Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Open letter to 'Albertans First'

I've been observing your movement mature for some time now George Clark. I'm not writing for the purpose of focusing on the miss-spelling of coup d'etat, or to talk about your sign. I want to address your position, and reasoning, regarding Alberta's current issues as frankly I think you're putting the blame in the wrong place and are simply wasting the government's time, and depleting reserves, in your efforts. I deeply care about Alberta's future, I've been writing on the culmination of numerous issues for nearly 6 years many of which cross-over with your hasty, and incorrect, observations.

The movement you have created is contributing heavily to what is becoming an increasingly divisive, and toxic, political climate with few if any actual solutions to the real problems which as hard as it may be for you to hear have existed and have been building for quite some time. Not because of "the Liberals", or "the leftists", or whatever blanket label you want to throw around as though there are only two strict sets of rules for political ideologies to follow but because Alberta's perceived prosperity was always assuredly time limited and I intend to show you these issues exist across the political spectrum. While you may admit that the PCAA made many mistakes contributing to Alberta's situation your movement did not choose to exist while those mistakes were being made. I have been vocal for a long time, George, no one was listening.

To demonstrate what I mean by this here is a post I made prior to the election of the NDP. As you can see it discusses what I viewed as some of the upcoming problems Alberta would be facing (Canada too, really) such as abandoned oil& gas wells skyrocketing and an interesting quote from Jim Prentice, a Stephen Harper favourite where he called what we can see today is essentially an imploding labour market "an opportunity" for oil & gas companies to take advantage of favourable conditions.

I've been following this descent from grace for some time, George, for instance here is one of my favourite links few Albertans ever want to seem to acknowledge, or address, from 2012, discussing a memo about the soaring costs of oilsands development:
A confidential government memorandum obtained by CBC News warns that soaring costs of developing the Alberta oilsands could put the brakes on the massive project, stalling one of the main engines of the Canadian economy. 
The booming oilsands industry supports tens of thousands of Canadian jobs, and pumps billions of dollars a year into the national economy. 
The memo written by Mark Corey, one of the highest-ranking officials in the federal Department of Natural Resources, warns that if the current trend of spiralling labour and other costs continues, investors may start to turn off the tap on the massive amounts of money needed to develop the oilsands. 
"Although current crude prices promote oilsands development, ever-increasing capital and operating costs could make this price insufficient to support oilsands development at forecast levels," Corey writes. 
Cost increases are currently "the biggest risk to investment in the sector," and could jeopardize the viability of some projects, he says. 
Rising labour costs 
The memo estimates that operating and capital costs to extract a barrel of oil from the tar-like sands have both more than doubled over the past decade. 
It blames a chronic shortage of workers and resulting sky-high labour costs as the main cause of increased operating expenses. 
Corey's memo reflects a growing concern inside government over the future of the oilsands, and specifically the massive amount of capital investment that will be needed to fuel their continued development. 
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently estimated the oilsands would need $650 billion in capital investments in the next decade alone — almost five times what's been spent there over the past 50 years. 
The memo written in April this year was obtained under the Access to Information Act and appears to have been prepared for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. 
The document pre-dates the Harper government's current review of foreign takeovers of two Canadian energy companies. 
It nonetheless bolsters the contention of many in industry and government that Canada can hardly afford to turn away foreign investment in the oilsands.
In the latter half of 2014 I caught this article from the Financial Post titled 'Cost-cutting fever grips oil sands players as economics called into question' and as you'll see in the article itself was published before the collapse in oil price:
Canadian oil companies are ruthlessly enforcing capital discipline as project costs creep up and shareholders pressure management to focus only on the most profitable ventures. 
Suncor Energy Inc. announced a billion-dollar cut for the rest of the year even though the company raised its oil price forecast. 
Others such as Athabasca Oil Corp., PennWest Exploration Ltd., Talisman Energy Inc. and Sunshine Oil Sands Ltd. are also cutting back due to a mix of internal corporate issues and project uncertainty. Cenovus Energy Inc. is also facing cost pressures at its Foster Creek oil sands facility. 
“Given that the low-bearing fruit have already been developed, the next wave of oil sands project are coming from areas where geology might not be as uniform,” said Dinara Millington, senior vice president at the Canadian Energy Research Institute.
The NDP government is not making the situation worse, George, you just didn't realize how bad the situation already was. With oil at $100 and a PC government the industry was still barely turning a profit. I've seen a lot of statements from you that say things like "we were doing fine when oil was $10 barrel", read those articles and you will understand why.

I don't disagree with every single one of your positions on specific issues particularly in regards to the Carbon Tax (from a certain point of view which can be found here). Nor do I disagree with some of your points on wind turbines (in fact I believe environmentalists have some hard truths to account for). But what I do disagree with is your whole movement sat on their hands when "times were good" while the prior governments gambled on the futures market and called that a budget or "action plan", whichever you prefer. Where were you then?

Your clear bias against the NDP government and the very disproportional amount of blame you've laid at their feet is irresponsible, uninformed, and regardless of the political football outcome will not solve Alberta's problems because it does not address them. Simply saying "no carbon tax" doesn't address the myriad of other issues actually creating the problems you're complaining about - the carbon tax not being one of them. If you're truly concerned about Albertans, their futures, their jobs, and their prosperity then you will be honest with yourself about our situation and put your political views aside. There is no easy way out of this situation, and we're in for many years of pain if we ever recover at all.

The industry and governments bought by the industry intentionally lied to Albertans George. They knew, and they didn't tell you. Increasingly they are looking at automation, and there will be no more 4000 man camps, did they tell you that? Is that because of the NDP too? No, it's because the oilsands are expensive to produce and the profits for foreign owners mean more than your job, your house, your future, George.

This is why people like me have been screaming for years for the PCAA government to do anything, raise royalties, enforce environmental regulations, anything, to protect our future and the prosperity of our children and you know what George? No one listened.

