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Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he’s not ineffectual

Quote of the week — by former Conservative government Finance Minister Joe Oliver, in the National Post this morning. He’s writing of how the current Liberal government is blowing our relationship with America, at a crucial time, by stupidly grandstanding largely to satisfy their own Liberal Party base.

…Still, we [Canada] should do our share to protect ourselves. That is what the current president demanded, as did his two predecessors who were much gentler, far more diplomatic and utterly ineffectual.

It’s the last part of that quote that struck me as unusually bold (for a Canuck), but I’ll hedge a little on it being “utterly” true: Obama was certainly ineffectual. Utterly. No argument there. But that same characterization being assigned to W is a little incongruous to me. President Bush was nothing if not strong on the defence file, insisting on not just American defence (and offence in the case of Iraq and terrorism generally), but North American defence — and dragged Canada — sometimes kicking and screaming — closer to his way of thinking on defence and security policy, and even on the war on terror. Granted, Bush proved ineffectual in convincing Canadians (the general population as opposed to its Conservative leadership at that time) to take greater responsibility for Canada, particularly against the looming Islamist threat, but he tried, and it was inarguably not his job to do so. Canadians are still utterly ineffectual on this global terrorism file, and nobody in Canada is even trying to change that.

Oliver wasn’t done with the bold. I love what he wrote about the ridiculous Paris climate accord:

Withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is viewed as the latest and to some, including the minister, the most egregious instance of America renouncing its leadership responsibilities. It is not. In a triumph of feel-good faith and ideology over the facts and common sense, extravagant emotion is devoted to the agreement.

Unfortunately, rather than humanity’s last hope it is basically a meaningless conceit. The accord is founded on voluntary promises that are not binding and have no penalties for non-compliance. At best it will have a minuscule impact on global temperatures (0.2 per cent of a degree Celsius) by the end of the century, assuming every country does what it promised, which we know will never happen. Yet the cost will be in the trillions, which will undermine growth, reduce employment, divert funding from critical social programs and disproportionately hurt the poor.

Proclaiming the emperor has no clothes is not the abandonment of leadership. To the contrary, confronting consensus with truth is the assertion of leadership. If Paris leads to more robust military spending, it would be the first positive thing to have emerged from its pretentious hypocrisy.

And his conclusion about the pose the ineffectual Liberals are striking:

Hopefully, the president will take the win and let Canada worry that it weakened its bargaining position with intemperate posturing.

Perfectly said.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Since when does a mortgage rate war “loom,” or concern government?

The news media is weird. But anyway, here’s some real news.

all-eyes-on-gov-to-hold-peoples-handsTheir tease on their front page   —  in this case the National Post, but it doesn’t matter  —  tells you BMO is lowering its five-year fixed mortgage rates to below 3%.

That is fantastic news for people and families. All eyes will be on saving money and living the Canadian dream. Right?

Wrong! The news editors think it’s all about the government. “All eyes on [finance minister] Joe Oliver as BMO signals start of new mortgage rate war by cutting 5-year below 3%.”

The government shouldn’t have the slightest thing to do with this, since it’s none of their damn business; and also, this isn’t the Soviet Union.

I do understand that the story reflects one not long ago wherein then-finance minister Flaherty wagged a finger from his big-government bully pulpit at banks who dared to lower rates (and convinced them not to!), at a time when the big nanny-state wanted to calm (actually, control, full-stop) the housing market. But oh hey, by the way, what the hell was the government doing trying to control the free market anyway? Don’t they control enough? They want more control over us and our personal  and business decisions? Why yes they do. Thanks for asking.

They should get out of the mortgage business entirely, as they have no business being in business of any kind. Not the CBC, not insuring mortgages, and not controlling banks.

Bear in mind the big nanny-state government we’re talking about is not the socialist NDP or the slightly less socialist Liberal Party  —  but imagine if it were… and now please stop torturing yourself with that dreadful thought looming over you like a big Russian bear. We’re talking about a so-called Conservative government. Alas Rand Paul and Ted Cruz would laugh at this one, even if you won’t. I merely freak out.

Joe_Oliver“Finance Minister Joe Oliver again warned Thursday that he is monitoring the mortgage market closely.”
– Financial Post

That Oliver remark is  supposed to provide comfort? Sounds more like Ronald Reagan’s line,

Ronald_Reagan“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
–Ronald Reagan

So yeah, no, Joe Oliver is not where my eyes are at all, with regard to this news, except to make sure he stays out of my business. Most eyes  —  I won’t even venture “all,” but pretty much all  —  are actually on their own mortgage, where people are paying more than 3%, and would benefit by refinancing now. And many Canadians could now buy their first home… unless the government stops them, seeing as they think they know better that you about, well, you.

Their eyes  —  the media’s and all progressives’ eyes alone  —  are on the government, looking for their wisdom and guidance and motherly protection, as a reflex reaction. Because everything in life revolves around the government, to progressives.

As a secondary matter, why does the Financial Post see a mortgage rate war  —  something which benefits all normal, responsible consumers  —  as something that “looms?”

Looming_headline

Loom

Looming_thesaurus-1

What brooding has inspired this sullen headline? Only someone tainted with the stink of the anti-free-market set, and progressives, and full-on socialists, would view a mortgage rate drop and competition for the lowest rate, as a war that “looms” over us.

I’m sure it wasn’t a brooding author, who’s bio begins “Garry Marr’s cheapness dates back to as early as age seven, when he swallowed a dime and demanded the folks at the Hospital For Sick Children return it.”  Maybe one of the paper’s editor learned to brood over free market competition at their journalism schooling, and become obsessed with a big-government reaction to a free-market activity. My wary eyes are often cast at those institutions of left-wing propaganda. True story: I swallowed a penny, and demanded the Lion’s Gate Hospital return it, never went to journalism school, and I love mortgage rate wars, and I am inclined to advocate for small government, and free enterprise.

It isn’t a mortgage rate war that “looms” over us, it’s government which looms over us.  So let’s get that straight, even if the progressives now dominating the media, can’t.

 


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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