Monday, May 29, 2006

Monkey See, Monkey Do or ViceVersa

So the chimps did it, eh? Those darn Bonobos, Jane Goodall would be soooo displeased.

Apparently those sexually precocious little twits have been quietly extinguishing themselves with an immune deficiency disease for a while now. Or so some scientific chap would have us believe.

However, does his genetic research indicate that this disorder in the primates predates the advent of AIDS in human kind? That’s not clear. If it didn’t, there’s a strong likelihood that the chimps may have been infected by humans. ‘It’s a long lonely watch - those nights away from home and dorm frolics at good old Mattachine U. Hey, they’re only a couple of genetic branches removed, and those teen-aged chimps are quite hunky. Who’s to be hurt by some consensual interspecies exploration?’ It would make a cowboy weep.

Or, if the disease preceded AIDS, it means that the chimps had it before ‘Gaetan’, the gay Air Canada cabin steward, who gets the blame for AIDS promiscuity. That would lead one to believe that Gaetan, or a very close friend, may have had a real ‘lay-over’ in the Cameroon, or whereever gay monkey lovers congregate. Maybe I’m leaping here and Gaetan got it off a dirty toilet seat in a Nairobi dive, I dunno.

What I do know has naught to do with chimps. It has to do with people. The disease is terrifying in its extent and ramifications.

In the fairly near future, half the people on earth will be carrying the virus. It is one of the most successful diseases to come down the pipe - literally, if not metaphorically, since the last Ice Age. A virus that does not kill the host, in fact it does not make them sick - by and large - until they have spent years sharing their viral load through sexual interactions. Then it destroys them inevitably in a gradual reduction protracted by the application of considerable amounts of expensive medication, or hastened by the lack of basic care. Tremendous numbers of people on earth face this end, are facing this end now.

How has the world responded to this curse. Education, this story being another in the series of ‘we understand AIDS’ pieces. All those stories and $1.35 will get you a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s. Somehow these stories are supposed to help us understand that, in Canada, a truly enlightened and educated country - the rate of AIDS infections has never diminished among its initial target groups and has ballooned among females and, particularly, native Canadians. If there is a solution to Canada’s problems with aboriginal peoples - it appears the answers are booze, dope and AIDS, in a couple of generations there won’t be a native problem. But getting there won’t be any fun, for the Indians, or for us.

The care of Aids patients is going to bankrupt us. The problems with Canada’s Healthcare system now, only reflect an increased immigrant population, aging and the small number of AIDS cases requiring hospitalization. All numbers are more than likely to grow, the latter will grow exponentially. As Tom Hanks movie on the subject indicated, along with being a sick person in need of societal support, an AIDS patient is also unable to contribute to society at the time when they should be most able to do so. The resources put into their education are wasted by their inability to function due to chronic and debilitating disease. AIDS care will challenge the resources of every afflicted family and eventually the resources and mores of society itself in an effort to prolong economically useless existences.

After two decades of dealing with this disease, we know no more that we did then. What is even more disturbing, given what we do know; the treatment remains the same - avoid AIDS by practising ‘safe sex’ - wear a condom. This is it. This is the very best we can do. This is the message of hope we beam into Africa - if everyone would only wear a rubber....

AIDS is a disease spread purely by human behaviour - sexual behaviour in most cases - by close contact or infection by body fluids in others. From time to time we read of someone deliberately, it seems, infecting others after they have been diagnosed. Immediately the ‘dignity chorus’ goes into full cry, blaming the victims for failing to ‘protect themselves’. Generally the victims are women, the infector is a man and the ‘dignity’ groups vent for same sex issues on their other beats. It is truly a good thing for the same-sex lobby that AIDS made the cross-over to heterosexuals - now we all have something in common. But it’s not common sense.

AIDS is so serious that the law should protect the uninfected. AIDS carriers should not be allowed to have physical relations with anyone who doesn’t already have the disease and isolation is a virtual necessity. This isn’t because of an inhuman streak, it’s because of the very real costs of looking after sick people. Laws have been struck to curtail the behaviour of smokers - who develop and may cause diseases far less malignant, though no less deadly, than AIDS. It is imperative that governments act to stop the transmission rate of AIDS in Canada. Left uncontrolled we won’t be able to help ourselves, let along the stricken billions in other lands.

