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

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Year End and Thoughts on Mankind …

“Brothers In Arms”, Dire Straits, from the album “Brothers In Arms”, 1985

Snow on Canola Swaths

Canola swaths were still under snow April 20 in Alberta’s Peace district, which reflects the challenges facing many farmers in the region this spring as they struggle to harvest last year’s crop and get this year’s crop in the ground on time. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Snow, snow, snow and more snow. What a rotten April this has been. Never enough for any appreciable accumulation and temperatures rising never above +2 Celsius which is just enough to melt it.

The real problem is that last fall it turned wet and cold early and trapped about 70% of the crops still on the ground. A warm dry spring might have made things salvageable and they could have been combined and gotten off the fields in time to plant this year’s crop.

Unfortunately things have been laying wet in the fields so long now that it’s all a write off and the new crop still can’t be planted. We are looking at two consecutive years of crop disaster now.

Oil’s a bust, Agriculture looks to be in the toilet for the second year in a row and the Socialist government are doing their level best to destroy what is left of the economy with their carbon tax measures and other agendas.

The Energy Sector is handing all their electricity contracts back to the government and walking away. They are looking at closing all their coal fired generation stations by the end of 2018 because of the carbon tax, which represents about 48% of Alberta’s energy generation capacity. Apparently $30 per ton carbon tax makes coal generation stations big loss makers and after all they are not in the business of making losses for their shareholders like the government is.

Blind leading the blind over the precipiceThe return of the generation contracts and those scheduled shut downs have put the government  in the position of buying electricity from generation stations and utilities in the northern U.S. and gee wiz!  Those are mostly coal fired generation stations – DUH! and WTF?

The political and economic picture leaves me speechless. I have trouble believing that Rachel and the NDP are actually that stupid. The only scenario that fits all the facts is that the NDP are deliberately trying to destroy Alberta as fast as possible before  the next election.

Business here is down over 30%. Expecting a huge drop in revenue. So, I’ve been really busy getting my corporate year end completed. I finished the accounting portion yesterday and heaved a great sigh of relief – I am 4 months earlier than ever before. Maybe this year it will all be done and submitted by the end of May. Still left to be accomplished is reconciliations and gathering of substantive documentation. Huge relief to be almost done already and continue to be grateful to God that I am not a farmer.

What’s really on my mind these days is the rejection that Christ faced in his own time on earth and the rejection that his teachings receive everywhere today. Posting a couple of scriptural quotes below with salient points in bold.

Mathew 17:1-27

1 AND after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: 2And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. 3And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. 6And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. 7And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. 8And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.

9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. 10And his disciples asked him, saying: Why then do the scribes say that Elias must come first? 11But he answering, said to them: Elias indeed shall come, and restore all things. 1

2But I say to you, that Elias is already come, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they had a mind. So also the Son of man shall suffer from them. 13Then the disciples understood, that he had spoken to them of John the Baptist.

14And when he was come to the multitude, there came to him a man falling down on his knees before him, saying: 15Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic, and suffereth much: for he falleth often into the fire, and often into the water. 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17Then Jesus answered and said: O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. 18And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour.

19Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? 20Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. 21But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.

22And when they abode together in Galilee, Jesus said to them: The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again. And they were troubled exceedingly.

24And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachmas, came to Peter and said to him: Doth not your master pay the didrachmas? 25He said: Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying: What is thy opinion, Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do they receive tribute or custom? of their own children, or of strangers? 26And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free. 27But that we may not scandalize them, go to the sea, and cast in a hook: and that fish which shall first come up, take: and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.

and in John 3:1-36

1 AND there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. 3Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born again? 5Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. 7Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again. 8The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can these things be done? 10Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. 12If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things? 13And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting.

Crucified Christ16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. 17For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. 18He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. 20For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. 21But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.

22 After these things Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judea: and there he abode with them, and baptized. 23And John also was baptizing in Ennon near Salim; because there was much water there; and they came and were baptized. 24For John was not yet cast into prison.

