Thursday 19 March 2015

Working in Montréal today --Nationalize Pierogies Now!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

I think Peter Zeihan is short sighted.  In a recent book, 'The Accidental Superpowers', Zeihan speculates on the political future of my former stompin' ground, Alberta.  Zeihan considers Alberta's oil as a prime economic force that results in high net contributions from Alberta to the rest of Canada and that everyone in Alberta is young and hip compared to the old foagies in the rest of the country as a prime reason to give up on confederation and skip south to the U.S.

Now sure, the U.S. would likely embrace a new state, but of course the U.S. would likely want a name change, perhaps.. North Texas, maybe Southern Alaska.  But wait .. what about Russia?

Sure, it makes sense.   The U.S. will be (or so it claims) energy self sufficient sometime in 2016, so it really should not need Alberta's tar sands, and with the passing of Harper's new policy of allowing armed U.S. law enforcement officers to operate in Canada to enforce U.S. laws, the entire 49th is deemed to be irrelevant anyway.

No.. Alberta should be be being wooed by Putin!

Uncle Daniel, lost your mind?

No, I mean nyet! For the most part the world misunderstands Putin's aggression.  We hear reports that it is about the ports of the Crimean Peninsula, the production of oil and transport of natural gas, restoring Russia to the territories held prior to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, a distraction from the Pussy Riot trial..  Nyet.

It's about the pierogi.

Alberta has Canada's largest supply of pierogies.   While everyone has been focused on oil, radical Muslims, Penny's new short hair on Big Bang, and whether Justin and Thomas will just stop courting and passing each other love notes at recess and just get married, Vegreville has been secretly acquiring control of all means of production and distribution of pierogies.

The same was true of the Ukraine, that's why Putin was there, and that's why Putin should be here.

Citizens wake up!  If we ignore the unrest in Alberta there could be a domino effect, first Vegreville, then the rest of Alberta, then before long, special taxes on pierogies, foreign control over the means of production, an enslavement of the workers, pierogi lines, it will be like Gorki Park but with bacon and cheese and less William Hurt.

Harper needs to move fast, the only solution I see is a National Pierogi Program. The NPP.  Harper can dust off legislation from Trudeau's 1970's National Energy Program, could set up a Crown Corporation (remember those?) to take ownership of all pierogies on Canadian soil, and nationalize the production, marketing, delivery, and royalty distributions, PierogiCanada!

No need to thanks me, I'm here to help.

Have a great day.  My Canada includes Vegreville.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Working in Ottawa today --And no Spitting

Good morning folks,

I will be working on Ottawa today.

It's outrageous, it's egregious, it's preposterous!  Hi kids, Jackie Chiles could not make it so I am sitting in.

Ever been to Taber, Alberta?  Small town of perhaps 75 or 8000 people (20 times the size of my favorite employer) in Southern Alberta, 30 miles east of Lethbridge.  It is either the Corn Capital or the Sugar Beet Capital, I don't recall which, but both sound right.

I once lived about 30 miles past there further east in an even smaller town, actually a hamlet, Burdett.  I farmed potatoes and wheat.  Was on the fire department too.  And the baseball team. Yep.  Not really germane to the topic, but adds some depth to the narrative and the many onion layers of me, yes?

The town of Taber has been busy passing laws lately.  The latest laws, no spitting (I like that one) no yelling, no swearing, but wait there's more..  curfews! Yay.  

That's right kids, in Taber the streets will be rolled up at 11 PM, means that if your summer job is at the drive in, your folks will need to come pick you up.

Wait, there is still more.  The local police will now have the authority to force any crowd of 3 or more persons (yes 3) to disperse.  Now I get it, when you have a small population, 3 people getting together may be enough to overthrow and seize control of the town hall, disrupt law and order, and result in the playing of rock and roll.

But that also means that any gathering of persons to protest bad laws and bad gov't can also be dispersed by the police.  Local employers could also seek police assistance in breaking union meetings, and established churches could stop the formation of apposing faiths.

Oh yes.  Making a movement that annoys is also now illegal.  "No person shall make or cause or allow to be made or continued any noise which disturbs or annoys a person, including any loud outcry, clamour, shouting, movement, music or activity"

Clamour?  Further evidence that the good townspeople of Taber resurrected a law from the 1950s.

