Thursday, October 21, 2010

Putting "rich" business owners into perspective

I'm not American, and I really don't have a dog in the hunt this election cycle, but some things just have to be put into perspective, and I've found Steven Crowder to be rather coherent on a lot of things.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A humble suggestion to any Conservative MPs out there

CBC News - Canada - Williams to lose rank but not pension: military

I propose a simple statute - that any income collected by an individual while he or she is in prison be subject to taxation at 100% to the estimated limit of the cost of upkeep for that individual in prison.

For example, if it is estimated that a convict in maximum security prison costs $85,000 per year including cost for guards, room, board, treatment, rehabilitation and other assorted initiatives, then the first $85,000 is confiscated for upkeep. If he or she earns more than this, then the excess will be taxed at the regular rate for that income level.

To be quite frank, there are too many pensioners (and 1 is too many, mind you) that receive their full federal pensions and Old Age Supplement while serving life sentences in prison. Some of these guys have absolutely no hope of seeing the light of day again. We charge pensioners for their upkeep to the limit of their income level when it comes to nursing homes and retirement homes, so what makes THESE pensioners any different than the ones sitting behind bars having done something wrong to be sent there?

A closing thought, maybe the prisoners have the right idea. I mean, honestly, what a great retirement scheme. Kill someone when you're ready to retire, and you get 3 square meals a day, free clothing, free shelter, cable TV, access to computers and the internet, exercise every day including access to weights, a job that you don't necessarily have to work all that hard at, and in the end, if you do something wrong, all they can really do is making you sit in your cell by yourself. Add to that the fact that you're paid full pensions to bank and you can choose which visitors you want to see or talk to, and you have the perfect retirement. The only problem is that you risk getting shived in the yard, but if you're in your 60s, chances are that you aren't going to piss off anyone bad enough to have them want you dead.

Forget about CPP or RRSPs - that sounds like a solid retirement plan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Since the CBC won't put it up yet

Wyant wins in Saskatoon Northwest.

The Elections Saskatchewan post was 5 minutes after the CBC posted that he was leading in the riding. I think that with all polls reporting it's safe to say congratulations.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The real Islamophobia

Greg Gutfeld Bashes WaPo For Pulling Mohammed Cartoon

Mr. Gutfeld has a point, so I'm going to quote it in its entirety:

GREG GUTFELD: So the Washington Post removed the October 3 “Non Sequitur” cartoon from its rag. The reason? It mentioned, not showed, Mohammed. There wasn’t even a picture of him anywhere. But the Post and some other papers still pulled it.

Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander asked his style editor why, and he said, “It seemed a deliberate provocation without a clear message.” He added that “the point of the joke was not immediately clear.”

Yeah, the reason is ambiguity. Weasel. Anyway, here’s the cartoon. Yeah, that’s really outrageous. And so here we see another callow editor making a cowardly decision based on a fear of upsetting religious fanatics, a fear he can’t even admit to his co-workers. Which leads me to my only point: why is it that the media keeps reminding us that we shouldn’t exaggerate the threat of a small group of radicals, but then completely changes tact when it comes to their own personal safety?

Think about it: if the average Joe expresses anxiety over Islamic fundamentalism, they’re called Islamophobes. But if an editor removes a comic in which Mohammed isn’t even present, that’s not honest to Allah Islamophobia?

Look, the media can’t have it both ways. They cannot criticize the public for concerns over Islam and then pull this stunt over a fear they may get stabbed in front of a Starbucks. If their governing principle in the newsroom is fear, then they should admit it and get the hell off our backs for feeling pretty much the same way.

For “Fox News Watch,” I’m Greg Gutfeld.

The true test of "Islamophobia" isn't someone doing something in full provocation of the religion, it's someone doing something in fear of that religion... That's what a phobia is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And so marks the beginning of the end

of Weyburn's Walmart store:

CBC News - Saskatchewan - Wal-Mart union in Weyburn, Sask., upheld

It's rather simple, there are two narratives that can be played out here:

1) The union negotiates exactly the same wages and benefits as all the other Walmart employees throughout Canada get, or

2) The store closes and 75 people are out of jobs.

