Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Children Managing the Asylum

            Apparently our “managers” can’t act like adults. Perhaps some guidelines will help them?

I actually doubt it but I put the information out there. Perhaps it will help them and should it not, should they continue as is, nothing is lost. I doubt it could get worse but then the two “managers” I’m referring to do continue to surprise with stupidity.

So how did it happen that the children are running the world? Should we not expect those who set themselves up as management to set a good - and therefore repeatable - example? In other words to “manage” as they claimed they would do. Perhaps they could even work at avoiding repeat attacks on our society.
            When they sought our support to attain their management positions they claimed to be able to increase prosperity. In order to do that international trade and thus national business must improve. Instead these so called managers are doing their best to destroy trade and business.
            What I hear them saying is this:
            “If you’re not gonna let me win I’m gonna take my bat and my ball and go home.”

            “Alright for you, then. We’re gonna play basket ball ‘cause it’s our game and if you want a basket ball and a net then you have t’ pay a zillion dollars.”
In North America we have a group paying money to anyone who may threaten violence or law suits. We have a superior means of countering such violence but it might not be “politically correct” to quell or terminate illegal behavior in a manner that is moral and will end such action forever. 

Instead we submit to black-mail (immoral) and try to buy these terrorists (also immoral) off. In the process we fund terrorism and ensure they will come back later to demand more money to pay for efforts to destroy our society.
            There is another group on the continent that seems to think they are the only ones that deserve to have a steady income and a good life. Not only that but they seem to expect everyone not of their group to pay a high price just to be able to bask in the glow of their wisdom. Their own primary resources are in short supply but they expect open and free access to everyone else’s resources.
            “Share? Sure, we’ll share but we want the raw product for free and then we’ll sell it back to you and charge you for the input product and the produced product. How much? Well, we’ll have to think about that.
“What’s that? Yes, we will be selling it to the other side of the world for much less, but remember they have to pay for transport costs. Besides, we might want something from them … like a big loan.”

Of course, all groups blame someone else for the problems they have created. It’s the “other” party that caused this. Of course, if that isn’t exactly true then they all make up lies to ensure that the public (that would be the rest of us, the unwashed and uneducated masses) can perhaps convince themselves they didn’t make a mistake voting for these spoiled children. This is a well known ploy that has worked for all the conquerors.
Of course, “the power behind the throne”, those who have the money and are calling the dance for those out front, absolutely love these two clowns. They can manipulate these two any way they want and make sure they fire any advisors that might have some ability at logical thought.
Another ploy used by the Hitlers and Amins was to give the masses an ethnic group on which to focus. However, just as it was not the Jews, Jehovah Witnesses or Freemasons who were the problem it isn’t the Muslims or Mexicans that are the problem.
It’s the radicals and terrorists who present the problem.
Oh, yes, and the children who are mismanaging things.
Can we please get some adult participation? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

You Might Not Like This, But

I read a quote from author Craig Johnson the other day that had me thinking about who I am and how I got to be this person. Surely you know who Craig Johnson is? He’s the writer who created the character Longmire. If you haven’t read any of the novels or seen at least a half dozen of the TV episodes then you haven’t lived a full life.

You might not like this, but …

You might not like this, but the US Civil War helped create who you are.
It doesn’t matter if you are in South Africa, the events of 1861 to ’65 in U.S. affect how you live today.
You might not like this, but the 20 million people who died between 1935 and 1945 affected the person you are.
You might not like this, but both the stupidity of mankind and the amazing leaps in intellect have changed those who are alive and growing in the present.
            There was a time when the common man, what today we call the working man, did as he was told by his “betters”. If the “Lord of the manor” said, “build a bridge here” or “go to the fiefdom next door and destroy the castle” the working men (and women), or serfs all picked up their pitch forks and did as they where told. They did this (and interrupted their own work) because they thought they had to and because the feeling was that “our betters know what is best.”
            As centuries past and the transmission of news improved (with an increasing percentage of it actually true) the attitudes of the common people changed. The promises by “leaders” of more land or an elevated position often turned out to be outright lies, even if your side won. In later years the promise of a life pension or (in the New World) a large parcel of land (“Wow, a whole hundred acres?”) proved to be inadequate or perhaps impossible to fulfill.
            The advent of modern war was an even greater shock for those actually conducting it; that is those “in the trenches.” In the Crimean War (Russia vs British/French Allies 1853-’56) the common soldier realized that he was being butchered to gain no tactical advantage. He also began to realize that, although he was willing to give his life for his senior officers (for king and country) many of those senior officers thought of the soldiers as so much wood to be thrown into the fire. And for the winning soldiers, the British, French, Ottoman Allies only about 1% received anything that could be considered a pension because the treasuries were empty.
            When the US Civil War took place it not only had excellent coverage from journalists, many of the battles took place where they could be viewed by the general populace. The butchery of war then became common knowledge. Many soldiers from both sides discovered that the ideals they thought they where fighting for had nothing to do with what was actually happening.
            The soldier of the day still expected, both when he signed up and when in action, to do as he was told. Those not within the ranks and actually under officer scrutiny began to talk openly about the shortcomings of their “leaders” or “patrons”. This “noise from the ranks” traveled around the world and became common even in societies/armies where such complaints could lead to execution.
Royal Canadian Rifles crossing Paardeberg Drift Feb. 18, 1900

