Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites Blog Flux Directory Green Assassin Brigade: 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's time for Geothermal in Canada

Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star and the clean break web site discuses the ignored potential of a Canadian Geothermal industry.

Canada is the only Pacific rim country to ignore this potential energy source.

With the technology largely developed elsewhere we can leap frog over other producers and achieve good efficiencies first try.

The 30 year old but mostly ineffective Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is trying to rebrand itself complete with a new web site and a donated theme song by Sarah Mclachlan. The group plans to lobby the Government and produce a white paper on Geothermal in an attempt to rekindle interest for both a provincial and federal Geothermal energy policy.

Alison Thompson, the Vice president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association believes that 3000 "easy" megawatts of Geothermal projects would be available in B.C. alone with a larger potential of 6000 megawatts. There is undoubtedly some opportunities in other regions of the country as well.

We have the technology, we have the resource but we don't have the political will. I suggest you check out their web site and contact your MP to demand this clean energy resouce be utilized.Recommend this Post

Peace and goodwill at Christmas- NOT!!!

You have to love what religion does to people.

Over the Christmas Holiday 80 or so Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic Priests who jointly control the Church of the Nativity got into a broom swinging melee requiring Palestinian police to separate them.

Gotta love that Christmas spirit!Recommend this Post

Benazir Bhutto reported(confirmed) killed in blast

Pakistan moved one step further from stability today as a suspected suicide blast has wounded and as some reports claim may have killed Benazir Bhutto

While the original story claimed Bhutto was gravely injured a Pakistan military spokesmen claims she was killed, look for riots and more bloodshed should this report be true.

Just after posting this Bhutto's political party confirms her death
It now looks like Bhutto was shot in the chest and neck before the suicider detonated his bomb, I suspect we won't know for some time which actually caused her death.Recommend this Post

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is public transit an essential service?

It happens once every couple of years, citizens of major cities who have been encouraged to use public transit through claims of convenience, efficiency, environmental benefit or who are just too damn poor to do otherwise get held hostage by the likes GO or the TTC who threaten to strike.

In an age of global warming, smog, crowded roads and peak oil I think it's time we should open a debate on the status of public transit and whether it should be classified a essential service. I believe in collective bargaining, I belong to a union and despite the idiots who always take things too far, get away with too much and abuse the system they do have a role to play.

I also believe that reliability is one of keys to building a sound sustainable transit system. As long as transit can be disrupted over labour disputes there will always be a reason to build more and more roads, and a disincentive to adopt a car free lifestyle.

So is public transit am essential service? I'm certainly leaning towards thinking it is.Recommend this Post

Friday, December 21, 2007

Get out of debt

Sorry for the un-Gab like surge in videos but this one of my favourites and considering the credit woes and housing crisis in the states oh so appropriate for this time of year.

Enjoy it and follow it's instructions.

Recommend this Post

Sesame street in da ghetto

While this video is probably the rawest thing I have ever posted I just can't help loving the anti materialistic view point of Stinky

Recommend this Post

The Christians and the Pagans

The weirdest thing,

It might just be coincidence but shortly after my Happy Solstice post a co-worker (who I have no idea if he even knows I blog) sent me this song by Dar Williams and it seemed appropriate to play it as his comment.

It's really quite charming

Recommend this Post

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Solstice

I always feel a little sad for the Pagans around Solstice.

Like our native peoples they had a great deal of their culture and religion crushed or occasionally co-opted. If it had not been for Romans converting Northern Europe through witness and sword I would be celebrating Solstice and the Spring Equinox not Christmas and Easter. When I think about it logically the Pagans based holidays around the same kind of delusional stories about higher powers that Christians, Jews, Muslims do today but with one exception, they based some of their holidays on natural rhythms, measurable and predictable events that shaped their simple lives.

The modern faiths recorded the words of “Prophets and Seers” which were sometimes written down decades after the events and often had numerous versions that could be culled on a whim whenever it suited their religious leaders. Some were translated through several languages over centuries; others interpreted time and time again being warped and finessed to suit some personal belief or goal rather than a provable absolute.

The Pagans had their stories as well and while they did vary from region to region or tribe to tribe but they did have an absolute, each year as predicted and promised in their stories the days would grow longer after solstice, and each spring would bring rebirth.

As an outsider or visiting alien species which would be more irrational to you, Bronze age peoples basing stories on provable phenomena, or industrial age peoples who believe in the hearsay of long past miracles? True there was a darker side to some Pagan beliefs and practices but stoning, witch burning and animal sacrifices are the heritage of today’s enlightened religions, so where do we get off being critical?

While the true Pagans have been replaced with neo-Pagans, Wicca’s, and posers who can only try to mimic but never replicate the nuances of unrecorded Pagan practices, I still wish them all Happy Solstice in the memory of those lost astronomers from the past.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

War, famine, pestilence and death

A slightly dated article Dec 5, claims protests and hunger will be our future, brought about by increased demand for food and shrinking stockpiles.

The risks of food riots and malnutrition will surge in the next two years as the global supply of grain comes under more pressure than at any time in 50 years, according to one of the world's leading agricultural researchers.

Recent pasta protests in Italy, tortilla rallies in Mexico and onion demonstrations in India are just the start of the social instability to come unless there is a fundamental shift to boost production of staple foods, Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute, warned in an interview with the Guardian.
The growing appetite of China and other fast-developing nations has combined with the expansion of biofuel programmes in the United States and Europe to transform the global food situation.

After decades of expanding crop yields and falling food prices, the past year has seen a sharp rise in the cost of wheat, rice, corn, soya and dairy products.

"Demand is running away. The world has been consuming more than it produces for five years now. Stocks of grain - of rice, wheat and maize - are down at levels not seen since the early 80s," said von Braun, whose organisation is the world's largest alliance of agricultural researchers, economists, and policy experts.

So far, crises have been averted because states have eaten into national stocks, but this could be set to change because China, in particular, has run down its supplies.

"Over the next 12 to 24 months we are in a fairly risky situation. Large consuming nations, particularly China, will feel pressed to enter international markets to bid up prices to unusual levels," von Braun warned ahead of a speech today to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research's AGM in Beijing.

Thanks to its manufacturing prowess China has huge foreign exchange reserves and could buy the global food crop several times over. But its consumers are already feeling the cost of food inflation. According to the local media three shoppers died last month in a stampede at a supermarket in Chongqing that was offering cheap rapeseed oil. The threat of instability has prompted prime minister Wen Jiabao to make the fight against food price rises one of his government's priorities. So far it seems a losing battle.

Economic growth - estimated at 11.5% in the first nine months of the year - has made Chinese consumers wealthier, while urbanisation and globalisation has changed their diet. In October the government announced pork prices were up more than 50%, vegetables 30% and cooking oil 34% compared with the year before.

The knock-on is felt across the world. In Britain and other rich nations it means a few more pence for breakfast cereal in the short term and a slightly higher cost for toys, clothes and other China-made goods. But for the world's poorest communities the rises will have a potentially devastating effect.

Bangladesh has had to ask for half a million tonnes of food aid - a severe blow to the pride of a country that had been trying to wean itself off international assistance. Bangladeshi officials say the price of cooking oil - of which it imports 1.2m tonnes a year - has almost tripled in the past two years because it is now valued as an alternative to diesel oil. More worryingly, their main staple of rice is hard to buy at any price because India, Vietnam and Ukraine have cut exports.

Added to this are the pressures caused by global warming, which have been blamed for the droughts that damaged crops in Australia this year.

The social tensions caused by rising food prices are already evident, says von Braun. "The first sign was the tortilla riot in Mexico city, where 70,000 took to the streets. I think that was only the beginning - there will be more," said von Braun. "For a year or two countries can stabilise with stocks. But the risk comes in the next 12 to 24 months. The countries that cannot afford to buy will be the losers, while those with huge foreign exchange reserves will bid up the world market."

