Thursday, June 28, 2007

There's always hope if the heart is beating.

Jesse Ramirez was in persistent vegetative state for about a month. The doctors gave up on him. His wife wanted the feeding tube removed. Jesse's fate would have been death after nearly two weeks of starvation and dehydration. But his family managed to save his life.

Surprisingly, the court agreed that Jesse's spouse shouldn't be allowed to arbitrate his life, considering their recent marital strife. The feeding tubes were reconnected and Jesse Ramirez was given another chance. Few days later Jesse regained conscience.
He "can hug and kiss, nod his head, answer yes and no questions, give a thumbs-up sign and sit in a chair."
Shows once again that doctors could be wrong, that even severe disability doesn't mean there's no chance for recovery.

Jesse Ramirez was lucky. Terry Schiavo wasn't. In both cases, it was a spouse, in fact - an "ex"-spouse who wanted them dead. But in Jesse's case, the judges agreed that a wife could have interests of her own, especially if there was a marital strife shortly before the accident. In Terry's case the courts decided that former husband's opinion should prevail even if Terry's family begged to save her life. In Jesse's case the feeding tube was reconnected. In Terry's case the judges argued that reinserting the feeding tube is "inhumane" as if starving a woman to death (Terry lasted 13 days without food and water) is the paradigm of humanity.

Jesse Ramirez, a man who has narrowly escaped euthanasia is now on his way to recovery. Let his story be a lesson to all of us - there's always hope if the heart is beating. Stopping an innocent beating heart should never be allowed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Inside Afghanistan - what the media doesn't show us

Back in 2000 the CBC aired a 30-minute documentary about Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. A couple years later, when the violence in Afghanistan increased as the country was about to hold its first democratic election, the CBC rerun the "Inside Afghanistan" documentary, reminding us what the life under Taliban was like. Militia-men carrying guns and whips which they use at their own discretion. People living under threat of being stoned to death or having their arms and legs chopped off. Women and girls denied such basic rights as education, healthcare, employment... not even allowed to leave home without being accompanied by a male. Poverty. Devastation. Hopelessness. The text wasn't changed, so the narrator spoke in present tense, as if all that was still there...

Back then the Liberals were still in power and supportive to the Afghan mission, so the CBC took its time to remind people what kind of enemy Canadian peacekeepers are fighting. Since then the Liberals changed their mind. They now claim that Canadian involvement in Afghanistan became excessively concentrated on aiding the US-led war on terrorism, rather than helping the Afghans to rebuild their country. Is that so?

Here are some facts about what has been achieved in Afghanistan since 2001:
-Per capita income has doubled
-The Afghan economy has tripled
-200,000 Afghans (90 percent women) have received micro-finance loans
-7.2 million children vaccinated against polio; 4.3 million vaccinated against childhood diseases
-4 million women vaccinated against Tetanus
-77 percent of Afghans have access to medical facilities--compared to less than 10 percent in 2001
-4,000 new medical facilities opened
-Six million children (one third females) now go to school compared to 700,000 (no females) in 2001
-363,000 teachers provided with teaching material
-8,000 km of new and refurbished roads
-2,500 villages have electricity for the first time
-8,000 construction projects completed; 14,000 underway
-4,000 houses and shelters constructed for the needy
-130 Agriculture projects (benefiting 300,000 farmers)
-190,000 mines defused and removed
-8,100 new water points, benefiting 3 million people
-1,700 water reservoirs built
Too bad the mainstream media won't mention any of that. But would these achievements be possible without the international peacekeepers, including Canadians, risking their lives, doing their best to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan? I think the answer is obvious: Support our troops!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Have Another Child To Help End Abortion.

When Mother Theresa of Calcutta was asked by a young mother about the best way to proceed with pro-life work, she responded emphatically, "Have a big family. That is the best way to end abortion!"

How this works is not difficult to understand. As children become more rare due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, whole segments of society become less and less familiar with the sense of joy and hope that only babies and children can give. In this climate, contraception and abortion feed on themselves, as increasingly selfish few reduce their number.

By having another child, you demonstrate once again to the world that children are God's greatest gifts. "Children build up the life of the family and society," as Pope John Paul II has said. "The child becomes a gift to its brothers and sisters, parents and entire family. Its entire life becomes a gift for the very people who were givers of life and who cannot help but feel its presence, its sharing in their life and its contribution to the common good and to the community of the family."

The more children there are in society, the more pro-life that society will become, and the easier it will be for the great evil of abortion to be eradicated once and for all.

