Some topics to ponder this summer

SJWs, photo radar, parenting on tap

Here are a few shorter subjects that garnered my attention this week, either headlines from interesting stories or emails from friends and readers.

Father of the Year

Everybody must have heard about the nationwide manhunt being conducted for two Port Alberni, BC men, Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, who are the suspects in the murder of a Vancouver man, plus the murders of two foreign tourists in northern BC.

What bothered me the most about this story the past week, though, was the bizarre interview the Canadian Press had with Alan Schmegelsky, Bryer’s “father.” I place that word in quotation marks, because after I had a chance to read his comments, it doesn’t sound like this fellow knows the first thing about parenting.

Alan said in a CP interview July 24, “(Bryer’s) on a suicide mission. He wants his pain to end. Basically, he’s going to be dead today or tomorrow. I know that. Rest in peace, Bryer. I love you. I’m so sorry all this had to happen.”

Totally pathetic. Rather than writing an epitaph for his son and predicting or painting his death as inevitable, if the man had a shred of parenting skill in him, this is what he would have said: “Son, I hope you are listening to this message. I know you’ve made serious mistakes, but you have your whole life ahead of you. Turn yourself in to the police immediately and I will stand by you through whatever happens next. You aren’t alone and we’ll face this together.”

I guess it’s easier to just shrug your shoulders and say, “Yup, he’s done.”

SJW

I often use the term “SJW” in my opinion writing, and I wrongly assumed all readers know what the term means.

It means, “Social Justice Warrior,” and is usually used to describe a city-raised or suburban-raised spoiled little brat whose life is boring enough that said brat usually needs a popular social issue to glom onto and crusade like crazy to feel their life has some meaning.

I remember watching an interview with a civil rights lawyer who, strangely enough, characterized SJWs perfectly: They aren’t necessarily interested in helping anyone other than themselves. They want to find a big, evil enemy to combat, a big, evil enemy that’s so big and evil that, surely, these Social Justice Warriors must be unbelievably brave and courageous themselves for taking on such a big, evil enemy.

I find most of these SJWs do nothing more than spout platitudes; that is, exclaim moral judgments that are so obvious that it’s insipid even to mention them.

Photo radar

A reader contacted me that he’s received a number of photo radar tickets in Edmonton and he’s planning to fight them. I hope he wins, because the tickets were very likely fraudulent in the first place.

The UCP government stated last week that they’ll continue rolling out changes to photo radar in Alberta after a provincial report that stated photo radar is being misused in this province. Originally intended to change driving habits in high-risk locations, it’s instead being used in areas that don’t have speeding issues simply to generate income for municipalities.

In my opinion, photo radar could be thrown out entirely and not have a single negative effect, except on municipalities that have trouble balancing their budgets.

Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

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