Friday, November 30, 2012

Super Tights

The great "tightening" of June 2012 is still getting the blame for our stagnant economy. Reading this crap, you'd almost have forgotten that previously many attempts to "tighten" were made which did not have this "incredible" effect on our GDP.

Canadian Trends: The Flip Side of Fear

So, seriously, do these economists actually believe that if Flaherty hadn't done that final "tightening" that housing prices would have just continued to rise even though no one really has the money to purchase them? Do they believe that the growing portion of GDP which is being funded by leveraging magical money tree houses to support consumer spending would have continued?

Economists continue to call this situation "better" than a flash crash. Yes, a slow flush down the western economic toilet bowl where there is a self-perpetuating and reinforcing decline between housing values and GDP is a ton better! Oh yea. Iiiiiiittttttssss aaa sssssllllloooowwww mmmmmoooootttiiiooonn ccccrrraaassshhhhhh and that's good - says the economists who predicted rising interest rates, growing GDP, bubbles, rainbows, and lollipops.

If you're new to my blog, being perhaps randomly linked here off Twitter or another site: I'd like you to go back and read my posts, everything I've been talking about up until this point is playing out right now. There is no pot-of-gold at the end of the these rainbows kiddies. We are in a long-term perpetual decline. Our media and "leaders" both simultaneously admit and deny this fact. It's admitted, but coated in a fuzzy-warm array of irrelevant facts like we're the economic leader of the G7, etc. Yes, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king and Canada loves to boast this concept to the world and it's own citizens.

Canadian Trends: Canada's 'October Surprise'

The myth of the effects of Flaherty's super-tights are to have you all believe "everything is under control". Don't worry, relax, everything is O.K. "It was a tough decision, but the right decision". Who buys this crap, seriously? Mainstream media is doing most people a favour with their paywalls.

The Canadian Crash

No, we're not going to have a U.S. styled housing crash. Why would we? We're not the U.S. and our revenue streams are fundamentally quite different from the U.S. Canada's crash will, of course, be in the style of 'Canada'.

Understanding Canada's economic predicament makes it easy to understand exactly what a "Canadian style" crash is going to look like. It all begins with how our housing costs got so high in the first place. Our housing prices are still running off the fumes of the pre-2008 "boom". Because a large amount of our revenue came from the U.S. and they were "booming" (or as we now know "frauding"), this caused our own economic outlook to become artificially inflated. With large amounts of revenue coming in from the U.S. the amount of available capital in Canada was significantly higher than normal.

Now however, all of the revenue we were getting from the U.S. is disappearing fast, and it's not because of the so-called "shale-gas" revolution or whatever (the oilsands aren't profitable anyway). This is happening because the U.S. is a massive indebted empire which is in decline and before you say: "but their job reports are up", I will point you in the direction of the Bernanke and $40B USD (soon to be $85B USD) per month, forever, in easing. Jobs are not really going to help the situation as those jobs simply represent the means for the slaves to pay their debt. This loss in revenue from the U.S. has slowly been countered by Canadians by increasing their debt loads which are primarily being leveraged on housing.

The resulting consumer spending of the debt has up until now contributed largely to our GDP, which itself provides confidence in economic growth providing for "upwards" economic forecasts which increase confidence which then allow the banks to make riskier bets, providing yet more credit to further fuel consumer spending, and so on and so on. How much of our economy is real? Well, that's what we're going to find out when this whole thing unravels.

Our housing collapse is going to continue to happen in slow motion, and I actually figure that GDP will completely collapse before housing does. Our GDP and consumer spending is the actual bubble, housing is a component in this bubble - but the core problem rests in that we have artificially kept pumping up our GDP with debt after the artificial pumping from the U.S. stopped. Having realized this, our "leaders" have completely reversed course on the whole "ethical oil" thing; now it's "compromise-oil". We need to compromise with these countries in which we disagree with their inhumane and tyrannical practices - for the economy, of course. Do you think it is a coincidence that the usual suspects in Canadian propaganda all stopped referring to the ethical oil meme at the same time? I don't, we've got a new brand name now: "open for business or exploitation".

Conclusion

Flaherty's tights are a cover to convince Canadians that the people who have fucked up everything until now actually have this situation under control. They don't, but coming up with new stories is easy while the people continue to believe and repeat the "experts" being sold. Be mindful and vigilant as a propaganda offensive is being waged, and it's targeted at you.

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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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Divide & Conquer Strikes Again

Well, if there is anything that Sun News is good at, it's sewing the seeds of division. Canadians are now locked in a meaningless battle due to a few comments Justin Trudeau made back in 2010.This is shortly following his Op-Ed on CNOOC/Nexen (which you can find my rebuttal of, here).

It's curious, despite the repeated references to the "middle class" both Harper and Trudeau are advocating the same sort of policies (of course the Liberal's will be more "public" about it). This contrasts greatly with all of the "Anti-Alberta/Pro-Alberta" rhetoric. It's meaningless, a tactic - called divide and conquer. You, Canadians, are now divided - arguing over people while their policies are incredibly similar.

Please go and read Justin Trudeau's Nexen article objectively. Don't just simply align with the "cute, young face" because it's not Harper. Harper is not the end game, our loss of sovereignty is. This Anti-Alberta/Pro-Alberta shit is a public relations trap, and far too many people are getting caught in it.

Stay focused. Stay on target.

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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Tru(deau)th of the Matter

To follow up my last post, I decided to attend Justin Trudeau's Edmonton event last night with a couple other friends. Muclair hasn't impressed me very much, and Trudeau's charisma, youth appeal, and attitude are intriguing. He essentially has presented himself as a representative of a reinvigorated Liberal Party of Canada. He's also come out supporting the CNOOC deal which I wanted to hear him expand on. It's a contradictory stance putting him more in line with the Conservatives than the NDP and also I find his supporting argument weak at best and also to be the exact same economic arguments used by the Conservatives.

Unfortunately the event itself was quite underwhelming and somewhat contradictory unto itself of what was being said and proclaimed. I haven't been able to find a transcript so I will paraphrase as best I can. A large portion of the speech centred on low voter turnout, those who didn't believe in any party, and the need for a new level of engagement. Essentially, my two friends and I were the target demographic of the speech, and this was their opportunity to prove us wrong, to make us feel engaged, and to return a glimmer of hope that it's not the system that's broken, but rather the parties. They failed, miserably.

To start with, the mood was off-putting. My friends and I did not clap after every abstract or meaningless one liner. We were there to hear real facts, real issues, and real solutions; not one was presented. Instead we endured a 45 minute ramble about hard work and the middle class and our dependency on trade and how rich we are but need foreign capital to do anything with it. The typical yadda yadda - but even more underwhelming and pointless than I have come to expect. We stood out in the crowd as the few non-supporters that were there and as a result got a lot of weird looks. Nobody attempted to engage us and explain the positions or to convince of us a platform, or anything. It seemed odd considering the speech was heavily centred on their "revolutionary" idea to allow any Canadian to vote for the leader and "be engaged".

