Thursday, January 22, 2009

AHAR! Ye scurvy dogs, hoist the Jolly Roger!

What defies the law of gravity? Gas prices.

As the price of oil bobs around in the $35 to $45 range, pump prices are averaging around 80 cents per litre across the land. Having spiked after Israels latest military action in Gaza by some 7 cents a litre, yesterday another 7 cents was added to the pump price. How come? Could it be Somali Pirates? Bush Pirates maybe?

"Jason Toews said he sees gas prices going higher than their current levels because of a slowdown in Alberta's oilsands and expected production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exploring Countries.

"With lower supplies of crude oil in the market it's going to push crude oil prices up, especially if the economy starts to recover a little bit,'' Toews said. "Once the summer demand for gasoline comes, we're going to see gas prices go up quite a bit from where they are right now. We're going to see a return of a $1 per litre gas for sure and we may even see up to $1.20 per litre.''


  1. This latest show of greed proves that fuel prices are market driven and have no relation to the actual cost of production. We know people stop driving when gas goes over a dollar so the oil companies will get it into the 90 cent range as quick as possible to offset losses in the tar sands which are multiplying daily instead of doing the sensible thing and shutting them down until demand makes the tar sands profitable again.

    Comrade do not feel bad about moderating at all. With the coming budget the conbots are all over the blogosphere again and basically I limit my comment reading to those sites that have the least traffic from those clowns. The things that make this site attractive are the humour and an exchange of ideas without venom that is happening on many other sites. I quit reading the comments on Garths site today because it has become just a variation of the crap on his old site. Part of that is his fault for narrowing the discusson so much that there is really nothing left to be said about the topic except repeating the same positions endlessly and attacking opposing views.

    Moderate on comrade, with millions of topics to choose from I am sure you will keep things interesting for a while yet.

  2. Hi Wayup, and thanks for the support. I try to offer a variety of topics, and little poke here and a jab there just to keep things interesting. Humor is something that most people can appreciate, so I think that is a great feature for any blog.

    One of the reasons I started this blog was I figured the economic theme on it's own would soon go the route you mentioned, and that most people wouldn't stray from the topic at hand too much so eventually what you stated would happen. Stagnation, then the chickens would start pecking each others tail feathers out. Anyone who has been around chickens knows what I mean.

    About the moderation, I just want a place people can come and feel comfortable expressing themselves. Some sites are vicious, and no dissenting opinions are tolerated by the wolf pack. Some others don't care what you say, but are focused on having a big vocabulary and even the dullest of thoughts must be expressed with great flair. Unfortunately, they rarely hear from regular people because they aren't with the clique. Their loss.

    So for now it's moderation if necessary, but not necessarily moderation. Ok, enough with the paraphrasing of the Iggster.

  3. Be Strong

    A man escapes from a prison where he's been locked up for 15 years. He breaks into a house to look for money and guns.

    Inside, he finds a young couple in bed. He orders the guy out of bed and ties him to a chair.

    While tying the home-owner's wife to the bed, the convict gets on top of her, kisses her neck, then gets up and goes into the bathroom.

    While he's in there, the husband whispers over to his wife:

    'Listen, this guy is an escaped convict. Look at his clothes! He's probably spent a lot of time in jail and hasn't seen a woman in years. I saw how he kissed your neck.

    'If he wants sex, don't resist, don't complain . . . do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. This guy is obviously very dangerous. If he gets angry, he'll kill us both.

    'Be strong, honey. I love you!'

    His wife responds:

    'He wasn't kissing my neck -- he was whispering in my ear. He told me that he's gay, thinks you're cute, and asked if we had any Vaseline. I told him it was in the bathroom.

    'Be strong, honey. I love you, too!'
    Really good stuff comes at the end, but this is worth perusing, so links and out-takes provided free.

