Archive for December, 2005

Do Dreams Come True?

Well it is nearly the end of the year here on the West Coast and I am wondering, what will 2006 bring us all?

Will Stephen Harper be our next Prime Minister and take Canada from being unique and compassionate into being a clone of the USA or will the Liberals persevere?

Guess for that we’ll have to wait till the 23rd but I wonder, what is it these days? I mean seriously, will 2006 bring us changes or will it simply be a re-hash of all that has gone on since the terror attack of 9/11?

I mean the world has changed drastically since the Terrorists attacked the USA and plunged us all into fear and panic. Gas Prices have gone up because of it, Mother Nature has been on a rampage last year and right now the 27th named tropical storm is twirling around in the Atlantic, beating the record by 6 the number of named storms in one single year.

So perhaps it is a time for reflection. I mean I know I have been short tempered more this year than before, I know even Dave has had the odd fits of just being mad, and I am wondering why?

You know there used to be a time when we would all go outside just before Midnight and mingle with the neighbours. We’d all be out there, glass in hand and when midnight came we’d wish everyone a Happy New Years, and now I wonder how many even know the name of their neighbours?

Funny how today when people talk about returning to old fashioned values, they say it with anger in their voices, with hatred even in their souls as they think because someone is different, someone is asking to be treated like anyone else, that it is an assault on their own values. Look south to the USA where the Patriot Act exists and is even more invasive than ever, that today we now have to wonder if a USA firm doing business up here is secretly passing on our personal information, not because they are evil, but because if they don’t they go to jail.

We have politicians fighting about money lost and sponsorship scandals when in the past the issue was the vision they had for a nation. I mean do you remember the debates of Trudeau and Clark? I do and Imiss them. I miss listening to Trudeau explaining with exasperation why it was essential to have a central government versus a US version of States Rights for the provinces.

I remember the argument even then of how Alberta and only Alberta should control its oil reserves under conservative Peter Lougheed, and today conservative Ralph Klein parrots the same tired old argument.

When did greed become our national vision?

To me, when I hear about old fashioned family values, it isnt about denying Gays & Lesbians the right to marraige, but instead it reminds me of parents sitting down each evening to help their children with homework. Of parents going to schools regularly to check up on their child and not leaving them home alone in front of a computer, television or video game.

For me, I recall family ethics where you helped people who had less than you and not just once a year, but throughout the year. You didn’t demand raises every 6 months and tell your boss that if they paid you more you would do the job you were hired for in the 1st place.

Guess I am truly an idealist because I want that again. I want to go out at midnight and wish my neighbours a Happy New Year, and by their name, not by some ‘hey you’ or anything. I want to see parents assume once more responsibility for their children by taking the time to sit with them, to know what they watch on Television, who their friends are. I want to see parents not blame the video game for their childs acting out or to rush for a new pill to give them because their kid is just that, a Kid.

It is a new year, and I wonder, will we be able to get beyond Madison Avenue and its barrage of buying SUV’s simply because that is what they are selling, or will we return to our roots where we buy things because we need them, not just because we want them.

Will the new year make us greedier or will we realize that if we want all people to be healthy, to be secure that we need to protect National Health for all, that being wealthier isn’t an entitlement to special treatment in health care or the courts? Will we have the courage to say to the egomaniacs who wish to lead that they should move to the States and let us be Canada, the real Canada where compassion for everyone is a priority?

Can we get past the smug news reporters who slant the news, and do little in informing us but instead are attempting to push their own personal agendas or the agendas of their advertisers?

Will we have the courage, the strength to see beyond the past to the future and remember that it is our obligation to leave this country in better shape than when we got it for not just the next generation, but for the next two or three generations that haven’t even yet been born?

I don’t know what the new year is going to bring me or Dave or mom either. She is 88 and still going strong but can that last? For me I pray it lasts for many more years, and I know that the love I have for Dave is even greater now than it was 10 years ago. I know on the 21st we celebrate our 1st legal anniversary and that is something to be proud of. But will it last or will people give in to fear and elect Harper who wants to take that away from us?

