For the second game in a row, Chris Pronger stole the game puck at the end of the contest. CBC pointed it out quickly tonight, after Pronger also oh-so-classily shot some garbage at an opposing player.
This blog has covered Pronger rumours before, so lets start another one:
Just remember Canada, she's perfectly legal here:
Okay, fine, maybe you want to read the story
I may not know everything there is to know in life, but I do know this.
Friends are absolutely unbearable the first 6 weeks or so after buying a juicer.
Alberta: where the poor are choking to death in the streets (we can make a .pdf, so it must be true!)
(alternate post title:)
There's more than a few hilarious tidbits in this document put out by the Alberta Association of Social Workers.
The first has to be that there is an association (which they first disguise by calling it a "college") made up of social workers in Alberta. This is a classic case of what Yes, Minister aptly described as Parkinson's Law of Social Work: the social problems in any jurisdiction rise to occupy the time of the social workers hired to fix them. This sixty-page document is meticulously
The report is all about "[en]visioning a more equitable and just Alberta" which should instantly raise your bullshit sensitivity detectors: More equitable by which standard? By what perverted sense of "justice" does the report plan to make Alberta more just? The subtitle is "Closing the Disparity Gap Phase II". What happened to Phase I, and how come it seems there is still yet more work to be done? Okay, that one's easy enough, just remember Parkinson's Law.
You don't get 10 words into the meat of the paper before you see the two words that should tell you that the rest can be ignored. Absolutely ignored.
Rather than read it, you're probably better off at this point printing the report out, lighting it on fire, shoving it down a homeless man's pants and taunting him with "bet you wish you could afford air conditioning". Indeed its the next paragraph when you find out what agenda this ACSW is pushing:
The Alberta College of Social Workers regulates social work practice in Alberta. Its primary focus is to serve and protect the public interest by promoting skilled and ethical social work. Social Workers work with people across the lifespan from infants to seniors. The fields of practice of the profession range from direct service delivery and community development to advocacy and policy development. To compliment its legislated obligations, ACSW advocates for policies, programs, and services that serve the public interest. Across the province, much of the work Registered Social Workers do is with those who are vulnerable and marginalized.Its primary focus, you see is to "serve the public interest" by regulating and policing the occasional mini-totalitarian instincts of social workers. That's what its legally supposed to do. However, like all bureaucracies created by left-wingers with an axe to grind, it descends into a wholly unrelated and indeed often countering agenda to "advocate for policies" that serve this "public interest" again: though this time the social workers themselves are trying to define what "public interest" means. In the same way that farmers will interpret "public interest" to mean farms and politicians interpret it to mean legislatures, social workers declare that their own often distorted concepts of something called "social justice" (which in practice is anti-social and anti-justice) are the guiding lights to which ACSW's "public interest" is campaigning for.
That last bit is a bit of a mouthful, so lets look at some examples.
The second recommendation of this piece of compost is:
2. Quality of life for all Albertans:At the forefront is the hilarious implication that "access to social programs" is a measure of quality of life. Check the people using social services, then check the people not using social services. Hey, anybody wanna guess whose quality of life is lower?
Improve access to quality social programs, increase leisure time, and reduce stress on families through: increased spending on culture and leisure, childcare and early learning, education, and healthcare; reduced working hours; increased vacations; and expanded community based public health and other services for Aboringinal communities.
Next comes how their lofty goals are to be reached: right away you see that involves spending more of your money. That's right, spending those social worker salaries just aren't enough. AUPE has a lot more members in the education and healthcare fields that could use some sugar too! ACSW has scratched their back, and surely the next glossy .pdf you can read from the Alberta Teachers Association will contain some seemingly random tidbit about the need for more social workers to identify special needs and problem children right away to scratch in return. When they say "increased spending for culture and leisure" you didn't think they meant tax cuts so that families could spend more on culture and leisure, did you?
Same with "reduced working hours and increased vacations". Is anybody dumb enough to read this yet think the point was we're supposed to ask the boss to up our annual vacations from 15 business days a year to 25? Of course not. What they want is to petition to legislate a 34 hour week rather than a 44 hour one, or increase mandatory vacation pay from 6% to 12.
