Monday, February 28, 2005

Canada's False Heroes Part Three

Continuing our expose of Canada's False Heroes, we will again focus on Emily Murphy, a so-called champion of women's rights who now appears on the back of our fifty dollar bill. While her contributions to the rights of women are overrated, her righteous views regarding the rights of other groups are rather more significant and correspondingly underrated. While fighting for the right of women to be elected to the Senate, she at the same time spoke out and actively tried to limit the rights the individual has over their own body and behaviour. She is considered by many to be responsible for the current drug laws in Canada, and was an outspoken advocate of forced sterilization.

An early proponent of the nanny police state, Emily's favoured method of control was preventative. Her emphasis was on environmental and mental factors as the key to wrongdoing, and accordingly she advocated a 'healing' approach to punishment.

From Part Two, Chapter 14 of The Black Candle, an account of Emily's conviction of a childhood friend addicted to morphine:
"What would her mother have me do?" Yes, this was the question. There was only one answer. The sufferer must be freed from drug habituation and from the poignancy of her suffering. She must be placed in the Provincial Jail. It would have been better to send her to an institution for the cure of addicts, but we have no such hospitals in this Dominion, and no one seems to care whether we have or not. Indeed, there can be found persons in authority who will tell you there is not a dollar in Canada for this purpose.

They were bitter words the woman uttered when I imposed a term of months upon her, but these fell scatheless upon me, for I knew this severe and unrelenting treatment was, after all, only a demonstration of kindness, and maybe of love, for the victim herself. In dealing with such cases, the slack hand and the lenient rule must ever prove the cruel ones.
However, despite her more "humanistic and progressive" approach to crime, she advocated, among other types of punishment, whipping for drug users, which is hard to reconcile with her idea that alcoholism and drug abuse are generally psychiatric in nature. Surely physical abuse won't cure a "mental deficiency?"

But Emily has a special hatred of drug users, and so not all drug users were thus considered equal, or as Murphy puts it in Part one, Chapter 10 of her book The Black Candle, "mere clods of flesh".
It used to be that insane patients were put in jail too, or even burned at the stake in order to make them good, but we have acquired more enlightened ideas in these latter days. It may be that we will get a newer viewpoint on this matter of narcomania too.

Be it understood, however, that we refer only to certain of the addicts, who have acquired the habit innocently, and not to those ravening wolves who are apprehended for trafficking in opiates, and who have so much of the brute in their system they really ought to be walking on all fours.

An outspoken advocate of a Government drug monopoly, Murphy had little patience for 'illicit vendors'. Again from chapter 10 of The Black Candle:
All drugs used in Canada should be procured from the Government. What the Government does not prohibit, it must monopolize. There should be no profits on the products whatsoever.

If drugs were sold by the retailers on a system of triplicate order blanks, one of these going to the Federal Government, a complete check could be kept on sales, but, however managed, there should be a record on every grain from the time it leaves the importer till it reaches the ultimate consumer.

Illicit vendors in drugs should be handled sternly, whatever their status, and it would be well for the Government to consider whether or not these should be given the option of a fine. The profits from the traffic are so high that fines are not in any sense deterrent. Besides, these ruthless butchers of men and morals are entitled to no more delicate consideration than the white-slaver, the train-wrecker, housebreaker, or the perpetrator of any other head-long crime.

If, however, the fine stands, as under the present provisions of the Opium and Drugs Act, one-half of the fine should be given to the informant, not leaving this to the discretion of the magistrate. We are persuaded this would help enormously in suppressing the unbridled sale of narcotics. An assured moiety of the fines would not only prove a great incentive to the police, but would become what a secret agent has defined as "a part of the regular machinery of eliminations."
Part of the cure was of course compulsary 'public education' for the mindless sheep to prevent drug use in the first place. For convicted drug users, the sanitorium is the recommended treatment place. From Part Two, Chapter 28 of The Black Candle:
Dr. Harrington Sainsbury, of London, who has written a volume on the drug-habit from the psycho-therapeutic standpoint states that when owing to an insufficient will-power on the part of the patient, the personal appeal has failed, the only alternative is treatment in an asylum or sanatorium.

In discussing the matter he says, "The value of a sanatorium is great; the unaccustomed surroundings, the routine and regulated life, the officialism, above all, the personality of the superintendent in which everything centres-all these elements sum themselves up and yield a therapeutic momentum which we shall look for in vain outside the institution."

[. . . . .]

We have learned, concerning the institution for the healing of addicts-whether it be for their cure, follow-up treatment, or for both-that it must be conducted under the most rigid regulations, and that in dealing with addiction, this department of the Government, or municipality, should be vested with plenary police powers.

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The Red Ensign

The 16th Edition of the Red Ensign Standard has been raised by The Phantom Observer.

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The Liberal Menace

First Marc Emery throws his support behind the NDP in an attempt to legalize marijuana only to be threatened with a law suit shortly thereafter, because of a campaign picture produced by the B.C. Marijuana party of Happy Jack and a giant pot leaf.

Now we learn, via Neale News, that Marc-Boris St-Maurice, the former leader of the Marijuana party, is throwing his support behind the Liberal Party. It is no wonder Canadians are confused:
Canadians are confused about what the federal government means when it talks about the decriminalization of pot, a new poll shows. The poll of 1,000 Canadians was done by the polling firm SES for Tory MP Randy White.

The survey was done from Jan. 28-Feb. 2 and is accurate to plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

White said he was surprised by the confusion. "The government is doing a very poor job. If they are moving into decriminalization of marijuana, then they should spend hundreds of dollars on television, on radio and in newspapers, explaining this to Canadians," White said.

The survey asked: "The Canadian government has recently moved to decriminalize the personal possession of marijuana. Do you believe that decriminalization (a) makes possession legal, (b) leaves possession illegal, (c) unsure, (d) no answer.

"One out of every two, or 49% of Canadians believe that decriminalizing marijuana actually makes possession legal," SES president Nik Nanos said the poll indicates.

Of those surveyed, 41% said they believed decriminalization leaves possession illegal. With decriminalization, marijuana possession would be illegal but not a criminal offence, much like, for example, speeding.
If we want the government to butt out of people's private lives, joining the enemy is not the answer. In an earlier post, I briefly examined the Liberal's proposal and suggested the likely outcome will be regulation in the form of a taxable government monopoly over pot sales, and harsher penalties for growers. The statists should not be spending taxpayer money on 'public awareness' campaigns and 'treatment' programs - before we know it, weed will be sold with a mandatory warning label. Marijuana use is a personal choice and not something the government should be controlling at any level.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Nanny State Quote of the Week

Courtesy of The Agitator.

"It seems a pity that the world should throw away so many good things merely because they are unwholesome. I doubt if God has given us any refreshment which, taken in moderation, is unwholesome, except microbes. Yet there are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it."
—Mark Twain, in The Autobiography of Mark Twain
These days, they make us all pay the price for health — and health and power is all they get for it.

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Welcome to Canada where a labeling system will save your life

Now that the health fascists have a firm grip on the smokers, it is time to turn to the drinkers. It is just a matter of time before the WHO and UN swoop in with a set of international standards for alcohol control.

Yet another private members bill, put forth by Liberal Paul Szabo, which assumes the masses are unfit to understand the potential hazards of certain activities.

Of course, the CBC reports:
Canadian alcohol bottles may soon sport warning labels similar to those on cigarette packages, if a Liberal MP has his way.

Ontario Liberal MP Paul Szabo appeared before a parliamentary committee on Thursday to try to get them to back his private member's bill, Bill C-206.

Szabo has been working for 10 years to get the labels, which would warn about the possible effects of alcohol such as impaired ability to drive, health issues and possible birth defects in pregnant women.

"If we could help save one life or someone from misery for their full life, this bill is worth going forward with," said Szabo, whose bill has already passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

[. . . . ]

A man whose 12-year-old son was killed by an impaired driver was delighted by the idea.

"The idea is No. 1, it's fantastic," he said in French. "It should have been done a long time ago, it could have saved lives."
The presence of a warning label on a bottle of wine is going to prevent drunk driving, just like making a special point of quoting french speaking people is going to prevent bigotry? Fine then! We can mandate warning labels for all guns and eliminate murder by firearms once and for all! Let us attach a warning label to everything under the sun, complete with a list of instructions on how to lead your life according to government health and safety standards. To hell with the cost!
The beverage industry opposes the idea, however, complaining that it would cost $15 million to $20 million each year to implement the plan.
Which means the price of alcohol would go up, which means the government and its officials would stand to gain even more unlawful money to further entrench their crooked monopoly.