"Chose life, then, that you and your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19
This is just one out of 10 reasons to have another child. And to those, who claim that having children will lead to overpopulation - here's some truth about the myth of overpopulation and the folks who brought it to you.
The claim that the world will become dangerously overpopulated has never been true. It was false when first postulated in the 19th century. It was false when The Population Bomb was first published in the 1960s. It is false now. That this theory is still taught in grade schools all over the world even today does not make it any truer. It remains a false theory.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Tory Tradition In Canada

It should also be remembered that, until 1963, the Liberal Party – especially under the very long-serving Prime Ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King -- on most issues solidly embraced the "traditionalist-centrist" consensus. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the pre-1960s precursor to the New Democratic Party (NDP) (Canada's social democratic "third party") while emphatically social-democratic in economics was, to a large extent, socially conservative, mostly upholding traditional notions of nation, family, and religion. Thus, it could be argued that the absolutely critical Canadian elections – when it really mattered whether Liberals or Conservatives prevailed – occurred in 1963 to 1980.
Great research on the history of Canadian Conservatism in the last few decades. 4 parts have been posted so far on Free Dominion with more to come next week. As we discuss the future of Conservatism in Canada, it's worth looking back over the past to see what went wrong.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What trick will poor-choicers come up with now?

The Great Canadian Wish List contest was launched on Facebook in late May. Few days later, the contest organizers noticed that a wish to abolish abortion in Canada was the most supported. By then it received about 300 votes, compared to the pro-abortion wish which had 74. The CBC had to admit - debate on the right to life can't be ignored.

Once the Wish List hit the blogsphere, the numbers started adding up faster. On June 4th, when I posted my article on the contest, there were about 1400 votes for a wish to abolish abortion against roughly 600 votes to keep fetal rights under wraps. The numbers went up on both sides but a steady lead for the pro-life side (slightly over 2:1) remained. The numbers as of June 13th around noon, before the "great freeping" began were:

Abolish Abortion in Canada: 2996 votes.
For a spiritual revival in our nation: 1374 votes.
... Canada would remain "pro-choice": 1349 votes.
Restore the Traditional Definition of Marriage: 946 votes.

We have those numbers thanks to one Audra Williams, who didn't like the idea that Social Conservatives could win the contest and receive some attention from our fair and balanced media. Here's what she suggested the poor-choicers should do:
It's pretty gross. I'd like to bump the social conservatives down on the list, so I'm asking folks to to join the Pro-Choice group. I don't care if you're in Canada. I don't know if Facebook or the CBC cares. And pass around the link. I think it's stupid to have to put any effort into things like online polls and petitions, but I think the optics on this are bad, and I think it matters.
The word was spread and by June 20th it was about 4800 votes to keep the poor-choice versus 5100 votes to abolish abortion. On the next day the poor-choice wish was leading with some 5800 votes. Over a thousand votes in one day? I thought it had something to do with some of their supporters registering twice. The actual way to cheat appeared to be much easier:
cheat the wishlist

1- remove support from your favourite group
2- add support
3- press backspace [[[ faster than clicking back ]]]
4- add support
5- rinse and repeta as desired

** only works on 1000+ supporters

Facebook groups don't allow users to join twice, but apparently the developers had disabled this feature for groups with over 1000 supporters, to avoid too much pressure on the database. Someone on the poor-choice side had discovered the loophole and used it to get their group to the top. For a while.

The trick might have worked, but the poor-choicers' recipe for success was published on the group main page. From there it went to various discussion forums (including "Rabble" where some of the cheaters were quite proud of themselves having voted 10-15 times). Even the group itself had some discussion about whether it's ok to cheat with Corinne Langridge and Ickle Edgar seeing nothing wrong with that. (The instructions have been removed from the "wall" but the discussion topic is still there.) At the end, the site administration became aware of the glitch, so it was fixed and the phantom votes were removed. The pro-life side is back at the top with a 250-300 votes lead.

The contest continues and so are the attempts to "freep" the vote. Rabble users are upset about "whole Catholic schools voting for the Pro-Life side". Yet there's nothing wrong with Canadian Catholic school students voting in a Great Canadian Wish List contest. That however can't be said about hordes of poor-choicers from US and Europe invited by Audra Williams and her friends to decide what Canadians should wish for.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Science is settled over global warming?

Al Gore claims the science is "settled" over global warming. The scientists however are not sure.
On the same day, NASA chief Michael Griffin commented in a US radio interview that "I am not sure that it is fair to say that (global warming) is a problem that we must wrestle with".
To make things worse, this "not sure" cost taxpayers some $50 Billion and even that is going to look like nothing compared with the squandering of money that is going to accompany the introduction of a carbon trading or taxation system.

But is it really the carbon emissions? Many researchers think otherwise.
What is conveniently left out is that there have been natural warming and cooling periods in the past. From about 900 AD to 1300 AD the world experienced a significant warming period. During that time, the Vikings settled in Greenland and the population of Europe grew dramatically. Then from about 1400 to 1800 AD, a significant cooling period set in. Europe's crops were far less abundant and political strife was rampant. The plague killed millions. The ice on the famous picture of Washington crossing the Delaware River was real and people used to be able to walk on ice from Manhattan to Staten Island. But, after 1800, the world warmed again which we are still experiencing.
National Post continues to publish its "denier" series of articles, denouncing the common myth of a man-made global warming. Instead of the myths, Professor Timothy Patterson provides facts about the effects of sunspots and solar winds on the Earth's climatic fluctuations. Those facts clearly show that science is nowhere near "settled" over global warming.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One way tolerance

Try to picture a beefsteak eating contest being held in a Hindu banquet hall. No, that wasn't the only banquet hall in the town. There were others that would've been happy to host a beefsteak eating contest on their property. But the contest organizers specifically choose a banquet hall owned by a Hindu organization and located just a stone's throw away from a Hindu temple.

