Archive | Politics RSS feed for this section

Senators What Good Are They?

26 Oct

For quite some time now, we in Canada have been subjected to bickering within the Parliamentary House of Commons about questionable expenditures for some senators …..
Anyone who has a job, with expense reports, KNOWS that many, expenditures, become questionable and subject to interpretation. It is always resolved with a quick nod from some superior, yay or nay, final. This issue for “me” whether the expense in question, is legitimate or not is of no real consequence.
I offer to my fellow Canadians that the question that the opposition SHOULD be asking and debating is the whole Senate expense. Of course, we have no fears that this issue will ever be tabled since most Canadians already know that the Senate is NOTHING more than a retirement home for party faithful. It does not really matter which political party is in power since one of the first functions they do, once elected, is to fill whatever vacant seats available with one of their own cronies. Of course, seat availability only comes upon a previous member’s death. Therefore, to hope that our parliamentarians will ever discuss the abolition of the Senate is not likely since it forms in truth part of their retirement package.
It is not like as Senators; they ever have to report to work to be paid, so in that view what is the difference if we pay for questionable logging expense for Senators. We are paying for Senators who have not reported to work, may as well pay for logging that they did not use. Amazingly, NO one in Parliament is questioning his or her absence. They do not even have to use up a sick day, or vacation day, personal family day or anything; they just do not need to be there. What about that? THAT tells me that they DO nothing, period end of sentence.
I am always amazed at how the opposition stand up in the House of Commons and put banal questions to the Premier or other Parliamentarians who sit across from them with a straight face as if they have asked a question with life changing consequences. It really is too bad that our system is structured in such a way that the opposition, which is supposed to perform a job, to ensure that the elected government stays on track, but in actuality they are only there trying to “get” a job.
If we did away with party lines and let each elected official stand on his or her own merit perhaps, our country could achieve some form of greatness. Then maybe each member could bring forward novel ideas on how to best run our country without being forced to keep mum for fear that someone other than the leading party provides the required forward movement. Or that everybody must be subjected to endless benign questions on who came in late and or who did not pay their share of the lunch ticket.
Any Canadian looking in on our elected officials on CPAC has to be totally, embarrassed with the performance. I know I am. I see them pounding on their desk hooting and hollering at one another, creating whatever kind of disturbance they can, to drown out anything said that they do not agree with. If they were children, even though they behave like children, no one ever gives them a time out or ask them to vacate the room until they grow up and learn how to behave. If ANY one of us did what I see in Parliament, at our place of employment, I know I would find myself in the unemployment line looking for a new job. Not to mention the sore butt from the boot that got me out the door.
Our government should be there to stimulate our economy, protect our borders, and educate our populous. They should be there to assist us all to achieve new heights, not create red tape to hamper new ideas. We are in a global economy where speed of action makes the difference between a successful endeavor and a stagnant pool. Instead, we waste our energy bickering about who got the bigger piece of pie, or who is mommy and daddy’s favorite. In the meantime, the rest of the planet looks on eating that pie.
The present Senate goings on, to me, only proves that it is time to rid ourselves of the deadwood. Let us forget whether the accommodation expense was legitimate or not. Sign the expense form, pay the bill, then let us make sure that it NEVER happens again.
The only SURE way to ensure that, is to ELIMINATE the “SENATE expense”….Lord knows we have been paying THAT expense without question, and that, since its creation. The sad part is we never receive any return on our investment for it.
Any business savvy person would tell you …….. CUT IT LOOSE.

