Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chuck Norris says...

--Support voter ID laws in your state.
He makes a strong case, and not just because he's Chuck Friggin' Norris.

The case may likely be made for Canada as well, although we have much tighter voter ID laws up here than down there.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Moral Case for Free Enterprise

See all the videos at the American Enterprise Institute.


Monday, October 8, 2012

How Shale Gas Can Benefit Us at the Environment

A really great read from the Economists that brought you Freakonomics and its sequel:

The iPhone 5, which does more without costing more, is cheered for possibly lifting fourth quarter GDP growth by as much as half of a percentage point, or by $12 billion. Shale gas, which does what coal does while costing fewer dollars and fewer carbon emissions, boosted GDP by an estimated $76-118 billion in 2010 and will annually contribute an incremental $230 billion to GDP by 2035. Where are the throngs to welcome it?

Read it all

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interesting video...

But they'll call it racist anyways...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Inmates launch hunger strike at P.A. correctional facility

Inmates launch hunger strike at P.A. correctional facility

I have one thing to say about this:

Alcatraz Regulation #5:

"You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention.  Anything else you get is a privilege."

They could be worse off than merely being forced to stay in their cell most of the day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Forget the name

Just listen to the message:

Absolutely floored at how coherently he gets his point across.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Film industry supporters rally outside Saskatchewan Legislature

Film industry supporters rally outside Saskatchewan Legislature

Dear Film Industry supporters:

If the credit was actually doing what it was supposed to be doing, why has the volume of business done dropped 66% since Corner Gas left town?

To Kim Coates, with all due respect, if you really believed what you were saying, why haven't you pushed your Hollywood brethren to produce more films in the province?  Why, when you are a producer on a film, have you not pushed to use Saskatchewan as a location?

And to Mr. Cuthand, I don't know of a single person in the film "industry" in Saskatchewan that can do it as a full time job.  Perhaps you can point us to someone?  It's a $25 million industry - if there were truly people doing it full-time as a career, there are precious few of them.

The fact is that an industry that can not survive without government grants isn't an industry at all, and it most certainly isn't in "partnership" with the government to produce their product.  With the rest of Saskatchewan's industries in boom this one is one of the few that is in decline when it should also be booming.  Where's the sense in that?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Saskatchewan Film Industry:

Let me provide an answer from the Premier for you:  Get Bent

According to this article, 42 of 51 US states and territories have a program to attract movie and film projects.  The remaining 9 either have no tax incentives or do not charge state tax in the first place.

In Canada, 10 of the 10 provinces and 1 out of the 3 territories also have an incentive program in place.  The new incentive for Saskatchewan gives a non-refundable credit which essentially exempts that project from provincial tax in the province.  Just like New Hampshire, the provincial government fully realizes that this isn't competing with any other program, but that's the point.

They aren't going to compete.  They don't want to compete.  We are in the midst of a boom.  We have oil and gas, potash, uranium, diamonds, gold and coal to extract.  We have 10,000 jobs being advertised per month on SaskJobs.ca in a labour market of 500,000 and change.  We have agriculture and manufacturing and construction going on around us.  All of these industries are screaming for employees.  All of them need to recruit from out of province.  So why would we give an incentive to 1 industry which, in its best time reflected .15% of GDP in the province (yes, that's 1/6th of a percentage point) when that industry is clearly not going to develop to anything larger than a cottage industry?

Actually, scratch that, building cottages generates more GDP in the province than the film industry in a given year.

So why, Mr Goetz and the SMPIA, should the elected Premier of the province remove his elected Minister in charge of your file for no other reason than you can't bully them into giving you what you want?

Like I said off the top... Get Bent.  Saskatchewan will be just fine without your "industry".

Monday, April 30, 2012

Conservatives engaged in a market transaction in 2009.

Dear Newstalk and the Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Shouldn't you have learned years ago that you have to work a little harder to find something that might actually stick than to dig up stories from the height of  a world wide financial crisis to prove how horribly bad our government is?

By the way, that's 2 elections ago, in which your target has received progressively larger percentages of the votes and seats.  Ever thought that what you're doing is HELPING him?

Just sayin'

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation gives budget an 'F'

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation gives budget an 'F'

Of course they did...  It shouldn't be hard to figure that out... they voted almost overwhelmingly against the Saskatchewan Party.

