Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Useless President

Barack Obama has turned out to be a pretty useless president.  The disappointment is pretty widespread, even the left seems disenchanted with his performance.  If you remember it was all supposed to be about Hope and Change.  Obama was supposed to usher in a new era of the transcendent President, rising above partisanship, healing the nation, getting the US back on track.

It was on the basis of this wild optimism for what his administration was going to do that he was given the Nobel Peace Prize before he’d even done a single thing for world peace, other than make a couple of beautiful speeches.  But so many held high hopes for the man.

But, as it turns out he wasn’t and isn’t any different than the Presidents who’ve come before him, and in fact he is being demonstrated to be uniquely unequipped to be President.  Obama was a man, who as Mark Steyn has so aptly described it, “wafted” upwards through the strata of society, all the way to office of the President, without ever achieving anything of any substance.  Ever.  Okay, so he was friends with Oprah.  But never did he actually create a dime of wealth, have to meet a payroll, fight for his country, serve overseas, or doing anything that would indicate he was capable of the job, never mind transcending it, and using the office to heal the nation’s problems, steer it back onto the path of prosperity or help secure its free future. 

Instead, he’s been a standard Euro-style socialist who has shown more interest in protecting his political future than making brave decisions.  Take the whole debt ceiling debacle last August as an example.  His big proposal was to buy time until after the next election to address the bigger issues.  Short term.  Not visionary.

So that brings us to the last couple of weeks and his killing of the Keystone XL project.  It probably wasn’t his intention to kill it long term; he probably intended to prolong his political future merely by putting off a decision until after the next election, and get his cred back with the environmental left, while lining his campaign coffers with donations from idiots who couldn’t find their asses with both hands and a flashlight, like Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Darryl Hannah and others.

But now, as Republicans line up behind the project, what he’s done is inadvertently turn this into a partisan issue, with Democrats opposing it mainly on the basis of their pathological need to see themselves as a counter-weight to anything the Republicans might want.  So again, not only short-term, opportunist and less than brave, but metastasizing into a partisan issue, and one that has Canada looking at building a pipeline to the Pacific coast to ship oil overseas to China, not a country that we should be hitching our wagon to.  All because Obama has shown he is pretty useless as a President.

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Regressively Good Eats: Official RA Endorsement of Hillbilly Heaven

The Regressive Analysis official seal of endorsement is very coveted. Well, not really, but one day we’re sure it will be.

So, the next time anyone is in Hamilton, please make sure to visit Hillbilly Heaven our first officially RA endorsed restaurant.

The Hamilton Spectator (a crap newspaper, sister publication to the Toronto Red Star), saw fit to post a three-quarter page article about allegedly racist signs the restaurant has posted, saying things like;

“Things we don’t have and never will – Halal, rice, kabob, shawarma, fries, wings, ¼ chicken, Mexican and burgers”

“To better serve you, our staff speaks ENGLISH”

“What would make you think this was a Korean BBQ? Do you see any f’n ducks in the window?”

Of course, we here at RA find this sense of humor hilarious. It’s not racist. It’s simply anti-political correctness.

How annoyed would the owner of a Pakistani cuisine restaurant be if someone kept coming in and asking if they sold pork? Probably pretty annoyed. So why shouldn’t Mr. Bailey, the owner of Hillbilly Heaven be annoyed with repeated questions about halal meat, when it is clear to everyone outside and inside the restaurant that this is a BBQ joint?

But lo and behold, it’s not even a Muslim or a Korean, or someone who doesn’t speak English who has complained. It’s a busy body, Evelyn Myrie, Executive director for the Centre for Civic Inclusion.

Really. It’s surreal. Check out their website. There is a cottage industry in this province of useless people who try to justify their sucking off the public teat by pointing out any instance of supposed racism they can find. This organization received $260,000 from the City of Hamilton in funding, and because we can see on their website that they have Ontario government links, no doubt they’ve received matching funding or more from the us the taxpayers at large in this province.

So, in order to justify her salary, this woman needs to run around and invent grievances. It goes without saying – without any racism, this woman and her organization wouldn’t need to exist. And they may need to get real jobs. So, racism abounds in their minds. We’re just a step away from being the new South Africa or deep south U.S.

Next up, we’re sure is that she will file a human rights complaint, saying that she or her group is offended on behalf of these aggrieved groups, and thus she should get some cash for her organization and her alleged fight against racism in Hamilton. And she’ll win no doubt. That’s the messed up Ontario we live in right now.

Ah well. But in the interim, if you’re in the Hamilton area try and go out of your way to visit Hillbilly Heaven, the first officially endorsed RA restaurant.

