Recent comments

  • OPINION: Paris (should have) changed everything, so why are we still talking pipelines?   4 days 5 hours ago

    Excellent article clearly summarizes what we need to focus on. On the subject of airports I just heard a CBC report on the drastic reduction of use of the new-in-2014 expanded Fort Mac airport ($240 million taxpayer $ if I remember correctly). Exactly what Suzuki is talking about - stop building for a dying industry. Closer to home, last week it was reported that nothing can be done to improve all-weather take off and landing at Castlegar (it would be prohibitivly expensive for the airlines to retrofit equipment to their planes). Good. Let us accept that we live in a beautiful, fairly remote location and can't jump on (or offf) a  plane 365 days/year, guaranteed.  That's a tiny price to pay for living here.

  • Big smiles from West Kootenay Community TEETH after winning $50,000 from Pacific Blue Cross   1 week 9 hours ago

    Good things happening to good people!


  • Corporate tax hikes ultimately reduce the wages of Canadian workers   2 weeks 6 hours ago
    The Fraser Institute is so far out to lunch, I wonder why the media still pays it any attention. It conducts its "studies" in Lalaland. I guess that's why conversely when Harper cut corporate taxes (and the previous Libs too), Canadians suddenly saw themselves get a huge wage increase the next year. Oh wait, we didn't.
  • Corporate tax hikes ultimately reduce the wages of Canadian workers   2 weeks 8 hours ago

    The Fraser Institute, Canada's leading right-wing think tank, received over $4.3 million in the last decade from eight major American foundations including the most powerful players in oil and pharmaceuticals.

    In May 2012, it was found that the US oil billionaire Koch brothers gave the Fraser Institute half a million dollars since 2007.  But further investigation shows the institute received funding from other major US foundations.       c/o Vancouver Observer, 2012

    These biased think tanks try to shape and sway public opinions to suite the far right wing in exchange for lower taxes, smaller government, weaker trade unions, and an end to environmental regulations that might reduce corporate profits.

    Read Robert Reich’s article on The Three Biggest Lies about Why Corporate Taxes Should Be Lowered

    Then I hear responses, but that only happens in the US. We also have forms of corruption, the US is at least 10 times worse. After reading about the ongoing lies and deception in the US, that doesn't say much for our country. You'll understand if you watch the film Fractured Land.

    Martin Luther King Jr. stated in letter, even back in 1952, that “capitalism has outlived its usefulness”:

    ‘I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. And yet I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits. It started out with a noble and high motive, to block the trade monopolies of nobles, but like most human systems, it falls victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes

    Hard not to be pessimistic about the future. Although, optimistically speaking. The election campaign phrase ‘just not ready’ might mean that Mr. Trudeau hasn’t been entirely ruined by the shadow governments, yet!

  • Province seeks input from British Columbians for next climate plan   2 weeks 3 days ago

    In case you haven’t noticed, the latest Fossil Fuel bubble has burst. The elite have profited generously from the public’s speculative investments. Others may have been very fortunate to also profit nicely. Unfortunately, the majority of the perceived profits for retirement are not there. These digital profits on paper (pardon the pun), adjusted for inflation, have a reduced buying power.

    The rich global leaders of this great cyclical monetized system have started the next cycle. Building another private profit model based upon the public emotions on reducing the risk and effects of global warming. Another Freudian psychoanalysis strategy used by corporations and governments. The media plays a crucial role in shaping the perceptions and consciousness of the public. Edward Bernays stated: We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of.

    This next digital bubble is the carbon credit system. A government first sets a cap, deciding how much pollution in total will be allowed. Even though the unrealistic cap limit won’t even meet the objectives in the Paris agreement, which only encourages voluntary participation. In fact, the system might be counter-productive to the goal of limiting warming to 2 C, never mind the unrealistic 1.5 C ambition in the agreement. Next, companies are issued credits, essentially licenses to pollute, based on how large they are, what industries they work in, and so forth. If a company comes in below its cap, it has extra credits that it may trade with other companies. Sounds perfect for speculation and set up for failure.

