Monthly Archives: November 2014

So How Much Do We Owe?

The Ontario Government recently released its annual mid-term economic report 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. We review the provincial debt situation in light of this report.

Blowin’ In The Wind

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

— Bob Dylan, Blowin’ in the Wind

Yesterday Ontario ‘s Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli was blowing in the wind again when he said:

“Businesses will come and go in Ontario … The reality is that there are more coming in than are leaving — very significant.”

— Bob Chiarelli (Toronto SUN: ‘Businesses will come and go in Ontario’: Energy minister)

Although an apparently simple claim at face value, it bears some careful examination. The phrase are more coming in than are leaving would focus on number of companies whereas the real issue is the number of jobs and the relative value of those jobs. To examine Chiarelli’s claim we will look at overall employment numbers and average wages in two industry sectors, goods-producing industries that include manufacturing, construction and natural resource extraction, and service-producing industries.

The Accomplishment of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, A Soldier of Allah

This essay by Paul contains his reflections on the recent Gaza war.  We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s Gift to Canada.

Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain (Psalm 76:10 (KJV.)

Islam is becoming more dangerous for everybody every day. In a typical evening broadcast on any of the major global news-networks at least one in three leading items brings to our ears and eyes the horrific effects of the command of Muhammad to “slay the unbeliever.” Typically, there will be stories about this day’s work by suicide-bombers: scores of people who had been going about their daily lives, removed from the earth in the blink of an eye because of the need of dedicated individuals and groups to make theological statements. As I was writing these words the emergency services were cleaning up the human muck left by such incidents in several Arab countries from Mali to Pakistan, in Indonesia and in Muslim parts of Africa as well as in parts of Africa being newly-won for Allah from nominally Christian regimes, such as that in Nigeria. Not always at the top of the news but always going on somewhere are similar events in the Muslim parts of China, Central Asia and the South Pacific – everywhere, in short.

The Deeper Meaning of the Campaign for “Recognition of Palestine”

In this essay, Paul returns to the ongoing effort to establish a Palestinian state.  We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Origins of the Present Campaign to Achieve Immediate Global Recognition of a “State of Palestine.”

When, back in the 1890s, the first generation of Zionists proposed the creation of a Jewish State somewhere in “Palestine,” Arabs everywhere united in a declaration of eternal opposition. Then, after the State of Israel became a fact of life in 1948, this refusal to accept Israel’s creation was immediately replaced by an undying vow to remove it from the face of the earth.

The campaign to achieve a State of Palestine is relatively new in the world, however, and can be traced back to November 15, 1988, when the Palestine Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in Algiers at an “extraordinary session in exile of the Palestine National Council.” The Declaration was promptly acknowledged by a range of countries, not limited to Arab and/or Muslim ones; and indeed by 1989 ninety-four Member States of the United Nations – about one-half of the membership at that time – had formally recognized the “State of Palestine.”

Zionism versus Nakvaism

This essay by Paul contains his reflections on the recent Gaza war.  We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Pondering the Wreckage from the Latest Gaza War.

As President Obama proceeds with his courtship of “moderate Arab governments” for active roles in his anti-IS coalition, he is again ringing the changes on the long-disproved notion that a more hostile American posture towards Israel is needed in order to smooth the path towards ultimate peace in the Middle East.

Again, President Obama and his team are screaming that Israel’s government is poisoning the wells of diplomacy by building more housing for all of its citizens — Arabs Jews and others — in areas that the PLO insists have belonged exclusively to Arabs since time immemorial. Once again we are being told that surrender by Israel of its position on this and other disputed matters will win goodwill for Israel – that this goodwill will radiate in all directions, smoothing the way to solution of all the differences between Israel and its neighbours. In due course, as Israel surrenders her narrow Zionist vision in favour of grander possibilities, throughout the Arab world the grievances upon which ISIS feeds will be removed or vastly mitigated in the minds of all clear-thinking denizens of the region and the spirit of accommodation will reign. The lion will lie down with the lamb. (For a particularly egregious sample of this logic see “Kerry Links ISIS Recruiting Success to Israel,” IPT News, October 17, 20114.)

The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

By George Friedman

Nuclear talks with Iran have failed to yield an agreement, but the deadline for a deal has been extended without a hitch. What would have been a significant crisis a year ago, replete with threats and anxiety, has been handled without drama or difficulty. This new response to yet another failure to reach an accord marks a shift in the relationship between the United States and Iran, a shift that can’t be understood without first considering the massive geopolitical shifts that have taken place in the Middle East, redefining the urgency of the nuclear issue.

On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By George Friedman

We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations. We have now entered the final phase of Barack Obama’s presidency, and like those of several other presidents since World War II, it is ending in what we call a state of failure. This is not a judgment on his presidency so much as on the political configuration within it and surrounding it.

The midterm elections are over, and Congress and the president are in gridlock. This in itself is not significant; presidents as popular as Dwight Eisenhower found themselves in this condition. The problem occurs when there is not only an institutional split but also a shift in underlying public opinion against the president. There are many more sophisticated analyses of public opinion on politics, but I have found it useful to use this predictive model.

The Ontario Employment Picture: October, 2014

We have decided to do a monthly analysis of the Ontario labour market using two sources of data from Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 282-0087, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by sex and age group, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted monthly, and CANSIM Table 282-0088, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employment by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), seasonally adjusted and unadjusted. Data selection methodology is in the Appendix. Presentation and discussion of the data follows.

What the Fall of the Wall Did Not Change

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

By George Friedman

Twenty-five years ago, a crowd filled with an uneasy mixture of joy and rage tore down the Berlin Wall. There was joy for the end of Germany’s partition and the end of tyranny. There was rage against generations of fear. One fear was of communist oppression. The other fear was of the threat of a war, which had loomed over Europe and Germany since 1945. One fear was moral and ideological, while the other was prudential and geopolitical. As in all defining political moments, fear and rage, ideology and geopolitics, blended together in an intoxicating mix.

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