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What Dalton Would Do: The Very Un-Regressive Use of Your Tax Money

President Obama in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday used the opportunity to repeat the same mantra he’s be voicing since August and the debt ceiling crises, saying the rich should pay more.  He even invited Warren Buffet’s famed secretary who allegedly pays a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss. 

Funny how Mr. Buffet, when he complained about this, failed to point out that he pays a lower tax rate because he elected to pay himself a nominal salary in exchange for stock options, which when he cashed in on them as a capital gain,  that gain was taxed at a lower tax rate than his salary would have been.  So, he could have elected to pay himself in a more traditional manner and thereby pay a higher rate than his secretary.  Hmmm, let’s just disregard these technicalities, shall we?  He’s such an enlightened billionaire saying that he should pay more. 

So pay it, pal.  Write a check to the US government… but we’re off topic here.

And of course it’s not limited to the US.  The NDP, the Liberals are all making the same noises here about our corporate tax rates, our tax rates on upper brackets etc.

This, all despite the evidence that in both countries, the top 10% of income earners pay approximately 50% of all income taxes, and the bottom 50% of income earners pay approximately nothing.  Zero.   

But who makes use of the vast bulk of the services paid for by taxes, like health care; that 50% who are essentially free loaders.

So, the Occupiers were crying they are the 99% – what about the 50% who pay taxes for everyone?  Here’s a Regressive idea – you want to increase government revenues?  Lower basic income exemptions and start taxing lower brackets higher.  Again… we’re off topic.

But, the issue then becomes distorted for political purposes, into a debate about income disparities, just to avoid such sticky discussions.

The inference from the progressives then is that higher tax rates for the rich will address the disparities in income in our society.  The progressive left’s solution to income disparities is to tax the rich and then redistribute as they see fit, picking winners and losers.  Ah, the genius of government.

But when conservatives push back and say, ah you’re just engaging in cynical class warfare, and they stick to the doctrine cry for lower taxes! Lower taxes are good for everyone! for economic stimulus! despite some evidence that that is not necessarily true, they miss the point quite tragically we think.

Tax cuts may not generate economic activity per se, but having the government take it and redistribute it is what conservatives need to argue is what is directly detrimental to the economy and society.  What tax cuts do, or should do in theory, is limit the size and power of government.  Government more often than not are the abrasive that can seize up the wheels of the economy with overregulation, skewing of the market in favour of uncompetitive or false economies and competing with the private sector for labour needed in the inevitable expansion of government services.  But conservatives fail to make this point, maybe because so many of them now are big government believers themselves.

But really, what would government do with all this additional tax money from the rich?

Pay down the deficit?  Fix infrastructure?  Fund research and innovation?

Nah.  Case in point our Premier Dad, Dalton McGuinty.  Here he really believes that the public unions will be reasonable next year.  We doubt it.  This is code for he intends to give them back everything they have now, plus a little bit to make it all good for funding those Hudak attack ads during the campaign.  And how will he fund paying off his debts to the public sector unions?

Increase taxes.  On the rich of course.

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The Canadian Cowardice on Abortion

How does one write about abortion in a 500 word posting?  You really can’t.

But the recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal calling for an end to revealing sex of fetuses before 30 weeks into a pregnancy has provoked the typical hyperventilating about abortion that seems particularly characteristic of the debate here in Canada.  While in the US they’ve resigned themselves to carrying on a ferocious culture war over the issue, and in Europe they’ve settled on limitations (more on this in a minute), in Canada where there are no limitations on abortion, the media aside from a few brave columnists get apoplectic at the thought of the debate because confrontation and drawing lines in the sand is so un-Canadian. 

And polls of Canadians seem to bear this out; depending on the poll usually 70% or so of Canadians do not want the issue debated or brought up.  Funny enough though, the numbers turn around when Canadians are explained that actually there are no limitations on abortion in Canada.  But sure enough, our conservative politicians, like most politicians, have no faith in either their ability to communicate the issues to the public or in the public’s ability to digest the issues, so they practice moral cowardice and follow Stephen Harper’s lead and do their very best ostrich imitation as soon as the issue comes up.

The CMJA article simply points out that the feticide of female un-born that has been happening in the developing and third world for a couple of decades now, replacing what was rampant female infanticide before, has shown its ugly face on our shores.  What did we expect?  That’s where our immigration has come from primarily over the past thirty odd years, and we’ve done nothing to try and mute their various cultural mores when they come here, all in the name of multi-culturalism.

