Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Monkey Day!!!

Just a little present of monkeys to brighten up your day.

h/t SDA

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An editorial I can believe in...

Never has a sports league fought so long and so hard to keep someone out of their ranks than Gary Bettman is doing to keep Jim Balsillie out of the NHL Owners ranks.

Frankly, I can't see what the problem is with Mr. Balsillie. I really can't. The man has money. He has a plan. The only thing that I can see that the NHL doesn't like is the fact that Mr. Balsillie wants to move the team to a market where he actually has a chance to make money and build a fan base. Holy Christ!!!! Get the Pitchforks!!!!!

A new owner of a team actually WANTS THAT TEAM TO SUCCEED. Imagine that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Which is it Don?

When I read this column by Don Martin, I got to thinking...

Really Don, is this something to complain about? Really?

I mean, when I go back to the Senate pages, the Prime Minister was only doing what the Senate asked for, to whit:

In the 39th Parliament, a topical debate was the growing number of vacant seats in the Senate. It began with Senator Tommy Banks’ spring 2007 inquiry into the Prime Minister’s intention not to make new Senate appointments without electoral consultations by the provinces. Senator Banks and other opposition senators argued that the Prime Minister’s position contravened the Constitution. In particular, shrinking numbers in the Senate reduces the representation of certain regions in Parliament — representation that is those regions’ constitutional right.

On June 7, 2007, and again in the second session on October 23, Senator Wilfred Moore moved a motion urging the governor general to appoint senators without waiting for the prime minister’s advice. Another motion, moved by Senator Banks, encouraged the government to call a meeting with provincial first ministers on the future of Parliament. It was adopted by the Senate on February 13, 2008.

On December 13, 2007, Senator Moore took the further step of introducing Bill S-224. In part, it proposed a deadline for the sitting prime minister’s advice to the governor general on Senate appointments — 180 days after a seat becomes vacant, similar to by-elections. The bill was debated in the winter of 2008 and referred to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in March.

So, let me see if I have this straight... And please, correct me if I'm wrong here - the senators themselves were complaining that Mr. Harper WASN'T filling seats in the senate, preferring to wait until the provinces elect their own senators, and now you're complaining that he's actually filling those seats in a timely manner, and in an identical manner to his predecessors?

I'm sorry to say, Don, but you can't have it both ways. Either you accept the reality that a Conservative Prime Minister will fill vacant seats with Conservative senators (and this Conservative Prime Minister has done so during 44 months of MINORITY rule no less), or you don't. Either way, it just looks like partisan Liberal whining if you complain about it.

At least there's a bonus to it, Don. If it convinces just one more person to consider reforming the Senate to a Triple "E" senate, then it's a good thing.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A good read

Tom McLaughlin reflects on a lifetime of teaching children about 20th Century American History.

Definitely a good read.

"Things would have been different if I were white"

When I heard the story of Suaad Hagi Mohamud, I just knew that at some point the Ceeb would find a way to exploit it to disparage the Conservative government.

Then, when I read this article, I just had one reaction, and apparently it's a reaction shared by many of the commenters on the CBC story:

What colour was the skin of the person who first detained you? Yes, it matters.

I'm going to be quite frank - the headline is misleading and the article was misleading because it attempts to smear the government with a perceived racism where none existed. It wasn't our government who stopped her from getting on the flight.

I'm not going to say that our government is pristine in all this, but what I am going to say is that the blame for her missed flight first lies with Kenyan security personnel, and secondly with the consular officials who made a judgment call in agreeing with Kenyan security that she wasn't the person in her passport photo.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heatley thoughts

I am not normally given to getting worked up over professional athletes. In my opinion, not enough of them are stand-up, down to earth guys that I've seen. So when I heard about Danny Heatley's "meet the press" conference, I was mildly interested until I heard this quote:

“I know hockey fans in Canada are passionate. I love that about Canadian hockey fans, I love playing for Canada, I love playing in Canada. Again it has nothing to do with Edmonton, it has everything to do with options. That’s the bottom line, to this date there has only been one option and I know there’s other teams out there.”

Question: But, why not Edmonton?

