Trump , Ryan Drop The Ball, But The Pipeline Approved

There will be a lot written and many fingers pointed but in the end whether one likes it or not it all comes down to leadership . And on the New Health  Care Bill—the Rupublican leadership blew it—-big time.

You cannot go around saying repeal and replace and then see your efforts to really do that go up in smoke–64 days in to your mandate.

I said in an earlier post that it is only too well known that Conservative Parties are more difficult to m an age than Liberal ones . And today the Republican Party displayed that in spades. The so called freedom caucus , the far right of the Republican Party , were in no mood to compromise , even though Trump and Ryan moved in their direction.

This bill was important , not only for a new direction in health care in the US , but just as important was that it would give fiscal room for the leadership to move on tax reform, one of their other big policy reforms. The money that was to be saved in the Heath bill was to used to offset the tax reductions in the new tax Bill. That is no longer there now .

So, now, the tax reform package becomes more difficult. Keep tuned.

Unfortunately , this defeat overshadows the formal approval by the President today of the Keystone XL Pipeline —and if some state issues and other local issues can be overcome , this action is very positive for Canada as well as the US. So , as much as Trump is despised in this country , he has done more for Canada on this one signing than Obama did for Canada in eight years in the White House .

Some day , if the project proceeds,  there will be anti Trump Canadians who will reluctantly admit this was a very positive action.

On The Lighter Side–Dog Noses Out Perform Machines !

From today’s WSJ

By JO CRAVEN MCGINTY
March 24, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET

Dogs clearly love to smell. They snarfle their way along the sidewalk. They plant their snouts where you wish they wouldn’t. They snuffle, snort and sneeze, pulling in great gulps of air and sorting out the scents as they go.

We accept that dogs have sharp noses, and we train them to detect bombs, drugs, bodies, fugitives, pests and cancer. But our knowledge of the limits of their abilities is scant. Studies are relatively few, the number of animals tested is typically small, and the results are disparate.

A variety of things can impair a dog’s performance, from boredom to stress to cues from a handler. Their accuracy may approach perfection, but it also may dip to disturbingly low levels.

“There are not many sensors you would deploy in the real world and not know when it’s not going to work,” said Nathaniel Hall, director of the Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory at Texas Tech University.

One University of California, Davis study testing the influence of handlers found that drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs were wrong more than half the time when their handlers were given erroneous information about the presence of target odors.

For such reasons, a carefully calibrated machine might be preferable to a dog.

Easier said than done.
“What’s cool about dogs is when they do come into contact with an odor, they can track it to its source,” said L. Paul Waggoner, co-director of the Canine Performance Sciences Program at Auburn University. “There is not an instrument out there that replicates a dog’s nose.”

That’s not for lack of effort.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense spent $66 million between 1997 and 2010 drawing on the expertise of at least 35 different research institutions to develop sensors that could detect explosives as ably as a dog and identify other chemicals.
They couldn’t do it.

Meanwhile, scientific studies to measure the extent of dogs’ sniffing powers typically have involved few animals, and the results have varied wildly.

In a frequently cited 1953 study, Walter Neuhaus, a German researcher, tested a single fox terrier and found it could detect butyric acid, sometimes described as smelling like vomit or body odor, at the astonishingly low concentration of .0004 parts per trillion.

In 1960, David G. Moulton, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the same chemical with two crossbred Labradors. Their limit was 137 parts per trillion, or roughly 340,000 times greater than the concentration documented by Neuhaus.

Studies with other breeds and odors have also delivered mixed results.

In 1984, Deena Hope Krestel tested six beagles and found they could pick out amyl acetate, a chemical that smells like bananas, at concentrations of 52,000 to 32,600 parts per trillion.

Dianne Beidler Walker fared better in 2006 with two dogs, a Rottweiler and a standard schnauzer, that detected the same chemical at just 1.9 parts per trillion and 1.14 parts per trillion.

