Canadian Election 2015: Niqab

Now I know this may garner me a little bit of flack but I am going to risk it.  I do not often agree with the Conservatives but I do agree with them about their stance on the Niqab.  The full face covering that some Muslim women wear. The Conservatives are against the use of a Niqab.  NDP recently mentioned that they support it.  I do not know what the stance of the other parties are on this matter.

The argument being made by these women is that it should be protected by their freedom of Religion.  And this is where I have a problem.  They may believe it is mandated by their religion but a lot of Muslims will disagree and say that it really is a cultural mandate and not a Religious one.  Some may say I or we are splitting hairs but, I will admit if I am wrong, Islam teachings specify a ‘conservative’ dress code and not the over the top dress code you would get with a Niqab.  That was dictated by men in those regions of the Middle East due to whatever cultural reason.  In Canada, there is no cultural reason for a Niqab and so it should not be allowed.  Note, I am saying cultural not religious.  I believe the Niqab is cultural and not religious so it should not be protected under the Freedom of Religion laws.

Plus I would support Banks and Corner Stores who mandate that no face covering of any kind (Helmets, ski masks, Guy Fox masks, Niqabs, etc.) are allowed.  They do that to make it harder for robbers to hide their identities.  It happens in the Middle East where wanted men would hide under women’s garb to avoid capture and detection.  Who’s to say it would not happen here.

I understand it might be a cultural shock for the women to leave the house without one but it is something they should be encouraged to do here.  Canada is a pleasant place to live without bringing it down with oppressive cultural artifacts from less pleasant places.  And yes, it is an oppressive cultural artifact.  Anyone who really argues against it really never grew up in a freer society like Canada.

I actually find it rather sad for those Muslims who dictate a public dress code for their women.  I see quite a few near my work where they have a head scarf and their long…  I do not know the correct name but I will call it a “Moo Moo”.  I see their little girls and boys in normal clothes and cringe that eventually those little girls will be forcibly told they will have to dress like their mom one day and if not, there will be consequences.  This will bring a lot of confusion and heart ache for these girls as they see their brothers not having to abide by any similar nonsense.  It makes me worries that these families will eventually force their girls back to the Middle East to get married and fall in line with their “Culture”.  It is a cruel fate for them if that happens having lived in a society like Canada and then send to a place where their freedoms that they enjoyed here are next to non-existent there.

That is my stance.  It may not be a popular one but I just think that when “Religion”, or more correctly, “Culture” is dictating an unfair disparaging dress code and rules specifically for women, we should not stand for that.

Canadian Election 2015: POT!

Like the last point Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau (JT) was getting a knocked by a Conservative attack ad about “Not being ready” partly for saying he would legalize pot.

Let us think back for a while, or not.  Sleeman’s does plenty to remind us of the prohibition era and how we once had a similar thought about alcohol.  Now it is legal, taxed, and enjoyed responsibly by millions.  There are a few that are not as responsible but then, all those tax dollars come in handy to fund the programs that deal with substance abuse and such.

But then there is also the medical benefits which municipalities are finally wising up to and are now allowing medical pot to be sold for those who suffer from cancer and other ailments that prevent them from properly eating or living.

Yes it is more serious a drug than nicotine but I would probably put it on par with over indulging in alcohol.  Both are equally bad when consumed irresponsibly.  But since we have alcohol, pot is not that different.

So legalizing it, we tax it.  Those taxes will help pay for the substance abuse expenses the government pays for already.  Police will no longer have to deal with the crime freeing them up to concentrate on more serious crime.

In the end, is it really such an out in left field thought?  Have Police, Hospitals and Doctors, and the sick indicated anything that this is such a bad idea?  Or is this just old fashioned prudish thought at work that “we just can not have that in our society!”

To me, it is not a small issue.  Legalizing pot could have a huge positive impact on our society.  Granted, I hate the smell, that would be the only reason I would ban it.  Which is pretty pathetic as a reason.

Disclaimer: I am not Canadian, so I cannot vote in the upcoming election.  That attack ad just irks me and makes everyone in that ad look like a glib idiot.

Canadian Election 2015: F35 Fighter.

I am not really a fan of politics.  Especially when all I see is attack after attack which just amounts to the people involved looking like a bunch of babies.  Grow up.  Work together and make something great.

One thing I recently came across was the stance on the F35 fighter purchase from Lockheed Martin.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau (JT) wants to scrap it.
Conservative Leader Steven Harper (SH) started the purchase order so he is committed to buy them.  And basically saying that JT out to lunch in the process.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair (TM) says he’ll back the fighter because, basically, it has gone through a process and we just cannot back out so easily.  He might be right but still, seems like a very politic answer.
Green Leader Elizabeth May (EM), I am guessing, is also against the planes, but no real mention what they would plan to do if they were in power; or at least I do not see anything as definitive as JT’s statement.
(Sorry Bloc Quebecois, I do not really care what you think.)

Personally, from what I have read and heard about the F35.  We are better off without them.  Like in this Youtube video from the 5th Estate and there is something similar from 60 minutes if you google..  Around 27:10 sums up the plane from other places I have read and heard. They are not great for…  basically everything.  The newer Russian planes, the Eurofighter, the Super Hornet and probably our aging fleet of CF18s are probably better than these planes in some way or another.  This plane has been designed to fit too many situations such that design and specification compromises had to be done in order to fit the bill.  The end result.  Neat looking plane, shame it will put our pilots at risk.

So JT out to lunch?  I do not think so. Unless the Conservatives really bent over and let Lockheed Martin royally shaft them on the deal that backing out and buying an equal amount of half the cost Super Hornets will amount to about the same cost, then I would agree, JT “may” be out to lunch.  However, even in that scenario, we would probably have a better plane that that is way cheaper to service because the Super Hornet is not too different than the CF18s that we currently have.  So we have the expertise to maintain them and we do not have to re-equipe with entirely new hardware.

Hey, I am a guy, I like new toys as much as anyone else.  But if those toys do not add up or are way too expensive, then I am definitely not going to buy.  That is the reason I have a Denon receiver paired with a PS3 for bluray and Totem Arrow/Dream Catcher speakers instead of a Bang And Olafson with Bowers and Wilkinson Speakers.  (Mind you, I actually really like the look of the Totems over anything from BW but that is besides the point.)  I bought within my means.  Canada should as well.  Which means, F35 is not really our jet even though SH and the Conservatives would like to think it is.

So I think JT and EM are probably on the right train of though.  TM is being diplomatic I suspect.  SH is committed and, I get the impression, someone who will not admit to being wrong and will stay the course no matter how painful it will be.  A change in decision would appear, in their eyes, would be a very grave error politically.

Disclaimer: I am not Canadian but I live here as a Permanent Resident.  So I can not vote in the upcoming election.  I will say I am biased against the Conservatives mainly because of their record on stifling scientific research that does not agree with them, their obvious military slant as well as jails building.  This is by no means a claim of support for any party even though it might appear to be supportive of JT.  I do not take everything as it is given to me.  If it sounds off then I will “Question Everything, Trust Nothing, and Verify.” (Not an exact quote but was part of lecture I attended once.  Or in other words, “Think”.