Perhaps you've noticed, the U.S. DID go off the cliff
The mainstream media has begun to clue in (or rather, now that the event has passed: properly report) on the details of the "fiscal cliff deal", or rather the lack of details oriented around the original problem: the debt ceiling.
If you think the poisonous politics of Washington couldn’t get any uglier than the fiscal cliff debacle, watch out for the looming debt ceiling.
In spite of the angry posturing, the cliff was cleared before its automatic spending cuts and tax increases sent the country tumbling into recession. But it was only a fiscal foothill to what lies ahead.
Republicans are nursing grudges from what they say is a rout at the hands of President Barack Obama — a deal allowing tax increases on the wealthiest 1 per cent of Americans without government spending cuts of equal value.
Meanwhile some Democrats complain that Obama has yielded too much, that the tax code is still far from progressive, and that he’s shown that in an extreme staring contest, he would blink.
Still in doubt about the level of debate to come?
“Go f--- yourself” was the greeting hurled at Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week by his sparring partner, Republican House Speaker John Boehner, in a White House corridor, according to Politico.Oh yea! *smacks forehead* The debt ceiling! Remember? The fiscal cliff was put in place to reduce the deficit in return for allowing the raising of the debt ceiling. Well with the world's attention focused on the words "fiscal cliff", it seems the focus on the actual problem was successfully diverted. Instead, for a full month, we heard two teams arguing about how well.. something.. was right about a word they couldn't even put context to.
Canadian Trends: Of desperation and fiscal cliffs (there's a gong show for everyone)
The situation there is only going to, quickly, get worse:
Oakland's city leaders took a risk when, rather than lay off more staff or cut services, they decided to borrow nearly $213 million to cover pension payments owed to retired city workers. They're betting that the pension fund's investments will earn more than the cost of issuing pension obligation bonds.Yes, it would seem that the notion that 'gambling is the solution' is really beginning to catch on. Not everyone is sticking around though to see the results:
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to leave the administration at the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the matter.Hey isn't that about the time the U.S. runs out of money (again)?
The biggest result of "going off the cliff" as it were is going to be a complete destruction in confidence. Uncertainty is certain to take hold once the eurphoria of the "fiscal cliff deal" wears off and the massive budget problems that are becoming unavoidable take hold. This year may set a record for market volatility. In particular I anticipate a bull run on oil which may even hit $110 as certain data in the areas of U.S. manufacturing and emerging markets again fool people into believing a "recovery" has taken hold (think back to the first 6 months of 2012). Just as it happened last year as well, I believe that low oil prices will be driving this "recovery" and high oil prices will halt it.
During this time, I expect lots of hawkish sentiment from Canadian officials and economists, with healthy regular doses of skeptism for effect. This will be despite the massive warning signs from the U.S. as Canada's "public face" to it's economic policy is resource extraction with a focus on "emerging markets".
Of course, that's not our only "new export market":
Just one day before last month's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Canada offered its gun merchants "new market opportunities" to export banned assault weapons to Colombia, one of the world's most violent countries.Meet the new war, same as the old war
Colombia hopes to boost oil reserves to 41 bln barrels by 2030
I anticipate that Canada's participation in these weapon shipments is to begin facilitating "instability" and "extremism" as we've seen in Libya, and Syria. Mike Ruppert specifically named Columbia as a target in his presentation 'The truth and lies of 9/11' and this may be a strong step in that direction. If this is the case, it will probably be about a year or so before we start actually "hearing" about it. Speaking of which, did ya know?
The Harper government is examining whether to dispatch Canadian troops to help train an African force whose purpose would be to take back a vast swath of Mali from an off-shoot of al-Qaeda.Notice how we don't even call it war anymore? It's just "military action". The next stages of the war are being executed now. Al-Qaeda again! Those son-of-a-guns, would ya believe it?
Defence Minister Peter MacKay, speaking in Halifax Sunday, said what form of military assistance can be provided to a growing international swell is something that's under active discussion.
"What I can tell you is that we are contemplating what contribution Canada could make," MacKay said at an announcement related to rental housing rates on military bases.
Expect protests, protests, and more protests
2013 will be marred by protests, many peaceful, but likely some violent as well as harsh policy seemingly comes out of the blue in an attempt to keep a hold on our collapsing system and to allow the status quo to continue operating as deemed fit by the benefactors. With protests will come many delays and economic deterioration; Idle No More provides a glimpse what this looks like in Canada, but I anticipate in some cases more extreme measures will be taken. Events are coming down to the wire, a lot is at stake, much more than many people are as yet aware of.
In the U.S. I expect an explosion of protest as "emergency measures" become the new normal and also ever-increasingly brutal responses to them.
On Idle No More
I'd like to just take a second before I conclude to focus on Idle No More. I've seen a lot of people say things along the line of 'well it's not like they're doing well on the reserve, why not just integrate?'. This is usually followed by a statement such as 'things are a lot better economically once integrated'.
