Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet new cop car!

Nice move by the cops with this one... got this in an e-mail today:
Coming to a city near you

Just your "average Taxi", right... WRONG ! It's intentionally designed to look like a taxi, no special markings, etc.

Note the red lights, front and rear view mirror area.

The roof sign actually says "Police" and the phone number is for the Halton Regional Police Dept.

This is the latest in POLICE RADAR CARS...
Now in use in Guelph, Georgetown, Milton and Orangeville areas...

Soon to come to a city near you.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Monte's response to Keddy's unemployment comment

Best response of anyone out there... we miss you on the Hill Monte!
Keddy's EI attack aimed at layabouts
27th November 2009, 8:47am

Nova Scotia MP Gerald Keddy has already been tried, convicted, publicly flailed and Tasered for his "no-good bastards" remarks, but I believe Gerald Keddy has been treated unfairly.

One TV network, let's call them the CBC, decided Keddy could only be directing his "bastards" remarks at homeless people who had physical and mental disabilities, and on that wobbly assumption they interviewed street people, all of whom were mystified that someone would say such unkind things about them.

The problem with the CBC assumption is Keddy is a very nice guy who would never say such things about people who struggle with disabilities. I know Keddy well enough to say he is probably more generous towards those truly in need than many of his critics

It never occurred to this otherwise excellent reporter that in talking about people who sit around on the streets of Halifax, Keddy may have been talking about the perfectly healthy people who turn down work at places like his Christmas tree farm so they can milk employment insurance like a cow and, ahem, sit around.

When I was minister of immigration I was stunned by the fact that even though the unemployment rate was over 10% in Prince Edward Island, fish plants there had to bring in Russian workers because they couldn't find local workers.

It seems EI paid enough that, in a very narrow sense, it was completely rational that unemployed Islanders would refuse to do those very tough and dirty jobs.

That said, if a person turns down a job to accept employment insurance then by definition that person is ripping off the system because EI is only supposed to be for people who sincerely seek -- but can't find -- work.

When people rip off employment insurance and draw benefits they're not entitled to, then EI premiums are forced to be higher than they would be otherwise. That in turn means businesses can't afford to hire as many workers as they would if premiums were lower.

Small businesses must raise their wages to attract workers away from EI, which means overall they won't be able to hire as many people as they would have liked.

In other words, when it is too easy to get benefits or when it is easy to rip off the EI system, those who do play by the rules pay the bill for those who bend the rules, and all kinds of people end up needlessly unemployed.

Keddy may have rudely misrepresented the parentage of those who refuse to take jobs on Christmas tree farms, but if you believe it is wrong to cause unemployment and to take money you're not entitled to then Gerald Keddy is absolutely justified in his anger.

The truth is, few programs are more necessary than a properly designed employment insurance program and no program is more destructive than an EI program that is so improperly designed it discourages people from taking available jobs.

I'm sad to say that is the type of EI program we have today.

-- Solberg is a former Conservative MP

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dion's "Green Shift" officially dead

Michael Ignatieff has announced that the Liberal's "Green Shift" Carbon Tax scheme, Stephane Dion's (err, wasn't it Iffy's idea in the first place?) electoral albatros, has now been offically "deep sixed".

(or, electorally speaking, I guess you could say it's been "Deep Twenty-Sixed"... as in 26%, their final numbers from the 2008 election)

It's a real irony though, that the Liberals are announcing a greater and more firm commitment to the Kyoto protocol this week of all weeks. With "Climategate" in full swing, due to the monumental e-mail leak that occured from some of the purpotrators in the climate change fraud, and calls for investigations and resignations in the US, Britain, the EU Parliament and New Zealand.

I mean, even CNN is finally starting to pay attention... and it only took them five days.

Lots of video on Sort of Political.

An INSANELY through summary of some damaging items contained within the leaked e-mails here at Bishop Hill in the UK.

And one final link to , who's posted the most damaging stuff so far from within the e-mail stream... discussions directly related to the intention to delete data should a FOI request be submitted by Drs. Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. Interestingly enough, when such a request WAS eventually submitted, what did they say? "Oops, looks like we don't have the data anymore." I'm thinking a lawsuit and jailtime would be approriate for those guys at the CRU...

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Humour - "How to confuse an idiot"

Here's your smile for the day. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Iffy Liberals trying to make hay out of the truth?