Now I am generally annoyed by all persons: teenagers, poets, musicians, steam punks, magicians, street performers, pedestrians that stop to talk in intersections, people with tattoos on their foreheads, slow drivers, joggers, power walkers, people wearing large headphones, people wearing Che Guevara tshirts, those talking on cell phones, clowns, people talking to themselves, anyone wearing Spandex, anyone over 7 with bells on their boots, the list is longer, but it's a short flight.

Might I be able to invoke this law should I find myself in Taber?  Did you notice that you will be in violation of the law should YOU allow the street poet to continue to annoy ME.  The entire town is now on notice.  There is a 30 foot annoyance free zone around me, govern yourself accordingly.

The good mayor of Taber, Henk De Velieger, explained, "it's like every other tool, you can use it and you can abuse it.  A hammer I can use to pound a nail or it can kick in your brains."

Uh, wow Uncle Daniel, violence much?

Yeah, despite the rather screwed up sentence structure and a baffling mixed metaphor he recognized that it can kick in your brains and it sounded like he might be the one on the end of the handle.

The only thing worse than bad laws is a population that sits idly by while they are passed, enforced and kept on the books.

Taberites, Taberians --what ever they call themselves need to wake up, read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and repeal these dumb laws.  Except the spitting one.  Failing that, they need Kevin Bacon.

Have a great day.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Working in Montréal today --Smoke, mirrors and iron bars

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Crime is falling in Canada.  Falls each year.

Since 2009 murder has fallen from 600 and change to 505 in 2013.  In fact that is the lowest rate of murders in Canada since 1966.

Yet, the Harper gov't continues to shove crime bills down our throats.   The latest bill is the 'life-without-parole' bill which calls for 35 years before parole instead of the current 25, but it also includes something else.  The role of Cabinet in release decisions.

Figure I would let that sink in a bit.

In 1959 Canada created the National Parole Board.  It is the Board that administers, reviews, enforces, revokes and monitors parole releases and those releasees.  It is non political, their  mandate is public safety and offender rehabilitation.  The gov't passes laws (those tend to be political) and the Judiciary applies those laws and when applicable sentences offenders to punishment.  Now the gov't will get a routine second pass at individuals found guilty of crimes.

It will be a bit off for Cabinet.  A few bills to discuss, lunch in the cafeteria --are they still serving seal meat? -- and an inmate gets dragged in wearing shackles for a parole hearing.  What a waste of time and what a step backwards from division of powers and responsibility.

But what can we expect from Harper?  I recall back in 2010 they socked the taxpayers with a large tax bill to build more prisons, yet it is not just murder that is down, crime overall is down in Canada.  Back in 2010 Stockwell Day ..

Hey wait a second Uncle Daniel, wasn't there suppose to be a plebiscite or referendum to determine if Stockwell Day was to be renamed Doris Day?

Yeah, there was .. I'll need to check with Rick Mercer.

Anyway, back to 2010.  Day explained that we needed more prisons because although crime was down, it was only reported crime that was down but unreported crime was up.


Uh.. Doris, did we end up locking away any perps of unreported crimes?  Do the police investigate unreported crimes?  Is this a future world where three psychics lay in a tank of water and get visions of future unreported crimes?

I can't be sure but I think it was a CBC survey that found at 70% of those victims of unreported crime surveyed did not report because the crime or the impact was not important enough.  I'll ask the question, if the vic doesn't care, why would society build a prison to lock the perp up?

Harper explained that this new bill is targeted at those most dangerous of offenders and rattled off a bunch of crimes that make us all shutter, but those offenders are already denied parole as a matter of routine by the Board.

No statistics of reoffenders have been provided, no stats on how this would improve anything, protect anyone.  There are currently 200 convicted murders living in Canada in the community on parole.  Their release is determined by the Board based on the risk the individual poses to other members of the community.  The Board does not make the decision based on when an election may take place. 

This is just a big PR move for Harper coming into what will likely be an October election.  Waste of time, money and my attention.

Have a good day.  Spring is almost here.