Yes, once they are all shopping at Wal-Mart, ordering McDonalds, and consuming in the same fashion we do they'll be fine right? Let's just ignore what they say, such as:
Taken from the comments at idlenomore1.blogspot.ca
My name is Candice Lawrence. I am a Canadian woman born of Irish and Welsh ancestry and live in South-Western Ontario. My ancestors came to this land before 1900. I have many, many friends and colleagues who have ancestry dating back to the original 5 Nations in the Iroquois Confederacy (Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas), Metis, and know others from other mixed indigenous ancestry.
I was educated in the elementary and high school system in Ontario in the 60's and 70's, college and university in the 80’s, early 90's. There was virtually no education about the original peoples of this land, only the occasional portrayal of the "Noble Indian", combined with increasing media reports of "drunken Indians". We learned about American history, some about British, and of course about Canadian history. However, we were not taught the whole truth.
I still know VERY little about my Indigenous brothers and sisters, and their rich cultural heritages, and spiritual practices but at every opportunity, I am always honoured to participate in any teachings offered by their Elders and Leaders. I actively seek out these opportunities because I am angry that the history books I learned from were so incredibly skewed in favour of the European world-views. There was no equal discourse on views and ways of life of the original peoples of this land. Yet here we were, and are, living on these lands.
Historically, it appears that the colonizers tend to be the ones who revise the truth to suit their ideology, and benefit. Dan Brown, in The DaVinci Code, said it very succinctly: “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books - books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”
It is time to stop buying into stereotypes of Native people, that serves to shame and diminish their dignity & worth, while elevating our own. It does not serve any good, whatsoever!
The history of conquest, cultural genocide, obliteration, assimilation by stealing children from parents and communities, telling them that they were not allowed to practice their spiritual ceremonies, speak their own language, and putting them in tortuous residential schools is overwhelming.
Even today, there are over 167 reserves in Canada alone that do not have safe drinking water. Many Native people today live in abject poverty. An alarming number of Native women and girls are victims of violence, sexual assault and murder. Research the "Highway of Tears" and "Sisters In Spirit". There is a significantly higher rate of suicide among Native youth, compared to their non-native counterparts.
The former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, James Bartleman, author of "As Long As the River Flows" travels the countryside to educate people about the "invisible, forgotten children" of Canada, children that no one seems to care about, the Native children. This is another good source of research, to balance out the lack of coverage in our mainstream media about issues facing Native people in society today.
I would also suggest that people read, "And Grandma Said...Iroquois Teachings as passed down through the oral tradition" by Tom Porter.
I applaud you for your words, S. Cayer! Chii Miigwetch! I am glad that you will not be silenced.
I stand beside this Manifesto 100%, and encourage all non-native Canadians to do the same, and to do their research. It is simply not right that we allow our leaders to ignore original Treaties, signed in good faith. What is honourable in that?
“Re-examine all you have been told...Dismiss what insults your Soul.” (Walt Whitman, 1819-1892)
Perhaps those thinking that the "economic benefits" are better integrated into our young, infant society should re-examine current world events. We are asking a culture which has endured for thousands of years to just "fuh-get-about-it". "Fuck hunting! You don't need hunting, buy your food at the super market like us!", says a population who can barely stomach watching how their food is industrially prepared. We are so sure in our modern industrial processes and our current perception of "human ingenuity" that we ignore the current signs of a system failure and omit any idea regarding truly innovative survival which doesn't fit into our narrow vision of what the future should bring. We automatically equate "innovation" with technology and increased complexity, rather than simplicity. To those First Nations that understand this, we must look like fools.
In the words of Ezra Levant: "You could make a hundred-thousand dollars!". Those who use modern economic reasoning to try and debate the problem clearly have no grasp of the actual problem.
Now, I'm not a First Nation, I'm just a white guy, but I understand what their culture represents, I understand why it's important for them to preserve it, and I understand why it's important that the treaties are respected. Clearly the First Nations are tired of excuses, that's easy to understand too, as on many separate matters I am tired of the government's excuses. All the Canadian government represents now is a foundation of mistrust, I don't trust them and I wouldn't expect anyone else to trust them either. Whatever happens with the situation of Chief Spence's hunger strike, good or bad, I don't see the simmering unrest amongst the First Nations settling down anytime soon.
On a positive note
There are definitely some positive trends in store for 2013 as well. To begin with the most obvious: the propaganda machine is losing it's magic fast. The more things fall apart, the harder and harder it's going to be to keep the masses asleep. Every new attempt of suppression will start having the opposite effect as their monopoly over information control continues to dwindle. They will of course be fighting this tooth and nail with all sorts of bizarre copyright and other bullshit legislation. This will only end up harming them more than helping them however as they continue to strangle themselves with pay walls.
I also expect that localisation will be a very strong theme this year as industrial food prices make their appearance in family budgets. Fast food restaurants are quickly having to increase their prices to both contend with food shortages (the drought), and currency devaluation and as a result their core appeal is dwindling. Most are working to compensate for this by "transforming" into "classy restaurants". This "transformation" is simply to hide the involuntary price increases they're having to do. The end result of this situation should be that local "family farm" style food becomes more competetive as the benefits it offers will outweigh the price difference.
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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.