So what did I miss?

The crime rate is at its lowest since 1973, but prison spending is set to boom. Jason Kenney is chasing fraudulent immigrants and war criminals. John Baird went to China. And the Prime Minister refused to move out of 24 Sussex.

And in other news, Bob Rae proved himself an adept and experienced master of the modern air travel system and/or totally big-timed Newfoundland novelist Kenneth Harvey out of a seat.

“Name,” called the woman, thrusting out her hand again as though to grasp hold of the drowning.

“Bob Rae,” said the pink-faced hobbit of a man, his glasses and suit looking a touch too big for him. “I’m on the delayed St. John’s flight.”

“No,” snapped the militant attendant. “Too late.” Her eyes caught on yet another lost soul and her fingers wiggled for his boarding pass, “Name.”

The man – identified as one of the blessed who belonged on the flight – was embraced as a comrade.

My eyes returned to Bob Rae to hear him utter: “I am Super Elite.”




Browse

So what did I miss?

  1. The Globe and Mail printed an entire column dedicated to the columnist complaining that he didn’t get an airplane seat that he wasn’t entitled to in the first place because someone else who WAS entitled to it took it instead???

    WTF?

  2. Not much, massacre in Norway, death of Amy Winehouse….and ‘super elite’ is an Air Canada reward card for people who fly over 100,000 miles a year…something a whiny novelist didn’t know apparently

    But other than that….I’m glad you’re back.  LOL

  3. “My eyes returned to Bob Rae to hear him utter: “I am Super Elite.” 

    For those of us who aren’t middle class snobs, it is hard to imagine saying something more embarrassing than I am Super Elite but it is no surprise at all that Rae would feel comfortable saying something like that. 

    Rae has lived his life believing he is Super Elite while living off labour of those he claims to want to help. 

    Orwell ~ Road to Wigan Pier

    “The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. 

    He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time …. or, still more typically …. with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. This last type is surprisingly common in Socialist parties of every shade …. 

    In addition to this there is the horrible–the really disquieting–prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

    • As you were just told it’s a reward card with Air Canada….so cease the stupid rant.

      It’s that kind of bizarre thinking that just got 92 people in Norway murdered.

      • All psychopaths do not become serial murderers. Rather, serial murderers may possess some or many of the traits consistent with psychopathy. 

        http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder/serial-murder-1#two

        PJ O’Rourke ~ “The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors–psychology, sociology, women’s studies–to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. 

        No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you’d have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers.”

        • Sober up Tony

      • Well, of course; one thing happening in one place means we’re not allowed to talk about anything else anything in the world. Especially anything else particularly embarrassing to a Liberal.

        • I’d think you’d find Tony embarrassing to the Cons…but then you just embarrassed yourself by defending insanity.

        • I understand why people want Bob Rae’s participation in an Air Canada travel rewards program to be embarrassing to him, but can you explain to me why it should be so?

    • Tony, there are times when I really hope you don’t own automatic weapons.

      • Ever since Theodor Adorno came out with his scandalously flawed Authoritarian Personality in 1950, liberal and leftist social scientists have been trying to diagnose conservatism as a psychological defect or sickness. 

        Adorno and his colleagues argued that conservatism was little more than a “pre-fascist” “personality type.” According to this school, sympathy for communism was an indication of openness and healthy idealism. Opposition to communism was a symptom of your more deep-seated pathologies and fascist tendencies. 

        According to Adorno, subjects who saw Nazism and Stalinism as similar phenomena were demonstrating their “idiocy” and “irrationality ….

        Perhaps the more revealing psychological insight can be found in the fact that so many liberals think disagreeing with them is a form of psychosis.”

        http://old.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200603220735.asp

        PJ O’Rourke ~ When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state … this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.

        • Bob Rae works for the people of his riding, and arguably as interim leader of a national party in the H of C, for the people of Canada generally.  Which, imho, is why it’s not only appropriate but GOOD that he participates in a travel rewards program that lets him switch to other, sometimes earlier, flights when his booked flight is delayed.  If he WASN’T collecting credits towards rewards that Air Canada gives it’s travelers THAT might upset me.