            For those in Commonwealth countries the same change of attitude had started back during the Crimean War but the Boer War (the second one of 1899) completed this change. Many men of an adventurous bent formed armies (Lord Strathcona’s Horse) or joined existing battalions (Royal Canadian Regiment) to support King and Country and prove the importance of Canada (or Australia, India, Irish, Scottish, etc.) to England. When it was all over the treatment of soldiers and the mistreatment of the enemy did much to convince veterans that the “old country” could, in the future, stamp out their own damn snakes.
            As a result of history showing us “peons” that our “betters” not only where not better but where often not as good, there was serious hesitation about going to Europe during the years of WWI. Citizens of Commonwealth countries lobbied against conscription or avoided it after it was passed. American citizens aggressively fought their country joining the conflict until their inclusion was almost too late.
Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry "over the top"
Feb. 28, 1915

            A similar attitude interfered with many of the same countries which became involved in WWII. In addition there was a strong feeling in the thirties and into the first few years of the war that the German Chancellor was the answer to corruption in government. By the time it became common knowledge that he was the greatest threat to mankind on the planet he was almost too strong to defeat.

            This change in attitude about patrons, leaders and government in general lead to other difficulties that had nothing to do with war in its normally accepted sense.
As an example, a great many well meaning people decided in the early part of the 20th century that it would be a great idea to ban alcohol except for medicinal use.
In Canada prohibition only existed federally from 1918 to 1920. However it existed in towns and provinces to some extent for more than 50 years. In Prince Edward Island it was from 1901 to 1948 and I can remember Owen Sound, Ontario being a “dry” town until 1972.
Federal prohibition in the USA was begun under the Eighteenth Amendment in January of 1920. It was eventually repealed in 1933 under the Twenty First Amendment.
Why where these acts or laws passed? Because more than fifty years of history influenced the formation of “Temperance Leagues”. These clubs concentrated on and actually advertised the destruction caused to society in general and to families in particular by the over indulgence in alcohol. There was surely a great deal of exaggeration taking place but everyone, even those not directly affected by drunks recognized that serious problems existed.
Thus the banning of alcohol.
So what did prohibition accomplish? Did it ensure the working man went to work, paid his debts and supported his family?
Not at all.
The populace in general consumed more alcohol than they had when it was legal. This was partly due to the “thrill” of doing something illegal. However, it was mostly due to societies efforts to show the law makers that they didn’t speak for “every man.” Another consideration was to deliver the message that government officials needed to listen to what the public wanted and not what some special interest group thought was best.
The “serfs” would no longer blindly follow the orders of those who thought they were “patrons” and “leaders”. Most began to think of these government people as subjects or servants of the common man.
Prohibition also resulted in several psychopaths and thugs becoming extremely rich. Since these anti-societal individuals were also defying the unpopular laws they became folk heroes and without help from the general public it was difficult to eradicate them.
Does any of this history sound familiar to those who where not aware of it? Are there any parallels to be found in today’s news?

There are many who want to eliminate the statues of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Canada’s first PM, John A. McDonald is reviled today as a drunk and an egomaniac. Winston Churchill is often portrayed as a war monger. There are many in today’s world who would deny that any human could perpetrate what is known as the “holocaust”. And there are aboriginals who want to portray Kit Carson as a traitor and a murderer.
John A. McDonald

Kit Carson in 1850

All of these people and their actions, whether we know about them or not, have combined to create the person I am, and you are, today. Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont affected the Métis people of today but also every other Canadian as well. The same can be said of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Göring, or Hussein; they affected their own people but also those on the other side of the globe who would like to forget they existed.
Louis Riel's children, Jean Louis
and Angelique

The quote from Craig Johnson? It was in a recent issue of “Roundup” magazine from Western Writers of America. The part that had me thinking about who I am (and you are) was “To turn a blind eye to whom we were in our past is to forget who we are today.” That is why he is such a popular author; he said what I have been saying for decades in a manner that is concise and understandable.
Here is some more of Johnson. “Even in writing fiction I think you have a responsibility to inform in a truthful manner.” When writing historical fiction the author must first know the history so that, despite being fiction it is presented in a method true to the times so that the reader might accept it as valid.
Another quote I find interesting is from David McCullough; “The problem is the way we teach it. History never happened in the past. It happened in the present for those who made it.”
I realize that it has become acceptable in today’s entertainment, even necessary to include as many curse words in a story as many times as possible. However I try to avoid the use of any if at all possible. And even though many see “history” as a very bad curse word it isn’t.
It is what makes you … you.

