Canadian Terror Plot

On the news last night there was a very large segment on an apparent attempt by Islamic terrorists to derail a Via train. The talking heads were rattling on about the need for additional security etc etc, and there were security experts trying to talk themselves into lucrative contracts to make our life even more miserable.

There was however one very bright light. Apparently the initial tip that set the agencies looking at this group came from the leaders at their own mosque. That is such a positive thing that I can’t even begin to emphasize how important it is. With the rise of terror activity around the world, starting with 9/11, the one thing that has been missing (or at least not in the public eye) has been the active participation of the Muslim community in foiling these plots, Yes – there have been statements condemning these activities, but usually with a whiff of “well you really did bring these things on yourself” about them.

This is the first (to my knowledge) instance where the Muslim community has actively participated in stopping something like this and it need to be applauded and given the credit. Yes the security services did all of the legwork, but without that initial tip, they may not even have recognized the need for the legwork.

Radicalization of Muslims is the enemy of all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike and it is a really positive thing to see that recognized and more than that – acted upon.

Filling in the lake

TORONTO (AP) — Porter Airlines is seeking permission to land jets at Toronto’s island airport and extend the runway on the city’s waterfront as the upstart airline seeks to expand to destinations across North America, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday.

Deluce said they are seeking to extend the main runway at the airport by 168 meters (184 yards) at each end.

Erm, what part of no don’t you understand?

The Island Airport, now called Billy Bishop was for years a sleepy little place that was mostly used for some private aircraft and as a base for the air ambulance service. It has a very convenient location on an island in Lake Ontario just off the main city of Toronto.

That stood for many years, until Porter airlines came along and started a commercial service using turboprop planes to service short haul business passengers. There are many reasons why this was approved, not least of which is that it gives the Port Authority a reason to exist, as they were becoming less and less relevant as the port itself was. There was a lot of local opposition to their demand to expand services (the opposition lost) and to their demand to put in a bridge (the opposition won). Now they wish to expand the airport to service jets, and to do that they need a runway extension.

I don’t blame Porter for trying this, but the answer should be a resounding no! Toronto is served by a very large airport north west of the City and does not need another jet capable airport. What it needs is decent transport links to its main airport and no further expansion to the Island Airport. I very rarely line up with the left on city council, but on this one, I’m firmly in their camp. Stop this and stop this now! What we do not need is the Toronto Harbor filled in for the sole purpose of making Porter rich to the detriment of anyone that uses the harbor and the people that live in the nearby neighborhoods.

Who next?

Kids can be cruel, no doubt about that.

The recent tragedies of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons show that. These two young ladies were bullied unremittingly on-line by loathsome pieces of so called humanity, until they both snapped and took their own life.

You can’t legislate common decency but what you can do is shine a light on slugs when you turn over a rock like this. The ability exists to track down these anonymous persecutors, what is missing is the political will to do anything. The police are handcuffed by the need to successfully prosecute, and so are the courts, and both are simply incapable of dealing with the explosion of ready technology that allows and by its very nature supports this type of behavior. How about simply outing them….oh I forgot, they have rights

2nd amendment rights

I’ve been following the gun control debate in the US after the dreadful evens at Newton, which are just the latest in a long string of tragedies.

I also understand the enshrined right of the 2nd amendment being pretty sacred in a nation that was born through revolution.

What I don’t understand is why the NRA is actually capable of having any influence in the debate, based upon the complete nutbar pronouncements. Their solution to tragedies like Newton is to put armed guards in all schools. Gee – why don’t we simply give out handguns in grade 5 and have everyone armed. They also don’t seem to like the idea of background checks – they say that they don’t work, and that criminals don’t comply with  background checks. There is also resistance to banning high capacity magazines.

The NRA seems to be well funded, well connected and very able at influencing politicians. It is a shame that they can’t use this for something useful. Guns for hunting are one thing, but the remainder – assault weapons, handguns and automatic weapons of any kind simply don’t have a place in civilized society. How long is it going to take and how many innocents need to die before this is recognized?

RIP Maggie

After many years of poor health, ex Brit PM Margaret Thatcher has passed away.

The level of vitriol that has been spewed by the left about this is sickening.

