Tidbits
Stuff You May Have Missed...

web posted May 1997

Animal Rights Activists Murder Animals!

It seems that a group of American 'animal rights' activists took it upon themselves to free about 1 500 minks at Ebert's Fur Farm, 100 kilometres east of Windsor, Ontario. Their cages were opened and holes were cut in the fence around the farm to allow them to escape.

One problem.

Mother Nature.

Owner Bill McLellan says that about 300 died of exposure, 30 were hit by cars on nearby roads, and many were killed fighting with other minks. Most were recaptured, but many died even with care.

The five freedom fighters appeared in court charged with break and enter and mischief.

"This is obviously an issue of great social importance," said Clayton Ruby, a prominent Toronto lawyer hired to defend all five.

Ruby, who represented an international animal rights group earlier this year that targeted the seal hunt, said he's "anxious to begin the bail hearing and get them released." And he insisted his clients don't belong to any animal rights organizations.

The five suspects, despite what their lawyer says, appear to be linked to a radical international animal rights group called Earth Liberation Front.

Those charged in the mink raid are Patricia Dodson, 48, of Royal Oak, Mich.; Hilma Ruby, 59, of Rochester Hills, Mich.; Robyn Weiner, 25, of Farmington Hills, Mich.; Gary Yourofsky, 26, of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Alan Hoffman, 47, of Roseville, Mich.

According to the mantra of the animal rights movement, shouldn't they have been charged with murder too?

You think Asian money was bad?

According to The New York Times, Jorge Cabrera, the convicted drug dealer who contributed money to the Democratic Party, was asked for his $20 000 contribution in Havana, Cuba!

Unidentified congressional investigators told the Times that Vivian Mannerud, a Cuban-American businesswoman from Miami described by officials as "a fairly prominent and successful fund-raiser," approached Cabrera in November 1995 in Havana's Copacabana Hotel and promised he'd get an invitation to a dinner for Vice President Al Gore if he contributed to the party.

Besides the lovely White House photo you see to the right which shows Cabrera and Vice-President Albert Gore, Cabrera also attended a Christmas party at the White House and had his picture taken with Hillary Clinton.

To their credit, Democrats returned Mr. Cabrera's donation October 1996 after discovering that he had prior convictions and had pled guilty during that year to charges of smuggling three tons of cocaine into the U.S. Cabrera was sentenced to 19 years in prison and fined $1.5 million.

It does show that the Dems treat some contributors better than others. The Boston Globe reported in late March that U.S. businesses that gave the Democrats the donations were given seats on U.S. trade missions. These companies received also $5.5-billion in federally guaranteed assistance from the Overseas Private Investment Corp, a federal agency that provides insurance and loan guarantees generally not available on the commercial market because of risk.

I think in view of Gore's treatment of those businessman, Cabrera could have got more than a couple of pictures...

Wait! There's More Fundraising Fun!

According to CNNfn the Democrats, while bashing the tobacco industry and its lobby, "actively solicited contributions from tobacco companies."

Ex-White House aide Harold Ickes' recently revealed memos showed that the Dems asked the tobacco companies for contributions and instructed them to write the checks out to the state parties, avoiding stricter federal requirements.

Whoa Nelllie! It gets more devious. The Dems kept two sets of books, one secret!

Remember U.S. Vice-president Al Gore making his emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention against tobacco? How much do you figure it cost to buy him? R.J. Reynolds gave $50 000 and Philip Morris gave $100 000. Not bad for a vice-president!

CNNfn also reports that tobacco executives were "repeatedly" solicited by the Dems. While the Dems were begging for tobacco money, they repeatedly attacked Bob Dole and the Republicans for taking tobacco money.

You really have to give it to the Democrats. Not only do they hypocritically attack Dole for taking money from a legitimate business, they keep two sets of books and take the money themselves. That's gall.

Maybe We Didn't Want Him...

Remember Dave McDonald? He was a Conservative MP from the late 1960s all the way up to the 1980s and served as communications minister and was responsible for the status of women in Joe Clark's government.

Well McDonald wants back into politics...but not as a Conservative.

Dave has decided to run as a New Democrat. When asked if he was abandoning his party, McDonald responded that "I feel like the party has abandoned me."

Ever the soap opera, it turns out that McDonald has also going out with Alexa McDonough, the leader of the New Democrats, since last fall. "I have a lot of respect for Alexa I think she is a person with a great deal of leadership experience and great abilities," tells McDonald to the CTV.

I've considered doing a lot for the affections of a woman, but not dumping my core beliefs. Of course, maybe McDonald never had any to begin with...

Miller is right...There are enough Tax Cheats to Elect a Government...

Completely coincidental that Michael Miller's piece "Tax Heroes" appears in this issue of ESR, and this little tidbit crossed my desk...

