Category Archives: Steam Rising Rants

Rants

Should Kids Have A Say In Home Buying?

Should Kids Have A Say In Home Buying?

“You’ve got to be joking!” I exclaimed in utter disbelief. It was the hottest summer day and I had spent it cleaning my house and primping up the garden. Dust bunnies gone, floors mopped and smelling fresh, carpets meticulously vacuumed and every glass surface was clear of any prints. Multiple areas were ready for further inspection.

Outdoor pathways were swept and plants given a lovely drink to perk them up. A welcoming entrance and deck said, “Come on in and stay awhile.” or  “Buy this house.”   Either way it was dressed to impress. We are trying to sell our home and luckily there was a request for a second showing.

Our agent said that the people are an older couple who have toured the house before and they really liked it! They’re returning with their son so that he can look at it. Now, I thought mature couple, mature son. I had visions of their adult son coming and doing a more solid assessment of the house and maybe if he had some trades background his opinion would be quite helpful.

No, that was not the case. Instead it was a boy around 10 or 11 years old! WHAT THE….?

My agent passed along the following: He liked the place but was disappointed it didn’t have a basement. He likes to have more space for his activities, gaming etc. He apparently was brainstorming how to use another room for himself and he really liked the flat of Coke my husband had in the utility room. My agent said, “Well if your parents buy the home I’m sure we can throw that in the deal.”

I was driving in my car when I got the news and well, I will not write what I was screaming in my car. I could not believe I sweated all day for a child to give the final say on buying a home. So, I contacted my husband to share the news and I ranted for a good 20 minutes about the situation and the unbelievable state of parenting today.

There isn’t one person that I have talked to about this who’s jaw didn’t drop in disbelief. In fact, its making the rounds in our social circle for topics such as Signs of Child Entitlement and Parenting Gone Horribly Wrong.

My parents would have never had us kids decide about a home to buy, it’s not our investment.  After they buy it, we would have say in decorating our room but outside of that, home buying fell under adult decision making. Across the board nobody could recall their parents taking them to a house and asking for their opinion.

As a kid I was focused on other real world decisions and problems to solve. Should I play with Sara or Rebecca? Do I enter into the long distance run or short track run?  Was there a way to get out of piano lessons. How much scalloped potatoes can my dog eat so I don’t have to. Plus, one crucial decision: To take the long way to school instead of taking the shortcut path – thus avoiding stupid bullies.

If this kid has that kind of power at 10 years old I can’t imagine what he’ll be like a few years from now or maybe I can. He might expect other people to be equally indulgent. He’ll be the kind of kid who spends the next 20 years in his basement gaming while his parents keep supporting him. He’ll scoff at having a job because he’s entitled to everything anyway so why work. AND He won’t like it when others fail to embrace his opinion or suggestions.

And don’t think the above commentary isn’t a reality because I have seen it with my own eyes at our Employment Service Centres. Twenty-something’s finally forced to get a job or Thirty year old men who have been in and out of work because they feel under-appreciated. They know it all and people just don’t get it! And If they aren’t able to get days off for Comic-Con then, See Ya! (That’s for another blog)

If I sound still miffed about this, I am. I’m sure you’ve guessed the outcome by now…No House Sale.

 

Gorilla Shot at Zoo, I’m outraged!

Am I pissed? Yes! A 17-year-old western lowland gorilla named Harambe is shot at the Cincinnati Zoo because a 3-year-old child manages to scale an enclosure and fall into a moat.

Let me make it clear right out of the gate, I have no love for zoos and anyone who parts with their money to go to them. On my bad days thinking about zoos I consider what it would be like to take human families, split them up from each other and display them behind bars for weeks on end. On my good days I envision the only reason for such contact with wild animals will be for conservation, preserving their natural habitat and/or rehabilitation post injury. Nothing more.

There is no doubt it was an agonizing decision to make by the response team but what could they do? They can’t let a human child be severely injured or die. Shooting a living, breathing, thinking, feeling being to save another is never easy to do. It is tragic that they had to shoot the very animal they bred to protect.

The parent of the child thanked God and those who saved her son. Let me tell you lady, God had nothing to do with it! While I’m at it let me offer some advice to parents who want to take their children to the zoo: Put your children in a harness. Strap them in their chairs or whatever it takes to keep them close. Better yet, don’t take them at all.

It is high time we learn to keep those animals safe from small children or suicidal adults because the human species is highly unpredictable and is known to act aggressively. Humans put other species at risk.

I am very passionate about animal welfare. My strong feelings about it over-ride any sense I have about protecting clients or colleagues from my opinions on such matters. This my blog and my rant, take it or leave it.

