Alberta NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman on Fiscal Prudence in Education

Alberta’s future minister of education:

Sarah Hoffman was at a junior high school in northern Alberta when Ralph Klein’s government made deep cuts to the province’s school system. Conversations at the family dinner table soon turned political and she remembers the night when her dad, a school principal, decided to take every other light bulb out of his school to save money.

Holy smokes politicians say some stupid things. He took out every other light bulb in the school to save money… really? Come on, either he’s a moron or she’s full of it.

Lets say the bulbs were 60W and they run roughly 12 hours a day; which is a stretch considering the kids are only in school for little over half of that time. The earliest electrical rates I can find is 2002, which is a few years after Klein’s cuts, but the average is around 6¢/kWh [source:]

So one lightbulb would cost the school $0.043200 a DAY. Yes, you read the correctly, he would save the school 4 cents per bulb per day. Breaking that out over a year, that’s $15.77 per bulb, per year — and that’s if the bulb ran for 12 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Which is foolhardy on my part because we know teachers teach in the classroom less than 200 days of the year.

Lets say the school has 500 bulbs total, which I believe is being VERY generous – Mr Spendthrift saved the school a total of $3,942.50.

(500 bulbs divided by 2) x $15.77 = $3,942.50

Seeing that the average Alberta teacher salary in 2002 was $65,000, Mr. Spendthrift saved 6% of a teacher’s salary in one year – and that does NOT include the true cost of a teacher (salary, benefits, pension, etc.) [Source:]

SOooo, are my math skills wonky or is Ms. Hoffman just telling us a tall tale of fiscal prudence…?

The 10 Canadian Provinces As High School Kids ?!WTF!?

The 10 Canadian Provinces, And What They Would Be Like As High School KidsThought Catalog

A country is not high school.

Canada is rocks and trees, and some 35 million individuals living in a federal state with sovereign provincial governments.

Alberta is not a “person”. And Quebec is not a “student”.

Here’s my message to Americans, and other foreigners: We Canadians are divided, but Americans have never, ever exploited this sectarian divide. (The closest was when Clinton helped Chretien by giving a speech, and Carter allowed Trudeau Snr to speak to Congress.)

August1991 — MapleLeaf Web

The “Ugly” Libertarian — Libertarianism Of The Future

Llew Rockwell aims for the heart of libertarianism in The Future of Libertarianism exposing a current debate over the identity of libertarians and the differences between “thick” and “thin” libertarianism as they seem to distinguish themselves today. I shake my head at both sides because they are talking past eachother.

At that point, the question would become: to which principle are thick libertarians more committed, nonaggression or egalitarianism? What if they had to choose?

What if they had no choice?” — asks the “ugly” libertarian.

It is clear that the “thick” libertarians are in opposition to “patriarchy, hierarchy, inequality, and so on.” in spirit. Those social orders are anathema to the “thick” libertarians. They seem to promote diversity in a very blandly happy way. They can not imagine such things manifesting themselves in a completely non-aggressive society.

The “thin” libertarians should recognize the presence of coersion in “patriachy, hierarcy, inequality, and so on.” as it manifests itself in real life and agree with the “thick” libertarians with the following caveat: Let such societies be free to conduct themselves in the manner of their choosing however it may outwardly appear provided each individual is free to leave peacefully and is never misled to stay.

Then the “thick” libertarians will pounce: “Yeah, but patriarchal societies brainwash their kids and so, they are not REALLY free!
I suggest the “thin” libertarian should step on middle ground by agreeing: “Yeah, that seems unfair but we both agree that freedom means freedom from violence, theft and fraud, right? Brainwashing is fraud. So, we are in agreement.” Then try to convince the “thick” libertarian that pure voluntaryist free societies could conceivably manifest themselves overtly as “patriarchy, hierarchy, inequality, and so on.” out of fully-informed choice.
Some women like to wear the pants and some men do not.
Some people like television and some people like reading.
Some people like both and have to make choices.

Equality is a nonsensical concept and has only merit as a rhetorical trick to stifle debate by confusing opponents in discussion. Equality is meaningless because preferences and “utility” in common parlance are not inter-personally comparable in any way at all.

I am a libertarian who is perfectly fine with “patriarchy, hierarchy, inequality, and so on.” if they manifest themselves freely. I see nothing wrong with a woman submitting to a man or vice versa if they so choose. The role of the libertarian is to expose when these social arrangements are based on people being coerced, tricked or misled with false information. I expect both “thick” and “thin” libertarians to share that sentiment.

I think it is highly likely that “inequality” in societies continue to develop and the good ones will survive. The good ones are communities where all members are free to oppose the “patriarchy, hierarchy, inequality, and so on.” under which they live without fear of violence and yet they choose to stay because they prefer it.

I would like to offer a 3rd type of libertarian: the “ugly” libertarian.

I am a pessimist. With enough time, the Earth’s resources will be depleted and our affluent lifestyle will no longer be possible on such a large scale as it is now. I do not believe the future looks bright for most of the people on this planet. I suspect that the rest of the animal and plant kingdoms could manage to scrape by in some capacity longer than we. Some of us will have to meet them half-way.

If there ever is to be a hypothetical Libertarianism Of The Future that spreads across the entire human race, I am sorry to say that the only logical one to expect is where we are all reduced to scrounging animals. We will be defacto egalitarian because nobody will have the energy to fight.

British Treasury teams up with “private” credit rating companies

Big brother continues to obfuscate the divide between “public” and “private” industry:

HMRC has quietly launched a pilot programme that has released data about VAT registration for research purposes to three private credit ratings agencies: Experian, Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet.

To comply with the law, the private ratings agencies, which determine credit scores for millions of people and businesses, have been contracted to act on behalf of HMRC and are “therefore treated as part of the department” – giving them access to tax data about businesses that would otherwise be confidential.

HMRC to sell taxpayers’ financial data

Vaccination vs. Evolution

A few reports of measles are launched into the news-o-sphere while anti-vaxxers are demonized. The Ontario Government adds a few more “required” vaccines to every school child’s immunization schedule while simultaneously permitting children to opt out of the requirement to be vaccinated at all. Methinks there is a lot of nonsense going on in the market for mass immunization.

Modern vaccination can be wonderful on an individual basis but it runs counter to human evolutionary salvation. I am an anti-vaccinator for different curious reasons but I want to explore mass vaccination campaigns solely from an evolutionary perspective. Increasing numbers of weak members of the gene pool make human survival increasingly more expensive and less predictable in the future.

For their own sake, I would rather my sons had a healthy, strong and reliable female gene-pool from which to choose their mates than what the future of mass vaccination has to offer.