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).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's in a name? you decide....

When I caught wind of this story I thought for a moment that it was a parody of some kind written by an individual whose was less than open minded and looking to write something derogatory about Muslims, seriously I did.

Apparently we have a German mother of Muslim belief who has just named her newborn "Jihad", a name that is certain to draw attention and cause the child grief in years to come. Although “Jihad” is a term in Arabic that translates to the noun “struggle.” Most people in today's world are more familiar with the term "Jihad" as
used by radical Islam militants when justifying their actions against "nonbelievers" whom they rage a holy war against. The choice of such a name is an odd one if not downright foolish in a nation such as Germany. Why?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Napping in Parliament? It's amazing anyone can stay awake

I got a kick out of all the fuss that is being raised about Calgary Mp Rob Anders dozing off during question period in Parliament.

First off let me say that I have no particular like or dislike for Sleepy Rob, like most of the individuals we send to Ottawa once he arrived he forget why we sent him and went about doing things the way his party instructed him to. However, if you have ever watched our elected representatives during a question period it is understandable that occasionally someone will doze off, on the excitement scale it rates lower than watching paint dry or a Sunday afternoon of CBC. At times the bickering, insults, and stupidity that is displayed is akin to a elementary school playground. In fact I would personally recommend watching a question period for anyone who suffers from insomnia, it works wonders and is non habit forming.

Here is the video that has caused so much excitement, but be forewarned, even at a mere 37 seconds in length you may find yourself nodding off as you watch it. 

By the way in case you  have difficulty trying to determine who is awake and
who is napping Rob is the one taking off his glasses behind the speaker.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The priveleged few and their view from above .....

It is amazing how many of the entertainment industries elite have thrown their support behind the occupy movement and taken the time to discuss the injustices found in America. We have seen the likes of Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore speaking in interviews and actually walking amongst the common man at Occupy camps. The fact that these celebrities are themselves the poster children for capitalism and the American way seems to escape their notice and in most cases that of the Occupy drones who seem to bask in the attention of the rich and famous.

So now we have Miley Cyrus jumping aboard the Occupy train and making sure she gets her free ride to fame. In an updated video and remix of her song "It's a Liberty Walk" Miley has thrown her support behind the Occupy Movement. In Mileys own words....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The worst and the best, the extremes of Canadian society.

Just a short comment today........

Watching the morning news today I was struck by the extremes in our society, the worst and the best.

One news segment told the story of how the Occupy Edmonton drones were refusing to obey an eviction order from the owner of the private property they were trespassing on. It briefly outlined their list of "demands" that they expect to be met. Now, lets keep in mind that every one of these demands has absolutely nothing to do with the owners of the private property these malcontents are squatting on, and that the owners of the property could in no way ever hope to influence the powers to be to accomplish these pie in the sky visions. If you haven't guessed by now, this news clip featured the "worst" of our society.

The second news clip featured the story of Canadian troops returning to Edmonton from Afghanistan. Individuals that have put their lives at risk on behalf of their country, and certainly not out of a desire for monetary or personal gain. These individuals were being greeted by the relatives and children (some still in diapers) after doing a tour of duty and being in harms way 24/7 for months at a time. Needless to say, individuals like these demonstrate the "best" traits our society has to offer.

When I think of this I feel sorry for the Occupy Drones as they have chosen to undermine our way of life and spend their efforts hoping to take advantage of another individuals hard work and diligence. Funny how they try to portray themselves as crusading protesters, in the old days we simply referred to their type as bums or deadbeats. Maybe they could find the news clip about our troops on their Ipads, laptops, or smartphones ( funny how the same drones who hate free enterprise and capitalism are so eager to embrace it's technology) and take some inspiration from it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taxation, sometime blatant, sometimes subtle, but always there.

I read with interest a news article by CBC News detailing a recent poll they have had conducted regarding the willingness of Canadians to pay road tolls. Apparently half of Canadians surveyed said they would be willing to pay road tolls if it would ease gridlock and shorten their commute. The concept of road tolls is simple enough, they allow a government to recoup the cost of a project (the entire cost or a portion) and thus not require it to be paid out of general revenue. This allows the government to complete a project and take credit for it without paying directly for it.

