Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Capitalists Are Not the Root of All Evil

Guilt makes for a good story but doesn't solve anything.

Christmas is here and it's been awhile since I've expressed myself. Like everyone else, I've been busy but not on Christmas shopping as I would have liked. My husband lost both his grandparents this year so I've been out on the coast helping his mother. I cleaned out a 3000 square foot house in November and I'm still tired. But, I digress.

It's no secret that I'm a capitalist. In so being, some of the news I've seen from the United States has made me shake my head. Watching a union activist punch a political commentator was eye opening. I know liberals and left wing activists can be... vocal, but this was insanity. It made me sit back and consider what's been going on over the last number of years. I've asked with other incidents, if a conservative did that, it would be called assault/racist/blame throwing. Why is it when a liberal does something like this, there isn't a witness in sight and the conservative is blamed or the incident is justified away, like Benghazi? I then asked the questions why the outrage about this union law change? Why the protests? Why the demands of eat the rich in general?

UNEDITED UNION ASSAULT FOOTAGE! - I subscribe to Steven Crowder's YouTube channel. Go take a look.

I also saw a picture online that actually made me laugh. The picture shows a protester holding up a sign that says “you can still be rich, just not that rich.” So many questions came to mind with this one picture. How rich can I be? Who determines the limit? What happens to MY money if I make too much? And so forth. One more question did come to mind: has this person ever held a real job in her life?

I begin to wonder about the mindset of so many of these people with an entitlement complex so big it doesn't fit into the average gymnasium. Why is it okay to demand money be taken from those who make it to be given to those who don't wish to work? What right do they have to say “you have more than that person therefore you should give more, pay more, lose more because you can?” I don't mind giving to those who truly need it, I resent being forced to give to those who simply want it, or those who feel I should have less just to have less.

From what I've experienced, so many of these demanding, self-entitled individuals feel the rich are exploiting them in some fashion and should be punished. Why on Earth would capitalists want to exploit the type of person who demands higher taxes for him for no other reason than he has more money? Why would a capitalist want to exploit someone who wants more for doing less? The feeling of exploitation is imaginary because this person would have nothing the capitalist wants.

A capitalist wants someone who is willing to work for their salary. A capitalist wants, shockingly, a budding capitalist in their employ, not someone who will do as little as possible to earn their way to their next paycheque then complain they didn't get a Christmas bonus.

Now don't get me wrong, my husband and I don't fall into the category of “rich” yet. We're still working on it. I wish to become a world famous photographer, the likes of Yousef Karsh... so I built my husband's website and did some of his simpler IT stuff. I also do the occasional bit of research for him. I go to business conferences and talk to people. Not one of them do I talk to about photography.

My husband works hard for his success. To achieve his success (present and future), he doesn’t take away from anyone, in fact, he’s increasing the wealth of those around him. Not only that, he's raised money for, and ridden in, the “Ride to Conquer Cancer” and I drove as his backup.  Many years now, including the upcoming year, he's ridden in the MS Bike Tour. Much money and effort has been raised for the MS Society between my husband, his friends and his colleagues. He also shows newcomers how to raise money for their rides. How is this all a bad thing? It's his capitalistic mindset that have granted him these abilities and achievements. Wanton exploitation of the poor would do him no good, it would lose him time and money in the long run and he knows it. Any good capitalist knows this.

The irony here is, Adbusters exploited the poor when they began “Occupy Wallstreet.” With “We are the 99%” they used so many images of homeless people and the underprivileged, I was amazed. The only thought that came to me was “instead of using all this time to show me all of this destitution, why not do something about it?”

Then the occupiers tried using the poor as a way to force governments to change and to steal money from those who had it. The time and effort the occupiers put into it was wasted. What the occupy movement accomplished was millions of dollars in destruction, assault, and lots of crying about how the sky is falling. In Calgary, the Occupiers wanted access to free electricity to use their laptops! No change was made except to show me that activists, the poor, and unsuccessful would rather camp in the park and complain about how much their life sucked than do something about it. Guilt makes for a good story but doesn't solve anything. It seems easier to hate those who work for their happy lifestyles and try to have the government take it away from them, than to try to become one of them. The problem they faced was, the actual working class didn't want to give their stuff up, nor should they have to; they earned it.

There is a lot of complaining about how the poor get poorer as the rich get richer. I found a perfect quote to describe why. “The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they use their time.” Robert Kiyosaki said this and it's so true. My husband and I both spend a lot of time working on his company. He works with his clients, I do some of the administrative/IT bits. He has meetings, I put together marketing. We don't have time to protest the inequities of the world. When he's not making contacts/consulting/analyzing, we're on vacation. Even then, we find things that would work in his businesses. Our last vacation felt like 70% vacation, 30% “you know what I could do with that in development?”

Who knows, maybe the poor are getting poorer. I could be wrong about the whole thing. I just have a really hard time believing this sentiment, especially after I passed a beggar on the streets of downtown Calgary a couple of weeks ago who had a better smart phone than me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Socialist Country of Calgary

Our government has no respect for us.  We are nothing but dollar signs in their eyes.  That’s obvious when they talk about taxes and what they spend taxes on.  Our representatives love to talk about respect for the taxpayer but in reality they’re only concerned with how much they can squeeze out of us.  I wish I felt our representatives respected or felt some regard toward us but lately I’ve only been hearing “higher taxes” and “more taxation power.”  It’s very disheartening.

Let's take the City of Calgary as an example. The city council loves to spend money but they don't like to ask Calgarians if we agree with their decisions on how the money is spent. Not only that, the council feels that since we elected them, we elected every single one of their ideas.  It has become fifteen people speak for one million on all topics all the time. Because of this, projects are being approved that the majority of Calgarians may not want.  We don't know, we haven't been asked - we’re being told.

In the last election, Naheed Nenshi was elected mayor and the Airport Tunnel was one of his promises.  Fine, but it wasn’t his only promise and a great deal of Calgarians did not vote for him.  Instead of taking this mega project to referendum, it was decided in council in an 8-7 vote.  Now, let me point out a discrepancy with the Airport Tunnel. When Dave Bronconnier was mayor of Calgary, the tunnel was going to cost at least half a billion dollars with roadway extensions and other stuff, and in his opinion would be prohibitive. He also called it a “nice to have.” Now Mayor Nenshi says it'll be no more than $295 million and it's a must.  Where did the $200 million go?

There's a problem with Mayor Nenshi's “no more than $295 million.” It's wrong. Once the interchanges, roadway extensions, insurance and other stuff are added in – $42 million + $3 million + ... carry the one, um... ya, double check... - $528 million, oh, the other $200 million.  Well, that looks an awful lot like half a billion dollars.  Why is half a billion dollars acceptable now?  I don’t understand.

