The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

News Bits and Bites

Web posted on February 08, 2017

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

She Who Must Not Be Re-elected has told Toronto they cannot put road tolls on the Gardner and DVP. I wonder if this decision has anything to do with the fact that she wants to run again in next year's election, and needs every vote she can buy in Toronto with our money. Why else would she decide to give more gas tax money to cities? It is becoming more and more evident that she will use every desperate measure she can to get re-elected.

It looks like Young Trudeau will not be keeping his promise on electoral reform. This is one promise he should have never made in the first place. As I mentioned in my electoral reform series, it's just too complicated and more importantly there are other issues such as who gets to run and what they do after getting elected rather than how they are elected. If Young Trudeau can clean up some of the current practices, and maybe even drain some of the swamp, perhaps there is hope for him yet. I don't plan to hold my breath. It is not in the DNA of the Liberals to do anything like that. Just look at the two former members of cabinet who retired from politics and were immediately appointed as ambassadors to China and the European Union.

Kevin O'Leary has made it official and entered the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Look what happened to the party that chose a leader who did not live in Canada. I believe that anyone who wants to be a party leader must have lived in Canada for at least nine months a year for a minimum of ten consecutive years. O'Leary has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for many years, but owns property Canada and remains a Canadian citizen. The only thing he has in common with Donald Trump is that they are television personalities. With Trump Americans knew what they were getting. I don't think that can be said for Mr. Wonderful. Somehow I get the feeling that he was kicked out of the snake oil salesmen's union for conduct unbecoming. Unlike down south, he cannot use his own money to fund his campaign. He has to raise funds, and sign up members just like all the other candidates. If selected as leader he still has to be elected to parliament. Then he has to go up against Young Trudeau, who may or may not self destruct between now and the next election. Let's not forget he does not speak French. On the other hand as Royal Canadian Air Farce reminded us for years, we had a Prime Minister who did not speak either official language. There are way too many candidates running with very few of them having any chance of winning. While it's nice to see that much interest, I would rather have a handful of strong candidates battle it out. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months. I hope that when all is said and done, they make a wise choice. Unfortunately, these days that does not seem to be an option.

Meanwhile over in the orange camp, they don't seem to be able to find any candidates for their leadership.

The news media has been working overtime on the Quebec mosque shooting. I realize that it needs to be covered, but everyone should take a step back for a while. There has been a lot of speculation about the shooter, his views, his motive, his inspiration, and his mental state. This information should come out in court at the appropriate time. As it is, the shooter is getting all sorts of free publicity.

Some of the shooters are just psychopaths who are interested in their own glory. Some will latch onto a cause just for the sense of belonging, but have no real interest in the cause. Others just snap for reasons that we may never know. Yes there are the few hard core believers. The less publicity they get, the less likely that others will try to follow.

I am using "shooter" as a generic term for the perpetrator no matter what instrument they used.

Coverage of the vigils and funerals for the victims and showing people coming together to support local Muslim communities has been excellent. Covering the human tragedy serves to highlight the damage done by the shooter. Help us remember the heroes and the victims.

I have never mentioned the name of any shooter involved any of these acts violence, terror, or insanity (take your pick). The sooner the shooters are forgotten, the better. We should never forget what they did, but we can make sure that they are just a nameless footnote. My condolences to the victims their families and friends.

The problem has become global with intolerance and hate spreading like a virulent cancer. Each group is ramping up the rhetoric and violence. Peaceful protests no matter what the issue seem to turn violent more often then not. There seem to be no winners just losers. In the movie "Wargames" the computer runs all the simulations and comes to the conclusion that the only way to win is to not play the game. Unfortunately human nature being what it is, not playing the "game" is much easier said than done.

We need to find things that unite us rather than look for what divides us. If we can't do this, things could end very badly.

Then there are the people in California who have started a petition to change the state constitution so they can start the process to leave the United States. I wonder what the motivation might be. I have my doubts that they will actually to through with it, but these days one never knows. Stranger things have happened. We all know that California will leave the United States and slip into the Pacific right after the "big one" hits. Either way, California will not be missed by most people on this side of the mountains. I always figured Texas would be the first to go.

The potential but highly unlikely break up of the United States could lead to the Balkanization of the continent. The entire west coast including B.C. could become Pacifica, while Alaska and our north could also join together. The middle of the continent could become Redneckland. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana could get together. The Maritime Provinces and New England could join forces. Quebec will try to go it alone. That leaves Ontario, the rest of the states, and of course the old south. There have been many books, movies, and TV shows about this type of scenario.. Hopefully saner minds will prevail.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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