Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Robin Hood, Alive and Well in Todays World?

Being a weekend I am feeling a bit lazy, so I will take the opportunity to ramble on about one of my pet peeves, taxation/wealth redistribution. No stats quoted, no hard numbers, no video clips, just some of my thoughts on the issue

All of us from an early age are taught that as good citizens we must pay our fair share of taxes to maintain and improve our society. It is explained to us in detail how our taxes are used by different levels of government to ensure that we all have the opportunity to live in a safe society where all are treated fairly. The concept is great and anyone would be hard pressed to argue against the notion of  "all pulling together and everyone contributing a bit to make for a better society".

Unfortunately somewhere along the line the concept has gone astray, like many concepts that got off to a simple start this one has grown wildly beyond anyone's dreams, if fact in some cases to the point where it consumes a large portion of an individuals efforts.

Not sure if this is Robin Hood or one of our
current government leaders, either way he'll do.
In today's world taxation has evolved into a government run system of  "wealth redistribution", maybe we could jokingly compare the government to Robin Hood, taking from the rich by force and giving to the poor. But as I recall Robin Hood was considered a thief and a bandit and along with throwing a few pounds to the pheasants, he always made sure his own band of merry men were well stocked with food, ale, and wenches (no doubt one of the reasons they were "merry"). On second thought......maybe the comparison is a good one after all.
 So lets explore this analogy a bit more. One of the issues Robin Hood certainly faced is that he needed the support of the common man, and as long as kept throwing them a few pounds they had his back when the Sheriff of Nottingham came calling looking for Robin. Now in order to do this Robin had to keep going back to his only source of revenue "the rich", unfortunately he didn't have too much time to sort out who was actually taking advantage of the poor, and who was doing their best to use their wealth to help out the underprivileged. It was far simpler to just take from anyone who appeared to have anything, distribute it to the poor (or at least the ones that appeared poor or claimed to be), and garner their support and undying devotion. No doubt Robin's intentions when he started were noble, help out the underprivileged, but unfortunately it got away on him and soon everyone demanded more, resulting in Robin having to take more. Wow, it seems the comparison between Robin Hood and our own government is more appropriate than even I imagined.

Ouch, I think I have rambled on enough for one day, my head is starting to hurt, probably yours as well. So until next time, Adieu

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mandel, Katz, and Bettman.... We are the three amigos.....

We've all heard jokes that start off .
"Three guys are sitting at a bar....." or maybe

What do God  and Barack Obama have in common?
Neither has a birth certificate.

So here is one that is a bit closer to home...........

What do the Mayor of Edmonton , a billionaire, and a hockey league commissioner have in common?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy's 99%, Don't count me in on that!

I love the way the Occupy drones continuously preach that they represent the other "99% " of the population that falls outside of America's wealthiest 1% ( you know, the 1% of the population that pays close to 40% of the taxes). Funny thing is I fall into this 99% of the population and I have never given my permission to an Occupy drone to speak on my behalf. No fears, I don't feel slighted in the least as I want to be as far removed from these anarchists as possible. Many of them are no better than the hooligans that wear masks and riot at G20 conferences or after sporting events, there only aim is destruction. Unfortunately in the case of this movement the goal is pretty much destruction of a way of life that the vast majority of the "99%" (they continuously refer to) have actually come to enjoy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Susan, Susan, Susan....Open Mouth, Insert Foot, ....Repeat as Neccessary

I blogged earlier this week about some of the individuals and groups that have shown their support for the Occupy movement. Individuals like Susan Sarandon, and groups like the American Nazi Party, or the Communist Party USA. At the time I suggested that "birds of a feather, flock together.

So I found it quite comical that while Susan seems to have no problem throwing her support into the Occupy movement and in doing so being associated with the American Nazi Party, she seems to have a great deal of disdain for Nazis when it comes to other walks of life. Here's a clip of Susan at her "best".....

I guess what Susan displays with her actions is that being a member of the "1%" does not necessarily mean that you are any more intelligent that most of the simpleton Occupy drones that are roaming the streets or sleeping in tents in our cities.

Don't get me wrong, Susan is entitled to her opinions just as we all are and I would never suggest it be any other way. Freedom of Speech either exists or it does not, it is black or white, the minute it becomes grey it no longer exists. Unfortunately what makes these simple minded celebrities so annoying and dangerous is the cameras that follow them and the media play they get. They are like a flame to a moth for the lemmings and Occupy Drones.

Occupy Whatever....A society onto itself, with its own laws?

