Canada

Oh Canada!

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Canadian Conservative MP Candice Bergen wrote today,

Earlier this year, I sent a letter to every household in my riding asking them to share their thoughts with me about the Liberal’s Carbon Tax. I received over 2,300 responses back, 96% saying they disagree. A carbon tax would do virtually nothing to help the environment, and would only make life more difficult for everyday Canadian families.”

This smells so familiar. People clearly seeing these taxes for what they are. All pain for no gain. We need not go back very far when Canadian Conservative politician Pierre Poilievre said that Canadian tomato farmers were already feeling the pinch of uncompetitive regulation with regards environmental taxation. It was revealed that the increase in Mexican tomato exports to Canada were having a bigger impact on CO2 emissions than Trudeau’s proposals to halt them.

Poles apart

Once again how the social media feeds lit up with the supposed snubbing of President Trump by the Polish First Lady. If people took five seconds to come out of the sandpit and  objectively analyze her actions they’d see without deliberate video editing she clearly shook his hand immediately after she shook FLOTUS’s hand. It is pretty easy to work out why so many click bait media organizations are floundering. There is no intelligence or effort to be objective. Sadly one is forced to doubt almost every meme of this kind. It makes tabloids look like professorial theses by comparison. Even the Polish PM came out tweeting it was “FAKE NEWS”

Earlier in the week media were trying to claim he got lost on the way to his limousine when he alighted Air Force 1 as if to claim he was suffering from a mental disease. No doubt trying to add some credibility to the Democrats trying to seek his removal for a lack of mental faculty.

He is without doubt unconventional, often unstatesmanlike, at times shows a lack grace/eloquence and narcissistic (his round table where cabinet members professed their love for him was pretty nauseating) but reading his speech (even if composed by his speech writer – which president doesn’t?) in Warsaw, Trump spoke of what many of today’s apologist leaders refuse to. He believes in the idea that it is totally acceptable to defend your own values and culture. That people shouldn’t be pilloried for feeling patriotic. This week we’ve seen Trudeau offer a state apology and $10.5mn compo payment to a convicted terrorist.  Several months ago Canadian Bill M-103 was passed in such a way that free speech is gagged toward a specific minority. Australia tinkers at the edges of the draconian 18C and still bothers to invest in the AHRC which has shown itself to be an absolute waste of time, resources and worst of all a wrecker of the reputations of innocents. Germany arrested a good samaratin that released a video showing migrant violence toward an innocent victim on grounds of breaching privacy laws and the women of Cologne were advised to wear less revealing clothing to avoid being pestered. We could go on for ages. Is this defending culture? Thinking we gain acceptance by denying our own identity? I applaud Trump for making valid points about pride in one’s nation, something the gritty Poles know all too well.

There are many things not to like superficially about POTUS but when it comes to asking harsh questions about a fair share of funding for NATO or the UN, citing legitimate reasons for ditching the Paris Climate Accord or poking China to start dealing with its geopolitical chess piece in North Korea, he is speaking truths his predecessor would never broach. Sure he has much work to do at home but the world can’t help but notice the new sheriff in town on the global stage and boy do we need strength in this department after eight hollow years where countries like China and Russia ran amuck.

Yet when all is said and told, the mainstream media remains too busy trying to create stories/scandals with concocted outcomes by editing out the facts to create ‘ gotcha’ scoops which achieves their goals of personal hatred. Fake news? That term is getting overused. The fake part may be right but the news part isn’t.

4 things that struck me including lightning that attacked the wrong Bolt

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4 things struck me this week about the depths we are allowing our society to plunge to. Reading much of the social media feeds it seems more people are prepared to defend the indefensible. That people are happy for the state to put forward bills that take away more freedoms, some who complain at the correct application of asylum policy and some willing to resort to physical violence on those who merely express free speech because they can’t win the debate in the marketplace for open debate.

1) All week we have been subject to the news in the aftermath of the London terror attack. If anything the tide seems to be shifting toward those that are wanting a more heavy handed response. The argument that the majority are peaceful Muslims is a reason to go soft on the violent minority is preposterous. Yet politicians including Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, think words like “Islamic” are mutually exclusive alongside “extremist” or “terrorist.”

Whether one wants to debate the Quran verse for verse to justify separating these words is irrelevant. When such people scream in crazed tones about “Allah” as they carry out their evil deeds their interpretation is crystal clear. Some truly think that we win acceptance from those supporting caliphates by denying our own identity. Why give up on our culture for those beings who have no interests in enjoying the freedoms we provide much less reciprocating our kindness? Moreover the fate of most jihadists is generally so short they aren’t around long enough to benefit from our weakness.

It’s getting ever more ridiculous too. Countries  like Canada passed M-103 to ban Islamophobia forgoing every opportunity to include other religions by name. Germany now fines people who express concerns on social media over such Islamic extremism. Who could forget the cover up on rapes and sexual assault in Cologne on New Years Eve in 2016? Instead of taking a zero tolerance approach to the problem, honest citizens are gagged and threatened for raising a concerned voice because it is politically more acceptable.

