So much for Global Warming: The Polar Climate moving South to Toronto

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 5th, 2014

Week in Review

The global warming alarmists say we are destroying the planet with our manmade global warming.  They say we’re raising global temperatures so much that we’re melting the polar ice caps.  Destroying the polar bear habitat.  Which is running out of ice for them to rest on.  They say this.  Despite a couple of years with some real cold winters.  Especially this year (see Canada is so cold residents are experiencing loud booms caused by ‘frost quakes’ by James Nye posted 1/5/2014 on the Daily Mail).

While America collectively freaks out over their impending ‘polar vortex’, Canada is changing the game when it comes to cold weather phenomenon as reports of ‘frost quakes’ emerge from around Toronto and across Ontario.

Indeed, as temperatures drop overnight to around -4f around the city hundreds of people are being startled by hearing large booms – causing them to think their homes are being broken into or gunshots are being fired.

In fact, they are merely hearing the after-effects of the frost quakes – or cryoseism – which are more commonly found on a glacier in the polar regions.

The phenomenon is caused when rain and ice seep down into the soil and then freeze when the temperature drops.

‘Water expands when it freezes and when it expands in frozen soil it literally puts a lot of stress on that dirt and will release that energy all of a sudden, very much like an earthquake releases that energy and shifts the ground,’ said meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai to City News.

People in southern Ontario, a long way from a polar region, are experiencing a phenomenon more commonly found on a glacier in a polar region.  That means the climate in southern Ontario is becoming more like that at a polar region than the climate at a polar region is becoming more like the climate in southern Ontario.  Which is about as opposite from what the global warming alarmists are saying as you can get.

Global warming isn’t high on anyone’s list of concerns these days.  Much to the chagrin of global warming alarmists like Al Gore.  In fact, most people in Canada and a large swathe of the United States would probably prefer a little global warming right about now instead of the snow and Arctic cold they find themselves in.  For when it comes down to it people would rather be warm than cold.


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The High Cost of Living in Toronto forces Both Parents to work and forces their Children into Daycare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time we worked so we could raise our families.  Now we find someone to raise our children so we can work (see Daycare in Toronto: ‘Parent summit’ participants tell of vastly different experiences by Marco Chown Oved posted 11/22/2013 on the star).

Diana Tarango is worried. Her 4-year-old daughter is in all-day kindergarten, but because she can’t find before- and after-school care, she can’t go back to work.

Perry Wong and Nalini Nankoo are frustrated. They have been looking for a daycare space for their 2-year-old son and have put down non-refundable deposits to get on the waiting list at a half-dozen daycares. They can’t afford to keep wasting money, and their son still doesn’t have a space.

Cynthia Zhu and Kenny Ji couldn’t be happier. They’ve been in Canada for less than a year and they’ve got both their kids in subsidized daycare spots near their home.

These stories show how ineffective our patchwork daycare system is, said Councillor Shelley Carroll.

“Child care is an issue that affects us all in different ways,” she said. “That’s why we need these meetings and why we need to get people talking across generations, too.”

Parents, grandparents and even childless adults are all affected by the high cost of daycare, said Carroll, and a better system won’t just be better for families with young children, it will be good for the economy as well.

There are 57,000 daycare spaces in Toronto, only enough for 21 per cent of the city’s children under 12. The city subsidizes 24,264 of those spaces, which only covers about 28 per cent of children in low-income families.

Making matters worse, the wait-list for a subsidized spot is more than 18,500 people long…

Tarango, newly arrived from Hungary, looked into putting her younger son into daycare, but can’t believe how much it would cost.

“I was amazed when I asked the price: $1,500 per kid (per month)!” she said. “In Hungary, after one and a half years, everything is free. The daycare even provides food free, too.”

If 21% of the total number of children under 12 equals 57,000 then the total number of children under 12 in Toronto equals 271,429 (57,000/0.21).  The total number of children who need daycare is 75,500 (57,000+18,500).   Subtracting this number from the total number of children under 12 equals 195,929 (271,429-75,500).  So the percentage of children under 12 who are raised in Toronto without daycare equals 72.2% (195,929/271,429).  In other words, the vast majority of children of daycare age DON’T use daycare.  Which is a good thing.  And one would hope that’s because they have a stay-at-home parent raising their child in a loving household.  Instead of dumping these inconvenient pains in the ass at daycare so they can do something more rewarding than parenting.

There may be many reasons why parents need daycare for their children.  Single mothers may need daycare so they can work.  There could be a married parent that prizes a career over raising children and prefers to work instead of being a stay-at-home parent.  But perhaps the greatest reason is that parents can’t raise a family on a single income because of high taxes.  Some of which are going to subsidize daycare at $1,500 per child per month.  Which creates a death spiral for daycare.