While I'm not a fan of his, shall we say, unParliamentary language, I feel it's important to come to the defense of Nova Scotia MP Gerald Keddy today, after his comment about "some" unemployed folks in Halifax.

Okay, firstly, his comment from the Halifax Chronicle Herald...
OTTAWA — If anyone ever stops Nova Scotia farmers from hiring migrant labourers to harvest their crops, they would destroy a lot of businesses because unemployed Nova Scotians don’t want those jobs, says Gerald Keddy, the Conservative MP for South Shore-St. Margarets.

"Nova Scotians won’t do it — all those no-good *&#^^#*^&# ["illigitimate children"] sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can’t get work," Mr. Keddy said Monday.
Okay, notice how SPECIFIC he is with that comment? He's very specifically talking about the guys who are "sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can’t get work". But what's the issue at hand that he's commenting on? He's commenting on the issue of Mexican migrant workers... who are coming into Nova Scotia to do the jobs that the guys "sitting on the sidewalk" are REFUSING TO DO! He's talking about the truly lazy folks, who are most likely sitting there, collecting change and government benefits, while there are perfectly good jobs available for them!

I see them downtown in my area all the time... kids who don't WANT to work, but moan and complain every time someone even remotely threatens a government program that they mooch off of. These kids seriously just sit there all day long, "hanging out", leeching off the system, rather than contributing to it. They're irresponsible, argumentative, and have a "woe is me" martyr's complex. I see them usually gathered in their "spots", and you'll see them there every day without fail. They know the system, they know where to be and when to get the free stuff, and most of them have cell phones and iPods to boot. You'll see them in every Canadian city, part of Trudeau's legacy to our nation. Believe me, it's a CHOICE they've made... which is exactly what Mr. Keddy is taking them to task for!

(for the record... I am NOT talking about those who have mental issues who have fallen through the cracks. I am FULL supportive of programs for them to get them back on their feet, and they certainly need MORE, not LESS, help from all of us!)

So why is the Opposition trying to turn this into political hay? Because that's what they do... they put all their energies into scoring political points, not actually addressing the root issues, like Mr. Keddy was trying to raise with his, shall we say, unfortunately worded comments.

Thoughts? Am I way off base here? Or do you agree with me and see this as a much larger issue that needs to be addressed? We DO have issues of poverty in this country, but I don't count the folks who are choosing to "sit on the sidewalk" and refuse legitimate work as being in need of our help... I want to make sure that the people who REALLY need our help are getting it when they need it! Maybe I'm just cyinical, after all my years working in "the system", and seeing the levels of abuse that are rife within it. We need a serious overhaul, but while the Liberals are still around, willing to turn every single little offhand comment into a huge political scandal, I don't see much hope for real change... do you?

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McGuinty Lockout vs. Hudak Walkout

After Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty "locked out" the Ontario public by refusing calls for public hearings on the HST, the Hudak Tories called attention to the issue by staging a walkout at the Ontario Legislature during Question Period yesterday.

Kinda frames the debate quite well I think... a McGuinty Lockout, vs. a Hudak Walkout. Cudos again to Hudak & Co. for keeping the public's interests front and centre.

While my views on the HST are well known (not a big deal to me, I agree with the Federal Tories and Federal/Provincail Liberals on this file), I do appreciate the lenghts that Team Hudak are going to in an effort to ensure that our voices are clearly heard. This IS of course an effort to collect more taxes, based on the fact that the new harmonized rate will be a staggering 13%. If this was REALLY about returning Ontario to our place as the economic engine of the country, (where we were during the Harris years, if I recall correctly...) the McGuinty Liberals would be talking about reducing the PST rate at the same time that they implement the HST... more like 12% or even 11%. Now THAT would give the economy a kick-start, no?

Either way, a good show by the Ontario Tories for keeping this issue front and centre.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Near miss with a Greyhound this morning

To the driver of the red Jeep heading west on Hwy. 7 into Kitchener this morning... you're an idiot, and very nearly cost the lives of several people today.

Normally, if it were just me involved, I could just forgive and move on. But today, after you endangered your life, my life, the life of the lady behind me, and the lives of all the folks on the Hwy. 7 westbound Greyhound bus this morning... well, I can still forgive, but I do want to ensure this incident is recorded, in the hopes that it somehow makes it's way back to you.

