2016-09-24

Netanyahu Trolls The United Nations; Israel Progresses While The Arab World Languishes

Opening parts of Netanyahu's speech to the UN:

"Mr. President,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet.

Israel – twenty; rest of the world – three.

And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it – Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister.

And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000-year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN."

"...Today’s automatic majority against Israel at the UN reminds me of the story, the incredible story of Hiroo Onada. Hiroo was a Japanese soldier who was sent to the Philippines in 1944. He lived in the jungle. He scavenged for food. He evaded capture. Eventually he surrendered, but that didn’t happen until 1974, some 30 years after World War II ended. For decades, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over. As Hiroo was hiding in the jungle, Japanese tourists were swimming in pools in American luxury hotels in nearby Manila. Finally, mercifully, Hiroo’s former commanding officer was sent to persuade him to come out of hiding. Only then did Hiroo lay down his arms.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished delegates from so many lands,

I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms. The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended. Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York...."

"...Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria. Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party. Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural knowhow is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world?"

The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917. That’s almost 100 years ago – talk about being stuck in the past. The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago? You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?"

"...I am hopeful about what Israel can accomplish because I’ve seen what Israel has accomplished. In 1948, the year of Israel’s independence, our population was 800,000. Our main export was oranges. People said then we were too small, too weak, too isolated, too demographically outnumbered to survive, let alone thrive. The skeptics were wrong about Israel then; the skeptics are wrong about 

Israel now.

Israel’s population has grown tenfold, our economy fortyfold. Today our biggest export is technology – Israeli technology, which powers the world’s computers, cellphones, cars and so much more."

Good stuff.

***

Obama, for his part, also addressed the UN and he spoke of a commitment to cooperation and multilateralism and took his usual subtle criticism of the U.S. characterizing it as 'my country'.

In other words, more blah, blah, blah.

The President is all for 'cooperation' unless it's domestic. Then he's all for bypassing Congress (apparently this is okay because they refuse to work with him) and attack countries like Libya, topple governments in Egypt; to say nothing of itching to bomb Syria. 






 


2016-09-23

Thoughts On Vin Scully

The voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers Vin Scully is retiring and I've been taking in my fair share of Scully stories on sports radio.

Scully's stunning career began in 1958 and stretches back still further to the old Brooklyn Dodgers in the early part of the decade. All told 67 years of Dodgers history runs through his veins.

Now some may be wondering why a Montrealer would be talking about Scully.

A couple of reasons actually.

First off, this city has had its fair share of wonderful play by play broadcasters. For me, Dave Van Horne and Dick Irvin come to mind having telling Scullyesque tales in baseball and hockey respectively. Some of those years we had the pleasure of a Van Horne-Duke Snyder tandem and later Ken Singleton. On the French language broadcast we had Jacques Doucet.

Which makes me wonder about CJAD's decision to drop Irvin given how long Scully has gone. The day the Habs lost Irvin, was the day I lost all interest (among other reasons) in listening to the team on the radio. 

Through Snyder we begin to see the connection of Montreal to the Dodgers via the Montreal Royals who were the farm team.

Which brings me to another reason. Because of the Royals-Dodgers lineage and reading about the history, I decided to follow the Dodgers after the Expos moved to Washington.

Along the way, besides playoff games over the years, I caught my share of Vin Scully called games.

So, given this, the story and celebration around Scully is not lost on me.  As I write I'm listening to Scully call the Rockies-Dodgers game.

There's an incredible poetic cadence to Scully's layered style one in which comes with powerful imagery and authenticity.

Now if you don't mind, rather than delve deeper into this, I have a ball game to listen to.

Make that, Vin Scully to listen to.

2016-09-22

Failed American Foreign Policy In The Middle East

Hillary keeps yapping on about how it was necessary to intervene in Libya leaving the country in civil war tatters. Another area where American foreign policy has completely lost its direction is in Syria.

If the American position or strategy makes little sense to you that's because it doesn't. It has no real effective plan in place.

