Found in my clip files: a CP report headlined "Aging Canadians want grandkids".
Even with three children in their 30s, Gloria Gutman sometimes wonders if she'll ever be a grandmother. "There's some wishfulness," the Vancouver resident said when asked if she hopes one day to bounce grandchildren on her knee.
Gutman, director of the gerontology centre at Simon Fraser University, says career issues are among the reasons none of her adult kids has started a family. "I keep hearing how nice it is to be a grandparent, but whether I become a grandparent remains to be seen," she says.
With the aging population -- emphasized by Statistics Canada census data released in July -- and the fact that baby boomers and their kids are having fewer offspring, many older Canadians share Gutman's uncertainty.
Here's a hint for those of you awaiting grandkids. We younger folk were born into a world of confiscatory tax rates. We were never asked to vote on Canada's generous welfare programs, nationalized healthcare, interprovincial equalization, pension plan, or phony unemployment "insurance". These things were already in place when we were born, and thanks to your own rather inhibited fertility, we're outvoted until you die.
In short, you already busted our balls--don't expect them to suddenly start working now."
Cause and effect. Nothing more. Having both partners working nowadays isn't a "lifestyle" choice, it's a requirement for having a lifestyle greater than the US poverty line. Unless you're earning a hell of a lot of money in Canada, don't plan on supporting two, let alone three or four people.
One of the justifications for Canada's high rate of immigration (which I have no problem with) is that we need the inflow of people to make up for our low birth rates. I'm reaching here, but it almost seems like a circle- generous social services which require high taxes which drive down the birth rate which increases the government demand for immigration which increases demand on social services which leads to higher taxes.....
Yeah, I realize that that chain is BS. After all, there is no causal link between expanding demand on social services and increased taxes- they'll increase the taxes no matter what and claim that more services are needed- no matter what. That, and with the Liberals, population replacement is a secondary incentive to being able to gain the loyalty of new voters by being willing to extend generous social services and reunification programs.
Canada is beginning to reap what it has sown with the socialist experiment of the last forty years. Wait- no. "experiment" is the wrong word. "Experiment" implies a scientific method, a planned process of systematically assessing your results in an impartial manner. What we've had is an unquestioning, dogmatic progression of measures sold to us over the years which the general public has been foolish enough to accept in the name of not being american. There is no end in sight, or final assessment coming for Canadian socialism, only a continuing decline along the European model.
We've had forty years of socialism. It is time for Canada to lean back and assess what it's achieved. Just as importantly what we could have achieved and what we have not achieved.
In LGF Comments, Howard writes"If you don't think providers here like Yahoo and Hotmail aren't keeping emails, I've got some aluminum siding for your motorcycle I'll sell you. Email is gold for advertisers. I was informed by Adelphia a while back that they had the "right" to archive my email for my convenience."
The difference is that Yahoo and Microsoft don't maintain police forces, armies and prisons and the legal ability to deprive you of your property, freedom and life. Whereas European nations in living memory have viewed genocide as a national project with little objection from their neighbours and half the continent were Police states just over a decade ago.
Can information held in private, corporate hands be misused? Absolutely, but it isn't until that the information is placed at the disposal of the government that our lives and liberty are in danger.
My health and other aspects of my well-being are the business of whom?
I'm simply asking whose business is it if I don't adequately plan for retirement or save money for my child's education? If I don't wear a seatbelt while driving or a helmet while biking, whose business is it? What if I don't get enough sleep or don't exercise enough for good health -- should government force me to, under the pain of punishment? In other words, should Congress have the power to force people to do what's in their own health, safety and welfare interests?
I'm afraid that most Americans believe that government should be able to force people to do what's in their health, safety and welfare interests. Their reasoning might be that if I don't wear a helmet while biking or a seatbelt while driving, I might have an accident, become a vegetable and become a burden on other Americans as taxpayers.
No that's just the problem, isn't it? "Oh, we have to ensure that everyone is cared for by the government so that no-one suffers misfortune." The voters say, okay, we're willing to go for that. We're willing to pay the taxes necessary to ensure that the minority of unfortunates in our country don't suffer. Hell, we may benefit from the program too if we fall on tough times. Okay, go for it.
