Monday, March 14, 2016

Saint Patrick's Week: Pi Day

Terrorists kill fourteen in Ivory Coast:

Armed men attacked an Ivory Coast beach resort Sunday, killing at least 16 people and sending tourists fleeing through the historic town of Grand-Bassam in an attack claimed by al-Qaida's North Africa branch.

Putin orders withdrawal from Syria:

President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to withdraw most of its forces from Syria, timing his move to the launch of Syria peace talks Monday — an end game that allows the Russian leader to cash in on his gains and reduce his risks in the conflict.

The start of the negotiations in Geneva offers Putin an opportune moment to declare an official end to the 5 1/2-month Russian air campaign that has allowed Syrian President Bashar Assad's army to win back some key ground and strengthen his positions ahead of the talks. With Russia's main goals in Syria achieved, the pullback will allow Putin to pose as a peacemaker and help ease tensions with NATO member Turkey and the Gulf monarchies vexed by Moscow's military action.

At the same time, Putin made it clear that Russia will maintain its air base and a naval facility in Syria and keep some troops there. Syria's state news agency also quoted Assad as saying that the Russian military will draw down its air force contingent but won't leave the country altogether.

Not all Russian troops will withdraw and ISIS is the principle target.

Putin will soon have his pipeline.

That grating sound your hear is Obama grinding his teeth.

Perhaps the tax-prone Wynne could explain how much this basic guaranteed income and these affordable housing units will cost the already-burdened taxpayer or why she simply can't lower taxes and remove the disastrous green energy policies that have all but eliminated the manufacturing sector in Ontario:

Last month's provincial budget promised a pilot project to test "that a basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support."

Ontario municipalities will be able to mandate affordable housing in new developments under planned legislation that cities, including the "scorching" housing market of Toronto, are closely eyeing.

Why a basic income, as opposed to lowering taxes, eliminating some taxes, introducing student wages and inflating the cost of living, won't work:

I think you can make an argument that society should make it possible for those who are willing to contribute to support themselves; I would not be opposed to a system of guaranteed jobs that paid $10,000 a year, or whatever we think this basic income should be. But you cannot sustain a program that posits huge obligations on the part of one group to people who have no reciprocal obligations at all. ...

As I pointed out recently, any sort of guaranteed basic income means ending immigration from poor countries. Giving documented immigrants access to Medicaid and public schools is contentious enough. There is no way that we are going to admit people to this country in order to hand them, and all of their descendants, a check for a thousand or two every month. Yes, we could have guest-worker programs, but the problem remains, because every child that guest worker had on U.S. soil would be a U.S. citizen. Immigration has a lot of support right now, even among people who are not themselves related to recent immigrants. I'm skeptical that such support could be maintained if each of those immigrants, and their children, was guaranteed to cost the taxpayer $12,000 every year for life.

If you make it possible for some people to live without working, some people will live without working. That decision will be rational in the short term but disastrous in the long term. At any given point, a minimum-wage job may be very unattractive compared with spending more time with your family. But over the long run, it's very hard to get a "good" job if you have been living on a basic income rather than working; employers do not like the signal sent by resume gaps. It is particularly hard if you are not a middle-class kid whose parents have friends with hiring power -- and no, this is not fair, but we go to a guaranteed income with the socioeconomic structure we have, not the one we would like to have.

In addition, higher taxes are discouraging to innovation and businesses, which may be prompted to move elsewhere, outside a UBI zone. Alternatively, if a UBI payment were to be small enough to be financed by existing tax rates, it could lead to mass starvation and poverty increases in conjunction with payments going to those in no need of assistance. A compromise would increase poverty and reduce incentives to work, all in one package. This is a cure that seems worse than the disease.

It’s also worth questioning the overall effect UBI would have on a regional or national economy. 

Countries would be implementing a type of subsidy that might make welfare obsolete, but which would cost billions. Few supporters of basic income have been able to prove it would be less costly for states to implement than existing welfare offerings, and, in a time of economic recovery, it seems utopian to suggest states have the economic capacity to implement a system that requires broad-based, constant funding.

What’s more, a basic income could have a detrimental impact on inflation. When guaranteeing jobs, the effect tends to be deflationary, because it depresses wages. Conversely, a universal basic income free of sanctions and restrictions would push wages upwards, and have an inflationary effect.

But, hey! People voted for this, so...


The Liberal government says much of the funding it was counting on for First Nations education was quietly removed from the books by the previous Conservative government, leaving them to scramble ahead of their first budget on March 22.

The Liberals had campaigned on a pledge to invest $2.6 billion in First Nations education over four years and $500 million over three years in infrastructure for First Nations schools.