“Again, it was because it was the only option. It comes back to the start. I don’t feel I can make the right decision until there are a few options and I can make the proper decision for myself and my career.”

Now, I understand that he thinks he's a pretty good hockey player - I don't think that many people will dispute that. I can understand that he asked for a trade because he wasn't happy in the role that he had been pushed towards by his current team. Here's the rub though - he seems to think that EVERYONE wants him, and I can't see where that's the case.

He speaks about options, but in reality, few teams wanted his contract and thought they could fit it into their salary budget for the coming years. As it sits right now, unless he does something drastic, like sitting out training camp and some of the season, he has TWO options - he can go to the Oilers, or he can stay with the Senators, play his role, and shut the hell up. He forgot about that second option.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A true control freak

If Stephen Harper exercised this kind of control over an event, he wouldn't be Prime Minister today.

For all the bitching from the parliamentary press gallery about Harper and his "control freak" tendencies, this is TRUE control freak behaviour.

Lockerbie bomber goes home

Call me crazy, call me insane, but I almost hope his plane blows up en route to Libya.

Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Why the small business tax must stay"

Jack Mintz in his article at Full Comment applauds the NDP for not bringing a resolution to eliminate small business taxes to the conference floor. He goes so far to state:

So give the NDP credit. At its recent national convention, the NDP smartly refused to consider eliminating corporate taxes on small businesses by not bringing the resolution to the floor. The delegates got it right, since this destructive policy not only leads to tax avoidance by many high-income taxpayers but also fails to generate growth. Those pushing to eliminate small business taxation altogether, among them Manitoba’s NDP government, should think more carefully about this non-virtuous tax policy.

The unfortunate thing is the Mr. Mintz entirely attributes the wrong idea of why the NDP delegates chose not even to consider this resolution - that the policy is destructive and fails to generate growth. In actuality, the delegates didn't bring the resolution to the floor because they are anti-growth and anti-corporation of any size. To put it another way, they are against doing anything to help businesses of any size, believing instead that the government or the workers should be the ones to control the business.

He then shows that he hasn't been in business for himself by not understanding the benefits of a reduced tax rate on any corporation.

Notwithstanding the fact that there are studies showing that as corporate tax rates decrease, payrolls and averages wages increase. Notwithstanding that as corporate taxes decrease, both as a marginal rate and as an absolute rate, the ability of the corporation to repay it's obligations increases given an equivalent revenue level between the two scenarios. Given the ability to split income between family members and an ability to smooth income over time in order to maximize money left within a corporate structure to invest in further capital and expansion.

These are all attributes to a small business corporate tax rate which help to fuel job growth, and indeed growth in small business as a whole. What Mr. Mintz misses is that a small business corporate tax rate isn't ONLY to fuel job growth, but to fuel ECONOMIC GROWTH, and to fuel PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH, things which don't necessarily increase payroll numbers. Mr. Mintz cites that only 12% of small businesses increase their payrolls after incorporating, however he misses the statistic that small businesses make up 85% of the economy and it's economic growth.

I do agree with one thing that Mr. Mintz says though - all corporations should pay a low tax rate, possibly as low as the 16% combined rate he cites as the average rate across Canada. By doing so, Canada would become a low tax haven and attract corporate headquarters from many other countries, including the United States which would fuel economic growth for years to come.

Venezuela should be Canada's model for democracy?

Or so Judy Rebick thinks. I was all prepared to write a smack down of why it ISN'T a model that Canada should follow, but Kelly McParland of the National Post already did that. I think his article speaks for itself.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The first question I have...

Isn't why was this man left alone in the park to die of heat stroke, it's where was his family to help him that day?

If he truly was ridiculed by fire and ambulance personnel as they attempted to save his life, then yes, I can understand some anguish over that part of his death. I'm sorry to say though, that to expect passersby to step in and do something for a homeless person without specifically knowing he was in distress or how long he was sitting there is expecting too much for the average tourist or park visitor who are just there for a good time.

I doubt that a caucasian, black or asian homeless person would necessarily have fared any better with parkgoers that day.

I wonder...

Did these guys get funding from the Marquee Tourism Events program too, or are the Conservatives against goths too?

