One Percenters —- The US Pro Athletes—

Well, these multi millionairs are getting rambunctious .

Now , I am a bit of a sports fan .

Like I have attended four Super Bowls .

Been to Wrigley Field , the old Tiger Stadium, Fenway Park for baseball.

And Kansas City ,Cleveland , Pittsburg for football.

New York for basketball.

Orange and Rose Bowls for College Football.

Oh, and a few Grey Cups .

I played a lot of baseball , basketball and hockey.

I like sports —-for sports —–

I support my flag , my national anthem .

If I have a political problem I will write my representative and/or write a letter to the paper.

These athletes were contracted to play their sport. They receive millions of dollars and are celebrities. The system treats them very well. The least they can do is stand up for their flag and national anthem to honour the system that allows them to earn their millions.

There are many other forums through which they can express their political views .

Leave the stadium to sports!

I will resist getting into the hypocrisy of what is allowed and not allowed by the various sports leagues except to say I remember Tim Teebow , the Christian Football Player, being roundly criticized for kneeling to pray.

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Germany , Let’s Not Fudge !

There is nothing like the numbers . So many people like to rationalize and talk generally about a given situation especially when they lose. And now you read and hear it with the German election result .

So let’s be clear :

The governing party the Christian Democrats lost 65 seats

The partner until now with the Christian Democrats , the Social Democrats,lost 40 seats

So the two parties that governed Germany for the last few years lost 105 seats

No other party lost any seats —

The pro business , tough on immigration party Free Democrats gained 80 seats

The Greens gained only 4

Left gained 5

The anti immigration , far right Alternative for Germany gained 94 seats

So

The two pro business, anti immigration parties gained 174 seats ,

Listening from the out side with all the wind mills and solar emphasis one would think the Greens would have won big —a measly 4 seats . And that goes for the Left with 5.

So make no mistake who the winners are! The anti establishenmnet parties

And the losers? The staus quo pro immigration, more regulation parties .

Germany –A Shake Up!

Well, Germans got a jolt now didn’t they.

Brilliant Merkle as she was called over the last weeks isn’t so brilliant after all. Her party had the lowest percentage of the vote since 1949 at 33. Her partner party lost badly at 20% and won’t be a part of any new coalition. That leaves the Green and the Free Democrats to form a coalition with her.

The big winner was the far right party garnering 12.6% of the vote, making it the third party of Germany.

In Merkle ‘s East Germany the far right party got 20% of the vote . These numbers in the German system are large.

So one would think the great migration promoted by Merkle had a more negative affect than most pundits thought. And this coalition of the two major parties, well, was just too comfortable for many voters.

To show how difficult this all has become is the fact that Merkle herself is saying it maybe Christmas before a new coalition comes together.

What all this means for the European Union and especially Germany’s leadership in it is a good question.

I suspect some Easter European Countries like Poland and Hungary are secretly happy given their recent immigration disagreements with the EU and through it with Germany .

One of the themes one can deduce from this is: when people feel left out in a democracy they still have power at the ballot box. And that’s a good thing!

And a Newfoundland Yarn —

When you get thinking about what has happened to our Province , my last blog refers,one also thinks about personal events of the past. More pleasant ones.

That’s what happened to me today as I remembered my first campaign in 1972.

I was in Nippar’s Harbour, Green Bay , the home of Liberalism –and I , a Tory candidate .

The reception was cool like the March weather . I entered the local general store and no one spoke. I said hello at the counter ,—- a nod of sorts from the owner, who I had met some months before.

Out the door I went and starting knocking on doors. Many did not even answer the door —kept silent from within–and I as I departed the slick movement of curtains from the kitchen or porch was evident.

But then there was this quick door opening —a female shout —and verbal abuse —–she , reckoning loudly a time some 11 years back when I was a temporary welfare officer and had refused her husband financial support wherewith she struck me with a wood junk in the narrow confines of my hired boat . And now ,un struck , I was banished from her place in full astonished view of her neighbours.

I was saved as I rushed away towards the harbour by an elderly man who startled me with his friendly gesture. Why, he even asked me if I was alright —I suspect I did not look right.

Well, he brought me back to his house and introduced me to his wife and a cup of tea.

‘The only Tory in the place ,’ says he.

‘And been that way since Confederation .’

Now , he says , let’s drive those Liberals crazy. You send me down some campaign posters and I will put them up on as many poles as I can .

So for the next eight days this old fella was supplied with posters . He no sooner put them up but they were torn down .

On Election Day , convinced that I was going to win , he demanded another batch to put up in victory .

