Thursday, October 22, 2015

O, Canada!

Oh, Canada, indeed as voters on Monday ended nine years of Conservative party rule and swept Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to power.
It was not even close as the third party, the Liberals, went from 34 seats to a staggering 184 out of 338 seats, a solid majority. And it was not just the ruling Conservatives that were vanquished but the opposition, far-left New Democrats that suffered losses as well. The New Democrats lost 59 seats and is now back to being the third party and has 44 seats. The Conservatives lost 67 seats and is a stronger opposition party than the Liberals were for this election. The Conservatives have 99 seats.
The Liberals meteoric rise from the ashes can be summed up in two words.
Justin Trudeau.
Mr. Trudeau is the son of the late Liberal Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the clan is essentially the Kennedy family of the Great White North. The Montreal-Toronto dominated media elevated Mr. Trudeau to a God-like status while it became clear he did a terrible job as PM. But he was an "intellectual" and let's face it, that trumps anything even and including strong leadership. Sure, Mr. Trudeau suppressed terrorism and kept Canada together, at the expense of making French-speaking Quebec a nation within a nation and forcing the nation to become a bilingual one. And his economic record was standard, liberal fare and proved to further alienate the economically stronger prairie provinces and British Columbia.
To be blunt, Justin Trudeau is not even in the same league as his father was. Justin Trudeau is but a dilettante much like the late John F. Kennedy, Jr.
But damn if he is not good looking and has that family name.
Very hard for the soon to be ex-prime minister, Stephen Harper, to go up against.
In comparison, one can compare Prime Minister Harper to Mitt Romney running up against Barack Obama.
No doubt that the Conservatives hurt themselves with some less than savory candidates that made rude comments against First Nation (Native Americans, Eskimos, Indians) people. Also, the economy is beginning to stagnate due to international pressures. Some Canadians saw Prime Minister Harper as wanting to be more like the neighbors to the South, the United States. Yet Prime Minister Harper is openly very much a Canadian nationalist.
But one aspect of a Canadian election compared to an American one is that it is not a popular-vote election. Because it is a parliament and a first past the post system, it is actually 338 separate elections. Think of it as a perpetual congressional mid-term. It is the leader of the majority party that usually forms the government. Even if it is not 170 seats in the case of this past election. Prime Minister Harper led two majority-minority governments before winning an outright majority prior to this election. Another aspect of Canadian elections is that the sitting prime minister can call for elections anytime before the fixed, four-year term ends.
With a 14-seat majority, Justin Trudeau has four years to see what he can do.
It maybe four long years for Canada.
Oh, Canada, indeed.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Cost Of The Scandinavia Welfare State

