This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Monday, December 30, 2013
The Waterloo Region Record carried this story last Saturday, December 27/13 : "Media, police misled public on marijuana, new book claims". According to this book written by Professor Susan Boyd "Assertions by police- particularily the RCMP, which is responsible for policing in much of B.C.- were left unchallenged, she says and politicians, in turn, relied on such misinformation to push for stricter drug laws.". Furthermore when politicians were properly informed via their own Justice Department research that the links between grow ops and organized crime were very minor, they simply buried the report.
While the author suggests that police and politicians are exaggerating the problems with the marijuana trade in order to discourage it, I have a different suggestion. All police rely on crime statistics for their funding. By constantly hyping the volume of 'crime" as well as the seriousness, they are simply protecting their funding. Liars are liars no matter their motives.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Boy how attitudes change over time. All my life I've only grumbled in a minor way after snowshovelling either my own drive, or the parents when I was a kid; as the city snowplough came by and filled in the end of the driveway. Well I'm now 64 years old and more importantly I'm six months into a new hip. Today's Waterloo Region Record has a Letter to the Editor today titled "Time to get mad". This Letter isn't just a bitch session it's actually got some fairly reasonable suggestions to solve the problem.
The long and short is that ploughing the roads and putting major chunks of them into our driveways is ridiculous, painful, unhealthy and time consuming. Shovelling fallen snow from our own property is one thing but shovelling much heavier, wetter and denser snow from the public roadway deposited into our drives is unacceptable. Quite frankly here in Elmira I would trade my sidewalk plough doing my sidewalk for the same plough, as suggested in the Letter, removing the snow from my approach.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Nobody begrudges our police the respect they deserve for often difficult if not dangerous working conditions. That said we can't just continue paying them wages that are so far above what the taxpayers themselves can afford to pay. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this article titled "Rising police salaries spur calls for change". While I was aware that our regional Police budget for 2013 was $135 million what caught my eye in today's article was this quote "The cost per full-time equivalent increased 14 per cent to about $109,000.". Are you kidding me? This includes salaries, pensions and benefits. $109,000 per full-time equivalent??? I'm sorry but teachers salaries are ridiculous and while I agree that either nurses or police should do better than teachers; this is no longer financially viable. All of these groups deserve a solid living wage or better but not to the point where we are basically bribing them to do difficult jobs that their hearts are not into. This is counterproductive for everybody. Police work especially should be a calling and yes they should have lifetime financial security if they suffer a horrendous on the job injury but $100,000 per year plus is overboard.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Boy until I started this Blog a couple of year's back I didn't realize exactly how often various members of the force were in trouble with the law. What exactly gives here??? Anyhow this is an Officer Snyder who is currently undergoing a trial on sexual assault charges. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys a very short article titled "Verdict due in officer's sex assault trial". There is a court order protecting the identity of the alleged victim as well as prohibiting any release of the evidence. Therefore it's presumably fair to say that unless folks have actually attended the trial and heard the evidence; that an opinion is probably way out of order. As I have heard absolutely zero details of the evidence and have not attended the trial that's what I'm sticking with. However.... if this officer is acquitted I certainly hope that that fact is made at least as public as were the original charges and any media coverage therof.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Officer Andrew Robson is still fighting to keep his job as a Waterloo Regional Police Officer. Robson's lawyer has a valid point that believing he was smoking marijuana did not justify using an undercover female officer to entrap him into stealing two ounces of it that supposedly a mother had turned over to him. I guess that my take on things is that if entrapment is illegal to use on the general public then it should be illegal to use on a police officer.
That being said I'm wondering that some sort of negotiated settlement couldn't have been worked out. The officer was/is sufferring from PTSD and kicking him when he's down isn't right. At the same time does he really want to go back into high stress physical situations possibly involving death and mayhem? Police officers routinely suffer from elevated stress based upon their line of work and the likelihood of incidents involving mutilated/dead or dying human beings is unfortunately high. Could the Waterloo Regional Police not show some class and some compassion in this case? Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Officer appeals drug sentence".
Friday, December 20, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Ashley is at peace," mom says after inquest verdict". Well, well, well, the verdict is murder. Joanna Pauline and Cindy Berry were the deputy warden and acting warden respectively at the time. They bear an enormous amount of responsibility for everything that went wrong. They also bear responsibility along with many others for the whole system of "institutional" charges that can be used to break inmates. Finally their superiors at the Correctional Services Canada also need a huge wakeup call. My suggestion is an enforced stay at the Grand River Institution for Women in Kitchener. Perhaps they should spend one week per month in solitary confinement as well.
