A Flame War With Dumb Americans

Below, you will find transcriptions of a back-and-forth that’s taking place betwixt myself and some good ol’ ‘Murican boys on a YouTube video – and it really does shed a light on how ill-suited Americans are to the global influence they wield abroad.

NOTE: The video on which we are commenting is someone’s copy of a National Geographic video about an Ohio-class ballistic submarine (SSBN), whereas the video is titled in such a way as to make you think it’s about a Los Angeles-class attack submarine (SSN) – which has raised the ire of people familiar with naval assets like myself.

— Here… we… go! —

Grandpa The Grey: However, when they launch their Trident Multiple Warhead Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, they’re ATTACKING someone… right? So in reality, even a boomer is used as an ATTACK sub. lol

Stormcastle: Boy… that’s some special kind of stupid. No wonder this internet is getting dumber.

John Ruggles: @Grandpa The Grey, let’s educate you a little bit. The US Navy (not combined with the Army as in the title of this video) currently has 3 types of submarines yet only 2 COMMON names for them. they have SSN, SSBN and SSGN. The letters stand for (in order as listed prior) Submersible Ship Nuclear, Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear, and Submersible Ship Guided-missile Nuclear. SSN’s, being the smallest are referred to as Fast Attack because compared to their big brother, they are small and agile like an attack dog. The SSBN and SSGN are called Boomers because the weapon they carry on board, in the past, made very big booms at very long ranges. The SSGN is the new type converted from older SSBN’s and refitted to carry a different type of weapon but since they are still the same type of hull, they keep the name.

Stormcastle: Or just make it simple for the ignoramus: if it’s named after a U.S. state, it’s a boomer… if it’s named after a U.S. city, then it’s probably a 688 fast attack… if it’s named anything else, it’s probably a Seawolf or Virginia – which, being small and agile, are ‘faster’ fast attack subs that can patrol shallower waters. I guess that wasn’t as simple as I figured in my head, LOL

Michael Rocker: Whatever the size of the Submarines in the fleet are they are still very capable of kicking the shit out of any ones Navy especially the Russians. Our tracking capabilities are second to none.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Typical American bullshit: there are quite a few subs out there that could sail through the middle of a USN carrier group and never be noticed – a Russian-made Kilo, for example. FFS, y’all need to stop being so full of yourselves. Also, unless you’re in the trade, don’t make grandiose comments you know nothing about save for what you’ve seen from watching The Hunt For Red October on Netflix.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – essentially saying diesel/electric boats are crap, which is why American boats are better]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, You don’t know what you don’t even know – and yet, you still like to spout off. While, yes, diesel/electrics have a range that’s somewhat limited compared to a nuke – “extremely limited” is pure stupidity on your part: a Kilo (which is pretty much the gold standard for the type, and is why I make note of it again) has a submerged, non-snorkel range of about 800 kilometers at prowling speed. You think I’m anti-American? No… I like you lot just fine when you’re not acting like you’re the greatest country on Earth – which just happens to be 99% of the time.

Yeah… your military tends to have most of the nicest toys – but there are areas where other countries will gladly hand you your asses on a platter.

I mean… you’ve lost in both Iraq and Afghanistan because all of your high tech weapons were beaten by cavemen who haven’t progressed much beyond the Bronze Age.

So, please… put your Yankee Doodle soapbox away and go back to the vids about deep frying turkeys and NASCAR where you belong.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking where I live and what makes it so great – before assuring us he knows everything about naval matters because he has a “relative” in the service]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Someplace without rampant racism… someplace with top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace with free healthcare that doesn’t require citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% less likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there aren’t more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while also spending money on being actually human… someplace with a clean environment… someplace where corporations aren’t people nor can they effect the government… someplace that isn’t #1 in preventable child poverty.

Where could that be? Oh… about 20 or so countries around the world.

You have a “relative” in the USN? That’s nice. Apparently, I have a long-lost uncle who’s a Nigerian prince who needs someone to launder millions of dollars for him. Would you help?

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking why I’m scared to say where I’m from if it’s so great]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Not scared at all: CANADA… I was just pointing out that there are many places better than the U.S. of A. as far as quality of living is concerned. Yes, you Yanks have just about everybody outgunned – except for the Chinese, of course… and Americans gladly subsidize the Chinese military by shopping at Walmart. But, what’s the point of having the best military when it guards a shit way of life?

You asked why people move to America? To get rich, of course – as that’s what you export to the world, and is also why so many groups want you all dead: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness money.

Personally, I love all your military toys… but I just wish they were at the disposal of someone with a better sense of what it is to be human.

If – somehow – y’all elect Donald Trump as president, my point will be proven: given your “freedom”, the majority of Your Fellow Americans chose a greedy, racist, dumb-as-a-brick, narcissistic douchenozzle to have his finger on the launch button.

I only love your military because it generally keeps the worse guys in check – except for when there’s nothing for the U.S. to gain… like when Russia invaded Georgia (the country, not the state) or the Ukraine.

But, by God, if either of them had oil to make gasoline for your SUVs, y’all would have thrown a nice little war for each.

So, yeah… I love the U.S. Navy… just not a fan of the country from which it sails until you fix all of your problems.

motorcop505: @Stormcastle, The envy of the US is real with you. You rant and rave about others in an attempt to belittle them without success. BTW, if you ever actually traveled to Afghanistan or Iraq (or most 3rd world countries), you’d see how the people in those countries are so thankful for the US ejecting dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and for the billions of dollars of equipment, food, and assistance we provide them with. That would actually entail putting your ass on the line to help others, and we all know that isn’t about to happen. Stick to your hockey and… Sorry, my mistake. I thought there was something else Canada was famous for (you know, like how the US created the Internet), but there isn’t anything.

Stormcastle: @motorcop505, To “belittle” would mean I was being less than honest – but I was being 100% truthful.

