Friday, September 28, 2012

Neturei Karta meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in NYC

Just came across this - what do you think?

Edit: After poking around it seems this video is not properly named. The meeting likely took place with a group known as Neturei Karta.


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The moral authority

I've just finished reading an interesting article from Mother Jones which could constitute as an argument against my post on Obama's speech. Since I haven't received any other arguments besides ".. but.. but IEDs!", this article will have to suffice as a counter-point.

In this article, the author essentially makes an argument of "there's always bad and good". that's valid, there is always bad and good, and I'm certainly not going to argue that point. There are a few things I will argue though.

I'm not really left or right, but for the purposes of this post we will say I'm left as the majority of the author's article is addressed to those on the left.
Why the left should stop grousing, whining, Eeyoring, and parsing differences with your allies and get about the cheerful business of being heroes.
I don't feel like a hero, probably because I no longer feel that Canada and the U.S. has the moral authority to be engaging in the actions they are. Why is Batman a hero? He has a strict code of ethics that no matter the circumstances, will not be breached. It can be trying, difficult, to not break those ethics, but in the end Batman knows that without the moral high-ground, you are no different from what you oppose.

Obama's speech angered me, not because of the events I linked to, but rather because the U.S. does not have the moral authority to make the statements they were making. A hero has to be able to look at themselves and their fallacies and their problems in the mirror, not brush over, white-wash, or simply outright lie about those facts which are too inconvenient and would contradict the overall theme of having strong values.

None of the items I linked to in my post on Obama's speech were minor details. These are all significant and contradictory events which when compared to the speech show clearly that the U.S. is having a complete collapse of moral ethics.

You might say I am holding them to a higher level of scrutiny then anyone else, and you'd be correct. The U.S. purports to be the global peace-keeping and police force and therefore deserves the highest level of scrutiny, no different than how we expect moral and ethical behavior from police even when faced with unethical criminals. Our western society is founded on ethics, freedom and justice and these values must be upheld to the highest level of standards to have any legitimate authority.

After World War 2, the U.S. and the allies expended considerable resources to track down every last Nazi war criminal and bring them to justice, with the exception of the German scientists who later were largely responsible for the U.S.'s post World War technological advancements such as the Saturn V rocket. This was no easy task, but had to be done to show the world that following the war justice would be served and closure would be had. However today, despite the repeated references to justice in Obama's speech what justice have we seen? What closure have we had? Osama Bin Laden in the ocean? Do we really believe that the great free world who hunted the Nazi's and brought them before an international court can not do the same today? Why? This has nothing to do with good or bad, this has to do with a moral code of ethics that is violated at will, can not be questioned, and offers zero accountability.

Obama's speech goes on to talk about how the U.S. is bringing recovery to the world without acknowledging the world only needs recovery because of their careless policies on Wall Street and in the city of London. Talk of peace and freedom in Europe ignores what is going on there right now as I type this post, brought on by the economic hardships he refuses to acknowledge. Do you hear Obama calling for justice when it comes to Jon Corzine? Or Bob Diammond? Extraditions? Executions? Do you see serious effort to reform? Or, as Obama's speech noted do you see this:
In hard economic times, countries may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.
Can we look ourselves in the mirror and reform? Can we be that hero again? Sure we can, but we need to start being honest and challenging these lapses in our ethics. We must remain vigilant and aware of our own actions and once improper actions are identified immediately move to rectify them. We can not become complacent with our leaders as that is how history's atrocities have occurred. To me there is no greater sign of a loss of hope than to stop striving for a higher level, as difficult as it may be.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It would appear Alberta has a gambling addiction

Faced with deficit, Alberta Premier banks on rebounding oil prices 

What gets a gambler hooked? Is it a constant wave of losses? or that one big win? Most addicted to gambling will probably tell you that it's the one big win which makes you believe another big win is around the corner. People then chase this big win until they are bankrupt.

Revenue at this point will never be rebounding, and Alberta is going to chase the big win they seek all the way down the drain.
Speaking Wednesday at a conference of the province’s municipal politicians – whose cities and towns rely on the province for hundreds of millions in infrastructure transfers – Alison Redford said the growing deficit wouldn’t mean major changes to the current budget, suggesting the government is banking instead on trimming spending through “in-year savings” and waiting for a revenue rebound.
Whenever you see "waiting" as a financial strategy, look out. This is a government who has run out of ideas (if they had any in the first place).

Seemingly the Alberta government still believes the dollar value is what provides their profit, and not the speed of which oil prices increase. I'm really not exactly sure what is so hard for a government so invested in energy to understand about energy returned on energy invested, but alas this concept seems to escape them.

Unfortunately (while we are waiting), food costs and a number of inputs we all require for daily life continue to relatively increase in price and so are the costs of production. The Alberta government better get it's act together soon and realize that the amount of infrastructure required to support an industry which at oil prices relatively higher than at any time in Alberta's profitable history, still can't turn a profit for the government is unaffordable. We don't even have a twinned highway yet!

Some might say, well the government spends too much. Yes, it does, but what I think isn't understood is that this spending is necessary and as is insufficient to run the required infrastructure.

