Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kyoto withdrawal: There must be a political price to be paid | Green Party of Canada

Kyoto withdrawal: There must be a political price to be paid | Green Party of Canada

Whether you agree with the Green Party platform or not, I believe that Ms. May is absolutely correct in her assessment of the government and their behaviour. It is increasingly disturbing that the government seems to have no care for the future of the planet. I am all for the economy but not at the cost of long term survival of the planet. As a nation, we should be encouraging growth in our green sector. Invest in research in photo-voltaic technology, invest in research to make wind turbines quieter and most importantly, invest in industry that is willing to advance our position as a progressive nation. The Harper government seems intent on embarrassing us on the international stage and have succeeded at that task admirably. Next they are going to embarrass us by not being open to true discussions concerning our native people and well be content to leave them living as third world occupants until the UN takes them to task. I am not certain what the point of this blog is but I do hope that Harper and his followers start making some bona fide decisions rather than just carrying on with delivering what is obviously their preconceived vision of what Canada should look like when they are done with us.

Oh, one thing that I do want to point out is the phrase 'Harper government'. With any government of the past, I would have used 'Government of Canada'. King Stephen has made it a point that he wants his name associated with the current government and that is likely the one thing that I can agree with him on. He and his cronies are not acting as the Government of Canada but more like the Bullies on the Hill. They do not have a majority of the vote regardless how you count votes (or potential votes) but they have closed their ears to anything the majority of the people represented by other parties have to say. They are espousing positions that do not represent the view of the Canadian people up to this point and I do not believe that the majority of Canadians feel as they do in their right sliding of the country. Harper government is very apropos and until such time as they start acting like the Government of Canada, I will certainly not taint them with that nomenclature.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Canada hopeful about climate treaty but others wary | CTV News

Canada hopeful about climate treaty but others wary | CTV News

Isn't it a sad thing when governments can take pride in some face saving in the midst of a crisis. While the industrialized world thinks that there is room for another four years of dithering, a couple of nations may sink under the rising ocean levels. When that happens, it will be "Oh, we had no idea it was that desperate!" I wonder if Tuvalu is going to seek redress from the United Nations over losing their entire country. I wonder how much faster the negotiations would have gone had some of the big countries faced losing enormous stretches of land.

At any rate, to everyone except perhaps the governments of the world and some idiots like the International Climate Science Coalition, there is a more immediate need for action. We know in Canada that the 'Harper government' has no time for building a green society and perhaps even developing green industry to supply the rest of the world. The government is apparently blinded by their self-imposed imperative that the tar sands be developed and we keep oil on stream for as long as possible. Weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels would not sit well with King Stephen's home turf of Alberta and his buddies in big business and industry. Because of that we will fudge along thinking that binding agreements are too onerous for us to bear rather than forgetting about 'binding' in terms of legal and get busy binding our nation to progress in getting our carbon footprint reduced and being a leader again in not only showing how to do it but providing the technology to make it happen faster.

I try very hard to be optimistic in all things to do with my life but it is difficult to remain optimistic when we are led by moronic governments who refuse to face reality and deal with it head on. Here is to Europe and their efforts; they are at least trying. North America is a complete embarrassment though.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thoughts on Omnibus Crime Bill C-10

I am writing as a concerned citizen who had grown use to living in a much warmer country than it feels now.  Our government is behaving like a bunch of children who get to say "I told you so".  They insist on behaving with omnipotent authority with no concern for what our society actually wants them to do.  When they won the mandate to govern, I do not believe that gave them the mandate to issue into law within 100 days everything their little hearts desire.  Previous to now, I do not believe that it has ever been assumed that you get to ram everything you want down the throat of Parliament just because "you can".

The latest is their lumping of nine bills into one omnibus crime bill that is going to cost us a lot of money in the long run and will likely have our prisons run by private enterprise.  The massive penal colonies that have sprung up here and there in the United States have been proven less than effective.  The owners, having run out of options in the south are lobbying in the Northern State to build an empire here.  There can be no mistake about the fact that costs will soar and the governments will have no interest in funding the required prisons.  Ultimately and amazingly enough, private enterprise will be there to do it more cheaply than the government could ever hope to do it so we will sell all of the prisons to corporations to run for a profit.  Now that is all pure speculation but it does somehow sound familiar, does it not?  The Canadian Bar Association has said that the bill "would move Canada along a road that has failed in other countries, at great expense".  The Bar is more concerned with justice and rehabilitation it seems than with penalizing; somewhat like I think most Canadians that I know feel.

Prime Minister Harper claims that Canadians support tough on crime laws.  Well, he is referring to the 40% who voted for him I would suppose because I have not seen any independent polls to indicate that.  Mr. McGuinty has told Mr. Harper that Ontario has no intent to budget more money for prisoners that the Federal government wants to create.  Quebec has also refused to pay for a strategy that has been tried, and failed.

Indications of the hopelessness of the Omnibus Crime Bill have been proven failures in many of the United States.  Conservative Texans are warning us not to follow a failed fill-the-prisons approach to justice.  If the Texans, who house the highest proportion of its citizens in prisons are advising against it, we really should be paying attention.