Monday, August 3, 2009

He's absolutely right

After reading Mark Steyn's post at the Corner, and listening to the "Libertarian Propaganda Channel" (FoxNews), a thought came to my mind.

Canada's legislation isn't even close to the length of the bills that the United States legislative branch have contemplated the last 7 months. I'm pretty sure that a Canadian bill, short of the budget ones, don't go over 100 pages. Does this mean that the United States' problems are 10 times greater than Canada's? Or is it a case that because of the way that things get done in a parliamentary democracy, there's less compromise and thus less special deals for each and every special interest or legislator that votes for the deal.

All I know is one thing, best said by Steyn:

If a bill is too big to read, it's a good sign you shouldn't be passing it. Rule by anonymous technocrats is a form of tyranny, however benign.
h/t SDA

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bye Karlheinz! Don't forget to write!!

It`s been a decade in coming, and quite frankly, I'm not sure what took so long.

This is a man who wasted the time of several courts, forcing one to go to work on a Sunday no less, wasted the time of government and the media for a DECADE. And for what? A $300,000 business deal that went sour.

That's all it was. Actually, I'm giving Schreiber the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't lying about the amount as he's allegedly lied about enough other stuff to get indicted and extradited to Germany to face charges of tax cheating and fraud.

In the process, he's cost the federal government $14million for the Oliphant Inquiry, an inquiry into private business dealings between two private citizens.

The only real question I have now that it's all over, is to whom to send the bill? Schreiber? the Media? or the Liberal Party of Canada? I say split it in 3.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maybe it's time for a TRUE debate on Health Care?

Shona Holmes is being pilloried in Canada. She's receiving death threats for speaking out about the state of Canadian health care. She spoke out so that the United States doesn't adopt our system.

They are saying that she didn't have a brain tumour, that she had a cyst instead. I don't know which is which, and I'm willing to bet that none of the people linked to above knows the difference either. The concept is clear though:

There was something physically wrong in her brain. It was causing a deteriorating condition. She was told that to see a specialist would take months. The diagnosis she brought back from the Mayo clinic (a highly regarded, world-renowned institution) was disregarded and she was thrown back into the system for months more waiting and deteriorating.

Put in that situation, I wouldn't care if it was a cyst or a tumour, I would care more about getting it fixed as fast as possible. I would take the same route that she did.

The United States is having the same health care debate that Canada SHOULD be having but are too afraid to do. The problem in the United States is that the poster child for the Obamacare proposed system is a politician who would GET front of the line service, while the posterchild for the naysayers is Shona.

I would humbly suggest to my American cousins, that they would be better served to listen to the experiences of the most average people in Canada regarding our health care system rather than listening to one of our elitists.

From listening to the Roy Green show this afternoon, the stat is put out that the Ontario government spent $100 million on pre-approved medical travel to the United States. Assuming that Ontario doesn't spend a disproportionate amount on medical travel out of country, this would mean that provincial governments spend $250 million in medical travel out of country. $250 million that does not stay to improve the health care system in this country. $250 million that could be going to private clinics in this country that would be happy to provide services and pay taxes here, but can't because they are illegal.

$250 million could go a long way towards hiring more doctors. Could go a long way towards training more doctors each year. Could go a long ways towards helping this country out.

If only there were the political will for a DEBATE, not just 5 political parties scared so spitless of being against a "single payer one-tier" health care system that they won't say anything.

Calling John Galt - Chavez limits free speech

After reading this news story, I have a couple of questions in my mind...

The first question is, "Who does Hugo think he's kidding?"

The second question is "Does a government count as a media owner if it broadcasts, or fails to broadcast, all the facts in a case?"

To the first question, I think Hugo knows exactly what he's doing, and I think that by controlling the media in his country, he'll be able to control the message, given that Venezuela isn't exactly the most advanced in the spread of internet access at 24.5% of their population compared to 84.3% of Canada's population with access and 72.5% in the United States. In that country, they who controls the airwaves controls the message.

To the second question, I would hope that the government counts, but the problem is finding an independent prosecutor and judge who would be willing to try the case. Not something that would happen in that country.