Friday, February 28, 2020

Buffalo Theatre

Well! Alberta's had a busy few weeks, hasn't it? It really has become it's own unfolding disaster everyone just gets to watch in slow motion because Albertans, and Canadians, typically don't dare oppose an elected government even if they're blatantly lying, and not working in your best interest.

Like.. they're not even trying.
Don't you get it yet Albertans? It doesn't fucking matter! Because unless you actually go and physically remove the fuckwad UCP from government, the heist will continue. I see so many perplexed people in the #ableg feed that think Kenney is either incompetent, or can't figure out why he's doing what he's doing if he wants to get re-elected. A lot of people saying "one and done". Yea, sure, one and done. It won't matter because by then the heist will be over with.

Do you really think Kenney gives a fuck if he's the Premier of Alberta? This is just a stepping stone, to probably a seat at the table of an investment bank, or maybe sit alongside his buddy Harper at Harper & Associates. Politics isn't power, money is. Politics implements the bills and spins a narrative, money buys the bills.

Kenney has effectively revealed the agenda I've been talking about since December. The events have quickly been papered over by Alberta's make believe budget but he's said some very important things.

Let's start here:
Sooner or later, it's going to become quite obvious that there is a massive departure of companies from Alberta. The same thing with using tax dollars, pensions, etc to replace the holes left in energy companies that will be left by the banks. The banks and companies cant just up and leave, there would be incredible anger. There already is, but the Kenney strategy is to keep it safely deflected away from those who rightfully deserve it, the old PCAA and the oil industry themselves.

I believe Kenney has taken these protests and is using them to his advantage to publicize aspects of what he plans to do and blame it on the protestors. This seemed to be confirmed when Kenney later suggested that the Alberta government will directly begin propping up energy companies.
CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is warning the province’s $1-billion fund established last year to support Indigenous participation in major projects won’t have any projects to back if the forces that helped kill the Frontier oilsands mining project this week continue to achieve their goals.  
In a speech at the Indigenous Participation in Major Projects conference in Calgary that heavily criticized “green left urban militants,” Kenney insisted his government is the one that has the best interests of First Nations at heart because it supports building major energy projects. 
He announced that the Woodland Cree First Nation in northwest Alberta will receive a $187,688 grant — the first approved under the $10-million Indigenous Litigation Fund announced last year — to intervene in support of Alberta’s constitutional challenge of the federal government’s Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act. 
In the provincial throne speech on Tuesday, Kenney’s government said it is prepared to invest directly in the resource industry if that’s what it takes to boost Alberta’s wellspring industry.
"If". I'm sure it will be necessary.
"Commercially sensitive information", now where have I heard that spin term before? Oh right, that's the same thing they said about the investors Knight-Legg was meeting with in London. Hmm.

Now, here's the thing about spin doctors. These terms they come up with, they're like.. code words. They replace - usually - something with a negative connotation, with a positive one. These are often market tested, or at least market researched, and can be a strong tell. Kind of like how "job creators" is a nice sounding way of saying "rich billionaires", that makes you think of "small business owners".

So, let's assume "commercially sensitive information" regarding investor briefs is spin for *something* with a negative connotation. Well we now have that negative connotation don't we? Investors.. pulling out.

Now, I know, this isn't evidence. But given the way everything else is lining up, the bullshit excuses the UCP has made regarding these investor meetings, and their strong willingness to brag and broadcast anything they do manage to do (even if it's fake, and riding on the NDP's coat-tails), do you really doubt it? What seems more likely to you, that the UCP is using "green activists" to cover up investors pulling out? Or to protect investors.. investing?

As I said in Alberta's Great Panderer, he's not working for Albertans.

The Teck withdrawal is a surprising event to me. I believe it was for Jason Kenney as well, althhough I do not believe him that he only found out Saturday (sorry I can't find a source atm for the quote of him saying he only found out the Saturday but I've seen it and know it exists, I'll update this post when I have one).

I believe Jason Kenney was betting on it being cancelled as I described in 'Is the divisive, coordinated, push (and potential rejection) for Teck Frontiers actually designed to justify a quid-pro-quo?'. It looks to me as though this plan is now dead, which may explain the hastily put together (with stock logo of a bison, not a buffalo, and all) "Buffalo Declaration" coming from Harper faithful and the seemingly designated leader of the CPC separatist movement Michelle Rempel and 3 others from Albertastan and landing just before the weekend of Teck's announcement. It's a ridiculous piece of shit that Markham Hislop rips apart nicely.

This surprise event just happens to have many variations of the same requests in it that Alberta has been wanting (particularly cash which will surely go towards abandoned well cleanup circumventing the Supreme Court) and conveniently detaches the request from the explicit rejection of Teck Frontier. They have now become an entity on to their own along with some side requests like adding some "Albertan culture" to Parliament. Yea, ok, what is this: the first time any of these people have talked about "culture"? Can you find me another example? Like what do they want, Greta rape stickers plastered around?

No. The thing reads like it was whipped up in a few days with a bunch of fuzzy sounding bullshit wrapped around the real desires within it. Sounds about right for short notice of a Teck withdrawal.

It's good to see protests starting to form more frequently and in greater numbers, along with more confessions of regret by UCP voters on Twitter however Albertans are going to have to get a lot more serious if they actually want to keep their wealth and province and services intact.

If your goal in protest is to "have them listen", then you don't yet realize the position we are in. They're not only listening, they are actively recording everyone and the signs. Some will be used in propaganda:

 You want them to listen? They are tearing apart your words to develop counter strategies. The legislature was locked down for budget day. They're passing Bill 1 to crackdown on protests, followed by Bill 2 to make drinking in parks.. better. Hurrah.

Albertans truly, from my perspective, only have one choice in what they need to say: fuck you.

