Wednesday, 21 December 2016

2016: The year of Delusional Liberals

As the year comes to a close, we would be remiss if we do not acknowledge what happened in 2016. The Trump phenomena should give conservatives a real boost. For liberals, on the other hand, it seems that they are ripe for psychiatric therapy, and more importantly we should be aware of the continued and growing delusions of the left around the world and at home.

When Donald Trump started his campaign for the Presidency, a vast majority did not give him any chance of winning; neither did I because at first he did not articulate his policies. During the months leading to the elections he was accused and marred by many controversies, justified or not. But in the end he prevailed and won a historic victory over a failed candidate. As a result the left has now found themselves in a state of delusion rarely seen in politics. It is not a malaise seen in the U.S alone, but it seems that the contagion has spread around the world, especially in countries with socialist governments, including Canada.

After the November 8 elections, the Democrats have searched for excuses to explain their biggest defeat since the twenties. Blaming the Russians to the FBI and then the electoral system, they refuse to accept that Clinton was a failed candidate with huge baggage, starting with her campaign staff and the liberal mass media. The Wikileaks releases showed how the elitist Democrats dismissed their opponent and the electorate, and how biased the media was. The campaign was a bust as it relied on a continuation of the Obama presidency with no new ideas. Their delusion was that the past eight years had been a success, notwithstanding massive unemployment, a world in chaos and the failed promises of hope and change.

There was a call for a recount in three states by the Green Party. In Wisconsin the result was that Trump gained votes and the other two states cancelled the recount. As the Electoral College vote approached, a campaign started for the voters to switch their votes. Not having learnt their lesson, that celebrities are not that bright and their support of Clinton had failed, some irrelevant Hollywood celebrities came out with a video to sway the voters. The result was that ‘faithless’ electors switched 5 votes from Clinton and only 2 from Trump. Once again the delusion of Democrats showed itself to be very apparent.

In his last address before leaving for Hawaii, President Obama stated that the United States was now more respected and liked around the world and that the country was more prosperous. He once again ignored that his true legacy will be Aleppo, when he imposed a ‘red line’ which turned pink and then disappeared, resulting in the slaughter of thousands of innocents. Furthermore, his wife in an interview with Oprah, had the impudence to state that the Trump’s election has now brought ‘No Hope’, to the country. Contrary to her diatribe, the market place as validated by the rise in the DOW since the election shows that there is real hope for a better world economy.

After the latest attack in Berlin, Angela Merkel stated that it was: “A gruesome and ultimately incomprehensible act.” Ignoring that it was her feckless refugee policy that may be at the root of the problem. 

Closer to home, the NDP in Alberta and PM Trudeau continued to extol their failed policies. Their climate change policies  will see the imposition of direct and indirect taxes on everything which they claim to be good for the consumer. Their blind acceptance of the Paris agreement will make a mockery of the Canadian economy for years to come.

In Alberta the failed Progressive Conservatives, are in the throes of a leadership race. Once again the progressives in the party are still suffering from the delusion that  their loss to the NDP was not their fault. Sandra Jansen, a leadership candidate, who saw that her campaign was going nowhere defected to the NDP, showing that she had absolutely no idea about political ideology. In this case it was delusions of grandeur.

But the most absurd display of illusions came from Vice President Joe Biden when in a futile and useless visit to Canada he stated that the world needed genuine leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  A laughable  statement at best, but yet Jim Warren, a Liberal columnist believed in it and wrote a column in the Sun newspaper entitled: “How Trudeau can lead on the world stage”. We should remember that like Obama, Trudeau has never run anything before entering politics.  His success is derived from his father’s accomplishments and nothing else.

The left around the world are now reaping the bitter fruits of their so-called progressive policies. Their continued belief that it is everybody else’s fault rather than their own, displays a complete mental failure which in many cases may require therapy for some.

The real positive result of this delusional failure of the left is that if conservatives around the world learn a lesson and regroup with pragmatic conservative principles, they can regain the upper ground. A united conservative movement at all levels under a Trump leadership can bring back real hope and change, not the phony liberal view of a multilateral world dominated by socialist policies and organizations.

