Saturday, September 18, 2010

Afghan Polls Close

Cautiously optimistic news, the more chances the Afghans have of influencing their future and getting an education, the less they will tolerate radical nutbars like the Taliban. If you are feeling war weary, get used to it, fighting groups like the Taliban requires a lot of time, because you need to change the conditions on the ground which these groups flourish in. The Taliban have long recognized that education and any form of democracy is poison for them, hence their targeting of schools, Tribal elders and government officials.

Afghans cast their ballots for a new parliament Saturday, despite rocket and bomb attacks during elections seen as a key test of the government's fight against the Taliban and corruption. As the polls officially closed, the Interior Ministry said at least 11 civilians and three policeman were killed and dozens more injured.

Afghans across much of the country voted Saturday in the face of Taliban threats and scattered acts of violence that marred - but did not seriously disrupt - the parliamentary election.

Read more at, link courtesy of Michael Yon

Police being paid to access the registry?

Is the Government paying for police to access the gun registry? Apparently an unidentified police officer has claimed that his department receives money every time they access the system. Hmmm very interesting, might have to ask pointed questions to some people and organizations. This is still a unconfirmed rumour at this point, you can see below a quote from a letter sent to a M.P. for clarification.

The second item which I would request clarification on is information I have received regarding the usage of the firearms registry. While I have no factual data regarding this, the source has been 100% reliable in the past.

I was told, that the ‘hits’ on the registry not only provide police with information but further are a source of revenue for these agencies.

It was explained to me, that the Liberal government of the day, created a fund which would financially reward policing agencies for accessing the database. As they were having serious difficulty getting cities and provinces to ‘buy into’ the registry, they would transfer funding to these agencies. My source believed the ‘hit funding’ was about $27.00 per call.

If in fact this is correct, it would go a long way to explaining the obsessive dedication that the Canadian Association of Chief’s of Police have for the database. It would also provide me with an explanation why the president of the association claims that the registry only costs 4 million per year (See posts below). I suspect that that is the funding the City of Toronto receives for utilizing the registry.

If the above is factual, the case could be made that the federal government is in fact paying the police to access the database. If this scenario was correct, it’s value as a crime fighting tool would seem to be less important than as a ‘off the books’ funding source.

Friday, September 17, 2010

RCMP statment of 2008-2009 costs for the gun registry

The figures below are the ones released by the RCMP, you can bet they kept them as low as possible and it does not include any near term foreseeable costs such as computer upgrades or building upkeep. It's a not a very complete breakdown and I suspect other costs might have been transferred to other departments to reduce the total apparent cost.

It’s clear that the cost of the current registry operations is not the $4 million many supporters have claimed it was. 20 million may not sound like much, but it would pay for 200 more Police officers every year.

I will update if I get more information, thank you to EEJayde

Louis Prima & Keely Smith - Zooma Zooma

Some us older folks who kids in the early 60’s will recognize this voice and character. He was the inspiration for the Ape King in “Jungle book” I grew loving this version of Rudyard Kipling’s story. Another historical tidbit, did you know that Rudyard Kipling got snookered in a real estate con in North Vancouver just as the city was starting out?
Here is the movie of louis Prima as the Ape King

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A gang that couldn't shoot straight

This article is from 2003, sounds very familiar to the arguments being made today? The only thing that’s changed is the pressure from the Police Chiefs Association, they like the registry because they don’t have to pay for it, you can bet their tune will change if they have to pay for everyone of those “hits”! The author is one of the people responsible for the registry, so it’s likely that what he says is true or very close to it.

We now know that the government's gun-control policy is a fiscal and administrative debacle. Its costs rival those of core services like national defence. And it doesn't work. What is less well known is that the policy wasn't designed to control guns. It was designed to control Kim Campbell.