Differences in things such as the testing method or canine training can affect outcomes, and even with varying levels of sensitivity, the studies confirm dogs have an acute sense of smell.

Some say that validation is enough.

“Let’s talk about human search and rescue,” said Cynthia M. Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania, who has trained dogs to detect explosives, cancer and bedbugs. “We don’t care about the thresholds. We have a whole body.”

Rather than focusing on sensitivity, other studies have focused on the perfection of training techniques or determining whether dogs can be replaced.

In the 1970s, the Southwest Research Institute, working for the U.S. Army, tested the odor-detecting ability of a variety of animals compared with dogs.

Cats were excluded because they are uncooperative. Cows were left out because the idea of bomb-sniffing bovines struck the researchers as ludicrous. Sheep and goats were deemed too stupid. But dogs, pigs, ferrets, coyotes, wolves, foxes, skunks, opossums, deer and raccoons made the cut.

Surprisingly, pigs and ferrets outperformed German shepherds and Labrador retrievers, breeds often chosen for odor detection.

But overall, dogs won out because of their combination of qualities: Not only do they have strong noses, they are compatible with people, they respond to training, and—for now—they beat technology paws down.

Turkey Is Looking Ever More Dangerous -Apeasement and Secret Deals Don’t Help

Posted by Vijeta Uniyal Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 5:00pm

Legal Insurrection Website

Diplomatic row between Europe and Turkey escalates further

With the diplomatic row between Europe and Turkey escalating further, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan issued an unveiled threat to Europeans. “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara, Turkey. Earlier, several cities in Germany and the Netherlands canceled public appearances by Erdogan’s ministers citing security concerns.

It is unclear if Erdogan’s statement was meant as a direct call to violence, but Erdogan supporters have a track record of resorting to intimidation and violence abroad to push their Islamist leaders’ political agenda. Earlier this month, thousands of Turkish immigrants rioted in the streets of Rotterdam after city’s mayor refused the landing rights to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Following those riots in the Netherlands, Erdogan supporters vandalised the Dutch consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Reuters news agency reported Erdogan’s statement:

‘Turkey has been embroiled in a row with Germany and the Netherlands over the barring of campaign appearances by Turkish officials seeking to drum up support for an April referendum on boosting Erdogan’s powers.

“If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy,” Erdogan said at event for local journalists in Ankara.’

Erdogan’s belligerent rhetoric is also directed at Turkish immigrants ahead of next month’s referendum that would allow Erdogan to change country’s constitution and virtually make himself ‘President for Life’ — a rule rather than an exception in Muslim majority countries. Millions of Turkish immigrants in Europe are eligible to vote in the April referendum.

Erstwhile Secular Kemalist-Turkey has turned into a base for international Jihadist groups since Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party took power 14 years ago. According to a German intelligence report leaked last August, Erdogan-ruled Turkey has “developed into a central platform of activity for Islamist groups in the Middle East.” German intelligence assessment saw clear “ideological affinity” between Erdogan Regime and terrorist groups motivated by Islamist ideology.

Erdogan recently threatened Europe with demographic warfare, declaring that Turks “are the future of Europe”. “I am calling out to my citizens, by brothers and sisters in Europe,” Erdogan said on Friday. “Have not just three but five children.”

In response to Erdogan’s fanatic Islamist war cries, German Chancellor Markel — or global saviour, as Politico likes to call her — is lamenting about the lack of diplomatic footwork coming from Ankara. Turkey is “ignoring diplomatic conventions,” Merkel complained this week.

As it was recently leaked to the German press, Merkel made a secret deal with Erdogan last year — without consulting other E.U. countries — to bring in 150,000 to 200,000 Syrian refugees to Europe from Turkey each year — in return for Erdogan’s vague promises to “stem migrant flows”. To sweeten the deal Erdogan gets a down payment of €3 billion. As a constant flow of illegal migrants from Turkey show, Erdogan has no intention of keeping his side of the bargain.

