Merkel hits the proverbial nail on the head...

"We don't have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity. We have too few discussions about the Christian view of mankind..."
This excerpt from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's latest speech will no doubt create a firestorm of tiny little hissy fits in the brains of millions of Progressives - Worlwide.  Samuel Gregg offers a poignant commentary here.

In short Merkel is saying nothing that should surprise anyone.  Europe is in a state of cultural crisis - a crisis similar though different than the one starting in Quebec right now.  Multiculturalism, widespread new age liberalism, moral relativism all combined with low birth rates has created a perfect storm with the arrival of new Muslim immigrants.

As a result of Europe denying the historical fact of its European Christianity, and embracing a view of the world that has led to it's own death, an identity crisis is in full swing.

What European culture needs is to be more confident.  Confident cultures don't have panic attacks when new comers come into the mix.

The Bloc Tory Coalition

The rumour seems to be showing some truth.

I find the media spin on this quite surprising. The Bloc joined the Tories in blocking (no pun intended) an attempt to open competitive bids for the CF18 jet replacement.

Apparently Bloc MPs were "looking to protect the Quebec-based aerospace industry..."  

Not too long ago Stephen Harper was lumping the nefarious Bloc with the NDP and the Fiberals as anti-aerospace for daring to question the uncompetitive contract.  Apparently the Bloc had a change in heart regarding the uncompetitive nature of this process.

It's well more than possible that as this session of parliament comes to an end, and then comes another, that some well placed victories may be coming to Stephen Haper... Along with a shiny new arena in Quebec.

That Tricky Senate

The cry babies on the left are whining their little plump urban elite behinds out.  Their climate change bill got the Senatorial treatment - the thing got killed like a Senate reform bill.

Now those oh-so-much-smarter-than-the-rest-of-us "progressives" have suddenly woken up and realized that the Senate is being - gasp ! - UNDEMOCRATIC.

Well gee now, that seems peculiar.  It's filled with bozos who have never had to once face a ballot box, or canvass a poll.  None of them can get fired.  The PM appointed them.  They can do whatever they want without any consequences.  Yep that sounds pretty undemocratic to me.

So does that mean that the Laytonators out there are now suddenly going to be converted to the Senate reform bandwagon?  Will they finally give up this silly stalling tactic of pushing for a "PR Senate" and nothing else?

They liked the "undemocracy" of the Senate when it suited their ends for the past 30 years of liberal governments... How can the people that blocked Harper's senate reform now turn around and decry him giving up and using the Senate exactly the way he didn't want to in the first place?

When you're on the Road to Damascus, just when do you start to realize the stupidity of your previous actions?

The Iggy Tax

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Imagine this situation:  

Massive financial and economic crisis.  Government steps in and bails out a number of large corporations.  Under the gun, the state moves to inject a huge monetary stimulus into the economy.  Government is spending like drunken medicinal marijuana smoking Dippers.  Birth rates are dangerously low.  Populations are aging at a rapid pace as the average age increases and increases.  Soaring health care costs continue to hammer government coffers.

You know what sounds like a great idea?  Let's raise taxes and expand our already generous unsustainable health care system.  Who cares about the long term anyways - hell we're all dead in the long term!  Burn baby burn!...

I don't know what math they teach you down in Harvard, but the Puffster's arithmetic needs a double check.

Socialist Harper

Mike Brock is deservedly angry. Stephen Harper's Tories have vastly increased the size of government. Trudeau would be no doubt approve.

Except that not everything is quite as bad as Mike believes.
Clocking in at an impressive $55.6 billion, the Harper government has single-handedly managed to inflate the size of the Federal government since taking office in 2006, by approximately 50%.
I don't mean to nitpick, but that number seems wrong to me. The Federal Budget since 2006 has run in the 200 to 300 billion dollar range. Actually, based on the numbers I have the federal spending ran at 223 billion in 2006. The last numbers I saw for projections of 2009 to 2010 fiscal year was 271.4 billion (based on a 54.8 billion dollar deficit). So really this increase is closer to 22 %. Still bad. Just not THAT bad.

The next thing that should let Mike's blood pressure drop a bit (or raise it) is comparing Stephen Harper's new found spend crazy ways to those of US President Obama.

Harper's 56 billion dollar deficit equates to about 3.7% of our GDP.

Obama's 1.6 trillion dollar deficit equates to 11% of their GDP.  That's almost 3 times bigger comparatively.

Also Trudea's increases in spending over his tenure works out to 69% in his first stint, followed by 12% in his second.

The Noble Fight Against Duck Hunters

The noble fight against duck hunters has found a new soldier:
A third New Democrat MP says he's changed his mind and will vote against a bill to do away with the long-gun registry.

Claude Gravelle, the member for Nickel Belt, says he wants the registry fixed, not killed.
His reason for his newfound enlightenment? He's perturbed at Tory "hardball" tactics.
“The mounting rhetoric and divisive debate egged on by Conservative MPs has convinced me that I needed to make a decision sooner, rather than later..."
“There are problems with the long-gun registry which could easily be fixed to address the concerns of hunters, farmers and First Nations communities..."
“Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Conservatives had no interest in working collaboratively with other parliamentarians because they had intended all along to use this bill as a fundraising tool, and as a cynical way of dividing rural and urban Canadians.”
This is a weird argument for registry converts to use. I now support the registry, not because it's a good idea, or because I now believe in it, but because the other side is mean.

The other side suggests conspiracy theories like "cops just want to get rid of all our guns." How crazy is that? Just looney isn't it?

Except that really it isn't. I would bet dollars to pesos that if you took a poll of gun registry supporters and asked them whether banning all long guns was a good idea a good chunk of them would agree.

I don't see what's so shocking about this statement. It's like saying that someone who wants lower taxes really wants even lower taxes than that. In my case I'm guilty as charged.

These new converts to the Crusade Against Duck Hunters must know this. I refuse to think otherwise. Their logic makes no sense. My beliefs and my opinions in certain positions do not change based on the bad behavior of some fellow arguers.

This leads me to conclude that this MP and others are finding a convenient sword to fall on.

Yes it's the horrible mean Tories and their divisive rhetoric that changed my opinion. I wouldn't have supported the registry if those mean old Tories had just been a little more polite. See constituents - If I voted against the registry those damned crazies would win.


Recycle This!

Residents of Cleveland Ohio (Hello Drew Carey) are being introduced to a new type Big Brother. This time he's "green":
Cleveland residents, beware: Your recycling bins may be watching you. The city of Cleveland is introducing a $2.5 million Big Brother-like system next year to make sure residents are recycling.

Chips embedded in recycling carts will keep track of how often residents take the carts to the curb for recycling. If a bin hasn't been taken to the curb in a long time, city workers will go rummaging through the trash to find recyclables. And if workers find that over 10% of the trash is made up of recyclable materials, residents could face a $100 fine.

Of course, my immediate reaction was to fantasize about how many recyclables I could junk in the dumpster in protest at this ridiculous invasion of personal property rights.

Isn't trash after all your property? How I use, dispose or recycle my stuff I would think is my own business. You have a right to your trash. If trash didn't belong to someone I guess these people made art they can't sell:

No government has the right to tell anyone what they can do with stuff they own... so long as they don't harm anyone else.

I suppose that's exactly what those members of the Green police will argue - by not recycling people cause harm. But do they?

A New York Times article published in 2008 suggests that some forms of recycling cause more harm to the environment: "Recycling is supposed to be good for the environment. But if it’s not carried out properly, certain kinds of recycling — notably the dismantling of electronic circuit boards, which contain lead, zinc, copper and other metals — can cause environmental harm." Ok, but when Cleveland talks about curbside recycling they are no doubt not generally talking about electronics.

Discover though also published an article in 2009 describing how recycling can be harmful for the environment if sorting is done improperly. I can't tell you the number of times I've found it next to impossible to judge just which recycling bin to throw what into. Should I be fined for choosing to throw that piece of plastic away instead of causing more harm by possibly throwing into the wrong bin?

