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!

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.

1 comment:

  1. .. Breaking .. RCMP stepping back in Wet'suwet'en territory - 10:20 AM Wednesday 19th..

    Fine article.. just read it !
    We must come to Jesus on this fact.. The interest of LNG Canada - a 100% foreign owned Consortium are superceding Aboriginal Title of the Wet'suwet'en peoples. That is the reality.. I have detailed comments on the relative posts at the Dissaffected Liberal - Mound of Sound's Indy blog on Progressive Bloggers