Morgan Stanley: Global Growth Has Collapsed

So what are we waiting for? Where's Plan B? We're running out of time here Albertans to put a hedge in place in case revenue's don't rebound.  This should be your primary concern, not some stupid arena that we won't be able to afford at all soon anyway.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Obama's U.N. speech | Part 2

Alright, I'm calm. Just needed a breather. Let's continue. If you haven't yet I must insist you read Part 1 here as this continuation's context is provided in part 1.
That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.
I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we disagree with.
We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.
I'm mixed on this particular segment. It is true to a point, the U.S. hasn't banned the video and they are protecting the authors freedom of speech. However, this policy isn't blanket.

Utah city's "free-speech zones" challenged as unconstitutional
There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.
Four militants were killed and three others injured when a CIA-operated spy plane fired two Hellfire missiles at a government-run girls’ school
However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. It is time to marginalize those who – even when not resorting to violenceuse hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as a central principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes excuses, for those who resort to violence.
Alright, so you got that folks? All leaders must stand up against hate speech against the west and Israel. Now, what was that about a video again?

The rest of his speech on middle-east policies isn't really worthy of anymore mention here. Its the same old crap spun everyday, check through my blog for various points on this topic if curious on my stance, otherwise lets move on.
We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights. That is why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict; that is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War; and that is the lesson of the last two decades as well. History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices. 
Perhaps he meant "revisionist history": http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/155236.stm

From that BBC article:

Sponsored by US and Pakistan
His power is founded on a personal fortune earned by his family's construction business in Saudi Arabia.

Attacks linked to Bin Laden
1993 World Trade Centre bomb
1996 Killing of 19 US soldiers in Saudi
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombs
2000 Attack on USS Cole in Yemen
Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Afghan jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian.
While in Afghanistan, he founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army.
Egyptians, Lebanese, Turks and others - numbering thousands in Bin Laden's estimate - joined their Afghan Muslim brothers in the struggle against an ideology that spurned religion.

Remember, THAT is one reason why *liberty* triumphed over tyranny. Peace? How's that decade long war going for ya?
Nations in every part of the world have travelled this hard path. Europe - the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century – is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa; from Turkey to South Korea; from India to Indonesia; people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.
Photos: Austerity protests in Spain
Greek protesters burn German flag chant 'Nazis Out'
Greece Loses Sovereignty

Peace and freedom at last? I could literally just continue listing links here on this one, in regards to all mentioned countries. Once again though, I encourage you to just browse my blog as plenty of examples are available.
At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G-20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery. America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations. New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent. New commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity. And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.
Halliburton sued for human trafficking
 But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of leaders – it is the people I’ve seen. The American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away. The students in Jakarta and Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit humankind. The faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations. The young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise. These men, women and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the globe who share similar hopes and dreams. They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity. 
Veterans throw away medals in Chicago anti-NATO protest
First responders not invited to Sept. 11 anniversary



Angry? Me too.

Lies, lies, lies.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Obama's U.N. speech | Part 1

I'm giving fair warning to partisan leftists reading this post now, you will not like what I have to say here. However, before I get into the meat and potatoes, I want to give some back story.

I, like many, fell for the Obama hoax. I truly believed in the crap he was promising prior to the election. This is not to say I automatically support Mittens either, far as I am concerned they both represent and work for the same interests: the global banking cartel.

All of my distrust of this man now though still couldn't prepare me for the absolute fabrication of reality presented in his speech. While it's masterfully written (by a staffer) it's meaningless. So, lets begin.

I will only be reproducing paragraphs I have commentary on or wish to place emphasis. Indented text is the speech.

In full: Barack Obama's speech to UN General Assembly

Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship. As America’s representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for a future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. After the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections, built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship.

Libyan Rebel Council Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s
Libyan Rebels Form Their Own Central Bank 

Ah, the institutions of freedom. Take note at the dates as well, these two "institutions" to support western backed industry were the first to be tackled by the "rebels" and were created prior to the actual Libyan transition.
The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and the Libyan people. And there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region – including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen – have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm. So have religious authorities around the globe.
It's around this point you should start getting the sick feeling in your stomach. Bring them to justice? I wasn't aware that "justice" and "death by drone" were interchangeable.

US Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills 5 Militants

Is the free world's version of justice now simply death without trial? A constant sentence of execution for anyone in the way?

Drone strikes kill, maim and traumatize too many civilians, U.S. study says

Now please, Obama supporters, tell me how any of what's occurring here is justice? Looks like indiscriminate killing to me.
But the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded – the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.
U.S. expands its secret war in Africa
If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an Embassy; or to put out statements of regret, and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis. Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common.
CIA drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty, says senior diplomat
Today, we must affirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.
Collateral Murder
It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. Since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that has taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change.
We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspirations of men and women who took to the streets.

We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy put us on the side of the people.
We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were not being served by a corrupt status quo.

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the U.N. Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents; and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.
Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links
And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear; on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people
Obama Administration Scores Point In Fight To Keep Indefinite Detention Powers

In other words, true democracy – real freedom – is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent. In hard economic times, countries may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.

Ok, I can't do anymore for now, I'm only halfway through and I'm boiling with rage. Look for part 2 tomorrow.

Have a counter-point? comment.

Update-1

You can find part 2 here.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Update-3: Photos: Austerity protests in Spain

Today Spanish protestors marched on their parliament in response to the brutal austerity policies being set. Here are some photos from the livestream:

A flare is thrown into the street.


