Wednesday, September 17, 2008

alliteration under the volcano

Vesuvius 1822

Wow, the shite is hitting the fan. Lots of talk about 1929, global depression, doom, gloom, and despair - and that is just the MSM! The commentary runs from the apoplectic, to the apocalyptic, to the apathetic, to the apologetic - and that is just the A's! I thought that I ought to add to the mix with some brimstone, bitter nettle, bone heads, and just a little braying.

Speaking of boneheads;

The picture is from this article - a nice synopsis, and I redact;
Let's take a look at America 's...entire financial the process of blowing up...over $500 billion in bank losses, with over $1 trillion more to come. Over one dozen banks have failed, with hundreds on deck. A handful of large hedge funds have blown up, with hundreds more on the way...over $1 trillion has been transferred from the Fed to the banking cartel...estimate another $1.5 trillion will be needed to maintain liquidity as banks de-leverage over the next few years. Unemployment is now over 6% and inflation is over 5%, even with Washington 's manipulation of the data. Virtually every metric in the housing market is at multi-decade lows, except for foreclosures which are hitting new highs.

Taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars of potentially worthless debt held by Fannie and Freddie. It's now official. America 's free market economy is really a socialist system for corporations. One could argue this to be a form of Fascism. My best estimate for losses due to the Fannie and Freddie taxpayer bailout are between $200 to $500 billion. The worst case scenario would be $800 billion. When Superman fails to show up, Washington might consider giving David Copperfield a call. Get the popcorn ready.
Those clowns up there are the architects of all of this, but they won't be affected by it, they have made out like foxes in a hen house. My rough estimate of the debt that 330-odd million people just accrued (whether they wanted to, or not) is tens of thousands of dollars each, and that does not count the wars, and such. All to bail out banks, mortgage companies, and insurance companies whose directors and CEO's collected tens of millions of dollars in bonuses. AIG alone cost $2575 per man, woman and child. Sounds fair to me! Everybody loves an insurance company.

And yet more clowns, chimps, chumps, cheats, whatever (I promise not to go through the whole alphabet).

The mental midget. The picture says it all - RESPONSIBLE. Responsible for 0%/40 year mortgages, responsible for blowing the surplus, and very likely for putting the gov't into a deficit situation. Responsible for leaving a $5-6 billion deficit in Ontario after just one term as provincial finance minister. He is no economist, or financier, he is a lawyer. Let us not see the likes of him return to the finance portfolio.

Heil Harpler. (complete with lip-stick on the pig)

What an unfortunate (if defining) photograph of this clown. I find it hard to believe that he has pulled the wool over so many people's eyes (as evidenced by poll numbers). Have Canadians not been paying attention to the chimps in the first picture these last 8 years? I find that to be very disconcerting, though I ought not to be surprised; after all, so many Canadians drank the RE kool-aid, I really ought to have lower expectations.

The picture above leads right into the photoshop below, though instead of looking like an evil dictator, Harpler ends up looking more like the incompetent Sgt. Shultz from Hogan's Heroes. I really hope that people wake up in the next 3.5 weeks, and get rid of this prick for good.

Things are not looking so good. I predicted back in January that we would see the TSX back at 8,700 before this is all over- I am now revising that to below 7,000. I also predicted that we were heading to a depression (in 2005), and now the MSM is predicting the same thing (that is my braying).

Good luck everyone, I hope that you don't have debt, and do have lots of savings, you are going to need it.

More reads -

The Ultimate Wall Street Nightmare

more gloom

unintended consequences

Vancouver leads fall in house prices

So much to write about, and so little time...


Art Vandelay said...

Governments do not control the economy. You should read a book.

Also, comparing a democratically elected Prime Minister of Canada to one of history's worst mass murdering dictators is odious and unworthy of someone who otherwise is able to connect the dots on important matters.

Amy Wilson said...

Yes solipsist, please settle down.

solipsist said...

Um, art, I don't recall saying that governments control economies. They certainly can affect them with their policies though.

I might also remind you that Hitler was also democratically elected.

Perhaps you don't read enough about our democratically elected Prime Minister. Heroes; Stalin, Leo Strauss... Ever read about the NCC? It is Harper who is odious, and I have been saying that since before he was the leader of the Opposition, let alone Prime Minister.

amy - I'm "het up" this week.

Anonymous said...

I guess you forgot about all the missing billions of taxpayers money in liberal sponsorship scandal?

Or is it NDP?

arit said...


