Friday, December 22, 2006

Cooling the global warming hype

If you believe the "inconvenient truth" and enviro-commie hype about the global warming myth and its new moniker "climate change", then read this.

Here are some snippets...

In effect, an experiment has been performed on the Earth during the past
half-century an experiment that includes all of the complex factors and feedback
effects that determine the Earth's temperature and climate. Since 1940, atmospheric GHGs have risen substantially. Yet atmospheric temperatures have not risen. In fact, during the 19 years with the highest atmospheric levels of CO2 and other GHGs, temperatures have fallen.

Not only has the global warming hypothesis failed the experimental test; it is theoretically flawed as well. It can reasonably be argued that cooling from negative physical and biological feedbacks to GHGs will nullify the initial temperature rise.

The reasons for this failure of the computer climate models are subjects of scientific debate. For example, water vapor is the largest contributor to the overall greenhouse effect. It has been suggested that the computer climate models treat feedbacks related to water vapor incorrectly.

The global warming hypothesis is not based upon the radiative properties of the GHGs themselves. It is based entirely upon a small initial increase in temperature caused by GHGs and a large theoretical amplification of that temperature change. Any comparable temperature increase from another cause would produce the same outcome from the calculations.

At present, science does not have comprehensive quantitative knowledge about the Earth's atmosphere.

Very few of the relevant parameters are known with enough rigor to permit reliable theoretical calculations. Each hypothesis must be judged by empirical results. The global warming hypothesis has been thoroughly evaluated. It does not agree with the data and is, therefore, not validated.

Now this from Prime Minister Harper...
At a news conference in the Senate foyer a week ago, Harper said in defence
of his environmental plan: "As we implement our clean-air agenda, the focus is a little different than the other parties. They focus only on so-called greenhouse gases and ignored smog entirely."

Back in the 2004 election campaign, Harper said of climate change: "The
science is still evolving."

And in September 2002, Harper said this when asked about the "greenhouse
effect:" "It's a scientific hypothesis, a controversial one and one that I think there is some preliminary evidence for. ... This may be a lot of fun for a few scientific and environmental elites in Ottawa, but ordinary Canadians from coast to coast will not put up with what this (Kyoto accord) will do to their economy and lifestyle, when the benefits are negligible."

What is it going to take to convince people that global warming is a myth and that our Prime Minister and government are on the mark with the Clean Air Act?

I'm sick of the Al Gore's, U.N. bureaucrats, so-called scientists, and their fellow global-socialists who continue to scare people with doomsday lies into believing we need to implement punishing tax measures like a carbon tax to "save the world". Why no call for a smog tax?

And notice how it's just "carbon", so they can include and fool people into believing that carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are basically one and the same. That extra oxygen molecule allows plants to absorb the product of animals breathing.

So who will have the guts to stand up to enviro-commies and the global warming myth?

Methinks, once again, it's Stephen Harper.

Mark Messier

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was recently interviewed (h/t William) and had this to say about former Edmonton Oiler, Mark Messier (whose jersey will be retired in Edmonton in February):

Asked by Global TV which hockey player best stands out as a leader on the
ice over the years, Harper didn't hesitate: "It would be hard, historically, to
say there was ever a greater leader on a hockey team than Mark Messier."

The one-time Edmonton Oilers star was "talented, tough" and "a great
player" (who) "inspired others."
Being a huge fan of the new and old Oilers, growing up, I admired Messier, if not downright idolized the guy. (Side note: When I was a single digit kid, his uncle used to stop by the house.)

Because of this declaration, it's obvious our Prime Minister certainly has a keen knowledge for hockey. How many prime ministers can say that?

Now I know what you're thinking ... "Geez, Hatrock, anything you find in the news making Stephen Harper look good, you'll talk about." True, because there's a lot of biased negative press about the guy that I like to counteract, but this connection between an athletic leader and political leader needs to be made, because when's the last time, heck, first time, that was ever done?

Not only that, but it's obvious our Prime Minister understands what leadership is all about.

When Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, many thought this was the end of the Oiler's dynasty. WRONG! That year they went on to win the Cup without "The Great One", but with "Moose" leading the way. Granted there were a lot of great players still on the team, and you can have all the great players you want, but without a defining leader keeping everyone focused, all you have are a bunch of individuals. And let me tell you, I don't think Glen Sather was ever really a great coach, but he knew when to let these players do their own thing, and that's why Mark Messier stepped up to the plate early on.

Stephen Harper saw an opportunity to step up to the plate when he ran for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance (which I strongly supported him on). He knew there should be only one conservative party in this country, and once Joe Clark was gone, the will was there to get it done. His leadership style is tough, non-dithering, and full of action. Could anyone keep up to him after that? Look how much he and the party in gov't have accomplished under a year, despite being in a minority situation! I'd say that Mr. Harper is the best conservative prime minister this country has ever had and I know there are more great things to come. So adjusting the snippet above:
Asked by a colleague which prime minister best stands out as a leader on the Hill over the years, Hatrock didn't hesitate: "It would be hard, historically, to say there was ever a greater leader in government than Stephen Harper." The one-time Conservative Party star is "talented, tough" and "a great leader" (who) "inspired others."
But I'm wondering though, the hockey stick I have signed by both Gretzky and Messier, does an endorsement from the Prime Minister of Canada increase its sell value?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

One "E" leads to another

This news is the best news I've heard ever. Our gutsy Prime Minister has found a way to have us voters elect Senators without opening the constitution (which I know he really wants to do, but not yet). One E down, two to go.

"Imagine that, after a century and a half, democracy will finally come to
the Senate of Canada."

"I have a warning for the Liberals. A democratically elected and genuinely accountable Senate may not serve the Liberal party, but it will serve the Canadian people, and their interests come first to the Conservative party," Harper said.

No kidding. And I especially love this type of support from our new guy...

Alberta Premier designate Ed Stelmach isn't one of those Albertans that agrees
with Dion.

"I believe what Prime Minister Harper is doing is opening up consultation in terms of how to bring about Senate reform and we're going to work with him," Stelmach said in Edmonton. "We have been supportive of Senate reform for many, many years and will continue to do so. I'm awaiting the details of his proposals."

What I especially like is Dion and Sask premier Lorne Calvert are even opening up to the second E, regarding having equal representation, which is most favourite issue and one that will truly solve a lot of this country's unity problems. They obviously now recognize this is the path to go, toward a Triple-E Senate, but they're still too chicken.

Earlier this year, when Mr. Harper went before the Senate and gave them a warning, I said that the Liberals wouldn't want to debate it. Well, why is that? Is it because they've held the majority in the Senate for over a decade? They can't lose their grip and give it to the people, can they?

What's ironic is that Canadians forget that our fair country was created primarily because the fathers of confederation agreed to have appointed senators, although many wanted an elected one. They thought they'd get around to it later on, but creating the country was the priority.

I bet Harper has been planning this for years. Seriously. He's executed this plan perfectly. He put forth an easy-to-digest platform and has actually delivered on those campaign promises, unlike the Liberals. They've never delivered.

The Accountability Act finally passed this week, spent 9 months in the Liberal dominated Senate. Many amendments were made by Liberals to water it down, to ensure they still have a grip on power. The main reason they lost last election was due to Canadians being fed up with Liberal corruption. How can the Liberals NOT pass it? They're going to look like fools.... again. All part of the plan.

Oh, and you're going to hear a lot of so-called constitutional liberal "academics" play down Harper's plan for Senate reform. Don't listen to them. You're a Canadian voter and a taxpayer and you should decide who represents you in government and how they spend your money.

In next budget, likely February, look for the Conservatives to propose middle-class tax cuts , which the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc will defeat to spring an election. Bring it on!

The Conservatives will win because only they understand and appeal to the middle class voter and their daily lives. The Liberals and NDP are so out of touch with average Canadian families.

The need for accountability and senate reform will become the keystone in the election because all Harper has to say is that the Liberals have been blocking legislation that would directly benefit average families.

And so it appears this upcoming election will be another chapter, perhaps the final one, in the Liberal adscam story.

In less than a year, and in a minority, the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper have been dismantling the Liberal grip on this country.

The next election will finally chop off their gritty little hands.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Well, where? I'm here in San Diego again and I can't seem to find her. I really love this city. The people are uber-friendly. In fact, one bartender already recognized me from my last visit 4 months ago.

Anyway, lots has happened in politics this past week, so from the hotel...

Same-Sex Marriage - Keeping in mind the vote last week was to re-open the debate, not actually a bill about SSM. Regardless, it was defeated and no debate. Everyone knew Harper wasn't intending on winning it, but the main reason wasn't so much that he promised in the last election, but that the original vote on SSM wasn't a free vote. The Liberal cabinet was whipped into voting for it whereas the Conservatives let their MPs vote freely. But THAT wasn't the main reason either. It had to do with that the Supreme Court who couldn't decide so it sent it to parliament to decide first. Making laws in this country isn't really supposed to work that way.

So the CPC simply had a free vote. At first, new Libleader Dion,

Anyway, my belief about SSM marriage? It goes both ways. Ha!