Wider angle shot of the area.

Police move in quick to arrest a demonstrator.

A scuffle breaks out.

Police attempt to reform their line.

An injured protestor is prepped for their ride to the hospital.

Kettled protestors.

Police move in for more arrests.

I'll update this post with more soon.

Update-1

This video shows some of the sheer brutality that has occurred:


Update-2

Alright, I've got some more time to add some of the other shots I captured.

In live action, this was an absolutely chaotic scene.

Police chase a large crowd.

Wider angle showing the crowd being chased.

An injured protestor is helped away from the scene.

Much of the police soon dispersed, likely heading to another protest area.

The parliament building barricades.

The parliament building barricades.



Protestors dismantle a lighter set of barricades.

Update-3


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

In a state of unrest, winning isn't everything

The Quebec student protests are seemingly over, for now. The conclusion of the Quebec election and the repealing of the tuition hike have everyone declaring the students won. Now, surely, they will be happy right?

However, much to everyone's surprise the students have returned (in smaller numbers) to make a new demand, free tuition.
One Quebec student group says that with tuition hikes officially off the table, it will now champion the idea of free education.
Now whether free tuition is a good idea or not? I'm not even going to go there. I'm amazed the students were able to come out as favorably as they did. At the same time though, I also know that the anger, while simmered, is not gone nor is Quebec's budget crisis gone.

What we have here is a stalemate of public opinion. We have a fresh minority government that wants to keep favor with the people and avoid riots. Riots are costly, I'm sure that Quebec incidentally had to end up paying amounts close to or in excess of the anticipated savings from students.

So what's really been accomplished or won in the end? Probably not as much as people on all sides were hoping but enough that for the moment the endless nights of riots, protests, and unrest has ceased.

However, the battle between the youth and the governments and the previous generations are really just heating up. As I've said before, the tuition fees were just a flashpoint, something many youth had in common which united them in a larger struggle of general unfairness and inequality. The generation which has to bear the brunt of the austerity measures is going to continue to feel the pinch which will sooner or later lead to another explosive response. This type of response now can happen anywhere, at any time. The reasons are numerous: More debt, less pensions, two tiered wages, and a bum-rush of upcoming QE inflation all provide fuel for the fire.

Revolutions tend to follow an exponential curve, starting slowly at first and gradually getting faster, until near the end they seemingly explode as we are seeing now in the middle-east (albeit the middle east seems fueled by a little outside help). From my point of view, the death of Occupy was the beginning of the revolution.

Let me explain what I mean, as I know many are thinking, well wasn't there a big Occupy protest just the other day? Yes, there was a protest which generally accepted the name: Occupy. The Occupy I view as dead ended November 2011 with the forced eviction of the tent cities. The tent city Occupy was a last-ditch attempt to either open dialogue, begin anew, or start the war. Governments decided to start the war with any continued pretense of dialogue to be superficial.

I know many when thinking of modern day revolution look to the middle-east, but the middle-east currently is an extreme case and at the climax of their exponential escalation. As with rebel groups, or even the Nazi's, the groups existed long before public opinion swayed in their favor. Hitler, while not an ethical example, is a textbook example of revolution. His popularity with the German people grew due to external circumstance and his oversimplified explanations for them. It's the external circumstance which is important here. The big "uh huh!" moment for the general population combined with overwhelming crisis.

Take for instance currently, the "rising" Neo-Nazi party in Greece right now. Faced with a bleak future, many Greeks are grabbing onto extreme ideology. Of course, I'm not saying all revolutions are lead by Nazi's, they can be lead by anyone, with any agenda, so long as there is desire to lead and their agenda is significantly different from the current status quo. This is necessary for a revolution to escalate.

Out of the ashes of Occupy we are going to see the revolutionary leaders rise - or at least, the revolutionary ideals. Whatever it is, you can be sure that this party is just getting started.

NYPD TARU video of Occupy eviction from Zucotti park, Nov 2011:


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two tier wage scales

This is my fourth post today and I wanted to stop writing. I can't, there is a flood of issues which I feel compelled to comment on.

Next up: Two-tier wage scales on the increase in Canada

Before continuing, see if you can spot the double-think.

Your left brain says:
“Wherever they have cost pressures, more people are trying this. And I think this time around it will take longer for these two-tier effects to disappear,” Prof. Verma said.
“Two-tier wages are one particular way to lower wages, and that may or may not continue over time. But this long-term effect of lowering the average wage so we are closer to our competition, that trend will continue.”
But your right brain says:
But Mr. Hargrove believes the deals are likely to evaporate over time as the economy improves and the labour market gets tighter, forcing employers to do more to attract new workers.
Here, we have an interesting conflict. There is a definite, and known trend towards lower wages so that we can compete. On this note, I find it interesting how it's rarely mentioned that we ourselves set the stage for this trend  with free trade deals which we praise as great out the other side of our mouth. Yet, at the same time.. a continual promise, hope.. dream? of the elusive improving economy.

What constitutes this improving economy? I'm not sure. It seems generally agreed upon by all sides, whether approvingly or not, that standard of living isn't going to be improving along with it (whatever *it* is - The S&P500?). For the standard of living to improve of course wages would have to increase but since we are in an admitted race to the bottom, they will not be increasing, they will be decreasing.

