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Everything posted by jdobbin

  1. The president's party historically has lost seats in the sixth year of his service. Franklin D. Roosevelt lost 72 House seats in 1938; Dwight D. Eisenhower 48 in 1958. The exception was Bill Clinton in 1998. Interesting. And given the President's unpopularity at the moment...
  2. There are a number of reasons, not all of them have to do with government. 1. Private investment. Private investment in Manitoba is one of the lowest in Canada. Growth in Manitoba cannot come strictly from public spending. Also, private companies cannot continually complain that the business climate prevents them from investing. The economy in Manitoba is hopping in 2006 and private businesses are still not putting enough capital investment into their companies. 2. Immigration. Manitoba until recent years has done a poor job of attracting immigrants. When Ontario and B.C. were booming due in part to immigration in the 1990s, Manitoba was left out and subsequently, the population was static. Immigration is one of the bright spots now for Manitoba due to the provincial nominee program. However, there is still a migration out of Manitoba as people seek jobs in Alberta and retire in British Columbia. 3. Taxes. Taxes are too high when compared to other provinces, especially the west. There is probably no way to compete directly with Alberta's lack of a sales tax but the province should try to make sure it is comparable to Saskatchewan. The province needs to make sure that it doesn't spend money frivolously. The purchase of private medical clinics does not serve Medicare. Additionally, bailouts for corrupt or incompetent agencies has got to stop. 4. Environmental protection. Manitoba's largest lake is about to go dead because of poor environmental stewardship. Along with it, the province could lose a lot of industry, mainly fishing and tourism. Land usage is also been poor and many farms need better environmental protection. Those are the internal reasons why Manitoba has been a "have not" province. Some of the external reasons have been Alberta's explosive growth due to oil revenue and Ontario's continued strength in industry. In any federation, there are areas that will not be as powerful as other area. Every federation except the United States has a federal transfer program. The United States program transfers money through the Interstate highway system and military contracts that are divided alongst all 50 states. With proper financial guidance over several years, Manitoba might be a break even province.
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/14/rep...l.ap/index.html Four months to go and it isn't looking like peaches and cream.
  4. What are you referring to? Hydra House, for one.
  5. I suppose. They could start trading missiles. Israel may have the ability to overfly parts of Iran but I don't know if the Iranian air force has a similar ability over Israel. Most analysts say Iran's fleet of aircraft is not capable of making it to Israel and back. Israel is capable of doing it but only if other Arab countries are not looking to shoot them down. They both have missiles capable of hitting each other. Iran has less directional control but they do have multiple warheads and possibly chemical and biological weapons. Both sides may be reluctant to go to that extreme since Israel's response would be a tactical nuclear strike to any chemical or biological attack.
  6. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13828193/ Many Republicans are starting to feel uneasy about Bush's likely veto.
  7. This morning, the Israeli prime minister warned Iran and Syria that if the kidnapped Israeli soldiers ended up in either country, that Israel would respond. I don't know if that would be a proxy war then. It's a big if to be sure about Iran but it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Syria might somehow get involved.
  8. What options are left for Israel in the conflict? Is war inevitable with Syria and Iran by next week?
  9. You might be pessimistic on oil prices. Explosions in Nigeria and escalation in Lebanon. Oil prices could hit $100 this week.
  10. How do you negotiate with a group which insists on firing rockets into your towns and villages? Pay them ofF? Promise to convert? At the moment, they are involved in a continuing escalation which might end in re-occupying Lebanon and Gaza. As I originally said, the soldiers should be returned. A return to negotiation should resume after things have cooled off. At the moment, things could go to full out war. I guess there comes a point when you can't negotiatiate any more. Eight Israeli soldiers died in two ambushes and two now kidnapped. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah is 100% responsible for all the death, destruction and pain he's caused to the poor Lebanese civilians. He should have thought ithat one out before he started this war. It seem terrorists are too stupid to think about peace. Lebanon is also responsible for harbouring and protecting a designated terrorist organization. I still think Israel might end up in a far worse situation. I know they want to act rather than accept constant kidnapping and attacks but they went through this before with Lebanon and it resulted in 25 years of terrible outcomes for everyone.