Lefties Untie! -- Blogger Nicole Martel talks about how although there are three parties on the left, especially as regards to the environment issue, that this still benefits the Liberals somehow. Sadly, she's right ... um, ... I mean, correct. The Liberals are masters of placing the ideological wedge. Dion is already scaring the soft-dippers over to the Liberals. NDP support is slipping to the red machine and the green machine. NDP core support just seems to be weakening and this is not good for Conservatives. The CPC war room needs to not only scare red tories from going Dion, but scare soft-dippers away from Dion. But how?

Stephane Dion's French citizenship is how. This is personal. Not good, but Harper isn't making any direct comments on it. Seriously though, move on guys.

Being a libertarian at heart, I think dual citizenships are great. There's probably more details to work out, but as an I.T. guy who'll be travelling between Canada and the U.S. quite a bit in the next few years due to the clients we're getting down south, some contracts will require a U.S. citizenship of some sort. It's a good thing. I don't care if a leader has dual citizenship, but don't say you'll drop your French card only if it benefits your electability, yet in the same breath say you'll honour it because of your mother.

Hey Stephane, we already KNOW you're French Canadian!

The thing about this is that Duceppe could use Dion's duality as a valid argument that shows Canada is open to allow, oh I dunno, let's say Quebec/Canada dual citizenships. Methinks there are a many soft-nationalists who'd go for that idea.

Calgary - I get the feeling that the Calgary Compact is upset that a Northern rural guy will be premier in a couple of days or more so feeling left out that their boss Jimbo didn't win. Lighten up everyone--Ed's a fair guy who'll reward loyalty (tee hee!).

And now back to San Diego... Carmen that is. Where are you????!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oh look, another poll!

Remember the poll from last week showing Harper would be 7 to 10 points up on whomever was chosen Liberal leader? If you didn't, then as I predicted, it wasn't really slapped on the front page anywhere.

Amazingly, this poll now shows Dion ahead by 6 points on Harper and because of that it gets slapped on the front page on none other than the Globe and Mail.

Paul Wells and Adam Daifallah are saying that Dion won't do as badly in Quebec as some think. Don't forget, Harper called Dion last week regarding the "nation motion" to get his thoughts. Dion went along with the motion, which actually might have scored him points in Quebec.

Dion is off and running with the usual attacks against the Conservatives being right-wing (yawn)and today's question period in the House of Commons had an excellent exchange between the two leaders. So I think there's going to be some quality debate coming up and less personal attack.

But the difference in these polls indicates to me that the Liberal love-in convention had an impact on those who were polled. These sentiments obviously won't last. I think Harper is smart enough not to underestimate Dion.

What gets me is that Dion appears to be getting credit as the author of the Clarity Act, when it was Harper's idea in the first place, like about 10 years ago.

(Hey, remember the election that began a whole year ago? Harper's been Prime Minister for 301 days now. Seems much longer doesn't it? That's because he's actually accomplishing things.)

"Nice guys finish first."

December 2, 2006 will go down in secondary history. This blog didn't pay much attention to the Liberal leadership race, because, well, in the long run it isn't going to matter who wins, Harper will win anyway. But tho'd a thought Stephane Dion and Ed Stelmach would have won? No one. I predicted Iggy and Morton, but it appears a couple things were on delegates/members minds Saturday. It also brings to my mind why Stephen Harper is prime minister.

1) Flare is out. Substance is in.
2) Hype is out. Steadiness is in.
3) Front runners are out. Quiet, second choice, third place guys are in.
4) Bad guys are out. Good guys are in.
5) Negative is out. Positive is in.

I met Ed Stelmach earlier this year. Super nice man. I haven't met Stephane Dion though and probably won't ever, but I always respected his style. I think the Liberals knew they wouldn't win the next election, but needed to unite the party, whereas in Alberta, the PCs were deeply divided between Dinning and Morton, didn't like the negative campaigning, and wanted to unite people.

I picked Morton as my #1 as I wanted drastic changes, knew we probably wouldn't get that, but would definitely be happy with Ed, so he was my #2 pick. I'm happy and will stay in the party for now.

At heart, I'm a pragmatist, but like to quietly push people toward my view. So think of a scale. Candidate Alpha who has lots of support is at -10 on my ideological scale which I completely disagree with but want things to go at +2 or 3. Candidate Beta is at +15, who I don't totally agree with, but know we need to move people away from Candidate Alpha. It's called polarization, which usualy ends up seeing someone shoot up the middle. It happened to Dalton McGuinty in Ontario, Stephane Dion, and Ed Stelmach.

Dinning tried to be the front-runner and everyone's second choice at the same time. It backfired as he got scared about Morton and went negative on him. Morton tried to go soft, went on the defensive, but it was too late. Meanwhile, Steady Eddie won the hearts of the entire northern part of the province.

What is clear is that the north vs. south, urban vs. rural divisions in Alberta are way more profound than anyone realized. Northern rural Alberta is sick and tired of Calgary running the province. Northern Alberta to Calgary is like Alberta to Toronto.

Back to the federal scene...

Here's what's going to happen in 2007. Harper will continue to paint himself as a soft-federalist in Quebec which will squeeze him more Quebec seats just over a majority. Dion is a hard-federalist, and I understand he's not all roses and sunshine with Quebeckers. Dion may squeeze NDP and Green Party votes away due to his stance on the enrivonment, but if left leaning voters don't see the Liberals winning anyway, they'll stick with their soft support.

That all said, Dion's poor English won't transcribe well in western Canada at all, or with middle class families. Harper has that vote locked up. One of Dion's planks is to focus on the economy, which paints him on the right side, and a good move. If Dion moves to the left too much, goes too negative on Harper, voters will get turned off. Likewise, the Conservatives shouldn't go too negative on Dion. He's likeable and it will backfire. I suggest the Conservatives and Harper stay positive, sell THEIR ideas, record, and new policies. Harper will have a much easier time communicating that instead of focusing on Dion.

Because it seems in Canada now, as Alberta's new premier said, "Oh and folks, nice guys finish first."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Iggy who?

While I'm not much on polls in general, especially from Liberally biased Decima, which all the MSM newspapers love to slap on the front page whenever it shows the Liberals leading or tied with the Conservatives. Remember that poll from several weeks ago which showed the tie?

Well, here's one from Ipsos that contradicts it (or it shows that the Liberals are actually better without a leader). But let's see how much this is played up by the MSM and newspapers. I bet it barely makes a dent, instead you'll see lots of Liberal Leadership Love-In-Stuff.

Harper: 35-38%
Iggy/Rae/Dion/Kennedy: 25-28%

What was surprising was with Dion, former environment kyoto-loving minister as leader, the Green Party numbers go up. I'm glad Jack's numbers are in the high-teens.

With Iggy, Harper should play up the hockey dad Tim Horton image again and again and again.


Quick question: Would premier Charest have played up the Quebec nation thing as much when he was PC leader in 1997? Notice how now that he's talking tough, he's tied with the Boisclair PQ at 37% when not long ago, Charest looked like he was tanking. That said, he's not doing as well with la francaphonie, but better with soft-nationalists.

Soft-nationalists in Quebec remind me of a lot of soft-quasi-closet-separatists in Alberta. They have a lot in common--like dogs really. Le "Quebecois" get a nice medium sized bone to chew on for a while. What will Albertans get? Well, we got a Prime Minister from our province and his push for Senate reform, moderate lower taxes, but we're not really chewing on anything like Quebec has. Thing is, when Quebeckers are done with that bone, they'll want another one. I think a Premier Morton would say, "Well, we want one too" when Dinning and Stelmach wouldn't ask for much at all. The other premiers don't get bones, just Scooby transfer Snaks.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Imagine Nation in Motion

As with many people, I've had a couple days to ponder the Quebecois nation motion. My thoughts are extensive as they include much history and what Canada is as a whole, so bear with me, but please hear me out.

The Bloc's proposed motion caught the Prime Minister off guard. Who'd suspect this motion would come forward given that the Bloc has been around since 1993? Why now?

Blame the Liberals. Duceppe saw the Quebec wing of the federal Liberals, mostly supporters of Iggy, about to have this debate at the Liberal Leadership Convention this weekend. Politics is all about timing and momentum, and Duceppe knew there would be no better time than this ever in his career. It had probably been in his mind for many, many years, but now was the time to play his cards.

Duceppe thought he had a royal flush, but then Harper quickly got a consensus, even from Bill Graham and Stephane Dion, and laid down the trump card with the motion put forth. 266-16 were in favour, including the Block, as Duceppe, not expecting this, announces that this motion of a Quebecois nation within a united Canada still plays into their hands. But does it?

Many pundits and top bloggers like Andrew Coyne and Warren Kinsella quickly lambash any notion of a nation within Canada as they say it opens the door for another Meech or Charlottetown. History showed that this caused Bouchard to split from the Mulroney coalition and start the Bloc Quebecois. Canadians rejected special gifts to Quebec and the separatist movement was alive and well again.

The last federal election in Quebec saw 10 Conservative MPs -- something no one was expecting, which drew support away from both soft-Liberals and soft-Bloc votes, or to put it another way, soft-federalists and soft-sovereignists, neither on the extreme end.

