Thursday, October 31, 2002
It appears that the US is fed up with Canada’s denial of any terrorists within our borders - so it will do the job for us by keeping those born outside our borders in enemy countries well documented.
A Bush administration law requiring Canadian citizens born in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan or Syria to be photographed and fingerprinted when entering the United States was denounced as “inappropriate” yesterday by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister and prompted one Liberal MP to launch a personal boycott of travel to the United States.
It may seem harsh - but the US is the only country facing the harsh realities of terrorism - no matter how non politically correct it appears.
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
No one has checked my garbage lately, but I’ve always disagreed with recycling and garbage disposal in the Toronto area, as Sand in the Gears writes.
I’ve always said that it makes much more sense to incinerate the garbage - including all the recycled items. This is just another example of how the green lobby has brainwashed the public into thinking doing something, no matter what the cost, is better than doing something the greens label “evil”.
As an example of what I mean, consider the fact that many towns and cities in this area actually have laws requiring their citizens to recycle. That’s right, in these places you either sort your trash or pay a fine. What’s more, the laws are enforced by busybodies armed with the authority to root through your garbage as it sits on the curb, in order to ensure that you are doing your part to depress aluminum prices.
The Post has an article on how the opposition from the provinces on Kyoto is piling up. The provinces, who seem to be more realistic on the immediate losses, will make sure this deal doesn’t get implemented.
‘Ego-driven’ Chrétien dismisses call for first ministers meeting on climate treaty
Chretien doesn’t like working with others:
“What we’re being told is, ‘It doesn’t matter what you say, we’re doing this anyway,’” he said. “I don’t think that is the way to treat this issue. It’s too serious for that. ... The federal government is thumbing its nose at the federal and territorial leadership.”
Even fellow plain talker Klein can’t get through to him:
In a speech to Calgary’s Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Mr. Klein said he can’t have an intelligent conversation with Mr. Chrétien about climate change, describing how the Prime Minister talked about how workers at pulp mills in his hometown of Shawinigan learned to drive lumber trucks instead of floating logs on the river.
“I said, ‘Well, this has got nothing to do with Kyoto,” Mr. Klein said. “[Chrétien] said ‘Well they managed.’ So you can sort of get, from that, the kind of conversation I have.”
I am not sure why the feds think so many Canadians support Kyoto - and if they do, surely they cannot know the numbers. That’s our job to help educate them.
Saturday, October 26, 2002
From the “just in case you needed another reason not to do drugs” dept, comes this story:
The Ecstasy being consumed by young people at clubs, raves and schools is contaminated with many other chemicals, many of them more dangerous than pure Ecstasy, according to a study of large quantities of the drug confiscated in British Columbia.
An analysis of the pills, liquid and crystals conducted by the RCMP forensic lab and the University of British Columbia shows drugs purported to be pure Ecstasy can contain up to nine different chemicals. “We have never seen so many combinations,” RCMP Corporal Scott Rintoul said.
And as if we weren’t feeling inferior enough as global weaklings:
“The quality of club drugs in Canada is awful.”
It was definitely good to see the sniper case come to an end this week. It was very surprising that all the pundits were wrong about the disconnected lone white male loser being the perp. Surprise surprise, a black Muslim was the cause. This has not been a good streak for militant islamofascists: Russian theatre, 9-11 trial, shoebomber, etc.
Guess all the experts will have to go back to the drawing board.
The other fallout from this media avalanche is all the new stars created by CNN and Larry King. We have Chief Moose, who has emerged as a calm, cool alternative to the idiot blacks like Jesse Jackson. We have the new depravity index shrink, Dr. Michael Welner, who I am sure will get his own show based on his youthful looks and well spokenness.
If nothing else, this case has shown us Canadians that once again, Americans do it big and with more enthusiasm that any of us Canadians can imagine.
Plain folk talk on Kyoto, in today’s Globe:
“Climate change is a global challenge, except that most countries aren’t participating in the Kyoto Protocol.”
“They why did we sign on?”
“Because we got bamboozled into thinking the Americans would. We accepted a target only because it was close to the now-abandoned U.S. one.”
“You mean people over in the U.S. Gulf Islands don’t have to do anything we’re being asked to do?”
“Well, maybe we’ll scrap that idea about buying land in Saskatchewan and move over there, instead.”
This is the bottom line. With NAFTA soon to be expanded to labor, people will leave this country in droves.
Why is this government trying to cut off our nose to spite our face?
Why can’t this government realise we need to work with the US on this issue, and not with the rest of the world (at this point, anyway).
It’s good to see that the airport is getting closer to reality, despite all the anti-development nimbyists living at Harbourfront:Airport proposal takes off
A proposed expansion of the Island airport is a step closer to bridging the western gap.
Councillors on the city’s economic development and planning and transportation committees approved a plan to build a fixed- link bridge to the Toronto City Centre Airport following a marathon meeting early yesterday.
Now let’s see if the full city council has the guts to make this thing fly.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
The Toronto Sun reports that our wishy-washy Premier is on the against side of the Kyoto fence, at least a little bit. That’s a good thing, considering Ontario will voluntarily give up almost as many jobs as Alberta if Kyoto goes through.
Ontario will come up with its own plan to combat greenhouse gases, Ontario Premier Ernie Eves said yesterday.
The vow came following a Toronto meeting with Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who said the odds of killing Canada’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol are “slim to none.”
“I think every province should come up with their own solution to their own problems,” said Eves, who told reporters that Ontario will come up with a plan once it can “assemble all the facts” and discuss the issue with industry and other provincial interests.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
An interesting article on Why the Blogosphere Is Conservative.
The bottom line is that successful blogs are interactive, and derive audience by links and user comments...whereas the mainstream media tells people what they think they should here.
Such tactics simply don’t work in the blogosphere.
When people get a chance to speak without censorship, they say things you would never hear on CNN or NBC. They vent their contempt for the Left, and express their resentment of Big Media for pushing leftist ideas.
No gatekeeper or force field excludes leftists from the blogosphere. It’s just that their feeble little voices get drowned out by the crowd.
It is very hard to find some of the good blogs - I have been looking, believe me!
But the best blogs comment on the news of the day, often intelligently, each entry accompanied by links to the news articles in question.
Well, that’s what we try to do here…
The latest study by another country even indicates that again, Kyoto will cost Canada untold billions in lost GDP.
The Australian study estimated the cost of ratification under the current circumstances would be $13-billion (U.S.) by 2015.
As usual, the environmentalists dismiss facts and tell everyone to hope for the best:
The Sierra Club of Canada dismissed the Australian study, saying it’s not credible and that it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen 13 years down the road.
Their club says that the government will save a releatively tiny amount in health care costs...except the fact that they forget that the cost of suicide, family disintegration - in other words, state sponsored economic terrorism.
Federal government estimates say the country could save as much as $200-million a year in health-care costs because of a cleaner environment.
That would have a negative effect on the economy because fewer people getting sick means less demand for health services and fewer jobs.
“Because less people are going into the hospital and dying, there’ll be less economic activity in health care,” said Mr. Bennett. “So our health-care costs will go down. If we need less nurses and doctors, would that be a bad thing?”
Seems like everyone is talking about the sniper down south...with good reason. The latest gossip/speculation I’ve heard is that the gunman is the missing French operative/army sharpshooter, AWOL for a year.
Seems reasonable, seeings how only recently he’s asked for a ransom. He’s also a good shot, working from the woods.
He seems to be focussing on the D.C. area, symbollically targetting the capital.
As much as we’d all like to believe it’s the work of a crazy white guy, it’s starting to smell like international terrorism.
Rex Murphy on the CBC National show had a good piece on the government’s smoggy thinking on Kyoto (CBC Archives...search for Oct 22)
I can’t be certain but I think Kyoto is Japanese for inexplicable. Why did we sign on to Kyoto? Until the moment the Prime Minister did, it was to most people uncertain whether we were going to or not. There was certainly nothing like a national debate. There was the odd parliamentary exchange but there may not have been even a cabinet consensus. Kyoto, despite the government’s rhetoric now was not logically arrived at after a long discussion. It was global policy for Canada on the fly so we didn’t buy into it because we thought about it and debated it properly. Or did we sign on because of the science? But the science is only half science. Any one scientist or layman who says climate change is a finished discipline, that it has the reliability or experimental grounding of the real sciences is either dreaming or ignorant. A quarter century ago, the consensus of the world’s climate experts, a phrase that should always be in quotation marks told us we were heading for an ice age. They have not explained their massive turn around, nor how their certainty then is any more to be trusted than their certainty now. So we didn’t sign on to it because of the signs because in any real meaning of the term, the science isn’t ready yet. Did we sign on to it because we knew what it would mean? How we would achieve his goals? Well we still don’t know what it will mean because the choices we have to make to meet its goals either haven’t been figured out or they’re based on presumptions no one has tested. Will we get carbon credits for reducing our greenhouse gases, not because we actually reduced them, it’s a finesse, but because we enable another country to do so. Well, the Prime Minister thinks so but the Europeans don’t, nor does most of the rest of world that has signed on to Kyoto. Do we know how much it will cost? Of course not. If we don’t know how we’re going to implement the protocols, if we don’t have a plan, we can’t have a cost for the plan we don’t have. Did we sign on to it because we knew the provinces would be on board. The provinces are not only not on board, but considering the cloudiness of what Kyoto means, they couldn’t get on board if they wanted to. They can’t find the ship, for god’s sake. So we didn’t sign on to Kyoto because we knew what we were going to do after we signed on. Did we sign on because we knew that if Canada met its Kyoto targets, there would really be a significant reduction in greenhouse gases. In other words, that it would make a real difference. No. Even if, and this if is as big as an iceberg and just as shifty, we achieved our goals, Canada’s help in saving the world from a steamy future and beach front properties off Labrador would be, by the best estimates of that dubious science I talked about miniscule. The countries exempted from Kyoto would knock an equivalent amount back into the atmosphere in a flash. In other words, after all our good efforts, mother nature will be left indifferent or unimpressed. The science, politics, means and value of Kyoto are a basket of uncertainties or insignificance. We signed on mainly because of environmental boy scoutery. It’s Canada putting out its blue box for the rest of the world, a decision taken for its symbolism, not its substance. We’re in free Willy territory here. Our Kyoto policies and the decision to implement Kyoto are more the smog than the one that presumably they want to cure. For The National, I’m Rex Murphy.
Every now and then the CBC actually has views that make sense...same for Rex. Good stuff.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Today’s census release has shown what most already know: the traditional nuclear family is either in Splitzville or Gonesville. This article in the Star tells that the traditional family of a married couple with a couple of kids is rapidly disappearing.
In fact, the latest census data released today suggests the Canadian family is changing quite emphatically.
Households consisting of four or more people — typically mom, dad and their two kids — accounted for only a quarter of all Canadian households in 2001. Two decades earlier, they accounted for a third.
At the same time, the number of households is rising — to almost 11.6 million, a 6.9 per cent increase from 1996. The increase in smaller households was the biggest single contributor to the growth.
RealWomen of Canada, who support laws that promote the traditional family, argue that it’s the government’s oppresive tax laws that make it harder for mother to stay at home and raise the kids:
“I think these statistics indicate that there are serious pressures on Canadians and on families that maybe should be addressed,” said Watts.
Pressures such as high taxation that “almost forces the family” to have two working members rather than one working and one staying at home to care for the family, she said.
The pressures sometimes created by two working parents also destroy families, children and marriages, said Watts.
Ironically, it’s recent immigrants that seem to stay in traditional families, with a focus on their kids. It’s the home grown Canadians that seem to focus on their own pleasure, before sacrificing themselves for their kids (if they have them at all).
Woe is the society that puts itself before the well being of children...and creating a better future generation.
Why Canada is so eager to be European (and distance itself from its natural brother, the US), and in the process emasculate itself, is beyond me. It also scares me. Although I am sure that Kyoto will never and can never go through, as long as we are the major trading partner with the US, the insane talk about cutting our energy and driving our economy into the ground makes it difficult to plan for the future.
Canada’s economic growth depends on population, and therefore energy, growth.
Even if Canada reaches Kyoto targets by 2012, our growing population means energy use would have to decrease each year after that to maintain those levels
This article spells it out.
This death wish plan the PMO has Canada should be the most worrisome issue of the day, for all Canadians.
The debate should not be merely over how many jobs will be lost between now and 2010. It should not be just about how much our economy will be slowed getting to the Kyoto target. We have to consider what will happen to Canada after we reach the Kyoto targets. There seem to be just a few approaches: Subject Canadians to relatively disproportionate quality of life sacrifices, restrict immigration and curtail economic growth, or modify Kyoto to allow for population shifts between countries. Our children will be drastically impacted by either of the first two possibilities. The government owes us an answer.
Thank goodness for Sue Ann Levy...a great columnist, alone trying to battle the spendthrifts at city hall. She wrote another (unlinkable) column on the fact the TTC wants to raise rates (again).
The bottom line is that the TTC does not want to contract out any of its work at all, including cleaning the busses.
In exchange, TTC officials will put in place a paltry $3.7 million in cost savings (less than 1% of their proposed $918-million operating budget for 2003), although TTC GM Rick Ducharme says they’re trying to cur another $4 million.
Privatizing is not even being considered...
“I’m not surprised (by the fare hike),” says Brian Crow, president of the Ontario Motor Coach Association. “It appears the TTC has only one focus - how to get more revenue, not to save costs or enhance services.”
Crow’s attempts to convince the TTC to look at contracting out some bus routes have consistently fallen on deaf ears.
At least the general manager is interested in zone fares - which do make sense, especially when going a few miles downtown. How about computerized fares? How about swinging a deal with a computer company or bank to computerize the fare collection system?
“If any politician wants to bring back zone fares, I’ll stand behind him ... behind him,” he said, chiding me for writing “only half the story” in a recent column on Melbourne’s transit system, which was privatized in 1998.
Competition is a wonderful thing...too bad it doesn’t apply to city-run monopolies.
Our old archive is back. Come see it here. A gentle reminder: always back up!
Saturday, October 19, 2002
One of my favorite Toronto columnists is Sue-Anne Levy. She gets more irritated by month by the wing nuts that run our city. Even though she lives downtown and mostly walks to work, she understands the hell motorists go through to navigate around anti-car Toronto. Unfortunately, I cannot link to Sun articles as they don’t keep an archive. So here’s her column.
On Tuesday afternoon, it took me a scant 90 minutes to breeze down from Gravenhurst to the outskirts of Toronto.
There, at the Hwy. 407 cutoff to Hwy. 400, I came to a dead stop - stuck in the overflow from vehicles vainly trying to exit west on a completely jammed Hwy. 401. Reaching the Allen Road 20 minutes later, I sat for 25 minutes inching my way from the Lawrence Ave. cutoff down to Eglinton Ave.
Total travel time for the 25-km trip from Hwy. 400 and the 407 to my downtown home: one hour.
Luckily, living downtown I rarely use my car for work. How people grind their way through such traffic day after day is beyond me. But it’s as if council’s car haters and their supporters in the left-wing press don’t want to know about the traffic jungle out there.
How many times have I heard councillors and their enviro-friendly hangers-on smugly chide Torontonians for not hoofing it, biking or taking public transit more? (Although according to a survey I did last year, very few of the city’s politicians actually practise what they preach.)