The whole appearance was largely uni-directional. No questions were taken afterwards although he did stick around for a few minutes to meet individually with people. This meet-n-greet moment didn't help us much though as the many fanboys quickly lined up to shake his hand.

His portion on the CNOOC deal was brief. He mentioned he had written an article on the CNOOC deal and then said "but it wasn't really about the CNOOC deal...". He then continued to go on about abstract concepts of trade and the middle class and foreign capital, etc. That was it - a simple directionless rehash. For me, his explanation of his position on the CNOOC deal amounted to "these are not the droids you're looking for".

What wasn't mentioned at all was that our current heavy dependence on trade, particularly with the U.S., comes from and is enabled by NAFTA. Our inability to be self-sufficient largely comes from these "trade deals" already in effect. NAFTA of course passed under the Liberals. There was no mention of the new FIPA with China either. It was like he is referencing the CNOOC deal but arguing the FIPA deal.

The CNOOC-Nexen Op-Ed

In his speech last night Trudeau framed opponents to these new trade deals as extremists essentially, against "trade" completely, or against the middle-class. However if you want to reach the disenfranchised voter, or perhaps those who no longer believe the vote represents a voice in democracy then you had better figure out why they feel this way and what their real position is.

CNOOC-Nexen deal is good for Canada
I opened my campaign last month with the argument that, if the Liberal Party is to become a positive force for change in Canada, we need to give voice to the aspirations of our middle class.

Personal income for middle-class Canadians has stagnated for more than a generation. This deeply troubling development is masked by a rise in family income, due to the entry of a new generation of well-educated, hard-working women into the workforce. While this phenomenon is overwhelmingly positive, we must be clear-eyed in understanding that it is a one-time benefit.
This is an interesting way to say: "It's overwhelmingly positive that both parents now have to work to put food on the table". It's spun as being good because women are working, and I agree women having equal opportunities in the job market is good, but that's not what's really being said here now is it? What's being said is it's good that women have been forced to work to make enough for the family to live comfortably, taking time away from the child's relationship with their parents. This is because wages have stagnated over "the last decade" (the time of full-out NAFTA and the result of the globalization of our industries and privatization of our currency).
So, we’re left with the vexing question: where will the next wave of growth for the middle class come from?
Here Trudeau has now framed the argument and possibilities for you.
Public and private investment in science, and the innovation and productivity growth it spurs will unquestionably play a major role. A renewed national commitment to build the world’s most educated citizenry is essential, as is a more strategic approach to our natural resources. We also need to keep costs competitive and make smart infrastructure investments.

But all of these, while necessary, will be insufficient to provide the opportunities we want for the middle class unless we get one big thing right.
What is sufficient? What opportunities do we want for the middle class? Trinkets? Bigger TVs? It's abstract, it means whatever you want it to mean. Sort of like Obama's "yes we can". Yes you can.. what? That's for your imagination to decide.
Canada’s economic prospects have always been tied to trade. We are a small market that must export and attract investment to create jobs and growth, and import to keep costs down and provide choice for middle-class families.
Note, he says "import to keep costs down". Yes, we keep costs down by exporting our jobs to low wage factories that would be illegal here, this "keeps costs down" on imported goods. However, it's not working anymore as energy prices are destroying that advantage and so as a result we are now "importing" the workers. Now, how does any of this result in a more prosperous middle class?
For much of our history, the only trading relationship that mattered was with the United States. From Laurier to Mulroney, it defined our politics in watershed elections that bookended the last century, and inflamed passionate debates about national identity throughout. As we grew more confident, Canadians arrived at the conclusion, supported by the evidence, that openness to trade is good for us. It expands our horizons, as well as our national wealth.

That was the 20th century. The 21st century is different. Trade remains a paramount objective, but we can no longer rely on the U.S. alone to drive our growth.
Please, do go on.
I am not one of those who believe the U.S. is in serious decline. Our relationship with our southern neighbour remains our most important, but we cannot afford to miss vital opportunities elsewhere. By 2030, two-thirds of the planet’s middle class will be in Asia. How we define and manage our relationship with Asian economies to play a Canadian role in fuelling that growth will matter as much to the Canadian middle class in this century as our relationship with the U.S. did in the last.

So how are we doing? Canada benefited from being the first western country to recognize the People’s Republic of China, but we have lost ground recently. The Conservatives kicked off their stewardship of the relationship with unhelpful sabre-rattling, followed by a stubborn silence. Recently, they have made attempts at courtship, but China’s leadership has a long memory. Influence and trust is built through consistent, constructive engagement.

Further, the Conservatives have developed their approach to Asia, such as it is, behind closed doors. This is a mistake. Where is the leadership to explain to Canadians why this relationship is so important, to engage Canadians in the conversation, to make us aware of the opportunities?

Because we have failed to make the case for trade, Canadians are understandably anxious. Because we failed to ensure that the middle class participates in the growth created by trade, support for it has recently broken down.
So - did anyone else catch the contradiction here?
As we grew more confident, Canadians arrived at the conclusion, supported by the evidence, that openness to trade is good for us. It expands our horizons, as well as our national wealth.
But then
Because we failed to ensure that the middle class participates in the growth created by trade
So, the solution is to move our dependence from the U.S., to Asia? Like, these guys?

“They said they will pay me this month, but it seems I’m fooled again,” said Niu, who supplied nets for protecting workers from falling off bamboo scaffolding at the half-completed Purple Palace, a development including a luxury hotel and three residential buildings in the city of Ordos. “The doorman was still here last week, but now even he’s gone.”
So we just figured out that essentially we can't depend on the U.S. because you know.. their housing bubbles propped up by fraud tend to blow up. So, as a result the future of the middle class is in trade which we admit already failed to include them with a country that is also experiencing a large and risky shadow banking system teetering on collapse. Oh, and this time - middle class - you'll be included, promise. China loves the middle class, just ask Foxconn.

Why don't we try addressing this dependence that our ponzi-conomy requires?
Why is the CNOOC-Nexen deal good for Canada? Because Chinese and other foreign investors will create middle-class Canadian jobs. Foreign investment raises productivity, and hence the living standards of Canadian families. More fundamentally, it is in Canada’s interest to broaden and deepen our relationship with the world’s second-largest economy.
Of course there should be conditions attached. All foreign investors must obey the letter and the spirit of Canadian labour, environment, corporate governance and immigration laws. In certain sectors, national security concerns will be real. However, in the CNOOC case, Chinese ownership of three per cent of oilsands leases hardly constitutes a national security issue.
Oh, yea.. what security issue right? It's not like CSIS is issuing warnings or anything like that about the Chinese here. No, the CNOOC deal is an island, it does not in any way, shape or form tie into anything else. Nope sir eee. You want middle class jobs afterall, don't you?
Most important, the big picture isn’t about CNOOC or Petronas, but the many opportunities like them that will follow in their footsteps. China is scanning the world for acquisitions like a shopper in a grocery store. Just a decade ago, China’s outward foreign direct investment was negligible; today it approaches $100 billion. Canada has perhaps more potential to capitalize on this context than any other country. From minerals to energy, from education expertise to construction, we have a lot of what China needs.
Yea, see: The CNOOC deal is very small, so it's not a security issue but what is most important is that opens the door for ever larger investment. We've got minerals, energy, and China needs it all.
We should be creative when thinking about what a trade deal with China could look like. For example, according to (global management consulting firm) McKinsey and Company, China will have 221 cities of more than a million people by 2025 (up from 160 today). Asia will invest trillions in infrastructure over that time. That growth requires exactly the kind of expertise we have in Canada. What if our goal was to become Asia’s designers and builders of livable cities? What if we got our world-class financial institutions and pension funds together with our world-class engineering and construction industries to secure a leadership role for Canada in Asia’s growth?
That's your idea of creativity, creating yet more empty cities over there? While our own infrastructure here in Canada continues to crumble.
This is one idea. There are many more. There is a leadership opportunity in Asia that could create thousands of jobs here at home, and a generation of Canadian wealth. In order to take it, we need courage and vision.
Oh, ok good. There is more ideas.