These "Occupy" drones seem to go out of their way and make every effort to convince us relatively sane folks that they are nut jobs intent on destroying our society as we know it.

Lets have a look at one of their latest initiatives to make our society into a "better place". You might want to sit down when you read this one, it is beyond shocking what these fools will do or suggest in the name of their cause (has anyone actually determined what their cause is yet?).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wallstreet Protesters..... Here's how you run an effective protest

A woman looks at the Galeras volcano in
Pasto, Narino department, Colombia, in 2010
For all of you folks occupying a city park someplace and shivering in the dark in October, here's a story about how to run a protest and achieve your goals in a relatively short time frame. In this case the goal was the paving of a 57 kilometer stretch of road to replace a 163 year old horse trail leading to a village, admittedly a much smaller task than your stated goals. But none the less these protesters found an effective way to get what they set out to. Maybe you can even get some of your celebrity supporters like Michael Moore or Rosanne Barr (on second thought, with these two this method might actually extend the length of your protest) to participate. So, light a candle, gather the other protesters in the park around you and read on......Read More

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Whatever...Your known by the company you keep

Wow, this "Occupy" movement just keeps getting stranger.....

There is no doubt that many of the protesters and followers of this movement are simply "going with the flow" and jumping on a bandwagon that promises them more for doing less, or preferably doing nothing (the new Mantra of our Nanny state).

Many of the Occupy drones will use the fact that even some American politicians have referred to the movement in a positive way as a sign they are gathering support. In particular they point to former VP (and wannabe President) Al Gore who has openly came out supporting their cause (my guess is he figures this is his best shot at a second Nobel), and hints by the Anointed One, President Obama (he's only hinting support at this time, probably waiting to see which way the wind eventually blows on this one). I would suggest that if this is the case they should refer to all their supporters when making their point. Here are two that tend to get overlooked in articles and interviews conducted with "occupiers"

The Madness spreads...... "Occupy Whatever",

So, what started as a protest by some disenchanted individuals on Wall street is spreading around the world and receiving media coverage. Naturally those involved in the protest see this as a sign of victory, rather than the flash in the pan it truly is.

The ironies involved in this protest are numerous, but somehow get missed......

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Equality In Canada, A One Sided Affair at Times?

Recently I was reading an article regarding the "glass ceiling" that some say still exists in business today  for women. I have to admit that in all my years in the job force I have never personally witnessed it, in fact I have met many women in positions of power over the years. That is not to say it does not exist, simply that I have never personally seen it.

However, to get back on track, the article got me to thinking about the injustices that have been perpetrated over the years on individuals based solely on race, gender, religion. sexual preferences and a slew of other factors. Many of these injustices were based on ignorance, prejudice, hate, or in some cases history. The good news is that the latter half of the 20th century seen incredible progress made to ensure all individuals are treated equally. I would be the last to say that it is a perfect utopia, but in general in most developed countries things are moving along. Thankfully in today's society the vast majority of Canadian citizens would agree that all individuals should and must be treated equally, and that no one should be excluded from a group or activity based solely on something such as gender or race.

In fact we have legislation at all levels of government that prevents employers, organizations, clubs, and businesses, from using an individuals gender or race as a reason to refuse employment, membership, or service. As well there are dozens if not hundreds of special interest groups that are constantly on high alert watching for any possibility that we might be sliding back into the dark ages and that an individual might be singled out and denied equal rights based on their gender or race. Long gone are the days of business establishments or private clubs that deny access to women, or races other than "white", this type of discrimination simply will not and can not be tolerated in our enlightened society.

So, now that I have spent the last three paragraphs going on about how far we have come towards equality and how enlightened a society we are ,and how legislation and special interest groups are on constant vigilance against discrimination........ Can someone please explain one thing to me?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Premier, But its politics as usual in Alberta

Amongst all the celebration of Alberta having a new premier, our first female one as well, there appears there may be a dirty little secret about how Alison Redford actually won the top job in the province. Although no one can accuse anyone of doing anything illegal, the question could be asked if winning an election at any cost is something we want from our premier elect. 

By now all Albertans are aware that she pulled off a stunning come from behind victory against her chief rival in this year’s leadership race, front-runner Gary Mar. I use the word "stunning" because Redford had just 19% on the first ballot compared to Mar’s 41%. Between the first and second ballots, Redford jumped from 11,127 on the first ballot to 28,993 votes on the second, and from there the rest as they say is history. While it sure appears that our Alison become a very popular candidate in short order, one has to ask if there might have been more involved.

Surely this guy does not represent the future of our society......