I had business in Kitchener this morning, and was heading east to Guelph on Hwy. 7 after that at 7:45am. At the junction of Woolwich-Guelph Townline, for some reason, most likely impatience it seems, you decided to make use of that insanely narrow gap in traffic to gun your way onto Hwy. 7 west. You knew what you'd done was wrong by the way you gunned it onto the shoulder, I think intending to use that to gather speed and merge into a gap. (Based on your driving, however, I do wonder if that's your regular route and if that's a regular manouver you pull... and as such, I'd welcome members of the OPP to meet up with you there one morning to identify and charge you one of these days)

What you didn't realize, however, was that you didn't leave enough room for the bus to miss you, and as such, you forced him well into my lane to avoid hitting you. This of course caused a very near miss with me as he tried to get back into his lane, and had I not been able to swerve to miss him (I still wonder how I managed that, there wasn't any concious thought on my part, just reaction) you would have caused a headon collision at a combined speed of somewhere likely in excess of 160kms/h.

Further adding to the potential loss of life was the fact that we were at the top of an embankment, into which the bus would have most likely rolled due to the force of the impact. Then add to this the oncoming traffic that was behind me, who would have been unable to avoid the swirling mess of glass, metal and bodies, and you could well have been responsible for the loss of significant life this morning.

I hope you enjoy your day. I know I will be, with the new-found appreciation of life that I suddenly find myself with this morning.

Shaken, but not stirred,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

IFFY officially in sub-Dion territory

YIKES... IFFY is now below Dion's 2008 election numbers, at 24%, according to the latest Ipsos Reid poll.
Michael Ignatieff's Liberals garnered 24 per cent of support among respondents, a drop of one percentage point from late October.

The Liberals' steady descent has them almost at the same depths as in December of last year, when former leader Stephane Dion's call for a coalition government sat uneasily with a majority of Canadians. A poll taken Dec. 3 suggested the Liberals' support had dipped to 23 per cent.
Just one more percent to go until he's below Dion's WORST ever numbers... the level I predicted he'd drop to back in September.

Yes indeed folks, the honeymoon is OVER.

UPDATE: OH MY... and down go the numbers even further. First, an Angus-Reid poll I missed that put them down at 23%, (matching my prediction from September, h/t to a commenter for that) and now, Dion's wife Janine Krieber has launched a blistering attack on Michael Ignatieff and the current state of the Liberal Party. OUCH!!! AND FURTHER DOWN THEY GO!!!

It's been a year and one week since I last wrote on my blog. Ah! "la présidente" is lazy. But we have to take action now.

The Liberal Party is falling apart, and will not recover. Like all liberal parties in Europe, it will become a weakling at the mercy of ephemeral coalitions. By refusing the historic coalition that would have placed it at the helm of the left, it will be punished by history.

Anyway, I became convinced of it the moment that Paul Martin treated Jean Chrétien so cavalierly. The party died at that moment. If the Toronto elites had been more in tune, humble and realist, Stéphane would have been willing to take all the time and absord all the hits needed to rebuild the party. But they couldn't swallow the 26%, and now we are at 23%.

The time for choices is now. I don't want to see the Conservatives continue to change my country. They are, slowly, like any dictatorship, changing the world. Torture doesn't exist, corruption is a fabrication. Do we really have the right leader to discuss these questions? Can someone really write these insanities and lead us to believe that he simply changed his mind? In order to justify violence, he must have engaged in serious thought. Otherwise, it's very dangerous. How can we be sure that he won't change his mind one more time?

The party grassroots had understood all of that, and the average citizen is starting to understand it too. Ignatieff's supporters have not done their homework. They did not read his books, consult his colleagues. They were satisfied that he could be charming at cocktails. Some of them are outraged now. I am hearing: Why did no one say it? We told you loud and clear, you didn't listen.

I am starting a serious reflection. I will not give my voice to a party that will end up in the trashcan of history. I am looking around me, and certain things are attractive. Like a dedicated party that doesn't challenge its leader at every hiccup in the polls. A party where the rule would be the principle of pleasure, and not assassination. A party where work ethic and competence would be respected and where smiles would be real.

Maybe I'm not dreaming.

"La présidente."

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Friday, November 20, 2009

IBM's "unGreen" Green campaign

This one gets filed under the heading of "Are you kidding me?"

Got a package from IBM today. Obviously some promotional thing, so we open them up to see what we got this time. Here's what we found inside...

Yes, little IBM nested Russian dolls, only... not.

The marketing campaign is about IBM's DB2 system, a robust and "Green" database system that they claim will reduce costs for organizations due to better performance, therefore less power usage and therefore more "green", etc.