Then they want even more special monies and privileges for Indians. We'll go into further detail about this later. For now, enjoy the next policy plank:
3: Investing in housing affordabilityWhew, we'd gone almost 8 words without calling for more money by the beleaguered taxpayers of Alberta. Good to see that the waste of money that will only cause more homelessness is so well loved by the social workers who, I cannot stress this enough get their own sweet take of the money. Seriously, if BP put out a big winded piece of fluff about how oily beaches are good for marine life it would probably have less craven opportunism in it than this document. Hey, look at part 4!
Fulfill promise to eradicate homelessness by 2019 including $3.3 billion in spending.
4: Ensuring dignity and an adequate income for the most vulnerableA stronger social safety net? I'm sure social workers wouldn't see a dime of money spent like that! And what's this about a non-stigmatizing manner? You're the bloody front line folks for these programs. If you are delivering them in something that's called a "stigmatizing manner" (which is supposedly a bad thing), maybe it should be something your regulatory body -- what's it called again? oh yeah, the same ACSW that put out this document! -- needs to get a firm handle on. Social workers who fail to non-stigmatize shall be fired. That's what happens at work when people don't properly non-stigmatize themselves. [Warning: the proceeding link is a .pdf document that contains useful information and possibly actual research. Don't freak out, this sort of thing is normal. -ed]
Strengthen the province’s social safety net through the development of programs that provide a livable income, are universal, accessible and delivered in a non-stigmatizing manner.
I'll skip the #5, which is some blather about protecting workers. Here's the next recommendation:
6. Democracy and good governanceSee what I mean when I saw that ACSW has a hard-on for the Indians? Is the democratic process really so shitty on the reserves? Oh yeah, it is. Hey, maybe we should work on cleaning up the squalor and corruption that the Indians themselves keep inflicting on each other first? Might that not be a more serious concern than whether electoral boundaries don't dissect reserves perfectly?
Reform the democratic process to ensure that it accurately represents Alberta’s diversity especially Alberta’s Aboriginal peoples.
Well, after recommendation #6 this report can't possibly go more off the deep end, can it? Well, er, it can:
7. Progressive revenue reformJust when you thought they couldn't get any dumber, they do. Obviously all we have to do is raise everybody's taxes! Especially the Evil Rich™, those guys will just happily pay more tax with no negative socio-economic impact whatsoever. The thing that first strikes you about this claptrap is that its clearly not true: if Albertans feel the continued support for these things was so important, they wouldn't need ACSW as an advocate. Likewise, if there was a level that would support such beloved items, governments would merely pay it. The problem is one this propaganda piece continually has trouble with: that "level" can always be defined the exact same way:
Return to progressive taxes and raise corporate and other taxes to levels that allow continued support for public goods like healthcare, education and social programs that Albertans feel are citizenship rights.
It might be good to read the entire preamble to the Executive Summary.
Alberta has been prone to booms and busts but overall has seen long-term growth in the size of the economy and a dramatic increase in wealth. However, along with this wealth has come disparity; inequality in both income and quality of life is creating problems across Alberta. Alberta’s economic growth has gone mostly to those in the higher incomes. Quality of life indicators such as income security, personal disposable income, social cohesion, food security, housing affordability, leisure and family time, and educational attainment show that middle and low-income Albertans are struggling to keep the status quo and many are being left behind. Research shows that the costs of this inequality cut across all of society. Some of the impacts visible in Alberta include: economic and social exclusion evidenced by increasing food bank usage and homelessness; Alberta has the highest rates of family violence in the country and leads the country in domestic assault, homicide-suicide and stalking; Alberta has record low voter turnout; Albertans rank the lowest inWhat ACSW probably doesn't understand (they're only a bunch of dumb social workers after all) is that Alberta's wealth and prosperity are in many ways because of the laundry list of complaints provided above. We spent a lot of time at work (ie. not leisure) and go into the workforce immediately after high school or trade schools rather than a relatively unproductive stint in University? Uh, yeah. That's why we're rich, dummies.
the nation for sense of belonging in their community; Alberta has low university participation; and Albertans have the lowest leisure time in the nation.
In response, the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) launched the Closing the Disparity Gap Project. That project includes a multi-sector stakeholder process to generate ideas and to develop practical solutions to the problem of economic and social disparity in Alberta. This report is Phase II of that project. The research included two symposia to engage ACSW and community leaders as well as academics in discussion on the key causes of disparity and to workshop policy recommendations.