Hat tip: Back of Government

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More on Churchill

This site has some very detailed and well researched posts on Ward Churchill. Dr. David Yeagley, a professor dismissed from his post for speaking his mind, says the issue isn't about free speech, but rather fraud.

Free speech? What does the Ward Churchill issue have to do with free speech? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The man has free speech. It's people like the community in Nyack, who are denied the 75 year old tradition of their home community, who don't have free speech. Their high school Indian logo was removed, against the community will.

Making an issue out of free speech, for Ward Churchill, is an insult to very community in America who has been told what to do by some tryannical school superintendent.

Churchill should be fired because he is a liar and a fake. He'll still have his free speech. But, the people of Nyack don't have their Indian logo back on their school yet. Until that happens, I say, firing Churchill for what he has said would not be unfair.
and further..
Perhaps public universities should not be allowed to accept private funding. Or, perhaps the entire educational system of America should be privatized. Perhaps the government should have nothing to do with education, and then Churchill could have his well-paid "free speech" at a nice little Communist college.

The rest of the students in America could have their free speech too, and get a much more truthful education, not indoctrinated by career liars like Ward Churchill.
On the question of Churchill's Indian Status:
After the Unviersity of Hawaii speech Churchill gave earlier this week, the Honolulu Star quoted him as admitting he was not Indian. "Let's cut to the chase; I am not." But today, the Honolulu Star issued a "correction," saying that the paper had misquoted Churchill.

This is what Churchill said, on tape: "Is he an Indian? We really care. We're trying to protect the rights of Indians to divine for themselves, say this circle of flies in the form of white reporters circling a manure pile like it's of all consequential importance. Cut to the chase on that."

In other words, Churchill is trying to say the question of his Indianness is a non-issue. The Star correction further quotes, "Churchill went on to say that he is an associate member of the Keetoowah tribe and that associates are enrolled in the band after their genealogy has been vetted by the enrollment office. He said that he is less than one-quarter Indian, so he does not qualify to be a full member."

I spoke with Keetoah secretary Marilyn Craig, who said plainly Churchill is not a member, nor ever has been. He was given a honorary membership, along with some VIPs like Bill Clinton, in 1990. It was about Indians honoring a few whites, not about those whites being "Indian." These records were all destroyed in 1996, when the Chief John Ross decontinued the program. Such honorary memberships were all revoked.

Churchill is lying on this point, openly, loudly, and purposely.
Thanks to Dust my Broom for drawing attention to Dr. Yeagley's site.

Update: From Belmont Club, we learn that 200 faculty members have submitted a petition to a local newspaper demanding the investigation be dropped.
As well, the officals from the University of Colorado are considering rewarding Churchill with an early retirement package. And from a previous post, Wretchard stresses the importance of Churchill's actual status as an Indian in this debate:
.. allowing a person to adopt any race that he chooses makes a nonsense of racial preferences. There is an inner and inescapable logical contradiction between adopting a policy based on racial diversity and then making race, in turn, a dependent on some other variable. By transitivity, the policy based on 'racial diversity' would really be driven by this hidden variable, which is a function of 'consciousness'. In other words, 'racial diversity' becomes a dummy for ideological quotas. In plain English: "all your base are belong to us".

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Nannying at the global level

The anti-rights activists - better known as the UN and the World Health Organization - have moved the fight against tobacco to the global stage. They will be coming for your salt and chips next. I wonder if Bono, the champion of developing countries, put his two cents in?

The first international treaty aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths and illness came into effect Sunday, the World Health Organization said.

Fifty-seven countries, including Canada, have ratified the treaty, formally known as WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Member countries promise to crack down on advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products. The treaty also pushes for tougher tobacco labelling laws.

WHO says smoking is the world's second leading cause of preventable deaths. Hypertension is the first.

The UN body estimates nearly five million people die prematurely each year from tobacco-related diseases.

If current smoking trends are not reversed, WHO warns by 2020, tobacco will kill 10 million people, 70 per cent of them in developing countries.

WHO tobacco co-ordinator Douglas Bettcher says the treaty, if properly implemented, can curb the global tobacco epidemic.

The treaty contains provisions aimed at dissuading children from smoking and helping adults to kick the habit.

It recommends tax and price increases on tobacco products, a crackdown on smuggling and measures to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.
And here is the CBC's 'indepth' coverage on smoking. Be sure to check it out, assuming of course you haven't just eaten. It begins with this quote from the King James I, from 1604:
Smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembles the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.

James I
From which it follows that we weak-willed masses, us hopeless addicts, must be forced to act in our own best interests.

The CBC is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the ear, harmful to the brain, dangerous to truth and logic, and in the red, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembles the horrible Stygian babble of the nanny pit that is bottomless.

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A dangerous precedent?

There are more than a few troublesome aspects of this case, the most obvious of course being the propagation of hatred. However, it is also worth taking note that the internet server is named in this suit. No doubt some terrible sentiments were expressed on these websites, but did the authors actually 'harm' 'non-whites' and 'non-Christians' by their hateful comments, and are we not further endangering free speech if we extend culpability to owners of internet servers? Clearly, if members of these groups aggress against innocent people, they deserved to be punished, but rather than a 'hate crime' it is a crime against a person's basic right to non-interference and non-aggression, regardless of race, age, religion or sex. The presence of hateful words and people does not entail agreement nor 'cause' one to act wrongly. What matters is that a person who commits such crimes as the authors apparently encourage should be charged and tried accordingly.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission and Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman are pitted against Kulbashian, former Londoner James Scott Richardson, the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Team, Tri-City Skins and an Internet server, Affordable, that hosted two websites.

The two men are accused of contravening the Canadian Human Rights Act by exposing non-whites and non-Christians to hatred and contempt through messages over the Internet.

The two sites focused on the supremacy of the white race, made jokes about killing Jews, blacks, Muslims and Sikhs and in some cases, contained messages urging whites to get rid of other races, witnesses testified at the tribunal.

This is the first time the commission has gone after a Internet server and its owner, rather than just the sites.

The two men and their groups could pay up to $40,000 in fines and $30,000 in compensation to Warman if found in contravention of the act.

Kulbashian said yesterday no one has proven he was the author of most messages, that he was a member of TriCity Skins, that he controlled the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Site or that he had control over other sites on Affordable

He also pointed out the London Crown's office dropped hate-related charges against him and Richardson, without explanation, after a high-profile police investigation led by Wilson in 2002.

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

No jaywalking y'all

A clever entrepreneur:

A MADCAP student is embarking on an epic 18,000-mile journey across the United States to break the law in a "crime" spree worthy of Bonnie and Clyde.

Fortunately, his transgressions are not likely to land him in jail, because he will break only bizarre and arcane legislation, such as the prohibition against falling asleep in any cheese factory in South Dakota.

Richard Smith, 23, from Portreath in Cornwall, will also attempt to play cards with a Native American, which is against the law in Globe, Arizona.

He will flout the authorities by loudly declaiming "Oh Boy!" in Jonesborough, Georgia, and by driving round the town square in Oxford, Mississippi, more than 100 times on a single occasion.

Mr Smith’s other planned "illegal" exploits include playing golf in the streets of Albany, New York, and whale hunting in Salt Lake City, Utah - a state with no coastline.

"I got the idea when I was playing a board game with my neighbour in 2002," he said.

"The game featured laws which were ludicrous and I thought they would be enjoyable to break for real."

Mr Smith is in talks with a publisher about a book and he plans to document his experiences on broadcast-quality film, in case television companies show an interest. He said: "I’m excited about the trip and the prospect of a book."

Mr Smith intends to break 40 strange state and town laws as he crosses the United States, and fittingly he will begin his journey at Alcatraz, the former prison island off San Francisco.
Hat tip: Neale News

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Latest in the taxpayer-funded theatre of the absurd…

The Ontario Ministry of Health's new plan — Oscars for everyone! Except those dirty nasty writers…

A Canadian professor of medicine argues that actors who win Academy Awards on Sunday night won't only boost their chances of other box-office hits, but will likely live longer than their fellow nominees.

Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a professor at the University of Toronto, says his research shows that Oscar winners live nearly four years longer than other actors.


The study, funded by the Canadian Institute of Health and Ontario Ministry of Health, included all 762 actors and actresses ever nominated for an Academy Award in a leading or supporting role. For each nominee, researchers also identified an actor of the same gender and roughly the same age who appeared in the same film as the nominee.