    "From Bubble Watch to Bust Watch -- London, England -- Thursday, January 22, 2009

    *** Obama -- not much different than Reagan, Clinton or the Bushes…American finance: strange and preposterous, but never dull…A division of delusion, which led to huge bubbles…who will suffer most when the bus comes?... One thing that Team Obama will fight to the death…countries around the world play "hot potato" with correction.

    "We've been on Bubble Watch for the last ten years, now, we're on Bust Watch…

    "Tim Geithner, Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary, may not have seen the bust on Wall Street coming…but he promises action on a "dramatic scale" to fix it. That is probably what goosed-up the Dow yesterday - up 279 points. Oil rose to $43. Both gold and the dollar went down. The dollar fell to $1.29 per euro…while gold sellers got $5 less per ounce. The price of gold is $850.

    "But Mr. Obama is jumping the gun… "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America," he says.

    "Hold on…there are some huge busts that have to happen first… We're watching for busts in U.S. government debt (U.S. Treasury paper), the dollar and finally, after a big run-up, gold. Then, Americans can rebuild on a more solid foundation."

    Etc., etc. From Money& . . .

    If the new President is right, America will soon have more unemployed workers than during The Great Depression.

    Already, even for those who DO have a job, wage freezes and outright PAY CUTS are spreading like wildfire. It’s no secret that America’s unemployment crisis is spinning wildly out of control ...

    Fact #1: More than 2.6 million families lost a paycheck in 2008. That brought the total number of unemployed workers to over 11 million — fully 74% as many as were unemployed in The Great Depression.

    Fact #2: This great lost paycheck pandemic is still accelerating. One year ago -- in January 2008 -- an average of 1,000 U.S. workers lost their paychecks every workday. By December, 28,727 paychecks vanished per workday -- nearly 29 times more.

    Fact #3: Obama warns more jobs may be lost than in The Great Depression. This crisis is still in its early stages. President Obama himself has warned that the unemployment rate will explode to at least 10% in 2009.

    If he’s right, more than 15 million workers will be without a job -- more, even than during the depths of The Great Depression.

    And even these sobering facts don’t begin to fully describe the financial pain about to be felt by millions of American families ...

    Wage freezes and outright salary reductions
    are ALREADY spreading like wildfire!

    In his inauguration speech, President Obama tacitly called on private sector workers to voluntarily reduce their own incomes ...

    “It is ... the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.”

    And yesterday, to lead by example, he announced a salary freeze for White House employees earning over $100,000 a year — including his Chief of Staff, his National Security Advisor and his Press Secretary.

    But many companies are not waiting around for the President’s lead ...

    *Tropicana Casino and Resort of Atlantic City is freezing all wages …

    *Avis Budget Group is freezing management salaries on top of cutting more than 2,200 jobs.

    *The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio imposed a hiring and salary freeze across the board on its 33,000-worker health system in December.

    *Alcoa’s new salary and hiring freeze impacts all employees who are left after slashing 13,500 workers.

    And many more companies are actually cutting employees’ income and benefits ...

    *USA Today publisher Gannett has frozen wages and imposed one-week unpaid furloughs for most of its U.S. employees.

    *Luxury retailer Saks is not only terminating 1,100 jobs, it’s also eliminating merit raises and suspending matching contributions to its 401(k) plan.

    *Caterpillar is cutting executive compensation by up to HALF and cancelling pay increases for managers and support staff.

    *FedEx is cutting pay for senior executives and freezing 401(k) contributions.

    The simple truth is, when there’s nothing else left you can count on, you can ALWAYS be sure that the currency market — the world’s ONLY deflation-proof, recession-proof, depression-proof market — will still offer you ample opportunities to generate substantial income and profits.

    Because when one currency is falling in value, it means, by definition, that at least ONE, and maybe several, other currencies are RISING in value. Moreover, you never have to worry that a recession or even a depression will block your path to income and profits.

    And there’s an investment for nearly every kind of money you have:

    *Your long-term money: Bank CDs that can double, triple, even quadruple the results your long-term investments are paying you now -- delivering total returns of up to 17.9% per year ...