Obama may have fooled sycophants, supporters, fans and a lap dog media into believing he was engaging in a game of chess but the facts of his decisions involving not just Syria and Libya but Egypt and Iran as well have for the most part failed.

And spectacularly.

In fact, the decisions undertook are every bit as dangerous as invading a nation outright.

Obama and Hilary have essentially engaged in sloppy and cynical version of 'war by other means' foreign policy.

He may have inherited a mess (which is part and parcel of taking over a nation) but he proceeded to create his own mess.

And then some.


Disney Capitulates

I said stop apologizing and pandering to the insane!

You will never win where SJW are concerned and I find it disturbing as it is ghastly Disney capitulated ans apologized for Moana.

Basically, you've effectively given more power to a minority of shrill and ignorant voices to continue their cultural appropriation buffoonery.

The proper response would have been: FUCK. YOU.

2016-09-21

Stop Ignoring Islams Role For The Rise Of The Crusades

I happened upon this in The Straight Dope:

"...Throughout the Crusades, which began in 1095 when Pope Urban II called upon Christians to wrest the Holy Land from Muslim control, one side might reasonably have been described as civilized, tolerant, and progressive, while the other was by and large a bunch of backward, ignorant, bloodthirsty fanatics. Hint: It wasn't the Muslims who, upon capturing Jerusalem in 1099, gleefully slaughtered everyone there."

Yeh. I got a problem with this part in what otherwise was a response I agreed with for the large part.

Why? Mostly because it gives the impression Christianity undertook The Crusades for the heck of it and it enjoyed spilling some blood; Songs of Roland notwithstanding.

One problem though - perhaps unwittingly - spelled out in the sentence itself: wrest the Holy Land from Muslim control.

That part is key to me.

The Crusades were as much a reaction to Islamic expansion and desire to conquer European lands as much as any reason or explanation put forth.

Between the 7th and 15th centuries and until the fall of The Ottoman empire in the early 20th century, Islam was on the march and Europe - being poorer - was defending itself and used The Crusades to launch its own offensive to merely recapture lost Christian lands - which by the way were permanently lost in some cases. Ask yourself this. Why did so many Europeans pull back away from the shores during this period? Retrenching back to the hills and into castles as a means of protection.

So yeah. I'm not on board with the 'we went and attacked the peaceful Muslims'.

To assert this is to deny the fact Islam was ascending and it wanted to exploit and expand.

Next they'll try and tell me Islams role in slavery was more humane by us dirty Christians, right?

Time To Clean Up Or Disband The SQ

Growing up, we knew the Surete du Quebec (a strange 'off' police force) were a police detachment we wanted no part of. They exuded racism and possessed an unsettling swagger. We called them the 'le, le maudit ostie' police because we always got the feeling they were one slip up away from calling us 'wops' and we knew this is what they thought in the back of their minds.

Yes, shades of the Deep South when cops called blacks 'boy' in derogatory disdain.

Alas, this is the perception but we did hear stories from time to time.

Here's one story.

"Police officers trading money and cocaine for sex, a missing persons case that collected dust for months, and allegations of wanton cruelty against vulnerable women.

These are what indigenous people say they have encountered first-hand in their dealings with the Sûreté du Québec in the remote mining city of Val d’Or.

The allegations come from 12 aboriginal people, mostly women, from Algonquin communities around Val d’Or in northwestern Quebec, and they range from sexual to physical abuse."

No matter how you dice this, it's awful and appalling. It literally cuts to the heart of who we are and what we want our police officers to be.

We shut down a proud military regiment for this sort of behavior with the Somalia Affair involving the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

The came this story which came as very little surprise to me:

"Benaouda's cellphone camera was still rolling and recorded the conversation in the patrol car between Benaouda and Guénette. Benaouda protested that he did nothing wrong.

According to the police ethics board decision, Guénette then told Benaouda: "Check les lunettes mon ostie d'arabe," referring to his own glasses. 

This translates loosely as, "Look at my glasses, God damn Arab."