With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-Vt.) running for president, he is the closest candidate that promotes a Scandinavia-style welfare state. it is worth analyzing what the cost of such a state is really like.
Scandinavia are also referred to as the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
The dirty little secret is that there is one three word reason the Scandinavian nations can afford a welfare state with a dab of capitalism.
The United States.
One of the reasons all the Scandinavian nations can do what they do is that they spend very little on defense spending. They all have small armed forces, including marginal navies and equally marginal air forces. They joined NATO and thus depend on the United States with it's still strong defense budgets and being the world's last superpower. Even with the cuts in defense spending, the Scandinavians can depend on the United States to help rescue them if there is some kind of military conflict.
So why is the Scandinavian model something the United States should avoid at all costs.
One, it is expensive with questionable results.
Two, it does not work.
Let's take a look at someone that lives in Denmark and see what it is like to live there.
In this article from earlier this year, the writer, Michael Booth, makes the point that American liberals/leftists love to point out the fact a McDonald's worker can easily make $15 an hour. And that more than 50% are sliced off the top in taxes. In fact for the average Scandinavian, as much as 60% of their income is taken away in taxes before they see what they can take home. In return there are a lot of "freebies" including free life-time education from cradle to grave. Same for health care for this is the land of single-payer, government-run health care. There are boatloads of mandates to the so-called private-sector economy that make it such almost in name only. Mandated, paid maternity leave for both parents, vacation time, sick time. You get the picture.
Here is an idea of the cost of living in the capital city, Copenhagen. This site says that of this writing, the Danish krone is 6.57 to the American dollar. So let's look at the link of the cost of living to see how much a very average car, a Volkswagen Golf costs. It is an average of 275,273 krone or $41,898.48c. How much does that car cost in the United States? At the Volkswagen website, the starting price is $20.175. It is more than half off the Danish price.
Why is that?
Ahh, there is the Value Added Tax, better known as a VAT that is cooked into the price of many items, especially big ticket items. This would be a way that big-government proponents would like to fund their plans to offer free college for all and even pay for single-payer healthcare. Of course the downside is that people will not be inclined to buy big ticket items if they do not have to.
But if you have that new Volkswagen Golf, how much is gas gonna cost ya? \
Well, almost triple the price of gas in the States. How about $6.34c a gallon? A fill 'er up? If the Golf has a 17.5 gallon gas tank, a cool $110.95c. Again, the tax is cooked in the price and thus it is hidden. Which is how it is in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia.
Wanna take the family, mom, dad and two kids to the local McDonalds? Well, four combo meals cost a total of 280 krone or 70 krone each. That is $10.65c each. Roughly what one would pay at an airport in the States.
High taxation and low productivity are a disaster and only now, with the massive declining native birthrates, there seems to be a willingness of all Scandinavian governments to take in mainly Middle East, Muslim immigrants. New taxpayers.
But another downside is the fact that when all is taken care of you by the state, one's total well being cannot always be dealt with by the state.
According to Mr. Booth, the Scandinavian nations lead the world in suicides and the taking of anti-depressants. Also, and this is a surprise, these nations also are European leaders in violence against women. In this article, the Scandinavians are prolific binge drinkers. In Finland, Russian-adjacent, the leading cause of death among men in alcoholism. It is the second leading cause of death among women.
What Scandinavia celebrates is averageness. It does not really celebrate success. It is why those that can get the hell out. In many Scandinavian nations, leading hockey players that land NHL contracts know that if they stay citizens of their native land it will be massively taxed. Many, not all but many, realize their success is not something the home nation appreciates except as a big tax and thus many become American citizens.
Averageness leads to lack of innovation and or drive. In other words, Bill Gates could not really do what he did in any Scandinavian nation. Medical advances do not happen as often as in other developed nations. It is not to say some advances have not occurred in Scandinavian nations. But overall, even today, it is the United States that leads to innovation and yes, drive.
When Sen. Sanders touts Scandinavia, especially Denmark, he is asking for America to give up it's unique role in the world and celebrate averageness that we do not want to celebrate or make national policy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Come To This

This is modern America, folks.
The land of the lawsuit for anything culture.
Let's meet this douchebrain, Jennifer Connell and why she is a candidate for douchebrain of the year. Hell, the decade.
Miss Connell is a human resources specialist that lives in Manhattan, New York. She went to help her nephew, Sean Tarala, celebrate his birthday in 2011. At the time he was an exuberant youngster celebrating his eighth birthday. And when he saw his aunt, an aunt that he seemed to really love, he went to say hello in a special, rambunctious eight year old boy way. Sean jumped up to say hey. Landed in her arms and they fell to the ground. And apparently, Miss Connell broke her wrist as a result of her nephew's exuberance.
I guess she did not believe little Sean when he said, in her words, "Auntie Jen! I love you!"
This is the basis of her lawsuit against, not the parents, but now 12-year-old Sean, is this:

“The injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable eight years old under those circumstances would know or should have known that a forceful greeting such as the one delivered by the defendant to the plaintiff could cause the harms and losses suffered by the plaintiff.”

Yes, every eight year old boy surely knows to greet ol' Aunt Jen on bent knee and kissing her hand. 
Oh, didn't I mention that Miss Connell is a human resources specialist?! 
And didn't I mention that she sought $127,000 from SEAN? 
What human being does such a thing to another? 
A useless gold digger, that's who. 
I think that one should not share with a jury that she was having trouble holding a plate of hors d'ovures. Or that because she lives in a walk up in Manhattan she should get the $127,000. 
Boy, Miss Connell must have sure learned a lot in her job to take such a vindictive action against a boy that loved her. 
The jury in the case only took 20 minutes to tell this nit wit no way. That Sean Tarala is not liable for her breaking her wrist and or anything else. What happened was a total fluke. 
As for Miss Connell, there is a special place for her and we all know where that is! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Infantilization Of California

