Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign.........

There's shock and dismay rampant today among Toronto's chardonnay socialists, self-appointed elites and other members of the city's chattering classes. En masse, they're reaching for the Valium, maybe even the Prozac, if something stronger is required.
The cause of all this anguish ? A new poll on Monday, August 23 (yesterday) indicated that Councillor Rob Ford is ahead in the mayoralty race by 10 points over his closest rival, George Smitherman.
The two couldn't be more different. Professional politician Smitherman, formerly of the Dalton McGuinty cabinet (Minister of Health, among other things) is smooth, urbane, well-educated, well-spoken, a sharp dresser. Everything one could want in the mayor of Canada's largest city. Everything one could want if one was a chardonnay socialist, a self-appointed elite, a member of the chattering classes or an editorial writer/columnist with the Toronto Star.
Mr. Ford, on the other hand, isn't an attractive-looking man. In fact, he's stocky and somewhat porcine in appearance. Not a sharp dresser. Frequently puts his foot in his mouth. In fact, he's a bit of a bumpkin, but a bumpkin who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps, built his own business and has become extremely sucessful at it. He's a man who, while rough around the edges, knows what it means to meet a payroll. As a councillor, he didn't treat taxpayers' money as though it was his own personal inheritance. While Mr. Smitherman is the darling of the downtown set, Mr. Ford's power lies in the suburbs -- he speaks for families who are paying more and more in taxes and getting less and less in return. And there are more of them.........
According to this latest poll, Torontonians are willing to forgive and forget about the Florida episode in Mr. Ford's past which resulted in a DUI charge. They don't seem to care about how he might present himself on the larger world stage. They don't seem to object to him speaking his mind -- as he did the other day when he said Toronto didn't need any more immigrants. And they're definitely not being swayed by the daily anti-Ford slant in the Star's mayoralty campaign coverage.
So what's going on ? The Toronto mayoralty race, plus the way Canadians are responding to other recent events indicates a sea change in thought and attitude is coming, if not already here.
Canadians are not opening their wallets to contribute to Pakistan's flood relief. According to recent polls, the majority of Canadians believe the latest bunch of Tamil queue-jumpers should be immediately sent back to from whence they came. This is not the generous, big-hearted Canada of yesteryear. This is the new Canada, where taxpayers are tired of being played for fools by politicians at all levels. This is the new Canada where citizens find themselves being impoverished by punitive levels of taxation, only to see their hard-earned dollars squandered through government waste and useless programs which don't benefit them and which frequently don't work. And finally, they've had enough !
There's a feeling that George Smitherman's difficulties in the Toronto mayoralty race stem from the fact he served in Dalton "The Deceiver" McGuinty's cabinet. McGuinty is not exactly Mr. Popularity in the province right now -- people hate the HST and the "eco fee" fiasco speaks for itself. If a provincial election was held tomorrow, McGuinty would have a hard time -- the most recent poll shows his party neck and neck with the PCs, but worse, it shows Ontarians are starting to like PC leader Tim Hudak -- finding him more "trustworthy" and " less likely to have a hidden agenda" than McGuinty.
What does this mean in Ottawa where we too have a mayoralty race which includes a former McGuinty cabinet minister in the person of Jim Watson. Could Watson "wear" McGuinty's shortcomings ?

Some things are happening in this town which indicate penny-pinching is on the rise. People are apparently spending less money at the Ex. Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa has only raised a third of what's required to meet the demands for back-to-school supplies from "needy" Ottawa families. Wallets are not being opened and it will be interesting to see how the United Way campaign fares this year when folks are scrambling to pay increased hydo fees , the HST, higher bus fares etc. while facing the prospect of wage freezes and possible job loss if a federal or provincial employee.
The attack on Mr. Ford's candidacy in the Toronto mayoral race by the chardonnay socialists, self-appointed elitists, chattering classes and their propaganda arm, The Toronto Star, is reminiscent of what happened here four years ago when Larry O'Brien entered the mayoral race. But in Ottawa, it didn't stop with whispers and media attacks. Mayor Larry was sandbagged with trumped -up criminal charges and subjected to that farce of an influence-peddling trial which resulted in his walking away free and clear.
Citizen Ellie is betting that Ottawans, like Torontonians, might prefer their less-than-smooth, self-made, up-by-the-bootstraps sucessful businessman who may be a bit of a bumpkin but who also knows what it is to meet a payroll and has been bloodied in his first term as mayor -- rather than a very smooth professional politician who is now trotting out the very borough idea which he pooh-poohed in his last incarnation as mayor. Whispers ! Whispers ! Citizen Ellie keeps hearing these rumors that the mayor's chair isn't really the seat he wants -- he's only come back to position himself for the Liberal nomination in some Ottawa riding in the next federal election. Parliament Hill beckons.......


The little toe-rag young offender who broke into and vandalized Citizen Ellie's Cottage at Lac McFee, Quebec, last November, making off with her collection of NASCAR flags (among other things), has been arrested and charged by the MRC des Collines Police. Now waiting to hear when and if there will be an appearance before a judge so Citizen Ellie can make a victim impact statement. Meanwhile kudos to Ontario Court Justice Jack Nadelle who last week upheld the minimum mandatory sentence for armed robbery when sentencing a perpetrator who had two dozen charges related to a string of late-night armed grocery store robberies. Judge Nadelle wasn't buying the excuse that the accused was an otherwise exemplary citizen who had been brainwashed by an older man whom he met while the two were students at Algonquin College. Judge Nadelle also wasn't buying the argument that the mandatory miniumum sentence (in this case eight years with some time off for time already served in jail) constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

New posts usually on Sundays.Citizen Ellie will be on hiatus for the next couple of weeks enjoying some R & R until September 12. But with the magic of new wireless technology and a new laptop she may feel moved to send some thoughts out over the ether.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Zero Tolerance for NASCAR Flag Thief !