So, Asian and South Asian families are electing to find out the sex of the unborn, and if it’s a female, abort.

The resulting demographic disaster, as has been documented in numerous places is a generation of “missing” females,  numbering approximately 163 million or more, and huge disparities are now apparent in some parts of the world in the number of males to females, a disparity that will only grow worse unless there is a dramatic shift in trends.

One of the progressive ideals is Social Harmony through Social Equilibrium.  And for feminists, this means gender power equilibrium, with ‘choice” being a critical measure of female empowerment.  But there won’t be any social harmony.  The feminist dream of the end of men is shattered by the reality that most cultures in our world, unfortunately, value men over women.  And social harmony?  “Societies top-heavy with men without wives, and potentially without jobs, can lead to unrest and violence.”

But the whole issue just needs some sensible discussion on our sides.  Because when can the sex be determined?  Twenty weeks give or take.  And so if we just have some kind of limitations, a la Europe, where 95% of the countries have a 12 week limitation on abortion, including enlightened socialist wunder-countries like Sweden, Denmark and Holland, then wouldn’t that at least cut down on the number of legally aborted female unborn?

We close with some quotes from Ronald Reagan taken from his elegant 1983 essay on abortion.

“If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn…

“The real question today is not when human life begins, but, what is the value of human life?…

“The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being…

 “Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value.”

Who Cares About Natural Human History?

The other day the Daily Mail had another piece about a British child being raised without gender, to avoid all the inferred negative connotations and “stereotypes” that might supposedly ruin the child if people treated a boy as a boy, or a girl as a girl.

This gets added to the story last year about the Canadian couple who were raising their child without revealing the gender to family and friends for the same reasons.

It’s amusing that these progressive parents think they are so much smarter than eons of human history, whether you believe the 250,000 years as evolutionists/intelligent design advocates would say, or the 10,000 years strict Biblical creationists might say.  What successful culture ever has found it worthwhile to hide the gender of the child to improve its upbringing?  But who cares about everything that may have come before, who cares about what seems natural and normal.  These geniuses know better.

And isn’t it funny how it seems to be male children whose gender gets hidden to avoid stereotyping?

There’s a good chance that Sasha here will grow up to be someone with masculinity somewhat less than Bob the Builder, let’s say.  But these parents, rather than see causality and understand that what they did may have contributed to the outcome, will instead in their vanity see what they did as being justified, since the boy was obviously not your stereotypical male.

The Untouchable Public Sector Employees

There may not be a place for him or her now in our political diaspora here in Canada (or even in the US for that matter), but in the near future there will be a place for the avant garde conservative politician who decides that when it comes to perpetually prostrating themselves and our tax monies in the support of our police, enough is enough. 

The police (and firefighters – but let’s not digress) have us over a barrel; on the one hand no conservative politician wants to come across as anything less than a servant to the principles that we are a nation of Law And Order, and that more police, more jails, more state powers in the pursuit of criminals, is all good when it comes to keeping our families and our streets safe.

And then on the left side of the political ledger, besides the fact that they never ever propose a budget cut to anything, they also never deny any group represented by something which name starts with a “u” and ends in “nion” whatever they ask for.

But are we getting value for money?  Constables here in Ontario are making $80k+ a year, $100k or more after overtime (check the next sunshine list when it comes out – half are police officers), and even the ones who are no longer active in the street and are now riding a desk as a glorified administrator are still making pretty stiff wages.  Then of course, people don’t want to begrudge police officers what they make because, after all, policing is dangerous work, right?

And still, year after year police departments pony up to their councils and ask for more money, despite being told to cut budgets.  Some just outright refuse to cut like Blair in Toronto.  Look at the Region of Waterloo Police campaign recently, trying to get 62 more staff for 2012, even though crime rates are on the decline  in the area.

Father Raymond DeSousa (one of our favourite columnists) wrote a wonderful column last year, lamenting the fact that police in today’s world don’t so much enforce the law anymore as just merely document infractions.  It’s hard to say what this change reflects; political cowardice, modern litigation difficulties, the culture of the police force from being a calling to a well-paid public service career?

But the examples are abundant of where one could argue the police have gone missing in action; Caledonia, the first day of the G20 summit (and then the subsequent over-reaction on day two), the Vancouver riot (has anyone been charged yet?), Ann Coulter was told to cancel her speech in Ottawa because of the “threat of violence” (why don’t the police just make sure that if anyone gets violent, they get arrested and removed?), and examples of police brutality and negligence and bad behaviour aplenty.