Now none of this means that you have to buy one of my novels although I would like it if you did and then left a review at Amazon.com. However, I would sure like you to think about what you just read here and leave a comment.

Monday, April 2, 2018

It just doesn't work!

Here are 4 versions of the US armed forces M16
They are very much assault rifles
Above the rear hand grip is a lever for adjusting the rate of fire
Including fully automatic or continuous fire
Standard caliber has been 5.56 MM (.223 caliber)
Although recently larger calibers have been made available.
This is a Colt AR-15 with a standard clip, and laser sights
It fires only as a semi-automatic or a single discharge for each trigger pull
This IS NOT an assault rifle. 
This one is in .223 caliber but other calibers are available in similar looking weapons from a variety of manufacturers 
This weapon IS NOT legal in Canada due to the number of rounds the clip will hold.
There will be more comparison pictures at the end of this article.

Apparently firearms are doing a number of things they never did when I was still using them. I have often lamented the circumstances that make it difficult and usually impossible to do any type of shooting any more but perhaps it is best since those models that have become popular are apparently very dangerous.
No, Sheila, that is what is called sarcasm. Firearms don’t do anything by themselves.
True some of the equipment that is out there wasn’t available when I was involved in reloading, bench rest, and pistol comparisons. The reason it wasn’t available then is that much of it was junk then and is junk now.
On the other hand, most of the equipment we tested 30 years ago has been added to and improved. There where many items that I still see as the very best to be found in the worlds of design, engineering, machining and fabrication. Nothing man-made surpasses them.
Perhaps the inside of today’s computers is a marvelous thing. I wouldn’t know since if you take them apart they never work again. On the outside they look like so many plastic pieces that sometimes actually fit together. None of those outer parts fit together as perfectly as the cylinder on a Ruger Super Blackhawk fits into the frame.
However, these testaments to mankind’s progress are receiving some very bad press through no fault of their own.
The following quotations are from a 2007 study published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
The study, titled "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?", was conducted by Don Kates, a criminologist and constitutional lawyer, and Gary Mauser, a criminologist and professor at Simon Fraser University

Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002."

"Where firearms are most dense, violent crime crates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest,"
“This explains why many shootings take place in ‘gun free zones’ like schools and movie theatres rather than in police stations or gun clubs.”

"Adoption of state laws permitting millions of qualified citizens to carry guns has not resulted in more murder or violent crime in these states. Rather, adoption of these statutes has been followed by very significant reductions in murder and violence in these states,"

Chicago, a state with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, has experienced a sharp increase in homicides and shootings this year.
Massachusetts also tried to curb gun violence with a comprehensive package of gun laws in 1998, but murders with firearms increased significantly, as did aggravated assaults and robberies involving guns and gunshot injuries, according to the Boston Globe.”

“The 1996 Australian gun confiscation program was a mandatory gun buyback program that involved the government purchasing over 650,000 guns from citizens.
However, researchers from the University of Melbourne concluded in 2008 that there is little evidence to suggest that the buyback program in Australia ‘had any significant effects on firearm homicides and suicides.’"
“In Britain, which banned virtually all handguns in 1997, the total number of firearm offences began to go up, increasing by 89 percent from 1998 to 2008, as the Daily Mail noted.

"In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law-abiding enough to turn them in to authorities. Without suggesting this caused violence, the ban's ineffectiveness was such that by the year 2000 violent crime had so increased that England and Wales had Europe's highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States."

The Harvard study concluded with the following warning to lawmakers who want to further regulate gun ownership in the U.S."The burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra. To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world."

Firearm statistics from 2012

In the US Guns are used 80 times more often to protect a life than to take one. This is comparing self defence against suicide, homicide and accident combined. This is comparing incident against incident and includes all violent crime. It does not take into account the number of deaths or injuries that might have occurred during any given incident since in many cases, there was no death or injury. It also only includes those instances that were reported.
If the beast attempted to rape Miss Mary and she presented a firearm he then ran away. She put the weapon back in her purse and did not report the incident. That incident does not become part of the statistics.

There are approximately 270 million privately (2012) owned firearms in the USA
Each year in the USA a gun is used about 200 thousand times by a woman to avoid sexual abuse. That figure includes instances when no firearm was actually displayed or seen by anyone.
3 out of 5 felons say they will not mess with an armed person.

Gun ownership rate per 100 residents
USA            88.8
Yemen         54.8
Switzerland  45.7
Finland        45.3

Highest Homicide rates per 100 thousand residents

Honduras              91.6
El Salvador            69.2
Côte d'Ivoire         56.9
Jamaica                 52.2

When these figures were first released the USA was way down this list at #103 with 4.8 per 100 thousand. With the recent mass shootings the figure has increased but it is hard to keep those figures up to date. The current estimate is 10.8 per 100 thousand.