The city has also decided on a new central public library. The cost for this project is $250 million and they don't even have a design yet. I beg your pardon? More spending on what, for when, and why? Why can't they look at renovating the current Central Library? What are they going to do with the current Central Library when the new one is built?  AND, I don't remember being asked. I've used the Central Library. I like it, the location rocks. So, city council is going to build this new shiny thing at the inconvenience of the people who use the current one (and who are paying for it.) Thanks, I appreciate it.

Then there are these four rec centres. I understand that new communities want or even need rec centres but what I don't want is for the city to go into debt to build anything. It's bad enough that money coming in from the province is spent for the next 6 years, but borrowing? Why is it we should have the ability to continue borrowing past a current council's term? I know the arguments for the rec centres, I know there aren't enough hockey rinks or soccer fields but I also know there aren't enough coaches.  They'll be great for a couple of years and then will we face millions of dollars spent on maintenance when small amounts should have been spent on preventative maintenance all along? But wait, this city council doesn't think that way. They want a big new shiny legacy, forget about actually keeping this city running. By the way, these rec centres come at a cost of $480 million.

Hey, why don’t we talk about Calgary Transit.  The West LRT, well, that was decided while I was living in BC so all I can say to that is *beeeeeeeep* but I can speak to public art. I have lived in Calgary most of my life, I just cheated on it for a short time. I'm sorry. Okay, first, I have an issue with the idea of public art. If an artist can't make it on their own, this in itself is a problem. I am a photographer so I can say that, actually, anyone with any business sense can say that.

Next, taxpayer paid for art... ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME! There are better places for tax money to go. $8 million (looks like now capped at $3.5 million but still) could better be spent on road maintenance, police, firefighters, how about library renovations. There is a policy in this city that 1% of all capital projects must go towards public art. I'd be happier with zero. I've seen some very nice architecture, beautiful stuff that's art in and of itself. We don't need fish carvings on Glenmore Trail or anywhere else paid for by my money! I have art in my home, that I paid for or created myself.  I would never, ever expect government paid for art in my home so why would I expect government mandated art on anything else?

I also have to ask how Calgary Transit runs (itself straight into the ground.) If a private company ran the way Calgary Transit runs, it would be out of business. Calgary Transit needs to get its house in order. It bothers me that part of my property taxes goes towards Calgary Transit. We already have to pay fares to ride and for a while, to park. Now, simply to live in my house, I have to pay for Calgary Transit, that's wrong. Even with a portion of our property taxes going to Calgary Transit, they still say they have a $2 billion shortfall?  Guess what, they then have a spending problem, a budgeting problem or something. My husband is a professional accountant. If he were the financial controller for Calgary Transit, he'd never work again.  No one would trust him - but he’s a competent accountant, his companies run well because he’s private sector.  Oh, sorry, that was my out loud voice.

I’ve mentioned all of this outrageous misspending because Mayor Nenshi is demanding increased taxation powers within Calgary.  For the municipality he wants a “penny” tax, tax on fuel, vehicle registration tax, a breathing tax.  I really, desperately don’t want this.  What I want is actual, honest fiscal responsibility and I don’t see this in city hall whatsoever.  Mayor Nenshi at one time said on a radio show that Calgarians are not ATM’s, but he sure sees us as an infinite money supply.

I will never accept another tax as long as there is uncontrolled spending and spending on things I really don’t agree with, ESPECIALLY when these things were not voted on.  We no longer live in a democracy.  If we did, I would have had a choice, a voice, but I don’t.  The government dictates to me and on more than one occasion I feel that Mayor Nenshi has demanded I like it.  The last property increase was “just a few dollars a month” but that was MY few dollars and the next increase will be more of MY money walking out the door for what?  More art, and a tunnel to nowhere?

The last thing the City of Calgary needs is more power, more ways to take money from Calgarians.  First they need to learn real respect, actual fiscal responsibility and they need to involve us in the decision making.  The way they’re running now isn’t working, I don’t like it, and I’m not alone.  I’d rather hear about how city hall is lowering it’s spending, not shark fin soup bans, running golf courses or how cool it is to hang out with protesters.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Legal Firearms Ownership and It's Risks

The long gun registry has been in the news a lot in the last few years.  We’ve heard bits of firearms law, and in some cases we’ve seen how firearms owners are perceived by police.  Lots of information is now easily available for anyone to read. The problem is, not a lot of people are seeing it.  I didn’t realize quite how bad it was until very recently.  My husband has to renew his firearms license and his friend was confused about a few very basic things.  His friend couldn’t believe I had to sign my husband’s application or it wouldn’t be processed, and a huge conversation ensued.

For anyone who’s never seen a Possession and Acquisition form (app or renewal), the spouse of the gun owner must sign it, in essence giving the gun owner permission to continue owning his firearms.  A couple of things bother me about this.  First, it makes the spouse an agent of the Federal Government.  Second, after the gun owner goes through a course or two, has owned guns for so many years, has had previous police checks and has just gone through another, it simply takes the lack of a spouse’s signature to deny a PAL renewal.  The gun owner loses his collection and may never be able to get it back.  The sad thing is, this could happen because the spouse is angry and for no other reason.  The stupid thing about me having to sign his PAL renewal is that I too have a PAL.  Nowhere on the renewal form does it ask that.  *I’m so pleased.*

Another topic that came up was warrantless searches.  Of course, the person on the other side of the debate, the person that does not own guns immediately said police searching one’s home without a warrant goes against due process.  Yes, in most cases it does - unless it’s under the Firearms Act.  There are other cases where police conduct warrantless searches, but it seems the Firearms Act is a good excuse as any.  Just ask Jesse Sansone.  His daughter simply drew a figure holding what appeared to be a gun on a white board, and he was arrested and strip searched.  His family was taken and separated from each other.  No one but the teacher saw the drawing and heard his daughter say he shoots bad guys and monsters.  The school and family services still feels they did nothing wrong, even when no gun was ever found. Correction, I’m wrong; a toy gun was found.  The police have apologized for what they did to him and his family, but that doesn’t undo what the trauma they caused.

There are also a number of people that get charged under the firearms act for various reasons who are law abiding citizens, have never had a criminal record, but catch the attention of police for some reason.  The people below are a tiny few whose rights are taken from them simply because they own guns.