Guénette is then heard sarcastically trying to mock an Algerian accent, and suggesting that Benaouda had a Mafia lawyer."

Nice. Professional. 

Either the SQ cleans house, makes meaningful changes or the government must disband it.


Stop Apologizing To SJW; Trolling Dumbass SJW

Aw, a bunch of nationalist Mexican student association assholes (ugh, Student Associations) at Cornell are upset because a coach had the temerity to post a picture wearing a sombrero citing cultural appropriation.

Gee, I wonder if these clowns are aware Cornell is pretty much an Ivy League WASP institution or I'm guessing they enjoy the occasional egg roll and pizza.

Seriously. Stop apologizing to these idiots. The only appropriate response is FUCK OFF IGNORANT TURDS.

Now it's time to troll:



***

I'm still surprised no one has has pointed out about another absurd story involving Marc Jacobs that dreadlocks are not Jamaican but in fact have a history that goes back to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

How's that for irony, eh?

But what do you expect from people who are historically deficient?

Stop apologizing and coddling them. You only enable and encourage their retarded behavior.


2016-09-20

Of Change And Doughnuts And Cultural Appropriation

This ridiculous editorial in The Globe and Mail about Rogers Sports NET terminating Hockey Night in Canada's host George Stromboulopolous got me thinking about a bunch of stuff including cultural appropriation.

Here are some snippets:

"Sports fans are creatures of habit. Innovation just isn’t part of their vocabulary."

Alrighty. We're off to a bad start. This sets the mood for where this is gonna go.

"Rogers executives thought the old CBC Hockey Night in Canada approach was staid and out-of-date, and undoubtedly they were right. In particular, they focused on HNIC host Ron MacLean, whose insider status and intimacy with hockey lore weren’t enough to compensate for his forced folksiness, excruciating puns and deferential encouragement of Don Cherry’s simplistic rants."

I wonder what wine they were drinking and the color of their ascots the day they wrote this.

I've said this in the past and will say it again, Don Cherry is a sports phenomena. People embrace him - including myself- for whatever reasons. I find it appalling and annoying as I do hilarious having been subjected to media rail against him over the years. It's a classic case of 'We can't believe people like this guy. How can they not be enlightened like us? We'll have to fix them up' smugness to which I cared little for.

Also, more importantly, I've learned more about hockey from his 'simplistic rants' than I have from the vast majority of hockey writers through the decades. More often than not, Cherry has been bang on about what ails hockey and what makes it interesting; from his thoughts on equipment to rules to general insights (insights that have proven to be subtle in their usefulness making mockery of the claim he's simplistic) often overlooked by the mainstream press.

"Mr. Stroumboulopoulos, despite or indeed because of his skinny suits and hollow-eyed ex-rocker gaze, is reportedly out as a host, to be succeeded by the staid, outmoded icon he toppled."

We get it. It was outmoded. You open-minded trend-setters you. Jesus, I would love to meet and slap this person off the side of the head with a Brontasaurus rib.

And what is this? A teeny-bopper show? As an alternate and personal take, I consider myself a man of good taste and sharp dressing and those skinny suits didn't exude professionalism or hipness to me. It just didn't transfer well on television.

"Hockey broadcasting didn’t need some corporate idea of the latest thing, it turns out, and who’s surprised? The pleasures of being a fan are grounded in a conservatism that is hard to explain or justify in a culture of innovation but easy to recognize in a more intimate sports milieu that thrives on familiarity and predictability."

Ah yes. Let's get to the lazy portion of the argument and blame 'conservatism'.

Hockey as a whole, as the G&M knows, is an old boys network where innovation among teams and coaches tends to be limited and copy cat. They circulate and shuffle the same people around when in sometimes, it's probably best to bring in someone from the outside. I get this point.

However, this editorial could have made this point without the dreary and typical disdained arrogance all too common among media today.

And let's not over blow George here as some leitmotif for 'culture of innovation.' He just didn't connect. Why, I don't know and it sounds as though the G&M doesn't either preferring to blow smug steam out of its ass.

