Saturday, 26 March 2011

Earth Hour: An hour long energy waste

Tokyo sits in darkness during a rolling blackout /

15 minutes until Earth Hour here in Edmonton Alberta and I for one will not be turning out my lights or avoiding the use of electricity. Probably an odd statement coming from me for those who know me or read this blog. But why? You might be asking, isn't the reduction in power usage what you advocate? And indeed it is what I advocate, so please let me explain.

Earth Hour is an interesting phenomenon, according to their website:

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Climate change is what they are standing up against, not oil consumption, or the debt based infinite growth economy. Seems like a good cause anyway though right? I mean who doesn't want to help the planet? Who wants more extreme weather? Certainly not me, I can't stand the Canadian cold as it is.

My main question though of course is: how exactly does turning off the lights for an hour stand up to climate change? At the end of this hour we all know you are going to turn the lights back on, unlike the Japanese shown above who have been forced to have rolling "earth hours" for 6-8 hours at a time.

Here's the big fact that opposses the climate change philosophy of earth hour: power plants are still producing the same amount of power. Just because you are not using this energy, does not mean it is not being generated and essentially wasted. Power plants can not simply ramp up or down the amount of generating capacity at a whim. Power production relies heavily on anticipated usage so that they can ensure that the proper amount of power is being generated at any given time to meet demand without too much waste. What do you think an event like earth hour does to the anticipatory abilities of this power production? Well because it is voluntary it is therefore unpredictable. It is not known how many people will or will not be using power, and the hour long duration doesn't offer enough time to bother adjusting power output.

So, because you are not using power, is that power being saved? No, in fact its being wasted. Earth Hour wastes power, and all for some irrelevant symbology to appease our guilty earth destroying consciousness. We will produce excess energy for this hour all so that we can feel as though we are not wasting any.

So I will not be participating, and I hope you don't either. Proudly use the power being generated, because it will be generated regardless of whether you decide to use it or not. Earth Hour is the illusion of change, without having to change anything. Earth Hour should really be called "Us Hour", because truthfully it is all about our feelings about power usage and has little or nothing to do with genuine concern for the Earth or any sort of lasting change.

Update & note: For those who say "Earth Hour" is about raising awareness about climate change or energy consumption; consider that using this sort of logic that "wasting it shows you want to conserve it", it would then make sense to go around burning the money in your wallet. Not spending it, but literally lighting it on fire in waste. Under the logic of earth hour this should help raise awareness that saving money is a good idea.... Yea, it doesn't make sense to me either.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Great Oil War [Chapter 1] : Libya

Well with the precedent setting U.N. resolution to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, it would appear that the international great oil war has begun. Now with the power of the newly formed global governance alliance behind it. Many would point to Iraq and Afghanistan as chapter 1 of this great war, but I would call that the preface. These wars and the policies formed here because of them were simply setting the stage of what was to come.

Like most operations conducted by today's power brokers that are typically clumsy and short-sighted; this operation likewise is already beginning to fall apart. The Arab league is rethinking their support of the resolution -- probably after realizing that in the long term western domination won't work in their favor.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that Muammar Qaddafi is a nice guy. What I am saying though is that NATO isn't really all that nice either. This invasion has nothing to do with how violent a dictator Qaddafi is, or that the Libyan people want our idea of "democracy". This invasion is step 3 in the typical approach taken by western nations in getting what they want.

Step 1) Send in the economic hitmen.
Step 2) Attempt a CIA lead revolution or 'coup'.
Step 3) Bomb them back to the stone age.

Obviously step 1 (which is usually done behind closed doors) and step 2 (which we witnessed) have failed.

So why is the U.N. security council so concerned about Libya and not say Bahrain? Well naturally interests = money, money = energy, and energy = oil. Guess what happened last week? It would seem Europe wasn't too concerned over being cut off from Libya's oil supply even though Libya is one of their top suppliers and right afterward Hilary Clinton promises to bomb Lybia. Of course the bombing itself will and is driving oil prices higher.

