Archive for October, 2008

Harper’s New Regime

So Stevie Boy unveiled his new cabinet, calling it the ‘right team for these times‘ which really is a joke. I mean to begin with, not even a symbolic move to show restraint, as he increases the number of cabinet posts from a whopping 31 to an even larger 38 positions. Cost of Government just rose, but did your income? But hey, that’s our Stevie Boy, always making sure that the right people are well looked after, and as for the rest, well, who needs ’em, right Stevie Boy?

Harper increased his cabinet to 38 members from 31, and now has 11 women in cabinet, up from seven previously. (source – CBC News)

It really is rather sad, to see how Harper is stacking his deck, making sure that his party faithful are all well looked after will cushie jobs, added pay, while the Economy is in a major slump. I mean the dollar is up, but still at about 18¢ below the weak US Dollar. Inflation is over 3% but he increases the size of Cabinet by 20%.

And talk about some real big changes. I mean wise cracking Gerry Ritz remains at Agriculture, which is like a total insult to everyone who got sick or suffered a loss during the recent Listerios Outbreak. Mind you, Stevie Boy didn’t see anything wrong in the wisecracks, after all it was aimed at the Liberals, therefore fair play.

If Harper really wanted the Right Team, he should have canned Flaherty and come on, Stockwell Day as International Trade? Then too, keeping his good racist buddy Vic Toews at Treasury, shows that Stephen Harper hasn’t a clue as to what it means to LEAD. He had paid his party hacks off, kept his cronies in their jobs, while around him the Good Ship Lollipop continues to sink. Toews & Flaherty have clearly shown they aren’t suited for any cabinet post, let alone major posts like Treasury & Finance.

If Flaherty had any brains, or economic sense, we wouldn’t be in the crisis we are, nor would our Industry be in such poor shape, but then again, isn’t that Stevie Boy’s plan? To destroy our Economic Fabric, so we will be easier to absorb into the failed US System, and give them the needed resources they need, to stay afloat?

Ignatieff also criticized Harper’s decision to keep Flaherty as finance minister.

“Keeping Mr. Flaherty says our economic policy so far has been good for Canadians. We in the Liberal opposition think it’s been bad for Canada, because he made some tax cuts that left us no room to help Canadians in tough times.” (source – CBC News)

Then we do have a new Foreign Affairs Minister who somehow thinks we are well positioned Internationally, and are in a great position to work with the new administration in Washington. Like how does he figure that one out? I does he really think John McCain is going to win, because I don’t see Stevie Boy getting along with a Barack Obama. That guy at least is honest, and at the same time, he is showing how tough of a guy he is, beating back not only the smear tactics of the likes of Hilary Rodham Clinton, but the Republican Party. So he should be a good match for George Bush’s little tag along Stevie. So Mr. Cannon may need to wake up a lot sooner, because he is obviously dreaming now.

Serious issues face the world, largely due to Bush and the Conservative mantra of letting Big Business run free. Economies are in serious risk, globally, thanks to a total lack of restraint, of regulation over the private sector. It is serious, because these greed merchants are still trying to lay waste to regulatory agencies, which are needed more than ever, today. Tougher rules need to be created, and like I really expect Flaherty or Ritz or anyone in Stevie Boy’s bloated new cabinet to do that? I THINK NOT.

It is an interesting theory, that if you give breaks to the big boys on top, that they in turn will pass the deals down the ladder. It is like water, it doesn’t flow uphill but downhill, and the Conservatives seem to enjoy the idea of giving big tax breaks to the big players in Industry, ignoring the lower ones on the food chain, and the result of such action, is economic chaos today.

To begin with, the mantra that the market place will make the necessary adjustments, to correct excesses, is just pure bullshit. While the taxpayer is bleeding, forced really to bail out these greedy merchants, the bleeding continues.

WHY? If the trickle down theory actually worked, surely spending over a TRILLION DOLLARS would have had some slowing effect on the impact on us lower on the food chain, yet it seems to only get worse, not better.

Now in Canada, we have the auto parts makers needing upwards of a Billion Dollars, and we aren’t hearing them ask for tax breaks either, we are hearing them ask for cold hard CASH. Just as Mr. Duceppe stated in the debates, when companies are losing money, tax credits really doesn’t help them, if they are fortunate enough to be in that league. Those who aren’t, well a tax credit isn’t even any good for wiping their arses after a poop.

In the letter, Fedchun stressed that the companies need cash, not tax breaks, because most have no taxable income.

The immediate problem, he said, is a U.S. financial crisis that has dried up loans to would-be car buyers, even those with good credit, in the world’s biggest market, the United States. “This is important to the Canadian automotive industry because 80 per cent of finished vehicles and 62 per cent of auto parts are exported to the U.S.,” he said. (source – CBC News)

General Motors got tax breaks, they close down plants and move it across the border. Volvo did the same thing, and it is the Canadian Worker who pays the price, at both ends. See, that is what the Conservatives don’t seem to quite grasp, that while they are giving breaks to these big corporations, they still have to pay for all the services and needs of a country. So it is the money they earn from our taxes, that keeps them in the black, so to speak.