Anyway, they shipped these things out of the US, so they've had to travel quite a distance, using lots of fuel in transit. Strike One.

They're quite large and heavy and USELESS, which added to the fuel costs. Strike Two. (come on guys... something like a 1GB USB drive won't have likely cost any more than these useless things, and would have cost way less to ship... besides, getting something useful tends to make me want to go over your brochures, rather than just chucking them like I did with these ones)

Then there's the real irony of this... this is to tout the "green" benefits of their "amazing" database solutions, right? Well, due to an IBM database error, my boss and I BOTH GOT TWO OF THESE THINGS EACH!!! That's right... doubling the shipping costs and fuel consupmtion! Strike Three, YOU'RE OUT!

Like I said... come on, would something useful like a USB drive have killed you? I likely would have gotten you a more positive post, that's for sure.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Iffy Liberals attacking McGuinty Liberals?

I have to wonder about their strategy sometimes... in attacking the Harper Government over the issue of Economic Action Plan signs, they seem to have found an unintended target... their own provincial cousins.

I did a quick survey of every Economic Action Plan sign I could find this evening... and here's what every single one of them looked like...

One word... OOPS.

Here's the irony... while they accuse the Conservatives of outright partisanship, it seems that the Ontario Liberals have been exposed to significant political damage. I mean, just look at the signs... at least the Federal one's aren't "Tory Blue", as opposed to the Ontario "Liberal Red" ones!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New McDonald's entree... Hornet Hotcakes

No joke... found a hornet in my McDonald's hotcakes this morning... now I'm suddenly on a diet...
Not the restaurant's fault... these are pre-made at a plant somewhere, and reheated in store. Took it back, the manager on shift got on the phone with the store's owner ASAP. Still didn't solve my problem though... am still hungry, but not wanting to eat right now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Working from home today

Been trying to get some paperwork done, and it seems the only way that's going to happen is to disappear for a day... so I'm working from home today. New VPN system that needs to be put through its paces, so killing two birds with one stone.

Couple added perks though... the espresso maker is just steps away, and I get to crank some tunes.

Such as this new one from Michael Tait, who's the new frontman for perhaps the top Christian band of all time, Newsboys.

I've loved the Newsboys since the mid-90's, and have bought every album of theirs since "Take Me to Your Leader". Another band I loved in the 90's, before they broke up, was "dc Talk"... who were number one back in the day. Anyway, Newsboys frontman Peter Furler has taken a bow after 20 years, and who did they bring in as the new frontman? dc Talk's Michael Tait... who was by far the best artist and vocalist of dc Talk!

I just found out they have a new single out... a true blend of Michael Tait's vocals, and the Newsboys unique style... give it a listen! (you'll have to follow the link, YouTube's embedding seems to SUCK these days)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lady Thatcher passes away... the cat, not the PM

A cautionary tale about today's fast paced social media, and a near international embarrassment.

Apparently the rumour mill was churning last night at a military dinner event in Toronto, with the sad news that "Lady Thatcher has passed away". The rumour eventually reached the PM's staff, who were in attendance, who then began to make preparations for a press release.

That's why it's always important to take the time to double check things... had the PM's staff not done so, it could have been very embarrassing.

Turns out that the British government didn't have a clue what they were talking about... so they began to trace back the source of the rumour.

Turns out "Lady Thatcher" had indeed passed away... not the "Iron Lady" of Great Britian, but Transport Minister John Baird's beloved 16-year-old cat.

The moral of today's story... FACT CHECK!!!


HRH Prince Charles and the GG on Rememberance Day

A really nice touch at today's Rememberance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, which I had the privilage to watch today at our own ceremony at work.

The GG proved once again why she ROCKS, showing up today in her full official Canadian Forces regalia... as did HRH Prince Charles, rather than wearing one of his British uniforms. (as he is officially the "Colonel-in-Chief" of several regiments, as well as a Vice-Admiral)

As one might say back home... "Good show ol' boy, good show!"

UPDATE: Great photo sent in by Mark from Ottawa, courtesy of The Torch:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Analysis of By-election results look even WORSE for Iffy's Liberals

Had a few moments today, so I thought I'd take a closer look at the by-election results from last night. By taking a deeper look at the raw numbers, things look even bleaker for the Liberals than I first thought!

