Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 24, 2009

I just wanted to take the time to wish all my BT and non-BT readers alike a very Merry Christmas!  It is my most sincere wish and prayer that you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday with your family, friends and loved ones!  Far to often we forget just how blessed we are to live in a country like Canada, where many people can come together regardless of our differences and celebrate during this time of year!

May God bless you, and may the new year bring great things for all of you!


Hey Libs, you screwed up…Just admit it!

December 16, 2009

So this is how the Liberal Party of Canada apologizes for photos depicting the assassination/death/detaining of the Head of Government of their own country?

A note to all viewers:

We thank all participants in this photo challenge who have submitted their entries for consideration.  Our intent was to engage Canadians concerned about the Prime Minister’s reluctance to attend the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

The photos here are created by visitors to our website, and do not always reflect the views of the Liberal Party of Canada.  Though we continue to screen submissions before posting, we have removed certain images that may have been offensive to some viewers.

We apologize for any offence these images may have caused, and continue to strive to present a progressive and dynamic web experience for our site visitors.

Sincerely,

The Web Team

Let’s forget about the cow okay?  While distasteful, and besides the fact that it leaves a lot to interpretation, it is a far cry from what other pictures graced the Liberal Party website.

(Please note that these pictures have been removed from the Liberal Party website, but they were posted there until the media picked up on them.)

And you can say and think what you want about the severity of this issue.  However, remember, these photos weren’t funny, and they certainly weren’t a bird pooping on a politician.  They were depictions of a Prime Minister and (a well respected) leader of a well respected nation, being killed and/or physically harmed.

There was defiantly a line crossed by the Liberals in even placing such pictures on their website.  And even if they didn’t make them, they posted them on their website, and that alone makes them at least partially at fault in this.  They gave the creators of these pictures a place to publicly display their total disrespect, sick thoughts, and hatred.

A simple disclaimer and an “opps” from some person on their website doesn’t do it for me at all.  The Liberal Leader, the Leader of the Official Opposition, should have come out and personally offered a REAL apology, along with stating why this was wrong and should never be repeated.


Exactly whose side are they on anyway?

December 11, 2009

“Government pushed to release Afghan torture reports” — CTV

Hey Mikey, Jacko, and Gil-baby:

NOBODY CARES!

Not one Canadian (aside from maybe Liberal and New Democrat, or Bloc partisans) gives a crap what may or may not have happened to members of Taliban AFTER they were transferred from Canadian officials!

Michael Ignatieff is a man who just a few years ago supported torture!  What’s changed now, Ig?  Either it is okay or it isn’t.  You can’t have it both ways, buddy!  Grow a pair and tell us what you really think, Mike!

Jack Layton well, I don’t believe that CO2 is harmful to the environment as the EPA would say, but just in case, maybe he should shut his yap?  Just to be on the safe side!

Gilles Duceppe should just be content to sit back and collect his transfer payments for Quebec!  What does he care about Canada or the Canadian Forces anyway?  Is he not still the leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois?  Maybe he’s forgotten!

But really, all digs aside.  This is a non-issue.  And people can play that “Well if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” card with me all they want but I don’t buy it.  Especially when you are acting primarily on the word of a TERRORIST to HELP other TERRORISTS while discrediting your own country and spitting in the faces of its military personnel and elected officials, calling them war criminals!

And I would think the Opposition Leaders would have enough smarts between the three of them to realize that you can’t say the Prime Minister and his Minister of Defence were complicit in torture but that the military wasn’t.  It is kind of one sided, no?  I mean, as the military would be carrying out orders from the government, so therefore, if the PM and Minister Mackay knowingly and willfully said “forget about it it” (as the Libs and NDP say), then the military would be just as guilty.

Also, if what the Liberals say about the torture is true, should they not be concerned about the possibility of blow back onto  former prime ministers Chretien and Martin along with other former ministers?  Because if I’m not mistaken, a lot of this allegedly happened while the Liberal flag was flying over Ottawa, right?

In short I’d say consider the source, and now look at the partisan games being played.  This isn’t about detainees, it is actually about the opposition parties needing a new cause to trumpet in hopes of gaining points in the polls.  But just look at the expense.  Not money, although you could argue that.  No, not money, but rather stomping on the CF, all in the name of justice…and for terrorists no less…


It’s A Climategate Christmas

December 10, 2009

h/t Kate @ SDA

Prime Minister Harper: Say NO at Copenhagen! – Al Gore is WRONG!


Afghanistan: Just waiting for 2011!

December 9, 2009

When you turn on the television, or read the news, if it isn’t about Climate Change and Copenhagen, or the implosions within the Liberal Party of Canada – you know it’s about Afghanistan!  Yesterday, it was calls for Peter Mackay’s resignation from Opposition MPs.

I’ve watched a lot of the testimony on CPAC regrading this Detainee issue and personally, I don’t believe that Canadian Soldiers acted inappropriately.  The same goes for the government.  And besides, as far as I can tell, if  Liberals want to make the current government wear any of this, they should get their share of it too.  However, I’m not looking to argue the case of anyone as far as this alleged torture is concerned.  Especially not when this whole thing started over what a captured (Taliban) detainee says happened to him!

… And Paul Dewar has the nerve to say that Peter Mackay has “Zero credibility???” – Yeah, right what a laugh!

Canada has been in Afghanistan since 2002.  That’s a long time.  Members of the Canadian Forces have done so much in the name of Canada to help the Afghan people claim their land and to be free from the oppression and brutality of the Taliban.

Eight years later, and our brave soldiers and our allies are still there.  They are there because the people of Afghanistan can’t seem to stand on their own yet.  Things are getting better, I have no doubt, having heard veterans speak of what has been done over these years and hearing them say that they want to return, to keep on.  And I respect this idea more than anything, even if I now disagree.

