Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Values …

I have long opined that when you reward bad behaviour you get more of it … whatever the definition of “bad” is.

I just finished reading another article by Randall Smith which I would like to pass on. I think it makes an extremely important point about our society and culture at this time.  Randall B. Smith is the Scanlan Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. His most recent book, Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, is now available at Amazon and from Emmaus Academic Press. the rest of his articles are here.

Here is a short excerpt:

*****

I attended an amazing conference the other day at the Catholic University of America of the sort one never expects to find these days – that is to say, with actual diversity. Talks by academics mixed with those by business people, some from small businesses and others from large corporations. The former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler was on a panel, as was a guy who graduated a few years ago from Franciscan University Steubenville who provides rental housing in New York. Then there was an impressive Muslim man from MIT who figured out how to get cell phones and cell phone service to 12-million people in Bangladesh when everyone told him it couldn’t be done. I can barely get cell phone service on my own phone. Guys like this astonish me.

Just to give you a sense of how odd this gathering was, we heard back-to-back interviews with Charles Koch (yes, that Charles Koch) and Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect for the Vatican Council for the Promotion of Human Development. Each man made his case respectfully before an audience of attentive listeners, including a large number of university students who sat quietly and listened respectfully to both men without charging the stage. At a university! I know; it’s crazy.

Charles Koch and a Roman Catholic cardinal from the Vatican: now that’s something you’re not going to see at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale for a whole host of reasons. So kudos to Catholic U., the Busch School of Business, and the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship for pulling it off.”

*****

Read the rest here.

Cheers

Joe

 

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Life in a small town, Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Guidelines, Vested Interests, and Politics …

Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Can anything good come out of a post about Guidelines, Vested Interests, and Politics? Possibly, some minor “good” in the immediate today, but less likely “Good” in the eternal, when all comes down to the Vanity/Humility ratio.

In the arena of politics, sitting in Wendy’s burger restaurant in a nearby city (nearby meaning only 2 hours of driving involved) and witnessing some political barbarian setting up a “Registration Station” on the next table to ours, to “register” voters in the upcoming provincial United Conservative Party leadership race.

Brian Jean ...

Brian Jean …

The leadership contest is between Brian Jean, leader of the Wild Rose Party, and Jason Kenny, leader of the Progressive Conservative party. This “Political Operative’s” target demographic: retired seniors taking a coffee break with friends , no cost folks, just a little of your time and your personal information, you don’t even have to actually turn up to vote, just “register”.

No credentials displayed … is this guy really a political party representative or is this a blatant fishing expedition?  Nobody lining up to offer up their personal info seemed to have a clue or to doubt the truth of his sales pitch. No permission to be there either just walking in off the street and setting up in a private business.

Jason Kenny ...

Jason Kenny …

Trespassing on private property and perhaps misrepresenting his “cause” as having the endorsement of The Wendy’s franchisee … hmmm …. aren’t there laws against this sort of thing, the act of trespass, the act of misrepresentation and fraud?

I suppose in some deliciously Canadian way he belongs to that large class of Canadians to whom the rules just don’t apply, the laws just don’t apply, right, they are special. When the manager phoned it in she was told that he couldn’t use the site for political activity.

She tried to get him to leave.  The “Political Operative” refused both to leave and to stop his recruiting activities and embarrassed her into not making a scene.

I borrowed the next bit from David Warren’s post a few days ago, on this very topic, this very Hallmark Characteristic of modern progressive Canadians everywhere:

Dysopia (no relation to “dystopia”) will be our Greek word for the day. It is from Aristotle via Plutarch; a term held to be untranslatable into our modern tongues. By the dictionaries it is defined as “the embarrassment that compels us to grant an unjustified request.” The closest we come in English is “compliancy.” They get no closer in German or French. … So mark it down in your commonplace books, my dears: dysopia. Pour a shot of rum, and swear off it entirely.

Compliant, complaisant, acquiescent. Docile, submissive, ingratiating. Servile, tractable, obsequious. Ever deferential, glad to be of use. This is what my fellow Canadians have become, though we were not in the past, according to my elders (now mostly dead). When unreasonable demands were made upon them, their inclination was to stiffly resist.

Ours is to be chumps, patsies, dupes, treacle saps. In our vanity we think that we are “nice” people, and celebrate our own gormlessness.

And that is why what we too mildly call “political correctness” has advanced so far, through barrier after barrier, erected by our ancestors against perversion. It begins with a small minority of fanatics, bent upon turning our world upside down. It continues not by conversion but by dysopia. We look upon those making the demands, and can no longer see what they are, owing to the pain in our heads. We think we can buy peace with concessions. But the devils are encouraged by our every retreat.”

And from one of my own previous posts of not too long ago :

Canadian figureheads ...

Canadian figureheads …

Lest we forget, or maybe we never knew it, but the generation that fought and died at Vimy Ridge was in no way “nice” and “gormless”.

The generation that sang: “D-day Dodgers knew everything there was to know about push-back against gormlessness (great series of YouTube videos at this link – none of this shows up in Social Studies, does it?).

Lest we forget, Canadians were not always a mob of gormless poltroons. Where are they now? Realization dawned one day in the midst of World War III, that the real enemy was not, most undoubtedly not, that young kid clinging on to the Soviet frigate 100 yards away. He was me.

The real enemy was back home in the comfortable office towers and media redoubts taking pot shots at the ones doing the bleeding.  The real enemy was back home in the Kremlin, and in Washington, and in Ottawa, and in London (and in REDmonton). The real enemy was the figureheads and their agenda of “What is Truth?” 

Just in case we missed something and mistakenly understand “gormless” as synonymous with “nice” we can look at a definition of sorts: “Gormless began life as the English dialect word “gaumless”, which was altered to the modern spelling when it expanded into wider use in the late 19th century.

Running Rachel ...

Running Rachel …

The origins of “gaumless” are easy to understand; the word derives from a combination of the dialect noun gaum, meaning “attention” or “understanding,” and the suffix -less. “Gaum” also functions as a verb in some dialects, where it means “to pay attention to” and “to understand.” An unrelated verb gaum means “to behave in a stupid or awkward manner.” There’s also a noun gaum, meaning “a stupid doltish person.” But none of these are as commonly used nowadays as “gormless”, which itself is most frequently seen in British English.

True synonyms, for the Canadian context, would be: airheaded, birdbrained, bonehead, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubbleheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, stupid [chiefly British], half-witted, knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), lunkheaded, mindless, oafish, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, senseless, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, thick, thickheaded, thick-witted, unintelligent, unsmart, vacuous, weak-minded, witless.”