Consuming beef is frowned upon in Hinduism. Could the priests and owners of the temple do something to get the festivity that was offensive to their beliefs out of the temple's property? Not sure. But finally it was one of the parishioners, Bijal Venkatesh, who marched to the banquet room and started preaching to the people in there, calling on them to stop praising meat-eating and respect the cow which is honored by the Hindu society as a symbol of unselfish giving.

His sermon lasted about 4 seconds - the amount of time needed for the two plain clothes policemen to grab Bijal Venkatesh by his arms and drag him away from the temple, onto the sidewalk. Bijal was warned that if he sets foot on the temple property again, he'll be arrested and charged with trespassing.

When the policemen left, Bijal returned to the temple. This time he wasn't making any attempt to preach to the beef-eaters, but prayed alone in the room where religious services are held. But when Bijal needed to use the washroom, the cops confronted him again, asking what part of "leave" he didn't understand. After a short argument, the cops realized that dragging a Hindu out of a Hindu temple would be quite disturbing, so they agreed to let Bijal Venkatesh pray in the temple, as long as he stays away from the banquet hall.

Now, assuming this story happened here, in Canada, what would be your reaction? I bet if I run an online poll, 99% would call this a blatant attack on the Hindus which shouldn't have happened on Canadian soil. Even those who don't approve of Bijal's actions, would say that there shouldn't have been a beefsteak eating contest in a Hindu-owned banquet hall in the first place.

Now here is what really happened. This wasn't a beef eating contest in a Hindu-owned banquet hall, but a perverse "pride" party in a Catholic-owned banquet hall, adjacent to the St Andrew's Catholic church in Edmonton. The name of the person who tried to preach to the participants was Bill Whatcott, not Bijal Venkatesh. Does that change your opinion on what happened? If yes - why?
Really there is more than 100 banquet rooms in Edmonton that would only be too happy to host the Mayor's homosexual pride brunch. If they really wanted a church I'm sure the Anglicans and United Church would probably give them a banquet for free just to register their approval for homosexual pride. But nope they had to target the most Conservative Catholic Church in the city.
The fact that sodomy activists had their goons ready to drag Bill out clearly shows that they were looking forward for a confrontation. If this happened in a mosque, the human rights activists would be furious, blaming the event organizers for insensitivity. But when a group of sick perverts chooses to hold their gathering in a Catholic church, just across the floor (10 meters or so) from the Sanctuary - it's the church's fault for not being tolerant enough.

Where in the Charter does it say that Bill Whatcott, a Catholic should be less equal than Bijal Venkatesh?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Trojan Horse of public funding

As Ontario election day nears, the provincial Progressive Conservative party has released its Party Plan book, outlining major policies. It was decided that if elected, the party won't reinstate the tax credit for families who send their children to independent schools. Instead the Party Plan book suggests that the government extends public funds to independent schools, making them more affordable to parents.

That may sound like a good offer, especially to those who view tax credits as "beer and popcorn money". But here's the catch: public funds will cost faith-based schools their independence. It happened already to the Catholic schools back in 2002, when the court ruled that a perverse couple must be allowed to attend a Catholic school prom. Try to explain the activist judges a lifestyle chosen by the couple in question goes against the beliefs of all other students. The fact that Catholics also pay taxes and therefore have the right for a tax-funded Catholic school network was also ignored. The judges claimed that as long as the school is publicly funded, it must adhere to the same standards as any other public school.

Now the Ontario PC offer the same to independent schools, suggesting that they sell their souls for government funding. Parents and schools must be aware of the devil in the details.
The policy notes also, "With this direct public funding will come strict criteria and accountability requirements," which include full incorporation of "the complete requirements of Ontario's common curriculum."

The Ontario government curriculum mandates both sex education including 'sexual orientation' and education on Darwinian evolution, which many faith-based schools find objectionable.

The Party Plan also mandates that schools accepting public funding would have to "appropriately address teacher credentialing." If that language would require all faith-based schools to employ teachers only from within the Ontario teacher's college, it would be another major obstacle for faith-based schools.
Not many are aware that there is an alternative to the PC party. The Family Coalition Party of Ontario, the only pro-life party in the province, is proposing offering the tax credit system implemented by the former Conservative government. The FCP would also add school vouchers which would allow parents to determine for themselves where their education tax dollars would be allotted. This election the Family Coalition Party is committed to run full slate of candidates, giving every parent in Ontario the opportunity to vote for an education system that embraces parental choice and academic achievement.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some quotes on equalization

Some the quotes on equalization we won't find in the local newspapers. Why would they bother reminding us that the equalization problems didn't start with Harper government's budget?
But in fact, history shows that, in the post-war era, Atlantic Canada was busy closing the disparity gap with the rest of the country right up until the advent of regional economic spending and UI liberalization in the early Trudeau years. We were turning things around quite nicely, and largely due to our own efforts, until cursed by Ottawa deciding that we were a "problem" that had to be "fixed." Once the spending taps were opened, our own efforts were swamped by the perverse incentives of Ottawa's good intentions.