This isn't courage or vision, this is doing the same thing over again expecting different results. Courage or vision would be to address the deep seeded economic issues Canada faces not to promote the continued exploitation of Canada resources and labour.
We deceive ourselves by thinking that trade with Asia can be squeezed into the 20th-century mould. China, for one, sets its own rules and will continue to do so because it can. China has a game plan. There is nothing inherently sinister about that. They have needs and the world has resources to meet those needs. We Canadians have more of those resources — and therefore more leverage — than any nation on Earth.
The Conservatives are missing the boat. Their erratic approach and secretive behaviour inspire the opposite of confidence among potential investors and Canadians alike.
Interesting choice of words: sinister. Who has been saying they are sinister? Their interests are self-promoting - duh. Just as ours should be. Of course China has a game plan, what's our game plan? "here, take it"?
In the end, this is more about our core values than the pure economic value of rising middle-class income. If we really believe in a Canada built on equality of opportunity, upward mobility, and expanded individual freedom and choice, then we must get this right. Real leadership means fighting for, not pandering to, middle-class Canadians.
This can only happen if we are direct with Canadians and ready to trust them. If we expect our citizens to be open to the world, the least their government can do is be open with them.
I'm not convinced, Justin.

Canadian Trends: Compensating bad decisions with worse solutions
Canadian Trends: Steady on the course towards a downward recovery
Canadian Trends: Oilsands Prosperity is a Lie

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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, November 19, 2012

A Crisis of Accountability

Emails show Elections Canada raised voter suppression concerns before election

Three days before the last federal election, Elections Canada confronted the Conservatives about suspicious calls directing voters to the wrong polling stations but were met with denials of any wrongdoing from the party’s lawyer, internal emails show.
So it's now been revealed that Election's Canada was aware of the robocall issue before the election happened. Yet the investigation into the robocalls didn't start until there was a citizen outcry. How much evidence was destroyed in this time? We'll probably never know.

Why is voter suppression damaging?

Voter suppression has long term effects beyond the direct fraud of trying to steal an election. What is a vote? It's basically a huge poll, which attempts to be 100% accurate for an entire population. Let's call it "the ultimate poll". Do you trust polls? Why or why not?

I don't trust polls because I understand that they are an excellent propaganda tool. A poll can be created by pretty well any agency and can be manipulated to convey popular opinion about pretty well anything they want. Are there legitimate polls? Of course, but the question remains: "how does one know?". You can't, really.

Not knowing if a poll is legitimate is pretty well the same as a poll being illegitimate. A shadow of doubt is cast on every poll I encounter, and my default position is to treat them with extreme scepticism. Voter suppression has this chilling effect on the national vote, the truth is that now we simply "do not know".

The U.S. has been dealing with this issue for a long time, and if you look at their last election it shows. Voter fraud did happen, but a landslide victory for Obama couldn't be countered. Of course, the Democrats do their own types of suppression too anyway. The point is though, there is now confusion in the U.S. Some believe the current results are fraudulent, others believe no voter suppression happened at all, others believe that it happened but was effectively countered. There really is no way to know for sure though, is there?

The immediate impact

In the time this "investigation" into the robocalls has been occurring, we've seen significant changes - many of them (such as the free trade agreements) irreversible. It's completely possible that an illegitimate government has been making sweeping changes to Canada: our rights, our sovereignty.

I continue to see Canadians complain about Harper, then (in what seems an act of hopelessness) refer to the 2015 election as "when we'll get Harper out". Getting Harper out isn't going to be the problem though, the problem will come from the decisions being made right now at that point.

WTO rules Ontario green energy tariff unfair

This is the future of our sovereignty and it's only going to get worse the longer we idly stand by and let it happen. By the time Harper is finished, we're going to be so dependent on the "global economy" that we will not be able to make any laws in our own favor without them being challenged.

Ratings agencies, the IMF, and G20 now have control over global social and banking policy, as when a country does something they don't like they can simply issue warnings, credit outlooks, etc. Instead of having the Bank of Canada issue our currency they instead facilitate the sales of debt to private interests or other countries to provide the means for the Government to "borrow". This is why these credit ratings, etc, are important. I see a lot of people lately that say "government budgets are not household finances". Our current debt arrangement however forces budgets to act as if they are household budgets. All of the interest on our debt which should be paid to the Government of Canada via the Bank of Canada are instead given to foreign interests. That's real capital leaving the country just so we can issue our currency and pay for our services.

The trade laws then cover the productive and resource laws of Canada allowing foreign interests to bypass the standard governmental proceedings to challenge the operation of something within a country. They can now take the complaint to the W.T.O. and the law, rule, or regulation created by Canadians through their elected government or subsequent panel can be countered. By 2015, what do you think the elected body will have power over? Not much. I (for one) no longer have full confidence in our electoral system anyway, and Harper isn't the only puppet around. Many people have Harper's intentions wrong, he is not seizing control of Canada, he is completing the implementation of the sellout of Canada to the global governance entity he pledged his loyalty to.

A line in the sand

Democracy and the vote have been effectively countered. What we exist in today is a sham democracy, a democracy in name only. A line in the sand needs to be drawn, and 2015 isn't it. The Canadian people are playing Checkers while the powers currently attempting to have this agenda passed are playing Chess and they almost have us in a Check-Mate.

This isn't democracy or politics, this is an economic takeover, an invasion. Its the same sort of takeover that the western world has been enforcing on the third world countries for years. Now, that the majority of the third world is destabilized or under western control the sights have been turned on the citizens of the countries which provided the foundation for this global governance network. The global governance network is not based out of anywhere, the entire planet is their home country. Canadian international corporations are not Canadian, they are international. Same goes for the U.S. companies, and every other country. They have now completely elevated themselves above the sovereignty of countries and have no loyalty to anyone but themselves.

If this sounds all too conspiratorial for you, take a look around. Take a look as one by one your ability to have any meaningful control or input as a citizen is systematically taken away. A vote isn't going to fix that, Canadians.

Back to the voter suppression

The entire situation is very serious, and very little has been done. Elections Canada dithers and yet the government is allowed to continue on with impunity as though it's not illegal at all and the actions it's involved in are not treasonous. I don't use the word treason lightly, what is occurring here is by definition treason. Do you think you can vote out treason? The results of treason? no. If the opposition parties are serious about having this issue addressed right now (and if Canadian citizens are serious) then I call for a strike of Parliament itself.

