Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Right here...

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is pushing for a carbon tax:

The two methods of carbon pricing are a carbon tax and cap-and-trade.

Norway has the most mature and sophisticated carbon tax in the world. Statistics Norway - the equivalent of Statistics Canada - concluded years ago it has not significantly reduced Norway's man-made carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Liberals will probably haul out British Columbia's carbon tax as a success at lowering emissions.

Except it was introduced in 2008, just as the global economic recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage scandal was hitting and fossil fuel usage was dropping all over the world.

The world's most mature and sophisticated cap-and-trade market is Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme.

It has not only failed to lower emissions, it sent electricity prices skyrocketing throughout Europe and drove millions of families into fuel poverty, which means paying more than 10% of your income just to heat and power your home.

The carbon credit trading system upon which the Emissions Trading Scheme is built, is overrun by fraud and organized crime. ...

A carbon tax raises taxes on goods and services, money that goes directly to the government.

A cap-and-trade market raises prices on goods and services, with the government getting its cut by holding annual auctions of carbon credits to industrial emitters.

The Liberals will argue they are making "polluters pay," but what they will mean is that they are making us pay, because "polluters" pass along their increased costs to us.

The Liberals will probably describe their carbon pricing scheme as "revenue neutral."

It won't be.

In all carbon pricing schemes - even if they are revenue neutral in the narrow sense of the government returning all the money it takes in - politicians pick the winners and losers.

For example, a common feature of carbon pricing schemes is that governments divert some of the money into social programs, ostensibly to help the poor cope with the increased cost of living they experience under carbon pricing schemes.

To accomplish that, everyone else pays more.

The key thing to remember is that carbon pricing schemes have nothing to do with improving the environment or even lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

They are tax grabs and wealth re-distribution schemes imposed by governments desperate for cash, in Wynne's case, because of the financial incompetence of the Liberals.

Ontario already has some of the highest electricity rates in North America. The "green" energy schemes put in place by the Liberals have been a colossal failure at great cost. Wind and solar power (unreliable) provided on four percent of Ontario's power but accounted for twenty percent of the cost paid by taxpayers. And they were sold at a loss! Now, Wynne wants a carbon tax that has been both unworkable and unpopular else where.

 But do not fret. Ontario Liberal voters won't be.

Ontario Liberal voters want this tax. They voted for her. They want this outrageous tax that will not conserve the environment but will fleece everyone else of what little money they have left.


Ontarians should pay four or five times more for "on-peak" than off-peak electricity to promote conservation, environmental commissioner Gord Miller says.

(Sidebar: as in Commissioner Gord?)

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which sets the spread between peak, mid-peak and off-peak power rates, only has a mandate to add the cost of conversation programs onto peak power, he said.

"For reasons of influencing market demand, you have to really put up the price on peak," Miller said Tuesday. "Until they're told by the government to see it that way, it won't happen."

What a moron.

Bribing someone with somebody else's money does not guarantee any future favours:

General Motors was a big beneficiary of Ontario taxpayer generosity when the company stalled several years ago, Finance Minister Charles Sousa has reminded the automaker whose future in Oshawa, Ont., remains hazy.

"It's critical that GM recognizes that Ontario was the only sub-national jurisdiction in the world that was there to support them at a time of need," Sousa said Wednesday.

With that proposed carbon tax and high energy prices, why would this example of union schlubbery bail out Ontario?

Is anyone aside from Charlie Hebdo producing their own cartoons of Mohammad?

Just asking.

I am dismayed when churches are burned down:

A week ago, Charlie Hebdo was a niche publication little known outside France, with a circulation of 60,000. On Wednesday the satirical newspaper's first issue since last week's deadly attack on its staff went on sale with an initial print run of 3 million copies and front-page coverage around the world. ...

Many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet, and reacted with dismay — and occasionally anger — to the latest cover image. Some felt their expressions of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after last week's attack had been rebuffed, while others feared the cartoon would trigger yet more violence.

"You're putting the lives of others at risk when you're taunting bloodthirsty and mad terrorists," said Hamad Alfarhan, a 29-year old Kuwaiti doctor.

The one's own community ought not to produce them.

Perhaps Mr. Ansari would like to explain how Rupert Murdoch is wrong. Did or did not terrorists burst into an office, murder twelve people and shout that they "avenged the Prophet"? Is this par the course in other countries where Islam is the dominant religion? Should these thugs not be punished and ridiculed for their violence and emotional retardation?

Maybe Aziz Ansari is just a thin-skinned liberal celebrity without any ability to objectively think through any statement and instead just goes with his gut.

Russia has re-opened one Arctic military base near Finnish border and is building a new one:

As of Jan. 13, approximately 800 servicemen from Russia's Northern Fleet had been stationed in the Russian town of Alakurtti, in the Murmansk region. Alakurtti is due to become one of Russia's key strongholds in its quest to fortify its position and influence over the Arctic region. 

The rest of Russia’s Northern Fleet — which includes 3,000 ground troops trained for combat in Arctic conditions backed by 39 ships and 45 submarines — will be stationed there "soon."

Finnish news network YLE confirms that Russia has reopened the military base in Alakurtti. The base had previously been shut down in 2009, but was now being retrofitted to fit a garrison of 3,000 radioelectronics experts. 

Russia's drive to militarize the Arctic is in keeping with the country's new military, which was signed into law on Dec. 26 last year. The new doctrine explicitly states that NATO's expansion was the main external threat facing Moscow and that Russia should reinforce three key geopolitical fronts.

What to make of Russia's pan-Arctic approach?

NATO is not moving strongly enough against Russia. Russia is emboldened by this and by the possibility of getting a deeper and stronger foothold into the North Pole.

A teen-age offender saves a cop's life in Florida:

A juvenile offender is being hailed a hero for helping to save the life of the Fort Lauderdale police officer who was processing his arrest last fall. 

On September 10, 2014, Officer Franklin Foulks was processing the arrest of teenager Jamal Rutledge for probation violations when the officer suddenly collapsed.

According to a statement from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Rutledge, who was still handcuffed at the booking facility, “immediately began to kick the security fence and yell to alert officers in the area.”

Thanks to Rutledge’s actions, nearby officer Todd Bunin ran to the scene and found Foulks on the ground, “clenching his chest in distress.”

Pope Francis was in Sri Lanka canonising its first saint:

Pope Francis on Wednesday canonized Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first saint, praising the 17th-century priest’s love for the Sri Lankan people, his “missionary zeal” and his example for all Christians.

“Leaving behind his home, his family, the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led,” the Pope said in his homily. ...

Pope Francis was the main celebrant of the Jan. 14 Mass held at the Galle Face Green in the national capital of Colombo. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the service, whose languages included English, Sinhalese, Tamil and Latin.

St. Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) was an Indian-born priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. He founded the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in the Indian region of Goa, then journeyed to Sri Lanka at a time when Catholics were suffering persecution under the country’s Calvinist Dutch rulers.

Due to the threat of persecution, the priest dressed as a beggar and would visit secret meetings of Catholics, often at night, to bring them the Eucharist and other sacraments.

“His efforts provided spiritual and moral strength to the beleaguered Catholic population,” Pope Francis said, also praising the saint’s efforts to serve the ill during a smallpox epidemic.

Pope Francis said Joseph Vaz was “an exemplary priest” who showed “loving care for the Church of God.” He especially encouraged priests and vowed religious to look to the saint as a model.

“He teaches us how to go out to the peripheries, to make Jesus Christ everywhere known and loved,” he said.

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