Truth is, that if we support the little guy, the guys like you and me that work at our daily jobs day in, day out, then we will keep those companies vibrant, and fiscally afloat, from our purchases. Yet it seems that Harper & Bush don’t see it that way. I mean come on, who is the one buying the cars? Is it Bill Gates who helps keep GM afloat, or is the tens of thousands who work for a living, who need a car to get to work, to get the kids to schools?  WE ARE THE ONES WHO KEEP BIG BUSINESS AFLOAT, though frankly, I am wondering why.

This whole mantra of giving them the breaks to trickle down is just hot air. It is really about giving those who can donate tens of thousands of dollars to their endless campaigns that is at the heart of the Conservative Tax Cuts. It isn’t about helping them compete in a global market, it is about graft, and political interests.

Now that big business has failed, who are the one’s being forced to bail them out? WE ARE and yet we don’t have the money to bail ourselves out, thanks to the inability of Government to act wisely, or prudently. Instead they have tossed BILLIONS to those who have the cash, who set two sets of rules. One for them, one for the rest of us, and the result has been a housing crisis unprecedented in history, and now a financial market crisis that rivals the crash of 1929.

I’ll give Bush one thing. He was right when he said at the most recent economic conference, that we need to change how we do business. The first step is to tell big business that the free ride is over. I mean come on, over a Hundred Billion to bail out AIG and their gratitude is to send top executives to a resort and rack up huge spa bills. The Oil Industry gets HUGE TAX BREAKS then keeps the price of fuel at the pump inflated to further their own corporate profits. I mean come on, price per barrel is at $60 which when it was first reached, meant a price at the pump of about 70 cents a liter. WHAT ARE YOU PAYING TODAY?

We do need to change the way things work, financially. We need to put the money into the hands of those who will do the most with it, and that is not the big campaign contributors to Stephen Harper or George Bush. IT IS US THE PEOPLE.

The first thing WE NEED TO DO is turf these crooks out of office, and yes that does mean Stephen Harper. I mean come on, he went through the whole campaign feeding us platitudes and lies, and here we are, going from bad to worse, because the truth is, Stephen Harper doesn’t know what to do. He simply hasn’t a clue on how to find solutions outside the standard mantra of TAX CUTS. The result is we will have a deficit, that our dollar is so far down you need a magnifying glass to see it, and that is only going to increase inflation and the costs for you and me at the grocery store, fuel pump, and everywhere else.

Mind over Matter – Fake Drugs

An interesting study that has me wondering about our so called Values & Morals. I mean there is a lot of talk about values, morals, & ethics these days. If you listened to Stephen Harper in his two elections, he made a big deal about being an accountable leader, about transparency, about integrity even. Yet we all can see that those claims are tissues of lies, but then that is Politics. We have George Bush & John McCain spewing the same nonsense, but again, common sense tells us, that it is all just bull. Still many seem to fall for it, otherwise how did George Bush get to be President for two terms, and how could Stephen Harper keep winning, if enough people didn’t buy into the lies?

Still you sort of expect that from Politicians, which is sad but true. Then it also begs the question, why do we vote for them if we know they are all liars? Yet, is this whole telling of lies a matter of better public relations, or does it show a deeper problem? Perhaps we all just don’t want to make the hard choices that knowing the truth, would force us to do?

Now there is a study that says that a majority of US Doctors routinely prescribe fake cures or medicine to their patients, and don’t see a damn thing wrong with it. Now, I don’t know, but perhaps this whole telling of lies is more common, and perhaps it is why we are so willing to give people like Bush & Harper top leadership jobs. I don’t know, but it is troubling.

About half of American doctors in a new survey say they regularly give patients placebo treatments — usually drugs or vitamins that won’t really help their condition.

And many of these doctors are not honest with their patients about what they are doing, the survey found.

That contradicts advice from the American Medical Association, which recommends doctors use treatments with the full knowledge of their patients. (source – CBC News)

Should qualify this in that those surveyed were dealing with Arthritis & Joint Pains, which to be honest, is a tough field. I know that Mom & I both have Arthritis, and how it does hurt. Maybe to some extend we expect help, and even demand it, when the truth is, there really isn’t any real help. Mom takes Tylenol and says it helps, but I wonder, does it really, or have we simply bought into the ‘perception‘ that it does, so therefore our mind believes it does?

Is that a bad thing?

The problem I have with all this, is when do you know if it is a help or a detriment? I mean too much Tylenol isn’t good, but what about those who prescribe antibiotics for those with colds? We KNOW that such medicine has zero effect on Viruses, so why are we willing to seek out Doctors who will give us that stuff?

