Friday, December 21, 2007
Three days later, Paul Lane informed ADGA that he suffered from bipolar disorder, often known as manic depression. He was immediately fired.
An Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (yes, them, of all people) ruled in October of this year that Mr. Lane was improperly dismissed and awarded him $80,000 in damages. ADGA is appealing this decision in court and today on the CBC their lawyer, one Stephen Bird, explained why.
Apparently, when Mr. Lane informed ADGA of his condition, they immediately researched it. You might think, for a powerful government consulting corporation, that this meant they hired a doctor, or even spoke to Mr. Lane's own doctor. But no, according to Mr. Bird, ADGA researched bipolar disorder 'on the internet'. Well geez, that's the way to get reliable information on something as misunderstood as mental illness. After a quick Google, then, ADGA fires Mr. Lane.
Interestingly, a number of expert witnesses testified before the OHRT on Mr. Lane's behalf. Mr. Stephen Bird discounts their testimony because they didn't know Mr. Lane. Of course, Google knew Mr. Lane and the details of his condition, when ADGA based their decision to fire him on that 'research'. ADGA knew enough about Mr. Lane to hire him - the fact that he got there should count for something. And guess what? He's now doing that quality analyst's job somewhere else, apparently without difficulty.
Here's a thought. Suppose everyone at ADGA who has or has ever had a diagnosed mental illness stopped work after the holidays. Suppose everyone in Canada who was in that situation stopped working. Just where do you think that might leave the country, the economy and your daily life, Mr. Stephen Bird? Because guess what? You don't know who we're talking about. You don't know that the barista preparing your latte is bipolar. You don't know that the nurse giving you your flu shot is depressed. You don't know that the CEO of that major corporation you just bought stock in was in hospital for stress related reasons a while back.
What we do know, however, is that there is a high correlation between disorders such as bipolar disorder and individuals of high intelligence, creativity, talent and achievement. We do know that Mr. Stephen Bird and his ADGA cronies would have fired most of the world's great artists and composers, many of the great inventors and innovators.
What ADGA did will deter anyone from ever being honest about their illness. What ADGA has done sets back the cause of the mentally ill in this country by years. What ADGA has done is ignorant, stupid, pathetic and harmful. And Mr. Stephen Bird's ignorance and stupidity will only encourage other ignorant and stupid people.
Recently we've seen a whole lot of abuse of the Human Rights Tribunals of this country. But here is a case that is precisely the kind of case they were created to address and here is a case where we are all better off because they were there. Mr. Stephen Bird should stop Googling and start learning, and the Human Rights Tribunals should stop rolling over so Richard Warman can rub their bellies and get back to fighting the injustice and ignorance that really does need correcting.
Friday, December 14, 2007
The Association is 'outraged' that disciplinary action might be taken against the reporter(s) and is urging the CBC to drop the investigation.
“This charge is baffling and we want it dropped. It appears as though the reporter was merely doing his or her job - what CBC journalists do every day in this country, bearing witness to the evil that is the fascist Stephen Harper regime, as it happens, or indeed As It Happens,” said a CAJ official.
The CBC says the reporter did not write any undercover questions or cross journalistic lines as he invented the Liberal questions. He agreed to a request to step further away from the incident - by not actually typing the questions - but refused to stop feeding the Liberals, according to the CBC.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
In other news:
- RCMP Killer Death Squad: Did Harper Give The Order?
- Getting to Know The Real Taser Victim: What Toothpaste Did He Use?
- Taser Victim Once Sat On My Couch: Anonymous
- Why Taser Throwing RCMP Death Squad Killers Must Be Shut Down
- Why Grenade Throwing Bomb Making Teenage Terrorists Must Be Set Free
- In Brief: 10,000 dead in Bangladesh
Saturday, November 17, 2007
However, today I realized I've been gone too long, when my 3 1/2 year old daughter was pretending to be a rocket ship. She was orbiting my wife (a planet) and my wife asked her if Daddy was a moon. The response was "No, Daddy's the Big Dipper."
Big Dipper?? If my own daughter thinks I'm any kind of Dipper, I've been gone way too long.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Some time ago, Dion had adopted 'Iggy' as his deputy. However, despite training and an attempted neutering, Iggy did not get along with Degenerate's other pet, Kyoto. "He kept chasing Kyoto around the house, shouting 'We didn't get it done,'" said a source close to Dion.
Dion had then re-homed Iggy in a quieter home away from the limelight and TV cameras. However when the rescue agency, run by a Mr. Coderre and a Mr. Rodriguez, heard that Iggy had been re-homed without their consent, they immediately swung into action. Iggy was grabbed from the background and placed in another location closer to the TV cameras.
"You can see how much happier Iggy is; he's smirking again," said a friend of the Hez and Bollah animal rescue operation.
Dion continues to issue tearful pleas for the return of Iggy to the background home he had chosen for Iggy, however most observers say that this is likely a lost cause, and are urging Dion to move on as quickly and as far away from the Liberal leadership as possible.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Still, at least we still have that warm, fuzzy Dalton McGuinty who's all about the family. Isn't it good to know he places such an emphasis on the family? Dalton loves your family.
Unless you have an autistic child.
Or you are tearing the social fabric of Ontario by bringing your child up in your own faith.
Or you're a family without a family doctor.
Or you're a low-income family whose finances are breaking under the strain of the Dalton Health Tax.
Or your family is supported by one of those manufacturing jobs that's about to walk out of the province.
Or your disabled family member is being evicted from Rideau Regional Centre.
... Thank God he's all about the family. Because can you imagine Ontario if he wasn't?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
- Dalton McGuinty knew ahead of the last election that there was a $4.5bn deficit and he signed the pledge not to raise taxes in that full knowledge. He lied to you. Do you want to reward that?
- Dalton McGuinty has been missing in action on native occupations and blockades in Caledonia, Deseronto and other places. Dalton McGuinty believes in a two-tier justice system. Do you really want to support that?
- Dalton McGuinty promised to fix our healthcare system, and yet thousands of us still can't get a family doctor. Some of us are counted as having one, even though it's nearly a 100km drive to the doctor. Do you have a family doctor? Do you think it's OK to have to take your young children 100km each way to see the doctor? Dalton does.