On average, award winners lived to the age of 79.7, while non-winners lived to be 75.8.


The ongoing study, which was initially published four years ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine, also found that the effect of winning an Academy award is about the same for men and women, comedies and dramas, and leading and supporting role winners.

The only Oscar winners that don't get the benefit of longevity are screenwriters. In fact, the reverse is true. The tortured souls live on average 3.6 years fewer than those who don't win.

"We find a survival gain for the actors, the directors but we find a survival loss for the writers," said Redelmeier, who suggests that writers aren't coddled and are prone to bad habits, such as smoking and drinking. "Writers do not lead such exemplary lives. They don't have to eat properly, sleep properly or exercise at all so, as a consequence of that they don't receive any of the monitoring that other notable individuals do."
Courtesy of NealeNews.

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From Dependence to Bondage

Courtesy of Jason Hayes from Musings:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

Generally attributed to Professor Alexander Tyler. 1874
Hat tip: Dust my Broom

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The low level of debate and reason by Liberal cabinet ministers

"If he had his way, we wouldn't have multiculturalism and we wouldn't have anybody who didn't look like Stephen Harper or [think] like Stephen Harper," — Immigration Minister Joe Volpe

[From Japnaam Singh]
Read: Anyone who doesn't support official multiculturalism, or Liberal policies in general, is a bigoted racist.

Does anybody think that when Stephen Harper speaks, you are supposed to look and think like he does? As Lisa says, I do think I'm supposed to look and act like a Liberal when I hear Liberal cabinet ministers speak.

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The tides of freedom in America and Europe

London's own Salim Mansur explains that while George Bush is establishing a current of belief, thought and action for freedom for the populations of the world to ride on, the Europeans are doing their best to erect a dam (hat tip: Canada Free Press):

America is the first republican child of freedom in the modern world. And Americans, despite their failings, take seriously the responsibility of protecting freedom for themselves and, when called upon, in securing freedom for others.

Europe is burdened with its long history, and much of it has to do with tyranny. This meant appeasing fascism and accepting communism in the last century -- and, presently, a readiness to accommodate some Muslim extremists who preach the politics of violence against liberal values of the West.
Janet Daley of the Telegraph elaborates (hat tip to Gods of the Copybook Headings):
The enlightenment idealism of Europe was exported to the rebellious colonies and, in geographical isolation, it flourished. While Europeans themselves undermined their own great democratic project with their ancient hatreds and their aristocratic nostalgia, the naïve Americans kept the dream intact, building it into a written constitution (which was an 18th-century idea itself).

Europe has pretty much given up on the whole undertaking now: we tried it and it ended in the Terror. We went through our phase of proselytising democratic revolution with Bonaparte and look where that ended. Spreading freedom? All that amounts to is killing off one generation of autocrats and replacing them with another. Trust the people? They are just as likely to follow a fascist demagogue as to perpetuate the sacred principle of justice.

Better to make your cynical peace with the worst aspects of human nature than to pretend that free men will always choose good over evil. Much better to make a mutually profitable trade-off behind the scenes than to expose political decisions to the popular will. What evidence is there that the people actually know what is best for them? Most charitably, the European philosophy of government - shortly to be permanently installed under the EU constitution - is paternalistic. At worst, it is arrogant and authoritarian.


But it is too late now. Europe has had disillusionments too great to permit a return to that purist belief in the transforming power of democratic institutions. What was left standing in the ruins of the Bonapartist experiment was effectively demolished by the two world wars. The people - with nothing but the raw franchise - will never be allowed to run amok again. Europeans cannot be trusted to govern themselves. Their affairs will be administered by an EU oligarchy. And if they do not trust their own populations, European leaders are scarcely going to support handing out freedom to anarchic tribal societies that scarcely know what the right to vote is for.
Clear thinking… Read them both.

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Flour is a food 'additive' too

Pssssst - I will give you a $100 for a gram of salt!

A consumer group sued the federal government on Thursday, saying that salt is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that regulators have done too little to control salt in food.

Despite advisories to take it easy on sodium, Americans are now consuming about 4,000 milligrams a day -- nearly double the recommended limit to keep blood pressure under control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.

So the CSPI renewed a lawsuit first filed in 1983 to ask federal courts to force the Food and Drug Administration to declare sodium a food additive instead of categorizing it as "generally recognized as safe." This would give the agency the authority to set limits for salt in foods.
Salt is perfectly safe and indeed necessary for human survival. Just because a few people cannot control their urges it doesn't follow that we should all pay for the bad habits of others.
"The medical community has reached a consensus that diets high in sodium are a major cause of high blood pressure as well as pre-hypertension, or blood pressure just short of high blood pressure," said Dr. Stephen Havas of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
And eating lots of chocolate and fast food will make a person fat. Soon enough the feds will be breaking down your door for salt, chips, pop and cigarettes.
Dr. Claude Lenfant, president of the World Hypertension League and a former head of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute supported the report.

"If we could reduce the sodium in processed and restaurant foods by half, we could save about 150,000 lives per year," he said.
If we fired people like you, we would all be more secure from the tyranny of government agencies. Poor health is not a crime.

Hat tip: AZ Perspective and Junk.

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The mouse that squeaked

After declining to lend even token political support to the BMD,

Prime Minister Paul Martin is insisting the United States seek permission before firing any missiles over Canada.
More political posturing… Does he really think the Americans would wait for a Liberal leader, especially this Liberal leader, to make a decision that impacts the defense of their territory? It would take at least a couple of days to even get the poll results in! Paul Martin's protestations comes across as petulant and immaterial after effectively establishing Canada's insignificance as a defense partner and ally.

Update: Victor from Canada Free Press tears down Paul Martin's defenses:
The American proposal would have given us a say in such things as, oh I don’t know, firing defensive missiles over Canadian airspace. Kind of like what you are demanding now.

As part of the proposed deal, the Canadian military would have been in the loop. We would have been part of the decision-making process. We would have had a say, except, you turned down a Canadian role in a continental defensive system.

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"Piles of rubble, empty lots, blocks of concrete, steel and glass"

Oh boy! It's Ontario Heritage Week. The London Free Press clearly should be avoided this week, as it surely will be passing more heritage wind than usual:

"Downtown London has been gutted, like a fish filet -- meat on both sides, the guts out of the middle," said Robert Shipley, who teaches planning at the University of Waterloo and is a leading expert on Ontario's heritage stock.

Time and again, the city has seen heritage properties "demolished by neglect," said city heritage planner Christine Nelson.

"The easiest thing to do that's non-confrontational is to leave a building empty, turn off the lights and heat and pretty soon it's going to be unsafe and too expensive to repair," Nelson said.

"Property standards laws just aren't tough enough to force property owners to maintain their buildings at an appropriate level."
An appropriate level, to be determined and enforced by the ministers of heritage. And if the owner of a designated heritage builiding cannot afford the "appropriate" repairs, will the city seize the property if it is not maintained according to such necessarily arbitrary standards?
Shipley describes the recent demolition of St. Peter's Rectory, for example, as a continuation of the "vandalism" of heritage.

"Without having done the research, I'd say the destruction of historical buildings in London has, economically, been a bad idea."
It would have been a bad idea for St.Peters to repair the rectory, for the soundest economic reasons: long term safety and preservation. I suppose we should have forced the church to spend their funds as the heritage fascists would have liked, even if such extravagance would negatively impact their budget in the long run when the walls caved in. The ministers of heritage would have us all running up huge debts, much like the way the city, province and country is run, which is to say, irresponsibly. Before long the entire city will be reduced to relative rumble and as everyone will be bankrupt, there will be no more pockets to pick, which we can, after careful research, claim results from the vandalism of private property.

Why not apply this logic of force to the situation at Fanshawe Village, which has fallen to ruin, although they get free unearned money from the city. Maybe they should have been forced to manage their money properly or give up and get out of 'business'.

Perhaps they would have more money for repairs if the village's directors didn't spend $30,000 on a consultant to determine and shape the village's "mandate". Mismanagement will not be rectified by further seizures of public funds.

Despite the continual promises made by village leaders that they would raise more private revenue, they continue to rally for more city money, passing the buck to next year. The broken record continues to skip. Don Pearson, board chairperson of Fanshawe Pioneer Village attempts to justify the misuse of yet further public funds in an article written by Ian Gillespie:
Pearson agrees the historic village is in shabby shape and that after visiting, many people won't want to return.

"I'd be the first to admit it needs a facelift," says Pearson. "And I think the city's view is that if this is a leaky bucket, they might as well cut their losses and run."