In less than 4 hours, a new year will be upon us. I know that for me, Dave, and Mom we are hoping to keep on going as we have. To try and keep our small corner of this world safe, happy, and enjoyable. Sure it would be nice to be rich, to not worry where the rent will come from next month or how to manage the increasing cost of Mom’s medications, but at least we aren’t like nearly 60 odd million Americans who have no such hope. They bank instead on not getting sick, and yet we too may soon face that prospect if our fellow Canadians lose sight of what Canada is, and always has been… a beacon of hope, a bastion of social awareness.

So as many of you may be celebrating the new year now, take a moment to reflect on things, to ask yourselves if somehow you cant find it in yourself to be more compassionate, more caring and less irritable, less demanding, less forgiving than you have. Ask yourselves as the new year approaches if you can’t perhaps truly help return to real old fashioned values, where people cared for others, simply because it was the right thing to do, not because it was financially beneficial. Ask youselves if you can’t afford to work smarter and deliver honest work for an honest wage. See if somehow you can’t remember that not everyone is as blessed as we all are for living in Canada.

Fear is terrible weapon and yet the enemies of our way of life seem quite at home in using it. They talk about how granting equal rights to a minority ruins their sacred marraiges and yet I wonder, how could that be? How can some nameless person in British Columbia living in legal harmony as well as spiritual harmony with their partner have any effect on their union? How can making distinctions between rich and poor give us all better health care? better education?

My New Year’s wish for everyone is that we are all granted the chance to do our own bit, to help in our own small corner of the country to return to true old fashioned values, where the state is not involved in what goes on in our bedrooms, that it is involved in providing a healthy lifestyle for all of us, that it doesn’t abandon the social fibre that made Canada the envy of the world, and if the truth be told, is still the envy of the world.

In 2 months the USA will be out of money unless their Congress approves an increase in the debt ceiling and yet in Canada we have a surplus. Yet if you listen to the Conservative and NDP we should be spending that money giving useless tax credits, turn more responsibility over to the provincial governments without regard for tomorrow. The Liberals pissed away 100 million dollars, but they took a 60 billion dollar deficit and turned it into over 8 years of surpluses now.

I hope that as the new year progresses that we return to values where our political leaders talked about a vision for the country, not who was evil or bad. I want to hear how they will enhance our country’s social programs, not rape them or dismantle them. I want to know that when all of us are long forgotten that those walking this land will still know how to read, how to write, how to add, and that when they sing O’Canada that it will be with pride just as I feel now when I hear it.

So from my family, from Dave my partner of 10 years in life, of barely 1 year in legal union, from my mother of 88 years and from me, a 50 year old idealist, may 2006 be a year we can all hold our heads up and be proud of, for in 2006 we put family, compassion, honor, charity, ahead of fear and hatred. That in 2006 we said to those who are jealous that Canada is not a nation just of toleration, but instead Canada is a nation of ACCEPTANCE, that as Prime Minister Martin put it, Canada is a nation of minorties living together in peace.

Happy New Years Everyone!

Buying Votes With Tax Credits

Oh this is priceless really. Let’s play the old Brian Mulroney game of attempting a tax grab while making it seem like we doing a favour gambit. The latest ‘how to buy votes’ courtesy of Stephen Harper and his public transit tax initiative.

So let me see if I have this right, if you use public transit you will get a 16% tax credit from a Harper Conservative government. Now call me dumb or call me just plain blonde but let’s see how this is gonna help.

According to Harper (CBC story) this will increase public use of buses and such by as much as 50% because gee, we can save almost $150 if we buy a bus pass. Now I don’t know, but those bus passes ain’t cheap but hell we’ll get a whole maximum credit… note that, credit not refund, of 16%.

You want people to ride the buses, well I would say why not give Municipalities the option to buy gas without the federal tax, why not pay for hybrid buses instead of gas guzzlers? Now that gives us benefits that NO TAX BREAK will give us.

1. It gives us cheaper costs enabling the city governments to add more routes, more buses to the service.

2. It encourages the use of less polluting vehicles

3. It gives us a real cost break, because if the cities get gas cheaper, they can better pass it on that if we got a pissing 16% break in either lower fares, or at least no radical increases each time gas goes up at the pump!