What are we getting for our money?  And then of course there is the over-the-top grief porn when a police office is tragically killed on the job.  Yes, it is tragic.  It is also tragic when a construction worker gets killed building a bridge, when a machinist loses an arm in a press, when anybody is cruelly killed or injured on the job.

In a sense there’s been a distortion here that needs some correction and restoration of the basic contract with us that used to be understood.

It is time for us to start thinking about how to make our police budgets more sustainable, and still get the protection from criminals we deserve as a society.  We have to be mindful of not slipping into becoming a police state where we glorify our police with what appears to be diminishing returns for our investment in them.

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Surprising… Not.

Are we the only ones who find it funny that the Ontario government appointed Denise Small, the professor wife of Buzz Hargrove, he of ex-CAW president fame, as the labour conciliation officer for the dispute between the City of Toronto and CUPE?

Apparently the Ontario government picks up the tab for a conciliator.  We wonder how much the conciliator’s fee would be for a couple of weeks of work.  We imagine it’s pretty healthy.  Working in the consulting field ourselves, we have a feeling for how these hourly billing rates go.

So, how was she chosen for this plum assignment?  By whom?  How is she qualified? How unbiased would she be?  Isn’t there almost a conflict of interest?  All good questions we would think.

From the standpoint of sheer optics, it’s seems to be true – there’s an elite class in this country that seems to know just where and how to elbow their way up to the public trough and dig in.  And they seem to have no moral problem insisting that the rest of us be happy to empty our pockets and keep the trough full.

Funny too, how no one in the media has even blinked an eye at this.

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Why Would We Be Surprised?

A break from politics for a bit.

Paula Deen has decided to come clean that she has diabetes.  File this as  “no shit Sherlock”.  If anyone has seen Ms. Deen cook on the Food Network, I think it’s not hard to deduce that when your macaroni and cheese recipe calls for a pound of butter and quart of heavy cream, you are headed for some health issues.

We here at RA have some basic cooking tips to pass along that will make anyone a candidate for hosting their own cooking show.  Here goes;

  • Bacon makes everything taste better;
  • Butter makes everything taste better;
  • Cream makes everything taste better

So simple.  So, putting bacon, butter and cream in a single dish might just help you knock it out of the park next time you’re on Top Chef.  Mac and cheese?  Here goes; chop up some bacon, fry it up in the pan, add it to your mac and cheese dish that include a pound of melted butter and quart of cream and three types of cheese, bake in the oven with bread crumbs sprinkled over the top and then voila.  One tablespoon = 758 calories, but it’ll taste delicious.

You can thank us for the heart disease or diabetes later.

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We Need Rob Ford To Win

Rob Ford got weighed in yesterday to start his weight loss challenge, and then went from announcing he was going to cut the inches around his waist (and honestly, at 330 lbs he is absurdly fat… just sayin’) to cutting TO’s deficit by bringing out the 2012 Toronto budget, where for the first time in a very very long time a municipality in Ontario set a spending target that was lower than what they spent the year previous.

An aside, Rob Ford’s weight loss program started with a colon cleansing, or so we’ve heard.  It’s expected that he’ll lose 30lbs through the process, but afterwards will be 150% more conservative.

Well, we here at RA are sort of torn on big Rob.  We call him a Default Conservative, because while we applaud the direction, we applaud the simplicity of ‘cut spending – good’, ‘lower taxes – good’, ‘unions – argh – bad!’, we just don’t know if there’s much more depth to what he’s about.  So, he’s sort of a conservative by default.  If he had more of a philosophically conservative foundation, we think he would be better at communicating and taking on the leftist goons at the Toronto Red Star and on council a little more successfully than he has thus far.  As it is he comes across as just a little too populist for our tastes – populism can only carry you so far, because at some point the populace will wince, and you need to be able to lead them through the stage where they begin to question ‘what have they done’?

But it goes without saying that we all need Rob Ford to win this battle.  No, not the one with his weight.  The one with the despicable Adam Vaughns and his ilk on Toronto City Council, the unions and the Margaret Atwood alarmists.

We don’t need labour peace.  We need labour war.  Don’t cave on your fight with the unions, Rob.  You’re an unlikely war hero, but we here in Ontario are desperate for someone to rescue us from being the next Greece.

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Ah Heather – You So Crazy!

Seriously.

We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

This is what passes for commentary in Canada’s largest daily newspaper.  We wonder about her mental health.  Really.  Find a doctor Heather, stat.  It’s disjointed nonsense, it draws outrageous parallels from Harper to Assad, and you know what?  We also would like to see Matt Damon debate Joe Oliver.

Seriously.

 

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