Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OCTranspo strike has cost the 280 million!!

And in other news, I saw Stephane Dion kissing Santa Clause. This article in the Citizen is full of crap. There is really no other way to spin it.

Mr. Lee, who measured the impact of the strike on the nearly 200,000 transit commuters who now drive, said it is important to find out the direct costs to people forced to commute by car. He puts the total cost to commuters at between $66.7 million and $85 million.

He estimated the average distance travelled to be 40 kilometres a day, at a cost of 50 cents a kilometre for a mid-size car. Estimating that about 97,000 cars would be on the road due to the strike over the 23 working days in a month, he arrived at a cost of $66.7 million. A higher number of cars on the streets, say 123,000, would yield costs of $85 million.

Wow, what is this man smoking?
  • FACT: 108,840 take public transit in Ottawa-Gatineau, NOT 200,000.
  • FACT: The average commuting distance in Ottawa-Gatineau is 16.2 KM round trip, NOT 40 KM.
  • FACT: The CAA reports that the cost to drive your car is about 15.8 cents per KM for gas, tires, and maintenance NOT 50 cents per KM. These prices are based on 92.5 cent/litre gas, and would surely be lower today. It makes no sense to include the costs of loans, depreciation, insurance or any other "normal" costs as you would incure them with or without a strike.
  • You can't use 23 working days a month in your calculations, that doesn't factor in sick days, holidays, or vacation.
Even if that 40 KM also included errands, that number would still be bull, very few people would take the bus for their errands if they owned a car. They would commute to work to reduce wear and tear on the car, gas prices, parking etc, but they wouldn't go and do their groceries taking the bus.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Straws, see me grasp!

Opposition critics led by the lamentable Paul Dewar of Ottawa Centre is trying to twist a 30 year old tradition into an imagined slight against Stephen Harper and Canada. And politicians wonder why the public tunes them out...

OTTAWA–The fact Barack Obama is meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon before Prime Minister Stephen Harper smacks of political payback for the Conservative government interfering in the U.S. Democratic primaries, critics say.

"I guess it shows what happens when you interfere in someone else's affairs," NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar, the MP for Ottawa Centre, said yesterday.

It's too bad their ignorance, partisanship, and their hatred for Stephen Harper so completely blinds them of the facts. You also have to wonder why the mainstream media are looking to spin this into a story. Actually, no you don't have to wonder.

It is tradition, I say again, tradition for the incoming American President's first visit with a foreign leader to be the President of Mexico.

Obama's transition team described the meeting with Calderon as part of a nearly three-decade tradition of new U.S. presidents meeting Mexico's leader before inauguration, Reuters reported.

And to further embarrass Paul Dewar and other brain dead "critics" pontificating over this imagined slight, Obama's first foreign visit will be to Canada, restoring the tradition that George W. Bush broke when he decided to visit Mexico instead of Canada under Jean Chretien as his first foreign visit.

U.S. president-elect Barack Obama will visit Canada for his first foreign visit after his inauguration later this month.

"We're honoured and thrilled he has chosen Canada," Peter Kent, Canada's minister of state for foreign affairs of the Americas, said.

The planned trip will continue a longstanding tradition of new American presidents choosing Canada for their first official state visit.

The tradition was broken by President George Bush after his election when he visited Mexico instead.

Now this news bodes well for Canada. Our economies are closely linked, and we are brothers-in-arms in the global war on terror. You can bet your last dollar that trade, economy, and Afghanistan will be top of the agenda when they meet.

I wonder when we can expect a retraction from Paul Dewar and Jack Layton?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Watch out for the Rogue Polls

Despite Liberal bleatings to the contrary this is a rogue poll. I have serious doubts that the Liberal Party has gone from third to first in Quebec. That is simply too unbelievable.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Polygamy IS Freedom of Religion

Charges have been (finally?) laid on Winston Blackmore and James Ole, two principle religious leaders in Bountiful B.C.

I totally, utterly, completely disagree with these charges. The state has no business whatsoever in determining whom two or more consenting adults choose to marry.

