Guest Column

Items of notes and interest from the web.

Most Recent Articles by Guest Column:

U-Haul statistics, of Americans leaving blue states in favor of red states

Feb 19, 2018 — Guest Column

There is a very enlightening article in the American Thinker regarding the trend, based on U-Haul statistics, of Americans leaving blue states in favor of red states. This may explain the rabid insistence on maximized immigration, legal and illegal. The states that are losing citizens are the same ones that encourage illegals with benefits, sanctuary and the American right to vote. There is a strong argument to be made that these are not actions made out of compassion but actions made out of desperation to retain their blue state status.

Guns are not bad, guns in the hands of mentally ill, criminals, terrorists and gangsters are bad.

Feb 17, 2018 — Guest Column

Guns are not bad, guns in the hands of mentally ill, criminals, terrorists and gangsters are bad. While gun bans might provide a false sense of security, the fact remains that all of the above have access to weapons, or can build them.

Could we all agree that isolation in society is preventing people from speaking out when there are warning signs? Could we agree that mental illness is at the root of most of the shootings? Could we all agree that perhaps school need to be hardened targets not soft targets?  There are things we can agree on, if we will only stop being so “my way or the highway” about it.

Both sides are passionate. Both sides have some legitimate arguments. Even though I firmly believe that you cannot prevent people from getting weapons if they want them, even though I believe that political correctness prevents people from identifying potential shooters, and even though I think in all of the cases, someone dropped the ball, I also believe we have to take a step forward. That step being to find common ground.

This latest shooting was done by a person who had no right or permission to be on campus. Could that meeting of the minds be a commitment to securing our schools? Who can disagree with that?

Same people clamoring for gun control are against all the common sense steps to address drugs

Feb 16, 2018 — Guest Column

They are more sensational and more publicized, but are shooting deaths any more tragic, or common than drug related deaths? Actually, no, they are not.

In 2016 ( from CDC statistics) there were 38,000 gun related deaths, including suicides with 11 states accounting for nearly 50% of the deaths. In the same period there were 64,000 -known-drug deaths. I’m not suggesting either statistic is acceptable, just putting things in context.

What I am saying is that the same people who are clamoring for gun control are against all the common sense steps to address the drug related deaths.
Drugs are trafficked by gangs and moved into the country primarily through the southern border. Both of these can and should be addressed. Probably gun deaths would go down with the removal of gangs and illegal criminals.

We can analyze and study the effects of social media, electronics, broken families, bullying, and mental illness, and we should. But there are some things that can be done here and now. Harden our schools and secure our borders. Then remove gangs and illegal felons from our streets

Losing a child is something every parent worries about every moment of the child’s life. And losing a child to a shooting is no more or less painful than losing them to drugs.

Teacher shortage?

Feb 16, 2018 — Guest Column

Why is there a shortage of teachers?  The answer is the same as for nurses and police - they can’t do their jobs. It’s not a criticism of their ability or effort but rather the administrative tasks that stop them from doing their actual job.

The often reported shortage of capable, experienced teachers is exacerbated by the number of young teachers who start with great enthusiasm but leave disillusioned within five years. Teachers want to teach, for which they have been studying for at least four years, but they are stuck with doing administrivia and repetitive professional development in order to stay registered.

What can be done to remedy this - at a resonable cost and in a reasonable time? More money is always a positive although most people don’t enter the profession for the financial rewards but for what they can do for their students. Respect for teachers has declined but it can’t be addressed by governments but rather by individual teachers who earn it.

Perhaps the only significant change at the moment is to recognise that teachers teach and administrators administer and never the twain should meet in one person.

It’s weather, not climate change, Governor Brown

Feb 14, 2018 — Guest Column

It's weather, not climate change, Governor Brown
2017 featured incredibly intense, damaging wildfires in California: first the Wine Country fires of October, and later the massive Thomas Fire in December. Each destroyed hundreds of homes, the latter in many of the affluent suburbs and enclaves northwest of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

The Thomas Fire is the largest in modern California history, with over 1000 structures destroyed. The fires and subsequent mudslides killed over 60 people and left many others severely burned or injured.

High visibility Olympic uniforms

Feb 12, 2018 — Guest Column

Watching the Winter Olympics I wondered where the Occupational Health and Safety officials were. The impacts on knees and backs with the moguls and the numerous potential dangers with the luge and jumps are too serious to ignore, or are they?

In the modern world children are often overly protected from injury by playing ‘safe’ versions of sports and from ‘losing’ by having no scores being kept or having runners up ribbons.

Sport at any level, backyard or Olympic does come with risks of potential injuries and unfortunately even deaths but the benefits outweigh the risks. Some of the benefits include fitness, team building, self-confidence and an understanding that effort in rewarded, sometimes with a win although hopefully always with satisfaction that the best possible effort has been put in.

Maybe the competitor’s uniforms could include high visibility fluorescent bands in their countries colours just in case that helps when they crash.

A California, Democratic Legislator, has introduced the “Journalist Protection Act”

Feb 9, 2018 — Guest Column

A California, Democratic Legislator, has introduced the “Journalist Protection Act”. It would make it a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from news gathering for a media organization”. Is that not the most convoluted of statements? Simple English please, how is the word affect being used here? And should a journalist be affecting interstate or foreign commerce?

