Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Status update and some quick comments on #BoycottTims

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to provide an update on what I've decided to do with this blog.

Now that the Alberta election is over and the NDP (surprisingly) won a majority I believe now is a good time for me to initiate phase 2 of my plan to add features, community, and more professionalism to this blog. Being that Canada has put all of it's eggs in the oilsands basket and the Alberta NDP are still getting all of their ducks in a row and uncovering the financial skeletons in the closet (remember what I said in my last post about odds of success...) there is not much I can write about Canada and Alberta at current that will have any meaningful impact in the mid term which provides an excellent opportunity to do some much needed behind the scenes work.

I will write if I feel it necessary but for the most part I'm going to try not adding any new content until phase 2 is implemented at least partially.

Some upcoming plans:

  • Community forum and IRC chat.
  • A monthly internet radio show.
  • Searchable database of the links I provide via Twitter (both on this website, and also there will be a search engine on Twitter itself)
  • A reorganization and merging of older related posts.
  • Revamped key concepts.
  • More focus and material on preparation.
  • Migration away from Blogspot.
As has been tradition with this blog I am building and funding these features myself and the no ads/no donations policy will not be changing (I make literally no income at all from this blog and after phase 2 will actually be putting my own cash/time in to it's operation). The no copyright policy will also remain (meaning you can copy and plagiarize my work all you want with no credit given).


There's been a number of articles out lately pointing to the cozy relationship between the oil industry and the Federal government. For instance:
This speech was not only secret – I got a copy by making an Access to Information request – but in it the minister was giving political advice to the people who lobby him.
It is worth noting what isn’t there, as much as what is. 
For instance, the minister had all of the major oil CEOs in a room for a private chat, yet there is no mention of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector. This is remarkable: according to the federal government’s own data, the sector is now the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country thanks to the rapid rise in pollution from the oil sands. 
Instead of urging the assembled CEOs to deal with their companies’ rising greenhouse gas emissions, Minister Rickford chose to attack those who are identifying this as a problem. According to his speaking notes, he said: 
“As you well know, much of the debate over energy is characterized by myth or emotion. Unproven assertions are passed off as ‘facts’ and half-truths live a full life. You’ve heard them all: that the oil sands are a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, when they account for only about 0.1 percent.” 
The bulk of his speech focuses on what government and industry could do together to sell oil sands expansion to an increasingly skeptical Canadian public. 
“Never before has the oil and gas industry been under such intense public scrutiny,” he told them, before acknowledging that what they were doing wasn’t working. “You are fighting an uphill battle for public confidence,” he said, adding that “our messages are not resonating.”
"Conservatives" who support these fascist clowns seem to have forgot that conservatism generally implies not playing favorites. You certainly see them bring this point up when it comes to other forms of energy or other industries. Yet for some reason oil surpasses simply being "a business". When a minister says to an industry "our messages are not resonating", they are not working on behalf of the people at all. They are working 100% on behalf of industry to convince and influence how the public is thinking.

The #BoycottTims campaign is exactly that, another industry/government/lobbyist initiated campaign being sold as "grass roots" which of course the political figures in the industry's pocket immediately jumped on board:
Government and industry mouthpieces such as Ezra Levant and his propaganda outlet he tells people is news have even described Tim Hortons pulling Enbridge ads as some sort of evidence that "Tim Hortons hates Canada". Once again showing the government and industry strategy to make "Canada" and "oilsands" analogous. Nationalistic, and the merging of corporation and state: fascism.

But what is absolutely hilarious about this "Boycott because Tim Hortons hates Canada" is that those taking part for the most part are not suggesting folks goto local Canadian coffee outlets. They're not suggesting other Canadian coffee houses. McDonalds, the American fast food icon of unhealthy eating, and waste, is their go to establishment. Apparently it's not so much about "supporting Canadian business" as much as it is about "supporting the oilsands" (which we will now rename to Canada, with the rest of Canada being the "greater Canadian area").

Yet it gets even better, these folk "boycotting Tim Hortons" while spouting misleading bullshit about Canada's environmental performance and how responsible we are with energy development tweet pictures of how much waste they are generating not from Tim Hortons:
These are the people saying Canada "develops resources responsibly". Feel free to laugh out loud.

However, environmentalists, you're not off the hook either. "I don't want to see Enbridge with my morning joe"? You are using an establishment who's entire model is based on the disposable society. You're drinking coffee using cups that were produced with the wasteful help of petrochemicals. You're being propagandized constantly by their in store tv ads, who cares which propaganda you like or dislike? Don't you get it folks, Tim Hortons, or Enbridge, it's one and the same. Two small components to the infinite exponential growth just-in-time society that's collapsing all around us.

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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 CenturyLink

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.

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