I’m taking the week off. Enjoy the holiday!
I’m taking the week off. Enjoy the holiday!
If you think the Senate is an obsolete anachronism, wait until you hear about the Order of Canada.
Whatever the Senate’s flaws, it has its purpose. It’s one of two houses of Parliament.
Laws are debated there, amendments are made, committees examine issues. It has a democratic function even though its members are not democratically selected.
And appointments to the Senate are at least somewhat distributed across the country — each province has its own quota of senators, and recent appointments show an effort to reflect demographic diversity, too.
Compare that to the Order of Canada, a snooty club for elites who mostly live in the golden triangle of Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal.
Unlike senators, recipients of the Order of Canada have no democratic duties. It’s simply an official commendation by the “fancy” people that someone has been invited to their elite club.
The Order was established nobly enough in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth. Its purpose was to recognize a “lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”
But 46 years later, it’s become like the mean girls in the 1980s movie Heathers, the snobby rich kids who love to prove they’re better than anyone else.
Instead of recognizing under-appreciated volunteers, the Order of Canada often does the opposite — sucking up to already rich and powerful elites.
It’s a Heathers-like seal of approval, that the recipient is the “right kind” of Canadian in the eyes of the government. Many choices are highly political — like abortionist Henry Morgentaler.
Take the latest group,
38 cool kids invited to Rideau Hall on Friday for the investiture ceremony with the governor general.
Amongst them are two former premiers: Mike Harcourt, a one-term B.C. NDP premier who resigned in scandal. And Brian Tobin, the Newfoundland Liberal, who served as an MP and a one-term premier, too.
Really? Is that what Queen Elizabeth had in mind when she talked about selfless service to Canada — former politicians? And surely it’s a coincidence that both politicians are from parties on the left.
Also on the list are two journalists. It’s possible that journalism is a form of public service — say, a crusading investigative reporter with a career of revealing various scandals.
But that’s not who was chosen. Two predictably left-wing CBC radio reporters won it. Michael Enright is most famous for calling the Catholic Church “the greatest criminal organization outside the mafia.”
And Andy Barrie was the CBC’s morning drive host in Toronto.
Really? A disc jockey is what Queen Elizabeth had in mind?
At least the Senate is honest — it’s often a retirement home for politicians who fail to get elected, or a thank-you gift for party fundraisers.
But the Order of Canada pretends it’s about recognizing great Canadian servants.
But choosing lefty premiers and radio hosts means there’s not a lot of room left for true achievers.
Not a single person from Calgary or Edmonton did anything worth noting, according to the Heathers. Or maybe it’s just that the Heathers are based in Ottawa. It’s a catty little group, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, stacked with government bureaucrats and left-wing academics. Even a former Liberal politician.
That’s why the 38 winners are mostly white. That’s why the list is predominantly left-wing. That’s why the list is jammed with central Canadian snobs.
Order of Canada? Not really. It’s more like the Christmas Card list of the country’s snobbiest elites.
If Queen Elizabeth herself made the choices, they’d be less snooty — and more representative of real Canada, not all the Canada you can see from Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower, or the CN Tower.
This column was written for Sun News November 23 2013.
Oprah seems to forget where she got all her chances to get ahead in this life. She is only looking to smooze with the Obama’s. From what we have been reading Michele Obama cannot stand her. If she would or could read she would know Abe Lincoln was a Republican, a Conservative. Down through the years Conservatives have voted much more for civil rights, a much higher percentage than Democrats.
Oprah needs to go to Frantz Kebreau’s site ( he is a black man who wrote Stolen History) and find out the truth as to what has been happening in “her” black communities.
Oprah is likely more ignorant than a liar because she is obviously not a reader for she has been too busy counting her money that the white fans have, over the years helped to heap on her.
She is a betrayer to people, not just to White people, but is misleading black people as well. She needs to know what she is talking about.
Who got Oprah where she is today?
Our guess that “white people” but mostly women for the most part.
She definitely is not doing to badily, but better than 90 percent of the who population, white or black.
So Oprah we done your homework for you. This may help:
13 Ammendment: Abolished slavery
100% Republican Support
23% Democrat Support
14 Ammendment that gave Citizenship to Freed Slaves
94% Republican Support
0% Democrat Support
15th Ammendment Right to Vote For All
100% Republican Support
0% Democrat Support
This Obamacare Monstrosity
0% Republican Support
86% Democrat Support
Abraham Lincoln was a Republican
The man who started thr KKK was a Democrat.
So our question to you Oprah: Who has been lying to you blacks and fooling you down through the years?