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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.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

UCP doubles down on it's disaster filled war room, invokes a "foreign activist attack" as cover - and the official C.T. take on F.N. protests

I've found over the years that to engage in good analysis you have to be open to all sorts of viewpoints. Some you may disagree with, some you may view from the outset as outright crazy. Some will be crazy. Some will be ridiculous. Learning how to tell the difference doesn't just help you keep yourself informed, but also helps you anticipate the weapons potential "opponents" on the information battlefield may wield.

There are a lot of shitty people out there in the highest echelons colluding with other rich people in the highest echelons to cement their claim to power. I'm not even sure how anyone can question this fact in this modern age, and despite the evidence being all around people and the gains continually going to those conspiring to have them at the expense at everyone else, it's still difficult for the mainstream of thought to accept that all those billionaire "philanthropists" may not have their best intentions at heart.

Believe it or not, I'm well aware some of the thing I believe in still fall in the realm of "conspiracy", but in the end if you want to see the motives running the world you have to also run with the assumption those motives aren't always (or often, or even ever) in plain sight. They are, but cloaked in a sense of moral apathy.

A perfect example is the current battle, and confusion, surrounding the Wetsuweten and the CoastalGasLink pipeline. Now, I want to be very clear on what I will, and will not comment on regarding this issue (which will also end up crossing into some of the propaganda strategies currently in play that capitalize on facts like how touchy issues like this can be): I don't want to make any definitive statements on what they should or shouldn't do. As a colonial settler, it's their land, their right, and frankly I trust indigenous decision making a hell of a lot better than I trust Canadian.

However, that said, I will comment on what games I think the government and companies are playing, and I will comment on some of the messaging I'm seeing.

First lets set some context.

An article came out in December of 2018 about why First Nations are tired of fighting the oilsands and pipelines, specifically Teck Frontier in the article but the reasoning seems pretty universal. Here is a choice exert:
Fast-forward to today, the same chief who shared the stage with Young as he blasted the oilsands as a "disaster area from war," has signed an agreement in support of the most massive and expensive oilsands mine project ever proposed — to be built in his community's own backyard. 
Teck Resources' Frontier project is estimated to cost $20.6 billion, significantly more than any other facility in the region. It would also be the northernmost oilsands operation and cover a territory about half the size of Montreal
Frontier is designed to produce 260,000 barrels of bitumen per day for an estimated 41 years. The company estimates up to 7,000 workers would be needed during peak construction, and as many as 2,500 people when it's up and running. 
Thanks to taxes and oil royalties, the federal government would pocket $12 billion and Alberta would earn $55 billion over the life of the mine. 
While the potential benefits are great, so is the potential cost to the environment, wildlife and the traditional way of life of the First Nations and Métis in the region. 
But what has changed for Adam and other Indigenous leaders here is they no longer see the point in resisting. 
"The sad scenario is that I would have loved to fight, and I still love to fight today," Adam said, "but there has to be a time when you have to draw the line and say, 'Yes, you know, we could do this.'"
Alright, so first a couple comments to follow up on Teck from the last time we discussed it. The numbers thrown around sound really big. For instance, a $20.6 billion price tag - the most expensive facility - which Albertans mistakenly see as a good thing. And compared to this shockingly large upfront investment number are two other numbers for the returns over 41 years. $12 billion for the federal government, and $55 billion for the Alberta government. Again, these are numbers over 41 years. They sound pretty big right? Well, maybe it used to be.. but today in our hyper inflated money printing world it's not very much at all. 41 years for just $12 billion federally? $55 billion provincially? The Federal Reserve has been printing HUNDREDS of billions just since September.

Now, given the rate of monetary inflation which readers of my blog should be well aware of thanks to the Mike Maloney video series, does $55 billion still sound that big over a period of 41 years? Can you even be certain that $10 billion will be worth $10 billion? It's all phony baloney currency and valuations anyway folks! Floating in a virtual void devoid of all meaning. These numbers mean absolutely jack squat. 41 years. At the rate were going in 41 years $55 billion will buy you a Big Mac.

Its very important to understand that as we sink further and further into negative interest rate, emergency repo, QE, and whatever the fuck else they come up with hell, valuations in USD - especially over the long term - are going to become more and more meaningless. You simply can't say $55 billion and expect it to mean something when the US central bank is conjuring up hundreds of billions in new currency in a matter of months.

This is also why I've shied away more and more from charts and valuations in my forecasts in USD as to me with the certainty that it is definitely being dropped by the world's top economies along with the rate of currency inflation its valuation becomes less reliable and meaningful by the day. A 41 year projection is absolutely useless. In 41 years there will be no USD, mark my words.

Alright, so how does this pertain to the First Nations you might be asking?

Well again, before you realize the very nature of the currency in the system and speed of inflation has increased at a rate never seen in history at a global scale, $55 billion over 41 years sounds like a lot. And I'm sure equally impressive sounding numbers have been given to First Nations in regards to the expected returns of the risk they're taking on, etc. Numbers and assumptions that don't account for the situation we already find ourselves in today, let alone 41 years from now. As with most business folk, economists, and other true believers in the infinite growth ponzi-conomy it all seems very sane and rational.

Have you ever seen the movie Hotrod? The best way I can say to visualize what I'm talking about is at the end of the movie when he does his big jump, and he's in the air and everything looks good, and in control, until the camera pulls away and you realize he's no longer even attached to the bike. This is a perfect metaphor for the grounding of the current monetary system with reality and true valuation:

Of course, the moment Rod realizes he's no longer attached to anything the feeling of control, and the false reality, all come crashing down around him. I imagine that is what the feeling will be like when the reality of our current monetary system can no longer be denied and confusion is abound as slowly people realize the very basis of value they've lived with for their entire life doesn't really exist. It'll be like growing up all your life knowing Celsius and then having the scale yanked out from under you, changed, and told now you have to use Fahrenheit because the Celsius scale no longer means anything. This would of course mean you could also not use Celsius to compare Farenheit temperatures to, to get used to the new system. A basis for comparison is needed for all good analysis and it's in this where the global economy has gone off the rails.

