A very rich man argues that rising economic inequality is….bad for politics and bad for the economy.
A very rich man argues that rising economic inequality is….bad for politics and bad for the economy.
The more I ponder the current Liberal government in Canada, the more I realize they really are fatuous. Vapid. Hollow. And they may be really dangerous to the nation’s unity and health.
Our Glorious Leader was in Calgary the other day and was asked about getting oil out of the province. The Prime Minister was addressing the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
“…chamber CEO Sandip Lalli grilled Trudeau on what Ottawa intends to do, including possibly investing in moving crude on trains as a stop-gap measure as new market-opening pipelines remain in limbo.
“You think there’s a super-simple easy answer and there’s not. There’s a multifaceted complex issue and as much as there is a tendency out there in the world to give really simple answers to really complex questions, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that,” Trudeau replied.
“We need to make sure that we’re moving forward in the right way and that is where actually listening to the experts is sort of the best way to make policy.”
Trudeau said the federal government is doing what it can to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, which would triple its capacity to carry oil to tankers on the west coast.”
There are two known ways of getting oil to market: pipelines and trains. Pipelines are less hazardous and cheaper (witness the disaster in Megantic). Either you build pipelines or you buy tank cars for the railroads. This is not complicated. What makes it complicated is that Trudeau and his cabinet of Greens think that, in principle, the fossil fuel industry should not exist. This is the second time that Alberta has faced federal moves to cripple its (and Canada’s) oil industry. This time the blows are being administered by economically illiterate judges rather than Liberal cabinets, as under Trudeau the Elder, but the solutions to this economic illiteracy of the courts are in the hands of the federal government.
In my early days in government (in the regime of Trudeau the Elder), I too received the same speech from my boss at the time. Steepling his fingers, he told me that public policy was multifaceted and complex, and gave me to understand that bulge-o-brains such as himself grappled and wrestled with its complexities. Implied always was that I was welcome to join the Church of Complexity and grapple with Deep Issues, or that I could exile myself in the wilderness of Simplification, or the Simplistic.
Whenever you hear the word “simplistic” you may be sure that you are in the presence of someone who is trying to con you into believing that you are wrong because you, but not they, want a solution and think one is possible.
The solution may be complex, but the will to find one is simple. Therein lies the confusion. Getting half a million troops ashore on D-Day in June 1944 was as complex as any operation ever launched, but the will to send them there was simple.
What Trudeau and his minions lack is the will to solve the Alberta oil shipment problem. It suits their green agenda to destroy the industry as fast as they can, while pretending to be concerned.
It was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself who said in January 2017: “We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels.
“That is going to take time. And, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition.”
Peter Zeihan, the geo-strategist, has said for a long time that Canada is in long-term trouble. His reasons are as follows. Canada is increasingly dependent upon Alberta’s oil, whether through taxes or actual supply. Alberta has the youngest and fastest-growing population. It has to sell its oil in Canadian dollars and buy its equipment in US dollars.The rest of Canada is failing to reproduce, is ageing rapidly, and is becoming more like Japan, which has an even larger problem of ageing and lack of reproduction than we do. Albertans pay $6,000 more per head than they take in revenues, and that figure is rising. They are the only net contributors to equalization. Alberta has the only rate of reproduction above replacement. What solves Alberta’s problem at a stroke, and exacerbates Ottawa’s revenue problem? Alberta joining the US. So argues Zeihan.
See the video. The arguments are persuasive. Another Zeihan video on the same topic is here, even better. Zeihan is too gloomy towards Canada, but his analysis is hard to fault on rational grounds.
Accordingly, I do not believe that Trudeau Junior’s government is up to the task of dealing with the real problems this country faces. I observe them destroying the tax base that supports the ageing Canadian population. Do they care? In order to care, they would have to have a clue. They are clueless. Hence Canada staggers towards long-term disaster, confident in all the wrong things.
A provocative examination of the lingering impact of Blade Runner on the cyberpunk genre:
It is all the fault of fluctuations in CO2. So says Peter Brannen in “The Ends of the World”. This is a terrific book even if you disagree with it, as I do, on no grounds I can think of except that he is a doomist.