Kenny ...

Kenny …

Now don’t I just feel SO much better in my nice Canadian gormlessness … sigh. “What is Truth?” And what about Gratitude? Is there really anything to be grateful for in a polite society lacking in sincerity and justice?

And the Political Barbarians, the corrupt exploiters of the gormless masses, the 30 second sound bite voters, the predictably Liberal Progressive categorization of this target demographic as the “low information voters” this just SO Lame-Stream straw-man.

Was the barbarian ever ejected from his lawless squatting or was he allowed to stay like the “Occupiers” south of the 49th. Who knows, we moved on before the final inning and never did find out if the manager was able to muster the fortitude to face down a brass balled social bully preventing her from exercising her responsibility by causing embarrassment that compels us to grant an unjustified (illegal) request.

So we look forward to a Provincial election, somewhere down the road, in which we are faced with a choice between the Cancer of the “New Democratic Party” commanded by Running Rachel, or the Leprosy of the United Conservative Party  most likely commanded by Jason Kenny. Quelle Dommage!

Cheers

Joe

We The People ... In Our Hot-tubs ... Low Information Voters, eh?

We The People … In Our Hot-tubs … Low Information Voters, eh?

 

We The People … In Our Hot-tubs … Low Information Voters, eh?

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Politics and Economics

It’s a Mess … and silver linings

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Whenever I start to get depressed about the state of our local economy and the morality of our Socialist Progressive governments (see last post here) I tend to take a step back and consider all the good things globally, that’s right, I see many good things globally — good for Canada and Alberta at least.

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

On the right is a wonderful chart from one of the many newsletters I read …  as a proud resident of the only province in Canada with a future (in spite of looking grim right now) I see reason for hope on the horizon. Alberta’s future is intimately tied to energy and the production and export of energy resources.

To say that the Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark is actually an understatement of the reality on the ground, at least as far as I can determine reading all the international news feeds, newsletters and blogs.

Now God forbid that we should pray for a major melt down in the Arabian peninsula but any way you paint a situation where our mortal enemies and OUR major competitor in global oil markets destroy themselves without our intervention is just plain good news for western Christian oil producing nations (there’s just got to be a sin in there somewhere). And Canada is at the head of the pack when it comes to production and proven reserves amongst nominally Christian oil producing nations.

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

One can safely assume that literally anyone trying to pretend that things there will be OK and we don’t need energy independence is taking the same drugs as the Main Stream Media and the “Trump Hate” crowd.

A determined terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia would (hopefully) completely revise the global economy. Do you think that world oil production just might be impacted by a full scale war in a more chaotic Arabian peninsula?

Do you suppose that such an event wouldn’t be great news for North American oil and coal producers? Do you think passing laws against coal and oil consumption makes the resource mysteriously disappear? Seriously folks, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and a firm belief in a fantasy  no more alters reality than writing “Darkness!” on the wall of your padded cell extinguishes the Sun.

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait”, (June 1970)

While the Progressives crow about our coreligionist’s lack of proof of God and the foundations for our religious beliefs, they never think to question the complete absence of any evidence for their own beliefs or, for that matter, for any intelligent consideration of the impacts of their own religious beliefs on the populations over which they claim to rule. C.S. Lewis’s mandarins of N.I.C.E. in his book “That Hideous Strength”  haven’t got a patch on the modern crop of mandarins in the halls of power in our fair land.

Current reality places Canada (Alberta) as the 7th largest oil producer in the world, but three of the highest producers ahead of us on the list are Muslim nations who are prominently center stage in the chaos of the Arabian peninsula. In fact it is not unreasonable to attribute all the chaos in the geopolitical environment found today in the Arabian peninsula to the internecine rivalry between these three Muslim nations.

Countries by Oil Production

Countries by Oil Production – CIA factbook 2013

Any significant change in the geopolitics of the Middle East could catapult Canada (Alberta) to 4th place in the production charts at 3.6 million barrels a day after Russia, U.S.A. and China.

This in spite of the willful stupidity of her government(s). Even the NDP are essentially powerless to screw up the global economy, and I am optimistic that they will not be able to permanently damage the most productive Province in Canada.

An even more important part of the picture is the proven reserves picture. Another slice of reality is that Canada (Alberta) is currently in 3rd place  after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. In a world economy suddenly deprived of access to half of global energy resources “Who Ya gonna Call?”. If you are looking for stable sources for your energy supplies do you pick a nation where violence and corruption are the rule of the day, or do you pick the nation where peaceful rule of law prevails?

Now a little corruption goes a long way to grease the wheels of governance and Canada has fallen a long way from the 50’s when we had the international reputation as the most honest bureaucracy on the planet. I suspect only the slightest nudges would be necessary to move our political masters in the appropriate direction. After all, our current governments are full fledged players in the “Pay to Play” schemes historically developed in other world capitals.

Oil Producing Countries

By Ekrub-ntyh at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1914119

It may come as a shock to some but we have enough energy reserves right here in Alberta alone, including all sources, to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 hundred years. You read that right, enough energy to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 centuries.

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s I worked as a contract administrator for a company called JOY Manufacturing. Among other things we produced electrostatic precipitators and bag filter systems for heavy industries like steel mills, foundries, paper mills and especially for coal fired electrical generation plants.

For at least 40 years now we have had the technology to clean emissions from coal to at least approximately the levels produced by natural gas. These systems are currently in use all over the world. The only thing preventing their adoption here is religion and politics.  Canada also developed and produces the safest nuclear reactors on the planet and a large chunk of the fuel for those reactors

But using that clean energy technology flies in the face of the religious position of the Socialist Progressive ninnies in our governments. It’s just A-OK with them to impose their version of the “final solution” to eliminate inconvenient babies and seniors but Gaia forbid we should use clean coal technology to give every one cheap electricity.

The only thing standing in the way of Canadian global dominance in oil production is weak prices and government policy. The Venezuelan government did a pretty good job of destroying the rosy future for it’s people and Alberta’s government is looking to try the same path right now.

Given the current state of “Rule of Law” in Canada I think we are a long way from following the Venezuela model. Notwithstanding the rule of law there are still legions of zombie voters in Redmonton who could conceivably keep the NDP in power for more than 1 election. We will no doubt see that play out since we are not considering moving away just yet.

So the point of this polemic is that there are actually lots of reasons for optimism despite current conditions in the neighbourhood.

Cheers

Joe

cooling stacks steam plantSo we can pay $100.00 per month for electricity using steam , or $1200.00 per month for electricity using wind and solar.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. So come on voters, we’ve had our Friday night stupidity binge, let’s change the landscape of Canadian politics and turf the Progressive parasites out.