I was planning to vore Harper before I understood the deal with Flaherty.

How can I now vote for a party whose finance minister did not see the bubble?

I now might swicth to the opposition hoping for Garth Turner to get finances.

Is it feasible at all?

This will be my first voting in Canada...



Anonymous said...

RE: Harper: Now just because a guy dates George Bush doesn't make him a bad guy... George's gargoyles do some pretty hefty arm twisting behind the scenes.

And few people have a clue.

Hopefully Canada's liberal will do better than the US's liberal, who never had a chance in hell of winning.

solipsist said...

Oh, jeeboots, the clueless sure come out.

anon. - I guess you forgot about all the missing billions of taxpayers money in liberal sponsorship scandal?

I guess you must be "concervative", just not of the progressive ilk. Why do I say that? It's just the dredging up of events from what, 7-8 years ago?, and then conflate millions into billions. Of course, no concern about the gutting out of this country. No concern about the buffoons that want a majority, and couldn't run a lemonade stand between them, no concern about public health care, the arts, the environment (and I'm talking about using lakes to dump mine tailings - not GHG), no concern about the SPP, and Deep Integration, no concern about American troops being able to cross our border and police us "in the event of an emergency". Ever hard of Justice Gomery? Chuck Guite? Karlheinz Schreiber? I did not think so.

Do us a favour, and don't vote - you know nothing.

And in case you were intimating that I am a liberal (not even once in 28 years of voting), or an NDP partisan, nope. Not Green either. I actually vote for candidates, and not parties. Try it sometime.

arit - Flaherty is the least of the evils of the conservatives. Garth Turner in Finance? I would hope not. The Liberals are very unlikely to gain even a minority this time out.

My only hope would be for a coalition gov't betwixt the NDP, Greens, and Libs, with the Independents joining in. We'll never see that though. Even Green/Lib would be palatable, and I think, feasible.

BearClaw said...


I actually don't think Harper is as bad as Bush (not really saying much). What changes has Harper implemented that make him so evil? Honestly I don't know.

At least he is not a crazy religious wing-nut like Stockwell Day. Maybe I am just mentally preparing myself for his majority government.

arit said...


I fully understand this is off topic, so if you don't want to answer, I understand.

What are the reasons you do not trust the conservatives and why do you think a Green/Lib coalition would do us better?

Here is you chance to influence a blind immigrant's mind ;)

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, for typing billions instead of millions. To be exact it was 100 million dollars wasted in the sponsorship scandal. Certainly all that wasted money could of helped out a lot of first time home buyers like yourself instead of lining other peoples pockets?

One of the foundations of Hitler's social policies was the concept of racial hygiene. It was based on the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau, a French count, eugenics, a pseudo-science that advocated racial purity, and social Darwinism, a mis-use of Charles Darwin's thought. Applied to human beings, "survival of the fittest" was interpreted as requiring racial purity and killing off "life unworthy of life." The first victims were children with physical and developmental disabilities; those killings occurred in a programme dubbed Action T4.[109] After a public outcry, Hitler made a show of ending this program, but the killings in fact continued.

Between 1939 and 1945, the SS, assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries, systematically killed somewhere between 11 and 14 million people, including about six million Jews,[110][111] in concentration camps, ghettos and mass executions, or through less systematic methods elsewhere. In addition to those gassed to death, many also died as a result of starvation and disease while working as slave labourers (sometimes benefiting private German companies). Along with Jews, non-Jewish Poles (over three million), communists or political opponents, members of resistance groups, homosexuals, Roma, the physically handicapped and mentally retarded, Soviet prisoners of war (possibly as many as three million), Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists and Neopagans, trade unionists, and psychiatric patients were killed. One of the biggest centres of mass-killing was the extermination camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Doctoring a photo to depict anyone as Hitler is in poor taste. It doesn't matter whether Hitler was elected or not, he was a mass murdered of millions of people including children. I doubt if you would want someone to doctor your own photo or your families photos as Hitler look a likes.

Although, I may not agree with your political opinions; I would never tell you that you shouldn't vote because you know nothing. Everyone has a right to vote that is why they call it a democratic society.

Are the conservatives perfect? No, but no matter who is in power you are going to dislike some of their policies.

Personally, I don't like the Liberals carbon tax. The proposed amount is quite high and would be hard to take on top our provincial carbon tax already. I'm also leery if they will raise the GST back up.

