May 24th 2004
The irony is delightful!
Sometime this week coming we are expecting to hear from Paul Martin and the Forty Thieves that an election will be called for June 28th. Thus allowing the Canadian electorate a chance to have their say about the shenanigans that have taken place in Ottawa over the last few years.
Their Provincial cousins in Ontario, having rather handsomely won control of Ontario last year on a set of 251 promises, decided to set out Ontario's first Liberal Party budget this week and proceeded not only to break a few more of those promises but so infuriate taxpayers here that the Liberal Party is beginning to look as if it may indeed lose the coming election!
Not to mention the lawsuits and actions beginning to start here in this Province against Pinocchio McGuinty and his own set of lying local Liberals.
Here, verbatim, is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge that Dalton McGuinty signed on September 11th 2003.
“I, Dalton McGuinty, Leader of the Liberals Party of Ontario, promise, if my party is elected as the next Government, that I will not raise taxes or implement new taxes without the explicit consent of Ontario voters, and not run deficits. I promise to abide by the Taxpayer Protection and Balanced Budget Act”
Now ever since he was sworn in as the Premier of Ontario McGuinty and his own mob have reneged on as many promises as possible. About the only one I can think of that he has kept was to raise taxes on cigarettes. But then any fool can, and has, pulled that stunt. In fact in this budget he raised taxes on cigarettes again.
And wine and beer.
All of which are typical liberal targets and easy ones at that.
And all of which are mainly middle to lower class vices which means that the Liberals are once again punishing those people who can least afford the bullying nanny mentality of the prim and proper holier-than-thou liberals.
Which gets worse and worse when you notice that the worst excess produced by this Budget was the “Health Care Premium”
From July this year we will have to pay a “special premium” for our wonderful “free” health care here. Low-income earners will pay $300 extra a year while those in the high-income brackets will end up paying $900. So much for the concept of “free healthcare”. That much lauded concept that the Liberals love to tell all and sundry is the best thing about Canada. Sounds suspiciously to me like the start of a two-tier system.
In fact if you work out the percentage of money that is being shelled out you come to the sad conclusion that once again the middle to lower classes are being shafted more than the rich.
So we have a new health tax. A whopping large one at that. Do we get any extra healthcare for this tax?
Of course not!
In addition to increasing health taxes the wonderful people in Queens Park then went a step further and did away with eye exams, physiotherapy and chiropractic services. Hoping no doubt that we will be to blind to notice their lies next time or too crippled to get to the poll to vote. I was surprised to see that they had increased Heart Procedures because, as they have no heart, and wont need to use them, there appears to be no need to have gone this route. Although there is the possibility that some of the crippled, blind, supporters of the Party may need to be kept alive a while longer. At least until they can bring in new immigrants to vote!
The other “non-tax” that has created a furor was the increase in driver's licenses. These go from $50 to $75. That is a 50% increase! Bearing in mind that, by law, we have to renew our licenses every five years, this is a gigantic increase and nothing other than plain theft!
Something, which everyone overlooked because of the sheer shock inherent in the health tax, was the $1.70 that will be added to each and every electricity bill. In addition to the hike that they instituted in April already and of course not forgetting the debt reduction charge and the delivery charge. All of which are taxes.
Some time back I mentioned that the Liberals were being called Fiberals by certain sections of the press. There was some sniggering and the Fiberals got all bent out of shape but nothing much transpired until Tuesday.
Actually quite a few of their promises were broken but the average man in the street in Canada doesn't seem to care about that unless it interferes with Hockey Night in Canada
However there appears to be a groundswell of emotion about the new budget here that is emotive and annoyed for a change.
Bear in mind that Ontario has the power to keep the liberals in power in the Federal elections and you will begin to understand that any large-scale movement away from the Liberals in the mind of the electorate becomes disastrous for the fortunes of the party in any election.
Martins Government is being rocked by the sleaze factor at the moment As it is they have been shown up as immoral in other areas and this will merely compound the Liberal image as a bunch of liars intent on saying anything to stay in power and snuffle at the money trough.
