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Malcolm

Pissing in the Wind

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Sort of appropriate for this forum. ūüėÄ

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Published on Jun 23, 2016

"Pissing in the Wind" by Mark Handley and the Bone Idols, from the album "Handley With Care" www.markhandley.rocks

I have scaled my highest mountain and put my flag in the top
and still I just kept right on climbing I just did not know how to stop
‚Äėtill I found myself right out here stranded on this limb
‚Äėneath the spotlight with my pants down pissing in the wind

PISSING IN THE WIND, PISSING IN THE WIND
‚ÄėNEATH THE SPOTLIGHT WITH MY PANTS DOWN
PISSING IN THE WIND

In search of truth and beauty I went out there and I followed my dream
to live my life in my art and I still don’t know what it all means
all this music and poetry ain’t changed even one little thing
your lost and lonesome troubadour’s just pissing in the wind

PISSING IN THE WIND, PISSING IN THE WIND
YOUR LOST AND LONESOME TROUBADOR’S
JUST PISSING IN THE WIND

I’ve lived my life up on this stage sometimes I’ve had me some fun
but if I had the chance to do it over I might just take the money and run
sometimes I get to wondering what it is that I think I’m doing
and the answer my friend is pissing in the wind

PISSING IN THE WIND, PISSING IN THE WIND
YES THE ANSWER MY FRIEND
IS PISSING IN THE WIND

I gave my heart away too soon and I’ve laid my soul bare
still I wonder if anyone noticed I wonder if any one cares
I’ve been asking myself these questions cos in every song that I sing
there’s a voice out in the wilderness pissing in the wind

PISSING IN THE WIND, PISSING IN THE WIND
A VOICE OUT IN THE WILDERNESS
PISSING IN THE WIND

Let’s open up the brandy let’s polish off the bottle
tonight you can be Socrates and I’ll be Aristotle
we’ll put the world to rights like brothers and I’ll swear that you’re my twin
as we raise our glasses up on high too pissing in the wind

PISSING IN THE WIND, PISSING IN THE WIND
RAISE YOUR GLASSES UP ON HIGH
TOO PISSING… RAISE YOUR GLASSES UP ON HIGH
TOO PISSING IN THE WIND

Words and music by Mark Handley copyright (c) 2008

 

 

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Sorry, newscasts; you're just way too depressing for me these days

They say ignorance is bliss. With the news lately, I have to agree.
 

They say ignorance is bliss. With the news lately, I have to agree

 
dwayne-tuck.jpg
Dwayne Tuck · for CBC N.L. · Posted: Nov 25, 2018 7:00 AM NT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago
Feeling down because of the news these days? You're not alone. (Shutterstock) I've become disengaged, tuned out.

 

There was a time not long ago when I would eagerly read the local newspaper and browse several news websites on a daily basis.

I can't recall the last time I've done this. I'm not entirely sure why.

I'm 47 years old. I don't live under a rock. I consider myself tolerant and open-minded. I enjoy learning new things and being aware of what's happening, both locally and globally.

So what's happened to turn me away from something I previously enjoyed?

 

How many of you can list 10 good news stories you've read in the past week? Five? Two?

It's pathetic how bad news travels so fast and gets such an insane amount of coverage. Perhaps I've grown tired of the negativity that I've let creep into my life each and every day.

Being recently diagnosed with depression certainly hasn't helped me maintain a positive perspective on things.

But I need to. I really, really need to.

Remember when you were a kid? The days lasted forever. We had fun. We didn't worry about politics, economics, global strife, or daily mass shootings.

Our biggest worry was whether we'd ace that math exam or not, or if the schoolyard bully was going to pick you as the lucky winner of today's harassment.

Bombarded with information … if that's the right word

Fast-forward to 2018.

The internet, social media and broadcast television/radio means we are constantly being bombarded with information, and I use that term loosely.

Perhaps I've grown tired of the negativity that I've let creep into my life each and every day.

Sensational headlines, clickbait, and doom-and-gloom articles are the norm.

There are good news stories out there but I feel like it takes far too much effort to find them amongst the drivel.

I realize that most journalists are simply doing their jobs, writing an article or producing a broadcast piece based on an angle they've been given by a senior producer, etc. I also realize that the news industry is a business like any other. It has to generate revenue. It has to create and maintain an audience.

How do they do that? Not with an article about fluffy kittens or the kindly neighbour who shovels the snow for the senior citizens on his street.

The article about the fire in a housing complex that killed 14 children is captivating. The story of an entire country literally starving to death is fantastic. The sabre-rattling of deranged world leaders threatening to start a thermonuclear war certainly gets people's attention.