When it comes to the latest PR battle over the CoastalGasLink pipeline, the main message has been "this pipeline is needed to raise First Nations out of poverty". The pro oil crowd, Jason Kenney, the Propaganda Centre, and Vivian Krause have all been echoing this message and interviews with Chiefs and things that confirm it.

Now the interesting thing about how this argument is framed is that apparently, in a country as sparsely populated and resource rich as Canada, a pipeline to extract our resources and sell them off during an energy glut is the only way Canada can raise these nations out of poverty. Yup there's just no other way.

Back in 2010 Canada spent a billion dollars for security at the G20. But there's no way to lift these nations out of poverty except this pipeline. We spend $30 million on a war room. There's no other way to get these nations out of poverty. Alberta spent $2 billion on carbon capture & storage, but nope there is no other way or option to get these nations out of poverty. The only option presented is the one industry wants, what a coincidence.

Of course, as I discussed in the last post, getting these nations out of poverty isn't really the goal here as when a nation asks for royalties to the projects, instead of risky loans and ownership, they are rejected and accused of "making it all about money". None of these governments, or the companies, give two flying fucks about getting these nations out of poverty. This is an excuse, to pull at your heart strings, and attempt to conflate the two issues. There is nothing stopping Canada from actually investing in these nations, nothing at all. We waste money on all sorts of crap every fucking day and we can't even get clean drinking water to First Nations. Thats not a lack of resources, it's a lack of giving a fuck. Prove me wrong.

That this PR campaign goes unchallenged, is despicable. It seems to be just generally accepted by Canadians across the spectrum that in a nation as rich as Canada the choice for these nations is "pipeline or poverty". "project or poverty". "ownership and risk, or no benefits and more fucking poverty". That's the options as framed for the public. Talk about a false dichotomy.

This is of course deliberately designed so that if you oppose resource exploitation, you now automatically oppose "lifting First Nations out of poverty" even though no evidence exists that will actually happen, and numerous oil & gas booms haven't managed to do it yet. The First Nations are late to the party being handed the empty goodie bag while all the guests are leaving. The industry lead PR campaign has even had the audacity to call this scam "reconciliation". What a laughable notion.

The path to economic reconciliation

Now again, I'm not saying in the current state of things it's necessarily a bad argument. Certainly in the hole we've painted First Nations as I showed in the first article I quoted, it's that they feel they have no choice. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? And this is why I will not take a position for or against the protests or pipeline, aside from pointing out from an economic standpoint it's a bad idea and the investment risk will likely come back to haunt them. I put this information out there hoping that it will at least be considered. It's not for me or any settler Canadian to tell First Nations whether to actually do it, or not. I think we've caused enough damage already.

However, this fact hasn't stopped the government and industry from wrapping themselves in a First Nations cloak to help deflect criticism. I've noticed since the propaganda centre launched that it's focus on tying "indigenous" into nearly all of it's tweets, articles, and promotions is nearly universal now. Go see for yourself, see how far you have to scroll before you accumulate 5 tweets that are not First Nations centered. Its hard now to find a quote about anything industry which isn't likewise complimented by some comment on the indigenous support whatever project has received. This makes it very hard for non-indigenous to criticize as their hope is clearly that criticism results in being associated with being "the new eco colonialists" as David Staples and a "businessman" declared.

It's a clever, disgraceful, strategy.

Apparently due to these few protests, Canada has been reduced to anarchy. Chaos. A "shutdown".

No, we haven't, let me once again point you to France for "anarchy and chaos":
Here's Canada:
"Very tense". Ok, sure. Canada has yet to see what tense looks like, but rest assured we will. We're well insulated in our vast landmass, but not invincible to global headwinds. Real chaos will be at our shores eventually, but probably following the decent into chaos in consumer nations, first.

In the mean time Alberta's "energy minister" and member of the propaganda centre's board of directors today declared that the propaganda centre is under attack from "organized foreign activists"!

!!!! RED ALERT !!!!

She gave this gem of a quote:
I spent 13 years working in the oil and gas sector, and I saw that kind of organized campaign unfold,” Savage said following her keynote address at a Famous 5 Foundation event. 
“It (the CEC) was always going to be targeted. Maybe we didn’t understand how much it was going to be targeted and how much effort was going to be put into it, but that being said, we’re not stopping.”
Yup, so that's her evidence, being an oil insider and she "saw that kind of organized campaign unfold". Of course this message is really pandering to the Vivian Krause, UCP base, that the war room has always been designed to pander to. What this quote is, is confirmation, that the War Room's purpose is the story about Alberta I have been describing these last few months: that they need it to keep running, and it is the front to convince the base the UCP is truly fighting a war. By writing off the obviously poor performance as part of their ridiculous Krause conspiracy (that if you remember it was supposedly created to "fight" in the first place) they're doubling down on this ridiculous pandering. This won't convince anyone not already convinced. Do you think this is going to convince Rob Breakenridge that just wrote that it should be put out of it's misery? No, of course not. It's a message designed for the true believers and the commitment to keep this fake war front going. Because.. aside from Albertans just sitting on their hands, complaining about it, what can they really do? What are they willing to do? Not much. Yet.

However, it's not all bad. The UCP having to pull out the foreign activists line yet again, this time to save the War Room, is evidence that the numerous campaigns are having some effect. Her quotes shows they are sticking to their war front strategy, pandering to their base, but it also shows it's their primary weakness. Every day it continues to operate, is a day a new Albertan wakes up to the scam that is the UCP and the heist under way as more and more will discover their cost of living going up, jobs disappearing, and nothing but bullshit platitudes to vague foreign funded entities that provide nothing but endless excuses for the deliberately poor performance.

Viva La 'Berta!

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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.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Albertans' emotionally abusive relationship with the UCP

Well, Albertans, I'm sorry to say; but according to a random blog I found we may be in an emotionally abusive relationship with the fuckwad UCP.