Here are two examples of how those perverse incentives work today. Depending on the species you fish, with as little as a day's fishing, people in coastal communities can get "stamped up" for their full EI entitlement. If you do, the federal government will give you thousands in benefits - but don't try to go back to school, because students aren't eligible for EI. Welcome to Ottawa's vision of education and the economy of the future.

Under equalization, a province only gets to keep roughly 10 cents out of every new dollar in revenue it raises in taxation. Ottawa claws the rest back. On the other hand, every new dollar in transfers from Ottawa is a whole dollar available to be spent. Ditto for a dollar borrowed. Is it any surprise that the Atlantic provinces are horribly indebted and never met a transfer program they didn't like?
Sad but true. Socialists always design their programs to perpetuate poverty. Otherwise, if poverty is gone, who will need them in power? Equalization is no exception. There's no better way to secure votes than making a region dependent on government subsidies and then scaring the voters that these subsidies would be cancelled if their opponents were to be elected.

The Premiers however know that equalization is not a jackpot that's going to solve provinces' financial problems. Frank McKenna, former Liberal Premier of New Brunswick, is clear about that:
I don't think they have hurt them more than they have helped them and I don't think there was any bad intention but I do think they have a perverse impact and that perverse impact is to make regions more dependent. They give very little incentive to create greater on-source revenue because those revenue sources are taxed back. So, I think it is fair to say that the programs are well-intentioned, have had minor to modest success but, generally speaking, aren't transformational.
So what is the answer? Self-sufficiency plan. I may disagree with Shawn Graham on Senate reform but I welcome his program to bring New Brunswick economy to the national average. The sooner New Brunswick could make ends meet without equalization transfers is the better.

Friday, June 15, 2007

When pro-lifers speak out...

...The politicians vote differently. It was just a week ago when Philadelphia city council passed a resolution declaring abortion as "final but critical option for women". The resolution, drafted by the "planned parenthood" and introduced by a pro-abortion Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, pledged to defend the above mentioned "critical option" and called on other cities to follow suit. It was passed in a 9 to 8 vote on June 7th.

Obviously, this was a politically correct resolution. Most of the Councilmen who supported it apparently believed that the resolution strikes a cord with most of the people in the city and that those who think otherwise are nothing but tiny minority that could just be ignored. They were wrong.

The resolution sparkled an angry response from the pro-lifers. Thousands of people expressed their outrage over the City Council's decision. The councilmen found out that a city can not just be classified as a city of poor choice when there are hundreds of thousands of people in this city who are pro-life. So the Councilmen have backed down. The vote, which slid by at 9 to 8 just a week ago, was overturned by a 13 to 4 vote yesterday. Philadelphia is no longer a city of poor choice.

Let it be a lesson for all of us, here in Canada. Politicians are vote hunters. Just before the last election Stephen Harper promised to block any debate on abortion in his attempt to lure some "centrist" voters. It was clear for him, just as it's clear for many other politicians in Ottawa - there's no political cost of ignoring pro-lifers. But if hundreds of thousands make it clear that fetal rights can no longer be ignored in Canada, we may eventually see not only the Conservatives but even some high-ranked Liberals voting for the right to life.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't get it!

I've been in Canada for 11 years now but there are still things I just don't get.

I don't get it - if multiculturalism means equality of cultures, how come the European Christian culture, the one Canada was built upon, is treated as less equal?

I don't get it - if people come to Canada as refugees, claiming to be oppressed by the Sharia law in their home countries, why would they demand Sharia law arbitration here in Canada?

I don't get it - if official bilingualism was introduced about 40 years ago, how come we don't even have every single high school graduate fluently bilingual? Instead of spending money on bilingual signs and hiring bilingual civil servants, couldn't we just start teaching our children both languages at early age?

I don't get it - if a single income family has the same income as another family where both spouses work, why do they pay nearly 50% more in taxes?

I don't get it - how come a member of a street gang, convicted of numerous violent crimes gets leaner sentence than a hunter who simply forgot to renew the registration papers for his rifle? (Or - than a harmless old lady with a pro-life sign who stood "too close" to an abortion mill, for that matter?)

I don't get it - was Canada founded as a nation in 1867 or in 1968? Who gave the left-wing politicians, celebrities and judges the authority to redefine Canadian values as they please?

I don't get it - what happened to our courts? How come that instead of pursuing truth and justice the judges simply award more power and more taxpayers' money to special interest groups?

I don't get it - if I'm not allowed to take a safety-razor, a shaving cream and a toothpaste with me on a plane, why should we allow someone with a dagger (even if he claims it's a part of his traditional outfit) to be exempted from these rules?

I don't get it - how come someone with no documents, let alone language skills and education, is admitted to Canada as refugee claimant and automatically receives the right to apply for work permit, study permit and social assistance; but a law-abiding skilled professional must go through some five years of paperwork before he's even allowed to set foot on Canadian soil?

I don't get it - why fighting poverty in some third world country (which has been impoverished by its own rulers for decades) is considered more important than helping the unemployed guy next door to get back on his feet?

I don't get it - how come a bill that defines marriage as union of a man and a woman is discriminatory, but a law that mandates preferential treatment of job applicants from specific ethnic or cultural groups is not? (And neither is the law that limits the status of one of Canada's official languages on a certain part of Canadian territory!)

I don't get it - if I work overtime but end up with little or no money, then maybe I should just stop working, and then I'll get plenty? After all it seems to have worked quite well for some.

And, finally - am I the only one who doesn't get it? Do you get any of that? And if you too don't get it - why are you silent?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thoughts on equalization dispute

Some call it a dispute between the feds and Atlantic Canada. But let's remember that we have four Atlantic provinces. Two of them, New Brunswick and PEI, actually wanted full inclusion of resource revenues into the equalization formula. So, while the Premiers of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia are upset because the new formula touches the resource revenue, New Brunswick and PEI could argue that the formula only includes 50% - which lowers the national average and results in lower equalization payments for other provinces.

So it's quite disappointing to see so many people holding on to a myth that Harper has a grudge against Atlantic Canada and that he chose to scrap the Atlantic accord. Well, here are the facts:
In order to respect the existing agreement (Atlantic Accord), the Conservative government made a special exception to the “10 Province Standard” by allowing the Atlantic Accord to run its course until the expiration of its term in 2012. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland can continue to operate under the terms of the 2005 Atlantic Accords until they expire in 2012. There is no change to the terms of the Accords. There are no clawbacks under that scenario.

As a second scenario, the Conservative government gave NS and NF the option of being included in the new “10 Province Standard” formula – if they found it to be to their advantage. Imagine the outcry if the government insisted that NS / NF serve out the term of the Atlantic Accord with no choice to opt into the new, richer equalization! Furthermore, they did not have to opt in right away; they could evaluate their position each year and opt in at any point right up until the Atlantic Accords expire in 2012. They alone would make the choice whether to opt in or not, if the new formula proved more beneficial to their province.
As the budget papers show, both provinces will benefit from the new formula. What makes the Premiers of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia so upset is that the new formula caps the equalization payments once a province's fiscal capacity catches up with a fiscal capacity of the "have" provinces. The two Premiers claim that the Atlantic Accord prohibits any caps on equalization payments even if the formula is changed.

Stephen Harper's suggestion to let the courts decide whether those claims are justified was immediately reworded by our media as "sue me" and "see you in court". Surprisingly, it's the Premier of Saskatchewan, (that doesn't have any special agreement on equalization,) who wants to do just that. Saskatchewan NDP is down in the polls and Lorne Calvert believes this would boost his support in the upcoming provincial election.

But if the dispute over Atlantic Accord does go to the court and the court rules to have the equalization caps waived, we may have yet another lawsuit; this time - from Ontario or BC. They'll argue (more than reasonably) that a deal which brings the fiscal capacity of Newfoundland and Labrador (a province that receives equalization) higher than that of Ontario (a province that actually pays into the equalization fund), subverts the whole purpose of equalization.

I think the reason Harper is losing the PR battle over equalization is because he tries to improve a Liberal-instituted program, rather than providing a real alternative. Instead of bargaining who gets what, the government should've worked with each province individually, developing a plan that would help the province's economy catch up with the national average.

New Brunswick is currently working on its own, looking forward to stop relying on equalization by 2026. Such initiatives must be supported and enhanced by the Federal government. Economic development plans that would help "have-not" provinces to develop new sources of revenues should provide a viable alternative to equalization, allowing the government to start phasing it out. And, once equalization is phased out, that will end these disputes once and for all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Liberal alternative: appoint Senators unilaterally

It's hard to believe but that's what was recently suggested by a Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore. There are currently 12 vacant seats in the Senate. Since the Prime Minister won't appoint any new Senators until a Senate nominee election is held, Moore has introduced a motion calling for the Governor General to step in and fill those vacant seats without any help from Stephen Harper. If the motion passes before the Senate adjourns for the summer, Moore will be writing a petition to Michaelle Jean' office.

So, instead of having the nominees for the Upper Chamber selected by someone who, at the very least, had won a plurality of votes in his constituency, Moore wants more unelected Senators to be appointed by a person who's never received a single vote in her life. Ironically, Moore himself got his seat in the Senate without consent from the voters. Moore claims new appointments are needed because 3 Nova Scotia seats are vacant.
"Those are three fewer Nova Scotians who are not in Ottawa doing work on behalf of the province and our people," Moore said. "The work we do is very important, and you have to have the bodies there."
Well, I got better solution: if you want these vacant seats filled - start electing your Senators. Alberta does that already - it's time for other provinces to follow suit.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A child and a mother - from the beginning

Really a child and a mother are just that from the beginning. Attached to the placenta, growing inside, known from the inside. The mistake made by all is in calling a woman 'pregnant'. She is MOTHER. If there was no word for 'Pregnant' it could not be used to subvert the woman/child relationship and separate it and divide it so that a law could say that a child is a security threat to a mother.

Child / Mother from conception, through body changes. Child / Mother through all ages of life. Change our way of talking to each other, respecting Child / Mother at all times, in all situations. Know who you are talking to , and when, and how, and always refer to them correctly and the problem will go away.
Karen Krisfalusi.