New workers? Yes, we'll be competing with them for lower wages too as temporary foreign workers become all the rage. No wonder Jim Flaherty insists there are no bad jobs: it's a motto for the future impoverished.

As with all austerity, it will be affecting the new entries and not the existing entitled. But hey on the *bright* side...
And if economic conditions don’t compel the change, he says internal dissent by lower-tier employees has pushed some U.S. companies to eliminate or at least shrink the gap. “There clearly is a backlash, no doubt about that,” he said.
We can always count on a little dissent.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Daryl Katz fuels #yegarena P.R. war with trip to Seattle

I hate writing posts about the stupid arena. I love my hometown, I moderately enjoy the Oilers - I certainly don't want them to leave. At the same time however, one can't help but recall Edmonton's shaky financial past with this team.

Twitter is all a flutter with the news, spreading from a CHED radio host, the #yegarena hash tag instantly jumped to a local trend. The Katz out of the bag, so to speak.

Previously on this blog, I have written that any threat to move the Oilers is quite likely a bluff with a U.S. economy teetering on collapse. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe Katz would move the team. Seattle, financially, seems to be in a similar situation with Edmonton or other Alberta localities.
Overall, the city budge office is forecasting $11.4 million in additional revenue through 2014, which will obviously help close Seattle's projected $32 million budget shortfall. So while city departments will still face roughly $20 million in cuts this fall (and next), McGinn says the city will also be able to invest some in city resources.
As far as U.S. municipalities go, it's not bad. They're still in the red but lately things have also been looking up. Of course, given the financial environment and all of the manipulation and fraud surrounding it this temporary upbeat outlook probably doesn't mean much. However, unlike Edmonton they have been able to secure an arena deal. Not with Katz mind you, I imagine if the Oilers did move there they would be renting like they do here.

But what's more? Well they have more TVs. According to David Staples:
Katz says that ticket sales don’t count, that what really matters when you look at a market is its total population, or “media market,” as that determines how many people can watch the game on TV, with television rights and sponsorships being where the real money is.

There’s some truth to this notion, but it only goes so far. If population were the main determinant of the success of an NHL team, there would be an NHL team in Atlanta today, not Winnipeg. There would be NHL teams in Mexico City and Houston, not Edmonton and Calgary.
That's right Edmonton, those overpriced tickets? Not important. The overpriced beer? Not important either. What's really important is how many of you chose to not actually buy tickets, but rather sit at home and watch the game on your couch.

The logic might make some business sense, but hockey is not America's Next Top Hooker. It's a sport, based on fans, team loyalty, the wave. It seems to me Edmonton's fan loyalty and sold out games is being equated in value to advertising space. Nice. So why exactly then do we need this huge grand arena? Will that make our market bigger? Will the people who apparently didn't realize you could watch hockey on TV suddenly be showing up there?

As the deal has been manipulated and made worse, my reasons for not liking the arena deal have also adjusted. At first, I did not like the propaganda technique being used to convince people it will "revitalize downtown". At this point, all I really wanted though was to see an alternative, fiscal argument for the arena. Something that was tangible. Revitalization is a catchy umbrella term but really means nothing. The estimates for the amount that was to be brought in by ticket taxes and the surrounding development taxes I believe to be overestimated, influenced by our period of low interest rates and various global quantitative easing.

Of course though, in the end if none of these other concerns existed, there would still be a matter of a missing $100m, which no matter how much people would like to just "get 'er done", when you're short 1/4 of the estimated cost it'll be "almost done" if you're not careful.

At this point in time though, monetary concerns like this were not really being taken seriously. Hell, the U.S. hadn't even lost their triple AAA rating yet! So, eventually I gave up and resumed my posting about what I see as important current events.

The issue though then had to arise again, after the meeting between Bettman, Mandel and Katz. The new deal, which looked nothing like the old deal, also sucked a whole lot harder. Despite more outrage, many people still stayed loyal to the Daryl Katz plan, because we "need this arena". At this point I figured it was probably a done deal and left it. The Edmonton public had decided that the arena was iconic, and more important than the socialist resemblance of subsidizing a very profitable private organization. After all, it would be the city's arena - even if the city could only receive indirect benefits for owning it. So be it.

Throughout all of this, the arena deal has had fairly consistent public support until the recent request for a $6million subsidy, and this trip to Seattle. There was also a little gaffe on the Oiler's twitter feed. It's gone now, and no explanation given.

Despite this trip, I still believe he is bluffing. The U.S. has a perilous and uncertain financial road ahead of it, not the sort of certainty a businessman looks for. Of course, economic hardship does tend to drive up cheap entertainment numbers, so that means a lot more TV's will be flickering. Of course, you're competing with a seemingly unlimited number of channels and a fair amount of pro sports to boot.

Yet, the damage could be done already. The Oilers still have Rexall leased until 2014 and I'm guessing that if it is apparent by say.. October 17th that the Oilers will be moving, I would anticipate their last year in their home city would be uncomfortable, to say the least.

Daryl, threatening a move now doesn't provide much security on a 35 year deal. You've continuously complained about how long this deal has taken to seal, yet you continue to change the terms of agreements and even refuse to justify these changes with real numbers and verifiable facts. You were winning completely on good faith with the public. Keyword: were.

