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Allen K W Paley

Harper Chokehold

I despair that I may share the dooms of Sisyphus and Casandra:  Sentenced to eternity pushing a rock uphill, while carrying news destined for deaf ears.    The hill is the spirit of nationalism which unquestioningly accepts the status quo as "the Canadian way".  Consider how we are to believe that our healthcare system is a beacon for the world, but we must ignore that our quality of care ranking is 30th over-all, and that 50,000+ Canadians fled as medical refugees in 2014, dissatisfied with rationing and excessive wait times.  Furthermore, our gun control regime, much like those of the UK and Australia, is often hailed as a proud triumph despite objective measure revealing its failure. The deaf ears are those of firearm owners who nurse a zealous and dogmatic flame of loyalty for the Conservative Party of Canada despite the party's inconsistent record on firearms legislative reform.  You've no doubt recently seen this obstinate loyalty manifested in the indignant rage of an angry CPC supporter crudely lambasting the press.  No, not all CPC supporters are of this vulgar disposition, but if the CPC's Facebook and Twitter fan base is a fair representation, one concludes that they are woven into the demographic and they brook no criticism of their party. To illustrate, observe any pro-firearms Facebook page and its political discussions.  The tone waxes biblical with commandments and prophecies; Thou shalt worship no parties but the CPC.  Thou shalt not split the vote.  Thou shalt honour thy father's party.   When mankind wickedly abandons the CPC, an NDP orange flood shall sweep across Canada and disarm the unworthy, or the financial seas shall turn Liberal red (already portended by $150bn+ of red ink on Harper's ledger).  Blinded by the holy vision, some conservatives don't see this as a hostage situation… Read More

General Mills hijacking women’s advocacy cause

As one who seldom watches television, it was my misfortune to view the latest chapter of General Mills’ "Generation Healthy" advertising campaign introducing a reproachful word (and hashtag, de-rigueur) of their own contrivance: #dietainment, pushing the facade of social advocacy for female adolescents and their vulnerability to body image issues courtesy of complicit media.    The purported purpose of the campaign which began in December of 2013 is, according to several executives quoted on the corporate blog, to "[cause] the current generation of adult women to be the last to diet.", by virtue of "Proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle [being] much more desirable and healthier than deprivation" including the laudable notion that "We can use our brands in service of the greater good and not just in service of the bottom line".   To scrutinize the veracity of their self-proclamation as a beacon for the advancement of all womankind rather than a mere business, simply visit the website of their hired-gun marketing firm:  "The brand had been experiencing a 24 month consecutive baseline decline and this campaign reversed that decline increasing the business by +8% in the most recent period. An amazing turnaround story." One advertisement which depicts a young girl playing is captioned "She will never care about the numbers".  Why would she?  The carbohydrate-merchants have a close enough eye on the numbers.   As for figures as they apply to diet (an oppressive word which affects only women we're led to believe), let's examine how General Mills’ wares tally up.  Many people who engage in managed nutrition (a euphemism for the dirty D-word) -whether for fitness, body beauty, or both- advocate the ratio of 60% protein, 30% fat, and 10% carbs (like sugars, alcohols, grains, fibers, etc...) as a nutritional balance which promotes lean mass,… Read More

Thanks, Notley

On May 5, 2015, I groaned at news that the Alberta NDP had swept the 29th provincial election with 54 seats (mainly urban), whilst the Wild Rose Party followed with 21 seats, representing two-thirds of rural ridings. According to Abacus Data, 93 per cent of Alberta’s voters chose the NDP for the sake of change — only 7 per cent genuinely preferred NDP policy. Among those polled, 62 per cent attributed anger as the motivation, whilst 38 per cent attributed hope. The bottom line: the NDP’s mandate is born of desperate bitterness, and little else. The next day, I awoke to several unexpected inches of wet snow. Knowing that comedy can be reliably formulaic, I took to Twitter to see if #ThanksNotley had yet emerged. Indeed it had: “Just ripped the crotch of my pantaloons at work. #ThanksNotley”. A little tongue-in-cheek partisan snark can be an effective balm to soothe a political bruising.  But there’s a good chance that this hashtag's levity will evolve into sincere lament. After eight weeks of the NDP, what does #ThanksNotley mean? In the NDP’s first month, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman announced that menthol cigarettes will be prohibited as of September 30, and Premier Notley reaffirmed her pledge to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which could usher in a significant wave of unemployment. In the NDP’s second month, Finance Minister Joe Ceci announced that corporate taxes will be raised from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, effective July. Private citizens were not spared; Alberta’s flat tax will be replaced with a progressive tax for incomes above $125,000. This may affect as many as 250,000 Albertans. In the lead-up to the NDP’s third month, and searching for insight into what #ThanksNotley might mean in the next four years, I attended Ezra Levant’s… Read More

Iveson on Photo Radar – Haughty is the head which wears the crown

At what point has a leader become a tyrant? Is it when embodying the dignity of the crown’s authority gives way to the compulsion to brandish the scepter and swing it with impunity? Is it when he, like King Richard II, proclaims "The law is in my mouth"? A tyrant would say anything to convince his subjects that his judgment is wise and of divine sanction. His sycophants, like those of King Cnut, would say anything to preserve the deception that his royal prerogative gainsays that the forces of nature are beyond his command. Where has Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson placed himself in this progression, given his comments of the 6th of October, 2014? "I'm just tired of this sense that some people have that they're better than the law. ...This is my kid's safety, this is people's safety that's at stake in this community, and these people who want to argue that they're above the law, I've just had it with them." The commander-cum-burgeoning-badass finishes with a blow of gravitas: "Absolutely had it." Who knew that a biker could be this intimidating?! ICYMI, Iveson has been defending Edmonton's photo radar regime, which was brought fully under the city’s control in 2007 for having experienced significant cost overruns in the order of 800%, landing at $53.6M as detailed in an auditor's report. He dismissed arguments that the program should focus on communities rather than arterial freeways. Is his intransigence against reexamining the matter motivated strictly by concern for public safety, or could egoistic factors be involved? Giving him the benefit of the doubt, let's examine his data and weigh it; Iveson offers statistics as evidence that the city's 2007 photo radar take-over and the decline in injury/fatal collision rates (from 7.44/1k to 3.89/1k in 2013) share a causal relationship. It’s… Read More

A Response to “The Morons Pack Heat”

Having read the opinion piece by Avik Jain, that was both posted and removed on Sept. 2, entitled "The Morons Pack Heat" it did not take long to compose a list of faults. I will forgo the more pedantic items (including the intriguing matter of the plural form of "metropolis", which came to English from Greek via Latin) and focus on some of the more relevant and measurable facts which the author failed to dispel by means of misrepresentation, omission, prolific logical fallacy. A correction of the author's erroneous description of the symbolism of the Gadsden and Confederate flags deserves an entire letter in itself, and thus will be deferred for the time being. For the purpose of brevity, the bigotry and prejudice which saturate the early part of the article shall be treated as tautologically refuted. The author uses an anecdote of an attempted presidential assassination to weakly attack the notion that an armed civilian population discourages criminal proliferation. A useful indicator of this particular relationship is to examine countries (of the developed world) with strong civil disarmament regimes and compare the levels of violence in those societies. Let's begin this analysis with the U.K. Using an aggregate of data from an E.U. Commission and the U.N. we see that the rates of violent crimes (per 100k people) don't read favorably for England with 2,034/100k as compared to South Africa's rate of 1,609/100k, or Canada which weighs in at 935/100k. Showing a much lower 466/100k, the well-armed citizenry of the U.S.A. enjoy a much safer lifestyle. Although these numbers on their own don't necessarily mean direct causation, even without elaborate methods of analysis we can see an obvious correlation. Incidentally, a deeper look into the state and municipal levels of the U.S.A. show this very same correlation in comparing… Read More