Low voter turnout is a new one, I honestly can't say I've ever heard that "inequity" is a cause of low turnout in provincial elections. Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive? If there was so much disparity going on, wouldn't the huddled masses of poor be banding together to vote NDP and bring about this glorious Worker's Paradise (minus the work, of course) that ACSW seems so keen on?
As for the issues with family violence, stalking (?!), "community participation" [defined by whom? -ed], homicide-suicide, homelessness and food bank useage, let me place the blame somewhere other than "our disparity".
An organization this intellectually bankrupt, peddling soft-Marxist nonsense long-since discredited, and with such a naive and ideologically driven lens to colour whats wrong and what to do might be honestly identified as lacking any sort of proper values. It helps when they cover it themselves in their "values" section:
The social work approach represents a fundamental shift away from the value of rugged individualism that has underpinned widened inequality and instead puts collectivity front and centre.The "value of rugged individualism" is perhaps best described in this context as the quaint notion that "if you think this is such a problem, then you go fix it". Conversely, "front and centre collectivism" is a less-enjoyable idea that "if you think this is a problem, make somebody else fix it for you". In the first case, inequality can surely happen. Some people, faced with such a problem, decide against fixing it. This may or may not be a smart idea, and depending on the person and their circumstances it could be justified or condemned by a variety of standards (not the least of which is the time-lapse problem). However, this "rugged individualism" also goes by another noble name. You may have heard of it:
I could really pick this whole thing apart line by line, but there are beers to drink and women to hit on, so I can't do this forever. What causes these "income disparities"?
The Tax Cut Agenda: The flat tax was a transfer of wealth to high-income Albertans. Middle-income Albertans actually pay more tax than in most other provinces, while the top income bracket pays by far the lowest taxes in the nation. Alberta also has the lowest corporate taxes in the nation and collects by far the lowest taxes in the nation, $10.7 billion less than BC, the next lowest province in 2008.Alberta and BC, Alberta and BC. What else do these two western provinces have in common? (No no, besides that! For heaven's sake, don't mention that!)
Of course we all know that tax cuts don't "transfer" anything. Economic activity transfers things. Poor people en masse transferred money to "high-income people" today, for example.
Delving deeper in, on page 10 (dear Lord, we're only 1/6th of the way through this damned thing!) we find "implement a living wage policy" as one of their planks. That's just it? A "living wage" for everybody? Why do they aim so low? Just raise the minimum wage to $100/hr and we can live in luxury!
Page 11 is all about raising your taxes more and more to pay for their salaries. A "progressive" (higher) income tax. Increasing corporate taxes (bye bye new hires!). Reinstating the liquor tax. Yet even more tax increases for "arts" programs -- the "I'll scratch your back" principle at work again.
Support for faggotry makes it onto Page 16. Some bullshit rainbow factory called the "Happiness Index" spills into Page 17. Page 18 has one of the most nonsensical passages ever committed to .pdf form:
For the last 20 years Alberta’s economy has exploded. Alberta has vast natural resources. This is particularly fortunate for our province as, unlike all other provinces, it does not have to create wealth but only has to manage it.Such good news that our provincial government "doesn't have to create wealth", since governments don't create wealth, they merely take it.
By Page 20 they have come to the bane of the liberal .pdf report: misleading graphs. Let's look at this one, lovingly "manipulated" from actual data by Armine Yalnizyan.
The first word that comes to mind is "duh". The top 50% of earners, chosen by definition as those making the most money, make more money than another group of equal size chosen by definition to be those making the least. Of course, it looks all very impressive here, and you're left with the impression these lines "should" be the same size. Of course, they shouldn't. Even given a standard Bell Curve of incomes and a linear progression in size, you end up with a similar looking graph.
Now lets look at the big one here:
What is this telling us? Is this telling us that since 1994 "the rich" have been getting richer while "the poor" have been getting poorer? No, what it tells us is that since 1994 "the rich" have been more plentiful. This is Parkinson's Law coming forward again: the exact condition that ACSW seems to want is happening, which makes it all the more important to make it look like some mythical "other" problem is getting in the way. One could only imagine if Phase II is successful and in 10 years even MORE people fall into the "awfully rich" category: ACSW will put an even scarier graph in this one's place, insisting that we need to let Indian women have the special right to elect twice as many MLAs as anybody else.