PS, David Staples,

I appreciate your addition this time of:
The only things that will change that willingness to pay are an Oilers owner pulling a Pocklington and selling off star players, or the Canadian dollar taking a huge hit while the local economy goes in the tank. In the first instance, the owner himself controls that. In the second, Katz or any Oilers owner does have some cause for worry.
But in what business is there no worry? That is also the nature of business, no?
There is always worry in business, but what needs to be addressed is the allocation of risk/reward. Good business decisions properly account for this risk, and due to the global financial situation right now this risk - I believe - is quite high. The odds of which outweigh the alternative.

None-the-less, I appreciate you mentioned this as a real concern.


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

U.S. casually expands it's secret war in Africa

In an interview with Richard Stallman about the new digital age of media on the Keiser Report. Stallman argues that (and I am paraphrasing here) when a new technology is introduced it provides an opportunity for freedoms regarding this technology to be taken, or laws to change because it is different.

I think this argument can be expanded to cover current war technologies as well.

U.S. expands its secret war in Africa

The candidness of this UPI article I think shows just how far we've fallen and how governments are using technology such as drones to completely change the moral rules of war right in front of our eyes.
"Ad hoc global 'counter-terrorism' efforts that began under President George W. Bush, and were encouraged by Obama, have now become institutionalized -- and the bureaucracy that wages U.S. 'secret wars' will continue to expand for the next couple of years, particularly in Africa," Oxford Analytica observed in a recent assessment.
I submit we rename the Nobel Peace Prize to the "Ad-Hoc global 'counter-terrorism' E-For-Effort Prize". I know many of Obama's supporters cheer his claim of a "bold" assassination of Osama Bin Laden even though had similar action been done under Bush there would have been cries of outrage. No, because it's Obama it's A'Ok.

However, this UPI article gets a lot more specific:
It's not hard to see why the Americans are suddenly so interested in Africa after virtually ignoring it for decades.

West Africa is emerging as a vital oil-producing zone, that's attracting China and India because of its mineral resources, including arable farmland, which they need to sustain their burgeoning economies.
Seriously folks, this is coming straight from UPI. Remember back when the Iraq war started and how taboo saying the war was about oil was back then? Yet, here we are today and mainstream news can simply publish aggressive intents, illegal intents, and no one even bats an eye. This is what 10 years of conditioning has brought us - a complete blind eye to admitted war crimes.

This mental adjustment has been aided by a change in tactics and technology. Instead of *boots on the ground*, it's "special forces" and "drones". This somehow disassociates the same actions of killing and violations of sovereignty from the idea at war. We're here at home, safe, watching celebrities pass out at the Emmy's, while unmanned drones and unaccountable intelligence agencies wage the wars.

Mike Ruppert in 2002 predicted this expansion into Africa:

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

With currency wars heating up, can Canada compete?

According to the Globe and Mail the Canadian dollar is getting too popular.
Ms. Sutton noted that the Bank of Canada is now the "lone hawk" among the major central banks, citing some form of stimulus from the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England.
Sébastien Galy of  Société Générale said positioning in the Canadian currency is now "extreme."
Canada of course has it's own ways of domestic stimulation too, such as maintaining the low interest rates just so we can compete with these print-on-demand currencies. However, when it comes to stimulus there would really just be no point as our economy just doesn't size up to these other countries and is based on a different set of fundamentals anyway. Part of the reason that these other countries need to stimulate more is to continue affording resources from countries like Canada.

Of course, this particular relationship can not last forever, the upwards strain being put on the Canadian dollar isn't really a good thing for us over the median term. These 4 major economies are locked in a currency war, along with China, and Canada looks to be trapped in the middle which I imagine is really making Mark Carney upset as the possibility of an interest rate hike is fading from view.

QE3's policy of continuous money printing puts an interest rate hike completely off the table with one exception. Canada could work with emerging markets to align the CAD with whatever they decide is to be the standard currency for trade. China is already regularly trading for oil now without using the USD. I've written about this decoupling scenario before here and the continued talk from the federal government about how our future lies with emerging markets still leads me to believe this option is still on the table, albeit covertly.

It would have to be done covertly of course, as refusal of USD is often a cause to be labeled an enemy of the United States. The USD is backed essentially by the gun in your face competing with the gun in everyone's face. The competitive desire to not be blown up provides the value.

This polarizing issue is going to become front and center as the major economies worldwide compete for the world's last energy resources and of course that means competing with for trade deals with energy providers. Have you noticed that everyone worldwide wants a little piece of Canada lately? From Britain, to China, to India and of course, the U.S.

What happens though when this currency war heats up? What happens if say the U.S. starts putting sanctions on Chinese trade in an attempt to "encourage" them to revalue their currency? Don't think it can't happen, desperate times will call for desperate measures and already old rivalries are heating up. Who will Canada side with then?

The one silver lining I see is that in the near term the upwards strain on the Canadian dollar should help offset some of the incoming inflation from the 2009-2010 stimulus measures. Remember, it takes several years for "stimulus" to re-hypothicate itself down to the main street economy. We won't be seeing the main street results of QE3 for a few years yet. Get ready, folks, we ain't seen nothing yet.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Six degrees of separation

I caught the last bit of B.C.'s "Carbon Talks" the other day and was quite surprised at the response to what I deem to be a very important question.
"If a carbon tax simply raises the cost of carbon here at home, causing business to move their business to countries with cheaper carbon laws: how is any emission reduction actually being accomplished?"
The answer given by the panel was basically "we didn't think about that and we're just starting to now". This idea of "pollution jurisdiction" tends to be a sticking point in climate policy talk with no easy solution. My issue with the concepts of cap-and-trade or a carbon tax go far beyond this idea though that responsibility ends at the border.