Constitutionally, the current status-quo with Canada stems from Trudeau, which were later solidified by Chretien.

Trudeau's extreme federalist policies were originally embraced by Canadians, but then later rejected as they obviously didn't work. The result was simply a bloated government and bureaucracy, deficits and higher debt, a stagnant economy, forced bilingualism, the National Energy Program, higher taxes, and more, all in the name of unity. Keeping in mind that Trudeau, as a student, protested against our participation in World War II while Nazi subs floated in the St. Lawrence and blew away civilian ships, and was a card carrying communist.

Mulroney tried to reform Trudeau's federalism, but failed, and Canada remained to be mired in Trudeaupian federalism for a long time.

But I digress, extreme federalists like Bob Rae and others are afraid to open the constitution as they believe it will mean more powers to Quebec and we'd have to go through another separatist vote, which would break up Canada.

Albertans, and westerners for the most part, don't like this Quebecois nation thing because the western provinces, if you look at their representation in the Senate, is a mere colony in comparison to PEIs, so why should they get more? That's why they rejected the two Accords. A bunch of years later, Quebec almost left, and many westerners were wishing it were actually true too.

But now we supposedly have the Clarity Act, which idea originated with Stephen Harper when he was an MP in the 90's, was finally brought forth by Chretien many years later to help stave off Quebec sliming its way out.

The simple fact is the the federal government is so bloated with such high taxes and overlaps so many provincial jurisdictions, the provinces and cities have resorted to begging. It's like a feudal system again.

Harper's pending discussions with the premiers to open the constitution but only related to spending powers is one step in realigning this country to its original and workable intention, not by dictatorial federal government. How the federal Liberals can create a health care system, give 50% to the provinces, then reduce that number to 11%, and continue to threaten provinces over their original jurisdiction makes no sense--neither does the federal government getting involved in education.

Health care and education have been the #1 argument by federal socialists to ensure taxes continue to stay high for their socialism program experiments and to bribe voters with their own money, when its actually the provinces, by the constitution, who have to deliver. This jurisdictional lack of respect by the feds began with Trudeau federalism and continues to this day. This is what fuels separatism in Quebec and the west. The worst part is that the feds have given so much money and attention to Quebec, they've become unknowingly dependent on it, but are now unphased by this bribery.

It's simply about respect. This country would be far better off fiscally and thus would be more efficient if the provinces were given that respect to spend their money their way in their areas of jurisdictional power. Why is it whenever a province goes about their business away from socialism, the lefties cry the need for a "stronger" federal government to prevent this stuff from happening? It's because socialists don't respect individuality or trust people to take care of themselves--don't worry the government, or nanny state will handle it. Look at the national day care debate, same thing.

Supereconomies like the European Union and the United States are examples of how independent states can unite on a common economy, on areas of military defense, and a set of democratic ideals. Scotland has its own parliament now within a United Kingdom. Even Australia and its states are in a better position than Canada, and we're falling behind.

We should be an imagine nation in motion...not stagnant in its development.

It's time Canada moved forward and not be held back by separatists and their threats, otherwise quit your whining and look at the big picture. I welcome the idea of opening the constitution again and so the federal government can stay out of everyone's pocket so provinces can be provinces again, (or individual nations within a confederation for all I care), and give respect where jurisdictional respect and democracy are long due.

And it's that respect which will unite all provinces and nations in Canada.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Debt and Taxes

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's report yesterday was excellent. Let's look at this shall we?

Incoming splitting -- It was hinted in the last election, but now it appears to be coming to fruition. You couldn't find a more a family-friendly middleclass tax proposal than this. This will save families thousands each year. Hmmm.. methinks that amount money could be nicely applied to, I dunno, let's say... saving for a child's tuition!

Lowering the EI rate -- Saves me a few bucks each paycheque. Considering the EI fund is bloated, this is obviously a wise move.

Debt and Taxes --

And he promised to begin using the interest rate savings from paying down the
$480-billion national debt to reduce income taxes each year. Last year's
debt reduction of $13.2 billion translates into $700 million in personal
income tax savings — to be shared among all taxpayers — next year, Flaherty
said. By 2011, this measure would generate $1.4 billion in tax savings
annually, he said. Liberal finance critic John McCallum scoffed at this
measure, saying the tax cuts would be "absolutely trivial."

Absolutely trivial? Did anyone notice the big tax cut the Liberals made several years ago? I didn't. As well, how else do the Liberals propose cutting taxes? Isn't the point of reducing debt to free up interest money to help pay for tax cuts? Duh. Sounds absolutely trivial to me.

Doing less --
Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara said that Ottawa's plan to pay down more
federal debt and cut income taxes will leave Ontario in the lurch.
"I don't see any help there," Sorbara told reporters. "I see the potential of incurring
more expense because the federal government is doing less."

Exactly. Less. Oh, poor Liberal Ontario. Too afraid to cut their own spending I see. Not that the Liberals would ever cut taxes in that province, but now they can't go begging to the feds anymore and will actually have to do something instead of passing the buck.

Tearing down welfare walls --
Flaherty also said he would like to bring in a tax break to help low-income
earners who are struggling with the so-called "welfare wall," in which taking a
job results in a loss of social benefits that leaves them worse off than before.

Ah, there's something that would really help a lot of people, especially single parents.

Notice how this update doesn't give any ammo to the Liberals or NDP to say "the Tories are giving tax cuts for the rich". The Liberals can only complain that the cuts don't go far enough and the NDP can only say, as MP Libby Davies said, that these measures will gut important social programs (although there's no plans to gut social programs).

Methinks the middle-class voters the Conservatives have locked up can read through this socialist tripe.

I'm already looking forward to the next election.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Waiting to exhale...

I'm a global warming skeptic--meaning that I don't believe the hype and environazi claims that CO2 levels have everything to do with global temperature and climate change.

It seems that the way the media (and Al Gore) spin and sensationalize climate change into doomsday scenarios which scare people into believing that carbon taxes will circumvent our inevitable destruction, is foolish. I admit, sometimes, the spin is so powerful, I tend to sympathize, because hey, it's the environment. But it's not in this case. It's a global-socialist's (read: Maurice Strong, Paul Martin's buddy) wet dream.

Here's further reason why:

Both Drs. Ball and Soon went into long and scientific reasons why they
believe there is no link between rising CO2 levels and rising Earth
temperatures, even forwarding complicated scientific articles and papers for me
to read.

Both men agree since 1680, the tail-end of the Little Ice Age, the world has been warming, but they attribute most of the warming to sun cycles, not CO2 -- which makes up less than 4% of the atmosphere.

Indeed, ice-core data show when CO2 levels were 16 times higher than they are today, the world was covered in ice!

"The world has actually been cooling since 1998 even though man-made CO2 levels have increased," said Ball, from his home in Victoria, "but I bet that's not going to be mentioned in Nairobi."

Call it an "inconvenient truth."

"If their theory is correct, that increased CO2 levels causes warming, then the temperatures should be going up all the time, but they're not," pointed out Ball.
Dr. Soon gets more poetic. "Looking for the climate impact of CO2 is really like searching for a needle in the haystack.

"The idea that you have a CO2 knob that you can adjust up and down just to
get an optimal climate is a great flaw in the non-scientific discussion of global warming," added Soon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How the U.S. Election 2006 will affect Harper

U.S. Election 2006: Democrats beat the Republicans = Giuliani next president = good news for Harper

I haven't commented much on the U.S., but what will this mean for Canada? With the Democrats controlling both houses, Bush will have to adjust some policy, that's for sure, but what about the next U.S. and Canadian election?

Americans went out on a limb having the Republicans control both houses AND the presidency, but generally they want to balance things between the executive and legislative bodies. That's why this is good news for Rudy Giuliani, who I predicted to friends and family would become the next President of the U.S. and beat Hillary Clinton by at least 5 points. Polls have indicated this for sometime now.

There is talk that the next president should be an outsider. Well, Bush was an outsider, so I'm not sure if that has any credence or perhaps that these are quietly planted spin doctors in favour of Rudy, who is an outsider to Washington DC, and well respected in both parties.

So with Rudy in the White House starting in 2009, what about Stephen Harper?

Ontario likes to balance things out too. Typically if they have a Liberal or NDP government provincially, they then vote conservative federally. So as long as Dalton McGuinty continues as he has, he'll likely win the next election.

Assuming everything is as it is now, even after the Income Trust decision, next election, which some say is next year, the federal Conservatives would win another minority and Stephen Harper would still be Prime Minister. (Really, do any of the current Liberal leadership candidates stand a chance?)

What about the election after that, whenever it is? I think if a Canadian federal election were held next year in 2007, and a minority results, the next election would be 2009, after Rudy becomes president. And if the McGuinty Liberals are still in Ontario then Mr. Harper will be Prime Minister for quite some time.

And I think Stephen and Rudy will get along quite well and we won't hear the tired leftist argument comparing Harper to Bush.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Negative Media

I've noticed in the mainstream media over the past couple weeks that they haven't been exactly positive about the Harper gov't.