Then too, what about the claims made by drug companies?

How do we know they are telling us the truth, if our own Doctor is prescribing those drugs, but truth is, they know it isn’t effective, medically? See, there comes the whole house of cards tumbling down, because there has to be some trust, somewhere. I can’t research the drugs to know definitively if they are going to work or not. I rely on my Doctor to know, to make the informed decision, but my history has shown that isn’t always the case. And the consequences are quite severe if they guess wrong, or simply don’t do their due diligence.

The real problem is that we have lowered our standards too much. We no longer expect MORE from our leaders, from our doctors, or from anyone. We expect less, as we continue to LOWER THE STANDARDS. We can see this being true, by just looking at the functionally illiterate numbers. More kids graduate, yet more are incapable of reading, writing, or adding, with any degree of ease and/or competency. Yet we accept it, we even argue for it, because we don’t want Little Johnny or Suzie to be kept behind, we insist on them staying within their class group, but at what cost?

Doctors have our lives in their hands, literally, but we allow them to prescribe drugs based on the common denominator, we don’t insist they take each case individually. They base judgments on what is the average, and hope for the best, which really isn’t right. They base it on age, rather than on the person, and who are they, or anyone, to decide that a person is too old or too young, to receive their full care?

My father died at 85, and frankly he shouldn’t have. He died not from uncaring people, but from a system that discounts the value of human life, because of age. He died because a top notch specialist prescribed medicine that was not for his condition, but because she believed she knew better, because she played the averages, my father died. And that is wrong, and yet it is common today, because we have lowered our standards, have pushed aside the real values, the real ethics, that served us well for generations. We ignore the truth, reward Liars, and worse than all that, WE REWARD SUB STANDARD PERFORMANCE.

Just look around, at our faltering economy, where we are rushing to prop up failures. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up failing banks, who got greedy. Instead of facing their consequences, they get bailed out, at our expense. And for the record, the bonuses on Wall Street, aren’t in jeopardy, but your house still is. This is the result of DUMBING DOWN, and that is what we have come to accept.

Low Standards, Low Ethics.

The answer is easy, hard to do, but it is common sense. We need to RAISE OUR STANDARDS OF EXPECTATIONS in all fields. When John Kennedy said the US would put a man on the moon within a decade, no one questioned it. They simply went to work and DID IT. Today if he was to say that, there would be no man on the moon.

Think about next time you get to vote, get your kid’s report card.

The Lies of the 2008 Election

Inflation has risen to over 3% and for those on fixed incomes, don’t expect any help from Stephen Harper. Already pledges made during the election are  being shelved, because of the economic situation. As our Dollar tanks, as our costs increase and increase, Stephen Harper and his MInisters are busy selling us out, faster than you can shake a stick.

To begin with, remember Flaherty telling us how there was no need to bail out the banks, that they were ‘basically sound’ and not like in the United States, at any great risk. Then came the $25 Billion dollar gimmick of buying up the Bank’s bad debts. Now comes news that Mr. Flaherty will provide guarantees to Banks, so they can borrow more funds on a short term basis.

Flaherty said in Ottawa that the government is making the guarantee available so the country’s banks aren’t put at a competitive disadvantage amid the global credit squeeze. By doing so, Canada is following similar steps already taken by more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Spain, Ireland, Germany and Sweden. (source – CBC News)

Even in making this announcement, Flaherty says we have the strongest banking system in the world, and he won’t let anything happen to it. So uh, how come they need help now? And just how does the situation in the states have any effect globally? I mean there is a lot here, not being divulged or said. It makes one wonder, what truly has caused this nightmare, unless perhaps it is due to the wild borrowing of George Bush to pay for his invasion & occupation of Iraq.

Remember those attack ads by Harper? The one’s telling us we couldn’t afford Stephane Dion and his Green Plan? How that only his party could insure continued surpluses, that he would not allow any deficit spending to occur, and that our economy was basically sound? So while he made those attacks, those LIES, his Government went on to have spent $1.7 Billion MORE THAN THEY HAD IN AUGUST. Now it makes you wonder, what will September come in at?

The federal government ran a $1.7-billion deficit in August but remains poised to deliver a “modest surplus” for the fiscal year, the finance minister said Friday.

But Jim Flaherty refused to forecast whether the government would see deficits in the years to come. (source – CBC News)

Strange how in less than two weeks, he has gone from being adamant that there wouldn’t be a deficit, to being totally evasive today on the same question. Things change, yes, but so quickly? I don’t think so, which kind of makes me wonder, if this whole election was a gamble by Harper, to retain power, before the truth of just how bad things are, got out. And getting out they are.