The NDP plans to adopt a death tax to pay for social housing and social programs. I really don't like that because it can affect your kids/families future financially if they have to pay a bundle of new taxes on your life insurance policy, house, etc. when you die.

The Greens plan to raise the GST back up to 7%. I don't like that either.

The Conservatives have there own policy problems on income trusts, etc.

No political party is perfect or has perfect policies.

BigD said...

Terrible post. I'm no Harper fanboy, but he's certainly no Hitler.

Just a suggestion, stick to blogging about housing, not politics.

solipsist said...

bearclaw - I actually don't think Harper is as bad as Bush (not really saying much). I do not think he is as bad either, but a broken arm is not as bad as an amputated arm either. Neither appeals to me if I have a choice. As you point out, that he is not as bad is not saying much. What changes has Harper implemented that make him so evil? It is not so much what he has done, as what he wants to do if he gets a majority. Google "Harper/NCC", "Harper's speech", Harper/SPP

Here is a taste - Georgia Straight article Little mentioned is a key clause that requires U.S. government approval of any provincial forest-policy changes. This may be the most significant retreat from sovereignty in recent years, one authored by Harper.

Harper's deal will hobble provincial governments' ability to tie timber supply and pricing to community economic development and job creation and retention. Not to mention that the other $1 billion in illegal duties was turned over to the Repuclican Party. And anon. is worried about "$100 million" that was supposed to be spent on Canadian unity. Does anyone realize how close we came to a "yes" vote to Quebec sovereignty we came in 1995? And what about the billions in taxes that have been foregone in Investment Trust considerations?

At least he is not a crazy religious wing-nut like Stockwell Day. Maybe I am just mentally preparing myself for his majority government. Don't forget Vic Toews - they both believe that man walked the Earth with dinosaurs just 6,000 years ago - right after they were evicted from the Garden of Eden. He may not be as crazy as them, but appointing such people to be Ministers of the Crown - especially a "Public Safety" minister, does point to how irrational he is, in my view.

From The Walrus in 2005, entitled The Man Behind Steven Harper The New Consevative Party has tasted success and wants
majority rule. If Tom Flanagan and his Calgary School have their
way, they'll get it without compromising their principles.
- ...Shadia Drury, a member of the U of C department until last
year, accuses her former colleagues of harbouring a more sinister mission. An expert on Leo Strauss, the philosophical father of the neo-conservative movement, Drury paints the Calgary School as
a homegrown variation on American Straussians like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who share their teacher's deep suspicions of liberal democracy. Strauss argued that a ruling
elite often had to resort to deception – a noble lie – to protect citizens from themselves.
(I have the PDF, and will try to find the link)

I will, in fact, have to conclude this tomorrow, it's been a crazy day, and I have not yet eaten.

As far as whether Harper can be compared to Hitler, the picture of him with his arm raised in what looks like a Nazi salute is just what it is. I thought that it was fitting. And my photoshop? I did say that he looked more like Sgt. Shultz than Hitler. Does no one on the right have a sense of humour?

I do not have the time to educate people on history (by the way anon., thanks so much for the history lesson on Hitler, but really, what does it have to do with...?), or Harper, or Flanagan, and I realise that most people base their vote on either party lines that are unbreakable, or campaign commercials, and that we very may well end up with a Conservative majority because of that. We will then have 4 years of watching the Canada that I grew up in, and that my great, great, great grandparents helped to "settle", and millions of immigrants from all over the world helped to "build", irrevocably dismantled before our very eyes. At the end of those 4 years, you can reflect on my warnings (and the warnings of people much more eminently qualified to warn than I). I said back in 2003 that RE was totally out of whack here, and also piped up about a coming depression, but of course, that was just partisan ranting too - right? I have been studying Harper for a lot longer than that, and have been a political junkie for over 28 years. Disclaimer: I voted for Joe Clark's Progressive Conservatives my first time out. I voted for Preston Manning's Reform Party when we needed an Opposition. I have voted for Ian Waddell of the NDP, and have voted for the Canadian Action Party. I have never voted for the Liberals or Greens, and likely will not in this election.

This may have been a "terrible post" for some (or maybe even all), but as far as I'm concerned, this is a much more pressing topic than our already collapsing RE market. All I ask is that people do a little due diligence when committing ones vote. He who has the biggest advertising budget, and the best lies should not automatically win.