Simple as that, but let's elaborate the reason why.

Walmart is an international chain, with stores all across Canada and the United States. While there are local variances for wage levels, it provides its employees with wage and benefit packages better than some unions can get for their members. It is said that the presence of a Walmart in your town generally benefits the average household to the tune of $1200 per year, but for the average Walmart worker, they get an additional 10% off virtually everything that Walmart sells.

Now let's follow the reasoning. If 1 store unionizes, then Walmart has to negotiate with the union, statutorily. If the union gets any additional benefit from Walmart than is already offered, then the jig is up - it's a precedent that is set that unions can use to organize in every other Walmart store in North America. This would cost Walmart additional dollars and may actually cause a reduction in the total benefit package as unions start focusing on their usual suspects - wages and health benefits - at the expense of other benefits like stock option plans and employee discounts. If this happens, 1 of 2 things will happen - either Walmart increases its prices to compensate for the increased costs (reducing the benefit that it brings to the community as a whole, see above) or it determines that the store will soon become unprofitable and close it (reducing the benefit to the community as a whole).

Walmart has set precedent by closing a store that has unionized. Jonquiere, Quebec closed several years ago after its employees voted signed cards to unionize. There are stores within a 60 minute drive of the Weyburn store. Same with the Moose Jaw store. And the North Battleford store. Walmart wouldn't think twice about sacrificing closing any of these stores if it means that it doesn't have to extend further benefits or embolden other union drives through the company's chain. It's a simple fact: a rape victim is entitled to escape if given the opportunity - why do we think any less of corporations who do the same?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Humans consuming more resources than Earth can sustain: report

Humans consuming more resources than Earth can sustain: report

The Living Planet 2010 report, conducted by WWF International, a global environmental research organization, says that humans would now need 1.5 planets to sustain their consumption patterns.


So I guess that when the global call for cull comes up, the WWF and it's associates will be the first ones to step up and answer the call?

Amid all the hooting and hollering

Bob Rae gets it right:

I think the case for Canada is very strong and I think the case was made effectively by the prime minister, but I think frankly it transcends partisanship and it transcends one political party or another, you know, when the prime minister is at the United Nations, speaking on behalf of Canada and talking of 65 years of Canadian experience, that is, I think, a story that everybody needs to hear and he wasn’t just talking about his own government, he was talking about the achievement sand the accomplishments of many different governments and I think that is the way we should approach it. I think we would be much better off in foreign policy if we looked much longer and harder at the things that we are doing together as a country and not see it as some partisan exercise. As far as I’m concerned, it is not a partisan exercise and I think that is the approach that we should be taking.”

Now I'll be frank. It wasn't Michael Ignatieff's fault that we lost the seat. It was Stephen Harper's foreign policy that made him lose this bid. But let's be clear, the Globe's editorial on the subject gets it right in the last paragraph:

Under the Conservatives, Canada has maintained its position of global leadership. It led at the G20/G8 this summer. It was the driving force behind a maternal-health initiative that promises to dramatically improve the lives of countless women in the world's poorest countries. It may hedge on an issue like climate change, but has enunciated an unambiguous message in terms of human rights, and democratic principles. It has aligned itself squarely with countries, such as Israel, which respect such principles. If Canada's failure to win a Security Council seat is a result of Conservative foreign policy, then it says more about the UN than it does about Canada.

On the global stage, Canada is consistently doing things right. The problem is that the UN is filled with a whole lot of countries whose leaders oppose some or all of the things that Canada champions. There is a large bloc of countries that oppose Canada's support of Israel. There is a bloc of countries which aren't impressed with Canada's direction for Climate Change. There is a bloc of countries which believe that Canada should give more foreign aid to Africa/middle east/southeast asia/AIDS/pick one. There are some countries who feel that Canada should stay in Afghanistan, and others who feel that Canada should not be in Afghanistan now. Add all this up, and it isn't surprising that Canada would have lost this bid when all it takes is the Islamic countries and most of Europe who may feel that there is more power in having an additional seat on the Security Council.

