Friday, January 13, 2006

An ad for the Liberal Party of Canada (Part 2)

Based on the premise that the Liberals are the only party offering "real Canadian values," we offer -- free of charge -- these quickie 15-second ads...
Paul Martin uses private health care.
In Canada.
Jack Layton uses private health care.
In Canada.
We're not making this up.
They don't want you to use private health care.
In Canada.
Real Canadian values.
Paul Martin's family company builds ships.
In China.
Not in Canada.
Paul Martin's family company pays taxes.
In Barbados.
Not in Canada.
We're not making this up.
Real Canadian values.
Insider trading.
In Canada.
False representation in order to gain government contracts.
In Canada.
Skimming from various government funds.
In Canada.
We're not making this up.
Real Canadian values.
The tag line for each of these ads would be: Paid for by the Canadian taxpayers with money skimmed by the Liberal Party of Canada.

Some philosophy, Part 2

Today's general theme: Crime and punishment...

There are, to my way of thinking, two types of criminals... those who can be rehabilitated and those who can't. Ask anybody on the front lines of the war on crime -- your local police -- and they'll tell you that.
There are also some crimes that strike the average citizen as so heinous that freedom for those convicted in those cases should never be an option.
(Note: I am not a big fan of the death penalty, but with technology advancing more and more, the odds of executing an innocent party are decreasing. Witness this story.)
Today's left tends to glorify the criminal and, by extension, spit in the face of the victims. Think Tookie Williams and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Hell, think Ira Einhorn, for that matter. (Google for a variety of views on each of the above).
When the left starts holding fundraisers for the victims of these and other skels like them, then maybe I'll listen.
But don't hold your breath.
When I hear people deplore the disproportionate incarceration of a certain ethnic group, I always want to ask, "What's the ethnicity of their victims?"
It's an answer you seldom hear.
It's also a pretty safe bet to say that the vast majority of victims come from the same ethnic group, based on history.
Do the victims not count?
Legalize 'em?
That's no solution.
Look at all the legalized gambling now available.
But the bookies aren't out of business, not by a longshot. The numbers runners, while not as plentiful as in days past, are still in a profitable business. That's the gambling black market.
Legalized drugs would have the same effect. The black market would still be a hot market.
More to come.

Friday the 13th

Are you a triskadekaphobiac?
This ain't your day, Ollie.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Desperate Houseknaves

It's the story of a group of addicts who are, indeed, desperate to maintain what they have.
Now showing on Canadian television [possibly available in U.S. border states], it's Desperate Houseknaves - the mini-series of life on Maple Leaf Lane.
Episode 1: Scott and John host a beer-and-pretzels party for the neighbourhood's poor families.
Episode 2: Annie announces a new plan for neighbourhood security. She promises to arm the guards at the gate. The guards get water pistols and cap guns.
Episode 3: Ralph tips off his friends to a big deal upcoming. They make a small fortune, some of which they immediately give to Scott and John to help pay for the beer and pretzels in Episode 1.
Episode 4: Judy hires strippers as housecleaners, but won't let a foreign-born doctor who wants to move into the neighbourhood come in unless he agrees to drive the shuttle bus.
Episode 5: Gilles, who lives in the old section of the neighbourhood, says Paul, Ralph and Annie are skimming from the neighbourhood association's treasury and threatens to start a new association in the older section. Paul, Ralph and Annie enlist some of Gilles' neighbours to fight his plan. They send Chuck around with envelopes laden with cash.
Episode 6: Paul refuses to appear with Gilles at a meeting in the older section of the neighbourhood. Steve, who doesn't trust Paul but still wants to keep the neighbourhood together, offers to meet Gilles instead to discuss the situation. Gilles refuses, saying that since Paul runs the association, he's the one that should be there.
Episode 7: Jack, the neighbourhood's pretty boy, offers to settle the dispute, but only if he can run the association. Paul listens to Jack's pitch and promises to make some of the changes Jack has proposed... with his fingers crossed behind his back.
Episode 8: Paul refuses to sign a joint policing agreement with the much larger Eagles Ridge neighbourhood because of his distaste for George, the head of the Eagles Ridge association.
Episode 9: This is the double-secret climax to Desperate Houseknaves. It will be aired throughout Canada on Jan. 23. The producers are keeping this a tight secret, although polls of show watchers indicate that Steve may unseat Paul as head of the association and discover all kinds of nifty irregularities that could send Paul, Chuck, Annie, Ralph and many of their friends packing up their toothbrushes for a visit to the local penal institution.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sporting update

Saturday was a big day for the young lass in the pool at her high school meet.

