Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Health Care: We need to do something NOW!


We are heading for an Armageddon in health care.  The way the system is now structured the number of patients a Family Practitioner can support is dropping as the patient base ages.  We need to completely reassess the healthcare delivery model.  We need many more doctors.  We need Physician’s Assistants.  We need independent clinical test facilities.  We need a comprehensive program to permit and encourage all citizens to maintain their own health records.  We need continuing education for all citizens on the aspects of health most likely to affect them.

One simple proposal to deal with the physician shortage would be to eliminate all taxes (income etc) on doctors with active practices.  We would need a new unit at Immigration Canada to deal with the applications!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Plank for the Platform?

“Toronto police are looking for as many as a dozen youths involved in a series of gang swarming attacks in and around the city's Annex neighbourhood, including one stabbing that sent a man to hospital for emergency surgery.

Investigators said the same group of young men is suspected in at least four incidents reported on Tuesday night between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. in the Bloor Street and Bathurst Street area.”

The people need the right to petition for rogue judges to be fired.  It would be done by referendum.  These judges including the SCC need to be held accountable to society as well as the constitution.  They regularly interpret in ways that cannot possibly be be justified based on the documents and the intent of the authors.

Maybe there is hope


“In the first ruling of its kind, a bankruptcy judge held the city of Vallejo, Calif. has the authority to void its existing union contracts in its effort to reorganize, holding public workers do not enjoy the same protections Congress gave union workers at private companies.
Municipal bankruptcy is so rare that no judge had yet ruled on whether Congressional reforms in the 1990s that required companies to provide worker protections before attempting to dissolve union contracts also applied to public workers' union contracts .”

The economy, an observation


I drove down from Milton to Royal Niagara Golf course yesterday morning.  Over the years,  I have spent a lot of time on The QEW between Hamilton and St Catharines.  Yesterday, we saw probably not more than 30 Semi tractor trailers combined both ways.  The traffic has always been 20%  trucks at least.  This appears to suggest that economic activity is plummeting. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Platform: It’s time for all of us to frame a platform we would like to see.

First Plank:

I will start it off with my first wish.  I want ‘Right to Work’ legislation.  I want to see that all citizens can compete for any job in the public or private sector.  This will drive down costs and increase productivity as it has in all the states in the US who have adopted it.

I want to see unions reduced in size so that their bargaining capacity is in line with that of the employer.  For example, there would be separate unions for Ford, GM, and Chrysler etc.  This will ensure that competition is maintained.

This would also be the case in all public sector workplaces.  Unions would be local to hospitals, schools, and government departments etc.

We need to do this in the private sector because the current system has led to the annihilation of airlines, steel companies, auto companies etc.

We need to do it in the public sector because wages and working conditions have led to an enormous gap between private and public cost structures.  The CFIB puts the gap at $19,000,000,000 annually.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How about a class action lawsuit for pay equity in the private sector?

The left and its union partners have been pushing ‘pay equity’ policies for a long time now.  They really mean ‘equal pay for work of equal value’.  It is fascinating that they actually believe that anyone can determine what constitutes ‘equal value’.  Well, I’ve been fighting against this concept for many years.  Today I propose that we all cave in and give it our full support.  Let’s start with paying all stay at home moms full ECE ‘Early Childhood Education’ wages and benefits.  Let’s pay all private sector employees the equivalent in wages, benefits, working conditions, pension, job security, etc. that the public sector enjoys. 


Let us all join in a Class Action lawsuit to require the government to pay us appropriately.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is it time for 'Right to Work' in Canada, Ontario?

As we watch the governments of the US and Canada doing back flips to ‘save’ the big three some things are becoming obvious.  The first is that there is hardly a word about the non-unionized companies in that sector.  They are also very large employers.  Are they in similarly disastrous conditions and we just don’t care, or is there something else?  Is it possible, that the unworkable system of large unions ultimately makes companies and entire industries so uncompetitive they cannot compete nor really satisfy the demands of the marketplace?  Rudimentary reading of economics books describes the effect of cartels on the market they serve.  Invariably, prices go up and quality and level of service go down.  That is why most sophisticated nations have laws against the establishment of these cartels (including Canada and the USA).  For some reason over the years we have chosen to exempt labor from Cartel classification.  This might have been reasonable in the distant past but not any more.