Coincidence? No. But don't take my word for it, take it right from ex-CIA Ray McGovern:

Monday, 14 March 2011

Edmonton Arena pt2: The world class city myth

* UPDATED * My solution to the Arena Debate.

Ok, wtf. I write 5 articles and my 2nd and probably worst one gets the most hits? no comments? what gives?

Seriously I wrote that while having an overdose of anger, and its not very well done. So let me try this again. I *really* want to make the case here. I am not just some arena hating guy but that I strongly believe we are being convinced of something that is not economically feasible and is at the moment a ridiculous use of our resources. The previous article was really just a blend of half-assed points that really need some background to really make any sense.

You'll notice much of what I am writing on this blog is about energy and economics, particularly oil. Indeed my argument against the Katz Arena is centered around oil, or more specifically what has come to be know as the representation of oil world-wide, the U.S. dollar.

To understand why the state of their dollar matters to us Canadians and particularly to Albertans is that that is what they give us, for what we give them. We give them oil, they give us digital paper and say "this is worth something". Think about it, therefore what are Canadian dollars? Denominations of the American dollar. This is why staying near or below parity is very important for our government, preferably for the Americans they would want below parity.

Still with me? I promise this relates to the Arena, we'll be getting to that soon. Alright, so we've covered oil and the fact that oil is represented by the American dollar. Now, why does oil give the American dollar value? Well because up until recently it was the sole currency oil could be traded in, it is energy. How do we use it? In everything! In every stage of production! Oil is the engine for modern day consumption, it's not just any commodity it is the base of everything we have today.The American dollar is based of the future capacity to pay debts. If countries didn't accept American dollars, then they wouldn't have any value. They are not intrinsically valuable. It is a promise to pay. (Previously redeemable in gold). So what does Alberta get for it's oil? USD.

So how do we get materials to build say.. an Arena? Well we *pay* for the energy; both human and mechanical that is used in the process of getting them. This is where a term called "peak oil" becomes relevant, and which I am not going into here. There are many resources on the internet about peak oil, I suggest checking it out for yourself. I will say this though, Peak Oil is not Oil depletion. Anyone who implies this doesn't know what they are talking about.

Ok, almost to the arena now. You should see now why the USD collapsing is going to play a big role in the coming years. Think about all of these USD Quantative Easing, they are simply pressing buttons on a computer, making "cash", and then giving this "cash" to middle eastern countries for oil. So the U.S. presses a button, prints 1 trillion, and in return they get oil and also the work required to get that oil which likewise costs oil to provide the industry enough energy to get more oil. The same thing goes with derivative energy by the way, so don't think that there is an easy fix to this issue. Soon the CDN government will need to choose whether they go down over the cliff edge devaluation of the USD to maintain the huge trade relations or to revalue the CDN currency effectively cutting off the U.S. trade capability as it would be too expensive for them which likewise would affect our economy substantially as we saw with the brief interruption they had to their economy in 2008 which caused many Canadian auto shops to close, hundreds of thousands lost jobs.

So in either case we can expect a huge economic impact, there is no recovery, the recovery is a bubble, the final bubble you could say (pt2). A bubble of the USD itself, the international currency. There has been no recovery because you can't eat digital paper, or drive with it, it doesn't make buildings or develop new technology. With the manufacturing base in the U.S. gone, they are literally giving the world nothing in turn for everything, how long do you think that will last for?

When it comes to the arena, construction prices will skyrocket along with the price of oil, as the more the U.S. devalues their dollar, the more USD OPEC will ask for oil. (noticed anything expensive lately?) They are in a competition with China and India, China which by the way made the first ever deal for oil with Russia that is not in USD recently.

