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Everything posted by Argus

  1. No, I don't think so. I think economics are the heart of the matter. In my parents' time, one wage earner could support a family fairly well. As an example, one uncle worked as a Brinks guard. That's not a very well paying position compared to many others. Nevertheless, he was able to own both a car and a house, and pay all the bills for a family of five. Try that today! Even with a double income of over $100k families with 1 or 2 kids have trouble paying off mortage and car and scraping up a few bucks to send the kid to camp occasionally. The value of labour is based on supply and demand. When, generally speaking, only men worked, the value of their labour was greater. Now that almost all women work (doubling the labour force) the value of their labour is neccesarily diminished. They earn less, proportionately. So both partners in a marriage generally have to work. That makes it hard to pay for kids and to devote the neccessary time to their upbringing. My grandfather was a messenger on Parliament Hill. He had a grade 3 education. But he had a family of 10, and no one ever went cold or hungry - in an era where there was no UIC or free clothes from the likes of the Sally Ann (or if there was they'd never have stooped to accepting them). My grandmother did a little cleaning and laundry (for rich folks) to help make some money, but generally her job was as a housewife. Anyone think a guy who works as a messenger can support 8 kids and a non-working wife today? With no help from the government at all?
  2. Why? Plain bigotry? I think you are mistaken in believing the shallow nature of your own thoughts and concerns should be taken as a measure of ours.
  3. Well, not sure what reason they will eventually give, but it's interesting to note that Sikorski's principal Canadian "partner" in the proposal has a large plant in the riding of the defence minister - the former defence minister, the one who helped make the decision, then got unexpectedly booted out in the election. Much of the work will be done there.
  4. There are no facts of value in Ruby's column. He is a lawyer, and that means his job is to mislead people. He attempts to mislead people in his column, but not very well. The fact is that the registry does nothing to deter crime, or suicide, or accidents. So linking it with them is pointless. Gun control, remember, is not gun registration. The gun registry was never designed to control crime, or lessen suicides, or help the police. It was designed as a cheap (ha!) and easy placebo that the Liberals could point to in order to show they were cracking down on gun crime, or at least, doing something to address the concerns about gun crime expressed by voters. To actually DO something about crime was considered too difficult. So they started up a nonsense registry, with no idea how much it would cost, and have since clung to it desperately as a motherhood issue, though its only value is political. There is probably some practical value in a long gun registry, if done properly. But that utility is not great, and certainly not nearly enough to justify the $1-$2 billion spent on the registry thus far. And, as I said, that value is only if the registry actually works. This one is so flawed it is almost completely unreliable.
  5. For some misbegotten, idiotic reason, probably a friend on city council, there is a stop sign on a main street near where I live. It is at a cross street which has virtually no traffic. It doesn, however, have a church. Every rush hour traffice moves moothly up until about a mile from this stop sign, then there is a long, long line of cars crawling along as, one by one, they all obediently stop at the sign, then take off. Now by your way of thinking, the fact all those cars stop before moving on is evidence the stop sign is doing its job. The incredible waste of time, of energy, the pollution of bumper to bumper cars, for nothing, for an empty side street, seems unimportant. Right?
  6. I think just to start you should be aware of the fact that the gun registry has NOTHING to do with gun control. Ok? People who seem to know nothing about the laws use the term gun control and gun registration interchangeably when one has nothing to do with the other. There have been gun control laws in Canada for a long time, and they have become much stronger over the years. in order to legally purchase a firearm you have to make the proper applications, with witnesses and be checked out by the authorities. THAT is gun control. And it has nothing whatever to do with the gun registry. The gun registry is for use by those who already have guns, who have already been approved to have and own guns, so the government knows who owns what guns (long guns only). Ahh, I see, lacking a coherant argument you resort to emotionalism. Use emotion and one needs no logic or facts. It's a shoddy way to discuss an issue.
  7. They were wrong. The frigates cost over a billion apiece.
  8. We don't have anyone making military helicopters. It's a rather specialized field. If we had a large military which would make a continuing stream of purchases to help support a homegrown industry - but we don't. So we buy them from foreign countries which then contract much of the work to Canadian subsidiaries and local contractors. Of course, that costs a lot more than just buying them off the American (or British) assembly line, but then most military purchases are touted more for their job creatiion then for acquiring needed materials and goods. It was the same for our locally built frigates, which cost a bloody fortune as they had to be designed and built from scratch. We could have gotten twice as many if we'd bought them off the Americans. And the jobs weren't permamanent, of course. We don't have enough of a navy to keep a military ship building program alive either.