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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, February 25, 2016

The great deflation and what comes next

I haven't written anything since the election on October 19th. I felt it pointless, Canadians were too obsessed with false victories in the political spectrum. "Defeating Harper" and the sort even though really the public has just once again been manipulated into doing exactly what was desired as I wrote about during the federal election breakdown 4 part series last year. Such as it is the honey moon has worn off and no amount of fancy public relations can hide the effects of the great deflation, and new bosses that look a lot more like the old bosses each and every day.

Look around folks, just.. look around.

The world is sinking into chaos.

Here at home Canadians are bickering about pipelines and other useless drivel as the elephant in the room goes unmentioned. The "west vs east" divisive lines I don't think have ever been so prominent in my life time. In many extreme "right-wing" circles there's even been talk of separation; silly of course but still, it's new. Or old, depending how you look at it. Articles like "It's raining schadenfreude on Calgary and Alberta" actually exist. The more the economic situation deteriorates, the worse the baseless finger pointing will become.

"It's the NDP". "It was the Conservatives". "It was Justin, and his hair".

You all need to just stop and think for a minute.. just what is it you expect to happen?

Look elsewhere in the world, it's not just here. Divisive fault lines are showing up everywhere. The "European Union" is falling apart as their already horrid ponzi-conomy has just been laden with the additional cost of refugees courtesy of NATO's war in Syria. China is escalating it's direct challenge to the U.S. in the South China Sea. Russia. The Middle East. And surrounding all of this conflict is intense divisions. You want to understand how divide and conquer works? You're witnessing it.

The great deflation is going to be a very trying time for a lot of people. Here is a portion of what I wrote early last year on the great deflation:
The majority of the world economy is now supported by near zero, zero, or negative interest rates. Seven years on from the peak-oil induced "great recession" central banks are finally out of ammo. Inevitably this situation can not last forever and with the Saudi's pushing the collapse in oil price the stage has been set, and in fact the play is already in the first act, for deflationary spiral the world has never seen the likes of before because the world has never seen a fiat asset bubble of this size before.

The expected benefit economists are expecting from lower oil and gas prices are not going to materialize as the middle class which is the primary driver of this trend has been crushed by unaffordable consumption and debt accumulation. The easiest path for this excess wealth to take is towards paying down debt which in itself is inherently deflationary and will only contribute further to the deflationary spiral we've entered. 
The artificial deflation of oil is having a direct effect on the outlook for oil related employment and income which both Canada and the U.S. have been completely reliant on for wealth generation. The entire myth of the current "U.S. recovery" which Canadian economists are banking on is essentially based on the economic performance of the shale oil industry prior to the collapse in price (you'll remember the latest U.S. recovery narrative was originally about the boom of shale oil) which is no longer valid. Without the high incomes oil related jobs provide the unaffordable asset bubbles become completely unbalanced. This is why the Bank of Canada is citing mitigating the effect of low oil prices (lower inflation) as the reason for lowering interest rates while effectively ignoring the increase in inflation high oil prices represent. They are selectively interpreting the situation to service their own needs of maintaining the credit markets. 
No amount of low interest or free currency can ever hope to make up for the loss in energy bounty as a result of peak oil and the focus on low EROI energy production though as currency is not wealth itself but the representation of wealth, it has an end of life and this is where C51 becomes very important for the status-quo.
It's now one year later, was I right?

The divisive environment in Canada is being driven, and I believe purposely fomented, on a false pretence; that if only we will build pipelines, if only people will stop talking badly about the oilsands, if only, the Canadian economy will come roaring back to life. That the job losses will stop, and the jobs return. It keeps the focus, and the arguments, and the finger pointing around a single topic: pipelines, and not say the more important topic we should be talking about: are the oilsands even viable to produce at any price?

This oil price collapse really couldn't have come at a better time for Alberta's oil companies who prior to the collapse, when they were even projecting oil to go higher, were already planning cuts to labour and investment. Companies have been looking at automation as a solution to the labour problem the oilsands have created for years. Of course readers of this blog should know all about 'the labour problem'. Despite the heartfelt rhetoric of guys like Doug Suttles who says the layoffs are the worst he's seen (and I also presume ever responsible for) the unspoken and it seems long forgotten reality here is that the layoffs and drying up of investment in the oilsands were already happening anyway.

Low oil prices has simply provided an excuse to speed up this process and not take the blame. What little blame has been remaining and not directed at the Saudi's has been kindly redirected towards the new NDP government by the always helpful and awfully plentiful "grass roots" movements that for some reason always seem to have ties back to industry.

The blame game has left very few people talking about the very real problems Alberta and subsequently all of Canada is and is about to be facing. Take for instance the massive expense of cleaning abandoned oil and gas wells which I was discussing in my Alberta Election post which have now come to the forefront among many other issues. Enbridge has set a long term plan to move away from oilsands all together.