A recent study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy concluded that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime in countries internationally (more guns = less crime).

In general Nations with strict gun control laws have substantially higher murder rates than those who do not. In fact, the 9 European nations with the lowest gun ownership rate have a combined murder rate 3x that of the 9 European nations with the highest gun ownership rate!

In the UK where handgun ownership is illegal, there have been 2034 violent crimes per 100 thousand versus the USA where there were 466 violent crimes per 100 thousand during the same period.
These figures in themselves can be highly misleading since the UK and the US record information differently. For instances a death by firearm in England which does not result in a conviction or which is proven to be self defence is not included in total homicide figures. In the US in 2012 firearms related deaths resulted in 7,133 which, using the UK method of record keeping would mean there were only .95 deaths per 100,000 population.
The actual homicide rate for 2012 as recorded by various US bureaucratic bodies was 14,827 which meant the percentage was 10.3 per 100,000 the same as it is most years. (And the same as it was for death by motor vehicles) And in most years about 65% of the total by firearm is due to suicide.
An analysis of FBI crime statistics reveals that those states which have adopted conceal carry laws have reduced
Murders by 8.5%
Rapes by 5%
Aggravated assaults by 7%
Robberies by 3%
Again these figures can be somewhat misleading since crimes are often recorded in different manners by different jurisdictions. A “robbery” for instance is a violent crime and recorded as such. A county next door might record a similar crime as a “burglary” which is not a violent crime. Thus two dozen “mugging” or “burglary” would not be included in the FBIs violent crime stats even if reading down the report revealed there was a firearm involved.

The following stats (again, 2012) have been drastically upset since following their collection 24 US states have passed “Stand Your Ground” legislation. These laws, all worded differently but which are in three basic categories, mean that those being attacked (and in some cases only feeling that they are about to be attacked) may, under most circumstances, defend themselves. As a result some figures have changed. For example the “error rate” under both police and citizen columns has increased. In addition there are more incidents since a citizen being attacked with a firearm is one incident and the response from the citizen is a separate incident.

US Police                                      VS     US Armed Citizen

794,300                                             80,000,000 gun owning          
police officers13                                            citizens


11%                                                            2%error rate
error rate
14.3                                                            2.3 average deaths
avg. deaths of a shooting                           of a shooting rampage
rampage stopped by police
15                                                         stopped by citizens
606                                                             1,527
criminals killed each year                           criminals killed each year
Keep in mind that the “average deaths when stopped by …” is somewhat misleading. The citizen was able to stop the slaughter at 2.3 because he/she was there. The police officer had to get there. As for the “error rate” the police officer is often operating in a high stress environment at least during his/her shift and in some cases 24 hours per day. They often feel they are in a combat zone and find they fired too quickly several hours (or perhaps days) after the event. This often destroys them for further employment. It is also the same reason why officers react too slowly during disaster situations.
In 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to just 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole

Today, the violent crime rate in Kennesaw is still 85% lower than Georgia's or the national average.

I do not believe that anyone should own, handle or attempt to defend themselves with a firearm unless they first received extensive training.
This is what the Canadian forces has designated a "C7". It is similar to the US M-16 but several modifications were incorporated for the Canadian military. It has been issued in 5.56 MM (.223) for several years but all services in NATO have recently started looking for larger calibers such as the NATO 7.72 MM or .308 Winchester. This is an assault rifle with a select fire lever. It is capable of firing single shot, bursts of 3 and fully automatic which would empty this clip in seconds.
This is a Browning 750 Woodsmaster. It is designed strictly for hunting and IS NOT an assault rifle. It is available in .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-06 Springfield and .35 Whelen. It is a semi-auto and NOT an assault rifle.
This is a Browning "Short Track" in .308 (BAR). It is a semi-auto and intended for hunting. It IS NOT an assault rifle.
This is an AK-47 in the most common version. It is definitely an assault rifle with the select fire lever visible. It is usually found in the Russian or Warsaw Pact 7.62 MM which is shorter and less powerful than the .308 Winchester. It is also produced in at least a dozen versions with nylon stock and fore-piece and with a variety of sights. It is also produced and sold in North America in a semi-automatic version which ... IS NOT an assault rifle. The magazines (clips) must be no larger than 10 rounds in Canada and this one is at least 40 rounds.

Friday, March 30, 2018


Responsible for …
Responsible to …

This is the Soda Creek lockup in the 1880s
If it was decided you were responsible for some malfeasance you had the opportunity to stay here until you could be transported to Oakalla Prison. No "country club" incarceration available.