Shockingly, I won . The first Tory ever.

And my friend did his celebrating pole by pole with poster after poster that evening after the results were announced , alone with his wife .

His prediction was realized.

The next morning the poles were still adorned with Tory signs !

His name was George Prole and he was born in Indian Burying Place, a now resettled cove just up the the shore from Nippar’s Harbour .

Checking the register for George I found he was born in 1909 and died in 1994.

Fast forward to a Saturday Morning , October , 2012 . Two men were travelling in a truck on the Trans Canada Highway near Springdale Junction. The owner of the truck was driving. He turned on the radio and a Grand Falls station was announcing that the Former Premier was at that moment in Springdale signing copies of his new book.

The driver looked at his pal —

‘You know what ? ‘ He exclaimed .

‘ I have got to turn off and go to Springdale . ‘

‘ What ?’ his pal exclaimed!

As the line up at the book signing continued I looked up and suddenly I saw a middle aged man I did not recognize . Just about everyone else I could put a name to.

‘My name is Tom Prole .’ , he said.

I jumped up and hugged him .

‘Your dad was one of my heroes . I have him recorded in my book—-look, look –here it is on this page!’

And says Tom, ‘you were his hero . His dream of a Tory elected in this district had been realized. ‘

A Most Tragic River –The Churchill in Labrador

A Most Tragic River , The Churchill in Labrador

Mr. Churchill must have a cavernous hole around his grave as he turns over and over as The River called after him exhibits one monumental error after another.

Joseph Smallwood, first Premier of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador engaged in an successful effort to develop the hydro electric potential of the The River culminating in the infamous Upper Churchill Contract with Hydro Quebec . The contract is for 65 years ( ending in 2041) charging for the electricity generated 3 mills per kilowatt hour for the first forty years and then decreasing in the final 25 years to 2 mills . A mill is one tenth of a cent.

Unlike almost every other contract of this kind in the world, the price of the product being sold actually goes down over the decades of the contract. And , of course, with the unbelievably long term and with no escalator clause it makes the whole thing sound like a fantasy and not a real world event. Studies in the 1980’s indicated that at the average price for electricity at that time Newfoundland was loosing through the contract at least $500 million annually. Imagine what that number would be today!

The shadow of this terrible contract has haunted Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and was one of the reasons that eventually led to Mr. Smallwood’ s defeat. I, like others, have criticized the contract —-both as a citizen and as an elected member of the Legislature, as Minister of Energy and as Premier. I was determined this would not happen again on my watch. When I was Minister of Mines and Energy the Moores Administration initiated a court action under the recall provisions of the contract. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against this action.

The Lower Churchill River has two major Hydro electric sites: Gull Island and Muskrat Falls.

Interestingly , when I was Minister of Mines and Energy, the Moores Administration and the Federal Government passed legislation creating A Federal Provincial Corporation called The Lower Churchill Development Corporation with the expressed purpose of the development of the Lower Churchill River. Strange how this was allowed to wane.

While I was Energy Minister a feasibility study was completed concerning transporting electricity from the Lower Churchill River across the strait if Bell Isle , down the west coast of the Island and then across the Cabot Strait to Nova Scotia. While found to be technically feasible it was not feasible economically at the time.

Mr. Moores held talks with Rene Levesque that almost saw a deal for the Lower Churchill with little change in the Upper Churchill contract . I scuttled that deal . You hear little about that now. I wonder why?

My administration held talks with Quebec about the development of the two projects on the Lower Churchill but with one major proviso ——only if the Upper Churchill Contract was re-negotiated leading to a higher price . Talks were not successful. We then initiated a new court action based upon an new piece of Legislation called The Water Reversion Act . Once again the Supreme Court ruled against us.

Subsequent Premiers have tried to do deals with Quebec, Mr Brian Tobin being one of them. As a matter of fact I remember him calling me from Quebec just before his meetings. Obviously he was unsuccessful. Mr. Clyde Wells , another Premier, removed ( if my memory is correct) the proviso that the Lower Churchill development was contingent on getting a higher price for electricity from the Upper Churchill.

Then along comes Danny Williams –another Premier. Well, he , desperately seeking a legacy project , announces the Muskrat Falls Project and abruptly resigns. The project was exempt from a Public Utilities hearing or similar independent review, something by the way that was recommended by the Environmental Review Panel studying the project.

