Category Archives: CA Social/Cultural

Firearm Deaths in the U.S.: the Data

We became aware of a new report today published by the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis. Titled The Epidemiology of FirearmViolence in the Twenty-First Century United States, it documents the rate of suicides and homicides in the U.S. by firearms compared to other means of killing.

Immigration in Perspective

Thanks to Mike Shedlock we became of this video. It places the immigration issue in perspective.

In short, our immigration policy has no noticeable effect on world poverty while the financial burden on our economy does have an appreciable effect on our standard of living.

Flash Point: ‘Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People’

We have generally avoided the hysteria-driven gun debate in both Canada and the US. It is another one of the hot-button topics that latte liberals pursue with a religious fervor similar to the doctrine of global warming. In this case, we reference a short post from Zero Hedge, Harvard Research Shows ‘Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People’, that debunks much of the doctrine of this cause.

Citing a Harvard study by authors Don B. Kates and Mary Mauser, WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE? A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE, the study examines many of the precepts of the debate such as this passage and others quoted below with added emphasis.

International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It may be useful to begin with a few examples. There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.

In particular, comparing the US and Britain:

Indeed, “data on firearms ownership by constabulary area in England,” like data from the United States, show “a negative correlation,” that is, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest.”

In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law?abiding enough to turn them in to authorities. Without suggesting this caused violence, the ban’s ineffectiveness was such that by the year 2000 violent crime had so increased that England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States.

For Canadians Only

The Harvard authors, in their concluding paragraph, quote a study comparing crime in the US and Canada:

Over a decade ago, Professor Brandon Centerwall of the University of Washington undertook an extensive, statistically sophisticated study comparing areas in the United States and Canada to determine whether Canada’s more restrictive policies had better contained criminal violence. When he published his results it was with the admonition:

“If you are surprised by [our] finding[s], so [are we]. [We] did not begin this research with any intent to “exonerate” handguns, but there it is—a negative finding, to be sure, but a negative finding is nevertheless a positive contribution. It directs us where not to aim public health resources.”

An Anecdote for Hysterical School Authorities and Parents

We admit that we have fired but never owned guns. The first gun we ever fired was a World War I Lee-Enfield rifle converted to 22 caliber. We confess that we fired it in our high school. You see, our high school had a rifle range in the basement and an armoury where the rifles and live ammunition were stored. All boys as part of gym-class learned target practice. Talking with others of our peer group, we have found that our school, Chatham Collegiate Institute, was not unique in this respect.

Every graduate of that school went on to be a psychotic mass murderer. You couldn’t pick up a paper of the period – post World War II Canada – without several new cases of horrific slaughters in schools, malls, and public places. They might have been prevented if the positive correlation between guns and violent crime was known at the time.

For any reader confused at this point, the first paragraph in this section is completely true and the second to our knowledge, completely false. The slaughter in our society today is as much attributable to the socialistic decay of our society as it is to guns. And we suspect that it is substantially more so although political correctness may not allow the topic to be researched.

Socialism in Canada: O Sacred Cow Sore Wounded

The sacred cow of the modern progressive movement in Canada is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the bloated behemoth that in inverse fashion, milks the Canadian public for a billion or so dollars a year in a totally unaccountable and opaque manner. It is viewed by the progressive movement as their media extension, being the broadcaster most closely aligned with their doctrinal positions.

In contrast, the Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper is viewed with a visceral hatred by the progressives. It is therefore no surprise when the government proposes legislation that goes anywhere near the CBC that a firestorm of protest breaks out on the left. The most recent case is that of Bill C-60 and an online petition by the so-called Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

The petition came to our attention from two different e-mails (emphasis in quoted material in this essay is ours unless otherwise noted):

  1. Please read this and sign it. This affects our DEMOCRACY!
    Stephen Harper wants to silence and control our public broadcaster by sneaking new powers into a monster Budget Omnibus Bill. Please sign the petition: Thanks!
    And the author in a followup email elaborated A democracy requires a free and open media, and, as history has shown, a government that seeks to control the media is a Fascist government.
  2. The second had the subject line You can help Free CBC of political interference and an embedded text asking for donations and sporting an image charging deception on the government’s part.

First we briefly examine the partisan progressive or left-wing bias of the FCB. Then we review Bill C-60 in terms of its purpose and extent. Finally we address the bovine hysteria driving the petition.

