Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barenaked Ladies Lose Front-man... Front-man keeps double-chin.

Steven Page is leaving the band to pursue a solo career.

A questionable though not entirely unpredictable decision due to his recent rock star antics.

This can go one of two ways... Either it's the I Mother Earth/Edwin paradigm where they're great together, and after the split neither band nor lead singer are ever heard from again.


Matthew Good Band/Matthew Good where the front-man is 90% of the band and goes on to make his best stuff (Champions of Nothing... Best.Song.Ever.)

I suspect it's the former in this case, and that Page is throwing away hard-earned commercial recognition in the US for vanity alone. Sure he's got a great pop voice, but he's in a novelty band, and much the same way that nobody wants to see Hootie without the Blowfish, Page risks becoming roadkill on the rock n roll highway.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Canadian Gun Laws Empower Criminals

There was another shooting on the Toronto public transit system yesterday. This time, it seems a man in his 40s saw fit to brazenly shoot and pistol-whip a 17 year-old boy in full view of a busload of witnesses.

Once again, David Miller has come out to 'work the numbers' and try to convince us that the TTC (and Toronto by extension) is still 'relatively' safe. Compared to what? Darfur?

Miller has also repeated his semi-retarded call for the banning of all handguns. Apparently nobody has let him in on the fact that handguns are already considered prohibited weapons across Canada.

There are two problems with this approach:

1. It assumes that the very few people who are permitted to own antique handguns or participate in sport-shooting through an exhaustive process of police checks are the source of handguns on the streets of Toronto, through a combination of break-ins and poor storage practices.

2. It ignores the fact that criminals BY DEFINITION do not feel constrained by the law!

Ask yourself, what's more likely... That a criminal will break in to a random home (in which there is probably not a gun) and crack a safe (in which there is probably not a gun) with the potential payoff of someone's great-great-great-Grandfathers black powder musket, OR that he will take a drive across the border, walk into a store with some fake ID, and buy a Glock for $500 he earned dealing weed?

See where this is going?

Canada can pass laws all day long. Guns exist. They cannot be un-invented, and we share the world's longest undefended border with a country that has a constitutional guarantee to provide easy access to guns. Criminals don't give a damn about our gun laws. The crimes of armed robbery and murder (which they ostensibly plan to commit WITH their guns) carry far worse sentences than simply possessing a prohibited weapon. One cannot rationally argue that ANY Canadian gun law, no matter how 'strong' will deter criminals from using the tools of their trade in this country.

So this is the point where the (mostly Liberal/NDP) people at the dinner party (who have been fed a steady diet of 'put the genie back in the bottle' gun control) admit they don't have a solution, and ask for mine.

They never like what I say, but here it is: ARM THE GOOD GUYS.

"Oh but more guns mean more shootings!" They cry.

"Oh but you're advocating for vigilante justice!" The outrage mounts.

Poppycock. We need more guns, and we need to put them in the hands of the right people.

How likely would Marc Lepine have been able to complete his deliberate execution of 14 women in 1989 if just one or two of them were armed? Look at all the other high-profile examples: Dawson College, Taber, Jane Creba's boxing day murder on Yonge Street, as well as the recent TTC shootings...

If these guys knew they'd probably be shot dead within seconds of firing their first round, they might actually find alternative ways to resolve their conflicts/mental illnesses.

Instead, gunmen are increasingly having running gun battles in our streets in broad daylight because they know the flock of sheep around them will do exactly nothing. They don't have the means.

Case in point - Vermont is a U.S. State where there are virtually no gun laws. You can buy one in a store, and while you're in Vermont, you can carry that gun, loaded or unloaded, concealed or on your belt, wherever and whenever you like. Vermont is the second lowest for violent crime in the U.S.

The number 1 state for violent crime is California, which also happens to have some of the toughest gun laws.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hospital Wait Times... Still Suck

The Ontario Ministry of Health has announced that it plans to reduce Emergency Room wait times.

On it's face, this sounds like good news, until you read the fine print, and realize that these wait times will be "improved" to between 4 and 8 hours! This bitter little pill is conveniently omitted from the Ministry's PR page on the plan.

This news is actually a staggering admission of just how broken our health care system is. Can you imagine how long the wait times are today, if 4-8 hours is seen as an improvement??

The Ministry says that it has taken examples of best practices from Hospitals such as St. Mikes which has some of the lowest wait times in the province and plans to adopt those same practices in other Ontario hospitals. Better watch out though... Looks like St. Mikes has been employing some dubious methodology to keep their ER waiting rooms uncluttered.

I would love to see a class action suit against the government by people who's loved ones died due to lack of treatment because they didn't want to be abused like cattle in the ER, or worse yet, died in the ER while waiting for treatment.

It is unconscionable that the government attempts to prevent you from legally obtaining private health care, while at the same time they fail to provide an adequate level of care themselves. Of course that doesn't apply to everyone. We have a thriving 2 tier health-care system in Canada. Do you think this nation's politicians would allow themselves to be trapped in the system they've designed for the underclass? No way! There are elite private health clinics sprouting up all over the place for those who have the means not to have to mingle with those of us in steerage class. So if you're worried about 2-tier health care you can stop worrying and start panicking... It's already here.

Of course it doesn't have to be this way. Canada is one of the only OECD countries with a public health-care system that refuses to incorporate some form of private delivery due to an ideological predisposition to believe that everything private is evil and everything public is safe. The result of this stance is two disparate systems evolving side-by side. One for Members of The Party and other elite, and one that's sub-standard for everyone else. That should scare you a lot more than an entrepreneur buying an MRI machine and running tests for a reasonable fee.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rainbows and Unicorns

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Ottawa for all of 5 hours today, and Canadians - those employed by the CBC in particular - are hyperventilating.

So lost and starstruck are they, it's as though they've forgotten that his political positions are to the extreme right of those held by Canada's own Conservative party:

- He is pro-death penalty
- He is anti Gay Marriage "Because he's Christian"
- He supports George Bush's Patriot Act
- He voted for warrantless wiretapping
- He voted AGAINST Kyoto

Our own Prime Minister, Stephen Harper would be tarred and feathered in the Sparks Street Mall for expressing evil "Neocon" notions such as these. Yet Obama does this, and somehow earns the unbridled adulation of the Canadian Left, while Harper languishes with a 30% approval rating.

Linda McQuaig was in a masturbatory frenzy on CBC radio the other day, praising Obama for his so-called Green Initiative, (which she conveniently forgot to mention centers on burning coal) while beating up on the Canadian Oil industry for being "dirty". She rears up on her hind legs like a bear protecting it's young whenever Obama is criticized in the slightest. Listen to the whole show here.

That my friends is some bizarre, self-loathing hypocrisy right there...