Later of course, the caring comes with conditions. "We're paying for your care and well being, so we have a stake in your life. We're stakeholders now, so we have a say in what you can and can't do. You're responsible to us because we may have to take care of you." But wait, I don't actually depend on the governemtn services you talk about. Why should you have anything to say to me about what I do? "Well, you might. So that means we have a reason to talk about what you want to do, you know, some reasonable guidelines."
The entire mentality reminds me of growing up with parents. Every kid eventually rebels against parental authority and gets told "well we pay the bill, kid. We put the roof over your head, so that's why we get to decide what you can do!"
Only in our relationship with the nanny state, there's no such thing as "moving out and getting your own place".
If I choose to chug cheeseburgers by the gallon, never exercise, and skydive, and smoke Dominican ceeeegars- it should be a matter between me, my insurer and my undertaker. If I want medical insurance, I should be the one responsible for paying the premiums that are required to insure me for my bad habits and risks. Given competition and gov't inefficiency, I'm confident that I would pay less for any given amount of coverage. I'm also a lot more confident of being able to change insurance companies should they start to tell me how to live my life. I'm nowhere near as confident of my ability to change governments.
Well, if the money goes to a dedicated purpose, NOT into general revenues, and is charged to only those who use the service and the money stops being collected when the project result is achieved, then I'm perfectlyt content to call it a fee.
Unfortunately, since government projects are never finished and government accounting makes Arthur Andersen look like paragons of virtue and truth, yeah, I agree- it's a tax.
"Milan Markovic, left-wing grad student at York University, political writer, complainer, and brave predictor in November that the Taliban "isn't going anywhere soon" is bitter that the US didn't rebuild Kosovo after ousting Slobodan Milosevic. Because, you know, it's not just good enough to squash your home grown dictators, we also have to replant the flower beds also.
What's more interesting is that the US gets all (or most of it -- he does use the phrase "and its allies") the blame for lack of follow through. How about the EU? Kosovo, Yugoslavia, all of that are on Europe's doorstep. The funny thing is, when it's time to order dinner, "Europe" is the loudest voice at the table, wanting vegetarian this, that without MSG, saying this is too fattening, and could the chef substitute this for that. And that's all assuming they can agree on where to eat in the first place! Of course, when the bill comes to the table, all twelve of them are suddenly trying to jam themselves into the bathroom while pretending they still have their dignity. "
Best. Description. Of. European Foreign Policy. Ever.
Yeah, what was the name of the last country that the EU rebuilt?
Oh yeah, Palestine. Except not much building, lots of bombing.
Guess what? Enron made donations to Bush and the Republicans and it didn't get them any favours- not like it did with Clinton. Donations to the Democrats aren't going to do you any good either.
"Because the two principals in the burgeoning ImClone scandal are benefactors of the Democratic Party, some Democratic operatives question whether the investigation by the Republican-led committee is politically motivated. Democrats have waged a campaign to tie Republicans to business and have portrayed their own party as the best at preventing and policing corporate scandals. Republicans reject the argument that they are singling out Mrs. Stewart for political gain."
How fascinating. With Enron, the story the media presented to us was "big corporations purchasing influence in the Republican party". With Martha, the story is "Republicans trying to gain politcal advantage by investigating Democrat party donors".
I don't, myself, know why people still vote Tory. But no one has ever given me any reason to suspect that the answer is anything but this: Tory voters would rather choke to death on their own shit than vote for anything which comes from the West, is led by the West, or favours the political agenda of Westerners. How is a Western party supposed to accommodate that slight difficulty?
Well, I'm Ontarian, and I've voted Alliance/Reform for the last two elections. What I can comment on is the attitude of other Ontarians towards the Alliance. I've never once heard any mention of antipathy to the West as being a reason for disliking the Alliance. What seems to jar people, especially women, is the image that the Alliance has been saddled with of being the party of the Religious right and a bunch of racist, homophobic bigots. (The moment of truth for me in dating has more than once been telling a girl that yes, I support the Alliance. This has not always worked out well. one girl from Queens told me never to speak to her again after I had the temerity to ask for proof that Stockwell Day was a racist as she'd claimed.)