As this is my last 2016 blog, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Education or Indoctrination?

As the world’s demography changes and the Millennials become the majority, and the Baby Boomers become the minority, the world is about to face a new reality. Today our education institutions, instead of the family unit, have grown into the main provider of cultural values in the develop world. Is this a desired trend?

To educate: “Give intellectual, moral, and social instruction as a formal and prolonged process”. In the not too distant past, this process used to start within the family unit. Parents were involved in the moral and social developments of their children. Offspring were taught respect, and social manners among other things. The education system continued the process of development by providing the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Universities were the centres of further education where students were encouraged to have intellectual discourse, explore and research new ideas. But today, with the rise of feminism and progressivism, the philosophy of education has changed drastically.

The Feminism movement, created many opportunities. More women entered the workplace and contributed to the enormous economic growth of the post WWII era. By the same token, the family unit was also transformed. With both parents working, children’s basic education was left to kinder gardens and elementary schools. Technology also plays a major role in the education process. Children are now left on their own more often and increasingly spending more time on social media.

Progressivism, which has nothing to do with progress, is code word to describe the rise of socialism or communism in disguise. The education system at all levels is now dominated by unionized teachers, lecturers and tenured professors. Governments who want to stay in power pay lip service to the heavily unionized educators, and create policies which alter and re-create curricula. In many cases, history is being re-written; books and literature are being altered to reflect a more diverse point of view. It seems that today’s politically correct education system is being used to indoctrinate rather than educate, and the result can been seen in the behavior of today’s millennials.

Universities have become more intolerant of different views. Any disagreement with any liberal point of view, is more often than not, immediately labelled as being of a racist, xenophobic, homophobic or sexist nature. Campuses have established a culture of political correctness which has now polluted the main stream media. Of course this proliferation affects political and social discourse. Freedom of speech is seemingly the sole domain of the left. Intolerance on the other hand is now the preferred characterization of the right. The promotion of social justice and secularism, to the detriment of Christianity, but not of radical Islamists on certain campuses is increasing. Ivy League institutions are now condoning student protest against electoral results. Students are being coddled with the creation of ‘safe places’ and other politically correct policies. Professors, like Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, who argues “against the existence of non- binary gender identities, or those that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍”, is being vilified and ostracized. Those who are against climate change policies are branded as ‘deniers’ or flat-earth believers. The continued failure of the education system supported by a liberal media has contributed to the indoctrination of the post baby boomer generations.

The election of Obama opened the flood gates for progressivism. The main stream media seized on this opportunity to promote many policies which have destroyed the economy and the world order. Social media and late night shows, with the likes of Kimmel, Colbert, Fallon etc. have become the source of news for many people. Hollywood with shows promoting so-called diversity has entered the political arena with a vengeance. Blinded by their own rhetoric, the left around the world ignored the real effects of their failed policies.

The backlash was clearly expressed by the electorate in the last U.S presidential election as well as the Brexit referendum. Although labelled as the rise of the right-wing, the real factors are being ignored. Progressivism went too far, and the candidates promoting it were failures in their own rights. Accusing everyone who disagreed with their policies of being racist, misogynist, and xenophobic back fired. Hillary Clinton ignored the plight of the middle class and working Americans who have suffered eight years of progressive policies like Obamacare and lax immigration policies. The left has ignored that their view of globalization is not the concept that Ricardo envisaged. Trade has now become a movement for multilateralism and socialist expansion. They have used refugee and immigration policies for gerrymandering purposes. Trump’s opposition to NAFTA an TPP is not based in protectionism but rather in the lack of ‘fair trade’, in the same way that Brexit was not based on xenophobia but rather that the U.K no longer could stand the bureaucracy of Brussels dictating their sovereign right to accept whomever they choose.