There was a time when I’d say Canada needs to stay until the job is done.  I can’t say that anymore.  I agreed with why we sent troops: To help bring security, stability, fairness, justice, freedom, and democracy to a country that had none.  And again while I agree with the reasoning and principles, that’s as far as I can go now.

We should leave in my opinion. I’m sick of Canadians dying for a people that don’t even care and can’t even stand up for themselves after 8 years of our peoplr doing so for them!  So while I support Canada, our troops and our ideals, I can’t justify sacrificing either for those who do not care, and those who do not stand with our heroes, as they stand with the Afghan people, and as they fight FOR them!

There is nothing so noble as standing for freedom and justice in the face of evil and oppression and that is exactly what our men and women are doing, and have done for 8 years.  For that I am thankful and forever proud, and come 2011, I’ll be even more proud to have them home.


Where have all the reporters gone?

December 8, 2009

A friend pointed this out to me early this morning, and it’s been playing on my mind ever since.

“Star joins global climate crusade”

“As the Copenhagen summit kicks off today, 56 newspapers in 45 countries have united to demand action.”

I don’t think newspapers have ever really been impartial, at least not totally.  I’m pretty sure that for as long as there have been news agencies, there have also been editors and reporters picking and choosing their news – deciding what they want the readers to know and not know.  Such is the nature of man I think.

Journalists are supposed to be a special breed though.  In Canada and the United States, Freedom of the Press is law.  It is law, under both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the US Constitution that there is a free press.

What is Freedom of the Press? Simply put, it is the Freedom to print or publish without governmental interference.

And while governments are expected to abide by this fundamental freedom under democracy, journalists are expected to abide by certain standards as well.  A code of ethics – A code of principles that direct journalists in their work.  Throughout the world existing codes have some differences, but most share common elements such as he principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.

The whole reason for a free press and a journalistic code is so that people are properly informed of what is going on around them.  At least that’s what I grew up believing and that’s what I learned in school.

Journalists are not bloggers, and they are not politicians, or partisans – at least not while they are putting their name under a by-line.  So when I see something like, “Star joins global climate crusade” and “56 newspapers in 45 countries have united to demand action.” I ask myself why, and then I think back to some of the key words that are supposed to govern journalism: Objectivity, impartiality, fairness.

Now I don’t care where you stand on this issue, at least not for the purposes of this post.  You can agree with climate change, or global warming, or you can think it is all a bunch of bunk (and if you’ve seen previous posts here or on the BT Forums you’ll know where I stand)!

Whatever your opinions, you can not reasonably tell me that for a major newspaper, major newspapers, that it is perfectly justifiable to pick sides, to openly say to its readers, “We have chosen this!” That is a breech of everything that a journalist is supposed to stand for.

The media, print or otherwise has a duty to report both sides of this story, and of every story – until one is proven truer than the other.

Neither The Star nor the other 56 newspapers mentioned should be supporting anything in this regard.  They should be reporting everything.  That and that alone is their job!


Overpaid!?!? What about the Underpaid?

December 7, 2009

Millions wasted on welfare: Ontario auditor general

The recession hasn’t stopped Ontario government bureaucrats from playing fast and loose with taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars — particularly on social assistance to the poor, the provincial auditor general says in a new report released Monday.

Jim McCarter, Ontario's auditor general

Jim McCarter, Ontario's auditor general, says lack of oversight and due diligence means millions of dollars in overpayments are being made to welfare and disability recipients. He tabled his annual report Dec. 7, 2009.

Despite lessons learned from the eHealth and Ontario Lottery Corporation expense scandals earlier this year, examples abound of public money being carelessly spent on welfare overpayments, disability support and assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Read the Full Article from the Toronto Star

I guess the main issue that really stuck up to me was the mention about overpaying as far as the Ontario Disability Support Program and other social assistance related issues.

The basic income granted for someone on with a physical disability is about $796.00 a month (give or take a few cents).  That is all a person has to live on every month for a year.  With that $796.00, the person is presumably supposed to:

1. Pay rent, Hyrdo, and other household expenses (like: Phone/Cable/Internet)

2. Pay for Food for the month

3. Pay for transportation for the month.

When all is said and done, the person is lucky if they have $50-$100 for other things such as recreation.  Now, I know what you may be thinking, “Well, if they can cover the essentials, isn’t that good enough?”  Ordinarily, I’d say yes.  But imagine living on your own and not being able to do anything!  MAYBE you can save $200.00, but that’s only after two or three months of doing NOTHING, spending NOTHING.  You stay in your home, because you can’t really afford to do anything else.

You can work and be eligible for ODSP benefits.

Here’s how it works:

Say you have a job where you make $1000 a month (lets forget taxes for now).  What they do is take half of that $1000 and give you the rest plus $100.00.  So instead of working, assuming you can, and making $1000.00, you can work and make $600.00 versus not working and making under $800.00.  One doesn’t really look much better, but I bet you’d take the $800.00, right?  The current system doesn’t allow much room for growth.

The questions I want answered are:

  • When the very basic payout for ODSP is just over $9,000 over one year, what is the excuse for over 1 BILIION DOLLARS being OVERPAID to ODSP recipients?
  • Where is the money going?
  • Where is the oversight?
  • How many people receiving ODSP actually should be?
  • Is everyone on ODSP actually disabled?
  • Is everyone on ODSP a Canadian?
  • With all these restrictions on people receiving ODSP, why the overpaying?

The people who are just getting by, they aren’t being overpaid, that’s for sure.  I know this because I am one of them.  I also know that thousands of people cheat the system, because they aren’t called on it.  Maybe if they were, we in Ontario would see better numbers, and have people on ODSP actually living their lives instead of just making it through.