It should be noted that all around the world the oil situation isn't exactly good. The deal to "freeze production" between the Sauds and Russians should be of particular interest for those who understand the geopolitical game at foot here. As I wrote last year an informed Twitter follower informed me that the Saudi's were not working against the Russians, but were working with them. This new deal, which is not a deal I should point out between the Saud's and so-called 'Saudi-America', continues to fit the grand story of global divestment out of the USD. Divestment which is becoming so noticable that even the National Post wrote something about it.
It is a chilling statement from an expert on both gold and China. But he is speaking the truth: In a G2 world (the United States and China), he who is the piper calls the tune, and China holds a US$2-trillion mortgage on the United States and is not happy. This country, along with others that lend money to the United States, such as Saudi Arabia, will determine the value of the U. S. dollar and gold. And they have spoken. They are not buying more U. S. treasuries and are buying gold as a new asset class. China announced that it was doing so quietly, and recent reports are that the Saudis and others have been buying bullion and hocked gold jewellery from around the world. 
The only way is up for gold prices because the United States, which backstops the International Monetary Fund, the world's lender of last resort, has had to become its own lender of last resort. 
Washington has cranked up the printing presses in an unprecedented way, replicating the behaviour of its spendthrift corporations and consumers. This year's budget is US$3.5-trillion, bigger than any in history. 
And as Ing points out, the "bi" in this bipolar global economy is China. Beijing has not only started to hoard gold but has continued to talk up a new reserve currency concept to replace the U. S. dollar. The only reason the Chinese and others don't dump U. S. dollars is because it would be like shooting themselves in the foot. 
Inflation, on top of excessive money supply dilution, will (unless mitigated by growth or stoppage) reduce the dollar's value. Ing estimates that the printing of money to bail out banks, autos and the U. S. economy will create a catch-up in gold bullion prices: "Gold should be US$9,000 an ounce to cover the [current and projected] U. S. monetary base," he says. 
China has become the world's fifth-biggest gold hoarder, in addition to being the world's biggest gold producer (through its government-owned mining companies). I also suspect that China is behind the political sabotage in Mongolia, to its north, which has for five years prevented Ivanhoe Mines of Vancouver from producing gold and copper from its massive discovery. 
Clearly, China also has been dis-investing from the U. S. dollar by getting slowly into hard assets (stock, commodities or ore bodies), which I have written about. This concerns Washington, which is why Hilary Clinton, U. S. Secretary of State, made her first state "house call" in Beijing to make nice with America's first mortgagor. 
At that time, and publicly, too, China warned the United States about its dollar woes, while suggesting a basket of currencies to replace its pre-eminence. These scary pronouncements were followed by an announcement in Washington a few weeks ago that there would be a massive U. S. Treasury buyback of U. S. bonds. Put another way, the Chinese and others aren't buying anymore so the surpluses are being mopped up by putting more on the taxpayer tab. 
It is an irreversible trend that China and others will continue to disinvest and diversify out of U. S. dollars, and that inflation will further impair the U. S. dollar's value. That's because the U. S. monetary/economic rescue is simply Washington's version of the excesses and over-leveraging that led to the need for a rescue in the first place.
Speaking of gold, Canada just recently sold half it's reserves. Yes, that's right. Half. So whatever the government "deficit" is you're hearing about these days, add half our gold supply to it.

Are you starting to get the picture folks? This is not normal. This is not normal at all.

When the Saudi Minister says things like this:
“The producers of those high-cost barrels must find a way to lower their costs, borrow cash or liquidate,” the minister told a business audience in Houston during a speech at the IHS Ceraweek event on Tuesday. 
“It sounds harsh, and unfortunately it is, but it is the most efficient way to rebalance markets. Cutting low-cost production to subsidize higher cost supplies only delays an inevitable reckoning.”
You must understand what he is really doing: he is calling North American oil production out on it's bullshit. And worst still he shows the real target: the banks. Borrow more, he says. But he knows these oil companies can not borrow more, and that their hedges are now expiring, and that the defaults are about to start rolling in.

Peak oil.

I've seen a lot of people talking about peak oil lately. It's pretty amusing. Apparently we beat it. Because the world is producing excess oil apparently all the peak oil theory is junk. Nevermind that were producing much of it at a loss. Nevermind that for almost an entire decade now we've been talking about "the recovery". Nevermind that for the first time in modern economic history banks around the world are having to introduce negative interest rates which our own BoC has even discussed. Just never. Fucking. Mind.

Exxon Fails to Replace Oil, Gas Production for First Time in 22 Years
Exxon Mobil Corp. disclosed Friday that for the first time since 1994, it failed to find enough new oil and gas to replace what it produced last year.
Oil investment is weakest in 30 years
That will be the first time since 1986 that upstream investment has fallen for two consecutive years, the agency said, warning that the collapse could be storing up problems for consumers further down the track. 
"It is easy for consumers to be lulled into complacency by ample stocks and low prices today, but they should heed the writing on the wall: the historic investment cuts we are seeing raise the odds of unpleasant oil-security surprises in the not too distant future," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol on Monday.
So. Who can guess what comes next after the great deflation? Anyone? Bueller?

Once the defaults really get rolling and work their way thru the banking system all confidence in oilsands and shale production will be destroyed. The levels of investment weve seen will not be returning. Ever. EVER. I really want that to sink in. When I discussed Alberta's new permanent reality, I really did mean permanent.It will be when the damage is done that the Sauds, along with Russia, and their partner China will finally give North America exactly what we've been asking them for: they'll turn off the taps. And all hell will break loose. This is how they will put the final nail in the coffin of the U.S. dollar.

By turning off the taps the price of oil will rise very rapidly, lacking it's own production North America will be forced to buy foreign oil in whatever currency they choose. They will not be choosing the U.S. dollar. This will also be the start of true hyperinflation in the U.S. as the energy shortage quickly adds pressure to deflation and they are forced to print more and more currency (borrow it from private banks at interest that is) to simply get life's necessities.

It's not a pretty picture but unless the people all around the world stop pointing fingers, making baseless accusations, and petty demands and stop just long enough to realize we've all been had, these forecasts, like my previous ones, will quickly be upon us. Just look around.

China says 'really needs' South China Sea defenses in face of United States

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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, October 19, 2015

I do not care about niqabs and pot

I do not care about niqabs and pot,
Child tax credits worth a little or a lot,
Who said what when seventeen,
Or peed in a cup-how obscene.

I see through wars started for gain,
Pretending we care about people in pain.

The campaign managers must laugh into the night,
Watching partisans insult and fight.

Yet it doesn't really matter which party gets in,
The banks own it all and they always win.

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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, October 9, 2015

#elxn42 breakdown - Part 4

In part 1 of this post we focused on the need for exponential growth and the monetary system behind our need for this type of growth. We learned that the monetary system in it's current form is a textbook definition of a Ponzi-scheme requiring ever growing production to meet ever growing debt at the top because at any given time there is always more total debt with interest than there is actual currency to pay for it and the only way to conjure up the currency needed to pay outstanding debt is to borrow even more currency resulting in a never ending cycle where the debt load and subsequent "growth" required are perfectly exponential.