25And there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews concerning purification: 26And they came to John, and said to him: Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond the Jordan, to whom thou gavest testimony, behold he baptizeth, and all men come to him.

27John answered, and said: A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from heaven. 28You yourselves do bear me witness, that I said, I am not Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.

31He that cometh from above, is above all. He that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh. He that cometh from heaven, is above all. 32And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth: and no man receiveth his testimony. 33He that hath received his testimony, hath set to his seal that God is true.

34For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God: for God doth not give the Spirit by measure. 35The Father loveth the Son: and he hath given all things into his hand. 36He that believeth in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Ashtabula Bridge disasterTruly truly we do actively choose our fate for all eternity by the things we choose to worship in the here and now.

The things which we make the most important in our lives are what we worship, and for many of us is that thing not ourself?

And there will be no doubt much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness.

… and we still keep driving the train over the cliff at maximum speed.

Cheers

Joe

Relax - It all happened in 70 AD

Standard
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:

*****

“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.” 

*****

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

*****

“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?”

*****

“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.

*****

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

*****

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?

1234-first-ministers-20161209

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

1234-barking-moonbat-june_2012_bmewslogo

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:

*****

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

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

Can We Legitimately Base Policy on Presumption of Guilt?

Twilight and Shadow, Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

Parts of this post are drawn from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/  and from http://www.johnpratt.com/items/astronomy/science.html and also from http://thefederalist.com/2014/02/26/the-original-sin-of-global-warming/ and some of the ideas occurred to me while reading at http://observer.com/2015/11/why-progressives-are-wrong-to-argue-against-cultural-appropriation/

justin-trudeau3The Great Canadian Carbon Tax being pushed down our throats by the Ottawa Liberals has focused my thoughts on the multitude of fallacies built into the “settled science” of global warming. Can you see the error hiding in my title? Probably not, if you are the product of the “modern” education system.

This is because the obvious cultural biases of a late-20th-century modern progressive exhibit a crystal clear animus against the profit motive and a pre-established belief that industrial civilization is “ravaging the earth.”

Again, these are the obvious cultural biases of any late-20th-century modern progressive from the most ignorant, uneducated, or trained, up to and including those with the exalted title of PhD (a misnomer if there ever was one – how does one earn a “Doctorate in Philosophy” in a system that doesn’t even teach or value philosophy).

And, to our civilization’s great misfortune, these folks predominate and proliferate in overwhelming numbers in the modern educational system at all levels and in the vast and ever increasing halls and offices of government. This creates a perpetual feedback loop such that all one can hear is the overwhelming screeching of this colossal flock of aggrieved progressives shrieking “Mine”, “Mine”, “Mine” as they impale the sails of our national and global economy.

So in the “Global Warming Theory” debate the proponents of the “evil industrial complex”  theory offer us a binary choice to consider only two alternative theories (each attributable to the “evil profit driven industrial complex”) —that we are destroying the planet by cooling it down, or we are destroying the planet by heating it up—and calls proliferate for more of other people’s money to figure out which is correct.

But this bias prevents anyone from seriously considering an obvious third option: that our effect on the Earth’s climate is negligible, that any heating or cooling is within the normal range of natural variations, and the empirical, provable, measurable, fact based benefits of industrial civilization far outweigh any possible “theoretical” negative effects. But if we don’t treat this as an option, much less as an equally likely option, no government funding (other people’s money again) is likely to be devoted to pursuing that theory. Any person bold enough to suggest this third path is immediately vilified and marginalized as a “Denier”.

This is the original sin of  the “Global Warming Theory” religion: that it was founded in a presumption of guilt against industrial civilization. All of the billions of dollars in government research funding (other people’s money) and the entire vast cultural establishment that has been built up around global warming in academia and government, were founded on the presumption that we already knew the conclusion—we’re “ravaging the planet”—and we’re only interested in evidence that supports that conclusion. Just follow the money …

On other fronts, we are experiencing an “unusually cold” October – temperatures have not risen above zero degrees Celsius for a while and the projections are for more of the same. Is there any truth to the theory that temperature is a zero sum game and that because we are colder than normal, somewhere else on the planet other people are warmer than normal.