According to a Deloitte & Touche survey done by The Gallup Organization, Canadians say their honest when it comes to paying taxes, but most are willing to go under the table to avoid them.

Canadians were asked: "If a financial institution paid you interest in 1996, but did not send you an information slip indicating how much interest you received, when you complete your income tax, are you more likely to report the interest and pay tax on it, or ignore the interest income and avoid paying tax on it?" 65.9 per cent said they'd report the income and pay the tax, versus 27.2 per cent who said they wouldn't. 6.9 per cent said they didn't know, or refused to answer.

Among different income groups, the people with the highest incomes were least likely to report the income; 36.6 per cent of those earning $70 000 or more said they wouldn't report the income, versus 22.6 per cent of those earning $20 000 or less who said they wouldn't.

Age was also a factor: 33.1 per cent of those 18-29 said they wouldn't report the income; only 8 per cent of those 65 and older said they wouldn't.

Canadians were also asked: "If a tradesperson offered you two prices for some work -- a higher price if you pay by cheque and a lower price if you pay cash, are you more likely to pay the higher price by cheque or pay the lower price in cash?" 72.8 per cent said they'd pay cash and take the lower price, while 21.1 per cent said they'd pay the higher price by cheque.

The numbers themselves are encouraging, that the number of people who would duck the tax system continues to be high, but it was the comments by one of Deloitte & Touche's flunkies that got my goat.

"It's gratifying to see that two out of three Canadians would do the right thing by reporting the income and paying their fair share of tax," said Charles Taylor, a Toronto-based national tax partner with Deloitte & Touche.

The only thing I find gratifying is that one-third of the population is tired of being taken.

When asked to explain why a good hunk of the population would perform their duty as citizens and duck the system, Taylor opined, "Canadians might believe they're likely to be caught if they fiddle with their tax returns. They may also find it harder to see the underground economy for what it really is -- tax evasion on a massive scale."

Duh.

The Gallup survey of 1 002 Canadian adults was conducted March 10-16. Results are considered accurate to within 3 percentage points, 95 times out of 100.

Hong Kong's Tung Chee-hwa to Freedom: Leave with Her Majesty

Tung Chee-hwa's administration-in-waiting has revealed plans to restrict basic human rights by barring any foreign-funded group that it considers political.

What's political? Tung's definition is so vague that virtually any foreign supported organization could be declared political and banned. Amnesty International and Asia Watch are two groups surely to get the boot after the Communists take-over.

Tung's proposals would also force all organizations to register with the government, and require protesters to get police permission to demonstrate. Under the current rules, protesters only need to notify the commissioner of a march and then go ahead with it unless the police prohibit or restrict it.

Wait, there's more. The proposals would, among other things, ban "soliciting or accepting financial assistance or loans of any kind, directly or indirectly, from foreign citizens or organizations." That would include any from Taiwan.

The government would register all organizations and could reject any on grounds of national security, public safety, public order, protection of public health or morals, and protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

On July 1 midnight, the Communist controlled legislature will instantly enact laws to smash freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. They will methodically remove all guarantees of personal liberty...and the world does nothing.

It seems a certain President of the United States is not afraid to throw his weight around as the bully when it comes to nations that pose no military threat (Yugoslavia and Haiti as examples) but cowers when it comes to China destroying liberties and Russia trying, albeit incompetently, to crush Chechnya.

Perhaps under Most Favoured Nation trading status the U.S. can actually sell them bullets, a promising deal since it seems a lot may be used in the near future...

A Leftist Needs Facts Like a Fish a Bicycle...

The National Council on Welfare recently released a report that put the poverty rate at a 16-year high, with more than five million people living below the poverty line. The group based its numbers on Statistics Canada's low-income cutoff below which families spend more than 55 per cent of their income on food, shelter and clothing.

You may remember this council from the March 1997 Enter Stage Right Tidbits, when they declared that welfare was "income."

So what's the problem this time? Statistics Canada wouldn't play ball. Stats Canada stated that it's numbers may not actually define poverty.

The Fraser Institute also entered the fray by stating that the numbers actually measure income disparity.

How did the NCW answer that argument? In the time honored tradition of leftist politics. Name calling. "They are way off on right wing," said Lucie Blais of the NCW.

Stats Can once considered changing its low-income cutoff to 50 per cent of the median spent on basics - a method also based on comparisons to other Canadians rather than on whether someone can make ends meet.

Using that measure fewer people fell below the cutoff point, the agency found. Wouldn't want that...

Canada to Support Human Rights Abuses

Well, when you don't officially condemn human rights abuses you are effectively supporting them.

For six years Canada has co-sponsoring a United Nations resolution condemning human rights abuses in China...that is, until last month. Canada withdrew its support for the resolution.