Liberals - Green Shift starts at $10/ton, and goes to $40/ton over 4 years. There will be tax cuts to off-set the carbon tax, and the Auditor General will review to confirm "revenue neutrality". (I have to say that I worked out the provincial Liberals' carbon tax, and in the first year, the $300 that my family received more than off-sets the 2.9 cents a litre. Having electric heat helps a lot. We will see just how revenue neutral it is as we go along. I'm not holding my breath.)

Greens - carbon tax @ $50/ton immediately, and I believe that they have tax off-sets too (I have not had time to read it all yet).

Conservatives - no plan - except for a speech in London by Harper that stated a $65/ton carbon tax with no off-sets.

The NDP have a "Cap and Trade" plan. I cannot expound on that right now, but please do your own research. I did not save links, and just do not have time to hunt them down again. Please make an informed decision when you vote.

I really have to go eat - it is after 11:00 PM.

arit, I will get back to your questions when I can (tomorrow).

solipsist said...

Hitler did more than cause the deaths of over 60 million people (and some of it was actually good, like the Volkswagen). People often wrongly associate fascism exclusively with holocaust. The word fascism comes from the Latin fasces, which was a bundle of rods bound around an axe, with the axe head facing outwards. The rods were used for corporal punishment, and the axe would be used to behead in capital punishments. It was a symbol of power and authority. It was also emblematic of nationalism and empire, with the rods tightly bound around the central axe - which could chop the rods to pieces whenever it wanted.

Fascists are alive and well in Italy even still. It did not die with the Nazi regime, which was an abhorrent aberration.

Besides, Hitler was obviously nuts, and Harper is not.

Harper is indeed an authoritarian, and with a majority, would open up capital punishment, abortion, gay marriage, and a bunch of other stuff - bet on that. I am against capital punishment, I would not choose abortion personally, but believe in the right to make ones own choice. I don't care if a marriage is gay, commom-law, polygamous, or traditional, it really makes no difference to me. Why would it?

Fascism is also equated with government working on behalf of corporations, banks, etc. Harper has done just that in giving $50 billion in corporate tax cuts. That would buy a lot of health care for us citizens. To be fair, most governments are fascist by definition.

He would likely de-regulate banking, and open us up to M&A's that would render our fairly stable banking system into a perversion such as exists in the US. Do we want that?

Harper rules his party in a fascist manner, and will rule this country alike if he ever gets a majority. I am resigned to him carrying on as (a minority) gov't, but I pray that he has a strong opposition, and that the Liberals can pull in someone like Frank McKenna as leader. Dion was a bad choice in my mind (he just does not have the presence, although I believe he is sincere), but the other contenders don't turn my crank much either.

We are in a right mess.

Anonymous said...

I agree... Harper is no Hitler, he's more like Mussolini to Bush/Cheney's Hitler... and I can say it because I'm still unfortunately an American.

mk-kids said...

"Governments do not control the economy." I dunno, the Fed is giving it a good run for the money.

Anonymous said...

LIberals will give you back 1% on your income taxes to off set the carbon tax. Your gas bill to heat your home will rise by $300.00 per year and we haven't even got to groceries, electricity or anything else yet.

Last time I heard the revenue neutral theme from the LIberals was the EI premium fiasco which generated huge surpluses YOY.

Mike said...

What is so great about income trusts? As an investor they were ok but as a citizen they were just eroding the the tax base, no? If a Canadian held a trust unit, ok, I have no issues assuming that Canadian was paying sufficient tax. But if a non-resident held it we were losing out on tax revenues and if it was held in a CDN pension fund the tax receipts would have been deferred far, far into the future.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous at 8:58 pm:

If you're going to borrow or "quote" from wikipedia to bolster your post, maybe you should site it, don't you think?

I just googled a few of the sentences in your post and, presto, I was at wikipedia!

Unless, of course, you wrote the entry at wikipedia...

Still, if you're going to quote,
cite your source.

And solipsist, thanks for rattling the cage. Needs to be done.

Anonymous said...

I support our troops, but I want us out of Afganistan.

When I see the pictures of the soldiers who have died - they look like children to me - they should be playing Nintendo not stopping bullets.

I feel deeply for their families loss, but I get angry that a politician can drag the people into a conflict without public discussion.

Perhaps if a bill was passed that made the families of politicians the first to go to war - then we may have politicians that think before they commit.

I am hoping for a minority government, so that the people may have an chance, within the next four years, to boot the Conservatives arses out of office, before they go too far. Perhaps by then one of the other parties may find someone who can lead and not be led by the yanks.

just jack

frank said...