In essence, Pearson says the village can't continue without more money. And he says the city's contribution forms the linchpin of the site's future, because without it, the village can't convince private and corporate donors to shell out.

"We're not playing some sort of brinkmanship," he says. "(But) if we don't have the city's (financial) support, there's no other sustainable, feasible, long-term operational model for the place.

"We have many willing donors who are ready and able to contribute toward a capital campaign," he adds. "But they're not prepared to do so unless they see that the municipality is committed."

Pearson rhymes off the numbers: Last year's budget was just under $700,000. He says about $26,000 was from a provincial museum grant; about $82,000 from fundraising; about $116,000 came from revenue; about $168,000 was derived from government groups such as the Trillium Foundation; and about $5,000 came from the municipality of Thames Centre and $290,000 from the City of London.

But he says that's not nearly enough.

Meanwhile, council has cut its funding by $75,000. Pearson says that would mean axing two of the village's six full-time positions.

He says the village needs more than $1 million to spruce up its 30 buildings. He adds the village needs even more money -- $2 million to $3 million more -- to pay for storage, maintenance and restoration of the artifacts.

Pearson says he's "puzzled" by comments from the mayor and several councillors that they're frustrated village officials haven't submitted a long-term business plan.

"Perhaps the city didn't accept the numbers," says Pearson.

I ask Pearson if he thinks the village is top-heavy with managers.

"I have a hard time understanding where that's coming from," he says, adding a team from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business concluded the village mainly needs a secure base of funding.

I ask Pearson if the village was justified in paying a consultant $30,000 to define its mandate. He says shaping a mandate isn't something that should be done by a curator or single staff member, and that the city paid for that study.

I tell Pearson one local historian told me dozens of valuable artifacts have disappeared from the village over the years -- and ended up in local antique shops.

"Some of these things, are they there anymore?" answers Pearson. "No. Did they disappear? The only significant loss I can recall is the Soper gun collection" that was stolen in the mid-1980s.

I ask Pearson if he thinks the village, which isn't served by local transit and is situated far from tourists toodling down Highway 401, is poorly located.

"That's a legitimate question," he says, but adds that moving the buildings would cost more than $100,000. He cautions that "decommissioning" the village will cost more than $2 million.

[ . . . . ]

"If the community doesn't find this entity to be worthy, then who are we trying to kid?" says Pearson. "But I think this is a case of where we won't know what we've got until it's gone."
Good riddance - I won't miss you and apparently most Londoners won't care either. I suppose they can always lobby the province. Sounds like Ontario Tourism and Recreation Minister Jim Bradley would be happy to help the village beg for money:
Asked about London's struggling Fanshawe Pioneer Village, Bradley said his ministry would like to hear from London if it could be of any assistance in marketing.

"No question about that, I think it is something worth preserving," he said.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Steyn stream

Small Dead Animals points out that Mark Steyn was on Washington Journal for an hour this morning; watch it here.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Special Olympics Part Two

A sweeping bow to Back Off Government:

Re: The Canadian solution to the NHL Problem

Prime Minister Martin today announced that the federal government will take over the National Hockey League and run it as a "sacred trust, just like health care." The announcement came as pressure mounted for the government to do something to end the current NHL shutdown.

"No Canadian should be deprived of NHL hockey during hockey season," Martin said. "We will take over the NHL and run it in the public interest, just like we run the government of Canada."

[. . . . ]

Martin declared the seating arrangements at NHL hockey rinks "unacceptable" as well. "We do not accept two-tier medicine in this country and we cannot accept multi-tier seating at hockey arenas. It's un-Canadian."

Martin explained that former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano will be put in charge of a program to flatten the seating arrangements in all NHL arenas. Asked how spectators in the back rows would be able to see the game, Martin said the government is devising a plan for rotating spectators from back seats to front seats between periods. "It is our intention, in the interests of fairness, to ensure that any inability to see the game is fully equalized among all spectators, Martin said. "It's the Canadian way."
Fact or fiction? Read the whole brilliant piece.

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Bridging the oft-bemoaned Canadian gap between radio and blogs, here's a talk radio sound collage I made for a half hour set this morning, cohosted by the Mapmaster himself.

Bias Incident - Episode 2 - I Will Do It All By Myself OK

It features Anne Marie, an algorithmic interpretation of Ken Dryden, and some special callers, cohosts, and visiting wave forms.

Topics include city government, the John Labatt Centre, and Federal Day Care.

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Canadians compete for defenseless status

Canada Free Press has a new blog, and it's a good one — much inveighing against the Liberals. For example, Victor Salus on Paul Martin's decision to revoke, or at least deny, Canadian participation in the U.S. missile defense plan:

So now the Grits have scored an easy point with the reflexively anti-American, not to mention gullible and short sighted, portion of the Canadian population. They will no doubt be rewarded at the polls. Maybe they’ll get their majority government. Bully for them.

Meanwhile, in the adult world, Bush and members of administration will smile and say nice sounding things in our direction. But make no mistake, Canada will pay a price for this. It won’t happen all at once. However slowly but surely, we will pay.
Considering that we were essentially asked to simply lend our political support to the project, this decision is daft, and one Paul Martin would love to have never had to make. But principles must always take a back seat to political gain, and no party is more adept at it than the Liberals. Too bad. It's hard to imagine a country more unwilling to even give the appearance of being ready to defend itself — on the other hand, Canadian voters haven't shown many signs of defending themselves against their own government's interference and taxation of their own persons. And don't go thinking that the extra funding for the military in the latest budget represents much more than a political gesture — Babbling Brooks points out that it's not all that it seems.

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Anne Marie is smiling

So you know something has gone very wrong.

Better roads, more development and maybe even cheaper child care one day are some of the things yesterday's federal budget will mean to Londoners, said Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco. After a budget DeCicco called "fantastic for municipalities," the city expects to get as much as $6.6 million in gas tax revenue -- double what it had counted on -- for 2005 and 2006.

"This is a reinvestment back into our city," DeCicco said. "We buy gas locally and now at least some of that money is coming back locally."

The money, London's portion of $5 billion Ottawa has promised cities over five years, will be used for public- works projects DeCicco said will help attract business and development to the city.

Council has already asked city staff to report on what projects should be tackled.

DeCicco said the city wants to invest in roads, transit, industrial parks and affordable housing.

The city could also benefit from another $300 million put into Ottawa's Green Municipal Project, she said.

London has used the environmental fund in the past for pilot projects at its landfill and would like to access some to rehabilitate "brownfields," vacant sites that must be cleaned up before they can be developed.

"The government has come to the table and it's a real deal," DeCicco said.
"Provided Canadians are willing to vote Liberal and wait five years, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale promises them a $400 annual tax saving for middle-class families, $13 billion more for the military, $5 billion to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, and $5 billion for a national child-care program."

We'll all get more while we get a tax break besides:
JOE CANADIAN will pad his pocket with an extra four pennies a day -- enough to spring for a $1.33 cup of coffee each month -- thanks to a modest Liberal tax break. The phased-in, ramped-up plan to boost the basic amount Canadians can earn tax-free will mean a total savings of about $336 over five years.
And we get entertainment too! What a bargain: "$688 million more over five years for culture and sport, including doubling amateur sport funding to $140 million a year" and yet more money for the government's favorite propaganda vehicle, the CBC.

Stalin would be proud.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Vice Squad, better known as the Canadian Liberals

The Oppressor Mac Harb, the Liberal senator who believes that voting should be mandatory for all Canadians is now rallying for legalized prostitution. This is in line with the Liberal quest to gain control over marijuana sales, which is also to be discussed at the upcoming Liberal convention. See how they entrench their monopolies, as they seek further control over our bodies.

Judy Sgro is a Liberal too.

From The Toronto Sun:
FEDERAL GRITS will be asked to support legalizing prostitution when they gather for their convention in Ottawa next week, Sun Media has learned. A resolution prepared by Young Liberals calls for the removal of the Criminal Code offence of communicating for the purposes of sex in return for money.


"The sex trade is a profession central to the subsistence of many Canadian citizens" and the fear of being charged drives hookers into "dangerous and harmful locations," the resolution reads.

If passed by Liberal delegates, it would urge the federal government to remove Section 213 of the Criminal Code, dealing with solicitation.

"It's a great idea," said Grit Senator Mac Harb, who has long supported decriminalizing the world's oldest profession and giving municipalities the power to license and regulate brothels in designated red-light districts.

"I think you will solve a problem that isn't going to go away," Harb said.