Of course, the project, without proper review , has been nothing but trouble. With an initial cost of $6 billion, a little over $7 billion when sanctioned , it now sits at $12.7 billion. Numerous problems have beset the project , not the least of which was with one of the main contractors that unfortunately has seen hundreds of millions of extra dollars being provided . Other issues like unsettling clay at the site, and statements of poor cost estimates ( incompetence or deliberate low balling ?) hound the project.

And with a link to Nova Scotia to take the excess power , the Public Utilities Board there saw fit to ensure their consumers were protected and hence a reopening of the deal saw to it that they not only will get this power cheaper than other alternatives available to that Province but it will be unbelievably cheaper than what Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will pay.

So, tragically, Quebec reaps unbelievable benefits from the Upper Churchill , depriving Newfoundland and Labrador a fair return , and now Nova Scotia consumers on the Muskrat Falls project of the same river will reap lower electricity rates than the owners the people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

What is most galling to me and many residents of the Province is that with the experience of the Upper Churchill Contract , one would have thought that to commit another blunder on this river was impossible.

This is compounded and made ridiculous by the fact that The Atlantic Accord concerning offshore oil and gas was negotiated between these two Churchill deals, starkly highlighting that fair deals could be negotiated concerning our resources . Another boondoggle ,then , after the Accord seemed all the more impossible.

And now the Smallwood/Squires past hovers over us again, made almost unbearable by the recent refusal of the powers that be to have a forensic audit on the Muskrat Project , harkening back to Smallwood’s refusal in the 1950’s to release a completed review of his failed projects during his industrialize or perish legacy.

The more things change ———-

There is one major project left on that Tragic River—-Gull Island.

Its future?

Who would dare speculate?

Reminder—My Paris Agreement Blog of June

As our dear Princeling appears before the United Nations preaching his unscientific blather about climate, I wish to remind my readers of my June blog on the Paris Environment Agreement, just in case some have forgotten:

‘Voluntary, Unenforceable !

Please Don’t Laugh!

If you did not read it let me inform you there are some 18 new entities that the Agreement Creates:

Conference of the Parties, Secretariat , Ad Hoc Working Group , Subsidiary Body for Implementation , Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice , Adaptation Committee, Least Developed Country Expert Group, Standing Committee on Finance, Green Climate Fund , Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss Damage, Executive Committee for Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss damage, Global Environmental Facility , Special Climate Change Fund, Technical Executive Committee, Climate Technology Centre, Climate Technology Network, Paris Committee on Capacity Building, Capacity Building for Transparency .

Can ‘t you see the members of all these entities travelling on fossil fuel guzzling airplanes all over the globe preaching to eliminate fossil fuels?

Oh, and it is all voluntary :

’38. Recommends that the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement adopt rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6, paragraph 4, of the Agreement on the basis of:

(a) Voluntary participation authorized by each Party involved;’

‘140. Urges Parties to make voluntary contributions for the timely implementation of this decision.’

Oh, and the whole thing is so strong that any member can exit after three years:

‘Article 28

At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.

Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

Any Party that withdraws from the Convention shall be considered as also having withdrawn from this Agreement.’

Oh, there is no enforcement mechanism !

Ha! Ha! Ha! —–I can hardly stand up I am laughing so much .

And the Congress of the world’s largest economy has never seen it!

When can we do another one of these? — It’s so funny!

Turkey and NATO Try and Block Free Speech ——In —Philadelphia!

Turkey’s Erdogan Tries (and Fails) to Censor an American Think Tank
by Winfield Myers

September 21, 2017 at 10:52 am
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11039/turkey-erdogan-tries-and-fails-to-censor

—Turkey’s descent into Islamist despotism distorts the NATO alliance: how can Turkey combat a external threat from without, Daniel Pipes asked, when a member state poses the same threat from within?

—No one tells us what we can say. We are a free people, and we will act in complete freedom. – Daniel Pipes, President, Middle East Forum (MEF)

—The purging of 120,000 government employees following last year’s failed coup means that “more police counter-terrorism experts are in prison than ISIS members.” A democratic Turkey is a must for NATO, both for the alliance’s success and for Turkey itself. – Emre Celik, Turkish dissident, at Middle East Forum-NATO conference in Philadelphia, September 2017

—When Celik he began to speak, the Turks — and the NATO bureaucrats who support them — marched out in lockstep, thereby allowing a distant despot to control their actions in the birthplace of liberty. NATO’s willingness to ignore the principles it was founded to defend reveals the moral corruption at its heart….

Discussion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often seems to fancy himself a world-striding figure capable of bullying anyone, anywhere he likes. As the world saw this past May, when his security forces launched what police called a “brutal attack” against peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., opponents of his dictatorial regime have good reason to fear for their safety, even in America.