In part 2 of this post we looked at the resource wars currently going on with a focus on it's relation to peak oil and pipelines. The 14 year 'war on terror' has really been a resource war for the U.S. empire to position itself as the first and last global empire that is to be succeeded by corporations as we learned in Michael C. Ruppert's presentation.

In part 3 of this post we looked at the macro effects and purpose of the TPP and free trade in general. Now the TPP has been signed though it still needs to be ratified by the incoming government (it wasn't even supposed to be negotiated during the election anyway and the (Harper) government has so far pledged $5.3 billion dollars of your tax dollars for the auto and agriculture industries to counter their expected losses).

I was originally going to dedicate this post to the final category of issues "governmental issues" however time is growing short before the election now and with the quickly developing geopolitical situation I can't be sure I'll have enough time before the election to write part 5 and this section was really just to complete the context for this post but it is really the summary of what I think about all of this and how it ties into the election which is most important so we are going to skip most of that right to my summary. However, first I would like to touch briefly on the senate because my view on what is going on with it ties into a lot of what I'll be touching on in my summary.

The Senate

I started this post discussing my top issue: that we basically don't properly respect the way our parliament is supposed to work. Most people in this election are going to be voting for their "favourite party", or even worse their "favourite prime minister". A recent clarification by Justin Trudeau on the T.P.P. demonstrates the issue clearly:
OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will not allow his MPs a free vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. 
Asked about it Wednesday morning, Trudeau was cautious with his answer.
"We're a long way from that," he told reporters. 
"We have a very clear policy on free votes that says elements that are in our platform, elements that go to the heart of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and elements that are confidence matters, that is, matters of budget, people would be expected to vote with the Liberal Party," Trudeau went on to say. 
"On other issues, they would be expected to stand up for the interests of their constituents right across the country because that is what we elect people to do."
Trudeau's gift for double-speak never ceases to amaze me. No Trudeau, they're elected to represent their constituents on every single fucking issue. "That is what we elect people to do". Look at the issues he's left to be voted on in your interest dear constituent: "other issues". Like the Niqab? Abortion? All those other divisive 'people issues' I was talking about? But matters that regard your civil liberties? The charter of rights and freedoms? "matters of budget" aka economy and spending, confidence matters; these things will not be voted on in your interest rather they will be voted on with the interest and platform of the Liberal party in mind. And people wonder why our political system is fucked?

Same thing goes for the senate, all the talk about the senate is on what is essentially considered "accomplishing the impossible" so that the corrupt individuals we put in there can't abuse their great power and freedom of the public purse. But is there any talk about maybe, you know, not appointing such corrupt useless partisan fuckwits to the Senate? How can we ever expect anything different regardless how "reformed" it is when we Canadians who are so eager to "get Harper out" are so fooled by this election? Most are so anxious to get rid of Harper they can't see that his replacements are simply replicas.

'First past the post' isn't broken, the problem is we're not using it properly. The senate isn't broken either, it's that the actors you "trust" and vote in then appoint their crony friends to the Senate. That's not a problem with the design of how the Senate should work, it is a problem with our corrupt politicians. Likewise the problem with our politicians isn't our voting system it is that our voting system has been perverted in a faux presidential race that is easily manipulated by public relations teams that can make any politician look exactly how they want to the public. We can reform the various "political systems" all we want, but until we as Canadians reform our politics it will all be an exercise in futility.

The senate should be reserved for distinguished Canadians, as it was meant to be, not washed up federal candidates or partisan hacks. Every appointment should be non-partisan with a clear defined reason. When I say distinguished Canadians I mean Canadians like Chris Hadfield. You know, the types of people like we used to honour with naming our public infrastructure after them before we started naming it after corporations.

The Canadian Trends election summary

Now before I start on my summary I once again want to remind people my summary here isn't partisan, it's not meant to vouch for one party or another. I also want to say that despite what you read here these aspects I've described don't have to be true for each and every individual candidate. The problem with our political system is that Canadians will be voting in now 338 MPs largely based on the performance, and appearance of a single candidate: the party leader. Of course this isn't true across the board, there's the coveted "undecided" vote, and naturally many Canadians do base it on their MP but it can not be denied it is mostly influenced by the leaders of the major parties and "who people want to be Prime Minister".

It suffocates the creativity that different ideas brought together can have to solve challenges and replaces that creativity with a sad partisan sports arena where people have teams and ideology and low-brow attacks rule all. Like, my God folks, the fucking Niqab? THIS IS WHAT IS DOMINATING OUR DISCUSSION? Dividing and conquering is how these people win.

Anyway, lets get to it.

Conservative Party

The Conservative Party is a contender but I don't believe Stephen Harper really wants to win. I haven't talked about the Conservatives much in this post and that is for a reason which I will describe here shortly. I anticipate that should the Conservatives not win a majority Stephen Harper will resign his seat and exit politics and probably already has some cushy gig lined up.

I believe this for several reasons:

First, despite the Conservative's campaigning might they've run a substandard, despicable, and slightly odd campaign. In fact as far as I can tell much of the Conservative campaign has been designed to give Justin Trudeau support. I know, it's been a nasty campaign against him so let me explain.

Let's start with prior to the election. The Conservatives all year have been running 'attack ads' against Justin Trudeau. But Justin Trudeau was the leader of the third party. Yes he was popular but not enough to warrant a sustained campaign against him. Of course a sustained campaign has the interesting side effect of exposure. It gets people asking things like 'why is Harper so scared of Justin Trudeau?'. Etc, etc. Trudeau was in your face all year, not because of Trudeau, but because of Harper.

Let's look at the Niqab: despite Harper's 'fear of Trudeau' Harper has chosen to spend the remaining portion of the election largely focusing on this pointless divisive debate. But it's interesting that this debate largely affects the NDP, not the Liberals. The NDP is bleeding support which has brought the Liberals into first place. Hmm, that's odd isn't it? Why would the Conservatives want to make the Liberals stronger, especially at a time they are already doing quite well at least if the polls are to be believed.