This includes the most appalling hypocrisy of the lot, which hasn't received nearly enough attention yet. Greg Sorbora, the Ontario Finance Minister, announced that they will change the Balanced Budget and Taxpayers protection Laws. So that the new Government won't be penalized because of it's actions!
It appears that there is nothing that this Government won't say or do in order to stay in power and the electorate is beginning to equate them with their Federal cousins. And not in a nice way either.
Actually they are starting to ask questions. Interesting questions. Like why are the Liberals attacking Harper on his beliefs when they appear to be unable to explain their lack of morals and ethics. Like why is it impossible for a Liberal to keep a promise? Like should this bunch of immoral thieves be allowed to have absolute power ever again?
Should be an interesting Federal election coming up.
May 17th 2004
I suffer from an interesting malady.
Apparently my hearing is affected by my accent. So much so that when ever I ask a simple question of one of the customers at my store they feel the need to shout whatever their needs are at me. It appears that the more obtuse their original question the more the person asking needs to shout at me in order to get me to understand what it is that they require.
So I have some snaggle-toothed yokel demanding that I show them to the awl at what approximates airport decibel damping level and all that I can sort of make out is the “eh” that intrudes at inappropriate moments of the harangue.
MUMBLE MUMBLE AWL EH MUMBLE MUMBLE LITTER AWL EH MUMBLE MUMBLE.EH.
It is rather amusing in a Monty Python sort of way actually.
I am always tempted to shout back and then claim that I thought they were shouting because they are deaf. Sorry “hearing impaired”! I do need the job though. So I guess I merely have to grin and bear it.
And anyway I can always swear in Zulu or Afrikaans at whomever while smiling and grinning like an idiot.
OK! OK! That was a joke. All right?
For various reasons known only to the people in HR departments at my chosen line of employment, who feel that anyone over forty is an imbecile and unable to think coherently, never mind put in a days work, I currently work in the Automotive department at the Wal*Mart in Burlington.
Which I am actually grateful for. I may get a pittance but I am working and paying taxes and all the other values that having employment means.
Yes! That weird accent you hear on the loudspeaker every so often is South African.
Yes! You may in fact come over to the department and engage me in conversation. I promise not to swear at you in any of the official languages. South African or Canadian!
No! I actually know nothing about cars. Never have.
This is why I now work in the automotive department after all.
Although I will admit that I am learning fast and will soon be able to tell you why you can't put a different size tire onto those aluminium rims that actually won't make your car go any faster.
I have even learnt to call it a trunk and hood as opposed to boot and bonnet.
In fact the lighties out in the garage, sorry, workshop, are confident enough to let me torque wheels and double-check their work. Which I might add does not go as far as actually allowing me to do the work. Merely check it!
Mind you I am supposed to be on the sales side so I tend to spend a lot of time prowling the floor. The empty floor at night. . In parked cars. Skwot Cars!
Sorry. Got carried away again there.
Probably as a result of having to watch the merchandise like a hawk. There is a band of thieves out in Ontario hitting the stores at the moment and stealing compressors. They managed to get one of ours. Then, I am happy to report they ran up against me.
I have a thing about thieves. I can understand someone who is hungry stealing food to live. No problem. But stealing big-ticket items annoys me. Which is why I have twice chased down the crooks.
Much to the astonishment of the crooks and the annoyance of the store security and management!
Seems that in Canada apprehending miscreants requires a special dispensation of sorts. As I understand it, you need to have a lawyer with you, and permission from the store manager, the district manager, the provincial manager, and so on ad infinitum. Not to mention numerous civil rights groups and probably the crook themselves!
Carrying a first aid kit and waiver of rights might also come in handy.
This might explain why the locals merely shrug whenever they come across evidence of wrongdoing and look the other way.
I don't care. The look of sheer terror on the thieves' faces when I took off after them was worth the attempt. They actually looked as if they were about to burst into tears!
The upshot was that in the space of two days two sets of people from the gang involved managed to make it out of the door, empty-handed and kakking themselves with me in hot pursuit. They also left behind some excellent pictures and other evidence that has allowed the Police to ID them as well.