Maple Ridge RCMP Takedown of an Intoxicated Man – Wrong!

I was disgusted to see the video of an intoxicated man being taken down hard by a Maple Ridge RCMP officer. I was even more frustrated by the response from their spokesperson who said that the intoxicated man was being verbally and physically abusive towards the officer. Really? When I watch that video I see a guy who can barely stand up and even if he was verbally abusive are we saying the RCMP have to use physical force when someone says something they don’t like? Either this officer is overly sensitive to speech or he has no other tools to deal with a seemingly unarmed intoxicated man.

From a civilians point of view I would think the first thing the officer could have done was get the guy out of the truck and put handcuffs on him. That would reduce any opportunity for the man to be physically abusive towards the officer. I’m curious as to how the officer was speaking to the individual because that can make a huge difference as to how someone responds. The second thing the officer could have done was not to give a crap about what a drunk guy has to say. Secure the scene and individual, get back to office to do a thorough report about what was said and the actions of that individual and file it!

This is how the police get a bad name. It is not because an educated public can’t recognize the complexities of their job, we can, but what makes it difficult is to support a blatant disregard for human life. This guy could have been severely injured and being drunk in a public space doesn’t warrant slamming a man to the ground and then picking him up so violently. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police need to train officers differently when dealing with mental health issues and/or intoxicated individuals.

I have a huge amount of respect for the RCMP overall but I have to call it like I see it. They need to look at alternative ways of responding to issues such as this. They also have to respect people who call in like the woman in the news story. She was concerned, wanted acknowledgement of her messages and possibly an explanation for what she saw. I realize we only have one side of the story but this isn’t the first time we have seen some questionable conduct by police caught on video by somebody who likely didn’t set out on their day to capture such an act.

To the Maple Ridge RCMP: Get your act together and assess whether officers are as equipped as they could be to deal with these types of situations and stop making excuses for those who may already have a huge chip on their shoulder.

 

Jamila Bibi – Canada let her down

Canada has fought to free people from torture and tyranny. Canada has opened its doors to people who for one reason or another faced the prospect of death in their home country. Canada allows thousands of people to enter our borders some of which do more to drain the system rather than contribute to it. Yet, a contributing member of society who faces certain violence or death was deported.

Jamila Bibi’s story slipped under our radar until now. Bibi came to Canada in 2007 from Pakistan and gave compelling evidence of harassment and violence after being falsely accused of adultery. We all know what that can mean to a woman in that part of the world. After years of dutifully following our laws, living, working and reporting to the Canada Border Service Agency she now is back in Pakistan hiding out to protect her life.

With all the losers we have kept in this country who threaten our way of life, complain about our laws or simply cheat the system any chance they can get, we had to send this woman back? I, along with many other Canadians are shaking our heads wondering how this happens. Where is our compassion? Where is our leaders with a compelling reason to send a person back to a country known for stoning women. Pakistan, a crazy patriarchal society where women and female children suffer greatly. Ridiculous!

Pakistan kept her down and Canada let her down. Shame on all those who failed to protect this woman.

Contact your MLA or the Prime Minister’s office and tell them what you think!

It’s Hard to Buy Concert Tickets

Die hard music fan here with a few comments about how hard it is to buy concert tickets.

Ticket stubsI have been going to concerts for upwards of thirty years and it used to be that when a concert was announced the challenge was getting through on the phone or dealing with a large line up at a ticket location. As frustrating as that was I usually managed to get some pretty awesome seats. Not anymore.

You may have noticed how Ticketmaster and the concert industry has made it even more difficult for the average person to obtain quality seats.

Let me use the example of Fleetwood Mac who are touring in 2014 with the return of their former singing partner Christine McVie. McVie left the band 16 years ago so this reunion will likely add a little extra something to their performance and cause more fans to flock to see the show. Tickets rolled out in this order over the course of seven days:

1. Front of the line American Express Holders

2. VIP Meet and Greet Packages

3. Official Platinum Seats

4. Live Nation Presale

5. Live Nation App Presale

6. Facebook Presale

7. General Public

Guess who will be climbing the stairs towards the nose bleed section? Talk about providing a system that is based on connections and economic status!

They have taken away an even playing field in which anyone can enjoy the pleasure of a seat at a concert of their choice. To see your favourite artist requires you to become part of an elite group. You must sign up for something or connect with someone to get premiere seating in this two-tiered system. (or in this case a seven-tiered system)

As far as I’m concerned this is wrong. There are times when I am compelled to spend a fair chunk of change to see a show but, I am well aware not everyone has that luxury.