When Ms. Campbell was enjoying a brief season of success in her re-election bid in the summer campaign of 1993, Mr. Chr├ętien was kept busy reassuring what he called the "Nervous Nellies" in his caucus that Ms. Campbell's star would soon fall. To bring her down, the Liberals planned to discredit her key accomplishment as minister of justice, an ambitious gun-control package.

Those measures -- enacted in the wake of the Montreal Massacre -- included new requirements for the training and certification of target shooters and hunters. We got new laws requiring: the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, which essentially brought every gun in the country under lock and key; screening of applicants for firearms licences; courts to actively seek information about firearms in spousal assault cases; the prohibition of firearms that had no place in Canada's field-and-stream tradition of firearms use.

I was one of the department of justice officials involved in that earlier gun-control program. When the House of Commons passed the legislation, Wendy Cukier and Heidi Rathgen of the Coalition for Gun Control, which had been part of the consultation process, supplied the champagne for a party at my Ottawa home.

So what were the Liberals to do, faced with a legislative accomplishment on this scale?

Simple: Pretend it hadn't happened, and promise to do something so dramatic that it would make Ms. Campbell look soft on gun control. The obvious policy choice was a universal firearms registry.

The idea of requiring the registration of every firearm in the country wasn't new. Governments love lists. Getting lists and maintaining them is a visible sign that the government is at work. And lists are the indispensable first step to collecting taxes and licence fees. There is no constitutional right to bear arms in Canada, as is arguably the case in the United States.

So why not go for a universal gun registry? The short answer, arrived at by every study in the Department of Justice, was that universal registration would be ruinously expensive, and could actually yield a negative public security result (more on this in a moment). Besides, in 1992 Canada already had two systems of gun registration: the complete registry of all restricted firearms, such as handguns (restricted since the 1930s) and a separate registry of ordinary firearms.

This latter registry, which started in the early 1970s, was a feature of the firearms acquisition certificate (or FAC) required by a person purchasing any firearm. Every firearm purchased from a dealer had to be registered to the FAC holder by the vendor, and the record of the purchase passed on to the RCMP in Ottawa. So we were already building a cumulative registry of all the owners of guns in Canada purchased since 1970.

The FAC system was a very Canadian (i.e. sensible) approach to the registration of ordinary hunting and target firearms. If you were a good ol' boy from Camrose, Alta., and didn't want to get involved, you didn't have to -- as long as you didn't buy more guns. Good ol' boys die off, so younger people in shooting sports would eventually all be enrolled in the system.

After the Montreal Massacre, the then-deputy minister of justice, John Tait, asked me to review the gun-control package under development. One thing I immediately wanted to know was how many Canadians owned Ruger Mini-14s (the gun used by the Montreal murderer). The Mini-14 came into production about the time the FAC system was introduced, so the FAC should have a good picture of the gun's distribution.

But when our team asked the RCMP for the information, we couldn't get it. Computers were down; the information hadn't been entered yet; there weren't enough staff to process the request; there was a full moon. After a week, I said I didn't want excuses, I wanted the records. Then a very senior person sat me down and told me the truth.

The RCMP had stopped accepting FAC records, and had actually destroyed those it already had. The FAC registry system didn't exist because the police thought it was useless and refused to waste their limited budgets maintaining it. They also moved to ensure that their political masters could not resurrect it.
Such spectacular bureaucratic vandalism persuaded my deputy and his minister to concentrate on developing compliance with affordable gun-control measures that could work. A universal gun registry could only appeal to people who didn't care about costs or results, and who didn't understand what riled up decent folks in Camrose.

Which is precisely why it appealed to those putting together the Liberal Red Book for the pivotal 1993 election. If the object of the policy exercise was to appear to be "tougher" on guns than Kim Campbell, they had to find a policy that would provoke legitimate gun-owners to outrage. Nothing would better convince the Liberals' urban constituency that Jean Chr├ętien and Allan Rock were taking a tough line on guns than the spectacle of angry old men spouting fury on Parliament Hill.

