Jason Hayes

Libertarian thought, policy, religion, the environment, tech, coffee, and Tabasco – the stuff of life
This is my personal blog - the thoughts and ideas expressed here are posted on my own time and are mine and mine alone.

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Canada’s socialist neighbour to the south

The Fraser Institute and Cato Institute (along with many other free-market think tanks) have republished their economic freedom ranking for various countries around the world. Sadly, the United States has fallen further in their ranking and free-market thinkers are now justified in questioning whether Canada should start referring to the U.S. as their “socialist neighbour to the south.”

Americans have long dismissed Canadians as “our socialist neighbors to the north.” But since 2005 Canada has been more economically free than the supposed laissez-faire wonderland of the United States—and the gap is widening. …

Economic freedom is defined by the Fraser Institute as “the extent to which you can pursue economic activity without interference from government, as long as your actions don’t violate the identical rights of others.” This ideal is difficult to define, much less quantify, so the index breaks each country’s score into five broad categories: size of government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, international free trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.

Every country is ranked on a scale of one to ten, with ten being most free. In 2013 the report ranked 152 countries and territories. The Index has data on most going back to 1980. This allows for long-term analyses of what policies caused countries to catch up, or in the case of the United States, fall behind, in economic freedom.

Canada’s policies can serve as an example for policy makers looking to jumpstart U.S. growth. Canada has a federal corporate tax rate of just 15 percent whereas the United States has a top rate of 35 percent, the highest among OECD countries. Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is 35 percent. It is targeting a ratio of 25 percent by 2021 thanks to a strong commitment to spending cuts from Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The U.S. ratio is 73 percent and rising. Mr. Harper has publicly pushed for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would benefit the economies of both countries, while President Obama has done all he can to block the State Department’s permit. Canada also has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, lower than America’s.

The increasing gap in economic freedom, the rapid growth of public debt, the push toward socialized health care, increasing burdens of extreme regulatory pressure, and many other factors are a shameful and destructive attack on what once was the most free country on the planet.

It is becoming increasingly clear that true patriots, conservatives, and libertarians need to push to return government to a far more states-oriented, federalist view as a means of returning the country to its founding principles. We need to use the rights of states to act as a constitutional circuit breaker on the growing power of the federal government. Check out the work of groups like the Goldwater Institute for more information on how that can be achieved.

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Former President of CMA details how rationing will impact US health care

Dr. Brian Day clearly lays out the problem with running a single-payer health care system. His closing line pretty much sums it up. Canada came in dead last on a list of 30 other countries around the world for value of health care provided for the dollars spent.

When the top brass of the Canadian health care system (i.e., the current and former heads of the Canadian Medical Association) are both saying that the Canadian system is “imploding,” or providing bottom-of-the-barrel quality health care to Canadian citizens, can anyone out there give me a solid reason for rushing headlong into the exact same fiasco here in the U.S.?

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Top Canadian doctor: socialized health care “imploding”

As if we didn’t need another reason to RUN!!!! from the socialized, single-payer system that Obama and the Dems are trying to force on us. Here’s an article in which the top Canadian doctor — the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association — openly admits that the Canadian health care system is “imploding.” She openly admits that Canadian doctors are scrambling to keep the most basic care available for Canadians. The article quotes Doig and other Canadian doctors who admit that as part of a move toward “patient-centred care,” that the Canadian system will need to allow private, for-profit options for Canadians – the exact opposite direction that Obama wants us to go.

Read it yourself and then ask if you really want to chuck the best medical system in the world for that.

The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country’s health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country – who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting – recognize that changes must be made.

“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“We know that there must be change,” she said. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.” …

“(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now – if it keeps on going without change – is not sustainable,” said Doig.

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Cancer testing in Quebec botched by govt managers

But Obama and the Dems in Congress can’t wait to implement the same kind of flawed model in the U.S.

Quebec’s health officials revealed Wednesday night that the province’s breast cancer testing is seriously flawed, putting the treatment and lives of women at risk in a debacle similar to what took place in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hundreds of Quebec women may have received inadequate or ineffective treatment due to improper assessments, according to a study done in 25 laboratories under the supervision of the province’s pathologists association. …

Quebec pathologists have demanded for years that the Quebec government undertake quality control tests of the province’s laboratories, but to no avail. The pathologists decided to conduct the study themselves, which the Ministry of Health and Social Services is now scrambling to deal with.