 

 

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Politics and Economics

It’s the Economy Stupid …

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (August, 1961)

Reviewing our Year End financials prior to discussing it all with our accountants. It appears that we lost money this year, the first year we have made a loss since year one of this pilgrimage.

Fortunately it is all still in the “paper loss” part of the ledger where the amortization of assets exceeded the net profits for the year. So far we can still pay the bills and put food on the table.

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Two years into an classic NDP economic massacree and looking down the road I wonder how many more years of losses we will have to face while Rachel and her merry band of communists do their level best to destroy any semblance of an economy in Alberta, which Province once supported the healthiest economy in Canada.

One wonders what the “have not” Provinces will do (under Canada’s generous re-distribution scam) now that the Province which they were sucking the blood from has become a have not Province as well.

There is no Province left in Canada with a positive economy (that is, an economy in surplus) so is this the place where the Socialists discover that taking other peoples production only works as long as there is someone producing. Anybody? Anybody?

Move over E.U. and Venezuela, we need some room on the Group W bench for Canada. It should be an interesting time watching the biggest spending government in the history of Alberta implode as it tries to come to grips with running out of other peoples money. Interesting, that is, as in May you live in interesting times.

Carbon Tax, Electrical Generation Companies closing half their generation stations, Oil industry departing for more favorable venues, “Might as well move to B.C. now,” I heard one oil exec say. “If we’re going to get screwed, at least we’ll have an ocean view.”, royalty reviews, higher taxes on business. Hello, Saskatchewan and North Dakota, said the oil companies to Alberta — don’t let the door hit you in the face on our way out.

Now, let’s look at expenditures. There’s already $103 million to education, plus a reversal of all cuts announced by the Tories (much of this goes to pay teacher salaries, the highest in the country for the lowest quality of education). Then there’s keeping open the costly young offenders’ centre in Calgary, which, will now leave two half-used, expensive facilities staffed with government employees.

4 horsemen of the ApocalypseAnd then there’s the restoration of 1,600 were-soon-to-be-laid-off employees of Alberta’s health-care system (the most expensive, and among the worst performing in the country). And 2 years of new NDP hiring all taken together is heading past the 3000 new government jobs level. That’s why Edmonton booms while the rest of Alberta is in it’s death throes. But that is where the votes are, right Rachel?

That’s just the start of the many campaign promises now being fulfilled on the backs of producers. These include tuition freezes, lunch programs, smaller classes, more health-care coverage, a cut in school fees, more beds, more home care in case you don’t want those beds, job creation for unemployed youth, support for wind power (German Companies are singing) and small breweries (AUPE loves their beer, right?) — just basically more of everything.

What’s noticeable about this equation? The ones who generate the wealth, who take the risks, and make the investment — those on the black part of the balance sheet — are in the dumper, while the gains are all to the mainly unionized, revenue-draining red side of the balance sheet.

AUPE is running Alberta. Does this all sound like the kind of expenditures you would make when all the economic indicators the rest of the universe uses to make smart decisions about budgetary issues are all pointing in the other direction? Obviously, it is easy to spend other people’s money and of course, maybe, maybe, even the Socialist NDP sincerely believe they are helping people …  they take their collective actions all “with the best of intentions” … but as C.S. Lewis opines:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
– C.S. Lewis

Not exactly the 4 horsemen but for a modern western economy, totally dependent on energy and exports it is about as close as one gets.

Cheers

Joe

Blind leading the blind over the cliff edgeStupid is as stupid does

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics, Uncategorized

The Elephant Acts …

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait, (June 1970)

I would like to think that “The Donald” read my post yesterday, understood it and acted on it, but on balance I would have to admit that I am not that delusional. Over at “LifeSiteNews” we find this article:

*****

001-a-the-elephantWASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In his very first pro-life action, President Donald Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” banning government funding of foreign pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

A cultural political football, the policy was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was maintained by President George H.W. Bush until it was rescinded first by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993. Eight years later, President George W. Bush reinstated Mexico City and it was in effect until Barack Obama reversed it upon entering office in 2009.

The Mexico City Policy bans funding to organizations that perform abortions overseas or lobby for legalizing them in foreign nations.

Trump’s pro-life action comes a day after the 44th anniversary of the notorious Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which along with the Court’s Doe v. Bolton decision, established abortion-on-demand as the law of the land. (read more)

***

Here in Canada we remain steadfast in our commitment to killing all inconvenient people. The left claims half a million marchers in the “Women Who Kill Children” march which took place yesterday. They also claim that’s about 5 times the number of folks who showed up at the Trump inauguration event.

Those are pretty good sample sizes even if they are exaggerated. They are probably significantly better samples than the national political and social pollsters typically get with their sample leading surveys conducted to prove and support those who hired them.

Let’s assume for a moment that they are accurate in their estimates. That’s 1 in 5 folks decided to attend Trumps inauguration. That would also imply that 4 in 5 folks hate Trump because he is against abortion and think it’s just A-OK to kill babies and old folks.

001-a-clueless-usefull-idiot-or-a-possessed-person

Blessed Virgin Mary as Bloody Vagina.

1 in 5 seems to be about the observed proportion of folks in the general population who seem to understand the difference between moral right and moral wrong based on their conduct and their expressed opinions.

1 in 5 might just be the proportion of folks in the general population who can actually imagine anything or anyone outside their immediate tweet circle of self worship.

Yesterday I mentioned in my post my thoughts on how we move past this polarization: “I think “Not taking anything personally, even when is is obviously intended to be both personal and as hurtful as possible, is how we get out of this conflict.”

So the first thing that pops into my mind after the initial shock and pain (which was EXACTLY what that little girl intended with her sign) is – Gee, Islam is even more anti-abortion that Catholicism. How come she decided to target Catholics rather than Muslims?

A number of things come to mind – Ignorance? Cowardice?, Hate? Pride? Black Lives Matter but Catholic Lives Don’t? All of the above and more? On the topic of Black Lives I would posit that significantly more black lives are lost every day because black women like the little beauty above choose to kill their children, than from all the other causes put together. And it is white Democrats who have been pushing this Holocaust since at least Lyndon Johnson took office. How wierd and totally disfunctional is that?

It’s difficult not to take this personally and not to imagine evil things. This evil, seen and experienced everywhere, IS personal. Maybe the Muslims have got it right! Maybe we should be praying for the coming of Sharia? And I suppose THAT is my sin – lack of charity and lack of humility.