Polls Schmolls
A recent poll released by the media had the Conservatives and Liberals tied, yet another poll released shows the Conservatives with a 9 point lead. But is the media reporting it? Hmmm.

Clean Air Act
Andrew Coyne makes some points about the new The Clean Air Act in comparison to current Liberal leadership candidates' proposals.

Not true, say the Grits: we measure reductions relative to 1990, while the
Tories use 2003 as a benchmark. Well, yes, but do the math: in 1990, emissions
were about four-fifths of what they were in 2003.* The Tories would aim to
reduce these by up to 65% -- call it 60% for simplicity -- meaning emissions in
2050 would be two-fifths of their 2003 levels. Two-fifths is half of
four-fifths, or a 50% reduction from 1990. That’s exactly what Michael
Ignatieff, for example, suggests.
How any Liberal can attack the act is beyond me. What also gets me is the ones who attack this plan, didn't say bub about the Liberals and their total lack of implementation of the Kyoto Accord. The Liberal leadership debate in Quebec pointed this out, with Dion on the defensive.

But does the media pick this up and note the hypocricy? Hell no.

Go Dog Go!
So Peter Mackay supposedly made a remark in the House regarding his ex, Belinda, in response to Liberal MP David McGuinty's question about Peter's dog during a debate on above mentioned act. Comments like this are made all the time in the house. Obviously people forgot when Deb Grey was insulted by a Liberal MP using bacon as a reference in implying her weight. Was the media in such arms over that many years ago? Nope. So why now with Belinda?

The media loves Belinda. She gives them juicy stuff to write about. But she goes over the top when she says that it's sexist. Why is calling a man a dog a positive thing, but for a women, it's not? Unless of course the woman in question is being a b_ _ _ _.

Now the NDP want to make some politically correct rules of conduct for the lower chamber. Little do they forget that comments, questions, and anything said in the House MUST go through the Speaker. If the Speaker or recorder didn't hear it, doesn't get put in Hansard. Side comments, at whatever volume, are impossible to control and keep track of. But the NDP, in their inherent wisdumb, always jump at the chance when political correctness is at stake.

The Blockheads
Duceppe is up to his old trick again of bribing the rest of Canada. Give us more money or we'll force an election. Fix the fiscal imbalance he says. In the same week, his former boss, Lucien Bouchard, says Quebeckers are lazy.

The media seems more interested in the fact that the minority Conservative gov't is under seige and doesn't have support than the fact that it's the separatists who contradict themselves.

Here we have a separatist party demanding more money from the country it wants to separate from where a former leader of said party says they are lazy. ot only that, but my guess is that if the so-called fiscal imbalance were made fair, Quebec would lose out considering they get more than enough in transfer payments already.

Do you hear any of that in the media? Nope.

The By-Elections
The Liberals are currently whining about the fact that the two by-elections fall within their leadership race. Well, sorry Liberals. Our parliamentary system is set up so that political parties do not exist in the House of Commons, only caucuses do, so if seats are empty, they need to be filled. Also, if the Liberals believe that poll which shows them tied with the Conservatives, then having a leader or not won't make any difference right?

The Green Party leader wants to run in one of the ridings and is chastising the Conservatives for running someone, when she says that tradition and courtesy dictates that non-sitting leader be allowed to run uncontested. So if I started a party today and didn't have any seats in the House of Commons, I could run in a by-election and expect everyone to step aside? Give me a break.

Watch the media make Harper look like a chivilrous chump in this one.

Garth Turner
Stephen Taylor does an excellent job of catching Garth Turner trying to cover up his breach of trust with the Conservative caucus. Garth, there's a reason why caucus meetings are closed-door. Ideas and open discussion are abound. Some get used, some don't. They kicked you out not because you claim you were representing your constituents, but because you broke the trust of your colleagues.

But how does the media spin this? They make Garth look like the victim!

I felt compelled to defend Mr. Harper and crew this week, due to an inherent bias in the media. That all said, the Conservatives need to do a much better job of controlling the spin. But it makes me wonder if the media isn't pissed off at Harper and causing vengence for his distaste of them.

In the end, the truth is laden aside to sensationalism.

Friday, September 29, 2006

"A tie, just what I've always wanted!"

In an ironic or perhaps prophetic destiny, back in 2005, Peter Mackay, sitting across from Belinda in the House of Commons after her defection, waved a tie at her which she bought him a few weeks earlier. She sure know how to get to you. "Fine then, I'll date a Tie."

MacKay met Stronach defection with 'fury'
Liberal MP hoped their relationship would survive floor-crossing, book says


OTTAWA -- Belinda Stronach hoped to convince Peter MacKay that their relationship could survive her defection to the Liberal cabinet, according to a new biography of the wealthy and glamorous opposition MP.

But according to Belinda: the Political and Private Life of Belinda
Stronach, Mr. MacKay reacted with "volcanic fury" as he urged her not to leave him during talks that lasted into the early morning.


Her new seat on the government benches had her sitting directly across from Mr. MacKay. As she cast a key budget vote that kept the Liberals in power, the book says, Mr. MacKay "deliberately and defiantly" waved his tie, which she had given him just a few weeks earlier.

"In the weeks that followed, MacKay's furious glares across the centre aisle so unnerved Stronach that her new colleagues decided to relocate her to another side of the Commons, where direct eye contact was more difficult."

Read entire article.

Secret Belindomi News

Just got this in from one of my sources...

And I actually spoke to Tie Domi (no shit) at Cowboys in the VIP tent the first Saturday of Stampede ... Things were good then Belinda’s in my grill, telling me to fuck off and leave Tie alone. I’m like, holy shit
what the hell is SHE doing here with Domi, and then 3 weeks later I learn they are an item. So what I’m saying is, I saw it first…and I’ve got a picture on my cell phone to prove it.

And here I thought what is done at Stampede stays at the Stampede.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


On another blog, a commentor wondered about coming up with one of those cute combo-celeb names like Brangelina or Bennifer for Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi. A couple suggestions were: Tielinda and Tomach.

I'm throwing "Belindomi" into the ring.

Some bloggers and postings have said they don't care about this affair. I call bullshit. It may not affect you directly, but it was certainly interesting news.

Canada doesn't often have these political-celebrity scandals of the heart, but you have to admit, Belinda has certainly made the political scene more interesting. Has this translated into more people paying attention to politics again? Voter turnout increased sine last election. Ah, who knows.

First with the whole switching parties the day before a confidence vote, which apparently also meant breaking up with Peter Mackay. Next time I break up with someone I'll just say, "Hey, sorry, switching parties." That relationship didn't work because Pelinda, Petelinda just doesn't have any ring to it.

Then we see pics on Belinda and Bill Clinton. No one knows the details there, but even if it were a scandal, would it have been such a surprise? I'm pretty sure we would have called them Billinda and they would have stuck/snuck around for much longer.

Recently, when Peter Mackay (ironically the minister of Foreign Affairs) met with U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the media tried to sensationalize the meeting and put a sexy twist on it. But it wouldn't have worked anyway. For the life of me, I can't come up with anything...

Peterleezza -- sounds more like that grunge concert
Condipete -- ??
Condolepeter -- maybe
Peterice -- no thanks
Condomackay -- see the twist? ;-)

See, none of those work. Poor Peter, the vowels in his name just do not flow into women's names and I'm afraid he just won't find true love (...whimper).

But now we have Belindomi (emphasis on "lin", as in buhLINdomee). It's not a great name combo, but it was only meant to last 20 minutes of play in New York anyway.

Which will be much like Belinda's political career, but I think she'll only get 2 minutes for hooking.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Prime Minister Harper gets frank ... er .. I mean Paul:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a stinging response Wednesday to
former prime minister Paul Martin's accusation that Canada had lost its way in

Speaking to reporters in Romania, where the Francophonie summit officially
opens on Thursday, Harper said Martin approved the current mission in the war-torn country and was not in a position to criticize it.

"The fact Mr. Martin is incapable of sticking by his decisions explains
why he is no longer the prime minister of Canada,"
Harper said.

Zing! I like him more and more each day.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bloc blocker blog

Well, it appears the idea behind my previous posting about how the Bloc won't block the Conservative government has apparently been blocked by the Bloc.

The Bloc is now asking for $12 billion in federal transfers as part of the new fiscal balance or they won't prop up Mr. Harper and Co. TWELVE BILLION!!!

Now in any part of negotiation, you always demand more than you need to see if the other party will meet you somewhere in the middle.

But a hostage situation isn't like that. It's all or none. But those demanding usually end up being taken down or shot.

Now it appears that the recently proposed formula is a negotiation, yet due to the inclusion of 50% of provincial non-renewable resource revenues, and that Quebec will continue to receive the bulk of the transfers, it feels like they were able to get away without harm... again.

- Equalization would be calculated using a 10-province average,
rather than the current five, and include 50% of a province's non-renewable
resource revenue in its fiscal capacity.
- "Have-not" provinces would share an increased amount of nearly $900-million in 2007-08.
- Provinces that do not get equalization would be included in increased social transfer payments to pay for post-secondary education and training.