Yes, the state of California thinks that we are so stupid that they are making pharmacists have a conversation with you whenever you get any new medications.
I found this out the hard way yesterday.
On our way home from church, we took a side trip to our pharmacy to pick up a couple of nose sprays and a anti-biotic. We are going through the drive-thru and Mrs. RVFTLC tells the nice lady that there are 3 prescriptions for yours truly. The nice lady comes back with the medicine and proceeds to tell us that because they are new prescriptions, I have to have the pharmacist give me a consultation. But she was the only one available. Too bad she was at lunch. I was told I could wait a half hour or come back. I chose to come back and I did so today.
So I went to pick up the prescriptions, of which one of the nose sprays was not approved, a tale for another time. I also had additional prescriptions that needed to be filled. The nice gentleman was going to simply give me all my medicine without the consultation that I was told had to be done. So I proceeded to ask for the consultation. The nice pharmacist did what she was supposed to do and told me about each medication.
I wasted her time to make a point.
Whether it is an old medicine or a new medicine, all drug stores provide the reasons one's doctor gave you the medication. The dosage and when to take the medicine. All the possible side effects. In other words, whatever the pharmacist told me, I could easily read on my own.
The reason is not store policy but a California state law that makes an often overworked pharmacist have to take time to do something the consumer should do on their own.
It is why I believe our state government has infantilized us California citizens.
When my doctor prescribed the said medicine, he told me why and how often to take it. His nurse had already asked if I was allergic to medication, to which I said no. The doctor looked over the medicine information that I provided before making the prescription choices. Again, all important information is provided on stickers on the medication bottle and usually two sheets of often scary information. Not unlike the many medicine commercials one sees on television commercials.
Now, the state has added a layer of needless time-wasting when if any patient has a question or questions about new medicine they can always ask.
What is this to help the timid people that can't ask a question? Is this to do a CYA* for pharmacists?
Folks, it is a waste of time for all concerned.
I don't need to be told I can not get my medicine until I have a state-mandated consult with the pharmacist who is taking a needed lunch break. And when I come back the next day another pharmacy tech is just going to hand me all my medication without a consult.
How much more do our over paid, under worked state legislators need to get into our grills? How much more do they need to treat the populace like dweebs and morons.
Sure this is one thing. But as more and more of this bull crap keeps coming from our seers in Sacramento, it adds up.
We need to stop ignoring or saying something like we can't fight these ridiculous pieces of legislation. We need to take our lives back and this is a place to start.
I for one am writing my California state assemblyman and state senator to revisit this bad law and repeal it. And to start treating adults as such and stop even thinking of such crap. If you value being treated like an adult and live in California, you will do the same thing.
We have to stop the continuing infantilization of the California citizenry and here is a place to start.

*CYA-Cover Your A*s

Thursday, October 08, 2015


This morning Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) abruptly ended his quest to become speaker of the house of representatives in a closed-door meeting with the Republican house caucus.
The linked story talks about the fact that support for Rep. McCarthy crumbled after his remarks regarding the formation of the select committee on the events of Benghazi and now Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's knowledge of events during her tenure as secretary of state.
But buried in the link is what I believe to be the real reason.
No, it is not pressure from grassroots conservatives as much as this letter from Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) wanting to properly vet potential candidates for speaker for skeletons in their closet from the time of being in congress.
How refreshing.
Could it be true? Something that I have reported on here which I have read here. That in fact, Rep. McCarthy is indeed having an affair with a fellow member of the house, Rep Renee Elmers (R-N.C.). Who by coinkidink is from the same state as the devout Roman Catholic, Rep. Jones.
The official line from Rep. McCarthy that it is time for a new face to be in the top leadership position. And he is completely correct.
The troika of current speaker, John A. Boehner (R-Oh.), Rep. McCarthy and Steve Scalise (R-La.) have taken ineptitude to a high level. And have been absolutely terrible at communicating simple messages and or themes. All we have to do is look to Rep. McCarthy and his comments on the Benghazi committee as proof of ineptitude.
Bu the bottom line is the inability to communicate an effective conservative alternative to the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama. He is running roughshod over the majority party in the congress. And even with basically 50/50 support at best and for the most part running underwater in poll after poll, at least the Dear Leader, President Obama, looks like he is doing something.
Sorry but it is not enough that excuses are made that oh, the president will just veto anything that should miraculously come out of congress that he does not like. It puts him on record that he has danced around with rhetorical flourishes. It's called being the opposition party.
I hope that this latest development makes this man, Jim Jordan, think about getting into the race for speaker. I believe that he, not current leadership, can effectively unite all forces in the house and become an effective opposition to the Dear Leader, President Obama, in the waning days of his second and final term.
Now that Rep. McCarthy is out, is the question to ask who else is out of the running or who is in the running?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Is This Good Stewardship?!