Julian Falconer, lawyer to the Smith family, referred to Correctional Services Canada (CSC) as a "lawless" organization. Can we the citizens of Canada not see clearly what is going on? Corrections and jails are a bloody business. Their "clients" are provided by the courts. Apparently criminal activity is and has been on the downswing for years. I guess when one of these institutions get their grip on an individual they don't want to let go. Canada is rapidly gaining a reputation as a third world country in our treatment of our own citizens. Move over U.S. and Russia. Canada is just as plain stupid and nasty.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Today's on-line Waterloo Region Record advises us that the Coroner's jury has returned a homicide verdict in the death of Ashley Smith at the Grand Valley Institution for women, six years ago. A death by homicide is unprecedented in a federal facility that was not the result of another inmate. The title is "Coroner's jury returns homicide verdict at Ashley Smith inquest".
The behaviour of the Warden and her superiors the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has been disgraceful. From the CSC fighting tooth and nail in court to avoid producing documentary evidence to the abdication of responsibility by the Warden under cross-examination; this case has been repulsive. Immediately after Ashley Smith's death the Warden and her minions threw the guards to the wolves initially resulting in criminal charges against them which were later dropped. The Crown and police had been misinformed in the beginning and felt that criminal negligence charges were appropriate because the guards had sat and watched and not intervened until it was too late. Only later did they learn of the orders and threats the guards were under by management in responding to Ashley's ligature tying. Hopefully this homicide verdict will shake things up, cause heads to roll, possibly result in appropriate criminal charges this time and most importantly change the culture within the CSC. Inmates have been reduced from human beings to statistics and the CSC behaved as if the statistics were the important issues. Shame on their stupidity and insensitivity.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
It's also gone to the judges, lawyers, politicians and other assorted self interest groups pretending otherwise. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Verdun left country as Astley pursues payment". Apparently Mr. Bob Verdun has publicly accused Mr. Robert Astley of various ghastly financial and or ethical indiscretions to the point that Mr. Astley sucessfully sued for libel. In our perverted and perverse judicial system a Defendant in a Libel suit is not assumed innocent until proven guilty. In fact it's quite the opposite. The onus of proof is on the Defendant to prove that his words were honest amd accurate or he must prove they were fair comment, responsible communication or protected by privelege. Interestingly this country's biggest professional liars namely politicians all have absolute privelege while they are lying within the Legislature or House of Commons.
A judge has awarded Mr. Astley $900,000 to be paid by Mr. Verdun. Apparently it's against the law to steal a car. Ditto with stealing someone's house. However in this filthy legal system if you can't prove to a judge (sometimes a jury) that your words were accurate then it's O.K. for the judge to steal your car, house, savings ; literally everything and more that you have. It's O.K. because our f...ing politicians say it's O.K. . Well guess what. It's not O.K. Far better that two adversary's duke it out than this disgrace pretending to be justice.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys a "Road Ahead" article written by Jeff Outhit. The title is "Ending secrecy around decisions first step to an open government". Mr. Outhit begins by suggesting that Liberal House Leader (Provincial) John Milloy is laying it on thick when he states that citizens need to change their us versus them mentality in dealing with government. Jeff Outhit then explains how the provincial government did such a good job in refusing to comply with K-W Record Freedom of Information requests around the Light Rapid Transit funding decisions made by them. Similarily the Record went to the Conservative federal government requesting similar information as the federal government are also putting up hundreds of millions of dollars for Waterloo Region's LRT. Same result, different level of government and different party. As Jeff states we should keep in mind that we are dealing with a transit system here not nuclear weapons or anything else dealing with national security.
Monday, December 16, 2013
It is truly amazing how politicians know they are dirty but prefer to keep it out of sight. Our federal parliament have decided to make it illegal? or at least against their rules for employees or even former employees to blow the whistle on them. This is of course at a time when protection for whistleblowers is generally seen as a good thing when it comes to private industry. There whether chemical, financial, construction, development or any other industries involved in wrongdoing need to be exposed. Apparently that shouldn't be the case for governmental corruption, lying or other everyday behaviour. Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Parliament slaps lifetime muzzle on staff". Funny thing while we the citizens remember the Sponsership scandal (Liberal), the Airbus scandal (P.C.) and most recently the Senate expense scandal our federal politicians of all stripes want to run for cover. They want to muzzle and silence any honest employees they have from speaking out on future scandals. This is the reverse of transparency and accountability and exactly why citizens are becoming more disengaged from politics all the time.