Perhaps their ulterior motive is to ram such a clutter of anti-car policies down people’s throats that they ultimately abandon their vehicles in utter defeat.
It’s not just the new, improved Official Plan, which recommends no new roads or road improvements but more streetcar lines, subways and bike lanes to handle an extra one million people over the next 30 years. (That plan goes before council at month’s end.)
Or the insane $3.3-billion plan to tear down the Gardiner Expressway, which is expected to resurface in a few weeks.
It’s the speed humps which are flourishing like fleas on every downtown street and bike lanes that narrow downtown streets, creating traffic problems that never existed before.
A series of such bike lanes just went in on Shuter and River streets, costing $160,000 for lane markings and signs. As for the humps, Stephen Benjamin, manager of traffic operations in District 1, told me yesterday 102 speed humps have been installed on 20 (mostly downtown) streets so far this year, costing roughly $200,000.
Another tender is about to go out for $240,000 worth of humps. Add that to the 206 streets already “calmed” with 1,000 hideous humps.
I’ve got news for Toronto’s car-hating planners and politicians. You can hump and bike lane the city’s roads to death. You can pretend the potholes don’t exist. People still aren’t abandoning their cars and taking the TTC!
Figures obtained from the city’s own traffic counts, among other things, prove that.
The last count done (in 1998) of cars and other vehicles crossing the city boundaries - called a cordon count - showed the number of automobiles coming into or heading out of Toronto during the daytime (a period of 12 hours) increased by 14% over 1995.
The number of autos with at least one passenger grew by 16% compared to 1995. About 90% of the total inbound and outbound trips were by car.
In fact, when the number of trips taken by private car and other vehicles (such as trucks) were combined, the total number of vehicles crossing the city’s boundaries reached a 13-year high of 1.7 million.
While the number of GO Transit passengers jumped by 15% during the same time period, TTC ridership was down throughout the city (even in the downtown core).
Faye Lyons, of CAA Central Ontario, says she expects another city cordon count, due out next month, to say much the same thing.
A 1999 U of T study reports similar figures. It shows auto use in the downtown core increased by 29% between 1986 and 1996, while transit use declined by 40,000 trips per day.
The trend continues, according to the TTC’s own figures. They show the number of TTC riders plummeted by four million between May, 2001 and May, 2002.
“The focus of council on this transit-centred approach hasn’t been successful for the last 30 years,” says Lyons. “People aren’t making that shift from the car onto transit.”
Heck, if the gridlock out there and these numbers aren’t proof the car still reigns supreme, I don’t know what is.
But don’t tell council’s car haters. They won’t rest until they drive the car (and commuters) out of this city.
Friday, October 18, 2002
It’s refreshing to see the left wing realizes that the appeasement approach doesn’t work.Thestar.com/Zimbabwe’s forgotten struggle
Has this gentle approach worked? No. Things have gone from bad to worse.
As usual, our government doesn’t want to offend the offenders:
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s government has made it clear that Mugabe and his cronies aren’t welcome here. But Ottawa’s sanctions are less sweeping than Australia’s. Our criticism is muted. We are reluctant to demand that Africa’s leaders lean on the regime.
The violence continues as well, unabated.
During the municipal elections last month, MDC candidate Nikoniari Chabvamudeve was hacked to pieces, to intimidate others. Scores of MDC candidates promptly withdrew, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum reports. No fewer than 37 other MDC supporters have been murdered this year. And the forum cites 1,000 cases of police torture.
Thursday, October 17, 2002
I have to agree with this letter writer, Thestar.com/Food bank hustling business.
Re Donor fatigue and boredom lurk behind food bank crisis, Oct. 16.
I used to give to the food bank. I used to believe that my donation was going to a worthy cause. I used to hope my donations would improve the lives of people and make Toronto a better place to live. Not any more.
Yes, there are hungry people who need the food bank, but many of its clients are just taking free food because they want to save money. Why pay for food when you can get it free? Without any form of scrutiny about who gets food, the system cannot be trusted. Why should I feed the fed?