I was recently in the waiting room at my family doctor's office, not something most folks would enjoy on the best of days. The television was on, tuned to a major Canadian news channel, blasting the latest news stories of the day.

Donald Trump has been a pivotal ‚ÄĒ and often disruptive ‚ÄĒ presence in news headlines since he launched his presidential campaign three years ago. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Apparently these days the only things that are newsworthy, even here in Canada, are the latest shenanigans, blunders and outright asinine actions of the administration of elected officials to our South.

I don't have the words to describe my utter contempt and disappointment in what's going on. (Well, I do, but I seriously doubt they would make it past the editors.)

My social media feed is chock-full of political misinformation, extreme left or right points of view, and hatred being spewed from all sides.

There's no room for sensible debate. It's black and white with nothing in between.

These days, I'd rather talk about cars and music with my neighbour, or just sit on my front porch sipping a cup of tea.

They say ignorance is bliss.

Lately, I tend to agree.

 

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40 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

writing an article or producing a broadcast piece based on an angle they've been given by a senior producer, etc. I also realize that the news industry is a business like any other. It has to generatÔĽŅe revenue. It has to creaÔĽŅte and maintain aÔĽŅn audience.ÔĽŅ

Insert >>>>>>  Drum roll please.....Ta DAAAAAAAAA !!!!! 

Edited by Jaydee

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4 hours ago, Malcolm said:

There's no room for sensible debate. It's black and white with nothing in between.

These days, I'd rather talk about cars and music with my neighbour, or just sit on my front porch sipping a cup of tea.

 

My sentiments exactly. This forum is the last sole survivor of social media for me. You will certainly see me on voting day though; voting needs to be mandatory with lawful sanctions for not doing so. I would never, (never never never) have said that 3 years ago...

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2 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

You will certainly see me on voting day though; voting needs to be mandatory with lawful sanctions for not doing so. I would never, (never never never) have said that 3 years ago...

No, voting should not be mandatory.  In fact, we should go the other way - should have to pass a test before getting your ballot.  Prove you have some understanding about what you're voting for or against and you can participate.  I study the platforms, learn the issues, look at the candidate's history and my vote get cancelled out by someone voting for JT because he has nice hair.

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2 hours ago, seeker said:

- should have to pass a test before getting your ballot.

OK, you talked me into it, that actually sounds like a better plan.

I had flirted with the notion but didn't see it as enforceable or constitutional and abandoned the thought on that basis. If it were mandatory (like the census), at least we would be sure to get what we deserved. I can't help but wonder if things would be different now with either option in play. Given the choice though, I would opt for your idea.

I only see one downside, many members of the far left are well educated but inexperienced and would likely pass the test. Imagine the result if only the current crop of university students got their say.... might be scary.  

Edited by Wolfhunter
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I guess it's a damned if you do...damned if you don't sort of thing.

You would think that if voting was mandatory that EVENTUALLY, the general public would TRY to be more informed. Perhaps that is wishful thinking?

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But none of you would like to restrict the vote to people that are actually contributing members of society?

IOW's and it's only a thought, but if only municipal ratepayers were granted a vote on local issues , and those that pay provincial and or federal income taxes 'earned' a vote at those levels, the Canadian democracy would be better served.

Doing so would legitimize the vote of those that pay taxes and protect it from being cancelled out by someone else that is effectively gaming the system to live off 'free stuff'. 

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26 minutes ago, DEFCON said:

ButÔĽŅ none of you would like to restrict the vote tÔĽŅo¬†people that are actually contributing¬†membeÔĽŅrs of society?ÔĽŅÔĽŅ

The Liberals and NDP would lose probably 50% of their voting base, so never going to happen in my lifetime......unfortunately.

Someone  (like a retired pilot) who paid in over a $ 1,000,000 in taxes over their career, and will continue to overpay into the system until their dying breath...., their vote has no more value and is nullified every election by some crack addict who has never contributed to Canada a day in their life, bleeding the system dry on welfare and our overly generous safty net .....Something really prejudiced about the Canadian way.

Edited by Jaydee

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DEFCON - A good thought but there is always the law of unintended consequences that serves to inhibit a reasonable plan eh?

Would low income seniors in nursing homes then be considered exempt from voting. What about war veterans who are permanent residents in a veterans  facility payed for by Veteran's Affairs? We would also need to consider soldiers serving in war zones for a year (or more) whose salary has become tax free by virtue of that service. Would they be exempt the year after that service by virtue of not paying tax in the previous tax year? In particular, those who lived in service quarters and /or PMQs would be in that category by virtue of not paying municipal tax.

