Fresh Water or Heavy Crude

Q: What’s more valuable fresh water or heavy crude oil?
A: We can’t survive without water.

Although my, ‘Well Duh,’ answer is obvious, I’m writing it here because most people aren’t factoring future generations into their valuations.

Canada’s most valuable resource is an abundance of fresh water. Bitumen, heavy crude oil, is not even close.

California is currently experiencing the worst drought in at least a hundred years. If this drought is related to ‘Global Warming,’ it’s clearly a very big deal. If linked, the worst is yet to come. What happens when the drought moves north? Are Alberta and Saskatchewan at risk? Will the oil sands’ provinces come to regret:

  • wasting millions of gallons of fresh water to extract bitumen from sand
  • poisoning precious fresh water supplies?

Q: What’s driving oil sands’ development?
A: Asia’s demand for fuel and Big Oil’s bottom line.

Short-term thinking and greed are scary things. Folks, who aren’t part of the financial class, may not realize that almost all oil sands’ profits go directly to multinational corporations and their shareholders. Very little money stays in Canada. Will these same folks be shocked when the proposed pipelines come online and cause domestic gas prices to rise? The current tar sands’ economy has never made sense for the vast majority of Canadian families.

Q: What will happen if we don’t change direction?
A: In not much more than a decade, or two, our children will be saying, “What were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they heed the environmentalists’ warnings? Why did they listen to the Harper Government and Big Oil?” and they would be justified to conclude that “Our parents were short-sighted assholes.”

It’s time to get off of the Conservative Liberal teeter-totter.

Overcome Voter Suppression

It’s been very well documented that Republican State Governments, in electoral swing-states, have introduced Voter ID laws in a brazen attempt to steal the 2012 election for Mitt Romney. While the lawmakers and courts go to war over the legality of their legislation, there’s something simple you can do to ensure that your opinion is heard:

Watch the ‘Rock the Vote #WeWill Video’

and then visit rockthevote.com

Thurston Howell Romney Video

Thurston Howell Romney

Note: I ‘borrowed’ the Thurston Howell Romney title from David Brooks’ excellent article in the New York Times.

I’m, more than a little, dismayed that so many people were surprised by the following Mitt Romney video:

Suggesting that forty-seven percent of the US population are ‘moochers’ is shocking, especially coming from someone who aspires to be President, but no one should be surprised that it was Mitt Romney that said it.

Folks, Mitt Romney is a private equity guy. Private equity/leveraged buyout people are not job creators. It’s always about personal PROFIT.

2012 Bill Clinton Speech Video

Brilliant! Here’s the 2012 Bill Clinton speech video:

National Anthem by Mitt Romney

The National Anthem by Mitt Romney aka ‘Firms’ is a 2012 Presidential campaign ad approved by Barack Obama. It’s a beauty. I suspect it will change the Obama/Romney vote ratio in the President’s favour.

Attack ads have become an unfortunate, but accepted, part of modern day politics. In Canada the political parties have small budgets and produce lame ads. In the USA, enormous budgets allow campaign managers to hire the very best consultants. Whoever dreamt up the national anthem by Mitt Romney deserves a big bonus. She/He/They crafted a very simple thirty second ad, that takes a potentially complicated subject and delivers a clear message in a manner that couldn’t be more straightforward. The ad packs an immense psychological impact. This is precisely why the vast majority of Americans are so frustrated.

Note: Yes, I do know ‘America the Beautiful’ isn’t ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

The Road We’ve Traveled Video

The Road We've Traveled

Have you watched ‘The Road We’ve Traveled’ video? If not, invest seventeen minutes and do so now. Whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, you have to admire the compassion, intelligence, courage and patriotism that Barack Obama has shown the world.

The Harper Conservatives Make Me Shudder

Harper Conservatives

There have been five Conservative, Prime Ministers of Canada, in my lifetime, but only the Harper Conservatives have managed to make me shudder. From my vantage, Canadian politics has gone off the rails and Canada is feeling less and less Canadian every month.