I admit to not paying much attention to intermission where sports are concerned. It doesn't interest me to sit and watch a bunch of heads just gargle stuff I pretty much deduced on my own. They all sell themselves as providing real insights but not really. You could have had a muppet hosting and it wouldn't change much.

I was indifferent to George. Not because I didn't like him, I just didn't see the point. But I can see why people may like him.

Michael Strahan on the other hand. Jesus, what is the attraction?

"Mr. MacLean, like the bombastic, irascible Mr. Cherry, has held court for decades, and that very longevity, however imperfect, became part of the draw for hockey regulars."

But you repeat yourself.

Is this a new writing-style technique? To rinse and repeat?

"In a world where change is a little too relentless and beyond our control, hockey can still supply stability and connect people across cultures and generations who otherwise have little in common.
Marketers, for their own mercenary interests, want to shunt us off into demographics and sell us on change. But the habits of hockey are powerful, and every now and then they provide this useful reminder: Sometimes the old ways are the good ones."

Aaaaand then they shift gears a little.

Yeah, sometimes the classics are great but too bad you're to ignorant to see innovation!

Bah humbug.

***

I've grown tired of the 'wagging finger' style of media where some journalist incredulously tells their readers what's good for them. The media does seem to think itself as some sort of gatekeeper to 'good tastes' of some sort.

A few years back, and for some reason The G&M article above reminded me of this, the media strangely went hard after Krispy Kreme's incursion into the Canadian market. It was almost as if they were offended that an American company was stepping on Tim Horton's turf. Heck, that probably was exactly why. I digress.

Everyday they were pounding away at how much fat and calories a KK doughnut had vis-a-vis its competitors. It became a farce. 'KK d'nuts have 800 calories versus "just" 770 for a Timmy'! leaving the viewer with the impression KK was *bad* for you when in fact both are basically junk food.

I don't know the details as to why KK has, what, just one location here, but maybe the stupid scare-mongering worked.

Yet, somehow, I doubt they turn down going to Tim Hortons for a doughnut, right?

***

Which, in turn, again with not real rhyme or reason led me to 'cultural appropriation' which I've discussed before. In a nutshell, if you invoke it or believe it to be a legitimate form of intellectualism, you're an idiot. No other way to put it.

No, wait. I apologize.

A profoundly ignorant idiot.

Cultural appropriation (of which there have been many examples), really, at its roots, is a form of insular thinking. It's a metaphor for the current intellectual dark age we're witnessing.

The rise of the welfare state has helped to contribute to the closing of the mind -a shrugging atlas if you will. It leaves people to their own devices locked up in a world of their own vomit and nonsense susceptible to stupidity and quackery.

It's easy to buy into all the crazy shit about climate change, vaccines and patriarchy when you're shut off from facts and reality. And when your little bubble of retardation is threatened, lash out incoherent assertions of 'racism' and 'sexism'. And when that's not enough, just censor and call for people to be imprisoned.

How can it be but a product of intellectual isolation to believe in cultural appropriation?

I personally find the thing about 'dreadlocks' to be interesting. Dreadlocks go back thousands of years and were originally found in Northern European cultures. Only later on did it become connected to Rastafarians. Is this not cultural appropriation? Ironic, no?

Whatever you do, never apologize to these idiots. Ever.

In any event, welcome to humanity. One big Amazon shelf of cultural appropriation.

***

I know there's a way to link all of these to form a full circle....but I'm just too lazy at the moment.

Now where's my doughnut?



Of Change And Doughnuts And Cultural Appropriation

This ridiculous editorial in The Globe and Mail about Rogers Sports NET terminating Hockey Night in Canada's host George Stromboulopolous got me thinking about a bunch of stuff including cultural appropriation.

Here are some snippets:

"Sports fans are creatures of habit. Innovation just isn’t part of their vocabulary."

Alrighty. We're off to a bad start. This sets the mood for where this is gonna go.