          Some people seem to be arguing that because some of Rae’s flights are paid for by taxpayers he shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Air Canada’s travel rewards programs, but my thinking is the exact opposite.  If I helped pay for Bob Rae’s airline ticket through my taxes (which I don’t know if I did for this flight or not) then I want BOB RAE bumped on to an earlier flight back to Ottawa, not some random, cranky Globe and Mail columnist who isn’t even a part of Air Canada’s rewards program to begin with.

          To the extent that I’m subsidizing the travel of MPs (which I’m TOTALLY fine with) I want said MPs getting to their destinations as soon as possible, including with the help of travel reward programs.  I can see why Kenneth Harvey is upset that Bob Rae got a seat on that plane and he didn’t (though I’d also point out that not being a member of the Super Elite program Harvey was NEVER going to get that seat, Bob Rae or no, at least, not without paying an upgrade fee) but to my mind every other taxpayer in Canada should be happy that the guy who’s ticket we (presumably) paid for got the seat.  If Bob Rae had been left on the tarmac and Kenneth Harvey had gotten that seat (despite not being a part of Air Canada’s Super Elite program) THAT would have ticked me off as a taxpayer.

          Also, I rather suspect that if Bob Rae wasn’t part of the Super Elite travel program, and had been two hours late for an important meeting as a result of his flight being delayed, that there would have been at least one column written somewhere about how that idiot Bob Rae is wasting taxpayers money by not even signing up for a simple corporate rewards program that could have gotten him to his meeting on time.

          • To which Tony would have replied with a 7000-word comment, primarily composed of quotes and links from other people that related to the story only in macroscopic and tenuous ways, and only to the most generous and indulgent reader.

    • So, wait, the guy legitimately taking advantage of a corporate rewards program that he is a member of is a “socialist” for wanting to take advantage of said program? What does that make the G&M columnist who simply expected to be upgraded to business class, for free, on a flight other than the one he had a ticket for???

      Bob Rae is a member of an Air Canada rewards program that gives him certain perks when flying with Air Canada.  The author of the G&M column is not.  What does “socialism” have to do with the story?

      • ” …. taking advantage of a corporate rewards program that he is a member of is a “socialist” for wanting to take advantage of said program?” 

        Lord K’O ~ Thank you for responding rationally and not blaming me/Orwell!?!? for Norway massacre. 

        One question: Which Corp does Rae work for and where does it get its revenues? 

        “They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion — that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. 

        This latter is the Forgotten Man.”

        http://mises.org/daily/2485

        • Sorry, posted this in reply to the wrong comment of yours Tony, here it is again in the right place:

          Bob Rae works for the people of his riding, and arguably as interim
          leader of a national party in the H of C, for the people of Canada
          generally.  Which, imho, is why it’s not only appropriate but GOOD that
          he participates in a travel rewards program that lets him switch to
          other, sometimes earlier, flights when his booked flight is delayed.  If
          he WASN’T collecting credits towards rewards that Air Canada gives it’s
          travelers THAT might upset me.

          Some people seem to be arguing
          that because some of Rae’s flights are paid for by taxpayers he
          shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Air Canada’s travel rewards
          programs, but my thinking is the exact opposite.  If I helped pay for
          Bob Rae’s airline ticket through my taxes (which I don’t know if I did
          for this flight or not) then I want BOB RAE bumped on to an earlier
          flight back to Ottawa, not some random, cranky Globe and Mail columnist
          who isn’t even a part of Air Canada’s rewards program to begin with.