Cheers

Joe

001-a-lotr-frodo-hobbitsA major Scouring of the Shire is LONG overdue …

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Politics and Economics

A New Elephant … Get Over It

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (August, 1961)

001-a-trump-photoNicely expressive post by David Warren about our new president — YES!  Our New President!

Any Canadian who believes that the Canadian Prime Minister and the Federal apparatchiks running Canada actually set the course of the nation needs to refresh their Kool-Aide.

Canada is a Reactive Oligarchy masquerading as a Parliamentary Democracy, and there is a LOT of lipstick on this particular pig. President Trump WILL set the course for Canada for the next 8 years. Get over it!

So in David’s Words here:

*****

” … So yes, the people in the inaugural crowd who shouted that Hillary should go to gaol, had a point. And Donald should surely go there, too. So should everybody. Indeed, it is conventionally Christian to observe, that we all deserve to hang.

I listened carefully to the inaugural speech. You had to be a foreigner to appreciate it. To such an one, it sounded as if the new Chief Executive conceives of Natted States Merica as one yuge protection racket. As I said: better to be in than out.

And on reasons hinted, I think this is for the best. The previous Chief was a fusspot, a nickel-and-dime man, lacking the strategic vision. He was never sure whose side he was on. He set some sort of record for new laws. High time to simplify things.”

*****

Cheers

Joe

 Oh Canada …001-the-long-defeat

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Matthew 22:23-33, 1 Wife – Seven Husbands – Poor Woman!

23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[a]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching. (Matthew 22:23-33)

*****

“More enemies draw near, and another battle ensues. This time the attackers are representatives of the wealthy political leaders, who had different religious views than the Pharisees, but once again Jesus prevails. His enemies still refuse to be converted. And the listening crowd is filled with awe.

That same crowd had long submitted to the harsh and demanding rule of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Both groups of leaders were far superior to the vast majority of the working population in knowledge, influence, education, and wealth. And they made their superiority felt.

In Christ these searching souls find something entirely different. He neither fears the leader’s power nor bows to their prowess. He confronts them, argues with them, and repeatedly sends them away confounded.

And all the while he generously heals and teaches the ordinary people, so despised by the others. Jesus is right down there among them. They sense in Christ something much greater than any earthly leader, and they also perceive him as someone much closer to them, interested in them, and capable of helping them.

This is how the Lord behaved; this is how his Church continues to behave; this is how his disciples ought to behave.

Instead of calling the Sadducees “hypocrites” as he did with the Pharisees, Jesus simply tells them, “you are wrong”. The Pharisees erred in their willful denial of Christ’s claims, a denial that sprang from malice, from envy and jealousy; the Sadducees err merely in ignorance. They truly think this Nazarene rabbi is just a popularizer of mistaken doctrine, and they try to set him straight. So Jesus Instructs them.

(“The Better Part”, John Bartunek, LG, ThD,  pp. 260-261)

*****

 ” far superior to the vast majority of the working population in knowledge, influence, education, and wealth. And they made their superiority felt.”

2000 years on and nothing has changed, the elites STILL see Christ as a mortal threat and conduct a steady unrelenting campaign of discrimination and persecution by attacking his followers anywhere they are found. In many parts of the world they even routinely resort to killing his followers and persecuting any earthly presence of his mystical body, the Church.

To what end? Have they no memory or understanding of the past or the future?  70 generations of Sadducees and Pharisees have come and gone and they have learned absolutely nothing.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertAlways remember to be charitable in your treatment of others and never take yourself too seriously.

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Politics and Economics

Pop Quiz! … Which Country Are We Talking About?

Foreign donations for personal benefits, selling access to government, expense scandals.

As the (Progressive Left’s)  moral and ethical standards plummet, so does their approval rating.

A new _____ Research poll shows the Progressives are down almost 10%.

Citizens aren’t happy with (political leader’s) cash-for-access scheme, and how he’s raised cash for the _____ Party or the _____ Foundation.

And now (political leader) admits to being lobbied, and lobbied often.  Usually by wealthy donors, who paid big bucks for face time with him. Here’s some of what we know about the Party’s cash-for-access scheme:

  • After meeting (political leader), a Chinese Communist billionaire donated a large sum of cash to the _____ Foundation.
  • Another attendee, got government approval to open a bank, days after meeting (political leader).
  • Since (political leader) became leader of the _____Liberal Party, foreign donations to the _____ Foundation skyrocketed from $0 (annually) in 2013 to $535,000 (annually) in 2016. (a more than 500,000% increase, right?)
  • Back at home, domestic donations to the _____ Foundation have more than quadrupled (400%) from $172,000 to $731,000 since 2014.

Are foreign interest groups and big donors skirting the Elections _____ rules?

Are certain individuals making donations to the (political leader’s) Foundation, once they’ve reached their legal political donation limit?

Perhaps that’s a question the Ethics Commissioner can ask (political leader).

After all, National Newspaper reports she will interview (political leader) on the matter.

In fact “It is the first time in a decade the “house of government” independent ethical watchdog has asked a sitting (political leader) to defend his integrity.” – National Newspaper, Dec 15th, 2016

The Party have shown we can’t trust them to keep election promises.

We can’t trust them on the economy or our tax dollars.  So can anyone trust them when it comes to their high priced fundraisers?

Enough with the corruption and sleaze already! And NO, it is NOT Clinton or Trump we’re talking about here.

 

Cheers

Joe

Finis_gloriae_mundi_from_Juan_Valdez_LealVanity, vanity, all is vanity … (even in gentle Canada)

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

What Does Prosperity Look Like?

“Aki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner thoughts”, (2006)

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_

Alberta Morning …

-20 degrees and sunny, drinking strong hot coffee and thinking about what we have thrown away in our desperation to punish past political masters who provoked us with their greed, corruption and fundamental incompetence at the pointy end. Now where were we, where did we come from physically and economically?

Checking the “Way Back Machine” to refresh our memories we find as recently as 2011 Canada was rated #1 as the best place on the planet to do business.

In 1998 we Shire Folk left the most racist, anti-business, highest crime rate in the industrialized world, most corrupt, jurisdiction in Canada (the Northwest Territories) supported by 5 billion dollars a year in Federal Liberal Taxpayer money pumped into the NWT to keep about 60,000 aboriginals and 2 safe Liberal seats in parliament alive and employed, and we settled 1000 miles to the south in Alberta. Back then it looked like God’s country to folks who had spent 15 years living in the Arctic.