Who do I blame? Initially the party itself, but over time, the media more than anything else. In Ontario, there seems to me a general attitude towards the party that says that supporting it is one of those social faux pas that just isn't done by, well, you know, civilized people. Everyone knows they aren't supposed to vote for the Alliance, know that they aren't supposed to take them seriously, except as a source of fear and a target of ridicule. I blame the media for the most part, the snobbery towards and deliberate distortion of the Alliance that informs coverage in the Star, the Globe and the television media.
As for the Tory party, it is dying. I used to be a Tory, and the last function I attended I was, at 25 or so, easily the youngest person in the room, probably by a decade. The majority of attendees were about the age of 60. The party organization that I last saw was seriously weak. The problem is the voters who are unwilling to give up voting Tory. The main reason they are unwilling is the stigma associated with voting Alliance.
In truth, the Canadian left couldn't care less about Jabarah's legal situation. It's not the violation of this terrorist's rights that angers these professional America-bashers, but rather his presence in the hands of their enemy: the United States. They hate America — always have — and are willing to do anything to undermine her. Moreover, they can't bear seeing America score any victories.
This is nothing new of course. It is simply the continuation of the left's most effective anti-American tactic since the Vietnam War: feigning concern for certain people for the sake of waging hysterical war on America. This malicious stratagem of cloaking hatred with humanitarianism resulted in the liquidation of millions of lives in Indochina after the communist takeovers there in 1975 — when the real killing started.
Strangely absent from the pages of the Toronto Star are any expressions of concern for the legal rights of Cuban dissidents.
The conclusion doesn't follow logically though.
In the barbaric worldview of the left, hating and attacking America always takes precedence over human life. And because of this reality, America must detain its Canadian terrorist for as long as it deems necessary.
I agree with the first statement, but the second doesn't logically follow from the first. The detention should continue because because a terrorist, not because the left wants to make him a poster boy for american "oppression".
Re #47 (James) "I think you're wrong. I believe that Europe would pull another Holocaust again against a minority if they felt threatened. As soon as France really feels that "the Ay-rabs are taking over" watch 'em act in a manner inconsistent with political correctness. "
Interesting point that we should think about: at what point will the EU Elites feel themselves threatened? They have spent the last fifteen years setting up their play for full and undemocratic control of Europe. I cannot see them giving up the control they have achieved without a struggle of some sort. My question is whether they would revert to the tried and true Xenophobic means of checking the Islamicists, or whether they will attempt to co-opt them and bring the islamic leaders into the post-modern EU elite?
In the past we've seen violently opposed ideologies make a deal (Naziism/Communism with the Moltov Ribbentrop pact), so making a deal isn't unthinkable to the EU, especially when one considers the passages in the Koran about making deals with unbeleivers being perfectly permittable (but only for ten years or until a position of strength is obtained), and the EUniks' preference for dealing against their own interest.
On the other hand (yes, I am an Economist), the EU is very good at trading away things that are not theirs -will they be willing to surrender power over a European state and the tax base it represents? Are the EUniks willing to give up their own power? Not their citizens' rights, but the powers of the elite? They've spent the last two hundred years finding ways to convert every democratic movement into a means of the same elite continuing to hold power. I don't think they are ready to stop now. As much as the EU is accepting immigrants from the muslim countries, they have not been very forthcoming about sharing political power. Could the power of the muslim vote be the final straw that the EU will use to justify the gutting of the power of voting?
The fact of proportional representation in some of the EU countries (Germany) also needs examination. The Greens have managed to convert their small following in german voting into a substantial hold on the balance of power in Germany. Will Islamic politcal parties be able to do the same? The Greens, in the end, fit nicely into the EU elite mould and don't have any fundamental disagreement with the goals of the EU (centralized control, the elite knows better thant the people who must be saved from themselves). Are the Islamicists too diferent for the EU to cut a deal with?
I expect the EUniks will sell whatever rights of their citizens they can to cut a deal with the Islamicists, but as soon as it comes down to actually surrendering control, I think they will dig in their heels. As I said, they've spent 200+ years riding movements for popular change, but always staying in control. Odds are that they view this as just another movement to be co-opted.