Strong central union cartels destroyed the domestic Steel industry, Bankrupted all the airlines,  and now the domestic Automotive industry.  It is fascinating that foreign owned manufacturers can build internationally competitive products in North America in non CAW/UAW plants but the legacy manufacturers can’t.  The hallmark of these problems is the Big Union.  The power of a union is disproportional in capital intensive industries.  Large corporations with enormous capital investments are saddled with large cash flow obligations unrelated to labor costs.  If there is a strike, the union forgoes revenue for a relatively short time before the company starts to run out of operating cash.  In the airline industry this time frame is short since it can’t rely on sales from inventories to provide cash flow.  That is why all the airlines that are unionized will fail.  Labor costs of entrenched airlines grow until fares have to rise so high that new non-union carriers can enter the market. 

The automotive industry is a somewhat different model.  The company can prepare for potential strikes by building excess inventory prior to and during negotiations.  Sale of this inventory during a strike provides cash flow.  The unions are keenly aware of this strategy and institute work slow downs and quality issues to reduce the impact.   The advent of foreign imports and domestic non union produced automobiles have highlighted the failure of the existing north american unionized auto industry model.  If the large american manufacturers had dedicated unions rather than the UAW cartel, competitive disadvantages would put each union under pressure.  They would be threatened with both short and long term loss of market share.

Insanity is repeating the same processes and expecting a different outcome.  That is what the governments are doing now.  It can’t and won’t work.  Great enterprises require both capital and labor.  There is no future for either without the other.  We as a society need to grow up and deal with reality.  Everything that the dynamics described above has taught us about the private sector must be used when reviewing the public sector.  If there is no competition and no risk of general failure, unions will use coercive practices to continually increase their share of the taxpayers money.  This will be done without regard to quality or level of service.  In the public sector, we must foster competition.  It is the only way to insure fairness to all parties.  This is most important in our investment in the future.  Our young people are our retirement account.  It behooves us to make them as productive as humanly possible.  Leaving this task to the teachers’ unions (Cartel) has not worked well.  This is just as we would expect since all cartels ultimately end up the same way.    

What must we do?  First, we need to establish the right of any citizen to apply for and compete for all open employment opportunities.  We have to guarantee the right to association and to non-association.   If union membership is attractive, the employee joins and accepts the rules and strictures of the contract.  If a person does not wish to belong, there can be NO coercion.  The Non union employee has the right to negotiate with the employer without  interference.  Unions and their members infringing on these rights must be subject to sanction as if it were a human rights discrimination.  Next, all levels of government must be forced to contract out to competitive bid most if not all of its services. 

In the USA there are 22 ‘Right to Work’ states.  Their State productivity and job creation exceed those states without this right by almost 2 to 1. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another Outrage from David Suzuki

David Suzuki: Understanding the science of climate change

By David Suzuki and Faisal Moola

Why does the public often pay more attention to climate change deniers than climate scientists? Why do denial arguments that have been thoroughly debunked still show up regularly in the media?

Surely Dr. Suzuki meant to say ‘scientists who doubt the hypothesis of CO2 based temperature change’ than those who accept the hypothesis after extensive research on their own part.  

Some researchers from New York’s Fordham University may have found some answers. Professor David Budescu and his colleagues asked 223 volunteers to read sentences from reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The responses revealed some fundamental misunderstandings about how science works.

My experience is that I have had to read all scientific publications including all citations in order to be comfortable that I understand what is being said and by whom.  The concept of reading a ‘sentence’ and drawing conclusions is foreign to my understanding of science methodology.

Science is a process. Scientists gather and compare evidence, then construct hypotheses that “make sense” of the data and suggest further tests of the hypothesis. Other scientists try to find flaws in the hypothesis with their own data or experiments.

In REAL science, publications of experiments and procedures are fully divulged so that other researchers can duplicate the conditions and results.  This concept is completely ignored in the field of climate alarmism.  I welcome anyone to attempt to truly understand the concept of ‘a global surface temperature’.  There is no universally accepted way to even measure it today much less over past time frames.

Eventually, a body of knowledge builds, and scientists become more and more certain of their theories. But there’s always a chance that a theory will be challenged. And so the scientists speak about degrees of certainty. This has led to some confusion among the public about the scientific consensus on climate change.