  11. How do you negotiate with a group which insists on firing rockets into your towns and villages? Pay them ofF? Promise to convert? At the moment, they are involved in a continuing escalation which might end in re-occupying Lebanon and Gaza. As I originally said, the soldiers should be returned. A return to negotiation should resume after things have cooled off. At the moment, things could go to full out war.
  12. Sounds like a poll commissioned by US television companies. I think people would have a different opinion if you asked them specifically about news programming. Why? People want television for entertainment. Canadian television rarely entertains anyone. Doesn't do much of a job of informing anyone either. It's biased and untrustworthy. Not to mention grossly inefficient. It's probably just a matter of time before Canada gets unfettered access to the U.S. TV and the Canadian television industry will be sold to the U.S.
  13. There are always argument about central banks and how they effect different regions. Sometimes certain regions suffer at the expense of other areas. I can remember some parts of Canada were upset by higher interest rates when Ontario's economy was superheating. Alberta was one of those areas that wasn't in favour of higher interest rates then. For the most part over the last few years, there has been not so much disagreement about where the Bank of Canada was going. Economic magement was excellent. If this is an argument for separation of Alberta from Canada, it isn't one that many Albertans seem convinced of.
  14. I hope both sides use restraint. The soldiers should be returned. And both sides should return to negotiations.
  15. Yes. Only out of fairness. I do not want the government to have the power to tinker with the economy or make winners and losers. Trade gold or silver or lead or pearls or sand or corn or olive oil, anything, so long as it is real. Currently, our central banks do precisely that: they play with the money they force you to use. (Actually, they just make it excedingly difficult to use any other currency but their ow.) The actions of the central banks create winners and losers by "averaging out" the economy in question. Correct. It will not stop inflation. Inflationary pressures will be free. There will be more inflation but when it occurs, it will be striclty a result of something "real" in the economy: increase demand or supply or a discovery of more gold. The governments (through their central banks) will not have the power to create winners and losers. The advantages of controlling inflation with central banking is real. I do not deny that. It is as real as the advantages of stealing money from rich and prosperous parts of Canada and giving it to other parts of Canada in the form of transfer payments. Trading currencies backed by commodities that have real value (i.e., gold) and thus can not be counterfeited.Even hardcore conservatives, and I mean harcore, wouldn't agree to thatI know. I am not a hard-core conservative. I believe in extreme freedom -- more so that what any "conservative" believes. Russians manipulate the market with gold??? I do not know what Russians do. I am curious. Please explain. Nevertheless, that is not why "conservatives" want fiat currencies. The appeal of fiat currencies is specifically because you can "print" it or "suppress" without creating any real wealth to back it up. Thus, allowing the State to distort the economy -- i.e. steal from Peter to give to Paul. The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee among others has said that China and Russia try to manipulate the gold market by various means. A gold standard only works when everyone agrees what the value of gold is and that becomes the monetary policy of the world. It can't work when other countries dump gold or hoard it. Allan Greenspan has written quite a bit on this.
  16. Trading currencies backed by commodities that have real value (i.e., gold) and thus can not be counterfeited. Even hardcore conservatives, and I mean harcore, wouldn't agree to that because the Russians manipulate the market there.
  17. There isn't one. Well, none that satisfies everyone. A central bank's job is to ensure that inflation doesn't get out of control for an entire nation. It looks for signals for recession at home and abroad. And it tries to ensure that there is a balanced approach to things. There are businesses who have disagreed with the higher interest rates but there are just as many more worried about inflation. Lately though, there has been signs of a slowdown. Yes, even in Alberta, they are predicting the economy might be near a bubble, especially in real estate. There is nothing wrong with the central bank taking a pause to see what the trend is. It would be surprising if a bank such as that in Alberta could do a better job considering that Canada's central bank is described as one of the best in the world at what it does.
  18. The only thing that concerns me is that the media must get licenses from the government. I do not like alliances between business and government. I would rather that the broadcasting industry be left to regulate itself freely. Conflicting radio signals can be solved in a free market without tax-payer dollars. Why should a person who does not watch television pay for regulating the televsion inudstry? Why should a person who does not listen to radio pay for regulating the radio inudstry? Why should a person who does not read newspapers pay for regulating the newspaper inudstry? Conflicting signals is the only thing broadcaster *have* agreed the CRTC should regulate. The free market has found they don't do a very good job regulating that area.