Lets go the crux of the matter. Iahev savings but where do I put it?

Seems like evrything is either exploding or being devalued, and who want to trade their hard earned savings for a few lumps of yellow metal?

solipsist said...

arit - I do not trust the Conservatives because I have been following Harper for years (my Grandma and I used to have arguments about him back in the 1990's. She did not know what I knew about him, and told me around 1998 that she hoped to live to see Harper become PM. I used to tell her that I hoped her wish would not come true, but that she would live to be 110. She died in 2003 at 102 years old, but if she was still alive today, I think that she would finally agree with me. Bless her.

Around that same time - 1998 - I said that I thought Peter McKay would become PM some day, I'm not so sure now though, he has become a lame duck, and has a lot of baggage from selling out the Progressive Conservatives to the Conservative/Reform/Alliance Party - C.R.A.P.).

Also, there are a lot of idiots from Ontario's Mike Harris gov't (Baird, Clement, Flaherty) in Harper's caucus, and that gov't kind of flocked Ontario over. Not to mention grown men who believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. They are a bunch of Christian Fundamentalists, and are just as bad as Islamic fundamentalists, or Zionists, or anyone who wants to turn a secular state into a theocracy. It makes my blood boil when Harper says "God Bless Canada" (a la GWB). Whose god is he referring to? What about those whose god is Allah? Or Buddha?, or who are pagan? Is that the God of the Roman Catholics? The Latter Day Saints? Scientologists? Flack them all, I guess.

If you are an ultra-right-wing, fundamentalist kind of person, who does not mind deviant liars running your country, Harper is your man.

There are websites dedicated to Harper's lies, the most recent which was breaking his own law about fixed elections because he could see big trouble coming his way.

His first lie (and broken promise) was that he would "never raid seniors" nest eggs by taxing Income Trusts, which he did in short order. The losses were reportedly in the neighbourhood of $35 Billion for those IT holders. Flaherty justified it by "proving" that there was "tax leakage" by providing 18 pages of blacked out documents that he then demanded be returned.

Harper has also always been on about an elected Senate, but turned around and appointed Michel Fortier to the Senate (in the week following the election) so that he could make him a Cabinet Minister. Fortier refused to run in a by-election because he "didn't feel like it", and for the last two and a half years, we have had an un-elected, un-accountable Minister of the Crown sitting in the Senate. I was actually surprised that Fortier gave up his Senate seat, and is running for election in this campaign.

Harper has also been lying about Dion having intentions of raising the GST to 7%, taxing gasoline, and cutting that ridiculous, taxed child care cheque, when Dion has explicitly said that he would do none of those things. Harper also has been stoking fears of the Green Shift by saying that it would be a "tax on everything", and would be "crazy", and cause a recession, when his own, buried report says that that is not so, and that a carbon tax of $50/ton would have no negative effect on GDP. He has taken a page from GWB's song sheet, and is using fear and uncertainty to manipulate public sentiment. That is just wrong.

There is so much more - he spoke at a conference of American boffins (I think in the 1990's), in which he labelled Canada as 'a Northern European welfare state, and that (we) Canadians were proud of it'. He went on to talk about making the government irrelevent, and shrinking it until 'it can be drowned in a bathtub'. He is well on his way to that - off-loading everything (health care, for one) onto the provinces.

He inherited a $14 billion surplus from the Liberal gov't, and has squandered that in less than 3 years. We have actually had a deficit in at least 2 quarters this year.

Try this on - the oil drum for the truth about what a carbon tax of $40/ton will add the the price of a barrel of oil - $2!!!!

A quick clip:
“The oil sand industry is one of the major GHG emitters in Canada and the entire process approximately doubles to triples the amount of CO2 released per barrel of petroleum used compared to conventional extraction. The mining process emits about 35 kg CO2 equivalent/barrel, and the upgrading process 45 kg CO2 equivalent/barrel, and the SAGD process 55 kg CO2 equivalent/barrel, (Bramley et al. 2005).

Assuming Bramley’s numbers are accurate, the numbers suggest (and I asked this question many a time with no Con takers) that the tarsands C02 footprint per barrel of oil produced is 135 kgs of C02 per barrel of oil, or 14.81 B0E production per tonne of C02 emissions. If the mining excavation process carbon footprint is excluded, each barrel of oil produces 100 kg of C02 per barrel of oil or 20 barrels of oil per tonne.