Seriously, here are the results from the election, pay close attention to the polls in Sandy Bay, Kinoosao and Deschambeault Lake, notice anything?  These are all PBCN polls.  They all went NDP by massively large percentages.  You might as well go to Wood River and ask any random group of people what they thought of the budget.

Notwithstanding that PBCN may have some real concerns - longer travel time to get hunting and fishing permits they don't need, and the ending of an agreement with a monopolistic marketing board that First Nations are calling on Ottawa to end anyways, I would hardly give the budget an F.

Of course, this budget had very little money for anybody with their hand out, and maybe that's the point.  First Nations have called for more funding for all of their issues for the last 2 months, and the budget had nothing for them.

Better luck tomorrow PBCN.

PS: Wood River is where the Saskatchewan Party won its highest percentage of vote.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

I`m not sure where people think that this is up for debate.  The fact is, a majority government axed the credit in their budget.  There`s no debate - it`s gone.  

And in a province that is humming along quite nicely on its own, continuing to fund an industry that will never be able to stand on its own seems rather illogical.  Even if the industry`s numbers are to be believed, the film industry generated $40 million of activity per year in an economy worth $45-65 Billion dollars.  For those keeping score at home, that`s less than .1% of GDP per year.

Even if the credit is largely revenue neutral, that means that the government took money from workers and business in order to generate no tangible benefit for the province.  That money could have just as easily been left in those pockets to help reduce the sting of higher rents or to re-invest in projects that will either increase the productivity of the province or increase the capacity of the province to generate future tax which would actually benefit the province.

An industry that can not survive without a permanent subsidy in place is no industry at all.  The biggest question I have at this point, is whether Corner Gas would have been filmed in Saskatchewan in the first place, had Brent Butt not been born and raised here?  If Corner Gas was filmed here as a hometown project, what benefit has there really been to the province?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The government giveth...

... and the government taketh away(eth)...

The Saskatchewan government brought down what they call an austerity budget with cuts and handouts...

Take a look at the highlights here

There is some good and some bad in the budget.  The good?  They are increasing the cost of prescriptions for seniors.  The bad?  They're giving seniors more money in the form of personal care home and income supplement benefits.

The good?  They're spending more capital to build schools and hospitals.  The bad?  They are throwing more money into the sinkhole that are health region budgets.

The good?  They are providing incentives to medical professionals to work in rural areas for a few years.  The bad?  Those medical professionals will still try to practice closer to the larger centers than not, leaving more distant rural areas out in the cold.

The good?  They are increasing nursing seats.  The bad?  They aren't increasing DOCTOR seats in post-secondary.

The good?  They are giving more benefits to the disabled and providing more support.  The bad?  They aren't paying down any debt.

All in all, not a necessarily bad budget, but there were some cuts (Enterprise Regions) that were absolutely unexpected.  This is actually a budget that I don't mind seeing - very small goodies for individuals and capital spending to bring schools and hospitals up to date.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christopher Monckton at Union College

Video streaming by Ustrea It`s an hour long, and well worth the time. H/T SDA

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mining company Vale receives Public Eye Award

Mining company Vale receives Public Eye Award

It's got to be said... if this:

According to the Public Eye Award, Vale's number one offence is over a planned dam in the Amazon that could force roughly 40, 000 locals from their homes.
is the reason why Vale won this award, then I would say that it's award is well earned. As it is though, the NGOs just have to stick this in as part of the shame:

The award also mentions a prolonged strike in Sudbury, Ontario.
Let's be serious here... as I've previously blogged, there's more to the Sudbury strike than just a company trying to brutalize it's workers. The facility in Sudbury doesn't make money at the current wage structure. The company thinks that it's unfair that other facilities should subsidize the operations of this one facility merely because the workers think it should happen. I question how those union workers could sleep, knowing that they are the ones forcing the company to "exploit" workers in a poorer part of the world just so that they can be paid a wage to high to sustain the operations of their facility.

While it sounds like Vale is into some interesting stuff based on the award's press release, I would also point out that RBC won this award 2 years ago for no other reason than investing in the Oil Sands, and KPMG, an ACCOUNTING FIRM, won the award in 2005 for no other reason than they were helping their clients legally minimize their tax burden. I'm going to repeat that... they were helping their clients minimize their tax burden by following the rules.

Wear it with pride Vale. This award is as misguided as the Fossil of the Day awards that Canada always seem to collect from CAN, and just as legitimate (being not at all).