Von Braun called on Europe to reconsider its biofuel policies, to provide more aid to poor nations, to keep markets open and to boost production.

The forces pushing up food prices

1 Rising consumption: The appetite of fast-growing nations, such as China, is rising as economic booms cause a surge in demand for meat and dairy products

2 Competition from biofuels: The cars of the rich are now rivalling the bellies of the poor for corn, cane and edible oils

3 Climate change: Global warming is putting pressure on water needed to irrigate crops

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Tuesday December 4, 2007
The Guardian

Our hair brained idea of turning food to fuel cannot be sustained and it seems obvious it can only lead to more starvation and unrest. Neither can the developing world adopt our high protine diets without pushing food supply to the limit. Famine and resource wars will be followed by disease and death, sound like the horsemen are mounting up.Recommend this Post

1 in 5 Americans will borrow to heat their homes this Winter

I keep telling everyone that the end is nigh and this story shows how close we are to the end

Imagine having to borrow money to heat your home or worse, having to put it on plastic as 9% of Americans plan to do.

This is scary shit children, our lives as soft, fat, decadent energy eating machines is soon to end and end badly.

Imagine this mall scene, child on Santa's lap.

"What do you want for Christmas little boy"

"Our heat turned back on!"Recommend this Post

Washington Fire!!!

A small fire broke out today at the Eisenhower Executive Office building which is just off the west wing of the White House. The building houses the Vice President's offices and the National Security Council.

The fire was centered around Cheney's offices but his apparent absence excludes "PANTS ON FIRE" as the cause of ignition.

I suspect that a candle fell over during a blood sacrifice, but what do I know!Recommend this Post

A Little Layton slamming to warn the heart

A touching little piece from the Ottawa Citizen's Susan Riley

Junkyard Jack

Susan Riley
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

They are overshadowed by a leader who is alternately decisive and abrasive, they appear to believe federal Liberals are the source of all evil and they are not going anywhere in the polls.

No, not Stephen Harper's Conservatives; Jack Layton's New Democrats. Generally they fly under the radar, sidelined in the battle between the traditional behemoths -- to their intense and understandable frustration. Lately, however, they have found themselves at centre stage, but not in flattering light -- victims of the self-inflicted blunders that often trip up the bigger parties.

NDP backbencher Irene Mathyssen's rash accusation against Conservative MP James Moore concerning his laptop preferences was more than an embarrassment: it was ammunition for those who will always regard New Democrats as smug, priggish scolds. Despite Mathyssen's apology, the remark will haunt her and her party. And, for once, Layton wasn't front and centre: he let his embattled MP dig her own way out.

Later, it fell to veteran British Columbia MP Libby Davies to apologize for false accusations, advanced by NDP officials, that a Liberal candidate in the last election tried to bribe his NDP rival. Again, Layton kept a low profile throughout.

That didn't protect him from accusations, from Liberal Ralph Goodale, of embracing "junkyard-dog" tactics -- not an unusual charge on the Hill, but an unusual target. New Democratic Party leaders usually try to float above the fray, not descend into it. But this is not your mother's NDP: it is muscular, mustachioed and, most days, pretty mad.

It is also increasingly hard to distinguish from its rivals. Last week, for instance, there were reports -- almost lost amid Brian Mulroney's star turn -- that Layton rejected two potential NDP candidates in Quebec for straying from the party line. It was not, party officials insisted, because one is transgendered. Interestingly, when Harper accepted the banishment of two Ontario Conservative hopefuls for ideological inconsistencies, he was accused of being a control freak.

New Democrats also accuse Harper of slavishly imitating U.S. Republicans, of importing neoconservative strategies from abroad. But they recently announced their own mission to Australia to study new Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's recent victory. Apparently when New Democrats shop offshore for tactics, it isn't a sign of political sycophancy, but evidence of ideological solidarity and organizational sophistication.

They point is not that New Democrats are uniquely hypocritical: all parties exhibit double standards on these and other issues. But no party is more deeply shocked by the shabby exigencies of real-life politics -- with that great Prairie exemplar of virtue, Manitoba MP Pat Martin, a leading case.

As for Layton's inability to crack the 16-to-19-per-cent range in polls, that may reflect ambivalence over his informal alliance with the Harper Conservatives. The alliance is purely strategic. Nor is it comprehensive -- New Democrats still criticize Tory environmental and social policies. But there has developed, for some NDP stalwarts, a disquieting pattern: a gang-up on the Liberals, when Harper poses a far greater danger to the country.

Others, especially Elizabeth May, are troubled by Layton's nasty tone towards the Green party. Some of his MPs accuse May of being a closet Tory; other cast her as a wannabe Liberal. She has been attacked, unfairly, as an opponent of a woman's right to choose and generally shunned by Layton, despite her repeated attempts to talk. If the NDP response to May is tense and the tone frayed, it is because she represents a threat. Gradually, unevenly, and despite the lack of a daily platform, the Greens are creeping up in the polls.

But, as Layton's supporters explain, he is in politics to win, not to help like-minded rivals. And he is right to mistrust Liberals: they talk a progressive line in opposition, but invariably govern from the right.

That said, Stéphane Dion is a different kind of Liberal -- the first leader in years not close to the world of big money. Whether he succeeds in creating a greener, more progressive Liberal party is an open question and Layton, sensibly, isn't inclined to wait for the answer.

Meanwhile, Layton is conducting himself like any other ambitious, strategy-minded, combative (male) leader. For now, policy seems secondary to strategy. That may be why the party was so slow to condemn the hysteria over veiled voters: it didn't want to risk support in Quebec. Indeed, its overriding goal -- sound familiar? -- appears to be to showcase its prize recruit, Outremont MP Thomas Mulclair, and make electoral inroads in Quebec.

As for the leader, he is both an asset and a liability -- intense, intelligent, volatile, convinced of his own virtue, prickly when criticized and not warmly engaging. No, not Stephen Harper. But similar.

Is there a problem?

If so what is it, the message, the dealing with Harper or Jack himself?Recommend this Post

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

To Boldly go where no man has gone before

Voyager 2 has made an important first for mankind as it crossed the Termination Shock a boundary that separates the solar system's heliosphere from a region where the solar wind falters as pressure from interstellar gas impedes it.

Voyager has now entered the heliosheath, an area of lessened solar wind and in a mere 7-10 years will become the first man made object to leave the solar system.(not including clothes and the loose change carried in the pockets of abductees)

It's sad to think that pollution, resource depletion, war or social upheaval could make this the pinnacle of man's achievement. I've always been a sci-fi guy but more an more it looks like we will self destruct in this gravity well and never reach beyond it.Recommend this Post

peak oil video: How will you ride the Slide

Recommend this Post

Monday, December 10, 2007

Paying $5000 to breed?

A recent article in the Australian Journal of Medicine recommends placing a carbon tax on breeding. The idea would allow 2 freebie kids, with a $5000 (Oz dollars) carbon charge on subsequent births and a $800/year/excess child carbon tax. The money would go towards the purchase and maintenance of land and the planting of trees to offset the expected carbon footprint of the children.

On the other side, you would receive income tax deductions for contraceptives or sterilization.

I actually like this idea in principle but it would not work.

Civil libertarians would scream that you were making breeding the prerogative of the rich.

By taxing breeding you could also impoverish children for the "Crimes" of their parents.

Would you repo children who could not afford their breeding tax?

For those who already pay tens of thousands of dollars for fertility treatments, $5000 would hardly make them blink an eye.