- Dalton McGuinty turned down an offer from an organization that would have cut waiting times for several medical procedures at no extra cost to the province and entirely under OHIP. Dalton McGuinty puts his personal dislike of private enterprise ahead of the health needs of Ontarians. Do you? Or do you just want someone who's sick to get the treatment they need?
- Dalton McGuinty turned his back and walked away from a dying man who's not getting the help he needs, thanks to Dalton. Do you want to reward cowardice and deceit?
- Dalton McGuinty has capped class sizes in the lower grades at 20. He's not telling you that he did that by increasing class sizes in other grades up to levels around 35 or 40. There are more split grades and more portable classrooms than ever before.
- Dalton McGuinty bought labour peace with teachers: he paid their salary demands without question; he lowered their working hours; he removed re-testing and certification requirements and he cancelled any teacher evaluation process. Do you want an education system that's run by giving a union a blank cheque under the pretence it's about students? Or do you believe teachers should be subject to the same evaluation as you are in your job?
- Dalton McGuinty raised a whole lot of fake outrage about funding faith based schools, when at one time he was in favour of it himself. Do you want to support someone who campaigned on fear, bigotry and racism?
- Dalton McGuinty is gradually working to take away small freedoms in Ontario, through ever increasing regulation and petty lawmaking such as pesticide bans. Bit by bit he is extending government control over your life. Do you value your freedom, or do you want Dalton telling you how to live your life in ever more areas?
- Dalton McGuinty treats your money as his own, Ontario as his own, you as his own. Do you want to reward lying, deceit, cowardice, fearmongering?
Think long and hard before you vote and ask yourself if your vote has really been earned by this sorry record.
Monday, October 08, 2007
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
For God's sake, or for any sake you believe in, let's try and vote for someone honest and true to themselves this election, rather than someone impotent.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
In the time that I've been blogging and in turn reading many other people's excellent blogs, something has been nagging at me. In a nutshell, it's this: I would consider myself to be a fairly liberal and tolerant individual, and far from being a 'social conservative' in the North American sense of that phrase. However, on issue after issue, I have found myself more in agreement with the so-cons than with the liberals, and in particular I have been deeply uncomfortable with the tone of virtually all debates involving matters of morals, ethics, religion and personal freedom in which I have been involved.
These thoughts have been crystallized of late by the faith-based school funding debate. I am on record as being opposed to Mr. Tory's plan, and yet, time and again I have been drawn to its defence, or at least to the defence of those who have been mercilessly attacked by the McGuinty campaign machine around this issue.
What I think has been revealed in this election campaign is something very deep within our society and that is the level of discomfort that still exists in Ontario for anything 'different'. Supposedly, we are a multicultural society, in which all members are treated equally and fairly without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, colour, ethnicity, birthplace, sexuality, etc., etc. Such a society is, of course, utopian. Human nature being what it is, there will always be conflict between different groups, different faiths, people of different cultures, and people from nations with historic emnities. In practice, therefore, there are essentially two ways in which one can build a peaceful, multicultural society: either people are assimilated into a common group, with common values and beliefs, thus removing the sources of conflict, or people are allowed to remain true to their own identities while learning true respect for those of different backgrounds.
And here we come to the problem. I incline to the latter view. I would like to think that I can exist peacefully alongside anyone of any background and any belief system, respecting them and avoiding conflict as far as possible. And if I can, then so can most other people. This doesn't mean I compromise my values or my beliefs; on the contrary, strong values are the great strength of a society built on this model. But I am a true liberal in the sense that I respect other people's right to hold different values, practice different faiths, to be different. Rather than hide differences, we hold them out in the open where they can be discussed, debated, and dealt with.
This is the model of multiculturalism that I always thought was supposed to be the Canadian model. However, what this latest election campaign has shown me is that in fact, it's not. The multicultural model which has taken hold in this country is actually not multiculturalism at all, but simple socialism. In this model, difference is not something to be celebrated, but to be feared. We must minimize our differences, and sweep them under the rug. We must appear to be tolerant, liberal, progressive and open-minded, but all the time we must marginalize those who differ too much from our comfortable middle ground.
In this Ontario, it's OK to be different, but not too different. You can be Catholic, but not too Catholic, like actually letting your faith guide your daily decision making. You can be a rural leader, standing up for the rights of a whole class of Ontarians neglected by their government, but you can't be too obviously rural. Step over that line, defined by the ruling class, and you're mocked, spat upon, and effectively run out of town. The examples are endless.
There are two major problems with this approach. One is that the very fabric of government and society is built upon lies. Day after day, socialist politicians, of which McGuinty is but a archetypal example, stage events to show how tolerant they are; they appear with different folks of different colours, of different faiths... McGuinty hands over $1m to a cricket club, for example, as if he actually knows square leg from silly mid off. But it's all a flimsy, thin veneer. The Leader doesn't actually know anything about the people, and respects them still less. It's a carefully controlled display of difference - but not too much difference.
The real differences are minimized and buried under the surface, where they fester. Instead of being out in the open to be addressed, they are suppressed and caged, to emerge in gangland violence, terrorism, school bullying, discrimination on the job, and a million other ways every single day. Socialism cannot in the end allow differences to exist; they must be controlled in this way in order for politicians of Mr. McGuinty's ilk to build the socialist society and economy they wish to see.
I believe there are very many Ontarians, however, who are like me. Who really would like to see our differences being celebrated and not hidden. Who really are capable of treating everyone with respect and listening to alternative points of view. Who see openness and discussion not as racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other -isms or -phobias, but as the means by which those things can be reduced and even eliminated. I believe John Tory is one of the rarest of those people in that he is both a true man of such integrity and a politician.
For me, this is the saddest thing I have learned in the last two months. That the country I have chosen to make my home is not really what I thought it was. That those who should be leading the fight for equality, freedom, justice, peace and respect for all Canadians are in fact doing the opposite.
This is why I have instinctively sided with so-cons on so many issues - not because I necessarily agree with them but because they, along with everyone else, deserve to be heard and deserve equal respect. I cannot stomach a ruling elite that uses mockery, fearmongering, spin and carefully controlled TV appearances to run away from the hard debates.
With four more years of Ontario Liberal rule, we will see more and more of the socialist stripes of McGuinty. There will be less and less tolerance for difference. There will be more and more control over our daily lives and the tiny details of our existence. The socialist grip will tighten and freedom will be eroded. I only hope that one day enough eyes will be opened to what is happening that enough people, from enough different backgrounds will say 'enough is enough.' and the socialists can finally be stopped.