Here's the raw data of the total votes cast, compiled from all four ridings:

Total CPC votes - 33850
Total NDP votes - 23203
Total Bloc votes - 19726
Total Liberal votes - 13995
Total Green votes - 2897
Total OTHER - 1448

Here's your quick method calculation to get the percentage...
Party Votes / Total Ballots = Percentage of Vote

Total CPC votes - 33850 - 35.6%
Total NDP votes - 23203 - 24.4%
Total Bloc votes - 19726 - 20.7%
Total Liberal votes - 13995 - 14.7%
Total Green votes - 2897 - 3.0%
Total OTHER - 1448 - 1.5%
TOTAL BALLOTS CAST - 95119 (total is 99.9% due to rounding)

Do you see what I see? Yea, I see some SERIOUS trouble for the Liberal Party of Canada... they collected LESS THAN HALF THE NUMBER OF VOTES THAT THE TORIES COLLECTED... in fact, nearly a full 20,000 FEWER! Put another way, the Liberals only collected a total of 14.7% of all the ballots cast, polling at a distant FOURTH PLACE overall last night. In fact, they even collected almost 10,000 FEWER votes than Jack Layton's New Democrats! (and almost 6000 less than the Quebec only Bloc!)

Now, of course, some Liberals (cause let's face it, only the Liberals are trying desperately to spin these numbers in any postive light they can) will say my numbers are skewed because the Bloc was only running in two of the four ridings... okay then, let's pull out the Bloc totals, shall we?

New calculation...
Total Votes Cast - Total Bloc Votes = Total "UnBloced" Votes
With me so far? The total "UnBloced" votes last night was 75393.
(95119 - 19726 = 75393)

CPC - 44.9%
NDP - 30.1%
Liberals - 18.6%
Green - 3.8%

YIKES... the CPC got 44.9% vs. Iffy's 18.6% nationally?!?! Any way you slice it, it was a BAD night for Iffy's Liberals last night. Or, put another way... what do I think the chances are of a Federal election before next summer?

I'd say somewhere around 18.6%.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

By-election night results

Along with most other BTers tonight, I'm watching the by-election results. Right now, we've got the NS seat in the bag, and in a potential political earthquake, we're leading in the "former" Bloc stronghold of Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup by 400+ votes, with over half the polls reporting.

Also enjoying a little West Wing while waiting... what better show to be watching on an election night?

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A "misfire" from Bowie... James Bowie

You've got to love it when a Liberal blogger tries to make us look bad, and it goes so horribly wrong for him.

James Bowie tries to make the point, with some House stats from Evan Sotiropoulos at the Canadian Parliamentary Review, that more Tories in the House has made it a more partisan place. Here's his stats, as he posted them...
38th Parliament
(Liberal Minority) Conservative - Liberal
Political/Partisan Statements 328 (42.1%) - 148 (13.5%)

39th Parliament
(Conservative Minority) Conservative - Liberal
Political/Partisan Statements 569 (47.3%) - 250 (24.9%)
BANG. You catch that? He just shot his own party with those stats. How, you ask?

It's simple math, really... while the CPC MP's partisan comments went up about 5% each (from 42% to 47%), the number of partisan statements made by the Liberals almost doubled! (13% to 25%)

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Warren now on Liberal staff in the OLO?

Interesting line buried at the end of an article in the Hill Times...
"Additionally, Chrétien-era campaign strategist Warren Kinsella has recently joined the team."


Sent from my Blackberry

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Liberal "I'm just an ordinary Canadian" in flu lineup shown the OLO door

Wow, looks like Peter Donoldo is pretty heartless and cut-throat when it comes to cleaning out the Liberal OLO... Iffy staffer Mark "I'm just an ordinary citizen waiting to get the flu-shot for my kid" Sakamoto has been shown the door at the OLO, along with fellow Toronto Liberal Alexis Levine.

I thought the incident was an issue, but I certainly didn't think it was a firing offense.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

CNN covering for another Obama blunder?

What's this we see, ONCE AGAIN? CNN is once again covering for a serious blunder by Obama yesterday, in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, where Obama spends the first two minutes of the press conference offering "shout outs" to his supporters, instead of, you know... being "Presidential" at a time of national mourning, when the whole nation is looking to him for, you know... "Leadership".

I'm sorry, but when something like this happens, you drop your partisan agendas and deal with the issue at hand. No "shout outs", no praising the organizers of some conference you're at, no making partisan comments regarding your agenda... you drop it all, and address the nation like a "President".

