Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Allergies and ETS, The New Voodoo?

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An old friend of my wife's recently invited my family to a beach party at a cottage on Lake Erie. We arrived early and the host was just finishing up some construction work. I was standing outside, near the porch that was being built when I lit up a good old Camel Light. After a few puffs, the host's wife came out and asked me to please smoke further away from the house. Some of the deadly sidestream smoke was apparently wafting into the cottage.

So I moved back a few feet thinking, "Hmmm.... great party THIS is going to be!"

A short while later my wife and I decided to take the kids down to the beach where we smoked peacefully for the next three hours. When we got back to the cottage the rest of the guests had arrived and the party appeared to be in full swing. I noticed someone had prepared a campfire using a lot of dry brush which was almost ready for lighting.

I went over to where I had been smoking earlier, right by the smoldering barb-q pit and lit up again. Someone I knew, a smoker named "Stan", came over to me and asked me to go with him to a spot about 15 meters away from the cottage. As he lit up a smoke of his own he told me that the host's wife, "Betty", had had an "allergic reaction" to tobacco smoke earlier in the day (must have been my Camel), and we had to smoke back where the cars were parked. "Hmmm," I said, remembering the campfire preparation, "it will be interesting to see whether she has an "allergic reaction" to the campfire when they light it..."

There were about five smokers at the party, about 25% of the entire group. We spent most of the evening "partying" down by the parked cars. Every now and then one or more of us would return to the front of the house and make an appearance, "partying" with the non-smokers briefly before returning to the smoking section. During one of these visits I observed that the fire had been lit and "Betty" was actively piling loads of this dry tumbleweed type of brush on the fire creating wonderful thick plumes of smoke.

As she stood there, almost hidden in the vast plumes of smoke I saw no evidence that she was adversely affected. It seemed odd to comprehend that if this wonderful brush smoke were polluted by someone smoking tobacco in the area "Betty" might get sick.

Later in the evening "Stan" told me he had asked, "Betty" whether the campfire smoke bothered her "allergies" at all. She told him she was not bothered by campfire smoke because it was "natural". I guess she wouldn't be bothered if she found rat droppings in her oatmeal either.

I found a site on the web at http://lash.une.edu.au/~drobinso/woodhealth.htm titled, "Wood Smoke and Health References", which provides some information on the constituents of wood smoke (yes, there were actually a few pieces of wood smoldering away in the party "campfire"). From one of the abstracts listed there I quote, "Wood smoke is known to contain such compounds as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, aldehydes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and fine respirable particulate matter. All of these have been shown to cause deleterious physiologic responses in laboratory studies in humans. Some compounds found in wood smoke--benzo[a]pyrene and formaldehyde--are possible human carcinogens. Fine particulate matter has been associated with decreased pulmonary function in children and with increased chronic lung disease in Nepal, where exposure to very high amounts of wood smoke occurs in residences." (See also Health Effects of Wood Smoke.)

I have to say I find it just a little bit incredible that someone who is so sensitive to tobacco smoke as to be sent into allergic paroxysms over the slightest whiff can simultaneously remain impervious to the constituents of wood smoke, not to mention a smoldering brush fire.

Even more curious was what happened later. "Betty" went to bed early.... maybe that brush fire DID affect her.... but once she was apparently asleep we smokers were allowed to return to the brush fire and pollute it with our ETS to our heart's content. Hence, not only did this strange affliction appear to be very selective but it only occurred while "Betty" was awake.

I don't think I'll go to any more of these parties... Oh, not because of the smoking rules.... I'm just not overly keen on billowing brush fires.

The last couple of times I have been camping in a provincial park here in Ontario (Bon Echo and Algonquin) I have been aware that the entire campground is usually full of campfire smoke in the evening. It's kind of neat when it gets dark because the smoke really accentuates the beam from flashlights....

The thing I don't like about it is the smoke tends to irritate my throat.

Also, the smell gets into my hair and clothes which continue to positively reek of campfire smoke even into the next day. Of course, this is easily remedied by a shower and a change of clothing.

This also reminds me of a relative of mine who has been greatly encouraged by all of the dishonest anti-smoking propaganda of late. This individual self righteously applauds just about any and all government violations of property rights in the name of protecting the public from the alleged evils of ETS. One of her fondest complaints about ETS is that she can smell it in her hair and clothes which continue to positively reek of tobacco smoke even into the next day.

But she sure loves camping!