Friday, December 13, 2013
An alternate title might be "Still Rotten At The Top". E-Health, Ornge, RCMP, Correctional Services Canada, the Senate; the list goes on and on. "...many of OPG's senior executives earned more than most deputy ministers". The "top five executives are eligible for pensions ranging from $180,000 to $760,000 a year.". Since 2005 staff have been cut by 8.5% whereas the"...highly paid executive and senior management group" has been increased by 60%. The revelations from Ontario's auditor general just keep on coming. This is the Canadian style of corruption. Nobody goes to jail apparently when you are only stealing fromtaxpayers. Wednesday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Power rates hiked by high salaries"..
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Exposing the truth behind Canada's hidden tale of shame". Canada is being sued by the Beaverhouse First Nation for cultural genocide. Between 1955 and 1985 thousands of native Canadian children were forcibly taken from their homes by child welfare authorities under the guise of "child protection". These children were adopted out to white families and never told about their biological parents who did not give them up voluntarily. Carol Goar's story in today's paper is horrific and shines a clear light on politicians and bureacrats who are unaccountable and of low ethics. This also appears to dim Prime Minister Harper's apology to native Canadians for the abuses of the residential school system while he and his government continued to conceal what is now known as the "60's Scoop".
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
So let me get this straight. Here in Canada our federal government wants to get tough on crime. They want to incarcerate more and more of our allegedly naughty citizens. Meanwhile however in their search for the almighty dollar, plus political points for a better balance of payments through greater exports; the Canadian government continues to approve exports of lethal weaponry to third world regiemes. These include Bahrain, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt. Afterall the Egyptian armed forces must surely by now be running out of ammunition that they've been using to shoot Islamic supporters of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood. I guess over there if you don't like your new government, instead of throwing the bums out at the next election; your armed forces undertake a coup and then shoot the protesters afterwards. I am just so proud that our ever vigilant and discerning Canadian government are staying on top of who are the good guys versus the bad guys. Last Monday's Waterloo Region record carrys the story "Canadian-made weapons exports swell".
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Well it's about time. Rogue cops with bad attitudes get away with murder and mayhem but not this time. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Officer convicted of G20 assault sentenced to 45 days in jail". I am of the strong belief that this sentence by a judge will save lives. Police officers have to learn that there are consequences for them as well when they are out of control. This one jail sentence may actually restore some confidence in both our police and our judicial system. It's been far too long in coming.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record shares this story with us "Mom urges new law for kids with asthma in schools". Unbelievable that a law is required for something as obvious as this. Hence the title above. Why does the provincial government have to pass a law. Simply tell schools under your jurisdiction to keep their effing hands off of children's meds unless their is agreement by the parents that the child is unable or unwilling to responsibly handle them. Keeping a spare/emergency puffer with the school principal might be a good idea but immediate access is what they are all about. Nip an asthma attack in the bud before the breathing passages have swollen shut. Are our school officials merely stupid or do they view this as some sort of authority over parents that they need to maintain?
Monday, December 9, 2013
The Waterloo Region Record on December 5/13 carried this Opinion piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "Educrats must admit defeat, return to math basics". Good luck with our school boards admitting to anything. Even with egregious cases of school board mistake or misadventure there is always an excuse.
Math basics include things like multiplication tables and spelling tests. Memorization was frowned upon by the educrats. It was stifling and got in the way of creative thinking. Such B/S. Creative thinking is a good idea once you've hardwired the basics into your brain. Both Ontario and international standards are not being met by our students. This province has thrown tons of money at teachers, their unions and the school boards. As Luisa D'Amato states it's a "...profound betrayal of students". Long ago it should have been obvious to everybody that our school boards were looking out for themselves and their educational partners ie. teachers unions first and students and good education a very far second. We are reaping what politicians and school boards have allowed to happen. Shame on them. When will our citizens and god help us our governments learn to look for unbiased by self interest, advice? When will they quit accepting at face value input from vested interests?