For now, however, I expect that Wednesday will simply be a very very sad day for Ontario and for Canada.
Friday, October 05, 2007
In a further shock to a Toronto school system still grappling with two homicides during the past five months, eight boys aged 12 and 13 face sexual assault charges after four girls told of being molested on the grounds of an Etobicoke middle school.
The assaults allegedly occurred after a basketball game at Smithfield Middle School in the city's northwest corner last Tuesday afternoon. [Globe and Mail]
Murder, sexual assault, lousy academics, split grades, portables, and the teaching unions holding you and your kids by a sensitive part of the anatomy. Come on, Ontario. Get with the Liberal program here. McGuinty will not be happy until everyone is dragged down to the lowest common denominator. How dare you want better?
A round up of education related reading; pass it on to anyone you know who might be voting primarily on the education issue and ask them to think hard about facts, put spin aside, and make a sensible choice for real educational improvements, not platitudes and union appeasement.
Sandy at The Crux Of The Matter: McGuinty Vision For Schools An Illusion
Dan Gardner / Ottawa Citizen: The Negroes At The Back Of The Bus
Joanne's Journey: Value For Education Tax Dollars?
National Post: Editorial: John Tory for Ontario Premier
Ontario Teachers: Owners of $106bn, or Most of The Known Universe (See also Rick Mercer on the altruism of our teachers)
TorStar: Those Improving Standards In Full
Add your own in the comments.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Another former PM, Paul Martin, was surprised to discover that Jean Chretien had a heart. However a spokesman for Mr. Martin said that information leaked from the hospital confirmed that the heart was at least two sizes too small.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
The illusion was carefully constructed in the 1960s, when so many of its peers also came into the world. It is predeceased by many, though perhaps not enough of the liberal politicians who created it. It leaves behind a large vacuum and some serious questions.
Although created by liberals, the illusion had in recent years become increasingly estranged from them. Despite the best efforts of media and spin doctors, the illusion suffered increasingly from the divergence of words and actions. In particular, its religious tolerance had become exposed as being merely approval of one religious viewpoint - secular humanism - over all others.
Liberals like Christians, Jews and Muslims as long as they know their place and stay in their own neighborhoods and schools, and the masses don't have to pay for them or see them.
The illusion of a tolerant society is grieved by all right-thinking, honest and decent people, but will not be missed by Liberals or liberals for whom it was becoming difficult to bear.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Suggestions / recommendations welcome.
Given that the mansion is worth many millions of dollars and the 'gift' in question was only $500 let's hope it really wasn't a bribe, because $500 would just be mean. I wonder if they tip well in restaurants?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Interestingly, he still doesn't go far enough for the union barons of OPSEU, who issued this press release a while ago calling for the abolition of the LCBO Agency Stores program, set up to provide access to alcoholic beverages in small and rural communities that previously had no such access.
Reading the press release with its anachronistic tone reminded me of the trade union excesses of 1980s Britain:
And the more I watch provincial politics and provincial public services, the more clear it becomes that the real problem facing all of them, health, education or anything else, is that the unions are running them and McGuinty is their best friend. There can be no real improvement in public services when the unions are in the position of deciding what can change and what can't. McGuinty prizes peace and mythical 'consensus' above all else; he lets native thugs run Caledonia and he lets his friends at workingfamilies.ca run Ontario in return for their generous support of the Liberal Party. As McGuinty runs Ontario's public institutions, they are no longer there to serve the people who need them, but to serve the people who work in them.
To overcome this will take far more than a provincial election; it's a massive shift in mindset that will need to take root in the population at large, and it likely won't happen until the unions overreach themselves. But McGuinty might want to take a look at the former 'old' Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, to see what happens when those cosy union buddies start squeezing more out of government than the economy can bear. With another four years of McGuinty tax and spend we might well get to that point.
In the meantime, to those thinking of voting other than PC over the faith based schools issue, I say this: I understand that issue being a big concern for people. But is it really, truly worth another four years of McGuinty? Is it?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Particularly in North America, Michael Jackson deserves much of the credit for the renaissance of beer and brewing that took place in the 80s and 90s, for the growth of craft and microbreweries and the establishments in which to sample their products. So if you're drinking a decent beer now, you owe him.
On September 30, there will be a National Toast for Michael Jackson across North America, with proceeds going to the National Parkinsons Foundation. So if you have a friendly local pub, why not grab a poster (link to follow) and get them to collect some donations that night.
You can learn more at http://michaeljacksonthebeerhunter.blogspot.com/, and find the poster for the National Toast there too. If you've never read any of Michael's work, his last column is posted at http://www.allaboutbeer.com/ as an example of why you should.
So, this Ontario election campaign is shaping up to be about 'education', is it? Not so fast. Because, while there's lots of hot air around the faith-based funding issue, and still more around the 'broken funding formula', while there is talk of class size, special needs students, etc., etc., nobody is actually talking about education.
Education (at least the school component of it) mostly comprises what happens in the classroom between a teacher and his or her students. It is the process of teaching and the process of learning. Education is the imparting of knowledge and skills to the student by the teacher. It is, essentially, where a teacher does his or her job and it is the work of the system about which so many words are being spoken in this election campaign.
With this being clearly the raison d'etre of the system, and in the end, the only thing that really matters, you might expect an 'education' campaign to be about what happens in the classrooms of Ontario. But none of the politicians actually want to talk about that. They're all happy to talk about money, and who gets how much. They love to talk about the latest educational theories coming from university academics, and they (some more than others) love their warm and fuzzy photo ops with schoolchildren as props. But you won't hear them talk about what actually happens in the classroom.
The outcome of those years in the classroom appears differently to the political classes and the rest of us, as well. If you're Dalton McGuinty, for example, you're thrilled because test scores are up. If you're someone who has to hire highschool graduates from time to time, you've probably had occasion to differ with that rosy assessment. Take Doggerelle's experience, for example, when one of her employees presented her with a sales breakdown that added up to 113% and was stunned when Doggerelle told her it must be incorrect. "How do you know?" asked the young lady, who was by then a business student at Algonquin College. That's just one memorable example, but it's entirely representative of the output of the Ontario education system.
