Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Puzzled" BoC cuts rates, admits "rate cut will increase financial imbalances"

Well it's official: another notch on the interest rate belt (Canada's now really losing rate fast, the austerity diet must be working). The great deflation is definitely now underway.

Before I really dive into some of Poloz's comments today I want to take you back to January of this year where the Bank of Canada first cut rates (a rate cut which I will point out now obviously didn't do anything). Flashback, January, 2015:
The Group of Seven’s biggest crude exporter is already feeling the effects of crude oil dropping below $50 a barrel, as companies such as Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc. reduce staffing and investment. The central bank said today said the economic recovery will be delayed until the end of next year and the needed rotation from indebted consumers to growth fueled by business spending is less certain.
Suffice to say the needed rotation from indebted consumers to growth fueled by business spending didn't happen and this has the BoC quite "puzzled" but despite being "puzzled" and despite the January rate cut not working they're cutting rates again anyway even though they've stated when they originally cut rates (and again repeated this time) they do not expect to see the rebound until the second half of the year. Hmm - so if everything is still ultimately going to plan why cut rates?

But their outlook gets even better for their expected rebound is based on their predictions of U.S. growth! Like, did nobody catch the fact that they now are not only failing to predict our growth situation, but are trying to predict the U.S. growth situation too? Reporters and listeners swallowed this up without even blinking, that someone that was "puzzled" why their forecasts weren't coming true in regards to their now infamous predictions of a lower dollar somehow boosting exports to the population in the U.S. which is equally indebted was now feeding them lines of predictions of not only this country but another as well and nobody bats an eye.

Frankly, Stephen Poloz, like Mark Carney, is full of shit.

Of course much of the talk of improvement in the U.S. is being driven by the Federal Reserve's constant talk about raising rates even though time after time they delay it in hopes growth takes on some sort of momentum (spoiler: it won't) much as a few years ago Carney was constantly talking about raising rates which as I accurately described back then was a bluff in a hope to sort of terrorize the population not into taking personal loans. News articles blanketed Canadian outlets on "what to do when rates rise", etc, etc. It was all bullshit folks and so is the U.S. talk of raising rates.

To be honest I doubt the Fed will raise rates at all. If the U.S. does raise rates it will simply be so that they can then lower them again for the global recession the world has already entered (or more accurately never escaped), the Fed and the world's central banks are out of tools.
Another way to understand the increasing reliance on central-planning extremes and their declining effectiveness is diminishing returns: more treasure, capital, time, energy and labor must be expended to keep the status quo from falling off a cliff. 
The Fatal Disease of the Status Quo: Diminishing Returns 
All of this extreme malinvestment requires more and more control of the national resources, so liberties must be curtailed and further extremes of centralized power and control must be imposed on the hapless citizenry. The resources of the many are increasingly stripmined to maintain the power and avarice of the few. 
I recently discussed these trends with Greg Hunter of USAwatchdog.com in a 23-minute video program, Policy Extremes Maintain Illusion of Stability
Let's review the policy extremes that are yielding diminishing returns: 
1. Zero interest rate policy (ZIRP): central planners' favorite tool for robbing savers and people who have socked away money for their retirement and handing the cash to banks. Now that central bankers have pegged interest rates at zero for 6+ years, there's nothing left in ZIRP but to push rates into negative territory, i.e. it now costs you money to park your cash in a bank. 
There's not much juice left in the zero-interest rate policy, and negative interest rates smack of central-planning desperation--which feeds the very fear and insecurity that trigger panics and crashes. 
2. Directly buying assets to prop up failing markets. The Chinese central planners are the latest authorities to reach for the last tool at the bottom of the central-planning toolbox:buying stocks and bonds directly to create the illusion of demand for increasingly shaky financial assets. 
There are two problems with creating bogus demand by using central bank money to buy stocks and bonds: one is this communicates desperation (see above), and the vast scale of bubblicious debt and equity markets have turned even trillion-dollar purchases by central planners into handfuls of sand thrown at a rising tide. 
Global equities now total $64 trillion and debt securities (bonds, etc.) total $95 trillion. Global real estate totals $180 trillion. Once the risk-on euphoric trust in central banks' omnipotence fades and risk-off selling begins in earnest, how much would central banks have to buy of this $340 trillion to keep the bubble inflated? 
Is it plausible to believe that central planners buying less than 1% of this will stop a landslide of selling? Would even 2% ($7 trillion) make any difference? 
3. The grab-bag of desperate policy extremes: banning short-selling, bail-ins (the theft of depositors' cash to bail out the bankers), partial closure of stock exchanges, currency devaluations, and so on. You can create a good catalog by just listing every action of Chinese central planners in the past month. 
As noted above, the problem with these policy extremes is that they are so painfully visibly acts of central-planning desperation. If things are as positive as we're told, then why are central planners forced to impose such absurdly extreme policies to keep the status quo from imploding? 
If these policies worked, why are interest rates still pegged to zero after six years of "growth" and the inflation of monumental asset bubbles? 
If these policies don't work (and they obviously don't, otherwise the authorities could have normalized interest rates and ceased quantitative easing, stock purchases, plunge protection schemes, etc. many years ago) and central planners keep doing more of what has failed, then the only possible conclusions are: 
1. The policy extremes will never work 
2. The central planners' continued expansion of policy extremes reveals their desperation 
3. When diminishing returns drop below the zero boundary, the system crashes.
 It's now been a week and a half since I began writing this post as I just didn't feel there was enough content here on it's own but of course when it comes to the Bank of Canada all you need to do is leave for a few days and some other point inevitably will be brought up and this holds true today.
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada has come under fire for its increased reliance on an inflation gauge that some economists say sows confusion in financial markets and could eventually lead to monetary policy errors. 
The central bank, which angered many forecasters in January with a surprise rate cut and eased again this month, has a mandate to control inflation, measured by the country's consumer price index (CPI). It also uses a core-CPI measure that strips out some volatile items. 
Bank of Canada policymakers have put less onus in recent months on these public measures, pointing to the bank's own calculation of an "underlying trend in inflation." 
They say this measure, which excludes transitory factors like meat shortages and the effect of a weakening Canadian dollar, gives a clearer picture of slack in the economy. 
But some economists say its use effectively shifts the goal posts, making it harder to interpret how Governor Stephen Poloz will react to data and increasing the risk interest rates could stay low for too long. 
"If the economy was in better shape, and for whatever reason they didn't want to raise rates, what's to keep them from understating where they believe underlying inflation is?" asked Bank of Montreal senior economist Benjamin Reitzes. 
The Bank of Canada's is supposed to keep inflation at the midpoint of a 1 percent to 3 percent target range. While annual inflation was at just 1.0 percent in June, core-CPI was 2.3 percent and has run above the 2 percent target since August. 
But the bank estimated underlying inflation was 1.5 percent to 1.7 percent when it cut rates on Wednesday, and said much of the difference with core-CPI is due to currency weakness, which boosts import prices. 
Combined with the bank's decision to drop forward guidance, the use of an unpublished underlying trend means less transparency, said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities. 
"It is unorthodox to be using a measure that cannot be calculated by others," Tulk said. "Since they model the currency pass-through and other one-time effects, their underlying measure cannot be easily replicated." 
In response to the criticisms, the Bank of Canada said that while it targets total inflation, underlying inflation helps it understand "noise" from temporary factors. 
"Our use of multiple measures of inflation, which we clearly explain, helps us avoid making monetary policy errors - it doesn't increase the risk of making them," spokeswoman Louise Egan said. 
"This type of analysis is not new for the Bank. Our challenge has always been to look through the temporary effects and aim our policy at the movements in inflation that are persistent." 
CIBC World Markets Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld sees some justification for looking through the depreciation effect, but takes issue with excluding other things like meat and phone costs. 
"That practice could down the road have the Bank of Canada ignoring an inflation trend that wasn't as temporary," he said.

TD's Tulk said the fact core inflation was above 2 percent at the time added to the surprise of the January cut and noted that other central banks tend to focus on public inflation gauges.
 Yes, the "puzzled" Bank of Canada is so amazing at forecasting that they use a super-secret "inflation trend" metric which conveniently despite the fact core-cpi has been running at 2.3% hasn't yet met their 2% inflation target. Of course for the people on the ground that 2.3% (likely understated as the two tier economy of the poor relies heavily on these volatile items) is very real. That's real currency coming out of your monthly budget. Contrast this with the bank's earlier statement: "rate cut will increase financial imbalances" and it seems full well they know what they're doing, doesn't it? The rate cuts are just not in your favour; they're in the favour of the banking and credit oligarchs who need even more liquidity.

You'll remember awhile ago on my post on the meaning of low-inflation in the risk adverse free market we briefly covered the fact that central bank rates are a guideline for private banks and that when banks don't pass on the full savings it is essentially automatic profit.

