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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The Inner Struggle

Naked came I …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

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20naked JobThen Job rose up, and rent his garments, and having shaven his head fell down upon the ground and worshipped,

21And said: Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.

22In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any foolish thing against God.  Job 1: 20-22

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From Job 1: 20-22 Old Testament to Luke 22: 1-13 New Testament

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SatanThe treason of Judas. The last supper. The first part of the history of the passion.

[1] Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the pasch, was at hand. [2] And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people.

[3] And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. [4] And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them.

[5] And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. [6] And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude.

[7] And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. [8] And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat.

[9] But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? [10] And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in.

[11] And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? [12] And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. [13] And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch.

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All is gift, and nothing have we here which we deserve or earn but by talents and abilities given us at birth by God the Father. And all that we earn is apportioned in goods of this world, all of which have their origin in God the Father. We do not create anything but rather are more or less talented manipulators of what the Creator made or set in motion.

Jesus betrayed by JudasSt. Luke directs our attention to the actions and motivations of Judas Iscariot, and points out that  Satan entered into Judas. Satan made use of Judas’ free will and his natural human propensity for self interest and evil.

All that follows is orchestrated by Satan using his “minions” and “useful idiots”.  The conduct of the humans  in this account and in the affairs in this world down through the ages reveals clearly what Satan desires.

Destruction, dissension, selfishness, suffering, dishonesty, suffering and misery, all the clear outcome of Satan stirring up all that is evil in the human heart.

And yet Christ has intimate and detailed knowledge of all that is to come, and Satan and humans, all creatures of the Father, have free rein because the omnipotent Father and the Son embrace that freedom in their creatures.

Satan and Judas freely decide to betray Jesus and Peter and John freely decide to obey Him. And all four of them equally prepared the Passover  in accordance with God’s will.

C.S. Lewis calls these aspects “simple good” and “complex good”. The obedience of John and Peter is simple good, the good that comes out of the evil of Satan aided by Judas is a complex good, in other words good wrought by God out of the evil of mankind.

We are all of us faced daily with exactly this choice, to obey, or to disobey, and thereby choosing our path and the next set of choices we are faced with.

Cheers

Joe

Desert walkIt is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” Tolkien, “The Return of the King

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

We are Invisible Ghosts – May Day – Fasting

Kojo No Tsuki (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album Japanese Melodies (1990)

In an English country church yardWe are invisible ghosts, the faceless, un-noticed, worker ants that keep everything going. If the grey tribe ever stopped supporting everything human civilization takes for granted the pink tribe corner office vampires wouldn’t notice until the lights went out and the toilets stopped working.

And then they would die in their millions, or revert to savagery, and perhaps a very few would discover talents and abilities and motivations they never knew they had.

In the meantime they, our pink masters, kill thousands of us in the name of their progressive social programs, political correctness, government guidelines and deviant agendas.

Canada Food guide

The Canada Food Guide

Diet guidelines that actually protect and support multinational agri-giants at the expense of the folks, medical guidelines that protect and support the medical associations and big-pharma at the cost of literally hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.

Little known but true is the fact that Canada is the ONLY country in the world whose government, in their wisdom, has approved the use of large numbers of GMOs in the human food chain. 

But the human body was never designed with GMOs in mind. It seems that there is something, a feeling called satiety, which is what controls the amount of natural food a human can eat – thus we find it difficult to eat 50 pounds of steak at a sitting or 50 pounds of shrimp at one party or… well you get what I am saying here. 

GMO Corn

It is becoming difficult to obtain food in Canada which is NOT GMO based

But GMOs DON’T trigger the satiety feeling because the body was not designed to handle GMOs. That is why we have no trouble eating 50 pounds of popcorn or 50 pounds of taco chips or 50 pounds of bread, because we never become satiated.

We just keep right on eating 5-6-7 times a day of even continuously snacking so that the body just never stops digesting and storing the calories and producing insulin to actuate the body’s storage mechanisms.

The result is an epidemic of obese diabetics. Look around any public area anywhere in North America. The folks you see around you every day sure don’t look like the folks in the old photographs of our grandparents and great-grandparents. 

The main difference is our diet and the money to be made these days by big multinationals who happily help our government masters justify guidelines which actually kill the folks while making the multinationals rich beyond shareholders wildest dreams, and a share of those riches accrue to government through taxes. 

Most people assume that scientific integrity is somehow assured; that there are safeguards along the way, preventing fraudulent research from harming patients. Unfortunately, scientific misconduct has become a very serious and widespread problem that threatens the entire paradigm of science-based medicine.

Just “follow  the money” and remember that ethics were invented for people without morals.

All our government bureaucrats are both victims of their own guidelines and culpable participants in the biggest mass murder in history. And we let it go without a whimper because it happens slowly over a period of years and we are all like the frogs in the story about boiled frogs.

