The Royal Canadian Air Force has quietly turned to an unusual source for spare parts to keep its venerable search-and-rescue airplanes flying: a museum.
The Citizen has learned that, in July 2012, air force technicians raided an old Hercules airplane that is on display at the National Air Force Museum of Canada because they needed navigational equipment for a similar aircraft still in use.
In our online Restorative Justice Certificate, you'll study restorative justice, which takes a community-minded approach to conflict resolution. On the premise that conflict causes harm, it makes individuals responsible for repairing damage. Victims, offenders, and communities reach solutions that allow them to continue to live together in safer, healthier environments.
OK. Technically it's a certificate. Wallpaper by any other name would be just as worthless.
Now many of you are wondering what "restorative" justice means. That's a great question. Once I have an answer I'll posted it. In the meantime we have this from the website:
Moving beyond the victim-offender paradigm, restorative justice champions the idea of harm as a violation of people and relationships. In this foundational course, you will revisit the familiar concepts of punishment and justice and outline an alternative approach based on restorative values and principles. You will examine the psychology of harm and review restorative practices such as dialogue and consensus building.
Pity the poor satirist. He is starved for work is this terrible age. It goes on as you'd expect:
In this course, we will introduce you to models of restorative practices used in criminal justice, community, and social services contexts. Drawing on the latest research, you will explore and critique three core models—mediation, conferencing, and circles. We'll also discuss other models and restorative practices, using international examples to highlight the importance of a human rights culture.
I suspect, cynical old me, that their understanding of human rights differs somewhat from John Locke & Co. That's sort of the point. The typical understanding of a useless degree is of a credential whose market value is close to zero. In that sense this isn't quite economically useless. There is a market for people wielding this pseudo-intellectual nonsense. It's not a real market admittedly but it's a market nonetheless. There is, however, only a single market maker: The Government.
The job prospects go beyond employment directly by the state, they extend into the quasi-government sector, what is sometimes politely referred to as the wider public service. There is a whole eco-system of NGOs, quasi-governmental organizations and ad hoc committees that thrive upon the government teat. Since their work has no objective value, and the criteria for employment is vague at the best of times, hiring managers fall back upon a tried and true screening methodology: A piece of paper issued by a government backed institution.
So for those of you following along at home: A government financed body creates make work. In order to handle that made-up work new workers are hired. Those workers have certificates in make work from government financed educational bodies. This is the great circle of statist BS that spins around our the modern world without beginning or end. There is precious little justice in that.
Politically, his passion was for small businesses; he was the first chairman of the Conservatives’ backbench committee, Mrs Thatcher’s choice in opposition to head her Smaller Business Bureau, and minister for small businesses in her first government.
Mitchell made his name, however, over five years at the Department of Transport. The railways were his responsibility, and his tenure coincided with a period when British Rail was well enough run — by the first Sir Robert Reid — for the government to invest heavily. Mitchell’s stewardship — save for his veto of electrification between Manchester and Blackpool — was benign, and his stock rose accordingly.
The Council of the Federation raised $450,000 from a number of corporate sponsors, according to an article in the Ottawa Citizen.
It cites a list of sponsors, many of whom would have a keen interest in lobbying provincial governments on regulatory and policy issues, including the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and the pipeline company TransCanada.
Their sponsorship allows representatives from these companies to attend receptions and social events that are a regular part of the annual Council of the Federation meetings.
So the Premiers are openly asking to be lobbied by corporate Canada. For a measly $450,000? Kathleen Wynne wastes that much money clearing her throat. Apparently this has been going on for years. Before you start denouncing the crony capitalists please spare a thought for the crony unionists. Three major public sector unions also paid to play at Charlottletown. This is Big Government, Big Business and Big Labour all getting together for a big party in scenic PEI. Defenders of the bash will point out that the taxpayers were not stuck with the bill. Not initially anyway. When vested interests meet the vesters of interest the taxpayers ultimately gets stuck with the tab.
Premier Robert "Yes My Family Runs this Place" Ghiz was adamant that no conflict of interest was at play. None at all. It's just that certain people, whose livelihoods are dependent on the will and whim of various governments, are spending money for access to ten of the most powerful politicians in Canada. The sort of access we mere voters could never obtain. It's a prima facie conflict of interest. In any other context it would probably be illegal. But the Premiers wanted to have a party, taste some lobsters and thumb their noses at Stephen Harper. Why not have corporate Canada foot the bill?