  9. And you have the authority to decide Argus. Why not allow others to have the same authority? In fact, why not allow each of us to decide? The point I'm making is that those who are calling for Al Jazeera to have unrestricted access to Canada are, for the most part, the same ones howling for censorship of any and all speech which might tend to offend anyone of any minority ethnic, religious or sexual persuasion. The hate speech laws are theirs, and they support them entirely - except in this case, of course.
  10. There is quite a lot of discrimination in government. Take it from someone who is actually IN government. Do you have any idea how internal and external competitions work? Basically, the testing is designed to eliminate the utter incompetents. However, for the most part, those who have a reasonable ability in a given task can pass them. They all go into a "pool" then, and the government selects whom it wants on whatever basis it desires. If that basis is a desire to increase the numbers of visible minorities, then that is what's done.However, there is a wide variation in how well people do in those tests. You can, for example, get 100%, or you can get 70% (the pass mark). But the agency doing the hiring doesn't need to select those who finished on top if it doesn't want to. And often doesn't. And I have to admit I have had problems with the language skills of many of the newcomers. Trying to make them understand me over the phone is often difficult due to their thick accents and lack of vocabulary. This isn't really relevent. In the nineteen fifties there was little pressure in government to hire Polish or Italian immigrants who could barely speak English. This is also not particularly relevent. Yes, we have an aging workforce. However, the immigrant population is aging just about as fast. We don't give points for youth, so many of our immigrants are middle aged, and they often wind up bringing over their parents, as well. Furthermore, our work force is not aging as fast as in many other countries, countries which have not seen the neccesity of importing millions of foreigners and letting them change the entire makeup and cultural value set of their nations.
  11. I don't believe the Quebec radio station - apparently the most popular in the city, btw, was accused of repeatedly inciting hatred and violence, as Al Jazeera is. I have seen enough reports and studies of Al Jazeera to conclude it is a mouthpiece for the most violent and inflammatory elements of Islamic society, a propaganda organ for anti-semites and everyone in the Arab world who hates and despises Israel, the West and the Americans. It is not a "news" station, but a hate station. Now if you people on the left want to eliminate the laws against hate speech, then fine, but as long as they're in place you can't have hatemongers like Al Jazeera spewing venom all over the airwaves. That's not quite the same thing as talking rudely about the physical assets of some actress.
  12. The unfortunate fact most Canadians seem entirely ignorant about is that Canada's health care system was designed in Cuba. Pierre Trudeau, like a lot of leftists, was fascinated by Fidel Castro, and considered him a visionary. Together with Ed Broadbent they put in place the same health care system as Catro had. Think about it. The aim of our health care system is that all people, no matter how rich, how important, should get precisely equal treatment in all cases. Is that not the heart and soul of Communism? The theory is that you'll have the rich banker waiting in line behind the mill worker, who's in line behind the wealthy industrialist, standing behind the store clerk. Communism. And just as unrealistic and impractical and impossible as everything else the Communists ever came up with. In reality the rich banker and wealthy industrialist either know important people who can bump them to the head of the line, or they simply take a quick trip across the border and get their needs seen to at once. You won't find any rich people waiting months for diagnostic machines or specialists or treatment. That included Jean Chretien, of course, who went to the US to get some treatment. And it includes Paul Martin, as well. But Communism doesn't require honesty. In fact, it requires dishonesty. Here too, the Liberals excel. The Conservatives seem to believe in better health care, no matter what kind of system accomplishes this. The Liberals and NDP believe in the system, the marvelous, perfect, holy, unchangeable system, which "guarantees" equality of health services to all. They will defend the system, no matter how obvious its failings. Five years from now I predict we will be spending billions and billions more on health care, but will have the same long waits for service. The Liberals and NDP will brag about how much more money they have put into health care - because to them that indicates they "care" and that's all that really matters. Practical results? Well, they're secondary at best. Decades after Trudeau, Canada is still the only nation on the planet, other than the North Koreans, who have decided to impliment Fidel Castro's system of rigid Communist control of health care. Anyone ever wonder why?
  13. Well, the Liberals under Paul Martin have shown they're just as uncaring about the well-being of either taxpayers or the military as the Liberals under Jean Chretien. Big surprise! Despite Paul Martin's claims that he would ensure the military got the best possible equipmement he announced today the purchase of the bargain basement Sikorski model which is still on the drawing boards. Critics have severe doubts the company will be able to produce the aircraft any time soon. They say the cost was only 1% less than the larger, faster, more robust EH101 which could operate out at sea longer and carry more people. The EH101 would also have had an extra engine (handy if your engine breaks down out over the ocean). In addition, it would have been much cheaper to maintain one type of helicopter rather than two. Now the CAF will need two training programs, will have to have entirely different manuals, flight simulators, and mechanical manuals and training for the crews and maintenance staff, and keep two seperate stores of supplies. Right off the bat this is estimated to cost us about $400 million extra - eliminating any savings from the Sikorski model being 1% cheaper than the EH101. No, this decision was entirely political, made to save face for the Liberal Party, at a cost of probably a billion or more to taxpayers (when you include the inevitably successful lawsuit from the makers of the EH101) Last time around we had to pay them nearly $500 for renegging on signed contracts. How much this time around for cheating on the bidding process? Another $500 million? All for the ego of Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party. Add in the extra cost of all the delays, the extra cost of two types of helicopter - hell, let's make ti an even $2 billion. That's TWO BILLION DOLLARS that could have been spent on worthwhile projects, utterly wasted.
  14. And how was this person made a judge? The government chose him.
  15. I don't think Canadians realize just how many patronage appointments there are, and how little are their qualifications - or work. Or how much it costs.My favorite remains Gilbert Parent, a rather sleazy ex speaker being chased for alimoni by his ex wife after screwing around behind her back. He is currently our "Ambassador to the Environment", a gift from the grateful taxpayer (that's you). As far as I can tell his job is to occasionally fly on government jets, or first class commercial to places like Vienna, Paris, and Tokyo, to stay at 5 star hotels and eat 12 course dinners - and, if he has time, drop in on some government "environment" meeting or another. Whether he actually has anything to say is questionable as Gib Parent never evidenced the slightest interest in or knowledge of environmental issues while he was a Liberal MP. His pay rate for all that work is $225,000 per anum - on top of his golden pension. :angry:
  16. These are CSL's lake ships. In other words, they have no choice. They can't register these ships abroad.The rest is just fluff. It doesn't even say how many ocean going ships CSL owns are registered abroad, nor whether CSL wanted the ones it holds "non-controlling interest" to register abroad or in Canada. Yes, other countries allow registration abroad. But it is a scheme which defrauds the countries that these ships make their money from of rightful taxes. And it should be stopped. Furthermore, government operations such as Nova Scotia Power should refuse to hire ships not registered in Canada. Not likely while Martin is PM, of course. Nor are any changes likely while Martin is PM. If I earn money abroad, but live in Canada I am required to pay full Canadian taxes on it. which, by the way, I do, and I do. I had to write the government a fat cheque a couple of months ago because of foreign earnings, and I certainly can't register myself abroad to get away from Martin's taxes.
  17. Quite possibly true. But whose to say you need 1 million voters from each segment of society? Whose to say 10 voters wouldn't represent that segment of society just as well? Or say, 1,000 voters from each of a few dozen segments of society.
  18. Like money to expand golf courses, to put out blonde joke books, to refurbish hotels and build canoe museums, to put up little "Canada" wordmarks on hockey arenas and convention halls, to donate foreign aid to poor countries like China and India - whose money goes to build nuclear missiles. And other important stuff like that, right?
  19. I would be willing if it were neccesary. I don't believe it is, though. We could just take it out of what the Liberals steal and waste. Do you really think this is the first time this has happened? How many smiliar ships carried drugs into our ports in the past months and years which weren't detected for lack of resources?