Why spend any time or money fixing the system when keeping flawed tests like that will keep overall costs down? If people die earlier or give up fighting against an immovable bureaucracy, then we don’t have them plugging up the hospitals.

Now compare the socialist model with the numbers that were just released in the U.S.

The U.S. cancer death rate fell again in 2006, a new analysis shows, continuing a slow downward trend that experts attribute to declines in smoking, earlier detection and better treatment.

About 560,000 people died of cancer that year, according to an American Cancer Society report released Wednesday. The new numbers show the death rate fell by less than 2 percent, but since that decline was better than the previous year, the cancer society applauded the progress. …

The CDC recently reported death rates fell for:

• Lung and trachea cancers, from 54 deaths per 100,000 in 2005 to 51.5 in 2006.

• Colorectal cancers, from 18 to 17 per 100,000.

• Breast cancer, from 27 to 23.5 per 100,000.

Update (June 1, 09) – Looks like the taxpayers in the U.K. are going through similar distress. They’re actually being forced to wait outside of Accident and Emergency Departments (emergency rooms) in ambulances, hallways, and garages for hours on end before they can even get into the A&E waiting rooms.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found that thousands of 999 patients are being left to wait in ambulances in car parks and holding bays, or in hospital corridors – in some cases for more than five hours – before they can even join the queue for urgent treatment.

Experts warn that hospitals are deliberately delaying when they accept patients – or are diverting them to different sites – in order to meet Government targets to treat people within fours hours of admitting them.

I’ve added the emphasis to the second sentence. Remember though folks that this is the sort of thing that you see going on in socialized medicine where government targets are “met” by gaming the system like this. So you can expect to start seeing the same types of waits and delays when Obama-care is instituted.

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I told you so

I’ve posted here before on the potential outcomes of altering the traditional definition of marriage. Now Darcey has another post demonstrating that once you’ve opened up the subject, others are going to take the ball and run with it.

Last spring, Aly Hindy of the Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Ontario told the Toronto Star that he had personally blessed more than 30 polygamous marriages over five years and touted it all up to his religion:

“This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion,” he said. “If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that.”

After that article a few more came out across Canada talking about thousands of Muslims with multiple-wives which is now the now politically correct term for polygamy and I believe we are going to be hearing more of it now that British Columbia has charged two men from Bountiful with polygamy including their leader Winston Blackmore. This case has been coming for a long time and I believe it stems from public pressure but I don’t believe they are going to win. A few years ago Winston Blackmore stated if he was ever charged he was going to use the charter of rights and freedoms and most current speculators are assuming he is going to do just that:

Get ready Canada, legalized polygamy (or mulitple-wives, or polyamory, or whatever you wish to call it) is coming to the courthouse near you .. the city near you .. and likely the house near you. What’s more, the proponents of polygamy will have as strong a legal and moral argument for further redefining the definition of marriage as gay couples have recently presented to society and the courts.

It doesn’t matter if it offends my Judeo-Christian sensibilities, or someone else’s Muslim/Mormon/Catholic/Buddhist/atheist/agnostic beliefs, or your feminist contention that polygamy is a tool for the subjugation of womyn, or our traditional North American beliefs and heritage, or that the definition of marriage has been “one man and one woman” for most of human history. None of that matters anymore.

As I have said in other posts, if you are willing to defend the “right” of homosexual couples to marry, you cannot reasonably deny the same “right” to informed adults who wish to enter into other forms of “marriage.”

On the horizon – next comes inter-species marriage. Since animals are now being given the same legal rights as humans – one could not legally argue that would be inappropriate. so long as both parties were willing.

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Canada Day 2008

The old girl is now 141 and looking as good as she ever did. Happy Canada Day!!

From the Winnipeg Free Press media centre.

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Aussies warn that Canada is potentially dangerous vacation spot

I wish I had read this Australian government web page before I grew up in Canada. If only I had known that I had unintentionally exposed myself to so much danger for over those 30 years.

Australians considering a trip to the Great White North may find themselves quickly making other plans after reading their federal government’s travel advisory on Canada.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently updated its “Smart Traveller” website – intended to give travellers “up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas” – and classified the world’s nations into five categories based on their current “security situation.”

Canada falls into the second safest category, called “exercise caution” (not as safe as Chile, Romania and South Korea), with terrorism listed as the top concern.

“We advise you to exercise caution and monitor developments that might affect your safety in Canada because of the risk of terrorist attack,” the website reads.

“Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.”