So there we have it, nice and neat! For every 20 barrels of oil produced in the tarsands, we have 1 tonne of C02 emmissions as a GHG byproduct.

Lets read that again. For every 20 barrels of oil produced in the tarsands (excluding the C02 emmitted by large trucks and shovels to mine the tarsands), we have 1 tonne of C02 emmissions.

If that carbon tonne is priced at $40 bucks a tonne, $40 (per tonne) divided by 20 (Barrels of oil) = a $2 dollar tax on every Barrel of oil refined in the Tarsands.
(I have not parsed the document for that quote, but the person who wrote it is erudite, and reputable, as far as I know)

Basically, it comes down to this -

Conservatives = far right wing (a la US Republicans).

Liberals = centre (with modest swings in either direction)

Greens = just right of centre

NDP = quite a bit left of centre.

I have been following Jack Layton since he was a Toronto City Councillor, (25 - 30 years) and I don't like him. I think he is a twit, and insincere. I really like Ed Broadbent, Alexa McDonough, and Bill Blaikie though. Unfortunately, they are all gone now.

I used to read Garth Turner's financial columns back in the 1980's, and think that he should have stuck with journalism. He is a self-promoter, though I do believe that he is sincere. He's a bitchy flake though, in my view.

So, it comes down to your own personal political leanings, gullability, whether you are into strategic voting, voting for a candidate, whatever. We cannot directly elect the PM, just the candidaate that we think is best to represent our own constituency.

That is a very abridged version of the situation, so please do your own research. I will try to pull some links together for more info. in the next few days.

Also, he is a climate change denier, and refused to attend the ceremony in which Canadian gov't scientists received a Nobel prize for their work on it.

Canada has had a very good reputation in the world (probably one of the reasons that you immigrated to here!), but that is slipping, and we are being seen as lap dogs to the US under Harper's gov't. That is so very sad for us.

This is all a very long ramble, and I have just barely scratched the surface. As I have said, I have been a political animal for 30-some years, and read an awful lot. It is hard to distill all of that down here. It is pretty much neccessary to have all of that junk rattling around in ones head to even begin to understand what is at stake, and Harper knows that, and is taking advantage of Canadians's apathy and ignorance. It makes me very sad.

mk-kids - good call on the Fed!

Mike - I can't say what is so good about IT's (I don't know), I just don't like liars.

anon. 8:53 - I was going to call him on that (lack of citation on the cut and paste (and did, but edited it). It was a pointless ramble in a lame attempt to appear authoritative, as far as I am concerned. Thanks for that.

just jack - I agree (but I call them soldiers over "troops").

frank - I have my nut in the bank at 2.85%, which sucks, but I am not much of a gambler. I am about to split it up to make sure that it is all covered by CDIC in the event of the bank failure plague spreading to us. I don't think that it is a clear-and-present danger, but that money is all I have! I may swing to the left socially, but I am pretty conservative fiscally (which the Conservatives are not!).

I have to sleep now. I'll be back.

arit said...


Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I will do my research of course, but that was a real mind opener.

Best regards


streel said...

Nice job Sol,

You know how we all love a good contrary rant! Just short while ago you were saying that you were getting bored, and then this, excellent rant.


solipsist said...

arit - glad to oblige. As I wrote, it is difficult to distill all of that down. I have been immersed in it for so long, and read so much. Such is my predilection, and most people do not have the time, or interest. For the most part, our governments are selected by the MSM, and they have their own interests.

Advertising affects people too (and we know how the kool-aid was pumped into the populace in regards to RE). Advertising is very sophisticated in psychological manipulation, and most people just do not have any time for anything other than 1 hour of television news, and do not realize how insidious advertising is.

I don't have much time today, but will re-visit this topic on the week-end. In the meantime, check out the websites of the 4 major contending parties. The Conservative website was full of very juvenile smears and attacks, but has since been toned down due to the backlash.

Garth Turner has a wbsite (apart from his recent Greater Fool venture) that has some very good commentary, and is loaded with links in those comments. It can be a drag to parse hundreds of comments to get to the "meat and potatoes", and there is a certain amount of partisanship (from Lib and Con factions), but it is still worth looking through. Turner has clamped down on most of the juvenile crap that was appearing there, and more regular folks are attending now. Turner's political "Digital Democracy" blog. Although I have expressed some ambivalent (I hope) views on Turner, there is nobody else willing to hang their arses out to be shot at the way that he does, and I do have a grudging respect for him in that.