Daryl Katz did not become a businessman overnight. To own 1800 drug stores proves he obviously has a good grasp on the economy. How much do you want to bet that if someone like me sees this coming, not to mention many others then he probably does too. So why is it he would rather put his big money into a public relations campaign (public relations is propaganda) which I'm sure isn't cheap, instead of just putting it into the arena he wants to help "give" Edmonton?

This is not the great depression, economic growth in the future under today's terms of what an economy means isn't going to work no matter how many fiat dollars they print. Namely GDP which is just a fancy way of saying it is based on debt. This is because energy is now expensive, and will remain expensive as long as we require yearly increases in energy consumption to fuel GDP growth. More cars, more factories, Quantity not Quality.

Now. I want to get into this first class city crap. You want to know why Edmonton is not a "first class" city? I'll show you why:

From top left to bottom right:
  • Sports Bar, Home away from home.
  • The Strat, Classy.
  • More classy places
  • Used Cars
  • Gravel parking lot
This is the intersection at 103st and 82ave. The FIRST main intersection showing what Edmonton has to offer to anyone coming into the city from the airport, the reputable center of our culture. The above lists what they see first. I highly doubt this would fly in a real world class city, you know like the ones Katz Group points to as successful?

We aren't a world class city, and a downtown arena won't change that. Katz Group is playing on your wants for such a dream town, they are playing on your fears of loosing the Oilers. Edmonton has a long way to come in a lot of areas before an arena is going to make or break this city. Its a wasted investment. As I advocated in my previous article, let's spend millions of dollars in thousands of places. We could start by putting something useful in the prime real estate that is the gravel parking lot.

That all I got to say on this subject, thanks for reading. Please read my first article on the arena if you haven't already or continue on about Canada's economy in general.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Automatic Trading: How the human race has become a slave to market speculation

While not an article on Alberta, I feel this article is important to understanding how markets have started to work everywhere in the world.

Once upon a time the stock market was used for mostly honest investing. It was a vehicle designed to manage an emerging national scale of supply and demand principles. It allowed fledging new industries to embark on capital adventures that would otherwise be impossible because of the amount of resources needed to get started. The market was the needed elixir to solve the old world problem of “to make money, you need money”.

The [free market] system fostered the growth of the economy as it allowed both average and wealthy people alike to invest their money by taking calculated risks with the chance for profit based off investment size and future speculated profitability. While savvy wealthy investors always had an edge, everyone had a chance to reap a reward.

Today the market is a rather different beast. For instance, it is not uncommon for 60%+ of market activity to be completely automated. Those in control of that 60% claim it is not detrimental to market stability or industry. They purport that it is the evolution of stock trading and is another tool in the box. What most of the public are unaware of is that automated trading not only destabilizes the stock market, but in fact obliterates the original purpose of the stock market which is public investing and adventure capital.

My experience in automated trading comes from 3 years of working on a trading engine indirectly for Wall Street. During this time I had Wall Street traders teaching our team personally what they look for on the stock market and what they do when they find it so that I could program their thoughts and have a computer make the same decisions they would, but much faster. When I left the company our prototype automatic trader could send thousands of trading signals per second. This is hundreds of times the speed of Wall Street’s best traders and in fact redefines the entire trading game. This has made automated traders one of the top products in the trading industry and is rapidly rendering the human trader obsolete.

“Why is this important? Why should we be concerned about this new investment marvel?”
The reality is that morally-incapable machines are making decisions that are purely market driven and leave out the value-added human factor that spins off of investments placed in risky but potentially game changing innovation. To illustrate the detrimental impact automated trading has and the potential disaster it represents, it is important to have a rudimentary understanding as to how it works.

An automated trading application see’s essentially two things. It sees a basket of symbols (stocks to trade), and it sees a series of real time market signals (The buys/sells of stocks in the basket). The fact that decisions are made in “real time” is what’s the most important here. The fact that the computer can read an incoming signal, process it, and respond to it before a human trader even sees the signal is what gives automated trading an upper hand; it is also why the stock market has essentially run away from human control. Essentially, by the time now that any human receives information about the stock market, that information is already out of date because 60% of the activity that will respond to that event has already done so. In essence this means machines are leading the market, with traders making decisions based on the decisions made by machines to attempt to pull what little money remains from those transactions. You can also imagine that if the traders are essentially along for the ride determined by the machines, investors are holding onto the back of the rollercoaster praying the machines don’t take another dive.