Inflation is up to 3.4% for the year, thanks to the high cost of Fuel, which Stephen Harper refused to do anything about. Still refuses, and of course as prices fall, so too will the perception that we need to move away from Fossil Fuels. Just as Bush & Harper would like to see, because the truth is, we are headed for worse news, when it comes to energy, if we do nothing now. That is a given, but George Bush couldn’t care less, he’s out of office in a few months, thank GOD, but Harper should worry, becasue he is still in office, Unfortunately for us.

Higher energy and food prices helped push overall consumer prices up by 3.4 per cent in the 12 months to September, Statistics Canada said Friday. (source – CBC News)

The world economy is not getting better, and there really is one simple answer to why it isn’t. That is because we refuse to try new approaches, we refuse to accept losses and are instead trying to hold up the failed classes of greedy merchants, like the big corporations. So they got burned, but let’s be honest, talk all you want about cutting the prime rate, it isn’t going to help you or me one little bit.

It isn’t going to help the small business, and frankly the situation we are in, is because there was too much credit given, without anyone assessing the consequences of it. Now I am not independently wealthy, and I am not living the life of some exiled King or former President. I didn’t get a gift of 2 Million dollars from the taxpayer like Brian Mulroney, nor did anyone I barely know, hand me some paper bag with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I earn money, and I live within what that money can afford to buy. I watch for sales, but I don’t skimp either. I won’t deny a 91 year old one thing, but I’ll do without. That is called having a budget, of being fiscally conservative.

Something Harper & his gang know nothing about.

The more money put out there, at the outragous rates, are what started this nightmare. The greed of people who believe that at 25 they deserved to have their own house, with two cars, and a summer place, is just wrong. You need to work and save, to afford that stuff, not buy it now, and worry how to pay for it later. Banks & Government has operated on the assumption that the more they dole out, the harder we’ll work to pay it back. Well I got news for the likes of Harper & Bush, people still need to sleep.

Our Health Minister is deeply concerned over the findings of a report, showing high concentration of lead in childrens toys, as reported in an investigative report by the Toronto Star. It really is interesting listening to the shock & dismay by our Minister, given how he and his boss, Stephen Harper are slowly stripping away all pretence of consumer safety. Thanks in large part to the ruthless enforcement of NAFTA by greedy US firms, and an unwillingness of our Federal Government to act, we are starting to see the gradual disintegration of Canadian Values, that used to seperate us from our American cousins south.

The federal department this week issued recalls for toys including charm kits and a miniature hockey stick, following a Toronto Star investigation that found the children’s products contained unsafe levels of lead. (source – CBC News)

Clements promises tougher laws for those firms that break the law, in bringing in this tainted crap, but then didn’t his boss make the same claim last year? At the same time, didn’t Stevie Boy also say our agencies were much tougher on inspecting for this crap? Funny how that all lead up to the election, and now that it is over, has fallen by the wayside. Funny too, how suddenly we have a slew of recalls, not found by our Inspectors, but by a Journalist Report.

What other hidden dangerous stuff are we being subjected to by this Harper Government of Big Business? Banks are getting bailed out, and our Finance Minister has said we will need to borrow money to help them out, which certainly wasn’t his story during the election, now was it?

Then we have Dow Chemical wanting to sell its dangerous chemicals in Canada, even though banned in the United States. Yet under Brian Mulroney NAFTA, they are attempting to do just that, so that Canadian consumers will once more be subjected to chemical poisoning, even though we are opposed to it. Well we are, Stephen Harper is quite willing to allow NAFTA to aid in the poisoning of our land, of our people.

We have come full circle, to where Canada is slowly being made into a wasteland, courtesy of the United States & Harper. Our values, our interests are being sold down the river, because Stephen Harper & his conservatives are nothing more than puppets for the corporate interests of the giant conglomerates. Food safety is a joke, and now we see, so is the safety of toys. Lead tainted toys leads to lower intelligence, it is a proven fact, but obviously it has been around for a bit of time. After all, look at how many bought into Stephen Harper’s lies, attack ads, and re-elected his gang of thugs, and jokers.

Just as Americans got sold a bill of goods by smart mouthing George Bush, Canadians also got swindled by the sweater wearing Stephen Harper, with his smug grin, his attempt at looking like he was in charge, that was nothing but smoke & mirrors. The markets continue to plummet then rise, gas is at under $65 a barrel and yet the price at the pump is still over $1.00 a liter, dropping ever so slowly. Now the loonie takes a nose dive and while that should be good news for our exports, the only problem is, do we have anything to export?

Our manufacturing industry has been gutted, and Government is doing nothing, has done nothing, so that even a dropping dollar isn’t going to lessen the impact on our cost of living. Inflation has gone up to over 3% and our Government spent over ONE BILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN IT HAD IN AUGUST, but our wonderful Finance MInister tells us there is nothing to worry about, that we won’t go into Deficit Financing.

Like does anyone still believe these LIARS?