Happy reading!

streel - thanks for the recognition. Chipman, the pope, paul b., mohican, condohype, etc. have the RE thing covered, and really, there is not a lot going on there - other than what we have all been predicting for years - declines, so I am enjoying writing about another of my (many) passions. Some might not be so interested, but politics is not so removed from RE in the big picture, and I would be remiss if I did not use the soap box that I have created to be involved in what I feel is so important to the futures of us all. Our regulatory agencies are being gutted to take us down to the same level as those in the US, which is all part of the SPP, NAU, and ultimately, One World Government, The listeria issue is a direct result of these policies, and our banks will be de-regulated if Harper were to gain a majority. Most people do not realize the gravitas of the situation.

If I can affect 10 people, who can in turn affect 10 people (and so on), I will be hugely gratified. Note that I am not trying to influence anyone in who to vote for (well, I am trying to influence people not to vote Conservative), just trying to influence people to do their due diligence, and make an informed choice at the polls. I consider it to be my civic duty, and my public service.

If I lose 90% of my readership, who are only interested in condos, c'est la vie.

solipsist said...

Another thing to anon (who brought it up) - the $100 million in the sponsorship scandal was ultimately $40 million, but even if it was 100, this election is going to cost us $300 million.

Harper claimed that Parliament was dysfunctional because of the Opposition, but there is a 200 page manual supplied to all Conservative MPs that instruct them on how to obstruct Committees, Question Period, and Parliament in general. Don Martin (of The Calgary Herald) has a copy, but won't show it to anyone.

Harper got just about all of his legislation through by tying everything into omnibus bills, and making them confidence votes. The Liberals really had little choice but to abstain because they were not ready to bring down the Gov't. They did not yet have their feet under themselves after the bitterness of their leadership selection - fiscally, platform-wise, etc. Adscam hurt them badly (that is the only reason Harper got in, and the NDP aided and abetted the whole thing).

Another reason that they were not ready to pull the plug is because the Conservatives are about to have a whole bucket of very smelly crap dumped on them in the form of the Chuck Cadman bribe thing, the "In and Out" election financing scam from the last election (in which they overspent, and got your tax money back on it), which had the RCMP raiding Conservative HQ, and seizing just about everything they had. That case is in the courts now, and they will lose. They are also likely doing the same thing again this time. A search warrant has never before been executed on a governing party's HQ.

Then there are the classified documents the former Foreign Minister - Maxime Bernier - forgot at his girlfriend's house for five weeks, and led to his dismissal. His girlfriend has close ties to biker gangs (was married to a biker, and lived with another, who was killed. Way to pick a Foreign Minister!), and her tell-all book was to be releasd October 15th, so Harper picked October 14th as the election date. The release of the book has now been moved up to Oct. 6th. There will be fireworks!

There is so much more too. That is why we are in an election now - before all of that hits the fan. It makes Adscam look like a joke.

$300,000,000.00 for this election - called by Harper in violation of the spirit of his fixed election date law.

That would buy a couple of hundred MRI machines, or 50 search and rescue helicopters, or...

Is it any wonder that I am sharing this critical information? The Canada that I grew up in is almost gone. I love this country too much to not say anything.

I'm done for now. Back to 28% sell/list ratios, inventory at close to 20,000 (oh, sorry, did you read that at Rob Chipman's already?), and how many for sale signs that i saw on the way to the park.

Aw shucks. Maybe I will do a poll, or open up a Soap Box Saturday for you to pick a topic.

I think summer might be gone, but have a great week-end!

Strataman said...

My biggest frustration is people who vote party loyality all the time, always conservative, always liberal always NDP seems like those people should just get a lifetime ballot with the party names on it vote once when their 18 and then go away! :-) Personally I always vote for the MP, I can not vote against a good man/woman if I know they are the best for my riding. I have voted for all the various parties over my 40 year history. I think if everyone voted for the best MP we would have a balanced minority government and effective opposition. All party liners of whatever party, would fit the same mindset of the Nazi "me follow leader me dumbass". Reminds me of my four years in Namibia, there the guy with the fanciest clothes and car always won,! :-)

Prairieboy said...

Yeah right, Harper is the cause of all today's problems. And Chretien and Martin were absolutely brilliant! Jeez. Dion is not a leader, and voting NDP or Green would set this country back decades.

solipsist said...

prairieboy - thanks for commenting.

I don't see where I said that Harper was the cause of all of our problems, I said that we would have many more under a Conservative majority.

