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  1. Decriminalization is not the way to go. It does not help end illegal and irresponsible 'grow-ops' that ruin houses and devalue property. It does not deal with access by the underage, it does not deal with 'laced' or tainted product and it offers no accountability for the huge profits that are being made. That said, legalization is the best way to face the issue, unless you advocate continued prohibition. I heard a bit on the radio from a Canadian Senator (and former RCMP officer) that says our current mindset of prohibition is not working, and legalization was the only logical step. I haven't read the 21 previous pages, but I am sure that some reference has been made to the California bill that is being proposed. A sensible approach that offers some control of distribution, quality control and large revenues for the gov't.
  2. Cease-fire, Shmeece-fire. This conflict is far from over. Israel has simply 'turned the pot down to simmer' for the time being. A large part of the problem is that both the Israelis and 'Palestinians' are divided about how to achieve 'peace'. Many Israelis argue that the areas under the hottest dispute (The Gaza Strip, which the Israelis call 'Gush Katif', and the West Bank, which they call 'Judea and Samaria') had been given to them by God himself, and the deed and title to the land are in the bible. Many Israelis were opposed to any form of 'land for peace deal', and indeed some Israeli newspapers had an editorial cartoon showing 'Gush Katif (Gaza Strip) being shown as a corner of the flag of Israel being ripped off and offered to RPG wielding 'terrorists'. However, there was no unanimity about this sentiment, just as there is no unanimity among the Palestinians and their own path to self-determination. Some few have become 'Arab-Israelis', with citizenship rights, as long as they recognize the right of Israel to exist. For a large portion of the Palestinians, they don't see a 'State of Palestine' being offered, but rather a 'peaceful (if somewhat shameful) existence as rightless subjects' within the State of Israel. It's a place with too may names. Hardcore Israelis call it 'Y'israel', (and believe it should reach to it's biblical boundaries, including the Sinai Peninsula, and to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers), while more moderate Israelis still refer to the biblical names of Judea and Samaria. Some Arabs and Muslims won't even call it Israel, referring to it disparagingly as 'The Zionist Entity'. The rest of the world acknowledges Israel, but not to it's biblical boundaries, calling some of the area 'The Occupied Territories'. Many others refer to the entire region as 'The Holy Land'. The question is: Where did Palestine go?" Some hardcore Zionists claim that there never was a 'Palestine' (in direct contradiction of many history books I have), but it could also be claimed that there wasn't an Israel, either, until the British got tired of 'terrorist attacks' from groups such as "The Stern Gang' and 'Irgun', and walked away, allowing the 'terrorists' to make their own state, which they called 'Israel'. What's the solution? Many might suggest that they fight it out, once and for all. Not good for anyone, really, since the Israelis would use 'The Samson Option' (read the book by Seymour Hersch) once they were in danger of being overrun by sheer numbers, and turn the whole area into a smoking hole in the ground. This wouldn't actually solve anything, since there would be no shortage of Jews living elsewhere, pro-Zionists and pro-Palestinian Arabs in exile that would return shortly thereafter to continue the dispute. The right answer will become clear shortly after discarding scripture.
  3. Dear August1991, Taxation is the ultimate combo of 'carrot and stick' when it comes to social engineering. I don't think anyone was handled it quite properly yet... Cutting income taxes would have some immediate effect on Average Joe's spending, to be sure, but it doesn't 'create jobs' like gov't spending is touted to do. However, as you say, gov't job creating schemes are wide open to abuse...how effective were the Liberal advertising campaigns in Quebec or the 2 billion dollar gun registry to that end?Only industry really 'creates jobs', and thereby increases the tax base. Tax incentives, should they be truly used for directional purposes, ought be applied to businesses, and in a specific fashion. Let's take, for example, the auto industry. I believe I heard that there is a manufacturing plant in Montreal making viable electric cars which are virtually unavailable in Canada (except BC, I think) Rather than 'bail out' the 'big three' (that is, giving them cash to continue to temporarily run failing businesses) tax credits could be given to those companies that turn out zero emission vehicles. While it is true that the 'big three' may collapse (which looks likely anyway), jobs in the electric car sector (including parts and sales) would skyrocket. Ideally (and with a healthy bit of dreaming) those workers would simply have to 'cross the street' to a different, but related industry.
  4. http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2008/10/20/7146386.html I actually like Bob Rae, though he is pretty far left. The only other 'centre-lefty' I would suggest as leader for the liberals would be me.
  5. I highly doubt that Harper can get away with ruling like a majority leader. As Peter Mansbridge pointed out the night of the election, Joe (who?) Clark tried that with what was considered a 'strong minority gov't' and found himself punted within the year. Another minority gov't might be a good thing for Canada, at least until a stronger leader or party manages to get it's act together.