True investing has become a thing of the past. Regardless of whether you believe a company will do well or even if every single person that comprises the 40% of market activity believes a company will do well, should the machines disagree, then that company will not be getting a rise to its stock price. The reason of course is that the weight of the machines versus the weight of the people is now lopsided in favor of the automated trading at current ratio of 60% v.s. 40%.
Essentially, computers now have more power to speculate future market events than the humans in control of the events do. One of the main problems with this is computers will always make decisions based on a “sure thing”. Humanistic and moral considerations never factor into the machines decision making process.

Consider the computer identifies two corporations: Weapon corporation A and Medical corporation B; To the computer, it does not see a “weapons” corporation and it does not see a “medical” corporation, it sees two stock symbols and considers them to be equals. It has no idea that the weapons symbol makes weapons. It is seeing a set of 3-6 different letters that it can cross reference with news articles, other symbols, and that symbols history. So the computer starts processing on this symbol and finds many references to it. It finds a good stable history of price increases and see’s patterns emerging that this symbol is likely to go up in the near future. The computer has no idea that reason these patterns are emerging is because a new war is breaking out among third world nations. It goes ahead and starts *long positions on the symbol, thus giving the weapons manufacturer more money to go ahead and propagate the war with. At the same time, the computer is dealing with the symbol for this new start up, Medical Corporation. This companies symbol has little in the way of references, its history is flat and unstable, and is not a good candidate without the emotional perspective to go long on. The computer once again has no idea the reason that the Medical corporation is not doing well is because they are dealing with high end, test phase medication to cure aids or cancer (keep in mind the example is fictitious, it is done to illustrate why decisions are made) and would be
spending far more money than they are currently making (again, the need money to make money logical problem). The computer, seeing this company as a bad bet will not put money towards it, and in fact may decide it’s a good bet for losing money and short the stock (with the long term effect of bringing the companies stocks down when 60% of the market is shorting it). The unmanned, morally unbound computers have the power to put the medical corporation out of business. The computer does this because what they are working on is not a sure thing, and their historical pattern would show this.

The problem is that independent innovation, which is normally funded by investors, can be and is destroyed by automated traders with no concept of the benefit of advancing technology that advance humanity. That example “medical corporation” could be any type of corporation whose direction is innovation from clean energy, aqua-culture and nanotechnology; all could be regarded as risky and therefore potentially shorted .

As it becomes self-evident that humanity is nearing the peak of the oil-age, future technologies are not going to be luxurious experimentation but imperative undertakings tied to establishing a sustainable existence and quite likely the future of mankind. The automated market will starve innovation based corporations for investment funds because the computers will decide it is a bad bet. The traders and investors must go along with that decision or risk huge losses since the computers carry more trading weight so the stock will likely be valued less. Consequentially it will be humanity who suffers. Innovation based corporations could cease to benefit from the corporate model and be relegated to finding private investors which would drastically reduce the potential money going into them.

Communities are being subject to the whims of an automated market that is likely to favor corporations that make weapons , cigarettes and alcohol among many others because they’ve always been good bets in the market historically, despite being detrimental to human progress.

Capturing carbon or public support? The 2 billion dollar conversation

The Sleipner A project injects carbon dioxide into saltwater aquifers deep beneath the sea floor off the Norwegian coast. (Credit: Statoil) /
Carbon capture has been a hot topic in Alberta for a few years now. It's pretty well been the government's pre-canned response to any criticism of the environment related to the oil sands. For example:
As such, he cites committing $2 billion to carbon capture and storage - touted by industry and government as a way to green oilsands development.