Every few scores of millions of years, there have been massive exterminations of species. Brannen relates the best recent evidence for how these extinction events came about. There have been five of them, at least. Usually the underworld opens up and continents of lava spew forth, killing everything in their continent-sized lava flows, and what is not killed directly is then wiped out by ocean acidification (CO2 again). Or so much CO2 is belched out of the ground by volcanism that the planet gets too hot, such as 40C seas at the equator, which is hot-tub hot.
Obviously Brannen thinks that all of current human civilization is pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere with such abrupt speed that nature has no chance of adapting to it.
It is not hard to find a paragraph that supports his contention.
As a result of this innovation [coal burning], human civilization is now propped up by a continuous explosion f energy, a global megametabolism, with hundreds of millions of years worth of sunlight being released all at once in combustion engines and power plants. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of this new civilizational metabolism, and we now emit 100 times more CO2 each years than volcanoes. This far outstrips the ability of the earth’s thermostat to keep up with rock weathering and ocean circulation, operating as those processes do on 1,000- to 100,000 year timescales. (at p. 236)
Nitrogen-fixing from the air, which is the technology that gives rise to artificial fertilizers, is also to blame for runoffs that take the oxygen out of seawater.
And it goes on. We are rapidly wrecking large parts of the planet, and he gives the reasons why this is so.
I must confess that Brannen makes my skepticism about the doomist view more difficult to maintain. However, he is well worth the effort, first because his science is good, second because he points out the enormous spans of time this planet has been around – spans so large that the earth has in effect been several different planets in the course of time – and third, because I think that every global warming/doomist skeptic needs to know the full argument, not just the IPCC version. Brannen has been hanging around with real scientists, not with atmospheric trend projectors and data falsifiers, such as NOAA and HadCrut and the IPCC pseudo-scientific international bureaucrats.
In my view, doomism is justified if we cannot get human population to shrink. There are several ways that the human race will make less impact on the planet in the next few hundred years.
Population reduction through lifestyle changes are already well underway. Everywhere women can guarantee that their children survive, they stop producing more than two children. See Hans Rosling on this issue.
The other traditional method is war, famine, pestilence and death. That is what will happen if we fail, and maybe it will happen anyway. If the world starts to go to hell through ecological disasters, war will inevitably follow, and with it the usual population correctives.
We could reduce population peacefully by conscious choices and end up in prosperity for the remaining few billions who will be found at the end of this process. We could reduce it by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and end up in a low productivity, high birthrate world, such as we began to get out of on the 18th century.
Maybe we are like bacteria on a Petri dish, and our numbers will expand until we die off catastrophically, as we exhaust our resources. That was the view of the biologist Lynn Margulis.
This question was also ably examined, in a more balanced way, by Charles C. Mann in his The Wizard and the Prophet. But Mann’s book, while more balanced than Brannen’s, deals with two scientists with two points of view, doomist and meliorist, whereas Brannen coneys a vast amount of information about how hellish the earth has been in the Great Extinctions that have ravaged the earth over time.
The disturbing aspect of Brannen’s argument is that, in his view, humans are acting as the unconscious agents of destruction. I do not see any happy outcome, but I hope I am spectacularly wrong.
If you wonder why most of Africa after the end of white rule wallows in corruption, poverty and tyranny, yet another lesson was provided recently by the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank, hailed as the first bank in South Africa to be run exclusively by Africans—black Africans, that is.
An official inquiry set up by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has found that: “…its owners stole all the cash and bribed government and local government officials into depositing money in the operation,” as the New Observer reports. Further,
…the SARB report found that R1,894,923,674 (US$ 130 million) was transferred from the Bank to fifty three individuals between 15 March 2015 and 17 June 2018. According to the report, R16,148,569 (US$1.09 million) went to Brian Shivambu, younger brother of the anti-white Economic Freedom Fighter senior politician Floyd Shivambu.
News24 South Africa comments on the recommendation that at least 50 persons be prosecuted:
This includes the bank’s former executives and their associates, shareholder executives, politicians and their relatives and auditors who signed off on the bank’s “fraudulent” financials. The criminal charges should stem from evidence of fraud, corruption and bribery perpetrated by the bank’s leadership and public officials with whom they were in cahoots.
Not only that, the monies accreted by these crooks came from local municipalities controlled by, you guessed it, the African National Congress (ANC), the gang of communist bandits that passes for a government in South Africa. Senior ANC officials were the instigators in fleecing the municipalities, that is, robbing the taxpayers, and channeling the loot to the VBS bank.