Do we really want concerts to become something to which someone must sacrifice their meager earnings in order to attend? Do we want it to be only available to those that make a certain income per month? Shouldn’t art and culture be open to everyone, not just those that hold a particular credit card or some other special perk?

I know this isn’t going to change but I stand alongside many others who find this frustrating.

British Columbia allows kids in pubs

The British Columbia government is set to make changes to the current liquor laws that would open up the ability for adults to consume alcohol without the normal restrictions placed on them at events and establishments. Most of what has been proposed doesn’t sound half bad, however, there is one proposed change in the liquor laws which is freaking me out. That change is the ability for parents to bring their children into pubs.

I’m going to come right out and say, “I hate this idea!” It’s not because I feel children need to be shielded from adults who drink. I actually believe that as long as adults can maintain civility while drinking around children and a child’s exposure to alcohol consumption is not a common occurrence then it’s OK. My reason for hating this idea is based on the amount of times my pleasurable meals have been interrupted by poorly disciplined children.

The pub side of a restaurant or bar that disallows minors has been the one sanctuary adults have without crying, screaming, running, sniveling children. Don’t get me wrong, children are amazing and lovable but they are also prone to behaviour that by today’s parenting standards doesn’t warrant correction.

Here’s a recent example: A few weeks ago my husband and I were at one of our favourite restaurants. It was not too busy, due to weather, so when we walked into the restaurant the only people we encountered was a couple and their little child. When they were finished their meal the child was running around between the tables. The dad had a smile on his face as he tried to catch up with his little one which the child interpreted as a game. You could tell this couple thought their child running and giggling was so cute, we didn’t. It is a restaurant not a playground.

I’m paying good money to enjoy a meal or drink and I don’t need to be disturbed by kids popping over the backs of booths and temper tantrums that are often handled by offering choices, bribes, pleas and wimpy threats. I can see a lot of confrontations between patrons in the future because frankly, I don’t trust parents to respect their fellow diners and drinkers. They naturally tune out unruly behaviour and expect others to be empathetic to their challenges or embrace their child’s play.

The bar is not a place for children. It is often full of high level sounds and talk that is distinctly adult in nature. Kids that are already hyper are going to be even more ramped up with the stimuli that often accompanies these venues. For many parent’s it is also a place in which they have a night away from child energy to reconnect with their self or relationships. I believe there are more reasons to not allow children into the bars or restaurant-style pubs than reasons for welcoming their presence.

I will forewarn any parents who feel bar patrons will tolerate their undisciplined children, think again. It is time that parents take control of their little off-spring, provide something at the table that quietly occupies their time and teach manners. If your child doesn’t act well in a regular dining establishment it probably is not going to do well in a loud, busy pub. Babies should not even enter such venues. Though I know new mothers may like to attend a bar party or two, I firmly believe that any mother who contemplates bringing her infant to such a place needs to reevaluate her priorities.

Kids in pub is an all around bad idea!

 

Surrey – Take Back The Streets!

Communities within Surrey, BC are getting a lot of news coverage these days. With the death of hockey mom Julie Paskall outside the Newton Wave Pool and Recreation Centre and now Janet Brown’s encounter with drug dealers at a hockey arena in Walley, the City of Surrey is having to discuss what it’s doing to clean up the streets.

Surrey is on the precipice of change but only if the public continues to push.

Both of these women’s stories sparked a sense for me that maybe, just maybe, citizens can assist in resolving long-standing problems with open drug dealing, violence and other crimes committed in their neighbourhoods. There is no doubt it can be dangerous confronting people who care little about the welfare of others and taking the law into your own hands is not recommended. However, allowing a plague to infect your neighbourhood isn’t a solution either.

Have we come to a point where we can no longer turn a blind eye to the presence of criminals? Do we want criminals to win by taking over our parks, recreation centres, parking lots and surrounding homes while we stay silent out of fear?

When I listened to Janet Brown’s account of her verbal attack on the drug dealers (who expected her to mind her own business) I couldn’t help but feel that rush you get when you take back your power. That “enough is enough” attitude can rise to the surface from a very primal part of our being. In conjunction with that personal power there should be a very strong presence from the City of Surrey.

When a community decides to take back its streets, how can it be done lawfully and safely?

It is imperative that we don’t lose sight of the very thing that drove many people to call, to act, to demand better, which was the death a woman going about her life in the same way each of us do everyday. To take back a street requires diligence and cooperation of all those affected. You can’t expect your neighbour, police or city to be the only protectors of your livelihood or home.

What prevents a good city, with mostly law-abiding citizens, from cleaning up it’s trash?