Demonstrators, who have yet to be condemned by President Obama, who protest against a Trump election are not only misguided but also blind to the real facts. Millennials in their vast majority did not even vote, yet they protest the result of the elections. The left believes that compromise should exists only when they are out of power, but never when they are in power as illustrated by Obama’s eight years of imperious executive orders. America and the free world are under siege from a progressivism mentality vastly created by the indoctrination of a generation by an increasingly leftist education system.

Parents, do you know what your kids are being taught? Do you know who are teaching your kids?  Parents who really care about the future of their children should involve themselves in the debate about curricula and education programs. Political correctness must not be taken for granted but rather as the source of many divisions in today’s society. We can no longer leave our children in the hands of educators who promote a closed agenda which will lead us to socialism and greater government control.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The coming of true Hope and Change

On Wednesday November 09, 2016, the United States of America and the world woke up to a new dawn. In what was supposed to be a walk in the park for Hillary Clinton, who on the eve of the election was reportedly measuring drapes for the White House, a billionaire business man who had never held political office defeated a 30 year professional politician for the Presidency of the U.S. How did everybody get it so wrong?

For the first time since the 1920’s the Republican Party will control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  However the country is still much divided. Donald .J. Trump was able to defeat 16 opponents to become the GOP nominee, and yet the party did not coalescence around his campaign.  He was able to connect with at least half of a nation that recognized that for the past eight years they had been sold a bill of goods. An imperious President Obama divided the country along party, racial and ideological lines. The real problem was that he received the blessing of the liberal elite and a totally biased media. He started his presidency with a hollow Nobel Peace Prize for having achieved nothing. For eight years the Democrats and the media supported his progressive socialist policies and his attempt to reduce the U.S. influence on the world arena. He continuously preached for multilateralism and the increased power of the United Nations on world matters.

President elect Trump did not win this election with huge amount of money, but rather with speeches which sometimes verge on the divisive and less politically correct. But what he did was to connect with the people who are hurting economically and seen the American dream disappear in front of their eyes. They saw an increase in regulations that hurt business and reduce the capitalism for which the U.S is known for. a citizenry that saw that foreigners, and illegal immigrants were given more privileges than themselves, that their security in the face of terrorism was being minimized at the altar of political correctness.

The bigger question is why was a Trump election so discarded and not seen coming? The biggest reason is that for the third time in a row pollsters got everything wrong. It seems that they did not learn anything from Brexit and the Columbian Peace Agreement. They also misjudged the reaction of the electorate. They underestimated Trump and his supporters. Their polling which used more democrats in their sampling fooled them.  Hillary Clinton did not realize that the electorate did not want a continuation of a failed Obama legacy. With the undivided support of the media and Hollywood stars she did not offer anything new, whereas Trump offered a completely different platform, even sometimes going against the grain of the GOP.

As a Canadian I cannot vote in the U.S elections, but what is astonishing is the Canadian media’s continued misunderstanding of the American psyche. Most Canadian Liberal pollsters showed that 78% of Canadians would have preferred a Clinton presidency. To me these numbers are not surprising given how U.S political issues are reported in this country. Most, if not all, Canadian media take their lead from the same feeds : All Broadcast for Clinton (ABC), National Broadcast for Clinton (NBC), Clinton Broadcasting Service (CBS), and of course the  Clinton News Network (CNN); each one of them   with a progressive liberal and socialist bias.  No wonder that Canadians have no idea that there are different views in the U.S. This is done to further a progressive agenda in Canada. Reality will soon strike when Trump starts reversing many of Obama’s policies especially those concerning, climate change, pipelines and health care. As a disciple of David Ricardo’s economic theories, I support trade and I believe that Trumps’ threat to renegotiate NAFTA is going to be less harmful for Canada than expected. As for TPP certain aspects need to be clarified and I trust a Trump administration to be able to do this as a business rather than a political negotiation.

Trump’s views on military and security issues may frighten some people. President Reagan came in and was portrayed as a man with a finger on the nuclear button. But history showed us that negotiation from a position of strength worked not only for the U.S but for the world. In today’s world we live under a cloud of a terrorist attack, and we need a different approach, Trump may bring a more pragmatic rather than an appeasing strategy in dealing with a resurgent Russia and a growing and decentralized terrorism threat. Trump should be prepared for a terrorist attack in the early days of his presidency and complacency must be the last thing on his agenda.