    *Your medium-term investments: Comfortable, easy-to-trade ETFs that can hand you annualized total returns (capital gains and interest) of up to 81% per year — and that are as easy to buy and sell as IBM or Microsoft stock ...

    *Your shorter-term trading: Limited-risk, readily available options fully capable of spinning off 100% and 200% profits — doubling and tripling your money in anywhere from a week to three months, and even ...

    *Your higher risk money: Vehicles with the power to double your money in a single day — and over time, to turn a $10,000 investment into more than $410,000 (or $100,000 into more than $4.1 million).
    Easier to read, and for all of us who would like to get in quietly, read

    The really interesting news is a story from CP in today's KDC. Heading says,

    " 'Green' budget could create 160,000 jobs, says think tank

    "A new report says the Harper govt. could create MORE THAN 160,000 jobs with a massive 'green' stimulus package in next week's budget".

    Yet M. Dion was trashed by CRAP and the electorate for his Green Shift plan. Prophets are never accepted in their own home.

    Look for the Cdn. deficit / debt to skyrocket. Tory times are terrible times.

  4. True story:

    Company needs to order a part for one of their machines. Calls vendor and vendor wants 100% payment before delivery. Company doesn't want to pay 100% because that's not the way they do business. After all who knows if this vendor will be around after the payment? Company wants to pay 20% up front and 80% on delivery. Stalemate.

    There's no trust anywhere. Gee...Wonder why? That was rhetorical.

    Had a good laugh after I read this one.....


    They had a 'Green' economy presentation with Dragon's Den people on National last night. It was pretty good. Thought the question or comment by the marketing dragon was a good one. Something like "Have you thought about changing the branding name?"

    Throwing in 2.8B to bring broadband to rural communities in the U.S. according to Part of the Obama stimulus.

  5. From . . .

    By Wayne Moore - Story: 44568 * Jan 22, 2009 / 3:00 pm

    "Glencoe Transport shutting its doors

    "The current economic downturn has hit home with a long established Kelowna trucking company.

    "Glencoe Transport, in business for 37 years, has informed its employees the company will be shutting down for good later this year.

    "Glencoe President, Don Coe, says the company will continue to operate until May 31 to honour its commitment to its employees, customers and vendors.

    "It's not a bankruptcy, but rather a planned business shutdown. A lot of our business in today's economy goes out to tender. We lost a major account, comprising 70 plus per cent of our business as of May 31," says Coe.

    "It's very difficult to replace that kind of volume and downsizing with our infrastructure is something that is not easily, if at all, accomplished."

    "Coe says three other core accounts, including the glass plant in Lavington and a paper mill in McKenzie shut down their businesses.

    "He says the decision to close was not an easy one, but one he says had to be made given the current economic climate.

    "You have to do the right thing by your people and that is to do it properly and orderly. We'll go forward and assist them in finding new jobs."

    "The shutdown will affect 184 employees. A majority of those employees live in the Okanagan."

    Part of the ripple effect. The Lavington glass plant shut down several months ago, 300 workers lost their jobs.

    Mackenzie is now a ghost town in northern B.C., when lumber companies shut up shop. Just about everyone left.

    Those laid off here in the Valley don't have a cat in hell's chance of getting other jobs. Tolko Industries, which bought Riverside Forest Products Ltd a few years ago said 70 employees in Manitoba were being let go because of the economic downturn, which means no housing is taking place.
    When will the msm stop calling this a recession, and start saying what it really is? A Depression, for God's sake!

    Plus a new take on the real estate fiasco here in B.C. --

  6. Barb the proofreaderJanuary 22, 2009 at 8:17 PM

    "Tory times are terrible times"
    :) That's a great new twist Charles! Everything is ramped up these days, even old sayings!
    How about: "Stephane Dion, a man 3 months ahead of his time." He knew the answer, people are just slow.