Affordability. That really is the key for successful transitions. I understand that the idea behind the carbon tax is that it can help fund cleaner energy solutions, but just as B.C. has not thought about whether companies will just start importing their materials, it seems they haven't thought about how an increased carbon price is going to affect the price of clean energy development.

Does climate change need to be addressed? Yes. Can it be addressed by artificially putting further strain on the economy? probably not. Let's look at this from a practical example.

Desalination no panacea for Calif. water woes
In the Central California coastal town of Marina, a $7 million desalination plant that can turn salty ocean waves into fresh drinking water sits idle behind rusty, locked doors, shuttered by water officials because rising energy costs made the plant too expensive.
Energy sources work in synergy, and we need all of them - yes even the polluting ones. Environmental ethics won't be developed with a new market to be rigged or a new tax to be squandered as red tape in one area simply causes business to look elsewhere. The reality is that we need the cheap(er) energy to develop the more expensive one. Making the cheaper more expensive simply increases the costs on the infrastructure required to develop the cleaner alternatives.

From a personal perspective, you might say something like this "Is it more or less affordable to make severe and expensive changes in your environment when energy is cheap? or energy is expensive?". It might be more motivating when energy is expensive, but hindsight is 20/20, it is easier to accomplish when energy is cheaper. Foresight, preparation. The world's problem is it's looking at the energy predicament and climate crisis in the rear view mirror and it's closer than it appears.

Current climate policy will never work, because this policy doesn't blame us and our actions, instead it blames market fundamentals and then attempts to adjust them. No where is the moral question examined in current policy. Yes, we can, but that doesn't answer if 'we should'. Current policy declares not only that we can, but we must and only artificial market manipulation can convince us of that. I'm not so convinced.

We need to get our priorities straight. We can't solve the problems at the expense of people's livelihoods. We need to address the motivation behind wasteful consumption. The tools aren't the problem, our actions are the problem and artificial cost can inhibit the development of better and necessary tools should the motivation exist.

China envoy warns Canada against politicizing Nexen deal
China's ambassador to Canada warned in remarks published on Saturday against allowing domestic politics to drive the Canadian government's decision on whether to approve Chinese state-owned oil company CNOOC Ltd's proposed $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc.
As anticipated, China is already strong-arming Canada. Now that we have let them in and are aligning more and more with them their influence over us is going to increase. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - dealing with a Chinese "company" is no different than dealing directly with the government of China. Saying no to a powerful trade partner can be a lot more difficult than denying a corporation.

In the flurry of globalization it's easy to look at China and say well I guess business is business and the six degrees of separation between Chinese companies and the country itself may draw your focus. It's easy to write off the six degrees of separation between where carbon is produced and where it is used, and it's easy to write off the synergy of energy and pretend the production of massive wind farms, drinking water, or any other number of complex industrial scale process can all be produced and used independent of each other. It's easy to see the separations, a hell of a lot harder to actually separate them. Progress on these issues will only come when we start using our heads to prioritize our needs instead of believing the market can do it for us. The market is there to facilitate our needs, we decide what those are - not the market.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mid-East supply shock: Good or bad for Alberta?

I've seen a notion floated several times in the past few years with the increasing instability in the middle east that if there was a price shock in oil due to that instability, Alberta's industry would get the direct benefits.

A person I follow tweeted:
Perhaps this middle east tension will continue to escalate pushing oil prices higher and helping Alberta's deficit situation.
The middle-east situation and our relationships with it are very complex. I can't stress how complex, and how dependent the whole inter-connected global economic situation is of them. I also cannot stress how dependent consumer economies are on low oil prices nor on how low their tolerance is for high prices.

In the last few years, environmentalists I follow have often pointed to the U.S.'s oil consumption levels as evidence of some sort of energy efficiency or green success. Business Insider today however has published a great piece and an alternative explanation for this phenomenon.
These numbers do not tell me that we are in a recovery. Despite increases in distillate and KJet demand in 2010 and 2011, and in gasoline in 2009 and 2010, these were well short of recovering from the decline in 2008/09. The decline year-over-year in these three core transportation indicators suggest a slowing in the economy if not a recession.
It also fits what I expand on in this blog about where the price of oil is going, and why. There is plenty of consumption room in terms of pre-2008 levels, but when it comes to price - since 2008 it hasn't taken much growth to run the price up to unaffordable levels causing recovery to stall - and the price to drop.

US Crude Settles Higher at $99 After Fed Stimulus

$99 is a weak response to QE3, especially considering middle-eastern tensions are at an all-time high. There is a barrier, and that barrier is demand which is managed by price. People are barely holding on now as it is in the major western consumption oriented nations, they simply can not afford a higher price.

