Maybe the US Should CUT its Budget by 50%?

Posted on by 0 comment

I’ve been quiet lately. Too much in the news is downright depressing when you really think it through, especially what’s happened in the US in the last 5 months.

I can’t hold back on this on.

Despite his vocal opposition of the status and importance of NATO (probably because the Russians want him to find a way to fragment and destroy the organization), Donald Trump accused a number of countries for not keeping up with the Americans when it came to military spending.

But wait a sec.

Maybe … just maybe … we should be pressuring the US to cut their military budget by 50%.  What a novel idea, right?

In 2016, the US spent $600 billion on its military. This doesn’t include the hundreds of billions for other activities like the NSA, CIA, etc etc etc.

Here’s a pretty picture that paints a thousand words:

The United States spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined

This is in absolute dollars.

As a percent of GDP, the US still ranks one of the highest spenders in the world:

20150625_Defense_GDP_Fo

What an incredible waste.

If a fraction of this money was spent on things like renewables, education, the Great Lakes, space exploration and about 600 billion other things, the world would be a much better place.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. If they didn’t spend it, we’d lose to Al Qaeda or ISIS.

Bullshit.

Yes, Canada is low, but I’m proud of the fact that we’re keeping a lid on military expenses.  We HAVE to.

Wasting this money on guns and ammo and all of the death that comes with is what is keeping the world at bay from our next level of evolution.

So, Donald Trump, instead of asking us to increase our budgets, we’re going to ask you to decrease yours.

Category: Uncategorized

Pot-Induced Delusions

Posted on by 0 comment

Governments and organizations all over Canada have pot-induced delusions.

We know that there’s a growing likelihood that marijuana will be legalized.

What’s less likely is how it can be monetized.

This article from the CBC looks at just one possible evolution of the pot ‘industry’ after decriminalization and legalization of marijuana.

The market may be worth anywhere from $3 to $10 billion per year within a few years.  This compares to about $42 billion for alcohol in Canada, most of which is tax (about 70%, or about $30 billion).

Governments seem to be wringing their hands, getting ready for the big inflow of cash from marijuana sales, much like they have with alcohol.

When alcohol can kill you if you fail to make it properly, consumers are easily swayed into buying volume products that ultimately wind up tasting like crap and it’s easy to monopolize products that rely 100% on purity and quality.

This rationale is critical to governments being able to monetize and control alcohol sales, regardless of how regressive these taxes are (and they are).

Marijuana, on the other hand, has many names:  pot, ganga, weed.

This is a reminder that it’s called weed for a reason: because it will grow in abundance anywhere with a minimum amount of attention.

And quality is less an issue with home-grown weed.  You get a pot, put some dirt in it and watch it grow.  Pick it, dry it, enjoy it.

No quality tests, no labs, no labels. No CONTROL.

Within 5 years, I’m sure there will be many folks who act like good sheeple and who wander into the PCBO (Pot Control Board of Ontario) blindly looking for the Bud-Light version of weed (pun intended), but the reality is that the vast majority of users will simply take care of themselves.

There may be a short-term spike in hydroponics and bud sales, but once the Pandora’s Box is open, weed will be ubiquitous.

As they say, you can decriminalize and legalize OR you can monetize.

You cannot do both.

Category: Uncategorized

Making Provincial Policy Based on Toronto Issues Is A MISTAKE

Posted on by 0 comment

It looks like the Wynne government is going to make a disastrous mistake with respect to easing house restriction requirements laid out in the past.

This would be a mistake.

Just because you’re young and can’t afford a house in Toronto doesn’t mean we have to bend or change provincial rules to suit your wants.

If you want affordable housing, there are thousands of options.  Just not in the centre of the universe.

Places like Woodstock, London, Brantford, KW and more have plenty of properties available and they are all good cities in the making.  They just need talented young people to come and make a home.

Funny how market economics work, right?

So, Wynne, leave it alone.

Category: Uncategorized

Profiting from Opioid Crisis

Posted on by 0 comment

Yesterday’s article in the Globe and Mail was a shocking eye opener concerning the potential true culprits of the opioid crisis that afflicts every town in Canada: pharmaceutical companies.

Nearly 20 million prescriptions for opioids were written by the medical community in 2016.

Overprescribing is behind the epidemic, which has worsened in recent years with the arrival of illicit fentanyl, leading to a sharp spike in overdose deaths. Canada ranks as the world’s second-biggest consumer of pharmaceutical opioids.

A Globe and Mail investigation found that Ottawa and the provinces have failed to take adequate steps to stop the indiscriminate prescribing of opioids. As doctors continue to liberally prescribe opioids, a class of painkillers that includes oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl, both the pharmaceutical-grade and illicit markets are thriving. Meldon Kahan, medical director of the substance-use service program at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said the numbers show that efforts to educate doctors about the risks associated with opioids have had little impact on prescribing.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, launched sales campaigns two decades ago promoting the benefits of the drug and it quickly became the country’s top-selling long-acting opioid. But it also became a lightning rod in the early 2000s, as reports of addiction and overdoses exploded. In 2012, Purdue pulled OxyContin from the market and alternative painkillers filled the void. Purdue also makes Hydromorph Contin.

“We need to reset the thinking on opioids,” said Gordon Wallace, managing director of safe medical care at the Canadian Medical Protective Association, which provides advice to doctors when medical-legal difficulties arise. “In my time, the benefits of opioids for non-cancer pain were significantly over sold and the risks were under stated.”

So there we have it folks.  Pharma companies ramp up the advertising (and likely the perks for prescribing) and we have a crisis.

How to solve it?  A strict cold turkey program:  stop prescribing and go so far as to ban the opioids from the list of options available for medical care and treatment of pain, at least until the current crisis is under control.  If you can’t do that, let’s at least start educating the medical profession about the cause and effect that’s been created.

To track details about how Canada became addicted to opioids, read more here.

Category: Uncategorized

When Trump is Impeached, Who Will Replace Him?

Posted on by 0 comment

The answer is Mike Pence.

Right now, things are NOT looking good for Donald Trump, prima donna extraordinaire.

After the blasting received by Schiff, it now looks like the world can add Paul Manafort to the list of conspirators with respect to the Russian connection.

This article exposes how Manafort who worked as President Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, secretly worked to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government a decade ago, according to a new report.

With this new nail in the coffin, impeachment proceedings will likely have to begin within the next 3-6 months.

When Trump is impeached, who will replace him?

The official line of succession is that it will be the following people:

  1. Vice-President (Mike Pence)
  2. Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan)
  3. President pro tempore of the Senate (Orrin Hatch)
  4. Cabinet (currently with fifteen members, beginning with the Secretary of State)

There’s just ONE teensy little problem …

They’re all involved!

Well, not quite, but they’re all Republicans and it’s unlikely that any of them will take an aggressive stance against Trump, making them complicit with respect to the issues that Trump has brought to Washington.

Category: Uncategorized