Politics (sorry!)

Property Rights and Wrongs :

Longtime reader(s) of this blog will know that I have referenced the British based but globally inspired news magazine The Economist several times. I read it weekly. I enjoy it’s very neutral and open views on the world as a “liberal newspaper”. Quotations there because while they consider themselves liberal, I find them liberal on social issues yet conservative on fiscal issues (for the most part). The word liberal definitely means different things depending on what country you are in (in Canada, my home country, for example, the Liberal Party leader is a handsome, rich, spoiled kid – the very definitely of privilege (father was a former Prime Minister) –  who says the right things and takes amazing selfies yet isn’t so great at running a country – and the world adores him! Personally I think they should make him a mascot. He excels in the outward facing, ineffective role.). But those thoughts and terms and politicizing are for another day. I hope I didn’t make my fellow Canucks angry with the honesty.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect property rights in Canada (Constitutionally). There has been some debate on whether there is anything to be worried about there and that property rights protections may be covered elsewhere. I know – it’s hard to be tough on a document written and adopted by old people who had zero thought or idea on how the world would look today. Just look at our US neighbors and the battles they have over modern day constitutional rights compared to historical context on execution of such rights. IE: No person needs 40+ guns in a hotel room in the USA unless they plan on killing 50+ people and injuring 10x that amount in quick succession. BUT, the 1800’s law protects that guy who might be able to afford a single shot musket. Those are the same things, right?

Still off track. Let’s see, offended Canada for their PM-darlingism, and offended the 29% or so of hardcore Republican Americans for their guns above lives mindset (at least one, of which, reads this blog. Hi Mehlan! I still love you. And your country).. can I pick on the EU or the Middle East? North Korea? Wait – SO off track. That’s right. Property Rights.

The Economist had a nice article about Digital property rights. It’s a nice read. It basically covers the thought of how manufacturers are now licencing everything as services now instead of actual products so the buyer has less rights in the end. The good old days if I bought something I could do what I wanted with it, including reselling it. That of course has gone the way of the dodo bird in favor of paying for access, terms of service, and the like. This is moving from strict software platforms to even actual, hard goods. For example – did you know that if you own a Tesla you cannot use it to be employed by Uber? They explicitly restrict that specifically.  Could you imagine if every other car company said that? (Why haven’t they yet? It’s coming, soon. So then they can sell more taxi fleet vehicles..).

I’m tired today and uncharacteristically snarky about some things in the world, which we are supposed to just accept now as the way things are. They weren’t always that way, and don’t have to be.  Property rights in general are starting to give me concern and while it is very early in the changes to hard goods it doesn’t seem unrealistic that the world of business is moving further in the wrong direction there. A direction our beloved video games have lead the charge in and continue to constrict for their users and markets.

I might start reading more, and do a book blog instead. As long as it’s not a digital book, of which I would only own access to.

Quote of The Century

I try not to blog about politics (so polarizing!) on a video game blog, but still, this is the best quote EVER and completely encompasses all that is wrong with politics.

“disparaging statements about one’s opponent (whether true, mostly true, mostly not true, or entirely fantastic) are cornerstones of American democracy.”

It gets better, albeit comical (the first part, I assure you, they mean!)

After all, he asks, “where would we be without the knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist flag-burners…who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take over America”, while “Republicans [are] assault-weapon-wielding maniacs who believe that George Washington and Jesus Christ incorporated the nation.”

Sadly, it is to quash an Ohio law that prohibits politicians from lying, and of course, people are taking it to court because lying is part of the first amendment.

Too bad none of the constitution worries about the truth.

Original source.


(mis)Quote Of The Week

We always have opportunities to strip down, tear open, expose, pump up, or otherwise put emphasis on the female chest.

Riot art designer Ironstylus on his thoughts on Champion remakes – Sivir, especially.

Go read the original article though, he actually has a chesty, large, bouncing point – although the misquoted version is way better.

(also tagged this as politics, because this demonstrates a skillset to be a press secretary or something like that.)

Solution to the USA Debt Crisis

Take off, eh.


Yes, yes. Politics on a gaming blog is bad for business. However, I can’t resist!

In the mid 90’s Canada faced a very similar debt crisis – debt to GDP pushing 70%. Outrageous spending. Madness. The Federal Party at the time was the Liberal Party of Canada (I can already see my Republican American friends shuddering) and at that time Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and his Finance Minister Paul Martin, set a course to balance the books.

– Between 1995 – 1998 they cut Government spending by 14%

– For every ~$6  in expenditure cuts, they increased tax revenues by $1

– Unemployment dropped from 11.6%  in 1995 to just over 6% by 2007

– Canada ran a budget surplus every year from 1998 to 2007

– Marginal tax rates very similar on individuals (27% USA, 31% Canada)

– Corporate tax rates better in Canada (Federal/Provincial) ~26%  vs USA (Federal) 35% + State Corp tax of 0 – 4%

Here is the fun chart. Please remember that Canada’s economy is tied VERY closely to the USA one.

While both economies were hit hard by the recession, the fallout and the result of it all didn’t hit Canada nearly as hard. We are also leveling off the up curve really well.

I know it’s far more complicated than just posting fancy charts, etc. My point here is that a ‘socialist’ country that provides universal health care and other expensive social programs with similar/lower taxation than our close friends south of the border can clean up their mess, the USA should be able too to.

Of course, it depends on if the political system will allow it to. Good luck my friends, and please remember that your friends up north and other good chunks of the world have figured this out before. Call if you need help.


Spinning Politics

I try not to write much when it comes to American Politics – it’s very polarizing and I’m Canadian. My University education was a joint honors in Poli-Sci/Economics so I do watch with much interest, and since what happens to my favorite neighbors to the south has an impact to us Canucks, it’s an important observation.

The media aspect of American politics is fascinating to me. I find the negative campaign pieces humorous (apologies if my American friends take offense – we just don’t see that level of backhandness and blatant fact massaging up here – although each year we are moving closer to that ‘system’) and they seem to better belong as a SNL skit more than a decision making/changing mechanism.

For those American friends who haven’t enjoyed Canadian TV a brief explanation – we get all of your TV and news stations. We have some of our own, but for the most part we watch the same TV and the same commercials.

When I saw this while watching the CNN election updates last night, well, I was both shocked and mildly amused.

I’m going to point out here that my blog has a conversational style to it – I don’t write researched articles here. It’s more like we are sitting around a pub having a beer and the idea comes up in ‘conversation’. So, we are having that beer and this comes up as a topic – does it really work? Do people actually watch that and think they better vote Republican before The USA flag gets a new yellow star added to the flag?

Besides the possible racial effect it could have on Asian Americans which is a much deeper topic of discussion, I can’t help but feel that ad is an insult to the intelligence of the American people.

I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled gaming stuff as normal. Just something I was exposed to while watching the House switch hands last night.