Every year since the 1989 military crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the European Union had sponsored a resolution condemning China's human rights record.

Things crumbled this year when France broke ranks and withdrew its support. Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece followed. Australia also refused to be a co-sponsor.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, friend of freedom, decided that since the other countries opted out, so should Canada.

"Under the circumstances, we concluded that Canada could have a greater influence on the state of human rights in China by pursuing and intensifying our promising bilateral measures," stated Axworthy

"The decision by France, followed by other European countries, to withdraw their support about 10 days ago, substantially weakened the impact of such a resolution in terms of representing an international consensus, which is the most important use of such resolutions."

So what is Axworthy saying? Unless other countries condemn torture, executions and one of the most repressive governments on earth, neither will Canada.

Bravo Lloyd!

Homeless Decide Property Rights Don't Exist

Remember last month's Tidbits? We told you about Ontario Coalition Against Poverty trying to take over abandoned buildings in downtown Toronto...read it here.

Well, the story isn't done. About 200 demonstrators bumped against police as they tried to break into an abandoned building and claim it has housing for the homeless. Around seven hard working members of society were arrested including OCAP head John Clarke.

"I want my home back, you had no right to kick me out of my home," yelled Jeremy McDowell, 25, one of about 60 squatters who lived in the long-vacant 80-unit complex until they were evicted by police last May.

Mounted police officers were needed to stop the crowd from breaking into the building.

Well, you can't have a demonstration without organized labour shoe-horning their way in for some cheap publicity. The event was billed as a Homeless Housewarming Party with Canadian Labor Congress vice-president Jean-Claude Parrot rallied the troops. Many demonstrators carried union banners.

The demonstrators plan to ask Toronto mayor Barbara Hall, the patron saint of all goofy ideas, to declare that buildings abandoned for a certain period of time should be used as housing.

Hall supported banning smoking in privately owned restaurants and doubtless will make more anti-private property statements in the future. The homeless and politicians united in breaking the law and infringing on the right that all others stem from...should make you feel comfortable if you live in Toronto...

If Everyone Had This Problem, We'd All Be a Lot Happier...

It seems that Alberta and Ontario will engage in one of the weirdest races ever witnessed in North America.

Who can cut taxes the lowest.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein stated that Alberta may have to lower its already low taxes even further if Ontario goes through with a planned 30 per cent income tax cut. Klein stated that if that happens, it would jeopardize Alberta's position of having the lowest tax rates in Canada.

"We would have to look that in terms of our competitive position and how we maintain that competitive position," he said.

It's not surprising to see two men who have always been basically on the same page engaging in this refreshing action. I don't care who wins just as long as the race goes on for a long time.

NCC's "Operation Pork Chop" Will Make MP Pensions an Issue in Federal Election

National Citizens' Coalition President David Somerville recently stated that his group will make the
gold-plated MP pension plan a key issue in the upcoming federal election.

"We plan to run a massive anti-MP pension advertising campaign called `Operation Pork Chop'," says Somerville. "We promised this issue would come back to haunt the Liberals and we're keeping that promise."

Somerville says "Operation Pork Chop", which will feature newspaper ads, radio commercials, billboards and direct mail blitzes, will be one of the largest advertising campaigns the group has ever run during a federal
election.

"We are determined to make Liberal MPs in particular pay a heavy political price for their failure to meaningfully reform MP pensions," says Somerville.

"However, we will also target first-term Reform MP John Cummins, who was the lone MP in his caucus who refused to opt out of the pension trough," he says.

"Any MP first elected in 1993 and who opted into the pension, regardless of party, is a potential target," says Somerville. "We will go into selected ridings and just tell voters how much it will cost them in pension pay-outs if their MP is re-elected. It will be devastating."

The ad campaign will also link the MP pension with the Liberal government's plan to boost the Canada Pension Plan tax. "It's absolute hypocrisy for the Liberals to hike the CPP tax by 70 per cent while they enjoy a super rich pension," says Somerville. "That's a point 'Operation Pork Chop' will hammer home."

Somerville notes that the Liberals are vulnerable on the MP pension issue. "They had a chance to implement real reforms," says Somerville, "but they copped out and made token changes instead." Somerville points out that the MP pension plan still has unlimited protection against inflation; it's still twice as rich as private sector pensions and it's payable at age 55.

Another Butcher Leaves Us...

The latest communist to join Deng Xiao Ping in hell is Peng Zhen!

95-year old Peng expired late April, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Peng was a veteran of the 1934-35 Long March and was mayor of Beijing at the outbreak of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Peng was considered a conservative communist, untrusting of the market-oriented reforms of Deng Xiao Ping.

Burn in hell Peng!




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