Not that they have arrested them. But at least they know who they are. Such is the Canadian way!
Interestingly the people most involved in thieving appear to be immigrants from the old Soviet Bloc countries. Mainly from central Europe. They also have the most appalling manners but that might be as a result of learning from the geriatric delinquents that currently make up most of the pensioner age group.
Seems that Please and Thank You were expunged from their vocabulary ages ago. Which is rather sad as they are setting a lousy example to their grandchildren. Who seem to have adopted the same attitude toward life as their supposed elders have.
I itch sometimes to be allowed to place a well-placed hand on a backside! Followed by a lesson in what manners mean. But sadly foul-mouthed arrogant brats are seen as “cute” thanks to years of stupid American sit-coms. And cowardly parents.
So we have to smile and put up with the most amazing actions of the public. People who will open up packages to see the contents. What part of “see through” is impossible for them too understand?
Even worse are the people who discard packages and good in broken and open states because the “sales person” is there to clean up after them. I have had someone tear open a packet and then the protective cover on the bottle inside in order to sniff the scent to see if it was indeed “new car” smell! In front of me! As if I don't exist, or am of such little importance that I might not exist anyway!
That was sort of all right but when they then threw the package down on a shelf to the side of the original peg I must admit I lost it a little.
Words were exchanged! Along the lines of “ can I throw that away for you? Now that it is totally ruined and unsellable?”
Would you believe that the chap involved was arrogant enough to try to get shirty with me? Perhaps I shouldn't have said I would come along with him while he shopped so that I could help him dispose of all the other products he may feel inclined to ruin as well. And then proceed to do so. I guess a weird foreigner walking in step with you a foot behind can be a bit unnerving. So I wasn't surprised to be asked where the local Canadian Tire was by said product destroyer.
He was showing his girlfriend just what a “big man” he was by trying to cut down the contemptible Wal*Mart employee.
So I gave him directions.
Heck let him destroy the opposition's goods. See if I care.
My boss thinks it is hilarious that I get so involved, but come the day when I get that “proper position” or even move up the Wally Market ranks I sense that he may miss that weird South African and his work ethic.
No to mention the accent.
Here is what is so maddeningly, frustratingly, hair-tearing-out stupid about Canada.
On Thursday two members of the Khadr family flew into Pearson Airport in Toronto to get medical treatment for the 14-year-old son.
The son is paralysed and although he lives outside Canada he is coming back to receive top treatment here. As a Canadian Citizen that is his right. In fact the Department of Foreign Affairs expedited their quick return from Pakistan by providing the son and his mother with emergency passports to travel on.
How reassuring that the Department acts so quickly to help out the Citizens of this country.
Even if they no longer live in Canada and even more importantly if they support the downfall of the country and all Western nations!
Yes you read that right.
The son was injured in a firefight with Pakistan troops when his father, an Al-Quida operative, was shot and killed.
His Mother, bless her little cotton bobbysocks, has stated that she is proud to have her children die as martyrs and that America “got all it deserved” in the 9/11 massacre of innocents. Still, with all that hatred inside of them they are allowed in this country to get medical treatment!
In fact the treatment of the Khadr's by the Liberal Government has a long and proud record of acquiescing to their every whim.
This started a long time ago when the Father was captured by Pakistanis troops and held as being the “paymaster” of the Al Qaida movement and involved in nefarious activities inside Pakistan.
The then Prime Minister of Canada while on a state visit to Pakistan secured his release from prison on the grounds that he was a Canadian citizen and a poor misguided sole that was in the wrong place at the time. Not a terrorist at all.
Papa then promptly disappeared into Afghanistan apparently and carried on his activities working for the AL Qaida movement. In fact his code name was “the Canadian”.
His sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Doing military training in an Al Qaida camp and subsequently winding up captured by US forces fighting there after 911.
One of them, Abdurahman, suddenly being freed form the US prison in Cuba, and telling all and sundry that he had no links to any terrorist organsiation. Neither did anyone in his family.
Of course he had spent a few months in an Afghanistan training camp learning to use rifles and such stuff but he was apparently only there as an interested observer forced to partake. And of course he was only detained by the US Security forces because of his ethnicity.