First of all it is already a crime to intentionally injure another person, it doesn’t need to be a federal issue. Second, can we definite “media organization” please. This is far too broad and could protect paparazzi and Playboy (we read it for the articles) along with arguably slanted mainstream news outlets. Is there no responsibility on the news gatherers to behave professionally, respectfully and honestly? I am unaware of incidents in this country of serious physical attacks on journalists. By introducing this bill, the implication is that the danger is out there. Where’s the proof?  This is a ploy to plant the idea that journalists are in danger.

I would say no such bill should ever be considered especially when there is absolute proof of media bias. Many esteemed organizations have cited the intense amount of negative press received by Pres. Trump, far more than any recent predecessors. People see it and are fed up. So, the idea of introducing protective measures is both unwarranted and undeserved.

Trudeau’s Speech in Edmonton

Feb 5, 2018 — Guest Column

For the most part Trudeau actually said very little about anything. No comprehensive plan for doing anything to help Canadians on any stage. And he didn’t answer the one question that every Canadian wanted answered, though it was a two part question on the same topic.

On Omar Khadr the prime minister blathered on about violating the Charter Rights of Canadian citizens, but if you really listened to what he said the only Canadians he seemed interested in were Muslim-Canadians. There are hundreds of Canadians in jails around the world where we have given criminal information from CSIS and the RCMP. In some cases there have been serious human rights abuses against our Canadian citizens. Even if they come back to Canada they have no means necessary to make a claim against the government for the torture they have endured.

Why? Because the answer Trudeau didn’t give is that our Charter Rights are not applicable outside of the Canadian border, thus his giving the money to Khadr and to the other Muslim suspected terrorists was obstruction of justice. Trudeau wouldn’t give an award had you or I been tortured outside of Canada, regardless of whether CSIS or the RCMP had given information to country that incarcerated Canadians.

Amtrak accidents

Feb 5, 2018 — Guest Column

I guess if we could figure out how to keep vehicles off railroad tracks when a train is coming and how to keep trains traveling at the posted speeds, the numbers might improve. But 2 Amtrak accidents in one week should, at a minimum, cause some serious concern. Both were the results of vehicles on the tracks. Obviously, we have a malfunction at the junction. Do we need the barriers to be further away from the tracks? Do they need to be stronger? Perhaps double sets on each side, or triple? The assumption being that a driver would get the point after 2 or 3? Is the problem speed? Is it safe to have large vehicles speeding across the paths of autos and trucks? Has our need for speed put a lot of people in danger?

These accidents are costly in life, limb and dollars. This is not rocket science. It is train science. We are only a few years from the 200th anniversary of the first train. Surely there are some statistics available that might point to the root problem. With that solutions could be devised.

I can’t help but wonder how our government run rail system stacks up against other countries and private systems.

Emotional support Gorilla

Feb 5, 2018 — Guest Column

Can I take my emotional support Gorilla on a plane or train? I feel much safer as nobody picks on the little guy who has a pet Gorilla.

The recent refusal of an airline to allow a peacock as an emotional support animal has highlighted the use of animals to aid humans.

The use of support animals, especially guide dogs and now seizure dogs is almost universally accepted and they are welcome by both public acceptance and the law. The few cafe owners that used to try to ban guide dogs on the grounds of hygiene found that this was both illegal and improper.

The use of emotional support animals seems to be a more recent occurance and is not so clear cut. To be considered the person has to have a disability that is certified by a medical authority. There seems to be no precise list of what animals are acceptable although snakes on a plane is more likely to only be in the films on the plane. There are people who won’t or can’t fly on planes for any number of reasons and it may be a time where the comfort of the many outweigh that of the individual.

In the old days emotional support was provided by valium and sleeping tables which might still be the best option as toilet training a gorilla is quite difficult.

Do we really want to know?

Feb 5, 2018 — Guest Column

There have been a number of articles recently relating to medical testing. The positive is the development of memory test to help indicate Alzheimer’s years earlier whereas the negative is the reluctance of men to have prostate cancer testing. However the question that many ask is do we want to know?

One of the initial concerns is that people may have to report their medical conditions to employers or medical insurers. In many countries female job applicants cannot be asked if they are pregnant or intend to start a family soon but if they have ‘genetic tests’ to look for possible disease indicators they often have to report these results.

Why the silence on the new anti-semitism?

Feb 2, 2018 — Guest Column

After the Holocaust which saw the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by Hitler’s Nazi’s the UN General Assembly unreservedly condemned all manifestations of religious and ethnic intolerance with a resolution that would remind future generations of this horror to prevent such events ever happening again. This turning point in history prompted the world to say “never again.”

Two completely different sets of rules in our country

Feb 1, 2018 — Guest Column

If you don’t believe there are two completely different sets of rules in our country, consider this:

There was barely a murmur from the press when President Obama, before his second term, whispered to Russian President Medvedev, that he would have more latitude after the election. Yet, when President elect Trump tries to defuse the damage done by Obama and the United Nations with Israel, the press applies a different set of standard. Seems in the media, Obama can do nothing wrong and Trump can do nothing right. As I said, two sets of rules.

Governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suing the Federal Government over the allowable Fe

Feb 1, 2018 — Guest Column

It’s actually pretty funny if you think about it, the Governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suing the Federal Government over the allowable Federal deduction for State taxes paid. I’m pretty sure there is no law that requires the federal government to write tax laws with individual states in mind. In fact, I’d bet money that to do so would be illegal.

What do those northeastern states get for those high taxes? Their roads and bridges are a disaster and their high schools all rank behind Florida according to a US News and World Report article.

Here’s the situation: in all 3 states the top 1% of earners cover 40% of the revenue. If those people relocate to, oh I don’t know, Florida or Texas where there is no state income tax, the northeast will be hurting.  On the flip side, middle class people in those states are probably going to benefit from the changes in the law.

For comparison, Florida has 2 million more residents than New York but only has half the budget of New York. One of the results of the tax overhaul just might be better state governance in some places. They may have no choice.

Our country is dealing with the long time failure of our government to do its job

Jan 31, 2018 — Guest Column

Our country is dealing with the long time failure of our government to do its job. We are faced with the results of an immigration policy that has been ignored for years. We have within our borders people who do not belong here, yet we recognize that many have been here for years, perhaps their entire lives, and only know this country.

Democrats have made those immigrants the focus of their campaign. Some believe it is a ploy to secure voters. Whatever the reason, their mission is causing a stalemate with Republicans who are eager to enforce our laws. It is also causing uncertainty and fear in the immigrant community.

The President has put forth a compromise. There is something for both sides to celebrate and something that amounts to a bitter pill for both sides.

If we, on either side, will not support this measure, then we are willing to accept the rancor, gridlock, and extrordinary amount of time, money and energy being spent on the issue. I believe it is time to “man up”, accept those who are here, build a wall and enforce our laws and move on. And I mean both sides. If you agree that this is the way and this is the time, send an email, letter or phone call to your Representatives and Senators to support President Trump’s compromise.

Misprinted tickets invite guests to Trump’s ‘State of the Uniom’ address

Jan 31, 2018 — Guest Column

Re: Misprinted tickets invite guests to Trump’s ‘State of the Uniom’ address

As the President said “It is a damn poor mind indeed which can’t think of at least two ways to spell any word.” (President Andrew Jackson).

Spelling is a dying art - mostly due to spellcheckers and a lack of ability by its users to spot obvious errors. The example of the moment, uniom rather than union, is more likely poor typing than spelling.

Does it really matter if we think Crocodile Dundee came from Austria rather than Australia? Not really, although since there are no crocodiles there Squirrel Dundee may have lacked some drama. However, if it was a matter of bombing runs, “Iraq or Iran?” may have caused some political tensions to rise.

Typing errors may excuse many concerns although the differences between the recovery is slow/low are significant. Perhaps the President or Resident in the White House needs to double check everything he sends out - this could be extended to his tweets as well.

As we peel away the layers of how this mistake occurred it may be like the onion - a source of many tears.

Americans want their politics straight up, no entertainers, entertainment shows, sports figures or s

Jan 30, 2018 — Guest Column

The evidence is clear, Americans want their politics straight up, no entertainers, entertainment shows, sports figures or sporting events, no social commentary.

We go to, or watch on TV, concerts and games to be entertained, not preached at. And certainly, not to have someone else’s politics shoved down our throats.

Awards shows and NFL games have suffered ratings declines over just this issue.

We are weary of the constant barrage of black dresses, pink hats, and people kneeling. Enough already. There is a time and place for everything.

If you are trying to wear us down to change our minds, be careful of unintended consequences.

Winston Churchill a sexist?

Jan 29, 2018 — Guest Column

Dear Editor:

I was just reading some Winston Churchill quotes and came across the following: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” Totally unacceptable - let’s unearth him, prop him up by the roadside, and have a #MeToo drive-by shooting!

To waste your life using an ambulance to kill others is one of the greatest acts of cowardice possi

Jan 28, 2018 — Guest Column

To give your life to save others is one of the bravest acts possible. To waste your life using an ambulance to kill others is one of the greatest acts of cowardice possible. No religion has a place in Heaven for you - you will go to Hell as a result of the Hell you have tried to create on earth.

Regardless of Cher’s personal feelings on appropriate dress

Jan 28, 2018 — Guest Column

In case you haven’t been following the inane and celebrity driven daily news and if you even remember Cher, you may not be aware of the latest set back for women’s rights and empowerment.  Cher tweeted out that Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be told not to dress like a “sister wife”, implying a dowdiness of Sanders wardrobe.

Regardless of Cher’s personal feelings on appropriate dress, which I find to be at odds with most women, publicly denigrating other women is uncalled for. Sanders is smart and well spoken while she does one of the hardest jobs on the planet. She, not Cher, is a wonderful example
to young women.

It is sad that these sorts of ill conceived comments are only causing the divide to deepen. How can we possibly have peace when there are mean spirited people, like Cher?