    The carbon credit system still requires regulation. Government agencies must monitor emissions from companies to ensure that they are reporting them truthfully. Leads to more complex and corrupt policies. There are far more private solicitors out there than in our government. The bigger the policy the more loopholes are found. Of course, the major loophole used by corporations is treating corporations as ‘people’ so investors aren’t liable for the corporate decisions. That combined with the corporate unaffordability job loss threats and austerity measures by governments not being able to enforce regulations, corporations will self-regulate.  The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino. No difference in the end result, privatize the profits, socialize the losses (debt, health, safety, environment - aka corporate externalities).

    The world’s economy is in serious trouble. Commercial banks can’t print, lend and speculate the way to social prosperity. All we are doing is hollowing out our economy. And sooner or later it’s empty and we have to start over after a great amount of crisis and chaos. On top of that, the mainstream media talks more about corruption in sports than it does in the financial sector. I wonder why?

    People are supposed to learn from their mistakes. Politicians appear exempt from all rules, we’re headed for a repeat borrowed money bank bailout similar the $100 Billion gift payed for by the public. Sure, it’s so much cheaper than liquidating an entire failing bank. Hence the too big to fail scenario. Although, public spending on infrastructure is a much better method of quantitative easing for the people. But we’re still paying interest to borrow the money. Of course, borrowing from the Bank of Canada at NO interest rates would be even more fiscally responsible, and would keep policy decisions out of the hands of foreign lenders.

    Presently, commercial banks are currently the only source of new money into the economy, this puts government into a position of dependency on the banks. Any attempt to impose regulations or reforms to the banking system are met with the threat from the banks. This will limit their ability to provide credit and therefore harm any economy recovery. Canada should take them up on the dare. The solution: just use the Bank of Canada. Greece has no public bank and backed down from the similar economic threats made by the EU banks.  #ThisIsACoup

    The carbon tax is a start for the province. However, if the province wants to show more leadership on the climate, they need to put more pressure on the Minister of Finance.

  • OUT OF LEFT FIELD: Stupid is as stupid does   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    Right on, Kyra. 

    Language continually evolves, but I strongly object to enfeebling it by blaming words for human actions or, conversely, trying to replace strong words with other, more euphemistic ones that seem less pejorative.

    Case in point:  a person convicted of a crime and incarcerated in a prison used to be called a "convict."  Then  we decided that sounded too harsh, so we started calling them "inmates."  Now, you may think there's nothing wrong with that, but please bear in mind that the word "inmate" used to be used in the same sense as the word "resident" of any given house.  But  it no longer means "someone who lives in that house we're talking about" -- no, it now means "convict."   And because "inmate" now means what "convict" used to mean, we're starting to think that sounds overly harsh too, and some penal institutions are beginning to call their convicts / inmates ... "residents."

    Now, we've already had the word "inmate" spoiled for common usage to mean anything but "convict";  when the word "resident" is taken over to mean "convict" too, what word can we use to mean "resident"?   Well, I guess there's still "dweller" though it sounds a bit strange rolling off the tongue.  "Liver" sounds like a piece of organ meat.  "Tenant" sounds like a renter ... any other suggestions?  

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   3 weeks 1 day ago

    It was sarcasm, John.

    Have you read Akerlof & Shiller's "Phising for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation & Deception"?

    If you have, and if you agree with the what these two Nobel economists tell us, then we are on the same page.

    If you have not read it, get it. It is worth the money as well as the effort to read it. And re-read it.

  • Interior Health braces for wave of refugees — no word on numbers coming to West Kootenay region   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Good to see 9 people think this is a good idea, and now I'd be interested to read what it is about this Nurse Practitioner suggestion that the 6 people who thumbed it down, don't agree with.

    Is it that they don't like the concept of Nurse Practitioners?  Or don't know what exactly they do, and think it's inferior to what doctors do for many of our ailments?   Or some other objections?

    I think more Nurse Practitioners would increase Health Care capacity, to benefit the wider community long into the future.    No?