Daycare isn’t cheap.  So it takes a lot of tax dollars to subsidize.  The high unmet demand for daycare spaces requires more tax dollars to subsidize.  Which require higher tax rates.  Leaving people with less take-home pay.  Making it more difficult for parents to raise a family on a single income.  Requiring more two-income households.  And a greater demand for daycare.  Requiring more tax dollars.  And higher tax rates.  Leaving families with less take-home pay.  And so on.

The best way to provide for these children?  Tax cuts.  Allowing families to keep more of their take-home pay.  So much that they can raise a family on a single income.  Like they used to do.  Before the welfare state.  That provided cradle-to–grave benefits.  Which, ironically, leaves working people with less.  And forces their children to spend more time growing up with strangers.  And less time with their parents.


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Knife Crime in Canada claims two Lives in Toronto in possible Murder/Suicide

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 21st, 2013

Week in Review

Canada has stricter gun laws than the United States.  The American left would love to have some of their laws.  For there is simply too much gun crime in the United States.  From mentally unsound people killing people because of voices in their heads.  To murder/suicides that would simply not be possible if there was not a gun in the house (see Two dead after stabbing at Keele and Eglinton apartment building by Canadian Press posted 9/13/2013 on the National Post).

Toronto police are investigating a possible murder-suicide at an apartment building in the city’s northwest.

Officers went to the building (near Keele Street and Eglinton Avenue West) at about 7:30 a.m. Friday after neighbours called 911 to report a woman was found with stab wounds in the hallway…

Officers located the body of the man outside the rear of the building.

The United Kingdom also has strict gun laws.  And a knife-crime problem.  For it would appear taking guns away from people does not prevent people from killing other people.  Or themselves.

While a small percentage of any population may own a gun pretty much 100% of the population owns a knife.  Except, perhaps, the person living alone who never cooks.  And these instruments of death are often on full display in people’s kitchens.  In a big block of wood on the kitchen counter.  With the handle conveniently sticking out for anyone to walk by and grab.  A child.  An intruder.  Or a homicidal spouse.

But we don’t hear the same concern for knife-crime as we do for gun-crime.  Possibly because killing with a knife requires someone to get up close and personal to someone.  Unlike a gun.  Which can be fired safely from a distance.  Which gives a woman a better chance of defending herself from someone trying to harm her.  Because if she used a knife she would have to get close enough to her assailant that her assailant could probably take her knife away.  And perhaps use it on her.

Unless a woman has been trained in hand-to-hand fighting she will likely lose in a knife fight.  While her odds of winning a gun fight are just as good as her assailant.  That’s what a gun does.  It lets someone who is greatly out-muscled to defend herself.  And in this day and age where more and more women are living alone and raising their children alone perhaps they would like to even the odds with any would-be assailant.  And own a handgun with a large capacity clip.  So she doesn’t have to fight hand-to-hand to save her life.  Against someone twice her size.


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Universities are more Interested in Government Grant Money than Teaching their Pesky Students

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 6th, 2012

Week in Review

Education is sacred.  For in all the budget debates.  In all the class warfare.  One field is exempt from that one most disparaging label.  Greedy.  Everyone is greedy in Western Civilization.  Except the universities and the professors.  Who make more and more while working less and less.  And hand out degrees that have little value in the modern economy.  No.  Their greed is never called out.  These people who add little to our economic wellbeing.  While those who do are called every filthy and vile name in the book.  Because education is sacred.  Apparently.  No matter how substandard it is (see Professors should teach more classes: Experts by Antonella Artuso posted 5/6/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Ontario’s post-secondary system could improve the quality of students’ education and save money by sending more professors back to class, some experts say.

There is rising concern that hundreds of thousands of Ontario undergraduate students are being short changed by a university system that values research ahead of teaching…

Ontario undergraduate university students learn in ever larger classes and often emerge from their pricey education without the skills they need to find work in a modern economy, he said…

There has long been an informal working ratio for professors — 40% of their time spent on research, 40% on teaching and 20% on administrative duties.

Economist Don Drummond, who chaired the Dalton McGuinty government’s Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, concluded universities — and even a few colleges — now aggressively chase provincial and federal research grants with some institutions using undergraduate tuition fees to pursue government funds…

University of Toronto Professor Ian Clark, co-author of Academic Reform, said the Ontario and federal governments have ramped up research grants in the hope — one that’s shared by most developed nations — that the investment will stimulate the economy.

Professors now spend more time on research, teaching an average of two courses a term, down from three courses a term about 20 years ago, Clark said.

