Well…with today’s post our sojourn up here north of the border is coming to an end…
Lest ya be thinkin’ we haven’t had a good time these past two+ months based on my description of the country as a wasteland…it’s really not, well not completely anyway…I mighta been engaging in the slightest amount of hyperbole…we have enjoyed our time here. However…it’s not the US (dun!)…and even the locals who’ve lived on both sides of the border agree with us that once you get outside the big city the standard of living and the ability to find things is lacking compared to south of the border. I guess if we lived up here permanently we would get used to it…but the lack of what we in the US consider basic service choices is pretty stark. We have found nice things to see…and there have been pubs and restaurants that rivaled any we’ve been in anywhere ‘round the world…but the overall number of choices in any particular service…bar, gas station, grocery store, what have you…is much lower and the percentage of the available choices that are less than adequate is much higher than we’re used to. Western Canada out in Alberta, BC, and the Yukon seemed much more US like in both availability and choices…although overall the people up here have been extremely friendly, outgoing, and easy to engage in conversation.
Couple of interesting things we ran across.
First up…ya know how the left is always harping about how the “rich aren’t paying their fair share” and how there is too much “income inequality” in the US. Turns out…there was a post on the Wall Street Journal…ya know, that bastion of fake news and yellow journalism…that sort of debunks this theory. A large part of this is based on numbers by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…which ranks the US as least equitable in income among the seven largest developed countries. It does this based on a formula known as the Gini Coefficient…which is 1 if income is universally equal and 0 if one person has 100% of the income. However…they do not consider government distributions in the calculation of this Gini coefficient. Under their numbers…the US has a Gini coefficient of 0.39 or last among it’s peer group. What it doesn’t take into account is Medicare and Medicaid…which distribute $760 Billion a year to the bottom 40% of American households or the 93 other federal redistribution programs which distribute $520 Billion a year to low income households. When these are included as income to poor households in the Gini coefficient…the US rises to 0.32 which puts it right in the middle of it’s peer group. The US also has the most progressive income tax in it’s peer group…the top 10% of earners have 33% of all income but pay 45% of all the income tax…their share of income-related taxes is 1.35 times as large as their share of income. The same group in France pays 1.1 times and the Germans 1.07 times their share of total earnings. What this means is that the bottom 90% of German households pay 77% more income tax than their American counterparts and the French bottom 90% pay nearly double what their American counterparts pay. Even in Sweden…the supposed liberal progressive utopia…top earners pay 5.9% of GDP in taxes while their American counterparts pay 22%. Relative to the share of income they earn…American high earners for all high income brackets is greater than their counterparts in any other country rated by the OECD. In order to make America more like Europe…which is what progressives want…the liberals will need to redefine the American middle class as “rich” and double their taxes. This would make our middle class shoulder an equivalent share of the burden as their European counterparts…which sorta runs contrary to the line the liberals peddle about how grossly unfair US income is distributed and how the rich aren’t paying their fair share.
Now the numbers in that study…while true and correct…the article was put out by conservatives…but come on…facts is facts. While I would not be surprised if some of the particular examples were carefully chosen to highlight the author’s (Phil Gram and John Early) positions…I also know that the “rich aren’t paying their fair share” is a lie…don’t forget that during an election a few years back Mr. Romney stated…and his facts were 100% correct…that 47% of American households paid no net federal income tax…and he was severely scorched by the liberal outrage over that…despite his statement being absolutely correct that little tidbit was lost in the liberal and media condemnation of the statement.
Second up…well, I can’t remember what the other one was right now…we all got CRS ‘round these parts ya know…Can’t Remember S***. It will come back to me though and I’ll write it down this time…it was another interesting story but I just can’t ‘member it right now…I had it when I wrote that Couple of interesting things sentence but it’s a goner now.
Last night…we headed off to the local pub Saltwater’s Lounge…but we couldna find it based on our having looked at the map earlier and we weren’t smart enough to write down either the address or the GPS coordinates…we’ve been forced in many instances up here to use GPS coordinates as the accuracy of street addresses in the map data in both our Garmin dedicated RV GPS and Little Red’s built in GPS has left much to be desired. Both GPSs have tried to direct us on roads that were non-existent…both have tried to take us really screwy ways that make no sense, particularly the RV GPS…and both have had street addresses in the wrong place. No matter though…we learned the first week here to always take coordinates as well as street addresses…but last night in the absence of either we were just looking because we knew where it was on the google map. After failing there…well, actually before failing there…we tried to go to Silly Billy’s Tavern at the local Days Inn…but at 1700 in the afternoon when we looked in the lights were dim, there was no bartender, there were no barstools at the bar, and there were no customers…so we decided that was a lousy place to go. Consequently…we changed our plans and drove over to Campbelton to eat at 1026 again.
We had a beer each and split a couple of appetizers…wild mushroom dip served with deep fried pita sections and then an order of the bacon wrapped scallops. We considered a pizza or the salmon plate but after the pita with the dip didn’t want anything more with bread involved. Then we had a couple of 3 Mousse dessert plates…they were tasty but a lot denser than most mousse we’ve had in the past…on further review we shoulda had the maple cheesecake instead. Oh well.
Friday morning Neil went out early to get some photos of the lighthouse at sunrise…then after breakfast and coffee we headed out for our final Fun Stuff© trip up here…a visit to the Battle of Restigouche Historic Site and a waterfall to the west of Campbelton over on the Quebec side of the river.
The battle marked the end of the French colonial presence in North America…most of this area of the continent was known as New France back then…but there was actually not much of a battle. It was supposedly a naval battle…but (a) it was in the river and not the ocean where your typical naval battle would take place and (b) there wasn’t much of a battle anyway as the French…instead of shooting at the British ships, did the prototypical French thing of scuttling their vessels and surrendering. They would have lost anyway…and the local Acadian population…at least those that hadn’t been deported yet…ran guerrilla type attacks against the British for another year or so past the 1760 battle before it all petered out at the end of the French and Indian War.
The French flagship was dug up from where it had been buried in the muck some decades back and portions of it adorn the museum…we didn’t get any photos inside the museum but Connie did get a couple of the area where the ship was scuttled and eventually dug up.
Next up…we headed for the waterfall but discovered two issues…so we turned around. First up…it started to rain a bit and nobody really felt like hiking in the drizzle…second Neil wasn’t feeling too well, some sort of stomach upset…so we turned around, went to the grocery store to pick up a few things we’re out of and came home.
We stopped and filled Little Red with gas on the way in and after lunch Neil ran up and got enough diesel in Big Red to comfortably get us to Medway over the weekend…diesel is about 75 cents US more expensive per gallon up here so he didn’t fill up.
We’ll rest and recuperate the rest of today and then head south…well, actually west and then south…in the morning.
On to the photos.
Great Blue Heron down by the water…just standing there waiting for breakfast to swim by.
Looking out toward where the sun would eventually come up.
Almost there…the sun is still below the promontory on the horizon but is lighting up the clouds very nicely.
Zip…the crack of dawn.
Neil can’t decide whether the one above or one of these last 3 is the best shot of the day…he waited until the light rotated ‘round so you can see the lantern in the light.
After he came in and we started with breakfast…he ran out to behind the rig to get this one…after the sun cleared the first line of clouds it provided a beautiful reflection across Chaleur Bay off of the Gulf of St. Lawrence…the bay then narrows at it’s western end and becomes the Restigouche River.
On further review…he likes this last one with the reflection best.
At the battle historic site…looking out from the back balcony of the museum toward where the “battle” took place. This is on the north side of the Restigouche looking south…so the sea is about 15 miles out of frame to the left. The French vessels were on the right center here and the British ships on the far left. The French were outnumbered by 6 to 5 in ships and outgunned by about 40%…so naturally scuttling and surrendering rather than carrying out the orders of your king and engaging the enemy was the correct thing to do…not. Particularly as the loss of this “battle” led directly to the failure of the French to recapture Quebec City…and hence to the end of the French in North America. That’s some mighty fine fightin’ there Louis…
Interesting things found on the net.
Missed opportunity here.
Ya know…there’s a story behind every warning sign.
I really hope I’m not…
Strangely suspicious circumstances.
There is hope yet.
Hope I’m not related to this guy either.