While the crime rate in Canada is acknowledged to be “similar to that of Australia,” tourists are warned to remain vigilant as “pick pocketing and street theft occurs at tourist destinations, hotels and on public transit.”

The section on climate, which was just updated with new information about natural disasters, would turn even the most hardened adventurer away.

“Heavy snowfalls and ice in the winter can make driving dangerous. The wind-chill factor can also create dangerously cold outdoor conditions. … The province of British Columbia in western Canada is in an active earthquake zone. Alberta and British Columbia are also subject to avalanches. … Tornadoes can occur in some areas of Canada between May and September. Bush and forest fires can occur any time in Canada.”

To be fair, the bit about the wind chill is correct. And, yes, it is true that a lot of the tourists (and people from Vancouver) have no idea how to drive in snow. Other than that, stating that Alberta and British Columbia are subject to avalanches is a bit over the top. Well … there was the big slide of ought-6 that leveled the city of Edmonton.

They’d probably be more accurate to warn against people getting lost in the Gap and driving for weeks without ever seeing anything change.

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Fixing Canada’s exchange rate: a bad idea

With the Canadian dollar now sitting at par with the US greenback, people are, once again, floating the idea that the Loonie’s exchange rate should be fixed against the U.S. dollar before it changes again. However, a new CD Howe study, written by David Laidler, says that the push to stick the Loonie is misguided.

The idea of a pegged Canadian-U.S. dollar exchange rate is in the air again, perhaps as a first step towards a North American monetary union. Though some supporting arguments have changed since last time around — such as the peg’s potential to defuse rising tension between Canada’s resource-driven and manufacturing regions — it is still a bad idea. Economic fundamentals suggest that fixing the exchange rate would expose Canada once again to the swings in inflation and unemployment that successful inflation targeting, supported by a floating rate, has done so much to mitigate since 1991.

Canadian proponents of fixing have become sensitive to the serious economic and political obstacles to a full North American monetary union, and no longer treat the latter as a near-term goal. Nor do they argue, as they did when the dollar hovered near 62 cents, that the floating Canadian dollar is under imminent threat of extinction by market forces. They do assert, however, that a pegged rate would add stability to the business environment, as well as reduce domestic economic and political tensions.

Now, other things being equal, a successfully fixed exchange is an attractive prospect, but the trouble is that those other things would not remain equal. Canada’s floating exchange rate does not move around gratuitously, but responds to influences that would still exist even if it were pegged, and would be felt through other channels.

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Ex-Muslim speaks on Aqsa Parvez’s death

There is a good article on the death of Canadian teen Aqsa Parvez. Aqsa was murdered by her father for refusing to wear the burqa. The article, written by former Muslim, Alamgir Hussain is on the Islam Watch website. Later in the article, he discusses — with several references — the issue of compulsion in religion. It’s well worth reading the full article.

The murder of 16-year-old Canadian teen, Aqsa Parvez, by her Pakistani immigrant father for her refusal to wear a burka or hijab has shocked and saddened the nation. As people from all walks of life are mourning her tragic death, Muslims — particularly their religious leaders — have joined the chorus of denials that “Islam has nothing to with the death of Aqsa.”

Here is a Muslim riddle. When one criticizes the practice of Muslim women wearing the burka or hijab, Muslims quickly respond that their religious symbol or choice is being attacked, but when girls like Aqsa die for refusing to accept the same religious symbol, Muslims quickly respond by saying their religion has nothing do with the death.

It is indeed a fact that wearing the burka (not the more liberal hijab) is a religious duty for Muslim women commanded by Allah. The Quran [24:31] commands Muslim women to “draw their veils over their bosoms” so as not to expose their physical assets to unrelated people. Allah says [Quran 33:59]: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers [Muslims] to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad).”

No Muslim will deny that Allah’s commands in the Quran are non-negotiable and binding on all Muslims. When someone dies for refusing to comply with those binding Islamic obligations, it is ridiculous to say the Islamic religion has nothing to do with that death.

When I was growing up as a Muslim, my religious teachers at my school and madrasa used to tell us that a righteous Muslim parent must ask his or her children to follow their religious duties at the age of eight and pressure them at the age of ten. If they continue to refuse, beat them at the age of twelve. In many Muslim countries not all parents apply this protocol rigorously, but it remains a widely accepted guide. Some parents do follow it closely in order to bring their disobedient children onto the righteous path. As a result, injuries and even deaths occur, like Aqsa’s. These injuries and deaths can in no way be separated from the Islamic religion.

There’s more here, check it out.