Me? I'm going to turn into an "anti-ECFS activist" and lobby vigorously for the prohibition of campfires.

"Do you mind if I light a campfire?"

"No, do you mind if I fart?"


A Short Story about Ahkbar

Once upon a time, there was a guy named, "Ahkbar."

He was about 37 years old at the time of this adventure.

Born in Iraq, he could remember living in refugee camps as a child... and being shuffled from place to place until his family finally settled in Canada. (Ah Freedom!)

To make a long story shorter, Ahkbar ended up driving a taxi in Hamilton, Ontario.

During the bubble years up until 2008.... the cab business in Hamilton had almost (almost) recovered from the damage done to it by various governments in the early 1990's.

Ahkbar and many other immigrants, having been denied the opportunity to build a decent future for themselves in their new homeland because of accelerating government sclerotization of the economy in general, and their labour market interventions in particular ended up driving cabs in Hamilton.

There were signs that the cab business in Hamilton might finally be coming back to life. Weekends were becoming quite lucrative. Some drivers said they were pulling in as much as $600 on a Friday or Saturday night shift.

Some cab drivers even went out and bought nice houses. With hefty mortgages.

Other cab drivers did not buy nice houses. They had been in the business for a while. They had already been through prior recessions. They did not want to find themselves caught in upside-down mortgage situations at the same time that demand for their services plummeted.

Then a couple of things started to happen.

1 - the price of gas went way up. Since the drivers had to pay for their own gas before taking home their earnings the increase in gas prices hurt them.

Of course they wanted some kind of relief from this pain.

And where had Canadians accustomed themselves to turning whenever they found themselves in need of some kind of "relief?"

(If the answer to that question eludes you... just turn on CBC radio.)

Of course, it was common knowledge at the time. If one was in need of relief all they had to do was turn to Pepto-Local Government. And if there was a little too much of Pepto-Local Government one could always resort to Provincial Exlax and the McGoofball effluent would abound.

So, in accordance with their training in mandatory government youth incarceration and indoctrination centers, they looked to their god for relief.

What specific power (ooohhhhh ... ghoulish sounds..... P O W E Rrrrrrrrrr) did their god have?

Well, it's quite simple. Their god had the power to issue mandates. It had the power to legislate prosperity.

And so, in it's infinite wisdom and compassion, their god did what it does so well.... it waved its magic wand, it codified a new mandate, and it decreed a 30% increase in taxi rates.

It would have been nice, for cab drivers, if they lived in a world where a 30% increase in the price of their services did not prompt any of their customers to think twice about employing them.

Sadly, the world does not seem to work that way. HSR ridership went up 6% in the wake of the increase.


By one account, taxi business volume declined by 40% within a month of the mandatory standard of living increase to cab drivers.


Some cab drivers tried to warn the others about what would happen if they increased the cost of their services. They were laughed at.

Some cab drivers tried to point out that,

2 - there was some shit happening in the United States mortgage market. The world might be moving into another recession...

and that if we were moving into another recession..... it would be a really bad time to have the audacity to increase our own prices when demand for almost everything else was likely to go.... d o w n..... w ay .... d....o....w..... n.

But no.

Politics trumped the market. A recommendation for a rate increase was voted on by local politicians after about three seconds worth of consideration.....

and the lives of about 1,200 Hamilton cab drivers started to slowly swirl around the drain.


Two years into what some are calling the "Greater Depression," our friend Ahkbar found himself working for about $3 to $4 dollars per hour.

(Don't it make you feel warm all over when you ponder the awesome power of legislation? )

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Ahkbar also found himself unable to afford the cost of automobile insurance (surely, one of the more politicized expenses,) and he

gone and done a bad thing.... driving without insurance.

Got caught.

Got fined $5000

("Driving is a privilege, not a right," according to the Gov. Inc. monopoly road mentality.)

and then... on November 1, 2010

Ahkbar gone and done another bad thing.....

He made an illegal left turn.

He got three tickets for the bad thing he did.

He showed 'em to me.

1 - the address on his license had not been updated within the specified time.... I think that was $110.

2 - Even though he was driving his mother's car.... and the pink liability slip was in the glove compartment he was charged with failure to provide proof of insurance... or whatever.. $65.

3 - though the whole incident was precipitated because he made an illegal left-hand turn... there was no ticket for that... instead, there was a ticket for "Careless Driving," .... about $490.

There was something about the cop touching his arm and then using that as an excuse to slap the cuffs on Ahkbar.