In another example we can look at why do leading professors of psychiatry base their practice on a number of erroneous myths. These myths are harmful to patients. Many psychiatrists are well aware that the myths do not hold, but they don’t dare deviate from the official positions (medical association guidelines) because of career concerns.

All of these guidelines and myths are ostensibly aimed at “helping” us all the while supporting the establishment and forcing us to live lives that line up with their “social values” (whatever that means) “for our own good” because obviously we are just too stupid to come in out of the rain.

So how is my fasting lifestyle coming along. Well, pretty well actually, mostly the last 6 weeks doing the 1 meal a day thing  and blood sugars are around 7 mmol/l, dropped 30 pounds (on a roller-coaster), blood pressure 110 over 55 resting, off all meds for diabetes and blood pressure.

Just taking vitamins. Feeling pretty good as well, a little stretched at times but generally pretty sharp. Sleeping less – never had trouble sleeping and don’t have problems falling asleep but I find myself waking up earlier and earlier. Watching a TED talk right now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc 

Everyone's an OutlierIsn’t it entertaining to discover that we are all at risk of dieing of government guidelines. The problem with guidelines is that there are no standard humans to which the standard guidelines actually apply.

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One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water.

Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.” — C. S. Lewis

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“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

“This is known as ‘bad luck’. ” – Robert A. Heinlein

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I am not alone in my observations but these gentlemen say it so much more elegantly than I in my grey tribe arrogance.

Cheers

Joe

Ruins of Kirkstall Abbey - Leeds2Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity. 3What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun? 4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth standeth for ever.  — Ecclesiastes 2-4

and there is nothing new under the sun …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Civilization …

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

9-11One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.” — C. S. Lewis

And what we know of and take for granted as “civilization” has been built entirely on the efforts of Christianity. Christianity’s commitment to the welfare of our fellow man, regardless of the errors and crimes of some hypocrites claiming to be doing God’s work while covering up their perversion and evil ways.  The evil ones get the coverage and the good ones get ignored at best  or actively persecuted and murdered at worst.

Fear in RomeIn fact the Christian saints are the men and women who have given a moral compass to the world over the last 20 centuries, turned darkness and barbarism into “civilization” and filled the world with hope, light, enthusiasm and a real reason for living.

That culture – our old pre-modernist pre-progressive Western Christian culture – that was nourished on the love and self sacrifice of the saints, has given the world all that it treasures, all that it values most … health care, hospitals, universities and public education, science and medicine,  the concept of human rights, freedom from slavery, and especially technological progress.

These and many other institutions and values flourished and developed only in the wake of the gospel.

Mordor or Canada?So now our progressive post-modern society is working 24-7 to destroy religion, especially Christian religion. and the target is Christianity because the managers of the post-modern culture – the bureaucrats of the western democracies have not the stomach to take on Islam. Right … “Je suis Charlie!” .. in your dreams you chestless poltroons.

But there is a prophecy that through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima the world of Islam will be united with the world of Catholicism and become the one religion of the one God. Imagine that … just for a moment … what a world that would be, no?

How will the managers of the godless west ever manage to deal with the unification of the two greatest world religions. How will the godless unbelievers manage almost 4 billion believers? Interesting future I see – over 50% of the world’s population united against the godless bureaucracies of Mordor and the Antichrist.  hmmm …

Cheers

Joe

Battle Weary TemplarAve Maryam, Gratia plena
Maryam Gratia plena Ave, ave dominus, Dominus tecum Benedicta tu in mulieribus Et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus. Ave Maryam mater Dei Ora pro nobis pecatoribus Nunc et in hora mortis In hora mortis, mortis nostrae Ave Maryam
Amén…

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Tyrannies …

 

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

highway-61-revisited-1965“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.

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killThey may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology

Does this not strike a familiar chord when thinking about the progressive Liberal state and the legions of progressives demonstrating against Trump and preaching the gospel of “Love Trumps Hate” and “Trump Hate Poisoning Canadian Society”?

ap-election-protests-texasAnd through it all do we see any minute trace of information illuminating the source or factual basis of this  “hate Trump” campaign? Do we see any evidence presented by the prosecution for their case? Do we see or hear anything at all to explain the media mantra of Trump Hate? Who did he hate? When? What exactly led these moral busybodies to conclude that Trump was a “hater, or that Trump supporters are haters? Have we heard or seen anything, anywhere, anybody, any facts at all?

NOPE!

000-hate-crimeBut I sure see LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of hate aimed at any one who dares to question the progressive views so apparent in our media and on campus – even heard reports of schools helping the protestors as their proxies for the pandemic hate in the academic world. Bill Ayers must be just grinning from ear to ear as he chats up Screwtape in whatever hellish pub they are drinking in now, plotting how they can resuscitate “The Weather Underground” and start a nice new domestic bombing campaign. Gee, just like the good old days, I get all teary eyed just thinking about it.