          To
          the extent that I’m subsidizing the travel of MPs (which I’m TOTALLY
          fine with) I want said MPs getting to their destinations as soon as
          possible, including with the help of travel reward programs.  I can see
          why Kenneth Harvey is upset that Bob Rae got a seat on that plane
          and he didn’t (though I’d also point out that not being a member of the
          Super Elite program Harvey was NEVER going to get that seat, Bob Rae or
          no, at least, not without paying an upgrade fee) but to my mind every
          other taxpayer in Canada should be happy that the guy who’s ticket we
          (presumably) paid for got the seat.  If Bob Rae had been left on the
          tarmac and Kenneth Harvey had gotten that seat (despite not being a part
          of Air Canada’s Super Elite program) THAT would have ticked me off as a
          taxpayer.

          Also, I rather suspect that if Bob Rae wasn’t part of
          the Super Elite travel program, and had been two hours late for an
          important meeting as a result of his flight being delayed, that there
          would have been at least one column written somewhere about how that
          idiot Bob Rae is wasting taxpayers money by not even signing up for a
          simple corporate rewards program that could have gotten him to his
          meeting on time.

    • … Out of curiosity, did you try putting “Super Elite” in teh Google before you used it to find excerpts of a book that has nothing to do with the topic at hand? You see, “Super Elite” is not some label that Rae has put upon himself. It has nothing to do with socialism, Bolsheviks, Commies, Pinkos, or whatever other cold-war rhetorical term you are trying to link to. It has to do with a travel reward system for Air Canada.

      So for future reference, when someone at an Air Canada desk at an airport says they are “super elite”, they generally don’t mean that they are superior to the commoners around them. They mean that they are a part of the customer reward program. Also worth noting:
      - A “Gold Card” is not made of gold.
      - There are no actual ribbons involved with a “Blue Ribbon Panel”
      - Political pork rarely involves pigs or any porcine product.

  4. I wish msm took a more skeptical to any stats released by Government: everything should be considered complete and utter bollocks until proven otherwise. 

    Maybe the crime rate has fallen to low since 1973 but we don’t actually know that because fewer and fewer people report crime in first place because they are losing faith in justice system and know there is little reason to report crime because cops no longer arrest criminals and courts don’t put people in jail.

    Imagine how much our crime rate would have fallen if we ever put criminals in jail.

    Why Canadian Crime Statistics Don’t Add Up:

    “In what has become a ritual of late July, when public attention is usually focused anywhere but Ottawa, Statistics Canada released its annual report and review …. To its credit, Statistics Canada conducts a separate victimization survey, which reveals a significant and increasing volume of crime that is not being reported to the police and thus is not captured in the annual crime statistics report ……  All we are left with is the rate of violent crime as reported in the 1999 edition of 955 per 100,000 and in 2009 of 1314 per 100,000, which is not an encouraging decrease but a jump of 33 percent over the decade.”

    http://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/MLI-Crime_Statistics_Review-Web.pdf

    Paradise For Pedophiles ~ Maclean’s:

    ” ….. illustrates a point many pedophiles themselves admit: far more than any other city in North America, Montreal is a good place to live if you happen to be attracted to children ….. “http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20070528_105309_105309

    • Go take a nap.  You’re not improving.

    • Do you have statistics to show that the rate of reported crime is  falling faster than the rate of unreported crime?  ‘Cause unless you do, wouldn’t the assumption have to be that the rate of crimes that go unreported would fall or rise at roughly the same time as the rate of reported crimes do?

      More importantly, even if the rate of unreported crime is SKYROCKETING, shouldn’t the government then be focusing it’s resources on encouraging citizens to report the vast wave of crime that they’re not reporting, instead of building new prisons to incarcerate the perpetrators of crimes that aren’t being reported?  (Also, how exactly are we going to catch and punish the perpetrators of unreported crimes?).

      As it stands, it would seem to me that the Tories are all set to do battle against a (supposedly) massive increase in CRIMES THAT PEOPLE CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO REPORT TO THE POLICE.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think our money is better spent addressing the crimes that people actually tell the police about.

      • “Do you have statistics to show that the rate of reported crime is  falling faster than the rate of unreported crime?  ‘Cause unless you do … ”

        If you read the report, you would know there are plenty of stats which should make people question Government numbers. Why are you afraid to have your assumptions challenged?