America is: someplace with rampant racism… someplace without top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace without free healthcare – practically requiring citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% more likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there are more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while not spending money on being actually human… someplace without a clean environment… someplace where corporations are people and unfairly affect the government… someplace that is #1 in preventable child poverty.

If you disagree with any of those things, you’re both delusional and a moron.

I’m all for you having the best military, though… really I am.

Please, continue spending more than half of every tax dollar on warfare while your children starve and whole section of your society are legally mistreated.

Us here in Canuckistan will play our hockey and then go to the hospital and have 100s of tests done just for shits and giggles – before going back to school and learning more than any Murican who doesn’t have a diamond-encrusted trust fund.

Make fun of Canada all you want – it really doesn’t bother us in the slightest since we know our lives are better than yours.

Seriously… I came here to talk about subs, but man, y’all got me sidetracked with your JESUS LOVES ‘MURICA bumper stickers.

Michael Rocker: @KriegProductions [who’s tried to get the thread back on track a few times] What Stormy Boy leaves out about Canuck health care is that if you need surgery they can make you wait for months and a great deal of Cunucks come south of the border for health care if they can’t wait and their government will pay for it. One reason is if they need a transplant they would get put on the same list as an American rather than not get one at all up there. They also don’t have the same quality of surgeons like we have here.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Someone’s been drinking the GOP koolaid, LOL. About 5 years back, I was in a motorcycle accident and broke my left leg in 6 places – which required 2 rods and a whole Home Depot worth of screws… and within 2 hours of reaching the ER, I was in surgery getting it done. Being the curious sort, I looked up how much the whole ordeal (including tests, x-rays, MRI, etc) would have cost in the U.S…. and it topped $400,000!

In 2 hours flat, I had a surgery done that would have cost you nearly half a million dollars – and I never had to pay a red cent… not even for the ambulance ride.

Yeah… Canadians do travel to the U.S. for EXPERIMENTAL treatments that haven’t been scientifically proven to 100% deal with whatever issues they have.

And, yes, some Canadians do have to wait for specialized surgeries as there are shortages of some types of surgeons because the unethical medical types prefer to make millions of dollars in the U.S. instead of helping the people where they were born (as I pointed out up-thread, greed is your #1 export).

Nothing you can say about Canada hurts our feelings (we can have those checked by a medical professional for free, after all).

Well… you CAN poke at our Navy and it might smart a bit – leaky British subs and all – but it’s nothing we don’t know, and we generally accept it as a trade off for not being born into debt like our ‘Murican neighbors.

We’re healthier, smarter, and happier… while we read about American cities that are being straight up poisoned by their city officials just to save $100/day – and whose elected government in Washington won’t help them because most of the people in Flint and other similar places are black.

By all means, keep the marching band going and salute the Stars & Bars while thanking Jesus for your iPad (made in China).

I’ll sit here and cheer your Navy on as it stares down the Iranians. Oh, wait… the Iranians can just grab your guys whenever they want.

KriegProductions: I’m quite pleased with myself. 5/10, +2 for unintentional troll.

Stormcastle: @KriegProductions, Oh, I know. I do hate being suckered into this sort of thing – but patriotism isn’t just for Americans 🙂

KriegProductions: @Stormcastle, Eh. I was in the US Army. Interesting, but it wasn’t that spectacular. In fact, you could pretty much say it inspired certain criticisms that I have with it’s command structure.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Give it a break Stormy. Canada is not exactly perfect. First off Sorry that you fell off you bicycle and got hurt but the job of any hospital is to get you in and treated in a timely matter. I was talking about people who need transplants or who have cancer as well as knee or hip replacements. I know a couple of people who died while waiting for cancer surgery or a transplant because it wasn’t a medical priority. I was in an accident in my car when a guy with a Harley was on my side of the road going around a curve and if I tried to get out of his way I would not be here right now and over the side of a mountain. I wasn’t hurt but the guy who hit me lost his left foot. My car insurance paid for his surgery and amputation of his left foot. His leg was also broken in 3 places and he needed a ton of hardware CT’s and MRI as well as X-rays and I saw the medical bill sent to the insurance company and it was just a bit over $50,000 and nowhere near the $400,000 you were talking about.

Born in Debt. What a laugh. Canada is just as bad if not worse. Canada sends your tax money over to the UK to keep your Queen living high on the hog. The US took care of that during the revolution. Therefore the saying “No taxation without representation” came from. The UK didn’t represent us so why should we send our tax dollars there.

As far as the GOP Koolaid I don’t go anywhere near it. Why don’t you fix that province in your country that feels they don’t need to be a part of Canada and should only speak French. Most of the Francos like you hate the Anglo’s especially the ones from the US but never complain about taking US money which right now the USD is worth $1.40 and the CAD is only $0.72. Who is in Debt?

Your politicians are no better then anyplace else so don’t even think you are better than us. And who is this Jesus guy you are talking about? Is he your next door neighbor from Mexico?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Wow… you just had to go full retard, didn’t you? ZERO Canadian dollars go to Britain unless they’re in our pockets and we buy a chocolate bar at Heathrow. Canada has been a separate, sovereign nation since 1867 – but we remain part of the Commonwealth… and organization many countries continue to join even now.

We use a parliamentary system like Britain because it’s by far the most effective way to govern – and looking at your completely dysfunctional system only proves that by a factor of at least 100: your government can’t get anything done at all because of the constant Dem Vs GOP bullshit that’s caused how many government shutdowns in the past decade? Yeah… don’t throw stones since you live in a glass house.

An MRI alone costs $15,000 in the U.S. – and feel free to check that on your National Institutes Of Health website, where they track such things.

“Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance… where as Americans demand assimilation.

Exchange rates? Puhleeeeeze! That only affects us if we go to your side of the border, thanks… and we can do without Cheezits from Target (as we have all the Walmarts and Costcos we could ever need right here at home).

As for your insurance paying for surgeries, yeah… but who pays for the insurance? You! HMOs in your country are a nightmare to any civilized nation – as they’re happier when you’re dead. Oh… and how many millions of Americans don’t have any insurance thanks to idiot state governors refusing to use the evil Obamacare? How many are denied care because they’re poor (also a massive problem in the U.S. – no food stamps here, son).

Trying to assault the facts that I lay out just makes you look more stupid with every word you type.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Wow. Full Retard huh. I have never been called a retard more or less a Full Retard. Is that the best you can say. You sound like Pee Wee Herman saying I know you are but what an I.

So you have Walmart and Costco and now you are getting Loews Home Improvements just took over Rona. Now you have a new place to fix your leg.

LOL “Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance.” Is that why every year or so they want to vote to secede from the rest of Canada and be their own nation? The provinces east of Quebec have already have made plans to ask to become part of the US rather than having to drive through  Quebec because the only way they can make money is to charge outrageous tolls and taxes for truck driving through to go east or west.

You said it “we teach acceptance.

As far as taxes going to the UK

Queen costs us more than the Brits pay – Over the past 10 years, the Canadian cost of supporting the monarchy has more than doubled

http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/queen-costs-us-more-than-the-brits-pay/

Do I have your full on RETARD yet?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, 1) Obviously, you’re not a movie buff – or you’d get the ‘full retard’ thing. 2) Still harping about the Quebec minority that wants to live with France? As I recall, there’s quite a vocal minority in Texas that thinks the state should leave the Union. 3) You didn’t read the Maclean’s article – or, if you did, you were unable to properly decode the English language used therein due to your inadequate education: it describes the cost of our parliamentary system that has offices duplicating the ones in Britain – which does indeed make it a trifle more expensive than theirs since Canada has a smaller population (37 million to the U.K.’s 64 million). The article does not indicate we pay for the monarchy – since we only do that when Queen Elizabeth is actually in Canada for state visits… something that even the U.S. does when she visits you.

Look, Mikey… don’t show up to a knowledge war when you’re woefully unarmed, mmkay?

This is why America is laughed at around the world: you think you know shit, but the stuff you know is *actually* shit.

For further proof, go over to Google and type in (with quotation marks for subject clarity) Ignorant American. Even Your Fellow Americans agree that the majority of you are idiots… even if they’re well-meaning idiots.

As I said pretty much all the way at the top of this flame thread, I like Americans just fine… just not when they pretend to have a brain. Y’all serve a purpose for us Canucks, after all: you kept the Ruskies from coming through Canada to get at you during the Cold War – which we really appreciate since nobody likes borscht.

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Anyhow, I’m sure Michael Rocker will be back to spout more clueless ‘Murican jingoism, but I’m done battling someone with such an obvious handicap.

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The End Of McGuinty’s Marathon

If there’s been one equal reaction around the world to the global financial meltdown and its enduring fallout, it’s that the electorate of every country, state, and province – at least those who subscribe to the free market and democracy in general – has blamed the standing government.

Everybody loves their elected officials right up until those same elected officials reach the end of their budgetary ropes and start asking the people to tighten their belts as the government is forced to tighten its purse strings.

Yes, we’re all familiar with the riots in Greece as that government ushered in drastic austerity measures… the Arab Spring uprisings that stemmed from the citizens of those countries being unable to make ends meet within what the corrupt regimes had laid out… and the Occupy Wall Street/99% movement.

Other governments around the globe have dealt with the financial fallout in a more quiet fashion – at least in so much that there aren’t angry hordes of protesters filling the streets and boulevards in the seats of power.

Canada is one of those places – with the exception of the province of Quebec, which had a spring and summer filled with angry post-secondary students.

Yes, there were some tricky or tumultuous elections from coast to coast where the incumbents were either given a black eye or completely tossed from office – but for the most part, order has been maintained.

Ontario – which had been the wealthiest of provinces for the longest time before Alberta got it’s oil sands operations into full swing and took the title – was forced into a corner when the American economy collapsed, and the government at the time had to make some difficult choices.

The most visible – and the most quoted – was joining the U.S. in bailing out General Motors and Chrysler who were bankrupt from decades of bad deals with the auto worker’s union that had bled their coffers dry in a time where neither company was innovating at a level to compete with their counterparts from abroad.

Before I move on, I’d like to point out that those bail out loans have been paid off as both companies managed to pull their asses out of the fire.

As in America, the average citizen didn’t think the government had any business propping up private interests like Fortune 500 companies that had made bad choices – that it was perfectly acceptable to let those industrial giants die and take every job they created with them to the grave.

However, it was actually cheaper to prop up General Motors and Chrysler than to have all their workers (plus all the workers from companies that  manufactured parts for the auto industry) suddenly flood the nation’s unemployment benefit system – which would have crumbled under the load of 500,000 new applications since there was barely enough money to go around for the existing case load.

Plus, unlike money paid out to unemployed workers, all the money loaned to General Motors and Chrysler would come back to the government plus interest.

Anyhow, after the putting out the most immediate fires, the government of Ontario was left with a basic truth: all the smaller companies that either went bankrupt or had to radically downsize their workforces removed a sizeable chunk of tax income from the province’s spreadsheet.

Added on to that problem was the strategically leveraged investment tools that governments use to grow their bottom line – mainly investment bonds issued to raise capital – took the same kind of hit that the primary stock exchanges did… which turned billions into millions practically overnight.

People who drink the Hudak & Horwath flavor Kool-Aid fail to take that into account when they blame the Liberal government – and Premier Dalton McGuinty himself – for all the financial woes that have fallen on Ontario.

I’m not here to say that the McGuinty government hasn’t made any number of mistakes: a few programs have turned into total clusterfucks due to the lack of oversight.

Most notable are the eHealth and ORNGE debacles – and those two messes are all kinds of bad… but it’s one of those situations that make people say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Both programs were created to save the province money, and they should have… but the Liberals decided to save money on top of those savings by not appointing the number of provincial overseers that would have prevented the repeated foul-ups at eHealth and the insider kickbacks at ORNGE.

The eHealth program – which, by the way, was set in motion under the previous Progressive Conservative regime – was designed to/still has the potential for measurable savings to the province’s public healthcare system by creating a singular patient database that would eliminate layers upon layers of redundant paperwork across hundreds of hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices… pointless duplication that costs millions of dollars in working hours needed to fill it out, process it, and file it.

The sort of electronic data system to store the patient information – which would include everything from your family doctor’s written notes to blood work results to x-ray images – doesn’t exist anywhere in North America… which means that it has to be built from scratch.

Information servers, remote client software, unified image/video protocols… and that’s just a fraction of the problems facing just the technology vendors – and doesn’t account for the legal teams necessary to create a framework that protects both the patients and the healthcare providers.

The very nature of public healthcare makes it even more complicated as governmental agencies aren’t really suited to the kind of R&D (research and development) that a company like IBM does routinely – so, regrettably, the staff at OHIP took a stand-off approach with the idea that the ‘professionals’ that were hired would figure things out on their own without much input from the government.

Obviously, that hasn’t worked – and it’s going to be a long, hard road before the eHealth concept comes to fruition because the province is trying to compete with the private sector for the management staff needed to make it happen.

Looking over towards ORNGE, the same hands-off policy lead to a disaster – albeit for different reasons.

Prior to the province incorporating ORNGE, the health ministry leased the aircraft it used for air ambulance services from private contractors which meant that Ontario was losing money on the service in 2 out of 3 categories: while the pilots were trained and managed by the province, the fuel costs and aircraft use/maintenance was sold to Ontario at a moderate mark-up.

ORNGE was formed so that the province would own all the aircraft – purchased directly from the manufacturer – and would be buying the fuel for those planes and helicopters at open market prices.

Over the projected service life of the aircraft, the province would save hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions – in the same way that owning a home saves money over a 20 year cycle in comparison to someone renting an apartment for that same 20 year period.

The problem was that the province picked the wrong people to manage ORNGE, people who felt they weren’t beholden to the people of Ontario – managing ORNGE like a private company instead of a subsidiary.

When you run your own company, you can arrange all the kickbacks and shmoozefests you want – but when the money you’re playing with is supplied by the public, you’re responsible to the public.

Again, the Liberals had a little too much faith in the people they chose – and it came back to bite them in the ass.

Other problems that people want to hang around Dalton McGuinty’s neck – things like the poor relations with the province’s educators for instance – aren’t really the fault of the government when you look at the bigger picture.

Remember how I said the province is taking in a lot less money than when the Liberals ousted the Progressive Conservatives due to this shitty economy?

Well, that kinda means that the Liberals – or any government for that matter – can’t make the pay scales continually rise like in days of yore.

Up until quite recently, the McGuinty Liberals were the darlings of the public employee unions because the Liberals were happy to spend money to maintain the status quo where all the nurses and teachers had their demands met.

Problem is that the province can’t spend money it doesn’t have… and that fact fails to register with the unions.

There is already too much red ink on the provinces budgetary tables, and to pay for what the teachers are asking – and what the nurses will soon also be demanding – would require adding a lot more debt… the same debt that the ignorant public wants to hang around the government’s neck.

The same kind of thinking – though modified by a lot of NIMBYism (people saying ‘not in my backyard’) – is what has caused the power generation snafu that the opposition is beating the Liberals over the head with.

By and large, the people of Ontario had given the Liberals an environmental mandate – demanding that dirty, smog-creating power generations stations be replaced by cleaner alternatives like natural gas plants and wind farms.

Problem is that nobody wants these things near their homes – regardless of the fact that they had already grown up in the shadow of the coal power smoke stacks, and that they would only be trading one for the other.

No… they demand that these new power generation facilities be built far from their homes – which would be an okay idea if it weren’t for the problem of transmitting electricity from far-off locations to the average home with 2.5 kids and an ever-growing collection of electronic devices.

Which means that on top of the costs of replacing coal with renewable/environmentally friendly alternatives, the province would be on the hook for the cost of building new transmission corridors – which, coincidentally, nobody wants in their backyards either.

The natural gas power generation facility that the Liberals cancelled was called off due to NIMBY pressure – cancelled so that the voters in that area would be happy.

Those same voters are now angry because the province now has to pay a cancellation fee – a fee incurred on their behalf.

Doesn’t make a lot of sense to be mad about getting exactly what you asked for, does it?

However, John Q. Public isn’t known for making sense – he depends on his elected officials to make sense of the world for him in the form of a sound bite that requires him to think the least amount possible.

The only time John Q. Public wants grand visions of the future is during election season – the rest of the time, he doesn’t want to be challenged.

Which is why Dalton McGuinty is stepping down as premier.

The truth is just far too complex for the average voter… which leaves them to be influenced by the more basic name-calling and finger-pointing done by the leaders of the opposition.

It’s a hell of a lot easier to blame someone than to help that same person fix the problem.

South of the border, we see that in the Romney/Obama contest.

If Romney wins, it will be because the public at large – who doesn’t follow/understand the machinations of their government – has swallowed all the bullshit that the GOP opposition has thrown out there… when the truth is that Obama didn’t meet a lot of his promised goals because the GOP/Tea Party has refused to work with the White House on just about anything.

We here in Canada like to think we’re smarter than our American neighbors – but honestly, if we’re so easily convinced by the person who yells the loudest, then that isn’t the case at all.

Dalton was never perfect… but he has always tried to do the best thing possible for the people who elected him.

Resigning now is a less-than-ideal option, but it’s what was left in his toolbox: the PCs and NDP won’t work with him as they’ve painted an image of the premier that they won’t reconcile with in the interest of the province.

No… that’s not entirely accurate.

The Progressive Conservatives sided with the Liberals on the salary freeze for the province’s teachers – which means the PC’s are capable of working with the party that the electorate chose to govern… but in larger scheme of things, they don’t want to because they want to have their own hands on the levers of power.

Mr. McGuinty made it clear that he was resigning in an effort to give the Liberal party a new face – one that doesn’t carry 8+ years of name calling with it whenever the next premier appears to the public.

Of course, the next premier and leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario won’t have that long of a grace period before the opposing politicos start flinging mud.

It’s the nature of the game – and no matter what anyone says, politics is a game that’s paid for by the public.

It’s just not a game that people keep track of – unlike something like baseball where the fan at home can cite any number of statistics for their favorite team or player.

No… the public at large has no stomach for politics and therefore has a very short memory.

They’ve clamored for McGuinty’s head on a pike – but have no idea what to replace him with.

They still remember the shit Mike Harris did, so the voters don’t trust the Progressive Conservatives.

The public service unions remember the cutbacks they received at the hands of Bob Rae and the NDP (coincidentally, this happened during the last time there was a recession even remotely like the one we have now), so they don’t really trust the current New Democrats all that much either – but it would seem to be the only option in a 3 party system.

Anyhow, I’m going to bring this blog to a close since you probably came into it with your mind already made up as to whether Dalton McGuinty has been a good premier or not.

However, the facts are indisputable: the Liberals under Dalton McGuinty healed a very fractured province that was left in the wake of the Mike Harris/Ernie Eves era.

They also brought a socially responsible agenda – one that was expressed once again mere hours before Mr. McGuinty announced his plan to resign at the earliest possible convenience… a message that I’m going to leave right here instead of the usual clever graphic that I normally end my blogs with.

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The Attawapiskat Debacle

As much as native populations get screwed, they have serious issues.

I may be politically incorrect, but natives have become professional cry-baby victims… and instead of taking steps to make their lives better, they eject the federal representative that was sent to understand their present difficulties – essentially biting the hand that feeds them.

They cry out for help, and then they take offense when the help comes.

If I’m shelling out millions of dollars that seems to be simply evaporating once it gets into the native council’s hands, you’re damn straight that I’m going to put my own guy on the ground to supervise before I hand out any more cash.

Many of you are now calling for my head… but let’s be honest with each other for a minute.

The native settlement in Ontario’s north that’s getting all kinds of news coverage – Attawapiskat – looks for all intents and purposes like a post-apocalyptic landscape like any other you’d see in a medium budget Hollywood disaster flick.

And yet… the government has handed over $90,000,000 to the Attawapiskat council in the past 5 years – to take care of 1,929 people living on the reservation.

That’s just shy of $50,000 per person… and I’m fairly certain a great deal of these people live together as couples or as extended family units – so that’s more $100,000 per household for some.

Yes… I know a significant portion also goes towards municipal affairs, but there’s still a lot of money that’s just evaporated into the cold northern air without any explanation from the local tribal council members – without any sort of accountability.

If any non-native municipality squandered away almost a hundred million dollars in five years, there’d be – at the minimum – a public inquiry… if not a criminal investigation.

But no.

Not on a reservation.

They maintain they’re above or beyond the reason and laws of white civilization – please see the problems with contraband cigarettes produced on native reservations as a prime example – but come begging to the white man when they bungle up their lives so immensely that they can’t deal with it on their own… hats or head dresses in hand, and crying “woe is us!”

I fully admitted at the top of this blog that natives have been screwed over – but this is them trying to pull a fast one on Whitey and demanding that there be no strings attached.

I completely agree that we as a white, conquering population owe them a lot more than a few worthless tracts of land and a pitiful allowance to make ourselves feel better – but they must also be accountable for their mistakes and be willing to live with the consequences of their actions.

To come to the government with demands of millions more dollars without accepting a top-down forensic examination to see why people from Attawapiskat are bankrupt is pure lunacy.

At some point, they have to be saved from themselves if they can’t straighten out their own affairs – the tax paying Canadians that foot the bill deserve to have their dollars spend wisely and not have the cash stuck in empty oil barrels to be set ablaze on a cold winter night.

Note that I haven’t accused them of spending the money on truckloads of firewater like some other people have been suggesting on various internet forums… mainly because the drunken, gas huffing Injun Joe is too much of a stereotype.

However… that money has to have gone somewhere, right?

Look at this photo:

Click me

That’s a home in Attawapiskat.

Does it look like $90,000,000 has been anywhere near it in the past five years?

Not fucking likely.

So… I demand that our government stick to it’s guns and not hand over another dime in funding until some explanation has been made of how those past millions of dollars have been spent, and gotten in writing a guarantee that all money going forward is going to go towards the people of Attawapiskat directly and not towards causes that their council prefers.

Otherwise, they’re welcome to move south and struggle for a job at Labor Ready just like the whiteman.

Invisible Planes & Your Shopping Cart

With the Canadian federal government once again chugging along after a year of elections on both the national and provincial levels, certain issues are coming up again from the previous edition of Parliament Hill.

Many of the issues are crime related… but there has been some renewal of opposition grumblings over the F-35 Stealth Fighter.

I’ve written all about the technological benefits of the F-35 previously, but I really didn’t touch too much on why we need a stealth fighter in the first place beyond the vague (but real) threat that Russia presents to our borders.

Currently – in the year 2011 – there is only one player in the global military arena that has a fully functional, deployable  stealth aircraft asset… and it’s to our benefit that we happen to be best friends with the U.S.A. and their F-22 Raptor squadrons.

However, other nation states around the world are progressing towards testing their own stealth aircraft – and those nations aren’t always on the up and up… and yes, I’m looking straight at China and the former Soviet Union.

With Russia, the situation is fairly predictable: just as in the days of the Cold War, Russia can be relied upon to act solely in it’s own best interests – even if those interests are counter to what the rest of the world finds acceptable.

One poignant example of this would be the Georgian War of a few years ago where Russian military forces invaded the territory of another sovereign nation… and then subsequently told the world it could collectively go fuck itself if we didn’t like it.

At the end of the Georgian conflict, it was practically the Cuban Missile Crisis all over again – except in microcosm – as American troops stood almost toe to toe against Russian counterparts as they brought aid and supplies to the stricken Georgia.

The only differences were that Georgia was a former Soviet communist state instead of Castro’s newly communist island, and there weren’t at least 3,000 nuclear weapons ready to be shot at the other side with the push of a button.

However, the situation was fairly typical when you study the long term behavior of Russian military commanders and their political overlords in Moscow – so, it’s not too far of a leap in logic that (when Sukhoi or MiG gets a stealth plane into full production) their behavior will change  much in the stealth era.

The only wrinkle in that observation is that Russia will export it’s military hardware to virtually anyone with deep enough pockets – and I would only assume that would apply to future stealth aircraft produced for the Kremlin.

Despite the appearances of – and the lip service towards – democracy, Russian politics is really the bastard son of Mr. Communism and Ms. Democracy… and has been placed into the foster care of Mr. & Mrs. Capitalist-Autocracy – and that autocracy needs money to pay out hush money as well as distribute infrastructure contracts to political allies.

This money comes from those sales of military hardware to the highest bidder.

You know who’s the main beneficiary of Russia’s sales of military hardware and technological know-how?

The People’s Republic of China.

Believe me when I say that this is a bad thing.

Why?

It’s not that big of  a secret that Beijing would like to fully control their political area of influence – essentially every island between Australia and Japan, and a few more going in the direction of India – and have been steadily building up their army, air force, and navy with hardware that was either manufactured in Russia, or designed there.

The most dangerous of these military assets are Kilo-class attack submarines… which are damn near impossible to detect in their newest configuration.

Why are they dangerous – aside from the obvious?

Because the Chinese have always intended for them to be a very real threat to American carrier groups – the very U.S. naval assets that keep China from unilaterally invading Taiwan… the island nation that Beijing maintains is Chinese territory and has simply been ‘misbehaving’ since the 1950s.

Ask your average Taiwanese citizen, and I’m sure they’d have a different opinion… and it’s that fact that the U.S. government counts on to maintain it’s political influence right off the coast of the world’s largest communist nation.

With these political tensions constantly at play, it’s very probable that the next global military conflict will start in the South China Sea – possibly by the sinking of a U.S. aircraft carrier by a Chinese Kilo using a conventional or nuclear torpedo.

What does this have to do with Canada?

The Chinese are developing a stealth fighter of their own, independent of Russian researchers.

And yet we in North America overlook all of these alarming facts because nearly everything at Walmart is made in China – so it’s not to our economical advantage to call China on it’s various sins… not least of which is Beijing’s abysmal record on human rights and dignities that allow for factories in China to pay their workers with dust bunnies and a few grains of rice so that Chinese manufactured goods are the cheapest.

Things are considerably more complicated for our American neighbors: a lion’s share of American debt is owned by Chinese banks, and if those debts were suddenly called in – and if Washington didn’t put up a fight – up to 25-30% of all sellable real estate in the U.S. would become Chinese owned… on top of  industrial land which is already owned by Chinese corporations.

All this means is that there are conflicts coming – and those conflicts will have air wars fought with stealth planes.

Even in small, isolated conflicts that will be resolved by NATO or the United Nations in the coming years could be fought with stealth air assets – and if you haven’t noticed, those type of wars are where Canada steps onto the word stage.

Libya’s skies were patrolled by Canadian warplanes this year.

We need the hardware that will allow men flying for the Royal Canadian Air Force to go forward into the future and not be held back by legacy military hardware designed with attitudes from the 1970s (which is where the CF-18 design originated) or the 1980s (where most attack jets available on the open market were designed).

The F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) is that tool – a plane designed for the 21st Century, and for the air combat of 2020 and beyond.

The Canadian opposition parties are saying we should buy the Eurofighter Typhoon or the SAAB Gripen to replace our aging and rapidly failing CF-18s – but those planes are legacy designs from the 70s/80s/early 90s.

Yes, the Typhoon and Gripen are fast and agile aircraft… but they simply don’t bring to bear the warfare technologies that will be required in the future.

So… when China is no longer satisfied with just being an industrial power – and that’s coming, whether we like it or not – which planes do you want Canadian fighter pilots screaming through the skies in?

I know that I personally want them up there kicking ass and chewing bubblegum… long after they’ve run out of bubblegum.

How about you?

Tim Who ‘Dat?

Ontarians – from border to border, and from Hudson Bay to the Great lakes – are on the verge of going to the polls again.

How and who they vote for will shape the government of Ontario for the next 4-5 years, and that is no inconsequential responsibility: North America is pretty much three inches and a market fart away from falling back into an economic recession that will no doubt put further pressure on the unemployment safety net as thousands of workers are let go.

The province of Ontario is a very complex machine… and when a machine breaks down, you want the right tools in your hands to fix it, right?

Unfortunately, Tim Hudak is just a tool (in the most derogatory sense).

During the 2011 election campaign, Mr. Hudak has tried to paint himself with Mike Harris’ left over cans of Tremclad Rustoleum in the supposedly trendy colour of ChangeBlue™… but he’s failed to realize that colour has been out of style for more than a decade.

While LiberalRed™ is still the preferred colour of the Ontario electorate, they’ve also developed a hankering for Andrea Horwath’s truckload of LaytonOrange™ – at least in small doses.

Tim Hudak may be good at mugging for the cameras,  but he’s been overly terrible at public policy ideas – a failing that’s always terminal in a politicians’s case, and one that can make you a laughing-stock at what’s supposed to be your defining moment.

At the start of the campaign, everything was coming up roses for Timmy and his merry band of Harris leftovers because Ontarians thought that change would be nice after 8 years of Premiere Dad – and that’s bound to happen, no matter who’s been holding on to the province’s keys: people like change now and then.

Instead of always getting the pepperoni pizza, sometimes you go out on a limb and get the Hawaiian with extra pineapple.

After a week or so of glad handing voters around the province, Hudak firmly took his campaign off the rails by repeatedly saying the word “foreigners” – and in a province that only grows with the importing of landed immigrants from other countries around the world (because the Canadian birth rate is abysmal), that was just the wrong thing to focus on.

Suddenly, Tim Hudak was all about white guys – despite him looking out over Toronto sidewalks that skewed a bit more towards yellow and brown.

On top of that, the Progressive Conservative party – that’s led by Mr. Hudak – has always been the champion of big business.

So… Tim Hudak is all about rich white guys.

And yes… I’m using white guys on purpose since the PC party has never really been on board the women’s rights train – paying lip service to it when necessary, but always mumbling quietly about finding ways to outlaw abortions.

The funny thing about the “Foreigner” debacle is that, by and large, the immigrant population are the people most likely to agree with the PC platform since most of them have come from moderately- to radically conservative countries… which makes them more likely to drink the HarriBerry Blue™ Kool-Aid.

The idiocy of Hudak’s derailment is based on one glaring fact: they have no serious issues to grab the undecided voter’s attention.

Television advertisements paid for by the PC party have only harped on about taxes: Dalton McGuinty and his Fiberals are supposedly raising taxes every other week and twice on Christmas.

While it is true that taxes have gone up in Ontario, they’re not disproportionate to the rate of inflation… and there’s been a concrete need for any taxes implemented by the Liberal government over their past two mandates.

Evil Tax Number One a.k.a. The Health Care Premium: Do you have any idea how much money is needed to care for the rapidly aging Baby Boom generation?  To care for the existing senior citizens?  To battle health concerns like SARS and swine flu?  Billions of dollars… billions of dollars that can’t be completely extracted from the amount of money brought into public coffers through various levels of personal and retail taxation – so the government needed a way to continue paying for our universal health care without digging itself further into debt.

Evil Tax Number Two a.k.a. The Eco-Tax: More than a million metric tons of used electronics used to go into landfills across the province before the turn of the century, and many still do… but that’s changing under the auspices of the Ontario Stewardship (a program that was itself set in motion by the previous PC government as a way to boost their environmental credentials) – and the money that’s required to start complex recycling programs province-wide has to come from somewhere… and where better to get that money than at the point of sale for the widescreen LCD television that you will discard in the next 5 years? That way, you’ve already paid for it’s recycling long before it’s necessary… instead of the government having to dip into it’s already strained and tattered pocketbook.

Evil Tax Number Three a.k.a. The HST: I’ve already explained why the HST is a necessary evil in previous blogs, so there’s not much I can add here. At the end of the day, Ontario needed to have the HST so it’s businesses could compete with other business entities around the world in our Global Economy because other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, the U.S., Mexico, and South America already had in place single-point or so-called “value added” tax systems that made paying corporate taxes easier and more streamlined… and therefore cheaper over the long run.

With that Evil Tax Trifecta, surely Hudak could have made a better case for lowering taxes for the masses, right?

No… he couldn’t – and didn’t.

The HST couldn’t be revoked without activating a ‘poison pill’ scenario that was inserted by Hudak’s Conservative cousins in the federal government: if the province of Ontario were to revoke the HST, it would have to pay back $4 billion dollars in equalization money that’s already been sent to majority of Ontario citizens by those four special cheques you found in your mailbox over the past year – which would immediately be added to the province’s debt load and sinking the S.S. Ontario further into the Sea Of Red Ink… and would necessitate a rise in income taxes.

The best Hudak could promise on the HST front (and to be fair, Horwath has said the same things) was a modification of items that were included on the list of items taxable under HST – mainly removing the federal portion of the taxes on heating oil and electricity bills.

I suppose that would be nice, but hardly practical since it would cause a headache for the taxation department – a department that would eventually find a way to make up the difference from some other way of taxing you.

Onto the Health Care Premium.

Has Mr. Hudak said he would do away with those?

Nope. In fact, he’s said – very quietly and far away from voters waving little blue flags – that he will keep those in place because they do what I said they did a few paragraphs upwards from this one.

At the end of the day, the only one of those three Evil Taxes that Mr. Hudak and the PCs could tamper with in any meaningful way – and the meaning wouldn’t be necessarily good – would be the Eco-Tax.

However, as I hopefully made it clear up above, that would simply be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul – letting you off the hook at the point of purchase and then raising your personal taxes to maintain funding for the recycling facilities for your disposable iPods, Blackberries, flat screen televisions, and laptops… and to also pay for the water purification plants that remove the chemicals you put down the drain every day.

Outside of he Evil Tax Trifecta, Hudak doesn’t have a platform.

Healthcare? It can be argued that Ontario’s health care system is in the best shape it’s ever been in.

Yes… there are still crowded emergency rooms at hospitals across the province, but the wait times are getting better on the whole – especially for surgeries that can change people’s lives… or let them continue their lives as whole persons.

A few years ago, I was in serious bicycle accident and I snapped my leg in three places – something that would have been seriously debilitating in decades and centuries past…. even so bad that amputation would have been considered in more primitive times.

Guess what? The accident happened just after 1 o’clock in the afternoon… and I was in surgery to have a titanium rod permanently inserted down the middle of my tibia with attending screws and other hardware required to regain structural integrity – allowing me to walk on it again within several months – at 6 o’clock in the evening on the very same day.

