Friday miscellany: Jets, jets and pot edition

In an earlier postI asked my military and ex-military friends to tell me what they thought of the non-operational use of government and military (guess they’re the same really) aircraft by military officials… Stuff like being flown to Caribbean holiday spots and hockey games, for example. I didn’t get much feedback. But one chap whose opinion I respect (don’t always agree with, but that’s different) opined that its use – within certain parameters – is perfectly appropriate. He defends this saying that senior government and military officials need to be able to respond at all times in all places and that there could be circumstances that call for the immediate return of an official to HQ… in the event of a military or humanitarian crisis, for instance. Now, I can see his argument, but only to a point. If we accept the premise that senior military – or other government officials – need the travel flexibility to be able to get home in a hurry, then does this in effect give blanket approval to use these publicly paid-for jets at their discretion? Show me that there are checks and balances here and I’ll go along. Sure, there are approvals required by those higher up the food chain, but still, isn’t this a bit too much latitude? I think so. Besides, say a General goes to a hockey game on an armed forces night and he needs to get back to Ottawa in a hurry. OK, don’t we have airbases around the country that could scramble a jet pretty quickly in the event of something like this? ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Those other Jets: congrats on your return! I still hate your sweaters, but Winnipegers deserve this and judging by the noise in the arena on opening night (of the exhibition sked), the Jets are gonna have a man-advantage at home this season! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. My neighbourhood rox, and I like to brag about it! We have an engaged and active Community Association that provides recreation and athletic programs to kids and adults in the Alta Vista area of Ottawa.  And, except for the instructors,  it is run by completely by a volunteer Board (of which I am now proudly a member).  Follow us on Twitter at @ccaaltavista. AND, there is also our equally engaged and active Parent Council at Pleasant Park PS (on which I also now serve).  Our newest project is to raise funds to build a new play area for the junior students and to basically re-vamp the rest of the playground if we have the funding. Yes, I will be hitting readers up for $$$ in the future… just don’t know how yet. Yup. Nothing like an active community. I and my family am lucky. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– New Facebook set-up? Yeah, I don’t like it either. But don’t forget that this is a free service offered by a private company whose motive is ROI. They are not in biz to keep the teenager whine factor to a minimum. ÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇ Washington DC: gotta spend a whole week there sometime before I die. Way to much to see in only a day or two. One thing that did stick in my mind about the place was the extreme poverty of the city’s homeless. On the surface, it looked like that city and Ottawa were pretty close in terms of numbers, but those in DC seemed poorer- if that is possible. No shoes or socks, torn clothes… they just seemed much worse off.  Less access to social services, maybe? ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The Harperite crime bill. I don’t get the need to bundle up all of these crime bills into one big omnibus bill. They have their freakin’ majority, so what’s the point? They can split them up and slice and dice all they want and the bills will still be passed!

The sad thing is that some of the initiatives are actually worthwhile but are being mixed up with some truly boneheaded legislation. For example, why is there a mandatory minimum for the cultivation of a half-dozen pot plants? Seriously, that is NOT a grow-op! If there was a threshold of, oh, say… 20 or 30 then that is clearly not just for personal consumption… but bear in mind that I think it should be legalised anyways… BUT. You can do all sorts of sick porno things with a minor and the punishment is not as severe! To me, it shows that the Cons’ policy directions are shaped more by Old Testament thinking than concerns about public protection.

Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it’s done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1½ years if it’s in a rental or poses a safety risk. The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else’s land. A pedophile who gets a child to watch pornography with him, or a pervert exposing himself to kids at a playground, would receive a minimum 90-day sentence, half the term of a man convicted of growing six pot plants in his own home.

Of course, from the CPC’s perspective, this will provide new residents for their new prisons, right? What a crock. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Question for you tekkies out there: can anyone advise me on the do’s and don’ts, lessons learned, reference material, etc. for someone who is setting up an online registration and payment system. The CCA (see above) is looking to go online with registration next year and any advice would be appreciated. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++And how about this little ditty? The Cons have hired Deloitte – at 90K per diem – to come up with some ways to trim that non-existent“fat” from the PS. I can help.And here is my recommendation:

Stop contracting to 90K / diem consultants.

You’re welcome. ==================================================================================== REM: Thank-you, gentlemen. ====================================================================================


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