Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Canada, a free country. Freedom from what?

While driving home from work the other day a comment on the radio started me thinking about the level of personal freedom we as Canadians feel we enjoy.
As my mind pondered the subject I very soon realized something that I like many others have overlooked. All too often we hear about how much freedom we are "privileged" to have yet for some reason seem oblivious to how much of it we lose each day, every year, and with each passing decade.

Think about it, there are very few if any aspects of an individuals life that to some degree are not dictated by one level of government or another. Municipal, Provincial, and Federal governments all have departments and branches that cover virtually every action that an individual makes during his waking moments. There are thousands, no I should say tens of thousands of rules, regulations, and laws that different levels of government have in place to ensure that you follow a predetermined path.

Let's start with the most obvious...........

Friday, January 27, 2012

Come on Peter, just take your medicine like a big boy....

Peter Goldring (right) meeting with the
Prime Minister, prior to his troubles.
In late December 2011 Peter Goldring, an MP representing Edmonton ran into a little trouble that made headlines across the country. Apparently Mr Goldring after having attended a fund raiser was making his way home for the evening when he was pulled over by a police patrol as part of a routine Checkstop program.

Based on what Edmonton police spokesman Chad Orydzuk told the Edmonton Journal  Mr.Goldring was charged with refusing to provide a breath sample using the roadside screening test.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is an offense to Refuse to Comply with a Valid Screening Device or Breath Test Demand (often referred to as "refusing to blow"). In plain English this means that if a police officer makes a demand for you to provide a breath sample, or blow into a screening device, and you do not comply, you may be charged criminally under cc. 254(5).

Now this is where it gets interesting, although Mr Goldring refused to blow he has publicly stated he is pleading "not guilty to the charge", although he has not said why he refused to blow. Now, I know that at times the law can seem complicated, particularly to those of us who are not MP's or do not have the benefit of years of legal education. But please, there are only two options here, you blow, or you don't.

Now while Mr Goldring refuses to say why he would not blow, he has no problem stating loud and clear that he was not impaired or under the influence, that he had "only one beer". In his own defense Peter has stated that the fact he was not charged with impaired driving speaks to his innocence. Peter, Peter, Peter, there is a flaw in that logic, you were charged because you refused the test, not because you were impaired. No test, no evidence of impairment to lay charges of driving under the influence.

Unfortunately, Peter seems to have missed the point, he is not charged with being impaired, in fact what he did or did not drink has no relevance on his charges. He is charged with "refusing to blow", so Peter either you did or you didn't. The reason the "refusing to blow" law exists is so that the impaired can not dodge charges by simply not taking the test.

Now maybe Peter has an agenda we have yet to see, this is the same man that in 2009 posted on his website a letter he wrote opposing a proposal supported by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers that would allow police officers to use breathalyzer tests even if they didn’t suspect drunk driving. In his letter he stated civil liberties and the right to not self-incriminate had to be protected (on the surface, generally a concept I agree with). As well, just hours before Goldring was charged, he had been publicly debating Edmonton-Castle Downs PC MLA Thomas Lukaszuk on the merits of proposed Alberta legislation that would create harsher punishments for people suspected of impaired driving.

So, is Peter trying to prove a point about the merits and legalities of roadside checks and harsher penalties? Only time will tell, however if he is it is a risky road to travel. If he admits that this is a stunt to question the legality of the approach the government has taken to deal with drunk driving, then he risks a serious backlash from the Tory party, As well, considering his position as an MP he should know better than anyone that you don't break the law to change it, you work within the guidelines of the system. On top of that is the damage the incident and his virtual disappearance since the information went public in December  have done to his political career and family. In a recent interview , while holding back tears Peter stated “It’s been terrible,” Last but not least, if this is a stunt, it is an ill conceived one that will cost the court system (taxpayer) time and money and something that any responsible individual would have enough common sense not to undertake.

Peter currently sits as an independent member of the House of Commons. His parliamentary webpage lists his affiliation as Independent Conservative, but he has asked to be recognized as a "Civil Libertarian"

My money on this one is that Peter is scrambling to cover his own ass after bending his elbow a few too many times on the evening in question, but time will tell as his court appearance is scheduled for February 15.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When it comes to taxes , we all need a little perspective.

With the United States currently in the midst of the Republican primaries and the Presidential election coming this fall one topic that is being hotly debated and makes headlines virtually every day is taxation. More to the point, the rates of taxation.

The spark that ignited this fire is ever increasing government debt and no foreseeable end to budget deficits. Obviously the wisest solution would be to curtail reckless spending and live within budget, unfortunately that would entail making some hard choices, something that most politicians try to avoid at all costs. Apparently those in power have another route in mind, one that they view as having a lot less potential to cost them votes, simply increase revenues. From their perspective high atop the mountain they feel they have discovered an untapped "national resource" in the form of increasing taxation rates to higher income earners.

Nowhere was this message more clear than in President Obama's recent state of the union speech. Never one to miss an opportunity Obama used the State of the Union address to kick off his campaign for re-election. Here's a quote from his speech (the bolded text was highlighted by myself)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I hope this doesn't get around, but I agree with the NDP

On Tuesday, January 10 2012, backbencher NDP MP Lise St-Denis announced she's was crossing the floor to the Liberals. The MP for Saint-Maurice-Champlain, Quebec said she broke with the New Democrats over a number of policies, and stated she felt the Liberals had the experience and policies to better represent the interests of the people in her riding.

"I didn't imagine I could stay there for three years just listening to options I didn't believe in," she said.

Now while I can fully understand anyone having a hard time listening to the opinions voiced  by the NDP, I fail to see how crossing the floor to sit with the Liberals provides the lady with much of a change. On top of that was she not aware of NDP policies before she ran for the party? If not the NDP better take a serious look at how they qualify potential candidates.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Once again the pigs are at the trough....

If you keep abreast of current news you have probably noticed that the topic of MP Pensions has been rearing its head again lately. Although these pensions have been in place for many years they seem to become the focus of attentions every once in a while. What amazes me personally as a taxpayer is that this issue is ever allowed to creep back into the shadows.This is probably one of the most blatant example of how our elected officials ensure their own pockets are lined at the expense of those that elected them. Don't believe me, well read on and you will....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shariah Law & Order ...A classic

When I saw this I knew it was just too good to pass up, however after watching it a number of times I began to realize that after the laughter settles down maybe what we are looking at is a window into the future. But, in the meantime take it for what it is worth and enjoy it.

My thanks to the folks at The Blaze for making this available, keep up the good work

Sunday, January 8, 2012

According To Jim, sadly not a sitcom but reality TV

I read with interest the statements made in late 2011 by Jim Flahery, our Federal Finance Minister. According to Jim (wait a moment, isn't that the name of a sitcom?), due to the weak economy federal revenues are less than expected, this in turn will result in a delay in balancing the budget. Now, According to Jim ( hehe...) the earliest the annual Federal deficit of approximately $31 billion will be eliminated is 2015/2016. Well Jim, although I am not a Finance Minister or even a sitting Member of Parliament, might I suggest a simpler more immediate solution to the deficit.