Idle Forever

When we first heard of the protest movement called “Idle No More” (INM) we thought that the Indians were tired of living on welfare on dysfunctional and economically nonviable reserves and were seeking to change the situation. This would mean moving off reserves, upgrading skills and education and getting jobs. We have since discovered that this is exactly what they are not seeking. But what are they seeking? After watching a number of vacuous interviews with Indian chiefs on TV we decided to explore the issue deeper. What follows is a number of YouTube videos of Indians speaking about the INM movement.

Time To Get Ready for the Next Big One

Reuters had an informative article today on TB: Drug-resistant “white plague” lurks among rich and poor. Drug resistant varieties of TB have been around for years. More recently, multi-drug resistant TB, or MDR-TB, has been encountered. Now, Reuters reports new cases of so-called “totally drug resistant” TB [or TDR-TB] in India suggests the modern-day tale of this disease could get a lot worse.

Why should we worry about what’s going on in India? Do you want to bet your life on the answer to this question? No? Too bad, because in fact the bet has already been placed.

The Fiscal Cost of Immigrants to Canada: $6000 Each Per Year

In 2011, Patrick Grady and Herbert Grubel (G&G) of the Fraser Institute published a study titled Immigration and the Canadian Welfare State 2011. In it, they estimated that in 2005, Canada’s immigrant selection policies resulted in an average fiscal burden on taxpayers of $6,000 per year for each immigrant. Later that year, Mohsen Javdani and Krishna Pendakur from the economics department at Simon Fraser University (J&P) presented an alternative estimate of this fiscal burden at $450. In a follow-up review titled Fiscal Transfers to Immigrants in Canada: Responding to Critics and a Revised Estimate, (G&G) refute the J&P response and using new and additional data, confirm their original estimate.

We examine some of their key observations below.

So You Think You’re Important … Think Again

Canadians, as noted, have a high sense of self-importance. The reality is Canada is a bit player on the world stage. The following is a list of examples where Canada is … well forgotten or ignored.

How to Tell If a Person Is a Canadian

If a person uses any of the following phrases in a conversation:

  1. “It’s not fair …”
  2. “It’s my right to …”
  3. “I’m entitled to …”
  4. “It’s not my fault …”

he may be a Canadian. If he uses three or more, he definitely is a Canadian. On the other hand, if he uses the phrase:

  1. “It’s my responsibility to …”

then he may not be a Canadian, unless of course he is trying to correct someone else’s political, religious, or cultural beliefs or practices.

Setting the World Straight

Another endearing characteristic of Canadians and particularly of the Canadian intelligentsia and liberal media is that the Canadian position on things is the only correct one. Hence we find the attempts to rewrite history when the actions of our ancestors are now deemed to be inappropriate, wrong, barbaric, insensitive, or whatever.

The French lost the battle of the Plains of Abraham – but that’s because the dirty English sneaked up on them. Louis Riel, appropriately hung as a traitor, is now elevated to hero status. And on it goes without considering or accepting that our ancestors made what they considered to be correct decisions in their historical context. Nor do we give thought to the idea that our descendents may look back and assess our current actions as lunacy. It’s all because we are RIGHT.

Have you noticed how readily our politicians and the mainstream media criticize China’s administration of their country in the context of “human rights”? Tanks in Tienanmen Square? Outrageous! Tanks in downtown Ottawa? Well our beloved Pierre Trudeau (our closet Marxist) was justified in deploying them. The point is if we have problems governing 34 million, who are we to criticize a country that somehow has to govern 1.3 billion? And a different culture at that. Well, we’re Canadians and we’re RIGHT.

The Issue of Rights

Canadians are obsessed with rights, particularly “human” rights. Fundamentally a right is a very simple concept despite college philosophy textbooks on the subject. A right is a permission to act or behave in a certain way, granted to an individual by an individual or institution that has the power and authority to grant the permission, remove it and enforce it. Anything else you can dismiss as intellectual crap. All rights are de facto “human” rights unless they specifically are created for other purposes such as “animal” rights. Adding the descriptor “human” does not elevate the status of a right in any way.

Update 20140106

We’ve had a couple of years to reflect on our fellow Canadians and we have concluded (to be fair, this may be a general human condition and certainly a Western one) that they largely share three characteristics:

  1. they know nothing about almost everything;
  2. they may know a bit about a few things and in exceptional cases quite a bit; and
  3. they will offer what they consider to be an informed opinion on everything.
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