This is a group of Chinese immigrants arriving at the William Head Quarantine Center in 1917. Following 30 days here (minimum) they had the opportunity to enter Canada ... with the very little they had or could bring with them and no hand-outs. However, they still wanted to come. The camp below is the marvelous accommodations supplied. You were supplied with whatever food the center could acquire from local farms or warehouses. Too bad about your religious eating requirements.

Much of my last post was about responsibility. That is, about those who did not accept responsibility for their actions which contributed to what happened. On the other hand some accepted responsibility; one of the witnesses who had been riding in the SUV apologized for his involvement, his contribution to what happened, and for lying to the investigation. Good for him and I hope he continues to walk a better path.
Traditional media is not involved they say, at least they refuse to accept their responsibility in creating a division between the peoples that make up Canada. Sometimes the wedge they drive between us is quite supple such as expounding on how some group has been mistreated when any discrepancy was slight or unintended. At other times they completely ignore a truly serious mistreatment which then results in the growth of mistrust which then festers into hate.
Example 1 – Presenting the idea that a group (aboriginals, teenagers, refugees) should be given handouts that they do not deserve. Eventually the group actually starts believing this “we need to sell more papers/advertising” propaganda. Once they believe this then the “rights” card is played and some coward in government gives in and actually distributes a handout. After enough time a large enough part of the population begins to believe this idea/promotion/propaganda is actually true. While the group in question is getting away with actions that might be immoral, destructive to society, or financially unsupportable, the rest of the population becomes very angry because they have to pay for this foolishness.
After years of this someone dies because they/he/she didn’t know where they could/should safely be or what actions are acceptable.
Example 2 –Parents are told that creating borders or “acceptable areas of action” for their children is “bad parenting.” Children “should be allowed to develop freely” so they are not “restricted to any level of development.”
Without borders people learn they can do whatever they can get away with. Moral actions are not a part of life. Perhaps they bully people at school or in the workplace. No one else in the school/workplace has received proper training about right or wrong, the “golden rule”, or anything else that makes society work. As a result several people at school or in the workplace are injured or killed.
I have to mention a politician who has made statements along these lines and offer a connection to one of his statements on video. True, in the US state that he governs he will not lose a single vote for his statement (and may even gain a few) but the statement still makes sense.
No I do not agree with him 100% … perhaps 85%.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin responding to a question about guns.

As parents, responsible parents at least we try to teach our children values that will result in their realizing sustainable development, longevity, productivity and happiness. A study of history, even a short history of perhaps half a lifetime will show that a moral approach to life is the most promising way to achieve those goals. More extensive study of generations, eras or eons will show that those following such teachings constantly enjoy better long term results than those who are cheating, lying, stealing, and generally destroying.
So is that what we, as a society, do? Do we support those who espouse morality, truth, brotherly love and charity?
As demonstrated with examples above or with earlier posts on this site ---No, not in any significant way.
Oh sure, a few of us get together because we are embarrassed by a general response and we see that someone who has made significant contributions to our community receive at least some recognition. We all know of someone who has given unselfishly of themselves by volunteering, raising foster kids, and generally stressing their own well-being for the betterment of others. These efforts are recognized by an article in the local newspaper or perhaps on a blog like this one that a few people take time to read.
However, very little funding for any of their humanitarian or teaching efforts is even proposed.
Why is so much accomplished through volunteer efforts? Why is there no money for decent military pensions? What about the workers out there, the equipment operators, ware-housemen, computer techs, nurses, why don’t they receive livable pensions on retirement?
Why do elected officials think that they should receive larger pensions than those out in the work force who actually are responsible for development and progress in the country? (Any Country!)
The news media has upset me in other ways and more than once. Too often I see coverage of killers, rapist, terrorist, and other slightly less despicable low-lifes continued on for hours, days or weeks when all they deserve is a nameless mention in order to warn other potential victims. The lives of the victims, who should be made into societal heroes are the ones not mentioned.
I could continue in this vein but it is far too depressing ….
The answer to all those questions is that we throw money at many things, places and people that don’t deserve it and didn’t earn it. Some one who has done little (or anything) productive is whining and complaining that “life isn’t fair” so we throw money at them – which they don’t fully appreciate and eventually want more.
So now we come to why I write the stories that I do.
Sure the primary reason is because I enjoy it, but I also enjoy having the “good guys” win. The characters sometimes do things that can be called questionable, but on the whole they are trying to do the “right” thing and because of that they defeat their opponents who – just as in the life we all experience – don’t care about right or wrong.
I find it comforting and entertaining when the people who should win do. I hope it relieves stress for readers.
Yes, it isn’t just the media, bureaucracy, or government that is responsible for the world we live in.
We are all responsible - including this writer of historical fiction - despite my intentions.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Black Day For Gerald Stanley