I won't bore you with all the details of the poll as I am more of a "big picture" guy, and in this case it's the big picture that caught my attention. One of the findings of the poll was that on average city commuters appear willing to pay up to $3 a day for road tolls. The simple math on this is that based on 5 work days a week, 50 weeks a year this adds up to $750.00 per year!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I AGREE! It's time the 1% listened to the 99%

Since the Occupy Wallstreet movement started approximately 2 months ago we have heard a lot of talk about the 1% of the population that is set apart from the other 99% and plays by it's own rules. The feeling is that this 1% does not pay its fair share to support society, considers itself morally superior to the rest of us, often receives preferential treatment from different levels of government, and has our elected officials under its thumb. Time and time again we see protesters carrying signs, standing on podiums preaching to crowds, or being interviewed by the media. The message is generally focused on the 1% and all of the injustice they are responsible for.

Well I tend to agree. When 1% of a societies population is not obeying the rules and in turn causing grief for the other 99% something must be done, no elite group should be allowed through their actions to disrupt the economy or society. The fact that as a society we stand idly by and allow this level of selfishness to continue is a sad statement.

So as you see I am in complete agreement with the Occupy Movement on this particular issue. However...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Stupidity.... It keeps getting better

Well folks, over the last few weeks the Occupy Drones have been busy. It's ironic that they protest the unfairness of the economy and wealth distribution, yet spend most of their time camping out (trespassing) and disrupting the economy rather than actually working to earn an income and improve their lot in life! Yes, I know..... there are no jobs, but tell me how would they know this when they are "too busy" protesting to look for employment?

One of the issues that has been raised a number of times by American Occupy Drones is student loan debt. Drones have suggested everything from easing of restrictions to outright forgiving of all monies owed. So let me get this straight, these individuals applied for a loan to further their own education and agreed to the repayment terms knowing full well from the start the level of debt that they would be undertaking. In most cases I suspect that they reasoned that the investment was a good one as it would eventually result in gainful employment and a higher standard of living. However, now that they have their education they feel that they should be absolved from the debt or at the very least have the rules rewritten in their favor.

My first observation here is that we are either discussing very untrustworthy individuals (taking money under false pretenses), or very stupid/naive ones (entering into a loan agreement without understanding the details or long term implications). If the former is the case I would suggest that the rules need to be tightened even further to ensure repayment, if the latter is the case I do feel sorry for these individuals as they probably wasted a large investment in their own education as it obviously did nothing to raise their intelligence or understanding. Did they honestly feel that simply getting an education guaranteed them a job, or possibly even eventual access to the "1%" club? An education guarantee's nothing! However for the most part (particularly in today's world) it does provide you with far greater opportunity than those without one.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Government Spending, A panacea for all troubles and a tough addiction to break

In reading today's Edmonton Journal I was once again struck by how great our societies addiction to government spending has become. The headline that caught my eye today read "Money for museum reinstated", the article went on to say how the Federal Government has agreed to contribute $122.5 million dollars towards the construction of a new $340 million Provincial Museum. Now please don't get me wrong, I think a museum is a wonderful use of taxpayers money as it provides a lasting legacy that all citizens can enjoy and learn from. However I have a slight problem with some of the math.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It was just too good to be true.... Occupy Vancouver.

Just when it appeared there might be some light at the end of the tunnel, that our elected officials might actually make some headway in removing the Occupy Drones from public parks and private property, our court system steps in to protect the legal rights of those breaking the law. Apparently two drug overdoses ( one resulting in death) on the Occupy Vancouver site are not enough to legally remove the the Occupy Drones who are trespassing on private property.

As of yesterday a B.C. Supreme Court judge has delayed for a week the City of Vancouver's attempt to get an injunction to shut down the Occupy Vancouver protest site outside the downtown art gallery. However the judge did grant the City of Vancouver an interim order to enforce the immediate removal from the tent city site of all flammable liquids used as fuels as well as all tarps and tents that have been cited by the city as a fire hazard. Well on a positive note that will hopefully prevent them from burning down the art gallery.

Occupy Drones told the judge there's no need for an enforcement order because they will co-operate in the spirit of "good faith, and peaceful respect."  Let me get this straight, we have a group who by the very act of trespassing are flaunting the law, however they assure us that legal enforcement is not required as they like to show "good faith and peaceful respect". In fact they go a step further by suggesting that any attempt of "enforcement" will only result in confrontation, so the underlying message is that they plan to do what they will regardless of any legal ruling. Food for thought....Is this not the same group who physically "took over and occupied" four Vancouver banks?

Labels, The pen is truly mightier than the sword

Here is the poster in question
Read More Here
Last week as I was driving into work and listening to one of my favorite talk radio networks a topic arose  that really caught my interest. Apparently the owner of  a barbecue joint in Texas is being accused of being a racist due to a poster he has displayed in his restaurant. The poster depicts an individual hung from a tree, surrounding him are a group of armed individuals posed much the same as a group of hunters would display a "trophy" kill. The caption on the poster reads "Lets Play Cowboys and IRANIANS!" 