[Hey, look what I found on Page 22! Didn't Feynman & Coulter's Love Child just finish saying its just as easy to declare its all immigrants' fault? -ed]
Alberta is more ethnically diverse than ever. One in five Canadians is a newcomer, the highest proportion of immigrants in 75 years. Fully 79.8 per cent of Alberta’s newcomers originated from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The majority of newcomers to Alberta are concentrated in Calgary (56.8 per cent) and Edmonton (31 per cent).
Recommendation 7: The government of Alberta must re-establish the link between taxes and public services.Hey, now finally we have a great idea. If you don't pay any taxes, you don't get any public services.
Reclaiming lost tax revenue means that spending can be maintained on social programs like health care and education. Alberta could collect an extra $10 billion to $18 billion per year in taxesArgh, I knew it was too good to be true. Would-be revenue from tax hikes that aren't levied isn't collected isn't a "loss", anymore than Tim Hortons suffered a financial "loss" this morning when I made my own breakfast.
Such economic illiteracy is enough to drive a man to drink, and they don't even like that!
Alberta should reinstate the liquor tax to accomplish the twin goals of reducing consumption and raising revenues of more than $180 million.And on that note I think I really do need to go out to the bar and drink.
To summarize, what ACSW is doing is pushing a very very dangerous political agenda. The rationalization of raising people's taxes and impinging on their freedoms is completely inexcusable, and the simplistic and class/race divisions they try to stoke with their claptrap makes them nothing but a hateful group of so-called public servants eager to suck at the teat of the productive class who have continued to pay their way.
Rumour has it that Brian Labelle, son of the man who two years ago plead guilty to charges of threatening Premier Ed Stelmach and his farm, is planning to (again) challenge the NDP nomination in Edmonton-Sherwood.
One may note that in the CBC story first linked to in this post, Brian Labelle shows why he's perfect for the NDP: he has absolutely no grip of the concept of reality:
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a threat, or a break and enter with theft that the police didn’t even bother taking fingerprints at or a crime where someone entered your personal space and assaulted you with their vehicle or whatever, I’d like you to ask yourself if you were satisfied with the end result of your experience and if the Alberta Justice system bent over backwards to prosecute your attacker the way it’s now spending YOUR tax dollars hand over fist to prosecute my father for threatening to dig up the Premier’s potatoes?The thing that Labelle doesn't quite get is the difference when political figures are directly targeted by individuals like Ronald Labelle -- individuals by whom all indications point to a willingness to carry out such threats.
If Ed Stelmach the man were the target, he might have a point.
But it was Premier Ed Stelmach who was the target. And that will always carry different weight.
From the movie Role Models:
Have you ever considered that denying a black man a seat at a lunch counter also violates HIS free speech?Uh, no. Because that makes no sense.
It's Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
I whipped something up quick in Paint. There are better ones out there, but here is the false prophet himself:
Today in the Edmonton Journal they published this letter about Climate Change:
Re: " 'Lack of climate change consensus' puts feds, Alta. on collision course; Cap-and-trade program, emission reduction targets would unfairly penalize province, Wildrose Alliance leader says," by Danielle Smith, Ideas, May 12."There is clear scientific consensus" Bramley boldly declares, yet on the same Letters page today another writer noted that there's an entire page on Wikipedia directed to scientists who disagree with Global Warming. Maybe Bramley just isn't aware of this...but I don't think that's the case.
Danielle Smith is wrong when she writes that "there is no scientific consensus on the extent to which man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are affecting the climate ... and on what policy-makers should do to address it."
The world's major National Science Academies, including Canada's, have unanimously declared that "the need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable," and have called on all governments to work together to cut global emissions by 50 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050.
There is clear scientific consensus, and the world's senior scientific bodies could hardly have made it clearer what needs to be done. There is abundant analysis showing that Canada can meet and exceed the federal government's emission-reduction target, and that -- contrary to what Smith claims -- we can do so while growing a strong economy in Alberta and elsewhere. Politicians must listen, and act.
Matthew Bramley, director, climate change, Pembina Institute
So lets investigate Matthew Bramley. This is what he looks like in case you ever need to torment him on a snowy May afternoon in Edmonton. But more importantly, lets look at his job: director of climate change at Pembina Institute. The Pembina institute, commonly and mistakenly referred to as a "think-tank" is in fact a Soros-style money laundering outfit that is all about lining the pockets of liberals and encouraging more liberal (ie. bad) policy, particularly in Alberta. ["bad policy is our business, and under Stelmach business is good" was recently rejected as a fundraising slogan by Pembina. -ed] The problem is that Bramley has a vested interest in keeping the climate change scam going. The moment he starts accepting its all a load of bullshit is the exact moment that he's suddenly -- suddenly! -- out of a job.