All test scores are normalized; that scores are 'up' is meaningless. We're never shown data on how the level of the tests themselves has changed over the years, and we're never shown the normalization applied to the results. Whether students can read fluently, write clearly, use a spell-checker and do basic arithmetic, on the other hand, can't be faked.
I have a textbook from 1920 at home, picked up in an antique store. It's from Canada, and it's aimed at Grade 8. There isn't a highschool in Ontario today that teaches math at the level in this book, even in Grade 12. It's at this point that McGuinty would trot out the international comparison; we're doing well compared to the US, etc. Well who isn't? All western education systems have embraced the same freewheeling experimental meddling of theorists, all are dumbed-down, all are universally awful. That we are less awful than some other unrelated system is not cause for celebration.
So why don't we talk about this? Why isn't this part of the campaign? There are two main reasons. One is that the people doing the debating are themselves the product of the steadily declining spiral of educational attainment. They don't expect any better, because the system is what made them. The main reason, however, is that to do so would be to tackle the real power-broker in public education: the teaching unions. The unions are all-powerful. It is they who have created a system that bleeds dollars away from education itself to ever increasing wage demands. They created and maintain a system that is self-evaluating and free of the lens of accountability. They have successfully beaten off any attempt to force outside inspection or evaluation, teacher testing or recertification. They run the show, and nobody has the political guts to do anything about it.
One notable exception in this area is Britain's Tony Blair. Early after he came to power, he did tackle education. He had a landslide election victory and with it the political capital to do so. His own Labour education minister was booed at teaching conferences, by the unions that were Labour's friends. But Blair stuck to his guns and schools have, by all accounts, improved dramatically as a result. He kept the Thatcher era reforms (grant-maintained schools, etc.) in place and used them to help fix the classroom.
So we can huff and puff about funding formula, about one school board or two. But unless anyone has the guts to shine a light on the actual classroom work and begin to demand better, I'm not sure how much it really matters.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Premier Dalton McGuinty today distanced himself from one his key education advisers who suggested Catholic school funding could eventually be eliminated. Education guru Michael Fullan said on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning that the issue of publicly bankrolling any faith-based schools would have to be addressed.“I think eventually that's an issue that should be confronted,” Fullan, who once advised former British prime minister Tony Blair on public education, told CBC’s Andy Barrie.
In an interview on CFRA last week, Minister-of-Invented-Portfolios Jim Watson also clearly differentiated between funding what was 'constitutionally required' and discretionary funding of faith-based education. Funding of Catholic schools beyond Grade 8 is discretionary and in the same category as other faith-based schools, according to Watson. Listening to the end of the interview leaves little doubt that Catholics should be aware that their education system is now under threat from a McGuinty government.
CROSBY, Ont. — Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion says his party lost the by-election in Outremont to the New Democrats on Monday because voters were sending a message to the Conservative government to pull out of Afghanistan.You can't make this stuff up...
Methinks the polling companies have been getting the results they went looking for, as in this famous excerpt from Yes Minister.
Monday, September 17, 2007
...and the toxic worst is always a possibility - that those who are different and unseen will be perceived as different and dangerous.Yep. Different and dangerous is exactly how Warren and the gang are painting anyone of faith right now. Toxic indeed.
You know what I love about Ontario's Public Schools? They're public. And expensive. Very, very expensive. Whatever the race or creed of our kids, they attend the same schools. Unless they're Catholic, in which case they don't. Together. They learn, play, laugh and sing, together. Sometimes they get shot, together. They do drugs. Together. They graduate highschool unable to spell or do basic math. Together. Unless they're Catholic.
I believe that taking half a billion much needed dollars from the teaching unions to give to evil religious schools is a mistake. Unless it's to Catholic schools. Our public schools are what makes Ontario, Ontario. And our Catholic schools are what make Ontario, Ontario too. I'm asking you to join me in standing up for a completely inconsistent position on public schools. Because we're all in
Friday, September 14, 2007
Yes, he meant winter 2006/07.
Meanwhile Warren Kinsella thinks that a developer who's been victimised by the native thugs shouldn't complain to Warren's precious baby Premier, because the victim happens to be a Tory. Yep, if you're a Liberal, maybe you could come looking for help from your Premier with things like, for example, the rule of law - or at least not being beaten senseless with a 2 by 4. But no, if you didn't vote for Dalton you've no business complaining. Natives trashing your development site? If you're a Tory, suck it up and keep quiet. Love Warren.
How about we don't keep quiet? The MSM is still making strenuous efforts to ignore Caledonia, or at least avoid treating it as a political story. We need to make sure this gets into the campaign at every opportunity, because it really shows the Liberals' true colours.
Hmmm... let's look at the wildlife symbolism.
Conservative: Small dead vermin.
Liberal: Small live snapping turtles.
So the Conservative symbolism here is about getting tough on parasites and vermin - perhaps a tough on law-and-order agenda, or keeping government out of places it doesn't belong.
But unlike those mean Tories, the Liberals are all about cuteness. All until you get too close, like, for example, electing them. Get too close to those snappers and you'll lose an arm or a leg, even if you're trying to help them out. Suddenly the symbolism does make sense after all.
... all maintained by always giving everyone exactly what they want:
Now that's leadership. Line up in front of Mr. McGuinty, please, ordinary hard-working Ontarians, and prepare to get shafted.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Given the pain and suffering endured by the former students and members of the cult-like Community of Jesus, I do hope that provincial politicians of all stripes are able to keep their ambulance-chasing, pit-bull banning, no-gunning noses out of this situation and not drag it into the faith-based schools political debate.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
This should not come as a surprise. As I just wrote, I'm not in favour of the proposal to fund these schools myself, but that doesn't mean that the disgraceful and ugly politics the left is playing with it shouldn't be challenged.
Let's look at the McGuinty playbook, and consider the spin and substance:
No diversion of public education funds to special interest groups:
'Diversion'?? Excuse me, but the parents of the 53,000 students we're talking about are already paying for the public education they're not using. Don't insult them by suggesting that they're not entitled to that public education, that by sending their kids to a publicly funded school they would be somehow infringing on anyone else's education or getting something they're not entitled to. They've paid the money already, so how can it be 'diversion'?