  19. You are living in a bubble. Most Canadians see Canada as a different country from the US and would not quitely accept such an outcome. I wish that were true. I'd love a healthy Canadian television market but it hasn't been that way, maybe never really was given our proximity to the U.S. The fact is that Aspers among other media owners asked the federal government last year to loosen foreign ownerhip restictrions and got a sympathetic ear. They also asked for a looser interpretation of Canadian content and their request was granted. That is why E-talk Daily and ET Canada count as Canadian content and they don't have to do drama or comedy. It is a steady chipping away and I believe I am on a fairly strong footing when I say that most Canadians favour U.S. programs over Canadian programs. So I don't think it is a bubble. I'm not sure what sort of public policy platform would work in this wired world now. And given the Conservative government in Ottawa, they could allow further erosion. How? By letting MTV, Sci-Fi and HBO in as well Direct TV, etc. It would be a very popular thing to do.
  20. I want my local news, I'm sure most Canadian's do. I do enjoy some Canadian content on CBC, some of the documentaries that is (whether I believe CBC is good for Canada is another situation). Other than that and Corner Gas, I don't see alot of good Canadian TV out there. I'd rather watch the latest and greatest American shows... most of the time. HBO is supposed to be great, wish I could get it. I'd love some of the American sport channels too. And most importantly, I'd like to be able to watch Fox News for the other side of the American perspective for once. I'm sure you'd get your local news after media companies became American. I just doubt there'd be much national news. I could be wrong. I seriously see little support for Canadian TV and the ratings for local news proves not a lot of the overall population watches it or any Canadian TV for that matter. We could full out U.S. programming and there'd barely be a whimper.
  21. Sounds like a poll commissioned by US television companies. I think people would have a different opinion if you asked them specifically about news programming. I'd like more access to US TV like FOX News on basic (or even premium) cable. Anyone that tells me I can't watch a channel and make up own my mind on what to believe is arrogant. If I want to pay for it, let me. And some people want HBO, the real MTV, Showtime and Sci-Fi Channel as well as the read HGTV, etc. It's quite possible that we'll see most Canadian networks and cable taken over in the next years. We'll see what the Conservative have planned for the CRTC. Many said they would dismantle it. For some Canadians, it can't come too soon. They don't want Canadian televison. Period.
  22. An independent Canadian station owned by foreigners is different from a Canadian station which is just an affiliate of a US network. In the latter case their would be zero incentive to report international news from a Canadian perspective since it would be cheaper to just re-use the stuff developed for US audiences. I am sure you would get a resounding 'no' if you polled Canadians and asked them if they would be happy to have American networks as their only source of television news. I suspect your friends with the satellite dishes are people who don't care about the news anyways - a certain percentage of the population is like that but gov't should not be making policy to meet the needs of these people. I tend to agree with you but the initiative to begin selling media assets to U.S. companies has already been asked for and there is some sympathy for it in Harper's cabinet according to some committee meetings a year ago.
  23. Not me. Specially when it comes to news. I'd prefer Canadian news as well but I think we are moving to an integrated market where our networks will be affiliates of U.S. networks. We still might get local news in this type of set-up but I don't know if there would be a national news anymore.
  24. How many have these satellites in addition to basic cable with Canadian channels? There's just no data in this regard. Suffice to says, the media companies have been asking for a harder line on pirating. However, most Canadians don't regard it as a crime and the court has been ambiguous. You can even see pirate dishes on cop houses because it is a gray area. I don't have a dish but from personal experience, I know many friends and aquaintances who have no Canadian content save for an antenna to bring in hockey.
  25. Actually, I have heard from all political sprectrums today about what it might mean. But for Canadians it is a big summer yawn. As one asked on CBC "who cares who owns the station." Leonard Asper earlier this years asked that foreign ownership of networks be loosened up. Owners in Canada want to sell their media companies to the U.S. It is the right thing to do for investors.
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