Mine is not to judge, but when NATO and the G8 seem to be more effective bodies, do we really care about a seat at the UN Security Council, let alone the UN itself?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And now some good news

The Chilean miners are set to finally be rescued from their 2 months in the equivalent of hell.

My hope is that the operation goes smoothly and that all make it out safe.

Read the story here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A humble thought on the CBC

Here's a thought regarding the CBC...

"Great, they don't get money from the federal government until they comply with the requests."

But Lantagne’s records were denied citing a section of the Access to Information Act, 68.1, which allows the crown corporation to withhold information based on its journalistic, creative or programming activities.

CBC spokesman Marco Dube said Lantagne’s records were withheld because “as general manager for Television de Radio-Canada, Louise Lantagne's activities and related expenses are most of the time deeply intertwined with our programming activities.”

Access to information expert David Statham believes CBC is misapplying the section 68.1.

The public broadcaster is also refusing to hand over documents to the information commissioner so the watchdog can check whether the CBC is fairly excluding documents or simply trying to avoid embarrassing information from leaking out, he said.

The Federal Court recently ruled CBC has no right to deny the information commissioner access, but CBC plans to appeal the court’s decision.

“Unless they receive political direction that enough is enough, they are going to fight the federal court ruling as far as they can go, and that’s going to cost the taxpayer,” said Statham.

It is in CBC’s interest to fight because while the case is under appeal dozens and dozens of CBC requests lie unanswered, Statham said, noting he is waiting for the information commissioner to investigate whether CBC was right to deny him access to Peter Mansbridge’s salary range and possible discretionary benefits.

Simple as that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Che Guevara remembered

“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said a former Cuban political prisoner Roberto Martin-Perez… “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of the La Cabana execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man (or boy) by firing the coup de grace himself."
Read it all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NDP raises potash ownership

NDP raises potash ownership

Lingenfelter told reporters at the legislature he hears often from Saskatchewan residents that the BHP Billiton bid for PotashCorp presents a potential opportunity for the province to regain shares in the former Crown corporation.

While even a small ownership percentage would likely cost the province far too much in a direct purchase, the province could potentially alter its royalty regime to allow it to take a small ownership share in the company, he said.

He stressed he was not discussing nationalization of the company, although he did note the success of state-owned resource companies such as Norway's Statoil and Brazil's Petrobras.

I've got news for you Dwayne. Taking a percentage of the company without putting anything into it IS Nationalization, whether it's a 5% stake like Danny's done, or 100% stake like your party has done in the past. You are essentially stealing from the people who have bought shares in the company by making their shares worth less than they would be if you didn't take a stake in the company. Furthermore, I would think that you and your caucus had learned from past investments like Spudco and Millar Western Pulp Mill, not to mention successes like PCS (oops) and Cameco (SK Uranium) (both of which only had success AFTER privatization) that GOVERNMENT DOES NOT BELONG IN BUSINESS.


End of Story.

If you want to play businessman Dwayne, put your own money into starting one. Until then, keep your musings to yourself.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oxygentax - 1, Statistics Canada - 0

So I get home from the office this evening, drop my groceries in the kitchen, and find an envelope sticking out of the side of the front door (not the bottom). I open the door to remove the envelope (because far be it for me to risk damaging my weather stripping by yanking the envelope through).

On it is a note from a Statistics Canada representative (who shall remain nameless, after all why should she be outed for doing her job?) telling me that she's sorry she missed me, and instructing me in a not so nice formal manner to contact her for an interview regarding the Household Spending survey that she is doing. There is no indication that the survey is voluntary.

So after reading the paper, I did what I normally do when the government doesn't say please - I go into civil disobedience mode and decide to ignore the note until it's followed up.