The Quebec separatists are a confused bunch aren't they? They want full autonomy and independence from Canada yet demand more money and threaten to bring down the current government if those demands aren't met.

Is it an idle threat?

Are the Bloc negotiators or hostage-takers? But given the history, it seems it's been more of the latter since the very beginning.

Will Duceppe pull a Trudeau and say, "Just watch me"?

My guess is Duceppe will stall on this one. He'll say, "We are looking at the current fiscal imbalance proposal and we will determine our position in the near future ... blah blah blah..."

BUT, will Harper use this threat to have the Bloc bring down his own government and call an election for Spring with the Liberals off-guard?

Harper could talk tough during and election and say, "Quebec is receiving more now than ever and yet the Bloc still don't see the benefit of staying in Canada. It's one or the other Gilles. You can't have both."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Goodbye Ralphy-boy!

What will I remember about Ralph Klein?

Folksy charm

  • He's got an "aw shucks" about him and we forgave him and forgave him because of it.
  • He would apologize for some of his acts and his outright honesty when he said his government didn't have a plan regarding the rapid economic growth and that the opposition was right, kind of silenced the opposition didn't it?
  • A fat smoker and drinker
  • He tried to sound smart, but couldn't pull it off. "Alluding to ... alluding to ... ". "What you have here...".
  • Appeared aloof or drunk when giving a gift to former President George Bush Sr. at a $1000/plate dinner back in '95. "Mist...mister Pres ... President...."
  • Drunk and out of his limo, he threw change at people at a homeless shelter
  • Appeared to have thrown a book at a page during a legislative session
  • A friend of mine who was bartending an event spoke with Ralph at the bar, where he was drinking non-alcoholic beer. My friend said he looked depressed.
Total lack of political loyalty
  • Basically encouraged Stockwell Day to run federally, which was smart on Ralph's part
  • Never outright supported the Canadian Alliance, whose supporters also voted for Ralph
  • During the 2004 federal election campaign, spouted stuff about private health care, which gave fodder to the Liberals and likely cost the Conservatives some seats
  • He used to be a Liberal.
  • I think it was a monthly thing, but his continued "bash Ottawa" diatribes, including unfounded separation threats had many Albertans roar in agreement
  • Continually called the NDP and some Liberals "socialists" and "left-wing nuts"
  • Took his time stepping down
  • No deficit
  • No debt -- although our current infrastructure is far behind the times
  • Lowered personal and business tax cuts - flat tax
  • Health care reforms
  • Allowed Senate elections to take place


  • Infrastructure debt
  • Education cuts
  • Tuition hikes
  • Randsacking the Heritage Savings Trust Fund
  • Lack of democracy - few sessions of the legislature
  • Environmental record
  • Health care premiums still around despite overflowing coffers
  • No vision for growth

Some say a monkey could have done just as good of a job as Ralphy managing the province with the oil and gas revenues piling in. That might be true, but you wouldn't get that folksy indignancy would you?

However, I stopped supporting Ralph many years ago due to that indignancy. Although last election I was helping a friend with her PC campaign, after attending the kick-off rally and catching myself chant "Ralph! Ralph! Ralph!", after Ralph spoke, I realized that this guy has no idea what he's doing anymore and I didn't vote PC.

Ralph was one of those politicians that will be remembered for a long time. Like Trudeau, he was either hated or loved, ne'er both at the same time.

A legacy has ended. King Ralph has left the building.

Goodbye Ralph, and good luck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Bloc is not blocking

Although the current Conservative government is in a minority, it's not. What we are seeing here is a similar coalition to what Mulroney had in the 80's.

So far, Duceppe and co. have supported the Conservatives at every turn, knowing full well that if they didn't an election would be called. The Bloc holds the balance of power, but they do not seem interested in abusing that power nor do they threaten to use it in media grandstanding, unlike the other parties. The Liberals know that this coalition is working and so they oppose for the sake of opposing.

Looking at the major Conservative kept promises, the Bloc, in supporting them, have basically formed the old de-facto Quebec wing of the Tories and thus moved away from their supposed left-centre socio-economic policies to the centre-right policies of the Tories.

Issues the Bloc have supported:

  • 2006 budget which included GST cut, $100/month child-care allowance, boost for military, and other items
  • softwood lumber
  • Afghan mission

Support for the Afghan mission and boost for the military is interesting, being that many Quebeckers haven't been nor currently are interested in war and the military. No one is calling for conscription, so Duceppe can continue to go along with Harper.

The main reason is that both soft and hard separatists don't like federal centralization--same with many Albertans and British Columbians. With the equalization issue, Harper and Flaherty have appeased those who'd normally give soft-support to the Bloc, so the Bloc doesn't have a bone-of-contention with that. Basically, both parties are both vying for these Quebec votes.

So I believe Harper can look to Duceppe for continued support. It could even be said that on other issues, Harper prefers this situation which has made him appear as more of a moderate rather than what he was formally and incorrectly labelled as "scary".

The next budget will be telling, but I believe the Bloc will support it, meaning we can expect to be in this majority coalition for some time and although I hear rumours within the party that an election is brewing for Spring 2007, I just don't see that happening.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine Eleven and the Museum of Flight

This date is ever etched into our hearts and minds. "Where were you when it happened?" is a common question, like when President Kennedy was shot.

After driving to work and listening on the radio I remember the thoughts in my head... "Armageddon? Is this the end? I have friends in New York. I have to find out if they're okay."

So I hopped on my work computer and emailed my network of friends. Within a day I found out that several of my friends were indeed okay. The Internet proved extremely valuable at this point. My co-worker-friend and I were glued to several website grabbing any piece of news. I don't we got any work done that day. I don't think anyone did.

After having been to the Museum of Flight in Greater Seattle last month, I had a very emotional experience walking through the World War II exhibit. This exhibit was huge, had full-sized fighter planes, tonnes of war memorabilia on decorated pilots, videos and pictures on every air battle, front page newspaper clippings, etc. The enormous room had a dark erie feeling with lighting only where needed.

I thought about how many had died. I thought about my late grandfather who fought in WWI as a teenager then fled Ukraine for Canada a decade later. I thought about his late brother who was in WWII. I thought about my friend Gordon who was in the Navy on D-Day. I thought about how lucky I am. They weren't just fighting and dying back for freedom back then. They all fought for all of us to live as we do today.

While I believe freedom and liberty are a right for every person, over history, it has been one of the most difficult rights for us to achieve and maintain. After nine eleven, we have been assessing the threat to our freedom and liberty by terrorists. We have also assessed our own country's need to tame some aspects of freedom and liberty we used to enjoy in the name of security. It's a difficult balance.

For the brave Canadians who have died in Afghanistan, there are many questions. While for many, at the present moment it may seem like the sacrifice was in vain, we must also look to the future, for they have died for that future.

When you think of what happened five years ago, not only should we think of all the people who perished that day, but think of all the people and events that were effected as a result of that horrific act.

The battle for freedom is ongoing. For if it was not, I wouldn't be typing this.

Lest we forget.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bye Bye San Diego, Hello Seattle

Man, I feel like Dr. Fraser Crane. Okay, maybe not. But I'm in Seattle now. Well, Bellevue actually.

My 14 days in San Diego was fantastic. The Zoo, Legoland, beaches, the nightlife, the food, the aircraft carrier all excellent. But the people were the best! I will definitely return.

Check this photo out...

That's the USS Ronald Reagan alright! I'm wearing the hat too.

Speaking of Presidents... I happen to be in DC when he drove by in his motorcade...

And getting into his helicopter...

Stopped by Daytona...

Oh, actually, that's Minitown USA in Legoland.

More impressions about the U.S.:

- Way too much political talk on the TV. In fact, the shows on the TV are the same, but I gotta say, Canadian TV offers a lot more. Believe it! Spanish soap operas kick ass though.

- "Lose weight this, lose weight that." Enough already.

- Fox news is blatantly biased. You already knew that. But wow!

- The Seattle Times is not a very thick paper compared to the Edmonton Journal.

- The I-5 is one wide highway.

- La Jolla beach is beautiful...

- Flew by Mount St. Helens and got this photo from the plane.

More photos to come.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

San Diego - Day 3

I'm here in San Diego on day 3 of 14 on software training for a couple weeks and wanted to report the following things:

- I saw Alonso Mourning from the NBA champs Miami Heat walk out of a hotel and into an SUV which our shuttle drove behind
- Americans are very friendly and helpful people
- The food is excellent and a bit cheaper than in Alberta, even with the exchange rate. Chilis ribs are just as good.
- The temperate weather here is absolutely perfect
- There are a lot of F15/18s that fly over our hotel near La Jolla. Very cool.
- Pretty good Pinot Noir from Italy for $7.99. Can't beat that.

But let's get back to my comment that Americans are very friendly and helpful people. You knew there was a point to it, didn't you?