I have posted in several places and on several occasions that I find it disgusting that those who commit crimes against people and society are turned into celebrities by the “traditional” media and the victims are seldom mentioned. I think it should be handled the other way around. The victims should always be mentioned and those who have committed the initial crime which created the problem should be mentioned as seldom as possible. Yet six weeks after we received information about actual events we are still getting the wrong information from the “traditional” media.
Perhaps the “traditional” media are continuing their biased, unfair coverage of the Stanley trial because they realize that they, as much as anyone else are responsible for what happened.
If the five people in the SUV from Red Pheasant First Nation had any idea that they where responsible for their own actions and subject to the consequences of those actions, perhaps they would not have acted as they did. However, according to much of the coverage of previous events across Canada, they may have developed the idea they could do anything they want to anyone.
Investigation and the resultant information revealed at trial informed us that Colten Boushie had been involved in more than one theft and had misused alcohol and other drugs. During the incident which resulted in his death he twice attempted grand theft, committed verbal and physical assault, threatened with and/or misused a firearm. More than one source reported that Boushie did not think anything could be done to interfere with any action he might take.
Mr. Boushie had every reason to think he was beyond reproach. Due to un-informed or more accurately, un-researched articles that claim his forefathers had been mistreated he might have developed the idea he deserved compensation. Since he had been given much that he didn’t earn during his short life it would not have been hard for him to develop the feeling that such charity and benevolence was his right.
This is not simply something that develops through personal or individual contact although that too occurs. Anytime there is a claim of mistreatment to individual communities or individuals, whether true or not the Canadian Federal and Provincial Governments immediately take a defensive stance and apologize. Often they have no idea what they are apologizing for or if there is even a real problem. The “traditional” media then repeats the apology for days until, regardless of any truth, it all becomes “fact”.
It is true that in the past there was serious mistreatment of some of the ancestors of those who rode in the SUV and attacked the Stanley property. However no one alive today or for the past several decades was responsible for that mistreatment. In addition some of those who thought they had been mistreated brought it on by their own actions. And in some cases those who did perpetrate inter-racial crimes a century or more ago thought, because of their training and poor upbringing, that they where doing the “right thing.”
Looking back to the past from here it should be obvious to any thinking person that in 1850 those of both Old World and New World heritage made some serious mistakes. Now we are all “New World People” and thinking people will work together.
The sad part is there are many people from both backgrounds who are not thinking. Instead they are feeling and will not move forward into the future. They continue to feel they should be given a home, a career and protection without any effort on their part to achieve those goals. They may even feel that what someone else has worked hard for should be given to them. Government and media actions may even support such feelings.
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley earned their equipment, home and lifestyle. That lifestyle includes a feeling of safety and security. They do not deserve to lose any of their equipment. They do not deserve to be physically attacked. They do not deserve to feel their life is in jeopardy.
They have the moral right to protect property, family and life. They should also have the legal right to do so – even to the point of protection from wrong thinking “officials” and “traditional” media.
This is true for every citizen of Canada including those who may consider themselves Cree, Mohawk, Ojibwa, or Tinglit before being Canadian. Allowing oneself to be assaulted, beaten or killed while waiting for a police officer to show up is immoral. It will take anywhere from fifteen minutes to several days so it is not only immoral but stupid. Therefore leaving the laws as they are is unconscionable
Peace officers will not like this last paragraph. They will claim it will lead to situations which will require a great deal of paperwork on their part. But that is the job for which they signed on.
It also might lead to less time in hospital for people who don’t deserve to be there. The resultant savings for the medical system perhaps could be used to hire a half dozen more peace officers … or nurses.
Colten Boushie was not the victim, he was the perpetrator. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley and their son were the victims. They should be treated as such.
I welcome comments pro or con. If you don’t make sense and only rant, I will delete it.
The following are highlights of the events that took place the day Gerald Stanley had to do something he will regret for the rest of his life. They were gleaned from the pages of the StarPhoenix of Saskatoon, SK.

Gerald Stanley trial evidence
From Crown’s opening argument (Crown prosecutor Bill Burge)

He also highlighted some agreed facts of the case, including that Boushie’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to the head, that Stanley tested positive for gunshot residue on his hands and face, that a .22-calibre rifle barrel with a bullet in the chamber was found next to Boushie’s body, and that an empty box of .22-calibre cartridges, as well as 17 live rounds and 11 spent casings compatible with the rifle, were found inside the SUV.

A clearer picture of the day’s events began to emerge. Witnesses said five people — Boushie, Cassidy Cross-Whitstone, Belinda Jackson, Eric Meechance and Kiora Wuttunee — got into a grey SUV and drove from Red Pheasant First Nation to a nearby swimming spot. All were consuming alcohol. Later, they got a flat tire and drove onto a farm 15 kilometres northeast of Stanley’s farm, where at least one person tried to steal a truck, hitting the truck window with a .22-calibre rifle that was in the back of the SUV. The SUV was eventually driven onto Stanley’s farm, where Boushie was killed by a single gunshot to the head while he sat in the driver’s seat of the SUV.
During cross-examination, Eric Meechance told court he’d had roughly seven drinks that day and had not told police about the rifle in the SUV because he was banned from having firearms. He broke down on the witness stand when asked to look at a photo of the crime scene that showed Boushie’s body.