"Rogers executives thought the old CBC Hockey Night in Canada approach was staid and out-of-date, and undoubtedly they were right. In particular, they focused on HNIC host Ron MacLean, whose insider status and intimacy with hockey lore weren’t enough to compensate for his forced folksiness, excruciating puns and deferential encouragement of Don Cherry’s simplistic rants."

I wonder what wine they were drinking and the color of their ascots the day they wrote this.

I've said this in the past and will say it again, Don Cherry is a sports phenomena. People embrace him - including myself- for whatever reasons. I find it appalling and annoying as I do hilarious having been subjected to media rail against him over the years. It's a classic case of 'We can't believe people like this guy. How can they not be enlightened like us? We'll have to fix them up' smugness to which I cared little for.

Also, more importantly, I've learned more about hockey from his 'simplistic rants' than I have from the vast majority of hockey writers through the decades. More often than not, Cherry has been bang on about what ails hockey and what makes it interesting; from his thoughts on equipment to rules to general insights (insights that have proven to be subtle in their usefulness making mockery of the claim he's simplistic) often overlooked by the mainstream press.

"Mr. Stroumboulopoulos, despite or indeed because of his skinny suits and hollow-eyed ex-rocker gaze, is reportedly out as a host, to be succeeded by the staid, outmoded icon he toppled."

We get it. It was outmoded. You open-minded trend-setters you. Jesus, I would love to meet and slap this person off the side of the head with a Brontasaurus rib.

And what is this? A teeny-bopper show? As an alternate and personal take, I consider myself a man of good taste and sharp dressing and those skinny suits didn't exude professionalism or hipness to me. It just didn't transfer well on television.

"Hockey broadcasting didn’t need some corporate idea of the latest thing, it turns out, and who’s surprised? The pleasures of being a fan are grounded in a conservatism that is hard to explain or justify in a culture of innovation but easy to recognize in a more intimate sports milieu that thrives on familiarity and predictability."

Ah yes. Let's get to the lazy portion of the argument and blame 'conservatism'.

Hockey as a whole, as the G&M knows, is an old boys network where innovation among teams and coaches tends to be limited and copy cat. They circulate and shuffle the same people around when in sometimes, it's probably best to bring in someone from the outside. I get this point.

However, this editorial could have made this point without the dreary and typical disdained arrogance all too common among media today.

And let's not over blow George here as some leitmotif for 'culture of innovation.' He just didn't connect. Why, I don't know and it sounds as though the G&M doesn't either preferring to blow smug steam out of its ass.

I admit to not paying much attention to intermission where sports are concerned. It doesn't interest me to sit and watch a bunch of heads just gargle stuff I pretty much deduced on my own. They all sell themselves as providing real insights but not really. You could have had a muppet hosting and it wouldn't change much.

I was indifferent to George. Not because I didn't like him, I just didn't see the point. But I can see why people may like him.

Michael Strahan on the other hand. Jesus, what is the attraction?

"Mr. MacLean, like the bombastic, irascible Mr. Cherry, has held court for decades, and that very longevity, however imperfect, became part of the draw for hockey regulars."

But you repeat yourself.

Is this a new writing-style technique? To rinse and repeat?

"In a world where change is a little too relentless and beyond our control, hockey can still supply stability and connect people across cultures and generations who otherwise have little in common.
Marketers, for their own mercenary interests, want to shunt us off into demographics and sell us on change. But the habits of hockey are powerful, and every now and then they provide this useful reminder: Sometimes the old ways are the good ones."

Aaaaand then they shift gears a little.

Yeah, sometimes the classics are great but too bad you're to ignorant to see innovation!

Bah humbug.

I look forward to Coach's Corner whenever I'm around. Guess that makes me a conservative dolt. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

If this pisses the media off all the better.

***

I've grown tired of the 'wagging finger' style of media where some journalist incredulously tells their readers what's good for them. The media does seem to think itself as some sort of gatekeeper to 'good tastes' of some sort.

A few years back, and for some reason The G&M article above reminded me of this, the media strangely went hard after Krispy Kreme's incursion into the Canadian market. It was almost as if they were offended that an American company was stepping on Tim Horton's turf. Heck, that probably was exactly why. I digress.

