December 29, 2006

Advice from an expert

Every morning, a quotation pops up on my computer. I was particularly struck by today's.

"What luck for rulers that men do not think."
The speaker was Adolf Hitler.

As 2006 ends, I and many others have spent the last two years fighting Ontario's pit bull ban. An online conversation this morning discussed people's blind acceptance of blatantly false and disproved statements from politicians and "authorities".

My morning quotation fit in perfectly with that conversation.

I did a quick search for other quotes by Hitler and found a few, mostly from The Quotations Page, Brainy Quote, and Nazism Exposed.

I have not been able to confirm the sources of these quotations. I have no idea if Hitler really said them. They're just food for thought.

All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilized.

It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.

The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.

When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community."

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December 27, 2006

Gotta love partisan politics

On Thursday, December 21, 2006, the last day before the Ontario Legislature's winter break, members of Provincial Parliament voted on two bills. I find the voting on these two bills disappointing and disturbing.

The first bill was Bill 178 - The Truth and Transparency in the Justice System Act.

This is a private member's bill introduced by John Tory. Its stated purpose is to provide more detailed reporting about the way in which various types of offences are handled by judges throughout Ontario.

The bill was shot down upon its second reading by a vote of 26 to 17. Although this seems close, my knowledge of the way things work in the Legislature is that the majority party was well aware of how many votes it would take to defeat the bill and only that many members voted. This view is supported by the voting on the second bill.

The second bill was Bill 173 - The Legislative Assembly Statute Law Amendment Act.

This sounds innocent enough until you realize that this is the bill that raises MPP's salaries by 25% and increases their pension from 5% to 10%, resulting in an effective salary increase of 31%.

I cannot say how disappointed I was that the Conservatives chose to vote for this increase.

The vote was 77 to 7 in favour of the bill. Only the NDP voted against it. Interesting how a lot more Liberal members showed up for this vote.

Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star has some good comments about this bill.

In a following article, I will be providing a list of who voted on each bill, which way they voted, and to which political party they belong.

In the meantime, this information is available on the Ontario Legislature website. See for yourself how your MPP voted on these two bills.

Note the second-to-last sentence by the Speaker of the House: "This House stands adjourned until ... Monday, March 19, 2007."

That's three months away. Nice work, if you can get it.

To find out who the MPP is for your riding, click here.

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December 19, 2006

Petitions to the Ontario Government

From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation website, a number of petitions to the Government of Ontario, in particular to Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Premier McGuinty honour your pledge

On the 11th of September 2003 you signed a pledge to uphold the Taxpayers’ Protection and Balanced Budget Act if your party formed the next government of Ontario.

Property Tax Reform

Property tax reform in Ontario

No New Municipal Taxes

We call on the government of Ontario to repeal the taxing powers given to the City of Toronto under the “Stronger City of Toronto Act” and that these powers not be extend to any other municipality in the province.

Conduct a full forensic audit of Hydro One and fire President and CEO with cause

We, the undersigned taxpayers, call on the government of Ontario to conduct a full forensic audit into Hydro One. Any individual found to have falsified expense claims should be forced through legal means to repay amounts owing.

Ask Taxpayers if MPP's deserve a pay raise

The 25% proposed pay raise for MPP’s is outrageous. You have justified the raise by comparing your salary and MPP salaries to those of MP’s in Ottawa. Unfortunately, while Ottawa continually balances the books your government has yet to deliver on your pledge to not raise taxes and maintain balanced budgets. Even more troubling, your government is trying to fast-track this legislated pay raise without consulting taxpayers.

And, last but not least, from the Dog Legislation Council of Canada:

Petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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December 18, 2006

This is why we are where we are!

I received the following comment today regarding my "Ontario Bans Pit Bulls" article. This text is copied and pasted from the original comment, including all spelling and grammatical errors.

"Guest what? I'm breeding pittbulls because i have a male and a female pitt bull and they are having puppies. You can't do nothing about it Ha Ha."
Clearly, this person must not have read much else on this blog or they'd have no doubts that I'm AGAINST the legislation and I'm certainly not running around trying to find secret breeders.

To clarify:

I am against mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs. I am most definitely against mandatory spay/neuter for specific breeds. I am in favour of public education regarding unnecessary breeding, unhealthy breeding, and puppy mills. I am somewhat in favour of financial incentives to spay/neuter, but I'm still not sure about that one.

I actually end up fighting unwillingly for this owner's right to breed dogs because of the need to fight for the right of responsible people to breed dogs.

I hope this person realizes the potential consequences of their actions if they get caught:
  • Mandatory death for both parent dogs.
  • Mandatory death for the puppies.
  • Charges to the owners under the Dog Owners' Liability Act with penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to six months in jail.
I hope it's worth the risk to you and your dogs, buddy.

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MPP's "mad as hell" at Kormos

Over the past two years, I have truly come to appreciate Peter Kormos, Ontario MPP for Niagara Centre.

As a senior member of the New Democratic Party of Ontario, Peter holds the posts of Justic Critic, Labour Critic, Consumer Protection Critic, and Community Safety Critic.

During the House debates and Committee hearings on the Ontario Liberal Party's Bill 132 amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act, Peter was one of the most vocal critics of the legislation.

Outspoken and direct, he outlined clearly the absurdities, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the law, as well as its constitutional problems.

Don't get me wrong. I recognize that it's the duty and responsibility of the Third Party critic to do everything within his power to hold the government accountable and to test the mettle of every new bill. I did feel, however, that Peter truly believed that Bill 132 was bad law.

Now, he's at it again over the government's recent introduction of a 31% salary increase for MPP's. From being kicked out of the legislature last week for refusing to back down, to making a promise that his own salary increase will be donated to charity, to insisting on house debate and committee hearings about the pay hike, Peter is not making a lot of friends in that House.

Note in the following Toronto Star article that Liberal House Leader Jim Bradley is expected to make a motion limiting debate on the subject. This tactic has been used multiple times by the current government in order to ram through controversial legislation.

Ironically, Jim Bradley is Minister of Tourism. As such, he is one of the most frequent recipients of angry letters from potential visitors to Ontario who now refuse to enter the province because of this government's discriminatory dog legislation. If anyone is aware of public sentiment against laws that are hastily contrived and speedily passed, it should be Mr. Bradley.

The MPP's are "mad as hell" that they have to work this week and possibly the next. Hmmm, I'll be working then. So will everyone I know, and not for as much money as these guys. I also don't get writeoffs and perks, nor do I work for only six months of the year. Unlike the MPP's, I'm also expected to show up for work every day.

Read the rest of the story here.

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December 17, 2006

Ontario government accused of misleading the public

A ruling from Advertising Standards Canada has found newspaper and television ads (by the Ontario government) this fall falsely suggested that people who visited a government website or phoned a hotline could find new ways to get treatment faster.

Misleading the public again?

This by the government responsible for the "pit bull" fiasco, the roasting by the Auditor General for misuse of public funds, and then a self-imposed 31% pay increase?

We really have to get rid of these guys in October. This is getting ridiculous.

Read the whole story from the Toronto Star.

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December 12, 2006

Ontario Liberals introduce 25% pay raise!

Ontario politicians plan to give themselves a 25 per cent pay increase before the legislature’s Christmas break.

Read the entire story from the Toronto Star.

Unfortunately, the original report from the Star has disappeared due to their new and improved format. In that article, there was a particularly great quote from Liberal MPP Richard Patten:

"I think this is the right thing to do; it’s fairly humble"

"If they don’t (like it), then they can boot us out (in next year's election)."
Don't worry, Rick. That's exactly what's going to happen.

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December 11, 2006

Dog Owners' Liability Act of Ontario (2005) Information Sheet

Consolidated plain language interpretation of Ontario's amended Dog Owners' Liability Act (2005), courtesy of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada.