During the first portion of the election Harper was largely aloof. Which was especially strange considering what a strong campaign against Trudeau he had launched all year. There were reports of him keeping only his closest advisers near and "mutiny" within the Conservative ranks. But again I have to point out the Conservatives have always shown a phenomenal ability to mold public perception. Money is no object in their campaigns and I find it hard to believe they were actually caught so off guard.

Now that Harper has brought in his new Australian master advisor he's been doing other weird stuff like the Niqab, and using the saying 'old stock Canadians' during a debate. I mean, maybe it was just a slip of the tongue like Press for Truth shows in the introduction to this video:

Or, maybe it wasn't.

The word in political circles is Harper is playing to his base, but he doesn't need to play to his base his base is going to vote for him no matter what. These issues that 'play to his base' also happen to push those who are not in his base, or are not the target (IE: Quebec), away from him.

To my knowledge he hasn't yet once talked about getting a majority.

There is one final piece of the puzzle regarding Harper's probable intentions: the number of ministers that have left him. Such as John Baird:
During their departures I noticed many progressives saying they are "fleeing the sinking ship" but what I don't think Canadians yet understand is Harper completed his voyage. The damage is done with his finale of selling Canada out to the TPP. Everyone is worried about Harper, I believe so strongly in this theory now that I'm not. As Kathleen Smith (@kikkiplanet) said 'this is his farewell tour'.

Liberal Party

I believe the status-quo wants Justin Trudeau to become Prime Minister. He is a master actor, political royalty, bred from the ground up for this position. If you were a puppet master Trudeau would be the perfect puppet, he's Canada's Obama.

You may have noticed throughout this post that I have focused on what it is Trudeau is saying, or not saying, or saying but not have you believing, whatever you want to call it. The purpose of this is to show you that Trudeau is just as invested in the status-quo as Harper is. There is no difference.

Having Trudeau and the Liberals win is important to the status-quo, not just because the Liberals have always been in the pockets of the big banks, but because Trudeau will be elected with a mandate to keep bills like C51 and just supposedly repair them. Remember back before C51 when the media was pushing the narrative that 'the vast majority of Canadians support bill C51'? As I attempted to show back then it's not that Canadians discovered how bad the bill was, but rather it was that the 'vast support' didn't exist in the first place. They were manufacturing consent.

But it didn't work. Trudeau came out supporting the bill and his support dropped off a cliff and the media has been building him up ever since. Manufacturing consent around bills like C51 is necessary because they can not really be used and abused without the public's consent. Push the people too far, or take too much for granted, and they may revolt. Having C51 on the books isn't good enough, the next incoming government must have a mandate to use it. Justin Trudeau just happens to have such a mandate and his meaningless "repairs" are simply whitewashing a dangerous bill.

We've covered a lot about Trudeau this series so I'll leave you with this:

New Democrat Party

The NDP are a bigger question mark in my mind. I don't trust Mulcair - like at all - particularly since he seems to have morals for hire. He seems like a plant to me, much like Ignatieff was to bring Harper his majority, and the NDP are running a weak campaign.

However, on the flip side I don't believe the NDP are as thoroughly corrupted as the Conservative or Liberal parties and if you care about your civil liberties, or Canada's sovereignty, and actually hope your vote has some effect as to repealing or withdrawing from these types of activities then they are probably the best bet.

I think Mulcair's economics, like all of their economics, are bullshit, but until Canadians address our exponential growth fiat monetary system the "economy" is going to suck so don't expect any changes on that front. Unlike my forecasts for Alberta's NDP I am not as confident the federal NDP will direct tax dollars where they need to go either in attempting to future proof Canada.

Outside of that I don't have much to say about the NDP, they probably represent the closest thing to "real change".


Soooooo.. ya. Slim pickens.

But as I said, if we as Canadians reclaim our democracy and use our political system properly none of this shit matters. The leader is only as strong as those under him and I'll take a house filled with honourable people who will stand up for the interests of their constituents even if that fuckwit Trudeau says vote with the party over the partisan free for all we have now. That's what we need and we're really the only ones who can do that for us.

So with all that in mind, I leave you with this question: Of the three videos shown above how many displayed an ad for Justin Trudeau (if you're Canadian), and how many for Harper, or Mulcair?

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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, October 2, 2015

Another "conspiracy theory" proven true: government absolutely plants messaging in media

In my last post we started out reviewing a piece by James Howard Kunstler in which he stated the following:
Charlie Rose, 60-Minutes — and perhaps by extension US government agencies with an interest in propagandizing — seem to want to put over the story that Russia has involved itself in Syria only to aggrandize its role on in world affairs.
Well it seems that may be a lot closer to the mark regarding the idiotic line of clearly pro-US narrative that Charlie Rose was asking Putin as a recently uncovered email regarding Hillary Clinton's on-going scandal shows.

The contents of the email are shown here:
From: Crowley, Philip J Sent:Friday, January 28, 2011 8:08 PM To: Cc: Mills, Cheryl D; Sullivan, Jacob J; Koh, Harold Hongju; Mull, Stephen D; Reines, Philippe I; McHale, Judith A; Verma, Richard R; Goldberg, Philip S; Abedin, Huma; Steinberg, James B; Nides, Thomas R; Burns, William J 
Subject: 60 Minutes Sunday 
Madame Secretary, 
a very quick update. I just received confirmation from 60 Minutes that a piece on Julian Assange will air Sunday night. He will be the only person featured. We had made a number of suggestions for outside experts and former diplomats to interview to "balance" the piece. 60 Minutes assures me that they raised a number of questions and concerns we planted with them during the course of the interview. We will be prepared to respond to the narrative Assange presents during the program. 
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
Ahh, there is nothing like government "balance" planted in a news story eh? Keep this in mind the next time you see reporters using the exact same phrases on every channel to describe an event as 'The Daily Show' was so good at highlighting (yet also overlooking how incredibly odd it was that it happened all the time).