This sounds a lot like the theory that wealth is a zero sum game and that because some have more there must necessarily be others who have less because of that and it is the role of government to take that “excess wealth” and redistribute to others who have less, to “balance the playing field” for the uninformed and who will coincidentally vote for the folks giving away the freebies thus perpetuating the above mentioned feedback loop.

So we have an absolutely orgasmic situation for progressives in the form of a “Carbon Tax” which allows us to fix the “theoretical” Global Warming problem while at the same time redistributing the “excess wealth” to more deserving program recipients. WOW!  A twofer! Progressive Nirvana …

Oh Earth Oh Earth Return, Bill Douglas, 1996

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about “truth”. Science can never prove a theory “true” (by definition), but can only ever proceed down a path of ever increasing attempts to disprove the theory. So it is obvious to anyone that “truth” really has no place at all in science. By “truth” I mean what is “really” going on.

Science can’t really help us with “Truth” because science really can’t tell us what is really going on. All science can do is show that any “theory” enables us to make predictions with a fair degree of reliability, about what will happen if we do “X”, or don’t do “Y”. Science is straying out of it’s ballpark when it starts dabbling in “causes”.

Truth has to do with ultimate causes, which are always elusive and beyond the realm of science. Science deals with theories, usually mathematical, which predict outcomes of experiments. For example, if we drop a rock off a cliff, the law of gravity combined with theories of air resistance and other forces can be used to calculate just how long it will take to hit the ground, and how fast it will go, etc.

But science does not and cannot answer the question of just exactly what gravity is, or why things fall to the ground. It just states that given certain conditions, they will fall. Likewise, we can observe all kinds of weather phenomena and we can say with some degree of reliability that when certain phenomena are observed in some degree of conjunction then certain other outcomes become “more likely”.

Have you noticed that all the weather predictions these days are couched in terms of “% of probability”, like a 30% “chance” of rain. Just visit the link and check the POP numbers if you don’t know what I mean.

aasacrificing-to-their-god-lfs-990-600x466Does anyone understand that % verbiage more precisely than if the weather people were simply saying “It might rain” or “It might not rain” or even more obviously “we don’t really know for sure but our opinion is:”.  So too with “Global Warming theory”. The proponents seem quite willing to sacrifice the good of all on the alter of their opinion dressed up in the lipstick of “settled science”.

We have “weather forecasts”, and “storm warnings” and numerous other products of humanity’s attempts to predict climate outcomes, but as soon as we slide into making pronouncements about “causes” we have left the realm of science and ventured into the realms of opinion or even religious belief.

Whatever the facts may be, any statement about “settled science” in relation to weather and climate, only reveals a great lack of understanding on the part of  the speaker. The speaker is appealing to an authority which does not exist to support an opinion which may or may not have any element of truth in it at all.

We most often hear these types arguments in the schoolyards or after work in the bars and often in government circles and the lower levels of academia,  but the vehemence of the debate simply does not add anything to the veracity of the claims. Of course the arguments, at least in government and academia, are invariably followed by  demands for more of other people’s money.  Just follow the money ….

In general, science answers questions like “how,” “when,” “where”, but never “why” in the ultimate sense. Our medieval ancestors understood Theology to be the queen of the sciences. Her twin sister Sophia (the Greek word for “Wisdom”) was also venerated in the discipline of Philosophy. It was hard to tell the two beauties apart, but together they once ruled the many domains of human knowledge because they dealt with “Truth” and “Ultimate Causes”. In our modern Progressive Western English society Philosophy and Theology are increasingly irrelevant backwaters

As an example of the interplay of the 3 concepts of observations, theories and truth, consider the courtroom. The observations may be that a man was seen shooting a gun and that the person hit by the bullet died. The theory may be that it was cold-blooded murder, but the truth may be that it was self-defense.