Ian Thomson is a man from Port Colbourne, Ontario.  He’d been having problems with some specific neighbours but there wasn’t much he could do about it since the closest police were about 30 minutes away.  There were mostly yelling and bits of vandalism of his property until one unfortunate night.  Some men decided to firebomb his home as he slept.  Mr. Thomson defended himself accordingly.  He flew out of bed, ran to his safe, got a revolver and ammunition and went outside.  He let off a few shots but deliberately didn’t hit anyone.  His intention was not to harm anyone but to scare them off his property.  It worked so well he was arrested for defending himself and his home.  Mr. Thomson even provided the police with evidence that these men were throwing molotov cocktails at his home.  That didn’t seem to matter.  They even heard one of the men yell “Are you ready to die?”  Initially, Mr. Thomson was charged with dangerous use of a firearm and pointing a firearm but eventually these charges had been dropped.  He’s still fighting the other charges, two counts of unsafe storage of a firearm.  Part of the problem, though, is that safe storage laws are written such that interpretation can be different between jurisdictions, lawyers, cops, me and my husband.  The fun part is that they were deliberately written in such a way that charges were easy to make, because no matter what a law abiding citizen did, they were wrong.  There is one good thing that stems from law abiding citizens ending up in court for ridiculous reasons: the laws become easier to follow for all of us.

Lawrence Manzer is another one who got charged because of a self defense incident.  He is another law abiding person with no charges to his name - at least until he decided to use his firearm to protect himself.  The best part is, it was unloaded.

There had been vandalism problems in his neighbourhood and one night he got a phone call from his neighbour, Brian Fox, saying he’s spotted prowlers nearby.  Mr. Manzer got out of bed, grabbed his shotgun, and headed outside when he heard yelling between the prowlers and Mr. Fox.  Mr. Manzer stayed on his porch with the unloaded gun, because Mr. Fox got the teenagers sitting on the ground by himself.  Police were called and charged the teens with underaged drinking.  The next week, the police came back to the neighbourhood and arrested the two men that stopped the teens from vandalizing their property.  Mr. Fox was charged with assault (charges later dropped) and Mr. Manzer was charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.  It took quite awhile but the trial against Mr. Manzer ended in a mistrial.  Paperwork was not filed properly and the courts decided not to retry him as it would have been a public relations nightmare.  This, to me, still does not bode well for law abiding firearms owners.  The decision to retry Mr. Manzer seems more like a coin toss than common sense.  He was simply protecting himself and his friend (with an unloaded shotgun.)  He’s not a menace to society.

In British Columbia, James Buck’s home was searched, and his firearms seized because of a non-issue of a domestic dispute that happened years before.  Apparently his wife was drunk and accused him of threatening her but she dropped the charges... because she was drunk and angry.  Then one day, RCMP arrived at his house with a warrant, arrested him, seized his guns and he ended up in court.  Mr. Buck pled guilty but thankfully he appeared before a smart judge.  

The judge basically said:

  • the police didn’t provide anything that proved Mr. Buck to be a threat to public safety,
  • is said to be inaccurate, incomplete and misleading,
  • if the police did their job, they’d have known they arrested him for a non-issue,
  • the police should have checked previous court records, they’d know the case had been dropped (“sloppy at best and deceitful at worst.”)

And it goes on!  The judge was not being nice to the police, about how Mr. Buck’s rights were being stomped on, and how the police were making up their own rules.  This is one of the few times I can say the courts worked quickly and in the best interest of the law abiding firearms owner.

There are many other examples of law abiding gun owners get trampled on by our court system and the police.  I would figure that the police and courts would want to go after real criminals, not made up ones.  The scary thing is, in a lot of cases, the charges are far reaching just to take their guns away.  Now this is of great concern because there are collectors with thousands of dollars worth of guns in their collections.  If the government seizes our property, there isn’t much we can do to get them back.  I’ve heard people argue that this is okay.  It seems as long as gun owners are the target, all is fair.   But what if the government starts going after someone’s house or car just because they don’t like their opinion?  I’m sure they can make up some charge to seize that property too.

I’m generalizing here, I did have some really good experiences with some RCMP officers regarding firearms issues.  My husband’s father was a truly avid gun collector.  He passed away a couple of years ago, and through one thing or another, the RCMP in Morinville stored the guns for us.  They told us they’d keep them for as long as we needed (until we got all the paperwork in order and all that jazz) and they were not hostile about this issue at all.  A few months later when we were finally ready to pick the firearms up, they helped us lock them up, put them in boxes, sort them out, pack them up AND they learned some stuff about the guns they were unfamiliar with.  It was great fun!  When we returned with a few firearms for destruction, that was kinda fun too.  My husband actually brought a handgun frame to the station, double locked, in a locked case.  They took pictures of that one before the locks came off.  (That was - believe it or not - a legal requirement to have it double-locked.  The law dictates that a restricted firearm - by which definition means the frame - must be transported double-locked.  The firearm itself was missing the barrel, the receiver and the firing mechanism, yet it still had to be double locked.)

There are risks to owning firearms legally, it’s just become a matter of managing them.  In most cases, firearms owners just don’t let people know they’ve got them.  In my case, I keep them well out of sight.  There seemed to be a time where we were not even permitted to speak against the firearms act, that seems to have changed.  We’re at least allowed to have opinions as long as we follow the law.  I’m hoping as time goes on, people will realize that vilifying law abiding firearms owners is the wrong way to deal with this situation.  I don’t mind most of the current laws, I just don’t like the ones that make it almost impossible to breathe.  We are not a dangerous bunch. Honest.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gay Activism Makes Me Tired

This particular topic has been bothering me for some time.  I chose not to say anything because I felt this topic - over others I’ve written about - might somehow make me or my husband a target of hate.  I felt by expressing my opinion about this would trigger threats or attacks more than any other that I’ve made public to date.  I was also worried it would harm my husband’s business or reputation, and then it occurred to me: I was falling for the same rhetoric that a lot of others were falling for.  I stayed quiet out of fear; that meant the liberal side of this debate was winning.  Well, I’m quiet no longer, I understand what I’m about to say is unpopular.

Every time I look at the news, the LGBT community is up in arms or trying to make front page news about something.  Gay activism makes me tired, I don’t want to hear about it anymore.  Fifteen years ago, I would have helped, I would have made the posters, I would have written my MP.  But now, they’ve won their acceptance.  Same sex marriage is legal, companies cannot discriminate against homosexuals, so I ask, what more do they want?  Not everyone is going to be accepted for everything all the time.  Being a vocal conservative woman, I get that.