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

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

UPDATE-2: Tables turn in Syrian war effort

With the more prominent Russian presence in the war the tables have turned for the U.S. narrative so I'm going to be taking a break from my #elxn42 breakdown series to refocus on the war in Syria as it's now at a pivotal point.

Recently 60 Minutes did an interview with Putin which I would really encourage you to watch. Putin is succinct and clear with his answers despite 60 Minutes' obviously pointed questions. Of course Russia is "up to something", we're all "up to something" in this region with everyone using humanitarianism and ISIS as a cover. But the Russian strategy (which we will be discussing throughout this post) is quite clever.

First I'd like to review a bit of commentary by James Howard Kunstler over at Clusterfucknation on this interview (though again you really should read the entire thing it's - I think anyway - hilarious)
This bit on Ukraine was only a little more appalling than Charlie’s earlier segment on Syria. Was Putin trying to rescue the Assad government? Charlie asked, in the context of President Obama’s statement years ago that “Assad has to go.” 
Putin answered as if he were explaining something that should have been self-evident to a not-very-bright high school freshman: “To remove the legitimate government would create a situation which you can witness in other countries of the region, for instance Libya, where all the state institutions have disintegrated. We see a similar situation in Iraq. There’s no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the government structure.” 
I guess Charlie and the 60-Minutes production crew hadn’t noticed what had gone on around the Middle East the past fifteen years with America’s program of toppling dictators into the maw of anarchy. Not such great outcomes. 
Charlie persisted though, following his script: Was Putin trying to rescue Assad? Vlad had to lay it out for him as if he were introducing Charlie to the game of Animal Lotto: “What do you think about those who support the terrorist organizations only to oust Assad without thinking about what happens to the country after all the state institutions have been demolished…? Look at those who are in control of 60 percent of the territory of Syria. 
Meaning ISIS. Al Nusra (formerly al Qaeda in Syria), i.e., groups internationally recognized as terrorist organizations. 
Charlie Rose, 60-Minutes — and perhaps by extension US government agencies with an interest in propagandizing — seem to want to put over the story that Russia has involved itself in Syria only to aggrandize its role on in world affairs. 
Forgive me for being so blunt, but what sort of stupid fucking idea is this? And are there any non-lobotomized adults left in the USA who can’t see straight through it? The truth is that American policy in Syria (plus Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Somalia, Afghanistan) is an impressive record of failure in terms of the one basic aim that most rational people might agree upon: stabilizing the region in a way that does not leave Islamic jihadi maniacs in charge.
Why now? What are the Russians really up to?

A big question on everyone's minds seems to be. Why now? What are the Russians really up to? As Kunstler rightly notes the official narrative so far has more or less been that they are "Russia has involved itself in Syria only to aggrandize its role on in world affairs". Of course they're there to fortify Assad and prevent what I must remind you is the sovereign government of Syria from being overrun by U.S. empire backed terrorists. But based on their actions there is clearly a lot more to it than that.

It's of course suspected (obvious really) that should the official U.S. 'moderate' rebels attack the SAA they will be fair game but they are also taking this opportunity to reinforce the Syrian government against NATO itself.

September 22nd: Russia Has Added Dozens of Aircraft to Its Growing Military Presence in Syria: Reports

Here's an interesting excerpt:
Vladimir Putin has reportedly added drones, attack helicopters and aircraft to its force in Syria in recent weeks. 
Russia rapidly increased its aerial attack capabilities in Syria over the weekend, U.S. officials told Agence France-Presse on Monday, including 28 combat planes that have been sighted at a new Russian air base in the Syrian province of Latakia. 
The fleet includes 12 SU-24 attack aircraft, 12 SU-25 ground attack aircraft and four Flanker fighter jets, the officials told the news agency on condition of anonymity. An influx of new weaponry was also reported separately by the New York Times and CNN. 
One of the officials told AFP of the additional presence of around 20 combat helicopters and said Russian forces are flying surveillance drones over the Middle Eastern nation’s airspace. 
According to the Times, Russia’s military presence in Syria also includes at least three surface-to-air missiles, nine tanks and around 500 marines. 
“The equipment and personnel just keep flowing in,” another official told the Times. “They were very busy over the weekend.”
So why recent weeks? Let's take a look at some of the headlines  from 'recent weeks'.

On September 18th a "special representative to the United States and the United Nations for the Syrian National Coalition." wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a No-Fly Zone.

On August 28th in the Globe & Mail: "The time for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Syria has arrived"

Yesterday, September 28th "Kevin McCarthy calls for no-fly zone over Syria"

Calls for a no-fly zone in mainstream media have been all over the place again suddenly and maybe this is why as back in July:
The U.S. flew “no-fly zones” over northern and southern Iraq for more than a decade before the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. U.S. warplanes kept Iraqi aircraft out of the sky, and targeted Iraqi air-defense systems that threatened to shoot. Now, along with neighboring Turkey, the U.S. is planning to launch something similar over a stretch of northern Syria.

Now of course the other hand of the U.S. immediately "shot down" this idea but you'd have to be an idiot to actually believe it's not being considered and I don't think Putin is an idiot, do you?

I read a great blog post on the type of system Putin is deploying which I really suggest you check out.

Utilizing the court of public opinion

In part 2 of my series on the Canadian federal election we took a trip down memory lane on some of the events that lead to the Syrian 'civil' war. Since the Russian build up the western narrative on Syria has changed significantly almost overnight. Russia is forming it's own coalition to fight ISIS - and it is legal and operating within Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. As the Financial Times noted "this puts the U.S. on the back foot".

If you'll recall from part 2 of my series on the Canadian election, prior to John Kerry failing to convince the world of the urgent need to bomb the Syrian government there was no ISIS narrative in the news, it was all "rebels" with sprinkles of al-Qaeda. The al-Qaeda participation was downplayed and frankly I don't think the public was ever supposed to know about their participation. Syria was supposed to go down like Libya where hardly any of the population was aware of the fact the rebels were actually mostly terrorists.