Need I say more? This is just one of nearly 5000 posts on the Abolish Abortion in Canada discussion on Facebook. As the discussion goes on we see many great arguments from the pro-life side, while poor-choicers just keep repeating the same old mantra about their 'right' not to want their own child.

My call for the pro-life side: when you see a great posting, don't let it vanish in the archives, repost it on your blog. And, if you haven't yet supported the wish to Abolish Abortion in Canada, please support pro-life cause!

* Register on Facebook
* Join the Great Canadian Wish List group.
* Click "Browse wishes". Abolish Abortion in Canada is currently at the top.

You are not limited to just one wish at a time. Feel free to browse the wishes and support as many of them as you choose. So you're more than welcome to support:
Recognition of Personhood Before Birth.
Restore the Traditional Definition of Marriage.
Wish for a spiritual revival in our nation.
Elected Accountable Senate.
And many others too :)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Red Green Show goes on.

Elizabeth May is getting uncomfortable with her job as a Green party leader. She complains that a $50,000 salary is too small and that her job schedule is exhausting. To make things worse, the party's former interim executive-director David Scrymgeour, who is urging the party to slash spending and eliminate its debt, suggests that she steps down from the budget review committee.

A party leader having no say on the budget? I guess some in the Green party's ruling council are upset with May's leadership even more than May is upset with her salary. But would she fight for her job?
"I should also add that if council decided to remove me from the budget committee, I would have a hard time staying on as leader," May wrote in the e-mail obtained by the Vancouver Sun.
So far it looks like voters in Central Nova are going to have a Liberal candidate after all. That will be Elizabeth May.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Stephen Harper has other things to do.

The left is furious. Stephen Harper chose not to meet with Bono. Some left-wing bloggers already responded by paraphrasing the Conservative party ads against Dion, calling Harper "not a Prime Minister". Prime Ministers take their time to meet important people, they say. But who said Bono is that important? Who is this Bono after all?

Bono is simply an activist who campaigns against poverty in Africa. A celebrity activist but that doesn't make much of a difference as there are plenty of them out there. But Stephen Harper is a Prime Minister. He's got a country of 32 million to manage. Harper's got opposition which wants to drive Canada into a recession with Kyoto. He's got provincial Premiers (as well as some of his MPs) upset about equalization. The economy is near stagnation, the manufacturing sector loses ground because of the high loonie, remote communities lack jobs and infrastructure... But here comes some Bono, so Harper must forget it all, sit down and listen how bla-bla-bla, people in Africa are poor.

Helping Africa? How about helping ourselves first? Why should Harper meet some activist to discuss poverty in Africa when there's more than enough poverty in Canada? Why should Canada bankroll "make work" projects in the countries that have cracked down on their own entrepreneurs when over a million Canadians have no jobs and at least five millions more are overworked and underpaid? Most of the people in Africa live on two dollars a day? Take the minimum wage here in Canada; subtract all the taxes, the rent, the utilities and the transportation expenses and you may end up with even less than that.

It was quite disturbing to see our former PM honouring a foreign celebrity activist as his policy-maker while the latter would lecture him for not being active enough on foreign aid. Thanks God the spineless Dithers is gone. It's great to see that Stephen Harper's priorities do not include taking advice from the leftist celebrities. Finally we have a real Prime Minister who stands up for Canada.

As for this Bono guy, I have a suggestion for him. If he wants to help Africa that much, why wouldn't he do that with his own money? I bet if Bono was compelled to match the G8 contributions by one tenth of a cent on a dollar, he wouldn't be calling the world leaders to just throw in more money and never think about where all that money goes. Maybe that would even make him dump his beloved mantra about rich having to share with the poor and think how come a country like Rhodesia, which used to be the breadbasket of Africa under Ian Smith, became the starving and unemployed Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

You Call That Leadership?

At first Dion declared that the Liberal party would back term limits for Senators, although he suggested that a term of 12 to 15 years would be preferable. Now, after the objections from the provincial Liberal Premiers (mostly those who want the Senate abolished), the Liberal caucus in the Senate would recommend shelving the Senate reform bills until the Supreme Court decides whether such reforms require consent from the provinces.

The bill S-4 has already spent over half-a-year in the Senate committee that was to determine just that - whether Parliament has the competence to legislate such reform without amending the constitution, which in its turn would require consent from the provinces. The committee didn't find that the consent from the provinces is necessary - same as it wasn't necessary back in 1965 when Senate tenure was limited to the age of 75. But the Liberal caucus in the Senate apparently doesn't find that convincing enough.

So we have a group of unelected politicians willing to have the bill that would impose term limits forwarded to the unelected judges. Those politicians belong to the same Liberal party which had the majority on the committee that has already decided that no constitutional amendment is necessary. The reform is obstructed by the Liberal Senators despite being supported in principle by the Liberal leader. Do we still have just one Federal Liberal party? If so, then what kind of a leadership is that?