        StatsCan has stats to show unreported crime is falling. There are many reasons why crime is falling stories don’t remotely tell the whole story about crime.

        Crime is not falling, just the reporting of crime is decreasing. In 20 or 30 years we should expect headlines about how crime has completely disappeared from Canada while GSS survey will reveal 100% of Canadians can’t be bothered to report crime in first place because they know justice system doesn’t put criminals in jail anymore. 

        “Last week, Statistics Canada released its latest figures on unreported crime, based on crime victimization data compiled for the General Social Survey (GSS), a scientific poll of 19,500 Canadians over the age of 15, conducted once every five years.

        The numbers confirm exactly what Day said.

        Unreported crime in Canada is increasing at an “alarming,” or, if you prefer, a statistically significant rate.

        The GSS estimates in 2009, only 31% of crimes were reported to police, part of a steady drop since 1999, when 37% were reported. (In 2004, it was 34%.)”

        http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/lorrie_goldstein/2010/10/01/15553901.html

        • And so how, exactly, is building more prisons going to catch these unreported criminals?

          Are they all going to show up and confess because now there’s room?

          • LOL

            That’s cute how you act as if the Tories’ crime policy is about catching criminals.  Good one.

          • In Ontario, private citizens are expected to catch the criminals now.  Whatever Cons propose is window dressing, the State does not want to catch or incarcerate criminals. State does not cate about mayhem that criminals cause.

            Amazing how we spend more and more money on police but get fewer services.

            “The Provincial ROPE Squad is seeking the assistance of the public in locating the following offenders who are unlawfully at large from provincial or federal correctional authorities.”

            http://www.opp.ca/ecms/index.php?id=60

        • Again though, if in 1999 37% of crimes were reported to police, and that represented reports of 370,000 crimes, while in 2009 only 31% of crimes were reported, and that 31% represented reports of 309,000 crimes then crime is still dropping as an absolute even if the percentage of crimes that get reported is also dropping.  People reporting crimes less frequently could help explain why the crime rate has been going down consistently since before I was born, but it doesn’t actually prove that total crime is going up.

          Then again, let’s look at the actual numbers

          The crime rate per 100,000 in 1999 was 7695.  In 2009, the crime rate per 100,000 was 6445.  This math isn’t exact, but let’s treat the crime rate, for argument’s sake, as representing the number of crimes committed in Canada.  So, if 7695 represents the 37% of crimes that were reported in 1999, and 6445 represents the 31% of crimes that were reported in 2009, then from 1999-2009 the TOTAL crime rate (reported crime rate / percentage of crimes reported) went from 20,797 (7695/0.37) to 20,790 (6445/0.31).  That’s still a drop.  What’s more, it would seem to have dropped yet again last year.  In 2010, the crime rate dropped to 5,953 per 100,000, or a “total” crime rate of 20,527 in our exercise (I’m making what I believe is a very conservative assumption that the percentage of crimes being reported dropped yet again in 2010, all the way to just 29%).

          In other words, the total number of crimes being committed in Canada would appear to be dropping faster than the percentage of crimes that go unreported is rising.  Essentially, I believe that the math suggests that over the last two decades “unreported crime” has been becoming a bigger and bigger slice of a smaller pie.

          • Interesting chart. Violent crime has doubled in my life time but overall crime may, or may not, be down.

            I bet property crimes are down due to globalization – cheap tat from China mainly – that allows vast majority of people to buy consumer goods. Don’t need to steal things when items are cheap.

            Also, I bet break/enter or theft under $1,000 and the like are down because there is not much market for second hand tv’s or dvd players when new ones are cheap and cheerful. 

          • The crime rate “may or may not be down” in 2010 compared to the year you were born, but it was 10,342 crimes per 100,000 in 1991, and it’s 5,953 crimes per 100,000 in 2010.  It’s risky, but I’m going to just scamper out on this here limb and call that a falling crime rate.

