Sunday, 9 September 2018

Progressives, but no progress

As the U.S. mid-term elections approaches, Obama comes out of retirement to spew some more divisive progressive rhetoric. Still trying to save his failed legacy he accuses Trump of endangering democracy and takes credit for a booming economy. As the Democrats move further to the left, Obama ignores that hope and change never came when he was President, but that real progress is now underway.

Let us look at the facts under Obama. For eight years the GDP was 2% and he said that was the new normal. Those certain jobs would never come back. The unemployment rate did not go down; there were more people on food stamps than at any time in U.S history. More importantly the hope that he touted for never happened for the African American worker. Wage rates were static. These are some of the facts about the economy under Obama.

His appeasement policies created a real problem in the Middle East. Syria and Iran are now aligned with Russia. Chemical weapons were used frequently and his red line was crossed many times without any response. Furthermore his Iran Nuclear deal was accompanied by billions of dollars delivered in cash aboard a cargo plane: money now being used by Iran to support terrorism around the world. The real Russian collusion was between Obama and Putin when he was heard to say to President Medvedev to inform Putin : “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility”.

As for divisiveness, Obama created a culture that is now common among progressives. If you disagreed with him, you were a racist, if you were for borders and legal immigration, you were xenophobic, and if you were against Jihadists, you were Islamophobic. Today Democrats and the so-called resistance use epithets to describe anything that conservatives believe in. This culture of divisiveness now permeates campuses everywhere. Free speech is being stifled for the sake of political correctness. Obama divided the country, and perhaps the world along dangerous lines never seen before since the Nazi era in Germany. Entitlement and the lack of respect for existing laws is now normal. Under Obama, we have seen the rise of racist organizations like Black Lives Matter, and the Antifa movement and of course the idea of ‘white privilege’.

Now let us contrast Obama’s record to Trump’s: The second quarter GDP was 4.2 percent, unemployment 3.9 percent lowest in 50 years. Unemployment among African American at an all-time low of 6.6 percent, was 4.8 percent for Hispanics, 3.6 percent for whites, and 2.7 percent for Asian-Americans. The numbers of regulations which have been stifling the economy for years have been cut. Despite the hiccups of the North Korean summit, there has been no missile or nuclear test since the meeting. Despite the possibility of a trade war, Trump is trying to abolish as many tariffs with other trading nations. Now, his tactics may be unorthodox, his language may be bombastic and sometimes downright arrogant, but we must remember that he is not a politician in the old mold, and more importantly he is doing exactly what he promised during his electoral campaign.

I do not like the term ‘fake news’, but I will definitely label the media as biased. The media continuously publishes reports which are always negative about Trump’s administration. Everyday there is a barrage of attacks or reports of chaos in the White House. Books are being written to discredit him, claiming that he is unstable and perhaps mentally incapacitated.  His use of Twitter has a lot to do with the way that the press views him; his combative nature often fuels the debate. Despite all this, it is uncommon to see him get any credit for anything. On the other hand, the media is now praising the ‘third-coming’ of Obama. The so-called ‘resistance’ has not yet been able to digest the fact that Trump was elected as an antidote to the Obama presidency, which would have continued under Clinton.
Even worse, as a Canadian I am frustrated to see and read the news, which every day starts with a criticism of Trump’s policies. They very often ignore the dismal performance of the vacuous and incompetent Prime Minister Trudeau. The Canadian economy is stagnant in comparison to our neighbor; NAFTA negotiations are at a standstill due to the inability of the government to see the difference between economics and social issues. The Canadian government, instead of coming with new ideas, is counting on their progressive friends in Congress to do their bidding to stop Trump’s negotiating tactics.
Those who lament Trump’s election would like to bring back their entitlement polices , bigger government, more regulations, and appeasement, while stifling free speech, which apparently is now  the divine right of the left. The so-called ‘deep state’ will do anything to disrupt the Trump’s presidency.

Yes. The midterm elections are important, for U.S and the world. Should the Democrats win the House of Representatives, it will be chaos for the next two years. Impeachment of the President will take centre stage, foreign affairs will take a back stage, and the economic gains may be stalled. Trump’s opponents are wishing for a return of the Democrats, ignoring that today’s Democrats are no longer progressives but are now real socialists verging on the communists. This is how far left they have become.

Those who wish for a return to Obama’s past Presidency should remember that there is no progress under Progressives.

Monday, 3 September 2018

The new Davis Cup

As I watched 2018 US Open I cannot be more pleased with the rise of young Canadian players Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Denis Shapovalov. Despite the retirement of Daniel Nestor from competition, Canada has other players in the wings that can eventually, and very soon, be real contenders to win the Davis Cup. Milos Raonic, is still a pillar of  team Canada, and Vasek Pospisil the doubles Wimbledon Champion is our go to doubles player. However , as a former Tennis Canada Board of Director in my view there is a cloud over the World Cup of Tennis.

The  Davis Cup will see major changes to the competition. Beginning in 2019, 24 nations will compete in a home-or-away qualifying round in February, with the 12 winners advancing to the final tournament. Joining the qualified teams will be the four semifinalists from the previous year, plus two wild-card teams, who need to be in either the top 50 of the Davis Cup rankings or have a top-10 singles player to be eligible.

As a long time tennis enthusiast and administrator, I find that these changes will be detrimental to the development of the game. There is no doubt that the playing season has become too long and put the top players at greater risk of injuries. However changing the format of the Davis Cup, but adding two new events like the Laver Cup and the NextGen event goes contrary to the argument of too long a season.

The format that has been used for 117 years gave smaller nations the opportunity to stage an event with the best players of the world involved.. It provided the opportunity for tennis fans to watch their national players at home in a small venue, Who can forget the final rubber in Edmonton when Andrew Sznajder took the newly crowned French Open Champion, Andres Gomez of Ecuador, to fifth set? How about the inspiring defeat of world number one Stephan Edberg, by a young Daniel Nestor in Vancouver? These performances are etched in our memory and helped to create a new generation of players. Under the new format, it is unlikely that Canadians in towns like Halifax, Vancouver or Calgary, will be able to see a Davis Cup tie between Raonic/Shapovalov against Federer/Wawrinka on Canadian soil surrounded by a sea of Maple Leaf Flags.

The new format will cause two things to happen. Smaller nations with no large facilities will never stage the Davis Cup. The event will be staged only by countries with large facilities and be a money grab like the Olympics.