The "They'll all teach Intolerance" defence:
The challenge when someone comes out with this crock should be to point to examples where well-run, respected faith-based schools have actually created social problems. If McGuinty doesn't think a faith-based school can teach tolerance and produce a decent citizen, what the hell is he doing as Premier after going through a Catholic education? What evidence is there that the 53,000 students currently in other faith-based schools are out there wreaking bigoted, racist havoc? None whatsoever. On the contrary, it would seem that McGuinty's beloved Toronto public school system has more to answer for.
This is a classic example of the left indulging in Freudian Projection. The left hates and fears Jews and Christians (and to a much lesser extent Muslims), but of course they like to feel themselves all warm, fuzzy and tolerant. So they take their nasty, prejudiced, bigoted views about people of faith and they project them onto the other side.
"If we let them have faith-based schools, they'll be intolerant," say the chattering classes and the media, without for a second appreciating how intolerant that is.
Let's All Laugh at a Christian today:
The media coverage on this story (admittedly aided by the creationism faux pas) has almost all been about Christianity. Gazillions of column inches about how terrible it might be to have creationism show its face in religion classes, but no complaints from the liberal media about the potential teaching of jihad or Sharia law in the schools in question. As we saw with Stockwell Day, and as the media tried to do with Stephen Harper, it's an almost instantaneous leap from talking about a real issue to just mocking, laughing and ridiculing Christians. And that mocking and ridicule is the fuel of the Liberal election campaign, make no mistake about it. That's what Kinsella and his troops are doing, that's what they're fostering and that's what will win them the election, if anything does.
It's Nothing to do with Education:
Following from the last point, the debate has largely left the actualities of education in the dust and is now just about sowing division, fear and prejudice. McGuinty might use the E-word but the spin of his campaign is about religion and race. Education gave the Liberals the hook but they're no longer really talking about education; they're too busy pitting people of different faiths and backgrounds against one another. It's subtle, clever, deliberate, cynical and utterly shameful. But it works.
I have a lot of thoughts on this whole subject, not least because we're on the verge of choosing schooling options for my daughter and thus becoming part of Ontario's education system for the first time. There's too much to say for one post, so I will be dealing with education in three separate posts:
1. The faith-based school funding idea itself.
2. The political fallout, spin and nastiness arising.
3. The discussion we should really be having about education.
I am not in favour of the proposal itself, not because of any trumped-up objections about multi-culturalism, etc. but because on a practical level it is an unmanageable can of worms. The question of what constitutes a faith-based school, or indeed a faith, is going to be impossible to define.
One of the reasons that the current system has been able to function for so long is that 'Catholic' is relatively easy to define. Had 'Catholic' meant any one of 10,000 faiths, churches, cults, sects, groups, associations, etc. the two-board system would have crumbled acrimoniously apart by now. This has not happened, but there is clearly a strong, perhaps ultimately irresistible movement to end the anomaly of publicly funded Catholic education.
With the current two-board system therefore resembling a building on a somewhat shaky foundation, it seems to me the worst thing that could be done at this time is to add some extra storeys.
If the John Tory plan were implemented, where would secular private schools be? You'd have one set of parents suddenly relieved of school fees based on their belief system, while another set of parents would continue to pay. Many parents (myself included) might choose their local private Christian school not for religious reasons, but simply to get a decent education not available in the public system. Why should they get help because their chosen school has a religious foundation, while another set of parents has to continue to pay? Is a non-religious private school arguably a humanist-secular faith-based school?
I think that there are two questions to be dealt with independently. One is what to do about publicly funded Catholic education - and nobody wants to touch that one.
The second question should not be about faith-based schools per se but about what can be done to help parents who for any reason choose any alternative to publicly funded education.
To that end, I believe the tax-credit approach proposed by the last Ontario government would have been a much better one. Parents choosing private schooling or home-schooling are paying twice for their children's education. The tax credit recognized this and offered them relief on a portion of their second cost. I think this respected parents, while minimizing the financial and practical impact on the public education system. It also did not discriminate on faith or any other basis.
A tax-credit, voucher or other assistance scheme proposal would focus debate where it should be: on the quality of education available, on what works and doesn't work within the public system, on why parents might choose something different, on education and not religion and race. Team McGuinty would have had a much harder time with that one. However, more on the politics of it all later.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Well, Janice, although I was not among those who wrote - why argue with a brick wall - it's not that those folks don't know you're a human being. It's that they know exactly what kind of human being you are.
Ms. Kennedy laments the ease with which email, blogs and discussion forums allow people to spill anger - she should know, because years ago, long before blogs, when I wrote to her about a column of hers she shot straight back with a racist slur. You're reaping what you sowed for so many years Janice. Get over it.
Friday, September 07, 2007
His brilliantly argued reasoning? Stockwell Day calls Mr. Elliott "Bill".
This got the corgis thinking. Surely it can't be healthy for a federal MP and a provincial premier to share a surname. That's unhealthily close, isn't it? If you agree, why not hop on over to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/mcguintyname and add your name to a call for the lesser McGuinty (ain't that saying something) to change his last name to 'Moron'.
Enright defended the decision and said that it was required by Bill C-31, the rework of election regulations passed not so long ago in Parliament. In essence a standard "I don't make the rules" defence. However, he then went on to say that anyone showing up to vote wearing a mask would "clearly be making light of the situation" and therefore would be turned away and denied a vote.
Now, I thought that in a democracy such as ours, we extended the right to vote to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or motivations. That someone takes an election 'lightly' - for example, supporters of the Monster Raving Loony Party in Britain, or it's poor relation the Rhino Party, is not a valid reason to take away their democratic rights. But John Enright says otherwise. He has set himself up as the arbiter of 'taking it lightly'.
So in one breath Mr. Enright says that Elections Canada doesn't make the rules, and in the next he sets himself up to judge who may vote based on his perceptions of whether they are taking the situation lightly.
If you feel that Mr. Enright might want to drop the God complex for a while and let every Canadian be treated equally, give him a call at 1-800-463-6868, and let him know how you feel.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I was aware of some of these stories via another route, about which I will say nothing, but I do urge readers to familiarize themselves with the Globe stories:
Dark past behind school's demise
Apology for 'hurt and pain' at private school
Born into abusive grip of a cult
Anglican bishop rejects ex-student's plea to investigate abuse claims
That something like this could be going on right here in Eastern Ontario, in recent years, completely escaping media scrutiny and the attention of law enforcement or child protection services is almost unbelievable. This is not the dark ages when some of the powers-that-be thought it was a good idea to drag native children from their parents and incarcerate them; this is only a few years ago, when the lessons of residential schools had already been well learned.