Everyday they were pounding away at how much fat and calories a KK doughnut had vis-a-vis its competitors. It became a farce. 'KK d'nuts have 800 calories versus "just" 770 for a Timmy'! leaving the viewer with the impression KK was *bad* for you when in fact both are basically junk food.

I don't know the details as to why KK has, what, just one location here, but maybe the stupid scare-mongering worked.

Yet, somehow, I doubt they turn down going to Tim Hortons for a doughnut, right?

***

Which, in turn, again with not real rhyme or reason led me to 'cultural appropriation' which I've discussed before. In a nutshell, if you invoke it or believe it to be a legitimate form of intellectualism, you're an idiot. No other way to put it.

No, wait. I apologize.

A profoundly ignorant idiot.

Cultural appropriation, really, at its roots, is a form of insular thinking. It's a metaphor for the current intellectual dark age we're witnessing.

The rise of the welfare state has helped to contribute to the closing of the mind -a shrugging atlas if you will. It leaves people to their own devices locked up in a world of their own vomit and nonsense susceptible to stupidity and quackery.

It's easy to buy into all the crazy shit about climate change, vaccines and patriarchy when you're shut off from facts and reality. And when your little bubble of retardation is threatened, lash out incoherent assertions of 'racism' and 'sexism'. And when that's not enough, just censor and call for people to be imprisoned.

How can it be but a product of intellectual isolation to believe in cultural appropriation?

I personally find the thing about 'dreadlocks' to be interesting. Dreadlocks go back thousands of years and were originally found in Northern European cultures. Only later on did it become connected to Rastafarians. Is this not cultural appropriation? Ironic, no?

In any event, welcome to humanity. One big Amazon shelf of cultural appropriation.

The SJW movement is one big backlash against the values and cultural patterns that have made Western civilization from Athens and Rome onward what it is. Now that we've amassed all this wealth in finance and cultural patrimony it's time to deconstruct it and demand it somehow makes amends to all those offended in the past, present and future.They loathe our values and culture but they sure want the money and wealth it produced to give them what they want.

It's a strange and shameless if not irrational pulsating instinct is it not?

***

I know there's a way to link all of these to form a full circle....but I'm just too lazy at the moment.

Now where's my doughnut?



What's A Leppo?

A leopard-hippo.

And yes, it's as awesome and magical you imagine it to be.

2016-09-19

America's Stunning Unfunded Liabilities

"Combining the figures above with the national debt and subtracting the value of federal assets, the federal government had about $76.4 trillion ($76,438,000,000,000) in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations at the close of its 2015 fiscal year."

I've heard and read over the last little while  the number actually crashes pass $100 trillion.

This is a $19 trillion economy. 

Yeah. That's not good.

Not good at all.


Quote Of The Day

"If I had my way, I would build a lethal chamber as big as the Crystal Palace, with a military band playing softly, and a Cinematograph working brightly; then I’d go out in the back streets and main streets and bring them in, all the sick, the halt, and the maimed; I would lead them gently, and they would smile me a weary thanks; and the band would softly bubble out the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’. "

D.H. Lawrence (1908).

Nice.

Those progressive intellects really knew how to get in touch with their humanism, huh?

Know who else thought a lethal chamber was awesome?

Never mind.

2016-09-17

Freest Economies

According to the Fraser Institute.

Quick word. Canada once again out ranks the United States.

The U.S. has continued it's slow decline. I believe it was first or second right around Bush II took over and it sank to 6th by the time Obama came into office. It currently sits in 16th.

Not surprising given who has been running the U.S. in the last eight years.

I suspect it's going to further drop once Hillary (or Trump) take over. I don't see a single idea or thought that gives me much hope to think otherwise. It's really that bad.

How Obama can claim the economy is healthy is beyond me to comprehend.