To make matters worse recyclers in Asia have faced recent criticism for their poor environmental practices. "Recycled products made from plastic from these enterprises are often of poor quality and harmful to health..."  Although these problems aren't generally reported here in North America, can we really be sure that recycling operations here aren't causing some similar harm?

We also know that with most curbside recycling, a second truck is used for collection. This means more pollution not less - and the CO2 global warming kind.

It hardly sounds like recycling is so clearly a better choice for the environment. And it seems perfectly reasonable for someone to take differing view that shouldn't automatically be considered a "green crime."

Apparently not so in Cleveland. Those poor Comrades are living in a Green version of 1984, where we all love Big Green Brother - or else!

h/t PowerBlog

A Very Special Place In Hell

I truly believe that a very special place in hell is reserved for those inflexible rigid sociopaths in business and government that refuse to apply common sense and good judgment when applying rules:
He wasn’t a health officer; he was a bylaw officer. Yet he demanded to know what the guests had for lunch. In the name of the law!

Armed with this devastating information, the officer charged Peter’s parents with running an illegal “commercial conference centre,” which carries a fine of up to $50,000. The officer, a burly, tattooed, six-foot-something man, told Peter’s mom to “be very careful.” She burst into tears.

I phoned that bylaw officer to ask him about the Jaworskis. I found a man on a mission, boasting to me that his next step would be to take down the street sign for the family’s small bed and breakfast.

He was particularly pleased that he could do that without issuing a summons, or even receiving a complaint. When he sensed my sympathy for the Jaworskis, he hung up on me
What a hollow hollow soul killing man. His only concern is enforcing an arbitrary set of rules. A set of rules he can use to satisfy his own sick need to dominate over other people.

When he meets his maker he'll have his mountain of rules and his overblown ego - nothing else. His never ending need to push down others to feed his selfish pride will be stuck without an outlet. It'll be like an itch he can never satisfy. A horrible urge he can never stop.

I couldn't think of a worse hell.

Can You Spot The Psychopath?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder manifested in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation, intimidation, and occasionally violence to control others, in order to satisfy their own selfish needs.
Interpersonal traits include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others.
Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.
Recognize any Canadian politicians that fit this bill?...
h/t Tranterrestrial

Senate Regression

Rumblings of a disaster on the PM's senate reform strategy. Apparently appointing a whack of loyalists to the chamber of not-so-sober second thought to ram through Senate reform can have its hiccups:
While a handful, like staunch Ontario Conservatives Bob Runciman and Doug Finley pledged full support for an elected Senate, senators Mike Duffy, Irving Gerstein and Glen Patterson refused to say whether they still support the government’s legislation.(link)
It's the 21st century - and yet we still have a body of legislators not chosen by the people? Shouldn't it be a right for people to choose who represents them, or am I just crazy?

I think it's time for responsible government to make a comeback in this country.

If there are some turncoats that want to change their minds at the 11th hour - I say let them.

They're fighting a tide that has no end. It's an eventually for it to happen. The issue has been around since Confederation, and it will stick until it's finally fixed.

Over the long term people have a habit of fixing bad decisions. For that reason Senate Reform is an idea that can't be beat.

G20 Costs V

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse:
Sources tell me [the] security cost of the disastrous G-20 summit will reach at least $2-billion. (link)
That puts the final cost of the G20 summit at about 150 times the cost of the two other summits last year in the US and the UK.

For the same price of one summit in Toronto, the UK could have had 150 summits.

At what point does something become a debacle?

G20 Costs IV
G20 Costs III
G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I

Richard Neufeld: The Unelected Tory Senator

Has elected to change his mind on the Senate:
"Before I came here, I only thought about it when it was brought up in newspaper articles, or someone was ranting and raving about the Senate when they talked about elections. But I thought we should have an elected Senate," Neufeld said.

Indeed, Neufeld has become a big booster of the current unelected Senate.

"It is time to quit kicking the Senate. It is time to start talking about the good things we do," he told fellow senators.
His reasons for his newfound opposition?
Neufeld said he supports term limits but the Senate election bill is "neither workable nor effective."

By contrast, he said: "The appointment process is quick and cheap. You can have regional representation and do all kinds of things. You can get a cross-section of the people that you want in this place."

"...that you want..."?

That who wants? The people? Nope can't be them. They don't decide zilch.

What I'm guessing he means by "you" is the enlightened few and mighty up in Ottawa. That sounds like a healthy run-by-the-people democracy to me!

You can't be too picky about who you do and don't appoint as Senators. That would cost too much money. Senators only get paid hundred of thousands of dollars each year and make far reaching decisions on public policy that effect millions for decades... That isn't election worthy. That's just too much money.

But the Senator leaves his best argument for last!
He said he's the first senator ever to hail from northern British Columbia. If he'd had to seek election for the job, he doubted he'd have garnered many votes in Vancouver and the populous southern portion of the province.

Furthermore, he noted that the bill contemplates holding Senate elections at the same time as provincial or municipal elections. He said that would be confusing to voters, particularly in British Columbia where there is no Conservative party provincially.

Sooooo basically he's saying "gee whiz, I wouldn't even be here if I had to actually run in an election!"

Well me, being one those "confused" voters that won't be able to tell the difference between Dalton McGuilty, David Miller, and Hugh Segal, I guess should thank Mr Neufeld for looking after us stupids.

Ok my sarcasm is done for today. I promise.

June Round-Up

June was a strange month in the world of Canadian politics.

It started with Poll numbers showing a left wing coalition would actually drive up Conservative support. The media reported that fact most forcefully... Actually they didn't, and sort've sucked the oxygen out of the room by implying the exact opposite.

The Liberals soon thereafter released a stinky ad. Iggy Puff's attempt on turning the page on the coalition circus? A complete utter failure.

What did do the job for the Puffster was the G20. Escalating costs were an embarrassment - especially when French President's mused they could hold the same summit for a 1/10th of the cost. The complete stupidity that seemed to ensue that weekend proved to be much more captivating to the media then whether Layton and the Puffster need to get more comfortable.

Was it a good month? Well... It was a month. I'm sure there's a lot that people want to forget about the last 30 days... Especially in downtown TO.

Canuck Space Cookies?

Hey Federal Tories: Looking for stuff to cut?
Access to Information documents obtained by The Canadian Press reveal the Canasnacks were the first step in a detailed proposal to develop "Nutritious Foods for Space Travellers."

The project began in December 2006 when the Canadian Space Agency commissioned Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to create a one-day menu for astronauts on board the International Space Station.

The CSA kicked in $65,000, while Agriculture Canada's contribution was budgeted at almost $350,000.
I could've saved Ag-Can $350k by telling them to just buy and re-package some good ol' PC chocolate chip cookies from the RCSS.

All this cookie talk is making me hungry.

Gee... Let's Consult The Enemy

I don't know what it is this morning, but it seems like there's non-stop stories of non-sense out there for me to comment on:
The Canadian Space Agency is seeking advice from its Russian counterpart in a long-term project to put a satellite over the North Pole.
Russia is developing a similar program. The two countries would share scientific information gained from the new satellites.
Canada already has two satellites orbiting northern reaches. Radarsat 1 and Radarsat 2 keep an eye on northern waters and provide climate and weather information.

Images from those satellites are being used to help the military track activity in Canadian Arctic waters in a program called Polar Epsilon.

Ok. So let's get this straight. The DND has been pursuing a space strategy centering around providing space surveillance of the Canadian arctic.

Make's sense.

If Canada is going to protect its borders it needs to have a way to monitor such large arctic borders.

Canada especially needs to protect it's borders against other artic nations like Russia.

It may be a stretch to call Russia an "enemy" of Canada, but it definitely is a competitor with Canada when it comes to the arctic.

And so here the CSA comes along and wants to consult with them on how to develop this capability?

It's the equivalent of Iran asking the US for advice on how to build a Nuke.

Sounds like great cooperation. Doesn't make much strategic sense.

No One's Buying It

Ridiculous is the only word to describe this:
“There was an honest misinterpretation by people who were dealing with these matters in the midst of the heat of the moment,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

“It was the government, the minister of community safety, that realized that there was a misinterpretation. And they drew it to the attention of the staff and they then advised the chief right away. … There was no willful misinterpretation. There was no intent to mislead anybody.