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Examining consumer complaints is one of the main roles that the FCC does for American taxpayers to promote and protect consumer welfare. To this end, a recent blog caught my eye, it stating:
The FCC has a lot of catching up to do after the 16-day government shutdown…[with] a significant backlog of consumer protection issues to address, including net neutrality. (Emphasis added)
I guess the writer believes that the shutdown meant open season for ISPs, allowing them to flagrantly poke consumers in the eye with Net Neutrality violations because the cop on the beat – the FCC – had left town, leaving consumers to fend for themselves during those 16 awful, lawless days?
Consumers use the FCC’s informal online complaint process to, er, complain, about their communications providers. The simple process, which the FCC says it “takes seriously,” gives informal complaints “substantial attention and consideration,” and addresses an array of communications service issues. Consumers can also file formal complaints, but they are more involved and expensive, essentially bringing the complaint into a court-like setting for adjudication.
Receiving consumer complaints from real people (not “consumer activists” or lobbying groups) can be a pretty good indication that there’s real a problem going on. Each quarter, the FCC entertains about 90,000 informal complaints. Of late, the vast majority of these concern the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which works to prevent unwanted calls, among other abuses.
Apparently, consumers are very concerned about TPCA (whether they know it by name or not).
But what about Net Neutrality?
I’ll admit, the blog post made me wonder. Could it be true? Could consumers, as evidenced by the complaint process, really be concerned about Net Neutrality? Given all the fuss this past decade about Net Neutrality, surely there must be a gazillion such complaints from concerned, average Joe consumers, right?
So, I called over to the Commission to find out what the story was.
After several attempts to contact someone at the Media Relations Bureau for comment, I finally reached a live spokesperson and posed the question – how many Net Neutrality / Open Internet complaints is the FCC entertaining?
Part of his answer I expected. According to the official, there are no formal Net Neutrality complaints, something well known within the industry and media. So, no surprise there.
But shockingly, the FCC official said he couldn’t tell if any informal Net Neutrality complaints had been lodged because, amazingly, the FCC doesn’t break out that number.
The FCC doesn’t break out Net Neutrality complaints on perhaps the most significant rule it’s made in over a decade?
I guess I should have known.
When the FCC passed Net Neutrality in 2010, it could only cite four specific (and specious) complaints, along with a small handful of general, gossip-like business practice “allegations.” Sure, nearly 100,000 comments (not complaints) came into the agency, the majority of which urged the FCC to protect the openness of the Internet and pass Net Neutrality. Those, however, were manufactured by “consumer advocacy groups” who received substantial support from the beneficiaries of the soon-to-be rule. Their value is dubious.
The Net Neutrality Order makes little mention about consumer complaints, noting that the complaint process has always been available to consumers to address communications service issues, and that it remains open for Net Neutrality complaints should they arise. As “important” as this issue and the process are, however, three years after the rule passed the Commission, the FCC lacks any specific Net Neutrality complaint category for its online complaint form.
I passed all this by a former, high-ranking FCC official who told me:
“If Net Neutrality complaints don’t merit mention, there probably aren’t enough complaints for the FCC to bother reporting them separately.”
Stated differently – there’s no there there.
Since the invention of the web browser in the early 90’s, innumerable Internet communications have crossed our networks. Consequently, you’d think we’d have seen a tremendous amount of blocking or “discrimination” by Internet service providers if that indeed were happening. Consumers would be up in arms. But looking back to key points in the Net Neutrality debate – from the issuance of the 2005 Open Internet guidelines, to the passage of the Net Neutrality rules in late 2010, to their official effective date late in 2011, to now – the FCC has never bothered to spit out an exact consumer complaint number, even though it does so for other categories of complaints.
It’s because Net Neutrality isn’t a real consumer problem. Never has been. Probably never will be. Rather, Net Neutrality was a manufactured problem designed to justify a needless regulation – one primarily designed to subsidize powerful Silicon Valley interests instead of actually protecting consumers.
This falls in line with this Commission’s main goals – that is, to protect favored competitors and not much else. It doesn’t matter what consumers choose, or not, in the marketplace because when it comes to helping friends and making good on campaign promises, real consumer choice doesn’t even merit a footnote.
In this instance, consumers have said – by not complaining – that Net Neutrality ain’t a problem.
Shouldn’t that have ended the debate?
We know that sometimes – when it aligns with the regulatory proclivities of the agency – consumer complaints can move the ball. Like in Fire Island, when it served to kneecap Verizon and its legitimate post-Sandy reconstruction efforts.
When it doesn’t, well, the agency pulls an “I see nothing,” Sergeant Schultz.
This is the hallmark of arbitrary and capricious governing. And that’s public service we could do without.
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Asian Development Bank resident representative Shane Rosenthal and deputy director general
of the Pacific department Noriko Ogawa at the media conference in the new
Resident Mission in Timor-Leste. Photo: David Robie/PMC
THE ASIAN Development Bank has signed a US million loan with the Timor-Leste government in the latest segment of the Asia-Pacific nation’s road upgrade programme.