Instead of standing up to Erdogan, The E.U. and Germany are seriously negotiating visa-free travel for all Turkish citizens. A provision of Merkel-Erdogan Deal that could open the floodgates of Europe to 75 million Turkish citizens.

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, Spanish philosopher George Santayana wrote more than a hundred years ago. European political elite — having learned nothing from their past — are once again appeasing a tyrant; and once again hoping it will all end well.

Bottom Line –Canadian Budget –Red—-

If you go to Canadian Department of Finance , then click Budget Plan, then scroll down to near the end , click Annex 1, then scroll down to Table A1.5 you will get this :

Budgetary Balance—   In Billions of dollars –here that means deficits unfortunately

Year 2015 -16 ___________ -1

Year 2016-17____________-23

Year 2017-18____________-28.5

Year 2018-19____________-27.4

Year 2019-20____________-23.4

Year 2020-21____________-21.7

Year 2021-22____________-18.8

Is this what you call living within your means ? Interesting last year of that ‘evil man ‘ Harper , just -1billion deficit 

Net debt –Billions of Dollars

Year 2015-16______________693.8

Year 2016-2017____________ 716.3

Year 2017-18______________ 745.9

Year 2018-19______________774.4

Year 2019-20______________798.6

Year 2020-21_____________   820.8

Year 2021-22______________829.8

Without the ‘spin’ , in not one year do we balance the budget and hence in not one year does the net debt stabilize or go down. 

My Disgust Cup Runneth Over—This Federal Government Knows No Bounds —–

ONE : MOTION 103 TO BE VOTED ON TOMORROW–ANTI  EVERY RElIGION BESIDES ISLAM

TWO: $ 125,000 CHRISTMAS VACATION –THE PRINCELING”S BILL

THREE: PROPOSALS TO HAVE NO FRIDAY SITTING OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

FOUR: : PROPOSALS TO SEE THAT PM ONLY HAS TO BE IN QUESTION PERIOD ONE DAY A WEEK

There you have it.

I was no sooner  finished writing a short piece on the budget that is  to be brought down today than I was confronted with the news listed above.

ONE:

I have written about Motion 103 already . This is just to point out that those who thought this would not go anywhere are wrong The Government is serious about giving special attention to  studying discrimination against Islam over all other religious discrimination. The vote is tomorrow and short of any amendments the Government might offer, which at this point seems unlikely, the motion will go through as proposed . This is an affront to all those who believe in equal treatment and that all religious discrimination should be examined equally.

TWO:

And if jumping a free ride on his friend’s helicopter in the Caribbean wasn’t enough this past Christmas ,  our Princeling has now stuck us with the rest  of the Christmas bill—-$125,000. Of course , when you promise deficits and exceed them by three hundred per cent what ‘s a hundred thousand dollars and change.

THREE AND FOUR:

If this wasn’t enough to spoil your week , the Princeling ‘s Party is pushing proposals before the House Affairs and Proceedure Committee of the House of Commons to , among other things:

See to it that our overworked PM only has to face question period in the House one day a week.

And to see to it that our overworked MP’s do not have a House of Commons sitting on Fridays.

Does not your disgust cup runneth over?

One of the fundamental characteristics and requirements of the British Parliamentary System is that the Prime Minister and Cabinet sit in the Peoples’s House –The House of Commons .  Now , if these proposals go through the Leader of the Government will not be required to face the opposition and answer questions but one day a week when the House is in session.

If this is not a dimunition of responsible government I do not know what is!

Secondly, guess how the Government is spinning the Friday closing. A family friendly action for MP’s with kids!

Is this not the most galling , contemptible thing you ever heard ? Using the kids to justify time off.

On a Friday when school aged kids will be in school and many other spouses , who are unlucky  enough to not be  a part of the House of Commons , will be working?  Family Friendly?

What have we done to deserve this craziness ?