“And as far as the police officers were concerned, they were advised right away, as soon as the mistake was detected.”
Do they honestly expect anyone to believe this claptrap merely a day after the police chief admitted to the ruse?
Asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”(link)
If this were a business, and I were running it, the police chief and half these knuckleheads would be out the door faster than you can say "five-metre rule."

If I were a police officer I would be ashamed right now.

Allan Rock Should Be Fired

Remember the Ann Coulter affair? Remember that notorious letter sent by the provost of the University of Ottawa? Remember how Allan Rock, former Liberal cabinet minister and Prez of U of O was mysteriously silent the whole time?

Turns out he was behind the whole damn thing:

"You, Francois, as Provost, should write immediately to Coulter informing her of our domestic laws. ... You should urge her to respect that Canadian tradition as she enjoys the privilege of her visit."

After seeing a copy of the final email to Coulter, Rock praised Houle: "Quel excellent message! Merci et felicitations. I am sure she has never been dressed down so elegantly in her life!"

These emails show a lack of professionalism, a lack of good sense, and a lack of character on behalf of Rock. He should be fired.

He should be fired if U of O wants to maintain the basic semblance of any credibility whatsoever.

He should be fired for using his position to intimate visitors to this country merely because he disagrees with them.

He should be fired because he clearly has no integrity whatsoever.

The G20 Idiots

I've sat back and watched the coverage. Police cars burning. Police harassing seemingly innocent protesters.

Those same protesters destroying public property.

Then I watched videos of real wanna-be "hero's" confront police officers to prove some sort of point. Who knows exactly what they were trying to prove. Then I watched police officers, believe it or not, professionally handle these situations.

Then to make matters worse, I just watched a police chief admit he lied to the public.

There was no 5 metre rule. It was just a tactic used to intimate individuals into complying with searches.

The end result? There were idiots all over downtown Toronto this past weekend - Both Police and Protester.

In my opinion everyone should be ashamed at their behavior. Police should be ashamed at the abuses of power that their police chief apparently sees no issue with. Protesters should be lamenting the horrible damage those that destroyed property did to their cause.

In the middle of this stupidity their were no doubt true innocents not reported by the media who have experienced financial loss or a violation of charter rights.

This past weekend was not a good weekend for Toronto or Canada.

G20 Costs IV

I was just forwarded this email exchange from a fellow Tory. Relevant names and email addresses have been deleted.
----From: Donations
Subject: FW: Help us end the long-gun registry...
Date: Thursday, 24 June, 2010, 12:34

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Conservative Party of Canada and for sharing your thoughts with us regarding the G8/G20 security costs. Please be assured that your comments and suggestions have been carefully reviewed.

Since the tragic events of 9/11, increased security has, unfortunately, become a fact of life. Security is costly, but it is imperative to the safety and well-being of the G8/G20 participants and all Canadians, that we spend this money. Some 30 world leaders will be in attendance, along with thousands of delegates and media. All of these people need to be housed, fed, transported, and protected. These individuals will face the entire range of security threats that accompany such meetings, which is why we need to go to such lengths to ensure their safety.

The infrastructure that will be put in place will remain long after the G8/G20 has finished, benefitting residents of Toronto and Muskoka. The new infrastructure ranges from new equipment and road improvements, to buildings and improved communications networks. Please rest assured that our Conservative Government has planned accordingly for all costs and are on target and within budget.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Yours truly,

Fundraising & Membership Services Department
Section des Activités de financement et des Services aux membres
Conservative Party of Canada
Parti conservateur du Canada
Tel./Tél. 1-866-808-8407 Fax/Télec. 613-755-2001

----From: [DELETED]
Date: June 16, 2010 8:07:10 PM PDT
To: "Irving R. Gerstein"
Subject: Re: Help us end the long-gun registry...

Put some money towards a tax cut for me, instead of this silly G8/G20 summit combo, and you'll get my attention!

--- On Wed, 16/6/10, Irving R. Gerstein, Chair, Conservative Fund Canada wrote:

From: Irving R. Gerstein, Chair, Conservative Fund Canada
Subject: Help us end the long-gun registry...
Date: Wednesday, 16 June, 2010, 22:09

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dear Mr. [DELETED],

Last week, I sent you an email asking you for your opinion on how we should handle the upcoming battle to scrap the expensive and ineffective long-gun registry.

Right now, the final vote on the bill to scrap the registry hangs in the balance: the difference between success and failure being decided by 12 NDP and 8 Liberal MPs who have previously voted in support of the bill but whose commitment may be flagging.

This is your chance to tip the balance.

I get that the responder is merely a peon carrying out orders. But I gotta ask: does anyone up at the PMO know what they're talking about?

Using 9/11 as a reason for escalating costs would be reasonable in a world where G20 summits have only happened prior to 9/11. In the "real" world, the Toronto summit is one of four since 9/11.

Two of the four happened in major urban centers and two cost between 12 to 28 million. Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, was roundly criticized for the 28mill price tag of his summit just last year. Our summit is nearing $1billion.

Britain surely had to deal with the increased security costs of 9/11 - they somehow seemed to spend 35 times less for the same service.

Let's put this into perspective here. For the same cost of our G20 summit Britain could have held the following summits:

1) The London G20 Maternal Health Summit
2) The London G20 Holy Moly The Economy is bad Summit
3) The London G20 "Cause We Can" Summit
4) The London G20 Climate Change Summit
5) The London G20 Bank Tax Summit
6) The London G20 Irish Drunkards Summit
7) The London G20 Drug Dealers Summit
8) The London G20 Mafia Summit
9) The London G20 Horror Film Summit
10) The London G20 Soccer Summit
11) The London G20 Bollywood Summit
12) The London G20 Stars on Ice Summit
13) The London G20 Washed-Out Actors Summit
14) The London G20 Nuclear Summit
15) The London G20 End of World Summit
16) The London G20 Mama's Boy Summit
17) The London G20 Meddlers Summit
18) The London G20 Old Aging Hippies Summit
19) The London G20 Old Aging Hairy Arm-pitted Hippies Summit
20) The London G20 New Age Summit
21) The London G20 No Name Summit
22) The London G20 Britain's Got Talent Summit
23) The London G20 Austin Powers Summit
24) The London G20 Pad Thai Summit
25) The London G20 It's Called Football Stupid Summit
26) The London G20 We Are Not Alone Summit
27) The London G20 Star Trek Summit
28) The London G20 Haggus Summit
29) The London G20 Braveheart Summit
30) The London G20 Teabag Summit
31) The London G20 Europhile Summit
32) The London G20 Euroskeptic Summit
33) The London G20 Riot This! Summit
34) The London G20 Chinese Buffet Summit
35) The London G20 Summit to End all Summits

For the same summit that Canada has done once, Britain could hold one summit every year for next 35 years!

Now that's a cost overun!

G20 Costs III
G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I

G20 Costs III

An apparent blunder by Sarkozy? I don't think so:
He then went on to make a bold declaration that could come back to haunt him in 2011.
“...As for the French G8/G20, even though I can’t confirm the Canadian numbers, they will be ten times less. Exactly.”
Except that previous summits held in the past had a price tag closer to 1/63 of the cost of this summit. 1/10th, it could be argued, is actually a pretty extravagant target.

Sarkozy's rush to name a number (in my opinion) is a smack against Harper. Sarkozy could have easily said nothing. Instead he chose controversy.

Something tells me some background politicking may be in play.

G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I

MP Pensions By The Numbers

Last week, the group called attention to the new list of MPs qualifying for the pension plan by putting 75 plastic pigs on the front lawn of Parliament Hill. Watson's name was on one of them.

Also included was disgraced former Tory MP Helena Guergis. Each is entitled to $32,000 to $44,000 a year once they turn 55, even if they stop working as MPs at the end of the month.
The issue here is whether or not a pension that pays out $30k / year is excessive or unreasonable.

Let's do the math here. The nest egg someone would need to amass to ensure a $30k /year retirement is somewhere in the range of $500k to $1million.