If you are worried about child exploitation, abuse, or sexual assault then let the existing criminal code provisions handle these cases, don't prevent otherwise loving and caring adults from choosing the lifestyle that they want.

Freedom or religion means respecting other people's religions even when don't agree with them, or find them repugnant. Any religion that doesn't hurt people, and respects human rights should be allowed to practice. Nothing has ever been proven that shows the polygamists violating human rights, or engaging in criminal behavior in Bountiful.

And no, I am not a polygamist, having one wife is more then enough. :)

Should he pay child support?

I man who is not the biological father has been ordered by an Ontario judge to continue to pay child support payments.

A Toronto man is on the hook to pay child support, notwithstanding a DNA test that proved he is not the biological father of his ex-wife's twins, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.

What do you think? Should he pay child support? My opinion on this surprised myself, and will likely run counter to many views of the readers. It is of my opinion that Mr. Cornelio should continue to pay child support to his twins.

I agree with the judges argument, for sixteen years Mr. Cornelio has thought he was, has acted like he was, and has been the twin's father. He has been the only father the twins has ever known, even after the breakup of his marriage.

Mr. Cornelio should be ashamed of himself for even seeking to stop they payments to his children.

Of course the wife is an idiot for many reasons, having the affair in the first place, not using birth control when she did have an affair, not telling the husband, and then seeking to up the payments whilst looking to cut the father's access to his children.

I think this whole case boils down to two idiot parents fighting a battle using their kids as weapons.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Public Transit is not an essential service

The ongoing Ottawa transit strike is causing people to push for public transit to be classified as an essential service. This is just plain wrong.

Repeat after me, public transit is a convenience, not an essential service.

Yes, I understand all the very good arguments about the usefulness of public transit services, such as but not limited to:
  • Better for the environment
  • Eases congestion
  • Less expensive transportation option
  • Especially helpful for the low income among us like the elderly
All those are good reasons, but they alone don't make something an essential service.

The Federal Government has the following definition for an essential service:
Subsection 4(1) of the PSLRA defines an "essential service" as "a service, facility or activity of the Government of Canada that is or will be, at any time, necessary for the safety or security of the public or a segment of the public". Services should be identified as essential where there are reasonable grounds for accepting the probability, or even the possibility, that human life or public safety would suffer if a work stoppage interrupted the duties of these employees. It should be noted that positions where occupants are to be available during their off-duty hours to report to work without delay to perform the essential services are also included.

The Ontario definition is similar.

No where is convenience, environment, traffic congestion, or other reasons listed.

People will argue that people can't get to doctor's appointments, or to the hospital for their treatments and other perfectly reasonable reasons, and therefore that proves it impacts the health and safety of the population. However, that is a simplification. People will get to their appointments by other means, they will take a taxi, or ride with a friend or family. Just like thousands of other people without access to public transit options.

The simplest argument to dismiss public transit as an essential service is the complete lack of public transit outside of large cities. Thousands upon thousands of Canadians survive without public transit options, they still get to the mall to do their shopping, they still get to the hospital or the doctors, or whatever else they need to do.

Contrast this to police, fire, ambulance, food inspectors, income and social services, or other services deemed essential. Every community has police or fire service, it might not be great especially in the deep rural areas, but it exists and functions.

Let's not rush to classify services as essential just because the lack of these services greatly inconveniences thousands of people. Contract negotiations for essential services usually ends up in binding arbitration, and binding arbitration usually ends up giving large pay raises and benefit upgrades. This makes the cost of the service more and more expensive. Look out how much fire and police now cost.

Breast Cancer Breakthrough?

After 10 years of work a breast cancer vaccine is entering human trials. This vaccine will not prevent a woman from getting breast cancer like the HPV vaccine would help prevent a woman from getting HPV.

Instead, the breast cancer vaccine would be a supplemental treatment option. It works by mimicking the antigens found on the surface of cancer cells and eliciting an immune system response.

You can read more about this vaccine here.