The SARB report [available here], entitled “The Great Bank Heist”, makes fascinating reading to the extent that it makes the Mafia look like schoolboy amateurs. The report contains chapters with delicious titles such as “The Extent of the Looting” and “The Methods of Looting and Pillaging”. And, as news24 South Africa reports:
Motau [the main author of the SARB report] also recommends that VBS be wound up (liquidated), as he does not believe there is any prospect of saving it.
“It is corrupt and rotten to the core. Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of authority who is not, in some way or the other, complicit.”
Motau found there was “widescale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS”.
However, the author of the SARB report was not without a sense of irony; the first page begins thus:
More than forty years ago the most daring heist in South Africa’s banking history took place. A group of industrious thieves, led by the elusive Mister Nightingale, skillfully tunneled
their way some twenty -one meters underground into the vault of the Standard Bank in Krugersdorp. The bold bank robbers withdrew the princely sum of R400 000. They disappeared with the loot and no arrests were ever made.
I have, for the past five months, investigated the sorry affairs of the VBS Mutual Bank. My report will reveal that the perpetrators of the heist at VBS made away with almost R2 billion. And they certainly did not put in anything like the hard work and effort of Mister Nightingale and his team.
I trust that, in this case, arrests will be made.
I saw the Thirteenth Warrior again after a gap of many years. My friend, who had never seen it until yesterday, is now another convert to this outrageously wonderful movie.
Let’s face it, it is a national socialist movie. No, I do not mean National Socialist as in a celebration of hideous Hitlerian totalitarian doctrines. It is the story of Beowulf retold, where Grendel becomes a collective monster, a tribe of cannibals who eat humans, and who think they themselves are bears. The humans, northmen all, are fighting for their lives against an apparently superior force of anti-human evil, the Wendol, the collective of cannibals. It is based on the clever Michael Crichton’s story, Eaters of the Dead.
In writing this little article, I came across the negative review by Roger Ebert. Pay him no attention. Lisa Schwarzbaum called it “the most unexpectedly audacious, exhilarating, and wildly creative adventure thriller I have seen in ages”.
As a friend once said, The Thirteenth Warrior is the same movie as Cross of Iron (1977), or Aliens (1986). A group of warriors who think they are the toughest meanest sons of bitches have to take on an overwhelming force of alien evil, and they discover the limits of their powers.
It is also outrageous fun. Watch it with other males.
Lo do I see my father before me
Lo do I see my mother, my sisters, my brothers before me
Lo do I see them back to the Beginning
Lo do I see them in the Halls of Valhalla
Where the brave may live forever!
It will get you pumped. Pajama boys will need to retreat to a safe space to recover.
As the bard says to the Arab diplomat character about the Wendol, after he has killed a few of them, “Don’t worry little brother, there are more!”. That is to say, aliens left to kill. The struggle is eternal.
The fast answer might be “the same thing that makes Jordan Peterson so controversial”, but that would be inaccurate. Their enemies are far closer to each other than Bannon is to Peterson. What their enemies want in each case is to shut them up, to dislodge them from the public stage, to prevent anyone from hearing their arguments.
So what exactly makes Bannon so objectionable? More precisely, why do the lefties of Toronto want to prevent him from appearing at the Munk Debates?
Several organizations banded together Tuesday to call for the event, part of the Munk Debates, to be called off in light of last weekend’s deadly attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
They said giving Bannon a platform to express extreme views contributes to a climate of hatred that can encourage violence against marginalized or racialized groups.
“We’re at an important and terrifying moment as we watch right-wing governments come into power all over the world. The hate we are witnessing is serious — in fact, it is deadly,” said Rachel Epstein of the United Jewish People’s Order.
Ignoring the sinister sound of the United Jewish People’s Order for a moment, why do people object to even hearing Steve Bannon?
Let me recite his arguments from memory.
This set of policies and concerns may be described as nationalist, backward-looking, reactionary, anti-free trade, misguided, or mistaken. It cannot fairly be described as racist or hate-filled. Nor can it be said to be “extreme”, if words are to have any meaning.