While the polls suggest that Canadians didn't like the ads attacking Dion, 52% agree that Dion is not a leader (as opposed to 31% who disagree). Dion's failure to show leadership on Senate reform will benefit the Conservatives regardless of what the Supreme Court says.

If the Supreme Court decides that a constitutional amendment is not required, then the Liberal party will be the only one to blame for having the bill stalled for another year or so. But let's say the Court rules that a constitutional amendment is required. That would block any immediate changes but that would also make it unnecessary for the Conservative government to water down the proposals in order to avoid amending the constitution.

Right now the bill S-4 proposes term limits only for the newly appointed Senators, while the existing Senators would have their terms "grandparented" until the age of 75. But if a constitutional amendment is needed - heck with it, let's apply the 8-year term limit to all Senators. Same with the bill C-43. If using election to compile the list of Senate nominees to be appointed by the Prime Minister actually requires a constitutional amendment, then let's just have the Senators directly elected, leaving the PM out of this. Provincial governments oppose elected Senate? Let's go directly to the voters.
Fully 64 per cent of respondents liked the idea of being able to choose senators for future vacancies in the upper chamber, according to a Decima Research survey, made available exclusively to The Canadian Press.

And a whopping 72 per cent supported limiting senators to eight-year terms.
So instead of a backdoor deal with the provincial Premiers, we'll have a national referendum held in conjunction with the next Federal election. It would be interesting to see the Liberals during the campaign. Are they going to campaign against the reform which is supported by two thirds of the voters coast to coast? Will the Liberals decide to join the "Yes" campaign, hoping the voters would forget their obstruction and filibustering? Of course the Liberals could choose to remain silent on the issue, pretending it simply doesn't worth mentioning. But would that convince the voters? If anything, staying mute will once again show lack of leadership.

Meanwhile it's up to us to make our voices heard. Using the Great Canadian Wish list to advance the Elected Senate Wish, bringing it to the top 10 is the least we could do.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Income Taxes Explained

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. "Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
Courtesy of Free Dominion.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A "revenue neutral" tax hike.

The amendment which the opposition parties voted into the Clean Air Act proposes a $20 per tonne carbon tax, to be increased to $30 per tonne in 2011. The Green party platform announced today calls for $50 per tonne carbon tax, to be increased to $100 by 2020. They claim the tax will be "revenue-neutral", that the revenue from the carbon tax will be used to reduce other taxes, thus offsetting the increase in gas prices and making "carbon-neutral" lifestyles more rewarding. But here's the catch - the proposed carbon tax will have much more negative effects on the economy than just driving the price of gas up by 12 cents a litre.

One doesn't have to drive a car to be affected by carbon taxes. Utility prices will go up, thus families will have to pay more to keep their houses warm. It will cost more to travel; many families will have to give up their vacation plans simply because they couldn't afford the plane tickets. Even dining out will become more expensive, since restaurants too will be hit by higher utility bills and shipping surcharges.

The carbon tax will affect Canadian industries, making production and shipping more expensive. Prices will increase as the businesses will have to pass extra costs to the consumers. The manufacturers already lose ground on the world markets because of the high loonie. Add the carbon tax on top of that and the lion share of them will be driven out of business. The "dot-com bubble burst" layoffs of 2000-2002 will look like nothing. David Suzuki, who wants lower standard of living (for us but not for himself!), will have his dream come true.

So what kind of tax revenues could the Green party government count on? When hundreds of thousands lose their jobs while others, overworked and underpaid, struggle to make ends meet; when sales are down and exports fall to absolute zero; when the standard of living plunges to the levels not seen since the Great Depression, where will the Green party government get the money for the income tax cuts? If anything, the taxes will have to be increased and even that won't be enough to maintain the publicly funded services like healthcare and education as we have them now.

It often happens that once in power, a political party can not afford the tax cuts it promised during the campaign. We've seen the Liberals in Ontario and New Brunswick raising taxes despite their campaign promises not to do so. The Green party campaigns for new taxes. Ladies and gentlemen, watch your pockets!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I wish that there was an end to abortion in Canada.

As Canada is about to celebrate its 140th birthday, the CBC launched a Facebook discussion group called The Great Canadian Wish List. Users of the famous networking site were invited to suggest and vote on what they wish for Canada. The wish with the most votes would be covered by the CBC on Canada Day.

The organizers must have counted on the predominantly youth crowd to wish for meeting Kyoto targets and increasing foreign aid. Much to their surprise the number one wish turned out to be Abolish Abortion in Canada. In just 2 days or so, about 300 people wished to end abortion in Canada. Yes, there was a pro-abortion wish too, then supported by about 70 users.

The CBC had to admit - that's a wish they couldn't ignore. So it was reported on the CBC blog. Of course, the CBC stood by its standards of "neutrality", so the only quote they choose (from thousands of posts, discussing the issue) was against the wish, about women's rights not being up for debate. How about the unborn children's right to life? You won't find that in the article. The pro-life side is presented as a group willing to end abortions and complaining about being misrepresented by the mass media.

There article included the link to pro-life wish (at the beginning) as well as the pro-abortion wish (at the end). I guess that was the first time when those links were posted in the "open webspace". That's when the race began. The poor-choice wish gained about 600 supporters (as of late evening Jun.3rd), outrunning the wishes for better healthcare and lower tuition fees. But the wish to end abortion is still the top one - with nearly 1400 supporters.

