Friday, December 18, 2009

Hiding in Full Sight

Here was the plan.

Go into the high school.

Get the staff in the office to order all the students into the auditorium and then shoot everyone.

Then drive to the University of Manitoba and shoot more people until we get tired or the police shoot us.

The preparations included collecting guns, ammo and Molotov cocktails.

For this little piece of adolescent mischief, the 17-year old boy and the 18-year old girl have been given two years in jail.

Their handlers have already reported that while they in custody "they have made strides."


Now, let's not worry about all of that.

Let's have a look at this small concern.

Bonny and Clyde cannot be identified under court order, because of their age.

Even though they have been tried as adults.

I understand.

I get it.

I really do.

We don't want to identify young people lest their youthful indiscretions brand them for life.


I understand.

Like for stealing a car or giving their classmate a wedgie or for spitting on the sidewalk.

But do I not have a right to be protected from harm?

Does the state not have a solemn obligation to do its best to protect me from harm?

Should I not be allowed to know who these two sick lunatics are in case I run into them at Blenz shortly after they are released after serving way less than the two years because of time in custody, good behaviour and mandatory parole?

Arming yourself in preparation for mass murder is not necessarily what anyone had in mind when they determined years ago with nothing but goodness in their mistaken silly hearts that youngsters in crime should remain unidentified.

Excuse me.

I want to know the names and photos of these two wretched souls.

I want the freedom to avoid them like the plague, to run screaming from public places that crazy people are about.

Then I want to sit down with the law makers and the nut cases who think these two have "made strides" and have a good old fashioned jawing with them.

Disgrace and Neglect

Turns out that the Richard Colvin warnings and claims about the torture of Afghan detainees was only the proverbial tip of the berg.

Seems that the entire Canadian mission in Afghanistan has been without direction or clarity from the beginning.

The revelations now surfacing are shocking, but they shouldn't;t be.

Disarray has been the norm on this front, with no one in charge and assignments spread across numrous desks with little or no communication between funtionairies.

Read the whole mess and weep for the soldiers who have been treated with such disregard by bureaucrats.

Highly paid bureaucrats.

Faceless and highly paid.

Canadian soldiers have died because of the sloppiness of the command that is supposed to be standing on guard for them.

Fire Sale

There are bargains and then there are Bargoons.

It's not even Boxing Day and the Biggest Give-Away is already being offered by The Harper Department Store.

Line-up early kids for your chance to buy a Candu nuclear reactor.

Shades of the Avro Arrow?

Baby with bath water?

It was only yesterday that I raised the question of when governments should sell assets.

Now, Harper Inc. has lifted the bar on this debate very high into the sky.

Bad move, Steve.

You Can't Get There From Here

Francis Bula has done a nice job as usual of covering the current deliberations of Vancouver City Council.

How to hold the line on expenditures without cutting back on all services.

Yes, how?

Of course, this City Council like all councils before it and no doubt all that will follow, is taking exactly the wrong approach.

Here's what they are considering:

Close the Bloedel Observatory and the Petting Zoo.

Reduce Community Centre hours and Library hours.

Close Libraries.

Reduce street-cleaning.


The truth is that Vancouver City Hall, like all other City Halls across the nation, around the world is a bloating inflated bureaucracy with dozens of frivolous unneeded departments and hundreds if not thousands of useless money-sucking jobs.

The social planning and arts divisions alone are charter members of the What Do You Folks Actually Do Club?

Did I just say that social planning and arts are either not important or not within the purview of a city's responsibilities?

No, I did not.

I am saying that these departments - and they are only two examples - are over-staffed and under worked and cannot in any measurable way justify the money spent.

The City would be wise to hold budgets.

But closing libraries and community centres and local treasures is not the answer.

House cleaning is.


Across the globe, more than 1.2 billion people smoke - and one billion of them are more or less poor.

Tobacco taxes are poverty taxes.

This is the gist of a fascinating column by Neil Reynolds in today's Globe.

While governments everywhere are having a lot of fun suing Bog Tobacco for health costs, the governments are raking in 50 cents on every dollar spent on cigarettes.

And this money is spent more often by poor people.

The reasons for this are complicated and very interesting.