In 2003 there were nearly 6,000 prostitution-related charges filed in Canada.
Hat tip: Neale News

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"Proper procedures and orders were followed" — first and last words of bureaucrats and moral cowards

Whereas the Welfare State redistributes wealth and resources from society at large to concentrated beneficiaries, the Nanny State takes concentrated instances of stupidity and irresponsibility and redistributes the shame and consequences to society at large.
Jay Jardine
The stretch and sweep of the Welfare State is held in some abeyance by the able arguments against and demonstrations of its drawbacks by numerous thinkers (and bloggers) literate in the capitalist tradition, and by the natural desire of most people for personal wealth. But the Nanny State marches on in the background, without the same attention with the exception of a few like Jay Jardine. This is unfortunate because the erosion of the idea of individual responsibility by the restriction of individual choice in private matters creates the culture of neediness and helplessness that the Welfare Statists depend upon. The Nanny State succeeds where the Welfare State is hindered in part because 1) each and every restriction does not directly impinge upon the choices of each and every citizen; 2) each and every restriction does not directly impart financial costs to each and every citizen; and, 3) the restrictions are enacted not only by law but are all too frequently implemented in practice by bypassing the democratic legislative process through bureaucratic regulation and irresponsible lawsuits that make people afraid to act as they would ordinarily. The Nanny States advances in small incremental steps that succeed because of reasons 1 and 2 — these stories never capture the imagination of many more than the targeted 'sinners.'

So in England, a story of an obese but mentally able person who is forcibly detained for a month by the authorities under their powers to detain mentally ill people "who might harm themselves or others" because he continues to eat! (Hat tip to NealeNews.)

It doesn't take much imagination to see where that kind of thinking, and that kind of arbitrary and unchecked use of police power, could bring us. Can't stop smoking, or eating junk food, or drinking, or anything else the health and safety mandarins can't stand? Not to worry,
East Sussex County Council said “all proper procedures have been followed” — and such orders were “in the interests of that person’s health or safety or to protect other people”.
Those small incremental steps are always leading somewhere — and as Jay notes,
This is a post-reductio world - what seems absurd today will be tommorow's official party policy.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Why not give the Stanley Cup to the special olympics?

Even Adrienne Clarkson has something to say about the Stanley Cup. Once her reign as Governor General is over, she should consider running for mayor of London, Ontario. We have the JLC you know and The London Knights.

Instead of putting forth the idea that the women's league begin their own tradition, Clarkson advocates the appropriation of another's existing meaning and history. But then, rewards aren't earned in Canada.

Canadian Governor General Adrienne Clarkson doesn't think the Stanley Cup should be a casualty in the war between the NHL's owners and players.

Clarkson believes if the NHL isn't going to use the trophy this season, it should be freed from the league's clutches and contested in a showdown between the world's best women's hockey teams – the Canadian and U.S. national squads.

"I think the Stanley Cup is so important to Canadians. It's our game and the Stanley Cup symbolizes that," explained Clarkson Tuesday in an interview with CBC Newsworld.
Asides from the usual crap about promoting and rewarding women's hockey, albeit with a borrowed cup, Clarkson insists that all Canadians care about and would support the interference of public interests into private ones:
. . . earlier this year, Edmonton lawyer Roderick Payne challenged the NHL's monopoly on the Stanley Cup, claiming independent trustees, not the league, controlled the trophy.

Payne's interpretation was dismissed by Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant, who determined the NHL has control of the Stanley Cup.

Clarkson says she hasn't had any contact with the Cup's trustees about the possibility of a challenge cup outside the auspices of the NHL. She believes it's up to the public to decide what should happen next.

"[The Stanley Cup] is so beyond 'just a little trophy,'" Clarkson said, "we have to see what Canadians want to do with it."
Private rights be damned - the public speaks via the pampered mouth of our holy Governor General.

The most egalitarian approach would be to let us all compete for that cup, irrespective or race, sex, age, or economic position. As true Canadians, we will also want to change the rules a bit, for we wouldn't want the disadvantaged to miss out on the chance to secure the cup. We should also issue tax credits to the poor, so they can buy skates and a stick to compete.

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It's official! Bono's head grew so big it finally exploded

Yes, it is true, Bono is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Bloggers of the world unite!

The global web log community is being called into action to lend support to two imprisoned Iranian bloggers.

The month-old Committee to Protect Bloggers' is asking those with blogs to dedicate their sites on Tuesday to the "Free Mojtaba and Arash Day".

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both in prison in Iran.

Blogs are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions. Iranian authorities have been clamping down on prominent sites for some time.

. . .

A spokesman for Amnesty International said: "Just as the internet is a tool for freedom, so it is being used as an excuse for repression.

"Amnesty International has recorded a growing number of cases of people detained or imprisoned for disseminating their beliefs or information through the internet, in countries such as China, Syria, Vietnam, the Maldives, Cuba, Iran and Zimbabwe.

"It is also shocking to realise that in the communications age just expressing support for an internet activist is enough to land people in jail."

It is not just human rights issues in countries which have a track record of restricting what is published in the media that is of concern to bloggers.

The question of bloggers and what rights they have to say what they want on their sites is a thorny one and has received much press attention recently.
Better act on this just in case Tom, Anne Marie and the rest of city council pick up on this idea of jailing bloggers and there's no one left to speak out . . .

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Buried in paperwork

Council talks about the business of parking, and by the sounds of it, the babble will be going on for a good long time:

The reserved parking issue surfaced recently when developer Shmuel Farhi tried to lease space on a city-owned lot for tenants in one of his core buildings.

Although council didn't approve Farhi's request, staff were asked to prepare a report on options.

As well, staff were asked to draft a request for proposals for a parking facility at or near the city's Queens Avenue lot No. 5.

But, at the request of Coun. Joni Baechler, the request for proposals was referred back to committee last night so guidelines, such as the type of facility, could be developed.

Coun. David Winninger also asked that staff prepare a report on the effect of a new facility on parking spaces for the public.

"Why would we be competing with the private sector to create (reserved) parking for people in the private sector working in offices?" Winninger asked.

"We're just taking parking spaces away from the general public who want to shop downtown."

[. . . . ]

"We're talking about a major facility," Tranquilli said of the proposed garage.

"We have no money to build one, but we do own property in the downtown, so maybe we can do something with a private partner if there's a business case for it."

Council also approved a bylaw that allows city enforcement officers to issue tickets for parking infractions on private property as part of a pilot project.

[. . . .]

Although proposed as a pilot project for two private lots, staff are already considering expanding the program for any property owner. A report will go to the environment and transportation committee Monday.

The city is still hoping to create a new towing bylaw that will make it worthwhile for towing companies to seize cars parked illegally.

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Dalton Treats Himself, at our expense of course

Premier Dalton McGuinty flew from Toronto to Peterborough yesterday -- a 266-km round trip -- on a plane that is believed to cost at least $700 an hour. McGuinty said he didn't know the cost of the flight, but said he needed to get back to Queen's Park in a hurry for a "very important" meeting on the greenbelt.

[. . . . ]

"I think that if you take a close look at my activities and my patterns of expenditure, that I do as much as I can to restrain spending," McGuinty said when quizzed about the flight.
You do as much as you can to 'restrain' spending, but you don't inquire about the cost of things? Let's hope you manage your private funds better than the public's.

Let's not forget about the disgruntled farmers. Perhaps McGimpy was a wee bit scared:
McGuinty also ran into difficulty at the high school when protesting farmers showed up in their tractors seeking an audience.

Rob McCamus, who farms west of Peterborough, said they wanted to talk to the premier but he refused to stop. "He went right through there ... he never even waved," McCamus said.

A spokesman for McGuinty said the farmers blocked the premier's vehicle using their tractors.

"We don't respond to those kinds of tactics," said Chris Morley.
Hat tip: PolSpy

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Keeping the Natives on the Reserve…

Aboriginal leaders say the only way to improve the deplorable conditions on reserve is for the federal government to make radical changes in the way it delivers programs. — CBC
Dust my Broom notices that Aboriginal leaders make no mention of what they are going to do to improve those conditions.