I’ve just been in Victoria where a jihadi, who had terrorist links, murdered someone while on parole the other day. He died in the encounter. Instead of the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews admitting fault for allowing him to roam the streets he turned the shortcomings of his own state’s legal decision making process into a blame game on the federal government for not dictating more powers over such rulings using the intelligence of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police. Well he has access to all that information and cooperation from these bodies yet still decided to let a jihadi out in general population. For a Premier that relishes government control over almost everything, how ironic that he tries to pass the buck when it is about subjects that may offend his voter base. Lame.

2) Ontario – how can people sit there and accept a law which allows the government to take children away from parents who refuse to accept their child’s gender identity or expression? Perhaps the parents should be tortured for good measure? If any parent was confronted with such a discussion with their kids most would be very concerned and want to be absolutely sure of the reasons behind such a decision. My kids have changes of mind over what they want for dinner. If dealing with sexual identity or expression most parents would naturally want to investigate the facts of why their child would seek to switch genders. It’s not just common sense but hard on parents too. It’s a serious topic. If we’re going to allow children to be able to overrule their parents on such decisions about their body, why not let them vote or drive at age 9? This is not saying they don’t have a voice. Why not suggest family counseling to help parents and children better understand the situation rather than threaten to snatch their kids for non compliance? Totalitarianism anyone?

Don’t forget that no matter what, parents are legally responsible for their kids. They have the stresses when they are sick, when they break bones in a park, come home late without phoning in, not to mention putting them thru schools, pay down a mortgage and so on. I wonder how many of the Ontario lawmakers are parents themselves?

3) I attended a speech given by the Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton earlier this week. Get Up had decided in its infinite wisdom to protest and try to prevent the forum. Instead of allowing others to express different views they wanted to shut it down in fine totalitarian fashion. Dutton gets a lot of rough treatment in the press although he is one of the few conservatives left in the Liberal Party. It’s a tough portfolio because opinions are so divided. His department cancelling the visas of seven Iranians who claimed asylum on grounds their lives were in danger only to be caught flying back to Iran for holidays. Not only did they deliberately lie to the government authorities and Aussie taxpayers they schemed our highly valued citizenship inappropriately. It doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity applicants are, we shouldn’t tolerate those scamming the system. We still have 5,000 asylum seekers who refuse to give up their identity or background. They have a deadline this year to do that but most are still refusing. What do they have to hide? Surely they’ve come here as a safe haven and if they’re truly escaping danger their stories should check out. Otherwise one has to assume they’re here illegitimately. Is this the image of a future model citizen? Is citizenship to be given away like confetti or is it a privilege worth cherishing? Yet all we hear is racist, bigot or worse if we raise any objection, sometimes with violent repercussions. The government has fast tracked the visas of 700 Yazidi women who have seen the males in their households murdered in front of them while they’ve been raped and made sex slaves by their medieval ISIS captors. Women from the Dept of Immigration have volunteered to go to these hot zones to accelerate their evacuation. So for all the flak Dutton cops, where are the feminists and progressives applauding such humanitarianism? They only want to focus on the gripes, red tape and protests to hinder the department’s efficiency to process the needy versus the selfish.

4) Which brings up the final strike. Conservative news columnist and TV presenter Andrew Bolt was physically attacked by leftist protesters yesterday for no other reason than to shut him down. Not only did he admirably defend himself in the unprovoked attack several media outlooks tried to turn it against him, suggesting he was a party to it. I’m sorry but what a slur. First, they were protesting his long held beliefs. I can guarantee you wouldn’t find Andrew Bolt initiating violence much less plotting to attend and disrupt a book signing event of a Marxist author. One he fervently believes in  free speech and secondly wouldn’t waste his time going out of his way to attend it. If these bullies of free speech can’t win an argument in the market place of open debate one has to assume their position is fatally weak to begin with. Having to ambush and spray glitter at a person who has completely fair and defendable positions is frankly pathetic. I dare them to ask to go on his show and debate their positions vs his. They would be forced to turn the glitter gun on themselves to hide their embarrassment one would imagine.

Be thankful we have people like Andrew Bolt not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. That stunt yesterday only makes Andrew Bolt look more right. At the same time all they’ve really done is kick an own goal by drawing even more attention to his number one rated blog, editorials, TV and radio programmess while they’ve attracted the attention of the North Melbourne Police.

Many Americans would gladly accept Macron’s offer to take these conditional patriots away

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It didn’t take long for the group think press to lavish praise upon new French President Emmanuel Macron. Poor old Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has lost his status as the poster child of victim based politics. Perhaps his life-size cardboard cut outs now have purpose.

Macron’s appeal to American asylum (rent) seekers was yet more evidence of his stance on all the en vogue political causes which often ignore harsh realities. How smug to host a televised commentary calling for Americans to throw in the towel on their country. What he is basically saying it is ok for US citizenship to be conditional. The sort of mentality that says beheading a sitting president for (supposed) comic value is ok. Plastering “Earth to Trump: Fuck off” on a German tabloid is acceptable editorial behaviour and pushing for the overthrow of a democratically elected official who has not succumbed to group think.