So, I went from mangled to mostly fixed in five hours… and I didn’t have to pay a single cent – not even for the ambulance ride.

No… our healthcare system may not be perfect, but it’s still pretty damn amazing when you consider how much it has to struggle when it comes to finances.

The Progressive Conservatives, during their last stint as the province’s controls had taken a slash n’ burn approach to healthcare – firing doctors and nurses, and closing nearly twenty hospitals across the province… which caused such systemic damage that Ontario’s healthcare system was amongst the worst in the country, and it’s only now (2011) that it’s gotten back to the top.

Hudak & Pals don’t have any where to go with education, either.

The Liberals under Dalton McGuinty have made some radical improvements to public education in Ontario.

More students are sticking it out all the way through high school, graduating with marks that they can be proud of.

Smaller class sizes have helped students get the attention they need from their teachers, which means they get the help they need if they need it – either in that same classroom, or in more specialized learning environments.

The biggest change, of course, was the implementation of full-day kindergarten for all youngsters – which had two effects: the first being that children started experiencing a constructive learning environment sooner than most other children in North America… and it eased the financial burdens of working families that would have otherwise had to pay for daycare or babysitting services.

There’s very little to complain about when it comes to Ontario’s public schools.

In fact, there’s very little for Ontarians to complain about on the whole as the province simply works.

Compared to the Mike Harris years – an era where nearly every public sector union in Ontario was on strike – that Tim Hudak clearly yearns for deeply, Ontario is firmly planted in the Garden Of Prosperity.

Yes… there are many people across the province who are out of work because of the current global financial climate that isn’t particular to Ontario.

However, there are many people who’ve either regained or retained their employment because of programs that the current Liberal government forced into being with their majority… programs that cost many billions of dollars, but had very clear and tangible results.

Sure – the bailing out of General Motors and Chrysler (now owned by Fiat) was a popularly unpopular move… but it kept those two massive companies who employed thousands of Ontarians (either directly or through companies G.M. and Chrysler depended on to build their cars and trucks) alive.

The manufacturing sector in Ontario – and the world at large – has taken a beating as money becomes tight for consumers.

Companies that face certain peril if they don’t downsize their workforce have no choice to let employees go… and this is not the fault of the Ontario government.

It’s the fault of American banks and financial institutions who squandered and pissed away more than a trillion dollars in crooked investments and other equally worthless endeavors – actions that had a ripple effect across the entire world of stock exchanges and investment banking from New York to Tokyo.

The current hard financial times facing Ontario are not something that was caused in Ontario, and is most definitely not the fault of the McGuinty Liberals.

However, Tim Hudak has done his best to blame Dalton McGuinty for it… and in the end, the blame hasn’t stuck.

Maybe because the average Ontario voter is smarter than that… and I would really hope that’s the case.

However, I think the Ontarian electorate is sticking with the Liberals because Ontario is in a better place than a lot of jurisdictions in North America – and even the world.

Dalton McGuinty goes on television and shows you all the  good things the Liberals have done over the time they’ve been in charge – most of which I’ve discussed here.

…And Tim Hudak challenges McGuinty and Horwath to a BBQ cook-off.

If that wasn’t a sign of non-existent political platform, I really don’t know what is.

No, Timmy.

No you can’t.

Send In The Clowns: Death Of The Last Politician

Jack Layton is dead.

There is very little doubt that the 2011 federal election killed him.

Yes… I know that it was his last duel with cancer that actually took his life from him, but do you honestly think that flying/driving/riding/walking around this vast country of ours didn’t wear him down so much that the cancer made easy prey of him in it’s last, great push?

Perhaps it’s morbid to speculate at this early juncture, but when it comes down to the brass tacks, I’ll stand by my statement.

Anyhow… the country has lost it’s last great politician, and we should all feel the worse for it.

Jack Layton had a podium presence that none of the other federal leaders could touch – he was bold, brash, sure of his convictions, and had no traces of the wishy-washy/flip-floppy attitudes of the Conservative and Liberal leaders… who’s stances changed as often as the wind changed speed or direction.

It’s no wonder at all that he was able to do what no other NDP leader had ever done before: take his Big Orange Surfboard and ride the wave right into the Official Opposition’s seats… even if he had to vacate his chair barely months later and leave the NDP in care of The Fates.

The reasons for this were simple and best explained in the diagram below:

As you see, Canadians who wanted an actual leader had no option other than to jump on that Big Orange Surfboard and leave the rest of the country to vote for policy… which is why Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.

We’re on the eve of a state funeral for the most popular of the federal leaders – even if you won’t see any foreign heads of state attending… but this is more than made up with the thousands of ordinary Canadians who will travel from all corners of the nation to pay their respects to a man who managed to capture the public desire for hope.

However, I really think that Canada as a whole should mourn Mr. Layton’s passing – not just the NDP party faithful that made The Orange Wave possible.

As I’ve said, Jack was the last politician in the truest sense – he was the barn storming type of politico from days of yore… the type that would shake hands, kiss babies, address the masses from atop the biggest stump you could find .

When he was dealing with the public, Mr. Layton had the bravado of Don Cherry and a silver tongue to rival Sean Connery (well… maybe not, but it was close).

In comparison, Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff spent most of their campaigns on the bus or in hotel back rooms pouring over statistics and telephone polling results so they could change their speeches at the last minute in hopes of sounding less like a deflating balloon.

I’m not a foolish romantic – I’m sure the Layton team also did their fair share of electorate research as they toured the cities/towns/provinces of this great land, but Jack kept up the same tone throughout the campaign.

It may have not led to an ultimate victory, but there’s no shame in second best – and Jack proved that when he took the stage at the end of election night and brandished his cane like a mighty sword.

I salute you, Mr. Layton.

May you rest in peace.