Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Okay, so now we know where the priority is...

Children, pregnant women, high risk individuals, and criminals first.

Got it.

Wait, what?

Yes, that's right. Whereas in Saskatchewan, regular everyday folk that have jobs, contribute to the community and pay their taxes don't get to see a flu vaccine until it's too late to do any good, and whereas otherwise healthy individuals in Toronto who wouldn't qualify for the shot are dying, the 3000 inmates in BC's penal system are getting priority for no apparent reason other than that they are in close proximity to each other.

Well ZIPITTY DO DA. This is health care rationing, folks. Can you stomach the choices that they're making on your behalf?

At what point?

At what point will China and India be expected to start cutting emissions?

The article from Treehugger reports that Australia is the largest per capita emitter, followed by the United States and Canada.

As SDA points out, we're comparing Australia, where the average temperature for the year is room temperature, with Canada, where the average temperature is substantially closer to freezing. Each of these places have their own special needs.

The article then goes on to point out that China and India each emit about 1/10 of the per capita emissions of those three. The article then attempts to make the case that this 1/10 is the reason why China and India should be exempt from emissions requirements.

Except that it's faulty logic. China and India's total emissions are each top ten in the world. This in itself makes them part of the ongoing problem. Given that these two countries encompass 1/3 of the world's population, they must be included in any climate targets, even if their targets involve intensity targets and not absolute caps.

But there's another perspective on this - one that the author tries to skirt by blaming the rich in countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States. What the author fails to mention, is how much of the emissions from China and India come from their upper and middle classes or as a result of the development of their middle classes. In China alone, 90% of the population live in poverty and emit no more than as much as a candle and a cow emit in a year. This has the effect of severely diluting their numbers to make them look better than they actually are. This also has the effect of allowing them to abdicate responsibility by hiding behind misleading numbers.

If China and India truly want to hide behind their development to avoid responsibility for their emissions, that's fine with me, but by the same token, I object to their being held up as environmental leaders simply because of their massive numbers in poverty.

Now excuse me while I go turn up the thermostat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank God I don't have any Grandparents left...

That was the first thought that went through my mind when I read this piece from the National Post Editorial Board.

Then I remembered something. Dad's already receiving CPP. Has been for years. This benefits him. Might have to take another look at it again.

So let's see if I understand this correctly... Jack Layton, a man who is almost eligible to receive CPP himself, is proposing to increase CPP benefits to people who have not contributed historically to the CPP system, and doing so by increasing the contribution rate paid by workers and business owners.

So ummmm Jack? What happened to working families? Honestly? I listened to your ads during the last election, espousing how you are there for working families and the working man. Problem is that you're looking to take FROM the working people to give to people who didn't pay enough tax when they were creating a bunch of entitlements, including the CPP program, during the 60's and 70's.

Well, here's the deal Jack. If you push for this. If you somehow get someone responsible who holds the actual seat of power to implement this. Then 3 things will happen:

1) The $300 a month that I'm personally paying to my father? Gets cut off. There goes one vote for you.
2) I would personally not vote for you, but that's really not any difference anyways - you've never had my vote anyways.
3) I would do everything in my power to make sure that myself and everyone I know (and quite frankly, Jack, that's a lot of people) pay as little into the CPP system as possible over their lifetimes.

After all Jack, if I'm not going to benefit from paying in, then why should I cheerfully hand over any money to the job-killing monster that you're proposing?

And for any self-employed people reading this? Give me a call, I'd love to help you save thousands of dollars per year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What if the Coyote actually caught the Roadrunner?

This just in... Wall Government tramples on the downtrodden... again

Now given that headline, one would think that I disagree with what he is doing in the case of a cap on needle exchange needles handed out.

But I really don't, and here's why.

In 2008, Saskatchewan recorded 174 new cases of HIV compared to Alberta's 225 new cases. Clearly less cases.

But let me repeat that in contextual language - something that drives home the point.

In 2008, Saskatchewan (pop 1,030,000, 4.5 million needles handed out) recorded 174 new cases of HIV compared to Alberta's (pop 3.5 million, 1 million needles handed out) 225 new cases.

And yet, the AIDS Saskatoon Executive Coordinator Nicole White says that we're not handing out enough needles.

Well, I have news for you, Ms. White. It's not that we're handing out not enough needles, it's that we have a problem with injection drug users in Saskatchewan. Our per capita incidence of new HIV cases is three times that of Alberta's. Coincidentally enough, we hand out roughly three times the number of needles that Alberta does. Is it possible that this is correlated? Is it also possible that you are advocating more needles be handed out in order to justify your position?

To be honest, Ms. White, injection drug users don't need more needles. They need more people counselling them to get off the stuff. Maybe then can this needle exchange funding be allocated to more pressing things, like special education initiatives for children who have no choice but to live life as they are.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ruby Dhalla and the culture of entitlement

When I first heard this on talk radio last week, it sounded reasonable that if there is an inherent racism engrained in the Old Age Security act as stated in Ruby Dhalla's presser from last June (and was stated on the radio last week), then of course it should be addressed.

Then, I went back and read the bill that she and Bob Rae have co-sponsored I learned something. THERE WAS NO RACISM IN THE BILLS.

I'm going to say that again, just so that it is absolutely apparent. The Old Age Security Act Sections 2 and 3 do not make any mention of the place that an immigrant comes from, it only sets out the rules for receiving a pension.

Now realistically, someone who receives an old age security pension based on 3 years of residence in Canada after immigration, would be eligible for about $35 per month. Not a lot. Certainly not enough to make a big fuss about it, except that there's another thing to remember - there is no residency test for the Old Age Supplement, meaning that an elderly immigrant receiving OAS would also receive Supplement to the tune of $7200 a year in addition to regular welfare and "social safety net" payments. Total cost to us of this bill? approximately $50,000 in new entitlements for a group of people who has done nothing to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Canada.

Now, it could be argued that by giving additional money to these people makes it easier for their children to make ends meet and get established in Canada. The problem is that there are already supports in place to do just that, and so creating another entitlement for an entire group of people would overlap and remove incentive to look after oneself.

But back to the original point of the post. Ruby says that the bill was inherently racist and that her bill addresses that racism. I say that Ruby doesn't know what racism is.