Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Week: The Freakening

Justin Bourque, who gunned down three RCMP officers in New Brunswick, has been sentenced to seventy-five years in prison.

Good riddance.

The War on Halloween:

It is that spooky time of year when Canadian parents and students in small pockets around the country bristle at being told their schools will not be celebrating Halloween this year.

Instead, children will be welcome to celebrate something a little safer, something that doesn’t have its roots in the occult. Call it Spirit Day, or Black and Orange Day, or just Friday.

This year’s Ground Zero for anti-Halloween outrage is Windsor, Ont., where parents are unhappy that Anderon Public School has barred Halloween costumes and parties.

The Windsor Star reports that the public elementary school has instead implemented “Black and Orange Day.” Which, y’know, are the colours of the Halloween season.

There will be no parade, and costumes are outright discouraged, with the school saying it would be neat if kids wore black and orange clothing. Though it’s not all trick, there will be some treat: Classes are welcome to hold discussions about the history of Halloween and the different customs that have been practiced over the years.

(Sidebar: because that is exactly how students wish to spend their Halloween afternoon).

A few points:

One: diminishing a holiday or eliminating it altogether does as much for cultural pluralism as a forest fire does for conservation (SEE: Christmas).

Two: everyone knows what a joke this is. One's political correctness serves only to show what a useless pansy-fest the schools et al are.

Three: if schools and the "educators" in them want to prove to the world what skittish, intolerant, intellectually lightweight bladders of hot air they are and why alternative forms of education would be much better than caving into mafia-esque teachers' unions whose "concern" for the children depends on how they are getting compensated, mission accomplished!

Four: isn't it time that people not only understood their culture but defended it? Imagine this banning of Halloween came at the hands of evangelists or ISIS? Would it be worth defending then?

Related: the controversial sex education programmed partially penned by accused pervert Benjamin Levin is getting an update:

The Liberal government will reintroduce an updated version of the sex education curriculum for Ontario schools that it withdrew in 2010 because of objections from religious leaders, Education Minister Liz Sandals said Thursday.

This is the government Ontario Liberal voters wanted.

Some are not happy with Harper's tax plan:

On Thursday, Harper introduced several tax measures targeted at families with children under the age of 18. 

One of the measures was income splitting which would allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket as a strategy to lower their overall tax burden. 

Pundits and analysts were quick to jump on that particular measure claiming that it didn’t help Canada’s middle or low-income earners. Some well-off analysts even claimed that they — personally — didn’t need the benefit. 

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also inserted his own family situation into the debate. 

"Income splitting is an idea that will give a $2,000 tax break to families like mine or Mr. Harper’s. That’s not good enough.” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday. 

Well, cabinet minister Pierre Poilievre has some advice for Trudeau — and perhaps others — who claim that they don’t want the tax cut. 

"If Trudeau doesn’t want PM’s family tax cut, he should donate his savings to RevCan, rather than raising taxes for everyone else," Poliievre wrote on Twitter.

Political motivations aside, it’s a valid point. 

Trudeau has previously said that, should he be elected, he would repeal income splitting.

But what about the others? 

If someone wants to complain about that particular tax cut, shouldn’t they repay their portion of the tax saving? 

Luckily for them, there is actually mechanism for doing that in Canada. 

Canadians can donate money to the federal debt servicing and reduction account via the Receiver General. 

Donations will only be used to service the national debt — which now stands at approximately $613,577,286,400 or $17,359 for every man, woman and child in the country. 

According to a 2012 CBC report, Canadians donated $22 million to the account between 2001/02 and 2011/12 — half of which came in 2011. 

The United States and the Government of Ontario also have such programs. 

So, if you’re a high income earner who doesn’t like Stephen Harper’s income splitting tax cut, you can send your benefit back to the federal government.
(Sidebar: how about reducing the size of government?)

How about it, trustifarian?

Something like this happens every year:

An 88-year-old woman is angry after someone stole her poppy donation can.

Sandy Bernstein has volunteered at a used-book stand at the Jewish General Hospital for a decade, and has sold poppies there for even longer.

She began selling her poppies in return for donations for veterans a couple of days early given the tragic events in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

On Thursday, she was arranging and putting away some books at the stand when a can containing about $350 in donations was swiped from the table.

"That can was absolutely full. You couldn’t even put in a dime," she said.

Bernstein said she suspects a man who was hanging around her table looking at books, but can’t prove it.

She said she couldn’t believe someone would take money destined for veterans.

"I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think the veterans are 100 per cent worth it," Bernstein said.

The Jewish General Hospital reviewed footage from its security cameras and has handed the matter over to police.

Some good news:

 A fundraising drive borne in a Toronto living room and the back of a San Francisco cab has raised more than $700,000 in the week following a terrorism-linked assault in Ottawa, to help support the families of two soldiers killed in recent attacks.

The Stand on Guard campaign is being credited as proof that a grassroots, social movement can make a significant positive difference in society.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo were killed in separate attacks two days apart last week, both linked to terrorist ideologies.

Vincent, who was run over in a parking lot near a military base in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., on Monday, left behind family, including a mother and a twin sister.

Cirillo, who was shot dead while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday, left behind a girlfriend and a five-year-old son, Marcus.

The dual attacks put the nation on alert and led to an outpouring of emotion for the victims and their families. While the nation mourned, two concerned citizens launched a fundraising campaign for those left behind.

A weatherman in Kentucky has one of the best (and freakiest) costumes this year.

Happy Halloween.

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