2012-04-30

Tottenham's finest?

Wow, you mean I can open for you, guy I've never heard of?



No matter how many times I watch this, I just keep hearing "send me something with heart, send me something with passion, and the slut's yours".

Airmiles FAIL

Failure #1: When you get an email from Airmiles, you can select to go to Airmiles.ca directly from the email. Inexplicably, there's no way to log onto your account at Airmiles.ca from the email.

Failure #2: Read this disclaimer carefully:

So your bonus Airmiles (say, with a coupon) don't show up until long after you've forgotten ever using the coupon. That's messed up.

2012-04-29

Where are they now?

An update from this 2007 blogpost featuring two young girls in revealing bathing suits that were featured in the Edmonton SUN. (Cosh's link only shows the barest of sights, the SUN's link has long since died).

Well, Krista Eymundson of Edmonton was 21 at the time. Today,

Krista joined us middle of 2011 for some urgently needed secretarial help but very quickly was infected by the Unirope 'wire rope bug'.
Which means something, I suppose.

For the three curious readers, no update on "teacup chihuahua" Bugsy.

Back Off, Get Your Own Sandwich

Stabbing is our thing, Calgary. You already have Stampede Divorces, and we've been nice enough to let you keep that without any Fringe or Klondike Days pregnancy bumps.

So can you just let us keep the stabbing thing, please?

2012-04-28

This never would have happened if we had a male Premier

Seven people are dead, following a head-on crash that shutdown Highway 63 near Wandering River, Friday afternoon.

Wood Buffalo RCMP were called to the scene sometime after 1pm Friday. Investigators say two pick-up trucks slammed into each other killing six people, and leaving three others with serious or critical injuries.

The three injured, including a female teen and a young boy, were flown by STARS Air Ambulance to hospital in Edmonton.

Later that evening RCMP released an update that the teenage female succumbed to her injuries.
Related: Fatal highway collision near Hanna

2012-04-25

My God, It's Full of Stars High Draft Picks

The City of Edmonton today released their plans for a possible new downtown arena in Edmonton.

The designs look very out-of-place with everything else in the area, which speaks to Sleazy Mandel's vision of crazy architecture to slowly turn Edmonton into that city from the opening sequence of the movie Serenity. With stabbings.

Of course, its odd that all the scenes seem to be in the summer. Colby Cosh has already asked what a snowfall will do to the building.

More importantly though, is this question: Who have they got lined up who will be able to build this curved monstrosity for $350 million dollars in Edmonton in 2015?

The Second Most Offensive Oreo Ad This Month

Right after "Oreos are dark on the outside but white inside. Just like George Zimmerman.

Adolf Hitler is an awesome writer


From the Washington Post: "German state prepares for “Mein Kampf” copyright expiry
While “Mein Kampf” isn’t actually banned in Germany, Bavaria has over the years used its ownership of the copyright to block publication. But it acknowledges it won’t be able to once the copyright expires, 70 years after the author’s death.

Bavaria’s finance minister, Markus Soeder, said the idea of a version aimed at students — financed by the state government — was a reaction to concerns that the book will then be freely available and could circulate without commentary among young people, German news agency dapd reported.
As the post title states, Adolf Hitler is clearly an incredible writer. Unless his book is only available in a heavily annotated and bastardized [basterdized? -ed] form, the young children of Germany will again fall under his hypnotic spell, embracing judenhassen with renewed vigour.

In fairness, this isn't unique to the almost-70-years-deceased Fuhrer. We've seen that Karl Marx inspires a similar popularity and intense devotion in his readers, despite a couple centuries and a 10-figure body count teaching us how bankrupt his ideals are.

Of course, the Marxist philosophy fits in well with the warped mind of young students being taught by aged hippies insulated from the effects of the real world. Fortunately, no young people with warped minds are coming up the German pipeline...

2012-04-24

After 3 1/2 years of Hope and Change, surprising its not Mad Monkey Disease

Stephen Harper's far too nice.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Tuesday that the latest finding would not affect trade between the US and Canada.

Turning R-CALF's own medicine against them would be pretty sweet, wouldn't it?

If its an NDP civil war, bank on the side in favour of privately held firearms

How divisive and damaging to the NDP brand will Thomas Mulcair be?

Bruce Hyer has quit the federal New Democrats, electing to sit as an Independent member of Parliament, weeks after being at odds with his party about the end of the long-gun registry.

The decision by one of the party's northern Ontario MPs marks the second time this year the federal NDP has suffered a resignation from its caucus, the first being Lise St-Denis, who now sits as a Liberal.

While murmurs and rumblings of a defection preceded that announcement, Hyer's resignation Monday was so abrupt that NDP leader-Thomas Mulcair said he learned of the news two minutes before the daily question period kicked off in the afternoon.
Let's just say that at this point the Raj Sherman Liberals are saying dude, I think you chose the wrong guy.

The Vancouver Canucks second round starts when the previous foursome finishes their putts


In an event almost as exciting as the first day of Christmas, Yahoo PuckDaddy has posted this season's Vancouver Canucks post-playoff eulogy.

Highlight of this year's:

Poor Roberto Luongo, who lost two games in this series and will almost certainly be shipped out of town this summer, but hooray for Cory Schneider, who lost two games in this series and will be sticking around. One day, he may even play so well that he gets to sign a big, long extension and enjoying life as the undisputed No. 1 guy until Eddie Lack comes along to show him up and everyone from the team to the media masses on his front lawn with pitchforks and torches, as is the rite for every Vancouver goaltender.
Highlights of last year's (which was far better):
Oh how they told us it would be different this year.  What was it you said after the Hawks were defeated? "They've slayed the dragon?" Well, it doesn't really help if you slay the dragon but the town is still destroyed. It helps less if you destroy the town yourself.
Hey, you there, lighting the car on fire. We know how you in B.C. like to medicate yourselves in times of stress, but you can't hotbox an entire province. Save that for your car or bathroom. Oh? What? Oh is that Canucks fans acting without any class? Sorry, I should have guessed. Anyway, let's move on.

Fear not Nucks fans, this can be a time of learning. You….what? I'm sorry, what did you say? "Learning"? It means to acquire knowledge for future use. You're not familiar with that? Well, stick with us here, you might be. I know, it's going to be rough, but I promise you'll get through it. And put that Molotov cocktail down, you still look like a wanker.
In the first draft of this, I surmised that you should be happy you lost. Because winning would have given you an identity, and that's not what you are. You're Western Canada's faceless team. No history, no tradition, you're basically the Pacific Time Zone Senators.

Your other neighbors there in the West have Cups and Hall of Famers and classic uniforms. You? You have a statue of a guy bitching about the refs immortalized. Oh, and Trevor Linden got a gate named after him. All your so-called rituals are stolen. Your Green Men? Taken from "It's Always Sunny." Your towels? Preceded in Pittsburgh by a decade. Your PA announcer's "Woo!" after goal announcements? Taken from your most recent conquerors. Your colors? Whaler-colors. Your original logo is the most perfect, non-descript in every way, giving no indication as to what you are or what you do.

And based on the damage around the city, apparently you've decided to adapt the Montreal method for dealing with loss. You couldn't even be original in your pathetic-ness. Maybe the problem is hitting the ice to U2. Are all your fans single women over 30? Apt that it's "Where The Streets Have No Name." They don't now, you burned all the signs.

But in the clear of the morning, I and all of us have come to realize that these playoffs did give you an identity. You are clearly marked out as a classless organization and fanbase, and a gutless team. That will go down in history.

Think about what you've accomplished. You couldn't rally the country of Canada around you in the least, and they'd get behind 13 hobos and a sloth if they thought it might bring back the Cup across the border for the first time since 1993.

Post #1900, baby!



Thanks in no small part to the hugely successful (in number of posts) Alberta Election campaign.

Red Redford secures majority

"You know the PM’s motto – in defeat, malice; in victory, revenge"

Don't blame me, I voted for Jeff Willerton.

2012-04-23

Three more hours...

Well, it's time to take the garbage out and then go vote for the Wildrose Party.

Wait...those are exactly the same thing!