Mortgage broker says banks aren't giving Canadians the interest savings they deserve
"It's tough to argue that it's anything but [a money grab]," Ross tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch. "This does go directly to their profit margin. Being completely fair, the banks in Canada are not short of profit." 
When the Bank of Canada last cut interest rates in January, it was by 0.25 per cent. The banks followed by cutting only 15 basis points. This week, the trend continues.Before the 2008 financial crisis, the banks usually matched cuts in interest rates by the Bank of Canada. Since then, it's been less predictable. 
"There are some people who are saying they are building future loss provisions because, obviously, there is a lot of consumer debt in the economy," Ross says. 
He doesn't buy that argument. 
"There has not been an increase in defaults in Canada, so, while there is a lot of consumer debt that's in the market place, Canadian consumers are wealthier now than they ever have been," Ross says. "And with rising real estate values, the big banks have a lot of collateral." 
He says that the rate cuts that banks have not passed on to consumers are beginning to add up. 
"It's significant math. In the last few years, they've built in . . . more than one per cent and so for a $400,000 mortgage, you're talking about $4,000 a year."
I'm certainly not one to defend the banks but in this case I'd have to say Mr. Ross is wrong. The idea that the banks need more profit is silly as the most profit comes when people can service their loans. Saying the banks are simply engaging in a money grab is over-simplifying the situation when in reality with interest rates supposed to be a gauge for risk and the BoC attempting to artificially lower risk the banks are having to take risk calculations into their own hands with the added bonus of padding their margins. Of course the banks are probably aware this surplus is temporary as now the real situation is becoming clear:

Alberta insolvency rates rise as oilsands slump
Vacancy rates increasing, rents dropping, for Edmonton tenants

This last link is interesting as really Fort McMurray should have made the headline as "Apartments are going for $500 a month less than they did a year ago.". Yes, that's right $500 decrease YoY, for rent. But 'what bubble' right?

So clearly Alberta, Canada's "job creation engine" isn't doing so well, and on the other hand the BoC is "puzzled" why their monetary policy hasn't had the effects on exports they have been expecting. Hmm, is it any wonder why consumer banks may be unsure about taking on unwarranted risk with even more loans?


This last interest rate cut will have a negligible effect just as the one in January did. These cuts come in the face of a global deflationary headwind which even a drop to 0% rates tomorrow would not counter. The BoC is effectively out of maneuvering room which is why talk of a "Canadian QE" has surfaced:
“The rapidly emerging debate addresses the question of whether the Bank of Canada stands willing to step into the realm of unconventional policies, in case the evolution continues to stubbornly track the downside scenario and not the baseline,” said Jimmy Jean, senior economist at Desjardins Capital Markets. 
Recent economic indicators show a Canadian economy that continues to struggle in the wake of a collapse in oil prices that began last year. Statistics Canada said Monday that wholesale sales for the month of May declined one per cent, compared with economist expectations that sales would be flat. That follows a disappointing manufacturing read last week, which showed that factory sales edged up only 0.1 per cent in May, compared with expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise. 
Unconventional monetary policy has been deployed by the world’s major central banks to jump start their economies in the past few years, including quantitative easing programs by the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve — the latter of which deployed three separate QE programs, buying trillions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasuries to push down long-term yields. 
But while quantitative easing is the first thing that comes to mind when discussing unconventional policy, there are a variety of monetary tools the BoC can deploy if it is forced to use its last remaining lifeline and cut its rate to zero. 
For instance, the bank could bring back forward guidance, which was introduced by former governor Mark Carney in 2009 and soon after adopted by other banks worldwide. Forward guidance involves communicating clearly to markets the conditions the bank sees as necessary for future rate hikes, and even potentially hinting at the timing of such hikes. Poloz decided to end explicit guidance in 2014 when he took over from his predecessor, saying it should be reserved for use in a “zero lower bound” environment.
Actually what forward guidance really is, is a lie. Forward guidance is a bank *saying* they're going to raise/lower rates hoping that the words and expectation itself is enough to move or contain markets. It's what the Federal Reserve is engaging in now with their warnings of rate hikes yet each and every time they have an opportunity to do it, they don't. Saying "forward guidance" is a tool of policy makers is akin to saying that "the boy who cried wolf" mobilized people effectively. Until the real crisis came, that is.

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

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

Sunday, July 5, 2015

UPDATE-1: Now is the time to observe, learn, and act

I've always said Greece is the canary in the coal mine of the collapse of industrialized economies in the face of limits to growth. There is much to be learned from the events occurring there now in many regards, from the likely behavior of "creditors" when push comes to shove, the power governments have in the face of such creditors, the reactions of people both prepared and unprepared, the methods of survival, the development of community, the formation of gangs, and much more.

Learning about the true nature of freedom and democracy

The naked brutality of a financial dictatorship should be visible for all to see which is especially ironic following the Ukraine situation in which it was "European Democracy" the Ukrainians were supposedly in desire of running from Russian "totalitarianism". There is no true democracy, not in Europe, not in the U.S., and not in Canada, we're all slaves to infinite growth and international finance ponzi-conomies where at the end of the day the only thing that matters is repaying the debt chain all the way back to the primary bond holders at the top, the true "leaders" of social direction and policy.
Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week. 
"Without new money, salaries won't be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won't be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay," he said. 
Mr Schulz earlier called for the elected Syriza government to be replaced by "technocrat" rule until stability is restored. 
The alarmist warnings are part of an escalating pressure campaign by European leaders as Greeks decide their destiny in what has become – despite attempts by Syriza to present it otherwise - an in-out vote on euro membership after five years of economic depression and mass unemployment.
I hope the western Ukrainians are paying attention because while "the institutions" may be perfectly happy to loan Ukraine "money" without the same sorts of conditions a "democratic member" like Greece has to conform to to secure an important NATO position on Russia's doorstep there certainly isn't any "democracy and freedom" waiting for them in Europe with the sorts of debts they're racking up.

While many in the media make a point to describe SYRIZIA as "extreme left" as though that somehow explains their actions defying the ECB what Greece truly exposes is at the core of it all it's not left vs right. All IMF aligned countries have forfeited the public creation of their currencies, either to private lenders or the ECB (which is also basically private lenders). It's creditor vs. citizen and any government right or left truly working on behalf of the Greek people would have no choice other than to do what SYRIZIA is trying to do. As opposed to say the last Greek government which blocked their government buildings and banks off with riot police and beat the people as they worked in league with the creditors to bury the Greeks in multiple generations of debt and keep their place in the status-quo.

Learning about the true nature of "anti-terror"

Yanis Varoufakis is perfectly correct to label what the EU and IMF mafia of bankers is doing to Greece as terrorism.
"What they're doing with Greece has a name: terrorism. Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people. It's about spreading terror," he told El Mundo.
You are now seeing the true world terrorists at work. The people behind the coup in Ukraine, the people behind arming the CIA asset al-Qaeda to overthrow governments and provide the excuse of ISIS needed both to bomb Syria and enact further "anti-terror" laws like C51. In fact Greece provides an example of what the anti-terror laws are for too.
The Greek police counter-terrorism unit located and arrested two of the three people said to be involved in a bank robbery in Distomo last August, during a special operation held on Friday afternoon in Nea Anchialos, Volos, Central Greece. 
Georgios Petrakakos, Spyridon Christodoulou and Spyridon Dravillas are the three men identified as the bank robbers. 
Christodoulou and Petrakakos did not resist arrest after police invaded their hideout while Dravillas refused to surrender and committed suicide with an AK-47 assault rifle. 
The Distomo bank robbery suspects have allegedly cooperated with infamous terrorist Nikos Maziotis and runaway convict Vassilis Paleokostas. Dravillas was specifically the one who helped Paleokostas escape from Korydallos prison Hollywood-style by helicopter.
Yes, bank robberies are now terrorism, too. Do you see how more and more "criminal acts" and "terrorist acts" are becoming one and the same? And what makes them terrorists? Well they "allegedly cooperated" with some high profile terrorist. There's no way to know for sure as really anti-terror units could just say that, couldn't they? It's not like they have to prove it as it'll now be "proved" in the secret anti-terror tribunal where circumstantial bullshit evidence is just fine.

Yes for now the state is not going to abuse it's power and arrest masses of people arbitrarily. For now. Those thinking that because the Canadian government for instance hasn't started going out and rounding up activists because C51 is now law don't understand how governments slowly acclimate you to tolerate more and more abuse gradually. The first step is to make criminal activity terrorist activity, because nobody likes criminals and thus most people are ok if they're treated like shit and not given due process. They'll start with severe criminals and slowly but surely make more and more mundane criminal acts terrorism too.

Once the transformation of criminals to terrorists is complete the government will be in the clear to abuse anti-terror powers as all "criminal" proceedings will now follow the anti-terror form of due process instead. Secret trials, planted evidence, entrapment, the works. You're never going to see "innocents" arrested as terrorists on TV, you can be sure utilizing the "disruption" abilities in C51 and other anti-terror laws they will now be able to make anyone look like anything. Those looking for the government to obviously display it's abuse simply don't get how these things work and are ignoring history and even when the government does display it's abuse such as with the G20 all they require is some excuse (like a riot that lasted for an hour and a half which 10,000 police didn't try to stop), and a few low level patsies to throw under the bus and they're in the clear. Hell you might even end up as an MP.

Learning the true nature of the importance of preparation

Long lines at ATMs have almost become the symbol of Greece at the moment, it's the favorite image being used by media to scare the people. These lines do exist, plenty of Greeks were completely unprepared for this event having been lulled into a false sense of security by the former government. It's important to realize, however, that the Greeks not standing in line at the ATM are not being shown in the media. Plenty of Greeks were prepared for this event, plenty of Greeks have been growing their own food and haven't had money in the bank for quite some time.

When the events of Greece eventually arrive at other countries you do not want to be the one standing in line at the ATM. You might think I sound alarmist in the idea this could happen in the U.S. or in Canada, my response would be: that's probably what those standing in the ATM lines said too.