Some of our opponents blame the pro-lifers for signing up plenty of 40- and 50-year/olds to boost the vote. Well, the profiles of those who supported the wish are visible, many of them have pictures. I know, looks could be misleading but judging on the pictures, most of the people who wish to end abortion are much younger than 40.

There are still 27 days ahead, so nobody could say how the race is going to end. But no matter what the final outcome is, this experiment with the Great Canadian Wish list proves that the abortion debate is not dead. It shows that supporting the right to life for the unborn is definitely not something exclusive to the older generation. And it means that even if the wish to end abortions doesn't make it to CBC this year, there are enough Canadians to make it come true.

So how can you contribute to the pro-life cause?

1) Register on Facebook. (If you're concerned about privacy, you can use your first name and an initial.)
2) Join the Great Canadian Wish List group.
3) Click "Browse wishes". Abolish Abortion in Canada is currently at the top.

By the way - you are not limited to just one wish at a time. Feel free to browse the wishes and support as many of them as you choose. Here are some great wishes I found there:

Recognition of Personhood Before Birth.
Restore the Traditional Definition of Marriage.
For a spiritual revival in our nation.
Wish for more people.
Elected Accountable Senate.
Proportional Representation.
Support Israel's right to exist.
• And finally: Privatize the CBC!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Homeschooling proves to be the best

Those opposed to homeschooling often use the "adequate education" argument, claiming that no child should be denied the right to receive "adequate education" just because his parents disagree with the values taught at public schools. The way they see it, "adequate education" can not be provided outside of the school system. The facts however show otherwise.

Believe it or not, but Caitlin Snaring, the girl who won the National Geographic Bee (the first girl to win the title in 17 years) - was homeschooled.
In Snaring's first-time run at the bee in the nation's capital, the home-schooled eighth grader from Washington state gave a flawless performance -- not missing a single question over two days of national competition -- and took home the title.
Just a week later - another victory for a homeschooled child. This time Evan O'Dorney, a 13-year old homeschool student from Danville, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington. Sounds like a trend, doesn't it?

Well, you don't need to cross the US border looking for bright homeschooled youth. Check out this blog, run by a homeschooled teenage girl from New Brunswick. She doesn't look anything like a locked up child, raised within four walls by ignorant parents, does she? I bet she knows more about her country than a dozen of young Liberals put together.

Want another example? This open letter to the Premier of Ontario was written by 14 year/old Jesse Fontaine from Timmins. I know I've quoted it previously on my blog. But I've been a teenager myself and I remember how easy it is to go with the crowd, how tempting it is to tease the parents by using words they wouldn't approve of and how hard it is to resist a catchy slogan, especially if it could also be used to insult the opponents. So I can't find words to express my respect towards a teenager who has the wisdom and the courage to speak against the prevalent fad.
I have seen our Ontario Government's Environmental website, then we visited the "" website and saw the intentionally modified font, meant to ensure that the people of Ontario and the world for that matter, saw it as vulgarity that would normally be unacceptable.

I observed that the links on the website such as "ARE WE FLICKED," "WHO NEEDS TO FLICK OFF," and "GO FLICK YOURSELF" convey a message that I, for one and many others, would not associate with a need to conserve energy.
Is it a coincidence that a teenager this articulate is a homeschooled Christian? I don't think so.
Home school advocates suggest that home study has a significant impact on the development of a normal child. Home schooling doesn't try and make a child fit one specific size or mold. Sometimes kids can be working on two or three different grade levels at once. If they love science, they might be a couple of levels ahead, but if they're struggling in English, they might go a bit slower to make sure that the concepts are cemented in before moving ahead.

Charles B. Lowers, Executive Director of Considering Homeschooling, says "Homeschoolers overall do better academically, socially, and most important, spiritually."
Homeschooling is also the only way to protect the children from social experiments conducted by left-wing radicals that took over the public school system.
Parents have a right and an obligation to teach their children, in their own way, in their own time, without being upstaged by domineering social engineers hiding under the guise of educational professionals.
Under our present political will, the only alternative parents have is to start home-schooling which has increased to 80,000 children in Canada and still growing.
Some may say that homeschooling is only available to families where one of the parents stays home. Yes, it's harder for families where both parents must work to make ends meet to homeschool their children. But it's not impossible. Homeschooling families still have the option to unite and organize a one-room schoolhouse of their own.

If let's say five families get together to homeschool their children, then each of the 10 adults will have to take only one day off every two weeks. With our "progressive" tax system that would only mean loss of 3.5 to 5 hour-pay per paycheck. Sure, working with other families to educate the children is not as easy as taking whatever the public school has to offer. But as we see, homeschooling brings the best results.

Friday, June 1, 2007

LifeChain Canada: will be held on September 30th

LifeChain is an annual pro-life protest that takes place in many cities across North America. Normally, it takes place on the first Sunday in October. However, given that that is a long weekend in Canada, Campaign Life Coalition has decided to organize it on September 30th.