“The only reason I was arrested is because I am an Arab”
No doubt the same reason his brother was also in that camp. Although to be fair his brother was captured after flinging a grenade, and killing, some aid workers. Which might explain why he is still incarcerated!
Oddly enough shortly after all this he recanted and told everyone he was actually an American spy. Or something like that. I am not entirely sure what the story was, there were so many lies and so many “interested’ parties adding their half cents worth to confuse the muddy waters even more.
And then we had the TV documentary where Mommy Dearest made her wonderful pronouncements.
This was followed shortly afterwards by the announcement that mother and son were being given emergency passports to return to Canada so that the son could get medical treatment.
It is almost as if the Canadian authorities waited until the most appropriate moment to give its citizens a collective slap in the face!
Which, by the way, was compounded when it was learnt that the Khadr’s were particularly adept at “losing” their passports over the years and had apparently had quite a few new passports during their time abroad.
Despite the storm pf protest, and with indecent haste, the Khadr’s were given emergency travel papers and whisked back to Toronto. Where they instantly became the darlings of the local left wing media.
I notice that the Khadr’s were particularly adept at claiming their ”rights” as well. Not to mention pleading to be left alone. Nor the pleading for “funds’ to help them jump the queue for medical treatment.
I might just quietly point out here that a year or two ago a Canadian of British descent was railroaded in Saudi Arabia and spent some two years in a Saudi prison being tortured. At that time Canadian authorities ignored the public appeal for help and he was only released when Britain became involved.
Which leads me to think that there is a large degree of racism involved in this process!
In fact I wonder what the reaction would be to a Canadian being put into prison in Zimbabwe for fighting to overthrow the regime?
No don’t bother. I think we all know the answer to that one!
Meanwhile I noticed that the local Arab groups have put out pamphlets, which outline the “rights” of visible minorities here in Canada.
It is NEVER responsibilities!
That would be too much to ask of people such as the Khadr’s who seem to think that abusing Canadian hospitality is a right.
Although much of this is instigated by certain sections of the Canadian community who seem to hate their own culture and heritage.
Although I think more and more ordinary Canadians are getting just a little tired of this continual denigration of their goodwill.
Currently Abdurahman has been denied a passport, which is of course a devastating attack on his rights, and as per usual he has attacked this as unconstitutional and is appealing to the Federal Court. No doubt he will be given another passport to lose and a groveling apology for daring to treat him with some suspicion!
His darling Mother meanwhile has decided to deny that she said anything and tell all and sundry that she is disappointed at the reaction and demand that her son be given treatment.
Which I guess the gutless, lily livered, spineless Canadian authorities will fall over backwards to assist in.
I am so looking forward to the coming elections!
May 3rd 2004
This week I came home to discover than my youngest son Murray had decided that he would become a skinhead.
Normally I would put him on the “close to Goth” mode, as he appears to find black an appropriate method of clothing himself. Which is OK if it is my Natal Sharks T-shirt but probably raises a few eyebrows among the paranoid “socca mommies” that inhibit schools here.
Anyway, to put it mildly, I am rather proud of his decision to cut off all his hair.
You see he, and six of his friends, raised over $2000 for cancer research by doing this! This was an awareness drive at their school to raise both money and, of course, awareness of the issues surrounding cancer amongst the school children there.
Given that the school has 1000 plus scholars, that only six partook in the event seemed a bit eyebrow raising, but it actually made me even happier that one of them was my son.
Oddly enough the fact that as a parent I should have been happy that he was having a decent haircut for a change didn't cross my mind.
I was impressed that he cut off his moustache and goatee beforehand though.
I still can't get used to seeing schoolboys of sixteen and seventeen years old with moustaches and beards. Even if they have been my own sons. His brother pulling the same hirsute stunt when he was able to spout more than a few patches.
I went to boarding school and any attempt to grow a sideburn longer than middle ear was met with stern retribution never mind the sarcastic comments that arose if you even pretended that there was more than dirt on your upper lip!
So having both sons sporting beards while still at school is quite a culture shock I might tell you.