One of the cops made a comment about the book he saw on the seat of Ahbar's mother's car... a book about Adolf Hitler.... it came across more as an accusation what mere comradery curiosity.

Comments were made about his immigration status.

Ahkbar then spent three hours at the police station.

All of this because he wanted to buy a coffee at Tim Horton's.

Well, that is my story.

Of course, it is all fiction.

We all know that cops are really decent people who care about freedom and justice.

I mean, in your personal experience, hasn't that always been true?


Africa Seeks 777 Trillion Dollars In Reparations For

"The practice of slavery dates to prehistoric times, although its institutionalization probably first occurred in early historical times"

"Slavery," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Should the rich nations of the West pay reparations to Africa and it's Diaspora?

African Reparations

Grab your wallet! Yet another group is on the prowl in pursuit of unearned cash. Calling themselves "The African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission" they blame the West for Africa's social and economic problems and feel the Americas and Western Europe should fork over some $777 TRILLION plus interest in reparations. The beneficiaries of this claim are to be the people of Africa and the Diaspora.

According to the declaration of the commission (the Accra Declaration), the money would be demanded from ''all those nations of Western Europe and the Americas and institutions, who participated and benefited from the slave trade and colonialism.'' Curiously, the other nations who participated and benefited from the slave trade, those of North Africa and the Middle East are not mentioned.

"Over the centuries, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 11 million people were shipped across the Atlantic from Africa as slaves, and another 14 million African slaves were taken across the Sahara Desert or shipped through the Persian Gulf and other waterways to the nations of North Africa and the Middle East."

Race and Culture: A World View by Thomas Sowell.

Evidently, it is not the slave trade that the commission objects to since slavery as an institution existed in Africa and throughout the world long before the Portuguese got in on the game in 1444. The commission seems to have made the observation that the West is rich enough to satisfy the claim and decided to conclude that the West is rich because of the slave trade.

The combined annual Gross Domestic Products of the 9 richest American and European economies amounts to a mere $15 Trillion[1], hence, even if those nine countries were to surrender their entire Gross Domestic Product every year to Africa and the Diaspora it would take about 52 years to satisfy The African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission's claim.

Is the claim just? Well, yes and no, depending on your fundamental political philosophy. To individualists, the claim is ludicrous, to collectivists on the other hand, the claim is perfectly valid. The reason for the difference is quite simple... individualists insist that individuals are responsible for their own actions whereas collectivists subscribe to the more convenient belief that someone else is always responsible for those actions. That is why criminalists, close relatives of collectivists, are often heard to say "I am a product of society, that is why I robbed, raped and murdered. Society is responsible for my actions. It wasn't my fault."

Collectivists apply the same thinking to the economic realm... where the criminal insists someone else is responsible for what he did, the collectivist insists someone else is responsible for what he didn't do. For example, the skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent, hard-working person must bear responsibility for the material sustenance of those who are not skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent and hard-working.

The West's peculiar instition: the welfare state, rests on this premise. I.E. the modern version of slavery, where the government owns the people but lets them keep a portion of the value they produce so they will keep on producing. The other portion of the fruits of that labour, that part-owned by the government (tax evasion is stealing it's advocates claim), is extracted via taxation and doled out to various groups in accordance with the degree of political clout those groups manage to muster. Some of the recipients of this dole do not produce but, through welfare eligibility, (a legal claim to the fruits of other's labour) benefit from the coercive transfer of goods and services from those who produced them.

In the same way, those clamouring for reparations for slavery insist they are entitled to the entire life's labours of every man, woman, and child in the West mainly because Africa never did produce the factories, transportation infrastructure, markets and technologies the skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent, hard-working people of the West produced. Far from having any fundamental aversion to slavery some advocates of African Reparations explicitly endorse modern taxation slavery as a means of obtaining their booty. (see below)

According to Pan African Congress (PAC) deputy president Motsoko Pheko in an article from from MISAnet/PANA

The labour of Africans was used in the Americas, Europe and West Indies to build the foundations for today's wealth of the so-called developed countries.

Does Mr. Pheko honestly believe we in the West would still be living in log cabins if not for the labour of Africans? Does Mr. Pheko really think that there would be no pharmaceutical industry in the West if not for the labour of Africans? No electronics? No automobiles? No jets? No central heating and air conditioning? No flush toilets, washing machines and refrigerators? Are we seriously expected to believe that the vast new computer industry and the internet would not have existed in the West if not for the labour of Africans? Were the great bridges, dams, and skyscrapers of the West built on African labour?

Anyone possessing the merest scintilla of economic sense would reject this whole idea out of hand. The great wealth of the West is due to capitalism, not physical labour. Unfortunately, the proportion of the populations of the Western democracies in possession of said scintilla is dangerously small, hence the possibility that the proposed victims of this reparations idea remain susceptible to myriads of specious claims.

It is difficult to believe that Mr. Pheko is serious in making this claim... indeed, the claim is so preposterous that only one conclusion can be drawn.... the true basis for the African reparations claim is precisely that African labour had nothing whatsoever to do with the massive wealth of the modern West, and that therefore, in accordance with standard collectivist/criminalist thinking, Africa is morally entitled to own it - or at least fifty-odd years of the entire economic output of the nine richest Western nations.

A more reasonable approach to the question of reparations might be to identify the heirs of those specific institutions and individuals who profited from the slave trade and colonialism. Having done so it would be necessary also to determine exactly which proportion of the current wealth of these institutions and individuals was due to the exploitation of the descendants of modern African and the Diaspora.

A fair-minded individual could hardly object to a request that these legitimate assets be returned to the heirs of the original owners. Yet according to the essay The legal basis of the claim for Reparations By Lord Anthony Gifford, British Queens Counsel and Jamaican Attorney-at-Law at the Africa Reparations Movement (ARM) website,

It would be possible to identify individual companies that could be proved to have made vast profits from slavery. There are plantation owners in Jamaica, and titled families in England, whose living heirs owe their wealth to slaving.

... but this approach would involve too much work and the defendants would reject it. Lord Gifford believes that instead, all citizens should assume collective guilt because governments have "reserves" and "taxation powers" and that it is "governments who must in the end be persuaded that reparations are to be paid" by everyone regardless of the culpability of their specific ancestors. Imposing the burden on innocent third parties[2], many of whose ancestors were hardly better off and often worse off than many slaves does not seem to deter Lord Gifford in his pursuit of what he calls "justice".


The key point here is Mr. Gifford's specific rejection of going after those who today can be identified as direct beneficiaries of the slave trade in favour of the more lucrative prospect of going after those whose ancestors were not.

More stuff:

[1] Annual Gross Domestic Product of Selected Nations

CountryAnnual Gross Domestic Product (1996) in Trillions
United Kingdom1.19
Source: The New World Almanac and Book of Facts 1999


[2] The population of Western Europe, North and South America is currently about 1.3 billion people. $777 TRILLION US represents a mere payout of $597,692 for every man, woman and child living in the "guilty" countries. This is about $70,636,364 for each of the roughly 11 million Africans who were shipped accross the Atlantic.


More Links

Slavery Reparations Argument Based on Greed

Are reparations proper way to right slavery?

Reparation Tax Claims Denied



Accessibility is not a Right

30 October, 2009

Sorry but, in my opinion, if I am still allowed to have one not pre-approved by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Accessibility is Not a Right.

I know, I know. I only say this because I am an evil, selfish, mean spirited person who does not care about those who are disabled. Ok, so let me just say I am guilty as charged.... so don't bother with that reproach.

Nor will you gain any traction by asking me to hypothesize about whether my opinion would differ were anyone I love disabled.

I thought I should get that out of the way because I have no doubt that my opposition to any by-law mandating wheelchair accessible taxis will result in a deluge of such accusations.

Now, for anyone willing to listen, I would like to provide a shortlist of human rights as I see them.


  • The right to life.
  • The right to liberty.
  • The right to pursue happiness.
  • The right to think, and the right to say what is on my mind. (Freedom of speech.)
  • The right to own property. (Seriously, if you can't own what is yours.... you have no freedom.)
  • The right to earn a living.
  • The right to say, "No."
  • The right to be left alone.

I have a personal obsession. I hate debt. I once got in over my head with credit cards. I hated it.

So finally, I resorted to extreme measures to get out of debt. I moved out of my apartment and lived in a tent for a while. I also borrowed my dad's van and slept in it at the side of the road. No doubt my co-workers thought I was some kind of kook.

What? Me a kook?

Well, sort of I guess.... especially when it comes to my inability to recognize the official truth when I see it.

Anyway, back to my own personal debt story.....

To make a long story short.... I cut my living expenses to the bone in order to pay off my debts. In the end I was successfull.