What do I mean? Well, Parliament has been turned into a largely ceremonial body now. It has stood by as it's power is taken away and centralized in the Prime Minister's Office, not unlike the centralization of power occurring in the U.S. with the office of the President. As far as I can tell, there is only one way left to put parliament to use - and that is to shut it down in protest.

What will this help? I believe it will place a giant spotlight on the current actions of the government and generate outrage. Only a massive and unified public outcry can stop what's happening and the continued operation of parliament as a ceremonial body simply aides the illusion of democracy. Essentially, if the PMO wants to act with impunity, then a shutdown of parliament (by opposition MPs simply all walking out and refusing to return until they get proper input and the proper procedures are respected and the Elections Canada investigation is completed as a public inquiry) will give him exactly what he already has but in a very public way. The government will then have two choices: Either acknowledge the demands of parliament or continue operating without any parliamentary oversight. The first scenario is the goal, to force them to halt operations until confidence can be restored in the electoral system, but the second scenario is the backup.

The second scenario must be done with the opposition parties waging a P.R. war to explain why it's happening. Lots of rallies, public speeches, etc. This should in theory generate enough public outcry and rage that if the government continues to act as though everything is simply business as usual it's credibility as a democratic entity is severely hurt.

I believe that Canada's political paralyzation to take action comes from the thin veil of democracy we think we have left, removing this veil will hopefully shock the population into action. At the very worst, we're in the same situation we're in as parliament can not effectively counter the situation we're in. Power to do so no longer lies with them.

This idea might sound extremist to you, and it is. But I tell you what, Canadians, the longer we let this go on, the more "extremist" the ideas will have to become to counter it. Like I said, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Canadian Trends: A Crisis of Credibility

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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.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

And now for yet another post on the Israeli/Gazan conflict

It's been a tough debate the last few days for me on whether or not I would write a post on this conflict. I have a lot of thoughts and even more emotions about it, most of which I will not be sharing here. For the most part the fine details of the entire situation are quite clouded. I can't speak to events there the same way I can to events here. I can however speak to our reaction, and how I feel about it all and what I've seen.

"When the siren sounded earlier, everyone ran for cover.
Our photographer took this photo on a train." Source
One of the reasons I have been reluctant to post on this subject is some sort of deep seeded fear rooted in our entire society, indeed it seems prevalent across most of the western society. The amount of hate and bigotry this event has brought to the surface have quite frankly been as shocking to me as the events themselves. I've seen a few people I follow say things I never thought they would say, regardless of their views. Having differing views is one thing, but what I'm seeing here is just unfettered hate for the most part. Trash talk and propaganda, "pigs" and "terrorists".

The fear itself comes from this bizarre idea that criticism of Israel (the country) is somehow critical of Jews (the people). Look, it's great they got a country. Good for them. But, Israel, you're a country now; you need to act like a big boy not some spoiled child that goes off on a wild tangent every few years. When you get criticized you can't point at the other 194 countries and say "you're not criticizing them so you're an anti-Semite".

Injured in Israel's war on . Almost 400 injuries reported.
80% civilians, inc. hundreds of children/women. Source
The majority of this blog criticizes Canada, and to a lesser extent other western powers. Am I singling us all out from the great big crowd? Yes. Why? Because we like to pretend we have the moral high ground. I for one, as a citizen of (what's left of) my country expects that if we are to play such a role that we actually have the moral high ground. Yes, I know, there's rockets. Lots of rockets. Tons of rockets. Thousands every day or whatever. I get it. I'm not an idiot, and I don't appreciate being treated like one and the IDF blog and Twitter campaign does exactly that. Thankfully Harry Fear has been able to provide a (what I believe to be) genuine report on what's actually happening in Gaza.

Let's dispense with the childish public relations, shall we? I mean, what the fuck is a "terror site" anyway? Really? "terror site"? terror terror terror, it's got to be in everything doesn't it? So for the record, here, I will assume a "terror site" refers to a "launch site". On top of the already atrocious death, destruction, and destabilization: this over-the-top propaganda just makes me increasingly sick and this is just but one example. Of course, there's plenty on the Palestinian side too, but Israel's has been blatant and over the top.

Good thing the family wasn't sitting in their living room
when this happened today near Ashdod. Source
All of this bullshit just fuels the fires of hatred, can we stop, please, and start treating this situation for what it really is? I mean, it's just absolutely ridiculous how many people automatically jump on the terrorist talking point bandwagon and yet when Syria's Assad calls the "rebels" "terrorists" the word terrorist will be single quoted, as if we don't believe him. Those aren't terrorists! They're rebels! yea! What's the difference? Rebels, terrorists, it's all about who they like, and who they don't like. If they don't like who you like they're terrorists, and if they don't like who you don't like then they're rebels.

So yes, there are rockets but there is also a blockade. Hell, just recently one of our own Canadian ex-MPs was arrested by Israel for trying to break the Gaza blockade. In my book, economic warfare is just as destructive and terrorizing, if not more so and Israel clearly has been playing this game with Gaza. Again, though, I'm not really taking sides rather I'm pointing out that war is war and Israel is waging war; not just now, but always.

To conclude, I am not an anti-Semite. To my knowledge Israel (at least, seemingly, I've never been there) claims to be an inclusive society. As such any criticism of Israel is criticism of those allowing this situation to happen which looks to me like a full out genocide - whatever race or color or religion they are doesn't matter to me. Atrocities of an incredible scale are happening and the atrocities must stop. Period.














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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, November 17, 2012

UPDATE-2: Peak Canada? No, it's still peak oil

Just came across this: Peak Oil? More like Peak Canada

Now, my posts over the last few days on Alberta's financial and energy situation have gotten a lot of reads, and since I am one of few Canadians talking about peak oil and how it affects Canada I can't help but think that perhaps this is a response or was at least inspired by my posts. If not, then the timing couldn't be more perfect and as such I am going to respond to it anyway.

What is Peak Oil?

The author of the article linked above has proven that he has no idea what the concept of peak oil is or actually means. People who have not studied peak oil or the anticipated effects for one often confuse it with oil depletion, but the two are not related at all. Peak oil is generally speaking the phenomenon which occurs when you have used up half the resource in a single well, across a country, or across the entire world. There is no law written in stone which says production on the way up will be smooth, and no such law for what production looks like on the decline.

Peak oil also describes the cost. Oil once past the 50% mark is extremely energy intensive to produce. The so-called "energy renaissance" being experienced in the U.S. is being driven by the energy intensive process known as "fracking".
It predicted what we all know now – that the U.S. would become the world’s largest petroleum producer by 2017 and a major world exporter not long afterward, exceeding Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran and dwarfing Alberta, and that, by 2015, it would overtake Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. “An energy renaissance in the United States is redrawing the global energy map, with implications for energy markets and trade,” the report concluded.
Let's put this energy renaissance into perspective.