(Full Disclosure and Disclaimer) The assertions expressed in the above paragraph are my own alone based on 15 years (1982-1998) of first hand, face to face experience, and observation, in the areas of resource transportation, construction, Department of Justice, Corrections Service (prisons), Headquarters Government service in the Department of Social Services, and as the NWT jurisdictional representative with the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics which is a division of Statistics Canada in Ottawa. Other observers may not agree with my assessment or might not see themselves and their activities in that light or may have had a different experience in the NWT but I sincerely believe I can support those assertions with empirical evidence from many diverse independent sources.

OK, back to the story … By 2011, we were self employed, doing reasonably well and living in the #1 business environment and best economy in the world in Alberta, Canada. We had a corrupt but business friendly government in the PC party of Alberta running things here and a Conservative government lead by Stephen Harper (from Calgary,  Alberta) doing an excellent job for the nation  as a whole. A study released by the Toronto Dominion Bank on the world economy rated the “Corridor” between Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta as the most productive stretch of real estate in the world in terms of dollars per capita output.

During that period, according to Forbes:

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“During the run-up to every U.S. presidential election, countless Americans threaten to move to Canada if their preferred candidate does not emerge victorious. Of course, few follow through with a move north. Maybe it is time to reconsider.

Canada ranks No. 1 in our annual look at the Best Countries for Business. While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most. The $1.6 trillion economy is the ninth biggest in the world and grew 3.1% last year. It is expected to expand 2.4% in 2011, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

Canada skirted the banking meltdown that plagued the U.S. and Europe. Banks like Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal avoided bailouts and were profitable during the financial crises that started in 2007. Canadian banks emerged from the tumult among the strongest in the world thanks to their conservative lending practices.

Canada is the only country that ranks in the top 20 in 10 metrics that we considered to determine the Best Countries for Business (we factored in 11 overall). It ranks in the top five for both investor protection as well as lack of red tape, which measures how easy it is to start a business.” 

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That was then. How are things now?

For the annual ratings Forbes leans on research and published reports from the Central Intelligence Agency, Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, the World Bank and World Economic Forum to compile the rankings.

So lets investigate where we went in the last  5 years. Here is what the pundits think about Canada now. Today, under the gentle ministrations of the Notley Socialists in Alberta, and Boy Trudeau’s Liberal socialists in Ottawa  the picture has changed radically and getting worse faster.  One contact recently sent me this from an article he read:

“Article – O’ Leary – ECONOMY MAY LEAD TO TRUDEAU OUSTER

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“TORONTO – Our economy is now measured in “dollerettes” and “massive debt” and Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary predicts if it keeps up, the Liberals may start thinking about replacing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I think there could be a competition for leadership in the Liberal party because tax and spend is a really dumb idea in a country of no growth,” the Shark Tank star told my Newstalk 1010 show, the Late Shift. “I don’t think Justin Trudeau will have a long tenure.”  Canada’s economy is bleeding to death, he said, and the government is sticking in more knives.  “I can’t believe what is happening to my country,” the investor and entrepreneur said from an investment conference in Florida. “It’s going to zero fast. This is malfeasance.”

Just a couple of weeks removed from trial-ballooning the idea of running for the Conservative leadership, he warns Canada is becoming the laughing stock of the business world. Nobody will invest here while governments talk of multibillion-dollar deficit budgets and continue to slap business-killing regulations on growth potential, O’Leary said.

“The world has figured out in the past nine months that (Alberta NDP Premier) Rachel Notley has no idea what she is doing,” he said. “Her government is killing that province. She is totally clueless and she is killing this country. I think Canadians should get on their knees and beg her to take a holiday.”  Ontario’s pension plan “is a bad idea,” he said, as are the cap-and-trade discussions.

“It’s scary,” O’Leary said of all the job losses and business closures. “It is becoming a Third World banana republic.”  And there’s no voice of reason in Ottawa to counter the provincial trends.

“We now have a new  federal problem,” he said. “Finance Minister (Bill) Morneau is a good guy by most metrics, but a $30-billion deficit budget is a big problem. Everybody down here is freaked out.”  As are Canadian investors, who CIBC reported this week have placed $75 billion in cash on the sidelines instead of investing in Canadian business.  The reason?

“The deficit was supposed to be $10 billion but now they are talking $30 billion. As a Canadian taxpayer, I don’t want my government to spend $30 billion by themselves. They don’t have the talent to do that. They need to draw in the private sector.”  With that kind of debt on the books, O’Leary warns, outsiders will look to other countries to risk their money.  “You want to know why the Canadian dollar is collapsing? It’s because nobody will invest,” he said.

And young people he teaches are telling him they have little confidence about the future.  “They want to leave Canada, don’t want to be paid in dollerettes and pay 58.5% tax,” he said. “They don’t think they have a future here.”  He says foreign investors feel the same way.  “I am pitching Canada and they are not buying,” he said. “I can’t get a foreign investor to invest in Canada and I am the best salesman you’ve got.”

O’Leary said talk of him running for office with a slate of people who could help fix the country is still a long way off.  “I am just glad we are having this conversation now before it’s lost,” he said. “As a Canadian citizen, I am depressed. We need some leadership right away.”  If we don’t get some, he asks: “When do they bring the torches up to the castle and set it on fire?”

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“The Wind Of Liudao”, Jia Peng Fang, from the album “Faraway”, (2002)

And what does Forbes think about Canada now?  Well, using the latest available data (2014) they now find Canada has slipped to 7th place in the world. Now Denmark is 1st and New Zealand is 2nd. so what changed … nothing material … we still enjoy a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of our merchandise exports each year. Canada is still the US’s largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, and electric power, and a top source of US uranium imports. We still have abundant natural resources, a highly skilled labor force, and a relatively modern capital plant. Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007.

Despite buffeting by the global economic crisis, a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and Ottawa’s first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus under the Conservatives led by Stephen Harper. Canada recovered from the 2008/09 financial crisis arguably stronger and conservative policies were validated across the board. Canada’s major banks emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the early intervention by the Bank of Canada and the financial sector’s tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization.

Canada achieved marginal growth in 2010-14 and had plans to balance the budget by 2015 despite the drop in oil prices. In addition, the country’s petroleum sector was rapidly expanding, because Alberta’s oil sands significantly boosted Canada’s proven oil reserves. Canada now ranks third in the world in proved oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.

For some current numbers lets look at just one city, the City of Calgary, Alberta, since the election of Rachel Notley and her gang.

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001-empty-night-downtown-calgary

Calgary A Ghost Town … or the set for some horror movie where all the people vanished.