There is no good way to verify if food bank users are really in need. While this is not a good reason to never give, usually the same people give food, and they get tired of the constant plea for food.
Economics 101 state that if goods or services are free, the demand will be unlimited. Health care has the same problem in Canada, so it must be rationed, like the food in food banks.
I don’t think it would be draconian if food bank users needed some kind of proof of income, some speed bump to limit or reduce the flow of free food. This would reduce the freeloaders and perhaps encourage the givers.
We know this won’t happen, however, since the food bank is part of a social industry that requires users to feed its own economy.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
When are we going to give up the massive subsidy VIA gets and let it sink or swim on its own? Why the obsession with the rails? Is it purely historical? In this article, it’s clear that VIA cannot even keep to its alleged service record.
When picking up someone at Via Rail, it’s always wise to take a stack of newspapers. You’ll often have plenty of time to read them between the moment when the train is supposed to arrive and when it actually does.
The environmental argument is bogus too.
The only justification—and it was a thin one—used to be that trains polluted less than planes, buses and cars. Maybe they do, but the number of passengers travelling, say, from Montreal to Toronto on the train is a fraction of those going by other modes. So the environmental saving is minimal.
It’s time to let VIA sail on its own.
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Every now and then a neat site comes up.
The only right wing aspect of this sight is that it’s about a family that actually stays together
On June 17th, every year, the family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to stop a fleeting moment, the arrow of time passing by.
On June 17th, every year, the family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to stop a fleeting moment, the arrow of time passing by.
Protect your kids!
Who is looking after the children? If you’re net saavy, you’re probably not reading this, but if you know someone who is not net saavy and has kids that use the internet, get some protection! One of the better programs is called cybersitter, according to PCMag. This story, Thestar.com/Man charged in girl’s disappearance, is enough to make any parent want to scream!
Toronto police have charged a 33-year-old man in a sexual assault investigation involving an 11-year-old girl who disappeared after a stranger she met on the Internet arranged to meet her in person.
Police say the girl disappeared around 9 p.m. Sunday after agreeing to meet a man at a school near her west-end Toronto home.
Sunday, October 13, 2002
Once more, HM Queen Elizabeth showed poise and dignity in the face of our dis-loyal government and its deputy PM Manley, who was anything but.
Our liberal government, starting with Trudeau, has been eager to shred tradition and rebuild its (un)just society. Instead of honoring the stability the monarchy has brought the country, our government wants to discard them.
The kicker is that the monarchy’s role is mostly ceremonial in Canada, so scrapping it is simply kicking sand in an institution’s face - in this case, the Queen’s.
Hey, if the liberals want to scrap marriage’s tradtion of being between a man and a woman, what’s a monarchy to them?
As usual, Quebec’s malcontents were busy publicly humiliating themselves…
Some things never change.
Saturday, October 12, 2002
This article shows the feds admit that they job losses start at 60K. What kind of government is interested in economic suicide for the country? A liberal government...
The Kyoto Protocol will likely cost Canada more than 60,000 jobs over eight years, according to economic projections released by Ottawa Friday, but opponents of the accord believe the federal government is low-balling the true impact of the treaty.
Still, Nancy Hughes Anthony, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says the admission that Kyoto will cost jobs confirms the fears of treaty critics.
No matter what you think of capital punishment, the fact that someone in Canada can get out of jail in 15 years after murdering someone is crazy.
In this article, Thestar.com/Family struggles with killer’s release, we read of the release of such a killer, albeit after 25 years.
“Every Thanksgiving since Ron’s death has been difficult for us, but this one will be a little harder to bear because we know Ron’s killer is going to be set free to do pretty much as he chooses,” said McKean’s widow, Anne Gage.
“He took away Ron’s chance to see his children grow up, but now he goes free,” said Gage, fighting back tears.
Sign the petition to bring back capital punishment to Canada.