Source
 Now, according to various sources U.S. crude production has reattained levels not seen since 1994-1998. As you can see though, that comes nowhere even remotely close to the peak attained in 1970. With the energy intensive shale gas and other extreme energy solutions to get oil, production will not be reaching those levels again. What you're seeing with this so-called energy renaissance might best be described as a "dead-cat-bounce".

Jevon's Paradox

Jevon's paradox provides more evidence that the author has ventured into an area he has not suitably studied. Energy usage is directly tied to GDP, and the nature of our infinite growth economy ensures that any energy efficiency gained will be matched by an equal increase in energy consumption. A lot of people have been pointing to a depressed demand coming from the U.S. since the 2008 collapse and conclude that that must be all of this energy efficiency at work. Rather, it is the natural result of the economic collapse. demand was destroyed, simple as that, and enough economic stability cannot be attained to keep consumption on the upswing. Oil and gas prices ensure that if momentum does take hold the credit limits of the consumers then take effect. Sooner or later driving becomes unaffordable and people cut down on this. remember, just earlier this year gas prices were on every front page.

The understanding of the economic reactions to peak oil is just as essential. Oil production is not some self-contained entity, but rather an integrated economic component, one which responds to economic events. Production as a result goes up and down but on a long term timeline, clearly the trend is downwards and this temporary glut of fracking and extreme energy isn't going to last as long as people think it's going to.

Update-1

I don't know, I'm going back and reading this post and I think there is still information that can be added to the situation.

Even as new production ramps up, existing production is in decline

Over time we have opened up a large amount of wells and from the moment we start extracting resources from them those wells go into decline. It is often overlooked that to have a stable, sustainable, infinite growth economy supplies and production must continue to climb to offset the declines. This is why those who advocate the concept of "plateau oil" are over-simplifying the situation. What a "plateau" in oil would represent is a perpetual recession (not unlike what we have now) that continues forever. The problem with this theory is that recessions naturally have a direct effect on the economy, and the health and status of the economy and growth forecasts have a direct effect on oil prices and oil production. A perpetual recession (as we're witnessing) severely impacts confidence levels and since our economy is based entirely on confidence and not any sort of actual value-backing this can be quite destructive.

Understanding EROEI

There is only one currency in the world that is universal, and that's energy. Alberta's issue when it comes to oilsands development has been to look at the "price" in dollars instead of looking at the energy returned on energy invested. This is why Alberta's target oil price is always moving and is a function of the peak oil issue. The oilsands have an EROEI ratio of 3:1 which means that for every 3 barrels of oil/bitumen produced it took an equivalent 1 barrel of energy to produce.

To put this all in perspective, traditional domestic oil production had an EROEI ratio of around 200:1. So what does this mean? It means the amount of surplus capital has been significantly reduced and is in decline. Largely the world is still running off the fumes of traditional oil production. Western governments who are racking up debt based on established credit, established this credit during the period of cheap oil.

We're borrowing on the future based on the productivity of the past and with no evidence that the resources to cover our borrowing from the future are actually there or can provide the sort of returns needed to pay off the debt.

Natural gas might be cheap right now, but fracking is expensive

There is plenty of excitement in the U.S. about the new fracking boom, but what seems to be overlooked is the long-term costs in comparison to the cheap price the glut is creating.

Chesapeake loses US$2B on gas field writedowns amid slump

Chesapeake has been the poster child for the negative effects of the gas glut. While the temporary cheap price of gas due to the glut is excellent for consumers, it's not as excellent for the producers. The operational and profit margins are extremely slim and the resources required to do the process are only getting more expensive. The technology itself is an oil derivative, produced in factories, transported around the world and utilizing the supply chain.

Low Mississippi River water levels may halt barges
Despite severe drought, US farm income may hit record high

Half the U.S. is considered to be a disaster zone due to the drought, and now we're told that a water and energy intensive process called fracking is going to deliver an energy renaissance and that it will last for 30 years? Don't count on it.

Update-2

Alright, I have one final point to make. I'm sorry this post has ended up so disjointed but the cause and effect of peak oil is very complex. All of the different dynamics to the issue provide for lots of places for misunderstandings.

From what I can gather based on the authors conclusions, he is essentially saying Canada banked on peak oil and now that the U.S. is having what is perceived as a long term energy boom Canada's bet was wrong. This is, frankly, absurd.

This conclusion is based on the assumption that had the U.S. not had it's shale gas boom the price of oil would have continued to rise exponentially as had been the pattern prior to 2008 and therefore the oilsands themselves must not be flawed, it is the market situation. What this ignores is that the flaw in the oilsand's financial viability is simply being made visible by the "lower" (remember when $80+ for oil was expensive? Wasn't that long ago) demand for oil attributed to the natural gas boom. The flaw always existed, the Alberta government's moving target for a profitable oil price shows this problem. Focusing on the reason for the price drop ignores the fact that all assumptions of profitability were made on an ever-rising price and that assumption is unto itself erroneous as it's absolutely ridiculous to think that high prices would be sustained and affordable. The basics of demand and supply blow holes in that assumption. The problem isn't centered around competing energy sources, the problem was adopting an unsustainable business model based on unrealistic oil prices which essentially said "what goes up never comes down".

Overall, what we call "cheap" oil today is relatively extremely expensive. The latest production floor on extreme energy ($80) was at one time, a short while ago, considered to be at the height of oil prices. $80 and above is not normal, yet because it's been like that for the last few years and the years leading up to the collapse of 2008 (which coincided with $147 oil) we've come to call it normal or "cheap". It's not cheap, it's just cheaper than recent highs.

Conclusion

The Arctic? Fracking? Oil sands? Offshore? This is all extreme energy, and it's the sort of energy a society might go after once they've reached peak oil.

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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alison Redford: 'economy changed after election'

Well now, as if you needed any more evidence that the so-called "leaders" we have are completely full of shit and trapped in their own lie:
“I think that you have clearly seen through our first-quarter update and what’s going on in the world, that the world has changed,” Redford told reporters Thursday at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties annual meeting in Edmonton.

The people coming to Alberta aren’t bringing their roads, hospitals and schools, Redford said.
This all comes back to the lackluster EROEI ratio the oilsands have, and the incredible overhead they require. "that world has changed" - What's changed? Europe? They're still doing horrible. Japan? Still baked in radiation. The U.S.? Well after a year of dithering on every subject except the fiscal cliff, all of a sudden this fiscal cliff has become a major issue. So, excuse me, but what's changed? The world hasn't changed at all, it's still stuck in the stimulus cycle of death. As I wrote recently:
The reason given for the latest forecast, is "Europe, the global economy, yadda yadda". The same old shit. Of course, for that to be true these so-called "experts" would have had to believe back in march that Europe was going to correct itself, that the U.S. fiscal cliff (which has been completely ignored all year in favour of massive campaign spending and the presidential reality show) wouldn't prove to be a big deal. Think back, did you believe it back in March? Do you believe it now? Why? What changed?
So once again, for the world to "have changed" you would have had to believe back in March that everything that's happening now regarding Europe, etc wasn't going to be happening. Now, just to really prove the point, here is what I wrote on July 29th, 2011 (back in the old pre-election world, before the "change"):
Just recently I saw an article proudly displayed on every frontpage: Alberta tops U.S. job creation. Apparently Alberta's job market grew by 22,000 jobs where as the ENTIRE united states only recorded 18,000. Naturally Albertans rejoiced, claiming that boom times were back and economic growth was on the way. Further it seems to be not a reason to be concerned but instead put even more faith the Alberta government is right "waiting for oil & gas revenue to rebound". Anyone remember Ed-TV almost 3 years ago? Anyone remember Alberta's "5 year economic action plan"? Yea, I didn't think so, apparently 3 years into this plan we are still on step 1 "waiting for oil & gas revenues to rebound". So lets look at when they will be rebounding.