Version for viewing (HTML)

Version for printing (PDF)

Information in these documents is intended to provide the reader with a summary of the key elements of the legislation for ease of reading. It should not be construed as authoritative or as legal advice. For a more thorough analysis of the legislation, please contact a lawyer. Information in this document is the copyrighted property of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada. All rights reserved. These documents may be distributed, without alteration of any kind, for the purpose of informing interested parties. Any errors or omissions are unintentional. The Dog Legislation Council of Canada recognizes that the word "pit bull" is often used and misused to apply to many purebred and mixed-breed dogs with varying appearances. Any use of the word "pit bull" by the authors is limited to these documents and is used only for the purpose of referring to dogs that may fall under the government's definition in the Dog Owners' Liability Act, its regulations, and the Animals for Research Act. This does not mean that the authors believe there is any such breed as "pit bull" or that any dog can be identified as such.

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Front Groups

I received a comment from Anonymous about my previous post, PETA Kills Animals!, stating that "the Center for Consumer Freedom is a front organization...(with) almost zero credibility".

I do not dispute this. Everyone has an agenda and CCF definitely has one. The following quote is from their "About Us" section:

"The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices."

"The Center for Consumer Freedom is supported by restaurants, food companies and more than 1,000 concerned individuals. From farm to fork, our friends and supporters include businesses, employees and consumers."
Clearly, reading through their website, CCF is biased against animal-rights organizations, particularly those that try to force their own choices on the rest of the world through propaganda, lobbying, and sometimes through violence.

I am also biased against those same organizations, so perhaps I'm a little more willing to use information from CCF's website. I'm biased against an organization whose stated objective is to end all pet ownership and that supports, and lobbies for, legislation that automatically kills dogs because of the way they look.

That said, having been dealing with "pit bull" mania for years, I know how easy it is for anyone to twist facts and figures to suit their particular purpose and CCF might be no different in that regard.

Perhaps the most important point to remember, regardless of the source on the Internet, is that the documents and statistics shown on the website are from actual documents provided by PETA themselves to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the years 1998 through 2004.

Take away any hyperbole and propaganda from either side. Ignore, for the moment, the bias that may or may not be spread throughout the CCF website. Look only at the documents provided by PETA themselves. Those documents speak loudly enough.

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December 08, 2006

Bryant is bankrupting Ontario's Legal Aid system

According to Legal Aid Ontario, grandiose "mega-trials" designed by Ontario's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, are bankrupting the Legal Aid system, which can now no longer afford to provide assistance to people who truly need it.

Just like with his ill-conceived dog legislation, Bryant has dived headlong into another pet project (no pun intended) without proper research, consultation, or planning, resulting in suffering to people who don't deserve it.

Another example of something that sounds great to the public in the beginning, but quickly turns into an unmanageable mess.

Read the Toronto Star article here.

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December 07, 2006

PETA Kills Animals!

It's been almost a month since my last post. To make up for that, I'll quote an article that's over nine months old.

The Center for Consumer Freedom has been a consistent critic of extremist animal rights organizations and has been a valuable source of information regarding not only the terrorist measures to which these groups will resort, but also regarding their financial gains from donations by an unwitting, uninformed public.

A press release from March 3, 2006, states that, in 2005, as reported by PETA to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), PETA killed over 90% of the animals that they received at their Norfolk headquarters.

According to a statistics table on a related site, that's 1,946 killed, 146 adopted, and 69 transferred to other shelters.

% Killed90.7%
% Adopted6.8%

If you're a little skeptical, you may want to view earlier original reports (from 1998 to 2004) submitted to the VDACS. This is a PDF file, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

Given PETA President Ingrid Newkirk's unequivocal support, not only of "pit bull" bans, but also of the automatic destruction of "pit bulls" entering shelters, I wonder how many big-headed dogs with silly grins ended up on the killing floor?

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© Copyright 2007 Steve Barker