Here's the CNN "cover-up" clip, where they convienently leave out Obama's blatant error...

...compared to the FULL unedited live feed clip from Fox News.

Hey Jerry P, let me save you the trouble of commenting... yes, I MUST OBVIOUSLY be a racist exposing this blunder.

Oh, and just in case Obama's people manage to get the clip pulled... DON'T BOTHER, BECAUSE I AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHERS BY NOW HAVE GOT IT ARCHIVED.

h/t to SDA

UPDATE: Some rare honesty from the MSM... the local Chicago NBC affiliate has some choice words for Obama on this one... "Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting".

UPDATE II: The transcript, via the Washington Post:
President Obama delivers remarks on Ft. Hood shooting at end of tribal leaders conference
CQ Transcriptions
Thursday, November 5, 2009; 5:42 PM


[*] OBAMA: Please, everybody, have a seat. Let me first of all just thank Ken and the entire Department of the Interior staff for organizing just an extraordinary conference.

I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It's good to see you.


My understanding is is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process and that we are going to follow up.


We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this -- this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans (ph) get the best possible chances in life in a way that's consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values.

Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans as well as collaboration with our administration.

But as some of you might have heard, there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. We don't yet know all the details at this moment. We will share them as we get them.

What we do know is that a number of American soldiers have been killed, and even more have been wounded in a horrific outburst of violence.

My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood.

These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis.

It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas.

It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.

I've spoken to Secretary Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in.

We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government. In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers. We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident, and I want all of you to know that as commander-in-chief, there's no greater honor, but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for an that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.

So we are going to stay on this, but I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers. Again, thank you for your participation here today. I am confident that this is going to be resulting in terrific work between this government and your governments in the weeks, the months and years to come.

God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Thank you.


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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Another increase to the cost of Healthcare

Just in case anyone hasn't clued into why our system is broken, HERE'S WHY... OPSEU workers in the health sector just won 2.5% wage increases for 2009 and 2010 under arbitration. At a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs, or are getting wage reductions, union folks are still demanding wage INCREASES... when they're already some of the highest paid workers around.

Of course, as we learned from the Ontario Economic update the other week, the McGuinty government doesn't have the money to help pay for the increases that your local hospital will now have to wedge into their budgets. Nor, of course, do they have the guts to stand up to the unions and do anything about it.
Ontario’s Hospitals Criticize Wage Award
Ontario Hospital Association
November 4, 2009

Toronto – Today, an Arbitration Board led by Owen Gray released its award in the matter between 44 Ontario hospitals and the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU).

The Gray Board of Arbitration awarded OPSEU 2.5% wage increases in 2009 and 2010, as well as certain enhancements to benefits. The wage increases awarded are significantly higher than recent settlements in the public sector, including the Ontario Public Service Settlement with OPSEU, the City of Toronto settlement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and hospital settlements with CUPE and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).

The award will increase the operating costs of the affected hospitals while not contributing to improved patient care.

Key Quote:

“The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is extremely disappointed that Arbitrator Gray chose to ignore the current and expected impact of the economic downturn on public sector finances generally, and on hospital funding specifically. This award is inconsistent with previous, freely-negotiated collective agreements and is, in the OHA’s view, irresponsible. Hospitals could be forced to make further difficult decisions related to staffing and service levels in order to meet the terms of this award and balance their budgets. We believe that Arbitrator Gray’s decision to ignore the prevailing economic circumstances clearly demonstrates why changes to the Hospitals Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) are urgently needed.” – Tom Closson, President and CEO, OHA.

The text of the award is available at

For more information:
OHA Public Affairs
Just so no one is under any kind of illusion, wages and benefits account for WELL OVER 75%, often upwards of 78%, of healthcare costs. Until those costs are brought under control, we'll never be able to fix the current system as it currently functions.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Liberal Senator retires early, 2 seats now open

Not something you see everyday... a Liberal Senator John Bryden has decided to retire almost three years before the mandatory retirement age of 75 in order to spend more time with his family.

There are currently two Atlantic Canada Senate seats to be filled.