Advertisements

Prejudices

11 Mar

Ok not a subject matter I ever care to breach because you can’t win. If you happen to disagree with a published newspaper article, on prejudice then you will likely be branded prejudiced yourself. But if you remain silent then I think prejudice wins. It is a two way street. Recently I read an article in a local community week-end paper where the reporter discussed the matter with a local pastor. He asked her if things had changed over the years and of course she indicated that very little had. Some small inroads had been achieved but no major community changes had been experienced. The article went on about some of the local injustices which had occurred in the past and quite frankly it’s all long before my time here in Nova Scotia.
I have travelled in many countries over the years and worked side by side with MANY nationalities, religions, and people of color, and with each one I was offered the same common respect as I offered them. However equally in every instant they demanded nothing from me other than respect. Working and helping peoples as equals I have no problems with.
However most articles I read, or road signs I see, or decreed holiday I hear of, are I believe for the most part a one sided cry.
They make me feel as if they are prejudiced against me. I of course am Caucasian, (oh God there it is, it’s out) but I am not prejudiced against anyone no matter how much you try and make me feel that I am. I don’t however agree with all of the propaganda. I have no special centers, or declared United Nations day, I get no special treatment from any government agency and certainly get nothing but bad publicity as an oppressor in the press.
However for me there is one glimmer of light in all of this and that is when I think back a few years when by chance I happen to channel surf and fell on a reception which Bill Cosby was speaking. I always liked Bill so I decided to listen in a little longer. The event was the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision (1) (2)
Dr. Bill Cosby was one of the guest speakers. Interestingly he was subsequently severely chastised for what he said immediately following the event by some of the black communities. It became known as Bill Cosby’s Pound Cake Speech. Today if you Google the event you will find many discussions regarding what he said with most agreeing with the comments, well for the most parts. I certainly do not wish to analyze Mr. Cosby’s speech here but I do find very few references to it in public conversations or newspaper articles, or when prejudices are being declared.
For many years I have said that prejudice in the media will ALWAYS be there as long as people are treated differently. Until society starts to accept that you get (everyone) what you work for NOT for what you are given whether directly or as preferential treatment. You can never satisfy both sides of the equation’s equal sign. In mathematics you cannot transpose part of the expression from one side of the equal sign to the other, without doing the same to both sides. Prejudice is the same or at least similar. What one group receives the others also must receive. However in life there are non mathematical considerations. That consideration is one of perception. If one side perceives that someone is getting the same as they are but without the same effort put forward, then the equation will never balance.
I can stand up for social prejudice as I encounter it. I can speak up where someone might be being bullied or talked down too because of their linguistic accent or derogatory remarks because of their looks, or religious belief, but when it comes to cultural prejudice I’m afraid no matter what I say or do unless I am being subservient it will not appease them. That prejudice is cultural baggage. That prejudice, is internal to that part of the culture and themselves, and it’s a one way view. “If you do not see life or things my way it’s because you are being prejudiced against me”. It seems to me that no matter what, “I”… as a Caucasian am being blamed for things I have not done just because of MY color. In most cases the accusations by the people crying out the injustices have not been submitted to it themselves. My suitcase will never be big enough to store all that baggage.
Groups and cultures can petition any government for whatever compensation they desire but no government edict can magically evaporate prejudices. In fact the more it is catered to, the more likely the gap will widen.
In the end we must all work for what we want and only then can we truly OWN what we receive.
It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom.
ALBERT EINSTEIN
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education
(2) http://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar04.html

Governments and Social Nets

4 Mar

Recently in Canada our governing party has instituted changes to the unemployment insurance. Changes that make it more difficult for people to “stay” on it and consequently must look harder for alternate means to provide for themselves. Unemployment insurance was instituted as a short term measure to help people bridge the gap between being laid off for one reason or another and finding new employment.
As many things it has been corrupted both by individual claims, employer mis-direction, and raining government wishing to keep the popular vote. People have created this belief that because they pay into it while working that they are entitled to ALL of it back when their situation changes. They take a seasonal lay-off or economic downturn as a time to take it easy and coast till the next season or wait out the economy. They believe that company lay-off are mostly temporary and all that one has to do is survive till they start hiring again. They never take the road that I best find new employment soon or I do not eat. You overhear them talking about it all the time in public places…. “Yea..got laid off again but I’m not too worried for now,… I have 18months or 12months (or whatever length) before my UI runs out…..”
The government is really no better, for they play into many businesse’s hand and as they do not want to come across as the bad guy and have changed in the past the rules to make it easier to stay on government assistance. Never mind that some of the businesses have been mismanaged and that is the reason for closures not economic downturns. Of course it’ easier to deflect that fact if one blames the economy rather than face the music of mismanagement.
Of course the government, for their part often supply additional funds to try and sustain the business and therefore the jobs that they provide, and the business elite know this and play to it, well who wouldn’t? If the business is not a viable business no amount of government money can create the need that the business is catering to. This fact matters none since the government appears to be trying to assist its people, makes them look good, and the board of directors get additional funds which in most cases they never have to pay back so they can continue their bonuses while the business continues to be driven into the ground. Even when government attaches a repayment clause those are most often tied to the “business” entity NOT the CEO or company directors. So after the business is once again driven into the ground the board of directors simply file for bankruptcy, and guess what our government get’s to write that off as “bad” debt.
Of course the opposition of course get their kick at the cat by blaming the present raining party for letting the business go down the tubes. Never mind that often the opposition set up the original subsidies. I only hope that today’s social networking will help to get people talking amongst themselves and demand more from their government. Make them answerable for their behaviors and decisions, including the opposition. If they started the mess don’t sugar coat it and try to blame all of it on the present ruling party. Take their pill and admit that “they” made a bad decision in the past when they were in power and today this is the mess that we must deal with.
Download my latest article https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19327951/NoGovernmentEmployment.pdf and maybe you might find something to agree with and perhaps talk to your member of parliament. Hold him or her accountable, regardless to which party affiliation he or she may be with. All members have a job to do and it’s not to play “the Blame Game”