No more time and money should be wasted on people who depend on being perennial victims and layabouts to get by. It certainly doesn't benefit any upwardly mobile aboriginal who does work hard.
Then go further and get rid of the Indian Act, that centuries-old act of apartheid that has crippled aboriginals since its inception. It was designed to keep aboriginals out of white settlers' hair and the effect now is still the same. Imagine when the NDP or Liberals (or even the Tories) can't make aboriginals feel like lazy, useless @$$holes and now have to deal with them as taxpayers who are fuming over what they see as a declining quality of education.

No votes for you!

Of course, that would only happen if people were mobilised.


Destroy one's self if one must. Just don't ask the taxpayer to subsidise your death:

Toronto has joined the growing list of Canadian cities moving closer toward setting up safe-injection sites.

The city's medical officer of health released a report Monday on the health benefits of supervised injection services and steps to implement the services in Toronto.

Dr. David McKeown recommended that supervised injection sites be integrated into existing harm-reduction programs in Toronto.

An American fighting for ISIS turned himself into Kurdish forces, perhaps thinking that he would be shown leniency and might be returned to the US.

One hopes not.

He sided with child rapists and with child rapists he should die.

An American fighting for Islamic State was taken into custody in northern Iraq after he left territory controlled by the militant group, according to two Kurdish officers, one of whom arrested him.
Both said it appeared the man was intending to escape both Islamic State and Kurdish forces but handed himself in after peshmerga fighters opened fire on him near the frontline in the village of Golat.

Captain Daham Khalaf said they had spotted the fighter hiding in long grass around dawn and waited until the sun rose before surrounding him: "He shouted 'I am a foreigner'," Khalaf said, describing him as bearded and dressed in black.

The fighter did not have a passport but was carrying an American driving license and spoke English and broken Arabic, according to General Hashim Sitei who spoke to him.

A copy of what was said to be the license, seen by Reuters, was in the name of Khweis Mohammed Jamal.

“We gave him food and treated him with respect and handed him over to military intelligence," said Sitei.

The fighter was unarmed but carrying three mobile phones and said his father was Palestinian and his mother was from the Mosul area in Iraq, both officers said.

The State Department said it was aware of the reports that a U.S. citizen said to have been fighting for Islamic State was captured by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.

The address on the driver's license confiscated by the peshmerga was for a residence in a townhouse complex in the Washington, DC, suburb of Alexandria, Virginia.

After a series of upsets in regional elections, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is on the edge of her seat:

Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Monday to press on with her migrant policy despite seeing her Christian Democrats (CDU) party punished by voters who flocked to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Sunday's three regional polls.

The electoral setbacks came just as Merkel is trying to convince her European Union partners to seal a deal with Turkey to stem the tide of migrants, which has already dwindled as countries along the main route have unilaterally shut borders and erected fences.

Merkel, who has staked her reputation on a thus-far elusive European solution to the crisis, came under renewed pressure on Monday from her Bavarian allies to make Germany's border less porous, but refused to buckle.

"Yesterday was a difficult day for the CDU," she said after a party meeting to assess the damage from the polls.

"Without a doubt, we have come a long way toward solving the refugee issue, but we still don't have a sustainable solution. I am fully convinced that we need a European solution, and that this solution needs time."

(Sidebar: the lazy EU is dependent on Germany. Imagine how shocked the EU members must be to find out that Germany wants their help.)

I'm sure it is easy for some to label voters as heartless xenophobes but such reactionary critics are either absent-minded or are benefitting from influxes of unvetted migrants who bring their problems with them and rape women and children.

The German electorate, it seems, has drawn a line.

In Saudi Arabia, women would not be permitted to drive cars:

"It will be more convenient for them. They will feel more like they're stable here and that they're enjoying their life here," she said. 

"When they have their own cars they can visit, they can go around the city, they would have more time to explore the city and their province too."

Oh, the pipe-dream!

But how else would these women chauffeur around their anchors?

But I thought all black lives mattered:

Police were going about their business on a Sunday afternoon when a gunman fired at the first officer he saw outside a Maryland police station, prompting a gun battle that left an undercover narcotics officer dying and the suspect wounded, authorities say.

Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Jacai Colson, a four-year veteran of the department only days shy of his 29th birthday, died after the "unprovoked attack" outside the station. The shooting erupted in Landover, a suburb about 10 miles northeast of downtown Washington, D.C.
Not if they are also blue, I suppose.

Jacai Colson

Assuming this is true, it would not surprise me. Syrian migrants make for more solid voters blocks, not disabled children:

A Costa Rican family is leaving Toronto after three years in Canada because immigration officials say their son’s Down syndrome is too much of a burden on taxpayers.

And now, do you know your PI or pie? Click here to find out.

No comments: