Calgary’s Petulant Purple Peacock is pouting.

Naheed Nenshi and peacock

Last week Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi took great umbrage when Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths implied that with an election looming that Nenshi would be prone to puffing up like a peacock on issues. It appears that Griffiths’ statement was quite prophetic as Mayor Nenshi is indeed puffed up and posturing at the Calgary Home Builders Association in what can really only be considered a temper tantrum on the part of the Mayor.

Naheed Nenshi took Calgary’s mayoral throne in the 2010 municipal elections thanks to a vote-split by the center-right and an impressive galvanization of the normally electorally apathetic hipster population of Calgary. Nenshi has since enjoyed something of a love-in from national left-leaning media outlets such as the CBC and Toronto Star since then but the realities of his role as the mayor of a major city are beginning to cut through the limelight for Nenshi and they are clearly getting on his nerves.

The thin veneer of Nenshi’s support of free enterprise and citizen choice really faded away when notable planning extremist; Rollin Stanley was sought and hired to pursue an extremely questionable and ideologically driven obsession with increasing city density in Calgary despite the wishes of citizens who are increasingly moving out to the suburbs. Taxpayers have already seen the cost as settlements have been paid to planners displaced by the new density driven specialists.

Nenshi is now discovering that despite his density agenda, citizens and businesses are simply moving to the suburbs or even out of the city to escape the urban congestion of his creation. Nenshi wants to increase taxation powers, set up a charter and drag neighboring municipalities into His municipal fifedom. Finding himself halted by provincially elected officials, mobile citizens and those developers that Nenshi so clearly despises, Mayor Nenshi is now beginning to lash out in a way that can only be described as childish.

Nenshi has called new developments “crap” and has been unapologetic in using city bureaucracy to hinder legitimate city expansion that does not fall within his personal utopian visions. When developers dared to speak up and address this at a dinner, Nenshi went off the handle and is now trying to ban developers from city planning activity.

The tone and condescending arrogance in the letter sent from Nenshi’s office to Calgary developers is simply stunning. From the Sun:

The letter demands “a written apology, satisfactory to our office, be sent to each of your members” and posted on its website, the CHBA must also acknowledge they have been an active and supportive participant in City initiatives and they must “commit to working with the City and other industry partners in a constructive and
respectful manner.”

Honestly Nenshi just who the hell do you think you are? You differ with the views expressed at a dinner and pull this sort of stunt? These are Calgary business leaders who represent the interests of the hundreds of thousands of Calgarians who have utterly no interest in living in your crowded downtown dream. As other Councilors are pointing out, you probably don’t even have the authority to ban these important people from city committees anyway.

Nenshi had better learn quickly that not everybody shares his vision and business indeed does have the right to vocalize that view. While it is unlikely that Nenshi will be unseated in this fall’s election, he still indeed is only one vote on council and may find himself regularly defeated in votes if he does not lose this growing thin-skinned Messiah complex.

The Mayor is supposed to bring leadership and vision to City Hall. Right now all we are seeing is petulant arrogance and an antagonistic approach to Calgary business leaders and provincial Ministers. This is not going to lead to any kind of “smart growth” and I do hope our Mayor smartens up and grows up himself soon.

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Appeasement no more!

It seems lately that we can hardly make it a week without seeing some illegal protesters costing taxpayers and workers untold dollars due to the growing Canadian cowardice in handling them. This week, we are watching the ongoing illegal blockade of a road to a DeBeers mine in Northern Ontario by some members of the grossly dysfunctional and likely totally corrupted Attawapiskat native band.  

Never mind that the road being blockaded does not even enter the Attawapiskat reserve. Never mind that DeBeers has hired hundreds of members of the Attawapiskat reserve over the years. Never mind the many many millions of dollars that DeBeers has paid to Attawapiskat in good faith to operate 90 kilometers away from the reserve. Never mind the free housing DeBeers donated to the reserve (which they trashed). A handful of natives feel that they have not extorted enough from a legitimate enterprise and dammit they are determined to block a road to the mine until they get more money for having drawn oxygen within extortion range of the enterprise!

With this clearly illegal extortion effort happening, what have we seen in response from Canadian authorities? Sadly and predictably pretty much nothing. After weeks of this a Sheriff has been flown out to present the illegal blockaders with a piece of paper which they promptly disposed of. In the meantime, untold dollars are being lost by a legitimate company. Authorities are essentially in collusion with the extortionists in their hopes that DeBeers will simply pay them off before any real law enforcement is required and will hide behind paper and sit on their cowardly hands in hopes that this becomes somebody else’s problem.

Few things make the collective testicles of authorities shrivel faster in all Canadian jurisdictions than having to deal with protesters. The knackers of officials suck totally into their figurative abdomens when it turns out that the protesters are natives.

Years of cowardly appeasement have put segments of people above the law as long as they are claiming to be protesting something. Never mind that there is no Charter right to illegal demonstrations. How many times do we need to cave to parasitic lawyers and waste the court’s time (and our money) to prove this? Does a police officer need to get an injunction for you or me should we say block the door to a 7-11? Of course not.

Despite what should be an almost self-evident reality in the limitations of legal demonstration, authorities use this fictional charter right to dodge doing their job and protesters and extortionists have figured this out quickly.

Let’s look at things from a protester’s point of view for a moment. Greenpeace is huge multinational corporation with tens of millions of dollars to spend annually. Despite that monstrous budget, Greenpeace would rather keep it’s professional fundraisers and protesters employed (not to mention highly paid management) than blow money on expensive advertising campaigns. At an economic summit in Calgary a couple weeks ago, for the price of a poorly made banner and a couple idiots holding it, Greenpeace managed to get free advertising throughout Canadian media as they illegally trespassed and disrupted a legitimate meeting. No charges were laid on the banner holders and they were escorted out at a cost to the local security and loss of the valuable time of legitimate meeting participants and viewers. At that cost, Greenpeace has been virtually invited to act illegally!

Why is it so hard to simply charge these people? Why so tough to issue fines?

Of course when somebody asks that the law be enforced on illegal protesters, some vapid clown will almost inevitably say: “Oh so you want police to just jump on in there and bust some heads!”.  No you figurative wanker! Heads need not be busted and nobody is proposing such.

In the fall of 2011, I set out to demonstrate the double standards of law enforcement when it comes to protesters when our callow authorities refused to remove illegal squatters from Calgary’s Olympic Plaza. As expected, I as a law abiding taxpayer was charged within hours of breaking the very bylaws that the illegal squatters were. Along with demonstrating the legal double standard though, I also (admittedly unintentionally) demonstrated how rationed law enforcement works.

Upon noticing that I was parked in such a way as to violate local bylaws, I was approached by bylaw officers and asked to move. No billyclubs, no teargas and no initial charges. I was simply and politely asked to move. I politely replied that I was not moving as I was exercising my right to express myself and like the squatters around me, I was above the law. The bylaw officers then called the police who arrived and politely asked me to move. I explained my position again and politely told them to pound sand. After much headscratching and many phone calls, the Calgary police decided to charge me with bylaw violation and to tow my truck. I was told of this and asked to leave my truck so that it may be towed. I asked what would happen if I refused to leave my truck. I was told that I would be forcefully removed and charged with criminal obstruction. At this point I decided I had made my point and left my truck voluntarily. Below one can see the collection of fines I acquired as my truck was towed away. Well worth a few bucks to make the point though.

tickets

 

Now was that all so hard? Did they have to beat my head? Did it cause a riot? There is utterly no reason that the same process can’t be used on other illegal activities.

As the “Idle No More” thing fell apart, their demonstrators felt they would hold one more earth shattering “day of action” last January. Roads from four directions were to be choked in Calgary during rush hour as masses of demonstrators illegally marched down them.

The reality was quite pathetic. Rather than thousands, the protesters numbered at best in the dozens. Police took the event very seriously (as they should) and had as many officers (if not more) on the ground as there were protesters along with a helicopter. Now with the dismal turnout, the protesters essentially narrowed their scope to coming from one direction rather than four and came up Macleod Trail.

As they numbered only in a few dozen, these demonstrators could very easily have simply walked along the sidewalk and made their point. Alas no, Calgary Police “negotiated” with them and not only allowed the illegal and un-permitted disruption of traffic in Calgary but facilitated it by blocking cars as can be seen below.

cowards

How much did it cost to appease this handful of directionless malcontents? How hard would it have been to simply tell them to stay on the damn sidewalk? This mess was brought about because cowardly authorities had let a handful of them block a bridge in the city only weeks earlier. Appeasement only leads to more lawbreaking.

The collective temper tantrum of Quebec students cost us $90,000,000 as taxpayers as authorities hid and kept trying to negotiate and appease this group of spoiled brats for months. The “occupy” joke caused likely millions of dollars in damages to parks across the country when combined along with millions in law enforcement costs.

Aside from the monetary costs, lets look at the resources. Personally, I would rather see police officers chasing down pedophiles or drunk drivers rather than babysitting screaming hipsters and whining natives. Our law enforcement resources are finite. When we dedicate time and people to these protesters, we lose law enforcement in other areas.

The tantrums and protests are getting more frequent and more destructive as while most of the participants are indeed idiots, they do understand that they can reap havoc with impunity in Canada. When will we hit a breaking point here? When will citizens staple some figurative cajones upon their elected officials and demand that our laws be enforced? I do think it will happen eventually, but can’t happen soon enough.

Appeasement is a policy of cowardice and failure. It has to stop.

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Calgary City Hall reaching new levels of idiocy on the way to 2013 elections.

While governments on all levels struggle with deficits and tough social challenges, Calgary city hall remains immersed in idiotic navel gazing and pie-in-the sky policies from trying to ban Calgarians from eating certain kinds of soups to closing lanes on roadways to accommodate a demand for bicycle lanes that does not exist.

While many of our city council members are members of the flakey-left, Brian Pincott never fails to take the cake in his stupid, intrusive and rather petty initiatives. Some of his antics have been covered here.

The looming dragon that Pincott is now slaying in city hall is his imagined issue of: LIGHT POLLUTION!

Backed by Richard Pootmans, Councilor Brian Pincott got a motion passed to work towards implementing massive regulatory changes to how we are allowed to light things outdoors.

The document can be found here.  This document is loaded with idiotic terms such as “light trespass” and “unchecked light egress” along with enough other vapid pap that one feels somewhat dumber for having read it.

Bullshit issues abound from “impacts to human immune function” (load of crap) to even worrying about our poor bug population: “behavioural changes in insect and animal ecosystems”.

We have millions and millions of unlit acres in Canada where our mosquitos can live without fear and moths can thrive without running into porch lights.

If left unchecked, busybody nuts like Pincott will have armies of bylaw officers checking everything from whether you packed your coffee grounds in the wrong bin to peeking over your fence to check the wattage of your porch light (assuming you are allowed to have one). This document also suggests that perhaps lights within buildings should be regulated in their use too!!

Yes people, screw emergency services! Who cares about those pothole loaded roads and overflowing sewers! What this city needs is discussion on porch lights, fire pits and coffee grounds!

We are still more than six months away from the municipal elections but the time is now to prepare to change some of the nuts out that we have on council. Pincott only won by default when Barry Erskine pulled his stunt of a last second retreat from the election race leaving no time for any sane candidates to enter and run in Ward 11. Let’s not let this flake (among others) get re-elected to Calgary city council. We can’t afford many more years of this kind of terrible city management.

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Culture and race are totally different things.

While the statement in the title to this post should be self-evident, it sadly is not.

Race is something we are born into. No person can either choose nor change their race (despite the best efforts of Michael Jackson). There are some pretty clear but overall minor physiological distinctions between races but it is pretty commonly understood that no race is inherently superior or inferior to another race. It is because of that fact that most people rightly find racial supremacism to be abhorrent in it’s very basis and call down those trying to practice or spread such repugnant ideals.

Culture is not like race. While some cultures are more predominant among some races and indeed of course originated among racial groups; culture is not at all like race in that a person can choose whether or not to practice a culture. Cultures can and do evolve and change and people may take on some elements of some cultures while rejecting elements of other cultures. While the differences between races are truly small once the clear aesthetic differences are set aside, the differences between cultures can be and are indeed often vast.

While we can’t realistically or morally be critical of an immutable state such as a person’s race, we can and should keep a critical eye on cultures.

Many have put culture on a pedestal next to race and tried to halt all discussion of the merits or shortcomings of any cultures. Many have acted as if cultures are things that cannot or should not ever be allowed to change or evolve. Some have treated cultures as if they are sacred things that must be preserved no matter how repugnant or obsolete some of their practices may be.

We need to get something straight in this increasingly hypersensitive world; not all cultures are equal, not all cultural practices and ideals are worthy of embracing or preserving and there is not a damn thing wrong with saying so!

Should we really accept the disgusting cultural practices against women in many parts of the Middle East simply because those traditions have been in place for centuries? Will we ever see live fox-hunts come back into fashion in England? How about bullfighting? What about some of the ingrained acts of animal cruelty in parts of Asia? Is the caste system of India worthy of preservation? Are we allowed to be critical of widespread female genital mutilation in Northern Africa? What about warlike cultures or those that practiced cannibalism?

None of the above cultural practices are acceptable to most modern eyes. Those practices are fading quickly thanks to our living in a world where the widespread sharing of information and a general and growing empathy has led to outside pressures being able to effect entrenched but outdated and often cruel cultural practices in some societies. This is a great trend for humanity in general and I look forward to seeing this new modern empathy spreading. It has not been through direct intervention in culture that cultures are evolving like this nearly as much as a general spreading of education and of modern world values.

One thing that will hinder this fast leap in worldwide cultural evolution though is the practice of acting as if cultures are immutable things that are above critique and must be protected from change at all costs. Cultures change and shed practices all the time and this is a good thing.

Healthy cultures are things that are constantly evolving to reflect and respond to a changing world. Some aspects of culture are retained while others fall by the wayside as time passes. Some cultures have gotten more complex and evolved more than others for a number of reasons leading to some cultures being more functional in a modern world than others. Some have had to make larger leaps in evolution to keep up with the modern world than others and it has led to challenges. Cultures with written languages had more complex social and legal structures than those who still remained in a hunter-gatherer stage until relatively recently. This is not an insult to those who’s ancestors were so recently nomadic gatherers, it is simply a statement of fact and it has utterly nothing to do with race.

It has to be accepted though that embracing elements of the more evolved cultures is critical to these current dysfunctional cultures in North America that are caught straddling a fence between pressures from academics and naïve urban dwellers who want to keep some sort of anthropological zoos of ancient culture in what we call native reserves and the cultural demands of a generation exposed to modern communications and seeing the advantages of living within the current modern culture even if the path to that lifestyle is muddied.

Cultural evolution is not assimilation!! The most destructive assholes we truly have in society today are those have convinced themselves and as many reserve dwelling natives as possible that all change from a primitive hunter-gatherer society is “assimilation” or even “genocide”. This leads only to cultural confusion and has made such a damned mess of the culture on reserves that most of the residents there reflect neither modern North American culture nor ancient Native culture; they simply now are mired in a culture of defeat, depression, misery and dependency. It is indeed a unique culture but it is a revolting one to observe in a modern world.

What is needed is not an attempt to intervene in cultures. Indeed, it is much of that idiocy that led to the residential school system and attempted forcing of cultural evolution that failed terrible and caused so much damage. What is needed now is to damn well leave culture alone. It is not the role of government, nor academics, nor non-profits, nor activists, nor pretty much anybody not living on a Native reserve to change or preserve Native cultures. Culture on native reserves will evolve to wherever it belongs as soon as we quit messing with it.

Getting back to that original point; we can’t treat cultures like races as they are utterly different. The cultural evolution of all modern people will be stunted if we let this foolish trend of shutting down all critique and objective examination of cultures through the screeching of “racism” at all who may dare question the cultural status quo. The lightning fast evolution of world cultures in this last century has been one of the most breathtaking advancements in the evolution of humanity. Let’s not let fools try to halt or stunt this progress through hysteric and unrelated comparisons to things like race.

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