Winter driving

18 Dec

Once again we are at the time of year where one can expect old man winter to drop on us any amounts of that white stuff which falls from the sky. As I work mostly in Southern climates it’s always fascinating watching their eyes light up when I show then winter pictures from home. It’s amazing how entranced they can become when they have never seen it. I suppose some of that, I truly understand since for them it’s such a foreign idea. How can it be so cold everywhere outside and for so long to create the winter wonderland. It’s just so inconceivable.
No amount of my extolling the hardships of winter can remove the aura. To them I’m just exaggerating because I am so familiar with it. Perhaps I am. I usually end the story with, “yes indeed winter can be good if all you have to do is play in it”. However for us Northerners winter can be treacherous and miserable. Ask anyone who has changed out a flat tire by the side of the road with a blizzard going on. Or when the City road clearing trucks goes by your driveway dropping some despicable amount of snow which is projected away from their blades while they zoom by at 30 miles an hour. When you’ve just finished shoveling for some 2 hours your driveway only to find that now you have another half hour or more to redo the work you just did. Of course now as a parent you get some compensation watching your own growing boys learn that you never throw the snow of the left side of the driveway (not that I would tell them in advance) because that #$%^& City truck is only going to deposit the snow right back when he drives by. You learn to throw your snow on the right, that way your neighbor gets your snow, of course you equally get your neighbor’s snow that lives on your left .
However this winter has a different twist. Why because our socialistic members of parliament find that once again they must cradle my ineptitude. The authorities, are determining that I can no longer make decisions on my own. Why is that so? Well because they are changing the laws and forcing us to purchase and install “winter tires” on all vehicles by some predetermined date. Of course it’s always under the guise of safety. However is it really safety or economic stimulation. I have serious doubts. Read my newest article https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19327951/Required-Or-EconomicStimulous-2.pdf and see for yourself what you think? Is it really safety, or economy?