I will just say that this is a perplexing tale of politics and religion that make me as the headline question.
According to this article, the former Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate, John Ellis Jeb! Bush, charged St. Martin's Episcopal church $50,000 for a speech a year ago September and it was on  . . .stewardship.
This is what a church does to encourage people to give money and or more money?!
Let me write this.
If my church spent that kind of money to encourage people to give more money to pay for the functions of the church and it's outreach ministries, we would probably recall our vestry, the governing board, and ask for our rector and or priest-in-charge to be removed.
You have to understand that St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Houston, is the largest and one of the wealthiest churches in The Episcopal Church. It has some of the cream of the crop of the Houston establishment as members including former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. And Mr. Bush's top long-time crony, James A. Baker. That is just the political establishment. You get the picture that this is high-end folks.
There is no doubt in my mind that this church could have found something more worthy than lining the pockets of the then future Republican presidential candidate.
I do agree that it takes money to make money, but giving one's time, talent and or money for one's church is not the same thing.
People will do the above if they believe in what the church has done, is doing and will be doing in the future. Yes, there needs to be encouragement, but to spend $50,000 to encourage people to give more to a church seems strange. And to giving to a son of a particular parish as is Jeb! Bush just has cheese written all over it.
I have been to many a stewardship dinner in my 23+ years at my Episcopal church and the most exciting, if one can say that, was held at a private country club. Probably paid for by the member and used as a tax write off as a charitable contribution. Not a give me $50,000 and I might give some of it back.
The Episcopal Church is not a "tithing" church in the sense that everyone is expected to give a tenth of their income, based on the Holy Bible, but more what they can and when they can not, use one's time and or talent in such a way that can be beneficial to the particular parish. Many a communicant/congregant do give a tenth of their salary to the church. Some more, some less and some can't give money at all.
The best way of encouragement I have found are the personal stories of those that have been touched in a positive way by the church's ministries. It is knowing that which has made us dig deep to pledge more than we might have in the past.
But to be honest, Mrs. RVFTLC and I would really have a hard time with a famous person speaking at a stewardship dinner and making off with a speaking fee as if this was just another notch of speaking fees. Which I think in any other setting is cool. If any group and or organization wants to pay a fixed fee for any famous person to speak, mazeltov.
But the cheese factor in which Jeb! Bush charges a HIGHER speaking fee from a church is, well disgusting.
That, to me, is not good stewardship. Even if the church can afford it.
This is but one more reason I do not find Jeb! Bush an attractive candidate for president.

H/T:  Jeff Bradshaw.

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Politics Of Mass Murders

It is not very often that you will read it on this blog, but for once Donald J. Trump is right about something.
And surprisingly, the Dear Leader, President Obama, is wrong.
Yesterday another mass murder took place and this time it was at a community college in Southwestern Oregon that took the lives of 10 people and injured another seven. It was an act of madness as is seemingly all of these mass killings have been. They always are.
My friend and fellow blogger, Mr. Social Extinction, juxtaposed the reaction of the current GOP front-runner for president, the Donald, and that of the Dear Leader, President Obama.
It appears that, of course, the Donald is cold and almost callous when you just read what is below:

"You're going to have these things happen and it's a horrible thing to behold, horrible. It's not politically correct to say that, but you're going to have that will be for the next million years, there's going to be difficulty and people are going to slip through the cracks. what are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?"

Good question since in almost all cases there is some kind of mental issue involved. And we will not completely know because this gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, was killed by police that arrived on the scene of the carnage. Of course there are many accounts on Mr. Mercer's life, but one thing is clear that there was some kind of issue. Mr. Mercer graduated from the Switzer Learning Center in 2010. It is a high school that specializes in youths with learning disabilities. It is a broad term, learning disabilities. But more will come out, that is certain. And to note, Mr. Mercer had multiple weapons that, at this writing, he passed all the background checks and appeared to purchase legally.
Which leads to the Dear Leader, President Obama.
We know that he is pissed off because the gloves came off in a news conference yesterday.
An aside.
Why do we have to hear from any president on such a situation before everything is known? Whoever the next president is, I sure as hell do not want hear that president go on the air to pontificate without ascertaining all the facts. Period.
Now back to the Dear Leader, President Obama.
Why now, instead of just offering prayers and condolences, the Dear Leader, President Obama, said that we should just out and out politicize these events until there is "sensible" gun control laws.
Of course.
And now the Dear Leader, President Obama, claims that there is something "routine" about these reports. No, in fact these are still isolated incidents. That is why it is still big news.
But then the Dear Leader, President Obama, outright lied when he claimed that states and or localities that have strict gun laws have less violent crime. May I remind the president that his hometown of Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions and the highest murder, murder, rate at the hands of guns than many states with such laws as open-carry. And let me throw in a few cities like Baltimore, Detroit, and now even Los Angeles that the murder rate at the hands of a gun are up drastically.
So here is what our Dear Leader, President Obama, had to say about this matter:

"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine. And what becomes routine is the response those who oppose any sort of gun control legislation."