At the same time Australia like Canada has an aging population and is built on the constant growth model. What would be the point of discouraging citizens from breeding if you would just import replacement citizens from countries that have no such limitations.

Limiting consumption by existing people should still be considered most important in lowering our carbon footprint but the idea of limiting population growth or actually shrinking world population should be considered. This however cannot happen until we change the economic system from requiring constant growth to something less damaging.

I think a world wide move to supply free birth control and education should be a priority but the danger is it will only weed out the idealists and leave the more frenzied breeders to continue on their merry way!

I think peak oil will whittle down the population eventually anyways but if we started it ourselves we might save some of the pain.

What do you think the answer is?

Recommend this Post

Friday, December 7, 2007

Scientology unconstitutional

The global finacial crisis, global warming, and assholes in power all depress me but then the Germans come along and declare "that we do not consider Scientology an organization that is compatible with the constitution," and once again I'm happy and care free again, wheeeeee!!!

see full story

Scientologists believe all the wrongs of man are caused by evil spirits(body thetans) remnants from an earlier galactic genocide, that adhere themselves to our bodies and cause us all forms of grief. These thetans were created when the evil Galactic overlord XENU,(Not to be confused with Lucy Lawless) flew all his enemies to a prehistoric earth in space DC-8s, dropped them in volcanoes and nuked them. Sounds like overkill to me, why not open the airlocks of the space planes?, he had already captured them why not just shoot them? Wasn't a hot volcano enough to kill them?

The ghosts/spirits/thetans were then brainwashed to believe in religion and released to plague proto man. I knew that incident with the Nun and a quart of Tequila was not my fault!

Through years of analysis and hefty fees you can be cured (brainwashed) and become as normal and well balanced as Tom Cruise. Apparently part of the treatments include holding onto metal Phalluses hooked up to a machine. By the look of it Travolta really gets off on it.

The Germans however believe the whole thing is a money making scam which considering what L. Ron Hubbard said about religion seems like a quite reasonable assumption.

"If you want to make a lot of money, start your own religion" - L. Ron Hubbard

So while we have made no progress on Global Warming today the Germans have made some small progress on solving Global Stupidity, That makes it a good day!

Hail Xenu!!Recommend this Post

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What Will we Eat as the Oil Runs Out?

This is a must read article from Peak Oil expert Richard Heinberg.
Since it's long enough as it is I'm not going to spout off about it, until comments start.Recommend this Post

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

This idea is the Pitt's

It seems Brad Pitt is flogging his “Make it Right” project in an attempt to build 150 “eco friendly” homes in the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.

First I have to congratulate him for at least trying to do some good.

Second I have to say “ are you just STUPID or what?”

Don't get me wrong, eco friendly houses are a good thing, hell I'd love one. There are no designs for this project yet so it’s impossible to judge if these buildings are really sustainable development or not. The designs will be through a design contest and I'm sure the cost of a true eco house will make these less than perfect. In the end I suspect that a little recycled material and bamboo will be incorporated so they can "green wash" another foolish development.

So how do you make a house Flood Proof?

Well the easiest ways are to make it float like some of the barge houses in the Netherlands, or put it on stilts with the lower level being inconsequential parking, storage. Both of these ideas add additional cost to the buildings with no real utility. Neither of these options solves the real problem of people and the detritus of modern life including sewage, cars, pesticides, herbicides, Gas stations etc all being below sea level in a era of rising seas levels. Even if the houses survive the land below is recontaminated each time there is a new flood.

The money to make these houses flood safe would be better used making 150 houses on dry land, that are net zero homes. The only environmentally friendly thing to do in New Orleans is to naturalize all destroyed areas and allow the city to shrink. Building on a flood plain or even worse below sea level with today's realities is anything but Eco Friendly!Recommend this Post

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If only Harper had half the spine of JFK

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. "

I've never been a big Kennedy fan, he was spoiled, groomed, funded by his families bootlegging money and his father was a Hitler appeaser who willing had a daughter lobotomized. That said he did have spine, gumption, and the ability to convince people to make the hard choices such as staring down Russia and taking great leaps of faith such as the moon missions.

His quote shown here could just as easily said "We choose to solve global warming in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too"

But of course Harper is not JFK, just a small, sad, foolish, insecure wimp.

I love this picture, you can use it again and again!Recommend this Post

Why it is pointless commenting on Garth Turner's Blog

Today Garth had his umpteenth post on why we must cut interest rates and join the U.S. currency death spiral. I totally disagree with his view but mostly I find it ridiculous that he will respond to petty snipes but refuses to defend his iffy economics and answer my repeated questions with real substantive answers, hell any answers.

Then again, this is the guy who recommended Nortel at over $100.

less gas guzzling, pollution spewing, oil leaking recreational vehicles, so what?

If the dollar did not kill this company the price of fuel or coming recession/depression will. This is just one of things that will be in the history books a sign of our over consumption and decadence. If this company survives more than ten years it will be making small, modest sail craft, the era of the energy pig water craft will soon be over.

Garth, you occasionally join various posters sniping but rarely do you ever actually argue or answer statements about lying gov stats, the role of monetary inflation and the destruction of purchasing power, the cons of lowering interest rates rather than just pros of creating jobs.

What is your ideal value for the Can dollar?

There is a strong belief in the markets the the U.S. dollar is heading significantly weaker, UPI had an article claiming it would drop 90% in coming years. The Head of the U.S.A General accounting office, David Walker says the U.S. will likely go bankrupt.

Taking the above premise at least possible, How far down would you be willing to follow the U.S. dollar towards it’s eventual default?

Is it not a role of government, and the BoC to provide sound currency and protect the purchasing power of savings at least as much(if not more) than it’s role to manage jobs.

If not, Why?

If Harper follows the U.S. lead on global warming and Afghanistan he’s evil(which he is). If Liberals want to devalue the dollar and follow Bush to monetary disaster that’s good.
Why’s that?

I’d like to see some answers and real discussion by you rather than just automatic naysaying of the Con position and constant one sided harping on lowering interest rates.

Garths answer, as usual SFA.

Actually I find it relatively common that bloggers don't defend economic views, they spout off and ignore comments.Recommend this Post

Peak oil vs. Global Warming which issue will survive?

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a web radio investment talk show which questioned whether we should be fixating on Global Warming or Peak Oil as the major concern of our times. It was no surprise that they decided that the later was more pressing and in some aspects I can see their point.

Peak has already passed and producing countries are increasingly hostile to the west and because of rising incomes and high discounts, the rate of growth of domestic energy use in producing countries is immense, as is growth in China and India.

Energy costs are rising stiffly NOW, pumping up inflation for energy, food costs.

It’s predictable that real shortages will hit North American within a few years. Mexico’s oil and gas fields are depleting at an increasing rate, Canadian conventional oil peaked some time ago as did the U.S. production. World natural Gas peak is only a few years out.

Oil/Gas inventories are being drawn down.
Refineries are old and worn out leading to accidents, fires, breakdowns.
Refineries were designed for sweet crude not the crappier heavy high sulphur sour crude or even the heavy tar sands oil.
Refineries are wearing out at an increasingly fast rate due to the higher temperatures required to create low sulphur gas.

The impact of Global warming on the other hand was discounted as being way down the road. This observation is also correct to a point. While we are already being impacted by global warming, (storms, droughts, melting glaciers) the catastrophic conclusion can be seen as well down the road allowing people to ignore it for a more impending energy crisis. Now they did not deal with the idea of a warming tipping point, in fact they did not really did deal with the validity of global warming at all (on the up side the did nor refute it) but they did make this important observation.

To summarize

Peak oil will create hardship, shortages and will capture the attention of the public and the politicos in a real way, very soon! Global warming less so.