Who buys our oil? Who is our largest trading partner? Well it happens to be the U.S. The same U.S. that had the remarkable drop in job numbers, and now today
GDP data just kicked the U.S. while already down. One has to wonder exactly where all of this expected economic growth is going to come from? U.S. oil demand continues to stagnate, and lets be honest about how much time it takes for oil infrastructure to be set up for any profitable sales to China or other cross-continental markets. A long time. China certainly is pursuing this option though, and you can trust that China (the largest slave-wage market) really has Albertan's jobs and wages at heart.

Just wait for the day in the very near future where Alberta says "hmm, we really didn't see this coming". Because they will, of this I have no doubt. The forgotten 5-year plan will be revived and extended into a "10 year plan" and by the time Albertan's and the Alberta government take the global economic situation seriously we will not have the funds to do anything about it.

The new Alberta boom is based entirely on faith that Alberta "always has a boom". We simply expect economic booms to be thrown our way, and when we are not in one we are waiting for the next. There is no world-economic data to show any signs of a coming boom for Alberta. Yes, we had more jobs than the U.S., so what? That means a whole bunch of our clients will soon not afford our product. 18,000 jobs for an entire country is dismal, it does not point to an Alberta job boom, it points to a U.S.A. mega-economic failure and this will surely affect the Albertan economy in the not-to-distant future. Faith alone can't sustain us anymore.
And what do ya know, here we are and Alberta is saying "hmm, we really didn't see this coming". In fact, the rhetoric hasn't even changed as we are still "waiting for oil and gas revenue to rebound". Not enough for you, alright, here's another one I wrote during the election campaign:
Finally, on oilsands. Budget expectations on the price of oil expect sustained higher prices, but gas prices are already on the frontpage around the world. In 2008 oil was at $147 / barrel when the mortgage & auto meltdowns occured. Often overlooked are facts such as people ditching their cars in favour of bikes or scooters. Mortgage payments couldn't be paid with such a high price of oil according to Jeff Rubin. Many economists expect a collapse in the price of oil similar to the collapse in price seen in 2008 due to a sudden lapse in demand due to price. What is your plan to balance Alberta's budget if oil isn't more than $80 / barrel?
As you can now see, there was no plan. My questions never did receive direct answers, I guess no politicians thought they were important.

It gets better, Canada needs foreign capital, policy talks ongoing: Finance Minister.
Canada needs foreign capital to develop its oil sands and is in the "middle" of discussions on how to approach foreign takeover bids such as the $15.1 billion offer by China's CNOOC (0883.HK: Quote) for oil and gas producer Nexen (NXY.TO: Quote), Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Friday.
We need foreign capital, because they are not financially viable as I described in detail yesterday.

Scattered throughout this blog (and my Hellberta blog) are many, accurate, forecasts of the economic situation in Canada and in Alberta. It's really not hard to do, all you have to do is be mindful of current events, have a firm grasp of the real problems in energy such as peak oil, and have a firm grasp of the fraudulent ponzi scheme we call an economy. I haven't just been right once or twice, I've been right consistently. I'm not trying to promote my ego by saying this, what I am trying to say is that if I could do it: they are either completely incompetent - in which case there should be no confidence in any further "plans" from these people - or they are deliberately deceiving the Canadian and Albertan populations to further the agendas of private interests. Gee, which do you think it is?

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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, November 15, 2012

Update-1: Oilsands Prosperity is a Lie

The situation in Alberta continues to worsen and the surrounding lies of promised prosperity continue to expand. Now, following the "internal memo" warning the government that oilsands cost too much to produce and mounting reports showing the environmental record has been a complete lie; Alison Redford - Alberta's latest spokesperson for the desired social integration - is warning that now Alberta won't be balancing it's budget citing "costs of rapid growth".

Now, wait a minute here, but I thought that *rapid growth* was supposed to be bringing us increased prosperity, not making it harder to balance the budget? Shouldn't "rapid growth", as Alberta has been touting and promoting for the last decade as essential, be helping to work towards bringing down the budget deficit? Shouldn't it be helping to balance the books? If the oilsands are so valuable, and provide so much return on investment how could this be? Oh, we need schools and stuff? No shit. That's overhead for the needed workers, etc.

So is Alberta now implying that it needs slower growth to balance it's books? Because, slower growth has been the latest excuse as to why it can't balance it's books. Hmm, it seems to me that maybe what should be cited for the reason is the unviable cost of producing the oilsands in the first place. That's a hard sell though, isn't it? How exactly would you tell a province that for 30 years there really was no long term plan at all? That all of the decisions were made on the assumption that oil prices would rise exponentially forever and that now that all of the eggs are in one very weak and expensive basket there is really no way out other than to continue pretending that a sustained price of over $120 / barrel is possible in today's economic climate. Don't worry folks, it's coming - Alberta the self-proclaimed demi-gods of deficit slashing will make it so. As we all know it was Alberta's "conservative" policy making which put it in to a temporary surplus and not the oil in the ground combined with favorable market conditions. Thinking circumstance has lead to our situation would just be silly, wouldn't it?

The "cost of rapid growth" translates to "overhead". The overhead of developing the oilsands outweighs the return we get from them. This has always been the case, what masked this (as I have repeated on this blog at least 1000 times) was that the price of oil was rising quickly and exponentially. This played out in our little Albertan reality by hearing the government always raising it's target price for oil. When it was $40 that was expensive, but then not enough, we need $70. By the time $70 hit that was quite expensive, but not enough.. we need $90, and so on and so on. We've always needed a higher price because the return we get when the price of oil isn't constantly rising is complete shit in comparison to the amount of investment made.

The "labour shortage" is another aspect of this overhead. As a result of all this, here is Alberta's situation in a nutshell: Alberta is tearing up it's province with no collateral or proof it can be repaired, and the cost of repairing it is unknown, it may not even be possible. This destruction is being done in the name of jobs, but the jobs it's creating are for temporary foreign workers as Canadian workers are too expensive to pay when you look at the diminishing returns from the projects. These projects and jobs which are too expensive to fund are forcing Alberta to operate a power grid larger than any other grid in Canada and Alberta's power consumption due to the energy requirements for oilsands production are the highest in Canada resulting in an increasingly complex and unstable power grid. To counter the growing evidence these projects do not benefit Canadians in any way shape or form, more and more propaganda is pumped out to try and convince Canadians that the only way they can keep their heads above water in the future is to support them and that *eventually* they will pay off.