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Comparison to North Korea. Mmmm… Almost sounds like sarcasm or Wall St propaganda.

    The economy I am describing is a large federal department store with lots of privately run commodity shops. A great store like this was created as a result of the great depression. Where the government used the Bank of Canada to help finance WW2, build the Trans-Canada Highway and the St. Lawrence Seaway, and finance social programs like the Canada Pension plan, Medicare – all without undue debt or inflation. There was a very large generation born after the war that shopped there but so many have forgotten. That economy was a win win for democracy and capitalism.

    Make whatever comparisons you want. Although, I heard there was a totalitarian regime with an irrational leader and cult of personality around the WW2 era that was also supported by a private banking system. I even think there is another similar regime in the Persian Gulf with lots of oil that both Canada and the US continue to support today, but our policy makers turn their head away each time they are asked about it.

    No doubt there are lots of families today supplementing incomes with speculation investments. At the same time as our infrastructure, originally financed by the BoC, falls apart in front of us and is lost for future generations.  We are trapped in the vicious circle of short term speculation as the rate of inflation for basic food and shelter will continue to exceed basic household incomes. More people really need to go see the film Big Short which exposes the Wall St fraud system.

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   3 weeks 2 days ago

    There is an example of an economy that functions as, as you suggest, as "one big department store full of all the goods and services we all produce and offer for sale every year." An economy where "we all get paid enough in wages and profits to buy everything in that store, assuming we would spend all the money we earn and all the profits we make."

    That example is North Korea.

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Governments, using their own sovereign electronic currency, can spend what they want, when they want. The consequences of overspending might be inflation or a falling currency, but never bounced checks. Invest for future generations rather than short term speculation.

    The fact is: government deficits can never cause a government to miss any size of payment. There is no solvency issue. There is no such thing as running out of money when spending is just changing numbers upwards in bank accounts at its own Bank of Canada

    Yes, households, businesses, cities and even the provinces need to have dollars in their bank accounts when they write checks, or else those checks will bounce. That’s because the dollars they spend are created by someone else - the federal government – and households, businesses, cities and the states are not the scorekeeper for the dollar.

    Now we’re ready to look at the role of taxes from a different angle, that of today’s economy, using the language of economics. An economist today would say that “taxes function to reduce aggregate demand.” Their term, “aggregate demand,” is just a fancy term for “spending power.” Investing in public infrastructure for future generations based upon taxation alone is very short term thinking.

    The government would tax us and takes away our money for one reason - so we have that much less to spend which makes the currency that much more scarce and valuable. Taking away our money can also be thought of as leaving room for the government to spend without causing inflation. Think of the economy as one big department store full of all the goods and services we all produce and offer for sale every year. We all get paid enough in wages and profits to buy everything in that store, assuming we would spend all the money we earn and all the profits we make. (And if we privately borrow to spend, we can buy even more than there is in that store.) But when some of our money goes to pay taxes, we are left short of the spending power we need to buy all of what’s for sale in the store. This gives government the “room” to buy what it wants so that when it spends what it wants, the combined spending of government and the rest of us isn’t too much for what’s for sale in the store.

    We can easily choose if a sovereign money system occurs immediately or is a longer term transition.

    The increasing popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders in two of the richest countries out there brings hope that democracy just might regain control. Voter turnout just might also increase. Last election we voted someone out of power rather than into power. Although, technically speaking, it was another false majority.

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   3 weeks 3 days ago

    We (some of us at any rate) cheered on the federal government when it cut the GST from 7% to 6% in 2006, and we (the same we) cheered even louder when it further reduced the GST to 5% in 2008.

    The loss of revenue estimated at that time resulting from these decisions was $6 billion per year.

    Of course we (who cheered on these decisions) set aside the money we saved as a result of the lower GST, and that is why the nation's rate of savings by citizens is as rich as it is.