The economic downturn is hitting Calgary companies hard as an increasing number of businesses have shut down, city data shows. In 2016 so far, 4,114 businesses have closed, according to data provided by the city. If the trend continues, more than 7,000 businesses will have shut down by the end of the year. In 2015, 6,337 businesses shut their doors and 5,902 in 2014. Calgary’s downtown is also seeing the highest office vacancy rate of anywhere in the country, The Huffington Post Canada reported

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That’s 19,239 business closures in just one city since Rachel took power. Ya figure there’s a connection? Is the Pope Catholic?  So what happened?  Why the precipitous slide from 1st to 7th place in the ratings?  What changed?

Enter the Destroyers!

001-empty_office

Over 20% vacancy rate in Calgary

It seems that Politics Matter. What happened is people who know nothing about how economies work, voted en-mass for change because they were just sick of the corruption and boondoggles of the existing rulers. The low-information voter and the politics of gang envy  triumphed again in the race to the bottom. You probably didn’t realize it but we are a civilized country, we don’t have gangs and a gang problem, right?  Here we call them “Public Service” unions, and now they are running the asylum.

Politics matter.  “You can have the most advanced and efflorescent cultures. Get your politics wrong, however, and everything stands to be swept away. This is not ancient history. This is Germany 1933.” ― Charles Krauthammer, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

001-thecoreshoppingcomplexdowntowncalgaryWell what do you think Alberta?  How do you like the change now? Now that you have voted in The Destroyers. Now we have the LGBT tyranny imposed in all schools by government fiat. Now we have government sponsored murder of children and the sale of their dismembered parts. Now we have government sponsored euthanasia, and who knows, recycle the biomass?

Can anyone see even one micron of moral difference between Canada 2016 and Germany 1933? The Truth screams it’s answer!  There is no difference whatsoever, and history will judge us the same way they judge the German people of 1933. Who killed more innocent people, Canadian Socialists, Soviet Socialists, or National Socialists?  Do the math, they are all in a dead heat going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street.

Now the Destroyers are pushing the Gaia religion down our throats by taking steps today to destroy the energy industry in Alberta. These steps will see the closure of coal fired electricity generation stations and the associated mines, wiping out 40% of our generation capacity and increasing our power bills by 400%. They are not stupid people. They know exactly what they are doing and why.

aasacrificing-to-their-god-lfs-990-600x466Rhetorical Questions: (A rhetorical question is a question that you ask without expecting an answer. The question might be one that does not have an answer. It might also be one that has an obvious answer but you have asked the question to make a point, to persuade or for literary effect.)  Anyway, Do you think Germany was better off AFTER the First and Second World War or before them?” Why? Were these wars good for the folks or bad for the folks? Why?

The obvious answer is that in the case of the world wars German Ideology trumped reality on the ground and the leadership actually believed in their ideological plans for the future. And of course all those plans were an utter failure and the folks paid the price and bore the brunt of the results.

And what are we watching our leaders doing now?

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The Destroyers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and most of the premiers signed a historic pan-Canadian framework Friday to fight climate change and meet the country’s 2030 emissions reduction targets (Kyoto Accords, Jean Chretien, 1997 , which the Progressive Socialists have been trying desperately to ram down our throats for almost 20 years) but a day of tense talks failed to convince two provinces to get onside.

I’d guess that the leaders in Saskatchewan and Manitoba understand what the real costs are for supporting the Gaia worshipers and their anti carbon religion. Ordinary folks need jobs, not a carbon tax. Ordinary folks need a reliable economy  and reasonably costs of living, not a first place ribbon from the Kyoto crowd for some political puff toy who has never had to do a days work in his life.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba both said they would not be able to sign the agreement Friday.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has steadfastly opposed any sort of carbon pricing and didn’t waver, saying it would be foolish to impose a levy with the imminent arrival of president-elect Donald Trump to the White House.

Trump has vowed to scrap many of the green-friendly regulations implemented by President Barack Obama, and this week appointed a climate change sceptic to head the country’s Environmental Protection Agency, Wall noted. He said it’s unlikely Canada will be able to convert Trump into a climate change warrior.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a round-table meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

“I’m just saying, let’s not be naive as Canadians. This is our number one not just trading partner but competitor for investments in energy … and we need to be competitive with them. And that’s some of the concerns we have,” Wall said.

Boy Justin just blew him off with a fantasy nationalistic puff piece about how Canada sets it’s own policies!!!!!   Seriously Justin?????

This isn’t drama class and you are not in the school play as the hero.

What you are blowing at us besides greenhouse gas is the notion that we can afford to piss in our neighbour’s soup because you and your acolytes and handlers don’t like Trump’s views.

I am sorry, but “LOVE TRUMP’S HATE” will not help the folks in Canada when 70% to 80% of our economy grinds to a halt at the U.S. border. Seriously????? (ed. note: Has anyone else noticed that Boy Justin is the only politician in any of the pics we see these days with no grey hair?  Why is that, do you think?)

Is this the Canada we want to live in? Is it truly impossible to do ANYTHING about it? Or, unpleasant as it may feel when we look in the mirror, are we not just too lazy, and too well off, to care or feel motivated enough, to take any action at all, even in the worst recessional economy in decades?

On the face of it, it sure looks like Rachel and Justin and the rest of the “take other people’s stuff crowd” are absolutely right when they decide that Canadians will just roll over and beg with their tongues hanging out and their tails wagging whenever the Progressive Socialists snap their fingers.

Just in case nobody hasn’t figured out my point of view from the last couple of posts please reflect on the generally accepted principal of government that ALL Canadian Political Parties are considerably to the LEFT (Socialist) side of even the worst of the Barking Moonbat Lefties in the U.S. EH!

123456-being-liberal

Being Liberal

So, speaking of Moonbats,  for those of you, my readers, who feel that CBC and CTV and Macleans are missing a few bricks … I give you a litmus test of where you stand in the political firmament.

The first question is: Are you happy with the views opinions, and emotions found on this site? Or are you offended by these emotions?: https://www.facebook.com/beingliberal.org

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Barking Moonbat Early Warning System

The second question is: Do you see some of the humour in the items raised on this site or are you offended by it?: http://www.barking-moonbat.com/index.php

As I mentioned earlier, our politics matter. I found an interesting concise paragraph on politics at Commentary Magazine a while ago. Here is a clip from that article:

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At the core of every social, political, and economic system is a picture of human nature, to paraphrase the 20th century columnist Walter Lippmann. The way that picture developments determines the lives we lead, the institutions we build, and the civilization we create. The political philosophy of Madison produces one set of results; the political philosophy of Marx produces another; (ed. and the philosophy of ISIS produces yet another)

So yes: ideas move politics in one direction or the other, toward justice or away from it. Like all things human, it’s imperfect, frustrating, and fraught with failure. It’s a long, hard grind. And it’s not always aesthetically pleasing. But cynicism that leads to political disengagement–the world-weary, pox-on-both-your-houses, what difference does it make, I don’t give a damn attitude that seems rather fashionable and trendy these days–can lead to disaster.

