we don’t need no education…do we?

Well, I’m looking forward to a weekend of lace knitting. The weather outside is frightful… but I have nowhere to go during the day either day. Yippee!

So, today’s goal is to finish and block this Evelyn Clark-inspired lace triangle:

…and pick up where I left off on the SOTSii:

By the way, I noticed when I went out on the balcony today to retrieve the SOTSii that someone
from Glasgow who is partial to gansey sweaters but who shall remain nameless…

…has been feeding the birdies again. With my expensive Montreal-style bagels, mind you.

Sheesh. He should not be allowed to stay home during the day when I’m at work, I tell you!

(I should also really turn my mind to a project for my mother. You see, she demanded has ordered me to has made a request for some headbands. I made her this scarf last summer which she has been wearing in her hair for some reason:

… and now she wants more.

If you have odds and ends of basic colours,black brown,tan,rust,navy,grey,burgundy,pink,red, etc.plain or variegated,I would love an “assortment” and you would have the trendiest looking mother in Kingston!!!

She doesn’t ask much, eh?! Sigh. And of course, wanting to please, I ended up going out and buying perhaps the one colour of crochet cotton not on the list!

Oh well. Mother’s Day will be here before we all know it, I suppose…)

And now for the requisite rant about the evening news. Yesterday’s item of interest: a private member’s bill calling for a direct tax break for parents who invest up to $5,000 a year in RESPs (education savings plans) for their children somehow evaded the eagles eyes of Stephen “Slash and Burn” Harper et al and passed through the House of Commons! For once, all of the Opposition parties agreed on something…

Anyway, the Tories are jumping up and down and having kittens, not necessarily in that order. According to them, if this bill becomes law, the country will almost immediately slide into deficit and dire consequences will ensue for all and sundry.

Under our political system, in order for a bill to become law it first has to pass through the House of Commons, and then be approved by the upper house or Senate (equivalent to the UK House of Lords – that is, not an elected body).

Now, according to CTV News, the Tories are already posturing and offering what might well be the stupidest political statement I’ve read this year (and believe me, there have been many):

Ted Menzies, the parliamentary secretary for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, said he believes the bill won’t pass in the Liberal-controlled Senate.

Now this logic, I simply don’t get, given that all the Liberals in the Commons voted for the bill in the first place! But fear not…

He added, even if it manages to survive a Senate vote, the Tories have other options.

“There is always a plan B,” Menzies said. Menzies wouldn’t elaborate on what the government’s “plan B” entails.

A secret “Plan B”? What could that possibly entail? Martial law? Bribery Misunderstood conversations about money and benefits with influential people? Litigation?

I can hardly wait.

The problem with this bill, according to the Ministry of Finance, is that it will cost anywhere between $600million and $900million a year, depending on which Ministry of Finance type you’re listening to. This expenditure will put the country’s finances into a perilous state, apparently.

Now, leaving the math aside (I’m not very good at math, and I’m certainly not an economist – hey, I can’t be perfect, otherwise everyone would hate me!), this made me curious about some decisions made in the recent budget.

Tackling Crime and Bolstering Security

The Speech from the Throne identified tackling crime and strengthening the security of Canadians as a priority. Budget 2008 provides funding to enhance protection for Canadian families and communities, including:

  • Setting aside $400 million for a Police Officers Recruitment Fund to encourage provinces and territories to recruit 2,500 new front-line police officers.

Hmm… and who is going to foot the bill for the salaries, Jimbo?

  • Committing $122 million over two years to ensure that the federal corrections system is on track to implement a new vision to achieve better public safety results.

What does this mean, exactly? Sounds like a study or a Royal Commission to me…

… and another $62 million of stuff. Plus, they’re going to waive the firearm licence renewal fee for another 15 months (I’ll save that rant for another time). Now, that’s $564million $574 million (I told you I sucked at math!!!) of financial commitment alone.

Do they not think that perhaps ensuring that more children get higher education will have an impact on the crime rate?!?!??

(I personally think they should have had a line item for providing yarn in sufficient quantity to each Canadian who wants it to knit a Crime Scene Tapescarf. Even if every one of the 34 million people in Canada got this credit, I figure it would cost at most $102million or so. Not bad.

And, just how much are they spending on the failed peacekeeping mission defacto warlike activity war in Afghanistan, anyway?

Canada First Defence Strategy
Protecting Canadians and Canada is a fundamental responsibility of government. With the Canada First Defence Strategy, clear priorities will be in place to guide future actions. This is why Budget 2008 is:

  • Providing the Canadian Forces with stable and predictable funding to permit long-term planning.

Funnily enough, this is the only item in their little PR blurb about the budget without a number attached. Is this classified information?!

It’s actually very difficult to find any info about the current defence budget. The best I could come up with was that $15 billion or so is being spent each year. And, what the events in Afghanistan have to do with “protecting Canada and Canadians” is a complete mystery to me.

Now, I really should cut the government some slack. Mr. Flaherty, after all, is a frugal type in his personal life:

Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty emphasized that today’s budget will be “frugal” in anticipation of an economic slowdown in the coming year. To demonstrate the concept in symbolic terms, Flaherty had an old pair of shoes resoled instead of buying the pair of new shoes traditionally associated with budgets.

The Torontoist also reported that:

Flaherty also announced that he’s saving money on undergarments by going “commando,” although to be fair that gesture is more about sexiness than symbolism.

Now, that’s just scary.

Anyway, I think Mr. Flaherty was a bit hard on himself there. He should have pushed out the boat and gone to John Fluevog and picked up a pair of these:

What better way to promote tolerance and acceptance at the government level, really?

Anyway, all joking aside, I support the notion of educating our kids:

Well, time to stop rambling and start… knitting.

Happy Saturday!


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