Part of the bill has to do with mandatory sentencing provisions.  It has been proven over the world that mandatory sentences backfire.  The end result is that they take precious resources from crime prevention programs and rehabilitation, and turn minor offenders into hardened criminals.  Prosecuting and sentencing the increased number of mandatory issues that should not result in prison time will clog the justice system and fill prisons.  This will force the provinces, who pay for most of our justice system, to raise taxes, increase debt, or cut spending on essential programs like health and education.  That sounds like a pretty classic lose-lose situation.

It is well known that there is over-representation of definable segments of our population that occupy prisons.  The crime bill will make the inequality that those segments represent even worse.  It's not tough on crime, it’s tough on Canadians suffering from mental illness, addictions, and poverty.  It targets youth for harsher punishments when it is a given in every other civilized area of the world that you rehabilitate and encourage youth if you want positive results.  It will also put more Aboriginal people in prison.  Whatever the reason is that these people are in prison, there are tasks to tackle to bring that representation of their population in prisons down.  Sending them to prison will just be the start of a vicious cycle of recidivism.

We need to make Canada safer, not meaner.  Our crime rate has been dropping and it doesn't seem the time to fix what ain't broke by taking our justice and penal system back decades.  If we are to continue to reduce crime, we should focus on what's already working - prevention and rehabilitation.  There are sufficient numbers of studies that indicate prevalence toward criminal activity.  I am certain that if Mr. Harper chose to, he could commission one for himself.  If we address the major causes of crime, it would make sense that the crime rate would drop even further.  Reducing inequality and supporting people who need help would go a long way toward bringing the existing prison population down.  Mr. Harper's bill would ultimately cut the resources that are attempting to move toward that goal.  It does not take a rocket scientist to guess that we may see increased crime because of that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 European Economic Crisis

I read this in the Los Angeles Times of Friday, Sep. 232011:
"Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing told Frankfurt business journalists that euro zone leaders had bought time by setting up the EFSF rescue fund but had failed so far to find a path out of the crisis.

"I believe we have reached a crossroads,'' Blessing said. If Europe wanted to save the single currency, it must move toward a fiscal union. "A monetary union without a fiscal union, this construct has failed,'' he said."

That got me to thinking and wondering and pondering.  Not much came of it but I thought that I would jot down a couple of thoughts anyway.

I remember when the countries of what is now the European Union were going through hell attempting to come to terms with what they were attempting to establish.  Once they arrived at some consensus, there was then the difficulties involved in having the terms of the agreement passed through their respective governing systems.  While the benefits of a monetary union are readily apparent and up to now have proven their worth, as Mr. Blessing pointed out, the shortfall of not having a central fiscal policy makes the monetary union very difficult to control and monitor.

If cracking the nut of a monetary union was difficult, my mind is frankly staggering around attempting to believe that a fiscal union could be achieved.  Even in countries as vast as Canada and the United States, there are very contentious times when regions and interest groups perceive they are being slighted by the fiscal policy that the national governments assume.  At least within a national sphere, there is the overriding consideration of the nation to drive policy.  I am certain that the contentions that exist in North America would pale beside the enormous task of attempting to rationalize a fiscal policy among 17 different nations each with their own national interests to consider.

It is obvious that it is in the best interest of the countries belong to the European Union and more specifically to the eur.  The logistics of attempting to have anything passed by the respective national legislative bodies is mind numbing.  I could visualize it taking longer than a decade to pass one budget through the euro zone and obviously by then, the world would have moved on another nine years.  Regardless of the fact that it seems like a non-starter, the way that economies are evolving in Europe, it seems like that is one of the two options.  The other option is to obviously disband the euro zone entirely.  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interesting times

I've been wasting time this morning going around the net, checking tweets, news and being baffled generally.

The Middle East continues to astound.  I think that I need to do more reading on the whole area.  I find it hard to believe that all of this zeal has not been on the back burner for a long time and has just bubbled to the surface this year.  Is this yet another case where the entire news reporting system has been hijacked by government?  If so, I believe that it is time for the 'west' to stand up to their governments and do away with things like "Homeland Security" and all of the other 'need to know' basis organizations.  Transparency in all aspects of society would seem to be the best policy.  You only get hurt by lies.  We learn that as children.  Apparently, those in high office (be it the government, the military or large corporations) still have to finish maturing to understand that fact.

Mexico is another puzzle.  Such a wonderful people that have been reduced to peons by successive occupiers.  And now, they apparently are being kept in that role by their own oligarchists.  Yet more individuals who have to finish maturing so that they can properly tackle the forces of crime that so pervade too many lives in that wonderful country.

And then there is the USA!  The founding fathers thought they had it right when they made the government unworkable without cooperation.  Unfortunately, they did not foresee a system that could get so out of control that the populace would elect representatives with a mind set that is little better than middle school level.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Nycole Turmel NDP Caucus Leader

I'm certain that Ms Turmel has the necessary managerial skills to handle running of the caucus. It helps that she has the backing of the entire caucus as well. If Jack comes back at all, I'm sure that he will not have regained all of his inordinate past strength. The result of that will likely manifest itself by keeping up whatever pressure this puts on the party. They seem united in their policies. They just to have find another person in caucus to speak for the leader if he is not 'there'. So, that would not leave Ms Turmel as spokespers­on too long imo. It certainly does not negate her current position though and I think that she will manage the caucus quite nicely during the leader's absence.