We've never been able to afford these projects of last resort, they don't produce a profit at all and can only be sustained temporarily and at a cost to the citizens. Now with oils steady rise over and done with, this is simply going to get more apparent by the day. So long as Alberta pursues the oilsands as a source of revenue, there will never be enough revenue to balance the budget from now on and it doesn't matter whether you like these projects or not, the fact of the matter is they are not in your best interest and never have been. The temporary benefits some Canadians have received from them were just that: 'temporary' - a function of the way the oil market was working at the time. Government officials through kickbacks and industry promises have put in a considerable effort to convince Canadians their concerns are being addressed and that these projects are in fact in their interest. Alberta's $25M "rebranding" is a great, albeit small, example of just how much of your money these politicians are willing to spend to convince you this is all in your best interest.

Update-1

Lake effect 'smoking gun' in oilsands
"This study shows that we are seeing contaminants transported farther than people thought, and that needs to be considered in terms of the environmental impact."
It's all just lies and misdirection, isn't it? The ones who will suffer the most is going to be Albertans themselves. THERE IS NO PROSPERITY AT THE END OF THE OILSANDS RAINBOW, NONE. Look folks, if you believe there is prosperity coming from these things then lets prove it: Stop all subsidies and gas writeoffs, enforce all environmental laws with strict repercussions and we'll see just how prosperous they really are. Sink or Swim? I bet sink.

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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Contaminated Economic Policy

Scientists confirm results showing contaminants accumulating in the snow near oilsands operations
Federal scientists uncover evidence that oilsands contaminants travel further than expected

The miraculous Canadian economy continues to get kicked as it's down. As the flawed economic magic touted by the federal and Alberta governments continues to fall flat on it's face more and more reports continue to mount showing that pretty well all of the bullshit we've been fed for the last 4+ years is exactly as it's been described: complete and utter bullshit.

Oh, contaminants are travelling further than expected? But wait, I thought there were no contaminants, and that they were not travelling at all. Hmm.

I'm not sure what it is going to take for Canadians to realise that the so-called jobs "created" by extracting this filth are temporary at best. Even now, as I write this, I can bet you that many oilsands worker's jobs are on the chopping block shortly to be replaced by temporary foreign workers which I have on good authority are making in and around the area of $4 CAD / hour. I am working to get this confirmed in a way which can be presented publicly as since these temporary foreign workers are not protected under Canadian labour laws, they can (and will) be fired and deported for simply talking about their situation. But don't worry, it's all for you, Canadians - honest.

Hey, you never know! Perhaps one day in the future Alberta will actually decide that international corporations raping it's resources for USD which China is only too happy to get rid of really isn't in it's best interest, of course by then we had better hope that the numerous free trade deals and FIPAs actually still allow Alberta to define their own regulation and environmental laws without the results of which being classified as a "performance requirement".

Is it not clear yet, Canadians? The oilsands were never economically viable. NEVER. Yes, you've been paid a ton in fiat, worthless currency as we gave away our real resources to never get them back. The U.S. can print fiat dollars all day long, China has plenty of them to burn, but Canada? We can't just print oil now can we? No we produce it at a cost to ourselves to export it for nothing. Water? Same thing. Forestry? Same thing. It's the same thing over and over and over again. With our sparse population and massive resource deposits, we should be all living like kings.

I've made this comparison before, and I'll make it again: If the exploitation and rape of our natural resources is "job creation", then why oh why are we not looking at legalising prostitution? We're so obsessed with those J-O-B-S that we continue to overlook the moral and long term effects of such professions. I say, if the oilsands are a morally valid way of creating jobs by exploiting and destroying resources then prostitution is definitely a great way to get tons of women working. Long-term effects and problems be damned, lets get these people to work!


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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.

Steady on the course towards a downward recovery

For the last years we've been told bedtime stories about recovery, jobs, and growth. Grandiose bedtime stories of recovery in Europe, fantasy tales about how Fukushima was just a mild problem - growth will resume, just wait. Throughout it all I've even heard staunch CPC opponents refer to Canada's "strong and stable" banking system, usually referring to the revisionist history the left is fond of remembering, 'Paul Martin: of surpluses and happier times'.

Today, news networks are scrambling to get interviews with the "experts" who are always wrong. Today you'll be able to hear why they were wrong, and why they're right about why they were wrong. The confidence game is in full swing, confused Canadians: an expert is waiting to persuade you.

The reason given for the latest forecast, is "Europe, the global economy, yadda yadda". The same old shit. Of course, for that to be true these so-called "experts" would have had to believe back in march that Europe was going to correct itself, that the U.S. fiscal cliff (which has been completely ignored all year in favour of massive campaign spending and the presidential reality show) wouldn't prove to be a big deal. Think back, did you believe it back in March? Do you believe it now? Why? What changed?

Interest rate hike? Isn't going to be happening, just as I've told you. At least, until Canada and the Eurasian nations feel ready to decouple from the USD. However, the lack of doing so isn't going to prevent Canada's downward spiral as consumer debts continue to build up which will sooner or later bring a seemingly complete halt to the consumer spending component of Canada's GDP. These will weigh on forecasts and since the cost of the future is defined by the prosperity of the present, that cost will continue to escalate. Slow and unreliable growth will be the defining factor of the next year of extremely volatile oil prices and I feel that Canada's extreme energy industry will be feeling this year's volatility quite heavily. The fairly predictable osculation between $80-$100 largely due to oil price fixing won't be nearly as predictable this year as even the heavy weight of central banks and oil manipulators will not be able to keep stability in face of an increasingly volatile global economy.

Canada's unseen deficit

The federal deficit is really not where the major problems will first start arising though, as the federal government will be pushing more and more costs on to provinces to save face which in turn will be pushing more and more costs on to cities to save face. Looking at the U.S., it is the cities which are going bankrupt first, this will then escalate to states (as it has in some cases already), and finally the federal government will have nowhere to hide the true state of it's bad finances.

Bridge disrepair raises fears
Most cuts hitting services, says budget watchdog
Cities demand more federal money for infrastructure
Government costs outpace economic growth, report finds

"Never let a good crisis go to waste" - Rahm Emanuel

Now I know for those who are opponents to The Harper Governmentthe lack of foresight is simply written off as stupidity but don't be naive. When you look at the amount of money the government has been pumping into advertising, media monitoring, "correcting" online posts, etc etc - one thing is clear, it has all been a confidence game and they've known that the global economy has been in a downward spiral. They've used this "fiscal crisis" and a panicked population to take advantage of the fear to pass sweeping changes, designed not to improve our economy but rather to use "recovery" as a cover to convince people we must sell out our sovereignty to keep up with global trade.

Harper urges U.S. to avoid fiscal cliff, but looks to Asia as a backup plan

The 'backup plan' seems to be exactly the plan I've been writing about, but backup? No. This is our primary plan now and I'm pretty sure it has been for awhile. The U.S. is preparing for complete lockdown and totalitarianism because the government there (and also everywhere else) knows that the U.S. hasn't yet even seen the beginning of their economic collapse. When it comes, they'll be ready, no doubt about that.