If the Global Warming activists cannot rebrand themselves as energy policy advocates that deal with energy shortages in a rational way they will not be able to make any headway on green house gases.

“It they succeed in reframing the global warming issue in terms of energy policy rather than oil then there’s a chance they’ll keep going, if not they’ll throw it(the issue) off the side of the ship”

This is a valid observation, how will we concern people about long term considerations like rising sea levels when the lights are going off, your car won’t go and jobs are being lost?

How would you expect the herd to act?

Do we need to rebrand the global warming issue into a unified energy policy that deals with shortages as well as green house gas emissions?

In many ways the issues are linked and complementary in solution but are we playing it wrong?

Comments.Recommend this Post

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pentagon rat bastards blink

Once in a while a little media pressure actually pays off!
It seems that U.S. soldiers injured on duty and no longer fit to serve will NOT have to pay back signing bonuses after all.

Jordan Fox, 21, was injured in a road side bomb taking back damage and losing sight in one eye. After getting his release from the army and going home, Fox received a notice that he owed the army $2,800 of the original $7,500 bonus because he did not fulfilling his 3 year enlistment. Fox's complaints brought this issue to light but nobody knows how many other soldiers received pay up dead beat letters from the army. Maybe this has something to do with the high suicide rates in returning vets.

I really hope that the idiot(s) who decided to penalize soldiers for getting shot doing their job end up on the next plane to Karbala. I don't care it was Cheney, top Generals or some pencil neck bean counter, give them a rifle, an unarmoured vehicle and a banner saying Honk if you Love Israel!!!Recommend this Post

Friday, November 9, 2007

U.S. Draft , sooner than later?

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska told high school students that in order to meet the long term commitments to Afganistan and Iraq that the U.S. may have to consider "some kind of Draft"

"I'm just stating the obvious. At some point we're going to have to make a decision on how to attract a quality force,"

Full Article Omaha World Harold

Finally someone had the balls to say it. The U.S. needs to realize it has two choices; mind their own damn business, get out of the global policeman uniform or bring back the draft. The sooner this basic understanding is accepted the sooner the U.S. taste for foreign conflict will fade. They also need to realize they can't have guns and butter but that's a whole different issue.

Of course with Harper in charge and a draft reinstated ,our border would be closed to young U.S. men. Hell he won't protect Canadians from execution he sure won't shield draft dodgers.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A “HOLY CRAP BATMAN!!!!” kind of week

My first “Holy Crap” for the week came when I checked my Amazon account and found that somebody actually bought a couple of books through my site. I joined Amazon Associates on a lark thinking I might just sell enough books to subsidies my own reading habits, I was mistaken. I have sold 20 or so books but until this week it had all been myself or family making the purchases so I was rather surprised to find some kind soul bought HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD IN YOUR SPARE TIME, as well as a book on Zen Tarot? Thanks whoever , keep it up.

My second “Holy Crap” has been the Canadian dollar rise as well as the massive appreciation of Gold and silver in the few days. I follow commodities and forex markets and my predictions of 1.10 Canadian dollar,$100 oil and $900 gold/$16.00 silver are all looking a hell of a lot more rational then they were when I first made them. I took much ridicule and scorn at the time, "Ha" I say, "ha"! About a year and a half ago I had also told my various confidants and readers at my other Blog that I expected a total meltdown of the U.S. including a currency crisis.

Most people still refuse to admit I was on to something, waffling on technicalities like what a “meltdown”, “currency crisis” meant, I can tell you the drop in the U.S dollar and subsequent loss of U.S. purchasing power in the last year is was that crisis and I expect more to come. I declare this prediction met and I renew it for another year stating the U.S. dollar will weaken a further 15% minimum in the next year vs. the U.S. dollar index, (a measure of the dollar vs. a basket of currency representing it biggest trading partners.) Recession will be admitted and the possibility of Depression will be talked about other places than Contrarian Websites.

My third “Holy Crap” came when a very obtuse, brainwashed Liberal know-it-all, I work with told me today I was absolutely right about my above predictions. Let me tell you, this guy has had a running battle with me over every single belief that I hold;

I said global warming, he said myth. (Until Dion told him what to believe, then he claimed he was always an environmentalist)

I said peak oil; he makes claims about magic pixie dust technologies that someone will suddenly pull out of their ass just in time to save us.

I said… well never mind, you get the point..

It’s Wednesday, the 6/49 is 35 million so I think I should hold out for 1 more “Holy Crap” moment.

I know, don’t push my luck :)Recommend this Post

Friday, November 2, 2007

We've hurt China's Feelings

It seems our ambassador in China got sent to the principals office to explain our "disgusting" behaviour in showing the Dalai Lama a little respect.

My God, show some perspective people, how many Chinese made AK-47s are in the hands of "freedom fighters" around the world and yet China has the nerve to complain over a short chat between the Dalai Lama and a moron who undoubtedly understood nothing such a man of peace could say.

Apparently the talk was a "gross interference in China's internal affairs". Personally I think telling us who we can or cannot talk to is a gross interference in our internal affairs.

This rates a giant "BITE ME, CHINA!"

Of course we don't expect rationality from china, just yesterday it was reported that a man was convicted of "inciting the separation of nationalities." for grabbing a microphone and screaming out "Long live the Dalai Lama" and calling for his return at an event in Tibet.

I have no doubt his sentence will either long and harsh or painful and deadly.Recommend this Post

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Smuggled smokes plaguing highschools

It seems that a plague of smuggled (or unregulated production)cigarettes are impacting high school campuses in both Ontario and Quebec.

From the Star today

I remember in the late 80s when cheap cigarettes and those lovely 60oz bottles of cheap no name booze were coming out of Cornwall, it was quite the rage for awhile. Well it seems the smokes at least have made a come back, however unlike the 80s, they are now readily available to high school students!

A study of discarded cigarette butts around schools shows that illegal cigarettes are quite common and represent a large proportion of those smoked by students. The highest Ontario percentages of 50% and 47% were found in Newmarket and Aurora school yards(my home turf). While our area seems to be a hot spot for the problem it is prevalent in both Ontario and Quebec with provincial averages of 24% and 35%.

This is not only a taxation issue, these cigarettes have not been tested by the government to see what's in them. This seems like a kinda disingenuous complaint, if the Gov aren't that concerned about the toxins in legal ones how much worse can the illegal ones be, still it is a concern. There is also the issue that most students at high schools are not old enough to buy or smoke cigarettes in the first place and with the discount prices reported any kid can afford to start the habit.

The funny think about his study, it was funded by the Canadian convenience store association. Since they are not supposed to be selling to youth either why are their shorts all in a knot? Easy, they are losing out on their illegal sales to minors and want something done to about it. If the problem was not so serious it would make you laugh, "Oh big law enforcement people, please save our illegal death trade buy shutting down their illegal death trade" Someone needs a slap to the back of the head.

For any of my Newmarket Aurora readers, (both of you) you should put the squeeze on your children or even your friend's children and report what you find to York Region Police. If you say "so what it's only cigarettes" then consider, your kids are possibly in contact with criminals who don't mind selling illegal contraband; what else is in that car trunk?Recommend this Post

May Bitchslaps Baird over lies!

letter to the editor Halifax Chronicle Herald

Obfuscation 101

Environment Minister John Baird displays a casual disregard for the truth in his letter attacking Ralph Surette’s excellent Oct. 13 column. That Mr. Baird has the gall to accuse Ralph Surette of "distorting" the Harper government’s actions on Kyoto is a tribute to bluster over substance.