    Wayupnorth said " offset losses in the tar sands which are multiplying daily instead of doing the sensible thing and shutting them down until demand makes the tar sands profitable again"

So true. Alberta extracts “60 percent of its crude oil from its tar sands”. You can presume they won’t do any pre-emptive shut downs. They’ll push the limits as usual.
Interesting read in Minneapolis-St.Paul StarTribune:
“Canada's five-year-long energy boom has ended, but how deep and how painful the resulting bust will be remains to be seen.” (Two and half page article.) “..former premier, had called for "orderly" development, but a wild rush ensued”
I agree, too bad the conbot personal attackers track the blogosphere and piddle wherever they are directed to. It's evidence they operate under the premise they think they can intimidate people from exchanging discourse.

  7. Charlesius, I can appreciate the plight of the small towns, having lived through the syndrome personally. Not that these economic times aren't hard on communities of all sizes, but the small towns and rural areas have such limited employment options that it really hits them between the eyes. And yes, the domino effect is tremendous and it is swift.

    I am seeing the first outward signs of the impact in our area now, as the effects of a lousy tourist season and poor holiday shopping coupled with the uncertainty of the future come to bear. Real estate prices haven't suffered too much within close proximity of our local city, but a 15 mile radius and beyond is a different story. Imagine this, you who dwell in the high priced areas. A 20 yr old immaculate 3 bedroom bungalow on an acre and a bit, with garage and large shed situated about 2 minutes drive from the ocean. Asking price $79,000. That was approx 25 miles from the city.

    I was saddened in December when the old Co-op store closed in town as I remember it as a young child and it was a fixture in the community for so long. Some of the top restaurants now have for sale signs on them and I am hearing the rumblings from the earn and spenders about shedding their toys and possibly downsizing their 2500 sq footers.

    But Mark Carney says it will all be over in 6 months. IF, everything goes according to Mark's wishbook. Santa, here is my Christmas list a few months early.

    Interesting the developer suing those people. I wonder if the consideration of how much damage that will do to future sales crossed their minds?

  8. Barb, re: the Startribune article.

    Therein lies the two faces of the issue of oil. Too high and the entire world suffers, particularly those who live in the poorest countries.

    Too low, and not only does the West get thumped, but the Feds have no replacement for the lost revenues stemming from the manufacturing down turn and the softwood lumber crises.

  9. Incoming email Anon? I don't think so.

  10. Hale and Pace are my one of my favourite. Here are a couple of gut busters...Just in case you've never caught these on the tele....

    I love Yorkshire Airlines.

  11. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY! (Courtesy

    "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." -- Pericles (430 B.C.)
    From all over the world, a mish-mash hodge-podge of items; scan the headlines unless further investigation is required . . .

    Remember what a nice city Sarajevo was for the Olympics in 1984, then destroyed by civil war and the like? History seems to be repeating itself, around the planet. --

    So, is the war on Gaza worth it? Seems not. --

    Do bears crap in the woods? No. They use the porta-a-potties generously donated by humanity.

    Unfortunately, we're up to our necks in dung hills now, and it ain't gonna go away anytime soon! --

    Sony is taking a US$3 bln. loss this year. Mark Carney and Hank Paulson worked side-by-side at Goldman Sachs; now they are in charge of their respective countries' finances.

    Both countries -- like most of the world -- are sinking so fast in their own quagmires of debt, there is no chance those debts will ever be paid back.

    As the link above reads, the show is just starting.

  12. Mornin', Comrades,

    Here is a "must read" about the economic situation in the States and a suggested recovery, Paul Krugman telling Obama what he must do. It is long, but there are nuggets on each page:

    I have seen nothing more searching, serious, practical or practicable. It certainly applies to Canada, allowing that we are neither in the hole as deeply, nor as far behind the power curve, and already have a functioning health care system.

    Of course, Krugman's plan will be written off as socialist. Seems to be that anything that tries to protect the national interest is.