  6. Dear August1991, Certainly not, but I sure am getting bitter. Some of the asinine proposals coming out of our city hall are leaving me incredulous. One alderman wants to eliminate all of the dumpsters from the downtown core because they attract graffiti and cause messes (when the homeless root through them). Her solution? Eliminate the dumpsters and have twice a day pick up service. With almost all of the dumpsters privately run, who the hell is going to pay for that? Further, the core would be clogged with garbage trucks. This is just one, minor example of the idiocy that Calgary is experiencing amidst a host of real problems.
  7. Dear August1991, I concur with the notion of 'failed entrepreneurs'...at municipal, provincial and federal levels, the people most qualified are already in the private sector. As you have said in the past, upping the pay might bring in quality candidates (matching comparable private sector pay rates), but there would still be no incentive for them to be fiscally responsible. Sadly, if you gave the power of taxation to a free-enterprizer (sic), the goal would become: tax us 100% of our income, and give us nothing. Much like the old commie system.
  8. I must agree with MSH, Calgary's municipal gov't is abysmal. Our mayor is a tax-and-spend liberal to the nth degree. Some of the other hare-brained proposals and spending schemes from our city hall would make anyone who is responsible for their own dollar shudder with revulsion. Our mayor only knows how to bleat to the province and the taxpayer for more money, and then squander it, only to end up bleating for more. Well, MSH says it all well enough. (oddly, word on the street is that the mayor likely won't run for another term..by some coincidence, the proposed LRT expansion in the city (plans for which were 'strong-armed' though the electoral feedback process) is going to go right through some property he owns...so, to avoid speculation of 'conflict of interest', he would have to step down.)
  9. An interesting topic, and a cynical yet bang-on reply...I would say that 'Judgement Day' is near...not that sort of apocalyptic, religious claptrap type of day, more like 'decision day'...Sadly, though, we will likely also avoid making the right 'no-brainer' decision until it may be too late...
  10. Dear August1991, Generally speaking, fighting is tolerated because it is meant to be an outlet for anger/revenge instead of the retaliatory cheap shot. Fighting happens spontaneously most times, sometimes it is 'staged' (or ordered, and in some cases even forbidden, by a coach), and sometimes it is used to rally a team that is down, or intimidate a team that is up. Jarome Iginla will sometimes try to rally his team by showing 'leadership' through dropping the gloves, and sometimes it backfires. there was an old saying in Junior, "We lost the game, but won all the fights". I never played Junior, but did play for DeVry, and there were 'twists' pretty much every game. What I object to is the involvement of the law in sports. It is (and should be) basically suspended for the duration of a hockey game. There are rules and penalties that cover pretty much everything, they just need to be enforced. What happened with the Roy incident was ridiculous, and they should receive harsh suspensions, but there is no reason for the law to be involved.
  11. http://www.indiaenews.com/nepal/20080209/96597.htm Here is an interesting link, forgive me if it has already been posted. I suppose the argument here is: should this be legislated against?
  12. Dear bush_cheney2004, I did not explain myself well. I meant that no one should profit on either end. If organs are to be for sale, they should also go to the highest bidder. I haven't seen organs for sale on e-bay yet, but I suppose it is something to look forward to.
  13. Dear bush_cheney2004, No one should profit for organ donation. It's a no-brainer. Go to India and China, offer hundreds of rupees or yen for certain organs, or better yet, a train ride to a fabulous "Arbeit Macht Frei" remote work camp and sell then abroad for thousands of USD. Perhaps with the combination of stem-cell research and cloning, anyone can make, grow and experiment with whatever they want. I'm gonna grow me a 12 foot angry retard.
  14. I would strongly and always support the banning of the sale of Human organs. If you think that I should be trusted not to collect and/or harvest human organs for profit, bully for you. I do not trust you. Nor anyone else. In general terms, of course.
  15. Dear Argus, I have to agree here. My wife and our manager were assaulted a couple of weeks ago by a drugged-out waste case (female) on the steps of our business. The police and an ambulance were called out. It took 3 cops to subdue her (even though my wife and our manager, both Guardian Angels, had restrained her until the cops arrived). They loaded her into the ambulance for about 15 min...then she was taken out of the back with a cloth bag over her head and loaded into the back of the paddy wagon. Evidently she was continually spitting at the EMS guys. Not a tasering offence, but they have to do what they can to protect themselves. The taser, though imperfect, is meant to be a help to the violent criminal, as a substitute to the baton or the gun. If someone is attacking a police officer, especially when they have gone off their rocker (due to drugs or mental instability), the previous 'last resorts' were to beat them unconscious or to shoot them.
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