No wonder… Conservative Life points out that London is home to the posh home of the Southern First Nations Secretariat. This is what taxpayers get to see for the $7 billion a year for helping out Native Canadians:

This is what the Native Canadians back home get to see:

Images source: Conservative Life

Native leaders in Canada have mastered the art of keeping their bread buttered with government funds. Just like the Palestinians, a constituency oppressed and impoverished by its own leadership is used as propaganda fodder to funnel a neverending flow of humanitarian funds from a well-meaning but misinformed taxpaying population into the leaders' own pockets. It is never going to be in the best interests of Aboriginal leaders to actually lift their constituents out of poverty — the easy money would dry up. And just like the Palestinians, the liberal media obliges by failing to ask hard questions of the leadership and by continuing to portray Native Canadians as innocent victims of the white man…

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I am tired of these people

The Heritage activists are at it AGAIN and as usual, they are receiving a disproportiante amount of press. I am surprised the poor aren't out there rallying against them.

Standing over a coffin and reading the names of demolished buildings in London, activists rallied yesterday to save heritage structures and Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The spirited rally, which included activists dressed like the Royal Scots First Regiment, the Grim Reaper and Col. Thomas Talbot, took aim at developers and politicians.

Dressed in pioneer-period clothing, Richard Crocker read the last will and testament of "heritage" in London.

Developers were bequeathed two nickels, one to show they can place a monetary value on anything and the other to show "the value of (their) souls," Crocker said, while offering politicians "a long memory and a conscience, two characteristics which you so lack."

[. . . .]

Only one member of council, Coun. Joni Baechler, was seen at yesterday's rally.

"That speaks volumes," said Doug Proudfoot, a member of the village board.
Yep, sure does - NOBODY CARES! except the London Free Press and a handful of lobbyists. If it weren't for "developers", the hertiage activists would be living what they seek to preserve, that is, in a crumbling down village, which is where we'll all be living if we don't stop giving stuff out for free.

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If it can't be stopped, make it taxable

The Government is rallying for a monopoly over pot sales. The oh so holy masters of our destinies will be discussing the legalization and taxation of marijuana sales, at the same time as they advocate tougher penalties for growers. Will a person who grows a few plants be charged with operating a 'grow-op'?

Delegates to the Liberal party convention next month will debate a motion to legalize and tax marijuana sales, bringing in billions in new tax revenue.

Parliament is already debating legislation to decriminalize marijuana, but a resolution by Alberta Liberals would go much further. It would tax the proceeds of legalized pot sales, which the resolution says would bring in $3 billion in revenue each year.

"Legalizing marijuana would be a serious blow to drug dealers and organized crime financially," says the resolution for the March 5-6 gathering.
The most serious blow to organized crime in this instance is to decriminalize marijuana and simply butt out. Considering that government grade weed is notoriously inferior, I doubt government attempts to secure a monopoly over marijuana sales is going to hurt the black market.

And for those that worry the government might be looking to make money from a 'dangerous' vice, have no fears, for the harbingers of justice resolve that:
"a portion of these tax revenues be used to educate youth against drug use and to provide treatment for those who are adversely affected by use of marijuana."
To be discussed at the same convention:
A motion from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia delegations on education is sure to raise the hackles of Quebec delegates - it urges the creation of national education standards in core curriculum areas.
Seems Emily Murphy's legacy lives on. From chapter 10, part one, of The Black Candle:
All drugs used in Canada should be procured from the Government. What the Government does not prohibit, it must monopolize. There should be no profits on the products whatsoever.

If drugs were sold by the retailers on a system of triplicate order blanks, one of these going to the Federal Government, a complete check could be kept on sales, but, however managed, there should be a record on every grain from the time it leaves the importer till it reaches the ultimate consumer.

Illicit vendors in drugs should be handled sternly, whatever their status, and it would be well for the Government to consider whether or not these should be given the option of a fine. The profits from the traffic are so high that fines are not in any sense deterrent. Besides, these ruthless butchers of men and morals are entitled to no more delicate consideration than the white-slaver, the train-wrecker, housebreaker, or the perpetrator of any other head-long crime.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

NDP policy based on sick grandmothers and leaky roofs

Babbling Brooks digs up a Jack Layton quote demonstrating the emotional yet rationally vacant arguments of the Left — this is why the NDP must never gain power:

I don't believe that now is the time to accelerate the paying down of our national debt. Paul Martin does. But, if we follow his plan, even according to their own numbers, that'll take $30 or $40 billion over the next ten years out of what we could otherwise spend on healthcare, education, environment, cities and a childcare program and so on. We think that paying down debt, you know it's interesting people say, 'should we have less debt?' well, it would be nice…let's suppose you're having a family discussion. You have a sick grandmother who needs some care, you've got a kid who wants to go to university and you're wondering about tuition and you've got a leaky roof. And, dad walks in and says, 'you know what we're not going to do any of those things because we're going to pay back the mortgage even faster than the bank says we have to because we just have to get rid of that mortgage, I'm fixed on it so we're not going to take care of any of those needs.'
Sick grandmothers and leaky roofs could fend for themselves with the $5 billion that every interest point on our $510 billion debt costs us. If the NDP ever got in power, every grandmother would be sick and every roof would leak.

This is why Canadians must be lied to

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Just wondering

Since the introduction of a world hitmap to The London Fog, it has come to our attention that we have at least one faithful reader from a remote northern region of Canada, perhaps Churchill Manitoba?

We're curious. Did our reader (or readers?) once live in London, or are they perhaps simply disgruntled fellow Canadians. Thanks for reading - we think . . .

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He spelled it "anastathist" on the application

Thanks GCH, original here:


John Enright

So you want a right to health care?
I'm glad to hear it, friend.
We've bundled up a bunch of laws
To help you meet that end.
A friendly little system, where,
No matter what your state,
We'll slice your paycheck, just because
It makes us feel so great.

And if you're feeling poorly, well,
We'll put you on the list
Of those who need a doctor bad...
And if you still exist
A year from now - why - what the hell
We'll let you see a nurse
Who'll tell you what it was you had
And why it's gotten worse.

We'd let you see a doc, except
We're kind of understaffed.
We told them what we'd pay them now
And most of them just laughed.
We threatened them, we begged, we wept,
And told them they must stay.
But strangely - we're not sure just how -
They all have slipped away.

Worry not! We'll fix you yet!
We're training new recruits.
Fellows much too bright to go on
Sweeping streets and shining boots.
They're doing great at school - you bet!
We're grading on the curve!
Brains they're slightly low on,
But we believe they'll SERVE!

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Figures - noone except the media cares

Yet another shameless example of misleading journalism courtesy of The London Free Press. It reminds me of a headline I saw a few years back, informing us that "Murderer Found not Guilty." Although a front page story in the paper copy, the article is curiously omitted from the online version.

I have ranted enough about Fanshawe Pioneer Village and its handful of advocates, but I just knew they were going to try this tactic, rather than getting off their asses to find alternate sources of funding. BUT I GUESS IT IS BECAUSE NOONE REALLY CARES. This pathetic cry for public funds in light of the news that the city has a 'surplus' just about sums it up:

"The least they can do is restore the $75,000 to Fanshawe Pioneer Village to keep it open. After spending so much on establishing it, why on Earth would be abandon it for $75, 000."
Put your own money where your mouth flaps - why on earth would we spend an additional $75,000 in addition to the $215,000 for operations the city has agreed to fork over for a decrepit relic NOONE CARES about. The line must be drawn somewhere people.

© 2005 The London Free Press

Of particular note in regards to the presentation of the Free Press story, of the mere 30 Londoners who bothered to write or email about the village, only about half of them were in support of coughing up more funds, although these letters were given disproportionate weight in that they were printed above the dissenters. In other words, the Free Press strongly suggests the desires of fifteen or so writers justify stealing $75,000 from already overtaxed Londoners. But I forget myself - did people really think such 'assets' come for free?

Update: A whopping 269!! people, and not all of them from London, have expended the effort to sign an online petition to Save Fanshawe Pioneer Village.
This is an investment in our city and in a growing attraction and educational and cultural resource that makes our city and our sense of self unique. Ten years of urgent requests for City operating support have brought us to this crucial stage in the survival of the 'living history museum'. The demise of Fanshawe Pioneer Village and subsequent disbursement of its fine collections would be the equivalent of cutting off an arm because of the loss of the direct connection of the heritage objects with their history.

This is the essence of a 'living history museum� but Fanshawe Pioneer Village engages the community in the ongoing lessons and values that make London what it is today and help shape our collective vision and understanding of what London might be in the future.

Aside from the incalculable value of preserving, making accessible and interpreting our own cultural heritage, the economic spin-off from all cultural attractions,(as surveyed and calculated in consultants' studies by the Canadian Museums Association and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries), is conservatively estimated at $4 to $5 for every dollar invested. Fanshawe Pioneer Village is ours to have and to hold. Once it is gone, we can't go out and buy our past again.