Let me remind the readers here that the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the Democrats controlled the legislative (congress) and executive branches for the first two years of his presidency. And the senate was a veto-proof one at that. Hell, he could have done what he cited yesterday, the massive gun confiscation done in Australia after a mass shooting in 1996. And it was done under a conservative government there. Of course it would have been ruled unconstitutional under that pesky second amendment to the United States constitution. It reads in it's entirety:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,  the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 

I highlight people because it means law abiding citizens that could be called up in the case of war and or insurrection.
The American left hates this and intentionally blurs the plain meaning every chance that it gets. And here it is once again.
While the Donald often makes little if any sense and has a sketchy record on gun control, his statement made perfect sense. All the laws other than outright confiscation of all firearms might have stopped this. But reality is that it probably would not have done a thing.
Thus, mass murders will constantly be a source of great division for many Americans. But it would behoove Americans to have a sane, tempered approach rather than a knee-jerk We can solve the problem if only.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Is The American Left Intentionally Diminishing Our Role As The Leader Of The Free World?

Of course they are.
Think about this for just a moment.
The Middle East is about to become a vassal state of Russia/Syria/Iran on one side and Sunni/The Islamic State/Israel on another. What is the current administration's standing in all of this? Essentially letting Russia and Vladamir Putin prop up the Bashar al-Assad regime of terror, by extension allowing Iran to join in the fun and their vassal state within a state, Hezbollah (the state within the "borders" of Lebanon) trolling for enemies to their Shia branch of Islam.
And a seemingly unholy alliance of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and yes, Saudi Arabia and even more perplexing but understandable, the Islamic state, all Sunni's except for Israel, obviously.
The result of this war has been a mass exodus of people from the region to Europe, well pretty much everywhere that will in one way or another take them.
This is just one way America is weakened in the world.
But is this all by design?
The reason I believe that it is the case is simple.
Defense spending, the most important and only constitutionally mandated duty of the federal government, takes a huge bulk of spending that the left would like to see spread out in other ways. The only way to cut defense spending is to curb our role in the world. Once that is done then more of the defense budget can be cut and funnelled into favored left-wing programs.
Do you remember growing up seeing something that went like this:

It will be a great day when the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

That was because of schools having to hold fundraisers for various things. In a perfect world, I could agree with that. But unlike the lefties that still today parade that around, I live in the real world. A world in which there are nations and radical ideologies that would love to destroy our way of life. Radical Islam does not care if we hold a bake sale for a bomber or spend more money on education. They have their own, perverse, ideas about education. Iran looks to us as some Great Satan. We have to be put in our place. And bye-bye to Israel.
But why? Why would we either outsource and or abdicate our role in the world?
Because at the end of the day, to complete the Europeanization of the United States, the defense forces, again the only constitutionally mandated entity called for in the constitution, must be gutted. And that includes the State department and the C. I. A  as well. Once all of that is done, the left will make a case to expand the welfare state beyond the wildest dreams of even 20 years ago.
So yes, the American left, led by the Dear Leader, President Obama himself, is trying desperately to lower our standing and prestige around the world. There is even a segment of the isolationist right that would welcome this, but for different reasons.
Once that is done, then the Great Society can ramp up in earnest.
The fact is that, like it or not, the United States is the only superpower in the world that is a responsible one. The other actors such as Red China and Russia  could go half-cocked over something most would find innocuous. Without a strong United States at home and abroad, can you imagine what would happen if things continue to deteriorate in such places as the Middle East?
It is all the more reason that the Republicans need to nominate someone who has a clue on how a responsible superpower is supposed to act.
Because we all know the Democrats and the left-wing will not allow an actual candidate that believes in what we call American Exceptionalism.
As long as the left continues to diminish our role around the world, it becomes clear that they do not care. And that is a tragedy for the United States.