            The drop in the violent crime rate isn’t as impressive, but again, the violent crime rate peaked at 1084 violent crimes per 100,000 in 1992 and now stands at 899 violent crimes per 100,000.  Again, it sounds crazy, but I’m going to call 899 a lower number than 1084.

            One can always argue that there’s more work to be done, and the crime rate can always be lower, but the Tories don’t seem to be arguing that we could make the crime rate go down further, or faster, they seem to just be pretending that the crime rate is currently rising because it fits their narrative better, empirical evidence be damned.  Argue that the trend isn’t steep enough, fine, but why argue that the trend is in the opposite direction from the reality that can be seen by anyone with a pulse?  The argument that crime is a rising problem and not a declining problem relies on the proponent of that argument ignoring the last 20 years of crime trends, and simply pining romantically for the days when the violent crime rate was even lower than it is today (those being the days when Wayne Gretzky still played for the Edmonton Oilers) and the days when the overall crime rate was even lower than it is today (those being the days before construction on the CN Tower began).  By all means let’s get the rate even lower, but I don’t see how it helps us to accomplish that feat to simply close our eyes and pretend that our current policies are leading to increased crime in Canada when they can be demonstrably shown to be having the opposite effect.

  5. I’ve never made more than 35K in a year, but I had to rent enough one year to help sort out my dad’s estate that I’m now a “Platinum” member of their Loyalty program and would get the exact same treatment Rae does when dealing with that company. It’s just usage based and to keep you coming back they’re more than willing to throw out additional perks. 

    If you’re not taking advantage of the system, it’s your own problem not that of those that are.

  6. The story here, contra all the anguished cries of “It’s a loyalty program any frequent customer can take advantage of, lighten up,” isn’t the fact of Bob Rae qualifying for a seat on a sold-out flight. It’s the tone-deaf way he threw his weight around. 

    A private citizen can be an arrogant jerk in public with impunity; any politician worth his salt should assume someone is always watching them publicly assert entitlement to their entitlements, and will react accordingly. Especially a politician already having a reputation as something of a silver-spoon socialist.

    • So in otherwords, politicians aren’t allowed to take advantage of the things regular citizens get because regular citizens might be childish about it?

      Sorry, doesn’t work for me.

      • Politicians should be mindful that demanding and receiving special privileges, to which they are in fact entitled but which will cause regular citizens resentment when they see the privilege being granted – regardless of the source of the privilege – may, in fact, cause that resentment.

        Put another, more practical way: every politician seeking national office in this country tries very hard to look like a humble, approachable, regular citizen that happens to have an important job, in order to create an emotional connection with potential voters. “He’s like me, and shares my values and interests,” et al. Sometimes it apparently works (Layton, Harper) and sometimes it looks like a pathetic just-plain-folks minstrel show from old-money blue-bloods (Martin) or detached big-thinkers (Dion, Ignatieff).

        Bob Rae has had some time for his Ontario reputation to recover, but things like this plant a seed of suspicion easily nurtured by attack ads. If he’s still Liberal leader next round, there will be attack ads making fun of his “super elite” status, painting him as an arrogant phony. He ignores that aspect of branding at his peril.

        • I fear that you last two sentences are correct, and I weep a little more over the complete and utter idiocy of our politics.

    • The “tone deaf way he threw his weight around”??? 

      Did you read the same article as me? 

      Even Kenneth Harvey’s piece seemed to describe Rae as reticent, even embarrassed, to take advantage of a travel reward program that he had every right to take advantage of.  Now, the Air Canada Agent?  SHE was clearly tone deaf. 