I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression and equality but there is a limit.  I am not for shoving ideologies down the throats of those who don’t agree with me.  Make your point, make yourself heard, fight for the same rights as everyone else and accept the win gracefully.  Don’t demand respect, don’t demand tolerance for your chosen lifestyle, not everyone is going to agree with it.  Let me be clear, I have no issue with sane, rational, gay people who don't feel their sexuality is the focus of their identity.  I do have a problem with people who throw their homosexuality in my face and expect me to respect them because of it.

There appears to be a group of people out there trying to change the definition of “normal.”  It seems though when one does not live an alternative lifestyle (anything LGBT) that person is immediately wrong.  If we dare speak against alternative lifestyles, we’re homophobic or transphobic.  I find this to be a ludicrous concept.  I like this word “debate.”  It’s a good word.  I also enjoy other words and phrases, like “personal opinion” but we’re not allowed to have those anymore unless they follow the party line.  I’m finding my personal opinions don’t follow party line.  At times I’m not sure where the party line is.

Most examples of this Liberal psychosis right now seems to be in the Toronto District School Board.  Not only do they call themselves a gay straight alliance, they promote gender bending to elementary school children, as well as homosexual and polygamist lifestyles.  What happened to public schools teaching things like reading, math, and science?  Family values and morality, as far as I can remember, wasn’t in the curriculum.  So many argue religion doesn’t belong in public schools, so why do LGBT initiatives or alternative family lifestyles?  If one can argue for, one should be allowed to argue against but that simply isn’t the case.

There are also people that promote the idea of raising children as “gender neutral” stating gender is a stereotype.  Gender is not a complex or stereotype, it is physiological.  Women and men are built differently.  We do different things, like, for example, women can get pregnant, men can’t.  Men who “identify as female” should try PMS once or twice.  They would never “identify as female” ever again!

The Ontario anti-bullying law is a confusing one to me.  It says anti-bullying but somehow it’s become another win for the LGBT community.  All schools, public, Catholic, whatever, must permit gay straight alliance clubs.  How did an anti-bullying law turn into a political forum for homosexual lifestyles for teens?  Apparently when this law was created, they missed the part that said sexuality was low on the list of why kids get bullied. Kids get bullied because of their looks, their weight, their grades. So, since looks are the top of the bullying list, why aren't uniforms mandatory in all schools? Then they need to create a fitness regimen so everyone weighs relatively the same, and so forth.  Gay straight alliance clubs should be very far down on the list for methods to prevent bullying.

This liberal psychosis is not limited to Ontario.  Earlier this year, the education minister in Alberta was trying to put through the Education Act.  All teachers, including home school teachers, per the act, would have had to change their curriculums to conform to Alberta Human Rights.  My issue with this is that human rights are very subjective.  What this means to me and most others is Christians are no longer permitted to teach Christian values to their children.  The easiest example to pick on is Christians would not be permitted to teach the biblical view that homosexual acts are wrong or sinful.  Again, this was done in the name of diversity and tolerance... just not tolerance of Christians.  This is a common, regularly occurring, disturbing view now.  TOLERANCE FOR ALL (unless you’re a conservative, white, Christian, then keep your opinions to yourself, oh, and change.)

The Education Minister said it was not his intention, nor the intention of this bill, to limit what parents or teachers could teach with respect to religious morality.  The same thing was said about section 13 of the human rights act and it became known as the “hurt feelings” law. The Education Act came scarily close to being law which would have become an issue in the long term.  If the Education Act had passed, I could see parents getting sued by some liberal activist for teaching home schooled children intolerance or hate outside of school hours.  It would be some innocuous thing like parents debating the daily news such as “Love has no gender” around the dinner table, and they end up in the Alberta Human Rights courts for indoctrinating children.  It’s one of the many reasons I’m glad it didn’t make it through third reading.

In our new and interesting world, the trend has become disturbing.  If something is changed in the name of diversity or tolerance, Christians, anyone with traditional values, or opposing views are told they are bigoted or phobic.  Apparently only select diverse differences are tolerated; others are, well, wrong.  Either one is tolerant of differing view and opinions, or they should man up and realize how truly intolerant they are.  The hypocritical “if you disagree with me, you’re racist/homophobic/transphobic/bigoted” crap is as good an argument as “that’s offensive.”

Even strange changes like gender inclusive washrooms happen because of this so called “inclusive,” “tolerant” attitude.  It happened at the University of Victoria.  These washrooms were created for transgendered people who don’t know what washroom to use.  Either gender can use these washrooms.  If anyone speaks out against this, they’re simply told they’re missing the point.  Forgive me but there are not so many “gender benders” out there that we need to start modifying public spaces for them.  My personal thought is, if a person doesn’t know what washroom to use, they’ve got bigger problems.  

What irritates me is that changes like this happen for such a tiny minority.  People who fight for LGBT rights would like us to believe it's for a large percent of the population.  Most reliable demographics models that I find show no more than 1%-4% of the population identify as homosexual or transgendered (two spirited?). So why do we bend over backwards for this group?  It’s gotten bad enough that they want gender removed from our passports!  Give me a break!

I don't think that these topics should be forced on children or anyone else for that matter. Why is this still an issue? Same sex couples have the same rights has male/female couples so what's the problem? Continuing this fight only causes resentment, which is exactly what's happened with me. I was for gay rights, I know a lot of gay people that are quite personable. None of them are “activists.” None of them make me feel like a second class citizen because I'm married to a man and none of them wear their sexuality on their sleeve for everyone to see.

Maybe the LGBT community and gay activists will regain my respect when they don’t expect tolerance from every corner of every household in the known universe.  They need to give me a chance to forget they’re around and realize they’ve blended into society. Then the LGBT community has truly won.  Right now, I find them to be a joke and bunch of self righteous bullies.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's Wrong With Us?

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  Between having pneumonia in July and planning my awesome vacation to Chicago, I back burnered this for awhile.  Now I’m ready again and it seems I’ve waited to long.  I’ve been paying attention and various topics have been on my mind, stewing, boiling, waiting!  

First however, I’d like to point out some differences between Calgary and Chicago in terms of service.  I’ve been to the USA a number of times but I’ve never stayed in any one place for very long.  Chicago is my first one-stop vacation south of the border so I got to experience these differences.

First, the service almost everywhere I went was better than almost anything I’ve received here in Canada.  I was wondering about that until a friend of mine said it’s because we’re too polite to mention it.  First I laughed, then I got serious.  I was going to argue that point until I realized he was right.  In most circumstances, we Canadians take the bad service, the bad attitudes, the mixed up orders with a smile and still tip the waiter.  We rarely complain and may even go back.  Even my husband and I are guilty of it.