Tuesday afternoon, however, Erdogan saw that his self-regard was no match for liberty buttressed by resolve: the Middle East Forum (MEF), a Philadelphia think tank, rejected his demand to disinvite a Turkish dissident, Emre Celik, from addressing a conference of thirty members of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, that MEF sponsored — at NATO’s suggestion, on September 19, 2017.

Celik is president of the Rumi Forum for Interfaith Dialogue and Intercultural Understanding, founded by followers of the aging Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, Erdogan’s ally-turned-enemy, now living in exile in rural Pennsylvania. Erdogan has lodged unfounded charges that Gulen and his followers were behind the failed coup attempt against his regime in July 2016. Erdogan jailed thousands of Gulen’s supporters, and demanded his extradition.

How can Turkey combat a threat from without , Daniel Pipes asked, when a member state such as Turkey poses the same threat from within? (Photo of President Erdogan: Wikimedia Commons).

Celik’s presence on the program went unopposed throughout the summer. A line-up of speakers was formally accepted by all parties.

Then, one week before the event, NATO staff told MEF that Turkey had written letters to NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Parliamentary Assembly President Paolo Alli, protesting Celik’s inclusion and demanding his withdrawal.

This meant that NATO, an institution founded to defend Western civilization against dictatorial regimes, was willing to serve as a pawn of Turkey’s dictator. Membership in NATO confers responsibility for mutual defense in the face of external aggression; it does not obligate the organization itself to obey rogue regimes that retain formal membership in the alliance despite their oppressive actions at home and abroad.

MEF president Daniel Pipes, in his keynote speech at the conference’s conclusion, argued that NATO’s primary task today is the defense of its members against the threat of Islamism, just as its founding mission had been a defense against communism. But Turkey’s descent into Islamist despotism seriously distorts the NATO alliance: how can Turkey combat a threat from without Daniel Pipes asked, when a member state poses the same threat from within?

Pipes told his largely European audience that when they leave the building in which they were meeting, they will see Independence Hall, the seat of American liberty where our founding documents were debated and adopted. Just down the street sits the Liberty Bell, the symbol of American freedom. MEF, said Pipes, is grateful that Americans are a free people. “No one tells us what we can say,” he emphasized; we are a free people, and we will act in complete freedom.

When MEF invited Celik, Pipes said, Ankara, 8,500 kilometers away, said no — and NATO dutifully fell into line by insisting that MEF cancel the conference rather than allow Celik to speak. MEF at the time felt it had no choice but to obey.

But then, Pipes continued, “we recalled Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell,” plus NATO’s mission, and accordingly “Mr. Celik is here and will address us.” “He will become an American citizen within days, for which we congratulate him.” And with that, Pipes asked the audience to welcome Celik to the podium.

As Celik approached it, the Turkish delegation leapt to its feet and rushed the stage, while shouting that Celik’s appearance was “unacceptable” and that “he cannot be on the stage” (video of this episode is here). While voices grew heated, Celik took a seat on stage alongside Pipes, while Michael Joping of the British House of Lords, and co-chair of the NATO PA delegation, took the microphone to object to Celik’s appearance. He convinced the Turks to remain through his own brief, impromptu talk about NATO’s future, at the end of which he attempted again to exclude Celik by ending the conference.

Pipes, however, was having none of this. He immediately joined Joping at the microphone and, unable to get the British gentleman to yield, pounded the podium and demanded that Celik be allowed to speak. Seeing himself outgunned (and outmanned), Joping exited the stage. “Thank you for having us,” he said. “Thank you for coming,” said Pipes as the two exchanged a curt handshake.

Free to speak, Celik warned that the under Erdogan’s “new regime of repression,” the “social mechanisms holding the nation together are falling apart.” The purging of 120,000 government employees following last year’s failed coup means that “more police counter-terrorism experts are in prison than ISIS members.” A democratic Turkey is a must for NATO, Celik said, both for the alliance’s success and for Turkey itself. At the end of his brief talk, he received a standing ovation.

Those who most needed to hear — and heed — Celik’s words regrettably missed their opportunity. When Celik he began to speak, the Turks — and the NATO bureaucrats who support them — marched out in lockstep, thereby allowing a distant despot to control their actions in the birthplace of liberty. NATO’s willingness to ignore the principles it was founded to defend reveals the moral corruption at its heart; but on this day, those principles proved resilient in the face of tyranny.

Winfield Myers is Director of Academic Affairs at the Middle East Forum.