    (Sarcasms is purely accidental)

  • Interior Health braces for wave of refugees — no word on numbers coming to West Kootenay region   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Wouldn't having more Nurse Practitioner positions opened up, free up more doctors to take on refugees?  Considering that NPs' work is somewhere between that of a doctor and nurse, including being authorized to write prescriptions for some ailments, it seems to me they could be ideal for helping with many of the refugees' medical conditions.

    It's great to see all the refugee-related info the IHA is making available to doctors and others in the Health sector, but how are doctors supposed to make room for more patients, considering their waitlists?

    As I ponder how to persuade overloaded doctors to take on the refugee family the Castlegar community hopes to be welcoming sometime this year,  I see it like Emergency Room and ambulance  "triaging" : those in the most critical condition get to the front of the line.   And I imagine many refugees, who have not received any form of healthcare for years, will have pressing needs.   But still, what about the rest of the population who have been waiting and waiting to see a doctor, who in effect will be bumped down the list?

    I think having more Nurse Practitioners could go a long way towards solving this dilemma.  I know of at least one well-qualified NP here in the Kootenays who can't practise because there aren't any openings.   Is it in the IHA's power to fix this?

  • Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt   4 weeks 2 days ago

    Another biased report. Not disputing the statistics, just the recommendations.

    “This year’s round of federal and provincial budgets is an opportunity for governments to take meaningful action to reverse an eight-year trend of persistent deficits and growing debt.”

    Austerity is not the answer.

    Problem: Money creation by private banks tends to be pro-cyclical. When the economy is improving, banks become more willing to lend. This creates further demand (or house price inflation) which leads to greater confidence about the future health of the economy, and an even greater willingness to lend. But ultimately the ever-higher levels of private debt result in a financial crisis. Post crisis, banks are unwilling to lend (because they are not sure whether borrowers will be able to repay), and the real economy suffers through a shortage of credit and spending.

    In a post-crisis environment, there is a real risk of a ‘debt deflation’ scenario. This a situation in which the collateral used to secure a loan (or another form of debt) decreases in value. This can be detrimental because it may lead to a restructuring of the loan agreement or the loan itself. The higher the levels of private debt following a crisis, the harder it is to recover from the recession.

    Sovereign money as a solution: Interest free money creation by the Bank of Canada bank would be countercyclical. In times when the economy is booming, rates of money creation would be reduced, to avoid fuelling inflation. But when the economy is in recession, rates of money creation will be increased to prevent prices from falling, leading to additional spending on services and infrastructure and boosting the economy. This is likely to lead to a much more stable economy. In times of recession, households and businesses will be withdrawing demand from the economy by attempting to pay down their own debts. The creation of money by the Bank of Canada can offset this shrinking demand.

    Our federal government was elected to be leaders for the public. They are being led by private corporations. They treat the symptoms, but not the cause. Change the banking system.

    Go See “The Big Short” Right Now — And Then Read This

    Big Banks actually are Exactly like Counterfeiters

  • Cheetah conundrum continues - search called off for Kootenay kitty   6 weeks 2 days ago

    A sad story.  These animals belong in their home habitat and using them as pets is just not right.

  • OPINIONS: Differing Views on the Paris Climate Agreement   6 weeks 5 days ago

    This is the foundation of the present monetary system in our society. This continuous spending approach can never be used to control the environment. Natural resources are not created out of thin air like the fiat currency. If we want to create a long term effective strategy to change to the global warming trend, the 19th century monetary system (pre petroleum era) must be modernised first.

    The expensive decisions our federal government will make to treat the symptoms of global warming will be publicly funded. We’ll just continue to pay the private banks. Creating more money is like a public tax because it reduces the buying power of the money you have. While, in ways it’s even worse, because a large percentage of this money is quickly transferred out of the country before the subsidized private climate action plan for profit begins.

    The private banking corporations control the elected representative and ultimately the Minister of Finance. Our MPs either don’t know how the fiat currency system works or that the benefits outweigh the negative consequences of simply debating the topic in parliament. For the first time in 170 years, UK parliament debated the creation of money.