U.S. Budget Deficit Widens as Fiscal Cliff Looms

Of course, the "fiscal cliff" is a public relations tool being used to focus the public's attention just as the "debt ceiling" was used before to set the stage for this "fiscal cliff". This is a progressive propaganda campaign design to acclimate the population to an ever worsening situation without causing panic. Once again, it's all about the confidence game. As long as you remain confident everything is ok, you'll remain apathetic and asleep. As one lady who was interviewed at the CPC's election party said: "now with a conservative majority we don't have to worry about the economy, and I can just focus on partying!". Party on.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

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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, November 10, 2012

Occupy Wall Street launches a new kind of collection agency

Typically, the way a credit collection agency works is that they purchase the bad debt at pennies on the dollar as the company who owns it has pretty well written it off and wants at least something for it. The collection agency is then free to attempt to collect the full debt or at least a partial collection with the difference between the cost of the debt, and the total collected providing their revenue.

Occupy Wall Street has decided to capitalise on this system of incredibly cheap debt purchases by launching their own collection agency (of sorts). Through this agency and donations they will begin buying up people's debts and forgiving them. Apparently they've done a test run which provided a 30:1 ROI (for every $1 dollar invested, $30 dollars could be forgiven).

Debt forgiveness is a huge piece of the puzzle, this won't stop the economy from sinking, but will help stop people from drowning along with it. All I can say is if you happen to have your debt forgiven (it will be random just as credit agencies randomly purchase debt) have a plan to avoid getting back into that situation. Things are still going to be hard, but for a lot of people that debt weight being lifted off their shoulders would be like winning the lottery. What a great idea, and intelligent way to use the system against itself. Bravo.

The 'Rolling Jubilee' (or 'people's bailout') begins November 15th, 2012.

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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, November 7, 2012

Hey! #FIPA supporters! Just who do you think you are?

Hey! FIPA supporters! Just who do you think you are?

No, really, who are you to tell the rest of Canadians that it's perhaps perfectly ok for provincial laws (which is where the majority of resource laws exist) to be overridden by FIPAs, international law, and international unelected arbitrators?

Once again, here is the example of the effects of NAFTA, it doesn't matter how you interpret the laws because this is what plays out in reality:
A panel of international arbitrators ruled 2-1, with the Canadian appointee dissenting, that research-spending rules imposed by Newfoundland’s oil regulator in 2004 were “performance requirements” forbidden by NAFTA.
The decision, which was first reported on the New York-based website Investment Arbitration Reporter, has not been publicly released. The results were confirmed by an Exxon source.
The case is a win for oil companies in their tug-of-war over revenues with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which reached a high point under combative former premier Danny Williams.
But it also illustrates how Ottawa always ends up with the bill when provinces violate the terms of trade agreements that they didn’t sign. In 2010, the federal government paid out $130-million to AbitibiBowater Inc. after Newfoundland expropriated the company’s timber and water rights. Several other current NAFTA challenges involve provincial policies.
So let me just spell out what is happening here: Every citizen in Canada through their taxes is directly paying Exxon because of research-spending rules implemented by Newfoundland's oil regular in 2004. First, why would any Canadian support paying corporations directly for decisions which may not have even been made by them and their province? This gives Canadians no ability to decide the future for themselves. No, instead, I (in Alberta) am obligated to pay Exxon due to a decision made by a province on the other side of the country. Second, when exactly did "international law" override provincial law when it comes to our resources? Isn't that what all of the anger about the NEP was about? National law, telling Alberta what to do?

I'll make this real simple for you, FIPA supporters. Either you support trade laws like this, or you support democracy and Canadian tradition. You can't support both. You either support corporations overriding and challenging our laws directly without the ability for the citizens to have recourse (oh, but yes.. *maybe* the results of this proceeding will be public.. oh wow), or you support your democracy. I can tell you this: if you think your opinion and desire for profit should overrule my right to a fair and transparent democracy we're probably not going to be friends. Just who do you think you are?

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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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The G20 asserts it's sovereign dominance

Hey! Remember all that crazy talk about how the G20 was going to get rid of Canada's sovereignty?

I know, I know.. crazy talk, right?

G20 may punish bank capital reform delinquents: officials

Doesn't that sound nice? "Reform delinquents". Excellent, lets get them. I'm sure that this will be all about finally bringing justice to those "Too Bigs" right? Right....

You know what else will be covered? The too smalls. All those banks that were doing things properly. Clearly, though, countries can not be tasked with managing their own banks anymore, now can they? After all, the people in the G20 have set the stage for a globalised economy in which only they now have control. You think it'll stop here? Do you think that a non-democratic group with global banking control that has no problem allowing abuses such as this to happen are going to be working in your best interest? I think this video speaks for itself:


While you were sleeping, your freedom was sold.

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.

The U.S. Election

I haven't written about the U.S. election yet, but I figured with only 2 days left I had better get at least one post in. Since this will be my one and only post on this election I have aptly titled this post "The U.S. Election".

I see constant references to how this election is the "most important" in a long time, but I simply do not see it. What we are seeing this election is a far cry from the "Yes we can" mantra of the 2008 election. That election was supposed to be the most important, Obama was supposed to close Gitmo, end the wars, yadda yadda. His party dominated both Congress and the Senate at the time. If there was ever a time where the election was the most important, that was it, and guess what? Nothing happened.

This year, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of people even willing to believe they have a choice, or that their vote matters what-so-ever. The sham that is the U.S. electoral system is quite obvious. The U.N. election monitors which are supposed to be helping prevent voter fraud have endorsed the overall larger fraud. Who cares if there is voter suppression between the two big parties? They both play dirty anyway. Where is the U.N. objection for the arrest of presidential candidate Jill Stein trying to enter the Presidential Debates? There is none. It's not like the U.N. wants a full presidential race either, where would their Libya 'no-fly' zone have been without the corrupt U.S. military to back it up? The U.N. election monitors are unto themselves a full endorsement of the U.S.'s two party state. To me, it is no less fraudulent to deny the American people a chance to actually hear the available options than it is to suppress voters. That is voter suppression by different means.

The closeness of the race speaks to me in that, voters are confused, or don't care. Sure, societal norms dictate that election coverage must be on the frontpages, it must be discussed. Societal norms tell us that whatever idiotic thing these two candidates for the banking cartel are discussing is big news. Mitt Romney shows he has no idea how the physics of air travel works and whether it was a "joke" or not, why is this news? It's constant banter, back and forth. None of it is important what-so-ever. It's divisive banter, meant to keep the American people in a constant state of division. At the end of the day it's then decided who should be president based on who said the least stupid things. Neither of these people are qualified to run a country, which doesn't matter because they don't really run it anyway, they're just the managers of public opinion.

I can tell you, American people, exactly what you're going to get no matter who gets in: You're going to get more banker bailouts, more QE, more loss of your purchasing power. You're going to get more lies, more drones, and more wars. You're going to continue finding yourselves in more and more of a police state as "terrorism" replaces criminality, and the NDAA replaces the rule of law. You're going to get exactly what you've always gotten so long as you play the game being promoted.

Obomney for president!

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.