Monday, June 28, 2010

Kinsella on G20

A great post from Warren Kinsella on the events. My thoughts exactly on why people should be angry and what Harper was thinking with the location (screw Toronto).

Queen and Spadina

It's funny, last night I was watching the season 5 premier of the BBC spy thriller Spooks. The two first episodes are about a plot by MI6 and an oil tycoon to take over government. Their final act is to wreak havok in a peaceful protest by splintering off sections of the group until the smaller factions are overcome by nervousness, hunger, cold, and then provoke them into doing something stupid.

Then I read this just now.

I'm a conservative. I have little in common with most of the folks protesting in Toronto the past couple days. Yet I found the action of the security forces more than a little disturbing. More disturbing is the reaction in the media this morning (and among acquaintances on Facebook) that those dirty hippies deserved it, or that classic line of "maybe they should go try that in Iran/Iraq/China/Afghanistan, etc."

I doubt this will provoke much outrage beyond the usual places. We won't see a lasting cry from the media. The politicians will get in line, not wanting to be associated with the juvenile black clad thugs, or those strategically placed and abandoned police cruisers.

Nonetheless, the image of Queen and Spadina is burned into my mind.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yoohoo! Kory!

In which Spector just makes shit up.

I can't imagine the frustration real journalists at the CBC are experiencing at all these jealous baboons flinging their feces. I'm sure an apology is forthcoming... with a suitable number of qualifiers of course.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Not a Fun Earthquake

I seem to remember having quite a few earthquakes in Ottawa when I was growing up. They were always pretty fun. Feeling an earthquake on the upper levels of Ottawa's tallest building? Not that much fun. Don't know how people could live somewhere that gets these regularly.

Canadian Manchurian Candidates

Richard Fadden, spy chief, says some Canadian politicians have been bought by foreign governments.

The first reaction to this is "Tell us!!!" That's a reasonable response and the one I immediately had when watching The National last night.

However, after thinking about it, I became much more uneasy about this information being released. Fadden's appearance on CBC, their whole CSIS story, was beyond bizarre. He obviously appeared on The National with very specific aims, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a PR job to give the spooks a sparkly new image in time for the G20.

The obvious result of these revelations is that, at some point in the future, members of a particular party are going to be fingered by the press as being bought and paid for by foreign interests. At this point it looks like it will be in BC. When this happens the Liberal brand in that province, and elsewhere federally, will be destroyed. CSIS just put a time bomb at the feet of the Liberal Party of Canada. That reeks.

I'm not being partisan. I'd put money down on members of the Alberta government and the upstart Wildrose being under the sway of foreign governments. We know the kind of influence the Americans already have on federal politicians. This has nothing to do with party. A Liberal is no more susceptible to bribery than anyone else. Foreign governments will target those with the best chance of getting into power, they won't be partisan with their offers.

CSIS should have quietly informed the government in question of the issue and the people in question should have quietly disappeared from public life. It's the obvious solution. Instead, Fadden shows up on CBC and drops none too subtle hints about the people involved.

What's Fadden's game and did CSIS do this without some friendly prompting from Wellington Street?

UPDATE: Remember when Fadden said CSIS was concerned? Yeah, well not that concerned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Canadians: A Bad Investment

According to the National Post that is.

Behold the Church of the Free Market in all its glory. Looks like the NP let the intern, possibly a first year economics undergrad, write today's editorial. I've always found it interesting that the National Post is considered an expert on financial and economic issues. In this case they take aim at the rather intelligent and necessary idea of increasing CPP contributions, something all the major parties seem to agree needs to be done. But not those cute, cuddly, libertarians. No, according to the National Post the CPP is baaaaaaad.


Even with oscillations in the market, over time private retirement plans produce post-employment incomes double or more those of public pensions. If workers were able to take the more than $3,000 they and their employers pay into CPP on their behalf each year and invest it in a conservative private fund, at the end of their working lives their private pension income would be nearly $26,000 annually. With CPP, the same $3,600 taken every year yields annual benefits of only around $10,000 at age 65.

Well at least if the NP finally dies at some point in the future the editors can get jobs as mutual fund salesmen. You don't need any financial planning accreditation to figure out the problem with the above paragraph.

Nonetheless, let's pretend the NP actually has any idea what they're talking about. What's their solution to the retirement quandry so many Canadians face and will face if, realizing the CPP is apparently a bad investment, work hard to invest their money in the right place and plan it so they turn 65 at the height of the market?

He could start by increasing the amount workers can shield in their RRSPs.

Yup. Higher RRSP contribution limits. You remember RRSPs don't you? That's that measly savings account you have that you're sometimes able to chuck a toonie or two into after paying your daycare bill, your hydro bill, your mortgage, your car payment, etc., etc. What? You haven't been maxing out your contributions? Yeah, neither have at least another quarter of the population.

Have no fear though, the NP assures you that trickle down economics will do the trick. Throw your money into, say, Nortel. Then, according to the NP, jobs will be created, resulting in more wealth for everyone!!! Hooray!!!

Yet it's not just the NP that's talking this way. A google news search will give you a bunch of hits from the similarly brain damaged about the evils of government pension plans. The idiots are out in force on this issue, and it's one that's too important to ignore.