Greece also demonstrates the important of owning gold or silver as already alternative currencies are emerging from private companies to pay their workers and are in turn arranging private agreements with grocery stores and shops to accept the currency they're issuing. Aside from Euro's which are getting scarcer by the day the only other universal currency you could possibly trade for one of these private currencies a grocery store might accept would be gold and silver, or bitcoin, though in the longer term bitcoin might be a bit riskier to hold on to.

There isn't going to be some sort of "Grexit" event, the Grexit is a process and it's already begun, as Frances Coppola writes in an excellent piece on the subject.

In some ways the Greeks have been far luckier than the nations that will subsequently be sucked into this vacuum of debt the system has created. The world financial system has spent significant resources trying to prop Greece up as it's really the linchpin in an entire domino effect of sovereign debt that will have far reaching consequences for the status-quo economies all around the world. It has been during the slow destruction of Greece that low interest rate policies could actually go "lower" and where central banks were still getting some sort of growth "return" for their "investment" of your future labour. These resources and financial "tools" will not exist for subsequent nations and as such the collapse of ponzi-conomies will be a lot swifter.

Learning about the long term risks of re-localization

While the local economy in Greece re-asserts itself there are certainly long term risks to losing immediate access to the global trade market (so long as it remains stable, that is).
"Luckily we have six months stocks of oil and four months stocks of pharmaceuticals," he told The Telegraph. 
Mr Varoufakis said a special five-man committee from the Greek treasury, the Bank of Greece, the trade unions and the private banks is working feverishly in a "war room" near his office allocating precious reserves for top priorities. 
Food has been exempted from an import freeze since capital controls were introduced last weekend. Grains, meats, dairy products, and other foodstuffs should be able to enter the country freely, averting a potential disaster as the full tourist season kicks off.
It is here where the importance of peak oil begins to emerge, which also serves as a good basis for understanding the order in which industrial ponzi-conomies will collapse.

As I pointed out in a post earlier this year on the Bank of Canada interest rate cut (yes we'll be getting to the predictions of recession in Canada shortly) the price of oil - despite the system's rhetoric to the contrary - being "cheap" isn't really cheap at all barring the relatively new phenomenon of extremely expensive prices over the last 10 years. Here is that chart again for your convenience:

For a modern economy to operate it needs oil. It is the very foundation of everything we have here today but with the advent of peak conventional oil (which is what peak oil was always about before you say "but fracking" or "but oilsands") the dynamics of energy have changed. It now costs more to consume, it costs more to produce, and there are fewer and fewer conventional oil producers and more and more unconventional oil producers. That is the very essence of the problem with peak oil, the problem was never oil depletion but rather that as cheap conventional oil depletes we have to more and more turn to unconventional oil to supplement demand and this unconventional oil is more expensive to consume (which has the effect of raising the price of all oil as in supply and demand terms it is all weighed equally).

This increase in the price of energy represents a huge additional cost for countries which can not produce it and Greece is a prime example. At the end of the day if Greece wants oil they're going to have to buy it and unless they can produce something greater in value that can also account for all of their other required imports they are looking at either a permanent deficit, or a significant reduction in their standard of living. But it's not only Greece.

Countries in this situation have one tool to counter this global trade imbalance, tourism. Through tourism Greece can operate an enlarged service sector as relying on tourism essentially translates to relying on the production and trade of other nations to supplement globally acceptable currency reserves - up until recently this was largely the U.S. dollar, or the Euro. Pretty well any "tourist destination" would accept U.S. dollars and most still do and thus by tourists coming and spending U.S. dollars the economies were constantly being injected by new liquidity that could be used in global trade.

Tourism in the face of a world economy which on the whole is having issues is not going to sustain the needs of the nation as the capacity for consumers of other producing nations to engage in tourism decreases.

The capacity for tourism will decrease because of the positive feedback loop that is in play. Let's for a minute jump to Canada's situation which is essentially the polar opposite of Greece's. Greece is having a major debt issue and problems sustaining their economy, while Canada on the other hand is having issues kick starting it's economy due to the export market. Of course to export, you're going to need to need someone to import. Simplifying the situation for visualization purposes if Canada has oil (which it does, very expensive oil to produce I might add) and Greece needs oil then Greece has to purchase it adding to the deficit.

The entire reason oil became the foundation of our society is it's the most condensed portable form of energy we have available. The huge return on investment of conventional oil also meant it was the cheapest to extract. But with the new era of pricing for oil as well as the volatility what was once a workable trade arrangement is having significant problems today both for indebted importers and exporters relying more and more heavily on unconventional oil production which if the global economy is going to "grow" will require more and more of the oil supply to come from unconventional sources to meet demand.

The primary risks of re-localization for countries like Greece means unstable access to oil supplies and other needs. Just because it's a risk however doesn't mean it's a "bad event". As one Greek proudly proclaims:
What it means is an adjustment of expectations. It's not easy, but it is freeing in the right frame of mind.

The next "global recession"

In February I wrote a post with a part on the 'great deflation' that had just begun (and which I have been mentioning in the years before). This great deflation is now in full swing which the report that Canada is likely entering a new recession, despite Joe Olivers claims to the contrary, likely confirms.

Of course in reality we're not re-entering recession as we never truly left the last one. The growth has been an illusion fueled by central bank currency printing the world over but the desired escape velocity where there is enough momentum and expectations of growth to turnover the credit system and drive new loans hasn't happened. The recession is becoming visible now because with 90% of the industrial world at 0 or near zero percent interest rates there is nowhere left to go.

The magic trick is largely over and now the world will be left to reap the consequences as the bond bubble we've been creating for the best 7 years unravels and all of the old junk debt we thought we swept under the carpet comes back to say hello. It wasn't long ago that "Greece was saved", and in that same fashion old friends like the 'fiscal cliff' will be making cameo appearances in the next act.

If the last major recession swept the legs out from under debt ridden consumer countries then it is this coming recession where countries have already deployed most of their recession fighting tools that will sweep the legs out from under the major producers. It's very likely this recession will be the biggest and last as well as the final blow to the current U.S. denominated global monetary system. It's perhaps ironically coincidental that the week Greek banks closed, the new Chinese lead AIIB opened.
BEIJING — Underscoring its growing global heft, China launched an infrastructure bank for Asia on Monday, receiving the backing of 50 countries for an initiative that seeks to boost the region’s economy but also put Beijing at the center of its development. 
Representatives from Britain, Germany, South Korea and Australia were among those who took part in a ceremony to sign the articles of association in the Great Hall of the People, with the United States and Japan the most notable absentees. 
Many U.S. allies joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Monday — despite Washington’s initial objections — in what was seen as a major diplomatic victory for President Xi Jinping.
Which may ultimately bail Greece out...


Greece should be watched very closely, and as you're watching ask yourself "what would I do in that situation?". Ask yourself: "are you prepared if the ATMs one day close?". Put your thoughts into action and prepare. It really does no harm to prepare for an emergency even if you don't expect or want it to happen, It's an extension to your fire extinguisher or first aid kit.

I know, it seems silly when surrounded by the illusion of security and stability our society represents but the just-in-time ponzi-conomy is a lot more fickle, and fragile, than most probably believe and life support is quickly running out. Don't get stuck in the lines.

‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’


Following his resignation Yanis Varoufakis wrote an article in 2012 on the true state of the Eurozone which touches on much that I have here.

Some choice exerts:
Grasping how this GSRM worked and why it perished is a prerequisite for coming to terms with our current global predicament — which, in turn, is key to understanding why Greece has become so prominent in the headlines. 
Sustainable growth in a capitalist economy is a rare blessing that is predicated on the successful recycling of surpluses. Every nation, every trading bloc, every continent, indeed the global economy itself, is made up of deficit and surplus regions. 
California, Greater London, New South Wales, and Germany will always be in surplus vis-à-vis Arizona, the North of England, Tasmania, and Portugal, respectively. Given this chronic chasm, which market forces can never obliterate, the deficit regions are unable to maintain demand for the goods and services of the surplus producers. Thus, without surplus recycling, stagnation beckons for surplus and deficit regions alike. 
Surplus recycling is commonplace at the national level. In the United States, for example, military procurement often comes with the precondition that new production facilities are built in depressed states; the Australian welfare state ensures that Western Australian and New South Welsh surpluses end up propping up demand for their goods and services in Tasmania. However, at the global level the issue of surplus recycling becomes more pressing and harder to institute.
The postwar era was remarkable in that two GSRMs saw to it that the world economy achieved unprecedented growth. The first GSRM lasted from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. The United States exited the war with enormous surpluses, which it quickly sought to recycle to the rest of the Western world in a multitude of ways (the Marshall Plan, wide-ranging support for Japanese industry, endless backing of the European integration project, and so on), effectively functioning as a GSRM itself. 
Alas, this first postwar GSRM broke down, predictably, when US surpluses turned into deficits toward the end of the 1960s. The loss of that meticulously planned GSRM threw the world into the 1970s crises which did not subside until a new — most peculiar — GSRM was put in place, again courtesy of the United States. 
This time the nation absorbed the surpluses of the rest of the world, running ever increasing trade and government deficits. Those deficits were, in turn, financed by capital flowing into Wall Street, as the rest of the world recycled its profits by investing them in the United States.
Since then, the best paid plans of Central Banks, G20 nations, or the IMF have failed to restore the rude energy of the wounded beast. Without a functioning GSRM, the crisis that started in 2008 will continue to migrate across continents and sectors, regularly threatening us with imminent collapse.
One ought also to fear that such a move will only manage to achieve an uncontrolled disintegration whose end result will be massive recession in the European north, a gargantuan stagflation in the European periphery, and the descent of the global economy into a postmodern 1930s. Europe has managed twice in the last hundred years to drag the rest of the world down with it. It is about to do it again, with Greece as a convenient scapegoat.

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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, June 19, 2015

UPDATE-2: Response to 'Bill C-51 & Justin Trudeau'

I've been very pleased to see Canadians responding to Justin Trudeau's support of C51. In the polls the Liberals are once again sinking, and on Twitter no matter what Trudeau tweets about the responses are peppered with Canadians angry at his lame (non-existent) opposition to a bill that attacks what's left of the diminished "freedom" we all have in the name of supposed "safety" and "security".

A week or so ago a Trudeau supporter responded to my own tweet critical of Trudeau's support of C51 with a blog post providing what he views as a sufficient argument to extol the Liberal support of C51. It's very well written and I can see how easily it would be for a post like this to sway public opinion back towards general apathy or even support of Trudeau, and C51, and other encroaching "anti-terror" laws and as such I feel compelled to at least attempt to provide an equally thorough counter-point.

First we will go through his post, then I'll provide some additional thoughts. He provides a lot of source material and due to the the fact I'd like to actually publish this post relatively quickly before the relevance is completely gone I won't have time to thoroughly debunk each individual one but I will provide umbrella arguments that should apply to many sources at once that all revolve around the same basis.
You’re here reading this because you’re wondering how or why Justin Trudeau could have possibly voted for the anti-terrorism legislation Bill C-51. 
I am not a Conservative. In fact, I lean quite left. After much research on both sides of this issue, it is clear that this bill and Mr. Trudeau’s response to it has been very misunderstood. I plan to use third-party sources and evidence as much as possible to show that the balanced stand taken by the Liberal Party is the best possible stand. If you believe in evidence and facts like I do, I hope you’ll read through these links thoroughly to make sure you’re informed on this issue.


1. Firstly, this: http://bit.ly/1TmRsz0
As the author makes no additional comments on this article and the contents links into points I'll be making later on we will get back to this relevant link later, but read it now and take special note of the phrasing and straw-man arguments the author uses to quickly implant a suggestion (such as the no-fly list not working, provide an example (of it working), then misdirect you to a copious claim it doesn't work and needs to be improved even though it already limits freedom and liberty in it's current form before C51's "improvements".
2. Former NDP Premier of Ontario Bob Rae wrote this piece that shows that some kind of update, reform, and new powers for CSIS to combat terrorism are needed: http://t.co/XqqQm3Kk15. He does say that oversight is needed, but there has not been oversight in 10 years – despite the Conservatives promising to bring it in – and there will be no opportunity to bring in such oversight until their majority is replaced.
Interesting the author chooses to invoke the NDP "past" of Bob Rae rather than the more prominent position he held as interim leader of the Liberal party of Canada. This is an attempt to say look: "NDPers support it too", but party affiliation means nothing as readers of this blog should know and as we will discuss a little bit later in this post when it comes to the Liberal's new "star" Bill Blair. Bob Rae provides the same tired narrative being pushed by the system about oversight and yadda yadda which I've written about before here. We will also come back to the "oversight" issue and the real need for bills like this later.
3. VIDEO: Justin gives most comprehensive answer on C-51 yet: http://bit.ly/1JVCkFU 
Correction: he gives the "most comprehensive answer on the politics of C51 ever". The actual parts about C51 he likes, or has issues with, are glossed over as "protecting Canadians" and "protecting their rights". And how will he protect their rights? By getting elected and then supposedly"amending bill C51" so that it will protect their rights (sort of, but not really) when he gets in power by adding more "oversight". Despite the bullshit politics he plays in this video I want you to keep one thing in mind: He supported the taking away of your rights, on the off chance he "gets into power" (more on this later), to protect you from something that has a 20,000,000:1 chance of happening to you and which Canada already has many freedom encroaching laws on the books to deal with already and which are regularly abused as the Snowden leaks have shown.
4. Liberals and Conservatives have a fundamentally different approaches to anti-terrorism. Read this National Post Op-Ed: http://t.co/K2p7RYd6Px 
The "appearance of difference", anyway. Here is what I got out of this article written by members of the Liberal party themselves:
In both process and substance, the Conservatives’ approach stands in sharp contrast to that of the Liberals following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In considering Bill C-36, the first comprehensive Canadian legislation to address the threat of international terrorism, Liberals listened respectfully to substantive arguments by expert witnesses and opposition MPs, while engaging in spirited discussion and debate within our caucus. Consequently, the Liberal government altered course in significant respects, seeking to protect both Canadians’ security and civil liberties. 
After Bill C-36 was enacted, it became clear that another element in the struggle against terrorism was required: robust and transparent oversight. By October 2004, an all-party group of parliamentarians — including the current Minister of Justice — presented Anne McClellan and Irwin Cotler, the ministers of Public Safety and Justice respectively, with a report recommending the establishment of a parliamentary committee with the authority to oversee and review the conduct of Canada’s intelligence-gathering agencies. This recommendation was based on an examination of similar bodies in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, and led to the introduction of Bill C-81 in 2005. Bill C-81 died with the election of the Harper government in 2006.
So were the Liberals looking to "protect the rights of Canadians" before, or after? Because what I'm reading here is that despite all of the so called "discourse" at the time (that you'll remember was largely fueled on unsubstantiated bullshit being put out by the Bush government) somehow all of these "experts" forgot the "oversight" clause and so just like this time the Liberals supported and then passed the "security" portion first and decided only then to address the "rights" portion later. You will remember the author mentioned earlier: "but there has not been oversight in 10 years – despite the Conservatives promising to bring it in – and there will be no opportunity to bring in such oversight until their majority is replaced.".

Now you know why.
5. This on the case of Patrice Vincent and how Bill C-51 could have played a tangible role in preventing this: http://t.co/6H4MFLNV3J
This is the worst argument and slippery slope for promoting and enacting a police state. It is completely arbitrary in it's basis and essentially claims that "collecting evidence is too hard to do". This argument turns a society supposedly based on "justice" on it's head.

First of all it is worth noting that this "terrorist attack" can itself be debated considering that the targets were two officers of a state that has essentially "declared war". This isn't to say these two ceremonial officers deserved to die, or that Canada deserved to be attacked but as the old adage goes "if you play with fire you're likely to get burnt" and Canada's war footing is surely playing with fire.

Second, of course there is always some new law they could pass that will supposedly "make us safer" using an event which as pointed out earlier there is a 1 in 20,000,000 chance you will ever encounter. Just imagine how many drug cookhouses, grow houses, and gang houses could be busted if police simply had a weekly house inspection. Think how hard it would be to avoid paying your taxes if the government imposed electronic credit on everyone. Imagine how many drunk drivers we could catch if we had permanent checkpoints on all the roads. This is the slippery slope.

If we follow through logically with the fact that every one-off media hyped tragedy comes with a new set of laws designed to "prevent it" and there are always going to be holes and vulnerabilities to "attack" which no set of civil right respecting laws can ever hope to address and as such one by one each and every right will be taken until they are gone.

From the article the author sources:
Police knew the 25-year-old as a Muslim convert who made increasingly radical statements on social media and had arrested him in July before he could board a plane to Turkey, only to be told they had to let him go. 
"We interviewed him and [with] the information we had and the statement he provided to us, we [did] not have enough evidence to charge him and to detain him," RCMP Supt. Martine Fontaine told CBC News. 
Couture-Rouleau was released after RCMP seized his passport and added him to the 90 or so individuals on their watch list. 
Now, CBC News has learned officers tried several weeks later to place Couture-Rouleau under a peace bond, which would have forced him to agree to meet certain conditions or go to jail. 
Once again, prosecutors told police they didn't have enough evidence under the law, which says there must be evidence that a person will commit a terrorism offence.
Here is one glaring fact the author has chosen not to source:
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who acted alone and may have had Libyan-Canadian citizenship, had been in Ottawa since at least Oct. 2 and was here to “deal with a passport issue.” Commissioner Paulson told reporters Thursday that Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who was killed in Centre Block’s hallway outside the Library of Parliament, was not one of the 93 “high-risk travellers” currently being investigated and tracked by Canadian authorities.
Yes, thats right, the entire reason this man was in Ottawa in the first place was to "deal with a passport issue". A "passport issue" the Canadian authorities themselves created due to other anti-terror laws. Isn't it how in every terror-plot or foiled terror-plot you don't have to look very far to see prior state involvement?

There is something else to note here, the idea that "C51 could have prevented" this attack is based on the premise they could have detained him without evidence, but evidence of what? The reason they were looking to detain him was because it was believed he was going to syria, not because they believed an attack was imminent here. If his detention would have prevented this attack it would have been dumb luck, and no one would have ever known it. The argument that C51 could have absolutely prevented this attack is conjecture being made in hindsight and presumptions of the intent of intelligence agencies to actually prevent said attacks, instead of creating the conditions needed for them to happen, be hyped up, and then used as justification for even more freedom killing laws.

If it can be argued C51 could have prevented this attack due to the dumb luck of detaining someone for completely different reasons then it can also be argued that had other anti-terror laws not took away his passport he would have never been in Ottawa and by shear dumb-luck the attacks wouldn't have happened. Using the exact same "what-if" logic as is being used in this case for C51 I've now shown that anti-terror laws and the loopholes they use to do an end-run around criminal law and due process actually make the chances of a terrorist attack more likely, not less.

There is no concrete evidence anything the RCMP has said about this man is true and I'd say their involvement with him and the way they've sporadically released selective evidence to build their case of popular opinion of the imminent threat of radical Islam is highly suspicious at the very least. We will come back to this topic of government involvement in terror plots a little bit later.
6. For those acting surprised about the Liberals vote for this bill and asking for answers on why he took this position, here are links back to February 2015 saying that Caucus would vote for C-51 and why: http://t.co/qQBLbKANhC. There were 3 votes in the Commons on this, people (see: civics 101 - how a bill becomes a law). After he voted for it once, he wasn’t about to flip-flop for no reason just to join the prevailing political wind.
I for one am certainly not surprised and have been saying since before Justin Trudeau was anointed leader that he was clearly the status-quo's choice to form the next government, that he is a puppet of the bankers (who founded and run the intelligence agencies) that want these laws brought in so that the system can deal with up and coming economic turmoil (which countries in the EU provide a preview of). It is no surprise to me he (and the Liberals) supported C51 and as I've stated before I believe that all of the pawns of the top echelon felt this bill required a united front to attempt to build popular support where there would clearly be none and so the controlled opposition narrative of "more oversight" was born.
7. Read a bit of this debate on the bill from the House of Commons. It’s very two-sided, although the Conservatives’ fear rhetoric in favour of the bill is equally bad and shallow to the fear rhetoric by the NDP. The Liberals take an evidenced stand, despite the other two parties’ approaches: http://bit.ly/1QjpgZi 
The points contained in this link are being address all throughout this post and doesn't provide the proper context for an argument itself. We wil be looking at some "additional" evidence on terrorism later.
8. IMPORTANT: This Op-Ed is the a recent link from the Liberals and it answers critics’ reactions to the passing of this bill in the House of Commons. It shows how the extremes in this debate have only sold fear, and not allowed a real debate on security and freedoms: https://t.co/Zkl0ZE2PXj 
To begin with the very premise of the Liberals article is incorrect:
It is important to challenge both the facts and the political tactics being used. First, there is a real threat of terrorism in this country and Canadian military personnel were targets. Two men were killed last year and since then, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have spent months on high alert. I know this because, as members of the Naval Reserve, we were under orders not to wear our uniforms in public so we would not stand out as targets.
Exactly, Canadian military personnel were targeted, not civilians. They're not targets of terrorism, they're targets of war.
His use of the word "war" is important because it carries specific, legal connotations and the government generally avoided using it during the long campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The word does not appear in the parliamentary motion which authorized the mission in Iraq.
Can you imagine if during World War II British, American, and Canadian soldiers were told not to wear their uniforms because they "might be targeted for attack"? Continuing with the "important" Liberal propaganda masquerading as an Op-ED:
Second, far from ignoring the risk to civil liberties that comes when security is threatened, Liberals have called for all-party oversight and secured a number of amendments that addressed some of the public’s earlier concerns. 
But it is important to remember: there has been some form of anti-terror legislation in place in Canada since 2001. Since that time, an investigative hearing was used only once – in the Air India case, which was the worst terror attack ever on Canadian soil. Also, the preventive arrest measures have never been used – even once – in 14 years. Not once. It takes ten times as much effort to correct a false idea than it does to get it right in the first place.
 See that folks, the "preventative arrest" measures have never been used! Not once! So you can trust your government to continue not using them. Now, why haven't they been used? Well we covered that a little bit earlier didn't we:
The head of the RCMP told a Senate committee in the fall that police are being asked for too much evidence in their efforts to protect the public. 
"Generally speaking, I'm of the view we need to be able to lower the threshold," RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told a meeting of the Senate's national security committee on Oct. 27. 
He later told reporters, "I think it's a reasonable sort of area where we can examine on these peace bonds and other assistance orders." 
Peace bonds have only been used eight times since 2001 for terrorism suspects — six of them related to members of the 2006 Toronto 18 plot, and two others. 
Critics claim that's proof police aren't using the tools they already have. But government sources insist the current legal requirements put the tools too far out of reach.
If the logic being presented here seems a little circular then you're paying attention because it is: The laws already in place aren't being abused because of the strong requirement for evidence needed, which is then argued is too much evidence to "protect the public" and thus the bar needs to be lowered which implicitly counters the first suggestion that those in charge are majorly concerned about "getting it wrong". They haven't been used because police haven't been able to gather the evidence needed, but they've *tried* to use them many times. The very thing preventing their abuse is what C51 seeks to remove.
9. NEW: Marc Garneau with an emotional, and thorough explanation of being a legislator and why voting for C-51 was the right plan: http://bit.ly/1G7gJ75 
This link recycles the same tired arguments of balance which we will be addressing a bit later in this post.
10. Hear it from the Leader himself that he stands for a secure and free Canada – and that it’s a false dichotomy we must choose between the two: https://t.co/eU47XC63yx (4:53 in) 
The "false dichtomy" is the idea that without bills like C51 Canada is not "secure". Most of what else is said in this video is the same old rehashed bullshit though he does mention the "amendments" which we will be getting to a little bit later. It should also be noted that the growing focus on "anti-terrorism" has resulted in the RCMP taking resources away from at least 300 real criminal probes which hardly speaks to any sort of enhancement on your "safety" or "security" and demonstrates that increasingly the system is moving away from a somewhat fair "criminal justice system" where due process and the rule of law is followed to one more centered on "anti-terror" where it's claimed that due process and the rule of law is a hindrance.
11. More video. Trudeau addresses number of issues, including C-51: http://t.co/LdcMDYLgPe 
I don't need 3 videos of Justin Trudeau repeating terms like "safety" and "freedom" over and over again without quantifying them.
12. Marc Garneau on the specifics of the Liberal amendments. This is what a better approach to the policy looks like in specifics: http://t.co/Kz4d7PBV2p 
This is mostly about the amendments which we will get to later.
13. Justin Trudeau tells VICE News about C-51, taking a more positive tone to this debate – one not based on fear: https://t.co/5LeOpy0FDM 
Again, more rehashes of the same old political (and not fact based) reasoning.
14. Most recently, a couple dozen protesters stood outside a Liberal rally in Edmonton. What did Trudeau and local candidates do? They didn’t hide inside. They came out and engaged with the protesters, tried to answer their questions, and heard their concerns. They got the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada to come out and talk to them, unlike Mulcair/Harper would ever do. What did they do though?… They didn’t let him speak. They shouted in his face. They chanted over him. They didn’t listen, didn’t engage, and ensured no one could hear what he said. They weren’t interested in answers or changing his mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmLwjjcvIeQ
(The most pitiful moment being a protester at the end standing inches from a candidate trying to speak to someone, and repeatedly saying, “Why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate freedom”… And that, my friends, is where intelligent debate goes to die… moments like that. I don’t know how any critic of the debate who uses “same as Harper” and other catch-phrases from that rally can feel proud after seeing that…) 
This is political posturing and has nothing to do with the issue at hand, I don't care what supporters or protesters are doing - this point is clearly here to show that Justin Trudeau listens and those opposed to the bill are obvious wack-jobs. However this isn't about whether or not he "listens", this about the facts and likely consequences of C51 and Trudeau's support of it. There's plenty of idiots at protests doing stupid things, Ezra Levant uses them as "evidence" in his propaganda all the time and this point is no different than that.
15. Carolyn Bennett has a well-written piece here too on why she voted FOR the bill:http://t.co/zzL4qAOeBS 
This is again the same rehashed points as all of the other links sourced from liberal.ca. While it initially looks like the author provides a lot of material supporting his point and forces the reader to do a lot of work to comb through his sources it ultimately is just the same unsubstantiated points repeated over and over and over again being presented as "evidence".
Anyway, done with the links. Now onto the FAQ portion:

Why didn’t the Liberals make their vote for the bill conditional on their amendments passing?
If you like an omnibus-type bill more than you dislike it and if overall more good than bad – you vote for. If more is bad than good – you vote against. The 50% divide is pretty sensible when you’re making a decision that requires compromise. I think, after reading the links above, you can see there is a need for security and concerns for security at the same time. Therefore, you can see how someone may vote for something, but oppose ‘aspects’.
No, after reading the links above I do not see there is a "need" for additional security. Only one supposed terrorist attack was cited, that isn't even a terrorist attack as it targeted officers of the state and was possibly in part motivated or subsequently caused by the government's own "anti-terror" actions.
If someone opposed an omnibus bill that said both that it would “fund cancer research” and “give a tax cut to the richest few”, the bill proposer could accuse their opponent of not wanting to fund cancer research and of being heartless. On the other hand, if they vote for it – their members and supporters can say, “You gave a tax cut to the richest!?” In a majority scenario, there is no control over amendments for the third party – there is simply making the best of the legislation before you. You have to vote on the principle of sending a message, one way or the other. And progressive conservative voters for too long have doubted the Liberal Party would support security and be able to deal with domestic ISIL threats. I will outline shortly why those are not to be dismissed using bravado or denial.
The comparison between "fund cancer research" and "lowering taxes on the rich" as the positive and negative with clear substantive popular opinion and weight towards the desire to "cure cancer" in contrast to the relatively benign effect of lowering taxes on the rich (compared to cancer which has a 1 in 7 chance of killing you) is a false comparison to what we are dealing with in C51. Clearly  collectively working to help prevent something that has a 1 in 7 chance of killing you far outweighs whatever financial damage would be inflicted with lowering taxes on the rich. This is a far cry from the 1 in 20,000,000 chance you have of becoming a victim of terrorism and the sanctity of your privacy and freedom and liberty isn't even in the same ballpark as taxes on the rich. These two situations are not analogous to each other.
And moreover it’s about the principle of being for security. Canadians are, poll-after-poll, concerned about security and terrorism. No one could stop the Conservative majority and the result of the vote wasn’t contingent or dependent on the Opposition members. Not saying “no” off the bat meant taking a stand that security still matters enough to support measures that forwards it in these turbulent global times. Saying “no” admittedly allows the Conservatives to say no one would fight terrorists other than them. Informed Canadians know that is ridiculous. Canadians who tune in right before the election and have succumb to the Conservatives’ lies in ‘08 and ‘11 may be spooked by it though. That’s a factor, as Justin admitted, but it’s not the whole argument.
Yes, poll after poll, and day after day Canadians are bombarded with propaganda designed to make them irrationally fear something so strongly that they will roll over and allow the state to take their rights even though the odds of this thing actually affecting them are 1 in 20,000,000.
When you don’t have the control over whether your amendments will pass or not, due to the Conservative majority, you make the best of the situation. I think saying “yes” to the Bill from the onset also allowed the Conservatives to perhaps see that Liberal amendments were in good faith, and not poison pills of any sort. That, as you’ll see in a few paragraphs, actually got stuff done. It’s about the principle or symbolism of the bill more than its contents when you say that you’ll vote for it despite what games the Conservatives want to play. It meant putting a united face by the major parties on display for Canadians. For me, that’s putting Canadians first, instead of playing the games of the Ottawa bubble.
We will address the "Canadian first" and "actually getting stuff done" when we get to the portion on the amendments.
Why does a bill like this require compromise? Why couldn’t they just say no? 
In times like these, after Patrice Vincent’s death on October 20th, the death of Nathan Cirillo on October 22nd, Charlie Hebdo in France (a Western country), and cases in other countries similar to Canada’s, Canadians should see their political leaders united on domestic security. Anti-terrorism never has been or should be a political football. You cannot declare that Canada is a peaceful country that has never seen tragedy when that flies in the face of facts, such as Air India and dozens of radicals who have flown off recently to join ISIL. Look up the cases e.g. Damian Clairmont. Some of these kids were not even born in these countries and don’t have roots in ISIL territories, but they are trained and recruited by sophisticated online operations of ISIL trainers. They say the recruitment and training videos are passionate, emotional appeals that captivate those who may be socially outcast, disenfranchised, or loners. This kind of stuff is on the news nightly, not that anyone watches TV news much anymore. It’s a real concern. It’s something that is a growing trend. It’s something we need to do something about and most Canadians, when polled, want new security measures to curb this trend as soon as possible.
I've already demonstrated several times how the information or the entire polls themselves have been fabricated. Canadians are not calling for more security measures, or more spying. Nobody in your local coffee shop is fretting over a terror attack; the idea that "security" is front of mind for most Canadians is a narrative being pushed by the system and reinforced with over-hyped news and cherry picked examples in an attempt to generate a reaction and popular support. We will be reviewing the "threat" presented by ISIS/ISIL and Canada's hand in creating them in the first place for the purpose of NATO regime change and promoting bills like C51 a little later in this post. notice how the author had to reference a terror attack in France (a western country - also on the other side of this thing called the ocean) to populate his list and make the danger seem more menacing and dangerous to Canada than it really is. All cited attacks on Canadian soil have been against officers of the state during a time of "war".
But the experts criticized the bill!

The experts criticized it BEFORE it was amended. Yes, the bill WAS amended already. People seem to skip over that part. Liberals proposed amendments, which the NDP joined the Conservatives in shooting down. Then, the Conservatives re-brought up and passed a bunch of the Liberal amendments themselves just to take the credit. Read about these amendments that clarify things like “protests and dissent do not qualify as national security threats” :
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/03/27/conservatives-to-propose-minor-amendments-to-bill-c-51.html http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/03/30/government-plans-four-amendments-to-soften-anti-terror-bill-c-51.html
So any rhetoric you now see about environmental protesters being hauled off to jail is nonsense. If they are, then they’re breaking their own law.
Actually it is not non-sense. Renaming these terms does nothing to address the arbitrary definitions of terrorists, threats, and terrorist groups. "Protests" are declared illegal as often as possible. Let's take a hypothetical situation: Let's say someone "known" to be part of a terrorist group takes part in a protest. Considering that we are now pushing to have the bar lowered in terms of the evidence required for detention will the protesters he's affiliated with now also be affiliated with the "terror group"? Considering the government has specifically labelled the "anti-petroleum" movement a threat would pipeline blockades be considered "dissent", or would they be considered "a security threat"? Rewording the bill still requires that people trust the government will honestly use the terms "protest", "dissent", and "terrorism" which we have already seen throughout this post they simply do not do and there is ample evidence from official statements, and even actions, that the government will use the "terrorism" excuse for it's own means and economic agenda.

Simply being "hauled off to jail" isn't the only concern for activists either. Disruptive measures could easily mean stopping chartered buses that deliver activists to major events, or interfering with the travel of prominent activists, on the way to protests (as the Canadian authorities enacted during the G20) and otherwise interfering in a persons daily affairs. changing this language doesn't change that activists will still be watched and caught up in data collection which the government can then build a "profile" out of to either discredit or disrupt interesting targets.
CSIS won’t follow this law. They already don’t. They can’t be trusted. 
Then you just don’t trust the system in general, and government. And then you’re in a catch 22 of not being able to trust any law. And how do you know they break those laws? If they do, they can be sued and there would be a big public outcry/scandal. If you get hauled off for protesting and are charged under this law, sue and you’ll win a whole bunch of money.
No, you're right I don't trust the system, or the government, or any law. However with standard laws and due process you are given the opportunity to defend yourself and the prosecution must provide ample evidence to the contrary. It is this system of due process which would make it possible to "sue and win a bunch of money" and it is this very system of due process C51 looks to circumvent. As the authors "evidence" of how C51 could have prevented a "terrorist attack" goes to show what the author really wishes is that the suspect's appeal to have his passport returned would be denied (which it was) and that he would have been taken into preventative arrest with no means to appeal that arrest and no charge laid for him to fight then the author's reasoning here directly contradicts his reasoning for believing this bill is "good".

The system has demonstrated countless times over the past 14 years of the "war on terror" that it is not to be trusted. Whether it's the numerous "terror-plots" that are foiled and always have state involvement, whether it's the G20 where the full surveillance and police state being built in Canada was put on display for all to see and clearly targeted at activists and Canadian citizens, or whether it's the very creation of ISIS itself originating with the Libyan "rebels" (who were al-Qaeda of Iraq and the Levant, now known as ISIS) that Canada supported along with NATO to overthrow Gadaffi and plunge the Middle East into a massive proxy war and provide the current pretext for this round of "anti-terror" legislation, it's been lie after lie and in every case clearly the "safety and security" of Canadians isn't even on the radar.
BCCLA criticized it though! 
Of course they did. They’re the BC Civil Liberties Association. It’s their job to stand up for risks to civil liberties. You know what’s not their job? Writing or studying CSIS’ security measures and what kind of cases they’re investigating under wraps. The BCCLA’s only concern is civil liberties – not security. That’s listening to only one side of the debate and not listening to security experts who would tell you that C-51 is needed as is. It is clear they’re both right in part, and a balanced approach that meets the needs of both is needed. And unsurprisingly, if you’ve been reading my piece thoroughly, that’s the crux of the Liberal position.
"Security experts" who all happen to benefit from the introduction of legislation like this, again, more rehashing of the supposed "need" and "balanced approach" which as I've shown in my piece is founded on hearsay and rhetoric.
The Canadian Bar Association said it was unnecessary and bad! 
Well, no. They said it was “ill-considered.” I find there is a lot of colourful language people will claim these experts or groups said, which they didn’t. 
To their criticisms: 
Liberals agree the language is a bit “vague and overly broad”, so they’ll fix that as has been committed to in many of the links above. They, just like the NDP, can’t do this until Conservatives are decimated in October. Please note that the NDP has NOT proposed any clear plan about what amendments they’d made, if they’d replace it with anything, and if so what that would be. They have no plan for this, except to have flip-flopped three times on it. They can’t be trusted not to do it again, in my opinion.
And as I've shown the Liberals have a history of passing "ill-considered" legislation with the protection of rights as an after-thought.
“The association wants a sunset clause that would see the bill expire and trigger a parliamentary review no more than five years after its passage.” 
Ok. Liberals want Parliamentary review after three years.
Patriot Act in the U.S. was supposed to "sunset" long ago, it hasn't. Sunset clauses are public relations bullshit to gain popular opinion. They are meaningless and can easily be worked around with the law reinstated once it's implemented in the first place. The "terrorist threat" is the perfect threat for a system that wants to curtail rights and implement an authoritarian regime which is happening in all western nations in preparation for the financial shit show in the making. They can keep the "threat" going as long as they want, as they've shown back in 2011 when they nearly wiped out al-Qaeda only to then cease their operations against them, refocus on regime change and help them rebuild.
It challenges judge’s role as protectors of the Charter? How so? Isn’t a judges burden of proof the best protection ordinary Canadians can have?