If you remember the media atmosphere back then it was largely the public's recent awareness to the presence of al-Qaeda within the rebels that made it so difficult for the United States to get a coalition and public mandate to bomb the Syrian government. There was too much doubt about the still dubious 'chemical weapons' which were presented to strengthen the argument given the presence of al-Qaeda. It was only following Kerry's failure to bomb Assad that the media latched onto the phrase ISIS.

The necessity of the change in focus and narrative can not be understated. The United States can not invoke the 'War on Terror' to attack a sovereign state. They need a reason, they need public support. They tried to get it, and failed. However, the 'War on Terror' allows them to attack terrorists anywhere in the world regardless of borders. They got their bombing of Syria, and they got it by instead of hiding the presence of al-Qaeda - and their atrocities as "the rebels" - moving to a strategy that highlighted them. The heinous acts of ISIS coupled with some likely propaganda aided by intelligence for media purposes were finally enough to gain support for limited military action in Iraq and Syria.

The narrative changed and in what seemed almost overnight there wasn't just a few terrorist fighters, there were tons, and now they terrorize 60% of Syria. It really is a testament to the awesome power of manipulation that exists within the military industrial complex.

This narrative has a weakness however, and now for the second time Russia has seized on the weakness in the U.S. narrative to deny them what they want. The first time in 2013 when Kerry occidentally provided a direct path for Russia to follow that would thwart the U.S. attack that the U.S. had to honour to save face and now this time by using their "ineffective" war against ISIS as the same pretext for their fortification of the Syrian state which much like the U.S. being able to strike the Syrian government directly would raise suspicion if not for the convenient excuse of ISIS. Russia is beating the U.S. at it's own game of public relations.

The rhetoric now has greatly changed because the U.S. is trapped in their own ISIS narrative. The hopes for a no-fly zone necessary in the NATO strategy for regime change is now extremely unlikely to occur without a direct confrontation with Russian hardware. The cover for the 'moderate' rebels (which if you remember from part 2 of my series on the Canadian election Joe Biden said "there are no moderate rebels") is now useless as Russia is within every legal right internationally to aid Syria.

Russia is playing the situation by the book, using the same humanitarian crisis excuse that the U.S. has been using to enter Syria to begin a real fight against ISIS which the U.S. and it's coalition has not truly been doing. They have been working to contain ISIS and force Assad from power for their benefit causing untold grief on the people of Syria for as long as Syria doesn't play ball. The U.S. has repeatedly warned that Russia's entry into the war will prolong the war but the conflated reasoning for this is simple: the western proxy will not stop fighting until the U.S. and it's allies get what they want.

In response to the Russian fortification now Saudi Arabia has warned that they may get directly involved in the conflict against the Syrian government and there are rumours of Chinese involvement in defence of the Syrian government too.

Things are definitely heating up and it seems the U.S. is quickly losing control both of it's humanitarian shield narrative, and it's allies.


Russian parliament green lights use of troops in Syria


U.S. doubts Russia targeting Islamic State positions in Syria
President Vladimir Putin sought to portray the airstrikes as a pre-emptive attack against the Islamic militants who have taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq. Russia estimates at least 2,400 of its own citizens are already fighting alongside extremists in Syria and Iraq. 
"If they (militants) succeed in Syria, they will return to their home country, and they will come to Russia, too," Putin said in a televised speech at a government session. 
The U.S. and Russia both agree on the need to fight Islamic State, but are in dispute about what to do about Syrian President Bashar Assad's government. At the U.N. General Assembly, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and Russia could work together on a political transition, but only if Assad leaving power was the result. Putin is Assad's most powerful backer. 
The Russian airstrikes targeted positions, vehicles and warehouses that Moscow believes belong to IS militants, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies. 
A senior U.S. official, however, said the airstrikes don't appear to be targeting IS, because the militants aren't in the western part of the country, beyond Homs, where the strikes were directed. 
It appears the strikes were directed against opposition groups fighting against Assad, according to the official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the Russian airstrikes publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. 
Syrian state television quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Russian warplanes have targeted IS positions in central Syria, including the areas of Rastan and Talbiseh, and areas near the town of Salamiyeh in Hama province. 
IS controls parts of Homs province, including the historic town of Palmyra. Homs also has positions run by al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, known as the Nusra Front. Both groups have fighters from the former Soviet Union including Chechens. 
Genevieve Casagrande of the Institute of the Study of War, using an alternative acronym for Islamic State, said the airstrike on Talbisah, "did not hit ISIS militants and rather resulted in a large number of civilian casualties." 
"If confirmed, the airstrike would signal Russian intent to assist in the Syrian regime's war effort at large, rather than securing the regime's coastal heartland of Latakia and Tartous," she said. 
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that a Russian official in Baghdad informed U.S. Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would shortly begin flying anti-IS missions over Syria. The Russian official also asked that U.S. aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during those missions Wednesday. Kirby didn't say whether the U.S. agreed to that request.
This reminds me of a cryptic warning given by Zbigniew Brzezinski to Russia on the anniversary of September the 11th:

Seems like Russia's response is: challenge accepted.

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

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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

#elxn42 breakdown - Part 3

In part 1 of this post we focused on the need for exponential growth and the monetary system behind our need for this type of growth. We learned that the monetary system in it's current form is a textbook definition of a Ponzi-scheme requiring ever growing production to meet ever growing debt at the top because at any given time there is always more total debt with interest than there is actual currency to pay for it and the only way to conjure up the currency needed to pay outstanding debt is to borrow even more currency resulting in a never ending cycle where the debt load and subsequent "growth" required are perfectly exponential.

In part 2 of this post we looked at the resource wars currently going on with a focus on it's relation to peak oil and pipelines. The 14 year 'war on terror' has really been a resource war for the U.S. empire to position itself as the first and last global empire that is to be succeeded by corporations as we learned in Michael C. Ruppert's presentation.

