The Best Decision Ever

Took long enough.

The NOTW phone hacking scandal I think is a classic example of organizations encountering failure and not knowing what the hell to do. Instead of adapting and trying to learn from the failure there almost seems to be a stubborn inertia that sets in - a type of unwillingness to accept there is a problem as the company (or government) acts like a deer caught in headlights... And if you aint ready to accept the failure signal, then you aint ready to change.

It's only a shame that NI seems to be learning only now. It came too late for 200 employees of NOTW and it will cost the company dearly in lawsuits - not to mention the loss in reputation.

That being said, the shark like feeding frenzy that's being unleashed is just silly.

If you don't like FOX news, it seems that wild accusations are your best friend right now. Never mind that NI is a huge corporation. Never mind that FOX news is just a small chunk of that company. Conspiracy theories don't depend on facts.

What happened here is that a company, a small chunk of a larger corporation, failed in a spectacular fashion - and maybe even criminally so.

The larger corporation is liable - as it should be. The smaller company had to be shutdown because the problem was so widespread. The larger company now has to find a way to survive and learn.

Unfortunately, as with centrally planned economies, as a conservative I know full well that the nature of decision making from the top down by people 2000 miles removed from the situation is that hardly anyone ever learn from their mistakes. Bottom-up is a lot more successful when it comes to learning and adapting.

Best of luck to NI in learning lessons from the top-down.

The gun registry a waste of money?... No Really?

It's a bizzare bunch of events not only as King Charest's government said it was considering a provincial gun registry to replace the one about to get sacked by the Feds, then they said they wanted money from the Feds to do it.

Hoeppner seems to be the only Tory to care to respond:

OTTAWA -- Provinces would be foolish to set up their own gun registry when the national database is scrapped this fall, said the Manitoba Conservative MP who led the charge against the federal long-gun registry last year.

(The registry) has been proven to be a complete waste of money and a complete waste of effort,” Candice Hoeppner said.

It doesn't combat crime, it certainly doesn't combat violent crime. The registry does nothing to stop individuals from acquiring or being able to possess a firearm.”

And those are the facts. If Quebec or Ontario, or Santa Claus wants a registry they can waste their own money.

Gun Registry Seperatism

The Quebec government, stubbornly, is considering passing a long-gun registry of it's very own if Ottawa turfs the federal one.

How quaint. How wonderfully "autonomous". The Feds don't want to continue the war against Canadian Red Necks then Hell! - we'll show those Anglophone Bastards and make up one of our own!

Quebec has every right to do whatever it pleases, but Quebequers would do well to pay attention the facts before they give King Charest their blessing to create a Provincial Registry:

  • Since the registry's mandatory implementation in 2003, a grand total of a whooping 47 registered firearms have been used in homicides out of 2441 (less than two percent). It's obvious that criminals aren't stupid enough to register their firearms.(link)
  • The registry was originally budgeted to cost a net 2 million dollars. In reality (although the total costs are unknown) actual costs are known to be well over 2 billion dollars according to most estimates. That's at minimum an average of 43 million dollars per registered firearm homicide. Putting it in other terms, that at least 36 RCMP officers a year per registered firearm used in a homicide that we could have hired (or 1700 RCMP officers total). The waste in money is staggering.
  • The non-compliance rates have been absolutely horrendous. Regardless if you accept gun advocate numbers of a 70% non-compliance rate or the Liberals 10%, the fact remains that several extentions of registration deadlines were made for good reasons. 70,000 firearms at minimum remain unregistered in this country. This failure can't be ignored.(link)
  • The registry has had no effect on homicide rates, total suicide rates, or any other indicator. Registry advocates will no-doubt point to declining homicide rates since the 1990s as proof the registry works. Yet these same statistics were already declining by similar amounts before registry implementation. Nothing has gotten any better since the registry was passed. The registry has been ineffective in the truest sense of the word.(link)
In short the registry has done nothing except to waste taxpayer dollars that could have been spent doing things that could have actually reduced crime. It's treated Canadian hunters living in rural areas like criminals by placing them on a national registry - a distintion reserved for among others child molesters.

I can understand the need to do something to respond to the horrible attack that happened at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. However the registry has done nothing to prevent further such attacks from happening.

A far better approach to avoid future similar school shootings, would be to invest in better mental health iniatives, and other crime prevention measures that actually work.

McGuinty: The Government Slasher

OPSEU announced on its central website Friday it was launching a “mini site” to fight the Dalton McGuinty government’s plan to shrink the public service.

“Starting this summer, Premier Dalton McGuinty will eliminate 1,900 vital public service jobs,” the OPSEU website says. (link)

Back in January, I postulated that McGuinty's government would be at the forefront of most of the labor unrest that this year of Austerity is unleashing.

I've been surprised at just how much attention the unions have been placing in Ottawa - a government that is by all indications depending on expiring infrastructure projects, attrition, and retirements to both reduce expenses, the public service and so balance the budget.

McGuinty is depending heavily on laying off members of the OPS to get where his government should have been a long time ago. What's worse is that McGuinty is probably having to do more cutbacks to fund the disastrous policies elsewhere in government currently eating away at funds.

Yet where is DePape holding up a "Stop McGuinty" sign? Where is "Working Families" coming out swinging against the horrible slash-and-cut McGuinty?

Their silence speaks volumes.

Just as Mike Harris's education policies in Ontario were actually borrowed from an Education commission started by the Bob Rae NDP, McGuinty is borrowing ideas from his right wing counterparts like Harper and Brad Wall to do what clearly needs to be done. Except that due to the blind partisanship of this country's Public Secotr Unions, he clearly is not facing the same level of "mob warfare" we've come to expect from the Canadian left.

A Right To Pornography?

A 21-year-old Michigan inmate has filed a lawsuit that contends he's been stripped of civil rights because he isn't allowed to look at porn, claiming his lack of access to the material gives him a "poor standard of living" and "sexual and sensory deprivation."(link)
This is what happens when "positive rights" are given the same status as "negative rights."

A plague of Socialists

All hail the Great And Infallible Gerald Caplan (PhD), the Great Academic, Socialist (er I mean "Social Democrat"), public policy analyst, former CCF member, and general all around "smarter than you" political activist.

Shhhhh!!! He's speaking. Let's hear what our unparalleled unequal has to say:

"We know what the Egyptians, or at least their head honcho Pharaoh, did to attract the wrath of G-d. He wouldn’t let His people go. But everyone paid the awful price – those ten vile plagues culminating in the genocidal murder of all Egyptian first-born.

"But what have Canadians done to evoke the wrath of the heavens? What have Ontarians done? Or poor Hogtowners? Though it’s our pharaohs who sin, only regular folks pay the price. It’s a trifecta, folks. Harper the asbestos killer in Ottawa, Ford the city-wrecker in Toronto, and, come October 6, very likely Hudak the math-challenged in Ontario. Won’t we be in a pretty pickle then? What have ordinary people done to deserve this plague of right-wing Conservatives? Equally mysterious, why have so many ordinary folks supported them?(link)

Why indeed.

This has to be the billionth time that Tories have been compared to Middle-Eastern dictators. It's apparently gotten so bad, that Progressives are resorting to quoting biblical Jewish Dictators to keep it alive. (Isn't that against the Progressive Atheist religion to believe that anything in the Bible is real?)

In one foul swoop this great genius of Canadian politics has called Harper a mass-murderer, Rob Ford a destroyer of entire cities, and Hudak (incomprehensibly) a moronic imbecile that can't count.

What's amazing about that last claim is that Tim Hudak, hate him or like him, has a Masters degree in Economics. Our good Doctor has his PhD in History. In the grand scheme of things my bet is that Hudak scored higher in grade 12 algebra that Dr Caplan.

Further Rob Ford has done nothing. He's been around for so little a little a time. Give him time, dear Doctor, to atleast prove you right before you level charges of "conspiracy to destroy cities".

Stephen Harper (contrary to Progressive Popular thinking) is not an African genocidal maniac. His government chose not to devaste an entire industry and put it's trust in companies and individuals in using Asbestos in a responsible manner. The good Doctor's use of the word "killer" is nonsense. If he really believed what he said he would have contacted the RCMP by now.

Calling Conservatives a "plague" is hard to joke about. I know I have cooties. Sorry to the world. But I insist on spreading them. If Dr Caplan wants, I can come over to his house for dinner tonight and spread a little of my plague (I'd be happy to). Really this is getting juvenile.

Seriously though the Doctor is spewing what would normally considered "hate speech." Just replace the words "right-wing Conservatives" with "Jewish." Or "Muslim."

Doesn't sound so innocent now does it? Infact it sounds a lot like a book written by a Nazi named Hermann Esser.

"Hardly anyone of right mind disagrees that it was the insatiable greed and reckless irresponsibility of Wall Street, which had been deeply unregulated over the past 30 years, that plunged much of the world into its economic tailspin.
The good Doctor would be best not to discount people who disagree with his opinions, lest he creates an ideological box wherein he can reside and the the rest of those "of non-right mind" can leave him alone to never grow or learn.

Further, I would suggest that Dr Caplan is falling into the same trap that many a Conservative has fallen into as a result of the financial crisis.

Conservatives have blamed government interference in the loan market (in some cases) as the sole reason for the economic disaster. The truth is not so simple. Cheap loans, perpetuated by low interest rates, bad government policy favoring those cheap loans in the US, and yes bad decisions by those in the Derivative industry lead to the financial disaster we saw.

The markets responded by attempting the correct the situation. Governments responded by bailing out the offenders and preventing what should have happened - failure for those that made those bad choices.

The real problem is a cult in this society that claims that certain organizations are "too big to fail." But I digress.

"...Bear in mind this is a man who thinks Jeffrey Simpson is 'centre-left.' Conservatives, Mr. Kay wrote, 'do not even pretend to have a solution to the inequality problem. Based on my experience at the Post, I’d say that most do not think of it as a problem at all...' "
I would agree with that point. Inequality, at least the way Progressives like Dr Caplan measure it, isn't inequality at all.

What matters to Conservatives, is not that there are some people that are very successful and a vast majority who aren't - that's a fact of life. Dr Caplan, or any "Social Democrat" can try to change that reality as much as they would like, but in my experience we fail far more often than we succeed.

The real measure we should look at in our modern civilization, is not how unequal success is, but rather, do we all start at the same line? Social mobility is the key point here. Artificial barriers to people's success is the real problem.

What Dr Caplan fails to recognize, is that we all should have a right to fail or succeed based on our own merits, efforts, and creations without it being interfered with unreasonably by others.

It makes good economics, and further anything less than having this right to fail or succeed is (in my opinion) destructive to the human soul. Humans thrive on challenges, adversity, and the need to have areas to channel their productive creative talents. I would argue that the very same policies Dr Caplan would support, destroys people's right to take chances and to fail or succeed.

Speaking from personal experience I can tell you how frustrating it is to being hampered from taking risks, thinking outside the box, challenging the rules, by those who would rather choose the illusion of stability and control.

Dr Caplan's commentary lives in a zero-sum world where "shamelessness is the signal characteristic of those who survive and prosper in this life..."

I had hoped I would be able to poke fun at Dr Caplan in good jest. But reading lines like these it's clear that to him, if I work my butt off, save every penny I earn, strive to upgrade my skills, and therefore "survive and prosper" I am very low on his hierarchy of human beings.

I honestly hope his views on humanity evolve one day - for his own sake.