While Baird claims Canada ranks with "other Kyoto partners," this is patently false. Canada is the only nation of the 165 that signed and ratified Kyoto to have publicly repudiated its targets. Harper is the only head of a Kyoto-party national government to have put in place a plan to allow emissions to rise throughout the Kyoto first phase (2008-2012). With the election of the Harper government, Canada has become the only Kyoto nation in league with those that never ratified Kyoto (the U.S. and Australia) — pushing for fraudulent schemes while sabotaging real action.

Baird claims that his government’s target is 20 per cent reductions in greenhouse gases by 2020. He omitted to mention the all-important base year. The European Union is committed to 20 per cent reductions below 1990 levels by 2020. So far, the Harper government has committed to 20 per cent below 2006 levels (24 per cent higher than they were in 1990). Worse yet, every independent analysis of the Harper plan shows it will fail to reach even this dangerously high emission level by 2020.

These Orwellian distortions are designed to confuse the Canadian public. We are smarter than that. We need real reductions and a good faith effort to move heaven and earth to get as close as we can to our international legally binding obligations under Kyoto.

Elizabeth May, Leader,

Green Party of Canada

I find it rather annoying that Ms May has to fight these battles in the editorial pages, where the hell is the press to take her critisism and why is the press itself not calling Baird to task for his outrageous lies? Arggg,Recommend this Post

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Peak Oil Data

The energy watch group has released a new paper on global oil supply the conclusion of which is quite grim.

The conclusion of the paper basically says it all the end is nigh and most agencies dealing with energy are not admitting the truth.

The major result from this analysis is that world oil production has peaked in 2006.

Production will start to decline at a rate of several percent per year. By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower.

This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame.

The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life.

Climate change will also force humankind to change energy consumption patterns by reducing significantly the burning of fossil fuels. Global warming is a very serious problem. However, the focus of this paper is on the aspects of resource depletion as
these are much less transparent to the public.

The now beginning transition period probably has its own rules which are valid only during this phase. Things might happen which we never experienced before and which we may never experience again once this transition period has ended. Our way of dealing with energy issues probably will have to change fundamentally.

The International Energy Agency, anyway until recently, denies that such a fundamental change of our energy supply is likely to happen in the near or medium term future. The message by the IEA, namely that business as usual will also be possible in future, sends a false signal to politicians, industry and consumers – not to
forget the media.

So we have supply dropping by several percent while demand is growing. There is little to no excess capacity in the system and western governments are doing nothing to prepare or brace us for the impact.

This really makes you wonder what the people at Export Development Canada have been smoking Oil prices are not going to weaken and unless the Bank of Canada torpedoes the interest rates a strong Canadian dollar is the new norm. The Gov the media continues to sing their happy tunes like Nero while modern society burns, (or is that, stops burning!)Recommend this Post

Monday, October 15, 2007

GREEN PARTY Policy Paper Released

In twinned announcements by Elizabeth May in Ottawa and Deputy-leader Adriane Carr in Vancouver the 160 page VISION GREEN Policy document was released today encompassing solutions and policies on all aspects of Canadian life.

May Invited the Prime Minister to read the document to see what “what real solutions look like”

The depth and detail of this release should prove to the Canadian populous and the media the Green Party of Canada is not a one issue party but rather a one party solution for Canadian voters.

That said 160 pages is oh, about 159 pages longer than the average attention span of voters, I hope the media gives a fair and accurate review of the material. Hell, I’ll be surprised if the media actually mention it.Recommend this Post

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ethanol's threat to Water supply

The National Research Council reports that corn based ethanol production can pose a serious threat to U.S. water supplies.

This can only mean a growing U.S. dust bowl, eventual food shortages and more demands from the U.S. for water diversion projects along Canadian borders.Recommend this Post

Gagged, Ignored and Discounted

Despite the 8% showing by the Green party I once again find myself feeling empty and depressed at the end of an election. 3x growth in popular support is nothing to baulk but at the same time Frank De Jong did not get to debate the other leaders, Ontario did not get to learn that the Green Party was the only party that sides with 70% of voters on eliminating Catholic school funding and creating one secular system. TVO spent nearly 1 hour discussing faith based funding last night yet no one mentioned the Green stand even after mentioning that one public system was voters preference

Ontario did not get to discus global warming, the economy, transit at all and health was barely mentioned. Most importantly my voice and those of 8% of voters will not be heard in the legislature.

I think the low point of my evening was my inability to reach through the TV and bitch slap Olivia Chow as she smugly discounted Green Growth as Vote Parking, closely followed by Mike(Fat Fuck)Duffy stating the Greens had much farther to go before they deserved a future debate spot. I'm sure if we had won that one seat they'd write it off as "a fluke and not indicative of a trend", RAT BASTARDS the lot of them!

Gagged, Ignored and Discounted, yes Democracy is Grand!

P.S. Should you ever use google to search for an image of a gagged person, (especially while at work) don't use gag ball as a search word.... opps.Recommend this Post

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I don’t claim to be an expert on politics or electoral reform but I can’t help but get pissed off at some of the crap I’m hearing on MMP.

List members will be chosen just as democratically from within the various parties as riding candidates are chosen now. If you support a party that partakes in parachuting candidates into ridings you have no right to complain the lists will be filled with party hacks. What you do have is a problem with your party, complain about them, become active in that party and fight for it to become democratic, that or move on.

Most people don’t belong to a party.
Parties don’t allow members to belong to more than 1 party
This means we already have a system where most people have no say in who is their candidate, MMP neither makes this aspect of the game better or worse.

Foolishness: “Why should be we reward losers?”
I would respond, why should we reward winners who did not win. 37% for Bob Rae = Majority, 44% for Mike Harris = Majority.
Canada has had provincial votes where the higher popular vote did not win the election, what the fuck is that about?

Foolishness: “The list will be full of party Hacks!”
What the hell is a party Hack?, a member who is probably actively involved?, An insider?, of course they bloody are. Who the hell do you think is going to run for a party anyways? It’s not going to be a non member who does nothing for the party, duh!
What you might get with MMP is a brilliant but uncharismatic list member, a qualified but overlooked aboriginal, an incorruptible poor women member, the kind of members that would actually understand and represent the average person experience, what we don’t need is more of the same; lawyers, ex CEOs , bankers etc.

Fear: “we will be overrun by fringe parties”
People don’t change that much. Each of the major parties has a floor of support; do you honestly think that so many pre-programmed voters are suddenly going change their beliefs that there will be 20 parties overnight?
Face it you’ve got 2 parties that never drop below 25-30% that’s good for 50-60% of voters minimum; the dippers don’t fall below 11% or so, Greens we will give 6% for a total of 67-77%. This leaves 23-33% swing voters to be divided up among all of the old parties and any of the new “Fringe” parties. The assumption is we will be tripping over all of the new parties so lets guess 11 new parties (33% of swing voters/3% cut off for seats)
My guess is that at least half of the swing votes will swing towards the existing parties leaving 12-16% of voters split between our imaginary 11 wacko parties. At worst 5 “fringe parties would get the minimum % to get seats, statistically none of them get any seats, so what is the problem. Each new party decreases the likelihood of any fringe party getting a seat at all, it’s quite self limiting.

Faith: Canadians are not radical. I do not fear a deluge of nut parties taking over the province. First of all most of them would never get a seat, secondly the light of day on their beliefs would quickly marginalize most of them, and finally the large parties would not give them credibility by inviting them into a collation. Even if the do get a few seats I don’t fear new ideas or new voices brought to the table, the ones we have now do a piss poor job so a little fresh blood might be a good thing.

So screw their arguments, I say YES to MMP!Recommend this Post

the Poor Rich are falling behind

In The Know: Are America's Rich Falling Behind The Super-Rich?