Let's look at some examples.
1. You Are Always Blamed
Emotionally abusive people typically refuse to take ownership of their mistakes, negative feelings or difficult behaviors. They, instead, choosing to blame their partners.
For example, you might find yourself being told that you “make” them shout at you; that you “drive them” to excessive drinking; that you “hold them back” from living their dreams.
Well, while this may not be true for the UCP's closest and dearest followers, it's certainly true for Albertans in general, especially those who would dare vote anything but UCP, and our Canadian partners. Once again, let's refer back to Danielle Smith's tweet:
Summarized: "It's Canada's fault we're going to act out by not voting how we want". This has been echoed routinely, even now with Teck Frontier.

Box checked.
2. You Feel Undeserving And Inferior
There are hundreds of creative ways for your partner to make you feel inferior. Maybe they will outright state that you’re lucky to have found someone so attractive, smart or successful. Alternatively, they might keep reminding you that you’re slow, clumsy, socially awkward or not good at the things you love.
Jason Kenney urges public-sector unions to make sacrifices in wages, benefits to avoid layoffs
“If they are prepared to put on the table some of the benefits that they receive, which are not typical of the private sector, then we can retain more positions in the public sector.” 
At a news conference later in the day, Mr. Kenney told reporters that unionized workers need to adjust their expectations to reflect the economic challenges facing the province and he suggested the rhetoric from the Opposition New Democrats, who have accused the government of launching a war on workers that would lead to American-style health care, was overblown. 
“Let's try to see a path of co-operation and collaboration, not confrontation,” he said.
Public sector workers are undeserving even though they've taken many freezes in pay over the last decade.

Alberta environment minister says First Nations concerns with Teck Frontier are about money
The Alberta government says a First Nation's concerns about the proposed Teck Frontier oilsands mine are more about getting a bigger share of the royalties than about protecting water, bison and other environmental concerns. 
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam sent the federal government a letter last week suggesting that the Alberta government's failure to address environmental and cultural concerns about the project was putting it at risk as a deadline approaches for the federal government to give its approval. 
But Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon said Tuesday that Adam's "primary" focus is on money. 
"The reality is when we are meeting with Chief Adam, he continues to primarily focus on money," Nixon told Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos. "We are very clear on the fact that we are not going to buy Teck approval. That's not something we are going to do." 
In a Feb. 10 letter to those chiefs, shared with CBC News, Adam attempts to rally support against the premier's plan for a Crown corporation to facilitate Indigenous ownership in natural resource projects
Calling it a "pressing matter," Adam calls on bands "to send a strong message" against the Alberta government's attempt to get First Nations to participate in the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. The AIOC would issue loan guarantees or backstops so First Nations and Métis communities could buy ownership stakes in resource projects. 
Instead, Adam said, if the Alberta government wants Indigenous communities to get behind resource projects, it needs to share royalties
"If the government of Alberta is serious about getting Indigenous communities on board with major industrial projects," Adam writes, "it should provide a share of the realized tax revenue from each project to impacted Nations." 
A spokesperson for Alberta's environment minister also seized on Adam's letter to the chiefs, accusing the ACFN chief's of being preoccupied with money.
This is a round-about way of saying they do not deserve royalties for the impacts to their land. Thankfully this Chief is speaking out against this "hold my empty bag" scam the UCP are playing. 

It goes on and on. And likewise Jason Kenney brags too when criticized, like about Knight-Legg's London trip.

Box checked.

Government spokesperson Harrison Fleming said the reasons behind Knight-Legg’s travels to London have centred around securing capital investment for Alberta, as well as working on the government’s aim to counter “the misinformation campaign of defamation” against Alberta’s energy sector — a cause the government has dedicated significant resources to, including $30 million toward the creation of their Canadian Energy Centre, also known as the energy war room. 
Fleming said, however, that while Knight-Legg was in London partly to promote a message similar to that of the energy war room, he was not on official war room business. He added Knight-Legg has met with major banks, private equity funds and insurers during his trips to London. 
“Due to the commercially sensitive nature of the meetings — and the fact that foreign-funded activists groups are actively targeting Alberta and large companies doing business in our province — the companies are not named,” Fleming said.
Well, that's convenient isn't it? I'm not sure how I missed this when it happened, but they are literally using the Krause conspiracy as an excuse to conceal who he met with, and why. Un-fucking-believable.

Also, take note, "due to the commercially sensitive nature of the meetings". Albertans you do not get to know what secret plans these corporations have in store, much like the meeting Harper had with investors I wrote about in Alberta's Great Panderer that was closed to media, couldn't even get a real quote from inside.

How much do you want to bet the companies aren't named, because they're companies (or representing companies) that will be visibly seen pulling out of Alberta?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
3. You Are Infantilized
No matter how your partner treats you like a child, it can erode your confidence and take away your power.
Common emotionally abusive actions include controlling every aspect of the finances, telling you what you can get (and when you can get it), and scolding you for spending “too much” when you’re really spending a normal amount.
Finances? What you can and can't get? Scolding you for spending too much when you're really spending the normal amount?

Box checked.
4. Your Partner Makes Jokes At Your Expense
Abusive people will frequently say horrible things and follow them up with claims that they were “only joking”. This tactic allows them to put you down, belittle you and make you feel dreadful while cloaking their abuse in humor and causing you to doubt your own judgment.
If on reflection, you can tell that most people would find such jokes hurtful, this will provide you with evidence that your partner really is being cruel.
This one doesn't really apply: the UCP seem to be directly offensive (no cloak), no apologies, and use other tactics to have Albertans doubt their own judgement like their relentless propaganda campaigns. In addition, their ministers and propagandists have the personality of a sterile block of cheese.
5. You Hear Constant Accusations
No matter how professionally and appropriately you conduct yourself, an abusive partner may accuse you of being unfaithful, flirting with other people, acting “easy” or making yourself look foolish. This type of behavior comes from deep-rooted insecurities and a need to control but it can be incredibly humiliating if you’re on the receiving end.
Do I even need to provide an example of this one? Jason Kenney's entire platform is "Blame Canada" or blame the NDP, or the "foreign funded activists", or nurses, or teachers, or anyone else.
6. Your Partner Seems To Have More Than One Personality
Emotional abusers are often described as having a “switch” that immediately turns them from loving and happy to cruel or depressed. You might feel like the negative personality emerges any time you try to challenge the status quo or want to become independent. Eventually, your partner’s mood can dictate which issues are okay to discuss.
Which Jason Kenney do we get today? "decorum" Kenney, or "earplugs" Kenney? dictating which issues are ok to discuss based on mood?