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Robert Dziekanski: Vancouver International Airport

I watched the video of the last moments in Robert Dziekanski’s life and came away with the feeling that I’m missing something. However, if I did see all that there is to see, it looks like Dziekanski’s death was unnecessary.

After viewing the video I had a lot of questions running through my head.

  • Why, in a country that provides government-funded translations for pretty much any situation, could they not at least telephone someone who spoke Polish to help out?
  • Why did the police need to go immediately to the taser?
  • Why did they keep tasering him after he fell to the ground?
  • What was that one blonde RCMP officer hitting with his baton near the end of the video?
  • Why were the police refusing to release the witness’ video of the incident?
  • Why have the security videos from the airport not been released?
  • Why did the police not even try to talk to Dziekanski or the other witnesses before pulling out the taser and piling on?
  • What had the police been told about Dziekanski and his actions – where they informed that there was a passenger that was causing a disturbance, or that there was a violent man who had barricaded himself into a secure area and was throwing furniture and computer equipment around? (Obviously the second explanation would prompt a completely different response.)

It’s pretty clear that Dziekanski was agitated and had been moving/throwing furniture and computers earlier in the video. However, it is reasonable to suggest that if you had been retained in an airport for 10 hours and not allowed to speak with anyone who you could understand, you might be a little agitated as well. What was also clear was, that despite being agitated, when people talked to him, he set the items down gently.

When the four RCMP officers arrived, he moved away from the items and the security door and up against the desk behind him. As the police separated and moved to surround him, he then turned and walked away. As he turned, they tasered him.

I am not sure what type of tasers the police use, so I don’t know if they have special settings on their units. However, I do know that the average taser unit (for example, the X26E) has only a five second cycle that can be stopped by activating the safety. From the video, it is clear that Dziekanski is being tasered for longer than five seconds, as he is still groaning and spasming after the four police are moving in to restrain him. Why would it be necessary to “hit him again” as one of the people in the video yelled.

Again, I come away from this video and reading the articles on the incident wondering.

I don’t relish the duties and responsibilities of the police in situations like this. We demand that they go into bad, potentially life-threatening situations and make immediate judgments that will hold up in court for all time. In light of the terrorist threat we are facing and what recently happened at the Glasgow airport, the police are going to be at an all time high state of alert — think for a second what could happen if they make a mistake. However, we also provide them with training that will help prepare them to make those decisions in a professional and reasonable manner. Did they follow their training? Did they move ahead a few steps in the threat assessment because of a miscommunication down the line? I don’t know.

For now, I cannot say that I know enough about the incident to state positively that they overreacted, but even after giving the police the benefit of the doubt, it appears that they used excessive force in restraining Dziekanski. I’ll be interested in seeing what the final reports say.

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Despite this, Americans still push for Hillarycare

Here are just a few examples of what treatment under government run health care would be like.

Miss Jones, 24, and her partner Anthony Jones – who coincidentally share the same surname – dashed to their local maternity unit when she started to have strong contractions.

However, their excitement at the prospect of the birth soon turned to horror when staff on the ward told them: “Sorry we are full. Come back later.”

Medics at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, near Cardiff, insisted the baby would not arrive for hours and suggested the couple go and have a cup of coffee while they tried to free up a bed.

Three hours later, they returned to the hospital when Miss Jones’s contractions became more frequent.

This time she was given a thorough examination by a midwife who confidently sent them away for the second time, telling them the baby was still “hours away”.

Once again, the frustrated couple headed back to their home in Bridgend. But within minutes Miss Jones felt the baby arriving.

Her partner’s 17-year-old daughter Kirsty called 999 and relayed instructions, as he delivered the baby himself on October 12 at 11am.

and

Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

I grew up in Canada, so can speak from first hand experience about having to wait 18 months before I could get a simple hernia repaired. My mom is still waiting for her second hip replacement (almost 2 years now) after having waited for two years+ for the first one — for over four years, she has been just short of crippled, while she waits. I lived in Calgary for five years and never had a personal physician because everyone we went to told us that they were not accepting any new patients. Instead we went to urgent care facilities, or walk-in clinics.

The Fraser Institute just published its health care review and the results agree with my experience. Under a government run health care system, you might get good care eventually, but you wait and wait and wait for whatever care it is that you need.

I’ve been there and done that, so I highly recommend that people ignore Hillary when she starts selling her health care snake oil. It may sound great when all you are hearing are a politician’s promises, but the reality is a whole lot less appealing once you’re forced into it.

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