To this day, I have managed to avoid debt. I have contracts for hydro and phone and internet. I entered into those contracts voluntarily... and I pay my bills every month. I feel an obligation.

Today, I live debt free.

And I feel pretty good about it.

That is, I felt pretty good about it... until I found out that I have another debt, as yet, unpaid.

According to the Ministry of Transportation (Ontario).... accessible transportation is a human right.

Which means to me, since I am in the transportation business, that I am not free of debt.

I owe something to a certain group of citizens who, based upon certain criterion, are officially considered to be, disabled.

At our meeting of the Taxi Advisory Committee meeting on October 20 (2009) a motion was put forward by the de-facto chairman of the committee: "Should 100% of Hamilton taxis be forced (at some unspecified future date,) to become accessible?" (I.E. wheelchair vans.)

Immediately one of the committee members blurted out, "Well, accessibilty is a right, not a privilege."

It was said with such certitute, such moral authority.... such obvious lack of critical thought. It was almost biblical in it's certainty.

But in Canadian society these days we all know how to spout the popular line. We all know the answers that will draw minimum criticism.

Well, of course, I was one member of the committee who was not so ready to jump on this morally self-congratulatory bandwagon.

When it came to a show of hands I did a quick inventory of the 7 (as opposed to 2) yes votes.... the yes votes, were dominated by committee members who either would expect to benefit personally (or politically) from such a mandate and those for whom such a mandate would not represent any personal financial commitment and those who seemed not to really understand the motion(!).

It ought to go without saying that the two "no," votes came from members who understood they were the ones who were being "asked," to provide the means for the realization of said mandate - and one member who has lot's of experience recognizing counterfeit "rights," for exactly what they are: state mandated privileges or entitlements, designed to benefit one group of citizens at the expense of another.


Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed sheep contesting the vote. -- Unknown author. Often attributed to Ben Franklin or James Bovard.

And that my friends, is how many Canadians find themselves in debt... not through any personal contract or commitment, but by a vote of nine people in a committee.

How secure does your freedom feel now, knowing that government committees are voting on saddling you with new debts you never thought you owed?

Who shall suffer most from this new, government imposed debt obligation?


A lot of cab drivers in Hamilton own their cabs but "lease" their plates. Few of them, I suspect, make $40,000 a year. If the city mandates that all taxicabs be "accessible," then these lessees shall have to fork out about $40,000 (the rumoured price of an accessible vehicle,) instead of the $5,000 currently spent on used police cars.

It doesn't really matter whether these lessees are given one year, or fifteen years to comply. The $35,000 difference represents a year's worth (probably much more) of labour that these happless citizens will be forced to forego because the disabled, (but not they,) have "rights."

Let's consider the brief list of rights I listed above in light of the claim that accessible transportation is a human right.

From the point of view of the cab driver, lessee, owner.......

They do not have the right to life. Well not all of their life because now, as a result of a pronouncement from the Ministry of Transportation... ( and a vote of the Taxi Advisory Committee,) part of their life has to be allocated to accomodating the disabled.

They do not have the right to liberty. The government is now telling them what to do ( purchase wheelchair vans) ... or else(!)... their license and their means of earning a living will be revoked.

They do not have the right to pursue happiness. Their right to pursuit of happiness has been trumped by the "right of accessible transportation." The happiness of influential lobby groups must be accommodated before any of their efforts be allocated to their own pursuit of happiness... (well, awe shucks... pursuit of happiness is an American idea and thus carries no weight in Canada.)

The right to own property. Well, we have all heard the saying, "property is theft," so if you think you own it, all it means is that you stole it.... and it really belongs to someone else -- you know .. that special, rights endowed, someone who didn't pay for it.

So now, we in the cab business find we are indebted to the disabled community. Property is theft. So, I suppose is mobility.

Those of us who have mobility, like those of us who have property, have stolen it... and it is time for us to pay it back.


"I stole this head, these hands, this body and ran off with them." -- Frederick Douglas

The right to earn a living. This right is going to be cancelled by the government. First, you provide accessible transportation. After that, you can concern yourself with making a living. Accessibility, is a "basic right." Your right to earn a living takes a back seat. (Sorry.)

The right to say, "No." Sorry again, accessible transportation is a basic right. You are not allowed to say "no." If you do, your license... your means of making a living, shall be revoked. (This is the price we pay so that politicians can pretend they "care." Does it start to feel like someone has a firm grip on your balls yet?)