The supreme irony of the gun registry battle is that the policy was selected because it would goad people who knew something about guns to public outrage. That is, it had a purely political purpose in the special context of a hard-fought election. The fact that it was bad policy was crucial to the specific political effect it was supposed to deliver.

And so we saw demonstrations by middle-aged firearm owners, family men whose first reflex was to respect the laws of the land. This group's political alienation is a far greater loss than the $200-million that have been wasted so far. The creation of this new criminal class -- the ultimate triumph of negative political alchemy -- may be the worst, and most enduring product of the gun registry culture war.
John Dixon is a hunter, and president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. From 1991 to 1992, he was adviser to then-deputy minister of justice John Tait.


CBC accountable to no one!

Of the 70 federal institutions that have had to comply since 2007, the CBC is the only one that has been resisting and has got so many complaints about its lack of transparency.

In fact, of the total amount of complaints against federal institutions, more than 85% are against the public broadcaster alone.

Canadian taxpayers fund the CBC with an annual subsidy of in excess of $1 billion. Even though the corporation’s ratings have dropped year after year, it continues to receive more and more public funding.

read the rest at Ottawa Sun

Some more at the Iceman blog

Total crime rates US vs Canada

Total Crime Rate/100,000 people

US: 3465 per 100,000
Canada: 6406 per 100,000

Violent Crime rate:

US: 429 per 100,000
Canada: 1314 per 100,000

2009 crime stats (change from 2008)

Murders -7.3%
Robberies - 8%
Aggravated Assault - 4.2%


Murders -1%
Robberies -2%
Aggravated Assault -1%

Gee aren't you glad we are not like the big bad US?

Update thank you JNG

Jamaica banned all guns in the mid 1970's. Since then crime has increased. Their ranking as far as murder rates is consistenly in the top 2 or 3 countries in the world:

Take look at Russia (ranked #5) and Mexico (ranked #6) also both have gun control laws that are much more restrictive than Canada (ranked #44).

Washington D.C. has the toughest gun control in all of the United States. More restrictive than Canada.
Have a look at Washington D.C.'s murder rates vs the whole country's:
2009 Murder Rate (D.C.) = 24 per 100,000
2009 Murder Rate (USA) = 5 per 100,000

Twenty percent of U.S. homicides occur in four cities with just 6% of the population—New York, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C.—and each has (or, in the case of Detroit, had until 2001) a virtual prohibition on private handguns.

Comparing different countries is comparing apples to oranges. Different cultures, different histories, different economics, different politics, different everything.
Look at what happened in the USA from 1991 to present. Number of concealed carry States more than doubled. Bill Clinton's Assault Weapons Ban was killed by Bush (sunset clause), Supreme Court rules D.C.'s gun ban unconstitutional, firearms now allowed in National Parks, etc...
Basically a dramatic loosening of firearms restrictions for law abiding citizens.
Now have a close look at what happened to all their rates of crime over that period:
Their murder rate was cut in half!

The crime rate has been dropping in both countries since 1991 but it as dropped 30% more in the USA. Since 1991, Canada has increased restrictions, while the US has decreased them. Two different strategies which one had better results?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Minute tune has nothing on these guys!

I remember watching this at a military tattoo, the guys belong to one of the Service Battalions that support the combat arms.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Top Gear, testing the Ford Fiesta on the beach

The Royal Marine land in style.

Meanwhile the British Army (video is labelled wrong) has a style all their own. (and a sense of humour)

A door to nowhere

Mohammad Ramzan, a flood victim, leans by the door that was left after his house was washed away by flood in the Mehmood Kot village in Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province September 3, 2010.
REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

I don’t blame donors for being wary of giving to Pakistan. To much corruption and they have played both sides of the fence for to long, yet my heart goes out to the average folks who struggle from day to day. I can only imagine the heartbreak of the father looking at this door and wondering what strange fate left them this poignant reminder of what they had.