It's time for the staff and members of the cult Community of Jesus to face their own 'light session' now - let the spotlight of national media fall on them and illuminate them, hopefully long enough for law enforcement, or at least lawyers, to find them before they scuttle, cockroach-like, for shelter.
The shining of this light will doubtless be aided by the revelation today that Ottawa mayor Larry O Brien served on the board of GCC. (h/t Bourque) If nothing else motivates the press, that ought to do it.
Liberals and fascists. Strange indeed.
Why only Muslims? Why can't anyone now vote with their face covered?
Ain't multi-culturalism and the elimination of discrimination grand?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The less time a new mother stays off the job, the more likely her child's motor and social development will be impaired, University of British Columbia researchers concluded.In other news, Dr. Sherlock is expected to release further studies soon:
The analysis of federal survey data underlines the importance of government-funded maternity leaves, but does not mean mothers should avoid work outside the home, says Dr. Rebecca Sherlock, the neonatology specialist at the BC Children's and Women's Health Centre who spearheaded the research.
"Driving while drunk may increase the risk of killing people, but this does not mean that people should not drive while drunk."
"Eating poisonous plants may lead to premature death, but this does not mean that people should not eat poisonous plants."
How nice to be able to make a living as a columnist when you can only write three things:
- Stephen Harper is evil.
- Canadian Wimmin are downtrodden and oppressed (see 1.)
- Screw the Afghans, let them rot under the Taliban (see 1. and 2.)
Seriously, just pick any two themes, repeat for about 25 column inches and you've got a Janice Kennedy column. And if you can get in something about how great the 60s were and how you wet your panties for Pierre Trudeau, so much the better.
Meanwhile Canadian 'the only good soldier is a dead one whose relatives I can fuck' Cynic has gone running to the police (now, that surely has to be a first - someone of CC's ilk actually liking a police officer!) because some other blogger might 'out' his real identity too.
TDPC researchers have worked tirelessly for 12 seconds and can now post this photograph of the real Cynic:
Whether it's because of the different educational calendar in Britain, or the fact that the weather there is pretty much the same year round, there really isn't that same change in the pace of life. Clubs, associations, churches, workplaces, all keep going at the same pace year round. Only schools shut down for the briefer 6 to 8 week vacation.
So, Labour Day has come and gone, and time to pick up the pace again. Back to school, back to a new season of committee meetings, church activities, even work. More importantly, back to blogging. There's been a lot going on in the blogosphere of late, it seems. I'm looking forward to catching up.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
We at TDPC are horrifed and dismayed by these events. Not horrified that the SQ had officers in the crowd; it seems to only make sense that when a large crowd is expected to gather at an event and it can reasonably be expected that some of that crowd will start throwing missiles at police, having undercover officers in the crowd only makes sense. No, we're horrified at the complete ineptitude displayed on the now infamous YouTube video.
Watching that clip, could it be any more obvious? Even without the boots, the body language and the way the cops float uneasily around the crowd makes it clear who they are.
So, a word of friendly advice: if you're a would-be 'john' in Montreal, watch out for a burly streetwalker, about 6'1", 230 lbs, wearing police issue steel toed boots under her miniskirt. Chances are it's an SQ undercover officer.
Woman and toddler robbed in alley
Today, August 24, 2007, 3 hours ago
A robber escapes with a pushchair, watch and mobile phone after threatening a woman and child.
Man in court for 1996 girl rape
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 7:41:10 AM
A man from Northampton appears in court charged with the 1996 rape of a 17-year-old girl in Leeds.
Woman threatened in armed robbery
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 6:07:18 AM
A man armed with a knife threatens a shop worker in a robbery at a Northamptonshire store.
Robbery police seek phone user
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 4:46:52 AM
Police appeal to the man who answered a seriously injured robbery victim's mobile phone to come forward.
For Immediate Release
THE DOGGEREL PARTY ADMITS INFILTRATING PROTEST MEETING
The Doggerel Party of Canada is today confirming that two of its operatives infiltrated a protest meeting at the Hershey plant in Smiths Falls.
Photographs of the two operatives have been published on the Internet that appear to show that they are not members of the crowd, but are in fact corgis.
However, TDPC emphatically denies that its operatives were at the protest to cause violence. Rather, they were there to keep an eye on the crowd and look for any signs of dropped food or petting.
The young man seemed anxious that Mayor O'Brien be 'educated' about the issues of the GLBTQueer community. When asked to identify specific issues, he struggled a little, but eventually came up with the idea of turning Bank Street into a gay village (like it's not already). At this point he also said something else that struck me as truly bizarre.
I'm paraphrasing, but his point was that when planning something such as the new LRT system in Ottawa, council and the Mayor need to consult with all groups, and especially groups such as his, to make sure their needs are addressed.
Can anyone explain to me exactly how the GLBTQueer community rides transit in a way that is different from the rest of us? What 'needs'? Perhaps we should have one rainbow car on each O-Train. Why stop there? Why not a Conservative car, a Liberal car, and a Green car (we could equip that one with pedals.)
The religion of group rights in Canada is a cancer at the heart of our society that will eventually kill individual freedom. If you don't belong to some special-interest community you'd better start looking for one, because if you don't, pretty soon there'll be nothing left for you in this country.
Monday, August 20, 2007
This weekend I was at a local event where the Ontario Liberal candidate for Leeds-Grenville, Lori Bryden was also present. I didn't get to speak to Ms. Bryden, so she escaped questions about the health-tax that has yielded no improvement in rural healthcare, the slush fund for liberal friendly groups or the sudden and miraculous appearance of a $2 billion surplus just prior to the election (isn't that what the health-tax raises??)
Anyway, realising I didn't know anything about Ms. Bryden, I naturally turned to Google. You'd expect a candidate's official website, or the party site, to come out top - certainly I'm sure that's what Ms. Bryden would want to happen. Sadly, however, the top link concerns a dispute between Ms. Bryden and her husband Rick and Tarion, Ontario's provider of new home warranties.