I also was disparaging of Layton (I actually see him being partly responsible for our present situation).

Chretien (and Trudeau) is (are) the reason(s) I have never voted Liberal. But, at least Chretien only got us into Afghanistan. We would be in Iraq if Harper had his way. Maybe he'll get another chance at that when the Iran thing blows up. Maybe the reasons I stated in this post are not the reasons for an election. Maybe Bush has told Harper that he will be invading Iran on October 21st (classic "October Surprise"), and Harper wants to lock down a majority so that we can go too.

Dion not a leader? Funny, I thought that he is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

I am curious how voting Green or NDP would set us back decades, care to expand on that? It would seem to me that would take votes away from the Liberals, and perhaps give the Conservatives a majority. Hey! you are right! That would set this country back - not just by decades, but by centuries (or at least as far back as 1812).

Do you realize the contempt that Harper has for you, and me, and all of us?

Prairieboy said...

There's been a general theme through most of the previous comments that Harper is the cause of a lot of today's issues in Canada. I have a problem when a big finger is pointed at any particular individual, or small group of individuals. No one is that powerful to be the cause of so many problems. Take the U.S., sure GWB is partly to blame, but of course, as you pointed out, there are the other dudes in charge, as well as the DEMOCRAT congress who has sat on their hands. Regarding RE, there are the gullible, lying, citizens of the country, the deceiving, lying, predatory lenders, and of course, the REALTORS! Many parties are to blame.

I think Harper has done a pretty good job over the past couple years. His initiatives and policies have benefited my little family more than the previous leaders. Harper's stance on issues is much closer to my own than the other parties - but that is just my personal opinion, to which we are all entitled.

Dion is the chosen leader of the Liberals, yes, but I certainly think that if they could make that selection again, he wouldn't stand a chance. I think Rae and Ignatieff are grinding their teeth watching him in action. Besides, wasn't it some weird up-the-middle deal that got him the job? Wasn't he really in 3rd place or something? I'm not sure.

solipsist said...

Hi prairieboy,

I don't really see anywhere that Harper is blamed for all of our problems. The softwood lumber deal, but that was really Emerson, who started that process while Martin was PM. I am on about what would likely transpire if Harper got a majority. Would you like to see that? Why?

If you see American military in Canada anytime soon, you can blame Harper for that, as he signed the clause in the SPP that allows that.

I am curious which initiatives of Harper's have benefited your family. Please be specific.

You have not answered my question about how the Greens or NDP would set this country back decades either.

I do agree about Dion coming up the middle, and have stated so. (he was actually the 4th place contender)

Prairieboy said...

"I really hope that people wake up in the next 3.5 weeks, and get rid of this prick for good." insinuates that Harper can be blamed for much.

I like Harper's GST cut and the $100 per child instead of government run daycare (in which you would probably never get a spot anyway).

The Greens don't have the experience to run a country, and the NDPs socialistic policies would tax us to death even sooner.

solipsist said...

Thanks again prairieboy.

That is your inference (about Harper). But I don't like him inking deals around the SPP, and the US military having any business in Canada, besides a lot more. So yes, your inference is accurate. Call me Canadian.

The GST cut looks "good on the surface", but income tax cuts beat consumption tax costs hands dowm. Unless of course, you are going to be buying a million dollar house, and you will save 20 grand to buy a Rolex.

The reason that the GST is so unpopular is that it replaced hidden taxes, and came out into the open. It helped get Canada out of deficit (along with slashing health care, etc.), but it is $12 billion a year that the government does not have for programmes (like health care, education, and other things that make our lives good).

Any economist (except for Hopeless) will tell you that it is better to cut income taxes. (and that is a whole other ball of wax)

As far as the $100/month, that pushed my family over into a new tax bracket, and we end up with about $50/month, so it is meaningless when it is taxed. Child Tax Credit is much more meaningful, and could have been doubled. We put ours into a bank account for our kid (for education or travel), and pay tax on the interest too, so...

Further to that, there are half the regulated/inspected day cares than there were before Harlot got in, and he promised 125,000 new spaces.

The Greens don't have the experience, and neither did the Conservatives. That was lame, don't you think? The Greens in coalition with the Liberals would be good. The Liberals have lots of experience. Historically, they have much more.

The NDP, don't get me going on that. I have expressed my views about Layton.

Read the platforms prairieboy. I'm going to be getting into it all here, by popular demand, so keep reading and commenting.