Unlike scientists who once worked for an oil company and might do so again, Bramley is what the climate change chicken littles like to call bought and paid for -- at least, that's what they call it when they get to use it as a debating point. Not entirely sure when Bramley will admit that he's very very interested in climate change being real, and will be penniless on the streets if it turns out to be false.
Now lets look to an old canard of the climate change nutsos, which Bramley (like the good servant boy he is) brings up right quick:
There is clear scientific consensus, and the world's senior scientific bodies could hardly have made it clearer what needs to be done.What "needs to be done"? If any of the 'scientists' have said "what needs to be done" then you can discount them immediately. Science, at least in theory, shouldn't care what needs to be done. What these scientists are pushing is a political agenda: governments should do Y because of X. But if you look carefully, that's not their job: its the job of us, as liberty-loving individuals, to decide what we want to do (ideally, government wouldn't do anything). As one of the lone voices in the field of government for those who actually believe in their rights as individuals, Danielle Smith is in a unique position to affect such change. Like it or not, Bramley, its her job (and ours!) to decide, based on the reality we're faced with, to decide how to handle it.
And if the answer is "deal with climate change and keep doing what we're doing", what should the scientists have against that? They can tell us if X is happening or not (which you may find several of them lose interest in doing without the ability to tell us to do the Y that they wanted to do anyways), and should let us know about ramifications and paths to take in the various Ys we consider so that we know what the end result Z would look like, but the decision on how to act is rightly in the hands of the people.
That would be you, dear reader: the same people whose economic prosperity Bramley is willing to sell out in order to satisfy his own. You know what he looks like. Maybe he should be getting a lecture in "how to butt the hell out" the next time you see him: even if its +30 in February.
With the news that CBC has begun self-examining for news bias, the question is how they will do it.
We can now reveal that a draft copy of the CBC employee survey to determine if CBC news is biased in its reporting of the current party in power in Ottawa has been provided to Third Edge of the Sword by
a naked Wendy Mesley anonymous source.
Without further adieu:
Two things Arnold can't do:
1) Make important fundamental changes to California without help from the unions that ruined the state in the first place.
So hey, Muslims, how is that ban on your devout followers depicting your child-raping false prophet Mohammed who brings a message from Satan working out for you?
Let's see, here. When you consult Google for pictures of Prophet Mohammed, you get this picture:
And when you check for pictures of Jesus Christ, you get this picture:
I dunno, you would think in this modern visual age that having a few inspiring shots of the child-raping false prophet Mohammed who brings a message from Satan would come in handy. But nope, you've cleverly let only those opposed to your religion take the monopoly on depicting him.
We salute you, good sirs!
Another spring, another batch of overdoses of e in the City of
Friends and a teacher of a 19-year-old girl suspected of taking ecstasy at a rave the night before she died want her death to serve as a reminder of the dangers of drugs.
Anna Maria Blikowski, a University of Alberta student, went to the Wonderland rave at the Edmonton Event Centre on Friday and died the following day.
“I just wish her death isn’t in vain and people do learn from this,” said Tatiana Poseluzny, a friend of Anna’s.
She is planning a night of remembrance in the next few weeks at Anna’s former workplace, Vinyl Retro Dance Lounge on Jasper Avenue.
The evening will serve as a memorial and night of awareness to highlight the risks of taking drugs, said Poseluzny, 18.
“It’s truly a tragedy to have lost her so young. She had the world at her feet and it’s truly devastating to see that happen to someone like that.”
After an autopsy an official cause of death could not be determined, said Dennis Caufield, senior medical investigator.
Toxicology results are expected in up to five months, Caufield said.
Wait, where is that night of remembrance going to be held? Seriously? Seriously? Do you people learn nothing?
She is planning a night of remembrance in the next few weeks at Anna’s former workplace, Vinyl Retro Dance Lounge on Jasper Avenue.At which event somebody else will die of an ecstasy overdose as well.
Note: If you were curious about the parties, this list of the parties involved in the vote is a good place to start.