It‚Äôs a tricky thing and I had briefly flirted with that idea as well. So, while it might be imperfect, I always seem to come back to the notion of ‚Äúmandatory for all‚ÄĚ subject to citizenship. Seeking a better way certainly has merit as does your point‚Ķ. it just needs the flexibility and forethought to actually be¬†constitutionally viable and survive the inevitable challenges in court. Compelling a vote might be problematic in that regard as well but we do it with the census so at least there is a¬†president to fall back on. Voting is considered "the duty of all citizens" in Canada and even our study guide for new¬†immigrants reflects that as a core value. It might be a tough sell from a legal perspective.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

Edited by Wolfhunter

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23 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

The Liberals and NDP would lose probably 50% of their voting base, so never going to happen in my lifetime......unfortunately.

Someone  (like a retired pilot) who paid in over a $ 1,000,000 in taxes over their career, and will continue to overpay into the system until their dying breath...., their vote has no more value and is nullified every election by some crack addict who has never contributed to Canada a day in their life, bleeding the system dry on welfare and our overly generous safty net .....Something really prejudiced about the Canadian way.

 How do you measure "Contributing Members of Society"?  $$$$$$ or ????? 

I don't mind our present system.¬† The more you make, the more you pay unless of course you move offshore ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ¬† Except when it comes to voting.¬† Some suggest that we go to mandatory voting and that perhaps this will motivate people to become informed, the drawback to that is "How do they become informed?", their only source of information, other than attending town meetings etc, is the "Non Biased" ūüôɬ†---- press , political rallies or perhaps posts on forums such as this one.

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While there will always be exceptions to every rule (and even those should have set limitations).......quite simply, if you aren’t helping to pay the bills, one should have no input into what gets bought or sold.  The KISS principle usually works best...The present “WHOS ASS YOU KISS “ principle just gets abused.

Edited by Jaydee

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1 hour ago, Jaydee said:

While there will always be exceptions to every rule (and even those should have set limitations).......quite simply, if you aren’t helping to pay the bills, one should have no input into what gets bought or sold.  The KISS principle usually works best...The present “WHOS ASS YOU KISS “ principle just gets abused.

I'm not disputing the validity of the concept but it does, as a matter of course, need to be constitutional in its application. I hadn't given this a lot of thought frankly and I foolishly assumed that JT's election reform promise might look at such issues in the broader context. When it comes to public policy though, most things prove to be more complex than they appear on the surface... simple rarely stays simple for long.

Edited by Wolfhunter

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12 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

While there will always be exceptions to every rule (and even those should have set limitations).......quite simply, if you aren’t helping to pay the bills, one should have no input into what gets bought or sold.  The KISS principle usually works best...The present “WHOS ASS YOU KISS “ principle just gets abused.

Based on what you are saying:

2 income families would get 2 votes

1 income families would only get 1 vote

No income = no vote.

Now comes the question, how do you determine income?  Does this term include :investments, OAS, EI , life insurance, pensions etc. or only income from a salary? What about those who contribute by volunteering with no compensation?   Tough choices all.

Then we get to municipal elections, On money items (that will result in increased property tax) perhaps we should go back to the good old days where the right to vote was tied to property ownership and who was the legal land owner , not dual owners.

Then come school taxes, perhaps the only folks who should pay them are those who are using the education system and not anyone else.

My favorite would be to remove all tax exemptions from religions.

Talk about opening Pandora's box. ūüėÄ

 

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KISS principle...if you pay taxes you get a ballot, regardless if you paid $.01 or 1 million. 

 

Otherwise you are SOL.

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1 hour ago, Jaydee said:

KISS principle...if you pay taxes you get a ballot, regardless if you paid $.01 or 1 million. 

 

Otherwise you are SOL.

So if you are living on a pension and do not get enough to pay income tax, no vote for you? 

So

Paying Federal income tax = right to vote in a federal election (what if you are not a citizen?) or a minor?

Quote

No Exemption for Age or Occupation

Whether you’re 9 or 90, age has no effect on your requirement to file a tax return. If you meet one of the above requirements, CRA expects to receive a return from you.

Paying Provincial income tax = right to vote in a provincial election

Paying municipal property tax = right to vote in a municipal election (1 vote per piece of property or ?)

Am I reading you correctly?

 

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Yes, Yes and Yes with one change. In my world anyone who reached the Normal Age of retirement wouldn’t pay taxes. They would also lose their vote.  So be it.

Edited by Jaydee

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32 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

Yes

Unfortunately we have this little thing called the constitution. Section 3 applies here and it intrenches the notion of the right to vote. In fact, it is a section that cannot even be overridden by the not withstanding clause. Government is prevented from disenfranchising any Canadian citizen for ideological or political purposes, among others, from the right to vote. Applying a means test to eligibility would prove problematic.

