The business side of woodworking June 2014
Kerry Knudsen

Some things matter

Three RCMP officers lost their lives last week to another pointless coward. As I write this on the morning after his capture, I am confident the event will dissolve quickly into a smattering of sides and political posturing, compounding the felony.

Those of us that make a living on and around retail sales know the value of what things look like. Some things can look like articles of value. Shanghai Rolexes come to mind.

The coward they arrested last night, my time... went to great extremes to “look like” something. He wore camouflage, for example. Possibly he wanted to look like a rough and tough commando. Please don’t take personal offence if you enjoy wearing a stupid-looking head bandana walking down an evening street with your camo and rifle collection, but who was he kidding?

Assault rifles are going to take it in the teeth again. Let’s not take a position on guns, here, but just plain language says he did not have assault rifles. Assault rifles, despite the ignorance of my colleagues in the media, are illegal for civilians everywhere in North America. He had a rifle that “looked like” assault rifle. It appears one of the weapons was a shotgun.. Unfortunately, unlike a Shanghai Rolex, they worked.

So the coward that looked like a rough-tough cartoon ninja cowboy shot five people and ran away.

Interestingly to me, it “looks like” he could have seen another policeman at any point in the next 30 hours and shot again, but was too afraid. When he finally was arrested, he gave up with a little whine: “I’m done.” By then, he was unarmed. I am only guessing at why he was unarmed, but it looks like he didn’t want an edgy cop shooting by mistake. Cowards always want others to abide by the rules.

The thing that sets this one apart from the other ghastly acts we have heard about recently is that this particular coward was not shooting simply at people, but at the symbol of law and order in civilized society. Some of you know I am among the first to call out abuses by the legal system (including the Toronto Police Services Union), but in every case, a cop or lawmaker should be held accountable for personal misconduct. The Moncton coward made no such distinction. His actions look like the actions of a depraved maniac against the safeguards of society. I am a fan of process, but in the absence of some shocking revelation I cannot imagine, I would like to wish the coward adieu, and may every step, every bite of food and every breath of air be involuntary and turn out badly.

Politics is in the air in Ontario, with a provincial election coming up on Thursday. The whole atmosphere is supercharged by the caterwauling south of the border as the Americans continue their 24/7 electioneering. I suppose it’s for the best. Otherwise, most of us would never hear of Idaho outside a potato commercial.

The Ontario slate of what “looks like” choices has taken its oh-so-predictable positions. The unions hate the PCs, the Liberals ignore the NDP and hate the PCs, The NDP insists it’s in another galaxy and the PCs don’t have a clue. Right now, the PCs are running on jobs. Be still, my quaking heart.

Equally predictably, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is running on credibility. The Liberals, Wynne says, want to restore credibility to office. This one bothers me. Does anyone ask how it got lost in the first place?

I am not going to blame the Liberals. At least, not entirely. But Wynne’s Liberals, under investigation for killing off two power plants in Ontario for political gain, destroyed all the e-mails that related to the decision and its implementation. The revocation of the contracts may have been corruption, which is bad enough, but destroying evidence is morally criminal and shoots at the symbol of law and order in a civilized society.

Something is nuts, and I suppose it must be me. Otherwise, I would hope all the NDP, all the PC and most of the Liberals would revolt. You CANNOT destroy evidence!!! and stay in office. You need to go to Kingston penitentiary and serve tea to King Coward and his cronies.

I simply do not accept the idea that “all politicians do it.” And if they did, the PCs and Liberals could create jobs by building new Kingstons to hold them. As a society, we either have standards or we do not. Doing enough to “look like” standards is not enough.

I know... it looks like “rant day.” It’s not. Some things simply need to be thought through, and our friends in the media simply are not competent.

For example, Sunday is Father’s Day. I would like every father out there to give a one-finger salute to the media for what they are about to do. Father’s Day, as is obvious, is the day the media line up, nose-to-ass like a line of goats, to revel in self-righteousness at what looks like “deadbeat dads.” Who knows? Maybe this is the year they line up some TV cameras to go watch a “take-down” of a real deadbeat dad. Father’s Day, the once-respected day to honour the sacrifice and dedication of fathers everywhere, has been hijacked to promote a government-sponsored collection agency with the power to imprison. It is the day children have to watch their fathers get beat.

Do the math on this one. As the old saying goes, when poverty comes in the door, love goes out the window. Money stresses most young marriages. In some, it results in divorce with children. Therefore, you have a family with income and bills, assets and debts. When bills exceed income, adding a divorce multiplies all losses.

Further, for these families, debts exceed assets, and the courts push the few assets to the custodial parent while off-loading the liabilities on the non-custodial parent, along with the additional bill of child support.

No sane person would argue against child support. However, if you look at the math, there are clearly people that simply cannot pay. There is no money. The added penalty for those is restriction of visitation, with or without the court’s blessing, along with citations, collections, arrest and so on.

Divorce is often practiced essentially as a power play. Those closely associated with divorce on a social and business level have seen the lawyers, threats, withheld visitation, the recording of conversations, charges of kidnapping and so on.... And all parties claim to be acting in the “best interests of the children.” The fact is, they are broke.

Are there men that are abusive and dangerous and have earned a restraining order? Of course. Just as there are women that will drown their children or attack their partners in their sleep. We can be an unlovely species. The literature on both sexes goes back to the beginning of history. Medea is one example. According to legend, Medea in a jealous rage killed her husband’s children. Jason, the husband was the hero of the Golden Fleece story.

In the absence of any other clear movement to act as a society in defence of the children, I propose we at least reserve Father’s Day for the respect of fathers, here and gone, and abstain from using it as a billboard and a pillory – especially when the kids are watching.

This Father’s Day I would like to do what I have not seen. I would like to salute all you young, pressured and persecuted fathers that are fighting through the barriers between your kids and their dad. Don’t quit, don’t drink and don’t do stupid things. Life is a long road, and your kids need the example you are setting, if for no other reason than to know you love them.

If you are not working, get a job. There are plenty of people in our sector that will hire and train you. You may not start out at the wage you were dreaming of, but the dreaming days are not here. It’s time for dad to fight.

In the times you get to be a dad for real, be sure to tell your kids not to follow stupid, Hollywood emblems of courage like black bandanas and rifles made to look like toys. Tell them the law, even if it’s working against you today, is there for them and sometimes it has to be protected by force. Tell them to seek out honest leaders and punish the liars, even if it costs them. Honour never comes free.

Most of all, tell them you’re their dad forever. It matters.

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