Taxing the rich and political rhetoric

3 Dec

We often hear during political election campaigns about the need to tax the rich and the affluent. Certainly I would not be one of those that the campaign is targeting…ha ha. However how viable is that as a means to generate revenue. I think you will find if you listen to any self improvement information that all specify that those affluent people are the top 5% of a population. They always try to stimulate your drive to reach that level. Even if you reduce the term affluent to a lower level you are still likely only talking about perhaps at most 25% of the populace.
Of that 25% I would dare to guess that they do indeed pay some taxes it’s just that the average little person wants them to pay more.
I’m all for that too but I think I am smart enough to realize that it’s not a simple thing to achieve. For one, the problem of the economy is not that simple. If it was, then listening to any economist on TV would reveal all the parameters and making changes would be simple. But what you hear on TV is that no two economists ever agree on anything. They talk and talk and at the end you’re left with, “What did they say?” or “So what is solution”? I don’t think anyone really knows because it is such a volatile and dynamic thing.
No the present debate going on right now on the US economy following Obama’s recent re-election is anything but straight forward. The subject matter is not an easy one to tackle either and for me much relies on your perspective and belief. To some degree its socialism vs. capitalism.
My newest article Tax the Rich? Is it Viable? expresses some of my views on the matter.
I suppose one might say that a) I never trust a politician and b) I certainly have rarely if ever seen any government organize anything efficiently. They always create too many layers, and I believe that is to allow them maneuvering room to hide their individual agendas and intent. I believe that government should be simple and straight forward. However as we all know that nowadays there is so much money involved that it no longer is about the people but rather how can we divvy up the money of the people. Of course they can’t be in your face about it so they hide their ploys in political rhetoric and legislation. Not very long ago I received a message from a friend of mine as forwarded from a political lobbying group in Canada to overturn a proposed change in a law. At first glance the title of the proposed change in the law Bill C-30 which provided authorities to force internet providers access to private information. Bill C-11 which gave authorities the right to censure internet information, and a cell phone squeeze which was petitioning government to grant cell providers to only 3 major companies. Reading through some of the Bill material one did not detect that layers down the text was hidden several paragraphs and subsections which gave the government the right to listen in on my cell phone conversation and a variety of other means of communications. Needless to say that because of the campaign that mounted the signed petitions the bill was thrown out. What this and since then made me realize is that more often than not government pass things that they know the public would not necessarily approve but they hide by designing multilayered bills. They design in things that they expect will aggravate and be thrown out as concessions in hopes that what they may really want does not get noticed because they keep the arguments focused on the non-target throw away items. To say that I get irritated when I walk around a Mall and overhear someone say that “there should be a law against this or that” or “the government should pass a law to allow something they want“. Maybe that is why these days my wife is starting to go shopping on her own…ha ha….maybe as I get older I am getting more vocal and in your face….oh God help us all….ha ha….but in all seriousness it is all of our right to make sure that OUR government representatives do not abuse their power or position and that they provide a fiscal responsibility to “we the people“…..just as in our work these days we all have the right to stop an unsafe job, so should we have the right to stop a government gone AMOK……

Nobel Peace Prize

15 Nov

Should Mulala Yousafsai become a Nobel Laureate and receive the Nobel Peace Prize?
As I grew up I was aware of the Nobel Prizes in my teens. It’s not something that I followed religiously but as I have always been inquisitive whenever they were announced for the most part it caught my attention. Now also realize that in my days we did not have the internet as we do today with all of its instantaneous revelations, truths, and untruth’s. In my mind back then it was always awarded or seemed to be given to individuals who for the most part were much older and seemed to have dedicated lives to changing things, or had made some very significant contributions to the world. This article is certainly not to recite the Nobel history which the web can certainly meet anyone’s need to research in depth if so desired. But here is a short summation for my comments today. When the awards were first given in 1901 there were 5 categories, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology, Literature and Peace. A sixth category was added in 1969 for Economics.
One thing that I did not realize before today is that each award is evaluated by different groups, and from what I can find many seem to have been froth with much controversy over the years, both as selection committees and recipients. However before I did even the little bit of digging that I have done today, my views on the Nobel prizes was seriously hampered when in 2007 it was awarded to Al Gore which in my mind at the time was so awarded for a film that he presented. Certainly Al Gore was familiar to me as a politician and I must grant now that it “appears” that Mr. Gore has had some additional affiliation with the environmental movement prior to being a Nobel Laureate. Never the less he certainly was NOT associated with the environmental movement to me, prior to this event. The icing on the cake for my distrust of the awarding committee equally came when the Al Gore controversy was still fresh in people’s mind, certainly in mine; the committee awarded it in 2009 to Barrack Obama only 7 months after the first black ever taking the highest office in the USA. Now as I heard this on the news media, and with personal discussions and reading web comments, I certainly thought as many others, I’m sure; what is going on here?
Are the prizes THAT politically driven? Can they be bought?