In this part we're going to look at the T.P.P. and free trade and how the process of succession towards corporate governance has already begun under the auspices of 'trade'. We will take a quick look at the party positions on trade and how those positions tie into assertions already made.

Just a note before we begin: I realize this is now part 3 and I've said very little about the election itself. What I am providing is the background information you require to understand why I believe what I do regarding the election and the parties involved so that when we finally arrive at my summary of my position on the various parties you'll understand what it is I'm talking about.

T.P.P. and Free Trade
[...] many of America’s leaders actually accept that there is an unelected, unappointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes. That would be the American deep state.
Philip Giraldi
Recently the New York Times (of all places) published an article about a paper written by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi about the American deep state. Of course readers of this post already know all about it as it is the very same deep state Michael C. Ruppert describes in his presentation. An interconnected deep state of revolving doors around Wall Street, Washington, intelligence, media and the military industrial complex. It is within this deep state that the continuity of government is possible and it exists here in Canada, too.

In the last post I linked to a tweet containing a video where the CBC discusses on air the "brutal reality" of the civilian casualties that will happen to fight ISIS and then goes on to talk about how we have to remove Assad (you know, for killing civilians in his true fight against ISIS which western media continues to call a "civil war" even though it's clear it's anything but). The "Assad is bad" narrative makes less and less sense every day yet our media sticks to it. This is the official narrative; this is war propaganda and the deep state at work.

It's important to understand how deep the complicity of media goes within our own country to understand that this extends to discussions of free trade (or the lack there of). In the media these are referred simply to "trade deals" but they are really about far more than trade. They subvert national sovereignty and hand it over to unelected, unaccountable international panels that bend to corporate whim. Piece by piece each additional trade deal removes the ability for the people of a country to make democratic decisions about the type of business conducted in their country.

These deliberations are kept secret and rarely if ever reported on even though the result of them is almost always a democratic law being overturned or taxpayers paying fines to corporations for all sorts of reasons which the corporation claims impedes their business. On the flip side attempts by democracies to utilize the rules to hold these very same corporations accountable are in every case I've ever found thrown out.

'Trade' is the mechanism being used by corporations to subvert democratic governments in secret of willing participants of the U.S. empire because it hides the process from the citizenry. Trade is a weakness in our democratic process in that traditionally trade deals are allowed to be conducted in secret thus the details of which are not apparent to the citizens of the nations until the deal is already signed. Rather all we get are vague details from leaked drafts of the deal or statements from those who are involved.
What I say to the auto sector in particular, I’m not suggesting they will necessarily like everything that is in that, but what I am saying is we simply cannot afford as a country to have our auto sector shut out of global supply chains. That would be a disaster.
We’re going to make sure we get the best deal for that and all of our sectors, but we are committed as a government to making sure we do not fall behind in our access to a global trading economy which is so integrated. If we do that, that would be disastrous for this country.

Stephen Harper
Yes, it is "so integrated" largely due to the actions of those now making it more integrated. The secrecy surrounding these 'trade' deals ensures that no real discussion can ever really take place as any real concerns that come to light can easily be swept away with generic statements like "but what I am saying is we simply cannot afford as a country to have our auto sector shut out of global supply chains". The secrecy and deliberate confusion that is sewn provides the framing of all those against 'free trade' as against the concept of 'trade' itself when the truth is that those of us against 'free trade' are against it for all of the reasons besides actual trade that come with these deals. Wrapping the subversion of democracy in the cloak of trade is what is really going on.

You'll remember in part 1 of this series that we took a brief look at Justin Trudeau's pro free trade op-ed in which he asked the "vexing question" where the next wave of growth will come from. Politicians complicit  in this agenda aren't lying when they talk about the growth 'free trade' will bring, the part they're not telling you however and as Trudeau pointed out is that the "middle class" will not be benefiting by the "growth created by trade". This growth will go purely to the top end of the international corporations subverting the democratic process for profits and control and to keep the economic ponzi-scheme operating.

If the resource wars are how the U.S. empire's deep state aims to maintain dominance in the world among non-voluntary state actors it is free trade, along with the central banking ponzi-scheme and credit markets, which is the mechanism of accomplishing the same thing among voluntary state actors. Their implications run far beyond simple trade and aim to incrementally move more and more control of the types of business and rules for business away from national and democratic control towards international technocratic control where the clear and only beneficiaries are international corporations that have no national home.

This web of secret trade regulation is tying the hands of governments and their ability to act in favour of their people while fear-mongering about jobs and "economic growth" is used to convince populations to accept these deals but the economic growth they will bring will be for international corporations and their top echelon at the expense of the world population's standard of living. As we covered in part 1 hidden in Trudeau's news speak was admittance that the "middle class" never benefited from trade (in which he means 'free trade') but what he fails to mention is this was by design. Trudeau mentions how 'trade' (meaning 'free trade') has brought immense wealth but never says who received this wealth, of course indirectly admitting it certainly wasn't the middle class, or the lower class, so it must be the highest class. This is also by design.

This same design of stealing wealth and control is what is driving 'free trade' today and those parties who support it aim to fool you that being against 'free trade' is to be against 'trade'. This is a deliberate, malicious, lie meant to confuse and convince Canadians that giving up national sovereignty and the ability to decide what business can and can not do on Canadians soil will somehow translate into immense wealth and economic growth. As Stephen Harper once said "there isn't really a Canadian economy any more, it is a global economy" and "I know some people might not like it, it's a loss of national sovereignty but it's a simple reality that were in a global economy".

Of course what those in power omit from telling you is that this "global economy" which results in a loss of national sovereignty was designed by those operating it to do exactly that and they also omit that those who are operating it are not elected, accountable, or democratic. It is nothing short of a global economic dictatorship being operated and asserted by the American Deep State.

In part 4 of this post we will look at governmental issues and how they tie into what has already been covered here and then I will provide my final summary of the political landscape.

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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.