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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Health Care and the 6th Principle: DRAMA, 4 stars

The NDP Federal leader Jack Layton says, “The Conservative election platform included a commitment to the 5 principles of the Canada Health Act.� Premier Campbell in BC is about to add a 6th principle. The political or bureaucratic gobboligook is couched in words like (1) universality, (2) accessibility, (3) comprehensiveness, (4) portability, and (5) public administration, and maybe (6) the principle of sustainability. Premier Campbell in BC would add the 6th. In my view after all is said and done the issue is really about unions.

Firstly, for those people out East, you must understand that the Federal Liberals and the Federal NDP are both left wing. This is to be contrasted with the BC Provincial Liberals who are centre right while the NDP are left of centre. For instance under no circumstances would you ever see Buzz Hargrove giving the BC Liberal Premier, Gordon Campbell, a United Auto Workers jacket. So if I sound like a blogging Grit on a blogging Tory site, please appreciate that in BC there isn’t much of a difference for the Liberals.

Essentially, the battle in BC will be between a jigabug in one corner and a game of bridge in the other corner. The voters will have to choose the winner. Premier Campbell is going to lead the BC press around Europe to expose the blended public/private health care systems over there to the BC media and public. This traveling jigabug exercise is to educate the public so as to evaporate the fears generated by the NDP about allowing some private clinics in the Province. While the NDP leader will continue to harp about the slippery slope to an American style health care system. In bridge this would be called a finesse. Except Carole James doesn’t comprehend that one can not finesse an Ace,with the Ace representing the sustainability, so the jigabug wins.

Basically this was brought about by the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that said long waits for various medical procedures violated a patients constitutional rights to life and personal security. This decision ruled as unconstitutional Quebecs attempt to outlaw private clinics.

Meanwhile I, the average Shmoo, can and will continue to stand in the line up for health care. You would think that the NDP would stand up for the average Shmoo. But nooo! It is the right wing that is standing up for the average Shmoo. The NDP want to protect the union monopoly. The NDP want to ensure that any health care provided is provided by a doctor behind a unionized person and which union can then blackmail the public into giving the union whatever they demand. The right wing Provincial Liberals are the ones standing up for the average shmoo and I applaud them.

Even the Province cartoonist is depicting the words and the fear the NDP would advance; Care Card versus Visa Credit Card.

NDPers, Federal or Provincial, will yak about how Premier Campbell’s BC’s initiative on health care is distressing and try to instill fear. But let’s face it, BC is not alone. Quebec and Alberta have promised legislation that will permit private hospitals and private practices. That means that three of the country’s biggest provinces are headed in that direction. This is happening out of necessity; a necessity brought about by the high cost of labour which threatens the sustainablity of health care. At present 44% of all tax dollers go to health care. Even a dumb leftist must appreciate that can not go on.The wages earned by a health care worker are a profit to that worker who then says profit is a dirty word in health care. Ya right!

It really is a shame. I believe in Unions. They are a great thing not only for the people they represent but also for the economy. If people have more money, they spend more. Add the multiplier and viola. But all unions go overboard. Being placed in a position of power, a monopoly, they let their pork choppers lead them into greed and price themselves out of the market. The customer becomes irrelevant. It matters not if it’s an airline, an auto producer or a nursing or teachers union. The only word they know is “more�, “more�, “more�.

BC will see that game in abundance this coming summer. In 2006 some 145,000 BCGEU types will want more. Also in 2006 some 83,000 BC health care workers will be wanting more and 93,000 BC public school teachers and universities types will want more.

Meanwhile Shmoos like me who survived on $25,000 last year and next year and likely the year after will still have to send $5000.00 or more in taxes to government for these greedy government unionized workers not to mention the middle management piggy backing the union. Some day I hope some government comes a long, which I highly doubt, that says two words to these over-paid under-worked government workers and you know what those two words are.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Battle of Khartoon Ridge

The Muslim reaction to those Danish cartoons reminds me of that Shakespeare line, "Methinks they doth protest too loudly" That was Shakespear's way of identifying someone whose lies have been found out. He has been outed! The exterior phoniness has been laid bare for all to see. And the one who has been found out protests in an excessive manner which exposes his shortcomings even more.

They say respect is earned not deserved. Muslims want us to respect this "not-to-be-seen" Mohammed but the followers of Mohammed have not been behaving in a way that deserves respect. This is especially so given the wholesale killing of innocent people world wide. There is an ever growing list of examples, dare I say convincing evidence showing Islam to be an intolerant religion equating with totalitarianism on the same level as Fascism. Or to put it more bluntly, either you are a Muslim or you are dead.

WE need only review the murder of innocents in Bali, Spain, New Delhi, World Trade Center, Beslan, London, Iraq and more. The cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his head dress is fairly accurate. It is definitely fair comment. If a picture is worth a thousand words, that depiction of Mohammed shows that one cartoon is worth ten thousand suicide bombers. Me thinks they doth protest too loudly.

If as Peter McKay would have us believe, the freedom of expression must be exercised responsibly, then the republication of those cartoons is responsible. Those cartoons hold up a mirror to Muslims. And basically asks, “Will the real Muslims please stand up?� Or does that cartoon depict the real Muslim? That is the question. It is a real serious question and one which the mainstream media in Canada and Peter McKay ignore.

Is the idea that there are moderate Muslims an invalid assumption? Let's face it. We did not see 10's of thousands of Muslims protesting the actions of Muslims in the slaughter of thousands of innocents in Bali, Beslan, London, Spain, Iraq, or the World Trade Center or more recently Fort Hood. But we do see 10’s of thousands of Muslims protesting a cartoon???? There is something wrong with these scales and it ain't in Denmark. It is in the Muslim community.

Why should anyone apologize for holding up a mirror to a group to show them the image they project? Or is that image an accurate projection of the very core of the group?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

David Emerson...A Question of Intent

David Emerson is left handed. But that initially ended the positive stuff at first blush. With voter cynicism at its peak, by accepting Emerson into the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Harper sends the wrong message. I have spent the whole day trying to distinguish the floor crossing by David Emerson from the one by Belinda Stronach.

But initially I kept coming to the same bottom line in my mind. If he can not be loyal and committed to his Party and the people who voted and just got him elected, how can you trust him? I think most Canadians that voted Conservative wanted change. They wanted integrity, genuine convictions, honesty and not having to buy into some spokesmans daily spin on something or another.

I tried the reasons David Emerson offered, " I came to the conclusion I can be more helpful to the people of my riding, the people of my city, the people of my province and the people of my country doing this, as opposed to being in opposition and trying to become a powerful political partisan which I have never been."

I tried the idea that Emerson's switcharoo shows that the Conservative Party has indeed moved to the centre.

I tried the fact that he is a competent MP and is not a bad fit into the Conservative Party.

I tried the fact he will add an educated economic viewpoint to the Cabinet.

I tried the fact that Harper never spoke against the right of an MPto cross the floor.

I tried the fact that Emerson adds representation from a big BC city to the Conservatives.

Finally, I read the Vancouver Province and specifically Vaughn Palmer's column and then Alan Ferguson, and I slowly began to see the difference between Emerson's floor crossing and Stronach's. Emerson used to be a head huncho with a major forest company in BC, Canfor. HE IS ALREADY UP TO SPEED ON THE SOFTWOOD LUMBER PROBLEM WITH THE USA. Combined with the more civil tone between Harper and Bush, Emerson will be able to get to grips with that issue forthwith. He has had his head into the Pacific Gateway initiative for months and sticking with him can only be to BC's economic advantage. With the 2010 Olympics coming up, it is really smart to keep a key Ottawa connection especially with costs going up. The positives for BC are innumerable especially when you consider upcoming new Ports and new trading relationships with the Far East.

Once I started to understand the benefits to the people of BC, I recognized that this decision by Harper was to benefit the people of BC, not a blantant attempt to keep power like Martin in the Stronach floor crossing. Same actus reus different intent. I must say to Vaughn Palmer and Alan Ferguson of the Vancouver Province newspaper, thank you for your thoughts. You helped me to sort mine out.

But initially it is sort like the judicial adage that, "justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done." Prime Minister Harper has squandered a major part of his political capital on day one by going along with a Belinda Stronach type situation in reverse. The perception is the message; never mind the rationalized explanations. But in reality and in time the smartness and justice of this decision will be seen to be done. The proof will be in the pudding or the results. With a more civil tone between Harper and Bush and with Emerson's knowledge so much more waccomplishedmpished. However as Alan Ferguson noted, "True reform probably requires future party-jumpers to again face the electorate before accepting a government post."

My ears are burning from all the phone calls I got today from people I have "fingered-wagged" into voting for the Conservatives who laughed and said, "So what's so different about your Conservatives? Ha Ha! The best I could do was say that Stronach was strike three for Martin. This is only strike one for Harper, and going through the above list of reasons. But the most poignant and validdefinitelys definately the difference in intent.

I do not see any short term gain to the Conservatives by Emerson's appointment. This will temporarily end the upward momentum by the Conservatives and the downward momentum by the Liberals. But in the long term it will be beneficial to BC's and Canada's economy. To me, that shows Harpers intent is the ultimate benefit of Canada as opposed to Martins intent (with Stronach) being to maintain the power of the Liberal Party.

However one disappointment that won't go away is not seeing Diane Ablonczy appointed. If Peter McKay is the man that represents the heart and sole of the Conservative Party, then Diane Ablonczy is the lady that represents the same thing. You can trust her to put in an eloquent fashion the truth of any situation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Muslims, multicultural, and Canada

Last summer on a hot Saturday, I spent another most enjoyable afternoon and evening at Butchart Gardens here in Victoria. The Symphony of Fire in Vancouver is a Mickey Mouse effort compared to the fireworks every Saturday at Victoria's Butchart Gardens. The performance at Butchart is a spectacular display of light and fireworks in, around, out of, and above a forest setting. Intricate, coordinated, and creative! They are a liquid, celestial and floral mixture of water, light and fireworks in harmony with a musical score. Simply incredible! In the words of a former life...Wow!

There is nothing hollow about the fireworks on a Saturday at Butchart. The only thing missing is a sizzling, stand-out, marketing name like Vancouver's Symphony of Fire. On Vancouver Island,the Butchart display is simply known as the fireworks. This simplicity is so typical of Vancouver Islanders. We can't let anyone know how extraordinarily awesome things are out here, as it might attract other people; so we tend to keep it secret, simple, and quiet.

Last August on that hot Saturday I spent the day wandering between the huge begonias, giant rhododendrons, the roses, dahlias and an endless variety of flowers living and co-mingled together that somehow replicates the multiculturalism that makes Canada so unique. So many cultures living in harmony and peace mixed together side by each as the Nova Scotia types would say.

The particular Saturday to which I am referring was a couple of weeks after the London subway bombings occurred. At that time the newspapers and airways were filled with the news about the perpetrators of that London horror. The perpetrators were British home grown Muslims; 4 young men who had gone to Pakistan to train and learn and came back as terrorists. They were willing to kill completely innocent people for whatever insane reason.

I spent the sun-filled afternoon wandering the acres and acres of floral displays; western, European, Oriental, you name it. Then after an "Iron Chef" meal in their "Summer Cottage" styled restaurant, I went to the sloped field where the "fireworks" are displayed as night falls. Leaving the restaurant made me feel like I was leaving a painting.

I wandered into the sloped field early to find a place to sit. Being a smoker I found a spot where I could be comfortable and have a smoke without bothering the militant non smoker types. You know the ones who express their "progressive", politically correct attitude by waving their hands in the air when a smoker walks by. The smoking spot usually tends to be near the garbage cans of course. So I got comfortable next to the cans and people watched.

After a few moments I noticed a Muslim nuclear family coming down the graveled pathway into the grassy field. They had their traditional dress on, black, head to toe and completely covered except for the men's faces. Two men lead the way and the two women followed. It was so hot I wondered why they wore so many clothes but it was their choice. One lady pushed a Cadillac baby carriage and I mean pushed. It was a big heavy-duty baby carriage and I mean heavy. She struggled with the push on the gravel. You could tell it was a heavy load. I think it was a lady pushing this carriage but I couldn't see any part of her. Who knows it might have been Michael Jackson. She was covered head to toe with black twice over.

I wondered about the baby carriage. It too was completely covered in black both the top and undercarriage and covered again. The family took up a position far from me in the middle of the field which of course, especially the huge baby carriage, blocked the view of the people seated on the ground behind them. Some people moved away. I must confess I was glad to be sitting next to the garage cans and some 150 feet away. That carraige looked like it had 200 lbs of dynamite in it. The evening ended and the only explosions were the fireworks.

Today I watched the news about Muslims wanting to kill cartoonists in Denmark, over these cartoons. Last year I watched Muslims blow up innocent people in those London subways. The year before I watched as Muslims killed school kids in Beslan, Russia by shooting them in the back. The year before I watched the horror in Madrid, Spain. The year before that, I watched the news about Muslims blowing up people at a night club in Bali, Indonesia. The year before that I watched Muslims steer planes into the World Trade Center. So the question I have is simple. How do I distinguish between crazy Muslims and peaceful Muslims?
Today an Italian Catholic Priest,Andrea Santoro, was shot dead by a Muslim in Turkey. The gunman shouted "God is great" as he shot his pistal and murdered the Priest. If Christains did that to an Muslim Imam, we would have a world war. How often must we turn the other cheek.

I noticed in reading Dawg's Blawg that he tries to excuse the Muslim violence as an over reaction due to their suffering an inferiority complex and historical colonization. Nonsense. There is no excuse for this senseless violence. The Lebanese who burned down the Danish Consulate or the Palestinians and the Syrians who have other agendas did not help their causes by the over reaction. There is no excuse. They only serve to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Their behavior over serves to confirm, and validate as truthful, the image depicted in the cartoons which had been given front page exposure in Egypt some six months previously. . The depiction of Mohammed is not new.