  20. I've never been able to find one. That's why I'd like to reduce the number of voters. As I suggested earlier, simply forcing would-be voters to go to some building to register, and maybe take a very basic test, would probably knock 60% or more of voters out for lack of effort on their part. I, for one, wouldn't miss them. You could knock 90% of voters out and probably get better decisions, because those who remained would take their votes seriously.
  21. Is it or is it not true that Martin - who runs ships into Canadian ports all the time - was responsible for eliminating the ports police, despite virtually *everyone* claiming this was a very dangerous move which would make criminal misuse of our ports far more likely and far less dangerous? Is it or is it not true that Coast Guard and Navy ships are tied up at docks for lack of money? Is it or is it not true that Customs are underfunded and undermanned, unable to properly inspect ships and cargo entering Canada? Is it or is it not true the RCMP are so underfunded they cannot properly police either the ports or our borders, that they recently withdrew people stationed along the Canada-US border in Quebec and Ontario for lack of funding? Did Martin know coke was being smuggled in one of his ships? I highly doubt it. Has Martin done almost everything in his power to make sure smuggling drugs, weapons, people or anything else into Canada is safe and lucrative? Yes.
  22. In the shipping business, it is imperative. There is no way to compete otherwise.Are you sure of that? Because there are some 120 ships registered in Canada. Of the ships registered in Bermuda, only 10 are Canadian, registered there for "convenience" - presumably Martin's CSL ships.I think it typical that our media makes no fuss over a finance minister, the chief of taxation, dodging taxes and keeping loopholes which are obviously not in Canada's interests open - loopholes which chiefly benefit his own company. Now he's PM. Guess what the odds are of that loophole being closed?
  23. Then maybe you need to get out of the nursing home a bit more. Young people are no more or less ignorant than older folks. Age and experience doesn't necessarily bring wisdom, but can entrench attitudes and prejudices. Life experience does not automatically lead to critical thinking. Generalizations will always have exceptions. There are certainly some sophisticated, mature young people, just as there are certainly some stupid, immature middle aged people.Nevertheless, generalizations do tend to be "generally" true. Young people in my experience, "generally" lack sophistication and the critical thinking which comes from experience. They don't understand complex issues and are impatient with anyone who tries to explain the basics of causality. Actual conversation Young guy: We should raise the minimum wage to $10 Old guy: Uh, that would cost lots of jobs. YG: No it wouldn't. Jobs gotta get done anyway. OG: Not all of them: Small business would fold, things would cost more to make. YG: Man, that's just BS. You just don't care about poor people.
  24. Canada Customs discovered, by a fluke, some $30 million in cocaine being smuggled on one of Paul Martin's CSL ships. It was a fluke because they just happened to come across it. They don't have the personnel to properly inspect ships coming into Canada's ports. They had to call in agents from others cities and hire private divers because they had none. Coast guard and navy ships tied up at docks for lack of money for fuel and personnel, no ports police - Paul Martin having elminated them as a "cost saving measure", RCMP pulling people from the borders for lack of funding, woefully understaffed customs agencies.... and Paul Martin's company smuggling drugs. Hmmm. Coincidence? Or hidden agenda? Silly, I know. But how does it look; a guy who owns a major shipping line eliminating the Ports Police, and then having drugs found on one of his ships?
  25. Your parents probably said the same about you Argus, and their parents about them.And they were probably right! But you can take this too far, to the point where youth are brought up with no responsibilities, and overprotected to the point they really aren't developing into mature personalities. Like it or not there is no better school than the school of hard knocks. It teaches you a helluva lot. Sure. But when you're in school until you're 25 or so, you are not exactly filled with responsibilities and the onerous difficulties of life. A 25 year old who has been working for 10 years, supporting a family for six or seven, has experienced one helluva lot more than a 25 year old just graduating with his degree in English, just about to embark into the world on his own. I disagree. We just have different taboos, and a near total lack of experience in intellectual discussion. The lack of social interraction among youth is troubling, and not at all helpful in teaching coexistance and undersandign of others' views. And there are numerous things you cannot discuss now on university campuses, many topics forbidden at workplaces. There are many opinions which are more or less forbidden no pain of expulsion, even on pain of jail. I think we should raise the voting age to 30, in recognition that the real age of maturity and adulthood has crept higher over the years. I have yet to meet anyone in their early twenties who has anything approaching a sophisticated understanding of politics.
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