For example, here in Calgary, my husband had us go back to the same White Spot over and over and every single time (I wish I was kidding) something went wrong.  Either my chicken was underdone (I sent that back) or they gave him a beef patty instead of a veggie patty (again, sent back, he’s allergic to beef) or we got someone else’s order and the list goes on.  It was to the point where we’d make bets over what would go wrong this time.  The owner, shift managers and staff knew us very well, would even make an effort to get our order correct!  The western divisional manager didn’t believe that our curse was true until he was in the restaurant at the same time as my husband and sure enough, something went wrong.  My husband got his meal comped (again) and they tried to give him a $25 gift certificate as an apology.  Why is it, when a restaurant messes up, the first thing they do is “hey, come back!”  He said “keep it.”  We don’t go there anymore.  My question is, what’s up with us?  Why did it take so many mix ups, screw ups, and mess ups before we finally said no more?

In most restaurants in Chicago, our water glass was never empty, I always had tea, our order was right every time, we never had to send it back (a regularity in almost any restaurant here) and service was fast.  They had enough staff!  Did you know places hire enough staff?  I didn’t!  The service everywhere we went was so exceptionally good that my husband actually said “and they call Canadians the land of the polite? We got nothing on these people!”  In each of the restaurants we went to, the servers never asked us - my husband and I - if we were going to split the bill, another weird regularity here.  The servers also expected him to pay the check, not me.  We went to a varying degree of restaurants, from fast food to 4 star.

When we went to the Field Museum, we got there a few minutes early so the guard told us some history on the place.  We were there with a few other early birds.  When she found out this was our first time in Chicago, we got some Chicago history as well.  The guard (nice lady) then gave us some advice on some good places to eat when she found out where we were staying.

In our hotel, we went to the restaurant only once.  This was our exceptional bad experience.  The server decided to judge us based on our clothes (a bad idea) made us wait (there was only one other table of people and they had their own server.)  When we finally got our order in, we waited some more.  My husband got spilled coffee and when we got our food, the server proceeded to dump half my plate into my lap.  He didn’t even apologize for it.  For the record, that was Lockwood Restaurant, I don’t recommend it, unless you like wearing your food.  This experience was a little shocking considering every other restaurant put most Canadian restaurants, in terms of service, to shame.

Most of our cab drivers were fantastic, and we took a lot of cabs.  I had to laugh at a T-shirt we saw that said “I survived a Chicago cab ride” but those guys can sure drive when they think you’re going to be late for a show.  *ehem*  Don’t believe the concierge when they say “no more than 12 minutes!”  Scariest drive of my life but I survived a Chicago cab ride.

Calgary could really learn a thing or 117 about the cab industry from the Chicago model.  I get that Chicago is much larger but there are issues with the Calgary model.  We need a different one especially now with the our new .05 law.  Obviously the current one doesn’t work.  I’ve heard and read waiting for a cab in Calgary is no more than 15-30 minutes, which is a big lie.  On a good day, I’ve waited upwards of 2 hours.  Once it snows, waiting is more like 8-20 hours.  Does that sound like enough taxis on the road?

The regulating of taxis is not entirely to blame, the companies are also to blame.  When my husband pre-orders an Associated Taxi for a 4:30 am pick-up to go to the airport, I expect it to be at my home.  I don’t expect my husband to miss his flight because it doesn’t show up.  I don’t expect the answer of “we don’t have a taxi in the area” when I called the night before to arrange the pickup.  I also don’t expect the cab company to phone his cell while he’s at the airport waiting for the next flight because they showed up at 8:00 am, and I don’t expect the cab company to feel put out when the fare isn’t there to be picked up three and a half hours late.  But that’s what happened.

In Chicago, most of the time either the door man got our cab for us with nothing more than a blow of the whistle, or there were cabs outside of the various places we visited.  The couple of times we needed to flag a cab down, we waited on the sidewalk for no more than 30 seconds.  None of the drivers were ever on the cell phone and most of them recommended places to visit when they found out this was our first time in Chicago.  Every cab had the same city plaque in the back that explained the fare as well as “for compliments or complaints call ###, your cab number is ####.”  They encourage calling in a compliment, I like that.  My husband lost our little camera in one of the cabs, even though it still hasn’t been found, the company called yesterday to tell us that they’re still looking for it.  That impressed me.  That one is Checker Cab in Chicago.

What I take from my experience in Chicago is:

  • the people who provide the service in the USA want to provide high quality service, give the best and have an excellent reputation
  • Americans expect a higher quality of service so complain when they don’t receive it or don’t go back to the various places that provide poor service; this results in most places providing a high quality service, because everywhere wants everyone’s business
  • the people who provide the service in Canada feel they are nothing more than service people, don’t really care about their job, and provide just enough service to keep their job; Canadians are pushovers and will accept the poor service, we may or may not complain, hope the service will get better, accepts status quo and go back anyway

So I have to ask again, what the hell is wrong with us?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Firearms Education, not Prohibition

Firearms politics has come to the forefront of my mind yet again. With the recent shooting crimes in Toronto, people have once again blamed the wrong thing. The gun has been blamed for the violence, not the criminal holding the gun. Not only that, I've seen a few articles from gun control advocates who want stricter gun control for the law abiding. They state violence against women and children as the reason.

Ban Bullets and Guns in Toronto, Councillor Says
Toronto council shoots down Vaughan bullet ban

Ban Something, That’ll Work

In Toronto, using the Eaton Centre Shooting as the catalyst, a city councilman brought forth the idea of a bullet ban within his city. If he had his way, law abiding licensed individuals and companies permitted to sell ammunition to this point would no longer be permitted to have ammunition on premises, ever. I would like to ask, how is stopping the lawful buying and selling of ammunition going to stop criminal acts? Was the ammunition the shooter used in the Eaton Centre legally acquired, and if he couldn't acquire ammunition legally, would that have stopped him from acquiring ammunition illegally? Is banning ammunition and having it confiscated from stores and citizens within Councillor Vaughan's purview, or is this a great soundbite for the leftist crowd?

In listening to Councillor Vaughan, I find he’s focused on the wrong issue. Listening to him, guns are going off constantly in that city! If I believed Councillor Vaughan and no one else, I never ever want to go to Toronto - it’s a violent place! Everyone is shooting in some random direction all the time! Or, I can think logically and believe it’s criminals on occasion; it’s not nearly as bad as he portrays and recent history is an anomaly.

Councillor Vaughan, in his argument to ban bullets in Toronto, said it would help suicide rates, make police officers safer, help curb domestic violence - prevent women from ending up on the wrong end of long guns. That argument makes me so angry being that I’m a woman with a firearms license who advocates firearms education! Councillor Vaughan also said in his argument, most handguns used are smuggled across the border. That’s a whole different issue. Those guns were never legal to begin with. How do illegally smuggled guns warrant a bullet ban from legal sellers of guns and ammunition?