While walking back to my hotel, I thought about the anti-Americanism going on in Canada. Sure, you might not like Bush, Rummy, or Condi, but to lump all Americans up as "bastards" or as "war mongers" is so ignorant, it's pathetic. With the leftist MSM in Canada attaching Harper to Bush on foreign policy is also equally ignorant. And don't worry about the polls showing a drop in support for Harper on the Israel issue, which was mostly from Quebec. Really, don't worry about it. When was the last time you voted on a party's foreign policy? It's domestic policy that drives an election, and the Conservatives have done a very good job at that.

So I'm going to try and bring back an "ARNOLD for GOVERNATOR" sign or some "Simon and Simon" memorabilia. Wish me luck, but I could see myself living here. Beautiful city.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In the Middle East

I haven't really made any comments on what's happening in the Middle East, it being a complicated situation.

I remember when I was a teenager watching the events and strife going on in the Middle East. At the time, I didn't understand what the issues were other than borders and control over land. I didn't know what the West Bank or Gaza was. I've never been overseas, so I don't have any hands-on knowledge.

But I believe the media has done a terrible job in explaining the situation there. Most of the time, you hear a bomb went off, missles were fired, and a lot of innocent people died. There's little on WHY there were attacks in the first place.

So I'm going to try and sort this all out here... and please bare with me, this is my current understanding of the situation...

There's a lot of history going back thousands of years, but especially in the past 60 years, since the state of Israel was officially created and modernized, there have been signs of hope and peace in the area. I don't believe this conflict is or has ever been a war about whose God is better. While it may be about control over land, eventually, everyone is going to have to face reality and simply live with each other.

Surely that's the ultimate goal--peace and stability. And there's obviously fanatical factions within the Israelites, within the Palestinians, and within the Lebanese, so the question comes down to how far is each government able to go to surpress or prevent terrorist factions from taking control of their society? The Israelis appear to do a much better job, as I'm not even aware of any Israelite terrorist faction.

Hamas, a known terrorist group which promotes death to Israel, is now part of the Palestinian government. Hezbolla appears to have control over Lebanese affairs. I'm not sure how they do that, but the reality is they illegally went and kidnapped Israeli soldiers, which Israel construdes as an act of war--thus the current state of conflict.

But terrorism is terrorism. As long as these ignorant, selfish fanatics are able to recruit and conduct horrific acts, peace will only be maintained by military means. As I understand, for many terrorists in the Middle East, they've lost hope in their lives and being a part of something meaningful is what they are looking for, whatever it is. Religion is then invoked and misinterpreted to give legitimacy to the political program.

However, despite this, we simply cannot be held hostage as a society by terrorism, as what appears to have happened in Lebanon, while at the same time, let us NEVER ever put the blame on any religion, as that is NOT the issue to begin with anyway. This isn't about Jesus vs. Muhammed, or Jehovah vs. Allah. The clear, large majority of people in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism tolerate and respect each other to no avail. We know that. More an more people are educated on the similarities of each religion and more and more celebrate that.

But what I'm hearing is those who talk about "sides". "Both sides need to utilize diplomatic means for peace." Well, WHICH "sides" are you talking about? The Israeli government is certainly one side, but what about the other? Did the Lebanese military kidnap the Israeli soldiers? No, Hezbolla did. So is the other side the Lebanese government? No, its the terrorists.

Peaceful democractic governments deserve support, including the Lebanese. But how far will such a government tolerate acts of war on its soil and defend itself to prevent further attacks and protect its people? As well, how far will such a government allow foreign support from individual countries such as the U.S. and U.K.?

To further complicate the matter, you have to throw in the idea that Hezbolla receives support from Iran and Syria.

Is a U.N., NATO, or E.U. peacekeeping force needed to stand in the middle of the conflict? Or is the current full-on Israeli attack in Lebanon against anything that moves or breathes Hezbolla the final answer?

As long as Hamas, Hezbolla, and other factions don't face reality like everyone else, actively want to eliminate the state of Israel, will there ever be peace and stability?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Southpark Alberta

As many of you know, Frog Lady had her take on the LibLead race to liven it up. Well, there's another race that needs some livening up too...

Jim Dinning...

Dave Hancock...

Ted Morton...

Lyle Oberg...

Mark Norris... (because I recently saw him at the Royal Glenora pool...)

Ed Stelmach...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hep C victims finally get compensation

Finally. The Liberals were just plain mean when they didn't compensate all the victims of the tainted blood scandal. I remember debating this at the U of A Model Parliament a decade ago. Five months in power and voila. This is truly great news.

Atta go Steve!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

PC Leadership "Race" and Advice

Monday night I attended the first annual Northern Alberta Conservative Party (federal) BBQ with about 600 people in attendance. Many area MPs were on hand: Rahim Jaffer, James Rajotte, Ken Epp, Rob Merrifield, Rona Ambrose, Mike Lake, Leon Benoit, and Brian Storseth. The guest speaker was Jim Prentice, Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs.

Anyway, as expected, I'd thought I'd see some PC Party of Alberta leadership hopefuls. While many were probably at the Stampede in Calgary, only two were at this BBQ in Edmonton:

Ted Morton
Dave Hancock

I was finally introduced to Ted Morton by Tory blogger Noise from the Right. Now I've read all the policies of all the candidates from their websites and found that Ted's had the most substantive platform. It shows vision.

Personality wise, Ted seems like a nice man, and I told him that I'm a disaffected PC supporter turned quasi-Alberta Alliance type guy. He said that we need to reach out to that base of support (over 200,000 supposed supporters who didn't show up last provincial election). I agreed. He gave me a brochure and that was about it.

Here's some further advice for leadership hopefuls...

1) While you can talk negatively all you want about their ideas and policies, don't talk negatively about their speaking abilities or character. Doesn't even matter if everyone agrees that so and so is a terrible public speaker.

2) REMEMBER NAMES. There's nothing more sincere then when someone says, "It was a pleasure to meet you John." Not just, "Bye." I'm really bad at names, so I notice when someone forgets mine.

3) Be engaging. Get to know your potential voters and find out where they stand on issues or just get to know them. It's a smaller province than you think.

There also seems to be a whisper campaign going on about Jim Dinning. Whatever has been said I won't bother. I'm just not a big fan of some of his policies.

Lyle Oberg has a rebel streak in him. I like that. I like some of his policies too. Would he resonate in the cities though? I'm not too sure about that.

Dave Hancock ... and Crew... What is this "Crew"? Who's in it? Am I electing him or the crew?

Ed Stelmach. I read a HUGE endorsement from "The Ukrainian News" for Ed. Very nice man. No policies. Poor campaign. He'll resonate rurally.

Mark Norris. Has some good policy. "Real Passion" though? As opposed to "Unreal Passion"? Anyway, losing his seat was a big downfall.

Overall, I'm sure any of the candidates would make a good premier. None of them so far are the "total package" for me... yet.

Then again, why do I even care--I'm not even a member of the party. Who knows, maybe one of the candidates would interest me enough to join and vote. We'll see.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Stevemeister...

If George W. calls him Steve, can I?

Seriously though, I applaud Prime Minister Harper's stance with President Bush on increased border security saying that going down that route would mean the terrorists have won.

With the FBI snagging a recent terrorist plot on the New York subway system and Canada's Own foiling the terrorist plot here at home, the authorities are on top of things.

And looking in the other direction toward North Korea, Bush was also kind enough to not bring up missile defense, saying that if "Steve" wanted to bring it up, he would, but Bush still tried to lure Harper into thinking that this little commie country was aiming them test missiles at Canada. "Steve" took it with great stride, but left the door open down the road, but not now.

For me, I just want to know when I can stop having to take off my shoes at a U.S. airport. When you're wearing just sandles you ask, "When's the last time they cleaned these floors?"

Friday, June 30, 2006

The GST and socialists

Some are complaining that the GST drop that's taking effect July 1st (tomorrow) won't make much difference. Oh really?

Sure, you probably won't save much on a cup of coffee, 1 or 2 cents. But if you had 365 of them, hey, that's about $6 - 7 bucks! Yeah, not much, but it's more of YOUR money. On a new car, that's $200-400 smackers. A new furniture set, that's $10-20.

Some say that most business won't change their prices, instead pocketing that 1% difference.

As much as I wish they didn't, okay, so what? That money is now going into the business and the economy, meaning, perhaps that some employees might get a 1% raise or more in their bonus. For a small business whose revenues are, let's say, $1 million--that's $10,000. Not a bad bonus for some of the employees, you think?

But leave it to socialists to think that your money is best served in the government. We all know too well how efficient and smart the government is in spending taxpayer dollars. Businesses and individuals can't be trusted to spend money wisely. Families can't be trusted to take care of their own kids.

So with this 1% GST cut, I'm just glad I get to save a few cents on beer and popcorn.

Update: Now I'm hearing rumours that certain provincial gov'ts might bump up their sales tax a point. Fiscal imbalance solved? Uh, no. Taxpayer still screwed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More on Fiscal Balance

You see! Even finance minister Jim Flaherty sees that the whole fiscal imbalance is because the situation is all backwards. And Paul Wells talks about it. So does Andrew Coyne.

Thing is, the federal gov't simply taxes too much and ARE awash in cash. Being that tax freedom day was 5 days earlier this year, I'd say we're on the right track.