One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse must resemble a Bonobo ape.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Da Black Man's Burden

Toronto cops raided a local neighbourhood arresting over 100 people and confiscating guns, dope and cash. This in an effort to head off a repeat of last summer's 'shootin' season'. 1000 different charges laid and related raids in other areas of the city and in other communities. The first, or so the Chief tells us, of more to come.

Two minor points ignored in yesterday's headlines: first, that most of those arrested were Black and second, that the 'Jamestown community', where the gang bangers live is public housing. In short, the people of Toronto have been subsidizing the living of these crooks.

The Saturday Star carries the standard 'disenfranchisement' dirge that usually shows up a day after da boyz have been blastin' each other. This time it's about the damaging ramifications to the "community" resulting from the sudden removal of so many residents. An apparently 'enfranchised' Black woman - she gets a whack of column inches to make excuses - is doing what others have obviously been doing for quite a while, apologizing for these young louts, without expecting anything from them. She wants counselling teams, and special programs, educational opportunities, new housing money and job training to help these young men and others 'on their way up' to be able to take their place in society.

It seems to me that those opportunities are already there and these 'gangstas' are taking their places in society - as fathers to a number of illegitimate children, as night-time socializers and daytime snoozers, drivers of flashy cars and wearers of $100 baseball caps, shooters and thieves. In short, they've brought the post-slavery mentality of the Caribbean culture - "the I don' wan do nuthin" part - to Canada and it has been embraced. There's a lot to be stealin' in Canada.

Somebody else wrote an unrelated article this week about 'Nurturing being better than Punishing'. No doubt there are elements in Toronto who would see this as the obvious solution for these poor picked-upon black men. I agree with the sentiment, but it should stop by age 4 in most cases and then responsibility training and logical consequences for 'bad' behaviour become the teaching tools. These little princes don't need more nurturing. The behaviour of relatves in the courtroom indicates they're still getting lots of that. By this time in their lives, they need to be back somewhere warm, where not doing anything is survivable without hurting other people. Or they need to be in jail, and I would suggest a different kind of jail. A 'community' jail - where their 'baby mamas' can join them (since community seems to be so important to them). Located, say, at the northern end of HWY 69, or 50 miles west of Timmins or east of New Liskeard, where they can learn the value of hard work to build homes and neighbourhoods where they won't be 'minorities' and can provide for themselves without guns and dope.

Coming to Canada is tough, particularly if you come from somewhere with no 'winter'. Growing up is tough, maybe even tougher in a cultural setting that sees 'fathers' as 'sperminators'. Some cultural baggage needs to be forgotten. Canada provides opportunities to get ahead if you want to work. It's too bad that Canada also provides opportunities for those who don't want to work. That, apparently, is the black man's burden.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Canada's Fallen Heroine

Canada has put itself well and truly in the same league as the midieval French and their Jeanne D'Arc. It was announced to day the the first female Canadian soldier has died in combat.

Captain Nicola Goddard is the first Canadian woman to die in combat since World War Two. What makes hers an even more remarkable event that she was a combat infantry (artillery) officer and died during a significant firefight with a force of Taliban. Canada's military has had a proactive policy of including females in combat units.

Other armed forces have developed equal-opportunity policies for women, as visualized in a number of hollywood movies featuring stars such as Goldie Hawn and Demi Moore. But in actuality the women, while receiving training, are usually seconded to rear echelon and supply units. Some have been made casualties but, as in previous wars, this was more by accident than design.

Ms Goddard's death comes in very close proximity to a parliamentary vote to sustain Canada's effort in Afghanistan for another 3 years. It also came during a week that looked like the promised Taliban offensive in Afghanistan was beginning to take shape - an increased number of attacks over a wider area than previously and involving significant numbers of insurgent attackers. Collateral to this, are an increasing number of dead Afghanis - both Taliban (or reputedly so) and police, in shootouts, and a number of non-combatants killed or injured in the inevitable bombings that seem to culminate coalition combat operations.

It strikes me that following-up the insurgent attacks with the bombing of shelters (somebody's house) where they are reputed to be, has all the earmarks of the unsuccessful Soviet tactics. Unless of course, the Soviets were bombing all the houses before the mujahiddin attacks. There are disconcerting rumours, as well, that the Americans have not yet improved their bombing skills and that friendly casualties, particularly Afghan, often result.

As Ms Goddard's prime function was to spot and call-in artillery and aircraft strikes, she would have been within observing range of these targets. The details of her death are not in, but I would hope that hers is not another friendly-fire incident. At any rate, a daughter is a very grievous loss. Condolences to her parents and family.

Check yer Weapons at the Bar

The Canadian gun registry, a source of no small employment to the gars canadiens, is in the news again. It looks like the Tories are back-tracking on theit promise to get rid of the billion-dollar boondoggle.

Why? It's because the association of Police Chiefs think it a valuable tool in their on-going battle against crime. Apparently they've been using it - 5 million plus times last year. Now this is a big step for our brothers-in-blue, because, when the registry was first proposed, they were agin' it. Even the then-proposed 20 million was more wisely spent filling ammunition boots to patrol our towns n' cities. Iteresting how politics will change your viewpoint. How many ammunition boots could have been filled with a billion plus dollars? Moot point, it's now a useful, if somewhat expensive, police tool.

I'm thinking 5 million hits last year. That's 20 percent of us. How many of us own guns? I'm thinking the police call up the registry every time they make a house call. That means, they're sitting out front in a cruiser waiting for the gun registry to tell them if there are hunting or collectible guns in the house. The other kinds of guns don't get registered. Now you can't tell me that a cop, knowing you've got a bird gun in the house isn't a lot more nervous than he might otherwise have been. I think it only serves to make police more paranoid than many already are. Besides you could be getting strangled while they wait for that report.

Another wrinkle, some duty cop, who didn't want to be identified, was pointing out that the registry now necessitates a lot of paperwork to PROVE that somebody DIDN'T have a license when the cops find somebody with an unregistered gun. Back in the old days, YOU had to produce a license or your guns were confiscated and you got charged. Now the cops have to prove you don't have a license to produce - do you get to keep the guns until things get sorted out?

Years ago a buddy gave me an old single-shot Cooey .22. When the gun registry law came into place, I had to go through the process of registering it, or I was looking at up to 5 years in the hooskow. It still doesn't work any differnt than it did before, except that hiding the bolt and ammunition in places I thought the kids wouldn't find them doesn't work any more. Trigger lock and locked ammunition cabinet are saving me from careless storage of a fiream charges should the local enforcement fellows ever visit about my caterwauling pussy.

A buddy had an old Martini-Henry - wired together and rusted unserviceable that he got as a gift off an Anishnabek acquaintence long ago. He still hasn't registered the sucker. If he ever gets caught with it, he's looking at a fine, or making some cop a good collector's item. He can't pass it on to his kids, legally, and no longer has it hanging over the family room doorway.

The registry is one dumbass piece of legislation - it has stopped not one shooting, protected no one, interfered with no criminal and cost the people of Canada far too much in cash for useless effort. I have a lovely plastic ID card listing my 'weapon' - it cost me nothing - a sop to the sportsman. Now they want $60.00 - any takers? Nope. And they figure there are another half million unregistered long-guns out there. Fat chance these will be registered.

The recent auditor's report points up weaknesses in the Registry. No one has ever investigated whether the registry is secure, or whether it is even fulfilling its function, whatever that is. A spate of break-ins targetting gun collectors with pistols had Toronto police wondering if some criminal elements didn't have access to registry information. These weren't ordinary hit and runs, but work over, in one case three, days to cut into secure safe-like gun storage containers with burning tools. Needless to say some of the collector's guns later showed up in relation to crimes.

There are a group of Canadians who think if we didn't have guns they wouldn't be stolen. That's simplistic, like saying if you didn't own anything it wouldn't get stolen. It ignores the fact that thieves steal anything, if a gun helps, they'll use one, or steal one.

Another group equate guns with murder - particular Marc Lepine and the Montreal massacre. But killers use anything to kill. Murder is a state of mind and heart. If there is no weapon to use, then the hands will suffice. Guns are designed for just one purpose, but they are a product of human igenuity and they have been used to help make the world as it is to-day. Some are truly works of the ironmonger's and woodworkers' art. They give pleasure to those who appreciate them and actually provide nourishment for those with the time and inclination to pursue wild game. They are, and always have been, regulated to greater or less extents. As part of Canadian tradition they should be permitted.

Eliminate the gun registry.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pass the DimSung, will ya' Mac?

The Toronto student-killer MinChen got a fairly stiff sentence for killing Cecelia Zhang last year. The judge indicated he was getting a break because there was no rebuttle to his story that it was some over-enthusiastic voice-muffling that asphyxiated the kid as he tried taking her from her home. Looking at his picture, I felt sorry for the poor bastard.

But on reflection, I think he was very lucky. He kept the dumping place for her body a secret for half a year, enough time for decomposition and whatever fauna live in Toronto ravines to spread the bones around. That pretty well ensured there would be little by way of evidence to be gleaned from the corpse.

Anyway he should be able, unless he really is stupid, and maybe even then,to complete that education his people sent him here to get. I read in the Star to-day that he might not be able to return to China after-all when he gets out, because they'll put him in jail again. If the Chinese will jail him, why are we doing it? He belongs in China.

I could see some crazy bugger in correctional services figuring that we should fly his parents here for visits. Perhaps he'll need a special culturally-correct diet. Entertainment in his native language, and, of course, special treatment, because he killed a kid. He looks like he could be a model prisoner and future candidate for early parole (despite what the Judge said). If he stays in a Canadian jail, he might just as well get Canadian citizenship. When he gets out we won't be able to get rid of him.

Them's the ROOLS, sir!

Hat's off to REV CAN (CCRA) to being super-protective of your personal income tax information. I was trying to get a replacement PIN number for filing this year's return and decided to wing it through the phone operator.

That was an eye opener. I thought that a name, address, SIN and possibly the net income from the last return filed would suffice. After all I didn't want any real info, just a freakin' number with which I could provide them with more info. But, as Belushi used to say "WOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOH!". The nice little dame on the phone wanted to check a few other things on last year's return as well, besides line 179, or whatever it was. Eventually she gave me a new number that worked.

But I'm thinking why all this horseballs? If some bozo wanted to cook up a spurious tax return for me, not only would he need to know a good deal about me, to contrive a lot of stuff that wouldn't check out(T4's, etc) and for what purpose? Or he would just bullshit from the get go. It would even be a good joke. I know now he probably wouldn't be able to get a PIN for e-filing and he'd just have to waste $1.05 mailing in an obviously phony paper return. Or maybe I'm being a little cavalier here, the mind that thought up the necessary levels of security, is just paranoid enough to treat a patently phony return as the real McCoy.

I could understand it if you wanted to find out how much tax Jean Chretien, say, paid last year. But then, I think government types should have this info publically accessible. That should apply to top level civil servants, senior Government employees and anyone involved in lobbying. However, given the CCRA bent for privacy protection, rest assured that your miserable income tax data is secure - and so is theirs.

Same sort of horsepoop at Crappy Tire. You can buy stuff without a credit card (the monthly bill will suffice), or you can pay on your account without a credit card, but you can't spend that funny-money that accrues for using your credit card without one.
Yep, the real cash blows through the system like a dose of salts, but the cyber 'funny money'? That's rigorously controlled, probably to stop some identity thievin' bastige from blowing your hard-earned $26.40 on a set of ginsu knives or a dandy flashlight.

It's sort of like the credit card companies that won't talk to the Bride - and she's the one who knows all about them.

Organization is a great thing, until some anal-retentive format freak gets to be in charge. 'Baffle them with bullshit' acquires a whole new meaning when paired with electronic media.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Nindawayma"*, they call the wind...

The on-going saga of the theft of First Nations land in Caledonia, Ontario goes on, quietly that is.

Since Premier Daltie McG appointed his predecessor Liberal Premier David ( "Is that a profiterole I see?) Peterson to sort things out, things are moving at a slower, but oh-so-much-gentler pace.

The weekend commentary on discussion was that both sides had reached agreement on some aspects of the dispute - probably what, and where, was lunch and who was payin'. Back at the dispute site the warriors raised a second barricade to keep the white-eyes off a now-disputed bridge.

Why don't Natives do this stuff in March? The site developer was at work in March. Maybe there was no dispute in March. Sometimes these things, like a case of the scoots, just come on you sudden. Sometimes it's seasonal - "in the spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of burnin' tires...". Maybe the nice weather is nicer for sitting around to stand-up for your rights.

Davey Peterson - with his mediation skills honed by many hours spent over power lunches in some of the "Big Smoke's" finer dining establishments, should have things sorted out by the time the next election rolls around. Did the natives really cede that land, did some farmer really buy it and was the money really used to benefit the Queen-Empress' red 'childern'? If so, does that stuff abrogate the inherent rights of to-day's native people to land their ancestors took off somebody else's ancestors long, long ago? Just the thought requires the introduction of a portable buffet.

Hey, this stuff keeps the minds of the stupid off the important stuff like Hydro rate increases and MPAC disgrace that the Libs are 'unable to fix'.

* Davey P is the premier responsible for Ontario's $40 million purchase of the Norwegian Ferry (renamed) Nindawayma for the Tobermory-Manitoulin Island run. The ferry ran one year and spent the next nine rusting quietly in Owen Sound Harbour, before being sold for $1.5 million worth of boxed meat to a Quebec company. Given the cost of refitting and annual upkeep and harbour fees - this little exercise in public transport set the taxpayers of Ontario back about $150 million. Dave made the NDP look good to Ontario.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Budget Day in Canada

To-day's the BIG day, the Tories roll out their first budget. They say they've vetted it with the other parties, but what has actually happened is that they've aimed 'good' news at most people.

The Big draw is the GST reduction - a 1% decrease here will save you about$300 on the price of a new $30 000 car. It'll pay for your winter radials. The more you shop, the more you save. The rich guys let the company (the taxpayers) buy their stuff so they won't save much (Ha.Ha.).

Next on the list is the $1200 for child care, that isn't. Apparently this is being taxed back at varying rates with the single-income family getting the best treament. At the Acme is the single income $250 000 p.a. group who will get the whole $1200, because it costs them more to have Momma at home looking after that baby. Huh?

Then there's re-arranged spending - the armed forces get more, but that means the environment gets less. The gun registry will probably go on soaking up the dollars - probably because its employees are all Quebecois, and because the cops like to know if you have a gun at your house. An unsafe storage charge is always a nice possibility after a visit.

A target for tomorrow is to rationalize that madness called the Income Tax return. It's the government equivalent of Sister Mary Elephant's 'Shut Up!' teaching method. Every 20 yeears or so the government simplifies the income tax return and over the ensuing 2 decades the manadrins at CCRA mess it all up again with a series of rulings and interpretatiions which would make the ordinary Joe head for the gun cabinet, the liquor cabinet, both, or H&R. Block. I wonder how much the tax preparation industry kicks-in to government coffers? Income tax returns have to be a billion-dollar industry, thanks to our government. Anyhow, an overhaul is long overdue.

Jimmy Flaherty is preaching the gospel of paying too much tax. If he'd like to do something positive, why doesn't he make corporate Canada play by the same rules? There are BILLLIONS in 'deferred' taxes credited to Corporations every year. The banks and insurance companies are allowed to 'defer' their taxes until they might have a 'bad' year, or go bankrupt, and then not pay them. Why don't they have a, "I' d like to defer my taxes to sometime in the future" Schedule for us? Better still, screw us, eliminate the corporate schedule. They do business in Canada and make a profit - they pay taxes!

As it is, Flaherty's a Mike Harris crewmate who thought that boning the poor would save the country - all it did was bone the poor. Let's get a look at his new shoes- $300 Florsheim's no doubt - they won't be from Payless!