America's leadership problem reminds me of Rome's succession problems that led to all sorts of instability, violence and unrest until Augustus came along. The thing that saved Rome at that time was that despite become an Emperor pretending to run a Republic, Augusts was actually pretty enlightened where matters of free trade and markets were concerned. The Pax Romana was no mistake. It was directly connected to Augustus's wise policies where state control and taxes (and duties) were kept at a minimum.

It's just that, just we're witnessing today, once the money rolls in, the government takes it and makes a mess of it. Think modern progressives like Democrats, Liberals and the NDP. Or more poignantly and starkly, Venezuela. Where there's a source of cash, they raid it.

Thoughts On Tipping And Rethinking Dining Out; Stop The Taxi Permits Racket

We've had to scale back going out to restaurants a little. It's become way too expensive.

It's one thing for inflation to increase prices but the sales taxed charged with the expectation of a tip has made dining out somewhat of a ridiculous exercise.

In Montreal, we're hit with an insidious 15% sales tax which in of itself should be enough to discourage customers. I'm sure it does for some but to what degree I have no clue. However, it doesn't stop there. Then comes the odd notion of entitled tipping where once upon a time 15% was the standard but now (because cost of living!) has inched up to 20%. In another few years, a quarter of the food bill will go to the server.

It's absurd.

First off, living in Quebec is double the expense anywhere on the continent. I have no idea how we tolerate Revenue Quebec. We already pay Revenue Canada but in the la-la of a wannabe independent rebellious child, we have Quebec masking as a 'nation' collecting taxes. This alone has me strongly considering leaving now that I've come understand it's actually eroding my wealth. How anyone who earns good money hasn't arrived at this rational conclusion is beyond me to comprehend. I marvel at people who can up and leave on a dime stay here. I'd be gone in a flash. I understand the family roots angle but even then...pas sur.

Second,  tipping basically amounts to the customer subsidizing the restaurant owner. It's not my job to give a tip because they're not paid enough and need to earn a 'living wage'. Aside from the fact no one forces anybody to take a job in that industry, they can demand their employers pay them more. And if they did succeed, this would have to come with the understanding the culture of tipping is over.

It's also a strange exercise in guilt tripping where if you're seen as a bad tipper you're a bad person. I've swung the other way now. Too often mediocre and sub-par servers just expect to get their tip. Lost is the art of exchange whereby the server provides optimum service to justify an added financial perk. But with the guilt associated with an implicit sense of entitlement, we've removed this right accorded to the customer. Often, the person just tips even when poorly served.

Not me anymore. You treat me poorly or at least to the level I expect (and lemme tell ya it's not a high standard. Wouldn't want people to actually push harder) you're gonna get 10% - and be lucky you get that because if the guilt train didn't run so deep, it would be nothing.

Mathematically it's become untenable. A meal that costs $40 becomes $55 because the government and restaurant tipping culture have their hands in it.

So for us it's come down to take-out from restaurants we like and in some cases food trucks (where the idiot government doesn't involve itself destroying it through impossible regulations while protecting its cronies).

In doing so, we get back to a rational customer-restaurant relationship and exchange we prefer.

***

Which indirectly, where customer service, brings us to Uber and the war with traditional Taxis.

Seems to me this whole episode is easily avoidable as it is tiresome.

That is, stop the artificial barrier to entry through charging for a permit.  Supply-side economics is about as rational as a racoon with  rabies. Taxi drivers, it goes, are upset Uber is not playing by the rules by not paying a fee to enter the racket market. I understand the frustration but they should be directing their anger at the government.

Get rid of the license fees and go compete for consumer dollars. 

To me this is the crux of the debate, the government doesn't want to lose that money and Taxis don't want to compete. 

People are mistakenly conflating the granting of a monopoly with 'safety' and 'service'. All a permit does is just that, distort a market.

You can have a healthy market environment with sensible laws, rules and regulations without paying $250 000.

Uber is crucial to the notion of an innovative market. People need to feel they can come up with a product or service without having to face onerous and artificial obstacles.

Uber, to me, is the market of free people smashing up an unhealthy monopoly.