Years ago PJ O'Rourke observed that when buying and selling is legislated, the first thing being bought and sold are the legislators. Now we now the exact price.
What began that day with a woman scorned unfolded over the next seven years into an investigation that went beyond the wildest imaginings of the agents assigned to it, an elaborate case that led to the discovery, and subsequent arrest, of a surprising quarry: an international criminal who is now described as the biggest marijuana dealer in New York City history.
That man, a French Canadian playboy named Jimmy Cournoyer, spent almost a decade selling high-grade marijuana in the city, trafficking the drug through a sprawling operation that moved from fields and factories in western Canada, through staging plants in suburban Montreal, across the United States border at an Indian reservation and finally south to a network of distributors in New York.
If only more Quebecois showed M. Cournoyer's ambition and skill.
Instead I found him at the offices of Scottish Widows. The staff, who hadn’t been told the identity of their guest speaker, sat waiting, perplexed. Suddenly, without introduction, David Cameron walked in, sat on a stool and gazed out at his audience. They remained completely silent.
“Thank you for … for coming together,” he said, with a bleak half-smile. Still silence. Everyone was staring at him. He looked drawn, fatigued, even apologetic, but I don’t think it was that that everyone noticed. It was the stool. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was about to give a major, perhaps even historic speech – while sitting on a stool.
If that wasn't silly enough:
There were lines that no sane spin doctor would have signed off – in particular the one in which he urged people not to approach the referendum the way they would a general election: “Fed up with the effing Tories, let’s give them a kicking.”
Eton and Oxford and this is what you get? There is nothing quite so annoying as a toff pretending he's not a toff. Through out his political career Davy Cameron has striven mightily to seem as ordinary as possible. Common almost. It comes off instead as being pretensions and condescending. The posh accent floating down from its lofty height saying: "Hey pleb! See how matey I'm being."
Stooping to conquer is a necessary political art. So much the pity that the Right Honourable David Cameron is so utterly terrible at it. The old political joke is that if you can fake sincerity you've got it made. Tony Blair could fake sincerity with a brilliance rarely matched. His Tory successor has failed miserably in that regard. In fairness Gordon Brown never really tried.
Yet sitting on the Stool of Destiny, a stool which will no doubt find its way into the British Museum soon enough, we saw a raw human emotion from the Prime Minister. He really does seem scared. The last time I saw a politician so frightened was nearly twenty years ago. It was Jean Chretien on the eve of the 1995 Quebec Referendum. A politician can rationalized all sorts of failure. Brian Mulroney walked away from the train wreck of the federal PCs with nary a ruffled hair. People can be forgiven for losing elections, destroying their party and generally being the most despised man in the country. What is never forgiven is the man who loses his country.
Despite the frequent comparisons between Quebec in 1995 and Scotland today the situations are in fact vastly different. Quebec leaving Canada is a basic existential question. Scotland leaving the UK simply isn't. For all my tremendous fondness for traditional Scottish culture, and the amazing accomplishments of that once magical land, the place is today a vast albeit scenic welfare trap. It took 220 years to go from Adam Smith to Trainspotting, yet that hardly captures the conceptual distance travelled. When the British Empire fell Scotland, which had its greatest years because of the Empire, fell that much harder.
Scotland leaving the UK, however emotionally traumatic, would be a political blessing to the rest of the Union. Those 40 or so reliable Labour seats vanishing, as if by magic, from Westminster and by default shifting the political spectrum significantly rightward. Perhaps rightward enough that Nigel Farage & Co scare the Cameronistas toward something resembling Thatcherism. Had Quebec separated in 1995, and the country remained together, much the same thing would have happened in Canada.
Then there's the economics. An independent Scotland would be Greece with better drinking opportunities. An England without Scotland would, by contrast, be a resurgent economic power. It's like kicking your deadbeat brother off the couch and onto the street. Your living room smells better and the money you saved from the repair bill can be invested in some nice ETFs. Perhaps the deadbeat will learn some responsibility in the process. You'll learn the beauty of peace and quiet. Once upon a time Scotland was the engine that helped drive a great empire, today it's 5 million mouths that the taxpayers of England can ill afford to feed.
More than three centuries ago Scotland sacrificed the romance of independence to practical economic necessity. It seems they are on the verge of doing the exact opposite now. They are abandoning economic reality for a romantic fantasy spiced up with vague images of a social democratic utopia. A fool and his money are soon parted. That's a bit of wisdom the Scots of old understood so very well. The tragedy is that their descendants understand it not at all.