    We hear about the horrible state of society on this planet. Food banks are used by families once considered as thriving middle class. Look at the countries without central banks as members of the Bank for International Settlements. These are places where the recent corporate wars are taking place (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.). You can directly connect nearly every war in human history with who controls the currency. Rich nations finance a coup of a power to control the money and natural resources with no moral conscious. The smaller nations are forced or ‘negotiated’ to follow. The corporations aren’t worried about suffering; they are psychopaths. Watching that video offers even more reasons to kill the TPP.

    No boots on the ground or air strikes are needed to make money. We had the cold war and Cuban missile crisis for decades; the war on terror is relatively young. Is the public any safer after the “war on drugs” or “tough on crime” plans? All they do is continue to fill the pockets of the privately owned and operated prisons and military equipment suppliers. The recent Paris PR event has started the global warming spending calamity. There’s no chance of victory over the planet which is far more powerful than fiat money. I guess victory depends on how one might define victory or even happiness…

    The general public has been strategically deceived (propaganda) by private corporations and naïve or corrupt governments for years using scare tactics and disaster readiness strategies. Do some research on Sigmund Freud and Edward Bernays on how to control the sheople. There is more than one side to every story. There is likely another financial crisis, or shock treatment, in the near horizon. The rich ones controlling it have cashed out long ago.

    A good rule to follow when following corporate media; Do your own due diligence, identify the publisher, not the web site,  of the article and then look for additional, unbiased, opinions. eg. The claimed ‘independent’ Reuters and the Associated Press are both owned by the Rothschild family.

    The monetary system must be changed before it collapses on itself. To begin, we have a public bank; let’s use it for its intended purpose. MoF creates bonds, BoC purchases them at near zero interest rate for public goods and services, have a flat income tax, a modest consumption tax, a Tobin tax (foreign transfers). These taxes, interest and profit goes back to the public. The creation of this fiat currency must be strongly measured otherwise there will be attempts to get out of debt quickly and create hyperinflation. Germany’s hyperinflation in the 20s and 30s devastated the country. Japan’s economy was frozen for a decade. The private banks are an enormous problem to try and address. The greedy and corrupt will dig their heels in. The fractional reserve lending (aka. counterfeiting) must end. We won’t see much for change in the banking system until either high profile executives and linked government officials are held accountable and punished or the economy collapses. Those punished either don’t play by the elite ‘rules’ or it’s symbolically done as a PR event for the media to publish. The corporate media reports that we are being tough on crime. Ya right, maybe selective crime…

    The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare:

    The global financial system is heading towards a major crash. Large cities are filing for bankruptcy. Small countries as well. Every economy, US included, will ultimately collapse as the population and currency increases and natural resources are depleted. The countries with the richest people, control resources and just enough public slaves will be the last to fall under this system. Right now, Saudi Arabia is set up be last to fall.

    We live in an infinite growth paradigm which requires growth forever. It’s not that Bernie Madoff was a pyramid scheme… the whole economy is a pyramid scheme… the whole global economy cannot be sustained. It requires infinite growth, but infinite growth collides with finite energy… Michael Ruppert 2009

    Most of us on the planet pursue choices that contribute to the destruction of it. The reasons for this are certainly complex. However, being socialised within a ‘growth culture’ is perhaps the primary one. Abandoning these behavioural tendencies on a scale large enough to make an impact on the trends of the past several hundred years would appear to be the challenge of the ages… Olduvaii

    Here is a simple and concise explanation of the economic system in the UK that will also collapse if the system continues. There is also a touch of Canada in there too.

    Some say that only 1 in 10 people even understand how money is created. Even fewer understand that an economic collapse using this fiat monetary system is inevitable. Economies will collapse before the sea levels rise or we run out of clean air to breathe or clean water to drink.

    Please contact our MP, Richard Cannings or our Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau Remind the elected officials about: the Bank of Canada Act of 1934, Article 18 and the Canadian Constitution Act of 1867, Article 91?

  • (Not) holding the line: council deliberates on tax increase for 2016   6 weeks 6 days ago

    I don't see the problem  just raise electrical rates.  This pays for everything and half of it comes from rural residents as they are half of Nelson hydro customers.  This is what has been done the past 6 years or so, when electric rates began to skyrocket.