Compelling people to exercise that right might work, I don't think that limiting it would ever fly. Merely suggesting it as a political platform would render any party doomed to non party status and the court challenges would outlast the life of party. Election reform is a tricky thing to get right at the best of times, the primary hurdle is having it be constitutional in the first place.

"Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein".

Nice try though, I'm rooting for ya...

Edited by Wolfhunter

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449,000 Californians received a jury summons last year to which they replied "I am not a citizen, therefore I cannot sit on a jury". The number one source for jury summons candidates is the voter registration list. Think about it!

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Thanks Wolfhunter

"Merely suggesting it as a political platform would render any party doomed to non party status and the court challenges would outlast the life of party. Election reform is a tricky thing to get right at the best of times, the primary hurdle is having it be constitutional in the first place."

I'm not sure the 'Party' system of government is a Constitutional requirement?

Imo, eliminating, or otherwise outlawing the party system would be a great first step towards the restoration of true representational government.

For instance, In a Party free world there would be no need for the 'Whip's' position.

In that system every member could vote in accordance with the will of the people that sent him forward instead of being 'whipped' into complying with the wishes of a Party Leader.  

I also agree with everyone that suggests the term 'productive' is difficult to define.

I think democracy does need to be adjusted from time to time and no matter how that's accomplished, I'd like to see the Right to vote restricted in some fashion that encourages people to 'do their best', another difficult to define concept, and protects those people from the user who would exercise his Right to vote in ways that are clearly abusive.

Maybe we could start at the municipal level; if you're not a ratepayer, you can't vote.

Considering the issues that are being decided at the municipal level, that may actually be the fair and reasonable place to start?

The bugs would be relatively easy to work out over a relatively short period time and then maybe, the approach could be expanded up the line?

 

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9 hours ago, DEFCON said:

Imo, eliminating, or otherwise outlawing the party system would be a great first step towards the restoration of true representational government.

 

I wonder how far off your line of thinking we are with the current process (at least in theory, not practice) and if a few tweaks might make it better.

For instance, imagine if everyone voted for the best candidate in their riding without consideration of party or who the PM would be. As it stands now, you can ask anyone who they voted for and the answer is always the same…. Harper, Trudeau etc. In other words they voted for the PM without the slightest consideration of who was representing them in Ottawa. In fact, I dare say most people had no idea who the candidate was or what his/her views were…. they simply voted for who they wanted as PM.

So, while I might agree with your premiss, I’m not sure what that process would look like in practice and I’m simply not smart enough to think of one that wouldn’t end up being worse than what we have now. How would you prevent like minded individual reps from creating voting blocks similar to the existing party system? Others would then form a counter coalition in opposition to that voting block and presto... back where we started but with a less disciplined, consistent and cohearant position.

As a start though, what if candidates could only publicly declare their party status after the election results were in. Would that change the landscape for the better and make the average voter more aware of the issues and which candidate stood for what?

Edited by Wolfhunter

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And what if we made party membership illegal and only allowed independents to run?¬† How would they vote on anything?¬† Anarchy , most definitively unless of course a leader emerged to bring them together and thus form a party.....ūüôÉ.¬†

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10 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

 

And what if we made party membership illegal and only allowed independents to run?¬† How would they vote on anything?¬† Anarchy , most definitively unless of course a leader emerged to bring them together and thus forum a party.....ūüôÉ.¬†

They would only vote in support of policies that benefited their riding with no consideration for the country as a whole... bribery and corruption would become rampant or they would align themselves in voting blocks.

I see that concept only working at the municipal level. The founding fathers of the US system were pretty smart guys; I've read the "Federalist Papers" and it only reinforced the notion that nothing here is simple.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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15 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

They would only vote in support of policies that benefited their riding with no consideration for the country as a whole... bribery and corruption would become rampant or they would align themselves in voting blocks.

I see that concept only working at the municipal level. The founding fathers of the US system were pretty smart guys; I've read the "Federalist Papers" and it only reinforced the notion that nothing here is simple.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

They would only vote in support of policies that benefited their riding with no consideration for the country as a whole... bribery and corruption would become rampant or they would align themselves in voting blocks.

I see that concept only working at the municipal level. The founding fathers of the US system were pretty smart guys; I've read the "Federalist Papers" and it only reinforced the notion that nothing here is simple.

 

Re the Municipal level, in Calgary, in theory we have that and you know, it does not work any better than than the party system. In our ward we have a good councilman, (good in that he appears to listen and vote according to the wishes of who he represents) but in other wards...… that is another story.

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