I can’t help but feel that we have become too soft, so politically correct, so overly compassionate that we have set up ripe ground for the users and abusers to manipulate each and every one of us. We all know these losers will be shuffled along to another area within the community. We also can see that despite Surrey’s exterior clean up, that fact remains that criminals are not afraid to continue business as usual. Surrey is not the only city or town in this Province to experience such problems but it remains a place that needs more than gentrification and a high-profile Mayor to solve its challenges.

Frankly, I never believed for one minute that all the skyscrapers and density was going to change what ails cities like Surrey. Our justice system fails us, many of our social service programs become enablers and our politicians are humans who, like the rest of us, often lack the answers. Regardless, we have no choice but to be proactive in reclaiming our right to conduct our lives as we see fit and not live at the mercy of those who don’t value life at all.

It is time law-abiding citizen’s take back the streets.

 

Anger at Translink Fare Evasion

Besides inflated salaries of boards of directors and transit police, if there is one thing that repeatedly gets the public up in arms it is the constant inaction by Translink to stop fare evasion. Translink is a regional transit authority with a reputation that has been plummeting due to what many refer to as a lack of common sense. No business in their right mind would allow customers to come in and take their merchandise or services for free but this company does.

I ride the Canada Line on a weekly basis and I have never once been stopped to see if I have purchased a ticket or that the ticket I have in my pocket is even valid. What I do see is a lot of transit employees standing around engaged in chit-chat while we all file through to the train. With no barriers, no checking and no accountability people can simply move throughout the transit system without paying a dime.

What gets me frustrated is when I hear people saying “Transit should be free.” This prompts me to ask, “Who is going to pay for it?” Invariably their solution is that the Government should pay for it. In case any of you don’t know we are the Government – or at least our hard-earned money is what those elected are using to govern on our behalf.

People that say the Government should pay appear to me to be economically illiterate – like the kid who believes money grows on trees. There are those that want free transit, free education and free computers for people living below the poverty line. This idea that Government can keep paying for their wants really angers me, but I digress. Getting back to Translink, it is high time they started with the basics of business. I’m just going to offer a suggestion to this company for strong consideration:

In order to address your multimillion dollar shortfalls, when Joe and Josephine Public comes along to ride for free say, NO CASH, NO SERVICE!

 

Supreme Court Rules Prostitution Laws Unconstitutional – Crazy!

This something I didn’t think I would be talking about as we near Christmas and come to the end of 2013 but here begins my commentary and rant!

So there it is, a new low, a whole new level of crazy has been witnessed as Canada begins to welcome within our communities legalized prostitution. How did this happen? Well, boys and girls, let me give you a small lesson.

In our country we like to make sweeping changes that affect a vast majority of people based on the complaints lodged by a minority. In this case the minority was three prostitutes and a small entourage of people who clearly have not studied the colossal failure of legalization in countries who have tried it in the past. Learning from their mistakes apparently is not what we do. Instead, we choose to claim victory as we open up the market even further for men to buy women and children. Why would I say children? Because at the end of the day in all of the countries that tried legalization law enforcement had difficulty protecting anyone – due to the influx of workers needed to meet the demand of buyers. Human trafficking of women and children exploded and organized crime reaped the benefits.

This so-called occupation has never been able to curb connections with crime, maintain the safety of its workers or protect workers from disease. (as remember Johns are not required to be checked) No matter what was implemented no country has been able to protect the most vulnerable because at the end of the day the people who buy women really don’t care about their well-being. Killers still find ways to kill, drug addicted prostitutes still find themselves living and working outside of protection, men who batter women will still beat them up, pimps will still control large sections of the trade and inside their own homes or in brothels sex workers will still be at risk from any number of threats.

The buying of human beings is what should be unconstitutional, period!

Please understand that sex slavery overwhelmingly exists in areas where governments and society seemingly accept the sex trade. As a result sex tourism boomed and brothels became full of workers and customers. Venture into that world beyond the fake smiles and tell me if you see chaos or control, empowerment or exploitation.

Slavery by definition:

slavery [?sle?v?r?]

n

1. (Law) the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
2. the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
3. the condition of being subject to some influence or habit
4. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) work done in harsh conditions for low pay

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

If you are delusional enough to think legalization of prostitution will somehow change the realities of what it means to be a prostituted woman or child, then I feel you need to talk to the over 92% of sex workers who stated they want out instead of listening to the less than 10% who claim they are speaking on their behalf.

Please go to the following links:

Hope for the sold and download a petition:

Hope for the sold

Read Margaret Wente’s Column:

Legalize Prostitution? Are We Nuts?

 

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