing wolf control to further his hunting business.

A trooper testified that Haeg killed the wolves in the game management unit where he has his hunting camps, but eventually recanted that testimony on cross-examination at Haeg’s trail.

Haeg’s case has been in the Alaska courts now for 4 years. Whatever his level of guilt it certainly doesn’t look as though anyone in the enforcement, political or legal encampments is concerned about justice. It looks more like winning at all costs and to hell with the damages that are inflicted.

John Stossel on gun control

May 18, 2008