Now although this may be viewed as being in "bad taste" by many, particularly in an eating establishment I would argue that it is in NO WAY racist.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Occupy Vancouver being evicted, all it took was a death.

This certainly adds to the
beauty of Downtown Vancouver
It appears that the Occupy Vancouver had its second drug overdose just days ago, unlike the first one this one proved fatal. Following the news of 23-year-old Ashlie Gough's death, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Occupy protesters would be forced to vacate as soon as possible. He said it's clear the encampment is no longer safe and has to go. "When lives are lost, we clearly have to take steps," Robertson told reporters. "I have directed the city manager to expedite the appropriate steps to end the encampment as soon as possible."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wisdom from Canada's best and brightest? You be the judge

After posting yesterday about John Crosbie and his unique brand of wisdom I got to thinking it might be interesting to further explore Canada's political braintrust over the years.  So after doing some research on the internet (isn't it grand?) I found literally hundred's of pearls of wisdom that have come from the lips of Canadian politicians. I sifted through them for ones that truly reflected the intelligence of the speaker so here goes nothing......
  • "As longs as I'm saying what I really think, I'm prepared to stand by it"
    Vancouver Sun 1983, Kim Campbell (Short term PM,  AKA Mulroney Sacrificial Lamb)
  • "I'm not going to play politics on the floor of the House of Commons"
    House of Commons 1987, John Turner (Short Term PM, AKA Trudeau Lap Dog)
  • "Popularity is bad for you..I try to avoid it like the plaque, and I've been reasonably successful"
    Election Campaign 1992, Brian Mulroney (PM for 3 terms, for the most part 2 and a bit too many)
  • "My strategy has always been to stay on course unless a change, of course is announced. And if it is, of course, we will announce it"
    Speaking about his governments economic policy 1984, John Turner PM ( see above for character description)
 Had enough "wisdom" yet..... If not there is more to follow

Saturday, November 5, 2011

John Crosbie...A defender of the right to "ignore" political correctness

Crosbie greeting
Prince Charles and Camilla who
were on a royal visit to Canada in
2009. Note the seal skin coat...lol
Ahhh, A voice from the past, John Crosbie.

John Crosbie who is now getting on in years has had a colourful career to say the least. As a Cabinet minister in the Mulroney Conservative government, Crosbie was known to be outspoken and controversial. To this day he is not shy about saying what he means and to hell with what is considered politically correct. Yes, a man after my own heart. However, that is not to say that John is not a little "unpolished" at times.

Well folks, John bless his heart, is once more the center of attention for those on the left and the politically correct. Crosbie who now serves as 12th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador stepped into it last week while swearing in cabinet ministers. So what did he say that has caused an uproar?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You've got to be kidding? One more reason for an elected Senate

It appears that one of the members of Canada's Senate is at a loss what to do with her time.

Senator Nicole Eaton is leading the campaign (can one person, even a Senator be considered a campaign?) to replace the beloved Canadian Beaver with the Polar Bear, as our National Animal Emblem. Shame on you Senator Eaton......

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Political Correctness, It just never ends

With Halloween just past and everyone packing away costumes until next year, here is something to bear in mind. It appears that the your choice of costume may have the potential to offend some and even worst, brand you as a "racist".

A campaign by Ohio University's Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) focuses on Halloween and features posters incorporating statements such as  "We're a culture, not a costume.", "This is not who I am, and this is not okay". Students of various ethnic backgrounds are shown holding up photos of people wearing blackface, dressed up as natives, Geisha girls, or depicting "terrorists.

I am as much against racism and intolerance as the next guy, however there is a huge difference between bigotry and a child, student, or adult dressing up as a Geisha Girl or native (oops, sorry I should have said "First Nations" member). I will agree that "blackface" is crossing the line and not something I would encourage or defend.

Unfortunately in today's culture of political correctness we have to ensure that we make everyone, and all minority or special interest groups feel good about themselves and their culture, even if it means eroding our culture in doing so. As a born and raised Canadian I often feel that my culture is pushed to the back and trampled on in the process to ensure that no individual from any group feels slighted.

"Come On, Frustrated Joe we have to make this individuals feel welcome in Canada"
Yes we do, but not at the expense of reinventing our society and culture as a whole. Our culture has been described as a mixing pot, and that is a good thing, however we all need to mix, and unless something is outright racist, prejudice, or bias against a particular group, everyone needs to chill out a bit.