  • Conservation officers say search called off for missing cheetah on East Shore   7 weeks 7 hours ago

    In an effort to assist the RCMP and the Controlled Alien Species Unit I will keep my eyes open for hidden arms caches, in case it is an ISIS infiltrator, and search my property for space craft since it has been reported as an alien species.

  • How will Federal cannabis legalization shake out — police, local marijuana dispensaries wait to find out   7 weeks 4 days ago

    Seems there are way more medicinal marijuana dispensaries than are truly needed to serve people who have a real medical need for it.  You have to wonder who else are they selling to and how they stay in business?

  • OPINIONS: Differing Views on the Paris Climate Agreement   7 weeks 5 days ago

    When I taught about the greenhouse effect, habitat loss and recycling 30 years ago I was viewed as odd by some and as a lunatic by many. It is heartening beyond words to hear that the efforts have proved worthwhile. Many colleagues I worked with then are still working in the same areas in their retirement. Vindication is nice but the hope that this agreement brings is overwhelming. :)

  • Financial plan amendments cost city nearly $1.5 million   8 weeks 1 day ago

    As for the sports headline — "Rockers sweep past Hawks" — meadsy you're right. Schools did removed the "ettes from the team name, so no more Rockettes. However, Rockers is acceptable and still is being used.

  • Financial plan amendments cost city nearly $1.5 million   8 weeks 1 day ago

    I just read the the headline "Rockers sweep past Hawks" just wondering what happened did I miss something I thought I read a year or two ago where the school district decided to drop the Rocker/Rockettes names for something else I do not remember  the name. Does anyone know whats up?

  • Financial plan amendments cost city nearly $1.5 million   8 weeks 3 days ago

    Let's be more accurate here. It was not actually the City's financial plan amendments that cost the City about $1.5 million.  The City is obliged to adjust its financial plan when it has had unexpected expenses.  The adjustment didn't cause the expense -- it was the other way around. 

    The cost to the City was the result of violent weather -- a storm.  And, as we continue to spew out CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and fail to get serious about climate change,  we can expect more violent and more expensive weather.  People talk about the expense of taking effective action to slow climate change,  and far too seldom acknowledge the unacceptably huge and increasing costs of failing to do enough. 

  • OPINION: ELECTORAL REFORM -- A Proposal   8 weeks 3 days ago

    Nick Loenen's STV proposal could work if we add a small provincial or regional list to recapture the wasted votes in the single-member ridings. Since the multi-member urban ridings would already be proportional, only a very small list is required. This could be the "compromise" solution that uses ranked ballots in a proportional system.

    Cf. my proposal to the Ontario Citizens' Assembly in 2007:

  • OPINION: ELECTORAL REFORM -- A Proposal   8 weeks 4 days ago

    Loenen fears that full Proportional Representation would be "too much change" -- I just fear that our new government thinks it would be too much change.  And that's sad, given that the now-governing party's catch-phrase during the election was "REAL CHANGE".  I'm not convinced that the system proposed by Loenen will bring "real change" to the results of our federal elections.   I'm not convinced that it would result in most voters feeling that their votes were effective, after the end of an election.

    It's interesting to contemplate the fact that our previous government -- commonly known as "the Harper government" -- came into power with 166 seats -- a 54% majority -- in the House of Commons, with only 39.62% of the votes cast.  Yet they held 100% of the power. 

    And in this 2015 election,  the Liberal Party gained a 54.4% majority of the seats in the House of Commons with an even lower percentage of the votes cast than the "Harper" government.  The Liberals hold 184 seats, with only 39.5% of the "popular vote" -- the total number of votes cast in the election.   Now the Liberal Party holds 100% of the power. 

    Our job as citizens will be to do whatever we can to monitor, to track the actions of our federal government, and to apply pressure in any way possible to hold them to account.  I, for one, do not want a repeat of what happened the last time one party held all the power based on a significantly lower percentage of citizens' votes.