Let's presume that the average qualifying period for this pension is 8 years. That's the equivalent of around 47k to 95k a year stashed away based on an interest rate of 3 to 6% and annual inflation of 2%.

The average MP salary is around $150k/yr. That's a final benefit adjusted salary of 200k to 300k a year. The average MP also has about $280 k of miscellaneous expenses every year. That brings the average MP's annual salary + benefits to about 500k to 600 k a year.

Comartin is also under fire from the group after making remarks in a recent radio interview. He said MPs are comparable to the "semi-elite" of the working world and should be at the level of upper management or even professional athletes in terms of their pensions.

If we took Mr Comartin's basis for this evaluation of what an MP's salary should be then we should compare an MP's salary to the average salary of a an executive at a private corporation. (I quite frankly think that a professional athlete's pay is just an unreasonable comparison).

The average board member of a corporation earns $139k/yr.

As far as I can tell there are no "pensions" for directors on corporate boards for the most part. Travel fees are reimbursed. I did find that the Bank of Montreal directly lists total compensation packages for Director's. If we use a BMO director as obtaining a "typical" level of compensation for a director in private industry, at about 40 meetings a year the average director has a total compensation of salary + fees of somewhere in the range of 200k to 300k / year.

The basic conclusion of these numbers is that the compensation that MPs receive in Ottawa is nearly double what their private sector counterparts get.

Is that excessive? If these MPs were cars, and I had to buy an MP-car I would say they're overpriced.

G20 Costs II

“So that is exactly why we need these type of summits, that is exactly why leaders sitting around the table face-to-face—and not through Twitter, Skype or video-conferencing—will eventually produce more results.”

Soudas also suggested that once leaders get down to business, any questions about Harper’s credibility as a result of the $1.2 billion cost of the meetings and the controversy over the “fake lake” at the media centre will be left far behind.

The problem is that's a really bad reason for costs to be 63 to 3 times the cost of similar summits held in other countries. The issue isn't that the costs are unnecessary, but it's that they are extravagant and ultimately unreasonable.

It's the equivalent of the government buying a car for $1.2 million, yet similar cars go for $20,000 in the market. If you ever saw that type of expense you couldn't tell me you would buy the car.

This is a big whopping mistake. No business would accept cost overruns like these. I just can't figure out what the Tories in Ottawa were thinking.

G20 Costs I

G20 Costs

2008 Washington Summit: $??
2009 London Summit: $19 mill UK ($28 mill CDN)
2009 Pittspburgh Summit: $12.2 mill USD ($12 mill CDN)

2010 Toronto Summit: $1 Billion CDN

That's a pretty big difference.

This Liberal Ad Stinks

I realize I am fully biased saying this but I think it anyways: this new Liberal Ad stinks. It's wholly ineffective and it's a waste of Liberal Party donors moneys.

Where's the Contrast?

This ad is all about Stephen Harper. It isn't scary. And it says nothing about the "other" guy. Negative ads are only good if they provide a good contrast to the other guy IMHO. A "billion dollar boondoggle" sounds bad but it does nothing to make a voter think "hey those Liberals aren't as bad as this guy."

Poor Positioning

Watch this ad but Imagine Stephen Harper's face is not there and his name is never mentioned. It could have easily been an ad made by the Tories criticizing Paul Martin during the Sponsorship Scandal.

When it comes to "fiscal responsibility" I don't believe this issue is a Liberal issue, just like Healthcare is not a Conservative issue. It's a strange topic for a negative ad for the Liberals.

A far more effective issue to make a negative style ad would be regarding the Afghan detainee issue and the release of documents. To be clear I believe Law & Order issues are the Conservatives natural strength. That being said when the debate switches to secrecy and human rights I believe these are natural Liberal strengths in the public's eyes.

Either way I think it's just a weird issue for the Liberals to be pushing. I realize that the issue has shown some play in the polls, but who actually believes that this will be a long term problem?

Given a few months, the G20 will be over, and no one will remember a darn thing. Like prorogation the issue will fizzle. What the Liberals need to be looking for right now to win is are issues that stick over the long term.

Iggy's Turn The Page

What the Puffster needed right now was an ad that grabbed your attention. They needed an ad that got people talking. I don't believe this is that ad.

Iggy's problems of late with low polling numbers and the never ending talk of "merger" needed a moment to turn the page. This was an opportunity to do just that.

This ad was a failure in the sense that it failed to live up to what it could have done.

As a Conservative this makes me happy. If I were Liberal this wouldn't be an "up" moment.

Someone's pants are on fire...

Kinsella on NDP/Lib Merger:
"Serious people are involved in discussions at a serious level," Warren Kinsella, a former adviser to former prime minister Jean Chrétien, told CBC News.(link)

Iggy Puff on NDP/Lib Merger:
“We had some discussion of this ridiculous discussion of fusion of the two parties,” the Liberal Leader told reporters. “No one has any authorization to even discuss this matter. It’s ridiculous. I am a Liberal. I am proud to be a Liberal. The people around me are Liberals. We are going to form a Liberal government.”(link)

This is an interesting circus. But a circus is all it is.

If talks were really in progress Iggy wouldn't be denying it. He would be using his regular Iffy lingo and avoid the topic...

I really think this is being done for far more strategic reasons. Jeff Jedras is right: this is all about leadership politics.

The media firestorm this is creating is de-stabilizing Iggy Puff's leadership.

Let's look at the people at the center of this controversy pushing the merger story: Kinsella, Rae, and good ol' Chretien. All three of these clowns are not exactly Iggy-Friendly. Kinsella left Iggy's office not to long ago for reasons all too unclear. Rae is the Puffster's natural replacement should the Supreme Iggy decide to return to Harvard. And Chretien hails from the left of the party and has numerous connections in his past to Bob Rae which leads me to think he would support Rae over Iggy.

A scheme by the anti-Iggy-ites in the Fiberal Party of Canada?

On a balance of probabilities I would say so.

Triple 'E' Doubts

Stephen Harper's Elected Senate plans have come under fire from one of his own:
"I don't think that being elected that will add to sober second thought," Nolin told the Senate.
"Quite to the contrary, I think that will create havoc between this house and the other house because at the end of the day we will try to challenge them (on) being more popular than them, being more democratic than them."
Nolin is wrong on several fronts.


An elected senate would make Senators in the upper chamber actually accountable. The question of accountability has been the central reason the Upper Chamber's reputation has been called into question over the last 20 years.

Making senators accountable, even in a loose way, to an electorate gives them a boss.


Canadians don't take the Senate seriously.

Maybe that last sentence should have an exclamation point. No one believes that the senate actually holds parliament accountable in any way shape or form.

The senate is merely a rubber stamp for a Prime Minister who crams loyalists into the upper chamber who will do his bidding. Recent sporadic signs of spine by Senate do not undue the years of rubber stamping under successive Liberal and Conservative governments.

An elected senate gives the upper chamber a legitimacy that otherwise will never come on its own.

Sober Second Thought

Nolin's argument that instead of more sober second thought "... two elected chambers would be a recipe for parliamentary gridlock..." makes no sense. If the Senate is going to provide "Sober Second Thought" it needs to question.

Questioning means in some cases gridlock. Gridlock means that it will be tough to pass legislation. For some reason this is a bad thing.

Governments do not have a natural tendency to create less laws. They create more. And then more. And then when that's done they create more laws.

Ensuring a hint of division in an otherwise undivided senate injects into the upper chamber a questioning attitude. It'll lead to less laws, less government, and better quality in the bills that do make it through.

Less government is a noted goal of conservatives last time I checked. We'll just have to wait and see if the Harper's bill manages to shrink big old government just a tiny bit.

Progressive Not So Strong

The latest poll shows interesting polling numbers for a Conservative Party vs Left-Coalition scenario.

What it shows more importantly to Conservatives is that Conservative support increases:
"... Conservatives led by Stephen Harper would defeat a coalition led by Michael Ignatieff 40-34 per cent..."

There must obviously be a large chunk of Liberals who are more willing to vote Conservative than they are willing to vote for the NDP.