We all have heard phrases like
"The youth of today are the future of tomorrow" or "Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders"
If there is any truth to these statements at all I wouldn't expect things to get better anytime soon based on these two videos from the Occupy Wallstreet protest nonsense.

Here is a classic, this individual is involved in the protests and has no clue what exactly he is supporting. However he does provide valuable insight into a number of things
  • That an IQ test is not part of the requirement to carry a poorly worded protest sign.
  • That a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  • Just because you you want to further your education does not mean you have the "grey matter" to do so.
  • That the "Nanny State" is alive and well.
Watch and judge for yourself.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Climate Change...What's up with that?

During the last four or so decades that I have actually been paying attention to the world around me (prior to that time my biggest concerns generally were the warm feeling in my diaper or the empty one in my stomach), I have been very fortunate to have survived at least three, possibly four crisis that from all accounts should have brought an end to our planet. As I recall during every one of these events the general public and the popular media did their damnedest to convince the rest of us the the proverbial "sky was falling".
I have seen the end of the world predicted as follows...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I simply can't "butt" out on this one.

In the last week I have witnessed something from the comfort of my CO2 spewing automobile that actually shocked me, honestly.

In today's world, particularly in North America, the act of smoking has gone from being a fashionable statement back in the 50's and 60's, to one that is now closer to how leprosy was viewed in the middle ages. Governments, businesses, advertisers, and product manufacturers are no longer catering to smokers, the pendulum has swung in favors of peoples lungs. You have probably guessed that I am a non-smoker by now.

In fact public opinion has swung so far on this that automobile manufacturers have jumped on board and made the common ashtray an "option" for purchase, cigarette lighters have now been replaced by power ports for accessories. Who could have imagined this even 25 years ago.....amazing.

Unfortunately, what is even more amazing is watching how some nicotine addicts deal with these changes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where's the Justice?

Brian Knight, shown outside the Stettler courthouse with his wife in 2009, will to jail for shooting a thief.Brian Knight, shown outside the Stettler courthouse with his wife in 2009, will to jail for shooting a thief. CBC
I just read a news article about an Albertan farmer who will be serving 90 days in the slammer for defending his own property from thieves. Here's the article

A central Alberta farmer who shot a man stealing his ATV more than two years ago will serve 90 days in jail.Brian Knight learned his sentence in a Red Deer courtroom Friday after pleading guilty to criminal negligence in January. Justice Monica Bast rejected the defence's argument that the shooting was impulsive, saying she believed Knight was aware to some degree what he was doing.

Knight chased and used a shot gun to fire at a man who was stealing Knight's ATV from his farm near Tees, Alta. In the early morning of March 26, 2009, Knight found three men in his farmyard. Read More

While I fully understand that we do not ever want armed vigilantes wandering our streets, the fact of the matter is that the thief in this case came onto Knights property ( his home) with the sole intention of robbing him. So, how would the justice system have an individual defend his property?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crime and Punishment in Canada

Everyday as I read the paper I come across articles about crime in Canada that literally make me wonder if as a society we are entitled to refer to ourselves as civilized. All manner of crime and abuse are perpetrated on the innocent and our ever evolving legal system at times appears to be more concerned about the legal rights and treatment of those that commit the crime than about the the actual victims. At times our legal system and particularly our courts and prison system act as revolving doors. Even worse is that while in prison many criminals are provided with an education that would rival that which many universities provide, unfortunately they receive it from their peers and the end result is that they emerge better trained and equipped to further their criminal careers.

Now don't get me wrong, I have the greatest respect for law enforcement, particularly for the men and women of police forces across this country who place their lives on the line everyday. What frustrates me (and I imagine the cops on the streets) is that our legal system does not support their efforts in many cases.

I could dwell on the above for days, weeks, months, years, in fact I have been most of my adult life, so for right now lets cut to the chase. My question for today is simple......

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gun Laws In Canada. Do they actually protect us?

Over the last few months the subject of gun control in Canada has come up in conversation at different times with a two of my associates. Interestingly enough these two individuals voiced opinions that were at two totally different ends of the scale. Funny enough, one from Toronto sat on the side of stronger gun control, while the other, an Albertan felt that there was too much effort on the governments part already.

So, where do I sit on this issue?

Let me start by saying that I am in no way an anarchist, I fully realize that without laws there would be no society. However I am also a firm believer that if a segment of society is creating a problem you deal with that segment in a way that resolves the issue for the rest of society. So, this leads me to believing that in most cases you deal with the criminal, not his tools.

In the case of gun control in Canada I think that the first question one needs to ask is......