But as I have been saying for some time now, all the Left can say these days is “sexist, racist, fascist, nyah nyah nyah”. Their minds have atrophied to the extent that actually confronting reasoned debate is a challenge they would rather not face. Especially as Bannon, not they, is defending the interests of the working classes. Long ago the Left abandoned the working classes and has sought to get the Supreme Court (in the States and Canada) to do for them what votes could not.
And who is the United Jewish People’s Order? It is here: https://www.winchevskycentre.org/staff.
My kind of obnoxious zealots.
This from our social betters at the CBC, by Don Murray:
“I stood on the border between Hungary and Austria as the gates opened in September 2015 and the refugees flowed through, most to be taken by train to Munich. People cheered. Europe, and much of the world, applauded.
But beside me a German cameraman from Bavaria muttered, “The Germans aren’t going to like this.”
I was surprised and dismissive, but I shouldn’t have been. The Germans swallowed and took in an estimated one million refugees, but almost from that moment Merkel’s popularity began to drop. And just as significantly, the AfD, which was born as an anti-euro and European Union party, shifted dramatically. Its target now became immigrants and refugees, and it rose dramatically in the opinion polls.”
In older times the CBC had a few old European refugees from Nazis and Communists, people who knew which end was up, like Joe Schlesinger, of blessed memory, a Czech Jew. CBC had a few people who had seen combat, or reported on it close up, like the elder Mathew Halton. Nowadays the better sort of commenter is a downtown Toronto Volvo-driver who would know what lies north of the 416.
Here we see a man watching a vast column of Islamic refugees, mostly male, mostly of military age, and he is incapable of seeing the implications of what is before his eyes. This is an invasion. And ineluctably the Cologne mass attack on German females followed. Duh! What is it about Islam these idiots do not understand? Oh! Everything!
As a German friend of mine said: “These people all lost their passports somehow but kept their cellphones”.
Finally, Angela Merkel, pounded by electoral defeats, has decided not to run for re-election as party chairman but not actually resign as Chancellor until the next elections in 2021. Imagine the long drawn-out death scene.
The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats are each being hammered by the electorate, and no wonder. The AfD on the right and the Greens on the left are gaining.
I asked my Austrian correspondent for his views this morning. He writes:
Well, [Merkel is a] lame duck for sure, but she’s working hard to implant her clone, Annegret
Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), as her legacy, and the CDU has been completely castrated – no
leadership potential and substance left.
AKK is certified charisma- and thought-free, just as AM
Some people throwing their hat in the ring now:
Her old enemy Friedrich Merz is just another European superstate cheerleader.
The guy from NRW (North Rhein Westphalia) , Armin Laschet, is a walking joke.
Then there’s Jens Spahn, 38, gay, a bit of a hipster, a tad more conservative – that’d be the best option (and not much at that).
You’d have to be a special breed of idiot to take over the party at this point and leave Merkel as chancellor to continue driving Germany against the wall, just to be ready to take the blame for the next election disaster.
what I do not understand is – the greens are going through the roof and now routinely overtake the SPD, which is fried and in free fall.
Obviously the shit hasn’t hit the fan hard enough; Germans are – I am sorry – an electoral idiocracy and wholehearted preference falsifiers. As long as the CDU is in this sorry state I don’t see that trend abating
So – no great cheers coming from over here.
Jack Ziegler was the sharpest, funniest New Yorker cartoonist. I have been missing him for over a year now and I had wondered whether the New Yorker was purging male cartoonists of talent. That would be consistent with its rabidly anti-Trump political posturing. Alas! It was worse than this. Jack died last year at the early age of 74.
If you ever want to buy a great, and enduringly funny, book, get yourself a copy of his hardback collection about drinking alcohol, Olive or Twist? My wife and I found it in a Halifax bar chained to the counter, and I know why it was guarded so carefully. We laughed steaduly for half and hour as we perused the cartoons. I ordered a copy immediately. Do yourself a favour, and buy one. It will bring joy to your heart for years, and a good guffaw every few months when you re-read it.
I had thought that New Yorker cartoons had fallen in quality under the editorship of Bob Mankoff, but he is no longer in that position. The recent decline is matched by the increasing number of twee female cartoonists. I also ascribe the decline to the New Yorker’s pervasive leftist mindset, which is infecting the cartoons. When I say I only read the New Yorker for the cartoons, I am not kidding, and only slightly exaggerating.