The Coalition of $&%$*!

Bob Rae says there’s no rule preventing the Liberals and the NDP from ganging up and toppling a newly elected Tory government: He’s done it before and now he’s hinting it may happen again.
“This week marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Liberal-NDP Accord in Ontario...
Hey Rae! Do you remember what the end result of your Ontario accord was?

One Man: Mike Harris.

Go ahead and form your Coalition of $&*! The Liberals will shift away from the center in order to gain Dipper support. The public will only be able to take so much nanny-state progressivism from an overactive left. People will be outraged.

Us "regressives" will just sit back and watch a bad idea play itself out once again. Some people just never learn.

Chretien's Retirement Blues

OTTAWA - Jean Chretien says he thinks politicians get a bum rap from ungrateful and cynical voters.(link)
Ya... Because a billion dollar boondoogle is just an "ungrateful" and "cynical" public. We mere peons are so undeserving.

The complete gall and absolute arrogance of the man that is Jean Chretien never ceases to amaze me. This man said he would ditch the GST and lied. He said he would ditch NAFTA and lied. He was response for a government that squandered billions of dollars fattening the coffers of Liberal "friends" and has never taken responsibility for it.

That is Jean Chretien's legacy.

So my response to his current meanderings is "Boo-hoo!" Go suck a lemon... The peons aren't buying your lousy excuses and neither will history.

Canada's Korean Blunder

Canada is imposing sanctions on North Korea after the country was implicated in the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors.(link)
North Korea was "implicated"?... More like North Korea was caught red handed:

This situation seems crazy. North Korea spent years doing nothing. Why now?

Possibility recent Communist blunders have lead to internal instability. Internal instability leads to external insecurity.

The decision to impose economic sanctions against the North is baffling to me. The North, in a state of economic collapse, has no one to blame except itself for its troubles.

Here comes the west to give Kim Jong-il someone else to blame.

Sanctions have worked where exactly? Iraq? Cuba? Zimbabwe? Somalia? Burma?

They've worked no where. They do nothing except harm the local populace and turn them against those that imposed them.

North Korea should be scolded privately for this blatant act of aggression. Publicly the game of diplomacy needs to better played to strategically isolate the regime and to give them no political legs to fall back on.

If war is coming the cards need to be played right now to seed discontent in the North. We don't want the opposite to happen.

Registry Blues

The Liberals, or rather, the Young Liberals of Canada, are launching another salvo in what is turning into a pitched battle to save the long-gun registry.

Starting Saturday, the youth wing of the party will be putting up posters in New Democrat ridings targeting leader Jack Layton as well as the local MP.
Officially, the NDP wants to keep the long-gun registry but many of its MPs live in rural ridings and made commitments to their constituents to support the private member's bill. Layton is reportedly now dealing with the issue personally within his caucus, holding one-on-one meetings with MPs, trying to convince them to get on board with the party's official position.

To all members of the Young Fiberals: good job doing the Jack Layton's job for him.

Abort The World

Pro-Choicers decided to stage a "die-in" this weekend. Minister Bev's office was the victim of this teenage like stunt. For those that don't know what a "die-in" is (neither did I until I looked it up), Wikipedia defines it as a "form of protest where participants simulate being dead." Sounds like loads of family friendly fun! Then again pro-choicers aren't exactly about being "family friendly."

The article offered three reasons for their "protest" of the governments recent actions:
1) 70,000 women a year die from unsafe abortions
2) The United Nations thinks it's a good idea.
3) "... it’s needed so women can be equal participants in society."

Three things off the top of my head:
1) What about the millions of unborn babies killed every year from very safe abortions?
2) The UN also thought a lot of not so good things were good
3) I suppose the millions of female babies aborted in China in the last decade were also in the name of gender equality?

The government has taken a VERY neutral stance on Women's health and Abortion: not to promote abortions galore around the world.

They could have funded pro-life programs around the world instead! Hey they could have even taken the extremely successful abstinence program in Uganda and tried to impose it on everybody else. That's not arrogant at all is it?

That would have been "die-in" worthy.

The CBC Conundrum

How do you like that big word: "conundrum?"  I thought it was pretty impressive.  Especially for a rural-Conservative intolerant gun-toting moron like me.  Oh well I guess there's always some grand socialist scheme to wipe me out anyways so why worry?

Admit it: that's exactly what those urban downtown TO yuppies at the CBC really think of any small-c-conservative out there.  Frank Grave's partisan faux pas was just the tip of the iceberg.  Everybody knows it.  This isn't some big secret.

The Communist Broadcasting Corporation is in a decades old love affair with everything Trudeau, statist, and "progressive."  It gets tiring to see them hide it.

And yet they still try.  This past week the CBC declared it was going to commission a study to determine if its coverage is biased.  I've sat back this past week and watched the oh-so very predictable jokes.

Resisting the oh-so easy target I've decided to let go.  The CBC's "bias" is joke enough already.

Instead I've focused on one thing in the brouhaha: the CBC for once in its cushy existence feels the need to prop-up its laughable credibility.  It's the equivalent of having FOX news feel the need to reestablish its credibility with its Conservative viewers in the US.  That would only happen if FOX really screwed up.

The CBC's image has been tarnished so badly that they must be worried even old Liberals don't trust them anymore.  That thought fills me with a tiny sliver of hope.

Letters from Iggy Puff

Here's what I hope to be a recurring segment of this blog - Letters from the Lord of Harvard himself!

This editions letter is Iggy's letter in support of the gun registry to coppers:

May 3, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for your joint letter regarding your support for the maintenance of the National Firearms Registry.
Translation: Thanks for joining us in the anti-DuckHunter Crusade ™. We need all the help we can get.
Your support is precisely why I am committed to doing everything possible to not only keep the gun registry, but to improve it so that it works for all Canadians.
Translation: If it weren't for you then I'd have no one else to listen to but the rural nutbars in my caucus who keep on yelping at me to gut the registry.
I couldn’t agree more with you that the registry is a valuable system that helps police services across Canada in ensuring community and police safety.
Translation: Holy cow let's not talk about the rampant waste of money this registry has been.
You are part of a growing movement across this country – one that also includes health professionals, social workers, municipal officials and women’s groups – that is speaking out in favour of the registry in advance of the vote on the Conservative Private Member’s Bill (known as the Hoeppner bill) that aims to scrap the registry.
Translation: If it weren't for you guys the only people publicly supporting this thing would be a bunch of hairy armpited hippies and aging pot smoking urbanite yuppies from downtown Toronto.
The Liberal Party stands behind you in your quest to keep the registry intact. Police officers are the front line of our system of justice, and I am committed to giving you the tools you need to do your job properly and safely.
Translation: We stand behind you, not in front. I don't want to get shot.
We want to maintain the integrity of the gun registry in order to protect public safety, while at the same time address the legitimate concerns of Canadian long-gun owners by committing to making the registry more effective.
Translation: I can't tell my rural nutbars to shove it... So get ready for a compromise you might not enjoy.
Recently, in a speech to frontline police officers at a meeting of the Canadian Police Association, I announced a series of reforms that I believe will improve the long-gun registry while also keeping communities safe. Details of these reforms are as follows:

• First-time failures to register long-guns would be treated as a simple, non-criminal, ticketing offence, instead of a criminal offence as they are currently, where there are no aggravating factors;
Translation: We've decided to get some more revenues from those rural barbarians as a veiled attempt to pacify them. And hey - if you really don't like that decision just find some "aggravating factors" and lock those knuckleheads away anyways (maniac laughing here).
• Fees for new licenses, renewals and upgrades would be permanently eliminated; and
Translation: Were getting rid of fees for now... But hey who knows for the future? We're Liberals. We're pragmatic. We can't get tied down by promises when we don't like it.
• The registration process – especially the forms – would be streamlined to make registration as easy as possible.
Translation: No gun owners. No paperwork. No problem. Registration Process streamlined.
My party will oppose the Conservative government’s effort to scrap the gun registry altogether and will vote against the Hoeppner bill in the House of Commons.