1. She made her qualifying time for the YMCA club Eastern District Pa. championships in the 200 freestyle. That's been her goal since she just missed it by 0.7 seconds last spring. She smoked it -- with 2-plus seconds to spare.
I run the console for the electronic timing system for the high school home meets, which are held at our YMCA pool. She came over by me after the race, but passed me quickly, heading for the hallway where the qualifying times are posted.
She came back all smiles.

2. The final race is the 400 freestyle relay. The young lass swims the second leg for the "A" team. They'd been close to getting their qualifying time for the high school district meet, but not quite there.
It was a great race. Our leadoff swimmer cranked out her best split of the season, but we were still down by about a second and a half when the young lass hit the water.
She cut the edge down to half a second, with her best split of the year.
The third swimmer turned it into a dogfight, cutting the other team's lead to 0.2 seconds.
It was dead even going into the final 50 meters.
We won by 0.3 seconds.
And both teams made their district qualifying times -- the other team did it by 0.06 seconds.
Now, the district has about 60 schools in the large-school classification. Usually, about 40-50 percent get qualifiers in any given event.
That's quite an accomplishment.
Especially for a team that's all underclassmen -- no Grade 12s (seniors). The leadoff is Grade 10 (sophomore), the young lass is Grade 9 (freshman) and the last two are Grade 11s (juniors).
The next couple of seasons could be fun, eh?

Some philosophy, Part 1

I speak here only for myself. No conservative would be so presumptuous as to speak for everyone who shares a basic conservative outlook.
The one theme I've found in conservatism -- no matter what genre -- is this: Conservatives don't trust government.
Any government.
Even those governments with which we fundamentally agree.
No one can be fully trusted with power.
Whatever trust is offered to a government is offered with that great caveat Ronald Reagan had when discussing missile agreements with the Soviet Union: "Trust, but verify."
The principle of subsidiarity is the underpinning of this conservative's viewpoint.
It's a principle that says, basically, that the government shouldn't do what the private sector can do; and that a higher level government shouldn't do what a lower level of government can do.
This runs against the contemporary liberal grain that the central government can do it all.
It can't, certainly not effectively and well.
Contemporary liberalism places centralized government power on an altar to be worshipped.
One question: Where do you go when the centralized power screws up?
(If you don't think centralized power can't screw up, look at the Liberal Party of Canada for the example of corruption at its finest. If you don't think big power doesn't bring big corruption, look at Jack Abramoff's list of donations -- in both U.S. political parties.)
The Founding Fathers, radicals that they were (and, quite frankly, still are), believed that rights begin with the people and responsibilities are placed upon the government.
Contemporary liberals and their socialist bedfellows believe that the government grants rights to the people.
Bottom-up governance or top-down governance. I prefer the power to remain at the bottom, with the people, not the elitists, not the government.
As Barry Goldwater once opined, "Any government big enough to give you rights is big enough to take them away."
I'd amend that to say "Any government that gives you rights can take them away."
That's why the Founding Fathers devised an elaborate system of checks and balances.
Hell, yes.
But efficient governing isn't what they had in mind.
Governing that would not jeopardize the natural rights of the people is more like it.
Have you found a socialist/contemporary liberal system that doesn't sound like a nanny-state, where big government tells you what to do?
I'll do more on this later. Time isn't exactly an easy commodity to come by these days.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Getting around to the tag

Hello again.
The start of 2006 has been far more hectic than I would have imagined, hence an absence of new posts.
I will officially bang in the new year now, having been tagged by no less than three worthies from across Canada: from the Great Pumpkin in the Maritimes to the good Doctor in central Canada (the Doc and I may not agree on much, but he is a gentleman) and Aizlynne out West.
Five annoying habits (actually, part deux, since this meme bounced around some of my U.S. associates first):
1. Working-around-the-house clothes tend to pile up on the floor by my side of the bed for a couple of days.
2. No poultry meal is complete without some kind of hot sauce.
3. I don't always hide my dentures (yeah, I've got 'em) in the vanity when I take 'em out at night.
4. What'd you say, eh?
5. I still forget.
Next post in mid-week. The sad duty of taking down Christmas decoration must be completed by Wednesday.
I hate doing that.