Box checked.
7. You Are Regularly Emotionally Blackmailed
If you dare to challenge an emotional abuser’s attempts to control you, your partner might begin dishing out punishments. Many of these will take the form of more psychological games.
For example, the person may act very wounded and cold, withdrawing from you emotionally until you give in to what they want from you. This can be very manipulating and cause you to feel like the person in the wrong.
In a more extreme case, they might threaten to leave you. This can be very scary and upsetting, and so giving in to your partner’s demands can feel like a small price to pay in order to keep the relationship together.
Could they take the form of needless audits to instill fear?

Box checked.
8. It’s Impossible To Please This Person
Emotionally abusive relationships can feel like confidence-draining nightmares in which nothing you do is ever quite good enough, even if you’re doing your very best to meet the other person’s stringent demands.
An emotionally abusive person will always find a way to make you feel inadequate, whether they’re targeting your personality, your looks, your goals or the way you keep things in the house. The goal is to make you feel like you’re lucky anyone puts up with you.
Well this one seems pretty obvious. Even with Trudeau buying Alberta a damn pipeline, Kenney has been relentless in his attacks on Trudeau. Which given the current sentiment across Canada is really an attack on Canadians choice in Trudeau. Alberta is impossible to please, with the Teck Frontier being the latest example. It went instantly to war.

Box checked.
9. You Are Becoming Isolated
Finally, whether consciously or otherwise, emotional abusers are prone to isolating their partners. Have you gradually stopped speaking to old friends, or noticed you’re barely in touch with family?
If the answer is yes, think about how and why this happened. Your partner likely wants to stop you from checking whether other people condone their behavior or agree with their attitudes. There may be a secondary objective to make you more dependent on your abuser so that you are less likely to leave.
WEXIT. Separation. Fair Deal. Teck Frontier. Take your pick. Jason Kenney has been systematically alienating the west and blaming the rest of Canada for it.

Box checked.

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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.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Is the divisive, coordinated, push (and potential rejection) for Teck Frontiers actually designed to justify a quid-pro-quo?

Something has felt off about the coordinated divisive and hyper-focused campaign by the fuckwad UCP and the Harper & Associates IDU aligned CPC on the approval, or rather the threats of what happens without approval, regarding the Teck Frontier project.
The idea that Albertans have come naturally to the point where approval of this one project defines a basis of whether Alberta is "rejected" by Canada or not is ridiculous. The messaging on this out of the Kenney Krew has been relentless.
Alberta's premier says if the mine doesn't move forward, it means Ottawa wants to phase out oilsands

Given Kenney's record with Alberta to date, this effort and focus is highly out of place. As I said in Alberta's Great Panderer, Kenney isn't here to fix Alberta. He is here to get these companies off the hook. For example one way was as I wrote about awhile ago, in him trying to beg the federal government for money which would be put towards "job creation" in the form of using taxpayer funded dollars to clean up abandoned wells which the Supreme Court has ordered oil companies must clean up on their own dime, before paying creditors.

To be expected, Kenney going to the federal government begging for money wasn't exactly popular amongst Canadians. The attempt failed to gain favour.
What Kenney received was a prime minister "willing to listen to our case," as he told reporters after the meeting. 
But no commitments, no promises, no assurances. Other than to carefully consider Kenney's pleas. 
On the extra aid money, Kenney wants $2.4 billion from the federal Fiscal Stabilization Program that is designed to help provinces deal with major drops in revenue from year to year. There's a per-capita cap on the payouts and Kenney wants the cap removed. 
According to Kenney, Trudeau didn't say no to more money but he didn't say yes, either. Kenney told reporters the prime minister is "open to changes" to the federal stabilization program.
Kenney's hyper focus on the approval of Teck Frontier, which as the CEO admits might not even be economically viable to build anyway, I find extremely suspicious and perhaps not exactly what it appears to be at face value.

Some time ago an article came out about an oil company that found the Kenney government quite useless in regards to getting their project online.
Outside court, Gardiner said Premier Jason Kenney is being hypocritical for criticizing the federal government for not fast-tracking pipeline projects because of indigenous concerns, but not acting on Prosper’s application. 
“It definitely puts it in jeopardy,” he said of the impact Romaine’s adjournment might have on Rigel. 
” We’ve already spent a lot of money getting it to this stage. At some point in time you gotta say do we keep spending money on a project we don’t know we’re ever going to get approved.”
It's extremely curious that the coordinated full might of the Kenney and Conservative industry apparatus is being leveraged for Frontier, and only Frontier, when projects within their own control go idle in dire financial straights.