On behalf of the Liberal Party and my Parliamentary caucus, thank you for your vocal support in the battle to maintain the firearms registry. Every voice counts in this fight – and none is more important than yours.


Michael Ignatieff, M.P.
Translation: I hope my caucus doesn't vote the wrong way- again... You guys better be on side or else I'm on a plane and back to Harvard before next winter.  It's frigging cold up here!  Sincerely the Supreme Iggy Puff.

Silly Senators

I don't know what Senator Nancy Ruth is thinking: "We’ve got five weeks or whatever left until G-8 starts. Shut the f--- up on this issue..."

This comment from the Senator who took credit for including a disastrous provision in the last throne speech to make the national anthem "gender neutral."

Advice to the Silly Senator in Ottawa:  It's better to keep your mouth shut and look like a fool than it is to open it up and confirm it.

Billion Dollar Whoops!

The Tories in the city that fun forgot are asking for 6 billion dollars of more money for unplanned expenses.  This "whoops" of billion dollar proportions comes mostly (90%) from EI expenses but some of the stranger expenses include 197 million for civil servant salary increases.  Is it just me but why would anyone think in the civil service that they would be getting a raise right now? 

Home Schooling Crimes

A family in Alberta is applying for asylum.  This wouldn't be an abnormal occurrence in Canada - but it is when the  family is from Germany, a well developed democracy, and the issue that has the family running is the fact that they home-school their children.  In Germany families that choose to home-school their children are fined, thrown in jail, and in some cases their children are literally taken away from them.  All of this is done under a home-schooling ban put in effect under than non other than Adolf Hitler himself.

Two quick thoughts come to mind:
1)  We should be lucky that we live in country as free as it is.  And I'm not talking about the modern relativistic definition of freedom that dresses up entitlements as rights but true genuine freedom of the individual to be left alone.  We have our problems but obviously this is one category where Canada shines.
2)  This is exactly the reason why many including myself disagree with any attempt to reduce the number of asylum seekers that the government has made in the past.  Knowing the way large bureaucracies work, no doubt it would be these type of genuine asylum seekers that would get cut first.

Brings the whole debate about "National Daycare" into perspective doesn't it?  I guess mommy and daddy no long know best - now it's "Government" knows best.

La Resistance Bloc

Duceppe, that happy little seperatist, is referring to the Bloc as a "resistance" movement: "Quebec has no future in Canada…the only worthy future for Québec is full and complete political liberty. And that’s called sovereignty."

So....  Liberty means to have political party in power that believes in more government?  More government and more centralization in Quebec?

I can just imagine Mel Gibson's next movie on the "Quebec Braveheart" screaming out "MORRREEEEE GOVERRRNMMMMENTTTT!!!!!....."  What that isn't jazzy enough for you?

Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal?... Not me!

Apparently the Former National Director of the Fiberal Party of Canada and now Mayoralty candidate for "Hogtown" Toronto doesn't see himself as Left or Right.  He's "Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal."  He's apparently a member of the Ignatieff fuzzy brigade of modern day mature statists that now  understand the merits of fiscal prudence... When it's practical of course.

I thought I would experience more help from fellow blogging Tories, but to my dismay Hugh MacIntyre thinks Rocco is spot on.  This is definitely not the post I would expect Hugh to make.  Based on most of the rest of what Hugh writes I agree with completely on almost everything.

Here's the problem with Rocco's statement.  Being fiscally conservative is great, but it's the socially liberal part that has problems.  It's one thing if what Rocco is referring to is a general preference for a state which has respect for individual liberty in all spheres both economic and moral.  That to me would be very Libertarian.

The problem is what those that profess to be "Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal" really mean.  They mean that they want balanced budgets only to finance their socialist central planning, top down, anti-family agenda.

Rocco is very clear when he says "I really believe the true progressive of the 21st century knows that unless you get the finances right, you can't pay for the social good you want to do..."  In other words: "When need prudent fiscal management to finance all our great progressive (AKA socialist) ideas."

I have a feeling that Hugh may be either taking Rocco's comment incorrectly as meaning he is libertarian, or he is unfortunately praising Rocco for being something he isn't: Not a Lefty.  The man was after all a senior member of the Fiberal Party of Canada - a party dead set on increasing the size of the federal government for most the past century.

To me Rocco shouldn't be praised for either denying the "left/right" label or accepting the "fiscally conservative an socially liberal" label.  He should be lumped together with the rest of the socialist statists for what they are: the Canadian Left.

To me the label fits.  I guess there are those that disagree.

Ignatieff's Post-Olympics Yikes

There's a foul wind running from Quebec straight at Iggy Puff's face today.  He has a an irate Grit candidate coming out in her Anti-Iggy Pro-Coderre sympathies.  This has to be among the dumbest things that a grit in Quebec can do - if that Grit actually cares about the short term success of their party.

No doubt this move is clearly an all out attack on Iggy in the media by the pro-Coderre more left leaning Liberals out there.  Coderre though would be best to ask his friends to keep their mouthes shut.  I doubt he will positioning himself well for a leadership run later on if he or his supporters manage to antagonize those moderates in the Liberal Party.  It's precisely those moderates he will need to win over to become leader.

Coren on Guergis

Apparently Coren agrees with my sentiments.  Guergis's actions although totally unacceptable are far less than the standard we would typically expect a minister to resign over.

Honestly I really can't understand the particular concern over Guergis's actions.  They were deplorable, but at the end of the day she was not lying, cheating, stealing, physically abusive, or had an elicit sexual affair.  She had a hissy fit, exihibited a sense of entitlement, and was at most verbally abusive to those around her.  Yet she had the good sense to recognize her mistake and apologize.

No one in life is perfect - at the very least me - yet I am genuinely surprised at the harsh assessment that some of even my own fellow conservatives have made.  I have a feeling though that Coren is right: a good deal of the intensity around Guergis is less directed at her actions and is more directed at her physical appearance and the fact that she is a Tory.

Guergis Shouldn't Resign

What she did was incredibly stupid. But did she strangle a protester in front of TV cameras? Did she get arrested for drunk driving? Did she have numerous sexual relationships lying to her spouse?

What she did do was have a horrendous hissy fit while trying to get on an Air Canada jet - something about 90%  have probably had fantasies of doing while dealing with that less than high quality airline/monopoly.  I have a family member that once tore up and threw a voucher at an Air Canada attendants face due to the-ahum-extremely poor quality of service.  I think the thing most people have problems with is the sense of entitlement in her rant. It's the I'm above the little guy mentality.

Given even that, can you really say that the character flaws she exhibited are worse than those above?  She apologized and I think it's reasonable for her to stick this one through.

Now if she had assaulted an member of the Air Canada staff that would be something.

The Not-So-Democratic BQ

The Bloc's reaction to repelling the gun registry:
If all opposition members voted together, those parties would have enough votes to defeat the measure. But the Liberals and NDP allowed a free vote on the issue last fall, and enough of them voted with the Tories to abolish the registry.
All Bloc Québécois MPs voted against the bill. That party is now urging NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to order their troops to join them in blocking the Tories.
The Bloc's reaction to Proroguing parliament which does not force a single MP to vote their way:
Duceppe accused Harper of trampling democratic principle with his ruthless partisanship.

"His attitude is that if you're not for me you're an enemy, and if you're an enemy you're a Taliban."
Democratic Principle seems only to apply when the Bloc decides it applies.

Cut Healthcare

Canadians are concerned that healthcare cuts are coming. Here's the thing - it's completely rational for them to be worried about exactly that. Healthcare should be cut. It's the most obvious and effective way for the government to reduce spending - which is why the Liberals did it in the 90s.

It isn't hard to justify just look at the following pie graph of federal expenses:

Notice anything in particular. One of the biggest chunks of the federal budget pie is transfers to governments which includes healthcare.

If you had to cut somewhere, wouldn't you cut the biggest parts of the pie? I would be more than happy if they privatized the CBC, but for every 1% we attempt to cut from crown corporations, a similar 1% cut in transfers would have yielded 5 times the results.