It’s just like all our little foreign proxy wars back in the 60’s and 70’s where we fought against the evil empire of the day. Now we see academia and the media attempting to fight a proxy war through all these professional protesters and kids who simply don’t know anything else except what their “teachers” tell them.

las_vegas_nevada_kid_crawford_of_las_vegas_chants_during_a_proteestSo, as then, we have now plausible deniability for the instigators and diplomatic immunity for the perpetrators.

And when the “teachers”aren’t telling them what to do it’s all about what their peers on social media tell them.

And “OMG BC no-one wants to be left behind by their peer group, no child left behind and all that.

And OMG the sheer terror of not being part of the in-crowd precludes the use of intellect and intelligence to ask any questions that might bring into doubt the meme which just “everyone” knows is true, right?

And besides, I’m basically a good person …

101-hateSo the question just naturally rises up – “FACT: These are all publicly funded “institutions”. So why can’t we use these resources to create jobs for other people who actually love America?  Why not Donald?  Seem like a no brainer from where I am sitting. Build a wall in the South to keep out illegals, build a wall in the North to keep out the barbarian haters in Timmy land, and then defund all the institutions which are trying to destroy This United States of America from within.

Is there any noticeable difference between a public school attacking everything which has built America and ISIS recruiting local terrorists in the heart of American cities? Really, any difference, when there is no discernible difference in their respective ideologies?  Is not a nation allowed to defend itself from enemies BOTH foreign and domestic?

I wonder if anyone else out there sees what I am seeing? Should I just quit thinking about all this unthinking crap? Because, after all, I sure can’t fix this and anyway, none of this matters. It’s just the natural result of too much loving of self and this world. The Monkey Jungle of Facebook writ large – all the different monkey tribes all screaming their hate of everyone else, and no one listening with charity and love and “good will”.

Cheers

Joe

Idiots Happen

Always remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” .

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

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The Inner Struggle

Sin and Forgiveness …

Minus 20 degrees Celsius today with a 20 to 30 Km/hr wind. Bitter. Going down to -28 Degrees tonight. Better plug the vehicles in. Made lasagna tonight – comfort food with a good red wine. What has that to do with sins and forgiveness you might ask? Quite a bit actually. The weather is part of what we euphemistically term the “human condition”. Weather, illness, work, food or the lack thereof, comfort, love, friends, enemies, government, evil, good. Dissatisfaction continually at war with contentment. Man, (and Woman) knows, with an inborn awareness, that something is wrong in this human existence, something not quite defined, a lurking shadow that effects everything we experience. Many of us in these enlightened progressive times like to think that the root cause of this historical disorder is the notion that “a man can do something wrong or evil”. All we need to be perfect is rid ourselves of the silly claim that good and evil exist. It’s all “relative”, right?

Yet evil and discontent seems perennially connected with our condition. Men did not suddenly realize one day that they sinned. From the beginning of history they did not and do not know what to do about the evils that they sent and send into the world because of their sins.  They sense that they have done wrong and all the bluster and pretense doesn’t make it feel OK. “I’m OK, Your OK” just doesn’t cut it when the rubber hits the road, no matter what the guru’s of self realization preach. What man senses he needs is forgiveness. That forgiveness has to be placed in the hands of someone authorized to forgive. No ordinary person possesses this capacity. We are all in this together and if we are to escape our fate we have to be forgiven by someone outside the pit.

Over the last hundred thousand years or so, very few of the billions of people who have lived on this planet have heard of this forgiveness of sins that Revelation postulates. Among those who have heard of it, not many practice it. To cover this situation, we talk of being sorrowful. and we have been taught that God will forgive even if we know nothing of the Sacrament on the forgiveness of sin. Some expand this view to save everyone, while others suspect that, if everyone is forgiven, no matter what they do, why bother being good? The good and the bad are equally redeemed with or equally without forgiveness, but as mentioned in a previous post “sin clouds our intellect and destroys right judgement”.

We know in our hearts that we need “forgiveness” from some authority above our state, our condition. We need forgiveness from God, from the Divine.  And we need genuine forgiveness that does not excuse but requires sorrow, and contrition, and amendment and amends. “The great sacrifice for the sins of mankind was offered by the death of the Messiah, who is called in Scripture: ‘The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.’”  Samuel Johnson, 1781.  The Messiah is the only source of all genuine forgiveness. Even when men and women genuinely forgive they are only passing on that which was given them by the Messiah.

“… Forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart – every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily, in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough. As regards my own sins it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are not really so good as I think; as regards other men’s sins against me it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are better than I think. One must therefore begin by attending to everything which may show that the other man was not so much to blame as we thought. But even if he is absolutely fully to blame we still have to forgive him; and even if ninety-nine per cent of his apparent guilt can be explained away by really good excuses, the problem of forgiveness begins with the one per cent of guilt that is left over. To excuse, what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.  …”

From “Essay on Forgiveness” by C.S Lewis, The McMillan Publishing Company, Inc. N.Y. 1960.

Cheers,

Joe

cropped-sunrise.jpg

 

 

 

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

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