 

 

Much To do About ——–Canadian Budget

Budgets are not what they used to be. There was a time when you had to wait for the Minister of Finance to stand in his or her place in the House of Commons while the country in great anticipation waited for each word  to be uttered .

Not anymore!

This is the age of ‘the leak.’ Often deliberate.

So , this will be a modest one. Well, it has to be given that there is very fiscal room to raise revenue and the spending plans , that is deficit plans , were signalled long ago. Remember the great promise in the election ,  ‘ we promise you deficits.’ The first time that I can remember that a Federal Government promised deficits. Of course,  they could not even get that right. The promise was a 10 billion dollar one for the past year —–but it is around a 29 billion dollar one. How is that for a broken promise?  And such promises of deficits remain in place for many years to come. We just don’t know how much given this record.

We are not paying our way in NATO and with the level of our defence spending.

Trump reminded our Princeling of that . And a little deal was hatched . Canada , you spend some more on defence and I will mention Canada in my State of the Union , Trump exclaimed. Presto , we were mentioned in the State of the Union , so our side of the bargain we will get today. Now, how is that for improving the state of out planet.

We gotta have another Bank ! The Infrastructure Bank ! This,  when it was revealed that we are not going to spend this year’s funds that are just  sitting there for Infrastructure . Waiting to be spent. And there is a Senate Report that highlights the multitude of Federal Agencies that are involved before an applicant can get a dollar of infrastructure money. And now  another level of bureaucracy ! If this is meant as economic stimulus. Forget it. Just about every study worth its salt has indicated that is not the case.

We will get some more ‘skills’ talk and innovation etc. But it all ends up in just talk.

We need streamlined regulation, competitive taxes, nimble adaptation to technology to really compete. This will improve our productivity which is significantly lower that the productivity of the US. We are not in the top ten countries when it comes to being competitive according to  the World Economic Forum and the US is number three. Our ability to innovate is at one of the lowest levels in the OECD.

Of course, there will be some news on social housing and women’s issues . And from a social perspective some of that is necessary.

But in the grand  scheme of things we will continue on our path to mediocrity.

Senator Ted Cruz’s Remarks Supporting Neil Gorsuch

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today spoke in support of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. In the first day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Sen. Cruz is a member, the senator praised Judge Gorsuch’s experience and commitment to the rule of law. He also noted that in Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings to be a federal judge ten years ago, not one Democrat spoke against him, indicating the bipartisan respect and support of his record and experience.

Below are Sen. Cruz’s remarks as prepared:

February the 13th of last year was a devastating day for those of us who embrace the Constitution and the Rule of Law. On that day, we lost Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Justice Scalia was one of the greatest justices to ever sit on the Court. He was a trailblazing advocate for the original meaning of the Constitution, and a shining example of judicial humility. His death left an enormous hole not only in our hearts, but in the Rule of Law. And it left enormous shoes to fill.

Today, there is sharp disagreement about the very nature of the Supreme Court. Some people view the Court as a hyper-powerful political branch. When they grow frustrated with the legislative process and the will of the people, they run to the courts to see their preferred policies enacted.

For conservatives, we know the opposite to be true. We read the Constitution and see that it imbues the federal judiciary with a much more modest role than the left embraces. Judges are not supposed to make law. They are supposed to faithfully apply it.

Justice Scalia was a champion of this modest view of the judicial role. But had his vacant seat been filled by Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, Justice Scalia’s legacy would have been in grave danger.

If they had filled this seat, we would have seen a Supreme Court where the will of the people would have been repeatedly cast aside by a new Supreme Court majority. We would have seen a Supreme Court majority that viewed itself as philosopher kings who had the power to decide for the rest of us what policies should govern our nation and control every facet of our lives.

That would been a profound and troubling shift in the direction of the Supreme Court and in our nation’s future. That is why, after Justice Scalia’s untimely death, I was proud to join my colleagues in drawing a line in the sand on behalf of the American people.