If we were really interested in the most effective way to cut federal spending healtcare would have to be on the table.  Could you live with 5% longer wait times?  If it takes 4 weeks to get an MRI today, would most Canadians even notice it if it took an extra day longer to get it?  Now switch it around and think about the logistics of trying to make cuts at the CBC...

A Tax Is A Tax

Wow. The stupidity in this is amazing:

Ottawa is slapping higher security fees on airline travellers a week before the 2010 federal budget – yet insists Conservatives are staying true to their pledge not to raise taxes.
The government describes the new charges as “user fees,” rather than taxes. Some current government members once attacked the very item as an “air tax” while in opposition, but Mr. Baird dismissed such language Thursday.
These new fees are supposed to support 1.5 billion of security costs (I'm assuming based on this article) over the next five years. Over the next five years the federal government will spend well over a trillion dollars.

It's the equivalent of saying that if you eat a thousand timbits over the next five years, you couldn't find one timbit to give up? Especially when you promised not take more timbits from someone else?

I refuse to believe that John Baird, or for that matter most of the Federal Tory caucus does not understand how ridiculous this all is. Either this is just a glaring blunder on the part of the federal Tories, or, and more likely, something else is going on that isn't being reported in this story.

Olympic Condom Shortage

I don't know whether to laugh or cry:
Health officials in Vancouver have already provided 100,000 free condoms to the roughly 7,000 ahtletes and officials at the Games. That's about 14 condoms per person. But as of Wednesday, those supplies started running dangerously low.
I bet taxpayers are paying for all these "free" condoms too. Whatever happened to the government staying out of the bedrooms of the nation?

Danny Millions and the travesty of Socialized Medicine

The High Priest of Newfoundland's latest and greatest problem is that the surgery he underwent in the US was not medically necessary as he suggested.  In reality the particular surgery he had was more cosmetic than it was medically necessary.  The travesty of this issue is that Danny Millions truly doesn't understand the fuss:
"This was my heart, my choice and my health," the Newfoundland and Labrador premier said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla. "I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."
That's the whole point.  We do have a right to the best possible health care.  The problem is that this principle doesn't seem to apply when it comes to the healthcare system that we use everyday.  Danny Millions, based on his beliefs, should be the first person to push for the change we so desperately need in Healthcare: CHOICE.

Danny once mocked Stephen Harper - pushing the Liberal attack that he had a hidden agenda.  This included a hidden agenda to push private health care in Canada.  Maybe the true hidden agenda is that Danny wants the best care for himself only - and the rest of can be damned as far as he's concerned.

Five Reasons Public Servant Pensions Should be Reduced

Talk is abound that civil service pensions are about to be reduced by the federal government in the coming spend thrift budget. Public Service Unions are crying bloody murder. The government, in a fiscal nightmare of partially its own creation, has NO other choice. There are five reasons I can think of that this is the right move, but I’m sure there are more.

1. We no longer have the money and we can’t cut anywhere else. The federal government has made it clear that it will not cut transfers to provinces, subsidies, and I doubt they will touch the defence budget. This means that reducing the operating expenses of the government is the only way out of a spiral of deficits and debts. Canadians no doubt will not tolerate cuts to healthcare our beloved socialist welfare state – reducing the cost of the public service is the last resort available to Ottawa.

2. Paying Public Servants more than the Private Sector is waste. If we want talented, bright, and experienced professionals to be attracted and stay in the public service we should offer salaries and benefits to them comparable to the private sector – NOT MORE. It’s just insanity to pay a group of professionals significantly more than the free market going rate. That is a needless waste of taxpayers money.

3. There’s a reason public servants retire earlier. According to a 2007 study, federal public servants retire earlier. No kidding. Who can blame them? If the pension was great enough why work longer? And hence the other problem this introduces for the federal government. A productivity gap emerges with how we are managing our public service. Public servants don’t work as long at the end of their career – this is the stage that is most generally the most beneficial for the government. In effect, the government is creating incentives for experienced high value workers to leave before they should.

4. Dropping Public Servant pensions will put pressure on reducing MP pensions. Public Servants aren’t the golden goose of pensions – Members of Parliament have those. The unions are right to point out that MPs should be willing to cut their own pensions before they go after theirs. Truly, I look forward to them pointing that out every time. Targeting public service pensions will put the needed pressure to reduce MP pensions that run in the +$100k range. Shouldn’t MPs have the wherewithal to secure their own retirements independently like millions of other Canadians?  The truth is that pushing on this public service pension front, will also push MPs.

5. Lower Pensions mean higher salaries. I have to tell you that one of my greatest frustrations being a member of the modern day work force is the concept that many have that benefits should trump salaries. Employer after employer will use increases in benefits to justify lower salary increases. Dropping pensions will free up resources no doubt that should go to slaying deficits. But I would argue that it also gives future flexibility to increase the salaries of top performers in the public service who have gone unrecognized.

David Miller The Conservative?

Ok maybe that title is a little premature.  But the good Mayor of Toronto's recent comments regarding a property tax hike is telling: "You can't have a great city for free..  This budget is more than a balance sheet." In a nutshell There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL).  That burst of insight coming from a member of the Toronto Yuppie elite is not only amazing but could be the first sign of  a conversion of heart for the socialist mayor.

I once knew a civil servant who had spend decades in government.  As a full disclosure here he did have Conservative views, although I can't be sure that he always did.  One day he made a comment to me I will never forget: "The problem with healthcare is everyone figures it's free..."

You see my friend after all his years in government had come to the conclusion that the single most destructive thing that having government deliver as service will do is that the connection between individual responsibility and individual initiative is lost.  Healthcare, to most Canadians is free.  But nothing could be further from the truth. We pay for it in our taxes.  It's the equivalent of thousands of dollars each year in our taxes.

But that doesn't stop us from treating it as if it were free.  Because for us, it makes no different how much we abuse the system we will always pay the same taxes.  It's like apartments that include utilities in rent.  As a tenant in a rental I never worry about leaving a light on, or using too much water because to me it makes no difference.  It's the Landlord's responsibility to worry about how much utilities I use.  Simmilarly it's the government's responsibility to worry about the services it delivers - and believe it or not government's don't charge problem tenants more money if they need to because then it would be acting like a business instead of the romantic enlightened vehicle of modern day socialism.

That's why we have to be so careful in having the government provide a service that someone else can provide just as well. 

David Miller's admission makes me smile.  He's well on his way to coming to the conclusion that it's best that government do the least.

Tax Lovers

TD, the bank of extravagant service fees, has a CEO that is very fond of Tax increases.  Apparently he is also very fond of making donations to the Liberal Party of Canada.  After making such dastardly Liberal comments professing his unholy love with taxes, he was lambasted by the Tories in a press release.  This has prompted a hurt Iggy Puff to rush in to defend his poor old bank exec.  I'm not going to comment on the suitability of a sitting Prime Minister to criticize a CEO staking such a political stand, but I will say this: raising taxes has to among the dumbest ideas I can think of right now.

Remember the recession anyone?
Canada, and most of Western Civilization has just started to creep out of the death claws of the infamous greatest downturn "since the great depression."  In the middle of all this we want to hit consumers with more of a tax burden?

This is a recipe for a disaster.  Just as consumer confidence is rebounding the prevailing mood among bankers is "hey let's increase taxes?"  Apparently this tactic seems to work in the magical fairy fairy land of banking executives, but out in real life if you take money away from people they will tend not to spend as much.  If people aren't spending, businesses won't be hiring.

That recipe isn't exactly an agenda for a growing economy - it is a recipe for a real downturn GREATER than the Great Depression.

Throw Competitiveness out the door.
I just don't understand how in the hell anyone with as much economic education as the head of a major Canadian bank would suggest in a country like Canada that taxes be raised.  Canada's competitiveness has long been hindered by a tax regime that effectively encourages the brightest and best to go elsewhere.

Whether it's doctors, engineers, or anyone that wants to succeed it's become increasingly difficult to do so here in the Great White North.  Lower not higher taxes is what we need.

What ever happened to reducing spending?
The most amazing part of this whole debate is the complete negation of any alternatives over raising taxes to deal with the deficit.  The federal government has well over doubled in size since the 1960's when adjusted for inflation and population growth.  We have a national government that is increasingly getting more and more involved in our daily lives in areas it doesn't need to be.

Why not suggest that the federal government stop spending like a drunken sailor?  What about not spending money on every infrastructure project under the sun as part an insane stimulus package?  Why not do what every other Canadian out there has had to do in this recession - cut back?

Raising taxes would be just about as insane a suggestion right now as would be raising interest rates.  The last thing the economy needs is a bad decision to be made right now.  And what's worse, raising taxes has not shown to be an effective strategy to eliminate deficits.  Let's not forget that the Tories introduced the GST to eliminate the deficit that existed years ago.  It took a Liberal government cutting spending that actually brought the government into the black.

The Trouble In Calgary West

Rob Anders's troubles in Calgary West are being framed as a simple case of the horrible authoritarians in Harper's Conservative party managing from the top down.  The opinions of the grassroots, we are told, are being ignored.  Harper, we are told, once again is a hypocrite.  Although I believe the Harper Tories have lost their way when it comes to some things I find myself being very suspicious of the characterization of this story by the media.

I trust Rob Anders.  I've met him, talked to him, and got some pretty frank admissions from him in private that have led me to trust him.  To the point that I am opt to believe Anders first before any allegation.  If Rob Anders claims that Liberals have taken over his Board to oust him - I'm inclined to believe him.

Sure enough a quick google search on one"victim", Kennedy-Glans, reveals the most interesting alternative story courtesy of Ezra Levant written one year ago.

Just for the sake of some quick searches I decided to look up Dan Morrison the former President of the Calgary West EDA  and the apparent leader of the Anti-Anders Board members in the Canadian Elections Database to see if I could find a contribution history.

Only two entries could be found for the year 2000.  One was for a "D. Morrison" who contributed $315 to the Liberal Party of Canada.  Another was for a "Dan Morrison" who contributed $300 to the New Democratic Party of Canada.  Sounds like a real committed Conservative to me.

Now there may be plenty of Dan Morrison's out there. Yet this is still evidence that is supportive of Mr Anders claim that Liberal operatives have taken over his EDA.

With no clear list of which board members have resigned, I can't search for contribution histories on these other "victims" but somehow I doubt I would find much different results.

The only people that know for sure are the former board members of the Calgary West EDA, Rob Anders, and the CPC National Council.  Though If I had to stake a bet on who's telling the truth it would be Anders.


Miller's backing of Giambrone is most likely welcome news to the embattled TTC chair.  Unfortunately it doesn't repair the damage that has been done. At this point Giambrone's sole concern is no doubt to salvage whatever he can from his personal and public life.  Politics is a rough a life.  Everyone has skeletons.  It doesn't matter who you are.  There are things we do everyday, most of which are not as immoral as what Giambrone did, that would still cause a media firestorm if anyone remembered the day we ran for public office.

George Bush II understood that all to well.  Upon entering the arena of Presidential politics he made a public mea culpa for sins of the past that he did not elaborate on.  It was a once and for all catch all apology indicating that he knew he had made mistakes in his past but he had learned from them.  Once some of those skeletons started coming out about his drinking history during his campaign, the stories were short lived.  The issue had already been dealt with.

Looking at Giambrone I think even he would admit that doing something similar would have been the wise choice to make.  Secrets have a habit of coming to light eventually, given enough time.  He would have been far better off to disclose his history of previous problems without going into details before his campaign was even out of the gate.

Captain Condom

Wow : "The public health unit in London, Ont., is using comic-book-themed superheroes and a villain named the evil Sperminator to teach teens about safe sex."

The evil villain is a big dual handed Penis.... I was expecting a Wacko Abstinence promoting Christian character to play a doofus evil sidekick - but maybe they figured THAT was going to far.

Iggy's Abortion Woes

Iggy Puff's latest brilliant idea is to encourage abortions all across the world all in the name of improving women's health worldwide.  Even as I write that I have to mentally sort out the concept.  "More babies killed by ripping them from mother's fertile womb equals better womens health?"  Or better still "More babies killed equals less child death rates?..."  Holy Moly I think my brain just exploded!

If it's really about choice, let's make it about choice.
You know, once upon a time, the abortion issue was all about choice.  We were told by the Brainy Harvard Professor Class out there that "it's a woman's body, it's woman's choice."

Great idea - what perchance ever happened to it?  While the Brainy Harvard Professor Class try to justify their selective amnesia let's admit facts:  choice is a thing of the past.  There is no choice.  There is only promotion.  The word "Pro-Choice" is just a moniker now - Now their is no choice.  Reproductive health can only be promoted by promoting abortion's for all.  It's not a woman's choice.  There's something wrong now if you choose something different.

I say if it's supposed to be about choice then let's make it about choice.  Let women chose by not supporting either side.

Meddling in other Countries business?... Colonialism under any other name.
What about those countries that don't believe in Abortion you might ask?  Iggy got asked that question.  His response: “I respect the position of other countries but all I can talk for is what Canada ought to do..."

Let me translate for those of you who don't speak Brainy Harvard: "Not my problem."

I'm sure that those "other", less enlightened, base, and stupid countries that don't believe in the enlightened philosophies of the west will take Iggy Puff's words warmly.

Like a slap in the face.
Iggy's disrespect for anyone that disagrees with him goes one step further with this measure because it's not just the barbarians in the developing world that Iggy and the Liberal Party hate -  it's also it's people like me.

Where is my choice in all this?  Apparently I'm considered an anomaly to be disregarded. And I'm sure that some of the initiatives that Iggy Puff would like us to support would include somehow some of my tax money going to support his cause.  It's effectively like they're reaching into your wallet, against your express will, and throwing it against a contentious issue you don't agree with.

Abandoning the center.
It's not about women dying in back alleys and it's not about "reproductive rights."  Iggy's proved it by not respecting the choice of people not to have abortions.

It's about preventing "unwanted babies."  It's about spreading pro-abortion propaganda.  It's about using government resources to change opinions.  It's about driving up abortions.

Which is amazing because I was under the impression that there was a sizable chunk of liberal people, Bill Clinton included, that were fans of legalized abortion believing that abortion laws only increase the incidence of abortion in the first place.

This opens up a unique opportunity for Stephen Harper believe it or not in this debate.  Iggy Puff, in all his intelligence, has abandoned the center in the abortion debate.  That leaves Harper to move in to fill the void.

And what's great about this, is that all Harper has to do seize the moment is to say and do nothing.

The Trouble With Climate Man

Charest - Becoming Canuckland's official Climate Superhero - does not seem to want to stop driving up the Ottawa-Quebec divide on Climate Change.  Apparently tying our emissions targets to those of the US doesn't exactly cut it for the Supreme Chancellor of La Belle Province.  The trouble is he's dead wrong on this file for more than one reason.

No one cares
Literally.  No one cares about emission targets.  If you go up to average Joe Blow on the street corner in Barrie the chances of him complaining about 17 % below 2005 emission reduction targets versus 6% below 1990 levels are pretty low.  Really I'm willing to bet money on it.  What Canadians that do care about climate change really care about is reducing emissions.  Publishing a piece of paper and putting a number on it does not make emissions amazingly reduce.  Implementation is what actually matters.  And quite frankly I don't think any of these targets are realistic, or practical so in the end I don't think it'll matter.  But don't tell that to the Climate Man - emission targets matter!

Even Quebec hasn't met its targets.
Believe it or not even Canada's own Climate Superhero's province has not manage to met its aggressive emission targets.  It was always said that the only time a jurisdiction in the world had shown in recent history a reduction of carbon emissions was in Russian during the economic crisis that followed the collapse of communism.  Economies produce emissions.  The more an economy grows, the more people are working.  The more people are working, the more they are using their cars and burning.  More companies are churning out products too as the economy grows.  The more companies are churning out products the more electric they're using and therefore the more fossil fuels are being used to generate that electricity.  I just can't understand how some people think by a magical fantasy carbon emissions are somehow going to drop.

I think Canada's Climate Man needs to get over himself.