At the same time, there’s been a strong public push to increase the number of Ontarians with a post-secondary education, leading to a 50% jump in undergraduate students over a decade.

“You’re getting less than half as much time per student per faculty member as there used to be. Inevitably, it’s leading to bigger classes and more use of teaching assistants,” said Clark, a former president of the Council of Ontario Universities. “That, we assert — and so do many, many others — is leading to a decline in the quality of the undergraduate education that Ontario students receive…”

Constance Adamson, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), said professors are aware that class sizes are getting larger, but the fault lies not with the focus on research, but with chronic underfunding of the post-secondary system.

Really?  The problem is chronic underfunding?  It has nothing to do with universities running after all that free government money?  The professors are teaching one less course a term.  Why?  Because they’re too busy chasing all of that free government money.  No wonder these kids are graduating lacking the necessary skills to make it in the modern economy.  Their education is only a distraction to these professors.  Who spend as little time involved in it as possible.  Why?  Because that’s why God made graduate students.

This isn’t a problem unique to the Canadians.  Throughout the world a university degree is becoming a birthright.  More and more kids are going to university.  Because we tell them it’s the gateway to success and wealth.  The problem is that not only are we giving them a part-time, half-hearted education, a lot of the degrees we’re giving them are worthless in the modern economy.  Liberal arts.  Social sciences.  Women studies.  Etc.  None of which are in high demand in the modern high-tech economy.

Perhaps these are the reasons those angry unemployed university graduates are protesting capitalism in all of those occupy movements.  They borrowed a fortune for those degrees.   That were supposed to give them success and wealth.  Only to find that they got huge student loan debts.  For a worthless, part-time, half-hearted education.  Worse, these university graduates don’t even understand capitalism.  For it isn’t capitalism that failed them.  It was their leftist universities that failed them.  Who gave them a substandard education.  While charging them a premium for it.  But do these kids protest these universities or their professors?  No.  They’re protesting the businesses that can’t hire these graduates without spending a fortune on them.  To give them a useful education.  That their university was supposed to provide them.

That’s how bad our education systems have become.  Our universities draw these kids in.  These pesky students.  Selling them a useless degree.  That these kids should have known were worthless.  I mean, exactly what kind of high-paying job do these kids think their degrees in the liberal arts, social sciences, women studies, etc., will prepare them for?  Stock analyst?  Investment banker?  Research engineer?  Doctor?  The truth is that many of these degrees these kids are graduating with have very little if any value in the market place.  In fact the only thing they’re qualified for is to teach these worthless degrees to other unsuspecting students. 

And yet they protest capitalism.  Not the people who made them unfit to enter the world of capitalism.  Which is yet another sad commentary on today’s educational standards.


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FUNDAMENTAL TRUITH #17: “The raison d’être of federalism is to keep big government small.” -Old Pithy.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2010

BONJOUR.  A LITTLE French there.  To go with the use of the French expression ‘raison d’être’.  Which means reason for being.  Sounds better in French, n’est-ce pas?

I like Canada.  Both parts.  The French and the English parts.  I’ve met and become friends with people in Toronto, Montreal, Fredericton and Corner Brook.  And elsewhere.  I like to talk to my Francophone friends about that day on the Plains of Abraham.  And I like to speak French to my Anglophone friends.  And they both like to point out to me what they believe to be America’s lack of tolerance and compassion.

The Canadians may be a tolerant and friendly people.  Everyone says that about them.  That they’re nice.  And they are.  But they have to work at it at times.  For there ain’t a whole lot of love between the French and English.  Not now.  Or then.  When French Canada became British.

Like it or not, that animosity has been at the van of Western Civilization.  And it would compete in the New World.  Colonize it.  Fight in it.  And give birth to a new nation.  One that would break from the ways of the past.

“WHO’S THAT, THEN?” one filthy peasant asked another.

“I don’t know.  Must be a king. ”


“He hasn’t got shit all over him.”

(From Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975.)

What is a king?  Besides someone who “hasn’t got shit all over him.”  A king is where sovereignty lies.  And sovereignty?  In a word, supremacy.  Supreme authority. 

The Sun King, Louis XIV of France, was an absolute monarch and his word was the absolute law of the land.  And he could do pretty much whatever the hell he wanted.  He built his gorgeous palace at Versailles.  Because he could.  Over in England, the king was sovereign, too, but Parliament checked his power.  So the British king wasn’t an absolute monarchy.  In England, the king could do whatever he wanted as long as Parliament agreed to pay for it.  For Parliament controlled the purse strings.  There would be no Versailles in England.