Before Galileo proved otherwise  the entire world view of the earth, sun, and universe was absolutely wrong.

What Prof. Budescu and his colleagues found was that subjects interpreted statements such as “It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent” to mean that scientists were far from certain.

In fact, the term very likely means more than 90 percent certain, but almost half the subjects thought it meant less than 66 percent certain, and three quarters thought it meant less than 90 percent.

According to an article in New Scientist, the researchers concluded that scientists should use both words and numbers to express certainty.

For example, the IPCC considers “virtually certain” to mean more than 99 percent likely; “very likely” to mean more than 90 percent certain; “likely” to be more than 66 percent; “more likely than not” more than 50 percent; and so on.

The use of these terms is SEMANTICS, not science.  The value of Pi (22/7) on this basis is very likely to be 3.0000000.  It is virtually certain to be 3.1000000.  Interesting, but incorrect.   There is only 1 answer that is true.

It’s important to understand the distinctions. People who recognize the urgency of the situation are more likely to get behind solutions. And businesses and governments are more likely to work toward solutions when the public demands that they do.

And how urgent is the situation? The IPCC has concluded it is “very likely” that human emissions of greenhouse gases rather than natural variations are warming the planet’s surface. Remember, that means they are more than 90 percent certain. That’s about as close to unequivocal as science gets. The IPCC has also concluded that the consequences could be catastrophic.

This is science that has been rigorously peer-reviewed and that has been agreed upon by the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists, as well as more than 50 scientific academies and societies, including those of all G8 nations. There has been no peer-reviewed scientific study that has called into question the conclusions of the IPCC, which represents the consensus of the international scientific community.

This is so blatantly untrue that it libels all scientific publications that raise doubts about any part of the IPCC publications.  There is NO consensus on even the mechanisms of heat transfer from the core of the earth to the oceans, land masses, and finally the atmosphere.  Since the sun is clearly a major source of energy which can be transferred to the earth, we need to understand it and its effects completely.  We also need to understand possible variations in heat transfer from the molten core of the earth to the surface and thence to the atmosphere and ultimately into space.  Gravity and magnetic effects from heavenly bodies cause movement in the core.  The core is estimated to be between 2,000 Deg Celsius and 7,000 Deg. Celsius.  Not too precise huh?

Physicists who look at this stuff are number among the major doubting class.

It is important to note that Our best solar physicists have NO IDEA why the sunspots have diminished.  That’s OK, because they also don’ know why they increased over the period where the world’s climate scientists reversed their 1970’s global cooling prophecy into the current warming one.

So why does the debate still continue? Why are we fiddling while Rome burns? Well, as Prof. Budescu’s research shows, some people don’t really understand how science works. And people with vested interests, many of whom work with the oil and coal industries, are all too willing to exploit that lack of understanding by sowing confusion.

Once again Dr. Suzuki uses the word ‘science’ when he really means semantics.  223 people reading sentences out of an enormous work is NOT science.  It is not in any way meaningful.

It’s also true that many people fear change. We’ve seen examples of economic prosperity and job creation brought about by investments in green energy in places such as Germany and Sweden. And leading economists, including former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern, have warned that not doing anything to confront climate change will cost us far more in the long run than acting now. But many people still fear that any profound change will upset the economy or diminish their quality of life.

We must also consider the rational argument for taking action on climate change. Even in the highly unlikely event that all the world’s climate scientists have got it wrong, if we still move forward to clean up our act, we’ll end up with a cleaner planet and more sustainable technologies and energy sources. On the other hand, if the scientists are right and we decide to listen to the absurd arguments of the deniers, we’re in trouble. It doesn’t seem like much of a choice.

We may never reach 100 percent certainty on climate change and its causes—that’s not what science is about—but one thing is certain: if we don’t get together to work on solutions now we’ll have a much tougher time dealing with the consequences later.

Having abandoned science Dr. Suzuki now abandons semantics and moves on to his actual point.  That is ‘POLITICS’.  Science is completely apolitical (unfortunately, not so all scientists).  Therefore, this tripe has no place in a scientific discussion.   

Take David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge and learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org/.