Gas Prices Too High?

Published by under Economics

So what could be done about them?

In the GTA these days, the price of gas at the pumps is around $1.00 per litre. We are being buffaloed into accepting dollar-a-litre gasoline (or $4.25 a gallon for us older folks) as “normal”.

It’s time we did to the oil industry what was done to the telephone industry in North America. Continue Reading »

MONEY

Published by under Economics

A) Inflation

“Rising wages and prices don’t cause inflation. Wages and prices inflate because the currency is debased – made worth less – and a seller needs to charge more for his product or service in order to receive the same amount of standard value as before.

The process is somewhat more complicated today than it was in the olden days when base metal was added to make more ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ coins, but the principle is the same.

Since states still monopolize the control of money, it follows that a state’s governors cause inflation. They are the only ones with the positional authority to debase a nation’s money.

Legitimate government revenues are taxes and fees for service. These taxes and fees are a portion of all the revenues earned by a nation’s productive people and can be considered to have an “earned” aspect. However, when governors spend more money on current expenses than legitimate revenues can cover, they have to borrow it. This “unearned” borrowed money is the phony, fiat, funny money that debases a currency. An “unearned” artificial increase in the supply of money, that hasn’t come from the productive earnings of a nation’s people, dilutes the purchasing power of all the nation’s money. Continue Reading »

What We Might Look Like

Published by under Constitutional Reform

Canada is huge the second largest country in the world. It is also one of the least densely populated countries in the world. (If Canada was as densely populated as Germany or the U.K. both of which have lots of woods, mountains, moors and other open spaces she would have 2.2 or 2.3 Billion people respectively.) The immensity of our land is a blessing and a challenge.

Most of Canada is rock and forest. The prairies are flat to rolling and mostly treeless. Many parts of the country are underlain with vast mineral, gas and oil resources. Other parts have rich soils capable of producing the best tasting fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, meat and poultry products in the world. The range of geophysical realities in Canada is huge. Canada also has a continent’s worth of climates.

The history of Canada is as regionally varied as it is dramatically grand. Some regions of Canada have the oldest histories in North America. The name “Canada” has been on world maps since the 1540’s. For more than 200 years it referred to the land on both sides of the St. Lawrence River, a little bit down and up river from Quebec City and Montreal the mother and father cities of Canada. Other regions of Canada weren’t even explored, let alone developed, until the 20th century.

One thing is absolutely certain Canada is far more regionally diverse than ten provinces and three territories can possibly represent. Continue Reading »

Letter to Messrs. Harris and Manning

Published by under Constitutional Reform

I have just finished reading your A Canada Strong & Free series. It’s terrific! It ought to be required reading in every secondary school in the country.

There is only one area in which you might want to think about modifying your position.

Many studies (the Spicer Commission is a notable one) reveal that there is no market among Canadians for further increasing the power of provincial governments. Almost every day we read about some group or another crying for national standards to replace the balkanized ballsup that currently prevails. Continue Reading »

What, No Provinces!?

Published by under Constitutional Reform

Imagine A Canada Without Provincial Governments

At the top of the wish list of any Canadian government would have to be that all the rabidly quarrelsome, obstructionist, robber-baron provincial governments could somehow be made to magically disappear overnight.

And the majority of the people of Canada have, for years, been clearly stating they are Canadians first, not Provincials, and that they want all Canadians to be treated equally in a strong, united nation. (Most notably, the Spicer Commission Report.) Continue Reading »

Two’s Company

Published by under Constitutional Reform

B: Two’s Company, Three (Or More) Is A Crowd.

Adapted from the Original in the Toronto Star March 25, 1994

The first thing a new constitution will have to do is redesign the territorial jurisdictions in Canada. Now, it may be that a Citizens’ Assembly would conclude that the current territorial jurisdictions (provinces, territories, counties, regions, townships, districts, parishes, municipalities, etc.) are just dandy and should stay the way they are. But, if there is one thing about which almost all Canadians are agreed it is that the country has too much government from too many governments. Canada has too many layers of government – too many power centres fighting each other for jurisdiction, advantage and money rather than solving problems and serving people. Continue Reading »

Who’s In Charge Here?