Sheldon Stanley testimony
Sheldon told the jury a grey SUV was driven onto the Stanley farm and that someone from the SUV attempted to steal a quad. Sheldon said he and his father ran to the SUV and Sheldon hit the SUV’s windshield with a hammer. He said the SUV was then driven into a parked vehicle. Sheldon said two people got out and ran away and he went into the house to get his truck keys. He heard three gunshots and then saw his father holding a handgun in one hand and a magazine in the other, he said. Sheldon testified that his father said the gun “just went off.”

DAY 4:
Two people who were in an SUV with Boushie admitted lying in police statements. One also said he lied under oath during Stanley’s preliminary hearing.
Belinda Jackson, 24, testified that she saw a man tell a “younger-looking man” to “go get a gun” and that the older man grabbed a handgun. According to Jackson, that man shot Boushie twice in the head.
Defence lawyer Scott Spencer noted that in her statement to police on the day after Boushie died, Jackson said she had not heard any gunshots and did not know who shot Boushie, but that maybe it was a lady with a shotgun.
Spencer said she was “very intoxicated” while giving her statement and that the officer who took the statement “made it seem like I did something wrong so I didn’t know how to answer him.”
Cross-Whitstone told the jury he’d been driving drunk and had a .22-calibre rifle in the back of the SUV. He said when police interviewed him 24 hours after Boushie died he was “half cut” and lied because he’d had so much to drink and didn’t tell the truth about drinking or having a gun. He said he also lied about those things while under oath at Stanley’s preliminary hearing in April 2017.
Firearms expert Greg Williams told the jury “something unusual happened” when Stanley’s handgun fired, but he found no evidence the gun was broken.
One possible explanation was that the ammunition was defective, which could have caused a hang fire — a perceptible delay between when the trigger is pulled and when the bullet is fired. Williams stressed that such an event is “exceedingly rare” and that any delay would last less than a second.
Spencer asked whether Stanley’s ammunition — 1953 military surplus stock from Czechoslovakia that had been stored in a shed — could have been degraded. Williams agreed that age and storage are both factors in the degradation of ammunition.
Gerald Stanley took the stand and shared his version of what happened.
He described trespassers on his property, a chaotic scene involving a collision and an attempted theft of a quad. Stanley said he loaded two bullets into a handgun and fired two warning shots into the air, the last time pulling the trigger “two or three times” to make sure the gun was empty. He said two men from the vehicle started running down the driveway.
Stanley said he never pointed the gun at the vehicle or the people in it. He said he brought the gun down and popped the clip out, leaving the gun in his right hand and the magazine in his left.
“As far as I was concerned, it was empty, I’d fired the last shot,” Stanley said.
He continued to walk toward the vehicle and then realized that the lawn mower his wife had been on was unmanned, he testified, saying he felt “pure terror” and ran to the vehicle, planning to look under it. He said as he approached, the vehicle revved up and he thought it was “going to run me over.”
He said he noticed the driver of the vehicle for the first time and saw “something metal” sticking out of the window toward him. He said he banged the metal object with his left hand as he reached for the keys and that his right hand was somewhere in the vehicle.
“I was reaching in across the steering wheel to turn the keys off and boom, the thing just went off,” Stanley told the jury.
Under cross-examination, Burge asked Stanley if he had taken any precautions with the gun when he reached into the vehicle.
Stanley said he didn’t think it was loaded and was “just holding it.”
Spencer said while the shooting is not justified as an act of self-defence, there is a self-defence factor the jury must keep in mind.
“What can you do to protect yourself in those circumstances? You can’t use lethal force, but is it reasonable to attempt to deal with the circumstance to defend you and your family?” he asked.

So what can one expect from a jury? It is obvious that those in the SUV where trying to steal and guilty of assault and willing to escalate any assault. They all lied at one point or another. They were all intoxicated and might not even know what they did or saw. (For example, what woman with a shotgun?)
Even though I saw published reports of Gerald Stanley’s wife being punched I was unable to find such testimony. I can, however, understand Mr. Stanley’s fear when he saw his wife on the lawnmower and suddenly realized she was not there anymore.
I have some familiarity with semi-automatic handguns. It is possible to fire two rounds, pull the magazine and retract the bolt which then could hang up and not return to a seated position due to dirt holding it in place. Should this happen (in a fast paced, fear filled situation for the untrained it would be very hard if not impossible to notice such details.) the last cartridge picked up could still be in the holder on the face of the bolt. If the bolt then slid closed at any time and the trigger was still depressed the weapon would fire. Depending on the weapon it is also possible to hold the bolt open with the safety. If the safety was then released (not hard to do when one is simply “holding” the weapon) the same discharge would result as when the bolt is held by foreign matter.
There is a possibility that faulty ammunition could be responsible. (1953, Check made, military? Wow! Throw that crap out.)
The “metal object” that Mr. Stanley referred to, might that be the barrel of the .22 rifle found in the SUV? Since both weapons where of the same caliber are we sure that Mr. Boushie was not shot by the rifle from inside the vehicle? I didn’t see any information about ballistic comparisons being done or if they could be done.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

