Las Vegas tragedy makes gun control seem like a no brainer

I was going to write a post about this sickening tragedy in Las Vegas, but Jimmy Kimmel says it all right here…

well said Jimmy! I only hope the powers that be are motivated enough to do something about it.

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Increased taxes for small business owners

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Our Canadian Liberal government wants to increase the income tax rate for small businesses.  As a small business owner, I cringe at the significance this has for me.

Like myself, many small business owners have risked starting a business based on a particular passion and taken many years to build a clientele and show a profit.  Tax breaks are few and far between making it possible to follow a dream and succeed, but rarely get rich.  Some years are good, others great, yet some not so good.  Proceeds from the good and great years must be used to subsidize the not so good years; you know the saying “save for a rainy day.”

 

Both owners and employees of small businesses are, for the most part, dedicated and passionate individuals that do not get benefits or pensions or severance packages if the business goes under.  The absence of these “perks” creates a great risk for both the owner and the employees.  All these new tax rules will do is squash the dream of entrepreneurs with a passion whether the business is already up and running or still in the planning stage.

Does the Liberal government really believe that increasing the income tax levels of small business owners will significantly build their coffers?  The money gained will be a drop in the bucket compared to the massive national debt owed. They might want to look elsewhere for bigger fish and leave us little guys alone.

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pictures from Pexels

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.

Canada Day weekend

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In case you haven’t heard, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this past weekend.  Although Mother Nature had to put her two cents in with a few thunderstorms and torrential rain, the party atmosphere was rampant coast to coast as Canadians young and old, rich and poor, lifelong citizens and new immigrants celebrated our wonderful country, together.

 

 

The fireworks lit up the skies across the country, although some displays were a bit rain delayed (and in some areas rescheduled)…

 

 

This video is just one of the many fireworks displays:

 

 

Even royalty showed up to help celebrate our country.  Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremonies on Parliament Hill and were escorted out of the Ottawa area Sunday morning by fighter jets and other military aircraft.  We heard the roar of the engines overhead as we came out of Canadian Tire (appropriately) and I quickly but blindly (into the sun and clouds) snapped a few pictures into the general vicinity of the noise…

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Some Canadians started the celebration Friday and had to return to work today, while others have today to recuperate.  Those of us who are self-employed have an extra long weekend! Regardless, I think it’s safe to say everyone had a great weekend!

 

 

The ultimate price

The headlines read: “two dead, one injured in Ottawa’s Byward Market shootings”

The 43-year-old man that was shot and killed paid the ultimate price believing he was helping his friend.  When his friend was shot and wounded after an argument with the gunman, the victim and several other witnesses chased the shooter.  Why would he do this?  No one will ever know what he hoped to accomplish.   As the details of the tragedy continue to unravel,  the media is quick to point out the victim’s failings.  Nothing, however, has been said about the suspect.

Although the victim had a shady (drug related) past, I only knew him as the beloved brother of my grandson’s mom.  Why is that?  Because he and his family were trying hard to put that shady past behind them.  He had turned his life around so we (my family) knew him as a loving son, husband, father, brother, uncle, and brother-in-law that would do just about anything for anyone in need.

What the media fails to mention is that no one, nowhere, deserves to be gunned down in cold blood, unless of course they have just shot and killed someone themselves.  The fact that some people resort to the use of a gun to settle their arguments sickens, and in this case deeply saddens me.

For the sake of the victim’s shocked, grieving family, I hope the investigation wraps up soon and reveals that the victim’s alcohol induced actions were confrontational and foolish, but valiant and well intended.

There’s a pill for that

Today’s society seems to rely on a pill or medication for everything, with many doctors quick to write a prescription to get their patients out the door.  Everything from acne, anxiety, mood swings, constipation, mental decline and insomnia to Attention Deficit (ADD), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma and more is treated with medication instead of researching why the problem exists in the first place.  Fixing the symptoms instead of fixing the underlying issue is what I call a “band-aid fix”

free stock photos from Pexels.com

Reasons like an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise, increased sugar and GMO consumption, reliance on man-made drugs, as well as sensitivities to foods and environmental toxins are often overlooked because they take too much time to pinpoint and change.  It is faster and more convenient to pop another pill.

Today we are finding out just how dangerous these prescription drugs can be.   Throughout the years it has been common for high school and college/university students to experiment with alcohol and drugs.  The relaxed to euphoric feelings and reduction of negative emotions associated with their use is enticing.  What the users often do not realize is that both alcohol and drugs depress the nervous and respiratory systems so too much of either can diminish that euphoric feeling or buzz pretty quickly.

The problem today lies within the type of drugs being used as well as the combination of drugs and alcohol.  Painkillers such as Fentanyl and Percocet are a prevalent choice because they are readily prescribed, easy to get (often from household medicine cabinets) and result in a quick buzz.

  • Fentanyl is an opiate, prescribed for moderate to severe pain (often for cancer patients) but is fifty to one hundred times more powerful than morphine, and up to forty times more powerful than heroin.
  • Percocet is prescribed for mild to moderate pain, but in addition to the opiate oxycodone, Percocet contains acetaminophen (aka tylenol) which is toxic to the liver.  Alcohol use alone causes liver stress and damage; adding Percocet to the mix can cause complete liver failure, coma, and death.

If the availability of stronger drugs isn’t enough of a problem, counterfeit drugs such as Fentanyl-laced Xanax are popping up in communities everywhere adding unknown lethal chemical compounds in unknown doses to the mixture.  These synthetic versions, often produced in China, shipped to Mexico then smuggled into the USA and Canada, are readily available in large amounts on our streets. They are causing a rampant amount of overdoses causing liver and respiratory failure and often leading to death.

Here in Kanata, a local dad is bravely speaking out about his own struggles with his daughter’s addiction.  Going a step further, he is organizing meetings for parents to talk about and find ways to deal with this growing nightmare.   A local teen is speaking up too on the attraction and dangers of counterfeit drugs.

On a national level,  perhaps some of the money raised recently (annually) through the Bell Let’s Talk could be set aside to remove the band-aid and get to the root of this problem with our youth.