4. A tax cut alone will not increase bus use by 1 added individual but cutting the cost of the fare sure will given how much it costs to park and fill up a car.

See, to me this is just one more bullshit program to try and make people think that Stephen Harper cares and has a plan. But what plan is it that will realistically do nothing for the people who need the buses?

Remember, Mr Harper opposes Kyoto but here he is trumpeting his big plan to not only save the environment but save us money. Now call me skeptical but if you don’t support the only real global effort to reduce emissions how can you suddenly be an environmental supporter by offering a tax break that may not be here a year later?

If you remove the taxes charged on gas for buses to municipalities, no matter how much the gas goes up in the market place, buses will have lower fuel costs, and let’s be honest, it is fuel costs that drive up bus fares along with wages. Remove the one and you can afford better service, more wages, more employees so how in hell is a tax break to bus riders gonna be better?

And just how does one go about proving they are a bus rider? Does it mean we now have to keep bus passes and submit them in our tax returns? Think about it… more paperwork and I can assure you that means higher income tax prepartion costs, not to mention higher costs to the government to process them, and for what? A tax break that will do NOTHING to increase riders?

50% is what he says, and I wonder what planet is he on? I mean come on, will you stop driving if you now have to save receipts for bus passes, and then add the time or expense to include them with your tax return?

Course you won’t, and let’s also be honest. The only way this can work to any degree is to limit it to income, and as it stands right now, minimum wage earners don’t get all the breaks because they simply don’t earn enough to qualify, and this so called tax break is just gonna be one more of those.

This is merely an advertising gimmick by the Conservatives. Seriously, a tax break of 16% when it was the conservatives of Brian Mulroney that added income tax to poor people. Oh it had the same ring to it, as this phoney tax break does too. Remember?

A new fair tax system, no more 30% tax but a fair rate of 17%. That is what Brian Mulroney advertised his tax reform with, but what he didn’t tell anyone was that he also removed the basic tax exemption of $12,000.00 and lowered it to $4,000.00 So suddenly, those who earned minimum wage back then had to begin paying income tax, and that was really fair wasn’t it? We still, decade later, are still taxing our poorest because of the Conservatives and now here comes a new leader with the same old packaging… promising us tax credits, tax breaks, when in essence its a tax grab.

Nice to listen to but totally bogus as people don’t ride the buses today for several reasons, one of which is cost, but a tax credit does NOT make that any easier. People don’t ride today because of a lack of service, timing so they can get to work and home without long delays. Convenience is non existent in many cities simply because of the cost of fuel to run more buses.

Increase ridership by 25 to 50% by offering a tax break? Not Bloody Likely!

Goes to show that Stephen Harper simply isn’t serious about the problems poor people face. If he was, he’d be doing a lot more than offering fancy phrases, fancy gimmicks that are expensive and unworkable. If he truly cared, if he truly was interested in being a leader, he’d back real initiatives like subsidized fuel for buses, paying a higher share for hybrid buses, and other plans. Something that surprisingly not even the NDP have thought of.

Course there is a program testing new hybrids for public transport, but Stephen Harper forgot to mention that it is the Liberals who are doing it. Wonders never cease huh?

Shame Mr Harper… phoney tax credits are worse than budget cuts because rarely do tax credits get front page news when they are suddenly axed, or mysteriously disappear. If you really want people to ride buses more… make riding buses cost less each day. Only the rich can afford to sock away tax refunds in savings acounts, the working person uses the money for food, clothing, and shelter, and then too, if you were elected, they’d have to use it for not food, not clothing, not shelter, but to pay for private health insurance so no thanks Mr Harper, keep your tax credit, I want real solutions… not your phoney conservative BS.

Empty Promises

Okay guess the holidays are over as the election battle continues with Mr Stephen Harper now promising to increase the number of military personnel on Vancouver Island.

So let me see, how is that gonna work? I mean where will these NEW troops come from? Does he expect to increase enlistment and if so how? What will he use to get more citizens to join up? Will he take a page from the Yanks and go high pressure selling in inner city schools, in poverty stricken neighbourhoods, in disadvantaged areas? I mean that is HOW the US Military gets its recruits…

Or will he simply transfer troops from elsewhere?