Spent last weekend at NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, New York. Citizen Ellie is a big fan of motor racing, tracing her fandom back to the 1950s when short-track stock car events were featured every Wednesday night at Lansdowne Park during the summer months.
It was heartening to see Canadian boys do so well at the Glen this year -- Jacques Villeneuve and Ron Fellows placed in the top 10 in Saturday's Nationwide race, with A. J. Fitzpatrick placing 11th. In the prestigious Sprint Cup race on Sunday, Ron Fellows unfortunately blew his engine, but Patrick Carpentier placed in the top 25. The upcoming NASCAR weekend in Montreal should be a doozy -- unfortunately Citizen Ellie will not be attending this year. Prince Edward Island beckons.
But we digress. We camp in the infield at Watkins Glen -- have been doing it for 14 years now. Same campsite every year -- and we've made some very good American friends -- people who've been camping along side us for the same number of years.
There was something missing at our campsite this year. Our NASCAR and driver flags. Most everyone who camps in the infield has a flagpole and they run up more than one flag -- their favorite driver/s, NASCAR event flags etc. Citizen Ellie didn't have any flags this year. Her NASCAR event and drivers' flags were stolen by the piece of human garbage who broke into her Lac McFee, Quebec cottage last November. He and his companion also had a good time smashing the glass door on Citizen Ellie's kitchen range and discharging the fire extinguishers inside the cottage. And somebody's mom got a brand new boxed set of Henkel knives for Christmas.
This little creep wasn't the smartest. He and his companion helped themselves to some adult beverages and left the glasses they'd used on our dining table. Guess they figured we'd be so busy cleaning up the mess they left behind that we'd just toss the glasses in the sink and wash them. No way ! When Number One son visted the property later in the month and discovered the break-in, he carefully bagged the glasses in Ziplock as he waited for the MRC des Collines police. The CSI series on TV has been a great educator in regard to how one should preserve evidence, and we have a personal philosophy that no crime should go unreported.

In due course, the MRC police reported back to Citizen Ellie. Lo and behold, fingerprints on one of the glasses belonged to someone already "in the system". So Citizen Ellie now knows the identity of this 17-year-old threat to society. She also knows he lives in Lochaber, just north of Thurso. What she doesn't know is when or even if this individual will be brought to justice. Citizen Ellie wants to give a victim impact statement at the trial. She would like to tell the judge about how this incident caused her so much grief and upset that she no longer felt safe at the property which she had enjoyed for 32 years so she subsequently sold it and left Quebec.
Citizen Ellie would also like to know what happened to her NASCAR flags. There wouldn't be much cash value if the perp tried to sell them. But there was a huge amount of sentimental value attached to them and Citizen Ellie probably shouldn't have left them stored in her cottage but she never thought someone would be so low as to steal them. A TV set or VCR -- yeah, you expect they'll be lifted if you have a break -in. That's why all the other stuff in the cottage was permanently engraved with the identifyer "Stolen from Racegirl 3".
There were 12 in all, collected over a number of years -- representing NASCAR events at Watkins Glen and Daytona, Dodge Motor Sports, and drivers Robby Gordon, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip. Citizen Ellie would fly different ones on the flagpole at her cottage during the summer months.
Citizen Ellie is not as forgiving as the Ottawa woman whose Greenboro home was one of four broken into and destroyed by teenaged vandals in April. A good day's work by this pair of turds. Their spree included cruelty to animals (roasting one family's pet gecko in a microwave, covering another family's small dog in paint), defecation, smashing furniture and appliances, slashing upholstery and mattresses and throwing paint all over walls and posessions. The crown wants jail sentences of up to two years for the one who was before the courts last week. His lawyer thinks he should get away with the usual knuckle-rapping, probation, 150 hours of community service and the extreme punishment of having to write an essay about the value of property. That should make for great reading. This poor kid (note sarcasm here) has already spent 118 days in jail. Not long enough in Citizen Ellie's opinion -- especially since he's been "in the system" since he was 13. His previous record includes breaking into a school, wearing a disguise with intent, assault and posession of a weapon.
There are young evildoers among us, no doubt about it. But we're not allowed to know who they. They're protected by the cloak of anonymity provided by that wonderful piece of legislation, the 2002 Youth Criminal Justice Act, better known as the Young Offenders' Act.
Bet you didn't know that under the terms of this act, police are discouraged from laying charges against young offenders. If they can avoid it, they are to keep those under 18 from acquiring a police record.
This piece of legislation also prohibits media outlets in Canada from publishing the names of young offenders. This is crap. Maybe the name shouldn't be published if its a first offense. But if it's the second or third ........ in Citizen Ellie's opinion, the public has the right to know.
Citizen Ellie wonders if the publication ban extends to personal blogs such as The Pitchfork ?
It doesn't extend to media outlets in the USA so what's to stop Citizen Ellie from submitting a story about her stolen NASCAR flags, naming the perpetrator and providing other information about him, to a U-S publication such as NASCAR Scene which is widely read by NASCAR fans in Canada and the U-S. If she doesn't get justice through the courts, she may have to take this step.
We now have zero tolerance for young drunk drivers in many Canadian provinces. Citizen Ellie thinks there should be zero tolerance for young criminals too. Too many of them are getting away with too much and receiving far too little in the way of punishment.

New posts usually on Sundays