Truth tends to be invisible and hidden, such as someone’s motives, whereas observations are usually visible. Courts are very interested in truth, where the motive (the ultimate cause) for actions is given considerable weight. The distinction between first-degree and second degree murder is based on intent. Motives are not as yet observable in science, and hence are beyond science.

So it is also with the word “Fact“. The word “fact” has several meanings, which can be very confusing. In popular usage it can mean either “observation,” “theory,” or “truth.” As an example of each, one can say, “it is a fact that every time I have dropped this ball, it fell to the ground.” That is what has been observed so far, and the word “fact” can be replaced with “observation.”

One can also say, “it is a fact that every time I have dropped this ball, gravity pulled it to the ground.” Even though this statement appears very similar to the first, “gravity” really refers to a theory proposed to explain why the ball is observed to fall. Finally, if one so thoroughly believes that the theory of gravity is really “true,” he could replace “a fact” with “true,” which would take the meaning beyond science into the realm of his personal convictions or beliefs.

This confusion can often be avoided by always replacing the word “fact” with “observation,” “theory” or “truth,” whichever seems to convey the intended meaning best. Remember that if the meaning is “observation,” then it is as fallible as the observer. If it is a “theory,” then it also could be dis-proven someday.

If it is claimed to be “truth,” then it is a statement of the personal conviction of the speaker, which is outside the domain of science. There is no such animal in our real world, fact based, menagerie as “settled science” or “truth”. The existence of these beasts are firmly rooted in the world of personal conviction or belief.

But here in flyover country we still have to pay more now to heat our colder houses. And it is calculated (in the same way that we calculate how fast a ball will fall to earth when dropped) that these changes to our daily reality embodied in a Carbon Tax based on the “settled science” of global warming will cost us all about $2500 per year or somewhere north of $200 per month.

Now, if you work for academia or government at any level then this is a trivially insignificant change because everything you get paid is all other people’s money anyway. You are the folks playing in the tax pool and splashing money around like water.

For the real taxpayers – those who actually create wealth or work for folks who create wealth and actually put real money into the tax pool for the swimmers to splash around in – this is a real palpable hit amounting to perhaps 10% of one’s remuneration.  And still we see no noticeable gubmint programs on the horizon to provide “heating cost relief” – yet.

Cheers

Joe

cypress-hills-snow

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Are The Elites Out Of Touch?

cooling-towersThis blurb is just the gathering of info, or what passes for info, from around the net. How can that be seen as uncharitable? Am I making judgements here or just allowing others’ to reach conclusions on their own by presenting disparate items in a targeted sequence? Allusions and aspersions all in the same slough.

Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlᵻpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”)[1] is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside of the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation (CTF) has come out swiftly against the federal Liberals’ carbon tax plan, saying it will cost the average Canadian family $2,569 more in taxes every year by 2022. The plan, revealed in the House of Commons today, will establish a “floor price” on carbon pollution of $10 a tonne in 2018, rising to $50 a tonne by 2022.

Will whoever replaces the Liberals as the Natural Governing Party of Canada continue with these policies or roll them back? Has any government in this country or anywhere, when returned to power after a hiatus, ever rolled back policies which the opposition decried when out of power. Brexit comes to mind but that wasn’t about the revenue, was it? Anyone remember that roll back happening ever when revenue was the question?  I don’t remember a single incident except when it involved changing spending priorities rather than rolling it back. It was that way with the old helicopter scandal under Chretien.

AlaskaPipeline-e1447444783580In other news: Saskatchewan’s first blast of wintry weather has hit the province hard. By the morning, up to 40 centimeters had fallen on some communities and according to Environment Canada, another 10-15 cm was expected to fall during the day.

cypress-hills-snowSo we NEED to do this carbon tax thingy to save the planet for our children … right? While colder winters continue to rise in the U.S., many aren’t sure which factors to attribute such extreme weather and freezing temperatures to.

