Saturday 14 February 2009

My published comments on newspaper articles. Part IV

Various newspapers around the world invite their readers to submit their views for publication on the various articles they publish. What follows are nine submissions of the many of mine that were published. I will quote in part some of what was published by THE TORONTO STAR and then give you my published comments typed in bold.

Taxpayers didn't get a good deal when the Ontario government spent $23.4 million on outside lawyers and consultants to fight a corruption case at its real estate arm. One prominent Toronto law firm, WeirFoulds, billed the government more than $12 million on the case even though the firm did not take it to trial. The case that began in 2000 ended eight years later with the province recovering only $3.5 million plus interest – a fraction of the $23.4 million spent on civil litigation involving the Ontario Realty Corp.

Don't go to bed with lawyers

The law firm that charged $12 million for its services in representing the government in one case only brings to mind what I have said before about the legal profession. Choosing a lawyer is like choosing a bed mate. What looks extremely beautiful at night can look horribly ugly in the light of dawn.

Published, February 11 2009

In January 2008, there were complaints about taxi drivers at Union Station in Toronto. The infractions include aggressive and illegal soliciting of cab fares along with refusal to accept the first fare, the operation of unlicensed drivers and taxis, and the poor condition of vehicles that serve the area. And as far as helping elderly and disabled people is concerned, drivers are less likely to get out of their cab to assist elderly and disabled passengers get into the vehicle.

Dump the bad taxi drivers

Some taxi drivers have no right to be driving a taxi. They are real creeps and the city should take their Taxi licences away. If they want them back, they should wait five years before applying for them again. Maybe by then, they will have reformed and if they have, they can be trusted to drive a taxi again.

Published on Friday, December 05, 2008

Two RCMP officers went to a home to arrest a man for outstanding warrants on 15 charges. He fled, an officer chased him and a shot was fired as the two struggled.The RCMP won't say whether he was unarmed.The devastated brother of the man who was shot and killed by the RCMP on a northern Saskatchewan reserve has asked Mounties to be pallbearers so they can "finish the job and take him to his grave.

Proposal interesting but not for me

If I was shot by the police and the shooting was unwarranted, I would rather have my friends carry me to my grave rather than the cops who shot me. I do however appreciate the irony of the proposal. Personally, I would rather have the cops faced with the problem of having to dig my grave with short-handed shovels. Now that would be irony that would be enjoyed by all my friends.

Published on Friday, September 05 2008

Peter Jemley is unique among the growing ranks of war resisters who have sought refuge in Canada. He wants Canada to accept him as a refugee because he's opposed to torture. Jemley argues that as one of only a small number of Arabic linguists with top security clearance, he could be forced to violate international law by participating in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. It was something he hadn't considered when he enlisted in 2005 and was handpicked to undergo two years of intense training due to his adeptness with languages.

He should pay for all his free lessons

I don't like the idea that this man volunteered to get language skills training for free and then says that he didn't know at that time that he may be called upon to ask questions of suspects while they are being tortured. Admittedly, I accept the premise that he is right in objecting to being used in that manner but to complain after he has taken the course, is gross. If we permit him to stay in Canada, he will reap the benefit of his training in the US on his language skills at the expense of the country that trained him. My message to him is: "Go back and face the music and also pay for the training you got."

Published on September 07, 2008

Prosecutors want to nearly double the original prison sentence of would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam, saying he has stopped cooperating with them and still poses a "serious threat." Ressam was sentenced to 22 years behind bars in 2005 for plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium holiday travel rush.

45 years not enough of a sentence

This would-be terrorist should spend the rest of his life in prison. All terrorists who plan a terrorist act but don't carry it out; should be sentenced to life in prison. Those who carry it out and anyone is injured or killed, should be executed. Why aren't the Americans asking for and awarding these kinds of sentences? This kind of sentencing regimen is so simple. The Americans should establish 101 Anti-terrorism Sentencing courses for prosecutors and judges alike.

Published on December 03, 2008

The International Criminal Court should probe allegations some Canadian officers serving in Afghanistan told subordinates to look the other way when Afghan soldiers and local interpreters sodomized young boys. Canadian soldiers have complained to chaplains and military medical personnel that officers told them not to get involved because the sodomy was tantamount to "cultural differences.

Charge the Canadian officers

Those Canadian officers who looked the other way should be court martialed and if found guilty, be dishonourably discharged. Our soldiers are in one sense, our ambassadors to Afghanistan and as such, Canadian goodwill must not be marred by certain officers who look aside when informed that Afghan boys are being raped by Afghan soldiers and interpreters. The president of Afghanistan should be told that he must act and stop this nefarious practice or Canada will leave his country and leave him on his own.

Published on December 15, 2008

Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility announced last month that they will charge cellphone customers not covered by calling plans 15 cents for each incoming text message. Industry Minister Jim Prentice met with the CEOs of both companies to express his "serious concerns" with the fact the plans could charge customers for unsolicited, unwanted spam.

It would have been a breach of contract

Trust large companies to breach their contracts with their customers. The only way you could avoid paying the text receiving calls would be to turn off your cellphone. But then that would create even a greater problem since no one could communicate with others who have cellphones. The proposals of those two communications giants was no different than if gas stations charged you extra money for driving onto their property to buy gas.

Published on August 09, 2008

Tanned, dirty and hungry, two men who spent three months crossing the Pacific on a raft made of plastic bottles to raise awareness of ocean debris finally stepped onto dry land. The pair left Long Beach, Calif., on June 1. Their 9-metre vessel had a deck of salvaged sailboat masts, six pontoons filled with 15,000 plastic bottles and a cabin made from the fuselage of a Cessna airplane.

They deserve all the praise they can get.

I really admire people like those named in this story for their courage and willingness to risk death to prove points. Some people will say it is stupid, especially if people like those in the story perish during their trips. We can learn from their experiences because sometime in our own lives, we may find ourselves somewhere in an ocean with a small boat or raft to cling too because our plane has crash or because our ship has sunk. From the experiences we have learned from others, we might survive. Meanwhile, I hope those in this story survive their adventures.

Published on August 29, 2008

Our soldiers believe in this mission in Afghanistan. They know what this is all about.At the end of the day the Taliban are against things, they're not for anything. They're against human rights, they're against education, they're against health care, they're against women - they're just against human decency. So if we leave these people, if we leave the population of Kandahar province in the hands of the Taliban we just won't be performing our duty and our soldiers know that.

We should remain until the job is done

Canada's armed forces in Afghanistan is vital not only to that country but to Canada as well. Much of the heroin brought into Canada comes from that country. What we should be doing is helping the farmers of that country find an alternative crop to grow in their farms. It must be kept in mind that the terrorists derive much of their income to buy arms from the sale of heroin in that country. Canadian forces along with the armed forces of other countries must help fix this problem.

Published on September 01, 2008

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