But it becomes even more suspicious; today it comes out the Liberals may be preparing an aid package in the case that Teck doesn't get approved. There's a few interesting blips:
Canada is preparing an aid package for Alberta, heart of the country’s struggling oil industry, that would help dull the pain if it blocks an oil sands project that could create thousands of jobs, sources familiar with the matter said this week. 
Ottawa must decide by end-February if Teck Resources Ltd can build the C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier mine in northern Alberta despite climate and wildlife concerns.
The decision is a major test of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2019 election pledge to put Canada on the path to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 
Complicating the decision, unhappiness with the government’s energy and pipeline policy cost Trudeau’s Liberals all their Alberta seats in October 2019 elections. 
There will be a big fight inside cabinet over this,” said one source directly familiar the matter who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. 
Rejecting Teck without providing Alberta something in return would be political suicide,” the source added.
Interesting, isn't it? That it will be "political suicide". Well I suppose that yes, now, that the other side has been spewing hyperbolic nonsense about how Canada will be "rejecting" Alberta, phasing out the oilsands, etc, that yes, hmm, NOW it would be, wouldn't it? So what is Alberta's grand prize that Canadian taxpayers will have to part with because to do otherwise would be political suicide? You guessed it, money for abandoned wells. What a coincidence.
Options being considered in the aid package, to be featured in the upcoming budget, include a cash injection to help clean up thousands of inactive oil and gas wells abandoned by bankrupt companies, five sources with knowledge of the situation said. 
The move would help create jobs. But it would also require Alberta’s government “to close the loopholes” that have allowed companies to shed their responsibilities for the cleanup, one of the sources said. 
Also under discussion is expanding the federal fiscal stabilization program that helps provinces deal with economic downturns, a measure Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney has demanded. Local infrastructure projects could also be in the mix, the source said.
The options being considered consist of getting the banks off the hook. Period. That's it. It's starting to smell a bit like a ploy. But there's another strange tidbit in here:
In Alberta, the project is considered essential for employment and growth. Teck says it would eventually create 7,000 jobs, although the company’s chief executive recently questioned whether it will ever be built.

About 20 oil sands projects currently sit dormant despite receiving approval.
So lets go over this.

1) There are numerous oil sands projects already approved right now, that are not economically viable.

2) Teck Frontier is just yet another possibly unviable project.

3) Kenney is not approving projects that are in his power to approve, instead pushing the Federal government (supposedly) for approval of Frontier exclusively.

4) Due to the hyperbolic rhetoric of Kenney's Kohorts a rejection means Alberta now deserves some sort of compensation, apparently.

5) That compensation just happens to get the banks off the hook on the taxpayer dime using their rhetoric as an excuse around public perception.

Sound fishy to you?

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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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Finally a government (publicly) gets it! New report out of Finland correctly describes the problems that come with peak conventional oil, and the bankers failed attempts at mitigation

One of the worst developments in the past decade in the slide backwards towards information irrelevancy, and a common misconception held by both the left and the right, is the belief that peak oil isn't a thing anymore. It's instead been replaced by a belief that the world will simply, and easily, transition to renewable energy sources and in combination with new unconventional oil sources, has been replaced by the concept of "peak oil demand", this is the theory that demand will peak due to the energy transition before production peaks.

Once again, while I have great respect for the various journalists in their fields such as Markham Hislop, the primary problem I find with their work, predictions, and expectations is that they write about them in a void assuming everything else with the system, such as the monetary system, is well and good. The same thing goes for the always-wrong economists who are always predicting a rosy future while failing to account for certain finite limits, these are the economists that for the last decade have been puzzled as to why growth just hasn't returned even with a historic record run of low interest rates.

One of the reasons I've been able to maintain accuracy in my forecasts over the years is that I process information from a variety of sources, from different points of view, and I filter that information through some fundamentals truths I know to be true (thanks to my late friend and the brilliant investigative journalist Michael C. Ruppert). Without a baseline, good analysis is nearly impossible, and when confronted with a system that is hellbent on denying these fundamental truths for if they became common knowledge they would represent a threat to the owners of the system's grasp on power.

The system's ability for instance to convince people that the United State's debt driven oil boom is sustainable and that therefore peak oil isn't real or happening, is a great example. Peak oil of course was always only talking about conventional oil, the cheap stuff, and oilsands and shale oil don't debunk peak oil in fact their questionable economic viability proves it. Shale oil and oilsands is only becoming increasingly important because conventional oil has peaked and is in decline. The need for at least $60.00 USD just to continue operations is proof that peak oil is a thing. Historically $60.00 USD is quite high, or at least it used to be. The fact it isn't isn't just due to inflation, it's due to the energy intensity of what is now becoming our mainstream oil supply. The cheap stuff is going away, being replaced by the expensive stuff. That is literally what peak oil is, and has always been, about.

People are also often confused about how much quantitative easing has papered over the fundamental problems in the global economy. The problems haven't gone away, the crash is still coming, but what's more it's hard for people to fathom that low interest rates and quantitative easing is the driving force behind North America's temporary unsustainable oil boom, and also the only evidence needed to understand that regardless how many "efficiencies" these oil companies find in extracting this oil there will never be enough to offset the additional increasing cost of production plus all of the additional, unproductive, R&D being used to figure it out.

Finally, the last major truth I use in my forecasts and one of the reasons I can confidently say that the true agenda of Jason Kenney is to transfer risk onto the taxpayer, clear capital for companies to leave in good standing, and stick taxpayers with the cleanup liabilities, is that governments know, whether they admit so publicly or not, that this problem is occurring. Governments know whether they admit publicly or not, that the economy is fundamentally a ponzi scheme based on infinite growth and it is from that which those at the top derive their power. Publicly they are telling you all is well, while privately they are working hard to protect their wealth and prepare for the inevitable civil unrest that will come with these problems via increasing intrusive surveillance and an army of corporate enforcers. Unrest already being experienced and manifested in protests around the world.
It's particularly frustrating for me to observe idiot shills like Vivian Krause come along and claim the problems Alberta is experiencing are due to her Krause conspiracy, or some deep green conspiracy (when if there is a deep green conspiracy as we discussed in the last post it's actually the banks propping up the economy, not destroying it). It's also frustrating to see people sucked into this idea that the sustainable energy transition will happen easily, and faster than anyone was expecting. The other shoe hasn't dropped yet, which is the ponzi-conomy, and the end of the USD as reserve currency.

It's also frustrating for me to observe Alberta-servatives wrapped up in all this nonsense, angry at Trudeau for all the  wrong reasons while the right reason, the fact he sold all of Canada's remaining gold to little fanfare - goes unmentioned. What a stupid fucking country.