Earlier this week, 24 people were shot, again in Toronto, involving 2 deaths. I feel for everyone of these people and every family affected. It involved an altercation between two people that ended in gunfire. Again, this is a very unfortunate incident that involved criminals performing criminal acts. I was glad to see Mayor Ford’s response was initially “war on gangs” and not “punish the law abiding.” That time has now passed.

With the recent violence we’ve seen in Canada, the idea of gun bans has once again reared its ugly head. One of the arguments I’ve heard is yes, this punishes the law abiding and “inconveniences” sport shooters but sport shooters can take up another hobby. The lawfully acquired guns can be stolen by criminals and used for illegal purposes. They pose a threat to everyone’s safety. First, why should we take up another hobby due to someone else’s fear? We enjoy this hobby and it hurts no one. Second, a car, a knife, a smuggled in firearm can be used for illegal purposes just as well. How is banning my ability to acquire a handgun lawfully going to stop a criminal? Prohibition is never the answer. A criminal doesn’t care about bans and prohibitions. They will always find a way to accomplish their end goal, be it with a gun, car, knife, polonium-210, or some new and inventive way I've not thought of. Denying me the right to own a gun will NOT stop them.

My car was broken into once, the doors were locked but that didn’t stop the thief. There were a couple of things in there apparently worth stealing. My first thought was “effen junkies!” If my assumption is correct, I inadvertently and indirectly supplied drug addicts the means to purchase more illicit drugs. Does that mean I’m no longer permitted quality items because a criminal stole these items to benefit themselves or someone else in a harmful way? What if that criminal stole my car and ran someone over? I am a law abiding Canadian who lawfully purchased a vehicle. That vehicle could be stolen at some future point and be used to harm other Canadians and cause thousands of dollars of damage. Should we ban cars?

I remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old, the neighbourhood bully was playing street hockey by himself. I was playing in my yard and thought nothing of him but he decided he wanted my bike and I didn’t give it up. He hit me in the face with the hockey stick - I remember it well. Do we ban hockey sticks? The list goes on.

Why is it when the left wing decide they want gun control, the first thing they do is bring forward ideas to punish the law abiding? I see or hear about desired bans, restrictions or prohibitions but they fail to mention other forms of violence such as knife violence, physical violence, and so forth. They are so focused, their vision so narrowed that they only see the gun. It’s almost like they want to forget about the guy pulling the trigger.

According the Statistics Canada 2006, 75% of violent crime was committed without a weapon. Knives, clubs, or blunt instruments were the most common weapons used making up roughly 18% of the violent crimes. In 2.4% of those violent crimes, a firearm was used. I have to wonder, how exactly is it firearms get the bad reputation?

Firearms and Violent Crime from Statistics Canada

Gender Equality and Security

Then you have these groups out there saying that there has to be greater gun control because without it, women and children are in danger. They’re even trying to make it a constitutional fight saying it’s a gender equality issue. As a woman, I want the ability to carry a firearm for protection, and why not? Any woman, with proper time and training, could be taught how to shoot from a holster in an emergency situation. Every person should be taught this and not only that, if every person has this skill, it’s no longer a gender issue is it. It does become truly equal.

My mother-in-law used to be a fabulous sport shooter. No matter the competition, she was a top 10 shooter, top woman (usually losing out to the same woman). Then she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She lost fine motor control and strength of her dominant hand and subsequently lost confidence. Then she came to Calgary and my husband and I took her and her husband out. Her husband is a sport shooter as well, very good, and enjoys it very much. He’s my main instructor and my husband’s mentor. She initially didn’t want to pick up a gun then her darling son said “so use your left hand doofus!” They’re such a loving family. It took time, and coaxing, but her accuracy was coming back. That was 2010.

Then earlier this year she did it. She entered her first competition in years. My mother-in-law had a blast and she placed as a top 5 shooter, with Parkinson’s Disease and using her off-hand. Confidence, friends, her family, time, training, and practice is what it took to have her pick up a gun safely and with precision. I would bet she could out-shoot any criminal, and most police. So I have to ask - how, in anyone’s mind, could this be a gender inequality issue?

“End Dangerous Reductions in Gun Control” YWCA Annual Meeting
Women's groups outraged over exclusion from Senate hearings on gun registry

In a hand to hand fight, I would lose to most men, even with some of the skills I have - most women would. Men in general are naturally bigger and stronger than women. I would think masculine physique alone would cause gender inequality, not firearms law. I can be threatened by a man verbally or physically, but a gun, as they say, is an equalizer. Very simply, if my 11 year old nephew can shoot a .9mm handgun consistently, confidently, and without fear, after training from myself and my husband James, any adult woman can. I would encourage it. Too bad it’s illegal in Canada to carry a gun as protection.

The most recent action that grates on me is Toronto city council’s decision to interfere with a lawsuit against the Federal government to keep the gun registry data. They wish to support The Schlifer Clinic’s attempt to re-establish the long gun registry. The Schlifer Clinic says the long gun registry is required for the safety of police and women in cases of domestic violence. Police apparently require the long gun registry to know what weapons are in a home before they enter. I would argue that police should approach all domestic violence calls as though a firearm is involved whether the individuals are licensed to own one or not. The Schlifer Clinic states destruction of the long gun registry is unconstitutional, the reason being gender security for women. So I ask, does that mean, the handguns my mother-in-law and myself own shouldn't have be registered being that we're women with firearms licenses and legally acquired guns? Do we even require licenses by The Schlifer Clinic’s own arguments?

Toronto legal clinic seeks to save federal long-gun registry
Toronto council votes to intervene in gun registry suit


The only guns gun control lobbyists see are the Ruger Mini 14 or AK-47. The Ruger Mini 14 was used in the École Polytechnique Massacre. Since then, the gun, not the shooter has been vilified. To me, it is the shooter that is evil, it is the shooter that should be vilified, it is the shooter that should be remembered with contempt. I have a Mini 14. It’s never turned on me or tried to kill me or turned on anyone in the surrounding neighbourhood of its own volition. Not only that, James has another gun in the same calibre that’s far more accurate and way cooler.

The Nephew with the Mini 14
The Husband with a different gun in the same calibre
With the AK-47, it appears in many movies, it appears on posters, and it’s a prohibited weapon in Canada. Very few people are permitted to own this one legally. The closest gun myself or James has to the AK-47 is the SKS or the Mini 30. They are the same calibre but not the same gun. The AK-47 is a full automatic firearm whereas the SKS and Mini 30 are semi-automatic firearms amongst some other differences. I would hazard a guess, in most cases, I could hand any of these guns to a gun control fanatic and they wouldn’t know what they were holding. I’ve found most guns are called AK-47’s by people who don’t really know what they’re talking about, or Glocks, handguns are all Glocks.