I was in the UK during the years before and during the early Thatcher years, and let me tell you – it wasn’t a pretty place to be. The unions were permanently on strike, looking for yet greater pieces of the pie. Miners strikes were particularly vicious, with levels of violence that were shown on TV night after night. The British car industry was in the process of committing suicide through poor quality and rotating strikes. Inflation was rampant, and the trains very definitely did not run on time. The country was being held to ransom by union leaders that were not in any way directly accountable to the public.

Maggie came in and told everyone exactly what she planned on doing and was elected based upon those statements, and then went on to deliver them. She seemed to be somewhat unique amongst politicians in that she actually delivered what she said she would, and had a backbone of steel. Whether you agreed with her, and there were a lot that didn’t – you knew exactly where she stood. I don’t believe that all she did was good for the country, but I do believe that if she hadn’t been elected, Britain would now be an insignificant little island, with the economy of Greece.

RIP Mrs Thatcher, it was an interesting ride….

North Korea

One of the most isolated and unpredictable countries in the world, North Korea said on Tuesday it would revive a mothballed nuclear reactor able to produce bomb-grade plutonium.

North Korea has also previously threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, since new U.N. sanctions were imposed over the country’s third nuclear weapons test in February.

Some U.S. officials believe Pyongyang’s bellicosity is aimed primarily at a domestic audience.

They see Kim trying to keep his vast, poorly paid army motivated with anti-U.S. propaganda and improve his status among North Korea’s largely dirt poor population by standing up to foreign enemies, even as he seeks to cement his grip on power.

Duh, no. This resembles having a three year old play with matches – it is just a bad idea. We are one itchy trigger finger away from a major confrontation, becasue although everyone is trying to ignore Kim Jong haircut and his ever escalating actions, words have power. They have power with your audience and if the audience is the domestic population, what is the chance that some ignorant private in the armed forces who has a brainwashed IQ of 6 is going to take all of the rhetoric seriously and do something silly.

Very high and getting higher every day

Bathrooms on aircraft

Delta Airlines has announced that the bathrooms in its economy class are about to get even smaller. Why? So they can add four more seats! Delta claims that passengers won’t notice the size change, because the extra space comes from behind the sink. I hope that’s not where they kept the parachutes!

I don’t know about you – but isn’t this going a little far? Having just returned from a fairly long flight I can tell you that I’m surprised that some of the more weighty passengers didn’t get stuck like a cork in a bottle in the existing size bathrooms and now Delta is making them even smaller?

“Flight attendants and jaws of life to the rear lavatory” is going to be one of the newer announcements on flights if this trend continues.

Inmates and the asylum

As reported by the Canadian Press:

QUEBEC – The Quebec government has introduced a new initiative that encourages cabinet ministers to speak only French to their counterparts from other provinces and Ottawa.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Alexandre Cloutier says the change is only a guideline, not a restriction.

This seems to be typical of the leadership of this party, it is petty, silly, vindictive and calculated to p*** off the rest of the country. It also follows on from removing the Canadian Flag from the legislature.

I would suggest that the rest of the provinces and the federal government suddenly come up with a case of “gee my French is very rusty” and simply ignore these idiots. Either that or speak only in Parisien french and then go – I’m sorry – I can’t understand you – your accent is so unintelligible, could you please take language lessons.

…..and then ignore them

My money

Is it so totally unreasonable that the federal government actually watch over the uses my tax dollars are spent on?

About 2,000 people still remain displaced by the Manitoba flood of 2011, and the agency that is supposed to pay for their expenses now owes millions of dollars in unpaid bills to hotels and other businesses.

CBC has learned the Manitoba Association of Aboriginal Fire Fighters (MANFF), which disburses federal dollars to flood evacuees, hasn’t been paying some bills for the last six months.

At least six hotels and a restaurant are owed about $3 million.

“I’ve had kids here for a year and half, and we’re not getting paid for their food or their housing,” said Mike Bruneau, owner Misty Lake Lodge near Gimli and the Ashern Motor Hotel. He said he hasn’t been paid for six months.

Bruneau said he is now owed almost $2 million. Misty Lake houses 65 evacuees from Lake St. Martin and Little Saskatchewan First Nations. Another 20 evacuees live at his Ashern hotel.

I completely understand the need to look after those that have been caught up in disasters, however this happened in 2011, and now the bills aren’t being paid by the MANFF even though the funds have already been disbursed by the Federal Government.

I suppose this is still better than the US where 700 million dollars of Katrina relief money has gone missing, but still – is it too much to ask that the Feds actually watch what happens to these funds?