Perhaps we can have a charity event for them, maybe a bake sale!Recommend this Post

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Housing and Poverty


or this

There is an interesting article in today's Globe which talks about the poor, housing and average consumption and it’s rather startling. While stats do show there is real poverty in American, today’s poor often still have car(s), air conditioning and a 43% home ownership rate. The homes that the poor do either own or rent are drastically larger than either European middle class or American middle class of the 1970s. I'm sure these stats are probably relevant to the Canadian experience as well.

So a reasonable question to ask would be what is the true definition of poor? Is much of today’s poverty real or simply a combination of exaggerated expectation and the unwillingness of people to buy rationally sized homes, plus this problem is added to when towns and builders seem unwilling to build such units?

The average double garage is as large as a 1900 era home, when does poverty equate to greed and unwillingness to live within ones means?

Poverty to me would mean lack of food, shelter and medical care, ie basic necessities. Medical care is mostly a given in Canada but when the government does not mandate small houses of <1000sq ft, the poor end up spending their money on what they can find which are usually much larger and more expensive which in turns reduces their ability to feed their family and provide other needs.

Shelter does not necessarily mean 2 baths, each child having their own room, or the even the existing 439 sq ft average living space for poor U.S. citizens. Shelter means something safe, clean and warm that is not crowded (the U.S. definition of crowded is more than one person per room of the home which represents only 5.6% of U.S. poor today)

The market is either failing to providing small houses (I’ve seen no new ones) or else people are unwilling to accept what they need, rather than what they want. It's probably the combination of no supply and exaggerated expectation but the result is the same, people spending far too much of their income on shelter,leading to poverty.

So an ideal way to reduce poverty with a side benefit of lowering our carbon footprint and preparing for peak oil would be the creation and marketing of small efficient housing. Other than a small effort by Habitat for Humanity no one, and certainly not government is doing anything about this. Why is this not an election issue?
Recommend this Post

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Peak everything!

Here is an interesting interview,(click on hour 2 and the player of your choice) with the writer of Peak Everything, Richard Heinberg

I've not read the book but after this interview I think I'll be adding to my want list.Recommend this Post

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ontario Election called off due to Stupidity

I feel robbed, ripped off, abused.

What the hell am I going to do from this moment until Parliament starts up again?

“Blog on the Ontario election” you might say.

Hell no. I can’t do that the election has been called off for stupidity.

The reality as I see it is: the election for all intensive purposes is over, done, a forgone conclusion because John Tory is apparently the stupidest bastard to run for office (local politics excluded, he ran there too but was not the dumbest) for decades. At the start of this campaign I did not think the man was dumb or mentally challenged but it’s becoming more obvious that John Tory would never find his way to Queen’s Park unless the SHORT BUS picked him every day. Before he really hurts himself I think his wife or keeper should make sure he always wears a helmet in public.

Now I’m all for Ontario students being given a course in comparative religion just as a way for them to learn about other cultures and perhaps learn to respect the beliefs of others but allowing Creationism or Intelligent Design to be taught in any publicly funded school is idiotic in the extreme! Our students already lag in math and science and teaching them fairy tales is not going to improve the situation.

So what’s next John Tory?

Equal time for climate change deniers

Special presentations by the Flat earth society

Having our students audited for body Thetans (Scientology Bullshit)

Perhaps you can have the biology text books rewritten to include the Snuffleupagus, Unicorn, Jackalope, Bigfoot, and Nessie.

It seems pretty obvious that Dalton has already won. I guess that means people will feel free from the pressures of strategic voting and maybe we can get a decent Green showing, of course no debate probably limits that chance, sigh…

An aside. Considering MMP will increase the chance of minority governments it seems more important than ever to vote YES. Imagine this crazy ass Tory and his Voodoo Creationists with a 4 year mandate, (shudder repeatedly)Recommend this Post

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Can't be bought, Assholes! Part 1

So it has started, each of the political hopefuls is armed and ready with their massive bags of loot in an attempt to bribe me into giving them one more chance to screw me and any chance of our being ready for the challenges of fiscal instability, global warming and peak oil.

Let's start with Dalton:

Planting 50 million trees is pretty impressive but does not make up for the broken promises on shutting coal fired plants and moves towards more nuclear plants when the ones we have are expensive, dangerous(leaking tritium) and unreliable since their retrofits.
40 Billion dollars would build a hell of a lot of wind turbines, provide subsidise for home efficiency retrofits, and fund transit.

17.5 Billion in new transit, that's not bad, good for the environment, divert people from their cars and it will better prepare us for peak oil. Of course this is not today's spending it's an election promise which may or not be implemented by a Fiberal Government and could be left to the last year of a mandate even if it was funded. This needed to be in the last budget not dangled as a future plan.

This new found concern for the environment is nullified by policies like new HOV lanes for the QEW. Now if these lanes were to replace existing ones it would encourage car pooling but no, these are additional lanes which will speed up commuting for HOV users AND those alone in their cars. For HOV lanes to work we need to replace lanes not increase lanes. Make the lives of those foolish enough to drive from Burlington to Toronto alone each day hell! This plan rewards everyone and is not incentive enough to encourage car pooling or transit use in the numbers required to make a difference.

A new holiday. Like everyone I like time off but considering Ontario's economy is going to suffer in the wake of higher dollars, U.S. economic downturn and our overall uncompetitiveness on the world stage how the hell can you justify more paid days off which will further raise production costs and lower efficiency. When manufacturers are complaining they are not competitive you'd think you would consult them before adding higher costs to their bottom line. This is the most shallow self serving promise so far! Perhaps it should be Cynic day not family day.

Let's not forget the impending U.S recession/depression and chance of some form of fiscal crisis in the banking industry. I hope parties don't make bold promises based on projected revenue growth since I expect growth to vanish in the next 12 months.

I'm sure we can count on more bribes from Dalton but so far he's not found my price. Future critiques will depend who pisses me off next.

Vote for this post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Agricultural Biodiversity in Danger

As reported in the BBC. UN findings show that many of the worlds livestock breeds are in imminent danger of extinction as the developing world moves to more productive but often environmentally unsuitable breeds. This trend away from indigenous breeds lowers biodiversity and often leads to catastrophic failures for farmers when highly productive western breeds are incapable of adapting to the stresses and less than perfect conditions of the developing world.

The loss of these blood lines would be a great loss of genetic variety, including disease resistance, drought/heat tolerance, ability to survive on low levels of feed, mothering instincts and easy birthing, all traits which do not increase yield but do increase survivability of animals in harsh conditions.

Recommendations by the researchers to improve the problem included:

-establish gene banks in Africa to store semen, eggs and embryos

-allow great mobility of breeds across national borders

-encourage farmers to maintain a variety of indigenous livestock

-use advanced genomic and geographical mapping to match breeds to suitable environments

The Problem however is not just a developing world problem, western farmers have most of their eggs in one basket with 90% of all cattle in 6 distinct breeds ignoring others who's genes may once again be needed in a lower yield post carbon farm or needed to rebuild herds after some agricultural plague to which the pampered, uniform and high intensity farming breeds might succumb.

See the 13 cattle varieties under watch by the Rare Breeds Canada, 16 Chicken and 8 Turkey breeds, as well as horses, water fowl and pigs.

Vote for this post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Monday, August 27, 2007

HIV Victims Buried Alive

This is one of most perverse and disturbing stories I've seen in awhile.

With an estimated 2% of the population of Papua New Guinea being HIV positive and locals having little education or Government support to care for the victims, people have begun to bury the infected alive when they reach the point that their families can no longer care for them.

I really don't know what to say,
Yikes.. WTF! are two things that come to mind


I just realized that they quoted 30% increase in diagnosis each year, that would double the numbers in 3 years, triple in 5 years,
double Yikes!!!!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Deep Economy - hope for our future

I do try my best to keep up on relevant reading to the extent my pocket book and Newmarket's library will let me, so I was glad to find Deep Economy by Bill McKibben on my recent visit.