NOT an AK-47

Late in the spring, I had the opportunity to teach my nephew about many different types of firearms and firearms safety. Here’s a little background on him. Derrien is from Inuvik, NWT. He’s been around guns his whole life. He’s gone hunting and he’s told me he had the opportunity to shoot a caribou with his grandfather’s hunting rifle. He brought it down properly and in one shot after being told how to do it. *insert green eyed jealousy monster here* I got MY hands on him just after he turned 11 and man is he ever a smart cookie!

Proof Derrien is my sister's child

A few days before we went to the range, James and I started with THE talk and we got the eye roll and kid groan: how many 11 year old boys want to hear THE talk from their aunts? Every 11 year old boy wants to hear those famous magic words... gun safety. BORED! But he sat there and he took it like a man. He listened, he memorized and he even told ME what it all meant. Okay good, part one done. THEN we unlocked the ever so exciting door and he didn’t go rushing in. Success in small steps!

Now he gets to touch the firearms, learn what each one is and how they work. He learned how to check if they’re loaded and did so with each one and he did NOT fall for the trick question (which James answered incorrectly and called me a nasty name for!) Rockin’! We’re doing good. T-minus two days before we actually go outside. For the next two days, I grill the kid, he does well. I even make him check and double check the marshmallow gun we play with (and yes, shoot my husband with. Mini-marshmallow ballistics are awesome!)

11 year old excitement!  Learning how to hold the gun!

It’s now the night before, time to start choosing what firearms we’re taking to the range and time to start packing, locking and prepping. This does take a long time. Not only do I have a brand new never fired handgun that I got for my birthday that MUST come out, James made a couple of new purchases for himself and we have Derrien make a few picks of his own. 19 firearms get packed - MY GOD! Because I’ve been teaching Derrien gun safety for the past few days, I have him help me pack up the guns. James is sitting in one inconvenient spot. The guns are never to point at any of us and with Derrien being in charge of in-home safety, they never do. He successfully has me move guns and cases around until they’re all locked and packed. He even learned that the restricted’s needed to be multi-locked. I had to help him with what was restricted and what wasn’t. He’s 11, the fact that he got the safety part down was good enough for me.

I can fit 2 rifles in a 1 gun case!
My husband helped Derrien pack the ammunition. James decided one day he likes weird Russian calibres. I like .308, he likes 9mm Makarov. I actually wrote down the firearms we were taking so we didn’t miss any ammunition. Then the morning finally arrived. We went for a nice breakfast and for a boy who said he wasn’t hungry, he sure snarfed back his breakfast (then ate half of mine!) A friend of ours came to the range with us. She’s come out a number of times. She has a lot of fun shooting smaller calibres which is great! She and Derrien were having shooting competitions. I bought them Zombie splatter targets. In a zombie apocalypse, Derrien is set! Zombies don’t have a chance.

TEMPLE SHOT!  That zombie is going down!
I had him shoot rifles, a shotgun, and a couple of different handguns.  Now they're not a mystery to him.  When we got home, Derrien was made to clean the guns he used.  He did very well at every step and he did so because we was given the opportunity to do so.  He learned how to disassemble and reassemble the handgun he used most often.  He needed a little help but did most of it himself and he cleaned it well.  He also cleaned the shotgun and a rifle.




He had fun at the range, he had fun doing the work. He carried the cases, he carried the ammo boxes, he cleaned and put away the firearms and now he’s familiar and comfortable with them. Derrien (who’s perfect stance should be an embarrassment to most professionals) now doesn’t think a gun is a toy, a thing to kill people with, a so called modern gangster’s weapon, or something one just picks up and points at people for fun or to cause fear. It’s no longer a simple movie prop.

If more people, even the hardcore gun control crowd would educate themselves about guns, they would realize they are not something to fear. A gun is a tool or sports equipment, but unlike a fishing rod, a gun requires more care (unless you’re around my sister who’s not paying attention and she hooks you square in the thigh!)

I want people to realize that with adequate firearms education, the chances of an accident is reduced. With the experience Derrien received with me, his goal has become to get his Possession and Acquisition License when he turns 18. He’s also told me that he wishes to join the Canadian Armed Forces as soon as he possibly can. How is any of this negative? I didn’t make a little criminal by giving him this education, I helped him create goals. He’s not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but he now knows some of what he wants to achieve.

Criminals Don’t Care About Law

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, stop punishing law abiding Canadians. More laws won’t stop criminals; they don’t care about law or they wouldn’t be criminals. Guns are not the only tool or method used in crime. There are drug related crimes, home invasions, assaults, drinking and driving, stabbings, but guns get most of the bad press.

I’ve never commited a crime, I simply own guns, and I own them lawfully. I am not a threat to my neighbours or my community. To look at my house or even in my house, the average person wouldn’t know there are firearms here, let alone more than the 19 described above. They are all legally acquired and legally stored per storage laws. So tell me, what is more law going to do to stop criminals? Criminals haven’t been stopped yet. Will criminals be stopped in the future because some bureaucrat decides he wants a good soundbite? The right thing is said, a new tougher law is enacted and the only ones punished are those who already follow the law.

Actually put criminals on trial, don’t let them off on some stupid technicality. Punish the criminals, make them work their time. Once they’re caught, keep them in jail. There shouldn’t be shortened sentences for good behaviour or chances of early parole. Time in jail shouldn’t be easy. Why is there concern for creature comforts for inmates? It currently costs taxpayers $113,000/year/inmate. It’s time inmates lose their comforts and start suffering for what they have done, perhaps pay for what they have done. Why does there always seem to be an easy way out for a lot of these criminals? There are “slap on the wrists” or plea bargains, these need to end. Maybe if a good chunk of that $113,000/year/inmate were put into the court system, there would be more money for more prosecutors. Punish the guys who need the punishing, not the guys who didn’t do anything wrong to begin with.

Instead of more laws for the law abiding or banning guns and ammunition, I vote we ban theft, ban abuse, ban assault, ban illicit drug use, ban murder...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No More TV Censorship

To whom it may concern,

re: Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and Censorship of Canadian Television

Television and radio should be as free as newspapers, magazines and the internet.  Why is there still the ability to silence TV and radio broadcasters in Canada?  Please abolish the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.  I wish the choice to hear the opinions of various Canadian TV and radio broadcasters of my choice, not hear the same opinions on every station and channel.