So now that ol' Jim, a former Ontario finance minister, recognizes that provinces can't come out with their baskets, the provinces are on their own--more independent I'd say!

So voila! It's balanced right? WRONG.

The question now is: does this leave more room in the future for the feds to lower income taxes? I think it does.

To me, that will be the real test of this new government. They've delivered on their election promises. What about the next budget? A couple points off the middle class rate would be nice.

THEN we can start talking about the real fiscal balance. Yet that will leave provinces room to raise taxes. But that's not really a good election platform though is it? So Flaherty has really painted the provs in a corner. If 8/10 provs have a surplus, then who's left to raise taxes?

The cities. That level of government which delivers the most direct services to the citizens.

But then the feds should forget about transferring gax tax revenue to the cities.

I'd say the backwards mentality has now reversed itself.

We'll see come the next budget. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Fiscal Balance

Yes, that's right, I said balance. The word imbalance that the media and politicians use recognizes that something's out-of-whack. I mean, they call it equalization don't they? It's a complicated formula to try and make all the provinces equal. Don't you find it amazing that while the premiers cry about the fiscal imbalance, none of them are pointing out the democratic imbalance that the Senate has. It's ridiculous.

Simply put, the federal budget was "balanced" about 10 years ago, and in some provinces. Some municipalities are also balanced, but continue to raise property taxes, fines, and fees to pay for it.

So if those levels are balanced, where's this imbalance?

What politicians, media, and the elite seem to forget is that the REAL fiscal imbalance is with Canadians themselves. You know, the ones who vote in the politicians. Yes, you. Okay, what do I mean?

For the amount of tax dollars we send to government, the municipal services are the most direct ones we benefit from.

Well, not to worry, the federal government will give the cities part of the gax tax revenue.


Why is it the level of government that provides the least amount of direct services gets to tax you the most?

So here me out...

What if the federal government taxed you much less than they do (bet you wouldn't notice a change in service!), the provincial government a little bit less, but your municipal government got to tax more?

You see, by the time money is transferred to a province, which in turn transfers some of the money to the cities, what's left? Not much, so the cities then have to raise taxes to make up for the shortfall to build roads and infrastructure, hire more police, etc.

I'm thinking that's probably how it used to be. But you know socialism, it tries to include everybody on a large scale, even those that don't want any part of it, all in the name of balance.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Haught vs. Naught #5

Now that Prime Minister Harper has steamrolled over all his opponents, followed through on his promises, there's a sense of clarity with the government and much pride in Canada now, isn't there? Or maybe it's the Oilers. Anyway, here we go...

Haught - Prime Minister Harper. On the front of the blatantly bias Globe and Mail this past week, it read something to the effect that "Harper slow on Senate reform". Excuse me? Slow? I don't know about you, but 159 years compared to 159 days ain't slow, ya know. Oh I'm sure the media would love it if the gov't opened up the constitution again to "fast-track" headlines. Regardless, the prime minister's proposals have exposed the Liberal senators who threaten to block Conservative bills. And remember when he appointed Michel Fortier and everyone was in a huff? I said at that time Harper did it for many reasons, one of which to draw attention to the senate again, which is need of massive reform. There's that word again, "Reform". Hehe.

Now the Conservatives are raising the age of consent to 16 with a 5 year radius. My stars! Another promise kept. Oh, and fixed election dates are good too. See you in October 2009!

Naught - LibLead hopeful, Joe Volpe. Now that 11 year old twins can donate $10,000 to a campaign, the possibilities are endless. To be honest, I didn't even know he was running. Looks like we have another "Joe who?" Sure, he just returned the money, but I mean, come on.

Naught - Liberal senators. I happened to watch some of them ask Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay, "What the heck are we doing in Afghanistan?" If they can't figure that one out, it's too bad Harper's senate term limits don't apply to these cronies.

Haught - Ralph Klein. Briefly. Before he received a "Survivor" plaque from his provincial counterparts, outlasting, outwitting (!), and outplyaing 38 premiers and 4 prime ministers, King Ralph told them that Alberta's resource revenue should not be equated in the provincial transfer "formula". I'm glad that he's the only one who's been around long enough to remember the BNA act.

Naught - CBC reporter, Anna Maria Tremonti. Her use of "Conservative clan" in her show "The Current" has created some waves. Here's some of Dr. Roy's Thoughts, who wrote to the CBC and got a flippent reply.

That's all for now folks! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Alberta PC leadership contenders

On Saturday May 27, I attended a volunteer appreciation BBQ for Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton-Centre (my riding).

In attendance were four Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta leadership contenders, in order of which I noticed them:

- Mark Norris
- Dave Hancock
- Ted Morton
- "Steady" Ed Stelmach

Not in attendance: Jim Dinning, Lyle Oberg.

Mark Norris and Dave Hancock talked together privately on a couple of occassions. Oooh, I know, really exciting.

Several people I know who are in the various camps said I should meet their guy. "Sure." You think I was going to go up to them myself? Heck no. This is politics, and they are essentially applying for the job of Premier--THEY should come talk to me and engage the voters, not stand around and wait for people to come to them. Then again, this really wasn't their event, it was the volunteers. However, Laurie Hawn did introduce each of them, so more or less in reality, it was a PC shmooze-fest.

So did I actually meet any of them? Yes. Just one. A friend of mine called him over, he rushed over to introduce himself, shake my hand firmly, and he noticed my last name written on my name tag and asked if I had family in Two Hills. I don't, as far as I know. Nonetheless, he was sincere, gave me his card, and said, "Very nice to meet you. We'll talk soon."

As some of you know, I would have been actively supporting Preston Manning for premier if he did run. I've met him personally on several occassions and can tell you, that Mr. Manning is one of the nicest, grateful, and most sincere people I have ever met.

Now this is not an official endorsement, just my humble observations. So here I was standing with another sincere man who's still running for premier of Alberta, Mr. Ed Stelmach.

So here's a heads-up to any of the other camps--instead of getting your team to talk up your candidate, nothing beats one-on-one engagement with the actual candidate. I know you know this, but if this province is to move forward, you can't stand have your candidate stand still.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Harper 3 - Press Gallery 1

Another playoff series is occurring in Canada, not just Oiltown--that is, The Prime Minister (PM) vs. the Parliamentary Press Gallery (PPG). [Uh, that's not penalty minutes nor points per game by the way].

The PM is accusing the PPG of bias. No! You don't say! How can that be? Well, this has been going on for so long, Harper's saying the puck stops here and he has every right. Paul Martin (now you can say penality minutes, yes?) did the same thing with the PPG. What gives?

You see, I remember attending a Fraser Institute seminar back in '98 and the study they did on the political leanings of the CBC. Now I know that doesn't apply to all media obviously, but the results clearly showed that CBC employees strongly supported, not the Liberals, but the NDP. Yeah sure, they say they were negative on Paul Martin and Chretien, but we've seen over time, it's not as much as they've been on Harper. Go back to the 2004 election and you'll see. You'll also notice that the NDP get off scott-free on the bazillion contradictions they make.

Canadians are supporting the Prime Minister on this one. They can see right through the PPG's powerplay and whining. Harper's gonna take his message directly to the people and if local media want to cover him they can and will. This "taking to the streets" is much like the election platform and the 2006 campaign itself where Harper demonstrated early on that he owns his message, not the media. Game goes to Harper.

So with the leaderless and hypocritical Liberal opposition, an NDP caucus with no principle, and a Bloc overshadowed by popular Conservative support in Quebec, the Accountability Act that prevents lobbyists from landing gov't jobs right away, diminished donations by corporations and unions to political parties, and now a parliamentary press gallery ignored, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has quickly quashed the enemies. All that remains is the Conservative government and the people of Canada. It's like Stephen Harper started with the puck in his own end and began skating up the ice. Instead of dekeing, he body checks all his opponents and is now in the clear on a breakaway to a top shelf goal in a majority.

Please note that the Iranian badge controversy was made up.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Haught vs. Naught #4

Supernaught - Iran. Recently, a friend of mine was working in Iran for a couple weeks and he just informed me he has to go back. He said

"Bloody ridiculous. Ahmadinejad... everyone there hates him. When I was there, I didn't meet a single person that didn't hate him and think he's totally screwing everything up. A guy I worked with was Zoroastrian... guess he's gotta wear blue now."

There's an understatement. Now that Iran is looking at labelling everyone not a Muslim with Nazi-style yellow badges for Jews, Zoroastrians, and others, this smacks of so many terrible things, I don't have the time to even fathom them.

Naught - Preston Manning. It would've been fun. But hey, at least now he's drawn attention to himself and the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, right? Yep. Alberta would be a good place to start and work on that initiative. And there's an old band out of Calgary called Dinning's Grin that just got bigger.

Naught - Jack Layton: "Let's have a vote on Afghanistan." Harper: "Okay, we'll vote, but it's not binding." I already talked about this in a previous post, but even Liberals are talking about what a good political move it was on the Prime Minister. I could put Harper as Haught, but not until he shows up to an Oiler home playoff game.

Haught - Rona Ambrose. When isn't she though? Ironically what might actually slow global warming would be if environmental lobbyists stopped spouting so much hot air on junk science.

Haught - Iggy n Billy. Two of the 14 Liberals who voted for extending our mission in Afghanistan stood up. There, I said it. Other than that, they really ought naught to worry about what they do, 'cause Harper's way ahead of youz by pre-painting you in an neat little corner of Hansardville.

Naught - The Klein government. Cabinet docs and notes are going to be locked up for 15 years. Leadership hopeful and caucus outsider, Lyle Oberg, mentioned something not long ago about him knowing where all the skeletons are. So does that mean Ralph Klein will come out of the closet in 15 years? Stay tooned.

Naught - Da Vinci Code believers - You remind me of environmental lobbyists and there's a higher percentage of you from Alberta! Upcoming Dan Brown books: "The Picasso Code". Synopsis: "An unexpecting pizzaologist comes across a mystical geometrical pattern in a meat lovers pie and realizes that the many franchises of the Boston Pizza Tea Party are connected with Freemasonry, annoying celebrity comics, and the bloodline of Italian popes. The fate of mankind rests on a painting by Picasso. Deal or no deal?"

Haught - The Edmonton Oilers. Believe it!

Naught - Don Cherry. I've noticed that since Montreal and Ottawa are out of the playoffs that Coach's Corner isn't on for Oiler games. Okay, maybe it's the CBC that is naught, but knowing Grapes, if he wants to say something, he'll say it... with a 7 second delay of course. I'm wondering if this has to do with the fact Kelly Hrudy went to my high school here in Oil Country.

Naught - George W. Bush. So if I sneak across the Canada/U.S. border, I might get shot by the National Guard? W.'s loves the National Guard. It was his way of saying, "I was in the 'military'" without really trying. As well, the wiretapping and all that crap is going a little too far don't you think? Iran and the U.S. are becoming more and more alike in some ways, aren't they?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Array of Happenings

Motion to Corner
Harper amazes me. He singlehandedly cornered many-a-MP on the motion to extend the mission in Afghanistan. Layton's been demanding a vote. "You want the vote? You can't handle the vote!" So Harper gives them the vote, but oh look, it's right away! Then Layton complains about the vote. If the Liberals and NDP were to merge, they should rename it the Hypocracy Party. It was a squeeker though: 149-145. Where was Paul Martin? More juicy factoids from Stephen Taylor here. To the 145 MPs: shame on all of you.

Presto says "No"
Well it's too bad. Just when people started paying attention to the bore of a leadership race in the PC Party of Alberta, Mr. Manning decides not to run. Now I've got friends from various camps (Dinning, Morton, Stelmach, and Norris) trying to win me over. I'll think about it, but this party needs an overhaul, not just an oil change.

The General's Guns
As pretty much expected, Auditor General Sheila Fraser, once again, finds a pile of money unaccounted for in the gun registry program. The money was accounted for in future budgets. Potential fiddler: Anne McLellan. It was on her watch. So glad she lost.

The General also found that despite all the money poured into Indian Affairs, aboriginals are still getting the short end of the stick. Minister Prentice has a lot of work ahead of him. Glad the Kelowna Accord was dropped--it wouldn't have made a dent into the lives of the truly needy, only continue to line the pockets of bureaucrats and chiefs. Sad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Here's a good post by Dissonance and Disrespect on the Conservative's plans to grant amnesty to unregistered long-gun owners--a brilliant political move by this minority gov't and another promise that Harper made, to eventually scrap the whole registry.

Bill Graham and other liberal pundits can cry all they want. I don't own a gun, never shot a gun, nor do I really like guns, killing animals for sport and the like. BUT, I do recognize that free citizens should have a right to own them without fear of reprisal from the gov't for proper use and that we have hunting regulations for a reason.

But most of all, when the bill became law in 1995, it was predicted that it would be a waste and lo and behold, now has the investigative potential to be the more grossly mismanaged and corrupt than Adscam.

Initially and continually wasting taxpayer dollars isn't excuse to keep a program afloat.

Methinks the Liberals are whining and want to keep the registry to move the debate away from the powderkeg that's about to ignite with the Auditor General's report.

And that'll be an explosion bigger than all the registered guns combined.

Monday, May 15, 2006

One Hundred Harper Street

PoliticsWatch has a neat outline of Prime Minister Harper's first 100 days in office. A few comments...

- Anything the Liberals say is moot and pure hypocracy. They had their 13 years.

- Stephen Harper has done more in 100 days than Paul Martin did his entire time as PM (Is that Paul Martin or Prime Minister? You decide.) By "done", I mean actually make a promise, a decision, and follow through on it.

- Anyone expecting those 100 days to be perfect, is like expecting the Liberals not to be corrupt.

- Harper has learned that if any in his caucus shoots off the mouth, it doesn't stick in the long run anyway anymore, so don't talk about it and give it legs.

- Bill Graham and the Liberals are whining because Harper has ignored their policies and promises. While the Liberals are good at stealing ideas from the NDP and Conservatives and taking credit for it, the Conservatives simply ignore them altogether.

- Harper likes hockey. Canadians like hockey. Canadians like Harper. He's one of us.

- The third-way in Quebec is working. LibBloggers like Jason Cherniak who see a potential "yes" separation vote putting the blame on Harper because of his cozying up to Charest fail to see that Charest is the current and actual premier of Quebec, not who the polls say.

When Harper wins a majority next time around, the real test of the first 100 days of that mandate will be if he follows through on other policies that conservatives have been fighting for and will determine whether he will truly become a great prime minister. Things like broad-based income tax cuts, Senate reform, debt repayment and further decentralization that will actually strengthen the dominion are what so many have been dreaming of since Trudeaumania built up a fallacy of national pride.

Harper will become great when no longer we will say, "Well, he IS in a minority, so he has to make compromises." So far, these 100 days seem like 100 weeks and you can forget about compromises when he wins a majority. You think the Liberals are being ignored now, just you wait!

Welcome to One Hundred Harper Street, a place where the street hockey game doesn't get out of the way from incoming traffic.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Haught vs. Naught #3

"When you're hot, you're hot. When you're not, you're not." - Jerry "Smoky" Reed.

Naught - Bob Rae. Warren Kinsella calls on Bob and everyone else who uses "nazism" comparisons as a failed debating tool. Get on your knees, Bob, and apologize.

Haught - Rona Ambrose. While she has both carefully and uncarefully balanced Canada's commitment to Kyoto with the party's line and her own views, she's ignoring the crap, chairing the whatever environmental conference, env lobbyists galore ask for her head, and she'll continue to move in the right direction.

Haught - Paul Himan. Who? MLA and leader of the Alberta Alliance Party (AAP) for calling on the gov't to look at an APP (Alberta Pension Plan). That's AAP for the APP. Anyway, it's a great idea, 'cause the CPP is a joke of a "fund". I bought this up with Stockwell Day 9 years ago at a Reform Youth Convention when he was provincial treasurer and he seemed very open to the idea. Yeah, well, it needs to be talked about again and again.

Naught - Denis Herard. Advanced Education Minister. This stupid bill will actually end tuition increase caps to allow bloated university bureaucracies. It was brought up in 2003 and killed. I believe in affordable and accessable education. Our parents sure had cheap tuition. At the start, I did too, but then... then it got nuts. When I was done, it had doubled. That's a quadradic increase! Remember when Ralph did all the cuts in the 90's? Guess who decided to give themselves big wage increases? It was the university big wigs. Great. Now they can go even more nuts.

That's it for now. Going to watch the Oilers win game 4.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kyoto Klimate Kommunists

I don't get it. I don't get how environmentalists in Kanada kan kontinue to support the Kyoto Akkord, lambast the U.S., and ask for Rona's resignation when Kanada has overemitted by 35% (mind you the Libs had no plan) and the U.S. rekord is much better without resorting to Kyoto. Oh wait, they're lobbyists aren't they? Nevermind. Kontinue as you were.

What's wrong with koming up with our OWN realistik non-world-dominating plan? Go Rona go!

What's with all the k's you ask? Just trying to save the c.

"It ain't over 'til it's over"

Just as they said they would, the Conservative government is suing the Liberal Party for monies still owing from Adscam.

Just think, 11 years later, this whole scandal still continues. How many more years until the whole truth comes to light and justice finally prevails?

It's likely that the Conservatives will be in power for many years now to see it through.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The often forgotten student unforgotten

Stephen Taylor points out an aspect of the recent federal budget that was overlooked by the media, as they, like governments of the past, often forget about the potential taxpayer--the post-secondary student. Grants and scholarship are now fully 100% tax-exempt. Student loans are now easier to get for students from middle-class families. This is huge.

Too many friends of mine at the U of A had difficulty getting loans because "my parents make too much", when in fact, they really didn't.

That said, more loans for students means more debt at the end. Hopefully the feds will also have a remittance program upon graduation, as they have in Alberta. For me, that knocked off 25% of my loan and is certainly incentive to graduate.

The sooner grads can pay off their debt, the sooner they can invest, buy houses, start families, and the like. And isn't that the idea here folks?