We'll all be able to say "Happy New Year" with a little more gusto this year... as of January 2, 2010, we'll officially be up on the Liberals, at 51 vs 50 in the Senate. (of course, we can still be outgunned if the two remaining PC's vote with the Liberals... we won't have an absolute majority until late 2010)

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CTV: Liberals got $56,500 donation in 2001 from vaccine supplier

Well, looks like the Liberals really botched this one... while they've been desperately trying to gain traction in the polls by attempting to pin the problems related to sole-sourcing our supply of the H1N1 vaccine, the Liberals have managed to expose themselves to accusations of corruption ONCE AGAIN.

CTV has uncovered the fact that the Liberal Party of Canada received a $56,500 donation from the very same company to which THEY sole-sourced the contact in 2001!
Canada's H1N1 vaccine is made exclusively by GlaxoSmithKline, which signed a 10-year contract in 2001 with the then-Liberal government to develop and produce enough vaccine for the entire population in the event of a pandemic.

The contract was awarded to Shire BioChem, a company that gave $57,000 to the Liberal Party in 2001. The company has since been bought out by GSK, but the contract remained valid since it secured the Ste. Foy vaccine production facility.
And just to be sure, here it is from the Liberal Party's 2001 Financial Return, via the Elections Canada database:

5273 Shire BioChem Inc. $56,536.25

(just in case, I took a look at the other guys... Shire BioChem did NOT make any contributions to the Alliance or the PC's that year)

That's right folks... FIFTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS from the drug company to whom THEY sole-sourced our vaccines! AND THEY'RE TRYING TO PIN THE H1N1 ISSUES ON THE TORIES!?!?!?!?!?

So I guess there's a new series of questions that needs to be asked... why did the Liberals select Shire BioChem Inc. for the contract? Were there any prior discussions of possible "donations" if the Liberals selected Shire BioChem? Was it JUST $56,500, or were there other little brown paper bags we should know about?

h/t to "Orange Tory" for this story

UPDATE: Here's the video, thanks to Stephen Taylor (via SDA):

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NB Liberals - "NO Canada"?

And Liberals wonder why we think they're "unpatriotic"... everyone remember that little incident back in January where a New Brunswick school principal decided not ban "O Canada" in his school?

Well, it looks like it's now become a festering cancer throughout the New Brunswick school system... according to CFRB's John Moore, 40 New Brunswick schools have now decided to "opt out" of singing "O Canada" in their schools in the morning. On an interesting note that does not bode well for national unity, almost all of these schools are apparently French speaking ones.

Did a little digging, and according to Aaron Wherry at Maclean's, the New Brunswick government supposedly mandated the singing of "O Canada" after that little incident. But according to John Moore this morning on CFRB, that's not happening.

What on earth is the Graham government up to on this one? Was the singing of "O Canada" indeed mandated for all New Brunswick schools this fall? If so, why are they allowing these 40 schools to get away with defying the government's directive?

Here's a great opportunity to prove themselves... if the Liberals in New Brunswick really are as patriotic as they say they are, (hang on, anyone actually have a quote from any NB Liberals on whether or not they actually "Love Canada"?) they can stand up for this great nation of ours and ensure that their schools are continuing to foster a patriotic environment for our kids to grow up in.

I mean, we can all see how unpatriotic Canada is becoming... after all, the Liberals are putting forward an American/Brit for Prime Minister...

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Monday, November 02, 2009

You win some... and then you lose some

Yikes... a Quebec town councilor passes away moments after learning he's been re-elected, after a very tough battle to keep his seat.

Almost seems unfair... my thoughts of course are for the family.

Via NN

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Bible on Capital Punishment

Having an interesting day. Genesis 9:6 was quoted in today's message at chapel, and that same verse was quoted by President Jed Bartlett in the Season One episode of the West Wing that I'm watching tonight.

So naturally, I've been spending the day mulling the issue over once again. A lot of people naturally think that I'm set in my ways, that I'm just some one dimensional nitwit who never examines what I think about the issues... which couldn't be further from the truth.

When talking to people about the issue, I've always been confronted with the apparent paradox of how I could support capital punishment, while I in the next breath could be talking about the "sanctity of life" when it comes to the abortion issue. To some, it would seem to be a paradox.

It all crystallized for me today in a new and fresh way, thanks to that verse. In the past, I've always turned to Lev. 24:20, the old "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" passage, but that's the wrong verse. Genesis 9:6 is really the key verse on the issue that better explains my position, and helps to clarify the apparent paradox on my position on the sanctity of life.

In Genesis 9:6, God says, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man."