Deep Economy is an intriguing book that looks at the standard model of endless economic growth and the problems associated with it in the context of climate change, resource depletion and the rampant "Hyper individualism" of the capitalist west. The average house has doubled in size in 30 years while families have shrunk. We work more, travel more, make more money and yet we are increasingly isolated, less happy and unfulfilled for our efforts.
The system he describes is not attainable, sustainable and not even desirable for the entire world and is destined to collapse and likely quite soon.

Scattered throughout the book are examples of how new and in some cases very old economic relationships in communities can establish prosperity with a smaller more sustainable carbon foot print and increased satisfaction. Mckibben's stories, derived from his travels show how communities when measured by GDP would actually show stagnation or decline and yet can improve the environment, increase health, education, and happiness through local initiatives. Other experiments such as local currencies, urban farming, transit that works, local power generation, cooperative stores, and co-housing to mention a few can offer opportunities, increase local wealth all without the corporate mega mall sucking a community dry

While McKibben does not end the book with a definitive fix for the problems he does show us enough to question the real validity of a economic system that believes progress and utility are only measured by GDP. McKibben also gives us hope that small answers can help solve big problems and that acting locally can make a difference and in the end may be our best hope of sustainability.

Vote for this post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Is nothing sacred to China?

I realized I was fixating with 3-4 posts in as many weeks on Chinese business practices so I layed off for a while but in the last several weeks there have been so many new scandals that I can’t hold back any longer.

First there was the Mattel recall and then another Mattel recall,
Then some quarter of a million unsafe tires had to be called back
Today I find two more stories, unsafe baby bids which have excessive lead levels, gee no chance of a bib getting in contact with a babies mouth is there?

In the second story Chinese entrepreneurs think it’s OK to package cheap white wine from concentrate and labeling it as ice-wine. It’s neither VQA as required, it’s not even necessarily Canadian grape juice and it sure as hell is not made from frozen fruit as one manufacturer admits its concentrate and “pure water”. There isn’t any water added to make ice-wine. High end fake booze with names like Chivas Regal are commonly sold to a knowing and accepting public more concerned about prestige than quality, safety or legality

Is nothing sacred to China? I mean its one thing to fake a Prada purse but to mess with a peoples libations is more than criminal.

Where is our Government in all this, ignoring the issue and failing to support businesses trapped in prolonged legal battles with Chinese crooks.Recommend this Post

Friday, August 17, 2007

Trees vs Biofuels.........Trees Win says UK study

The BBC reports that a UK study proves food crop Biofuels are not the correct direction and are not an effective method of curbing CO2 emission.

The UK study shows that reforestation will suck up 9 time more Co2 than the avoided emissions by using biofuels rather than oil.

Biofuels will encourage deforestation and habitat destruction adding more problems to the mix while reforestation will sequester large amounts of existing carbon from the atmosphere.

The only aspect of the biofuels that was deemed possibly useful in mitigating CO2 emissions was waste or cellulose ethanol but refinery cost is several times higher than the simple corn/cane/palm oil. Hopefully this study will deter the food for fuel momentum, encourage reforestation and cellulose only biofuel technology.

Vote for this post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Even a Kettle can make a difference

I mentioned last week that I had just finished reading the Carbon Buster's Home Energy Handbook and that it was a good resource for cutting your carbon footprint. One section discussing cookware mentioned a gas kettle called the Simplex Copper Kettle that used coils in the base to trap and transfer heat more efficiently

Since I was in need of a kettle anyways (as mine was sputtering slightly from a growing leak around the spout weld) I figured lets see if I can find one. The book mentioned they were a high quality hand made English kettle so I expected that the $100 mentioned would be a minimum price. When I went looking I was surprised to find a vendor with the model shown in the picture here, the chrome version of the kettle that was discontinued. The discontinued price was only $40 U.S. with $8 dollars shipping from a homesteading, Amish kinda store in Ohio called Lehman's.

Carbon Busters claimed that this design is at least 25% more efficient vs. flat bottom kettles (on gas stoves) and on our trial run with equal quantity and temperature of water, the Simplex took just over 1/2 the time hence 1/2 the energy as the old flat bottom kettle.

This Kettle is only for gas ranges but for those trying to cut back it's a quality product at a discontinued price while they remain available. For a bonus it's not made in China.

Vote for this post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Meet the Candidate

It was my pleasure to attend the Newmarket-Aurora Green Party of Canada BBQ last night!

Over the course of the the evening people got to meet the Candidate Glenn Hubbers and we discussed energy policy, transit, SPP, MMP and solved most of Canada's troubles in the course of a couple of hours.

My Question is why Conservative who have had a year and a half and liberals who had a decade to deal with the issues still don't have it right?

The answers are out there, it only takes an open mind and a bit of your time to see them, contact the Green Party and see how we can save the Canada and the World

Vote for this Post at Progressive BloggersRecommend this Post

Green, My ASS!!!!!!

The Era Banner is York regions (at least Newmarket Aurora’s) community newspaper which is usually only concerned about trivia of limited news worthiness and rarely deals with the whole issues. Over the years I’ve had a myriad complaints with the Era Banner especially their constant attitude that the suns shines out of Belinda’s ass and her passing gas is more important than local issues. During the last election, every single issue had a Belinda article while Conservative Lois Brown got 50% coverage, NDP, Ed Chudak got maybe 30% coverage and Green, Glenn Hubbers got no more than 15% coverage.

That rant dealt with, I was most upset when I dragged my ass home last night from the Newmarket Aurora Green BBQ to see “Aurora, Newmarket go GREEN Monday “ plastered on the local rag. The Point of the article was we were getting (as the last reluctant holdout in York) Green bins for curb side composting.

It’s not as if I see a problem with recycling or composting, but what I do have a problem with is a policy that claims that consuming just as much as we always have and sending it “AWAY” in a large green bin each week has solved a problem. The real problem is we consume too much, we waste too much and hiding the consequences by developing a plan that only deals with diversion of waste rather than teaching people to waste less really pisses me off. Most of the items minus meat, diapers and a couple of other things should be going into your personal composter, not shipped off to a plant to be dealt with industrially.

This program is an improvement, but by no means does this program take either the region or the citizens off the hook for the waste they create. Once again the Era Banner fails in its job of a media outlet with a responsibility of telling a complete and accurate story.

Being Green means creating less waste or dealing with your own problem not shipping it away by truck! As long as York region focuses more on roads than buses, more on building houses than assuring water to feed them and more on growth than sustainability we will never be GREEN.

Era Banner, BITE ME!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Does Bush have one more war in him?

Reports have the U.S. Government taking moves to declare the Iranian Revolutionary guard a terrorist organization. This is considered significant mostly because this is the first time the designation will be applied to an agency of a foreign government.

Yes we know the Revolutionary Guard is likely funding and supplying Iraqi insurgents, but when you are trying to open a dialogue on the future of Iraq with Iran, talk of a terrorist label for the Guard does not seem to be helpful.

Is this just more saber rattling or is it a real move to set up new justifications for another war?Recommend this Post

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The fight against super bug infections

In the last decade scientific ingenuity has begun to fall behind the power of the simple bacteria. Once thought to be managed by man’s wonder drugs, deadly bacterial infections have made a stunning come back with a series of ever tougher strains that are making hospitals dangerous just to visit, not to mention being admitted too. MRSA( methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are killer Staph infections that are becoming resistant or immune to an increasing large percentage of our antibiotic drugs, mostly due to our misuse of them. MRSAs have been reported country wide but the Montreal area hospitals have had a number of serious outbreaks and some deaths.

