Category Archives: Politics

Venezuela Right Now

  1. Hyperinflation rate so astronomical you won’t believe it
  2. Water shortage
  3. Food shortage
  4. Civil strife
  5. Rolling black outs
  6. Russia installs military presence taking sides with Nicolas Maduro
  7. U.S. contemplates aid and incidentally has sided with declared President Juan Guaido
  8. Journalists arrested
  9. Socialist policy since Chavez leaderships in 1999

If you eliminate incentives for business to produce goods and services, they will stop. If you pay people not to produce, they will not produce. If you do not sanction poor behavior, people will continue to behave badly. If you overregulate the ambitious, they will turn elsewhere for a market. If you condone corruption, you will get more of it. If you sense injustice and fail to acknowledge it, you will subscribe to the status quo. If you witness crime and fail to report it, you are complicit. If your leadership is ambivalent toward justice, your society is regressing.

Calling Out The Drivel

I don’t mind playing a role in calling out stuff for what it is before new norms negatively take hold thereby attributing to societal decay. No I’m not naive enough to think that my single voice can make a difference so I implore you my friends to also stand your ground when confronted with drivel and provide your version of push back. I realize it’s tempting to simply cede in lieu of behavior unbecoming of a country’s President (Trump), but call it out anyways.

The President of the United States has declared that the press is the “Enemy of The People”. On the contrary, the press has a major role in reporting to the people behavior elicited by their governments.  Journalists actually become formally versed in ethics as part of their curriculum. Unfortunately, the business of journalism is not immune from pressures of bias arising from mediums in which their messages are expressed.  Hence; particular news outlets will be better than others and thankfully a democracy provides people with the power to discern the credible from the incredulous. 

It could be the case that Donald Trump believes that if he states something ridiculous enough times over and over through his Twitter account that those on the margins of self esteem with an unrequited vote may just step over to the dark side with him. 

Trump may believe he can take his dysfunctional, demeaning, and narcissistic management style and impose it on a populous weakened largely by events which were largely outside of their control but within the control of past governments and regulators. If he somehow can derive a correlation between liberal misgivings and CNN, then in his heart perhaps he can sway those undisciplined from objective thinking.     

One unfortunate consequence of the election of Donald Trump to President has been the attribution some will make of his character to the conservative philosophy.  The track record of recent Republican Party leaders has been lacklustre further weakening the image of the conservative philosophy. Although not much of a talking point to date, the conflation of populism and conservatism because of Trump will have a dulling impact on communicating fundamental conservative doctrine over the next decade.              

How Will You Vote in Alberta Election?

Strong conservative leadership in Alberta has been lacking for a lot of years. Jason Kenney…..a rather bland fellow stained by a lacklustre record serving under Harper as an MP at the federal level where he talked up social issues instead of what really matters to Canadians – their pocket book is now your choice. We hold our nose and vote for him of course.  You wouldn’t think for a moment during this critical time of burgeoning socialism to spoil your vote via voting for a fringe party, I know. We hope that he actually gets it. We hope that he understands that Albertans have industrial resolve at their core believing that a merit based capital system is foundational for the actualization of career dreams.

We hope that he understands that Alberta and Canada cannot alone solve the world’s environmental concerns. We hope that he keeps his mind out of the bedrooms of taxpayers. We hope that he materially aims to cut public expenditures including pensions to civil servants so that taxes can be reduced. We hope that he invigorates the legal system so that law enforcement can feel empowered rather than stifled. We hope that he leaves the abortion debate alone. We hope that he repeals intrusive regulatory burdens such as the “carbon tax” for small business. We hope that he rightfully imposes penalties to corporations behaving environmentally irresponsibly. We hope that he applies common sense to decisions affecting us all. We hope that he communicates interests of Albertans effectively with federal law makers. We hope that he is honest and immune from lobbying efforts of special interest groups. We hope that he understands that Confederation requires the cooperation of provinces for the good of economic development. Finally, we hope that he understand the level of exasperation felt by taxpayers constrained financially  while witnessing their governments blow away money as if it were confetti.  

The Feeling of Corruption in Canada

Your Attorney General of Canada claims that your Prime Minister placed undue influence on her with respect to a prosecutorial decision in lieu of criminal evidence. In my mind this amounts to “obstruction of justice” subject to the penal code. It’s apparent that Justin Trudeau was motivated politically to save an engineering firm, namely SNC Lavalin, from consequences arising from their apparent conduct. The firm is based in Quebec. Trudeau is a Quebecer. It’s postulated that pensions would be saved by interfering with the prosecution of the firm and somehow that would philanthropically justify such immunity. I suppose Canadians are now expected by our Prime Minister to rationalize the penal code depending on circumstances of a person, or a company? This in my opinion makes our country’s leader unfit to lead. Now that he has cast away Jody Wilson-Raybould from her post as Attorney General in lieu of her steadfast integrity, the next incumbent will be faced with an office stained of its independence. Canadians are asking whether our justice system is now not only pitiful in its timely and cost effective execution but also lacking in credibility. If our Prime Minister is not ousted from office in the short term, I will be asking whether Canada is any better than corrupt Venezuela. 