Anyway he now resembles a shorthaired terrier. On the top of his head anyway. Ponytail to a number half!
Or should that be naught? I am not up to the new nomenclature when it comes to describing hair length.
Apparently there is some way of describing it nowadays because when I went to have what was left of my locks shorn the other day I was asked if I wanted a No1. Which I gather is very close to the skull and makes a person with a crew cut look like a long haired hippy.
I opted for a four I believe. I scare enough children without consciously looking like Uncle Fester. Sadly, nowadays, when I grow my hair long, thanks to genetics, and age, I have a natural mullet occurring. Always assuming that a bald forehead can be classed as part of the mullet.
Even in hockey mad Canada old timers like myself shouldn't have a mullet. No matter how fashionable it may be amongst the nouveau pathetically poor.
For the children's sake I tell you!
That can lead to all sorts of mental problems later for which there are no charitable organization available. Although given the plethora of causes available in Canada one wonders just what isn't covered at the moment.
I think every medical condition is covered. Except, maybe impotence and given the price of Viagra can that be far off?
“Spare a dime to help an old man overcome impotence sir?”
I think I would like to be on that fund raising committee!
Oh God. I can already feel an urge to make stupid comments relating to the “raising” part. Stop me someone!
OK I need to get back to the main theme of this article which really was about charity and volunteers would you believe?
You see there are thousands, no hundreds of thousands, of charity organizations in Canada that are reliant on volunteers and donations to exist. Canadians being the type of people they are this is, and has been, fairly easy to fulfill. Most Canadians will willingly give at least money, if not time, to a charity of their choice and so this spirit has kept many organizations afloat.
Interestingly though it has become more and more apparent that over the last decade or so the willingness to invest time and money into charity work is becoming less and less.
Is this as a result of the “me' generation not stepping up to the plate when counted upon?
Is it that Canadians themselves are getting tired of having their conscience attacked daily? Being accused of guilt for something you didn't have any control over is annoying at the best of times.
Is it, as someone said to me the other day, the result of Canada flooding in new immigrants who have no concept of the idea of volunteering but, coming from “begging bowl” nations, see only the need to join local queues for handouts themselves?
Surely not. For everyone knows that new immigrants are advised to volunteer once they land to assimilate into the society. Not to mention help themselves to get experience and a possible job. And all new immigrants take this advice and do just that. Right?
Well not quite right.
I am on the Board of two charitable organizations here in the GTA and work as a volunteer for some others.
None of them are involved in charitable work which reaches out to the trendy “visible minority” cause of the day. As such out of almost two hundred volunteers that I am in contact with, from board members to ordinary volunteers, there are two people I know that belong to the “visible minority” category.
And I get half marks for being an African!
However when you get into the area of handing out money to those groups suddenly the proportion changes dramatically.
Having been to a few interviews for positions with non-profit organizations I am interested to see how many visible minorities are present in the ranks of the organizations that cater to the needs of the visible minorities. Almost a self-perpetuating cycle if you will. And quite racist in the way they approach a lot of affairs. Including human resources. But that may just be sour grapes on my part.
So what I am saying is that many immigrants only get involved for very selfish reasons and in extremely self-centered areas of use.
Which is a pity because every charity has a small core of people who do rely on help and if we can't give it to them then as a society we have failed.
Perhaps it is time to rethink the reason for volunteering. What better place to start than in Schools.
Where incidentally, in Ontario at least, every high school child has to have completed at least 40 hours of community involvement before they may get their High School Diploma.
Forty hours over four or so years.
You would think that would be pretty simple to undertake right?
Apparently not according to the whining chattering classes again. There are all sorts of reasons why poor little Johnny can't undertake this onerous task. Stupid, ignorant and simply pathetic reasons.
Which is why I am proud that both of my boys not only completed their allotted forty hours with time to spare but actually did more than their fair share.
Cutting off the hair wasn't even included!
But sadly having me rub his head for luck may be the most charitable effort he has to make. I think it is called being kind to the old and senile.
At least, that is how I heard him describe it to his sister one day and which my ignoring may just be my most charitable effort as well.