Alberta's media has been flooded with references to this 2 billion dollar deal as a successful solution to oil sands carbon pollution. For the record, I don't think oil sands carbon pollution is really all that bad in comparison to the tailings, acid rain, or impact on the water table but for the sake of this post let's assume that is the top priority. So lets have a look at whether or not CCS is really a "solution" to the problem. Here is the problem:
How can we generate more power and produce more goods without increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while keeping energy just as affordable, if not more affordable?
 I think that pretty well describes the problem CCS is being touted as a solution for but if you disagree please comment. Now looking at that picture there -- I think it's reasonably safe to say that cost is not cheap. Obviously that's the Norwegian offshore way but just recently their CCS program was in the news as being set back considerably.
A Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facility at the Mongstad oil refinery in western Norway was originally planned to be in place by 2014 but has been delayed several times.
"An investment decision could be taken latest in 2016," the Norwegian oil and energy ministry said in a statement. In May it had said a decision on investments would be postponed to 2014.
CCS may cut the contribution of coal and gas-fired power plants to global warming by trapping and burying carbon dioxide (CO2), but it is untested on a commercial scale.
The most interesting part I find from this exert is "coal and gas-fired power plants", not oil sands. The oil sands are large and spread out. CCS itself uses enormous amounts of power which Alberta is already the top consumer in Canada of largely in part to the oil sands. This would make CCS ideal for Coal or Gas plants in Alberta but what does that have to do with making the oil sands cleaner? Well in my last article I demonstrated that the majority of our new power consumption is from the oil sands itself so in a sense yes CCS would "make them cleaner"; so why isn't the government explaining it that way? I'm guessing they would prefer Albertans not look at how much demand the oil sands are themselves creating.

Anyway, back to the topic of CCS. As I was mentioning that CCS itself is energy intensive, the equipment must be built, it takes huge amounts of energy to compress the carbon, and the storage theories for carbon capture certainly have some safety concerns. Further, no oil sand related companies have as of yet stepped up to the plate with the implementation of CCS in oil sands development. Why? My guess is as with anything oil sands, it simply is not cost productive to do as producing them in their current state is only cost productive by socializing losses.

The only conclusion I can be left with is P.R., 100% P.R. We'll probably never see it implemented, and I wouldn't count on the 2 billion set aside for it to still be there either (but that is another conversation all together). It's likely gone with the 25 million wasted on a website and that shitty slogan no one can remember. Public relations change instead of real change because the truth is we can't afford the real change without the big business on top "taking a hair cut".

What was that slogan again? Freedom to exploit, spirit to believe?

Understanding the real 'why' behind Alberta's transmission lines
These power lines are causing quite the uproar in Alberta as of late. Lots of accusations flying around about money greased deals and corruption. The controversal land use law is driving debate all around the province. I'd like to give my take on the transmission lines themselves as I believe it's about money, greasing deals, but also largely about U.S. and Chinese oil supplies.

To set the stage for my argument I would like to point to this article from StatsCan / 2005. I've chosen 2005 as that is when we were in the high growth stage of our last oil boom.
Alberta is Canada’s biggest per capita consumer of energy. In 2003, Alberta’s per capita consumption was two-and-a-half times higher than the national average. Between 1990 and 2003, per capita energy consumption increased by 11%. That surge was not entirely due to a sizeable increase in population. A big part of the increase in total energy consumption resulted from industrial activity in the province.
The most notable portion of this paragraph is that we are the biggest per capita consumer, and that most of this energy demand is from industry. This video from Alberta's gov't gives a run down of their plans for the future, released at roughly the same point in time as the StatsCan article:

So at the time of this video, Alberta was producing 1.5 million barrels / day, which they hope to increase to 5 million barrels / day by 2030. So in 2005 Alberta's industry was about 28% of the total industry Alberta wants by 2030 which also means industrial power demand is 28% of the total power demand Alberta can anticipate from industry in 2030.