Now France and England were always at war.  Their fighting even spilled over into the New World.  The 7 Years War (as the Europeans called this world war) went by a different name in North America.  The French and Indian War.  The British won.  France lost Canada and other colonial possessions.  Their loss, though, was America’s gain.  The French and Indian attacks on the American Colonists ended, leaving them with peace and prosperity.  But it was costly.  As wars are wont to be.

Over in England, Parliament had to pay that cost.  But taxes were already pretty high at the time in England.  If they raised them further, it could cause trouble.  So what to do?  Well, there were some who pointed out that the American colonists really came out the clear winner in this latest contest.  They got peace and prosperity without really paying anything to get it.  Shouldn’t they pick up part of the tab?  I mean, fair is fair, right?

And they probably would have gladly contributed as good English subjects.  However, and this is a big however, they felt they weren’t treated as good English subjects.  In fact, they felt more like Parliament’s bitch than English subjects.  And to add insult to injury, they had no vote in Parliament.

Parliament passed a series of acts that the Americans would call the Intolerable Acts.  Both sides missed opportunities for compromise and peace.  Instead, tempers festered.  Parliament would bitch-slap the colonists.  And the colonists would bitch-slap Parliament.  Eventually throwing some British East Indian tea into the water.

Now Britain’s king, King George, had a bit of a problem on his hands.  The Americans were challenging his sovereign rule.  There was a name for this.  Kings call it treason.  And they kill people for it.  King George was the supreme authority.  Anyone challenging his authority was challenging his right to rule.  That’s why acts of treason are typically punishable by death.  You don’t stand up to kings.  You grovel.  And these uppity Americans surely weren’t groveling.

And just how does a king get this authority?  Well, you don’t vote for them.  They either inherit power.  Or they kill for it.  It’s a story as old as time.  Patricide.  Matricide.  Fratricide.  And sometimes the killing was by someone outside the family.  But that’s how sovereign power changed.  A king or queen died.  Naturally.  Or with a little help.  And when a new sovereign ascended the throne, he or she usually killed all other possible contenders.

If King George didn’t put down the American rebellion, it could spread.  To Canada.  To other English colonies.  Or give someone ideas back at home that the king was weak.  And challenge him for his throne.

These are things kings think about.  Power can be precarious.  Even when it’s absolute.  As King Louis XVI would learn in France.  During the French Revolution, the people, challenging the king’s sovereignty, sent him to the guillotine.  Chopped his head off.  His wife’s, too.  Marie Antoinette.

ENGLAND GAVE BIRTH to modern, representative government.  It was a balance of power between the many (the common people in the House of Commons), the few (the aristocratic rich in the House of Lords) and the one (the sovereign king).  Each provided a check on the others.  The king was the supreme power but he needed money to wage war and build things.  Parliament collected taxes and paid for things they approved of.  And the House of Lords was to keep that spending from getting out of control as they understood money and costs (that’s what rich people are good at).  They were to protect the nation from the evils of pure democracy where the people, once they realize they can, will vote themselves the treasury.

Most of the American colonists were transplanted Englishmen.  Or came from English stock.  They were English subjects (at least in name if not in practice).  They understood representative government.  Their colonial governments were in fact very British.  The Rule of Law was the rule of the land.  The governed consented to taxation.  And the government collected the taxes they consented to. 

You can probably see where this is going.

Taxation without representation was very un-English.  The fact that it was okay in the American colonies chafed the American English subjects.  I mean, it really frosted their shorts.  It wasn’t right.  By English law.  Or by precedent.  Anger at Parliament turned into anger at the king.  Questions of sovereignty arose.  Should the king be sovereign?  Or should the people?  In 1776, the American colonists stated their opinion in a very treasonous document.  The Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….

The U.S. Constitution emphasized the sovereignty of the people in the preamble.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Kings were out.  The Rule of Law was in.  No aristocracy.  No hereditary offices.  In America, it would be different.  After the Battle of Gettysburg some 75 years later, Abraham Lincoln would reiterate this at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…

…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

THE AMERICAN COLONISTS rebelled and broke away from Great Britain because they were through with being her bitch.  In fact, they weren’t going to be anyone’s bitch.  That’s why there was a lot of opposition to the establishment of a strong, central government.  They didn’t want a national government taking up where Great Britain left off.  And they didn’t want an American president to be just another King George.  The people won their liberty.  And they intended to keep it.  So they could pursue that happiness Thomas Jefferson wrote about in the Declaration of Independence.

Federalism was the solution.  The states’ governments would retain most of their powers.  Only those things they could not do well (regulate ‘free-trade’ interstate commerce, negotiate trade agreements with other nations, wage war, etc.) would be done by the new national government.  The people would remain sovereign.  Strong state governments and a ‘weak’ central government would share power.  In effect, the new central government was to be the people’s bitch.  But you’d never know that by looking at things today.


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