The 2016 presidential elections showed us that the electorate knows best. Trump was elected despite the media bias. America wanted true change, not a rhetorical one based on ideology. America decided that hope and change resided in less regulations, executive orders and government interference. Americans chose a new President, Canadians who are arrogant enough to think that they know what the U.S needs are, should be very careful in not misjudging our neighbours and focus more on what the homeland electorate may decide in the coming years, because the Trudeau government may be going down the same path as the Obama failed legacy.

Vulgarity is not acceptable, but corruption and fraud are criminal acts and for those who lament that a woman was not elected, we must acknowledge that it was not a rejection of the candidate’s gender but rather a rejection of the person. The U.S may be ready for a woman president, but not for ‘that woman’.

Good luck to President Donald J.Trump who promises true change and economic hope with it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

What’s in a Name?

Everybody has a right not to be offended. However in today’s world everybody seems to be offended by everything. Political correctness has gone mad, and as result we see organizations and even individuals getting their knickers in a twist about names of sport teams and even city landmarks. Where does this madness lead us to?
The word ‘Indian’ seems to offend not only First Nations people but other people who even take legal actions to ban name of sports teams. In the recent legal case the Cleveland Indians who were playing the Toronto Blue Jays, found themselves the subject of a lawsuit preventing them from using their names in Toronto. Fortunately the MLB and a judge found that the case had no validation and rejected the claim made by somebody who was not even in the country but on holidays in China.
The idea is that all reference to natives in one form or another is offensive and should be not only discarded but banned. In many cases the initial use of the names was to show respect to the North American indigenous people, e.g `Braves`. The increasing calls for change are not only in the U.S but are gathering steam in Canada, where the Edmonton Eskimos and other High School sports teams are being asked to change their names.
There now exists a movement to remove statues of historic figures, ban or get rid of the names of historic buildings because of their connection to leaders who are believed to be responsible for certain acts or policies which today may offend people. In The U.S some people would like to remove any reference to Jefferson because he owned slaves. In Calgary some people would like to remove the name Langevin from a bridge because it may offend some people.
There may be some legitimacy in this move to eradicate the use of some of these names, but this trend is also becoming a tool to reverse history. But now there is another movement originating from the use of a new language emanating from the social media. Abbreviations or the use of shorthand to communicate is proliferating.
Under the guise to make Calgary’s families feel better about their city, the Calgary Economic Development and Tourism Calgary are partnering on a new initiative — LoveYYC. The idea is to support business, and to promote Calgary’s numerous attractions and facilities. Mary Moran and Cindy Ady wrote in the Calgary Herald “We want Calgarians to experience all the cultural and entertainment opportunities the city has to offer, as well as our stores and restaurants,” The so-called campaign will start on November 5 with LoveYYC Day, featuring special offers from businesses to encourage local shopping
While I approve of the efforts of both Calgary Economic Development and Tourism Calgary to promote the City, I find the use of YYC as continuing to remove the connection with the city’s `heritage. Recently the new Calgary airport was named The YYC International Airport, when it could have been named the Frederick McCall or Stephen Harper International Airport.
In the recent past the same Calgary Economic Development spent thousands of dollars, to rebrand the City of Calgary. It seems that they wanted to eradicate the City’s past connections with the tradition of ranching and the Cowtown slogan. At the same time ignoring that The Calgary Stampede is still `the greatest show on earth`. So they replaced ‘Heart of the New West’ with ‘Be Part of the Energy’: to help continue to change perceptions and tell the story about what makes Calgary a great place to make a living and make a life.

What is interesting with that change is that they wanted to ‘change perceptions’ about what Calgary was. In my view it was to change our connection to the Old West, forgetting that it was ranchers and farmers who built this city. It was to refocus the notion that now we depend on ‘energy’ which was the dominant industry in Calgary. The same people who did this about face were also part of the climate change, global warming movement which today together with low oil prices has decimated the city’s economy.

It is important to bring back pride in our City, it is also important to mention its name in any campaign. Citizens do not live or are stranded in an airport, because this is what YYC stands for.  Calgarians live in a proud, vibrant and energetic city called Calgary, so make sure that Calgary is used in any reference to this great city, and stop pandering to the social media crowd or politically correct elitists.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Very Taxing Problem

Taxes have been at the centre of the world’s problems for centuries. Wars and revolutions have started because of them. The left wants more taxes and the right wants less.  Riots and protests about the government’s appropriation of wealth continue to be a major conflict about the fairness of taxation.  At the heart of the political move to the left, is the increasing use of higher taxation to either redistribute wealth or to fund increasing government spending.

The 2008 recession continues to affect the world economy. During the Obama presidency we have seen the growing hand of government take a firm grip over the economy.
The illegal release of Trump’s tax return is now a major issue in the presidential campaign. It is reported that he did not pay taxes for at least 18 years. The reality is that in the middle of a real estate collapse he lost $916 million, which he used to offset gains in following years. The U.S. Income tax code section 469, states that people who spend at least half of their working time developing real estate, can use tax loses to offset other income.  Other people may not do so, but that is the law. The left will use this report as a wedge between the rich and the poor. Ignored is that corporations have losses which they write off against profits. Even Warren Buffet and the Clintons do the same thing. The fact remains that most people would try to mitigate their taxes if they could; why would anyone give their hard earned money to the government if they could reduce their tax burden, only a fool will not do so.

Taxes are not only at the centre of the 2016 U.S presidential election, but they have become a universal issue. With the increase of governments who support multilateralism, there seems to be a trend towards regulations and treaties that will see taxes go up. For example the climate change treaty will affect prices and costs on virtually everything as governments adopt a carbon tax, and of course the increase costs will be passed to consumers.

As the Canadian federal government imposes carbon pricing to fulfill its ideological commitment to the U.N’s climate change Paris Agreement, Canadians will see federal and provincial governments impose new taxes. In a move reminiscent of his father’s NEP, Justin Trudeau just imposed a minimum price of $10 a tonne of carbon emitted in 2018, rising $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022.
In the midst of a severe recession due to collapsing oil prices Alberta, following British Columbia and Ontario, is imposing a carbon tax. All these governmental edicts claim that the revenue collected will be redistributed in one way or another. Reality is that revenues collected are never reduced or equitably redistributed in reality most of the revenue goes to administrative costs and arbitrarily chosen political projects.

Taxes are raised to pay for services and programs, however taxes have become the preferred method to control market forces, and to manifestly redistribute wealth and control consumer behavior. In addition more jurisdictions like local authorities and municipalities are seeking more powers of taxation, adding to the burden of the taxpayer who has only one wallet. Politicians opine that they are improving the middle class, but in reality by their actions are only making the situation worse. The middle class is shrinking, the lower class has become more dependent on government and of course the rich can use tax loopholes to avoid the increasing taxes.

According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian family pays 43% of its income in taxes. This burden includes income tax, payroll tax, health tax, fuel tax sales tax, property tax, import tax, vehicle and driving tax, profit tax and of course ‘sin’ taxes on a variety of goods. In effect Canadians work at least half a year for the government, before they can even start enjoying their hard earned income.

As an accountant I learnt that tax evasion is illegal, and that avoidance was legal. Today, governments especially those from the left, would have you believe that if you do not pay enough taxes that you are not contributing to society. They discard the notion that they squander the revenues and continue to overspend. Increasingly governments view themselves as the arbiter of your wallet.

The latest debate about Trump’s taxes is just the beginning. The left always believes that people should pay a fair share. The question is: what is a fair share, 20%, 50% or even 75% of your income?  Remember that when GM and the Banks incur massive losses the government uses your tax dollars to bail them out.  Governments do not create wealth, entrepreneurship does; and Trump is not a genius, he is astute and most people should acquaint themselves with tax laws and do what he does.