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A $930 million racket

A major arm of the state gets a major cash boost:

The CBC will get a multimillion-dollar boost when the federal budget is tabled Wednesday, CP has learned. The extra cash will be enough to restore local programs, notably regional newscasts, a senior government source said on condition of anonymity.

Local supper-hour newscasts were slashed in 2000 amid deep budget cuts. Staff were laid off across Canada and more than 200,000 viewers tuned out when hour-long regional evening newscasts were shortened.

Critics assailed the CBC's effort to replace the popular local newscasts with Canada Now, a Vancouver-based show that includes regional inserts.

CBC president Robert Rabinovitch recently outlined a plan to restore regional content. It calls for sustained funding that would gradually increase from $34.4 million in the first year to $61.2 million in the second, levelling off at $82.8 million by the third year.

[. . . . ]

About $930 million of the CBC's $1.3-billion annual budget comes from the federal government.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

A London Fog Exclusive: Canada's False Heroes

This is the second post in what I hope will be an ongoing expose of Canada's Greatest Heroes. The first post touched upon Tommy Douglas' views regarding homosexuality and Emily Murphy's beliefs about sterilization and the mentally deficient.

The London Fog's False Heroes series today focuses on Emily Murphy, a 'great' Canadian that I will be coming back to for the next little while, time permitting.

Emily Murphy (1868-1933) was recently honoured on the back of the new fifty dollar bill, along with the four other members of the "Famous Five". This great Canadian who now joins the ranks of the Queen, enshrined as she now is on our currency, was the first police magistrate in Canada, as well as a rather prominent author. Murphy and her fellow freedom fighters focused predominately on equal rights for women and children. In particular they fought for the right of women to be deemed full persons and thus eligible for appointment to the Senate. However, Murphy's own ambitions to be appointed to the Senate were never realized, nor is her contribution to woman's rights as significant as we are led to believe, at least not in terms of securing individual liberty against state tyranny. As another researcher into Murphy's career comments:
Today, approximately 30 women benefit from appointments in the Senate as a result of her efforts while thousands suffer because of her equally arduous pursuit of spreading her particular brand of racism.
She also seems to have had much to say about drug 'offenders' and forced sterilization. Although plenty has been written about Murphy, a little reported fact is her general intolerance and bigotry regarding not only drug users, but also non-whites, as she felt they were generally responsible for poverty and 'immoral' behaviour. Equal rights at the expense of other's rights; yet another example of the hyprocrisy of the so-called defenders of equal rights, and the moral bankrupcy of our politically chosen icons. Murphy's intolerant and arrogant views, if discussed at all, are generally dismissed as endemic of the time period.

I'll begin by focusing on her views concerning drug users, as she is considered by many to have played a crucial part in shaping Canada's dranconian drug laws. As drugs were at the time mostly imported and enjoyed by non-whites, like Mexicans and Chinese, her discussion about drugs will also help elucidate her views concerning other races.

An excerpt from Murphy's 1922 manifesto The Black Candle:
Charles A. Jones, the Chief of Police for the city, said in a recent letter that hashish, or Indian hemp, grows wild in Mexico but to raise this shrub in California constitutes a violation of the State Narcotic law. He says, "Persons using this narcotic, smoke the dried leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its influence, are immune to pain, and could be severely injured without having any realization of their condition. While in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility.

"When coming from under the influence of this narcotic, these victims present the most horrible condition imaginable. They are dispossessed of their natural and normal will power, and their mentality is that of idiots. If this drug is indulged in to any great extent, it ends in the untimely death of its addict."

Mr. Hamilton Fyfe in The Real Mexico, writing of this drug says of it, "They (the Mexicans) madden themselves with a drug called Marahuana. This has strange and terrible effects. It appears to make those who swallow it do whatever is uppermost in their thoughts. At El Paso, a peon came across the International Bridge firing a rifle at all and sundry. Much talk against the Americans and a dose of Marahuana had decided him to invade the United States by himself. The bridge-keeper quickly put a bullet into the poor wretch."

[. . . . .]

Dr. Warnock in The Journal of Mental Sciences for January, 1903, states that acute mania from hasheesh varies from "a mild, short attack of excitement to a prolonged attack of furious mania, ending in exhaustion or even death."

He describes the hasheesh user in the following words: "They are good-for-nothing lazy fellows who live by begging or stealing, and pester their relations for money to buy the hasheesh, often assaulting them when they refuse the demands. The moral degradation of these cases is their most salient symptom; loss of social position, shamelessness, addiction to lying and theft, and a loose, irregular life makes them a curse to their families."

It has been pointed out that there are three ways out from the regency of this addiction:

This is assuredly a direful trinity and one with which the public should be cognizant in order that they may be warned of the sharp danger that lies in even curiously tasting poisons which have been inhibited, or which are habit-forming.
Have no fear though if you are a 'law abiding' citizen:
Getting a warrant to search a place for a suspected câche of poisons is almost as difficult as getting a passport to Russia. Society holds up its hands in horror and talks of "violated rights" if a policeman appears at its door with an order for search, and calls him names, the scope of which can only be measured by their ability to pronounce the English language. It is absolutely astounding what a hullabaloo can be made by an otherwise perfectly gentle lady, who has been asked to open her trunk or pass over her keys.

A most causal consideration shows, however, that if a câche of deleterious drugs be found in a suspected house, the magistrate's order was justified; if not found, the householder has a very high joke on his side and all the satisfaction. He may know, too, that as a citizen he has "the proved pre-eminence of worth," or —well, that the police through some favorable revolution of the stars, walked right over the câche and never noticed it.

If a housewife has the corners of her cupboards clean, and last night's dishes washed, there is no great trouble in the letting police "look through" any more than prospective buyers or inspectors from the gas company.
Similarly, the modern equivalent of the polite and law abiding housewife won't mind if cameras are installed in every room in her home, for its a preventative measure you know, to ensure the greater safety of society. Property rights be damned.

More on Emily soon. For now, I leave you with these closing words from this early engineer of the nanny state.

It is good to live in these first days when the foundations of things are being laid, to be able, now and then, to place a stone or carry the mortar to set it good and true.

-Emily Murphy

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Pit bulls, fast food vending machines, tobacco advertisements and Highway 401 banned from competing for new McGuinty-Stanley Cup

The Government of Ontario was thinking of trying to take the Stanley Cup away from the NHL and awarding it in a Canada-wide challenge tournament, but after examining the facts, concluded it couldn't be done.

Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant admitted in an interview with the Toronto Star that he had lawyers explore the possibility repatriating "the Stanley Cup for all Canadians."

"This would have been one of those cases where justice would have been achieved and a lot of joy along with it," he said.
Bryant added that the introduction of the profit motive in hockey had made it impossible for underprivileged minorities to compete for the Cup, noting that "not once has a disabled person or a female won the Stanley Cup." In the interests of fairness, private companies would not be able to compete for the new McGuint-ley Cup, and teams would have to meet equity quotas.

Hat tip: PolSpy.

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The farce of the democratic process

Imagine all the money that could be saved if we dispensed with elections altogether. People don't vote in London anyway.

City councillors will be asked to complete a questionnaire before tomorrow's council meeting on possible changes to city council terms and the timing of municipal elections. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has asked Ontario municipalities to return the surveys by March 1.

Controllers are recommending the council term be lengthened to four years from three -- a change the board estimates would save about $750,000 during a 12-year cycle by holding one less election in that period.
We're supposed to believe controllers are motivated by saving money? That's a first in London. I have an idea! Why not cut off the lifeline for Fanshawe Pioneer Village, which costs about $687,000 a year to operate.

Update: Council fails to support the motion by controllers to extend the term to four years. The issue was originally raised in October by councillors Bernie MacDonald and Harold Usher.
They argued it would save money on election costs.

As well, they said three years isn't enough time to implement long-term strategies in the face of complicated budgets and issues after provincial downloading.
No, they need at least five years.

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Penguins have gay rights too

Polite bow to Angry in the Great White North.

A German zoo has abandoned a plan to break up gay penguin couples after protests from gay rights groups, reports Australia's The Age newspaper. The Bremerhaven Zoo in northern Germany had earlier flown in four female Humboldt penguins in an attempt to encourage three all-male couples to reproduce. The zoo originally defended the experiment on the grounds that the birds were an endangered species. But after protests from gay rights groups, director Heike Kueck said the zoo was abandoning the plan. "Everyone can live here as they please," Kueck told The Age.