2012-04-22

Why I'm Voting For Wildrose / Why I'm Voting Against the Redford PCs

It's been common the past few days to talk about why people are voting Wildrose on April 23rd. The best of the bunch is probably Steve C. Britton's:

10. Conscience Rights. Yep. That’s on the list. Why? Because, for a society to be truly free, people must be able to act in accordance with their conscience! Freedom of conscience is already protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and merely means that someone will continue to be free to refer a potential client to another service provider if what the client wants done goes against the conscience of the provider. Without this provision, people will be forced to act against their deeply held religious morals and beliefs. People will be compelled to provide service when they otherwise would not. People would not be free. A state that forces people to do something against their wishes and better judgement is not a state within which I wish to live. The idea of having Official State Morality forced upon me is far more terrifying than the idea of being free to act (or freely choose not to act) in accordance with my conscience.

9. Fiscal responsibility. The Wildrose government will balance the budget within this fiscal year – a feat the PC’s haven’t managed since 2008 when Ed Stelmach took the reins of power. In a resource-rich province like Alberta, there is no reason at all that we should have problems with deficits. Even when the oil price tanks (which, given the price of gasoline, it clearly hasn’t)

8. Respect for our service providers. Schools, school boards, doctors, nurses, and all the other public service providers will be treated with respect. They will know the position of the government in terms of contract negotiations for union employees, and they will not be threatened, intimidated, or bullied into silence.

7. Respect for the rule of law. The PC party has – last I saw – 73 counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions. The Wildrose Party, being “fresh”, won’t have the deep “old boy’s club” connections that exist within the PC Party. Also, the Wildrose Party, in government, will be accountable to the public through recall, so if anything untoward starts to surface, the constituents can get rid of the MLA in question. (See #6)

6. Recall and referendum legislation. Imagine being able to pull a corrupt MLA out of the legislature. Imagine holding them to account between elections. You voted for the guy, he’s messing up, or he’s got his hands in the cookie jar. Now you can get him the hell out of there – and he knows it! Imagine forcing the government to slow down on a contentious bill. Imagine forcing the legislature to take a bill to the public rather than ramming it through with little or no consultation with the public. Imagine if that had been possible with the GST back in 1991… Were would the GST be now? It worked for BC, and it can work for here too. And no, a bunch of men won’t be able to force a referendum on invoking the Notwithstanding Clause to delist abortion.

5. Legislated free votes. This is how the legislature is SUPPOSED to work in the first place. Parties have a platform and a shared set of ideals, but inside the confines of the Legislature, each MLA is an independent. They may agree to sit together in caucuses, and agree to support the government as appointed by the Monarch (represented by the Lieutenant Governor) but beyond that, each proposed piece of legislation should pass or fail on its own merits.

4. Standing up for our oil sands. On this front, Danielle Smith is right on, and Alison Redford is, well, bananas.

3. A sense of humour. The campaign bus. ’Nuff said.

2. Respect for free speech. By refusing to punish a candidate for expressing his deeply held religious views, Danielle Smith showed that she respects a variety of diverse opinion. That is refreshing. Alison Redford wanted the guy fired. Why? For telling people what his Christian beliefs are about homosexuality? As Danielle Smith said – Hate Speech is a criminal code offence. If someone thinks a candidate has committed a crime, then call the police. But expressing an opinion about what happens to a person after they die based upon their behaviour during their life? That’s not hate speech. And, quite frankly, by demanding that Danielle Smith punish a person for expressing their opinion, Alison Redford has outed herself as a bigot.

And the number 1 reason I am voting Wildrose:

1. It will piss the bigots, haters, mudslingers, and all the others who are engaging in a campaign of outright terrorism (manipulation through fear) off.
Number one is really all you need, isn't it? Other really good examples have been Rick Newcombe's 40 reasons, and Angry in Alberta's three reasons.

Well, what about Yours Truly? As it so happens, I've been blogging regularly about the horrors of the PC party, and now I present my reasons for voting Wildrose. You could probably also name this why I am not voting for the "Progressive" "Conservatives":
  1. "Drunk" driving legislation
  2. "Distracted" driving legislation
  3. I like keeping my guns. I mean, I really like keeping my guns.
  4. Trying to tear up contracts for the tarsands
  5. Giving taxpayer money to teachers unions
  6. Alan Hunsperger. Yes, the Edmonton Public School Board does need its wings clipped
  7. Edmonton City Centre Airport
  8. Redford raising taxes and lying about it
  9. Redford's war on religion
  10. Ron Leech was right
  11. Minimum drink pricing
  12. Body armour bans
  13. Drivers license scanning by the Hell's Angels
  14. Photo radar, red light cameras, and "speed on green" cameras
  15. Homeschooling
  16. Conscience Rights
  17. Giving Albertans their "fair share" of the oil money
  18. Loosening the shackles on public healthcare
  19. Alberta Firewall
  20. Bill 44
  21. Illegal campaign contributions
  22. Section three of the Human Rights Act
  23. Powerlines and property rights
  24. Al Michalchuk
  25. PC subservience to unions
  26. PC overspending
  27. Premier Mom
  28. PCs botching immunizations while David Swann lies about it
  29. No medical exemption for service dogs
  30. Danielle Smith
  31. Gary Mar
  32. Lowering, not raising, the drinking age
  33. Entil'Zha

Conscience Rights and the one-dimensional attacks against Wildrose

It’s been a long campaign, hasn’t it? It started in late March, and in April really ramped up. Third Edge of the Sword has been leading this charge, bringing you huge amounts of content letting you know why the “Progressive” “Conservative” Party needs to be removed from power, and why Alison “Red” Redford needs to be kicked out of the Premier’s chair before she can do anymore damage.

We’ve talked about their abysmal record on traffic policy, with stupid new laws related to both “distracted” and “drunk” driving. For those freaking out that Danielle Smith is so “anti-science” that she hasn’t sold her SUV and started wearing animal dung instead of polyester in deference to a theory of “global warming”, you’re still awfully silent on the “Progressive” “Conservative”s abandoning any actual science on those files. When Red Redford’s nanny-state hobby horses are involved, damn the science. We also covered red light cameras and photo radar.

We’ve talked about their weird legislative efforts at shutting down the hospitality industry. Along with “drunk driving” changes, they have increased prices for drinks so that only the elite can afford to drink regularly. Oh, and the violent people who are causing problems – including of course gangs – aren’t really affected by this. Similarly, they’ve decided to bring in an anti-gang initiative that lets criminal enterprises violate your privacy rights and tell police who need to be let in and kept out of bars.

We’ve talked about the money they’ve been spending: wasting money on teachers and increasing your taxes to do it. We’ve talked about how Red Redford’s government has been wrecking the economy by tearing up contracts that they disagree with.

In the meantime, we’ve talked about their impositions on your freedom, both your freedom to protect yourself from violence and your freedom to educate your children how you see fit. We’ve talked about their arrogant belief that you shouldn’t be allowed to defend yourself on your property.

We've defended private healthcare and attacked some far-left hobby horses, as well as highlighting a very personal problem.

We’ve talked about their horrendous decision to invent a human right to effeminence, talked about their mishandling of powerlines, and even brought up their bizarre decision to sacrifice people with medical conditions in the name of service animals.


We've had some fun too, with giving the official blog endorsements on a riding-by-riding level, presented a dream Facebook invite, expressing support for Wildrose candidate Hunsperger, drafting Ralph Klein, liveblogging the debate, making a YouTube farewell video, and taking a .22 to a picture of Red Redford herself. All in all, we've fulfilled the promise we made to you in March and fought against the Redford goal of pussifying our society.

We've also covered Redford's coverup of illegal campaign donations, Redford's attacks on religious beliefs, Lukaszuk's possible lying about houses, a bizarre thing to be upset about Wildrose for in campaign ads, an outrageous "I'm voting PC video", attacked the Alberta Liberal's opinion on taxation, and defending Ron Leech.

We also talked, early on in the campaign, about Conscience Rights. Conscience Rights came about, as I’m sure several of you know, when Edmonton blogger KikkiPlanet decided that because Wildrose supported Conscience Rights, that she could no longer support the party. A little irrational, you might say, but that’s what happens when people let the sodomite agenda continue unabated in our province. Anyways, her little rant got all the usual progressives in the fagosphere up in arms, resulting in sympathetic articles in queer-friendly newspapers and the rest of the mainstream media.