If CSIS cannot prove to a judge that someone is a reasonable or foreseeable terrorist threat worth proactively stopping, then of course they shouldn’t be able to be disrupted, have property confiscated or forced to do anything. The legal standards of proof are why CSIS will not be willy-nilly taking information from all Canadians. Most everything in this bill requires judge approval, ergo no judge in the country would allow something that surveils all Canadians. This already significantly limits the scope compared to what critics claim.
The "legal standards of proof" are exactly what you're arguing are the problem as evidenced by your claim that C51 could have prevented the attack by "lowering the legal standards of proof required". This circular reasoning of using current laws to justify C51 is getting old.
Of course the Bill did not have enough Parliamentary debate. Liberals demanded and fought for more days to debate this in the House of Commons and at Committee, and also fought to allow experts like the Privacy Commissioner and Maher Arar to be able to speak at committee. However, the Conservatives would not allow it, and that’s unfortunately what Canadians get for electing a majority government led by Stephen Harper. Is that fascism? No. It’s democracy. It’s the really messy downside to a democracy sometimes. You get what you ask, er, vote for.
No, that's not fascism, but this is and it's not difficult to see how bills like C51 and other "anti-terror" legislation designed to reduce or remove due process can be used for fascist purposes.
The privacy commissioner though…

The Liberals tried to get the Privacy Commissioner to come to committee as a witness on this bill & to speak on it. The Conservatives blocked their list submission of witnesses.

Note: The Privacy Commissioner spoke against it BEFORE It was amended by the Conservatives. He hasn’t made comments since. The information sharing aspect has been limited to 17 domestic security agencies/departments that collect this information separately already.

This reduces duplication and lack of cohesion among parts of our government. Of course the privacy commissioner opposes more information sharing. That’s basically his job. That’s one side of the debate.
It is this information sharing which provides the tools for the threat coming from government to be distributed among it's agencies. Maybe CSIS can't arrest you directly, but the RCMP sure can, and it is the separation between agencies and domestic and national security interests which prevents the Canadian security apparatus as acting as one giant entity. This duplication while perhaps not "efficient" and redundant also implicitly introduces duplicate checks on the information and keeps each agencies mandate separate from one another.
Does he work for CSIS or understand what threats we face always? No. Listening to only one side of the debate is what got us into this mess of too blindly abiding the bill in the first place, and now having a national backlash that will end up with no reasonable measures to update CSIS being enacted.
Do you work for CSIS and understand what threats we face? Or are you taking the politicized propagandized "threats" at face value and running with the system's narrative, arguments, and hype being pumped into Canadians minds on a daily basis? We don't need to update CSIS, it was just updated several times and it's not like the existing anti-terror laws are all that "old". The only reason you think we need to update CSIS is you have been told by "experts" (who all benefit from CSIS's new powers) that it needs to be updated and if they hadn't told you that I'd bet dollars to donuts the thought would have never crossed your mind.
But the OSCE!

Ok. This is a sensational headline to say the least. They basically say that CBC journalists will be rounded up for reporting ON terrorism because it could be seen to promote it… I’m pretty sure Conservatives want Canadians to know there is terrorism out there because it benefits their fear narrative. They say all kinds of things that promote terrorism curb expression. In Canada, we don’t have unlimited free speech or expression because hate speech laws exist. And our Charter starts with the reasonable limits clause. This, as David Akin and others point out, goes along with the UN’s past stance that our Charter is not consistent with their Charter. So we should just get rid of our Charter for them? Or maybe a one-sized fits all world rights regime is something we’re not ready for? Back to my point… curbing promotion of terrorism should be something we do. Many have been calling for this for a long time so that people can be proactively dealt with before they have to actually commit a terrorist act first. Generally the criticisms they make are that these changes are expression is not ‘absolute’, but that goes with our history since 1982 of none of our Charter being absolute. This article being shared around is all bark and no bite.
No comment on this as Ive never made that argument, nor is this issue with C51 what I have a problem with.
Does C-51 create a “police state” or “fascism”? 
No. And that kind of rhetoric with no evidence in the actual bill makes for a wrongheaded debate.
No, C51 does not "create" a police state, or fascism. No one is saying it "creates" these things. We've been living in a "soft" police state for quite some time and Canada (as has been discussed previously on this blog) has been fascist for quite some time. C51 is just one more incremental step down the slippery slope towards an implementation of a "hard" police state and overt fascism.
Journalists report the facts. They cannot say something is a real fear if there is proof it’s not. This is how they report criticisms of the bill:

“Neither the new disruptive powers nor the information-sharing provisions apply to “lawful” advocacy, protest or dissent, but many critics fear the bill could be used against activists who demonstrate without an official permit or despite a court order.” - Huffington Post
Considering it's been reported on significantly since Edward Snowden that Canada's intelligence agency views activism as a threat and that they are already avtively spying on and sharing information, whether legally or not, would say to me this is a reasonable concern regardless what language is used.
“Critics fear” something will happen vs. “something will happen” = a big difference.
This creates a “secret police”?
Is this not the same justification being used to pass the bill, that "proponents fear something will happen" and so they want everyone to give up more rights?
No. It doesn’t. CSIS has been around for decades. Why do people act like having a spy agency in Canada is new? It’s not. And, simply, CSIS cannot arrest people under the current bill.
No, but the RCMP can and has, and the information sharing makes this separation arbitrary and practically non-existent.
Why shouldn’t Trudeau change his stance? The bill is very unpopular and he may lose the election because of it.

He shouldn’t change it for several reasons.

1. Populism isn’t about being right. Doing the popular thing isn’t always the right thing. If we did, we’d still have the death penalty.
Protecting liberty above all else would be doing the right thing though, especially when the "threat" itself has been hyped, and manufactured.
2. Politically, Liberals have to stand firm on security and not cede the ground to the Conservatives. Liberals have been strong on domestic security since the FLQ crisis in 1970 (that’s where “Just Watch Me” comes from, people) and they brought in the anti-terrorism legislation post-9/11. They’ve always been a Party to keep Canadians safe, and (formerly PC) Canadians who formerly voted Harper should know Liberals would take threats seriously as they always have.
Ahh, I see, so it's not really about doing "the right thing", what Liberal supporters really believe is this is the "right" position to take for a political position so as not cede ground to the Conservatives. There is an awful lot of "politics" in the Liberals reasoning for supporting this bill despite the claims that it's about the "principle of security" and "putting people first".
3. The bill started out very popular from a shallow Conservative perspective. The bill is admittedly now unpopular among Canadians who have grown increasingly aware of the criticisms of the bill. In the end, Canadians who have actually studied the issue from both perspectives find themselves in a middle territory, likely with still a sour taste for the Conservative attempt to hoodwink them with the initial draft of the bill. Political junkies must remember that most Canadians aren’t even paying attention to politics yet before election time, and less informed or last minute voters are most likely to support more security measures (as they remain in first stage of awareness about this bill). They like feeling safer. They like Canada’s government fighting back against terrorism. They don’t want to pretend Canada is a place that can be isolationist, pacifist or complacent about global or domestic terrorism. Hopefully, they don’t all join the reactionary responders on the left by Election Day who have lumped this in with their other stands the 2003 Iraq war, the history of the middle east, and their general feeling that “war is bad.” Of course it is, but it doesn’t mean we should:
a) apologize for terrorists’ actions because of their motives’ sociological and historical root causes
b) accept that we’ve earned any terrorist attacks on our soil
c) stop tweaking our anti-terrorism measures to reflect the times.
Actually, we were *told* it started out popular but as I showed back then this so-called popularity was 100% manufactured by the system in the first place and never actually existed.
4. Mr. Trudeau said he’d vote for it. He said why for months. And he shouldn’t bend to people who haven’t done as much research on a complicated, nuanced Ottawa-bubble debate about the powers of CSIS in targeting suspected terrorists while models of oversight committees are decided upon. This bill won’t affect 99.9% of Canadians now that it is law. Let’s be serious. Do you do a lot of promotion of terrorism on your websites, in instructional terrorism DVDs or write online content that could be mistaken for plotting terrorism worthy of CSIS intervention?
The bigger issue with the law is that Canadians it does affect have no way of knowing whether or not they've been affected. The figure of 99.9% is also presumptive, the author has no data or knowledge on how this law will be used, who it will effect, or how. The 99.9% figure should be read as "the author is 99.9% confident the system will not abuse the trust he  claims you should implicitly give it".
5. Some polls show the bill being unpopular and some show it still being popular. It all depends on how the question is asked. Polls are polls. They go up and down. This election won’t be staked on security. It will be staked on the economy. It always is.
Polls are bullshit, used to influence and sway popular opinion via a methodology of using people's tribal group-think weakness and desire to fit in by portraying an idea as more (or less) popular than it truly is. By doing so the system can make someone who opposes the bill feel isolated in their belief even if everyone around them doesn't agree with them either but creating an illusion of a "silent majority" who support it.
Please read the bill and come back to the table for a real debate about anti-terrorism, and how it mayaffect the rights of a few Canadians mistakenly caught up in CSIS suspicions. 
Then we can talk about safeguards and procedures for that. Otherwise, accept that maybe Trudeau made a stand based on nuance, evidence, and didn’t take the easy way out of being on one extreme or the other.