Because someone’s ideas will prevail. If ones that advance justice and human flourishing win out, it won’t be by accident or by default. It’ll be the product of determined effort; of those who do not grow weary in doing good.

*****

I guess that is enough for now, I note, in closing, that all these new and grandiose Progressive Green plans are SO HUGE and all encompassing that there is no conceivable way they can be implemented in the 2 years remaining to our resident crop of left wing managers currently living the dream in the corner offices in Ottawa and Edmonton. That fact, and the reality of death for all humans, fills me with optimism at a time when there is little optimism to go around. Even if the entire culture goes into the sewer a la Romans or more recently the Germans, we will rise again.

Cheers

Joe

100-canadian-landscape It’s winter now in Mordor, oops, my bad, Alberta,but spring will come, just wait and see.

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

Nuclear is looking better and better, eh?

Addendum to my last post: This is a bit of something by Steven DenBeste which I saved back in 2007(?). It concerns another aspect of  electrical generation which the Gubmint and the renewable energy co-coreligionists never (ever) talk about when touting Solar power. I guess they don’t cover much electrical engineering in poly-sci classes, eh?

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Steven DenBeste a USS Clueless:

… The fact is that electric power has unique properties, and one of the most important is that at any given instant the amount of electric power being generated will always exactly match the amount of power being consumed. If you don’t deliberately balance the system, the laws of physics will do the balancing for you in ways you won’t like.

Electric power has to be generated at the time it is needed, and the electric power grid overall has to have the ability to add generation capacity as demand rises, and to reduce generation when demand falls again. Demand actually rises and falls by as much as 30% every day.

The biggest drawback of wind/solar is that they generate power when conditions permit them to do so, not when demand requires them to do so. And there’s no practical way to store electric energy in adequate quantities to deal with this without unacceptable losses or unreasonable capital and/or operating expense. (This is a major flaw of most of the fad alternate electrical energy sources we hear so much about.)

It is by no means the only serious objection I have to solar/wind, but it is a major one. …

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DCF 1.0

Toronto Ontario Blackout in 2003

So what Steven was talking about when he said “the laws of physics will do the balancing for you in ways you won’t like.” was the sort of thing that caused the Toronto, Ontario blackout of 2003.

This is the reason why you cannot shut down your existing power generation systems when switching to “Renewable”, because you cannot rely on renewable and you cannot store electricity in the amounts required.

This is what Germany discovered in the 90’s when the gubmint refused to listen to the power engineers and bulled ahead switching from coal to solar. In the end they had to keep the old plants going in order to keep the grid up when demand didn’t match the available sunlight.

Like it is right now, here in the Shire where it is currently -20 degrees Celsius and as usual in winter it is dark (eg. no sunlight to run our solar energy systems). Depending on the thermal mass of your building it doesn’t take very long before folks are getting uncomfortable as the “shelter heads towards ambient temperature.

When the electricity generation suppliers are unable to match the power demand to the power being generated the grid goes down – including automatic shutdowns of power generation stations and the result is commonly referred to as a power failure or blackout.

cdn-ddh-heavy-weather-87471.jpgWhen the Generator Stations go down the providers have to get things going again with what is known as a “Black Start”. This takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.

Back in the 70’s when I served in steam turbine destroyers it was typically about 24 hours to get up steam and warm everything up and turn everything up to speed before you could “turn main engines”, and steam away to whatever mission the gubmint sent you on.

Those were very small turbines and boilers compared to those found in a thermal generation station using steam turbines. Electrical generation boilers and turbines are a LOT bigger and consequently take longer to cool down and longer to warm up like one to two days.

What this means is that you cannot just shut down your coal plants and replace them with solar farms because your grid will go down the first night you are relying on solar. So, anyway, a black start is the process of restoring an electric power station or a part of an electric grid to operation without relying on the external transmission network.[1]

civ-earth-1994-1995

Dark Places are NOT nice places to live …

Normally, the electric power used within the plant is provided from the station’s own generators. If all of the plant’s main generators are shut down, station service power is provided by drawing power from the grid through the plant’s transmission line.

If the grid goes down then you have a little problem and things are cooling down and the longer they cool the longer it takes to bring them up, and so on as predicted accurately by the laws of physics and mathematics which really don’t care much about religion and politics.

However, during a wide-area outage, off-site power supply from the grid will not be available. In the absence of grid power, a so-called black start needs to be performed to bootstrap the power grid into operation.

To provide a black start, some power stations have small diesel generators, normally called the black start diesel generator (BSDG), which can be used to start larger generators (of several megawatts capacity), which in turn can be used to start the main power station generators.

Generating plants using steam turbines require station service power of up to 10% of their capacity for boiler feedwater pumps, boiler forced-draft combustion air blowers, and for fuel preparation. It is uneconomical to provide such a large standby capacity at each station, so black-start power must be provided over designated tie lines from another station.

1111-steam-plantThis power station uses the Rankine cycle  This is the cycle of the steam produced in the boiler, then taken to the Steam turbine (prime mover). From the turbine the steam is cooled back to water in the Condenser, the resulting water is fed back into the boiler to repeat the cycle.

A steam/thermal power station uses heat energy generated from burning coal to produce electrical energy. This type of power station is widely used around the world to generate base load because it is cheap and efficient and reliable.

The cold start up times and procedures for a steam turbine depends on its casing and rotor temperature. As the turbine is subjected to high temperature and pressure for long time, it is mandatory requirement that there is a uniform heating and expansion of turbine.

Otherwise due to uneven heating, uneven expansion will occur which can finally lead to either permanent deformation of turbine rotor or any other catastrophic failure (explosion). The terms which have been asked vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but the basic difference remains the same

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The Dark Lord’s Domain …

Because of the abundance of fuel (coal), this kind of power station can be used to produce large amounts of electrical energy. In most countries these power stations are used as base load power stations. This is because steam power stations are slow to start and can not be used to cater for peak loads that generally occur for a short duration.

These power stations (together with nuclear power stations) are kept running very close to full efficiency for 24 hours a day (unless they are being maintained). They have typical life of 30 to 40 years (although most governments have reduced this number to 35 years).

What Rachel is talking about doing is dropping 40% of our generation capacity by the end of 2018 and replacing it with Solar. AS mentioned above this contravenes a number of physical laws and flies in the face of the European experience since 1997.