Friday, December 6, 2013
The murder of a five year old child is horrific under any circumstances but this case is beyond unbelieveable. The grandmother and her partner were convicted of second degree murder in the neglect and starvation death of Jeffrey Baldwin, in 2002. Here is what I did not know until I read yesterday's Waterloo Region Record. The Catholic Children's Aid Society had removed the four siblings from their parents and given custody to the grandmother and her partner. It gets worse. That pair had prior convictions for child abuse! Allegedly the Children's Aid Society discovered that tidbit in their files after the boy's death. Good God! Didn't the courts also have to be involved in granting custody as well? Society is paying taxes through the nose and for what? Our most vulnerable citizens (children) are left to starve to death. Readers will be glad to know that long after it's too late the boy's guardians have been sent to jail for life. The title of the Record article is "Woman who starved grandson to death denies responsibility".
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Waterloo Region Record carried this story on November 29/13 titled " Asley Smith "tortured" in prison, mother convinced". The jury are trying to determine the cause of death ie. accident, suicide, homicide or undetermined. Many factors need to be considered including how a teenager put in prison only for a few weeks for throwing crab apples at a postal worker could have her sentence ballon to six years via "institutional" charges. This is ridiculous and outrageous and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) should be put through the wringer for that abomination alone.
Then to later suggest that it wasn't their fault that Ashley died in their care possibly because she was mentally ill and suicidal is cowardice. Who heaped coals upon her fragile mental state? Who couldn't do anything but put her in solitary confinement for months at a time all the while adding to her sentence for acting out? For the love of God you assholes, she was in there for throwing apples. Six years and adding!
Meanwhile the Warden denies multiple witnesses testimony that she ordered guards upon pain of criminal charges to stay out of Ashley's cell if she was still breathing. As if the warden was a doctor who had real knowledge of the likely permanent effects of choking unto unconsciousness. Stupidity piled on top of stupidity. That is the "perfect storm" that Nancy Noble a spokesperson for the CSC talked about. Criminal negligence or manslaughter charges need to be laid upon the CSC. That might get their attention and change their attitudes about being responsible for the health, safety and lives of human beings in their custody.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Police board aims for transparency". All of this is taking place in the aftermath of Board vice-chair Kim Denouden being temporarily suspended during an investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. OCPC eventually decided not to hold a public hearing on the matter. The matter involved a verbal communication between Kim Denouden and an on duty police officer at police headquarters. Many of us would like to know what you have to say to a policeman that rates an investigation by OCPC. Personally I still think it was about as serious as suggesting that he was an overpaid, underworked, doughnut eating individual.
The only way the public ever found out about her alleged behaviour was by someone blowing the whistle anonymously. If there was more to it than my speculative comment in the preceding paragraph then we the public have a right to know. Currently our police board is generally a useless old boys club that appoints unqualified individuals who do little or nothing. There certainly isn't any real civilain oversight of our Regional Police which is plain wrong and all the scandals, alleged assaults, drug useage, posting of inappropriate photos and other behaviours are partly a result of that lack of transparency and accountability.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Employment insurance system needs a saviour". Apparently the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is made up of entitled, well off, employment guaranteed, jackasses. That's my first impression when I read that they don't wish to reform UI (unemployment insurance- the old name); they'd rather throw the baby out with the bathwater. They wan't to scrap the program entirely. Gee this makes perfect sense in the utopia we've been long promised but which has never occurred in this country. Way back in the 80's the Financial Post and a myriad of other papers were talking about "labour shortages" in Canada. That is and always has been absolute horseshit promulgated to put pressure on our federal government to keep bringing in cheap labour whether seasonal or via mass immigration we can't absorb and fully employ. It's all about intentionally keeping a pool of unemployed labour in order to keep wages down and unions out. It's advice and eventual policies like this that will split Canada further into two halves; the haves who make the rules and the have nots who suffer by them.
Monday, December 2, 2013
This is not a nice posting/story. The source is the November 30/13 New York Times. The title is "Danger Lurks In a Child's Chair". The on-line title seems to refer to "Mickey Mouse's Chair". It appears as if the marketing boys for the chemical industry figured out a way to legally force clothing and furniture manufacturers to include their chemicals in their products. Their will also be a HBO documentary titled Toxic Hot seat" dealing with the forced inclusion of flame retardant chemicals into childrens' furniture. According to experts the chemical retardants provide a very small delay but then in fact their burning causes toxic fumes. "You get the worst of both possible worlds".
The other issue with these chemicals is that are released even without a fire occurring. "Retardants are released as dust from the foam and accumulate on the floor. The greatest risk is probably to pregnant women and to small children, who are also more likely to be on the floor.". At one time these same chemicals were being added to childrens' pajamas. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and evidence links them to cancer, reproductive problems and other health issues. All this in the name of corporate profit. Or as chemical industry apologists like to quote "Living better with chemistry".