My explanation is that the Harper Conservatives aren’t at all like their predecessors, they are Canadian Progressive Conservatives in name only. The reality is that they’re a group of "angry old uncle," libertarians. Alberta’s longstanding, political discontent (Reform Party => Alliance => Harper Conservatives) combined with a very cleverly orchestrated manipulation of our political system has allowed them to seize power.

The Harper Conservatives’ all too familiar pitch is smaller government and lower taxes for everyone, but they share similar goals with the Republicans in the USA. Their underlying goal is, as always, to enable a small number of rich people, the 1%, to become wealthier and more powerful.

Greed is a Scary Thing.

Inexplicably, many people will vote for lower taxes even if it goes against their own self interest.

As a young physician I made the mistake of complaining to my parents about the taxes I was paying. My father responded, "You’re really going to have to adjust your attitude. Be grateful that you’re earning enough income that you can pay a lot of tax. Our taxes enable us to assist our fellow Canadians and help us do many good works around the world."

I listened to my dad, I adjusted my attitude and learned to be less selfish.

The great purpose of life is to be of service to others.

In my six decades Canada has been known as a country:

  • blessed with bountiful resources (forests, fresh water and clean air)
  • inhabited by happy, well-educated, tolerant, well-mannered, peaceful people who value and encourage diversity
  • with very few guns, very few murders and a declining crime rate
  • with an impressive social safety net, including our health care system
  • willing to contribute significantly to peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

Contrast that with what we’ve become known for in the very short time since the Harper Conservatives took power. A country:

  • eager to develop controversial crude oil pipelines
  • willing to squander our resources for short-term profit by favouring carbon-based fuel (tar sands) production, ignoring green technologies and apparently proud to become the first and only country in the world to denounce The Kyoto Protocol on the environment
  • happy to cozy up to the NRA (National Rifle Association) by abandoning our long-gun registry
  • in a hurry to impose stiff mandatory sentences for marijuana offences
  • whose priority is building more prisons even though the crime rate is declining
  • planning to spend billions of tax dollars on fighter jets instead of social programs
  • willing to sell asbestos to the third world
  • actively dismantling the Wheat Board and planning to end protection from foreign imports of dairy and eggs
  • using omnibus legislation to conceal major policy changes, thereby preventing normal public scrutiny
  • of political scandals (In and Out, alleged robo-calls).

Do you remember when Justin Trudeau gave the eulogy at his father’s (Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s) funeral and quoted his father as saying, "… never attack the individual. One can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating him as a consequence."

Contrast Trudeau’s paradigm with what the Harper Conservatives’ attack ads did to Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatief. I was dismayed that so many Canadians allowed themselves to be influenced by American-style attack ads. Interestingly, most folks in the middle and on the left of the political spectrum didn’t vote Conservative, they just didn’t bother to vote. As a direct result, we now have a majority government that over sixty percent of our voting population did not endorse.

Are you happy with the direction the Harper Conservatives are taking Canada? Is greed really that appealing? I’d love to see my children and grandchildren enjoy the kind of Canada I’ve experienced throughout my lifetime. That’s not going to happen with the Harper Conservatives.

Don’t sit back hoping a charismatic, new leader for the Liberals, NDP or Green Party will appear. Canada’s future depends on a majority of Canadians standing up and proclaiming that, "Canada is much better than the Harper Conservatives’ ideology."

1% vs 99%

1% vs 99%: Capitalism has been hijacked by greed. For the last couple of decades, capitalism has been primarily benefiting just 1% of our population.

Q: Are you pissed with politics?

I am too, but don’t make the mistake of thinking, "Politician’s just don’t get it." The reality is that conservative politicians are getting exactly what they want.

Here’s some current economic data, courtesy of Robert Reich‘s recent online articles, that illustrates precisely how well conservatives are serving the richest 1%.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich was the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Labor and is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book is "Supercapitalism."

"New data from the Commerce Department shows employee pay is now down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data in 1929.

Meanwhile, corporate profits now constitute the largest share of the economy since 1929."

"… tax rates on the super rich are now lower than they’ve been in three decades"

"This tsunami of big money into politics is the real public nuisance. It’s making it almost impossible for the voices of average Americans to be heard because most of us don’t have the dough to break through. By granting First Amendment rights to money and corporations, the First Amendment rights of the rest of us are being trampled on."