This is not to say a higher price won't come, but it shouldn't be cheered for as Alberta's savior for it won't last long enough to do anything other than put world-wide economic growth into a tailspin of epic proportions.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Down we go, and the hiatus explained

So I took almost a month of hiatus from well, pretty much everything. Personal circumstances on top of daily perpetual stupidity is quite likely the cause - I don't really know. Sometimes things just get so crazy and intense you just stop caring altogether. You have to, to survive intact and able to move on.

Not that it really matters, the writing of what's ahead is on the wall everywhere you look. I'm just stating the obvious now as the number of probable outcomes continues to dwindle. I've felt unmotivated to blog my thoughts as a result, as to me it feels like why state the obvious if everyone now knows?

I've also reconnected with my long lost daughter. This is a good thing, a great thing! It's allowed me to do 'kid stuff'. Just a few weeks ago I was crawling thru the tubes at GalaxyLand chasing her around! We've took the Edmonton Highlevel Bridge Line. She has really given me a whole new aspect to my life, and for a time while with her why should I care about Iran? our actions? the economy?

Because these problems threaten her, that's why. For a time, I forgot that until I read news of massive anti-American uprisings in almost every Arab country and even further attempts to swindle the people of my hometown Edmonton. Fuck it, as hard as I might try, I care. Ignorance is an elusive luxury I cannot afford.

These uprisings, apparently triggered by an Anti-Islam film, should be of great concern to everyone in the western countries. The trigger is irrelevant as after a decade of pro-war propaganda racial hatred has been conditioned. The propaganda has had to walk a fine line between hatred and pity, to maintain a feeling of liberation and that we are "helping", but inevitably the pity aspect can easily be lost. The sheer volume is staggering, here is the list from the article:
A look at protests across the Middle East and elsewhere, four days after crowds angry over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad began assaulting a string of US embassies in the region:
Egypt: Riot police clashed with hundreds of protesters blocks away from the US Embassy in Cairo, killing one protester, as the president broadcast an appeal to Muslims to protect embassies and tried to patch up strained relations with Washington. After weekly prayers, a crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square tore up an American flag, and waved a black, Islamist flag. When protesters tried to move toward the embassy, ranks of police confronted them, firing tear gas.
Lebanon: Security forces opened fire in the northeastern Lebanese city of Tripoli, killing one person after a crowd angry over the film set fire to a KFC and a Hardee's restaurant. About 25 people were wounded in the melee, including 18 policemen who were hit by stones and glass.
Sudan: Several hundred protesters stormed the German Embassy in the capital, Khartoum, burning a car parked behind its gates and trash cans before police firing tear gas drove them out. There appeared to be no injuries to embassy staff and no apparent damage to the building. Most protesters then dispersed, but one group marched to the nearby British Embassy.
Tunisia: A crowd of several thousand demonstrators protested outside the US embassy in Tunis. Police responded to stone-throwing with tear gas, leaving two people dead and 29 others injured. An AP reporter on the scene witnessed several people overcome by intense clouds of gas. An army helicopter flew overhead while armoured vehicles protected the embassy.
Yemen: Security forces shot live rounds into the air and fired tear gas at a crowd of around 2000 protesters trying to march to the US Embassy in the capital, Sanaa. Police kept the crowd at bay about a block away. The overnight demonstration came a day after hundreds stormed the embassy compound and burned the American flag.
India: Thousands protested in the volatile Indian-controlled region of Kashmir, burning US flags and calling President Barack Obama a "terrorist". The top government cleric reportedly demanded Americans leave immediately.
In the southern city of Chennai, protesters threw stones at the US Consulate, shattering some windows and burning an effigy of Obama. Police quickly cleared the area, arresting more than 100 protesters.
Israel: Israeli police say about 400 people marched toward the US consulate in east Jerusalem in protest over the prophet film. Demonstrators threw bottles and stones at police, who responded by firing stun grenades. Four protesters were arrested and the crowd was prevented from reaching the US consulate.
Bahrain: More than 2000 protesters chanted against the film and burned American and Israeli flags after Friday prayers in Diraz, outside the capital, Manama. Security forces were absent. Separately, Bahrain's Interior Ministry ordered media regulators to attempt to block access to the film clip.
Bangladesh: Some 5000 hardline Muslims marched in the streets of the capital, Dhaka, after Friday prayers, burning US and Israeli flags and calling for the death of the filmmaker. Police prevented them from marching toward the US Embassy several miles away.
Afghanistan: About 1500 protested outside the eastern city of Jalalabad, shouting "Death to America" and urging President Hamid Karzai to sever relations with the US.
Iraq: Hundreds demonstrated in Baghdad's northern Sunni neighbourhood of Azamaiyah, some shouting: "No, no America! No, no to Israel," and, "We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for our Prophet."
Dozens also marched in Baghdad's poor Sadr City district. In the southern city of Basra, about 1000 took to the streets and burned American and Israeli flags.
One banner said: "Freedom doesn't mean offending two billion Muslims."
Iran: Thousands shouted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" in Tehran in a demonstration after Friday prayers. Some burned American and Israeli flags. State TV says similar protests were held in other Iranian cities.
Pakistan: Hundreds of hardline Muslims held peaceful protests against the film throughout Pakistan, shouting slogans and carrying banners criticising the US and those involved in the film. Police in Islamabad set up barricades and razor wire to block off a diplomatic enclave where the US Embassy and many other foreign missions are located.
Syria: About 200 protesters waved the Syrian flag and shouted anti-American slogans outside the long-closed US Embassy in Damascus. The crowd held banners saying: "He who curses the Prophet doesn't seek democracy" and "a nation whose Prophet is Muhammad, would never kneel down."
The US embassy has been closed since February because of the country's bloody conflict that has killed about 23,000 people.
Qatar: About 1000 protesters gathered outside the heavily guarded US Embassy in the capital, Doha, chanting anti-US slogans and calling for Washington to remove its military presence from the strategic Gulf nation.
An influential cleric reminded worshippers that the American government had no role in the film and that "loyalty to the Prophet is not expressed by attacking embassies".
Great Britain: In London, around 250 protesters marched noisily but peacefully through Britain's capital to the US embassy. The group, which called itself the "Defenders of The Prophet," held placards denouncing the US and perceived Western imperialism.
Turkey: Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul's Beyazit Square to protest the film. The protest was organised by Turkey's main Islamist political party, Saadet.
West Bank: In the city of Nablus, about 200 people demonstrated against the film as Muslim clerics throughout the territory preached against it in Friday sermons.
This has been brewing for a long time, I knew it, I'm sure you knew it, our government's knew it. It's important, because various western nations all depend on one or more of these countries for economic stability and affordable living for their own citizens and if they don't rely on one of these countries, then they rely on a country that does or one of these countries neighbors. War, like democracy, is a majority rule sport - and no matter how we view ourselves it will be the majority vote which determines whether we are the "good" or "bad". The video, like tuition fees here in Canada are symbolic and a focus of attention.

