Monday, April 13, 2009

Kevin Martin & his Team

Kevin Martin and his team lost their final game against Scotland in the World Final in a most unusual way. No one is more disappointed than me other than Kevin Martin and his team. There will be controversy surrounding Kevin Martin’s decision to throw away the first of his last two rocks in the last end of this well curled final. Scotland won it fair and square. Kevin missed his last rock. If he had made the shot he played then there would be no controversy.

I know curlers across Canada are disappointed, but Kevin Martin and his team, representing Canada, is likely one of the best teams ever to have represented Canada. They are one of the best teams, and still are, to have ever played the game. We should not let this fact be lost in our emotions. Far be it for me to judge the shot calling ability of Kevin Martin. They proudly represented Canada and I am proud of all they have accomplished for Canada and for the game of curling in Canada and around the world. They are truly an inspiration and are truly Canadian. They will be around for quite a while to proudly represent Canada and the great Canadian sport of curling. Congratulations to Kevin Martin, his entire team and his coach for making us all proud.

Truly Canadian

The latest issue in Afghanistan is legislation that allows men to have sexual relations with their wives on demand. Canadians rightfully disagree with this law, but we must remember that people in countries around the world have radically different views on human rights issues than we do here in Canada. Many of these varying views are based on their religious or historical culture. We may find it backward and in violation of human rights according to our religion, culture and laws respecting human rights, but should we impose our ways on others?

We always run into these problems when we interfere in conflicts within other countries. The argument is that we are at war and involved in other countries to protect ourselves from terrorists and those who would inflict harm on our people and our way of life. It is one thing to enter another country to root out terrorists, but it is quite another thing to establish a permanent presence in an attempt to change their customs and how they have lived for centuries. No one has won a war in Afghanistan dating back to Alexander the Great and nor will Canada. Some wars are just and winnable and others are not. It is clear that wars are costly in terms of lost lives and the financial burden on our country. Afghanistan, for many reasons, is a burden ripe to be removed from Canada’s responsibilities on the world stage.

Canada has always been a peaceful nation, but that is beginning to change. We need to tend to the home fires. We have people coming here to live and enjoy the rights, freedoms and opportunities that Canada offers. Many of these same people then rise up and demonstrate, within our country and within our laws, to demand that we fix problems in the very country they left in the first place. This is where I get off. Canadians should tend to Canada first. If immigrants to Canada don’t like what is going on in the country they left then they should be among the first to go back and fix it. When you choose to live in Canada and chose this country as your new homeland you choose to accept our values, our culture, our human and religious rights, our democracy and our freedoms. Canada is a tolerant nation, but these values are not to be imposed upon or abused. Let the Afghans, Taliban, religious rebels, terrorists and those who disrupt peace on our land and in our country think on that for a while. Is it truly Canadian to be any other way?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Government in Business

General Motors and Chrysler are both nearing bankruptcy. People continue to buy their vehicles. New and certified used vehicles have limited warranty protection. If one of these companies, or both, should happen to go bankrupt your warranty is still covered. So, how does this work? Well, Industry Minister, Tony Clement has it covered. He has announced $185 million to cover warranties and an additional $700 million guarantee to parts manufacturers. This, apparently, will enable them to continue to provide the parts required to satisfy warranty claims if either GM or Chrysler should fail. So if you make a warranty claim on your GM or Chrysler if they are no longer in business the claim simply gets sent to the Government of Canada. Wow, what a plan!

Here is my take on all this. First, why would you buy anything from a company that is flirting with closing business due to bad management and a failing economy? As a consumer you have choices. Use them! My government never asked me if I wanted to pay for the warranty claim my neighbor might make on a failed company. If they had, I would have said no.

Why are Canadian taxpayers being forced to bail out banks, auto companies and auto parts companies with an array of guarantees and loans? Business is a gamble and big business is a big gamble. Will the government bail out those who have lost millions on their life savings that were invested for their retirement? Not likely!

If you lose it all due to bad management, a failing economy or just bad luck then you will have to start all over again on your own. That is the best restructuring plan available and you won’t need my tax dollars to get back on your feet. The government is dragging us all into bankruptcy with their actions. How is that fair?

Many Canadians believe their government should not be in business to make money or provide a service at cost. If so, then why would you support your government bailing out failed businesses? How are we “going forward” on this one?