Related posts:

>> All They Cared About Was…

>> Collective Good

I Left Network Marketing

Why I Left Network Marketing: A quick explanation…

Comment: It’s possible you arrived at this blog post because you were redirected from one of my old network marketing websites. I apologize if the information you might have been searching for is no longer available.

I attempted to create wealth for myself, my family and friends with a couple of direct sales businesses. I persevered for over a decade. I enrolled thousands of hopeful people; unfortunately, only a couple of those people earned a significant income. My goal was to help, but the attrition stats were undeniable. I started to feel like I was picking pockets rather than doing good. The big question is, did I fail thousands of distributors, or, did network marketing’s business-model for distributors let all of us down?

I recently decided to sever my ties to the network marketing profession. Thank you to all the wonderful people, I’ve met along the way. I wish you health, happiness and enormous success in your future endeavours.

Network Marketing – Think Hard Before Joining

Network marketing has been around for over fifty years, so its track record is very well established. Millions and millions of people, worldwide, have enrolled; unfortunately, the vast majority ended up losing their money. Significantly, and contrary to myth, only a minuscule fraction of one percent of network marketing professionals have actually earned serious incomes.

Here’s a typical example: ‘Big Money’ stories enticed people, by the hundreds of thousands, to discover an exotic, super-fruit, juice company. Titillated by stories that the company’s top income earners were paid millions of dollars every year, financially desperate people felt they had new hope; some actually dreamed about earning as much as $100,000 per month. What happened to their dreams?

Not too long ago, that company’s, government mandated, income disclosure statement revealed that:

  • fewer than one percent qualified for commissions
  • of the one percent who qualified for commissions, only ten percent earned more than $100 a week

99% never earned any money. 0.9% earned less than $100 per week. 0.1% earned more than $100 weekly.

You might be thinking, “One out of every one thousand people earning $100, or more, per week doesn’t sound too bad.” Unfortunately, your thought process may not have factored in the distributor’s business related expenses. How much did the distributor spend for their required monthly product order? What were her/his marketing expenses (examples: product samples, magazines, brochures, DVDs, postage, newspaper ads, websites, pay-per-click ads and leads)? It’s, usually, surprisingly difficult to get a network marketing business into profit.

Q: What makes you think it will be different for you?

Here’s a quote I saved* (warning, it’s depressing for network marketers):

Roland Whitsell, a former business professor who spent 40 years researching and teaching the pitfalls of multilevel marketing: "You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone making over $1.50 an hour, the primary product is opportunity. The strongest, most powerful motivational force today is false hope."

*Note: My apologies to the original author, I neglected to record the attribution when I saved his/her quote.

Something New

Network Marketing Heads Up cover

I’ve published a downloadable eBook in ePub format. The title is ‘Network Marketing Heads Up.’

Network Marketing Heads Up download icon

>> Visit NetworkMarketingHeadsUp.com

All They Cared About Was…

When I was a teenager, I lifeguarded and taught swimming at the YMCA in Ottawa. When the Health Club manager was away, I was asked to fill in for him. It was a strange experience.

Background: My father had a Ph.D. in chemistry and ran the RCMP’s crime labs. My mother was a nurse, seamstress and artist. Our dinner-table conversations were substantive, interesting and full of humanity.

When I worked at the YMCA Health Club, all they cared about was MONEY and that’s all they ever talked about. The "Y" was where some of Ottawa’s money guys had lunch and regaled each other with stories of profit. It was a sad site for a young man, but mostly it was simply depressing. Where were the tales of helping other people live better lives?

I don’t think much has changed in the last forty-five years. I’m fearful that today’s moneyed elite have completely lost site of the collective good. The two percent of the population that controls ninety-eight percent of all the money appear to be oblivious to what’s happening around them. They even see massive foreclosure stats as a golden financial opportunity. I’ve always worried that Capitalism’s Achille’s Heel was and still is GREED.

Do you suppose Hampton billionaires learned anything from world history, specifically the French Revolution? Are they at all concerned by the Occupy Wall Street protests? I don’t know what to think about the protests, but I suspect sociologists might see them as a warning sign.

Related post: Conservative Greed