The right to be left alone. He he. If you expect to make a living in this city, you're dreaming.

Years ago, my notion of human rights was summed up by the novelist Ayn Rand. She wrote,


Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.

So much for the "right," to accessible transportation.

Compassion is one thing. Statist mandates and phony compassion are quite another.


"A liberal is a guy who cares so much he would give a poor man the shirt off someone else's back."

Almost fifty years ago the U.S. Democratic party was not so progressive... they forgot to include the right to accessible transportation. (and ... not to be offended by free speech, and, and ..... internet access(!), etc. etc.)

From "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," by Ayn Rand.....

"Bear clearly in mind the meaning of the concept of rights when you read the list which the [Democratic platform of 1960] offere[d]:

  1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  3. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  4. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  5. The right of every family to a decent home;
  6. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  7. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  8. The right to a good education.

A single question added to each of the above eight clauses would make the issue clear. At whose expense?"


"What good fortune for governments that the people do not think."

I will not attribute that last quote. If you are interested, Google it.




”The state is that fictitious entity by which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else.” – Frederic Bastiat

On 22 October, 2009, during the taxi advisory committee meeting a motion was put forth: Should it be mandatory that Hamilton Taxi Cabs become 100% accessible at some unspecified future date?

Seven of the members voted yes.


In this country we used to have a saying, “Put your money where your mouth is.”

I would like to see that saying become popular again.

I think I have come up with a great way to reintroduce that question into Canadian political discussion. I would like to propose that the 100% accessibility motion be re-introduced at the next Taxi Advisory Committee meeting with one slight modification.

This time, I want the “Yes,” voters to put their money where their mouths are.

Now, it ought to be well understood, that those who voted “yes,” are deeply compassionate citizens of our great land. More to the point, those members who voted “yes,” have a special regard and concern for that segment of society who, through no fault of their own are unable to move about in a normal way.

All of my life I have been told that Canada, as opposed to our greedy cousins to the south, is a “Compassionate Society.”

The next Taxi Advisory Committee meeting will give seven Canadians the distinguished opportunity to stand up and show the whole world just how compassionate Canadians can be.

What I want to see at the next TAC meeting, is for the “yes,” voters to bring $1000 of their own money, put it down on the table, and pledge to donate their dollars toward the purchase of Hamilton's first Accessible Taxi under the mandate.

Then we will have a second vote. If the motion carries, we will know that this small group of compassionate Canadians are indeed willing to put their money where their mouth is.


I kind of doubt that a single member of the TAC will accept my challenge.

I am so confident of myself here that I will add this additional sweetener.... if the “yes,” voters put a kewl seven grand into the middle of that table, I will donate an additional fifty dollars to the noble cause.


Definition of a liberal: "Someone who cares so much he would give a poor man the shirt off someone else's back”

The ACPD Presentation to the Taxi Reform Subcommittee.

October 22, 2009

Two representatives of the Advisory Committee for Persons With Disabilities (ACPD) were present at the Taxi Reform Sub-Committee meeting on October 22, 2009.

During their presentation, they lambasted the Hamilton taxi industry for ignoring their, “rights.”

What rights you may ask? Well, the answer to that question ought to be pretty clear to anyone who has been paying attention.... they are referring to “rights,” that were generously dispensed upon them by a branch of government (do you see the irony in that? Government as a dispenser of “rights,” government who in the words of Ludwig von Mises.....


"The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster."

Mischief and disaster? How could that be? 180 or so million dead as a result of democide in the 20th century alone?

As I write, our trusted governments are all engaged in the debauchery of our currencies, stealing our savings through inflation.... too gutless to raise taxes to fund their grandiose schemes.... and all the while generously bestowing “rights,” upon various politically influential constituencies.


But I am getting carried away, sorry. According to the ACPD Presentation, “The ministry of Transportation states that access is NOT a privilege.”

No. It's not a privilege. It's a right.

Now that we know that access is a right, we have all the ammo we need to blast the Hamilton Taxi industry with its sorry record of human rights violations.

For example (according to the ACPD presentation): number of accessible taxis in Hamilton is zero accessible vans - operating as livery vehicles - vehicles being used that would not pass inspection - no 24-hour service - trips must be booked in advance - spontaneous trips rarely available- 2 providers of taxi-like service – WAVE -Blueline

Well, I am but a simple cab driver. If my years on the business have been dominated by a desire to make a living, to pay the rent and feed my kids, then I beg your forgiveness. I thought I was trying to make a living, I didn't realize I was violating your rights. (sorry)

In pursuit therefore of my own devilishly selfish interests, I forgot about you.