Just because someone doesn’t agree with you President Macron doesn’t mean they are wrong. Perhaps the persuasiveness of the argument to date has been too poor. Sure you can argue he’s cozying up to his fossil fuel fossils but his decision was the world’s worst kept secret. Instead of questioning “why” he quit you’ve launched an all too common dismissive narrative that attacks his intelligence. Yet again another leader who plays the man not the ball. Is that the right stuff of leaders today? It would appear that keeping up popularity on social media is the most important trait on government officials these days

Macron boasted, “To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland…I call on them: come and work here with us. To work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. I can assure you, France will not give up the fight.”

Perhaps he’d be better off to look at all of the sell-out celebrities who promised to leave the US if Trump won the presidency. Most if not all still remain. The same people, who owe much of their extravagant lifestyles to the generosity of US consumers and taxpayers, would gladly sell their country out. Those that fly their eyebrow trimmers half way around the world on a private jet yet tell us in Oscar speeches how grave our situation is. Quite frankly Monsieur President I think many Americans would be more than grateful at your offer to take these people off their grid.

To put the shoe on the other foot. I am disgusted with the state of politics in Australia. Even though my life long support for the Liberal party has waned, my love of country has not. No matter what stupid direction my country takes I will not throw in the towel. Ahh but you live in Japan! Yes I do. However I do my utmost to facilitate business between our nations, work my hardest to promote a solution that will hopefully improve countless lives by weaning drug addicts off menaces like ICE and so forth.

We shouldn’t be surprised by your words. They speak the language of those willing to talk but not listen. Your victory was more a vote against Le Pen than a vote for you. Such speeches show your true colours. By all means spend up on climate alarmist causes using French taxpayers  euros to full the void. What a coup if Trump got you to chip in for his absence from “making the planet great again.” Still go on with your tokenist virtue signaling if you don’t think the price is too high. America welcomes it.

40,000 Aussies have 6 or more investment properties

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The AFR reports that Mark Burgess, chairman of asset management firm Yarra Capital and the investment committee of industry fund HESTA said,“Two million people had investment properties in 2013 and I’m sure it’s much higher today, 40,000 had six or more.” 

It reminds me of the scene in The Big Short when Mark Baum is talking to the lap dancer about what she’ll do when mortgage rates reset  and admits she has 5 properties and a condo.

It also reminds me of a time when working in London in the early 2000s and my uncle mentioned one of his staff had nine properties. Nine. That’s what I call leverage.

Of course being on the property ladder is sort of a right of passage in Australia. The angst and wailing of first time property buyers not being able to pursue the Aussie dream is ringing louder. When the Victorian government offers 25% of the value of a home as an interest free loan or the federal government allows access to ring-fenced superannuation funds as a way of assisting them it is hard not to think that the bubble is reaching bursting point.

Unlike shares or bonds, properties aren’t liquid in a downturn. With private debt to GDP ratio of 180% and four spots in the global top 10 most expensive property markets what am I missing? Yes relentless overseas buying and a supply shortage but “affordability” exceeding 13x average income vs 7x prior to GFC doesn’t bode well.

Interesting to see another article which read,

“According to a new survey from Manulife Bank, nearly 75% of Canadian homeowners would have difficulty paying their mortgage every month if their payments increased by as little as 10%.”

I’m sure it’s nothing! I guess aliens haven’t entered the global property markets yet.

Rona Ambrose to quit Canadian politics

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In what I can only say is a shame, Interim-leader of the Opposition Rona Ambrose has called it quits on politics after 13 years taking up a job at a Washington think-tank, the Wilson Center. I honestly thought she had a shot at taking the Prime Ministership at the next election given she made mince meat of PM Justin Trudeau every single time she spoke in question time. Her eloquence, ability to attack and make sound arguments had Trudeau on the ropes taking massive body blows. Perhaps he will breathe a sigh of relief now that she has gone.

She will lead the institute’s “efforts to convene U.S. and Canadian officials to explore the benefits of an integrated and competitive North American economy that is focused on job creation and prosperity,”

Canada’s new permanent opposition leader from a list of many candidates will be announced on May 27.  Sounds to me like her own party wasn’t going to give her the full time position which looked thoroughly deserved.

Trudeau lives to fight another day.

Trudeau is literally a paper tiger

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I honestly can’t see how Trudeau can win the next election. Acting Opposition leader Rona Ambrose took great pleasure into cutting the PM down to size after he had his department make $1,900 worth life size cut outs of him to be placed in the Canadian Embassy in Washington and ten consulates in the United States. His answer was that he spends too much time in the House of Commons. Such is his vanity, even the Speaker of the House had a good chuckle. The Global Affairs department told civil servants to stop ordering them. Ontario MP John Brassard said,  “A life-size, two-dimensional cut-out is probably a perfect metaphor for everything that Justin Trudeau represents… You’ve got the shallow facade, and yet there’s very little in the way of depth or substance there.” 

Look up Rona Ambrose vs Justin Trudeau in question time and watch the bloodbath. She makes mincemeat out of the Canadian PM every time and exposes that behind the looks there is little substance and his poll numbers are reflecting that.