So what can we do?


Well one avenue of attack is that of bacteriophage (Phage) which are virus like organisms that attack specific bacteria. The first time I heard the word Phage it was a plague that infected the Vidians on Star Trek Voyager.

It turns out however that Phages do exist but don’t attack people like they do in Star Trek. They can however, if targeted correctly be highly effective in fighting off a variety of infections including Staph infections and Gangrene as mentioned in this BBC article Phages enter your system, attack the bacteria, reprogram them to reproduce more bacteria killing Phages rather ran self replicate and then they die off when all the bacteria are gone; No complications or side effects.

This technology was heavily researched and widely used during the Soviet era when they did not have the access to as many antibiotics as the west did. Phages were actually used before antibiotics but the ease of taking a pill, the early difficulty in targeting the correct Phage to a specific infection and the problems drug companies would have trying to make a profit on a non patented medical treatment made Phages virtually unknown in the west.

I've heard it from a wheelchair bound friend that many people who have suffered bed sores that won't heal go to Russia for Phage treatments, and it works where other treatments do not. We need this medical technology but the difficulty of patenting a living organism makes investment by western drug companies doubtful. Universities and Governments should step up and start this research now while we still have some antibiotics that work.

Another weapon in the arsenal against infections is silver. Silver has been revered throughout the ages for it’s ability to heal wounds and clear up infections. A silver coin placed in unpasteurized milk was said to stay fresh longer, silver coins were placed on wounds to fend off infections, and even today silver sulfadiazine is the best treatment to keep burn wounds infection free. There is however considerable danger in the recent trend of impregnating clothes, plastics and surfaces with nano silver because it is toxic to aquatic life and will eventually wash into the water shed.

There have also been recent experiments showing that the addition of silver to existing antibiotics may enhance their effectiveness and make long discarded drugs usable again. While new resistances may arise this will give us new tools, for the present at least. Silver based drugs are even more dangerous to aquatic life since they will be flushed from our systems directly into a lake or ocean. Considering the levels of antibiotics found in some waste water I have no doubt toxic levels of silver would soon be found.

For those who want to go the sticky method, honey has also been shown to have antibiotic effects when applied directly to a wound. Some tests show it is as good or better than standard treatments vs MRSAs. Honey has always been know for these properties and has been used for wounds throughout history, once again like maggots and silver it was pushed aside for profit.

There is also the possibilities that completely new antibiotics will be created as well. Will these newer stronger drugs be beaten by bacteria? yes eventually. Will they have more reactions and side effects than milder drugs? quite possibly. Will they be tools of corporate greed or healing? you decide.

There is not going to be one magic bullet like we assumed in the early years of antibiotic. Tomorrow's answer will be a much more laborious matching of phages to bacteria, and a return to ancient knowledge pushed aside for profit making patent drugs. Hospitals will need more maintenance staff, increased cleaning with harsher agents and there will need to be greater restrictions on the endless parade of visitors through our hospitals. Piercing, tattooing, scaring, branding and cosmetic surgery will be things to avoid not collect and relish.Recommend this Post

Monday, August 13, 2007

Effective MPPs vs Defective logic and Cherniak

"Hold on, I'm not saying they will do no work. Quite the opposite, I'm saying they will have an unfair advantage in their ability to focus on province wide issues and talk to Queen's Park media because they won't be busy doing local constituency work."

Cherniak on why list MPPs are so evil. Apparently freeing up members so they can travel the entire Province get the big picture and become informed on what the populous wants is an insidious attempt at over throwing the Government's Nanny State prerogative of telling us what's important.

MMP equals effective list members, finally Jason says something that's correct.

If this crap is the best he can do, MMP can and will pass this fall.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bombs, Bridges, Bankruptcy and the Burning of Rome

The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was seen by many as a simple accident or a one off example of poor management but in reality it was a symptom of a profound event that most of the public are blind to, the fall of the American Empire. For many years the U.S. has been burning the candle at both ends, with its endless cycles of spending and debt without ever maintaining the necessities of modern life. The recent collapse is not a one off item or an accident it is a symbol of the systemic rot taking place in U.S. There are estimates claiming that in the U.S. an astounding 73,000 or 12% of all bridges are structurally deficient.
Further 80,000 are functionally obsolete meaning they are not designed for the amount of traffic they currently carry. For years, be it slack highway maintenance or failing to fully fund the corps of engineers, the U.S. government has not been doing its job in maintaining the essential infrastructure of the nation, Minneapolis and New Orleans were just two of the many disasters that the U.S. is destined to suffer for the lack of money and planning.

Added to this infrastructure mismanagement is U.S. spending on the Iraq war and the normally huge military spending, which continues despite the apparent victory in the cold war. To date, the Iraq war is estimated by the congressional budget office is about 450 Billion That of course is the accounted costs, hidden costs for procurements, mercenaries like Black Water and long term costs of supporting military widows and cripples will add significantly to this stated cost. For decades The U.S. has been spending on its military as if they were on a war time footing and yet they never caught on to the concept of guns or butter but rather thought guns and butter with plasma screens and SUVs thrown in was a long term sustainable proposition; Morons the lot of them.


Nation's Finances

National Debt Clock

Another interesting fact (as show just above this paragraph taking up far too much space) is the growing U.S. debt which as you read this sentence will climb by 100,000 dollars. The total debt at the time of my writing is $8.931 Trillion U.S. dollars, the total unfunded liabilities which include expected payouts of Medicare, government pensions etc is estimated by the GAO to be in the neighborhood of $53 trillion, a staggering figure. For years the U.S. governments have been raiding various trust funds like those for pensions and health coverage, spending the money, not replacing it, and giving the funds IOUs in place of the interest baring vehicles that would make these funds at least partially self funding over time.
The U.S. has a hard choice ahead, renege on promised benefits, or devalue the dollar to the point that they will honour their commitments in word if not in value.

The U.S. has been selling U.S. debt to mostly foreign investors at a rate of over a billion dollars a day for many years. A new twist on this need for daily influxes of cash has been the U.S.’s recent trend of issuing and borrowing money through the Federal Reserve since fewer and fewer foreign suckers in the open market are taking part in treasuries auctions; this is simply printing money and devaluing all existing dollars. This monetization of debt is a sure fire sign of the coming collapse of the U.S. dollar and the ability of the U.S. to maintain it’s pretension of empire for much longer. Recent reports from China hint that they may be willing to use the threat or action of dumpting of U.S. debt on the market as an economic weapon against the U.S. Even such threats could panic bond holders and crash the U.S. dollar in a flash of computer controlled trading.

The U.S. is heading for a long fall, which will likely include bankruptcy, a dollar crisis and certainly a diminishment of the roll of America in world affairs. Not unlike Rome did, the U.S. is fighting wars it cannot win with money it does not have and with citizens who no longer have the zeal, belief in righteousness or simple bloodlust required to be big dog on the street. Rome collapsed by inches as measured by loss of influence, debasement of its money , military setbacks, social decadence, sound like anyone you know?

The U.S. needs to decide that taking care of home trumps outside concerns. I for one don’t expect that they will make this decision until it’s far too late and the Visigoths and Vandals will already be at the gates!

What does this mean to us?

We have an unstable neighbor who will strike out if it needs something it can’t get otherwise

We have a nearly broke trading partner who will drag us down with them unless we diversify our customers.

We have a lot of our money tied up in U.S. dollar valued equities which may vaporize overnight.

We have a neighbor which could fragment or fall into anarchy

Monies we would have liked to have seen diverted to the environment in the U.S. will be used to cling to their delusions of empire.

SPP is surely our destruction.Recommend this Post