National security shouldn’t be a political question for getting votes – it should be a policy one about the best bill. Do we have the best bill as is? No. It should be amended further than it has been. And that won’t happen until the Harper Government are replaced on October 19th. It’s easy for the NDP to make a clear “No” and it’s easy for the Conservatives to say “Yes” when it comes to a bill like C-51. They have no voters to lose. Liberals have thinking voters that fall on both extremes of issues, but most that fall in the middle and see both sides when presented with evidence. I hope that’s what my piece has done. In court, this would be called “reasonable doubt” of your former certitude about this issue. It’s a challenging one to get right, but one that can’t be left to people pandering to the extremes to solve.

If security is your issue, pick a responsible, reasonable option and vote Liberal on October 19th. And if you’re not going to vote Liberal, don’t make your vote against the Liberals be based on a wrong understanding of Bill C-51 please. Make an informed stand.
The "national security" and intelligence industrial complex isn't about "getting votes". It is a highly advanced systemic and incremental agenda that uses over-hyped rarely occurring crisis as a posterchild to gain popular support for bills that would otherwise be flatly rejected. The arguments were being told about C51 are the same ones weve been hearing about all of the previous "anti-terror" legislation that's been passed, that was supposed to make us safer, and apparently hasn't.

I have two words for anyone who believes in Justin Trudeau: Bill Blair.
And Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has joined the Liberals as a star candidate, offers a glimpse of the Liberal balance: He said he supports the new powers for police and spy agencies, and doesn’t think they go too far – they just need to be balanced with more oversight and scrutiny, including bi-partisan parliamentary review. 
“At the same time, I also know the expectation of Canadians to ensure that our rights and freedoms are protected. And they have every right to be assured that there is effective – not partisan, but bi-partisan – and independent oversight.”“I think the powers are necessary. I’ve worked with the RCMP and I’ve worked with CSIS. I think that the job that they do on behalf of Canadians is critically important to our safety. And I know from experience the threat is real,” Mr. Blair, now the Liberal candidate in Scarborough Southwest, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. 
Most Canadians believe more oversight is necessary, according to several opinion polls. But vocal opponents of Bill C-51 have also called for repeal of some of the new police and spy powers, like easier-to-obtain “peace bonds,” longer terms for preventive arrest without charge, and the new mandate for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to use unspecified measures to disrupt threats – including the ability to obtain warrants that allow agents to break the law or violate someone’s Charter rights.
You all remember Bill Blair, right?

Chief admits 5-metre G20 security rule didn't exist
Toronto's police chief is admitting there never was a five-metre rule that had people fearing arrest if they strayed too close to the G20 security perimeter. 
Civil libertarians were fuming after hearing Friday that the Ontario cabinet gave police the power to stop and search anyone coming within five metres of the G20 fences in Toronto for a one-week period.
However, the Ministry of Community Safety says all the cabinet did was update the law that governs entry to such places as court houses to include specific areas inside the G20 fences — not outside.
A ministry spokeswoman says the change was about property, not police powers, and did not include any mention of a zone five metres outside the G20 security perimeter. 
When asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry's clarification, Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, "No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out."
Toronto Police staged a display of weaponry to demonstrate "the extent of the criminal conspiracy" among hard-line G20 protesters, but several of the items had nothing to do with the summit. 
Facing criticism for their tactics, police invited journalists on Tuesday to view a range of weapons, from a machete and baseball bat to bear spray and crowbars. 
Chief Bill Blair, who told reporters the items were evidence of the protesters' intent, singled out arrows covered in sports socks, which he said were designed to be dipped in a flammable liquid and set ablaze.

However, the arrows belong to Brian Barrett, a 25-year-old landscaper who was heading to a role-playing fantasy game when he was stopped at Union Station on Saturday morning. Police took his jousting gear but let Mr. Barrett go, saying it was a case of bad timing. 
In addition to the arrows - which Mr. Barrett made safe for live-action role playing by cutting off the pointy ends and attaching a bit of pool noodle covered in socks - police displayed his metal body armour, foam shields and several clubs made of plastic tubing covered with foam and fabric.
Is it really such a stretch of the imagination for CSIS to manufacture evidence that could indicate people involved in a "grand terrorist conspiracy", like the "grand criminal conspiracy" Bill Blair was never able to prove about the G20, and which has in fact been proven patently false?

Is it really such a stretch to think that the new information gathering, and capacity to profile could be abused to either plant or manufacture evidence against those deemed a political opponent?

Is it really such a stretch of the imagination to think laws that are on the books will very likely be abused when there is historical hard evidence that civil rights were massively violated on the basis of a law that didn't even exist by the person who is now Justin Trudeau's right-hand man on this issue?

Both the Conservatives, and the Liberals, wanted Bill Blair. If that doesn't show that party affiliation means nothing and that the Liberals and Conservatives are a 2 party/1 agenda type deal I don't know what will.


In the history of governments the reduction of freedom is never reversed, it's a one way road toward an incremental implementation of authoritarian control. Justin Trudeau is a snake-oil salesman that is being setup by the status-quo to form the next government. He is Canada's Obama, and while I admit having Harper as prime minister is horrible those expecting any sort of course change under Trudeau are going to be sorely disappointed.

(check back over the next few days as I add more examples and sources, I had limited time to write this up)

A reminder what happened at G20, and the lies told by Bill Blair, Trudeau's new "star candidate":

There'll be no shelter here, the front line is everywhere.


I've just noticed I actually sourced the wrong article regarding the passport issue, hopefully you'll forgive me as it can be awfully confusing to quickly gather sources especially when both Ottawa "terrorists" had "passport issues".
Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau also tangled with authorities over their passport. Couture-Rouleau's passport was seized after he was arrested at the airport in July while on his way to Turkey. Zehaf-Bibeau was apparently frustrated over the time it was taking to obtain a Canadian passport and the time it would take to get a Libyan passport. The RCMP said passport issues likely played a role in both the attacks.
Next, an interview with Justin Trudeau on CBC's "The House":

First observe how he really focuses and hammers home on a "transparent and open" government for the first 7 minutes. Particularly entertaining is how he talks about how governments should be answering questions of which he promptly destroys the notion he represents such a change for the astute listener with his avoidance of answering questions on C51 beginning at the 7:25 mark.

Trudeau when asked about MPs and "shared values embodied in the charter of Rights and Freedoms":

"What we mean by that is that a Liberal MP is someone who believes and upholds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that's at the core of what we are."

If believing and upholding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is at their "core" than I find it really interesting that Bill Blair, now a "Liberal member", was personally responsible for the largest single violation of Charter Rights in Canada and he lied about a "vast criminal conspiracy" to justify it. Don't you?

Continue listening to this interview and notice how regarding C51 (and only C51) Trudeau's go to excuse is "not playing the politics of attack and fear". Also observe how when asked about what he would repeal he starts talking about amendments, he has to be asked several times what he would repeal and when he finally does answer it quickly rolls off his tongue not as a primary position but more as an after-thought (that would never be implemented even if he did get elected).

Quite simply Trudeau majorly agrees with this bill and wants it. He majorly agrees with nearly every aspect of it and the oversight as I've said is a controlled opposition argument (which gives the system what they want and allows the people to believe they "won" when in fact they haven't). If Trudeau truly had an issue with this bill and truly believed in the Charter of Rights than repealing warrant-less surveillance would be his primary talking point, not something he has to be asked 3 times before he thinks up an answer.


It's important to provide some more context to NATO's involvement in the creation and aid of what is now ISIS today. Back in 2012 I caught eye of an article put out by the Council on Foreign Relations about al-Qaeda's significant presence in the Syrian rebels prior to ISIS. This was before the time that NATO, particularly the U.S. was attempting to convince the world that Assad was bombing innocents and "his own people" to create the pretext for launching strikes on Syria (which now with the excuse of ISIS NATO has managed to gain public support for).

CFR: The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks
Al-Qaeda is not sacrificing its "martyrs" in Syria merely to overthrow Assad. Liberation of the Syrian people is a bonus, but the main aim is to create an Islamist state in all or part of the country. Failing that, they hope to at least establish a strategic base for the organization's remnants across the border in Iraq, and create a regional headquarters where mujahideen can enjoy a safe haven. If al-Qaeda continues to play an increasingly important role in the rebellion, then a post-Assad government will be indebted to the tribes and regions allied to the Jabhat. Failing to honor the Jabhat's future requests, assuming Assad falls, could see a continuation of conflict in Syria. 
Thus far, Washington seems reluctant to weigh heavily into this issue. In May 2012, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta publicly accepted al-Qaeda's presence in Syria (Guardian). And in July, the State Department's counterterrorism chief, Daniel Benjamin, rather incredulously suggested that the United States will simply ask the FSA to reject al-Qaeda. The unspoken political calculation among policymakers is to get rid of Assad first—weakening Iran's position in the region—and then deal with al-Qaeda later.
They knew. THEY FUCKING KNEW! Ok folks? They knew about this threat BEFORE they discarded it as an inconvenient truth to their geopolitical strategy. Which has FAILED! Your security, and safety, isn't on the radar. Seriously. NATO has created the entire context and threat by aiding the "rebels", the same ones that were in Libya. In the case of Libya NATO was able to mostly hide the fact they were actually helping al-Qaeda overthrow governments. In Syria this truth got in the way of doing what they did to Libya, it was why NATO countries like Canada couldn't get popular support because we would have been aiding al-Qaeda. The U.S. of course was aiding them anyway.

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

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