We chose to exercise our explicit constitutional authority found in Article II, Section II of the Constitution. We advised President Obama that we would not consent to a Supreme Court nominee until the people, in the presidential election, were able to choose between an originalist vision of the Constitution represented by Justice Scalia, or a progressive one represented by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign, President Trump repeatedly promised to nominate, from a specific list of 21 judges, a principled constitutionalist to fill the void left by Justice Scalia.

Issuing such a list was a move without precedent in our country’s presidential history, and it created the most transparent process for selecting a Supreme Court justice that our nation has ever seen.

The voters were able to see who President Trump would nominate and were able to decide for themselves whether that is the future they wanted for the Court.

And in November, the People spoke. In what essentially was a referendum on the kind of justice that should replace Justice Scalia, the People chose originalism, textualism, and the rule of law.

Judge Gorsuch is no ordinary nominee. Because of this unique and transparent process—unprecedented in this nation’s history—his nomination carries with it a super-legitimacy that is also unprecedented in this nation’s history.

All of us have been able to be involved in this process from day one. For my part, I have pored through Judge Gorsuch’s opinions to get a feel for the man, his writing style, and his judicial philosophy.

Like the renowned justice he is set to replace, Judge Gorsuch is brilliant and immensely talented. His record demonstrates a faithful commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. He has refused to legislate his own policy preferences from the bench, while recognizing the pivotal role the judiciary plays in defending the fundamental liberties recognized in the Bill of Rights.

On this score, I am particularly comforted by Judge Gorsuch’s own words. On the night he was nominated, Judge Gorsuch channeled Justice Scalia when he explained that “a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands.”

These words should give comfort to the American people—and to my Democratic colleagues. With Neil Gorsuch, we have a man who respects this institution and respects the work that we do here on behalf of our constituents.

And my Democratic colleagues know it. Let’s not forget that just a decade ago, Judge Gorsuch was confirmed in the Senate by a voice vote only two months after he was nominated to be a judge. He was even reported out of this committee by a voice vote. Not a single Democrat spoke even a word of opposition to him.

Not our current minority leader Chuck Schumer. Not Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy or John Kerry. Not Senators Feinstein, Leahy, and Durbin, who still sit on this very committee. Not even Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden spoke out against Neil Gorsuch.

The question I would ask my Democratic colleagues is this: What has changed? Ten years ago, he was so unobjectionable that he did not merit even a whisper of disapproval. In the decade since, he has had an objectively exemplary record. If anything, he has shown himself to be even more worthy of the bipartisan support he received back then.

Unfortunately, that is probably not something that my Democratic colleagues can do today in light of the current political climate. Many probably believe they have no choice but to manufacture attacks against Neil Gorsuch, whether they want to or not, just to preserve their own political future.

We are seeing these baseless attacks already. Most recently, some Democrats have been slandering Judge Gorsuch as being “against the little guy” because he has dared to rule based on the law, and not on the identity of the persons appearing before him.

This is beyond absurd. For one thing, these are the same people who have spent the past eight years attacking the Little Sisters of the Poor for having the audacity to be live according to their deeply held religious beliefs. You really need to take a long look in the mirror if once day you find yourself attacking a group called the Little Sisters of the Poor. So forgive me if I don’t believe these people actually care about the “little guy.”

But more important than that, a judge is not supposed to care about the big guy or the little guy. A judge swears an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States, not to give favor to particular litigants.

Unfortunately, I fear that we will see even more baseless attacks this week. But I hope I am wrong. I hope that my Democratic colleagues will give Judge Gorsuch a fair chance. I hope that those who were willing to confirm him ten years ago will treat Judge Gorsuch with the same respect that they showed him then.

Because make no mistake: Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed.

So, let me thank you for being here, Judge Gorsuch. I look forward to asking you questions, I look forward to voting for you, and I look forward to seeing you on the Supreme Court of the United States.