The problem with this is that the world uses near 90million barrels / day today, so the oil sands are only providing 1.5 million barrels of that, regardless if we have even 500 billion years worth of oil we still are only providing a drop in the bucket in actual oil produced. That oil is all still in the ground and useless to us at the moment.

Now most Albertan's know that primarily the U.S. receives our oil, but few realize that many other huge oil consuming economies like China also have big investments in the oil sands, and for good reason: they really really need that oil. Not only do they really need it, but they really need it cheap. Now think back to that statscan article I linked above and the fact most power demand increases in Alberta is directly from industry and in Alberta that industry is mostly oil sands. Some warning bells about our economic structure should be going off right about now, that our energy production has huge power consumption demand.

Most of our power production also seems to be being built up north such as this one and this one. Why would they be being built up north, and not near Calgary where Alberta's population needs power the most? Well reading the article should give you a hint:
Energy Alberta Corporation has chosen Peace River, Alta., as the site for its proposed $6.2 billion nuclear power plant.
 Yup, they chose it! Now what reason would a power generation company have to choose a location that is nowhere near the population of the province? Well my bet would be money, stakeholder money to be specific.

So, how is this relating to the power lines you might be asking? Well consider that the U.S. and the Chinese are the primary investors in our oil infrastructure. Consider that there are riots in many of the key oil producing nations which it can be assumed that Government's have been aware of and preparing for. Consider that our oil is expensive to produce and that the U.S. and China rely on cheap energy to fuel their massive economies.

So, using simple logic what is the reason the government is pushing power lines on Albertans that Albertans pay for 100%? Is it to sell power to the U.S.? Probably a little. Is it to grease the pockets of power companies and politicians? Yup. But the deep down reason? The power consumers don't want to pay for the full generation and transmission costs of the future. It's preferable to the eyes of big business that we pay for it. Naturally it is cheaper to consume power if the power is being generated close to you. Albertans will be paying the transmission costs that industry should be paying instead.

Do not support this scam, demand power plants are built near our populations. I refer to this as classic "privatize profits, socialize losses" policy making and as uptag has noted is not reflective of the population's power demand at all.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Edmonton Arena Reasoning Awry

* UPDATED * My solution to the Arena Debate.

Ok Edmonton; I've got a beef with the Katz Group. I think they are trying to put one over on us; to distribute risk (that lets all be honest here is quite high) amongst Edmontonians.
Of course I am talking about the beloved Arena: that will revitalize downtown, kick start the economy, upgrade our standard of living, and be paid off in a relatively short time by a bunch of side businesses who haven't stepped forward yet through the taxes that could be levied on future establishments.

Yup, similar to the Alberta Government's theory that oil booms are some sort of universal constant law; the City of Edmonton and the Katz group also seem to be of a similar mystical belief that "if you build it, they will come" in any and all cases.

Edmonton has had a pretty large list in recent history of big investment ventures with little payoff, all in some quest to become a "first class" city which isn't really new. We've made big investments in events like the Edmonton Indy. We were willing to put large bids towards events such as Expo 2017. Yet even though we have held multiple of these world-class events we are not as of yet a "first class" city it would now seem without a new arena for the Oilers.

At the forefront of the drive for a higher standard of living and improved economy for their fellow Edmontonians through the thoughtful service of a new arena is the Katz Group, which according to their site:
The Katz Group is one of Canada's leading drug store operators with over 1,800 drug stores across the country. 
This drive primarily is being done through a propaganda campaign which for the most part seems to offer little information in the "how" department. I call it propaganda because the argument being presented to Edmontonians is being framed for you with the possible outcomes limited to:
  • Build an arena and revitalize downtown.
  • Do not build an arena and do not revitalize downtown.

The arena is a dreamland, but also likely an expensive economic nightmare based on this rendering.

Naturally the domain name they chose is "". Working to establish an assumed association that the revitalization is an absolute certainty and will surely happen, only the arena itself is debatable not the assumed effects. Their version of the effects this arena will have is that basically, the Arena itself will be so glorious, amazing, and kick ass that business far and wide will flock to have their business near the arena, that people will have the money to pay what are surely to be ridiculous costs to use the arena and surrounding business, that more tourists will come to use it even though its primary months of use for hockey will be when its cold or even colder (-40C).

With the way things are going predicting long term budgets are likely to be pretty much impossible with the Wall Street Journal predicting an end to the USD which up until now has reigned as the international currency and more importantly has been the only currency you can trade for oil. Contrary to sports arena economic experts I have the belief we are nowhere close to being economically positioned to afford a project on this scale.

I have a question for the Katz Group since they ignore me in their Facebook group. If you can own 1600 different drug store locations, and you actually believe this investment is a 100% guarantee -- why not take out a loan? Isn't that what capitalism is all about? If I wanted to get my business a larger office because I needed it and it would surely pay itself off then that would be a no-brainer. I wouldn't then go to the city for my loan, I would go to the bank like everyone else is supposed to. So what is with the insistence Mr. Katz? Could it be this investment is not nearly as sound as you would prefer us all to believe? Could it be you know the construction costs will over-shoot due to current world economic circumstances? Could it be you want the new arena right now before the cost of living goes so high no one will be able to afford the ridiculous cost of tickets to one of the events hosted there? Might it be that world food prices are soaring which is sure to affect us sooner or later?

Edmonton, I plead with you that the logic behind the arena is flawed. There is no extra consumer money right now to fuel the needed amounts of consumption that will be required to pay this thing off. The Katz Group is trying to sell you on the idea to distribute their investment risk on to the people of Edmonton. If we really want to revitalize downtown, how about a park? More street venders? More culture and arts? Why don't we try spending millions of dollars in thousands of places around Edmonton, instead of in one single place? one single investment? I'm all for becoming this elusive "first class" city but my excitement for that prospect does not cloud my judgment on the fact this arena is probably one of the stupidest ideas Edmonton has had in a long time. We already have an arena, and a stadium -- both of which are the center of their particular bad neighborhood. Sports centers do not revitalize anything in Edmonton, and in the end how much should this revitalization really be costing?

Besides problems like this haven't you ever been downtown at rush hour, Daryl? Our downtown can not handle the sorts of traffic this arena would generate even if your theory is correct. Why don't you prove you have faith in the project by going ahead with it on the Oiler's dime and if you can demonstrate a personal faith with personal risk in such a project then I'm all behind Edmonton getting behind it too.

Edmonton Arena Part 2 *

Welcome to Hellberta

Arnold Lim, Edmonton Journal

That's it! I can't take it anymore, this province is so ridiculous I simply had to make a blog on the subject. No this isn't a happy blog, this is an upset blog; an upset political blog. I'm upset because many Albertan's live in a bubble built out of lies and deceit. Like many places around the world our politicians make promises that are never fulfilled and in fact are bold faced lies.

This province for the longest time has been no better than your typical dirty gambler. Remember back in 2009 Ed Stelmach presented his 5 step economic action plan alongside this budget? Now just a few days ago what do we see again in the news?

EDMONTON — While surging oil prices will deliver a financial windfall to the petroleum-powered provincial treasury, a series of major production hiccups over the fiscal year is expected to cost the Alberta government at least $340 million.
How many times before Alberta tries something new? The definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing over and over expecting different results according to Albert Einstein, are those bumper stickers about not pissing away the next oil boom not a clue for anyone? Does this sort of behavior remind you the reader of any other sort of personality? Maybe the sort that sits in front of the slots dumping money in, waiting for their next big break and not noticing the amount of money going in is either equal to or greater than the amount coming out?

The Alberta government lies constantly, and I'm sick of it. So welcome everyone to Hellberta.