An Interview with Cold Coffee Cafe

I've done a few interviews but only three that have been recorded and concern my writing. Here is one done a few years ago for Cold Coffee Cafe. The picture was done by the same person who did the cover for "The Makine Of Jake McTavish", Tracy Wandling. Check out her design and her art work at https://www.tracywandling.com/ or hunt her up on Facebook.

Author D. M. McGowan writes historical fiction about the settling and opening of Canada’s West. “The Great Liquor War” – 1998 – Daison Publishing / “Partners” – 2008 – Strategic Book Publishing / “Homesteader: Finding Sharon” – 2009 – Strategic Book Publishing.
Dave was born in Collingwood, Ont. and has lived in Owen Sound, Caledon, Heathcote, (in BC) Ft. St. John, Vancouver, (back to Ont.) Jarvis, Oshawa, Windsor, (Alb.) Calgary, Ft. Saskatchewan, (BC) Kelowna and Dawson Creek. He has been a cowboy, forest firefighter, heavy equipment operator, farmhand, gardener, road musician and businessman. He lives with his wife, Karen, and children and grandchildren in Northern British Columbia, where he works as a commercial driver.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Canada? Receiving from readers requests for another story.
I also take pride in revealing some of the past of this great country. Some strong people with great vision built this country but we seldom hear of them. They are the pioneers who came to a flat land of great distances, to a world of high mountain peaks, to winter’s cold or summer’s heat that was far beyond their comprehension and yet built something wondrous out of that, a world that we, those who live in it, often don’t properly appreciate.
Those of us who look for it can gather information on politicians or major business leaders of the past but it’s difficult to find out about those who actually built Canada, the miners, loggers, cattlemen and farmers. People much like those who are continuing to make it work.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Driven by a love of history I had gathered stories that interested me. In an attempt to feed and house myself and my family I enjoyed a variety of experiences through the years and turned some of those into stories as well. While we were traveling Western Canada playing music my wife and partner, Karen suggested that I should write some of those stories down. I did as suggested and found that what I enjoyed most was historical fiction.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began writing in 1990 but did not consider publishing until much later, perhaps 1995. My first was “The Great Liquor War” published in 1998.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, to both questions. As mentioned above I’ve had a variety of experiences and have used knowledge gained there in some of my stories. For example a common practice in the mountains is to build a cache of goods and supplies for later use either at a permanent or long term camp site or for use on an oft travelled trail. These caches are usually ten feet or more off the ground to save these supplies from the ravages of wildlife (primarily bears, wolves and coyotes). They may be no more than a floor or platform but are sometimes a log cabin high in the trees. I’ve never read mention of such in historical fiction or westerns and have included them in two of my stories.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I generally make up some kind of a title so I can save it and find it in my computer. However in many cases I’m aware this title will have to be changed when I’m finished. The stories usually take on a life of their own and become something I had not intended when I wrote the first paragraph. “The Great Liquor War” was “Liquor Laws” in the beginning. “The Making of Jake McTavish” started out as “Jake’s Justice” but the story itself turned out to be close to my original idea.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Historical fiction or a “Western” with a focus on Canada. I enjoy reading good stories from the west but have found very few sited in Canada. Two or perhaps three writers have done excellent work with fiction on the Canadian West and that work is as entertaining as any in the world. Except for those few many offerings are hard to read, and can be misleading or inaccurate.
There are billions of western novels out there but very few from those areas that, at the time where “the North West Territories” or “the Colony of British Columbia.”
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The reviews I have received from many sites, the reviews from fans and the awards from Reader’s Favorite.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Readers, commenting about some historical depiction or reference in one of my stories who say, “I didn’t know that.” I’ve also heard and read, “I didn’t understand history until I read that.”
Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Traditional publishing houses who continue to place their focus on literature when entertainment is what has always sold.
Traditional publishing has had several tough years recently and I think they could release some of that pressure by spending less time with those who want something other than a good story.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write! If you have a problem which you wish to call “writers block” put that story aside and sit down and write. Start a new story, outline the person you want as a life partner or explain the one you have, write about your favorite pet or restaurant but write something. When you’re done or perhaps tomorrow go back and work on that story that’s giving you trouble.
Who is your favorite author? Anyone who is entertaining. Louis LaMour, Michael Connelly, Lee Child