She said it was not her intention, nor was it possible, to separate the gay couples by force and interest them in their new female companions. She added that the gay penguins had shown little interest in the females, but this could have been because the program was started too late in the year. Gay groups had protested against "the organized and forced harassment through female seductresses" in an open letter to Bremerhaven mayor Joerg Schulz and called on him to stop the program.
Jesus! They're penguins! "Everyone can live here as they please," but you will remain caged. Sound like Canada? The Zoo's motto: Encounters of a special kind.

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"Spending money on cleaning is one thing, but to spend money on analysing the cleaning seems excessive, anal and ridiculous."

Of course, its happening at Rideau Hall. Wonder how much the cleaning bill is?

Governor General Adrienne Clarkson's official residence has such a high standard of cleanliness the National Capital Commission spent $17,500 to ensure it's being met. Documents obtained by Sun Media under Access to Information show the NCC, which oversees all official residences, on at least one occasion paid a Toronto company specializing in evaluating custodial services to evaluate the cleaning staff at Rideau Hall.

The documents show Daniels Associates Inc. was hired in September 2003 to evaluate "preparation of detailed cleaning schedule for each cleaner broken down to each room" and to provide three days of "hands-on on-the-job training for NCC cleaning staff."

The evaluation took an estimated 10 days and included a recommendation of cleaning products and equipment, the documents show.

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Give us more: a familiar refrain from First Nations and Liberals alike

Not content with the share of revenue already enjoyed from gaming proceeds, First Nation leaders want more it seems. Although this article is scant in details, apparently the First Nation leaders want money from other gaming sites across the province. The government is opening up discussion with First Nation leaders and they are paying David Peterson $1000 a day.

Former Ontario premier David Peterson has been appointed to lead discussions with First Nations toward achieving a new agreement on sharing gaming revenues. First Nations already receive gaming proceeds from Casino Rama in Orillia, and have begun preliminary talks with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to share revenues from gaming sites across the province.

"It's important we work closely with Ontario's First Nations to build a stable source of funding for community, economic and cultural development, health and education," Finance Minister Greg Sorbara said in a statement.

"I believe that, as a former premier, a lawyer with extensive experience in corporate and commercial law, and a track record of leading complex government discussions, he brings to the table the right skills to get the job done."

The appointment pays $1,000 a day.

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Who is the real criminal here?

This makes me angry:

Leola Nicholas is a London grandmother on a disability pension. She has a number of life-threatening illnesses and relies on a motorized scooter.

She has eight children and nine grandchildren.

She also has a criminal record for growing pot.

"Madam, I have no idea why you would get into this kind of situation at this point in your life," Superior Court Justice Gordon Killeen told Nicholas, 60, as she pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Nicholas, who came to court on her scooter, said nothing.

She was given a one-year conditional sentence.

[. . . . ]

Nicholas's ongoing medical woes stalled the case for almost four years. Her lawyer, Craig McLean, said her court dates were adjourned because of a number of hospital admissions for kidney failure and stroke-like episodes.

Her family doctor of 30 years died and it took six months before she found a new physician, McLean said.

Nicholas's ailments include insulin-dependent diabetes, heart disease, asthma, bronchial disease and joint degeneration. She takes more than a dozen medications.

She can walk short distances with a cane, he said, but relies mostly on the scooter.

Nicholas had been on bail for four years without incident. Her criminal record dated back to 1998 for a property offence.

Killeen ordered Nicholas to spend the first six months confined to her home except for medical appointments and church and for an hour once a week for necessities. During the last six months, Nicholas must observe a 9 p.m. curfew.

She was also given a 10-year weapons prohibition.

Killeen warned her that if she finds herself before the courts again for the same kind of charges, she will be in "serious and deep trouble."
Did they find weapons in Ms. Nicholas' possession? There is no mention of this in the article. Just because a person grows marijuana, it does not mean they are a violent offender. We can thank the legislators for making marijuana a false crime and thus encouraging the black market, which is where the correlation between drugs and weapons comes from. And as for the curfew, how ridiculous - considering the state of Ms. Nicholas' health, I doubt she is going to be out past 9 bar hopping and whopping it up. Perhaps the worry is that she will go out on a shooting spree on her scooter? What next time, Mr. self righteous judge? Jail time for an old and sick woman for the possession of a plant? She didn't even 'steal' the hydro - she paid the same inflated rate the rest of us do here in Ontario.

The police should be out there fighting the real criminals, for example, those that violate the property rights of others.

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Tarding places

Eww. Courtesy PolSpy

A sociology or oppression studies grad student has found his home.

Funny, the government here does say people like me are "Un-Canadian". And I've had plenty of little CanSoc Spiro Agnews tell me to leave Canada all on their brave little own if I don't want to cheer as they give the proceeds of half a continent over to organized crime.

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And my income tax refund is a bonus, too…

The City of London has announced a "golly gee, we're even better than we thought" surplus of $12 million.

Looks like city council is learning from their federal Liberal counterparts. Even the general manager of the Chamber of Commerce gushes: "You've already made your budget decisions based on good, prudent use of tax dollars."

Uh oh … does the willful destruction of the economy by deficit spending stimulate the economy? There's enough people who would like to think so — the activists should start soon oozing out of the woodwork demanding more loot from the so-called surplus for continuing that willful destruction to "to fight poverty, boost education and improve child care." (Makes sense … run-down economies and ensuing despair makes it easier for populations to lie down for the people who want to control things — happened in Germany a few decades back.) Londoners have been voting for extravagant social welfare programs and colossal capital projects for many years, and now by virtue of thes irrevocable follies we are burdened with debt and without the freedom to dispose of the rewards of our labours. So in the light of the fact that we have an excessive municipal debt, to say that London has a surplus seems to mock my efforts to provide for myself — we'll have a surplus the day that we are out of debt (not in my lifetime!).

While it is dishonest accounting to the taxpayers to whom that money actually belongs, it would seem that Canadians need reminding of this fact. And it is a cynical political ploy to mislead those same gullible taxpayers that the government is doing a better job of managing the economy each year — "gosh, we're so good, we made more money than we ever could have expected to." But that's the idiocy of this country's electorate — they fall for that trick every year, and the same city council and the Liberals keep getting elected.

But with that in mind, the activism of the social advocacy groups and the idiocy of the country's electorate makes it almost necessary that they be lied to. Fortunately, also like the Liberals, council is going to use the money to pay down debt. If each year the government gave an honest accounting and reported that they anticipated a much larger surplus than they do now, do you think that Londoners would demand that the money be used to pay down the debt? No, they would clamour for the money to be spent on further programs — the same irresponsible practices that gave us this debt in the first place. And it has the unfortunate effect of outraging civil servants with their wage demands, unelected special interest lobby groups seeking a greater share of public funds, and the usual list of social and environmentalist activist suspects that the media loves to lend an ear to.

Whether we like it or not, Canadians collectively have massive public debts, the servicing of which costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year just in interest. Just about the only thing I could unequivocally countenance as a valid use of taxes is that we pay down and get rid of this debt — where there is debt there is a contractual responsibility to pay off or at least acknowledge the debt and make interest payments. While I do not feel personally responsible for the debt mess, it is there like it or not, and the contractual responsibility must rest with the only people who can be held responsible — the voters. However, voters like to ignore the fact that we have a debt, and it is a very underreported fact. Most of the time that the debt is acknowledged in the media, it is from the viewpoint of the NDP or the labour unions or social activists who regard it as inhuman to service or pay off the debt when there are poor people out there. That is the height of irresponsibility — I hope I owe an NDPer some money some day so I can use the same kind of argument!

One of the only valid uses of my tax money is to pay off the debt so we don't have to pay taxes again in the future. But that is precisely the one use of tax dollars that would not happen if our governments gave an honest accounting of revenues at budget time. I suspect some clever dicks in government know this as well, and have at least some recognition of the cost of the debt and the need to pay it off. So they resort to chicanery to pay it off.

In other words, in this perverse country it is necessary for a government to lie so that it can actually get down to something it is supposed to do. So if I consider the repayment of debt to be a prime moral responsibility of the government, then I am almost forced to support this pulling of the wool over my eyes. It is a terrible situation to be placed in, and it leads me into a position of supporting (on this issue) the only party in this country that is cynical enough to pull off this trick, the Liberals. That makes me a hypocrite — but then again it IS a perverse country.

Damn the Liberals for promoting this "have your cake and eat it too" mentality and being corrupt and cynical enough to manage it. But damn the Canadian voters for buying into this mentality and making dishonesty a necessary political tool!

I still think we ought to try out Gord Hume's sales tax thingy

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