Course will it really matter how many troops are stationed anywhere if he’s elected? After all he will have to send a whole bunch over to Iraq to help pave the way for having a good friendship with dear old Uncle George & Grandpa Dick. So whether he increases the number 100 fold won’t matter, they will all be off in Iraq helping to spread the pain of a war that shouldn’t have been, all in the name of APPEASEMENT to that great Democracy, the United States.

Putting aside the human cost of appeasing the USA in this, and just adding more troops to the military payroll, where is the money gonna come from?

I mean let’s look at this, he wants to improve the weapons we have, the tanks, airplanes, navy etc which frankly we do need, but those kind of expenditures take time. In fact the last conservative government stuck us with the air defence system that didn’t work at low level but as they were big time conservative contributors, well gee, they had to get something for all that money didn’t they? Course that’s different than the sponsorship scandel isn’t it? Yeah Right…

Right now our economy is pretty solid. Has been for nearly a decade now under the Liberal governments. While we may have wasted or pissed away a few hundred million least we still have money in the bank, but given all the expensive gifts Mr Harper is promising, how long before we face a deficit?

Course that will make George Bush happy, after all it is the one irritant that really gets under his skin. To think that his own country is mired in debt and his neighbour in the north isn’t has to be annoying, but he has the perfect solution. Hope Harper gets elected and watch the economy go to ruin with a two tier health system, new fancy gadgets for the military, mandatory jail sentances, resources turned over to provinces, and participation in the bringing of USA Democracy to the middle east.

Shucks shouldn’t take more than a year or two of that before the Canadian economy is no different than the USA one. Canadians will have to work 3 jobs to afford health care, millions will be without any health care, more people will be in jail that shouldn’t be and hell that’ll mean more guards, bigger prisons and all that simply so George Bush isnt alone at running a country into bankruptcy.

These are nothing but empty promises by the Tories who really haven’t a clue about what is real or needed. And let’s not forget Jack Layton with his promise to fully fund health care, social services and education through increased wages for the workers. Like that’s gonna help a whole lot.

Come on, isn’t it time we started asserting our own national identity here and stopped following the USA to financial ruin and moral bankruptcy?

National health is important, but the answer lies in changing attitudes as well as in funding. If everyone wants a bigger slice of the pie, then they need to perform better and more effeciently. Since when did simply being a Doctor, A Teacher, A Nurse mean you get more and more by doing less and less?

When did it become ethical to simply throw money at problems instead of looking at what is causing the problems?

Do we incarerate people for minimum times across the board simply because its easier than acknowledging that each person has individual needs and that not every case is the same? Surely as individuals we want to have some sort of compassion in our judiciary and while it doesn’t make sense to let criminals go it sure as hell makes less sense to incarcerate people irrespective of the circumstances or the ability to rehabilitate?

That is the same as saying that a person complaining of a pain in their lower abdomen has appencitice so we remove the apendix when in fact it is a muscle cramp or something else. Don’t we run tests first? Does it make sense to operate based on initial guesses? Course not, and so it is the same when someone screws up and breaks the law. Or dont’ we care anymore?

How about when kids are quiet in class and never raise their hand to answer a question? Should we ignore them because they aren’t responsive and simply look after those who show a willingness to participate?

Funny isn’t it, but maybe the answer isn’t so hard to figure out.

If teachers ignore the silent kids, don’t reach out to them, how is that educating our kids? If the teachers refuse to be accountable in any way, what signal does that send every kid out there? Never mind if the teachers ignore government laws, but simply refuse to be held accountable for the results of their teaching?

Mr Harper and Mr Layton have made a big deal about ‘accountability’ in this election and yet where is their own accountability? Mr Martin said he would call an election within 30 days after the final Gomery Report, yet our two opposition parties chose to have the election before that report became public, and one needs to ask why.

Simple answer is that when the preliminary report came out clearing Mr Martin both Harper & Layton knew that the whole scandal would be LESS of an election issue if they waited than it could be if they forced an election now. Gee, amazing isn’t it that we are now in an election and yet these two demand accountability?

Mr Harper & Mr Layton have made a lot of promises, but offer no answer as to how they will pay for their plans or even what the plans will cost us. And the Liberals have made some too, but given that the man making them is also the one that brought this country into the black from out of the red of the past Conservative government, I tend to believe more in his ability to keep us there than I do them. After all the Tories have shown they can’t manage money (i.e. the Mulroney government, Harris government in Ontario) and the NDP certainly have shown they havent any budgetary clues (i.e the Clark government in BC) yet the Liberals have, so the track record is what counts.

So while it is nice to think of added military personnel on the island here, one has to ask if this isn’t just one more empty promise in an effort to curry favour and votes?

I suppose I am naive, because I want to know HOW something will be done, not just what will be done. After all if you haven’t a clue how you will achieve something, its just an empty promise. If I tell you I will do this and that, but never tell you all that must be done first, what kind of promise is that? Isn’t it just a sop so they really never have to honor the promise?

One Law For Everyone

Well I don’t get it anymore but I suppose it is all part of the old gender gap or maybe it is true that men are dogs or something like that.

Tyra Banks (a super model they say) had on her show today all about how women really don’t wear the right sized bra for their boobs. Now that really doesn’t interest me but what got me a bit hot under the collar was that you had a parade of women pushing up their boobs, parading around in no tops with just frilly bras on and I sat back, thinking how hypocritical can this get?

To begin with, the show is on at 4pm here, so obviously kids are at home and able to watch it, then I thought about last year’s superbowl with the whole Janet Jackson boobie thing and then I thought about Calvin Klein underwear commercials that got yanked and you know, it made me see red.

Watch the commercials on Television, and see if I am not right but there is a hell of a lot more boobies showing than in the whole Janet Jackson fiasco, and here is a daytime talk show dedicated to showing boobies in bras, and then see if you can find any commercials of guys in their undies.

Now is this some puritan bullshit or what?

If it is okay for guys (obviously straight guys) to oogle women parading around in bras and panties, how come women (straight women that is) don’t get the same rights to oogle guys in their jockeys or bikini briefs?

Why is the male body off limits to be shown in scantily clad briefs but mandatory for women? How come when you watch award shows like the Oscars you see more tit than cloth and that is okay but guys have to be dressed so that you can’t even tell if they had a baseball in their pants?

Look at how fashion today and basically for all time, insists on highlighting a woman’s boobs and crotch area, make the tushie look firm and inviting and yet men’s fashion goes in the opposite direction. Like tell me that this is because men insist on it and I’ll be happy to sell you some nice waterfront property in the Florida everglades!

This is a double standard and one that is really heating up in my mind. Before you could see guys in briefs, though not often and now, the women in the bed has no covers but boy is that guy wrapped up tighter than a virgin in a nunnery.

Is Madison Avenue that homophobic or ashamed? I mean what is wrong with a pair of muscular thighs encased in a pair of briefs that accentuate the manhood of the model? Isn’t that what women panty commercials do? So why can’t a guy be shown too?

I don’t know, there is so much sex in the Bible itself and yet in America today it is like sex is evil. I mean give me a break, how else is the human race gonna survive if it doesnt have sex? Yet that very sensual act, very important act, becomes unimportant unless its on the female side of things, and the man is unimportant or irrelevent to it. Like huh?

When is the double standard gonna come down? Surely straight women wouldn’t mind having a few good crotch shots? They do count for approximately 50% of the population and let’s face it, they do a whole lot of the shopping too, so how come no guys parading around in y-fronts?

Like that is gonna turn poor little charlie into a queer but a girl in a bra will keep him on the straight and narrow?

Chad Hunt DVDs Added

We have updated our DVD section, specifically our Gay Porn Stars by adding several DVD titles with Chad Hunt appearing in the DVDs.

Convenient links are provided to order these DVDs, and better hurry as some are low in stock, though most ship within 5 to 10 business days. We also have some great discount prices as well, so don’t hesitate to check them out.

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