Jaw Dropping Adam Capay Story

I attended a municipal forum last week which dealt with the possible replacement of the Calgary Saddledome for the whiny Calgary Flames organization. Let me take that back…they’ve been better behaved lately having come to grips with the economic landscape in this city in lieu of the oil price drop and the difficulty in transporting the resource due to political obfuscation. 

Today I consider the impact of failing to fund “correctional facilities” in which tax payer money should be rightly allocated. Last month, Adam Capay walked free from murder prosecution because Canada’s correctional system was either ill equipped to manage his incarceration humanely or lacked the   necessary will to do so. As a result of his rights being breached under the Canada’s Charter, he has been immunized from prosecution of murder. Imagine that? In a world where cars can now drive themselves and governments throw funding at “artificial intelligence”, our country has lacked the resources to keep this man, Adam Capay, housed within a humane environment. Consequently, the family of Mr. Capay’s murder victim wonders about a system of justice whereby lawyers grow wealthy through exorbitant fees, and justice fails after years spent haggling in a legal purgatory.

It doesn’t matter the government. Navel gazing politicians more interested in pet projects oriented around ego as opposed to execution of administrative policy drop the ball on matters relevant to the public purse whether it was Mr. Harper’s obsession with Mike Duffy’s suspected abuse of public perks who was ultimately exonerated, or the endless apologies by Justin Trudeau to groups offended in decades past, or photo ops of white men in turbans….politicians are failing to do the job such as humanely incarcerating criminals and administering a system of justice which is fair, expedient  and cost efficient.       

Governments Giving To Business

Here we go again with government “investments” in business with a $100 million nest egg courtesy of you the taxpayer for new technologies (artificial intelligence) which apparently is such a sought after space that the private sector isn’t interested.

This is what’s happening. Very poor decisions were made regarding the construction of new office towers in the downtown core of Calgary leading to a 30 per cent vacancy. Obstructionist policy from governments in the oil and gas sector has impeded business from expanding into these new commercial spaces. Now, you the taxpayer are going to pay the price for “malinvestment”. That’s right. Governments have historically been poor investors because politicians don’t personally have any skin in the game. Politicians cater to special interest groups and are amenable to influence from effective lobbyists.

When was the last time your government presented you with a performance statement in lieu of a benefit to you arising from their investment decisions in the private sector? You guessed it – never. There is no accountability.

The unremarkable thing about “capitalism” is that people and businesses fail because of poor investment decisions. The backdrop of a failure potential has the effect of scrutinizing capital carefully for its most efficient deployment.

This decision made by bureaucrats with your money is not sound but there is desperation in the corridors of governments because pension funds with equity interests in Alberta office towers are clamouring.

Trudeau’s Year Ending News Conference and The Pipeline

 Not that I’m a fan of Justin Trudeau’s politics but he certainly outperformed the journalists posing questions today. I give Trudeau credit for his thoughtfulness, tact and consistency in articulating positions. He is certainly well spoken. Naturally, the security concerns of Canadians travelling abroad are important, but half the question period was unfortunately taken up by short sighted reporters fixated on the news of the day. Certainly, these reporters should have known they wouldn’t have received any more than what Trudeau was able to give on the topic of the Chinese detention of Canadians.  Instead issues of provincial jurisdiction, taxation, military deployments, veteran’s affairs, government debt, social program spending, and the justice system were not covered.

However; the matter of national unity was actually raised because it’s the knee jerk way of responding to real behaviour of politicians more focused on regional interests than the national interest. The prospect of transporting oil from Alberta to the west coast through pipelines is simple businessand simple economics. Certainly, as a first world country with professionals qualified to construct and maintain a pipeline safely inside an industrial regulatory framework established through decades of first world development experience, this should get done now in the spirit of Canada’s national interest with the enthusiastic cooperation of indigenous people. Just as a reminder…the hard working high tax-paying citizens of Canada grant indigenous people with special exemptions through land and tax not available to non-indigenous Canadians.  Your country also has the right to expropriate your land, garnish your wage, and freeze your bank account. Yet, today your federal government is frozen in time with respect to deploying an asset that you now own, namely the Trans Canada Pipeline.

Apparently, there are some sea mammals that must be accommodated out there on the prospective port. I’m thinking that these sea mammal’s interests could be represented while the pipe is being laid. Lawyers…. well they apparently require a lot more hand holding to save them from their naval gazing and obfuscation through technical legal bafflegab. There comes a timewhen common sense, progress, and economic expansion must supersede bureaucratic bungling.          

All This Hatred

I woke up this morning to a USA Today headline “The man is pathetic”: Giuliani attacks Cohen. My gut tells me that those spewing such vitriolic comments likely have ethical dilemmas themselves which brew underneath a bravado like facade.  This seems to be the new normal in politics. In an era past when differences of opinion could be debated with intelligence and unwritten rules of conduct, it’s now all out unfiltered attack based on emotionally planted self centred ego driven applause seeking irrationality.

