The business side of woodworking                                     June 2013

Kerry Knudsen


Oh, let’s just call this one Armageddon, and let’s start with the CBC. CBC, of course, is our government-funded (but no influence ... promise) news media.

According to a June 6 story by CBC, they have identified the house where Toronto’s embattled Mayor, Rob Ford, allegedly smoked crack. According to CBC, their reporter, Trevor Dunn, spoke to a man who lived across the street. The reporter apparently forgot to ask the man his name, but he got a quote: "My dad said he heard some loud noise," the man told CBC News. "He came out and said less like than half an hour later there were four or five or six cop cars ... they were canvassing the area." CBC further goes on to say, “The noises the man's father heard were described as three loud pops, which he believes were either firecrackers or gunshots.”

As a news professional qualified to teach journalism at the university level, my opinion is that CBC should be fired. The journalist likely should get canned, too, but he didn’t publish the story, and he may have been forced to write it. In any event, it appears something happened, it is somebody’s opinion that noises sounded like firecrackers or gunshots and that a number of cop cars were “canvassing.” Where, one might ask, is Rob Ford, a drug dealer, a photographer or some crack?

I don’t care what you think of Rob Ford, and I confess I don’t know anything about him but that he rankles people. What I do care about is that the government media is getting pass for gotcha-gossiping, writing trollopping tripe with no basis in facts. (No offence intended to trollops by associating them with CBC.) It is totally unacceptable to me that CBC is not accountable for this crap and their unionized “workers” seem immune from responsibility. I will absolutely guarantee that, had I written such garbage back when I was writing general-assignment for a news daily, I would have been fired. Back then, firing was a public display, and I watched enough to know what would have happened.

Still in Ontario, the Liberal government on June 5 heard Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian report that “senior staffers in former premier Dalton McGuinty’s office testified,” The Globe and Mail reports, “they deleted all their e-mails on two gas plants” the Liberals cancelled for admittedly political reasons. Again, I have not been following the ins and outs of the power plants. (The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail call them gas plants, not me. Fire them, along with the CBC.) However, go back to that “deleted all their e-mails” part. I don’t think I need to explain that. What needs explanation is what effect, if any, these examples will have on our sector in Canada.

First, it is obvious that the whole concept of accountability is shot. If you read the papers over the past many years, you hear reporters speak of “justice.” They talk of justice for the victims and justice for the perpetrators. The victims, they say, need “closure.” The perps need “rehabilitiation.”

I have a different take. I believe justice exists for society. In gross cases we can all think of, there can be no “closure” for the victims and their families – at least, no closure from the government. Religion provides for forgiveness, penance, absolution and so on, but punishing a perp does not provide closure. It may, however, provide Justice. When the punishment fits the crime, society can accept it is not a perfect world, but that the system works. This even works in the horrifying instance when somebody is convicted wrongly. It should never happen, but it is an imperfect world, and society, too, can ask forgiveness, do penance and get absolution.

Ultimately, I think today’s society feels there is no justice, or justice is broken beyond repair. Legal decisions are made on undiscoverable meanings of words by people that can’t even communicate with normal folks. A favourite example is former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s famous, “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Criminally, people that rip off millions of dollars get off free, and people that do the most horrendous crimes spend little time in jail. Meanwhile, small-business owners that miss a regulation deadline are fined, sanctioned and even jailed when they can’t stay abreast of the mountains of rules for which they are accountable.

Just to take one example, think about Safety Compliance. Don’t think about safety. That is another topic. Think about Safety Compliance. The majority of our readers own businesses, and the rest are in management, so safety compliance is a huge issue. Now, on the regulatory level, name one set of safety compliance rules that is not governed by unions. I can’t.

Unions take safety compliance seriously, because it is one way they can blackmail businesses.

Blackmail, of course, is illegal. However, if you can commit illegal acts without consequences, it is not profitable considering the legality, but rather the cost versus the benefit.

In the Ontario gas problem, I assume a few people will be censured and new laws will be promised to prevent lying, stealing lawmakers from lying and stealing. Be still, my quaking heart.

Actually, I believe the e-mail deletions will fade quickly into the woodwork. Politicos have bigger fish to fry. The U.S. has just taught Canada (as if we needed teaching) that political enemies can be sanctioned into submission by the ruling party using the Canada Revenue Agency, affectionately known as CRA. In the States, it’s Infernal Revenue. So far, we have limited browbeating powers to ministries of environment, human resources and the normal Criminal Code.

For an example of lost justice, look at hate crimes. Hate crimes are usually verbal or nonverbal communications. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, “A hate crime is committed to intimidate, harm or terrify not only a person, but an entire group of people to which the victim belongs. The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done.”

Interestingly, business people seem exempt as a “group of people to which the victim belongs.” So far, I have not seen an instance where unions target a business under a “job action” that injures people or destroys property treated as a hate crime. Under the definition, it should be, except the definition is written in words we think we understand, but have a different meaning.

Since we are talking about Infernal Revenue and Armageddon, so let’s throw in the Bible. Always under attack, the Bible this time is the target of a humanist-and-atheist group in Chilliwack, B.C. As with Rob Ford and power stations, I haven’t followed the Chilliwack case enough to know the details. However, this stuff against the Bible has to stop. Whether or not one is an adherent to one philosophy or another, certain facts are in place.

For one, a-theism is exactly a religion. I learned this in school. It is not new. The belief in the absence of a deity requires exactly the same logical position as the belief in the presence of one. Therefore, while Moslems, Christians, Jews and atheists have murdered each other for sport over the millennia, each has exactly the same reasoned belief and each should, under Canadian law, be provided the same, exact protections, and a handful of upstart atheist cultists should not stop them on the basis of one group being a religion and the other not. Atheism is a religion.

For two, in every culture, the society’s law comes from the society’s religion. In fact, in many cultures the two words are not separable. The operational phrase is “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Lose religion, and you lose law.

For three, whether we like the religion or not, the Bible is one of the world’s oldest historical and philosophical documents, and deliberately excluding it from educational institutions absolutely beggars the imagination. Civilized man apparently appeared in what we now call the Middle East. He apparently spoke some language they call Proto Indo-European, which apparently shattered into Centum and Satem families and then into language groups and so on. Ancient man had a story about that, and recorded it in writing.

My point is this: we have to become more sane as a culture, and to get sane we need to apply logic, law and accountability. I would not support Sharia Law, as has been proposed in Ontario, because I am not culturally inclined that way. However, Sharia Law also demands logic, law and accountability. In fact, the only entity that rejects logic, law and accountability is our government and its communications modes, and it is hurting the evolution of society and business.

Specifically, people need to be fired and jailed. Fired for being stupid enough to ban the historical documents of our law from our schools. Jailed for lying about not knowing it’s illegal to destroy evidence (that would be false witness), stealing elections and taxpayer money, killing and coveting, just to name a few. Oh, hell. Let’s throw in adultery. If your spouse can’t trust you, how can we?

On the other hand, if a dishonoured wife does trust you, why should she be taken seriously if she decides to run for President? Politics sure gives me a headache.


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