Published by under Constitutional Reform

STRUCTURE OF GOVERNANCE IN CANADA (REDESIGNING)
[“Trust the people. Leave them alone.”
(Attributed to Lao Tse in the Tao Te Ching, c. 300 BCE)]

A. Who’s In Charge Here?

Two conditions describe a free people:

1. Free people have the power to control what their governments do.

2. Free people have the power to control the authorities in their governments.

These are also the essential conditions for democracy government controlled by the people. In a democracy, free people set the terms and conditions of their own governance.

Governance was invented to do the things that persons and families couldn’t do, or do as well, by themselves. It’s a tradeoff with a cost. Governance is a “fair trade” or “good buy” insofar as it enables people to exercise their abilities to the limits of their ambitions in a peaceful and orderly environment that works. Continue Reading »

The Maple Leaf Forever

Published by under Canadians

1. In days of yore, from every shore,
Dauntless heroes bravely came,
And planted firm fair freedom’s flag,
On Canada’s wide domain.
Here may it wave, our hope and pride,
And bind in trust forever,
The Lion and the Unicorn,
The Maple Leaf Forever.

[CHORUS]
Long may she fly,
Our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever,
God keep our land and heaven bless,
The Maple Leaf forever.

2. At Queeston Heights and Chateauguay,
Our brave fathers side by side,
For freedom’s home and loved ones dear,
Firmly stood and nobly died.
And so their rights, which they maintained,
We swear to yield them never.
Our watchword ever more shall be,
The Maple Leaf forever.

[CHORUS]

3. Our fair Dominion now extends,
From Cape Race to Nootka Sound,
May peace forever be our lot,
And plenty for all abound.
And may those ties of love be ours,
Which discord cannot sever,
And flourish green in freedom’s home,
The Maple Leaf forever.

[CHORUS]

December 4, 2004.

Symphony

Published by under Canadians

Letter to Lorrie Goldstein, Editor, Toronto SUN, January 14, 2007.

It will surely be a long process to unlearn the teaching of many millennia that the people in the next valley/down the coast/across the lake/up in the hills are inferior and are not “the people”. You folks in the media could help.

1. Stop using the term “race”. Science has confirmed the obvious that there is only one race – the human race. There are about 6 billion unique and distinct individual persons in it. If you must, use terms like ancestry, national origin, culture or mother tongue. Continue Reading »

The First Canadians I

Published by under Canadians

Benjamin Franklin was one of the Pennsylvania reps to the Albany Congress in 1754 which had been convened by the English Board of Trade to discuss taking joint action to a) improve relations with the Indians and b) defend against the “canucks” who were making life miserable for the “yanqui bastonnais” on the borders of the northern colonies. He scolded them for their inability, yet again, to form a united approach to the issues. The seven colonies involved were New hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Two things emerged from the Albany Congress that were off-objective, but positive.

a) In 1755, the English established the legendary William Johnson as Superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern department. He had tremendous influence with the Iroquois due to his committment to fair dealing with them. He had built baronial mansions in the Mohawk valley and lived with Chief Hendrick’s niece and Joseph Brant’s sister, successively, after his first wife died. His influence persuaded all the Iroquoian tribes but a segment of the Senecas to stay with the English in the Seven Years’ War.

b) Ben Franklin had written a plan of Union for the Albany Congress – one of several early attempts to unite the colonies. Part of his plan was incorporated in the Articles of Confederation which kept the states together from 1781 to 1787 when the Constitution was drafted and adopted.

So that’s how myths are born from facts.

There never was a written “Iroquois Constitution”. By sifting through contemporary sources, ie; “The Jesuit Relations”, historians have tried to piece together the real story and still argue about it. Continue Reading »

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