In the days before my hiatus I had posted several articles on Canada's economic well-being with a promise to blog about them later. Obviously, I never did, and though late - I think they are still relevant.

Don’t look to Carney if you want a lower dollar
The Bank of Canada lacks the power to significantly alter the U.S.-Canadian exchange rate. If, as a country, we wish to see a lower Canadian dollar, we need to look to the federal government.
I have always maintained this was the case because the reasoning behind our strong dollar is a relative collapse in the U.S. dollar, except the federal government is pretty well powerless as well.It has nothing at all to do with dutch disease or other such concepts, it has to do with the fact that when compared with the American money printer extraordinaire Bernanke, we're not even in the same ball park. We could print day and night and not even make a dent in the U.S.'s figurative minimum monthly payments. One-to-one is the new ratio unless we decouple completely from the USD in which case it will fall beneath ours significantly.

Vancouver home resales plummeting
"Recent changes to mortgage regulations were widely expected to temper sales and prices in Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, and the data released today confirms that," said Wayne Moen, president of CREA, noting the market has been impacted by changes to mortgage rules which have made it tougher for consumers to borrow.

Gregory Klump, chief economist with CREA said those rules have impacted some buyers more than others. "Some first-time home buyers may have difficulty qualifying for mortgage financing due to shortened amortization periods included in recent changes to mortgage regulations."
Bullshit. Canada is no stranger to pretending everything is going as planned seemingly under the assumption that everyone must have a hidden money-tree they simply are choosing not to use. The mortgage rules are token policies, our housing bubble had already climaxed and now is slowly beginning to collapse. Anyone could have seen it coming, but don't panic, it's under control due to the policies in place, right? The confidence market needs confidence to stay afloat, so people now instead of losing confidence in the Canadian housing market have gained confidence in central banker policies. Even though it is their policies which created the problem in the first place in an effort to fix other parts of the economy. A shell game, but in the end nothing will be able to hide the drops in income and funding coming from external entities and I anticipate that despite slowly collapsing markets, Canadian household debt will continue to rise as the gap widens.

Moody's lauds Canada, but cites rising dependence on oil patch
The hot-button issues - housing prices and household debt - don't appear troubling at this point. But a global economic slowdown would hurt Canada because it would drive down oil prices, in turn holding back investment in the oil patch.
Indeed, Moody's cited the "increasing dependence" of the country on its oil sector.
"High oil prices benefited Canada’s oil industry over the past few years," the agency said.
"However, the drop in prices that has taken place in 2012, combined with lower demand in the U.S., could potentially have a significant impact on the growth performance of the economy," it added in the report.
 The rest of Moody's assessment is meaningless in light of this statement. It's like having one foot in the future and one in the past - not that you should put much stake in these rating agencies anyway they are clearly complicit in keeping this house of cards economy appearing legitimate. None-the-less this admittance is important as it shows how hard it is becoming to hide the truth about the situation.

Canada is on the wrong side of the demand on oil prices. The rest of the world needs lower prices to keep economic growth and momentum going but Canada/Alberta needs high prices. A contradiction of the worst kind.

Tough financial times may spell trouble for more than just Edmonton arena project

Alberta's uh-oh moment seems to be just around the corner. With the exponential growth in oil price over and done with Alberta is going to realize that what they needed never was just high oil prices, but constantly growing oil prices. Today, what's cited as a "low" oil price is relatively higher than ever before, and yet still not enough.

Despite the worsening situation the Arena still seems to be Edmonton's primary focus. The Daryl Katz apologists are out in full force backed up by the retweeting power of David Staples.

I read one person he retweeted who said: "I moved downtown to enjoy the new arena". With financial sense like that, no wonder you want this project at any cost.

Conclusion

I took a month of hiatus and nothing has changed.

Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.