Would it make any difference to you, in pursuit of your “rights,” if I told you that, even those of us not confined to wheelchairs have problems too?

I suspect not. Politically granted “Rights,” reign supreme. Of what consequence are my meager needs?


With respect to the issue of the right to accessible transportation, as declared by well-paid politicians, I would like to draw your attention to one of the demands of the ACPD … “no additional fees for assistance.”

Well, those of us in the cab business understand well the additional effort and time required when accommodating the disabled. Your demand for,

“no additional fees for assistance.”

acknowledges that extra effort is required to ensure that your “rights ” are respected.

The question I have become accustomed to asking is, “At whose expense?”

I t makes me think of a very dear, sweet man I know... who is a cab driver. He is suffering right now. The business is down. He gets calls from home... the kids need milk and bread.... but, he is not free to respond to that need.... because he has been dispatched to transport a client who has “rights,” a client who requires assistance, a client who, as per demands of the ACPD, has a right to demand his compliance.... with “no additional fees for assistance.”

So it may take him an additional 15 minutes to “accommodate,” this person who has been endowed with “rights,” even though it will put him 4 or 5 spaces back in the queue for the next trip.

Well, the kids are just going to have to wait a little bit longer for their milk and bread.... well, because the disabled have “rights.”


I wrote something about fifteen years ago.

DARTS - A Truly Disabled Organization

My how government does grow!

I came across a newsletter recently that reminded me of something I had read many times, in one form or another in the libertarian literature, over the last twenty years. I dug through my little book collection and came up with the following, from "The Tyranny of the Status Quo" - by Milton and Rose Friedman (copyright 1984, 1983):

"The key characteristics of bureaucrats are these: first, they spend other people's money; second, they have a bottom line, a proof of success, that is very distant and difficult to define. Under those conditions, a major incentive for every bureaucrat is to become more powerful --and this is true whether the bureaucrat is dominated by broad and unselfish interests or by narrow and selfish interests. In either case, being more powerful will enable the bureaucrat to pursue those interests more effectively. In most cases, the way for a bureaucrat to become more powerful is to have more people under his or her control --to expand the scope of whatever piece of the gigantic governmental structure is that bureaucrat's domain."

Here's what I read that made me think of this. It pertains to the Disabled and Aged Regional Transit System of Hamilton-Wentworth. This is just one relatively small manifestation of the disease which afflicts this country:


Thirteen years ago, D.A.R.T.S. provided 90,000 trips to 1500 registered passengers using 16 vehicles and a staff of 25. The budget at that time was $700,000. This year D.A.R.T.S. has provided 525,000 trips to our 13,000 passengers using 45 vehicles, 35 minivans and taxis, and a $7,000,000 budget. D.A.R.T.S. has successfully accomplished this growth over the years under the leadership and guidance of our Executive Director,..." etc. etc.

-- from the newsletter 'On Target with D.A.R.T.S.' November 1993.

Based on the numbers for 1993, the average DARTS trip costs about $13.33. This is at least twice the average taxi fare for Hamilton. DARTS customers pay $1.70 per trip regardless of the length of that trip. Taxpayers pay the rest. In addition to the taxpayers being ripped off by this system, the artificially low fares are siphoning passengers away from the private (though regulated) taxi business which has already been devastated by the recession. Many of these ex-taxi patrons can easily afford taxi fare but choose instead to let their neighbors pay the bill. Who can blame them? They have learned, as increasing numbers of Canadians are learning...... in a cannibalistic system, it's 'eat or be eaten.'

I thought about this article when I got to the part in the list of demands by the ACPD that stated, with such unabashed moral authority,

“Taxis have had 27 years to figure out how to become accessible yet we have zero accessible taxis in Hamilton."

Yeah, well go figure ey? Why, or how, could you possibly expect the taxi business in this city to reconfigure itself into an organization geared to satisfying the needs of one of it's largest market segments when the government itself was at the root of that great big sucking sound?

In the 1970's taxis were the main source of accessible transportation. A huge chunk of our market was sucked away by D.A.R.T.S.

And now, you have the unmitigated audacity to admonish us for not responding to a market that was being driven out of existence by government competition?

Shame on you.



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