The question might be posed, how can it be global warming when it snowed in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas last year? The truth is, global warming doesn’t just mean the earth is supposed to turn into an all-out fireball. To the skeptics, however, the persistent weather and climate changes are dismissed as pure happenstance. Is global warming even real?

Whatever the proponents and skeptics say, we can be absolutely certain that this new Canadian Carbon Tax is ABSOLUTELY NOT just another tax grab in a long line of tax grabs by government under many names. The Federal and Provincial governments would NEVER lie to us, eh?

justin-trudeau3Funny how the 40’s tune “D-Day Dodgers” popped up when I heard Justin declare he would prefer to make mistakes while speaking “ rather than to be inauthentic … and hyper-controlled and totally scripted the way other people are.”

Mr. Trudeau, like Lady Astor, standing on a platform and talking tommyrot, just like the D-Day Dodgers we are, we workers who have no say, and who pay for all the government folderol. And of course why should Justine care a wit since he doesn’t pay any of his own bills and never has in this life – born with a silver spoon and moved on from Daddy’s fortune to the taxpayer’s dollar in one smooth progression.

SO!  Pop Quiz! Another time – same government –  same party, who remembers inflation and indexing in the 80’s? Why wasn’t the income tax grid indexed? Why was the income tax level the ONLY item not indexed by the Federal Liberals? I guess Mr. Martin figured Canadians were too stupid to notice this HUGE stealth tax grab, and even if they did they probably would not leave, or the government could always just lie about it.

I guess Mr. Martin was right, eh? Poor, poor Canadians, so smug and naive in their practically perfect lives, in their practically perfect country, practically perfect in every way. hmmm. And, should doubts ever arise you can always rely on CBC, CTV, and Macleans for your daily Koolaid ration. What? Me Worry? PM Zoolander (aka PM selfie) has to be the attention whore….always tries to make himself centrestage. Never miss a good photo-op, eh?

And in OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau has heard the naysayers. He knows “cynics” say he’s all flash and no substance, and that there are those who believe Canadians are turning out to see him only because of his famous last name and good looks. He knows some are wondering how he, of all people, can claim to want to fight for the middle class, or when the next time he’ll put his foot in his mouth will be.

That’s okay, he says in an exclusive interview with Postmedia News: “My values and my heart are in the right place. My challenge is to have people get to know me.” But will that pay the heating bills at -40 degrees Celsius?  Does anyone outside of Ottawa and Toronto really think a nice shiny new carbon tax will do anyone in Canada any good at all, and if so, who?

So the question remains: Are The Elites Out Of Touch?  This isn’t a new meme; nor is the notion that the “little people” can’t look after themselves; nor is the reality that folks would rather believe what they think they know than what they actually know because at the root of it all we actually know nothing. And it is what we don’t know we don’t know that always bites our ass.

And here is another version of that 40’s tune ” The D-Day Dodgers” . I guess it reflects the perennial reality, and the media of the day were as cavalier with the truth then as they are now – anything goes in pursuit of a good lead.

pope_francis_marriage_remarks_810_500_55_s_c1Back then, “D-Day Dodgers” was a term for those Allied servicemen who fought in Italy during the Second World War, a rumour spread (anonymous source?) during the war that the term was publicized by Viscountess Astor, a Member of the British Parliament, who supposedly used the expression in public after a disillusioned serviceman in Italy signed a letter to her as being from a “D-Day Dodger.”

Of course, there is no record that she actually said this, in or out of Parliament, and she herself denied ever saying it.[1] What can we ever know when even the Pope changes transcripts of what was said at events.

800px-ortona_cimitero_canadese_05A reference to a “D-Day Dodger” was bitingly sarcastic, given the steady stream of allied service personnel who were being killed or wounded in combat on the Italian front. A “Dodger” is someone who avoids something; the soldiers in Italy felt that their sacrifices were being ignored after the invasion of Normandy, and a “D-Day Dodger” a reference to someone who was supposedly avoiding real combat by serving in Italy, whereas the reality was anything but.