Not 15 minutes later, I get a ring of the doorbell, and I get to face the woman who wanted to invade my privacy without any reward for the information I give up. The exchange lasted all of about a minute and she had as much luck as a telemarketer would.

Don't get me wrong, she attempted to be persuasive, and I will give her points for making a second attempt to get my acquiescence after the first failed miserably, but in the end, what it came down to was two simple parts of the exchange:

1. "Is this mandatory?" "No, this is a voluntary survey." "Then thank you, but I would prefer not to take part.", and

2. "But just think of all the people that you would help by answering these questions." "Thank you, but I would really prefer not to take part in the survey."

She left without saying thank you. I was polite enough to turn the porch light on in order for her to see her way back down the walk.

See, I know that she was trained not to take the first "no" for an answer, but she really should have understood from my apprehensive first question that her second attack wasn't going to be successful. Sure, I could have wasted her time for 5 minutes letting her be the surrogate for all those groups she is purporting to help by collecting private information from me to help. She could have stood in for all those people who think that it's all right to force me to answer a survey under penalty of punishment to help them better take my money and distribute it to others who are deemed through that information to be more needy or worthy than I am. I could have done those things, but I politely sent her away, hopefully giving the impression that I wasn't happy with Statistics Canada right now.

Hopefully more people have the opportunity to do this - it would be nice to make Stats Canada work for their data for a change.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I miss Paul Harvey:

America has become a cannibal society, devouring its best. The competent, numerically outnumbered by the incompetents, are being corralled, restrained, confined and milked like barnyard cattle. The giants who created our skyscraper civilization are now ordered to obey Lilliputian bureaucrats. Common men—who owe their jobs to uncommon men who create jobs—gang together to shackle their providers.

Americans are becoming congenital dependents. Even as loafing relatives extort a livelihood by claiming they have a “right” to your money—so today eight million homegrown moochers insist that you are responsible for their welfare! Thus, we subsidize promiscuous mothers and their illegitimate babies and lazy feather bedders and goldbricking government pay rollers…While we penalize the strong, the purposeful, the productive with disproportionate burdens of taxes, pressures, red tape.

We praise ventures which are “non-profit” and grant them tax advantages and social acceptance, yet we damn the men who make the profits which make the “non-profit” ventures possible. Americans want to keep the electric lights but destroy the generators. What if the men of brains and initiative and industry should go on strike?

It happened once. “The Dark Ages” were a period of stagnation when men of exceptional ability gave up, figured “what’s the use?” and went underground—for a thousand years. Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged,” thinks it may have to happen that way again. Dr. Charles Mayo says, “I know of no individual, no nation, that ever did anything worthwhile on a five-day week.” Already many American industrialists are turning the keys on their corporations and going to Florida—either part-time or full-time—to become non-productive beachcombers.

Curiously, Russia is beginning to reward the uncommon men. Soviet scholar Vadim A. Trapeznikov—not without Kremlin sanction—is now referring to the Soviet system as “obsolete.” He says Russia’s economy must now rely on the “more productive profit motive.”

We, on the other hand, continue to play the democratic con-game which pretends that all men are equal and that anybody who demonstrates any inequality should be punished for it.

Any insolent beggar can wave his sores in your face and plead for help in the tone of a threat. You are expected to feel “guilty” for having more than he. Any barefoot bum from the pestholes of Asia or Africa cries out, “How dare you be rich!” And we beg them to be patient and we promise to give it all away as fast as possible.

The economic creed of “enlightened selfishness” which made our nation the powerhouse of this planet has been so maligned that now it sounds like heresy when I say:

Any man who claims you owe him a living is a cannibal.
Whether foreign or domestic, he is a cannibal.
If you choose to help him, that is one thing.
If he demands you “help” as his “right,” he is a leech,
a sycophant, a parasite.
He is a cannibal seeking to survive by consuming you.

So, as you marchers march, making your demands upon others, we wanted you to put yourself into proper perspective and, in the words of Paul Harvey, have a…

Good Day!

- Paul Harvey