Now with the events in Pakistan with Mulala, the world is faced with yet again, ongoing political strife, social and moral issues, and let’s not forget, the religious fanaticism of the Taliban. Again prior to doing a bit and I say again just a bit of research reading to get additional facts for this article the Taliban although to the average person they are viewed as a religious order, but they are not in themselves a religious creation as one would think of Catholics, Baptist or Protestant or any other religious church going group. They have religious overtones is without question but the TALIBAN itself was created as a “Politcal” group in Afghanistan in 1996, and was the ruling party till 2001. It has only been recognized as a political group by three world states, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Pakistan one of the very states which now abhors this grievous and heinous act imposed on Mulala and vows will right the situation. Fact yet to be seen.
To say that the Taliban, having claimed responsibility are cowardly and misguided, in my mind is without question. To say that it is deplorable that women of that society are considered mere chattel to the men of that society to me is also a given.
The west for its part are screaming injustices, but let’s face it we are not so high and mighty ourselves when it comes to the recognition of women. I certainly do not say that the west physically treats their women in the same manner, BUT as a reminder of the women’s significance, their right to vote is less than 2 generations. In the USA the right of women to “vote” was only granted in 1919, in Canada in 1910, In Mexico in 1953, in Switzerland which certainly everyone would regard as a developed nation in 1971. To say that things are changing I believe and hope since the right to vote has now been granted to women in Bahrain in 2002. In Saudi Arabia, and I remember news cast of this, the women’s right to vote and hold office was slated for 2005, then pushed back to 2009, then again to 2011 and now it is scheduled for 2015. How easily we forget events, for I was sure that in Saudi Arabia after the newscast I recall seeing and hearing believed that it was a done deal. Now I see that it has not yet occurred in Saudi Arabia, but one can be hopeful that it will someday be a fact. At “least” it is worldly openly stated and on the table. It can be pushed back only so long before the movement finally drives the point home and cause change.
So that women are not regarded as equal is sadly a global fact and events occur daily which prove this. A case in point, the recent sexual misconduct to the highest level in the USA now dominating the airwaves. That men and women should balance each other to me only makes sense. As discussed in Chinese philosophy we are the Yin and the Yang of society and unless we work in harmony the world will continue to be strife driven.
Now should Mulala receive the Nobel Peace prize? Well in my mind it is a function of, how do you view the prize? Is it a lifetime of struggle or just recognition of circumstantial events? Well certainly in Mulala’s case her life has not been that long so perhaps one may say that yes it has been a lifelong drive. Was she a late comer to the protest in Pakistan and only talked into marching at the last minute? I have no idea but certainly accept that this could be true. Was she a victim of circumstance I have no doubt in that.
Would the Nobel Peace prize bring further attention to her cause and the plights of women in Pakistan certainly for the initial period of the focus? Absolutely. Would the cash award be used by Mulala to further changes to her cause, I must say I have serious doubts, as she is still very much in a Patriarchal society and underage. To this I ask where is the “mother” in the present news casts? Will all the recent events drive her to further the required changes; with or without the Nobel Peace prize? Only time will tell.
So asking the question of should she receive the Nobel Prize?

I think more information is required and I hope for all of the previously overlooked nominees that the awarding committee does not act in haste but on facts.

EVERGREEN WRITERS GROUP

a group of writers in the Halifax and Dartmouth area, Nova Scotia

Letters from Kate

Two people boldly going where everyone has gone before. www.yachtkate.com

Forum of One

Just a place to express my opinions or views

WPShout

Just a place to express my opinions or views

JG-Audio

Company Portfolio

Young Feller Fridays

" New Freestyle or Remix Every Week "

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

EVERGREEN WRITERS GROUP

a group of writers in the Halifax and Dartmouth area, Nova Scotia

Letters from Kate

Two people boldly going where everyone has gone before. www.yachtkate.com

Forum of One

Just a place to express my opinions or views

WPShout

Just a place to express my opinions or views

JG-Audio

Company Portfolio

Young Feller Fridays

" New Freestyle or Remix Every Week "

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

EVERGREEN WRITERS GROUP

a group of writers in the Halifax and Dartmouth area, Nova Scotia

Letters from Kate

Two people boldly going where everyone has gone before. www.yachtkate.com

Forum of One

Just a place to express my opinions or views

WPShout

Just a place to express my opinions or views

JG-Audio

Company Portfolio

Young Feller Fridays

" New Freestyle or Remix Every Week "

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: