The Art of Hypocritical Thinking

The amount of hate directed at George Zimmerman never ceases to amaze me. Do a google search of “kill Zimmerman” and you will see the extent of the hate/threats of violence directed at him. The irony is that those who are upset/angry with what happened to Trayvon Martin are conducting themselves in the way that had originally upset them, but can’t comprehend that. They only care that their version is perceived as the right one whether they are right or wrong. They act in a mob mentality, where they will vocalize their hate for Zimmerman and others will join in with them. There seems to be a sense of being able to do and say anything they want and no one should be able to shut them up.

At one point there was a Twitter account “@ killzimmerman” which was set up by someone shortly after the killing of Trayvon Martin so that they and others could tweet their hatred and threats of violence against George Zimmerman. Then there are those like Spike Lee who tweeted what he thought was Zimmerman’s address which gives those who are inclined to go there and harass/threaten Zimmerman. Unfortunately, the address was wrong and innocent parties were harassed. Then there is Twitter itself. They are basically silent on their service being used to threaten people. I do believe in freedom of speech which means you take the good with the bad but there are limitations to that free speech such as you can’t yell “fire” in a theatre, etc.

Below is the correspondence I had with Twitter.

How can we help?: Offensive content Reported user(s): @ killzimmerman

Offensive Tweet: https://twitter. com/#!/KillZimmerman/status/185114089876488192

How long ago did this begin?: within the week How many times has this happened?: daily Blocked user(s): No

Description of problem: This username and what is being posted is just disgusting and I can’t believe this has been allowed to go on for so long. I did not join Twitter to see this kind of crap.

This was their response back.

Hello,

This is a message to let you know that we’ve received your report and we’re taking a look into your issue. If we find that your report can be resolved through our help articles, you may not hear back from us. Below are common issues that can be resolved through our Help Center articles:

Reporting for another Twitter user: Whether they are a friend or a celebrity, we’ll need to be in contact with the person directly involved. If you are a friend of the person affected by this issue, please have them file a ticket.

Reporting bullying or harassment:  As a policy, we do not mediate content or intervene in disputes between users. This means that users are allowed to post potentially inflammatory content, provided that they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules.

Here is some additional information about dealing with bullying: 

http://support.twitter.com/articles/15794

Reporting offensive content:  As a policy, we do not mediate content, including potentially offensive content. Twitter provides a communication service that allows controversial posts even though some may disagree with the content. We understand that everyone has different levels of sensitivity towards content, and that you may feel uncomfortable with the posted content. If there is something that you don’t agree with, or find insulting, it’s best to block that user.

This help page has instructions on blocking other users:  http://support.twitter. com/entries/117063

Thanks,

Twitter Trust & Safety

This was my response back.

 Thank you for your reply, although I am not impressed with the response. I do understand what free speech is but there IS a difference between free speech and speech that promotes violence (free speech does have limitations to it such as you are NOT allowed to yell fire in a theater). Taking the route that you have is a cop out. Having the handle @ killzimmerman is way different than getting upset and posting a comment.

 Sincerely A Current Twitter User,

There were also two separate instances where NBC employees were caught selectively editing audio/video to make it look like Zimmerman was racist/guilty. When you have companies like Twitter and the media being in cahoots no wonder people feel entitled to behave any way they believe. There were those in leadership roles taking advantage of the situation inflaming the situation. There is now a lawsuit against NBC, Al Sharpton and the lawyers for the Martin family by George Zimmerman.

How is the relationship between different races helped by this? Where is the outrage when it is for instance black-on-black attacks? Are those victims any less important and where is the outrage when it happens? The race baiting does no one or any community any good. What is the sleight of hand for? What is really being hidden from us when those in the know push the hatred buttons? We deserve better starting from the top down. Isn’t it time for them to be held accountable!

Welcome To Canada But Leave Your Garbage At The Door!

On Sunday, January 29, 2012, Mohammad Shafia, his second (polygamous) wife Tooba Yahya and their son Hamed were convicted of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four family members, Zainab (19), Sahar (17), Geeti Shafia (13), along with Shafia’s first wife Rona Amir (50), who were found inside a car in a lock on the Rideau Canal on June 30, 2009. The Shafia family are Muslims and originally from Afghanistan[i]. It is important to note that when Rona was brought to Canada, it was an aunt/domestic help work visa not as Mohammad’s first wife. Rona helped raise Tooba’s children as she had none of her own (she unfortunately was barren), thus the reason for the second wife.

What they are really guilty of, is, “honor killings”. “Honor is one of the core values of Arab society. This fact supports the belief that this society devalues the position of woman. The interests of the active powers within Middle Eastern society decide the definition of this value. The dominating powers or the higher class in the society determines the meaning of honor as suits their interests. (Al- Zayat, 1993, Page 66 and Abdo 1999, Page 13)

Once we realize this fact, we discover the misinterpretation of the meaning of honor. The noble values of dignity and seniority are neglected. Instead, the only focus is on the woman’s body and her virginity. According to this definition, the woman is an object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life. The social traditions lead to the isolation of the woman in her home. She is required to cover her entire body in order to maintain the honor of the man. A decent honorable man has to have a decent honorable woman. The major factor in this theory is the body of the woman that is capable of bringing new members for the family, so that it can extend and live longer. Thus, the woman’s body is the private property of her husband. By maintaining and protecting it, there will be no confusion between families in the community. The family, and men in particular, have the responsibility to defend the honor of ‘their’ woman. (Al-Turki and Zuraiq, 1995, Page 104)”[ii] What I would like to know is, why those responsible for defending the honor of ‘their’ women are not punished as they are the ones who have truly failed in their duty.

When immigrants choose to come to Canada, they come for a reason, such as other family members living here, a strong community already here, etc. They could have chosen to live anywhere else (i.e. Europe, Australia, United States, etc). Most people, emigrate from their country for monetary or persecution for political, religious or other reasons. The country they choose is a place where they look to have a better life where they can succeed and live life to its fullest, where they can practice their religion in freedom, or live in relative safety. Unfortunately there are those, who come to Canada for whatever their reason, but have no intention of becoming a Canadian citizen. Because of multi-cultural policies, many new immigrants are not encouraged to embrace Canadian values and to integrate into Canadian society. You may also find those who are here illegally and disappear or are disappeared (usually those paying off their coyote debts, etc. – financial slaves) into these neighbourhoods. In many cities there are neighbourhoods that those from other countries gravitate to. I do understand the comfort of being with those from the same community/culture so as to feel part of a community, but then there are those who never venture from those areas to discover other areas of the city that is now their home. Also, there are those that bring their baggage from their home country to Canada. If I were to live in another country, I would be expected to adapt to their culture/rules and to not to try and change their country to suit my particular needs/beliefs. Yet there are those because of the freedoms that everyone enjoys that try and take advantage of this. Many times, politicians, judicial officials and the general public have not wanted to say anything with regard to this or make excuses using ‘multiculturalism’ as the excuse. Not wanting to offend the immigrant or their culture, even though their behaviour would be offensive to Canadian values and morals, has paralyzed people in dealing effectively with issues that come up that differ.

More needs to be done to assist those new immigrants in becoming Canadian citizens, where Canadian laws and values are explained to them. There is much to acclimate to when coming to a new country and any help that can be provided to them should be made available so the transition is easier.

There comes a time when people who adopt Canada as their home become Canadian. We as a country cannot accommodate everyone else’s cultural and religious beliefs or we cease to be the country that attracted them here in the first place. Trying to please everyone pleases no one as someone would be offended by these changes. Each country has their own customs and an explanation would save embarrassment to someone breaching these. Worrying about not offending someone does them no favours. What is acceptable in their home country does not mean that it is acceptable here. Honor killing has NO place in our country and is the garbage that needs to be left at the door!


Don’t Call Us, We Deliver: The Shunning of the Canadian Pipelines

Canada exports our talent (i.e. David Foster, Jim Carey,Celine Dion, Justin Bieber [my American friends hold  theprevious 2 against me, I just remind them that no one forced them to let them into theUS…ha ha]) etc., the US exports their environmentalists. “Pipelines are part of theenergy extraction and transportation network of Canada and are used totransport natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, synthetic crude andother petroleum based products. Canada has 23,564 km (14,642 mi) of pipelinefor transportation of crude and refined oil, and 74,980 km (46,590 mi) for liquefiedpetroleum gas.”[2], so it’s not like this is something newfor Canada.
Ezra Levant, the host of “The Source”[1], discussed that there were over 4500 people and organizations that want tospeak at hearing (including Cave Man and Captain Jack Sparrow, CITGO [Petróleos deVenezuela, S.A. is a part owner], and other foreigners) that the Government has set up to give EVERYONEa chance to express their opinion on the pipeline that would go from Alberta toBC. 
Then there are those like Robert Redford[3], Leonardo DiCaprio andKevin Bacon, who are publicly opposed to the pipeline. I wonder what theirplastic footprint is? How many plastic products do they use or have in theirhome? Do they do staycations (vacation at home) and buy local products to cutdown on the use of gas and oil so that they are not contributing to thedependence on oil. Mr. Redford and Mr. DiCaprio have no problem hoping on a plane for their own personal use. Brian Lilley, the host of the Byline discusses this further[4]. Now Mr. Redford runs Sundance and has the Sundance Film Festival bringing in celebrities to this annual event. How much fuel was used for people travelling to this event. Mr. Redford is not exactly walking the walk. While working in Vancouver, BC, he penned an op-ed asking for Canadians to reject the pipeline[5]. Just wondering how long it took for him to walk all the way to Vancouver. If he flew, he is being hypocritical, as he helped with the “dependence/addictions on oil” that the left loves to espouse. Before Mr. Redford starts butting in on how another country conducts their own business, he might want to make sure that he is not contributing to the supposed addiction to oil. I’ll support Mr. Redford’s view when he starts protesting in the Middle East on how they conduct their oil business. 

UPDATE:
As of January 18, 2011, Obama has blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have gone from Canada to the US. OPEC and Venezuela must be overjoyed that they will NOT be losing business to Canada. The Federal Government MUST ensure that the Northern Gateway is built so that our oil can reach the west coast of Canada and allow us to sell to others countries who want ours. Until we can use alternative energy that is affordable WITHOUT federal assistance, we need oil for fuel and other products.


Thanks to my friend Joe for the first part of the title.

2011 in Review – Part 2

2011 Stanley Cup
The Vancouver Canucks make it finally in to the Stanley Cupfinals. Things are tense as the playoffs enter Game 7. Can the Canucks do it?Can they win the Stanley Cup on home ice? Alas, it was not meant to be. TheCanucks lose Game 7, disappointing players and fans alike. A riot begins afterthe game has ended. Officials did not handle the situation well and thingsescalate. That was in 1994; we now move forward to 2011 and once again theVancouver Canucks make it into the finals for the Stanley Cup.

After the successful 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the viewingareas set up for fans to be able join others in watching the Olympic events,the City of Vancouver decided to do the same for the NHL playoffs for as longas the Canucks were in it. It was going pretty well with only normal issuesthat happen at hockey games. The Mayor of Vancouver and other politicians wereinviting people down to the area to join in watching Game 7 of the Stanley Cupfinals. We are at Games 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and things are tenseagain wondering whether the Canucks can finally win the Stanley Cup or are wedestined to lose like they did in 1994. The designated areas for fans to go towatch the games were not secured properly. There were large amounts of alcoholbeing purchased prior to the game with liquor stores having to close earlybecause of the games over concerns of alcohol consumption. Newspaper boxes werenot removed to avoid them being used as projectiles and cars were allowed to beparted in the designated areas.

I will admit to being a fair weather fan, I usually onlywatching during the playoffs. My friends that listen to an internet radio show hosted by Larry O’Connor[i] (Monday to Friday 9 pm-11 pm PST) in the chat room knew that if a game was on, then I had divided attention.There were some great teasing going on with friends who had been cheering forthe other team. Watching the Canucks losing in Game 7 left me feeling deflated.I had figured that there might be problems with fans after the game, but Iwasn’t expecting the extent of what had happened. Some fans began setting firesin garbage bins, stores had windows broken and looted, the awnings at HudsonBay Company were on fire, cars (including police) were being set on fire, andinnocent bystanders were being hurt. Then the news broke that rioting had begunand when watching the video feed, you had to wonder what the police were doingor more likely not doing. It seemed to take forever for them to finally startdealing with the rioters. Trying to explain to people online from outside ofVancouver, what was going on and why it was taking so long for the police to dosomething was quite difficult. It seemed as if the police were waiting for thehigher up in command to give them direction. Obviously there were major communicationissues. Hours later and the riot was quelled and those who were stuck downtownat other venues could finally head home. In the world’s eye, our greatreputation was tarnished with the taunts of “most people riot for human rights,Vancouver riots because we lost a hockey game”. This would definitely not be ashining moment in Vancouver’s history, with the exception of some heroes whotried protecting businesses and private property from the hooligans. There wereother heroes that came to the assistance of people who had been hurt and forthose trying to get to those who had been hurt.

Social media (Facebook[ii]and Twitter) were used to help galvanize the public in identifying the rioters.The next day on Facebook there was a campaign to help clean up the areas thatwere vandalized. The response was overwhelming with all the volunteers comingout to clean up and show the world that we were not all idiots. I had walkedthe area after work, and even though the streets and sidewalks were cleaned up,you could still see the damaged done. I got choked up seeing the area andwondered how things could have gotten out-of-hand so quickly. It was reportedthat there were those intent on using the game loss to do some five-fingeredshopping. Anger towards those who had rioted was very intense. Some idiots wereposing for cameras and had even posted on social media what they were doing –no shame at all. When the police requested any videos or pictures of thoserioting, the police were overwhelmed with the amount sent in and social mediawas used to assist in gathering evidence against the rioters.

Whathas been so frustrating is how long it is taking to file charges against thoseinvolved in the riot. As of November 30, 2011, only 25 people had been chargedwith 61 charges laid[iii]. It wasreported that a majority of charges should be laid in early 2012[iv]. What I wantto see is these people having to make restitution to the businesses and peoplewho had property destroyed or hurt. If they don’t have the money to pay, thenthey should be made to do community service that the court decides where, whenand for how long. If the courts give the rioters a slap on the wrist, they arenot doing the rioters any favours. I am not certain if jail time would do anygood, but hurting them in the pocket book to pay for the damages caused wouldcause them to think before engaging in this type of activity.


2011 In Review – Part 1

Canadian Federal Election
The May 2, 2011 federal election saw the Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Steven Harper, finally become a majority government after 3 kicks at the can (2006, 2008, 2011) and the Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties were decimated. Finally the Conservative can govern without the threat of an election hanging over their head.

The Northwest Territories and Quebec were the only provinces where the Conservatives didn’t finish in first place in numbers of ridings won. They also won with only having 5 seats in Quebec. This is something that hasn’t happened before and many people were pleasantly surprised. Right now people are wondering whether the Conservatives will get out of running as a minority government and start running the country as a majority government.

We saw the NDP (New Democratic Party) become the Official Opposition for the first time and the “Orange Crush” was in full gear. In Quebec, the Orange Crush swept the province, with the NDP taking a majority of those seats, also a first for the NDP.

For many years, the Liberals have not had a leader that Canadians felt confident with. With all the Harper/conservative hate going around, the Liberals should have done way better. Maybe it is time for the party to take a serious look at how they choose their leader and see what can be changed to bring in stronger candidates. The following leaders of the Liberal party all have a Quebec connection (either lived in or represented a riding in Quebec):
• Stephane Dion
• Paul Martin
• Jean Chretien
• Bill Graham (Acting)
• John Turner
• Pierre Trudeau

Only Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae (Acting) have not lived or represented a riding in Quebec. The party needs to build up a better profile out west and look for a leader in the western provinces where growth of population and economy is happening. They also need to move back to the centre as that is where voters want them to be. The further left they go, the less likely voters will stick with them. We already have a leftist party in the NDP and they have had far more practice being there and do a better job at than the Liberals could ever do.

The Bloc Quebecois were given a “wake-up”/”don’t take us for granted” call. Originally started by those in the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties from Quebec, they were set up to enable the province to secede from Canada and to only campaign within the province during federal elections. Their tunnel vision left voters disenfranchised from them so they were reduced to 4 seats from the high 40’s to low 50’s in numbers of ridings won. Only time will tell who will be the clear winner in Quebec but the Bloc has much to do to repair their relationship with their fellow separatists.

Jack Layton – Leader of the New Democratic Party
Say what you will about the man, but 2011 was his year. Unfortunately, with his untimely death, we never got to see the man engage parliament as the leader of the Official Opposition. While battling cancer, Jack Layton took the “Orange Crush” to new heights with its growth in popularity especially in Quebec. Many of the Orange Crushers were young people who never thought that they would win, had never held elected office, and some have never been to their respective ridings are now scrambling to learn French so that they can communicate with their constituents. Jack Layton was the kind of guy that connected with many people even if they didn’t agree with his politics. The NDP did very well across Canada but without their charismatic leader, how long will it take for them to implode. Many voted for Jack Layton rather than specifically for the NDP. Can the NDP carry on what Jack Layton started? Time will only tell.

Your Favorite Christmas Memory or Tradition

Christmas can be a trying time or a joyous time depending on what is happening in your life. Most of us have a tradition or memory that will bring a smile to our face when we remember these traditions or memories. I love it when it snows Christmas Eve night. It almost makes me feel like I can hear jingle bells. The snow covering leaves a peaceful feeling, like everything is all right in the world.


What I would like to know is, what is your favorite Christmas tradition or memory? Please comment below and let me what yours is!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Happy Holidays, I Think

When was the last time you went shopping at Christmas toonly see signs that say Happy Holiday or Season’s Greetings? Go in and try tobuy a holiday tree, holiday lights or holiday decorations, you won’t find them.What you will find is Christmas trees, Christmas lights and Christmasdecorations. Also, what you won’t find in the average store is Hanukkah orKwanza decorations. Christmas music will be playing but how many staff in thesestores will actually wish you “Merry Christmas” rather than the now standard “HappyHolidays” or “Season Greetings”. So which holiday or season ARE they celebrating?
A rose by any other name is still a rose. I personallyfind it offensive to see stores that want your business but won’t wish you a “MerryChristmas”. I have yet to meet someone from another country who got upset thatI wished them Merry Christmas; usually they are the ones who beat me to it. Therehave been some that were uncertain on whether it was okay to say MerryChristmas as they didn’t want to offend anyone. That is so sad. The killjoys ofthe world really do need to get a life. Do they realize that they are ruiningthe enjoyment of immigrants and those visiting from another country in partakingin Christmas?
The next time you go shopping, and they only haveChristmas items for sale, ask them where their holiday decorations are? If theytake you over to the Christmas decorations, tell them no, that you are lookingfor the decorations for the holiday or season that they are celebrating, I dareyou?

Why Involuntary Redistribution of Wealth Is Doomed To Fail.

Redistribution of Wealth! Utter those words and you will either receive approval or disproval depending on how the term is viewed. In the basic sense “redistribution of wealth” is the involuntary disbursement of income (wages, investments or government income [social security, unemployment insurance, welfare, etc.]) and/or property (main residence, vacation home, investment property, etc.) being redistributed by a government/governmental agencies according to their mandate.
With voluntary expenditures, it is the individual’s choice of how much and where to spend or not spend their income (savings). Mandatory expenditures, you pay taxes (all levels of government) according to your income (or property, etc. for municipal) and have no say on how it is spent. The amount paid depends on how much your income is and how many deductions you can claim. Buffett stated that he only paid 19% of his income for 2006 ($48.1 million) in total federal taxes (due to their being from dividends & capital gains), while his employees paid 33% of theirs, despite making much less money. “How can this be fair?” [1]  Buffett asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?” He also added:
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”[2]
What Warren Buffet failed to say is that if his secretary had her income taxed the same way as he did, his secretary would have paid a lower rate for the tax bill. This would be like those CEO’s who take a $1 per year for their salary (bulk of their income made would be from stocks, etc. that is taxed at the Capital Gains Tax rate). The 1% income earners paid 38% of the tax bill for 2010.[3]
For those who see the redistribution of wealth, whether monetary or property, as a form of social justice, believes that it should be mandatory. In other words, the government would decide on where and how much is distributed, rather than the individual/ corporation making that decision. Unfortunately, this type of utopia only works on paper, not in real life. Humans in general prefer the path to least resistance. If you can accomplish the same goal taking fewer steps, then that is the path people will take. If putting in the bare minimum gets you the same as putting in 100%, then many people will do the bare minimum as there is no advantage for them to put in anything extra. Eventually people will become less productive and the economy and life would become stagnant as there would be no real benefit in taking financial or personal risks. Life and the economy would become stagnant and thus boring. Unless every person on the planet was on the same playing field, people would move to those countries where their talent and money would be put to their best use according to the person’s needs and desires. Everyone has the right to the opportunity to advance themselves, just not everyone will succeed.


[1] “Warren Buffet”. Forbes: 24, 42–3. November 26, 2007