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women, hopefully the vaccine can help save our mothers, wives, and sisters from death or disfigurement.

Interestingly enough, this vaccine was funded with 6 year, 2.9 million dollar grant from the US Department of Defense.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Funny or Sacrilege?

You decide. I also realize I am about 4 weeks late on this, but hey, I missed it.

I am not religious, I never go to church, and don't really have any intentions to start. That said, I really hate it when people make fun of other people's religion. It just bugs me, seems petty. Those on the left tend to mock people's religious choices more often then other people.

User Profile: I am the Son of God, the Prince of Peace and the Messiah. I am also good with tools.

Likes: Carpentry, Fish, Hugs

Dislikes: Money-changers, Cruelty, Shaving

What I’m Doing Right Now: Various people are bringing me laud


4:33 a.m. Hi, I’m Baby Jesus. Welcome to my blog! It’s a place where I can write down my feelings about stuff and junk, tell you about what’s going down here in B-hem and keep you up to date on the redeeming of mankind. Enjoy!

I wonder if the author would have written the same thing using "Baby Mohammad" instead of "Baby Jesus"?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"and surely never lighted on this orb, which he hardly seemed to touch"

As many of us on the right side of the spectrum have mentioned, commented on, bemoaned for months, Obamamania is raging all around the world. In the eyes of many, Obamessiah can do no wrong, heck, he can walk on water, save the economy, and bring about world peace all with a smooth as silk speech. Really, Obamessiah's main good points are his impressive oratory skills and pearly whites.

We all know that the press is biased, either slanted to the right, or to the left depending on the editors (or owners). This is to be expected. However, it used to be that even biased reporters would still stop at nothing to dig the dirt, come up with the exclusive, now with most of the mainstream media decidedly left-wing the only targets gone after are right-wing politicians.

With Obamamania, all we get is utter claptrap, so slanted to the left that even molasses in January have no chance of sticking. We are left to the blogs to get other perspectives. Where is the objectivity in the media?

Now even Rex Murphy bemoans this trash. Read his latest column in the Globe and Main for some eye opening treatments of Obama.
The columnist wrote, gasped, thrilled, vibrated that Mr. Obama was “… that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health-care plans … but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve.” Rhapsody is too timid a word.

I pledge to get greener in more ways then one

Despite what some will say, going greener isn't selling out to the environmental nut jobs out in cyberspace. I am all for a clean environment today, and for the future. We differ on the priorities. Clean air, clean water, clean soil, sustainable farming that will feed everyone on this earth. Those are my priorities.

I pledge to drive to work less and carpool more, therefore dumping less particulate matter into the atmosphere (more clean air), and having the side effect of saving money!

A big h/t to Vancouver Secrets for this link.

CF Officer Charged with Murder

A Captain in the CF has been charged with second degree murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed suspected militant during a battle in mid-October.

Canadian soldier, Capt. Robert Semrau, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a suspected militant "on or about" Oct. 19 in Helmand province.

Some "human rights activists" and bloggers have questioned the timing of the events, citing a potential cover-up. Some pundits are also raising the possibility of a cover-up. It is much to early to go that far, unless your sole goal is to discredit the CF and the Afghan mission. We also need to remember that Capt Semrau is innocent until proven guilty.

Some peop le are even going as far as to compare this to Somalia. That also seems a stretch.

Let's all take a chill pill and see what comes of the investigation. We also need to remember that not a lot can be said about the investigation until Capt Semrau has been tried. I am not a lawyer, but I would think any speculation could taint the court martial.

We should also remember that it is very easy to mistake incompetence for a conspiracy or cover-up. For those that are, or will soon be calling for Peter McKay to resign I have this to say to you, it is not the Minister of Defence's job to be involved in every criminal investigation, even a murder charge.

If Capt Semrau is guilty of this crime, then he should be punished to the full extent of the law, but also, let's not make a scapegoat of him. I would think the trial would have to show intent to kill the unarmed Afghan, and not just a mistake in the heat of battle.