Reading the decision at the link in question, it seems that the Brydens are in some dispute with the builder of their new Westport home; obviously the ins and outs are their business, but the decision does reveal that the Brydens had paid the builder only $75,000 for $100,000 of work and yet were still claiming some form of loss. This is an example of Liberal math at its finest, and is a definite sign that Ms. Bryden should have a place in cabinet if McShifty and his crew do retain power come October.
Even so, someone at Lib HQ might want to fix the Google situation.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The mother has suggested moving the railroad tracks out of the neighborhood:
Piche said access to the tracks should be permanently blocked or, better yet, the tracks should be moved out of the residential neighbourhood.
Elsewhere in the article, however, we find some further insight into what may be responsible for this accident:
People in the neighbourhood said children are constantly trying to hop trains, and both adults and children use a hole in a fence to cross the CN Rail tracks.
While the fence was repaired Thursday, city worker Ted Gillman said he expected that by Friday morning, someone will have cut the wires.
CN Rail says there is a proper crossing 500 metres away and anyone caught trespassing could be fined.
However, notwithstanding what may seem to be the irresponsible practice of locals cutting their way through fences onto train tracks, let's look at the suggestion of moving the tracks away from a residential neighborhood. No doubt this would make things a lot safer. But why stop there?
Wouldn't the 401 be a lot safer, with far fewer accidents, if we moved it to the Yukon? There'd be much less likelihood of a mid-air or near miss, if we moved Heathrow airport to Iceland. And for goodness sakes, why did they build Windsor Castle so close to the airport in the first place?
Submit your own suggestions for safety relocations in the comments.
Friday, August 17, 2007
So while Benny is slaying demons this weekend, why not stay home and play Benny Hinn: The Video Game?
Will those who complain so vocally that Stephen Harper is 'authoritarian' be similarly
Thursday, August 16, 2007
A 2006 community profile prepared for the department of Indian and Northern Affairs by the community's tribal council, South East Resource Development Corp., lists the demographics of life in Pauingassi:
- 98 per cent of adults are alcoholics. That includes 99 per cent of the community's residential school survivors.
- 80 per cent of youth up to age 18 are solvent abuse addicts. There are youth suicides.
Half of the kids under age 18 are child welfare wards, the result of parental neglect and abuse related to alcoholism. Dozens live off reserve in group homes in Winnipeg.
- 20 per cent of all youth under age 20 are suspected of suffering from varying degrees of fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Kids as young as 13 and under have sexually transmitted diseases and there are high rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, promiscuity, family break-ups and sexual practices euphemistically described as "deviant" by residents.
- $100 will buy a bottle of bootleg whisky on this dry reserve.
Deaths from violence and drinking, despair, poverty and isolation go back 30 years. One woman disappeared 15 years ago; her body was never found.
- This year, two girls aged 13 and 15 were charged in May with the beating death of a 22-year-old woman.
- One 15-year-old youth and two adults were charged in the death of Jeremy Crow, who died last year after being hit in the head with an axe.
- In 1999, the band went into receivership. One former chief was convicted of fraud.
Agence France-Presseh/t: Doggerelle.
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2007
LONDON - A British company is offering to provide stab-proof school uniforms, lined with the same material used by soldiers, to parents worried about knife crime among youngsters.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sharper still readers will note that while Agent Smith was duplicated, MacKay has on occasion been accused of being duplicitous, after not honouring an agreement with David Orchard on merging the former Progressive Conservative Party with the Canadian Alliance.
Sharpest readers will not need photographic evidence to realise the resemblance of David Orchard and his followers to a gang of blithering idiots.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Plaintiff : Reality
Defendant: University of Toronto
STATEMENT OF COMPLAINT
2. Reality alleges that the relationship has now suffered irreparable breakdown. The University has begun to behave erratically in recent months with bizarre and capricious episodes of nonsensical policy making becoming more and more frequent.
3. University has now come to believe that removing a legitimate sporting club from its campus, that has operated for nearly a century without injury to anyone will in some way contribute to a lessening of gun violence in the City of Toronto.
4. Reality therefore believes that the University has entered into an extra marital relationship with person(s) unknown, but definitely not related to Reality.
5. Reality requests the Court to grant a full decree of Divorce as soon as possible in order that both Reality and the University may leave their relationship behind and move forward with their own lives.
Monday, July 23, 2007
It can therefore be concluded that of the total evil in my blog, Blogger itself is responsible for 15 / 39 or nearly 38%. You have been warned.
H/t Red Tory.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
In his post here, RT discusses the nature of free speech in the blogosphere and in particular the concept of pseudonymity (as distinct from anonymity). This is actually a thoughtfull and well written take on the issues and (partisan tidbits aside) I'm inclined to agree with most of it.
I chose to begin blogging under my real first name, but with the intent of remaining unidentified as far as possible; like RT there are good personal and professional reasons. However, as things unfurled, particularly on the local Montague township front, many people identified me anyway (how many households in Eastern Ontario have three corgis?) and the world didn't end.
So now, I still use the same name, but my true identity is only as hard to find as a DNS lookup. I trust in the general civility of society and the law and its enforcers to ensure there are no negative consequences; I try to keep things civil here and I avoid anything to do with my professional life - similar to RT, really.
Canadian Cynic on the other hand prefers to remain pseudonymous, by his own confession, not out of any of the considerations that RT mentions, but out of a wish to avoid 'harassment' for his more extreme writings. This is arguably just cowardice. However, I wouldn't want to see CC prevented from spewing his odious crap; we're all free to put him in his place and that's really the nature of the whole free speech thing. As to whether he'd be ashamed of what he wrote if friends, family, fellow students or co-workers knew it was him, that's a matter for his own conscience, whatever form that might take.
Happy to oblige:
04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."
03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Canadian Cynic, 2007/07/17:
"With all due respect, Wanda, fuck you and your grief."
Canadian Cynic, 2007/07/21:
"...I was a bit over-the-top and there was no real need to come on that hard-assed but one of my cats was hit by a car and killed last weekend so it's been a shitty week all around and I felt like venting and, unfortunately, your cousin happened to wander in front of the sights at just the wrong time and ... well, you get the idea." [emphasis added]
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Celebrant (Cynic) and Acolytes (Ti-Guy, Red Tory) enter in procession.
OPENING HYMN: F--k you, Christian Soldiers
Celebrant: The flame war be with you.
All: No, the flame war be with you.
Celebrant: Lift up my hit counter.