But every once in awhile something comes out which gives me a bit of hope, today something amazing came out of the government of Finland, a real report on the state of energy and the global economy and it hits the nail on the head with every point (reported on by the always great Nafeez Ahmed). Nearly every paragraph is important so I'm going to reprint most of it here and highlight some of the important points (all of which I've been discussing on this blog, and utilizing as fundamental baselines in my analysis).

Government Agency Warns Global Oil Industry Is on the Brink of a Meltdown
We are not running out of oil, but it's becoming uneconomical to exploit it—another reason we need to move to renewables as quickly as possible. 
A government research report produced by Finland warns that the increasingly unsustainable economics of the oil industry could derail the global financial system within the next few years
The new report is published by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), which operates under the government’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. GTK is currently the European Commission’s lead coordinator of the EU’s ProMine project, its flagship mineral resources database and modeling system
The report was produced as an internal research exercise for the Finnish government, which until 2019 held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 
Signed off by GTK’s director of scientific research Dr Saku Vuori, the report is written by GTK senior scientist Dr Simon Michaux of the Ore Geology and Mineral Economics Unit. It conducts a comprehensive global assessment of scientific research into the state of the global oil industry with goal of determining how the risks of a global supply gap could impact mining and mineral production. 
The peer-reviewed report calls for the European Commission to consider oil as the world’s most important "critical raw material." Despite offering a scathing critique of conventional peak oil theory, the report arrives at the shock conclusion that the economic viability of the entire global oil market could come undone within the next few years
Oil, oil everywhere, too costly to drill 
The plateauing of conventional crude oil production in January 2005 was one of the triggers of events leading to the 2008 global financial crash, according to the report. As debt built-up in the subprime mortgage sector, the crude oil plateau drove up the underlying energy costs for the entire economy making that debt more difficult to repay—and eventually resulting in catastrophic defaults. The report warns that “unresolved” dynamics in the global energy system were only temporarily relieved due to "Quantitative Easing"—the creation of new money by central banks. A correction is now overdue, it warns. 
The report says we are not running out of oil—vast reserves exist—but says that it is becoming uneconomical to exploit it. The plateauing of crude oil production was “a decisive turning point for the industrial ecosystem,” with demand shortfall being made up from liquid fuels which are far more expensive and difficult to extractnamely, unconventional oil sources like crude oil from deep offshore sources, oil sands, and especially shale oil (also known as "tight oil," extracted by fracking). 
These sources require far more elaborate and expensive methods of extraction, refining and processing than conventional crude mined onshore, which has driven up costs of production and operations. 
Yet the shift to more expensive sources of oil to sustain the global economy, the report finds, is not only already undermining economic growth, but likely to become unsustainable on its own terms. In short, we have entered a new era of expensive energy that is likely to trigger a long-term economic contraction. 
The coming crash 
‘Quantitative Easing’ or QE as it’s often known in shorthand, consists of massive programs of money creation through central banks purchasing government debt. But the report warns that the scale of QE could pave the way for another financial crash as oil markets become unstable, most likely within half a decade. 
The role of QE in propping up the oil industry and wider global economy was not anticipated in traditional peak oil theory, which failed to predict the low oil prices endangering profitability. The report concludes that: “The era of cheap and abundant energy is long gone… Money supply and debt have grown faster than the real economy. Debt saturation and paralysis is now a very real risk, requiring a global scale reset.”
Although the world therefore needs to urgently transition away from fossil fuels, it may well be too late to do so in a way that avoids an economic crisis. And doing so will require industrial civilization as we know it to be fundamentally transformed: 
“To phase out petroleum products (and fossil fuels in general), the entire global industrial ecosystem will need to be reengineered, retooled and fundamentally rebuilt," the report notes. "This will be perhaps the greatest industrial challenge the world has ever faced historically.” 
Professor Nate Hagens, a former Vice President at investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers who now teaches ecological economics at the University of Minnesota, said he "finds the report quite plausible." 
"But our institutions and policies and expectations are ‘energy blind’,” he told me. He believes that the report’s warning of a coming economic crisis is very likely. 
“We optimize around growth, which requires energy which requires carbon energy,” he said. “We have created approaching 300 trillion dollars in financial claims, on a finite amount of high quality resources... All in all, we’ve created too many claims for future energy and resources to support.” 
From Saudi peak to shale bubble 
The report offers the first independent public government assessment concluding that Saudi Arabia, once the world’s largest oil producer, is now probably approaching (and may already have passed) a production peak. 
The study cites accelerating rig counts amid disproportionately low oil output as mounting evidence of the Saudi oil sector’s declining productivity. It also cites data from the recent IPO held by the Saudi national oil firm, Aramco, indicating that production levels from the country’s largest field, Ghawar, is 1.2 million barrels lower than previously claimed, suggesting the field is nearing maturity. 
Meanwhile, as Saudi Arabia has been unable to keep up with demand, US shale has stepped in, contributing to the vast bulk of new global oil supply since 2005—71.4 percent of it to be exact. 
The rest of the international oil market is dominated by Russia and Iraq, with other members of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) consortium of Middle East oil producers overall contributing just 22 percent of total supply, barely enough to cover losses from countries whose production has been declining. 
A bubble ready to burst 
The report warns that global production growth may therefore soon stall due to the dodgy debt-driven economics of the US shale industry. While Saudi Arabia will no longer be able to ramp up production much, the US shale oil sector could be on the brink of unravelling due to massive unrepayable debts, declining production rates, and poor well quality. 
While the productivity of shale oil wells has increased at first glance, the report says this has come at the expense of “observable decreases in real productivity.” Increasing production “has come at a cost of increased lateral drilling per hole and the increase of water, chemical, and proppant.” 
So while average production from fracked US shale wells increased between 2010 and 2018 by 28 percent, in the same period water injection, chemical and proppant use increased by 118 percent. The report says this indicates the huge spike in extraction costs. 