      I fail to see how you got the impression that Rae was “throwing his weight around” from an article that describes Rae as simply making the factual statement that he’s a member of the “Super Elite” program, and basically compares him to a lost puppy dog obediently following the Air Canada attendants around.  From what I read, Rae sheepishly told the attendant he was part of the Super Elite program.  Then told he her that a second time and showed her his “Super Elite” card.  You must never fly if you consider this behaviour on the part of a passenger who’s flight has been delayed as representing the behaviour of an “arrogant jerk”.  To my mind, Bob Rae ranks THIRD in “jerkiness” in this story behind the Air Canada employee at #1, and Kenneth Harvey at #2.  That said, I acknowledge that Harvey submitting his whining to the Globe and Mail for national publication might put him in the running for top spot!

      If Bob Rae wanted to “throw his weight around” do you not suppose he would have told someone who he was???  Maybe it’s just me, but I’d bet that most politicians find it much easier to “throw their weight around” when people actually know who they are!  Bob Rae was BARELY assertive enough to get a seat on a plane that he was 100% entitled to take.  I’d say that Kenneth Harvey was WAY more assertive and pressing in his efforts to take that seat, and Kenneth Harvey wasn’t even entitled to the seat in the first place!

      • All I’m saying is that if your name is Bob Rae, it’s probably a good idea not to say things like “I’m super elite” in public, no matter how urgent it is to take a plane to wherever.

        • LOL. Fair enough, I guess, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that some other Air Canada employee gave Rae explicit instructions to “Go to Gate 132 and tell them you’re ‘Super Elite’ and they should be able to get you on to flight 122″ so I think he was in a bit of a bind.

          Good to know where the goalpost are though.  It’s OK for politicians to participate in Air Canada’s “Super Elite” program, but if they say the words “Super Elite” while attempting to take advantage of the “Super Elite” program they need to expect to be called out for it in a national newspaper column and to be labeled by some as being “arrogant jerks”.

          • Cons don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘elite’….it always has to be explained to them

            Over and over and over….

          • Go to bed, dear, the grown-ups are talking.

          • @TheAVR:disqus 

            Cons also don’t understand the meaning of the phrase ‘grown-up’….they keep mistaking themselves for adults.

          • He should, yes. Image is everything. He’s just lucky a sympathetic media isn’t trying to keep this alive; you know very well that if a high-profile Tory had done this, they’d be hammered for days on end, during the silly season.

  7. On the Bob Rae story, I’d bet $20 that he asked someone at another Air Canada service counter if there was any way to get on another flight and the employee there told him “There’s one business class seat left on flight 122, if you run to Gate 132 you might make it.  Just tell them you’re ‘Super Elite’ and they should get you on”.

    • You’re asking us to believe that somewhere there’s an Air Canada employee who gives correct and helpful advice.  I suppose anything is possible.

  8. What about the sponsorship scandal??? 
     
    A closer look at the sponsorship scandal
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/a-closer-look-at-the-sponsorship-scandal/article2107294/
     
    The RCMP is closing in on its first major Liberal operative after a decade-long probe into the sponsorship program, as it nears cutting a deal with another player in the scandal to become a state witness and testify about millions in alleged political kickbacks, government sources said.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/key-figure-in-sponsorship-scandal-set-to-become-witness/article2107295/ 

    • Haven’t been here in months, first story I read i see Leo talking about the sponsorship scandal. Way to adapt to the new political reality, there.

      Me, I’m still waiting for Sir John A to pay back the cash from that railway scandal. We should swap notes.

      • After 10 years the wait looks to be over AND monies will be recouped. 

        As for Sir John A – I suggest you move on.

        “It is the bookend to a story that, until recently, The Globe and Mail has been prevented from investigating. Only after a winning a lengthy battle at the Supreme Court last year against Groupe Polygone could the newspaper continue to press on in the public interest. Polygone was attempting to force the newspaper to reveal the identity of a key source as part of its defence against a federal lawsuit aimed at recouping money the former Liberal government paid the firm. As part of its ruling, the top court struck down a contentious publication ban preventing The Globe from reporting on negotiations to settle the federal lawsuit.”

  9. Shouldn’t prison spending reflect the incarceration rate (which has been increasing since about 2005), not the crime rate?

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