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June 15th, 2011:

‘Nucks or Bruins? Does Orr trump all?

For me, this is more complicated than it seems.

I grew up just outside Parry Sound, Ontario – the birthplace and hometown of Bobby Orr – the best player EVAH! AND DON’T FRICKIN’ DEBATE ME ON THAT!

And in P Dot, you were either a Bruins fan or a Leafs fan. No one else was tolerated.

Habs fans were thrown off the Seguin Street bridge, and rightfully so! The high school gave us the morning off now and then to see Hab fans thrown to the rocks below. Good times. They shoulda known better…

BUT. So my background leads me to cheer for Vancouver tonight as – given my background – I never really saw eye to eye with Bruin fans whatsoever. Hated ‘EM. Just as much as Manure United or those Chelsea and Tottenham scum.

BUT. As a Proud Citizen of Leaf Nation, we vow to never cheer on a Canadian team that has a chance to bring back The Cup to Canada before Our Beloved Leafs. Amen.

BUT. Of all of the Canadian teams aside from the Leafs who I would like to see hoist Lord Stanley – well, that would be the Canucks.

Better than the Habs or those pathetic Schmens. And I won’t even go near the Flames or Oilers! 60-odd percent of Alberta voters voted for HARPER!!

Shit. This is SO complex!

Even more complex than that talk I sat in on yesterday on “non-parametric linear observations of Kurtian distributions using single stepping stone Boritic randomization”.

So what to do. What to do.

Crap.

Go Canucks.

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Another financial meltdown in the U.S.?

President Obama is warning of one if the debt ceiling is not lifted.

The American government will exceed its legislated debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion in August.

Trillion.

14,300,000,000,000.

Holy crap.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (yeah, they’re weenies and you’ll seldom hear me say anything good about them), our debt stands at $559 billion. That puts our national debt about 4% of the American debt. And we have about 10% of the population.

Wow.

Neil Macdonald wrote this article a few weeks back on the American attitude to debt. In short, the goal of  many Americans is not to pay your debts, but to try everything in your power to wriggle your way out of them altogether or to negotiate a lower payback.

Before he dropped out of the Presidential race, that looney-tune Donald Trump basically said “meh” when asked what happens when the government hits the legislated debt ceiling and is no longer able to borrow money and service their debts.

“I don’t think you have to default,” he told a White House reporter. “You’re going to have to make a deal someplace.”

And this is a normal attitude of many who inhabit the land to our south.

Watch commercial TV in this country for a few hours and you’ll see what I mean. It’s strewn with advertisements for companies that claim they’ll “stand up to your creditors.”

Owe more than $10,000 in back taxes? Hire us and we’ll negotiate with the IRS for you. You might only have to pay a fraction of what you owe!

Big credit card bills? Hire us and we’ll deal with those awful banks. We may persuade them to forgive some debt!

Can’t pay your mortgage? Hire us and we’ll negotiate a “principal reduction.” There are even government agencies to help with that one.

Try Googling “personal debt negotiate reduction” and look at the number of hits. Seven million plus.

Pair this thinking with the widespread opposition to any further government borrowing and Trump’s make-a-deal idea is crack for the masses.

So whose fault is it?

Politicians that fall on the Tea Party side of the wacky ledger say “Hey, no worries! We’ll keep taxes low, privatize just about everything and no one needs to feel any pain!” And the voters buy these lines eagerly! They fear those damned socialists in the White House who are asking to put the country into more debt. Yet they had better leave my services alone.

And it is a-OK to walk away from your debt and damn the consequences.

I don’t like this mix. Too much globally depends on a healthy – or at least a breathing American economy.

Neil Macdonald is scared by all this – and so am I.

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