It’s quite obvious to the bystander that Trump’s ex lawyer Cohen succumbed to heat applied by Trump during tenuous transactions arising from Trump’s business and personal conduct. In the remote chance you haven’t been witnessing Trump’s bully like conduct and visceral need to react intensely to any slight against him through his twitter account, never mind his propensity to litigate contractors in business, you can easily formulate through a “paint by numbers” like puzzle that this seems to be a man who takes every occasion to wield financial power regardless of ethical implications. Now, he is facing the music as he deserves. I had actually seen enough simply through his conduct in the election campaign that this was a man unfit for office. In spite of nepotism rules, Trump somehow determined that his daughter and son in law despite their youth and inexperience in governmental affairs would be apt “Advisers to the President”. I actually believe the man has some merit and humanity behind his veil which has unfortunately been voided by aberration.  

I suggest that Mr. Giuliani’s propensity to defend thePresident has more to do with his own need to have his ego stroked than anymisplaced loyalty. There are men who reach their twilight years and still donot discover the means to bypass this ego laden short circuitingmechanism. 

Upon posting, I thought this might go in my blog categorization of “personal development”.  Wink.

Loss Of Objectivity in Public Policy

Upon reading the Calgary Herald’s online comments to Rachel Notley’s letter to the editor today, I can’t help but feel dismayed by people’s vitriol. To preface this piece, I’m fiscally conservative and did not vote for Rachel Notley in our last provincial election and nor would I vote for her today. She has failed to act prudently with the public purse and public sector unions just as I had suspected. However; I do give her credit for adjusting somewhat when she took office to the market reality facing the oil and gas industry.

British Columbia has failed to honour its role in support of Canada’s industrial development. This mere fact underlies the basis which prevents the construction of increased pipeline capacity to the west coast. Ms. Notley has been an advocate of new pipeline construction. In fact, the taxpayer has now been exposed to the capital costs associated with preliminary pipeline construction because of British Columbia’s obfuscation and environmental idealism.

Unfortunately, when the electorate is exposed to politicians who have abused the public purse for their own benefit or witness politicians grand stand for social causes beyond the scope of their mandate, cynicism infiltrates objective debate thereby interfering with good decision making. People become so dug into their positions based on emotion as opposed to logic that coherent public policy is jeopardized.  The elicitation of a civil society is predicated by sound minds exchanging ideas, sourcing problems, contending with various interests, and ultimately planning and executing solutions. Canada in its size, its regional disparities, and its desire for satisfying everyone may in the end lose in global competitiveness. As a nation, we “stand on guard for thee” on Remembrance Day and on Canada Day, but do we do the same when critical industrial projects are on the precipice of deployment? Will we continue to operate from the premise that natural resources form the lifeblood of Canadian economic development or will we be naive enough to believe that service industries, computer gadgets, and the public sector will carry us all forward?

Could it be that your national government is simply reticent to thrust itself into a potential constitutional crisis over the jurisdictional rights of petroleum transport? Now that Canada’s federal government has taken an ownership stake in the Trans Mountain Pipeline, I ponder how it plans to illicit the benefits of such in the face of a provincial government which has been uncooperative. Wasn’t it Mr. Trudeau’s father who was last seen addressing elements particular to our constitution? May he have missed something?                 

Those Applauding The Budget

Imagine sitting in the House of Commons as an elected representative watching your colleagues clap to the conclusion of a budget speech which has implied yet another large deficit and no plan for paying down the national debt. Your projected national debt will be going up while your household cuts and compromises.  I never actually saw the speech because I was tending to taxpayers but I can just imagine that there was some peer pressure at work amongst liberals inciting smiles and applause. There is this justification of relative debt to GDP which apparently provides the rationalists with comfort. 

Our society has morphed into a “me first, where’s the gravy train” mentality with victimization as the root cause. Strident individualism has been superseded by “group think join the cause” deference. In apathy of a justice system unworthy of amicably resolving civil matters expeditiously, it’s now bestowed upon you the taxpayer that society through wealth redistribution will right all wrongs.

You, the taxpayer, have become a conduit for wealth redistribution. That’s really how your government views you. You are patronized by your government if self employed having taken risk. If you win, you’ll be penalized for victory through increased taxation. Hence; your aspiration may be muted thereby tempering the national pulse. In fact in time, government surmises that since it has sucked the wind out of free enterprise that it may need to invest commercially in the face of subdued capitalist interest despite banking profits at record highs.

The human spirit takes notice. It heeds the subtle intrusion of a civil liberty here and there.  It watches ego at work on the big stage. It digests impudent behaviour by those in the spotlight who dismiss legitimate claims of misconduct. Gratefully, the well endowed human spirit void of chemical inhibitors continues to elicit presence manifesting a message amidst aberrant policy.