Just another classic case of an idea which the elite got totally wrong, and the folk ran with because of their personal leanings pro or against the government of the day or perhaps the particular MP in question. Nothing much changes under the sun as long as people are involved. I bet the Roman Empire’s media were the same as ours are now, just slower because they had no internet.

Whatever … we watch the media spin the story, along for another wonderful progressive ride, just like the D-Day Dodgers on their way to Casino, but thankfully not taking enemy fire (yet).

Cheers

Joe

wheat-harvest-timeAlways remember, “Be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics

The Race to the Bottom … part 1

This is getting interesting.

Carrying on where I left off, in my four part series called “sober-second-thought-part-4”  I was withholding judgement and holding my breath.

Now it is becoming more apparent that the true colors of the new socialist government of Alberta are starting to show through.  Here we have a quick precis of an article from the Calgary Herald.

Karin Klassen: Notley’s spending is downright scary. Calgary Herald.

Published on: June 1, 2015  Last Updated: June 1, 2015 3:00 AM MDT

Rachel-Notley-runningThe NDP race to restore cuts and dole out the money has started.

No assessment of the provincial balance sheet, no budget, no plan to fix the most expensive and poorest performing systems in the country.

The new Alberta government is committing to still more large tranches of tax dollar spending and reversing past PC cuts and future planned cuts, as the Premier starts to pay the voters who put her there.

So what are we seeing?

  1. An Alberta recession is unavoidable (Conference Board of Canada)
  2. Small business confidence has dropped to the lowest in the country (Canadian Federation of Independent Business).
  3. Low oil prices, that are unlikely to recover any time soon.
  4. Depressed manufacturing, retail and financial sectors that are all under-performing against a national index (CFIB again).
  5. Increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2018, an unprecedented rate (excepting Greece),
  6. A royalty review, which spun the economy into a tailspin the last time it was threatened,
  7. An increase in corporate taxes,
  8. Carbon tax regulation which will do nothing meaningful, but serve as yet another deterrent to doing business here,
  9. Oil companies response amounts to : “Hello, Saskatchewan and North Dakota, said the oil company to Alberta — don’t let the door hit you in the face on our way out”.

What about extra expenditures:.

  1. There’s already $103 million to education,
  2. Reversal of cuts announced by the Tories (much of this goes to pay teacher salaries, the highest in the country).
  3. Keeping open the costly young offenders’ centre in Calgary,
  4. The restoration of 1,600 were-soon-to-be-laid-off employees of Alberta’s health-care system (the most expensive, and worst performing in the country). and …
  5. tuition freezes,
  6. lunch programs,
  7. smaller classes,
  8. more health-care coverage,
  9. a cut in school fees,
  10. more hospital beds,
  11. more home care
  12. job creation for unemployed youth,
  13. support for wind power and small breweries .

Important Note: All those folks on the black part of the balance sheet – the Makers – are in the dumper, they have become prime targets.

All the announced gains are to the mainly unionized, revenue-draining red side of the balance sheet, all the Takers,  the vampires.

Rhetorical question:  Once you eat all the Makers, what happens then?  This approach is why socialist and communist governments everywhere have never proven to be sustainable over time.  With all the union representation that’s taken over in the new Alberta government, it’s AUPE  (Alberta Union of Public Employees) first, ask questions later.

This math just does not add up. Nothing done by the government so far decreases my fiscal anxiety about where the province is going next.

“Might as well move to B.C. now,” one oil exec says. “If we’re going to get screwed, at least we’ll have an ocean view.”

I’m staying right here to ride our the coming storm. I don’t see any jurisdiction in significantly better shape than Alberta and I think we can hunker down and outlast them, it’s only four years … how bad can it get?

Keep paying down debt and keep fixing what we have and wait, and while we are waiting we will pray to the God that the socialists refuse to believe in.

Cheers

Joe

CSRNitpickers, ya know the drill … getta life, eh.

Standard