So KikkiPlanet got to talk about Conscience Rights, which of course the “Progressive” “Conservative” Party also supports…or at least supported enough to put into legislation. The NDP and the Liberals and the Alberta Party all vow to oppose Conscience Rights, which is a little odd since the Supreme Court of Canada has made it very clear that their interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires Conscience Rights in at least some form are required by provincial governments and since the 5-year timeframe for the Notwithstanding Clause has expired, no government (Liberal, NDP, “Progressive Conservative”, Wildrose, or fake-Alberta Party) can ever take those away. If Brian Mason was Premier tomorrow, in 2016 his government would honour Conscience Rights for doctors. A Wildrose government may be able to expand this to include marriage commissioners, but they certainly couldn’t remove the existing rights if they wanted to.

So that makes it a pretty much dead issue. Except KikkiPlanet is still talking about Conscience Rights. And still. And still. (oh, wait, brief anger about "intolereance" from somebody who can't handle the word 'retarded'.). And then back to Conscience Rights. And still. And still. This makes this hot topic, which has excited newsmedia and far-left bloggers and Red Redford partisans, a single dead issue. This is pretty much all she’s got. She’ll worry about the entirely true things said by Alan Hunsperger, but as soon as she can she’ll turn it back to Conscience Rights.

While Third Edge of the Sword has been talking about a wide variety of topics this election, the various crimes against the people of Alberta that have been perpetrated by the “Progressive” “Conservative” Party, all KikkiPlanet and her sodomist-loving pals have had is this one irrelevant issue.

Even if you’re dumb enough to think it was important in the first place, you probably can’t justify it overruling every other concern. The election is tomorrow. Get that loathsome woman out of the Premier's chair.

Red Redford's arrogrance

And for some this election, it's all about this...
Far from wanting to keep guilty parties secret, Mr. Gibson expressed some frustration at the department of the Justice Minister (both before and during Ms. Redford’s tenure) refusing to press charges in the cases where he found adequate evidence to hand over to them.

The Justice department’s prosecutors refused to follow up on any of the 19 cases against the PC party referred to them by Gibson. Furthermore, Redford kept the details of the non-prosecuted investigations hush-hush, stating in Question Period that she did not want to disclose information wherein “honest mistakes” may have been the source for the errors. (Question Period, February 19, 2009).

Redford also rejected calls to follow the lead of BC and Manitoba and mandate that a special prosecutor handle all cases where there is a request to investigate the activities of a political party, especially the governing party where there is a clear conflict of interest.

Under Redford’s Election Act, the PC party is immune from any prosecutions or fines going back beyond April 22, 2010, and there is a three-year statute of limitations. This means that the PC party is heading into this election with unknown illegal gains, even from within the 2008-12 election cycle.

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: photo radar and speed-on-green cameras

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Do you enjoy having your local municipality taking your picture in order to send you a bill for the crime of driving down your street? If you answered no to that, and of course most everybody just did, you have the "Progressive" "Conservative" party to thank.

This is in fact where Ed Stelmach caught this blog's attention way back when he was Minister of Transportation: it's illegal in Alberta to park in front of a photo radar van. This kind of bizarre enforcement and its necessary bizarre rules are the forefront of the "Progressive" "Conservative" attack on your liberties (and indeed the traffic laws).

You see, when municipalities asked for the power to put up photo radar vans, the province begrudgingly (this was in Ralph's day) decided to accept them. There was a catch, though: a series of rules and policies were put in place governing the use of the devices, the notification of them, and the application of them. In 2006, the Klein government, hearing feedback from the public, brought in tougher rule changes to coincide with the allowance of red light cameras. The City of Edmonton and its corrupt police service decided to ignore them, refusing to put up proper signage of restrict the areas of use as called for the in regulations.

Transportation Minister Ed Stelmach did nothing. In 2009, when the "speed on green cameras" cameras came about, new and absolutely toothless regulation was added, basically giving rough suggestions and allowing municipalities to do as they wished. We've seen what Red Redford thinks about your rights on the road, so don't be surprised if she wins tomorrow to see more onerous rules and more lax enforcement of police violations in the future. You heard it here first.

The problem from an actual safety perspective of all this enforcement, of course, is that you have people slowing down for the 250 metres they pass the camera and then resume. These rapid changes in speed, far more than the speed itself, is a serious cause of accidents. You've all seen us doing it (and yes, I'm a proud member of this club): barreling down the Yellowhead at about 110 in the 70 zone, coming up on the 107th street intersection (complete with speed on green cameras in both directions), slamming down to 70, passing the intersection, and resuming to 110. I did a similar maneuvre with a photo radar van earlier today. It's natural, its what people do, and of course longtime blog readers will know that the speed limits (particularly in Edmonton, but indeed province-wide) are far too low and the police bragging about silly enforcement statistics won't change that.

Of course, even if you think speeding is a problem, it's pretty clear that the cameras aren't changing that. It's just police collecting taxes on the side of the road. A tax collection job that seems to them more important than investigating actual crimes. It's why civil forfeiture is such a bad idea: anything where the enforcement of the law benefits the officers involved is bound to be fraught with problems. Anybody who remembers the infamous ACS scandal in Edmonton or the Devon ticket blitz is well aware of that.

Alberta has brought in a foolish system to catch a non-crime and try to solve a perceived problem that couldn't be solved even if the rest of the system worked. It's like a microcosm of Kyoto right here in Alberta.

Fortunately, there is a way to punish the "Progressive" "Conservative" Party and Alison "Red" Redford for this (and other) bad pieces of legislation put out by her party since the dawn of the millennium: vote them out.

There is a strong right-wing alternative: Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party of Alberta. The Wildrose Party's member approved policies contain this line:

11. The Wildrose Alliance supports a review of traffic policing across the province to clearly determine what works and what doesn’t and to amend legislation to remove all financial incentives to traffic law enforcement in Alberta.
Getting rid of municipal roadside tax collection means that cities no longer can snap pictures of you driving faster than a random name on the side of the road. With actual resources being required to enforce these laws without their cut of the cash, watch municipal governments decide they have more important things to worry about.

On April 23rd, you can vote Wildrose and see the end of photo radar.

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: abridging your right to criticize an offensive lifestyle choice

(Bonus link for new visitors: this post is part of a series. You can read the other entries from this portal page if you enjoyed this one)

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Today this trip down memory lane takes us to 2009 (boy that was a lousy year!), and you can read the disgusting legislation here, but that's the day that the Alberta Government, well...there's no polite way to say this:

They enshrined fake rights for faggots.

That's really the thing you need to remember about the infamous "Bill 44". Fudge packers now have the "right" not to be criticized. That's right folks, no matter what your opinion of their disgusting lifestyle, no matter what you think a tiny minority who (typically as a reaction to sexual abuse) chose a course of action you fundamentally disagree with, you're not allowed to say anything about it.

You cannot decide that you don't want them in your home (well, officially). Your freedom of association is just a nasty old artifact of a bygone era in the Ed Stelmach/Red Redford universe.

The mistake, of course, was shoving government into the private sphere in the first place. Whatever you may think about legislation letting the government decide if you could refuse to rent your downstairs suite to a blind person or whether you could hire a Chinaman, the end result of it was that the government has now taken control of your downstairs suite, taken control of your place of business. It was only a matter of time before their next flavour-of-the-week, faggotry, was added to the list of prohibitions to which you had lost sovereignty over your realm.

That's where Bill 44 came in. All of the good work being done in Alberta to keep the Vriend case at bay, and Stelmach's soft-left PC party goes and ruins it in a stroke. One of the big beefs about Klein was that on social issues he reverted way too quickly to his Trudopean instincts: he would take a good game about putting up legislative fences, then refuse to actually put them up. His failure led to the Stelmach mishandling of the Bill 44 file. Again:

Fake rights for faggots.

Probably the craziest thing about this bill was how the sodomite-lovers were agonizing over one specific section of the bill: one that simply stated that parents had the right to exclude their child from classroom discussions of moral issues. Seeing as how the school system and their far-left teachers union (the ATA) only give your children one side -- the wrong one -- of those issues, it was only the smallest of olive branches for parents that, at the same time as ass pirates were getting special rights protecting their sick perversions from criticism, they at least had the power to tell the education bureaucrats to go suck a lemon. Libertarians argue that schools are reeducation centres devoted to instilling in children an unholy belief in the good and great powers of government, indoctrinating the nation's kids into their own narrow ideological framework. With the opposition to Bill 44, the ATA basically said "uh, yeah, that's pretty much accurate". They wanted their teachers to be able to teach children their perspective. Not "share" or "tell"...teach. Hence, teachers freaked out with the provisions that from here on in, if they taught material in the classroom designed to clash with traditional religious or cultural beliefs, they would become subject to investigation and prosecution from Alberta's Human Rights Commission.