All: We lift it up on Sitemeter.
Celebrant: Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to denigrate, insult, mock and degrade the memory of this fallen soldier. He gave his life in the service of the neo-con fascist Stephen Harper (or it may be Paul Martin, or Jean Chretien).
All: It served him right, the militaristic bastard.
Celebrant: But of course we don't want any more to die, do we?
All: Well, we suppose not. Although it does win NDP votes.
Celebrant: Lord, it is very right, meet and proper that all fascist, neo-con pigs meet their maker in as painful a manner as possible, and we beseech thee to make the grief of their relatives also as hurtful as possible.
All: With our help. Amen.
The Celebrant will then solemnly administer the 'F--k you' to the relatives of the deceased.
Celebrant: Let us pray.
Our Osama, who maybe art in Afghanistan,
Famous be thy name.
Thy attacks come, thy bombs explode in Canada, as it is in New York.
Give us today our daily food for blogging.
Do not forgive us our sins, for we have none,
And lead us not into democracy, but deliver us from Harper.
Celebrant: For Osama may blow up a few buildings and kill some people.
All: Big deal. Harper is the real terrorist.
Celebrant: Go in peace to love and serve everyone.
All: Except those who disagree with us. F--k them. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: We Shall, We Shall Cut And Run
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
You fail to appreciate the fact that poverty is relative to the country in whichit appears.So, to those on the left, not only are morals now relativistic, but so is poverty. Odd, because I'd always thought that fundamentally the needs of each and every human being were similar; that someone living in even a poor social housing neighbourhood in Toronto was less poor than someone living in a refugee camp in Africa and subsisting on UN food aid. I'd always pictured that Torontonian having more of their needs met than the African and therefore being less poor. But no. Relatively speaking, the Canadian is poorer, because (God forbid) Canada has rich people too, while the African refugee camp doesn't.
Follow this to its logical conclusion and we should abandon all international aid, because, as long as everyone in a country is poor, then, relatively speaking nobody is. What patent nonsense.
Relativism is a necessary tool for any left-winger, because it's the only way to avoid what psychologists call 'dissonance' - the holding of simultaneously contradictory ideas and viewpoints.
For example, without using relativism, how could someone (rightly) believe that the Catholic Church and Catholics in general should be held accountable for the actions of pedophile priests, while simultaneously condemning the suggestion that Islam and Moslems be held accountable for their followers flying planes into buildings.
Uncomfortable as it is for liberals, the fact is that there are absolutes in life. There is right and there is wrong; moral and immoral, rich and poor. Morals don't change, mores do.
Don't misunderstand me - I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be striving to address the conditions in which our own poorest people live - and that First Nations should be at the top of that list. We must find solutions to these problems, although after 30 years of throwing liberal dollars at the issue I humbly suggest that it might be time to recognise that it might take more than money. But that would mean doing something practical, and the left would rather sit in ivory towers of academia or DSL-connected apartments and preach.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The R.I1 mistress comes to the staffroom late
For a cigarette, and overflows a chair.
When she subsides her breasts still oscillate.
Women so fat are prized in Africa.
From her distended handbag loll the pictures,
Ready supplies of pamphlets on starvation,
The burnished globes of bellies and the sticks
Of limbs that tell of over-population.
An airline ticket to the U.S.A.
Is there beside them. I have seen that country,
My spiritual mistress, but I best remember
The living corpses on Mombasa quay.
The nylons, flesh-inflated and expensive,
Are comfortably wide apart. Her wrist
Tilting the cigarette above the chatter
Writes easy benediction; I hear her say:
"I've just been fixing up the film projector,
It brings it home, you know - I mean the real
Conditions in which people must exist.
Our girls - how can they truly think or feel
For others as they should? They all have plenty,
As I was saying this morning to the Rector.
My spiritual mistress, two-and-twenty,
Your knickers and my thoughts are showing stress.
I'm once more with a dirty crowd that's waiting
The nightly swill-bins from a white hotel
In new Calcutta. Porters fling their bread
Into the gutter and they fight for it.
Who'd follow bleeding feet? Who was it said
The over-privileged are close to hell?
Yes; but your classroom-Christ and Kodachrome
Should both ensure your lesson will go well.
1R.I. - Religious Instruction, something that used to be taught in English schools
There's an interesting discussion over at the CBC on the generation gap between the boomers and the rest of us. It's interesting because it takes apart many of the issues of the day but with a generational divide rather than the usual left-right split. There are lefties blaming the boomer generation for global warming, poverty, et al, and righties blaming them for the breakdown of families, massive debt levels and so forth. Me, I'm just jealous that sex and drugs had turned dangerous by the time I came along.
Liberal Catnip thinks that PMSH's speech in Chile, in which he holds up Canada as an example of the 'third way' between Soviet-style Venezuela and the hard capitalism of the US, is inaccurate. She thinks the Canadian government is authoritarian, while Chavez is all sweetness and light. She doesn't quite explain how, if that were the case, she's managing to stay out of jail. If she lived in Venezuela and wrote about Chavez the way she writes about Canadian politics, she'd be missing in action PDQ. That's authoritarian. LC wouldn't know it if it bit her - which it won't, because she's Canadian. And nor should it. That someone is willfully ignorant should not prevent them from enjoying their freedom of speech.
Similarly with poverty - LC thinks that Canada is drowning in poverty - 'visited a shelter or a reserve lately?' she asks. Have you ever seen a South American favela, LC? I have. There isn't a place, a reserve, a shelter, a street corner, anywhere in Canada that compares. That's poverty. To try to line yourself up in that same company is classic liberal-elite arrogance and is just insulting to the truly poor of this world. I'm sure it salves what passes for a conscience in left-wing circles, but it's crocodile tears. Truth is, every Canadian is damn lucky to be Canadian.
Finally, to Wanda Watkins, to all the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones in the service of Canada, to those who have fallen, to those who serve: we salute you, we appreciate you and we are grateful for the chance to live in the great nation you have helped to build and protect for us. That there are those who are ignorant enough to let their politics get ahead of their morals should not discourage you.
So far, the only bike I can find that really seems to fit the bill is the Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom, which seems to be a successful sports-tourer hybrid, not too large for someone who is, if not a new rider, coming back to bikes after more than 20 years.
Any readers who have other suggestions, or experience or comments on the V-Strom, advice would be welcome.