My elder who was speaking today made the interesting point about this verse, that it is BECAUSE life is sacred that we should support capital punishment. Yes, all life is sacred, and as such, I can't ever support the heinous practice of abortion. Likewise, the life of any man or woman who's life has just been taken is sacred, as they too have been created "in the image of God".

It's always been my view that if you've taken the life of another, you have forfeit your right to keep your own life. This is, of course, a rather vindictive way of looking at it, and I must admit that I missed the point of this command from God. It's not I think intended to be retribution, but is intended to reveal to us the sacredness of life, and WHY it's so sacred... because we have been made in the very image of God. Because we have been given that greatest of all gifts, the ability to reason and choose for ourselves our own path, a gift and blessing not given to the lesser beings, the animals.

As such, as we are indeed so valuable and precious in His sight, when someone dares to defy a Holy and Sovereign God by de valuing His precious gift of life, then that person or persons lives should not be permitted to continue. And the responsibility for "enforcing" this command has been to mankind to enforce.

Of course, this won't make much sense to those who don't believe in a Holy and Sovereign God, but there's not likely much I can do to change anyone's mind on that front. But at least for me, today, this verse has helped refocus my opinion on the issue.

Capital punishment ought not to be about retribution. What it should be about is honouring God, and about protecting His greatest creation... the very life of mankind. And to do that, as counter intuitive as it may seem, He has commanded that those who would take the life of another have their own lives taken by those to whom He has given that task... to us, to society, as a whole.

To meet out His justice, to protect His creation, mankind. It's a big issue, and who knows if I've cleared things up or just made them worse, but these are some of the thoughts that have been spinning around in my head today. Hope it's been even marginally helpful to you.

Sent from my Blackberry

Dirty tricks being used in the OPCYA campaign?

Come on kids, it's time to grow up... I'm hearing reports via e-mail and Facebook that Team Katlyn, one of the candidate slates for the OPCYA, is attempting to block the founding of an OPCYA in the Ottawa Centre riding by quickly scheduling an alternate "founding meeting" to be held before the "officially" recognized one already organized by Team Beth, the current front-runners. (UPDATE: I should clarify, I only recently HEARD they might the front-runners, guess I should have checked that first, my apologies)

Now, I'm getting sketchy details from here and there, so any further info would be appreciated as we try to sort out what exactly is going on here from the various sides.

From what I'm hearing, some folks who are supporting Team Katlyn are supposedly saying that because a "founding meeting" was already held today in the riding (scheduled last night for 7:00am TODAY at a Tim Horton's, at which no one from the riding showed up) that the second meeting being held today is therefore illegitimate, and as such, delegates selected at that founding meeting should be disqualified. Of course, the vast majority of youth at the second founding meeting have been recruited by, well why don't you take a wild guess... that's right, their rivals, Team Beth.

This is the same old tactics we've seen from the OPCYA before, the kind of underhanded stuff we saw at the Ontario PC London leadership review back in 2008. For those who weren't there, a significant number of "YES" delegates were blocked from being allowed to register to vote for the leadership review vote. Of course, had those delegates been able to vote, John Tory could have possibly fallen below the 60% threshold, and a leadership race could have been triggered there and then. Apparently, a new term was coined from this convention... that the delegates in question were "Brandered". (just to clarify, it was Brander himself that told me that one, so don't think I'm taking a shot at him... I personally like the guy, bump into him here and there... and he's one heck of a campaigner!!!)

Interestingly enough, the slogan for Team Beth (full disclosure, I am supporting them in this race) is "United for Change". From what I also understand of this race, the current OPCYA Executive has started to openly support Team Katlyn, which I think is pretty much against the rules. (at least it should be, if it's not already)

I dunno about you, but I'm ready for a change in the OPCYA. I'm ready to completely overhaul the current leadership of the OPCYA, and am ready to toss out everyone that's connected to the current "establishment". (or maybe I should say "past establishment", as there's a new sheriff in town, Tim Hudak)

We managed to finally get rid of John Tory (for the record, nice guy, love his show on CFRB, and hope he takes another crack at and wins the Toronto Mayor's race) but there's still a lot of work to do to clean house, right the ship, and get ready to take on McGuinty's Liberals. Beth and her team are, in my opinion, are the only folks who can get the job done. (Don't get me wrong, I don't have a hate on for the folks currently or previously running the OPCYA... I count several of them among my friends)

Let's just hope that these tactics don't succeed in stealing the OPCYA election.

Memo to the Party Executive... it's time to step in and end these childish antics!

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