Oh no, not the Human Rights Commission!
Yet oddly enough, the teachers and their union goon friends and their idiots from far-far-left parties like the Alberta NDP and Alberta Liberals and their buddies in the media were huge fans of the HRC and its quasi-judicial kangaroo-court style method of meting out justice. They still are! Raj Sherman glowingly mentioned the HRC twice during the leadership debate, for example, a fact that was not lost on myself and a few others. This wonderful HRC that with a gentle gloved hand strokes smooth a few of the minor rough bristles of the people of the province, but it always completely fair and impartial, where a hearing is barely of any effort on concern to undertake.

Yet it's so onerous and nefarious and unfair that being under its influence scared the living shit out of teachers.

Of course, I'm being facetious: we know the real reason that teachers were scared of Bill 44: because the Human Rights Commission is dangerous, it is onerous, it is a living nightmare to be under their gaze for so much as a quarter second. We've all seen the chilling video of Ezra Levant forced to justify his speech before an inquisitor of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and breathed a silent sigh of relief that it wasn't us having to justify why we talked about a worldwide news story. As I said at the time:
Why should teachers not have to live in mortal fear of being hauled in front of tribunals that don't require facts (which Alberta Teachers are notoriously short on anyways) while everybody else does.
Now that teachers have fallen under the same yoke, has there been any derision of the HRC itself? Of course not: they just want their exemption back. Red Redford once claimed that she was in favour of repealing Section 3 of the HRC's charter entirely. That, by the way, would have given you back your rights to say things about ass pirates that they disagree with (a right which has already been lost forever in England, birthplace of our liberties). Redford has since reneged on her promise, which should surprise precisely nobody: she doesn't believe in individuals having rights, only allowances that she, our noble state master, will confer upon as at her whim.

The reclaiming of our rights in Canada will be a difficult road, though in Alberta we come with a natural advantage: we are Albertan, and Albertans still have a large enough segment of the population [that's you, our wised and learned reader! -ed] who understand the danger of positive rights being doled out by Redford-style state overseers, who have figured out that those who are fearful and mistrusting of a Wildrose government are just too dense to realize that it was their "progressive" ideas to give government more and more power in the first place, and are the brave yeomen who know that our government exists as a convenience for we the people.

We have the power. Not the mace that sits in the assembly chamber, not pederast special interest groups, and not a 30-year old piece of paper on display in Ottawa. We have it.

Fortunately, there is a way to punish the "Progressive" "Conservative" Party and Alison "Red" Redford for this (and other) bad pieces of legislation put out by her party since the dawn of the millennium: vote them out.

There is a strong right-wing alternative: Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party of Alberta. Every journey begins with a single step, and Wildrose has pledged to repeal the offensive Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act. We've heard (seemingly endlessly) about how a Wildrose Government will be doing no more than that. That's fine. That's a much needed step, keeping people with valid religious objections and strong personal feelings able to express and discuss them: from there, that provides the springboard to be able to speak out against the sodomite agenda and rewin the fights in our homes, our places of business, and our associations.

From a single acorn can span the mighty oak. Tomorrow, that Wildrose acorn can break out of the dung hill that the Red Redford "Progressive" "Conservative" party is festering in, and one vote can help restore your real rights.

(Bonus link for new visitors: this post is part of a series. You can read the other entries from this portal page if you enjoyed this one)

From the a scene we'd like to see dept


2012-04-21

This. Is. Alberta!

"See, rumor has it the British Columbians have already turned you down, and if those philosophers and, uh, boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve..."

Western Canada's contribution to the Twitter world

I've been meaning to discuss this one for a while: on Twitter, most western Canadian cities have brought out 3 letter hashtags representing the IATA codes for their cities.

It began in Edmonton (CYEG), and spread from there. Now, whenever you need to talk about Edmonton on Twitter, you use #yeg (as the referral tags on this blog use as well) and people know what you're talking about. This only works in western Canada, tragically. Especially in North America, this could really take off. It does, after all, have a great deal of advantages:

  1. It's short: the 140 character Twitter limit really requires you to craft your comments very very carefully. As a worst case scenario you "lose" 6 characters using "#yeg". Here's an example of what I mean:
    Kevin Kromm knows how to use a defibrillator. He saved a life. Volunteering is about stepping up before being asked. Thanks Kevin! #yyc
    The meat of the tweet ends at "Kevin!" In a lot of tweets, the punctuation at the end would be a period, and likely superfluous. Assuming the period wouldn't be strictly necessary, add the period + the space + # + the three letters of the IATA code. In other situations you lose none. Replace "Calgary" in the middle of a tweet with "#yyc" and you've replaced 7 letters with 4. #Montreal, of course, would just be #yul which also avoids having to distinguish between #Montreal and #Montréal as well: an extra advantage. 
  2. It's unique. Vancouver is both a city in British Columbia and also Washington State right next door (which, lets be honest, is silly and makes no sense). However, the Vancouver airport in BC is YVR while the airport in Washinton is VUO. This way both cities have their own hashtag which doesn't interefere with the Twitter enjoyment of the other. I couldn't imagine having to dig through the feed to find information about my town if I lived in Denver City, Texas (TX2)
  3. It's easy to look up for somebody who isn't a native to the town. I've never been to Denver City, Texas: but I can look up the IATA code for its airport as well as anybody. Which ties into...
  4. It's the same for the whole city. Very few burgs have multiple airports, and those that do typically have a major one. The rare exceptions, like "#nyc" for New York probably wouldn't be that numerous to have as anything but a well known exception.
  5. It's easy to determine which tag to use for a city. Toronto, I believe, uses "#Toronto". But some people like "#TO" because its shorter, but then it gets confused for Terrel Owens. Is it "#NewOrleans" or "#BigEasy" or "#NOLA"? If I was thinking about going to New Orleans or talking about my vacation there, I might want to ask questions or get involved with the local Twitter community. A smaller centre, like say Prince George, may stymie an American tourist. Do they use "#PG" or "#PGeorge" or "#PriGeo" or "#LandFullofSmellyNativeGirls"? Without the western Canadian standard universal across Twitter, they'll tragically never know the real answer is "#yxs" or at the very least not understand why.
With all these advantages are there any disadvantages? Well, one...

If Mandel gets his way, Leduc won't have a code of its own...

What did you do yesterday?

I did this!

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: that powerline thing

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Today this trip down memory lane takes us to, well, a few years really, where the Alberta Government tried to build a bunch of power lines. You can read the various offending legislation here and here.

I can’t say the powerline thing has been a big problem for me. Indeed, it’s probably the deadest issue that I can think of. But for huge swathes of rural Alberta, the kind that have inexplicably jumped on Loopy Joe Anglin as their saviour, it seems to matter.
For the most part, when it comes to powerlines, I’m on the “Progressive” “Conservative”’s side: Alberta is experiencing rapid growth. A larger and more reliable power grid will be required, and unlike second rate jurisdictions like Ontario or California it would be nice if we could accurately gauge the demand and have the infrastructure in place before it becomes a problem. Rolling brownouts is not the Alberta Advantage I signed up for!

The primary problem with how they’ve done the powerlines is they had to make it political early, and they had to try and bully through the lines without simply compensating the people who’s land the powerlines are built on. At the end of the day, just like what Kevin O’Leary said about the Keystone pipeline, those high-voltage power lines will have to be built. For people like Loopy Joe Anglin, who happen to be landowners leeches in the area between Edmonton and Calgary (or for that matter, Lethbridge and Fort McMurray), this means there’s going to be a powerline or two in your neighbourhood. Of course, your neighbourhood is projected to be one of the world’s richest patches of land, so on balance things there are going pretty well.

Indeed, the pipeline analogy is a good one: like powerlines, they run across property and limit (somewhat) what landowners can do on them. Unlike oil wells which come in, take what they need, and leave, these stay on the property indefinitely. Finally, for those freaking out that these powerlines may be used to sell power to the Americans, what the flying fuck do you think happens to the oil in those pipelines? Most farmers are pretty cool with the whole pipeline thing, so again the ultimate problem was simply a compensation one: as Danielle Smith said, fair compensation for the loss of utility on the land is required.

So if you’re mad at Red Redford over powerlines, fine. Vote them out on the basis of that if you must. Let’s just be realistic about these lines? They may not be required for the power grid today. They may not be required in ten years. They probably should be planned out so that they are only built within the timefence of the required demand (minimizing the impact on landowners). They will, however, need to be built, no matter what NDP-loving landowners leeches have to say about it.

I’m reminded, as I was the last time I wrote on this topic, that Joe Anglin doesn’t own a single piece of land and has never worked a plow in his life. He’s an American who married an Anglican lady preacher and just signs onto whatever political party is available to promote his blind ambition. Which is why I didn’t endorse him on Friday.

There is a strong right-wing alternative: Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party of Alberta. I'm pretty sure they'll back you on the powerline thing.

Red Redford shouldn't be mentioning the RCMP

One of the new (frighteningly more effective than their sillier ones from early on in the campaign) TV ads asks if the Wildrose “firewall” is really what you want. The answer, of course, is yes. Oddly enough though, when the ad discussed the problems they said it would “create adversaries when the oilsands need allies” and that the Wildrose dared to “replace the RCMP”. Which, of course, brings up a minor problem: the RCMP aren’t going anywhere, because Red Redford’s government extended their contract.


The “firewall” was a classic bit of Ralph Klein: big talk, no real action. When it came to conservative principles and actions, Ralph always needed to be talked into them. Wildrose strategist Tom Flanagan is the granddaddy of the firewall (with Ted Morton as one of the lieutenants: another sign of how the Red Redford government is quick to sell the talents of one of its own members under the bus), and one of the basic principles is doing everything already within the Government of Alberta’s constitutional powers to insulate it from bad decisions made in Ottawa. The replacement of the RCMP is no small part of that. Indeed, its one of the key elements.

Do you remember the name Brian Knight? You should. He’s the proud yeoman of Alberta who found himself being charged for gun related offenses. Specifically, he shot a man who was on his property. Unlike Trayvon Martin, this dude didn’t die. Unlike Zimmerman, it’s not even a question as to the circumstances. When Brian Knight woke up in the middle of the night, he saw the men who has been stealing from area farms. So he gathered a posse together and dealt with the problem. He even called the Bashaw RCMP and let them know when he’d caught the fucker (it wasn’t easy). The problem was that the poor innocent robber had been shot in the ass at a distance from a shotgun.

As Colby Cosh wrote at the time, perhaps in Alberta some cultural awareness for RCMP officers should be mandatory: he suggested the reading of John Locke. This spoke a bit to the problem, and the reason that the firewall encouraged replacing the RCMP with an Alberta-run police form similar to the OPP in Ontario: the RCMP, as is implied by that C in their name, are Canadian, not Albertan. They are beholden to the federal government. I remember one of the early Alberta Alliance general meetings where policy was being created: when the topic of criminal records checks for people wishing to run as MLA came up, there was a debate about whether they should just as a blank slate prohibit criminals from running in the party. Forgetting the long history of criminal-cum-legislator (Louis Riel comes immediately to everybody’s mind), the point that won the day is that a Liberal Government in Ottawa could easily decide who could be running for the Alberta Alliance, and that being in violation of some of the laws that a Sheila Copps would pass should be a badge of honour rather than an instant disqualification.

On that principle, creating an Alberta run police force would mean that the next time a Prime Minister Mulcair decided to nationalize the oil industry, or send government agents door to door confiscating anybody’s King James Edition bibles, or make it against the law to sell steak, the police force in operation in Alberta wouldn’t be enforcing that law unless it was agreeable to the government of Alberta. In British Columbia, the RCMP have been known to shoot a man in the back of the head in self-defense, and defend our borders from angry Polish guys with staplers. In Alberta, they've botched the McCann investigation -- and of course, were so useless in Bashaw at stopping property crimes Brian Knight had to take the law into his own hands.

Knowing that, Red Redford’s government extended the contract anyways. The RCMP will now be in operation in Alberta until 2036, and unless Wildrose wants to cancel their contract (highly unlikely), that decision has already been made. The long arm of the federal government is in operation in Alberta.

Progressives lining up to support Red Redford should probably ask themselves at this point whether or not they’re happy with her Party rejecting the idea of kicking Stephen Harper’s police force out of town. And then bragging about it. And insulting Albertans at the same time.

Okay, that last bit is standard policy for Red Redford’s government. It’s why on Monday she needs to be replaced.

Bye Bye, Alison "Red" Redford

An old forgotten thought about Wiebo Ludwig

About a year ago, I started making a little list about Albertans to make us proud to be rebellious gun owners. I got five of those names written down: Wiebo Ludwig, Oscar Lacombe, Brian Knight, Ted Byfield...and me, Feynman and Coulter's Love Child. I was hoping to get it to ten, but so far it just hasn't materialized. I probably shoulda just done 5. Rankings of course are Weibo, Ted, Oscar, Me, and then Brian.

With Weibo's death, Brian Knight making it into a recent post about the Wildrose Party, and Blogger telling me I had this post in 'draft' status, I thought it was time to revisit what I'd written about Weibo.

Wiebo Ludwig: Wiebo is hardly the most popular man in Alberta: when EnCana trailers were shot at by Ludwig in the 90s a man I know personally confronted him in mid afternoon (in Beaverlodge, I believe), and told him to his face that if anybody in the oilpatch was ever injured by random attacks, Ludwig would be shot right between the eyes. As always though there are two sides to everything, and the same people who react with glee picturing Wiebo Ludwig hung from a tree for so much as tampering with a wellhead are quick to defend him on an entirely different matter: the shooting death of Karman Willis. Teenagers may think its a harmless prank wardriving onto people's property late at night, but all any homeowner can envision is their kids getting run over. If Wiebo's story is true about kids tenting on the lawn (its Wiebo, so probably not, but we all remember the lawn campouts we did as kids), then the crime is that the family didn't hit the driver, not that they hit Willis instead. She had no business being on that property. She's dead. Notice local teens haven't been driving on the lawn ever since.

(and as a bonus)
Me: I have guns. They aren't registered, licenced, or indeed in many cases even legal. They are most certainly staying that way, and if you don't like it you can come and get them yourself: one little piece of metal at a time.

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: even in a homeschool, she wants to be Premier Mom

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Today this trip down memory lane takes us to 2012, where the Alberta Government decided they owned the hearts and mind of youth, not their parents. You can read the disgusting legislation here.

One of last things the Red Redford government tried to do before the election was to bring in new rules and changes to homeschooling in this province. As part of their “reorganization”, they tried to exert even more control over the children of this province. In Red Redford’s world, children do not belong to their parents, they belong to the state. When those children are in danger of becoming fully educated and aware citizens, the Redford government and her corrupt Alberta Teachers Association union combine forces to make sure that all that are created are little lumps of progressive clay: uneducated peons fed lies and nonsense, who then grow up convinced that the state (with the power of unions) is the provider of all that is well and good, keeping the world at bay from the greedy capitalists who would seek to destroy us all. If you think this is unrealistic, ask yourself how many high school graduates are ever educated about when the Constitution of Canada was created, or whether we had free speech rights circa 1910. The answer may surprise you.

Fortunately, in the dying days before the election, there was a battle: like that opening scene to The Fellowship of the Ring, this time when Sauron tried to enslave the free peoples of Middle Alberta, people resisted. An alliance of home schooling parents, with help from the Wildrose, took to the steps of the Legislative Assembly and fought back. At the end, the day was won, though you know that act would be one of the first things that Red Redford would bring back if she was given back the reigns of power on Monday.

Homeschooling is something in Canada relatively unique to Alberta. It’s one of those independent Alberta cultural expressions: you know, the kind that Redford is so horribly disgusted and offended by. The notion that you, yes you can teach your children without any input from teachers unions and progressive government busybodies is totally alien to them. You’re merely a member of the public: you haven’t been given bullshit accreditation from that same union that makes sure teachers who play along are never fired, so how on earth can you teach. You haven’t been brought up to speed with idiotic anti-bullying policies or diversity inclusion, so what makes you think that you can get your children able to read or write or do sums. Wait, you actually got them able to do that?

One of the lessons learned by the explosion of homeschooling in the United States is that it works better. It turns out that parents are perfectly able to educate their children: they themselves typically learned how to do everything that is now demanded of children. Indeed, all they haven’t learned is the unnecessary bullshit. Children who are homeschooled learn of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare, subordinate clauses, the US Civil War, trigonometry, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alexander Rutherford, cellular mitosis, algebra, World War II, predicates, Charles Darwin, and endothermic reactions. They don’t, tragically, learn how to “respect one another” or how to put a condom on a banana. They may (or may not) learn how to do a simple weld or how to bake a casserole. These are all achievements that the regular school system seems to have a lot of trouble with.

Teachers don’t like being humiliated like that. Neither do governments. They’ll do anything to stop you from doing the job they cannot.

Red Redford thinks that her overpaid teachers wasting your tax dollars are better than parents at educating children, not just the 3 R’s but the birds and the bees and what their opinion of tax cuts or individual responsibility should be. For those who disagree, or even those who accept that those who do disagree should be permitted to, Danielle Smith is your answer.

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: decimating the oil industry

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Today this trip down memory lane takes us to 2007, and the day that the Alberta Government made every promise they'd ever made a laughingstock, decimating Alberta's economy and good name to which we still have not recovered.

The royalty framework is a classic case of “Progressive” “Conservative” management, and while the issue hasn’t come up as much in this election cycle, it’s important to remember that the Stelmach mishandling of this file has caused unbelievable damage to the Alberta economy and more importantly to the principles by which this province is based.

The first issue that needs to be raised with this is the “our fair share” nonsense. Yes indeed, the resources of Alberta belong to Alberta as per the Canadian Constitution. Similarly, I think its unrealistic to believe that the Alberta Government should be default be the organization that gets to collect the money, but here the Constitution is a little more fluid. Still, insisting on our “fair share” is a silly game, where progressives seem to think that any Tom, Dick, or Henri who moves to this province from Ontario or Nova Scotia immediately should start getting his mother-fucking oil cheque. Ultimately, the people who “deserve” the oil money the most aren’t the Red Redford progressives, or the Muhammed John Mohammed who moved here from Sudan last Tuesday, or the homeless, or “seniors who built this province”, or even longtime Albertan resident bloggers. The people who deserve the oil money are the people who do something related to taking it out of the ground and selling it. As it so happens, there’s already a program in place that compensates those people as a function of what they do and what value it adds to the oil throughout the process: it’s called capitalism, and basically every government royalty scheme is some method of taking money away from the people who did something to create it and give it to people who did nothing – or worse, in the case of that idiot Hudema, actively campaigned to do harm on the lives of the deservers. “The producers and the takers” as Charles Adler famously discussed on his radio program a couple of years ago.

Yet, as we wrote about a few weeks ago, when Danielle Smith talked about giving Albertans this royalty money, the opposition went apeshit. So I think we can say with a fair degree of confidence that they aren’t really interested in the people of Alberta getting their “fair share” of oil royalty money. Though they still, and this is important, kept demanding the government take more of it.

So anyways, the royalties are how much the oil companies pay Albertans (again, through our government for some silly reason) when they “buy” the tar in the tarsands off of us. Now when the tarsands were first discovered, the technology to do anything of value with them just wasn’t there (or if it was, it wasn’t financially feasible, I don’t know the particulars). Later, the technology became more and more affordable, but by then the price of oil had fell to a pathetic $7-9/barrel. This wasn’t that long ago, it was the 20 years ago that apparently gives Raj Sherman nightmares.

In that timeframe, the Alberta Government decided that collecting a few extra royalty dollars wasn’t nearly as important to them as spurring the investment and development that would create employment and economic growth. So they created what was for the oil companies a pretty sweet royalty scheme. Of particular interest was that you could defer most of the royalties while you were building infrastructure, and that the deferred monies weren’t directly tied to the cost of what you were building.

When Ed Stelmach decided to change the royalty framework, that’s fair enough: the Alberta government did set the royalties and they decided the original rationale was no longer valid in an era where a “13” was tacked on in front of that “7 dollars per barrel”. Now there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.

The “Progressive” “Conservative” party chose the wrong way.

The royalties were changed rapidly, not gradually. As has been written elsewhere, the fine details of the royalty scheme was adjusted willy-nilly without thought as to the economic impacts. The whole enterprise was treated ham-handedly, and the oil companies were a little upset.

Then, Ed Stelmach turned Alberta into a tin-pot African dictatorship.

Amoung the royalty schemes that the “Progressive” “Conservative”s chose to alter was the ones that Suncor and Syncrude were operating under. Those two companies had an even sweeter deal with the Province of Alberta than the “Mom and Pop” organizations that were impacted by Stelmach’s other royalty tinkerings. The reason they had that sweetheart deal, of course, was that they had previous negotiated separate agreements about what royalties they were expected to pay and when. Which is to say that they had signed a binding contract with the Government of Alberta. Before they knew what was happening, though, those contracts were being arbitrarily rewritten by one side while the contract was still in force. This, more than anything, is where the “Progressive” “Conservative” arrogance and mistrust of Albertan culture comes to the forefront.

Red Redford has been quite down on Alberta culture lately: it’s almost as if we actually dare to believe that a landowner has fundamental property rights, that men who speak out against faggots or immigration or what is being taught in public schools are doing good deeds rather than shameful acts, and that a man’s word is his bond. She hasn’t spoken out much against that last bit, though it goes part and partial with the rest. She let her predecessor spit on that principle, she’s busy spitting on the others. Give Red Redford a chance, though, and she’ll spit on this one.

That’s the real beef Albertans had with the royalty review: if you want to change the royalty framework, fine, it probably did need updating. If you want to make massive and radical changes to what the framework will be, well, you can but you probably shouldn’t. It would be wiser, more prudent, to make a gradual set of small changes on a set timetable laid out well in advance so that organizations could plan for how they will deal with the consequences. Still, you can do that. What you absolutely, fundamentally, cannot do is start using the ham-fisted tools at your disposal in government to change and agreement already in force. That’s what tin-pot African dictatorships do. That’s what criminal extortionists do. For Christ’s sake, that’s what Darth Vader does.

Only now “we” have done that. Stelmach and Redford have eroded the faith in Albertans and our government that we have built up across the world through time. Red Redford is concerned about “our place in the world”, about how we’re “seen” by various other UN member nations, and about what our image is like? Well far more than whether or not we’re letting rig piggers rough up poofters, the Albertan image is determined by our principles. The core principle at stake is something Danielle Smith has mentioned numerous times: we say what we do and we mean what we say.

In the world of business, this is an important statement: it’s at the core of the ISO system that world-class organizations use every single day. In our intensely globalized world, where the business climate in Alberta is one of our primary selling features when it comes to bringing in the best and the brightest, it is absolutely critical that the Alberta Advantage isn’t squandered away. Having a group in charge who think that because they have “MLA” in their title they get to change the rules every time it suits them is unbecoming. It chases away investment opportunities and causes a negative image of our province. Gary Mar in China may be able to win friends by showing that, like the ChiComs he interacts with, his government back home just legislates new rules into place whenever they don’t like their agreements, but it’s not as easy of a sell in Houston or New York or London or Tokyo or Bombay.

You know, the places where you as an Alberta businessman or sales agent are trying to do business. What line will you use under a “Progressive” “Conservative” government? “Well, they do like to change the rules every 45 seconds but don’t worry, odds are pretty low that they’ll notice our industry?”

There is a strong right-wing alternative: Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party of Alberta. Wildrose was formed while Ralph Klein was Premier: but it was the royalty framework that built this party into the force it is today: while a few arts students in Calgary are “scared” that a Wildrose Government won’t give arts grants to mediocre painters to make tapestries about atheism, you should be scared about how under the “Progressive” “Conservative” party your business has to constantly convince potential partners that Stelmach was an aberration.

We know that Red Redford is just as bad: by 2014, who knows what damage your company’s reputation will be in? Vote Wildrose.

Everything Ron Leech said was true

In the closing days of the Alberta 2012 campaign, Wildrose candidate Dr. Ron Leech has come under some fire for comments he’s made on two separate occasions. Excited tweets from leftwing extremists that “another video” surfaced on Friday was belied by the minor twist that this new video contained the same general comments as the first time.

In Ron Leech’s words:

They need someone who would represent their community, and I believe that as a Caucasian I have an advantage that for the Punjabi community I am able to speak for the whole community and to lift the community up in our region, I believe I have a voice and I believe that the community has my ear, and I want the community to know that, that I am attentive to their needs, that I have been studying about their culture and about their religion so that I can be better understanding their special needs, but I recognize that there are many needs in this community, in the Punjabi community, and I believe I can help those needs.
One thing we can say (and indeed Colby Cosh actually said) about Ron Leech is that he isn’t particularly well-spoken or eloquent. Still, the sentiment that he’s expressing isn’t particularly outrageous or racist or (and here’s the kicker) untrue. Basically his point is that unlike professional race grievance mongers like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or Phil Fontaine, he’s able to act as a spokesman for minority immigrant communities without bias and with a degree of authority that is absent when the spokesman is himself a member of the group in question.

If you think that’s crazy and outrageous, explain Charlie Angus.

As you may remember, Charlie Angus is going crazy about the conditions on the Attawapiskat reserve located within his riding. The specific details with Attawapiskat aren’t important to this discussion (hint: they’re bad but it’s their own fault), what is important is that Charlie Angus manages to be a perfectly acceptable advocate for conditions on that reserve despite not being an Indian himself. One of the primary reasons for this is that as a white man, Charlie Angus is able to speak about Indian affairs without coming off as campaigning for his own political gain. When Charlie Angus, white man, talks about spending billions of dollars on Indian Reservations, you know he’s not getting any pieces of that pie…or more accurately, you know there is a chance that he won’t.

This blog has routinely criticized the Edmonton Somali Community, quite rightfully, for getting irrationally pissed off that the City of Edmonton isn’t serious about investigating crimes that impact young Somali men (again, the reasons are irrelevant, you can read all about it in the link). The community leader always making the outrageous claims? Why look, it just so happens he’s a Somali male. The City of Edmonton doesn’t spend enough resources on Somali males, says a Somali male. Film at 11.

Who could be a more effective advocate for the Somali community? Just to pick a random name out of a hat, NDP MP Olivia Chow. When Olivia Chow in Toronto is talking about issues affecting Somali men in Edmonton, people (whether rightly or wrongly) sit up and pay more attention. That’s just how it goes. It doesn’t even have to be a racial issue: one of the pre-writ knocks against the Wildrose Party is how its “beholden” to oil interests: people who work in the oilpatch or who own companies that do business in or with the tarsands. There’s no better way to take the wind out of their sails than to have these issues brought up and defended by somebody who isn’t personally involved in the oil industry: say, the editorial board of a major newspaper.

In fact, newspapers are pretty much the epitome of this principle: Paula Simmons isn’t a sapphist, Ezra Levant isn’t a Christian, and one of the complaints about Edmonton sportswriters is that they are too beholden to the fortunes of the local hockey team to be properly unbiased sources discussing the matter in the public eye.

So where, exactly, did Leech go off the rails? As noted a little higher up this post, he’s not a very good public speaker: he has trouble expressing a fairly sensible concept properly meaning that he expresses the sentiment clumsily enough that it comes across as condescending or paternalistic or just plain boorish. Of course, that problem means that Leech wouldn’t be an effective advocate for minority groups: but I don’t recall hearing that as being the knock against him, do you?

It’s certainly not what Danielle Smith is being called to apologize for: apparently far-left liberals again expect her to apologize for a candidate who – like the last one – made 100% accurate statements. It would have been nice for Danielle to say something along the lines of:
I have absolutely no interest in apologizing for my candidates comments. There’s nothing in Ron’s statements that were offensive or bigoted or outrageous in any way. Indeed, the principle that Ron was referring – that you don’t have to be a member of a specific group to understand their concerns or to advocate for them – is a fundamental principle of representative democracy. Those who object to the notion that a person can represent people of skin colours other than their own, who believe that a person whose ancestral heritage was known for oppression cannot hundreds of years later chose instead to be inclusive and supportive, are spitting on the very system of governance which we are all working hard to be a part of. As an MLA and a member of the Wildrose cabinet, we will expect Ron to speak out for his constituents, to be speaking about the concerns and struggles of minority groups within his riding when required, and to be their representative and advocate in policy discussions. We cannot do that if Ron or any member of our party thinks that “only a black woman can understand the problems faced by other black women” or “if I don’t work in the oil and gas sector it’s impossible for me to be a minister whose portfolio includes that industry”. That is a foolish and ultimately destructive way of looking at how our system of government works, which is why the Wildrose Party is glad to state – without apology – that this indeed is one of the core beliefs of our members and that with that mindset we shall be capable of governing and administering this province without requiring that all stakeholders in any issue meet a predetermined racial characteristic.
That, in a nutshell, is what Ron Leech was trying to express. If we’re going to start demanding that all 87 candidates for every party in every provincial election be naturally eloquent speakers, we have eroded beyond repair the very notions that our House of Commons was created for.

Wildrose is uninterested in doing so. It’s surprising that so many other parties existing in Alberta have signed onto shady identity group hustling techniques that have so diminished political dialogue in the United States.

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: raising taxes (and lying about it)

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Oh, by the way, tax season is just winding down to coincide with the winding down of the 2012 Alberta General Election. That’s mostly a coincidence on Red Redford’s part, but its probably more interesting than that. Did you enjoy paying taxes? Did you really enjoy learning that you were paying far more than that assessment you were required to pay? In my case, I have to pay 11.9% of my total tax bill for the end of April. In general, you actually paid infinitely more than your April bill says: many get a refund, mistakenly thinking that they didn’t really pay any tax. Really, they did.

You also pay a provincial income tax: again, roughly 3/4s of what you paid federally. Fortunately, Alberta’s income tax is a flat tax. Of all the forms of tax, the most equitable, as it takes an equal percentage of the hours worked. If you have a flat tax of 10%, then for every 10 days you work, the government seizes one day of those earnings. Whether you’re pulling down Warren Buffet money or Rachel Notley’s immigrant housekeeper money, the amount of your physical labours taken by the Crown is the same.

The NDP, and by extension the Red Redfords of the world, don’t think that’s fair. When Brian Mason and Raj Sherman are talking about tax increases, that’s their motivation: fairness. They don’t think that a single dollar of your income is actually yours: they think it’s theirs. Because it’s theirs, not yours, they just need to decide they want it, and they take it. Thursday night on Rob Breakenridge’s evening radio talk show, they had a University of Alberta professor talking tax policy. It’s not mentioned much by the various campaigns, which is a shame: since it illuminates the major difference between the Wildrose and the four left-wing parties: who that money belongs to and who can best spend it. It also, and we’ll get to that, speaks to another lie by Red Redford.

This blog talked about this topic earlier this month when the Dani-Dollars were being discussed. With taxes, it’s the same story really: Brian Mason, the man so plum-stupid he doesn’t know that governments run government-run healthcare systems, is confident that if he took all of your income, and all of your neighbours’ incomes, and all of your boss’s income, and emptied out your grandmothers retirement savings, and cleaned out everybody’s bank account, that he could spend that money better than you. Of course, when he talks about wasting it on ineffective hospitals, or incompetent teachers, or lazy unions, you know he’s wrong about that belief. Try telling him that. Try telling that to Red Redford.

In fact, Red Redford has increased your tax bill right here in 2012: she increased the education tax that is levied by municipalities. That’s Redford’s tax: the only group that can decide to raise that tax is the Government of Alberta, which Redford runs with an iron fist. She decided that the incompetent teachers (number two on our list) were to be the next recipient of your money: so she decided to give them more. Yes, even more. Now true, this number didn’t get reflected on the taxes you just filled out. Those taxes, the municipal taxes, are due in June. By June, Redford hopes to have her majority government back, her iron fist back in the saddle making laws that make your life worse, and for there to be nothing you can do about it. In fact, she’s hoping that you’ll blame the municipality. They are the ones who by law are to collect this particular tax. Municipalities, which this week have been angry as hell that they may have to deal with the Wildrose party, were rightfully upset about that. What should upset you too is that nobody, not even Danielle Smith and the Wildrose, have been bringing this up, despite being Alberta's only right-wing party.

Alison “Red” Redford increased your taxes in the last six months. She’s in ads claiming she’s not raised taxes. She’s lying to you, and you’re letting her get away with it. Replacing her with Danielle Smith is your best chance at getting your tax bill down. You’re going to have to pay more in June 2012. In April 2013, June 2013, April 2014, June 2014, April 2015, June 2015, April 2016, and June 2016 you’ll have to pay more and more and more if Red Redford wins.

2012-04-20

Every Alberta Riding: 2012 Election endorsements

With the provincial election just three days away, this is a good time in the tail end of this short yet grueling campaign to look at each riding in Alberta and hook you up with the official endorsement from Third Edge of the Sword:

2012-04-18

Reason to vote Red Redford out of office: they asked the Hells Angles to collect your personal information

As you may or may not know, an Alberta election is underway. As its looking like there's a real solid chance that the Wildrose party can seize the reigns of power away from Alison "Red" Redford and her "Progressive" "Conservative" Party, I felt this would be a good time to bring up some of the disastrous legislation enacted by Red Redford's party.

Today this trip down memory lane takes us to 2009, and the day that the Alberta Government decided was a good time to break its own much-ballyhooed privacy legislation. You can read the disgusting legislation here.

A few years back, when the silly bar practice of scanning IDs started going around, a Calgary bar patron decided to raise a complaint to the Alberta Privacy Commissioner, who agreed that collecting high quality digital images of people's drivers licenses was not exactly a foolproof way of making bars safer. Indeed, and I think I've mentioned this before, the bars that have the most trouble tend to also have the fancy license scanners. Purple Onion, which must have had as many criminals per square foot as any other bar in Edmonton, had no license scanning. Neither does Blues on Whyte, where you can have a crack addict on 11 outstanding warrants talking up a hot 26 year old. But if you want to go to Empire or to Cowboys, you're gonna have to surrender your personal information. You know, to keep things safe.

Besides the semi-obvious problem (actual troublemakers could just pay off the bouncer, or as was more common, just be let in as friends of the bouncer/owner/manager), this information was collected forever. They never gave it up. Soon after, you started getting junk mail addressed to the exact way your address was formatted on your driver's license. The Privacy Commish was rumoured to be close to ruling in favour of shutting the whole thing down.

Then, in 2009, the Stelmach government gave the mailing list people a gift: as of now, bars would be permitted by law to violate those privacy rights that the government had in the early aughts been bragging about. You know, because they had "teeth". In fact, another right had to be sacrificed for this law: additional demands were placed on bars that the Minister decided needed keeping a little extra control over. Now the government may force a bar to bring it in. I'd make a little note about this law when it happened, but sort of forgot about it except every time I was hauled to Empire and had to experience it again.

Then, a couple months ago, we went out to Showgirls to celebrate a birthday.

Showgirls, for those who don't know, is one of Edmonton's grubbiest (and oldest) strip clubs. Famous for, amoung other things, advertising being open "7 Nights a Week" and then being closed Sundays.

No, seriously, they do.

One of those "other things" it happens to be famous for? Being owned by the Hell's Angels. The Hell's Angels who run prostitution out of the club. The Hell's Angels who don't allow racial diversity in their organization. The Hell's Angels who murder people.

Red Redford's government lets them collect your personal information.

In fact, at one point of the night while we were in there, three HA's in full gang colours showed up and walked around the bar with the manager, supervising what was going on. They entered the backstage area with the girls. Did they have to scan their ID into a computer system? I think we know the answer to that.

Yet why is this even happening? well, the law says...
Risks to public order and safety in licensed premises — gangs
69.1(1) In this section,
(a) “gang” means a group of people engaged in a pattern of unlawful behaviour or in creating an atmosphere of fear or intimidation in a community;
(b) “unlawful behaviour” means
(i) production, sale, importation, exportation or trafficking of a controlled substance within the meaning of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada),
(ii) prostitution or living on the avails of prostitution,
(iii) unlawful possession or transfer of firearms, or
(iv) violence, threats, extortion or intimidation.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a person is associated with a gang if the person
(a) is a member of the gang,
(b) supports, facilitates or participates in the gang’s activities, or
(c) is in the company of a person described in clause (a) or (b).
(3) A police officer may exclude or remove from licensed premises any person the police officer believes to be associated with a gang.
(4) A police officer need not rely on personal knowledge in concluding that a person is associated with a gang but may rely on information from others, including but not limited to
(a) information regarding
(i) any admission of association with a gang,
(ii) use of names, signs, symbols or other representations
used by a gang,
(iii) a person’s presence at the scene of unlawful behaviour by a gang, regardless of whether the person participated in the unlawful behaviour,
(iv) receipt of benefits from a gang, and
(v) frequent association with persons associated with a gang,
and
(b) any other categories of information set out in the regulations.
(5) For greater certainty, a police officer’s good faith belief that a person is associated with a gang is itself sufficient grounds for the exclusion or removal of the person from licensed premises under this section.
(6) Every person who is directed to leave licensed premises by a police officer acting under subsection (3) shall comply with the direction.
(7) A person who contravenes subsection (6) is a trespasser on the licensed premises.
16 The following is added before section 70:
Collection of personal information by licensee
69.2(1) A licensee may, before allowing a person to enter licensed premises, collect the person’s name, age and photograph.
(2) If a licensee has personal knowledge or reasonably believes that a person referred to in subsection (1) has, at any time within the preceding year, engaged in an activity referred to in section 69(1) or (2), the licensee may, in good faith, disclose the person’s name, age and photograph to other licensees for the purpose of allowing them to determine whether they wish to allow the person to enter licensed premises.
(3) A licensee must, as soon as possible after a request is made by a police officer, disclose to the police officer any information collected under subsection (1).
So you see the whole point of this legislation is for bar owners to communicate with the police and each other when a gang member or suspected gang member enters their facility. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I'm pretty sure a guy sporting his Hell's Angel patches is a suspected gang member. So did the licensee follow their legal instructions in this matter? Are you ready for a shocker? The motorcycle gang didn't! Is Jonathon Denis, former Solicitor General in Red Redford's cabinet, okay with this? Is Redford herself?

Meanwhile, what's with all the rights and privileges provided to a police officer here? Is he required to prove his good faith? And as with the impaired driving issue I brought up earlier this week, what if he lies or defames you? For that matter, what if the bar who kicks you out defames you? They said that you were a troublemaker when the bar manager's sister didn't like how you hit on her.

Is there an appeal to this state-sponsored database that communicates your behaviour? If you're kicked out for a misunderstanding and cannot get into bars because you're branded a troublemaker, do you have legal recourse? Are you not being libeled by the bar owner using resources he installed at the behest of the provincial government? Does anybody else not see how crazy this is? We've been doing a lot of scenarios here, let's look at this one:

Let's say you're of an ethnic minority that the HA don't approve of (which is to say, any of them). While at Showgirls with friends, you look at the HA guy the wrong way and he beats the snot out of you. To add insult to injury, you get kicked out and they flag you in the system as a bad apple. That's the violent motorcycle gang calling you a bad seed, remember. Two weeks later, you and your friends decide you're going to go to The Billiard's Club on Whyte Avenue. But when you get your ID scanned, you're identified as a troublemaker. You try to explain to the bouncer that you were the victim of a racially motivated attack at Showgirls and were therefore blacklisted. The bouncer doesn't buy your story, and a passing police officeris flagged down to inform you that you are being kicked off the premises under penalty of a trespassing charge. State agents operating at the behest of the Government of Alberta are now enforcing the racist attitudes of a criminal enterprise by removing you from the premises of a neutral third party who didn't want to scan your ID to determine you were on an 81-naughty list, but was ordered to do so by that same government.

This is the "Progressive" "Conservative"'s idea of a gang fighting initiative? Letting criminals lie about you and then ordering police to act on that information? That's crazy!

Yet to Red Redford's government, this is just par for the course. Gangs are tough to deal with. Sometimes you have to either get hard on ordinary people's rights just to bring the gang down, other times you have to let gangs get away with a fair bit because of the freedoms that all people enjoy. Typically both scenarios play out under various initiatives at the same time. It certainly, however, is a shock to see that gangs are both not controlled under this new law but you the ordinary citizen has to give up control of those rights.

Keeping gangs out of bars? In Alberta gangs own bars! A gang member is going to be collecting ID's of people right here and right now -- there's no oversight of who is collecting this information and who sucks information out of this privately-owned/government-operated database.

Fortunately, there is a way to punish the "Progressive" "Conservative" Party and Alison "Red" Redford for this (and other) bad pieces of legislation put out by her party since the dawn of the millennium: vote them out.

There is a strong right-wing alternative: Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party of Alberta. The Wildrose Party has come down hard on Red Redford's abuse of property rights. Demanding that private enterprises shares information of any kind with criminal motorcycle gangs is an outrage, and is exactly the kind of heavy-handed abuse of the fruits of your labours for dubious benefit under what is charitably mistaken as the "public good".

You don't want the Hell's Angels being given a legal tool to monitor and harass you while their own members get a free pass, right? If you agree, you should vote Wildrose on April 23rd.