If the CBSC has the ability to force an apology or a retraction from a TV broadcaster, then they are a censor, as such, they have no place in Canada.  When stating an opinion, TV broadcasters should be subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and should not fear being judged and subsequently silenced for said opinion.  Complaints from a few Canadians should also not be enough to have any TV broadcaster investigated.  I could almost take the CBSC seriously if they investigated a TV broadcaster after receiving hundreds or thousands of complaints, not six.  Does that mean that if Canadians agree with - or are ambivalent to - the TV broadcasters’ opinion, we too have to write to the CBSC to ask that they not be investigated for their opinions?

The federal government has repealed Section 13 of the Human Rights Act which is a step in the right direction.  Now people can state their opinions publicly and within reason, without fear of court time and judgement.  With this, it’s time to abolish the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for the same reason.  As far as I understand it, most of the TV broadcasters on Canadian TV are Canadians, with personal opinions and should be subject to the same laws as the rest of us


C.J. McCullough
Calgary, AB

I've sent this by email to and I encourage anyone who agrees with getting rid of the CBSC to do the same. Censorship of any kind in Canada is unacceptable. I have a problem with one group telling another what they may and may not say, hear, see, and read. That's exactly what the CBSC is doing.  

Write your own or copy and modify my letter as long as the spirit is still there.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Message for Fanatical Protesters

From my first article on, I've talked about protesters and my dislike of them.  In general terms, I've described why.  I feel they have an entitlement complex so large it doesn’t fit into most stadiums.  I've taken some time to specifically figure out why.  It appears these new breed of protesters feel it is their right to step on my freedom without any responsibility or duty to anyone but themselves.  All responsibility lies on those they don't like or they disagree with.

The only word they know is rights, and these protesters and rioters have forgotten or never learned the rest of the idea.  Canada has a Constitution which codifies our system of government and law.  WITHIN that Constitution is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It is not a stand alone document.

“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms
Rights and freedoms in Canada
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

This is how the Charter begins.  The problem is, the protesters of which I speak are quick to go beyond reasonable limits but use specific pieces of the Charter in the hopes of protecting themselves.  They cry "Freedom of Speech”, "Freedom of Expression”, or "Freedom of Peaceful Assembly" without understanding the context of what they're demanding.  They don’t seem to care that in an effort to “express” themselves, they are contravening other parts of the Constitution Act at the same time, in other words, breaking the law.  They use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a gun and hope no one notices.

Why do protesters use Charter of Rights and Freedoms to break law?  As I said previously, it is only one part of the Constitution Act.  Apparently, they only like the “good parts” version and the parts that pertain to what they are doing.  The protesters (gone rioters in some cases) ignore the parts that can prove what they’re doing is wrong such as trespassing or disturbing the peace.  If these laws are used against them, they say it’s “unconstitutional” simply because it stops how they promote their cause.  They’re more than happy to use the Constitution or Charter against those with whom they disagree, whether or not the other side is breaking the law, as long as it works to the protesters’ advantage.

Perhaps these liberal idealistic protesters need to take some real time and figure out what it is they're asking for.  They do so much in the name of democracy while trying to avoid it at all costs.  Democracy takes time, democracy means the will of all people, democracy means due process.  It does not mean the will of a bunch of whiny twenty somethings trying to hold the government hostage and making demands to suit their idea of the perfect country.

Do these entitled people realize that because of the work and sacrifice of others, they have the freedom to protest?  They have the freedom to attend post secondary education and to take any course they wish.  They have the freedom to move throughout our country, to go to school in any province, in any city they wish, or even apply to schools out of country.

Because of those freedoms, they have rights.  These rights and freedoms are intimately intertwined.  It appears to me that they feel their rights and freedoms come to them at no cost.  What these protesters are not understanding is, they cannot demand rights without doing their duty.  Protesting and rioting are not duties.  Protesting is okay to a point.  Protesting lets the government and the people know there's a larger issue at hand, but once the message is lost, it's time to go home.  Protesting should not step on others rights.  Extended rioting is anarchy, there's no excuse for it.  The Vancouver riots, while inexcusable, is one thing, it had a catalyst.  What's happening in Quebec is deliberate and planned, and the planners as well as the rioters should be charged with a crime.

Responsibilities that come with their rights include being a good citizen and to uphold the law, neither of which most protesters do.  Another responsibility or duty would be to vote.  What right does anyone have to make demands of a government if said person or group didn't even have the time of day to vote in the last elections?  If these protesters want to make change in the government, they should talk to their representatives or join a political party, get noticed and get involved.

If the government began bending to the will of these protesters and stopped following due process, said government would be given the power to change law at will.  The country would eventually become a tyranny, and why wouldn't it?  Once a precedent is set, it would be used time and again.  The more power a government is given, the more it will use, and not just on the people the liberal left-wing protesters dislike.  It's happened before.  A previous Canadian government did it, enacting the Firearms Act in fact.  The government in power at the time used "Order in Council" to force the law through instead of due process because it was “for the good of the people.”  The problem is, the long gun registry didn't prevent crime, cost 10 times what it was suppose to, didn't work as stipulated and was finally abolished.  Alberta just recently used the provincial equivalent called “power of closure” to put through three laws for the good of all Albertans.  We were never asked, we were just told any sensible, reasonable Albertan would want these laws.  Ask us first, I’ve been told that I live in a democracy.

People who want instant change and make demands of the government forget that when they're trying to persecute people based on class, religion, ethnicity, or whatever new imaginary evil will themselves get persecuted in the future.  They don’t think very far into the future though.  The liberal types don’t realize there will be no one to defend their rights because they are themselves responsible for having all of our rights and freedoms taken away through their protesting and demanding.

If protesters didn't come across as whiny self important children, I might have more respect for them.  Here's the thing though, protesting the world’s inequities has become a fad.  There's even a clothing style.  They turn 18 or 20, see something they don’t like and join some fanatical group that start the debate at “no”.  With all this, I feel they don’t do any more research than reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and hope that’ll keep their cause running and them out of jail.  Hopefully, one day, the courts will begin to uphold the law.  I, as a law abiding citizen, must follow the Firearms Act to the letter or be left with a criminal offense on my record even if I’ve done nothing else wrong in my life.  I would like to understand this double standard of the damage they cause to property and people and not be charged with anything, even a misdemeanor?  The “good intentions sentiment” shouldn’t be the only thing keeping them from acquiring a criminal record.

Maybe, hopefully, these protesters will grow up and become respectable members of society and contribute something to it.  Who knows, it could be wishful thinking, or one of them could become the next conservative Prime Minister!