Meanwhile, the report warns that most shale oil companies experience negative cash flow due to mounting unrepayable debt levels. As a result, we are fast approaching a point where investors are losing faith in the industry, which is now running out of money to sustain continued operations amidst declining profitability. 
The exact date of a peak in US shale oil production is difficult to estimate, but the report concludes that production “is likely to be in terminal decline within the next 5 to 10 years, with the possibility that it has already peaked due to contraction of upstream capital investment.” 
If that happens, it would mean we can no longer rely on the principal source of oil behind global production growth. 
According to World Oil, two major oil industry service providers, Halliburton and Schlumberger, already believe that despite production reaching record highs, US shale oil fracking has already peaked and is in a period of sustained contraction. 
A global peak? 
The report is heavily critical of conventional peak oil theory, which predicted that global oil production would peak and decline shortly after 2000 due to ‘below-ground’ geological depletion, leading to permanently spiralling oil prices. The approach is described as “too simplistic” for overlooking “the complex and dynamic interactions of a number of issues around the oil industry (most notably geopolitical actions and the effect on Quantitative Easing).” 
But the report also dismisses the now fashionable rejection of the entire relevance of peak oil. Although there is “plenty of oil left,” it is “increasingly expensive to access”.
The current economic system cannot sustain oil prices above $100 a barrel and keep growing, while producers for most new fields cannot sustain profits at prices as low as $45 a barrel without more borrowing. 
According to Dr. Michaux, the global economy is therefore caught between a rock and a hard place. “Oil prices will be held low for a time,” he explained. “The problem is all consumers at all scales in all sectors are saturated with debt. Costs are going up, while the ability to generate wealth is contracting.” 
This means that although the oil industry can’t cope with the lower prices, the global economy can’t cope with high prices. “I now see peak oil as being defined by a contracting window between an oil price high enough to keep producers in business and a price low enough for consumers to access oil derived goods and services,” said Michaux. 
As a result of this combination of geological challenges and above-ground market constraints, Michaux’s government study warns that a global peak in total oil production is either “imminent” over the next few years, or may already have happened, possibly in November 2018. But we will only be able to fully confirm the peak around five years after the fact. 
More than half the world’s oil producing countries are now in decline, the report claims, with the bulk of new production concentrated among just six main producers. When looking specifically at crude oil operations, the report says, about 81 percent of the world’s oil fields are now in decline, with the rate of discoveries of new oil fields declining to record lows. 
By 2040, this means the world would need to replace over four times the current crude oil output of Saudi Arabia, just to keep output consistently flat. 
Rather than global oil supply being constrained simply by the volume of oil deposits in the ground, as conventional peak oil theory assumes, the report says that it is instead constrained “by the number of economically viable projects available to be developed at a low enough production cost.” 
Currently, the bulk of continued expansion in global supply is dependent on the United States. With the US shale sector on the verge of breakdown, the report warns that the “window of oil market viability is closing, which suggests the resumption of the 2008 correction will be soon.” 
According to Dr. Hagens, this new analysis confirms that “‘peak oil’ is now really about ‘peak credit.’ If we can somehow continue to keep growing our financial claims to allow us access to future energy today, we’ll continue to be able to extract the next most costly tranche of hydrocarbons.” 
But as debt levels are becoming dangerously unstable, this can only continue for so long; and only pushes the problem forward, making future oil decline rates steeper. Eventually the situation will become unworkable. He argues that it’s the “global credit orgy of the last 50 years,” but especially since 2008, that has kept the growth engine growing. 
I asked Hagens whether he agrees with the report’s verdict that an overall peak could therefore be imminent. “I find it extremely plausible,” he said. 
Global reset and the need for a new industrial paradigm 
Because we are “using finance to paper over this biophysical gap”, he added, this will eventually “lead to a deflationary pulse in global economies.” 
Levels of global debt are now thoroughly out of control, the report says—finding that US government debt creation has been approximately twice the rate of economic growth over the last 40 years. By increasing the volume of debt, countries were able to maintain growth as costs of energy went up. As a result, most national economies now have debt to GDP ratio exceeding 90 percent, which means that they need to go further into debt just to keep their economies functioning while maintaining debt repayments. 
Growth in GDP therefore amounts to a “debt fueled mirage,” according to the report. As we have not properly planned for the possible phasing out of fossil fuel energy, it is entirely possible that as energy systems, oil in particular, come to contract, we could witness “the peak of industrial output per capita sometime in the next few years.” 
As oil markets become unreliable, the report urges, the world needs to develop “an entirely new energy system based around an entirely different paradigm.” The report calls on technical professionals and policymakers to focus on how “to create a high technology society” based on a smaller clean energy footprint that isn’t reliant on endless material growth. “If this is not achieved, the alternative is the degradation (and fragmentation) of the current industrial ecosystem.” 
In short, this means we need an extremely rapid shift to renewables, along with a total reorganization of how our societies function for the coming post-fossil fuels world. 
All major industrial nations need to “work together in how to transition away from oil and fossil fuels in general,” the report concludes, warning: “The alternative is conflict.” Industrial civilization will need to “evolve” into “a lower energy consumption profile with less complexity,” based on a “complete restructure of the demand side of energy requirements.” 
Right now, though, “no one is preparing for this,” said Hagens. “Not only are we speeding, but we are wearing energy blind-folds at the same time. But the momentum of our current system forces us to have conversations about a bigger system not a smaller one—so the correct and valid plans and blueprints are not discussed… It is a perfect storm—and when the waters recede we are going to have smaller, simpler and more local, regional economies.”

This report is the single most important piece of information that has come from a government body in a long time. Long term readers will note that the problems, outcomes, and responses described here are exactly what I've been talking about for the last decade. Such as in the "Oil & Economy" series of posts I wrote back in 2013. None of this information is new to those who have been aware but it's nice to see.

The situation described above, is the true situation. It is the situation governments are responding to, whether publicly or in most cases privately. This is the system the global elite are trying to save. This is the system we will, inevitably, have to fight to destroy.

Click here to recommend this post on and help other people find this information.

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.