Better buy up some woollies and parkas cause there are some very cold houses and factories in our future. Memo to Dark Lord Rachel: Mother nature and the laws of physics and engineering are against you on this one. No amount of religious zeal will make this work.

Please, please just save us all a lot of pain and honestly tell us right up front that your agenda IS TO DESTROY Alberta.

Cheers

Joe

1060-notley_20150706

What?  Me Worry?

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

A Grey Day …

“Deep Peace” Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

They say our moods are affected for better or for worse by the weather of any given day. Here we are in mid November with the thermometer standing at +6 (Celsius of course) and not a snow flake in site and folks are still harvesting like crazy trying to make up for the lost weeks back in September & October. Just checked the window and damn me for a fool – it is starting to snow – Awwww!  Time for a double Old Number 7 and kick back and relax.

EeyoreBy all standards this is pretty damned good for this time of the year. And yet it is irredeemably cloudy and grey and we are glum and very much mired in Eeyore’s Gloomy Place. Business is down 25% to 30%. This translates into a daily struggle with “Who do I pay first and how much?”

I don’t suppose Rachel, and Justin, and Barry, and Hillary and all the rest of those lords and ladies who so enjoy running our lives and our economy have even noticed the “downturn”. But for the little folks, of which there are many, it is really kind of a let down when the economy is so bad that you actually owe your accountants more than you owe the government.

las_vegas_nevada_kid_crawford_of_las_vegas_chants_during_a_proteestSouth of the border the howler tribes are doing what they do best – howling their displeasure with reality and smashing poor shopkeepers windows and looting in some sort of ritualistic revenge against some straw man who actually works for a living having thwarted their drooling dreams and fantasy’s after 8 years of gravy and delirium.

02-demonFortunately the ballot items for the legalization of pot passed in most of those jurisdictions, and it won’t be long before all this disturbance degenerates into a miasma of smoke and fornication. I can understand why some might find that prospect attractive and who knows, they might even go back to the classroom to finish up the social studies they were mastering  when they were so easily distracted.

Way up North, at least in the West, there is some anticipation that The Donald might just get the local oil economy going for a short while anyway by encouraging or even expediting the Keystone Pipeline project in the name of energy independence and 10 or 20 thousand much needed jobs. That would be good for Alberta because it would mean re-starting the now on hold Hardisty Terminal Project which feeds Keystone, and that would bring a few thousand jobs to our slowly freezing neighborhood.  That would be a good thing for real working folks all over the West even if it disturbs the chattering classes in Redmonton.

01-devils-advocateWatching the televised performances of the howlers and listening to commentary within and without my own extended family the thought “Love to All” comes to mind. We use this without thinking about it as an interesting and common colloquial greeting or dismissal used with those with whom one is familiar, such as relates, friends, and acquaintances.

But we are to love others sacrificially. The parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of sacrifice for the sake of others, even for those who may care nothing at all for us, or even hate us. Sacrificial love is not based on a feeling, but a determined act of the will, a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own.

7013831-christmas-girlBut this type of love does not come naturally to humans. Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of producing such a love. And that fallen nature is very  much on display for all to watch these days. Xmas is just around the corner – I wonder whatever happened to Christmas?

If we are to love as God loves, that love—that agape—can only come from its true Source. This is the love which “has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us” when we became His children (Romans 5:5). Because that love is now in our hearts, we can obey Jesus who said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another” (John 13:34).

Holy FamilyThis new commandment involves loving one another as He loved us, sacrificially, even to the point of death. But, again, it is clear that only God can generate within us the kind of self-sacrificing love which is the proof that we are His children. “By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). Because of God’s love toward us, we are now able to love one another.

But …

Arrogance, pride and immorality, greed, rivalry, fraud, drunkenness, drugs, adultery, fornication, promiscuity, deviance, prostitution, gluttony, recourse to the courts, brother against brother, sister against sister, mother against father and father against mother, slavery, mutilation, bestiality, sacrifice and taxes, an endless list of human travail.

03-pool-of-worshipAll of us are “knowledgeable” and does not knowledge puff us up with self importance, does it not invite us to hold forth about things about which we know nothing based on our perceived expertise in another area?

If anyone thinks he knows something he has not yet realized that he knows nothing. It is what we don’t know we don’t know that bites us to death. We easily follow dumb idols, wealth, power, sex, self importance, self esteem, influence, affirmation, possessions, standing in the community, what are our personal idols?

I speak in poetry and wisdom  in honeyed tones. All shall LOVE ME and despair. All shall abide by my directions. I understand mysteries, I prophecy a future of comfort and plenty for all.

hmmm.

Book to read:  “Why Nations Fail” Really interesting read –  Habits, habits, habits, habits of a lifetime, unquestioned, and informing everything one thinks and says. I started out to write a post about extractive economies and was completely derailed by my emotional reactions to a remembered conversation with my sister to the effect that I was to “Spare us your facts, we don’t care about facts, we just want to have a friendly conversation with our friends.”  Wow, FaceBook – The Howler Jungle – … instead of charged ‘debates’, one witnesses the other extreme: people inhabiting artificial cyberworlds where they rarely hear anything but the voices of those who most agree with them.

A lifetime of sin, uncharitable, judgmental,  lacking compassion … hurting others if spoken out loud. Aren’t you glad we can’t read each others mind. Wow, what a bumpy trip that would be. Trying to understand the mindset of these people and the world they live in – talking to my sister and understanding that she and most of my family and friends live in that universe, that I am the odd one in the extended group.

Not suggesting anything in the right or wrong domain, but rather trying to understand how superficially nice people can be apparently comfortable living with so many untested assumptions. Trying to understand how they can be so absolutely certain that they are correct about all their assumptions. Trying to understand how they can be so absolutely certain that anyone who doesn’t hold the same view (for any reason) is a “Homophobic Nazi Racist”, or a “Knuckle Dragging Neanderthal Redneck”,  both of which curses I have been handed by members of my extended family when they cast about for their self justification, their credo of narcisism.

So many little sins such that we are swimming in a sea of sin and all the while telling each other and our selves that “It’s OK, ’cause we are really rather nice people, not bad people at all, not like those “fill in your favorite group or person here“. I feel a posting coming on about the myriad minutia of daily minor sin for which we continually excuse ourselves so that we never change for the better and it taints every facet of our lives.

Well, enough glum for one evening – until tomorrow – a shot of Jack Daniel’s old Number 7 and a good cigar, well maybe if I smoked but I gave the smoking up decades ago. AAAAAHHH.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desert Vanity, vanity, all is vanity …

 

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